Moving to Chicago

07/25/23  |  Julie Latsko

Explore Chicago neighborhoods and things to do in the city while you plan for your move.

As a person prepares for a move to Chicago, there is much to consider. There are several Chicago neighborhoods to explore, urban amenities to get to know, and financial obligations to study. Lucky for those potential homebuyers, coming to a new understanding of a city through the lens of an incoming resident is exciting.

Chicago is a Midwestern city rich in art, culture, and food. The city is home to the Art Institute of Chicago and the famed Cloud Gate, lovingly dubbed “The Bean” by all who know it. The city is also famous for its Chicago-style deep-dish pizza and water-side views. It is a beautiful, thriving city where residents are never bored. Outside of its most famous amenities, the city has many things to do and explore. Chicago is alive. When people move to Chicago, they choose a city of business, pleasure, and beauty.

Chicago neighborhoods


Homebuyers on the lookout for a historic home in a peaceful neighborhood could consider Beverly. The Chicago neighborhood features alluring, old architecture. The real estate in the area is quite attractive. The streets are walkable and bikeable and lined with mature trees. Because of the neighborhood’s small size, residents can easily navigate to their most loved shops, restaurants, and parks. Beverly also offers easy access to the Metra Train Station, an excellent amenity for Chicago commuters.

South Shore

For art lovers wanting community and collaboration, South Shore in Chicago is a great place to live. The neighborhood is artsy and history-rich and housed chiefly by small families and professionals. Many museums are here, including the Chicago History Museum. The neighborhood also features an arts and community center, several parks, and a nature sanctuary. Unlike Beverly, South Shore is not entirely walkable, but the homes are similarly elevated.

River North

River North is a cultured, lively neighborhood located in downtown Chicago. It is considered Chicago’s most trend-setting neighborhood, decorated in historical and modern architecture. River North real estate is upscale and luxurious, as is the rest of the neighborhood. With office spaces, art galleries, restaurants, and nightclubs, River North has a lot to offer at all times of the day. Professionals who are leisure seekers are attracted to a life in the stylish River North for its infinite possibilities for entertainment.

Gold Coast

The Chicago neighborhood of Gold Coast is also located downtown. Gold Coast is close to the lakefront and offers a residential feel. The area is a peaceful one with eye-catching architecture, both contemporary and vintage. Some of Chicago’s most prestigious homes are here. Gold Coast’s nearness to the city has little effect on the neighborhood’s tranquility, as Chicago’s night scene does not quite reach its residences. Locals can take a short walk to the lakefront to take in the views day or night without the interruption of city party-goers.

Things to do in Chicago

Take an architecture boat tour

Chicago tourists love boat tours, and for a person moving to the area, such a thing could be a fun, educational way to dive into the city’s culture. There are many architectural boat tours navigating the city’s waters. Boat guests enjoy awe-inspiring views while learning about Chicago’s architectural history.

Moreover, a boat tour is an excellent way for new Chicago residents to get to know their home city. Knowledge about a city allows a person to feel connected to the place. Architectural boat tours are offered from the Navy Pier and Ogden Slip. Shoreline Sightseeing by DuSable Bridge also offers boat tours.

Visit the Lyric Opera of Chicago

Located just off Lake Michigan, the Lyric Opera of Chicago is a world-class opera house that engages students, families, and sophisticated opera lovers in the art of the opera. The opera house allows Chicago residents to see classic, new-age, or experimental shows. Performers sing masterfully while viewers sit comfortably in the Art Deco viewing area. The Lyric Opera House of Chicago has audience programs, teen programs, community programs, and many other ways for opera fans to connect and support Lyric.

Shop on the Magnificent Mile

The Magnificent Mile, located just west of Northeastern University, is Chicago’s premier commercial neighborhood. Chicago locals and visitors eat, shop, and sightsee along the street. The Magnificent Mile is central to Chicago’s culinary scene, and the food options on the street are diverse. You can find American food, Asian food, French food, pizza, and more here. One could even go on a dinner cruise, as the Magnificent Mile is right off Lake Michigan.

The Magnificent Mile is Chicago’s shopping hub. Gucci, Cartier, and Louis Vuitton stores are all on the strip. A shopper can also find elevated staple pieces, shoes, and other accessories. There are over 50 stores on the Magnificent Mile, and with so many spaces to explore, a person could spend a whole day strolling the street.

Finances involved in moving to Chicago

Life in Chicago is vibrant, artsy, and never dull. Any person could find something they love in Chicago, but life in the city comes with its expenses — upscale homes regularly sell above $1 million. Still, there are many luxury Chicago homes. They are gorgeous, grand properties offering residents a personal enclave in or near the hustle and bustle of metropolitan life.
Property tax rates in Chicago are above the national average of 0.99%. Cook County, where Chicago is located, collects an average of 1.38% of a property’s market price as property tax. Other finances included in moving are closing costs and homeowners insurance.

For more information on the price tag of completing a Chicago real estate purchase, contact agent Julie Latsko. Julie is a Chicago native with ample real estate experience. She is passionate about Chicago and ready to help you find your perfect home in an ideal neighborhood within Chicago’s bounds. Reach Julie anytime to discuss moving to Chicago.

*Header photo courtesy of Shutterstock