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Old 12-12-2006, 06:10 PM
 
9 posts, read 17,336 times
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hello i am a 24 yr old girl orginally from nyc but lived in arizona for 3 years i have aa degree and would like to move to big city like chicago, but dont want to go back to new york city. need help finding a job working for the state and buying condo under 200,000 any help on where i can live close to city but not in it and where i can find a good job? thanks
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Old 12-12-2006, 06:14 PM
 
Location: AZ
19,684 posts, read 51,282,511 times
Reputation: 8970
How close is "close" for you? I really doubt youll be able to find a condo in a nice neighborhood for 200K. It sucks, but thats reality. Ive seen 1 BR condos in downtown fetch 550K.

Id recommend the western burbs (ie Wheaton, St. Charles, Warrenville, Glen Ellyn, Geneva, Naperville, etc). Theyre a 45 minute train ride to downtown, are safe and have great amenities with the suburban lifestyle. You should have no problem finding a small condo in that price range. On a good day, you can get downtown via Rt. 88 from the western burbs in 1 hour, bad days? 2 hours, maybe more.
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Old 12-13-2006, 02:41 PM
 
Location: Munster
40 posts, read 127,431 times
Reputation: 34
If you look in the free weekly Chicago Reader, there are some apartments beginning to appear for <$200k. While they are probably not ultra-deluxe, they are still probably better than what you'd be used to in NYC.There are some livable neighborhoods in the Chicago that are expanding as is the supply of apartments. Living in the suburbs, especially out west, is most definitely not the same as living in the city when that's what you're looking for. Don't give up.
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Old 12-13-2006, 02:54 PM
 
Location: Lincoln, NE
38 posts, read 223,077 times
Reputation: 65
Question Why the Suburbs? Why Not the City? What Are Your "Must Haves"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mcclain718 View Post
hello i am a 24 yr old girl orginally from nyc but lived in arizona for 3 years i have aa degree and would like to move to big city like chicago, but dont want to go back to new york city. need help finding a job working for the state and buying condo under 200,000 any help on where i can live close to city but not in it and where i can find a good job? thanks

First, did you really mean to say that you want to work for the State of Illinois? If so, you'll probably have to work in the Loop (that's Chicago's downtown business district). To start the state employment application process, go to state.il.us/cms/1_employ/ . The State of Illinois has an official jobs web site that lists openings with private employers as well as the state. Go to illinoisskillsmatch.com . If you're seeking non-governmental employment you should check out job listings in the Chicago Tribune as well as posting your resume in the usual on-line sources.

Second, did you mean to say that you had a 4-year degree or an Associate of Arts (AA) degree? An AA might get you work in an office as an administrative assistant if you've got some experience to go along with it. A BA or BS will make getting a good job easier.

Third, do you really want to live in the suburbs? I can't imagine why a single young woman from NYC wouldn't want to live in the city. Have you ever been to Chicago? It's cleaner, friendlier, less congested, WAY MORE attractive, and LOTS cheaper than NYC. It has nearly all the advantages of NYC and fewer of the disadvantages. It's got a gorgeous skyline, a breathtaking lakefront, fabulous parks and public spaces, the best restaurants in the nation for the money hands down, a world class art scene, outstanding shopping, fantastic entertainment options, and a nightlife to rival NYC. The suburbs are where people go to raise kids. Why would you want to live there if you're young and single?

I've travelled a lot and I lived in Chicago (the city, not the suburbs) for 25 years. I know the suburbs nearly as well as I know the city because of my job in commercial real estate investment. Chicago is one of my two favorite cities in the world; the other is London. It's a GREAT place to live and work. I'd move back to Chicago in a heartbeat if I could, but I'd have to divorce my husband to do it since he can't pick up his business and move it.

Without knowing more about what it is you're specifically longing for, here's my advice:

(1) Get detailed maps of the city, the western suburbs and the northwestern suburbs. Get CTA (Chicago Transit Authority) and METRA (Metropolitan Transit Authority) maps as well. If you're gonna work downtown you're gonna need to commute to work regardless of where you live because parking is prohibitively expensive.

(2) Line up some job interviews in downtown Chicago and have a good look around while you're there. Use public transportation. You'll see more that way. If at all possible, stay in a downtown hotel. Good weekend rates and package deals are available, especially in winter. Be sure to bring warm clothing. Temperatures can fall below zero in January and February, though most days are in the 20's to 30's.

(3) Get a copy of the Chicago and Suburbs Apartment Guide from apartmentguide.com . Unless you absolutely MUST purchase a condo right away, you'll be much better off renting for a year while you search out the locations you'd want to live in long term. Declining housing prices are another good reason to wait. You might be able to pick up a bargain if you're patient.

