Author Topic: Family of 3 moving to Chicago - where to live?  (Read 8861 times)

PVkcin

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Family of 3 moving to Chicago - where to live?
« on: August 21, 2015, 03:39:04 PM »
My wife and I are both 31, and we have a one year old son.  We are looking to move to Chicago and would like to know if we are being realistic with where to live. We plan on selling our car and pretty much living and doing life with a couple mile radius of wherever we live. We will walk, bike, and take public transport to get around. We both work in healthcare, and our son has had some medical issues so we prefer to be near work which will be a hospital, but we may not get jobs until we get there. One of us will work part time, and the other possibly part time or stay at home. Our ideal budget would be spending $2000/month for all bills (rent, utilities, groceries, etc).

Our priorities on where to live should be fairly mustachian:
1. Near public transport (bus, train) and bike paths
2. Near park, greenspace
3. Near grocery store (Aldi!!)
4. Rent a one or two bedroom house/apartment
5. Near work (Children's hospital?)

Based solely on some internet research, we are leaning towards looking in Lincoln Park. I see the rents could be around $1400 (or more?).  Are we being realistic?  Do you have any advice for us? Our reason for moving is simply because we are young and we can, and my wife has always wanted to live in Chicago since she was in nursing school. We hope to meet other like-minded people, and we are inspired by the recent post on MMM "Get Rich with Your Own Urban Tribe). No time like the present. Once we have more kids (and school age kids especially), it may become harder and harder to uproot them.

cupcakes4all

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Re: Family of 3 moving to Chicago - where to live?
« Reply #1 on: August 21, 2015, 06:58:04 PM »
Bridgeport.

galliver

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Re: Family of 3 moving to Chicago - where to live?
« Reply #2 on: August 21, 2015, 07:41:57 PM »
Bridgeport.

^seconded. I went to college there, and it's improved since then (more/better bike lanes, more convenient grocery stores, etc).

Abe

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Re: Family of 3 moving to Chicago - where to live?
« Reply #3 on: August 21, 2015, 08:21:45 PM »
Bridgeport's not near a children's hospital (Lurie's or U Chicago), but is closer to Rush, UIC and Cook County hospitals. It's much cheaper than Lincoln Park and easy to take a bus to the latter three listed hospitals. You'll need a car if you work at U Chicago, and probably to get to Lurie's. If you do use a car, please keep in mind the monthly car parking fee at most of the major hospitals is $150-200.

You may get a one bedroom apartment in an old building in Lincoln Park for $1400. It is the most expensive neighborhood in Chicago and only close to Lurie's or Northwestern. You will need a car if you're going to work at any of the other major hospitals. If you aren't opposed to having a car, try Bucktown or Wicker park (where I live). Rents are a little less because it's farther from the lake and Lincoln park (but easy to get to on the bus). Many people commute into the city on the Blue Line from here. Other option is moving farther north and staying near the Red or Brown lines. Old Town is south of Lincoln Park and used to be cheaper, but almost same price now.

Sloeginfizz

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Re: Family of 3 moving to Chicago - where to live?
« Reply #4 on: August 21, 2015, 08:56:08 PM »
Consider the suburb of Oak Park, where I lived happily for many years. It's on both blue and green lines and is a great place for a family. Good schools, lots of green space and good parks, safe biking.  Also, cheaper than Lincoln Park and many other 'hip' Chicago neighborhoods. Lincoln Park, bucktown/wicker park are over rated, I think. Bridgeport is good. I like Logan Square, but that may be a little further northwest than you want.

Right now, we're in the south Loop and that's another neighborhood I'd recommend. No convenient Aldi's but very good access to bus/el and bike lanes. The Dearborn bike lane is very useful. Good access to green space (Grant Park, easy access to lakeshore). There are a lot of families with kids in my building and all over the neighborhood.

One thing to consider is if you're relying on the el, both the red line and the brown line, as well as buses that go to places like Lincoln Park, Lakeview, etc. to and from the north side, are hideously busy. Crowded at non-peak time and packed in like sardines during rush hour. Especially in summer on a home game day for the Cubs. Conversely, the blue line to Oak Park, I almost always able to find a seat, except maybe right at 5pm.


