Apartments for Cheap

Questions and Answers

Your Questions About Studio Apartments In Chicago

July 31, 2013

Carol asks…

Where should I live in downtown Chicago?

Hi. I’m from San Diego and I am going to live in Chicago from July to Sept. My budget is $400-$500 and all I’m looking for is a bedroom, doesn’t matter if it’s incredibly small. I just prefer a place that’s in or near downtown or has Belmont’s environment.

My Questions:
1. What are the streets/neighborhoods in or near Downtown Chicago? (that way when I look on craigslist, I’d be able to recognize the location)
2. Will I be able to find a room with my budget?
3. any recommendations/advice about apartment searching or Chicago in general?

Thanks I really appreciate it.
I’m not looking for an apartment but rather renting out a room in somebody else’s apartment.

Administrator answers:

Well, while I won’t say it’s impossible to find a place for that kind of money, A) it won’t be in downtown Chicago and B) it’ll probaby be only slightly larger than a shoebox. The closer you get to downtown, the more you pay for an apartment. We’re talking maybe more than $1200 a month. You might be able to find a studio elsewhere for that price, but it’s probably not going to be the nicest or cleanest place around, or with the greatest neighbors. For instance, in the Lakeview/Belmont area there’s only one listing for an apartment in your price range (http://classifieds.chicagoreader.com/chicago/Results?sort=Random&subsection=oid%3A122&neighborhood=oid%3A250&zipCode=&zipCode=&zipCode=&bedrooms=Studio&rentMin=%24400&rentMax=%24500&searchPhrase=&submit=). Your best bet is to go a little further north. I live in Edgewater and there are a few more choices there (http://classifieds.chicagoreader.com/chicago/Results?sort=Random&subsection=oid%3A122&neighborhood=oid%3A2184&zipCode=&zipCode=&zipCode=&bedrooms=Studio&rentMin=400&rentMax=500&searchPhrase=&submit=). It’s a fairly nice area, close to the lake, decent buildings. But as far as living close to downtown on that kind of money, forget it.

And check out the Chicago Reader website (the links I provided). They’re a pretty reliable apartment finding site.

Helen asks…

What are some inexpensive neighborhoods with efficient public transportation to downtown Seattle?

I’m twenty-three years old and looking for an area that has studios in the $500-$600 range, close to efficient public transportation, and not far from downtown Seattle. Something that slightly resembles Chicago‘s nothside, my home town. Or close to any good jazz clubs.

Administrator answers:

Ignore everyone telling you to move to Tacoma, Kent, Bellevue, or wherever else. If you’re from Chicago and like the city feel, stay in Seattle proper.

You could try West Queen Anne (14th Ave, 13th Ave, around there) … This is a bit away from the action on Lower Queen Anne (30 min walk, 5 min bus ride), but downtown is still accessible (10 min bus ride). The best part is it’s definitely cheaper than other neighborhoods, and you might even be able to land an apartment with a water view. I had a huge 1BR there up on the hill with a water view for $750. A smaller Studio would be cheaper obviously.

You might also check around Beacon Hill. The neighborhood isn’t as nice, but it’s not bad, and it’s still close to downtown. I also agree with the other poster that Ballard (where I live now) is a good option, though the prices have been going up there.

Charles asks…

Is it possible to find an apartment(even a studio) in a SAFE part of Chicago for 800 a month?

Without having to have room mates!

Administrator answers:

Edgewater IS a safe area, If one looks at the crime data from the Chicago Police Dept., the data indicates that Edgewater is one of Chicago’s safer Community Areas.

If you want to know the actual crime rate of an area of Chicago then you need to rely on actual police data and statistics. Don’t rely on opinions, estimates, guesses, anecdote or hearsay. The link below will give you the crime rate for the previous month in all 77 of Chicago’s Community Areas.

