If you are making a move to Chicago, these pieces of information may become handy. It covers all you need to know before moving to Chicago.
Chicago is a beautiful place to live for people who want a great urban hub with no cost or stress of a much larger city.
Chicago is much cleaner than New York and nicer than Los Angeles. Even at that, it still has some humbleness in kits foundation.
There is enough public transportation, nice jobs, as well as much diversity. This is why Chicago is one great option to consider for those that need a place to move to.
Despite the lack of access to a coat, the lakefront is one huge part of city life. It offers a scene of attractions, including a nice escape from the heat.
Whether you are moving with your family to Chicago or relocating to a new city for a job, we’ve compiled a detailed moving guide with great tips on everything starting from the cost of living to nightlife.
Below is some simple knowledge, so you don’t find yourself in the Windy City unprepared.
What is Chicago’s Population?
Chicago is the 3rd largest city in America with a resident population of 8,865,000. The average age in the Windy City is 35, making it commonplace for young professionals.
The population has an almost equal split of gender, and around 63% of the residents are single. The population in Chicago has been usually static. The population has just increased by 0.03% from what it was in 2019.
Best Chicago Neighborhoods. Where in Chicago should I live?
Chicago’s support is in its 77 properly defined neighborhoods in 9 districts, each of which has its different attractions, history, personality, and culture. Residents of Chicago settle in and stay loyal to their neighborhoods right from Lincoln Square down to Hyde Park, so select your destination wisely.
Below are some of the top neighborhoods in Chicago:
Northern neighborhoods in Chicago are youthful and lovely. You will always have what to do, such as boutique shopping, catching a Cubs game, and so on in neighborhoods like Buck town, Uptown, Wrigley Ville, and so on.
The western sides offer something more of an electric feel. Enjoy yourself at ethnic restaurants and catch a glimpse at monuments, beautiful murals, as well as churches of Wicker Park
This is where you will find all the leading tourist attractions. Millennium Park’s the “Bean”, the Historic Theatre District, art galleries, Buckingham Fountain, Shopping, and cocktail lounges on Michigan Avenue.
There are many cultural and social offerings in Chicago’s South area. Diversity in this area is much right from monuments in Bronze Ville down to the Museum Campus located in South Loop, as well as authentic cuisine in Chinatown.
Getting Around Chicago
Chicago is widely known in the world for its nice train system, popularly called the “L” by locals. The train system is operated by the Chicago Transit Authority and it offers more than 140 stations all across the city and suburbs.
Chicago is a tough city for work goers with a lot of rush hours (from 6:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.), but fortunately, CTA can move you to any part of the city, just name it. You have more options for transit in Chicago.
- Go with the L: The Chicago Transit Authority offers more convenient buses and elevated rains systems called the “L”. Trains are charged $2.50 per ride and busses $2.25. For total convenience, obtain a Ventra card: you just tap the card over the turnstile entrance and your account will be debited of the fare, no cash payment.
- Choose the Pedway: Pedway or the downtown pedestrian walkway operates on the underground tunnel and overhead bridges with over 40 blocks in the Central Business District. This is one safe, convenient, and quick way to move around downtown (especially during winter) and is often used daily by many commuters.
- Go for the Bike: Biking across town allows for more flexibility (and certainly better than walking). Biking has turned so common in Chicago that Divvy, a new bike-sharing company launched rental locations across the city.
- Call a Cab: Taxis in Chicago are much and many of them take credit and debit cards. Consider downloading Hailo to get a cab with just the touch of a screen and save yourself from poor weather.
- Share a Ride: Lyft, Uber, and many smartphone apps connect you with local drivers who will get you to your destination for a reduced price of a taxi. If you have more time and desire to save more money, check for other carpool option which will pick their passengers going to the same direction up.
How is the Job Market in Chicago?
The job market in Chicago is much behind the other part of the country relatively. The job market in the city area improves by just 0.8% from December 2018 to December 2019, and that was before the outbreak of coronavirus.
The unemployment rate in Illinois reaches 16.4% in April 2020, right from 4.2% in March, because of the COVID-19 pandemic. But if you are hunting for a job really, there are different great employment opportunities in Chicago.
