Home prices are where you really see the difference

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Home prices are one of the biggest disparities between living in the Chicagoland area and southeastern Wisconsin.

Chicago housing costs are about 30 percent higher than Milwaukee-area housing costs, said Jim Paetsch, vice president of corporate relocation, expansion and attraction for Milwaukee 7, a regional economic partnership group.

“We work with executives all the time who are surprised by how much further their home-buying dollar can go here versus northeastern Illinois,” Paetsch said.

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A four-bedroom, two-and-a-half bath, 2,500-square-foot home in Chicago’s Lake View neighborhood would cost about $853,300. In the Arlington Heights suburb, the average price would be about $391,800, according to M7.

That same home in Pleasant Prairie, in Kenosha County, would be priced at $245,200, according
to M7.

“Another thing we are really starting to see is property taxes are much more favorable here,” Paetsch said. “While in Illinois, taxes have creeped up, we have held the line on property taxes. So not only is the cost of buying a home more economical, annual occupancy also costs less.”

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The tax rate was $27.30 per $1,000 assessed value in the City of Kenosha and $20.37 per $1,000 in Pleasant Prairie in 2014-‘15, according to the latest data available from the Wisconsin Taxpayer Alliance.

Metro Milwaukee-area home sales in 2017 were the highest annual total since 2005.

For the year, the market saw 21,357 total sales, compared to 21,007 in 2016, a 1.7 percent increase. And 2017 was 8.9 percent ahead of 2015, when there were 19,611 homes sold, according to the Greater Milwaukee Association of Realtors.

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The average home sale price in Kenosha County was $193,745 in 2017, up 7.9 percent compared to 2016, according to the Greater Milwaukee Association of Realtors. The average home sale price in Racine County in 2017 was $182,378, up 8.7 percent; the average home sale price in Milwaukee County was $176,012, up 4.6 percent; and the average home sale price in Waukesha County was $321,224, up 5.8 percent.

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