Where To Live in Chicago

BuySide Bro's picture
Rank: Baboon | 115

I start in spring and I'm looking for suggestions. First year mm IBD analyst with office near sears tower. Is being close to work important? Should I rely on the L? Looking to spend 1000-1500/month all in and I don't need parking. I'm pretty unfamiliar with Chicago neighborhoods.

I appreciate the help.

Comments (87)

Nov 27, 2013

A lot of young people starting out do a roommate situation until they get oriented and then branch out when the lease ends.

If you want to be close to work, you could get an efficiency/studio for the range you listed in the South Loop or Printers Row, both are about a mile walking distance to the Loop. Some buildings that support your budget would include: River City Apartments, Dwight Lofts, MDA City Apartments (Streeterville), Presidential Towers (Greektown) are all major buildings with over 50 units. If you are looking for a more "apartment feel" versus a large multi-unit building, I would look at domu.com or craigslist. If you use a apartment search service they are going to tell you you cannot find anything in that range. While that is partially true, it's also true that if you're willing to live outside of downtown and take the L (30-40 minutes to downtown), you could probably find something in a neighborhood like Logan Square, Lakeview/East Lakeview for the amount you're looking to spend.

Keep in mind if you want to go out on weekends, you'll most likely be hanging out in River North, Wicker Park, Lincoln Park or Wrigleyvielle. So maybe give some consideration to those somewhat pricier neighborhoods if you want to have proximity to bars/clubs/restaurants.

Fyi. This subject has been covered prior here: http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/chicago-apar...

Nov 27, 2013

i'd avoid the financial district. it really is the definition of dead on the weekends

Nov 27, 2013

Lou Mannheim gave a great answer. I'd say for all the press Chicago gets about crime (my family thinks I live in the Wild West), the neighborhoods you want to live in are pretty well established.

Don't live west, far south, or in any neighborhood that's been called "up and coming" for over a decade.

As far as the L - it does the job. If you live in one of the Northside neighborhoods listed above you'll be on the Red or Brown lines, which are fine. Don't use the green line too far from the loop, if at all.

Nov 27, 2013

1000-1500 a month if you have a roommate can probably get you a nice 2BR in a high rise in Near North, Gold Cost, maybe River North, etc.

If you want to live alone, you can probably still get a smaller 1BR at these places. If you want to live in the nicer high rises in River North, Streeterville, etc. that Lou Mannheim mentioned, then you'd probably only be able to get a studio.

Nov 27, 2013

the loop is absolutely dead on the weekend and after 6pm

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Nov 27, 2013

I'm doing a studio for ~1k in the Gold Coast. You should spend more though - I literally have a murphy bed. 1.3k-1.4k will get you a nice studio in a good building. Unless you want a roommate, you don't need one in Chicago (unlike NY / SF).

And I will echo, "don't live in the loop". It is much worse than NY's FiDi on weekends - many stores literally close on the weekends because there just isn't anyone there. Do River North / Streeterville / Gold Coast, and you can walk to work.

If you want a more "college" scene, try Lincoln Park, Wrigley or even Lakeview.

And do not go south of Roosevelt.

Nov 27, 2013

Don't live in the South Loop, Financial District, the Loop or Greektown unless you are forfeiting your social life for the convenience of work. The area surrounding your residence are older or completely dead.

If you are willing to be spend at the high-end of your range for rent then I would recommend the Cobbler Square building in Old Town. The facility is right on Wells street in one of the most happening parts of town. A large studio or one bedroom should run somewhere in the range of 1400-1600. The building is far from perfect but is newish and filled with young professionals.

Otherwise most new analysts in my group end up in cheaper more outdated buildings off Clark st in Lincoln Park. Also, a pretty good option.

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Nov 27, 2013

63rd and MLK would be a good place to start...

But in all seriousness, after living here 5 years myself, the following should be helpful - these are the only areas I personally would consider living at the moment:

1) Gold Coast/River North: "Nicest" and most "exclusive" areas. By no means the best for living however, completely depends on what you want - pretty expensive but you get what you pay for. Generally 30+ but a lot of mid 20's finance types there as well.

2) Old Town: More of a bar scene - same age group as GC/RN.

3) Lincoln Park/Lakeview: More college scene the closer you get to Depaul campus. I live west of the campus in a brownstone in a professional neighborhood in LP. I personally love it. Similar pricing to Old Town.

Feel free to PM with other questions.

Nov 27, 2013
ucmaroon47:

63rd and MLK would be a good place to start...

