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

Chicago North/Northwest Suburban Real Estate Blog

Allyson Hoffman

Blog

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 486

Chicago Air and Water Show

by Allyson Hoffman

August 16-17, 2014

North Avenue Beach, Chicago, Illinois

The wildly-popular Chicago Air and Water Show event returns this weekend for its 56th consecutive year, bringing daredevil thrills to the beautiful Lake Michigan waterfront. Presented by the City of Chicago and Shell Oil Products U.S., the happening is the largest FREE show of its kind in the United States. Join the masses for one of the most exhilarating two-day events of the summer!

Headlining this year’s Chicago Air and Water Show event will be the U.S. Navy Blue Angels, alongside the U.S. Army Parachute Team Golden Knights. The U.S. Navy Leap Frogs, together with other military demonstration teams, will be joining the Marine MV-22 Osprey helicopter and the U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor, in providing spellbinding performances. The aerial acts will include midair stunts, aerobatics and maneuvers. Civilian performances will be scattered between feature acts, showcasing the AeroShell Aerobatic Team, the Firebirds Delta Team and the Aerostars, just to mention a few.  Herb Hunter, the “voice of the show”, will keep the audience informed and entertained.

Thrilling, gravity-defying, invigorating and white-knuckle are all adjectives used to describe the Chicago Air and Water Show event.  So don’t miss the opportunity to be among the staggering number of expected attendees at this year’s aerial spectacular!

Where: North Avenue Beach, Chicago, Illinois

When: Saturday August 16th from 10:00 AM-3:00 PM. Sunday August 17th from 10:00 AM-3:00 PM

For more information regarding the Chicago Air and Water Show 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 the United States Navy/commons.wikimedia.org.

Energy-Efficient Windows: Are They Worth It?

by Allyson Hoffman

Depending on where you live, your drafty windows, skylights and doors could account for 25-40 percent of your energy bill. Given that statistic, it would seem logical that cutting energy costs to save on energy bills makes sense.

But to replace leaky windows is to commit to a very heavy initial investment. For a typical home, one ranging from 2,000-2,500 sq. ft., full window replacement could cost upwards of $15,000. So the appeal of new windows and the associated energy-saving benefits come at a high price that must be measured against future savings and the potential increased value of your home.

Reaping the Rewards

Whether you plan on living in your house for many years or hope to sell your home sooner rather than later, energy-efficient windows are generally a safe bet. They instantly provide curb appeal and reduce energy expenses each and every month.  Moreover, without the need to endlessly adjust the thermostat, you’ll find that consistent comfort provides another benefit to enjoy.

On a Budget

For budget-conscious homeowners, new windows may have a truly budget-busting price tag.  $15,000 may be impossible. Tax breaks could offer some relief from the cost or low-interest rate loans may be available if the work simply must be done.  But either way, keep in mind that the payback is a longer term proposition in most cases, taking from 2-10 years on average.

Other less costly improvements to consider, if window replacement is not possible, include sealing door leaks, replacing insulation and repairing windows.  With about a $1,000 investment, these changes can also result in substantial energy savings – at a fraction of the cost!

So what's the answer?

Consider Location

Geographic location primarily drives heating and cooling losses.  Whether you are in Nome, Alaska or Tucson, Arizona, the quality and condition of your windows will affect your energy efficiency and your overall costs. So if adding energy-efficient windows to your home is your goal, then remember to consult with different contractors to determine what is available in your area, what is recommended for your house or if installation is even worthwhile. 

Should you just need a few questions answered or are now ready to sell your home or buy a new one, feel free to contact me today for a consultation. I am happy to provide the information you require and can assess the value of your home or the value one that you may want to purchase.

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 Rachel Kramer/Flickr.com

Art at the Glen

by Allyson Hoffman

August 9-10, 2014

Glen Town Center, Glenview, Illinois

This weekend the Glen Town Center hosts the Art at the Glen event which has been rated as one of the top fifteen outdoor art festivals in the country and showcases the works of more than 185 juried artists.  Stroll through the fair and also enjoy an exhilarating day of shopping, live entertainment and family activities.

