Sweet Chicago Rental: Pilsen 3BR, $1775

Rent a New 3-Bedroom Duplex in Pilsen for $1775In Chicago's West Side Pilsen neighborhood, this three-bedroom, 2,000-square-foot sweet rental comes fully-loaded. The finishes are practically unheard of for a rental in this price range: living room fireplace, wine cooler, a master suite with a Jacuzzi, bathrooms with granite counters and marble tile, oak hardwood floors and Berber carpeting in the bedrooms. But, we've seen crazier things in this housing blip than really nice condos for rent, right?

Over the past decade, Pilsen, a historic and ethnically-diverse part of town, has undergone significant gentrification. In part, this growth has been driven by the public-private partnership, University Village, which is adjacent to this sweet rental. But fast-forwarding to today, the over-development in the vicinity -- much of which has gone unsold, like this one -- has ripened into a bargain for renters.

While you can lease it for a 12-month term, the unit is also being marketed to buyers at a sale price of $350,000. Based on a conventional 20 percent downpayment, your mortgage dues would come out to around $2,180 each month. In the short-term, it appears to be a better deal to rent than buy. (For how many years have you been waiting to hear about the upside of renting?)

Though it's still in a period of transformation, Pilsen is changing for the better. For starters, it's becoming safer and rent is staying affordable. Public officials have pledged a commitment to "streetscaping" and rehabbing more of the area's 80-plus year old buildings. Even as positive currents take root, there's a conscious effort to keep the original character of the neighborhood, from the authentic Mexican-owned restaurants to the vibrant artist community, intact.

And if you decide you love the eclectic neighborhood and this pad is worth the investment, then you'll be pleased to know that the place also comes with the option to buy. But it's a renter's market, so why not take the liberty to enjoy it first?

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