Pretend you're me: Which apt to rent? (Bonus pts for Chicagoans)

Okay, so you’re me now and not you, and I (that means you, me) have to choose between Apt A and B. Each of the individual units are A+: I love the floor plans, the way the look, they’re each in vintage buildings with hardwood floors and lots of windows, they’re both within my Perfect World Budget, and not the Maybe, if it’s Perfect Budget that I was dreading having to dip into. They’re both ab fab.

Apt A, however, lacks the kind of accessibility to the train that I’m looking for, and its part of the neighborhood is a little quieter and less lively than I’d like. Walking proximity to more places to drink, eat and buy groceries would be key. It’s not terribly far from anything, but it’s not ideal. On the plus side, I just like the unit itself more. The central air and heating is a huge plus, even though heat/electric aren’t included in the rent.

Apt B is perfect for transportation, I spotted two pubs in two blocks, the neighborhood is a little less nice than A’s, but it’s fine and more upbeat. The rent is also cheaper by about $150. Heat is included, but electricity is not. Even though I like the way Apt A looks more, B is still very much in line with what I like, and is one of the more spacious apartments I’ve seen in my price range. The main thing that pumps the brakes on me saying, “We have a winner!” is Apt B doesn’t have laundry on site. Oh shit no. This is Chicago. The idea of dragging my laundry through the ice and snow all winter is unsettling.

So you’re me now. What to do, what to do?

Thanks all.

If I can do laundry at home and not in some dingy laundrymat then I can do it when it’s convenient and the opportunity presents itself, leaving me more time to walk to the pub. Also any money I save by taking the cheaper apt will be mitigated by paying for laundry (not entirely, but still). Besides, Apt A is so nice I’m going to love staying in, maybe even entertain as opposed to going out, which is also less expensive.
Apt A for sure.
So when do I move in?

I wast totally for B until the laundry thing. That’s a deal killer for me (i.e., you, but really me even if not for you).

So what’s the story on you moving to Chicago?

ETA: Chicago’s a big town, so there’s gotta be an Apt. C. We used Apartment People (or Finders or something) to look for a place when we first moved here, and they were great.

I lived in Chicago, in that very type of building. At first I was thinking you should go for B, since it’s cheaper, and not having to pay for heat in the cold, cold winters would save money.

But no laundry on site is an instant deal killer. So I would go with A. Even if you have a longish walk to the El, most areas have buses connecting points.

If apartment B has a laundromat within 2-3 blocks, then maybe B. Otherwise, I’d go for A.

It would depend on how close the nearest laundromat is. I’d drag my clothes a block or two in snow and ice in exchange for all the other amenities of the neighborhood.

Not enough information. What neighborhoods? How often do you take the EL? What are the parking situations? No laundry is a pretty huge issue, but that’s where the extra $150 goes. How much would you pay for laundry? You could pay a service to do all your laundry for you for way less than $150 a month.

Also, research your landlords on the web. Read up on them, there’s a ton of shitbag landlords in the world running roach infested dumps. Vintage buildings tend to be more apt to poor management than most since they’ve usually been owned forever and milked like a cash cow.

Its sounds to be like the equation is pretty simple as you’ve framed it.

Apt A
Far from the El
Far from food/drink/shopping
More expensive
Central Heat/Air

Apt B
Close to EL
Close to food/drink/shopping
No Laundry
No A/C? Radiators?

You need to ask yourself what’s important to you. Set aside the $150. Which location is better? The quiet, nicer but more isolated one or the noisier, dirtier one by everything? Only you can answer that based on your lifestyle. If you commute via train every day, then being close to the CTA is probably key. If you use it only occasionally, then being in a spot that’s safer and nicer might be key. Unless you go out to eat or go to bars multiple times a week I wouldn’t factor that in too much. Supposing Apt B’s location is better then you need to decide if $150 + location is worth the lack of ammenities.

My gut tells me that Apt A is better. If a place in a better location is $150 cheaper it’s probably a dump. Having no A/C and raditators would be a deal breaker for me as would the lack of laundry, but some people don’t care about AC and like radiators and the free heat that comes with. Personally, I hate it. Plus those building tend to be pretty dingy and gross in my experience. That said, if people have good things to say about Apt B and it’s management and it’s breaks the sterotype of the vintage building on a busy block and that $150 comes with few sacrifices it might be a steal. The odds are against that IMHO.

