Find Chicago Apartments For Rent 

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Overview of Chicago


Is Chicago a good place to live? Absolutely! Think of it as the perfect mix of big-city buzz and Midwestern charm. Easier to navigate than NYC, more affordable than LA, and with a personality all its own, Chicago is where you get the perks of urban life without the major headaches. And with a public transit system that includes buses, trains, and the famous 'L' train, getting around is so smooth you'll forget what traffic jams even feel like.

As the Midwest’s largest city and its financial powerhouse, Chicago is an action-packed metropolis with a diverse economy. It's home to many industries, from finance and manufacturing to tech and healthcare, making it a great place to work. With the third-largest population in the USA, the city’s appeal is undeniable.

For education seekers, life couldn’t get any better than in Chicago. The city’s school system is extensive, with options for every educational need. It’s also home to renowned universities like the University of Chicago, Northwestern University, and DePaul University. Whether you're aiming for Ivy League vibes or urban campus cool, the Windy City has you covered.

Chicago’s architecture is like a living museum, with iconic buildings by legends like Frank Lloyd Wright and Mies van der Rohe. With so many amazing buildings packed into the city streets, architectural tours are like a time-traveling roller coaster, so hold on to your hats and enjoy the skyline!

When it comes to the weather, I hope you like variety! Four distinct (and that’s d-i-s-t-i-n-c-t!) seasons mean you’ll experience everything from hot, sunny summers to frigid, snowy winters. Winters can be tough (hello, polar vortex!), but the summer and fall more than make up for it with outdoor festivals and activities galore.

Heading outside, the Chicago Lakefront Trail is where residents converge in the summer for biking, running, and taking in stunning views of Lake Michigan. Additionally, with 26 miles of sandy space and over 20 free-to-access beaches, people flock from all over to relax, unwind, and socialize along the shores. Open from Memorial Day Weekend to Labor Day, these beaches provide a perfect escape from the city's hustle and bustle, offering opportunities for swimming, sunbathing, and beach volleyball. (Check out our guide to the best beaches in Chicago.)

Sports fans, welcome to paradise. Whether it’s the Cubs and White Sox in baseball, the Bears in football, the Bulls in basketball, or the Blackhawks in hockey, Chicago’s sports culture is deeply ingrained. Even if you’re not a die-hard fan, the city’s game-day energy is contagious, and it won’t be long until your favorite hat has a big red ‘C’ on it.

And let's talk food. Sure, Chicago is famous for deep-dish pizza and Italian beef, but the city’s culinary scene goes way beyond that. Think Michelin-starred restaurants, neighborhood gems, and every type of cuisine you can imagine. It’s a foodie’s dream come true, no matter which neighborhood you settle down in. Hungry for more? Check out our guide to the best restaurants in Chicago.

Culturally, Chicago is bursting at the seams with global influence. World-class museums like the Art Institute of Chicago, Museum of Contemporary Art, Field Museum of Natural History, Shedd Aquarium, and the Griffin Museum of Science and Industry are just the beginning. The city loves its museums so much that there is even a designated ‘Museum Campus’ waiting for you to explore. The music scene is also legendary, with blues, jazz, and house music all forming deep roots here. And theater? Chicago has it all, from Broadway hits to avant-garde productions.

Shopping in Chicago provides the fashion-forward with a playground of styles, labels, and trends. The Magnificent Mile and Oak Street offer high-end retail therapy, while neighborhoods like Clark Street in Andersonville, Armitage Avenue in Lincoln Park, Southport Corridor, 26th Street in Little Village, and Hyde Park provide unique boutiques and local treasures. It’s a window-shopper’s wonderland with a side of charm.

The suburbs offer a different pace, perfect for those who prefer a quieter environment but still want easy access to downtown. Each has its own perks, from beaches within walking distance to sprawling bike trails and close proximity to specific universities. Regardless of location, they all have excellent schools, endless rental options, and inclusive communities ready to welcome you in with open arms.

No matter where you direct your moving truck, once you are all settled in, you’ll find that getting around Chicago is a cinch thanks to an extensive and efficient transportation system. The CTA operates buses and trains throughout the city, while Metra serves the suburbs. Major highways and interstates connect Chicago to surrounding states, so road trips to visit your jealous friends living elsewhere is a breeze.

And when your travels take you soaring through the clouds, you have O’Hare and Midway airports, which are well-connected by public transit. The Blue Line takes you straight to O’Hare, while the Orange Line services Midway, making longer trips super convenient.

Finding the right apartment in Chicago is part of the adventure. With a variety of neighborhoods each offering unique vibes and amenities, you can tailor your living experience to fit your lifestyle perfectly. Whether you’re looking for a vintage apartment among the architectural delights of downtown or scouting out the cultural scene in neighborhoods like West Ridge and Edgewater, Domu is here to help you find your dream home.

There is plenty to discover in Chicago, so much so that despite decades of living here, you’ll still find yourself constantly surprised. Take the first step in finding your ideal neighborhood by reading our Neighborhood Guides, and then jump right into the apartment search with our fully customizable listings page.

At Domu, we want you to find the apartment of your dreams and will be with you every step of the way to make that happen!


