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

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Beatrix Potter: Beloved Children’s Author and Naturalist

by Allyson Hoffman

November 28-29, 2015

Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe, Illinois

Enjoy an afternoon highlighting the charm of Beatrix Potter’s classic works and illustrations at the Chicago Botanic Garden on November 28-29, 2015. Her famous set of Little Books will be exhibited, and her biography The Gardening Life of Beatrix Potter by Marta McDowell will give an insight into her life in the Lake District in Victorian England.

A shy and introverted girl, Potter employed aspects of her own life and developed them into imaginative children’s stories reflective of creatures and characters from her own environment.  One could assume that her main character, Peter Rabbit, may have been inspired by her love for the rabbits she raised. It is undoubtedly true that her love of naturalism directed the entirety of her life.

Although she became an illustrator of note, her family was not supportive of her lifework.  Regardless, it did not deter her from expressing her appreciation of nature through her books and illustrations. As an adult she married, and later, gained independence, producing the greatest body of literary and illustrative works. For the last 25 years of her life she was an avid and active farmer, gardener and naturalist. The author of her biography, Marta McDowell, will speak in the Lenhardt Library on selected dates during the exhibition. For more information, please click here.

The exhibition itself takes place at the Regenstein Center, and admission is free. Bring the entire family to the Chicago Botanic Garden -- children are certain to enjoy the lovely works and familiar characters of Beatrix Potter, as well as learn about her life and times.

Where:  Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe, Illinois

When:  November 28-29, 2015 from 12 PM - 4 PM

For more information regarding Beatrix Potter, Beloved Children’s Author and Naturalist, 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
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.

Photo courtesy romana klee/Flickr.com

New Integrated Closing Disclosure Rules

by Allyson Hoffman

Homebuyers, your life just got considerably less stressful related to obtaining a mortgage and closing the transaction on your prospective new property. Long considered a truly complicated aspect of the real estate transaction, closing has typically been fraught with potential pit falls and confusion for buyers. The financial dynamics and government paperwork requirements of the real estate market have made it inherently so.

Recent changes, enacted as of October 3, 2015, have sought to simplify this otherwise complicated and confusing process! The new TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure rule introduces two new government forms (down from the prior four), the Loan Estimate Form and the Closing Disclosure Form. Essentially, lenders must now provide buyers clear details regarding their loan terms three days after submitting an application.

The new Loan Estimate Form above details the terms of a potential loan including the amount, interest rate and whether the figures can change after closing.  This form makes it much easier to compare loan terms between lending institutions. It also includes payment projections, as illustrated by this additional snapshot.

The Closing Disclosure Form breaks down estimated closing costs, allowing the borrower to see what should be brought to closing and therefore, hopefully eliminates last minute surprises due to changes in loan terms and closing costs.

Important concerns to check include making sure that figures on both forms match since these numbers drive future payments for a considerable time. If figures have appreciably changed, be sure to find out why. All requirements concerning the property such as inspections, repairs, contingencies should be addressed earlier in the process.

Keep in mind that no changes can be made after three days prior to closing. This may surprise those who have formerly been accustomed to the “last-minute” nature of the closing process. For assistance in selecting a reputable lender who can further explain the new procedures, feel free to contact me today for a consultation. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have, help you sell your current home and/or find a new 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 markets.   

Oliver!

by Allyson Hoffman

November 20 - December 20, 2015

The Citadel Theatre, Lake Forest, Illinois

The Citadel Theater in Lake Forest presents its production of Oliver!, the Charles Dickens classic tale of the London street urchin from his book “Oliver Twist” set to music. Oliver! is one of the most famous and beloved musicals of all time. One of the two most famous orphans in musical theater, the unfortunate Oliver escapes a cruel and harsh master to make his way on the streets of London. He is recruited by the nefarious Fagin, and becomes a member of his gang of equally unfortunate thieves and pickpockets.

The Citadel Theatre provides both entertaining and compelling dramas, comedies and other works to inspire audiences and to provide them with an intimate theatrical “home”. The Theatre works in conjunction with the Lake Forest Dance Academy and is also an educational organization devoted to offering training in music, dance and theatre for both children and adults. The Citadel has been producing works and educating and assisting aspiring actors, singers and dancers for thirteen years. It was founded by Scott and Ellen Phelps in 2002.

