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Thinking of moving to Chicago I need advice

#1 User is offline   KungPowKirby 

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Posted 03 June 2010 - 02:44 AM

So I've been playing around with this idea for several years now. Since my last adventure into the city, I've wanted to more than ever. The problem is, I have lived in Iowa my whole life. Mind you, I'm very well traveled, and actually spent a month there on a mission trip. I love the city and know I would be very happy there.

I need to know a few things before deciding for sure to move. If anyone could help me out with these questions I would be very appreciative.

-Rent: How much? I'm considering possibly a studio/efficiency as that's what I live in now. How much do these usually run in good neighborhoods? (Including Utilities and such) How hard is it to find somewhere that will allow one fully declawed cat? Also 1 and 2 bedroom information could be useful.
-What are the good neighborhoods? Which ones should I stay clear of?
-Cost of living: Food, Transportation, etc. How much does this usually run per month.
-Job Availability: I have minimal work experience as most of it has been through my family. I never worked in high school or during the beginning of college. How hard is it to find a job?
-Other possible cities: I would be willing to look into living in one of the surrounding cities/suburbs if they are substantially better. I would want them to connect to the city via public transportation, as well as, have good public trans themselves, as I have no desire to actually own a car.
- Anything else you might think I'd need to know???

I thank everyone in advance for their help. Wish me luck!
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#2 User is offline   Kasin 

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Posted 03 June 2010 - 03:17 AM

You should move to Rockford Illinois! we need more otakus!
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Posted 03 June 2010 - 03:46 AM

haihai~! i like this thread! i'm hoping to move to chicago, too, this fall. i'm moving to go to school, but it'd still be nice and very helpful to know these things.
good luck~! ^^
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#4 User is offline   redx1 

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Posted 03 June 2010 - 07:26 AM

I've moved around this town so much. I've had a lot of roommates and I've seen a lot of them fall on their faces. My last roommate was a real winner. (I think that thread is still around somewhere.) It's a fun read. Here's my advice:

Secure a job first! It's pretty expensive to live in Chicago. It can even be pricey to live in the suburbs. That last thing you want is to get here and realize that it's tough to get a job and you're running low on money.

Make a decision between city or suburbs. Life in the city of Chicago and life in the surrounding suburbs are wildly different from each other. A few questions you may want to ask yourself:
Would you rather drive to work or take a bus or train?
Do you like walking out your door to action or a nice quiet area?
Do you drive?
Do you own a car?
How much do you plan on spending on rent?

Rent and neighborhoods in the City of Chicago:
Compared to places like New York City, you can find some great deals on rent. You can even find great deals in upscale parts of the city. These prices vary greatly from neighborhood to neighborhood. For someone new to the city, Lincoln Park, Lakeview, Uptown, Buena Park, Wicker Park, Bucktown, Roscoe Village and Ravenswood. I'm sure there are more good ones, but I can't think of them off of the top of my head. Rent can range from $500 a month for a blah studio to $4000 a month for a 3 bedroom penthouse suite. If you have a chance to get in town and look for apartments, check out Chicago Apartment finders. http://www.chicagoapartmentfinders.com They will actually drive you around and take you to apartments in your price range in good neighborhoods. The service is free of charge. I HIGHLY recommend them. Every neighborhood has its charm. My favorite neighborhoods in the city are Lincoln Park, Lakeview and Wicker Park. I'd gladly live in all of them.

Bad neighborhoods in the city of Chicago:
This can be a touchy subject. There are TONS of bad neighborhoods. Pretty much rule out the southside and most of the westside of the city. While not all of the neighborhoods are bad in these areas, most aren't ideal for a single person. You can use the Chicago Apartment Finders neighborhood as a general guide. Most of these neighborhoods are pretty safe. http://www.chicagoap...ighborhoods.asp If you have any questions about a specific neighborhood in the city, feel free to ask me. I've lived in the city all my life so I know the town pretty well. You're more than welcome to send a PM too.