Renting Apartments in Chicago


Imagine a city where every neighborhood feels like a hidden gem waiting to be discovered. With 77 distinct neighborhoods and a 78th on the way (which will include the new White Sox ballpark), Chicago is a city filled with endless possibilities. From the historic streets of Old Town, where every brick whispers stories of the past, to the eclectic buzz of Logan Square, where art and culture collide in the most delightful ways, Chicago’s neighborhoods offer a smorgasbord of experiences.

With each neighborhood brimming with unique charms and quirks, renting an apartment in Chicago isn't just about finding a place to sleep; it's about discovering your new favorite corner of the world. Depending on where you settle down, right outside your door you could find a plethora of dining delights, entertaining nights, historical and cultural experiences, the roar of a sports game, the camaraderie of a close-knit neighborhood, green spaces, accessible public transit, and so much more.

Chicago is more than pizza; it’s more than fickle weather; it's more than the Cubs (okay, that might be taking it too far...). But regardless of what brought you to your apartment search, whether it's being closer to family and friends, a new job, or just the excitement of an adventure, Chicago is a wonderful place to call home.

From vintage walk-ups that drip style to sleek, modern high-rises that touch the sky, there's a spot for everyone in the Windy City. And let's not forget the stellar public transit system, making every part of this sprawling metropolis easily accessible. Hop on the 'L' and the city is your oyster, whether you're zipping to work or heading out for an adventure.

Renting in Chicago means immersing yourself in a city renowned for its culinary delights, rich cultural history, and non-stop entertainment. The rental market here is as diverse as the city itself, showcasing everything from budget-friendly studios to opulent penthouses with views to die for. Searching for an apartment that fits your lifestyle and budget? In Chicago, you’ll find an overabundance of choice.

Chicago's distinctive neighborhoods are a testament to the city's remarkable history, particularly the transformative event of the Great Chicago Fire in 1871. The blaze decimated a significant portion of the city, resulting in a massive rebuilding effort that gave rise to the modern metropolis we know today. Astonishingly, an estimated 98% of Chicago's architecture dates back to the period immediately following the fire or just before it, creating a captivating fusion of historical and contemporary styles.

This unique blend of architectural influences has shaped the character and charm of each neighborhood, making the apartment hunting experience in Chicago an exciting journey of discovery. From budding professionals, growing families, and those entering the golden age of retirement, all will find that renting in Chicago means stepping into a world of endless possibilities and finding your place in a city that has it all.

Welcome to Chicago, a city where renting an apartment is just the beginning of your journey. See our Guide for Moving to Chicago.  Let’s find your new home together.


Types of Apartments in Chicago


In the vast cityscape of Chicago, the apartment options seem endless. From vintage homes that stop you in your tracks, awed by their architectural beauty, to high rises that have you peering past the clouds in an attempt to see the top. When it comes to Chicago real estate, if you can dream it, you can find it.


New Apartments:

If you crave modern design and state-of-the-art amenities, new apartments are calling your name. Neighborhoods like the West Loop, Fulton Market, Lakeshore East, Streeterville, River North, and South Loop are brimming with freshly built high-rises that offer sleek interiors and contemporary conveniences. Many have in-house cafés, fitness centers, and rooftop views, giving you a few more reasons to never leave the comfort of your sanctuary. However, the modern features and prime locations often come with a higher price tag.


Vintage Apartments

For those who adore a touch of history, vintage rentals offer timeless charm and character. Explore the arborist-friendly streets of Lakeview, Wicker Park, Ukrainian Village, Logan Square, Avondale, Rogers Park, Pilsen, and Lincoln Park, where classic buildings with unique architectural details sit among towering trees and lush green spaces. Your biggest concern will be planting the right flowers in your sidewalk garden to match the details of your charming abode. While these apartments can be more affordable, you may be sacrificing modern amenities for personality and style.



Loft living gives you a cool, industrial vibe with open spaces and high ceilings. Perfect for those who brew their own small-batch whiskey and like to entertain their trendy friends. Neighborhoods like the South Loop, Fulton Market, West Loop, River West, and River North are hotspots for converted warehouses and factories, redesigned for those who love a mix of urban chic and artistic flair. Lofts can be pricey due to their trendy appeal, spacious layouts, and low availability, but they offer a unique living experience.



If your moving truck is packed with children’s beds, home office equipment, and a dusty exercise bike, renting a house might be the perfect fit. Check out the picturesque neighborhoods of Lincoln Park, Wicker Park, Ukrainian Village, Avondale, Bucktown, Ravenswood, Roscoe Village, Graceland West, and Logan Square, where charming single-family homes provide a peaceful retreat from the chaos of downtown Chicago. From classic Chicago bungalows and worker’s cottages to Victorian and Queen Anne styles, houses in Chicago come in many shapes and sizes. This is where you’ll find a backyard for your kid's swing set, and your local coffee shop will remember your triple espresso order the moment they see your sleepy face walk through the door. While these spacious homes with yards offer plenty of room for your family and lifestyle, they also come with a higher price tag and are relatively rare in the rental market.


