College Housing Vs Off
While living in Chicago is equally exciting from both these options, how you live, what you experience, and who you meet all depends on your choice between on-campus and off-campus housing.
Living in college housing or in a dorm is great if you definitely want to be close to campus. Its also a great place to meet new friends. If you dont know anyone in Chicago, its easy to find partners to come with you to discover the city.
However, a lot of dorms have their own set of rules. Some have curfews or quiet hours. Others have strict guest policies. If you want to be free to go about the city with whoever you want, off-campus housing may be the better option for you.
When you rent your own apartment as a student, you have the freedom to decide who you live with and how much you pay for rent. Whether you prefer to live alone, with friends, or with roommates is all up to you.
You also have the freedom to eat, shop, and party as much as you wish.
With this in mind, you can get a good sense of your priorities for living in Chicago as a student. Most people choose to live in dorms during their first year of college and move off-campus with their friends later. Others prefer their privacy and freedom, even if they dont meet as many people at first.
Metra Pace And Greyhound
Meanwhile, Metra offers railway alternatives to the L, providing stops within the Downtown area that go outside of the city to the six-county area of northeast Illinois.
Pros & Cons Of Living In Chicago Illinois
Note: This post is part of the Local Living Series, wherein locals share honest insights of living in a specific city through comprehensive pros and cons lists. If youd like to reach out to the author directly with questions, please do so in the comments below and our team will ensure it gets to the right person.
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Transportation Expenses And The Cost Of Living Chicago
Chicago has the nations second-largest transportation system, making public transit a convenient option for a lot of residents. Around 30% of Chicagoans opt to take public transit over owning a car. That can make a big difference when considering what is the cost of living in Chicago.
A monthly pass for busses and trains will cost you $105. A one-way ticket on public transit will cost you $2.50.
If you do decide to drive a car, youll be charged with a Wheel Tax, unique to the city of Chicago. You pay the Wheel Tax by purchasing a Chicago City Vehicle Sticker. Depending on the size of your vehicle, you might pay anywhere from $90.88 to $144.44. Revenue from this program goes towards street maintenance and repairs.
You also might be able to avoid transportation expenses altogether. Chicago was designed with biking in mind with over 300 miles of bike lanes. The city has the second-highest percentage of commuters who ride their bike to work, with the average bike commute time being 23 minutes.
What Are The Benefits Of Moving To Chicago
Chicago attracts ambitious millennials and young professionals from around the world. You can grow your career at one of the citys higher education institutions, like the University of Chicago. As a foodie town, theres always a place to eat or drink in the city, or you can stick to iconic dish pizza, Chicago barbecue, and Chicago-style hotdogs. Enjoy your choice of an urban neighborhood close to the beach, museums, or the best restaurants in the city.
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Reasons To Move To Chicago
Considering a move to the Windy City? Let us give you a few more excuses to do so.
This article was produced in partnership with Mayflower Movers.
If you want life to be an adventure full of delicious dining experiences, shopping and arts, culture and history galore, then Chicago is the place for you. Positioned perfectly on the shores of Lake Michigan, Chi-Town is the third largest city in the U.S. with nearly three million residents who enjoy a perfect balance of big city living and natural wonders every single day. Interested in moving to Chicago? Here are eight reasons why you should stop what youre doing and move here right now.
The Cost Of Living In Chicago Is Pricey
The cost of living in Chicago is 23% higher than the national average. Ranked as the 11th most expensive city in the United States, living in Chicago comes with a cost of living that is comparable to living in San Diego, Boston, or Seattle. While it may not be as expensive as living in New York City or San Francisco, Chicago is still not a cheap place to live. If you are moving from a modest city, heading to Chicago is a step up.
Since housing costs are 56% higher than the national average, your salary while living in Chicago will determine the lifestyle that you will be able to afford. To afford Chicago, a single individual must make an average annual salary of at least $46,222. The living wage in Chicago is around $16 an hour. The high sales tax and the high costs of goods and services are also a large part of why Chicago is so expensive.
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Chicago Is The Sport City
Would you love to spend the weekend watching basketball, football among other games? Chicago fulfills your wish. Famously known for the incredible 90s Chicago Bulls basketball team, you will have a chance to experience the magic and relate to the era at theUnited Center Arena.
Chicagos Food Scene Is No Joke
Chicagos restaurant scene is one of the best in the country. With more than 8,000 restaurants, theres a menu for even the pickiest eaters. Chicagos top restaurants are Michelin-starred restaurants, found along the Chicago Riverwalk and in the air on Chicagos rooftops.
Every ethnicity is represented, but Chicago does have some of the best Italian restaurants this side of Sicily. Little Italy is renowned as Chicagos Italian restaurant epi-center with mainstays like Tuscany, Tufanos, and Rosebud. Some great restaurant groups to seek out are anything from the Boka Group or Lettuce Entertain You.
