The economy is booming, unemployment is shrinking, and the real estate market is responding accordingly. Millennials, shafted for years by uncertain job prospects and low wages, are finally buying homes.

If you’re thinking about purchasing property, do it now. Why pay rent when you can live in your own home?

Once you’re ready to buy your new place, you need to think long and hard about where you want to live. We live in the era of the freelancer, the digital nomad. Millions of people can go wherever they want in the world and still keep their job.

So where should you live? Chicago! There’s a reason that it’s one of the biggest cities in the U.S. Chicago is rich in history and culture, allowing for a great lifestyle. The city has something for every interest. Sports stadiums for the sports nut, museums for the history lover.

Buying a home in Chicago is a big decision whether you live there already or not. Keep reading to find out what you need to know.

Chicago Neighborhoods

Like New York City, Chicago is split into 77 distinct neighborhoods. The residents know them by heart. Different personalities tend to flock to different neighborhoods. Let yourself fall in love with the diversity and you’ll see why so many people call Chicago home.

Here are the neighborhoods you need to visit:

  • North: Cubs fans might start salivating when they see Wrigleyville, the area that’s sprung up around the infamous baseball field. If sports aren’t your thing there’s plenty of great shopping and a buzzing nightlife.
  • South: Cultural junkies will enjoy exploring the South Side. There are museums galore and multiple impressive monuments to check out.
  • West: Diversity rules in the West. There are tons of ethnic restaurants in the area as well as cultural buildings.
  • Downtown: If you’re on vacation in Chicago, you’re probably visiting downtown. Most of the name brand attractions, like The Bean, are located here.

Now let’s talk about where you want to live. Stuffed inside the North, South, etc., areas are dozens of smaller neighborhoods. Where you should stay depends mostly on your budget but your taste matters as well. Do you want to live in a rollicking area that’s bursting with activity? Or would you prefer something more sedate?

A lot of people are flocking to the South Side. It has a range of home prices that can suit different needs. The South Loop, in particular, is a great place to set up shop. If you’re searching for luxury, you can find it at Prairie Court, a high-end townhome community located in the area.

Chicago Culture

Every city has its benefits. However, there are a ton of reasons why you should forget about the rest and live in Chicago. In addition to the amazing housing options, the city’s vibrant culture is a major draw for people young and old.

The food: You can’t write a post praising Chicago without mentioning the delicious food options. Grab a slice of deep-dish pizza; buy a thick hot dog while you’re watching the game. Chicago cuisine is famous around the world.

The Sports: Chicago’s sports culture is absolutely thriving. Few cities can compare. There’s a host of professional teams to root for, from NHL’s Blackhawks to the NBA’s Bulls. The excitement surrounding the local teams is sometimes palpable it’s so strong.

The Nightlife: Chicago has a bustling party scene. The nightclubs are packed and the bars are numerous. There are also plenty of late-night restaurants and lounges where you can hear live music.

Remember, you’re buying a home. There’s a chance that you may live in your new place for the rest of your life. You want to choose an area that has everything you’re looking for. Chicago is the third-largest city in the U.S. because it has so much to offer.

Living in the Windy City

The Chicago lifestyle isn’t exactly cheap but the city’s cost of living is a lot less than in comparable areas. Rent prices in places like San Francisco and New York City are so high that it’s become a running joke. Chicago hasn’t reached that level yet.

“Compared to our coastal counterparts, Chicago has maintained affordability, so when buyers are looking, they’re better poised in Chicago than they would be in some of these other markets,” Rebecca Thomson, president of the Chicago Association of Realtors, told the Chicago Tribune.

“Many prospective buyers are seeing that rent rates have continued to go up, so when they start evaluating cost savings, oftentimes buying a home is the better option.”

Buying property in Chicago can be a great investment. The lush Prairie Court townhome that you purchase can be rented out for a high a price if you’d rather play landlord than live in the property yourself.

Start talking to Chicago real estate agents. There’s a good chance that you’ll be pleased with what you hear.

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