Townhouses For Rent

Townhouses offer the best of both worlds: the space and comfort of a house with the convenience of apartment living. Areas like Old Town, Lincoln Park, Lakeview, Logan Square, East Village, Roscoe Village, and Noble Square are known for their beautiful rowhouses, often featuring multiple stories and private entrances. While you may balk at the idea of sharing a wall with a stranger, in Chicago (and much unlike our frigid winters), we are a welcoming and friendly people. It won’t be long before you are inviting your neighbor over with Morse code signals tapped on the wall. Townhouses are less expensive than houses and come with the added benefit of pulling your car right into the first floor, something especially convenient during winter. While they may be harder to come by, townhouses are always a great find.


Condos For Rent

Condo rentals can provide a luxurious living experience with the added benefits of community amenities. The Gold Coast, Lakeshore East, South Loop, River North, West Loop, Lincoln Park, Lakeview, Uptown, Edgewater, and Streeterville neighborhoods have brag-worthy condo buildings with lake views and high-end finishes. Imagine sipping your morning coffee on a private balcony overlooking Lake Michigan or hosting friends in a sleek, modern kitchen that would make any chef envious. Beyond the glamorous interiors, many condos have access to fitness centers, rooftop decks, and concierge services, making everyday life feel like a permanent vacation. Known for their superior finishes and amenities, condo rentals often come with a higher price point compared to apartments. It’s also not uncommon for condo buildings to tack on extra fees for move-ins and move-outs, adding to the overall cost of living.


Luxury Apartments

If indulgence is your middle name, luxury apartments are your game. The Magnificent Mile, Streeterville, Gold Coast, West Loop, South Loop, Chicago Loop, Lincoln Park, and River North are renowned for their upscale residences, offering tenants a taste of the great life. You can spend your evenings lounging by the rooftop pool, cocktail in hand, with the Chicago skyline as your backdrop. Or start your morning in a state-of-the-art fitness center that rivals any high-end gym. Many luxury apartments also offer concierge services, pet spas, and even private theaters, making every aspect of your Chicago experience nothing short of extraordinary. With designer interiors, floor-to-ceiling windows, and prime locations near the best shopping, dining, and entertainment, these apartments redefine city living. Of course, you get what you pay for, and these are some of the most expensive rental options in the city.


High-Rise Apartments With Views

For those who dream of waking up to breathtaking cityscapes, high-rises with panoramic views are a must. Hyde Park, South Loop, Bronzeville, Chicago Loop, Lakeshore East, Streeterville, Gold Coast, Lincoln Park, Lakeview, Uptown, and Edgewater are where these architectural goliaths reside, offering sky-high living with stunning vistas of Lake Michigan and the iconic Chicago skyline. Let the sun drape you with warmth before its beams hit the rest of the city. Let the stars twinkle in your dining room while you toast your decision to make Chicago your home. From insta-worthy shots of the lake to peering down at the rest of us like your Ferris Bueller in the Sears Tower, forehead pressed to the glass, high-rise living is all it’s cracked up to be. Sidled up alongside luxury apartments in the top-tier price bracket, you can sometimes find more affordable options in older buildings along the lake.

No matter your preference, Chicago’s diverse rental market, coupled with Domu’s resources, means your perfect pad is just a few clicks away from having your name on the door. Pour through our neighborhood overviews, search our apartment listings, and subscribe to our newsletter and social media. Before long, you'll pinpoint your ideal neighborhood and be well on your way to settling into your new Chicago home.

Cost of Renting an Apartment in Chicago


Renting in Chicago offers a delightful range of options, from posh neighborhoods that scream luxury to charming areas that are affordable and adorable. Let’s explore the priciest and most affordable spots in the city.


The Most Expensive Neighborhoods

  • Gold Coast: Chicago's glittering Gold Coast welcomes all who love to bask in opulence. Located along the picturesque lakefront, this neighborhood is where you’ll find historic mansions, chic boutiques, and mouth-watering gourmet restaurants. Living here is like having a golden ticket to the good life, but it comes with a price tag to match. On average, you can expect to shell out anywhere from $2,500 to $7,000+ per month for a slice of this exclusive paradise. If it’s within budget and you have a taste for the finer things, the Gold Coast is the place to be.
  • River North: If you're looking for a neighborhood that's always lit up with energy, look no further than River North. This area is a perfect blend of Chicago's legendary nightlife, cutting-edge art scene, and upscale urban living. Picture yourself settling into a stylish loft with exposed brick walls and sky-high ceilings, just a stone's throw from the hottest bars, clubs, and galleries in town. Of course, this kind of lifestyle doesn't come cheap! Expect to pay anywhere from $3,000 to $5,750+ per month.
  • West Loop: Once a gritty meatpacking district, the West Loop has undergone a stunning transformation to become Chicago's trendiest neighborhood. This foodie wonderland is home to some of the city's most acclaimed restaurants, as well as uber-chic lofts carved out of former industrial spaces. If you want to immerse yourself among the city's hip and happening crowd, have a seat at West Loop’s trendsetter table. Rents here range from $2,600 to $5,000+ per month. But hey, can you really put a price on being part of the coolest scene in town?
  • Streeterville: Get ready to fall head over heels for Streeterville, Chicago's crown jewel of lakefront living! This dazzling neighborhood is a perfect mix of upscale amenities, stunning architecture, and unbeatable views of Lake Michigan. Imagine waking up every morning to the gentle lapping of waves and the glistening skyline stretching out before you. But that's not all – Streeterville is also home to some of the city's most iconic attractions, from Navy Pier to the Magnificent Mile. Whether you're in the mood for a gourmet dinner, a shopping spree, or a night out on the town, you'll find it all just steps from your front door. Of course, this kind of prime real estate doesn't come cheap. Average rents in Streeterville can range from $2,500 to a whopping $8,000+ per month, depending on the size and luxury of your abode.
  • Fulton Market: Get ready to dive into the lap of luxury in Fulton Market, Chicago's hottest and most exclusive riverfront neighborhood! This trendy spot is where the city's elite come to play, and it's easy to see why. From sipping craft cocktails on your private balcony to taking in the breathtaking views of the Chicago River, the rentals here are jealousy-inducing. With Michelin-starred restaurants, bougie boutiques, and Chicago celebrities living next door, renters here will be living the high life. But be warned: living in this urban oasis comes with a hefty price tag. Average rents for a one-bedroom apartment in Fulton Market are $2,600+ per month, making it one of the most expensive neighborhoods in the city. With its chic converted warehouses, sleek high-rises, and unbeatable location, Fulton Market is the ultimate playground for those who demand the very best.


