Chicago Relocation

October 2012 the High Home Sales

November 28, 2012

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John D’Ambrogio

Illinois Association of Realtors announced that more homes were sold this past October than any October since 2006.  The nine county Chicago area sold a total of 8,326 properties.  That is 3,000 more homes sold from October 2011, and a volume increase of 11.3 percent over September 2012.

Within the city of Chicago 2,009 homes were sold an 8.8 percent increase over September and up 53.1 percent from October 2011.  60 percent of this volume was from sold condominiums.  The city median price rose to $175,000, eight percent higher from one year ago, but it is still the lowest monthly price since March.

Overall prices were down compared to the rest of 2012 but the prices are still up from 2011.  While prices were low for 2012 the high number of sold homes means inventory is being removed from the market.  Removal of this inventory is necessary so prices have a chance to truly stabilize and maybe even consistently rise.  Low inventory also could give underwater homeowners a chance to become a little less underwater, and strong sales shows buyer’s confidence increasing .  So despite October having the lowest prices since March 2012 other, bigger picture, activates are happening.

As we move further into the final chunk of the fourth quarter there’s hope that October was an indicator for the potential end results of 2012′s market.

“There’s a great deal of end-of-the-year excitement,” said Zeke Morris, president of the Chicago Association of REALTORS and Operating Principal and Managing Broker, Keller Williams Realty, CCG to Illinois Association of Realtors.  ”Typically our numbers are down in the fourth quarter, but we’re starting strong this year which is a good indicator that we’re beginning to catch up to other markets in Illinois.

“Although we’ve seen about an 8 percent drop in median condo prices, we’re making up for it in the number of unit sales and trending in the right direction” he said.


Some comments from Baird & Warner Intern Elizabeth McGrath




Senior Relocation

November 21, 2012

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John D’Ambrogio

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

Wendy Cole of Realtor Magazine wrote an interesting article about senior citizen relocation and senior move managers. Below are some excerpts and some of our comments.

Planning and pulling off a move can be stressful. It takes months of planning and organizing to get ready to a transition into a new home. What can be even more stressful is moving your parents or your parent’s in-law. That’s where the NASMM steps in.

The National Association of Senior Move Management was founded in 2002 in Arlington Virginia and their goal is to facilitate transition relocation for older adults. Their services are vast, and include social workers, professional organizers, and engineers.

Their work is essentially listed in their title. The goal is to aid you, or a parent in moving senior citizens to new homes. When planning a senior move, there are seemingly endless checks to cross off the list of things to do. A senior move manager is a great way to relieve stress on everyone involved, and help simplify the process for you and your busy schedule. A common misconception about this process however is the cost. According to NASMM’s executive director Mary Kay Buysse, the entire process is no more than $2,500. For the time and stress that is saved in the process, $2500 isn’t so bad.


Baird & Warner named 3rd Best Workplace

November 13, 2012

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John D’Ambrogio

Baird & Warner has been named Chicago’s 3rd best place to work.  This morning Chicago Tribune announced the results for their Top 100 Workplaces in 2012.  The top companies were  found using the results of a comprehensive look at each company’s employee feedback, leadership, direction, communication, motivation and results.  Baird & Warner also won a special honor for top leadership in a large company.

“The Baird & Warner name has been synonymous with innovation and integrity for over 150 years,” said Stephen W. Baird, president and CEO of Baird & Warner.  “While I am proud of our performance, I also believe the Baird  & Warner culture is an asset.  My family has worked for generations to create a company that we can be proud of, but it’s really our fantastic broker associates and employees who set the tone.  Their positive and upbeat energy creates buzz in each and every one of our offices, making this a place where people want to come to work every day.”

Culture was a significant contributing factor to winning this award.  Chicago Tribune hired Workplace Dynamics to evaluate small, medium and large Chicago-area companies.  What all the winners shared in common was a positive office culture which has been seen on a national scale for years at companies such as Google and Zappos.

