Moving to Chicago - Where should I live? (2 options)

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J0NATHAN
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Moving to Chicago - Where should I live? (2 options)

Post by J0NATHAN »

Hello.

So I'm contemplating cost vs. convenience and was hoping others might shed some light and advice on what would be the better play.

Background: I am looking to move to Chicago and start a new job; I wont be moving until finding this job. I would be looking for jobs IN the city, near the loop or north of there. I am a recent (December, Bachelors of Business Admin.) college grad and this would be my first full-time job. I do have almost 3 years of healthcare experience, 1.5 of which directly working in process improvement, and about 4 years of overall work experience. I have several letters of recommendation from my current employer who would absolutely hire me for a full-time position if I hadn't decided I was moving. I say all of that to say that I expect a reasonable starting salary at any job would be at least 40k. (I'm sure some of you will disagree, but this is the Chicago market and I have done some research into the career path I'm looking at).I also am almost complete with obtaining a LSSBB, which should make me more desirable. That said, most people would advise that I spend ~1,000/mo. for rent, which can be tricky in Chicago in certain areas.

The Financials:
~$2,000 saved up for moving expenses, security deposit, rent, etc. (I expect moving expenses shouldn't exceed $500 based on the amount of stuff I have; I will also need to buy a mattress once moving - I don't expect to spend much on this as I'm young and it doesn't really matter to me.)
$0 debt
~$10,000 in car value (title in hand)
~$500-1,000 in things for sale (they have been moving slowly as they aren't priced very aggressively, but could be sold quickly if need be)
~$0 current expenses (insurance, medical, etc.)

Summary: About $13k net worth with 0 expenses.

So here's the question (finally, right?)

Option 1: Live near the job, probably sell the car. (Convenient)

Parking in the city is ~150-200 monthly, which I wouldn't do just to park that car.

Pro:
Short commute, get to live the city life, much to do, public transport to almost anywhere

Con:
Rent is very expensive if you live alone. Plan on at least $1,000/mo. for anything half decent (Studio), more like $1,200 for it to be clean.

Option 2: Live outside the city, pay for city transport, hate my life on my daily commute (cost efficient)

Pro:
Rent is cheaper, a lot more half decent options for less than $1,000/mo.
I could keep the car.

Con:
Car is a depreciating asset with other associated costs (insurance, repairs, gas, people stealing crap, etc.)
Commute would be at least 30 minutes with public trans., much longer and wouldn't make sense with a car.

I have considered a roommate, but would like to try the numbers without. I have been dating a girl for over 2 years that might turn into something and if I'm signing a year lease, I want to have some flexibility. No plans yet, but who knows, a year is a long time.

Anyway, I'm sure I'll add additional details as people have questions/suggestions. Anything helps (even if you completely disagree with me :P )
Last edited by J0NATHAN on Wed Mar 23, 2016 1:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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psteinx
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Re: Moving to Chicago - Where should I live? (2 options)

Post by psteinx »

You have a total of ~$2K in cash right now.

You have no job in hand right now.

I would recommend either:
1) Getting a firm job offer before you move, so you're on better financial footing and also know WHERE you'll want to live (roughly), if a car is necessary, etc.

or

2) Move in with friends/family/etc close to the city (perhaps pay them modest rent and assure them you'll be out within a few weeks), then conduct your job search and move out shortly after you've found success (hopefully).

If you do not have friends, family, or other support network, then moving into an expensive city without a job and with minimal financial reserves seems quite risky to me. Perhaps you have secondary sources of capital (can borrow from mom and dad or credit card if need be), but failing that, you should perhaps stay in your current position somewhat longer to build your financial strength - you could still look for a job remotely while at your current job.
psteinx
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Re: Moving to Chicago - Where should I live? (2 options)

Post by psteinx »

To put it another way, it's fairly likely that many/most (decent) apartments you look at will want something close to one month's rent + one month as security deposit, in advance. That's perhaps $2000-2400. That basically wipes out (or exceeds) your cash reserves on day one that you move to the city. You'll still need to eat, pay for gas, etc.

