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Art Fair on the Square

by Allyson Hoffman

August 31 – September 1, 2014

Market Square, Lake Forest, Illinois

Come out this weekend to Market Square and indulge in the 60th annual Art Fair on the Square, honorably presented, once again, by The Deer Path Art League. This oh-so-popular art extravaganza brings awareness and appreciation of the visual arts to the community. 

The Art Fair on the Square happening is held amidst the stately trees and classic architecture that defines Market Square in downtown Lake Forest. Artisans will set up shop and showcase varied mediums including ceramics, digital art, drawings, fiber, glass, jewelry, metal works, mixed media, sculpture, wood and much more.  Last year an astounding 500 international artisans applied to partake in this event, and this year’s selected exhibitors will reflect only the best of the best. Specialty booths will also be scattered amongst artists’ displays, including an interactive children’s art tent. Additionally, a “Young Artists” gallery will complement the “Emerging Artists” area. Don’t miss this rare opportunity to interact with the artists themselves, a unique benefit that’s not always available at juried fine art shows.

Admission to this two-day spectacular is FREE. This highly-rated and well-attended Art Fair on the Square event prides itself on being one of the longest standing art festivals in the area.  Whether you are a fine art connoisseur, or you merely take pleasure in shopping varied artisans, you’ll not want to miss the opportunity to attend the Deer Path Art League’s signature, annual event!

Where: Market Square, Lake Forest, Illinois

When:

  • Sunday August 31st from 10:00 AM-5:00 PM
  • Monday September 1st from 10:00 AM-5:00 PM

For more information regarding the Art Fair on the Square event, please click here.

Allyson Hoffman, ABR, ACRE, CDPE, CRS, e-PRO, GRI, SFR, SRES
RE/MAX Villager
Serving Chicago's North Shore, North and Northwest Suburbs
847-310-5300
allyson@allyson.com

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Allyson Hoffman is your ultimate real estate resource for Chicago's North Shore, North and Northwest Suburbs and surrounding areas. Visit my website for detailed information regarding today’s real estate markets.

Photo courtesy of Courtney Dirks/flickr.com.

Factoring Livability into Your Move

by Allyson Hoffman

There are a multitude of different lifestyles for homebuyers to choose and that choice typically depends on needs, likes and stage of life whether young, single, professional, married, retired or empty-nester … amongst others.

Regardless of these differences between folks, their choices center around the concept of livability as it contributes to their quality of life.  This may include area attributes such as availability to transportation and medical care, the climate, education opportunities, access to business, crime/safety/political stability considerations or even proximity to natural beauty.

For information regarding choices on where to live in the future many, people rely upon websites like www.livability.com or www.areavibes.com. It’s important to keep in mind, however, that polls or statistics may be skewed or cater to specific buyer profiles that are not compatible with yours. So if you plan a cross-country move, in-depth research is always important.  Be sure to check out area ratings with accessible details providing ample data to assist in making an informed decision on where to live.

Determine which factors are most important to you including area amenities, cost of living and/or housing choices.  With this insight and your research, you’ll be better equipped to assess livability considerations that will lead you to an appropriate decision about where to live.

For information regarding Chicago’s North Shore, North and Northwest suburban communities and the facts you may need to decide if one of those is a match for your needs, feel free to contact me today for a consultation. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have, and/or help you find your dream home.

Allyson Hoffman, ABR, ACRE, CDPE, CRS, e-PRO, GRI, SFR, SRES
RE/MAX Villager
Serving Chicago's North Shore, North and Northwest Suburbs
847-310-5300
allyson@allyson.com

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Allyson Hoffman is your ultimate real estate resource for Chicago's North Shore, North and Northwest Suburbs and surrounding areas. Visit my website for detailed information regarding today’s real estate markets.

Image courtesy of mendhak/Flickr.com

Port Clinton Art Festival

by Allyson Hoffman

August 23-24, 2014

Port Clinton Square, Highland Park, Illinois

The highly-acclaimed Port Clinton Art Festival is returns this weekend for its 31st consecutive year, celebrating the world’s most talented artisans.  An Amdur Production event, this festival of the arts anticipates more than 250,000 visitors throughout the course of the weekend.  Port Clinton Square consumed with creativity around every corner.