Chicago’s 77 Community Areas contain Chicago’s 200+ neighborhoods. In Chicago the violent crimes category consists of five crimes: homicide, criminal sexual assault, robbery, aggravated assault and aggravated battery. Crime can vary by season and by month, so use an average of several months(I use 12) to get a more accurate measure of the crime rate and you will learn which are Chicago’s safe Community Areas and which are Chicago’s dangerous Community Areas. Crime rates can vary widely within the geographic area of a Community Area especially the larger ones which can contain several neighborhoods. My rule of thumb would be to avoid the C/A’s which consistently have a violent crime rate above 0.5 per 1,000 residents per month(This means there is one violent crime per month for every 2,000 residents of the C/A).

See this link for C/A crime rates compiled by the Chicago Tribune using Chicago Police Department data. Http://crime.chicagotribune.com/chicago/

Edgewater is on the North Side it borders Lake Michigan and it is Chicago’s safest and most affordable neighborhood which has a Lake Michigan shoreline. Edgewater is a Chicago C/A and contains about six neighborhoods including the neighborhoods of Edgewater, Edgewater Beach & Andersonville. According to the statistics Edgewater is one of Chicago’s safest community areas, see the lucidrealty.com link below.

Edgewater has two beaches, Hollywood-Osterman Beach and Foster Avenue Beach. It is well served by CTA buses and the CTA Red Line “L” train which has four Edgewater stops, it’s about a 30 minute ride to the Loop & Downtown. You can find tons of information online about Edgewater. Then if you think you might like Edgewater check it out in person and see what you think. Edgewater has a population of 56,500, it is about 47% White, 17% Black, 19% Hispanic and 12% Asian.

Edgewater Information- http://search.yahoo.com/search;_ylt=A0oG7to7Au9Q.zYA88ul87UF;_ylc=X1MDOTU4MTA0NjkEX3IDMgRhbwNhbwRjc3JjcHZpZANPSEU3SWtnZXVyQWJMczJGSUo5UE1BS3ZZMndxNEZEdkFqQUFDNndNBGZyA3NmcARmcjIDc2J0bgRuX2dwcwMxMARvcmlnaW4Dc3ljBHBxc3RyA0VkZ2V3YXRlciwgQ2hpY2FnbwRxdWVyeQNFZGdld2F0ZXIsIENoaWNhZ28Ec2FvAzEEdG9TdHJpbmcDW29iamVjdCBPYmplY3Rd?p=Edgewater%2C%20Chicago&fr=sfp&pqstr=Edgewater%2C%20Chicago
Edgewater Maps- http://edgewatercommunitycouncil.org/maps
Edgewater- http://www.city-data.com/neighborhood/Edgewater-Chicago-IL.html
Edgewater- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edgewater,_Chicago

Remember there is a large amount of information online, if you want to search for information on a Chicago neighborhood, just put the name of the neighborhood + Chicago in your query box. Some other neighborhoods/community areas to checkout include Bucktown, Lake View, Ravenswood, Roscoe Village, and Wicker Park, but none are both as affordable and as safe Edgewater. Of course with any area you are considering you need to thoroughly check it out online and in person. Below are some sites to help you with your search. Edgewater, Lake View, Ravenswood and Wicker Park have the best train service.

In conclusion, Chicago is a big city, you will want to be aware, because crime can happen anywhere at anytime even in a safe neighborhood and Chicago has it’s fair share of crime. Even a neighborhood which is fine during the day can change character after dark. Don’t live where, lonely, after dark walks are required to get to and from public transportation, live in a lively area where others are out and about. Check out the neighborhood before you move there, check the shopping, check the “L”, see what the neighborhood looks like in the evening, if you see the police ask them about the neighborhood. Check the link below at straightdope.com to learn how you can find the crime rate for the exact neighborhood which interests you. It is up to you to thoroughly check the areas which interest you.

To Find more information on safe areas and neighborhoods. Http://chicago.straightdope.com/sdc20090409.php

Learn even more about Chicago neighborhoods.

Http://www.dreamtown.com/neighborhoods/chicago-neighborhoods.html

Crime per capita in Chicago’s 77 community areas.
Http://blog.lucidrealty.com/2010/07/20/which-chicago-neighborhoods-are-safe/

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