The windy city… Chi-Town…the home of deep dish pizza, the Sears Tower, the Bears, the Bulls, the Cubs and many more famous teams, museums, and landmarks. There’s never a dull moment in Chicago, and if you are headed here to live, you’ll soon learn why Chicagoans love their city!
Here are a few things it’s helpful to know about before moving to Chicago, IL.
Chicago Public Schools are far-reaching, with 513 high schools and elementary schools, 121 charter schools, 10 alternative learning opportunity programs to give each student his or her best chance at success. Over 361,000 students are served in the public schools of Chicago. Partnerships with universities, the military, and technical programs encouraging seniors and other students to make a post-secondary plan and stick to it.
For nearly two decades, the Chicago school system struggled, giving rise to well over 400 highly rated private schools in the Chicago area. As of 2018, though, public schools are on the rise, with students’ test scores improving by leaps and bounds. Graduation rates are up, and many high school students are taking advantage of college level classes being offered to them, the area seeing two students recently graduate with Associates degrees, the first of what promises to be a growing number.
Many industries are found in Chicago, from JPMorgan Chase and Deloitte financial advisors to Boeing and United Continental Holdings, have home offices in Chicago, IL.
Unemployment is higher than expected in Chicago, probably due to the number of highly specialized jobs available. However, there are always plenty of opportunities available to anyone who is willing to step outside their comfort zone.
The good news is that hiring is on the rise, so there are definitely employment opportunities, even if they are not in a person’s specific area of expertise.
There are over 200 different theaters in the Chicago area featuring a wide range of plays and shows, from Broadway caliber to burlesque shows, and residents should never miss Chicago Theatre Week! A youth poetry festival, Louder Than a Bomb, as well as other literary festivals and events also take place in Chicago. While attending, locals can take advantage of over 150 tours of historic buildings available in the area.
Food, nightlife, and much more of the expected big-city entertainment venues are also found in downtown Chicago.
All four major sports (baseball, football, basketball, and hockey) have a team in Chicago, as well as a Major League Soccer team, the Chicago Fire Soccer Club, which is a member of the Eastern Conference, so there’s always a great sporting event to watch!
Juicy sandwiches, deep dish pizza, hot dogs, and Italian beef and sausage are just a few of the classic foods Chicago is known for.
For hot dogs, it’s all beef, no ketchup but everything else in Chicago! Wolfy’s and Byron’s will be stables for any Chicago newcomer, and the famous Weiner’s Circle where it’s considered customary for staff and customers serves a pretty delicious dog, too.
Malnati’s, Due, Pequod’s, and The Art of Pizza serve traditional deep dish and Chicago-style thin crust pizzas, depending on what type you’re in the mood for, and there’s Al’s, Buona, Tony’s for on-the-go Italian beef.
If it’s snacks you’re in the mood for, hit up Fanny May’s or Garrett’s Popcorn. Caramel and cheddar is a local favorite.
The housing market for country’s 3rd largest city is recovering from years past. Home prices will rise. The average home will be valued at $250,000 or so in the near future and is expected to rise further still in subsequent years. The housing market for higher priced homes, though, those above $300,000, has grown steadily.
Home owners are selling at below-average rates, and there is less construction in the suburbs, where prices are lower and there are less-stringent regulations and building codes.
The simple grid system of Chicago makes navigating it extremely easy. The Chicago Transit Authority is the 2nd largest public transportation system in the US. Cash or transit cards can be used, and there are many options for tickets including bus-only, rail-only, or a combination of both.
There are also L-trains in Chicago. While not all elevated, they do connect all 144 rail stations around the city 24 hours a day. The bus system has some routes that also run 24 hours a day, but not all 100-plus buses are included.
Taxis and Uber are also available, especially near downtown and around the airports, with a mobile app to make hailing a cab easier than ever. Water taxis are mainly for tourists, but a really fun option during fair weather. See Chinatown, Willis Tower, Union Station and more for a day pass that will cost you less than $30
Chicago’s climate is considered humid continental, with all 4 seasons showing up respectively here in the Midwest due to the distance from oceans and the frequent movement of air.
- Spring, from March to May, is cool and wet and can vary from day to day.
- Summer is hot and humid, temperatures can reach 95 degrees, with thunderstorms common in the afternoon.
- Fall is mild. From September to November, the weather is beautiful, with few harsh weather events.
- Chicago winters are cold. November to March see snowfall, although snowstorms have occurred from October through April.
Once you’ve made the decision to relocate to Chicago, we are ready to help! Please view our Chicago storage locations.