Live close to downtown and a leading education system in Chicago

When you consider purchasing real estate in Chicago, IL, you want to make sure your new neighborhood is close to the resources you'll use most often. Undergraduate and graduate students may want to look at neighborhoods close to Northwestern University and University of Chicago. These areas offer affordable housing and are both near downtown.

Home values in Chicago may have fallen an additional 2.5 percent in March 2012, according to The S&P/Case-Shiller Index, but investing in property may still be a worthwhile decision to make.

After enrolling in classes at UChicago, located on 5801 South Ellis Avenue, you may want to purchase your first home. Fortunately, you can find a great deal nearby. The neighborhoods of Washington Park and Hyde Park are located in Cook County, where the average real estate sale price is $133,920, ZipDataMaps reports. With the school's campus roughly 8.7 miles from downtown Chicago, getting into the city is easy.

However, Northwestern students may want to buy property near campus in the town of Evanston. The average real estate sale price in this area is $390,907, and the neighborhood is only 14.2 miles from downtown, according to ZipDataMaps.

Moving to Chicago can be an economical decision to make, and investing in a property now may prove to be lucrative down the line.