Whether your dream home is an urban loft or a grand historic home, a maintenance-free townhome or a house that sits on several acres, a suburban home or one in an established neighborhood, you’ll likely find it in Bloomington-Normal and its surrounding communities.
“There’s something for everyone’s lifestyle,” said John Armstrong, managing broker for Bloomington’s RE/MAX Rising. “We’re a very welcoming community; it’s easy for new people to get adapted.”
“Bloomington has houses that sit on an acre to apartment complexes,” said Bloomington City Planner Katie Simpson. “We have historic homes built around the beginning of the 20th century or end of the 19th century and many historic neighborhoods with brick streets, lamp posts and limestone curb and gutters.”
Bloomington has six locally recognized historic residential districts – four of which also are on the National Register of Historic Places.
Normal also has three locally recognized historic districts, one of which is on the National Register of Historic Places.
“They are walkable/bikeable and very charming,” said Town Planner Mercy Davison.
If an urban setting is more to your liking, Armstrong said Normal’s Uptown and Bloomington’s downtown “fill the demand for urban” for those who want to be able to walk to stores, restaurants and other services.
“The number of properties available has increased 10-fold over the last 10 years,” Armstrong said.
“Streets in the core center (of Bloomington) are in a grid pattern, making it easy to walk downtown if you’re interested in nightlife or catching a play at the Bloomington Center for Performing Arts,” Simpson said.
Besides offering an array of restaurants and shops, Uptown Normal also has Uptown Station, a multi-modal station that includes an Amtrak train station with service to Chicago and St. Louis, as well as services for local and regional bus traffic.
Bloomington-Normal also has its share of suburban properties.
“We have many single-family houses adjacent to significant parks,” Davison said.
The same is true in Bloomington, Simpson said. “We try to include parks with residential developments to ensure greenspace nearby,” she noted.
One of Bloomington’s newer subdivisions, The Groves, will be the city’s largest subdivision when completed, Armstrong said.
“We have good quality builders in town,” he said. “Our new construction is good quality.”
Most of Normal’s new subdivisions also have a school nearby, Davison said.
“Every new school built in Normal has a subdivision around it,” she said.
The Twin Cities also offers a unique opportunity called a zero-lot line residence, Armstrong said.
In a zero-lot line, the property sits on one of the borders of the property line.
“It’s a way you can get land prices a little lower,” Armstrong said.
If more property is on your wish list, Armstrong said that is available as well. “We also have homes on 5 acres.”
For some, living in one of the surrounding communities is the perfect solution.
“Some of the smaller towns are the halfway point between where the spouses work,” he said, noting easy access to three Interstates that make commuting to Bloomington-Normal, Champaign or Peoria an easy trip.
Many of the smaller communities also boast a highly-rated school district, he added.
Commercial space also is available in the Twin Cities.
“We have a lot of vacant square footage in the retail section,” Armstrong said. “The office sector remains steady.”