How Much Rent Can I Afford?

One of the biggest factors when considering a new apartment is the price. The cost of rent will probably be one of your biggest, if not your biggest, monthly expenses. It can be a big step to sign a lease, one that shouldn’t be taken unless you know how much you will be paying and if you can afford it. 

What Percentage of My Income Should Go To Rent?

Generally, it is typical to utilize around 30% of your income for rent. This way you can assure you can afford it while also having funds for other expenses as well as savings. While this is a good general rule to follow when deciding how much you should spend on rent, you most certainly can go above or below this threshold if you see fit. Depending on the kind of person you are and your relationship with this apartment, you could comfortably spend more or less than 30% if you have considered the value of the apartment to you and your lifestyle.

Some people are more thrifty than others and would rather keep a monthly expense, such as rent, lower. If you are this kind of person, it can be a genuine action to consider. By keeping rent costs low you can focus on other expenses. Maybe you are starting a business or going to school, it can be more beneficial to focus more of your income on supporting these areas for the time being.

Usually someone in this situation would look at utilizing 20% of their income for rent. If you are considering this method it is important not to go too low. This can lead to bigger issues, such as living in an apartment that is too minimal for your needs and you will end up feeling like you are paying too much for too little.

On the other hand, some people like to indulge in their living space. This new apartment is their home and they want it to be just right. These people are willing to spend more to get that perfect place. As long as you know that you are paying more and are maybe willing to limit spending in other areas there is nothing wrong with having a higher than average rent cost.

Usually this kind of expense is closer to 40% of the renter’s income. While you may prioritize your apartment as more of a necessary expense than other areas, it is important to not spend all of your income on rent; as you will still need funds for emergencies and variable expenses.

Average Rent In Chicago

According to Zumper, the median monthly rent cost for a one-bedroom apartment in Chicago as of December 2020 is $1,437, and $1,765 for a two-bedroom apartment. While Chicago is the third largest city in the United States it doesn’t even make the top ten of U.S. cities with the highest rent. Considering how much Chicago has to offer in terms of work and entertainment options, a lower rent cost makes it one of the more desirable places to live.

With all this being said, there still is a lot to consider. Chicago is home to 77 communities, filled with their own unique neighborhoods. These neighborhoods offer their own lifestyles and experiences. This wide range in experiences plays into the day to day life of living in a specific area of Chicago but it can also significantly affect the rent cost. There are several factors can affect the cost of your rent. 

High traffic, trendy areas, with a bustling nightlife will ultimately cost more to live in as there is a large appeal and strong draw to the area but that does not mean you have to live in an area that is desolate and isolated from the rest of the city. Many neighborhoods offer their own appeal in unique restaurants, cultural legacies, and dedicated nightlife. Chicago has a diverse group of residents, all with their own interests. If you are moving to the city for the first time it is important to learn a little about some of the different neighborhoods and see which one might be right for you, so that you can get the most out of your living experience.

While apartments in or around Chicago’s downtown will be the most expensive, like most cities, it is important to see that neighborhoods across the city still offer that connection to the city at a much more affordable price. Whether it be the North, South, or West sides of the city, you can find an apartment that allows you to feel like you are a part of the city’s ecosystem at a fraction of the price of a downtown apartment. 

Due to Chicago’s renowned public transit system you can easily find yourself within access of the rest of the city. It only takes 45 minutes to get from O’hare to downtown via the blue line; just imagine how much quicker it is to get somewhere from a neighborhood closer to the heart of the city. This system of trains and buses will make sure you are always within reach of another destination around the city.

Much of the city’s nightlife is spread out throughout these many neighborhoods. Depending on your interests you may find one area of the city more appealing to you but you may find yourself traveling to a different neighborhood each weekend to meet up with friends and coworkers. Whether it be the bars overflowing with ecstatic Cubs fans in Wrigleyville or the nationally renowned restaurants on Randolph street. There are major music venues encompassing the city from Uptown to Pilsen. You don’t have to pay a higher price and live down the street from these places. You should be able to find a way to reach your favorite spots with ease from a location that fits your desired budget.

When it comes to Chicago there are a lot of options and their appeal really depends on the kind of person you are. Come see which properties SRE Holdings has to offer and how we can help find that perfect fit for you.

Posted in Property Management | Leave a comment

Chicago Apartment Guide

So, you’ve decided to move to Chicago or find a new apartment within the city. Chicago is a great city that offers a vast variety in apartment styles and locations. Whether you are looking for a historic bungalow or a state-of-the-art rental apartment building, Chicago offers housing options for residents of all interests and backgrounds. While offering a variety of choices, finding an apartment in Chicago can still be a competitive and considerable process. It is important to know what you want, what you need, and what you can afford before starting your apartment hunt.

What To Consider When Finding Apartments For Rent In Chicago

When looking for an apartment in Chicago there are a few things to consider. Knowing the answers to these following questions can really help streamline your search process. By having a clearer idea of what you want you can start limiting options down to exactly what you want. By providing SRE Holdings with these answers, we can help provide you with the right apartment for you with minimal time spent looking at incompatible properties.

How Much Will It Cost?

Price is often the first thing we think about when making any big purchase and apartments are no different. Knowing what your budget is and what you are willing to spend is a great way to immediately focus your search.

There are a lot of factors that determine rent prices in Chicago, many of which take into account the questions asked further on in this article. For being the third most populated city in the United States, Chicago rarely makes it into the top ten most expensive cities in the United States. While you can still find high price apartments all across the city, SRE Holdings likes to maintain this reputation by offering its clients with the best deals for them.

What Amenities Are Included?

Amenities can be a vast variable when it comes to calculating the overall cost of an apartment. Utilities can often be overlooked when considering the cost of an apartment. Some properties may include utilities, some may not; some may even be a mix. It is important to know up front what you are getting in the base price and what you may be paying for additionally.

Other amenities, such as in-unit laundry or an on-site fitness facility, are also important to consider when choosing an apartment. These additions may hold different emphasis depending on the individual so know what exactly it is you value in your daily routine. 

