It’s moving season, y’all — and as anyone who’s apartment-hunted in Chicago knows, your average listing doesn't always give the most accurate description of a potential rental unit. In fact, Craigslist postings are often more akin to inscrutable riddles than summaries of basic information, the ultimate exercise in skepticism and self-preservation. It's best practice to keep your eyes peeled for red flags while sifting though listings. Here, a glossary of terms that might not mean what they seem to.

"24-hour security"

Curmudgeonly Baby Boomer sits in security office eight hours a day; cameras pick up remaining 16 hours.

"Skyline views"

View of the building across the street and no other buildings.

"Eat-in kitchen"

Feel free to house a Greek yogurt while standing over your single two-foot-wide counter.

"Everything you need in one place"

Completely soulless.


Not good-sized.


Cute lobby, no functional appliance in apartment.

"Limited parking available"

Street parking.

"Near Lake Michigan"

Within two miles of Lake Michigan.


A French word to make you feel better about paying more.

"Plush carpeting"

Someone probably died here.

"Queen-size bedroom"

Room for a queen-size bed and only a queen-size bed.

"Rooftop patio/deck"

If there’s no photo, it’s a strip of balcony that fits six people maximum; if there’s a photo of a glorious patio, other residents have it reserved every weekend for the next three summers.

"Secure entryways"

Two front doors with different keys.

"State-of-the-art weight room"

Hear your downstairs neighbor Jerry grunt through bicep curls

"Take in the energy of the nearby college/university"

Hurdle drunk 18-year-olds on your way home at night.

"Urban location"

Used for listings in River North and the Loop, as if existing within city limits does not deem other neighborhoods urban.

"Images coming soon"

Images are never coming, there is no house, you will be chopped into 100 pieces if you contact this realtor, close your laptop and throw it into the lake.