But in all seriousness, after living here 5 years myself, the following should be helpful - these are the only areas I personally would consider living at the moment:

1) Gold Coast/River North: "Nicest" and most "exclusive" areas. By no means the best for living however, completely depends on what you want - pretty expensive but you get what you pay for. Generally 30+ but a lot of mid 20's finance types there as well.

2) Old Town: More of a bar scene - same age group as GC/RN.

3) Lincoln Park/Lakeview: More college scene the closer you get to Depaul campus. I live west of the campus in a brownstone in a professional neighborhood in LP. I personally love it. Similar pricing to Old Town.

Feel free to PM with other questions.

I Googled Gold Coast. That is nice. It looks more like south FL than the dreary IL. You can see Trump Tower in the middle of the pic.

buildings along the sides of a river in a panorama view

GoldCoast2

"He that hath a beard is more than a youth, and he that hath no beard is less than a man." -- William Shakespeare, Much Ado About Nothing

Nov 27, 2013

The Highland Park, Northbrook, and Glencoe area is nice. The crime is much lower there than it is in the Lincoln Park area. The downside is that you will need to pay more.

"He that hath a beard is more than a youth, and he that hath no beard is less than a man." -- William Shakespeare, Much Ado About Nothing

Nov 27, 2013

Thank guys! All very helpful.

Nov 27, 2013

whatever you do, don't take silent guardians advice to live in highland park/glencoe/northbrook

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Nov 27, 2013

I would suggest boystown/lakeview near the Red-line Belmont stop.

1. Transportation is great (belmont stop offers red, purple, and brown line)
2. Lots of bars
3. Close to the lake for jogs
4. Walking distance to markets (Jewel Osco, Whole foods, etc)
5. Close to Wrigley
6. Very safe
7. Relatively cheap (lived in a two-bedroom place for $1385/month)

Nov 27, 2013

im by clark and division, pretty awesome area

Nov 27, 2013

I would stay away from the areas you mention; the Loop seems cool at first but sucks in quite a hurry.

Agree with the first two comments - you won't go wrong with the north side neighborhoods like Lincoln Park, Lakeview or even Wrigleyville (the last if you are under 24 years old). Access to the lake and restaurants in those areas is one of the best parts of Chicago, and your chances of being robbed or murdered are relatively low.

"Run for your life from any man who tells you that money is evil. That sentence is the leper's bell of an approaching looter."

Nov 27, 2013

Lakeview or Lincoln Park.

Whatever you do, stay away from Presidential Towers. Heard bad things about it

Nov 27, 2013

Gold Coast is where the hot girls with money are.

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[in reply to Tony Snark"]

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BatMasterson:

[in reply to Tony Snark's dating tip]

Sensible advice.

Nov 27, 2013

I live in one of those three buildings. It really depends on what you value. The loop is awesome for convenience to work. If you work all the time this is pretty valuable. The pedway makes it that much better in the winter. The blue line takes you right to O'Hare for $2.25 which can't be beat. You can also get to Midway airport from downtown too. There is enough nightlife to sustain you for up to six months in River North, which is a very short walk from these buildings. If you're only a part-time party goer, getting to Lincoln Park, Lakeview, etc. is really quick and cheap in a cab. Also, there are tons of grocery stores so many of the plagues associated with living downtown just don't exist in Chicago.

Pretty much every Chicago native will take you to live in Gold Coast / Lakeview and not the loop. It is all I've ever heard. While I haven't lived in these areas, I can say that there are a lot of pluses to living downtown if you prefer that lifestyle.

Nov 27, 2013

While being in the loop is convenient for walking to work, I'd recommend living north of the loop between the river and the lake. River North or Streeterville, Gold Coast or Old Town, or Lincoln Park from south to north, respectively.

Loop is cool and everything for walking to work, but everything closes so damn early and you have to cab or do public transit everywhere. People also seem to like West Loop and the restaurants are above average.

Nov 27, 2013

I have lived in two of those buildings mentioned above and I have very good friend who lives in the other one. One advise stay away from Presidential Towers. It is a crap place. If you wanna live somewhere close to your work then fine but if you want to enjoy the city then hells no. Live in the Gold Coast/ Lincoln Park or Lakeview area. And not in the Loop. The loop especially Millenium Park Plaza is littered with tourists.

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Nov 27, 2013

loop is a ghost town on the weekends and after like 7pm. I live in LP right now and the most south i'll live in is probably river north/streeterville.

