Apartments for Cheap

Questions and Answers

Your Questions About Studio Apartments In Chicago

August 20, 2013

Steven asks…

On-campus or off-campus housing and how to get support for college?

This year I decided to either live on-campus or off-campus. I will be sophmore. I determined advantages of living closer to campus will outweight advantages of living with parent. I live near Chicago. I’ve applied for on-campus 5 weeks ago and I am still on waitlist. The school will start in sept 4th. I am not sure if I should look for off-campus housing now for sept 1st or wait 2 weeks after school starts and by this time try to find off-campus apartment by the end of september. Should it get myself studio or 2 bedroom and find a roomate or look for roomates who have available space.
I am afraid that my mother could “cut” my private personal loan for college for this or next year because I made this decision without asking her for permission (even though I am 20 years old and I am adult!) What I should do in that situation? I was thinking then about joining military like National Guard. They could help with paying for college but I would rather utilize this as last resource! Advice?
more details:;_ylt=ArMMuhGN2byyV3Gv3Y0cPg7sy6IX?qid=20070822173726AAOoCrZ
Thanks Brie. But but I am on waitlist and should I wait longer or get off-campus housing. What about parents? Financing my college little depends on them!

Administrator answers:

Live on campus for at least a year. There is absolutely nothing like the experience. You meet some awesome friends that you will ultimately do just about everything with. Downside the dorm food is gross but the good outweighs the bad. I wouldn’t suggest staying in the dorms more than two years because it gets old. However kids in the dorms know all the parties best food and most importantly what teachers to take for classes. Also you can take classes with your dorm buddies and it’s twice the fun!!!

Michael asks…

I want to find an apartmentin Chicago, any suggestions?

So many websites I don’t know which to choose. Is it a good way to connect some house managers? I want to rent one that won’t cost me more than 700 per month. It’s also tired to find a roomate. Is the kind of studios suitable? I can live by myself, but would it be a little lonely?
Newly in Chicago, hope you guys can help me.

Administrator answers:

Come to bridgeport there are always for rent signs around

i seen one on like near 35th and union for a 2 bedroom for abouot 700 a month

and one down the street from me on normal its a 2 level duplex for 1600 a month

but on the average the apartments in bridgeport are kind of cheap and its a decent neighborhood

and if your lonely go hang out in the park there are like 4 within walking distance of my house or the library or one of the vars or rsturants in the area

Ruth asks…

where can i find a cheap studio or apartment in chicago IL?

i need one as soon as possible

Administrator answers:

It is a landlords market in Chicago. Don’t know how cheap you mean, there are places in the $650-700 range. Check with Chicago Apartment Finders, won’t cost you anything and you will quickly know what the cost is depending on the neighborhood you want to live in. There are neighborhoods that nobody wants to live in where you can certainly find something cheaper but they won’t be able to help you in those communities.

Robert asks…

Can I live comfortably on 50k in San Francisco?

I have recently accepted a job in downtown San Francisco and will start next summer I had a few questions.

At 50k a year can I live comfortably? (ie place to live… maybe not alone but a decent place, some disposable income and some money to save)

What kinds of costs can I expect that I am not thinking about?
Well… considering I would be in the 25% tax bracket and CA has a 9.3% income tax for someone in my income… I don’t really think you know.

Administrator answers:

I make quite a bit less than that and live comfortably in the city (of course, I’m a big Jew and handle my money as such). So yes, as long as you budget your money accordingly, you can EASILY live comfortably in SF on $50k.

However, you certainly won’t be the wealthiest person here, and $50k won’t get you as far as it would in, say, St. Louis or New Orleans or something. You probably won’t be able to buy a condo or house anytime soon (unless you already have a huge down-payment saved up), and you’ll definitely be renting. Rent is expensive… Starting at around $1000 a month for a studio (you can sometimes find a place for less, but it’s nearly impossible as such places are usually inlaws owned by very prejudiced and uptight old people… Seriously… Just check the Craig’s List ads illegally requiring “quiet female student who’s fluent in Chinese”). If you want something other than a studio, and in a neighborhood other than the Tenderloin, The Richmond, and The Sunset… Then you’ll probably need to get a roommate.

Electricity and gas are more expensive here, but due to the lack of seasons, heating/cooling costs are sometimes non-existent. I lived in Chicago for a bit and it was common for people to run up $300+ heating bills in the winter. In SF, even though the cost per therm is more, you don’t rack up as many. So at worst, it evens out. At best, it’s less.

Gas (car) is high, but not $3.75! Well, at least it wasn’t a week ago last time I filled the tank up (it was about $3.30, or somewhere thereabout).

You can get a street/area parking permit for $36 a year. So parking’s cheap, unless you want a parking spot… Then it’s $200 – $400 a month. If you don’t have a car at all, then all the best… Public transportation is good and cheaper than other cities with comparable systems (ie: about half the price of public transit in New York and Chicago).

Food is… San Francisco has some of the most expensive and some of the cheapest restaurants I’ve ever seen. So it depends on where you go. Likewise, it depends on what you buy at the grocery store. My food bill is about $300 a month or a bit over, and that includes feeding a dog and a rat, and buying pretty much all organic. So… It’s definitely doable.

