City to Chicago Suburbs

Mike Wolson


Upbeat urban living is one of Chicago’s greatest assets. When you live in the heart of the city, world-class dining, cultural attractions, high-end retail, and endless entertainment options are at your fingertips. What’s not to love? But if you’re married, planning to start a family, or want a break from the fast-paced metropolitan lifestyle, you might be plotting a move to the suburbs.

Luckily, Chicago is one of the most vibrant and diverse cities in the country. The neighborhoods here offer plenty of lush parks for children to roam, proximity to great schools, family-friendly events, and beautiful single-family residences. We’ve provided a few tips on moving to make the process as seamless as possible for you and your family.


Finding the Right Neighborhood

The good news about moving to the Chicago suburbs is that there is no shortage of choice. On the downside, that can make it challenging to figure out which neighborhood is the right fit for you and your family. First, you’ll want to figure out how much space you need, the kind of location you want to live in, and your budget.

Once you have those three significant factors pared down, it’ll be easier to hone in on your perfect neighborhood. Knowing what you want or don’t want can make the process simpler and help your real estate agent guide you in the right direction when the time comes.

  • Those looking for family-oriented areas with suburban downtowns within 30 minutes include, Elmhurst, Hinsdale, La Grange, Wester Springs.
  • Excellent suburban downtown communities 45 minutes would include Downers Grove, Glen Ellyn, Wheaton.
  • If you no longer need to commute into the city, you may want to consider farther towns such as Naperville, Geneva, St. Charles.
  • If proximity to the city needs to be within 15 minutes, you may prefer Oak Park, River Forest.
  • If you are seeking more land, and do not want to have a large suburban downtown district, you may want to consider Burr Ridge.

Understanding Your New Commute

If you worked in the city while living there, you probably never had to worry much about the commute with the readily accessible public transportation. Relocating to a new area of the city or one of its luscious suburbs might take you farther away from your job, but that doesn’t automatically mean you’ll have to contend with a lengthy, arduous commute every day.

The important thing is to consider what you’re willing to travel and how you’ll manage it before you start looking for houses so you can plan accordingly. Most of the suburbs are close enough to the city that it shouldn’t inconvenience you while still being far enough to grant you some respite from the traffic and clamor.


Best Time to Move

The best time to move to Chicago or within the city tends to be during the fall or early spring. During the summer, the rental market is hot, and there is increased traffic from students and visiting tourists. Late winter isn’t a great time either because moving in the snow can be cumbersome.

November is one of the best months to move because crowds stay small until the holiday season kicks into high gear. The same thing applies to early spring when the weather starts to warm and university classes are still ongoing.


Community Events & Activities

Even though the suburbs might be quieter and more slow-paced than a third-floor walkup in the heart of the city, that doesn’t mean there isn’t anything to do nearby. Some of Chicago’s suburban areas have more going on than the city itself! Not to mention that in the suburbs, you’ll find a stronger sense of community and family-oriented activities to attend. It’s not a bad idea to look through the local parks and recreation websites to see what kind of activities and recreational centers are available nearby your potential new home.

Local parks regularly host holiday events, and the schools are always planning fundraisers and functions to keep students involved. Plus, you can always take a day trip to the city to visit the museums, galleries, restaurants, and shops. Instead of growing desensitized to the city’s magic by seeing the same things day after day, Chicago will once again become an exciting hotspot to visit on the weekends.
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