Douglas Landon
Douglas Landon
Home Buyer
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4 years ago
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Moving to Chicago, what is the best neighborhood?

I am moving to Chicago from Springfield for work (and play). I have not spent much time in Chicago other than going downtown for different events. What neighborhoods should I think about moving to? Is there a "best" neighborhood? I have heard that Lincoln Park and Wrigleyville are cool... are they worth the possibly higher rent? Are there other areas that are lesser known but just as fun? Thx...
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Jason N.
Jason N.
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4 years ago
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Hey Stan. Chicago is a great place to live. Your answer is ridiculously jaded and off topic. The overtly racist and classist tone may lend readers to believe Chicago is filled with people like you. I want to clear that up.

Chicago is a major metropolitan city. It is expensive - in parts - and rough - in parts - not unlike LA, NY, SF, Tokyo, London, etcetera. Though unlike some of those other world class cities listed, Chicago provides amazing opportunities for experiencing a multitude of cultural and art events AT NO CHARGE to its residents. Yes the exchange is we all pay slightly more in taxes(+4%), but it helps to make Chicago world class.

I'm aware this was asked nine months ago but for those googling the same question I will answer. Like most of the other constructive responses to the question of 'best' neighborhood - I agree that it is up for debate based on what you like.

Personally as a 28 year old male living with his girlfriend - full time school and work - I must say that Wicker Park/Bucktown has been amazing for the months we have lived here. The most amazing mix of old world Chicago families, hipsters, students, and young starter families as well.

Amazing nightlife, shopping, food, and downtown is five minutes by train if you need an expensive night out or world class shopping or to attend one of the many events.

Many neighborhoods in Chicago are distinctly segregated by class and/or race it seems from my exploring the city. Wicker Park, Bucktown, Ukranian Village, Logan Square, and more and more Pilsen seem to all eschew these lines. Though I'm not a hipster...they do seem to be the best barometer for a neighborhoods ability to meld cultures and often they are the first to venture outside established 'nice' areas.

In closing if you share Stan's closed minded view that government should really do nothing except buy bombs and impose our will on sovereign foreign nations, while you buy milwaukees best tax free...Stan's right move to Texas.
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A HotPads user
A HotPads user
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4 months ago
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Hi Jason. Thanks for the info. Do you recommend any family-safe northside neighborhoods that run in the $200-300k range for a 3 bed, 2 bath house?

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Just Agal
Just Agal
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4 years ago
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I realize this is an older thread and the OP may have already moved. But I'll put in my two cents for the sake of anyone looking for a "real" answer to the question.

Of course what constitutes "best" is in the eye of the beholder BUT (& I say this having lived in over half a dozen major US cities) in the Windy City it pays to follow the schools (the best public schools that is) - whether or not you have kids and whether or not you plan to utilize public schools (over private), the best communities to see & be seen in the city & in the burbs have the best schools. To name a neighborhood as the "Best" in Chicago is to be a rookie who knows nothing, I mean nada, about the city. Every neighborhood has it's good & bad sides. The school boundaries will help you determine what's what. School areas to look for:

City:
North side - Blaine, Bell, Audubon, Burley, Lincoln, Stockton, & Rogers elementary
South side - Ray/Murray (Hyde Park) and Sutherland (Beverly)
For the city's edge look to Lincolnwood (sub) & Edison Park (neigh.).

Suburbs:
Oak Park/River Forest, Evanston/Skokie/Winnetka/Wilmette, La Grange, Downers Grove, Glencoe/Highland Park (if you can afford it), Northbrook, Hinsdale, and Naperville. Orland Park is not the most exciting place, but it's got a great school district & decent shopping if you have to look at the south suburbs.

There are other areas that are good (w good schools) depending on what you're after, but these areas have the most to offer the widest variety of people while still being relatively safe & interesting.

Again, be sure to look at the micro-communities/school data/crime stats for any given part of any given neighborhood. They vary drastically from block to block.

Good luck & Chicago is one of the greatest cities in the world despite the current woes (Chicagoans would do well to keep in mind that every city is in angst right now).
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Just Agal
Just Agal
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4 years ago
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I forgot to mention Pritzker (great school) in Wicker Park (desirability of actually living in this neighborhood is dwindling though still a fun place to hang out in numbers).

