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Eight Hot Home Trends for 2018 Unveiled

by Allyson Hoffman

If you are like many people who want their homes to remain current and updated but aren’t always certain of what to choose, here are eight hot home trends expected to pop up more frequently in 2018. So when you are ready, consider taking advantage of these ideas and accents to update your home.

1. Dare to be bold with Pantone’s 2018 color of the year, ultra violet, a rich, dark purple. If this deep hue is simply too much for you, lavender is also expected to show up everywhere so try adding some lavender to a room for a fresh pop of color.

2. High contrast color palettes make a huge impact, even without selecting trendy colors. As a low-cost project requiring only the expense of paint if you do the work, combine a deep grey or blue mixed with white for a great update assuring that the dark hue isn’t overwhelming.

3. Geometric shapes will remain popular, but expect to see more circles replacing tired triangles. Circles will appear in throw pillows, draperies, linens and even light fixtures.

4. Despite stainless steel enduring as a lasting classic, brass has again creeped back into current decor. If you are looking for a quick and easy change, just add a small amount of brass to your bathrooms, kitchen or as lighting accents.

5. Consider incorporating natural elements into your home’s design as a way to connect with your surroundings using stones and woods that are native to certain areas and create beautiful accents – from limestone showers to walnut cabinets.

6. Consider incorporating some trim in colors other than white. While using bold colors for this style change will remain uncommon, expect of see charcoal or other neutrals appearing on trim to make a room stand out in a new way.

7. In recent seasons velvet has appeared in closets. Expect that to transition to home goods as well. As with many trends, a little can go a long way so if you aren’t ready for a velvet couch, pillows or an ottoman will do the trick equally well.

8. Lastly, “statement” lampshades will show up this year. It’s an easy update to consider without a big commitment. New patterns, materials, colors and shapes will replace the oh-so-common white classics.

With almost any trend, a little goes a long way. So be careful to not overdo the updates or combine too many trends in one room. Your home should always reflect your personality and interests as well as providing a comfortable retreat for you and your family. 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

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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.   

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New Year’s Resolutions for Homeowners

by Allyson Hoffman

It is the time of year when many people make New Year’s resolutions for themselves or family.  Adding homeowner resolutions will help ensure your home is well cared for.

Perhaps consider an easy resolution relating to proper maintenance of your home such as changing your air filters as recommended by your HVAC manufacturer. Changing your air filters regularly allows your unit to run at maximum efficiency and may also save you money on costly repairs as well as extend the life of your system. 

If you have an interest in gardening and landscape and don’t farm these tasks out to professional contractors, try a resolution to add some helpful yard and lawn tasks such as fertilizing, mulching, and/or aerating to punch up the look and appeal of your exterior this year.  Since these chores don’t have to be left to the professionals, require little skill and/or specialized equipment, with minimal effort you can complete them and save some of the costs.

Another resolution might be to plan an update you’ve been contemplating. If you are ready to change your carpet or other flooring and/or paint your home, layout the blueprint you’ll need to afford the improvement and make it a reality.

You can even resolve to learn new skills to add to your repertoire of talents that will aid you in managing some of the smaller and simpler home maintenance tasks.  Lessons can be found online or even at local home goods and hardware stores if the spirit moves you.

Should you be planning to purchase a new home and list your current home for sale in 2018, a good solution might include an outline of tasks help you prepare to sell in the new year. Your local real estate professional should be able to provide you suggestions designed to ensure the most profitable and timely transaction.

If you made a down payment of less than 20% of the purchase price when you bought your home, you may be carrying the expense of private mortgage insurance. The ability to eliminate this payment will add money to the budget. This could be achieved by setting a goal to advance principal payments by adding them to your mortgage costs as funds are available.

To assure the greatest likelihood for success, limit your resolutions to simple steps that build good habits for the long term and will benefit you for years to come. For additional information, reliable recommendations to trusted affiliates or to arrange a meeting to discuss your needs, please contact me today for a consultation. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have about the home sale and/or home buying process.

Happy New Year to all!

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. 
  

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Winter Curb Appeal

by Allyson Hoffman

Whether you want to spruce up your home because it is on the market or just want it to be the envy of the neighborhood, there are some easy options for upping your winter curb appeal and making your home look its best.

If feasible, freshen up the mulch and/or pine needles if they have been out for a while. Though it won’t make a significant statement, it will benefit the overall look of your home and show that you take good care of it. Also, a fresh coat of paint on the front door will garner attention and any visitors will undoubtedly take notice.

Strive to keep your yard clear of leaves and limbs. This is an easy fix requiring minimal attention to maintain a cared-for appearance. Little else makes a home look worse than debris strewn helter-skelter across your lawn.

To go from drab into fab consider adding a few winter-flowering shrubs and perennials to your landscaping. Pieris japonica, the hellebore or Christmas rose, pansies and winter jasmine hold up well in some colder temperatures.

