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Thread summary:

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

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Old 07-08-2007, 06:20 PM
 
14 posts, read 84,981 times
Reputation: 24

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Hi there,

For about 4 years now I was thinking about living in Chicago. Instead I've moved to S.F. (Mountain View/Palo Alto area) about 4 years ago. I work in tech field in a startup and make 115k now and have offer for another job in startup for 125k, if I wont take new one, I'll negotiate current job to be 125k of course.

I have no investments of any meaningful savings (<5k). I'm not married (only 27 years old), don't own a house, rent for 2000/month, make car payment $550/month, and insurance 125/month. So those are all expenses I have on month to month basis.

My questions is what to expect from Chicago compare to SF bay area in terms of software/tech jobs, salaries and rents, car insurance costs, etc.

Also im interested in TAXES. Because here in I get slashed about 38% with all taxes + additional sales tax on everything! just insane, 50% of the check is gone.

Maybe in 5 years I'll think about buying house, so what kind of property taxes I should expect in "Chicagoland" area?

Perhaps somebody moved to Chicago from SF and can pitch in? Thanks in advance to everybody who replies!
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Old 07-09-2007, 12:35 AM
 
Location: Chicago/Denver
180 posts, read 311,974 times
Reputation: 77
SF is beautiful. I would never leave there to move here... unless I had a really good reason (family, etc).

I'm sick of IL.... mainly because Chicago is the only thing it has to offer. The rest of IL just sucks.
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Old 07-09-2007, 05:11 PM
 
Location: NW suburbs
94 posts, read 424,202 times
Reputation: 41
I have to agree, if i had a job opportunity that paid six figures and i was SINGLE. I wouldn't be leaving Cali id be on the next plane one way to San Fran!!!

Anyways if you think California has taxes than you got another thing commin! If anything Chicago has just as many taxes, just in different ways. In california isnt it true that the property taxes are fixed or somthing..? well you are in for a treat out here!!
We have taxes on Ciggarretts, highways, you name theres a tax for it in illinois. Thats why even though things are cheaper here, you'll find it similar once rod and daley are through with ya. Expect not to make as much as you did in SF, but at the same time expect to pay half as much for the space as you had in SF.
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Old 07-09-2007, 08:02 PM
 
333 posts, read 1,312,108 times
Reputation: 87
just casting a third vote to stay in sf.
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Old 07-09-2007, 09:21 PM
 
Location: Phoenix metro
20,005 posts, read 67,960,131 times
Reputation: 10048
Quote:
Originally Posted by crockodile View Post
Hi there,

For about 4 years now I was thinking about living in Chicago. Instead I've moved to S.F. (Mountain View/Palo Alto area) about 4 years ago. I work in tech field in a startup and make 115k now and have offer for another job in startup for 125k, if I wont take new one, I'll negotiate current job to be 125k of course.

I have no investments of any meaningful savings (<5k). I'm not married (only 27 years old), don't own a house, rent for 2000/month, make car payment $550/month, and insurance 125/month. So those are all expenses I have on month to month basis.

My questions is what to expect from Chicago compare to SF bay area in terms of software/tech jobs, salaries and rents, car insurance costs, etc.

Also im interested in TAXES. Because here in I get slashed about 38% with all taxes + additional sales tax on everything! just insane, 50% of the check is gone.

Maybe in 5 years I'll think about buying house, so what kind of property taxes I should expect in "Chicagoland" area?

Perhaps somebody moved to Chicago from SF and can pitch in? Thanks in advance to everybody who replies!
Heres my take: lifes short. Make the most of it. San Fran offers everything Chicago does, but on a smaller scale. Winters here are colder, summers are warmer, so you win some/lose some. We have beaches, world renowned restaurants, arts, opera, museums, etc, etc, etc, etc. Put it this way: if you like San Fran, odds are youll love Chicago, theyre kinda similar in a strange way. I like San Fran's scenery better, but I like Chicago as a whole better.

As for the poster who said the rest of Illinois sucks, dont listen to him/her, its obvious he/she doesnt get out much. There are MANY hidden gems in IL, you just need to find them. Here are some links you might be interested in:

Shawnee National Forest - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Starved Rock State Park - Photo Gallery (http://www.starvedrockstatepark.org/photo_gallery.cfm - broken link)

Matthiessen State Park - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

If youre into golf, watch the video:
Galena CVB

Galena, Illinois - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

apple river canyon state park review - illinois hiking trails - thebackpacker.com

20

from the cliff in mississippi palisades park pictures from midwest photos on webshots

Photos: Weekday Canyons Trip to Matthiessen State Park, Near Utica, IL - Windy City Hikers Meetup Group (Chicago, IL) - Meetup.com

Prairie Parklands Critical Trends Assessment: Sidebar - Sand Prairie and Savanna (broken link)

Ill post more when I can... there is LOTS more to see and do in Illinois.
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Old 07-09-2007, 09:43 PM
 
Location: Chicago
38,691 posts, read 86,811,612 times
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SF v. Chicago would be a toss-up for me were the cost of housing in SF not twice that in Chicago. That is Chicago's major advantage over nearly every other cosmopolitan city in the country. Like Steve-O says, Chicago offers everything SF does (except the weather consistency) but significantly cheaper. Salaries in SF may be higher to make up part of that difference, but I've heard anecdotal tales from people who moved to the Bay area to take a pay increase only to have that increase well more than offset by the higher cost of living. Even if you just break even in terms of cost-of-living, you'll have the same quality of life and yet be in a lower tax bracket. Something to consider....
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Old 07-10-2007, 06:50 AM
mdz
 
Location: Near West Burbs, IL
622 posts, read 2,368,478 times
Reputation: 194
125K here vs 125k san francisco is huge--and if you can spend 2000/month on rent you can get something real nice here.

