RENT Magazine Q1 '22

What are your personal real estate investment plans? I have my eye out for a duplex or fourplex in Villa Park and Lombard where I’m from. The price point starts in the mid- $300s and each unit can rent out for $1,400-$1,700/month, so it makes a good return on investment. For my clients, it depends on their goals when we evaluate what they’re looking for. Can you elaborate a bit more on your process with your clients? I start by looking at the cap rate to compare apples to apples, which involves looking at where the rent of each unit is (are they low or astronomically high) and the return on investment. Then we look at what their down payment would be, the type of financing options available and run the numbers to find out if it’s a good investment for them. I also look historically at the rents and the quality of the comparable units over the last two years. All of that plays a factor in the price and the rent moving forward.

for renters who work in the city or work from home but aren’t ready to purchase. How challenging is it for renters to afford homes in the Chicago area? In the Lincoln Park area and more desirable parts of Chicago, it is a challenge. The single-family home prices are pretty high. The farther West and South you go, it becomes more affordable and there is more space, but renter demand is still high. I think COVID changed people’s views about working from home and they started to realize they are just as productive, if not more productive, from home. As a result, people are more comfortable moving further out of the city. I saw on your LinkedIn profile that you’re the Big League Realtor. Yeah! It’s catchy and is something that helps me stand out a little bit and draws some interest to me.

Which have you found more challenging, being a professional athlete or making it in real estate while juggling a family and a career? I think that they are equally stressful. With the physical performance in baseball, you could do really well but still get sent down to the minor leagues. A lot of those things are outside of your control and could mean having to pack up your family and move across the country. As for real estate, being able to continually move forward and build without stagnating is stressful, especially when starting out. What do you predict for the Chicago market in 2022? I think we’re still going to see a bit of price appreciation. I don’t think it will be as quick or drastic as we’ve seen in the last year, which was from low interest rates being cut down to 3% and sometimes 2.75%. This year, we’ll likely see 3.5% to 3.7%, still historically low, but not as low as last year. As for whether it’s a good time to invest, there’s never not a good time to invest.

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