And what if it takes you 6 weeks (or longer) to find a job?

What if you find a job after 2 weeks (which is quick), but it starts a week later, and your first pay check is 2 weeks after that (i.e. 5 week lag from move date until you first get paid)?
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J0NATHAN
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Re: Moving to Chicago - Where should I live? (2 options)

Post by J0NATHAN »

psteinx wrote:You have a total of ~$2K in cash right now.

You have no job in hand right now.

I would recommend either:
1) Getting a firm job offer before you move, so you're on better financial footing and also know WHERE you'll want to live (roughly), if a car is necessary, etc.

or

2) Move in with friends/family/etc close to the city (perhaps pay them modest rent and assure them you'll be out within a few weeks), then conduct your job search and move out shortly after you've found success (hopefully).

If you do not have friends, family, or other support network, then moving into an expensive city without a job and with minimal financial reserves seems quite risky to me. Perhaps you have secondary sources of capital (can borrow from mom and dad or credit card if need be), but failing that, you should perhaps stay in your current position somewhat longer to build your financial strength - you could still look for a job remotely while at your current job.
Let me ninja edit; I won't be moving until landing a job in Chicago. Have had one interview and another scheduled for tomorrow. I do have friends that I could potentially stay with in a bind, but wouldn't want to do that more than a few weeks tops. As to capital, I also have probably $10,000 in available credit and a decent credit score (Credit Karma says 742). My parents are also very supportive and could help financial (which I would probably not ask them unless I was stuck).
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surveyor
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Re: Moving to Chicago - Where should I live? (2 options)

Post by surveyor »

No doubt. Live in the city and sell the car.
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J0NATHAN
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Re: Moving to Chicago - Where should I live? (2 options)

Post by J0NATHAN »

surveyor wrote:No doubt. Live in the city and sell the car.
Ha, from this response, I realized my two options display a little bias.

I assume you spent some time in a large city? Care to elaborate a bit on your experience?
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chicagoan23
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Re: Moving to Chicago - Where should I live? (2 options)

Post by chicagoan23 »

You need to familiarize yourself with the city first. You need to determine your neighborhood. Most people who have a car park it on the street; the only people who pay $200/month to park their car live in high rise in a very dense neighborhood, which you won't be able to do for $1,000 a month anyway. If you do somehow find a nice place in your budget where parking is hard to come by, leave the car at mom and dad's for a while.

If you don't have an idea on neighborhoods yet I guess I would start out in Lakeview (like many newcomers do) for a short-term lease. Then you go out and get to know the neighborhoods you like best. Also, you need to familiarize yourself with your public transportation options. Most city neighborhoods will be around a 30 minute commute downtown, at least at that target monthly rent.

You're young so you need to maximize your income opportunities, which you probably will best be able to do by living in the city (as opposed to commuting) and having the flexibility to work longer hours, etc. Leave the commuting to the old guys like me.
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Bfwolf
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Re: Moving to Chicago - Where should I live? (2 options)

Post by Bfwolf »

I've lived in Chicago the last 10 years.

I concur with the others that you should sell the car and live in the city. You're too young to be out in the burbs.

Despite your reservations, I think you should get a roommate(s). You'll be able to live in a better part of town/get a better apartment/get built in friends to do things with. Craigslist seems to be a popular way of doing this although it can be hit or miss.

As mentioned, Lakeview is probably the most popular area for the just out of college crowd and probably where you should focus your search. Other viable neighborhoods could include Lincoln Park, Wicker Park (rich hipster area), Logan Square (poor hipster area), Bucktown, and Old Town. I'd stay away from River North/Streeterville/Gold Coast (expensive, not roommate friendly) and the West/South Loops (more mature crowd).

Make sure you live near an L line.
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Re: Moving to Chicago - Where should I live? (2 options)

Post by Chadnudj »

I live in Chicago (married with kid) now, and lived here when I got out of law school (single, no kids).

