When meeting with landlords in town, be diligent and examine the property while walking through. Homes here are older and their maintenance depends solely on the homeowner. If the place looks dilapidated, that's a good sign that you'll be fixing the faucet and the leak in the ceiling on your own, and might want to take a pass in lieu of a more updated option.
Landlords and rental companies here demand proof of income and a full month's rent. Deposits are typically requested as well. Utilities are rarely included in the rental costs, so save a bit extra each month to cover them. Most homes are equipped with gas heat, which is a bit more affordable than keeping your house warm via thermostat. Make certain to read the terms of the lease before signing -- most contracts have some fine print that's looming within and it'd be a shame to lose your first-born child to a management company.
When renting an apartment in Schiller Park, consider the two vast areas that make up the community carefully. The village is divided, and one neighborhood boasts an urban feel, unlike its tidy counterpart.
Irving Park and 25th Avenue: If seeking a high-rise complex, the area surrounding Irving Park and 25th Avenue is perfect for you. This is the area to scour for studio apartments and two-bedroom layouts. Ruby Square Apartment Complex is a great place to begin the search, offering spacious floor plans, gated access, and affordable rent that includes some utilities -- a hard-to-find amenity in the area. Getting around here is easy on foot. However, most own their own vehicles as winter winds often prohibit a quick stroll to the market.
North Schiller Woods: North Village and Clocktower Parks are nearby. Not only are there countless outdoor activities, but many local businesses also thrive here, making this section of the village quite livable. Among these businesses are Schiller Park Commons, Columbia Coffee and Foods, Jay's Beef, BBs Produce and Meat, Nick and Frank D'Amato Bakery and Capone haunt-turned-eco-conscious dining gem, The Great Escape.
Village Center: When seeking house rentals, be sure to delve into this neighborhood, which encompasses Lawrence Avenue between Mannheim and River Roads. Its quintessentially suburban homes aren't built on top of one another and stores aren't placed on every corner. Grace Park is a subdivision here that offers old-style charm and homes built -- like others in town -- in the 1930s. Sophistication comes in the form of a fenced-in backyard and bay windows. Single-family homes range in stature, and the community is close to Tacos Locos and Richie's Restaurant, standout quality fare for a night out of the house.
As a local, knowing where the hot spots are is integral. Schiller Park has many gems which include Ken's Viaduct Lounge, where the booze flows as freely as the chitchat from the regulars. This is the place to go in town where everyone will glance toward the door every time it opens. Al And Andy's Restaurant is an old Greek diner where the omelets are made of quality ingredients and the banter on a Sunday morning is likely loud, between disgruntled Bears fans forced to hibernate for the summer. There are also great Polish delis and plenty of grocery stores for those who love food.
For those who are interested in taking a load off, be sure to visit Dragonfly Integrated Wellness, a home-based health spa specializing in massage, acupressure, and reiki. It provides a welcome retreat from the daily grind and a glimpse into eastern medicine seldom seen in suburbia.