Nuriko

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Hey guys! Ill be starting school in downtown chicago in a few months. Does anybody know any good, affordable housing locations?
 
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Downtown would be tough. If the school you're attending doesn't offer subsidized housing, you might be able to find something decent if you talk to some Feinberg 3rd-4th years.

You might be able to fetch a good deal in the Lincoln Park area. I have a few friends from college who live there and they got some good deals. It's a bit north of downtown(~15 minutes via the El), but it's a great area.

Fortunately, Chicago has a pretty decent housing market compared with cities like NY, Boston, San Fran, etc.
 

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Hey guys! Ill be starting school in downtown chicago in a few months. Does anybody know any good, affordable housing locations?

Yeah, downtown will be difficult. There are little neighborhoods here and there surrounding the city proper that you can check out. You'll likely be sharing a place with several people, though.

I used to live in Hyde Park, which is neighborhood south of the city. You can find somewhat affordable accomodations there, since it's really a college town, given that U of C is located there. If you don't have a car, it's a short bus ride to the 55th and Garfield L-station and then a train up downtown. Not a bad ride overall and a lot of my friends used to live in Hyde Park and then commute to the city for work or school.
 

Nuriko

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Yeah, downtown will be difficult. There are little neighborhoods here and there surrounding the city proper that you can check out. You'll likely be sharing a place with several people, though.

I used to live in Hyde Park, which is neighborhood south of the city. You can find somewhat affordable accomodations there, since it's really a college town, given that U of C is located there. If you don't have a car, it's a short bus ride to the 55th and Garfield L-station and then a train up downtown. Not a bad ride overall and a lot of my friends used to live in Hyde Park and then commute to the city for work or school.

Hopefully Ill have a car by the time school starts. *crosses fingers* Thatll def make things easier if it pulls through. If not, will I be able to take the L most places and get around?
 

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Everyone I met at Northwestern lived in high-rise buildings just south of campus. The apt I stayed in overlooked the river and the lake. Prices for these places weren't bad. About $1000 for a studio, $1200 or so for 2 bedroom that you share with a roommate. Based on the impression I got from everyone, downtown Chicago is very reasonable, but maybe I'm wrong.
 

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Hopefully Ill have a car by the time school starts. *crosses fingers* Thatll def make things easier if it pulls through. If not, will I be able to take the L most places and get around?

i wouldn't do that if i were you. plenty of neighborhoods on mass transit lines to downtown. parking downtown is expensive. what type of neighborhood are you looking for?
 

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will I be able to take the L most places and get around?

Yes, you should be able to. That's one of the great things about living in Chicago. You can take the EL train to most central locations around and in the city, and then a bus from there to get to the more peripheral areas. I still miss the convenience of the public transportation there; you don't even really need a car.
 

Doctor~Detroit

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Everyone I met at Northwestern lived in high-rise buildings just south of campus. The apt I stayed in overlooked the river and the lake. Prices for these places weren't bad. About $1000 for a studio, $1200 or so for 2 bedroom that you share with a roommate. Based on the impression I got from everyone, downtown Chicago is very reasonable, but maybe I'm wrong.

1200 for a 2 bedroom downtown seems way too cheap.
 

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I'm planning to live in Lakeview/Wrigleyville/Andersonville area. Basically, the northern part of the city. I'll be commuting up to RFU. Property seems reasonably priced up there. My friend at Northwestern Law School rented a really nice apartment in Wrigleyville that she shared with 2 other students.

My husband rented a 1 bedroom apt. about a block from Northwestern hospital for $1400/month (it had a lake view). That seems cheap to me after living in Manhattan :laugh:
 

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1200 for a 2 bedroom downtown seems way too cheap.

I might have been slightly off on my numbers. Maybe 1400. But I remember it wasn't much different than I pay now in Cambridge. And I remember it was especially low compared to what a high-rise in downtown Boston looking at any water would run you. It seemed way too cheap to me.



My husband rented a 1 bedroom apt. about a block from Northwestern hospital for $1400/month (it had a lake view). That seems cheap to me after living in Manhattan :laugh:

Yeah, seems cheap to Bostoners too. But it seems that's the going rate for NU students near the med campus.
 

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i wouldn't do that if i were you. plenty of neighborhoods on mass transit lines to downtown. parking downtown is expensive. what type of neighborhood are you looking for?

Anything that is safe and fairly close to school. In college, Ive been spoiled with the luxury of living within walking distance from classrooms, so I could wake up 5 minutes before early morning class and be back in my room passed out within 5 minutes of class ending, hehe. I suppose I could suck it up and deal with a small train commute in the mornings if I had to though.
 
