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


Displaying blog entries 1061-1070 of 1089

Halloween in Highland Park - October 25, 2007

by Allyson Hoffman


 Halloween is coming early in Highland Park. Renaissance Place and Port Clinton Square are hosts to a Halloween event for the whole family on Thursday, October 25th  from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm. Halloween Fun ‘Round The Block will include:


  • Pony Rides on The Plaza


  • Children’s Train Rides on 2nd Street


  • Pumpkins and Decorating on 2nd Street


  • Hay Rides ‘Round The Block


  • Carmel Apple Dipping on 1st Street


  • Trick or Treating in the Stores


Do not miss the Rag Time Banjo Band and you’ll have to check out the Costume Stroll.


Admission is FREE and indoor parking for 3 hours is also FREE.


Visit Port Clinton Square website for directions and more parking information.

Image courtesy of Windell Oskay/





Do Not Call Registry - Will You Still Be Listed In 2008?

by Allyson Hoffman


Most of us are, or have been, extremely frustrated at some point with unwanted calls made by telemarketers. One way to help prevent telemarketers from calling was the creation of the Do Not Call Registry back in 2003. Individuals can register their phone numbers with the registry in hopes to eliminate these unsolicited calls to our homes and businesses.


There were a staggering number of registrants within the first four days of the lists launch date and continued to grow to 149 million phone numbers currently.


The important thing to remember is there is a term to your registration. Your registration with the Do Not Call Registry is only good for five years at which time your phone number will be removed from the list unless you renew by your renewal date. As the five year anniversary of the list is coming up in the summer of 2008, you early registrants will have to think about renewing. You can check the status of your registration by visiting the website.


Read the full MSN Money Central article titled Do Not Call list about to expire.


Image courtesy of niekverlaan/Pixabay

5 Things Your Cell Phone Can Do!

by Allyson Hoffman

It is just amazing how technology works. Here are 5 things you never knew your cell phone could do:

1. Emergency - The emergency number worldwide for mobile phone is 112. If you find yourself out of the coverage area of your mobile network and there is an emergency, dial 112 and the mobile will search any existing network to establish the emergency number for you, and interestingly this number, 112 can be dialed even if the keypad is locked.

2. Hidden Battery Power - Imagine your cell battery is very low. To activate, press the keys *3370# Your cell will restart with a reserve and the instrument will show a 50% increase in battery. This, reserve will get charges when you charge your cell the next time.

3. Have You Locked Your Keys In The Car? Does your car have the remote keyless entry? If you lock your keys in the car and the spare keys are at home, call someone at home on their cell phone from your cell phone. Hold your cell phone about a foot from your car door and have the person at home press the unlock button, holding it near the mobile phone on their end. Your car will unlock. Distance is no object. You could be hundreds of miles away, and if you can reach someone who has the other "remote" for your car, you can unlock doors or the trunk.

4. How To Disable A Stolen Mobile Phone - To check your mobile phone's serial number, key in the following digits on your phone - *#06# A 15 digit code will appear on the screen. This number is unique to your handset. If your phone gets stolen, you can call your handset provider and give them this code. They will then be able to block your handset so even if the thief changes the SIM card, your phone will be totally useless. If everyone does this, there would be no point in people stealing mobile phones.

5. Free Directory Service For Cell Phones - Cell phone companies are charging us $1.00 or more for 411 information calls when they don't have to. When you need to use 411 information, simply dial: 800-FREE411 or 800-373-3411 without incurring any charge at all.

Image courtesy of Highways Agency/

Whether we like it or not, we have come to rely on our electronic toys, gadgets and appliances as a part of our daily routine, but have you considered what to do with all the old, broken or replaced items that are taking up shelf space in your basement or garage?


The City of Highland Park has joined forces with Lake County’s Solid Waste Agency to offer residents an Electronics Recycling Program. There is only one Electronics Collection Event remaining in Highland Park this year.


