The weather may not be cooperating, but spring is in the air. And with spring, comes a forecast of increased Chicago apartment rental searches. If you’re on the hunt for an apartment in one of Chicago’s popular, up-and-coming or charming neighborhoods, we have a couple tips for you to consider.
Choose location wisely
Think about what’s important to you. Is it close proximity to a grocery store? Options for bars and restaurants? Easy access to public transportation? Street parking? Drive or walk around the potential neighborhoods you’re interested in to see what’s around the area. Consider what is available to do on weekday nights/weekends and what your commute to work would be like. It all comes down to preference, but some neighborhoods have more to offer than others. For example, East Lakeview apartments for rent are known to have several neighborhood events throughout the year and CTA bus line options, but very little street parking.
If you can, start looking for an apartment as early as possible. Apartment hunting is time-consuming and between working at your job and spending time with your friends and family, it can be left on the backburner. If that happens, you’ll end up resigning with the current residence you wish to leave, an apartment you don’t like or worse—no place at all. (Mom and Dad, get my old room ready!) If you start looking a few months before your current lease expires, you will have enough time to research and view all the apartments you’re interested in. Spring is a popular time for renters to look for apartments since the weather is nice. During this season there may be more options available in popular neighborhoods and newer buildings, but that also means there’s more opportunity for them to go faster.
Look into amenities
You may pay more in today’s market, but there could be added value incorporated. Are any bills or services included in your rent? Maybe the landlord pays for water, the building offers a fitness center onsite or resident programs are available with discounts to local stores and restaurants in the neighborhood. See if any amenities are included that could boost your rent’s value.
There are advantages and disadvantages to professionally managed communities and single-owner properties. Generally though, professionally managed communities have 24 hour maintenance and modern paying options online, which can be convenient for you if you need something fixed quickly or want to go paperless with rent payments. Single-owner apartments may not be as contemporary, but can have more homely and charming atmospheres than large buildings.
Talk with residents
Speak to current residents who are living in the building you are thinking about renting from. They can give the pros and cons of living in the building and provide feedback about their experience in the neighborhood. Research what people say online about the building and neighborhood as well. Company sites and other rating websites usually have resident feedback available.