If you want to experience the full American dream, Aurora Illinois is your best bet. Named the biggest small town in Chicago, Aurora has everything you can want in a big city with the perfect small-town vibe. If you’re looking to raise a family or grow individually in a diverse community, Aurora is the place for you.
Before you decide to make the big move to one of Chicago’s highest rated cities, here are five things you need to know about living in Aurora Illinois.
1. The Culture
Let’s begin by examining the amazing culture you find everywhere in Aurora. First of all, the city is known for its landmarks and historical sites. From the Keystone Building to the Healy Chapel and Old Second National Bank, Aurora is a looking glass back to the past. If you’re a history buff, moving here might be the best decision you make.
But Aurora isn’t just a history lovers’ paradise, it has a lot more to offer. Once you move here, you’ll be surprised to see Aurora is like one big family where everyone looks out for everyone.
There are family-friendly, fun places to visit like the Phillips Park Zoo and the Aurora Regional Fire Museum. If you love nature, a favourite spot is the Abbey Farms, a working farm with year-round activities, such as apple and pumpkin picking, which is great fun for the whole family.
However, if you’re the type of person who needs a little alone time, every now and then, Aurora has tons of delicious restaurants, bars and cafes where you can take a break. And if the season is right, you might enjoy Downtown Alive, which is an annual festival where local musicians and artists share their work. No matter your age, Aurora is a place where something is always happening.
Another highlight of Aurora’s flourishing arts scene is Culture Shock, a bookstore that operates as a hub for community programs and entertainment. With events like story time for children and nights full of music by local musicians, this cosy, chic used bookstore is an iconic part of downtown. And I’m not just saying that because I’m a huge bookworm.
We’ve talked about the culture, but of course, everything comes at a cost. So, what’s the cost of living in a place as great as Aurora? You might be surprised to find home ownership ranks higher than renter-occupied homes in the area, which means the city is easy and accessible to people of all kinds.
In a rating system that allocates scores below 100 as having a below average cost of living, and scores above 100, a higher cost of living, Aurora, IL, has a score of 98.7.
The most expensive homes in the area are on the eastern side in the DuPage County area, and the more affordable places are on the west and north sides of the city, as well as east of downtown.
In Aurora, it’s possible to earn enough to afford your dream home. Over the past few years, Aurora has moved up the ranks from 44th spot last year with improved mobility numbers. This means citizens of Aurora have the opportunity to move to higher economic percentiles than the generations before them.
Thanks to the wonderful job opportunities, the median household income is $63,967, according to Data USA, which is more than the median annual income in the U.S, with only 14% of the city’s residents falling below the poverty line.
You should never move without looking at the employment opportunities in the area, and the good news is the job market in Aurora is excellent. The job market has increased by 1.5% and is expected to grow to be 37.4% over the next ten years.
Aurora has a long manufacturing history, and is home to companies such as the Aurora Brewing Company, Caterpillar Inc., National Metalwares, the Chicago Corset Company — and that’s just the beginning. The city also has employment opportunities in areas such as administration, wholesale, and waste management
If you’re the type of person who dreams of becoming the next Hollywood legend, The Hollywood Casino drives much of the job market, while providing tourism for the city with memorabilia from several famous movies.
4. Rules and Regulations
The great thing about Aurora is the crime rate is lower than 43% of cities in the US, making it one of the safest places you can make a home in. Of course, like every other city, Aurora has some areas where organized crime rates are high, but as long as you steer clear of those areas, living here is fantastic. If you don’t want to end up in a neighbourhood where gang activity and poverty related crime rates are high, make sure to do a thorough background check before you sign that lease.
Whether it’s pet laws or property laws, Aurora is very strict about applying rules and regulations, especially in regards to moving services. It is required that all moving companies present a certificate of liability insurance to the building management before they start unloading, to ensure that the company will cover any property damage.
A good moving tip is to make sure if you’re moving into an apartment, to book the elevator and sign up for parking permits so everything is taken care of in advance.
5. Utilities and Opportunities
They don’t call Aurora the city of lights for nothing. With the city’s brilliant infrastructure, there’s nothing you will want once you move here.
The City of Aurora provides water services and garbage collection. You can call the local city office to set up service, and they start billing you bi-weekly. No more forgetting to pay the bills.
Alongside gas and water, you’ll also find many cable, phone and internet options in the city that will keep you connected to the outside world at all times, with no disruptions.
The education level of the city’s residents is substantially higher than a typical U.S. community with more than 30% of adults in Aurora holding at least a bachelor’s degree.
At the highest level of education, there is the Aurora University, and the Regency Beauty Institute, Aurora. The DuPage County and Kane County school systems serve as the school district, and contain a total of 46 excellent public schools.
If you’re in the mood for something fancy, the city has 22 private schools. For students in grades 10-12 wishing to specialize in math and science, there is the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy. Sounds pretty amazing, doesn’t it?
To get to these schools, you need transport, and Aurora has one of the best transport systems in the entire USA. Aurora is accessible by five interchanges on the East/West Tollway corridor. This abundance of highways makes driving to and from the city pretty easy. Rush hour commutes may take longer, but time stuck in traffic isn’t too bad, especially when you compare it to cities like Chicago.
I could write a novel about why we love Aurora and the kind of lifestyle that the city has to offer, but the magic of this city is something that you can only experience once you’re here. And trust me, once you do experience it, you’ll never want to go back!