Recognized and ranked by Sunshine Artist Magazine among the top 20 art shows in the entire country, the Port Clinton Art Festival will feature stunning works of art from over 260 of acclaimed and juried artists.  Exhibitors will sell paintings, mixed media items, metal works, handcrafted wood pieces, jewelry, glass items, 3D wall ornamentations and much more.  The Festival showcases young artists in their Youth Art Division for those 18 years of age and younger.  These young creators have a unique opportunity to partake in and experience the goings on at a prestigious art show event where they, too, will be exhibiting and selling an array of art masterpieces.

In addition to shopping the street-lined artisan booths, family-friendly activities will include an art scavenger hunt, spin art, interactive art demos and performance speed painting.

Admission is free.  So this weekend, follow the crowds to Highland Park and experience this high caliber, art extravaganza. The happening will provide something for everyone, both adults and children alike!

Where: Port Clinton Square, Highland Park, Illinois

When:

  • Saturday August 23rd from 10:00 AM-6:00 PM
  • Sunday August 24th from 10:00 AM-6:00 PM

For more information regarding the Port Clinton Art Festival event, please click here.

Allyson Hoffman, ABR, ACRE, CDPE, CRS, e-PRO, GRI, SFR, SRES
RE/MAX Villager
Serving Chicago's North Shore, North and Northwest Suburbs
847-310-5300

allyson@allyson.com

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Allyson Hoffman is your ultimate real estate resource for Chicago's North Shore, North and Northwest Suburbs and surrounding areas. Visit my website for detailed information regarding today’s real estate markets.

Photo courtesy of Davidpatchen/en.wikipedia.org.

Last Blast of Summer Block Party

by Allyson Hoffman

August 23, 2014

Winnetka Community House, Winnetka, Illinois

Come out to the Winnetka Community House to celebrate the family-friendly Last Blast of Summer Block Party event and experience some of the many reasons the North Shore is the place to be.

As the end of summer nears, the Winnetka Community House is joining forces with many local organizations to say goodbye to summer, and hello to fall.  The Last Blast of Summer Block Party event features carnival games, a staggering 24-foot tall climbing wall, inflatables, pony rides, a petting zoo, arts and crafts and much more.  The oh-so-popular dunking booth will provide good laughs and entertainment throughout the day is courtesy of the Children’s Theatre of Winnetka, Jordan Xidas, the Village Follies and many more.

The event is free. However, $20.00 wristband allowing you to partake in unlimited games and activities can be purchased in advance.  To purchase your wristbands online, please click here.

This Saturday the Last Blast of Summer Block Party event will provide your family with an unforgettable day of fun to carry you into the upcoming fall season!

Where: Winnetka Community House, Winnetka, Illinois

When: Saturday August 23rd from 11:00 AM-4:00 PM

For more information regarding the Last Blast of Summer Block Party event, please click here.

Allyson Hoffman, ABR, ACRE, CDPE, CRS, e-PRO, GRI, SFR, SRES
RE/MAX Villager
Serving Chicago's North Shore, North and Northwest Suburbs
847-310-5300
allyson@allyson.com

Get your latest Home Value
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Let’s Connect, Socially!

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Allyson Hoffman is your ultimate real estate resource for Chicago's North Shore, North and Northwest Suburbs and surrounding areas. Visit my website for detailed information regarding today’s real estate markets.

Photo courtesy of Daniel X. O'Neil/flickr.com.

Down Payment Money Saving Tips

by Allyson Hoffman

Finances can be tight among families today.  Even with increasingly low mortgage rates, the ability to retain enough savings for a down payment on a home can be difficult and frequently requires an earnest dedication to saving before the dream of home ownership is within reach.

Here are some tips to get into a money-saving mindset:

Living Healthy Saves Money

If you are a diehard smoker or caffeine enthusiast, try cutting back on these two vices.  You'll potentially save thousands of dollars per year, feel better and generally remain healthier in the long run.

If fast food often tempts you, try eliminating at least some of those drive-through stops in favor of shopping smarter and making more meals at home -- you'll eat healthier and save a significant amount of money.

Trim the Expenses

Try to generate a list of five to eight things you buy that you really don't need or even use regularly. Could it be an unused gym membership or a video streaming account that makes you pay for streaming and receiving discs at home—that latter of which you never use? Eliminating these are all types of things can save you thousands of dollars each year and bring you get closer to having that needed down payment to buy a home.

