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For the Birds Weekend

by Allyson Hoffman

April 18-19, 2015

Reed-Turner Nature Center, Long Grove, Illinois

This weekend your entire family is invited to celebrate our fine feathered friends at the gorgeous Reed-Turner Nature Center.  The 40-acre section of the original “Grove”, for which Long Grove was named, will be the venue for the oh-so-popular For the Birds Weekend event.  The occasion boasts 2 spectacular days of fun for both adults and children alike.

The day begins with a guided walking tour through the Woodlands where you’ll have the opportunity to observe an array of bird species and learn about the lives they lead.  Afterwards you’ll meet with experts from the Barn Swallow Rehabilitation Center and the Stillman Nature Center, visiting even more live birds up close and personal.

Additionally you are also welcome to participate in the Birdhouse Silent Auction.  Birdhouses, feeders, and bird-themed items will be on exhibit, awaiting the highest bid.  Meanwhile, the bird-art craft events are ideal for your children’s participation.  Special lectures and demonstrations will be taking place throughout the weekend as well including information about how to attract certain bird species into your own backyards with live bird demonstrations, and much more.

Admission to the For the Birds Weekend event is free.  So, plan to indulge in the fun this weekend! What a fantastic way to say goodbye to winter and hello to spring.

Where: Reed-Turner Nature Center, Long Grove, Illinois

When:

    -Saturday April 18th from 10:00 AM-3:00 PM

    -Sunday April 19th from 11:00 AM-3:00 PM

For more information regarding the For the Birds Weekend 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 Profberger/en.wikipedia.org.

March 2015 Midwest Real Estate Market Reports

by Allyson Hoffman

The March 2015 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.

How to Deal with Air Conditioner Problems

by Allyson Hoffman

The arrival of spring signals the time to schedule an appointment for a professional HVAC technician to visit your home and service your A/C unit in anticipation of the warmer weather.

Be sure to take advantage of professional guidance by asking your HVAC technician about the unique nature of your system and pointers on how to keep it functioning efficiently and reliably. For example, if you are unsure where the filters are located or what type of filter is right for your home, have the technician show you what works best and where. Moreover, keeping your HVAC system in efficient operating condition is important for anyone trying to sell a home, and will obviously be a concern for those folks buying a home as well.

If your unit seems to have a problem cooling your home, here are some things you might want to check:

-Make sure all outside equipment is clean and has free flow of air around it. 
-Verify your thermostat settings to be certain the temperature is properly selected.
-Examine the electrical panel to make sure there are no tripped breakers or blown fuses.
-Look for pools of water near the equipment which could indicate a blockage in the drainage tubes. Algae could be the culprit when obstructions occur and can be easily removed.
-If you notice frost or ice on any of the equipment, shut the system down and contact a professional to identify the cause and provide the remedy.

Malfunctions in air conditioning systems can be found in several different places. The exterior unit, the condenser, is where heat is expelled and refrigerant ultimately cools the inside via the evaporator coil.  If this unit fails or the refrigerant is lost, cooling problems will surface.

Filters are another potential point of failure. Air drawn in by the air conditioner for cooling passes through air filters to remove dust and other particulates. Dirty filters cause the system to work harder, resulting in less cooling, higher electricity bills and potential damage to the equipment.  This lower air flow can also cause the evaporator coils to ice-up and/or completely block air flow. Thus, filters should be checked and replaced every two to three months. Additionally, if you have pets, you may want to change them more frequently.

Regular preventative maintenance is the most reliable way to address any potential issues before they become expensive fixes that typically arise on the hottest days of the summer when functioning air conditioning is most needed and appreciated. So with warmer weather ahead, being proactive now will assure you one less thing to worry about later.  If you are planning to buy or sell a home this coming season in the Chicago North Shore, North or Northwest suburbs, please feel free to contact me today for a consultation. I will be glad to answer any questions you may have, help you to plan a home search and/or help you determine the value of your current 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 Steve Johnson/Flickr.com

The Chicagoland Artisan Chocolate Festival & Wine Tasting

by Allyson Hoffman

April 10-12, 2015

The Crystal Ballroom, Evanston, Illinois

This weekend the decadent worlds of sweet chocolates and fine wines will be converging at The Chicagoland Artisan Chocolate Festival & Wine Tasting event.  The 3-day happening will surely delight your senses, offering the finest in Artisan Chocolates, coupled with the most luxurious of wines!

The Chicagoland Artisan Chocolate Festival & Wine Tasting event will feature chocolate and wine tastings, lectures, demonstrations, and much more.  Chocolate exhibitors will hail from Utah, California, Michigan, Illinois, and even as far as from Ecuador.  They will include, but are not limited to, David Bacco Chocolatier, Sulpice Chocolat, Gourmet Goodies, Amy’s Candy Bar, Patricia’s Chocolates, and Chocolate for the Spirit.  Lustau Winery, Tokaj Oremus, and Europvin Winery are just a few of the exhibitors that will also be in attendance.  Lectures and demonstrations will be taking place throughout the course of the weekend and will include “The Origins of Chocolate”, “Modeling Chocolate”, “Desert Pairings”, and many more.  The chocolate and wine tastings as well as educational presentations will enlighten you to the complex world of both, and the unique approaches in pairing the two.  You will have the opportunity to sample plenty of assorted treats, as well as many varieties of wine. 

