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I have narrowed down my options, looking to move to one of these cities after graduation. I have friends and family in NYC, so that will weigh into my decision quite a bit, but considering I have lived the suburban life since I was very young, I thought maybe Chicago may be a less overwhelming option. I'm certainly looking for a change to a city environment, and to be honest, I think either will provide me the change that I'm looking for. Some people say Chicago cant compare as far as things to do with NYC, but for someone coming from living in Florida all his life, anything will be a huge step up.

I have some concerns regarding the COL. I'll only be making a big 4 auditor's salary. From what I've read and seen on various calculators, NYC is much more expensive than Chicago. One from CNN equated $50,000 in Chicago to $79,000 in Brooklyn, and $95,000 in Manhattan. Is Chicago really this much cheaper? I would pay a little bit of a premium to be around friends and family, and to be within short distance to my NY sports teams, but if the difference is that great it would be illogical for me to do so.

One more thing, I've also heard that people are much friendlier in Chicago, from people looking to be friends to approachability of women to date. I've been told it has to do partially with the fact that Chicago is a little slower of a city. I know this is obviously a very subjective thing, but anyone who's lived in both cities for any time can probably comment on it.

If anyone has any input, feel free to share. Had been leaning Chicago for quite some time, but I visited NYC this past weekend and it was great to see friends and family I hadnt seen in a while. That would be nice to do often. But obviously thats not my only criteria.

Comments (55)

  • zacharydavid's picture

    I moved to Chicago from Florida a little over 3 years ago. It's been great. In terms of the "speed" of the city, you wont notice a difference between here and NYC if you've lived in Florida your whole life. It's reasonably priced as well.

  • accountingstudent92's picture

    I'd go with chicago, but then again I would live almost anywhere before I moved to nyc. chicago is really a great city overall and the people are much friendlier.

  • philosophizingphilosoraptor's picture

    Chicago is cold and windy...

    To the starving man, beans are caviar

  • APAE's picture

    If you're concerned about cost of living, Chicago is your answer hands-down. Everything is cheaper, your quality of life will be higher, plus you have immediate access to Lake Michigan and all the activities it offers. Weather can be a downside, but New York winters aren't pretty either. The girls are less tight-wound, too.

    Most people do things to add days to their life. I do things to add life to my days.

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  • Macroecon's picture

    Chicago is better for COL and has hotter girls.

    NYC wins out in terms of career opportunities, cultural amenities, restaurants, and being around really smart interesting people (if that's your thing). Also, NYC's winters are not as bad as Chicago's.

  • West Coast rainmaker's picture

    Having lived in both, I would do Chicago. A Big 4 audit salary would go a lot further here. But if you are looking into finance exit ops after 2 years in audit, it will be easier to network/interview in NYC.

  • rogersterling59's picture

    I currently live in Chicago (and went to school here), and I would take Chicago over NYC any day of the week. I spent 2 out of the last 3 summers in NYC, and while it is a good time for a few months, living there every day would not be ideal in my opinion. I pay cheap rent for an incredible nice apartment in Lincoln Park (all-in w/ bills I pay half of what my NYC buddies pay for closets in NYC, and my apartment is not only much nicer, it is A LOT bigger). Plus I have much more fun in Chicago than NYC. It's cleaner, less crowded, hotter girls in my opinion, significantly less douchey, bars are less crowded (in a good way), and the spring/summer environment in Chicago with the lake and the festivals blows NYC out of the water.

    All of that being said, if I could move to a more exciting job within the bank I work at, I would drop everything and move to NYC in a heart beat. I would want to be back in Chicago by my late 20's (I'm 22 now), but the early career movements in finance in NYC, especially within the big banks, trump that of Chicago by leaps and bounds.

    At the end of the day, do what you think would be best for the career. When you're young that is really all that matters. Both cities are playgrounds for anyone in their 20's, so that isn't an issue. If you bust your ass for 2-5 years and impress the right people, then you can worry about basing your next move on location, but career matters more now.

    I would agree with you, but then we'd both be wrong.

  • The Kid's picture

    I'm moving to Chicago after grad school and I'm absolutely pumped about it - I've been there 15+ times over the past couple years so I knew it was a good fit and where I wanted to be. Have you ever been to Chicago? If so, was it recently? ... I'd be interested to hear your opinion on the city in general, but I'll give you a pitch for it as well.

    "If you're concerned about cost of living, Chicago is your answer hands-down. Everything is cheaper, your quality of life will be higher..."

    QUALITY OF LIFE (i.e. stress, money problems, lack of sleep, etc) is key and often gets overlooked. I know some people in NYC making around a Big 4 salary and with their compensation one of two problems inevitably comes up and stresses them out every single day:

    1) They live in a great location, prime area in Manhattan, very short commute... BUT the rent just destroys their paychecks. Now they have to worry about pinching pennies everyday and can't enjoy everything that their prime location has to offer.

