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

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Displaying blog entries 1-9 of 9

2014 Housing Forecast

by Allyson Hoffman

The chill in the air is accompanied by a flurry of activity in predictions for the real estate market in 2014.  Real estate associations, along with national economists have already put figures to their forecasts for the upcoming year.  And the public wants to know.  Those looking to purchase in 2014 are eager to know where they stand in terms of financing, as well as in which direction to focus their house hunting.  And those contemplating selling their homes anxiously await the prediction of a rise, or decline in housing prices.  The most ideal way to determine what is best for you in the upcoming year is to contact your local real estate agent.  They should be the most familiar with the projection for your area.

So far, chief economists are expecting a flat pace of sales.  The most recent numbers project a 6% increase in property values and a 4.16% to 5.4% increase in interest rates by the close of 2014.  With anticipated increases in both prices and interest rates, sales volumes may remain stable and at balanced levels. 

Supply and demand are ultimately at the root of how expectancies and predictions are reached, playing a pivotal role in the 2014 real estate market forecast.  While the supply of home inventory could become heightened due to escalating property values, the demand will also be increased thanks to a somewhat strengthened economy.  Because of this anticipated surge in both home prices and interest rates, the market will likely remain at a steady level.

On the other hand, the new construction market is predicted to boom in 2014. With more financing for new development becoming available, the sales of newly built homes are expected to climb by a staggering 18.5% next year.  In addition to this surge in sales of new construction, a forecast for a projected 25% increase in new construction starts should help to boost the overall market.

Calculations derived by real estate associations or market economists are certainly worthy of attention.  However, it is imperative to understand that these are national predictions -- a blanket forecast gauging the general direction the market will take nationally.  Because real estate is local, it is important to take your area dynamics into consideration for insights closer to home.  Your area could potentially be better or worse. 

For a personalized forecast reflecting your community or neighborhood, please contact me today for additional information.  Regardless of whether you are looking to sell or buy in 2014, the forecast for the real estate market in 2014 appears promising!  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 market.

Photo courtesy of kicea06/deviantart.com

Home Ownership New Year’s Resolution

by Allyson Hoffman

As we near year’s end, have you been pondering, “What will my New Year’s resolution be this year?” Perhaps you’ve been longing to join the ranks of homeowners. So why not make this upcoming year the time to achieve your dream. If that is your goal, consider getting your “ducks in a row” in order to turn that New Year’s resolution into a reality for you and your family. 

Begin by contacting the experts. Teaming up with a real estate agent is pivotal in beginning your homeownership journey. Your Realtor® should provide you with information about your local real estate market and be your best asset -- from the initial search for a home, through closing.

Be smart and practical about your finances. Your Realtor® can suggest a qualified lender who will work closely with you and help you to determine which of the many programs and loans will be best for your particular financial situation. Keep in mind that aside from money earmarked for a down payment, you must also plan for additional upfront costs incurred when purchasing a home. These include charges such as inspections, attorney fees and closing costs. Your lender or Realtor® can assist you in estimating these expenses.

Once you have your finances in order and know what you can afford, it’s time to create your list of preferences. Your Realtor® can provide you online resources to browse and many can create personalized webpages where homes that meet your specific criteria are posted for you to review daily. E-mail alerts can be set up by your agent when new listings become available. It’s important to choose an agent whose personal website can become your number one go-to resource for information about properties for sale and the areas that interest you. Their site should allow you to view multiple photos of homes and virtual tours, provide mapping features and offer information regarding schools and local area links.

Once you have a clear idea of your requirements and the price you are both comfortable and confident with, it is time to view homes. Be aggressive, yet practical in focusing on homes that meet your wants and needs. So if homeownership is a part of your New Year’s resolution, please contact me to help you realize your dream.

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 of Ivan Akira/Wikimedia.

 

ComedySportz

by Allyson Hoffman

December 28, 2013

Gorilla Tango’s Skokie Theatre, Skokie, Illinois 

Are you and your family ready to laugh until you can laugh no more?  If the answer is yes, then you will not want to miss the ComedySportz event taking place this Saturday at the Gorilla Tango’s Skokie Theatre.

This event is a fast-paced, hilarious 60 minutes of improvisational acts.  Come to the event prepared, as the audience plays a very large part in the performance.  Two teams of fiercely competitive comedians will summon you and your family for scene suggestions.  Songs, titles, games, shows, and a variety of catch phrases offered from the audience will spring the comedians into action. Scores will be tracked by audience response.  You and your family are sure to be in stitches.