Nov 27, 2013

Sorry to semi-hijack the topic, but any thoughts on South Loop as a place to live? Headed to Booth in the fall, and no desire to live in main Loop / MPP. Would love to live in those northern neighborhoods, but the commute to Hyde Park seems like a bitch. Oh, and I'll probably be bring my car with (so maybe north is an option, but also need reasonably-priced and accessible parking).

Nov 27, 2013

South Loop is pretty nice. Most of them are close to the red line. Has a few restaurants and everything. You are gonna have a neighborhood feel. Also it is closer to Chinatown that is if you like Chinese food.

Nov 27, 2013

Thanks for all the comments, very helpful. Get that Lincoln Park and other neighbourhoods north of the river are good but sounds as though if I had to pick from one of the three I listed it would be best to go with Columbus Plaza or North Harbour Tower. Presumably as Columbus Plaza is closest to the river (and therefore Streeterville / River North) and one block from Michigan Avenue this might be the best bet?

Nov 27, 2013

go where chief keef's from. bang out with the ops.

Nov 27, 2013

Honestly it depends, I use to live on the Gold Coast and rent there is through the fucking roof(900+ for a small studio)but if you want a more neighborhood feel then try Lincoln Park, Wicker Park, or Lakeview. Rent in those areas will very alot, I can hook you up with one of my buddies who is apartment finding genius. I will say this, you really don't need a car, the CTA will be your best friend. If you like going out, Chicago is the city for it, lots of hot women, lots of clubs and bars that stay open late. Any questions just ask me!

Nov 27, 2013

I've lived in Streeterville for several years. It's the lakefront area between downtown Chicago and the Gold Coast. Think Navy Pier. Only recently I moved to east Lincoln Park and I'm not happy :-( It's nice enough, but I much prefer Streeterville and being walking distance from work, theatres, shopping, etc.

You can easily spend $750-900 on rent on an analyst salary. $750 being areas like Bucktown, Wicker Park and $900 being Gold Coast, Lincoln Park etc. However, whatever you consider is going to be far and above what you would find yourself settling for in NYC.

Cost of living/quality of life is great. You can live on the cheap or live lofty. All up to you.

Finally, U DO NOT NEED A CAR. REPEAT. U DO NOT NEED A CAR.

Nov 27, 2013

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/400_North_Lake_Shore_...
Live here, when it gets built of course, or you could try the Trump Tower. I love skyscrapers <3

Nov 27, 2013

900 for a studio??? Is that in the city? Is chicago really that inexpensive???

Nov 27, 2013

Is Chicago really that inexpensive?

Nov 27, 2013

You think chicago is inexpensive, try Houston. By the way, what are hours like in Chicago BB IB?

Nov 27, 2013

from what I hear, the hours at CS/UBS/GS (the top 3 banks in terms of deal flow) the hours are longer than NY, but less face time and other BS involved.

Hours are longer because there are less analysts/associates than NY and seems like just as much if not more work this year.

But someone correct me if i'm wrong, as an analyst hours will be about 80-90 as analyst, 70-80 as an associate.

Yeah, I hear you can get nice pad in downtown houston near their baseball stadium for like 1200 bucks...same thing in chicago will cost you about 2000....in nyc about 3500-4000

Nov 27, 2013

houston?

Nov 27, 2013

chicago's a great deal, but the women are lacking in looks.

Nov 27, 2013

what are you talking about man?

Nov 27, 2013

chicago is the city of hot blondes

Nov 27, 2013

of "viagra triangle"... where hot blondes hang out hoping to snarl themselves an IB husband such as you fine kids.

Nov 27, 2013

i've seen plenty of hot blondes with 55 y/o dudes in upper east side....why are they with those dudes?...hmmm

Nov 27, 2013

they need a financier for their botox injections and other "maintenance" and the femme fatales like their baubles and bling-bling.

Nov 27, 2013

Ok...so I've narrowed it down to two options. I can live in a 1br in Streeterville/Goldcoast for between 1300-1600/month or I can live with a roommate in a 2br in Lincoln Park/Wrigleyville for around 1800-2000/month of which I would pay 1100-1200. Which would you guys recommend?

Nov 27, 2013
jbob12:

Ok...so I've narrowed it down to two options. I can live in a 1br in Streeterville/Goldcoast for between 1300-1600/month or I can live with a roommate in a 2br in Lincoln Park/Wrigleyville for around 1800-2000/month of which I would pay 1100-1200. Which would you guys recommend?