The auxiliary expenses of amenities often go unnoticed and are important when calculating your overall living costs. An on-site fitness facility could replace the cost of a gym membership and in-unit laundry replaces the cost of using a laundromat. There is also the opportunity cost to consider when evaluating these amenities. How much value do these on location amenities offer to you instead of having to go somewhere else on a regular basis?

Where Is It Located?

Chicago is home to 77 distinct neighborhoods, each offering their own unique experiences and lifestyles. Knowing what you need and which is right for you is the next most important factor in choosing an apartment. Maybe you already have a destination picked out and you are determined to find an apartment there. Maybe you are new to the city and aren’t sure which place is right for you. Knowing where in Chicago is best for you is crucial to finding your right apartment. Chicago offers so many things to do and places to see that it can often be overlooked or unappreciated if not properly considered.

Once again, it is important to consider your lifestyle. Are you an athletic person who enjoys daily runs or bike rides? Living near the lakefront or the 606 trail may make a big difference for you. What if you like going out to nice bars and restaurants? Living within walking distance to a variety of evening entertainment could be your driving desire. 

Often we determine our apartment location by where we work. Working near, or within easy access of, our residence can be the biggest factor in choosing an apartment. Chicago’s vast public transit system can offer you a wide variety of options depending on your ideal length of commute.

Are You Living Alone or With Others?

While living alone may be optimal for some, it is often necessary to split rent costs among roommates. This may mean getting a bigger apartment than is necessary for just one inhabitant. that being said, it is often more economical to share the cost across one or more roommates. 

Maybe you are living with your significant other or your children. It is important to consider their needs as well. Finding a place that both you and your partner enjoy and find value in can be difficult but is necessary to maintaining your mutual happiness. If you have a child, you will also want to consider factors such as schools and parks within the vicinity of the property.

Do You Have Pets?

A big question when finding an apartment is if it is pet friendly? Often, many apartments do not allow pets. While this can be discouraging, it can also help in narrowing down acceptable properties for you to rent. Chicago is also home to many pet stores and facilities, such as dog parks, this can be a determining factor in choosing the right apartment for you.

Do You Have A Car?

A car can be a blessing and a curse when living in a city. Chicago is no different. Depending on the area of the city in which you choose to live and the amenities of the individual apartment, having a car can make a big difference. In some neighborhoods parking can be a scarce resource. Moving to a highly populated neighborhood can leave you with few options and often paying a higher price to park.

It is important to consider if parking or a garage is offered for the apartment. In some lesser populated neighborhoods parking can be less of an issue. In these cases you might only need permit parking or even have free street parking available.  

Finding The Best Apartments In Chicago

Now that you have begun to consider some of these determining factors, it’s time to start finding the apartment that is best for you. Know what you value most in an apartment and see what SRE Holdings, LLC has to offer.

Posted in Property Management | Leave a comment

How Much Should You Spend on Rent?

When you live in an expensive city like Chicago, it’s smart to know exactly how much you should spend on your rent. Rent prices in cities can vary by location, building, or even block. Searching for an apartment is already a stressful situation, which is why we recommend having the tools a qualified realtor can give you. But unfortunately, they can’t tell you how much YOU can afford for rent. Only you can figure that out!

In this article, we will help you determine how much you can spend on rent by telling you all about some very helpful renting rules, taking a look at renting in Chicago, and finally, showing you some great places to rent in a few different locations! 

How Much Should You Spend On Rent? 

You’re ready to take on the responsibility and excitement that comes with finding a new place to rent, but have you figured out how much you can afford? Before you can talk to a realtor or do your own search for a home to rent, you need to know what you can afford. There are a few different ways to figure out the amount you can spend. Below we will look deeper into the 30% rule, the 50/30/20 rule, and understanding other, non-rent related costs that you will need to know. 

The 30% Rule

So, what is the 30% rule? The 30% rule is a guideline used to help people determine how much they should spend on rent. The general guideline for this rule is that you shouldn’t spend more than 30% of your income on rent. Let’s look at an example of this:

If your income is: $50,000. 

Take: 50,000 x .30. 

=15,000. 

Divide 15,000 by 12 (each month of the year) 

That would equal: $1,250. 

Based on the 30% rule, a person with an annual income of $50,000 should spend no more than $1,250 a month on rent. 

This is a good, general rule of thumb to look at before searching for a home to rent, but it doesn’t factor in other costs that go into daily life or non-rent purchases. 

The 50/30/20 Rule

The 50/30/20 rule is a lifestyle budget guide for managing expenses. The rule, as opposed to the 30% rule, allows for other monetary factors to be included when trying to create a renting budget. However, this rule doesn’t specifically look at rent, but at “needs” as a whole (which would include rent.) This is how this budget rule is laid out:

  • 50%- Needs
  • 30%- Wants
  • 20%- Savings

These two rules are good basics to research when creating a renting budget and both can be used together or separate, but offer different things. The 30% rule is tied very specifically to understanding how much you should spend on rent whereas the 50/30/20 rule is more for a basic budget. 

Other Costs (Non-Rent) 

While it is, of course, necessary to break down and understand your specific budget for rent, it is also necessary to look at monetary factors that play an equally important role in your monthly costs for a home. This is important because knowing how much you’re going to spend on other monthly payments can affect whether or not you can afford rent. These other factors can include:

  • Utilities
  • Insurance
  • Groceries
  • Public Transportation/Car 
  • Wifi/Television

Rent Costs in Chicago

Chicago, with its historic architecture, abundant job opportunities, and vast array of culture, is one of the best cities to live in. It is, however, also one of the most expensive. Chicago is divided into 77 different community neighborhoods that offer different apartment types, restaurants, and views. Rent won’t look the same in Bronzeville as they do in Pilsen, the Gold Coast, or Rogers Park.

It would take multiple articles to go through rent in every one of those neighborhoods, so we are just going to look at a few different neighborhoods that are on the north side. Below, we will look at rent pricing in Lakeview, Lincoln Square, and Rogers Park and compare these popular North Side neighborhoods. 

What is Considered Expensive Rent?

Now that we’ve looked at how to find out what rent amount works for you, let’s look at what is considered expensive. The truth is, there’s no real way to know. Yes, obviously, $9,000 a month is generally considered expensive, but there are people who find that reasonable.