StetsTerhune

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Re: Family of 3 moving to Chicago - where to live?
« Reply #5 on: August 22, 2015, 07:11:29 AM »
Former chicagoan here. My recommendation for a family would be somewhere out on the brown line. Still nice and walkable but a lot cheaper than lincoln park. The farther out you go,the cheaper, obviously. I'd look anywhere between the Paulina stop and the western stop and see what strikes the right balance for you.

MidWestLove

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Re: Family of 3 moving to Chicago - where to live?
« Reply #6 on: August 22, 2015, 08:09:45 AM »
You have good recommendations here - stay along CTA lines (Blue line personally, Brown, potentially Red).

As for Oak Park, to get to it on the blue or green lines you are going through the west side of the city - one of the worst parts of the city and less than two miles there are really bad places where 40 shootings a weekend happen. expensive, and near bad neighborhoods. same (exponentially) in Hyde Park , you do not want to be walking, biking, or present in neighborhoods around it during day time, much less night.

Do you already have employment or employment ideas? Are you going to be working in the loop? depending on that it may be easier to help with location

spacklebum

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Re: Family of 3 moving to Chicago - where to live?
« Reply #7 on: August 22, 2015, 10:12:14 AM »
Where are you coming from? Are you prepared for Chicago winters? What do you like to do for recreation?

I lived in the Chicago metro for almost 20 years. Living without a car in the city can really limit you, depending on what you like to do. While public transport is better than most cities, if you want to do anything beyond biking around the city and spending time at the beach, you'll want a car at least some of the time. But having a car in the city really sucks. The safety concerns other posters mention are very real. There are definitely nice neighborhoods in the city, but they may not be in your price range. I don't know about nearby hospitals, but I'd recommend looking at Evanston. I lived in that area for 6 years and felt like it was close enough to the city to have quick access, but far enough away that I avoided the crowds. It's also more family friendly than most of the city neighborhoods. But I'd suggest that hitting $2k/mo living expenses are going to be tough unless you live in a bad neighborhood or, like many others, end up moving to the suburbs.

spacklebum

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Re: Family of 3 moving to Chicago - where to live?
« Reply #8 on: August 22, 2015, 10:18:58 AM »
Also, since you're not moving there for a job, if your heart's not specifically set on Chicago I would also recommend checking out Milwaukee, Madison and Grand Rapids as alternatives with a similar quality of life but likely much less expensive.

Sloeginfizz

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Re: Family of 3 moving to Chicago - where to live?
« Reply #9 on: August 22, 2015, 11:08:22 AM »
I lived in Oak Park and Berwyn, just to the south of Oak Park, for 20 years and used public transportation to get to the city without so much as a single incident that could be considered criminal. Yes, you go through bad neighborhoods, but it's not like you're really in bad neighborhoods. I recommend making sure to be in the first el car, i.e. the driver's car, if you are traveling off peak hours, or at least on a car with several people. I have heard of muggings when someone was on a car by themselves and someone with bad intentions got on. But I think this risk is present on any line of the el. Honestly, I've been accosted by aggressive panhandlers and generally crazy people, exposed to public masturbators and bothered in general far, far more on the red line north than any part of the blue line. But this stuff is petty irritation and endemic to the city. You put this many people together this close and some are just plain bugnutty.

Yes, there are bad neighborhoods on the west side but 99% of the people you come across in any situation are just normal people going about their business with no bad intentions. We used to ride our bikes across the west side into the city all the time. Lake St is a good corridor for this. Any danger I felt was the usual bike vs car stuff.

I'm sorry, but I think it's stupid to discount a great place like Oak Park because you briefly go through The west side, which in itself probably has less danger than you think. If it had been entirely up to me, we would still be in Oak Park traveling to the loop for work on the blue line every day.

