Things You Should Know Before Moving to Elgin, IL -
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Things You Should Know Before Moving to Elgin, IL

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Located almost 40 miles northwest of Chicago, Elgin is a city that falls into Kane County and Cook County and is a notable place so far as education is concerned, with several well-known educational institutions located within the city limits, like the Elgin Academy.

Elgin often referred to as the "City in the Suburbs" and is a phrase that has also been adopted as the city's motto over the years. It's because Elgin provides many of the amenities that can be offered by a big city, while still maintaining the cozy, small-town feel that is characteristic of many moderately sized Midwestern towns.

Elgin is currently the eighth-largest city in the state of Illinois and has a long tradition of education and innovation that has contributed to the city's rich culture and history that has developed since it was founded in 1835.

This guide will provide you with some helpful tips and information on just about everything you need to know if you're going to be making the move to Elgin. From the city's neighborhoods and school systems to the employment options and recreational activities available within the city, you'll find it all in this guide so that you can go into your move with the knowledge that is needed to make sure everything goes as smoothly as possible.

Elgin Climate

Cold winters and warm summers characterize the humid continental climate of Elgin. Minor fluctuations in temperature, humidity, cloudiness, and wind direction are observed habitually. The spring and fall seasons feature comfortably warm sunny days and a crisp breeze, and are considered a pleasant time to visit Elgin.

The weather in the city is typical of most Midwest cities in this region, and is also influenced by nearby Lake Michigan, which lies to the east of the city and which moderates the temperature and boosts the snowfall for the city significantly during the winter months.

Elgin Neighborhoods

Elgin has been one of the fastest growing cities in Illinois for the better part of the last decade, and has been rapidly expanding. The city stretches parallel to Interstate 90, which runs east-to-west, and the city's Far West Development Strategy is working on constructing over 14,000 homes west of the Randall Road area, towards the western portion of the city. The Elgin Historic District also lies towards the western area of the city beyond the Fox River, which cuts through the city.

Other neighborhoods throughout the city are the Downtown area, which is where most of the major businesses and attractions are located, along with the North East neighborhood, the South West area and the Gifford Park neighborhood. In addition to further expansion that has been taking place on the west side of the city, the downtown Elgin area is also undergoing rapid growth as well, and the area has been attracting developers looking to build in the Downtown neighborhood.

Living Costs in the City

The median family income for the city of Elgin is $71,457, which is slightly lower than the national average, but higher than many Midwestern cities of comparable size, and the median home price was around $140,000 in 2011, significantly lower than the national average, meaning that the housing market in Elgin is still primed for major expansion and continued growth.

The cost of living is fairly low in Elgin, compared to other major cities, especially Chicago, however this is characteristic of many moderately-sized Midwestern cities. When compared to the national average job growth of24.63 percent, Elgin's job market has been undergoing a recent rejuvenation, thanks to the increase in jobs created by the city's westward expansion and by the Downtown area. The fact that the city is only about an hour's drive from Chicago has also helped the job market as well as local businesses. With a job growth rate of 11.44 percent the job growth is slower than the national average, but still trending in the right direction.

Registering Your Car

Upon your arrival in Illinois after moving to the state permanently, you have a total of 30 days to update your registration and have your vehicle registered in the state before you may be required to pay a penalty.

An Illinois Driver's License can be obtained at any Illinois DMV location. The state requires new Illinois residents to update their license from their previous state to an Illinois driver's license within 90 days of moving. If you fail to update your driver's license within this 90-day window, you may have to pay a fine. Also, there is a $10 fee to update your driver's license.

Elgin Moving Resources

Moving and storage companies are ready and willing to help you with your move to Elgin, whether you're moving from out of state or from another county in Illinois. Make sure you get estimates from multiple moving services before you commit to hiring any (at least three estimates). Check back to our guides for tips on how to choose your moving service wisely with important questions to ask, differentiating between types of estimates, and mistakes to avoid. Visit the following pages at to get quotes for the following services:

Elgin Schools

There are four public school districts and 18 private institutions in total in the city of Elgin. Elgin Area District U-46 is the district that serves the majority of Elgin, and it also happens to be the second-largest school district in the state of Illinois. The other three public school districts in Elgin are Community Unit School District 300, Community Unit School District 301 and Community Unit School District 303.

Elgin has a great and illustrious history of education, and one of the city's private schools, Elgin Academy, is the oldest coeducational, non-sectarian college prep school in the Midwest. Elgin High School also boasts some distinguished alum, such five Navy admirals, a Nobel Prize winner, a Pulitzer Prize winner and several notable inventors and pioneers.

When it comes to institutes of higher learning, Elgin is home to several colleges and universities such as Judson University, National Louis University, Providence Baptist College and Elgin Community College, one of the fastest growing community colleges in the state of Illinois.

Elgin Employment

One of the largest employers in the city of Elgin, and perhaps its most significant source of revenue is the Grand Victoria Casino, which is a riverboat casino. Elgin is one of the few cities in Northern Illinois to have a riverboat casino, and it is a major tourist attraction and has been a source of a substantial amount of money for the city since the 1990s.

Other top employers in Elgin are Sherman Hospital, the City of Elgin, and the Elgin School District, among others. The ever-expanding retail sector in the Downtown area of the city is also attracting more and more businesses, which add to the many employment opportunities that the city has to offer, and the other expansion projects currently underway will only add to it in the near future.

Public Transportation

Elgin has an efficient public transportation system with three separate stations on the Metra's Milwaukee District/West Line. Commuters can find daily rail service from the three stations (National Street, Elgin, and Big Timber Road) that will take them to Chicago's Union Station. The STAR Line that Metra has proposed would add a fourth station to the Elgin area, with one being located near the border between Elgin and Bartlett.

Local bus service in the Elgin area is provided by PACE and they operate close to a dozen different routes throughout the city, with service being offered Monday through Saturday. Most routes in the city run every half hour and can be picked up at the Elgin Bus Terminal which is located in Downtown Elgin.

Culture and Contemporary Life

When you move to Elgin, you'll find that there is a certain historic feel to the Downtown area that makes it unique and sets it apart from many similar Midwestern cities. There are a lot of historic buildings in Downtown Elgin that have been renovated and transformed into clubs, bars and restaurants, and this Downtown resurgence has helped to revitalize the local economy after a rough period in the 1980s when the city lost many landmark businesses.

One of the attractions that really helped restore the local economy was the previously mentioned Grand Victoria riverboat casino and it remains one of the biggest tourist attractions in Illinois. For those that want to get in touch with nature, there are a number of great parks in Elgin, including Lords Park, a 112-acre expanse that features the Elgin Public Museum and a host of different wildlife, including a herd of American bison.

The city is home to several golf courses and numerous recreation centers, including the Elgin Sports Complex near the south side of the city with a baseball field, soccer fields and a BMX track. Residents can also visit the city's two nature preserves, the Bluff Spring Fen and Trout Park.

Moving to Elgin

Whatever your reasons for moving to Elgin, whether it be for a change of scenery or for employment, the city beckons you with its charm. The first step in the process of moving to Elgin is choosing a moving company after first checking their BBB ratings, insurance and license. The moving rates are charged by the hour if you are moving within the state boundary, while for a long distance move the charges will depend on the total weight or volume in cubic feet of your belongings. In the latter case, you can ask about a flat rate or any special discounts that are available with the mover.

Robert Moreschi  Posted by Robert Moreschi on May 29, 2013

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