Guide to House Hacking in Chicago, Illinois

Are you looking to implement house hacking Chicago?

In this post, we’re going to give you all the information you need to do it. We’ll look at whether Chicago is in a landlord or tenant-friendly state, the six demographic data points we use to analyze a market, and the house hacking strategies that might work well in a market.

House Hacking Chicago: Landlord or Tenant Friendly?

From the state level, Illinois is more on the landlord-friendly side of the scale than tenant-friendly. You can see where Illinois falls on the graph here.

However, Chicago specifically, is a bit more tenant-friendly than other parts of the state of Illinois, and even other parts of the United States.

When house hacking, given that you will have tenants, it is often worth considering whether your location is landlord or tenant-friendly. In this case, I don’t think the city, or Illinois as a whole, is too tenant-friendly for me to personally consider house hacking here.

However, you must consider this for your own risk tolerance and determine if house hacking Chicago is right for you.

Demographic Data Analysis

The 6 demographic data points that we’ve learned to use when analyzing a market are population growth, income growth, property value growth, crime level, crime change, and job growth.

This was taught to us by Neal Bawa at Grocapitus and MultifamilyU.

When it comes to these six metrics, here is how Chicago compares to our benchmarks:

Data PointBenchmark (since 2000)Chicago
Population Growth20%-7%
Income Growth30%60%
Property Value Growth40%91%
Crime Level< 500433.2
Crime Change0% or declining-28%
Job Growth1%4.29%

Overall, house hacking Chicago looks quite good based on the 6 metrics we analyze. All of the metrics except population growth are satisfactory.

Population declining 7% in two decades in such a major city would certainly be of concern for me. However, it would not necessarily stop me from house hacking here.

Strategies for House Hacking Chicago

I have visited Chicago many times and even recently looked at purchasing property there for rentals.

In Chicago, there are many different types of properties. These property types include single-family homes and multifamily properties. Also, given Chicago is such a large city, there are a lot of business and vacation travelers.

This means that you can utilize nearly any of the house hacking strategies. These strategies include rent-by-the-room when house hacking a single-family home, rent out additional units in a multifamily property, or even utilizing Airbnb.

brick duplex in Chicago for house hacking

Overall, Chicago seems to be a promising city. If you’re moving to the area, or you already live in the area and you’re just doing research, you now know this could be a great option.

If you’re interested in house hacking Chicago, be sure to check out our free house hacking calculator to analyze all your potential deals. And, if you’re interested in learning more about house hacking, check out our book The Everything Guide to House Hacking.

Frequently Asked Questions About House Hacking Chicago

Can you house hack in Chicago?

Yes, you can! You can utilize many of the different house hacking strategies to house hack in Chicago.

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Analyzed by: Robert Leonard
I am the founder of Everything House Hacking and a real estate investor. I house hacked my way to financial freedom. My goal is to help you learn my tactics so you can house hack your way to freedom.

Learn more here.