    2) Their rent is more affordable so they aren't as stressed about money on a day to day basis and have a little more financial freedom ... BUT they live in a not so nice area, or they live further away (i.e. NJ) and their commute is very long so they lose 2+ extra hours of their day in commute time, don't sleep as much as they could if they lived closer... also they have a tougher time outperforming those who live closer because they can't be in the office at the drop of a hat and also have shown up late multiple times due to commuting issues.

    Anyway, I know all that simply means that trade-offs exist but they are MUCH less severe in Chicago. I know someone paying less than $1,000/mo for a studio in Old Town (a very nice, fun, cool neighborhood about 1.5 miles north of the Loop) and his commute is a 15 minute train/subway ride. Also, he had very little time to find a place and put in minimal effort and found a place like this... no chance any of this is happening in NYC.

  • Whgm45's picture

    Chicago is a Cadillac, NYC is a Mercedes. Just depends which you prefer

  • Boothorbust's picture

    I lived in NYC for several years out of undergrad and live in Chicago now. I am chomping at the bit to get back to NYC. It's just a completely different city with a completely different vibe. Chicago is a bit slower, more friendly, and more cost effective, but after tasting New York it is definitely a solid step backward (for me specifically, not trying to argue Chicago is objectively worse). New York is just an insanely special place and I really think everyone who gets the opportunity to live there should give it a shot.

    However, an important caveat is that NYC is much harder to build a network of close friends in. I moved with my SO, so that made it easier, but even then it took us over a year to settle down into a close group of friends that we saw frequently and went out with often. Chicago is a bit easier in that respect as far as I've seen. So if you are someone that has a tough time making friends, or if you feel like you'll be miserable if you don't have a close group of friends for awhile, NYC can be pretty tough to stomach. I still think it's worth it. There is no other place in the world like it.

  • In reply to Boothorbust
    neomanxllp's picture

    Boothorbust:
    I still think it's worth it. There is no other place in the world like it.

    I honestly never understood this mentality for NYC. Sure, it has good food but if you travel enough you would have tasted enough authentic food of different cuisines to put nyc to shame. Partying? There are far better international cities than nyc. Historical sites? I would take boston over NYC. Career progression? This is probably the one thing nyc is good fod but that just means it's the financial hub of the US...that doesn't make it a cool place to live. I've lived in quite a few cities (NYC included) and could never understand why people thought NYC was so great.

  • BlackHat's picture

    I'm slowly starting to hate NYC more and more. So, there's that...

    I hate victims who respect their executioners

  • In reply to Macroecon
    rufiolove's picture

    Macroecon:
    Chicago is better for COL and has hotter girls.

    NYC wins out in terms of career opportunities, cultural amenities, restaurants, and being around really smart interesting people (if that's your thing). Also, NYC's winters are not as bad as Chicago's.

    thanks Brady

  • In reply to BlackHat
    SirTradesaLot's picture

    BlackHat:
    I'm slowly starting to hate NYC more and more. So, there's that...

    That's how it's been for me as well. First couple of years, it seems great. Next 5 years, progressively more irritating. Years 10+, absolutely obnoxious. Can barely stand it now.

    adapt or die:
    What would P.T. Barnum say about you?

    MY BLOG

  • In reply to SirTradesaLot
    BlackHat's picture

    SirTradesaLot:
    BlackHat:
    I'm slowly starting to hate NYC more and more. So, there's that...

    That's how it's been for me as well. First couple of years, it seems great. Next 5 years, progressively more irritating. Years 10+, absolutely obnoxious. Can barely stand it now.

    Hear that. I can only imagine with time it gets even more tiresome. I'm literally moving.

    I hate victims who respect their executioners

  • In reply to neomanxllp
    Boothorbust's picture

    neomanxllp:
    Boothorbust:
    I still think it's worth it. There is no other place in the world like it.

    I honestly never understood this mentality for NYC. Sure, it has good food but if you travel enough you would have tasted enough authentic food of different cuisines to put nyc to shame. Partying? There are far better international cities than nyc. Historical sites? I would take boston over NYC. Career progression? This is probably the one thing nyc is good fod but that just means it's the financial hub of the US...that doesn't make it a cool place to live. I've lived in quite a few cities (NYC included) and could never understand why people thought NYC was so great.


    Dude - it's about the confluence of great things. Can you get better pad thai on the streets of Bangkok? Sure, but I don't live in, nor do I have time to travel to, multiple international cities every year. The fact that you can get delicious food from every corner of the globe delivered to your doorstep - or attend one of many 3-Michelin star restuarants, or get amazing street food is pretty amazing.

    Partying? Ok yeah, Ibiza is a better place to party, but who wants to fucking live in Ibiza.