Live in the city.

Traffic/commuting sucks away your will to live, you don't need a car here (CTA isn't spectacular, but pretty damn efficient particularly if your employer is one of the many that let you pay for a month's unlimited pass with pre-tax dollars, and Uber/Divvy bikes can get you anywhere else, saving you tons on car insurance/parking), and you'll love Chicago as a young, single person (hell, i STILL love it married with a kid).

If working in the city/north of the city and wanting to live there, look for places that are accessible to the Red/Blue/Orange/Purple line, either walking distance or on a bus line to them: Oldtown, Lakeview, Lincoln Park, Bucktown/Wicker Park, Andersonville, maybe even Edgewater. There are tons of other good neighborhoods as well, but those are the more popular ones with younger, single folks.
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Re: Moving to Chicago - Where should I live? (2 options)

Post by 3easypayments »

The others are spot on, IMO. You're young and single and you will be much happier living in the city. Once you're there you will laugh at the idea that you ever even considered living in a boring suburb and commuting in.

I'd sell the car, get a bike if you don't have one (a couple of my friends bike everywhere in Chicago most days of the year) or maybe a scooter if you're so inclined and can store it inside your place there later. I'd also sign up for a car sharing service like ZipCar so you have that if/when needed. Between that, the El, the Metra lines, and uber and cabs everywhere, you'll be set.

Living with a roommate is a personal call, but I'd say it can't hurt to post an ad to see who's out there. It could be a great way to meet others and get a social life going quickly.
Last edited by 3easypayments on Wed Mar 23, 2016 5:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Moving to Chicago - Where should I live? (2 options)

Post by Chadnudj »

Also, if you're young and new to the city, I'd consider finding a sublet/roommate....quick way to make a network of friends and reduce your costs...even for a short time, while you're getting your bearings and finding a more permanent place to live, it could be a fun option.
chicagoan23
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Re: Moving to Chicago - Where should I live? (2 options)

Post by chicagoan23 »

If working in the city/north of the city and wanting to live there, look for places that are accessible to the Red/Blue/Orange/Purple line
Orange Brown
Oldtown, Lakeview, Lincoln Park, Bucktown/Wicker Park, Andersonville, maybe even Edgewater. There are tons of other good neighborhoods as well, but those are the more popular ones with younger, single folks.

Very good advice, although four of the first five on that list will be almost impossible at $1,000 a month with no roommates (Lakeview you may have a shot), and the last two (plus places like Uptown or Rogers Park) give you commutes roughly equal to the suburbs.

To avoid stretching yourself too thin on a $40k/year salary, I also agree with the roommate suggestion. There are probably 20,000 people just like you who move here every year (and I mean that as a good thing).
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abchew2
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Re: Moving to Chicago - Where should I live? (2 options)

Post by abchew2 »

I'm currently living in the west loop area (have lived in little Italy and Oak Park which is further west). The least I've paid for rent is about $1000/month however that was only possible with a roommate. I would suggest going this route. It is just far enough from downtown that the rent isn't unreal but also right next to the CTA so you can get wherever you need. Chicago is a great city and well worth exploring.
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Re: Moving to Chicago - Where should I live? (2 options)

Post by jlawrence01 »

Chadnudj wrote:I live in Chicago (married with kid) now, and lived here when I got out of law school (single, no kids).

Live in the city.

Traffic/commuting sucks away your will to live, you don't need a car here (CTA isn't spectacular, but pretty damn efficient particularly if your employer is one of the many that let you pay for a month's unlimited pass with pre-tax dollars, and Uber/Divvy bikes can get you anywhere else, saving you tons on car insurance/parking), and you'll love Chicago as a young, single person (hell, i STILL love it married with a kid).

If working in the city/north of the city and wanting to live there, look for places that are accessible to the Red/Blue/Orange/Purple line, either walking distance or on a bus line to them: Oldtown, Lakeview, Lincoln Park, Bucktown/Wicker Park, Andersonville, maybe even Edgewater. There are tons of other good neighborhoods as well, but those are the more popular ones with younger, single folks.

