Written by: Kate Becker

Even though we believe Des Moines is a great place to live and raise a family, you may be preparing to leave it. Are you changing the elegant colonial and Tudor-style homes built in the early 1900s and quiet neighborhoods for the Windy City? Have you already checked our long distance movers Des Moines? Feel free to do it! So, if you want to live minutes from buzzy downtown, where lofts and condos draw the millennial crowd, read on for our full guide for moving from Des Moines to Chicago.


When it comes to entry-level housing, the Chicago area real estate market has the second-largest supply of starter homes.

A little intro into the Chicago lifestyle

Chicago is a great place to live for those who want an active urban hub without the prices or stress of a bigger city. It is a lot cleaner than New York and more pleasant than Los Angeles. As the largest city in the Midwest, it still has a touch of humbleness in its roots. It offers good jobs and plenty of diversity, as well as some of the best long distance moving companies Chicago. This makes moving from Des Moines to Chicago an attractive option for those looking to relocate. It offers a plethora of attractions and a nice reprieve from the summer heat.

When you look at its towering skyscrapers, as well as its rich cultural landscape, it’s too easy to fall in love with the Windy City! Whether you’re relocating from Des Moines to Chicago with your family or venturing to a new city for a job, here’s some basic knowledge so you can walk into the Windy City with enough preparation.

1. Your neighborhood in Chicago can come to define you.

  • Chicago’s Northern neighborhoods are youthful and desirable. Whether you fantasize about catching a Cubs game in Wrigleyville or boutique shopping in Bucktown and live jazz in Uptown, you’ll always have something to do.
  • The West Side offers a really fun, eclectic vibe. Enjoy the ethnic restaurants and take in the stunning murals, monuments, and churches of Wicker Park.
  • Downtown Chicago is home to all the top tourist attractions. Here you can see the “Bean” at Millennium Park, Buckingham Fountain, the Historic Theatre District as well as art galleries. But you can also visit some hip cocktail lounges or go shopping on Michigan Avenue.
  • Chicago’s South Side boasts a vast selection of cultural and social offerings. From monuments in Bronzeville to the Museum Campus in South Loop to Chinatown’s authentic cuisine, the diversity here will truly amaze you.
Chicago River and buildings

The core of Chicago is in its plentitude of attractive neighborhoods in nine districts — each with their mix of attractions.

2. Renting and home buying after moving to Chicago

Whether you’re looking for a single, temporary apartment or moving with your family once again, it is a good time to rent and buy in Chicago. Its housing market is probably the best bargain in North America right now.

  • The median home value in Chicago is around $230,000 and the median price of homes is currently $320,500.
  • If you plan on renting in Chicago, the median price for a home listing is $1,750 which is slightly over the national average. Still, it is much less than cities like Los Angeles ($3,650) and New York ($2,875). Remember, Chicago offers first-time homebuyers great inventory and good income growth.

3. Owning a car is mostly unnecessary for navigating your everyday life if you’re moving to Chicago.

Chicago is a challenging city for work commuters. The rush hours start at 6:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. However, there’s also good news: the Chicago Transit Authority, or CTA, can get you to just about every corner of the city:

  • Take the L. This is a convenient system of buses and elevated trains known as the “L.” Trains are $2.50 per ride and buses are $2.25.
  • There is also a huge downtown pedestrian walkway system or Pedway. Its underground tunnels and overhead bridges link more than 40 blocks in the Central Business District. It’s a very quick, safe, and convenient way to get around downtown.
  • Biking around town provides more flexibility. But Chicago taxis are also plentiful and most accept credit and debit cards. Nowadays, you have so many smartphone apps available, like Uber and Lyft which can drop you off at your destination for a fraction of the price of a taxi.
  • Parking is very expensive in the city (upwards of $30/hour is not uncommon downtown). Additionally, you may also need a parking permit depending on where you live.

4. After moving from Des Moines to Chicago, the weather will heavily influence your wardrobe, commute, and life.

  • There’s nothing like the cold wind after it whips off a nearby lake and hits a few skyscrapers on the way.
  • It gets cold in Chicago. It gets so cold that Chicago-area schools have been known to close for cold days as much as snow days! That happens because it gets too dangerous for students to go outside. Here are a few ways to prepare for those harsh, subzero winters:
  • Dress appropriately. Make sure you have a heavy coat in your closet after moving from Des Moines to Chicago. Adding a winter that won’t be enough to prepare you for the lake effect snow, or the -10 degree wind chill.
  • Always try to wear several layers of clothing and waterproof boots.
  • Note that roads and sidewalks get slick and icy during Chicago winters, so always beware of the treacherous black ice.
  • Keep the emergency essentials on hand. But our most important advice would be to just prepare for the cold and try to embrace it!
Chicago lake you can enjoy after moving from Des Moines to Chicago

Despite not having access to a coast, the Chicago lakefront is a major part of city life.

Are you ready for moving from Des Moines to Chicago?

Whether you’re making the move from Des Moines to Chicago for business, relocating with your family, or looking for an adventure in a brand-new city, you’ll see that it’s easy to fall in love with Chicago. Contact us to do all the hard parts of moving, so you can submerge in the culture and explore the diversity. You will figure out your favorite authentic Chicago spots in no time.