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

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Ideal Home Show Chicago at Navy Pier

by Allyson Hoffman

January 29-31, 2016

Navy Pier, Chicago, Illinois

Chicago’s Navy Pier hosts one of the largest and most exciting trade and home improvement shows in the Midwest this weekend. Ideal Home Show Chicago will feature everything new in home renovation and home décor, featuring both inside and outside living spaces. Celebrity guests will take the stage at Festival Hall to demonstrate and interact with audiences, featuring how-to’s in subjects ranging from home improvement design, new home products, to food and wine, plus more.

Celebrity guests include HGTV’s Chip Wade, host of “Elbow Room”, Jeff Mauro of the Food Network, and Duane Draughton, designer and owner of the premier outdoor designs group Viz-X Designs, as seen on HGTV. For a schedule of celebrity events, please click here. 

In addition, booths throughout the Festival Hall will feature vendors and tradesmen showcasing home design products, cabinetry, flooring, hardware, wallpaper, drapery, leather, storage, appliances, decks, swimming pools, and gardens, to name a few. Many of these are interactive and offer instruction and design ideas for those in attendance.

The entire family is welcome and admission prices are as follows: 

• Adults (at the door) - $10.00

• Adults online (13 +) - $7.00 

• Senior 65+ with ID - $7.00 (tickets must be purchased at the Show Box Office)

• Children under 12 - FREE with an adult

For more information about ticket purchases, please click here.

Find inspiration and products to begin planning your next home improvement project with concepts from Ideal Home Show Chicago, and enjoy a fun weekend with food and entertainment as well!  

Where: Navy Pier, Chicago, Illinois

When: January 29, 2016 from Noon - 8:00 PM  

            January 30, 2016 from 10:00 AM - 8:00 PM

            January 31, 2016 from 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM

For more information regarding Ideal Home Show Chicago, 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
[email protected]

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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.

Photo courtesy Flickr.com/dhochman

What You Need to Know About Radon

by Allyson Hoffman

Anyone who has bought or sold a home in recent years may already be familiar with Radon gas. Because Radon gas poses a long-term health risk, it is worth knowing more about.

Radon is everywhere. It is a naturally occurring invisible, colorless, odorless and tasteless gas produced from the breakdown of Uranium in rock, soil, and water. It becomes a concern when that rock, soil, and/or water is under our homes because it produces low-grade radiation which gains entry into buildings through openings in foundations, collecting particularly in low lying areas of structures.  Prolonged exposure to Radon increases the risk of developing lung cancer and it is the second most prevalent cause of the disease with approximately 21,000 cases annually. Therefore, testing, removing, and preventing Radon exposure is important. 

It is estimated that one of every fifteen homes in the country has an elevated Radon level, specifically defined as 4 pCi/L or higher. The prevalence of elevated Radon gas may vary from area to area.  So it is best to check with Radon experts in your local region for the frequency in your community.  It is recommended that homes be tested for Radon gas every two years and after any renovations. Testing may be done by individual homeowners; however, if your home will be listed for sale, more stringent requirements regarding testing may be applicable.  Check your state’s rules and regulations with regards to testing and for information about Radon as listed on the EPA site

Fortunately, reducing Radon gas levels is fairly simple and relatively inexpensive. Today many new homes are designed with prevention in mind and built with technology that eliminates most of the concern. Your real estate agent should be able to provide information regarding Radon testing, removal and prevention.

Most homeowners’ questions regarding testing, removal and prevention of Radon gas in our homes can be found on the EPA website where abundant information for home sellers, homebuyers and homeowners is readily available.  For recommendations regarding Radon testing and Radon mitigation services in Chicago’s North Shore, North and Northwest suburbs, feel free to contact me today.  I will be happy to answer any questions and provide assistance in the home buying or selling process.

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
[email protected]

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.   

