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Old 05-02-2013, 12:34 PM
 
Location: Upper West Side, Manhattan, NYC
14,807 posts, read 19,063,269 times
Reputation: 6821

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Quote:
Originally Posted by neinei876 View Post
Marothisu, I would definitely be living without roommates since I have a daughter. Affordable is hard to define since it differs from city to city, and job to job. I am going to be going into administrative positions since those are where my strongest skills are but am also considering furthering my education (possibly in economics), so would like a broader range of opportunities but I guess that comes with most of the cities you listed above. I will definitely look into Chicago since it does have great public transit and is a big city.
That makes sense. I have no idea what Fresno's rent is like, but I'm sure it's lower than Chicago. From my little research it looks like average rent might be around $700/month there?

Do you currently have a college degree also? I guess "administrative positions" can mean a few different things..not sure which you mean.


Quote:
Btw, what do you do for work and what is your opinion of Chicago? It'd be nice to hear it from someone who currently lives there.
I am an IT consultant here in Chicago. There's actually a lot of that, and since there's so much financial stuff going on - a lot of it going on there. The IT industry here is also steadily growing of the last few years.

Personally, I love Chicago. One of my favorite world cities. It is very walkable, public transit oriented (although not EVERYWHERE but in many areas), lot of good food, drinks, etc. Although it has the reputation for crime, just like any big city it's contained mostly in a few larger areas that are usually not close to the good areas. If you compare it to other walkable cities in the US, it's affordable. I'd say that and Philadelphia are the two most affordable, but Chicago is close to double the size of Philadelphia. Philadelphia though is close to NYC, DC, etc. Definitely has its flaws, like any major city, but it's good for me and many others.
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Old 05-02-2013, 08:04 PM
 
Location: Fresno, CA
88 posts, read 107,133 times
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Thanks to everyone for the replies! I will definitely look into Washington DC and I've also heard that federal jobs were better for people searching to move out of state, although with tougher competition.

And thanks Kyle19125! It's nice to know that NYC is not completely off the list I've also read on many forums that people recommend Hoboken and Queens, and thanks for being specific of the areas. They help a lot.

Marothisu, you're right on the rent. Rent is about $700-$900, more or so $850+ for a 1 bedroom in a good, safe neighborhood. I do have a BA in global economics with a focus on East Asia. The only "special" skill I think may come of use are my languages. My native tongue was Farsi (although I don't know how to read or write and speaking is very lacking), I'm fluent in English and my Mandarin Chinese is better than my Farsi on all levels. By administrative skills, I meant the regular administrative assistant/office skills. There isn't anything in Fresno that could use a global econ degree since the industry here is predominantly agriculture and manufacturing so I got an office assistant/receptionist position (after 11 months of searching for work :O )
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Old 05-02-2013, 08:07 PM
 
Location: Fresno, CA
88 posts, read 107,133 times
Reputation: 34
I think that if I ever tell someone I will consider Chicago as a potential move, the first thing they'll say is, "what about the crime?" I figured, if 2 million people are living there, there has to be good areas and things in Chicago. Every city has it's good and bad.
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Old 05-02-2013, 08:30 PM
 
Location: Upper West Side, Manhattan, NYC
14,807 posts, read 19,063,269 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neinei876 View Post
Marothisu, you're right on the rent. Rent is about $700-$900, more or so $850+ for a 1 bedroom in a good, safe neighborhood. I do have a BA in global economics with a focus on East Asia. The only "special" skill I think may come of use are my languages. My native tongue was Farsi (although I don't know how to read or write and speaking is very lacking), I'm fluent in English and my Mandarin Chinese is better than my Farsi on all levels. By administrative skills, I meant the regular administrative assistant/office skills. There isn't anything in Fresno that could use a global econ degree since the industry here is predominantly agriculture and manufacturing so I got an office assistant/receptionist position (after 11 months of searching for work :O )
I'm surprised Fresno is that expensive actually ($850/month). There are some good, very safe neighborhoods of Chicago where a 1 bedroom of that might be possible (won't be luxurious though....). There's a number of northside neighborhoods in Chicago (on average the safest in the city) which you could get a 1 bedroom for say...$900-$1100/month. In fact, my girlfriend's place last summer was just under $1200/month for a 2 bedroom in an extremely safe neighborhood 1.5 blocks from a rail station and a number of families around mixed with mid to late 20s individuals. Every morning at her place in the spring/summer, I could hear children playing outside. It was quiet enough to make you believe you were in the suburbs, but it was right in the city and a 10 minute train ride away from one of the hottest nightlife areas of the city (with a lot of restaurants too). Many restaurants and shops in this area though still..