                        Date:                October 20th, 2007

                        Time:               10:00 am to 12:00 pm

                        Location:         Fire Arms Training Center

                                                1180 Half Day Road


This Electronics Collection Event will be accepting household electronics only. Visit The City of Highland Park for a detailed list of accepted items.


Image courtesy of JMacPherson/


Home inspections are a necessary part of both the home selling and buying process. It is important to be sure that when hiring a home inspector that you are sure to hire a qualified individual or company. Below is a list of things to keep in mind to ask your potential inspector.


  1. What are your qualifications? 
  2. How many home inspections do you perform in a year that is similar to my home? 
  3. Can you provide a list of references that we can contact? 
  4. What is your turnaround time to receive the report? 
  5. What will be included in the report? 
  6. How much will the report cost?  

For an easy, quick search of certified Home Inspectors in your area you can visit The American Society of Home Inspectors or the National Association of Certified Home Inspectors.


Your Home Inspector will perform a “visual” inspection to determine the condition of your home. To better understand what may be included in your report and what your Home Inspector will be looking for see the list below.


  • Foundation and Framing
  • Roofing and Flashing
  • Gutters and Drainage
  • Siding
  • Decks and/or Porches
  • Driveways and Sidewalks
  • Doors and Windows
  • Stairs and Railings
  • Ceilings and Walls
  • Electrical
  • Plumbing
  • Heating and A/C
  • Ventilation
  • Attics
  • Basement
  • Garage

Photo courtesy of

How to Prepare for Your Mortgage Lender

by Allyson Hoffman

Meeting with a mortgage lender can be a little nerve wracking for all of us, but what better way to conquer those nerves than to be prepared. Your lender will require a variety of documentation from you in order to process your home loan application.

  • Employment information.
    Include current contact information for all your employers in the last 2 years
  • W-2s.
    These forms should have been given to you from your employer.
    Include W-2s the last two years filed
    You may also want to make a list of any additional sources of income such as self-employment income, pension’s, rental income, child support or alimony or social security.
  • Pay stubs.
    Include pay stubs received in the last 30 days.
  • Federal income tax returns.
    Include tax returns filed in the last 2 years
  • Bank statements.
    Bank statements for any/all your accounts for the last 2 months
    Providing these statements will verify that amount of cash available for your down payment
    In the event that a portion of your down payment is a gift, grant or assistance program, you may need to provide documentation to verify this as well
  • Current debts.
    Make a list of any/all debts you have with company names, account numbers, balances and minimum monthly payments

Your lender may have already given you a list of items required and if not use this as a guideline. Most institutions will require similar documentation, but check with your lender first as they made need additional information from you.


Image courtesy of David Wall/

10 Tips to Prepare Your Home For a Showing

by Allyson Hoffman

You only have one chance to make a first impression with potential buyers so it is important that your home is in tip top shape and ready for showing. By now you have already discussed with your agent any (if any) major things that needed to be done to your home, however prior to a showing there are a few things that you can do to prepare your home.

1.       Tidy Your Home


2.       Unclutter cupboards and closets


3.       Make any minor repairs

4.       Cut lawn in the summer and shovel walks in the winter

5.       Put away all valuables

6.       Lock up pets or take them with you

7.       Open all drapes and blinds

8.       Make beds

9.       Turn on all the lights

10.    Leave the house


Helping your agent with these few things will help in creating a great first impression for each prospective buyer.

Image courtesy of TNS Sofres/

Things To Be Aware of When Moving With Children

by Allyson Hoffman

Moving can be extremely stressful especially if you have children. It is important to be aware of the things that may be a concern to your children when making a move.

A few areas of concern for children when making a move may include:

  • Preschool children tend to worry about being left behind or separated from their parents.
  • Kids aged 6 to 12 can be concerned with how their daily routines will be affected.
  • Teenagers are concerned primarily with fitting in and having their social life disrupted.

A way to ease these concerns may include:

  • Communicating with your child about what the new house will be like.
  • Take them on a visit of the new home and neighborhood (if possible)
  • If you can, visit the school with your child and meet some of the teachers.