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Emily bieber
Emily bieber
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4 years ago
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Lakeview, Lincoln Park, Wicker Park, Bucktown, Wrigleyville. Live in the city. The suburbs are not as fun :)

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p gom
p gom
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4 years ago
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It really depends on your style. If you are a frat boy type, Lakeview is great. If you are a little more grown up, Andersonville and Lincoln Square are great. I really have never understood the appeal of Wicker/bucktown: no trees, away from the lake, lots of traffic.

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Marilyn Hanzal
Marilyn Hanzal
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4 years ago
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There are many wonderful neighborhoods in Chicago--it is a city of neighborhoods. It depends on what you are looking for. My home is for sale in the Beverly neighborhood--4 bedrooms. It is perfect for families--I raised my two children here--with excellent housing stock that is really affordable. Excellent school choices, and you can walk to the Metra train to get downtown in 25 minutes. Neighbors are very nice, social, and helpful. We refer to ourselves as the village in the City. Search the area--zip code is 60643.

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tra jafort
tra jafort
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3 years ago
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I think the best neighborhood in Chicago is Rogers Park on the far north side. There's plenty to do, nice bars, a thriving art and theater scene, a world class university, the most progressive alderman, affordable real estate, and the prettiest, least crowded beaches in the city are right at your doorstep. There's a great movie theater, great restaurants, and a great neighborhood feel. Also, Evanston and Lincolnwood are a ten minute drive if you want to get out of the city for an evening.

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Jakey Hendersen
Jakey Hendersen
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4 years ago
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I wouldn't say there is a best neighborhood in Chicago. I'm a big fan of Lincoln Park. I'd also throw out Logan Square and Wicker Park. It really depends on what you are looking for and what type of scene you are into. Neighborhoods in Chicago have vastly different "feels" to them, so it really depends on if you are looking for upscale shopping, restaurants and bars, parks and water, or a more trendy or hipster vibe.

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Jenna Contuchio
Jenna Contuchio
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4 years ago
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Wicker Park/Bucktown and Logan Square and great, I agree. River West and River North are also sweet. Check into the ChicagoReader.com for listings. They have a map with zip codes that really helps. There is a great rental company out of WP/BTown too but I can't remember the name right now, sorry.

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Hanna A.
Hanna A.
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4 years ago
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It does depend on what kind of scene you're into. Dreamtown.com has a great little guide to the neighborhoods of Chicago. I'd recommend looking for a sublet first, so if you do decide you like another neighborhood best, you're not committed to a lease for a year.

http://www.dreamtown.com/neighborhoods/chicago-neighborhoods.html

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Eric Marcus
Eric Marcus
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4 years ago
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I am biased toward the Lakeview/North Center neighborhoods on the near north side of Chicago. There are great transportation options, incredible food choices from neighborhood bars to fast food to high end restaurants. The area is very walkable with pretty much anything you can possibly need within a 15 minute walk. The western part of this area has more affordable condos and single family homes with less congestion. The eastern part of the area is much more densely populated and there is less parking and more traffic (especially on Cubs game days). I have lived in/near the area for 19 years now and we have chosen to raise our two children here as well because of the short commute times, the good schools in the area and the easy access to the best museums in the midwest and maybe the country.

If you have any questions, please feel free to write or call.

Eric Marcus
ESM Realty
Your Real Friend in Chicago Real Estate
773-244-1110
esmarcus@sbcglobal.net

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Maria Rios
Maria Rios
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4 years ago
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I would say Galewood, which is close to Oak Park. It's very affordable and peaceful and since it's next to Oak Park there is much to do, as well. I see you are a Cubs fan, and if you want lots of entertainment around, Wrigleyville is the answer, and yes, it's worth the higher rent.
Maria Rios
American International
Let me know if there is anything else I can help with. m_lourdesrios@yahoo.com

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Jade B
Jade B
Looking to Rent
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3 years ago
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South Loop area. It is close to all public transportation and it's quiet! A nice way to get away from the busy life of work and the social scene.

