Hey BiggerPockets! New Chicago Investor Introduction

16 Replies

Hello BiggerPockets,

I’m new to the BiggerPockets community and figured the best way to get involved was to jump right in with an introduction.  My name is Jon Rusnak, and I decided to join the BiggerPockets community to network with other professionals and learn as much as possible through all the resources made available through BiggerPockets.

Currently I am a tax manager at PwC working in the asset management group with a focus on real estate.  My wife, Molly, is a physical therapist and we live in Chicago, IL We aspire to invest in real estate through a buy and hold strategy concurrent with becoming a landlord.

A friend of ours introduced us to the BiggerPockets community and I immediately created a profile.  After watching numerous podcasts and attending a number of webinars I decided to become a Pro member.  Although I was somewhat hesitant to do so at first I felt that it was the best way to show my appreciation for the site and for all of you.  I look forward to beginning this journey and am excited for what lies ahead.

Thanks for reading.

Jon and Molly

It's great to have you here on BiggerPockets @Jon Rusnak

I hope that our site can help you with all of your real estate investing goals - we've got a ton of real estate investing resources here!

Feel free to reach out to me with any and all questions you might have about BiggerPockets, investing, or using our platform!

@Scott Trench Thanks for the welcome.  I will certainly reach out with any questions!

@Brie Schmidt Thanks Brie! From reading through some of the forums I've seen Chicago Roll Call or the like meetings.  Do you know how frequent these meet ups take place or perhaps when the next one is?  I'd love to attend.

Welcome to you @Jon Rusnak . Education is key to success. Of course, Education without Action is akin to failure as well.

Getting out IN PERSON and meeting others, in my view, is crucial. I value online advice much like I view the existence of Manti Teo's girlfriend (remember the linebacker from Notre Dame??). Until I can meet a person and verify they are real, ask them a few key and pointed questions to also validate their knowledge (much like an interviewer actually calling companies to ensure resumes aren't fakes).

So I suggest you get out to as many REI Clubs as possible. There are quite a few in the Chicago area. They have been a world of help for me. Helped me realize the fakes, and that probably saved my shirt. I hear horror stories of people getting wrong and sometimes illegal advice. Or worse, they partner with people that have a long history of screwing over others.

If you want a re-cap of all the clubs after I attended them, let me know I would be happy to share privately. 

@Jon Rusnak

Welcome to the BP family! You came to the right place to learn all about real estate investing! Here are some recommendations for you:

Find and connect with other BP members that are in your area: http://www.biggerpockets.com/meet

Set up keyword alerts to be notified of the topics that interest you: http://www.biggerpockets.com/alerts

Read Beginner’s Guide: http://www.biggerpockets.com/real-estate-investing

Check out BP Podcasts: http://www.biggerpockets.com/renewsblog/category/podcast/

If you wish to tag someone in the conversation on the forum, type @ followed by their name and then select the name of that person which should appear below the comments box. He or she will be notified of being tagged so that the conversation will continue.

Wishing you the best!                  

Welcome Jon.  @Dale Stevens  is right.  Get to all the clubs you can and get some education before you start making moves.  Also, I'd recommend not paying for your real estate education.  Try to avoid that initially, there's a lot of sales out there.  

You need to figure out if paying for the education would be the best course of action for you.  Sometimes it is, but more often it isn't.

Good luck, let me know if I can help in any way.

@Mark Ainley Thanks for the suggestion, I definitely look forward to attending the next meet up. I believe the next Chicago meetup is this coming Tuesday and unfortunately I won't be able to attend because I'll be traveling for work but I do plan on attending going forward.  I'd love to connect sometime and hear about how you got started.

@Mark Nolan I completely agree, I feel that I've already learned a great deal from BP listening to podcasts, webinars and reading the forums.  It has made the commute to work go by quickly.  Eager to learn and eager to succeed.  Thanks for the welcome message.

@Jerry Stanford @Renea Steward Thank you for the welcome message, I appreciate you taking time to post.  I was nervous to post a message at first but am glad I did.  Would love to connect more at the Chicago Meetup.  


@Dale Stevens Agreed, and I definitely appreciate the laugh. I'd be interested in obtaining suggestions for your favorite REI clubs in the area / the clubs that you are involved in.

@Dmitriy Fomichenko I appreciate all the links, I can easily say that I have become addicted to spending time on the site.  Whether it be listening to podcasts, webinars or reading through the forums.  The links have been very helpful. 

@Scot Howat Thanks for the tip, I actually get a pretty good amount of training at work regarding the real estate industry so don't intend to pay for education and would rather learn from experience but an open to different avenues.  Thanks for the welcome message, I look forward to connecting in the future.

@Jon Rusnak

Hello, and welcome to BP. Just wanted to recommend some great meet ups-dont know if they were mentioned previously (just kinda jumped in the thread lol), but @Brie Schmidt  and @George Foster  hosts a great one on the north side of the city. There is usually a great turnout and you can meet some great people. There is also a newer one for the South Side investors hosted by @Jeff Valentino and I have met some great people there as well. That one is closer to me since I have moved to Indiana, but both I would recommend you attend. Reach out to either of them and I'm sure they would pass along the information to you. Hope to see you around soon. Good luck

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