Riding the CTA is not exactly a bed of roses. I have ridden every CTA train the the city of Chicago except for the Pink Line and many of the buses. The buses and train lines around rush hour are very crowded and they are always filthy. It does get you where you need to go albeit slowly at times due to poor track conditions but it is not enjoyable.

Also, if you live in an area in the city that appeals to recent college graduates, you will find that the rents are pretty hefty and that you will be spending a disproportionate amount of money on housing so you will need to do without a vehicle.

Personally, I turned down positions in Chicago (as well as LA and New York) simply because I could not live an adequate lifestyle in those areas and still meet my financial goals at the salary i was making in my twenties in the industry I was working in. I did not live to Chicagoland until later in my career.
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Re: Moving to Chicago - Where should I live? (2 options)

Post by gclancer »

Chadnudj wrote:Also, if you're young and new to the city, I'd consider finding a sublet/roommate....quick way to make a network of friends and reduce your costs...even for a short time, while you're getting your bearings and finding a more permanent place to live, it could be a fun option.
+1 I would absolutely look for a roommate. If you can find a good one you'll get a nicer apartment at a lower cost. Worth a shot.
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Re: Moving to Chicago - Where should I live? (2 options)

Post by LadyGeek »

This thread is now in the Personal Consumer Issues forum (where to live).
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Re: Moving to Chicago - Where should I live? (2 options)

Post by GoldenFinch »

I agree: sell car, live in city.
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Re: Moving to Chicago - Where should I live? (2 options)

Post by Spedward »

My wife and I live in the city of Chicago with 2 kids. We move here 6 years ago pre kids. Love it. I agree with everything said. Ditch the car. You can get a studio for about 1200-1400 a month in a good neighborhood with good commuting options. When we were younger we lived in Lincoln Park but have been in North Center for the last 3 years.

Spend some time roaming the neighborhoods. Each one of them have a different feel and way of life. Most of our free time was spent is spent in your neighborhood so make sure it fits your lifestyle.

And live cheap as possible. Outside of rent, it is a really cheap city to live if you are not going out every night.
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Re: Moving to Chicago - Where should I live? (2 options)

Post by carorun »

I live in Lakeview. I love this city and actually find the COL pretty reasonable compared to other major cities.

If you get a job in the city or directly on a metro line, you don't need a car. Some of the large employers in the north suburbs have shuttles from the train stations or from the city for their employees. Again, don't sell your car until you have the job. Also no need to pay $200/month for parking unless you live downtown or on Lakeshore Drive. Street parking is possible in most other neighborhoods.

Can definitely find something nice for <1k/month. For your age, I agree that Lakeview or Wicker Park is best. Plenty of bars, gyms, and restaurants filled with others your age.
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Re: Moving to Chicago - Where should I live? (2 options)

Post by Hulahoop60 »

My daughter has lived in Chicago for several years since graduating from college. It's a great city for young professionals. Cost of living is much lower than living in the Northeast. She lives in Lincoln Park on the border of Lakeview. This is her 2nd apartment in Lincoln Park and neither the first or second required a security deposit. Bus to work stops right outside her building, and she can walk to the lake and shopping is walkable and readily available. No car needed. In nicer weather, she'll walk home from work. It's a very nice area filled with young people -- actually the whole city is filled with young professionals and we often joke when we visit that they hide everyone over the age of 30. She has a one bedroom with a 24 hour "receptionist" in the lobby and pays $1450 a month. Her 20 minute commute to her "downtown" office is relatively inexpensive. She is considering moving to Wicker Park as she has many friends in that neighborhood. She has a great social life and there is so much to do there. I was definitely the oldest person at Restaurant Row when she took me there, and every restaurant and bar was packed. It can be a great, affordable city for young professionals. She is very happy living there.
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Re: Moving to Chicago - Where should I live? (2 options)

Post by MP173 »

My son rented a 1 room studio about 5 years ago for $1000 month and parking was another $150. No doubt prices have bumped up. He moved to a cheaper apartment but it was pretty much a dump. Both were in Lakeview area. He is now in Ukrainian Village @ $1500 per month with a roommate.