Transportation in the City of Chicago:
Owning a car is very tough in this city. Typically apartments will charge you extra for a parking spot if they offer one. Gas is gouged like crazy and almost everywhere you go charges for parking. My advice, if you can get away without owning a car, don't own one! (This, of course, does not apply to the suburbs where you NEED a car.) Public transit is very good here. I can get anywhere I need to go using the buses and trains. Sometimes I can get there faster too since the trains don't care about traffic :P . Trains are $2.25 per ride and the buses are $2.00 per ride. You can get an unlimited monthly train/bus pass for $78 a month (i think.)

Jobs:
This might be a tough one with your work experience. I really don't have much advice on this. Hopefully someone else can answer ^^

Hopefully this is helpful. Most of this info is on the city and not the suburbs. I live in the city; it's only fair for me to have info on that ^^ Good luck and feel free to ask away if you have any other questions.
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#5 User is offline   MBluesummers 

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Posted 03 June 2010 - 07:55 AM

View Postredx1, on 03 June 2010 - 07:26 AM, said:

I've moved around this town so much. I've had a lot of roommates and I've seen a lot of them fall on their faces. My last roommate was a real winner. (I think that thread is still around somewhere.) It's a fun read. Here's my advice:

Secure a job first! It's pretty expensive to live in Chicago. It can even be pricey to live in the suburbs. That last thing you want is to get here and realize that it's tough to get a job and you're running low on money.

Make a decision between city or suburbs. Life in the city of Chicago and life in the surrounding suburbs are wildly different from each other. A few questions you may want to ask yourself:
Would you rather drive to work or take a bus or train?
Do you like walking out your door to action or a nice quiet area?
Do you drive?
Do you own a car?
How much do you plan on spending on rent?

Rent and neighborhoods in the City of Chicago:
Compared to places like New York City, you can find some great deals on rent. You can even find great deals in upscale parts of the city. These prices vary greatly from neighborhood to neighborhood. For someone new to the city, Lincoln Park, Lakeview, Uptown, Buena Park, Wicker Park, Bucktown, Roscoe Village and Ravenswood. I'm sure there are more good ones, but I can't think of them off of the top of my head. Rent can range from $500 a month for a blah studio to $4000 a month for a 3 bedroom penthouse suite. If you have a chance to get in town and look for apartments, check out Chicago Apartment finders. http://www.chicagoapartmentfinders.com They will actually drive you around and take you to apartments in your price range in good neighborhoods. The service is free of charge. I HIGHLY recommend them. Every neighborhood has its charm. My favorite neighborhoods in the city are Lincoln Park, Lakeview and Wicker Park. I'd gladly live in all of them.

Bad neighborhoods in the city of Chicago:
This can be a touchy subject. There are TONS of bad neighborhoods. Pretty much rule out the southside and most of the westside of the city. While not all of the neighborhoods are bad in these areas, most aren't ideal for a single person. You can use the Chicago Apartment Finders neighborhood as a general guide. Most of these neighborhoods are pretty safe. http://www.chicagoap...ighborhoods.asp If you have any questions about a specific neighborhood in the city, feel free to ask me. I've lived in the city all my life so I know the town pretty well. You're more than welcome to send a PM too.

Transportation in the City of Chicago:
Owning a car is very tough in this city. Typically apartments will charge you extra for a parking spot if they offer one. Gas is gouged like crazy and almost everywhere you go charges for parking. My advice, if you can get away without owning a car, don't own one! (This, of course, does not apply to the suburbs where you NEED a car.) Public transit is very good here. I can get anywhere I need to go using the buses and trains. Sometimes I can get there faster too since the trains don't care about traffic :P . Trains are $2.25 per ride and the buses are $2.00 per ride. You can get an unlimited monthly train/bus pass for $78 a month (i think.)

Jobs:
This might be a tough one with your work experience. I really don't have much advice on this. Hopefully someone else can answer ^^

Hopefully this is helpful. Most of this info is on the city and not the suburbs. I live in the city; it's only fair for me to have info on that ^^ Good luck and feel free to ask away if you have any other questions.


