It’s common for renters to be told that there’s nothing available in their preferred location for what they’re willing to pay. That may well be true, but it’s often an indication of something else.
One possibility is that you’re dealing with a complete rookie who simply doesn’t know what’s available or doesn’t understand the city well enough to guide you to a comparable neighborhood.
Another possibility is that your agent is attempting to upsell you into paying more rent – and generating a higher commission. Rental service agents a/k/a apartment locators a/k/a apartment finders typically earn surprisingly little money and a few extra dollars can be very meaningful to them.
A common scenario is that landlords who have apartments in your price range and target neighborhood don’t cooperate with rental services. The rental services won’t tell you that.
Most rental services won’t show you MLS-listed condos for rent despite the fact that they’re often priced very competitively against managed rental properties. The reasons for this vary from the services’ unwillingness to accept the lower commission involved in a condo rental, to an agent’s ignorance of the process involved in renting a condo, to the fact that the agent may be unlicensed.
If you’re looking to rent in one of the near-lakefront neighborhoods covered in our at-a-glance lists, it’s very easy to find an apartment without incurring the risks involved in working with a rental service.