10 Apartment Seeking Tips for Chicagoans

Are you ready to pack up that small bedroom dump in that bad neighborhood and move up in the world? Before you sign your name on that dotted line and cough up the security deposit for that shiny new apartment, check out these tips to ensure your next apartment is the perfect place for a new beginning.

1.    Air conditioning: Central air is an often over looked necessity. If your intended apartment doesn’t address A/C in the listing–be sure to enquire about it. If unit doesn’t have central air, ask how many window air conditioners the landlord provides or you need to purchase them yourself.

2.    Water pressure: There’s no reason not to try out the sinks, shower, and toilet when looking at an apartment.

3.    Location: What is the one thing about an apartment you can’t change, the location. There’s a big reason the gut-rehabbed penthouse is so affordable.

4.    Neighborhood Amenities: Take into consideration the parking, laundromat, and grocery stores to make your neighborhood more livable.

5.    Stairs:  How many flights of stairs?  That’s never going to change as long as you have the apartment.  It will always have stairs.  Also, you’re going to have to carry your stuff up those stairs.

6.    Security: Doorman, secured entry, and built-in ADT system aren’t standard for most Chicago apartments. Put your mind to rest by looking around the place and asking yourself: “How easily could someone break in?”

7.    Paint: If you want to paint your walls, ask your landlord, you might have to revert the walls back to eggshell white.

8.    Laundry: Does your unit or building have laundry?  If so, how many units at what price.  Are the machines in good working condition?  All of these will keep you out of the laundromat.

9.    Neighbors: Make sure your neighbors are clean, quiet, and probably non-nocturnal. It will make your life better.

10.    Landlord:  Make sure to ask the landlord questions about how they respond in emergencies and how accessible they are.


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