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By Melanie Ortiz Reyes - Content Specialist -

Moving to Chicago

Where to Live in the Windy City

If you want to move to Chi-town, it's an excellent choice! From its fantastic food to its beautiful architecture, it's no wonder why Chicago, IL, is one of the most popular places in the U.S. 

Situated on the shores of Lake Michigan in northeastern Illinois, Chicago is the most populated city in the state and the third most populated city in the country with a population of over 2.7 million people. It's also known as one of the world's most extensive and well-planned urban areas. Due to the abundance of job opportunities, high standards of living, and excellent education, many people make a move to The Windy City every year.

It's been reported that Chicago experienced a population loss of around 180,000 people between 2010-2020. However, migration patterns are anticipated to shift since the World Health Organization is expected to announce the end of the COVID-19 pandemic later this year. As a matter of fact, a 0.4% increase has already been seen in 2023 compared to the last year.

One of the best things about living in Chicago is its booming and highly diverse job market. In fact, it's known to be the center of finance, commerce, trade, and more. Being one of the most populated cities in the U.S., Chicago is home to well-known businesses and Fortune 500 companies. Some of the most established companies in Chicago include Deloitte, United Airlines, and Conagra Brands. 

Residents love getting to and from work via well-connected public transport. The city is known to have one of the best public transport systems in the entire U.S. With over 1,300 trains, Chicago is known as the railroad capital of the country. This helps alleviate traffic congestion.

The city also has one of the highest Gross Domestic Products in the entire world. The GDP of Chicago is more than $700 billion, higher than that of many small countries! 

Consider the following factors before you make your decision on moving to Chicago:

  • Climate: When moving to Chicago, ensure you're prepared for a hot and humid climate as the city remains hot for most of the year, with temperatures averaging in the mid to high 80s Fahrenheit. However, the winters are pretty chilly. The city receives above-average snowfall (about 36 inches). So, if you are a fan of snow and amazing cold winter months, you will love it here. Buying good-quality windbreakers, waterproof boots, heavy coats, and other woolen clothes for the winter months is highly recommended.
  • Excellent Art and Architecture: I'm sure this is something you're already aware of, as the art and architecture of Chicago are famous all around the globe. The city's most famous building, Willis Tower (formerly known as Sears Tower), receives approximately 1.7 million visitors yearly. Art lovers can see some of the city's most stunning art pieces, wall paintings, murals, and statues.
  • Diverse Cuisine: The food scenes of Chicago are top-notch. The city offers a wide variety of food items that you will have to spend days trying them all. From its world-famous deep-dish pizza to the array of desserts, you will find almost everything here.

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What's Special About Chicago?

So many things to do!

One of the best things about living in such a diverse and large city like Chicago is that you will always have things to do. The city is always brimming with different activities, festivals, and more.

So, whether you are a social bird who loves meeting new people or would rather spend your day visiting museums or reading in a library, Chicago has something for everyone.

Are you a beach person? If so, Chicago has numerous exciting and gorgeous beaches waiting for you. 

One of the city's most popular beaches is the North Avenue beach in Lincoln Park, the city's most affluent neighborhood. If you want to spend an exciting day doing water sports and beach bike rides, you will love it here at the North Avenue beach. It has multiple activities for people of all ages. So whether you're traveling solo, with your friends, or with family, you will have a fantastic day here.

On the other hand, if you are looking for a gorgeous beach to spend a relaxing day while soaking up some sunlight, check out Leone Beach Park. The city's largest beach is situated in the Rogers Park Community. The majestic views of the ocean and the gorgeous golden sand will instantly capture your heart.

Along with these two famous beaches, the city has many others to visit. For example, you can visit Oak Street Beach, which has gorgeous white sand and clear water. Some other well-known beaches in the city include 12th Street Beach, Kathy Osterman Beach, Foster Beach, and more.

The Windy City also has excellent museums and art galleries for all the history buffs, delicious food, beautiful beaches, and charming homes. So if you have a curious mind and get your dopamine from learning more about culture and history, you will find plenty of exciting places in Chicago.

