Honest Pros and Cons of Living in Northbrook, IL

Honest Pros and Cons of Living in Northbrook, IL

  • Jane Lee Luxury Team
  • 07/4/23

Just 25 miles north of Chicago, Northbrook is a thriving and affluent suburb. It offers residents a balance between the convenience of city living and the charm of small-town life. One of the most distinctive features of this elegant village is its unique blend of natural beauty, a thriving economy, and world-class amenities. With numerous parks, a lively retail sector, and beautiful residences, this village attracts many buyers looking for luxury.

The availability of parks, golf courses, and nature preserves allows residents to enjoy outdoor activities, such as biking and jogging, whenever their heart desires. Shopping, dining, and entertainment options are also plentiful, thanks to high-end shopping malls like the Northbrook Court. However, as with any community, there are also drawbacks to living in this village. The following is an honest review of the pros and cons of living in this suburb.


Northbrook offers many benefits to the over 34,000 people who call it home. From an easy commute and exceptional educational opportunities to fantastic shopping spots and local parks, Northbrook has so much to offer.

High quality of life and beautiful homes

Being a wealthy community supported by a thriving economy, high quality of life remains one of the best perks of living in Northbrook. Everything about this village has plenty of promise and prestige, from home ownership to employment opportunities and income levels. In Northbrook, 87% of homes are owner-occupied. With the community’s allure comes a higher price point, with a median home value of approximately $657,000.

On the Northbrook real estate scene, you can find glorious estates with exceptional designs, from French styles to modern mansions with sleek lines. The architecture here is truly awe-inspiring, with bright foyers, open terraces, marble fireplaces, high ceilings, custom heated flooring, expansive windows, and more. Luxury features of these high-end properties include circular drives leading to glass door entrances, grand staircases, renovated kitchens with custom cabinetry, and private balconies with stunning views of the lawn and landscape.

A convenient location and easy commuting

The location is very convenient, with the O'Hare Airport being a mere 25 minutes away. Several routes provide residents easy access to Chicago's central business district in about a one-hour drive. Commuting is also convenient thanks to the village's comprehensive public transportation system, including easy access to a Metra line station, which connects to other suburbs and central Chicago.

A strong school system providing high-quality education

Northbrook is renowned for its educational promise. The village's public schools are recognized for their high-quality programs, and their students consistently perform well above state and national averages. Some of the top-rated schools in the area include Meadowbrook School, Shabonee Elementary School, Wood Oaks Junior High School, and famed Glenbrook North High School, which was a filming site for “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” and “The Breakfast Club.”

Top-notch amenities galore

As a vibrant community, living in Northbrook promises a life of luxury and entertainment, with tons of top-rated amenities.

For a day of retail therapy, residents can explore the many stores in the local upmarket shopping malls and plazas, such as Village Square of Northbrook and Northbrook Shopping Plaza. Northbrook Court is a famed shopping spot with an array of stores from MaxMara to Tiffany & Co. There’s even an AMC dine-in movie theater where you can enjoy a great film on the big screen.

In addition, residents can enjoy a fantastic meal at the many fine dining establishments in the area, including Barnaby’s of Northbrook, Kamehachi, Ruth's Chris Steak House, Morton's The Steakhouse, and the Landmark Inn — an official Blackhawks bar.

The Sunset Ridge Country Club offers an amazing game of golf at its beautiful 18-hole course. Facilities also include a swimming pool, various tennis and pickleball courts, a driving range, and a newly constructed fitness center.

If skating is your goal, don’t miss the Northbrook Sports Center, with its NHL-sized ice rinks hosting skating classes, freestyle events, holiday festivities, figure skating competitions, and more. There’s also an outdoor pool here.


As attractive as the village is, living here comes with a price. The drawbacks to living in Northbrook include the following.

High cost of living

While Northbrook homes are truly beautiful, the overall cost of living is about 40% higher than the national average; Northbrook is one of the more expensive Chicago suburbs. A major point to note is that the high cost of living is quite understandable given the village's thriving economy that comes with high incomes.

Harsh climate, especially during winters

Winter is often brutal in the Midwest, characterized by cold temperatures, heavy snowfall at times, and occasional freezing rains. While this type of weather is certainly not exclusive to this suburb, it is still a factor to be aware of if you’re considering a move to Northbrook.

While the snow and ice can result in occasional disruptions of transportation, it should not be much of a concern regarding living conditions, as most homes are well-equipped with effective heating systems. On the upside, outdoor enthusiasts can get a chance to enjoy ice skating, building snowmen, and making snow angels during the winter season, which is a great time for family fun.

Heavy traffic in Chicago

Residents can easily get around the village itself, but accessing neighboring towns and Chicago requires the use of major highways, such as Edens Expressway, Lehigh Avenue, Shermer Road, and the Tri-State Tollway. Some of these roads are heavily congested during rush hours and can lead to stressful commutes at times.

Take up residency in Northbrook today

In all, the many advantages of living in Northbrook greatly outweigh any of the disadvantages. If you are ready to explore Northbrook real estate, The Jane Lee Luxury Team is ready to assist you. Led by trusted broker Jane Lee, this award-winning team has years of experience in the Northbrook real estate market and will help you achieve your dream home. Contact The Jane Lee Luxury Team for a consultation and to begin your search for Northbrook homes for sale.

*Header photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Work With Us

Reach out to book an appointment to sell your home, meet directly with Jane, and learn more about your home’s unique value. From there, our team of luxury real estate professionals will guide, assist, and ensure your happiness.

Follow Us On Instagram