Every year I hear from thousands of professionals looking for help finding the perfect place to live.
While the criteria for the perfect apartment varies from person to person, it stays relatively consistent year in and year out. Many people want units with hardwood, others with carpet. Some are willing to pay more for nicer finishes, while laminate and white appliances are fine with others. Dozens want a doorman, a business center, and a gym, while others prefer almost no amenities.
But the number one question I hear every single year is, “Can I get a furnished apartment?” The answer is a resounding yes, but there are three key things to consider before you do.
Price is often the driving force behind the apartment somebody decides to rent. And, as with most things in life, you pay for what you get. That’s why furnished options almost always come at a significant premium.
For a furnished studio near downtown Chicago, prepare for the rent to start around $3,000, possibly even $3,500/month. Size up, and you can expect to pay around $4,500+ for a one bedroom, $6,000+ for a two bedroom, and so on. These prices include furniture, utilities, and sometimes even the linens, kitchenware, light bulbs – just about everything but parking. These apartments are found in true luxury high-rises.
Depending on your budget and priorities, you can find more affordable options that are furnished, but not fully equipped with linens, kitchenware, or other comforts of home. Generally found in older buildings, these apartments have rental rates that are commensurate with their aesthetics and age. (Pro tip: these are often hidden gems, so don’t be afraid to ask your broker to see units at varying price points).
What is truly important to you? Many people love amenities, but before you choose an amenity-rich building, consider your lifestyle.
Do you need that rooftop pool? Do you need a balcony or movie theater? Will you be in school studying or working too many hours to take advantage of the amenities that some of these buildings have to offer? Maybe you don’t need to have dry cleaning in the building, but instead prefer to have a nice fitness center.
This is something you really need to consider because when it comes to furnished apartments, the disparity of rent between the amenity-rich and bare bones buildings can be substantial.
Not many people think about their “space” when renting a furnished apartment, but this too is something to think about. Do you truly need your own apartment or can you share?
If you’re okay with sharing an apartment or even a room, there are plenty of options available, many of which are close to the Central Business District. Furthermore, most of them include everything. But at a minimum, you will at least be sharing an apartment. You may have your own room, but you’ll likely share a bathroom, kitchen, and other common areas.
The bottom line: There are options if you want the plug and play apartment. If you don’t want to deal with buying or moving furniture, and want to arrive to a furnished apartment in Chicago, you’re in luck.
Given that we’ve been helping thousands over the years, we have found some of the most reasonable options, many of which go beyond what is mentioned above. But you still need to strongly consider not only what you’re willing to pay, but also what exactly is included.
Finding any apartment can be a pain for people, not just those coming from out of the state or country. Adding the furnished factor to the mix changes things quite a bit. For questions about any of the options above, or for any apartment or condo-finding service and help, never hesitate to reach out.