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Doctor~Detroit

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Anything that is safe and fairly close to school. In college, Ive been spoiled with the luxury of living within walking distance from classrooms, so I could wake up 5 minutes before early morning class and be back in my room passed out within 5 minutes of class ending, hehe. I suppose I could suck it up and deal with a small train commute in the mornings if I had to though.

i think your best bets will be (as mentioned) lincoln park or lakeview via the el train, or maybe ukrainian village via a bus. or just suck it up and pay to live near the school. either way i wouldn't bother with a car.
 

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Chicago doesn't have rent control as is found in NY & Cambridge. Paradoxically, it doesn't have a shortage of affordable rental housing, either.

Hyde Park is a neighborhood within the city of Chicago, not a location outside of the city (as one poster described it).

Public transportation is widely available. Also check with your school about the availability of (often free) shuttle buses to train stations and other outlying locations.
 

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Hyde Park is a neighborhood within the city of Chicago, not a location outside of the city (as one poster described it).

Yes, of course, you are quite right. Thanks for the clarification. When I said, "city", I meant the N. Michigan Ave./"magnificent mile" area downtown as a reference point. Sorry if I wasn't clear. :thumbup:
 

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I believe there is an apartment building right across from the school that is owned by Northwestern that many students live in.

You can get apartments within walking distance of Northwestern that aren't too crazy in price. A lot of kids live in Lincoln Park, though. There is a Northwestern shuttle that is free and runs hourly between the Children's Hospital in Lincoln Park and the downtown campus (with a couple other stops along the way). I see lots of med students taking advantage of that.

There is also a free shuttle that runs all the way to Evanston with many stops in between (including Loyola/Roger's Park area). Not as nice as the Lincoln Park option, but still an option.
 

jules922

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I lived in Chicago for 6 years ... DO NOT live downtown near Northwestern ... it's boring, gray, has very little character and is overpriced compared to the rest of the city ... not to mention it's always colder down there for some reason.
I'd go for Lincoln Park, Lakeview or Wicker Park if you want a neighborhoods that are convenient to public transportation and full of young people and things to do. You can easily get a 2 bedroom for under $1500 ... my studio in Lakeview, which was quite nice and 2 blocks from the lake/one block from the bus was $700/month.
 

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honestly i know nothing about the gold coast area except it was suggested to me...i am guessing by your response it is quite expensive?

You guessed correctly. I don't know why anybody would suggest that other than the fact that it's pretty close to the school.

In my opinion, as long as you live near a train/bus line, and not TOO far out....you are good to go. That said, research the neighborhoods. I'm partial to Wickerpark/Bucktown/Logan Square areas. They are cheaper than Lincoln Park and not as yuppie (although, unfortunately, it's becoming more and more like Lincoln Park each day).

Check out these links for starters. One has neighborhood descriptions the other has a rough map. I'm sure there are plenty more sites out there like these.

DESCRIPTIONS
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Where would you Chicago natives recommend for a Pritzker student to live? Hyde Park? Or is the South Loop nicer?
 
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Doctor~Detroit

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You guessed correctly. I don't know why anybody would suggest that other than the fact that it's pretty close to the school.

In my opinion, as long as you live near a train/bus line, and not TOO far out....you are good to go. That said, research the neighborhoods. I'm partial to Wickerpark/Bucktown/Logan Square areas. They are cheaper than Lincoln Park and not as yuppie (although, unfortunately, it's becoming more and more like Lincoln Park each day).

Check out these links for starters. One has neighborhood descriptions the other has a rough map. I'm sure there are plenty more sites out there like these.

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i personally wouldn't do logan square or wicker park, simply because it would involve a mass transit transfer. this adds time possibly spent waiting in the cold.

lakeview has some okay rents and is not as "yuppie" as lincoln park.

it's farther out, but uptown (for now) and roger's park are pretty cheap and diverse neighborhoods off of an el train line. they would also put you closer to nwu's main campus in evanston, if there's anything you wanted to do there.
 

Doctor~Detroit

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Where would you Chicago natives recommend for a Pritzker student to live? Hyde Park? Or is the South Loop nicer?

most would probably say the south loop is nicer. it has more entertainment amenities and more nice high-rise housing, but hyde park is a more university- and family-oriented place (probably more crime, but less expensive).
 

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most would probably say the south loop is nicer. it has more entertainment amenities and more nice high-rise housing, but hyde park is a more university- and family-oriented place (probably more crime, but less expensive).

Are there any other neighborhoods near UofC that are both nice and safe?
 

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i personally wouldn't do logan square or wicker park, simply because it would involve a mass transit transfer. this adds time possibly spent waiting in the cold.

If you were concerned about the cold, you could take the blue line downtown and transfer to the red line underground (taking that back north to say, the Chicago stop). Yes, it adds a little time to your commute, but you won't be standing out in the cold waiting for a transfer. I've taken classes downtown at Feinberg (NW) and can make it in 30 minutes or less from Wicker Park.

