Sage rental advice from a commenter

Chicago, New East Side viewed from Legacy condos, photo by Michael Kardas

This recent comment by nwzimmer merits your consideration if you’re in the market to rent an apartment in Chicago:

There is a HUGE discrepancy in monthly rates when renting at an exclusively rental building versus renting a condo from an individual owner. As high as $600-700 more per month (!!) at a rental building vs. a comparable condo from an individual owner.

Not only that, but while these rental building are increasing rents, with individual owners, I think they’d much rather keep a good tenant at the same rent than have to pay a broker to find them a new tenant (in addition to the chance that any new tenant may not be so worry-free), especially in cases where the condo owner is out of state, many investors who bought way too high and now are far underwater.

So I kind of see people who are leasing condos from individual owners as the ‘smart renters’, whereas the people who are renting in rental buildings are either too lazy or ill-informed to find a better value. (generalization of course, but that’s the general idea).

There are, of course, a number of valid reasons why some renters might opt to pay a premium to live in a rental building rather than a comparable condo building.

Avoiding the risk that your landlord might be on the edge of foreclosure – or might be a Craigslist scammer – is one. Another is that residents of an all-rental building aren’t subject to the sometimes ugly confrontations that occur between renters and owners in condo buildings. Professional management is yet another. Many renters may be unwilling to time their selections around the board approval process in some condominiums.

Are any or all of those considerations worth the premium that nwzimmer highlights?

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