My husband and I are moving to Chicago from Houston. We would like a single-family home. Most affordable neighborhood convenient to downtown Chicago?

Asked by Stephanie Weimer, Houston, TX Tue Aug 7, 2012

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Dan, Home Buyer, Alabama
Sat Aug 25, 2012
Windy City Rampage: 19 Shot Overnight in Chicago

Americans turned to New York early Friday for a dose of doom and gloom, but the murder scene outside of the Empire State Building wasn’t the only mass shooting site in the country during the last few hours. In Chicago, 19 people were shot overnight.

In the midst of a surge in shootings in the Windy City that have occurred in recent weeks, police officers in Chicago, Illinois were once again busy responding to reports of shots fired late Thursday and into early the next day.

Two 14-year-old boys, one 15-year-old boy and a 19-year-old woman are among the injured in Chicago last evening after a drive-by shooting in the city’s South Side shortly after 9 p.m. sent eight people to the hospital.
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Joanna Weiss, , Chicago, IL
Fri Aug 24, 2012
You will probably need a lender to pre-qualify you before the realtor will take you out. I also have reccommedations of successful realtors that will help you find your new home. Let me know if I might be of help. 312-307-2787 NMLS #230092
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Jose Hernand…, Agent, Chicago, IL
Wed Aug 22, 2012
Hi Stephanie,

I'm a Chicago resident for over 28 years, I seen neighborhoods change and continue to change. Feel free to contact me at anytime.

Jose Hernandez
Coldwell Banker
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Maggie Blond…, Agent, Chicago, IL
Thu Aug 16, 2012
Hi Stephanie,

I also would LOVE to help you find a property in Chicago or the surrounding suburbs. I also have sold homes in Evanston. In fact, I started my Real Estate career in Evanston. I live in Chicago, close to Evanston. But, I am familiar with most of the neighborhoods in Chicago, and would be happy to drive you around the neighborhoods in the city when you come to Chicago. Before you come, I will also set you up on an automatic search on the Multiple Listing Service, where all of the Realtors search. Then you can familiarize yourself with the areas a little by searching on the internet while you are in Houston. I just helped a couple from Houston find a property in a high rise in the West Loop.

I encourage you to look on our websites:, and and click on "Consultants", scroll down to Maggie Blondis and check out my Biography. I have sold some really nice houses this year, and most of them are on the Buyers side.

Thank you, and I hope to have a chance to meet you.


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Cathleen Wal…, Agent, Chicago, IL
Thu Aug 16, 2012
Hi! I would LOVE to help you. One question I have is where are you going to be working? That would have a lot to do with your location and the amenities of the neighborhood. I can be reach by phone anytime @ 847.219.9366 or email me Lets meet for coffee and discuss your wants desires and needs. Have a beautiful day! Cathleen Walker Prudential Rubloff
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Newhomebuyer, Home Buyer, Chicago, IL
Wed Aug 15, 2012
Let's talk. there are a lot of great neighborhoods in Chicago that you can consider. My email is
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Maggie Blond…, Agent, Chicago, IL
Tue Aug 14, 2012
Already answered. See below.
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Maggie Blond…, Agent, Chicago, IL
Tue Aug 14, 2012
There are many neighborhoods that are accessible and convenient to downtown Chicago. What is affordable depends entirely on the individual and your situation. I would be happy to talk with you about your search and set you up on an automatic search through our multiple listing service so that you could familiarize yourself with different neighborhoods and the pricing.
Please feel free to email me at
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Jack Guest, Agent, Chicago, IL
Tue Aug 14, 2012
Affordable pricing is relative to your situation but areas to consider for transportation downtown and along public transportation train lines are:
1) Portage Park 2) Jefferson Park 3) Norwood Park 4) Edison Park 5) Avondale 6) Logan Square

- Jack Guest, Century 21 McMullen
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Dan, Home Buyer, Alabama
Mon Aug 13, 2012
It gets worse. IL recently increased the state income tax by 66%.…

