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Old 02-17-2013, 12:50 PM
 
14 posts, read 16,208 times
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I am finally leaving the frenzy of DC and have a potential job in Chicago. I only know the professional side of the city and need some thoughts/advice on the residential issues. I will be in Chicago for 6 days next month to generally check out the city and explore the various neighborhoods. Since I don't have school systems or a spouse's job commute to guide my housing search, my search is wide open... too wide open.

About me (since that seems to be the way most posters start) - I am in my late 30s, recently divorced, with no kids and limited contacts in the area. I like to run outside (except sub-freeze temperatures!).
I have a few other random hobbies but nothing that would be unique enough to mention. Not that running is unique but I need access to trails/paths. I lived in the mid-west in the late 90s but have since been in DC. For those who know DC, I socialize in Georgetown, Arlington, and Alexandria.

On my neighborhood wish list are the following:

  • Dog friendly - a "must have" item - most of the rentals I have seen don't allow dogs. Is that a sign?
  • Similar demographics- average resident is 35-45, professional. I've spent the past three years living amongst the late 20s-early 30s crowd in DC. I'm ready for drama free (or at least low drama) living. I'm also not what you would consider ultra hip/modern, indie, or soccer mom. I hate to say it but I best fall into the yuppie side of the spectrum but with a much more relaxed and centered vibe. (I need to broaden my horizons, clearly.)
  • Social community - coffee shops and restaurants that are frequented by locals. I'm single and while I don't expect to meet my future husband in line at the local coffee shop, I will take any opportunities that come my way.
  • Price - it all depends on the neighborhood. Chicago is expensive but is it as expensive as DC? I could reasonably afford up to $2,000 but $1600 would be ideal. Then again, living in the right community is even more ideal. I also like new'ish construction or renovations although I've come to realize it is all about hardwoods. Some older places have character and I could go with that if it means slightly less money.
  • Rental sizes - I could live in a studio up to a 2 bedroom. Location, price, and finishes are more important than square footage.
  • Commute - I will be working downtown and could handle a commute up to 30 minutes.
Also, can you recommend any websites that are particularly in touch with Chicago housing and general lifestyle topics that would be a good source for new people? I stumbled onto a couple of blogs and here, but I'd love some more sources.

Thank you.
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Old 02-17-2013, 03:04 PM
 
28,461 posts, read 78,595,246 times
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I would probably look at Lincoln Square if you want a quieter but still pleasant mix of local oriented stuff as well as some transferess and such. Other top choices would be Roscoe Village and Lincoln Park. Some posters on this sub-forum have a bias against mainstream entertainment as is plentiful in Lincoln Park but for someone that enjoys outdoor activities, pets, acces to the lakefront and the general convenience it is hard to beat so long as you can afford it...

I would not worry that Chicago is other than "dog friendly" you will however be expected to work a little harder to find a rental that is ok with pets.
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Old 02-17-2013, 06:49 PM
 
Location: Upper West Side, Manhattan, NYC
15,322 posts, read 21,429,175 times
Reputation: 7296
Quote:
Originally Posted by KatieLJ View Post

  • Dog friendly - a "must have" item - most of the rentals I have seen don't allow dogs. Is that a sign?
  • Similar demographics- average resident is 35-45, professional. I've spent the past three years living amongst the late 20s-early 30s crowd in DC. I'm ready for drama free (or at least low drama) living. I'm also not what you would consider ultra hip/modern, indie, or soccer mom. I hate to say it but I best fall into the yuppie side of the spectrum but with a much more relaxed and centered vibe. (I need to broaden my horizons, clearly.)
  • Social community - coffee shops and restaurants that are frequented by locals. I'm single and while I don't expect to meet my future husband in line at the local coffee shop, I will take any opportunities that come my way.
  • Price - it all depends on the neighborhood. Chicago is expensive but is it as expensive as DC? I could reasonably afford up to $2,000 but $1600 would be ideal. Then again, living in the right community is even more ideal. I also like new'ish construction or renovations although I've come to realize it is all about hardwoods. Some older places have character and I could go with that if it means slightly less money.
  • Rental sizes - I could live in a studio up to a 2 bedroom. Location, price, and finishes are more important than square footage.
  • Commute - I will be working downtown and could handle a commute up to 30 minutes.
Also, can you recommend any websites that are particularly in touch with Chicago housing and general lifestyle topics that would be a good source for new people? I stumbled onto a couple of blogs and here, but I'd love some more sources.

