Ben Walhood is the President of the Chicago Area REIA, the largest non-profit real estate organization in Illinois. He is also an investor operating predominantly in the western suburbs of Chicago. He fixes-and-rents residential properties in working class neighborhoods. He has been interviewed by CNBC and the Chicago Tribune, and he has been a featured guest on the BiggerPockets, Freedom Real Estate Investing, and Best Ever Real Estate podcasts. Today, he shares how he navigates the western suburbs and how you can win in the suburbs as well! Listen Now!
Key Market Insights
House hacked his first place in college, 3 bed, 2 bath for $150k
Invested in Maywood as his first deal
Was a neurosurgeon sales specialists before becoming a full-time investor
From a small town in north Dakota, downtown Chicago was a foreign thing for Ben
Looks for working class neighborhoods (look for vans/trucks with ladders and repair equipment)
Uses the 1% rule 33,000 a year, $1,000, 100,000
Target areas: Interstate 355 – straight west of Chicago, north and south 10 miles; Bloomingdale, Wheaton, Liles, Darion, Bolingbrook, Western Corridor
Avoids Cook County due to the tenant-friendly laws; first tenant did not pay rent for 9 months
Like diversification of markets in western suburbs
Elmhurst is popular right now for new construction, Bolingbrook has cooled off, but saw a strong resurgence after the recession
Chicago Area REIA (CAREIA) is one of the few non-profit REIAs and is volunteer run
Watch rents to see where demand is headed
Focus on return on equity, not just cash on cash
Finishing up a 6-unit in Bloomingdale, with the BRRR model
Bull’s Eye Tips:
Winning Your Market: Know your market – know sales, rents
Tracking Market Changes: Boots on the ground, attending meetings
Daily Habit: Write out goals daily on white board
Best Business Books:
Tools for Titans by Tim Ferris
Monthly Email Updates
"Focus with a product or geography helps you avoid the shiny object syndrome"
"If I have a property in a village that is blowing up, I can sell, if not I can hold for rentals"
Places to Grab a Bite:
Mariano’s – https://www.marianos.com/
Connect with Ben:
LinkedIn - https://www.linkedin.com/in/ben-walhood-a84b8bb/
Webpage - http://www.goapexrenovations.com/
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