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Old 06-03-2008, 06:04 PM
 
67 posts, read 185,470 times
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Hi, this is my first post....I've learned a lot from this forum, thanks to all who participate.

My daughter is relocating to Chicago from Dallas, starting a new job in the loop in early August, so she will need to find an apartment for August 1. We've been doing the craigslist/Reader thing and she will be flying up this weekend to scout out neighborhoods of interest and narrow down her search to a couple of areas. She then plans to make another trip in early July to actually see apartments and pick one out.

Is the July 4 weekend i.e. Sat/Sun July 5-6 going to be a bad time to look, i.e. are there likely to be problems getting into advertised apts. due to landlords being out of town? If that's the case, would she be better advised to do the apt. finding trip before July 4, i.e. July 2/3, or the following week?

One more question -- what do you typically need to put down on a place to hold it, the full security deposit or something less? Can the hold money be a check (in-state bank) or is cash required? If cash, are there worries about getting ripped off if you are giving it to a private landlord? OK, that was 3 more questions. Thanks in advance.
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Old 06-03-2008, 06:33 PM
 
1,325 posts, read 3,542,056 times
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Private landlords schedules will vary greatly that particular weekend. You asked about July 2/3 vs. the following week. Given those two choices, I would pick the following week. Since July 4th falls on a Friday, most of the holiday "hoopla" will be over by next week and rental offices will be back to normal.

Some landlords are uncomfortable with out of town checks, however, this varies greatly and most will be ok with an instate check. Generally, you put down a full month security deposit and perhaps will even need to go ahead and pay the first months rent (I realize it is a month out, however, some do require that).

Unfortunately, there is just so much variance among requirements of individual landlords and rental management company that it is hard to give a "one size fits all" answer

p.s. If you do pay cash, get a receipt for sure. Actually, you should get a receipt regardless. I would try to avoid cash if possible. Perhaps bring a bunch of travelers checks and use those instead? Many out of towners do that (although some private landlords won't be familiar). However, since your bank is in Illinois I really don't think you will have a problem.

Keep in mind many landlords will want to run a credit report. With larger companies, that sometimes has to be done through their main office and may not happen the same day. Of course, some private landlords don't even bother. You could pull your own credit reports and bring them in hand. That might work for some smaller landlords. Most mega companies will insist on pulling their own report and may charge a fee of 15 to 30 bucks. Some will also want to call references, etc.

Last edited by soulful; 06-03-2008 at 07:05 PM..
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Old 06-03-2008, 07:56 PM
 
28,393 posts, read 68,085,348 times
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Avoid holiday weekend, even if places are 'open' it is going to be "second string". Traffic could be a hassle too. July 2/3 better bet all around.

As a practical matter, open an account with Chase if you don't already have one, national bank HUGE Chicago presence, no worries. Daughter can get bonuses (like an iPod or something) for "bank at work" and other new account incentives.

Credit report for people transfering with a corporate-type job and/or parents to "back stop" 'em is not really going to be a big factor. Plan an have as much as THREE months rent all at once, for first/last/security deposit. Bigger landlords will have to put this in an intrest bearing account. Some places will take a credit card, but unless you have a big credit limit and/or bonuses I would not recommend that route...
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Old 06-03-2008, 08:37 PM
 
67 posts, read 185,470 times
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Thanks for the advice. We'll definitely stay away from the July 4 weekend for the apartment search.

I noticed that yesterday and today a huge number of new listings for July apartments got posted to craigslist. If next month follows a similar pattern and the "big dump" of August apartment ads occurs on July 1/2, I guess it would be preferable to jump on these July 2/3, rather than wait until the following week and risk losing out on the more desirable ones. Does that make sense?

On the deposit issue, I should have clarified that it's me that has an in-state checking account. My daughter has good credit, but her checking account (WaMu) is at her Texas address. And of course she can't get checks with an Illinois address before making a deposit on an apartment, because she won't have a new address yet. Will there be any problem if I write the deposit check from my account? They'll still be able to verify her credit in her name.

Thanks again.

Last edited by JohnCU; 06-03-2008 at 08:39 PM.. Reason: typo
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Old 06-03-2008, 08:53 PM
 
Location: Chicago
2,467 posts, read 11,130,996 times
Reputation: 851
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnCU View Post
Hi, this is my first post....I've learned a lot from this forum, thanks to all who participate.

