I will be attending IIT in the fall and plan on living off-campus with a parent, but we currently live out of state and are looking for apartments. Obviously, one important qualification is accessibility to the college. I would rather not take a bus, but expect to use the L, even if it means being further away. However, I would still like to be as close as possible. We also need a neighborhood that is safe and an apartment that will allow two dogs, one of which is large. Preferably, we would like a monthly rent of $1200 or lower. What neighborhoods should we be looking in? So far, we have seen a lot of of possibilities in Pilsen, Albany Park, and Rogers Park. Especially with Albany Park and Rogers Park, it would be a long commute, but I figure I can try to take advantage of the time on the train, although it would be nice to be closer. We also found a few walking distance to the college, but none were within our price range and allowed dogs.
There are a lot of apartments in Bridgeport which is very close but finding a location that will allow dogs might be a challenge. Rogers park is quite far and would take on the order of 1.5 hours by El. You might want to consider the South suburbs and taking the Metra Line that stops at 35th street, right on Campus. This would cost you more because the fare is not part of the UPass that all students at IIT get.
@xraymancs I considered the possibility of the communities along the Rock Island Line, but the issue is if we spend $200 per month on Metra tickets than our apartment budget drops to $1000, which appears nearly impossible. As to the Rogers Park, according to Google Maps, it would take 40-50 minutes from Sox-35th to Howard, the northernmost station in Rogers Park. With walking and waiting for the train, it would probably take just over an hour door to door if we could find an apartment very close to an L station. How hard do you think it would be to do something such as read a textbook on the train? One of the things that first attracted me to Chicago was the L and I would actually enjoy riding it, but 2 hours is still a lot of time to spend commuting everyday.
2 hours is a lot and I know it because I live in Evanston and have taken the El to Illinois Tech on occasion. There may be some affordable options near Roosevelt Road. Good luck.
I agree with @xraymancs in that I would look at the Bridgeport area. It is generally a nice community with a number of mom and pop shops and restaurants/coffee shops. If you do enough searching, you should be able to find something within your price range, although I am not sure about the dog situation. There are a lot of options, and this is definitely one of the more popular options for students that move off campus.
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