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Life in Chicago Illinois

A Look at Life in Chicago

When considering a move to a new state, city, or town, you should always take care to fully research the area you’d like to move to, and what living there is like. This is particularly important if you’re moving to a large city like Chicago, which you might not be too familiar with. So what’s life in Chicago like? What are some benefits of living in Chicago? Is Chicago a safe place to live? If you’re considering a move to the Windy City and have questions about the city’s various neighborhoods or the area in general, we’ve got all of your questions answered so you can make the best decisions possible before your Chicago move gets underway.

What’s the Cost of Living in Chicago? 

The most pressing questions you might have regarding the different aspects of living in Chicago probably revolve around the cost of living in Chicago, or what the Chicago quality of life is for people with different price points.

How Expensive is Chicago? 

In this section, we’ll discuss the overall cost of living in Chicago, as well as the prices of groceries, healthcare, housing, and other aspects of everyday life that might differ in regards to life in other parts of the country.

Chicago is a super diverse area that’s a hub for commerce, transportation, and entertainment. The city has a very diverse economy, and attracts people from all over the country and the world for a variety of reasons. Though one of the United States’ few non-coastal cities, Chicago’s beautiful location along Lake Michigan still allows it to have miles of stunning beaches and picturesque waterfront areas.

Chicago is also a great destination for those looking for a city lifestyle for less money than that of New York City or Los Angeles. It has a ton to offer, and covers a large area, while not breaking the average person’s budget in the ways that other large cities in the country will.

Chicago Housing Prices

In comparison to other large cities in the United States, Chicago’s rent prices are comparable, if not known for providing you with a little more value for your money – especially when in comparison to places like San Francisco, New York City, or Boston. The average rent for Chicagoans from 2020-2021 was around $1,900, which is expensive for the country at large, but a lot less than most major cities.

Many people moving to the city also find rents to be even less expensive by cohabitating with roommates, which make things a lot more affordable.

Outside of the prices of rent, Chicagoans enjoy an even better real estate market when it comes to purchasing a home in the area. Because of Chicago’s low rent prices, many people have opted to go the rental route rather than that of home buying, which has pushed home prices down below the national average due to the abundance of inventory.

Chicago has a great environment for prospective home buyers, with an amazing location plus extremely low prices. The average home price in Chicago is around $280,000, which is an even bigger steal when comparing this to housing prices in cities like Boston or Washington, DC – which can be over three times more expensive (for smaller spaces!).

Chicago Everyday Expenses 

Unfortunately for Chicagoans, the city does have the highest sales taxes in the country. They also have a restaurant tax, which applies to your takeout and dining expenses. Your dining expenses will still run you less than say, prices in New York City, but can still add up.

Chicago is famous for its exemplary public transportation system, which is heavily relied upon by people throughout the city. There are a plethora of rail lines and bus routes, which can get you almost anywhere in the city for $2.50 per rail ride, and $2.25 for buses.

If you choose to have a car in Chicago, you might want to watch out for gas prices, which can be on the more expensive side than the rest of Illonois or neighboring areas. Car insurance will also run you a higher cost than the rest of Illonois, but will still be less on average than the rest of the country. Car owners also must pay a ‘Wheel Tax’, as well as for the cost of your unique parking situation.

Chicago Average Salaries

If you’re looking to find a job in Chicago, it’s important to know how the city’s average salaries stack up to your current pay grade. The average salary in Chicago is around $57,000, which is higher than the national average, but lower than that of other large cities. However, Chicago is a hotspot for high-paying law opportunities, and offers lawyers salaries up to 17% higher than the national average.

Pros and Cons of Living in Chicago

Now that we’ve discussed the general expenses and quality of life that Chicago offers its residents, it’s time to look at living in Chicago’s pros and cons. Does Chicago live up the hype? Find everything you need to know about everyday Chicgao life below.

Chicago Pros

  1. Cost of Living: As we mentioned prior, a huge benefit of living in Chicago is the affordable cost of living and everyday expenses. Chicago brings you all of the benefits of living in a large city at much lower prices than you would pay in other areas.
  2. Culture: Chicago is a super vibrant city full of lots of historical and cultural institutions and attractions. Some of its most notable cultural institutions include the Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Natural History, as well as the forthcoming Obama Presidential Center (which is currently under construction).
  3. Food: Chicago is much more than its controversial deep-dish pizza or famous hot dogs. Chicago’s diversity extends to its food culture and plethora of amazing restaurants and takeout spots; no matter what you’re in the mood for, Chicago’s got it!
  4. Transportation: Again, as we said above, Chicago is known for having one of the best public transportation systems in the country. It’s also home to O’Hare International Airport, which is a hub for travel around the world.
  5. Entertainment: In addition to its cultural offerings, Chicago also features a ton of historical and new theaters and concert venues, where you’re always sure to catch a fantastic show. It’s also home to Lollapalooza, one of the biggest music festivals in the country! The city also hosts 5 sports teams!

Chicago Cons

  1. Weather: When you think of Chicago, one of the first things that comes to mind will probably be its rough winters, or incredibly windy days. There’s no way around it – winters in Chicago aren’t for everyone, and can be pretty hard to deal with during a regular commute (especially when temperatures hit subzero!).
  2. Lack of Nature: Though Chicago features a ton of beautiful parks and outdoor areas, it can be tough for those who want more access to forests or mountains as opposed to general greenspace and beaches. The city isn’t located close to many hiking trails or opportunities for people to take some time away from the hustle and bustle to reconnect with nature.
  3. Crime: Chicago has a reputation for being a little less-than-safe, and though it’s a lot better than its reputation would suggest, crime rates are unmistakably higher than most places in the country. When moving to the city, make sure to research the neighborhood that would be best for you, and what its crime rates are looking like.

Now that you’ve gotten an inside look as to the cost of living in Chicago and generally what it’s like to live in the city, it’s time to figure out if the city is right for you, and whether or not you’d like to make it your home! Chicago is home to a ton of beautiful and varied neighborhoods that all bring a different flair to the city, and surely has a place you’d like to settle down in.

No matter where you’re headed into or around the city, make sure to have the best movers possible on your side to make your transition a smooth one. For all of your neighborhood or long distance Chicago moving needs, look no further than Reebie Allied for the best service and most efficient move possible.