Investing in the Milwaukee rental market

15 Replies

Hi BP!

I'm a fairly new investor from Madison, Wi and looking at the surrounding area for additional deals. I am focusing on multi-family properties, and Milwaukee seems to have an abundance. The problem is that I am unfamiliar with the area. Are there any zip codes, or other geographic markers that signify the "better" areas to invest? I am just hoping to avoid the C-/D range and stick to high C's and B's if I can. 

I always drive the neighborhood for any properties I am interested in, but I have limited time, so I'm hoping to eliminate certain areas without having to drive all the way to Milwaukee.

@jackmedford ...great post!  Milwaukee is a market that has also caught my eye over the last few years and seems to offer plenty of opportunity!  I'd love to hear the feedback from the BP community.


@Jack Medford
I highly recommend the ebook from Dawn Anastasi. She gives great details on each zip code in Milwaukee.

Welcome to the Milwaukee market @Jack Medford ! I have held income properties there across the city and I agree that @Dawn A. ’s book does a great job of giving a good overview of the different zip codes. 

Best Wishes! 

Hello @Jack Medford . Milwaukee is a great place to invest and I agree with the above on Dawn's ebook! Gives a run down on each zip code which gives a good starting point. In the C+/B areas there is still great investment opportunities but not the extreme high CAP rates that are read about with Milwaukee. Any additional questions, please do not hesitate to ask.


@Jack Medford

Here is something I heard on the most recent podcast (show #257):

1. Lender because this is the hardest. They know real estate agents who they can refer to you.

2. Real Estate Agents to find you deals. They know Property Managers who they can refer to you.

3. Property Managers to do the obvious. They know contractors who they can refer to you.

4. Contractors to do the rehab.

This should help you avoid the drive. Hope this helps.

All the best,


@Tyler Smith Thanks for the additional insight! The main reason I decided to look at Milwaukee is because 90% of Wisconsin deals seem to come from there, especially those on BP Marketplace. The reason for my focus on the C+/B range is fear of difficult tenants since I am still fairly new to being a landlord. Do you have any suggestions, whether they be resources or advice, for owning properties in lower range areas? 

@Jorge Ruiz Thanks for the tips! I'll give that podcast a listen to see what other insights I might find. 

@Jack Medford With you living in Madison and investing in Milwaukee, my initial advice is to nail down the property management company that you are going to work with.  I met with @Matt Maurice   with REIS Property Management a couple of weeks ago and would highly recommend connecting with him before you purchase as there are some areas that certain property managers will not cover.  

Not sure if you plan on visiting the area anytime soon but if you do, would love to connect over coffee if you have a chance.  We could also meet in some of the far west Milwaukee suburbs to chat such as Oconomowoc.  

In my opinion and based on targeting multi's, the best cash flowing multi family opportunities are in Milwaukee County, the northwest side or southside...I like the areas right around suburbs but still in Milwaukee County. We are buying a 4 unit near downtown for 87k, fully rented at $2150 but it is in Trulia Orange. It is however in a developing area and several of our other investor friends own on the same block. We will have our PM manage the building as it's easier and worth the money in our eyes to have them do what they are good at and allow us time to find more deals. Like everyone mentioned, a solid PM is a great asset and they can do much more than just collect rent and find tenants. 

On the far northwest side which are Trulia Green areas, 4 units price range is around 175k-250k. 

Your REI plan, the price you want to pay and also how you are funding the deal can also help to identify target zip codes.

@Tyler Smith Thanks again for the recommendations! I'm working on a deal in Milwaukee right now that already has property management in place, but having other options is always helpful. If I end up going through with the deal I am currently working on, I plan to visit the property before closing. I can let you know when that will be once I have a better idea. Maybe we can meet then. If the deal falls through, or timing doesn't work out, I would still be interested in finding a time to connect. 

Sounds good @Jack Medford !  Good luck with the deal and do not hesitate to reach out for anything along the way.


I stumbled upon this post searching for some data and I can't resist commenting. Neighborhoods are not defined by zip codes. In fact, they rarely coincide with any other official boundaries. For example 53215 has really nice neighborhoods and really bad ones, low-income census tracts and moderate, high crime police districts and low crime ones. The people who could best guide you to purchasing a place which will have good tenants and appreciating values are neighborhood-based nonprofit professionals. We know the future of neighborhoods because we work to improving them from many angles. We know our markets better than anyone because we care about what makes them up - people as much as buildings. And, we value quality-of-life over money. Often the bane of our existence is out-of-area landlords. We know the good property managers and landlords and we connect the good people to them. The not-so-good ones get referred to city inspectors and any real estate connection we have who would do a better job if they owned it. If you must profit from the homes of people you don't know, please be a good landlord and share your contact information widely and/or offer to help out with the nonprofits working in the immediate community you're profiting from. You might learn of other financial benefits and opportunities along the way.

Anyone know where I can find Dawn's ebook? I've seen several people mention it but looked on her page and can't seem to find it anywhere.

Thanks :)

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