Personal StoryJan 30, 2023

Why Did I Choose Milwaukee for My First Real Estate Investment?

In my introductory article on how I started the NRI brand, I mentioned how I bought my first two duplexes in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. However, I didn’t decide to do that overnight. In this article, you will find out why I chose Milwaukee for my first real estate investment in the US.

It took me months of research and dozens of consultations with different professionals to invest there. 

Although I made several mistakes when buying my first property as a foreigner, the location I chose wasn’t one of them.

In this article, I will share why I chose Milwaukee for my first purchase as a nonresident investor. These reasons result from hundreds of hours of research I conducted before making my first investment. 

So if you’re considering investing in US real estate, here’s why Milwaukee would be a good choice.

7 Reasons I Chose Milwaukee for My First Real Estate Investment

First, let’s make one thing clear — the fact that I chose Milwaukee for my first real estate investment doesn’t mean you need to.

The US is massive, and many states offer fantastic conditions for nonresident investors. So don’t be afraid to do some research and look for other lucrative locations to invest in.

With that out of the way, here’s why I picked Milwaukee in the end.

Luka Malkovich in front of his first duplex in Milwaukee

1. Milwaukee Is Affordable (and Under the Radar)

One of the most apparent reasons Milwaukee is a great place for nonresident investors is that buying property there is not too expensive.

Of course, you can also find high-end houses there that can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, but that goes for any town in America.

However, when you’re just starting as a real estate investor, it’s best to start small.

If you already chose Milwaukee, you can easily find properties in the $50,000–$150,000 range. That makes it perfect for nonresident investors who are learning the ropes of the trade or have limited capital.

But why is Milwaukee so affordable? Because it’s not that popular among real estate investors.

I was surprised by how few foreign investors there were when I visited the place. That’s why I like to call Milwaukee the hidden gem of US real estate investing!

2. It Offers Accessible Real Estate With Great ROI Potential

Milwaukee is a mid-sized town with many great neighborhoods for tenants from various walks of life. This diversity gives investors plenty of choices when looking to rent their property.

On top of that, the rent-to-property-price ratio in Milwaukee is excellent, meaning that investing there comes with a good ROI.

The rent prices range from $800 to above $2,500 a month. Of course, it depends greatly on the property size and its state. However, if you spend, for instance, $80,000 to buy a two-bedroom house in Milwaukee and $15,000-25,000 to renovate it, you could easily rent it for $1,300–$1700 a month.

The larger the property you buy, though, the higher the ROI will be.

Milwaukee, WI panorama

3. Life Works in Mysterious Ways

At first, I never even thought about getting into real estate investing in the US, as I only ever did it in my home country. My first contact with the idea was by pure chance.

When I was working on one of my other projects with a colleague and close friend of mine, Mark, he mentioned that he had bought a house in Milwaukee. At first, I didn’t think much of it. But when he mentioned the numbers, I was shocked. I never even imagined one could get such a great ROI in real estate.

That’s what got me interested.  had some spare capital to invest, so I decided to give it a go.

Since Mark lived in Milwaukee, he knew the city well. He took me to several local conferences and introduced me to the basic principles of real estate investing. Thanks to him, I familiarized myself with Milwaukee, its citizens, and other like-minded investors.

The most surprising thing was that so few foreign investors were buying in the town. And that made me realize that Milwaukee was a hidden gem for real estate investors. And the rest is history.

4. I Chose Milwaukee for my first Real Estate Investment Because It Is Open to Foreign Investors

The US has a huge housing problem, and around 50% of the country’s land is unpopulated. That’s why America is incredibly welcoming to nonresident investors to encourage expansion.

When it comes to Milwaukee, it’s an up-and-coming city with excellent living conditions and the potential for expansion. On top of that, the town has been gaining popularity among tourists, prospective residents, and investors over the last few years.

Milwaukee’s rent prices have been rising since 2020, making it the perfect choice for investors. However, the town is also accessible to people looking to emigrate to the US due to its affordable real estate.

So regardless of where you’re from or why you want to buy property in the States, Milwaukee is a great option. 

If you need help buying your first property in Milwaukee (or anywhere else in America, for that matter), I’d be glad to help. I’ve been through the entire process myself and have a team of professionals behind me that can help you with everything from finding the right deal to optimizing taxes and ROI. Why not hop on a short discovery call to see just how much money and time my team and I can save you?

