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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

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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

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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.

Investing in Solar Power for Your Home

by Allyson Hoffman

Solar is a renewable, environmentally-friendly source of energy, and solar power systems have been available to homeowners for decades. Advocates for solar power contend that a lot of money in power bills can be saved over the lifetime of such a system and may even improve the value of a home.  But, while sunlight is free, solar power systems are not. So before you commit, it is best to research the costs and benefits of this potentially-large investment.

The first thing you’ll want to check is if you will receive ample sunlight.  The panels need to face south, or as close to that orientation as is possible. They also require precise angles to properly catch maximum sunlight.  So, roofs heavily shaded by surrounding trees, simply won’t work.

Comly Wilson, the managing editor of the CleanEdison Blog, says there are five things to think about when considering solar power. Number one on his list is reducing the amount of electricity you use before you install a solar system. By using energy-efficient appliances and making smart choices, power demand can be lowered by up to 30%.  For additional power-saving suggestions, check other ideas here.

Keep in mind that solar power systems should be installed by licensed contractors with experience in solar systems. The systems use an inverter to convert solar energy to the AC current that is required by home appliances, lights and electronics. To directly use power generated from a solar system, it may necessitate supplementing with a generator or batteries for periods when the sun isn’t shining. Batteries, which have to be replaced on a regular basis, can add substantial cost and maintenance to the solar system.  Another solar option includes attaching the solar power to the local power grid.  Some utility companies will lease solar equipment to you, and with the right set-up, you can sell excess energy back to them.

Even a modest energy savings can be a powerful incentive for potential buyers.  So if buying a house with an installed solar system interests you, be sure to request copies of the energy bills and records for the costs of maintaining the system. Sellers of homes with solar systems should be prepared to provide that same information.

For additional facts regarding the buying or selling process, feel free to contact me today for a consultation. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have about buying or selling a home in Chicago's North Shore, North and Northwest Suburbs.

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 Chris Kantos/Flickr.com

Chicagoland Family Pet Expo

by Allyson Hoffman

March 20-22, 2015

Arlington International Raceway, Arlington Heights, Illinois

This weekend, your entire family is invited to Arlington International Raceway for the exciting Chicagoland Family Pet Expo. This event will showcase pet-related products and services.  In its 23rd consecutive year, this all-out extravaganza offers something for both pets, and pet-owners alike!

The Chicagoland Family Pet Expo will feature more than 200 booths filled with an abundance of animal paraphernalia.  Presentations, demonstrations, and top-quality live entertainment are also on the weekend’s agenda.  Visitors can expect to find pet-themed artwork, jewelry, clothing, cleaning & grooming supplies, leashes, collars, beds, furniture, and much more.  Containment systems, security devices, veterinary services, boarding outfits and even pet sitters will also be available.  Breeder clubs, training facilities and Animal Rescue Organizations will also be present, ready to answer any questions you may have.  Additionally, hands-on attractions and live entertainment will round out this Tower Show Production.

Admission to the Chicagoland Family Pet Expo is $10.00 for adults, and $5.00 for children ages 3-12.  To purchase your tickets online and to receive a $1.00-off cyber deal, please click here.

The Chicagoland Family Pet Expo is sure to be fun for the whole family.  So this weekend while your loyal pets wait at home, plan on shopping for them at this favorite Chicagoland event.  It promises to provide a day of fun and a unique shopping experience for your furry two or four-legged friends!

Where:    Arlington International Raceway, Arlington Heights, Illinois

When:     Friday March 20th from 1:00 PM-9:00 PM

Saturday March 21st from 9:00 AM-6:00 PM

Sunday March 22nd from 10:00 AM-5:00 PM

For more information regarding the Chicagoland Family Pet Expo, 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 State Farm/Flickr.com

Maintaining Your Deck

by Allyson Hoffman

The promise of mild temperatures, warm sunshine and springtime blooms signals the time to again enjoy outdoor living.  With the approach of spring, many homeowners will start to prepare their outdoor spaces and if that means sitting out on a deck, take a few minutes to check on safety concerns.  Also, consider that a well-maintained deck can add value to your home

So before planning to entertain guests on your outdoor deck, be sure to check the structure and boards for hazards that may have developed during the winter. Estimates vary, but many decks on American homes may not have been built safely or, alternately, develop issues as they age. Annually during spring and summer, stories will pop up in the media about decks collapsing.  Signs of deterioration can include any sway or movement of the deck, railings or stairway, and those conditions definitely need to be corrected.

