Chicago Relocation

State of the Market Q1 2013

April 29, 2013

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John D’Ambrogio

John D’ Ambrogio shares the Quarter 1 statistics from 2013.  Watch and find out how this fantastic turnaround bodes great things for 2013 Chicagoland real estate.


Mail Order Prototype

April 17, 2013

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John D’Ambrogio

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

CNN recently posted an article about a mail order home written by Les Christie. Below are some of our comments on the project.

Disasters are an unfortunate and inevitable part of the world we reside in. Despite our best efforts, they happen. Often, we cannot control them. What we can control however is how we respond to them. After all, life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it. Disasters are no exception.

A vital part of disaster relief is temporary housing for those affected. After Hurricane Katrina, thousands of people were moved to the New Orleans superdome to take shelter and to have a place to stay. CNN recently posted an online article featuring a new disaster relief home, called House Arc; a 150 square feet structure of steel tubes weighing around 3,000 pounds. It is capable of sustaining high winds, and can be boxed into a 120 cubic foot freight container.

While House Arc is a good idea in theory, I don’t believe it is the solution to housing that disaster relief is so in need for. While there are innovative qualities to it, the flaws outweigh its use. The first problem is the cost of House Arc. One of these modular homes costs between 55 and 75 thousand dollars (although it should be noted that estimated costs are predicted to decrease with mass production). The next setback is that one House Arc needs to be assembled by 3 to 4 carpenters, taking about 3 to 4 days with an estimated build cost of around 5 thousand dollars. In a disaster situation, it is difficult to come across 3 to 4 spare carpenters and days to assemble just one modular house. Finally, this doesn’t offer a solution for a family that finds itself in a disaster situation. While it might be spacious for one person, any family that is forced to live in a House Arc will simply not have enough space.

While a good idea, the House Arc is not the solution to such a colossal problem like temporary housing for disaster relief. It is simply too expensive, too complicated, and too small to provide any real sort of relief. Hopefully someday, there will be a universal solution to the problem of disaster relief housing.


March 2013 State of the Market

April 11, 2013

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John D’Ambrogio

March was a great month for real estate in Chicago.  Listen in for ‘s read on the current state of the market.


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.


Chicago’s Taxman

April 3, 2013

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John D’Ambrogio

As Beatle George Harrison sang on Revolver, there is no escaping the Taxman’s ever vigilant gaze.  Just ask Richard Parrillo whose 2012 property tax was the highest in all of Chicago’s nine counties.  At $246,780 his property taxes were higher than the median home sale price of July 2012.

Parilllo was not alone at the top.  Crain’s compiled Chicago’s top ten most expensive property taxes proving that a beautiful home with a beautiful view comes at a cost.

Most of the top properties reached their title thanks to construction or renovations.  Karen Citow, owner and founder of Reach Yoga, built a new 11,894-square-foot home in Glencoe causing her property taxes to triple between 2010 and 2011.  The new home placed her in with the other top ten.

While most people gawk at such prices the number probably didn’t come as a great surprise to the homeowners or at least should not have been out of the blue.  Baird & Warner’s Katherine Malkin told Crain’s, “None of them have made money because they’re ignorant to what costs are.”

Eight of the ten on the list appealed their taxes due to their astronomical prices.  Only two were successful in lowering the price – the rest were not so lucky.

Some comments from Baird & Warner‘s Elizabeth McGrath




Fun Fact:  John Lennon wanted to be suspended upside down from the ceiling while he was spun around a microphone to sing the track on Tomorrow Never Knows.  George Martin quickly showed him that the same effect could be created without the acrobatics.