Some Basic Chicago Housing Terminology (Walk up, Duplex etc, Furnished, Garden Apartment)
The terminology used to describe apartment and condo options in Chicago is understandably complex, just as the market itself is complex and nuanced with more types of options than in any smaller sized city or town. This causes confusion to many newcomers to the city, Fortunately Core Group Chicago is here to help you understand what the language surrounding Chicago Apartments and Chicago Condos really means.
A walk-up apartment or condo, very simply, is a residential unit that lacks an elevator (typically because the building is only one or two floors tall).
Simplex, Duplex, Triplex
These terms simply refer to the number of floors or levels to a residential unit. A one story unit is a simplex, a two story unit is a duplex and so on. This helps listers succinctly report the number of levels in the unit being listed.
Furnished apartments simply mean that the apartment comes with certain furniture or appliances already included. Talk to the landlord to find out exactly what is included if the apartment is furnished. While the cost tends to be greater furnished apartments can be a great deal for short term renters or those moving out on their own for the first time.
Garden Apartments are a fancy way to state that a Chicago apartment is built on the basement level, often of a row of townhouses or similar structures. Usually a steep set of stairs runs off the main entrance to the house leading down. Windows tend to be high up in the rooms but, on the surface, only at ground level. A good lock and flood insurance are must haves, although the arrangement can give you a surprising amount of freedom as far as space and decoration. Also, no elevators to stop you from getting outside.