One of the best decisions you can make starting out in real estate investing is buying a multi-family home as a first-time buyer. Sounds counter-intuitive? In this guide to Chicago multi-family real estate for sale, we’ll walk you through the steps in finding multi family properties for sale, including how to do a preliminary analysis on multi family real estate before crunching the numbers, visiting the property, and making an offer.

Multi-Family Real Estate

You may have some reservations about diving into multi family real estate. The life of a landlord can be challenging: broken pipes or tenants who refuse to pay their rent can ruin your entire day. The logic goes that if one rental unit is a headache, a multi family property with two, three, or four units can give you a headache for life. However, multi family real estate can be financially rewarding beyond your wildest dreams. Before we get into our Guide to Chicago multi-family Real estate for sale, let’s first touch on just a few reasons why being a multi-family unit landlord is a great idea:

Create Wealth: Whether you live in the multi-unit or not, your tenants will help you save your money as their rent contributes to or exceeds your monthly mortgage payment. Hold onto your property long enough, and they may even pay off the entire multi unit property for you! 
Maintain the property as an investment and continue to collect rent each month or sell the property when you retire, and you’ll be seeing dollar signs from here to Tuesday 2075.

- Live-in and Save: Consider living in one of the units and you may qualify for owner-occupied financing with little money down, as opposed to an investor loan which requires 20% down.

- Multi-family vs. Single-family: A manageable multi-family property is the best of both worlds, as mortgage-wise its treated as a single-family home, while investment-wise it can generate mega bucks as an investment property.

- Buffer Against Higher Rents: Rents are going up, up, up – be on the right side of this equation. As the economy becomes more challenging, buyers are reluctant to plunk money down on a home purchase. The result? People must live somewhere, making residential rents uber strong. Stay a renter and be vulnerable to your landlords raising the rents on you; or, you can be on the other side and collect extra money as the rents naturally are raised in a competitive rental market. 

- Meet Interesting People: The stories of renters who don’t pay their bills or trash your home are few and far between. The majority of renters are hardworking people who pay their bills and want to be on good terms with their landlord. Many renters and landlord even become friends and stay in contact beyond the sale of a multi-family property or a renter’s move.

explore the best of chicago

Chicago's Hottest Neighborhoods

Dreaming of living in a high-rise condo overlooking Chicago River or Michigan Lake? Or do you find living in a century-old architecture single home in a quiet neighborhood more your style? Or do you want to call your brand-new townhouse in the city your home? Let’s see what options the best Chicago Neighborhoods have to offer.


Downtown Chicago

Downtown Chicago is a central business with a diverse of residential neighborhoods of Cook County. Downtown Chicago is rich with historic architecture and cultural attractions, a long with sports and entertainment complexes.


Guide to the Best Chicago Suburbs

Each Chicago suburb has

their own personality and community. Let's explore the best Chicago Suburbs to live in this year.



The North Shore Living

One of Chicago’s most prestigious neighborhoods is the affluent North Shore, which over time has come to include a few communities that do not border Lake Michigan. All North Shore communities are located in Cook County and Lake County.  


Chicago Magnificent Mile

Magnificent Mile In Downtown Chicago, referred as Mag Mile, offers the city's best shopping, dinning and entertainment. World class hotels and real estate.


Universities in Chicagoland

University of Chicago

Northwestern University

University of IL Urbana Champaign


Fortune 500 Companies in Chicagoland

Walgreens Boots Alliance

Boeing Company

Archer Daniels Midland Company


Relocation Guide



home value estimator

You'll receive your free home valuation report in just a few minutes!

Guide To Chicago Multi-Family Real Estate For Sale: Where To Start?

How do you research multi family real estate? Can you distinguish a good multi-unit property from a bad multi-unit property? Once you find a good prospect, how do you check out the home before making an offer? Let’s continue our guide to Chicago multi family real estate for sale and answer these questions, step-by-step.

Step 1: Before crunching the numbers, when you see a multi-family property listing first try to eyeball a few things, including:

How many units? Is it a duplex, or four-unit property?

- How much rent? How much would you be able to charge per unit per month? If the units are occupied, even better as you’ll be able to count on those rent checks to subsidize your mortgage from the get-go. What’s more, the bank will use a portion of those monies as prospective income to help you qualify for a higher recurring mortgage payment (allowing you to snag a larger investment).

- Evaluate the fair market value: Multi-family units are not valued price per square foot as single-family homes, rather they are evaluated based on income and return on investment generated. Tally up the rental income and expenses and see what’s leftover. This is called the “operating income.” Divide the operating income by the rate of return for the market area. This figure is called the “capitalization rate.” This will give you the fair market value.