There are art fairs, and then there are Amdur Production art fairs featuring only the most prestigious juried artists from across the country.  Amdur Productions prides itself on offering the community a rare and unique shopping opportunity, coupled with the chance to see masters at work with interactive demos and exclusive “meet and greets”. This weekend’s Amdur Production festival, the Art at the Glen, provides all of this and more. All types of art mediums will be displayed, including ceramics, fiber, furniture, glass, jewelry, mixed media, paintings, wood and more.

Don’t miss this extraordinary two-day opportunity to peruse the works of many highly-revered artisans from around the country, while enjoying live music sponsored by WLIT. Art activities for children, an art scavenger hunt and Art Buck$ given out daily to spend on any piece of art at any of the Amdur Production 2014 festivals are just a few of the distinguishing differences you’ll find the weekend.

Whether you are a connoisseur of fine art or you are simply looking for a free outdoor family festival, you’ll not want to miss out on the Art at the Glen event this Saturday and Sunday.

Where: Glen Town Center, Glenview, Illinois

When:

  • Saturday August 9th from 11:00 AM-6:00 PM.
  • Sunday August 10th from 11:00 AM-6:00 PM

For more information regarding the Art at the Glen 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 Michelle Caplan/michellecaplan.blogspot.com.

Lollapalooza is Back!

by Allyson Hoffman

August 1-3, 2014

Grant Park, Chicago, Illinois

This weekend the wildly-popular Lollapalooza event will take over Chicago.  Each year over a three-day period, this astounding, all-out extravaganza plays host to more than 150,000 people.  This summer, the happening promises to be bigger and better than ever, featuring live entertainment, food, shopping, children’s activities and more.  Acclaimed for providing a cultural experience, Lollapalooza draws festival-goers from across the world.

A supreme venue site, Grant Park is annually transformed to host popular featured musicians.  This year’s line-up includes Eminem, OutKast, Kings of Leon, Arctic Monkeys, and Lorde, amongst others.  In all, over one hundred musical groups, solos and acts will take the stage providing a broad spectrum of musical genres for venue visitors to enjoy. 

This year Lollapalooza will additionally showcase Chow Town, a Farmer’s Market, 2014 Green Street, and Kidzapalooza.  Chow Town will offer the best food from Chicago and its surrounding areas. The Farmer’s Market will serve locally-grown festival fare, a likely favorite for health-conscious attendees. While 2014 Green Street will satisfy demand for varied gift items from local, national, and even world-recognized, artisans.

Admission prices to Lollapalooza depend upon on the desired package chosen.  Selections include a one-day pass, three-day pass, Platinum Package, and VIP Package.  To view the options and/or to purchase your tickets online, click here.

Long-awaited Lollapalooza is certain to be spectacular and memorable three-day happening!

Where: Grant Park, Chicago, Illinois

When:

  • Friday, August 1st from 11:30 AM-10:00 PM.
  • Saturday, August 2nd from 11:30 AM-10:00 PM.
  • Sunday, August 3rd from 11:30 AM-10:00 PM.

For more information regarding Lollapalooza, 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 vonderauvisuals/flickr.com.

North Shore Festival of Art at Old Orchard

by Allyson Hoffman

July 26-27, 2014

Westfield’s Old Orchard Shopping Center in Skokie, Illinois

This weekend, Amdur Productions, a nationally-acclaimed arts festival production company, returns to the Westfield Orchard for its sixth annual North Shore Festival of Art event.  The Old Orchard Shopping Center, a luxury outdoor shopping destination with an ideal atmosphere for this highly-revered Festival, will showcase the works of some of the country’s finest artisans.

The North Shore Festival of Art at Old Orchard event will feature a wide variety of art mediums including, amongst others, mixed media items, ceramics, jewelry, glass pieces, sculptures, paintings, photography, furniture, and much more.  Over 120 juried artists will be on display, hailing from all over the country.

Additionally, Festival-goers will enjoy live entertainment and an array of assorted activities.  The north end of the shopping district will be dedicated to children, offering hands-on art projects and even a train!  Fantastic food will keep your family well-nourished throughout the course of the day. The event also provides live art demonstrations, educational booth chats and “meet and greets” with the artists. 

Admission to the North Shore Festival of Art at Old Orchard happening is free.  So join in and see for yourself what has made this event such a resounding success, year after year.

