Chicago Relocation

Six Figure Rentals

December 27, 2012

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John D’Ambrogio

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

USA Today wrote an interesting article on high priced rental homes. Below are some excerpts and comments.

Homes in popular cities like Miami, Los Angeles and New York are now being rented for six figures per month as what I’m going to dub, super rentals; Homes with monthly dues above $100,000 per month.

My first thought when reading the USA today article that referenced these homes was surprise. Who on earth would rent a home for that kind of money per month. Why wouldn’t you just buy your own house for that much? My second thought was realizing the type of consumers that these homes are geared towards.

In a hypothetical situation where I have millions and millions of dollars, it isn’t completely crazy to rent a house at that price. It’s a short term commitment that is private and similar to an accustomed way of living someone in that fiscal situation is most likely used to. The people who live in these houses are typically not planning on staying put there for an extended amount of time, but have the money to recreate a lifestyle they are inured to. It also provides space and security that you couldn’t find in a hotel. The article in addition points out that many of these people also have their own staff or crew that accompanies them, so a large house makes most sense to house them. While these super rentals have been around for some time, they are growing in popular areas like New York and Beverly Hills, and are common for actors or actresses that are shooting a film away from home.

As an average person, I still think it’s crazy to rent a house at that price. Although if I was in the market to rent a house like that, I might not think it was so crazy.


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.


The Good the Bad and the Ugly: Chicago’s Greenest House

December 11, 2012

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John D’Ambrogio

Did you know Chicago is home to one of the greenest homes in the nation? Two years ago Chicagoian Michael Yarnell built his home using innovative green technology, re-purposed materials and simple conservation based thinking.  These actions resulted in his home leading the country in LEED standards (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). As with any new home certain aspects ended up working better than expected and other features didn’t work out as anticipated.  After three years Yarnell spilled the good the bad and the ugly to Chicago Magazine.

The Good: V-shaped panels on the roof powered the hot water system in the house resulting in 95% energy efficiency for the year. An additional heat pump conserves excess heat in the summer later drawing power from the pump during the winter.  This system also proved to be very successful.

The Bad: In the bathroom a Graywater pump system transfers water from the washing machine to flush the toilets. Unfortunately stowaway lint in the water caused unforeseen pluming problems. The fence surrounding the property was made of recycled plastic and pressed wheat which turned out to be flimsy, non-stable and one of Yarnell’s biggest headaches.

The Ugly: Instead of a traditional wood sealer with harmful chemicals Yarnell’s home was varnished with a water-based sealer. But the sealer did not hold up to Chicago’s cold winters and humid summers and left the walls of the home faded and weather-beaten after just three years.

Overall it’s the little things that save Yarnell the most energy and money.  Keeping the heat off until he arrives home, manually closing the large crank windows instead of installing motorized windows, and keeping the house no warmer than 63 in the winter and no cooler than 78 in the summer are all simple actions that anyone can implement into any home.

If you wish to see all the bells and whistles of a smart green home the Museum of Science and Industry has a display home open to the public.  Highlights include self-watering plants, a steam oven, and bathroom mirror technology that tracks your weight, displays the weather and accesses your Twitter feed.  Tickets and tours are available until January 6.

Some comments from Baird & Warner Intern Elizabeth McGrath



The Agent Grading Scale

December 5, 2012

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John D’Ambrogio

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

Mary Umberger of the Chicago Tribune recently had a great article based on her conversation with ZipRealty’s Lanny Baker. Here are some of the excerpts and our comments.

ZipRealty recently instituted a program in which customers and clients can write unedited, unfiltered reviews of their agents online. The more I stopped to think about the importance of customer reviews, the more I realized how prevalent they are and how often I use them.

Lanny Baker, CEO of ZipRealty, said in his interview “There’s a growing social responsibility to rate service providers. Today’s college students are picking colleges based on online reviews. They pick professors and courses and dorms based on online rating reviews.” As a college student of today, I can personally attest to the truth behind this statement. I do not even consider taking a professor for a class without looking the teacher up on, an online database that lists student reviews broken up into several different categories. The reviews that my former classmates have written are a vital part of my verdict.

Reviews do not only come in the class room. When looking into purchasing anything, many people use reviews to aid their chose. Whether it’s a new car, TV, or a lawn service, reviews are all over the internet and highly regarded, and it makes perfect sense. Who better to ask about a product or service than a real, customer or user of that good and service. Since not everyone knows someone that has that experience, the internet is a perfect place to look. Baird & Warner company reviews can be found on websites such as yelp.

I personally think that online reviews of agents are a great idea. On the agent side, it could provide some extra motivation to ensure good customer service and awareness of what the people think about your work. On the customer side, it would provide reviews and opinions based on  experience just like any other service. When I someday look into buying a home using a real estate agency, I can just about guarantee that I will be using some sort of review site to determine which agent I want to be working with. I predict that someday, agent reviews will be a must for real estate companies to provide legitimacy and authenticity of their agents so customers can make informed decisions based on the experience of others.


Chip Wagner and the Improving Market

December 4, 2012

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John D’Ambrogio

Our friend Chip Wagner was featured in the Chicago Tribune where he shared his realistic insight on the Chicagoland real estate market and what the improved market reports translate to for home owners and home buyers.  Click here to read the entire interview with Mary Umberger!