I don't know what the housing stock though is like in Fresno. If you found a 1 bedroom for $850/month in Chicago, it would probably be more vintage. Although, there are a number of rehabbed places on the inside that you can get good deals on sometimes if they aren't in the "hot" neighborhoods.

Farsi - very nice. What country are you from/your parents from? There are some Persians here for sure, although I don't know of the numbers.

For the job stuff, first of all Chicago is the second largest financial center in the US behind New York City. Don't know how far removed you are from that degree, but I'm going to go out on a limb and say that Chicago is far, far, far better for this than Fresno. If you can't get work in that, there's a ton of white collar jobs in Chicago and a lot in the Loop (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicago_Loop) but also spread into many other areas. Companies of late have been relocating to this area from the suburbs (and some from out of state) and I know that some companies have been hiring new people and expanding not only their work force, but the amount of square footage for their offices.

I see someone mentioned DC as well which is a great city - love the place. Good if you aren't that far removed from that Econ stuff. The only problem with DC is that the cost of living is pretty high. Though if you get a job doing Economic stuff, it might not be a huge deal anyway.

Last edited by marothisu; 05-02-2013 at 08:47 PM..
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Old 05-02-2013, 08:44 PM
 
Location: Upper West Side, Manhattan, NYC
14,807 posts, read 19,063,269 times
Reputation: 6821
Quote:
Originally Posted by neinei876 View Post
I think that if I ever tell someone I will consider Chicago as a potential move, the first thing they'll say is, "what about the crime?" I figured, if 2 million people are living there, there has to be good areas and things in Chicago. Every city has it's good and bad.
Yep, pretty much. The crime is overstated here IMO. It DEFINITELY exists, but like any large city, a lot of it is centered in a few areas. Just like a lot of big cities, actually since 2007, 75% of the homicides have existed in only 25% of the 77 neighborhoods, and many of them are in two greater areas where they're kind of adjacent to one another.

Luckily, the neighborhoods where it's a hell of a lot more prominent are pretty segregated from the normal/good areas. That's not to say that crimes don't happen in the other neighborhoods, but it's definitely not as prominent.

The crime, at least for this year is looking up too. Actually if you look at the homicides and you go back to the early 90s, the rate per 100k and count has literally been halved. NYC has done a faster job at it, but the job in Chicago has still been pretty good. This year so far, it's been the lowest number of homicides since 1962. We still have 8 months left, but the numbers are down 40% from last year. Hopefully it keeps up.
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Old 05-02-2013, 11:49 PM
 
Location: Fresno, CA
88 posts, read 107,133 times
Reputation: 34
Marothisu, being in Fresno, I'm surprised but very happy that Chicago rents are in that range. I think your gf had a fantastic deal on her apartment. It is so reassuring to know that there are affordable, safe places for people with families right in the city. From your description, I feel like I would fit in that area relatively well. As for Fresno, my current 1 bedroom is about $820/month (rent+water+sewage+garbage). It seems that in general, the cheaper you go anywhere, the worse the neighborhood. Although there are those gems. I actually wouldn't mind living in a vintage building as long as I get the modern amenities I need, which may or may not be possible.

My parents are both from Kabul. They came to the US in 1989/1990, stayed in CA from the beginning till now. I'm pretty half and half American so it's not too worrisome if I don't find my kind. I get along with pretty much anybody.

