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

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Allyson Hoffman

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Three Decisions to Make Before You Sell Your Home

by Allyson Hoffman

Before you contact a real estate agent, list your home or put the For-Sale sign in the yard, consider these often-overlooked decisions first to ensure that selling your home is easier and less stressful.

Determine Your Reasons for Selling and Your Timeline

For some sellers such as those being transferred for a job to another state or relocating to be close to family, this will be obvious. For others, the reason may not be so straightforward. Perhaps you’re interested in a lifestyle change that your current neighborhood fails to fulfill or maybe changes in your family size means that downsizing or upsizing should be considered.

The reason for selling will typically determine both your motivation level and timeline. Moving for a new job or job transfer can dictate that results will need to be quickly achieved. In contrast, downsizing can provide the luxury of more leisurely progress.

Determine What is “Next”

Once you’re committed to selling your current home, deciding your next move is critical. Will that be to immediately buy a new house at the same time or will you consider renting short or long term? If the plan is to buy a new home while selling your current residence, make sure to factor in the time needed to view, choose and secure your next residence. A seamless transition requires skillful coordination so that you can sell and buy without added inconveniences.

If inventory of available homes is scarce, and appealing or suitable homes are difficult to find and purchase, renting may be a necessity.  So if renting is not an option, you may want to reconsider your decision to sell and wait until the market provides a better balance for buyers and sellers.

Choose Your Real Estate Agent

Even if you have a friend who is a real estate agent, it’s still a good idea to interview at least two or three other professionals to determine who best fits you and your home. For most sellers, their home is one of their largest assets. So it’s imperative to follow a business-like approach in choosing an agent who is not only knowledgeable in your area, but can produce results that minimize your inconveniences, maximize your profits and do so in a timeline that allows you to achieve your objectives.  To help you make this important decision, be sure to speak with multiple agents, ask them the right questions, and understand their marketing plan for selling your home.

These three pre-marketing considerations should ensure a more efficient, effective selling effort that reduces stress and increases the odds of your success.  For additional information regarding the sale of your home, feel free to contact me today for a consultation. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have, help you to find your dream home or determine the value of your existing property.

 

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 paulbr75/pixabay.com

Chicago Flower and Garden Show

by Allyson Hoffman

March 25, 2017

Navy Pier

Visit Navy Pier on Saturday, March 25th to enjoy the Chicago Flower and Garden Show. This fun-for-everyone event features hands-on projects designed for children and instructional seminars on flowers and plants for adult attendees.

Stroll through magnificent gardens and/or purchase souvenirs at the market. Visitors will additionally have an opportunity to learn how to use plants in cooking and watch professional demonstrations by skilled chefs. For additional information or to purchase tickets, visit www.chicagoflower.com.

When: March 25, 2017, 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM

Where: Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand Ave. Chicago, IL 60611


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 shijingsijgem/pixabay.com

Making Changes to Homeowners’ Insurance Policies

by Allyson Hoffman

When financing a home, lenders require borrowers to find a homeowners’ insurance provider and policy. Associated fees will frequently be included in the mortgage payment. Many lenders make these payments to the provider to ensure that the policy does not lapse. The money collects in an escrow account until the annual premiums are due.

Occasionally, owners may desire to either change their policy or change providers. Despite payments often not being directly paid by the policyholder, these adjustments are possible.  Here are the issues to consider and steps to follow:

Making the Necessary Changes

While owners are free to change providers and make changes to a current policy, they must maintain coverage at the minimum required. Desired changes can be achieved by contacting the existing insurance provider or selecting new provider entirely. If a new provider is selected, be sure to cancel the original policy to avoid the possibility of double payments.

Contact the Lender

Since lenders will likely still make the insurance payments, promptly inform them of any changes to the policy or provider.  A new policy with a new company will require a premium payment prior to the policy becoming effective. So determine if there are escrowed monies sufficient to cover this payment or if payment will need to be made out-of-pocket. When changing policy providers, it’s safe to anticipate receipt of a refund from any unused portion of your old premium within a few weeks. Typically, this will be provided in the form of a check from the prior insurance company and presenting this amount to your lender may be needed to ensure no shortage in escrowed funds.

Be Aware of Your New Mortgage Payments

When an escrow account is reviewed, mortgage payments may change based upon an increase or decrease in your insurance premiums. So be mindful of any changes when making subsequent monthly payments to the lender. Failure to be attentive to these potential changes could result in an escrow shortage.

While changing homeowners’ insurance policies to save money or obtain better coverage can be desirable and a wise choice, keep in mind that because of potential for lender involvement in making the payments, this process is somewhat more complicated as a result. For additional information regarding items impacting monthly mortgage payments, feel free to contact me today for a consultation. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have, help you to find your dream home or determine the value of your existing property

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 paulbr75/pixabay.com

February 2017 Midwest Real Estate Market Reports

by Allyson Hoffman

The February 2017 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 ShoreNorth, 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

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.

