Tag Archives: rent rates

“Affordable.”

I guess we all get a little nervous when new people move to town.

So this is a practical shelter blog, which means that I’ll be talking about affordable housing quite a bit going forward. People tend to get all up in arms about affordable housing and write me off as some kind of left wing crystal-gripping-mantra-chanting hippie when I use that term so I wanted to take a moment to talk about what it actually means.

“Affordable” does not mean low-income housing. “Affordable” does not mean Section 8 housing. It doesn’t even mean “crappy low-rent vintage housing with leaking windows and creaky porches.” When I talk about affordable housing – in particular, affordable rents – I am talking about housing that costs less than 30% of the average person’s gross income.

So let’s say that you’re earning under $35k per year. That’s a little above the median income for Chicago rental households. According to a 2011 survey by the Depaul Institute of Housing Studies and a recent study from early 2012 from the National Housing Conference, 75-80% of you guys are paying more than is considered affordable. 24% of you are paying more than half of your income in rent.  This does not make it cool or okay to do so. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that you guys are holding us back economically.  (more…)

Chicago Real Estate Statistics: Extra Bedroom vs Extra Bathroom in Apartments

Photo of a Chicago Bathroom (via Apartmenttherapy.com/Bungalowtile.com)

The most expensive room in the house?

One of the awesome things about writing a real estate blog is that I have an excuse to look up all kinds of awesome statistics and play around with charting software. You guys seem to like it too – my surveys of Bedroom sizes in Chicago Apartments and Pet Rent Rates in Chicago Apartments  are the most popular posts in this blog to date.

Towards the end of last year I was getting a lot of questions from landlords about how to best renovate their rental properties to maximize their income. So I did a bunch of research. (They didn’t have to twist my arm too hard.) I’ve expanded the results for you here.

The difference in price when you add a bedroom was – pretty much as expected – rent went up at a consistent rate for each additional bedroom.

It was when I went to investigate the difference in price for extra bathrooms that my jaw hit the floor. (more…)