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JEFF PEPPERNEY President Real Property Management

Hot Market: Chicago

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Marco Santarelli lists 10 reasons to invest in the Windy City

BRIE SCHMIDT, Realtor ® Managing Broker Second City Real Estate

thinkrealty . com | 33 DANA WASSON Director of National Sales Lima One Capital

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Chicago Housing Market Forecast


by Marco Santarelli, Norada Real Estate Investments

T he Chicago housing market forecast for the three years ending with the 3rd Quarter of 2021 is positive. The accuracy of the Chicago housing market trend prediction for Chicago is 84 per- cent. Accordingly, LittleBigHomes. com estimates that the probability for rising home prices in Chicago is 84 percent during this period. If this Housing Market Forecast is correct, home values will be higher in the 3rd Quarter of 2021 than they were in the 3rd Quarter of 2018. Single-family rental homes have grown up to 30 percent within the last three years. Almost all the housing demand in the U.S. in recent years has been filled by single-family rental units. As per the data from the real estate company Neigborhoodscout. com, the median house price in Chicago is $265,071, which is well above the national average. Large apartment complexes or high-rise apartments are the single most common housing type in Chicago, accounting for 40.94 percent of the city’s housing units.

One- or two-bedroom units are chiefly found in the large apart- ment complexes or high-rise apart- ments of Chicago. Currently, there are 3,608 single-family homes for sale in Chicago, IL on Zillow. Additionally, there are 482 single family homes for rent in Chicago, IL. Under potential listings, there are about 284 Foreclosed and 2,450 Pre-Foreclosure homes. BEST AREAS TO INVEST If you are looking to buy Chicago rentals, you should know the best places to invest in. The three most important factors when buying real estate anywhere are location, loca- tion, and location. Location creates desirability. Desirability brings demand. Demand would raise the price of your Chicago real estate and you should be able flip it for a lump sum profit. The running costs for owning and managing a Chicago invest- ment property should be low. The neighborhoods in Chicago must be safe to live in and should have a

low crime rate. The neighborhoods should be close to basic amenities, public services and shopping malls. There should be a natural and upcoming high demand for rental properties and a low supply of income properties. There are 81 neighborhoods in Chicago. Some of the best neigh- borhoods in Chicago, Illinois are Near North Side, Lakeview, and Lincoln Park. Lincoln Park has a median listing price of $649.9K, making it the most expensive neighborhood. Auburn Gresham is the most affordable neighborhood in Chicago, with a median listing price of $177.9K. Here are five of the best neigh- borhoods to invest in Chicago rent- als because they have the highest appreciation rates according to 1. N California Ave / W Division St 2. W North Ave / N Artesian Ave 3. W North Ave / N California Ave 4. W Bloomingdale Ave / N Hermitage Ave 5. W Division St / N Campbell Ave









doubled over the past ten years. The Institute for Housing Studies at DePaul University found that the number of rental households among those earning at least $132,000 a year nearly doubled, while those earning $80,000 to $132,000 saw the number of rent- ing households increase by just over 50 percent. Chicago has a booming supply of high-end rentals, especially luxury apartments in downtown. NO. 3 Chicago Home Prices Are Reasonable Because households at all in- come levels choose to rent instead of buy, they are reducing demand for houses for sale, slowing the rise in home prices. This also ex- plains why housing prices haven’t skyrocketed despite limited supply. Chicago’s inventory of homes for sale is very tight. Both attached and detached sin- gle-family home inventory has been declining since 2012. At the end of 2017, potential buyers in Chicago had about 5,000 fewer properties on the market to select from than if they’d been shopping at the end of 2016. This contributed to homes clos- ing five days faster than the year before. If you start shopping for rental real estate, you could find something and lease it.

NO. 4 Chicago Home Prices Are Appreciating

Investing in Chicago rentals will fetch you good returns in the long term as the home prices in Chicago have been trending up year-over- year. Here are our Top 10 positive things going on in the Chicago real estate market that can help investors who are keen to buy an investment property in this city: NO. 1 Rental Demand Is High and So Are Rents What makes Chicago such a hot market for rental real estate? Over 50 percent of the population rents. The large population of renters means that rental income for properties is far better than you’d see if you invest- ed elsewhere in the country. Schaumberg reported slowing sales simply due to tight supply according to data from the Chicago Association of Realtors; this drives many people forming new house- holds or moving into the area to rent at whatever the market will bear.