Omg, you are an amazing person for doing this.

It will probably be a couple years, and I know things change, but damn! I have been wanting to move to Chicago for years, so this is a very valuable mini guide.

Millions of thanks!

#6 User is offline   XenoBlade 

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Posted 03 June 2010 - 09:49 AM

Oh, I'm thinking of doing the same. Well not thinking, wanting to do the same. However I don't want to move into chicago itself, but one of the surburb cities around it "Chicagoland" as many call it. I know my biggest hurdle is finding a roommate and securing a job there. But finding a roommate is the hardest thing so far. I'm really picky with roommates, I have to trust them for one, (that is major) and it would be nice for us to have common interests.

But good luck to you too.
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#7 User is offline   redx1 

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Posted 03 June 2010 - 11:26 AM

The burbies are cool. The suburbs give more of a 'pleasentville' vibe rather than a big city feel. I'm not saying that all of the area's suburbs are the same. I know there are a few suburbs that I would never want to live in (Harvey, Robbins, Calumet City, Posen etc.) I don't know much about the suburbs, I've lived in the city most of my life. I'd say the suburbs would be a great place for someone coming from a smaller town and if you have a car. It would be milder transition versus moving from a small town to a giant dense city.

Roommates are always a fun adventure. I've seen a few threads pop up here and there on the forums for people looking for roommates outside of the convention. I'm not sure if people have had success in finding a roommate through the forums, but it would sure be awesome to see it happen.

View PostMBluesummers, on 03 June 2010 - 07:55 AM, said:

Omg, you are an amazing person for doing this.

It will probably be a couple years, and I know things change, but damn! I have been wanting to move to Chicago for years, so this is a very valuable mini guide.

Millions of thanks!

haha, well thanks! If you have any specific questions, feel free to ask. I'm always happy to share any knowledge I have ^_^
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#8 User is offline   Kaay-chan 

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Posted 03 June 2010 - 11:32 AM

View Postredx1, on 03 June 2010 - 07:26 AM, said:

Rent and neighborhoods in the City of Chicago:
Compared to places like New York City, you can find some great deals on rent. You can even find great deals in upscale parts of the city. These prices vary greatly from neighborhood to neighborhood. For someone new to the city, Lincoln Park, Lakeview, Uptown, Buena Park, Wicker Park, Bucktown, Roscoe Village and Ravenswood. I'm sure there are more good ones, but I can't think of them off of the top of my head. Rent can range from $500 a month for a blah studio to $4000 a month for a 3 bedroom penthouse suite. If you have a chance to get in town and look for apartments, check out Chicago Apartment finders. http://www.chicagoapartmentfinders.com They will actually drive you around and take you to apartments in your price range in good neighborhoods. The service is free of charge. I HIGHLY recommend them. Every neighborhood has its charm. My favorite neighborhoods in the city are Lincoln Park, Lakeview and Wicker Park. I'd gladly live in all of them.




I gotta say, I love the fact that you mentioned Bucktown, not to mention a little flattered. :wub: I grew up in Bucktown, and my parents are landlords. ^_^

As for the question on pets, it really varies from landlord to landlord. Like, my parents are totally cool about pets, but I think they require a larger security deposit if you have a particularly big dog, since they can cause damage to the apartment. I don't remember their exact policy, but I can ask...
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#9 User is offline   redx1 

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Posted 03 June 2010 - 11:41 AM

View PostKaay-chan, on 03 June 2010 - 11:32 AM, said:

I gotta say, I love the fact that you mentioned Bucktown, not to mention a little flattered. :wub: I grew up in Bucktown, and my parents are landlords. ^_^

As for the question on pets, it really varies from landlord to landlord. Like, my parents are totally cool about pets, but I think they require a larger security deposit if you have a particularly big dog, since they can cause damage to the apartment. I don't remember their exact policy, but I can ask...