    Don't even get me started on Boston, that place is terrible. Full of arrogant blowhards who are pissed off their city isn't New York. History? The god damn freedom trail and a few colonial buildings? NYC was the nations first capital, the site of George Washington's inauguration, the epicenter of US immigration for two centuries, the site of the world's tallest building for 7 decades, etc etc etc.

    It's not for everyone. There are things other cities do better. But after living in half a dozen major US cities I don't think there's anyplace else that brings it all together the way NYC does. But haters gon' hate.

  • In reply to neomanxllp
    JDawg's picture

    neomanxllp:
    Boothorbust:
    I still think it's worth it. There is no other place in the world like it.

    I honestly never understood this mentality for NYC. Sure, it has good food but if you travel enough you would have tasted enough authentic food of different cuisines to put nyc to shame. Partying? There are far better international cities than nyc. Historical sites? I would take boston over NYC. Career progression? This is probably the one thing nyc is good fod but that just means it's the financial hub of the US...that doesn't make it a cool place to live. I've lived in quite a few cities (NYC included) and could never understand why people thought NYC was so great.

    There's a certain kind of "energy" in NYC that doesn't exist in any other city. I guess it probably has to do with being at the cultural epicenter of the world. I've spoken to a lot of people who've also lived in other big cities and the majority of them have all said the same thing.

    I've never been to Chicago. But based on my research, it seems like Chicago and NYC have completely different vibes. Seems like Chicago is packed with midwesterners while NYC is much more cosmopolitan. I'm sure that Chicago probably has a more down-to-earth vibe while NYC is more...consumerist and prestige-driven? But then you have a ton of hipsters in NYC too.

    Either way, there's a lot more to this decision than COL (unless your life revolves around pinching pennies).

  • In reply to JDawg
    Boothorbust's picture

    JDawg:
    Seems like Chicago is packed with midwesterners while NYC is much more cosmopolitan.

    This x 10. People come from around the world to live in New York. People come from around the middle of the country (and sometimes Canada) to live in Chicago. I'm obviously exaggerating a bit, but it's true - New York has far more cultural, linguistic, ethnic, and culinary diversity than does Chicago.

  • IvyGrad's picture

    You get what you pay for.

    Yeah, Chicago COL is significantly cheaper than NYC. NYC is expensive for a reason.

    I lived in Chicago for one year, and live in NYC now. NYC blows Chicago out of water, in almost every social aspect. More people to network with. More diversity. Higher energy. More cosmopolitan. And, NYC really is the truly international city, where as Chicago is more isolated and feels like a local city comprised largely of midwest folks.

    Having lived in NYC, whenever I visit Chicago, everything feels suburban. Even Chicago downtown area feels suburban to me, compared to NYC.

    If you are truly a city person (like me), there isn't any place like NYC. However, as mentioned, if you are interested in saving every penny you can, and if that is your priority, go to Chicago.

  • IvyGrad's picture

    You get what you pay for.

    Yeah, Chicago COL is significantly cheaper than NYC. NYC is expensive for a reason.

    I lived in Chicago for one year, and live in NYC now. NYC blows Chicago out of water, in almost every social aspect. More people to network with. More diversity. Higher energy. More cosmopolitan. And, NYC really is the true international city, where as Chicago is more isolated and feels like a local city comprised largely of midwest folks.

    Having lived in NYC, whenever I visit Chicago, everything feels suburban. Even Chicago downtown area feels suburban to me, compared to NYC.

    If you are truly a city person (like me), there isn't any place like NYC. However, as mentioned, if you are interested in saving every penny you can, and if that is your priority, go to Chicago.

    Lastly, what's up with those Chicago Cubs fans? They literally are the most lame, pathetic group of sports fans ever. The team is like the most pathetic sports team in the history of modern sports. Not to mention, baseball is a terribly boring sport to watch. (Football and basketball, all the way) I found it annoying that all the young social circles in north shore chicago area (lincoln park, etc) talked non-stop about this retarded baseball crap, and just drink beer.

  • In reply to IvyGrad
    Art.Vandelay's picture

    IvyGrad:
    You get what you pay for.

    Yeah, Chicago COL is significantly cheaper than NYC. NYC is expensive for a reason.

    I lived in Chicago for one year, and live in NYC now. NYC blows Chicago out of water, in almost every social aspect. More people to network with. More diversity. Higher energy. More cosmopolitan. And, NYC really is the true international city, where as Chicago is more isolated and feels like a local city comprised largely of midwest folks.

    Having lived in NYC, whenever I visit Chicago, everything feels suburban. Even Chicago downtown area feels suburban to me, compared to NYC.

    If you are truly a city person (like me), there isn't any place like NYC. However, as mentioned, if you are interested in saving every penny you can, and if that is your priority, go to Chicago.

