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Old 02-18-2008, 02:29 PM
 
Location: Chicago, IL
190 posts, read 982,069 times
Reputation: 60

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A while back someone had mentioned that anything west of Wells Street on the North Side of the River was not so great, specifically citing the Cabrini-Green Houses. Do the majority of you guys agree with this?

I'm moving to Chicago in a few months and have been looking at apartments in River North as well as in other areas. I found a couple of seemingly good deals in what the real estate agent says is "River North," specifically places on Kingsbury and Superior or Ontario (in that corner North of the Chicago River and just East of its North Branch).

Oh, and just a question about real estate agent fees... Do they generally charge fees for apartment hunting in Chicago? In New York City the typical agent's fee is three months' rent. In Boston it's one month's rent. I've heard in Chicago there is no such thing.

Thanks. I'll be sure to start contributing once I move to Chicago. For now, I've been trying to contribute over in the NYC forum.
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Old 02-18-2008, 02:41 PM
 
Location: chicago
391 posts, read 1,302,847 times
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Apartment finders don't charge you here, they charge the apartment complexes.

As for river north quetions I don't know.
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Old 02-18-2008, 03:39 PM
 
11,975 posts, read 31,779,208 times
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I wouldn't say that being west of Wells north of the river is a big deal... Honestly, as long as you are a few blocks from Cabrini, you'll be O.K. Just find it on Google Earth and stay at least a few blocks away. And realize that there are a bunch of low-rise townhomes in Cabrini Green that are just as bad as the high-rise stuff.

Cabrini isn't nearly as scary as it used to be. It's mostly gone now, and new condos and townhomes are going up literally across the street. But I would still keep a little buffer zone if I were you. Most of Cabrini is in the area bounded by Chicago Avenue to the south, Kingsbury to the west, Clybourn to the north/east, and Orleans to the east. Give yourself a few blocks in any direction from there and you'll be fine.
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Old 02-18-2008, 03:49 PM
 
Location: Chicago, IL
190 posts, read 982,069 times
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Funny. Sort of reminds me of Philadelphia. It's amazing how those 2 or 3 blocks actually help in keeping some of the bad elements away.
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Old 02-18-2008, 04:26 PM
 
52 posts, read 202,917 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dragoro View Post
Apartment finders don't charge you here, they charge the apartment complexes.

As for river north quetions I don't know.
How does that work that they charge the complex?
Sounds like quite a strange system.
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Old 02-18-2008, 04:30 PM
 
11,975 posts, read 31,779,208 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chopsky View Post
How does that work that they charge the complex?
Sounds like quite a strange system.
They function to find landlords paying tenants. Instead of being an apartment-finding service for apartment seekers, they are actually a tenant-finding service for paying landlords. If you are trying to find a place, they don't work in your interest. They work in the interest of pleasing the landlords who are their real clients. So, for instance, they may tell you that an apartment in Ravenswood is in "Wrigleyville" (like "Apartment People" did to a friend of mine about ten years ago). Or they will consistently find places with rents that are just a little bit higher than you could find on the market if you looked yourself (has happened to me). Don't trust 'em!

I've saved thousands of dollars over the years by avoiding these apartment finding services. They prey on people who aren't familiar with Chicago. My advice is to find someone who IS familiar with different neighborhoods, walk around with them in areas you find desirable, and take down phone numbers from "For Rent" signs. I've lived in some really nice apartments with really low rents using this approach. It's time-consuming though.
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Old 02-18-2008, 05:58 PM
 
Location: Tower Grove East, St. Louis, MO
12,063 posts, read 31,613,768 times
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I can't imagine paying three month's rent to anyone... yet another reason New York is not the place for me.
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Old 02-18-2008, 07:07 PM
 
Location: Chicago, IL
190 posts, read 982,069 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aragx6 View Post
I can't imagine paying three month's rent to anyone... yet another reason New York is not the place for me.
Well it's a fairly competitive rental market in New York. A studio in a certain area of Manhattan could run you nearly $3,000 a month, and believe me, there's a line of people in the lobby waiting for you to give it up.

It's actually quite sad.

In New York there are similar apartment finder scams where they'll take a fee from you up-front (usually about $800-$1,000, which of course is a steal compared to three months' rent) and promise to find you a "great apartment." They lure you in with ads of apartments that are just outta this world. Like a three bedroom in a desirable neighborhood for $2,000. Seems incredible yet reasonable to most renters, but the apartment doesn't exist and they just made off with your money.

Anyway I'm working with a lady who's part of Century 21. Are these any more legitimate than the apartment finder services?
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Old 02-18-2008, 07:09 PM
 
Location: chicago
391 posts, read 1,302,847 times
Reputation: 52
The company apartment guys did a great job for me. I'd of propably ended up with a worse deal if I had did it on my own.
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Old 02-18-2008, 11:47 PM
 
Location: Chicago
15,586 posts, read 27,600,467 times
Reputation: 1761
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lookout Kid View Post
I wouldn't say that being west of Wells north of the river is a big deal... Honestly, as long as you are a few blocks from Cabrini, you'll be O.K. Just find it on Google Earth and stay at least a few blocks away. And realize that there are a bunch of low-rise townhomes in Cabrini Green that are just as bad as the high-rise stuff.

Cabrini isn't nearly as scary as it used to be. It's mostly gone now, and new condos and townhomes are going up literally across the street. But I would still keep a little buffer zone if I were you. Most of Cabrini is in the area bounded by Chicago Avenue to the south, Kingsbury to the west, Clybourn to the north/east, and Orleans to the east. Give yourself a few blocks in any direction from there and you'll be fine.
Cabrini Green is not almost gone. About 5000 residents still inhabit its buildings compared to its peak of about 15000 and average of about 10000-12000. Give it another 5 years before all the old buildings are gone. But some those former residents will still be around (and are) in the area in "mixed income" developments.

"A total of 79 families will have the chance to move out of Cabrini-Green and move in there - next to someone who bought one of the brand-new homes at market rate. A three-bedroom, top-of-the-line town home like that costs nearly $500,000. But an identical unit next door could be reserved for a Cabrini-Green family, whose rent is subsidized by the government. "

20% of the new units must be built as public housing

Tearing Down Cabrini-Green, Cabrini-Green Is Gone. Will The Replacement Work? - CBS News
CHANGE - Chicago Housing Authority | Housing Developments | Family Developments | Cabrini-Green Homes
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