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View Full Version : Please help teh Mohan figure out where to live in Chicago


mkrishnan
Apr 6, 2008, 08:07 AM
I'm moving to Chicago in mid-June for a psychology internship -- the last year of our pre-doctoral clinical training. I'll be working at the University of Chicago's Medical Center in Hyde Park.

My work situation is that I'll probably be putting in ~60-65 hours/week, meaning that I would like to avoid super long commutes if I could, although I am open to an hour or a little more, particularly if it were by train.

I'll be in Chicago for at least one year, and possible two more (for post-doctoral residency), but for the next two years, even if I stay in Chi-town, it might not be at U of C, but at a different hospital.

I have a car, that I generally intend to keep, and I also have two cats, which is an important part of the equation. :)

The pay for the internship is, predictably, crap, but my preference is a $700-1100 one bedroom apartment of about 600 square feet or larger.

There seem to be options in Hyde Park that fit my criteria, but they only have streetside parking (Is that usable? Does streetside parking mean that the car must be moved every day, or can it be left there while I'm at work, if I walk?), and they do not have central AC.

Any suggestions from any of my Chi-town peeps about what I should be looking at? Would you recommend going North or far South of Hyde Park, or to the South Loop, or would you recommend staying in HP?

Any other thoughts? Thank you! :)

leekohler
Apr 6, 2008, 10:32 AM
I'm moving to Chicago in mid-June for a psychology internship -- the last year of our pre-doctoral clinical training. I'll be working at the University of Chicago's Medical Center in Hyde Park.

My work situation is that I'll probably be putting in ~60-65 hours/week, meaning that I would like to avoid super long commutes if I could, although I am open to an hour or a little more, particularly if it were by train.

I'll be in Chicago for at least one year, and possible two more (for post-doctoral residency), but for the next two years, even if I stay in Chi-town, it might not be at U of C, but at a different hospital.

I have a car, that I generally intend to keep, and I also have two cats, which is an important part of the equation. :)

The pay for the internship is, predictably, crap, but my preference is a $700-1100 one bedroom apartment of about 600 square feet or larger.

There seem to be options in Hyde Park that fit my criteria, but they only have streetside parking (Is that usable? Does streetside parking mean that the car must be moved every day, or can it be left there while I'm at work, if I walk?), and they do not have central AC.

Any suggestions from any of my Chi-town peeps about what I should be looking at? Would you recommend going North or far South of Hyde Park, or to the South Loop, or would you recommend staying in HP?

Any other thoughts? Thank you! :)

OMG! You'll easily find a nice place in Hyde Park for that amount. This isn't NYC, where you have to live like a rat. My roommate and I have a 2 bedroom in a very nice neighborhood for $1095. Hyde Park is gorgeous too- lots of beautiful places to live down there. My advice to you is to ditch the car. You may not want to at first, but if you come here with it, you'll wish you'd sold it. Cars and this city just don't get along.

I think if you're studying, you might like to be right in Hyde Park. South Loop is nice, but a little more expensive. A commute from there is usually not bad, but could get long depending on construction and such.

Glad you're coming! Welcome- you'll love it here and won't ever want to leave.

PlaceofDis
Apr 6, 2008, 10:47 AM
Hyde Park itself is a good neighborhood due to the University being right there, but i don't know a huge amount about all the neighborhoods around there.

Chicago is full of little neighborhoods all with different make-ups and small personalities that make them unique. and there is a lot to choose from, but you should be able to find a place without too much difficulty that will allow you to avoid using the car most of the time, imo.

streetside parking is very viable, but you will have to purchase a city sticker if you'll be a chicago resident. (~$78) unless you keep your permanent residence somewhere else, which it doesn't seem like. i use street parking and its crowded in my neighborhood, but never a huge issue, and some cars don't get moved for a week at a time and they're just fine. some streets will have permit parking, that restricts who can park there during certain hours to make life easier for the residents of that street/block.

no matter the area you choose to live in, it shouldn't be hard at all to find a place that is okay with cats. some places will require a bit more for cats, some won't but again, its quite easy to find a place okay with them.

i was able to find my place via the Chicago Reader, a local newspaper, and i'd say its a good place for you to start too. www.chicagoreader.com, also yelp.com does give some great reviews about small things in the areas provided people have been there and helped me find a good laundromat and many restaurants. so its a good resource.

like lee said, Hyde Park should be your best bet for being so close. the El isn't far at all, and will help you get just about anywhere else you want to go.

mkrishnan
Apr 6, 2008, 10:54 AM
I think if you're studying, you might like to be right in Hyde Park. South Loop is nice, but a little more expensive. A commute from there is usually not bad, but could get long depending on construction and such.

Thanks! :) I won't be studying per se... I'll be providing clinical services at the hospital. Sort of like a medical resident. I'll be seeing patients most days. But yeah, the hours are long on a fairly consistent basis, and so it would be nice if I could be close by.

