Owning Land In Illinois: Pros & Cons | askBAMLand

This article may contain affiliate links where we earn a commission from qualifying purchases. The images and content on this page may be created by, or with the assistance of, artificial intelligence, and should be used for entertainment and informational purposes only.

Owning land in Illinois is a big decision that shouldn’t be made hastily. You should carefully evaluate the state’s pros and cons before making a move.

From living expenses to crime rates, there are many factors that can increase or decrease the value of land in Illinois. Knowing the good and bad qualities of Illinois will help you determine if land ownership is worthwhile for you.

The pros of owning land in Illinois include the state's rich culture, robust economy, and diverse entertainment opportunities. The disadvantages include high criminal activity, a rough environment, and higher tax rates.

We can easily get reeled into the best qualities of Illinois and neglect adequate consideration of its negative aspects. To ensure you own land that can be used to maximum income and other benefits, it’s important you look at every detail about Illinois that can affect its land value.

There are several key characteristics of Illinois that could affect the value of land there. We can now obtain state statistics, survey information, and other data that are as accurate and meaningful as ever. The following information about Illinois is easily verifiable through official data sources.

Table of Contents

Why Should I Own Land In Illinois?

Owning land can be a sound investment compared to non-tangible assets like stocks and cryptocurrencies.

Unlike digital assets, there is a limited supply of land in Illinois that can’t be replaced or reproduced.

On top of its one-of-a-kind nature, the land in Illinois has a general trend of increasing in value.

Aside from holding onto land as a pure investment portfolio item, Illinois landowners have the option of adding and developing assets on the land that could further increase its value and revenue-generating capabilities.

Prospective Illinois landowners should examine all aspects of the land that can directly or indirectly impact the land’s value.

For example, things that can directly impact a land’s value are its soil, property taxes, and acreage.

Things that can indirectly impact a land’s value are nearby businesses, motor vehicle traffic, and the city’s crime rate.

Though other states face many of the same issues, some issues are much more distinctive in Illinois.

Weighing all of the following things will help you to figure out if owning land in Illinois is a good or bad idea.

Reasons You Should Own Land In Illinois

Illinois is a fantastic and diverse place to visit to live, visit, or do business. I’ve had amazing times there with family, friends, and by myself on business trips.

Chicago is obviously a big draw since it’s one of the largest cities in the nation, but there is much more throughout Illinois that can make the state valuable to landowners.

There are beaches, national parks, and loads of other natural attractions to be enjoyed in Illinois.

Here’s a breakdown of some of the positive things about Illinois that can be good for landowners.

Vibrant Culture

Chicago is famous for being one of the most populous cities in the United States.

That’s a big reason the state of Illinois has one of the largest populations among all U.S. states.

With so many people living and traveling there, Illinois enjoys a diverse range of residents, businesses, heritages, events, and activities.

The combination of all those things makes for an extremely vibrant state culture that can be interesting to just about anyone.

Having vast attractions and varieties of people can significantly give rise to higher land values in Illinois.

Popular ethnic-based neighborhoods in Chicago include Little Italy, Greek Town, Chinatown, Polish Downtown, Pilsen (Mexican), and Lincoln Square (German).

Regardless of one’s ethnic background, any of those neighborhoods can be appreciated due to their captivating sights, sounds, smells, and tastes.

For history enthusiasts, Illinois’s history can be conveniently explored through places such as the Chicago History Museum and Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum.

Strong Economy

One of the best reasons to own land in Illinois is that the state is reinforced by solid economic strength.

Illinois’s central location in the United States makes it a major travel hub in the country and the world.

There are several busy airports in Illinois, including Chicago O'Hare International Airport and Midway International Airport.

Having so many ports of entry is hugely complementary for business, tourism, and overall access to Illinois.

Chicago being one of the top financial centers in the world is an integral reason why Illinois land can be valuable.

The overall foundation of corporate buildings, convention centers, and transportation systems in Chicago plays a significant role in its statewide financial success.

Chicago is also home to key financial institutions such as the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, the Chicago Board of Trade, and the world-renowned Chicago Stock Exchange.

With employers from numerous industries including manufacturing, publishing, and finance, Illinois is a well-established powerhouse of economic strength.