I really enjoy doing my laundry by hand or schlepping it…not. A!

A A A A A. I had to deal with laundry that was on-site but in a basement that I had to walk a half a block outside to get to. It sucked.

Laundromats are the absolute worst. Another vote for Apt. A.

There must be Apartments C, D, and E. I’ve lived in a place with no onsite laudry and a laundromat a block away, and it still sucked. Also, how far from the El are we talking? Do you have a car? Do you drive to work, or take the El?

Ask away - I’ve lived in the Chicago area basically my whole adult life.

Huh, kinda surprised by the response here. Does apt A have FREE IN-UNIT laundry? If not, the difference is a lot smaller – a lot of “in building” laundry is lousy. Expensive, slow, dirty, and often in basements that are on the unpleasant side to access.

I have “in building” laundry and we go to a laundromat because it’s cheaper, quicker, and not full of spiders.

“In-unit,” however, is very, very nice. I’m not sure it would outweigh good El access and lively neighborhood, though. Living by foot or bike is part of the magic of city living. If the access in Apt A doesn’t support that, that’d be an overwhelming negative in my book.

If apt. B is not literally right on top of the laundromat, then I think apt. A, but actually apt. C like some other people have mentioned.

I lived in Chicago for a while too, and I definitely would not live anywhere without good access to the El. I mean, it doesn’t have to be right next door to the station (preferably not, actually) but definitely within half a mile or so.

Apt B, and buy one of those stacked apartment washer and dryers. You can resell it if you ever move out.

I agree with Omni’s line of thinkings as far as why Apt B is cheaper. 150 bucks in a more convenient location? I would assume that there must be something wrong with it, aside from the lack of on site laundry.

Also, a lively neighborhood is nice, and it is awesome to have a bar that is walkable. But, there are the nights when you just want to relax and hang out at home. That’s when lively turns into “filled with douchebags”. Unless, it is out in the suburbs, I gotta figure an apartment in a quiet neighborhood is better. Because, you can always go to the lively, but it’s really hard to turn the lively off.

Of course, the public transport option makes things even more difficult. How far is it? Is it close enough to still be usable?

I’m mostly siding with A.

I should have made this a poll! :smack:

I know! I was ready to give the apt guy my money, but the lack of laundry room killed me. Sure, A looked nicer, but B was fine enough. I knew something had to be wrong with the place.

I hate Minnesota, so I’m leaving.

Chicago Apt Finders helped me find Apt A.

That’s my thought. I could just take a bus to the train. On a nice day, I’d walk.

Hoh boy, that’s what I’m asking myself. Apt A is in Ravenswood and Apt B is in Irving Park. Not all of Ravenswood is sleepy, but the part where I’m looking is largely residential.

I do. I go out maybe three days/week.

Nope. Has coin-op laundry on the lower level.

Regarding the distance of the laundry place from Apt B, it’s one block away. I once lived in a building in Long Beach (so winter wasn’t an issue) that had a laundry mat in the same lot as my place, and it was still a pain in the ass taking my laundry there. It’s kind of a huge deal for me.

Edit: needscoffee, you’re a genius! Now on to the dryer!

Re: pricciar and Omni, Apt B isn’t in a nicer neighborhood; it’s grittier, but it works well for me, someone who cares more about walkability and things to do than looking pretty.

Oh, and yes, I have apt C (which is absolutely gorgeous and HUGE, and we wouldn’t even be having this conversation if it weren’t so far north) and D, but A and B are the ones that make me feel warm and fuzzy inside.

Apartment B if there’s a washer/dryer hookup that you could buy a cheap stackable set for, otherwise A. I lived in a place with bad washer/dryer facilities (1 set for a huge building) for a couple of years and laundry eventually became a huge timesuck.

So what’s wrong with my brilliant suggestion in post #14?

Err, that I’m moving too fast and clicked on the pretty blue lettering without first reading fully what you linked to? :wink: More to chew on, more to chew on. I kind of need to make up my mind fast. I need to be in a place and comfortable by May 1! I don’t wanna do the last minute “Holy shit, I waited til a week before the first of the month and need an apt STAT!” dance.

Edit: One more thing. Omniscient, I would be taking CTA to work everyday, so that’s important. I don’t plan on having a car, but I could change my mind about that. If I do, I’m working in the Loop though, so screw driving in everyday.