My husband and I have owned property in Berwyn for 15+ years. The city of Berwyn has been HORRIBLE to deal with and I honestly believe has an incredibly corrupt inspection system. We have had the inspector's out to look at any work we do to improve the property and they will cite an issue every time. We have even tried getting them to inspect before we do work so we know what the list of items they think need to be addressed, but they then come back and tag on more and more items likely because we won't pay the inspector under the table. I am talking about 10+ inspections on 2 units in the past year. I have tried looking into reporting them to the state but they have just directed me back to the city. I am afraid to report them because I worry that they will take it out on us in more fines/inspections. My husband has tried talking to the lead inspector and he didn't explain the behavior and what we could do to stop them from this excessive behavior. I also am aware of other owners selling their homes/condos because of how horrible the city is to deal with. They won't publicly announce it because they are worried people won't buy their house knowing how HORRIBLE Berwyn is to deal with.
I've lived in Chicago for about 10 years, moving to a new apartment once every 2-3 years in a variety of neighborhoods ranging from Streeterville to Rogers Park. My spouse and I bought our first house last year and settled on Chicago's next door neighbor, Berwyn, as our most-desired location based on some simple criteria. We needed a location that would give us the easiest and quickest access to downtown Chicago without sacrificing in terms of cramped living space and the everyday annoyances of living in a sprawling urban environment (i.e. traffic, noise, violence, etc.). We've lived in Berwyn for almost a year now and couldn't be happier with this city. It is so easy to hop onto 290 and zip downtown, with commutes ranging from as little as 12 minutes (!!!) to around 30 minutes in rush-hour traffic. Because Berwyn is basically due west of downtown (and Lake Michigan due East), its "central" location makes it convenient no matter where in Chicagoland you need to go. Berwyn may as well be part of Chicago proper considering its convenience to all Chicago has to offer, however it also seems to hit the sweet-spot between being an urban and suburban environment. It's quiet and homey enough to maintain a relaxing atmosphere without feeling anxious and hurried, yet still retains the livability and convenience of a big city with tons of shopping centers and restaurants nearby. Another benefit of Berwyn's location is that it is the southern neighbor of Oak Park, famous for it's Frank Lloyd Wright architecture and fabulous restaurants, shops, and other attractions. Suffice it to say, we're very happy here. While I admittedly don't know much of Berwyn's past considering we've only lived here for about a year, what I see today is a beautiful city with all the charm of an American suburb and the convenience and purpose of a world-class metropolis.
A few years ago I lived in Berwyn, IL. When living there I didn't see too much for attractions, I was quite disappointed. I mean there are a few things here and there but nothing that really stands out. There are not any amusement parks or anything like that for family attractions. When it came to finding community attractions there were also a few but not many. They had a community YMCA but you must pay a hefty membership fee to join. The good thing about the YMCA is that the time you go there you get a free day pass to check it out. There are also a few local playgrounds and things like that. There are many restaurants, which makes it very convenient to get a bite to eat. There are numerous types of ethnic and American foods to choose from. For whatever you desire there is something to fit your needs. My favorite thing about Berwyn would have to be the vast amount of 4 to 5 star restaurants. I was kind of disappointed when it came to the amount of nightlife in the area. There are maybe 3 or 4 places to go out and get your party on! On the positive side, there is plenty of nightlife within a 15 minute drive outside of Berwyn. So it is pretty convenient to find nightlife even though it isn't directly in Berwyn. There is an average amount of shopping in the area to go to. It's better than going to the sticks and trying to find a Wal-Mart but it's defiantly not Miami. There is a Marshalls, Wal-Mart, and shopping centers with a few various shops. It's defiantly not the place to go to if you're looking to shop your whole vacation.
So when going to Berwyn make sure to check out the vast amount of various restaurants! Also enjoy your stay and make sure to check out the local activities!