“We all spend an awful lot of time at work,” said Doug Claffey, CEO of Workplace Dynamics, to Chicago Tribune.  “Creating a really great workplace for employees is something that I think businesses have an obligation to do.  In addition to making money, you need create an environment where your people want to be.”

More than 1,600 companies participated and at Baird & Warner we could not be happier with this award.  The hard work, dedication and culture created by every one of the broker associates and employees is something special that’s impossible  not to take pride in.

Some comments from Baird & Warner intern Elizabeth McGrath


State of the Market (Q3) 2012 with John D’Ambrogio

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John D’Ambrogio

discusses the Chicagoland real estate market after a stellar Quarter 3 with higher total units and market cap, and lower total days on market than in 2011.  The second quarter left us excited about the potential for better days ahead and the statistics from the third quarter leave us with a similarly good feeling about the future of the market.

State of the Market (Q3) 2012 from Baird Warner on Vimeo.


Chicago’s New Bull Pen

November 7, 2012

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John D’Ambrogio

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

The Chicago Bulls official website reported on June 13th that team would be relocating their pracrice facility to a downtown location.

Since 1992, the Berto center in Deerfield Illinois has been the practice center of one Chicago’s most loved sports team, Da Bulls. Bulls Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf announced in June however that the team will be moving the practice center to downtown Chicago. This came after the hard work of Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who has been pitching the move to the Bulls owners. Currently the team is exploring a number of sites throughout the city.

As a die-hard Bulls fan, I love the move into the city. It allows the Bulls to expand in a way they couldn’t at the Berto Center, because of growth limitations. It also promotes the investment of Chicago by bringing players even closer to the city they so proudly represent. It will put the practice facility in close range to the United Center, where the Bulls play all of their home games. Currently, each player needs to commute to and from facilities, which are about 30 miles apart. Add that with Chicago traffic and players have a lengthy commute. The move would cut travel times, and it makes it easier for players to access the practice center.

The Chicago Bulls represent the hardworking attitude Chicago prides itself in, and I believe the shift into the city is a great move for the city as well as the team.


Empty No Longer: Chicagoland’s Vacant Lots Decline

November 1, 2012

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John D’Ambrogio

The supply of empty retail lots has fallen to the lowest level in three years according to Chicago Real Estate Daily. Depletion of Chicagoland vacant lots was predicted to take years so it comes as a pleasant surprise that the first half of 2012 found the “best” vacant lots (home-ready, in good school districts, close to transits) being grabbed fast.

Quarter two’s 17.1-year inventory is the lowest the inventory of vacant lots has been in years. Down from quarter one (19.1) and especially down from August 2011 (22.1). The deviation to Augusts’ rates could be yet another indicator that after this six-year slump the road to recovery, albeit slow, might actually be here.

Why now? Well one factor is the continuing story of 2012. Low mortgage rates for those who qualify and rising rental prices are driving people towards the housing market. Illinois Association of Realtors said August home sales were the highest the Chicago-area has seen in nearly five years – up 28.5 percent from August 2011. Desirable homes are going fast and thus have led some home buyers to build what they want.

Despite the surprise lot decline, the overall lot inventory still remains high. Majority of the buys and builds are in the suburbs given most suburban lots have a high ranking on the lot priority list. 60 percent of remaining vacant lots are in areas that are hard to sell – particularly in the city. Unfortunately vacant city lots are unlikely to sell any time soon due to the combination of their location ranking low on the priority scale and the cities’ highly competitive rental market. Basically, don’t expect a new condominium high rise anytime soon.

The road to recovery doesn’t just mean more home sales and lots sold; it means building sites, jobs for the construction, electric, plumbing, and landscaping. Some of those industries have thoroughly felt the impact of the recession and are equally as excited about declining vacant lots. In quarter two builders started work on 854 homes up 45 percent from the same time last year when only 589 were under construction. As mentioned above, this may be a, albeit, slow recovery, but  the bottom line is yet another aspect of the market is headed in the right direction.


Some comments from Baird & Warner Intern Elizabeth McGrath