People and business leave high tax jurisdictions for lower tax jurisdictions.
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Cathleen Wal…, Agent, Chicago, IL
Mon Aug 13, 2012
Call me or email me I live in Evanston which is a suburb right outside of Chicago and is easy to downtown by train or car and is home to Northwestern University and has nice beaches on Lake Michigan. Cathleen Walker 847.219.9366 or
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Seth Captain, Agent, Chicago, IL
Sun Aug 12, 2012
Coming from Houston, you should be aware that Chicago only has one country bar, and while it is close to the lake and convenient to transport, you might not consider the nearby single family homes, or event even the two flats affordable.

Now, you may not like country music, and besides being a wise choice, it will allow you greater access to affordable homes.

Yes, as others have mentioned, affordable is relative. But let's assume you want something habitable in the lower price brackets, with easy access to an el line, or perhaps the Metra, with some places in your neighborhood you can walk to.

Here's my list for single family homes. I"m not quite sure why so many agents have to be so generic about it. It shouldn't be a secret, unless they don't actually know:

South Side:

1. Pilsen
2. Bridgeport

North Side:

1. Portage Park
2. Jefferson Park
3. Mayfair
4. Old Irving Park

If you are not typical Houstonians (Houstoners?), and will consider biking, or using the bus (which are just fine here), then parts of Humboldt Park are an excellent value as well.
0 votes
Great answer!!
Flag Tue Oct 23, 2012
Meg, Home Owner, Chicago, IL
Sun Aug 12, 2012
If you're interested in a house for sale by owner, we have one in the Norwood Park neighborhood, 3 BR, 2 BA, walk to the train which will take you into downtown. Feel free to send me your email address and I will send you more info and pics or email me at
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Jeffrey Ziga, , Chicago, IL
Sun Aug 12, 2012
Hello, Stephanie, I can help you, in your process to buying a home i have many lenders i work with
To help you, please call me, at
Century 21 McMullen
Jeffrey Ziga
Cell 773-627-0019 THANK YOU,
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Trevor Curran, Mortgage Broker Or Lender, Great Neck, NY
Sat Aug 11, 2012
Good morning Stephanie,

First steps:

1. Meet with a Local Mortgage Banker to get prequalified for mortgage financing. The Mortgage Banker will review all facets of your loan request to answer your questions with regards to the types of loans and maximum loan amounts you could qualify for.

2. Get a referral to a good, local, real estate attorney. Call the attorney, retain the attorney so you have her information handy when you make an offer. Having that information at time of offer helps you demonstrate to the Seller how serious you are, and they will consider your offer with more interest.

3. Line up a Home Inspector. A good home inspector will scare the heck out of you: that's what you pay him for! But you'll concentrate on the fundamentals of the property: roof free of leaks, plumbing, heating and electrical up to code and in good working order. Again, when you make an offer and you have your Home Inspector ready to go, your offer will be considered with much more interest by a Seller because you truly have your "ducks in a row" and your preparation demonstrates your serious attitude about conducting the purchase transaction in a timely manner.

4. Find an experienced Local Realtor who works in your desired shopping area. A serious pro Realtor will refuse to show you homes until you are Prequalified for mortgage financing. Don't take offense! That Realtor doesn't want you to be disappointed and wants you to have a smooth experience as you shop for your new home.

Put together your Team of real estate professionals and shop 'til you drop!

Good luck!
Trevor Curran
NMLS #40140
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Terry Farnsw…, Agent, Lisle, IL
Sat Aug 11, 2012
Hi Stephanie,

In response to Jennifer's email below, real estate agents are generally paid the same on foreclosed properties, as they are on any other property. Banks utilize listing agents to sell their properties, who pay out the same, and sometimes more, than the standard commission. LaGrange, Western Springs, and Hinsdale are very nice - and very expensive (additionally, they are about 45-60 min from downtown).

