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Old 03-01-2012, 08:45 AM
 
674 posts, read 1,097,690 times
Reputation: 562

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So I've lived in Chicago 6 years now, had 4 different apartments, and I'd like to live on my own. Usually I've moved during the summer, but I'm trying to move out of my current place this spring. I don't have a lease at my current residence so I have a window of 1-3 months to move out.

I'm trying to get a 1 bedroom in the $800-1000 range. Nothing huge, but living room big enough for couch, TV, and a small desk for days when I work from home. I'm a guy so I don't need a huge bedroom either or massive closet space. Only thing about me is I don't have a car, rely on public trans, and have bad knees so I need to be within 6 blocks of an El train stop.

I really want a place along the blue line (Wicker Park/Bucktown/Logan Square) as it works best for my commute. I had found a place in bucktown for 850 that was huge but the owners gave the apt to a personal friend eventhough I was first in line, filed all the paperwork, and paid them app fee and sec deposit. I was pretty upset when they screwed me but I'm back to looking again.

I've been using padmapper which helps, but it seems like there's few 1 bedroom apts in those areas. I've used an Apartment Finder before but they increase the price and they try to tell me "oh there's no apts in those areas for that price range". They're wrong, I find those apts all the time, they just get taken too quick, usually right before I get a chance to view it. What are some other approaches to getting a head start on finding a 1 bedroom apartment instead of racing the rest of Chicago to view it and apply?

I see some for just above my price range: Would it be worth it to offer a bid for lower than asking rent price?
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Old 03-01-2012, 09:43 AM
 
Location: Wicker Park/East Village area
2,473 posts, read 3,758,924 times
Reputation: 1926
craigslist.
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Old 03-01-2012, 09:46 AM
 
Location: Uptown
1,520 posts, read 2,357,454 times
Reputation: 1236
If possible, walking around is the best way to find cheap apartments. Craigslist is way too flooded with management company and finder spam these days.

Logan will be your best bet, 850 was way too low for a "huge" 1 bdrm that is legitamately in Bucktown or Wicker. Even in the nice parts of Logan that would be low.
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Old 03-01-2012, 09:52 AM
 
13,317 posts, read 15,193,354 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aleking View Post
If possible, walking around is the best way to find cheap apartments. Craigslist is way too flooded with management company and finder spam these days.
This
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Old 03-01-2012, 10:05 AM
 
674 posts, read 1,097,690 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jwaiter View Post
craigslist.
Padmapper = craigslist

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aleking View Post
If possible, walking around is the best way to find cheap apartments. Craigslist is way too flooded with management company and finder spam these days.

Logan will be your best bet, 850 was way too low for a "huge" 1 bdrm that is legitamately in Bucktown or Wicker. Even in the nice parts of Logan that would be low.
I actually said I'm NOT looking for huge, and my range is between $800 - 1000, I just had found a deal on a place in bucktown that I lost out on.

I probably will try to visit the area and look for apartments that way. It's just hard to do sometimes without a car.
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Old 03-01-2012, 10:28 AM
 
Location: Berwyn, IL
2,419 posts, read 5,787,188 times
Reputation: 1126
Walking the streets is the best way to do it, imho. You're budget isn't a constraint at all, so you should be able to find something that fits your needs. Padmapper is what I used to find my current apartment, since it crawls the web looking for listings from select sites.

However, It's true that craigslist is a joke these days due to what Aleking mentioned. I got so frustrated looking for an apartment in Ravenswood last year because all the ads were huge management companies or finders.

In my neighborhood, there are probably a handul of listings that ARE NOT listed on craigslist, and you'd be missing out on a great place. I know you said you have bad knees..maybe you can bicycle around your potential neighborhoods looking?
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Old 03-01-2012, 10:48 AM
 
Location: Chicago, IL
467 posts, read 1,760,207 times
Reputation: 1364
domu.com is a decent site
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Old 03-01-2012, 11:00 AM
 
28,461 posts, read 78,304,104 times
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Until Rahm decides to sell access to the blue light cameras to google so that those genuises can make a buck off selling ads even in areas where landlords have no need to pay for listings I tend to agree that shoeletter and/or rolling slowly through the areas you are interested in has a high degree of sucess at the lower price points.

The real estate office model does add costs to rentals, which is not a big deal for families with children that often are having relo expenses picked up by their employer but it is not a model that tighwad landlords or cheapskate tenants support in the hot areas...
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Old 03-01-2012, 12:31 PM
 
Location: Chicago, IL
725 posts, read 2,833,278 times
Reputation: 590
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chi-turtle View Post
I see some for just above my price range: Would it be worth it to offer a bid for lower than asking rent price?
Probably a better chance in Winter rather than Spring/Summer. Last thing Landlord's want to do is let a unit sit empty during Winter when there isn't a lot of move in/out activity.
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Old 03-01-2012, 12:35 PM
 
Location: Uptown
1,520 posts, read 2,357,454 times
Reputation: 1236
Quote:
Originally Posted by chet everett View Post
Until Rahm decides to sell access to the blue light cameras to google so that those genuises can make a buck off selling ads even in areas where landlords have no need to pay for listings I tend to agree that shoeletter and/or rolling slowly through the areas you are interested in has a high degree of sucess at the lower price points.

The real estate office model does add costs to rentals, which is not a big deal for families with children that often are having relo expenses picked up by their employer but it is not a model that tighwad landlords or cheapskate tenants support in the hot areas...
classic chet but you forgot the obligatory "move to Hinsdale"
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