I just got an awesome job (somewhat quant) with a very respectable financial services company in Chicago. It feels so good! I graduated a month ago from a very average school, and majored in Finance. I got the job, cuz I knew someone high up in the company. Anyways, need to keep my expenses as low as possible for the next couple of years. My gf and I are looking to move in together. We are looking for a one bedroom apartment in Chicago or its suburbs. Those familiar with the city and its burbs: Could you recommend some CHEAP AND SAFE neighborhoods/suburbs of Chicago? Ideally, I’d like to keep my rent + gas/electric under $800.
Thanks in advance!
Kick it up to 1,000 and live in Lincoln Park, wrigleyville, Lakeview, Wicker Park, Bucktown. That additional couple hundred will be worth it in terms of a short commute and quality of life.
$800 per person, or $800 total?
Good luck finding a 1 bedroom for $800. We pay $2000 for a 1 bedroom.
I’m in Chicago & pay $2290 for a 1 bedroom + $245 to park the car…12 minute walk to work though
How does this work out in Chicago? Lets say you make $80k, that’s $50k after tax, which is $20k after housing, which is about $1700 per month. Is that enough for all other expenses? … phone, food, insurance, clothing, entertainment, education, etc?
Lifelong Chicagoan here. I only mention this because most non-Chicagoans will tell you to stick to where non-Chicagoans mostly move to, which is usually Lincoln Park, Old Town, and now Wicker Park. Not knocking them. They are great places to live if you like the bar scene and like to be very close to downtown and prefer to live with other yuppies. But the tradeoff is higher cost for everything (food, parking, apartments). You CAN find a good place under $800. I’m paying $580 for a 1 bedroom with all utilities except for electricity. its a little small, but enough space for my wife and I. I’m on Pulaski and Lawrence, so about 1 mile from the Blue Line, which is itself about 35 minutes from downtown. Just so you know, I’m more familiar with the north side, so: If you’re looking for cheap and safe, I’d recommend going to the CTA website (public transportation), look at the train map.following the Blue Lilne CTA stops north of Logan Square. Logan Square is getting nicer (the former Wicker Park art bunch have been moving there), but at times can be a little sketchy. (However, I do plan to move there in a year or so once my lease is up. Also, Oak Park on the west side seems like a nice place. All this is assuming you’re using the train as your primary transportation for work. For me, driving a car during rush hourChicago is too much of a hassle, so I always try to live close to the train. I also don’t like the bus as a primary transporation as it’ll take forever unless you live close to downtown. Obviously, check craigslist, and maybe The Reader. If you’re looking the neighborhoods off the top of my head are (for searching purposes): Mayfair, Jefferson Park, Andersonville, Oak Park, Logan Square, maaaybe Rogers Park (slightly sketchy, depending on the area), maybe Ravenswood (but it can be pricey). Hope this helps.
Take it from someone who moved to the city for a job three years ago… If you just graduated college - trust me, you will WANT to live in lincoln park, bucktown, lakeview, old town or wrigleyville. You will find that the trade off of cost of living vs. quality of life is much better. In fact, I guarantee that if you live somewhere else, you will be moving to one of these nieghborhoods within a year. You could easily find a one bedroom if you both are willing to put $600/month to rent & utilities. Just use all resources like Craigslist, etc. Don’t let any apartment finders convince you to lease a high rise in streeterville or gold coast…I think a lot of people new to the city fall in that trap. Good luck and have fun…nothing beats summertime Chi:) p.s. I live in lincoln park and pay $1000/month all in.
I’m in forest park (suburb adjacent to oak park) and about a 5 minute walk to the blue line. It’s a great place to be to keep expenses down - rent is super cheap and great bars and restaurants with specials you won’t find downtown. I plan on moving to a more yuppie area in a year or two though.
what sort of job were you able to get (ie which jobs are out there in Chicago?) thanks.
Any suggestions for someone with kids? Nice neighborhoods with good schools, parks, … ?