Photo courtesy Flickr.com/sactivism

Weekend Family Class: Hot Chocolate

by Allyson Hoffman

January 23, 2016

Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe, Illinois

Weekend Family Class: Hot Chocolate at Chicago Botanic Garden is sure to be a favorite among the kids. This class is all about chocolate including its botanic origins, its use through the ages, and all of the other great things that result from chocolate!  In addition, participants will receive a chocolate mint and chocolate pepper plant to take home.

This Weekend Family Class: Hot Chocolate is an instructional study of South American plants, the chili and cacao botanicals, and some of their history and products. Chocolate recipes from ancient cultures such as the Aztecs illustrate the knowledge of plants those cultures had already amassed. It is a fun, hands-on class, and maybe the best part is consuming your class work.

The Chicago Botanic Garden always offers a vast and ageless perspective of the natural world and provides a wealth of beauty and knowledge to Garden enthusiasts. It is difficult to imagine any organization that fosters a greater appreciation of the botanical world, nor one that is more readily available to so many.

The family classes are scheduled at 9:30 AM to 11:00 AM, or 1:00 PM to 2:30 PM on January 23rd and January 31st. As usual, there is plenty of fun waiting for you at Chicago Botanic Garden. Bring the family and make some new memories to cherish.

Where:  Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe, Illinois

When:  January 23, 2016 from 9:30 AM to 11 AM, or 1:00 PM to 2:30 PM

Admission:  $24 nonmember per child. Garden Plus members receive 20 percent off.

For more information regarding Weekend Family Class: Hot Chocolate, as well as a list of other available classes and events, 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
[email protected]

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.

Photo courtesy of masatoshi_/Flickr.com

How Can Your Home Be Smarter?

by Allyson Hoffman

Smart home technology once belonged in the realm of fantasy – but today it is a top feature that many buyers look for in a home. It is exciting and still somewhat new, and can help with the marketing of your home. Integrating smart technology into your home can improve your quality of life, and can also improve the resale value of your home if you ever decide to sell.

It is surprisingly affordable to convert an existing traditional home into a cutting-edge smart home. 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.

Here are a few things you can do to make your home smarter right now for relatively small investment:

Interior and Exterior Lights

With just a screwdriver and a few minutes, you can install smart lights switches throughout your home that can be controlled via a smartphone app or your voice. These lights can be set to turn on or off on a preset schedule or when the sun rises and sets. Smart light switches, your best option, run about $50 each. If you want to avoid installation of new switches, a good alternative is to choose smart light bulbs by Phillips. These bulbs can be controlled with your smartphone.

Door Locks

If you have ever lost your keys, had to rush home to let in a visiting friend or open the door for a handyman, then the August Smart Lock may be for you.  It unlocks your door as soon as an authorized person approaches. You can also conveniently unlock or lock the door remotely or even issue temporary keys to people like contractors or short-term guests. Smart locks like the August Smart Lock typically cost between $150 and $250 and can be installed in a matter of minutes.

Thermostats

One of the most popular smart thermostats currently on the market is the Nest Thermostat. The Nest Learning Thermostat programs itself, so all you have to do is set it and adjust it as you normally would throughout the day. It will remember and begin to adjust itself. The Nest Thermostat also gives you the ability to set and monitor it via your smartphone or tablet. A Nest Learning Thermostat costs $249 and can be installed in under an hour.

Appliances

Comparatively, smart appliances are the most expensive upgrade you can make to your home because you have to purchase a new appliance. But 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.

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. Feel free to contact me today for a consultation. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have about buying or selling a home.

Allyson Hoffman, ABR, ACRE, CDPE, CRS, e-PRO, GRI, SFR, SRES
RE/MAX Villager
Serving Chicago's North Shore, North and Northwest Suburbs
847-310-5300
[email protected]

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

Artist @ Heart Art Camp

by Allyson Hoffman

Weekdays and Weekends

Downtown Libertyville, Illinois

Artist @ Heart Gallery and Studio offers an interesting concept – an “art camp” for the entire family. Each family member can choose which medium and class they prefer to attend for their creative expression.

