Gut rehab? Junior One Bed? Boutique? The Chicago apartment struggle is real. These terms will come up over and over again while you search online for an apartment. But what do they really mean? We’re here to translate the apartment lingo and give you some clarity on the real meaning of these terms…

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1. “Walk Up Apartment”

Get ready to feel the burn because there are no elevators in this building. At least you’ll get those buns of steel you always wanted sans the expensive gym membership. What’s that? You have furniture to move in as well? Get ready for a lot of this:

2. “3 Bed/2 Bath Chicago Apartment”

Don’t know of 2 other friends with leases ending at the exact time yours does? Get ready to live with a bunch of strangers! You fantasize about becoming like Zooey Deschanel in New Girl, bonding via late night drinking games, wing-manning for each other, and all manner of shenanigans. In reality you end up with roommates who eat your pop-tarts, lie about it, and then hog the TV to watch Frasier reruns when The Voice is on. Oh, and that little thing called privacy you used to have? Poof! It’s gone.

3. “Chicago Apartment with Free Utilities”

Lies! Actually, this roundabout way of saying that the landlord adds all of the utilities into the monthly rent price is not necessarily a bad thing, but it might make you a little suspicious about what else they might be hiding…

4. “Partially Furnished Chicago Apartment”

This phrase implies that you can move in with just your clothes. What? You don’t even need to buy plates! In reality, you will pay a little extra to also rent a couch, a bed, a small table with a stool, and, if you’re lucky, you’ll get a pot with no lid, 5 soup spoons, 12 butter knives, and a random set of chopsticks (not that we’re speaking from experience or anything).

5. “Chicago Garden Apartment”

How many gardens have you actually seen near or around a garden apartment? (Cricket … cricket). Yeah, that’s what we thought. Garden units refer to basement apartments, but that doesn’t sound as enticing as imagining yourself in a secret garden. As for Chicago garden apartments specifically, you will find yourself doing some burrowing during the winter months.

Garden apartments in Chicago got us like:

6. “Junior 1 Bedroom”

This fancy way to say convertible makes it sound more enticing. What’s a convertible? No, there’s no retractable roof on this beauty. It’s a studio masked as a one bedroom. Usually, a partial wall encloses a super small area for your bed. The upside is that you can easily pass off a convertible as a 1 bedroom without the actual one-bedroom price. So, while all your friends pay full price for a 1 bedroom, feel free to brag about your Jr. 1 bedroom.

For convertible apartments in Chicago that don’t suck, AptAmigo has you covered.

7. “Boutique” or “European Style”

“This boutique apartment comes with a European-style kitchen.” It must be super elegant and lavish. I mean, if anyone knows how to do a kitchen, it’s all of Europe, right? In layman’s terms, “boutique” means small and expensive, and “European” means tiny.

Maybe you dream of living in Europe, but in the meantime, look a little closer to home and find your dream Chicago apartment instead.

8. “Vintage Charm”

It means old. As in, it may still have parking for your horse and buggy. So old, in fact, that it was recently updated with indoor plumbing.

Yo’ apartment is so old, it’s first listing was written in hieroglyphics!

Yo’ apartment building is sooo old, its original address was in Roman Numerals!

 Yo’ building is so old, their pet policy includes weight limits on dogs and pterodactyls!

You get the point…it’s an old building.

9. “Natural Light”

Hey, guess what?! This apartment has at least one window. How big is it? Who knows. But, you won’t need to buy too many floor lamps, possibly. Technically, every listing could advertise natural lighting. What you need to look for is one that boasts “TONS” of natural lighting. That could mean beautiful bay windows, or, dare we dream, floor-to-ceiling windows!

10. “Gut Rehab”

You saw the listing, but the ad didn’t include pictures. You show up to an apartment that is LITERALLY gutted. This place actually looks like the next set forAmerican Horror Story: The Murder Apartment. On the bright side, exposed plumbing pipes count as abstract art, right?

The BEST way to eliminate the Chicago apartment struggle? Just call AptAmigo.

Instead of guessing which building has great shower pressure, lightning quick wifi, and awesome management, you can hop on AptAmigo.com to know for sure! You don’t have to deal with the Chicago apartment struggle anymore.

Get in touch with your own personal apartment expert today! Click below to get started.

Further Reading

How to Spend a Summer in the Windy City

Best Studio Apartments Chicago Has to Offer

Chicago Free Apartment Locators: Everything You Need to Know