Former Chicagoan (non-native though) here. I’d second the recs on Lincoln Park, Old Town and apparently I’m the only one so far that likes the downtown area (Streeterville / New East Side). The downtown is out of you’re price range, but you may be able to find something old and small in Lincoln Park or Old Town. Also, since the cost of living figures large in your decision, note that Chicago has an outrageous 10% sales tax. The neighboring towns are a little less, but still shockingly high considering that IL also has an income tax. And for mo34 - I’ve read Naperville (think it’s about a 30 min train ride from Chicago) is a nice place to raise a family and is usually highly ranked in those annual ranking surveys. I have no first hand experience with the area, though.
I live around 1000 N. Michigan area. Lots of apartment on the cheap (i.e., $800-900) and 5 min. walk from work.
mo- i agree with slogan on naperthrill since they have some of the best public schools in the state (possibly country). basically anywhere in dupage county is going to be nice. St. Charles has good schools too (stc north is the newer, super nice one).
Ive lived in Chicago nearly all of my life. If you ARE looking for a suburb, maybe Skokie and Forrest Park are the way to go since they have train lines that will take you to downtown (which trust me, taking those express ways can be rough). Theyre cheap too. But if you dont mind being a little closer. You can always live in Logan Square, which is really an undiscovered diamond in the rough. If you wanted to get to cool locations, theres blue lines all over the place. Its very safe, very cheap (usually landlords include utilities and its under 1000 for nice places) Lincoln Park, Wrigleyville, Old town… eh… those are rookie areas where people not in the city move to and then try and convince themselves they are getting a great deal where 10 minutes west of them they can get a better place for like 400 dollars cheaper. I know because my friends get screwed on rent, i hang out with them every weekened and i pay like 500 bucks less than they do. Logan Square also has a “homey” feeling where neighbors are very friendly and its very quiet. Good luck! thats my two cents!
phBOOM Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > I live around 1000 N. Michigan area. Lots of > apartment on the cheap (i.e., $800-900) and 5 min. > walk from work. Wa? Link to these $800 apartments please.
EMRA32 Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > Ive lived in Chicago nearly all of my life. > > If you ARE looking for a suburb, maybe Skokie and > Forrest Park are the way to go since they have > train lines that will take you to downtown (which > trust me, taking those express ways can be rough). > Theyre cheap too. > > But if you dont mind being a little closer. You > can always live in Logan Square, which is really > an undiscovered diamond in the rough. If you > wanted to get to cool locations, theres blue lines > all over the place. Its very safe, very cheap > (usually landlords include utilities and its under > 1000 for nice places) > > Lincoln Park, Wrigleyville, Old town… eh… > > those are rookie areas where people not in the > city move to and then try and convince themselves > they are getting a great deal where 10 minutes > west of them they can get a better place for like > 400 dollars cheaper. > > I know because my friends get screwed on rent, i > hang out with them every weekened and i pay like > 500 bucks less than they do. Logan Square also > has a “homey” feeling where neighbors are very > friendly and its very quiet. > > Good luck! thats my two cents! My .02: logan square is a little “old” for 22. I would suggest it to a couple in their 30’s maybe…
Is saving that extra couple hundred a month really going to improve your long-term financial outlook? If you are right out of college, live in Old Town or Lincoln Park. Easy transportation to work and great neighborhoods. You can find slighly cheaper places in Bucktown or Wicker however I found that transportation was not as convenient. Great bus routes AND trains from Old Town or Lincoln. I have lived in Old Town, Lincoln Park, Lakeview and now live in the Gold Coast. Living in Lincoln Park out of college was the best year of my post-college life. You only live once…live in a fun neighborhood for now while you can! I also lived in Elgin, St. Charles and in Chicago by O’hare. O’hare was to save money…my commute went from 20 minutes to 45-50 minutes door to door (you have to get to the train early or else you miss it which no one ever thinks about…the train ride was only 36 minutes)…it was NOT worth saving money each month to be a slave to the train schedule. Have faith in your work ethic and you will make enough money as you advance in your career to cover this extra amount now!!
I live in Lincoln Park, and honestly, couldn’t be hapier RE: location. 12 minute train ride to Loop, 8 min walk to train.