If you choose to check out a foreclosure, please use an experienced real estate agent to guide you through the transaction. I don't care whether it's me, someone below who responded, or if you open the yellow pages and pick one - just use one. You don't pay a penny to have a real estate professional handle the transaction for you. The banks have lawyers, agents, and pages of addendum protecting their best interesst - and since it's free, you definetely should too.

I've lived in the Chicagoland area for 33 years, and I wish you the best in your move. There are some expensive areas, but there are also great deals to be had. Make sure you choose an agent with a track record of success and who you feel comfortable with. If you have any questions, please feel free to call me, or visit my website You can search the MLS for homes, and there are some great resources explaining the exclusive incentives I offer to buyers, and for moving, etc. Using a licensed agent who knows the area inside and out will save you a lot of hassle and time.

Hope this helps!

Terry Farnsworth
Licensed Broker
Prospect Equities Premier
(630) 747-3426
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Jennifer, Home Buyer, Burr Ridge, IL
Fri Aug 10, 2012
Beware of realtors. I would go to a forum of home buyers/owners and not a real estate site and post this question to get feedback from residents not realtors trying to earn your business. My personal advice to you is to go for a foreclosed property. Realtors won't push this option because their commission checks on those properties are change and especially with you being out of towners you won't know any better. Chicago is a VERY expensive city. I am married with two small children and used to commute to downtown. My favorite affordable neighborhoods in the city are Roscoe Village and Irving Park. My favorite suburbs just outside the city are LaGrange, Western Springs and Hinsdale. If you have children and are going to send them to public school in the city, best public schools IMO Bell and Audubon, both in Roscoe Village. The schools in the suburbs I mentioned are also great.
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Dan, Home Buyer, Alabama
Thu Aug 9, 2012
Forclosures in the Chicago burbs are up 37% from July 2011.…

U.S. economy actually lost 1.2 million jobs in July....…
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Dan, Home Buyer, Alabama
Thu Aug 9, 2012
Be sure to acquire a concealed carry permit. Chicago and its burbs have turned into gangland. Said gangs directly compete with the government to steal as much of your property as is possible. Yes I once lived there. What an experience! Geneva/Batavia.
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I agree, the city is an amazing place to live. My fave family neighborhood close to downtown is Roscoe Village. BTW, you can't conceal and carry in Chicago. Good luck!
Flag Fri Aug 10, 2012
I love it when out of town realtors comment on a city that they have never seen before. The city is a great place to live.
Flag Thu Aug 9, 2012
Manuel Ramir…, Home Buyer, California
Thu Aug 9, 2012
Well here I can see many real estate company in Chicago and they all are offering something great. I will suggest to talk with local real estate agent of Chicago, being local they had great database and they can fulfill your requirement easily.
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Bill J Delig…, Agent, Naperville, IL
Wed Aug 8, 2012
Greetings Stephanie,

Welcome to Chicagoland!

#1) Get yourself preapproved with a lender so you know how much you can afford.
"most affordable neighborhood" is a relative term - There are Million Dollar bargains nearby and $200k ripoffs.

#2) Plenty of great neighborhoods available depending on how far you are willing to commute (bus, El, car, walking)

It's a great time to be a buyer with real estate at relatively low prices and interest rates at historic lows.Take advantage of it.

Should you need any assistance with your financing or home search, I would be glad to help.

Bill J Deligiannis
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Scott Faletti, Agent, Frankfort, IL
Wed Aug 8, 2012
Hi Stephanie,

To answer your question, I would need your price range! Please keep in mind that Chicago offers public transportation (bus, train) to the downtain area on a daily basis...Your price range will determine your location!

If you need any assistance please give me a call & best of luck on the move.

Scott Faletti
Century 21 Pride
(708) 692-3719
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Ana Lukic, , Chicago, IL
Wed Aug 8, 2012
Hi Stephanie,
I am a native Chicagoen and can help you with your home search or rental search if you end up going that route. I can be reached at 312-479-0000. My name is Ana Lukic and I am a Realtor in Chicago and have been one for over 15 years. Look forward to working with you:)
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Sohail Salah…, Agent, Chicago, IL
Tue Aug 7, 2012

When will you arrive, I will have everything set up for you so you don't waste time. What is the best way to connect with you, cell or email?

