Alexander Akulov

A Landlord at Illinois Landlord

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Alexander Akulov

Illinois Landlord

A Landlord based in Joliet, IL

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Economy and Jobs

Economy and Jobs

Alexander Akulov - Landlord

Joliet has had some troubles with unemployment in the past. In the 1980s, the unemployment rate hit 25% Then, after dropping, it climbed again in 1992, this time to 18.8%. Nearly two decades later, Joliet was hit hard by the Recession. Unemployment peaked at 15.5% at the beginning of 2010. Over the past year (2011), the unemployment rate has been in a state of flux. It seems that every month there’s a different headline that either celebrates or laments the latest unemployment trend. Right now, in 2012, the unemployment rate is on the decline again, although it’s still three or four percentage points higher than the national average (Joliet: 11% U.S.: 8.5%). I wouldn’t recommend moving to Joliet without a job already in place -- people who have lived here their entire lives are having trouble finding work at the moment.

 
Schools & Education

Schools & Education

Alexander Akulov - Landlord

The Joliet Junior College has the distinction of being the first community college in the history of the country. And with 36,000 students in their academic and non-credit programs, the school is still going strong. Elsewhere in Joliet is the University of St. Francis, Lewis University, Rasmussen University, and in nearby Romeoville is Lewis University. The public K-12 public schools here, though they’re known most for earning Joliet the nickname “City of Champions” because the high school and primary school bands won so many titles, is run by the Joliet PSD 86.

 
Apartment Costs

Apartment Costs

Alexander Akulov - Landlord

The median rent in Rockford right now is a slim $675. And how does this stack up against other places that are nearby? Well, let’s see... using the average two bedroom price, $640, as a point of comparison, this is how Rockford fares: it’s less expensive than Loves Park ($786 for a two bedroom), Machesney Park ($703), and Monroe Center ($650). It’s more expensive than Belvidere ($624), South Beloit ($568), and Rockton ($525). When you look at other cities in Illinois with a similar population, Rockford’s rent is definitely a bargain. For example, Joliet ($893 for a two bedroom), Naperville ($1298), and Aurora ($1184) are much more expensive. And, of course, Chicago’s average rent for a two bedroom ($1571) is more than double Rockford’s.

 
Restaurants

Restaurants

Alexander Akulov - Landlord

Rockford’s downtown area is packed with delicious restaurants, making it the perfect location for foodies. If you love food, renting in downtown gets you access (within walking distance!) to restaurants like the Abreo Restaurant, the Social Urban Bar and Restaurant, Kuma’s Asian Bistro, Hai Quynh, Der Rathskeller, and Mariscos La Vitamina. You probably don’t know anything about these restaurants, but trust me, they’re amazing. Write them down for when you rent in downtown and want to spend your weekend sampling the greatest food in Rockford. Trust me, there isn’t a lack of options here.

 
Traffic & Commuting

Traffic & Commuting

Alexander Akulov - Landlord

Carol Stream has great access to major highways. North Avenue (State Route 64) extends all the way east to Chicago. Route 59 (Sutton Road) and Route 20 (W. Lake Street) also serve Carol Stream. The village is also just a mile or two away from Interstate 355, which is an important road for commuters. Carol Stream is also less than ten miles away from Interstates 90 and 88. For public transit, UP-W’s train service stops in the neighboring village of Winfield on its way to Chicago.

 
Crime & Safety

Crime & Safety

Alexander Akulov - Landlord

Carol stream has been recognized nationally for its crime rate by sources like Neighborhood Scout and CNN Money Magazine, which ranked Carol Stream #49 in its 2011 list of the “Top 100 Places to Live” in the U.S. Some people criticize Carol Stream for being nothing more than a bedroom community for people who work in Chicago, but I would argue that there are strong feelings of familiarity and friendliness in Carol Stream’s neighborhoods, and a true sense of community. The low crime rates (in both violent and property crimes) only proves it.

 
Recreation

Recreation

Alexander Akulov - Landlord

Bolingbrook is a recreational haven. There are programs for kids to keep them busy in the summer, but there are also adult leagues (with schedules and standings) in twelve different sports. Some of the programs are also for kids and adults, like golf and the climbing wall. There are also an astounding 22 parks, a public pond, three community centers, and miles of trails. You may spend most of your winter inside, but when the weather starts warming up, you’ll want to spend every day outside in Bolingbrook.

 
Apartment Costs

Apartment Costs

Alexander Akulov - Landlord

Bolingbrook’s rental market has a wide price range. If you look at the listings on MyApartmentMap right now, you’ll see properties ranging from $615 to $1,950. Obviously the amenities and bedrooms aren’t the same for both places, but it tells you a lot about how there are rentals for small and large budgets alike. The median rent for the area is a thousand-something, but don’t let that dissuade you. Contact me and I can help you search for a rental without having to stretch your budget too thin.

