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A guide to moving (and living) in Chicago, IL from the experts at UrMove.

UrMove can really suggest you to move to Chicago. We also think it's a great city to live in! It has a lot of history and some amazing food, music, theater, museums, and schools. Like UrMove believes in stress-free relocation and offers an exceptional level of service. UrMove provides high-end level support service and a deep knowledge of the local rental market to make locating your new home as simple as ever. Just contact one of their apartment finders, explain what you're searching for, and they'll take care of the rest!
For those contemplating relocating to Chicago, our friends at UrMove (we have movers in Chicago as well, by the way) have compiled information and resources to assist you make a more informed decision. We've also contacted individuals who reside there to find out what they appreciate about the city as well as what they think it lacks. If you keep reading, we'll touch on the cost of living, where it's best to reside, what there is to do for fun, pros and cons, and more. Are you ready? Let's dive in.

Things You Should Know About Living in Chicago

With more than 2.7 million residents, Chicago is the third-most populous city in the US. It covers 237 square miles and boasts 552 parks, as well as renowned landmarks like Navy Pier, Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower), and Magnificent Mile.

The High Cost of Living in Chicago

Although living frugally, Chicago can be expensive because of the high state and local sales tax at 10.25 percent, a grocery sales tax at 2.25 percent, a .25 percent restaurant tax, and second highest property taxes in the U.S. Check out this helpful calculator, as well as this excellent Chicago Tribune piece on what you may anticipate to pay for utilities, to better comprehend the tax ramifications of living in the city. Expatistan is another useful site if you want to evaluate the cost of rent, medical goods, food, and clothing.

Exploring Your New Surroundings

Chicago is a very walkable metropolis, and with the United States' second-largest public transit system—which includes rail and bus options—getting by without driving is quite easy. Divvy, Chicago's bike sharing service, also operates in the city.
You will not, however, be alone if you do get behind the wheel; the city is crisscrossed by seven mainline and four auxiliary interstate highways, with two of them - the Dan Ryan and Kennedy - being called the busiest in Illinois. To learn more about how to get around Chicago, including information on its water-taxi system, check out this guide from Choose Chicago.
A $2.5 million investment in law enforcement technology, as well as increased focus on illegal guns and repeat offenders has helped Chicago drastically reduce its violent crime rate in recent years. According to the Chicago Tribune, shootings are down 30% from two years ago, painting a much different picture of the city than it has had in years past.
In order to better understand the area you may be moving too, research local news sources. For example, if you're considering a move to Chicago, read the city's newspaper, the Chicago Sun Times.

Not sure where you want to live in Chicago? Get the scoop on the best neighborhoods for your needs.

We don't want to overwhelm you, but with more than 200 neighborhoods, Chicago is a large city. To make it simpler for visitors, the official marketing site Choose Chicago divides the city into four sections: Downtown, North, South, and West. From this list of 50 popular neighborhoods , we're highlighting one of our favorites below.

There are several restaurants and shopping destinations in Chinatown.

Chinatown, with more than 65,000 Chinese people living in it, is one of the largest districts of its kind in the United States. Chinatown Square Mall is the Midwest's biggest Chinese mall, and not only will you experience Chinese culture in every aspect—from public art to real restaurants and specialty shops—you'll also be near Chicago's vibrant Chinatown.

You'll find Wicker Park and Bucktown in North Chicago.

One of Chicago’s largest creative hubs, these two adjoining neighborhoods are rich with live music, art galleries, restaurants, coffee shops, and plenty of shopping.
If you like leisurely walks, the 606 is a 2.7-mile path of previously abandoned railroad track that connects several different parks and public art installations throughout the area. Also, if you like live music, Subterranean is a great venue to catch a show.
Rent here generally starts around $1,250 and goes up from there considerably. If you’re looking to buy, expect to pay just under $1 million.

Humboldt Park is located in West Chicago.

The Humboldt Park neighborhood in Chicago is known for its Spanish Colonial architecture, vibrant murals, and national pride among one-quarter of the population being Puerto Rican. The National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts & Culture is only one of many attractions to be found in this area, which also features a variety of genuine restaurants and boutique shops. Every year, the neighborhood celebrates Puerto Rican Day with a parade, music, and food. Humboldt Park is one of the more affordable neighborhoods in Chicago, with the median rental price being $1,395 per month.

Avondale is located in North Chicago.

Filled with both old world charm and new world amenities, the Avondale neighborhood is a great place to call home. Once an industrial hub for the city, the area has been revitalized in recent years with the addition of new bars, restaurants, and shops. Residents here enjoy easy access to the Blue Line train as well as the popular six-mile path along the river known as The Riverwalk. Rent in Avondale starts around $1,200.

Bridgeport, south chicago

Despite the fact that Schaller's Pump, Chicago's oldest pub, has just closed after 136 years of operation, don't worry. There are many more gems, including Nana's Cafe, a delicious bakery in Bridgeport, and the Bridgeport Coffee Company. Let's Boogie Records & Tapes is another gem, as well as Godzilla superstore Monster Island Toys. Yes, you read that right: it's a toy store with Godzilla merchandise exclusively.

Itinerary for Chicago: Culture and Nightlife

The Garfield Park Conservatory

Whether you're searching for family-friendly activities or the best bars to grab a drink, Chicago doesn't disappoint. Instead of focusing on the usual tourist attractions — because you'll be living there and all — we'll divert your attention to Garfield Park Conservatory, where many residents go to get away from the harsh Chicago winters. You'll find thousands of plant species, as well as free yoga classes, a monthly lecture series, a free bi-monthly concert series for children, and more at one of the nation's biggest conservatories.

The Importance of Shopping Local

If you enjoy antiquing and all things vintage, the Randolph Street Market is a great way to spend your money. If you're looking for fresh produce and locally made goods, then the Logan Square Farmers Market is another good option.

Slice of pizza. Of course, Art and Jazz are amazing too.

The Art Institute of Chicago is a must-see for anyone interested in learning more about art. With world-famous works by Edward Hopper, Georgia O'Keeffe, and Georges Seurat, as well as changing exhibits, outdoor spaces, and dining options, it's a location you'll want to visit time and time again. The Green Mill Cocktail Lounge is a jazz lover's paradise. This location, which is based on Clark Monroe's Uptown House in Harlem from the 1940s, serves delicious cocktails and exceptional live music, as well as fascinating tales about Al Capone and his notorious booze runs.
We're all guilty of saying "deep-dish pizza" and "Chicago" in the same breath, but Pequod's Pizza is worth mentioning. It has a strong following among Chicagoans and visitors, as evidenced by the long queues.

Wishing you all the best in your move to Chicago!

That's all there is to it. That's what we're here for. It's understandable if you're feeling overwhelmed by the prospect of moving. It's all part of the process, and hopefully what we've presented will assist you in reducing some of your anxiety and determining whether Chicago is the right fit for you. If you decide to go ahead with your move, don't hesitate to contact UrMove specialists and support. We provide local moving services in Chicago, and we'd be delighted to assist.

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