About Bill Prewitt & Bridgeport
Thanks for checking out Bill's little web site. Best Rents is a small one man sole proprietorship located in "Bridgeport USA" and he prides himself on making apartments available that are usually under market prices to be competitive. Bill is a senior citizen who has had a colorful life and should have retired years ago but enjoys the challenges of providing affordable housing for his lucky tenants. He has been in Bridgeport and online for over 30 years and is in it for the "long run". Some of his tenants have been with him from the very beginning which speaks for itself and there are lots of character references if you take a peek.
Keeping apartment rental prices reasonable is an increasingly difficult challenge, especially in this new economy.. The Chicago real estate taxes have been raised to 3 times more than the rest of the state. Add to that the price of rising insurance premiums, garbage removal, pest control, plumbing, roofing, contractors, evictions, legal costs, cleaning, water bills, mortgages, the list goes on and our bills add up . Never-the-less he is still determined to do everything possible to provide decent rental prices. That often includes working with the tenants as "partners" creating a team to keep unnecessary costs as low as possible.
If you are not familiar with Bridgeport it is a unique "low key" neighborhood where 3 Chicago mayors have lived during their term in office and is conveniently located right off of the Dan Ryan Expressway and a few blocks to I-55 and Lake Shore Drive. The downtown "loop" area is usually only about 10 minutes away. You may see movie crews on location filming world class movies, as well as world famous Cellular Field on 35th Street. All the great food of China Town is just a few blocks away and there are many new condos and lofts available. Look at those rental prices and compare it to what we have to offer from time to time.
What You Can Expect
When you become one of his tenants you get a direct line to his office and he is very accessible to talk to personally every business day. To keep expenses as low as possible he has no employees and Bill takes pride in showing every unit personally and sometimes even does small repairs by himself. There is a direct maintenance number to a handyman who he works with closely with and you may usually call them directly. Sometimes a building manager is assigned by us to help you with little things day to day.
Bill has a different attitude than you may have been used to in the past, and is a progressive thinker always open to new ideas. He gets along well with young local students from the neighborhood (IIT college, UIC college and College of Optometry) as well as older retired tenants always thinking "outside the box" and viewing life with fresh perspectives open to new suggestions. Bill still gets a kick out of Christmas cards he receives and display each year from our younger tenants sometimes addressed to "The Cool Landlord".
His creativity and problem solving ability was acquired from his many years early in life as a successful rock musician & bandleader. He enjoys playing music saying that he never goes to work, he goes to play. In 1976 & 1977 he even lived in a van during 2 Chicago winters for a couple of years when he had difficulty finding anyone who would rent to him. Bill goes way back to the early 1970's when he worked full time for many years with international blues star Otis Rush before equal rights was fashionable. (Musical Biography)
Unlike some stuffy owners he enjoys seeing the buildings decorated for Halloween, Christmas, Valentines Day, birthdays and just about any celebration that makes the tenants happy. He worked in the Bridgeport area Kiwanis Club (Articles) for many years and is a sponsor for several animal rights groups. (Bills Silly Cat Page) Bill understands how people can have bad luck when he recently lost some real estate in a real estate scam by well known convicted criminal Lezlie Keebler, but he takes it all in stride and prides himself on doing the right thing by treating other people the way he would like to be treated and knows that karma with even out everything in the final analyses.
If an apartment is priced fairly it will keep tenants around after their lease has run out (although each lease usually only runs from year to year). He have learned from other owners that if an apartment is overpriced (or even just at top market price), often renters move out after their lease is up and are constantly looking for a better deal. He simply wants to try to keep his tenants happy so they will stay year after year. The average vacancy rate in Chicago is about 10% and ours is less than 2%. He is proud of his long term tenants who have been with him for many years. Bill takes pride in his apartments and he hopes you will too. Bill will not show an apartment until it is presentable and he is proud to show it.
Saving Your Cash
By saving renters money another one of his goals that he enjoys seeing, is to make it possible for tenants to put their savings toward a down payment on a house of their own. Bill has helped tenants do this and although he hates to see good tenants leave him, he is still very happy for them and shakes their hand when he sees them in the local grocery store as new homeowners. On several occasions he has actually sold the rental property they were living in directly to the tenants by way of creative financing, giving them an opportunity they might not have otherwise had.
And finally just to be clear, he is simply an "everyday person" trying to do the right thing. He has no employees and he works very hard to make ends meet. He feels it is not unethical or indecent for someone who takes a risk by starting a small business to try to earn a reasonable return for their hard work. He is sometimes misunderstood by being so unconventional and he has his jealous critics, but he realizes that "it is only the best fruit that the birds pick at" After all, he plans to still be here in another 25 years.