Are Empty Nesters Enjoying Living in Downtown Chicago?

You’ve undoubtedly heard this bit of housing news: People want to move into the hearts of big cities. They want to walk to restaurants, public transportation, theaters and shops.


This trend, of course, has hit downtown Chicago, too. The city has plenty to offer those who desire the walkable lifestyle. And it’s not just young adults who are moving to downtown neighborhoods. Buyers of all ages, even retirees, are leaving the suburbs and moving to the center of Chicago.


The big question for older buyers who move downtown, though, is this: Once they get to the big city, do they actually enjoy their new lifestyle? A recent feature by the Chicago Tribune says that many of them do.


The Tribune story quotes retirees and older buyers who have moved from the suburbs to the hustle and bustle of downtown Chicago. The buyers interviewed for the story say that they enjoy the excitement of the city. One senior buyer in Chicago’s West Loop neighborhood said that she spends many of her days traveling and exploring the city.


Another older buyer told the Tribune that she can now walk to work because she lives downtown. She no longer has to fight traffic into and out of the city, and that, she says, has enhanced her quality of life.


Of course, even with the headlines stating that more older buyers are moving into urban areas, the majority of repeat home buyers — as the Tribune says, these repeat buyers are more likely to be Gen Xers and Baby Boomers — are moving to the suburbs. Numbers from the National Association of REALTORS® say that 53% of these repeat buyers are buying homes in the suburbs while about 12% are purchasing in urban areas.


Those older adults who do move to the heart of Chicago, though, will be able to walk to the city’s mix of eclectic restaurants, entertainment spots, green spaces and attractions. They can walk to shops and grocery stores. In short, they can take full advantage of the urban lifestyle.


If you’re ready to make that move to urban living, be sure to work with a REALTOR® who knows the city. A REALTOR® can make sure that you don’t overpay for your piece of urban real estate.