Bellwood's location, just 13 miles west of Chicago's Loop, and its proximity to I-290 and I-294, should make it attractive to residents and to industry. Its location notwithstanding, Bellwood lost 7.1% of its population between 2000 and 2010 and has been losing businesses.
According to a Sunday Chicago Tribune story, conditions in Bellwood appear poised to get considerably worse, based on the levels of debt rung up by municipal officials and the high real estate taxes necessary to service that debt and municipal services.
Housing values have plummeted as real estate taxes soared. The median asking price of a home in Bellwood was $75,000 in August, down 13.8% year-over-year, and the median sold price of a home was $40,000, down 27.3% year-over-year.
The story of Bellwood isn't a unique one. Home buyers need to pay careful attention to the financial condition of any suburb they're considering a move to. The Cook County Property Tax Portal is a good starting point for research.