For safety, be sure to clear areas around your home where ice can become a problem during winter storms. It can be a distinct hazard for the elderly or those with disabilities as well as an unneeded liability for you. While shoveling snow and spreading salt or melting agents can temporarily alleviate the problem, try to find more permanent solutions to chronic ice problems and make sure you have good drainage away from your driveway and your house.

Clean your gutters out. Once the leaves fall, gutters can be hard to keep empty and can really detract from your home’s appearance if they are overflowing. Moreover, unattended gutters can lead to winter ice dams on the roof and interior leaks as a result.

Lastly, try adding some solar lights following the path to the front door. This will really brighten up your home and make the approach inviting to visitors.

In just a little time and without significant effort, these simple steps can help your home standout and create a great first impression. So consider trying one or all of these ideas to present a fresh new look for your home’s exterior and yard. For additional ideas to enhance your home’s curb appeal, 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

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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.   

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How to Use Bold Color in Your Home

by Allyson Hoffman

If you love bold colors and bright patterns, but you’re afraid to try it in your home, initially try creating a fun space that isn’t overwhelming. To guide you in your journey, follow these tips to help you learn how to use vivid colors without going overboard.

Start Small

Don’t start by painting the walls a bright shade if you’re afraid you won’t like it, but rather begin with an accent wall in one room or even the front door. Adapting to a new bold color without having it surround you on four walls will be easier this way. For an unusual touch of color, the walls could even remain neutral with the ceiling painted in an unexpected shade to add excitement to any room.

Begin with One Room

Don’t redo your entire house in bright shades. Instead, try selecting a “busy” room with lots of traffic to make your changes. A living room, a child’s bedroom, a play room or even a family or media room is a great place to add a burst of color to the walls. But keep the areas where you want to rest a neutral tone to maintain a relaxing atmosphere.

Balance the Color

Be mindful to not go overboard with too much color. If you paint the walls a bright tone, use neutral-colored drapes and accessories to tone it down or use lighter shades of the same color to soften the effect. For example, a bright blue on one wall should pair well with grey or with pale blue.

Also, to avoid feeling overwhelmed, it’s best to use one color family and opposed to combining several bold hues together. So for example, if you are accenting a child’s room in touches of primary colors, don’t paint complete walls in competing colors or the results may be too bright.

Stick with Accents

While the idea of adding color can definitely be somewhat frightening, starting with accent pieces such as pillows on the couch and table settings in the dining room will make the adaption and transition easier while allowing you to see the color in your home to determine if more color is the right move or not.

Bold colors aren’t for everyone, but don’t fear experimenting.  After all, paint is one of the easiest things to change and correct until you find the right look. For additional ideas on how to add more color to your home or for information about the buying and selling process and how inexpensive paint can add value to 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.   

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The Difference Between Contemporary and Modern Design

by Allyson Hoffman

While the words “contemporary” and “modern” are often used interchangeably to mean anything that isn’t traditional or outdated, in the world of design, these two terms are quite unique. When trying to decide on a new, updated look for a space, it’s important to understand the difference between the two and what fits each design style.

Contemporary Design

Contemporary design includes whatever’s current and trending today. It isn’t necessarily a specific style or look, but rather is determined by today’s designers, architects and stylists.  Designers often use unique materials and features that look to the future rather than the past.

Creating a contemporary design often includes using elements of varied styles and adding a new or different twist to them. For instance, an exterior design can be a unique color or lighting fixtures futuristic. Many times, a contemporary home will look unlike anything else around and provides the freedom to “break” design rules.

Modern Design

The word “modern” is actually misleading, because this type of design has its roots in the early-and-mid-20th century styles with special features found in most homes that truly fit this architectural scheme. For instance, there will be large walls of glass with structures often made of steel or concrete and an open floor plan.

Modern design utilizes little ornamental accents and alternately, creates a cleaner, less-cluttered look. The style uses features reminiscent of the machine age with metals and other hard elements for materials. Some common characteristics of this style include white stucco, right angles in the architecture and flat roofs.

One of the reasons for confusion in identifying contemporary design versus modern is that contemporary design is current while modern design reflects a style with open floor plans and simplicity that hearkens back to the mid-20th century unlike contemporary design which can change at any time.

For additional information on contemporary versus modern design or 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, 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.    

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What You Can Learn from Design Shows

by Allyson Hoffman

By watching or attending home design shows, owners can acquire skills to make their homes look magazine worthy. By applying these tips and techniques to your home, it’s likely that friends will be amazed at how fabulous it looks and buyers will be won over if you plan to list your property.

The Overall Picture

Keep in mind -- it’s the big picture that really counts.  Even on TV design shows where rooms are staged to show off a particular design element or product, first impressions generally embrace the entire space. Think of “the big reveal” from exterior to the interior with rooms that stand out.

Don’t lose sight of the big picture when adding accents or deciding on features. It’s easy to over-focus on each one. Instead, make sure all your components work together and create the cohesive look you want.

