When Ty and I moved to Chicago two weeks after our wedding, we had no jobs, only one friend, and had never seen the apartment we’d signed a one year lease for. This may be a stretch, but I think you could call us crazy.
Our first year living in our new city was rough, to say the least. We learned so much about ourselves, our relationship, and what we want out of life. Jump ahead almost three years, and things have changed tremendously!
We’ve found our way with our careers, we’ve made a whole crew of amazing pals, and we’re living in an apartment we love.
Our first apartment was fine. The sole Chicago friend we had, Ashley, was kind enough to apartment hunt for us as we didn’t have the time or money to fly across the country to do it ourselves the same month we were getting married.
It was located in Lakeview, a popular neighborhood north of downtown. It was one bedroom, about 700 square feet, and there were a bajillion bars and restaurants right outside its door. It was a good first place to help get us acclimated to our new city, but we soon realized that if we moved to a less trendy area, we would be able to get more bang for our buck. So once our lease was up, we were out of there!
One Bedroom Chicago Apartment Tour
One bedroom, 650 square feet
$975/month (year 1), $995/month (year 2)
What We Love
EVERYTHING. But seriously.
This apartment has incredible natural light. It faces east towards Lake Michigan so each morning our living room is flooded with warm sunshine.
Our first apartment was long and narrow with all of the closets in the living room (huh?). It was strange. The layout of this place actually makes sense which makes it feel like we have way more than 650 square feet!
First of all, we are right across the street from Foster Beach and the Lakefront Trail. There’s nothing quite like having a huge freshwater lake in front of you with a city skyline behind you. We’ve got two great grocery store options within a couple blocks of us and we are just a 10 minute walk from Andersonville which is full of hip shops and restaurants. We are also less than a 5 minute walk to the Berwyn Red Line stop and right outside our door is the 147 Express bus which gets us to the Mag Mile in 15 minutes (no joke!).
Dimensions Management manages our building and they have been great to work with! Once we locked our keys out of our apartment on a Sunday evening and within 30 minutes they were there to let us in. And I swear someone is sweeping the entryway every morning when I head to work!
Finding a one bedroom apartment for less than $1,000 was our goal and this place succeeded! We checked out apartments in Rogers Park, which is even further north from downtown, but honestly, the prices of the apartments there weren’t much cheaper and the commute would have been an extra 20-30 minutes. I think we found a steal with this place!
What We Don’t Love
We are really itching for a two bedroom, but when we moved, we were trying to save money. Now that we are more financially secure and in need of a designated office space, a second bedroom would be ideal.
Okay, this one is totally on us and is changeable! Most of the items in our apartment were passed down to us and as young 20-something newlyweds, we were happy for all the free stuff! But we are ready to upgrade and invest in some nice pieces. Since purging our apartment, we want to go the more minimal route with our next place.
Overall, I am so glad we moved apartments after our first year in Chicago and have been so happy with this place. I’ll be sad when we have to leave it, but it has definitely treated us well!
How does the rent and size of my Chicago apartment compare to where you live? Is it more? Less? I’d love to hear from you below!
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