Chicago is a very popular place to live these days, and you can see this by the amount of people who are always on the go in this city. This is one of the largest centers of commerce in the entire United States of America. Known as the windy city, Chicago sports one of the tallest skylines in the entire country as well. Many famous buildings inhabit this city, such as the Sears Tower. If you're planning on moving here, you should make it a point to learn all you can about the city, as it is unlike any other you've ever lived in. To that end, take a moment to get to know your destination, before you start planning your move.
Get to Know Chicago
If you are looking to move to Chicago, there are a few things that you should know.
- Chicago is home to many of the fortune 500 companies. This means that there are plenty of high class establishments to find jobs with, and they are always on the lookout for a fresh mind.
- This city prides itself on its educated population. There are nearly 200 schools that grant degrees to thousands of students each year.
- Chicago currently holds the title of the second largest employment pool in the nation. Despite economic downturns, this area is still thriving when it comes to employment.
- Jazz culture was developed in this area, and it still plays a large part in the entertainment of many tourists and citizens every day.
Making Chicago Home
If you are one of the thousands that already does, or wishes to in the near future, call Chicago home, then you know that there are many choices that you have to make regarding your move. If you are simply moving across the city, then you are probably already familiar with the laws that govern Chicago moving. But if you are coming to the area from somewhere new, then there are some choices that you need to make. Perhaps the most important is what neighborhood you choose to live in.
Chicago, rather than being one large city, is actually a collection of many neighborhoods that exist next to each other. Each of the neighborhoods is different and offers its own character, providing a number of people just what they want all within the confines of what is known as Chicago. For those who are looking for something more affordable, living away from downtown or in one of the various suburbs of the city is best. Students, however, generally live closer to the city center, where they can take advantage of mass transit.
Finding a Home
Living near or in the city center means that you'll likely not be living in a house, but an apartment instead. As such, you'll need to find one that is both something you like, as well as in a neighborhood you prefer. There are a number of apartment finder services that operate in the area, some which are free and some which charge a small fee, that you can use to find the perfect place. Most of these services don't require an appointment, but it is a good idea to call ahead. As they have limited resources, and often drive you around to see different apartments, avoid waiting by calling before you visit.
If you choose to live outside the city center, or in one of the many suburbs outside of the city, then living in a house is more of a possibility. Finding a home is normally the same here as anywhere else, but unlike smaller cities, having the help of a real estate agent can be far more beneficial than you might imagine. Like any other house-hunting process, don't skimp on finding an inspector and looking at as many homes as it takes to find one that you like in a neighborhood that you can enjoy.
Coming from Another State
If you are moving into Chicago from another state, then you should always make sure to learn about laws and regulations that may be different from the ones that you are used to. This is important so that there are no unexpected hold ups during your move. Any moving company that is used to moving into or around this great city will be able to provide you with the guidance that you will need in order to make your move a smooth one.
If you're planning on bringing your car, be aware of the special laws and regulations related to driving in the city and around it. There are a number of restrictions that you may not be used to, including tow zones and parking meters. Make it a point not to park in a tow zone, or you can be that your car will be towed within minutes. It can also get you into a lot of trouble to feed the meters money after the time has run out originally. Boots, tire chalk, and more can and will be used to enforce parking laws. Also consider the idea that the area is very congested and in many cases, it is better to simply sell the car and rely on the exceptional mass transit in the area.
Planning is Key
The most important thing to remember when you are moving to Chicago is that a plan is all that stands between you and a disaster. Since this is such a busy city, it is vital that you know the layout of the place that you are moving to. You should be able to tell your moving company about any stairs or elevators that they may have to traverse in order to move your things into your new home. Be prepared to pay an extra fee for this extra work.
You should also research traffic patterns in the area where you are moving as well. Make sure to schedule your move at a time when traffic is not heavy and will not interfere with the movers and the job that they need to do. If you are using movers that are familiar with the areas where you are moving from and to, then they may already be able to tell you the best time for you to make your move. If they are unable to give you this information, check with the landlord you are renting from and see if they have special procedures for moving in and moving out.
Since so many students live in and go to school in Chicago, the city has two move in and out days each year that revolve around the school schedule. April first and October first are considered these special move in and out days, which can be a couple of things when it comes to your life:
- If you're moving in or out on one of these days, plan to deal with hundreds of others who are moving in or out on the same day. This can be problematic if you're planning on using freight elevators or other resources that might be limited.
- Your lease may end on one of these days, even if you signed it on a day that would make it over a year or less than a year. Be sure that you plan accordingly so that you don't end up owing lots of fees.
Learn to communicate effectively so that you not only understand what you are getting into, but so that you understand what your responsibilities are as well. The laws related to landlords and tenants, how deposits are handled, and more, are all different form one neighborhood to another. As such, the importance of asking questions and not allowing yourself to be talked into anything is not to be understated.
Stress-Free Chicago Move
In the end it will not matter what brought you here. Instead, the only thing that will matter is the fact that you are here. There is so much to do in the wonderful city, that you may feel overwhelmed at first. Don't worry though, you will be quite familiar with this area sooner than you think. Remember to stick to these simple moving tips in order to ensure a stress-free moving experience.