Chicago Relocation

Importance of Technology in the Promotion of Listings

December 29, 2008

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Want to hear my opinion on technology and how it needs to be applied to real estate listings? Watch this video in which I discuss the importance of technology in the promotion of real estate listings. I discuss IPWs (individual property websites), mobile-enabled sites, uploading listings to social networking sites and blogging on listings.

What is your opinion?

If having trouble viewing, this video can also be viewed here.


Your 2009 will be what YOU make it!

December 26, 2008

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RIS Media’s recent post – click here brings up some great points when looking for a relocation agent to help you sell your home in Chicago – For each agent working the Chicago real estate market 2009 will be a year of self fulfilling prophecy.  It will be what they make of it.  As Mike Parker says “Your 2009 will be what YOU make it. The sky is not falling and you can be sure that many people will succeed in 2009, just as many continue to succeed, even now.”

So when choosing an agent, ask them what they think of the 2009 market and how, within the parameters of the market, they can sell your house.  It’s ok if they’re “bearish” on the market, as long as they have a plan – aggressive pricing, online promotion, etc. – to counter it.

You can ask them some questions on how they will market your Chicago property – Do they have a personal website?  Does their company aggressively invest the dollars (and more importantly – the time) in search engine optimization?  Will your listing have its own personal landing page on the website?  Is their site mobile-enabled?

An optimistic (or at least focused and realistic) agent is a valuable asset.

I try to draw this parallel: I’ve been skydiving a few times in my life – each time I’ve jumped “tandem” where you’re strapped to the instructor.  I’ve always asked – “Are you optimistic about this jump?  Are you and your girlfriend in a fight today?”  If either answer is “no” I would suggest finding another instructor!  You’re both in this together. So make sure your agent is optimistic about selling your home, or seek out a new one!


Pros and Cons of Down Sizing

December 19, 2008

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When it comes time to relocate to Chicago more often than not that means downsizing.  Unless you’re coming from a New York, Boston or San Francisco market, your money may go a bit farther in the place you’re leaving than the place you’re coming to.

Not that downsizing is all that bad.  As someone who pays for the guy to mow the lawn I seldom walk, and rake the leaves I see out my window, there’s an appeal in a smaller (or non-existent) lawn. According to Runzheimer International a family of four who downsizes in Chicago from 2800 SF to 1800 SF will yield approximately $1281 in utilities savings and $4,545 in property tax savings annually (that’s a total of over $5,800 ).  Well, there’s your IRA contribution!

In addition, as reports, smaller homes have shown a great annual appreciation (5.2%) than smaller homes (3.5%).

There are always two sides to every story.  Presumable you’re moving from a big suburban home to a city condo.  The flip side of that “quality of life” and minimal commute may be hundreds of dollars each month to park that seldom used car (and a jump in insurance costs to boot); or the addition of condo association fees.  But at as we read the reports from “black Friday” – consumers will buy enough to fill up any space they’re in….so isn’t it smart to see the advantages of a slightly smaller space?


Get Out the Hammer!

December 12, 2008

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As reported in realtor magazine moderately priced upgrades STILL result in significant paybacks.  So whether relocating to of from Chicago a little investment before selling your home can pay big dividends.  And we ALL need  dividends in today’s marketplace!  It was noted that these improvements take away many of the tactics that buyers use in this market – nitpicking about small things.  If you’ve already redone the kitchen cabinets or powder room, their reason for asking for a $10,000 bathroom redo credit mysteriously disappears.

The top ten project paybacks are:
1. Upscale fiber cement siding (86.7%)
2. Midrange wood deck (81.8%)
3. Midrange vinyl siding (80.7%)
4. Upscale foam-backed vinyl (80.4%)
5. Midrange minor kitchen remodel (79.5%)
6. Upscale vinyl window replacement (79.2%)
7. Midrange wood window replacement (77.7%)
8. Midrange vinyl window replacement (77.2%)
9. Upscale wood window replacement (76.5%
10. Midrange major kitchen remodel (76.0%)

The entire article goes into many specific examples that are worth a closer look! So get out that hammer!


Truly Exponential Times

December 3, 2008

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We are truly living in exponential times – Please click on this video  and think about a few of the facts presented!

Is there a market for relocation in Chicago Did you know that if you’re one in a million in China, you’re one in 1340 in the US?

Is there a market for relocation?

The labor department estimates that today’s kids will have 10-14 jobs under their belt by the time they’re 38! Why?  Technology’s growth, for one thing.  Consider that for students enrolled in a four year tech school – a full half of their education will be outdated before they graduate!

In the five minutes it takes you to watch a video on mtv – 67 babies will be born in the US; 274 in China; 295 in India…and 700,000 songs were illegally downloaded.

I think it’s time to buy some investment property!

Enjoy this Video!