Living in Chicago

A forum for applicants and admitted students to ask law students and graduates about law school and the practice of law.
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Anastasia Dee Dualla
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Living in Chicago

Postby Anastasia Dee Dualla » Wed Aug 21, 2013 4:34 am

Hey Folks,

I'm at a loss for what to do about housing. For those of you recent graduates who are living in Chicago, are you living with roommates? Where are you living? Do you think it would be wise to get a roommate for like 6 months to pay down/off loans and then move closer to downtown?

Perhaps I've spent too much time being a spendthrift, but I'm getting nervous about signing a lease for a costly place with outstanding loans.

JRD
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Re: Living in Chicago

Postby JRD » Wed Aug 21, 2013 6:01 am

Not sure where you are looking but you can live on the Northside for fairly cheap. If you don't mind a 40 minute EL ride you can live in a place like Ravenswood or North Center for pretty cheap.

RodneyRuxin
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Re: Living in Chicago

Postby RodneyRuxin » Wed Aug 21, 2013 7:26 am

get roommates. if you live in a triple your rent will be substantially cheaper than a studio/1BR

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unc0mm0n1
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Re: Living in Chicago

Postby unc0mm0n1 » Wed Aug 21, 2013 8:37 am

The rent in Englewood is extremely cheap. :lol:

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Anastasia Dee Dualla
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Re: Living in Chicago

Postby Anastasia Dee Dualla » Wed Aug 21, 2013 3:17 pm

I guess my real question is how uncomfortable people are feeling renting places downtown when they have loans. Am I am just being paranoid about wanting to immediately dispose of my debt?

Is living further out from biglaw firm to pay down the loans TCR or am I trying to be too ambitious in wanting to pay them off in a year?

Thoughts?

Also, is 20 minutes too far to walk in the frigid chicago winters?

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thefuturenow
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Re: Living in Chicago

Postby thefuturenow » Wed Aug 21, 2013 3:26 pm

Anastasia Dee Dualla wrote:I guess my real question is how uncomfortable people are feeling renting places downtown when they have loans. Am I am just being paranoid about wanting to immediately dispose of my debt?

Is living further out from biglaw firm to pay down the loans TCR or am I trying to be too ambitious in wanting to pay them off in a year?

Thoughts?

Also, is 20 minutes too far to walk in the frigid chicago winters?


Chill out.

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Anastasia Dee Dualla
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Re: Living in Chicago

Postby Anastasia Dee Dualla » Wed Aug 21, 2013 7:09 pm

thefuturenow wrote:
Anastasia Dee Dualla wrote:I guess my real question is how uncomfortable people are feeling renting places downtown when they have loans. Am I am just being paranoid about wanting to immediately dispose of my debt?

Is living further out from biglaw firm to pay down the loans TCR or am I trying to be too ambitious in wanting to pay them off in a year?

Thoughts?

Also, is 20 minutes too far to walk in the frigid chicago winters?


Chill out.


Welp, I'll take that to me that I'm being too ambitious. Anyone else?

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Holly Golightly
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Re: Living in Chicago

Postby Holly Golightly » Wed Aug 21, 2013 8:55 pm

The loop sucks. Check out neighborhoods on the north side and west side that are more affordable. Even the west loop has some decent places that aren't too pricey, and is actually a fun place to live instead of desolate as soon as working hours are over.

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Anastasia Dee Dualla
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Re: Living in Chicago

Postby Anastasia Dee Dualla » Wed Aug 21, 2013 11:18 pm

Holly Golightly wrote:The loop sucks. Check out neighborhoods on the north side and west side that are more affordable. Even the west loop has some decent places that aren't too pricey, and is actually a fun place to live instead of desolate as soon as working hours are over.


Thank you. I was meaning to email you as per DF's suggestion, but then I realized because we are TLS friends, I have no email addy.

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arkgawilson
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Re: Living in Chicago

Postby arkgawilson » Thu Aug 22, 2013 8:11 am

Anastasia Dee Dualla wrote:
Holly Golightly wrote:The loop sucks. Check out neighborhoods on the north side and west side that are more affordable. Even the west loop has some decent places that aren't too pricey, and is actually a fun place to live instead of desolate as soon as working hours are over.


Thank you. I was meaning to email you as per DF's suggestion, but then I realized because we are TLS friends, I have no email addy.


Okay, so I'm going to disclose a little. When I moved to Chicago from the South (Arkansas) I was extremely worried. I sold my car because folks told me "you'd never need a car in Chicago." To stay competitive in my field for practica and externships, turns out I needed a car, and had to purchase one (a much crappier one I might add), but I digress.

Concerning the weather..you won't want to wait at a bus stop in the frigid air for 5 minutes, let alone 20, so I would live somewhere where you can either drive (which I understand not everyone can) or somewhere EXTREMELY close to a bus stop. I say bus stop because although trains are much quicker, you generally have to walk longer to get to a train stop, and have to stand up on the very cold and windy platforms for several minutes before a train arrives...and when it arrives, be prepared to kill an old lady to get onto the train, PARTICULARLY if you live close to downtown where people are headed.