Chicago is where 27 Fortune 500 companies are located, including United Continental Holdings, Boeing, McDonald’s, Archer Daniels Midland, and Kraft Heinz.
The best employers in Chicago are found in the public sector. The federal government, county government, public schools, and city government have the most population of employees in the city, based on Crain’s report.
Also, some of the top local industries include healthcare, trade, utilities, professional services, education, and transportation.
Home Buying in Chicago
In 2018, the average home value in Chicago is $228,500 while the average price of homes is now at $319,500. Looking to rent in Chicago? Home listing’s average price is at $1,750 and is a bit above the national average, but highly cheaper than cities like New York ($2,875) and Los Angeles ($3,650).
If you are determined to slow down, purchase a home, and remain there for some time, this is a city area where homes are still affordable,” according to Skylar Olsen, a Zillow economist. Chicago is where first-time homebuyers get the best inventory as well as great income development.
The Climate of Chicago
Due to Chicago’s location in the upper Midwest, its winters are very cold while summers are so much pleasure, even though the weather can change considerably every year.
Temperatures during the winter months in a year are between 150F and 300F, with many days of lower temperatures.
Highs in summer start from 800F to 900F with many days every summer, exceeding 1000F. Chicago sees a lot of lake effect: neighborhoods near Lake Michigan often experience milder temperatures than places far away.
And it is fun enjoying one of the beaches in Chicago, a good way to cool off the heat on a summer day.
What’s the Cost Of Living in Chicago?
Living in Chicago is not cheap. The cost of living in the Windy City is around 21% more than the national average. The highest cost is housing, which is about 56% more costly than another part of the country. The city’s average home price is $210,700, and the average rent is $995 per month.
Consider the chart below for a comparison of Chicago with the biggest city in the country (New York) and Houston, TX, and Philadelphia, PA, being the next smallest cities.
Cost of Living
Average Home Price
New York, NY
Pros and Cons of Living in Chicago
Even though Chicago has experienced highs and lows, it continues to develop through education, broadcasting, commerce, and manufacturing altogether.
Below are some benefits of living in Chicago:
You should not for any reason miss out on St. Patrick’s Day celebration when you move to Chicago. The city doubles its bubbling feel on that special day by adding green dye to the city river.
Letting the Chicago River flow green on that day was started in 1962. Now, it attracts more than 400,000 people to experience it.
Also, the best dance music festivals in the country are offered by Chicago city. Chicago is the host of the huge free outdoor food festival as well as the international blues festivals.
The common destinations of Chicago are often short walks from one another. Every eight blocks is a mile and walking around would enable you to discover the accrual treasure as well as the architecture of the great city.
Also, Chicago is where the second-largest train system in the country can be found, and also the buses and trains of the Chicago Transit Authority are fast as well as cost-effective ways to move around the city.
Since Chicago is one of the largest cities in the entire world, it has a lot of convenient airports. Since it is the business center of the world, a lot of people often travel.
These people who often travel across the universe and so on would benefit from good air transportation facilities. This is one of the biggest benefits of living in Chicago.
World-class sports culture:
Sports are a huge cultural part of Chicago. About 15 sports teams can be found in Chicago, and it has been named the Best Sports City in the country three times.
The city’s National Basketball Association (NBA) team is the one and only Chicago Bulls and Michael Jordan (references can be seen all over). Other big names in American football include the Chicago Rush (in Arena Football League) and the Chicago Bears (National Football League). Also, Chicago has a couple of ice hockey teams and one team in major league soccer.
Great history and architecture:
Chicago is popularly known as a trade center ever since it has been founded in 1837. Its historical riches are based on its continuous contribution to American culture, politics as well as economics.
There is numerous breathtaking skyline in Chicago, it has been known for being a lab for the architectural experiment as well as innovation. So, you may find many different combinations of old and modern architecture.
Definitely, one of the best city foods in the world is found in Chicago. From the world-famous Chicago hot dogs to deep-dish pizza, there is numerous iconic food in Chicago.