As for my degree, it's been about a little over a year since I last touched economics. I still catch up on the news hear in there to get what's going on but I wouldn't say I have hands-on skills. I'm grateful I have administrative skills; I wouldn't know what I'd be doing if I didn't. You are right on Chicago being a LOT better for someone with a background in econ than Fresno. I knew from the beginning that Fresno wasn't right for what I'm interested in but I didn't really have a choice at that time. Thanks for referencing the Loop. I heard it many times but wasn't exactly sure what it was or it's significance.

It's great to know how much crime has decreased in Chicago. Knowing now that they are segregated from the good areas makes it all the less stressful when considering possible neighborhoods to move into.

As for DC, I have considered it before and I may continue to do so, but I'm leaning towards Chicago a lot more. It seems to have everything I need at a more affordable rate. Also, if I ever decide to visit family over the holidays in California, Chicago is closer.

Thanks so much for all your advice. It's very helpful
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Old 05-03-2013, 12:41 AM
 
Location: Upper West Side, Manhattan, NYC
14,807 posts, read 19,063,269 times
Reputation: 6821
Quote:
Originally Posted by neinei876 View Post
Marothisu, being in Fresno, I'm surprised but very happy that Chicago rents are in that range. I think your gf had a fantastic deal on her apartment. It is so reassuring to know that there are affordable, safe places for people with families right in the city. From your description, I feel like I would fit in that area relatively well. As for Fresno, my current 1 bedroom is about $820/month (rent+water+sewage+garbage). It seems that in general, the cheaper you go anywhere, the worse the neighborhood. Although there are those gems. I actually wouldn't mind living in a vintage building as long as I get the modern amenities I need, which may or may not be possible.
Yeah, it's surprising to me Fresno is that much. I expected it to be less for some reason, maybe in the $500-$650/month range. In Chicago in the downtown area where I live, I pay about $1320/month for a one bedroom in a high rise with a 24 hour doorman and gym. After electricity it's closer to say $1375/month (sometimes less, sometimes more). Average downtown runs the gamut from probably $1200/month to $2000/month and a few buildings as high as $3000/month (not many).

Outside of that, some of the other "desirable" neighborhoods just to the north would be probably $1000-$1200/month for a one bedroom..sometimes less. Some others like what I mentioned can be even less.

I will caution that it's rare to find a place with ALL utilities included and sometimes the cheaper places may skimp you out of some of the more expensive utilities. I think it's unfortunate. They will just do some, and this is one of the worst cities for bed bugs, although the city is about to come down on renters very, very hard about this and fine them large amounts of money if they don't try and put an end to it in some areas. And yes, some don't have AC, especially the old ones.

Some examples though:
Chicago Apartments | 4851 N DAMEN AVE | Domu Chicago
Thorndale | Chicago, IL Apartments for Rent | Rent.com®
https://www.padmapper.com/show.php?t...79555&src=main
Chicago Apartments | Times Square | Domu Chicago
Chicago Apartments | 445 W Barry Ave | Domu Chicago


The rental market has been really hot though for over a year, so I notice less and less places available in certain areas at least for one bedrooms. There are still a lot of apartments in the city though that don't have any listings online. Definitely walk around and call type of deal.

I will say that there are some areas north of there (northside is usually the safest overall area of town) are so so some areas in the far north area, but a number of serious crimes here are actually gang on gang or drug trade related (not all, but a fairly large percentage).

Some neighborhoods you may hear people throwing out for your budget and safety concerns would be Irving Park, Ravenswood, Edgewater, and even parts of Lakeview.

Here's a video about Ravenswood (that is like 5 years old): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PekToxd5SFM

Quote:
My parents are both from Kabul. They came to the US in 1989/1990, stayed in CA from the beginning till now. I'm pretty half and half American so it's not too worrisome if I don't find my kind. I get along with pretty much anybody.
Ah, gotcha. That's cool..I have met a few Afghanis here. I know of a few good Afghani restaurants..one in the burbs but one of the city trains goes within a few blocks of it actually. There's a decent number of Middle Easterners and Indian/Pakistani here. A lot of the Indian/Pakistani actually live in the area of West Ridge and Rogers Park which are very north.

