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Things to Do in Albany Park

Albany Park is a wonderful, not-so-hidden gem of the Chicago North Side area.   Albany Park has a remarkable and proud history of being a truly diverse neighborhood.   While the area was created back in the late 19th century, it wasn’t until 1907 that the “L” was constructed all the way to the Kimball train station.   The neighborhood immediately became a destination for all races and ethnic populations.     By 1930, Albany Park’s population surpassed 50,000 and remains above that level today.

 

Albany Park is the section of the city that starts at the Chicago North Branch River to the east and goes west to Pulaski Rd.  The area’s southern and northern borders are Montrose and Foster Avenues, respectively.  Albany Park is an amazing area with access to multiple CTA Brown Line stations, the Montrose Blue Line station, access to the Edens Expressway (Interstate 90/94), and many bus routes (#53 Pulaski, #78 Montrose, #80 Irving Park, #81 Lawrence, #82 Kimball/Homan and #92 Foster).

 

The neighborhood has become a destination of visitors and new residents due to its comparatively lower rents and wide selection of culinary offerings.    The wide variety of restaurants in the neighborhood are indicative of its extraordinary cultural diversity.  Cuisine that represents Persia (Noon-O-Kabab) Sweden, (Tre-Kroner), the Philippines (Merla’s Kitchen), Mexico (Rojo Gusano), and Korea (Chicago Kalbi) are all present in Albany Park.

 

The neighborhood was once nicknamed “Koreatown” and still has a strong Korean presence and influence, but the marks left by all the other ethnic groups that make up the area are visible in every block.  On the many retail streets, Halal grocery stores, Mexican bakeries, Korean radio stations, and a variety of other stores and attractions can be found.   Albany Park is also in close proximity to North Park University and Northeastern Illinois University.

 

In addition to enjoying the food and stores that Albany Park has to offer, the area also has many parks and access to the Chicago North Branch River.   A recent boat launch at River Park allows resident to kayak on the river.   Easy access to LaBagh Woods offers trains, fields, and nature just outside of residents’ doors.

 

Albany Park is everything that makes Chicago great.   It is a diverse neighborhood that shows off the unique culture of its residents while providing activities and easy access to the rest of the amazing city of Chicago.

 

https://chicago.curbed.com/2016/4/12/11415792/chicago-neighborhood-guide-albany-park

 

https://www.chicagotribune.com/redeye/culture/ct-redeye-albany-park-neighborhood-guide-eat-drink-do-20180820-story.html

 

Uptown: A Return to Glitz

For decades, Uptown has been a neighborhood on Chicago’s north side that has had higher crime and violence than its neighboring areas.   This helped keep rents low compared to the greater north side, but has also made it an area that renters have historically shunned.  However, over the past ten years, this has been changing.   The neighborhood is greatly improved due in part to large investments in the area.  Prospective renters are asking for apartments in the area, and rents have been increasing as a result.

 

Uptown became part of Chicago around 1900.   After several railways were built through the area, the city annexed Uptown and soon extended the L through it (Wilson Station – https://chicago.curbed.com/2017/10/23/16520086/uptown-transportation-wilson-cta).  Once the extension was completed, the area saw a large population boom.

 

During the 1920’s and 30’s, the area was home to the Entertainment District.   The presence of theaters and shopping made it a desirable place to call home, and evidence of this period of time still exists today, as many of the older properties show some off the vintage architecture.    It was also around this time that Charlie Chaplain opened Essanay Studios (now St. Augustine College) in the area;  famous establishments like The Green Mill, Uptown Theaters, Rivera, and Aragon Ballroom, were built as well.   All these structures and business are still present today, and the Uptown Theater is even undergoing a renovation at present.

 

When the great depression hit, the area went through hard times along with much of the nation.   Residents found jobs and opportunities hard to come by.   While this economic upheaval did lead to a thriving community of immigrants in the area, it also led to an increase in crime and a general lack of care with regard to many of Uptown’s beautiful buildings.  This meant that once-luxurious buildings like the Lawrence Hotel became ghosts of their former selves.

