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Halloween at Navy Pier

by Allyson Hoffman

October 31, 2015

Navy Pier, Chicago, Illinois

Navy Pier offers so much family-friendly Halloween entertainment that anyone would be hard-pressed to participate in all of it. Activities began this week leading up to the Halloween highpoint of the festivities happening on Saturday, October 31st.

The celebration will include live entertainment with local DJs, dancing, a haunted architectural cruise on the “SeaDog”, a magic show featuring Chicago magician Dennis Watkins with his Upside-Down Water Chamber, and spooky cocktails at Harry Caray’s.

Children should certainly dress in costumes and enjoy trick-or-treating, carnival rides, camel rides, alpaca rides, pony rides, the petting zoo, scary movies, and fireworks. There will also be a 500-pound pumpkin carving, fire-spinning pyrotechnics, the wandering “Adams Family” characters, and a Funhouse Maze as well. There is even a chance to win a round-trip airfare to anywhere in the continental U.S. for the best costume in the contest!  As always, guests may enjoy a variety of foods at Navy Pier and a breath-taking view of the city.

For Halloween enthusiasts, be sure to wrap up the fall festivals and October events this Saturday by celebrating the biggest Halloween event of the year at Navy Pier!

Where:  Navy Pier, Chicago, Illinois

When:   October 31, 2015

For information regarding Halloween at Navy Pier, please click here. To purchase tickets, 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.

Image courtesy of Rob Hooft/Flickr.com

Making Home Improvements When Selling

by Allyson Hoffman

Making home improvements to sell your home is a great way to ensure it stands out from the competition and attracts more prospective buyers. To make the right renovations and not waste money, considering many potential improvements is important.  But choosing those designed to sell your home in the shortest amount of time and at the highest price is critical.

When money is invested in the right places, it typically not only achieves a quicker sale, but also returns profit in excess of expense. 

The greatest potential for radical results is with paint.  So take a good look at both in interior and exterior of your home.  Money invested in a fresh new look that matches the neutral color schemes now in vogue while eliminating personalized colors,   well-loved walls and tired exteriors will clearly enhance the all-important curb appeal and lasting first impression that often makes or breaks a sale. Additional attention to your front door paint, asphalt driveways needing a new coat of blacktop, and a fresh landscape clean up that addresses weeds, edging of garden beds, trimming of shrubs or trees and a manicured lawn are all inexpensive, but invaluable tasks that should not be overlooked.

Aside from paint, potentially the best interior investment to consider is flooring.  Whether you have worn and dated carpeting or hardwood flooring, consider putting your best foot forward.  At a minimum, carpets should be professionally cleaned or replaced with new, neutral choices that truly improve your home’s appeal.  If your home has hardwood, a good cleaning and polishing should be a basic essential to readying your home for buyers.  Keep in mind that there are inexpensive products that can be applied to wood floors to give them new life without the need to completely refinish, so consider this if floors are worn or dull.

Finally, consider the kitchen and the bathrooms. By far, these are the two most important rooms in the home in terms of renovations. With your budget in mind, consider replacing old kitchen appliances or countertops.  Depending upon the size of your kitchen, cabinets can be costly to replace.  To achieve a fresh look without spending a fortune, an effective alternative might include a good coat of paint or polish and new hardware. When it comes to the bathroom, prospective buyers look at everything -- from the toilet, to the fixtures.  So outdated bathrooms will clearly benefit from adding what your budget can manage including new fixtures, a new vanity, sink and/or tiling.

By spending some time, effort and available cash on these home improvement tasks, not only will you more likely impress potential buyers and ensure that your home stands out from the crowd, but you will undoubtedly shorten your market time and increase your profit potential. Contact me today for a consultation designed specifically for your home. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have, make recommendations to improve your salability, and/or help you to 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
[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.    

Image courtesy of ErikaWittlieb/Pixabay.com

Halloween Hoopla

by Allyson Hoffman

October 23-24, 2015

Jewett Park Community Center, Deerfield, Illinois

It’s time once again for the annual “Halloween Hoopla” event at Jewett Park Community Center in Deerfield, and the weekend promises to be full of lively Halloween entertainment for kids and families. The community “pulls out all the stops” to create an exciting annual Halloween celebration for area families. The event is sponsored by the Optimist and Rotary Clubs and Northside Community Bank, to name a few.

This year’s schedule of entertainment takes the place of the Haunted House of years’ past. Beginning today, Friday, October 23rd, festivities will feature a bonfire and movie in the park, and a DJ as well. This opening night event is free for all to attend.

Children will really enjoy Saturday’s activities including costumed characters, a marionette show, a hayride around the park, carnival games, balloons, face painting, a craft room, and storytelling. Another favorite is “crazy fun inflatables”.  Other rides and great giveaways are also part of the fun. Additional activities for October 24th include family fun with laser tag, human foosball, a DJ and bonfire. Food and drinks will be offered for purchase and wristbands to take part in all weekend activities will be available to participants.

The proceeds from the Halloween Hoopla go toward worthy community projects, and several community businesses donate 10% of the day’s sales toward the projects as well. Be sure to bring the entire family out to Deerfield for an activity-filled weekend of Halloween fun! 

