Apartments for Cheap

Questions and Answers

Your Questions About Studio Apartments In Chicago

June 13, 2013

Paul asks…

What kind of life can I expect to live in Chicago on $36k salary?

I’m a guy in my early 20s. Thinking of moving to Chicago if I get this job that pays $36k/yr. Will I be living comfortable?

Administrator answers:

Yeah. It’ll be a little modest, but not a struggle. That’s about what I made when I first moved to town. I lived by myself in a studio apartment in North Center near a Brown Line stop. I had a car with street parking within a block or two of my place. I wasn’t able to buy tons of nice things, but I wasn’t hurting. I could go out and be social with out worrying about money. You should be good. If you can live without a car you’ll be golden.

Ruth asks…

what are the dorm rooms like in the presidential towers chicago?

what are the dorm rooms like in the presidential towers chicago? are they the same as the apartments? furnished?

what is everything like at the presidential towers chicago.

Administrator answers:

My daughter lived there about 13 years ago when she was going to kent law school, which it is 5 minutes walking distance from kent. It was very nice studio, spacious with a big closet space. It wasn’t furnished though. The building itself is very nice & very secure. There are restaurant, a bar, flower shop, gym with swimming pool, post office, McDonald’s & much more. My daughter enjoyed staying there & we enjoyed visiting her. It is very convenient living there.

Lisa asks…

Which one of these three places in the USA is cheaper to live in?

New York

And what are the good and the bad things about each town/city?

Administrator answers:

Chicago is a city in Illinois. Do you mean New York, or New York City. And where in Florida?

In general, though, I would say Florida. The cost of living in the south is less. Florida has no state income tax, either. If you mean New York City, forget it. That’s one of the highest cost of living places in the US. New York state on the other hand, is huge. Do you mean Albany? Rochester? Buffalo? Somewhere in between? Cost of living in those places is more normal, but still, New York State (and Illinois) both have state income taxes. Jobs in these places do pay more, but cost of living kind of eats up the extra pay. For example: I lived in the suburbs of Chicago 10 years ago. I paid $800 a month for a 700 square foot (1 bedroom ) apartment. That $800 could buy me a 1200 square foot (3 bedroom) relatively new apartment in the Orlando area. I was able to find *1* apartment in Brooklyn, NYC for $800 (700 sq feet studio). Average prices were much higher. Similar results in the Chicago area. In Albany I found a 900 sq ft 2 bedroom apartment. These are all quick apartment searches and I didn’t compare amenities or even look at the quality of the inside of the apartment, so the discrepancies could be even greater.

As for good things about these areas – well, if you mean New York City, it *is* an awesome city to visit (personal experience) and live in (friends experience). So yeah you’re trading living area and cost of living for “things to do”, but then again if you don’t have any spending money then you won’t have any money to do anything. I experienced this when I lived in Chicago. I moved there for a job, not realizing the cost of living increase between Florida and there, and ended up spending all my free time in my apartment because after my job and second night time job to help with bills I had no energy, time or money to do anything fun. Florida is nice, most cities in Florida are small and have a very suburban feel to them (except Miami which is a pretty big area). The center of the state is less populated (except the Orlando area) and is quite rural. No matter where you are in Florida you’re pretty close to the ocean or freshwater springs/lakes in the interior of the state. It’s also warmer most of the year. That’s another cost savings. You don’t need a summer wardrobe and a winter wardrobe.

Nancy asks…

Where can I find an apartment to sublease in Chicago?

I am a college student and looking to sulease with another person. I don’t want the rent to be more than 600 a month. Any suggestions?

Administrator answers:

Check Craigslist and ads in free local papers, like the Reader.

It is fairly easy to do this in Chicago, although they are called sublets. That is because under Chicago city code, the owner MUST allow a tenant to sublet the apartment if for any reason the original tenant wants/needs to move. (In many other cities, sublets are illegal or only with the landlord’s permission.)

Since you are a college student, check the bulletin boards at school and any online student forum.

Finding a place downtown (the Loop) in your price range will be hard. Tiny studio apartments rent for $1,000 in that area. Try less desirable neighborhoods farther from the lake, like Cicero or Austin.

