Thoughts in Decatur Illinois for buy & hold

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I’m looking for some feedback on investing in a small house in Decatur Illinois. In particular I would like some thoughts on this market. At a high level it has some good things going for it: 3-4 large corporations including Caterpillar and ARcher, a small private college (Milikin), a busy railway corridor, and lots of agriculture surrounding it.

The population seemed to max out around 80,000 last decade and is now around 72,000 I believe. Median incomes are in the $50’s.

I am interested in buying a house to rent to students.

We talk so much about assessing deals, but where I could really use help is getting better at assessing markets.


Hey Scott.  I am from the Decatur area and have been investing here for the past 7 years.  In general, it is a very blue collar, industrial town, which makes it a great rental market.  However Illinois' tax and business climate is also a factor you should consider also but that another discussion altogether.  There are some good opportunities in student housing around Millikin but also some reasons to be very cautious.  You really need to understand the student housing landscape of the university as a whole as well as the neighborhoods around the school.  Send me a message if you want some more details on that.  Best of luck.