Top 6 Moving to Chicago Tips

Moving to Chicago

Thinking about Moving to Chicago? “The Windy City” is a crown jewel of the midwest, home to many famous landmarks, including beautiful parks, acclaimed restaurants, and famous buildings. From Al Capone to Michael Jordan, Chicago has a rich and coloured history. What unexpected things lie in store for anyone moving to Chicago? We asked locals and former transplants to weigh in with their advice for anyone moving to Chicago.

 1. Prepare for All Seasons
2. Find the Right Neighborhood
3. Plan Your Commute
4. Act Quickly
5. Downsize
6. Get Out There



1. PREPARE FOR ALL SEASONS  

Chicago Winter Tips

Chicago is a city which truly has 4 seasons. Freezing cold winters and 90 degree summer days are part of the Chi-town package deal. Chicago based professional organizer Monica Friel of  Chaos to Order advises movers to make sure to bring enough pairs of shorts and long johns to last through each summer & winter.

“Chicago’s weather can change on a dime, so plan your wardrobe accordingly.” She says. “You really can’t pare down much because you’ll need it all in Chicago, so having your wardrobe organized and sorted by season is a must.”

You may want to prepare to evacuate in case the Chicago winters are too much for you; save vacation days for the brutal winter months, and get in touch with any friends or family members that might have a South Florida condo they just moved into.

 

2. FIND THE RIGHT NEIGHBORHOOD

Moving to Wrigleyville Chicago


Like many other cities, Chicago is not a homogenous place. Your experience in the city will be dependent upon which parts of it you spend your time in. So pick carefully when you’re looking at apartments.

Not sure how to evaluate the city? You can try using this map of Chicago's neighborhoods from RentLingo. The map shows data on businesses, crime rates, lifestyle, and community interactivity to try and show what the neighborhood is actually like. Their best picks for Chi-town neighborhoods for transplants? Adam, RentLingo’s outreach head, suggests Logan Square and Lake View.

“Logan Square is great for those looking for more of a ‘Brooklyn’ vibe, with great restaurants and bar scene frequented by a high percentage of young adults living in the neighborhood.” Adam tells us.  “While Logan Square is a great area to be young in, it may not be the best neighborhood for transplants since it still has that feeling of being a "not-yet" discovered neighborhood.”

If Logan Square doesn’t sound like your scene, you can try Lake View. “Lake View is a great neighborhood for anyone that wants a little bit of everything.  Wrigley Field is nearby as is the lake.  Lake View also has a great restaurant scene in the Southport corridor. Adam says. Buyer beware, though: Lake View has a higher cost of living than Logan Square. Lake View’s appeal is stronger to families because of its favorable crime statistics and good public schools.

The area with the most transplants, is the west end of the business district, referred to by Adam as the “West Loop”, home to the city’s tech district. For those looking for an authentic Chicago lifestyle, that area might not be what you’re looking for.

 

3. PLAN YOUR COMMUTE

Chicago El System

With most of the businesses (and places to go, generally) in Chicago in “The Loop”, make sure the place you want to go has easy access to this area. If you plan on taking public transportation, make sure you choose a place to live close enough to a L train line that will take you to downtown within a reasonable amount of time. If you plan to live in a nearby Chicago suburb, you can also plan on taking the Metra light rail instead of having to drive all the way into the city.   

 

4. ACT QUICKLY

These days, Chicago real estate is in high-demand. Others are looking at the same apartments s you. Once you find a place you like, you should be prepared to snatch it up, as Chicago realtor Tony Talamantes tells us: 

“BE DECISIVE! The Chicago rental market is always tight. . . .especially these days.  When you do find a rental that you are serious about ACT.  Don't sleep on it for a couple of days because someone will steal it from you before you know it.  Make sure your Realtor (more on that later) knows that when you find the right rental you will be ready to act and you expect them to have applications ready for you to fill out that day. The nice places that are priced well go fast.”

 

5. DOWNSIZE

Like with many other cities, space can often be at a premium in Chicago. So why drag your entire life’s worth of belongings with you to the city?“If you’re living in the city, you’ll have access to great restaurants, shopping and services.” Friel told us.  If there’s anything you’ll need, it’s easy to get.” Knowing that, you may not have to pack up the whole kitchen sink. Live simply and enjoy the amenities around you.If you need help finding stuff to get rid of, try using our downsizing guide.

 

6. GET OUT THERE:

Millennium Park Chicago

"The best way to adapt to the city is to emerge yourself in the diverse culture of the city.” Says Akos Straub, a Chicago based real estate agent. “there are countless neighborhoods in the city that each have their own persona. No two are alike.Be adventurous and do something you wouldn't do or didn't have the opportunity to do in the town you are moving from."

As Akos tells us, there’s always something going on in Chicago, no matter the time of year. The best way to get acquainted with the city is to meet it for yourself. You’ll never know if you don’t go, so go check it out. 




 

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