5.1 out of 10


41.9375052704749 -88.7413413705264
Great for
  • Internet Access
  • Lack of Traffic
  • Cost of Living
  • Medical Facilities
  • Peace & Quiet
Not great for
  • Public Transport
  • Eating Out
Who lives here?
  • Families with kids
  • Professionals
  • Students


3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 1/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 2/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 5/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Public Transport 1/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 1/5

"Nothing great."

It's nice to be out of the crowded, dense suburbs. Feels more open. But there is lots of crime near the NIU campus, like burglaries and fights, and a lot of people get DUIs driving between bars, which are spaced out pretty far.

The downtown area is trying to be better, but it's still not as clean and pretty as Sycamore (next town over). Some businesses are older, known and loved, like Tapa la Luna, Mediterraneo, Thai Pavilion, and the Confectionary, but many others come and go quickly. The main shopping area (not downtown) is full of basic stores like Target, Walmart, and Kohl's.

I wish there were more green spaces, dog parks, and community events. You definitely won't find people coming to DeKalb for vacation. Fall and spring are gorgeous, but winters are bitterly cold and summers are hot and humid.

If you have to live in the area, go to Sycamore instead! Houses there are either nice and new, or old and charming. Streets are beautiful and have big trees. There's much more school spirit for Sycamore elementary, middle, and high schools, and people are friendlier. Property tax is a little higher, but it is completely worth it. They have nicer restaurants and bars, a wonderful downtown area, and many community events like Pumpkin Fest and many street dances/block parties in the summer.
  • Fall and spring are beautiful
  • Good school spirit for NIU
  • Located close to I-88, Rt. 23, 39, 64
  • Cold, windy winters
  • More crime than in nearby towns
  • Schools aren't great
Recommended for
  • Families with kids
  • Students

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