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For most, Chicago conjures up images of dreadfully long winters followed by incredibly short but magnificent summers, sailboats flashing along the shores of Lake Michigan, diehard rivalry between the North Siders and South Siders, deep-dish pizzas, a river dyed green in the spirit of St. Patty’s Day, and skyscrapers stretching toward the clouds.

For generations, Chicago has been the powerhouse of the Midwest, a hub of transportation and finance that has sucked millions of people into its urban sprawl. Chicago comes from an industrious and cultured past that has made it the diverse, ambitious, and awesome city it is today.

While you may be familiar with these popularized Chicago stereotypes, what is it really like to live and work here?

For instance, is home ownership even in the realm of possibility or are real estate prices outlandish? Just how bad and long are the winter months? How do tax rates and paychecks compare to other states? Our friends at Great Guys Moving put together the infographic below to answer these questions and help those navigating a first time move to the Windy City.

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A quick glance at the graphic shows that compared to other metropolitan areas, Chicago is a relatively affordable place to live. While real estate is more expensive than the national average, the price of groceries and other life necessities aren’t outrageously inflated. Plus, with a strong job market concentrated in high-paying white collar industries, the median household income is 15% higher than the nationwide median. It also helps that the Illinois state income tax is lower than that in most states, so you’ll get to take more of your paycheck home with you.

Other perks of living here? There are plenty of walkable neighborhoods near the heart of the city and suburban areas with easy commutes via public transportation. We also get fewer days of precipitation than the U.S. average (72 days versus 102 days), although we do get about 10 more inches of annual snowfall than the rest of the country. Overall, Chicago is a wonderful place to call home!

When you’re ready to make your transition to the Windy City, give us a call. Finding an affordable place to rent or buy in Chicago’s competitive real estate market can be tricky, so it’s wise to have a professional to guide you through the process. We’ve been serving Northwest Chicago with superior real estate services for over 70 years and are experts when it comes to helping our clients find a home. Whether you’re looking for a spacious house in Forest Glen or a condo in Logan Square, we can help you find the perfect place!