Garfield Park Investing

5 Replies

Hi everyone!

I've been looking around Garfield Park and I think I might be seeing some potential. There are plenty 2-4 unit buildings w/ super low prices but are in dire need of rehab (of course).

Being that the area is very close to downtown and boasts the Garfield Park Conservatory, I have (a little) hope that the area will change for the better.

On the other hand, I think it could take generations for that area to truly transform.

What are your thoughts on rehab projects in this area? Is it too early to get involved?

Would love to hear your thoughts!

If you really want to be there, buy and rent to the current demographic. As things change, invest in your remodel.

Properties close to public transportation and the expressway would be a plus!

I've been in this neighborhood for over 5 years, if you buy a quality building you will get quality tenants. There are tons of professionals that don't want/desire the high rents in the west loop but also don't want to be more then 20 minutes away from work. That said, they won't be happy with your home depot base finish flip either. Your other option of course as Ray suggested is to rent a current unit and take whatever you get to get your foot in the door. There are some of these buildings now that have been inherited, where the owners just want out.

It's a good area with double digit appreciation and most of the easy inventory is bought up. On the gut jobs, I wouldn't go over $100k per unit finished cost for a three flat which means your entry point is about $20k/door. This of course assumes no major structural issues with the building. In the next couple of years you will start seeing new construction here as the flip deals are few/far between and price pressure continues to move people further from the center. 

The city has done the investor no favors with the tax hikes, however they did everyone a solid with the anti-gentrification legislation, how they felt that would fix affordability is laughable but it will ultimately lower density and serve to drive new construction of SFH/Flats faster then letting the deep pocket guys continue to make bets on higher density buildings.


With regards to your comments about 'generations' unless the city and the global economy at large hit the skids, you're talking on a timeline of a decade or two. Doesn't mean you have to sit that long to realize a profit, but at some point your appreciation % will taper off. For me, from five years ago I've already doubled my money not counting rental income using even the worst of comps. The cash flow is too great however thanks to Chicago's high rents for me to even consider selling at a price the 'market' would find reasonable.

If you don't want to full time in the neighborhood, buy a yacht with all your newly found disposable income and spend time on the water during peak idiot season (spring/summer/fall) when the temps are above 50.

I grew up in the West Garfield Park community. If you're looking for cash flow I do feel that the area is great for that. If you're looking for appreciation, I'd say no. The neighborhood is crime infested and the crime will not be stopped any time soon. 

Properties near the train are a plus!

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