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.

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