ComedySportz prides itself on offering clean comedy, suitable for all ages.  It has recently celebrated its 26th year in the Chicago area, and has been hailed a favorite event among families and couples.

The event often sells out quickly, so you can order your tickets by calling the Gorilla Tango box office at 847-677-7761, or purchasing them online by clicking here.  The performance begins at 7:30 PM sharp.

Comic relief, improvisational acts, audience participation and laughter will fill the Gorilla Tango’s Skokie Theatre this Saturday evening.  See you there!

When: Saturday, December 28, 7:30 PM

Where: Gorilla Tango’s Skokie Theatre, Skokie, Illinois

Admission: $25.00 per person

For more information regarding the ComedySportz 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
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 of Christopher Garrison/Flickr.com

Contemporary Jazz Performers Take the Stage at SPACE

by Allyson Hoffman

December 22, 2013

Four amazing musicians will perform at SPACE in Evanston on Sunday. Wil Blades is a native Chicagoan and internationally acclaimed organist who has appeared live throughout the world and on TV and radio. Mike Clark is a legendary drummer who performs with international music stars. Donald Harrison is a saxophonist and developer of Nouveau Swing, his own music genre. Guitarist Jeff Parker is known for his contemporary and innovative playing. The quartet will perform unique jazz and contemporary music at SPACE, a local club. SPACE appeals to fans of all ages by hosting musicians of all genres. Audiences will appreciate this intimate setting to enjoy their favorite performers.

When: Sunday, December 22, 7:00 PM

Where: SPACE, 1245 Chicago Ave, Evanston

Admission: $15-$27

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 SPACE website.

How to Buy a Home in Any Market

by Allyson Hoffman

Every day it seems that something happens to affect the real estate market. Mortgage interest rates currently remain low, but they are on the rise. Home prices are also increasing in many areas. Inventories of homes for sale are lower than in recent years, so available properties are somewhat scarce.

Consumers may need to know more about how to buy a home under today’s conditions. Fortunately, best practices don’t change. Whether it’s a buyer’s market, seller’s market, or something in between, these tips will help you buy a home in any market.

  • Don’t to get too emotional about the process of buying a home. It’s easy to lose your cool if the property you love is sold before you get a chance to look at it, or if someone outbids you for your dream house. Remember that there are always more properties and that you, inevitably, will find one that is right for you.
  • Don’t try to time the market. Purchasing a home is a long-term investment. You are likely to live in this house for several years. So don’t rush to buy simply because you think prices are going up, or put off purchasing because you think prices are falling.
  • Do make your best offer. A lowball offer on a property simply wastes the seller’s time, and your own. If you are serious about buying the house, put your best foot forward by making an offer which reflects the value of the home in that neighborhood and be able to substantiate it with recent comparable sales. 
  • Do work with a good Realtor®. A knowledgeable real estate professional can assist you by helping to assure that you get a good house at a fair price, instead of overpaying for a home you don’t like, or not finding a property at all. Your Realtor® knows the market, can help you find the best options in your price range and structure your offer to make it attractive to the seller.

In this real estate market, home buyers can benefit from a helping hand.  If you’d like that hand, please contact me today for an appointment to discuss the type of property you’d like to find. I can guide you through the buying process and help you locate your 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 market.

Photo courtesy Michelle Meiklejohn, FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Experience the Music of The Mark Cleveland Band at The Celtic Knot Pub

by Allyson Hoffman

December 14, 2013

The Celtic Knot Public House will host The Mark Cleveland Band on Saturday night. Mark Cleveland is an Evanston singer/songwriter who plays the flute and acoustic guitar. Cleveland has performed at major Chicago area venues and has recorded with Yo Yo Ma’s Crossroads Project. His music is a tapestry of world culture, Native American tradition and American life, combined with an incredible stage presence. The Celtic Knot is a locally owned pub known for its traditional, homemade food, a full selection of beverages, a warm atmosphere, and eclectic live entertainment.

When: Saturday, December 14, 9:30 PM-12:30 AM

Where: The Celtic Knot Public House, 626 Church St, Evanston

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 The Celtic Knot Public House website.

