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“Guys and Dolls”

by Allyson Hoffman

January 2-3, 2016      

Cahn Auditorium, Evanston, Illinois  

“Guys and Dolls” is a Light Opera Works production, now in their 35th year of bringing non-profit historical theatre to Illinois, and is playing at Northwestern University’s Cahn Theatre this weekend.

When Frank Loesser was hired to create the musical score, this musical comedy took life, and “Guys and Dolls” was born.

Such memorable tunes as “Luck Be a Lady”, ”I've Never Been in Love Before”, “A Bushel and a Peck”, “Sit Down, You're Rockin' the Boat” highlight the romance of “Miss Brown”, a missionary, and “Sky Masterson”, a gambler, and as they say “it’s all history from there”. First opening in 1950 and 1,200 performances later, this musical has won 5 Tony Awards including Best Musical, Best Director and Best Choreographer.

Tickets start at $34.  For those aged 21 and younger, tickets are half price.  The performance is suited to those 8 years and older. For ticket purchases and more information, please click here.

For an after-the new-year opportunity -- a slower and thoroughly enjoyable pace -- bring the family to the Cahn Theatre for an evening showing of the classic musical comedy “Guys and Dolls”.

Where:  Cahn Auditorium, Evanston, Illinois  

When:  January 2-3, 2016      

Admission:  Adults - $34;  Others aged 21 and younger - $17

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 Natasha D'Souza/Flickr.com

Tips for Safe Home Shopping

by Allyson Hoffman

Estimates indicate that over 90 percent of buyers last year first searched for their home online. In today's technologically savvy world, many people feel quite comfortable when shopping online or even conducting their banking online. With so many people scouring the Internet to search homes for sale, homebuyers should avoid becoming a prime target for cybercriminals by conducting online home searches in a safe manner.

Begin by only visiting legitimate websites. One of the most common tactics used by spammers is to set up fake websites and then capture personal information. These sites can appear convincing and seem like a legitimate property listing site or lending site.

To maintain your privacy, look for sites using encrypted technology to protect your sensitive information. One way to also verify authenticity includes ensuring there is an actual address and telephone number listed. Bogus sites may be missing this crucial information. Should you preview a home for sale online and note that it is with an agency, consider asking your real estate agent to check into it for you.

In addition to exercising care while shopping for lenders and homes for sale online, it is also important to be cautious in the real world. While an advertisement is probably legitimate, to be safe it is always best to have your real estate agent accompany you to view a home.  Once you have secured a property and applied for a mortgage, be sure to transmit or deliver sensitive or confidential information to your lender in a secure setting, preferably not over the phone or in public.

Should you locate a property of interest online or through a print ad, don’t hesitate to contact me today for additional information about the property.  I can answer questions and be your first line of safety while shopping for a home.  Happy New Year and Happy Home Shopping!

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 Unsplash.com

Wonderland Express at Chicago Botanic Garden

by Allyson Hoffman

December 26-27, 2015

Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe, Illinois

The Chicago Botanic Garden’s “Wonderland Express” is a great opportunity to create family memories for adults and children alike. It provides something spectacular for everyone – a miniature exhibition of Chicago landmarks with trains including the 300-400 train collection which is only shown at the Botanic Garden featuring real miniature trees and foliage, and a walkway of lighted trees all under a snow-fall.

“Thomas the Tank” will be there for the children. New to the “Wonderland Express” this year are the Maggie Daley Skating Ribbon, Glencoe's Writers Theatre, and the Chicago El trains. On December 26, view the amazing outdoor ice carving Ice Sculpture event held in the courtyards of the Regenstein Center at 11 AM to noon and again from 2-3 PM.

Gardening enthusiasts will be amazed by the many dwarf and small-by-nature conifers that landscape the “city” exhibit, as well as the full sized lighted trees throughout the Gardens. Shop and enjoy a snack at The Garden Café, the Caboose Café, or the Garden Shop offering train-related gifts. You will also find products such as seasonal produce, herbs, handmade pottery, honey, and handmade wreaths created by Botanic Gardens’ staff and offered for sale in the Greenhouse Gallery.

Admission prices: Adult members/nonmembers - $10/$12. Seniors 62+ and children 3 to 12 - members/nonmembers - $8/$10. Children 2 and under: Free.

