Chicago's North Shore - North and Northwest Suburbs Real Estate

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Allyson Hoffman

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Are You Ready to Be a Landlord?

by Allyson Hoffman

Becoming a LandlordIt sounds like the perfect retirement plan: buy a house, rent it out, have the tenant pay off your mortgage and then use the money as income once you retire. While investing in real estate is often a good strategy, there are some things you should review about becoming a landlord before you take the plunge.

• Know what you can afford – there may be times when your rental home is vacant and you still have to pay the mortgage, so make sure you can afford the payments.

• Do a thorough background check on potential tenants to ensure they will pay on time and will take good care of your property.

• Learn the laws about landlords and tenants, and know what you can and cannot do.

• Have a list of service people to call for HVAC repair, plumbing leaks and other maintenance issues

• Find out if renting is allowed in your neighborhood

• Create a list of rules for your tenant, and figure out how you will ensure they are being followed

• Consider hiring a professional property manager to troubleshoot issues that arise and a Realtor to help secure quality tenants.

Consider Financing

As a first-time landlord, you probably won’t be able to count your future rental income in your loan application to purchase the property. Instead, you’ll have to qualify for financing based upon your regular income and associated ability to pay any current mortgage, if you have one, as well as the payments for the rental property.

Moreover, it is prudent to have savings to cover both properties for several months of payments. In fact, your lender may require these cash reserves for a rental property. Because many traditional loan programs require the property to be your primary residence, a substantial down payment may be essential.

Look to the future when initiating loans on your current home or a new personal residence to make sure that there are no restrictions on converting that property to rental status.  For example, FHA loans require you to live in your home for a certain length of time before you can rent it out. Other programs may have similar or even stricter requirements.

So, think carefully about how being a landlord will impact your life and your finances before you jump into the decision. While the added income can be attractive, monitoring someone else isn’t for every property owner. Alternately, owning a rental property could be the prime opportunity you’ve been seeking. For additional information regarding investment properties, 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 the ideal 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 Park Van Ness / Flickr.com

Starving Artists Show

by Allyson Hoffman

September 24 - 25, 2016

Sheridan and Highwood Avenue, Highwood, Illinois

Highwood Illinois EventsThe Starving Artists Show in Highwood, Illinois is a free event the whole family can enjoy. Attendees can browse items from the inventory of local and national artists. This end-of-season event allows artists to showcase pieces at a discount, and there will great bargains on items to take home or give as gifts.

See the works of up to 120 artists with skills in glass, jewelry, ceramics, painting and much more. Visitors will also have the opportunity to enjoy delicious treats and listen to live music. Kid-friendly activities make this event fun for the entire family.

An Amdur Productions event, this show will be held on September 24 and 25, 2016 from 10 am to 5 pm. To learn more about the Starving Artists Show, visit the website here.

Enjoy fantastic art, great food and live entertainment in Highwood this weekend. The Starving Artists Show offers a great opportunity to find art pieces for you or your family and friends at great prices.

When: September 24 and 25, 2016 from 10 AM to 5 PM

Where: Downtown Highwood, Sheridan and Highwood Avenue, Highwood, Illinois

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 Francois Philipp/Flickr.com

August 2016 Midwest Real Estate Market Reports

by Allyson Hoffman

Midwest Real Estate MarketThe August 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.

When Should You Refinance a Mortgage?

by Allyson Hoffman

Refinance a MortgageInterest rates have stayed low far longer than many experts expected and predicted. This is good news for homeowners who thought they might lose the opportunity to refinance their current mortgage. Whether your goal is to pay off your loan sooner or lower your monthly payments, a refinance could save you money and benefit your budget.

Two Main Types of Refinance Options

Homeowners primarily have two options for refinancing even if offered a wider range of products. The first option, a rate-and-term refinance, is designed to identify an affordable term and interest rate. To meet your current needs or goals, select a lower monthly payment and/or a shorter or longer payoff term.

The second refinance option, a cash-out refinance, is typically used to tap into the equity of your home for home improvements or other projects. It can also be structured to pay off other debts. The downside of choosing this type of refinance is the potential for higher payments.

How to Know When to Refinance

Because most borrowers perceive a lower interest rate and the possibility of lower payments as a good idea, be sure to consider all the factors involved before refinancing. In most cases, refinancing involves added closing costs. So be sure to compare your savings against the closing costs to assess how long it takes to break even. For instance, if your closing costs are $3,000 and you save $150 each month, it will take 20 months to break even. Therefore, make sure you plan to keep your house for at least 20 months or more.

Consider the total cost when refinancing. While a lower interest rate with potentially reduced monthly payments can be tempting, the longer payoff term may actually increase the total cost of interest paid. To find out the total cost of the home based upon your current interest rate versus the refinance rate, feel free to check an online resource at amortization calculators.

