Investing in Southern Illinois

23 Replies

I am a beginner Real Estate investor and currently own one rental property in Marion Illinois which is performing well. I am currently debating between continue to invest in Southern Illinois for rentals or not. I hear a lot of stories on the state of Illinois economy which makes me hesitate on buy any more property in the state. Marion and Carterville seems to still be good areas to invest though. Does anyone have any experience in investing Southern Illinois? If you do, would you recommend to continue investing in the area? Thanks in advance for your input. 

The Illinois Real Estate investors association meets on the second Tuesday of the Month in Marion, IL. PM me for details

Hi Mark, my husband and I recently closed on the single-family home in southern Illinois area and are closing on a four Plex and an additional single in the next month or so. We are planning to continue to purchase in the state of Illinois I know there’s lots of issues however because we also live in Illinois and can get to the properties within just a few hours we think it’s a good idea.  We are totally not opposed to going elsewhere if things seem to not go well, but as of now cash flow is good.  

@Diana Dorantes I am in Illinois and am considering purchasing my first investment property - I'm a little nervous to invest in IL given the high taxes/rate of exodus from the state! Was looking to invest near Bloomington-Normal around ISU.

How has your investment performed so far?

Lauren, so far so good.  We plan to continue to invest in Illinois, we just are making sure our numbers are solid.  If we do have a ‘hiccup’ we made sure our numbers had wiggle room.  We are comfortable with this state ..... not opposed to another region/state just need to study the area really really well.   We do use a property manager who does a really good job.  We do trust but we verify jobs are complete and communication is stellar!  

@Lauren Apicella  I bought I fourplex in a small town near Bloomington Normal and while it is still undergoing renovations the market is fairly strong for rentals in my area there are several colleges in the area if you want to cater to that market I'm going to wrap this one up and look for a 5+ unit closer to town to see if I can capitalize on the student market.

Thanks @John Leake ! I went to ISU for 2 years so I hear ya on the student market! But recently I've heard of Bloomington-Normal's loss of jobs (300K) and flat market so just wasn't sure if it is the best place to invest 

@Lauren Apicella I currently live in normal and have seen several houses be bought and sold we have lost a bunch of jobs in recent time. Illinois is also having people move out of state for whatever reason but I feel like there is real potential in the town for student rentals. I see new apt buildings going up all the time. I'm still working on building my business for managing tenants. I finished Brandon Turner's book "The book on managing rental properties" and I have a lot of small things that I need to have set up but it should make it so much easier to scale over time and my next purchase will be in town if at all possible.

@Joseph E. Decatur not an area I’m familiar enough to advise on.  I have been researching a little more north from Normal to Terra Haute areas.  Those areas seem decent cash flow if that is what you are looking into. 

I grew up in Illinois and most of my family still lives there. I wish I believed in the government and the economy there but I don't. Taxes are very high and will go higher. You're going to have to pad your numbers for the guaranteed tax hikes. And if they're anything like they have been they aren't small hikes. 

Why is all of Carbondale for sale? Just noticed that there a whole bunch of good size apartment buildings on the market - seems well out of proportion for a city of that size. Anyone with insight on the market climate in that city?

@Jon Allen student enrollment is down quite a bit and we are in the state of Illinois.  We just operated without a state budget and the university is a large employer.  As enrollment goes down it has impacted all businesses in the area.  

There are plans to get enrollment up over the next few years but I’m sure every university has those plans.  

Hello,

I'm an out of state investor looking to invest in Belleville, IL.   From my research there has been a 6% drop in population in this area. How's the job market and economic development in this area.  Any feedback is appreciated.

@Lisa M. In addition to pop decline, there seems to be a reduction in median home values and household income. Rents have increased nominally since 2010, with a notable dip in 2015. 

With that said, Belleville is defiantly a riskier place to invest.  Most areas in the core are of D/F rank., while the outer suburbs are C with the occasional B. (See charts and map below for details) 

@Joseph E. I’m very new to real estate investing, but we purchased a SFH on the northeast side of Decatur last year. Purchased a 3/1 for $60k put about $5k in it and we are renting for $950 a month. I live about an hour and a half away and we have not had any problems with this place. There are a million homes like this in that area. I’m surprised more people aren’t scooping them up, but it is Illinois!

The Trump Tarrifs and intelectual property actions have reopened Granits City Steel which was shuttered for over a decade. Almost 3000 new jobs in Granite City, IL. We are also right by Scott Air Force Base. The rest of Illinois is farmland until you get to Chicago.

Originally posted by @Lisa M. :

Hello,

I'm an out of state investor looking to invest in Belleville, IL.   From my research there has been a 6% drop in population in this area. How's the job market and economic development in this area.  Any feedback is appreciated.

Belleville, IL is right next to Scott Air Force Base. Good job market here. Also the steel mill in Granite City, IL is open again after being shut down for over 10 years. Things are happening in the Metro East. Belleville is also the county seat.

The city of Belleville is a little hard to deal with so I would suggest investing in one of the surrounding areas. Lebanon, Mascoutah, Fairview Heights, unicorporated Belleville. As long as you are near the base or Saint Louis jobs you should do fine.

Originally posted by @George Skidis :
Originally posted by @Lisa M.:

Hello,

I'm an out of state investor looking to invest in Belleville, IL.   From my research there has been a 6% drop in population in this area. How's the job market and economic development in this area.  Any feedback is appreciated.

Belleville, IL is right next to Scott Air Force Base. Good job market here. Also the steel mill in Granite City, IL is open again after being shut down for over 10 years. Things are happening in the Metro East. Belleville is also the county seat.

The city of Belleville is a little hard to deal with so I would suggest investing in one of the surrounding areas. Lebanon, Mascoutah, Fairview Heights, unicorporated Belleville. As long as you are near the base or Saint Louis jobs you should do fine.

Out of curiosity, what makes Belleville harder to deal with for rental properties?

 

Andrew Caldieraro Belleville has some of the tightest restrictions on maintenance and repair. Unless you live in the home you cannot work on anything yourself. You are limited to just clean and paint basically. You can cut your own grass, but your lawn care service better be licensed, bonded and insured. Otherwise you both get a citation.

Belleville requires a license or permit for everything! Except breathing, but they are trying to get it on the books. 

Belleville has a list of approved contractors for each of the trades. Find a great price but the contractor is not on the approved list. You can forget using them. Most of the approved contractors are union. Union workers are skilled tradesman. Most investors cannot pay the difference between union and non union.

Want to buy a house? Belleville will inspect it before closing. This lets them prevent you from working on your own property. How you ask? They will reisnpect and fail everything done without their express say so. The big stuff must be repaired to their guidelines BEFORE even and owner occupant can move in.

The only way I would buy in Belleville is to be an owner occupant who intends to flip the house in 25 months or so.  So after investing in real estate since 1993, I have never purchased anything within the city limits of Belleville.

My current Belleville mailing address is actually in unincorporated Saint Clair County. The county is so much easier to work with.   Except on Plumbing. They want a licensed plumber for everything.

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