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Cassandra H
Cassandra H
Landlord
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3 years ago
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I lived on the north side of chicago for 10+ years. I personally think it is expensive to live (not to mention ridiculously hard to park) in Lincoln Park and Wrigleyville. Try a bit north like andersonville or some pockets of rogers park. These areas are a bit less expensive and only 10-15 min from the hot spots. PS if you like sushi try Shiroi Hana on Clark - it's yummy! Good Luck!
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Rex Sokolnicki
Rex Sokolnicki
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1 year ago
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Hi Cassandra. I would like some more information regarding your property on Jessica Lane in Supply, NC. I sold my home & verrrryyy shortly need a home. please email me at rextr@ec.rr.com

Thanx,
Rex

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Deven Hariyani
Deven Hariyani
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4 years ago
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I've found that Streeterville / Gold Coast is still one of the best neighborhoods in the city. Many people love to talk about Bucktown, Logan Sq, etc. but nothing beats being steps away from Michigan Ave, with tons of bars close by at Rush and Division and on top of that the commute to work in the Loop is very reasonable.

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Krystie  Krugman
Krystie Krugman
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4 years ago
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The South Loop is an up & coming neighborhood with convenience to downtown, safe, quiet, family/pet friendly. We have lived here for a year & love it.

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marisol motano-pecoraro
marisol motano-pecoraro
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3 years ago
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thanks for your help on tips. i have a house in the suburbs and i just bore of it and want to live the city!!We are a family of 3 with a 10yrs boy. I wish somebody can advice me where is the best place to rent a apartment around 1,500 budget. My husband works in the suburbs(palatine) and we need to be walking distance to ogilvie metra station to save time for him or if you can recomend a convinience neighboorhood close to madison. on the other hand, im wondering about schools ranking.. how to choose one? of course we all want the best 4 our kids, besides that, is there school buses to pick kids to schools? how can i find out which streets they get pick out? Im worry about the winter times.. so, i love being close to the lake and have my own gym at.. if you know any apartments with heat and aircond included, plus amenities will be awesome!!i need to work also partime job waitress, any tips are welcome... also, need to know if it easy to move in the public transportation since i wont have a car.... im moving for summer from Mexico city to there, so is dificult to check on neigboorhoods and stuff and my husband is busy working!!! THANKS A LOT FOR YOUR HELP!!!

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Mark Canty
Mark Canty
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3 years ago
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Move to the Gold Coast, Old Town, or Lincoln Park if you want the best neighborhood. As for tax discussion started below, I think Stan was talking about some of the things listed in the link below.

http://www.chicagonow.com/blogs/publius-forum/2011/03/former-state-senator-quits-illinois-moves-to-texas.html

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quinneidrah mines
quinneidrah mines
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3 years ago
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wicker park is the best. Still affordable and is very trendy..

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Anna Meredith
Anna Meredith
Real Estate Professional
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3 years ago
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So, this is a popular topic for newbies. Read my blog.

http://findmyapartmentchicago.wordpress.com/2011/06/21/how-to-look-for-an-apartment/

http://findmyapartmentchicago.wordpress.com/2011/07/08/bacon-more-important-than-neighborhood/

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Kasia McCormick
Kasia McCormick
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2 years ago
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River North! It is in the center of EVERYTHING and on the east side of the river (the good side). Its a $10-15 cab to everywhere important in the city whether you go N,S,E,W. Condos have great amenities and you are next to the hottest places in the city.

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Kathryn Kelly
Kathryn Kelly
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1 year ago
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Anything lakefront from the Loop north, and midcity, most anything bordered by the Dan Ryan east, Harlem west, and Irving Park Rd south. Wicker Park and Bucktown are exceptions to that rule.

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Kathryn Kelly
Kathryn Kelly
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1 year ago
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I've lived here five years and have covered the city as a visiting nurse. The suburbs ARE boring, but I live in one with a top school. Another great area I didn't mention was Rogers Park/Clark Ave north, and Evanston.

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A HotPads user
A HotPads user
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1 year ago
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Here's a quick couple of articles that offer some advice if you're new to Chicago:

http://allchicago.info/apartment-search-tools/

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