Admission to The Chicagoland Artisan Chocolate Festival & Wine Tasting event ranges in price from $11.54 to $27.37, dependent on your ticketing choice.  To view the available ticket types, all they include, and to purchase them online, please click here.  Should you wait until the day of the event to purchase your tickets, the cost will be $35.00 per person.

So this weekend prepare for a day of celebrating, sampling and treating yourself at The Chicagoland Artisan Chocolate Festival & Wine Tasting event.  The special occasion promises to provide something for everyone, both amateur analysts and refined connoisseurs alike!

Where:    The Crystal Ballroom, Evanston, Illinois

When:

-Friday April 10th from 11:00 AM-5:00 PM

-Saturday April 11th from 11:00 AM-8:00 PM

-Sunday April 12th from 11:00 AM-7:00 PM

For more information regarding The Chicagoland Artisan Chocolate Festival & Wine Tasting 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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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 Fast Forward Event Productions/commons.wikimedia.org.

Inexpensive Curb Appeal

by Allyson Hoffman

Curb appeal creates a first impression when selling your home that impacts the buyer throughout their viewing. Moreover, it can even make or break a buyer’s decision to tour or not tour your home. So sellers need to do all they can to enhance their home’s exterior façade for added street appeal.

Because curb appeal provides clues to buyers as to what life might be like living in your house and its condition, outside maintenance and beautification should be a priority for sellers. Obvious prime concerns include mowing regularly, as well as fresh paint, trim and/or siding.  Beyond those major and basic preparations, there are some smaller and less expensive curb appeal improvements that make a huge difference.

-Make sure the path from your buyer’s car to the entrance is free of toys, lawn care items, fallen twigs or other debris. Stepping over or around items detracts from the flow of the tour at the outset and in colder climates this additionally means that winter snows and ice should be cleared.
-A fresh coat of paint can make your front door look brand new. Once the impression of “new” or “well-kept” is formed in the buyer’s mind, that impression typically endures throughout the showing.
-A manicured lawn gives the impression of a carefully tended home. Grass creeping onto and in the sidewalk cracks may look sloppy.  A small border of an inch or two of space between the lawn and the sidewalk makes the entire yard look neat and well-kept.
-Thin out plants that are overtaking the zone of other plants by leaving space between plants and shrubs to provide an airy and clean appearance that buyer’s value.
-Add color. Bright flowers can do wonders for the facade of a home by drawing the eye to your home’s exterior assets.  So add some seasonal flowers and color into the landscape if you can. If you don’t want to dig, try strategically-placed planters and hanging baskets to greet your buyers.
-Add new mulch. Mulch fades with time, giving landscaping a drab gray base. Bright mulch creates contrast with the colors of flowers and shrubbery, giving them a healthier and more appealing appearance.

Consider taking the time to complete these tasks if you are planning to sell your home. You’ll be amazed at the difference you can make in such a short time, and what an impact your home will have on potential buyers. Feel free to 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 Briget Murphy/Flickr.com

Starry Starry Night

by Allyson Hoffman

April 4, 2015

Heller Nature Center, Highland Park, Illinois

How well do you know the night sky?  Whether you can easily identify Orion’s belt, or perhaps you struggle in finding the North Star, the Starry Starry Night event promises to provide fun for both astronomical buffs, and those new to astronomy alike!

For thousands of years, the star-filled sky has been a source of discovery, entertainment and wonder.  And this weekend the Heller Nature Center invites your entire family to take an unforgettable journey among the stars. The Starry Starry Night happening welcomes you to step inside the Starlab portable planetarium and begin your tour of the objects that fill the night sky.  You will learn how to identify stars that make up constellations and the history that lies behind them. After learning how to recognize particular objects, constellations, stars and more, you’ll head outside to test your new-found skills. 

Admission to the Starry Starry Night event is $8.00 per person.  The Center requests all children be accompanied by a participating adult.  To pre-register your family online, please click here.

So this Saturday don’t miss the opportunity to learn how to spot the stars, planets, galaxies, constellations, and more at Starry Starry Night. This night sky exploration invites you to become an amateur astronomer, if for only one night!

Where: Heller Nature Center, Highland Park, Illinois

When: April 4th from 7:00 PM-8:30 PM

For more information regarding the Starry Starry Night 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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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 Till Credner/en.wikipedia.org.

Keeping Up with Home Maintenance

by Allyson Hoffman

If you have trouble remembering important annual home maintenance tasks, consider utilizing your smartphone to keep track of these chores.  There are many useful apps that can help organize and provide reminders for your yearly home care responsibilities.

