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ChicagoDowntown / Loop

Downtown Chicago apartment deals and finds

Circa 922

The West Loop‘s Circa 922,, 922 W Washington, is offering a month’s free rent on new 1-bedroom apartments and a month-and-a-half on new 2-bedrooms. Renters must take occupancy by March 31, 2015 to qualify for the free rent offer. Agree to rent within 24 hours of your initial visit to Echelon in the Fulton River ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on January 30, 2015
DealsChicagoDowntown / Loop

Near North Chicago apartment deals and finds

Atwater night view

Atwater, 355 E Ohio, will apply the $450 admin fee to the first month’s rent for a client who rents a currently vacant apartment within 48 hours of their initial visit. Resident parking at Atwater is $225 a month – a bargain for Streeterville. Unit 3506 at Atwater, a 1-bedroom, has been newly renovated with ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on January 29, 2015
ChicagoNorth Side

Lincoln Park apartment deals and finds

Park Lincoln

Park Lincoln, the 24-story high-rise at 2470 N Clark St, has quietly been undergoing a major makeover of its common areas and apartments. The revamped convertible and one-bedroom apartments have entirely new kitchens and baths, wood-look floors and in-unit washer / dryers. The new kitchens have granite counters, glass tile backsplashes, under-cabinet lighting, under-mount sinks ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on January 28, 2015
DealsChicagoNorth Side

Lakeview apartment deals and finds

634 W Cornelia

Planned Property is waiving the $300 move-in fee for one-bedrooms renting from $1,300 a month at 634 W Cornelia. The large one-bedrooms in this classic courtyard building have refinished hardwood floors. Halsted Flats, a new luxury apartment tower, has a variety of deals: A free $200 parking spot for 12 months on two-bedroom apartments for ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on January 27, 2015

That apartment was rented before you applied

Kardas photo

Applying for an apartment that’s already been rented – or was never available – is just one of the very many pitfalls you’ll encounter when you work with a Chicago rental service / apartment locator / apartment finder. Many landlords allow multiple rental services to advertise and show their apartments while retaining the right to ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on January 19, 2015
ChicagoNorth Side

Start your Lakeview apartment hunt with landlords

Belmont Harbor

When you’re searching for an apartment in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood, Craigslist and rental services are likely to prove a time-consuming, frustrating and risky dead end. Most Lakeview landlords advertise on Craigslist, but their ads are drowned out by a flood of bait-and-switch rental service ads. One critical thing – among many – the rental services ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on January 14, 2015
ChicagoDowntown / Loop

New downtown apartments lowering rents – but not really

Aerial view of downtown

A number of new downtown apartment buildings have recently lowered their rents while simultaneously discontinuing free rent offers. Almost all of the free rent offers required payment of the full stated rent and no payment in select months. New renters were not allowed to amortize the free months over the term of the lease and ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on January 14, 2015

How fraudulent Yelp reviews help Chicago renters

Yelp

We’ve written previously about apparently fraudulent Yelp reviews for Live Here Chicago, a local rental service / apartment locator / apartment finder. Company agents and former agents have reportedly been encouraged to create positive reviews for themselves at Yelp. Read the recent reviews pictured above from a single Yelper. It’s obvious that both can’t be ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on January 9, 2015

Will 2015 be a year of apartment deals and discounts?

Aerial view of downtown Chicago

The downtown Chicago apartment market added more than 2,000 new rental apartments in 2014. The rental market showed surprising strength last year, but all of the new units haven’t been filled despite discounts and incentive offers that ranged as high as three free months’ rent. Nearly 4,000 new apartments will be added in downtown Chicago ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on January 5, 2015

Be wary of Evanston apartment hype

Aerial view of AMLI Evanston

Evanston, home to Northwestern University, is an affluent, highly-educated North Shore suburb. It’s the kind of place where you’d expect landlords to avoid making inflated claims about their properties and locations. My conclusion from visiting dozens of Evanston apartment websites is that they’re typically far less factually accurate than you’d expect or like. The eBrochure ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on December 31, 2014

Apartments Management Group racks up negative reviews at Yelp

Uptown aerial

It’s not unusual for property management companies to receive negative reviews at Yelp. Apartments Management Group, a successor to Beal Properties, stands out for the near-unanimity of its negative reviews. Yelpers who claim to have rented from the company have panned it in great detail. A five-star reviewer amusingly reports being “always so beyond well ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on December 17, 2014

Sign a longer lease and save on rent

Aerial view of Gold Coast

The Chicago apartment market typically slows down in the winter season, one reason why local landlords don’t like to have leases expiring during the winter months. Some landlords offer incentives to winter renters who are willing to sign a lease that expires during the more active spring and summer seasons. One building, for example, is ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on December 8, 2014

Is Flats Chicago a vacation rental scofflaw?

Flats Chicago

Chicago’s Vacation Rental Ordinance (“Ordinance”) has been on the books for several years, but a quick scan of Airbnb provides evidence that it’s being routinely ignored. Back in July we questioned whether Flats Chicago had the licenses required by the Ordinance for its Airbnb listings at 4875 N Magnolia. We also questioned whether Flats Chicago ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on December 5, 2014

Is Jerome Bressler Chicago’s sleaziest rental agent?

Jerome Bressler

A year ago in October we questioned whether Jerome Bressert was Chicago’s sleaziest rental agent. We didn’t receive any nominations for that award, but we did just receive a comment on our post wondering whether Bressert was doing business under the name of Jerome Bressler. We checked Bressert’s website and his profile at Exit Strategy ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on December 5, 2014

Apartment People CEO slams Yelp, slimes self

Yelp screen cap

Ilene Collins, CEO of Apartment People, replied to a hyper-positive Yelp review by suggesting that the review might be taken down from the site “since we are not advertisers.” As I read the review, the first from a new Yelper, I found myself unable to believe that it reflected an actual consumer experience with Apartment ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on December 3, 2014

How to get an edge on renting the best apartments

Astoria Tower

If you’re working with a rental service, the odds are high that you’re not going to able to rent some of Chicago’s most desirable apartments. Some of the companies that own and manage sought-after apartments either don’t cooperate with rental services or only allow them access to their hard-to-rent units. If you want to rent ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on December 1, 2014

How fast your agent gets paid may bias which apartments you see

Aerial Grant Park

A recent comment at YoChicago: I am hearing thru the grapevine that some agents are actually quietly boycotting some buildings and management companies. The management companies that have been boycotted have been super late on paying out commissions and have clearly made demands about advertising and marketing that clearly makes agents feel that it’s a ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on November 24, 2014

Should you respond to a blind real estate employment ad?

Hancock

You’ll see quite a few ads at Craigslist for apartment leasing openings with leasing and management companies that go unnamed in the ad. You’ll also see ads from unnamed brokerage firms seeking to hire brokers. The Illinois Real Estate License Act requires licensed rental services and brokers to disclose their name in that type of ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on November 17, 2014

Save on rent by referring a friend

Grant Park

Many of Chicago’s managed apartment buildings offer “resident referral programs.” The concept is simple: refer a friend who rents an apartment in your building, and receive a discount on your rent. The amount of the discount varies by company and building. The most lucrative we’ve seen is $1,000. The Illinois Real Estate License Act makes ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on November 11, 2014
ChicagoDowntown / Loop

Back to the future for River North boundaries

Aerial view of River North

About twenty years ago we began reporting the boundaries of Chicago’s River North neighborhood as follows: The River North neighborhood is bounded by the Chicago River on the south, Oak St (1000 N) on the north, from Michigan Ave (100 E) west to the Chicago River. River North is part of the Near North Side ...

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Posted by Joe Zekas on November 4, 2014