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Old 11-06-2007, 07:31 AM
 
15 posts, read 75,680 times
Reputation: 12

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Hello,
My husband and I are moving to Chicago from Southern Indiana. We are working with a short time frame and can only spare one weekend to come up and find an apartment. Becuase of this I am thinking about using one of the apartment finding companies in hopes of seeing many apartments in the areas I'm interested in all in one weekend. I've been warned away from such companies by a few people on Lonely Planet, they've said that those companies only show places that the landlords can't move themselves, but I'm hesitant to believe that. I would like to hear from some people who have used these companies and whether the experience was beneficial or not.

We are also working with a tight budget - $1300 for rent alone on a two bedroom apartment, I've found quite a few on Craigslist and Chicago Reader, but again, trying to see many in one weekend.

The areas we are interested in are:
Logan Square
Bucktown
Wicker Park
Ukrainian Village and East Village (I think these last two are the same, but not sure).

The companies I'm looking at are:
Chicago Apartment Finders
Apartment People
The Homestead Group
North Clybourn Group
My Chicago Flats

If anyone has used any of these companies or would like to recommend one that specializes in my interested areas, I would really appreciate any advice you could give me.
Thanks in advance to all that respond.
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Old 11-06-2007, 07:40 AM
j33
 
4,625 posts, read 13,419,659 times
Reputation: 1718
The Apartment People have been around the longest and have the largest selection of units to choose from. I would go with them.

oh ... and the difference between 'east village' and Ukrainian village' is simply what side of Damen Ave you live on. "East village' was formerly known as 'east Ukrainian village' from what I heard (but this is unverified).
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Old 11-06-2007, 01:19 PM
 
Location: Chicago
2,467 posts, read 11,735,225 times
Reputation: 890
The one problem with the Apartment People is that they are oftentimes running late in their appointments. I tried to use them more than once, and both times they were running hours behind! You can definitly try it because they have a large selection, but I wouldn't focus on that. I used the homestead group and they did a great job. My advice would be to schedule appointments every 45 minutes (or 30 if they are in the same neighborhood) from around 8-12 and then try to make appointments for 2 search companies in the afternoon. Even though I lived in the city, I always found my place in 1 day!
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Old 11-06-2007, 02:48 PM
 
15 posts, read 75,680 times
Reputation: 12
Thanks J33 and Jessiegirl. I'm actually leaning more towards the Homestead Group and My Chicago Flats because they seem to specialize in the areas I'm interested in. Great idea to try to view a few on my own and then meet up with them in the afternoon. I, too, have heard that we need to be prepared to sign for a place that day - which I'm very excited about, I hate the long drawn out apartment searches.
Thanks again,
Carrie
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Old 11-06-2007, 02:54 PM
 
Location: Chicago
2,467 posts, read 11,735,225 times
Reputation: 890
Quote:
Originally Posted by Curry_cap View Post
Thanks J33 and Jessiegirl. I'm actually leaning more towards the Homestead Group and My Chicago Flats because they seem to specialize in the areas I'm interested in. Great idea to try to view a few on my own and then meet up with them in the afternoon. I, too, have heard that we need to be prepared to sign for a place that day - which I'm very excited about, I hate the long drawn out apartment searches.
Thanks again,
Carrie
No problem! It is always stressful, but exciting!!
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Old 11-06-2007, 04:40 PM
 
11,288 posts, read 24,233,700 times
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I liked Homestead, they helped me out once.

Went to Apartment People twice - they were horrible. I've heard that from a lot of people, but we tried them anyway. They all just want to unload bad apartments no matter WHAT. They were showing up 1 bedrooms with no AC or a dishwasher. All we said is we need a two bedroom, AC and dishwasher.

What were they thinking?
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Old 11-06-2007, 05:23 PM
 
356 posts, read 459,604 times
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$1300 doesnt get you much in Chicago-- plus parking will be $150 per car in addition-- might want to re-evaluate--
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Old 11-06-2007, 05:24 PM
j33
 
4,625 posts, read 13,419,659 times
Reputation: 1718
Park on the street. That is what I always did ... 1300 will get you plenty if you aren't hellbent on living in the gold coast. I've been living in Chicago for 12+ years and have had 8 different apartments. Not all of them have been nice, but many of them have, and I've never paid through the nose for them. There are deals to be had if you look, and aren't overly demanding about having every little luxury on the planet.

windy city john - I'm kind of confused on your advice ... where do you live? How long have you lived in Chicago? Because what you are saying doesn't seem to be quite right about the city proper. I did a search just now for wicker park on craiglist, just to double check, and I saw 3 bedrooms for 1300 (and wicker park is expensive).... and yes I checked the addresses to make sure that no humboldt park listings sneaked in there are they so often do.

Chicago60614 - funny, I had that problem with Chicago Apartment Finders. I wanted a two bedroom and they showed me a studio. I went to apartment people and they found me a two bedroom 1/2 a block from the Metra in Ravenswood with central A/C and heat for 950 a month (this was about 5 years ago, so the rent has gone up a bit I'm sure).

Last edited by j33; 11-06-2007 at 05:36 PM..
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Old 11-07-2007, 06:43 AM
 
15 posts, read 75,680 times
Reputation: 12
Hey, thanks again for your responses.
Carrie

Chicago60614 - Thanks for your personal experience. When I called the Apartment People they seemed more interested in where the apartment was vs. what I wanted in an apartment. I don't need much, just two bedrooms and AC, but they didn't even want to hear that! I think I will try the Homestead Group for sure.

Windy City John - Wow! $150 for a parking spot?!?! I haven't seen that yet, the ads I've been looking at are around the $50 range for parking, but I'm more than fine parking in the street. Actually it will be my husband parking since he needs to car for work, I'll be using public trans. And J33 is right, I've found at least 10 - 2 or 3 bedrooms on Craigslist for under $1300, granted they aren't luxury, but I don't need that just yet.

J33 - Thanks again, you've given me quite a bit of hope that I will find something in our price-range that will be nice, maybe not luxury, but nice and that's all I'm asking for right now.
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Old 11-07-2007, 07:42 AM
 
Location: Chicago
2,467 posts, read 11,735,225 times
Reputation: 890
Quote:
Originally Posted by Curry_cap View Post
Hey, thanks again for your responses.
Carrie

Chicago60614 - Thanks for your personal experience. When I called the Apartment People they seemed more interested in where the apartment was vs. what I wanted in an apartment. I don't need much, just two bedrooms and AC, but they didn't even want to hear that! I think I will try the Homestead Group for sure.

Windy City John - Wow! $150 for a parking spot?!?! I haven't seen that yet, the ads I've been looking at are around the $50 range for parking, but I'm more than fine parking in the street. Actually it will be my husband parking since he needs to car for work, I'll be using public trans. And J33 is right, I've found at least 10 - 2 or 3 bedrooms on Craigslist for under $1300, granted they aren't luxury, but I don't need that just yet.

J33 - Thanks again, you've given me quite a bit of hope that I will find something in our price-range that will be nice, maybe not luxury, but nice and that's all I'm asking for right now.


In the neighborhoods you are looking in, you can likely find a place with easy street parking. Just ask the neighbors/people that live in the apartment how it is at night. Also, in those neighborhoods you can definitly find decent places for under $1300! Again, I don't know what neighborhoods Windy City John is referring to, but you have a good price range for those neighborhoods!
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