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The Benefits of Living in Illinois

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I'm in real estate. That means I sell my town right along with the houses built there. I never intended to get into real estate, nor did I intend to live in Rockford, Illinois, yet here I am. And I am here gladly. Why? Because I've raised four kids in Rockford and have run three businesses here for the last 35 years. I get it. I live it. It confounds me when people complain about where they live or haven't experienced the best of where we live.

I had a friend visit from Barrington, a beautiful Chicago suburb East from Rockford. I took him to Anderson Japanese Gardens and dined at the beautiful Fresco at the Gardens restaurant overlooking the grounds. "Are we still in Rockford?" "Yes, we are!" I replied. Then we wandered down to Nicolas Conservatory for the butterfly exhibit and stroll of the gardens followed by a nice cup of coffee at Wired Cafe on State Street. Again, "Are we still in Rockford?" "Yes, we are!" I replied. "I don't get it," he said. "I thought Rockford was rough. This isn't rough. I love this town!"

Oddly enough, that was a quick trip along the Rock River. I didn't show him Severson Dells Nature Center where my kids learned their love of nature nor the public golf courses where my husband seems to wander endlessly. We didn't sit at the edge of Pierce Lake in Rock Cut where paddle boards and kayaks are rented daily. And he didn't see the pristine mountain biking trails at Atwood Center on the Kishwaukee River. My friend could have spent a week here. And by the way, my kids who now live in Glen Ellyn, another gorgeous Chicago suburb, always come back in the fall for donuts at Edwards Apple Orchard, Stroll on State at Christmas time, Friday city market and enjoy drinks at the bar on the Embassy Suites roof top along the Rockford Riverfront. So step aside fancy Chicago suburbs. Rockford is back. It has gained momentum and this is where people now want to be...

Maybe it's because I love this place is the reason why we sell houses so much!

Toni Vanderheyden
Realtor/Founder of Sold On Toni, Keller Williams Realty Signature
e: teamsoldontoni@gmail.com

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