So in terms of the car, you think I should even ditch it before I get to Chicago? It's possible, but I'd have to figure out how to get the cats there... I had thought about selling it in the Chicago area once I got there, and then not having a car again till I left Chicago (since it wouldn't be hard, in a pinch, to take the train to the airport and rent one there).

streetside parking is very viable, but you will have to purchase a city sticker if you'll be a chicago resident. (~$78) unless you keep your permanent residence somewhere else, which it doesn't seem like. i use street parking and its crowded in my neighborhood, but never a huge issue, and some cars don't get moved for a week at a time and they're just fine. some streets will have permit parking, that restricts who can park there during certain hours to make life easier for the residents of that street/block.

Oooh, thanks! :) So if you don't live / park on a main street, is this true even in the winter (are there blackout times when all cars have to be off the street for the plows or something like that)?

I will definitely have to buy you guys a round when I get there! ;)

PlaceofDis
Apr 6, 2008, 11:03 AM
So in terms of the car, you think I should even ditch it before I get to Chicago? It's possible, but I'd have to figure out how to get the cats there... I had thought about selling it in the Chicago area once I got there, and then not having a car again till I left Chicago (since it wouldn't be hard, in a pinch, to take the train to the airport and rent one there).



Oooh, thanks! :) So if you don't live / park on a main street, is this true even in the winter (are there blackout times when all cars have to be off the street for the plows or something like that)?

I will definitely have to buy you guys a round when I get there! ;)

as long as you're not parked on a main street, no you won't have to move it during the winter for plowing. this winter was bad with snow and our side streets never got plowed, some cars didn't move for a month i think. :p

about the car, it all depends on what you think you'll be doing in your free time really. Chicago can be fairly expensive, and not having a car is certainly possible. and it'll help lessen the costs of living in the city. but then again there is a lot of stuff out in the 'burbs as well. but you could always rent or look into zipcar too. gas here is getting atrocious. its $3.67 by my place. so that might be a factor for you as well.

overall, if it were me, i'd keep the car until i move here, and wait a week or too and see if you think you'll want to use it often, or rarely and then sell it here if you don't think you'll need it

leekohler
Apr 6, 2008, 11:04 AM
Thanks! :) I won't be studying per se... I'll be providing clinical services at the hospital. Sort of like a medical resident. I'll be seeing patients most days. But yeah, the hours are long on a fairly consistent basis, and so it would be nice if I could be close by.

So in terms of the car, you think I should even ditch it before I get to Chicago? It's possible, but I'd have to figure out how to get the cats there... I had thought about selling it in the Chicago area once I got there, and then not having a car again till I left Chicago (since it wouldn't be hard, in a pinch, to take the train to the airport and rent one there).



Oooh, thanks! :) So if you don't live / park on a main street, is this true even in the winter (are there blackout times when all cars have to be off the street for the plows or something like that)?

I will definitely have to buy you guys a round when I get there! ;)

In that case- bring the car here and sell it once you're settled. Yes- there are blackout times when you can't park: street cleaning, snow, etc. Can't wait to see you! Good luck!

mkrishnan
Apr 6, 2008, 11:29 AM
That is a good point re: the car... if I combine gas, depreciation cost, and insurance together, the car probably costs me $200+ a month to own for that year. Although some of that would certainly go back to El and Metra fairs, getting rid of it would still probably mean a big boost in disposable income. Plus I'd rather not have it be my car and sit covered in snow for a month or two in the winter! ;)

Yeah, I think I'll continue on the plan to bring it up and then see, and also continue focusing on HP for apartments. The only problem I've run into so far is that, typical intern/resident situation, because it's an "investment" year in my education, I'm totally fine with having my rent be a large portion of my income, but some of the places I'm looking at have algorithms, like income > 2.5x rent or whatever, which is really limiting (at 2.5x, I can officially only afford a rent of about 788...) so I have to investigate how much finagle room there is for that.

GoCubsGo
Apr 6, 2008, 01:38 PM
On the 2.5x disposable deal with apartments, often that is waived if you have stellar credit, not just a good score, but history of carrying other installment debt for a long period of time with no derogs.

rdowns
Apr 6, 2008, 01:42 PM
This isn't NYC, where you have to live like a rat.

Got any cheese? :mad:

mkrishnan
Apr 6, 2008, 01:42 PM
On the 2.5x disposable deal with apartments, often that is waived if you have stellar credit, not just a good score, but history of carrying other installment debt for a long period of time with no derogs.

Yeah, that's what I have to investigate. Thanks for the specifics, Jessica. :) I should do fine on that front. Besides rotating debt, I've lived by myself (without roommates) and paid my own rent for seven years now, purchased and paid off a car, etc.

Often, in University towns, they also waive based on documentation of special status employment (e.g. being a grad student or a resident). So hopefully there's enough wiggle room that, even though I don't necessarily want to spend 2/3 of my monthly income on rent, I'm not limited to only the dirt-cheapest apartments.

leekohler
Apr 6, 2008, 04:00 PM
Got any cheese? :mad:

Heehee! Sorry man! Wasn't trying to be mean about it. It's just not easy to find an affordable and decent apartment in NYC. Most of my friends there live in tiny boxes and they're middle class guys.