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Living in Style in Your New Chicago-area Abode

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 Relocating to Chicago for work? Not surprising, given the big move of big-name corporations into The Windy City in recent years. But beyond landing a great job and advancing your career, you also need to think about the creature comforts that come with luxury-level apartment living.

Returning home after a hard days’ work in our nation’s 3rd largest city can be a welcoming, relaxing, and stress-defeating ritual that you experience each and every day. But first, you need to find the best upscale apartments for lease in the Chicagoland Area.

Here are five key tips on how to locate your ideal Chicago-area apartment:

1. Look for Online Virtual Tours

You can save time and money while apartment hunting if you do the lion’s share of it online. Search engines will narrow down your prospects based on your “must-haves” and “should-haves” and give you a still too long list of finds.

But if you are looking for spacious homes with great floor plans and impressive ambiance, you can’t just go by facts and figures, you need to get “the feel” of the place. Look for sites with online virtual tours that let you do just that, from a distance, so you can pare down you list to a manageable size, as far as seeing the top prospects in person.

2. Start Early and In-season If Possible

To gain access to the best deals and not be under pressure to take the first offer you find, you need to start your search about a month before you plan to move in. Some say starting as much as two months out is also worthwhile. If you don’t have a hard move-in date, that can give you even more flexibility.

The prime apartment hunting season in Chicago are spring and summer, and hunting can be harder during the off season. But look for brand new apartments that are just opening their doors, because they could pop up any time of year and will be, of course, 100% available.

3. Be Agile and Ready to Strike

It’s not enough just to start early, you also have to be prepared and ready to move fast. Get your financial house 100% in order, so you have the money for deposits and all other initial move-in expenses as soon as you begin to look. And get your references, IDs, tax returns, pay stubs, and any other possibly relevant paperwork ready and take it with you.

By starting early and staying poised, you put yourself in a position to hem and haw as much as you like, but also to suddenly grab that ideal find as soon as you see it. I call it agility, and it’s all about quick-movement potential, but devoid of any franticness.

4. Get Familiar With Typical Market Prices

If you use a realtor, he or she will have intricate familiarity with local pricing trends and be able to inform you on what is or is not a competitive price point. But you should also scan the horizon for yourself and learn what sells for what, so you can recognize a good deal when it is staring you in the face.

Just don’t neglect to take into account special move-in deals where the first month or two or rent is free and other special discounts – because these are fairly common in Chicago.

5. Put a Primacy on Location

Finally, realize that with 77 neighborhoods and numerous suburbs, you can afford to be particular about your location. Factor in distance to work and the traffic you’ll meet on the way. But also think about safety, serenity, and your immediate neighbors and fellow apartment dwellers. Check out Reddit to get the inside scoop on this kind of hard-to-quantify data.

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