If you're moving to Chicago, you'll be happy to learn that this change should be pretty easy. Many people think it's an amazing city, and for good reason. It has plenty of amenities, activities, and resources to offer.
Yet, before heading over there, you may want to get the lowdown on the city. Part one of two of this Chicago City Guide will help with that.
Here are the points we'll be speaking about in our guide.
Chapter 1: Welcome to Chicago! A City Overview
Chapter 2: Cost of Living in Chicago, IL
Chapter 3: Renting in Chicago, IL
Chapter 4: Best Neighborhoods in Chicago, IL to Rent
Let's breeze right through this!
Chapter 1: Welcome to Fort Worth! A City Overview
Welcome to the Windy City! This eclectic place is the third-largest city in the U.S and borders Lake Michigan. It has plenty to offer, especially to its population of over 2.7 million residents!
Once home to many 1920s gangsters (like the infamous Al Capone), now known for its Chicago-style hot dogs. Talk about some healthy changes!
Chicago is best known for its amazing architecture. Did you know the world's first skyscraper was built here?
It's also incredibly rich in history and sports. From mob bosses to the Great Chicago Fire to the Cubs- we can understand why this city attracts so many people.
We're going to dive a little deeper into what Chicago brings to the table.
Chapter 2: Cost of Living in Chicago, IL
This may come as a surprise to many, but living in Chicago isn't that expensive. Now, before you get too excited, it's pricey to live here. It's just not as expensive as other large metro areas like LA or NYC.
The cost of living is around 6.9% above the American average. Not too bad for the third-largest city in the country.
Let's discuss the cost of living in Chicago and how the average income fares with common expenses.
Average Income in Chicago
Since the cost of living in Chicago is moderate, the average income also reflects a similar story.
The median income for a household in Chicago was about $58,250. For all the single individuals out there, the average yearly income was $37,103.
Another great thing about Chicago is its minimum wage rate! It has one of the highest minimum wages in the U.S. at $15 an hour!
Average Cost of Items in Chicago
Chicago's got some pretty reasonable prices all around.
The cost of their utilities, healthcare, and groceries remain below the U.S. average. Housing and transportation are more expensive though.
Keeping that in mind, the city does have a pretty high sales tax of 10.25%. On the bright side, everyone pays a flat income tax rate of 4.95%.
Take a look at our chart down below to see the costs of other items in Chicago, IL.
Chapter 3: Renting in Chicago, IL
Lucky for you, rent in Chicago is pretty moderately priced. Especially when considering it's a huge metro area.
Over the past year, the rent price did increase by 1.1% (which is pretty mild). With that said, the average cost of the rent in Chicago currently sits at $1,693 per month.
Renting a studio apartment will run you around $1,100. Renting a 1-bedroom apartment will cost around $1,525. A 2-bedroom rent price will be about $1,795.
Navigating the rental market in Chicago can be a little daunting. There are way too many apartments and neighborhoods to choose from. That's why we're on a mission to assist you in finding your perfect home in Chicago. You'll also get cashback on your rent, which is a huge bonus!
Chapter 4: Best Neighborhoods in Chicago, IL
There are many neighborhoods in Chicago to pick from, all unique in their own way. This acts as both a perk and a drawback.
On one hand, you get the luxury of picking a living location that tailors to your lifestyle. That could be somewhere with quick access to the subway or close to bars and restaurants. On the other hand, with so many options to pick from, it makes your decision all the much harder.
Let's see how many of these locations you've heard about. These are Chicago's best neighborhoods.
Most Affordable Neighborhood: Lincoln Square
Lincoln Square is located in the north of Chicago. It offers the perfect blend between a quiet residential area and an active social scene.
Many singles and young families live in this area. It has many local attractions (like cool music venues and bars) but remains affordable.
A 1-bedroom apartment in this location averages at $1,300.
Most Well-Rounded Neighborhood: Hyde Park
Near the University of Chicago lies Hyde Park, an incredibly well-rounded neighborhood.
Former President Barack Obama used to live here, popularizing the location. Notable historical sites and landmarks also add to its fame.
This neighborhood isn't just suitable for college students, though. Just about anyone can live in this area thanks to its many amenities. Hyde Park has shopping districts, entertainment spots, dining options, and many parks around.
The greatest benefit is that the cost of rent is cheaper than in other Chicago neighborhoods. Rent averages at the $1,500 range, lower than the city average.
Best Neighborhood for Families: Beverly
In the suburbs of Chicago lies Beverly- a family and community-friendly neighborhood. The homes in this area are spacious, and many come with backyards!
Friendly neighbors brighten your day while kids are free to play on the safe streets.
There are also many great schools around Beverly. This location is a bit further, but transportation is still accessible for those who go into the city. The biggest bonus is that rent is pretty affordable.
Trendiest Neighborhood: Wicker Park
Wicker Park is the hub for Chicago's fashion and hipster culture. This trendy neighborhood has one of the city's priciest rents, but all for good reason.
You can find some of the best food, music venues, and entertainment spots here. Vintage shops and artisanal coffee shops are also popular in the area.
Its cool and artsy vibes attract young singles and professionals alike. On a good day, you might even bump into a famous artist!
Best for Young Professionals: River North
River North is the epitome of urbanism with its vibrant nightlife, design scene, and lively arts. Living here means getting daily views of Chicago's majestic skyline.
This part of town is always busy and crowded. That's why professionals of all ages thrive the most here. You get to be close to work while enjoying a bustling (or maybe a little bit of a chaotic) lifestyle.
Best for the Outdoor Lovers: Lincoln Park
Lincoln Park is the perfect neighborhood for those who love the great outdoors.
The park is the biggest and most developed in all of Chicago. It has countless trails, gardens, a free zoo, and many museums to explore. Lincoln Park also has urban roots as the area offers a variety of shopping and dining options.
Many families and professionals find themselves living here. The community atmosphere, great schools, and lively nightlife make it an attractive location.
Another huge perk is that rent prices are below Chicago's average.
You've gotten through Part 1 of our Chicago City Guide! We covered a lot of information, so let's recap on what was spoken about.
The Windy City has a lower cost of living in comparison to other large metro cities. Sales taxes are pretty high, but residents pay a flat fee of 4.95% in income tax. Rent prices are around the $1,693 mark, although some areas have higher costs. Chicago has a vast array of neighborhoods to live in. Each one offers a different vibe and quality.
Are you still looking for a place in Chicago? If you're interested in getting cashback on your rental and want a search partner, check us out!
Leave a comment telling us what was your favorite Chicago neighborhood. Check out Part 2 of our city guide to learn more about Chicago's lifestyle.