 

The area was ignored by the City of Chicago for a long time.   Over this time the area developed a bad reputation for crime, and many renters and homeowners stayed away.

 

This stayed trued until the turn of the millennium.   At that time the area started to see investment.   A new Target was constructed, the Aldi was rehabbed, the Wilton Station was rehabbed, The Lawrence House (Hotel) returned to its former glory.  This work and many other projects attracted new business.  Coffee shops opened up all over, as well as a diverse selection of restaurants and even a climbing gym.

 

All of these changes, along with the presence of the Lake, Montrose Harbor, and Lake Shore Drive, have caused Uptown to become a desirable area once again.   Apartment-seekers can still find apartments for rents below what are available in Lincoln Park or Lakeview, even thought those neighborhoods are only a few red lines stops away.

 

Today, Uptown is a destination for residents and visitors.  It still has its original history to show off, but now it also offers its own modern personality.   For a visit or a place to call home, Uptown should no longer be ignored.

 

https://chicago.suntimes.com/2018/11/14/18472187/the-grid-exploring-the-uptown-neighborhood

 

https://www.choosechicago.com/neighborhoods/north/uptown/things-to-do/

Why Not Live in Lincoln Square?!

Lincoln Square is a popular Chicago neighborhood filled with everything a visitor or long-term resident could possibly want.  The entertaining area of Chicago offers transportation, events, dining, entertainment, education, green space, and shopping, making it well worth your time to explore it and see what it has to offer.

 

Founded in the 1850s, Lincoln Square – known then as “Celeryville” or “Pickletown” – was initially occupied by farmers who traveled down Lincoln Avenue selling their harvest.      When the “L” was brought into the area in 1907, Lincoln Square experienced a housing boom as people who wanted to live in the area and commute downtown began moving in.   It is funny how some things haven’t changed.  The presence of the area’s Swiss, German and English roots can still be felt throughout the main square and surrounding streets.

 

Lincoln Square is accessible by the Brown Line stops at Damen, Western and Rockwell.   The heart of Lincoln square is only three miles from the Edens (I-94) and Kennedy (I-90) expressways.   The area is also accessible by the #11 (Lincoln), #49 (Western), #50 (Damen), #81 (Lawrence) and #78 (Montrose) bus routes.  Lincoln Square is an accessible neighborhood, and it’s very easy for commuters and residents to get around by public or private transit.

 

The many special events hosted in Lincoln Square are sure to delight residents and guests alike.   The Square Roots Festival, Oktoberfest, Apple Fest, Winter Brew, and concerts at Wells Park and Giddings Plaza are just a few of the events featured in the neighborhood every year.    One could spend paragraphs raving about other special events at Sulzer Library, Old Town School of Folk Music, and Dank Haus, but this entry can’t go on forever.

 

In between events, Lincoln Square is home to some of the best dining in the city.  A variety of styles and cultures are represented in the cuisine available in the neighborhood, and for special nights out, there are also two fine dining restaurants – Elizabeth and Goosefoot – that are Michelin-starred and nationally-recognized for their culinary achievements. Other excellent options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner include Due Lire (Italian), Café Selmarie (American) , Gather, Fork (American), Warbler (American), Bistro Campagne (French),  Pannenkoekan (Dutch), Red Lion (English), Luella’s Southern Kitchen (Southern), Isla Pilipina (Filipino), Nhu Lan (Banh Mi), Kibek Jolu (Kyrgyz), and Sushi Tokoroko (Japanes).  These businesses are sure to surpass expectations and delight the palette.

