Apartment rental season is in the air. You can almost smell the U-Haul exhaust; hear the realtors’ Blackberries constant buzzing; see the daily growth of Craig’s List postings.
I have become a self-deemed expert at apartment searching. In the past 12 months I have moved to 3 different cities in 3 different states, rented 2 apartments, have been a subleaser and a subleasee. I have seen every type of apartment and meet every type of realtor and landlord in the Midwest. I am burnt out on the apartment search. This time around, it’s for good. After the lease is up on my Wrigleyville 1 bedroom apartment with its view of the Lakeview post office truck lot and curry-smelling stairwells, I am going to find the perfect apartment and settle in for the long haul. At this point in my life, with everything going for me, the world as my playing field, endless possibilities for the future, reaching for the stars; my only true dream is to renew a lease for another year and never go through this Satanic game of cat and mouse with realtors again.
So let me lead you on this adventure through the Chicago rental real estate labyrinth.
I will preface my lesson by saying that I may get slightly more emotionally involved with my apartment search than is necessary. The eternal optimist that I am, a genetic curse from my overly supportive father, believes that true love is out there, true housing love. As I keep up the string of complaints with the rest of the rental community over having to walk through 15 seedy apartments before finding an acceptable abode and having to pack up all my worldly belongings yet again, I still get a small adrenaline rush over the prospect of what I could find behind each apartment door I come to during this year’s apartment search. Could this be the door that holds my downtown view? My spiral staircase? My fireplace? My exposed brick? My 10 minute commute to work? My 2 block walk to both the beach and the el? My gut-rehab warehouse loft with vaulted ceilings and floor to ceiling windows? My dishwasher?? Anything is possible in the real estate world. I realize that the whole process would be less emotionally draining if I settle for a moderate size and price and neighborhood. But I have trouble accepting defeat against my dream home.