One guy looking for an apartment came to me upset: “GOD! One bedrooms in this city are so overpriced!”
Unfortunately for him, privacy is something a lot of people want. And they’re willing to pay for it.
At the time of writing, the median price of a one bedroom in Wicker Park is about $1200. A two bedroom will run you about $1600. But a 3 bedroom will be about $1800.
So if you’re on your own in a one bedroom, your portion of the rent will be $1200 because you’re paying for all of it. Sharing a two bedroom with a roommate would bring your costs to $800. With two roommates, you’d all be paying $600 per person. Compared with living alone, living with two other people could cut your rent in half.
But having to share a kitchen and living room with another person can be annoying, and you may yearn for privacy. Here’s how you can get privacy but avoid paying more than you want: get a roommate you will never see. Unlike a ghost, you need someone who’ll pay their part of the rent, but never be there. This is called the Chicago Version of Living Alone. Rent a place with a person who travels a lot or works an opposite schedule. (Hint: focus your search in areas within walking distance to a Blue Line stop- that’s where people who need to travel for work prefer to live.) Alternatively, you can find someone who is engaged or close to getting engaged who spends all their time at their significant other’s place. You’ll get all the benefit and luxury of being able to relax in your own space, but pay a smaller portion of the rent than you would to live alone.
And that’s the tricky Chicago Version of Living Alone.
Another option is to be one of those people who works all the time, which is good for two reasons. You’ll never be home being annoyed by your roommate, and with all that working, you’ll have more money. And with that money, you’ll be able to afford your own place.