More Affordable Neighborhoods

  • South Shore: Located along the scenic shores of Lake Michigan, South Shore is a neighborhood that offers a perfect balance of affordability and natural beauty. This up-and-coming area is known for its stunning beaches, expansive parks, and a growing number of restaurants and shops. And with rents ranging from $900 to $1,100 per month, South Shore is one of the most budget-friendly neighborhoods in the city.
  • Rogers Park: Nestled on the northernmost edge of Chicago, Rogers Park is a spot that feels like a world within itself. This diverse neighborhood is a melting pot of cultures, where you can hear a symphony of languages spoken on every street corner and taste a global array of flavors at the local restaurants. From the local street art to the lively festivals that bring the community together, Rogers Park is a place where every day feels like a celebration. And with rents ranging from $1,000 to $1,500 a month, you can be part of this cultural experience without breaking the bank.
  • Avondale: Imagine a neighborhood where creativity is the currency, and everyone has plenty to spare. That's Avondale in a nutshell. This neighborhood on Chicago's Northwest Side is like a secret clubhouse for artists, musicians, and foodies who march to the beat of their own drum. The streets are lined with colorful murals, eclectic shops, and some of the most innovative restaurants in the city. It's the kind of place where you can stumble upon a pop-up gallery in an abandoned warehouse or discover your new favorite band playing in someone's backyard. And the best part? You can snag a spot in this creative haven for just $1,300 to $1,600 a month. So pack your bags, grab your paintbrush (or your appetite), and come join the party in Avondale!
  • Edgewater: If you're craving a little lakeside living without the Gold Coast price tag, Edgewater could be a top contender. This charming neighborhood is all about that laid-back lifestyle, with plenty of opportunities to stroll along the water, grab a bite at a cute café, or hunt for treasures at a vintage shop. And with rents ranging from $1,200 to $1,600 a month, you can enjoy all the perks of a beach town without the tourist traps or the sky-high costs.
  • Uptown: If Chicago were a movie, Uptown would be the scene-stealing supporting character that steals your heart. This neighborhood has a personality all its own, with a mix of vintage charm and cutting-edge cool that's impossible to resist. One minute you're sipping coffee at a cozy café, the next you're browsing the racks at a trendy boutique or catching a show at a historic theater. And when the sun goes down, Uptown really comes alive, with a nightlife scene that includes everything from dive bars to upscale lounges. With rents ranging from $1,300 to $1,700 a month, Uptown offers a front-row seat to the best of Chicago without the downtown prices.

If you're ready to explore the ins and outs of Chicago's rental scene, our Neighborhood overviews provide an insider's look into the unique personality and price range of each community. Think of it as your personal guide to the city's most buzz-worthy areas, complete with all the nitty-gritty details you need to find your perfect home.  Don't miss our Guide for Moving to Chicago.


Actual Costs of Renting an Apartment in Chicago

Renting an apartment in Chicago involves more than just the monthly rent check.  See our guide on the detailed costs of renting an apartment in Chicago. To help budget for your move, here's a rundown of the various costs you should expect when settling into your new apartment:


Application Fee to Run Your Credit Check:  Think of this as the cover charge to get into the rental club. Application fees cover the cost of running a credit check and can range from $50 to $100.  See Domu's detailed guide on credit scores.

Security Deposit: This is your landlord’s safety net, ensuring that if you decide to host a wild paintball party in the living room, they’re covered. Security deposits typically equal one to two months’ rent and are refundable, assuming you leave the place as pristine as you found it.

Move-in Fee: Some landlords opt for a non-refundable move-in fee instead of, or in addition to, a security deposit. This fee, often ranging from $300 to $800, covers administrative costs and preparation of the unit for your arrival. It’s a one-time hit, so budget accordingly.

Utilities: Your rent might cover some utilities, but usually, you’re on the hook for electricity, gas, water, heat, air conditioning, and internet. Budget around $200-$300 per month for these expenses.

