I've strongly recommended that anyone looking to relocate to a new municipality read the local media to familiarize themselves with local issues.
Stories reported locally often surface major problems that might impact your decision to buy: school closings or overcrowding, looming property tax hikes, flooding and sewer backup problems, or just a tone among the locals that doesn't match your expectations for new neighbors.
That said, the quality of local reporting varies widely. As an example, compare the recent reports on a proposed Wilmette Marriott Residence Inn from Wilmette Patch and from TribLocal.
TribLocal (and yeah, we have a ton of business relationships with the Trib) has a fact-filled and informative report focused on important financial issues.
Wilmette Patch has an almost incoherent, grammatically-challenged ramble focusing almost exclusively on some seemingly far-fetched objections from residents. The opening paragraph gives you some idea of just how weird the article is:
Though reservations have yet to be taken for a proposed six-story Marriott Inn at 3201 Old Glenview Rd. in Wilmette, the Plan Commission voted 4-3 to send the project for village board approval.
Imagine that – a hotel in the conceptual stages that has no reservations!
I've often found Patch articles to be poorly written and wide of the mark, missing important aspects of the story. But then, Patch is a startup enterprise and may improve over time as reporters gain familiarity with the communities they're covering. Currently few Patch reporters have any background in North Shore communities, or even in communities that have similar demographics to the North Shore.
Filed under: Real Estate