Tuesday, May 17, 2016

4 Factors Gold Coast Apartment Managers Typically Require From Tenants

If you're new to renting in Chicago's Gold Coast neighborhood, you may wonder what apartment property management will require of you. For approval to lease an apartment in the Gold Coast, there are usually four requirements you should meet. These requirement will vary slightly between property management companies.

Credit Score 

You should have a credit score of around 700 or above to ensure your application is approved. If you're not sure about your credit score, visit Annual Credit Report. This site allows you to pull one free credit report per year and is approved by federal law. If your credit is below 700, you may need to get a co-signer in order for your rental application to be approved. 

Income 

Be prepared to show proof that your gross monthly income (before taxes) is three times the monthly rent price. For example; if you want to rent a studio that costs $1,500 per month, your monthly income needs to reflect at least $4,500. If you have plans of moving in the near future, it's best to hold onto your pay stubs if you don't already. 

Background 

Landlords basically want to know that you're able to keep a steady job and pay your rent. Gold Coast landlords may check your past work history, rental history, and obviously credit score. They also want to find out if you've been convicted of any crimes. If you were, make sure to be honest and upfront about your background with your leasing consultant and on the application. It's worse if the landlord finds out during the background check because you'll seem shady and dishonest. 

Previous Rental Experience

Gold Coast apartment managers may want to learn about your past rental experience. This doesn't always happen, but it's best to get prepared if they want your last landlord's information and details about why you left that property. 


Your leasing consultant should ask you about all four of these factors above. Being honest about your credit score, income, background, and previous rental experience allows your leasing consultant to find you the best apartment for your personal needs, saves you money on rejected applications, and prevents a lot of wasted time visiting the wrong apartment buildings. Remember:  your leasing agent/consultant is not (or should NOT be) judging you on your answers to these questions... he or she should be simply trying to help you find the ideal apartment. 

Saturday, May 14, 2016

6 Eco-friendly Cleaning Tips for Gold Coast Apartments

Chicago's Gold Coast apartments are known for featuring high-end finishes such as granite countertops and Euro cabinets. Keeping your Gold Coast apartment spotless not only enhances its aesthetic appeal, but also makes your home life much more pleasant. Before you use the wrong cleaning solution (aka chemical concoction) on a surface it shouldn't be used on, check out the eco-friendly cleaning tips below. These cleaning tips are super simple, so you can spend less time cleaning and avoid damaging your apartment.

Use simple cleaning tips to save time and money.
(pixabay.com)

Stainless Steel Appliances

Spray the stainless steel surface liberally with a solution of one part white vinegar to one part water to kill germs. Using a cotton or microfiber cloth, rub the stainless steel surface along the grain. Thoroughly wipe off the vinegar solution, and buff until the surface is completely dry. Never use any abrasive solution or scrub brush on stainless steel.

Granite Countertops

Add a drop of plant-based dish soap (I like the The Honest Company's dish soap) to a clean pail or cooking bowl. Fill the pail with about a 1/2 gallon of lukewarm water. Wipe down the granite countertops with this soapy solution using a soft, non-abrasive sponge. Buff-dry the surface with a microfiber cloth to prevent cloudy streaks from developing. If you wish to disinfect the surface, use a solution of one part isopropyl alcohol to one part water.

Liquid dish soap makes a versatile cleaning solution.
(pixabay.com)

Laminate Countertops

Spray the laminate surface with a solution of one part water to one part white vinegar to kill germs. Use a microfiber cloth to wipe down the surface until dry. If persistent stains remain, make a paste of three parts baking soda to one part water. Slather the paste directly onto the stains, let the paste fully dry, then scrub it off the countertop using a non-abrasive sponge dampened with water. Dry the laminate surface thoroughly using a microfiber cloth.

Ceramic Tiles

Simply sweep the floor tiles with a broom regularly to remove loose dust and grime, and then mop the tiles with a mild dish soap solution. To prepare the solution, mix a few drops of plant-based dish soap with warm water in a mop pail. Change the water as it becomes cloudy, and allow the tiles to air dry.

