Anyone still buying/selling in IL?

Greetings, all, I am new to this forum (although I’ve been reading for awhile) and somewhat new to REI. I once owned a 2 unit, but due to my inexperience and eagerness, I “failed” in that project. I sold it for a loss 3 years ago, 1 year later and washed my hands of real estate. Reason…I lost my tentant whose rent was covering a good majority of my expenses. I panicked when I didn’t find a replacement as quickly as I wanted. But once I got the “itch” again, I realized I didn’t fail, I LEARNED. I learned what not to do and what worked well. I bought it with no money, in a poor neighbohood and in bad condition. I felt it was a good deal (I can do repairs, it’s already rented, I can raise the rents, etc.) but because I was anxious to have my first property, I overlooked all the aforementioned obvious signs that this was not a winner, not to mention the seller hustled me. Shoot, I just wanted my first rental and “I’d be on my way”. The lesson learned, I don’t believe any class or course could teach me. Yes, I could be warned, but I would not have learned the lesson. So I look at is a money well spent on my education.

Ok, enough of me, my question is as I stated I’ve gotten the “itch” but it should better be stated, I am no longer FEARFUL of real estate. I’m waiting on the next meeting of my local REI club so I can join, I’ve been reading every book and forum I can get to and watching the market. But naturally, there is CAUTION. So I want to know if others are still buying with the current conditions, but more specifically if anyone is buying/holding or flipping in IL. In Gary Keller’s book “The Millionaire Real Estate Investor” he says find an area that interests you and become an expert. Rentals and flipping are my areas. I don’t really understand wholesaling, short sales, etc, so I have no interest AT THIS TIME in those areas. So, in close, if anyone can help, I would much appreciate it. Sorry so long…

First let me state that viewing your past experience as a positive learning experience and not a negative is the right frame of mind to be in. Congrats on understanding that. Gary Keller is a very smart man.

I suggest you keep on educating yourself.

I am constantly buying/selling in and around the Chicagoland area. Where in IL are you located?

i’'m in chicago …i also tap into 1 hour drive outside of chicago

section 8 voucher program is my cup of tea…low income neighborhoods but NOT war zones…dirty, filthy, nasty houses with moderate or low rehab

How did you get “hustled?” Can you elaborate on that a bit?
Did you pay too much? No or negative cash flow? Throw some numbers at us so we can learn what not to do!

How do “find” section 8 tenants? Do they have to sign up? Do you contact the local Section 8 office, if there even is one?
What would be the typical process?

BizarreFun you do any of your section 8 work in the Bronzeville area or around Comisky at all? What areas have you had success?

Used to live in Chicago a few years back and have noticed on my times back that development are pushing South

Thanks for all who responded. (I was getting a little worried) I’ve seen the great help and respones here. Glad I found you!

To answer the questions…
I am constantly buying/selling in and around the Chicagoland area. Where in IL are you located?

I am in Waukegan/North Chicago/Zion/Gurnee area.

Thanks Bizarrefun. I sent you a personal message. Hope that wasn’t inappropriate since we hadn’t been introduced. What do you mean “section 8 voucher program”? Is there a program to buy houses for that intent?

How did you get “hustled?” Can you elaborate on that a bit?
Did you pay too much? No or negative cash flow? Throw some numbers at us so we can learn what not to do!

I paid $110K, rents were $1575, no money down. Should those #'s have worked, I don’t know. Maybe some of you experts can tell me.

I got hustled by being overly excited to buy my first property. I looked at the home and saw it was in bad shape (overlooked),not overly, but enough for a beginner, but hey it was fully rented with new leases, they’ve been living here, so I’m all good. What I didn’t know is that seller forged the lease, hadn’t done some repairs that the city just happened to find when I decided to sell. Just a bunch of stuff. Bottom line, I didn’t do due diligence.
I had $200-300 “cashflow”, or what I thought was cashflow. I wasn’t allowing enough for vacancy and other expenses. Again, I was new, I had read and read, but wasn’t really quite ready for a home of it’s condition. “Cashflow”, then became repair money. To shorten this.
My advice is take your time, fall in love with the DEAL not the property, make sure the #'s work and don’t feel like you have to buy THAT property. That was probably the biggest. All the signs were there that, that wasn’t the property for me. (problems with getting loan, issues with seller, paperwork and docs issues, poor condition of propety, etc.), but I didn’t “listen”. I wanted that first deal.

Well, many people spend thousands upon thousands of dollars for courses, seminars and bootcamps that teach them only book teachings. You lost some money on real world; hands on learning.

You can’t put a real value on what you have learned. Now I suggest you get back on that horse, network with other investors and learn from each other’s mistakes. We all learn from our mistakes, I just think it better to learn from other’s mistakes before I have to repeat them.

Check out the local clubs in the Chicago area. There is a great list on this site (on the left under Real Estate Clubs). My favorite is the WCRT ( ). I even think they have subgroup up in the north burbs in Lincolnshire or somewhere near there.

Good luck, hope to be in touch and do some deals together!

I agree. I wouldn’t trade my experience for any school book or classroom lesson in the world. I learn by doing and I did more than most will do and that’s get out the books and off the forums and jumped in.

I’m doing exactly as you suggest…networking, going to open houses, auctions, will be joining the local REI club next month (they didn’t have a meeting this month),etc. I’ll check the link you provided as well.

I would love to look to see if we could work together.

Thanks. Be in touch.