Along with its terrific food scenes, Chicago is known for its vibrant musical festivals. Being the birthplace of modern jazz, urban blues, and gospel music, Chicago is truly the musical hub of the country. The locals here support music and turn up in large numbers for all the music festivals throughout the year. As a result, you'll be able to enjoy many types and genres of music here, from exciting indie music performances to amazing jazz shows.

People who love learning more about science and technology can check out the famous Hyde Park Museum. The place has multiple exciting activities and things that will keep you engaged for the entire day. If you love art, make sure you visit the Art Institute of Chicago, where you can find American Gothic by Grant Woods, The Old Guitarist by Pablo Picasso, and even the pointillist masterpiece, A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte by Georges Seurat. This is the famous painting that captured Cameron's heart in Ferris Bueller's Day Off. You can also check out the Chicago History Museum to learn and explore more about the culture and history of the city.

If you're a dinosaur enthusiast, the Field Museum of Natural History has many things for you. For example, you can see the fossils and remains of a 67 million-year-old dinosaur called Sue, the Tyrannosaurus Rex.

When it comes to local attractions, there is plenty of activities you can enjoy in Chicago with your family. From catching a show at the local theater to shopping at the Magnificent Mile, there are many local attractions to look forward to every weekend.

Known for having dense traffic, the city has made remarkable efforts to reduce congestion and improve traffic flow. Chicago now has several public transportation options, such as the Chicago Transit Authority, which covers the entire city and operates 24/7.

Another option is Metra, the commuter rail system that serves the metropolitan area, including the suburbs. Chicago also has a bicycle-sharing system called Divvy, allowing users to rent bicycles all over the city.

Are you looking to take a trip? O'Hare International Airport serves as a significant hub for domestic and international flights. It's ranked as the 4th busiest airport in the world!

Real Estate Market

Chicago has many distinct neighborhoods, each with its character and unique features. Some of the most popular areas for real estate buyers and renters include the Loop, River North, Lincoln Park, Lakeview, and Wicker Park. If you're looking to invest in Real Estate, Chicago is an excellent place to do so, thanks to its stable market.

Being the third most populated and famous city in the U. S., Chicago has remained one of the top choices for people moving to a new city. Factors like excellent housing, public transportation, and job opportunities have caused prices to skyrocket. As of February of this year, the median home value in Chicago as of February 2023 is around $295,000. It's essential to factor property taxes into your budget when considering real estate in Chicago, as these can be high, especially in affluent areas.

The cost of living in Chicago is also relatively high. Living in Chicago is 23% more pricey than the national average and is considered the 11th most expensive city in the U.S. The cost of living in Chicago is almost the same as in Seattle and Boston. However, it is much lower than in New York and San Francisco.

When it comes to suburbs, here are just a few to consider:

  • Naperville: Thanks to its excellent schools, low crime rate, and vibrant downtown area offering many shops and restaurants, this suburb is considered to be one of the best places to live in the U.S.
  • Oak Park: This suburb is known for its beautiful historic homes and its strong sense of community. It has excellent schools and a diverse population, with many yearly cultural events and activities.
  • Evanston: Known for being a college town with a vibrant arts scene and many cultural amenities, Evanston has excellent schools and is well-known for its progressive values and commitment to sustainability.
  • Arlington Heights: A family-friendly suburb with great schools. It has a thriving downtown area with many shops and restaurants to explore and easy access to public transportation.
  • Schaumburg: Known for having many ethnic restaurants, including Indian, Korean, and Japanese. This suburb is also home to Woodfield Mall, one of the largest shopping centers in the U.S., attracting more than 27 million visitors annually.

If you're looking to retire, Chicago can be an excellent choice for adventurous people who enjoy big-city living, cultural attractions, and a diverse population.

Ideal Home for Sports Fans

Chicago has five teams you can cheer on. For baseball fans, you must experience the atmosphere of the iconic stadium, Wrigley Field, home of the Chicago Cubs. Wrigley Field is known for its ivy-covered brick outfield wall and hand-turned scoreboard and as one of the oldest ballparks in Major League Baseball. Many historic moments have happened here, from Babe Ruth's "called shot" home run in the 1932 World Series to the Cubs' goosebump-worthy curse-breaking World Series Victory in 2016. Another local baseball team is the Chicago White Sox.

