The Average Chicago Apartment

Remember these two-flats from last week? Time to pay them another visit. We’re hunting for the average Chicago apartment.

When new tenants are moving to Chicago they’re often shocked to discover that most of the city does not consist of skyscrapers and that most of the apartment buildings are actually approaching a century old. Yes, we have apartments that you can afford, but they may not mesh with what you have in mind when you think of a Chicago apartment. Looking at the housing stats from City-data.com one can paint a picture of the most common apartment in the city. It has two bedrooms, in a building between two and six units, and was constructed prior to 1939.

The HUD guideline for an affordable apartment is one that costs no more than 30% of your income. (According to a 2009 report from the Metropolitan Tenants Organization, 53% of Chicago residents spend more than that, but oh well. We try our best.)

According to City-Data.com, the median income for a Chicago renter in 2009 was $46,773. 30% of that works out to about $1170 per month to spend on rent.

Today I’ve put all of this together and went in search of vintage 2 bedroom apartments currently on the market for $1150 to $1200 per month in smaller buildings. I didn’t find many – only 12 came up and only 6 of those had photos worth sharing with you. All but one of the listings are at least five miles out of downtown, and you’ll notice a distinct absence of name brand neighborhoods in the lot. But I’ve assembled photo galleries of those six apartments after the jump to give you an idea of what the average Chicago apartment looks like, and where it can be found.

(Oh, and by the way, if you want to rent any of these I can show them to you, provided they’re still on the market by the time you find this article. Shoot me an email and we’ll figure something out.)

2314 W Rosemont #2


1502 S Homan #1


5228 S Indiana #3


4348 S Prairie #3


4742 N Troy #2


5338 W Midway #2

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Hi! Please note that I'm no longer a licensed Realtor and I don't check the comments very often anymore. You're welcome to leave questions but be aware that it may be a few months before I see it. For faster response, please use the Contact page to email me your questions.

-Kay C.

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