Gather the family for a trip to Chicago Botanic Garden to enjoy “Wonderland Express” this weekend. You won’t want to miss this amazing experience!

Where:  Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe, Illinois

When:  December 26-27, 2015 from 10 AM - 7 PM

For more information regarding “Wonderland Express” or 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
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 Flickr.com/atramos

November 2015 Midwest Real Estate Market Reports

by Allyson Hoffman

The November 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.

Kitchen Safety

by Allyson Hoffman

Due to the fact that it contains almost every element to cause potential disaster including electricity, water and heat, all of these elements in extremely close proximity to one another, the kitchen is the most dangerous room in the house, according to the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA).  Because we work in the midst of these dangers many times daily, the NKBA has developed some safety reminders and suggestions for choosing the design and layout of a new kitchen or improvements to your current kitchen.

Since kitchens tend to be busy areas within a home, well-planned design can increase safety while cooking.  Positioning ranges out of the general traffic flow, and away from doors or refrigerators, can add protection for children and family members who will invariably spend time in or going through the kitchen.  The kitchen, often considered “the heart of the home” for most families and its flow should be assessed for safe design when building or considering a home purchase.  Here are several additional safety ideas to consider:

Select appropriate lighting to maximize efficiency and safe kitchen working conditions.  Overhead lighting can create shadows that proper task lighting for food preparation surfaces can easily eliminate while substantially removing dangers.

The most essential safety item in the kitchen is a fire extinguisher. Make certain it is placed far enough away from the range, but still easily accessible in case of a fire.

Since liquids inevitably end up on the floor of the kitchen, flooring should be slip-resistant. Good choices include many vinyl flooring options and even non-skid throw rugs, especially for areas near the sink.

Height of appliances, such as microwaves and ovens, should be planned to avoid overhead reaching.  This can minimize potential for accidents with extremely hot substances.

Access cooking equipment and storage containers without strain by incorporating slide-out bins and shelves.

Make sure corners of kitchen islands and counter-tops are not sharp.  This is especially important for homes with small children.

Water-temperature regulators in kitchen and bathroom faucets help to avoid the danger of scalding. Many can be preset to the owner’s specifications.

The distance of electrical outlets from kitchen and bathroom water sources should, ideally, conform to proper building code and electrical receptacles should be protected with ground-fault circuit interrupters.

Stove-tops with single-row burners are excellent choices to avoid burns from boil-overs while cooking. Controls should be aligned across the front or sides of the range to avoid reaching over cooking pans.

With little additional expense but careful forethought, your kitchen can be a much safer place for enjoying time with your family. For help in finding a great home with a kitchen designed to benefit the comfort and safety of your family or to discuss popular ideas for a kitchen redesign that will reap future benefits when you sell, feel free to contact me today for a consultation. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have about buying 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
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 State Farm/Flickr.com

Long Grove Horse-Drawn Carriage Rides

by Allyson Hoffman

December 19, 2015      

Galena Canning Company, Long Grove, Illinois

Treat the kids and the whole family to a nostalgic experience of days gone by at Long Grove, Illinois this Saturday. Reminiscent of the early days of the town’s settlement in the 1800s, horse-drawn carriages will tour visitors around the historic and well-preserved sites in a memorable Holiday adventure. Long Grove was established by German and French settlers in the 1800s at the crossroads of two Indian trails, and the preserved homes of early settlers are a part of the historic charm of the village. Early businesses are also represented by their original structures, in whole or in part, and now house quaint shops numbering more than 60.

Visit distinctive shops featuring gift, jewelry and décor items, as well as galleries and fine-dining establishments housed in homes and businesses that date back to the 1800’s. Enjoy the covered bridge and cobblestone streets during the open-air carriage ride and view some of the village’s historic landmarks. Spend a few hours, a day, or an entire weekend in any of Long Grove’s nearby comfortable lodgings, and experience outstanding hospitality and memorable seasonal and holiday events.

The carriage rides are free, and start at Mill Pond Shoppes just outside of Galena Canning Company on Robert Parker Coffin Road. Long Grove Historic Village is located just 35 miles northwest of Chicago, near Routes 53 and 83, north of Lake Cook Road in suburban Long Grove, Illinois.

