Chicago Neighborhoods That You Need to Know
According to Chicago Curbed:
Curbed University delivers insider tips and non-boring advice on how to buy, sell, or rent a home or apartment. Additional questions welcomed to Curbed Chicago’s tipline. Searching for a rental apartment is a trickier game, because there isn’t a standardized listing service like the MLS. If you already know what building you want to look at: Great. Contact the landlord or walk into the leasing office and set up a viewing. Otherwise, read on. In the old days, if you wanted to find a rental apartment in Chicago, you flipped through the classifieds in the Chicago Reader, and if the description met your needs, you’d dial the landlord on your rotary phone. The Reader classifieds shriveled when Craigslist grew in popularity, but these days, Craigslist has become so overrun with spammers, flamers and frauds that searching Craigslist has become more of a nuisance than it’s worth. If you’re looking to rent a room in a shared apartment, Craigslist is still probably your best bet, but that’s about it. The Reader does still have apartment listings, which can be viewed online (with photos!), but they only scratch the surface of what’s out there.
Your next option is apartment search websites. A few new ones have launched in the past few years, and some of them are actually quite useful. Of these,Domu.com has emerged as the leader, and it provides a user-friendly search interface that allows you to view search results in either a map view or as a list. Another search site we’ve found to be useful is PadMapper.com, a site that uses a Google Maps interface to aggregate listings from Oodle,Read more.…, and Craigslist. If you’ve tried all other options and you’re ready to throw up your hands, it might be time to wade into the pool of apartment locater services. But be warned: this option should be a last resort. That said, some people have surely had success finding apartments through locater services. Apartment Reviews You’ve toured the apartment and you’re almost ready to sign a lease, but before doing so it’s a good idea to hear what other people who have lived (or currently live) in the building think. For bigger, downtown high-rises, the first place to look is ApartmentRatings.com and ApartmentReviews.net, a pair of Yelp-like review sites where renters rate the safety, parking, appearance, and maintenance staff of buildings and spout off about everything from the leasing staff to shoddy construction. And speaking of Yelp, many renters have taken to the Yelp forum to share apartment reviews in recent years. If the building you’re looking at doesn’t appear on any of those forums, it might be worth your while to pay the building a visit and talk to current residents. It’s always a good idea to do a little online reconnaissance about a building’s maintenance and general upkeep, but it’s even more important to find out whether the building has infestation problems. Like most things these days, there’s a website for that: The Bed Bug Registry. The site is a user-submitted database of buildings with reported bedbug infestations across the country. Before you sign that lease, it’s probably worth your while to take a quick gander at the registry.