Joliet has long been considered a transportation hub in Illinois. It straddles the Des Plaines River, which flows southward from Wisconsin to the western border of Chicago, and eventually becomes a tributary of the Mississippi River. You can see how this would be historically advantageous. On the whole, much of Joliet is still priced to move, which can be a plus to those who don’t have a lot to spend on rent money.
With a high amount of renters, you’ve got a lot of options as far as both price and style go. Stand-alone rental houses dominate the market. These can be very spacious and historic, or new-construction and modern (the latter more toward the center of the city where new growth is). Town homes and smaller 2-and 3-flat apartment buildings that are house-like run a close second in popularity. There are certainly larger apartment complexes in many areas, though they aren’t as abundant. Rent ranges from the $600s up to the mid-$1000s depending on where you’re looking, and that’s for all types of housing.
The amount you can expect to pay for utilities depends entirely on what type of place you’re renting. With houses and townhouses, it’s rare to get a place with any utilities included, and you’re likely to have a yard, garage, or more space. In apartments you’re more likely to find a place with many or all utilities included, as well as amenities and laundry room facilities (especially in larger complexes).
Finding a pet friendly apartment is not difficult in Joliet. Many rentals accept pets with a small deposit. Another potential fee to work into your budget is for an application and credit check, which many places ask for, and is non-refundable. In some areas of Joliet, this isn’t always customary, and getting approved for a rental is quicker and cheaper.
Really, your best bet for finding a place in Joliet is this site and other online rental resources, second only to a walk through your desired neighborhood to write down numbers.
Joliet doesn’t have any officially recognized neighborhoods, like many places, but it does have some main divisions that are used by citizens and apartment hunters, alike. The Des Plaines River provides a natural East-West split to the city.
Downtown: Downtown is seeing re-growth and local revitalization. It’s certainly the biggest area for visitors, with two casinos, a baseball stadium, and the historic Rialto Square Theatre, among other things. This is the main area of the city, with the most ease of movement for public transit commuters (Joliet Union Station and buses are located here). Quite a few apartments are new construction and will be more modern.
West Side: The area west of the river has seen a significant amount of growth recently. As people migrated, they pushed a lot of shopping from the downtown area and expanded the city further west. On the west side, you’re more likely to find strip malls and shopping centers. This part of Joliet has bigger houses that are a little more expensive, but still affordable.
Far West Side: Further west of the west side, rentals are scarcer. This is a more rural area, especially due west and south, where houses and properties are larger.
East Side: Variety is what you’ll find on the east side. Clusters of tree-lined streets and cheap little bungalows are sprinkled about. Rents are lower on the East Side. Smaller apartment buildings and complexes are more plentiful here, while further out of the city gets greener and woodsier. Since the east side isn’t as expansive as the west, things go from urban to suburban to rural a lot quicker than you’d expect.
Joliet is considered one of the fastest growing cities in Illinois, and the fourth largest by population. It’s a hop, a skip, and a jump away (read: about an hour and a half) from Chicago via both Amtrak train and two Metra commuter rail lines, making an easy dash to the big city for work or a shopping spree. That is, when you’re not busy with all Joliet has to offer. Multiple PACE buses run through downtown six days a week for local transportation.
There you have it, your guide to Joliet living. So, where do you go from here? Simple: Find some housing! Happy hunting!