Learn to Budget

For most folks, budgeting isn't exactly fun, but if you will routinely write down how much you spend and what you're spending money on, you'll better understand where your money is going and where you can cut corners. And for those who are impulse buyers, this goes double for you.

Choose the Highest First

Since many folks have credit cards, keeping outstanding balances under control is critical.  Pay off accounts with highest interest rates and the highest charges first. This assures that you’ll pay less in the long run, helps to put bills in order of importance and increases the monies you’ll retain for that elusive down payment.  If you have multiple debts, try combining those into one, preferably at a lower carrying cost to increase your ability to pay them off quickly.

Take One for the Team

Most of the time, to achieve a goal requires sacrifice.  So if you have extra personal time, you might even consider taking on a second job to shorten the time it takes to acquire a down payment.  And when you think you are nearly ready, feel free to contact me for a no-obligation consultation. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have and/or help you find your dream home.

Allyson Hoffman, ABR, ACRE, CDPE, CRS, e-PRO, GRI, SFR, SRES
RE/MAX Villager
Serving Chicago's North Shore, North and Northwest Suburbs
847-310-5300
allyson@allyson.com

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Allyson Hoffman is your ultimate real estate resource for Chicago's North Shore, North and Northwest Suburbs and surrounding areas. Visit my website for detailed information regarding today’s real estate markets.

Photo courtesy of Newton Free Library/Flickr.com

Chicago Air and Water Show

by Allyson Hoffman

August 16-17, 2014

North Avenue Beach, Chicago, Illinois

The wildly-popular Chicago Air and Water Show event returns this weekend for its 56th consecutive year, bringing daredevil thrills to the beautiful Lake Michigan waterfront. Presented by the City of Chicago and Shell Oil Products U.S., the happening is the largest FREE show of its kind in the United States. Join the masses for one of the most exhilarating two-day events of the summer!

Headlining this year’s Chicago Air and Water Show event will be the U.S. Navy Blue Angels, alongside the U.S. Army Parachute Team Golden Knights. The U.S. Navy Leap Frogs, together with other military demonstration teams, will be joining the Marine MV-22 Osprey helicopter and the U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor, in providing spellbinding performances. The aerial acts will include midair stunts, aerobatics and maneuvers. Civilian performances will be scattered between feature acts, showcasing the AeroShell Aerobatic Team, the Firebirds Delta Team and the Aerostars, just to mention a few.  Herb Hunter, the “voice of the show”, will keep the audience informed and entertained.

Thrilling, gravity-defying, invigorating and white-knuckle are all adjectives used to describe the Chicago Air and Water Show event.  So don’t miss the opportunity to be among the staggering number of expected attendees at this year’s aerial spectacular!

Where: North Avenue Beach, Chicago, Illinois

When: Saturday August 16th from 10:00 AM-3:00 PM. Sunday August 17th from 10:00 AM-3:00 PM

For more information regarding the Chicago Air and Water Show event, please click here.

Allyson Hoffman, ABR, ACRE, CDPE, CRS, e-PRO, GRI, SFR, SRES
RE/MAX Villager
Serving Chicago's North Shore, North and Northwest Suburbs
847-310-5300
allyson@allyson.com

Get your latest Home Value
Receive Your Personalized Listing Alerts

Let’s Connect, Socially!

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Allyson Hoffman is your ultimate real estate resource for Chicago's North Shore, North and Northwest Suburbs and surrounding areas. Visit my website for detailed information regarding today’s real estate markets.

Photo courtesy of the United States Navy/commons.wikimedia.org.

Energy-Efficient Windows: Are They Worth It?

by Allyson Hoffman

Depending on where you live, your drafty windows, skylights and doors could account for 25-40 percent of your energy bill. Given that statistic, it would seem logical that cutting energy costs to save on energy bills makes sense.

But to replace leaky windows is to commit to a very heavy initial investment. For a typical home, one ranging from 2,000-2,500 sq. ft., full window replacement could cost upwards of $15,000. So the appeal of new windows and the associated energy-saving benefits come at a high price that must be measured against future savings and the potential increased value of your home.

Reaping the Rewards

Whether you plan on living in your house for many years or hope to sell your home sooner rather than later, energy-efficient windows are generally a safe bet. They instantly provide curb appeal and reduce energy expenses each and every month.  Moreover, without the need to endlessly adjust the thermostat, you’ll find that consistent comfort provides another benefit to enjoy.

