When I start working with a new renter or home buyer to find them a new place to live in Chicago I have a certain list of questions that I review with them. It helps me to figure out what they're looking for and refine the search criteria that I will use in the MLS. Included in this list are things like their price range, the names of the decision makers, their timeframe for moving, whether or not they have pets, whether or not they smoke... all of these are very basic questions that most folks can easily answer.
Then comes the big one. "What neighborhood would you like to live in?"
Many at this point will have a list of areas that they'd consider acceptable. Some even have street coordinates beyond which they do not wish to live. I love clients like that. But at least half of the time there will be this comment: "I want to live in a safe neighborhood."
And I wince inside. (more…)