Chicagoland Family Pet Expo

by Allyson Hoffman

March 18-19, 2017

Arlington Park Racetrack

This event is for pet lovers whether they have pets of their own or want to get one. The Chicagoland Family Pet Expo starts on Saturday, March 18, 2017 at Arlington Park Racetrack. The event begins at 9:00 AM on Saturday and 10:00 AM on Sunday.

Visitors can learn about adopting animals, caring for them or obtain information about new products. They can meet rescue groups and breeding clubs. There’s a pet parade with a baseball theme and the Smooch-a-Pooch kissing booth. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children ages 3 to 12.  Parking fees are $7. For additional information regarding the Chicagoland Family Pet Expo, please visit the website.

When: March 18, 2017 at 9:00 AM and March 19, 2017 at 10:00 AM

Where: Arlington Park Racetrack, 2200 West Euclid Avenue, Arlington Heights, IL 60006

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
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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 lightstargod/pixabay.com

 

Smarten Up Your Home

by Allyson Hoffman

Smart home technology once belonged in the realm of fantasy – but today it is a top feature that buyers are looking for in a home. This feature is exciting and still somewhat new; and can help with the marketing of your home. Smart homes are here, and homeowners are surprised at how affordable it is to convert an existing traditional home into a cutting-edge smart home.

Integrating smart technology into your home can improve your quality of life, and it could also improve the resale value of your home if you ever decide to sell. Anything that sets your home apart in a positive way is potentially beneficial. So, given that the cost is relatively small as compared to the possible return, why not take the initiative and smarten up your home?

Smart homes used to be well beyond the budget of the average consumer, but with increases in technology, and the fact that nearly everyone has a smartphone or tablet, the cost of integrating smart technology into the home has plummeted. Before long, smart-technology integration may be a requirement rather than a bonus feature, especially in the luxury real estate market.

To get ahead of the curve and make the transition now rather than later, here are a few things you can do right now for a relatively small investment.

Smart Interior and Exterior Lights

For a long time, and with limited success, people have been trying to figure out how to turn off the lights without the need to get off the couch or out of bed. Now, using just a screwdriver and a few spare minutes, almost anyone can install smart lights switches throughout a home and control them via a smartphone app or by voice command. These lights can be set to turn on or off at preset times or when the sun rises and sets. Smart light switches cost about $50. For those not wanting to install new switches, or with a healthy fear of electricity, choosing to install smart light bulbs by Phillips can be a path to savings. Each bulb can then be controlled through a smartphone and no screwdriver is required.

Smart Door Locks

Have you ever lost your keys, had to rush home to let in a visiting friend or open the door for a handyman? With the addition of a new Smart Lock System, these worries can be a thing of the past.  An example of the technology includes the August Smart Lock which unlocks as soon as an authorized person approaches the door. Doors can also be unlocked and relocked remotely. Temporary keys can be issued to people such as contractors or short-term guests. Smart locks similar to the August Smart Lock typically cost between $150 and $250 and can be installed in just a matter of minutes.

Smart Thermostats

One of the most popular thermostats currently on the market is the Nest Thermostat. The Nest Learning Thermostat eliminates the need to program because it programs itself. Simply set it and adjust it as you normally would throughout the day. It will remember and begin to adjust itself in the future. The Nest Thermostat also provides the ability to set and monitor temperature via a smartphone or tablet. A Nest Learning Thermostat costs only $249 and can be installed in under an hour.

Smart Appliances

Finally, there are the new smart appliances. These are the most expensive upgrade to a home, because there is no way to turn a traditional appliance into a smart one. Buying new appliances is necessary. So if you are already in the market for a new refrigerator, dishwasher, coffee maker or washer and dryer, going the smart route is something to consider. Imagine a refrigerator that alerts you via text if you are low on milk or a coffee maker that cleans itself. Or how about a washing machine that tells you if there’s a problem or an unbalanced load?

Turning your house into a “smart home” is a great way to boost your home’s value with a relatively small investment, and make life a little more convenient in the process. For additional ideas on how to improve the value of your home, feel free to contact me today for a consultation. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have, help you to find your dream home or determine the value of your existing property


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 Grant Sewell/Flickr.com

St. Patrick’s Day in Chicago

by Allyson Hoffman

March 11, 2017

Downtown Chicago

You don’t have to be Irish to enjoy St. Patrick’s Day in Chicago. Start out watching the dyeing of the Chicago River as it turns green before the St. Patrick’s Day Parade … and you don’t have to worry; the dye is safe for fish and only lasts for a few hours.