Maria asks…

How do you perceive these cities?

How do you perceive these cities?
Houston, Texas
Chicago, Illinois and
New York, New York… What’s your view of each of them? God Bless.
Anton, I appreciate your response to my question.
Out of the cities you have experienced which is your favorite? And by the way, I think what you said about Houston and Chicago is right on the money (very accurate). Wow, I have not been to New York yet; but, what you said about racism and the culture there is baffling. Could you elaborate on your experience in New York? Thank you.

Administrator answers:

I have been in the three of them several times, and lived for a while in New York City, so I’ll tell you the very honest true about them:
-Houston, Texas: From the entire state, that is the one with more open minded people, with different opinions and most people respects other views. I still do not go over to live, no way. The rest of the state is ‘their way or No way’, they think are better than anyone in the country, and they even want to be their own ‘country’.
-Chicago, Illinois: Not a place I’ll choose to live in because of the high crime, the horrible weather, and there’s limited things to do.
-New York City: One of the ‘Most Overrated’ places on Earth. Weather is horrible; prices are just plain disgusting (a plain, not fancy, unfurnished studio apartment is between 1,200 to 2,500 Dollars every month); people are very rude, mean, and if they have the chance they’ll step on you; very, extremely racist; always ready to shout or insult you; and the list goes on, and on, and on…
Horrible, horrible place to live, and to visit is just fun but for about Two Days and get the heck out of there!

Well, in New York every time someone refers to another person is either That White, or That N…, or that Mex…, or things like that. People differenciates Races to the extreme, to the point that in some areas they have Police Towers to view the whole place because of the beatings and deaths of either Latin or Asian people. That is wrong, so very wrong!
Gays also have been killed, and prostitutes have been found dead in shallow graves.
No matter who you are, they’ll always find One Thing to identify you by, either your skin color, or your origin, your accent, your state where you live, etc, etc, etc… And most unfortunately when they do so to people with disabilities. Awful, just awful.
And, that’s a little bit of the entire experience.

I am so sorry, but from the three cities you’re mentioning I cannot choose one. Not my favorite places to be or to live in.

Mandy asks…

Want to move to Chicago need advice and tips?

I live about three hours from Chicago in Springfield il and I go to chicago every summer and it’s a blast. I design websites so I’m hoping to start a business with that. But how do I find a good job so I can live downtown. And is it possible to get rent for 800 and under I’m talking about a studio of course. I need advice how to start a life in Chicago.
I’m sure you can get rent for 800 or less in good parts of town I wouldn’t need a gun.

Administrator answers:

I live in chicago, and yes you can get a $800 studio or apartment but not in downtown chicago, downtown chicago is more expensive and its a bittch to find parking every day and night trust me, also theirs always maintenance fee that might cost over $200 dollars per month plus rent. I suggest you look online for apartment for rent or studios in the North side of the city since its nicer and cleaner, usually the Northwest Side is the best! You can forget about your business for a while until you find a stable job and a home to live then talk to a nearest realtor for info and searching of businesses for sale or rent. If you really want something safer then i suggest the North West suburbs since its great and alot of employment potentials.

Joseph asks…

Anyone live in or know of a safe neighborhood in Chicago?

I’m a 22 year old girl thinking about moving to Chicago after I graduate college. I’m not at all familiar with the area, and I’ve only been once. I know most areas in the north are probably safe, but I don’t know which areas are better than others…

The most helpful thing would be to hear from those who actually live in a certain area/street/building that they would recommend, and why.
Oh… and I have a car but I plan on using public transportation daily to get into the city.

I’m unsure about how much I can actually spend on rent at this point but I’m pretty sure it will be below $700

Administrator answers:

You probably want the Lincoln Park / Lakeview area, which is where most of the young post-college crowd lives. The area is big – it stretches from Fullerton on the south to Irving Park on the north, the lake on the east to Ashland on the west.

The cheaper apartments – the studios and such – are probably going to be more in Lakeview (north of Diversey) and closer to the lake. If you’re near streets and intersections like Broadway and Diversey, Clark and Diversey, Clark and Belmont, Clark and Addison, Halsted and Addison, Southport and Addison, etc. You’re in the right area.