Abe

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Re: Family of 3 moving to Chicago - where to live?
« Reply #10 on: August 22, 2015, 11:28:44 AM »
Oak park and Berwyn are safe to commute from and the rents will be cheaper than closer neighborhoods. Berwyn will be less than oak park, but farther commuting distance.  Average time for commuting is around 30 minutes into the city, plus whatever transit to get to work.

PVkcin

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Re: Family of 3 moving to Chicago - where to live?
« Reply #11 on: August 22, 2015, 01:43:59 PM »
Thanks for all the recommendations. We previously had only considered looking at neighborhoods, but now we can consider what places are right along the CTA lines (brown, blue, etc). 

The recommendation to look on the brown line between Paulina and Western - what are some of those neighborhoods? Roscoe Village?

To answer some of the questions:

Do we have employment already? We do not already have employment. One of us will plan on getting a job for sure, the other will stay at home with our son. Since we are both in healthcare, we plan on working at a hospital or clinic.

Will we work in the loop?  It's so hard to know where we will work. We had singled out Children's hospital since our son will probably have periodic visits there, and then one of us could work there too (obviously pending actually getting a job). But really we could work in any clinic or hospital.

Where are we coming from?/are we prepared for the Chicago winters?  Omaha. We are prepared, I believe Chicago winters may be a little worse than Omaha but we are used to below 0 in the winter here.

What do we like to do for recreation? Bike, jog, play sand volleyball, hike, take our son to the park, make food with friends. I also enjoy basketball.

Abe

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Re: Family of 3 moving to Chicago - where to live?
« Reply #12 on: August 22, 2015, 07:21:18 PM »
I have to tell you with your budget of $2000 month total, it'll be hard to find a 2 bedroom place right near one of the El lines in a good neighborhood. It can be $500/month extra to be in walking distance of an El stop vs. bus distance. Not impossible, but difficult. I recommend sorting out the job location first, because ending up on the opposite side of the city and using mass transit for commuting is a 1 hr+ proposition each way.

With regards to the brown line - Roscoe Village, Lincoln Square is the area to look. There are usually some apartments in that area within your budget range.

N

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Re: Family of 3 moving to Chicago - where to live?
« Reply #13 on: August 22, 2015, 09:09:25 PM »
following, because I live in Chicago, and Id also love all of these things.
I really think you have to sort your employment first. Commuting by public transit can add an hour plus each way if you arent lucky.

On the plus side, if you dont have a car, you dont need to worry about a parking space.


PVkcin

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Re: Family of 3 moving to Chicago - where to live?
« Reply #14 on: August 23, 2015, 10:57:13 AM »
We are pretty set on not having a car.  After all of the advice, we are concentrating our search off the brown line. Lincoln Square does look nice.  All the neighborhoods near Paulina, Western stops off the brown line look good. (we found someone online who posted pictures off of all those stops)

But about the employment question - that is a good recommendation to sort that out first, unless we want to possibly end up with an hour long commute. We would like to keep the commute to less than 20 minutes.  It does seem like there are quite a few clinics/hospitals off the brown line though.

We actually aren't planning on moving until January or February, so we may take a trip up to Chicago in the next couple months to scope things out.

Cassie

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Re: Family of 3 moving to Chicago - where to live?
« Reply #15 on: August 23, 2015, 02:47:13 PM »
I have lived in that part of the country & would not want to be without a car-just too limiting. Also you can get better deals on groceries if you have a car. YOu can only take carry so much food etc on a bus. Public transportation is not that good like some other large cities.  I don't think you can live on $2000/month. Rent is not cheap even for a 1 bedroom.

eliza

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Re: Family of 3 moving to Chicago - where to live?
« Reply #16 on: August 23, 2015, 04:17:34 PM »
I lived in Chicago for about four years.  Never had a car, and it was never a problem.  I lived in Lincoln Park and Old Town.   

You are balancing a lot of priorities here.  20 minute or less commute with a small budget for the city.  Not saying it can't be done, but those two factors are going to be highly limiting.  Given that, I would strongly lean towards some sort of temporary housing (airBnB? Hotels? Furnished short-term rental?) until you get the employment situation figured out.   

Once you know where you are going to be commuting to, you can work backwards to find neighborhoods that are within our commuting distance and start looking for leads. 

