Moving to Chicago

Chicago is an old, fascinating city with a long history. It’s the birthplace of Harrison Ford, the Twinkie, and home to the world’s oldest standing skyscraper.

Because of this delicious history, hundreds of people move to Chicago every year. They come for life in Chicago: deep-dish pizza, the art museums, and all the wonderful parks. Before moving to Chicago, though, what are some do’s and don’ts to keep in mind?

Today, we take a closer look at what to expect from your Chicago lifestyle.

1. Do: Prepare Your Finances

Let’s not beat around the bush; Chicago isn’t a cheap place to live. The cost of rent in this great American city is about 14% above the national average for an urban area. Chicago real estate is almost 50% more expensive, and utilities cost 10% more. 

This is not to say it’s not worth it to live in Chicago. Obviously, this presents some real estate opportunities for the aspiring investor, so keep these key facts in mind. Just be aware, coming from an LCOL place, how to plan your finances.

2. Don’t: Park Just Anywhere

Like most large cities, parking is scarce. On the best of days, you will struggle to find a decent spot. It’s not uncommon to think you have struck gold, only to find your car with a boot when you come back.

In Chicago, never park unless you are 100% certain you can park there. Get the parking app so you don’t have to use the meter machines. Better yet, use Chicago’s wonderful public transportation, which includes L-trains and buses.

3. Do: Stay Safe

Is Chicago a safe place to live? Rest assured, Chicago’s violent history does not reflect the modern-day situation. Chicago isn’t inherently any more dangerous or risky than places like New York or Los Angeles.

Most safety comes down to using common sense, such as avoiding unlit streets and alleys, walking with friends, and not staying out too late.

4. Don’t: Forget Your Coat

If you come to Chicago during the summer, the place can seem like a paradise. Even at its peak, you may only get 100°F on a particularly muggy day. When winter comes, though, buckle down.

The problem is that Lake Michigan results in strong, frigid winds starting in October. A rain jacket and umbrella are a must. Springs also tend to be capricious, varying between nice spring weather and chaotic cold.

5. Do: Get to Know the Neighborhoods

Chicago is an ethnically diverse city, and so every neighborhood has its own feel and culture. Lakeview, home of the Chicago Cubs stadium, is well-known for its nightlife. Lincoln Park, the origin of the band name, has many wonderful museums and conservatories. 

Take the time to get to know all these places and see how they differ. You were bound to have an unforgettable cultural experience.

Prepare for Moving to Chicago

If you are moving to Chicago, use this list of do’s and don’ts to prepare yourself. Chicago is generally a bit more expensive, especially for parking, but public transportation is great. Prepare for the weather and learn as much as you can about its distinct neighborhoods.

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