When Her and I first most to Chicago, it took us a little while to find an apartment that would accommodate us and not have any weird holes in strange locations. We didn’t enlist the services of any of the apartment finding services here, but instead we took a multi-pronged approach of checking out Craigslist and the Chicago Reader.
After seeing many apartments that were too small for the rent asked, had too many holes in weird places (seriously, this was a weird theme in our hunt), or were not in a location near to public transportation, we finally saw one we liked. Thus, a little over three years ago, we signed a 3-year lease for a 3 bedroom apartment in a great Chicago neighborhood a few miles north of downtown. Not only that, but we somehow found a place for only $900/month, with a 5% increase each year thereafter. Sure there was no dishwasher; we’re fully capable of doing dishes ourselves. It didn’t have a washer/dryer in the unit, or even in the building, but that wasn’t a problem since there is a laundromat a steps away from our apartment.
In the time in which we’ve been in our apartment, we’ve seen many buildings get torn down, and others rise up to take their place. To our delight a brunch place and a coffee shop opened up two years ago, just steps away from our apartment. A CVS opened up shortly after we moved just a block and a half away. All of this has resulted in more foot traffic on our block, meaning safer commutes and more of a community feel.
Alas, this March our lease to rent our current apartment was set to expire. Because of the 5% rent increases over the last few years, our rent has increases but has managed to stay a hair under $1,000.
As Her and I have a wedding this year and much uncertainly of where we even want to be in a few years, we mulled over the decision to ask our landlord to extend our lease. We didn’t have much time to mull it over when we came up to speak with us about that very topic.
He offered us this proposal: An even $1,000 per month, for the next two years. No increase…and if we wanted to stay longer, he wouldn’t increase the rent.
Our landlord was proposing to raise our rent by less than $8 per month for the next two years. With an option to renew at that rate.
Unbelievable. The fact that he was going to offer it to us for so cheap was unbelievable.
Needless to say, we have a place to live for the next two years.