And I need some help!  I'm from Hammond, IN, and I don't know much about the DesPlaines area.  

 

What's good?  What's bad?  Apartment complexes to look out for?  

 

I'd like to live within 10 miles of DesPlaines so I can commute to work by bike.

 

Tell me anything and everything I need to know please!  Also, if you know of anyone looking for a room mate in the area, I'm clean and able to pay my rent, haha.

 

Help! =)

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Yeah... burb roads aren't for happy people, haha. I've seen a lot of thread here where people couldn't get their bike on the metra. Is that common?

You can easily live for under a grand a month in the city. I live solo in Logan Square (near the border with Humboldt Park, mixed crowd and relatively safe) and pay $650 for a pretty nice 2 bedroom. One bedroom is dedicated to  bikes and parts. Horses would definitely be an issue though:). I'm certain I'm not the only one here living within that rent budget in other parts of the city.

If you're more used to rural areas, maybe try living along the NW Metra line near Cary, Crystal Lake, McHenry, Woodstock and Harvard (cheaper burbs that are almost rural). To mitigate the distance of your commute, you can combine Metra (they let you bring bikes on it within certain hours) and cycling on US highway 14 (which is a continuation of Northwest Highway).

I've ridden that route on Saturday, which is pretty good, except a lot of the shoulder is notched for alerting drivers.

Here's the NW Metra line map.(check the distance from Des Plaines, and then you can decide where to live.

 

MMM: where did you find your apartment at? I'm kind of stuck looking at online listings. I'd sign a lease tomorrow for that price you pay!

On Craigslist. Try dealing with the landlords/owners directly instead of real estate agencies. They charge the landlords, and the landlords pass the cost onto you. You can usually spot the agency ads because of the "img" tag next to the ad links (basically they upload the images to their servers, and paste the html on CL for space saving issues). I'd avoid those, even though sometimes you can find a multi-unit apartment for a reasonable price. They also always require a credit check, which will cost you $30 or something. Individual apt owners will rarely charge you, and will have less strict requirements for leasing. You may even get to live month-to-month, which is what I got. ALSO, beware of scams on CL. Scammers will never post the actual address of the unit, so that a tell tell sign.

 

I prefer a 3/4 unit place. It'll feel more like a mix of house and apt, which is probably a good step for you in the process of city adaptation.

I don't even know what that 3/4 thing means, haha. If it's not too much trouble, can you explain or post a link to an explanation or example?
Haha sorry, I should say 3 or 4 apt unit buildings, basically a house that is divided up into apartments ..I have an addiction to slashes.
Ohh. I'm not too attached to the house idea. Honestly I'd prefer someplace with a lot of history and character... that's the kind of building I live in now. :-)
Yeah, then anywhere west of California St. (avoid Chicago to Cermak if you can, Augusta being fine) is a good step in finding a combination of what you're looking for (hardwood floors, older buildings) and price. Not too crowded like the lakefront either.
Most of the city was built before the war.  With some scattered infill in the 1950s and some tear downs in more popular areas.  If you want to keep the bike commute to under ten miles though your pretty much going to have to look in the far northwest side.  Logan Square which has been mentioned might be a little too far.
Okay! I'll start looking. Why would I avoid the area you outlined? There was talk of both traffic and crime in the thread, and I want to check why I'm avoiding things haha

Well, let's just say it's a bit sketchier around there. Almost 0 businesses, churches, liquor stores..think downtown Gary. You should come to the city on a weekend and do some zigzagging on a bike around the streets so you can get the picture.

If you want to live closer to the NW Metra line (I recommend it), look around the Irving Park Metra station though. My place in Logan is about 2.5 miles from there, not bad if you choose to combine.

Okay. I know dtown Gary. Got it. I'll be home around Thanksgiving... I may do that, that's a great idea!

ETA: sorry if I'm having a boatload of typos and the like, I'm typing on a tablet and I'm apparently not very good at it.

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