Chicago is more than a pizza. This city is full of opportunities and a welcoming community. So, if you want to move to a city with beautiful architecture, a growing economy, and a great art scene, then Chicago should be a city to consider.
This article will be your moving to Chicago guide that will help you find out things to know before moving to Chicago. We will provide tips to help you adjust to the weather, city life, and people when living in Chicago.
So, before you pack your bags, read these valuable tips about moving to Chicago. Don’t forget to write down any important points for your future references!
1. Everything You Want To Know Before Moving To Chicago
Living in Chicago can be a completely different experience for you if you’re coming from another state or country. Even though city life seems the same on the surface, Chicago has a homey yet modern atmosphere that makes this city even more attractive!
Car Is Not A Must
You don’t have to own a car in Chicago. The walkability rate of Chicago is 77, which means the city is pedestrian-friendly. Besides that, if your workplace is located in the business district, it is cheaper to take public transportation. For your information, the parking places, even street parking, can get expensive.
Smile And Be Nice!
Typical Chicagoans are open and friendly. It is not a weird thing to strike up a conversation with a total stranger. Don’t be shy to respond when someone asks “how are you” out of nowhere. People in Chicago are also known as passionate about working and having fun.
Everyone Survives The Chicago Winters
Chicago winters can be windy, and the temperature can reach 30°F(-1°C). The good thing is winter in Chicago is beautiful. The combination of snow and city lights make Chicago looks like a storybook that comes to life. You will find that winter is the best time to go out and enjoy the city view!
2. Job Market And Economy In Chicago
Like any part of the world, Chicago experienced a recovery phase as the vaccines of COVID-19 were distributed. In the future, the job opportunities in Chicago are expected to grow by 25.7%. This is a good chance if you plan to build a business in the city. If you start early, you will have your business well established when the economy is thriving again.
For those who are in the job market, Chicago still offers opportunities for your career. It is because Chicago is one of the most diversified economies in the states. It is home to 400 corporate facilities from various sectors. You can path your way to work in a big corporate office in Chicago.
It is always safer for you to land a job before moving to Chicago. Suppose you plan to move to the city first, you can upgrade your skill and portfolio by joining a course or applying for an apprenticeship!
3. Be Brave To Plan Your Finance Ahead!
We will not sugarcoat about the cost of living: Chicago is expensive!
You have to be aware of the expensive cost of living in Chicago. However, this city is a gold mine for your big corporate or industrial career. So, you need to plan your finance ahead before moving to Chicago, especially if you are a fresh graduate.
A meal will usually cost you around $15 per portion. If you opt to cook your own meals, try to allocate about $300 a month for groceries. Good thing you still can save on utility expenses which are 7% lower than the national average!
The public transportation fee is relatively cheap, which is $105 for buses and trains. This is why 30% of the population in Chicago prefer to use public transport than owning a car.
4. Pick The Best Living Place That Suits You
When picking for your neighbourhood, you must consider the median rental price, walkability, and safety. Of course, you also need to consider the commute distance between your living place to your workplace.
In this section, we will focus on the monthly rent for apartments. If you want to own a house, then here’s a gauge: the median price for a home is $234,000. The price may vary depending on location and the size of the house.
Here are some neighbourhoods that you can take into consideration to pick your best Chicago apartment:
Gold Coast is the safest neighbourhood in Chicago. This neighbourhood is a family-friendly area with a beautiful beach view. The rental price for an apartment unit in this area range between $1,300 to $6,000, depending on the unit.
There are several beaches near the Gold Coast area that you can visit in your free time. Some of them are North Avenue Beach, Oak Street Beach, and Ohio Street Beach.
Lincoln Park is a famous neighbourhood in Chicago. This is the area for you if you want to live near city attractions, such as parks, museums, and a zoo.
The average monthly rental for a studio apartment is $2,000. Depending on the number of rooms and the size, monthly rental in this area can reach $12,000.
This neighbourhood is a dining and nightlife hotspot. Its function as a business area makes the rental price in West Loop quite expensive. The average monthly rent for a studio apartment is around $2,000. If you are lucky, you can get a unit with a great city view.
Wicker Park is famous as a hipster haven. The thing that makes Wicker Park one of the best neighbourhoods is the art community, nightlife, and dining scene. You may bump into another creative mind when you roam around the area.
The monthly rent in Wicker Park starts from around $1,100 for a studio apartment. The price will go up from there. That is why you must know what you need before picking a space to live in Chicago.
5. Living In Chicago Means Befriending The Weather
As we have briefly mentioned above, Chicago can be a cold and windy city. If you can embrace the weather, you will find winter in Chicago as beautiful rather than cold.
You can enjoy a bunch of outdoor activities during the winter. One of them is visiting the Chicago Botanic Garden. It hosts a light show after dark and during the day, it looks beautiful in white.
If you are into sports and an active lifestyle, you will enjoy skiing and ice skating during the winter. Hiking is also a fun activity in the winter. State parks and forests welcome visitors during the winter season.
6. There Are Other Things To Do In Chicago
You will not run out of ideas of what to do in Chicago. Living in Chicago will allow you to destress after a hectic week in the best ways possible.