Invoke Emotion

When planning your own design, decide how you want people to feel when they enter your home and rooms. Every aspect of your design should work towards that goal.

To confirm this, check out any design show on HGTV and watch for the reaction to the end result of a makeover.  Monitor how you also personally feel.  Correctly-designed rooms should evoke an emotion such as a relaxing family room, romantic bedroom or fun playroom. The foyer could be inviting while the kitchen engenders a sense of warmth and welcomes you in.

Embrace the Unexpected

Try visiting a home design showroom to see the latest styles, materials and products.  Innovative ideas for your home may be among the many unique and unusual displays. Unexpected design elements incorporated within a complete picture, add a fresh look, interest and excitement to the space.

So, don’t be afraid to try something new in your home. You can start small with accent items that are easily replaced.

For additional information or advice regarding decorating and/or home design elements that maximize home values, please feel free to contact me today for a consultation. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have about the home buying or selling process, help you to find a new 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.
   

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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

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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

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
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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.    

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Green for 2017

by Allyson Hoffman

Home ImprovementGreen isn’t just about being environmentally friendly. For 2017, it’s also the color of the year, according to Pantone, which sets color standards for various industries. The shade is a yellow-green that is lively and brings to mind the beginning of spring, known as Greenery.

To avoid overpowering a room, according to some designers, the shade works best as an accessory. It blends well with blues and purples as well as shades of aubergine. Green also works well with floral prints.

Green is a hopeful color, organic and based in nature. It’s one ideal option for those who like earth-based shades and it adds warmth to a room. Green can also be used to balance a more industrial or minimalistic decor.

Where to Use Green

If you have plans to redecorate in preparation of selling your home, here are a few ideas regarding how to incorporate this color:

  • Throw pillows on a couch
  • Accent pieces in the living room on a coffee or end table
  • Green as the highlight color in paintings
  • Green plants
  • Accent pieces in the kitchen

Green is a relaxing color, but don’t go overboard, especially with this bright yellow-green shade. Instead try choosing a toned-down lighter and less bold version for wall paint. It’s also a great way to bring the outdoors in if you have a fabulous sitting area on your patio.

Benjamin Moore’s Color of the Year

Look at Benjamin Moore’s color, Shadow, to see a very different hue. This grayish eggplant shade is deep and dark.  Depending on your room and how much light you can let in, take care in how you use this color as well to avoid creating a dark space.

Shadow works best when combined with light colors. For small rooms, its best as an accent, but it can add warmth to a large space. Since it’s technically a neutral color, you can pair it with almost any shade. Consider a light gray, as well as blues and purples or even a green.

As you update your home in anticipation of listing for sale, be careful how color impacts the look and feel of a space. Try to select shades that make rooms feel bigger and more spacious, or tones that add warmth and create a cozy feeling. For additional ideas to maximize the benefits of preparing to sell your home, feel free to contact me today for a consultation. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have, and 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

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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 C_osett/flickr.com

5 Ways to Add Value to Your Home

by Allyson Hoffman

If you’re planning to sell your home in 2017, getting top dollar will undoubtedly be a priority. Home improvement projects can add value, but not all tasks have the same return on your investment.  So, if you have current or future plans to remodel, consider these five ways to most benefit your property.

1. Kitchen or Bath Remodel

If you have a few thousand dollars to spend on a remodeling project, upgrading either your kitchen or your bathroom is a smart bet. These two areas not only attract buyers, but they can deter them if the rooms look outdated. Even if you have only a limited budget, it is advisable to consider partially updating these areas with new fixtures, paint and/or flooring.

2. Landscaping

The old adage, “you never get a second chance to make a first impression” is inherently true when it comes to selling your home. So investing in some eye-catching flowers, bushes or other landscaping attractions as well as cleaning up clutter or overgrown plants can have a major impact on a buyer’s initial reaction to your home and the price you’ll obtain.

3. Go Green

Whether you would like to install new windows or replace an old furnace with an energy-efficient model, eco-friendly projects can reap big rewards. Many buyers are attracted to minimizing their own costs as well as choosing energy-friendly improvements in their homes.

4. Paint

One of the least expensive and easiest ways to improve the value and the look of your home is by painting. At a minimum, consider putting a fresh coat of paint in main rooms of the house. If you have more available funds to spend, exterior paint can make your home look brand new.

5. Add Storage

Most homeowners value storage space as a priority, so if you can fulfill that need, it can reap rewards in the selling price of your home. Easy ways to accomplish this objective include installing shelves in a garage, custom-fitting an existing closet to maximize the use of the space or even adding small closet in a large room.

Thus as you begin to consider selling your home in 2017, also start planning the improvements for changes to increase its value. For additional ideas regarding preparing your home for sale, the selling process or moving tips, please 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

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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.    

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Glenview IL 60025
847-310-5300
Fax: 847-400-0881

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