 
Public Transportation

Public Transportation

Alexander Akulov - Landlord

Residents love the public transit options that are offered in Lisle. The most popular by far is the commuter rail, which is run by BNSF. This train can take you to a slew of places in the area, whether for business or leisure. For example: Aurora, Naperville, and even Chicago. The Pace bus services also runs lines in Lisle. The most popular stop is the train station; riders take the bus to the station, then get off and hop on the commuter rail. Nearly one out of ten residents here use public transportation, which is a pretty high number for a small place like this.

 
Renter Friendly

Renter Friendly

Alexander Akulov - Landlord

Though Lisle has a relatively small population and is technically considered a “village,” it has won a few awards recently. CNN Money Magazine put Lisle on their famous annual list of the country’s “100 Best Places to Live.” Lisle was ranked #20, and no other town or city from Illinois even came close to ranking as high as Lisle did. Two of the factors in earning this ranking was its improved downtown area and public transit options. These factors also earned Lisle a spot on another one of the magazine’s lists: #17 in the “Best Places for the Rich and Single.”

 
Traffic & Commuting

Traffic & Commuting

Alexander Akulov - Landlord

A lot of my clients love Woodridge’s location because it’s very close to the Illinois Technology and Research Corridor, which is essentially a region of towns and cities in the western Chicago metropolitan area that are home to high-tech companies and Fortune 1000 corporations. Think Silicon Valley in Illinois. Because Woodridge is so close to the corridor, residents can commute back and forth easily. If you don’t have a job in that area, Aurora is just 23 miles away, Naperville is seven miles away, and Chicago 30 miles away.

 
Weather

Weather

Alexander Akulov - Landlord

The coldest temperature ever recorded in Woodridge was -26 degrees fahrenheit. Now that you know this, it won’t seem so bad when I tell you that winter temperatures fluctuate between the teens and 20 degrees, and occasionally drop into single digits. Well, okay, I suppose that still sounds pretty cold. The thing is that if you can deal with the brutal winters here, you can enjoy beautiful, blooming springs, warm (but not too hot) summers, and refreshingly brisk autumns. There are definitely four distinct seasons in Woodridge, and even though winter sounds bad, the other three seasons are wonderful.

 
Nightlife

Nightlife

Alexander Akulov - Landlord

The Chicago Tribune created a Top 10 list for cities in the region that had the best restaurants, shopping, art, recreational system, and nightlife. Despite its size, St. Charles made the list. One of the reasons behind this is the downtown area’s nightlife. There are some great bars in the area, such as the House Pub and Dawn’s Beach Hut. There are also three popular theaters that put on stage performances and host live music. Of course, for a traditional night out, residents can eat at one of the great restaurants in the area and then catch a movie at the city’s movie theater.

 
Demographics

Demographics

Alexander Akulov - Landlord

The average income for families in the St. Charles area is a bit higher than normal. At the last community survey a few years ago, the median income for a family was $94,704. The U.S. average for that year was significantly less, at $58,480. The median income for a household in St. Charles was a little less, at $75,181. However, this is still way above average; the Illinois state average for that year was $56,187. Additionally, only two percent of families were under the poverty line.

 
Pet Friendly

Pet Friendly

Alexander Akulov - Landlord

The Grand Reserve of Naperville, McDowell Place Apartments, Glenmuir Luxury Rental Homes, AMLI at Naperville, and the Preserve at Cress Creek are some examples of apartment complexes here that are pet friendly. I’m only listing about a third of the places on MyApartmentMap too; there are a lot in the area. The community also tries hard to accommodate pets and their owners as well (e.g. there are two dog parks in Naperville). Naperville is an excellent place for pets of all shapes and sizes.

 
Economy and Jobs

Economy and Jobs

Alexander Akulov - Landlord

During the Recession, Naperville’s unemployment rate never topped 9%, unlike most cities in the country. And now, the U.S. unemployment rate is around 8.5%, but in Naperville it’s only 6.8%. This shows how resilient the economy is here. Part of this is because it’s located in the Illinois Technology and Research Corridor, which is essentially the state’s version of California’s Silicon Valley. There are hundreds of notable high-tech companies in the area, including Naperville. The city is also home to some companies you may recognize: OfficeMax, Tellabs, and Nicor are a few examples. Naperville has been growing since its economy boomed in the ‘90s. The two largest employers are Edward Hospital and Nicor.

