Do Celebs Living in Chicago Really Increase the Rental of the Neighborhoods in Which They Live?

Rental of the Neighborhoods
Photo by Naoram Sea on Unsplash

Do you have a celeb currently living in your neighborhood – or is one about to move in? If this is the case, as well as the excitement of potentially bumping into your fave movie star at the grocery store, you may be wondering about the impact this celestial presence could have on property and rental prices in the area. Surely prices are set to skyrocket? With Chicago already the home to many celebs, including Oprah Winfrey, Kanye West, Hilary Swank, Vince Vaughn, John Cusack and the Obamas the state certainly seems to be a magnet for the glitterati.

Well, if you’re a landlord or property owner hoping that a celeb in the vicinity could equal a windfall, the news isn’t exactly sunny. If, on the other hand, you’re keen to rent in a neighborhood where a lesser-spotted celeb has been sighted, there may not be a need to panic about stratospheric rental prices.

The Glamor Appeal

If a celeb lives in your neighborhood, street, or – even better – your apartment block, this is certainly going to raise the profile of the area of the property – but this does not always translate into a higher property valuation, say the experts. Meaning your celebrity neighbor may help generate more interest in a property and get it rented out faster – but not necessarily for a higher price. You’re also likely to see a lot of people checking out the property who don’t have any intention of renting, just to get a glimpse of how ‘the other half live.’ Watch out for surreptitious selfies to spot these folk. If someone’s taking a photo of themselves in front of your breadbin, they probably don’t want to actually rent your home.

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More Investment in the Area

One of the great things about having a celeb in the neighborhood is that it may push up investment in the area. With more folks (and even tourists) coming to town, drawn by the rise in the neighborhood’s profile, there can be a knock-on effect that sees formerly run-down lots or retail strips revamped and new businesses setting up shop. 

Over time, this can lead to a general upward trend in house prices and the cost of the average rental. It can also help protect the properties in the neighborhood from price dips that may affect other areas. With Barack and Michelle Obama just down the road, the chance of your neighborhood running down is fairly minimal.

What About If a Celeb Previously Lived in the Rental?

Surprisingly, just because a star formerly lived in the property (even if they’re major names), this is still unlikely to do much to increase the rental prices in the neighborhood in which they lived. There’s a good reason for this: the word may not have even gotten out that the celeb in question lived there in the first place. Stars can be very secretive (for good reason) and will often have their lawyers tie non-disclosure agreements into any leases or other legal documents they put their signature to. Real estate agents acting on behalf of a celeb client are likely to use a very high level of discretion. All of this adds up to the fact that you may have had an A-lister living a stone’s throw away from you for years and been blissfully unaware of this.

Upping the Exclusivity

Many celebs choose to live in exclusive, gated communities, such as The Pattington in uptown Chicago, and the mere presence of such a community in the area can certainly up the prestige of nearby properties. Interestingly, real estate experts often point to the fact that it tends to be foreign buyers that are most drawn to the idea of living in the neighborhood of a star – or a constellation of them.

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Wherever you’re choosing to rent, however, one thing’s for sure: whether you’re a superstar celeb or a mere mortal like the rest of us, you need to protect your personal possessions from damage and theft. How? With renters insurance. You need to have renters insurance in Chicago, Illinois, Washington, DC, or even Tinseltown itself. As well as providing you with indemnity in the event that your stuff is lost or stolen, renters’ insurance policies often also protect items like your laptop and phone, even if a disaster strikes outside the home. Plus, if something happens to your rental property, meaning you have to temporarily move out, renters insurance will usually cover your costs on this score. 

Final Thoughts

While the celeb factor is likely to have an effect on the interest in properties in your area, there’s not necessarily a correlation between a starry neighbor and a huge hike in rental prices. However, longer term, a celeb living in your neighborhood could result in increased investment and a higher profile, meaning that valuations – and rental prices – may see a rise as a result.

In conclusion? Having Jason Momoa live just down the street may be great for your general quality of life but not necessarily for your bank balance if you’re a landlord.


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