The reason there’s no way to know is because how much you can spend on rent is entirely personal and will vary for everyone based on their individual salaries. The reason why we chose to include the “rent rules” above is so you, specifically, know how much you can afford. Anything higher than that is considered expensive rent. 

Below, we will go into a few different North Side neighborhoods and include great rental properties for each! 

Renting in Rogers Park

Rogers Park is a neighborhood on the very north side of Chicago that offers a quiet, fairly inexpensive feel. Loyola University is in Rogers Park and is extremely close to Lake Michigan. Because of its farther distance to downtown, rent is a lot more accessible in Rogers Park. 

Ask us about our Rogers Park rental property: 6341-43 N Wayne

Renting in Lincoln Square

Lincoln Square is a neighborhood on the northwest side of Chicago and, similarly to Rogers Park, offers a very quaint, young family feel. It also has an extensive restaurant and shopping center in the main center of Lincoln Square. Rent here can be moderate to expensive. 

Ask us about our Lincoln Square rental property: 4860-4870 N Rockwell

Renting in Lakeview

Lakeview is a North Side neighborhood nestled between Uptown and Lincoln Park and houses many attractions including Wrigley Field. Lakeview has multiple sections within the neighborhood that can affect rent prices. Generally, Lakeview is moderate to expensive. 

Ask us about our Lakeview rental property: 654 W Wellington Ave

How SRE Holdings Can Help You!

At SRE Holdings, we know and love Chicago and are here to help you find a great rental property that fits your individual budget! We believe that finding an apartment should be stress-free, personalized, and available for everyone. Contact us today for information on our rental properties or questions that we can help answer! 

Posted in Property Management | Leave a comment

How to Find Apartments in Chicago

Are you wondering how to find apartment rentals in Chicago? In this article, we will show you the best websites for renting an apartment in Chicago and tell you what to look out for in apartment listings. 

Best Websites for Apartments

Here are some of the best website to check out when searching for apartments in Chicago:

Domu

Domu allows you to select which area or neighborhood you are searching for and gives you exclusive apartment listings you won’t find anywhere else on the web. This is because many independent landlords favor Domu over other web pages. Moreover, Domu has a resource section for users including a rent calculator and renter’s guide. Lastly, it has popular search inquiries listed for you to browse, like “find loft apartments” or “free rent deals.”

Zumper

Next we have Zumper, which has a new feature called “Instarent” that allows you to reserve and lease on the spot entirely online. They also have a virtual tours section, which could be particularly useful given the current COVID-19 pandemic. 

Hotpads

Hotpads is a map-based website and app to help you find the best apartments with verified and rated landlords. The apartment listings are neatly organized to help you navigate, save, and keep track of your favorite choices and search history. The search filters get specific including special restrictions like “student housing” or additional options like “accepting online applications.” In addition, it also lets you view average neighborhood ratings and connect with potential roommates. 

What to Look for in Apartment Listings

There are many things to consider when looking at various apartment listings. While going through them, be sure to have a checklist of all the essential renting factors. Here are a few important details to keep in mind: 

1. Identify Budget

First and foremost, you want to consider how much your overall budget is (and stick to it!) A very helpful tool to help you determine your budget is a rent calculator. After typing in which area you are moving to, the size you are looking for (studio, 1, 2, or 3 bedrooms), and your household monthly income (before tax), it will generate housing options accordingly. 

Also, do not forget the expenses and planning needed for actually moving. You need to consider how much professional movers will cost according to the date you want to move, the distance from your old to new place, and the cost of moving supplies. 

In addition, pay attention to initial moving fees. Although these differ according to each apartment, keep in mind application fees and processing fees will typically be between $30 and $50. There may also be a one-time payment if you have a pet.

Most importantly, you will typically have to pay a security depositThe security deposit is a portion of money kept by the landlord throughout the rental agreement or lease. It is most commonly equivalent to the first month of rent, and in some cases up to three months. Be sure to ask about when you will receive this deposit back and what might cause you to lose it. 

2. Parking Availability 

For those who have a car, don’t assume that the apartment comes with a parking spot. Be sure to consider the options for parking. Depending on the location, you might be able to park your car on the street. However, this won’t be the most reliable option given that you need to consider the neighborhoods rules and regulations. For instance, is it permissible to park overnight?

Another more popular option is if your apartment building has a designated parking lot for the residents. In some cases, these are assigned spots to each apartment number. You’ll also need to consider how many spots you are allowed to have and if there is guest parking. 

3. What are the Amenities?

The truth is, amenities play a huge role in your apartment living experience. To help you navigate what to consider, here are a few exterior features to look out for:

  • Kitchen Appliances: These tend to be one of the most expensive features in a house. For some, a dishwasher might be crucial while for others, a microwave is necessary. 
  • Overall Finishing: This includes the flooring (stone, wood, carpet, etc.), surfaces (granite, marble, etc.), and ceiling (is there any structural damage or leakage?)
  • Major Systems: How are the AC/ heating systems? How about the hot water condition?
  • Bathroom Appliances: How strong is the shower head? What type of sink is there?
  • Homeowner Added Amenities: Overall, check and ask about any upgrades the landlord has done. 
  • A Pool, Jacuzzi, Courtyard, Garden, Gym or Library Room: Check for accessibility to these facilities.  
  • On-site Laundry and Storage Spaces: If you are a bicyclist, you might want to check for a bike storage space. 

 

 

 

 

Considering amenities is also important because they will determine whether or not you are willing and able to pay an extra $100 a month over your budget for rent. Let’s say you are currently a member at a gym. Instead of paying the $100 for your gym membership, you might instead put it towards your rent, which might include a fitness room. 

4. Pet Policy

Given that most pet owners love and admire their animals, many are not willing to move to a new place without them. So if you’re a pet owner with a puppy or cat and would like to take them with you to your new place, be sure to check the pet policy of the apartment. These policies are not always a simple “yes or no.” Rather, it sometimes depends on the breed and weight of the animal, a pet rent and deposit fee, and possibly even a pet resume or interview (funny right?)

