If you want to live in a big city but are looking for a location a little more within your budget, consider the advantages and benefits of living in Chicago. Budget-friendly choices in the Windy City are available and abundant, if you know where to look.
Learn more about Chicago and its economical offerings compared to other large metropolitan areas, and you might be pleasantly surprised and intrigued. Here are some reasons for living in this budget-friendly city:
1. Budget-Friendly Homes
If you buy a house or condo in Chicago, it can cost less money than other big cities. According to HSH.com, the median price for a Chicago home in 2016 was $244,100 and it cost $1,430 per month for a 30-year mortgage with 20 percent down. The price includes principal, interest, taxes and insurance payments.
In comparison, San Francisco, the thirteenth largest city in the U.S., has a median home price of $835,400, and the mortgage for a home would be $3,550 each month. Los Angeles, the second largest major city, has a median home price of $536,700 with a monthly mortgage of $2,336, while New York City’s median home price would set you back $397,600 with a mortgage of $1,994.
2. Up-and-Coming Neighborhoods
While many mention Lincoln Park or Old Town when they think of Chicago’s hottest neighborhoods, there are also many up-and-coming areas, such as Avondale and Andersonville, worth considering.
Avondale, according to Preview Chicago, offers homebuyers a quaint neighborhood with great restaurants and plenty of choices for homes, including condos, townhouses and single family or multifamily styles — for under $300,000. You can even live in one unit of a multifamily home and rent out the others to help pay for the mortgage.
With its strong sense of unity, Andersonville has become a magnet for all kinds of families, according to Andersonville.org. It also remains one of the most concentrated areas of Swedish heritage in America, but there are many cultures and businesses within its streets. In March, 2010, the Andersonville business area was named a National Historic District. You can still find two-bedroom, one-bath condos for sale under $300,000 in the area.
3. Lower Cost of Living
According to Business Insider, if someone moves from Chicago to New York City, their grocery bill will rise by 30 percent. Just turning on your lights and cooling your apartment in the Big Apple jumps your utility bills 47 percent, compared to living in Chicago. If you need to see a doctor, even your health care costs rise 20 percent.
4. Free Entertainment
Whatever your passion, pastime or hobby, Chicago offers many opportunities to explore your interests, such as music, theater, dance, sports, architecture, community events and more. The kicker? Many of these experiences, classes and festivities are free.
For instance, free outdoor concerts are available from June through August. You can also enjoy one of the world’s greatest art collections at the Art Institute of Chicago, especially when you walk in for free on Thursday nights.
If you love fireworks, Navy Pier delights visitors with a free fireworks display every Wednesday and Saturday night from Memorial Day through Labor Day.
5. Inexpensive Commutes
Although it is the third largest city in America, Chicago is a walking city because of its easy-to-navigate downtown grid. However, if you need to get somewhere fast, there are plenty of inexpensive options for getting to your destination. For instance, the Chicago Transit Authority gives you the best value when traveling with buses and trains that offer unlimited ride passes.
Through online research and the advice of friends and family living in Chicago, you can easily discover the best and most budget-friendly places to live. Once you’re settled in, you can explore all the low-cost and free events taking place around you in this metropolitan haven.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Owners.com, Altisource or any other Altisource® business or entity. The foregoing content is not intended to constitute, and in fact does not constitute, financial, investment, tax or legal advice by the author, Owners.com, Altisource or any other business or entity.