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Old 07-11-2007, 09:10 AM
 
Location: Indian Land, SC
319 posts, read 1,209,186 times
Reputation: 75

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can someone who has used apartment finders (chicago apt. finders, apartment people, etc) please share his/her experience?

i'm looking at apartments with both this weekend and hoping to find some more gems on craigs list too. main reason being that i'm moving from ny and have to get the most out of one weekend and trying to limit my trips at this point.

thanks.
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Old 07-11-2007, 09:52 AM
 
1,464 posts, read 5,237,984 times
Reputation: 408
I would suggest to check out the local newspapers when apartment hunting because many of the little mom and pop owned buildings won\'t be advertised in the big apartment finders simply because it costs too much to do so and sometimes the mom and pop places are the nicest apartments around offering free heat and water. Try looking at the classifieds in The Daily Southtown or Chicago Sun-Times or http://chicagotribune.com
You should be able to find something in there. Happy apartment hunting.
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Old 07-11-2007, 10:17 AM
 
131 posts, read 635,064 times
Reputation: 45
If you're going to go with an Apartment Finder company, go with the North Clybourn Group. I'm not sure what area you're looking to rent in - they only do certain neighborhoods in the city - call them and ask. I know they have a lot in Wicker Park/Bucktown. They found us our apartment... great people. Jennifer was our agents name.

Do NOT go with the Apartment People. Extremely unprofessional in many ways. If you want a place for 1k, you should definitely tell them 800 because they only show places above your rent range. Also, if you have an appt at 2, you will wait until at least 2:30 if not 3 until you actually meet with an agent. Go read some reviews... they are not the best.
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Old 07-11-2007, 11:25 AM
 
Location: Chicago
38,704 posts, read 96,929,138 times
Reputation: 29839
I used Apartment People twice and I didn't have any of the problems mentioned above. As long as you're firm about your needs and your expectations are realistic, they won't try to show you places you're not interested in. But if you tell them you want a two-bedroom in Wrigleyville with gleaming hardwood floors 42" cherry cabinets for $500/mo, they will let you know as politely as they can that you might as well go jump in the lake. And yes, mom-and-pop landlords do use Apartment People (and other rental agencies I presume) though probably less often than not. I was shown plenty of mom-and-pop units during my most recent hunt.
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Old 07-11-2007, 12:23 PM
 
Location: Indian Land, SC
319 posts, read 1,209,186 times
Reputation: 75
thanks...that's what i thought. most of the places i've been emailed this week are small buildings - 3-flat, etc. since we need to make the most of our weekend, it's just easier than making several appointments in one day.
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Old 07-11-2007, 11:02 PM
 
Location: Chicago
2,467 posts, read 11,809,954 times
Reputation: 890
I had the problems that were mentioned above with the apartment people. I tried to use them 2 years in a row (don't ask me why!). The first year, they showed us nothing that met our criteria (which was reasonable and we found through craigslist...for instance, would show us places with no a/c when that was our 1 criteria...just wasted time) and they take multiple applications on 1 apartment, so there is no guarentee that an application=the apartment (even with great credit/history). The second year, I had a 1pm appointment and they told me that they were running 2-3 hours behind. We came back 2 hours later (again, don't ask me why....I blame my roommate ;-) and they showed us only 2 places (we had extremely reasonable requirements), 1 of which we had already seen on craiglist. They got really mad that we had been shown that apartment privately and bitched to us about it for the rest of the time. Needless to say, I left and found something on craigslist! I used the homestead group (Welcome to the Homestead Group) and had better luck. Also, even with the time limit, I wouldn't rule out craiglist. Also try the chicago reader (Chicago Reader Online Features). It will expand your options and you can often get appointment times later/earlier than the search services.
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Old 07-12-2007, 07:44 AM
 
Location: Indian Land, SC
319 posts, read 1,209,186 times
Reputation: 75
do you find that all of these places show the same apartments? like is it really not worthwhile to double up and make appointments with both?

i will check out homestead group. i have found a few from the reader and also craigs list. thanks
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Old 07-12-2007, 08:23 AM
 
Location: Chicago
38,704 posts, read 96,929,138 times
Reputation: 29839
Yep, it's not uncommon for landlords/management companies to have their property listed with more than one rental agency AND have it listed in craigslist and/or Chicago Reader. During my last hunt I was shown the same apartment twice and it would have been shown to me a third time had I not subsequently insisted on getting addresses BEFORE visiting the apartments.
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Old 07-12-2007, 09:08 AM
 
Location: Chicago
2,467 posts, read 11,809,954 times
Reputation: 890
I have had some from craigslist also shown by companies (so yes, I would just keep track of addresses), I just didn't expect the apartment people's bad reaction! I think it's worth it to check out a few companies, as many apartments will only be listed with one or the other.
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