In fact, in some cases, the landlord may be willing to negotiate if you are able to address their concerns related to pet damage. This information is available on the online apartment listing and in the contract.  

When working with a professional property management company like SRE Holdings, you can be sure to have all of these considerations addressed. Contact us today to find your next Chicago apartment!

Posted in Property Management | Leave a comment

How to Rent Your First Apartment

Renting your first apartment can be intimidating. There are many types to choose from, and with each apartment, there are different amenities that are included. Each apartment will also have a different environment because of the location. 

Choosing the perfect apartment to live in requires additional work before you sign any papers. If this is your first time renting an apartment, there are a few things to do before you decide on an apartment. We will tell you everything you need to know about how to rent your first apartment. 

How to Rent Your First Chicago Apartment

As you look for your perfect first Chicago apartment, there are several things to do before finalizing your choice. 

Set a Budget

Setting a budget before you decide on your first apartment is an important step, as Chicago isn’t the cheapest place in the United States. When you’re creating a budget, be sure to also factor in utility costs, security deposits, and move-in fees.

Pick a Neighborhood

The Chicago neighborhood you move into will play a huge role in your quality of life. If you find you don’t like your neighborhood, your apartment won’t feel any better. Do some research on the surrounding area before deciding on an apartment. You should also consider that you will pay differently in each neighborhood and how that works with your budget. Apartments in Lincoln Park, along with apartments in Lakeview, are some of the most sought-after neighborhoods in the city.  

Watch for Deals

When it comes to apartment hunting in Chicago, you might find that apartments are out of your budget. If this is the case for you, you can look for those rental buildings that are offering incentives, such as reduced rents or a month’s free rent, so your apartment is more affordable.  

Search Online and on Foot

Because we live in a modern age, the internet is a great tool to use in your first apartment search. When it comes to Chicago, you might find signs that are advertising places for rent. However, for more success or increasing your renting options, online searching can be a great help. Using online searches is even more important when you’re unfamiliar with the area. There are many websites out there that you can use when you’re looking to rent your first apartment. It is best to look at directly at the property management company’s website when checking out apartments. 

See the Apartment in Person

Before you make your final decision on your first apartment, visit the rental properties you are considering. This step is important for several reasons. First, when you tour each site, it will allow you to meet the property owner and on-site manager, so you know you’re getting what was promised from online. Second, seeing your potential properties lets you watch for signs of water damage, which can be a problem in Chicago, as well as other signs of damage. If a landlord agrees to do repairs, make sure you get it in writing. Third, when you visit in-person, you can take in your surroundings. Do you feel safe? Can you see yourself being happy in the area? 

Be Ready with your Documents

Especially when it comes to renting your first apartment, don’t feel pressured by a landlord to sign a lease too quickly, especially if you still have questions or reservations. If you find everything looks great, move fast, as chances are, you are not the only person interested in the property.

If everything looks good, you should be prepared with all of your necessary documents (for example, photo identification, application fees, deposits, etc.). Also keep in mind that move-in fees is a common thing among Chicago landlords. Those move-in fees tend to be several hundred dollars and you usually won’t get them back when you move out. 

Know your Rights as a Tenant

If you find there is a problem with your new apartment, make sure you report the problem to your landlord as soon as you can. Another tip is to keep a paper trail of the communication of your problem, for example, through text, email, or letter. 

Places to Rent Near Me

Because of the size of Chicago, there are many rental options. Whether you’re a student, professional, or family, you can find apartments from an array of sizes and prices. 

SRE Holdings can help you find affordable housing no matter where you find yourself wanting to live in Chicago. For example, if you’re interested in renting a place on the north side of Chicago, you can look into Lincoln Park. If you’re a student at DePaul University, SRE Holdings can help you find an apartment near the school.

No matter what your situation is, you can find the perfect apartment to rent in Chicago.   

Rental Housing

Rental housing is slightly different than being a homeowner. Both owning and renting have advantages, but before deciding among the two, consider your current circumstances. 

If you’re looking into owning a home, remember that it is a financial commitment that requires you to plan ahead. Before making a choice, ask yourself what your financial situation is and what your housing budget looks like. 

Another question to ask yourself is where you see yourself in the next few years. If you plan on staying long in the area, you might consider becoming a homeowner. However, if you know you’ll be moving within a couple of years, renting might be the better option for your situation. 

Keep in mind that every place costs different. Chicago, for example, isn’t the cheapest place to live. In some places, it might be cheaper to buy than rent. For this reason, choose the option that fits the best with your goals and finances. 

If you’ve found that rental housing is the better option for you, you should take some things into consideration. First, do you have poor credit? When you rent an apartment, your credit score can affect your chances of getting your desired apartment. Your credit score helps your landlord determine if you’ll be able to pay your rent on time, so having a good credit score can increase your chances of landing the apartment you want.

Next, renter’s insurance isn’t usually required, but it’s great to have if something happened to your apartment, such as flooding or a break-in. 

If you’re new to the renting scene, SRE Holdings can help you find the right place for you to rent. Contact us today!

Posted in Property Management | Leave a comment

Lincoln Square Apartments

If you are looking to live in an apartment in the Chicago area, there are so many great neighborhoods to live in. One terrific place to live in is Lincoln Square. Here, at SRE Holdings, LLC, one of the many apartment buildings that we manage happens to be in Lincoln Square

In this article, you will learn all about Lincoln Square, including a brief historic background of the area, what it is like to live there, what the area has to offer, and everything else you need to know about living in this Chicago neighborhood. 

Living in Lincoln Square

Lincoln Square is located on the north side of Chicago, extending from Leland Avenue to Lawrence Avenue, right off of the Western Brown Line stop. Lincoln Square is actually the name of the community. This Lincoln Square community is made up of smaller neighborhoods, including Ravenswood, Budlong Woods, Bowmanville, and Ravenswood Manor. One of the great things about this community is its variety. You can find all sorts of styles in this neighborhood, from European-style books and food to authentic German beers.

