Searching for an apartment in Chicago is a lot of work. Whether you’re a Chicago native or a transplant, the process of finding an apartment in the “Windy City” can be downright stressful.
It doesn’t have to be. Here are some tips that will help you narrow down your apartment search. Follow this quick guide, and you’ll be on your way to finding the right Chicago apartment for you and your lifestyle in no time.
Best Tips for Finding an Apartment in Chicago
Determine Your Budget
The first step to successfully finding an apartment in Chicago is to determine your budget. This will ultimately determine what neighborhoods you’ll want to focus on. According to RentCafe.com, the average apartment rent in Chicago is north of $2,200 / month. However, prices range depending on the neighborhood. For example, an apartment near Chicago’s West Side is going to cost you more than an apartment located in Lakeview. A good rule of thumb to remember when determining your rental budget is that you shouldn’t spend more than 30% of your monthly income on rent fees. Once you decide on a budget, you can explore different areas that are within your desired price range.
Choose Your Neighborhood
The next step is to determine which Chicago neighborhood you’d like to call home. To make right decision, ask yourself some questions about what you’re looking for in a neighborhood. Do you want to be close to party spots, or would you prefer a quiet area? How close do you want to be to the city’s best upscale shopping options or entertainment venues? How about parks and outdoor spaces? Once you can answer these questions, you’ll have a better idea of what neighborhoods you should be scoping out for an apartment. Lakeview is just one neighborhood option that offers great food and drink options close to affordable apartment buildings. For example, PPM’s Oakdale Street apartments offer lots of great studio options at an affordable price point.
Consider Your Commute
Your commute is another important factor that should influence your renting decisions. Life is stressful enough, and the last thing you need is tough commute. Depending on where you work, you’ll want to choose an apartment that is either close to where your office is located or a spot that’s near public transportation. For example, if you work in the Loop, the Gold Coast neighborhood may be a good option due to the close proximity to the area.
Decide What Size Apartment to Rent
Finally, you’ll need to decide what size apartment you’d like to rent. If you’re living on your own, you’ll most likely want to choose between a studio or a one-bedroom apartment, unless you have a lot of stuff and feel like you need more space. If you’re planning on living with roommates, you’ll want at least a two-bedroom apartment. For couples, a one-bedroom apartment may be fine, but many prefer the extra space that a two-bedroom provides.
If you’re interested in some additional help with deciding what size apartment is right for you, check out our post on studios vs. one-bedroom apartments and one-bedrooms vs. two-bedroom apartments.
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