 

If restaurants have a wait or the neighborhood events haven’t started yet, take refuge in one of the many bars or cafes Lincoln Square has to offer.  Coffee or tea can be found at Oromo Café, Baker Miller, Beans & Bagels, Book Cellar, or The Grind.   All of these establishments offer drinks and snacks to relax or pass the time, but if you’re looking for something stronger, try visiting Huttenbar, Richochets, Grafton Pub, The Sixth, Rockwell’s, Gideon Wells, or Gene’s Rooftop for a beer or mixed drink and a charming ambiance.

 

What distinguishes Lincoln Square from other excellent Chicago neighborhoods, however, are its unique businesses that offer relatively rare opportunities for entertainment and leisure. At the Old Town School of Folk Music, Dank Haus, Sulzer Library and The Davis Movie Theater, guests can see movies, take classes, enjoy concerts, indulge in their love of reading, and much more.   These establishments offer several activities a month, so there’s sure to be something for everyone.

 

Even more exciting are the amenities of Well’s Park and Giddings Plaza.   Wells Park is a large public space with a field house that offers swimming, sports, and classes through the park district.  The fields hold concerts, playgrounds, tennis courts, and sports fields where a variety of activities can be observed.

 

Giddings Plaza is the name of the square inside the pedestrian friendly strip of Lincoln and is considered the heart of Lincoln Square.   This plaza hosts weekly concerts during the summer, regular visits from musicians, and is great for people-watching.   The plaza is also near the summer and fall farmers’ market that occurs twice a week.

 

On top of everything else that there is to see and do in Lincoln Square, the area also boasts amazing, locally-owned shops – some of the very best in the city.    Merz Apothecary has all your needs for grooming, bath oils, homeopathic medicines, vitamins and much more.   Gene’s Sausage Shop is a European market that has outstanding food, products, and a summer rooftop that offers food and beer.   Other business that make a trip to Lincoln Square worthwhile include Enjoy, An Urban General Store, Planet Access Company Store, Timeless Toys, Savory Spice Shop, Laurie’s Planet of Sound, and Uncle Dan’s The Great Outdoor Store.  This is a mere sampling of the shops in Lincoln Square, so it’s worth exploring the area to find other stores that might of be of interest.

 

Lincoln Square has it all: accessibility, fun activities, great dining, wonderful outdoor locations, and nightlife.   Come explore this amazing Chicago neighborhood or make it your new home.

 

 

https://chicago.suntimes.com/entertainment/lincoln-square-things-to-do-restaurants-shopping/

 

http://www.lincolnsquare.org/

 

https://www.timeout.com/chicago/lincoln-square-ravenswood

Why Ravenswood?

Ravenswood is a small neighborhood of Chicago that was annexed by the city in 1889.  This North Side neighborhood’s borders have been in constant dispute by its neighbors.   Some say that Ravenswood goes from Clark St. on the east to Ravenswood Ave. on the West.  The northern boundary is Foster Ave. and the southern boundary is Irving Park Rd.  These boundaries can expand or shrink depending on who is defining them.   While Seminary Properties generally agrees with these boundaries, we consider the west boundary to be Damen Ave and not Ravenswood.

 

The Ravenswood community was orginally developed as a commuter area.  It started with the railroad, which turned into the METRA UP-N line.  In 1907, it received its first ‘L’ station.  Today, the area still provides access to commuters who ride the METRA, the Irving Park Brown Line, the Montrose Brown line, the Damen Brown Line, the Damen bus, the Clark bus, the Montrose bus, the Foster bus, and the Irving Park bus.  From this area, a person can go any direction with public transportation.   Going from a home or apartment in Ravenswood to Downtown Chicago by train or bus can take as little as 30 minutes; traveling to the northern suburbs takes roughly the same amount of time.