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Why Should You Move To Chicago
You should move to Chicago because its an ever-growing selection of residential locations, amazing arts, entertainment, and a glitzy skyline. Lacking the pretentiousness of such cities as LA, New York, and Miami, Chicago has a warm and friendly feel thats found in its residents. Its this humility and respect that makes the city an attractive place to live.
Have Fun At Navy Pier
If you like amusement park attractions, but you want to stay in the city center, Navy Pier is just the place for you. The Navy Pier is a 3,300-foot-long pier from the Streeterville neighborhood of Chicago into Lake Michigan.
Try the musical carousel, get lost in a funhouse maze, wander around at the botanical garden, and catch a movie at their IMAX cinema.
You can crown this glorious day out with a ride on the famous Ferris Wheel, where you can take in the gorgeous views of Chicago.
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Chicago Transportation From The Car To The Train
Chicago is a challenging city for daily commuters with some aggravatingly long rush hours . Still, theres good news: the Chicago Transit Authority, or CTA, can get you to just about every corner of the city, including some adjacent suburbs. You have plenty of options when it comes to transit:
- Take the Bus or the L Chicagos public transportation option, the CTA, offers a convenient system of buses and elevated trains known as the L. Trains and buses are $2.25 with a free transfer. For complete convenience, get a Ventra card. You tap the card on the turnstile entrance, and the fare is deducted from your account no cash needed.
- Get a bit farther with Metra With a slogan, The Way to Really Fly, they arent kidding. This regional train system will get you to Wisconsin or Indiana far quicker than driving on the expressway. But more importantly, these lines connect the city to the rest of Chicagoland for pretty fair rates, including weekend passes.
- Opt to bike- Biking around town offers more flexibility . Biking has become so popular in Chicago that a bike-sharing company, Divvy, launched rental stations throughout the city.
- Driving Around- Despite all the transportation options, driving in Chicago is a convenient way to get around, considering its a big city. WIth a grid network of streets, connected with diagonal avenues, its easy to find shortcuts. The highway system is also a convenient web of thoroughfares connecting all of Chicagoland easily.
Best Things To Do In Chicago
Chicago is a world-class city with endless attractions and things to do year-round. Root for the home team at Wrigley Field, which sits on the North Side of Chicago. The historic stadium was built in 1914 and has housed the Chicago Cubs for over a century.
Sears Tower, also known as Willis Tower, has 108-stories and sits 1,450 feet high. Take a tour on the Ledge Skydeck for the views, take advantage of a unique photo op, and to learn more about the tower and city’s history.
The infamous Bean, or Cloud Gate, is the hallmark of public art in the heart of Chicago. The sculpture is the centerpiece of AT& T Plaza at Millennium Park in the Loop area. The reflective Bean is made of stainless steel, drawing visitors to interact with its reflective surface.
Taking in Chicago’s architecture is a favorite pastime in the city. Take a self-guided walking tour and snap some shots of the Aqua Building, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Carbide and Carbon Building.
Spend a day walking around Navy Pier. Opened in 1916, the amusement area and shipping facility comprises 50 acres of gardens, venues, shops, and restaurants. There’s also a 150-foot Ferris wheel and a historic carousel.
What Salary Do You Need For The Cost Of Living Chicago
While Chicago is one of the more affordable big cities, your monthly expenses can add up quickly. For a family of four, you can expect your monthly expenses to be around $3,711.84, excluding rent. For a single person, your estimated monthly costs come to $1,030.86. And when you tack on rent, for a single person renting a one-bedroom apartment, your monthly bill jumps to $2,618.86.
The median income for Chicagoans is $58,247. And to live comfortably in Chicago in a one-bedroom apartment you would need around $43,200 a year, which translates to $21.60 per hour. Depending on your job, if youre a student, or have any debt, covering expenses could pose a challenge.
As a general rule, you shouldnt spend over 30% of your income on rent. For instance, if your apartment costs $1,200 per month, your monthly income should be $3,600.
If youre looking to live in a big city without the outrageous costs as youll find in New York or San Francisco, Chicago is a great option. Of course, you still want to lower your monthly expenses as much as you can. We hope that answers the question, What is the cost of living in Chicago?
Shopping Destinations In Chicago
The Second City has some serious style and is arguably a first-rate shopping destination. Michigan Avenue features a mile-long stretch of tucked-away boutiques, restaurants, and high-rise malls. For the ultimate Magnificent Mile shopping experience, begin at one end of North Michigan Avenue and make your way to the other.
If youre looking for something different, here are a few other shopping destinations youll want to check out in Chicago:
- Oak Street For those looking to drop some serious coin, Oak Street has long been a symbol of affluence. Enjoy everything from high-end designers to local boutiques.
- Wicker Park Wicker Park has the majority of thrift stores and independent labels. Dont miss Akira, one of Chicagos trendiest and most affordable local brands.