Bucktown is an up and coming area thanks to the hipster movement. I don't know how they do it, but every area those guys touch turn into gold. Just look at Wicker Park. Maybe 20 years ago it was a hard hit area with gangs. Now it's an upscale yuppie area. The hipsters started the change and then when the gentrification process started to really chug along, rent became unaffordable for them. The hipsters started to move west into Bucktown for more affordable housing. Bucktown is starting to see the transition happen. I predict Logan Square is next for the hipster movement.
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Posted 03 June 2010 - 11:49 AM

Gotta love gentrification.

Actually I find that kinda stuff so intriguing. I don't know why, but I do. haha XD
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#11 User is offline   Kaay-chan 

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Posted 03 June 2010 - 12:08 PM

View Postredx1, on 03 June 2010 - 11:41 AM, said:

Bucktown is an up and coming area thanks to the hipster movement. I don't know how they do it, but every area those guys touch turn into gold. Just look at Wicker Park. Maybe 20 years ago it was a hard hit area with gangs. Now it's an upscale yuppie area. The hipsters started the change and then when the gentrification process started to really chug along, rent became unaffordable for them. The hipsters started to move west into Bucktown for more affordable housing. Bucktown is starting to see the transition happen. I predict Logan Square is next for the hipster movement.


lol. You don't need to tell me how bad Bucktown used to be. My parents moved here, like...30 years ago. People thought thought they were crazy at the time. XP

Then they bought 3 six flats and a three flat (on top of the 3 flat that we live in), fixed them up and started renting them out.

And Logan Square is already pretty nice. It's gotten a lot of nice restaurants in the past few years. (Not that it's any kind of surprise, but my favorite is Hatchi's Kitchen XD)

This post has been edited by Kaay-chan: 03 June 2010 - 12:09 PM

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#12 User is offline   redx1 

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Posted 03 June 2010 - 12:16 PM

Dude, me too! I don't quite get why, but it's so interesting to see these neighborhoods change. The only downside to gentrification is affordable housing. Many people just simply want to live in a safe neighborhood where housing is at a decent cost. That's becoming rare because of people abusing affordable housing. Other than that, gentrification has been giving this city the face life it desperately needed. Just look at New York City. 20 years ago, NYC was at its worst with the crack epidemic. The politicians start initiating methods of gentrification. They even went so far as to 'assist' the homeless with leaving the city. Today, most of NYC is a playground for the rich and famous.

Sorry to get off topic, but this stuff intrigues me too since I'm seeing it happen first hand.

View PostKaay-chan, on 03 June 2010 - 12:08 PM, said:

lol. You don't need to tell me how bad Bucktown used to be. My parents moved here, like...30 years ago. People thought thought they were crazy at the time. XP

Then they bought 3 six flats and a three flat (on top of the 3 flat that we live in), fixed them up and started renting them out.

And Logan Square is already pretty nice. It's gotten a lot of nice restaurants in the past few years. (Not that it's any kind of surprise, but my favorite is Hatchi's Kitchen XD)

Talk about a real estate success story. Your parents were really smart for doing that. I know those rentals can bring in a pretty penny.
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#13 User is offline   Kaay-chan 

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Posted 03 June 2010 - 12:21 PM

View Postredx1, on 03 June 2010 - 12:16 PM, said:

Dude, me too! I don't quite get why, but it's so interesting to see these neighborhoods change. The only downside to gentrification is affordable housing. Many people just simply want to live in a safe neighborhood where housing is at a decent cost. That's becoming rare because of people abusing affordable housing. Other than that, gentrification has been giving this city the face life it desperately needed. Just look at New York City. 20 years ago, NYC was at its worst with the crack epidemic. The politicians start initiating methods of gentrification. They even went so far as to 'assist' the homeless with leaving the city. Today, most of NYC is a playground for the rich and famous.

Sorry to get off topic, but this stuff intrigues me too since I'm seeing it happen first hand.


Talk about a real estate success story. Your parents were really smart for doing that. I know those rentals can bring in a pretty penny.