 

Access to public transportation is just one feature of many that makes Ravenswood a great place to live.  The area is packed with artisan shops, restaurants and cafes, boutique grocery stores, breweries, and other special events and hidden gems.   The area hosts the Ravenswood 5K each spring, and the Malt Row Fest and Ravenswood Art Walk in the summer.    Malt Row Fest highlights the large number of micro-breweries along Ravenswood Ave. between Montrose, Irving Park, and Foster Ave.   The strip even has Koval distillery among its ranks.    This same strip also has amazing artesian shops and craftsman.    Some of the many shops include DEFY bags, Chicago Glass Collective, Century Mallet, ORK Posters, Architectural Artifact, Starshaped Press, and many more.   Just off Ravenswood Ave. are even more great shops like Turin Bike, Amy’s Candy Bar, and others.

 

The food selection in the area is top notch.   From the Michelin starred Band of Bohemia, to unique restaurants like Glenn’s Dinner, First Slice Café, Bang Bang Pie Company, River Valley Farmer’s Table, Spacca Napoli, Chez Simo and Bien Me Sabe just to name a few; this wide variety of eateries can satisfy any palette – and that’s all in addition to amazing restaurants, coffee shops on most blocks, the amazing Winnemac Park, and beautiful tree-lined streets.  Ravenswood also has plenty of options for lifelong students.   From art classes at LillStreet Art Center (Ravenswood and Montrose) to a short commute to the Old Town School of Folk Music (technically in Lincoln Square), Ravenswood has it all.

 

Few people call Ravenswood home and regret the decision.     The area is great for a tour and even better to live in.

 

Ravenswood Links:

 

https://chicago.suntimes.com/entertainment/the-grid-exploring-ravenswood-neighborhood-things-to-do/

 

https://www.timeout.com/chicago/lincoln-square-ravenswood

Thank You, Chicago Summer of 2019

This past winter was long and challenging.  It took summer a long time to get here, but lately, things have been looking up. Winter coats have been absent from the streets of Chicago for over a month now, and   residents of this great city have exchanged their jackets for t-shirts, boots for sandals, and hats for sunglasses.   Summer in Chicago has arrived.

 

Even if the weather is consistently in the 70’s, it is still summer.  With Chicago summer comes an intense 100 days of enjoying the outdoors.  Some of the best festivals of the summer season have already taken place, but there are still plenty more to come: the city will be playing host to two or more festivals per weekend for the next several weeks (https://news.wttw.com/2019-chicago-summer-festival-guide).   Every year the biggest festival of all is Lollapoolza (https://www.lollapalooza.com/lineup/),  a must-attend for music lovers.

 

Don’t forget to enjoy eating outdoors as all outdoor patios and rooftops are now open.  Have a pleasant meal or grab a drink above the fracas of the street.   You may be amazed to find that some establishments near you offer outdoor or rooftop seating (https://www.timeout.com/chicago/bars/beer-garden-guide?package_page=20993).

 

Chicago sports are extremely active in the summer.  Don’t miss out on Cubs games (https://www.mlb.com/cubs) or White Sox games (https://www.mlb.com/whitesox).  Make new friends or spend time with current ones by joining a sports league (kickball, softball, flag football, soccer, volleyball, and more).   Chicago Sport and Social (https://chicagosocial.com/) and Players Sports (https://www.playerssports.net/) are two options to get together for friendly scrimmages against friends.    People can even gather at beaches for some volleyball or sun (https://www.choosechicago.com/things-to-do/parks-and-outdoors/beaches/).

 

As the trees grow their green leaves, the Chicago Parks (https://www.chicagoparkdistrict.com/) become full of guests for picnics, grilling, kite flying and much more.  Some of the parks and neighborhoods host regular Farmers Markets (https://www.chicago.gov/city/en/depts/dca/supp_info/farmersmarkets0.html).  Whatever interest someone has, from kayaking, to tours, to movies in the park, Chicago offers it all.

 

Chicago is a great city with ample opportunities to enjoy all seasons.   Summers in Chicago are a time of year that attract people from all over the country and world to experience its splendor.  Travelers and tourists get to experience a few days or a week of summer, but Chicago residents get to experience it all.  So don’t skip a minute and enjoy the season.

