Really, it’s about time we recognized that Chicago is one of the greatest cities ever. If you’re looking for a place to buy a home, be it a vacation destination or your full-time residence, Chicago might as well be your first choice.

If you’re a longtime Bulls fan, or better yet, a fan of the Bears, you’re already halfway to being considered a Chicago native. But there are other reasons why you might consider a move to the Windy City--even purchasing property. You might crave a real slice of Chicago’s deep dish pies, or you might be looking to work one of the many companies headquartered in the city.

Whatever the reason, you’ll find plenty to love about the Midwest city, from its sterling arts scene and its well-known comedy venues and improv troupes, to its excellent food, drinks, and nightlife. Though you’ll want choose your neighborhood wisely—it’ll soon become your Chicagoan identity—there’s enough to recommend the city to be your home full-time.

There’s no beating Chicago’s sports and culture

Chicago is known for its love of culture, not to mention comedy. Comedic greats such as Tina Fey and Stephen Colbert are alums of Chicago’s Second City comedy school, and famous clubs such as the Laugh Factory draw in comedians and comedy-lovers by the drove.

You’re probably familiar with Chicago’s world-class arts and museums, too. The Art Institute of Chicago and the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art feature incredible works spanning from French Impressionist to special exhibitions. The Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art in particular houses modern work dating from 1945 onwards, showcasing the newest voices of the art world. If you’ve spent a day taking in art and culture, though, be sure to take a beat and experience a little of Chicago’s nightlife. Many of the cocktail bars in the Windy City have been standing since Prohibition (and they’re certainly not losing steam).

And of course, there’s the sports. You’ll find very few cities as dedicated to their teams as Chicago, from the Chicago Cubs, the Bears, the Bulls, or the Blackhawks. Even if you’re undecided on your team, it’s worth your time to hike it out to the iconic Wrigley Field and cheer on the Cubs, or to catch a Bears game at Soldier Field. Trust us—it’s known as one of the best cities for sports for a reason. And who knows, you might find yourself signing on property just down the street.

Chicago’s neighborhoods are up-and-coming

Choosing a neighborhood will be a tricky business in Chicago, if only because the city is a collection of small towns in one. Living in the West Side versus the North Side will determine much of what you do, and, to other Chicagoans, it’ll determine much of who you are. Although some of Chicago’s more popular neighborhoods have steadily increased in price, other neighborhoods remain affordable and comfortable.

Neighborhoods like West Loop, Printers Row and Edison Park tout affordability and, of course, proximity to Chicago landmarks, great food, and even better entertainment.

It’s one of the most beautiful cities in the nation

Forget Central Park. Millennium Park, Lake Michigan and some of the most beautiful architecture in U.S. is all we really need to point out. The Chicago skyline is beyond compare, with landmarks such as the Tribune Tower and the Wrigley Building. Many of its buildings hearken back to a different time, providing a look into the Chicago of the past—look no further the Chicago Theater for a little of what the ‘20s and ‘30s looked like.

You might already be a little blown away by the sights of State Street, but of course the real sight is “the Bean,” or the Cloud Gate in Millennium Park. If you’re interested in the city’s architecture and public art, the Chicago Architecture Foundation offers events and tours taking you to some of the city’s most iconic structures—even giving you a look inside.

It’s more affordable than East or West Coast cities

If Los Angeles or New York at one point crossed your mind, you were probably put off by the soaring housing prices and overall lack of affordability. Coastal cities still hold some of the public imagination, but these days, Southern and Midwest cities have young professionals and families moving en masse.

Chicago’s got all of the big city amenities with less of the big city price tags. Although Chicago’s sales taxes remains relatively high, the city increased minimum wages in 2015, and many houses in the area remain affordable.

Midwestern friendliness is alive and well

Don’t let the city’s cold weather deter you--there’s nothing chilly about the Midwest, at least when it comes to its people. Though many people identify strongly with their neighborhood, Chicagoans are a famously friendly bunch. Even if you’re a new face, you’re sure to get a smile and a warm welcome (especially in the winter!)