    Lastly, what's up with those Chicago Cubs fans? They literally are the most lame, pathetic group of sports fans ever. The team is like the most pathetic sports team in the history of modern sports. Not to mention, baseball is a terribly boring sport to watch. (Football and basketball, all the way) I found it annoying that all the young social circles in north shore chicago area (lincoln park, etc) talked non-stop about this retarded baseball crap, and just drink beer.

    I've never lived in a city, so I'm definitely not a city person. Thats why I was thinking maybe a little bit slower of a city might be better. And pinching pennies isnt my only priority, however, I'm not gonna be on a banker's salary, I'm planning on Big 4 audit. So I have to be somewhat frugal.

    I personally love baseball. I'm a diehard NY sports fan, and it would be great to be in the city where my teams play so I can catch some games more than just on mlb.tv on my computer. But I cant base my decision on just that.

    NYC is a great place and I would probably enjoy it, but I also hear nothing but great things about Chicago, plus the fact that its cheaper.

  • In reply to IvyGrad
    rogersterling59's picture

    IvyGrad:
    You get what you pay for.

    Yeah, Chicago COL is significantly cheaper than NYC. NYC is expensive for a reason.

    I lived in Chicago for one year, and live in NYC now. NYC blows Chicago out of water, in almost every social aspect. More people to network with. More diversity. Higher energy. More cosmopolitan. And, NYC really is the truly international city, where as Chicago is more isolated and feels like a local city comprised largely of midwest folks.

    Having lived in NYC, whenever I visit Chicago, everything feels suburban. Even Chicago downtown area feels suburban to me, compared to NYC.

    If you are truly a city person (like me), there isn't any place like NYC. However, as mentioned, if you are interested in saving every penny you can, and if that is your priority, go to Chicago.

    While I agree with this to an extent, there is no shortage of networking (or energy) in Chicago. Granted, I went to UChicago and majored in economics, and more people stay in Chicago and work in finance than move to NYC from UofC (10 from my fraternity alone in the class of 2012), so I am a little biased. But between myself and my 4 roommates, as well as the analysts we work with and all of the other grads from UofC around the city, we easily have a network of 50-100+ finance people under the age of 25. And that's without trying. Not to mention the NYC network built up from other UofC grads who moved there, and the 200+ people we all met in NYC during training this summer. Plus, with the money I save in rent (not that I go out of my way to save money by any means, just got lucky with our apartment), I can fly to NYC twice a month if I really wanted to, and still have ~$400 left over in rent savings for bar tabs while I'm there.

    And to say that the NYC social scene blows Chicago out of the water is a reach. I will say it is a little better just because more people go out during the week, but if you go to the right places in Chicago you can have a great time any night of the week.

    I would agree with you, but then we'd both be wrong.

  • IvyGrad's picture

    Put it this way, if you really want to save money in NYC on rent, you can. Just live in outer boroughs, like Queens, Brooklyn, or NJ. NYC subway transit is first class, and runs 24/7. NYC is the only city in the country where you really don't need a car. Manhattan is expensive because of supply vs demand. If anything, the high rent prices in Manhattan confirm the speculation that more people want to live in this locale, compared to Chicago.

    Different strokes for different folks. Having experienced NYC, I would personally never, ever, live in Chicago again. I found that Chicago is too midwestern, too local, lack international diversity, not cosmopolitan enough, feel too suburban, too fucking cold in winter, and lack the 'city energy' that NYC has.

    Women - although I was born/raised in US, and white-American, I appreciate the diversity in women. In NYC, I really appreciate the fact that I can meet and date much larger pool of women, from diverse national and ethnic backgrounds. In NYC, I've met some absolutely gorgeous Asian and European women, and I suspect I wouldn't have been able to meet them in Chicago. Chicago, like I said, is 90% comprised of Midwest natives, and significantly lack international dimension in its population.

    However, that is just my experience, and I could see how some others would prefer Chicago over NYC.

  • In reply to IvyGrad
    neomanxllp's picture

    IvyGrad:
    Put it this way, if you really want to save money in NYC on rent, you can. Just live in outer boroughs, like Queens, Brooklyn, or NJ. NYC subway transit is first class, and runs 24/7. NYC is the only city in the country where you really don't need a car. Manhattan is expensive because of supply vs demand. If anything, the high rent prices in Manhattan confirm the speculation that more people want to live in this locale, compared to Chicago.

    Different strokes for different folks. Having experienced NYC, I would personally never, ever, live in Chicago again. I found that Chicago is too midwestern, too local, lack international diversity, not cosmopolitan enough, feel too suburban, too fucking cold in winter, and lack the 'city energy' that NYC has.

    Women - although I was born/raised in US, and white-American, I appreciate the diversity in women. In NYC, I really appreciate the fact that I can meet and date much larger pool of women, from diverse national and ethnic backgrounds. In NYC, I've met some absolutely gorgeous Asian and European women, and I suspect I wouldn't have been able to meet them in Chicago. Chicago, like I said, is 90% comprised of Midwest natives, and significantly lack international dimension in its population.