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

When: Saturday July 26th from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Sunday July 27th from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM

For more information regarding the North Shore Festival of Art at Old Orchard 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 AmberSculpture/deviantart.com.

Why Your House Needs Solar Power

by Allyson Hoffman

Solar panels have existed for more than 50 years, but only recently have they gained enough notoriety to be considered a power source for an individual home. In the past four years, panels became more efficient while installation became less expensive. As a safe, renewable energy sources, you want to consider what solar power can do for you and your home.

Price Barrier

Sometimes saving money means spending upfront. Were you to purchase a solar panel system big enough to power a house for a family of four, it would likely cost about $24,000 including permits and installation. Depending upon where you live, there may be rebates or incentives available to offset as much as 50% of the expense. This depends on your local, state and federal governments. Tax credits may also be available providing as much as a 30% tax credit on the price of your system.

The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow ...

Even with the high initial price-point, energy cost savings can return your investment in about eleven years. So if you plan to remain in your home a long time and given the average system lifespan of about 25 years, a system installation could generate nearly 14 years of revenue through energy savings or possibly more depending on local electrical rates in your area.

An alternative to consider for those whose budget cannot absorb the initial high costs would include leasing a home solar energy array. Generally, this method requires a long-term lease of 15-20 years with payments covering the solar-generated electricity used. Even leasing should produce a 10-25 percent lower energy cost than your average utility provider, but will not add the ultimate benefit of free electricity that can be realized by those who purchase instead once their expenses are returned through energy cost savings.

If You Can Afford It, Do It

Solar energy systems can add value to your home.  Real estate appraisers estimate that this single home improvement can yield a 20-to-1 valuation, meaning if your solar panels were to save you $1,000 per year, you could expect your home's value to increase $20,000. In terms of kilowatts, you would, theoretically, add $17,500 resale value to your home by adding an average 5KW system.

Solar-powered homes are no longer a concept for the future. They're here and they're setting the bar high for clean, renewable energy. 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
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 Dave Dugdale/Flickr.com

Evanston Ethnic Arts Festival

by Allyson Hoffman

July 19-20, 2014

Centennial Park, Evanston, Illinois

This weekend the city of Evanston, Illinois will celebrate the arts and cultural diversity of more than 100 nations.  In its 29th consecutive year of embracing ethic diversity, the Evanston Ethnic Arts Festival promises to be even bigger and better than in year’s past.

With its spectacular lakefront setting, Centennial Park is honored to be the venue for this year’s happening.  Continuous world music and dance, ethnic cuisine and a family arts activity area will all be featured at this year’s event.  The festivities start on Saturday with the parade of flags featuring over 200 countries.  Twenty thousand attendees are expected to indulge in the sights, sounds, colors and even aromas of our world’s cultures. Visual arts reflecting the skills and talents from every corner of our continent will be dispersed throughout the festival grounds.  Feel free to try your hand at origami-making or participate in suminagashi workshops. The activities available for your family’s participation are endless.

Attendance for your entire family at The Evanston Ethnic Arts Festival event is free.  So this weekend consider clearing your agenda to take part in this two-day affair honoring the world’s varied cultures!

Where: Centennial Park, Evanston, Illinois

When: Saturday July 19th from Noon-7:00 PM. Sunday July 20th from Noon-7:00 PM

For more information regarding the Evanston Ethnic Arts 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!

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 alandsteev/deviantart.com.

Knowing When to Refinance

by Allyson Hoffman

Deciding to refinance your home is a big decision because the process accompanying a refinance resembles the same procedures followed when initiating your original purchase mortgage. You'll again need to submit an application, have credit reviewed and obtain a new appraisal for your home.

Refinance costs and the associated potential savings should be evaluated based upon how long you plan to remain in the house to help you determine the financial benefits of this decision.

For example, if refinancing could save you $200 per month and the refinance fees cost $2,500, it would take a year before true savings started.   Generally, the longer you remain in the house, the more money you'll save in the long term.  So, should you plan on selling in the near future or may be eligible soon for a better job in a new area, refinancing might not be as beneficial as the monthly savings indicate.