My contact information is below!

Sohail A. Salahuddin | Broker Associate | Visionary

Innovative Property Consultants Team | Sales and Leasing

Jameson Sotheby’s International Realty

425 W. North Ave. | Chicago, IL 60610 

O: 312.335.3230 | C: 312.437.7799 | F: 847.805.6030

"Locally Known, Globally Recognized"
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Ismael Perez, Agent, Downers Grove, IL
Tue Aug 7, 2012


I know you will love Chicago! There are several well located areas near downtown Chicago, where the prices are affordable and the housing stock is very diversified. Please visit my website and log in for searches and I will make sure to help you by neighborhood. Happy hunting. Don't hesitate to email or call.

Thank You

Ismael Perez
Exit Real estate Partners
0 votes • Reply • Flag • Delete • A moment ago
Ismael Perez, Real Estate Pro in Chicago, IL
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Sarah Ziehr, Agent, Chicago, IL
Tue Aug 7, 2012
Hi Stephanie!

You might want to consider Old Irving Park, Portage Park or Jefferson Park... I am currently working with another buyer who is looking in these areas. Lots of cute Chicago style bungalows in the $300-$350k range with a yard and close to the metra which will get you downtown in about 30 minutes by train. There are also some brand new developments in the $400-$500k range.

As others have said, this all depends on what you consider affordable and convenient!

I worked with another client a few months back who was relocating from Houston and she decided to move out to the Des Plaines area. This is a little further out, but she had dogs which she wanted a large yard for them to play in.

Please get in touch with me if I can help you further!

Jameson Sotheby's International Realty
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Joe Schiller, Agent, Chicago, IL
Tue Aug 7, 2012
you should email my office and my team will help you.. htere are 100,000 homes on the market in Chicago
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Sari Levy, Agent, Addison, IL
Tue Aug 7, 2012
There are a lot of moving parts to your search - e.g. affordability, schools, proximity to downtown, public transportation, and your home needs. You need to talk to someone in depth about how you'd like to balance all this. We provide full service but we also share our commission on a sliding scale, which can be worth thousands of dollars to you. You can call me at 312-738-0232 to discuss further if you'd like.

You can also find out more about the state of the Chicago housing market by visiting our housing market overview page:
Web Reference:
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Katherine Ph…, Agent, Chicago, IL
Tue Aug 7, 2012
Humboldt Park is an "up and coming" and affordable neighborhood that provides easy access to the expressways and no more than 30 minute public transportation access to the Loop. A wide price range of properties is available.
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Brady Miller, Agent, Chicago, IL
Tue Aug 7, 2012
Unless you have plenty of time to visit ahead of time and check out all the neighborhoods, you should really think about renting first -- you don't want to rush into anything, especially a big purchase like a single family home in Chicago. If you do have time and patience to look up here and see lots of options, then you should be able to find an affordable single family home. There are some great neighborhoods here where you can still find some good deals (and the interest rates make this option even more attractive).
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Erik Sachs, Agent, Chicago, IL
Tue Aug 7, 2012
Renting to get a lay of the land is not a bad idea. I currently live in the River West/East Village neighborhood and I think it is one of the hidden gems in Chicago. I have a few listings I can forward to show you price points for single families - you can find nice places from $500,000-$800,000. You can rent one of these homes for $3000-$4500/mo. Very close to restaurants, bars, public transportation, highways, parks, stores, etc.

Send me an email at when you have a moment.

Erik Sachs
RpV Realty
Cell 773/368-5515
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Randy Schule…, Agent, Saint Charles, IL
Tue Aug 7, 2012

Houston to Chicago is a big move! An associate of mine did the opposite move just a few years ago and loves the Houston area. You'll find that there is a lot to love about the Chicago area if you have never made Chicago 'home' before.