Trash Removal: While often included in your rent, some buildings charge a separate fee ($10-$20 per month) for trash removal. This ensures your garbage doesn’t pile up like a modern art installation.

Parking:  If you have a car, you’ll need a place to park it. Parking fees can vary widely, expect to pay anywhere from $75 to $400 per month for a designated spot, depending on your building and location. While parking permits are only $25, it’s a worthwhile investment to avoid the dreaded Chicago winter street parking shuffle.

Street Parking Permit: For those who prefer street parking, a city permit is necessary in certain neighborhoods and streets. These permits are relatively inexpensive, usually around $25 annually, but essential for avoiding those pesky parking tickets.

Amenities Fee: Living in a building with swanky amenities like a gym, pool, or rooftop deck often comes with an additional fee. This fee can range from $50 to $200 per month, depending on the level of luxury you’re indulging in.

Pet Fees: Furry friends come with their own costs.  Pet fees, which can include a one-time deposit and/or monthly pet rent, help cover the extra wear and tear caused by your adorable, but occasionally mischievous, companions. Landlords often charge a pet deposit ($200-$500), a one-time pet fee ($200-$400), and/or monthly pet rent ($25-$50 per pet) to cover potential damages.

Renter’s Insurance: Renter’s insurance is your safety net, covering personal property and liability. It’s a small monthly expense, typically around $15 to $30, but provides peace of mind in case of unexpected events.

Credit Scores: While not a fee, your credit score plays a crucial role in securing an apartment. Generally, a score of 620 or higher is preferred, but requirements can vary by landlord. If your score isn’t stellar, a cosigner might be necessary. For more details on credit score thresholds and how cosigners work, check out our detailed guide on credit scores.


Apartment Prices and Styles by Neighborhood


Do you want tree-lined streets and a quint “stepped onto the set of Gilmore Girls” vibe? Or are you looking for the hustle and bustle of a futuristic metropolis, where you can window shop until your legs give out beneath you and get a taco at 4 am? Whatever your budget and vision for your future pad are, here are some categories to keep you aligned with your goals.


Luxury Apartments

In areas like the Magnificent Mile, Streeterville, Gold Coast, West Loop, South Loop, Chicago Loop, Lincoln Park, and River North , expect to find upscale apartments with premium price tags. These neighborhoods feature high-rise buildings with luxurious amenities like infinity pools and state-of-the-art fitness centers. If you're looking for panoramic city views and concierge services, this is your spot. Beyond their swanky digs, they also offer unlimited potential for entertainment, shopping, and dining. As you’d expect, luxury extends beyond the walls and flows unhindered through these city streets.


Affordable Apartments

On the hunt for something budget-friendly? Browse our listings for Rogers Park, Bronzeville, Avondale, River West, North Lawndale, Humboldt Park, Albany Park, Portage Park, Near West Side, and Hyde Park. These neighborhoods have an eclectic collection of vintage buildings, three-flats, and single-family homes, with a rent considerably below the city median. But these areas offer more than just a cheap place to rest your head. Rogers Park is also home to Loyola University and has some of the best beaches in Chicago, like Tobey Prinz Beach Park. Hyde Park is where University of Chicago students sleep through class and the newly named Griffin Museum of Science and Industry stands proud, it's Beaux-arts architecture from the 1893 beckoning in tourists, locals, and the perpetually curious.


Trendy and Modern Apartments

Neighborhoods such as West Loop, Fulton Market, River North, South Loop, Streeterville, and Gold Coast are known for their trendy, modern apartments. Here, you’ll find sleek designs, high-end finishes, updated vintage walk-ups, and transformed historic buildings. These areas are perfect for young professionals and anyone looking to be in the heart of the city's hottest art, music, and foodie scenes. But if you’re on the low end of the hipster scale, don’t worry! Alongside their reputation for being trendsetters, they are also incredibly inviting, with people from all ages and walks of life making their home among converted warehouses and artist lofts.


Family-Friendly Apartments

Lincoln Park, Lakeview, Wicker Park, Bucktown, Logan Square, Old Town, Graceland West, Roscoe Village, and Ravenswood are neighborhoods where kids run amok, neighbors struggle with untangling strollers and leashed puppies, and the parks are filled on the weekends with picnic blankets and soccer balls. While there is a wide assortment of rental options, from studios to 4-bedroom homes, the focus is on the smaller details. Bay windows, hardwood floors, high ceilings, the remnants of historic architecture that has persevered through the decades. But that doesn’t mean construction ended in the 1950’s! There are plenty of contemporary condos and renovated vintage walk-ups to tour, and with a demographic that skews younger, the family-friendly laidback vibe is offset with the youthful exuberance of the many festivals and events that take part in these charming suburbs.


Loft Apartments

If industrial chic is your style, check out the South Loop, West Loop, Fulton Market, River West, Streeterville, Printers Row and Pilsen. These areas are home to an eclectic assortment of loft apartments, featuring open floor plans, exposed brick, and high ceilings. Perfect for artists and those seeking a unique living space, these rentals offer a blend of historic charm and modern convenience. In the South Loop, many buildings are converted warehouses that now serve as stylish residences, often with large windows and industrial details that create an airy, spacious feel. Pilsen, known for its colorful arts scene, offers similar spaces in a neighborhood filled with vibrant murals, stuffed galleries, and enough cultural events to fill up every weekend. With their distinctive styles and inclusive communities, these neighborhoods are perfect for those looking to live in a space as creative as they are.


