Im going to be relocating to Chicago soon for work. What's a safe neighborhood in Chicago with affordable rent based on a Jr. Copywriter's salary?

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I always recommend Lakeview for young first-time transplants because it’s manageable, affordable, “safe,” has lots of restaurants/bars/shops and has the brown/purple/red line (L train) running through it which is nice for public transit. In my opinion, it’s a nice neighborhood to start in while you get used to the city/ explore new neighborhoods that you could eventually move to later if you want.

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When I moved to Chicago 5 years ago I started looking in Lincoln Park and Lakeview. I almost landed in an apartment in Buena, but sqft/$ didn’t convinced me, so I went little farther north and landed in Edgewater and I loved it from the first time I took off the Red line. You’re a walking distance from the lakefront, supermarkets, the L, express busses to downtown, coffee shops, community and family business, the neighborhood is very diverse, quiet, safe and affordable. If you go even further north you’ll find Rogers Park which is also a nice neighborhood, but I’ve heard it has a bit more crime than in Edgewater. That said, the area has one of the lowest crime numbers in the city. However, I agree with other comments: before settling in a neighborhood, you should get a place for the first year and get to know the city, explore different communities and also consider commuting options for when you need to go to the Loop or West Loop where most of the agencies have offices (they’ll eventually open some day and you’ll need to consider that in your plans). Moving to a new city is overwhelming sometimes, but Chicago is one of the best cities to live (even in Winter!), so I’m sure you won’t regret coming to live here 😉

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When I moved to Chicago, Lakeview was my choice neighborhood and I'd recommend it to any first timer. Lots of affordable apartments, close to the brown/red line and plenty of express busses downtown, lots of dining and grocery store options, very walkable, close to the park/lake.

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Most Chicago neighborhoods are safe. Lakeview, Lincoln Park, Lincoln Square, Old Town, Gold Coast, River North, Streeterville, South Loop, West Loop, Wicker Park, Bucktown, Logan Square, Hyde Park, Pilsen - all great neighborhoods. Depends on budget, do you have a car ? vibe your are seeking ? bars ? high rise/walk up ? how do you plan to get to work ?

also a LOT of good deals right now - 2 months free rent is fairly standard in most of those neighborhoods.

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Also the Loop itself is getting a lot more affordable with everyone working remotely. Bad news is a lot of restaurants are closed because everyone gone, but good news is it’s near public transit.

I’d reco Bucktown/Wicker/Ukrainian Village or Lincoln Park/Lakeview. What vibe are you looking for - hip artsy? being close to the lake to run/bike?

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I live in Ukrainian and love it! The apartments are a great price, and feel cozy. I’m a short walk from Division street with tons of restaurants and bars. We love biking around in the summer to different areas on the west side like the west loop and wicker. And we’re able to have a car and park on the street in front of our house, which feels non existent in some other spots of Chicago.

Also transportation downtown to Gold Coast/streeterville is a straight bus shot over. No transfers.

All good suggestions above. General rule is the closer you are to downtown, the more expensive it gets. But, as people have said, there could be deals going on because of Covid (people might have moved away from downtown during the last year so landlords might be eager to get people back in).

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according to crime statistics the fewest crimes occur inside the lake

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I’ve lived in many neighborhoods both in the east and the west side. West side (wicker, Logan, Bucktown) neighborhoods are awesome with a ton of trendy spots. But I wouldn’t say that it’s affordable. I wasn’t able to live comfortable there without a roommate. East side (Lakeview, Lincoln park), although not as “hip” as the west side has a lot of great options for food, shopping, and entertainment. Commuting (although not important right now but may be in the future) is also way easier on the east side. On the west side, if you don’t live off or near the blue line, it can get tricky commuting downtown.

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Try Englewod. Good value and a vibrant neighborhood.

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Ignore CD1

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Lakeview or Lincoln Park are good ones for your 20s & junior salaries! Public transportation is accessible and they’re safe/friendly.

Sometimes the Gold Coast area has a deal, but it’s typically more expensive because it’s closer to the Loop.

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The first commenter listed a lot of very expensive neighborhoods. I would look at what El or bus lines are near your new office and use those to point you to neighborhoods that will make your commute easy - a commute to the WPP offices from where I live would be an hour and a half on public transit and not due to distance - I’d have to take multiple trains & busses to get there, but if I was driving it wouldn’t matter.

If you drive, the further from downtown you get the cheaper and easier it is to park.

Not knowing your age, Lakeview and the affordable parts of Lincoln Park skew young. Wrigleyville is just out of college bro or rich people territory.

I live in Andersonville and have lived in this neighborhood or a block outside it the whole time I’ve lived in the city. There is a mix of affordable and luxe apartments and great local shopping and dining. Edgewater, Uptown and Rodgers Park while pretty far north aren’t terrible to commute to the loop - there’s often seats available during rush hour on the redline in Edgewater.

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If you look in Uptown, just stay west of the L

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So did everyone just assume OP was white? The two south side neighborhoods mentioned were quickly shot down... maybe I missed something..

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What you missed was you’re the first person to bring up race immediately into a discussion. And no one wants to talk to you in actual life.

Pilsen is great. It’s about 3 miles south of downtown. Lots to do. When are you moving? I know of a great place available July 1st.

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Check out Podmajersky or PMI properties in Pilsen. They have a awesome collection of artist apartments. Granted flair of the Pod art scene is long gone there are still some great lofts in their collection.

Rents are so cheap right now you can pretty much live wherever you want, for $1500 or less...so make a list of everything you want in an apartment/neighborhood and give it to an agent. Use one that bills the landlord and is free for you... plenty of agents like that out there.

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Chatham

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Ignore SC1 as well.

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Logan Square or bust! I’ve lived in Ukrainian Village, Lakeview, Wicker Park and Logan and Logan wins hands down. Wicker Park is cool, but the crime there is pretty bad right now. Logan has the best vibe, restaurants, Logan Blvd to have picnics on in the summertime and is super affordable. I paid $2300 for a 2 bedroom in WP and I pay $1695 for a 2 bed in Logan. Whatever you do, live near the Blue Line. And welcome to Chicago!

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Rogers Park is a great place to live for cheap with easy access to the lake and Red Line.

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It’s not far from Andersonville, hands down the best neighborhood in the city...but all the closed red line stops up here is really hampering transportation.

The south loop area is a great location — easily accessible to downtown (once downtown agencies open back up), a wide range of rents and living options and great restaurants, night life and social opportunities.

Hope this helps’

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Logan Square!

West loop. Printers row. River North. The loop itself is dirt cheap right now if you dig the sky scrapper living.

Humbolt Park

Be careful of which areas in Humboldt; while there are some great options, there are also some squarely in gang territories and on gang lines that currently are under turf wars.

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