Post # 1
Chicago has always been my dream place to live. I know it’s expensive to live in but I feel so at home when I’m there. My first trip was 15 years ago and I’ve made it a point to go at least once a year for the last 6 years.
We’ve discussed moving there because of how many opportunities would open up for us. I’m going into wedding planning and he’s a chef. My question to you ladies is, what are the best areas to live in? I would really love to have some sort of view of the skyline out of one of my windows.
Are you happy you live in Chicago or are you over the hype?
Post # 3
Darling Husband and I moved to Chicago last December and we LOVE IT!! Yes we are happy here and plan to stay here. Darling Husband and I came here for more opportunities. I got an amazing job and Darling Husband is a consultant and makes great money. We are both in IT so I am not sure how many jobs there are in your fields. However, we live in a neighborhood called West Rogers Park which is VERY north in the city. Its still in the city but more affordable. Its a nice neighborhood but you dont have a lot of high rises in this area. I know Lincoln Park is a very nice neighborhood to live. I work in Lincoln park and I love it. I would live there if I was not so cheap 😀
Honestly, it really depends on you price points. If you would not mind sharing your price point that could help us. Also, if you are wanting to rent or buy, etc. There are amazing views in a lot of different parts of the city. South Loop has a lot of really nice sky rises with amazing views, Gold cost and streeterville is also super nice however, Gold coast is like the most expensive place to live in Chicago. If you want a really nice view you are going to seriously pay for it. Not only is rent or mortgage extremly high but if you purchase a condo you are going to pay between $500-1000/month in association fees plus special assessments.
Post # 4
I’m afraid of the sticker shock when I see how much it’s really going to cost to live there but we will make more in wages so I guess it balances out? What would be the average for a 2 bdrm apt? $1300 a month?
Post # 5
@xshellx2003: it really depends on what neighborhood. For example, we pay $1050/ month for our 2B/2B 900 square foot apartment in west rogers park. That same apartment in Lincoln Park is about $3,000/month.
EDIT: I meant $2,000!!! Sorry 😀
This is a great website for apartments in Chicago:
Redfin.com is a great website for looking for condos/homes.
Post # 6
Also, if you plan on having a vehicle, its super expensive to have a car here. Gas is way more expensive, car insurance is more expensive if you live in the city, you have to purchase a city sticker, plus tickets. You get ticketed all the time in the city. I highly recommend not having a car and using public transportation and have a zip car account for anytime you might need a car.
Post # 7
My goodness! Maybe we should just stay here and plan to visit there more often lol
Post # 8
@xshellx2003: lol. No, the city is wonderful. You just probably cant have everything you want. Its actually pretty unreaslistic to expect to move here and live in an amazing apartment with an amazing view right away. Most people who live in those places are either:
1. extremly successful and have been here a while
2. lived in a cheaper neighborhood and saved money to move to one of those great view places
3. are older
4. come from a family with money
Oh, and yes you make a lot more money here usually…
Post # 9
- Wedding: May 2018 - Coyaba Resort, Montego Bay
I’ve lived in Chicago for 9 years now & am still loving it!
I think the single most important thing is NEIGHBORHOOD. Pick a neighborhood that you love, can walk safely, access to transportation, etc. We live in Lincoln Park & love it. Other neighborhoods that are great: Lakeview, Lincoln Square, Bucktown, Roscoe Village (these are the areas that I am most familiar with and like). Check them out and see what you think.
I have friends who moved here & don’t live in the greatest areas and really don’t like Chicago, which is why I am stressing this so much 🙂 I think it’s essential to be able to walk out of your place and have everything you need within a 3 block walk, especially since having a car can be more inconvenient than it’s worth!
Chicago is the best city 🙂 The summer & fall make the winter & spring worth it – I never leave during the summer!
