It can be disorienting to move. Here’re a few tips on how to read listings:
-In Chicago, most listings don’t mention appliances. This is because appliances stay in the unit for the next tenant to use. In the some areas of California, tenants must bring their own appliances from apartment to apartment. Be glad we’re in Illinios.
-Even if the ad doesn’t mention them, the landlord is responsible for water, sewage, and trash removal.
-If a client is looking for a newer building, utilities are almost never included in the rental price. If heat is included, that usually means an older building with radiator heat- no granite and stainless steel. The exception to this is a high rise. I’m guessing it would be too much of a hassle to bill everyone separately for their energy, so the landlord just includes average usage with the rent price.
Being unfamiliar with the area can make decisions about where to live very difficult. Some clients are afraid to narrow their search because they don’t want to rule out anything just because they don’t know what’s normal. Here’s an example of some bad rental advice. When I have a client moving from out of state, it’s my job to make them comfortable with what kinds of apartments they’ll find in this city. One guy got so comfortable he started telling me about his surgery for his dangling uvula, which was both horrifying and fascinating. (Meeting people with interesting stories is a definite perk to the job!)
He also told me that he liked hardwood floors, preferred to ride the EL to work, and didn’t have pets. I found him and his no longer dangling uvula a nice gut rehabbed place in Logan Square.
If you have any more questions about the rental process or would like to get started with your search, contact me.