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What to Know when You’re Investing in Real Estate for the First Time

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Perhaps you’ve always had the goal in mind of investing in property, or you’ve been met with an opportunity to invest. Regardless of the circumstances, it’s important to go into a purchase of an investment property armed with as much information as possible. Below, learn some important considerations before purchasing an investment property, and speak with an experienced Illinois real estate attorney with any additional questions.

1. Learn as much as you can about the property

The history of the property you’re purchasing is incredibly important to learn. Learn everything you can about the zoning laws and restrictions on the lot, and whether any changes to those rules are imminent. Find out whether any major features of the structure will soon need to be replaced, such as the roof or water heater. Find out what businesses or structures were previously on the lot, and whether they may have left behind chemical waste that could be expensive to remove.

2. Find out how real estate trends are moving in the area surrounding the property

Spend time in the neighborhood where the property is located to get a sense of how it might be developing and changing. Do research on the major building projects that are occurring that could affect the value of your property, either positively or negatively. Also look into reports of crimes occurring in the area, and whether rates are climbing or decreasing.

3. Be sure you understand the liability risks you’re incurring

Owning property always comes with some risk of liability for injuries that occur on the property. These liability risks can be higher where you won’t be occupying the property yourself, and thus won’t have the opportunity to regularly inspect the property for hazards. Speak with an attorney about the risks entailed with the intended use of the property; i.e., the liability risks of a multi-unit residential building versus a retail store.

4. Determine all of the costs associated with making the property profitable before you make an offer

It’s important to understand not only the physical aspects of the property that will need repairs, but also the costs you will incur to operate the building, such as paying a property manager to be on site, the costs of an insurance policy, or the utility costs you should expect.

5. Seek experienced representation for the sale

The first time you make a major purchase of real estate, you need representation from someone who is well-versed in the local market and will ensure that the sale is fair to you. Be sure to find an attorney who can walk you through the purchase process from start to finish.

If you’re facing a legal question regarding an Illinois commercial real estate deal, contact the seasoned and experienced Chicagoland commercial real estate attorneys at MacDonald, Lee & Senechalle for a consultation, in Des Plaines at 847-298-5030, and in Hoffman Estates at 847-310-0025.

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