Moving From The City To The Chicago Suburbs

Moving From The City To The Chicago Suburbs

Moving from the City to the Chicago Suburbs – i.e. becoming a “Suburbanite”

Are you thinking of leaving the city, but nervous about where to start?

Well, here at Best Chicago Properties we don’t just specialize in downtown Chicago, but the greater Chicagoland area as a whole. From the heart of the Loop to the furthest Northwest Suburbs, we’ve got you covered.

Which brings me to the purpose of this article: to help YOU navigate the waters of moving, specifically moving from the city to the Chicago suburbs. This can appear to be a big undertaking, but if you educate yourself on the process (READ THIS ARTICLE), and have the right support around you (Best Chicago Properties), this move will be your easiest yet.

Thinking of moving to the Chicago suburbs? Contact Robert Krajecki.

Thinking of moving to the Chicago suburbs? Click my photo to contact me.

Why should I trust this guy?

You’re probably asking yourself, “Who is this Rob guy, and how would he know anything about moving from the city?”

That’s a great question. I’ve been a resident of Chicago and the surrounding area since I was born in ’93 at what used to be Columbus Hospital in Lincoln Park. I grew up in the Northwest suburbs of Bensenville / Elmhurst for the first 18 years of my life.

Then, I decided to go to Loyola University Chicago and moved off campus to the neighborhoods Rogers Park and Edgewater.

Once I graduated, I slowly bounced around the city moving from North to South in the neighborhoods of Lakeview, South Loop, and West Loop. This combined 10 years of living in the city showed me everything that Chicago had to offer.

But there came a time when I, too, was thinking about moving from the city to the Chicago suburbs.

So here I’m sharing some tips based on what I learned in the process.

Determine what you are looking for in a suburban home

Now, this process can be different from person to person, but it’s most important to first determine what you want in your future suburban town.

Here are some of the questions to ask yourself.

Are you:

  • Yearning for more space?
  • Looking for a quieter neighborhood?
  • Interested in good schools?
  • Hoping for a similar nightlife as the city?
  • Wanting easy access to the nearest shopping and restaurants?

All of these are good questions to start asking yourself. Ultimately, what you determine as most important will become the focal point of your home search.

For my wife and I, we wanted to get back to a quiet neighborhood. After doing some research, we ironically decided that my childhood neighborhood was going to be the best fit for us: Bensenville. The town offers large backyards, quiet and wooded neighborhoods, and is within a 10 minutes’ drive to anything we could want.

However, I had a condo in the West Loop that I had to sell before ever considering a move (and needed to sell to afford the next place). If you have a city property that you are looking to sell prior to moving to the suburbs, then it’s important to prepare that current place for the sale.

Preparing your city property for sale (if applicable)

Most sellers begin to overthink at this stage and cause unnecessary stress for themselves. As Realtors, we are often asked, “Should I paint my place?” or “Should I remodel the kitchen and bathrooms?” and my answer is almost always the same…it depends, but probably not.

In today’s current market, buyers want to make their future home their own. What I mean by this is spending money on paint or doing a large remodel isn’t always needed. Whoever buys the place is going to decorate / remodel as they want, not how you THINK it should be. Realtors can’t predict the next buyers’ taste either. Therefore, I recommend that your efforts be spent on cleaning and tidying up the place. More about the selling process.

Making your city property stand out

Think about what the next owner of your place wants to see once it is listed for sale.

They want to see a clean and cozy living space. A space that is free of clutter or garbage. As the seller, you need to help write this narrative.

You want potential buyers to truly picture themselves living in the space as they tour it. This can be accomplished by taking your time cleaning and removing unnecessary items from each space; keep the appearance simple.

My wife and I spent about a month cleaning every surface and removing extra furniture in our place prior to listing it. This is because we knew that the property had to be special; it needed to stick out.

Ask yourself, how do I differentiate my place from all the other properties that the buyers are going to be touring that day or week?

Finding the right brokerage and broker

If the above efforts have been followed closely, then it’s finally time to move forward with listing your property. Woohoo!

But where do you start? You need to find a firm that has your best interest in mind. A firm that has great knowledge of the area. A firm with great reviews.

