the chicago suburbs

The Chicago Suburbs - The 5 Things You Need To Know

Are you thinking about moving to the Chicago Suburbs? Here are the 5 things you need to know about here. I’ve lived in the Chicago Suburbs my entire life, so I know all of the good, bad, and the ugly about living here. Watch until the end to hear one of the most important things you should know about living in the suburbs.

#1: Every Suburb is different

Chicago Suburbs map

There are almost 200 cities and villages across Illinois that are considered part of the suburbs. The closer to the city you are, the more urban the suburbs seem. Moving further outside the city, the neighborhoods start to reflect the typical suburbia that you see on TV. And once you go even further, you will reach more rural areas of the suburbs. Every suburb has different types of homes and amenities. The property values and taxes can vary greatly from town to town as well. You may find that you can afford a $400,000 home in Oak Lawn, but not in Country Club Hills due to the drastic difference in property taxes.

#2 some highways have toll roads

Some of our highways such as I-355 and I-294 have tolls. This means that you have to pay a fee to drive on them. These tolls cost anywhere between 60 cents and 3 dollars. You usually have to pay to get on the toll road, there may be tolls along the highway, and then sometimes you also have to pay to get off the toll road. You can purchase an iPass that will automatically pay your tolls.  If you have an iPass the cost of your tolls is cut in half, so you only pay 30 cents to a dollar fifty per toll. If you do not have an iPass, you must go online to pay your tolls. In most situations you can take alternate routes to avoid the tolls, but sometimes this can add a lot of time to your trip.

#3 The weather

In Illinois, we joke that we have 12 seasons. Some of these seasons include winter, fool’s spring, second winter, the spring of deception, and well… you get the point. The weather here can be pretty crazy. It could be snowing one day, and then the next day you don’t even need a jacket. A prime example is last year we had a few 80 degree days in October, but a couple years ago it snowed on Halloween. On Memorial Day weekend, sometimes it is blistering hot, sometimes it is cool and rainy, and sometimes it is the perfect combination of sunny and warm. You really don’t know what it will be like until a couple days before. Being a weatherman is the only job where you can be consistently wrong and not lose your job, and we see this often in the suburbs.

#4 Competitive real estate market

Since Covid, the real estate market has still been pretty crazy here. In early 2024 many homes are still selling very quickly and at asking or over asking. Most homes are still getting multiple offers as well. It is the same with the rental market too. There are not many rentals available so landlords have high requirements and often receive 10 or more applications for a property. In the suburbs, most rentals do not allow pets either. It is almost easier to purchase a home than to rent here. Whether you are looking to buy or rent, it is often necessary to be able to see a home as soon as it is listed, because it will most likely move fast.

#5 you need a car to get around

The suburbs are not very walkable, and most of them do not have great public transportation systems. We have the Metra train that will get you back and forth to Chicago, and it does stop in suburbs along the route, but it is not easy to get from town to town, or even around town without a car. We also have buses, but they do not go everywhere or have a great schedule. We do have access to rideshare services like Uber and Lyft, but that can be costly and add up fast. There can also be long wait times. The easiest way to get around the suburbs is by car, and of course its easiest if you have your own car.

If you have any questions about the Chicago Suburbs, feel free to send me an email, give me a call, or send me a text. I’m happy to tell you what you’d like to know about living here!

Angel Kimmel


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