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Shermerfest

by Allyson Hoffman

Vintage Cars at Shermfest

Village Green Park -- Northbrook, Illinois

This weekend visit Northbrook’s Village Green Park and take a step back in time.  Shermerfest, a fun-filled community fall festival, will feature old-fashioned entertainment for all ages -- children, teens and adults.

Returning for its 36th consecutive year, the wildly-popular Shermerfest event is hosted by the Northbrook Historical Society.  It’s a classic, collectible, and antique car and truck show, Classic Northbrook, where visitors can browse a spectacular assemblage of rare and vintage vehicles. This genuine community event also includes a variety/magic show and games of yesteryear such as Pumpin Baggo or Bocce Ball for children to test their skills.  From the silent auction tables filled with items to bid on, donated by local merchants, to the live music, courtesy of The Legacy Girls, and edibles from hot dogs, to chips, soups and homemade sweets, Shermerfest is a FREE event designed for the entire family.  So this Sunday, be sure to check out Village Green Park and treat your family to an old-fashioned festival extravaganza.

Where: Village Green Park, Northbrook, Illinois

When: Sunday September 21st from 12:00 PM-4:00 PM

For more information regarding the Shermerfest 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 Oast House Archive/geograph.org.

Home Buying Myths

by Allyson Hoffman

Though there are no Bigfoot or Loch Ness monster stories to go along with home buying, there are still quite a few commonly believed myths out there that keep people confused about purchasing real estate.

So, let's dispel some of those tales.

Renting is Always Worse than Buying

Though rates are at their lowest point in 2014, it's a common myth that buying is always better than renting because you're investing in a personal property instead of investing in someone else's property. But that's not always the case. Depending on your location, renting can actually be a better choice. Why? In some expensive locations, Los Angeles or New York for example, it could cost you 24 times more to buy a home in the city than rent one. Or your personal situation might make flexibility more desirable.

Buying Bad Homes in Great Neighborhoods

You might think buying even the worst house in a great neighborhood is a good idea.  It’s true that you can fix a house, but you can't fix the company that surrounds it or fully-anticipate the expense and time required for the project. So, that's not always the best plan. While the do-it-yourself channel may show you how to make repairs, unless you are fully capable of doing them, you may end up paying more to fix the home than you initially expected.

Consequently, make sure you're ready for a fixer-upper if this is your chosen route to homeownership.

Proven Locations Only

Many folks seek a home in a well-established community known for its low crime rates, highly-rated schools and/or a convenient location.  But be sure to check out up-and-coming areas where hidden neighborhood gems can be acquired at more attractive prices.  

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 Steven Martin / Flickr.com

Grand Opening of the North Branch Trail Addition

by Allyson Hoffman

September 13, 2014

Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe, Illinois

The long-awaited connection between the Green Bay and North Branch Trails has finally been completed.  So bring your family for a walk, jog, or bike ride amidst the panoramic scenery of the Forest Preserves of Cook County.  This Saturday, the Chicago Botanic Garden will be honored at the Grand Opening of the North Branch Trail Addition event.  A ribbon-cutting ceremony will take place at 2:30PM for outdoor enthusiasts to begin or end their trail adventure from the stunning, safe and easily-accessible Garden area.

Renowned among bikers and walkers alike, the North Branch Trail extends 20 miles north from Chicago.  It will now incorporate the oh-so-popular Chicago Botanic Garden where cyclists and walkers can now relish in the spectacular scenery of the woodland areas of the Garden.

The Grand Opening of the North Branch Trail Addition at the Chicago Botanic Garden has been followed by many.  Now that construction has been completed, a Festival Area will be erected at the end point of the trail, across from the McDonald Wood pavilion.  The salute to the grand opening will include a variety of vendors, information tables, and snacks.

So this weekend, don’t miss this opportunity to enjoy scenic views while celebrating the Grand Opening of the North Branch Trail Addition!

Where: Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe, Illinois

When: Saturday September 13th from 2:00PM-4:00PM

For more information regarding the Grand Opening of the North Branch Tail Addition 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 tAlex Bikes/flickr.com.

Preparing to Sell Your Home in the Winter

by Allyson Hoffman

Most folks think it’s ideal to sell their home, move during the warm weather and try to avoid the end-of-year holiday season.  But winter season sales are not uncommon.  So if you are considering selling during the cold weather months, the choice or need also means preparing for cold-weather guests.

Watch Your Step

It’s important to ensure safe access with your yard and walkways clean and serviceable. Fall leaves should be raked from the yard and snow should be cleared from any thoroughfares. Salting these areas also provides a measure of comfortable insurance to welcome your visiting prospective buyers.

