chicago: Where To Build The Next High-Rise In Chicago? - 02/04/14 07:49 AM
With many of the popular areas already developed in Chicago, developers run into certain challenges like; where can a new development be added in an already thriving neighborhood? Neighborhoods like the South Loop, River North, West Loop, and Bucktown/Wicker Park all seeing their fair share of new development, but how about Lincoln Park, which has been a premiere neighborhood along Chicago’s lakefront for years.
Where is a builder to build when vacant land is nonexistent?
Well, if you are Warren Baker, of Baker Development Corporation in Chicago, you could buy everyone out of an existing building and raze it to … (0 comments)

chicago: Who’s Buying Homes? International Buyers, That’s Who. - 01/31/14 03:53 AM
International home buyers are taking interest in Chicago and other big cities.  According to’s November 2013 analysis, Chicago was among the top 10 cities in the U.S. that attracted foreign home buyers.
Of the 10 cities, Chicago came in 9th, along with LA, Miami, New York City, Las Vegas, Detroit, Orlando, Houston, Ft. Lauderdale, and Washington DC.
There were 20 countries that were the largest contributors to the November 2013’s data; Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, Ireland, Brazil, Germany, India, France, Japan, Mexico, China, Italy, Netherlands, Philippines, South Korea, Pain, Russia, Singapore, Switzerland, and Sweden.
Chicago attracted more buyers from … (0 comments)

chicago: Zombies In Chicago - 01/31/14 03:39 AM
The Woodstock Institute, a nonprofit research and policy organization located in Chicago, recently did a study of unresolved foreclosures in Cook County from 2008 to 2012.  They call these cases “zombie properties.”
The Woodstock Institute defines a zombie property as a property that has been in foreclosure for more than 3 years and still unresolved.  This can be due to the fact that neither borrower nor servicer has clear control of the property, or neither has the incentive to assume responsibility of the property.
“You're stuck in this situation where nobody really has a long-term interest in the property. The … (0 comments)

chicago: If Dominick’s Is Out, Who’s Moving In? - 12/27/13 07:41 AM
One of Chicagland’s most well known grocers, Dominick’s, is in its final 2 weeks of existence.  This begs the question, who will take over these stores?
For many of the Dominick’s location it is more than just a grocer, it is “anchor tenant” for many of the real estate centers that house it.  This is a problem for many of the businesses attached to or surrounding those locations as they rely heavily on the traffic to provide additional business.  Additionally, many of these grocery-anchored shopping centers have tenancy and co-tenancy clauses that stipulate smaller retailers may break their lease if an … (0 comments)

chicago: A Bittersweet Goodbye - 12/27/13 03:05 AM
As we come to the end of 2013, Chicago says goodbye to one of its incredible beloved restaurants and for some, a best kept secret. 

Chicago is known for its diversity and enormous choices of upscale dining.   However, Courtright’s out in Willow Springs has been a destination place for food and wine aficionados for almost 20 years. 

Its award winning wine cellar alone is worth taking the drive.  The beautiful oak style dining room and bar with stained glass and the beautiful woodland terrace, give the restaurant a warm welcoming feel to all who graced the threshold. 

chicago: Foreclosure Auction Sales Surged In October 2013 - 12/21/13 05:04 AM
With the 4th quarter of 2013 under way and talk continuing about recovering prices, Foreclosure Auction sales are a category of national housing sales not typically discussed frequently.  One fact many may not have noted was, October 2013 picked up the pace on foreclosure auction sales. 
 RealtyTrac, a national foreclosure tracking and data firm recently released its October 2013 Residential and Foreclosure Sale Report.  This report includes all transactions of condos, townhomes and single family homes nationally, including bank owned property and foreclosure auctions.
According to RealtyTrac, the projected yearly pace is 5,649,965 total residential sales.  This is 13% higher … (0 comments)

chicago: Whole Foods Goes Urban - 12/20/13 07:54 AM
Whole Foods is going urban.  The mega upscale grocer is moving into the underserved community of Englewood, Chicago.   Englewood just south of Chicago, one of several underserved communities, but community leaders feel that this will be a great addition to the neighborhood. 
Despite the violent reputation, for many, there are few options when it comes to healthy eating, and Whole Foods could very well fill a large part of that gap. 
The question many seem to be asking is; can an upscale grocer like Whole Foods deliver the message that it is first, affordable, and second, it can meet … (3 comments)

