Looking to Settle Down in Chicago

I’m in Chicago at the moment and I still haven’t settled down. I’m living at a friend’s place until I settle down at a place and trust me when I tell you, this is not easy. Apparently, so many try to get you to sign a leasing contract with you. I almost got myself in a mess with a bad apartment but I was glad that my friend advised me not to get it. Right now it’s December and many tenants are ending their leasing contracts. January is a great opportunity to sign up for great places because landlords and apartment management companies will be scurrying for people to sign into new contracts. The longer they wait the more money they will loose.

I was talking to one salesman in Chicago, and he said in this decade Chicago’s population decreased from 8 million to 3 million. I don’t know how much of that is true but it is believable due to the bad economy and also because of the fact that the economy hurt a lot of people. Chicago is an expensive city to live in and if people cannot afford to live here then they will obviously leave. I’ve looked at some apartments around Hyde Park and I have learned several things regarding in what to look for.

What to look for in leasing contracts?
– Heat
– Water

With your rent look for heat and water to be included. Usually, this attracts a lot of tenants as Chicago gets severely cold and so heat is a must utility t be turned on all the time during the winter.

Bonus things to look for:
– Proximity to Jackson Park Hospital
– Included Internet

Do not live very close to Jackson Park Hospital because it’s dangerous, but if you live near Lake Shore Drive then you can reach Jackson Park Hospital very quickly. Lake Shore Drive is the road that is parallel to Lake Michigan, which gives breath-taking views towards the water.
If Internet is included then that’s a big plus point; however, if it’s not included then it could work positively for you because if so many people using the same Internet can slow down the network.

There is a 99% chance electricity will never be included in any of the leasing contracts with the rent. Electricity is always an extra utility that you will have to pay for but if it was included with your rent then that’s awesome.

If you are bringing a car to Chicago then make sure you are good at parallel parking because you will need to do a lot of it. I’ve talked to several Chicago police officers and they complain that one of the biggest issues they have to deal with is parking. Parking is limited and so street parking is in majority of the places. Only in the suburbs there are parking lots. Street parking is no problem in residential areas but at places where you have to pay the meter, and then it will add up. In residential areas, street parking is free but it’s not all fun and games when it snows; you have to shovel off the snow and so it’s hecktic.

5 thoughts on “Looking to Settle Down in Chicago”

  1. Good advise, can you provide some insight on which landlords and places we should avoid, and on average how much is the pricing for good apartments near the lakeshore area as you mentioned. Furthermore, how safe is parking a car roadside, is there any underground parking or monthly parking garages near the hospital that are safe & easily accessible? Hope you find a place soon, do post pictures!!

  2. @Anonymous: avoid landlords who are in a rush to get u sign the lease because they'll most likely ask you for your social security number in order to get a background check.

    Avoid shady areas west of Washington Park. East of Washington Park above 60th St is fine.

    Parking is safe if and only if you DO NOT leave anything inside. If anyone sees something valuable like an iPad in your car then they will creak ur window and get it. They do not care about the car and they will not steal it. You have to come on time in order to get good parking space in Jackson Park Hospital. Also, do not go out late at night near Jackson Park Hospital.

    There are no underground parking or parking garages for students near Jackson Park Hospital. However, during the day you can park across the street in the Jewel-Osco parking lot.

    Right now, I'm staying at a friend's house until I settle in my apartment.

  3. Hey,

    Did you figure out the Parking situation near JPH? Where can I park near the hospital? And is it at all advisable? Also these shady areas you mention, do we need to take those routes while driving to & from the hospital? And if you DO have to drive through them, is that safe? What is your experience so far with everything? Is it as bad as everyone says?

  4. I just got a garage where I live and I park in the front of the hospital in the safe area. It really doesn't matter which route you take to go to JPH it's shady all around but as long as you don't flash your expensive belonging then you should be fine. Also, don't wear your white coat outside of JPH, you may be mistaken for a doctor.

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