My daughter is relocating to Chicago from Dallas, starting a new job in the loop in early August, so she will need to find an apartment for August 1. We've been doing the craigslist/Reader thing and she will be flying up this weekend to scout out neighborhoods of interest and narrow down her search to a couple of areas. She then plans to make another trip in early July to actually see apartments and pick one out.

Is the July 4 weekend i.e. Sat/Sun July 5-6 going to be a bad time to look, i.e. are there likely to be problems getting into advertised apts. due to landlords being out of town? If that's the case, would she be better advised to do the apt. finding trip before July 4, i.e. July 2/3, or the following week?

One more question -- what do you typically need to put down on a place to hold it, the full security deposit or something less? Can the hold money be a check (in-state bank) or is cash required? If cash, are there worries about getting ripped off if you are giving it to a private landlord? OK, that was 3 more questions. Thanks in advance.

First, she can actually look for apartments as of now. Things that are on the market now (even for August), likely won't be in a few week. Checking out areas is one thing, actual apartments is another. (Generally, you look 45-60 days before). Just so you know in case she wants to save herself a trip! I also wouldn't come the weekend of July 4. You may have trouble with private apartments, however, complexes and such will likely still be able to show you. When you go to sign a lease, what is required varies. Generally, it is one month security deposit and I've never had problems with a check, ever (in state vs. out of state, whatever).

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnCU View Post
Thanks for the advice. We'll definitely stay away from the July 4 weekend for the apartment search.

I noticed that yesterday and today a huge number of new listings for July apartments got posted to craigslist. If next month follows a similar pattern and the "big dump" of August apartment ads occurs on July 1/2, I guess it would be preferable to jump on these July 2/3, rather than wait until the following week and risk losing out on the more desirable ones. Does that make sense?

On the deposit issue, I should have clarified that it's me that has an in-state checking account. My daughter has good credit, but her checking account (WaMu) is at her Texas address. And of course she can't get checks with an Illinois address before making a deposit on an apartment, because she won't have a new address yet. Will there be any problem if I write the deposit check from my account? They'll still be able to verify her credit in her name.

Thanks again.
When I first moved to Chicago, my dad paid for my security deposit. I just brought a check from him (signed) and filled out the exact amount. That was also fine. He did co-sign my lease, which they just faxed to him and he faxed it back. Otherwise, she can write it from her account (out of state). That won't be a problem. Also, some private landlords don't even require credit checks, while larger companies often do. She'll be fine!!

Lastly, you can sometimes negotiate the start date for a lease. So, if she sees something that is July 15 for instance, she may be able to negotiate August 1.

Oh, also, I would suggest that she uses an apartment finding service in addition to her own search. They can help you find an apartment quickly. Check out the first post in this forum regarding those companies (they are free!)
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Old 06-03-2008, 09:58 PM
 
1,325 posts, read 3,542,056 times
Reputation: 507
OP. I can't imagine a problem with your writing a check from your account. Good luck with your search
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Old 06-03-2008, 10:14 PM
 
28,393 posts, read 68,085,348 times
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Default Ditto -- WaMu is national in scope too

Quote:
Originally Posted by dsimicata View Post
OP. I can't imagine a problem with your writing a check from your account. Good luck with your search
Anybody could dash over to a WaMu branch with your check if they were paranoid. I was worried you might have a small town bank and with some folks having bad memories of S&L meltdown people like to see something familar on the check instead of of something 'colorful':

Welcome to Hondo National Bank

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Old 06-03-2008, 10:22 PM
 
67 posts, read 185,470 times
Reputation: 23
Thanks for the great info!
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Old 06-04-2008, 05:05 PM
 
67 posts, read 185,470 times
Reputation: 23
Do any of you think the week of June 23 would be significantly better for snagging a good August 1 apartment than the week of June 30? Logistically it would be easier for us to do the trip in conjunction with the holiday weekend (i.e. July 2/3), but if the selection is likely to be better the preceding week, I'd try to work that out.

Thanks again.
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Old 06-04-2008, 05:17 PM
 
28,393 posts, read 68,085,348 times
Reputation: 18201
hard to say -- while college kids are mostly still hanging around I dunno if that becuase their leases end June 30 or if they just love it here so much...

Don't think it would make a big difference...
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