You will so much feel great when you visit nice places while enjoying some delicious food. Always make sure you try out Chicago’s signature dishes.
Trade and commerce center:
Chicago has been the business hub of the United States since its creations. Also, some of the highly recognized companies have picked Chicago as their headquarters. Even based on the data released by a financial services company known as UBS, it ranks ninth on the list of the world’s cities.
There is no ocean beach in Chicago, but you can enjoy Great Lake Michigan instead. It is an internationally recognized lake and has a lot of beaches.
Also, it is the one river in the entire universe that flows backward. The reverse movement of the river is seen as a great engineering achievement.
Parks and outdoors:
Chicago has many beautiful parks, outdoor as well as nice scenes. Especially in fall, they are so much attractive. There are over 500 parks in Chicago which makes it one of the best livable places in the world.
The best parks among the bests include Garfield Park, Lincoln Park, Medill Park, Horner Park, Millennium Park, Grant Park, and Oz Park.
Aside from these parks, there are lots of bird sanctuaries as well as conservatories which you would like to visit when free.
Tips for Relocating to Chicago
Moving to another city is always challenging, especially if you are new to or are moving to another state. The first thing that should be on your list is to get a place to live. If you are moving to the city, house rental is often the best option, as it provides you more flexibility to get the perfect area for you.
Below tips that will be of help:
1.Understand the weather
In some cases, you have no choice when you are moving. You have a moving deadline to resume work, school is starting, or many other reasons might determine when you relocate to Chicago.
However, if you have the opportunity to choose your preferred moving date, the whole move can be easier when you choose the season to move-out. Winter months in Chicago are harsh and you should know this before you move there.
Starting from December all through March, snow is often popular, so you should stay away from a winter move as possible.
However, since moving is more popular in summer, moving to Chicago between June and September can be tough, too, especially if you desire to get an apartment as one of your moving tasks.
That implies that you have April, May, October, as well as November as the best moving months into Chicago.
2. Renting an apartment:
There is reasonable competition in the Chicago rental market, so you need to plan on house hunting at least 45 – 60 days to your scheduled move-in date to allow you more time to get the right home.
If you find it difficult to excuse a weekend in town to check out houses before you move in, think of getting a temporary rental so you can go round your preferred neighborhoods.
Checking sites like Zillow, Padmapper and Craigslist can assist you with an idea of what’s available, but you might have more opportunity by walking around your desired Chicago neighborhood and getting a place to rent through a For Rent sign hanged in a window.
One other option is to contact a broker or agent. Broker commissions in Chicago are paid by homeowners, so you won’t be charged at all when you work with one, and a broker may know of many listings you wouldn’t be able to discover on your own.
3. Sort your items:
With a lot of items, finding out what item to pack first during a move can be tough. A great rule is to begin to sort through your household goods and personal stuff at least 60 days before your move.
Work on each room, closet, drawer, and remove stuff you are no more using. If you find it hard to let go of an item, move it to a self-storage.
Pack those things as you go, and locate a storage center in Chicago before you move. When you have those items separated in advance and understanding that they can be sent directly to a storage unit instead of choking up space in your new home removes one headache from the list.
One other helpful tip as you sort is to take photographs of the rooms in your current home before you start packing. Taking pictures is a fast and easy means of creating a record of the items in each room.
4. Sizing things up:
If you already have a place to live in Chicago, measure up the rooms and doorways of your new home. That will let you know if your larger items will fit into that place without stress or you will have to devise a means.
Make use of graph paper to draw a layout of your new home or apartment and create a plan for where each item will go.
Many furniture and decoration items will be moved into the rooms that match your current home, but some items might need to be sent to storage, at least for the short term.
5. Make all the important schedules:
This is very necessary to think ahead. If you have children, you will need to arrange for their school records to be transferred to their new school in the new city.
You will also need to find a doctor in Chicago and transfer your family’s medical records there too. At least, you should obtain an additional supply of prescriptions filled to avoid running out of important medication before you can find a new pharmacy in your nearest Chicago location.