Buying a Home? Don’t be Surprised by These Extra Expenses!

by Allyson Hoffman

When buying a home, it’s logical to expect to pay the purchase price. However, purchasing a home requires other expenses that you may not expect. Knowing what these are in advance, and what additional expenses to anticipate, will eliminate any unpleasant surprise both during and after the purchase of a house.

Here are some of the additional expenses to anticipate when buying a home. Take these expenses into account before buying, so you won’t be surprised by them after signing a purchase agreement.

Closing costs. Consider rolling some of these into your mortgage or negotiating with the sellers to pay a portion of these costs.  Regardless, you will likely need some additional money to fund your closing costs.  Depending on where you live, you should expect costs that run 2-4% of the purchase price of your home.

Taxes and insurance. Depending on your local tax rates and assessed values, real estate taxes generally increase owners’ monthly costs – and many times, substantially so.  In most cases, these expenses are paid from an escrow with your mortgage lender. Taxes add costs to your monthly payment.  Even if you can eliminate a tax escrow through your lender, you’ll still need to accumulate the funds to pay your real estate taxes on time. Protecting your home produces another requirement – insurance.  This can range from a simple homeowners insurance policy to additional policies covering a range of other natural disasters such as flooding, earth stability, etc.

Homeowners association fees, condo fees, and utilities. When you rent, HOA and condo fees are paid by your landlord, as are many utilities such as trash removal and water. Once you own, these responsibilities become your own.  So you’ll want to be certain to budget for these expenses.

Extra costs can definitely add up.  So, before you buy, prepare a well-planned budget that includes all these additional obligations. It should give you the confidence to proceed knowing you are not getting in over your head.

When are ready to own your own home or buy a new one, please contact me for an appointment. I’ll help you find a home you love within a budget you can afford!

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 Sufi Nawaz, Stock.XCHNG.

Deerfield’s Winter Celebration Has Fun for the Entire Family

by Allyson Hoffman

December 6-7, 2013

Bring the family to Deerfield’s Winter Celebration including fun, music, sleigh rides, and more. Partake in the downtown activities at the Village Hall, Deerfield Library and local businesses including Essence Pilates, Deerfield’s Bakery and many others. Satisfy your sweet tooth with cider, cocoa, candy tasting and other seasonal treats. You can try your hand at snowflake crafting, enjoy a variety of music, or relax in a horse-drawn sleigh. There will be something for everyone during this two-day celebration!

When: Friday December 6, 5:00-9:00 PM, and Saturday, December 7, 8:30 AM to 6:00 PM

Where: Village Hall, 850 Waukegan Rd, Deerfield

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

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 Village of Deerfield website.

Low Budget Remodeling Projects Make a Big Impact in Your Home

by Allyson Hoffman

Home remodeling is an easy way to update your new house, bring new life to your existing living space or fix up your property before you sell.

Professional home remodeling projects can cost tens of thousands of dollars. However, you don’t need to call in the professionals. There are many small projects you can do yourself that will add value to your home and make your house more livable, without breaking the bank. Here are a few ideas to update your home without spending a lot of money.

  • Make a big impact by painting the exterior of your house. If you do the work yourself, your only cost is the paint and a few brushes and tools. This is an easy way to spruce up your home from the outside and improve your curb appeal.
  • The kitchen is another place where you can spend thousands of dollars for a complete remodel or just a few dollars to brighten it up. Consider giving your kitchen a facelift with new paint on the walls and/or replacing old appliances.  Another possibility for a dramatic change includes repainting cabinets and replacing your hardware. Any or all of these changes can automatically provide an updated look to your kitchen.
  • Consider increasing your available storage by installing closet organizers. You’ll not only make better use of your closet space, but the rest of your home will also look larger when you can put everything away.
  • If painting is an easy change, you may want to not only spruce up the the exterior of your home and your kitchen, but also provide a fresh coat of paint to the he rest of the interior. Fresh paint brightens your space and makes your home look new.
  • Another simple project is to take care of your flooring. Professionally clean your carpets or do it yourself with a steam cleaner.  This will refresh them.  Deep cleaning wood floors and tile can also benefit you and neither will require a great expense.

So if you’re preparing to sell your house, try tackling these easy and economical jobs. Contact me today if you’re ready to put your home up for sale. I’ll help you determine the value of your home and advise you on the best remodeling jobs to assure you obtain best price for your house.

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 Felixco, Inc., FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

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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