2019 Chicago Rental Market Overview

Apartment-hunting in Chicago is always a stressful, time-consuming experience.   The last few years have allowed apartment seekers to engage in a more leisurely search.   The rental season of 2019 is different from past years.

 

Over the course of the past two years, the rental market has experienced rent stagnation due to a large crop of new construction projects and condo deconversion apartments.  Even though streets are full of rehabs and new construction, the market seems to have absorbed these new units without affecting prices.  In 2018 rents were flat or even decreased.  In 2019, rents are seeing a small increase.

 

The speed at which apartment seekers are acting has greatly increased compared to past seasons.  In 2018, apartments for a specific move-in date were readily available two weeks prior to move-in.  This year, most apartments for a specific move-in date are gone four weeks prior to move-in.   For example, Seminary Properties was done renting out its available June apartments three weeks prior to June 1st, the July 1st apartments are 95% rented three weeks prior to July 1st, and the August 1st apartment are over 50% rented with over 45 days to go.

 

Many people are still excited about the new construction and rehabs with loads of amenities.  However, they also seem to have lost interest in the micro units and have gone back to large units in walk-up building with fewer amenities.   The most common request Seminary Properties receives from clients is that they want bedrooms that can fit queen size beds and common rooms that can fit a couch and table.   Luckily, the Seminary Properties inventory can easily accommodate those needs.

 

If you are still looking for a new home, do not wait!  Apartments are going fast, and rents are slowly rising.  Start your apartment search soon and be aggressive.  Spend 1 to 4 days seeing every apartment of interest and if one of the apartments meets all your requirements, grab it.    Don’t be one of the many people who acted a day late and lost the opportunity to call the apartment they wanted HOME.

 

http://www.seminaryproperties.com/

 

Insufficient Funds – A New Policy!

Seminary Properties is always striving to provide quality apartments, easy access to our team for questions and maintenance issues, and positive customer service experiences.   This is a constantly evolving pursuit.   In the past, we have created company policies to waive an apartment’s first late rent fee for rents paid after the 5th of the month.  We work hard to make sure all new leases have freshly painted and generally cleaned apartments to move into.  We address and update tenants regarding work requests within 1-2 business days.   We also offer our residents a 24-hour emergency phone number so that a live person is always available during emergencies.   These are only some of the polices put in place by Seminary Properties in the past to offer customer service to our tenants.

 

Seminary Properties has spoken to many of its residents who have had the unfortunate experience of having a rental payment not go through from their financial institution, resulting in an Insufficient Funds Fee (NSF).  The reason for the NSF varies: tenants may have entered information into their payment system incorrectly, their banking information may have changed, their account may not have enough funds in it, the bank may have changed their information, or their identity may have been stolen. These are all real-life examples of why tenants’ payments have failed in the past.

 

Because many of these reasons are the result of an accident or outside theft, tenants are understandably upset when a fee is charged to their account.   As a result, Seminary Properties had decided to waive the first NSF fee a lease receives.   If a lease receives more than one NSF during their lease, only the first will be waived.   In most cases, leases receive either a single NSF or none at all.    We hope our residents appreciate this new policy (and that they never need to make use of it).

 

https://financial-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Insufficient+funds

 

Why Andersonville?

The North Side neighborhood of Andersonville was a hidden gem in the 90’s.   Today it is a well-known, robust area that’s as pleasant to visit as it is to reside in.  The area became a destination for Swedish-Americans and Swedish immigrants after the Chicago Fire in 1871.  At that time, the North Side area was not a part of Chicago and hadn’t yet been developed.   Because residents could bypass the new Chicago law banning wood buildings after the Chicago Fire, Andersonville was able to develop as a commercial and residential hub within the city of Chicago.

