Students are Back!

Students have a lot on their mind, especially ones new to the city.

Renting a place for the first time in a new city can be stressful and a challenging.

Here are some common problems, and how an agent can help.

1. They don’t know the month they’re moving, or if they’re even moving at all!  They don’t know where to start.

This is how an agent can help: I can let you know when is a better time to move as far as when you’d have more options (September over October) and how far in advance to start looking (about two months). The important thing is to be settled before classes begin.

2. Some students have come to me saying they want to spend “$x/person” but they’re not sure if  their friends will be moving with them. “Studio or three bedroom” is not a number of bedrooms.

This is how an agent can help: I can’t find an apartment that is at the same time a studio and three bedroom. Get non-flaky friends. The positive side to living with others is that the price per person goes down.

3. They don’t know how much they can spend or what they can get for the money.

This is how an agent can help: Thirty percent or less of your income is what you can spend. Start there. And Lincoln Park is more expensive than Rogers Park. Walkable areas always cost more. People underestimate Craig’s List to do a survey of what’s out available.

Finding a place in a new city can be tough. We’re here to help.

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How to Sublet Your Apartment

This isn’t generally something we help with, but I get this question a lot.

Some of my clients are worried about job transfers, learning to hate their roommates, or realizing the neighborhood is all wrong for them.

If any of these things happen, this is the best way to get out of the situation:

1. Read your lease. This is what the standard Chicago lease says:

SUBLET OR ASSIGNMENT: Lessee shall not sublet the premises or any part thereof, nor assign this lease, without obtaining Lessor’s prior written permission to sublet or assign. Lessor shall not unreasonably withhold permission and will accept a reasonable sublease as provided by ordinance.

2. So get permission from your landlord, and find someone decent to take over your part.

3. Make sure you do the security deposit hand off officially. Because you will never see the money again if you don’t. It doesn’t matter how honorable the person is- they will have moved on and so will have you.

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3BR Duplex Up in Bucktown

This is an enormous duplex up (2800 square feet.)

If you need a lot of space and light, this is the place for you. There’s even a garage parking spot included with the rent.

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Bucktown is a great neighborhood, and you’re pleasantly situated next to a park. You can walk to the Metra, Blue Line and 90/94.

Here’re some Bucktown residents, talking about the neighborhood and their business in Bucktown.

And here’s a link to the listing.

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Why Making Appointments “Just to Look” Before You’re Ready to Move is Stupid

People do this because:

1. They like to feel like they’re getting their best for their money.

2. They like going to open houses just to “see what’s out there.”

Don’t do this. Why? Because:

1. Why worry about what you “could have” gotten? You’re not going to get it. It’s like researching  for a vacation you’ll be taking five years from now and expecting rates to stay the same.

2. You can “see what’s out there” by using Craig’s List. Granted, sometimes the information isn’t completely accurate. But you can ascertain the bare facts.

In short, the only thing looking at an apartment is good for is to ‘get a feel’ for the place and confirm what’s in the ad to see if you could live there. And those things don’t matter until you are actually looking for a place to live.

Pinterest for Apartment Hunting

I’ve noticed that lots of people like looking at apartments just for fun. It’s fun to have a vision board of how your new place will look. It’s good to have a point of reference, like bringing a picture when you go to get a hair cut.

So we’re on Pinterest, too. I pin apartments that we have from time to time, but mostly ideas about decoration, cool architecture.



And food and drink.


Follow Me on Pinterest

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OMG GOING FAST!! Why Finding an Apartment Can Be Tough

Last weekend, I had several appointments fall through due to the prospective units being rented before I could even show them. This summer is gearing up to be a tough rental season.

When I can tell my clients like a place, I brace myself for the inevitable question: “Do you know if there’s been a lot of people looking at it?” Which could be code for “How long can we put off making a decision?” Because making a decision about where to live for a year seems hard. And I know that’s the cue to say “OMG GOING FAST!!” but I don’t.

Maybe I should. Because the unit will probably be rented within a few days or even by the next morning, depending.