Weekday and weekend performances begin November 20th and run through December 20, 2015. For seating charts, schedules, and ticket purchases, please click here.

This musical, ideal for the entire family to enjoy, is sure to be a memorable theatre experience for both young and old alike!

Where:  The Citadel Theatre, Lake Forest, Illinois

When: November 20 - December 20, 2015

Tickets:  Weekdays - $35.00, Weekends - $37.50

For more information regarding Oliver!, 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
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 swooshed/Pixabay.com

October 2015 Midwest Real Estate Market Reports

by Allyson Hoffman

The October 2015 Midwest Real Estate Market Reports are now ready for your review. These market reports provide an insight on the real estate market statistics for Cook County and Lake County. These statistics are helpful when you are considering buying or selling in today’s real estate market.  And, remember should you need tailored reports on a subdivision or neighborhood in the North Shore, North, 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
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.

First Night in a New Home Infographic

by Allyson Hoffman

Getting ready to move to a new home? Don’t forget you’ll need a few essential items for the first night in your house. To make your first night comfortable, here is a great checklist of items you will want to have. It’s got you covered from first aid items to pet toys…


Need even more moving tips for making a smooth transition into your new Chicago North Shore, North or Northwest suburban home? Contact me for a consultation. I will be happy to offer suggestions and answer any questions you may have about the home buying 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
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.   

Bling: The Jewelry & Gift Show

by Allyson Hoffman

November 13-15, 2015

Highland Park Country Club, Highland Park, Illinois

Always entertaining and exciting, Amdur Productions introduces a new wearable art show featuring jewelry, clothing and accessories, November 13-15, 2015 at Highland Park Country Club. Amdur Productions is one of the premier art show producers in the Midwest, and a new juried art show in new media is definitely worth seeing.

More than 60 artists will showcase and sell their artwork in highly diverse mediums, from jewelry composed of clay, glass, semi-precious stones, beads, precious metals, and natural and recycled materials, to clothing of cotton, merino, cashmere, silks and other fibers, plaited, pierced and sewn. The show also offers artwork for home décor; wall art, tiles and objects d’art in natural, manmade and recycled compositions.

Bling: The Jewelry & Gift Show is designed to provide choices for holiday gifts as well as personal wear. The designs are truly unique and inventive, using geometrics, inspirations from the natural world, antique and vintage, traditional and botanics. The styles range from Art Deco, Art Nouveau, Edwardian, Arts and Crafts, and European Old World to 60s-era and modernist. Some of the artists’ products have been sold on QVC and Home Shopping Network.

Be sure and take in Bling: The Jewelry & Gift Show, the new production art and shopping event in Highland Park. Take home some original one-of-a-kind wearable artwork, and do some gift shopping as well this weekend!

Where: Highland Park Country Club, Highland Park, Illinois

When: November 13-15, 2015

Admission: Free

For more information regarding Bling: The Jewelry & Gift Show, 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
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 Beadmobile/Flickr.com

Negotiating

by Allyson Hoffman

During the fall and holiday season, the real estate market and industry often tends to wind down. Multiple offers, competition, and the number of homes for sale may diminish due to the time of year. That may translate to an especially good time to buy your next home and negotiate a great deal.

Before jumping into the negotiating process, keep in mind that buyers and sellers typically view the changing market differently despite the time of the year.  Sellers often are somewhat resistant to the impact of a slowing of the market, while buyers frequently think that sellers should be ready to significantly drop their pricing.  The fact remains that market may slower, but it will not come to a complete halt.

To negotiate the best deal, a buyer should do their homework and carefully examine the area in which they are looking, the size of the home and the condition of the home.  Once equipped with comparables of recent similar home sales in the area, buyers can aggressively negotiate a fair price supported by factual information while also saving as much money as possible.

Another key to effectively negotiating a favorable deal includes securing as much information as possible regarding the degree of the seller’s motivation.  A seller who is driven by such events as divorce, job relocation, the need to close on another home or a prolonged time on market may be highly motivated to negotiate a deal.  In contrast, a seller opting to downsize or with no place to go will most likely be much less driven to reduce their price.

