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

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Displaying blog entries 1-7 of 7

Jasmine Arakawa Performs in a Fine Arts Fall Concert

by Allyson Hoffman

December 1, 2013

Jasmine Arakawa takes the stage at the Northbrook Public Library to perform the piano music of Leopold Godowsky. Godowsky, a Polish-American composer and pianist, was once a resident of Chicago and Evanston. He is known for his musical compositions based on the sounds and impressions of his travels. One of his well-known pieces, the Java Suite from 1925, is a collection of music inspired by the island of Java. Ms. Arakawa is a pianist with worldwide recognition, and has performed in well-known music settings such as Paris, Geneva, and Carnegie Hall. She has a reputation for flawless technique, lyrical style, and charisma.

When: Sunday, December 1, 2:00 PM

Where: Northbrook Public Library, 1201 Cedar Lane, Northbrook

Admission: free

For more information and a map to the event, click here.

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

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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 market.

Photo courtesy Northbrook Public Library website.

15 or 30 Years – Which Mortgage is Best for You?

by Allyson Hoffman

Your home is one of the biggest purchases you’ll ever make. If you’re like most people, you’ll need a mortgage to buy it.

Because there are a lot of different mortgage loans available, many buyers wrestle with the option of choosing a traditional 30-year loan, or alternately, a 15-year mortgage with a faster amortization schedule.   Both choices have pros and cons. So, before you make a decision, take a look at these points:

A 30-year mortgage offers flexibility.  Monthly payments are lower, because they are spread out over more time. So if you become ill, lose your job, or have other financial distress, you are less likely to have difficulty paying your mortgage.  Moreover, if you want to accelerate the payoff of your mortgage, you can choose to pay extra each month toward your loan principal or pay extra principal whenever your cash flow permits you to do so comfortably.

Keep in mind, however, that a 30-year mortgage carries a higher interest rate than a 15-year loan. That’s because the bank is taking a much longer risk with 30-year borrowers. So even if you do pay off your mortgage early, you will still be paying more in interest.

On the other hand, a 15-year mortgage with a lower interest rate will save you money. The shorter term of the loan coupled with lower rates can put thousands of dollars in your pocket due to considerable saved interest payments over the life of the loan.

A 15-year mortgage requires borrowers to amortize their loans in half the time of 30-year loan mortgagors, so your 15-year loan is satisfied earlier. If you can afford the higher monthly payments, but don’t have the discipline to make extra payments yourself, this might be the right option for you.

The downside to a 15-year mortgage is the lack of flexibility as compared to a 30-year loan. If you should have the misfortune of future financial difficulties, paying less as you would with a 30-year mortgage, is simply not an option.

To decide which mortgage is right for you, the best course to follow is to secure a pre-approval for your mortgage before you start shopping for a home.  Lenders are readily available to assist you with this.  If you do not have a reputable, experienced and successful lender in mind, but would like to speak with someone who really knows the ins and outs of the mortgage arena, I can provide you a list of trusted lender affiliates. They will help you to determine what the payments can be and assess how this works into your current budget.  Then when you’re ready to shop for a house, please contact me for an appointment to discuss a plan for your home search. I look forward to helping you find your next dream home!

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

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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 market.

Photo courtesy Fernando Mengoni, Stock.XCHNG.

Protect Your Home’s Value with Simple Maintenance Tips

by Allyson Hoffman

Every homeowner is interested in preserving or increasing the value in their home. One of the easiest ways to do this is to keep up with maintenance on your property. This will help protect your investment and make it easier when you are ready to sell.

Fortunately, the most important maintenance chores are typically simple and and don’t need any special skills. Here are some simple maintenance tips that will help keep your home in good shape.

In the Kitchen

Your range hood helps keep your home clean by pulling cooking smoke and grease out of the air. Clean the vent filters on your range hood before they get clogged with grease and dirt. If you have metal filters, wash them by hand. Disposable filters can be replaced regularly.

Check the oven door to make sure it seals properly, so you don’t lose heat and energy every time you use it. Keeping the drip bowls under your stovetop burners clean will help keep your stove in good condition and prevent food particles from burning when you cook.

Your refrigerator is one of the biggest energy users in your home. Keep it running efficiently by vacuuming the coils a couple of times a year.

It’s easy for food to get caught in your garbage disposal, which can create a bad smell in your kitchen. Remove any large pieces stuck in your disposal, then run ice through the it to help clean out any small particles. You can add salt or vinegar to the ice for extra cleaning. Freshen your entire kitchen by running a few small pieces of lemon or orange peel through the disposal.

Major Appliances

Your clothes dryer is another big, expensive energy user in your home. Save energy and help protect your home from fire by vacuuming the lint out of your dryer exhaust vent at least once a year.

Protect your air conditioner and keep your home cooler by changing your disposable filter at least once a month. If you have a reusable filter, vacuum it every month. Your air conditioner will run more efficiently, use less energy and last longer.

By keeping up with these small maintenance projects, you’ll  both protect your home and make it easier to address larger issues as they occur … and for those owners who are getting ready to sell, it is essential to keep up with maintenance to obtain maximum value. Please contact me at any time for a consultation on selling your house and what its worth or buying a new home and the values of properties in areas that interest you.

