$2,800 can get you far in this town. It's also a rent that straddles the high and low ends of the market. Do you go for a lot in a dingy 'hood or a little in Pamperville? Curbed reckons big spaces trump all in a city like Chicago, where we've come to expect livability. Our picks for The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly generally abide by the law of spaciousness. In other words, no Gold Coast studios.
The Good: 3BD/2.5BA townhouse at 2900 N Sheridan Rd.
The Skinny: This Lincoln Park post-modern townhouse is simply a highly intriguing place to live, for a solid rate. A good looking kitchen and floor-to-ceiling windows outweigh the ho-hum bathroom and the overall skinniness of the lot. 1,500 sf not including the sizable back yard, this home is also steps to the park and lake.
The Bad: 2BD/2BA at 474 N Lake Shore Dr #1811
The Skinny: Billed as a SE corner unit on a moderately-high floor, the structure itself seems to have skimped on windows. Views of the lake and Navy Pier are but a tease, considering the entire impetus for living and building by the lake is to saturate yourself with it. Furthermore, the place is as plain as they come and has a goofy but ultimately dumb wall cut between the kitchen and dining area. Ceilings are low and parking costs extra. No balcony, no love.
The Ugly: 2BD/2BA townhouse at 2743 N Wayne Ave apt. C
The Skinny: Here's some straight-up townhouse filler, clogging the arteries of Lincoln Park and other nabes of distinct physical character. The features are pretty nice: two decks, garage, wood-burning fireplace, etc. Unfortunately, it's ugly inside and out. Also, one of the hallways is so narrow that, depending on your personal carriage, you may need to shuffle sideways along it.