IPad and iPhone users might consider the following apps which are only a few of the abundant choices available:

-@Home – a free app from Good Housekeeping that has many great features, including tips on house cleaning.
-HomeSaavy – a free and highly rated app providing customized maintenance scheduling and alerts.
-Home Maintenance – come highly recommended and supports multiple schedules, great if you have more than one home.

For Android users, consider the following choices, amongst many others:

-myHouse – a free app for home maintenance
-House Maintenance Schedule – a free app that also has a Pro version for $2.99
-Helpful Household Hints  - features how-to cleaning and repair tips and tricks for $2.99.

Other options include Home Maintenance Tips ($0.99) for Windows Phone users or House Maintenance Schedule Pro ($1.99) for Blackberry users.

Regular home maintenance is especially important for prospective homes sellers.  So a good system designed to simplify this obligation will clearly be a benefit, especially if you plan to sell your home in the future.  A home in good condition may help to impress potential buyers, so consider reviewing these useful apps to help you stay on track. And when you are ready to sell your home, please feel free to contact me for a no-obligation consultation. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have, and can 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

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.

Image courtesy of Global Panorama/Flickr.com

Solar Panels ~ Are They Killing The Deal?

by Allyson Hoffman

The pros and cons of Solar Panels were explored in my recent previous blog. How Solar Panels could affect you or your prospective buyer's ability to finance a home is reviewed in this insightful and interesting follow-up video, courtesy of The National Real Estate Post.  Tune In now for the details and hear the warning that may be worth considering as a part of an overall decision to embrace solar power or not.

 

 

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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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.

Midwest Fruit Explorers Grafting Workshop

by Allyson Hoffman

March 29, 2015

Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe, Illinois

According to the Midwest Fruit Explorers, “If you have enough room to grow a rose bush, then you have enough room to grow assorted fruit trees.”  This weekend the Chicago Botanic Garden invites you to learn how to do exactly this at the Midwest Fruit Explorers Grafting Workshop.

This hands-on workshop will introduce you to the best varieties of fruit trees that can be grown in this area. The Midwest Fruit Explorers will teach interested gardeners how to graft and care for their own fruit trees. The experts indicate that apple, pear and plum trees grow extraordinarily well in this area. So, the Explorers will explain the horticultural techniques of grafting and caring for these particular trees. First, they will assist each participant in picking the ideal tree from an assorted available collection, prior to leading demonstrations on how to graft the root stock. After the grafting lesson is complete, they will additionally discuss longer-term methods of caring for your growing tree.

Admission to the Midwest Fruit Explorers Grafting Workshop is free, as is admittance into the Garden. The only charge incurred will be for parking and the trees that you decide to purchase.

So this Sunday, visit the Chicago Botanic Garden and embark on a growing adventure.  With detailed step by step instructions, attendees will be prepared to plant their purchased trees directly into the ground!

Where: Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe, Illinois

When: Sunday March 29th from 1:00 PM-4:00 PM

For more information regarding the Midwest Fruit Explorers Grafting Workshop, 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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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 condesign/pixabay.com.

Lollapalooza

by Allyson Hoffman

July 31 - August 2, 2015

Historic Grant Park, Chicago, Illinois

Although it may be months away, tickets are selling fast, the lineups have been announced, and people from near and far are gearing up for this year’s Lollapalooza event.  The wildly-popular happening is far from just a music festival, but offers an all-out experience, on so many levels.  You are invited to come out to historic Grant Park to indulge in this spectacular 3-day cultural event.

Lollapalooza will feature Chow Town, a Farmers Market, Green Street, Lolla Cares, Kidzapalooza, and an entire weekend of headliner musical acts.  For starters, Chow Town offers a wide variety of the “best food in the world”.  From turkey legs to funnel cakes, there is certain to be a food to suit the fancy of all.  For

the more health-conscious festival goers, the Farmers Market will be selling the best locally-sourced festival fare. Be sure to fill up ... you will need plenty of energy to shop the local, regional, and national artisans of Green Street, prior to visiting Lolla Cares for an educational lesson on how to become more environmentally-aware.  Children can partake in the Kidzapalooza event within the festival.  As a family, you can partake in various activities, including hands-on arts and crafts and much more. Headlining this year’s event will be Sir Paul McCartney.  He will be joined by the likes of Metallica, Of Monsters and Men, Florence + the Machine, and Sam Smith, just to mention a few. 

Admission to Lollapalooza ranges in price, dependent on the desired package chosen.  There are 1-day, 3-day, Platinum, and VIP packages from which to choose.  To view your ticket purchasing options and to buy them online, please click here.

The annual Lollapalooza spectacular will be here before you know it.  So, be sure to purchase your tickets today in order to join friends, neighbors, and people from around the country, looking to indulge in one of the most famous music festivals in the entire world!

Where: Historic Grant Park, Chicago, Illinois

When:

-Friday July 31st from 11:30 AM-10:00 PM
-Saturday August 1st from 11:30 AM-10:00 PM
-Sunday August 2nd from 11:30 AM-10:00 PM

For more information regarding the Lollapalooza 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 Pablo2662x11/commons.wikimedia.org.

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 561

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Glenview IL 60025
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