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 market.

Photo courtesy Kinetics, Stock.XCHNG.

Modern Music Concert at the Morton Grove Public Library

by Allyson Hoffman

November 15, 2013

Enjoy a funky evening concert at the Morton Grove Public Library when Black Bear Combo performs for MGPL After Dark. The library will open the auditorium on the main floor on Friday for this unique band. You will be treated to a combination of traditional eastern European sounds, free jazz, and punk rock, all blended together for an interesting experience. Black Bear Combo plays a mixture of original music and traditional European tunes in their set. They have performed at Mardi Gras in New Orleans and at the White House, and now will perform for you in Morton Grove.

When: Friday, November 15, 7:00 – 8:30 PM

Where: Morton Grove Public Library, 6140 Lincoln Ave, Morton Grove 

Admission is free.

For more information and a map to the event, click here.

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

Get your latest Home Value
Receive Your Personalized Listing Alerts

Let’s Connect, Socially!

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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 market.

Photo courtesy Glenview Patch website.

How Sellers Can Use Curb Appeal to Impress Buyers

by Allyson Hoffman

Your home’s appearance from the outside, its curb appeal, is vital when you decide to sell your house.  Keep in mind that you never get a second chance to make a great first impression.  To make the best impression with your home, invest in your curb appeal before you put your house on the market.

Start with the Basics

There are many ways to improve your curb appeal without spending a lot of money or time.

Your home should have an attractive front entry. This can be simply accomplished by cleaning your door and painting it, if necessary. Polishing or replacing any worn door hardware and installing decorative light fixtures can also be helpful.

Another easy spruce up could include your mailbox and making certain that your windows, window boxes and/or shutters are clean and in good shape.

If the season permits, consider creating an attractive, garden-like appearance in front of your home, even if you don’t have a green thumb. You might want to purchase potted plants from your local nursery or home center and position them in decorative pots arranged in front of your home for an instant makeover.

Extra Touches

If you have more time and a slightly more generous budget, consider adding decorative features in front of your home to complement your architecture. These can include a porch, decorative fence, fountain or even an arbor over the front walkway.

You might consider upgrading your flowerbeds or adding raised planting beds to attract attention. Make sure to maintain these plants so they look fresh when potential buyers visit.  Lastly, be sure to keep your lawn meticulously groomed while your house is for sale.

Home Maintenance

If you have the time and budget, consider a fresh coat of paint on the outside of your house. Maintaining the exterior of your home will send the message that the interior is in equally good shape. If a new paint job is not feasible, a less-costly alternative to consider is power washing  the exterior to remove any accumulated  dirt from the outside of your home.

Finally, make sure the front step, sidewalk and driveway are in good repair and free of cracks.

If you are you ready to sell your home, please feel free to contact me to set up an appointment for a consultation. I’d be happy to design a personalized marketing plan designed to help you sell your home quickly and for top dollar!

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

Get your latest Home Value
Receive Your Personalized Listing Alerts

Let’s Connect, Socially!
Facebook
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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 market.

Photo courtesy Peter Caulfield, Stock.XCHNG.

A Romantic Serenade from the Chicago Philharmonic

by Allyson Hoffman

The Chicago Philharmonic treats you to an afternoon of romance with their performance of music from the Romantic Era. The Romantic Era represents European classical music from the 18th and 19th centuries. The orchestra, conducted by Joel Smirnoff, will perform works composed by Brahms, Strauss and Berlioz. Also included will be a discussion about the art and music of the Romantic Era by Jesse Rosenberg, Northwestern University Professor of Musicology. This special performance happens only once this season, so be sure not to miss it!

When: Sunday, November 10th, 2013 at 3:00 PM

Where: Nichols Concert Hall, 1490 Chicago Ave., Evanston 

Tickets range from $25 to $75 and are available online.

For more information and a map to the event, click here.

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

Get your latest Home Value
Receive Your Personalized Listing Alerts

Let’s Connect, Socially!

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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 market.

Photo courtesy of ChicagoPhilharmonic.org

Buffalo Grove Symphonic Band Presents Lucky 13 at Their Fall Concert

by Allyson Hoffman

Enjoy an evening of music from the great old composers at the Buffalo Grove Symphonic Band’s 12th annual Fall Concert. The entire family will enjoy this year’s show at Buffalo Grove High School. The concert’s theme is “Lucky 13”, which refers to songwriters born in 1813 or 1913, and music composed in those years. Wagner, Verdi, Sammy Cahn, and Jimmy Van Heusen are among the songwriters on the playlist. The band also plans a special tribute to Danny Kaye, born in 1913.

When: Sunday, November 3, 7:00 PM

Where: Buffalo Grove High School, 1100 West Dundee Road, Buffalo Grove 

Admission is $10 in advance, $12 at the door, and $8 for students and seniors.

For more information and a map to the event, click here.

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

Get your latest Home Value
Receive Your Personalized Listing Alerts

Let’s Connect, Socially!

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn 

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 market.

Photo courtesy of the Buffalo Grove Symphonic Band website 

 

Displaying blog entries 1-7 of 7

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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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