Transportation a Key Factor in Chicago Real Estate Value

Being close to public transportation, like the El Train, can greatly impact the value of Chicago real estate.

While the old adage of “location, location, location” still rings true when it comes to Chicago real estate, there’s an another factor at play: transportation, transportation, transportation.

The proximity of a Chicago home or condo to transportation plays a key role when it comes to a property’s desirability and its value. But still, within limits, the closer a home is to transportation, the more value is usually assigned for resale.

Transportation is a hot topic right now, since the City of Chicago announced that it will be bringing Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) to the central loop this year, which will be a new public transportation option for getting around downtown. The system will use dedicated bus lanes with limited stops, which is expected to be faster and more reliable than current buses or train routes.

Transportation Considerations for New Chicago Real Estate Buyers
Public transportation is a subject that often comes up with new clients of mine, particularly younger, first-time buyers. For them, transportation around the city is key, especially for morning and evening commutes. Many buyers want to be within walking distance to an El train, or at a minimum, being near a bus stop that will get them to a train in a short ride.

If a home’s location requires a car to get around from day to day, that’s generally not a plus for real estate in the city. Between traffic and the cost of parking, taking a car into downtown everyday is simple not a feasible option for many. The ease of public transportation eliminates the hassles associated with having and driving a car, so the easier it is for a homeowner to take advantage of it, the better.

A few of my top transportation-friendly areas for Chicago real estate include:

Lake Shore Drive: Not only is this one of the most prestigious blocks for Chicago condos, there are a number of busses that travel right from stops along Lake Shore Drive into downtown. During heavy commute times, many of these run express so you could make it into the heart of the loop in a quick 10-15 minutes.

Lakeview: Many of the El lines converge in Lakeview, making it a short walk to a stop and/or to swap train lines to head in another direction.

Lincoln Park: Like Lakeview, Lincoln Park is a hub for several different train lines at the Fullerton stop, which is an easy jaunt away from condos and luxury homes alike.

Gold Coast: This is a great neighborhood for luxury real estate in Chicago, and provides simple access to downtown via bus or train. It’s also centrally located that much of the Gold Coast neighborhood is walkable into parts of downtown and to other neighborhood features.

Of course, being the right distance from transportation can be a fine line: Having a 5 minute (or less) walk from an El stop is good; but having the red line roar right past your master bedroom window may not be. Still, being steps away from public transportation is still a huge factor for today’s homebuyers, and something worth considering if you’re scouting a site for a new construction property.

For more information on neighborhoods ideal for public transportation, contact me at (312) 498-5080 or email me at

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