Chicago’s real estate market has been one of the slowest to recover since the housing bubble burst at the start of the Great Recession. Home prices were 19 percent below their pre-crash levels in 2017, but they are expected to hit peak values in 2020. This means that the Chicago real estate market is likely going to continue its slow, upward market trend. Trends in Chicago show a one percent year-over-year rise in median sales price and a three per- cent rise in median rent per month.

NO. 5 Rehabbed Homes Are Readily Available

Chicago is seeing a surge in fully renovated single-family homes. The Chicago Association of Realtors’ data found that most of the strong suburbs are on the south side of Chicago, and this is where many homes are being rehabbed and sold. Calumet Heights is in this cate- gory; a quarter of properties sold were either rehabbed or candidates for rehabilitation. These properties are ideal for investors who want to buy a property to rent out.

NO. 2 Luxury Rentals Are a Profitable Niche

Many people know that there are solid blue-collar areas with high rents, but it isn’t just the working class that rents townhomes and con- dos. According to Crain’s, the num- ber of upper-income households in Cook County that rent has nearly

NO. 6 Job Growth Keeps People Coming

Chicago is not only home to many corporate headquarters; there has





COMMUTE By car: 67% By public transportation: 27%

been a recent trend of companies moving their headquarters to Chi- cago as well. The steady increase in jobs has contributed to a slow but steady increase in rents. Many businesses are attract-

though this is less of an issue for a real estate investor who will rent out the property. Chicago and its suburbs have some of the highest property taxes in the nation. Around 12 percent of Chicago homes have a

single family homes were in Calumet Heights, Gage Park and West Ridge. However, home prices are low com- pared to rents almost everywhere in the Chicago metropolitan area. NO. 10 There Are Opportunities in Chicago Multi-Family Housing, Too The workforce in Chicago is shifting from high-paying, but slow-to-no growth manufacturing jobs to low- er-paying and less stable retail, busi- ness services and healthcare jobs. This is causing many who would have been able to afford a mid- dle-class home to rent apartments instead. Crain’s real estate report stated that the hottest Chicago markets for condos and townho- mes were Grand Boulevard, Ken- wood, and Lincoln Square. Maybe you have done a bit of real estate investing in Chicago, IL but want to take things further and make it into more than a hobby on the side. It’s only wise to think about how you can and should be investing your money. In any prop- erty investment, cashflow is gold. • Marco Santarelli is the founder and president of Norada Real Estate Investments, a national real estate investment firm offering turnkey investment property in growth markets nationwide. He is also a published author and host of "The Passive Real Estate Investing Show," a podcast for real estate investors interested in building substantial passive income and creating long-term wealth. Learn more at

ed by Chicago’s labor pool, the largest in the nation. As these businesses move into the area

tax bill of more than $10,000 a year. Yet, that’s better than some of the most

and attract relocating professionals, many are forced to rent

expensive real estate markets in the coun-

because they can’t find houses fast enough in the areas they want to live or simply choose to rent upon relocation in one of the luxury apartments downtown.

try. For example, in New York, more than 20 percent of homes have a property tax bill that high. In Orange County, Califor- nia, more than half would. This means that limits or the loss of property tax deductions won’t hurt Chicago as badly as it would California or New York, and if it does have an im- pact, it will mostly be at the higher end of the Chicago real estate market. NO. 9 You Can Find Hot Single-Fam- ily Markets with Rapid Appreciation Home prices in the Chicago area are low compared to regional in- come. Yet economic uncertainty and shifts in the employment market are leaving many who want to live in a single-family home unable to afford to buy one. This is causing many to rent single family homes instead. Crain’s real estate report found that the hottest markets for detached

NO. 7 Churn Keeps People Renting Chicago’s unemployment rate has gone up while dropping in other cit- ies as jobs shift from Chicago to the suburbs. This economic uncertainty keeps many people renting, even if they can afford to buy. It also keeps the rental market itself strong, since many want to remain free to follow their jobs as required. NO. 8 Trump’s Tax Plan Makes Many Reluctant to Buy — Unless It Is a Rental Uncertainty about the deductibili- ty of hefty property tax bills is mak- ing many reluctant to buy a home,



Second City Real Estate is a brokerage servicing buy and hold investors. We educate clients about all aspects of the investment process and specialize in helping buyers launch or build their portfolio of 2 - 4 unit residential properties in the Chicagoland area.


