Smaller Unit with View VS. Larger Garden Unit?

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Q: I currently live in a 3rd flr rental in Chicago, across from a beautiful church, ample parking, beautiful lighting, patio. The catch? It's a small one bedroom that I share with my 10 yo son - he has the bedroom and I've been in the living room as a studio layout for the past 6 years. I have the opportunity to move in to a 2 bedroom unit, more space, dishwasher and washer/dryer, all of which I currently do not have, for the same price that I currently pay.

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The catch? It's a garden unit, limited sunlight and parking. Another catch? I'd be renting from a friend, hence the discounted rate for the larger space. We've worked out the formalities that would ensure this is a typical rental agreement, but am I playing with fire by renting from a friend?

Putting the safety concerns aside (this is a mild concern), my worry is the lack of sunlight and losing my current beautiful view. However, I've lived in this compromising space for 6 years and the quality of life I could have over a better functioning space (w/d, dw and more space - not to mention, my own bedroom!!), makes me giddy!

Wondering if Apartment Therapy peers can provide some advice/feedback...I am leaning towards going for the larger space, even though it's a garden unit.

Thank you!

Sent by Madge 524


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Janel Laban is the Executive Editor of Apartment Therapy and has been working here, at the dreamiest of dream jobs, since March 2006.