    However, that is just my experience, and I could see how some others would prefer Chicago over NYC.

    Holy shit dude, have you seen two cities in your life? First off NYC is FAR from first class. In fact, it's pretty terrible. It's dirty, subways are often delayed and there is constant construction on parts of the tracks. Second, NYC is far from being the only city in the US that you don't need a car. And if you thihnk NYC is diverse in terms of people you really need to leave the country and travel a bit. Chicago has a surprisingly high number of asian and european immigrants and quite a few ethnic areas.

    Anyone who talks about NYC having "energy" clearly hasn't lived there long enough to get rid of that "just moved to nyc" glow. I lived in NYC for 5 years before so trust me when I tell you that most feel see that hype for nyc leave after a few

  • IvyGrad's picture

    ^

    Dude. The thread is about Chicago vs NYC. NYC, compared to Chicago, is first-class, in many aspects, and much, much more diverse.

    I am very happy with what NYC has to offer. I was not very happy with what Chicago could offer. However, that is purely my experience, and others may find different experiences with the two cities.

    Another thing that NYC had going for me, was that I went to an Ivy for college and literally more than 50% of all my college friends now work/live in NYC. I found that basically at any top 10 college, huge portions of the alums end up at NYC. So, if you went to a top college, you may want to settle in NYC just to be around your college buddies.

    At any rate, I've been having a fucking blast in this town, and can't imagine myself living in Chicago, anytime soon. (Chicago may be a better place to live, after I retire and when I am like 60, because it's cheaper to live)

  • Art.Vandelay's picture

    I hear a lot of people who are on the NYC side of the argument say that it has more energy, "more to offer", etc., but I just really havent heard anything solid as far what it is that Chicago is lacking. I dont see how another major city like Chicago wouldnt have just as much energy and things to offer as NYC. How many bars, clubs, and restaurants do you need? I'm not saying you're wrong, I'm genuinely looking for benefits to NYC over Chicago.

    So far my only reason to go NYC would be my family and friends being there, as opposed to being alone in Chicago. But I figure saving $1000 a month on rent alone in a comparable apartment is a big plus to Chicago. Thats why I'm looking for other distinguishing items.

  • In reply to BlackHat
    Kenny Powers's picture

    BlackHat:
    I'm slowly starting to hate NYC more and more. So, there's that...

    I can second this. Everyone else I talk to who's been here 5 years says that is the amount of time it takes to be 'done' with the city.

    My drinkin' problem left today, she packed up all her bags and walked away.

  • In reply to Art.Vandelay
    The Kid's picture

    Art.Vandelay:
    I hear a lot of people who are on the NYC side of the argument say that it has more energy, "more to offer", etc., but I just really havent heard anything solid as far what it is that Chicago is lacking. I dont see how another major city like Chicago wouldnt have just as much energy and things to offer as NYC. How many bars, clubs, and restaurants do you need? I'm not saying you're wrong, I'm genuinely looking for benefits to NYC over Chicago.

    So far my only reason to go NYC would be my family and friends being there, as opposed to being alone in Chicago. But I figure saving $1000 a month on rent alone in a comparable apartment is a big plus to Chicago. Thats why I'm looking for other distinguishing items.

    I put this question in an earlier response but you probably missed it ... You're friends and family are in NYC so I'm sure you've been there p;;entry, but have you ever been to Chicago? If so, was it recently and what is your opinion? If not and you have the extra time and money I would really suggest taking a weekend trip up there. IMO its one of those places where if its going to be a good fit you will pretty much know right the immediately when you get there.

  • In reply to The Kid
    Art.Vandelay's picture

    The Kid:
    Art.Vandelay:
    I hear a lot of people who are on the NYC side of the argument say that it has more energy, "more to offer", etc., but I just really havent heard anything solid as far what it is that Chicago is lacking. I dont see how another major city like Chicago wouldnt have just as much energy and things to offer as NYC. How many bars, clubs, and restaurants do you need? I'm not saying you're wrong, I'm genuinely looking for benefits to NYC over Chicago.

    So far my only reason to go NYC would be my family and friends being there, as opposed to being alone in Chicago. But I figure saving $1000 a month on rent alone in a comparable apartment is a big plus to Chicago. Thats why I'm looking for other distinguishing items.

    I put this question in an earlier response but you probably missed it ... You're friends and family are in NYC so I'm sure you've been there p;;entry, but have you ever been to Chicago? If so, was it recently and what is your opinion? If not and you have the extra time and money I would really suggest taking a weekend trip up there. IMO its one of those places where if its going to be a good fit you will pretty much know right the immediately when you get there.

