Moving to Chicago

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by fhqwhgads, Jan 8, 2007.

  1. fhqwhgads macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2003
    #1
    I'm moving to Chicago and I've noticed there's a pretty strong contingent of Chicagoans here at MR, so I thought I'd test the waters and see if anyone has suggestions, etc.

    Here's my situation: I just got in last night and am currently staying at a friend of a friend's 2BR in Lakeview. I'm currently crashing on their couch, but one of the roommates will move out in a few weeks and I am welcome to move in if I want. His place is really nice and about a block from a train stop, but I'd probably be willing to live with less nice if I could find a cheaper place. If I stayed here I'd be paying something like $650 for rent and utilities, etc. I'm shopping some craigslist places today, but if any of you know of anything worth checking out (either apartments or other listing services) I'd appreciate the help.

    Thanks!
     
  2. livingfortoday macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2004
    Location:
    The Msp
    #2
    I think that's a pretty decent price. I pay about that for a studio right now (not including utilities). It's all about location, of course. If I had wanted to live south of Hyde Park when I first moved to Chicago, rent was around $400, but I would have been living next to an abandoned building with people living in that. As it is, I live right next to Wrigley. So ya know, it's all location.

    If you're really interested in moving out, I'd recommend picking a neighborhood, and walking up and down its streets, calling the numbers you find on "for rent" signs. That's how I found my place, and it's about $200 less than the units directly around me.
     
  3. emw macrumors G4

    emw

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    #3
    I don't actually live in Chicago proper, but have many friends and relatives who do. $650 a month for rent and utilities sounds fairly reasonable for Lakeview 2BR, depending on how nice it is. It sounds pretty good - especially with being close to the train, which is a huge thing, I think.

    If you're not from around the area, then this might be a good opportunity to get to know Lakeview and the other neighborhoods while having a reasonable rent level before making a final decision on where to live. If you decide to stay there, how long would you be "locked in" to the location? If it's not too long, it would be a great opportunity to get your bearings and decide what neighborhood you'd like to settle in to.
     
  4. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, Illinois
    #4
    Good luck finding cheaper that that! That's a good deal, especially in Lakeview! I live just north of you in Andersonville. Stay in that place!
     
  5. Jschultz macrumors 6502a

    Jschultz

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2005
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #5
    That is cheap. Damn. And that's what I consider to be a pretty good neighborhood too.

    Some friends of mine live in a 2 BR in Edgewater and pay something like $1050/mo w/ util. Hell, even my current 2 BR 30 mi. outside Chicago is way more than that.
     
  6. emw macrumors G4

    emw

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    #6
    Each? They pay a combined $2,100 a month in rent and utilities for a 2BR apartment? If that isn't a testament as to why you should buy, I don't know what is...
     
  7. livingfortoday macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2004
    Location:
    The Msp
    #7
    Yeah, but if you look at the prices for condos around here... woo! Madness. The housing market is nuts. I have friends living in St. Paul for $900 for 2bdr apts, while I'm paying $675 for a studio. Then again, I live in the heart of Boystown, so I shouldn't complain.
     
  8. emw macrumors G4

    emw

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    #8
    Yeah, I suppose you're right. I'm spoiled because I bought in at the right time, so my mortgage is less than $1,600 (NW suburbs).
     
  9. Stampyhead macrumors 68020

    Stampyhead

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2004
    Location:
    London, UK
    #9
    When I moved from Chicago in '02 I was paying $850 for a 2 bedroom in North Center (Irving Park and Damen), and that was even considered cheap. I think $650 for a 2 BR is a pretty good price. Now, is that for the whole apartment or just for 1 of the bedrooms?
     
  10. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, Illinois
    #10
    I think it's just the OPs share.
     
  11. ShermDog macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago
    #11
    I agree with emw. Since you have a nice place to stay now, why not remain there until you become more familiar with the city and you can make a more informed decision about which neighborhood you want to settle in.

    But, are you deadset on living in the city? If being near public transportation is most important to you, consider moving out to the suburbs (e.g., Evanston--which has the Purple Line, or out west like Oak Park or Elmhurst). The cost of living in the suburbs is relatively inexpensive, and there's always public transportation into the city (e.g., Metra, CTA, etc.).

    You might try looking into neighborhoods that have colleges or universities nearby (The little Italy and University Village areas close to UIC and Rush, Lincoln Park around the DePaul area, Roger's Park close to Loyola, etc.). There are usually decent apartments available at reasonable prices.
     
  12. fhqwhgads thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2003
    #12
    Thanks for all the input, everyone--it's good to hear some feedback. It was my feeling that the place I'm in is kind of a steal, but it's great to hear from others who know better.

    Yeah, it is. The rent for this place is $1300/month, and it's split unevenly (my portion would be $500 for rent) because the bedroom i'd be in is pretty small--like 10'x12'. So if I found a studio that was maybe in not so great a neighborhood, or farther from downtown for less or even for about the same price, I'd probably see that as an upgrade.

