Chicago Relocation

Fall 2015 Chicagoland Market Update

September 17, 2015

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John D’Ambrogio

How did summer 2015 stack up?   What’s ahead for the Chicagoland real estate market for the balance of 2015?  Check out the stats, the insight, and the predictions….


Check it out!




2015 Real Estate Outlook for Chicagoland, 2014 Review

February 4, 2015

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John D’Ambrogio

Hello friends – Here’s a quick overview of what happened in ’14 and what we think WILL happen in ’15.  I am fortunate to have featured speaker Pam O’Connor, CEO of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World share her views as well.





Survey Says – Renters Want to Own!

January 13, 2015

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John D’Ambrogio

Fannie Mae recently released it’s national housing survey, and it showed that 2/3 of ‘young renters’ (defined as between 18-39, which is quite a spread in my opinion) think owning makes more sense than renting.


* Protection against rent increases

* Secure long term investment

It did note that these same ‘youngsters’ have major concerns about qualifying for a loan. That age group often carries over 30k in revolving debt and student loans. A BIG credit score rag down. In addition, that seriously cuts into their ability to put even 10% down on a property.

So what to do? Some are moving back with mom and pop to pay off debt and save, others are going in with roommates in less traditional buyer partnerships. Regardless, it looks like the American dream is alive and well in our nation’s youth!



Chicago Northside Rents Rise

April 21, 2014

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John D’Ambrogio

As reported last week in Crain’s Chicago Business – the market recovery is creating some interesting market micro-situations. Despite both serving a similar upscale white collar clientele, a whopping 6,200 apartment units are slated to open up in downtown this year. Just ask me – As a South Loop resident I can see a good 400 of them from my balcony window. Not surprisingly, Crain’s reports that “the battle for tenants is just beginning.”

But it’s a different story a few miles north in the upscale Lincoln Park and Lakeview communities. Why is that? Frankly, much of the land is long spoken for up there. Not that things don’t open up or change over. Although when they do, you sometimes have half decade delivery dates – Think 2550 Lincoln Park on the site of the old Columbus hospital.

Plus, zoning for many of the parcels are low density by tradition and design. That is in contrast to the loop, where through the years you have seen high rise office buildings convert the entire space to condos.

Crain’s admits that finding reliable vacancy information outside the great loop is difficult (they cite a fragmented market, among other reason). They do feel, however, that the south side still lags behind either market.

So what does that mean for a transferee relocating to Chicago? As a renter – high rise living in the center of the city is going to be a relative bargain, while the charm of the city’s Northside may cost a bit more.

Read the entire article HERE.





March 2013 State of the Market

April 11, 2013

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John D’Ambrogio

March was a great month for real estate in Chicago.  Listen in for ‘s read on the current state of the market.


Straight form the Source: Chicagoland Agents

September 20, 2012

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John D’Ambrogio

In 2011 the average Chicagoland real estate agent made more than in 2010, dealt with less REO deals, and was more satisfied and open to brokerage associations and services.   Chicago Agent Magazine survey results painted a clear picture of the situation out in the trenches of Chicagoland real estate.

Over half the agents surveyed said their total income in 2011 (about $95,000) was more than 2010 (about $70,000).  That average income rolled in at only 15% below the pre-recession average.  Additionally traditional commission splits (80-20%) are up 33.4% from 22.8%. And 79% of agents said that that’s just fine.  They are happy with the services included with their split.

Bulk REO deals might be on the downturn for Chicago agents.  91% of agents were involved with less than 20 REO deals in 2011 and only 2% reported dealing with over 100 REO sales.  Rentals might be dwindling as well.  73% of agents said rentals were less than a quarter of their business for the entire year.

As usual Chicago agents are working hard improving their personal business.  88% took courses specifically to improve their business.  Overall agents spent more on marketing – on average 5.8% of their income.  More time was also spent on the Internet promoting their business on their website and/or blog.  76% of agents now have a business page on the Internet.

