Chicago is the third largest city in the country after New York City and Los Angeles, and housing prices here take almost as big of a chunk out of your paycheck as they do in those bigger cities. If you want a prestigious address in the heart of downtown Chicago, with fabulous views of beautiful Lake Michigan, well, you shouldn't be surprised when landlords are going to charge huge amounts of money for that privilege. Buying a house in the most fashionable neighborhoods of Chicago is so expensive that it's out of reach for a lot of people, and rental apartment homes aren't too cheap, either.
Don't worry! That doesn't mean to enjoy this region, you'll be doomed to live in a cardboard box. If you look at the south suburbs like Blue Island, you will find a place that is still very nice to live, even if it's not within the city limits. Additionally, what you soon discover is that all that glitz and glamor is what makes downtown Chicago so pricey. When you can be happy with a more down to earth kind of place, you'll find that housing can actually be very affordable, as median house prices in Blue Island are about half of what they are in the rest of the country. Bring on the bargains!
When you want to find a studio apartment for rent in Blue Island, or even a 1 or more bedroom apartment, you're in luck as this area is full of bargains and you won't be competing against the high volume of people in the city. That said, though, it doesn't mean that landlords won't care who they choose as renters. Make a good impression by making sure you have a job that pays enough to cover the rent, be prepared to pay those crucial security deposits - including extra deposits if you find a pet friendly apartment - and it helps if you have old landlords who are willing to vouch for you that you won't trash the place.
Chicago and its surrounding suburbs like Blue Island make it pretty darn easy to get around without a car, which is a good thing because parking in the city can be a very expensive challenge. Why spend hours stuck in traffic, only to drive around looking for a parking garage and then have to pay $20 dollars for the privilege, when you can just hop on the Metra train or the Pace Suburban Bus instead? Save your precious time and money, not to mention your sanity.
What to Do
Life in Blue Island gives you all the easy access to big-city stuff in Chicago plus a smaller and quieter pace, too. There's plenty to do right here in Blue Island, without ever needing to venture out among the skyscrapers.
People here in Blue Island love their sports - whether it's watching the Cubs or Blackhawks, or playing on a hometown softball league. Sports bars like 115 Bourbon Street and Raven's Place are a great place to enjoy a frosty mug of your favorite brew while cheering on the Chi-town teams.
For those looking for an even more local angle on sports pride, don't worry as Blue Island won't let you down. The Blue Island Sports Hall of Fame honors the best local athletes, past and present. Blue Island was home to a number of players who went on to join the big time with teams like the Los Angeles Dodgers, Chicago White Sox and Detroit Tigers.
If you would rather enjoy the Irish pub experience, Blue Island has you covered there, too. Gayla's Irish Bar is simple and unpretentious, and An Seanachi Irish Pub has an amazing, rotating selection of great beers you won't find as easily anywhere else. You won't be going thirsty here.
The Blue Island Parks and Recreation District makes sure that you will always have a great place to enjoy the outdoors, too. Memorial Park is the biggest parks facility and even includes a pool for those few days each summer when temperatures soar. If you want to enjoy some of nature's furry friends, hang out by the Bark Park, too.
Restaurant explorers will find they're in luck in Blue Island, as selections are not limited to the regular old chain restaurants here. In the mood for some soul food and Cajun cuisine? You'll love the Maple Tree Inn, which features New Orleans-inspired southern fare. The Chicago area is known for its famous deep dish pizza, and you can get the Blue Island spin on it at favorites like Giuseppe's Pizza and Beggars Pizza. If you're looking for your fill of veggies and raw foods, be sure to check out local favorite B'Gabs Goodies.
If you appreciate your history -and Blue Island has a very rich one -you'll want to check out the Blue Island Historical Museum, which is located inside the Blue Island Public Library. Speaking of the library, be sure to visit to inquire about passes for registered users to great museums such as Air Classic Inc. Museum of Air Aviation, the Bronzeville Children's Museum, the Chicago Botanic Garden and the Illinois Railway Museum.
Blue Island is not just an affordable place to live, it's a place you will be happy to call home.