A Brief History of Lincoln Square

In the mid-nineteenth century, Swiss, English, and German farmers settled in land that is now known as Chicago. In 1836, Conrad Sulzer, a Swiss immigrant, bought property which is now known today as the intersection of Montrose and Clark. When these farmers settled in the area, they started mass producing pickles, celery, and flowers. They produced and sold so much celery, becoming a broad distributor of the crop, so they were declared the celery capital of the United States. 

As mentioned before, the settlers also produced flowers. The Budlong brothers first gained success with their pickle factory in 1857. Then, they expanded their budding business to include flowers. In 1880, they opened the Budlong Greenhouse. In their businesses, the brothers employed many Polish workers. These popular businesses made the area quite popular and increased traffic on the old Little Fort Road. 

In 1850, Bowmanville was one of the first residential subdivisions to be established in Lincoln Square. This residential subdivision was developed by a local hotel keeper. However, he didn’t actually own the land he was selling. He mysteriously disappeared before any of his customers noticed that he was illegally selling them land. Then, in 1859, Rosehill Cemetery opened, which takes up almost 25% of Lincoln Square.

In 1868, a flag store opened, which is where the inspiration for the buildings in Ravenswood comes from. After seeing how successful Ravenswood became, more developments, like Summerdale and Clybourn, began to open up. One of the reasons that the Lincoln Square area was able to develop so quickly was because of its close proximity to the train station, allowing quick and easy access to transportation. 

Fun Things to Do in Lincoln Square

There are so many things that Lincoln Square has to offer. For example, there are parks, schools, shops, and so much more to enjoy while living in the area. 

Parks 

Winnemac Park

Winnemac Park consists of more than 40 acres of land at the corner of Damen and Foster. The park is home to a few different schools, including Amundsen High School, the Jorndt Field athletic complex, and Chappell Elementary School. It also includes natural prairie plants, playgrounds, baseball fields, soccer fields, and a swimming pool at the high school. The Chicago Park District opens the pool up to the public on certain days and times. 

Welles

Welles Park spreads out for 15 acres and is located across from the Conrad Sulzer Regional Library at the corner of Lincoln Avenue and Montrose Avenue. The park includes a pool, fitness center, and gym, all of which are in the community center. Also, there is a gazebo located at the middle of the park. Oftentimes the gazebo hosts concerts over the summer. The park also includes a playground with swings, a splash-pad, climbing equipment, baseball fields, horseshoe courts, and tennis courts. The park plans to install a nature area, using grant money that they recently won. 

Sunken Garden Park

Sunken Garden Park is a smaller park located at the corner of Virginia Avenue and Sunnyside Avenue. There is a small grassy area and a few benches. 

River Park

River Park begins at the North Shore Channel Trail and continues for 6.7 miles towards Evanston’s Ladd Arboretum. The park features a community center, splash pad, and an outdoor pool. 

Vogle Playlot

Vogle Playlot is a newly renovated playground with a swing-set located at the corner of Lawrence Avenue and Hoyne Avenue. 

Jacob Park

Jacob Park is located right next to the Chicago River at Virginia Avenue and Leland Avenue. The park includes a large sandbox filled with a variety of fun toys for your kids to play with. 

Fun Events

One of the great things about the Lincoln Square neighborhood is the fact that it hosts many different events every year. Events range from 5K runs to beer and wine festivals. Events include the following: Ravenswood 5K run, Christmas Tree Lighting, Lincoln Square Fall Apple Fest, May Fest, Square Roots, Lincoln Square Poetry Fest, Friends of the Craft Beer Festival, German-American Fest, Friends of the Grape Wine Festival, and Lincoln Square Summer Concert Series. 

Local Businesses

Supporting local businesses is such an easy and effective way of giving back to your community. In the Lincoln Square community, there are many different small local businesses that you can shop at. There is a great variety in shops, from martial arts studios to toy shops to restaurants. Some of the local businesses include the following: Amy’s Candy Bar, Café Selmarie, Heather Parker Photography, Merz Apothecary, Timeless Toys, Stanley Brown Jewelist, Rockwell’s Neighborhood Grill, Degerberg Academy of Martial Arts, and many more.  

Public Art

While you are walking around town, there are many beautiful works of art that you can look at. Some places that you definitely need to look at on your walks around Lincoln Square include the following: the Berlin Wall Monument at the Western Avenue Brown Line Station, The Lincoln Square Mural at the Lincoln Square Athletic Club, The Maypole at Leland and Lincoln, the Greater Rockwell Mural at Beans and Bagels, the Giddings Square Fountain, the Chicago Lincoln statue at the corner of Western, Lincoln, and Lawrence, the Lincoln/Sunnyside Mural, and the Lombard Lamp at Giddings Square. 

If you are looking to live in the Lincoln Square community, don’t hesitate to reach out to us here at SRE Holdings, LLC. Our main goal is to put you, the client, first. We will make sure that you end up in a property that you are proud to call home. 

Posted in Property Management | Leave a comment

What are the Most Important Apartment Amenities?

When searching for an apartment, it’s important to remember that all apartments offer something different. The vast variety of different features, additions, and amenities are what can make or break an apartment. Depending on the kind of person you are, you might value different amenities more than others. It’s important to keep these amenities in mind while searching as they can help narrow down your decision making process. 

Amenities play a part in the overall cost of an apartment. While a long list of apartment features may raise the cost from its base rate, it may actually end up being cheaper than having to find substitutes for these amenities on your own.

While we all lead different lives where different amenities might offer more benefits than others, there are some overall amenities that could help improve all of our lives. When looking at apartment properties, these are some of the most commonly desired amenities.

property management

In-Unit Amenities

Often the first amenities we think of are the in-unit amenities. These are the amenities that are offered to the resident as part of their personal living space. These are great features to make an apartment really work for you.

Washer and Dryer

The first thing most of us value in apartment amenities is an in-unit washer and dryer. This can be one of the biggest selling points for an apartment. No one wants to have to plan out a weekly expedition to the local laundromat and have to pay by the use. It is also an added benefit not to have to wait for others to finish the communal washer and dryer in order to get your laundry done.

With an in-unit washer and dryer, you can get laundry done at your own pace. If you spill something on your favorite pants or need to wash that dress shirt for tomorrow’s meeting, you can do so without having to worry about getting it done.