One good practice is to look for signs of rot, especially where the deck attaches to the house and where two deck boards meet over a joist. But to truly ensure a deck is securely attached to the home’s structure, consider having it professionally inspected by a carpentry or building expert who can provide guidance should any repairs be necessary. The National American Deck and Railing Association offer a complete guide on checking your deck [pdf].

Lastly, if you need any advice about selling your home in Chicago’s North Shore, North or Northwest Suburbs, please contact me for a consultation. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have, and/or help you determine your home’s value.

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 redagainPatti/Flickr.com

February 2015 Midwest Real Estate Market Reports

by Allyson Hoffman

The February 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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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.

Maple Syrup Harvest

by Allyson Hoffman

March 14, 2015

Heller Nature Center, Highland Park, Illinois

With the maple sugaring season in full swing, the Heller Nature Center invites your entire family to indulge in their Maple Syrup Harvest event this Saturday. The trees are ready to be tapped for their savory sweet sap providing an opportunity to witness first-hand, this age-old tradition of maple syrup harvesting.

The Maple Syrup Harvest celebrates the first rites of spring with naturalists demonstrating the art of tapping the trees, collecting sap, and syrup production.  As a green and environmentally-sustainable process, the practice of maple sugaring is for all participants to enjoy.  First collected in hanging buckets, the sap is then transferred into large vats that can withstand the heat of a blazing flame.  As the sap slowly boils, it transforms into sugary breakfast syrup. Your family will have the opportunity to taste the sweet sap and the final syrup products.

Admission to the Maple Syrup Harvest event is $6.00 per person.  Two sessions will be held.  One starts at 11:30 AM and the second begins at 2:30 PM.  To register your family online, please click here and enter program number 36022. 

So this weekend, dress for the weather and join the masses in discovering the method of maple sugaring’s “tree to table” mantra.  The Maple Syrup Harvest happening promises to provide something for everyone, both adults and children alike!

Where: Heller Nature Center, Highland Park, Illinois

When: Saturday March 14, 2015

Session One:  11:30AM-12:30PM

Session Two:  2:30PM-3:30PM

For more information regarding the Maple Syrup Harvest 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 Oven Fresh/commons.wikimedia.org.

Remodeling in 2015: Cost vs. Value

by Allyson Hoffman

Have you considered doing some remodeling? If so, you may already know how much you'll likely need to spend for your project. But when it comes time to sell, you may also want to determine how much of your remodeling investment will be returned in the improved value of your home.

This information was studied by the folks at Hanley Wood who have conducted a nation-wide survey that provides:

-An average of how much a job will cost,
-How much it will be worth in resale value,
-And the percentage of the cost you'll recoup.

Additionally, they've released the results in a report, which includes specific data for the Chicagoland area. This cost versus value report contains specific descriptions of various projects such as a roofing replacement or bathroom remodeling.

To determine which projects are most cost effective, you may want to review this report. For instance, remodeling the bathroom in an upscale home runs an average of $54,115 and is worth $32,385, or 59.8% of the investment. Roofing replacement for a mid-range home costs an average of $19,528. The report indicates you'd recoup 71.6% of that expense, or $13,975 when selling the house. One of the more cost effective projects includes vinyl or wood window replacement on midrange or upscale homes with an average 75% return. Conversely, a new home office in a midrange home, or a master suite addition in an upscale home, generally returns less than 55% of the cost.

