Monday, July 25, 2005

Chicago livin'

Well, I'm thisclose to securing an apartment in the Lakeview area of Chicago (somewhere to the north of downtown, and somewhere to the south of Evanstan and campus, and apparently right near the red/purple line El, which hosts an express train up to Evanston during rush hours. Or something like that). So I'm pretty excited. Medill offers on-campus options to their graduate students, but I didn't look to closely into those, because living on-campus as a grad student seems totally weird and shortbus to me. Actually, I didn't follow many of Medill's tips to do with housing because, well, they sucked. Apparently there's some sort of list you can join to find roommates and sublets, but I never received information on that, so ptooey. Also, I really wanted to live alone, because I am anal and didn't feel like inflicting my lifestyle on an unsuspecting roommate.

Anyway, I thought I'd include some of the ways I searched for apartments during the past few months. Onwards...

  • First and foremost, Craigslist. Dur. It's how I got my current place. But don't just check it every once in a while. Go to the site, enter your search parameters, and subscribe to an RSS feed for that so you're immediately updated on any listing that might fit your requirements. If you use Bloglines you can just use the trusy Sub With Bloglines button you should have installed on your links toolbar, or go to the bottom of the Craigslist page, and the RSS feed will be there. Easy peasy.

  • Along with Craigslist, this Google Maps/Craigslist hack is pretty awesome, though not incredibly useful if you don't know the layout of the town you're moving to.

  • One tip from Medill that was useful: Chireader housing listings. More specific and seemingly of better quality then a lot of the Craigslist dreck.

  • And, if anybody ever comes across this, check out my del.ici.ous listing of chicago moving ideas/sites/tips. None of the things I bookmarked ended up working out for me, but they might for you.

  • A couple links: Northwestern's grad housing site, and their Housing Hints PDF.