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Old 04-10-2007, 12:04 AM
 
Location: Chicago, IL
5 posts, read 50,263 times
Reputation: 11

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Hi there,

My husband got a job offer so we are moving to Chicago this summer(July).
I am in charge of looking for apartments (naturally) so, I've literally looked
into all sorts of websites (apartments,com, rent,com, craigslist, chicago reader,
apartmentpeople, apartmentsavvy, etc) and am flooded with
all sorts of options....sigh~

My priority would be to find a place less than 25 minutes of commute
downtown(Water Tower), near Red Line. Yes, like any other newcomers,
I am looking into Lincoln Park and upper North area.
However, I am not quite sure how far I can go up to be within the
25-minute-commute-to-downtown criteria.

I did make an appointment with ApartmentPeople at Lakeview Office
in early May, but by reading several negative comments,
I guess I have to look into other methods of apartment hunting too.

FYI, we are mid-thirties couple with no kids, Asian, and I hope
we can find something close to what we rent right now.
(1000sf-packrats, hardwood floors, washer&dryer, parking space)

Thanks!
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Old 04-10-2007, 07:01 PM
 
Location: Chicago
38,704 posts, read 93,551,988 times
Reputation: 29746
What's your rental budget? I ask because if you want to be within 25 minutes of Water Tower, have 1000sft, an in-unit washer and dryer and a parking spot, be prepared to spend a MINIMUM of $1,500 per month.

Right now commuting from the North side is a pretty dismal affair. Trains run slow because of track conditions and construction. If you're on the North side, I would say you'll have to stay no further north than Belmont Avenue. Another option would be the southern edge of the West Loop or Tri-Taylor area near UIC where you can pick up the Blue Line and be downtown 5 to 10 minutes later, transfer to the Red Line and take it north to the Chicago Avenue stop in about another 10 minutes.
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Old 04-11-2007, 08:49 AM
 
Location: Chicago, IL
5 posts, read 50,263 times
Reputation: 11
Thank you Drover!
Actually I was thinking around $1500-$1600 so I guess I am within the budget.
However, the construction situation definitely sounds like something to consider in my search.

How is the transfer between CTA lines? Is it complicated or crowded?
The only reason I was looking at Red Line stops was that I thought it would be
a big hassle during commuting hours.

I heard from someone that I should not go south or southwest (not safe neighborhood) of downtown. This was a couple of years ago so I am also
wondering whether it is true.

What do you(or anyone else) think about the North-Clybourne area?
Is it more of a commercial area rather than a residential area?

Thanks so much!
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Old 04-11-2007, 09:08 AM
 
772 posts, read 2,338,841 times
Reputation: 735
The South Loop and Chinatown areas, where you can get on either the Roosevelt Road or Cermak/Chinatown Red Line stops, could be options for you, as well. I have lived in Chinatown before and it would definitely meet your 25 minute commute criteria, while the South Loop area directly to the north would be even closer. It's a bit difficult to find a good rental in Chinatown, but the South Loop should have more options since a lot of people rent out condos.

The advantages of those near South Side neighborhoods are proximity to the Loop, Lake Michigan, the Museum Campus, and Soldier Field while probably getting a bit more for your money in terms of a rental compared to Lincoln Park and Lakeview (and if you're fortunate enough to get a place facing the lake and skyline, it's the one of the most spectacular views that you'll find anywhere in the world IMHO). The main disadvantage is that the immediate nightlife scene isn't anywhere near as vibrant as the near North Side neighborhoods - the South Loop is definitely booming with tons of new buildings, but that also means that the neighborhood isn't quite as established.

Also note that Lincoln Park and Lakeview have more low-rises and houses (unless you're in a tower by the lake), while the South Loop consists mainly of high-rises, so they correspondingly have different vibes.

For North Side neighborhood apartment hunting, I used the Homestead Group (www.thehomesteadgroup.com) and they were able to find my wife and me an incredible apartment in Roscoe Village a couple of years ago (I'd highly recommend that neighborhood to anyone, but that's probably getting just outside of your maximum commute time with all of the construction on the Brown and Red Lines). They were a great resource for the North Side, although I'm not sure if they show many apartments in the South Loop.
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Old 04-11-2007, 09:18 AM
 
772 posts, read 2,338,841 times
Reputation: 735
Quote:
Originally Posted by sysuh View Post
I heard from someone that I should not go south or southwest (not safe neighborhood) of downtown. This was a couple of years ago so I am also
wondering whether it is true.
The South Loop is now an upscale area with all of the new buildings that offer lakefront views while Chinatown is also very safe. For my tastes, though, I would not live south of U.S. Cellular Field (35th Street). While those farther South Side areas are quickly gentrifying and probably would be good long term investments for someone that wants to buy, if you're renting and want a great neighborhood immediately, I wouldn't suggest them. Hyde Park, where the University of Chicago and the Museum of Science and Industry are located, is a nice college neighborhood on the South Side filled with academic-types, but the atmosphere can change very quickly immediately outside of that neighborhood. It's also probably outside of your optimal commute range.
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Old 04-11-2007, 11:06 AM
 
Location: Chicago, IL
5 posts, read 50,263 times
Reputation: 11
Thank you Frank the Tank for the update on the South neighborhood,
the pros and cons. I did come upon some nice condo rentals in the
South Loop area, but was not sure of the nighborhood. It's definitely
an option to consider.

Of course, it would be so wonderful to take full advantage of the
magnificent lakeview, but both of us being so fearful of living up high
(my husband is worse...he would never go up more than 3rd floor),
high-rise is not such a priority for us right now.

I will definitely check upon the HG website for my search. Thanks a bunch!
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