Kabul House - Skokie, IL

I do think though that the DC area has more Afghanis, but I know you said it might not matter anyway.

Quote:
As for my degree, it's been about a little over a year since I last touched economics. I still catch up on the news hear in there to get what's going on but I wouldn't say I have hands-on skills. I'm grateful I have administrative skills; I wouldn't know what I'd be doing if I didn't. You are right on Chicago being a LOT better for someone with a background in econ than Fresno. I knew from the beginning that Fresno wasn't right for what I'm interested in but I didn't really have a choice at that time. Thanks for referencing the Loop. I heard it many times but wasn't exactly sure what it was or it's significance.
That's not that bad - a year. Hopefully you would be able to get something no matter where you go in it! Always great to have administrative skills..so true. Chicago has a high-ish unemployment rate when you look at it, but it also includes some areas of the city that are not very educated as well as Gary, Indiana which is pretty bad for employment. The city of Chicago itself though still has many "white collar" type of jobs and people are definitely starting to hire again.

Quote:
It's great to know how much crime has decreased in Chicago. Knowing now that they are segregated from the good areas makes it all the less stressful when considering possible neighborhoods to move into.
It's pretty much always been that way. The only deal is that some of the crime has spread into other areas but most of the ones that have been stereotypically safe for awhile continue to do so. The place is basically a tale of two cities. You have real high crime areas in one part of town then the other it's mainly not that much in the way of anything serious.

Quote:
As for DC, I have considered it before and I may continue to do so, but I'm leaning towards Chicago a lot more. It seems to have everything I need at a more affordable rate. Also, if I ever decide to visit family over the holidays in California, Chicago is closer.

Thanks so much for all your advice. It's very helpful
No problem. I mean I like this city a lot..it's not perfect and it's not for everyone at the same time. I think moving to a larger city such as this or DC, or wherever you may go...you may get less for your money than Fresno (for example, maybe what you rent is a cushy kind of place but for that amount of money in other cities you would have to pay a few hundred a month at least..more).

If you can visit a few cities though, I'd recommend it (especially Chicago in the summer. By the way the winters can get cold here..don't know how you fare with that).
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Old 05-03-2013, 11:55 AM
 
Location: Fresno, CA
88 posts, read 107,133 times
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Thanks Marothisu for all the links! I'll watch the youtube video and maybe a few others once I get home.

You can definitely find a $500-$650/month apartment in Fresno but more likely in shady areas with terrible schools. Fresno and possibly most of the Central Valley is cheaper compared to the rest of CA. I'm a bit surprised that some ads for apartments on Craigslist in Chicago say that heat is included. It's always a given here, but I guess it depends on how old the building is in Chicago? I know the winters are super cold there so maybe that's why it's not always given but these things I'll have to ask each apartment complex... I don't like the cold but I don't mind the snow. As long as I have a warm summer, I think I'll be okay. Fresno heat is a bit too much sometimes (triple digits all day every day).

I really hope I can visit before making a move so I can get a feel for the place. So I can personally see which areas I feel safe in and which I want to avoid since it all depends on the perception of the individual. I am definitely looking at the areas you and people on other forums have listed... it seems to be pretty much the same areas, which is reassuring.

According to just a google search on unemployment rates, Chicago is a lot better for me than Fresno in all areas. SF Bay has a lower unemployment rate than Chicago but it's much more expensive if you're living in the city and I still want to go someplace outside of CA.

This is very exciting and scary at the same time. Thanks again for all the advice and opinions.
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Old 05-03-2013, 12:06 PM
 
Location: Fresno, CA
88 posts, read 107,133 times
Reputation: 34
Thanks so much for the Domu website! It looks so useful and much better than craigslist imo.
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Old 05-04-2013, 07:33 AM
 
275 posts, read 398,792 times
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Philadelphia is the best thing ever happened to America: it's fun and vivacious! Philly is the number 1 city in my book.
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