chicago: Michael Jordan Puts His Home For Auction - 10/21/13 07:22 AM

Photo courtesy of Concierge Auctions
Chicago legend, Michael Jordan puts his home up for auction.  His Highland Park home of nearly 20 years is 56,000 square feet and was originally put on the market back in February 2012 for $29 million. 
After failing to sell, MJ decided to put it up for auction with Concierge Auctions.  Katherine Chez Malkin of Baird & Warner, the listing broker, will also be cooperating with Concierge Auctions in the sale.
When asked why he was selling the home, Michael Jordan answered, "my kids are grown now and I don't need a large house … (1 comments)

chicago: August Chicagoland Foreclosure Activity Decreases Significantly - 09/20/13 04:07 AM
For the last few years, the Chicago area has shown some frightening foreclosure activity, but the last few months have been a different story.  According to, the Chicago area has dropped nearly 60% from August 2012 to August 2013.
RealtyTrac defines the Chicagoland area as, the South-East Wisconsin border down to the North-West Indiana border. 
In August 2013 alone, 6,674 properties were given notice of foreclosure.  This is a 5.7% decline from July.  When compared to August 2012, the decline in foreclosure activity was 59% for the entire Chicagoland area.
An interesting twist to the RealtyTrac announcement is that … (1 comments)

chicago: Is Chicago New Apartment Construction Getting Ahead Of itself? - 09/12/13 01:46 AM
July delivered some high numbers all around in new construction for Chicago. McGraw –Hill says new apartment construction was up 53% in July 2013. Coupled with rents rising steadily over the last few years, one could ask, “Is Chicago new apartment construction getting ahead of itself?”  According to a recent report done by Appraisal Research Counselors; the next two to three years are expected to deliver over 8,000 new apartments in Chicago.
Vice president of Appraisal Research Counselors, Ron Devries, who also wrote the report, said that 5300 new units will be made available by end of 2014, and the additional … (2 comments)

chicago: Major Chicago Hotel Sues Contractor and Architect - 09/12/13 01:26 AM
Among Chicago’s grand Magnificent Mile, people have come to appreciate many fine hotels from the historic Drake Hotel, to The Four Seasons, and the Millennium Knickerbocker. 
As you walk up to the entrance, and as you walk through the lobby, you get a feeling that you’ve just entered an opera house in Europe.  
Although this hotel has been in existence since 1927 as the Davis Hotel, it was acquired by the Millennium & Copthorne Hotels PLC in 1999 along with 27 other hotels around the country.
Back in 2008, the hotel group decided to undertake a multi million … (0 comments)

chicago: More on Chicago’s Rising New Construction Market - 08/29/13 08:47 AM
With new construction on the rise all over the country, Chicago is thriving with a yearly increase of 44% from 2012.   July 2013 turned out to be big month for Chicago home sales, and reports of increases in building permits, housing starts and housing completions nationally have been in the headlines.  One might ask, just how much of that is new construction sales in the “City of Big Shoulders.” 
LeapRE, an online real estate tool used by residential agents based in Northbrook, IL, broke down data for the 10 highest producing new construction projects in Chicago in terms of number … (1 comments)

chicago: New Construction Gaining Momentum - 08/28/13 06:20 AM
New construction is gaining momentum this year and in Chicago, the housing market continues make headlines.  Based on July 2013 home sales, building permits, housing starts, and home completions nationally were all areas of significant improvement in July.
According to the Census Bureau, building permits were up nationally 2.7% from June 0f 2013 and account for 943,000 for the year.  That is a 12% uptick from July, 2012.
Housing starts showed nearly 6% growth from June to July this year and was the largest increase of the 3 categories with 21% from 2012.
Housing completions came in just under 2% from … (3 comments)

