Local Highlights

5 questions to ask yourself before moving to Chicago


If you’re contemplating a move to a new city, you’ve probably already done your research and landed on a place where you can be your truest self — one where you can get a great job, great food, and meet some great people: like Chicago. In conducting this thorough research, you’ve likely discovered the best restaurants, shops, and regional grocery stores in your prospective new home. This part of the new home hunt is a blast, and imagining life in an exciting new place can quickly become a favorite pastime. 

But, after you’ve found the best local watering holes and learned about the Illinois state bird (where are our Northern Cardinal fans at?) it’s time to ask the real questions. Making a move is a big deal, and you’ll want to make sure that you’ve covered all your bases to be sure that your new home is right for you. So, before you pack your bags for the Windy City, ask yourself these questions (and be honest with your answers!)  

Do I really *need* a car? 

If you’re relocating to Chicago from a driver-centric city (i.e. most of the country,) it will likely be time to part ways with your trusty four-wheeled friend. Fear not! Chicago’s incredible walkability paired with its reliable public transit system means there won’t be much need for a car, and high parking costs mean you’ll save money spending less time behind the wheel. If your car is your happy place, however, you’ll still be able to hack it in Chicago — just be prepared to play the parking game when you’re not using the reserved parking available to Common McCormick members. 

Will I be able to budget? 

There’s a reason people move to big cities, and those reasons often come at a price. Chicago is no different, and you’ll have to ask yourself if you can budget to comfortably afford to live in this midwest city. While not as expensive as New York, San Francisco, or now Miami, Chicago’s cost of living and tax rate are still on the high side. With that said, these are the easy things to budget for. The constant temptation of world-class dining and shopping? It’ll take some serious soul-searching to decide if you can resist. 

Where will I be most at home? 

Much like its residents, Chicago’s neighborhoods are extremely diverse. The Loop neighborhood is peppered with museums, restaurants, and history, making it an ideal destination for new residents looking to enjoy the present while getting to know the city’s past. On the other hand, Humboldt Park (Chicago’s cultural capital) brings a community atmosphere and a natural flair for artistry — from the Puerto Rican cuisine to the many murals that punctuate the neighborhood. There are many sides to Chicago, so find the one where you’ll be most at home before setting sail for the Windy City. 

Make Chicago living a reality! Discover private and coliving apartments with Common.

Can my social life weather subzero temperatures? 

First thing’s first: Chicago is not as cold as everyone says. Now that that’s out of the way, Chicago can be pretty darn cold, and you’ll have to ask yourself if you’re as much of a social butterfly when you’re swaddled in a down-jacket cocoon. Sure, you were the toast of the town back in sunny San Diego or temperate Tempe, but will you still be the life of the party when getting to the party means donning your snow boots? While it may take some adjusting, we don’t doubt that you’ll stay your bubbly self. Besides, the furnished lounges at Common are perfect for socializing when things get slushy. 

Do I want to live alone or with roommates? 

Perhaps the most important question to ask yourself before moving to Chicago, the roommate vs. solo-living discussion is as much a budgetary one as it is a social one. Opting to live with roommates can create a little more wiggle room in your budget, and can also make the Seasonal Affective Disorder go down a bit smoother. Plus, the coliving suites at Common McCormick are spacious and having a private room means you can be as social (or antisocial) as you need to be. 

Make your move with Common

Whether you’ve decided Chicago is the perfect city for the next chapter in your life or you’re still shopping around, Common makes moving a breeze when the time comes. All-inclusive rates at our coliving units mean there’s no tedious appointments with WiFi and utility providers, and amenities like on-site laundry mean your days of looking for apartments near laundromats are behind you. 

Explore our Chicago homes, and find the answer to one final question: How can Common make living in Chicago even better? 

Related posts: