I have a rather serious mold allergy. How should I go about finding a mold-free (or almost mold-free) apartment in Chicago?
My allergy is bad enough that levels of mold that might be tolerable to other people make me cough, sneeze, wheeze, get itchy eyes, itchy throat, etc. after 30-60 minutes. Unfortunately, this is not so immediate that I can just detect whether a place is livable from a 10 minute viewing.
I suspect that telling prospective landlords about my allergy in initial Craigslist emails may be scaring them off/making them believe I'm a pain in the ass, even if the advertised apartment doesn't have any mold issues. Should I wait for a phone call? Or maybe the actual viewing, because they've already invested some time, and it's harder to lie to someone if you're looking them in the eye? (Man, these mental games...)
Everywhere I've ever lived has had air conditioning, with the exception of my college dorms (but for some reason they were all fine). Is A/C something I need to make essential in my search? (I'd rather not, but I guess that's life.) Should I be searching for newer buildings, and if so, how? Craigslist postings almost never list the age of the building.
If it matters, I'm looking to live on the North side of Chicago, along the red line (or brown or blue). Before I realized this truly is a dealbreaker, I was mostly looking at places in the $550-$700 range in Rogers Park, Edgewater, and comparable nearby neighborhoods. Is that budget unrealistic if you really can't deal with mold? $850 is my ABSOLUTE max including heat, and I'd really rather not pay that much. But maybe that's unavoidable? Are there other neighborhoods I should consider? Keep in mind that I'm female and small so safety's a major concern.
Finally: would using any of these apartment services
be a reasonable solution?
For those of you who saw my previous question, yes, the apartment had hidden mold, but luckily the manager let me out of the lease.