Tag Archives: renting

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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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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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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Wicker Park: The Circle Salon

The best way to get to know a neighborhood is to ask someone who spends a lot of time there, either because they live there or do business there.

Jamie of The Circle Salon in Wicker Park was kind enough to take a few minutes to tell me about why it’s great to live and work in Wicker.

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What is “West Bucktown”?

You may see ads for apartments in “West Bucktown” or “West Wicker Park.”

West Bucktown (and “West Wicker Park” for that matter) have been invented because Bucktown and Wicker Park have seen rent rates rise a lot in the past few years, and the demand has exceeded the supply.  If you see a Bucktown unit listed for less than other units you’ve seen in Bucktown, the most likely reason is because it’s not actually in Bucktown, but it’s close by.

This is Bucktown, West Bucktown, and Humboldt

Both Wicker Park and Bucktown are bound Western to the West and Ashland to the East.

West Bucktown is bound by Fullerton and Armitage to the north and south but it’s as far west as California and goes as far east as Bucktown.

Wicker Park is south of Bucktown, bound by the north and south by North Avenue and Augusta. West of Western below Armitage is Humboldt Park; “West Wicker Park” doesn’t exist. It’s code for Humboldt Park.

There are plenty of walkable areas and neighborhoods in Chicago. If you have questions, feel free to give us a call: (773) 697-5100.

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