 
Schools & Education

Schools & Education

Alexander Akulov - Landlord

Wheaton is known for being home to Wheaton College and a campus for the Illinois Institute of Technology. Wheaton is an acclaimed school that has won numerous awards, such as being listed in Loren Pope’s “Colleges That Change Lives” list and being ranked #15 on US News’ list of “Best Undergraduate Teaching” in liberal arts schools. Wheaton’s public school system has also received stellar reviews, including a 9 out of 10 overall rating from Great Schools.

 
Crime & Safety

Crime & Safety

Alexander Akulov - Landlord

Wheaton was recently featured on a compilation of the nation’s 100 safest cities, which was put together by Neighborhood Scout. A lot of people have told me that this community isn’t like other Illinois areas that they have lived in; many people refer to it as a New England style community. There are some similarities, such as the excellent schools in Wheaton, or the city’s “small town/city” feel. The community is very close and loves to get involved with various annual events. Wheaton is great for anyone -- college students looking for a rental or families looking for a home.

 
Renter Friendly

Renter Friendly

Alexander Akulov - Landlord

Aurora, the “City of Lights,” is a perfect place for people who don’t like large cities like Chicago, but still want to live in an urban environment. The prices may be a bit high, with a median rent of around $1200, but listings can commonly be as low as $700; it just depends on where you look. Aurora has a healthy market that has seen growth in rentals recently. Speaking of trends, the crime here has been hitting all-time lows, and in 2008 there were only two murders. For a city with Aurora’s population, that’s remarkable. Downtown Aurora is also thriving and is providing the area with great culture. Right now is a great time to rent in Aurora.

 
Public Transportation

Public Transportation

Alexander Akulov - Landlord

Aurora residents have a direct connection with Chicago via the BNSF commuter rail that serves the area. Aurora is the last stop, so it takes a while to get for the train to get there, but a lot of people would rather do this than deal with the traffic. Aurora is more than 40 miles away, so during rush hour the drive takes longer than an hour. There is also a bus service provided to Aurora by PACE.

 
Restaurants

Restaurants

Alexander Akulov - Landlord

The revitalization of Belleville’s historic downtown district has been huge over the last decade. One of the major perks of this has been the restaurants that have sprung up near the downtown area. There have been popular chain favorites, like Margarita’s, as well as locally owned restaurants, like Maxwell’s, Mi Casa Mexican Restaurant, and the Pie Pantry. Also, for those who want to eat healthy, it’s worth mentioning two great places in Belleville: Eckert’s Country Store & Farms and Rachel’s Garden, Inc.

 
Recreation

Recreation

Alexander Akulov - Landlord

There are many activities Belleville has that can’t be found anywhere nearby. Belleville has the second oldest philharmonic orchestra in the US, and they still are playing today. Once you see one of their concerts you will know why they’ve been around for so long. Belleville also has one of the only drive-in theaters in the area, and has the oldest family-owned orchard in the entire country, where you can pick your own fruit in the fall. There is also a flourishing historic district downtown, and a number of parks around the city with a host of recreational amenities.

 
Weather

Weather

Alexander Akulov - Landlord

Collinsville has cold winters and hot summers. The temperatures here may not be favorable to someone who is used to warm weather, but give them credit for their range -- the average low in the winter is in the mid-20s F (it’s the coldest in January at 23 degrees F), and the average high in the summer is in the 90s (hottest month is July at 91). If you think you can handle the cold, you should also know this: the average snowfall here is 26 inches every year.

 
Traffic & Commuting

Traffic & Commuting

Alexander Akulov - Landlord

Despite being in a different state, Collinsville is still considered a suburb of St. Louis. And it’s not too far away either. Route 159 and Interstate 64 provide access to the big city, and if you take these roads the drive will only be around a half hour. There are also buses in Collinsville that take residents to a nearby rail station where they can take the train into the city. Overall, the usual commute here is around 27 minutes, which is one minute less than the state average.

 
Schools & Education

Schools & Education

Alexander Akulov - Landlord

Public schools in Granite City are run by the Granite City School District 9, which currently has around 7000 students in its system. There are 7 elementary schools total, two junior highs, and a high school, Granite City High School. The graduation rate at GCHS is very high, at 96%, which a 10% increase from the state average. There are also two private schools in GC and a college campus (with around 15,000 students).

 
Renter Friendly

Renter Friendly

Alexander Akulov - Landlord

A lot of people who live in Granite City work and play in St. Louis, making this town a bedroom community. The large benefit of this is that there are a lot of available apartments here. There are 83,221 RENTED properties here (as of the end of 2010) and only 73,781 OWNED properties. So overall there are more apartments than homes. As for the market, it’s renter-dominated as well. 37% of the places on the market are for rent, and only 10% are for sale. It would be a great idea to take advantage of the huge selection of apartments in GC and rent here.

 

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