 

Like all neighborhoods in Chicago, the borders are up for debate.  For the purposes of today’s entry, we will adhere to the boundaries reported by www.andersonville.org.   According to this organization, the area starts at Lawrence to the south and goes to Victoria at the northern end and includes Magnolia to the east and Ravenswood to the west.

 

These boundaries put the Andersonville area two blocks west of the Lawrence, Argyle, Berwyn and Bryn Mawr Red Line Stations.    The area includes many bus lines, including the #22 Clark St. bus.  The Ravenswood METRA UP-N station can also easily be accessed, and it is very close to Lake Shore Drive.   All of this makes Andersonville an accessible area that can easily be reached and explored via public transit.

 

Once you’re in Andersonville, you won’t want to leave.   The activities, museums, shops, dining, and events make the area enjoyable during all seasons.   The largest event for the area is the Midsommarfest weekend celebration of the summer solstice.  This event is over a mile long and has multiple stages, plenty of food, and numerous artesian vendors.   In addition to this amazing festival the area regularly organizes Clark St. sidewalk sales and holiday strolls.   These are wonderful opportunities to visit a wide variety of retail spaces.

 

The amazing shops in Andersonville make it feel different than many of Chicago’s other retail hubs.   Andersonville has bookstores (Women and Children First), Gifts (Milk Handmade), vintage shops (Brownstone Antiques, Scout, Roost and more), sweet shops (Candiality, George’s, and Forever Yogurt), and even some quirky stores that defy explanation (Wooly Mammoth, Transistor).   The area is a store by store wonderland of retail.

 

In addition to the amazing variety of stores, has Andersonville is also the home of the Swedish American Museum, which offers a wonderful experience for adult and kids alike. There’s no better place in the city of Chicago to study Swedish culture and heritage.

 

Andersonville is also home to some of the best restaurants in the city.  The area’s culinary diversity is truly astonishing, and even particularly picky eaters are sure to find something they’ll love.   Brew pubs, brunch places, and cafes line the streets, and cuisines from all over the world – Korean, Irish, Swedish, Japanese, Middle Eastern, and American, among others – can be sampled there.   There are too many options to list and all of them are excellent.   The area’s three best-known restaurants are Hopleaf, M. Henry and Big Jones, but there are dozens of other eateries that are well worth patronizing.

 

The Andersonville area is home to a diverse population of renters and owners.  It offers endless activities for shopping, dining, entertainment, and enjoyment.  Whether you’re looking for a new place to live or simply looking for something to do, it’s certainly worth paying Andersonville a visit.

 

 

https://chicago.suntimes.com/entertainment/exploring-andersonville-neighborhood-things-to-do/

 

http://www.andersonville.org/

Construction Season Used to End

Once upon a time, there was a season called “construction season”.  This season used to start in the spring and end in the fall.   It was a time of congestion, frustration, and a lot of road rage.   In recent years, this so-called “season” has ballooned into a year-round, nonstop period of seemingly-endless construction.   It seems that there’s always work taking place in the city of Chicago.  Year-round residents are subjected to street closers, detours, pot holes, new gas lines, new water lines, and construction workers clumsily directing traffic.

 

In Lakeview, there are the never-ending Wrigleyville construction projects.  The Cubs organization are improving their stadium, they’ve built an administration building, they’ve built a hotel, and other structures with which they are not involved are being built as well.  Within half a mile of the stadium, dozens of other job sites are underway that make walking and driving more difficult.

 

Lincoln Park is just starting to see the end of years of construction.  DePaul University has built new buildings and the old Children’s Hospital is near completion.   Several more years of construction will occur before all projects are completed.   The final product will greatly alter and improve this classic neighborhood.

 

These are two examples of what Chicago residents are experiencing in every neighborhood year-round.  While this is a nuisance and a source of understandable frustration, it is ultimately a great thing.