Agents who responded to this survey worked in real estate on average 11 years, have spent just over their career in real estate and have spent an average of five years with their current company.  Finally 81% believe it should be more difficult to become licensed.

Some comments from Baird & Warner Intern Elizabeth McGrath



What Drives Value? Chip Wagner Explains how to Gain Value. Fourth in a Series

August 1, 2012

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John D’Ambrogio

Appraiser Chip Wagner finishes our appraiser series with his thoughts on what drives value.  He explains values are driven by a combination of what the market demands, updating your property to fit the standards of the neighborhood how comps in the area also contribute to a property value, and utilizing his big three – first impression, impression, impression.


Appraiser Chip Wagner speaks on appraisals – First in a series

June 26, 2012

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John D’Ambrogio

We’re privileged to have our friend and colleague Chip Wagner speak on the appriasal world and the real estate world – how you define appraisals/appraisers, how they are licensed, and what they actually do!

Learn about the different types of appraisals, including (of course) relocation appraisals.

Stay tuned for more great and informative videos from Chip!

Next up – Supply and Demand in the current market!


What’s in a name? Sometimes, quite a lot

April 19, 2012

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John D’Ambrogio

Perri Knight, an agent in our Goldcoast Office, recently did a great bit of sleuth work to figure out some background on our great city’s neighborhood names….

What’s in a name? Sometimes, quite a lot. Sometimes, it’s all you have to go on. We all know how important our own names are to our identities, what about the name of a place? Or a building? Naming rights to stadiums are big ticket items. As Chicagoans, we were up in arms when the Sears tower became the Willis Tower, some vowed never to use the new name at all. People associate the name of a place with how they feel about it.

Although I grew up in Cleveland, I left after high school and returned many years later to discover that natives refer to buildings in downtown by their names—not their addresses. In other words, if you have a meeting with Sue, she may tell you she in in Key Tower, or the Halle Builidng, or the Hannah Building—two names much too similar for comfort in my opinion. If you don’t know where those building are, you were in trouble. We do that in Chicago too, but most of our prominent buildings are visible in the skyline so it’s a little easier to pinpoint where you are and where you need to go.

I recently had a friend visiting from out of the country who wanted to make sure that we saw everything there was to see on the “Magic” mile. Of course, Mag Mile can be magical but “The Magnificent Mile” is the accepted moniker, coined by Arthur Rubloff. And what about the neighborhoods that define our city? Several bear names of those that lived there or helped to found the area. The land which serves as Wicker Park was donated by brothers of the same name. Logan Square honors a former congressman and Civil War hero with that name. Some neighborhood names stem from the language native to those that first settled there. Pilsen is actually a city in the Czech Republic. Bucktown—this is my favorite—got its name because the largely Polish inhabitants had a habit of keeping goats. Guess what you call a male goat? Yep, a “buck”.

When you’ve spent some time in Chicago you realize that these names don’t just describe a geographic area but most people will say they can describe who lives in each neighborhood. I’ve noticed though that people tend to stick within their neighborhoods-especially if they grew up there- so their ideas of what other areas are like and who lives there can be skewed. As a non-native Chicagoan, I’ve had the pleasure of living in several different neighborhoods and I can easily say that every single one has wonderful, unique attributes that I enjoyed while I lived there. If you are just coming to the city, do your research but most importantly, send some time out in different neighborhoods—don’t rely on one friend’s advice, no matter how well meaning. Chicago has a depth and diversity of neighborhoods that I think is unmatched and it’s worth taking the time to explore them.



Overview of the rental market

April 3, 2012

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John D’Ambrogio

What’s new in Chicagoland’s rental market?  Is it a good time to be a renter of a landlord?  What are the different ways to find a rental?

Take a look at rental rates around the metro area.

Overview of the Chicagoland Rental Market from Baird Warner on Vimeo.

We welcome your thoughts!