I lived in the same place for the 3 years I was there, about 6 miles north of downtown. I lived in Ravenswood/Uptown Border, close to Andersonville (which is a very gay friendly place, something that I did not know when I moved there but really liked). My apartment building was originally built to serve as condos, but that didn't work out because of the economy. I had a 3 bedroom, 2 bath, with washer and dryer, central air and heat, and laundry in the apartment. Those are things you are also going to want to consider. I was also fortunate to have a built in garage underground for my building, balconies on 2 of the rooms and the main room, fireplace, etc.

When I was trying to move, I was relying on someone who lived in the city to find me a good deal as I couldn't go look myself. When he found that apartment, we jumped on it. I would advise you NOT to use those shady house hunting groups, because they really tried to force us to buy immediately...and while there is a lot of competition, they really over-did it in my opinion.

The cost of my 3 bedroom apartment in a good location for transportation and fairly close to downtown was 2,025 a month, or 675 per person for rent, which I thought was fantastic, as I knew people downtown paying over 1300 a month for a shitty studio with none of the amenities I mentioned. I don't know about you, but I'd rather live comfortably if I'm masochistic enough to go to grad (or now in this case law school). I think having roommates saves you money, and you can screen them easy enough. My first year it was me, my friend whom I had met on Facebook but grew to know very well in the year before I left, and one of his friends. We got along well, but one of my roommates dropped out, and my friend moved, so I had to get 2 roommates the next year. That year was even better, and everyone stayed the next year.

Most places in Chicago will require a deposit of first month's rent, so don't be surprised. I was a little shocked when I had to cough up 2,025 dollars, plus 2,025 more dollar for first months rent, particularly because one of my roommates was on the fence, and everyone was broke except me because I worked full time in college. I ended up, foolishly, paying for everyone's (mainly in a panic because of those apartment hunter people and my irrational fears of not getting a good apartment and having to live somewhere unsafe or too far away). Luckily I signed promissory agreements with everyone and got all of my money back.

Anyways, I wish you the best. One more thing, a lot of Chicago is just a neighborhood after neighborhood, so that's something to consider as well. If you're gay, there are plenty of great neighborhoods for you. If you like sports, there's a great neighborhood. Each neighborhood has their own feel to them. There are some areas on the Northside close to where I lived or bordered (such as Uptown) that have became increasingly unsafe. 2 days ago 5 people were shot at the exact location where I would normally walk 10-15 minutes from my apartment to take the train. I was always lazy though and took the bus as it was right in front of my apartment door. Everything depends really on you. The train ride for where I lived was about 20 minutes (not including the 15 minutes to walk to the train) so it was quicker, but sucked in the winter because of the platforms. The bus took 45 minutes because of all the stops, but was right at my front door. During the summer I took the train so I could start my morning off with a walk, and at night I would take the bus, mainly for safety issues because that particular station was in a not great neighborhood...a 15 minute walk can make so much of a difference in Chicago.

Anyways, best of luck, and feel free to PM me. I moved to Arkansas to help out on some family issues and am getting a masters here, and decided to wait it out a cycle before I apply, so I will apply next Fall for the following fall. Took the LSAT in December but want to raise it since I took on considerable debt in my graduate endeavor (so stupid) but thankfully no undergrad debt. Best of luck!

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Anastasia Dee Dualla
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Re: Living in Chicago

Postby Anastasia Dee Dualla » Fri Aug 23, 2013 12:31 am

Thanks arkgawilson; that was extremely helpful. I've decided to go the one bedroom with den route and find a place really close to work (even if it is more costly). Taking a little extra time to pay off the loans never killed anyone.

09042014
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Re: Living in Chicago

Postby 09042014 » Fri Aug 23, 2013 2:13 am

Anastasia Dee Dualla wrote:Thanks arkgawilson; that was extremely helpful. I've decided to go the one bedroom with den route and find a place really close to work (even if it is more costly). Taking a little extra time to pay off the loans never killed anyone.


Especially if you thought paying them off in one year was even a possibility.

09042014
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Re: Living in Chicago

Postby 09042014 » Fri Aug 23, 2013 2:18 am

arkgawilson wrote:There are some areas on the Northside close to where I lived or bordered (such as Uptown) that have became increasingly unsafe. 2 days ago 5 people were shot at the exact location where I would normally walk 10-15 minutes from my apartment to take the train. I was always lazy though and took the bus as it was right in front of my apartment door.


I've never really understood why the Lawrence stop was such a shithole, but apparently it has always been. Apparently in the 80s people would be doing crack in open daylight.

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Anastasia Dee Dualla
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Re: Living in Chicago

Postby Anastasia Dee Dualla » Fri Aug 23, 2013 2:33 am

Desert Fox wrote:
Anastasia Dee Dualla wrote:Thanks arkgawilson; that was extremely helpful. I've decided to go the one bedroom with den route and find a place really close to work (even if it is more costly). Taking a little extra time to pay off the loans never killed anyone.


Especially if you thought paying them off in one year was even a possibility.


DF, recall that I don't have the full monty; I only took out cost of living and paid some of that off during school. I was just trying not to sound like a dick in airing that.