 

All these projects are signs that the city of Chicago is constantly improving and growing.  They help to improve streetscapes and neighborhoods.   These new developments can add more retail spaces, allow neighborhoods to be more densely populated with a diverse array of people, and replace properties that are in poor shape with new ones that meet today’s needs.   We always hope that old and architecturally-significant buildings will be rehabbed.   Sadly, however, this is not always the case when it comes to some of Chicago’s most beautiful and historic buildings.  If every building in Chicago stayed the same, then the older buildings wouldn’t be as majestic.  Even though losing some of them can be painful, that just makes it all the more special when the truly amazing buildings survive.

 

Living in a city of constant change and development has its pros and cons.   Getting around can be taxing, especially during peak traffic hours.  The noise that once stopped in the winter now pounds our eardrums 365 days a year.  And yet, as a result, we have a constantly evolving city packed with beautiful new building that offer new stores, housing, and attractions.  These changes provided Chicago residents with Millennium Park, Navy Pier, Water Tower Place, North Avenue, and the Halsted intersection.  The new Wrigleyville may be a headache to develop, but we are very excited to see the new and improved streetscape it will provide.

 

Change is constant, so try and enjoy it!

Do It Yourself Home Maintenance Tips

Renters in Chicago can always contact their landlords with regard to maintenance requests large and small.  However, there are some maintenance items that tenants can easily address themselves.   Knowing how to handle these DIY maintenance items can make a tenant’s life much easier:

 

  1. Flip a circuit breaker – circuit breakers are switches, buttons, or fuses that channel electricity from the utility company to separate areas of a home.   If power goes out in certain rooms or areas of a home, the breaker that controls the flow of power to that area has popped to prevent a power surge.   To fix this problem, all a person needs to do is find their circuit breaker panel, find any switch that is not firmly in the on position, flip it and hold it to the off position, and then flip it and hold it to the on position.   This will restore power to the area.   If a fuse box is present, a new fuse must be purchased to screw into the socket containing the popped fuse.  (If you guessed the circuit breakers are much more convenient, they are — fuse boxes have become very rare.)  Helpful Link – https://youtu.be/3B1xTgLfQgI

 

 

  1. Plunge a toilet – A toilet plunger should be a required item for all homes/apartments.   If a toilet gets clogged from too much human waste, too much toilet paper, or items that are not supposed to go into a toilet (feminine hygiene products, paper towels, rags, clothes, wipes, toys, jar lids, or anything that is not human waste or toilet paper), a plunger will be needed.  A plunger needs to have a round rubber end large enough to fully cover the drain hole at the bottom of the toilet.   Plunging a toilet involves more than just pushing the plunger down once or twice.  The plunger should be pushed up and own vigorously for between 15 and 30 seconds.   If the toilet is still clogged, it should be plunged again for another vigorous period of 15 to 30 seconds.  If the toilet is still clogged after that, a plumber or landlord may be needed.    Helpful Link – https://youtu.be/wT5C09JvkAU

 

  1. Replacing batteries in detectors – All homes must have a carbon monoxide and smoke detector, or a “combo” detector that does both.  In Chicago, these detectors are required to be placed within a certain distance of any bedroom, as well as any products that may produce carbon dioxide.    Some detectors only function by battery power, while others have batteries and are connected to the wired electricity in a home.   Regardless of the type of detector, the batteries will run out of power over time, even if the detector is plugged into the wire electricity of your apartment.  When this happens, the detector will begin to chirp once at a constant interval.  This is a signal that the battery needs to be replaced.  Replacing the detector’s batteries may require use of a stool or ladder, so it’s always a good idea to have one in your home so that anyone can reach their detector, find the battery compartment, and replace the AA/AAA/9V battery.   This will stop the chirp and keep the detector working effectively.  Helpful link – https://youtu.be/qSPENd-XTPo

 

 