Step 2: Once you’ve done the cursory check above and you deem the listing has potential, it’s time to visit the property. If there is a vacant unit, great – call up your agent and check out the unit. If tenants occupy all units, you will need to provide a heads-up (usually 24-hours) before viewing the property.

When you view the property, try to determine if your rental estimates align. Perhaps the condition of the property is better than you expect, in which case you may get even more rental income than you previously thought. If the building or units seem to need some repair, factor this into your expenses – do the math to see if it’s still a worthwhile investment.

Step 3: If you’re ready to move forward, consider your financing options. If you plan to live in the property, you may qualify for an owner-occupied mortgage. With an FHA loan, this could be as little as 3.5% down. Otherwise, if you plan to rent out all units you may qualify for a mortgage that requires 20% down.

Condos For Rent in Chicago

Find a great deal on recently listed 

Condos for Rent in Chicago with 

fast and free rental search on

Search by Neighborhood

Browse photos, see new properties, 

get open house info, 

and research neighborhoods

Use our advanced search to find the perfect place

Delphine Team


Serving Real Estate needs

throughout Chicagoland area.

Baird & Warner

Delphine Team


Serving Real Estate needs

throughout Chicagoland area.

Baird & Warner

"Delphine is the best!! We had a great experience with her as our realtor.".

Laura H. - Chicago Homebuyer

get more details

Contact Delphine Nguyen - Real Estate Consultant - Baird & Warner

Email or text 847.848.3565

chicago condos for sales


Over 51 communities make up the eclectic patchwork that is the City of Chicago. Most notably, nine neighborhoods are particularly worth highlighting:


More info


More info


More info


More info


More info


More info


More info


More info


More info

Hi! This is Delphine.

Let's find your best Multi-Family properties, starting today!

Download my free buyer's guide. You will also get my free

weekly tips on real estate investing.

Final Notes About Buying Multi Family Homes For Sale Chicago

Multi-family properties are a fantastic investment, particularly for first-time home buyers who plan to live in a unit on the property. It’s important to consider a few points before jumping in to ensure you get the most out of the investment possible.

Keep adequate cash reserves: Instead of one furnace, you may have three. Instead of 4 doors within a home, you may have 25. Prepare for unexpected repairs and events by saving 10% of the monthly rent and putting aside to handle any issues that may crop up.

Professional management: You don’t have to be a handyman to be a landlord. If you would rather not deal with landlord stuff, consider professional management. A property manager can take care of all the day-to-day issues that come up, often taking 3-10% of the rental income in return. Depending on your circumstances and desires, this could save you a bit of time and headache. 

We hope this guide has been helpful to you. Check out our collection of multi family homes for sale Chicago to get started on the road to multi family ownership.

Search by Zip Code

Find the latest open houses,

price reductions and

 homes new to the market

Use our advanced search to find the perfect place

explore more chicago multi-family properties for sale

Neighborhoods . New listings . Open Houses . Price . Photos . School . Amenities and more...

chicago neighborhood guide by amenities & lifestyle

Chicago Public Transportation

An overview of how to use Chicago public transportation to and from the windy city, regardless of how forceful the winds are blowing.


Chicago History

Chicago is filled with such history, unique to each neighborhood; as well, there are numerous landmarks that are jewels in Chicago’s crown...


Chicago Cost Of Living

Whether you're considering relocation to Chicago or just curious about the cost of living here, you can get an overview of cost of living in Chicago starting with housing cost…


Things To Do In Chicago

The Art Institute of Chicago, Millennium Park, Cloud Gate, Willis Tower, The Magnificent Mile, The Navy Pier, Museum of Science and Industry, Field Museum, Wrigley Field and more in our list…


Chicago Museums

Just because the sun goes down doesn’t mean Chicago’s most fascinating cultural and scientific institutions hit the night light.


Chicago Sports

If you could capture Chicago sports in a heartbeat, it’d be one syllable: Fans.


Best Condos Near Union Station

The proximity of the train station and the work place or home has a significant impact to your daily life. Browse the available condos near Chicago Union Station.


Most Accessible Chicago Neighborhoods

Chicago neighborhood planning is to strengthen residential areas and to encourage people to live within the city or nearby suburbs. The public transportation systems effectively eases of travel for commuters. Want to know the list of the most accessible Chicago neighborhoods?


Guide to Chicago High Rise Condos

Whether you’re reviewing your options or have decided on exploring Chicago high rise condos, we have all the information you need in our handy guide to Chicago high rise condos right here. Check out what high rise living is all about.

Guide to Chicago Penthouses

In this fascinating guide to Chicago penthouse, understand the original meaning of the word “penthouses,” standard penthouse prices, and some of the pros and considerations to purchasing a penthouse apartment.