Thank you.
Based on what you said here, you would probably feel comfortable in a number of neighborhoods, or parts of neighborhoods. First off, Chicago is not as expensive as DC. It's actually nowhere near it on average in the nice areas. DC is one of the more expensive cities in the US for housing.

By downtown, I assume you mean the Loop. Which part of the Loop (North, South, East, or West)? This can also play a little role in commute times.

With a budget of $1600/month, you could afford to basically live anywhere in the city. My 25th floor 1 bedroom in the Gold Coast costs just over $1300/month (not average price but not too far under the average). If you wanted to live closer to work (I assume by downtown, you mean the Loop), you could check out the Gold Coast, but I'd say there's less of the coffee shop type of thing.

Otherwise, I would agree with Chet to check out the Lincoln Square area, or Ravenswood or North Center right near there. They are a little older/mature crowd, quaint, quiet but right near things. Real laid back though. Pushing the 30 minutes commute via train though depending on where in the Loop you work. You might want to check out various parts of Lakeview too like Lakeview East. Quiet but near a bunch of stuff and you could even get a 2 bedroom in your price range (My girlfriend's 2 bedroom place there is $1500/month total). Parts of Lincoln Park too just like Lakeview...
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Old 02-18-2013, 10:07 AM
 
1,210 posts, read 2,861,087 times
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Roscoe Village could work for you. South Loop is good for your age demo, but I'm not sure what the community is like there.

Gold Coast works with your age bracket. Depending on where you get your numbers, the average age is somewhere between 35 and 41.

One thing to note on Chetts Lincoln Park suggestion and that would be to try and stay near the lake and/or away from DePaul. There are plenty of middle-aged people in LP, but there are also a ton of 20 year old DePaul students running around.
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Old 02-18-2013, 10:26 AM
 
6,137 posts, read 7,233,592 times
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I would also recommend south loop due to demographics and availability of modern apartments and condos. You mentioned jogging and south loop is near the lake with its jogging paths. The lake front on the south side offers some of the best scenery in the city. A little further from the lake is West Loop. Kind of yuppiefied with decent amenities access to jogging paths may be a little more challenging but could be worked out if you are creative. Many transplants of different age groups in both areas so there shouldn't be too much of an issue adjusting and building a social network.

Please research facts on safety before making a decision on what neighborhood are safe and what isn't. Spotcrime.com

Last edited by mjtinmemphis; 02-18-2013 at 11:15 AM..
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Old 02-18-2013, 08:24 PM
 
14 posts, read 16,208 times
Reputation: 12
You guys are so helpful! I'll add Southloop to the list. Images on google do look amazing. I love the architecture in Chicago. I can't wait to experience the city. I might retract that come next December/January but for now, I can't wait to get out and explore. Thanks to all!
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Old 02-18-2013, 08:59 PM
 
Location: Chicago, IL
2,186 posts, read 2,690,393 times
Reputation: 1807
Quote:
Originally Posted by KatieLJ View Post
  • Price - it all depends on the neighborhood. Chicago is expensive but is it as expensive as DC?
Not even close.
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Old 02-18-2013, 11:04 PM
 
Location: Upper West Side, Manhattan, NYC
15,322 posts, read 21,429,175 times
Reputation: 7296
I do like the South Loop because it does have some pretty good diversity, but for me personally it doesn't have as much of a neighborhoody feel as somewhere like parts of Lakeview or Lincoln Square.
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Old 02-18-2013, 11:15 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles
928 posts, read 1,567,942 times
Reputation: 1293
Can I pay a fee to city-data to stop people from posting saying they're looking to be around "professionals"? I've learned to live with the same exact thread being started every week without fail, but if we could strike the word "professionals" from existence on this board, I'd buy everyone a drink and a pony.
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Old 02-18-2013, 11:22 PM
 
Location: Upper West Side, Manhattan, NYC
15,322 posts, read 21,429,175 times
Reputation: 7296
LOL ^ True. I think "professional" half of the time means they're looking for a gentrified/yuppie neighborhood, but I could be wrong....10% of the time.
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