I'd love to work with you and your husband to find the best property for your needs. When you have a few minutes call or text me at 224-805-2616 so we may discuss your needs further. There are plenty of styles and opportunities, both for sale and for rent, in single-family home living in our area.

I look forward to working with you soon.

Randy Schulenburg
Managing Broker
Mortgage 1st Realty, Inc.
224-805-2616 Direct
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Debbie Maue, Agent, Chicago, IL
Tue Aug 7, 2012
Are you thinking the city or the suburbs? What price range do you consider "affordable". And, what do you consider "downtown" Chicago-are you asking because you and/or your husband are going to be working in the Loop and are concerned about commute? There are a lot of factors to take into play.
Maybe best to speak with an agent at length with an agent about:
-price range
-size of the home
-neighborhood amenities
-commute time to work
-are schools a factor
This will help to narrow down and focus in considerably.
If you would like to speak further, please don't hesitate to call.

Please don’t hesitate if I can help in any way!

Debbie Maue Willoughby GRI, CRS, ABR, CIPS
2011 & 2010 Jameson’s “Top 20 “

23 yr Real Estate Professional & Short Sale Expert
Director of Shelter & Rescue Groups - Realtor's to the Rescue "RTTR"
(Ask me how you can help save a pet today!)

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My Current Listings (click on the address for more info: $1,349,000 3b/3b $559,000 $1,199,000
1236 W. Carment #3S, Chicago $159,000
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345 Fullerton #1502, Chicago 2b/2b $309,900
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312-335-3252 p
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David Hanna, Agent, Chicago, IL
Tue Aug 7, 2012
Hi Stephanie- This is a much bigger city than Houston, with a more developed transportation system and most of all, with many, many more choices for housing.
To really decide where to begin is a much more detailed conversation than can be had in this forum.
I, like many of the other Realtors who will also respond, can help you find the right place at the right price, but we need to interview with you and get to know more about what you are looking for.

Feel free to call or email me at your convenience. I know the city and the suburban market, having owned offices all over the area in the past.
(773) 732-9123. Best of luck with your search and the move.
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Roger Lautt, Agent, Chicago, IL
Tue Aug 7, 2012
Hi Stephanie,

The key to where you live will depend on your definition of "affordable neighborhood" as Chicago has a wide range of prices and neighborhoods. If you go the you will see 7 of my favorite neighborhoods that are all convenient to downtown. You will be able to search the various neighborhoods by the price you are comfortable with and see the current inventory. Let me know if we can be of service and Welcome to Chicago.

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Mark Malave, Agent, Chicago, IL
Tue Aug 7, 2012
Rogers Park has a metro stop and 4 red line stops. Hands down the best value in the city right now.
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Kim LaRoche, Agent, Chicago, IL
Tue Aug 7, 2012
You should call me about my 4 bed condo at 6131 N Richmond st! (773) 572 - 0875
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Philip Sencer, Agent, Chicago, IL
Tue Aug 7, 2012
What does most affordable mean.....cheapest? If you are not familiar with the city you might want to rent the 1st year. then you can get familiar with the neighborhoods/transportation/amenities etc to make a more informed decision.
No one on this site can answer your question without more information.
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Matt Laricy, Agent, Chicago, IL
Tue Aug 7, 2012
I would rent first. Chicago is a city of neighborhoods. Each one different than the others. Come up here a few weekends and stay in different parts of the city. Then get a 6 month rental to really understand all that chicago can offer you. From there, you will be able to figure out which area is best for you and your budget.
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Chicago Mort…, , Chicago, IL
Tue Aug 7, 2012
Hi Stephanie...
Are you planning on moving to the suburbs or to one of the neighborhoods in the city that surround the Loop? I can make some suggestions depending on what you're planning on doing, and if you need a realor referral I can provide one.

If you need any assistance with purchasing the home, I'd be happy to help. Just let me know.


JP Marzano
Senior Loan Officer - Chicago Financial Services, Inc.
1455 W Hubbard St Suite 200 Chicago, IL 60642
312-204-6556 - direct
312-608-1555 - cell
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