Depends on your crowd. If you're more in to the bar scene, wrigleyville; otherwise gold coast is a pretty solid bet. Also depends on where you work, have fun commuting into the fin district if you live in wrigleyville.

Nov 27, 2013
cubemonkey101:
jbob12:

Ok...so I've narrowed it down to two options. I can live in a 1br in Streeterville/Goldcoast for between 1300-1600/month or I can live with a roommate in a 2br in Lincoln Park/Wrigleyville for around 1800-2000/month of which I would pay 1100-1200. Which would you guys recommend?

Depends on your crowd. If you're more in to the bar scene, wrigleyville; otherwise gold coast is a pretty solid bet. Also depends on where you work, have fun commuting into the fin district if you live in wrigleyville.

Also, how big is the apartment going to be? 1300-1600 in that area would be no bigger than 700 sq ft i'd assume? Probably smaller, huh? There's alot of new developments in the lakeshore east area you might want to have a look at. Nice places, expensive and tiny as hell!

Nov 27, 2013
jbob12:

Ok...so I've narrowed it down to two options. I can live in a 1br in Streeterville/Goldcoast for between 1300-1600/month or I can live with a roommate in a 2br in Lincoln Park/Wrigleyville for around 1800-2000/month of which I would pay 1100-1200. Which would you guys recommend?

I can't believe that rent. We take it the wrong way in London.

Nov 27, 2013

There's more hot women in lincoln park - I lived there last summer and was quite impressed - probably has something to do with the fact that DePaul is right there.

Nov 27, 2013

Thumbs down on DePaul girls. It's all about the hot Euros in the clubs/lounges in the franklin/ontario spots.

Nov 27, 2013
cubemonkey101:

Thumbs down on DePaul girls. It's all about the hot Euros in the clubs/lounges in the franklin/ontario spots.

Yeah, I'm going to have to go ahead and disagree with you on this one.

Depending where in Streeterville you live, you may have to take a cab or the cta buses to get to work each day.

Nov 27, 2013

Are you kidding me? ANYWHERE in Streeterville you could walk to work.

I lived in Streeterville for years and walked to work everyday. Except Fridays. By Friday I'd be so f'n tired and running late that I took a cab. A $6 ride.

I own a place in Lincoln Park which I've rented out now but hands down, Streeterville is my favorite place to live in Chicago. So much within arms reach. Really nice lifestyle.

Nov 27, 2013
aadpepsi:

Are you kidding me? ANYWHERE in Streeterville you could walk to work.

I lived in Streeterville for years and walked to work everyday. Except Fridays. By Friday I'd be so f'n tired and running late that I took a cab. A $6 ride.

I own a place in Lincoln Park which I've rented out now but hands down, Streeterville is my favorite place to live in Chicago. So much within arms reach. Really nice lifestyle.

depends where you work, certainly can't walk from streeterville to where i work.

Nov 27, 2013

it's at least a mile's walk to get to most of the financial buildings- lasalle st, franklin st, etc.

Nov 27, 2013

WizardofOz, do you work in the Loop?

Do you guys think a mile is too far to walk? It's at best a 15-20 min. walk.

Nov 27, 2013
aadpepsi:

WizardofOz, do you work in the Loop?

Do you guys think a mile is too far to walk? It's at best a 15-20 min. walk.

Yeah, I'm in the loop. Depends how far east you go though in streeterville, if you are on lakeshore drive, its definitely more than a mile. i dont even like the 5 block walk i have to the el stop in the morning.

Nov 27, 2013

all the apts in streeterville are around 700-800 sq ft. I'll be working in the loop--near the sears tower. How's the public transportation between those two areas (Streeterville & Sears)?

Nov 27, 2013

There's an express bus line... #120 or #121?... which you only pay $1 or something like that to ride from Streeterville to Sears Tower thru lower wacker in 10 min.

Nov 27, 2013

-

Nov 27, 2013

how's the neighborhood in south loop? I'm thinking about exploring some new areas...which ones would you guys recommend or rather recommend I stay away from?

Nov 27, 2013
jbob12:

how's the neighborhood in south loop? I'm thinking about exploring some new areas...which ones would you guys recommend or rather recommend I stay away from?

I don't understand why anyone would live in the South Loop when you can live in one of those nice new buildings near the Michigan/Randolph area and be a lot closer to work as well as the Mag Mile and have far more convenient brown/red line access up north.