Here’s why:

1. Management companies can list with a bunch of apartment finding services, who have a bunch of agents. Since sales aren’t as robust as they once were, some Realtors are doing rentals as well. I saw a guy in a nice BMW who was waiting to get keys to show a $900 apartment. Great sales people with mad hustle are in the rental market now more than ever.

2. If an apartment is listed exclusively, Realtors still have to post the listing on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). This means that other Realtors can show those apartments, too. This means lots of showings, and lots of running around, lots of chances to find a perfect match.

Things usually don’t stay on the market long.

So if you see a place that you like, take it.

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Featured Listing Friday: 2BR/2BA Condo across from Douglas Park

Most new construction has a similar layout: open floor plan, island kitchen, long hallway with bedrooms and a balcony in the back.

This unit is a little more special due to some thoughtful considerations in the layout.

The configuration of the master suite allows for a bit of luxury. The large mirrors over the dual vanity face the walk in closet and are open to the bedroom area like a dressing room. The jacuzzi tub, separate shower, and toilet are in a separate attached room.

The laundry room features side by side washer and dryer and is next to a linen closet on steroids.

This unit has lots of light, granite-stainless-hardwood-marble, and includes a parking spot in the gated lot. You’re close to biking lanes, the Pink Line, and the Medical District, not to mention being right across from the park.

Watch the video:

Here’s a link to the listing.

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Featured Listing Friday: Enormous 3BR/2BA in Wrigleyville

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This place has so much space it’s difficult to show in photographs.

Watch the video.

Lots and lots of closet space.

You can walk to groceries, bars and restaurants, then come back to your home on a quiet, tree lined street with easy permit parking.

Here’s a link to the listing.

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Lost in Chicago: Logan Square Blue Line Logan Square

This is the pulsating heart of Logan Square.

Most of these recommendations are within a  five minute walk of one another.

Best Place for Ears: The Whistler has DJs. Not necessarily for dancing, but to facilitate chilling out in an upbeat manner. If you are someone who appreciates a good, thoughtful cocktail, come here.

Ears Honorable Mention: Nothin’ Less Coffee House. They have poetry, jazz, performance art and other events here all the time. (See the video at the bottom of this post.)

Best Place for Eyes: I Am Logan Square has rotating art displays and events. For example, Melissa Stanley of Niche Realty gave a talk “Artist as Landlord” that was interesting and informative.

Eyes Honorable Mention: The Logan Theater. Newly renovated, they screen old classics, like The Warriors and Pee Wee’s Playhouse.

Best Place for Noms: Longman & Eagle. Have the white whiskey flight, everything on the menu, and then pour yourself to bed in one of their boutique hotel rooms.

Noms Honorable Mention: Boulangerie. Bring your iPad and enjoy a croissant or any other of the wonderful freshly baked goods they make. Then go a few doors down for cute toys or to get a mani-pedi.

Best Place after a Long Day: Telegraph has a great font to start off with. The wine is superb, and the service there is as wonderful as a butler: there when you need it, blending into the woodwork when  you don’t. I’m sure the food is also excellent.

Long Day Honorable Mention: The Whirlaway on Fullerton and Kedzie is cash only, as all charming and homey bars should be. They have some nice bottled beers, and a Spanish language exchange meets once per week. Sometimes there’s a trivia night.

Best Place for Brain: Uncharted Books. This place just opened this year, and the decor will make you feel exactly what you want to feel when you walk into a used bookstore: like typewriters might suddenly become relevant again.

Best Place for Coffee: New Wave has great coffee, some bizarre and mismatched furniture, a ton of flyers, and Super Nintendo video games. It’s almost impossible to get a seat here on the weekends. The Caddyshack is a popular sandwich, as is the Flashdance.

Coffee Honorable Mention: Nothin’ Less. Get an Italian soda and a sandwich, sit by the window, and people watch from your comfortable chair. In the video below, Elena of Nothin Less talks about Logan Square.

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Featured Listing Friday: Lofty 2BR with Views and Space

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The pictures speak for themselves, but here’s a link to more information.

This gorgeous 2 bedroom unit has a fitness center and 24 hour doorman.

Garage parking is available.

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