09042014
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Re: Living in Chicago

Postby 09042014 » Fri Aug 23, 2013 2:34 am

Anastasia Dee Dualla wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:
Anastasia Dee Dualla wrote:Thanks arkgawilson; that was extremely helpful. I've decided to go the one bedroom with den route and find a place really close to work (even if it is more costly). Taking a little extra time to pay off the loans never killed anyone.


Especially if you thought paying them off in one year was even a possibility.


DF, recall that I don't have the full monty; I only took out cost of living and paid some of that off during school. I was just trying not to sound like a dick in airing that.


Ah I remember now. Yea I wouldn't worry at all about the loans. Your QOL is more important.

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Anastasia Dee Dualla
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Re: Living in Chicago

Postby Anastasia Dee Dualla » Fri Aug 23, 2013 2:35 am

Desert Fox wrote:
Anastasia Dee Dualla wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:
Anastasia Dee Dualla wrote:Thanks arkgawilson; that was extremely helpful. I've decided to go the one bedroom with den route and find a place really close to work (even if it is more costly). Taking a little extra time to pay off the loans never killed anyone.


Especially if you thought paying them off in one year was even a possibility.


DF, recall that I don't have the full monty; I only took out cost of living and paid some of that off during school. I was just trying not to sound like a dick in airing that.


Ah I remember now. Yea I wouldn't worry at all about the loans. Your QOL is more important.


Yeah, but I'm still fearful of getting dat Latham, so I had convinced my paranoid self to pay them off in a year.

dixiecupdrinking
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Re: Living in Chicago

Postby dixiecupdrinking » Fri Aug 23, 2013 9:39 am

[Obligatory MAF comment about Chicagoans worried about rent.]
Sincerely,
Incoming NYC first year

But seriously. You guys have it good, might as well spend a little more money to spend a little less of your limited free time commuting or dealing with shitty roommates, IMO. Also, nothing magic about paying it off in a year versus 18 months, etc.

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Anastasia Dee Dualla
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Re: Living in Chicago

Postby Anastasia Dee Dualla » Sat Aug 24, 2013 2:46 am

dixiecupdrinking wrote:[Obligatory MAF comment about Chicagoans worried about rent.]
Sincerely,
Incoming NYC first year

But seriously. You guys have it good, might as well spend a little more money to spend a little less of your limited free time commuting or dealing with shitty roommates, IMO. Also, nothing magic about paying it off in a year versus 18 months, etc.


If it makes you feel any better, I went to law school in New York. That Manhattan rent. :shock:

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courtneylove
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Re: Living in Chicago

Postby courtneylove » Sat Aug 24, 2013 3:45 pm

i'm living in the loop despite crazy loan debt. idgaf, i didn't go to law school to still be riding public transportation in my 30s.

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Holly Golightly
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Re: Living in Chicago

Postby Holly Golightly » Sat Aug 24, 2013 3:48 pm

I don't mind a short public transit commute, but I also just think the loop fucking sucks.

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Anastasia Dee Dualla
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Re: Living in Chicago

Postby Anastasia Dee Dualla » Sat Aug 24, 2013 3:59 pm

Holly Golightly wrote:I don't mind a short public transit commute, but I also just think the loop fucking sucks.


It definitely does by way of things closing early, but at this exhausting point in my apartment search, I just can't care anymore. I'm clearly going to take a place I hate just so I can stop searching for apartments.

Also, my hours will put me at home pretty late anyway, may as well make it a short walk.

09042014
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Re: Living in Chicago

Postby 09042014 » Sat Aug 24, 2013 4:03 pm

Holly Golightly wrote:I don't mind a short public transit commute, but I also just think the loop fucking sucks.


The loop objectively sucks.

If you are willing to pay a premium to live near the loop, find a near your work that isn't inside of it. West Loop, River North, or the South Loop are better than living inside it. You can still walk that.

Has anyone walked through to loop at night, it's literally a ghost town other than near the theatres.

LOL at being too snooty for public transit if you can't afford cabs every day, or don't have a car.

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Anastasia Dee Dualla
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Re: Living in Chicago

Postby Anastasia Dee Dualla » Sat Aug 24, 2013 5:10 pm

Desert Fox wrote:
Holly Golightly wrote:I don't mind a short public transit commute, but I also just think the loop fucking sucks.


The loop objectively sucks.

If you are willing to pay a premium to live near the loop, find a near your work that isn't inside of it. West Loop, River North, or the South Loop are better than living inside it. You can still walk that.

Has anyone walked through to loop at night, it's literally a ghost town other than near the theatres.

LOL at being too snooty for public transit if you can't afford cabs every day, or don't have a car.


The problem with this perspective is that apartment buildings are aware of how awful the loop is and therefore, for the same amount of space I get for 1700 in the loop one block from work (1 bed/den), I end up paying six hundred dollars more for a couple of blocks. I'd rather live in a ghost town at that point.

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Anastasia Dee Dualla
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Re: Living in Chicago

Postby Anastasia Dee Dualla » Wed Aug 28, 2013 11:41 pm

Okay, so my planned apartment building fell through. Does anyone have a river north / west loop high rise they recommend. At this point, I don't have time to look at any smaller places.




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