Saturday, May 5, 2012

Our First Time

To prep for our first trip out to see places, the Baconator created a very thorough survey and rating scale to assess a home's qualities like the size of the master bedroom, the amazingness of the kitchen, the "hot tub readiness" of the outdoor space and more. At 9:30 one Sunday morning we were picked up in Alley's Volvo and were off to start this new adventure.

The first couple places we saw were in a pretty standard Chicago style. I'm not sure if three flat is the right term, but they were set up such that there are 3-4 units a building with each unit taking up an entire floor. The set up results in a long apartment with the living room at the front flowing into an open concept dining area and kitchen. Directly behind the kitchen is the 1st bedroom, then the first bathroom, then the master suite and a rear deck. We saw four different versions of this style in three different neighborhoods and while we're were wooed by the granite countertops, stainless steel appliances and the gleaming wood floors of each place, none of the really spoke to us. They were too... bland.

This is what I'm calling a Three Flat - You can find them all over Chicago
Sample Layout of a Three Flat
A gorgeous kitchen in a Three Flat
Pretty typical Three Flat Living Room and Dining Room Set up
Next on our list were five untraditional units that we were checking since they semed spacious and interesting online. We saw three duplexes and two of them had to be vetoed right off the bat because the rooms were just odd. One had a little yard which was awesome, but the rooms were all triangular. No thanks. The other had a hot tub on the roof deck, but the master bedroom was at the top of the stairs with a mini wall and no door! Despite the Baconator's excitement at the hot tub, it went into the no pile for it's bonus room styles master and all the heating/cooling appliances would need to be replaced soon.

The final duplex was more promising; it was located in our ideal neighborhood, Wicker Park, was a hop skip and a jump from both the grocery store and the train and the rooms were big! Sure the kitchen had a weird set up and the two bedrooms shared a bathroom on the second floor, but the price and location were really tantalizing. Finally, we had a keeper!
Weird layout... but so CHEAP!
Next on the list was a loft a bit further north in Bucktown that had a great layout and a walk-in closet that I literally danced in and a master bedroom that dreams are made of. The kitchen still had 1999 counters and cabinets, but it was really big with tons of counter space and overlooked the side by side dining and living rooms.  I was a really big fan of it, but the Baconator was cranky about the amount of private outdoor space. Nonetheless, we has a second apartment on our consideration list!
So wide, so open!
A master bedroom so large we could do cartwheels!
Last on our list was a great apartment in a quite, but somewhat industrial part of town that had a deck the size of many studio apartments in New York City. Apparently, the designer of the building was also a realtor, so she took into consideration all the things that people look for when buying an apartment. The kitchen was spacious, the master bedroom had so much light and the entire place had every finish we were looking for without feeling cookie cutter. We had another one for for our list!
Marble kitchen with stainless steel appliances!
Legitimately light flooded master bedroom

With 3 units on our list, we sat back and checked out more MLS listings to see the following week. We were finally well on our way to finding our first place!


  1. All of those are gorgeous! I can't wait to see which one you picked!

  2. Oh my goodness, I am stunned at how nice these units are! We're browsing casually in Pittsburgh, and I can tell you that our results aren't turning up shiny spots like these. I'm officially jealous :)

  3. These all look so nice (really like the one with the marble in the kitchen)!