Other major difference is the outdoorsy stuff. As nice as some places are here (steve-o checked off a few good ones) it doesn't compare at all to California (ie the pacific ocean, yosemite, Sierras, Lake Tahoe, etc). That being said, with all the money you're saving, you can fly back out there whenever you'd like
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Old 07-10-2007, 09:34 AM
 
Location: Phoenix metro
20,005 posts, read 67,960,131 times
Reputation: 10048
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdz View Post
125K here vs 125k san francisco is huge--and if you can spend 2000/month on rent you can get something real nice here.

Other major difference is the outdoorsy stuff. As nice as some places are here (steve-o checked off a few good ones) it doesn't compare at all to California (ie the pacific ocean, yosemite, Sierras, Lake Tahoe, etc). That being said, with all the money you're saving, you can fly back out there whenever you'd like
Oh, most definitely. Illinois is nowhere near as gorgeous as California, but to say the whole state "sucks" is wrong. There are many beautiful areas in Illinois, you just have to find them. We got small canyons, big cities, small country towns, cornfields, prairies, hills (driftless zone), rivers, lakes, dunes, forests, etc, etc. I used to make that same mistake, saying how Illinois was boring, and yada, yada, yada. Once I got married and moved out, I started exploring, finding things to do on the weekend. It was then I realized how in-tune I am with this state, particularly the prairies. I love it here, I find the beauty in all things when possible.
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Old 07-10-2007, 10:12 AM
 
148 posts, read 679,308 times
Reputation: 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by pandabear View Post
Anyways if you think California has taxes than you got another thing commin! If anything Chicago has just as many taxes, just in different ways. In california isnt it true that the property taxes are fixed or somthing..? well you are in for a treat out here!!
We have taxes on Ciggarretts, highways, you name theres a tax for it in illinois. Thats why even though things are cheaper here, you'll find it similar once rod and daley are through with ya. Expect not to make as much as you did in SF, but at the same time expect to pay half as much for the space as you had in SF.
As a recent past resident of both SF and Chicago, I will have to disagree. In fact, the above information is wildly inaccurate. Yes, Illinois/Chicago does have high taxes on many things, but they are nothing compared to what you pay to live in the Bay area, whether it be for just housing or groceries or for everything with California/SF taxes mixed in.

The same can be said for LA and San Diego. Cost of living in all of the large California metros compared with Chicago doesn’t even come close. As other have said, 125k in Chicago will go A LOT further than 125K in SF.

Heck, the cost of living in Chicago, if you had to pay every single tax, would still be significantly cheaper than cost living in the Bay area –- and I’m talking without taking California/S.F. taxes into consideration.

Again, even with paying taxes and living in Chicago, the cost of living is no where near the cost of living in San Francisco. Not even close.

Chicago’s economy is very solid and, in fact, it is thriving. The market for professionals in Chicago also pays very well. Chances are that if you are making 125k in S.F. that you should be able to make about the same in Chicago. Again, tech sector jobs pay very well in Chicago. Chicago also has the fourth-largest tech sector in the country, and it is continuing to thrive and grow.

Why do jobs in Chicago pay the same in comparison to their more expensive costal counterparts? There are a few reasons. Not only does Chicago have a large, powerful, wealthy, economy, but also Chicago competes directly with places like NYC, SF, LA, DC, and Boston for talent.

Simply put, if companies in Chicago, or the city of Chicago itself, wants to stay relevant in today’s economy, they have the pay the money to attract employees; the same type of money that is paid to employees in coastal cities where the coat of living is significantly higher.

OTHER EXCITING NEWS TODAY ABOUT CHICAGO’S ECONOMY: the Chicago Board of Trade and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange have agreed on a merger.

Experts are confident that this deal could make the new combined all-Chicago company (CBOT/CME) the world's biggest exchange. That’s right. Bigger than the New York Stock Exchange, any London exchange, or any exchange in Tokyo.

THIS MERGER IS HUGE!!! Chicago has just become one of the largest microphones through which a great deal of the WORLD’S money must speak too. The chances are real that Chicago might become the new financial capital of the world.

Last edited by gallo; 07-10-2007 at 11:03 AM..
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Old 07-10-2007, 10:21 AM
 
Location: Phoenix metro
20,005 posts, read 67,960,131 times
Reputation: 10048
Thats excellent news! I havent heard of that, strangely. When will this all get set into play?
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