Realistically, you are probably going to have to settle for a studio or very small one bedroom to be near the train line within 20 minutes of downtown.   

When I rented my last apartment in Chicago in 2013,  I ended up in a $500 a month shared flat in Old Town about a 10 minute walk to Sedgwick station with two other roommates.  I had initially wanted my own place, but the best thing I had found was a $1,350 studio (very dated, but liveable) in Lincoln Park about a 15 minute walk to Fullerton station. 

PVkcin

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Re: Family of 3 moving to Chicago - where to live?
« Reply #17 on: August 23, 2015, 07:29:43 PM »
The idea to start renting from airbnb or a short term lease/rental/hotel is a great idea. We could do that while we find where we may be working/commuting to.  Then we could find our apartment to rent long term.

We had also considered a roommate, although that thought is a little more difficult to swallow now that we have a child. Not out of the question, but as always, a roommate would make things significantly cheaper.

It seems Lincoln Square (or near-ish there) is within a mile/mile and a half to an aldi (and trader joes), CTA brown line, hopefully some park/greenspace, and could be within our price range, depending on how outdated/big the rental would be.

I noticed on many rental sites, the rental I was looking at said that it didn't have air conditioning. Did I read this right, would that be common in Chicago? Maybe they at least would have a window unit?

eliza

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Re: Family of 3 moving to Chicago - where to live?
« Reply #18 on: August 23, 2015, 07:58:21 PM »
@pv nick.  It wouldn't be unusual for an apartment (if it isn't in a large and/or fancy building) not to have air, but the tenant can usually buy and put in a window unit.  The AC season in Chicago usually isn't too long.  I did two summers with no air, relying on good air flow through windows, but not sure I would want to do that w/ a baby.

I haven't used AirBnB in Chicago, but lived out of hotels (when I was in town) for most of 2014.  Lots of great deals in the winter.   I often pricelined places in river north/old town or near ORD airport for ~$50 a night.  Not economical long term, but potentially worth it for a short period while you are figuring other things out.  Best deals were often airport hotels walking distance to the Rosemont blue line stop (Hyatt Regency, Crown Plaza, Embassy Suites).   Also walking distance to Mariano's grocery store (crossing highway via Rosemont El stop) which helped with food costs when I didn't have lounge access. 

Depending on where your job ends up being, I really liked Park Ridge, IL.  It's a suburb(? It actually might just be a far-flung neighborhood technically in the city.)  It had a cute, walkable downtown with access to the Metra Rail.  You'd have to investigate to see if it would be possible to be totally car free as I always had a car (work-paid) when I was in that area.  I would also second Oak Park as a great place to explore.  Very walkable with easy access to the loop via the El.   You do have to go through some rough areas on the El.  I would echo an earlier commenter who recommended staying in the front car of the train if you are travelling at night.  As a twenty-something woman, I always did that and never felt unsafe.

I loved Chicago and still miss it!  I have a couple of good friends that are raising a toddler in the city.  They love it.  Granted, they are doing it spendypants style, but there are a lot of cheap/free family outings to be had.  The Lincoln Park Zoo and the nearby Botanical Gardens were some of my favorite places to while away a free afternoon.

N

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Re: Family of 3 moving to Chicago - where to live?
« Reply #19 on: August 24, 2015, 10:51:09 AM »
along the brown line there is also albany park, as well as lincoln square and north center and ravenswood.
out of those, albany park will be the least expensive, probably, and potentially the most sketchy.

even still, out of those, I doubt you can find a 2br for less than 1000, and more commonly, the 2brs are 1100+

anywhere on the northside there are parks all over (not as familiar with south or west) big parks, plus small neighborhood lots, school yards. finding a green space wont be your biggest problem.

many apts do not have a/c, but as mentioned, you are almost always allowed to buy your own window unit. (lots of inventory on craigslist and fb virtual garage sales).

your biggest concern is going to be your commute and placement near good grocery shopping. there are decent independent stores dotted around, too. and a few aldis around. if you arrive in feb, you might be able to find a short term lease or sublease until you figure out where you want to be. the big lease turnover months here are april and october.

there is a poster in the journals named mushroom who I think is a dr with a baby and they live in the near southside.  you might look up her journal.