Lastly, think about your future goals, because refinancing may not make sense should you be planning to move and sell your home in the next 5 years. At your current rate, you may actually be gaining equity, which will help you when it comes time to sell.

While refinancing can be a smart decision, it’s not always the right one for every homeowner. Think through your decision and all of the repercussions before you choose this path.  For recommendations to top notch lending professionals who can assist and advise you in a potential refinance, contact me today for a list of options. I will be happy to share their contact information or answer any questions you may have about buying or selling a 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 Timo Neewton-Syms/flickr.com

Central States Dahlia Society Show

by Allyson Hoffman

September 17-18, 2016

Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe, Illinois

Enjoy vibrant colors and spectacular arrangements at the Central States Dahlia Society Show from the Chicago Botanic Garden on September 17 and 18, 2016. The event will be held from noon to 4:30 PM on Saturday and from 10 AM to 4:30 PM on Sunday.

Exhibitors will bring their most gorgeous blooms from all around the Midwest. Guests will view dahlias ranging in size from a silver dollar to a dinner plate. Intriguing floral designs will be part of the show along with interesting photography moments. Anyone who enjoys beautiful flowers or wants to know more about these blooms should attend this event.

So don’t miss the lovely display of spectacular Dahlias at Chicago Botanic Garden this weekend. The Central States Dahlia Society Show is an event the whole family can enjoy together.

When:  September 17, 2016 from 12 PM to 4:30 PM

September 18, 2016 from 10 AM to 4:30 PM

Where: Chicago Botanic Gardens, Glencoe, Illinois

Learn more about the event on the Chicago Botanic Gardens website.

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

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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 Jean/flickr.com

For Sale - 2028 St. Johns Avenue, Highland Park, IL $375,000!

by Allyson Hoffman

In the Heart of Town!

The Best of Both Worlds Combines 2-Story Living, Private Outdoor Space & Great Condo Benefits Here!

Enjoy Unique Contemporary Design with a Truly Open-Concept Floor Plan, Freshly Painted and Newly Carpeted, & Prime Location with Supremely-Convenient Access to Nearby Downtown Action Right Here!

Convenience is where it’s at in this sparkling, contemporary, open-concept townhome located in the heart-of-Highland Park’s bustling downtown center. Stroll through the park-like courtyard of the 2020 Complex to the private entry of this unique two-story and step into a bright, airy main floor featuring a huge living/dining great room with exposed brick walls and sliders leading out to a private patio and yard as well as a large eat-in kitchen with granite counter tops and radiant-heated porcelain tile floors.

An open stairway leads up to a large loft, family bath, second-floor laundry area, and all bedrooms. The master bedroom features a spacious walk-in closet and an updated master bath; two additional family bedrooms both provide ample closet space. Exposed brick walls highlight every room and the loft, with a custom-built desk, can provide alternative function as a great library/office area.

Additional great features include two-zoned HVAC with separate units and controls, a large pantry storage area, main floor powder room, and an open stairway leading down to a convenient storage unit and two heated underground parking spaces. This pet-friendly association with a lovely sundeck is only a short distance to shopping, Metra train, restaurants, library and lake – a truly rare opportunity to own a great home with lifestyle amenities only a hop, skip or jump away!

To view the full description and collection of photos for this home please visit www.2028StJohns.com!

Contact Allyson Hoffman for more information or to schedule a showing. Visit www.RealEstateNorthernIllinois.com or email Allyson@Allyson.com!

 

Why You Need a Chimney Inspection

by Allyson Hoffman

When you’re buying or selling a home, numerous inspections may be performed. One that should be considered, especially if potential issues are noted by a general home inspector, is a chimney inspection. Before starting that next cozy fire in your new home, you’ll want to know it’s safe to do so.

Problems with the Chimney

A chimney inspection is designed to check for any problems before they occur. For vented gas log fireplaces, the inspector should make sure there are no holes or cracks which would allow dangerous gases to leak into the home. Carbon dioxide and soot are produced by these logs.

Typically, during a thorough inspection, the home is tested for negative pressure, which leads to backup of CO gases. The inspector also searches for gaps between the wall and fireplace and a proper termination cap.

While chimneys are designed to be durable over a long period of time, they are, nonetheless, susceptible to several issues. First, there may be a flaw in the construction. Second, normal wear and tear from temperature changes and use can cause the chimney to develop problems. The third potential issue, moisture, is often the biggest problem for most homes and the fourth issue can result from a sudden event, such as a chimney fire or lightning strike.

What to Do

While you can decide to not use the chimney and do nothing to repair it, this is not always the best answer, especially if the chimney also is connected to the furnace exhaust system.  Moreover, if you plan to sell your home, the fireplace or stove may be a main attraction for buyers. Finding out that the chimney is unusable could cause buyers to pass you by or, alternately, bring in a lower offer.

A chimney, the inspector should provide a report with photos and recommendations for any necessary repairs. Solutions and pricing may vary, so don’t hesitate to shop around and compare alternatives.

