I just checked the MLS and currently there are 49 homes for sale in Chicago for $9,000 and less. Most of them are total rehabs that would take thousands of dollars to make them habitable. There are some GREAT deals available through the City of Chicago Neighborhood Stabilization Program, but you would have to qualify for an FHA mortgage to purchase one of them.
The bottom line is that you should use this time and your $9,000 cash to clean up your credit. Now is a great time to buy a property, but you have to have a decent credit score to take advantage of these opportunities. Let me know if you would want a referral to a local lender that could help you qualify for a mortgage.
Nick Radakovich Home Sales Realty
1) start cleaning up you credit. You can access the dispute links on all three bureaus and if it is negative, dispute it. The law requires it to come off in 30 days of they creditor does not verify it. May of the creditors may not exist anymore or are not set up to verify.
2) the items that do not come off contact them and find out what payment they will take to remove it from you credit and ask for a letter in case they fail to get it off. You can send the letter to the bureaus to remove it.
3) there are homes for $9000 and below and in Chicago you get what you pay for. That $9000 could by you 10s of 1000s of dollars in fines and fees and property taxes to redeem. Uncut grass and weed fines, unpaid water bills and court fees add up fast in Chicago.
4) some repairs the city may not allow you to do unless you are properly skilled and licensed to do so.
5) there are homes out there that could give you what you are looking for, since you are willing to put in the labor.
Engage a broker to help you in your search.