- State Street State Street was Chicagos first-ever shopping district. Youll find Macys on State Street a local landmark and one of the largest department stores in the world.
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Benefits Of Living In Chicago
1. Favorable job opportunities. The city has a variety of industries such as food processing, finance, publishing among others. You will have somewhere to work for sustainability once you step foot in Chicago.Planning to start your business? Go ahead since the more than two and a half million Americans will provide you with a ready market. Chicago boasts a 24-hour growing economy that will help you achieve your financial goals. Almost every job in the city will allow you to cater for yourself in terms of basic and even luxurious needs. Different economic sectors welcome you to showcase your skills and be part of the growth of Chicago.
In the greater Chicago metropolitan area, education and health services had the largest employment gain from February 2018 to February 2019, adding 18,700 jobs. Local employment growth in the education and health services supersector was concentrated in the Chicago division, which added 17,900 jobs.
Chicago Bears Broadcasts Moving Up The Dial Next Year
Starting next season, the Chicago Bears will have a new radio home.
On Tuesday, Good Karma Brands announced ESPN Chicago will operate the Bears Radio Network, with the station carry regular season games from the Chicago Bears starting with the 2023-2024 season. Currently, those games air on cross-town rival WBBM NewsRadio .
In addition to play-by-play coverage from regular season games, ESPN Chicago will offer pre- and post-game coverage as well as additional content centered around the Bears franchise.
The Chicago Bears are a best-in-class organization, and we are excited to partner with a charter franchise of the NFL, Keith Williams, the market manager for ESPN Chicago, said in a statement on Tuesday. We are dedicated to delivering a top-notch broadcast for our partners and fans around the Midwest and the world. Our teammates are eagerly anticipating the opportunity to get started and execute at the highest level.
Ted Phillips, the president of the Chicago Bears, said the team was incredibly impressed with the level of enthusiasm ESPN Chicago and Good Karma Brands showed in landing the Bears Radio Network.
Their plan for presenting Bears football on the radio is first class, and we know that ESPN 1000 will be an excellent home for our games and a hub for Bears talk year-round, Philips said. We look forward to working with the station beginning in 2023.
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Prepare For The Weather
Classified as a humid continental climate, the residents of Chicago can expect hot and humid summers alongside cold winters. Since Chicago shares the shores of Lake Michigan, breezy summers and strong winds can become a common occurrence and have led to its nickname “The Windy City.” While high temperatures in the summer can reach over 90 degrees Fahrenheit, the winters can bring frigid temperatures that dip below 19 degrees Fahrenheit. Receiving an average of 35 inches of snow per year which is 10 inches above the national average, residents are always encouraged to dress appropriately and to invest in windbreakers, heavy coats, and waterproof boots.
Norwood Park Great Chicago Neighborhood For Families & Retirees
Norwood Park also offers a safe, suburban environment with tons of amazing amenities. Popular with retirees and families, residents enjoy the Edgewood Golf Course and Whealan Pool Aquatic Center nearby. The population of Norwood Park is 36,600. The average home price in the neighborhood is $355,275. Click here to see Norwood Park, Chicago homes for sale.
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Its Easy To Find Nature In The City
Chicagos lakefront is beautiful, but you dont need to live near it to experience the citys greenery. There are 600 parks, 70 nature and bird sanctuaries, and a total of 8,800 acres of green space. Chicago has a long history of making the city greener, and even committed to making sure every child was within a 10-minute walk of a park or playground. In the last eight years, the Park District has built or improved more than 1,000 acres of parkland and 377 playgrounds.
Some areas along the Chicago River have been transformed from industrial to recreational with projects like Wild Mile, 312RiverRun, and Ping Tom Memorial Park. Plus, all around the city, old rail tracks are being turned into vibrant linear parks, like the 606 and the forthcoming Paseo Trail. Our parks have bird sanctuaries, nature preserves, walking paths, art installations, historic fieldhouses, conservatories, and even outdoor pools.
Real Estate In Chicago Il
The Chicago real estate market is definitely hot and experiencing soaring prices for the first time in years. In September 2020, Chicago home prices experienced the biggest gains since September 2013 with a year-over-year increase of almost 20%.
The average home price in Chicago is $319,450. Homes spend an average of 22 days on the market and sell for close to list price. You can check Chicago, IL homes for sale here to get an idea of what your budget can buy you.
Chicago is known for its diverse housing styles. The Two Flat was the first type of home for rural and urban families toward the end of the 19th century with a simple, rectangular structure and gables facing the sides. Two Flats are still common in areas like Lakeview, Lincoln Park, and Lincoln Square. Chicago bungalows are also common, particularly in Jefferson Park and Chatham. Theyre so commonplace that Chicago has a Bungalow Belt. Youll see examples of original workers cottages in Lincoln Park and Bridgeport. Chicago greystones and row houses are also a common sight in many neighborhoods.
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