How to Look for an Apartment I

Some think looking for an apartment is easy and fun. It is not. The paradox of choice is paralyzing.

As an agent, I have heard this a million times: “Well, we live in [insert neighborhood] now, but we’re open to anywhere, really.”

No. If you’re giving yourself the choice of more than two non-adjacent neighborhoods, you aren’t ready to begin making appointments to see apartments. You are in the swim-bask-imagine stage.

If this seems harsh, it’s because I’ve seen it come full circle many, many times.

Neighborhood is most important. I would suggest adjacent neighborhoods if you can’t find anything in your preferred neighborhood, but don’t look in Rogers Park if you have only lived in Lincoln Park and love it there. Also: Lincoln Square is not near Lincoln Park, or even similar to it.

I would only suggest you look in a neighborhood you’re unfamiliar with if these prime factors below lead you to believe you could be happy living there:

1. where do you work? A long commute decreases happiness. You can’t really escape the awesome convenience of the CTA, so consider: the train (EL) is faster than the bus.

2. do you currently live within a short walk of stuff to do? If you’re used to this, do not underestimate this factor.

3. where do your friends live?

Be specific about what you want, know what’s a deal breaker, and don’t look all over the city because it’s pointless and you might go insane.

How to Look for an Apartment II

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4 thoughts on “How to Look for an Apartment I

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