Three Reasons To Invest in Multifamily Property Located In Lake County
April 20, 2021

Welcome to “An Essex Broker’s Guide To,” a monthly series where Essex Realty Group, Inc. brokers share their expertise about the neighborhoods they focus on. This month Director Brian Karmowski shares his guide to Lake County.

Brian Karmowski joined Essex Realty Group, Inc. in 2011 and has since been involved in over $400 million of investment real estate transactions. Brian focuses primarily on the acquisition and disposition of multi-family and mixed-use assets in the Chicago metropolitan area. Prior to joining Essex, Brian worked as a portfolio analyst for four years within Northern Trust’s Private Equity Division in downtown Chicago. His central duties included cash flow and investment analysis, market research, and working as a relationship manager with Northern Trust’s private wealth and institutional clients.

Brian graduated from the University of Kentucky’s Gatton College of Business with a B.B.A, majoring in Finance and Economics.

Q: Tell me about Lake County?

Brian: Lake County is comprised of 36 different cities located just north of Cook County and along the shores of Lake Michigan. The towns (or Villages) vary widely with the Fox Lake communities to the northwest, popular Barrington to the southwest, Highland Park to the southeast and Waukegan which dominates the northeast section of the county and is also home to the county seat.

Lake County features several company headquarters including Abbott Laboratories, AbbVie, and Zenith Electronics. These employment drivers bode well for housing demand – both for-sale and rental.

As a multifamily broker, I enjoy working properties located in Lake County because of the diverse housing stock. For example, we sold a 24-unit property just north of downtown Libertyville which afforded all the amenities of downtown. Conversely, Essex also recently sold Somerset By the Lake, a 48-unit new construction apartment building located in Lake Zurich. This luxury property sits along the shores of Lake Zurich and adjacent to a park featuring a sand beach, swimming area, and bar and grill. Two very unique settings, yet only 12 miles apart.

Q: If you had one hour to spend in Lake County, what would you do?

Brian: In 2020, I helped facilitate the sale of a 20-unit multifamily property located in Libertyville. I was on-site quite a few times for due diligence and noticed a bike trail just behind the property called the North Shore Bike Path. It’s a great trail that runs east/west from Mundelein to Lake Bluff. So, if I had an hour to spend in Lake County, I would ride the trail with a few friends or family. Additionally, Bosacki’s Brewery is located near the trailhead in Mundelein and Lake Bluff Brewing Company is steps from the trail in downtown Lake Bluff, so no matter your starting point, your ride can end with a great local brew!

Q: Give me three reasons why I should invest in Lake County?


  • 1) Location. One of the great things about Lake County is the variety of offerings from each Village. Many cities that make up the county feature charming downtown areas which is a big draw for residents. For those that work in downtown Chicago, there are numerous Metra stops providing quick and easy access to Chicago’s Loop. Plus, O’Hare airport is located in close proximity to the county.
  • 2) Rental Demand. As I previously mentioned, Lake County is home to quite a few company headquarters which helps provide a stable work-force looking to live in the immediate area and also be close to work. Lake County is also considered an affluent area, so there’s a great mix of new construction luxury rental complexes in addition to vintage value-add properties. There is a strong rental population for both. For example, we recently listed a large luxury townhome complex in Vernon Hills that leased up very quickly, and some of the tenants are corporate re-location companies.
  • 3) Stability. Lake County is the third-most populous county in Illinois and highly desirable for families. The school system is one of the best in the state and draws young families from the city as they seek suburban living and more space, yet still have easy access to downtown Chicago.

Essex Realty Group, Inc. is a leading mid-market brokerage firm that specializes in the sale of investment real estate throughout the Chicago metropolitan area. Visit for access to our multi-family listings and more information.

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