A Potpourri of Real Estate in Chicago, Illinois

By: Art Gib

As the largest city in Illinois, Chicago definitely offers buyers the largest selection of Illinois real estate in the state. And, since 3 million people live there, it's little wonder that there is a wide variety of housing options to choose from.

After the great Chicago fire of 1871, the city enjoyed one of the largest building booms the country has ever seen. Shortly after the catastrophe, in 1885, the first steel-framed building was built; ushering in the sky scrapers and tall skyline that Chicago is famous for today. In addition to housing companies, many of these skyscrapers are residential buildings filled with apartments, condos and pent houses. The newest and grandest of these will be the Chicago Spire which will climb half a mile high and contain about 1,000 luxury condos. Unfortunately, new and grand also equates to expensive since condos in the Chicago Spire can cost as much as $1,000 per square foot. If you this price range is a little beyond your budget, rest assured that there are more affordable condos throughout the city as well.

Townhouses are also a common sight throughout Chicago and they are a good way to ensure that you have a little bit of your own land without having to pay for a more expensive family home. They also come in a variety of styles which makes it easy to find a home that matches your individual tastes. Townhouses can be a little noisier that single-family homes though since one or more of your walls are usually shared with neighboring townhouses.

As you move away from the center of town, family homes become more common forms of real estate. The northern neighborhoods are popular because of the beautiful parks scattered throughout the area and because of the nearby shoreline beaches of Lake Michigan but there are good family homes all around the outskirts of Chicago. Even though the North side of Chicago is the most densely populated area, there is a higher ratio of single family homes in the South side of the city. Perhaps this is due to the larger area cover by the south side since it makes up about 60% of the city.

As far as pricing is concerned, every neighborhood is a little different but the general trend correlates with distance - the further away you go from downtown Chicago, the more affordable housing becomes. If you don't mind a long commute or you don't need to get to the city for work, an outlying suburb home could be the perfect fit for your family.

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