5. Investing in Milwaukee Aligns With My Business Philosophy and That is Why I Chose it

If you’ve been an entrepreneur for as long as I have, this point shouldn’t surprise you. Before buying my first two duplexes in Milwaukee, I built and grew three successful businesses. All three of these businesses followed the same pattern, i.e., they shared the same business philosophy.

My core belief as an entrepreneur is that you cannot compete with large corporations in an overly competitive market. They have the connections and the budgets you can only dream of. So regardless of how good you are, you must niche down to succeed.

And that’s why Milwaukee was the perfect fit — it’s not popular among large investors and corporations. And without those giants reigning on the market, the world is your oyster (or, in this case, town).

Another aspect of my business philosophy is that an ideal business is self-sustainable and can be led on autopilot. And investing in real estate is just that.

Once you close a deal and find a reliable property management agency to handle any short-notice issues that may eventually arise, all you have to do is sit back, relax, and let passive income trickle in.

6. Wisconsin Is a Landlord-Friendly State

Local real estate laws play a massive role in choosing the state you want to invest in. These regulations define the relationships between landlords and tenants (and their obligations) and are widely different from state to state.

One of the primary reasons I picked Milwaukee was that its local laws were quite landlord-friendly. The three most notable benefits of being a landlord in a state like Wisconsin are the following:

  • Landlords can file an eviction notice if the tenant has skipped rent for three consecutive months (the number is six months or higher in many other states);
  • There is no cap on how much you can rent your property for (some states put a rent cap on properties in specific size brackets);
  • There is no limit to how much you can charge for a security deposit (some states put a hard cap on this).

These benefits give investors in Wisconsin some insurance. Every investor’s worst nightmare is to rent out a property and be unable to evict tenants who refuse to pay rent for long periods. Wisconsin’s laws help minimize your losses if the worst comes to worst.

Wisconsin isn’t the only state with landlord-friendly laws, though. So don’t be discouraged from exploring investment options elsewhere too. Just make sure to research these laws for each state you are considering investing in. 

a map of Milwaukee and Chicago

7. Milwaukee Ticks All the Right Boxes for Most People

This reason might sound weird, but there’s a story behind it. 

When I visited Milwaukee to scout out some properties, I took the opportunity to go around town, visit popular the city’s most popular places, and talk with quite a few locals. That’s when I learned a few interesting facts straight from the horse’s mouth:

  • Many locals moved to Milwaukee because it doesn’t have regular traffic jams;
  • People prefer to live in Milwaukee because it’s a small and quiet town, but they still like to have a large metropolis nearby (Chicago);
  • Many people move from Illinois and other states to Wisconsin due to its lower tax rates.

If your investment goals are to create positive cash flow through passive income, you must keep your customers’ needs in mind if you want to rent your property quickly. And tenants are precisely that — your customers.

Since these factors make Milwaukee attractive to potential tenants, it’s an excellent place to start your investment journey!

Start Your Real Estate Investment Journey on the Right Foot

Whether you want to start investing in US real estate as a foreigner or just want to emigrate to America, you’ll need to learn many things if you want to purchase a property yourself. From learning about US real estate laws to filing taxes, it takes dozens, if not hundreds, of hours of research to prepare yourself. That is unless you hire professional help.

During the five years I’ve been in the business of investing in US real estate as a foreigner, I’ve achieved several things:

  • Built a foolproof investment system that operates through an American LLC;
  • Bought more than seven properties and achieved 10% ROI on all of them;
  • Learned how to optimize my taxes by continually reinvesting in US real estate;
  • Achieved financial independence through a steady cash flow of passive income.

After looking back on what I had achieved, I realized just how much time and money my experience could save other foreign investors. That is why I built the NRI brand — to help foreign investors like yourself build a better future in the States. 

The team behind me has over a decade of experience in the field and a proven track record of handling every step of the investment process. From legal advice to tax optimization and property management, the NRI team and I can help you.

So why not jump on a short discovery call and find out how we can help you make the most of your real estate investments?

Book a free discovery call with me and find out how much time and money my team can save you on your first real estate purchase.

Luka
Founder & CEO
Luka Malkovich is a serial entrepreneur with years of experience in international real estate investing. As the CEO of Nonresident Investor, Luka’s mission is to educate foreign nationals about the US real estate market and help them secure funding and buy property in America. That’s why he’s using his expertise to turn the NRI blog into a knowledge hub for anyone interested in learning about US real estate. This article was written by a professional content writer in conjunction with Luka Malkovich. Luka has thoroughly reviewed this article and has given his final approval before publishing.

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