Hi guys! Lately, I’ve been getting lots of questions about my move to Chicago! When I moved to Chicago in December, it was only two days after Christmas, and I was all alone! I literally got on a plane by myself, flew to Chicago, and started to settle in with no help. Lucky for anyone out there looking to pack up and move across country, I have some tips and tricks to make your relocation move as SMOOTHLY as possible! Keep reading to find out how I moved 900 miles from home ALONE!
So before my move, I scoped out neighborhoods in Chicago that I would want to live in. For me, this was easy because I am a sucker for views so downtown was a no-brainer. I also knew that I wanted to be pretty close to good food and bars so the River North area would best suit me. If you are moving somewhere new and have no idea about any of the neighborhoods, Pinterest and Google are your BEST friends! Look to those first if you don’t know anyone else in the city to get feedback from.
My next step was to find a realtor! Thankfully, one of my good friends from the summer was able to connect me with a realtor who began the apartment search for me! He compiled a directory of properties in an easy-to- use online site. From there, I was able to scroll through properties and rank them based on my interest.
After selecting my top choices, my realtor went out on my behalf! He sent me videos and facetimed me to view properties. This was very helpful because it helped me to get a better idea of the space!
Keep reading for 6 tips on how to make your move stress free and easy!
1. Scope out neighborhoods you like
This one is really important to me because who wants to live somewhere they don’t love?! Figure out what kind of vibe you’re going for and find a neighborhood that best aligns with that!
If you have any friends in the city, talk to them and get their options as well! Also, if you will be working, keep your commute in mind. It may not be worth it to have an inconvenient commute every single day.
2. Find a realtor
When I tell you that my realtor took almost ALL of the stress off of me! As I mentioned, he toured apartments and sent me videos– he even facetimed me so I could see the properties better!
This was extremely helpful because apartment shopping can get stressful. I had exhausted all of my resources and had even turned to Craigslist, but it was just too sketchy for me.
3. Rental Concessions
Rental concessions make a BIG difference in the overall cost of your rent. For me, I moved to Chicago in the winter which is a downtime so there are not many people trying to sign leases. This was great for me because I got two months of free rent! If you are able to be flexible with your move, keep this in mind!
4. Work out the logistics
To take advantage of the rental concessions, I had to sign an immediate lease which means that I had to pay my first month’s rent before I even moved. (S/O to my parents for taking care of this!) I was in constant contact with the leasing manager and had to sign tons of documents. My advice is to get this done as soon as possible because it can be extremely stressful!
You also have to act fast! I was originally supposed to move into a different unit in my building, but I moved too slow with the process, and someone else ended up snagging the unit. Luckily, there was another one available- but it ended up being more expensive for me!
5. Furnish your dream apartment
I’m all about a GOOD deal! When shopping for my apartment, I knew that I wanted to pay for everything in cash because I didn’t want a monthly bill. I took sites like Wayfair and Amazon to help furnish my place! I ordered everything online, and I had it shipped to my building.
6. Moving Time
When I was finally ready to move, I had to map out the best plan for me! In my case, I shipped almost all of my things up to Chicago via USPS. Since I ordered my furniture online, I didn’t have to worry about transporting it 18 hours away! I ordered my things just in time so that they would make it to Chicago around the same time as I did. Think about what works best for you, and if you need to be cost effective, explore your options! If you already have furniture then it may be best to rent a U-Haul and road trip or hire a moving company!
It’s been almost 6 months since I moved to Chicago, and I haven’t had any problems with my apartment building. Everyone here is super friendly, and the door staff is great! I cannot not be happier with my decision, and I hope this helps anyone who is ready to move!