You can probably get by without a car. It is a financial drain, if possible give a try without one, unless your job will require travel.

Good luck,

Ed
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Re: Moving to Chicago - Where should I live? (2 options)

Post by Heir-A-Parent »

I concur on a roommate and selling/garaging your car. Your financial situation is too tenuous to live alone and keep a car in Chicago.

I think you will be best off in a two or three bedroom walkup in Lakeview with roommates.
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Re: Moving to Chicago - Where should I live? (2 options)

Post by t3chiman »

J0NATHAN wrote:... looking for jobs IN the city, near the loop or north of there....

Option 1: Live near the job, probably sell the car. (Convenient)
...
Option 1. No question. If you can at all swing Lincoln Park economically, it is a great urban location. If you are working near North Side, you can realistically walk to/from work, along a spectacular lakefront. Very few times in life will you get such an opportunity. Ditch the car of course, but keep a bike. And budget for taxi fares when you have to get somewhere on a schedule. Otherwise, public transportation is fine.

Some of my 30-ish relatives have recently relocated to Chicago proper: Logan Square and Old Irving Park. Nice buildings, attractive areas, a bit too far from the lakefront to justify the prices they paid, imo.

HTH
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Re: Moving to Chicago - Where should I live? (2 options)

Post by J0NATHAN »

First off, thank you all for your replies. I have read them all and only responded to a few, but all of your advice was good and taken into consideration.

I will strongly be looking to the Lake View and Lincoln Park areas. Hopefully the job I end up with will be close to there.
Chadnudj wrote:Also, if you're young and new to the city, I'd consider finding a sublet/roommate....quick way to make a network of friends and reduce your costs...even for a short time, while you're getting your bearings and finding a more permanent place to live, it could be a fun option.
I will probably end up doing this. I can find a couple sublets that are for a few months. That would be good to get established and figure everything out about the city. It will be interesting finding a roommate, though. Seems a lot of people don't have a gender preference when looking for a roommate. I don't think the girlfriend would appreciate me living with another female.

Chadnudj wrote:Also, if you live in an area in the city that appeals to recent college graduates, you will find that the rents are pretty hefty and that you will be spending a disproportionate amount of money on housing so you will need to do without a vehicle.

Personally, I turned down positions in Chicago (as well as LA and New York) simply because I could not live an adequate lifestyle in those areas and still meet my financial goals at the salary i was making in my twenties in the industry I was working in. I did not live to Chicagoland until later in my career.
Yeah rent does seem to be pretty disproportionate of most people income in this area. Some more than others. After realizing where I get placed, job wise, it'll be a lot better to determine if I need the car or not. Hopefully not, because it's a depreciating asset that will likely get broken into, hit or scratched if I park it in the city.

I also agree with turning down positions. I haven't yet had a formal offer, but I do have a minimum I would be willing to accept to live comfortably in the city (as I mentioned above, ~40k).
Spedward wrote: And live cheap as possible. Outside of rent, it is a really cheap city to live if you are not going out every night.
Absolutely. I prefer "going-in" (drinking at home? ha) and maybe having a few people over to going out and spending a crazy amount on drinks. Plus, you have to be able to afford your lifestyle, right? Maybe some people can afford going out all of the time, but at what cost? To each their own.
MP173 wrote:My son rented a 1 room studio about 5 years ago for $1000 month and parking was another $150. No doubt prices have bumped up. He moved to a cheaper apartment but it was pretty much a dump. Both were in Lakeview area. He is now in Ukrainian Village @ $1500 per month with a roommate.

You can probably get by without a car. It is a financial drain, if possible give a try without one, unless your job will require travel.