Involving your children in the move can help make the transition easier. Your kids can be a great help to you and the move if you involve them such things as:

  • Packing some of their own special belongings, and decorate the box with stickers and markers.
  • Make plans together on how to decorate their new room.

There is a lot to consider during a move and by involving your children you just may relieve the stress your children are feeling, reduce your own stress and be able to focus more on other aspects of your move!

Photo courtesy of ashleigh290/

Back to School in Chicago

by Allyson Hoffman

It's back to school time and kids and parents are busy trying to get everything organized to start the school year prepared. Kids are typically more concerned with buying the right outfit while parents are more concerned with making sure they have the proper supplies for their classes.

To help you with the basic school supplies the Chicago Public Schools website has itemized the essential items needed for all grade levels.

Pre-K through

  • Large pencils
  • Large crayons
  • Washable markers
  • Scissors
  • Glue sticks
  • Kleenex, paper towels

1st through 3rd
  • Pencils
  • Pocket folders
  • Notebook
  • Crayons
  • Washable markers
  • Pencil top erasers
  • Supply box
  • Glue sticks
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Kleenex, paper towels
4th through 6th
  • Pencils
  • Pocket folders
  • Notebook
  • Crayons
  • Washable markers
  • Pencil top erasers
  • Supply box
  • Glue sticks
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Kleenex, paper towels
  • Pocket folders
  • Watercolors
  • Sketch pad
7th through 8th
  • Same as 4th - 6th:
    • Colored pencils
    • Spiral notebooks
    • Wide rule notebook paper
    • Additional folders
    • Dictionary
    • Calculator
    • Assignment notebook

9th through 12th
  • Same as 7th through 8th
    • Subject specific supplies given by teachers.

Some teachers may request specific school supplies, in addition to the ones listed above. These special requests will be outlined the first few days of classes.

Have a wonderful school year. 

Image courtesy of jarmoluk/

10 Packing Tips For Your Next Move

by Allyson Hoffman

When you decide to make a move to a new home there are a number of things to take care of including the dreaded packing. Not many people enjoy this process, but it can be a lot less stressful if you are organized and make a plan.


Here are a few tips to get you started.


  1. Plan ahead and budget for the move. Will you be moving yourself or will you require the assistance of a moving company? If you are planning to use a moving company it’s a good idea to price this out ahead of time by using a moving calculator.


  1. Make sure you have plenty of the following: strong packing boxes (more than you think you will need), markers and tags to label boxes, rolls of packing tape, bubble wrap for fragile items, packing paper, scissors and a knife for opening boxes.


  1. Pack room-to-room keeping similar items together.


  1. Use smaller boxes for heavier items so it is easier to lift.


  1. You can use towels, linens and curtains to line the bottom and sides of boxes with fragile items. All fragile items should be individually wrapped. Clearly mark these boxes FRAGILE.


  1. Make sure that any opened boxes or jars are tightly sealed before packing them.


  1. Use colorful tags to identify the contents of the box and which room it will be taken to in your new home.


  1. Pack any rugs last so that they will be the first thing unpacked and placed in the home.


  1. Make a master list of all household items and personal belongings.


  1. Finally pack a box with all the essentials and mark it “Open Me First”. This box may contain items such as: a few basic tools (flashlight, pocket knife, masking tape, light bulbs), bathroom essentials (toilet paper, soap, shampoo, toothbrushes & paste, hand towel), Kitchen items (paper towels, coffee maker & filter, paper plates, cups, utensils, pet food, trash bags).


Planning ahead will make all the difference to an overwhelming move. Do your research and make a plan.


Image courtesy of Lisa Risager/

Displaying blog entries 1061-1070 of 1089




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Photo of Allyson Hoffman Real Estate
Allyson Hoffman
RE/MAX Villager
1245 Waukegan Road
Glenview IL 60025
Fax: 847-400-0881

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Allyson Hoffman
RE/MAX Villager
1245 Waukegan Road
Glenview, IL, 60025

(847) 310-5300
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