Plainfield, formally known as the Village of Plainfield, is a small suburb of Chicago known for its rich history and sense of community. The area is home to over 44,000 people, and is close to both major cities and untouched nature. But is Plainfield, IL, a good place to live? We’ve got you covered.
If you’re looking at homes for sale in Plainfield or are just curious about what the area has to offer, this Redfin guide is for you. Here are 10 pros and cons to consider before moving to Plainfield, IL.
5 pros of living in Plainfield, IL
There’s a lot to love about living in Plainfield. Here are five of the best.
1. Affordable cost of living
Plainfield has a relatively affordable cost of living compared to other cities in the United States. Housing costs, in particular, are on par with the national average, which makes it an attractive option for those looking for an affordable place to live near a major city. For example, the median sale price of a house in Plainfield is $429,900,
Renting is also more affordable than a majority of the country; the average one-bedroom apartment costs $1,750, which is $200 below the national average.
2. Community and culture
The community in Plainfield is tight-knit and enjoys celebrating together. Community events are common, with festivals, parades, and other public gatherings being organized throughout the year.
Consider visiting Settlers’ Park for concerts and movies during the summer, or strolling through the local farmers’ market on Sundays. During the winter, there are plenty of holiday events, including parades, light festivals, and holiday markets.
3. Natural beauty
Plainfield is blessed with a variety of natural spaces, including parks like Settlers’ Park and Lake Renwick Preserve. There are also numerous trails for biking and hiking, such as the Van Horn Woods, along with opportunities for fishing and boating along the DuPage River. These spaces offer residents plenty of opportunities for outdoor recreation and relaxation.
4. Historic downtown
Downtown Plainfield is the heart of the city. The area is rich in historic charm, featuring buildings with history and significance. There are also a variety of small, locally-owned shops, boutiques, and restaurants, providing residents with unique shopping and dining experiences. And if you prefer to drive, there is free parking most days of the week.
Located about 35 miles southwest of downtown Chicago, Plainfield is a commuter city that offers the advantage of a small-town feel with relatively easy access to big-city amenities. The access to cultural institutions, diverse food scene, major sporting events, and a wide range of job opportunities in Chicago can be attractive to many people.
5 cons of living in Plainfield, IL
Plainfield has a lot of benefits, but it also has a few downsides. Here are five to keep in mind.
1. Limited public transportation
Plainfield doesn’t have a local public transportation system, and instead offers bus routes to and from Chicago and other nearby cities. The limited public transportation means the area is car-dependent, which can be a drawback for those who prefer to use public transit or don’t own a vehicle. Walkability is also an issue outside of downtown.
2. Minimal nightlife
As a smaller suburban town, Plainfield lacks the nightlife scene you might find in larger cities. It doesn’t have a large selection of bars, clubs, or late-night eateries, and most establishments close earlier in the evening. If you thrive on nightlife, you’ll likely have to commute to Chicago for evening adventures.
3. Winter weather
The winters in Plainfield can be harsh and unpredictable. Temperatures often drop well below freezing, and the area experiences significant snowfall. If you’re not a fan of cold weather, snow shoveling, or driving in winter conditions, this could be a major drawback. The winter season can also be quite long, typically lasting from late November until March.
Summers are not as hot as some other parts of the US, but they are quite humid. The best weather is typically in the early summer and fall.
4. Relative affordability
While Plainfield is an affordable city relative to the US average, it’s actually much more expensive than nearby cities, such as Chicago and Aurora. The median house price in Chicago is $340,000, nearly $100,000 less than Plainfield, and the median house price in Aurora is $307,000, over $100,000 cheaper than Plainfield. This can be a drawback for those on a tighter budget.
5. Population growth
Over the past two decades, Plainfield has been experiencing a significant increase in population. From 1990 to 2021, the city’s population increased from 4,557 to over 44,000. While this growth has led to better amenities, it can also lead to overcrowded schools, increased traffic, and strained public resources. Rapid growth can also impact the small-town feel that many residents value and are used to.