Air Conditioning

Air conditioning can be an often overlooked amenity, but one that makes a big difference. If you aren’t thinking about the need for air conditioning when considering a new apartment, you probably won’t see the value in it until you really need it. Here in Chicago, we are known for our brutal winters, but summer temperatures can be just as drastic. Having an A/C unit can completely change your summer experience for the better.

Utilities Included

Having utilities included in your overall monthly rent can be a great feature. Having a flat rate to pay each month makes things simpler in your personal finances. Utilities can often vary in cost from month to month based on your usage. It is a great relief to know what you will ultimately pay so you can plan ahead, regardless of your usage.  

Dishwasher

You often don’t realize the value of a dishwasher unless you have had to live without one. While washing dishes by hand is not the most difficult task, having a dishwasher can be a great time-saver and allow you to spend your time doing other things. If you cook a lot or live with multiple people, a dishwasher is almost a necessity in order to maintain a clean kitchen. Consider if the apartment you are looking at has a dishwasher; so that you don’t end up with a kitchen overrun by dirty dishes.

Community Amenities

With the rise in apartment buildings and luxury apartments, the attraction of community amenities has grown. Community amenities are shared features or services offered by the property owner to all residents, regardless of the unit they live in.

While these community amenities offer individual residents a personal value, they can also help build the community atmosphere for an apartment, something that is unique to each building. These shared amenities give residents a chance to mingle with their neighbors and find common interests.

Gym

Having a gym or fitness facility in your apartment building can be a great added bonus, especially if you are someone who is physically active or needs some added incentive to start getting into shape. One of the biggest struggles many of us face is getting the motivation to go to the gym in the first place. With a fitness center in your own building, this makes that initial struggle a lot easier to overcome. If you aren’t feeling like leaving your building, or find yourself with some free time, you might be more inclined to go downstairs and get a workout in. 

Gym memberships can also be a costly monthly expense. With fitness equipment on-site, you can avoid that extra fee. Similarly, if you are looking to start exercising more, you might as well be taking advantage of the equipment you are already paying for.

Swimming Pool

A pool can be a great way to relax or get in some cardio. While you may not use the pool every day, it is a luxury feature that many people find enticing. Whether you are someone who already makes a habit of swimming or an infrequent patron, you may find value in having a pool just a short walk from your apartment.

High-Speed Internet

As the internet becomes more and more interwoven with our everyday lives, the assurance of having a stable and responsive connection is a must. Finding the right internet provider for you can be a hassle, especially if you have just moved to a new city. With high speed internet provided as an amenity by your apartment owner, you can skip the inconvenience and get straight to work.

Laundry

If you can’t get in-unit laundry, the next best option is to have in-building laundry. While you might have to worry about if the machines are currently in use, you don’t have to take your laundry out on the street just to get it cleaned.

Doorman

Having a doorman or the assurance of extra security can make a big difference when looking for an apartment. While a doorman might be the amenity that increases rent prices the most, it can also offer a great deal of difference. If you live in a high traffic area, such as the downtown of a city, having a doorman allows you to know that no one unwanted is allowed into your building and keeping yourself and your possessions safe.

Posted in Property Management | Leave a comment

Old Town Apartments

Old Town is a nice neighborhood located near Lincoln Park and North Side. Not only is Old Town a great neighborhood to settle down in, but it is also a historic district. In Old Town, you will find beautiful, Victorian style buildings. These older styled buildings include St. Michael’s Church, which was one out of the seven buildings that were lucky enough to survive the Great Chicago Fire. 

In this article, you will learn about apartments in Old Town and everything you need to know about living in Old Town. 

Apartments in Old Town

One of the many properties that we manage, here at SRE Holdings, LLC, is located in Lincoln Square. While looking for an apartment in Old Town, or wherever you want to live, you should have a list of amenities that you cannot live without. In other words, if the apartment did not have the specific amenity that you cannot live without, then you would pass on the apartment.

For instance, some must-haves for an apartment might include a dishwasher, laundry, spacious living area, among a number of other necessities you might think of. Luckily for you, if you are looking for an apartment in Old Town that has all of those things, look no further! Our Lincoln properties have a nice kitchen and living area, and laundry available in the building. 

If you are in the market for an apartment in the Lincoln Park neighborhood, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us with any questions, comments, or concerns that you might have regarding our rental properties. 

Living in Old Town

As mentioned earlier, Old Town is located right near Lincoln Park and features elegant, older buildings. Oftentimes, Old Town is referred to as “Germany in a big city” because of its historical background. Before diving into the endless reasons of why living in Old Town is so great, let’s look at the brief history of this area. 

A Brief History of Old Town

When you walk around Old Town, you might notice that it has a certain German look and feel to it. Well, the reason behind that is because German immigrants were the first people to live in the area. Back in the 19th century, German immigrants moved to what is now known as North Avenue and planted crops like celery, cabbage, and potatoes. This is why the area was nicknamed “The Cabbage Patch,” which was commonly used until the early 1900s.

Throughout the neighborhood, you can find many historical aspects that date back all the way to the 1800s. For example, St. Michael’s Church is one of the well-known Victorian-era buildings, located in the area. Many of the streets in Old Town Triangle were established long before the Great Chicago Fire, so they do not follow the typical Chicago grid pattern. The Brown-Purple Line ‘El’ station, located at 1536-40 North Sedgwick Street, is one of the oldest standing stations on the El, dating all the way back to 1900. These are just a few out of the many historic locations that can be found while walking around Old Town. 

Another popular attraction in Old Town is the Old Town Triangle. The Old Town Triangle is one of the oldest, most historic areas in Chicago. The architecture survived the Great Chicago Fire so it is still authentic to old Chicago, which is pretty neat. So, what is the Old Town Triangle? The Old Town Triangle is basically where a ton of popular bars, restaurants, and comedy clubs are located.

