Apartment Hunting in Chicago

Written March 2017

Mark and I are officially renters, but who knew apartment hunting in Chicago could be so tricky?

We visited Chicago a few weeks ago to check out the city and find a place to live. Since Mark is still busy with school and far away from me in Georgia, I took the lead on researching great areas to live and locating two bedroom apartments within our price range. I started looking at apartment listing websites in January for an April/May lease, so I guess you could call me eager or excited.

Photo: Spring Davis

I heard about how the rental market is competitive in Chicago, and it made me a little bit anxious. Renting in Florida is usually within the context of large apartment complexes, so the application process was always pretty relaxed. I never felt like I had to make a quick decision on signing a lease for fear another renter might snag my dream apartment while I hemmed and hawed, so I turned up my type A tendencies accordingly.

I zeroed in on my target and found an affordable two bedroom apartment in a safe neighborhood close to school. We went to the showing, sent the landlord the application that same day and signed the lease the very next morning. It was so worth it. The apartment lacked upgrades, like granite counter tops and a dishwasher. However, it was exactly what we needed and it was within our price range. Neither of us wants to be stressed about money, and locking this apartment down took a massive load off. We celebrated our lease-signing with a coffee from Bridgeport Coffee House. They roast their own beans, and they have ample space for quiet studying apart from the main dining area. I can’t wait to try one of their doughnuts, they looked so good!

Photo: Spring Davis

Bridgeport is one of Chicago’s Top 5 Coolest Neighborhoods . Mark loved that! When we saw it in person, Mark fell in love with it as much as I did. It has a friendly neighborhood feeling, something we were definitely looking for. Bridgeport is also a diverse neighborhood, and I didn’t feel like people were giving us the stares as we walked down the street. It really felt like home. There were also a bunch of lovely restaurants, including a Zagat-rated Korean restaurant Do Eat Korean Barbeque. We ordered the seafood Bibimbap and the Bulgogi barbeque. The waitress brought the raw meat to the table, already marinated and everything, and we turned the grill on in the center of the table and cooked our own Korean barbeque! It was so yummy, and I think we will go back.

Photo: Spring Davis
Palmisano Park

If you live in or have lived in Chicago and have any recommendations, comment below!

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