Top Five Affordable Neighborhoods in Chicago

Finding the right affordable neighborhoods in Chicago can be overwhelming. There are many options, and it’s hard to find the right one that will work for you. For this reason, we’ve created a list that encompasses all the most important factors, besides the price, one should keep in mind if wanting to move.

Finding Affordable Neighborhoods in Chicago That Checks All of Your Boxes Is Not so Easy

When you are relocating, a moving to-do list is not the only relevant one – there is always a long list of boxes you want your future neighborhood to check off. You might want to move to one of the best neighborhoods, however, your budget might not allow for that. The most important thing when moving on a budget is to find what works best for you.

Your list of priorities might include safety, the quality of apartments’ infrastructure, the proximity of the home to dog parks if you are moving with pets, or good schools if you have children. With our guide to cheaper areas, you will still be able to find a place in one of the safest neighborhoods that aren’t only cheap but also nice for life. So, before you get to our list, create one of your own. List up all of your priorities, and let’s see which of the best affordable neighborhoods in Chicago we recommend fits your needs the finest. Keep your priorities in mind and rank the places in our list according to them. Voila, you’ll know where to move in no time.

How Much Do You Need to Make to Live Comfortably in Chicago?

Scouting the most affordable neighborhoods in Chicago starts by creating an estimate of your budget. A common question we get is, is 60k a good salary in Chicago? Our research shows that to live comfortably in one-bedroom apartments in 2021, the recommended income is $39,672, that is, the wage of $19.07 per hour. There are also options for a cheaper life as well.

To have a living wage, that is, to obtain the minimum above the poverty threshold (meaning you can provide for yourself but are unable to save), your hourly pay should be around $16.08 on full-time working hours. To answer your question – yes, 60k is a good salary for living in one of the safe, affordable neighborhoods in Chicago. Since the city is a place of new industries filled with opportunities, it shouldn’t be hard to find a place of employment that would cover both living costs there, as well as your moving expenses checklist, even if you choose to hire one of the moving companies in Chicago, IL.

A happy couple and their piggy bank
When planning a move, your budget is important, but it should not be the only factor you take into consideration

What Are the Cheapest Neighborhoods in Chicago?

It’s time to answer the question of what is the cheapest place to live in Chicago that is also safe and good for a living? Well, we created a list of our favorites. We covered median rent value, the residential structure, the question of abundance of communal spaces, and important public institutions as well as green spaces. Many more factors came up, but we won’t bore you with the details. You’ll be able to read about them soon enough. These are the places we propose you look at as a future resident:

  • North Center,
  • South Shore,
  • Oak Park,
  • West Ridge,
  • Uptown.
A photograph of Chitown from the sky
The Windy City is vast and beautiful

North Center Is the Perfect Place for a Family

There is a reason why families are moving to North Center in great numbers. This district is both beautiful and provides a good quality of life to its residents. With a population of 35,543 North Center, most of the residents are University graduates with liberal political views, and there is quite a bit of diversity in the district. More so, the place is perfect for raising children since it is extremely safe, with a crime rate well below the national average. It is also only a few blocks away from one of the best public schools in the state – Lane Tech High School.

When it comes to the median home rental fee, it is around $1,568. In comparison to the national median rental fee of $1,062, it is not at all high for the quality of life the district provides since properties often can be rented for less. However, due to the high popularity of the place, the prices are expected to rise in the following years, so if you are thinking about this area, it’s time to learn how to move efficiently and to learn it fast.

The Beauty Of the Local Is Uncanny

If we haven’t convinced you yet, let us present some other perks of the place. First of all – it is beautiful. The architecture is a mix of gorgeous terracotta brick mid-height buildings, contemporary condos as well as heavy, rough-cut greystones typical for this part of the US. Generally, North Center, as a historically German part of town, is a big cultural center, with many authentic restaurants, as well as contemporary nightlife options as well. To familiarize yourself with the beautiful and well-connected North Center, check out the following video.

South Shore Is a Place on the Rise

If the Obamas’ had their marital reception at the South Shore, specifically at the landmarked Mediterranean Revival building, you could assume this district is lovely. It might not be the place for your moving away party, but you can go there to celebrate the start of your life in the district. It has a lakefront and a rich artistic, cultural, and pop-cultural history that is materialized in its architecture. The neighborhood began its life with the 1893 World’s Fair, with homes whose construction was revolutionary at the time. Even today, you can see the bungalows and homes created at the time in the historic district of Jackson Park Highland and the Shore.

The Neighborhood Is Becoming More Popular Every Day Because of Its Exciting New Landmarks

When it comes to the quality of life in the area, it has its stronger sides, such as the amazing nature, diversity, and history, but it also has some that are not perfect – but are getting there. Although the crime rate is somewhat higher than in North Center, it is still not too bad. Anyhow, with trusted movers and packers in Chicago, you would surely avoid moving scams, and the rest is easy. The neighborhood is currently evolving and changing, becoming even more vibrant, active, and most importantly – secure. Soon, The Barack Obama Presidential Center, a beautiful building that will become an open hub and a communal space, will open on the Shore, bringing even more life into the diverse community.

