Which neighborhood to invest in Chicago?

18 Replies

We’re looking to invest in Chicago as our first out of state property investment. Our budget is 110k and looking for a multi-family property but open to a single family home if the numbers look right. Our goal is for something with cosmetic work and cash flow. We been searching on redfin,Zillow and realtor for properties and some properties look great on paper but we’re having trouble on what neighborhoods to stay away from and which are the good ones. Does anyone recommend a neighborhood that’s up and coming and would be under 110k. This would really help us move forward on buying our first one. Thank you in advance.

@Elias Munoz

Your best option would be to target the southeast suburbs of Chicago, between I-57 and the border of Indiana. Small multi-family with some cosmetic updates may be harder to find than a 2-3 bed/1 bath SFH within your budget. Some good neighborhoods to target include Lansing, Homewood, Oak Forest, Glenwood, Lynwood, and South Holland.

Thanks for the shoutout @Jonathan Klemm

Hi @Elias Munoz , sounds exciting!

I would also suggest looking at crime maps to have more detailed information regarding risk of the neighborhood but in most cases a budget of $110k will limit you to those areas. Not a problem as long as you have certain preventative measures in place like cameras and a good property manager, etc. 

@Elias Munoz 110k is pretty much a nice condo in most of the areas you will want to be in. I think most 2-4 units in the Chicago market are over 200k in today's world for something you can tackle as an out of state investor. We just sold a 2 unit for 244k that grossed a bit over $2500 per month. That is a solid deal and that is about what you can expect to get in today's world. 

@Elias Munoz all good recommendations above. To echo @John Warren , getting a set of expectations of what your budget allows for I think is your first step which also goes hand in hand with talking to some local brokers.

@Elias Munoz Congrats on looking local here in Chicago.  The opportunity and quality of property and area is a big difference in just going another 15-25k higher into the 130s when you are talking about south suburbs.  Talking to a broker that knows that area well like @Jake Fugman will help narrow your direction or if you are looking in the western burbs then connect with @John Warren .  I would recommend you talking to both of them.  

I will DM you a local podcast episode with both Jake and John that will give you even more info.   

@Elias Munoz   $110k likely wont get you a multifamily in the condition or location that is appropriate for new investor. I would focus on single family in the south suburbs that @Paul De Luca mentioned OR take a look as neighborhoods on the south end of Chicago like Pullman, West Pullman, South Shore, or South Deering.   Houses w/in city limits of Chicago will have MUCH lower taxes compared to S. Suburbs but you still need to consider your criteria for tenant type, crime, and appreciation potential.   Good luck!

Originally posted by @Elias Munoz :

We’re looking to invest in Chicago as our first out of state property investment. Our budget is 110k and looking for a multi-family property but open to a single family home if the numbers look right. Our goal is for something with cosmetic work and cash flow. We been searching on redfin,Zillow and realtor for properties and some properties look great on paper but we’re having trouble on what neighborhoods to stay away from and which are the good ones. Does anyone recommend a neighborhood that’s up and coming and would be under 110k. This would really help us move forward on buying our first one. Thank you in advance.

Finding a deal at your price point for multifamily in Chicago is difficult. We just put a client into a fully occupied multifamily (4 unit) on the SouthSide for $112K, but the client went in with eyes wide open knowing that he would have to improve the property to raise rents & refinance later. The ARV when he's complete will be in the mid 200's. These are needles in the haystack that require patience to find. Regarding neighborhoods- Chicago is a block by block evaluation. There are some neighborhoods that some say stay away, but it's really about the block.

There are no neighborhoods in the city that I know of that are up & coming where you can only spend $110K for multifamily and get away with only doing cosmetic work.  If by up & coming you mean gentrifying then $110K may buy you a shell.

 You can however find single families & potentially put $110K all in & cash flow the property in the city. You can also find deals in the South Suburbs but you cannot just look at the price of the property in the suburbs- You must look at the taxes. There are many great deals in the suburbs but for some, the taxes wipe out the cash flow.

If you have $110K in cash but are able to qualify for a loan, whether conventional or hard money then there are a ton of multifamily opportunities. 

@Elias Munoz

Great advise here from others. 

You first have to establish what your goals are. 

Both short term and long term. 

Do you plan on using a property manager?

Do you have a CAP rate in mind? Do you want to hold and sell in few years?

Have you evaluated the regulatory landscape?

At that price point, you have to be ready to pull your sleeves up and have a hands on approach. 

Find an agent that is willing to partner with you, not just sell you a property. 

@John Warren, yes your're right the more research we do the more we realize that 100k isn't going to do much in todays market. We either have to come up with more cash or go to sfh
@Mark Ainley, you're right a couple thousand dollars could change the direction where we want to be and thank you for the referrals. We'll get a hold of them once we figure out our new plan. Also loving your podcast really helps out getting to know chicago.
@Jake Fugman, the more research we do the more we're realizing that a sfh is going to the route for us to start. Thank you for the information really helps us out
@Crystal Smith, thank you for all the info this is really helping us. We have to come up with more money to get what we want or switch to sfh. We're not giving up, we'll find a way to buy our first property
@Haseeb M., We want to buy and hold of course if the property isn't cash flowing the way we want to we're willing to sell to reinvest that capital on a different property. Yes we would hire a PM. Sound like 110k won't get us what we're looking for so we have to reroute our plans but won't let us stop us. Thank you for taking your time on helping us with this information

Free eBook from BiggerPockets!

Ultimate Beginner's Guide Book Cover

Join BiggerPockets and get The Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Real Estate Investing for FREE - read by more than 100,000 people - AND get exclusive real estate investing tips, tricks and techniques delivered straight to your inbox twice weekly!

  • Actionable advice for getting started,
  • Discover the 10 Most Lucrative Real Estate Niches,
  • Learn how to get started with or without money,
  • Explore Real-Life Strategies for Building Wealth,
  • And a LOT more.

We hate spam just as much as you