One of the questions I ALWAYS get asked, whether by friends or by clients, is “When should I seriously start looking for a new place to rent?” How many days before I need to move should I start shopping?
In Chicago the best time to start looking for a place to rent is roughly 60days out. Privately owned condos come on the market for rent at various times. If you’re looking for August 1st for instance you may see a privately owned condo his the market anywhere from June 1st or sooner or you may see them come on the market at the end of July. A great rule of thumb though is to start looking 60days out. Make sure when you are looking that you are only looking at units that fit your move in date. The rental market is extremely hot right now so owners have absolutely zero incentive to keep a place vacant for a tenant. For instance if a place is available for August 1st, owners will not hold it for September 1st.
With all this being said though it is never too early to start looking online! You can always look online and even have a Realtor send you listings in order to start to get an idea of what your money can buy you. This is extremely important in the current rental market as places rent fast (typically in a few days). Looking online for a while before actually shopping for a place will allow you to understand what a great deal is as soon as you see it and then you can jump on it!