Try adding a new welcome mat at the front door for wiping those wet, snowy boots and shoes, and be sure to ask your agent to provide shoe covers to protect your floors and carpeting.

But You Can't See My Yard!

Uncluttered, neat and clean appearance is particularly important against the stark bareness that the winter months bring.  So be sure to have your yard professionally cleaned up at the end of the growing season, consider trimming potentially hazardous branches from trees and store warm weather toys, patio furniture and even the occasional winter-sporting goods out of sight so they’ll be out of mind.  Buyers will appreciate the ability to better visualize their own possessions in your yard if is crisp and presentable. 

Stoke the Fireplace

Make sure your house is inviting and that means toasty warm on a bitter cold day.  Buyers generally exit quickly when the inside is barely warmer than the outside.  So, if you have a fireplace you’ll not only want to make sure it looks good as a focal point in the room, but also light an attractive fire to help create a positive reaction from potential buyers as well.

Feel free to additionally set the mood with soft holiday music or aromatic scents of the season … some folks accomplish this with fresh baked goods or even a few key scented candles.

Remember, few things are more comforting than entering a welcoming, warm room smelling of freshly-baked cookies and a great view to a glistening outdoor snow scene … so open up the curtains, drapes and blinds, and keep the windows sparkling clean.

If you are thinking about selling your North Shore, North or Northwest Chicago Suburbs home this winter, please 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

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 dvdbramhall/Flickr.com

French Market

by Allyson Hoffman

September 7, 2014

Old Orchard, Skokie, Illinois

Imagine taking a stroll down the quaint streets of France. This weekend, take the opportunity to luxuriate in the French Market, featuring the finest of French food cuisines and shop for a variety of products that highlight the rich epicurean delights of France.

The French Market, an open-air pedestrian shopping destination, located near Sephora will host wildly-popular vendors who will be exhibiting and selling fresh produce, breads, cheeses and much more.  Additionally on site this weekend, you’ll find a unique blend of artisans selling a variety of one-of-a-kind arts and crafts gift items. 

Attendance to the French Market event is free.  So visit this Sunday and treat your family to an extraordinary afternoon with French ambiance.  The French Market event provides a wonderful opportunity to partake in authentic French shopping and cuisine.  Bon Appetit!

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

When: Sunday September 7th from 12:00 PM-4:00 PM

For more information regarding the French Market 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 Francis Storr/flickr.com.

Rent-to-Homeownership

by Allyson Hoffman

What can you do if you really want to own a home, but just don’t have the funds available right now? A rent-to-own agreement is an option for those who still need a bit of time to prepare before they are ready to purchase.

New Avenues for Success

Reasons for choosing to rent-to-own, could be for lack of a down payment, too much debt, or credit concerns, amongst others. These agreements can be made so that property owners and renters can sign a contract that allowing the renter to lease the property for a time, generally one to three years, while a portion of the the rent itself may be considered by the property owner as a down payment credit. Keep in mind that renters sometimes pay a bit above market rent value to make this work, but it's still a solid way to gain headway on homeownership.  Not all owners will consider this as a possibility, so if this the only way to get a foothold on homeownership, remember that your home selections will be limited to only those properties and owners who will consider this avenue.

This is also a choice that can sometimes benefit sellers, especially if they're ready to move elsewhere but have had difficulty selling their home.

How They Work

When a buyer and seller agree on a rent-to-own arrangement, the sales contract is generally written up to reflect a lease agreement that must also be accepted and, vice versa, the lease agreement reflects the agreed sales contract.  All documents typically are reviewed by a lawyer to assure that any issues are addressed upfront.  These lease agreements typically consist of an agreed upon lease period, a monthly rental rate, how any agreed rent credit will factor in the down payment, and who will pay for utilities and repairs during the lease.

In making this decision, be certain to weigh the cost of renting-to-own as compared to an outright home purchase.   Make sure all responsibilities are set out in writing to eliminate future issues regarding the property. It is always worthwhile to hire a home inspector before you rent so that a professional can tell you and the seller if there are any problems requiring discussion before an agreement is set in stone.  If you will ultimately require a mortgage, be sure to also talk to a lender before you make any moves. Contact me today for a consultation and any additional information you may need. I will be happy to answer any questions you have, and/or help you find the home of your dreams.

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 Smokey Combs/Flickr.com

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

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 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

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 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

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 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
Receive Your Personalized Listing Alerts

Let’s Connect, Socially!

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Google +1

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.

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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