Apparently, many other people feel the same as well, as the nature of the city and demand to live in it has led Chicago to become the 10th most expensive rental market in the country, a median one bedroom rent of $1,730 and median two bedroom rent of $2,280. This is a hefty cost, but the many benefits of living in the city, combined with its affordability compared to other cities with higher rent (think of San Francisco, for one), make it an appealing option.
However, the effort that goes into a move starts well before you set foot in your new home. From deciding the best place in Chicago to live to packing and preparing wisely, be sure to go in with a plan.
Hand in hand with preparing for your move is deciding where you will be living in Chicago. Of course, there are the same things you want to consider in any city, like price, proximity to certain things like your job, schools, or other important institutions.
Along with this, think about what type of place you want to live in. A big part of the American dream is to own a house, but between upkeep, renovations, and prices, you may not want to go through all that trouble, especially if you are moving from a house you spent a lot of time and money in.
If this isn’t to your liking, and the rental prices have you a bit concerned, there may be a potential median option that is a better fit. Chicago area luxury condos also offer a good balance of spaciousness and comfort without the maintenance or distance that a proper house requires. In addition to the luxury option, qualified real estate professionals can guide you towards condo options at better bargains as well as for certain needs, like dog-friendly condos.
Where Do I Want To Live?
However, there are also several things unique to Chicago that you want to keep in mind before making your decision. For one thing, if you plan on living in the city proper—public transportation will make your life a lot easier. Many people can go carless if they wish, eliminating a potential source of spending that could go towards other avenues, like rent in a better area. Likewise, public transportation means that you don’t have to live close to certain parts of the city, like museums or other buildings, to access them. Note that there are also 200 miles of on-street protected, buffered, and shared bike lanes.
While public transportation opens the city up, you also want to consider the neighborhood you are going to live in, as it will govern the vibe and much more of your new home. If you plan on bringing children, schools will likely play the deciding role, but there are other things to consider.
Selecting "Type" of Neighborhood
Chicago has 77 community areas split up into over 200 neighborhoods, and each has some unique aspects to it. Popular areas include the affluent Near North Side, near the Gold Coast district and Magnificent Mile. Another one is Lincoln Park, with a quieter, welcoming vibe. Lincoln Park is also home to some free family attractions and a lively cultural atmosphere.
Pinning down what makes a neighborhood a good fit for you is difficult. A real estate professional is great for helping lay out pros and cons within your budget, but ultimately, you will need to visit, not just potential homes, but also to explore the neighborhood and make sure it is what you want.
Chicago is one of America’s most prosperous and diverse cities, a fine place to pursue your career or consider raising a family. Be sure to invest the time and energy to make sure that your transition is as smooth financially, emotionally, and mentally as possible.