dropped 14.7 percent year over year to a rate of one in every 432 housing units having a foreclosure filing. “At the end of last year we didn’t see as much appre- ciation as we should have, so I think over the next four to six months we’re going to see a rubber band effect,” said Howat. “The market’s going to catch up really quick so properties are going to fly off the shelf here. It’s going to be the fastest, highest appreciation we’ve seen in a long time.” With current market conditions, Howat said the bulk of his business is buying and renting out properties for his investor clients – particularly condos – selling for under $150,000. “I don’t take on a lot of flips. They’re too risky and too volatile,” he said. “I prefer to do single family houses when flipping. Flipping is really tough right now.” According to ATTOM, flips accounted for 4.5 percent of total home sales in the Chicago metro in the fourth quarter of 2018, up 11 percent from the quarter before but down 13 percent from the same quarter of 2017. “I focus on the quality of the tenant. I want long-term tenants and I prefer to sign a two year lease off the bat,” he explained. “My goal is to get the right property in the right area and market it and pick someone in the top 10 percent of the available tenants.”

In terms of rehabbing properties, Howat said it de- pends on where he buys them. If on the MLS he prefers to buy them ready to rent so that he can turn around and rent them out the day he buys them. “I don’t buy gut job rehabs for rentals. I want some- thing that’s livable and somewhat desirable right away. If I have to drop the rent a bit, that’s okay,” Howat said. DENVER: ROCKYMOUNTAIN MARKET HITS THE HIGH NOTES As markets go, the Denver metro area is holding its own quite well on all accounts when it comes to invest- ing in real estate. “Denver is still one of the best markets in the coun- try,” said attorney and best-selling real estate author William Bronchick. “It’s very pro-landlord and we’re seeing such low vacancy rates.” As of the first quarter of 2019, ATTOM reported that the median sales price for the metro area was $382,000, a 1.9 percent increase over the same quarter of 2018, and a 128 percent surge over the post-reces- sion bottom price of $167,500 reported for the first quarter of 2009.

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