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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.