College Graduates Searching for First Chicago Apartment

June 13, 2016 | By JD Eaton
Reading Time: 3 Minutes

The college dormitories being built and renovated today are galaxies away from the dorms that most of us had the pleasure of living in. Long gone are the days of study rooms with hard wooden chairs and tables lit by florescent lighting. Now universities provide common areas just like the amenity floors at many of Chicago’s luxury buildings. Students today don’t have to rough it in the community bathrooms that we so fondly remember because these kids have showers with heat lamps. So what happens when they graduate and move to a big city? The Chicago apartment search can be overwhelming to anyone relocating to a new city, but today’s college grads have been pampered and are moving to Chicago with high expectations.


Fortunately, we are here to help and answer some important questions for people moving to Chicago. First off is the budget; setting a realistic budget can be tough, especially for those who are new to Chicago’s market. A good method for calculating your budget is to divide your monthly salary into three and stay around that amount. Buildings and landlords will request proof that residents make at least three times their monthly rent.

Many first-time renters have vague ideas about what they are looking for in their first apartments, but it is better to firmly decide criteria before beginning the apartment search. One of the first decisions to be made is often to live in a managed building or under a landlord’s supervision. Managed properties ensure that residents will have security and 24/7 maintenance, which cannot be valued enough. Many of our clients want to have a washer/dryer in unit, but if a building has a laundry room, be sure to see it on the showing. Spend some time researching or walking around potential neighborhoods and learn where the closest grocery store is located. If having a nice gym or pool in the building is important, then add it to the list.

On showings, we recommend that our clients bring a photo ID, notebook or something to take notes with, and a camera or phone to take photos.


Then when it comes time to rent an apartment, applicants will need to have a few things handy. To start the process of applying, you’ll need a credit card or checkbook, proof of income (pay stubs or offer letter), and information to help you fill out your rental history. If a parent is going to serve as a co-signer, they will need a strong credit score and proof of income or proper funding.

Don’t worry, first-time renters! Chicago’s rental market has a lot to offer and there are more than enough options to please everyone. Stick with Luxury Living Chicago Realty, and we’ll ensure that you find the perfect apartment to call home.

For more information and advice about moving to Chicago, download our Relocation Guide below.

Get the Relocation Guide

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in March 2014 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness. 



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