Chicago may have a bad reputation when it comes to crime, but no one can deny that it’s got some great neighborhoods. Choose the right one, and you’ll be blessed with all the benefits of big city living, with precious few of its downsides. The bad news? None of that comes for free. What Chicago’s best neighborhoods lack in gun crime and drug trafficking, they make up for in huge median home values and a cost of living that’ll make your jaw drop. If you dream of consorting with some modern-day Rockefellers, you might want to check out these ten richest neighborhoods in Chicago.
10. Mount Greenwood
Mount Greenwood is blessed with a good selection of amenities, a fine collection of accommodation options, good schools, pretty parks, and some outstanding eateries. Sound like your kind of neighborhood? Then get ready to dig deep…. but not too deep. While the median home value of $224,582 is still around $20,000 higher than the median home value for Illinois, it’s still notably less than it is in some of Chicago’s other richest neighborhoods – something that comes as something of a surprise when you learn that most of the neighborhood’s residents are sitting pretty on a household income of just under $90,000 a year.
9. Near North Side
If you want to live in a safe, pleasant neighborhood with plenty of amenities, green spaces, and recreational opportunities, you’d do well to consider Near North Side. But before you do, take a good, long look at your payslip. To blend in with the rest of the neighborhood’s residents, you’ll need to be earning upwards of $97,000 a year. You’ll also need to be able to take the median home value in your stride – something that may sound easy enough to do, until you learn most single-family homes here sell for a whopping $434,335.
Loop is a neighborhood of 32,384. With a figure that sizeable, it’s fair to assume that not every member of the neighborhood is rolling in cash. However, there are enough that are to put its median household income at an enviable $98,220. As is so often the case, the high incomes go hand in hand with high property prices – if you want to make Loop your next home, expect to part with around $331,150 for a single-family home.
In comparison to some of Chicago’s other richest neighborhoods, a home in Beverly is relatively affordable. Although there’s plenty of million-dollar residences to consider, there are enough options on the lower end of the scale to keep the median home value at a reasonable $289,660. But don’t be fooled. Unless you want to stick out like a sore thumb, you’d better be pulling in a decent income. Most residents here are earning an average household income of $99,102, a figure that easily makes it one of the most exclusive areas in the city.
6. Edison Park
Edison Park is serene, safe, blessed with some great local businesses, plenty of green spaces, and a history that’s among the most distinguished in the city. As you’d expect, none of that comes for free. While the median property price of $345,364 is by no means the highest in the city, you’ll still need to have a serious chat with your bank manager before moving in. Fortunately, you won’t have too many problems in making your mortgage payments (at least if you’re anything like the average Edison Park resident) thanks to a median income that sits just below the $100,000 mark.
5. North Centre
According to Home Snacks, the average household in North Centre is earning the stonking annual income of $99,384. In fairness, they’d need to be – living in North Centre might be nice and lovely and all kinds of wonderful, but it’s certainly not cheap. If you intend to buy a single-family home here, you can expect to come out of the deal $545,871 poorer. Fortunately, the high cost of living is compensated by an equally high standard of living. Lucky residents can expect a score of first-class eateries, chic little boutiques, a tiny unemployment rate, and an even tinier crime rate.
4. Gold Coast
Considering its name, you wouldn’t expect the Gold Coast neighborhood of Chicago to be anything but stinking rich. And indeed, it’s not. The historic district was developed in the 1880s by millionaire Potter Palmer, who kicked things off by building the 42 room, castle-like construction known as Palmer Mansion. Other wealthy Chicagoans followed his example and started flocking to the new neighborhood, quickly turning it into one of the most desirable zip codes in the city. Today, its elite status is still very much intact – if you want to feel at home here, you’d better have a couple of million stashed away in your bank account.
3. Lincoln Park
If one of the richest people in Chicago decides to invest $22 million in building a 7200 square foot mansion in a particular area of the city, you can take it as read that not only is that neighborhood one of the wealthiest in the city, it’s also one of the most desirable. As dreamtown.com writes, that’s exactly what billionaire Joe Mansueto, CEO of Morningstar Inc., proved when he built “Morningstar Mansion” in Lincoln Park. He’s not the first rich man to move into the neighborhood, and he’s unlikely to be the last. As of 2021, the median household income is a whopping $99,720.
According to point2homes.com, the average household in Streeterville is bringing in the very respectable median income of $106,906. As we’ve got no reason to doubt them, we’re going to say that alone is enough to make Streeterville one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in Chicago. Thanks to a median home value of $576,600.00, it’s also one that’s well out of our league.
1. Forest Glen
Forestglenchicago.org describes Forest Glen as “a gem of a neighborhood” that “boasts the convenience of the city with the peacefulness of the suburbs and the neighborliness of the country.” They might be right. But what they’ve neglected to mention is that anyone who chooses to live here should be prepared to spend a big chunk of their income on accommodation. The median home price is a hefty $421,818. Rental properties are few and far between (the community contains just over 500 households, the vast majority of which are single-family homes), and even if you do find one, the monthly rental cost is likely to floor you. Fortunately, most residents are earning enough money ($112,032 per year per household, by the latest reckoning) not to have to worry.