Lastly, there may be more room for negotiating with houses that are newer or updated, but have not yet sold.  Likewise, negotiating opportunities often exist on fixer-uppers that have not already discounted their pricing to reflect the condition of the property which may need repair, upkeep and modernizing.  While lenders no longer readily accept credits for improvements such as new appliances, or allowances for carpeting or painting, sellers can offer concessions as closing costs offsets to ease the financial burden for buyers.

The fall and holiday season should open up opportunities for buyers through effective negotiating. Partnering with an experienced Realtor who really knows the market and has proven finesse in the art of effective negotiation will assuredly make a huge difference in the outcome of your success. For additional information, feel free to contact me today for a consultation. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have, and/or help you find your dream home in Chicago's North Shore, North or Northwest suburbs.

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 드림포유/Flickr.com

Fine Art of Fiber

by Allyson Hoffman

November 6-8, 2015

Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe, Illinois

This weekend, the Regenstein Garden will host the oldest and largest fiber and textile event of the area, sponsored by fiber arts guilds of Illinois. The goals of the Fine Art of Fiber event are to educate and promote working with textiles and fibers, and preserving heritage fiber creations.

The show and sale includes Japanese textiles, quilts, knitting, weaving, dolls, wearable art and jewelry, as well as holiday gifts and fashion shows. The fashion shows begin at 11 AM Friday, November 6th and Saturday, November 7th. Selected items will be on sale in silent auctions from 10 AM until 3 PM daily, and a Raffle will take place on Sunday at 4 PM.

The presentation of fiber heritage includes dyeing with natural dyes, spinning, weaving, quilting and knitting, with a focus on education, awareness and preservation of fiber arts. The show also includes special events – lectures and an exhibition of umbrellas and parasols.

Fine Art of Fiber offers an opportunity to purchase holiday gifts and gain education regarding fiber arts for home crafters as well. Since 1997 the fiber arts show has inspired crafters with beautiful beadwork, stunning quilts and a myriad of needle-working ideas for individual and cottage industries in textile production. Don’t miss this chance to view some of the most beautiful and unique textile artwork imaginable at the Fine Art of Fiber show at Chicago Botanic Garden.

Where:  Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe, Illinois

When:  November 6-8, 2015

Admission:  Free

For more information regarding Fine Art of Fiber and schedule of 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
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 PhotoAtelier/Flickr.com

Dreaming of a New Kitchen?

by Allyson Hoffman

Have you been considering a kitchen remodel? If so, you would be investing in the most fundamental room of your home. Not only might an updated kitchen be more functional and enjoyable for you, but it would likely impress potential buyers when it comes time to sell and boost your home’s value.  While you may have a vision for your future kitchen, consider contacting your real estate agent for advice on what kitchen improvements provide the best return on your investment.

The money you anticipate putting into the redesign and the reason behind your desire to remodel will likely govern the completed project and which decision is best and most feasible for your needs. If you anticipate putting your house on the market in the near future, versus staying in the home for the next 20 years, the importance of the return on your investment will clearly change.

The most advisable approach to updating, remodeling, or completely renovating a kitchen, is to work with a well-established contractor in your area having expertise in both design and construction. Be prepared to share your vision, expectation for remaining in the house and the amount of money you can invest in the project.  These factors will impact the remodeling options and recommended upgrades based on trends that are typical for your area and neighborhood.  

Additional remodeling ideas and trends can be found by attending area open houses that may help you compare your vision to what is hot in the market or what is not. Be sure to focus on how others have remodeled and arranged to better merge your renovation concept with functionality. 

Remodeling the kitchen can be great investment especially with reliance upon classic design, by avoiding over improvement and using a skilled and reputable contractor, known for quality workmanship. Regardless of your budget, there are numerous economical ways to makeover a kitchen and give it a fresh new look. Contact me today for a consultation. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have, and help you get the process started.  

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.   

Image courtesy of Dru Bloomfield/Flickr.com

Displaying blog entries 1-9 of 9

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Glenview IL 60025
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