Living in Chicago on an RN salary

  1. Hi,

    I am think of moving to Chicago next year and was just wondering if one can live/afford to live in Chicago on an RN salary. I would like to own a condo within the city and was wondering if that possible.

    I am living in the San Francisco/Bay Area now. I like it here but it is really expensive and I will not beable to afford to by a shack here. Just wondering if I could get some personal experiences. I am a single kids/husband to support if that helps!


    MB rn
  2. Visit Catch-22 RN profile page

    About Catch-22 RN

    Joined: Dec '07; Posts: 10


  3. by   NICU_babyRN
    I live in Chicago. I'm single and have a good size one-bed apt but there's no way I could buy a place unless I didn't have any school loans to pay back. I would also need A REALLY NICE downpayment. I don't need one, so I don't even have a car in the city. I commute to and from the hospital on the train and it's SUPER easy. I am happy to give you more information! Just PM me!
    I can tell you that at Rush University Med. Center the current NEW GRAD starting pay for BSN grads is $25.25 and shall remain that until at least august of 2008.
    Rush also has the highest starting salary in all of the city's hospital. They have tuition reimbursement for new grads.
    I think NWMH has a yearly bonus, but I've heard not many good things about this bonus-not as big as anticipated and so on.

    Hope this helps
  4. by   livingthedream
    Just spoke to HR at UIC and they pay $29.75 an hour or 55k or so a year. From what I have seen, this is the highest, although someone told me that UofC pays up to $36 for new grad - but I did not hear that myself.

    Depending on WHERE You live in the city - you could get a condo if you had a down payment and very little loans....

    Good luck
  5. by   CPD4RN
    Hey! You can own a condo in the city on an RN's salary! If the estimates given above are true and starting salary at those hospitals works out to be about 50k-55k a year and a good rule of thumb is to spend about 3 years salary when buying a home. So that works out to be 150-165k. I looked on and found some options for you. (sorry if this is too forward, but I LOVE looking at real estate, so I figured why not?) I found only a handful of properties in super trendy neighborhoods like Lincoln Park and BoysTown in that price range and each of them needed lots of updates or were only studios. But if you look a little further out (still within in the city limits and close to transportation and those hospitals listed above) In areas like BuckTown and Logan Square you can find AMAZING totally rehabed units (even two bed two bath units) for 140k. That's asking price! Feel free to pm me if you have more questions about which neighborhoods to search in!

    Good Luck!
  6. by   livingthedream
    I agree, you can get a condo for this amount in the city - but you need to take into consideration the location and your comfort level with that location - and also public trans - and public trans depending on the shift that you work.... Good luck - but I love chicago and would always advise people to live here!
  7. by   amj12
    yea u of c pays up to 36/hr but thats by not taking any kind of incentives, so no insurance, holiday, vacation or anything like that
  8. by   healthyhere
    You can soooo get a place. Ofcourse you have to do some good research, put a little time into it but every area has "good deals" if you LOOK.
    As someone else confessed, I too LOVE realestate and make it a point to be familiar with the market in whatever area im living in at the time.
    I currently live on the border of two neighborhoods (Gold Coast/Streeterville) and there is several condo's that you can afford around me.
    The advice i would give you is figure out which place you would ideally be working (or two of the ideal places) and then research the area either near them or easily accessable to them via public transportation (which will save you cash in the long run which you can put towards your monthly mortgage).
    Once you've figured that out, search for condo's! When doing that, after comparing them by price, be sure to compare the monthly fee's and what amenties they cover (utilities, pool, etc etc)

    good luck!! You'll love chicago... Oh and since your from the bay area- you may like my neighborhood cuz you'll be super close to the water (like in SF)
  9. by   oncrn17
    I have a 1 bedroom condo in the South Loop and commute 2 miles to my job downtown. I can travel but bike, bus, walk, or drive, but parking is about $100 a month. It is possible to find a reasonable condo! I used to reverse commute 20 miles each way to my previous job, but with the price of gas, I felt I should take a job closer to home and have never regretted it! Good Luck in your quest.
  10. by   mzjones6
    I'm planning on moving there this fall once I've taken my boards, but as a new grad nurse can I still afford to live in Chicago on a new grad salary?

    Also, how are you dealing with cost of things with the state of the economy right now? Especially when it comes to gas. I'm just concerned that I won't be able to survive on an new nurse's salary with cost of things there.
  11. by   oncrn17
    Some of the nurses who work with me actually live in areas surrounding the downtown area and commute to work via bike, bus, train, or car. The are decent reasonable places to rent or buy in Wicker Park or Bucktown, just to name a few. The Loop, Gold Coast, and Lincoln Park are way to expensive. If you have a car, the surrounding areas are more reasonable and easier to find parking on the street or a lot. Most parking spots in the downtown area range from $25,000 to $55,000 or you can rent a spot for $150 and up. Gas is much pricier in the downtown area, but if I use my car to drive to the outskirts, I can usually save 10-15 cents a gallon. I fill my tank every 6-8 weeks depending on how often I drive. Living in the city makes it easier for me to walk or take the bus/train everywhere for much less. If I was to get rid of my car, I have considered the new car rentals such a Go Car or Zip Car, which includes insurance and several cars to choose from. You can rent by the hour or day or week and just pay for gas and mileage (I think). Lots of the college age kids near me use it as option to drive to their parents or a weekend getaway. Hope this helps a little.
  12. by   mzjones6
    Yes, I do have a car and wanted to keep it even though I plan on living in the city. I know the El is a good way to get around in the city and I've heard of this thing called a Zip Car, which is suppose to be good.

    Thanks for your help, I've heard good things about the Wicker Park area. If you can think of any other decent neighborhoods for a young, single girl, please let me know. Thanks
  13. by   oMerMero
    Check out the Lincoln Square neighborhood. It is a safe area and the brown line runs right through it.
  14. by   chellebelle
    I lived in the South Loop my first year, and while affordable and close to everything, didn't feel safe out at night.

    I moved to Lakeview and would recommend it to anyone. Buses to downtown are at my doorstep, tons of cabs, I'm a block from more stores than you could fit in a mall, and there's 5 or 6 bars less than 5min walking in any direction. You can get a decent one bedroom for $900-1200, depending on the amenities included. Street parking is possible, and I would try it first because rental parking is $150-250/month or $30,000 deeded.

    When I first moved here I sold my car for extra cash while adjusting to city living as a new grad. I have to say I bought a car after my first year here and live having the flexibility. I have friends who've lived here 6-7 years and never bought a car. It's easily a savings of $5,000-$6,000 a year.

    I agree with other posters that you should research the neighborhoods around your top choice hospitals. The culture of the neighborhoods around hospitals is impacted by the high numbers of healthcare professionals in the area (i.e., hospital bars in EVERY neighborhood). Keep in mind that some areas are far safer than others. The City of Chicago website has an excellent crime survellience tool that can show you the prevalence of crime and the type of crime in the neighborhood, right down to the street adress.

    Like these other RNs, I'm slightly crazed about home/rental research. I think you pretty much have to be to find great places to live in the city. PM me if you decide to move to Lakeview!

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