When it comes to clinching a place to rent in here, it really is a cushy affair if you have the know-how. One way of looking smart is to capitalize on the many free services provided by the online apartment locating firms. Apartment locators are qualified real estate brokers, so confidently scroll through their online listing for readily-available houses and apartments.
When to rent
Due the high demand by college students for housing in this area, it's best to move when colleges and schools are not in session. The issue is not the rental amounts demanded, but the lack of vacancies once all the college kids scoop them up. So avoid moving in the summer if possible.
What you will need
You need to put your best foot forward when moving to any new neighborhood. If your credit history has gone south, then you could be in for a tough house hunt. Other than that, if you have pets, you need to review pet policies to make sure your furry, feathered or scaly friend will be welcomed by the apartment complex.
After getting a good lay of the land, head out to confidently search for apartments. To help in your search, read on for short descriptions of the different neighborhoods, accompanied with simple rental ratings.
W. 95th St/Major Ave: Don't get too caught up in whether you want a medium-sized family home or apartment. With a vacancy rate at 1.2%, you'll probably want to take the first vacant place you find if this is your dream neighborhood. Commuting to work generally takes about an hour, which is tad too long. $$$
S. Cicero Ave/W. 103rd St: This neighborhood is mainly made up of medium-sized to small single-family homes and apartment complexes that currently attract a 12.2% vacancy rate. The walkable and safe 'hood makes it popular with university students, so try to get in there before school starts. $$$
W. 103rd St/Central Ave: A low vacancy rate, coupled with most residents being owned and not rented makes this spot challenging for apartment hunters. You can score a pad here, even a hi-rise or a new roomy two-bedroom in a snazzy apartment complex, but it might take you a little longer to sniff it out. $$$
Oak Lawn Proper: Average rental rates are surprising low within the town's original border. You will require a great deal of luck though since the vacancy rate is as low as the rent. Commuting to work is much better at relieving 15 to 30 minutes one way. $
W. 95th St/Meade Ave: Landlords here expect you to part with a major portion of your income for the privilege of living here. What do you get in return? You'll get up every morning in an average or small family home or apartment. However, you first have to navigate through the 9.8% vacancy rate. Expect long commutes to work, even up to an hour long. $$$$
W. 89th Pl/Austin Ave: This glitzy real estate zone is made up of mostly medium sized and big household homes and small apartments. A tight rental market will make it difficult to score a place here, which will just give you more time to save your money so you can afford the rent (unless your independently wealthy). $$$$$
S. 51st Ave/W. 95th St: Modest rents and workable vacancy rates should put this nabe at the top of your list. The area is a nice mixture of renters and home owners, as well, so plan on looking for both apartments and rental homes. The drawback, however, is that this locale is a college student zone, so noise from wild weekend parties and careless drivers will become a way of life. $$
W 91st St/S. 55th Ct.: Most spots here are on the larger size, but smaller apartments can be found here, you just might think you're paying for a larger space than you actually are. The vacancy rate here is 4.4%, which is good for landlords, not so much for apartment seekers. This area has lots of amenities geared towards university students, so you'll find students living here as well. $$$$
This small cozy town has many excellent dining establishments and an amazing night life. There are numerous bars and clubs that are here--but word to the wise, they're probably packed full of college students. For exercising enthusiasts and nature lovers, Oak Lawn has an extensive park system to cater to their needs. Centennial Park, for example, offers residents over 300 acres of park land and leisure facilities such as playgrounds, a couple of fitness centers, walking trails, baseball fields and tennis courts.
Spend summers at the town's outdoor pool or the 18-hole Stony Creek Golf Course and winters (which can get quite frigid) at the indoor ice rink. As for moving around, the commute for professionals working in one of the many downtown businesses can be done by a car, cab or bus, although most residents still drive by themselves to work. A small but growing number of commuters, however, prefer making their way to the Metra commuter train station and taking a train.
So if you are among the lucky few that are planning a move to Oak Lawn, have no doubt that youre headed to better times ahead.