Where: Jewett Park Community Center, Deerfield, Illinois

When: October 23, 2015 from 7 PM to 9 PM

    October 24, 2015 from 3 PM to 6 PM and 7 PM to 9 PM

Admission:  Friday: free; Saturday children’s events: $ 7.00

For more information regarding Halloween Hoopla, 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
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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 F Delventhal/Flickr.com

September 2015 Midwest Real Estate Market Reports

by Allyson Hoffman

The September 2015 Midwest Real Estate Market Reports are now ready for your review. These market reports provide an insight on the real estatemarket statistics for Cook County and Lake County. These statistics are helpful when you are considering buying or selling in today’s real estatemarket.  And, remember should you need tailored reports on a subdivision or neighborhood in the North ShoreNorth and Northwest Suburban Chicago, Illinois area, please let me know.

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

Trains, Tricks & Treats at Chicago Botanic Garden

by Allyson Hoffman

October 17-18, 2015

Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe, Illinois

Celebrate Halloween with the family at the Chicago Botanic Garden this weekend. The Trains, Tricks & Treats event will be held at the Model Railway Garden on October 17-18, 2015. Children will enjoy the spooky decorations in the spirit of Halloween --spider webs, bats, ghosts and goblins and, of course, pumpkins and other seasonal plants. The kids will be able to collect treats during a tour through the Railway Garden amidst famous American miniature architectural landmarks. This event also closes the Model Railway’s season for this year.

The Model Railway Garden is always a children’s favorite, and the Halloween event will certainly add to their enjoyment. They will also have the opportunity to pot their own Halloween plant as well.  Halloween trick or treater figurines are posted along the pathway to add to the spooky atmosphere.

The Botanic Garden never fails to provide seasonal events to enrich family and community life. Every season at the Botanic Garden holds exceptional beauty and opportunities to experience the natural world. So don’t miss this chance to provide children and family a celebration of fall and a fun Halloween event!

Where:  Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe, Illinois

When:  October 17-18, 2015 from 10 AM – 5 PM

Admission:   Adults - $6.00, Seniors - $5.00, Children 3-12 - $4.00, children 2 and under free

For more information about the Trains, Tricks & Treats 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
[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.

Image courtesy of wokandapix/Pixabay.com

Consider These Items Before Buying a Home

by Allyson Hoffman

For most folks, buying a home is the single largest purchase made in their lives. So, that decision can be both nerve racking and scary. To avoid bad choices or paralyzing fear, buyers should research or incorporate these six things in the home buying process:

• Order a home inspection. A professional home inspector will look at the property with impartial eyes and be able to spot many issues which the buyer may miss.

• Check the property tax history online at the city, township and/or county website to review the local tax rate trends for increases or decreases over a period of years.  Look into the passage of referendums or planned area projects that will need future funding as well.

• Visit the house or area that interests you at various times of the day to get a better picture of what it’s like to live there. What appears to be a street quiet in the middle of the day may change its character in the late afternoon or evening.  Also, look at the home and area after dark to assess the safety factors not evident during daylight hours.

• Request the utility bills. While you might love the charm of a turn-of-the-century craftsman cottage, it could cost a fortune to heat in the winter and a beautiful green lawn could signal high water bills.  This step provides information on the costs of living in the house and not just buying it.  Be sure that those costs are comfortable in advance of the purchase.

• If there are empty lots nearby, check the neighborhood zoning at City Hall so that there are no unwanted surprises when that area is developed.

• Drive the entire neighborhood in all directions from the house so that you are comfortable with the look and feel of both the immediate vicinity but also the areas surrounding it as well.

While buying a home is a huge commitment that requires sincere thought and diligence, the upfront investments noted here should provide confidence in your decision, and increase the odds of finding a home that will bring your family happiness for many years to come. Feel free to contact me today for a consultation. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have, and 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
[email protected]

Get your latest Home Value
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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 barryhardman/Pixabay.com

Great Highwood Pumpkin Festival

by Allyson Hoffman

October 9-11, 2015

Highwood, Illinois

The Village of Highwood is the place to be this weekend for an amazing display of carved and lighted pumpkins at the 6th annual Great Pumpkin Festival. A family-based community more than one hundred years old, Highwood citizens and those of surrounding communities turn out to try to break the world record of 30,581 pumpkins carved in one place – all for a good cause. All proceeds benefit the Autism Society of Illinois. Their ultimate goal is to light a pumpkin for each of the 52,000 affected by autism in Illinois. The event is sponsored by the Autism Society of Illinois and the City of Highwood.

This year, they need the assistance of citizens, since the number of pumpkins on hand will not be sufficient to break the record, so they ask that people bring a carved pumpkin and a candle to the drop-off area in front of Highwood City Hall.  Place the candle inside the pumpkin, and be rewarded with a free admission wristband to the weekend event for the great pumpkin lighting extravaganza on Sunday night. Otherwise, the admission will be $2.00 per person.

