Chicago, IL, a Midwestern paradise, has risen in popularity for those looking to move to the region. With its views of Lake Michigan, iconic eats like deep-dish pizza and the Chicago dog, and endless ways to spend your time, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that nearly 3 million people live in Chicago. As more people move to Chicago, it’s important to keep in mind that the median home sale price is $345,000 and the average rent price of a 2-bedroom apartment in Chicago is $2,555.
Don’t worry if those numbers don’t fit in your budget – we’ve got options to help you find a home that does. To help you find the right place to live, we’ve gathered a list of the 10 best affordable Chicago suburbs to check out. And they’re all less than 60 minutes away from the city. Whether you’re looking for a new suburb to call home or moving to Illinois, you’ll still be close enough to explore Chicago’s great neighborhoods without the price of living there.
Steger, with a median home sale price of $150,000, comes in at number one on our list of most affordable Chicago suburbs. About 9,000 people live in this suburban area and you’ll only be about 40 minutes away from downtown Chicago. Living in Steger, you can spend time exploring Veterans Memorial Park.
With home prices about $40K more than in Steger, Lansing takes the second spot on our list. About 35 minutes away from downtown Chicago, you’ll be checking out the Art Institute of Chicago in no time. Living in Lansing, make sure to spend the evening at Lan-Oak Park or explore the charming downtown.
Just 30 minutes south of Chicago, you’ll find the suburb of Midlothian. There are plenty of picturesque and outdoorsy activities to take part in when living in Midlothian, such as visiting Midlothian Meadows, Kostner Park, or the Midlothian Country Club. If you find yourself moving to the third most affordable suburb, make sure to check out the many local restaurants for a bite to eat.
#4: Tinley Park
Only a little more expensive than Midlothian is the suburb of Tinley Park. With a population close to 55,000, there’s still plenty to do in this Chicago suburb. Plan to spend the day playing arcade games or mini-golf at Odyssey Fun World. And don’t miss checking out the Tinley Park Community Park for an afternoon picnic.
35 minutes away from downtown Chicago is Monee, another great suburb to consider moving to. Home to 5,000 residents, this affordable town can be a great choice for people looking to remain relatively close to Chicago without paying the price for a home in the city. Living in Monee, you’ll find Monee Reservoir where you can go for a walk or bike along one of the trails, fish, kayak, and canoe, or simply enjoy an afternoon in the sun. Don’t forget to stop by the Nathan Manilow Sculpture Park once living in this awesome suburb.
#6: Crystal Lake
Another well-known Chicago suburb is Crystal Lake, where the median home sale price is about $70K less than in Chicago. Home to roughly 40,000 people, Crystal Lake is a great suburb to consider buying a home or renting an apartment in. From Three Oaks Recreation Area to favorite local restaurants like Portillo’s Hot Dogs, you’ll never tire of exploring this great suburb.
#7: Buffalo Grove
Claiming the seventh spot on our list of affordable Chicago suburbs is Buffalo Grove, which is almost 35 minutes away from the heart of the city. With a population of nearly 40,000, living in Buffalo Grove is a great alternative to Chicago’s hustle and bustle. If you find yourself moving to this suburb, make sure to visit Willow Stream Park where you can find tennis courts, a swimming pool, and picnic spots.
#8: Elk Grove Village (tie)
Living in Chicago, it’s likely that you know of Elk Grove Village. Elk Grove Village ties for the eighth spot with Oak Forest and Cary, but it’s the closest driving distance to Chicago out of the three. About 32,000 people live in Elk Grove Village, so you’ll have a fraction of Chicago’s population while remaining close to the city and its attractions. Add Fountain Square Park, Pirates’ Cove Children’s Theme Park, and Busse Forest Elk Pasture to your list of must-sees once moving to this suburb.
#8: Oak Forest (tie)
Oak Forest is a great place to consider living in that will get you access to downtown Chicago in just about 30 minutes. Close to 26,700 people live in this suburb, but there’s always a local business to support in Oak Forest. Popular things to do in Oak Forest include playing a round of golf at George W. Dunne National Golf Course and seeing all the wildlife at Oak Forest Heritage Preserve.
#8: Cary (tie)
Cary takes the final spot on our list of affordable Chicago suburbs you’ll want to consider moving to. If you’re lucky to avoid traffic, it’ll only take about 55 minutes to drive into Chicago. This suburb has a population of 19,000 residents and is home to The Hollows Conservation Area and Cary-Grove Park. There’s plenty to do on an afternoon or weekend while living in this awesome suburb.
Affordability is based on whether a suburb is less than the median sale price of Chicago and under a 60-minute drive from downtown Chicago. Median home sale price data from the Redfin Data Center during April 2022. Average rental data from Rent.com May 2022. Population data sourced from United States Census Bureau.