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Old 01-26-2013, 10:08 PM
 
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Recently I decided that I wanted to move from Seattle, Washington to Chicago. I put in the request through my job and was offered a GREAT opportunity to manage a store that will make me lots of money... The catch is that the store is in Bloomingdale and not downtown Chicago as I had hoped. My best friend and I are technically from a rural area about 3 hours east of Seattle but were REALLY looking forward to big city living, lots of dance clubs/bars and things to do. In our home town, you can get anywhere in less than 20 minutes so we are really trying to figure out if living in Bloomingdale, one is able to make an easy commute to Chicago? Or if we should live in Chicago or somewhere half way in between and just commute to the Bloomingdale mall everyday for work? We realize that a 20 minute drive every we go will no longer be the norm Wanting to get some insight on the best ideas you guys might have.
Some important points:
-My roommate works for Starbucks so she can live in either city
-We both eventually want to attend school in Chicago
-Both have reliable cars
-Budget for a 2 bedroom would be $1200 max
-25 year old single girls who wanna balance work and an active social life'

Thanks for any and all help!
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Old 01-27-2013, 12:18 AM
 
Location: Upper West Side, Manhattan, NYC
15,322 posts, read 21,382,082 times
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Well, I'll say this. Welcome to Chicago! Okay, now that that's done, some thoughts:

You probably won't like this answer, but I'd suggest living in a community in the suburbs. The reason why I say this is because Bloomingdale is not *near* to Chicago. It's in the metro area but it's not a quick commute (25-30 miles away). Bloomingdale doesn't even have the Metra commuter rail going to it directly, unfortunately. It would take you over 2 hours even if you lived in downtown Chicago to get there (your budget won't afford near downtown) via public transit.

For the places you can afford in Chicago, you'd have to drive to work anyway and the traffic on the freeway here in the city sucks. It's 25 miles from some places you might be able to live in, but it can definitely feel like way more at many hours of the day. Remember, 10 million people in the metro area plus everyone who's just passing through.


Here's my suggestion...live in a suburb like Schaumburg. So, it's a city of 75,000 people in the metro area and yeah it's not Chicago, but the compromise is that it's north of Bloomingdale. There are bars there if you want to go out, but here's the good part about it. Not only is it close to Bloomingdale, but it's close to O'Hare airport. Why is this important? Because the Blue Line CTA train goes to O'Hare. This goes to the city to some areas with a ton of bars like Wicker Park. You could easily drive to one of the CTA stations near O'Hare, drop off your car, and ride in on the train. I know it's not ideal since you might have to drive back from the station, but it could be worse. I have a friend who works in the suburbs like you and lives in Schaumburg. He does this all the time. The train line is 24 hours/day.
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Old 01-27-2013, 10:04 AM
 
Location: Chicago
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I agree that Schaumburg may be your best bet. The reverse commute from Chicago to the suburbs can be pretty brutal. Not to mention that your budget will got a lot farther in the suburbs. Personally, I find it easier to have a longer commute to fun things than to have a longer commute to work since you will be doing the work commute more often.

There is actually a lot to do in Schaumburg. It isn't walkable like many neighborhoods in Chicago, but there are lots of bars and restaurants. I think you could start in Schaumburg and then reconsider after a year. Maybe then you'd be able to transfer to a store in the city, maybe your budget will be more generous, or maybe you'll decide that the long commute is worth it to live in the edge of Chicago.

Speaking realistically, I don't think $1200/month will get you a 2 bedroom place with 2 parking spaces in a good neighborhood. Your best bet would be to try a 2 bedroom place in a neighborhood like Bucktown or Wicker Park where you can park on the street for free. Parking in Lincoln Park/River North would kill your budget.
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Old 01-27-2013, 10:25 AM
 
Location: Upper West Side, Manhattan, NYC
15,322 posts, read 21,382,082 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nikitakolata View Post
Speaking realistically, I don't think $1200/month will get you a 2 bedroom place with 2 parking spaces in a good neighborhood. Your best bet would be to try a 2 bedroom place in a neighborhood like Bucktown or Wicker Park where you can park on the street for free. Parking in Lincoln Park/River North would kill your budget.
Well, if they wanted any neighborhood with "stuff" to do in that budget WITHIN the city with the best possible commutes, they'd have to be on the further northern/northwest neighborhoods like Jefferson Park, Irving Park, or even Albany Park (mayfair). They'd have to sacrifice a commute to work for this type of stuff..

From Jefferson Park in CLEAR traffic, the commute is still probably 35-45 minutes each way. Add in traffic and it might be over an hour. You are NOT going to find free parking spaces within the city in a lot of areas. Just won't happen. You will find parking on the street though. Some areas it's free, and some areas it's zone parking ($25/year usually).

If you didn't have a problem with a 45+ minute commute everyday, then Jefferson Park might be okay for you. It's not party central, but there's some bars and some good restaurants. The thing is that it's on the Blue Line, so getting to somewhere with more nightlife like Wicker Park will be a 20 minute ride (maybe 15 if you're lucky). Logan Square is around a 8-12 minute ride from there. However, I'm not so sure how much stuff is actually available there.

