How does Chicago rank?

Those considering real estate in Chicago probably know by now that an industry report recently ranked the state of Illinois as No. 1 in the country for home foreclosures. Chicago and Rockford, Illinois, along with seven California cities made up the top nine metros on the list for foreclosures. However, Chicago also often ranks well on a number of other lists that are worth consideration.

Coldwell Banker and OnBoard Informatics recently released its Suburbanites Best Places to Live. In the state of Illinois, Inverness, Lincolnshire, Kildeer, Deerfield and Western Springs were the top five. Chicago magazine highlighted the surprising fact that only two Chicago suburbs ranked on the top 100 list: Inverness in 88th place and Lincolnshire at 94th place. The source listed a number of "picture-book suburbs" such as Wheaton, Elmhurst, Hinsdale, Libertyville and Oak Park that were absent in the ranking.

Inverness is known as a relatively affluent place and almost entirely residential, with tree-lined streets. It's a town that sits roughly 30 miles north of downtown Chicago with a population hovering around 7,400 people.

The Coldwell Banker study considered factors such as the number of car commuters, percentage of homeownership, median disposable income and the number of people who eat in.

Chicago magazine real estate columnist Dennis Rodkin explained that the emphasis put on commuting by car for the survey would help explain why none of the Chicago area train towns appear on the list. A recent study from DePaul University listed the top four train towns as Wilmette, Arlington Heights, Glenview and Elmhurst.

"The commuter rail station is to a suburb what the airport is to a city - the gateway to the world," Joseph Schwieterman, a DePaul expert on public policy and transportation, explained to Chicago magazine.

In a Coldwell-Onboard survey, Chicago was ranked No. 3 for best places to live for social seekers, with only Manhattan and San Francisco ranking higher. Factors considered in this survey included access to public transportation, many nightlife options and proximity to cultural activities.

"From the hot dining scene to art museums and gorgeous river views, residents of the Windy City have plenty to keep busy," Coldwell Banker wrote in the survey's press release. "Chicago is home to a lively theatre scene, two Major League Baseball teams and top universities. Residents travel easily between events along the city's elevated subway line, the "L."