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Old 01-22-2013, 06:13 PM
 
1 posts, read 1,118 times
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For some time now, I've been considering a big move, mostly fueled by my desire to have a different lifestyle than what I'm accustomed to having grown up in the South. I've considered a number of locations (still am), but fell in love with Chicago while visiting a few weeks back and feel like it has everything I want in a new hometown.

I'm 27 and have what I believe to be marketable skills, but I know how difficult it is to land a job ahead of moving, not to mention getting a place to live as well. So, obviously, I plan to come with savings. But to maximize that I need more information on affordable neighborhoods that meet my needs.

I don't want to need a car

I have a dog and realize this limits me in finding a place to live, as evidenced by looking on Padmapper.

I currently work at a software company providing support and doing some development (SQL), as well as computer repair (software/hardware), networking, consulting, etc.

What are the best neighborhoods for <$1000/month that give me relatively good access to the L and/or Metra? What should I expect when looking for a place to live with no job? While visiting I stayed with a friend and his family (he was visiting home) in Northbrook. Would it be wise to ask them about using their address for various things?
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Old 01-22-2013, 06:34 PM
 
Location: Upper West Side, Manhattan, NYC
15,323 posts, read 24,060,671 times
Reputation: 7425
Quote:
Originally Posted by breakbread View Post
What are the best neighborhoods for <$1000/month that give me relatively good access to the L and/or Metra? What should I expect when looking for a place to live with no job? While visiting I stayed with a friend and his family (he was visiting home) in Northbrook. Would it be wise to ask them about using their address for various things?
Welcome. Making a jump like that is a big step. I guess I'll answer the easiest question first..

1) Neighborhoods. Of course with anything, 1 bedrooms will be more expensive than a 2 bedroom, 3 bedroom, etc, but there are definitely options. As far as the desirable neighborhoods go, there's a lot of desirable ones on the north side, some on the west, and some on the south. I guess it depends on if you want a studio or a 1 bedroom, but I think you have some solid options.

For north side neighborhoods, there are definitely studios/1 bedroom available in Lincoln Park, Lakeview, Edgewater, Ravenswood, Lincoln Square, Uptown, etc. Out of those, you'd probably have the most luck in Edgewater. Lincoln Park you'd probably have the least luck in, but they do still exist. Edgewater, Ravenswood, and Uptown all have them (be careful about where in uptown). All these places have easy access to the L with stuff around them so you don't need a car.

Some examples.

* Right near the train: Dakin Court Apartments | Chicago, IL Apartments for Rent | Rent.com®
* Right near the train: Thorndale | Chicago, IL Apartments for Rent | Rent.com®


For the south side neighborhoods..I'd probably look on the Lower West side in either Pilsen or Bridgeport. Hyde Park will have what you want too, but the L doesn't actually go through there even though it's a great neighborhood. I don't think you would have much trouble in Pilsen or Bridgeport finding what you want.


For the western/northwestern areas with L access, I'd probably say Logan Square, Avondale, Irving Park, and even part of Albany Park (can be North side/NW)...


Could you provide a little more detail about what kind of lifestyle you'd like?

2) If you do move up here, do have thousands of dollars saved up. You do not want to be in a spot where you have no job and no money in a new city. I would continue looking for jobs online here. If you have a lot of experience, there will be companies that hire outside of the city.

3) What to expect when looking for places without a job? Well, most places will run credit checks on you. Having no job might raise a red flag but it really depends on what kind of place it is. IMO, the more expensive the place, the more they might be apt to deny you. I think in any case, they might want some sort of bank statement showing you have the funds to pay. In the end, all they care about is that you can pay the rent.


I'm also not really sure about the address thing..i would say no, but i'm nowhere near an expert on this. If your friends are okay with it, then it might be worth it, but they might have some verification service with your name vs. that address as well.

Last edited by marothisu; 01-22-2013 at 06:48 PM..
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Old 01-24-2013, 09:50 AM
 
Location: The East
1,557 posts, read 3,325,248 times
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Making the first commitment to not have a car will save you tremendous amounts of money and worry. Good Idea. Next I would suggest living as close as possible to the L train to get you around town. A wise idea is to live below your means the first couple of years while you get used to living in the big city.
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Old 01-24-2013, 12:25 PM
 
Location: Chicago
178 posts, read 373,364 times
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I agree with everything the other posters have said. Moving here without a job means that most reputable places will want to have a co-signer, but maybe not if you have a ton of money saved and have a good credit score. I can't really comment on the pet thing. Thorndale (Edgewater), Granville (Edgewater), Berwyn (Edgewater/Uptown), Bryn Mawr (Edgewater), and Argyle (Uptown) are all stops on the Northern Branch of the Red Line. I only mention the Red Line stops because it has 24 hour service. They all have everything you would need within walking distance. This is because the majority of the living spaces east of these stops are tall apartment buildings. The Northwest side is a little bit less walkable because there are a lot of single family homes and bungalows. There are long stretches of blocks with no grocery store etc. You should have no problem finding a 1 bedroom from anywhere between 700-1000. If you're looking for a studio.....you could probably find something OK for less than 700. Chicago is absolutely doable without a car (I haven't had one for at least 3 years). I wouldn't bother with the South Side neighborhoods as a newcomer. There are some great places there, but you have to know where you are going. I wouldn't worry too much about the address thing. The city has a ton of transplants so that shouldn't be an issue.
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