For basketball fans, you can support the Chicago Bulls, the team of the legendary player Michael Jordan. They are considered the iconic NBA team of the 1990s, with six championships between 1991 and 1998. They play at the United Center on the west side of Chicago. The National Hockey League team, Chicago Blackhawks, also plays their home games at the United Center.

Of course, we can't forget about The Chicago Bears, one of the oldest franchises of the National Football League. This team plays its home games at Soldier Field near downtown Chicago. Having won nine NFL championships, the Bears have a loyal following. Soldier Field is also the home of Chicago Fire FC, the local professional soccer team.

If you like sports history, visit the Chicago Sports Museum in Water Tower Place. This museum is home to the most extensive collection of memorabilia of the 2016 World Series. You'll have fun with the skill challenges and simulated experiences here. Also, be sure to make a reservation at the adjacent Harry Caray's 7th Inning Stretch, where you can enjoy amazing burgers, shakes, and floats. With minimum purchase, you'll receive free admission to the museum!

Where in Chi-Town?

What are some of the great neighborhoods?

Being divided into seventy-seven neighborhoods, Chicago has many excellent properties. With so many options, you can find the home of your dreams in the city.

With so many options, knowing about all these areas is essential. Since this city is notorious for its increasing crime rates, choosing the best communities that are safe and offer all the facilities is crucial. If you're moving with your entire family, choosing a family-friendly neighborhood with excellent schools, safety, and children's parks should be your priority.

In this section of our Chicago moving guide, we will tell you about the top five fantastic neighborhoods of Chicago that you can choose as your next haven. Read on!


Located in Cook County, Bucktown is the ideal place to live if you want a quiet and peaceful location close to your workplace. It's one of the most intimate and serene neighborhoods in Chicago, where you can spend quality time with your loved ones away from the downtown area's hustle and bustle and noise.

Bucktown makes the perfect place for raising a family. Even though it's outside of The Loop, it's still pretty close to it. If your workplace is in Downtown Chicago, you can quickly drive there within fifteen minutes or forty minutes with public transport. Bucktown's location makes it a convenient choice for commuters. This makes this neighborhood one of the most preferred places by young professionals.

If you're moving here with your kids, Bucktown has many excellent schools nearby. Some popular ones include Chicago International Charter School and St. Mary of the Angels School.

While Bucktown offers a relaxed and peaceful vibe, it doesn't mean you won't have opportunities for fun and entertainment here. This area has highly-rated restaurants, shopping places, coffee shops, and bars. So whether you want to spend quality time with your family or enjoy a terrific night out with your friends, you'll have plenty of options in Bucktown.

Another fantastic thing about this neighborhood is how safe it is. The place ranks high in safety, so you won't have to look over your shoulder or constantly worry about your safety while alone. In addition, locals say people in Bucktown are friendly and very welcoming.

Due to its popularity, housing inventory has become tight, with many properties selling over the asking price. 

Here are some facts about Bucktown, according to the website Niche:

  • The median home value is $625,677.
  • The median rent is $1,892.
  • Around 46% of residents are homeowners.

Bucktown offers a unique blend of history and culture that appeals to a wide variety of people, particularly young professionals, and creatives.

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Located in Will County, 40 miles southwest of Chicago, Joliet is the fourth-largest city in Illinois and is a part of the metro area with approximately 147,00 people. Joliet is one of the more affordable areas in Chicago. This suburb is known for its distinct neighborhoods, each with its character. 

If you want to be in the city's central business district, you'd like to move to Downtown Joliet. It also has many historic buildings, including Joliet Union Station and the Rialto Square Theatre, famous for hosting Louis Armstrong and Frank Sinatra. If you love the outdoors, move to Shorewood. It's known for its scenic beauty and recreational opportunities. 

Joliet has a growing economy and many opportunities, especially if you want to work in the healthcare, education, manufacturing, and transportation industries.

Although the real estate market is active, homes in Joliet usually sell for 1% less than the asking price.