Here are a few fees that come with refinancing:

  • Application Fee
  • Appraisal Fee
  • Underwriting
  • Recording
  • Credit Report

Some simple guidelines for deciding to refinance include:

  • Consider refinancing to reduce your monthly payments and lower your interest rate.
  • Consider refinancing to reduce the term of your loan.
  • Consider refinancing to consolidate debt.
  • Consider refinancing if the interest rate is more than two percent lower than your current rate.

Keep in mind that these are not hard-and-fast rules since each situation has its own unique elements to consider. Contact me today if you would like assistance and 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
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.

Image courtesy of Juli/Flickr.com

Northbrook Nine: Sidewalk Sale & Downtown Event

by Allyson Hoffman

July 12, 2014

Village Green Park, Downtown Northbrook, Illinois

This weekend bring the entire family to Village Green Park and indulge in the 7th week of the Northbrook Nine series of events, at the Northbrook Nine:  Sidewalk Sale & Downtown Event.  Art in the Park, a Fine Arts Festival, will take the limelight as Downtown Northbrook is transformed into a shopper’s paradise.

Hosted by the Northbrook Merchant Association, the Northbrook Nine:  Sidewalk Sale & Downtown Event features opportunities for all shoppers regardless of budget.  Local stores will hold sidewalk sales, while additional outside vendors will be setting up shop.  They will offer a variety of unique, one-of-a-kind gift items.  Over 70 highly-acclaimed artisans will show their work at the Art in the Park segment of the Event.  Wonderful fine art of all shapes, sizes and mediums will be on exhibit, and for sale.

In addition to this rare shopping experience, there will also be live entertainment, food offerings, contests, silent auctions and more.  Balloon artists will create art of their own to accompany variety of children’s activities and games.

The Northbrook Nine:  Sidewalk Sale & Downtown Event is free for all to attend.  So come early tomorrow to browse sidewalk sales before heading to the main Art in the Park r!

Where: Village Green Park, Downtown Northbrook, Illinois

When: Saturday July 12th from 8:00 AM-5:00 PM

For more information regarding the Northbrook Nine:  Sidewalk Sale & Downtown 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 pixabay/pixabay.com.  

Property Wars: Condo vs. House

by Allyson Hoffman

To find the perfect home, some homebuyers debate whether to purchase a house or a condo.  For some, this is an easy decision given factors such as children, location, money or space, but for others there isn't always a black or white answer.

Each choice has its advantages and disadvantages. Consider these Pros and Cons:

  • Traditional Freestanding House

Traditional homes provide greater freedom over decisions relating to updates, improvements, additions and changes.  They eliminate most worries regarding consent from others with exception of any local homeowner’s association regulations. This permits greater flexibility with regard to your choices since neighbors generally have enough space between them to afford that luxury.

Alternately, these freedoms come with a price, primarily the required effort and commitment to maintenance that accompanies homeownership. The costs of upkeep are fully the responsibility of the owner and, many times, performed by the owner.  At a minimum, this is planned, arranged and paid for by the owner.  So there is both a financial commitment and a time commitment as well. Utility bills may also run higher due to the typically larger square footage of freestanding homes.

  • Condominium

Condos generally appeal to folks with a bit of an itch for urban-style living where tighter proximity to neighbors is generally accompanied by convenient and nearby access to stores, restaurants, sports facilities, transportation and other amenities. Condos can also be an attractive choice for those seeking low-maintenance living in a quest to find additional free time each day. Since condo association fees usually cover exterior concerns such as building maintenance, lawn care/landscaping and snow removal, eliminating all these responsibilities frees up more time to enjoy life.

On top of mortgage principle and interest, taxes and insurance costs, an additional monthly fee is the price paid for that freedom. Occasional one-time bills may also affect overall charges above the set monthly assessments.  Lastly, because condo living means neighbors in close proximity, it can also mean that an inconsiderate neighbor may do irritating things, intentionally or unintentionally.  Association rules and regulations set out guidelines to follow, but how well residents adhere to them or how well they are enforced by the association and management can determine how disruptive others may or may not be.

Choose More Pros than Cons

There are pros and cons to every situation.  Determine which cons you can accept and which pros you most look forward to enjoying. This way your best choice will be based on your lifestyle choice.  Either a freestanding home or a condo can be perfect for you.  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!

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.

Images courtesy of lonniehb/freeimages.com and charlotel/freeimages.com

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 486

Syndication

Categories

Archives

Push To Talk

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