Watch all the floats decorated in honor of this fun holiday as they make their way through Grant Park as you listen to bagpipes and watch Irish dancers entertain the crowds as the parade passes by. This year’s parade will be held on Saturday, March 11th. Start out the day with a St. Paddy’s Day 5K and 8K Run with its trail along Lincoln Park. You can even wear your best green outfit to make the run more festive and a chance to win the costume contest. After the parade, plan to enjoy a St. Patrick’s Day cruise where you can experience an Irish-style lunch buffet and cash bar. The cruise lasts 75 minutes and is offered at 10AM, noon and 2PM. To find out more about these and other events, check out the St. Patrick’s Day online guide.

When: Saturday, March 11, 2017

Where: Downtown Chicago

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 Tumisu/pixabay.com

For Sale - 2028 St. Johns Avenue, Highland Park, IL $325,000!

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!

Bring Your Home Back to Life

by Allyson Hoffman

Whether you are buying a historic home or selling yours, restoring its original charm may be worth the effort. Buyers may prefer to go all out to make an old home look authentic while a seller may only choose to do only what is necessary to help it sell for top dollar. Regardless of the goals, the focus on restoring an old home is similar.

Know the Difference between Restore and Rehab

To truly restore a historic home means returning to its original design and this could mean no plumbing or electricity! Alternately, rehabbing involves preserving the 

character and charm even if the materials and design of the original home cannot be used. In many cases, a homeowner will blend restoring and rehabbing to produce the best and most practical result.

Know the History

Before making changes to the house, know its origin. A home built in the early 1920s could now have retro green or orange shag carpet of the 1970’s era. This is not original to the house, and it would be easy enough to tear out and replace. The more times a home has sold, the more likely it will have design features throughout the house that are not original to the property.

Know Your Budget

Rehabbing a home, especially an older home, is an expensive endeavor. It’s even more costly when trying to find materials that aren’t in common use today. So before beginning any project, be sure to know the costs relative to how much money you have to spend.

Set Priorities

Buyers may choose to first work on specific areas of the home such as those that guests will see first – kitchens and living areas are popular choices. Sellers will likely have a different focus, such as flooring and paint, with the objective of making the entire house presentable to prospective buyers.

Whether you buy or sell a vintage home, making the most of its original charm in a way that will fit your budget and preferences is a worthwhile challenge. For additional information regarding popular features of historic homes, feel free to contact me today for a consultation. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have, and/or help you to find your dream home or determine the value of your existing property

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
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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 1860391/pixabay.com

For Sale or Rent - 978 Elm Ridge, Glencoe, IL $885,000

by Allyson Hoffman

Vintage Meets Modern!

A Striking, Stately Skokie Ridge Tudor Set High Above the Street -- A True Vintage Treasure!

The Allure of Yesteryear and Desired Contemporary Updates Blend in this Inviting Family-Centered Home Combining Captivating Charm, Comfort and Convenience!

This striking Tudor set on a high lushly-landscaped lot combines elegant vintage architecture and features with today’s desired updates. Arched doorways and grand leaded-glass window provides the warmth of yesteryear. A fabulous cherry cabinet kitchen with granite counters and stainless appliances, open to the family room, adds today’s touches blending the best of old and new to this inviting and elegant historical treasure. From the front stone patio to the rear dining room with windows on three sides and radiant-heated floors, this charming home is truly one-of-a-kind. The main floor features a huge formal living room with a wood burning fireplace, an inviting family room (both with cherry hardwood flooring), a sunny dining room and library/office with N-S and W exposure, and even a multi-purpose fifth bedroom and adjacent full bath. 

A grand stairway from the foyer with a tall, dramatic leaded-glass window on the landing leads to the second floor gallery/hall, the master suite with its full updated bath and a deep walk-in closet, three additional family bedrooms including one with an en suite bath, a second floor laundry area and an updated hall bath. Each bedroom features overhead lighted ceiling fans and abundant closet space. 

On the lower level, the fully-finished basement provides abundant storage, convenient exterior access to the backyard and a huge recreation room with a ground-level daylight window and second wood burning fireplace. An extra-large game room with wet bar potential and cabinetry, a lovely powder room, mechanical room and storage areas are all accessed here. Located in Skokie Ridge, this uniquely-special home with easy access to town, beach, train, highway and the community center offers truly irresistible ageless appeal! 

Also available for rent with April 15, 2017 occupancy at $5,000 per month with one year lease minimum -- pets accepted with a deposit on a case-by-case basis.

To view the full description and collection of photos for this home please visit www.978ElmRidge.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 808

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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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1245 Waukegan Road
Glenview, IL, 60025

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