Baron235

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Re: Family of 3 moving to Chicago - where to live?
« Reply #20 on: August 24, 2015, 11:12:12 AM »
Don't forget public schools.  Need to look at that. 

I would try to find a place in Lincoln Park/Lakeview in  Alcott, Prescott, or Linclon elementary.

If you could live in the Alcott School district that would almost be perfect. Great School, walking distance to north pond, fullerton beach, Trader Joes, Costco and Aldi are  just a mile or two from the school, Red line and Brown line are close by.  Will pay more in rent or go for a smaller place, but everything will be  close to you. 

Abe

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Re: Family of 3 moving to Chicago - where to live?
« Reply #21 on: August 24, 2015, 12:29:24 PM »
Regarding rental building amenities: The buildings in Chicago tend to be on the older side (1940s or older), especially ones in your price range in the city.  I'm not sure what you are used to, but many of them don't have AC, heating is through radiators, and they have poor insulation. The newer construction (early 90s and later) is going to be significantly more expensive and probably not in your price range in the areas you are looking at. If you can find a deal, then Lincoln Square and that area is probably ideal (assuming you work on the North Side or downtown). If you work on the West Side (UIC, Rush, County) consider the West Loop. If you work on the south side or South Loop (U Chicago, Mercy) consider Bronzeville or Bridgeport.

I asked a couple of my friends who are nurses at my hospital. They earn significantly above the average salary for nurses in the area, and almost all live in the suburbs and commute in because of the price of housing here. They are also probably not as frugal as you, so may not have as much to spend on rent. Good luck to you! If you find a specific area or hospital you have questions about, feel free to message me!

mschaus

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Re: Family of 3 moving to Chicago - where to live?
« Reply #22 on: August 25, 2015, 08:17:53 AM »
Agree that finding work first is essential for the constraints of this project, or else you'll end up on the wrong end of the city. Car-free would be important for that budget, but don't forget about the flexibility that comes with zipcar and uberx (and Divvy bikes). And there are countless free/cheap activities in the city that don't require a car.

But let's back up a second: are there any couples (with or without small child) here who live in Chicago on $2k/mo ($24k/yr)? Obviously there are a ~million Chicagoans who do this out of necessity, but what about professionals who want to live in nice places near train lines with short commutes? (don't forget MMM's luxurious $24k is on top of having a house to live in)

PVkcin

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Re: Family of 3 moving to Chicago - where to live?
« Reply #23 on: August 25, 2015, 10:33:56 AM »
Eliza- thanks for the recommendations and the cheap(er) hotels, as another possibility for temporary housing.

As many of you are recommending, where we work will be a huge factor, so we need to figure that out before finding housing. If we end up finding housing first, we would simply be much more limited on where to work - we would have to simply apply at the hospital/clinic(s) that are closer, but that is taking a chance.  When do you think would be the earliest to apply for jobs if the earliest we would move would be late January or early February? We can't apply too early and ask the employer to give us three months to figure out housing.

N- We have been looking up those neighborhoods you mentioned (albany park, lincoln square, north center and ravenswood), thank you. I may consider looking up that journal you mentioned about the Dr on the southside.

Baron235- We haven't been considering school district as much simply because our son is only 14 months old, and since we are renting we probably won't be in the same place when he gets school age. But we are looking in that area, because we found the Trader Joes, Costo and Aldi you were talking about. Between those three we would be covered!

Abe- It does seem like a few people on these posts are suggesting some suburbs to us. We will keep those in mind, although we are concentrating our search closer to the city. But I realize the prices tend to rise the closer to the city center we get.

mschaus- I am really glad you mentioned the divvy bikes. I was wondering if Chicago has a bike share program, and I see that you can get a yearly membership for $75!  I hope there are stations in all the neighborhoods we are looking at, for example, along the brown line. Thanks for the uber and zipcar. I'm familiar with uber but not zipcar. I am doing some research on zipcar, thanks.

