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Festival of Fine Arts – Highland Park

by Allyson Hoffman

The Art Center, Highland Park, Illinois

Enjoy the best of local artists at the 18th annual Festival of Fine Arts in Highland Park. This event is produced by Amdur Productions and will showcase work and items from125 artists in various mediums, including jewelry, painting, ceramics, sculpture and glass.

The festival, designed to be fun for all ages, includes live music and kids’ activities as well as fabulous food. Interact with the artists through chats and live demonstrations. Purchase one-of-a-kind pieces and enjoy a fun-filled day in Highland Park.

The event is hosted by the Art Center, a non-profit visual arts organization. For the past 55 years, the center has held exhibitions and art classes. Admission to the festival is free with a suggested donation of $5.  On both Saturday and Sunday, June 25-26, 2016, the event begins at 10:00 AM and lasts until 5:00 PM. If you plan to attend, please RSVP on Facebook here.

Festival of Fine Arts will provide fun for the whole family this weekend including amazing works of art, shopping, great food and fun activities in Highland Park. 

When: June 25-26, 2016

Where: The Art Center, Highland Park, Illinois

For more information regarding Festival of Fine Arts, 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.   

Image courtesy See-ming Lee/Flickr.com

Boost Your Home’s Value with a Basement Conversion

by Allyson Hoffman

Have you considered converting that unfinished basement area to usable living space? Before calling a contractor or grabbing a hammer yourself, consider how you can add value to your home with the right choices. Included here are a few ideas to maximize your home’s worth through finishing your basement.

1. Family Room

Typically, extra living space suitable for the entire family is a big priority for most homeowners and a basement family room can deliver in a major way. Consider using this area as a media center for watching movies or television, playing games or just spending leisure time with friends and family. It’s one room that truly holds appeal for most homeowners, even if they don’t have children.

2. Home Office

As it has become more common for people to work from home at least part-time, having a dedicated work space has great appeal. Converting an unfinished basement into a comfortable in-home office is an easy way to accomplish this goal. For the best results, be sure to create a bright space that enhances productivity by including plenty of lighting and practical features.

3. Guest Bedroom

For those who like to entertain and have frequent visitors, a space devoted to overnight guests may be an especially attractive addition. Guests will be separate from the rest of the family, yet able to enjoy their time together. When converting a basement for this purpose, adding a bedroom/bathroom suite will make the space both inviting and practical.

Rooms that Add Little or No Value

For some, the dream of converting their basement means adding a wet bar, spa, gym or high-tech theater. While there’s nothing wrong with any of these ideas, they generally won’t add as much value to your home as other more practical uses. When you decide to sell  and are looking for the improvements most likely to provide the greatest return for your efforts and investment, try to stick with those projects that have wide appeal as opposed to those focused to a specific audience.

Your design choices and features should attract a large demographic. So keep these guidelines and resale value in mind to obtain the greatest financial return. For additional information regarding improvements that add value to your home, contact me today for a consultation. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have, and/or help you determine the value of your 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 Kelly McCarthy/flickr.com

Father’s Day Jazz Special

by Allyson Hoffman

June 19, 2016

Ravinia, Highland Park, Illinois

Treat Dad to an unforgettable Sunday evening, June 19, 2016 at Ravinia Music Festival for the Father’s Day Jazz Special. This concert features Ramsey Lewis, John Pizzarelli and Monty Alexander, amongst others.

Gates will open at 4:00 PM with the concert starting at 6:00 PM. Combine this night of music with dinner at one of the several eateries within the park, including the Ravinia Market, an a la carte experience. Then satisfy Dad’s sweet tooth at the Carousel ice cream shop. Or feel free to bring your lawn chairs, blankets and a personally-packed picnic for lawn-seated guests.

Seating inside the pavilion where with close-up concert viewing costs $45-65 and popular lawn seating is only $20 per person. Seating begins thirty minutes prior to the performance. Parking is available at the venue, and when the lot fills up, options for the Park ‘N Ride lot or the West Lot are also offered. Additionally, Metra trains to the festival grounds are used by many attendees.

So consider gathering the family for a fun trip to Highland Park’s renowned Ravina Festival this Sunday. Father’s Day Jazz Special at Ravinia is a great way to spend quality time with Dad and treat him to great food and entertainment!

When: Sunday, June 19, 2016 at 6:00 PM

Where: Ravinia at 200 Ravinia Park Road, Highland Park, Illinois

For more information regarding Father’s Day Jazz Special, 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.   

Image courtesy Hafiz Issadeen/flickr.com

May 2016 Midwest Real Estate Market Reports

by Allyson Hoffman

The May 2016 Midwest Real Estate Market Reports are now ready for your review. These market reports provide an insight on the real estate market statistics for Cook County and Lake County. These statistics are helpful when you are considering buying or selling in today’s real estate market.  And, remember should you need tailored reports on a subdivision or neighborhood in the North Shore, North, and Northwest Suburban Chicago, Illinois area, please let me know.

