Outside Investor needs some help deciphering the IL market

8 Replies


I'm an investor from Cali, originally from Waukegan, IL, and am looking to buy properties near my area. I'm looking for distressed MF properties and currently talking to a realtor from the area but I figured I'd get BP's opinion first.

It seems that the market is cold out there. I don't mind either way, if I find a good deal I'll jump on it, but I need some guidance on reading the market there. It's been a while since I've spent a good amount of time back home. What is a good area to look at for MF investments? Are there active investors in this region?

When people talk about investments in the Midwest they generally aren't talking about IL. I also heard that taxes have gone up but they seem low compared to CA. I'd like to link up with other investors that are local to the area to talk. 




I’m a born/raised chicago guy that’s been a broker since ‘04 in the city. You’re correct on a few fronts...

- the market has been quiet here for awhile. I have 7 listings currently, all priced well and none are getting action. A lot of brokers are feeling the pain too as the market just isn’t producing a buyer pool that is/was expected. I can only speak of the city of course here

- Again, speaking about Cook county(chicago and immediate burbs), yes, taxes have jumped a lot and our reassessment year is coming again in 2018. My inside sources say the city isn’t doing well financially and another big tax hike is on the horizon.

Maybe it’s the uncertainty, especially with this buffoon in office, that’s driving people away from buying property right now. If anyone has a solid take, I’d love to hear. Getting a bit nervous tho

I have a lot to say.   Real estate is a local industry, so the midwest is super diverse.  We have rust belt towns to farms to small towns to wealthy urban areas.   I live in Chicago and it is a large metro area, the 3rd largest in the country.  There are countless submarkets.

Positive:   the lower end of the market is selling quite well.  

Negative:   Multifamily sales have slowed because investors perceive the prices to be at an all time high.  Land sales in Chicago have dipped this year because high end product is not rapidly selling.   Some say that rents are dipping in the north side of the city.

I primarily am a broker and a landlord.  I am doing well on both fronts.   I had a slow down for a couple months this year, but on the whole good.

@Patrick Senas I am a buy and hold investor in the Chicago area and I love it there.  Rents are pretty high and I am seeing a lot of people rehabbing in what used to be undesirable neighborhoods.  I think it's a great area that will probably just keep on going at a steady pace.  It's not going to appreciate like some places, but it probably wont dive like some places.  I can net $500/door pretty consistently.  

I know the area pretty well and often frequent the area. North Chicago to Kenosha. Waukegan itself is a tough market to get into just because of the very reasons you mentioned. The really good deals get bought up fairly quick by some bigger companies, turnover is frequent just because of the mindset there and there hasn't been much growth/recovery. That's my personal opinion of the area. I do feel IL has some great places to offer but never felt waukegan or the surrounding area's fell into that category. Some background, I actually grew up here, have family here, went to school in north chicago, etc. I considered it heavily but felt there were too many other places that offered better returns at cheaper price points and less crime dense areas. 

Hi @Ted Kuhlmann & @Brian Ploszay ,

From your personal experience, what type of properties are hot sellers on average? Multi-fam residential, condos, townhomes, SF? Which neighborhoods are blue/white collar prime with renters? What makes you invest local versus investing next door in NW Indiana?

Hi @Sam Stout , wow $500/door?! That's insane. I'm not too worried about appreciation. I need cash flow right now. Do you invest in the city or the outlying burbs? What type of properties do you invest in mostly? Since you're investing from CA as well, have you acquired those properties through turnkey companies? 

On another note, I read your profile and it seems you also invest in notes. I was actually just looking into note investing but have no clue on finding a seller. Show me your ways!!

@Alex D. , I used to live in Ewa Beach!! I was stationed at Pearl Harbor. Where do you mainly invest at? I was thinking that if I do invest in IL that I should look towards university areas. I was only looking at Gurnee because there's an opportunity for an off market deal for a nice townhome rental. Trying to determine if it's worth it. I do think Gurnee is mostly a nice area.

I am born/raised on the north side of the city and do all my business up here. Annually sell around $12 million in real estate so know the market very well up here. I’m starting to get my feet wet in investing and going after my second purchase this year as I type this...

On the north side of the city, you can easily get $600-$800/bedroom in my areas and as you get closer to the loop, get even more. The multi I’m going after right now is $290,000 and should get me rents around $3200/month I’m hoping after i throw about 50k into it. I like those numbers

On the north side, all types of RE have her been strong the past years so as long as you can find solid cash flow, do it. I like to invest local to be by my properties mainly, but also because the rents are sooooo much better here than south side or NW INdiana easily.

Best of luck man

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