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Second City Real Estate

by Brie Schmidt, Second City Real Estate

C hicago is a unique Real Estate investment market because of the abundance of 2-4 unit residen- tial properties. In 2015 there were approximately 297,000 2-to-4 unit buildings in Cook County. In many of the Chicago neighborhoods where Second City Real Estate is active these 2-4 unit properties make up 30% to 60% of the housing supply. This represents tremen- dous opportunities for both new and seasoned investors to start or grow their rental portfolio. One main advantage in investing in this asset class is the ability to use residential financing. With loan programs from 3.5% to 25% down investors can secure a 30 year fixed rate mortgages at historically low rates and can eliminate much of the complications that come with com- mercial financing and larger multi family projects. Balloon payments, pre-payment penalties, short terms and variable rates and can be avoid- ed in the 2-4 units property class. Additionally 2-4 units properties provide new investors with the

ability to acquire income produc- ing rentals while at the same time providing a place to live. Live in one unit and rent the additional units is a great way to generate cash flow, build equity, and fast track savings that can be used for additional pur- chases in the future. A savvy buyer can buy live in a 2-4 unit property where the owners monthly contri- bution will be far less than that of a single family home or a compara- ble market rate rental apartment. Because of our large network of investor clients, we often sell your property within our network at a lower commission with just one showing. We pre-market the prop- erty to hundreds of investors so you don’t have to deal with multiple disruptions to your tenants and a buyer who is inexperienced and dif- ficult to deal with. Also being some of the highest ranking agents in the area, we have access to a private network for the top 10% of agents to pre-market your property and sell quickly. Second City Real Estate is a full

service brokerage that focuses on helping clients acquire, reposition and sell investment property in Chicago and the surrounding sub- urbs. Our six agents all started out as investors first and later became licensed agents bringing with them a wealth of knowledge from building their own rental portfolios. This ex- tensive experience in acquiring, sell- ing, rehabbing, and managing their own property portfolios provides an invaluable level of expertise for our clients. Our team takes an educa- tion based approach focused on teaching clients to make their own decision when it comes to investing. Education on all aspects of Real Estate investing is the cornerstone of our business success. The team of Second City Real Estate all have first hand knowledge in what it takes to be an investor and be a landlord in the areas that we work. With over 225 rental units owned and managed by our agents we can confidently say "We walk the walk and talk the talk” when it comes to Chicagoland Real Estate investing. •


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A s the real estate insurance program of Norton Insurance, realprotect is not only comprised of insurance professionals, but is also a real estate firm that has over 200 licensed agents and property managers. realprotect is the expert in insuring real estate investors and understanding the real estate business and what you look for and need in a comprehensive insurance program. You have built a business out of owning and investing in real estate, and realprotect wants to help you protect it. realprotect starts this process by gaining an understanding of your properties, business structure, and operations. Then, realprotect will de- sign an insurance program that helps you meet your coverage and pricing objectives. realprotect promises to work diligently to find the best cover- age at the best price for you – based on your actual needs. realprotect takes risk manage- ment and loss control seriously for every single client. realprotect has

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Spend Minutes Not Hours Per Month Managing Your Rentals with NestEgg

by Eachan Fletcher, NestEgg

R eal estate technology has ad- vanced dramatically in recent years, but have you noticed this development actually improve your rental business? Unless you are a large real estate investing conglom- erate, the answer is most likely no. Established companies now have access to game-changing software, data, and technology, but smaller landlords are still having to work harder than ever before just to man-

hourly rate to fix the problem through NestEgg’s network of trusted con- tractors in the area. There are plenty of property management platforms on the market that connect property owners with qualified contractors, but NestEgg takes things one step further. In addition to partnering you with reputable contractors in your area, NestEgg handles all of the logistics and property access details while also coordinating with the tenant's schedule. All you have to do is approve the repair and NestEgg takes care of the rest.

since most property owners have loan payments, taxes, and other financial obligations due at the beginning of the month. With our Rent Advance feature, the monthly payment received from your tenant is made available for use in your bank account on the first day of ev- ery month, guaranteed. NestEgg is the ONLY service that provides this kind of flexibility with your rent- al unit income every month. For additional protection, check out the Rent Assure product which guaran- tees your rent for up to 6 months in case of a tenant default. NestEgg helps investors who are just getting comfortable with being landlords and are looking to get more control over their prop- erties, without having to give up their evenings and weekends to get the job done. Using smart tech- nology, NestEgg transforms the most stressful and time-consuming aspects of being a landlord into a refreshingly simple process. •

age their existing portfolios. Most property management

platforms can be helpful in certain aspects, but still leave rental property owners without access to important tools and skills. Using smart technol- ogy, NestEgg’s helpdesk goes above and beyond other softwares to save landlords time, stress, and money.


Unlike competing property main- tenance platforms, NestEgg doesn’t just report maintenance issues. NestEgg fully diagnoses the prob- lem and provides a complete onsite repair service; all with customer satisfaction guaranteed. Additionally, NestEgg goes above and beyond tra- ditional property management prac- tices by helping tenants troubleshoot simple issues, avoiding unnecessary and costly service charges.


NestEgg makes life easier for the busy rental owner by automating tenant communication and proper- ty maintenance. When your tenant notices a problem (such as a leaky roof or broken garage door), using only their smartphone, they can alert you to the issue and upload pictures or videos to substantiate their claim. Once all the information is collected, the property owner receives a main- tenance report including a fully-di- agnosed summary and a discounted


Rent payments typically take 3-5 days to process, even if the tenant pays on time. This is problematic


Using the right property management firm puts more money in your pocket—not less. Real Difference

REAL Property Management has more than 30 years of experience, in 48 states and Canada, doing just that for our clients. Our highly skilled professionals—the most thoroughly trained in the property management industry—have one goal in mind—to help you make the most of your real estate investment. That’s why REAL Property Management manages your property like you would—like a business. Successful investors across the nation have trusted us to professionally manage every aspect of their rental real estate, providing them REAL peace of mind. Put another way, REAL Property Management helps you make the most of your investment in rental real estate while you make the most of your life. Visit to learn how we can put our experience to work for you, giving you real commitment, real ROI, and real peace of mind.


© 2019 Real Property Management. Each office is independently owned and operated.

Real Property Management

by Jeff Pepperney, Real Property Management

S pring is just around the corner and so you should start plan- ning for any landscaping improve- ments now. An attractive and low-maintenance yard is one of the most important exterior features in a profitable rental property. As a property owner, it can be a chal- lenge to design landscaping that will improve your rental home’s curb appeal, but still, be easy to keep neat and tidy. Adding a few inexpensive and low-maintenance hardscaping features, such as paths or decorative rocks, may be the best way to do both at once. But not all hardscaping features are a good idea for rental properties because even though many of these features are expensive, they will not lead to any measurable rent increase. For this reason, knowing which hardscaping features will give you the highest return for the cost is an important part of keeping your rental home good-looking and clean from the outside in. Hardscaping is the process of adding features to a property’s exterior that are not lawn, trees, or other plants. Most yards have at least a few hardscaping features, such as a porch, concrete or stone walkways, or even a patio or deck. There are many different kinds of hardscaping features, ranging from the inexpensive to the beautiful but costly. Some of these features

can help to increase your rental property’s appeal and rental rates, while others simply are not worth spending the money. For example, adding a stone or concrete path or walkway to a yard that doesn’t have one is a small but effective way to add value and visual appeal to a rental prop- erty. Materials like stone, brick, and concrete are durable and low-maintenance, reducing the amount of yard that your tenant will need to mow, trim, or otherwise maintain. This may also explain the popularity of patios and decks, which are often in high demand in a rental home. Patios and decks offer tenants an outdoor living space that they can use to relax and gath- er with family and friends, some- thing that many people enjoy. If constructed out of durable materi- als, they are also low-maintenance features that will last decades with very little effort. Other options for inexpensive hardscaping include adding deco- rative rocks or rock areas to a yard. Particularly popular in the American southwest and other dry regions, decorative rock features are attrac- tive and easy to maintain. But such features work well in any part of the country, and will significantly reduce the amount of effort required to keep the yard looking tidy. This in turn, may help attract and retain quality

tenants to your rental property. Of course, not all hardscaping will result in increased appeal or even increased rental rates. Some property owners may believe that if a little is good, more is better. But adding features like elaborate firepits, zen gardens, ponds, water- falls, and even pergolas rarely lead to higher rent, and in some cases will increase insurance premi- ums and risk exposure. There are several reasons for this, but most often it comes down to the cost and effort of keeping these features in good condition. Water features, in particular, are notoriously difficult to maintain, and may end up cost- ing more in repairs than you would like. While impressive hardscaping may be something in demand from homeowners, this is rarely true of renters. Tenants do want to enjoy their rental home, but not at the expense of spending their week- ends maintaining the yard. Ultimately, it can be difficult to know which landscaping upgrades provide the best return for your mon- ey, and which do not. But it is import- ant to make smart decisions about your rental property’s landscaping to keep it profitable year after year. At Real Property Management, we can help you determine which landscap- ing upgrades are right for your rental properties and market. Contact us today to learn more. •


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4 Ways to Find the Best Multifamily Deals

H ere’s a trick that successful mul- tifamily real estate investors are using more and more frequently— they’re forgetting the top 25 MSAs. Why? Because smaller, emerging markets are often where you find the best real estate investments. This seems counterintuitive, because most people want to buy in a boomtown. So borrowers line up to spend money on every high-rise apartment or multi-use develop- ment they can find. That’s what the buzz indicates, at least. But that is not the only way to make money in real estate. At Lima One Capital, we see that many successful investors find much better deals and profit in markets that are smaller and emerging. For example, we’ve seen investors suc- ceed on multifamily investments in secondary and tertiary MSAs like Akron, Ohio, and Texarkana, Texas. Let us share four keys that our investors use to find opportunities. 1. Real estate works in cy- cles, which means a good investment can turn bad in a down economy. However, multifamily investments in workforce housing tend to weather economic downturns better because of the contin- ued need for affordable rents. by DanaWasson, Lima One Capital

These rents remain attractive to people who choose safety and location over high-dollar amenities. In fact, this market grows in a downtown, because some people who have been living the high life in Class A housing need to downsize. 2. There is less competition from new multi-family stock in the Class B and Class C property types. People like shiny objects, and real estate investors are no different. Metro areas that build more and more Class A housing leave a gap that multifamily investors can fill by stabilizing Class B or Class C proper- ties or doing value-add rehab projects. These properties can maintain strong rent rolls and low vacancy rates—which sets investors up for success. 3. Many of the smaller metros have solid opportunities just waiting to be uncovered. An investor with local knowledge can find properties with great potential in smaller markets— or even in specific smaller areas of those markets. While bigger investors watch macro trends, local-knowledge fo- cused investors can find deals

most others miss.

4. The market favors multifamily housing, especially in smaller metro areas. Latest US Census data shows the number of people owning homes is hovering na- tionwide at about 64 percent, and rental vacancy is about 7 percent. Meanwhile, the median rental rate has risen from just over to $700 per month to $1,000 per month in the last 10 years. Home ownership rates per market tend to fluctuate, but the rental market remains strong. Finding areas with low vacancy rates and in- creasing rents will let you draw a target around properties that have potential. Even if these properties need some value-add rehab, they can become the kind of profitable deals that investors love. The Lima One Capital Multifam- ily program offers investors both a value-add rehab and stabilized option for their multifamily proper- ties. Learn more about multifamily property loans from Lima One Cap- ital at •

DanaWasson is Director of National Sales at Lima One Capital.


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