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!




A Brief Tour of the Western Suburbs

October 12, 2014

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John D’Ambrogio


While the city of Chicago is a fantastic one-of-a-kind town, sometimes you just need to get outside of the downtown area for a while.  And if you don’t live near the heart of the city, then you know how nice the suburbs of Chicago can be.  Personally, I am from the Western Suburbs and know that there is a lot to do out there.  Here is a list of just a few of the best attractions around those parts.

Brookfield Zoo  - The free Lincoln Park Zoo in the city is pretty nice, but the Brookfield Zoo definitely edges it out.  With a strong focus on innovative animal care and natural conservation, the zoo is not only a fun place to visit, but can also be quite educational.

Cantigny Park  - As Wheaton’s finest landmark, Cantigny Park has lots to offer.  From beautiful gardens to fascinating museums to a quality golf course, there’s always plenty to do.  As a child, I remember climbing around on the old tanks and cannons in their iconic American infantry exhibit.  Dangerous?  Maybe.  Fun?  Definitely.

Drury Lane  - No, this is not home to Illinois’ muffin man.  Drury Lane is a theater and conference center that plays host to a variety of special events, including weddings and business meetings.  The theater also puts on many live shows throughout the year and is a big proponent of the performing arts.  In addition, you could very easily eat yourself sick at their delicious brunch buffet.  Fair warning.

Morton Arboretum  - Now who doesn’t love a good arboretum?  The Morton Arboretum in Lisle is an outdoor nature museum intended to promote environmental health through sustainability and educational efforts.  The museum offers acres of beautiful foliage and many fun activities to inspire and teach the value of nature.

Naper Settlement  - Along with many great shops and restaurants, the delightful area of downtown Naperville is also home to Naper Settlement.  This outdoor history museum does more than just inform visitors about the old pioneer way of life; it lets them experience it firsthand.  With many interactive exhibits and programs, Naper Settlement is a great place to connect to the past and enjoy the present simultaneously.

The Tivoli Theatre   - Built in 1928 as one of the first theatres in the country, the Tivoli Theatre is the crown jewel of Downers Grove.  With its ornate designs and pre-show live organ music, the Tiv really gives the customers a feel of what an old time night out at the cinema was like.  And if this great theatre isn’t enough, you can head downstairs to the bowling alley or right outside to Aurelio’s pizza (and see my 2nd grade baseball team photo) to complete the night.

No one can blame you for spending all your time experiencing all of the great attractions that the city has to offer.  But just know that if you decide to venture out to the quieter parts of Chicagoland, there are plenty of gems around here waiting to be enjoyed.


More than Just a Paycheck

April 10, 2013

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John D’Ambrogio

Here are some comments from Baird & Warner’s own Tom Gill.

Joel Kotkin of Forbes wrote a great article about cities and salaries. Below are some of our comments and excerpts.

When relocating for a new job to a place you have never been before, there are many things to consider. While not always the most important, salary is certainly one of them. A job in a new city can be particularly enticing if it is accompanied with a high pay check. However, this is only one side of the financial story. The other half is cost of living in your new home town. As the cost of living increases, it is most likely your salary will increase as well, leaving you at times in the same financial position that you started in. Some companies even decrease salaries when relocating if cost of living is significantly lower.

Relocating to a place such as New York or Los Angeles with a new big pay check has its appeals, but with both ranking in the top of cost of living in America, it’s no wonder the salary is higher. That being said, Forbes has listed the cities where a paycheck stretches the furthest.

Number one on Forbes list is Houston Texas, followed by San Jose California, Detroit Michigan, Memphis Tennessee, and Dallas Texas.

If you do find yourself in a position to relocate for a new job, make sure you factor what your new residence will cost you when you get there. If you’re relocating to Chicago, check out Baird & Warner’s relocation page, loaded with great features such as lifestyle search, to assist you find the home you’re looking for. Real Estate is more than just the home you live in, it’s the life you get out of it.


Relocation 20 Questions

December 19, 2012

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John D’Ambrogio

Here are some comments from Baird & Warner’s own Tom Gill.

Jacquelyn Smith of Forbes wrote a great article about things to consider before relocating homes. Below are some excerpts and some of our comments.

Moving to another city or state for a job can be a difficult decision, and there a vast number of uncertainties to consider, and not every part of the decision making process has the same importance for everyone. Before you make your decision however, Forbes has laid out 20 questions you should ask yourself before you relocate for a job.

While all of the questions are important, not all of them will be important to you. For example, a single person with no children will not be as concerned with school districts as someone who has kids will be. It is up to you to ultimately decide if relocating is the right choice. Career coach Deborah Brown-Volkman writes “You relocate because you want to, and not because you should. If you’re apprehensive or feel it’s a bad choice, don’t do it.”

If you do decide that relocating is the correct move for you, the next step is to research the area you’re moving to. If you’re relocating to Chicago, Baird & Warner had done all of that for you. They can provide you with an agent, and a number of tools to help you find the perfect place to live, with their Lifestyle search page. You rank all that is significant to you in levels of importance, and then Baird & Warner filters your desires into neighborhoods that most fit your description. From there, you can access listings and agents in that area.


