Is Aurora A Suburb of Chicago?

For those exploring real estate options in the Chicago area, defining Aurora can be a real conundrum. It’s hard to tell if it’s a city or suburb, and that simple problem tends to create confusion, but fortunately, it’s easy to answer the questions about Aurora’s relationship to the Windy City.

Is Aurora a Suburb of Chicago? Yes, Aurora Illinois is one of the Chicago suburbs along with many others in the Chicago metro area. It’s also a separate city in its own right, but Aurora is normally considered one of the best Chicago suburbs.

But there’s more you should know about Aurora from a real estate perspective, so let’s explore. We’ll start with some of the advantages Aurora offers, then deal with some of the tradeoffs. After that, we’ll sum up to give you a clearer picture of what you’re looking at if you’re exploring housing options in Aurora.

Aurora Advantages

aurora downtown

The good news about Aurora is that it offers reasonable proximity to Chicago, especially if you work in the Windy City or need to spend a great deal of time there. It’s about 50 miles away from Chicago, and it’s considered a far western suburb.

Accessibility is another advantage Aurora offers. For commuters, it can be reached via five interchanges on the East/West Tollway Corridor. There are also two Metro stations for commuters, so there are plenty of options.

But that’s not all. If your idea of a great location is one where you can live out your version of the American dream, there’s a good chance Aurora is your go-to destination. The city’s claim to fame is that it’s been named the Best City in the US to Live the American Dream, although that definition will obviously vary from person to person, especially these days with so many things in flux.

Background-wise, Aurora got its start as a blue-collar town. It used to be a manufacturing center, and Aurora also became a railroad town in the late 19th century. The closing of many factories in the 1980s hit the town hard, but today Aurora is a thriving, diverse town with a significant minority presence.

The town now leans liberal now, with a densely-populated suburban feel, with a lot of families and professionals, and Aurora is full of parks and coffee shops, not to mention views of the Fox River and attractions located close to that body of water.

The job market is considered strong in Aurora, and many manufacturers maintain a presence there. It’s actually the second-largest city in Illinois, so the partial urban flavor isn’t exactly surprising.

One of the most attractive things about Aurora is its affordability when it comes to finding a home. Before the pandemic, the average value of a home was around $200K, which explains why it’s been such a draw for young professionals looking to start and raise a family.

The crime rate is also relatively low there, especially compared to current conditions in Chicago, and the crime rate in Aurora has actually been going down for the last few years.

While Aurora is generally considered one of the best Chicago suburbs to live in, there are disadvantages, so let’s explore those.

Market Research

Aurora, Illinois Market Report

Includes average property values, inventory, market changes, and demographic data.

Homes for sale in Aurora

 Aurora Disadvantages

The tradeoff for low housing costs in Aurora is a relatively high cost of living. This is in part due to the growth the city has been experiencing, but the real issue with the cost of living in the Illinois tax system.

Simply put, Illinois is one of the most expensive states to live in in the country. Illinois has the highest property tax rate in the country at well over two percent, so that should be factored into any Aurora housing or cost of living estimates.

But the tax system is surprisingly friendly to seniors. Remarkably, all residents above 65 are exempt from paying taxes, and almost all retirement income is tax-free, including social security, military benefits, pensions, and 401Ks.

The final disadvantage of living in Aurora is the climate, which features some nasty extremes. Like Chicago, Aurora gets plenty of snow, including blizzards, and bitter cold is a staple of winter as well. On the other end of the thermometer, heat waves that feature high humidity and temps in the 90s are a summer stable, too.

But those disadvantages are considered relatively minor by those who live there, so if you’re intrigued by the idea of living in a safe, thriving city close to Chicago, Aurora definitely deserves some consideration. If you’re interested, check out to view some of our Aurora listings.

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Posted by Rafael Velasco on
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