    I have never been to Chicago. I'm trying to plan a trip this upcoming december, if I an get the days off of work. I'm not so sure how much it will tell me about how life will be there after such a short visit, but its certainly better than nothing.

  • In reply to Art.Vandelay
    rufiolove's picture

    Art.Vandelay:
    I hear a lot of people who are on the NYC side of the argument say that it has more energy, "more to offer", etc., but I just really havent heard anything solid as far what it is that Chicago is lacking. I dont see how another major city like Chicago wouldnt have just as much energy and things to offer as NYC. How many bars, clubs, and restaurants do you need? I'm not saying you're wrong, I'm genuinely looking for benefits to NYC over Chicago.

    So far my only reason to go NYC would be my family and friends being there, as opposed to being alone in Chicago. But I figure saving $1000 a month on rent alone in a comparable apartment is a big plus to Chicago. Thats why I'm looking for other distinguishing items.

    You aren't going to save $1000 a month on rent in a comparable apartment...

  • IvyGrad's picture

    Honestly the vibe between the two cities are world apart. The two cities are very, very different. Some may prefer Chicago, while many others would prefer NYC. (as higher demand for the rent in NYC testifies)

    I don't quite understand what the hell is the point of considering to move to NYC in the first place, if the cost of living is such a big issue. You should know what you are getting into. It is like asking "what? I can't believe a BMW costs 50k, I think I would rather get a Honda for 25k because I can still get to place X,Y,Z the same as BMW anyway". Like I said, if all you are interested in is saving every penny you can, move to Chicago.

    Wait. If the cost of living is your #1 priority, hell with Chicago. Move to Texas. (Houston, Austin, Dallas) Dirt cheap COL and no state income tax.

  • Art.Vandelay's picture

    IvyGrad:

    Wait. If the cost of living is your #1 priority, hell with Chicago. Move to Texas. (Houston, Austin, Dallas) Dirt cheap COL and no state income tax.

    Doesnt the fact that I'm not considering Texas, or just staying where I am in Florida, give away that COL isnt the ONLY thing I care about? Houston to Chicago is not as close a comparison as Chicago to NYC. I'm trying to decide between to huge cities, and I happen to weighing pros and cons. Pros of Chicago happen to be substantial less COL, so I was trying to figure out what it really lacks, besides not being on the east coast.

  • In reply to rufiolove
    rogersterling59's picture

    rufiolove:
    Art.Vandelay:
    I hear a lot of people who are on the NYC side of the argument say that it has more energy, "more to offer", etc., but I just really havent heard anything solid as far what it is that Chicago is lacking. I dont see how another major city like Chicago wouldnt have just as much energy and things to offer as NYC. How many bars, clubs, and restaurants do you need? I'm not saying you're wrong, I'm genuinely looking for benefits to NYC over Chicago.

    So far my only reason to go NYC would be my family and friends being there, as opposed to being alone in Chicago. But I figure saving $1000 a month on rent alone in a comparable apartment is a big plus to Chicago. Thats why I'm looking for other distinguishing items.

    You aren't going to save $1000 a month on rent in a comparable apartment...

    After utilities, I pay $750 less each month than my buddy that lives in NYC, and my place is significantly nicer. Granted, he has a 2bd room and I have a 5bd room, but my place has more sq ft per occupant and 4 bathrooms to 5 people vs 1 bathroom for 2 people. And we have two stories to work with, with two living rooms and a much larger kitchen and balcony. But 5 bedrooms always go for less per person.

    I'd say on average comparing two more similar apartments, you're looking at saving ~$300-500 per month.

    I would agree with you, but then we'd both be wrong.

  • In reply to rufiolove
    Art.Vandelay's picture

    rufiolove:

    You aren't going to save $1000 a month on rent in a comparable apartment...

    I've compared listing in "trendy" neighborhoods for both cities, and many times I saw comparable places in Lincoln Park in Chicago for 1500 whereas one in Williamsburg in Brooklyn would be 2500. This might be near the upper limit for discrepancies between the two, but I think its very possible to find a difference that big in similar places.

  • In reply to Art.Vandelay
    rufiolove's picture

    Art.Vandelay:
    rufiolove:

    You aren't going to save $1000 a month on rent in a comparable apartment...

    I've compared listing in "trendy" neighborhoods for both cities, and many times I saw comparable places in Lincoln Park in Chicago for 1500 whereas one in Williamsburg in Brooklyn would be 2500. This might be near the upper limit for discrepancies between the two, but I think its very possible to find a difference that big in similar places.

    I would agree that these are at the upper limit for discrepancies. Paying $2500 per month in Williamsburg is failing... I pay half that and live in Midtown and have a 10 minute door-to-door walk to work. My point was more that you're looking at outliers. I would find it hard to believe that someone could have my apartment and location for $250 per month in Chicago. You can find certain areas and price points that will result in a $1000 discrepancy but I agree with the post above... $300 - $500 per month is more realistic. No mistake here, NYC is obviously far more expensive on average and especially in trendy neighborhoods, but in reality that's not where someone in your price point would reasonably be looking.