Pet-Friendly Apartments

If you're bringing along some four-legged friends, finding a pet-friendly apartment pretty much goes without saying. There isn’t a neighborhood in Chicago that doesn’t have a building ready to accommodate your little collared cutie, and with amenities like spacious dog parks and luxurious pet spas, many apartments go above and beyond to ensure your pets feel right at home. To make finding the perfect home for both you and your pet easier, check out our Pet-Friendly Apartments page. Here, you’ll find detailed listings and amenities tailored to pet owners, helping you find a space where every member of the family feels welcome. Whether you're looking for a high-rise with a rooftop dog park or a cozy loft with nearby green spaces, you'll find plenty of options to keep tails wagging and paws happy.


Low-income Apartments

Finding affordable housing in Chicago is made easier with numerous low-income apartment options. Neighborhoods like Uptown and Bronzeville have programs and buildings specifically designed for low-income families and individuals. To find these apartments, consider reaching out to local housing authorities and non-profit organizations that provide resources and assistance. Helpful resources include:

For more information on assistance programs, check out Domu's article on the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program.


Rent Control Apartments

Rent control is a hot topic in Chicago's housing scene. Currently, rent control laws do not exist in the city, but discussions around implementing them are ongoing. This means that while landlords can raise rents, the market remains dynamic and competitive. Keeping an eye on these developments is important for renters looking to understand future trends and potential protections.


Cost of living in Chicago


Chicago offers a big-city lifestyle with a more manageable price tag compared to coastal giants like New York City, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. Here’s a breakdown of the cost of living in the Windy City.  Make sure to understand all the costs of renting an apartment in Chicago.


Apartments and Housing

Depending on the neighborhood you choose, finding an apartment in Chicago could be like hitting the rental jackpot. Compared to NYC, SF, or LA, Chicago’s housing market is a breath of fresh air. For instance, the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in downtown Chicago is around $2,432 per month, while outside the center, it drops to about $1,518 per month. Compare that with NYC’s sky-high rents (nearly double!) and you’ll see why Chicago feels like a steal.

Imagine renting a luxury high-rise in the Loop with skyline views or settling into a cozy vintage apartment in Lincoln Park without selling your soul. Whether you’re eyeing a studio in Uptown or a condo in the West Loop, you’ll quickly find that Chicago offers better bang for your buck while still supplying all those city perks. While the rental market in Chicago is more affordable than other large cities, it is seeing significant annual increases in rent. This makes it essential to start your apartment search early and stay updated on market trends to secure the best deals.


Taxes in Chicago

As much as we all hate them, taxes are a part of life and an important consideration when moving to a new city. The city’s sales tax stands at 10.25%, one of the highest in the nation. And unfortunately, real estate taxes have been on the rise, impacting rental prices as landlords adjust to cover these increased costs. However, the silver lining is that despite these higher taxes, the overall cost of living, including housing and everyday expenses, remains lower than in NYC and LA.

Alright, no one wants to do it, but let’s talk taxes. Chicago’s sales tax stands at 10.25%, which might make you gulp down your deep-dish pizza a bit quicker. And yes, real estate taxes have been climbing, nudging rental prices up as landlords adjust. Despite these taxes, the overall cost of living in Chicago remains lower than in NYC and SF. 


Cost of Living in Chicago Compared to NYC, LA, and SF

When you stack Chicago up against NYC, LA, and SF, the Windy City wins the cost-of-living battle hands down. Housing costs are significantly lower, allowing you to stretch out in more spacious apartments and homes. For example, renting a two-bedroom unit in Chicago costs about $1,480 per month, which is 3.5% more than the national average but significantly lower than what you’d pay in NYC or SF. Groceries, dining, and transportation are all more affordable, giving you extra cash to enjoy the city’s many perks. By searching Domu for apartments in Chicago, you’ll find that exciting urban experience you crave without the eye-watering expenses.

Best Time of Year to Search for an Apartment in Chicago


Timing your apartment hunt is like catching a wave, you want to paddle out at just the right moment. In Chicago, the sweet spot for apartment hunting runs from April to September. Why? Because no one wants to schlep a couch through a snowstorm. During these warmer months, the rental market is buzzing with activity. Think of it as the city’s apartment Mardi Gras—plenty of action, tons of options, and a little bit of competition. Everyone’s out and about and making moves, quite literally.

High-rises, on the other hand, are the cool kids who don't follow the crowd. They have move-ins and move-outs all year round. So if you’re eyeing a place with a killer view from 30 floors up, you might find it whether the snows falling or the suns shining.


What’s Available During the Different Seasons?

During the peak season, the variety of available apartments is vast. It’s like an all-you-can-eat buffet, with everything from charming vintage studios to swanky modern lofts. But remember, everyone else is feasting too, so if you see something you like, act fast before someone else snaps it up.

