Rental investments in Joliet, Aurora, Bolingbrook, IL

20 Replies

Hello REI Community

I am a newbie looking to build a rental portfolio and currently thinking about investing in rental properties in Joliet,IL,  Aurora, IL and Bolingbrook, IL. I selected these areas considering that these are sort of low to middle income areas and not too far from where I live. 

I have few questions for the REI community and would highly appreciate the community insights and input.

1) I have seen a few properties in Joliet, IL and they all need some work. Some have old electrical and plumbing lines and need drywall work too. An investor that I met a few weeks back mentioned that the city does not perform any inspections on single family residences prior to rehabbing.  The city is only concerned with multi-family units and does inspections to ensure that everything in multi-family is in compliance with code. I was a bit surprised with that comment. Is it true that one could get away with no inspections on single family distressed properties? For some of these homes, I am concerned about electrical and plumbing issues and would like to know typically how the city/village goes about evaluating these issues for a property that will be rehabbed.  Would someone with investing experience in Joilet, IL be able to provide some direction. While my goal is to do the repairs and rent the property instead of flipping it, I do want to ensure long term when I get ready to sell the property, it will not be an issue to have the old electrical and plumbing.

2) Would someone be able to provide suggestions on what areas/boundaries I should be looking at for investing in Joliet, Aurora, and Bolingbrook, IL? I realize that there are not too good parts in Joliet and Aurora, and I would like to know where these pockets/areas are located, or how to go about getting more info about this aspect. I realize I could get section 8 rentals and I have read about advantages of section 8 rentals, but I am not keen on getting into it now as I am just starting. 

3) Have people used neighbourhoodscout.com for getting info about a specific market, demographics, vacancy rate, and rents? How reliable/accurate is this info?

Thanks in advance for your time and help

I am rehabbing two homes in Joliet right now. One is in unincorporated area which falls in the Will county jurisdiction. Both are single family homes. I have had plenty of visits from the health department and the land use department. Both inspections and verifying my permits are covering the work I'm doing. From my understanding, this "Special attention" isn't typical in joliet, only in will county. Its enough to make my general contractor never want to do work in will county again. I'm still on the fence. Its possible to get good deals, but the red tape is really setting me back. I'm a newbie myself and its a steep learning curve. If you have any other questions feel free to ask. And good luck @MAHESH RAMACHANDRAN .

Originally posted by @Nathan Waters :

I am rehabbing two homes in Joliet right now. One is in unincorporated area which falls in the Will county jurisdiction. Both are single family homes. I have had plenty of visits from the health department and the land use department. Both inspections and verifying my permits are covering the work I'm doing. From my understanding, this "Special attention" isn't typical in joliet, only in will county. Its enough to make my general contractor never want to do work in will county again. I'm still on the fence. Its possible to get good deals, but the red tape is really setting me back. I'm a newbie myself and its a steep learning curve. If you have any other questions feel free to ask. And good luck @MAHESH RAMACHANDRAN .

If everything's in compliance, what the hey?

Have coffee and sweet rolls, if you know they're coming. Ask for their input / advice. Make a friend rather than an opponent.

David J Dachtera

"Success is not a destination. Failure is not an event. Success is a process, failure is a choice."
- DJ Benedict

@MAHESH RAMACHANDRAN

Hey Mahesh,

Maybe @Aaron Mikottis would be kind enough to share his research with you. He is closing on his first 203k project in Joliet, he did a lot of research on neighborhoods. 

In fact Aaron and I are meeting tomorrow (Wednesday) at Noon Whistle Brewery in Lombard at 6:30pm. Stop by if you would like. Same goes to you all- @Nathan Waters @David Dachtera @Account Closed PM me if anyone is interested.

The only units that don't get inspected yearly are the single family owner occupy. If anyone other than the owner is gonna live there then you need licensed people to do the work. If its a single family and its owner occupy the owner can get all his permits and do the work himself everything is still inspected to code. If only thing i know that don't get inspected is the annual one

Hi @MAHESH RAMACHANDRAN , welcome to BP.

Ultimately you're going to have to decide for yourself what criteria you find suitable for long term rentals, but I would be happy to share my findings with you. Here's a link to my analysis: My Map (this is best viewed on a tablet)

Basically, I'm trying to point at the best neighborhoods in the C+ - B- range with a likelihood of appreciation and strong rents. In any case, my criteria was:

- Change in median income from 2000 to present must be positive.

- (Median Contract Rent x12) / (Median House Value) must exceed 0.06

- Unemployment must be under 6%

- Median house value must be under 200k

- Median household income and median resident age are used as additional data points

City-data.com is a great resource for you to get info on particular neighborhoods and sections of any city in the US. Hope this helps!

Aurora is a great area to focus once you learn to get through the red tape as mentioned above. Specifically look for properties in the 204 school district as they are in high demand, and can be picked up for a steal most of the time.

@Landon Thomas
thanks so much for the invitation to meet with you and Aaron. Unfortunately, I cant make it as I work near Gurnee and have a long commute on weekdays. I would definitely like to meet if there is another opportunity to meet on weekend, monday or friday.

@Aaron Mikottis, thanks so much for giving detailed info about specifications. It is very helpful. Good luck with your project! If you are available sometime, we can schedule a meeting. This is your first project, correct?

@Nathan Waters , good luck on your rehabs!

Justin Pillion
Are there specific areas in Aurora that you would recommend?

Aurora is having major issues with taxes.....so they are increasing rental licensing fees, doubling inspection fees, incorporating massive re-inspection fees and raising taxes and utilities...Aurora is being less and less attractive.  

Joliet does not require a pre-foreclosure rental inspection; but you will have to pull permits if doing electrical, plumbing, hvac work.  they also have a rental inspection; you can always call the village's building inspection dept and they will be happy to explain how they operate.

Bolingbrook - there are some nice and some not as nice areas; none are like the west side of Chicago though. you will also have a rental inspection (not very detailed) and the building dept requires you to pull permits as well. if you don't pull permits, and get caught, it is a $1000/day fine (ridiculous).

Mahesh,

Welcome! Have you looked in Lemont? Lemont may target your criteria but not many multi family buildings come on the market. I own a turnkey (no reno necessary) 4 flat in Lemont that I'm getting ready to list. Let me know if you want to see the numbers on that building. Feel free to pick my brain on the area in general.