You may have personal reasons for remodeling, but if investment return is a strong objective, this report can be very useful. Complete data from the Remodeling 2015 Cost vs. Value Report can be downloaded free at www.costvsvalue.com.

When it does come time to sell your Chicago North Shore, North or Northwest suburbs home, feel free to contact me for a consultation. I will be delighted 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

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 Kim Piper Werker/Flickr.com

Ice Melting Blues Weekend at the Village Tavern

by Allyson Hoffman

March 7-8, 2015

The Village Tavern, Long Grove, Illinois

The Village Tavern invites you to come out this weekend and melt your blues away, at the Ice Melting Blues Weekend event. Returning for its seventh consecutive year, the occasion will feature two days of on-going, live all-blues entertainment. 

The Ice Melting Blues Weekend at the Village Tavern event begins with a lunch show on Saturday, featuring Studebaker John & The Hawks.  The band, formed in the ‘70’s, has become one of West Side Chicago’s most popular blues acts.  Known for their intriguing originality, the group spreads contagious energy and one-of-a-kind sound.  Additionally, two dinner shows on Saturday, both showcase the Demetria Taylor Blues Band.  This signature Chicago group features a wide range of vocals, and soulful implementation of instruments.  And last, but certainly not least, The Rockin’ Johnny Blues Band will take to the stage on Sunday.  With a special guest appearance by Mary Lane, this performance is certain to bring blues enthusiasts out in droves.  Creating quite a stir in Chicago’s blues scene, these two acts embrace the genre with soul, sensitivity, strength, and originality.

Admission to the Ice Melting Blues Weekend at the Village Tavern is $10.00 per person, per show. Tickets can be purchased at the door on the day of the event. The Tavern’s menu includes everything from burgers and salads, to stews and fish.

So this weekend, don’t miss the opportunity to attend one of the three blues. The extravaganza is sure to provide a memorable experience for all!

Where: The Village Tavern, Long Grove, Illinois

When:

-Saturday March 7th

12:00 PM-4:00 PM Lunch Show
6:00 PM-7:30 PM Dinner Show
8:30 PM-10:00 PM Dinner Show

-Sunday March 8th

1:00 PM-5:00 PM

For more information regarding the Ice Melting Blues Weekend at the Village Tavern 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!

Facebook
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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 PeterKraayvanger/pixabay.com.

Spring Maintenance Projects

by Allyson Hoffman

With winter having taken its toll, now is the time to begin thinking ahead to spring-related home maintenance projects, especially if you are planning to sell your home. So, here’s a list of projects to consider for planning in the coming weeks.

Roof Inspection

Even if you haven’t detected any leaks inside or see any outside damage, consider hiring a professional roofer to inspect your roof and eliminate potential problems if any are found.

Pressure Washing

Houses occasionally need careful cleaning to eliminate excess buildup of dirt, grime and mold that can accumulate on the exterior walls.  Also, if outdoor furniture if left uncovered, it may also benefit from cleaning-up as well.

Landscaping

When the temperatures begin to rise, that may signal the time to begin focusing on lawn and landscape maintenance. Trees can be especially vulnerable to windy spring storms.  So in if you have a lot of trees on your property, be sure to have a tree service professional check the trees for needed trimming before spring storms that can lead to serious tree damage or damage to your home from branches that come loose.

Outdoor Pools

Unless you’ve got built-in heaters to risk keeping your pool open in the winter and love to watch your heating dollars literally float into the air, pools will “close” before cold weather arrives.  Spring is the time to have your pool checked, conditioned and re-opened in anticipation of your future pool use in warm weather.  Homes with pools clearly show better when the pool looks an inviting blue color than like the murky pond it can become during the off season.  So pool owners should think ahead if they plan to sell their home this pool season.

Spring is also a time when many people begin thinking of finding a new home for their family. If you’re one of those people, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I’ve had decades of experience helping home buyers find their dream homes. Maybe you can be next!

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!

Facebook
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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 Bryan Ledgard/Flickr.com

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 553

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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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Last Modified 2/21/2015