XD yeah. On top of all that, they decided to semi-retire and sell the 3 six flats a few years ago, and right after they got rid of them, the housing bubble popped. We were really lucky.
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Posted 03 June 2010 - 12:31 PM

redx1 is talking about the outer suburbs, though. If you're going to live somewhere like Evanston or Skokie, it's pretty easy to get into the city. For example, I live in Evanston and am right across the street from the El, and I just hop on it in the morning and head down into the city for work. No driving necessary.
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Posted 03 June 2010 - 03:59 PM

Also depends on if you like winter. We can have such cold snaps & snow falls that can knock out power, making clearing of roads & tracks dread full. Just some thing to consider, though it's why we can have hockey's winter classic, plenty of ski jumps & fun stuff for winter too. I just though you might want to take this in to consideration with how you'll go to school or work.
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Posted 03 June 2010 - 04:42 PM

View PostTheRabbi, on 03 June 2010 - 12:31 PM, said:

redx1 is talking about the outer suburbs, though. If you're going to live somewhere like Evanston or Skokie, it's pretty easy to get into the city. For example, I live in Evanston and am right across the street from the El, and I just hop on it in the morning and head down into the city for work. No driving necessary.


Having lived in the loop for a year, I can tell you its like a whole different world there from the sticks of Sandwich. Seeing as a 7-11 was in my building's ground floor, the El was in throwing distance, and State Street was no more than a jaunty tune to the east, it was definately an experience. But the rent was outrageous. Then again we went through a placement service that has a contract with my school of choice and cost me my dad 650 a month. And there were 4 people in there. Doing the math that's over 2000 dollars. There'd be no way you could float that alone unless you were a doctor/lawyer/doctorlayer.

Basically find something close to the heart of the city with decent rent, and proximity to the El, and the city is your oyster.
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#17 User is offline   KungPowKirby 

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Posted 03 June 2010 - 05:02 PM

View PostNeko_master_Luna, on 03 June 2010 - 03:59 PM, said:

Also depends on if you like winter. We can have such cold snaps & snow falls that can knock out power, making clearing of roads & tracks dread full. Just some thing to consider, though it's why we can have hockey's winter classic, plenty of ski jumps & fun stuff for winter too. I just though you might want to take this in to consideration with how you'll go to school or work.


I live in Iowa. LOL Believe me, snow is not a problem.
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Posted 03 June 2010 - 05:07 PM

THANK YOU everyone for your input. I really do appreciate it. If anyone has anything to add feel free. :D I'm definately going to look at that site now!

If I move it will most likely be the beginning of next year as I have to save up. Maybe even after next years ACen. We will see.
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Posted 03 June 2010 - 06:55 PM

You might want to look around the Mount Prospect/Arlington Heights area.

Rent can be a bit cheaper than the city. The Pace bus system can help you get around town to the major areas. Also, the Metra can take you downtown or some of the Pace buses go to the Rosemont Blue Line (this stop is really close to Acen) which goes into the city as well. I live in Mount Prospect and have a bus stop right outside my apartment that goes to the Blue Line, Mitsuwa, and the Woodfield Shopping Mall.

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Posted 03 June 2010 - 07:03 PM

I've wanted to move to Chicago for the longest.

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Posted 03 June 2010 - 07:17 PM

Well as far as neighborhood suggestions I like living on the rim of Chicago. Where its still Chicago but just not downtown...which everyone seems to forget about. Near Norridge is nice.

I grew up in a house in that area around Irving Park and Cumberland and its real real nice. There's plenty of public transportation to get you where you want to go such as CTA, PACE, METRA, the EL. Not as pricey as living downtown. Peaceful but not dull.

I also lived in an apartment in the same area on Belmont which was three bedrooms for $900 which included all utilities except the gas we used for cooking. Many apartments/condos in the area are pet friendly. Neighbors are fine for the most part. Just check around and make sure your comfortable.