One of the comedy clubs is Second City, which is a world-renowned comedy club. Some famous comedians that have performed on that stage include Steve Carell, Tina Fey, and Amy Poehler. Another huge part of the Old Town Triangle is that is home to many fitness studios and gyms, including Orangetheory, Equinox, and Flywheel Sports. Overall, the Old Town Triangle is not only a historical landmark in the city of Chicago, but also a great place to get a greater sense of nightlife in Chicago. 

Why You Should Live in Old Town

Other than the fact that Old Town is filled with so many unique and interesting historical buildings, Old Town has so many other great qualities, making it a great neighborhood to live and explore in. 

Shopping

First, there are so many unique shops that are sprinkled all throughout the area. You can find the best gifts at the various shops, local artisanal stores, and adorable fashion boutiques. No matter what you are interested in, you are bound to find a shop that peaks your interest. Also, the area is not only home to these smaller, independent shops. Luckily, there is a Target located right outside of the Old Town boundaries. And who doesn’t love a good Target shopping spree?

Bars and Restaurants

Second, Old Town is home to some of the best bars and restaurants in the city. No matter what kind of food you like, whether it’s Italian, Mexican, or some quick bites, you will definitely find a restaurant that will make you want to come back for seconds. 

Outdoor Areas

Third, there are many different outdoor areas, including parks and green spaces. So, if you were worried about living in an apartment and not having a backyard, don’t you worry, there are so many different parks that you will not miss a small backyard. One of the most well-known parks in the area is Lincoln Park. Lincoln Park is seen as one of the Great Public Spaces in America. There are so many fun things to do at Lincoln Park, including playgrounds, the Lincoln Park Zoo, Theatre, the Conservatory, a canal, the North Pond Nature Sanctuary, and so much more!

Walkability

Fourth, the area is totally walkable. Everyone knows that cars can be quite expensive. In addition, it can be difficult to own a car in a city like Chicago. Luckily, Old Town has a walk score of 98 and a transit score of 90. These scores basically mean that it is very easy to get around town without needing a car. There are so many major areas like transit centers, shops, and The Loop, where you do not even need a car to travel to. 

Gyms and Clubs

Lastly, Old Town is home to a variety of workout clubs and gyms. So, on top of being able to walk everywhere, you can get more of a workout by going to your local gym. Who knew living in a certain area would help you achieve your fitness and walking goals? 

Now that you know all of the great things that Old Town has to offer, are you convinced that you need to move here right away? If you are, take a look at our site to find the perfect rental place for you. Here, at SRE Holdings, LLC., we put you first and want to make sure that you love where you live. Reach out to us today if you are ready to take the next step to living in Old Town. 

Posted in Property Management | Leave a comment

Best Apartments in Evanston

Chicago is a great, culturally vast city that offers many amenities, but not too far north is another great, smaller city that gives the Windy City a run for its money. Evanston, nicknamed “The City of Churches” in the early 20th century, is a smaller Cook County city located right on Lake Michigan that gives the feel of a trendy, populated city with the separation and suburban feel of a smaller, northern town.

When looking for an apartment in a bustling, highly sought after area like Evanston, it can be tricky not knowing where to look if you’re either from Chicago or just not from the area. In this article, we will break down for you the benefits of living in Evanston, its fun amenities, and how much rent will cost you. 

Benefits of Living in Evanston

There are a lot of benefits to living in a smaller city like Evanston. The city is known for being the location of Northwestern University, having a surplus of trendy, up-and-coming restaurants, and its many historical buildings and churches. Evanston is great for its ability to provide a comfortable living for multiple generations of people.

Baby boomers enjoy the quieter, smaller city feel and millennials enjoy the trendy nightlife and popular social amenities within the city. With all of these popular factors making Evanston a popular place to buy or rent an apartment, it’s good to know what else is available. Let’s take another look at other popular amenities that attract people to this neighborhood city: 

  • Commute to Chicago: Via the purple line on the Chicago “L” system and short distance to Chicago’s Lake Shore Drive, residents of Evanston can still easily commute to the city or visit. 
  • Food Spots: With Evanston garnering the reputation of being a trendy city, food has become a popular reason to live in the city. Restaurants and farmers markets are regarded highly and offer a Chicago feel to a small, suburban city. 
  • Historical Significance: Evanston is rich in history with its historic society praising buildings, churches, schools, and cottages attracting residents that enjoy an authentic, historic feel. 
  • Lake Michigan: Evanston is located in between Chicago, Wilmette, and Skokie with Lake Michigan to its east. The proximity has become a great advertisement for Evanston, giving it a reputation for being a luxurious, beachfront location. 
  • Public Schools: One of the more motivating factors in renting or living in Evanston is the benefit of residing in an area with a great public school system. Evanston’s public school system rankings are among the top public schools in the state with Evanston Township Highschool having an overall ranking of #27 in Illinois.  
  • Northwestern University: Including all of the academic and social public programs available, Northwestern University is also a great place to be around if you’re a sports fan! Being so close to this top ranked school is incredibly beneficial. 

Fun Amenities In Evanston

When looking for an apartment in any city or town, it’s important to know what activities are available. Since Evanston is the perfect combination of both a city and a suburb, it encompasses all the positives these two places have to offer. As we have mentioned before, Northwestern University not only offers academic activities, but Ryan Field which belongs to its school’s football team. If you’re not a sports fan, don’t worry. Aside from Northwestern University, let’s take a look at other amenities this small city offers! 

Parks

The beauty of parks, much like Evanston, is that they are appealing to every generation. A great reason to move to Evanston is because of these well-known, popular attractions. Parks like: Lovelace, Dobson-Brummel, and Dawes offer community, space, and exercise for young families. 

Social

A city like Evanston has so much to offer when it comes to social events, activities, and touristy landmarks. There’s an activity for every age group, making Evanston a great place to rent. A few of these amenities include:

  • Museums: A few popular museums in Evanston include: The Block Museum of Art, Halim Time and Glass Museum, and the Mitchell Museum of the Indian. 
  • Bars: Evanston’s nightlife is nearly as good as any neighborhood in Chicago. It is home to a couple great brewing companies like Sketchbook Brewing Co. that offer the same feel as Chicago. 
  • Beach: A reason Evanston is such a sought after city is its close proximity to Lake Michigan beach. This offers a ton of amenities like the Grosse Point Lighthouse which is considered a historic sight in Evanston. 
  • Concert: A concert hall with close proximity to the beach is Space, Evanston’s most popular venue. This hall is used for both theaters and concerts and is a small, quaint venue. 