For U. Chicago, a lot of people seem to live in Hyde Park. I imagine that living on the Northside would entail a relatively difficult commute...even from South Loop. If standing outside for transfers/walking is a concern, don't live in the South Loop and go to U. Chicago.
 

Towelie

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If you were concerned about the cold, you could take the blue line downtown and transfer to the red line underground (taking that back north to say, the Chicago stop). Yes, it adds a little time to your commute, but you won't be standing out in the cold waiting for a transfer. I've taken classes downtown at Feinberg (NW) and can make it in 30 minutes or less from Wicker Park.

For U. Chicago, a lot of people seem to live in Hyde Park. I imagine that living on the Northside would entail a relatively difficult commute...even from South Loop. If standing outside for transfers/walking is a concern, don't live in the South Loop and go to U. Chicago.

I have a car. I have heard the drive is fine--10-15 min with little traffic.
 

BuckerPark

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I have a car. I have heard the drive is fine--10-15 min with little traffic.

I was referring to the public transportation commute being long.
By car, 10-15 is probably a good guess via Lake Shore Drive (maybe 15-20?)...although people looking for alternate routes during the Dan Ryan construction (I-94/I-90 Southbound) might screw that up temporarily.
 

Doctor~Detroit

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Are there any other neighborhoods near UofC that are both nice and safe?

indiana.

really, south loop is the best option for nice, safe, and near. you avoid commuting through downtown, which adds time whether by train or car. i suppose bridgeport/chinatown is safe, nearby, and nice in a more working-class family-oriented sort of way. most college types probably wouldn't want to live there.
 

Doctor~Detroit

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I was referring to the public transportation commute being long.
By car, 10-15 is probably a good guess via Lake Shore Drive (maybe 15-20?)...although people looking for alternate routes during the Dan Ryan construction (I-94/I-90 Southbound) might screw that up temporarily.

he'd be reverse commuting, though.
 

cubbbie

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I have a car. I have heard the drive is fine--10-15 min with little traffic.

I actually think the Hyde Park area is pretty nice. The neighborhoods where the UC kids live are pretty safe and upscale. Obviously there are always people coming into those areas looking to cause trouble, but not as many as you think. I know a lot of people who live down there and love it.
 

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i personally wouldn't do logan square or wicker park, simply because it would involve a mass transit transfer. this adds time possibly spent waiting in the cold.

lakeview has some okay rents and is not as "yuppie" as lincoln park.

it's farther out, but uptown (for now) and roger's park are pretty cheap and diverse neighborhoods off of an el train line. they would also put you closer to nwu's main campus in evanston, if there's anything you wanted to do there.

I actually live in Rogers Park and make the commute to Northwestern every day for work. The rent is definitely dirt-cheap, but the commute (40-50 minutes by bus or train) might be seen as a hassle for someone who's not used to it. On the upside, my roommates and I share a nice 3-bedroom for $1275 a month, so that's a big positive.

For a good balance between affordable rent and convenience, I'd recommend Lakeview, Lincoln Park, Wicker Park, or Bucktown. The cheapest rents I've seen in the Gold Coast and Streeterville (in the NU area) are generally $1000+/month for a studio or a 1-bedroom. Keep in mind that living by yourself in a 1-bedroom will be far more expensive than finding roommates and sharing a 2- or 3-bedroom.

I think a lot of NU students end up living here:
http://www.mcclurgcourt.com/
The rents they list are pretty representative of the area.
 

Doctor~Detroit

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i know that the red line to blue line transfer (that one would make if they travelled from wicker park, logan square, or bucktown to feinberg) is underground, free, and relatively warm, but i would still be turned off by it by the amount of time it adds. for one thing, you'd be backtracking back north once you transfer downtown. also, i think it's best to minimize transit transfers, just because you can easily add 10+ minutes waiting. it would be ideal to be on the red line for this reason. i think lakeview is *somewhat* similar to wicker park in terms of youth and coolness, and it's also close to the lake. as a previous poster said, i'd probably go with lakeview if i were making this decision.
 

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I have a car. I have heard the drive is fine--10-15 min with little traffic.

If you have a car, and money isn't a huge concern, South Loop will treat you well. You have good access to the city from there, crime is low, and commutes to Hyde Park are pretty reasonable. However, South Loop is booming right now, so it will be more expensive than Hyde Park, which has lower rates due to the location and U of C's own subsidizing of apartments which helps control rent prices (the University owns or manages like 2 of the major renters for the neighborhood).

