Excited newbie From the Chicagoland area.

10 Replies

Hey Everyone!!!! My name is Joe, I'm new here to the BiggerPockets Community and SUPER EXCITED to be here. This is my first post to introduce myself and share a few things about me like: Where I'm from, a few detail about me, what finally lead me here to BiggerPockets and Real Estate Investing.

So a little bit of where I'm from. For the first 10 years of my life, I did grew up  the City of Chicago on the south and southwest side of the city. (yeah, the not so good side). My mom did move out of the (Marquette Park) area before it started to take a turn for the worst, to a small southwest suburban town called Blue Island (it actually boarders the City of Chicago southwest neighborhood of Beverly). We moved there in 1996 when I was just 11 years old, went to school there graduated from the town High School and still on earth to tell about it.  So with that being said, when people ask "Where are you from?" I'm just simply say "I'm from Blue Island". Sometimes even people from Chicago ask "From Where?" Most of the time people from the Chicago know or heard of Blue Island but I still get a few that have never heard of such an island. (side note: I will let you know how Blue Island got its name. at the end of the post) As a matter of fact, she still lives in that same apartment building in the Uptown neighborhood of Historic Blue Island, Illinois. My old bedroom is not My daughters bedroom when she visits grandma. 

Fast forwarding a bit. After high school I started working is various warehouses out in Romeoville/Bolingbrook area as a dock worker. In 2013 decided to try something new at a polyurethane plant in Alsip with my Uncle. When I got let go from that low paying dead end job at the hazardous polyurethane plant, I went back to school for Supply Chain Management/Logistics Management (transportation). I got into logistics from working in them out of high school and I understood them. So I was going to be a Big Warehouse Manger for a huge corporation and live happily ever after. HA!! :) Now I'm out of school and I land a good job as a Shipping/Receiving Manager of a Glue Company and doing great. So I start the American dream (so I thought) I'm 28 with a good promising job, time to start a family. So I get a second job at FedEx Freight to save more money for the baby on the way in 7 months. while working at FedEx as a dock worker I found out FedEx will train to get your CDL and you can drive for FedEx making more money than  my Manager job at the glue company. So what do I do? I apply to get my CDL and BAMM!!!! I'm 33 years old now live in Joliet with my loving girlfriend/ future wife, I drive a semi-truck (doubles) for FedEx Freight. I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE my job. Just driving from terminal to terminal over night. So now I get to enjoy my hobbies a little bit more. The wifey and I have a passion for riding motorcycle. My daughter is 5 year old now and Yes! she also rides a motorcycle. 

Now, What finally lead me here to BP and REI. So in January of 2019, I transferred to our new FedEx terminal in Joliet, IL for more growth opportunities here. After getting situated at the new terminal I met a few new co-workers and we started to talk more and more about our goals within and outside of the company. During one of the conversations we got on the topic of investing in stocks and bond and he had mentioned his house hacking idea. At that time I had no idea what he was talking about and I thought you actually need money to invest money (boy was I wrong). After the intriguing idea of buying a MFH to live in one Part and renting out the other and talks of financial freedom, I wanted to learn more about this REI concept. Then, he had referred me to a couple books and podcast like: BiggerPockets podcast, Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill and Rich Dad, Poor Dad. That's the time I took that first steps for growing my knowledge in this area and listened to the BP podcast. I was blown away by all the success stories from the many guests on every episode. What really got me was that, so many different people have so many different situations of their lives and they All have found REI put their mind to it, have became so successful and retire from their jobs to start in this field full time or even just sit back and used the cash flow to travel or towards their hobbies. Once I realized the power of REI, I was hooked. I cant stop listening to the BP podcast, reading/listening to audiobooks, attending webinars. I GOT BIT HARD!!!! My first book I listened to was.... you ready for this..... its NOT Rich Dad Poor Dad. ha! ha! ha! It was The book on Rental Property Investing by Brandon Turner Yes, that got me the insight I need to start my road to financial independence (I'm going through it a 2nd time now). Also, after reading RDPD my whole mind had came to the realization of I was taught my whole life wrong and counter-productive. Go to school get a degree (acquires debt), get a high paying job to show the banks to can afford a nice car and big house (acquires more debt) and finally Retire at an old age living off money saved but now your in your 60's and missed out on your children's lives because to were working that 9-5 for 40 years. I got the hint to START NOW IN REAL ESTATE INVESTING and retire at an early age to be there for your family and enjoy life.

