An inventory of foreclosures and a continued uptick in rentals have prompted Round Lake Beach officials to seek help in assessing the village's real estate landscape.

Village leaders want to get a better understanding of the big-picture impact of the economic downturn on the local housing market and what strategies might be available to quell an emerging trend.

“We appear to be in a phase or mode of not a lot of reinvestment going into our single-family housing stock,” said John Wildenberg, economic development director.

“We're looking for a pretty thorough investigation of the conditions here — what's really going on, what are the impediments and is there anything the village can do?”

Round Lake Beach has been one of the harder-hit towns in terms of foreclosures and has seen a continued rise in the number of rental homes. Basically, investors the past two years have been buying, but would-be single-family homeowners have been less active.

“We're trying to find a way to attack that problem,” Mayor Richard Hill said. “We're looking at the mix in neighborhoods — what can attract homebuyers rather than investors?”

To do that, village officials have hired specialists from its legal firm — Ancel, Glink, Diamond, Bush, DiCianni & Krafthefer — to develop a residential rehabilitation plan. The fee is not to exceed $35,000.

While the foreclosure trend is easing, there still is an inventory to deal with, village officials say. According to data from the Woodstock Institute, there were 125 foreclosures in Round Lake Beach during the first half of 2013, compared with 221 for the same period in 2012.

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