Sweet Chicago Rental: Irving Park 2BR with Yard for $1,075
If that's your situation, the sweetest rental you can find is half-way between school or work, and equidistant to the nightlife, restaurants, and culture of downtown. Irving Park is one of those in-between communities located on the northern tip of the city limits, where you get perks like bigger spaces and back yards without having to fully convert into a suburbanite.
The appeal of this Irving Park sweet rental is some of the characteristics that you're not guaranteed to find in the city, including a large backyard, an enclosed back porch, lots of natural light, bay windows and hardwood floors. With separate living and dining room, the layout resembles a traditional house rather than a loft or condo set-up.
For an easy commute, the major interstate I-90/94 runs right through Irving Park and to catch the train, there's two El stops in Irving Park (the brown and blue line). Other must-knows about this place: parking is included and there's in-building laundry.
While it's not the city, Irving Park is slightly north of the gentrifying neighborhoods Avondale (the Chicago Tribune's RedEye daily labeled Avondale Chicago's "next hot 'hood") and Logan Square (You remember reading about this area's flourishing hipster scene, right?) It's basically parallel to Lakeview, but further inland.
In Irving Park, you'll be living on the outskirts of the city, but on the fringe of the city's most promising new communes. And unlike that high-rise studio on Michigan Avenue, you'll have over 1,000-square-feet and a back porch.
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