When it comes to Chicago, getting a rented house can be very expensive unless you know the tips and tricks to find a cheaper place to live. Chicago is a city in Illinois, located in the North-eastern part of America. To live a moderate or stabilized lifestyle, you need to spend no more than 30% of your income, as suggested by personal finance experts. However, it has become more challenging with today’s increasing rental rates.
This article will cover smart tips that you should follow when looking for affordable rooms for rent in Chicago.
- Understand your basic needs
The first thing you should do is know your expectations and requirements. You should ensure that you are not compromising on this aspect when looking for a rental unit. For example, some people prefer to have a private room, while that is not an issue for some. You have to be sure of what you want and at what costs.
You should start brainstorming the ideas and note them down on a separate list before looking for a rental home in Chicago. You can make two columns; one for ‘absolute needs’ and the other for ‘moderate necessities.’ Ensure that all your absolute needs are fulfilled and try to cover most of your moderate necessities.
Provided below is a list of things to consider:
- Do you need a pet-friendly apartment?
- What should be the ideal commute time from home to your office?
- Whether smoking is allowed or not?
- Distance to nearby bus stop or subway.
- Whether you want a fully furnished or partially furnished, or unfurnished apartment.
- Whether you require an in-suite laundry?
- Overnight guests and parties.
- Whether you are fine with having a roommate.
In addition to that, make sure that you can afford an apartment with all your requirements. Many websites and apps help you find rental homes based on your filters and preferences.
- Download rental or housing apps
After jotting down your preferences and requirements, you must find good websites that help you search for your desired rental apartment or house. You can turn on the notification feature of good websites so that when an apartment (of your preference) is available for renting out, you can quickly post an inquiry and meet the landlord. It also helps you stay up-to-date with the listings posted on the websites.
Given below are some of the most popular rental sites you can use to find rooms for rent in Chicago:
- Chicago Apartment Finders
You can also use keywords like ‘roommate finder Chicago’ and ‘find rental apartments Chicago’ to widen your search results. You can use filters such as lease type, furnished or unfurnished apartments, utilities included, parking availability, pet-friendliness, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, etc. You can shortlist your favorite rental places, contact their homeowners, and enquire about the houses you like.
- Use Facebook Groups and Marketplace
Facebook Groups is a great place to find apartment listings and potential roommates. Facebook Groups are one of the most effective ways to obtain information on rental properties and find the available ones for renting out. There are plenty of FB Groups for housing in Chicago. Some of the top ones are:
- Chicago Sublets
- Chicago Apartments for rent
- Chicago Roommates
- Chicago Artist Housing
You can search ‘Chicago Housing’ and ‘roommates in Chicago’ on Facebook to check for more groups. These Groups have tens of thousands of members so that you will get responses quickly and conveniently. You can contact the owners directly via Facebook Messenger and ask for more details, finalize your deal, or set up an in-person meeting. It has become a common way of finding roommates and affordable apartments.
- Find out when the best time is to lease an apartment
When looking for a cheaper rental house, timing is crucial. Did you know that the winter season is one of the ideal times to rent an apartment? It is because a majority of people prefer not to move during the colder months of the year as the rental demand is lowest at that time. Wait until December or January to begin your search for a rental home.
- Keep the Move-in dates flexible
When a tenant leaves, landlords and property managers clean the home and make the necessary upgrades. You can offer to clean the apartment yourself instead of spending money on upgrades and renovations. This will help you cut down on the expenses paid for renovations and upgrades. Also, it is better to prepare to move in as soon as your lease is signed. Delaying to move in may lead to an increase in the rental costs or other expenses.
- Provide good references and sell yourself as a great tenant
Tell your prospective landlord or leasing agent if you have a good credit score, a stable job, and a steady income. Ask your previous landlord to write a rental reference letter for your apartment application. It may be challenging to find a trustworthy and reliable tenant, so be sure to sell yourself and get a room at a lower rental price.
- Share the rent with a potential roommate
Renting with a roommate in Chicago is a simple way to save money while also getting a company. Living with a friend is sometimes easy, but teaming up with a stranger is also good. You’ll need to establish some ground rules before selecting a potential roommate. Before finalizing the deal, discuss the share of the rent, amenities, responsibilities, and other things. If you’re both on the same page, sign an agreement and inform the landlord.
In this article, we have discussed some ways you can use to find an ideal and cheaper apartment in Chicago. It is a popular city, and finding affordable rental units might be difficult without proper planning and preparation. Among other ways to consider while finding a rental room in Chicago, ensure that you do not compromise on the aspect of safety. When looking for affordable rooms for rent in Chicago, visit and inspect the concerned place and the neighborhood.