Chicago Suburbs (Cook County) SFh advice

7 Replies

Hello, I am currently looking at a portfolio of 18 SFH in south chicago suburbs, mostly in Dolton but also riverdale and calumet city. In doing some research the most obvious issues that I see with the area are: 1. High (ridiculous) tax rates 2. Tenant friendly laws ( nightmare evictions) 3. Declining population With all of these red flags and im sure some other issues the portfolio itself has some VERY strong numbers with a good looking return. The properties in the portfolio have all been rehabbed to some extent, some more than others. The majority are rented to section 8 tenants and with some being ling term tenants... All this being said id love to get some advice from locals that know the area. Right now my biggest concern is the taxes and having a huge jump over the next few years that could kill my cash flow and yearly returns... If the numbers look strong and the properties are in good shape would you still invest ?

I would look into some of the future plans with section 8 housing. They may end up changing the structure which would require the tenants to pay more and would in the end most likely would require more evictions. The values do not see appreciation like they do a bit more north, yet the price of the home tends to be better. Water issues as well around those areas due to some cities not paying their water bill.

@Rich Thomas - I have property in these areas.   Yes, the taxes have kept many would be investors away.   The areas you mentioned are also 50%+ Section 8 residents.   However, there are some pockets where there are still many homeowners, who still value the upkeep of their properties, and savvy investors (local) know "these are the blocks" where they want to buy (for flips), and/or buy-hold.  

Yes, Dolton is in a dilemma now (TV news) with regards to water.  Some have lost homes due to water bills, and many are struggling to pay - due to Village errors.    

 Interesting thread!  Would look at what tax appeals were already done on the portfolio and talk to a property tax appeal lawyer regarding the potential of the portfolio for future appeals.        

@Jerome Foster what is this water Billissue all about ? I found a brief article on it saying some home owners were getting bills 100x larger than their regular bills...is this something that is being fixed with the village ? i feel like I keep finding more and more reasons to walk away from this deal even though the numbers look really good on paper...

They have not made any changes. These have been articles I have paid attention too that may bring sweeping reform to the HUD program. Nothing specific, just saying you may want to look to see if you can rent in those areas without resorting to the government to subsidize them.

The change from that would take years, could you weather that storm?

I am bringing this up because in those areas where I have leased properties, 90% of the calls I get are from people on housing vouchers. We rent to a majority of people there on housing assistance. It is something we are keeping our eyes on closely, as I can easily change our situation with the scribble of a pen.