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Old 06-09-2012, 11:02 PM
 
44 posts, read 78,470 times
Reputation: 35

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Hello,

I'm relocating to Chicago soon and am looking to live in Lakeview, close to the Belmont L station. Anyone have advice on how to look for places to live if I'm from out of state?

The first place I looked was Craigslist... 99% of the ads are listed by different brokers. I also researched online for reputable apartment buildings and I'm curious to know if it's best to get in touch directly with the property management offices for these buildings. Although I have a list already, does anyone know of any other reputable apartment buildings in the Lakeview neighborhood close to Belmont station?

My strategy right now is to look on Craigslist for buildings/places and then contact the property management offices directly for the places that fit my preferences. Is this the right or best way to go about finding an apartment in Chicago? Or should I contact the ad listing directly? Or just use a broker?

Thanks.
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Old 06-10-2012, 07:23 AM
 
91 posts, read 204,963 times
Reputation: 65
Like you, we realized majority of craigslist postings are from brokers. We ended up using chicagoapartmentfinder and saved us time and troubles. The property management pays commission to brokers. Also I found there was not much room for negotiation a few times that we dealt directly with the management. Your experience may differ.
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Old 06-10-2012, 01:34 PM
 
Location: Bay Area
1,490 posts, read 2,521,543 times
Reputation: 789
padmapper.com will help organize craigs listings for you
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Old 06-10-2012, 02:01 PM
 
Location: Chicago, IL
2,186 posts, read 2,751,425 times
Reputation: 1807
Brokers aren't necessarily a bad thing. Many (maybe even most?) apartment owners only go through brokers. Also, they're motivated to help you find what you want, because if they don't, they don't get paid. I've used brokers and have still been able to negotiate with the owner once the broker puts us in touch after approving my application. If a broker won't let you talk to the owner, though, don't use them.
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Old 06-10-2012, 02:09 PM
 
28,461 posts, read 80,377,031 times
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In my experience the best way to get a nice place at a good price is to cut out all the middle men -- walk around the areas you are interested in with a cell phone. Call the people that have signs in the their windows and you you'll save a ton of money. The nicest places don't need any broker...
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Old 06-10-2012, 02:22 PM
 
Location: Chicago, IL
2,186 posts, read 2,751,425 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chet everett View Post
The nicest places don't need any broker...
The nice places don't need brokers to find interested renters, true. They use brokers to find (i.e. screen for) the right interested renters. Many landlords will do this themselves, but many will not. Some would rather hire someone to list, show, do credit checks, background checks, etc.
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Old 06-10-2012, 05:12 PM
 
Location: Upper West Side, Manhattan, NYC
15,335 posts, read 22,108,668 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigCityLittleMan View Post
Hello,

I'm relocating to Chicago soon and am looking to live in Lakeview, close to the Belmont L station. Anyone have advice on how to look for places to live if I'm from out of state?

The first place I looked was Craigslist... 99% of the ads are listed by different brokers. I also researched online for reputable apartment buildings and I'm curious to know if it's best to get in touch directly with the property management offices for these buildings. Although I have a list already, does anyone know of any other reputable apartment buildings in the Lakeview neighborhood close to Belmont station?

My strategy right now is to look on Craigslist for buildings/places and then contact the property management offices directly for the places that fit my preferences. Is this the right or best way to go about finding an apartment in Chicago? Or should I contact the ad listing directly? Or just use a broker?

Thanks.
Any half way respecting place in the city is going to have ads on Rent.com or something similar (good thing with rent.com is a number of places you can get a $100 gift card for signing a lease with them if you found them on Rent..I did that. Not bad). If you want to do research yourself, i.e. find a place that matches your criteria and look up what places are nearby and what not, then yeah.

I would start with that, or if you want an agent, you could do Chicago Apartment Finders which I hear is good. A GOOD agent can key you in on what you want because they know the area (I had an agent once, but he was only concerned with making me sign at the most expensive places...he wasn't part of CAF though).
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Old 06-10-2012, 08:21 PM
 
Location: Denver, CO
51 posts, read 150,440 times
Reputation: 81
When I moved here from out of state, I used Apartment People (the Lakeview office). One of the agents drove me around for several hours, showing me the different neighborhoods and types of apartments that were available in my price point (high rises, courtyard styles, two-flats, etc.). It was a free service to me, and it worked out really well. If you already know the neighborhood you'd like to live in, you'll have it much easier.
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Old 06-10-2012, 09:11 PM
 
Location: Bay Area
1,490 posts, read 2,521,543 times
Reputation: 789
Quote:
Originally Posted by Plzeň View Post
The nice places don't need brokers to find interested renters, true. They use brokers to find (i.e. screen for) the right interested renters. Many landlords will do this themselves, but many will not. Some would rather hire someone to list, show, do credit checks, background checks, etc.
They charge a one months fee to do something that costs $25 and 45 minutes of time. Not a bad gig.
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Old 06-11-2012, 09:37 AM
 
Location: Chicago, IL
2,186 posts, read 2,751,425 times
Reputation: 1807
Quote:
Originally Posted by rparz View Post
They charge a one months fee to do something that costs $25 and 45 minutes of time.
Multiplied by the 20 or more people who might be interested in the place.
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