Good luck,

Ed
[/quote]

Thanks for your response Ed.
There seems to be a lot of places I wouldn’t want to live for less than $1000/mo. From what I’ve found, $1,000 seems to be the tipping point (of course, there are exceptions).

I’m also not looking for much. Decent location, clean, studio and pref. a decent kitchen (stainless steel if possible). If I could find something decent, even if I made $400,000k/yr, I don’t know that I would be super inclined to move (if you understand what I’m trying to say).
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Re: Moving to Chicago - Where should I live? (2 options)

Post by Bfwolf »

I think for $1,000 a month you could get an awesome place in Lakeview/Lincoln Park if you're willing to share a 3 BR with a couple of other roommates (you'd have no problem finding a couple of guys to live with). $1000/month for a studio sounded too low to me, but according to this site it seems doable.

http://www.apartmentguide.com/neighborh ... /Lakeview/
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Re: Moving to Chicago - Where should I live? (2 options)

Post by J0NATHAN »

Bfwolf wrote:I think for $1,000 a month you could get an awesome place in Lakeview/Lincoln Park if you're willing to share a 3 BR with a couple of other roommates (you'd have no problem finding a couple of guys to live with). $1000/month for a studio sounded too low to me, but according to this site it seems doable.

http://www.apartmentguide.com/neighborh ... /Lakeview/
Yeah, I've found a few different options on PadMapper. I would prefer 1 roommate to 2, I think. Seems like you have to move quickly for the good apartments.
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Re: Moving to Chicago - Where should I live? (2 options)

Post by chicagoan23 »

After realizing where I get placed, job wise, it'll be a lot better to determine if I need the car or not. Hopefully not, because it's a depreciating asset that will likely get broken into, hit or scratched if I park it in the city.
I would not be so quick to ditch the car. The $10k would be nice but long-term isn't going to really have much financial impact on you. And while a car is a depreciating asset, at least it has immediate utility. A paid-off car for a young person is a good thing to have. Also, depending on where you live now, you may want to have the freedom to jump in the car and go back home to visit the parents/girlfriend/other friends for the weekend/holidays/etc.

But get used to having a "city car" which is one that has plenty of dents and scratches but is easy to park on the street and that won't need a lot of mechanical work done. And it probably won't be broken into unless you leave a lot of stuff in it in plain view.

Maybe sell your current car for $10k and then buy a $5k car to get by for a while, while getting some emergency savings in case you need it?

Lastly, lucky for you the winter parking ban ends next week, so street spots will be plentiful! Good luck!
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Re: Moving to Chicago - Where should I live? (2 options)

Post by Bfwolf »

chicagoan23 wrote:
After realizing where I get placed, job wise, it'll be a lot better to determine if I need the car or not. Hopefully not, because it's a depreciating asset that will likely get broken into, hit or scratched if I park it in the city.
I would not be so quick to ditch the car. The $10k would be nice but long-term isn't going to really have much financial impact on you. And while a car is a depreciating asset, at least it has immediate utility. A paid-off car for a young person is a good thing to have. Also, depending on where you live now, you may want to have the freedom to jump in the car and go back home to visit the parents/girlfriend/other friends for the weekend/holidays/etc.

But get used to having a "city car" which is one that has plenty of dents and scratches but is easy to park on the street and that won't need a lot of mechanical work done. And it probably won't be broken into unless you leave a lot of stuff in it in plain view.

Maybe sell your current car for $10k and then buy a $5k car to get by for a while, while getting some emergency savings in case you need it?

Lastly, lucky for you the winter parking ban ends next week, so street spots will be plentiful! Good luck!
Everybody has their own perspective on this, but I had a car when I moved to Chicago and found it to be a huge hassle. All the windows on my block were broken into one time. Another time, a big truck (I assume) scraped across the entire length of my car...not a few dents and scratches but a real eyesore that had to be fixed for resale. Then there was the cost of insurance, and the fact that I was owning a depreciating asset. I hardly used it anyway. When I sold it, it was like a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders. Granted, I don't have family that lives nearby so didn't have that use for a car. But I did work out in the suburbs and so when I sold the car I had to commit to riding Metra every day to work. I had no problem with this as it was usually the best option anyway.