Fortune 500 companies and a mass of other thriving enterprises all contribute to Illinois's economic stability and generally high land value.

Plentiful Entertainment

A major component that affects land value in Illinois is the availability of events and activities in the state.

Not only are events and activities abound in Illinois, the quality and diversity of things to do is nothing short of remarkable.

Sports fans can delight in popular Illinois sports teams like the Chicago White Sox, Chicago Bulls, Chicago Blackhawks, and Chicago Cubs.

All of these teams have famously loyal fans that help to keep residents and visitors anchored to the state.

More child-friendly activities in Illinois include the Children's Museum of Illinois, Lincoln Park Zoo, and Shedd Aquarium.

Popular nature-oriented spots in Illinois include Starved Rock State Park, the Chicago Botanic Garden, and Lake Michigan.

Though most major U.S. cities have enormous food selections, Illinois has that along with its own unique food items.

Some of those food items include the horseshoe sandwich, Chicago-style hot dog, Italian beef sandwich, and deep-dish pizza (though natives are known to prefer tavern-style pizza).

Reasons You Should Not Own Land In Illinois

As wonderful as Illinois can be, there are negative aspects about the Prairie State that might hinder your desire to own land there.

If you’re thinking about purchasing land in Illinois, you should investigate everything that surrounds the land like traffic conditions, available activities, and the condition of nearby land and real estate.

Things that can adversely affect the value of land in Illinois include high crime rates, poor weather conditions, and heavy taxation.

We’ll now go through some significant reasons why owning land in Illinois might not be such a good idea.

High Criminal Activity

Though Illinois gets much of its high-crime reputation from the likes of Al Capone and other famous criminals in history, it has had a disturbingly elevated trend of criminal activity in recent years.

More notable hot spots for criminal activity include Illinois’s larger cities like Springfield and Chicago.

Criminal activity will likely leak out into neighboring towns, so you should look into specific crime rates in your land’s vicinity when assessing land value and development opportunities.

Rough Environment

Illinois has many types of environments, so finding land with appealing environmental characteristics is possible regardless of your preferences.

When researching land in Illinois to buy, it’ll serve you well to weed out negative aspects of the environment that are detrimental to the land’s value.

One of the most well-known weather characteristics of Illinois is its frequently random and wide-ranging shifts in temperature and conditions.

It can be unexpectedly cold and rainy one moment, then warm and sunny the next.

The fluctuating weather changes are largely attributed to Northern Illinois’s close proximity to Lake Michigan, so if you prefer more stable weather conditions, you may fare better owning land in Southern Illinois.

During the winter months, unbearably cold temperatures with heavy snowfall can be too much for many to handle.

Of course, weather isn’t the only factor that affects the environment. The often bad traffic in and around larger cities in Illinois can make that land less than ideal to own.

If low traffic conditions are a priority for you, you should opt for land outside the more heavily-populated areas of Illinois.

Higher Tax Rates

It can be a serious buzzkill if your land in Illinois is splendid, but the taxation on the land drives the cost through the roof.

A scenario like that shouldn’t be unexpected since Illinois is one of the highest taxing states in America.

Some states may levy high taxes on certain things like real estate and employment earnings, while taxes may be lower for other things like investment income and the sale of goods.

Unfortunately, Illinois essentially has higher taxes across the board compared to other states in the nation.

Taxation in Illinois is particularly steep for middle-class families.

So whatever positive value your land in Illinois might bring, it can easily be offset by the relatively high taxes you may be required to send off to the government.

Even if you don’t plan to live in Illinois and won’t be burdened by things like sales and employment-related taxes, you may still be met with a hefty tax bill since Illinois consistently ranks near the top for U.S. property tax rates.


Brittany Melling

Brittany Melling

Brittany has been in the land business since 2020 when the world was starting to shut down. Since then, we’ve sold to dozens of people from ATV weekend warriors to camping enthusiasts to retired truck drivers. Our inventory spans mostly in the western United States. We’ve been trained by experience, land acquisition courses, and hundreds of hours meeting with county assessors and clerks, zoning officials, realtors, and land investors. We’ve answered hundreds of questions from people regarding the buying and use of land.

Read More About Brittany Melling