This post has been edited by HikariS: 03 June 2010 - 07:18 PM

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#22 User is offline   chamgirl89 

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Posted 03 June 2010 - 07:20 PM

View Postproxy, on 03 June 2010 - 07:03 PM, said:

I've wanted to move to Chicago for the longest.


same here.
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Posted 03 June 2010 - 07:25 PM

View PostHikariS, on 03 June 2010 - 07:17 PM, said:

Well as far as neighborhood suggestions I like living on the rim of Chicago. Where its still Chicago but just not downtown...which everyone seems to forget about. Near Norridge is nice.

I grew up in a house in that area around Irving Park and Cumberland and its real real nice. There's plenty of public transportation to get you where you want to go such as CTA, PACE, METRA, the EL. Not as pricey as living downtown. Peaceful but not dull.

[bI also lived in an apartment in the same area on Belmont which was three bedrooms for $900 which included all utilities except the gas we used for cooking.[/b] Many apartments/condos in the area are pet friendly. Neighbors are fine for the most part. Just check around and make sure your comfortable.



Seriously? That wasn't the ghettos was it? lol That is a really good deal since if you have 3 bedrooms you can easily divide that by 3. lol Added with gas/and other stuff, that is a really good price.

We need a want to move to chicago/chicagoland club. lol

This post has been edited by XenoBlade: 03 June 2010 - 07:25 PM

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Posted 03 June 2010 - 08:22 PM

@HikariS What apartments were those if you dont mind me asking?
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Posted 04 June 2010 - 12:02 AM

Move to Arlington Heights! Then we can hang out often!!! :D Unless I move to Marengo before you move. lol
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View PostFoolish Humon, on 13 June 2010 - 07:19 PM, said:

Ladies ladies ladies, if you find a man whose only concern about a woman is her breast size, he just may be dumb enough to believe you if you say you have Ds when you have Bs. :thumbup:

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Posted 04 June 2010 - 06:42 AM

@lina Hmmm How expensive is rent there? When are you moving?
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Posted 04 June 2010 - 10:55 AM

View PostXenoBlade, on 03 June 2010 - 07:25 PM, said:

Seriously? That wasn't the ghettos was it? lol That is a really good deal since if you have 3 bedrooms you can easily divide that by 3. lol Added with gas/and other stuff, that is a really good price.

We need a want to move to chicago/chicagoland club. lol


lol nope nope far from it

View Postkungpowkirby, on 03 June 2010 - 08:22 PM, said:

@HikariS What apartments were those if you dont mind me asking?


It was on Belmont between Cumberland and Harlem that whole street is basically apartments. Its near River Grove & Elmwood Park.
I know there's also a lot of apartment buildings near Hiawatha Park which 8029 West Forest Preserve Avenue.
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Posted 04 June 2010 - 02:36 PM

I have no idea when I'm moving. Probably by May of next year because my mom wants me out of the house by my 21st birthday. lol

And it really depends on where in the area. Surrounding areas like, Buffalo Grove, Mount Prospect, Wheeling and Rolling Meadows would be good too. I live on the border of BG and Wheeling. Make a right on the major road next to my little area, you are still in Arlington Heights, go straight, you are in Wheeling, go left, you are in BG. lol

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View PostFoolish Humon, on 13 June 2010 - 07:19 PM, said:

Ladies ladies ladies, if you find a man whose only concern about a woman is her breast size, he just may be dumb enough to believe you if you say you have Ds when you have Bs. :thumbup:

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Posted 04 June 2010 - 02:53 PM

You know, I was pretty set on moving into like the areas south of chicago, but man hearing about these nice places in chicago and around, I might have to check it out. Then it's the roommates, then it's the saving up. lol
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#30 User is offline   Lina 

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Posted 04 June 2010 - 02:56 PM

Visit me Xeno!!!
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View PostFoolish Humon, on 13 June 2010 - 07:19 PM, said:

Ladies ladies ladies, if you find a man whose only concern about a woman is her breast size, he just may be dumb enough to believe you if you say you have Ds when you have Bs. :thumbup:

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