The bottom line for anyone with a fireplace … don’t use it until you have had a chimney inspection or a willing to run the risk of a serious problem. Moreover, period maintenance checks are advisable to ensure the integrity and safety of the chimney.  For additional information 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 regarding the selling process, and/or help you to 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 Susanne Nilsson/flickr.com

Opening of the Regenstein Learning Campus

by Allyson Hoffman

September 10-11, 2016

Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe, Illinois

Enjoy a beautiful day at the Chicago Botanic Garden for the opening of the Regenstein Learning Campus. This free event will provide information about the over 500 classes offered through the Joseph Regenstein, Jr. School. Attendees can take part in fun activities outdoors or in the learning center classroom. This event will be great fun for both adults and children.

The event will be held September 10 and 11, 2016 from 10 AM to 4 PM on both days. You’ll find numerous activities to interest you with refreshments and ice cream in the Members’ Lounge where you’ll also receive a giveaway bag. Participants can play with seeds, in the sand or in the water. Visit the Nature Play Garden and the Windy City Harvest farm stand for additional fun. See special demonstrations in the learning center classroom, such as a smart board demo or observations of worms and insects. You’ll also enjoy live music throughout the day.

Chicago Botanic Garden offers many fun and educational activities throughout the year. Bring your family to the opening of the Regenstein Learning Campus this weekend for a great learning experience.

When: September 10-11, 2016 from 10 AM to 4 PM

Where: Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe, Illinois

For more information regarding the opening of the Regenstein Learning Campus, 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.   

Image courtesy H. Michael Miley/flickr.com

Fall Home Maintenance

by Allyson Hoffman

To ensure your home is ready when cold weather hits take the time now to address a few home maintenance items. If you plan to sell your home, these projects are especially important to consider.

Check Your Home’s Exterior

Start with the roof and inspect for any damaged or missing shingles, curled flashing or ventilation areas prone to leakage. Because this requires climbing onto the roof, you may want to have a professional take care of this task as well as examining the attic for stains or wet areas. Additionally, be sure to clean out gutters and make sure they are securely attached.

Next, check your windows and doors to see if weather-stripping needs replacement or caulk added. Sealing these areas reduces moisture and cold air intake.

Examine Your Lawn and Driveway

To prevent falls caused by pooling water and eventually ice, repair the sidewalk, steps or driveway before the weather changes. So check these areas for cracks in the concrete or dips in the asphalt which can be cold weather culprits that lead to accidents.

Be sure to drain your outdoor faucets, sprinkler systems or garden hoses, and store them for the winter. Clean up fall leaves from your lawn to avoid damage to the grass.

Inspect the Furnace

Turn on your furnace to make sure it’s working correctly and clean or replace your furnace filter. It’s also prudent to have it serviced before the first use. A professional HVAC technician can identify needed repairs or replacements to ensure you won’t find yourself literally out in the cold this coming winter.

Additional Tasks

For those who have and use a fireplace, clean the chimney and check the system before the season’s change. Lastly, remember to test or replace the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors as well.

For tasks that take only a few minutes, they can easily be handled without help.  But it is wise to consider hiring professionals for projects that require skill.

These maintenance tasks will help to ensure your home’s integrity and minimize the potential for value loss that results from neglecting regular care.  For additional information regarding the buying or selling process, feel free to contact me today for a consultation. I will be happy to answer any questions you 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
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 Nicholas A. Tonelli/Flickr.com

For Sale - 4000 Dundee Road, Unit 208, Northbrook, $164,900!

by Allyson Hoffman

Home Run Hit!

First Class Living at Coach Pricing in this Charming, Affordable Two-Bedroom Condo!

An Exceptional Opportunity to Own Great Space in Great Condition with Great Condo Amenities -- Absolutely Appealing & Absolutely Affordable!

This home-run hit in pristine condition combines airy space and great condition at a fiscally affordable price. From the huge living room with sunny south exposure to the adjacent separate dining room and inviting eat-in kitchen that overlooks the living room, this immaculate Normandy Hills two-bedroom, two-bath condominium provides easy living in a soothing, secure setting. The foyer, with a large double-door guest closet, leads to the living areas, or alternately, to the private bedroom wing, complete with the spacious master bedroom featuring a full wall of multiple closets and large compartmented full bath. A queen-sized second bedroom boasts a large double-door closet and easy access to the family/guest bath.

This well-maintained, move-in-ready home with brand new carpeting includes an underground/heated garage parking space, storage locker and great association amenities – enjoy tennis courts, a clubhouse with appealing lounge and fireplace, exercise room and indoor pool. Whether starting out or sizing down, happiness meets value here!

To view the full description and collection of photos for this home please visit www.4000Dundee-208.com!

Contact Allyson Hoffman for more information or to schedule a showing. Visit www.RealEstateNorthernIllinois.com or email Allyson@Allyson.com!

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 744

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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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