If you've only rented apartments in Chicago, you'll probably find the apartment search in Wheeling to be positively relaxing. Vacancy rates are at or above national averages, so you won't have to go to a fight club every night just to beat out other apartment seekers. Expect the standard one-month's-rent deposit to hold the place you want.
What you'll pay will vary widely depending on the size of your apartment and the neighborhood that you select. All bills paid apartments are unusual, so be sure to budget a bit extra to pay for your utilities.
With six neighborhoods to visit, you can complete your village tour of Wheeling in an afternoon. Not sure where to start? Read this quick rundown of each neighborhood's highlights to help you choose. Keep in mind that the price estimates are relative to the village.
Dundee Road: Want to be close to the Metra, post office and other community buildings? Then pick a place in the Dundee Road neighborhood. Search between Milwaukee Road and the Wheeling Drainage Ditch to find the widest selection of small homes and apartment rentals.
Lake Cook Road: Take advantage of suburban living and upgrade into a larger home. You'll find a mix of mostly 4- and 3-bedroom houses for rent in this neighborhood of mostly single-family subdivisions.
McHenry Road:The McHenry Road neighborhood has nearly 1500 2-bedroom to 3-bedroom houses for rent. With only half of the homes owner occupied, there's still plenty for rent in this area.
Milwaukee Avenue: Don't want to take care of a lawn on the weekends? Approximately 30 percent of housing in this neighborhood is apartment complexes, which is triple the amount of apartment buildings in most other areas in Wheeling.
Town Center: Less than 400 people live in this neighborhood, which is mostly office space and retail establishments. If you'd like to live here, however, be prepared to pay nearly double Wheeling's median rent.
Wolf Ridge: Most housing in Wolf Ridge was built as part of a subdivision in 1957. While the housing still standing is high on charm, you'll find better kept homes in other neighborhoods.
If you're tired of spending most of your paycheck on a Chicago apartment's rent, you already have something in common with your neighbors. Lots of your fellow residents make the daily commute to nearby Chicago in either in private cars or by train. Plan on an hour commute by train each way if you work in Chicago, but on the bright side, you'll finally be able to catch up on your reading. Most car commuters hop on the I-294 to get to work, so you'll encounter some traffic during the drive. If you're truly a bigwig, you can also commute by air from the third busiest airport in Illinois: Chicago Executive Airport.
When making the transition from the big city to the suburbs, you'll probably have a list of errands you'll have to run. The Wheeling village website reminds you to register with water and sewage services and to get Fido a license. One unusual village requirement for the uninitiated: an alarm system permit. You may also want to get your alarm checked before you move in because if there are five or more false alarms annually, you'll be charged a fine.
Once you have a chance to explore Wheeling, you may be surprised at the amount of bars and restaurants in the village. Truth be told, Chicago residents flocked to Wheeling in the 1880s to escape hectic city life. Taverns and hotels were quickly built to cater to these weekend tourists, who sometimes arrived by bicycle! Visit some of the older restaurants on Milwaukee Street to get a taste of old-town Wheeling.
Wheeling won't satisfy you if you love city living. However, if dodging rats the size of dinner plates is no longer your idea of fun, Wheeling may be a welcome change of pace. Take a cue from the Chicagoans of yore and visit for the weekend. You'll be signing a lease for an apartment to rent in Wheeling before you know it!