It’s that time – your lease is almost up in a month or you’re moving to Chicagoland. You need to start your apartment hunt to find that next dream place to call home. But, because it’s Chicago, there are some particular struggles you should be aware of.

If you try to apartment hunt in Chicago without an agent, what can be a fun experience, can easily turn into an absolute nightmare. Here are what those six struggles are.

1. Knowing what your criteria is

Before you begin the hunt, you need to know what you’re hunting for. There are a variety of options out here with different finishes, amenities, locations, etc. What’s important for you? What do you need to have? What is nice to have? Are you the type of person who wants to walk to work, making location key? Do you want to be near restaurants and attractions for entertainment? Do you want an indoor or outdoor pool? Is price the most important aspect? There’s a lot to consider. And since your time is valuable, you only want to tour what actually fits what you need.

2. Finding accurate information

The immediate first step you likely think of is to begin your search online. However, the potential problem with that is encountering ads that aren’t actually accurate or trustworthy. Their purpose is to bait you when really the building the ad is featuring does not work for your move-in date, criteria, price, or quality expectations. Professional photos are nice and all, but they can easily make a unit look better than it actually is, so tread carefully.

3. It’s difficult and time-consuming to narrow down the options

There are literally thousands of rental buildings in Chicago, and that’s not hyperbole – that’s fact. How on earth are you supposed to know what all those are and if you somehow were able to figure out what the majority of them were, how do you know which ones meet your criteria? It would take you days and countless hours to gather all the necessary information.

4. Not all buildings will work with your move-in date

Think about it, you can’t move into a unit unless it’s empty at the right time. So, if you’re trying to move in on August 10 but a unit that matches your criteria won’t be empty until August 12, it won’t work. Also, a building won’t want a unit to stay vacant very long so if a unit is empty on August 8, that still might not work because it’s in their best interest to receive payment for the full month. Timing can be tricky.

5. Prices at buildings change every hour

Chicago high-rise leasing buildings make decisions based on the properties around them. Everything fluctuates constantly based on the market and occupancy rate. What was in your budget in the morning may not be anymore by lunchtime.

6. It’s a competitive market, even for rentals

Even if you were to get past the previous 4 struggles, you need to find the right options and make decisions all very fast because it’s extremely common that someone will beat you to the punch and submit their application before you. Or, you’ll miss out on timely concessions that would lessen the price for you. You don’t want your precious time to be wasted or miss out on a really great deal.


Here’s a worksheet to get you started with the first struggle.

And one of our agents can help you with all the rest of the struggles, just reach out to us here. Remember, in Chicago, our services are 100% free.


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