It would be interesting to find any other mustachians who may spend $2k/mo., or what other like-minded couples spend in Chicago.

Field123

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Re: Family of 3 moving to Chicago - where to live?
« Reply #24 on: August 25, 2015, 10:43:21 AM »
I'm a lifetime Chicago resident who works as a real estate attorney and a realtor in the City, so this question is right up my alley...

Living on a total monthly budget of $2,000 for a family of three will be challenging if you intend to live in a desirable part of the City with good public schools. I don't think it would necessarily be impossible, but I think a more attainable goal would be to try to find a 2 bedroom apartment and have your total housing budget cost about $2,000 per month. As others have said, most of Chicago's housing stock is very old and with that comes higher utility costs. I have lived in many apartments where gas (heat) costs upwards of $150/month in the winter.

I think a reasonable goal would be to find a two bedroom apartment in a great location for about $1,600 per month in and budget about $200 bills. If you think you all can squeeze into a 1 bedroom, then you can probably find a decent place in a great area for $1200-1400.

A car is definitely NOT a necessity in Chicago. The CTA (trains and busses) will take you anywhere. Chicago is also very bike friendly and I'd recommend getting a Divvy membership (it's a bike share type thing with bikes all over the city) for $75 per year. One nice thing about the Divvy compared to owning your own bike is that you don't have the risk of getting your bike stolen. Supplement the public transit with Uber and Zipcar and you should be good to go.

Now the question is where to live. As some others have said previously, my STRONG recommendation would be to live within walking distance to a brown line stop. Ideally I would try to live near a stop between Rockwell and downtown. The best, IMO in terms of family-friendliness (schools, safety, parks, other things to do) would be near the Western, Montrose, Irving, Addison, Paulina, Southport stops. Generally, housing is more desirable as you move south along the brown line so Southport will be more expensive than Western. With this in mind, target the neighborhoods of Lake View, North Center, Roscoe Village, and Lincoln Square. Lincoln park would be even better, but you're not going to be able to afford it.

As an alternative you could look along the blue line in the neighborhoods of Logan Square, Bucktown, and Wicker Park. These used to be the "hipster" areas and still have a lot of that vibe, so if you're into that, you'll love it over there. It's very safe, lots of great restaurants and trendy bars. I'm more of a Lake View/North Center guy personally, but would never talk anyone out of Bucktown area if that's your style.

The most mustachian choices would be Bridgeport, Pilsen, and Avondale. These are the most up and coming neighborhoods right now and will have much cheaper rents. The downside of course is that those areas are still developing, so the schools are not going to be stellar, and there could be some concern for safety. That said, I wouldn't be overly concerned with safety in any of these neighborhoods, but certainly you will find more rough characters in Pilsen and Avondale then Lincoln park.

Hope this information is useful. If you have any other questions or feel the need for some realtor help with your search, please feel free to PM me. Good luck!!


Abe

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Re: Family of 3 moving to Chicago - where to live?
« Reply #25 on: August 25, 2015, 12:19:06 PM »
My wife and I live in wicker park, it has gentrified even in the 5 years we've been here. Our budget ends up:
 
Mortgage, property tax and HOA fee: $2200 for 3 bedroom in nicest part of the area. You can find a 2 bedroom for $1500-1800 here.
Food: $600 / month (I know! I know!- this is mostly groceries and going out to eat twice weekly)
Utilities:
gas is ~$40 averaged over year, for heating, stove and dryer. This is a little below average per the company for 3 bed condo
Electricity about $35 throughout year (we don't use AC except in August), and get a credit for letting comed turn off the electricity as needed for peak load (-$5/month)
Internet: $55/month after much haggling. I think cable TV is $50-60 here, but not sure.
Water, etc is included in our hoa fees
Cellphones: $100/month (for work mostly)
Entertainment is basically free in Chicago!
House supplies are fairly cheap at Costco (~$100/month)

Total budget comes to around $3100/month, and this is for a decidedly upper middle class life. Major expense is obviously the housing. If you can find cheap housing you can squeeze under $2000, but probably won't be in the city itself.