Some well-known attractions are the Joliet Correctional Center, a historic prison that was featured in The Blues Brothers and Prison Break, and the Chicagoland Speedway, which hosts several NASCAR and IndyCar events.

Here is some information to consider, according to the website Niche:

  • The median home value is $204,800.
  • The median rent is $1,104.
  • About 70% of residents are homeowners.

Remember that this neighborhood is becoming more popular due to being considered affordable. As a result, home prices have been rising, with a year-over-year increase of about 12%.

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The Loop

The Loop is the most popular and populated neighborhood in the heart of Chicago due to its central business district. If you decide to live here, you'll be able to experience Chicago at its best. 

The Loop is known for having all the facilities, the best local attractions, top-notch restaurants, gorgeous shops, and headquarters and offices of some top national and international companies. If you want something to do on the weekend, check out Cloud Gate, better known as "The Bean," in Millenium Park.

If you want to live in a place that offers the perfect blend of convenience and luxury, The Loop is ideal for you. Since it's located on the Chicago River, you'll enjoy the beautiful scenery all year. In addition, this neighborhood has some of the most well-designed, modern homes offering all the latest features and amenities.

While the houses here are more expensive than in other neighborhoods, you'd be living in the heart of the city and have access to the best institutions, public parks, terrific public transport, fantastic restaurants, and bars. This makes The Loop one of the most preferred neighborhoods of young professionals who want to stay close to their workplace and don't want to travel too far for other amenities.

However, if you plan to buy a house, consider these facts according to Niche:

  • The median home value is $346,845.
  • The median rent is $2,152.
  • Around 31% of residents are homeowners.

Keep in mind that the cost of groceries and other essentials in The Loop can be higher than in other parts of the city due to the higher cost of real estate and rent for businesses. Still, if you're looking for convenience, stunning architecture, and diversity, this is the place for you!

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For young professionals or couples primarily looking for a lively place with many options for socializing and partying, Lakeview is a great choice. Located in Cook County, this is a 

fantastic upscale neighborhood with modern homes and easy access to public transport, and it's also known for having excellent schools like Nettelhorst Elementary School and Lakeview High School. 

Since it's close to the downtown area, it is one of Chicago's most sought-after neighborhoods. You can find restaurants like the highly rated Ella Elli, known for its fantastic cocktail, the Rosemary Gimlet. If you want to dance the night away, we recommend the local favorite, Smartbar. If you want to go to a play or laugh out loud with improv and sketch comedy, you should check out Annoyance Theatre & Bar. 

Lakeview is known for being a convenient location thanks to its excellent public transportation options, including multiple bus and train lines, making getting to work a breeze for commuters.

Another thing that makes Lakeview stand out is that it offers beautiful parks for outdoor activities, like Margaret Donahue Park and Weisman Playground, and has access to Lake Michigan.

Regarding real estate, Lakeview offers a range of housing options, from historic mansions to high-rise apartment buildings, and it's well known for its low crime rate. So, consider Lakeview if you want your kids to grow up in a safe and diverse neighborhood.

According to data from the website Niche, here are some facts about Lakeview:

  • The median home value is $512,966.
  • The median rent is $1,753.
  • Around 38% of residents are homeowners.

Considered one of the more lively neighborhoods in Chicago, this neighborhood has become increasingly popular.

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Lincoln Park


Are you tired of the hustle-bustle of city life? Do you want to live somewhere quieter with more greenery and stunning scenic beauty? If yes, then check out Lincoln Park.

The neighborhood is named after the biggest park in Chicago and is known to be one of the most desirable residential locations. This area offers easy and quick access to the stunning Lincoln Park, which has almost five miles of sprawling green space and natural beauty. You'll also enjoy a majestic view of the Chicago skyline. 

Lincoln Park has some of the best natural features to explore if you want fresh air. Some of these are North Pond Nature Sanctuary, where you can enjoy bird watching, Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool, a hidden gem in Lincoln Park featuring a tranquil pond; and Lincoln Park Conservatory, a greenhouse that's home to a variety of plants.

According to the website Walk Score, Lincoln Park is the 9th most walkable neighborhood in Chicago, scoring 94. It also has a great Bike Score of 92. Ideal for jogging or a slow-paced walk, the Lakefront Trail is a great location with a paved path along the Lake Michigan shoreline.

