15 Things to Know Before Moving to Chicago
Living in Chicago can be exciting, action-packed, and delicious. If you’re planning to move to The Windy City, here are a few things to know about and keep in mind.
What to Know Before Moving to Chicago
Before you pack up and move to Chicago, here are some top tips from our resident Chicagoans.
- Chicago’s Job Market is Thriving. The job market in Chicago is incredibly diversified and continually growing, with 35 different Fortune 500 companies.
- A Lot of People Live in Chicago. With a population of 2.697 million, Chicago is the third most populated city in the United States after New York City and Los Angeles.
- Property Taxes Continue to Increase. Property taxes in Chicago increase yearly and currently are around 2.52%. And it’s not just high property taxes; sales taxes are also higher than the national average at 5%.
- Transportation Options Abound. Getting around Chicago on public transportation is easy. Use a Ventra card to hop on the bus or the “L” trains. Metra is a regional train system that gets Chicagoans around the city to Wisconsin, Indiana, and beyond!
- You Can Bring Your Car. You don’t have to rely solely on public transportation to get around. Driving through Chicago is relatively easy, but watch out for inflated parking prices, especially if you’re downtown.
- Traffic is the Third Worst in the Country. All those cars on the road mean Chicago traffic can be challenging depending on the time of day. If you’re planning your commute while looking at houses, don’t forget to check it during rush hour.
- Chicago Food is Legendary. You probably already know that Chicago is known for its foodie scene. Al’s Beef, Chicago style pizza—there are plenty of incredible places to eat.
- Sports are Everywhere. Chicago is known for its thriving sports teams, including the White Sox, Cubs, Bears, Bulls, Blackhawks, Wolves, and Fire.
- Each Neighborhood Offers Unique Experiences. The neighborhoods of Chicago each have their vibe. The North Side is home to Wrigleyville. The West side has eclectic offerings, the Loop has plenty of tourist attractions. And the South Side has various cultural and social things to do, including Sox Park.
- Chicago is Racially Diverse. According to the US Census Bureau, Chicago is 36.1% White (32.9% Non-Hispanic White/3.2% Hispanic White), 28.5% Black/African American, 6.9% Asian, 1.1% Native American and Alaskan Native.
- Rent Prices are on Average. In Chicago, rental prices are comparable to other U.S. cities. Planning ahead can make a big difference in getting a place in your desired area and price range.
- Winters are Rough, but Summers are Divine. Winters in Chicago can indeed be brutally cold, especially with the wind chill factor and an average annual snowfall of 35 inches. But summertime boasts perfect (albeit humid) temperatures.
- Chicago has a High Crime Rate. Crime in Chicago is 164% higher than the national average. This depends on where in the city you are and what time you’re there.
- The Cost of Living in Chicago is Up There. The cost of living in Chicago is higher than in other places, although far less than in New York City. As you plan your move, you can use this chart to get updated insights into average costs, from a gallon of milk to rent prices.
- You’ll Never Run Out of Things to Do. There’s entertainment all year round, from the Chicago Art Institute to Second City to the Shedd Aquarium, not to mention all kinds of festivals and the giant St. Patrick’s Day celebrations.
Is Chicago a Good Place to Live?
Yes! While the city might not be for everyone, living in Chicago can be an exciting and delicious place to live, work, relax, study, and raise a family.
Hire AAA Movers to Help You Move to Chicago
Are you planning to move to Chicago sometime soon? Hire AAA Movers to get you there. Our ProMover-certified team can get you to your new home or business. Come join us in Chicago and be in the middle of the action.