    Like emw said, the plan is to sort of look around while I'm here, but I'm not sure how excited this guy is about me staying here for a few weeks and then leaving, so if I'm going to move somewhere else I'd like to do it as soon as possible.

    Thanks again for all your help, I really appreciate it.
     
  13. dpaanlka macrumors 601

    dpaanlka

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2004
    Location:
    Illinois
    #13
    I agree about considering the Suburbs in the future. Especially with Metra's huge route network and hundreds of trains that run each day (Chicago has historically been really big on the trains), there is plenty of good reason to consider the 'burbs.
     
  14. fitinferno macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2005
    Location:
    London, UK
    #14
    I don't know how housing is in Chicago, but is there any possibility of finding a short let that can be continued onwards into a long let if you like the place?

    Otherwise maybe find a short let w/another person after you consider your options a bit. That way you don't have to be tied down if you don't like where you wind up and then if you do, you can find a flat in the area that you are happy w/that's on a long let.
     
  15. livingfortoday macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2004
    Location:
    The Msp
    #15
    He can sublet my place in June when I move out if he wants :D
     
  16. VicRattlehead macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2006
    #16
    stay out of the craphole in CrOOK county. im moving to hillbillyland out south of I80.
     
  17. Jschultz macrumors 6502a

    Jschultz

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2005
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #17
    How unfortunate! :p

    I live right at I-55 and weber, and I hate it out here. I assume one learns to accept the crooked ways of politics living in Chicago. Dead people voting? Why not!?
     
  18. dpaanlka macrumors 601

    dpaanlka

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2004
    Location:
    Illinois
    #18
    You should move slightly west to DuPage. I'm near I-55 and Kingery.
     
  19. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #19
    that's very near to where i live.

    when i first moved to chicago, in 1990, i moved to lakeview. i think it's a good place to settle for first timers -- good public trans, pretty safe, lots to do, close to the lake.

    because of the boom of condos, rents in chicago have really been down the past few years. basically, from what i can tell, they're what they were 10 years ago. $500 for a room in a 2-bedroom, if it's a nice place, is pretty darn good, imo.

    lots of other neighborhoods to consider once one outgrows lakeview, or perhaps wants somewhere more quiet.

    ....

    i respectfully disagree with those who suggest the 'burbs. afaic, it's cultural death. no way i'd trade my ability to walk most places i need, w/ tons of options -- shopping, cultural, transit -- w/in blocks of me for the notion that chicago is somehow crooked, unsafe, or too expensive.

    i live on a quiet, tree-lined street, 1/2 block from lincoln avenue. in under a minute, i have my choice of 5 restaurants. in 3 minutes, i can reach a grocery store, a drug store, my chiropractor, a theater, a dance studio, 2 drycleaners, 3 tailors, and much more. in 5 minutes, i can get to a train and 4 major bus lines. no way would i trade that for having to drive everywhere.
     
  20. Mike Teezie macrumors 68020

    Mike Teezie

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2002
    #20
    This thread is perfect. I'm definitely moving in the next 12 months, and Chicago is one of the places I'm looking at to move.

    I'm going to head up there and stay for a week or so, and try to get a feel for the city.

    Glad to know there are so many Chicagoans on MR, as I'm sure I'll have questions.
     
  21. dllavaneras macrumors 68000

    dllavaneras

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2005
    Location:
    Caracas, Venezuela
    #21
    Personally, I'd prefer a smaller room if I had some company in the house (assuming you're single). Living alone sucks, big time
     
  22. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, Illinois
    #22
    I totally agree. The suburbs of Chicago look like everywhere else in suburban US and you have to drive. I haven't owned a car in over 8 years, nor do I plan to ever again. Cars are for renting to go on trips, not for sucking all the money out of my wallet. I can walk to everything I need in two minutes: grocery stores, bars, restaurants, theaters and galleries. And I just take a quick train to work. :)
     
  23. dpaanlka macrumors 601

    dpaanlka

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2004
    Location:
    Illinois
    #23
    Yikes, I guess we have many differences. I love my car and cars in general, I can hardly bear to be without it while I"m away at school.
     
  24. VicRattlehead macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2006
    #24
    ewwe how can you say that, public transportation cant get you everwhere in this city. i love being on my schedule not the one that the city decides on. ive got a 3 mile trip to work, not one train/bus goes there ive got to have a car. actually i have 2 cars and looking for a 3rd car and truck and trailer to pull the race car. just wondering, on average what is the cost for the train for a month?
     
  25. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    toronto
    #25
    you're absolutely right. i'm not a fan of the hub/spoke layout of the trains. it's great for getting me downtown, but for where i live, it's rubbish for getting me out to o'hare.

    i do have a car. i bought it in sept 98 and i reckon in a few weeks i'll finally be hitting the 40k mile mark. handy when i need it (like for going out of town, or those places which would normally take a couple busses), but i obviously don't need it nearly as much as i would if i were living in, say, lisle.

    but i'd say 80% of the places where i need to go -- i can walk to.
     

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