Create an unforgettable family outing at historic Long Grove, enjoy a holiday and seasonal adventure, and learn some American history as well!

Where:  Galena Canning Company, Long Grove, Illinois

When:  December 19, 2015 from 1 PM to 6 PM

Admission:  Free

For maps and more information, 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 Pete Markham/Flickr.com

Home Selling Roadblocks

by Allyson Hoffman

Wondering why your neighbor’s home sold and yours hasn’t? There could be a variety of reasons, but there are several common culprits:

You didn’t price your home right at the outset.

Showing appointments were constrained.

The marketing strategies were not up to par, thereby limiting your exposure.

Your home is unusual and unique.

Your home is not in good condition.

Wrong Price

Overpricing your home for the market can result in missing that vital first rush of buyers and also running  the risk of your home becoming a stale listing with prolonged market time. Even a subsequent price reduction may not eliminate the impression that something is wrong with your home. Many times this results in obtaining a lower price than if your home were priced correctly in the first place.

The most reliable way to avoid this mistake is to consult your real estate agent, and to approach the pricing of your home realistically.

Showing Infrequently

As inconvenient as showings may be, it is critical to a successful sale.  For your home to sell quickly, be open to scheduling appointments when they are requested. For buyers to be comfortable during a visit, it is preferred that buyers and their agents are free to view without the constraint of the seller hovering over them.  So if you can leave or be scarce when showings occur, that is the best choice.

Poor Marketing

The days of simply sticking a sign in the front yard and praying are long over.  To reach the largest number of potential buyers in the shortest period of time,  your home needs the massive exposure generated by a skilled and broad-based marketing effort.  This means extensive Internet exposure, high quality professional photographs, quality marketing materials and flyers, detailed Multiple Listing  Service information and information distributed across multiple sites.

An Unusual Home

Unusual or unique homes pose special marketing challenges due to their potentially more limited appeal to the overall marketplace. This can slow the selling process, but with extra marketing creativity, finding the right buyer for your home can be achieved – there is a buyer for just about every home.

Your Home Needs Maintenance

Potential buyers want the best for their real estate dollar. If your yard is overgrown, your home suffers from deferred maintenance or the interior is in disarray and not shiningly clean, your home may be immediately disqualified from consideration.  Hiring professional cleaners to deep clean your house or a quality landscaping company to boost your curb appeal may be well worth the added expense and provide the critical difference in your home selling or languishing on the market.

Almost any home seller will face obstacles in the selling process. But minor problems shouldn’t interfere with achieving your goal. For additional suggestions and a personalized plan for preparing your home for success, feel free to contact me today for a consultation. I will be happy to provide the help needed to obtain best possible price for your home, and/or assist you in determining your home’s value.

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 Pat (Cletch) Williams/Flickr.com

Winter WonderFest at Navy Pier

by Allyson Hoffman

December – January, 2015

Navy Pier, Chicago, Illinois

Great family winter fun is underway at the 15th annual PNC Bank Winter Wonderfest.  Held at Navy Pier with many attractions for both young and older family members, it all takes place inside eliminating the icy cold usually associated with winter events. Young children will appreciate the rides such as the spinning cup, the carousel, and train ride. For intermediate ages through adults as well, the 50-foot high giant Ferris Wheel, Zero Gravity ride, mini Golf course, interactive Artic Peaks Climbing Wall, IMAX theater and ice skating at the Blackhawks rink offers great appeal.

The ice-skating rink, one of the biggest attractions at Winter Wonderfest, provides 170,000 square feet of skating territory. During hockey season, the rink is home to the Chicago Blackhawks Hockey team. The Winterfest offers more than 24 rides and attractions – all that can be enjoyed without coats and gloves!

Always a stalwart of community family attractions, the Navy Pier once again provides families with an opportunity for memorable fun this season creating lasting traditions for Chicago residents. The new décor is a worthy backdrop for family photo-ops with 500 glittering trees decorated with 25,000 ornaments!

The PNC Bank Winter WonderFest runs from December 5th  through to January 10th and is open from 10:00 A.M. to 8:00 P.M. Sundays through Thursdays, and 10:00 A.M. to 10:00 P.M. on Fridays and Saturdays. For more information regarding tickets and directions, please click here.

Where:  Navy Pier, