Know the Neighborhoods
Before moving to Chicago, it’s important to get acquainted with the neighborhood. For many, cost is a driving force when selecting a location. Neighborhoods closer to downtown, such as River North, South Loop and West Loop, are more expensive but central to restaurants, businesses and shopping. Areas further from the Loop, including Rogers Park, Uptown or Edgewater tend to be more affordable for those with smaller budgets.
Other popular neighborhoods include trendy Lincoln Park on the north side or Lakeview, home to the Cubs. Hyde Park, home to the University of Chicago, is located on the far south side and offers a diverse population.
Find an Apartment Early
Housing in Chicago gets snatched up quickly, so give yourself as much time as possible to find an apartment, especially if you have specific requirements. For example, if you need a four-bedroom apartment that allows dogs over 70 pounds in Pilsen, give yourself ample lead time to find a home that suits your needs.
Also, keep in mind that the Chicago moving season is generally between May 1 and September 1, so you will have the broadest selection during those months. Outside peak moving times, apartment selection may be limited, but there may be options for short-term subleases.
Get Your Ducks in a Row
Moving is chaotic, but taking care of your necessary responsibilities before moving can help alleviate moving stress. Before you move, set up your renters insurance. Remember, if something unexpected happens and your personal possessions are ruined, your landlord isn’t required to replace your loss, so be sure to take care of this sooner rather than later.
Other things you can do in advance include setting up your pass for public transportation and making arrangements to have your cable and internet set up.