    It should be noted also that the value proposition really isn't there for getting 1 person studio at the upper end of what anyone would be willing to pay when you could have a roommate or two. If you are making a decision based on cost of living, I just think you need to consider that you can pay less than $1500 per month in both cities and more than $2000 in both cities but that is a choice. You can comfortably do NYC on a Big 4 auditing salary, as I have friends that do. They party as much as I do, they just don't save anything...

  • IvyGrad's picture

    Yeah, you won't save anything close to 1k a month on rent by going Chicago over NYC.

    I have 2 roommates, but live in a sick modern high-rise apartment building that has a sick view, indoor swimming pool, gym, rooftop bar area, etc etc just 2-3 blocks away from Time Square, all for 1600 a month. Whenever I bring my friends or girls back to my place, they always comment on how fucking nice my apartment is. So, interpret that as you'd like.

    There is no way in fucking hell that I would get that level of an apartment in similarly desirable location in downtown Chicago, for 600 bucks a month.

    At most, if we are comparing similar level of apartment in similarly desirable neighborhoods within two cities, you would save 400-500 bucks a month. And, I think I am being very generous with that estimate.

    Lastly, aside from prices of rent, COL between two cities don't differ much at all. Last time I checked, a Chipotle burrito costs 8 bucks here in NYC. Back in Chicago, it was like 7.55 per burrito or something. Ok, so it's cheaper by like 1% in Chicago on food.

    For me, it is absolutely worth it to pay a bit of premium to live in NYC over Chicago. I just love the modern, energetic, cosmopolitan, liberal, and international vibe that NYC offers. Chicago vibe is completely different. Chicago vibe is just 'back water' compared to NYC, much more conservative, slow-paced, 'suburban' feeling, not international at all, feels isolated/provincial, and just did not cater well to my tastes.

    Is it worth it to pay premium to live in NYC over Chicago? Only you can answer that question. It depends on individual. But, hey, if you are trying to move to a big city to truly taste what a big city has to offer, you might as well go for the best city. Like I said, if COL was a big concern, fuck Chicago. You would be better served just moving to Texas.

  • In reply to IvyGrad
    Art.Vandelay's picture

    IvyGrad:
    Yeah, you won't save anything close to 1k a month on rent by going Chicago over NYC.

    I have 2 roommates, but live in a sick modern high-rise apartment building that has a sick view, indoor swimming pool, gym, rooftop bar area, etc etc just 2-3 blocks away from Time Square, all for 1600 a month. Whenever I bring my friends or girls back to my place, they always comment on how fucking nice my apartment is. So, interpret that as you'd like.

    There is no way in fucking hell that I would get that level of an apartment in similarly desirable location in downtown Chicago, for 600 bucks a month.

    At most, if we are comparing similar level of apartment in similarly desirable neighborhoods within two cities, you would save 400-500 bucks a month. And, I think I am being very generous with that estimate.

    Lastly, aside from prices of rent, COL between two cities don't differ much at all. Last time I checked, a Chipotle burrito costs 8 bucks here in NYC. Back in Chicago, it was like 7.55 per burrito or something. Ok, so it's cheaper by like 1% in Chicago on food.

    For me, it is absolutely worth it to pay a bit of premium to live in NYC over Chicago. I just love the modern, energetic, cosmopolitan, liberal, and international vibe that NYC offers. Chicago vibe is completely different. Chicago vibe is just 'back water' compared to NYC, much more conservative, slow-paced, 'suburban' feeling, not international at all, feels isolated/provincial, and just did not cater well to my tastes.

    Is it worth it to pay premium to live in NYC over Chicago? Only you can answer that question. It depends on individual. But, hey, if you are trying to move to a big city to truly taste what a big city has to offer, you might as well go for the best city. Like I said, if COL was a big concern, fuck Chicago. You would be better served just moving to Texas.

    I appreciate your input IvyGrad, even if it seems like I was disagreeing with you. I'm simply listing the pros and cons of each, how I see them.

    I didnt really mean getting a 1600/month place for 600/month in Chicago. I meant more like the upper prices being a difference of 1000, but anyway, I hope what you say is true, and I will certainly look into it. I just find that almost every single COL calculator I've come across have had housing prices substantially higher.

    I certainly would pay a bit of a premium to have friends and family near instead of starting off with no one around, but I also want to take advantage of being able to put away as much cash as I can. And I am certainly looking for a big city, which is why its going to be either Chicago or NYC, not Texas. I'm going to Chicago soon, so I guess I'll see if I get a good feeling or vibe or energy or whatever its called from it.

