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Thread summary:

City Index: Chicago, San Francisco, cost of living, housing, car insurance, job market.

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Old 07-10-2007, 10:59 AM
1,816 posts, read 5,076,914 times
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San Francisco is very densely populated, 2nd most in the country. Chicago is more spread out in a big city land wise(a city of different neighborhoods). Population for Metro Chicago is 9.5 million and for SF it is 7 million. However, Chicago includes parts of Southern Wisconsin etc...and SF doesn't include the 2 million people in Sacramento which is equally close.(70-75 miles) etc...Many people use the Bay Area as a comparison because many people live in say Oakland or East Bay etc...and travel the 10 miles into SF to work and play. ....etc...

There isn't going to be much adjustment to size at either part of the country. SF obviously has close access to beaches, mountains etc...and is not even comparable more scenic.

Chicago has a great and big city skyline. But the rest of metro Chicago isn't all that scenic, and I will also say neither is much of Illinois etc...imo.

Cost of living is MUCH cheaper in Chicago. Chicago cost of living is MUCH more expensive compared to the South or Midwest. Not compared to the Northeast or California.

Obviously depending on your part of the Bay Area, East Bay, Southern Parts of the Bay area etc...there are several types of weather. In Chicago it gets cooler by the lake, but weather is primarily outer areas vs by the lake.

The rents are much cheaper in Chicago. A one bedroom in some of the highest priced areas in the Gold Coast can be had in the $1200 range. And a little less in close by areas. You can buy much more easily. You would do fine in some nice city areas in the $350k range. Some two bedrooms in Wicker Park for $325-$350k-$400k.....A friend's 1 bedroom condo 40th floor high rise brand new, went for $375k in Streeterville. All of these had brand new remodels, top of line fixtures. etc...There is no comparison for bang for your buck between the Bay area and Chicago. These are all some of the higher priced areas in the city. Many areas will be much cheaper than this.

The Big questions for you would be:

1) The Midwest, do you like it, could you like it? It's a much different vibe and feel.
2) Chicago winters and spring, etc...weather, does it matter?

Both are great cities and areas. I like the Bay Area more, but I also like Chicago a lot as well.
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Old 07-10-2007, 11:05 AM
148 posts, read 679,308 times
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Originally Posted by Steve-o View Post
Thats excellent news! I havent heard of that, strangely. When will this all get set into play?
http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/business/AP-CBOT-Buyout.html?_r=1&oref=slogin (broken link)
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Old 08-03-2007, 02:39 PM
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Cool Former Chicagoan

I have lived in Los Angeles since the early 90's. Prior to this I lived in the city and suburbs. Somehow Chicagoans seem to think everything is better in California -- I think most are thinking about weather. Chicago is a wonderful, vibrant city. San Fran has always seems "small" to me and disconnected because of the huge income disparities of the "haves" and "have-nots." But if you enjoy San Fran you will love Chicago. I miss Chicago which has friendly people, great neighborhoods and a sense of community which is lacking out here to due to so many transplants from other parts of the country and world. California is falling apart literally: overcrowded roads, immigration problems galore, failing schools, and taxes on everything to prop up the state. There is still a tranquility in Chicago and the suburbs which does not exist here on the west coast. With your income level you can have a very nice life and eventually a home at a much better price than anything on the west coast.
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