*Cough* Best Chicago Properties *Cough*

More importantly, you need to find an agent that you trust and enjoy working with. Don’t be scared to pass on working with someone if you don’t feel comfortable with them. Because this agent will be your go-to throughout the process of selling. And if you like them, you should also use them to find your new suburban home.

To help decide who your brokerage and broker will be, ask some important qualifying questions:

  • What is it going to cost to list with the firm? (5-7% is average in IL)
  • What support is the firm going to provide throughout the process?
  • Will you provide me with a Comparative Market Analysis?

A good agent should be able to quickly provide you with the above.

First, they’ll charge you a reasonable amount and ensure that you get the most for your property. Next, they’ll be available whenever you have questions and be able to answer them thoroughly. And finally, they’ll provide you with a CMA. This comparative market analysis will give you a good sense of how much your property is worth and what they will be able to list it for.

At this point, you should be ready to move forward with the listing and start your suburban house hunt.

Listing your city property

Since you already did all the hard work above, the rest is easy.

Your broker will do majority of the heavy lifting; they will help determine a list price, get photos scheduled, write your listing description, and determine the most opportune time to go live. Throughout this process, the most important thing for you to do is to keep your space clean. You put in all that effort to get it ready for the photoshoot, but you’re going to want to make sure that when potential buyers come through, that it looks the same (if not better).

Once you’ve read through the listing draft, you can make suggestions to the agent if you so choose. But just remember, they’re the expert and are here to help you get top dollar. If you give the green light, then the agent will set it live and we are off to the races!

Searching for your new suburban home

Most likely happening at the same time, if not before your listing goes live, you should be searching for your next home.

You’ve already decided above what’s most important to you. In the case of my wife and I, we wanted a quiet neighborhood. But based on how you answered those questions, you have probably picked out a certain area or city.

You’ll want to make sure that your agent also knows this so they can set up an automated MLS search. You can be alerted in real-time as soon as listings go live that match your defined criteria.

With homes still being a hot commodity, we’d recommend having this set to “as soon as the listing goes live” so you can be alerted before most others looking. This also helps you stay ahead of bidding wars. The sooner you get to the listing, the better off you are.

As soon as you see a property that you like, let the agent know. Remember, it’s all about timing.

You’ll want to get in to see the property, and if it checks majority of your boxes, put in an offer. Be patient with this process too.

Some people moving out to the suburbs will want to see 20+ properties, while others are content with just seeing a few. There is no right or wrong here, other than making sure the property fits YOUR needs.

Lean into your agent, and trust their knowledge of the area. Our job is to assist with your home search, so if you have questions about a property, or don’t feel comfortable, please let us know. You need to feel excited about this move to the suburbs, and the only way to do that is to be happy with where you are choosing to call “home”. Learn more about the home buying process.

Moving from the city to the Chicago suburbs: Tips for the Move

The time has come, you’ve done it!

You’ve accepted an offer on your property and are ready to move into your new home in INSERT YOUR SUBURB HERE.

Realistically, all the hard stuff is done. You’ve found a buyer for your place and found your perfect suburban home.

But now you need to get all your things out to the suburbs. This can be a stressful but take your time throughout this process.

My wife and I spent our time leading up to the closing slowly moving things out, but many choose to do it in one fell swoop. Regardless of how you approach this situation, I have two recommendations:

Tip #1: Label Everything – each box should be specifically labelled with its contents

Tip #2: Use Saran Wrap – bigger items that can’t fit into boxes should be heavily wrapped in Saran Wrap to prevent damage

These two pieces of advice above will help you tremendously once you are moved into your new home and getting unpacked. No one wants to be confused about where something is, and no one wants to see damaged items from the move.

While you can rely on friends to help you move, they may not be your friends afterwards!

I’d recommend if you are not taking the slowly-move-out approach, that you hire a highly rated moving company. Like anything else, these companies are professionals when it comes to moving from the city to the Chicago suburbs, so you can trust that you’ll be in good hands. Once again, sometimes leaving it to the experts will help take away much of the stress.

…It’s time to pop that champagne! Because YOU did it, you successfully moved from the city to the Chicago suburbs.

Happy hunting from Best Chicago Properties. Reach out if you have any questions.