Speaking as a former U of C student (undergrad), Hyde Park is, IMHO, as safe as you are going to get in a big city. South Loop may be slightly safer, but the difference is negligable, I think, and if you're looking for "rural america safe" or "suburban safe" you're going to be SOL no matter what neighborhood you choose. Crime used to be a big deal at the U of C in the 70s and early 80's, but the university took a lot of steps to curb that, and the neighborhood now is actually quite a nice place to live, and I would be very comfortable raising a family there. It is friendly, multicultural, and you have a bit of respite from the hustle and bustle of downtown there. Sure there's the random car theft or robbery, but what big city neighborhood doesn't have this? Be concious of your environs and live streetwise and you'll be fine. Not to mention that the university has one of the largest private police forces in the world - you're never more than a few blocks from a squad car on duty. A lot of people hear or see this and think it is indicative of an unsafe place, but I always felt quite safe knowing that I have two police departments (Chicago PD and UofC PD) looking out for me.

That's not to say it Hyde Park desn't have its faults, however. While I was just lauding Hyde Park's visceral "separation" from the city at large, that same characteristic does become a problem when you want to take advantage of the wealth of cultural events and entertainment Chicago has to offer. Having a car definitely helps, but its so much easier when the things you want to do are right around the corner or just a few stops down on the red line, and you don't have to drive around for 20 minutes looking for parking or spend an hour (one way!) on the El. Everyone says "Hyde Park is easily accessible by the El," but they fail to mention that the subway system doesn't actually run to Hyde Park. Unless you want to either 1) walk down a very gritty street about 1/2 mile to the green line stop at 63rd and Cottage Grove or 2) take a VERY unreliable bus to an even grittier El stop in the middle of one of the worst neighborhoods in chicago to catch the red line, you won't be exactly jumping at the chance to use the public transportation system.

In addition, outside University-related events, not much happens in Hyde Park. Then again, you'll be in med school, so maybe having access to the city's cultural and entertainment resources isn't high on your priority list. Finally, the situtation for buying groceries in Hyde Park is atrocious, as the only local option is a "Co-operative" chain that has a iron-grip monopoly on supermarkets in the area and is currently being mis-managed and run into the ground - not to mention their ridiculous prices on even the most basic of food items. But, you'll have a car, so you can drive to another place to shop.
 

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I live in Old Town which is about 5-10 minutes from Northwestern... rentals can be all over the place in Chicago in terms of price. You can find a studio in streeterville/Gold Coast for $750+++. This is REALLY close to Northwestern. Also, I think that Northwestern has subsidized parking downtown for students. If I remember correctly, they have student housing above Eli's Cheesecake on Chicago avenue (right next to Neiman Marcus). See if you can get some of that action first.

Here are some links to apartment sites in Chicago:

http://classifieds.chicagoreader.com/chicago/Results?subsection=oid:122

http://www.apartmentpeople.com/ (Free Service for renters).
 

spicedmanna

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If you have a car, and money isn't a huge concern, South Loop will treat you well. You have good access to the city from there, crime is low, and commutes to Hyde Park are pretty reasonable. However, South Loop is booming right now, so it will be more expensive than Hyde Park, which has lower rates due to the location and U of C's own subsidizing of apartments which helps control rent prices (the University owns or manages like 2 of the major renters for the neighborhood)...

Yeah, I remember Hyde Park being pretty affordable. Hyde Park sometimes gets a bad rap for being so far South Side, close to Woodlawn, etc. But it's pretty safe and definitely has it's sweet elements, too. I think it's got a lot of "Mom and Pop" charm. For instance, if you love books, you'll be in heaven. It's got some of the best independent new and used bookstores around: 57th St. Books, Seminary Coop, Powell's, and O'Gara's. A bookworm like me can spend a lot of time browsing around in those places. Anyway, you get a good mix of the "heady" crowd and local residents.

The co-op supermarket was definitely starting to have problems when I lived in Hyde Park about 10 years. I guess it really took a turn for the worse. Oh well. On the bright-side, you've got a great independent green grocer there, if you like fresh vegetables. :D

The local architecture is pretty cool and eclectic. It's a short walk to the Point where you can catch the lake (but I suppose you can catch the lake in many other places in Chicago, too). It's got great local restaurants, especially if you are into Thai food. One of my personal favorite restaurants is Piccolo Mondo...best Tiramisu around. A lot of people get coffee and hang out at the Medici, however.

Also, if you are into non-conventional living arrangements, there is cooperative housing available, Haymarket House and Bower's House. If you like living with many people, in an intentional community setting, it's very inexpensive to live in these places. It's not for everyone, though.

Yeah, you do need to catch the bus to 55th and Garfield to get to the red line. It's somewhat inconvenient, but you get used to it, I guess. I did anyway. But then again, I also had a car and didn't feel at the mercy of public transportation schedules.

Oh well. Just wanted to list a few things that I noticed while I lived there. Check it out yourself and see how the community feels to you. There are lots of little neighborhoods in Chicago.
 
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