Top 3 “Must Haves” While Searching for Your Apartment

Hardwood flooring, amenities, and parking… no wait, natural light, balcony and updated kitchen… yikes, I meant pool, doorman and closet space.

Figuring out your must haves is no easy task when finding your next apartment, so here is a list of the top 3 “must haves” we see from our customers:


This is the biggest “must have”, and one you might think is strictly neighborhood based, but proximity to work or transportation is often even more important than living in a specific neighborhood. If you’re trying to figure out the right location for you, consider these questions to make sure the neighborhood you choose meets all your must haves:

  • Do you need to be close to public transportation? Check out this easy chart that breaks down how transportation friendly each neighborhood is.
  • How far will my commute to work be? Make sure you consider not just distance but time. If you need to jump on the highway and you live in the Streeterville, it may take 15-20 minutes just to get to the expressway.
  • Do I want to be where the action is or isn’t? Some neighborhoods, like River North, are in the heart of it all, while others, like River West or Lakeshore East are just a short walk away from the action.

Dog Friendly

Most people love dogs. I love dogs. John Cusack and Diane Lane must love dogs! Luckily for all of us, many downtown properties love dogs too. In fact, 90% of the properties we work with in downtown Chicago are dog-friendly and nearly every new property that goes up caters to our canine cohorts in one shape or another. Whether its dog runs, pet spas, or even on-site parks, Chicago has really “gone to the dogs” in the last few years. Now, keeping track of all of this can be a little hairy, so if you have a big dog, rare or aggressive breed, or simply thinking about getting a dog, here are some dog-friendly apartments downtown to get you started.

In-Unit Washer and Dryer

I never needed to have an in-unit washer and dryer: I liked heading down to the on-site laundry or off to the Laundromat. Then, one day, I just needed it besides me… well not directly, but in my apartment. It was like I woke up and said, where’s my washer and dryer? When it comes to folks needing a washer and dryer, it seems you either “need one in the unit” or “you don’t”. There isn’t a big crowd sitting on the “I don’t care” bench. With newer apartment buildings and higher end luxury properties, in-unit washers and dryers are nearly always standard. The Gold Coast area, which has a lot of older luxury properties and historic buildings is one exception. Many of these properties have updated their on-site laundry facilities, including some whose machines even text you when your load is done. Data rates do apply…

There you have it, the top 3 “must haves” to consider… or was it floor to ceiling windows, square footage, and a gas stove?

Check us out at Hotspot Rentals and we’ll help you narrow down your must haves.