Is Aurora, IL a Good Place to Live? 10 Pros and Cons to Consider


Whether you’re a young professional looking for apartments for rent in Aurora or a potential homebuyer searching for the perfect house in the city, this Chicago suburb has something to offer everyone. Nonetheless, it’s critical to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of relocating to a new city before taking the leap. In this article, we’ll explore the pros and cons of living in Aurora and help you determine whether or not this city is a good place to live.

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Quick Facts about Aurora

Median home sale price $318,334
Average monthly rent $1,985
Walk Score 40/100
Transit Score 21/100
Bike Score 52/100

1. Pro: Housing is relatively affordable

Compared to many cities in the Chicago area, housing in Aurora is relatively affordable. The median home value in Aurora is around $318,334, which is lower than the median home value in nearby cities like Naperville ($620,000) or Oak Brook ($1,070,004). Additionally, the city offers a range of housing options, including apartments, condos, and single-family homes, which can accommodate a variety of budgets. Overall, for those looking for affordable housing and a reasonable cost of living in the Chicago area, Aurora is definitely worth considering.

2. Con: Socializing opportunities are limited

The city has often been criticized for its lack of nightlife options. Despite being one of the largest cities in the state, the city’s downtown area is relatively quiet after dark, with limited options for entertainment, dining, and socializing. Many residents have expressed disappointment at the lack of bars, clubs, and music venues in the area, which can make it difficult for locals to find engaging social activities. While efforts have been made in recent years to revitalize the downtown area, including new restaurants and cultural events, the nightlife scene in Aurora still falls short compared to nearby cities like Chicago. 

3. Pro: There are excellent schools in Aurora

Aurora, Illinois is home to several great schools that provide students with high-quality educational opportunities. The city is served by four school districts, including Aurora Public Schools District 131, Indian Prairie School District 204, Oswego Community Unit School District 308, and West Aurora School District 129. These districts collectively operate over 70 schools, including elementary, middle, and high schools. Aurora schools are known for their diverse student population and commitment to academic excellence. The city has several specialized programs and schools for gifted and talented students. In addition, Aurora is home to a number of higher education institutions, including Aurora University and Waubonsee Community College.

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4. Con: Aurora’s location makes it prone to flooding

Aurora, Illinois is susceptible to flooding due to its location near the Fox River and various smaller creeks and streams that run throughout the city. The threat of flooding is particularly high during heavy rainstorms, which can overwhelm the area’s drainage systems and cause water levels to rise rapidly. In addition, melting snow and ice during the spring thaw can also contribute to flooding. Over the years, Aurora has experienced several significant floods that have caused damage to homes and businesses and disrupted daily life for residents.

5. Pro: Chicago is just a short drive away from Aurora

One of the major advantages of living in Aurora is its proximity to Chicago. Located just 40 miles west of the city, Aurora provides residents with easy access to all that the Windy City has to offer, including world-class museums, restaurants, and cultural events. For those who work in Chicago, living in Aurora can be a more affordable option than living in the city itself, while still providing access to all the amenities of urban living.

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6. Con: Winters in Aurora can be rough

Aurora experiences harsh winter weather, as is typical for the Midwest. The city sees an average of almost 30 inches of snowfall per year, which can lead to difficult driving conditions and occasional school or business closures. You’ll want to prepare your home for winter as temperatures drop well below freezing, with average lows in the single digits in January and February. 

While the snow and cold can make it difficult to get around, Aurora’s residents are well-prepared for winter weather, with the city’s snow removal crews working diligently to keep the streets clear. Additionally, many of the city’s recreational opportunities, such as ice skating and sledding, are only available during the winter months, giving residents a chance to enjoy the snow and cold in their own way. 

7. Pro: There are plenty of activities for locals to enjoy

Aurora offers residents a wealth of recreational opportunities. The city has several parks, ranging from small neighborhood playgrounds to larger regional parks with sports fields, picnic areas, and nature trails. Some of the most popular parks in Aurora include Phillips Park, which features a golf course, zoo, and aquatic center, and the Fox River Trail, a scenic trail that runs along the Fox River and is perfect for hiking, biking, and jogging. In addition, the city has many community centers and sports complexes, offering a variety of programs and activities for all ages. Whether you enjoy outdoor recreation or indoor activities, Aurora has something to offer for everyone.

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8. Con: Traffic congestion is a common issue

Traffic in Aurora can be challenging at times, particularly during rush hour and peak travel times. As a major city in the Chicago metropolitan area, Aurora is located near several major highways, including I-88 and I-55, which can result in significant traffic congestion on the roads. In addition, the city’s growing population and urban sprawl have led to increased traffic and longer commute times for many residents. While Aurora has implemented some traffic management measures, such as synchronized traffic lights and intersection improvements, traffic congestion remains a significant issue for the community. This can impact the quality of life for residents, making it more challenging to commute to work or travel within the city.

9. Pro: Aurora is filled with historical attractions

Aurora is home to a rich history that is preserved in many historical sites throughout the city. The Tanner House Museum, for example, is a beautifully restored 1857 mansion that offers visitors a glimpse into the life of Aurora’s early settlers. The Aurora Historical Society maintains several other historic buildings and sites, including the David L. Pierce Art and History Center, the G.A.R. Memorial Museum, and the Roundhouse and Locomotive Depot. Additionally, the city’s downtown area features several historic buildings that have been repurposed as restaurants, shops, and other businesses, adding to the area’s charm and character.

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10. Con: Aurora lacks cultural institutions and amenities

Aurora is known for its rich history and beautiful natural landscapes, but it can be said that it lacks cultural amenities when compared to larger cities like Chicago. While Aurora does have some cultural institutions, such as the Aurora Regional Fire Museum and the Paramount Theatre, the overall selection of museums, theaters, and other cultural amenities is relatively limited. This can be a drawback for residents who value access to these types of activities, as they may need to travel to nearby cities to enjoy them.

 

Methodology: The median home sale price and average monthly rental data is from the Redfin Data Center. The Walk Score, Transit Score and Bike Score data is from Walk Score.



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