This area is excellent if you're a foodie, as it's home to several Michelin-starred restaurants. One is Boka, where you can enjoy a seven-course tasting menu. The restaurant's history includes ten consecutive Michelin stars. In addition, the exclusive Alinea is the only restaurant in Chicago with three Michelin stars. 

Lincoln Park is also known to have a diverse job market, with the top industries being Healthcare, Retail, and Hospitality. However, if you're looking for something more creative, such as entertainment, art, and design, this neighborhood is a great choice as it has a thriving arts and culture scene. There are many performance spaces, theaters, and galleries you can apply to.

The house prices here vary depending on the region you pick. But some people consider all the excellent features that Lincoln Park offers to be worth it.

Here are some facts about Lincoln Park according to data on the Niche website:

  • The median home value is $705,078.
  • The median rent is $1,843.
  • Around 45% of residents are homeowners.

Lincoln Park is known for being young, vibrant, and family-friendly. Locals describe it as one of the most trendy neighborhoods in Chicago. With high-end shops, restaurants, bars, and its namesake Park, it's often described as trendy and green.

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West Loop

If you're looking for a walkable neighborhood near downtown Chicago, West Loop can be an excellent choice. With a Walk Score of 96 and a Bike Score of 86, this is the ideal place to enjoy the sights while avoiding traffic jams. Known for its historical and modern architecture, stunning scenery, and pet-friendly areas, West Loop should be on top of your list if you are looking for a luxurious place to live in.

West Loops was once known as Chicago's industrial hub and had multiple industrial plants. With the progress of time and rapid construction, the neighborhood started developing into one of the most upscale places to live in Chicago. The area was once home to many factories and cast iron buildings, but most have been transformed into chic loft apartments and trendy office spaces. In addition, many of its historic cast-iron buildings have been converted into stylish offices, restaurants, and galleries.

One of the best things about living in West Loop is the excellent career and education opportunities. The area has head offices of law firms, including Seyfarth Shaw and Winston & Strawn. In addition to tech and law, West Loop is also a hub for finance and marketing. Several major financial firms have offices in the area. Some of these are Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, and Ogilvy and Edelman.

Not only is West Loop home of the Art Institute of Chicago and Willis Tower, but you'll also find the Randolph Street Market here, where you can support vendors selling vintage and handmade clothing, furniture, and artwork. Other areas to explore include the dog-friendly park, Mary Bartelme Park, and The Chicago French Market, where fresh produce, meats, cheeses, and baked goods can be found. Locals say it's an excellent spot for a quick lunch too!

If you're a student looking for universities to transfer to, this area is great! With top universities like DePaul University, Roosevelt University, and Columbia College Chicago, I'm sure you'll be able to find one that suits your needs. In addition, if you're a parent and want to make sure your kids will have a good education, West Loop is also home to one of the top-rated high schools in the U.S., Whitney M. Young Magnet High School, which has an A+ score on the Niche website!

Being considered a luxurious neighborhood close to downtown, house prices here are high. However, if you are hunting for a premium house with all the modern and advanced facilities, West Loop will fulfill all requirements. 

According to the  Niche, these are good-to-know facts about West Loop:

  • The median home value is $379,804.
  • The median rent is $2,193.
  • Around 41% of residents are homeowners.

Many residents enjoy living here due to its convenient location, excellent food scene, and sense of community.

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Ready to Make Your Big Move to Chicago?

If you're finally ready to make your big move to The Windy City, PrimeStreet is here to help you!


Due to the massive popularity of the city, finding an affordable house will require research. We know house hunting in a new city can be overwhelming and time-consuming, especially without professional help.

Call us at 855-531-5347 or fill out the form below, and we'll quickly connect you to a local real estate agent expert in the Chicago area of Illinois. A member of our friendly team will ask you a few questions about your house needs, expectations, your budget, area of interest, and preferred timeline. After gathering this information, our innovative algorithm will match you with the perfect agent in Chicago with the right experience and knowledge of what you're looking for. 

Let a professional handle house-hunting while you plan your exciting move to the city!

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