One thing to note is that the rental market is very competitive, and could very well take you awhile to find a place. Many people look for a month or two (or more). There are generally 10-30 people applying for each apartment on the first day they’re on the market. Also, if you have pets, it’s even more difficult, as landlords here are douchebags and most don’t allow pets (most people with pets are living in places with rent control… And once a landlord allows pets, under rent control, they can’t change their policy… One of the only good things about rent control, I do say). Likewise, you might have a better bet at finding a place as a roommate… As many are already under rent control (and thus, rent is cheaper) which can get you a very nice room for $600 a month in a nice apartment while you find your footing. Likewise, roommates are usually more easy-going than landlords (who, honestly, will pass you up on the condition that you only make 50K, and many others applying make much more).

All in all… Yes, you can live comfortably… But you’ll definitely need to keep track of your spending.

Also, a note on sales tax… SF doesn’t tax on “necessary” items (food, etc…)… So while the sales tax is a bit higher than some other places (though about the same as many), you aren’t taxed on essential things.

Daniel asks…

Is Los Angeles good to try out music ?

I am thinking of Moving to LA for living. I really like the warm weather a lot and i love palm trees and beaches. But i also like music a lot. Is it suitable for a 19 year old to move there to start off music and are the chances higher in LA than some other cities like Chicago and New York ?

Administrator answers:

Your best bet is to get experience where you are. It’s very expensive here, and you have to come here with some experience under your belt in order to comptete with all the musicians

Coming to Socal out of HS, you’ll make minimum wage, which is currently $8 per hour. If you are lucky enough to get 40 hours per week, that’s 320 per week, or $1280 gross per month. And that’s BEFORE taxes. Take home is probably $910.

Now it’s a hard economic fact that you should spend around 1/3 of your salary on rent or mortgage. One third of $910 is about $300, which is what you can afford.

However, the average rent for a studio/bachelor/single apartment is about $1000, and a 1BR is about $1200. In order to afford that, you need to make at least $3000 per month.

Looks like you’re a little short.

Lisa asks…

i want to rent a cheap studio in june in downtown chicago i mean between 800 and 1000 dollars?

i prefer lake shore dr between 1000 n and 300, or michigan avenue or somewehre close to northwestern.

Administrator answers:

Hey good luck with that one – you want to live in the prime area of a major city, but you want it on the cheap?

Why don’t you try a normal neighborhood like Lincoln Square or Lakeview. South loop would also work.


Donna asks…

What’s a nice high-rise apartment complex in Lincoln Park or Lakeview?

I’d be interested in a studio or 1 bedroom for about $1,000-$1,200 a month. I’m looking for a good recommendation from someone who knows the area (I’m looking through craigslist too).

Administrator answers:

With that kind of cash you can find a LOT of places. The best and easiest place to search is The Chicago Reader website. For what you’re describing, there are a few places with apartments on high floors in Lakeview ( and Lincoln Park ( In addition, I’d check with an apartment finder service like Apartment People or Chicago Apartment Finders. You should have a lot of choices with what you’re looking for.

Chris asks…

How many people have left everything they new and move to a new are they’ve never been?

How many people have left everything they new and move to a new are they’ve never been?

I’m starting to get fed up with my life because there are just so many bad memories and I just want to leave my past behind. Nevertheless, I want to hear stories of people who have done something about it; as in moved out and started there lives over
I actually plan on moving from Jersey to san diego

Administrator answers:

When I was about 25, I drove from Indianapolis to Houston, TX to meet a man I had met on the internet. I was fed up with college, and decided I had enouhg. I only had $120 in my pocket. I put what I could in my car and just went. (though a month later I went back and picked up the rest of my belongings that I wanted and got rid of the rest) I had planned on staying in Houston for just a day or so and then going to my sister’s house in Dallas. However, I stayed in Houston and two weeks later we were married. That over 11 years ago…..going on 12.

9 months later we decided to move to Seattle. Neither of us had jobs, and we had very little money saved, but his cousin was there. My husband went a week before me, and then I packed up all of our belongings into a Uhaul truck and drove to Seattle. We had just enough saved for the truck and gas. His cousin let us stay there for a month, and within a few weeks we both found jobs and moved into our own apartment. It helps if you know someone in the city you are moving to that will allow you to stay there for a short time. Otherwise, you will need enough money saved for short-term housing in a studio suite or run down motel, or enough credit limit to cover the costs. I have moved several more times (from Seattle to Chicago then to the Detroit area and now am overseas in Pakistan of all places………never though that a Indiana farm girl would end up living in Peshawar Pakistan, but that is another story). But the other moves were for my husband’s work and now family and were more organized, and the companies gave us money for relocation.

I fully recommend you take the chance and just do it. It was the best thing I ever did. Go through all your belonging, keep only what you truly need. If you can rough it without much furniture for a while then give it away. The lighter you are when you go the easier it will be for you to move. Get your resume together before you go, so that you can start looking for jobs right away. I’m not sure that I would move to California cause the cost of living is so hight there……but that is a personal choice. Also consider Seattle and maybe even Portland OR. Seattle was probably my favorite city in the US that I have lived. Las Vegas and Phoenix have booming economies, making it easier to find work and the cost of living is a lot less. Even now my husband is moving from Detroit to Las Vegas because of the economy. He is relocating his business to there so he can take advantage of all the design work available in Nevada and Arizona.

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