Post # 10
I have lived in Chicago for 2 1/2 yrs now. Darling Husband is from here and grew up here, went to college and law school here, and basically believes it’s the best city on earth! Prior to meeting Darling Husband I was living in Charlotte, NC and loved it there. I knew it would be easier for me to find a job here so I made the move and now work at a major hospital. We live in the Bucktown/ Wicker Park area in. 2bed/ 2 bath condo (~1100 sq ft) with parking for 2 cars and I’m still in sticker shock at what we paid. We could’ve easily got a 4 bedroom home with a yard and a garage in Charlotte for what we paid. Taxes, association fees, city parking sticker etc just add to the bill. Not to mention the price of parking, I work at a hospital that isn’t really convenient to take public transportation to so I pay $20 a day to park. Darling Husband can take public transportation, has to take a short bus ride and a short train ride to work, which he does when he’s not being lazy or doesn’t need his car for work. Otherwise he pays $26 a day to park ($46 a day in parking between the 2 of us!). And did I mention that I actually had to take an11K pay CUT to move. Because there are more ppl here there are lots of competition for jobs and lots of people doing the same thing you are, which often means if you won’t do it for the price offered someone else will. on a side note it is a fun city! So much to do! So many people to meet! Summer and fall make it all worth it!
Post # 11
I lived in Chicago for the last four years (we just moved to Champaign so I could go to grad school). I would say that you probably can’t find a 2 bedroom for $1,300/month that is anywhere near downtown. You could probably find a 2-bd for less than that if you looked at some of the further away neighborhoods — my sister lives in Ravenswood and loves it. Lincoln Square is also really nice and safe. I would say no to Lincoln Park, Lakeview, Wrigleyville, or anywhere near the loop because they would be really expensive.
There are some neighborhoods that may seem sketchy at first but have some really beautiful areas and lots of culture — and they’re cheaper (unless you get a new place that is the product of gentrification). If that’s what you’re looking for, check out Humboldt Park, Pilsen, Little Village, etc.
The last two years that I was in Chicago, I lived in the Noble Square neighborhood, which I LOVED. It was cheap, near the CTA, near bus lines that I needed for my job in Pilsen, and inexpensive — our 1 bedroom apartment was $900, and it was HUGE.
My advice is, if you’re not going to have a car (I didn’t) first figure out where you’re going to work and find a place near public transportation. Then, pick a neighborhood. Finally, find a grocery store with reasonable prices (this is a tough one — don’t forget the little neighborhood Mexican grocery stores — they often have very cheap produce). One of the other reasons I wanted to leave Chicago was because of the severe lack of green in my life — I need more trees and grass than the city can offer — so you might want to find a place near a park if you’re like me 🙂 Good luck!
Post # 12
I live in Chicago and love it! I grew up in the suburbs then moved here for college and have lived here ever since (5 1/2 years now). I currently live in Lincoln Park and that’s where I’ve lived for the majority of my years in the city. However, I’ve also lived in Lakeview, North Wrigleyville, and Gold Coast.
Lincoln Park is (in my opinion) the nicest neighborhood to live in, but you do pay for it. My Fiance and I live in a 2 bed/1 bath apartment that is not too far from the park and lake and we pay $1,625 per month plus utilities. However, we looked at a lot of places and decided we wanted to “upgrade” to an apartment with granite counters, nice appliances, big rooms, lots of storage, a balcony, nice area, etc. In our apartment hunt, I wanted us to get a 2 bedroom apartment for absolutely no more than $1500 (preferably $1200). We found a few good ones for that price in Lakeview and Wrigleyville, but fell in love with our current place and sacrificed budget to get it.
All in all, you CAN find a 2 bedroom apartment for $1300, but it might not be newly renovated or might be far from public transit. I have lived in 7 different apartments in Chicago so I know just how wide of a variety you can have with prices in different areas.
If a view of the skyline is important to you, I’d suggest looking at 1 bedroom apartments, in which case you could find something for sure!
Post # 13
My husband and I just moved to Chicago so he could get his masters at the School of the Art Institute. So far we love it!!