Also, if you own pets, you should arrange the same for them, getting a new veterinarian before moving, obtaining an extra supply of medications, as well as organizing and transferring records.
6. Get the car ready:
Unless you plan to take a nearby suburb to Chicago, you should get your car ready two weeks before moving. This is very important for your move, especially if you plan to drive to your new location.
You want to avoid experiencing a car breakdown on the road and a long-distance trip, and also want to be sure you enjoy the trip.
Ask your mechanic if there are any services about the new environment on your vehicle. Immediately you adapt to the new city and discovered that the traffic is overwhelming for you to handle, you may consider storing your vehicle for certain periods if it is consuming too much space.
7. Plan to order out:
For a minimum of the first few weeks in your new home, you may not be doing much or any cooking. Almost all your belongings will be in boxes, and you may be out of chances to visit the supermarket for shopping. Conduct some advanced research on the best restaurants closer to your new home.
Chicago neighborhoods are known for offering some of the best food in the United States. Right from ethnic to fast food and cafes as well as comfort food, you should easily find the best places to enjoy your first few days in the Windy City.
8. Confirm your inventory:
Be more focused on the boxes and furniture as they enter your new home. Cross out everything from your inventory list as it enters, but also perform a second check, by room, when all your goods have been unloaded.
You will have to sign a bill of lading before your movers depart, so you need to be certain that everything has been delivered safely and in good condition before you sign the mover’s inventory list.
Frequently Asked Questions Before Moving To Chicago
Is moving to Chicago worthwhile?
Chicago is cleaner than New York, a nice city than Los Angeles, and is the Midwest’s largest city. That is why there are still some trails of humbleness in its foundation. There is enough transportation for the public, great jobs, and much diversity. This is why moving to Chicago is a beautiful alternative for those planning a move.
How much earning do I need in Chicago as income?
Considering the cost of real estate, utilities, transportation, and groceries in Chicago, living comfortably will need you to earn about $94.917 being a renter or $84.765 being a homeowner. Sadly for some Chicago residents, the average salary in the city is just $52,497, leaving a gap of a minimum of $32,000 on average.
Is the night at Chicago safe? Is it safer than New York?
Downtown Chicago is highly safe than many other cities at night because it is always filled with pedestrians crowding up the dining and nightlife spot. Downtown Chicago is home to many attractions, bars, restaurants, and parks, so, it is always bustling and buzzing with people.
Due to the work done by the city to mitigate criminal activity and violence, NYC is 32% safer than Chicago; or say, Chicago is 32 percent more violent than New York City. Of the 77 neighborhoods in Chicago, about six to ten would be considered out of bounds.
Is finding a job in Chicago hard?
In general, getting a job is hard anywhere unless you have knowledge of computer science or are an engineer. That is why Chicago may be the best city to find a job. Many businesses of different types, industries, and corporations are not as toughly competitive as New York City or Los Angeles.
What is Illinois’ living wage?
The lowest wage in Illinois is fixed at $8.25 an hour, which is just $1 higher than the national minimum wage.
However, across the state, a living wage is given at $11.08 an hour for one single adult and $22.96 an hour for an adult with one kid and thus expensive for minimum wage without doing extra work.
What month in Chicago is the coldest?
January is the averagely coldest month in Chicago, but it is not the coldest month considering winter. The average long-term temperature at Midway Airport (from 1929 to 2011) is why January is ranked the coldest month in the city with 23.90 followed by February at 27.90 and then December at 28.90.
What is Chicago’s hottest temperature?
The highest temperature experienced in Chicago in the meteorological summertime months of June through August, which also double as the highest record high in Chicago is 1050F (41 degrees Celsius), experienced on 24th of July, 1934, even though at Midway Airport, an observation site for the future, the temperature entered 1090F (43 degrees Celsius).
Moving to Chicago can be a huge task for most people, especially if you are moving out of a smaller town. Immediately you have chosen Chicago as your next hometown, the relocation process is just starting.
For your entire relocation needs, make sure you contact Moving APT to safely and professionally handle your moves as they did for millions of customers in Chicago and all over the nation. Have peace of mind and move with Moving APT to Chicago.