Artist @ Heart is an inspiration of Vicki Tucker, a graduate of The Art Institute of Chicago, who greatly enjoys the fostering of art appreciation and instruction in artistic mediums such as mosaics and mixed-media art. As a member of an artistic family, she believes everyone has a creative talent which needs encouraging, children and adults alike.

Vonna Maslanka, who provides instruction and inspiration in the medium of beadwork, brings 30 years’ experience in jewelry making, employing an organic style for her creations through use of many materials. She believes the imagination is key to the creative process in any artistic medium and encourages participants in her classes to employ and develop an unlimited creative imagination.

Artist @ Heart offers classes and workshops in many art mediums to families, Home Schoolers, Scout groups, and special needs artists, as well as group and party creative events and programs. They suggest these events as great birthday parties for kids and adults, ladies nights out, corporate outings and other social celebrations.

They are also a full-spectrum art gallery and shop offering supplies, gifts and artwork to purchase. They provide a great way to entertain kids when school is out for a day or holidays and seasonal breaks, as they always have art camp in session on weekdays as well as weekends.

The Artist @ Heart classes and events are a wonderful means to involve the whole family in the artistic and creative process. Stop by the gallery and studio in Libertyville this weekend, and see what they have to offer.

Where:    Downtown Libertyville, Illinois

When:     Saturdays from 10 AM - 5 PM

Sundays from 12 PM - 4 PM

 For weekdays, please click here.

For more information regarding Artist @ Heart, 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
[email protected]

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 Navy Hale Keiki School/Flickr.com

Common Home Safety Issues

by Allyson Hoffman

Homeowners want the peace-of-mind of knowing that their family is safe at home. In reality, even if you have taken extra precautions to make your home safe, you might be surprised by some of the common safety hazards that can make your home dangerous. Remedying these issues quickly will not only protect your safety, but will also protect the value of your home. Luckily, most safety concerns aren’t difficult to correct.  So here are some methods for fixing common safety issues:

Clutter - Keep walkways clear of obstructions that can cause accidents. Items blocking hallways, stairwells, or exits can not only provide obstacles to trip over, but can also prevent a hasty exit in the event of fire or other emergencies.

Recalls - Items subject to recall can range from toys and cribs to everyday appliances and vehicles. Register your household goods and appliances when you bring them home.  It’s easy and it ensures that you receive recall notifications. Recall information is also often broadcast over TV, radio, in print and online. So remain alert by subscribing to recall notices via email.

Electrical Cords and Wiring - Check your electrical appliances for loose or frayed cords and plugs. Do not overload outlets.  Be sure to replace worn extension cords. Don’t run electrical wires under rugs, and don’t burden power strips. Replace or professionally repair any appliances that spark, smell unusual, or overheat.

Carbon Monoxide – Because you cannot smell carbon monoxide, invest in carbon monoxide detectors and change the batteries on a regular schedule.

Gas Appliances - Check any unusual variances on your gas bill which could be the result of hidden gas leaks, and make sure that your gas appliances are serviced regularly.

Chemicals – Many homes contain toxins ranging from asbestos and lead paint, to daily household cleaners that are harmful to your family. Children, the elderly, those with compromised heath, and pets can be especially susceptible to these toxins. If you live in an older home, consider having it inspected for asbestos and lead. Regarding chemical solutions, remember to store them up high and out of reach or locked away. Also for household chemicals, consider replacing them with organic or natural alternatives.

Just a little due diligence can prevent most home safety hazards. These easy-to-fix solutions will definitely ensure that your home is safer for you and your family!  

For additional information on home safety pointers or information about the real estate market in Chicago’s North Shore, North and Northwest suburbs, feel free to contact me today for a consultation. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have about buying or selling a home.