Another area you might consider is Bucktown / Wicker Park, centered at the North / Damen/ Milwaukee interchange. That’s a very nice neighborhood and a little less expensive than Lincoln Park and Lakeview, though further from the lake. Walk up Damen from North and you’ll see what I mean.

You might try’s spacefinder. They have tremendous numbers of listings, sorted by affordability, and you can check the addresses to make sure it’s in the right area.

By the way, while those answering about the suburbs mean well, I’m sure, I wouldn’t live in the suburbs if you’re 22 and single, with one exception – Evanston. That’s north of the city, but still on the L line, near Northwestern university. I doubt it’d be any cheaper than the city, but you could certainly look there – it’s a terrific suburb and has easy access to Chicago.

Robert asks…

Moving to Chicago from San Diego. Where r the best areas to live that are happening and exciting?

I just got a degree in business with an emphasis in management. i would like to live in the city where everything is happening. I would like to be in an area where there is bars, restaurants, clubs, venues etc. At the same time I want to be close to the financial districts to land a job.

Administrator answers:

There are bars, clubs and restaurants everywhere. Chicago is a very ‘neighborhood-y’ city…there are lot of large neighborhoods with smaller more defined ones inside of that.

If you want an active night life scene near the financial district, try RIver North, West Loop or Gold Coast. The first two are walking distance to the Loop; the Gold Coast is maybe a 15 minute train ride down.

These neighborhoods are not cheap. If you are looking to rent…expect to pay about $1000 for a studio, $1500 1bd and so on. If you are looking to buy, depending on finishes, you would be pressed to find something you really want for less than $300k (small 1bd). Of course, there are bargains to be found, just depends on what you are willing to sacrifice.

I used to rent a 700 sq. Ft. 1bd East of Michigan Ave. In Streeterville (sub-neighborhood of Gold Coast) for $1195, there we’re no amenities, window a/c’s, crap kitchen and not the best apartment…but the location was nice for the time I was working up there.

Hope this helps! I’ll check back soon!

William asks…

How to live in chicago?

I’m a college student in western MA planning to move to chicago when i graduate. I was hoping I could get some advice about say, how much an average apartment costs? where is the safest place to live/where should i definitely not live? Are there many people hiring out there, because there are where i am, i’m looking for a low level job. How easy is it to meet people? I’m used to cold new englanders so im interested to know if it will be different socially. Any other advice would be appreciated.=]

Administrator answers:

Listen bud….with all due respect to Sarah, her places are River North and Lincoln Park so of course rent is gonna be upwards of $1000-$3000. Two of the most gentrified places in the city outside of the Loop, so yes these will be quite costly. I live in Edgewater…it has lots of students at Loyola, its diverse, safe and my rent is affordable. Let me answer some of your other questions…

Average apartment: Chicago has 77 neigbborhoods, half on the North and South. I would advise the North unless you’re going to U of Chicago then South areas may be your best bet. Rent will vary wildly based on these areas. For rent that is not astronomical I would recommend Logan Square, Bucktown, Edgewater, Ukranian Village. You’ll be looking at a start price of $850-$900 for these areas. Start price means studios or 1 bedrooms in areas that aren’t the most convenient but affordable. Wrigleyville and Lakeview also may be an option.

Jobs are ok, but this depends on your job field. If you’re only looking for something without a lot of skill to get you through school….then those jobs are plentiful. Specifically jobs like doorman, food delivery, etc. Skilled labor and jobs that require education may be a little tighter to come by but it took me 2 months to find a position in my field.

Regarding meeting people, this is one thing Chicago is good for. Nightlife in Chicago is great, and it will probably be easier to meet people because you can do things like join meetup groups, kickball leagues, volleyball, etc, These types of leagues thrive in the city. The beach (Lake Michigan) is awesome in the summer and most people hang out there.

Also remember that Chicago is a train/subway city so everything is very accessible by train and many people don’t have a car (although I do) This will save on expenses for you and make commuting/dating life easier.

Good luck!

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