Mostly everyone wants to live in a great area of the city, but no one wants to have to pay an arm and a leg to do it. So, what are the options? To me there’s only one option- Craigslist.org. There are other options such as apartment finding services, but they will not find you the cheapest place. They may find you the cheapest of 3 places, but not the cheapest nor the best of the lot or a combination of the two.
When I was moving to Chicago just over one year ago I used one of the apartment finding services. Being new to the whole living-on-my-own thing I thought it would be a good idea. It was a good idea, because it made things easier for me. It was a bad idea for every other reason. I was looking at three apartments in the Lakeview neighborhood of Chicago. A friend of mine lived in the area and, not knowing anyone, I wanted close to someone I knew. Each of the places was very much like the other in size, layout and rent. I decided on one, signed the papers and moved in a month later. One month after moving in I wanted to move out! The walls in the building were paper thin. I could hear anything and everything that was going on above, below and to the sides. Also, the guys above me had hardwood flooring so I heard every single little move they made! I was there from August of 2005 to May of 2006. I really don’t know how I lasted as long as I did. If only I put the time and effort into finding my own place maybe I wouldn’t have been stuck with such a horrible apartment. In April I had finally had enough and started out to find a much better place.
I started my search in April going through newspapers and looking at boards in diners, but didn’t hit anything good. Then I started checking out Craigslist.org and my luck took a turn for the better. There were tons of listings for affordable places in the area I was looking for. Places that were not on the lists of the apartment finding people and places there were below my ideal rent- hundreds below. In May I hit on one place only several blocks from where I was currently residing. The guy in the ad was looking for a roommate for his two bedroom coach house to move in ASAP. I got on the horn, checked out the place and put my name in the hat. The house was great. Tons more space than I had at my old apartment plus the rent was $250 less at only $375!
My point is thisÃ¢Â?Â¦ when looking for an apartment in Chicago or any other city- Craigslist.org. Sure the site’s design dates to the mid 1990’s, but it’s completely functional. Using an apartment finding service is a waste. They’re not doing anything you cant’ do for yourself. If you insist on using one- there are FREE ones out there. Don’t pay for something either you can do yourself for free or have someone else do for free. AlsoÃ¢Â?Â¦ don’t be lazy! Do the footwork. It will pay off big-time in the end. Since I found this much cheaper place I’ve been able to drop from full-time to part-time at work and now I have much more free time to do things I like to do. My life is much better since I took the time and put in some effort. So what if you have to take a day off to go to 10 apartments. Who cares if you spend $10 on gas that day. It could save you hundreds a month! Trust me, if you take your time with finding your place and don’t settle you’ll be much better off.