NYC-WVU wrote:Almost nothing in Chicago is more expensive than the equivalent in NYC.* Having lived in Chicago for the last three years and in Manhattan/Brooklyn for most of the rest of my life, I feel confident making that statement. I'm sure you can find groceries in NYC that are cheaper than the groceries in streeterville, but you won't find cheaper groceries in an equivalent store in an equivalent centrally-located neighborhood.
I'm sure it's true that the cost of living for NU is more than many of the T-14, but that's the cost of going to a school that's in the heart of a metropolis. If you don't care about that, and you are worried about cost of living, the schools in college-towns are probably much cheaper. If you want to be in a city, like for real, NU probably has the lowest cost of living for the options available. NYU is undoubtedly more expensive, so much so that many students probably don't even live in the same county as NYU campus. CLS is probably also extremely expensive, and it's relatively removed from a lot of NYC. Even the smaller cities (Boston, Philly and DC) are very expensive, with Philly being the most affordable. If Penn itself is cheaper, it would be based on the location of the school, not the cost of living for the city as a whole. I don't know how California works, and the rest of the schools aren't in real cities.
Cost of living index:
NYC: 216 (Brooklyn: 181)
San Fran: 164
New Haven: 122 (Not a real city)
Charlottesville: 107 (Not a real city)
Raleigh: 96 (Not a real city)
Ann Arbor and Ithaca (Didn't make the list I was looking at.)
* The only exception seems to be very cheap eats, like pizza or street meat.
^^ I think this is really good information to heed.
dolfan0516 wrote:Or you live a 15 min train ride away and pay half the price for a room. And just because you know someone who lives in the Streeter and made a conscientious decision to pay for luxury ($2,200 for a studio is only paying for luxury), doesn't mean anyone else has to. The average 1 bedroom within walking distance is definitely not $1,700. That's nonsense.
I have friends who live in Streeterville for $1,300 for a bedroom to $1,500-$1,600 for a studio. I also have other friends who live walking distance away (River North and Gold Coast) who pay $1,100 for a room to $1,400 for a studio.
And the groceries you are talking about are not more expensive than NYC. Maybe if you go to overpay for Fox & Obel or some other organic supermarket, yes you will, but you know that when you go to those stores. Go to Jewel and get very cheap groceries.
Basically what I am saying is that you having some friends who have money and make a conscientious decision to pay more for rent and everything else because they want to live like kings doesn't mean that is the only option. You can live for a lot less and still live very comfortably doing so. Yes Chicago and Streeterville can be expensive, but its still much cheaper than NYC. And I would suggest not living in Streeterville as there is nothing to do there besides school. When the only two bars within normal walking distance are O'Tooles and D4, you know you're in a nightlife wasteland.
anneshirley wrote:I’m gonna jump in and agree with dolfan, as someone whose lived in the city the past four years. Living in Chicago doesn’t have to be as expensive as the previous poster is making it out to be. You absolutely do not need to pay $2200 to live in a studio in Streeterville. You can get a decent studio there for like $1200 if you insist on living in the neighborhood. You can do just fine in Lincoln Park in a studio for like $800-$1000, and you’re short train ride away. Prices will vary depending on where you are but don’t get freaked out about Chicago being a crazy expensive place to live. Also, don’t go to Whole Foods and you’ll be fine on groceries. I’d recommend Trader Joe’s for good, less expensive food.
Just wanted to clarify that I never specified NU will be more expensive than NYC. The groceries within walking distance are, though. The closer Dominicks
left. The nearest Jewel Osco
is not very close; lots of carrying of groceries, or you could taxi. Just wanted to give people a heads up- Fox & Obel shut down
. They had multiple salmonella scares and then didn't re-open. Eep. The NEAREST grocery store to NU which many students frequent is Treasure Island
; it is literally right on the way to the library (3 blocks away). The new Whole Foods
will be coming in soon (where the old Dominicks was), and that will be about 6 blocks away from school.
Those friends who pay those $1,100 prices in River North
must have roommates, OR that's what they paid many years ago. River North is like Chicago's version of Manhattan in the sense that most ppl consider it the nicest/most expensive places to live. It also has a good night life / restaurant situation. As for Lincoln Park
--there were recent price raises all over Chicago last year, including Lincoln Park, which has become much more expensive than it was, unfortunately. I currently have UG friends that currently live throughout Lincoln Park, and it used to be much, much cheaper. That being said, it's still going to be relatively cheaper to Streeterville, BUT the newer buildings will be just as expensive as the Streeterville buildings.
For the avg price within walking distance
, which I specified in my prompt, expect to pay AT LEAST 1,400, and that would be surprising even
. I also specified that's the price for a 1 bedroom. The cheaper places are up on Chestnut
. A lot of NU students choose to live right around campus, and a lot of the prices right around campus for a 1-bedroom is NOT going to be 1,100 or 1,300 (will be even cheaper than that if you find a roommate, though). I would also like to clarify that the friend paying 1,700/mo for a 1-bedroom---the place is NOT NICE
. The person paying 2,300/mo for a studio--yes, that one's nice; it's across the street from the 1,700/mo one. IF YOU CAN FIND A ROOMMATE, housing in Chicago can become very affordable. The 2-bedroom deals are way better everywhere, so if you can do that and are concerned about keeping COL down, you may want to do that.
However, I agree with the poster dolfan that it's possible to live elsewhere and commute, though it may be inconvenient.
If you want to do that, just plan out ahead of time how you want to do transportation. the El is slow, the metra does not make enough stops, and parking will be expensive (just be prepared for that, OP). Of the 3 evils, the El is probably the better option, if price is a concern. NU issues a CTA pass (part of your tuition), so it will feel "free" to you as you swipe and travel around El or bus.
The apartments near NU charge around $200-$250 for monthly parking, so if you are bringing a car, just a heads up. It is not unusual that just street parking in the city costs $25+. The first hour or 20 mins is often $20. Just be prepared, or as those 2 posters above suggested, you can live much further away (note: while Lincoln Park has become much more expensive, their parking prices are not. Some of my friends pay anywhere from $100-$150/month).
As for Wrigleyville
, that's near the stadium. The night life there is a bit college-y, so if you like that, that may be an ok option for you. The El stop will be Addison.
I know you can rent a nice 2-bedroom condo in that area for $1,200-1,600, so you can only imagine the prices of studios and 1 bedrooms. It's much more affordable. There are a few current law students living in Wrigleyville. If you split it with a roommate, that's cheaper for you. It's about 15-20 minutes from school by El.
It's personally not for me, but I could see a lot of younger guys or maybe even older guys liking it, idk. I definitely do not recommend it for girls. I just don't seeing a 25 year old girl loving that area. Lakeview is very close to Wrigleyville, and it's an option you should look into, too, if you are okay with living further away.
And yes, dolfan is absolutely correct that Streeterville is NOT life night central
, but that's not why the people who live there choose to live there. They choose to live there for convenience. A lot of NU and UofC grads go out in River North or Lincoln Park, whatever their tastes suit.
River North is the higher end place to go out. Lots of lounges. Gold Coast and Streeterville are kind of dead. Younger crowds often like to go out in Lincoln Park. NU has bar reviews
every Thursday, and students new to Chicago can get to know the city in that way. If anyone has some night life questions, be sure to ask. There's a lot of people on this post who know a lot about Chicago.IMPORTANT NOTE- dolfan is right that you should fly in during the summer to lock down housing
. NOT doing that is a sure way to get stuck paying premium or dealing with some complicated bs (not being able to move into your apt until after school starts, or the day before / etc).
This is a very useful thread, so those who are interested in living in Chicago should check it out for the various view points and info.