Excepting the 2008 financial crisis, home prices have been pretty steadily on the rise across the US. According to Trulia, the median home value in over 100 neighborhoods hit 1 million, with larger cities like San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, Long Island, Brookline, and Boulder experiencing higher inflation rates.
The big city that’s not on this list? Chicago. As Forbes says, “it’s no surprise that more and more people are choosing Chicago as an affordable option for big-city living.” And of course, a great plus of relocating to a less expensive city is that doing so often frees your budget enough to allow you to live in the city’s best neighborhoods like Chicago’s North Shore. Here’s what you need to know before making your move.
1. Know and Utilize the City’s Attractions
If you’re moving to Chicago’s North Shore area, it’s because you love easy access to city life while enjoying the ambience of family-friendly neighborhoods and beautiful homes. Once you’re settled in Chicago’s North Shore, it can be tempting to stay local, so remember to enjoy the city’s central attractions, such as the Art Institute of Chicago, Millenium Park, the Magnificent Mile, the Museum of Science and Industry, Lincoln Park Zoo, The Chicago Theatre, and much more.
2. You Can Survive the Winter
Yes, Chicago winters are cold, but they are not unbearable if you prepare correctly. Here are our tips: 1) forgo trendy and cute winter coats and boots in favor of serviceable and warm winter wear; 2) celebrate the season, don’t just get through it: decorate your home so it’s cozy and cheerful, invite friends over for warm soups and casseroles, make the most of Chicago’s fun, seasonal shopping and opportunities, etc.; 3) remember summer’s just around the corner, and nothing beats summer in Chicago.
3. Live Near a Lake
When summer comes, the entire city of Chicago lights up with celebration and activity. You’ll find block parties, patio and rooftop parties, cookouts, and summer festivals everywhere you go as the city comes alive with energy and excitement. But the city universally acknowledges that the very best way to celebrate the warm weather is to visit beaches and recreate with water sports. This is why houses on or near a lake in Chicago’s North Shore are considered prime real estate: they sustain you with gorgeous views through the winter and provide the best celebration spots in the summer.
4. Chicago’s a Great Spot to Travel From
One rather unique perk of living in Chicago is that it’s not only a great city to live in: its location also allows you to easily take day trips to travel to other exciting destinations like Michigan’s renowned wine country and Wisconsin’s gorgeous vacation spots. Why not take advantage of these surrounding treasures?
5. Gameplan Transportation
In Chicago’s North Shore area, you will want a car for taking the kids to school, doing your shopping, and commuting to work. If you’re headed to the heart of the city, however, consider leaving that car behind in favor of affordable and stress-reduced public transportation like the CTA. Although it can occasionally run late (and therefore it’s smart to plan to take earlier trains and buses), the CTA is a great way to avoid stressful traffic and the difficulty of finding a parking spot.
6. Go to a Cubs Game
Even if you’re not a sports fan, there’s nothing like a Cubs game at Wrigley Field, which is easily accessible from Chicago’s North Shore Area. The palpable excitement from the crowd and the longstanding American tradition of cheering on your home baseball team is not something you’ll want to miss. Living in Chicago is as much about taking time to celebrate the city’s long-standing community traditions as it is about the practical advantages of affordable big city living.