Congratulations on your decision to move to the Windy City! Chicago has an enormous variety of cultural attractions, culinary adventures, and affordable housing options. Each neighborhood has its own look, attractions, and history, so it’s important to do your homework before you move. You should research housing costs, neighborhood culture, and transportation options before calling local movers.
Chicago is one of the most affordable metropolitan areas in the United States. According to Zillow, Chicago’s median home value is somewhere between $189,900 and $200,00. If you’re not ready to buy, renters can expect to pay between $1,450 and $1,950 for a one-bedroom apartment. That may seem pricey, but when compared to areas like Los Angeles and New York, it’s downright cheap! If you’re moving with furniture, consider making a moving checklist to help you plan.
Choosing a Neighborhood
The Windy City is the third most populous city in the Unites States. With more than 70 distinct neighborhoods, it’s important to pick one that fits your unique lifestyle. Chicago’s neighborhoods can be grouped into a central area, North Side, West Side, and South Side.
- Central Chicago is the City’s commercial hub. While geographically insignificant, downtown Chicago is home to several cultural and financial institutions. Downtown Chicago also features a number of museums, galleries, and high- end boutiques.
- The North Side is the most densely populated residential area in the city. It’s home to the Chicago Cubs, Wrigley Field, and the massive Lincoln Park. The area’s demographics are primarily upper and upper-middle class.
- The West Side houses the Chicago Bulls, the Chicago Blackhawks, and the University of Illinois at Chicago. While many of the neighborhoods near central Chicago are undergoing gentrification, other areas have historically high levels of crime.
- The South Side encompasses more than half of the city’s geographic area. This area has a high concentration of single-family homes and the bulk of the city’s industrial jobs. It’s also home to the University of Chicago, the Chicago White Sox, and several large parks.
Chicago’s size and population make it one of the worst cities for drivers. Streets are small, traffic is plentiful, and parking is expensive. All of these factors add up to morning and evening rush hours that last for approximately 4 hours each. Save yourself from madness with one of these alternative methods of transportation:
- Take the L: Chicago’s rapid-transit system is known at the “L.” High-speed train rides cost $2.25, and busses cost $2.00. This is usually the fastest and cheapest option.
- Ride your bike: The city of Chicago has more than 200 miles of on-street, protected, or shared bike lanes. It’s so popular that you can rent bikes from stations around Chicago.
- Share a ride: Both Lyft and Uber are legal in Chicago. These services allow regular citizens to gives rides at a fraction of the cost of taxi cabs.
- Call a cab: Taxis are widely available in Chicago. Most companies will accept plastic too.