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Photograph: Jaclyn Rivas

A new study finds that March is the best month to sign a lease in Chicago

Zach Long
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Zach Long
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The rent ain’t getting any cheaper in Chicago, but if you’re looking for a best possible deal when you sign a lease for an apartment, a new study offers some advice. The data scientists at apartment listing service RentHop have narrowed down the least and most expensive months to rent a new place in major cities across the U.S.—including Chicago. 

Conventional wisdom dictates that you’ll have an easier time finding an apartment (and getting a good price) during the winter, when cold weather makes it a bit more difficult to move all your stuff. Conversely, warm summer weather makes for more attractive moving conditions, which means higher prices (plus the annual crop of new students and recent grads). 

For the most part, Chicago’s rental market conforms to these seasonal trends; RentHop found that March is the best month to sign a lease on a one- or two-bedroom apartment by looking at fluctuations in the median price. The study also found that September and October are the worst months to move into a new Chicago pad—you’ll pay 3.2 percent more per month on a one-bedroom apartment in October and 5.8 percent more per month on a two-bedroom apartment in September.

Paying 3 to 5 percent more in rent may not seem like much, but—as with all things financial—the charges add up, especially since you’re typically locked into a lease for at least a year.

Take a look at RentHop’s findings in the graph below and consider what you could do with a couple hundred extra bucks if you were able to get a better deal on your rent.

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