(4) Rent a car and drive around in the western and northwestern suburbs. Locate the train stations and have a look around the villages' downtown areas. Check out the shopping centers and apartment communities. In the suburbs you can pretty much forget about being walking distance from the train, so get a good feel for the length of the drive from your potential neighborhood to the nearest train station. Pay close attention to availability of parking. Check out how full the lot is during the middle of a weekday.

(5) Post more questions on this forum. There'll always be someone who'll offer an opinion.

Whether city or suburbs, Chicago is an excellent choice. Good luck on relocating!
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Old 12-13-2006, 03:03 PM
 
2,778 posts, read 5,481,256 times
Reputation: 2017
I would argue about Chicago's nightlife. It doesn't really have much of a nightlife, unless you enjoy sports bars.
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Old 12-13-2006, 03:23 PM
 
Location: AZ
19,684 posts, read 51,282,511 times
Reputation: 8970
Quote:
Originally Posted by coldwine View Post
I would argue about Chicago's nightlife. It doesn't really have much of a nightlife, unless you enjoy sports bars.


Um, what about the dozens of clubs downtown alone? All the fine dining? Theatres? Theres LOTS to do in Chicago as far as nightlife is concerned. If all else fails, there is always Navy Pier and the skyline cruises out on the lake.
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Old 12-13-2006, 05:14 PM
 
Location: Lincoln, NE
38 posts, read 223,077 times
Reputation: 65
Question No Nightlife In Chicago? You've Got To Be Kidding!

Quote:
Originally Posted by coldwine View Post
I would argue about Chicago's nightlife. It doesn't really have much of a nightlife, unless you enjoy sports bars.

You can't be serious! Or else you you didn't get out much. I lived in Chicago for 25 years and went to a sports bar maybe 2 or 3 times in all those years. Sports just aren't my thing. But I went to plenty of blues bars, jazz clubs, Irish pubs, coffee houses, dance clubs, piano bars, folk clubs, theatrical performances, dance theater, improv, concerts of all types, the opera, the symphony, and even a drag show or two. When I had no money -- and even when I did -- I went to the free concerts in Grant Park and strolled down Navy Pier. There are so many really good restaurants it'd take a lifetime to dine in all of them. And since I don't really consider them "nightlife" per se, I haven't even touched on all the free or nearly free evening lectures, exhibits, performances and discussion groups sponsored by the local universities, colleges, the Art Institute, the public library, and private organizations.

If you can't find nightlife other than a sports bar in Chicago you must have no friends and have never bothered to check the Reader or Chicago Magazine.
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Old 12-13-2006, 07:57 PM
 
17 posts, read 171,963 times
Reputation: 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by coldwine View Post
I would argue about Chicago's nightlife. It doesn't really have much of a nightlife, unless you enjoy sports bars.
ARE YOU SERIOUS? DUDE, HOW OLD ARE YOU? THERE'S LOTS OF CLUBS IN CHICAGO DOWNTOWN. IF YOU KNOW HOW TO LOOK FOR THEM, YOU'LL FIND THEM. Info on all Chicagoland clubs & fun here: www.metromix.com

IF YOU LIVE IN ARIZONA, WOULNDT IT BE BETTER IF YOU MOVED TO L.A.? THERE'S WAY MORE OPORTUNITIES THERE THAN IN CHICAGO AND, L.A KNOWS HOW TO PARTY. YOU'VE GOT BEACHES, PALM TREES, BEATIFUL WEATHER AND YOU DONT HAVE THE ENTIRE UNEMPLOYED SOUTHSIDE OF THE CITY.
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Old 12-13-2006, 08:14 PM
j33
 
4,625 posts, read 9,792,213 times
Reputation: 1584
Quote:
Originally Posted by coldwine View Post
I would argue about Chicago's nightlife. It doesn't really have much of a nightlife, unless you enjoy sports bars.
As a 4+ years resident of Wicker Park and an 11+ years resident of the city proper, I'd beg to differ. There are loads of spots to dance, chill (without sports), and eat well in this city, not to mention a huge theater scene. What are you thinking?
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Old 12-13-2006, 10:04 PM
 
Location: Chicago
36,643 posts, read 58,009,032 times
Reputation: 25710
Quote:
Originally Posted by coldwine View Post
I would argue about Chicago's nightlife. It doesn't really have much of a nightlife, unless you enjoy sports bars.
WTF?? Which Chicago were you in? Because it sure as hell isn't the same Chicago I live in. This place is a world-class cosmopolitan city with the nightlife to match. I won't even bother attempting an exhaustive list of nightlife spots because it would take up hours and pages, besides which Metromix has already done it better than I can.

Something for every taste in this town, including but not by any stretch limited to sports bars.
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