You have a huge variety of options in your target area today in both the rental and sale market, and can easily find what you want for far less than the $1,500 a month you're able to spend.
If you're going to buy, I'd recommend you try to find a 2 bedroom within your monthly budget. In most cases a 2 bedroom will be easier to resell in your area since it will have less competition than 1 bedroom units â€“ of which there is a very large supply in the area.
One thing you might consider is renting for a year. By that time you'll have a better fix on the options in the for sale market and, perhaps, a better fix on what your time horizon is for remaining in Chicago. I don't think you'll find very many people who think prices will be higher a year from now than they are now.
One further tip - never ever respond to a mortgage broker who pitches you online. Or, as Ogden Nash phrased it: "When called by a panther - don't anther."
I know this is an old question but I wanted to provide a link to a useful Rent vs Buy calculator that you can use in determining your next move. Please click on the following link http://www.kendooley.com/buy-vs-rent/
Best of Luck, Ken Dooley