You Will Love The Free Attractions
Chicago offers its residents free city attractions. You can visit interesting places with zero budget. Places such as museums, art galleries, libraries, conservatories, and parks are free to visit. One of the most iconic parks in Chicago is Millennium Park.
You can also enjoy jogging and biking at Lakefront Trail. If you feel unsure of going out by yourself, you can invite your new colleagues to show you around.
Make sure to check information about the local free recreational places before you go. Some attractions are only free on certain days.
Chicago Blues Festival
Having fun is not always expensive. In Chicago, you can enjoy blues for free at Millennium Park. This annual event will bring you the best live music performances from great blues musicians. The only things you buy at this festival are food and drinks.
This festival is also a good place for dog lovers. The visitors are not allowed to bring their dogs during the festival unless they are service dogs.
Chicago is also a good place if you love shopping. You can hit the Magnificent Mile to visit malls and shopping centres that offer you high-end apparel. Chicago also has local boutiques and shops that give you unique merch made by local artists.
7. Embrace The Food Scene
You cannot talk about famous cuisine in Chicago without mentioning deep dish pizza. It is a pizza with a thicker crust that makes this food looks more like a pie than a regular pizza. Even if you’re not a fan of thick crust, you have to try deep dish pizza at least once in your life.
Another famous dish from Chicago is Jibarito. It is a fried plantain sandwich with beef, tomato, cheese, lettuce, and spiced mayonnaise in between. This dish originated in Puerto Rico and has gotten a lot of attention since it was introduced to Chicago people in 1996.
There are also other delicious foods that you can try in Chicago. You can always ask the locals about the best places to eat. Especially if you come from overseas, bonding over food is an efficient way to get you out of the expatriate bubble.
8. Being A Sports Fan Is Fun
Who does not know the legendary Michael Jordan? Yes, Chicago is home to great professional athletes and sports clubs.
Some of the most popular sports in Chicago are football, basketball, and baseball and some of the famous sports teams in the city are the Chicago Bulls, Chicago Bears, Chicago Cubs, and Chicago White Sox. These teams are also the reason some people moved to Chicago to be professional sports players.
Sports Games are basically a big thing for people in Chicago. So, whether you are a passionate fan or not, you can always join the fun while watching the games.
9. Quick Easy Moving To Chicago Guide
Know What You Need
Before moving to Chicago, find out what you need in terms of living place and transportation. There are great neighbourhoods in Chicago that offer safety, views and public facilities. Some Chicago neighbourhoods are pleasant to walk in, where every place you need is within walking distance.
Packing less is an effective “moving to Chicago guide” you will ever find. Especially if you are from warm or hot areas, you do not have to buy winter clothes before moving to Chicago. It is always best to buy your winter wears in Chicago, unless you’re moving during wintertime.
By packing less, you also spend less money on moving services. Make sure you categorise your belongings into “must bring” and “must leave”. The categorisation will make it easier for you to decide which one to pack first.
Find A Mover Company
To help you with your belongings, you need a mover company. Find a company with experience and good reviews, like Sanelo, so you can rest assured that your packages are safe.
Start your quote with Sanelo two months before moving. By contacting us early, we can arrange the time to pick and deliver all your belongings safely. This tip is important, especially if you move from overseas.
Conclusion About Moving To Chicago
Chicago is one of the best cities to live in America. If you are looking for a career in big corporates or professional sports clubs, Chicago is your destination.
Of course, there are pros and cons when you move to Chicago. You will face expensive housing prices, competition in the job market, even super cold winters. Anyhow, this city offers safe neighbourhoods, excellent education, and paths to corporate careers. By knowing this information, you will have an idea of how you are preparing yourself before living in Chicago.
This city does not look scary during winters. On the contrary, Chicago offers beautiful scenery in the wintertime. It is also the best time for you to go out and enjoy outdoor activities.
Relocating to Chicago can be a bit handful without help from a professional mover company. By getting help to ship your belongings, you do not have to compromise on taking all the essential things with you. Worry not! With the experience and expertise of Sanelo as a relocation company, we provide shipment protection to give you peace of mind.
Check out our guides about moving to cities near Chicago:
Frequently Asked Question About Moving To Chicago
Is Chicago A Good Place To Live?
Chicago, Illinois, is an excellent place to live for anyone from other states or countries. Chicago has great public facilities to support its residents to have a healthy lifestyle. Some of the facilities that Chicago residents can enjoy are parks, bike lanes, walking trails, and green space.
What Is A Good Salary In Chicago?
For a one-person household, a good annual salary to live decently in Chicago is $53,000. If the family consists of two persons or more, they need a yearly income of $60,000 to live decently.
Is There A Good Time To Move To Chicago?
You need a perfect time to move to any new city. For Chicago, it is best to move in March, April, and early May. These periods have fewer people moving in, so you can have a cheaper moving service. It is also easier to book an appointment with your real estate agent during these months.
How Do I Get Help From A Moving Service?
All you need to do is contact the moving company by starting a quote. If you need to clarify certain things, you can send us an email to ask for detailed information.
When you are contacting your moving service, it is essential to also ask for precautions before moving. By knowing this information, you can minimize the chance of unwanted risks.