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Old 11-23-2010, 07:23 AM
8 posts, read 18,836 times
Reputation: 24


Hey guys,

I have done a lot of reading on this board and really appreciate all of the information. I tried to answer my own questions through reading different posts, but I do not know enough about the city to understand the geography in relation to where I will be.

First of all, like a lot of people, the thing that worries me about Chicago is the overall cost. I will be 23 years old, single, and making $55,000 per year. I realize this is probably enough to make it, but I would prefer not to be so poor that I am barely making ends meet at the end of the month. Is this realistic?

Secondly, my job would be located in Lake Forest. Since I am younger and moving to the city, I would still prefer to live in a young area if possible. I have heard a lot about Wrigleyville and Lakeview, but I do not know the commute time to get to work each day. I know that it looks like it is about a 45 minute drive each way, which seems fairly long. I know I could ride the metra and get out there, but I have to find if there is a bus that would drop me off at work.

I guess my biggest question that I am trying to get answered is: Is it possible for me to live on $55k a year, living in an area with a lot of younger people, and still commute out to Lake Forest each day?

Any information or advice would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 11-23-2010, 09:03 AM
1,728 posts, read 4,706,275 times
Reputation: 487
$55K is plenty to live in an apartment for a single person. You have nothing to worry about.

Since you are commuting to Lake Forest and want to live in a single area, here are your options.

Wrigleyville/Lakeview to LF commutes are about an hour by car up 94 or 294 (94 is better). The traffic isn't bad on the highway but to get to the highway from Lakeview is a pain. The traffic is worse in the afternoon than the morning.

A one bedroom apartment in this area rents from $900- $1100.

IF your office is located within walking distance to the LF METRA stop, you can live along that METRA line. Ravenswood metra stop is located a little bit northwest of Wrigleyville/Lakeview, but is a quick cab ride or bus ride away. Clybourn stop is on the western edge of Lincoln Park.

Lincoln Park tends to be a little more expensive, about $1000- $1200 for a one bedroom.

The other option is Near West Side, where you can walk to Union Station and catch the METRA. This is a newer neighborhood with newer apartments. Prices vary greatly building to building, but on your salary are still affordable.

There are no suburban areas that can match the nightlife options of the city. Arlington Heights is a NW suburb that has a little bit of nightlife, but is 40 minutes from Lake Forest.

Therefore, I would live in the city even if you have to drive to work for the extra 20 minute commute each way. 40 minutes a day is not a big deal total. It is much easier to do this and enjoy the city on weekends than have to drive into the city on a weekend to find something to do.
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Old 11-23-2010, 09:14 AM
Location: Oak Park, IL
5,523 posts, read 13,887,416 times
Reputation: 3906
Lake Forest has very limited bus service (pacebus.com) and it's mostly set up for commuters, not reverse commuters. If your employer is large, they may offer a shuttle service from Metra to work.
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