Finally Inconclusion, I just want to thank the BP Family/Community for all their past support and future endeavors. Without everyone here this site would not be as GREAT! as it is today. I concider myself The BP generation age in REI because everything I know and all the questions I'm will be asking will be coming from this site and forum. All my education and success in REI will have stemmed from BiggerPockets some way or another and I plan to create a Monthly meet-up in the Chicagoland (If there isn't one already). I am SUPER EXCITED to start this journey with everyone, spread the word about BP, provide families with affordable homes, finally get out of the Rat-Race, become financial free and enjoy the time spent with my family and friends. Thank you everyone for reading this and looking forward to working along with the Great people of BIGGER POCKETS.

Side Note about the Chicago suburban town called Blue Island. 

Blue Island was established in the 1830s. It severed as way station for settlers along the Vincennes Trace (a trackway made by migrating bison through the Midwest. Blue Island stood on the southern end of an ancient glacial ridge five miles long.  The ridge stood as an island in glacial Lake Chicago, the predecessor of Lake Michigan. To a springtime traveler on the Vincennes Trail, the glacial bluff that rose out of the prairie south of Chicago took on a bluish hue from haze of blue wildflowers. 

Awesome story!  Thanks for sharing.  I’m so intrigued by Chicago and multi family units there.  I’m from New Jersey and Chicago homes look so unique to me. I plan to invest there one day.  I will let you know when I do!  Would be great to partner up.  

Welcome to BP! Owner occupied MFH is a great way to get into real estate investing, reduce living expenses, save for the next investment, and keep stepping to financial freedom. I have 24 rental units in the Chicagoland area so if you would ever like to chat about my experiences, feel free to reach out. 

@Steven Lowe Thanks Steve. That’s awesome that you were born in Blue Island. I give my heart an soul to that town but it has change a lot (and not for the better) slowly but surely I want to start donating to special charity’s and buy old properties and help out families in need. It’s my mission/goal for the future.

Originally posted by @Joseph Cameron :

@Steven Lowe Thanks Steve. That’s awesome that you were born in Blue Island. I give my heart an soul to that town but it has change a lot (and not for the better) slowly but surely I want to start donating to special charity’s and buy old properties and help out families in need. It’s my mission/goal for the future.

My dad was a resident at St. Francis Hospital so that's why I was born there.  He moved the family to the Oak Park area not long after that.  I looked at a rehab project in Blue Island about 3 years ago but that's the last time I was back.  


Joseph great story!  I have a pretty similar story coming from the other direction (grew up in the IL corn fields) but still ended up in Joliet and just got the real estate bug and ready to get started!  And I buy T-shirts from Blue Island for 5k races that I put on and I go there at least once a month.

Welcome to the BP community. I'm in Chicago as well and started investing in Multi-Units on the southwest side so I'm interested in your take on those areas, especially Marquette Park. Heck, even Englewood is starting to show a pulse with Hispanics moving in, a good sign that there could be a revitalization under way. 

Anyway, I would recommend a great book by David Lindahl. Multi-Unit Millions.  

@Tom Jordan Thank you. Awesome, we very close to each other

@Tom O. Thank you, I also agree on the South and southwest side are slowly going through a demographic flow which is great. I also will be looking to get into providing great landlording and loving homes to low and middle income families. I feel I can make a difference even if its family at time.

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