On a Budget

For budget-conscious homeowners, new windows may have a truly budget-busting price tag.  $15,000 may be impossible. Tax breaks could offer some relief from the cost or low-interest rate loans may be available if the work simply must be done.  But either way, keep in mind that the payback is a longer term proposition in most cases, taking from 2-10 years on average.

Other less costly improvements to consider, if window replacement is not possible, include sealing door leaks, replacing insulation and repairing windows.  With about a $1,000 investment, these changes can also result in substantial energy savings – at a fraction of the cost!

So what's the answer?

Consider Location

Geographic location primarily drives heating and cooling losses.  Whether you are in Nome, Alaska or Tucson, Arizona, the quality and condition of your windows will affect your energy efficiency and your overall costs. So if adding energy-efficient windows to your home is your goal, then remember to consult with different contractors to determine what is available in your area, what is recommended for your house or if installation is even worthwhile. 

Should you just need a few questions answered or are now ready to sell your home or buy a new one, feel free to contact me today for a consultation. I am happy to provide the information you require and can assess the value of your home or the value one that you may want to purchase.

Allyson Hoffman, ABR, ACRE, CDPE, CRS, e-PRO, GRI, SFR, SRES
RE/MAX Villager
Serving Chicago's North Shore, North and Northwest Suburbs
847-310-5300
allyson@allyson.com

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Allyson Hoffman is your ultimate real estate resource for Chicago's North Shore, North and Northwest Suburbs and surrounding areas. Visit my website for detailed information regarding today’s real estate markets.

Photo courtesy of Rachel Kramer/Flickr.com

Art at the Glen

by Allyson Hoffman

August 9-10, 2014

Glen Town Center, Glenview, Illinois

This weekend the Glen Town Center hosts the Art at the Glen event which has been rated as one of the top fifteen outdoor art festivals in the country and showcases the works of more than 185 juried artists.  Stroll through the fair and also enjoy an exhilarating day of shopping, live entertainment and family activities.

There are art fairs, and then there are Amdur Production art fairs featuring only the most prestigious juried artists from across the country.  Amdur Productions prides itself on offering the community a rare and unique shopping opportunity, coupled with the chance to see masters at work with interactive demos and exclusive “meet and greets”. This weekend’s Amdur Production festival, the Art at the Glen, provides all of this and more. All types of art mediums will be displayed, including ceramics, fiber, furniture, glass, jewelry, mixed media, paintings, wood and more.

Don’t miss this extraordinary two-day opportunity to peruse the works of many highly-revered artisans from around the country, while enjoying live music sponsored by WLIT. Art activities for children, an art scavenger hunt and Art Buck$ given out daily to spend on any piece of art at any of the Amdur Production 2014 festivals are just a few of the distinguishing differences you’ll find the weekend.

Whether you are a connoisseur of fine art or you are simply looking for a free outdoor family festival, you’ll not want to miss out on the Art at the Glen event this Saturday and Sunday.

Where: Glen Town Center, Glenview, Illinois

When:

  • Saturday August 9th from 11:00 AM-6:00 PM.
  • Sunday August 10th from 11:00 AM-6:00 PM

For more information regarding the Art at the Glen event, please click here.

Allyson Hoffman, ABR, ACRE, CDPE, CRS, e-PRO, GRI, SFR, SRES
RE/MAX Villager
Serving Chicago's North Shore, North and Northwest Suburbs
847-310-5300
allyson@allyson.com

Get your latest Home Value
Receive Your Personalized Listing Alerts

Let’s Connect, Socially!

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Allyson Hoffman is your ultimate real estate resource for Chicago's North Shore, North and Northwest Suburbs and surrounding areas. Visit my website for detailed information regarding today’s real estate markets.

Photo courtesy of Michelle Caplan/michellecaplan.blogspot.com.

Lollapalooza is Back!

by Allyson Hoffman

August 1-3, 2014

Grant Park, Chicago, Illinois

This weekend the wildly-popular Lollapalooza event will take over Chicago.  Each year over a three-day period, this astounding, all-out extravaganza plays host to more than 150,000 people.  This summer, the happening promises to be bigger and better than ever, featuring live entertainment, food, shopping, children’s activities and more.  Acclaimed for providing a cultural experience, Lollapalooza draws festival-goers from across the world.