Allyson Hoffman, ABR, ACRE, CDPE, CRS, e-PRO, GRI, SFR, SRES
RE/MAX Villager
Serving Chicago's North Shore, North and Northwest Suburbs
847-310-5300
[email protected]

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 Jarmoluk/Pixabay.com

Winter Wonderland in Citizens Park

by Allyson Hoffman

January 9, 2016

Citizens Park, Barrington, Illinois

Instead of languishing in post-holiday blues, consider getting the family outdoors to exercise and enjoy some winter sports at Citizens Park in Barrington on Saturday, January 9, 2016 at the Winter Wonderland event including activities from skating to skiing, snowshoeing to snow sculpting, to snow art and winter craft. 

Demos and lessons will be provided for aspiring ice skaters from 10:30 AM to 12:30 PM. Skates will not be provided, so be sure to bring your own. The snow sculpting event will provide a creative opportunity to compete with other artistically inclined snow-art participants in a contest. Should you work up an appetite after all that fun and sport, hot dogs and hot chocolate will be available.

Ice skating lessons will be provided by the Barrington Ice Arena and snow shoeing demos by forest preserves of Cook County. Skiing lessons are offered by Viking.

Admission is $5.00-$6.00 and families with children of all ages are invited; however, children under 14 must be accompanied by an adult.

The Barrington Park District offers many year-round programs and activities for families and children including athletics, fitness, and aquatics. Explore with your family the Barrington parks and programs and have a great winter fun day as well!

Where: Citizens Park, Barrington, Illinois

When: January 9, 2016 from 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM

Admission:  In-district fee - $5; Out of district fee - $6

For more information regarding Winter Wonderland, 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
[email protected]

Get your latest Home Value
Receive Your Personalized Listing Alerts

Let’s Connect, Socially!

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Google +1
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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.

Photo courtesy Flickr.com/oimax

Time to Get Organized

by Allyson Hoffman

Now that the holidays have ended, it is the perfect time to consider the process of cleaning and organizing your storage space.

While it’s easy to become overwhelmed as you prepare to start, a plan should ease that pain.

So, here’s a step-by-step guide to organizing, a task that is especially important if you are planning on selling your home in the near future.

Get Rid of All That Stuff

Decluttering your storage space, and your life, means eliminating little used items that you’ve been collecting for the last decade. Start with the old, broken things that you never plan to use again. Then move to harder items that hold sentimental. Start with the things that you can easily discard; then consider the older keepsakes such as baby clothes that have been hidden away for years.

Utility Zone

The utility zone houses the furnace, water heater, sump pump, breakers etc.  Most organizers advise that this area is free of obstructions.  So avoid using it for storage space. Should something go awry, you’ll need to access the problem area quickly. If you must store things in this area, be sure the storage containers are easy to move – wheeled storage racks would be best.

Storage Zone

Make a map of the zone and subzones. Common subzones include spaces such as camping equipment, tools, off-season clothes, lawn equipment, furniture, and holiday decorations.  Ideal organization is best achieved by not mixing areas.

Master Control

When organizing your storage area keep two things firmly in mind: accessibility and durability.

Accessibility means knowing where your items are, keeping like items together in a single location, and being able to reach them when you need them. Constructing shelves and using bin organizers enhances the result.  If the area looks neat, nice and organized it is more likely to stay that way.

A durable storage area will protect your items from the cold and damp. Investing in plastic bins and elevating other items off the floor either by placing them on shelves or hanging them from the walls should minimize concern for potential damage.

Label Everything

Effective organization requires arranging things in such a way that your belongings can be located with ease. So, purchase labels and a permanent marker. Place them conspicuously on both your bins and your shelves.

While few folks really wants to tackle the task of getting organized, once it’s done, most people who complete the process feel great and life becomes much simpler at the same time.

If you are considering selling a home or buying one in 2016, feel free to contact me today for a consultation. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have about buying or selling a home in Chicago's North Shore, North or Northwest Suburban communities.

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
[email protected]

Get your latest Home Value
Receive Your Personalized Listing Alerts

Let’s Connect, Socially!

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Google +1
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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.   

Photo courtesy of Linus Bohman/Flickr.com

Displaying blog entries 1-8 of 8

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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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Glenview, IL, 60025

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