Hi all, new Chicago transplant - wanted to get some opinions. What were your first years in the city like? Do you regret moving here? Are you planning to move out or do you see yourself staying long term?

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Came here 20 years ago for school. Loved it in my 20s and 30s, couldn’t ask for a better balance of big city and relative affordability. Generally I found people a bit nicer than other big cities. That being said now that I’m moving into full adulthood 40 I’m ready to move on. The less you utilize the going out aspects of Chicago, the more the poor leadership, infrastructure problems, crime, taxes, and weather become unappealing.

likesmart

I was born and raised in South Florida and moved for school. I was instantaneously captivated. Every single time (and to this day) I was in a cab on the way to the airport to head home for whichever break, I’d stare out the window at all the big buildings, the water, the different colored people, all the languages I’d hear, the city lights… and become totally lost in it all. There is no better feeling in the world to me. I wish you all the luck in the world in finding “your place!”

likefunny
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Lived in Chicago/Chicagoland my entire life and I love it here. Yeah it's got leadership issues, but rent is relatively cheap compared to other major cities, food is the best, and summertime is unmatched

likefunny

Bring back the Daley family!

smart

For context, I've lived all over the US, Europe, and MENA for a variety of reasons (family, work,school). I moved to Chicago for grad school, and after a brief stint elsewhere for post-grad work, I eagerly moved back. It's my fave US city, and I see myself staying here for the long term.
My first few years required an adjustment to the cold, but I stocked up on Northface and learned which streets turn into windtunnels in the winter. I also found people to be quite friendly. I met several people by sitting at bars and striking up conversations on anything from sports to family.
It's more affordable than many other cities with the same features (great restaurants, lakefront, theater district, parks, sports teams, etc). I continue to be amazed at how much less I pay for things versus my years in Cali, DC, or NYC.
Transit is fantastic; I haven't had a car in years and don't see myself needing one unless I move to the suburbs or start a family.
I alos found that many people oversimplify and exaggerate the crime narrative for political talking points; if you pay attention, shootings are highly concentrated in specific areas and usually have specific targets. If you have solid street smarts, you're in no more danger than you are in any other major city.

likefunny

@Associate

All of the numbers I provided are per capita. It being per capita means it's been adjusted for population. I've also lived in Houston and Dallas before Chicago. Chicago def isn't the safest but it's been safer for my experience than those other cities. Anecdotes don't meen much but the data is on my side here.

So no, you are still the wrong one here.

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Been here 10 years post grad. Don’t regret a thing. Been in Lincoln Park/lake view the whole time. Decent rent. Food is incredible. Summer is the best. Something to do/see/eat every weekend. So many iconic places to visit and experience in this city. I will be very sad if I ever leave.

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Chicago is unmatched except for the pockets of crime/poverty/homeless — which is a problem with every major city and our rent is still relatively cheap — and the weather blows outside of a heavenly summer.

I wish we could take everything we got and give us California weather. It’s not as brutal here as a lot of Midwest states where I grew up (like MN), but life is so short in general, and I’m finding it sillier and sillier we choose to cut off access to a comfortable outdoors for half the year. Idk.

Note: I have a condition called Raynaud’s which makes my feet physically hurt nonstop when the temperature dips, so I’m particularly grumpy about this point.

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I would have been working on moving already until I discovered heating clothing from VOLT. Literally wearing their heated slippers every day since October and they have saved my life.

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Chicago is what you make it! People who like to fill their perspective with negative thoughts will think negatively about the city. They will cry about the crime, taxes, the cold, you name it. The truth is the crime is on par for any major US city, taxes are everywhere, and they need to grow up when it comes to the weather (among other things) I would say welcome to chicago! Grab this city by the horns but not the Bulls because they suck and have fun. You will meet incredible people and find your crew who will be lifelong friends. Welcome and best of luck

likefunny

I regret moving here and I plan on leaving as soon as I can convince my wife Chicago is a bad place to live.

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Don’t let your family’s bad decisions prevent you from making a good one

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I moved here 5 years ago and I’ll never leave. Chicago has something for everyone (unless you absolutely cannot stand the cold). My only regret is living in the northern neighborhoods for as long as I did. Moved further into the city and I love it!

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I regret living here since next week is gonna be bad. Fuck the negative -75

likefunny

I moved here 7 years ago and love it. I won’t move unless shoved out.

likesmartfunny

Hey same!
Not having to own a car and there being a wider price range for rents really allowed me to scale down my lifestyle and only focus on what mattered to me, and therefore save money.

Moved here 10 years ago from Michigan. Its a great city if you are into city living. It was fun for me in my 20s. I'm 34 now and have had enough and can't stand it here. Traffic, people, taxes, hate it.

