How much does it cost to live in Chicago?

October 1, 2018 Comments Off on How much does it cost to live in Chicago?

Chicago, often referred to as the ‘Windy City’ and the ‘Jewel of the Midwest’ is the third largest city in the states. Famed for its deep-dish pizzas and stunning architecture, it is the perfect place to set up home.

But what is the average cost of living in Chicago you ask? Our handy guide will help you find all of the information that you need. If you are looking to rent an apartment in Chicago, knowing the true cost of living goes a long way.


Average rental costs in Chicago

According to, the average monthly rent for a 900 square foot furnished property in an expensive area is around $2,020. For a furnished property of the same size in a normal neighborhood, you can expect to pay in the range of $1,490.

Looking at a 480 square foot furnished studio apartment. These range from $1,550 in an upmarket neighborhood and $990 in a normal neighborhood. You can expect to pay approximately $2,150 for a 3-bedroom apartment and $1,750 for a two bedroom apartment.

While these may not be seeing as bargains by some, they are excellent value when compared to the other major cities. It is also important to note that Chicago apartment rentals can fluctuate in price. This largely depends on the neighborhood and proximity to public transport, shopping and amenities.


Average property purchase costs in Chicago

While the majority of people moving to Chicago are looking to rent, some are looking to buy. It is true that Chicago’s real estate prices where are hit hard by the financial crisis. However, the past couple of years have seen the property market rebound. As of 2018, the real estate market is rapidly approaching prices similar to pre-crash averages.

As it stands, you can expect to pay approximately $380,000 for a four-bedroom property. A three-bedroom property is an average of $225,000. For two bedrooms, you can expect to pay $200,000. This gives a total average purchase price of approximately $268,000.

Chicago is definitely a renter’s market. Competition can be stiff, but there are plenty of amazing bargains to be had. Whether you want to purchase or rent a property in Chicago, now is the time to do it.


Average cost of utilities in Chicago

Whether you are renting or purchasing an apartment in Chicago, utilities are a given. According to Expatistan, one month’s utilities for two people in a 85 square meter apartment costs approximately $190.

When looking at a 45 square meter studio apartment. A single person can expect to pay $110 a month for utilities. 8 Mbps internet cost approximately $45 a month.

This means that the average single person living in a 45 square meter apartment can expect to pay around $155 a month. This covers basic utilities, including garbage, water, heating and electricity along with internet.


Average food prices in Chicago

Everyone’s got to eat, and Chicago doesn’t disappoint when it comes to food choices. But how much can you expect to spend when dining out and purchasing groceries?

According to Expatistan, lunch and a drink in the business district will cost you approximately $13. A Big Mac meal will cost around $8. But not everybody likes to eat out on a regular basis.

A pound of boneless chicken breast costs approximately $4.29. 12 eggs will cost roughly $2.60. 2 lb. of potatoes works out at $1.50. While 1.Lb of rice is $1.20. These prices are lower than the national average.


Average cost of transportation Chicago

We have covered the average housing costs, utility costs and food prices. Now let’s take a look at Transportation prices.

Those who don’t have their own car will need to rely on public transport. This consists of the subway and bus service. As of 2018, it costs $103 to purchase and unlimited monthly pass. This is available from the CTA (Chicago Transport Authority).

A 5-mile taxi trip will set you back approximately $20. Again, this is dependent on traffic congestion. If you just cannot do without your car, you will need to purchase a Chicago City vehicle sticker. It costs $85.97 for an average passenger car. A mid-sized van or an SUV will cost $136.54.

According to Expatistan, you can expect to pay $3.16 for a gallon of gas. With the national average gas price coming in at $2. 67, this is almost 28% more than other cities in America. It is definitely worthwhile investing in a monthly pass for public transport.


Average salary in Chicago

The average monthly net salary after tax in Chicago stands at approximately $3,800. You can expect to use 38.5% of your salary on monthly accommodation rental. A further or 4.3% will go toward utilities while 28.6% will be used for food and groceries.

You can expect to use approximately 8.8% of your wages on Transportation. According to Numbeo, the average cost of living for a single person without rent in Chicago is $980. For a 4-person family, this works out to approximately $3,500 without rent.

This means that a single person with an average salary renting a 45 square meter studio apartment can expect to spend $3,043 a month all in. This makes Chicago rent prices 46% cheaper than New York. Grocery prices are approximately 26% lower than New York. And consumer prices including rent are approximately 33% lower than New York.

Summing up on the cost of living in Chicago

Now you have a better understanding all of the cost of living in Chicago in 2018. It is important to note that prices and statistics can fluctuate. What is accurate today may not be as accurate this time next year.

Renting an apartment in Chicago lets you live in one of the most vibrant and beautiful cities in America. While its nickname the ‘Windy City’ has little to do with the weather, it is indeed windy.

There are many stunning neighborhoods and attractions that make Chicago one of the most desirable places to live. Endless entertainment opportunities, well-connected public transport networks  and affordable housing place it toward the top of America’s big cities.

Now you know what to expect, why not check out some of the amazing rental apartments on Hunter Properties. With prices starting at $695 a month, you can stretch your dollar further.