Chicago is the third biggest city in America. It has a total of 2.7 million residents and comes well-recommended if you’re a foodie. It’s home to 24 Michelin-starred restaurants!
Chicago is also the place to live if you enjoy the arts. There are plenty of museums, opera houses, music venues, and theaters to choose from. Sports fans will find a lot to do as well.
With 70 neighborhoods to explore, you’re sure to find a great place for you and your family to settle down.
The hard part is finding homes for sale in Chicago. Check out this guide to learn how to get started with your search.
Set Your Budget
As soon as you decide that you want to move to Chicago, it’s time to set your budget. You’re not going to be able to secure housing without a proper downpayment. You’ll also need to get your finances in order before you start applying for a mortgage.
First things first, however, decide how much you can spend a month. When in doubt, remember the 28/36 rule. Your mortgage shouldn’t eat up more than 28% of your monthly paycheck.
When you’re doing your calculations, you also need to take a minute to consider the hidden costs of owning a house in Chicago. Make sure to account for utilities, property taxes, homeowner insurance, closing costs, maintenance and repairs, and HVAC maintenance.
Choose a Neighborhood
Now that you’ve set your budget, it’s time to start shopping around for homes for sale in Chicago. With the number of towns in the windy city, that can be easier said than done.
Edison Park, Lake View, Beverly, Lincoln Park, and Englewood are a few of the more popular choices:
Since Edison Park is a bit removed from the city, it’s one of the safest towns in Chicago. It’s located right next to the airport, making it a convenient place to live if you travel a lot.
This neighborhood is also ideal for families due to the number of amazing schools in the area. During the weekend, you can head to Olympia Park or do some Putt-putt at Pioneer Park Mini Golf.
There are plenty of places where you can get a good bite to eat, and you can go bowling. There’s a boutique nearby too.
If all of this sounds good to you, the average cost to buy a house in Edison Park is about $365,000.
When it comes to arts and culture, Lake View is the place to live. Vintage films often play at the Music Box Theater.
There’s a comedy club, and if you have a furry friend moving in with you, they’ll love the Belmont Harbor Dog Beach. The bars and clubs often host live music.
Lake View is the perfect place to live for singles, those of the LGBT community, and young professionals everywhere.
If you’re buying a house in the area, expect to spend $370,000 or more. If that’s a bit out of your price range, there are affordable apartments and condos available as well.
Like Edison Park, Beverly is home to some amazing schools. From bungalows to larger craftsman houses, there’s a wide range of options in the area, so you’re sure to find a style that suits you.
When it comes to authentic Irish pubs, you’ll have your pick, and your child will have the opportunity to go to an art camp.
Buying a home in Beverly will cost a little under $300,000.
Living in Lincoln Park will allow you to experience all of the conveniences of living in a big city while still being able to enjoy the great outdoors. Here, you’ll find a lot of brick houses for sale.
On top of having access to promising schools and green spaces, you’ll also be right next to the Chicago History museum. The average price of a house in Lincoln Park is $500,000.
Englewood has the reputation of being a bit of a fixer-upper, but if you’re looking for an affordable place to live, this neighborhood has you covered.
With the uptick in landlords investing in Englewood homes, it’s seen a large amount of growth over the years. There are several boutiques, shops, and restaurants in the area.
As far as pricing goes, you can go here to check it out.
Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage
Once you’ve chosen a neighborhood to put down roots in, you’ll need to get pre-approval for a mortgage. Having a letter in your hand before you start shopping around for houses will tell sellers that you mean business.
To qualify for one of Chicago’s many mortgage programs, you’re going to need a credit score of at least 620, proof of employment, proof of income, proof of assets for your downpayment, and depending on the program and the downpayment itself.
Find a Real Estate Agent
Working with a real estate agent isn’t a requirement, but it is a good idea. They’ll take your budget and needs into account to find the perfect house for you and your family.
They can also assist you with all the lengthy paperwork and even help you find a moving company.
Searching for Homes for Sale in Chicago
As you can see, when it comes to finding homes for sale in Chicago, the biggest hurdle you have to overcome is deciding on the right neighborhood for you and your family.
After that, it’s all a matter of getting pre-approved for a mortgage and finding a real estate agent who can help you navigate your way through the housing market. Start shopping around for your dream home today!
Are you looking for tips that will help you settle into your new property? Check out the Lifestyle section of our blog!