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.

Key Questions to Ask When Choosing a Real Estate Agent

by Allyson Hoffman

Whether you are planning to buy a vacation home, downsizing, upgrading to a larger home, or simply relocating, working with a real estate agent can make the process easier. To find the right agent, here are three questions to ask when searching for the best person for the job.

1. Are You Full-time?

Many agents have a full-time job and work in real estate on the side. While this doesn’t have to be a deal-breaker, working around their hectic schedule for showings or to execute offers and other documents is not ideal. Before selecting a part-time agent, be sure to assess their flexibility and how quickly they can respond to your needs, questions or concerns.

2. How long have you been an agent?

If you decide to select an agent who is relatively new to the business, be certain to understand the situation. Obviously, they will be less experienced than a long-time industry veteran who may have many more resources and contacts. Alternately, if that newer agent is enthusiastic and energetic with strong mentors to turn to when issues and questions arise, this may not be as problematic as it otherwise could.  Keep in mind that if your unique situation requires particular skills, it may be opportune to select an agent with seasoned experience to offer. Buying a home assuredly has lots of ups and downs, and you’ll ideally want an agent who has the experience to guide you through any situation.

3. Do you know my area?

Be sure to select a real estate agent who knows your market and desired neighborhood(s). Whether you’re just moving down the street or across the country, your agent should be able to share details about the local amenities as well as other houses that have recently sold in the area. Feel free to ask about the last property they sold or buyer they worked with in that area. An agent who is particularly familiar with that neighborhood might have insider tips that can give you an edge such as information regarding the best properties on the best streets or which house may be listed soon.

While there are many additional qualities that may be important in your decision about the real estate agent who is right for you and your family, these three key questions provide a good starting point for assessment. Feel free to contact me today if you want someone who is experienced and will be dedicated and sensitive to your home buying needs. 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 Dan Moyle/flickr.com

Chicago Blues Festival

by Allyson Hoffman

June 10-12, 2016

Grant Park, Chicago, Illinois

Enjoy the sounds of modern and classic blues at this weekend’s Chicago Blues Festival held in Grant Park. This admission-free event runs from June 10 through June 12, 2016 and features big-name acts sure to provide great fun for all ages.

Some of the acts who will perform at this year’s festival include Lil’ Ed and The Blues Imperials, Corky Siegel, Irma Thomas and Fred Wesley. To round out the event, food and drink vendors will be on-site all day.

The festival begins at 11:00 AM daily and runs through 9:30 PM. Bring a blanket to relax on while you listen to the musicians. Parking is available at Millennium Garages or use public transportation to get to the area.

The Chicago Blues Festival, one of the largest free blues events in the world, is a not-to-miss chance to see amazing musical artists at Grant Park this Friday through Sunday.

When: June 10-12, 2016, 11:00 AM to 9:30 PM

Where: Grant Park, Jackson & Columbus, Chicago, Illinois

For more information regarding Chicago Blues Festival, 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.   

Image courtesy of Gregory Bodnar/Flickr.com

How to Downsize Your Life

by Allyson Hoffman

If you’re planning to move to a smaller home, you’ll need to also scale back your belongings – undoubtedly a challenging task, especially for collectors of memories or memorabilia.  To make the process less painful, here are a few tips to streamline the job and increase the likelihood of enjoying your new home.

1. Start with the Less Sentimental Items

Begin with belongings that allow you to remain objective. It could be clothing, linens or kitchen cookware. Once you’ve pared down these practical items, it will be easier to work on your sentimental pieces.

2. Work with the Big Stuff

Rather than sorting through boxes and not truly impacting your living space, instead select large items that matter, such as furniture. Once you know where you’re moving, try creating the floor plan to help determine what truly suits that space. By choosing the most important and appropriate pieces, you’ll be able to decide what can be eliminated.

3. Have a “Just In Case” Box

To deal with items that truly tug at your heart strings, regardless of whether or not you need them, allow yourself to keep a few of these special pieces in a box reserved for “just in case.” Plan a location to store that box as well as a timetable for retrieving it for a second look.  By having that box to store those selected items, it should make it easier to part with rest of the “unnecessary”.

4. Give It Away

It’s often easier to eliminate items when they’re specifically going to someone else. If your family members know you’re downsizing, try inviting them to select things they’d want. That way those sentimental items will continue to have a loving home while you’ll benefit from additional space. For other useful, but less personal articles, consider donating them to charities.

5. Sell It

It can be easier to eliminate belongings when you benefit monetarily.  Yard sales, garage sales or selling online through Etsy or eBay could be a good choice. Depending on what you’re discarding, you might recoup several hundreds of dollars which could make the “parting” much less painful.

