So you’re considering a move to Chicago during winter and your friends are looking at you funny.
We say don’t mind them, it’s a great decision – just do it!
Chicago has an amazing nightlife, restaurants, parks, arts and culture. Moreover, the city has plenty of super walkable neighborhoods, offers great transportation and much more. You’ve likely seen the articles naming Chicago as one of the best cities in the world. If not, read why Conde Nast has named Chicago the best big city in the US for the past six years.
Clearly Chicago is a phenomenal place to live. But should you delay your move until winter is over? Before you decide, check out our 3 best reasons for relocating to Chicago in winter:
1. Better pricing for buyers
Though winter presents some advantages when it comes to selling a home, the reality is buyers have more leverage.
Winter listings can be more rushed than their other seasonal counterparts. Job transfers, inherited property and other reasons can make a seller more motivated to sell.
For buyers, the best reason for a winter move to Chicago is your increased negotiating power.
Between lower inventory and a smaller pool of buyers, you can (normally) be certain owners aren’t fighting off potential buyers.
In addition, you’ll have an opportunity to experience your new home in Chicago’s harsh winter weather. Take the time to walk each room of the house, condo, loft or townhouse. Feel for any drafts or cold spots. Make sure your prospective home provides the level of warmth and coziness you need. You may not be able to test the AC, but the furnace will definitely get a workout.
2. Better lease terms for renters
If you’re planning to rent, winter in Chicago is often a great time to negotiate a good deal on a lease.
Try for added leverage by offering a longer lease period, like 14-15 months. This way your landlord gets the unit rented in the winter and gets it back in the spring. Often landlords prefer renting in spring as move tenants are looking to move.
The overarching reason to move to Chicago during winter is it’ll be good for your pocketbook.
3. Better deals from moving companies
Moving companies need to keep their teams busy working through the colder months. With a smaller pool of clients in winter, moving companies are more likely work with you to earn your business.
If you’re a tough-as-nails go-getter who don’t need no stinking movers, one of the best reasons for a winter move to Chicago is the experience you’ll share and story you can tell.
Chances are, without movers, you’ll be enlisting the help of friends or family. Moving in winter means your motley crew will be gingerly stepping through snow and slush engaging in impromptu snowball fights.
The crisp weather means your team will stay alert while carrying your favorite stuff from the truck to your new living room.
Then you can enjoy Chicago pizza together. Mmmm pizza.
But you’re not just bonding with the people you know, you’re creating a lasting bond with all the people you’ve yet to meet.
See, Chicagoans have a bizarre relationship with their winters: we bemoan their coming, complain their presence, and then spend the rest of the year talking about it. In fact, it’s not a stretch to say you’re not a true Chicagoan until you’ve hunch-walked through your first “too cold to even snow” day. (Yes, it’s a thing.)
So, come your first day at the office, you’ll be able to jump right in with the lifelong winter warriors with your own stories. You may even impress a few, if your moving story is moving enough.
In Chicago, our energy and tempo closely reflect our seasons.
So, while things don’t completely stop in winter, they certainly do slow down. Real estate, nightlife, construction, sports: everything moves at a reduced pace.
If you’ve decided to go ahead and move to Chicago during winter, read on. These next tips are for you.
Successfully relocating to Chicago in winter
Here are three tips for making your winter move to Chicago a total success.
First, go shopping
If you’re coming from a warm-weather place, you’ll want to buy some great winter gear. One of the best things about living in Chicago is that it’s so walkable. As such, to enjoy walking in the city in winter you’ll need proper gear including a hooded parka, wool hats, gloves, warm socks and thin long underwear for the really cold days. Also buy insulated boots with good traction to manage walking on sidewalks which often have snow and ice.
Layer, layer, layer
Most offices, shops, bars, restaurants and cafes have the heat cranked during the winter months. Layers permit you to stay super comfortable inside or outside.
Embrace the Finnish saying: “There’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing”
Then, get out there
Enjoy Chicago’s many indoor and outdoor activities. A little chill doesn’t stop Chicagoans from getting out and socializing. In fact, winter is the ideal time to enjoy dining out at the city’s amazing restaurants, visiting world-class museums or ice skating at Millennium Park.
And finally, stay positive!
Chicago winters are tough, but Chicago summers are amazing. Remind yourself that summer is worth the wait and just around the corner. And if you move to Chicago in the winter, by summer you’ll be all settled in your new place and have time to get out and enjoy summer in Chicago!
We hope you’ve enjoyed reading about the best reasons for relocating to Chicago in winter. And that you’ll benefit from our tips on how to make the most of it.
If you decide to go ahead and move to Chicago in Winter, we’d be honored to help you buy or lease a warm and cozy place to call home.