$1,202/month was Chicago's mid-year average asking rent, according to research by Marcus & Millichap. It's been ticking up inexorably for a couple years now, so expect a figure closer to $1,300 by year's end. This number is, of course, for all units big and small— as there are many more one- and two-bed apartments than three and up, don't expect to find a 4/4 home worth living in for the average rent. That being said, there is a satisfying helping of decent rental real estate to be had at or around $1,200. Some of it may even be fit for a small family. Cue our sampling:
65 E Cedar St. #2B
What/Where: Gold Coast one-bed; 575 sf
The Skinny: With all the charm of a flophouse, you'd only take this place seriously if you took location seriously. To its credit, this 2nd floor unit in a "boutique building" has higher-than-average ceilings and hardwood floors. The "huge" windows look pretty normal to us and the bedrooms could use some sprucing up. Rent includes heat.
319 W Illinois St.
What/Where: River North studio apartment; 430 sf
The Skinny: When studios don't muster 500 sf, efficiency seems like the more apt moniker. Like the Gold Coast one-bed, this place is all about location. But it scores much higher in finishes and amenities. Belonging to River North Park brings private park access, fitness center, indoor swimming pool, 24-hour door staff, and garage parking. All of which makes the unit size more palatable.
5140 S Hyde Park Blvd #112E20
What/Where: 2/2 Hyde Park apartment; 932 sf
The Skinny: Hyde Park Tower is making the transition to a smoke-free community, so what better time to move in! Oh, and spacious units with lake views, generous amenities, and proximity to the park and commerce ain't too shabby either.
5220 S Drexel Ave
What/Where: 2/1 Hyde Park apartment; 715 sf
The Skinny: Take it away, brokerbabble: "You'll experience a dramatic sense of formal entry as you step under the newly reproduced copper canopy - an exact duplicate of the original - that distinguishes your home from other ornate historic architecture along the quiet tree-lined street." This is the Drexel Grand, friends— an elegant former 1920s hotel. How about the unit? There's pics, but that's it.
6624 N Clark St. #3A
What/Where: 2/1 Rogers Park condo; 1,000 sf
The Skinny: This top floor condo rental is on busy Clark Street a few blocks north of Devon. It looks to be in fine working order, with upgrades to the kitchen and bathroom. Garnishes include dark hardwoods, in-unit laundry, fireplace (probably ornamental), and a back deck. And in case you never left the 90s, there's an internet cafe right downstairs.