As Elmhurst residents, we may appear a bit biased about how great our area is. However, the results are in - Elmhurst has been ranked as one of the best cities to raise a family.

Illinois is a family-oriented state, with its combination of exciting downtown life and quaint small towns. Elmhurst epitomizes Midwestern manners; we have top-ranking schools, and we boast a close knit community.

These qualities, among others, have been researched by NerdWallet, an Internet resource that provides consumers with complete and clear information on a variety of topics. They cover everything from which credit card you should apply for, to how to save money while traveling. This month, they have reviewed the best cities in Illinois for those with young families.

NerdWallet began their search by focusing on some important topics: public schools, affordability, and the town’s economy. They looked into the school systems by taking ratings based on standardized test scores. Higher ratings on testing gave a higher overall score to the public schools.

NerdWallet then researched if the average family could afford to live in the city. To do so, they studied homeownership, mortgages, real estate taxes, utilities and other monthly bills. The lower the cost, the higher the overall score. Whether or not the town itself is prospering was a factor, because they wanted to make sure the town was growing in wealth, not dwindling. Higher incomes gave the area a higher overall score on the NerdWallet rating system. They researched a total of 124 Illinois cities, towns, and villages, all with at least a population of 20,000.

So where did Elmhurst rank? We’re pleased to announce that Elmhurst came in 9th in the NerdWallet study. As the report states, the schools in Elmhurst have some of the best support available. Businesses are thriving; small shops are able to stay afloat with the small business grant program. Nearly 80% of grant recipients are still running since the program began over 11 years ago!

Elmhurst had a school ranking of 9 out of 10. The fact that many teachers have been here for more than 11 years also boosted the school rating for NerdWallet. Monthly home owner costs were said to be $2,443, with the median income at $87,935. The community has seen nearly a 26% growth from 1999-2011. These ratings gave Elmhurst an overall score of 62.41 for the NerdWallet study.

Other Illinois cities that made the list include Geneva, New Lenox, and Edwardsville. For the full article, have a look at NerdWallet's site. At the Gracik Makinney Group, we agree that Elmhurst is a fantastic place to raise a family. If you’re looking to buy a home in the Elmhurst area, don’t hesitate to contact us. Give us a call at 630-441-5570 or drop by our office at 190 North York Road, right here in Elmhurst.