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#1 of 8 Old 02-04-2012, 03:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My husband, infant son, and I are possibly needing to make a quick move to Chicago. None of us have any familiarity with the city so need some suggestions on where to start looking for housing. I know there are other threads, but most of them are older and I know neighborhoods change fast.

We will be looking for a 2 bedroom to rent, max $1600/ month. It's important to us that our son grow up around diverse people- both culturally and economically. Walkability and public transit are important as we won't have a car. I would prefer a place with some kind of yard or deck for container gardening/ hanging out laundry. (Is that even realistic?) Highrise apartments kind of give me the jibbles. Schools aren't really a concern as we plan to un/homeschool.

Also, where are the good local groceries/ farmer's markets/ co-ops located?

 

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#2 of 8 Old 02-04-2012, 06:42 PM
 
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First of all welcome!

 

Where will you or your husband be working? That can make or break a neighborhood decision.

 

Here are my faves and why:

 

Lincoln Square: close to many restaurants and shops, LOTS of parks, indoor play areas and the brown line train stations as well as buses. You should be able to find many meetup groups in the area that are AP, as well as homeschoolers. 

 

Roscoe village: Same as above but further south meaning closer to downtown 

 

Lakeview and Lincoln Park are your golden neighborhoods meaning there's nothing you cannot find in both areas as well as they border each other. They are even close to a Costco!

 

Green city Market is a farmers market that runs all year long, it's indoors in the winter

 

Other wise in the spring through the fall there is basically a farmers market everyday in various neighborhoods

 

There are co-ops you just have to ask around (sorry we live in the burbs now) 

 

Many people do whole foods, caputo's, trader joe's 

 

When we lived in the city there were plenty of apartments with deck space so you can garden/launder there. Also some places have rooftop decks. 

 

Craigslist is a good start 

Chicago Reader also

I would stay away from the rental companies they are awful

Maybe get a realtor who does rentals as well?

 

Good luck and feel free to ask questions 

 

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#3 of 8 Old 02-05-2012, 07:22 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I've been hearing good things about Hyde Park-- that it's multicultural thanks to being so close to the university, has good public transit, ect. Thoughts?

My husband will be working downtown, so as long as there's a stop within a mile or so of our house, he should be fine.

Thanks for the tip on the Green City Market. It looks wonderful! I work for a small farm now and was hoping to get plugged into one up there. It looks like there's lots of options.

One question I've had looking through listings: what is meant by "walk-up?" I've never heard that term before.

 

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#4 of 8 Old 02-05-2012, 10:28 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by collectquotidn View Post

I've been hearing good things about Hyde Park-- that it's multicultural thanks to being so close to the university, has good public transit, ect. Thoughts?

My husband will be working downtown, so as long as there's a stop within a mile or so of our house, he should be fine.

Thanks for the tip on the Green City Market. It looks wonderful! I work for a small farm now and was hoping to get plugged into one up there. It looks like there's lots of options.

One question I've had looking through listings: what is meant by "walk-up?" I've never heard that term before.

 



My brother lives in Hyde Park and loves it. I don't think you could go wrong there.

 

Walk-up usually means there are stairs to get to your apartment and there is no elevator. 


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#5 of 8 Old 02-06-2012, 08:35 AM
 
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I lived in Hyde Park for 15 years before moving to the west side 2 years ago.  Miss it. There is a farmer's market every Thursday from late spring to early October in Harper Square.  There are nice restaurants, but not the plethora you find on the North side.  WF has a market under development for that neighborhood, but, I love Hyde Park Produce store.  Very friendly neighborhood market with good prices and a decent, albeit small, organic selection.  Parks galore and easy access to the lake front.  The Museum of Science and Industry and Japonese Gardens are in that neighborhood, too.  I think that The University of Chicago being there is a big reason for the ethnic diversity in the neighborhood plus the fact that the south side of Chicago is historically comprised of African Americans - with South Shore and Woodlawn to the immediate south and Bronzeville to the east of Hyde Park.  If you have specific questions, feel free to pm me.  I'm from MJ, but I went to law school down there and birthed both my children in my then 3rd floor walk up and have been here ever since.  Our daughter went to the local Waldorf early childhood program before it closed in 2010. 


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#6 of 8 Old 02-07-2012, 06:10 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Darlawoods, what makes rental companies so awful? And by rental companies, to you mean ones like apartment finder? While we're on this topic, is it a big plus to have an owner occupied/ owner managed  place? Or are the property management companies decent? I've had both, but much prefer the owner managed. The prop. mng companies here all have a reputation for trying to squeeze every last cent out of you and generally not taking very good care of the place.

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#7 of 8 Old 02-15-2012, 09:57 PM
 
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The only thing about Hyde Park is, it's surrounded by pretty high crime neighborhoods. considering, you are moving in with kids. 

I live north west, and the only great thing is the space, lot's of back yard, even for the two and three flats. If I didn't love and require my back yard, I wish I lived in Rogers Park. It is diverse, it's the only neighborhood with Waldorf school (in case you want to take some parent-child classes) and it's by the lake... but it's more crowded than here, like most of north side. 

But if diversity is your main concern, I wonder if Hyde park is your best bet. See, here in my neighbood it's diverse, lot's of hispanic, european and arabic, not so many african americans though, and Rogers Park has many african refugee families, but as you might guess they kind of keep to themselves. In a university area, you get many like minded smart people of all backgrounds together. But I have never lived there so I should be quiet!!

Lincoln park, lake view, roscoe village and lincoln square are pure white ;) As nice as the neighborhoods are getting, (clean, cute boutiques, cafe's, european feel) I just couldn't live there.

When ever I talk about the dire situation of diversity in chicago (even in diverse neighborhoods, the white, black and hispanic keep to their own company) People seem to have good things to say about Oak Park, the first suburb west of chicago. with good public transport to city. There people of different color are of same economic background, therefore feel equal and mingle! Also these border suburbs are not suburban in a typical american way, oak park is very cute to walk around too, but it is very quiet. Hyde Park will give you that urban feel.

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#8 of 8 Old 02-17-2012, 09:55 AM
 
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Hi collectquotidn,

 

I love, love, LOVE living in Rogers Park!!  My DH and I have been in the neighborhood for almost 20 years total (with some breaks taken to live in Spain, Mexico and downstate IL for short bits).  It is extremely diverse (I've heard that it is one of the most racially/ethnically diverse neighborhoods in Chicago) and very, very affordable.  I think you could afford a seriously beautiful space for $1600/mo! If you're in East Rogers Park, you are never far from easy public transportation or the lake.  Because we're so far north, you are also never very close to anything resembling a high-rise. It's very... neighborhood-like.

 

Anyhow, we were homeschooling my DS1 last year and felt this was a great place to be for that. Sadly, DS1 started going to school this year and, well, now that that's an additional consideration, we are planning a move to nearby Evanston.  It's breaking my heart, though, because we've found such a great community in RP!

 

Feel free to pm me if you'd like more info on the neighborhood and homeschoolers in the area...

 

Good luck!

Kathy

 

 

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