Plush Carpet

Sprinkle baking soda liberally onto the carpet to deodorize it and then vacuum as usual. For most stains, blot with a clean cloth damped with cold water. Read this article for a complete guide about removing stains from carpet.

Bay Windows & Mirrors

Mix 2 tablespoons of white vinegar with 2 cups of distilled water and pour into a spray bottle. Spray the solution liberally onto the glass surface, and then immediately wipe dry using a microfiber cloth.


Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Top 6 Factors to Consider When Choosing A Gold Coast Apartment


Choosing an apartment is a task many people dread. Although apartment hunting is often stressful for some people, it doesn't have to be. Aside from working with a leasing consultant like myself, there are five main factors you must consider when picking your next apartment home. They are in no specific order.

Vibe

Everything in life has a "vibe" including apartments. The minute you walk into the building, just reflect for a moment on the feeling you get. This is especially important when you view the apartment unit. If you get a negative or uneasy feeling in your gut, then trust that feeling. Although you aren't buying a home, you're still signing a lease to live there for a year or six months, at least. This is going to be your home... the place where you get away from the world at the end of the day. You have to resonate with the vibe of the apartment. The atmosphere of the apartment should mesh well with your personality.

Location

The location of your apartment is essential. It's best to choose an apartment as close to your work as possible to cut down on your commute time and make your life easier. For those who take the CTA, then you'll probably want to find an apartment that's within walking distance of the red line or bus routes. You'll be glad you did when winter comes around. Fortunately, the Gold Coast is accessible to lots of shopping and nightlife, so you're sure to find a place nearby whatever is happening in the area.

Management

Is the management helpful? This is important because you will be dealing with the staff for the length of your lease. If something goes wrong in your unit, it can be a nightmare dealing with unhelpful staff. You will want the peace of mind knowing that someone will handle your maintenance needs in a timely fashion. There's no harm in asking a random tenant what they really think about the management and the overall experience living there.

Safety

Fortunately, Chicago's Gold Coast neighborhood is one of the safest in the city. It's still important to consider the safety of your apartment building and unit. Make sure the building is adequately lit, especially in the parking area, around the entrances, and outdoors. Your potential unit should also have working smoke detectors, locking windows, and quality locks on the door (deadbolt). Make sure the unit is easily accessible to a fire route, as well. If you have small children, consider how close the entrance of the building is to a busy street.

Affordability

This one may seem obvious, but it's still an important factor to consider when choosing your Gold Coast apartment. Since this area is one of the most affluent in the Chicago area, most landlords expect your gross monthly income to be thee times the price of the rent. Don't forget to add in utilities with the rent.

Amenities

Gold Coast apartments are full of amenities, but each building differs slightly in the amenities they offer. Know what specific amenities you absolutely can not do without, and let your leasing consultant know what they are. Most apartments in the Gold Coast offer breathtaking views, business centers with free wifi, and updated fitness rooms. Some apartments also have rooftop decks, pools, and dog parks.

Moving to Chicago's Gold Coast neighborhood? Contact April Dowling at (312) 965-6444. I specialize in helping tenants find their next apartment without any charge. 

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Beautiful City & Lake Views - Just One Reason to Love the Gold Coast

Chicago's Gold Coast neighborhood is literally unlike any other in the county. It features amazing, front row views of Lake Michigan to the east and stunning city views to the south and west.

Lake Michigan view from the Gold Coast (pixabay.com)

If you move to the Gold Coast neighborhood, you'll have the pleasure of waking up and going to sleep to these magnificent views every day. You'll also be just steps away from the beach.

As a resident of Chicago, I can attest how beautiful the morning sun looks on the lake and the serenity of the pink and orange sunsets.

Chicago sunset (pixabay.com)

If you decide you'd rather have a city view, you are in for a treat! You could get a magnificent view of the John Hancock building, like in this photo below.


Chicago's Gold Coast at night (pixabay.com)


Once the sun goes down, the real fun begins in Chicago's Gold Coast. The city view from the Gold Coast is simply breathtaking.

As you can see, the views from Chicago's Gold Coast never get boring no matter the time of day or night. Awaken your senses and truly take in all the Gold Coast has to offer.