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Renter's Guide to Aurora
Located only 40 miles west of Chicago, the city of Aurora, Illinois is a suburb of the Windy City and within its Consolidated Metropolitan Statistical Area—one of the world’s largest and most diversified economies, considered one of the fastest growing cities in the country. Its central location means that both the east and west coasts are equally accessible from Chicago’s O’Hare airport, with flights to San Francisco only three-and-a-half hours and to New York just over two hours. Aurora’s weather is typical of the Midwest, where summer months tend to be somewhat hot and humid and winters cold and snowy. Average July temperatures are around 85°F and January temperatures hover around 30°F. It also has the distinction of being rated by career resources website Zippia as the fifth best place in the U.S. to retire.
Aurora, IL Demographics
- Total Population200,660
Female 100,024Male 100,636
- Median Age33.4
Cost of Living in Aurora, IL
Living in Aurora is quite cheap compared to Chicago. Apartments for rent in Aurora cost about 37% less than in Chicago and a meal at any of the mid-range restaurants in Aurora are as low as $47, which is 28% less than Chicago. Aurora is well-served by an excellent regional public transportation system—Pace—which serves the city and the entire metropolitan area with fares in the city at $2 per ride and numerous discounts available. The city is also served by the regional commuter rail line—Metra—conveniently connecting Aurora to downtown Chicago and points in between. There are numerous taxis in Aurora, as well, with rates beginning at $2.50 per mile. Utilities for a 915-square-foot apartment average about $128 per month and Internet service for a month sets you back around $50.
Average Rent in Aurora, IL
- Aurora, IL Average Rental Price, January 2020 $1,313 /mo
Aurora, IL Apartment Rent Ranges
- > $2,0004%
Aurora, IL Rent Trends
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Living in Aurora, IL
One of the best things about living in Aurora is that the cost of living is considerably less than Chicago, but given its proximity, residents get to enjoy all the culture and amenities of its larger neighbor. There are so many great aspects to living in Aurora that it’s hard to identify any negatives, though if there is one it’s the weather which can be a bit uncomfortable in the peak of summer and difficult to travel at the height of winter—typical of midwest weather.
Things to do in Aurora
There are more than plenty of things to do in Aurora. One of the premier attractions is the Paramount Theater, a century-old, fully restored art deco arts and entertainment center. For those who enjoy fun outdoors, there’s Splash Country, one of the largest water parks in the state, and the Fox River Trail, offering 43 miles of incredible cycling, hiking and cross-country skiing trails along the beautiful Fox River. Speaking of outdoors, Phillips Park is a favorite of residents and visitors alike and includes a golf course, a zoo, and a water park. There’s no shortage of shopping opportunities either, with the Chicago Premium Outlet Mall featuring over 140 stores. For those visiting the “City of Lights,” as it’s known, there are ample hotels in Aurora, from the affordable Hampton Inn or Holiday Inn to the luxurious Herrington Inn and Spa—a boutique riverfront hotel only a 10-minute walk from downtown Aurora and all of its restaurants and shops, and a short hop to the Cinemark Tinseltown North Aurora theater with multiple screens and stadium seating.
Employment and Economy
There is certainly no shortage of jobs in Aurora, with a 2015 unemployment rate of 5.1% and the area rate right around 5.5%, due in no small part to the fact that Aurora is right at the border of the Illinois Technology and Research Corridor and the fact that Aurora has a long tradition in the manufacturing industry. Though there are many prominent manufacturers in the city, such as Caterpillar which employs over 3,000 people, the major employers today are in education and public service. The three school districts employ nearly 6,000 people, and the Waubonsee Community College and the City of Aurora employ 1,300 each.
Aurora, IL Households
- Total Number of Households63,204
Family 46,741Non-family 16,463
Children 28,351No Children 34,853
- Average People Per Household3.15
- Median Household Income$69,730
- Median Housing Costs Per Month$1,329
Education in Aurora
Aurora has its share of highly rated public schools such as the Nancy Young and Gwendolyn Brooks elementary schools—both rated a perfect 10 by Great! Schools. Metea Valley and Waubonsie Valley High Schools were also similarly rated. The city itself is served by three school districts, including Aurora Public Schools West Side, Aurora Public Schools East Side, and the Indian Prairie School District, giving the city an ample selection of quality public schools for its residents.
Aurora, IL Education Statistics
- No High School11%
- Some High School33%
- Some College21%
- Associate Degree7%
- Bachelor Degree18%
- Graduate Degree10%
Tips for Renting in Aurora
Anyone seeking out apartments or homes for rent in Aurora can take comfort in knowing that renters are protected under the City of Aurora Building Regulations, which was amended in 2008 and covers landlord-tenant leases, enacted to “protect, preserve, and promote the health, safety, welfare, peace, and quiet of the citizens of the City of Aurora.”
Though the city has only an average walkability score, for those looking to live where most everything is within walking distance, there are communities such as the McCarty Burlington neighborhood, located just east of downtown Aurora in the city’s historic area along the Fox River, where the walkability score is quite high. Also, if you love the outdoors, Aurora is situated in the middle of the Fox River Valley where opportunities to engage with nature abound.
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