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With you, going on 7 years here from Michigan and all I can think about is how I want to go back to Michigan lol

Loved it here out of college but I’m 32 now and ready to leave

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I've been here since 2018 - I first moved to the Gold Coast, then the West Loop, but I am now a homeowner in Andersonville - my first few years in the city were super fun until COVID hit. The rioting in 2020 + my need for a better WFH setup caused me to move further north, but I spend a lot of time downtown.

Despite the terrible winter weather, the wrong leadership, and the high taxes, my partner and I adore Chicago. He moved here from SF, and his taxes + rent are significantly cheaper than what he was paying in California. I don't think we plan on moving anytime soon, at least for the next five years.

I grew up in Houston, and every time I return, I'm thankful I left. I'm relieved that I don't need a car here in Chicago (despite the declining quality of the CTA, it still does what it needs to do), and the food/architecture/culture is on par with NYC or London, with much better prices. Houston is a giant, hot, ugly parking lot with no zoning laws and even worse politics than Chicago. The property taxes + sales taxes are insanely high to compensate for the lack of state income tax. You complain about winters in Chicago, but the 2021 deep freeze across the South sealed my decision to never, ever go back to Texas.

My advice? Get out of the fancy downtown neighborhoods and explore other areas. Start hanging out with other Chicagoans who've been here for a long time and develop a sense of true community.

likesmartfunny

Love it here.

Born and raised in DFW, wouldn't go back. I want to raise a family in Chicagoland. I plan to go abroad but I'll be back

likesmartfunny

Dallas is great for raising a family but it's getting a lot more expensive than it used to be. Imho Dallas is now as bad or more expensive than Chicago now. You do pay less in taxes in Dallas, but you've also got no other option but to drive in Dallas to get around. For me, because I don't have to own a car in Chicago (and I don't plan to own more than one car when I have a family), I am saving more money in Chicago than I could have in Dallas.

Also Dallas (and most cities in Texas) isn't far off from Chicago in terms of crime. Houston and San Antonio are actually worse than Chicago.

The suburbs in Dallas are great, they're a suburban paradise. But the ones most people hear about when they move to Dallas are all now crazy expensive and have approached Lake County prices. That doesn't mean there aren't good suburbs left in Dallas but it means just like Chicago you're being pushed further out from the center of the metro area to find a good deal.

Also it's really really hot. I moved to Chicago when I was 18 and the weather we experienced the last 2 summers in Dallas was way worse than what I experienced growing up there. 100+ degree days are a lot more common in Dallas, as are 105+ degree days.

Imho the best place in Texas to live in Austin if you can afford it. But Austin is approaching NYC prices unfortunately.

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Been in Chicago for over 20 years and will always have a home here. Love the diversity, culture and food. I like urban living, NY was not for me, so Chicago it is!

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Beem here for 5 years, I love it, bought an apartment in West Town. I don't think this will be my forever home, but I'll be here for another 5 years at least.

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NYC transplant living here for 15+ years since after undergrad. I'm definitely not one of those "OMG NYC IS SOOO MUCH BETTER" people so I like to think I can be objective. Started raising two small kids in the city, but moving back to the NYC area soon family reasons. We would have stayed in the area were it not for family. No regrets spending those years here at all. You get all the benefits of a real big city for a fraction of the cost of any comparably sized city. The fact that you can live comfortably without pissing away more than half your income just on housing is huge. Weather sometimes sucks, the bloated government sucks, and being surrounded by states where anyone with a pulse can get a gun kinda sucks. But still, I think it's a great place overall, and if you really want to, you can get away from all the bad stuff you hear on the news--which I think can be overblown and is largely a perception thing because information just travels faster now than it ever has in the past--by moving to many of the nice surrounding suburbs. Those suburbs aren't cheap, but again you get more for your dollar than in comparable suburbs around coastal cities.

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Chicago kicks ass, best in the spring to Fall but still great

likefunny

Moved here 17 years ago. Lived on the far north side the whole time. There’s no place I would have rather have spent my 20s. As others have noted, the city has something for everyone. Most Saturday nights, I’m deciding between multiple events with friends (as opposed to being bored).

The city has certainly changed in the past 5 years or so and I’ve gotten older (and thus have less patience for traffic and the winters) so it might be time for a change. But regardless of whether I stay, I have absolutely zero regrets for moving here to start my adult life.

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Moved here in 2019 and then thought about leaving a lot when my girlfriend and I were long distance during the pandemic. Harsh lock down ended, she moved out here and we've been thrilled ever since. We love the food, the live performances, the sports, the bars, just walking around and looking at buildings. I don't know if I'll spend the rest of my life here (HCOL for raising a family, crime, infrastructure) but I don't have any desire to leave before I have a kid.

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