Guide to Chicago Luxury Condos

Check out our guide to Chicago luxury condos for an eye-opening look at what amenities to look for in luxury condos, what you might do without, as well as how to tap into an agent’s personal network to access the hush-hush luxury homes for sale that you may not find listed on the MLS.

Guide to Lake Shore Drive Properties

In our guide to Chicago Lake Shore Drive properties, you can read about the fascinating history of Chicago’s Lake Shore Drive – an expressway that was first developed thanks to a wealthy property owner’s desire to boost his home’s value. The Drive continues to be a place where the wealthy can admire Lake Michigan views from their high-valued properties, and for locals to meander through the many parks and walkways.

Guide to Chicago Multi-Family Properties

Purchasing multi family real estate may be the best investment you can ever make, particularly for first time home buyers. Check out our guide to Chicago multi-family real estate for sale full of handy tips and tricks to get you started researching multi family properties for sale. 

Guide to Sell Chicago Luxury Properties

Use our handy guide to sell luxury properties, no matter your city or region. We’ve provided a list of dos and don’ts that every agent may take to heart when competing in this competitive business.

Guide To Chicago Rentals

Our Chicago Renter’s Guide is designed to help residents find the ideal rental property in and around the Windy City, where culture, a vibrant economy, dynamic educational institutions, prominent healthcare facilities, fabulous sporting teams and endless opportunities abound. There is more than something for everyone in Chicago.

Guide To Chicago Lofts

Chicago lofts have diversity and can be found in tall skyscrapers along the Magnificent Mile or in any number of the striking architectural wonders that make Chicago such a dazzling city.

Delphine Nguyen

Real Estate Consultant


talk with delphine & her team today!

Let us put our expertise to work for you today! 

We are here to help 7 days a week. 

Browse All Homes For Sale in Chicagoland

Browse photos, see new properties, get open house info, research neighborhoods and more.

what's your condo worth?

Get your ACCURATE and COMPLETE Condo Value Report Now!

Chicago Metropolitan Market Report
View All Chicagoland Market Report Posts

The real estate market trends and statistics: average list price, average sale price,

sale price to list price ratio, days on market and more.

                                   Delphine Team - Your Chicago Real Estate Consultant

Welcome to, home of the most dedicated real estate agents in Chicago and Chicago suburbs! Our Team is a group of friendly, service-driven Realtors servicing the local Chicagoland area. Our team members are not only experts at what they do. More importantly, they’re driven by their genuine desire to help people. Our service-driven approach places our clients' best interests above all else. While most agents are one person doing many things, we have a team all working together to deliver excellence. This ensures expertise throughout all stages of the transaction & allows us to provide the superior level service our clients deserve. We understand that real estate is a service industry, therefore we treat it as such. Rest assured that when you work with the Delphine Homes Team, you’ll be in good hands with people who care.

You definitely want to make sure that you hire the best real estate agent for your real estate needs. 

Get More Details

client reviews

Wow! I don’t even know how to find the words to express how amazing Delphine is! She literally made the impossible happen. Yes, she is knowledgeable, extremely hard working, great skills but the thing that really shines for us is her dedication and genuine caring. Our situation was not easy as we were dealing with many difficult details including working from long distance and dealing with an elderly father who was easily confused. Delphine went above and beyond so many times to help our dad and stepped in often to take care of things that had nothing to do with selling his house. If you are looking for a realtor you can trust and who will never give up, as well as a genuinely kind person… have found her.


Jodie and Bob W.


Delphine and her team were knowledgeable, responsible and enthusiastic to work with. She helped us sell our house and purchase a new home in just 40 days. The process was well explained by Delphine from the first day. There were a few issues with inspection on our purchase side but she professionally negotiated so we could get the house at a fair price. The closings for both transactions were back-to-back but they were successfully done. Since then, we referred her to our neighbors and a couple of friends who need her services. We would recommend anyone who needs to sell or buy their house in the Gurnee, Grayslake area to Delphine and her team.


Matt and Sue T.


I don’t have enough good words to tell you about Delphine! First, she found us a house of our dreams (I mean it), second, she helped us with the documents, third, she has your best interests. And there are so much more! We are the first time home buyers. And, to be honest, don’t know anything about it. She will lead you step by step. So organized and honest! Honesty is so important o everyone when you are buying a house. She has the best contacts (lender, attorney, house inspection professional) who will always have time to help you! She is always on time, which is very important to us. We are so happy with Delphine’s services.

We highly recommend her as a real estate agent.


Larisa and Anton S.

Popular Chicago Real Estate Searches