As summer winds down and September rolls in, landlords start getting a bit antsy. They’d rather avoid the winter vacancy blues, so you might find some fantastic deals as they become more flexible on rent and terms. This is your moment to swoop in and score a bargain.

In the off-season, from October to March, the market quiets down. Fewer apartments are listed, but those that are available often come with a discount. Think of it as shopping the clearance rack. You have less options, but great deals if you find something that fits. With less competition, you can take your time and potentially snag a sweet place for less.


How to Decide On the Right Chicago Neighborhood


Choosing the right neighborhood in Chicago can feel like picking the perfect pizza topping; there are so many delicious options! But no matter how hard the decision seems, you’re unlikely to choose something inedible. Here are some considerations to help you slice through the choices and find your ideal spot.

For more details on each neighborhood, check out the Domu Neighborhood pages.


Close to Lake and Parks

If you're a nature lover or simply appreciate a stunning lakeside view, Chicago has a few neighborhoods that will take your breath away.

First up is Lincoln Park, a true gem for outdoor enthusiasts. The neighborhood is home to a sprawling 1,200-acre park, complete with a free zoo, a conservatory, and miles of lakefront trails. It's like having your own personal oasis in the heart of the city! Lincoln Park is a haven for apartment renters who prioritize green space and outdoor recreation. The neighborhood offers a wide range of housing options, from historic brownstones to modern high-rises, all within walking distance of the park and the lake. With its unparalleled access to nature and its walkable streets, Lincoln Park is a top choice for renters seeking a healthy, active lifestyle in the city.

Next on the list is Edgewater, a neighborhood that sits along the shores of Lake Michigan. This spot is perfect for those who crave a more laid-back, beachy feel without sacrificing the perks of city living. The sandy beaches and lush parks offer a peaceful escape from the hectic action of the city. Edgewater is known for its diverse population and welcoming spirit, making it an ideal choice for renters looking for a sense of community and belonging. The neighborhood boasts a variety of affordable and spacious apartment options, many with stunning views of the lake. With its unique blend of natural beauty and urban convenience, Edgewater offers renters the best of both worlds.


More of a Neighborhood Feel

If you're looking for a place where everybody knows your name (cue the Cheers theme song), Andersonville and Ravenswood are the neighborhoods for you.

Andersonville has a charming, small-town character that will make you forget you're in the third-largest city in the country. The quaint streets have many unique, locally owned shops and cozy cafes, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere. Andersonville is known for its strong sense of community, with residents who take pride in supporting local businesses and actively participating in neighborhood events. Apartment renters in Andersonville will find a wide range of housing options, from vintage walkups to modern developments, all within a friendly and inviting neighborhood. With its diverse population and inclusive spirit, Andersonville is the perfect place for those seeking a true sense of belonging.

Ravenswood, on the other hand, is like stepping into a time capsule. With its historic homes sitting beneath towering tree canopies, this neighborhood oozes old-world charm. But don't let the vintage vibe fool you – Ravenswood is a fun community where neighbors become friends and block parties are a regular occurrence. If you're craving a sense of belonging and a place to put down roots, Ravenswood has plenty of space. The neighborhood offers a mix of classic Chicago bungalows, stately single-family homes, and contemporary apartment buildings, providing options for renters with diverse tastes and budgets. For those seeking a balance between urban convenience and small-town charm, Ravenswood is the ideal choice.


Convenient and Walking Neighborhoods

If you're the type of person who likes to be in the middle of the action, River North and West Loop are calling your name.

River North is like the Times Square of Chicago – it's a happenin' hub of restaurants, nightlife, and art galleries. Finding an apartment in River North means being just steps away from some of the city's hottest spots, with the ability to easily hop on the train or grab a cab to explore other parts of the city. River North is a paradise for foodies, with an endless array of dining options ranging from Michelin-starred restaurants to casual eateries. The neighborhood also boasts a thriving arts scene, with numerous galleries showcasing the work of local and international artists. Renters in River North will never run out of things to do, as the area is constantly buzzing with energy and excitement.

West Loop, on the other hand, is like the cool younger sibling of River North. It has all the convenience and excitement of downtown living, but with a trendier, more laid-back ambiance. The neighborhood is known for its hip restaurants, local boutiques, and proximity to the Loop, making it easy to enjoy the best of city life. The West Loop has become a hub for Chicago's creative class, attracting artists, designers, and entrepreneurs who appreciate the area's unique blend of industrial chic and modern sophistication. Apartment renters in the West Loop will find themselves surrounded by some of the city's most innovative and exciting businesses, from cutting-edge tech startups to artisanal food purveyors. With its convenient location and vibrant atmosphere, the West Loop is the perfect choice for those who want to experience the pulse of the city while still enjoying a sense of community and belonging.


Neighborhoods With the Best Views

There's nothing quite like waking up to an eye-opening view of the city skyline or the glittering waters of Lake Michigan. If you're a sucker for a good view, Lakeshore EastStreeterville and the South Loop will make your day.

Streeterville is known for its towering high-rises and unobstructed views of Lake Michigan, offering a truly breathtaking living experience. Many of the luxury apartment buildings in Streeterville feature floor-to-ceiling windows, allowing residents to fully immerse themselves in the panoramic views. From the higher floors, you can watch the sunrise over the lake, casting a golden glow across the city, or marvel at the twinkling lights of the skyline as the sun sets.