A supreme venue site, Grant Park is annually transformed to host popular featured musicians.  This year’s line-up includes Eminem, OutKast, Kings of Leon, Arctic Monkeys, and Lorde, amongst others.  In all, over one hundred musical groups, solos and acts will take the stage providing a broad spectrum of musical genres for venue visitors to enjoy. 

This year Lollapalooza will additionally showcase Chow Town, a Farmer’s Market, 2014 Green Street, and Kidzapalooza.  Chow Town will offer the best food from Chicago and its surrounding areas. The Farmer’s Market will serve locally-grown festival fare, a likely favorite for health-conscious attendees. While 2014 Green Street will satisfy demand for varied gift items from local, national, and even world-recognized, artisans.

Admission prices to Lollapalooza depend upon on the desired package chosen.  Selections include a one-day pass, three-day pass, Platinum Package, and VIP Package.  To view the options and/or to purchase your tickets online, click here.

Long-awaited Lollapalooza is certain to be spectacular and memorable three-day happening!

Where: Grant Park, Chicago, Illinois

When:

  • Friday, August 1st from 11:30 AM-10:00 PM.
  • Saturday, August 2nd from 11:30 AM-10:00 PM.
  • Sunday, August 3rd from 11:30 AM-10:00 PM.

For more information regarding Lollapalooza, click here.

Allyson Hoffman, ABR, ACRE, CDPE, CRS, e-PRO, GRI, SFR, SRES
RE/MAX Villager
Serving Chicago's North Shore, North and Northwest Suburbs
847-310-5300
allyson@allyson.com

Get your latest Home Value
Receive Your Personalized Listing Alerts

Let’s Connect, Socially!

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Allyson Hoffman is your ultimate real estate resource for Chicago's North Shore, North and Northwest Suburbs and surrounding areas. Visit my website for detailed information regarding today’s real estate markets.

Photo courtesy of vonderauvisuals/flickr.com.

North Shore Festival of Art at Old Orchard

by Allyson Hoffman

July 26-27, 2014

Westfield’s Old Orchard Shopping Center in Skokie, Illinois

This weekend, Amdur Productions, a nationally-acclaimed arts festival production company, returns to the Westfield Orchard for its sixth annual North Shore Festival of Art event.  The Old Orchard Shopping Center, a luxury outdoor shopping destination with an ideal atmosphere for this highly-revered Festival, will showcase the works of some of the country’s finest artisans.

The North Shore Festival of Art at Old Orchard event will feature a wide variety of art mediums including, amongst others, mixed media items, ceramics, jewelry, glass pieces, sculptures, paintings, photography, furniture, and much more.  Over 120 juried artists will be on display, hailing from all over the country.

Additionally, Festival-goers will enjoy live entertainment and an array of assorted activities.  The north end of the shopping district will be dedicated to children, offering hands-on art projects and even a train!  Fantastic food will keep your family well-nourished throughout the course of the day. The event also provides live art demonstrations, educational booth chats and “meet and greets” with the artists. 

Admission to the North Shore Festival of Art at Old Orchard happening is free.  So join in and see for yourself what has made this event such a resounding success, year after year.

Where: Westfield’s Old Orchard Shopping Center, Skokie, Illinois

When: Saturday July 26th from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Sunday July 27th from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM

For more information regarding the North Shore Festival of Art at Old Orchard event, please click here.

Allyson Hoffman, ABR, ACRE, CDPE, CRS, e-PRO, GRI, SFR, SRES
RE/MAX Villager
Serving Chicago's North Shore, North and Northwest Suburbs
847-310-5300
allyson@allyson.com

Get your latest Home Value
Receive Your Personalized Listing Alerts

Let’s Connect, Socially!

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Allyson Hoffman is your ultimate real estate resource for Chicago's North Shore, North and Northwest Suburbs and surrounding areas. Visit my website for detailed information regarding today’s real estate markets.

Photo courtesy of AmberSculpture/deviantart.com.

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Licensed in the State of Illinois

Allyson Hoffman of RE/MAX Villager provides real estate services in 
Chicago's North Shore, North and Northwest Suburbs providing information on real estate and homes for sale in this Northern Illinois area.
 I list and sell residential real estate including freestanding homes, condominiums and townhomes as well as investment properties, vacant land and lots for sale in the
North Shore, North and Northwest Suburban Chicago, Illinois area in the northern Illinois.

 

This website is maintaned by Kim Hughes - Real Estate Virtual Assistant