Dos & Don’ts: Apartment Hunting

By Andrew Thorp | Jun 11, 2014

Hey, Newb! Looking for a place to hang your beret? Choosing an apartment can be a bitch. Tell your apartment huntsmen to take a hike and deodorize their car – here are 6 tips to help you find the Chicago apartment that’ll blow your mind-grapes.

Do check for body-shaped chalk outlines.


Chicago has some spotty areas. One street can feel like the Mayor resides there– while one street over feels like “The Mayor” resides there. One way to check if a street is safe is to look down and differentiate between little Suzy’s hopscotch creation and the powdery silhouette of “The Mayor’s” rival. And is that blood spatter in the hedges? Move on!

Don’t share a building with frat flags and sports banners.


If the guy in 3F has a Buckeyes “curtain” in the front window, odds are his d-bag friends will be stumbling up and down your staircase and screaming like their team can hear them. Hope for a good season because: Drunk + Disappointment = Property Damage.

Do question Starbucks proximity.


At first, you might think living close to a Starbucks is a good thing– until you dodge and weave through uncaffeinated zombies looking for brain juice every morning.  And good luck finding a seat in that sea of college students and table hogs. You finished that pumpkin chai latte two hours ago, sir.

Strollers? Run, don’t walk.


Pockets of the city are infested with children. It’s cute, until a Lego-crazed monster barrels into your legs and leaves a Go-Gurt handprint behind. Chances are the kid’s pushover parents won’t say a thing to curb a sidewalk-blocking tantrum. (I’m stink-eyeing you, Lincoln Square.)

Don’t think apartment hunters are  your friends.


That commission-hungry agent is looking out for number one… not you. Their theatrical attempts to cram you into one of the five crusty units they are authorized to show are more Tony Award-worthy than NPH. Check out apps like Zillow or use Craigslist, but be safe. (See below)

Do bring your bestie.


Bringing a trusted friend will save you from buyer’s remorse and the chance of a Craigslist creeper getting weird and/or murdering you. She or he will have an objective eye on what’s important – the apartment. Have them play bad cop and ask the hard-hitting questions while you check the water pressure, windows and other stuff you’ll wish you checked before you moved in.

Andrew Thorp is a writer, director and performer in Chicago. He is the Marketing Manager at The Second City Training Center – Chicago, teaches Teen/Youth improv, sketch writing and stand-up and produces comedy shows via Thorpedo Productions.

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