The South Loop, meanwhile, offers a unique blend of old and new. The neighborhood is home to historic buildings and landmarks like the Field Museum and Soldier Field, mixed in with sleek, modern condo buildings that offer some of the best views in the city. Whether you're gazing out at the lake, the skyline, or the lush parks below, the South Loop is a feast for the eyes. Many of the newer apartment buildings in the area have been designed to maximize these views, with expansive windows and thoughtfully oriented balconies. For those who appreciate a touch of history with their modern amenities, renters in the South Loop can experience the best of both worlds.


Neighborhoods with the Best Access to Public Transit

If you're the type of person who likes to ditch the car and explore the city by train or bus, let’s head over to Logan Square and Lakeview.

Logan Square has a hip, artistic vibe and a killer food scene, all conveniently located along the Blue Line. Living in Logan Square means being able to easily access the heart of downtown or catch a ride to O'Hare for a weekend getaway. The neighborhood offers tons of apartment options, from vintage courtyard buildings to modern developments, all within steps of the train. Renters in Logan Square will appreciate the neighborhood's commitment to public transit, with bike-friendly streets and easy access to bus routes that connect to other parts of the city.

Lakeview, meanwhile, is like the Swiss Army knife of neighborhoods – it's got a little bit of everything, and it's all easily accessible by multiple 'L' lines. Whether you're commuting to work downtown, catching a Cubs game at Wrigley Field, or exploring the countless bars and restaurants in the area, Lakeview makes it easy to get around. The neighborhood is served by the Red, Brown, and Purple Lines, providing quick and convenient access to the Loop and other parts of the city. Lakeview is also home to a wide range of apartment options, from stylish lofts to luxury high-rises, catering to renters with specific preferences and budgets. With its unbeatable location, abundant amenities, and excellent public transit, Lakeview is a top choice for renters who want to experience the best of Chicago without relying on a car.


Neighborhoods Close to Expressways

For the frequent road tripper, or someone who likes the convenience of being able to hop on the highway at a moment's notice, Bucktown, Logan Square, Wicker Park, West Loop, and Ukrainian Village provide easy access to the rest of the world.

The West Loop, as we mentioned earlier, is a foodie's paradise and a shopper's delight – but it's also conveniently located near I-90/94 and I-290, making it a breeze to get in and out of the city. Apartment renters in the West Loop will appreciate the neighborhood's prime location, which offers easy access to major expressways without sacrificing the excitement and energy of city life. The area boasts a wide range of housing options, from chic lofts to luxe high-rises, all within minutes of the highways. With its unparalleled convenience and lively atmosphere, the West Loop is perfect for renters who want to balance city living with the freedom to explore beyond Chicago's borders.

Ukrainian Village, meanwhile, is like a little slice of Europe in the heart of Chicago. With its old-world charm and tight-knit community feel, you'll forget you're just a stone's throw away from the expressway. Living in Ukrainian Village means being able to enjoy a peaceful, residential vibe while still having easy access to the rest of the city and beyond. The neighborhood offers a unique blend of historic architecture and modern amenities, with apartments ranging from cozy walkups to spacious flats. Renters in Ukrainian Village will appreciate the neighborhood's proximity to I-90/94, which provides a convenient escape route for weekend getaways or daily commutes. Despite its easy access to the highway, Ukrainian Village maintains a strong sense of community and a quieter pace of life, making it an ideal choice for those seeking a more relaxed urban experience.

At the end of the day, choosing the right neighborhood is all about figuring out what matters most to you. Whether you're a nature lover, a social butterfly, a city slicker, a view seeker, a transit taker, or a highway hog, Chicago has a neighborhood that will fit you like a glove. Renters should take the time to explore their options and consider factors such as location, amenities, and community character when making their decision. With its diverse array of neighborhoods and housing options, Chicago is a city that truly has something for everyone. So take a deep breath, do your research, and get ready to fall in love with your new home sweet home in the Windy City!


History of Chicago


Chicago’s history reads like a gripping novel, full of unexpected twists and larger-than-life characters. The city began as a modest trading post along the Chicago River, frequented by Native American tribes who used the river as a water resource and travel route. By the 19th century, Chicago was booming, thanks to the Illinois and Michigan Canal, which connected the Great Lakes to the Mississippi River. This turned Chicago into a bustling hub of commerce and industry, where railroads converged and opportunities flourished.

The Great Chicago Fire of 1871, a cataclysmic event that destroyed a large part of the city, marked a dramatic new beginning rather than an end. Out of the ashes rose a new, more resilient Chicago, becoming a playground for architectural innovation and giving birth to the skyscraper. Visionaries like Daniel Burnham and Louis Sullivan turned tragedy into triumph with designs that still dazzle today.

From the architectural marvels born out of necessity after the Great Fire to the cultural renaissance that followed, Chicago’s history is a testament to its resilience and creativity. This city has reinvented itself time and again, all while maintaining a deep respect for its wild past. For a deeper dive into the fascinating history of Chicago, visit our detailed History of Chicago page.