The only thing I ever wish I had a car for was the grocery store/Costco. I borrow a buddy's car to go to Costco a few times a year, and I just walk to the grocery store with one of those granny carts when I have a big shopping trip to do.

With Uber/Lyft around, not having a car is even more of a no brainer IMO unless you are making frequent trips to nearish cities (e.g. Indianapolis).
Chadnudj
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Re: Moving to Chicago - Where should I live? (2 options)

Post by Chadnudj »

Let me also just mention: Chicago is an insanely affordable big city to live in, particularly compared to its "peer" cities (New York, DC, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Boston). Your housing money goes farther in Chicago than in any of those other cities....

And, if you can, move her before Memorial Day. Summer in Chicago is the best...
chicagoan23
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Re: Moving to Chicago - Where should I live? (2 options)

Post by chicagoan23 »

Everybody has their own perspective on this, but I had a car when I moved to Chicago and found it to be a huge hassle. All the windows on my block were broken into one time. Another time, a big truck (I assume) scraped across the entire length of my car...not a few dents and scratches but a real eyesore that had to be fixed for resale. Then there was the cost of insurance, and the fact that I was owning a depreciating asset. I hardly used it anyway. When I sold it, it was like a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders. Granted, I don't have family that lives nearby so didn't have that use for a car. But I did work out in the suburbs and so when I sold the car I had to commit to riding Metra every day to work. I had no problem with this as it was usually the best option anyway.

The only thing I ever wish I had a car for was the grocery store/Costco. I borrow a buddy's car to go to Costco a few times a year, and I just walk to the grocery store with one of those granny carts when I have a big shopping trip to do.

With Uber/Lyft around, not having a car is even more of a no brainer IMO unless you are making frequent trips to nearish cities (e.g. Indianapolis).
Good points. I was carless for 5 years in multiple neighborhoods and never missed having one, although I did have access to friend's/roommate's cars pretty easily and could take the Metra to go visit suburban friends and family. You're right that you probably won't use the car more than once every few weeks or so, and the carrying costs don't make a lot of sense. Maybe the original poster can get himself acclimated to city life and then sell the car.
And, if you can, move here before Memorial Day. Summer in Chicago is the best...
Makes the rest of the year tolerable!
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blueblock
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Re: Moving to Chicago - Where should I live? (2 options)

Post by blueblock »

Echoing many others, the first option, definitely. At your age, make the sacrifices you need to. You'll meet so many more people your age than you will sitting on a commuter train. When you're building your career and putting in the hours, you don't want to look forward to an hour or two commuting on top of that.

I predict that $1K per month won't get you much, if anything, in Lincoln Park without sharing. Consider a cheaper area a bit north, like Uptown. It's still a little rough around the edges, but it's been seeing housing, shopping and business development the last few years, plus it has large and small entertainment venues popular with young folks (e.g. The Green Mill and Avalon).

BTW, here's a link to a map showing Chicago's neighborhoods: https://theillpres.files.wordpress.com/ ... ld-map.jpg

You may or may not want to sell your car. You won't need it on a daily basis, but it would be nice to have on weekends. While street parking is nearly impossible in Lincoln Park, once you get north of Irving Park Rd you'll find that some neighborhoods don't even require a parking permit, like Lincoln Square.

You're right that you need to stay on top of new listings and act decisively.

What else? Instead of holding out for stainless steel appliances, make LIGHT your number one priority. You'll be very glad for some sunshine in the long winter months.

Best wishes to you. Chicago is an awesome city to live in.
Mimmz
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Re: Moving to Chicago - Where should I live? (2 options)

Post by Mimmz »

Lots of excellent advice above.

The only other view I'll add is that you may be able to find something more affordable West of the river, like in Noble Square or Ukranian Village. While the further North areas get more attention, and Fulton Market down to West Loop is now too pricey for your budget, there is still some older housing stock with more reasonably priced rents in between. Same can be said further North, like in Logan Square or Avondale.

