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Old 01-19-2013, 07:02 AM
 
4 posts, read 15,734 times
Reputation: 11

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Hey all! My name is Ashley and I currently live in Atlanta. I am moving to Chicago this upcoming summer (July) and have been casually looking at Craigslist for different apartments. A friend of mine (who lives in Chi) referred me to The Apartment People as another option. After reading reviews on Yelp about The Apartment People, I am a little hesitant. Not many positive reviews at all. Most people say "Just do the legwork on your own". My question is, how does one go about doing that? Besides Craigslist, are there any other sites you guys could throw out to help in my research while I'm still in Atlanta? I will not physically be in Chi until July to actually look in person. (I was told apartments are totally competitive now and landlords usually are not willing to "hold" an apartment longer than 15 days. So when I step foot in Chi I should come ready to lease that day.-this was told to me by the rep from The Apartment People) Thanks for ANY help or advice you guys can provide~
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Old 01-19-2013, 01:07 PM
 
Location: Chicago
204 posts, read 834,401 times
Reputation: 225
Besides Craigslist try Padmapper, Domu, Trulia, Zillow, and the Chicago Reader's website. It's a little early to start finding rentals for July, you won't see any postings for July on any of those sites until at least May or June. Using an apartment finding service is great if you don't know the area and have limited time to find a place. Although their listings are limited due to the fact that landlords/property management companies list there properties and the agency gets paid a percentage (usually 1 month's rent) if they rent the place.

As for holding a place for 15 days, I've never heard of landlords in Chicago doing that without a deposit (which you wouldn't get back if you backed out at the last minute). If you haven't found a place by the time you come in July, one of the best ways to find something is to narrow down the areas you want to live in and walk up and down the blocks of those neighborhoods looking for "For Rent" signs.

I'm not a huge fan of the apartment finding services, like Apartment People or Chicago Apartment Finders, as Ive a couple of Bad Experiences with both. Several friends of mine have had good luck with brokers from Prudenial Rubloff's rental division. I would also recommend contacting 2 of the better property management companies that I've rented from: Creative Designs LLC and Andco management. Creative Designs can be hard to get in contact with, but they have some really nice units and keep their buildings well maintained. Andco has a lot of great units too, have good maintenance, but have a pretty stringent credit check.

Good Luck with your search and remember to check out any property management company before you rent from them. I always ask who the management company is then google several of the properties they manage and read the reviews (most places have negative reviews) and I also search to see if there are bedbug problems at the address.
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Old 01-19-2013, 01:20 PM
 
1,236 posts, read 1,600,973 times
Reputation: 973
Quote:
Originally Posted by AshFost View Post
Besides Craigslist, are there any other sites... to help in my research...?
Google search + Chicago apartments = 208,000,000 results.
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Old 01-19-2013, 01:30 PM
 
Location: Chicago
38,704 posts, read 95,293,123 times
Reputation: 29787
I've used Apartment People twice. The two complaints I have are 1) they do not keep their appointment times, keeping you waiting for up to an hour after you arrive; and 2) they try to show you apartments that do not meet your stated criteria be it price range, outside of neighborhoods you have specified, et cetera.

As to the latter, I found that as long as your expectations of what to pay for what size apartment in a particular neighborhood(s) are realistic, you can keep them on task by being firm and saying, "no thanks, I really need to stay within X budget" or "I'm not interested in X neighborhood" et cetera. As for the former... not much you can do except use a different company. But The Apartment People have one of the largest rental inventories in the city, if not the largest.

As for doing the legwork yourself... I don't see any point in it if a rental agent (be they from Apartment People or a different agency) will do it for you at no cost to you, unless they are not producing satisfactory results. Otherwise, they are a huge time saver because they have prearranged access to rental units so they can show you as many units in a day as to can arrange too see yourself in a week. I wouldn't try to do it myself if I were coming in from out of town and had a limited time window to work with.
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Old 01-19-2013, 07:51 PM
 
4 posts, read 15,734 times
Reputation: 11
Thanks guys. Yes, I agree its too early to actually settle on an apartment but I like to have my research done early. (Plus it helps pass the time when it's slow at work :-D ) I did find BJB Properties online. My fiancé's job will be in Lincoln Park so it would be more convenient to live there. Anyone heard anything (pos or neg) about this property management co.?
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Old 01-19-2013, 08:40 PM
 
Location: Chicago
204 posts, read 834,401 times
Reputation: 225
I've never rented from them, but someone I worked with did. She said her building was fine, the maintenance was a little slower, and it was a little overpriced. I took a look at their yelp reviews; they seemed pretty average for a property management company. Most complaints were about slow maintenance, miscommunication during move in/move out, and roaches. All pretty standard stuff for a mid size property management company in a larger city. It seems like their quality could vary from building to building; you could do a lot worse!

Last edited by jgardener; 01-19-2013 at 08:44 PM.. Reason: spelling
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Old 01-20-2013, 10:22 AM
 
4 posts, read 15,734 times
Reputation: 11
Cool. Those are pretty minor complaints. Great! Thanks!
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Old 01-20-2013, 11:23 AM
 
Location: Chicago
16 posts, read 39,009 times
Reputation: 11
I used Lovely: You're Almost Home almost exclusively when I was apartment hunting a few months ago. It places recent craiglist ads in a searchable map form that's very easy to use. I would really only recommend an apartment locator to people who are very short on time. I personally have had several bad experiences with them.
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Old 01-21-2013, 07:17 AM
 
1,210 posts, read 2,851,618 times
Reputation: 649
I've used Apartment People and Chicago Apartment Finders and won't ever again to be honest. It's sort of a scam. They don't really listen to you and just try to shove hard to sell units down your throat.
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Old 01-21-2013, 09:59 AM
 
Location: Chicago
3,313 posts, read 5,901,158 times
Reputation: 3991
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jandur View Post
I've used Apartment People and Chicago Apartment Finders and won't ever again to be honest. It's sort of a scam. They don't really listen to you and just try to shove hard to sell units down your throat.
This 100%. I used the apartment people once and they were rude and awful to me. I feel bad for them though because the agents are 100% commission and they are given a proprietary database that replicates the MLS. The agents try listening to your needs but mostly just show you whatever is available in the neighborhood your looking at.
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