The convenience and variety of Chicago public transportation allows for great housing options in many neighborhoods and suburbs because residents can easily commute downtown to work. From an affordable cost of living, to world-famous pizza, Chicago has something for everyone, however, you don’t need to live in the center of the city to take advantage of everything it has to offer. Whether you’re looking for a quaint neighborhood with shops and restaurants, or a bigger city with plenty of amenities for the whole family, there are a number of options located on public transportation routes.
Here are some attractive places to live outside of downtown Chicago that allow you to take the train, commuter rail, bus, or even bike to your place of employment:
Business Insider listed Hinsdale as one of the best 50 suburbs in America. The report came from data received from 2,700 municipalities around the country. Each nomination had to be within 25 miles of the nearest metropolitan area, and was rated by average commute times, public school ratings, median household income, and poverty and crime rates. Hinsdale is home to less than 17,000 people but offers a renowned school district, a quaint downtown area and beautiful homes. This western suburb even has an express train that goes right downtown, making it a commuter’s dream location.
A study by DePaul University, which was published in Chicago Magazine a few years ago, highlighted the top 20 Chicago-area train-friendly towns. The data collected showcased whether these train stations were comfortable and pleasant, and whether they offered special amenities. LaGrange topped the list and is touted as the best because commuters can walk, bike or drive through a shopping and dining area to get to the train station. The space even passed a white-glove test as researchers checked for dust and grime on windowsills. It scored the highest in terms of power outlets, free Wi-Fi and a place to buy coffee, making it the perfect town to start and end your daily commute to the city.
Home to Northwestern University, Evanston has access to the Metra Union Pacific North train, which heads into downtown. This town also has access to the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) Purple Line, which heads to Chicago’s Loop and offers connections to other routes, according to YoChicago.com. Evanston offers a variety of homes, including apartments and condos, and on top of easy access to transportation, it offers plenty of retail amenities.
This city has access to a variety of public transportation including the Metra commuter rail, Pace suburban bus, and Amtrak train and bus. To get downtown quickly, express service is available during the morning and evening commutes, and only takes 35 minutes from the Naperville Metra Station, according to the City of Naperville. Aside from being commute-friendly, this city has won many awards and distinctions. In fact, it came in seventh on Livability’s 10 Best Cities for Families in 2015.
Whether you are a Cubs fan or not, Wrigleyville is a happening place. It’s a great neighborhood for young professionals, and offers many housing options and easy access to the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA). It also offers Chicago’s bike sharing system, Divvy, and has plenty of bike stations, making this means of transportation very convenient on a daily basis.
Before you pack up and move to any of these fine Chicago suburbs or neighborhoods, do your research and chat with some of the current residents who commute downtown. They’ll be able to tell you how long you’ll actually spend on a train going to and from work, and they’ll know how crowded the buses or train cars get during rush hour. Once you find the perfect hometown to commute from, head to Owners.com to get started on the homebuying process.