Introducing what I call level 7 stress…
Chicago apartment hunting!
Blessed are those who have older siblings, friends, or family that can pass down an apartment. For the rest of us, we are circling vultures looking for an apartment for the beginning of summer in Chicago.
If I have learned anything in the last few weeks, it’s that:
1. Realtors love texting
2. Roommates will fall through
3. If we didn’t have a car for showings, it would be INSANELY expensive to get around.
I could list a whole lot more, but instead I’m going to tell you about how my apartment hunt is going and give you a few pointers on how to stay organized, what apps to use and what to avoid.
Rule 1: Avoid looking too early. It doesn’t do you any good. Realtors will be sassy.
First, I started looking about 3 weeks ago for an apartment that lease starts June 1. *I can hear all the local Chicagoan’s laughing* why? Because I think Chicago may be the only city you can’t get an apartment in Lincoln Park 30 days prior to your move in date. Talk about stressful.
*twiddling thumbs for 10 days*
So, here we are. My best friend and my future roommate Audrey and I are coming up on the end of April waiting for all these listings to show up.
I feel like I’m waiting for some kind of apocalyptical something to happen.
Isn’t Chicago big?! Why don’t any of you people let other people live in Lincoln Park? lol jk. I know that it’s a great location…but seriously, share.
Rule 2: You will, no matter how badly you don’t want to, download every renting app in the App Store.
I don’t understand this. Okay, I do. Money and BLAH. But can we all be friends and put ALL the listings in ONE PLACE. My brain is actually going to explode along with my phone storage. Thanks.
For peace of mind to my lovely readers…you won’t have to download all the apps because I vetted them for you. *I know you will aNyWaY* but here are my favorites:
- Hot Pads
- Pad Mappers
- Tie: Trulia & Zillow
Rule 3: Try not to email every listing you see that you like. You will have realtors emailing you every 5 seconds and it feels like a bunch of swarming bees.
This is hard. I did it. I was wrong. I can easily say I’ve talked to at least 30-50 people about apartment listings and it. was. horrible. If the place is in the right location, has everything you want THEN and ONLY THEN do you email them.
Rule 4: Try to narrow down realtors you like and are responsive.
They all have access to the same MLS (WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?!) system that they keep telling me about, so just send the person you like all the links from all the apps and get showing through them.
Because… organization. Literally had to make an excel document of all our showings because we were seeing so many places in one day with 4 different people. Avoid this at all costs. Very hectic.
BONUS: For your sake… never, ever step foot into an apartment showing that has been previously been occupied by 3 males.
Underwear is EVERYWHERE.
I hope this is somewhat helpful for those of you looking for places for the summer! It might not be as hectic for you, but hey, se la vie… good luck! 😉