Mostly everyone wants to live in a great area of the city, but no one wants to have to pay an arm and a leg to do it. So, what are the options? To me there’s only one option- Craigslist.org. There are other options such as apartment finding services, but they will not find you the cheapest place. They may find you the cheapest of 3 places, but not the cheapest nor the best of the lot or a combination of the two.
When I was moving to Chicago just over one year ago I used one of the apartment finding services. Being new to the whole living-on-my-own thing I thought it would be a good idea. It was a good idea, because it made things easier for me. It was a bad idea for every other reason. I was looking at three apartments in the Lakeview neighborhood of Chicago. A friend of mine lived in the area and, not knowing anyone, I wanted close to someone I knew. Each of the places was very much like the other in size, layout and rent. I decided on one, signed the papers and moved in a month later. One month after moving in I wanted to move out! The walls in the building were paper thin. I could hear anything and everything that was going on above, below and to the sides. Also, the guys above me had hardwood flooring so I heard every single little move they made! I was there from August of 2005 to May of 2006. I really don’t know how I lasted as long as I did. If only I put the time and effort into finding my own place maybe I wouldn’t have been stuck with such a horrible apartment. In April I had finally had enough and started out to find a much better place. The place should meet with the desires and requirement of the students. The staying of the students in the flat is great when there are all the facilities. The investment should be great to meet with the desired results with the right decision at Penrose Condo.
I started my search in April going through newspapers and looking at boards in diners, but didn’t hit anything good. Then I started checking out Craigslist.org and my luck took a turn for the better. There were tons of listings for affordable places in the area I was looking for. Places that were not on the lists of the apartment finding people and places there were below my ideal rent- hundreds below. In May I hit on one place only several blocks from where I was currently residing. The guy in the ad was looking for a roommate for his two bedroom coach house to move in ASAP. I got on the horn, checked out the place and put my name in the hat. The house was great. Tons more space than I had at my old apartment plus the rent was $250 less at only $375!
My point is this… when looking for an apartment in Chicago or any other city- Craigslist.org. Sure the site’s design dates to the mid 1990’s, but it’s completely functional. Using an apartment finding service is a waste. They’re not doing anything you cant’ do for yourself. If you insist on using one- there are FREE ones out there. Don’t pay for something either you can do yourself for free or have someone else do for free. Also… don’t be lazy! Do the footwork. It will pay off big-time in the end. Since I found this much cheaper place I’ve been able to drop from full-time to part-time at work and now I have much more free time to do things I like to do. My life is much better since I took the time and put in some effort. So what if you have to take a day off to go to 10 apartments. Who cares if you spend $10 on gas that day. It could save you hundreds a month! Trust me, if you take your time with finding your place and don’t settle you’ll be much better off.