Moving from the Suburbs to the City? Here's What You Need to Know

Moving from Suburb to City

The bright lights of the city of Chicago have called to people of all stripes for generations. And who could blame anyone for wanting to move to the third largest city in the country, with its rich history and unbelievably packed list of things to eat, drink, see, and do?

Of course, if you’re planning to make the move to the big city for the first time, there are a few things you’ll need to know – including what sets housing in Chicago apart!

Here are three big factors to consider as you plan your move from the suburbs to the city of Chicago:

Getting Around

In addition to the bounty of restaurants, theaters, and parks suddenly made available, one of the biggest shocks to new Chicago residents is the variety of public transportation options available.

Whereas most suburbanites are stuck with few options beyond the car or the local bus, Chicago offers public transportation choices for every lifestyle and budget, including the L and Metra trains, the CTA bus system, and even the Divvy bike system, which allows you to rent out a functional blue bicycle by the hour or day. Chicago was also named the most bike-friendly city in the country, and there are even water taxis and other aquatic options available, depending on your commute and the season!

To look into some of these transportation options, here are a few essential resources:

Of course, plenty of rural and suburban transplants still want to keep their car in the city; with the stunning views of Lakeshore Drive right there, who could blame you for wanting to keep a set of wheels handy? If you do plan to bring a car into Chicago, bear in mind that you are required to purchase a Chicago City Vehicle Sticker within 30 days (and yes, this applies even if you maintain your registration outside the city).

The revenue from this program helps maintain and repair public streets in Chicago, and it pays to just acquire one as quickly as you can – before you face some major tickets down the line!

The Different Types of Properties

There’s some real beauty to the suburban communities that dot Illinois and other states around the country. Big, sprawling yards, detached single family homes, white picket fences, families gathering in the middle of the cul-de-sac – these images are as all-American as it gets, and they’re commonplace in communities around the country.

With that said, it’s important to recognize that city living here in Chicago is just as beautiful – although it may look or feel a little bit different!

Most importantly, before you move into the city, take some time to research the housing options available to you, as they may be quite different than those in the suburbs. While there are plenty of detached single family homes across the city, plenty of Chicagoans also live in two-flats, in townhouses, in condominiums, and even in skyscrapers.

It’s important to know what you want and need in a home before you start your search in the city, since there is such a diverse array of choices available! And speaking of choices…

Knowing Your Neighborhood

To newcomers, Chicago may look like one big sprawling metropolis. But it’s important to recognize that it’s really a patchwork collection of neighborhoods, each with its own unique charm, style, and, yes, housing market.

Before you start your home search, take some time to look into the many neighborhoods around the city, to see if their marketplaces, architecture, and location all suit your tastes. Here are a few of our neighborhood market condition guides to get you started:

Whether you’re returning after some time away or looking to come to Chicago for the first time, the Real Group team is here and ready to help put you in the home of your dreams! Don’t hesitate to drop us a line with any questions today!

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