5 Top Neighborhoods to Own a Rental Property in Chicago

admin   June 16, 2016   Comments Off on 5 Top Neighborhoods to Own a Rental Property in Chicago

Chicago down town sign

If you’re looking to invest in real estate property, one of the keys to making the best investment possible is knowing where to buy. Chicago has many popular neighborhoods, but these are the five best for rental properties.

Lincoln Park Neighborhood

Chicago Skyline from Lincoln Park

Located on the northern side of Chicago, Lincoln Park is a popular area thanks to its close vicinity to Diversey Parkway, the Chicago River, and Lake Michigan.  The average home price for three-bedroom, two-bathroom units in this area is $444,000, with homes ranging from the $70,000 range up to $1 million plus.

The Old Town Triangle area of the neighborhood is particularly well-known thanks to the St. Michael’s Church. An average home there costs approximately $335,000. The old Lincoln Park Hospital is also being set aside to be redeveloped into medical offices, apartments, and condominiums.

Gold Coast/Old Town

This neighborhood is located between Lake Michigan and North Avenue south to Chicago Avenue. The neighborhood is popular for many reasons, but for developers, the beautiful lake views and high prices commanded here are key. The nightlife and business district draws in many high-end clients.  Expect to pay an average of $250,000 for a three-bed, two-bath home in this community.

River North

River North Chicago

This neighborhood borders on the Chicago River on the south and west, and it’s probably best known for its art scene. It has the greatest concentration of art galleries in Chicago, and the world’s largest commercial building is located in the neighborhood. For developers looking for higher-end clients, look no further; this area is very well-known among athletes and celebrities. An average home with three beds and two baths costs approximately $223,000 in the area.


Development in Streeterville is strong, making it a great candidate for those looking to develop a rental portfolio. The neighborhood runs along Michigan Avenue, which means landlords can ask higher rent prices. Know that this area is known for offering more than the usual amenities, so renters will be looking for more bang for their buck. Three-bed, two-bath units average out at around $250,000 each in this community.

Ukrainian Village

Home to trendy nightlife hubs and boutiques, this neighborhood is located between Western Avenue east to Damen Avenue and continues between Grand Avenue and Division Street. Grand Avenue and Division Street are both known for being home to many of the communities commercial centers, with popular restaurants and shops dotting the location. A basic condo with three bedrooms runs around $350,000 in this area, and thanks to the unique and historical feel of the village, it is pulling in more business professionals to the area.

Should I Self-Manage My Rental Property In Chicago?

Tracey March   April 1, 2016   Comments Off on Should I Self-Manage My Rental Property In Chicago?

Chicago Silhouette

If you’re new to rental management in Chicago, you’re probably trying to figure out if you should take a stab at self-managing your rental investment or if you should pay for a reputable property management company to handle your rental property. Self-managing can be a very realistic proposition for many rental owners, especially if they only own a few properties.

What Skills Do I Need to Self-Manage My Rental Property?

Self-management saves money, but it is a commitment of time, and requires some knowledge and skills. Here are some skills you’ll need if you want to be a good property manager of your rental:

  • Organizational Skills. You’ll need to set up a record keeping and filing system to track applicants, renters, maintenance and repairs, and other administrative paperwork. This is especially important given fair housing requirements, security deposit requirements, and also for taxes, to name a few.
  • Time. If you work full-time, have a busy family, enjoy travel, or put a high value on recreational or other activities, you might want to consider hiring a property management company to help you manage your rental property. If you only own a few rental units, on most days you’ll find you don’t have much to do for your rental business. However, when something goes wrong, such as a burst pipe or a tenant not paying rent, it needs to be addressed quickly and professionally. And if you’re too busy to address the issue, having a property management company will allow you to breathe a sigh of relief.
  • Knowledge of federal, state, and local landlord/tenant requirements. While many rental owners in Chicago successfully manage their rentals, there are quite a few laws and regulations that must be complied with, including:
  • Handy with Repairs and Maintenance. It really helps if you’re handy with minor repairs and maintenance, such as fixing holes in walls, eliminating leaks, and light carpentry work. If you’re not, then you’ll need a good team of reliable and speedy contractors to help you. Regardless of your own skills, if you don’t want to be fixing leaking water heaters at 3 a.m., you’ll want to find a 24-hour plumber!
  • People Skills. If you decide to self-manage, you’ll be dealing with a wide range of people including hopeful applicants and satisfied tenants. But not all people are pleasant to deal with. Sometimes applicants are disappointed if they don’t get the rental unit; sometimes tenants don’t pay their rent and you need to issue the required paperwork to pay rent or vacate the unit; and sometimes tenants violate other rules, such as not cleaning up after their pets, parking in someone else’s parking spot, or having loud parties late at night. These are all issues you might deal with if you self manage. If that makes you cringe, consider hiring a property management company.

Owning and managing a rental unit makes sense for many rental investment owners. What’s right for you? Do you have any tips for anyone trying to decide if they should try landlording?