All it takes is one costly misstep or miscalculation to turn you into a cautious, research-driven real estate investor. And as an experienced investor myself, it’s something I’ve witnessed too many times. A novice proceeds with an overconfidence that ultimately translates into reckless abandon and they acquire a property that just doesn’t deliver a good ROI.

As a real estate investor who buys, rehabs, and sells investment property all over Chicago, I’m always sure to keep my finger on the local market’s pulse point. Yes, I consider all the details like the potential impact of the recent Illinois Senate Bill 9. Chicago is home to some rather unique and still-evolving market conditions, so let’s examine whether the local market could bring opportunities that align with your real estate investing objectives.

Buy Investment Property in Chicago: Is Now the Time?

Trends to Consider When Buying Investment Property in Chicago

Thus far, this year has been filled with ups and downs for the Chicago real estate market. While this is obviously less than ideal—stability and predictability are generally much preferred—it’s not all bad news. That’s because the fluctuations have not been overly dramatic in either direction and if you happen to find that the current market conditions are less than favorable, your chances are good that the tides will turn in fairly short order.

To give you an accurate idea of the Chicago real estate market’s ups and downs, here are some key facts and figures from 2017:

  • January and March of last year were “blowout months,” with strong sales.
  • June 2017 saw the most sales of any June in the past decade.
  • Sales dipped by 3.5% in July, representing a 5 year low when comparing these figures to figures from the same month in prior years.
  • Chicago’s real estate market entered August with average property prices on par with those seen in January 1997. The month finished 1.9% lower than August’s figures.
  • Homes that are considered distressed properties dipped to 8.2% in August. These figures have been steadily decreasing for a few years.

These figures make it apparent that fluctuation is the norm, but it would seem that overall, the market conditions are good. Yes, you will need to be more competitive to acquire distressed houses. But you’ll likely be able to sell reasonably quickly and at a good price point. The amount of time that listings are spending on the market remains relatively low. We’ve been seeing a trend of steady decrease in on-the-market times. Additionally, the number of Chicago properties under contract has remained relatively stable. This is great news for investors who are seeking to rehab and sell properties in fairly short order.

What’s more, Chicago has yet to achieve the significant rise in real estate prices that we’ve seen in many other regions of the nation. For those investors who are seeking to rehab a home and then sell in a brief timeframe, the news isn’t fabulous, but it’s certainly not dismal. You’ll just need to ensure that your figures are spot on as you evaluate prospective investment properties, as it’s likely that you’ll have less room for error. This underscores the need for a solid property valuation system.

Elevating Your Career With a Winning Real Estate Valuation Tool

Yes, now is the time to invest in Chicago real estate—if you have the right strategy and tools to get the leads in a competitive market and effectively evaluate the potential ROI of each opportunity.

As a long-time HomeVestors® franchisee and Development Agent, I have access to some the best tools and resources, such as a proprietary ValueCheck® software program. This software allows me to input all of a property’s data and run an analysis that takes into account our local market trends and conditions. This gives me a leg up on the competition as I have the ability to identify a good real estate investment opportunity on the spot and make a confident offer to the home seller.

HomeVestors® franchisees like me can also leverage the company’s well-known “We Buy Ugly Houses”® national brand to draw leads to their independently owned and operated franchise. So, I can shift my focus from chasing down potential leads to reviewing leads that reach out and contact me.

If you’re ready to take your real estate investing career to the next level—even as the market continues its slow but steady rebound from the housing crisis—consider becoming a HomeVestors® franchisee too. Contact the HomeVestors® team to learn more.


Each franchise office is independently owned and operated.


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