Not only does New Lenox have rents that are a bit higher than the average for Illinois and the U.S., it also has a minuscule 2.96 percent vacancy rate, and apartments for rent account for only 9.3 percent of the total properties. This means the odds aren't entirely in your favor if you're looking for housing for rent in New Lenox, but where there's a will, there's a way. Give it a little extra time and follow these tips below to ensure you have the best possible chance of finding that dream apartment you've been hoping for.
It's not going to cost a fortune, relatively, to live in New Lenox. The median rent for one-bedroom apartments is more than many parts of the country but fairly low for Chicago's suburban areas. The property taxes keep on climbing, which is something to consider if you're thinking about purchasing that one-bedroom apartment someday. It's always a good idea to ask your landlords if they're planning to increase the rent on you. Some buildings like to slap on a 20% rent hike after the first year, which can really put a damper on your budget. A great way to keep costs down is to rent an apartment in an older, rent-controlled building. They're not easy to come by, but they do exist. Even if the buildings aren't rent-controlled, you can still catch a break by renting in an older building that might not have the newest, most up-to-date features but will definitely save you a chunk of cash every month.
When to Rent
Let's be honest: Chicago winters aren't that much fun. They're long and cold and filled with snow. Why not use this to your advantage when it comes to renting an apartment? There is a serious drop in rental activity in the winter months when most people are curled up at home with a good book and a hot cocoa. This is a great time to get out and beat the odds of the low vacancy rate. You'll want to be ready to drop your whole security deposit that day. When you're renting in a town with so few vacancies, you can't always take the extra time to consider an apartment without running the risk of losing it.
What You Need
First off: make sure you have a warm coat, winter boots and a good attitude! The competition is a little tough here but don't let it intimidate you. Go in with your game face on and be prepared for anything. When you make an appointment to see a landlord, show up early and wear your Sunday best. Be friendly, smile a lot and make sure you look and sound professional. You should also have all your documents ready to go in the event that you find an apartment you like. Pull out the old three-ring binder and keep your credit report, rental application, letter of employment or two recent pay-stubs, references and any documents you might need to verify that your pet is rabies-free and suitable for apartment living. Be sure to also inquire whether the place you love is one of the pet-friendly apartments in New Lenox, lest you have to give up your furry friend. Most importantly, have your checkbook ready to whip out at the drop of a hat. Nothing talks like money in this business.
New Lenox has the all-around feel of a typical suburban town, but some areas have more small-town vibes than others. Here are some of the bigger neighborhoods that are of interest to renters.
Lincolnwood Hills: This neighborhood has slightly higher prices and mostly single-family homes, with a few row-houses. You might find it difficult to get a one-bedroom apartment for rent here, but you're in good shape if it's a three or four bedroom you're looking for.
W. Laraway Road and Stonebridge Drive: This is a great place to look for single-family homes, apartment complexes and high-rise apartments. There's plenty of action in this part of town, so you won't need to go far to find it.
W. Illinois Highway and Gougar Rd: Those in search of rentals should consider starting here. There are lots of apartment complexes and high rises available, and many of them are on the new side, so no need to worry about renovations and such.
Village Center: One of the pricier and more desirable areas, it can be tricky to find apartments for rent here. If you do see a deal, take a leap and jump on it because they don't come along often.
Are you ready to start chilling in the 'burbs? You better be, as New Lenox has all you could want (and more) to keep your life nice and frosty.
- New Lenox is on one of two Metra commuter rail lines, making it an ideal choice for people who have to commute into Chicago. The main New Lenox Metra Station is right on the corner of U.S. Route 30 and Cedar Road, and the train will take you right into Chicago's LaSalle Street Station. There's another Metra station at the corner of Cedar Road and Laraway Road, where the train heads into Union Station.
- You'll probably want a car to get around New Lenox, and if you have one, you'll have easy access to the many major roads and expressways that cross into the city. I-80 and I-355 give you easy access to Chicago, Joliet, Naperville, Wheaton and Bolingbrook, just to name a few.
- Why is the city expected to grow so quickly? Well, besides its prime location right outside of Chi-town, it is also the future site of two major development projects: Cedar Crossings and Spring Creek Outlets. These will be a huge boon to the city and are expected to draw in upwards of 60,000 more people in the next 15 years.
Some people love living right in the heart of downtown Chicago. For everyone else, there's New Lenox. It seems like the perfect compromise between the heart-racing life of the big city and the friendly, laid-back atmosphere of the suburbs. Of course, the small-town feel it has now might change as the years progress if the plans for redevelopment stay on course. Chances are the city could push north right into the Chicago metropolitan area. It seems like a good idea to start looking for homes here now before the prices skyrocket.