  • In reply to Art.Vandelay
    rufiolove's picture

    Art.Vandelay:
    IvyGrad:
    Yeah, you won't save anything close to 1k a month on rent by going Chicago over NYC.

    I have 2 roommates, but live in a sick modern high-rise apartment building that has a sick view, indoor swimming pool, gym, rooftop bar area, etc etc just 2-3 blocks away from Time Square, all for 1600 a month. Whenever I bring my friends or girls back to my place, they always comment on how fucking nice my apartment is. So, interpret that as you'd like.

    There is no way in fucking hell that I would get that level of an apartment in similarly desirable location in downtown Chicago, for 600 bucks a month.

    At most, if we are comparing similar level of apartment in similarly desirable neighborhoods within two cities, you would save 400-500 bucks a month. And, I think I am being very generous with that estimate.

    Lastly, aside from prices of rent, COL between two cities don't differ much at all. Last time I checked, a Chipotle burrito costs 8 bucks here in NYC. Back in Chicago, it was like 7.55 per burrito or something. Ok, so it's cheaper by like 1% in Chicago on food.

    For me, it is absolutely worth it to pay a bit of premium to live in NYC over Chicago. I just love the modern, energetic, cosmopolitan, liberal, and international vibe that NYC offers. Chicago vibe is completely different. Chicago vibe is just 'back water' compared to NYC, much more conservative, slow-paced, 'suburban' feeling, not international at all, feels isolated/provincial, and just did not cater well to my tastes.

    Is it worth it to pay premium to live in NYC over Chicago? Only you can answer that question. It depends on individual. But, hey, if you are trying to move to a big city to truly taste what a big city has to offer, you might as well go for the best city. Like I said, if COL was a big concern, fuck Chicago. You would be better served just moving to Texas.

    I appreciate your input IvyGrad, even if it seems like I was disagreeing with you. I'm simply listing the pros and cons of each, how I see them.

    I didnt really mean getting a 1600/month place for 600/month in Chicago. I meant more like the upper prices being a difference of 1000, but anyway, I hope what you say is true, and I will certainly look into it. I just find that almost every single COL calculator I've come across have had housing prices substantially higher.

    I certainly would pay a bit of a premium to have friends and family near instead of starting off with no one around, but I also want to take advantage of being able to put away as much cash as I can. And I am certainly looking for a big city, which is why its going to be either Chicago or NYC, not Texas. I'm going to Chicago soon, so I guess I'll see if I get a good feeling or vibe or energy or whatever its called from it.

    Chicago isn't all that much bigger than Houston. Sure ~500k more people but it's not as if you'll notice a difference between 2.2MM people vs. 2.7MM. Something to consider, although it is worlds apart from Chicago culturally as well. Neither compare to NY in my opinion.

  • Black Jack's picture

    I would go with Chicago. For a number of reasons. COL I think it is fair to say you will save at least $500/month but also for a much nicer and larger place. $1500/month in any good area in NYC will get you a shoebox apartment. $1000/month in Chicago will get you a pretty nice place in most neighborhoods. In terms of the weather, both cities are cold as hell in the winter- maybe we are comparing a difference of 5 degrees, but the fact is you are wearing a coat and freezing your ass off. Chicago summer beats NYC summer- accessibility of Lake Michigan is huge- sure, there are beaches near NYC, but Lake Michigan is literally right there. Regarding needing a car, the L is an incredibly good public transit system, and I don't know anyone living in Chicago that has a car. I actually prefer the L to the NYC subway system personally, but they are both solid. Sports- yea, if you are a NY sports fan it would be nice to be home, but Chicago sports are pretty huge and games fun to go to regardless of if you are a fan of the teams. NYC will have more networking opportunities in finance, but honestly Chicago is number 2 in the country, so while it won't have as many, it will still have a bunch. Both cities have thousands of clubs and restaurants, you won't notice the difference- NYC has better ethnic foods- Chicago has as good of ethnic foods as you will find in most American cities- really not something to base a decision off of.

  • triplectz's picture

    No San Francisco? In my (biased) opinion, it's best of both worlds: friendlier and more laid back than NY, but much more cosmopolitan than Chicago. And if you're looking into a more "suburban" life, the whole South Bay (Palo Alto, Menlo Park, San Mateo, etc) is right up your alley.

  • In reply to triplectz
    Art.Vandelay's picture

    triplectz:
    No San Francisco? In my (biased) opinion, it's best of both worlds: friendlier and more laid back than NY, but much more cosmopolitan than Chicago. And if you're looking into a more "suburban" life, the whole South Bay (Palo Alto, Menlo Park, San Mateo, etc) is right up your alley.

    From what I've heard from people living in the area, and read online, its almost as expensive as NYC, and a little far from home.

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  • IvyGrad's picture
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  • In reply to adapt or die
    GoldenCinderblock's picture
    heister:

    Look at all these wannabe richies hating on an expensive salad.

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