Before you take out that home loan from your mortgage lender, you’ll first need to find a home. Before you do that, you’ll first need to pick a neighborhood. In Chicago, more than anywhere, choosing wisely is a top priority. In this city of very distinct neighborhoods, each district has its own unique feel and temperament, and you’ll want to select one that fits your own particular tastes and preferences.
The ideal neighborhood, therefore, depends on what type of life you would like to lead and how much you’re willing to spend on a home. Are you looking for a family-oriented neighborhood packed with good schools and low crime rates? Or would you prefer a more stylish locale chock-full of great restaurants and hot nightspots? Whatever your preference, there’s a spot for you in this great city.
Lincoln Park – Lincoln Park is on nearly everyone’s list of great Chicago neighborhoods. Perhaps that’s because it has one of the best standards of living in the city. Whether you’re a single in your 20s or 30s or a young professional with a growing family, you’ll fit right in among the crowd that chooses Lincoln Park as its home base.
In a neighborhood like this, you’ll never be short of things to do and sights to see. If you have the energy, you can head to the zoo in the early morning, wander through a nature museum or ride the bike trails in the late morning, relax on North Avenue Beach in the afternoon, and hit up one of Lincoln Avenue’s many bars in the evening.
Unfortunately, the popularity of the area has sent real estate prices through the roof, making it the most expensive place to live aside from the vaunted Near North Side with its Gold Coast mansions. If you can afford it, though, the schools are first-rate and the people are diverse. So is the real estate market, which encompasses everything from decently priced condos to luxury living pads.
Edison Park – If you have a growing family, Edison Park may be your best bet. It’s biggest claim to fame is safety. With the lowest crime rate in the city, good schools (91 percent of high school students graduate), and kid-friendly parks, this neighborhood tops the list for families. Add affordable housing—you won’t have to pay your mortgage company an arm and a leg to get a loan—and you have the ideal environment for raising the kids in peace, comfort, and prosperity. Of course, this isn’t the place if you’re young and looking to party, but there are enough restaurants to satisfy the pickiest eater.
Old Town – If you’re looking for a historic sense of place, a bustling business district, and a buzzing nightlife, Old Town is the place to be. Part of the exclusive Near North Side, which also includes Gold Coast and Goose Island, Old Town is prime real estate. That means that if Lincoln Park is out of your price range, then don’t even think about this piece of golden territory.
On the other hand, if your knees don’t quake at the price tag, then this neighborhood is a treasure trove of delights—exquisite food from the area’s numerous five-star restaurants, high-end goods from the exclusive stores on Oak Street, stunning sights on the shores of Lake Michigan, and much, much more. Basically, if you want to be right in the center of things, then Old Town is your place.
Bucktown – If you describe yourself on social media profiles as the creative type, you might consider the Bucktown area, which has expensive homes sprinkled amidst more affordable lofts and condos. An artists’ haven since the 1980s, the neighborhood is conveniently close to downtown. It also boasts one of the best infrastructures in the city, making coming and going a breeze. If the rents in Bucktown are too high for your tastes, you can always head south to Wicker Park for more budget-friendly options.
Barrington – If you would rather not live in the heart of the city, there are always the surrounding suburbs. Barrington is one of those outlying neighborhoods that offers plenty of leg room as well as access to the big city. Although this spacious neighborhood seems far removed from the busy streets of Chicago, it’s not without amenities—namely a compact downtown lined with the normal suburban offerings, as well as trendy boutiques and charming pubs. With house prices falling in recent years, Barrington is also comparatively easy on the pocketbook.
No matter where in the Chicago area you decide to hang your hat, A and N Mortgage can help you move into the house of your dreams. If you already have a place in mind, then get the ball rolling by filling out our online mortgage application today.