Successfully working through these steps will inevitably increase your ability to enjoy that new and smaller home without the distraction of clutter. For additional information on how to make to move from a larger to a smaller home, feel free to contact me today for a consultation. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have about selling your home, and/or help you find your next 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 Nicolas Huk/Flickr.com

Deerfield Festival of Fine Arts

by Allyson Hoffman

June 4-5, 2016

Park Avenue and Jewett Park Drive, Deerfield, Illinois

Enjoy beautiful art from fine artists around the country at the Deerfield Festival of Fine Arts on June 4 and 5, 2016. Attendees will see a vast array of displays, along with live music, fabulous food and hands-on art for the kids. This annual family-friendly event will have something for everyone.

The thirteenth festival is held on Park Avenue just east of and parallel to the Metra Deerfield Station providing easy access whether you’re driving or taking public transportation. You can enjoy the festival between 10 AM and 5 PM both Saturday and Sunday. Attendees may also enter a drawing for “Artbucks”.

Premiere pieces from artists in acrylic, ceramic, fiber, metal and wood, among other media will be on display. To see a list of participating artists or to sign up for email updates, click here.

Don’t miss this wonderful opportunity to treat the whole family to an amazing weekend in Deerfield at the Deerfield Festival of Fine Arts.

When: June 4 and 5, 2016 from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Where: Park Avenue and Jewett Park Drive, Deerfield, Illinois

Admission and Parking are free.

For more information regarding Deerfield Festival of Fine Arts, 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.   

Image courtesy of linus_art/Flickr.com

Biggest Home Improvement Mistakes

by Allyson Hoffman

Whether you’re a homeowner looking to sell, or a buyer looking to make improvements on a new home, remodeling is one way to increase value and get the look you want. However, you’ll definitely want to avoid common mistakes people make when they start a remodeling project. Here are three of the biggest miscalculations.

Overdoing It

Remodeling can increase the value of your home … if it’s done right. While you may want your home to stand out as the best one on the block, it shouldn’t be so different that it doesn’t fit in.

Remember, buyers often choose a location because of price range and certain amenities. Keep this in mind when tackling your remodel project.  It will enhance the likelihood that your home will be easier to sell when the time to do so arrives. A $70,000 kitchen remodel may look great but ultimately not provide a good return on your investment if the rest of the homes in the neighborhood have a $30,000 kitchen.

Changing Your Mind

Take the time to research your remodeling project thoroughly. Compare products and prices to determine what the final result should look like. A preferable approach may include working with a professional designer who can show you a mock-up of the completed look.

Once you choose a design, stick with it.  Owners who require changes along the way typically end up exceeding their budget or cutting costs in other areas to make up the difference. It’s better to take your time making the decision than to try to alter it after the work begins.

Not Padding the Budget

Unless you’re doing a minor DIY remodel, it’s likely you will end up with at least a few unanticipated expenses. These unplanned surprises will undoubtedly add cost, so cushion your budget to include for a few inevitable unforeseen issues.

Most experts project from 10 percent to 30 percent extra to prepare for these problems. So, for a $20,000 remodel, plan $2,000-6,000 extra in your budget.  Should you live in an older home with outdated wiring and plumbing, you may want to increase that amount.

Accordingly, if you are planning a major home improvement project this year, make sure you avoid these three common mistakes. Being prepared will save you time, money, frustration and heartache. For additional information on beneficial and value-improving remodeling projects to consider, contact me today for a consultation. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have, and/or help you determine the value of your 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 Roland O’Daniel/flickr.com

Memorial Day Parade

by Allyson Hoffman

May 28, 2016

State Street and Lake Street, Chicago, Illinois

Hailed as one of the largest Memorial Day parades in the nation, Chicago’s Memorial Day Parade is a century-long event that brings in people from all over the country. First launched in 1870, the parade follows along State Street from Lake Street to Van Buren Street.

The event begins at 11:00 AM with a Wreath Laying Ceremony at the Eternal Flame, which is located at Daley Plaza on the corner of Dearborn and Washington Streets. Following the ceremony, the parade steps off at 12:00 PM. This year’s grand marshal is Lt. General Kenneth R. Dahl of the US Army. Part of the festivities includes an awards ceremony honoring special military personnel.

The event is free and public transportation to the parade location includes the Pink, Orange, Green, and Brown lines on the El. You can also take the bus or the Metra and South Shore to Millennium Station.

This Saturday, don’t miss the opportunity to join the masses in honoring our fallen heroes at the Memorial Day Parade.

When: Saturday, May 28, 2016 at 11:00 AM

Where: State Street and Lake Street, Chicago, Illinois

For more information regarding the Memorial Day Parade, 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.   

Image courtesy of Unsplash/pixabay.com

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 705

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Allyson Hoffman
RE/MAX Villager
1245 Waukegan Road
Glenview IL 60025
847-310-5300
Fax: 847-400-0881

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