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Old 06-03-2011, 05:30 PM
28,019 posts, read 65,948,673 times
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Originally Posted by jwaiter View Post
How about this, before you decide, why don't you try and take a stroll through the hood you're thinking of buying in on a hot summer weekend evening, say 10-11pm. You might discover things.
You might also try the "Bible Guy Neighbor Evaluation Method": dress up in a suit and get a bible. Ring on the door bell of a few places and ask the folks that answer if they've hear The Good News. If you get all the way down one side of the block without feeling like you gotta appeal to a Higher Authority MAYBE you can hack it as a landlord in this area...

On a more serious not I would get details on how many of these places are Sec 8, details on all the crime reports from Everyblock.com, maybe stop by a local Community Police meeting to see how many "concerned residents" show up.

Just getting places in rougher areas rented out can be huge headache. Once you find a decent tenant you have to make sure they actually do pay. A couple of months of bad rent / vacancy can wipe out any "positive cash flow"...
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Old 06-03-2011, 09:58 PM
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As someone who has been in the landlord business over 10 years and has owned multiple units just west of United Center, I'd have to say that being a landlord in up and coming areas is not for amateur landlords. Unless you have a ton of knowledge, resources, and experience, you'll get burned, and bad. I've been there.

I personally would invest because I think the area has lots of potential in the long term, but I wouldn't recommend it for novice landlords. If you were to decide to live there I'd be more inclined to support your decision as being a resident is much much easier than being a landlord, trust me, I've been both. If you do decide to buy, remember that in areas like this, you have to charge less than other landlords if you want high quality tenants. I had to charge less than my competition because I wanted to attract better tenants. I end up making less but I saved myself a ton of headaches and in the long term probably made more. One bad tenant can cost you big time.

Don't always assume that the rental prices in the listing are accurate. I've come across listings in the past that inflated the rental income.

Bridgeport is a very stable neighborhood, I doubt you'll see the type of turnaround or appreciation in other neighborhoods like Bucktown or Logan Square. If you want to gamble on a higher return and are in the speculation business, I'd suggest Bronzeville, Pilsen, or Avondale, although most of those places are more expensive than Damen and Madison.
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