We live in Pilsen, which is a predominantely Mexican neighborhood and is also where a lot of artists live. It is a 15-20 minute El ride to the loop, which is about 1/2 the time from Lincoln Park or Wicker Park and we have a great view of the Sears Tower from our front window!
We pay $1235 for a 1500 sq ft 3 bedroom + office with in-unit washer and dryer and a garage. We have hardwood floors and an open floor plan with new appliances. We are about 2 blocks from the EL. Our neighborhood is sometimes seen as “sketchy” but I have never felt unsafe and I frequently walk around at night alone. Pilsen is mostly a neighborhood of single family homes that are owned by families. I honestly feel safer in Pilsen than I do in Wrigleyville for instance because I am not surrounded by wasted frat boys who have the reputation for making very poor decisions, if you know what I mean. Instead, we live in a cheap neighborhood surrounded by families that is close to downtown.
Also, I work in the suburbs so I need a car. It’s actually really easy for us to have a car, it’s awesome to be able to jump in the car to get groceries or try a new restaurant. I have had zero problems having a car, (knock on wood!) The city is ridiculously easy to drive in as well.
Hope this helps you to see that you don’t have to go broke in order to live in the city!!
Post # 14
So I’ve been thinking really hard about this for the past couple of days. The thought of picking up and starting new somewhere other than home scares the crap out of me. I wouldn’t know anyone and I couldn’t just pick up and go see my mom who lives 15 mins away from us now (we are VERY close). Just thinking about being that far away from my mom makes me want to cry.
Then I think about how unhappy we are here and now there aren’t anymore jobs left for anyone. Chicago is BEAUTIFUL! Sure the winters are down right nasty but in the summer, it’s perfect. I would have shopping and the beach right at my fingertips.
I’m just really torn on what to do. I convince myself that I don’t want to move due to the expenses and my mom but then we watch house hunters and an episode for chicago comes on and my mind changes.
Post # 15
If you’re not sure whether or not you want to live in Chicago, I’d advise finding a place to rent for 6 months or a year to see how you like it before you look at making a long term investment.
I’m a Chicago girl, born and raised, although I haven’t lived there in a while now. My favourite neighbourhood was Roscoe Village – it’s very close to Wrigleyville and Lincoln Park, but without all of the hassles with parking/congestion/exorbitant prices. We lived in a three flat old house (it was gorgeous) and had a 1900 sq foot apt for three of us, with a rent of $350 per month each. Now this was about 7 years ago so it is higher now I’m sure, but it’s just giving you an idea. Parking was also never a hassle as our neighbourhood wasn’t as congested as Wrigleyville, although we were exactly 7 blocks from Wrigley Field, so we always just parked on the street. Petrol prices are more expensive but the further away from downtown you get, the more they drop.
The nice thing about Roscoe Village is that you’re close enough to downtown that you can be there in 20 minutes and you still feel as though you’re a part of the city, without having to deal with the craziness. The neighbourhood also has lovely little cafes, restaurants, shops, bars, and just about everything you could want. The EL also runs right through Roscoe on the Brown line and is super convenient to everything.
I’m a bit proponent of moving to new somewhere near and expanding your horizons a bit – Ohio is not that far from Chicago and you could easily go home for long weekends or whatever!
Post # 16
I moved to Chicago from Ohio 1.5 years ago. I was living in Cleveland but I had always wanted to live in a bigger city, and it’s a great market for my industry. I work in the hospitality industry and there are soooo many opportunities here. I found a job with a major hotel company before moving out here, but when that position didn’t work out well for me I was able to easily find something else. I think Chicago would be a great city for both of your careers. I would have never moved out here by myself if I didn’t have a job first, but my Fiance came out here on his own over 10 years ago with no job and made his own way.
PPs are right about finding the right neighborhood. You have to strike a balance between what you are willing to pay for versus how comfortable you are in a neighborhood that might be a little more…gritty. I live in Logan Square, bordering on Humbold Park. I got unlucky with some wacky neighbors in this building, but I feel just as safe here as I do downtown. I would suggest you check out some of the neighborhoods next time you visit.