Chicago Relocation

People Exiting the Land of Lincoln?

April 27, 2012

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John D’Ambrogio

Allied Van Lines recently released it 2011 Annual Magnet States Report and we were, um, decidedly at one end of the spectrum.  Not the front end.

According to the study, their top state for net outbound moves – Illinois.  That contrasts the top for incoming moves, Texas, Florida and South Carolina.  We didn’t have the most, but we had the largest discrepency from outbound vs. inbound.

As the report cites:  ”Illinois usurped the title of top outbound state with the highest net relocation losses (more outbound than inbound shipments), followed by Pennsylvania, Michigan, New Jersey and New York – all part of the top 5 outbound states in 2010.   Illinois lost ground this year, with a net loss of 1,198 moves out of state, versus 2010 losses of 1,050.”

Of course, a lot of factors influence this, not the least of which is what accounts are measured and what their particular needs are in a given year.

Allied is owned by relocation giant Sirva, Inc.

Keep on truckin’



Q1 2012 State of the Market Report – Chicagoland

April 26, 2012

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John D’Ambrogio

What’s new in Chicagoland Real Estate?  Take a look at the Q1 2012 State of the Market Report:

I welcome your comments!


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.



Hear the Real Estate Scoop on WJOL-AM 1340

April 5, 2012

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John D’Ambrogio

As much as I enjoy the Ga Ga, Saturday Morning’s NPR line-up (wait, wait, don’t tell me!) and Sunday’s Breakfast with The Beatles with Chicago’s own Aunt Terri Hemmert, it’s nice to know that every month I can also tune in and get some timely, accurate real estate coverage from the people who are right in the middle of it – real estate professionals!

Mike Zawislak & Phil Gleason of Downers Grove host a radio show the first Thursday of every month on WJOL-AM 1340.  Called “House Talk” the show discusses industry issues and let’s transferees, homeowners, renters – anyone with an issue or comment – call in and chat live on the air.  Foreclosures, short sales, market stats, all these and more are covered by the people who are living it.

Zawislak and Gleason are active real estate agents with Baird & Warner, the largest independent brokerage in Illinois and the 10th largest real estate firm in the US.  Guests include major players in Chicago’s real estate and finance industries.

You can track them down at 815.254.7300.

don't touch that dial




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!


Buyer’s Fees Come to Chicago – Will It Travel With Relo Clients?

April 2, 2012

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John D’Ambrogio

Sunday’s Chicago Tribune carried an article by Mary Ellen Podmolik entitled “House Hunting fee to debut – Koenig and Strey’s agents’ bill for help may set precedent”

Effective today, Koenig & Strey Real Living will charge potential buyers a fee for the agent to work with them. Renters also will be charged if they find a rental and purchase at a later date.

This isn’t really new, but it’s new to Chicagoland.

Renters, meanwhile, will be charged extra costs if an agent helps them find a rental unit that they later purchase.

Reaction in the market has been decidedly….ambivalent.

The article quoted Mike Golden, co-owner of At Properties – “If it’s embraced, it’s a great idea.  One of two things happens: Either it’s like Bank of America charging a fee for an ATM, or everyone embraces it, and they’re leading the way for a new fee. My guess is it’s not going to go that way.”

Chris Eigel, CEO of Prudential Rubloff, is quoted as saying “Brokerages are under a lot of pressure at all levels.  Agents invest a lot of time and money working with buyers and sellers and frequently don’t get paid at all.”

As defined by the article:

Consumers who use a Koenig & Strey agent as their buyer representative will pay, at the agent’s choosing, an upfront retainer in an amount set by the agent.

If a purchase is made and the agent receives a share of the commission, the retainer will be returned to the buyer as a credit at closing.

SO it seems like the brokerage community is taking a “wait and see” attitude.  If it works, look for most companies to initiate this one way or another.

What I find interesting from a relocation point of view, is where the relo companies will stand on this.  They’re pretty adamant about not paying any add’l fees, even if they are possibly returned at the close.

What are your thoughts?