The Pumpkin Festival is an amazing weekend of family fun and charitable good works, and the list of entertainment activities is a child’s dream: Trick or Treat, of course, but also a Great Pumpkin Maze, hay ride, pet costume contest, pony rides, carnival rides, kid’s crafts, music, 5K Pumpkin Run and Walk (in costumes!) and a Kid’s Dash. New this year is a pumpkin seed spitting contest and pumpkin pie eating contest. Celebrities from HGTV will also be in attendance with demonstrations and entertainment. The lighting of the walls of pumpkins set to music, is a really impressive sight. For more information and to register for the Pumpkin Run, please click here.

Come to the Great Highwood Pumpkin Festival for a good cause and the memorable sight of the lighting of, hopefully, a world record number of pumpkins! There will be plenty of fun and entertainment for the whole family to enjoy this weekend.

Where:  Highwood, Illinois

When:  October 9-11, 2015

Admission:  $2.00, or free with carved pumpkin

For information regarding the Great Highwood Pumpkin Festival, 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

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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 Joe Shlabotnik/Flickr.com

Listing a Home in the Autumn

by Allyson Hoffman

Next to spring, fall is the most ideal time of the year to put your house on the market.  Autumn has proven to be the second busiest time of the year for home sales nationwide.  Traditionally, inventory of homes for sale in the fall is lower, so if you have your home appropriately priced and staged for the season, it is likely to sell.

Currently low mortgage rates create strong incentive to purchase and coupled with decreased inventory, listing your home now increases the odds of selling before winter arrives.

To enhance your fall home sale opportunities, here are some simple tips and techniques for listing your home in the autumn:

Decorate for the season

Celebrate autumn beauty by using seasonal decorations.  Try adding “punch” to your fall curb appeal with colorful pumpkins of various sizes and hues.  Also consider hardy mums, the perfect replacements to summertime flowers, which come in a variety of colors and sizes.  Mix and match them and strategically place or plant them in your front yard to capture the attention of potential buyers. 

Maximize lighting, both indoors and out

With daylight hours shortening, the addition of exterior lighting to walkways, driveways, trees, and entrances will enhance outside appeal even as darkness falls.  Utilize your hard-wired exterior lighting fixtures and consider adding other illuminating accents as well. Because potential buyers continue their home search in the evening hours, be sure to show off your home’s best appeal at night through the use of strategically placed lighting.   

To maximize your interior lighting, open all shades and blinds prior to all daytime showings and turn on all lights -- both overhead and lamps.  Buyers prefer homes that are light and bright.

Provide year-round photos

To show your home’s year round beauty and help buyers envision its potential in all seasons, use summer photos with your flowers in full bloom and lush green grass, winter photos with a fluffy layer of clean white snow, and seasonally-appropriate photos for your current main listing photo.  Fall colors provide a special appeal to most pictures.

Spruce up the yard

The outside of your home is the first area that a buyer will see, and its condition will impact the initial reaction to your home.  Looking good is critical, so be sure to maintain your yard and garden beds by raking up the leaves … and don’t overlook the driveway and walkway. For added appeal, remove dead flowers, plants, or bushes and add a layer of fresh mulch to your beds. These basic tasks will help to ensure that buyers’ initial reaction to your home is positive and inviting.

Pleasant fall weather entices people to get out and enjoy the temperate air before the cold sets in. So if you have been contemplating listing your home, take advantage of the fall season to make that move. For additional information regarding a customized plan to sell your home in the fall, feel free to 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
[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 Sharon Mollerus/Flickr

Fall Family Adventure at Heller Nature Center

by Allyson Hoffman

October 4, 2015

Heller Nature Center, Highland Park, Illinois 

Within the Park District of Highland Park, you will find Heller Nature Center with 97-acres of unspoiled, well-managed natural wetlands, oak and hickory forests, tall grass prairie and oak savannah. All of this is only minutes away from suburban centers. The Center offers programs for adults and children, such as sports, yoga, astronomy, ceramics, fitness, golf, ice hockey, ice skating, cross-country skiing, and nature appreciation programs like scouting. Its mission is “to enrich community life through healthy leisure pursuits and foster an appreciation of the natural world.”

The fall season presents one of the best times to enjoy the beauty of nature, and this Sunday the Heller Center offers a Fall Family Adventure, hosting activities that both adults and children are sure to love. You’ll have an opportunity to find clues along the trails, shoot bows and arrows, build a shelter and learn how to build a fire.  Conclude the event by grilling dinner around the campfire -- grills provided by the center to be used with your own foods brought from home.

Additionally, the Center also features programs such as summer camps, art, music, dance, theatre, gymnastics or triathlon training and provides families an opportunity to experience the natural world through its programs and events.  Even younger children are included with activities such as Storytelling in the Woods. The Admission fee for the Fall Family Adventure is $12 for adults and children. Each child must be accompanied by a registered adult.

Fall Family Adventure day should undoubtedly provide hours of enjoyment for the entire clan and ensure appreciation of the beauties of the natural world.

Where:  Heller Nature Center, Highland Park, Illinois 

When:  October 4, 2015 from 3 PM to 7 PM

For more information regarding Heller Nature Center, please click here. To register for Fall Family Adventure, 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 Nicholas A. Tonelli/Flickr.com

Displaying blog entries 1-9 of 9

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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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