As far as what neighborhoods to stay away from, I'd say anything south of Congress, west of Franklin, or north of Irving Park. Once you get outside of those boundaries you are bound to run into minorities. Chicago is one of the last homogeneously white cities in America and it is great to be surrounded by all of god's beautiful chosen people, as long as you stick around Lincoln Park/Lakeview/Wrigleyville. The only minorities you will see in the LP are construction workers and househeld helpers - great feeling. Same thing for any of the bars on Lincoln Avenue or near Halsted/Webster area - you won't see a single colored person in any one of them. Again, great feeling.

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Nov 27, 2013

how long is the commute from lincoln park to the fin dist?

Nov 27, 2013

titan- I think it really depends on where you are in LP. My coworker (lives in wrigleyville) says the el will take you 30 minutes. That doesn;t include waling time, etc... With the el construction everything north can be a hassle.

Also keep in mind a lot of areas in LP aren't really near an el. So, you'll have a long walk or a long bus ride.

Nov 27, 2013

if you can afford it, river north really is the place to be.

Nov 27, 2013

when i said my boundaries, i meant that the only acceptable placs for a white person to live are lincoln park and wrigleyville. lakeview is okay to visit sometimes. the loop/river north/streeterville/gold coast are great places to work, conduct business, and go out for a meal. but if you want to stay away from the minorities just live in LP. you will never see a colored person at the bars in lincoln park and that is truly a great feeling.

Nov 27, 2013
patekphilippe:

you will never see a colored person at the bars in lincoln park and that is truly a great feeling.

Don't listen to this knucklehead, he doesn't know what he's talking about!

FYI next weekend is the traditional kick-off into summer in Chicago, i.e. the Old Town Art Fair!!

Anyone going to St. Michaels?

Nov 27, 2013

Lmao at Patek's comments, I love it.

Nov 27, 2013

Dude, the 19th century is over.

"We are lawyers! We sue people! Occasionally, we get aggressive and garnish wages, but WE DO NOT ABDUCT!" -Boston Legal-

Nov 27, 2013

That you're a knucklehead? Yup. I know it's true.

Nov 27, 2013

-

Nov 27, 2013

You're going to love it.

Are you doing the Belmont/Sheffield music festival this weekend?

June/July is the best time to be in Chicago... starts with the Old Town art fair, then Taste of Chicago, followed by Venetian Night and the Old St. Pat's block party. Good times :-)

Nov 27, 2013

I like Chicago so much better than NYC as a city. Midwest girls are so much better in so many ways.

I'm interested to hear other opinions about the work hours in Chicago. A good friend of mine is working at a top 3 BB out there and says he gets out around midnight on average. A midnight average would be amazing.

Nov 27, 2013

I agree with you. I think Chicago is better :-)

The hours are slightly less than in NYC. Quality of life is just overall better in Chicago. I am ofourse biased...

Nov 27, 2013
aadpepsi:

I agree with you. I think Chicago is better :-)

The hours are slightly less than in NYC. Quality of life is just overall better in Chicago. I am ofourse biased...

Of course quality of life is better. We have world class shopping, dining, and infrastructure, yet we have the least colored people out of any big American city.

Nov 27, 2013

This is off topic, but I'm moving to LP in a couple weeks and wanted to know if anyone knows of any decent places in the area to get furniture at a reasonable price. Thanks.

Nov 27, 2013
outlier:

This is off topic, but I'm moving to LP in a couple weeks and wanted to know if anyone knows of any decent places in the area to get furniture at a reasonable price. Thanks.

Domicile at 670 W. Diversey has some decent stuff at reasonable prices.

Nov 27, 2013

It all depends on your budget really. I lived in the gold coast for a year and loved it. It's an ideal location. Gold coast is going to be more expensive than the West Loop, which is a newer neighborhood. I'd also check out River North, Lincoln Park, and Lakeview.

Nov 27, 2013

I've lived in that area for 4 years. Its a great neigborhood with tons of bars and restaurants. The area is going through a rapid gentrification. A decade ago this area was ground zero for one of the most infamous housing projects in the U.S. There are still pockets of housing projects between along sedgwick between North and Division. If you are north of north avenue, you are in an awesome spot. If you are south of north avenue you will be close to some very low-income housing. Not a big deal, but you need to have your wits about you late at night.

PM me if you have any more specific questions.

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Nov 27, 2013
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Nov 27, 2013
Nov 27, 2013
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I would agree with you, but then we'd both be wrong.