Summertime Chi

July 25, 2012

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John D’Ambrogio

Here are some comments from Baird & Warner’s own Tom Gill.

According to Travel+Leisure magazine, Chicago is now the second best rated city in the United States and Canada, jumping ahead one spot from last year. As a lifelong Chicago native, this comes as no surprise considering the many things the city has to offer, especially during the summertime.

When it comes to activities like baseball games, museums, festivals, zoos and parks, it is difficult to match what Chicago has to offer. The White Sox have a three game lead into the AL central heading into the All-Star Break, and the Cubs have future stars in the making in Anthony Rizzo and Starlin Castro.

One of the things I love almost as much as sports is food. Highlighted by Chicago style hot dogs, deep dish pizza, and Italian beef, there is endless amounts of delicious food to enjoy when visiting the city. Whether you are just visiting Chicago or planning to relocate to the city, taking a trip into the loop or magnificent mile is a perfect way to experience a city its residents love so dearly. A city that has enveloped a hard working attitude and culture that people take pride in.

If considering a trip into the city, I strongly encourage it. It is nearly impossible to run out of things to do, and sites to see., is a great website that lists all events in the city and is the center for Chicago tourism. According to their website, more than 42 million people visited last year, and tourism accounts for about $600 million in tax revenue alone. With good reason, Chicago tourism is flourishing. People are taking notice, and people are visiting.


Current Trends in Relocation – 2012

June 11, 2012

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John D’Ambrogio

Join John D’Ambrogio and Bob Portale as they discuss current trends in relocation.

Hear about new policy adjustments – Loss on sale, temporary housing; trends in rentals.  Hear where initiations are at this year and hear what type of growth the industry is experiencing.


How Does Your Home Loan Compare?

May 11, 2012

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John D’Ambrogio

How much does the average Illinoisan owe?  How does that compare nationwide, or to other big cities like New York or LA?  A new report by Lending Tree sheds some light.

We’re not too bad, actually.  IL has the 18th highest average loan per homeowner in the US.  WHOOPS –  $211,900, that’s significantly more than the average home value in Chicago ($162,800, according to Zillow).  Illinois was one of 13 states with average home loans in the $200Ks.  There are seven states with averages in the $300Ks (including, of course, NY and CA), and the big kahuna (no pun intended) is Hawaii – With an average home loan of $667K!!!!  Sounds like a classic case of supply and demand…

Lending Tree notes:  ”The average buyer in Hawaii, based on the average loan of $677,299 and an APR of 4%, would have a monthly payment for a 30 year mortgage (1 point) of $3,234 before taxes and insurance. The average payment for Mississippi would be $655 based on the closed loan amount.” Mississippi and Nebraska bring of the rear with lowest average loans, each with average home loans of less than $138K.

Actually, we’re a bit below the national average of $222,261.  How do you compare?


Don’t despair – People still WANT to buy your home

July 20, 2011

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John D’Ambrogio

….The economy may just cause a little bit of a delay! commissioned a study that showed despite all the bad media coverage out there about homeownership, mortgages etc., most  of us still think buying a home is a smart investment (thank goodness).


So the good news:

· Nine out of ten of us still feel a home is a great investment that will grow in the future


And the bad:

· Half of us worry about not being to afford our homes, or worse yet we are worried about LOSING our home



Says Julie Bandy, editor in chief for “These results provide an interesting illustration of the public’s mindset in a difficult economy.”


It is refreshing to know that hope springs eternal!




Agreement made for next steps in foreclosure paperwork issues

October 19, 2010

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It looks like Chicago foreclosures will begin to flow again after their abrupt halt a few weeks back.  DSNews reported today that both B of A and Fidelity Nat’l Financial have come to an agreement on the foreclosure paperwork issues that have caused havoc among some of the nation’s largest lenders in the last few weeks.

Fidelity will continue to provide title insurance for B of A’s foreclosed homes and B of A agrees to cover any court and settlement costs.  Fidelity agrees to defend any NEW buyers in any court proceedings.

While it doesn’t quite mean “business as usual” it means that the parties (and the government) are interested in moving forward with selling these parties, which is undeniably critical to moving out of the nation’s real estate recession.

The article quotes ALTA (American Land Title Association) CEO Kurt Pfotenhauer as saying “ALTAsupports FHFA’s outline for an orderly and expeditious resolution of foreclosure process issues that will provide greater certainty to homeowners, markets and other stakeholders,” said Kurt Pfotenhauer, CEO of ALTA.


“Raging Waves” welcome west suburban Chicago transferees

June 6, 2010

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I just had the privilege of attending the media event for Raging Waves water park – Names best of the midwest by Midwest living Magazine.  It opened a few years ago and now boasts 18 water slides, a wave pool, and a very courteous staff!  It’s located in the far western suburb of Yorkville – a good hour plus from the city, but an easy trip from such transferee destinations as Naperville, Aurora and the Fox Valley neighoborhood. 

Finding something special to do with kids, especially during a relocation, is always important.  This is an easy way for the kids to have a fantastic day while the parents relax in a friendly, safe, fantastic environment.  Believe me, I’ve been to a lot of waterparks, and this one is tops.

The top endorsement came from my seven year old – “It’s really cool, thanks Dad.” 

Who could ask for more?