Moving to Chicago, IL

Chicago's has been considered a cultural hub since 1893. With vast neighborhoods, vibrant cultures, and a booming job market Chicago has something for everyone.

Chicago Skyline covering Lake MichiganIt might be called the second city, but for many people, Chicago is first in their hearts. From nationally renowned comedy clubs and theaters to notable parks and museums, plus an internationally recognized symphony and opera house, Chicago has been a cultural hub since it hosted the world’s fair in 1893.

Chicago’s unemployment rate is low, and the job market is booming. The city has both a manufacturing and technology incubators, and has multiple organizations that help grow performance, literary and visual arts in the city. Professional services, information technology, health and information technology, and advertising and media jobs are all growing.  Manufacturing and transportation are key job sectors as well. 

Taking advantage of everything the city has to offer is easy with an active public transportation system. The el goes all over the city and new routes and stops have been added in recent years to accommodate the city’s growing population, especially in the West Loop. If you’re coming in from the suburbs (which are also growing) you can catch a Metra train. If there isn’t a train to take you where you want to go, there’s probably a bus. The city’s two public transportation companies (CTA and Pace) together have the city and suburbs well covered.

Although it’s a large city, the average commute time is only about 20 minutes, and if you take public transportation, you can use that time to get some work done, read a book, or get caught up on your favorite podcast. If you do drive, just be aware that rush hour can bring traffic to a grinding halt.

Housing prices vary drastically, with the average hovering around $225,000. But that depends a lot on where you’re looking; the north shore suburbs will be much more expensive than the southwest suburbs, and there’s a similarly wide swing in prices within city neighborhoods. Figure out your budget, then work with a real estate or rental agent to find a place that fits.

You’ll also want to take the time to investigate neighborhoods and suburbs to find the one that fits you and your family best. Do you want walkable so you don’t have to own a car, or are you looking for a place with a wide lawn, far from any commercial activity? Both are possible in the Chicago metro area. And think about your commute: Whether you’re in the ‘burbs or the city, you can live on a train line and ride to work, or you can drive, but the farther from work you live, the longer your commute will be. You may want to choose a location based on where you’ll be working.

The climate isn’t for everyone. Summers tend to be hot (cooler by the lake) and winters tend to be cold (warmer by the lake) and snowy, with few days of moderate weather. For those who like to spend their summers on the beach, the shore of Lake Michigan offers a vibrant beach scene, including boating, beach volleyball, and an 18-mile long bike path that runs along the lake shore.

Although there are plenty of people who have lived in Chicago their whole lives, it tends to attract a lot of young people, especially since it’s home to so many notable colleges and universities, including Northwestern, the University of Chicago, the University of Illinois at Chicago, and Columbia College. As a result, the median age is only about 33.

Ready for lake effect snow, Chicago style hot dogs, deep dish pizza, and the Cubs or Sox? You’ll want a great a great partner to help get you there. Find an agent.

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