You would probably have an easier time finding stuff in somewhere like Irving Park/Mayfair.
https://www.padmapper.com/show.php?t...25878&src=main
https://www.padmapper.com/show.php?t...37217&src=main


That's if you want a crap commute. You'll have to make a few interstate changes along the way too...
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Old 01-27-2013, 10:36 AM
 
Location: Chicago
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marothisu View Post
Well, if they wanted any neighborhood with "stuff" to do in that budget WITHIN the city with the best possible commutes, they'd have to be on the further northern/northwest neighborhoods like Jefferson Park, Irving Park, or even Albany Park (mayfair). They'd have to sacrifice a commute to work for this type of stuff..

From Jefferson Park in CLEAR traffic, the commute is still probably 35-45 minutes each way. Add in traffic and it might be over an hour. You are NOT going to find free parking spaces within the city in a lot of areas. Just won't happen. You will find parking on the street though. Some areas it's free, and some areas it's zone parking ($25/year usually).

If you didn't have a problem with a 45+ minute commute everyday, then Jefferson Park might be okay for you. It's not party central, but there's some bars and some good restaurants. The thing is that it's on the Blue Line, so getting to somewhere with more nightlife like Wicker Park will be a 20 minute ride (maybe 15 if you're lucky). Logan Square is around a 8-12 minute ride from there. However, I'm not so sure how much stuff is actually available there.

That's if you want a crap commute. You'll have to make a few interstate changes along the way too...
No, they definitely don't want to be in the northwest parts of Chicago. Bloomingdale is really closer to the Ike than the Kennedy and the commute to Stratford Square Mall where I bet the OP would be working would probably exceed an hour. You could take the Kennedy, but you'd have to take 53 south, get off at Lake St. and drive 15 - 20 minutes on surface streets to get to the mall. That last part of the commute would be the same taking the Eisenhower. I haven't driven that in rush hour in years. I'd second Schaumburg, maybe add Arlington Hts. Wheaton is much smaller than either of those, but it's pretty close to Bloomingdale, but it's got a cute little downtown and a college there.
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Old 01-27-2013, 10:39 AM
 
Location: Upper West Side, Manhattan, NYC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by knitgirl View Post
No, they definitely don't want to be in the northwest parts of Chicago. Bloomingdale is really closer to the Ike than the Kennedy and the commute to Stratford Square Mall where I bet the OP would be working would probably exceed an hour. You could take the Kennedy, but you'd have to take 53 south, get off at Lake St. and drive 15 - 20 minutes on surface streets to get to the mall. That last part of the commute would be the same taking the Eisenhower. I haven't driven that in rush hour in years. I'd second Schaumburg, maybe add Arlington Hts. Wheaton is much smaller than either of those, but it's pretty close to Bloomingdale, but it's got a cute little downtown and a college there.
I meant if they wanted to be in the city in an area with things to do that has access to the better nightlife areas. I think Schaumburg is the best overall bet (see my first post), but if they wanted to sacrifice being in Chicago then I DO think that the far NW places in Chicago along the Blue Line would be the best bet so they can get to a lot of nightlife easily.

Otherwise, living in somewhere like Schaumburg, you can drive to the Blue Line, drop off your car, and be in Wicker Park in like 25 minutes via the train. Some people will put up with an hour commute each way for this type of thing so I was putting it out there. I would just live in Schaumburg. It's not Chicago but there are still restaurants/bars and it's not that far of a drive to the Blue Line with parking. Your money goes further in the burbs too. The OP's budget isn't stellar for the city of Chicago for any amazing nightlife area, at least an area that might make sense for their commute.
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Old 01-27-2013, 11:33 AM
 
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It's been a while since I commuted around those areas, so I don't know what drive times would be like...maybe the other posters can comment. What about living on Oak Park (where you can easily take a train to get to the city) and commuting to Bloomingdale (about 23 miles away)?

Edit: I'm sure you could get a much nicer place for 1200 bucks in Schaumburg than in Oak Park.
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Old 01-27-2013, 01:09 PM
 
Location: Upper West Side, Manhattan, NYC
15,322 posts, read 21,382,082 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 55degrees View Post
It's been a while since I commuted around those areas, so I don't know what drive times would be like...maybe the other posters can comment. What about living on Oak Park (where you can easily take a train to get to the city) and commuting to Bloomingdale (about 23 miles away)?

Edit: I'm sure you could get a much nicer place for 1200 bucks in Schaumburg than in Oak Park.
Pretty sure a 1 bedroom apartment in Oak Park would cost around $1100+, wouldn't it?
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Old 01-27-2013, 01:13 PM
 
644 posts, read 1,086,268 times
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While it might be true that you'll find nicer and larger apartments in your price range in the suburbs, I really doubt that you'll be able to find anything much cheaper than what's available in the city. This probably varies depending on how far out the apartment is, but I honestly wouldn't expect to find screaming deals in the suburbs.

That said, I'd recommend Schaumburg to the OP. Maybe Arlington Heights or Des Plaines if they want Metra access and a bit more bustle, but those will be a bit pricier.
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Old 01-27-2013, 01:40 PM
 
Location: Upper West Side, Manhattan, NYC
15,322 posts, read 21,382,082 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JBVirtuoso View Post
While it might be true that you'll find nicer and larger apartments in your price range in the suburbs, I really doubt that you'll be able to find anything much cheaper than what's available in the city. This probably varies depending on how far out the apartment is, but I honestly wouldn't expect to find screaming deals in the suburbs.
I have a friend in Schaumburg, who I referenced in my first post, who has a nice semi modern 1 bedroom that's close to 800-1000 sq feet and he pays around $800/month for it.
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