How Much is Rent in Evanston?

Evanston combines the best qualities of both Chicago and a suburban neighborhood which makes it an ideal and highly sought after place to live. Because of this, the price for rent can be pretty high. According to Rent Cafe, the average rent for an apartment in Evanston is $1,953. It will depend on where in Evanston you are looking to rent, but generally you will find that closer to the beach you go, the more expensive, but more luxurious the apartments and amenities will be. When looking for an apartment, it’s imperative to know the important questions to ask like location. 

Beachfront Properties in Evanston 

Beachfront properties are the ideal apartments to rent. The views, amenities, and location make it an incredible place to live. At SRE Holdings, we want to make this dream a reality. Check out our fantastic beachfront Evanston apartment unit at 493 Sheridan Rd & 524, 528, 530, 534 & 550 Sheridan Square.

How SRE Holdings Can Help! 

Whether you are from Chicago or Evanston, SRE Holdings is here to help you with your apartment search. We believe that finding an apartment should be a stress-free process that delivers you only the best apartments so you can live comfortably in your dream home. As well as Chicago, we know and love Evanston as well, so we feel confident in our ability to help you find exactly what you’re looking for in this homey, trendy city. Contact us today with your questions or to fill out an application for one of our many properties! 

Posted in Property Management | Leave a comment

Best Way to Find Apartments in Chicago

Chicago has a wide range of apartments. There are many options around the city. Before you start hunting for your perfect apartment, make sure you know what you’re looking for in an apartment. Each Chicago apartment offers different things at different prices, so knowing what you want beforehand can make your search go faster and easier. This includes knowing your price range, having locations in mind, or knowing what amenities you need or want.

Best Apartments Near Me

There are many online resources you can use to find the best apartments in Chicago. As you start your apartment search, to get an idea of what you want in an apartment, free online resources can be a great tool. If you’re from out of town or new to the area, they can also be a great tool for getting to know the area and available options. 

If you are looking for an apartment in the Chicago area, SRE Holdings can help. We are a professional real estate management firm who can answer any of your Chicago real estate questions.

Things to Consider Before Choosing a Chicago Apartment

Your living space should be chosen wisely. Especially if you’re going to spend a lot of time in your apartment. There are several things to consider when choosing your perfect apartment:

  • Make sure you start your apartment hunting weeks in advance: It is best to start searching four to eight weeks before your move in date. The longer you wait, and the closer it gets to your move in date, the harder it will become to find the right apartment. 
  • Choose your neighborhood before you choose your apartment: You’ll want to make sure you’re comfortable in the neighborhood around your apartment. The neighborhood is going to play a greater role in your quality of life than your apartment itself. 
  • Remember there are scams out there: If the price sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Be on the lookout for scammers. They might be anxious for your personal information or want you to put down the application fee or security deposit in cash.
  • Do your research: As you look for your apartment, do your research and question everything. This is most important when you’re from out of town. 
  • Keep in mind travel expenses: Where your apartment is located might dictate how much you are willing to spend in rent. For example, if you’re looking at the apartments in the city, but are walking to work, it might save you money to pay the higher rent. If you’re working in the city, but are commuting to work everyday, it might save money to buy a cheaper apartment outside the city, depending on the distance. 
  • Choose your agent carefully: It’s wise to choose an agent that is knowledgeable and trustworthy. Different companies have different areas of expertise, so you want to choose an agent carefully.   
  • Remember, you don’t need an agent: When it comes to finding an apartment in Chicago, you don’t have to use an agent, especially if you know what neighborhood you want to live in. 
  • Size shouldn’t be the deciding factor: Especially if you’re on a budget, don’t rule out a studio or one-bedroom apartment. It’s a good idea to have extra cash so you can enjoy the city.   
  • Be wary of online ads: If you see ads posted online that ask your bank account information, even before seeing the apartment, be careful. If you’re from out of town, have a friend or agent work with you. 
  • Make sure your landlord isn’t a slumlord: When it comes to Chicago, the city publishes a list of problem landlords. However, that list only features the worst. Do your own research on the landlord’s name. 
  • Be sure to check the complaints and police reports on your block: When it comes to Chicago, crime rates can be drastically different from block to block. Before you choose your apartment, check the crime reports for the block you’re wanting to move to. Also keep in mind that a Chicago neighborhood might seem quiet in the winter months as opposed to the summer months.  
  • Check the fine print: Before signing anything, make sure that you fully understand what you’re signing. What are included in the rent? What utilities are included? What is it your responsibility to replace? How often? Knowing details such as these beforehand will make your apartment living more enjoyable. 
  • Check your assets: Make sure you get renters’ insurance to cover any potential losses or liability. If you have car insurance, adding renters’ insurance on your auto insurance policy isn’t too hard. 
  • Never pay cash: Paying cash for anything apartment-related isn’t a good idea. It’s way too easy for scams. Someone can easily create a listing and pretend to be a landlord in order to get cash. It’s even quite common. If a landlord demands cash, stay away. Make sure you have a checkbook or card in hand to have a money trail. Getting a receipt is a good way to stay clear from these types of cons. 

Following these guidelines will help ensure that you find the best apartment possible and will help you avoid scams. 

Apartments for Rent in Chicago

There are many apartments for rent in Chicago. To get a rough idea of apartment spaces currently for rent, you can do a quick Google search. After you make a couple notes of apartment complexes with current openings, you can do your own research on the places, and even have a tour, whether digital or physical. Remember to start your research months before actually moving. Otherwise, you’ll have a less likely chance of being happy in your new place because of the time search restrain.  

Whether you choose the more traditional route and get an agent, do your own physical apartment hunt, or you limit yourself to search for Chicago apartments online, SRE Holdings can help. SRE Holdings has representatives who are always available to help answer any of our customer’s questions or concerns. Contact us today!

Posted in Property Management | Leave a comment