I moved to the city about five years ago and similarly aged, and have never lived East of the river nor North of Grand Ave. Walking to work has been an amazing perk. Rent is rising quickly in Chicago, and I don't think I know anyone who moved down at the same time with me who didn't have a roommate. I know several who went the Craigslist route, or still do, to have a roommate to share costs.

I'd see what happens with the job and whether you can get free or permit street parking where you end up living. If you already have the car, you may not need to get rid of it, but paying for parking will be costly.

Many logical Landlords have now stopped taking security deposits and instead have a smaller non-refundable fee. Strict liability with complex regulation and costly penalties make holding a deposit in the city a very risky proposition.

Good luck.
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Re: Moving to Chicago - Where should I live? (2 options)

Post by jlawrence01 »

Chadnudj wrote:Let me also just mention: Chicago is an insanely affordable big city to live in, particularly compared to its "peer" cities (New York, DC, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Boston). Your housing money goes farther in Chicago than in any of those other cities....

And, if you can, move her before Memorial Day. Summer in Chicago is the best...

In may be insanely inexpensive compared to the cities YOU cite, but it is insanely expensive compared to nearly all the other Midwestern cities. I never realized how expensive until I moved away.
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J0NATHAN
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Re: Moving to Chicago - Where should I live? (2 options)

Post by J0NATHAN »

jlawrence01 wrote:
Chadnudj wrote:Let me also just mention: Chicago is an insanely affordable big city to live in, particularly compared to its "peer" cities (New York, DC, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Boston). Your housing money goes farther in Chicago than in any of those other cities....

And, if you can, move her before Memorial Day. Summer in Chicago is the best...

In may be insanely inexpensive compared to the cities YOU cite, but it is insanely expensive compared to nearly all the other Midwestern cities. I never realized how expensive until I moved away.
yeah, but I guess that's just part of it. Size definitely drives up prices.
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rcjchicity
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Re: Moving to Chicago - Where should I live? (2 options)

Post by rcjchicity »

I moved to Chicago after college for my pharmacy residency and was making around $40,000/yr than. I lived in Wrigleyville and had two roommates (one was a girl I was friends with in college, the other was a guy we randomly found after putting out a roommate wanted ad). Roommates were great for not only splitting expenses, but as well as swinging by Murphy's, etc. on random weeknights for a beer. I never would have been able to afford living that close to the lake on that salary otherwise. (Riding your bike by the lake on a nice summer day is one of the best Chicago experiences)

I also recommend living in the city while you're young, and not having a car if it's not necessary for your job. The first week we moved here, my roommate - who had to have a car for her job - got a $50 ticket because of street sweeping and she didn't see the temporary signs. That was an inauspicious start to car ownership in the city.

(I've lived in Chicago for 14 years and didn't have a car for 12 of them. Got a car only after buying a house with a 2-car garage and baby on the way)

Another factor in getting a job before relocating is knowing which neighborhoods would be more efficient in getting to work, particularly if you do go car-less. My job is off of the Red Line, and I usually have lived off of the Red Line. But, for a couple of years after DH and I got married, we lived off of the Blue Line and that was painful to transfer from bus to train or bus to bus to get to work.

Yes, the Red and Blue Lines are crammed during rush hour and can be dirty - avoid the hobo corner and any train car that's empty while all the others are full. Buses are ridiculously slow. But, the CTA is a pretty cheap way of getting to work, esp with a TSA.
peppers
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Re: Moving to Chicago - Where should I live? (2 options)

Post by peppers »

If you must have a car in Chicago, it is incumbent upon you to become familiar with the Chicago tradition..."DIBS".

http://chicagodibs.tumblr.com/

Enjoy the video
"..the cavalry ain't comin' kid, you're on your own..."
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AJTrenkle
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Re: Moving to Chicago - Where should I live? (2 options)

Post by AJTrenkle »

......
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