Ask a Mainstreet REALTOR® - Should I Move to Illinois?

Q: Should I move to Illinois? After a year cooped up at home during the coronavirus pandemic, my family is ready to make a change. We want a suburban house where we have room for our kids and pets to run around, and we’d love to be within commuting distance of Chicago. But we also know that people are moving out of Illinois and that it’s a high-tax state. What do I need to know about moving to Illinois

A: I’m so glad to hear that you’re thinking about moving to Illinois! As a long-time resident of the Chicago suburbs myself, I can assure you that there is plenty to love about the area. 

Northern Illinois has fantastic communities within proximity to Chicago proper. The suburbs boast great schools, beautiful parks, entertainment, shopping, transportation and activities. There are numerous benefits that you’ll appreciate whether single or raising a family.

The Chicago Metra commuter train system connects suburbs to the North, West and South of the city with downtown, making it easy to skip the traffic and commute into the city for work or take your family downtown for a day trip. Many of these train stations are in the center of suburban downtowns that still support a thriving mix of local small businesses. A fun outing via train will get you into the city where you can enjoy the culture of museums, the zoo, planetarium and aquarium amongst other great attractions.

Proximity to the city isn’t the only geographic benefit. In the suburbs, you’ll find you’re a short drive from vacation spots across the Midwest, from lakefront resorts to skiing peaks. And from Chicago’s two airports as well as other local nearby airports in Milwaukee and Rockford, it’s possible to get to much of the country in less than a three hour flight. 

Additionally, a home investment in Illinois could really pay off over the coming decades, because of our relative lack of extreme weather compared to other parts of the country. Mainstreet President and CEO John Gormley addressed this in a recent column for Chicago Agent Magazine.

Correspondent and New York Times bestselling author David Pogue has written a book, “How to Prepare for Climate Change: A Practical Guide to Surviving the Chaos.”

A key finding of Pogue’s book is that the Midwest is poised for long-term migration gains. That’s because over the coming decades, people will increasingly move away from the coasts and to the center of the country, where they are safer from extreme weather events like hurricanes and, eventually, rising seas. The Great Lakes region is mentioned specifically as a coming beneficiary of these changing migration patterns.

If you are serious about moving to Illinois, and specifically to the Chicagoland suburbs, start by taking a look at You can filter homes by features, location, price and more and explore available properties. This is a great way to see what your budget could get you in any number of neighborhoods, and start to get a sense of what home features you like if you don’t already know what you’re looking for. 

Even better, when you find a home you like on, it just takes a couple of clicks to reach out to the listing agent with questions or a request to set up a showing. 

So if you’re considering a move to Illinois, I hope we see you here soon! It really is a great place to live.