PVkcin

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Re: Family of 3 moving to Chicago - where to live?
« Reply #26 on: August 26, 2015, 12:17:08 PM »
Tank_Esq- Thank you for all the useful information. I really appreciate your input on our budget for rent and utilities. The CTA, Divvy/uber/zipcar information is awesome. And thank you for the suggested neighborhoods. We have a much greater grasp of Chicago in general because of your help, and the help of other posters here.

Abe- How far is the Costco from Wicker Park/your house? Thanks for giving us some insight into your expenses in that area. When we are first setting up internet, I'm not sure that we have much
to haggle with, do you (or anyone) know a) what internet company options we have and b) what the initial cost for basic internet is?

mtn

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Re: Family of 3 moving to Chicago - where to live?
« Reply #27 on: August 26, 2015, 12:36:36 PM »
Take this for what its worth--we're moving into our Bucktown apartment this week after commuting from our respective parents houses in the suburbs. My fiance works at a hospital (Loyola in Maywood).

Frankly, I would not decide on a place to live before one of you has a job. There are no places that offer everything you want that will be a good commute to every hospital. If you focus on getting a job at particular hospitals, I can recommend a place, but we were looking for work first.

Had my fiance gotten a job at University of Chicago or La Rabida (Childrens, and yes she was very close to getting/accepting both jobs) then we would have been looking at Lakeview for easy access to LSD--we did trial runs on public transport to both places and didn't feel comfortable with that option (other than the U.C express), so driving was necessary. Had she gotten a job at UIC or Rush, we would have been looking at Old Town/Lincoln Park/Tri-Taylor/Wicker Park--no real bad options with that one. As it was with her job at Maywood, we needed easy access to the Ike, and were limited to Wicker Park/Bucktown/Tri Taylor and then the suburbs.

Depending on where in Wicker Park Abe is, he's probably about 5-20 minutes from either Costco depending on traffic.

I do recommend getting out and walking around to get a feel of the areas. Wicker Park is kinda hipsterish, but not nearly as hipsterish as Logan square. Lincoln Park is pretty fratty, but not nearly as fratty as Lakeview/Wrigleyville. Edison Park may as well be a suburb. South Loop doesn't really even have a personality yet, but I mostly see it as yuppies.


Abe

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Re: Family of 3 moving to Chicago - where to live?
« Reply #28 on: August 26, 2015, 04:13:34 PM »
Costco is 5-10 minute drive (depending on traffic). I think internet from Comcast costs around $65-70 a month. There may be AT&T or Verizon in some areas, not sure.

Wicker Park has a lot of young families with kids now, especially since real estate prices have been shooting up around here lately.

N

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Re: Family of 3 moving to Chicago - where to live?
« Reply #29 on: August 26, 2015, 09:06:43 PM »
Im in Irving Park. We have a 1000sq ft loft with 2 bedrooms (and parking and a small balcony) Its a nice, modern, apt with newer appliances. One bathroom, no tub, shower only.  We have gas forced air and heat. (try to limit a/c use).

Our rent is 1250$/mo including parking spot.
Last years averages per month for utilities:
Electricity: 66$
Gas: 46
Cell: 16
Cable internet w basic cable: (started out at 40$/mo for 12 mos then went to 60$/mo, now has gone up to 80$/mo)

CTA: 75 (because husband uses car 2 days a week for commute. monthly card is 100$ but he doesnt use it enough to do that.)

Our monthly food average for 4.5 people is 712$

Altogether with everything else our monthly spending is about 4100/mo (if we excluded our vacations this year, our monthly spend would average 3700)

We are half mile from the blue line stop, and within blocks of  several major bus lines.
We are a couple blocks from a decent produce market and a mile from aldi.
There are two libraries close by, half mile and one mile
Half mile from park district pool and playground

not near any hospitals though :)

If I had one toddler, Id find a large one bedroom. We co slept, so a second br wouldnt have been necessary. As it is, my two kids share a bedroom. We got them loft beds, so they each have a desk and personal space underneath.