Tips on How to Find Apartments in Chicago


Even though searching for an apartment in Chicago is not as bad as it may be in other cities, the process of going through hundreds of ads when finding apartment can be overwhelming. Below, there are some useful tips on how to find a property in Chicago and what to pay attention to when searching for a place to live.

Start Looking At least a Month Before Your Move

Don’t wait until the very last moment to begin your search. It is best if you start looking for your new place of residence at least 30 days before your moving day.

Find the Neighborhood Where You Want to Move

It’s more important to first find the neighborhood where you want to live and only then look for an apartment there. Many people focus on the apartment first and then they end up being in the neighborhood where they’re not happy or where it is dangerous.

Watch Out for Scams

If you have found a condo for $900 a month somewhere close to the city center, you can be sure that it doesn’t exist. If a Chicago apartment sounds too good to be true, it is most likely a scam. Some of the red flags to pay attention to include:

  • Pressure to pay a security deposit
  • Application fee in cash
  • Significantly lower rent compared to similar apartments in the same neighborhood
  • Troubles to verify that the person showing the apartment works for the real estate company that advertises the property

Be cautious of ads posted online that ask you to provide your bank account information before seeing a place or insist on renting the apartment unseen. If you’re looking for an apartment out of the city, ask your friend to check the place for you or hire a reputable agent who will make sure everything is reliable.

Keep in Mind Travel Expenses

If the apartment you have found in Belmont Cragin for $800 a month fits your budget, think about the travel expenses. If you can walk to work, it will save you at least $100 a month, which you can spend on getting out and hanging out in the city.

Getting Help from Realtors

Apartment hunting can be very exhausting. Therefore, when working with realtors, they do the legwork for you. They will send you the listings, take you to show the places, and assist you to negotiate a lease. You can also use free services such as Apartment People and Chicago Apartment Finders.

Know Your Budget

If you are on a budget, don’t neglect studios or one-bedroom/convertible units. You may also want to have in-unit laundry but this is hardly to happen if you’re searching for something cheaper. You must be willing to sacrifice certain things if your budget is tight. If you’re looking for a temporary home, there is no need to worry about. In a year, you will find another place or maybe be ready to purchase a condo.

Make Sure Your Landlord Is Reliable

Even though there is a list of slumlords on Problem Landlords published by the City of Chicago, it contains information only about the worst landlords in the city. Many landlords, which are awful to rent from, are absent from the list. Make sure you search the name of the landlord online and trust your gut instinct.

Things to Know When Moving to Chicago