The good news is that, although the neighborhood is one of rich history and many happenings, it isn’t completely gentrified, allowing for quite cheap homes in an evolving space. When we say that prices are still quite low, we mean that the median rent value is somewhat below $1,000. In addition, the area is well connected, and almost half of its residents use public transportation, which is getting even cheaper because of the advocates who are pushing for lower fare rates.

Shore with skyscrapers
There is nothing like the lakefront of the South Shore

Oak Park Is an Architectural Dream

If you wondered what is the cheapest suburb in Chicago, Oak Park would be one of the answers. Simultaneously it is graded as one of the top three places to live in Cook County, with quite cheap options for homes. With a median rental fee of around $1,175, the district provides a beautiful mix of an urban and suburban feel. Although technically a suburb, it is just on the outskirts of the city, meaning it is well connected, providing easy access to the downtown area.

With a population of 52,233, quite a large number of the residents, actually 39% obtained Master’s degrees, and the diversity in this part is quite high. If you are thinking about starting a family, the district is perfect, since 13% of residents are less than ten years old, so your kids would surely have friends.

Frank Lloyd Wright Created 25 Structures Throughout Oak Park in the Span of Twenty Years

With such low prices, the district engulfs with its architectural beauty. It hosts some of the amazing architectural works of the world-renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright, who spent many years in the area of Oak Park, and even built himself a residence there. Walking through Oak Park, thus, is for architectural buffs like walking through a museum of buildings’ lives, and even if you are not one of them, the beauty of the place is a sight for sore eyes that would surely cure any lingering moving stress.

Happy couple
Take a walk through the mesmerizing Oak Park green spaces and streets

West Ridge Is the Perfect Place to Move to on a Budget

The hidden gem that is West Ridge is probably the most diverse place in Windy City. It includes people of all cultures, religions, and ethnicities in its area, turning into a real friendly pelting pot. It even hosts a part known as Little India, which is the place of Indian and Pakistani communities in this part of the US. Still, it remains a quiet and calm place to be, perfect for raising a family and the like, even among all the cultural vividness it provides.

There is quite a broad number of green spaces like parks and even beaches that encourage its residents to engage in outdoor activities through its amazing infrastructure. If a beautiful quiet green melting pot is not enough for you, know that West Ridge also houses both good public schools and amazing community centers.

Although West Ridge might be more popular and populated in the future, due to everything it has to offer, the median rent price there is still quite low, so it might be time to learn how to move a piano (or call up a mover in Chicago, IL to do it for you) and become a part of this wonderful community. With a median price of $1,153 to live in one of the one-bedroom apartments per month, the vivid West Ridge might be just the place to move to on a budget.

Red-bricked houses
This place has everything you want – from cultural explosions to peaceful living areas

Uptown Is a Diverse Heaven

If you are interested in the city’s north side, truth be told, there are not many budget-friendly options. However, Uptown is one of them. And with the accessibility of Lake Michigan as well as to an area of Lincoln Park, it is no wonder that so many Chicagoans would adore life there. Uptown is wonderfully located as well as connected through the red and purple train lines.

Even inside of it you can walk everywhere, so Uptown is a perfect place if you don’t like to commute. It is also beautifully diverse, with many tasty restaurants and local shops that provide culturally diverse food – and we don’t mean just Asian, but Ethiopian, Nigerian, Mexican, and many others – so if you are a foodie, have Uptown in mind.

With the median price of $1,060, around 70% of residents rent some of the plentiful apartments across the neighborhood, and we can say it is truly a renter’s paradise. There are so many apartments with beautiful views, balconies, and modern lobbies. Most buildings are mid- or high-rise, and here you will surely find a local bar to call your own. So, if you like city views of birds migrating, harbor walks and jogs at the lakefront, take up Uptown for serious consideration.

A group of people sitting at a dinner table
Uptown is a true melting pot both when it comes to its population and its food

Hire Legit Movers, the Finest Moving Company in Chicago, and Get Ready Start Your New Life in One Of These Amazing Locations

Hopefully, we’ve helped you decide on the place to which you want to move. Now, it’s time to find the best movers in Chicago. Whether you don’t have the time to learn how to pack dishes for moving, or you just don’t care to deal with electronic devices such as preparing your computer for moving, you are in luck. The most important of all moving hacks is to employ professional movers in Chicago.

As one of the youngest moving companies in Chicago, we’ve already established ourselves thanks to the great Chicago moving services we provide. We specialize in residential moving, as well as in packing assistance, not to mention office relocations. Feel free to contact us for a free quote and any information you might be interested in. We are also known for our friendly staff. Let our local movers in Chicago help you out – nobody knows the place better than us.