FORMS

Do you have any more links or advice? email it to me at: apartments@spudart.org

Here are some handy dandy forms for when looking for an apartment.

They are in pdf format. When you click on the link, depending on your browser, they will either:
• open up in your browser or
• automatically download to your hard drive.
If they download to your hard drive automatically, you will not see it appear in yor browser, you will have to go to the file saved on your computer.

Lease Analysis Worksheet
Location Checklist and Area
Net Rent Gross Rent Worksheet
Schedule
Truth-in-Renting
Telephone Checklist (highly recommended!)

These forms came from a neat-o book on finding apartments and dealing with landlords. "The Renters' Survival Kit" by Ed Sacks. You can buy it here.

FINDING AN APARTMENT IN THE NORTH SIDE OF CHICAGO
Spacefinder Website
http://www.chireader.com/cgi-bin/spacefind.cgi
Here's a handy website where you enter your zip code and cost range, then Z-I-N-G, Z-A-M, B-O-O-M! You've got all your ads together in one page. Very cool.

This website is done in conjunction with "The Reader" the newspaper that is prevalent in the North Side. This paper comes out every thursday. It's got the best listings of apartments for the North Side. Better than the wimpy Tribune.

Apartment People
http://www.apartmentpeople.com/
But the best place to go to BY FAR is "The Apartment People". Yeah, that's the actual name of the company. You go into their lobby, fill in a form with your info and where you wanna live. Depending on the day and time, you may end up sitting there for like 30 minutes 45 minutes, but the wait is by far worth it! When they call your name, you go upstairs with an agent assigned to you. Your agent and you sit in front of a computer and the agent looks at your form. You discuss what you want, the agent gives you advice on where to live. Then they look up your criteria in the computer. A list of apartments come up. The agent will either call the landlord right there and set up an appointment for that day, or they will got to the back room and grab the keys. Then you go in their car, and they drive you to the apartment. Unbelieveable! What service! Your agent will double park their car while you hop into the apartment and look around.

Now, don't feel pressured to sign up for a place. I sure did. It depends on what agenct you get. Some are like car salesman, but some are very cool. I went two times, and I got each type.

Plus, here's another big point. You don't have to pay apartment people anything for this service. Yeah dude! You only have to pay like $30 for the credit check. Which you would have to do anyways if you found a place on your own. Apartment People get paid by the landlords. The landlords don't have to make schedules, they don't have to get off their butt and show the apartment. All they do is sit back in their Lazy-Boy and take it easy.

Another thing, make sure you ask for apartments that are open in like 1 month or 1.5 months. If you ask for an apartment that's open in the next week, chances are that this place has been looked at by a bunch of other people, and it has been passed over. But if you look at a place that just became available, then you'll have better chances at finding a better place.

Relcon
http://www.relconapartments.com/
Relcon produces those free monthly apartment books found in newspaper boxes around the city. All those apartments are the ones with the big bucks. AKA, huge apartment complexes. If you don't want to live in one of these, don't even bother going to Relcon. They don't have any listings for smaller places.

But if you want a REALLY nice map of Chicago with all the streets marked, make an appointment at one of their offices just so you can get this map. I tell ya, the map is worth the trip. Ask for several maps while you're there. Make it worth your while.

(actually, it's kinda funny, I almost ended up working there for my first job out of college. I would've been designing their apartment books. Thank God I'm not doing that!)

NEIGHBORHOODS
Generally, the closer you get to the loop, the more expensive it gets. The more you got north, the cheaper it gets.
For detailed info on neighborhoods and locations. Check out these websites.

urbanStyle -- Chicagoland guide to shopping, fashion, upcoming events, neighborhoods and urban style living.

Chicago's Neighborhoods -- Offers a quick thumbnail rundown of each of the city's diverse neighborhoods.

Inside -- North Side news and events e-zine

Destination: Chicago -- Journeying Chicago's Clark Street. Three neighborhoods show the city's love of food, sports and ethnic heritage

About.com -- Huge listing of links for the North Side and North Suburbs

HIT THE SIDEWALKS
Many Chicago apartments are seemingly not advertised; instead, the building owner places a flyer in the door of the building describing the apartment available. If you find a neighborhood that you like, walk down the streets and look for these flyers.

This is what people told me when I was looking, but I didn't really want to do that. It takes alot of time. But this advice is true. I always see "apartment available signs" on doors in Wrigleyville/Lakeview

AIR CONDITIONERS
What size air conditioner should you get for your place?

About.com Home Repair
Links to sites about Air Conditioners

How powerful an air conditioner do you need?
Room A/C sizing worksheet, from Consumer Reports.

MORE LINKS
here's some links i've picked up here and there....about moving/apartment stuf/etc - use at will (these are from my friend, Laura Kesselring)

Better Business Bureau
http://www.bbb.org/
-wondering about the reputation of that potential new landlord? check them out here before you sign the lease.

Low Cost Boxes
http://www.lowcostboxes.com/index.html
-i like this site because they have cheap individual box prices. so you can order singles or small numbers of particular box sizes for cheap! this site will give you free shipping for orders over $75. this site also offers "combo packages" that are scaled to the size of your apartment. they also offer packing materials such as tape and bubble wrap, plus some specialty box shapes (my favorite: "lamp/gun box").

Buy Boxes
http://store.yahoo.com/buyboxes/index.html
-this site has a more extensive list of "moving kits," such as "suburban apartment" and "student kit." which is good if that's what you need - however, i would go with Low Cost Boxes if you need to customize the numbers of particular box sizes, due to their cheaper single-box prices. all the prices on Buy Boxes include shipping and handling! they also offer packing materials, including a "china protecting kit" and the standard materials like bubble wrap, tape, and paper.

US Post Office Zip Code Locator
http://www.usps.com/ncsc/lookups/lookup_zip+4.html
-helpful when you are trying to find out the zip code of your new place, it will also give you the "official" format of your new address (like "123 N. Main St." instead of "123 Main"), so you know whether you live on a boulevard, parkway, road, street, avenue, etc.

US Post Office Mover's Guide
https://www.moversguide.com/
-also run by the US Post Office, this site lets you complete a change-of-address form, and offers tips on every possible aspect of moving - even home decorating/improvement links! (do you think they are suggesting you hang "FBI Most Wanted" posters on your walls?)

Aptratings.com
here's a cool site i found where people can review their apt building, and you can check the rating other people have given about a building you are interested in

Manage your ComEd account
The illinois comed site, where you can set up a new account, transfer your account to a new address, or terminate your existing account
SPUDART
Hey, while you're at it, why don't ya check out the rest of my website? Do you have any more links or advice? email it to me at: apartments@spudart.org

 

All questions and comments can be sent to: matt@spudart.org
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