chicago: Who Didn't Take A July Vacation? Chicago Real Estate Market – That’s Who. - 08/26/13 06:31 AM
July 2013 was a roaring month for home sales in the entire Chicagoland area.  Home sales are up over 36% from July 2012 to July 2013 and the median price rose 18% in that time as well.
The Mainstreet Organization of Realtors revealed data regarding attached single family home sales, townhomes and row-homes, as well as which cities in the metro Chicagoland area were producing them. Chicago Agent Magazine breaks it down for us in 2 categories; the top 10 housing markets in the city and in the suburbs.
The top 10 suburbs produced a total of 631 attached single family … (1 comments)

chicago: Which Cities are HOT to buy foreclosures? - 08/21/13 06:26 AM
Which cities are the hot foreclosure markets?  For example, in May of 2013, Palm Bay, Florida, the average foreclosure purchase is 28% less than all conventional sales in the area.  Courtesy of Realty Trac’s best places to buy a foreclosure list in 2013, out 20 of the largest metro areas in the country, the ones that had the most significant increases in foreclosure activity were Tampa, Miami, Baltimore, Chicago, and New York.  In 2012, almost ¼ of all home sales in the nation were through foreclosure, that means only 75% of homes were conventional or short sales.
Other cities that … (2 comments)

chicago: City - Or - Suburbs? Chicagoland In Transition - 08/16/13 07:20 AM
Live in the city or live in the suburbs?  A question that has been a source of many conversations for nearly 60 years. 
Chicago was a city that attracted all types of residents for the last century, from its architecture, to museums, to its large companies that began here.   Chicago has always been a thriving metropolis.
Due to the increase in population in the 1950’s, development in the suburbs sky rocketed and with it, many residents left the city.  Real estate was booming and the suburbs were the place to be, especially for families.  
For 40 years, the population … (0 comments)

chicago: Condo Craze In Chicago - 08/15/13 03:58 AM
In the third quarter of 2004, there were almost 5,200 condo units available in Chicago, and now, Tracy Cross & Associates indicated that only 600 available condos remain.   With the housing market on the rise, and seemingly a rise in demand for new condo buildings, one might assume that developers are licking their chops for the right time to break ground on a new addition to Chicago Skyline.
With Chicagoland on the verge of having its best year in home sales since 2008, coupled with the recent job growth in the city, and high rental rates, there is a lot of … (0 comments)

chicago: New Home Sales Are Continuing To Rise - 08/12/13 05:49 AM
The busiest time of the year for home builders is typically the spring season and this year’s second quarter did not disappoint.  New home sales grew in both Chicago and the suburbs. 
Tracy Cross & Associates, a national real estate research firm, revealed that over 1300 new homes were sold in the major Chicagoland area just in the second quarter.   This represents a 40% increase in the 2Q2013 from the 2Q2012.
They predicted that at this pace, there could me as many 5,000 new home sales by the end of 2013.  This would be a 46% overall increase year over … (0 comments)

chicago: Where To Buy In Chicagoland - 08/08/13 08:46 AM
Ready to purchase a home in the Chicagoland area?  The options could make your head spin.  Which neighborhood?  Do I want to live in the city or in the suburbs?  Am I upgrading or downsizing? How much do I want to spend?  How much can I borrow?  A condo or house?
On average prices are 38% lower than they were at the peak of our market.  With all the choices out there, one could have a lot of due diligence on their hands, even with a Realtor.  Well, thankfully Dennis Rodkin of Chicago Agent Magazine has done most of the … (1 comments)

chicago: Another Halt in the Foreclosure Process - 08/06/13 10:53 AM
On May 6, 2013, there was yet another hiccup in the foreclosure process.  JP Morgan Chase, Citigroup, and Wells Fargo halted nearly all their foreclosures which were in their final stage of losing their homes.
The sudden halt in activity was a result of bank regulators continuing to make revisions to the treatment of distressed borrowers in that final stage, the three powerhouse lenders decided that they needed to do some internal exploration.
Bank of America surged forward claiming they have nothing to fear.  “We manage our mortgage servicing operations in compliance with all laws, regulations and standards for sound business … (0 comments)

Michael Hobbs, SRA, LEED GA, RAA (PahRoo Appraisal & Consultancy)

Michael Hobbs


Chicago, IL

More about me…

PahRoo Appraisal & Consultancy

Address: 1707 W. Roscoe Street, Suite 1, Chicago, IL, 60657

Office: (773) 388-0003

Fax: (773) 388-3331

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