When you relocate to Chicago, start with a short-term furnished apartment

View north from a Suite Home Chicago apartment at Coast

Relocating into a new city (or possibly a new country) can be nerve-wracking and stressful. You are not only trying to find the perfect apartment to call “home,” but you are trying to pick that perfect neighborhood with the right grocery stores, dry cleaners, schools, etc. – all the important things that make your home “home.” It is a big task to accomplish in a 2- or 3-day visit to your new locale.

Instead of relying on an apartment locator or real-estate based app giving you advice on which apartment building or neighborhood might be the most popular or safest, you might want to consider spending a month or two in temporary housing to fully experience your new city. This kind of extended-stay housing is called “corporate housing,” defined as a furnished apartment made available for rent for 30 or more days. These corporate rentals allow for flexible lease terms, allowing renters to terminate their stay with just a few weeks’ notice.

Pool deck, North Water, Chicago

Corporate housing allows you to “test drive” your new locale. When checking in, guests only need to bring their clothes and personal effects. The corporate housing provider takes care of the rest, affording you the opportunity to develop an understanding of your surroundings without a long-term commitment. You then get that month or two to acclimate yourself to your new hometown. Finding your permanent home then becomes a thoughtful process, rather than a rush decision.

State Street terrace, Marquee at Block 37, Chicago

In addition, if you are considering a particular apartment complex, you can stay in a corporate apartment for a few months to see if that property really works for you before committing to a year-long unfurnished lease. It saves you from going to the building leasing office and paying all the application fees until you are entirely sure you want to live at the property. It also saves you from possibly moving into a property, discovering that the neighborhood is not right for you, and then hiring movers again to move just 12 months later. Constant moving will cause your costs to skyrocket over time.

“We knew what neighborhood we wanted to live in,” relates a woman who recently moved back to Chicago with her future husband after living in southern California, New York and San Francisco. “A short-term stay made the process a breeze. We were able to enjoy the great amenities and views in the building where we stayed, and walk to all of the buildings we were considering. On-site storage and parking made the move our easiest ever.”

Suite Home Chicago, AMLI River North

Temporary housing is usually more expensive than traditional unfurnished housing. Prices in luxury, full-amenity buildings in downtown Chicago typically range from about $3,000 to $5,000 per month for corporate housing for a studio or 1 bedroom in downtown Chicago. That can be double the rent of a vacant apartment. Corporate housing rent, however, includes all the furnishings, housewares, linens, electronics, plus utilities (water, gas, electric, cable, internet), and the apartments often have in-unit washer / dryers. Most rates are all-inclusive (varies by corporate housing company), so you do not have to worry about setting up utilities as you pack up your current home.

Suite Home Chicago, MILA

Moving can be crazy and stressful. Renting a corporate apartment for a “month or a few months to allow yourself to settle into your new city may help alleviate some of that stress. It is a creative way to sample a building or neighborhood without fully committing, and affords you the opportunity to calmly choose your permanent digs.

About the author – Jennifer Breen
Jennifer Breen is the owner of Suite Home Chicago, a locally-based corporate housing company. Established in 2005, Suite Home Chicago offers luxury furnished, corporate apartments with flexible leasing terms throughout the Chicago (and now Milwaukee) area.

Suite Home Chicago apartments are fully equipped with modern furnishings, luxury linens, and all the housewares needed for a temporary stay. The Suite Home staff members strive to provide guests a “home away from home” experience, and are equipped to handle large corporate groups, project work, relocation, medical travel, entertainment crews, interns, and government travel.

Suite Home Chicago is a WBE-certified woman-owned business and a CCHP (Certified Corporate Housing Providers) Accredited member of the Corporate Housing Providers Association (CHPA), a professional trade association exclusively dedicated to supporting corporate housing providers. Suite Home Chicago owner Jennifer Breen is a certified Corporate Housing Professional (CCHP) and Planning Co-Chair for the Chicago Corporate Relocation Council (CRC).

To learn more about Suite Home Chicago corporate housing, visit the website, contact the company headquarters at 312-638-0891 or email sales@suitehomechicago.com.

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