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Old 04-11-2007, 03:15 PM
1 posts, read 1,767 times
Reputation: 10


Hello all,

I am planning on moving to Chicago in March 2008 to undertake a program of study - this may seem like a long way off but as I have never been to the U.S. before I need to do as much research as possible.

My course is to take place in an area called 'Old Town' and in terms of renting an apartment I have been advised to look in the following areas:

Old Town, Gold Coast, Lincoln Park, Lakeview, Wrigleyville, Lincoln Square, Wicker Park, Bucktown an Ravenswood

As a single female I'd greatly appreciate any information you might be able to offer regarding the safety and expense of these areas (I would only be wanting a 1bdr apartment). Also, how does the tax system work in terms of renting an apartment in the U.S?

I'm sure I'll be posting many more questions in the future but thought i'd just begin with the one(!)
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Old 04-11-2007, 04:34 PM
772 posts, read 2,343,039 times
Reputation: 735
All of those neighborhoods are pretty safe and they are also all pretty expensive since they have a lot of professionals that live there. Renting an apartment won't bring up any tax issues - you don't pay an additional tax on top of your rent, while you also don't get any type of deduction on your own tax return.

In terms of cost, this is generally how these neighborhoods rate from most expensive to least:

(1) Gold Coast - Closest to Michigan Avenue shopping/restaurant district and downtown, so this is the priciest neighborhood in the city. Most people that live here are wealthy professionals at the peak of their careers.

(2) Old Town/Lincoln Park - Just to the north of the Gold Coast. Mostly upscale young professionals along with some college students on the western side of the neighborhood with the presence of DePaul. The east side of the neighborhood encompasses the park called Lincoln Park along with Lake Michigan, so the outdoor recreational options are plentiful here. Lots of nightlife.

(3) Lakeview (Wrigleyville is a neighborhood within the Lakeview boundaries) - Just to the north of Lincoln Park. Similar in character to Lincoln Park in terms of residents and nightlife, but having a generally younger crowd.

(4) Wicker Park/Bucktown - Just to the west of Lincoln Park. Generally more artsy and avant garde compared to the neighborhoods mentioned above. As real estate prices have risen, though, you see a lot more of professional class moving in.

(5) Lincoln Square/Ravenswood - Just to the north and west of Lakeview. You'll probably get the most for your money in these neighborhoods compared to the ones listed above (although this is relative since they can still be expensive). They are a less expensive cross between Lincoln Park and Lakeview in terms of character with fewer people that are just out of college.

That being said, prices will vary greatly depending on the type of building your apartment is in. As the old saying goes, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
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