  1. Changing a furnace filter – If a home/apartment has central heat or central air, the system has a furnace filter.  This filter collects dust and debris from the vent system and stops it from getting on the heating and cooling system’s sensitive equipment.  If the filter is left in too long, it will get clogged.  Over time, a clogged furnace filter can cause the system to overheat and eventually break.   A furnace filter costs between $1 – $20 per filter.     Per any Seminary Properties apartment lease, the filter should be changed monthly.   This helps protect the heating and cooling system, which helps to keep electric and gas bills lower.   For help finding and changing your furnace filter, you can consult an HVAC specialist, the owner’s manual, speak to the landlord, or review the Seminary Properties Frequently Asked Questions page.   In most cases, the replacement process is as easy as sliding out the old filter and sliding in the new filter.  (https://www.seminaryproperties.com/faq/#maintenance-q8).  Helpful Link –  https://youtu.be/SGYrVgFSzV4

 

  1. Replacing a light bulb – Seminary Properties makes sure every light bulb in an apartment is working at the start of the lease.   As the lease continues, light bulbs will burn out.   The traditional incandescent bulbs have an average lifespan of 750 hours, or 30 days, of being on full-time.  This is an average, so bulbs can last for less time or for much longer than that.   Different types of bulbs, such as florescent, halogen, or LED bulbs, can last months or even years.    If the bulb goes out, replacing it is as easy as turning it righty tighty or lefty loosey to remove and replace them.  Oftentimes, the hardest part is accessing the bulb from within light fixture covers.   If you are unable to figure out how to remove the cover yourself, feel free to consult with your landlord.  Helpful link – https://youtu.be/KQJALywkB4U

 

  1. Dishwasher – Dishwashers are a very popular invention that has become a very common sight in many apartments.   However, it is also common for tenants to say that the dishwasher is not cleaning dishes fully.   Sometime these maintenance requests can have a legitimate cause; however, roughly around 80% of the time, Seminary Properties finds that tenants are not rinsing food debris from their dishes before loading the dishwasher.   Any items on plates, cups or other utensils that enter the dishwasher will slow, damage or clog the pump and drain.   This will result in dishes not getting cleaned or standing water in the bottom of the dishwasher after it completes its cycle.   Dishwashers are wonderful and hard-working appliances, but they are not intended to remove food from items.

 

  1. Locking a door – Seminary Properties operates in the City of Chicago.   Chicago is an amazing city with boundless opportunities; however, it is also a city with a criminal element.  Every apartment door that Seminary Properties manages has a knob lock and deadbolt.   Frequently, it is found that tenants only use their knob lock to secure their homes.   While these locks are easier to lock, they are not as strong as a deadbolt and are much easier to open without a key.   For the safety of your family and home, you should always engage every lock available on a door or window.   Why have the second or third lock and not use it?

 

  1. Windows – A home or apartment without a window is a rare sight indeed.   In fact, in the City of Chicago, a home or apartment is required to have a window by law.   These windows are great for light and air, but they also provide security, which is why all windows are also required to have locks.  These locks are pointless if they are not used.   There are many types of locking mechanisms on windows, but no matter what type of lock is present, make sure the lock parts line up and are engaged.   In addition to safety, this also helps to ensure that inclement weather stays outside your home.  It is common for residents to open their windows in the summer and close them during the winter; however, we often find that they do not take the time to line up the locking mechanism and lock the lock.   Over time, gravity can pull the top window pane down allowing outside temperatures open access into a home.   Why heat a home to 70 degrees, only to leave windows ajar, bringing in frigid winter temperatures?     Take the time to make sure the lock mechanism lines up between the two window panes and lock the window for safety and comfort.  Helpful link – https://youtu.be/430UvsgjwVc

 

 

These are the eight most common work requests or contributing factors to resident concerns that Seminary Properties encounters.   Even though Seminary Properties feels these are all situations most tenants can handle, we do offer the service to resolve them.   It is up to the individual to address the problem at the time of discovery, or to take the longer option of submitting a maintenance request so that Seminary Properties can address it.

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