Rates for home ownership have been falling for almost the past decade. And that means a lot more people are renting, so it’s getting harder to find good rental properties. But they are out there if you know how to find them. It just takes starting early, some planning, and some strategic tactics. Whatever you do don’t get flustered and just take the first thing that comes along because it will likely be something you don’t really want. Here are some tips on how to find the best Chicago rental properties.
Begin Searching Early in the Month
The first thing to be aware of in your search for Chicago rental properties is that the best rentals (with respect to price, amenities, and location) are always snatched up in the first part of the month. That means you need to start your search early in the month, not mid-month when you need to find something. Typically, the second and third weekends of the month are the busiest, so if you begin searching by the first weekend, you should be able to beat the competition to the best rental properties.
Move Your Search Offline
It’s fine to begin your search online, but don’t stay there. Nearly 90% of people searching for a rental will look online, usually beginning with Zillow or Craiglist. And that’s fine as a starting point, especially to get a feel for pricing and general availability, but you then need to move your search offline and beat the streets. Get out and drive around the neighborhoods to see what they look like and what kinds of amenities are nearby.
Do Use Social Media
Although you should do more than search rental properties online, you should not neglect social media, especially Facebook. Post on Facebook that you’re looking for a new apartment or rental house and let everyone know that you’re looking. Even if you don’t get any responses from people who see what you post on Facebook, your search and posting will ensure that you are served up those targeted paid ads from people who are advertising rental properties on Facebook.
Offer to Sign a 13-Month Lease
If the competition is fairly stiff for the living spaces you’re interested in, you can sway landlords by offering to sign a 13- or 14-month lease. When the typical 12-month lease expires in November/December, it’s hard for a landlord to find new tenants at that time. So offering to sign a lease that runs a month or two longer would give the landlord assurance that she would have occupancy during those tough months.
Consider a More Humble Building
And don’t go for the shiniest thing out there when looking for rental properties in Chicago rental properties doesn’t have to be all that difficult if you follow these tips. Another thing you should do to is to use a local real estate professional, one who really knows the local market, especially where the competition is stiff. Just be sure to seek out an agent who has experience with the properties you’re interested in and has access to those buildings and neighborhoods.