Condo Flip Chicago South Suburbs?

10 Replies

Does anyone have experience flipping a condo in the South Suburbs of Chicago (or flipping a condo at all for that matter)?  It seems like a decent option and the condo market in the area I'm studying (Oak Lawn) is strong with ~4 months of inventory and 79% of attached 2BR/2BA properties selling over the past 12 months.  

I realize that rental rules could be an issue in the event it's not selling and plan B (BRRRR) needs to be executed. Assuming the building is renter friendly, what would some other major differentiators be between a SFH and condo? Financing issues? other things I know I'm not thinking of?

Any input would be appreciated - thanks from a newbie,

Chris 

@Michael Barbari I don't have a specific deal in mind at the moment, just exploring the idea and want to see if I am barking up the wrong tree with thinking condo vs. SFH.

Have you had any experience working with rehabbers in the area/any insight on flipping a condo there? 

@Chris Wienke There are condos going for 55k and there are some for 209k in Oak Lawn. Prices in that area have been stagnant. You will get the most bang for your buck in a SFR. Easier to rent out or sell also.

@Chris Wienke One of the biggest things I have learned in flipping a condo is similar to what you mentioned. You need to leave yourself outs, one of them being the association allows rentals. If for some reason or another you can't get rid of it, hopefully the numbers work to rent it. Another area to look at is the condo's financials and any anticipated special assessments. A good association will have a nice CapEx fund.

I personally stay away from condos/townhomes as I don't want to have to answer or have to be in compliance with an association's rulebook.  It's one less control you have of the situation.  Not to say there are not people who flip condos, there are plenty, just make sure you leave your self outs.  Just my $.02

I'm in Mt. Greenwood and have spent a lot of time in Oak Lawn.  Let me know if there is anything else I can help you with. 

@Michael Barbari  @Dominick Adolfo  thank you both for your input, confirmed a lot of what I was thinking.  

Since you're both familiar with the area, what are you thoughts on best towns around there for flips/rentals?  I've spent the last 2.5 years managing a commercial shopping center there and am looking to get into my first rehab project.  I have some good contacts with contractors, lenders, etc. in the area which is why I figure it could be a good place to start, but I grew up north of Chicago and don't have much familiarity with the housing market in the south burbs (yet!).  

@Chris Wienke I am a buy and hold guy. I don't have experience in the rehab area. I would check out single families and duplexes in the area and start calculating cashflow. Check out what rents are going for on mls (since you are licensed) and craigslist. Good luck!

I am also buy and hold investor.  I stick around Palos, Oak Lawn, Chicago Ridge and the Mt Greenwood/Beverly area just because I'm close by and self manage.  My advice is what Michael said, just start doing your research and keep running numbers.  

Within 5 miles of Oak Lawn there can be a huge difference in property prices and appreciation or depreciation.

@Chris Wienke, condo flipping was my best experience ever! No roof, foundation, basement, etc... Quick rehab. Just be aware of rental and pet restrictions and see if you can find a condo that allows for washer/dryer in the unit. Those were my biggest hurdles. 

Post notes to the neighbors directly above, next and under your unit with your phone number and the contractor's info to inform them of the amount of time will take to do the rehab and so they have your info in case of any questions. People appreciate it and they are much more lenient on noise amount. Also, keep in touch with the HOA and make sure all the work is done within the time frame restrictions. Usually work is not allowed in the weekends, before 8:00 or after 4:00 pm. When pricing the work, make sure your contractor is aware of the time restrictions and any other rules and regulations!

Good luck to you!

@Lumi Ispas That is very helpful, thank you. I had the same thought with lot of the positives you mentioned. The rental restrictions and health of HOA/potential for special assessment are definitely top of the list for things to watch out for.

@Jeff Valentino I was seeing the same thing.  I also saw that there's a networking meetup this coming Tuesday.  I sent a request to join via meetup, hopefully I'll see you there!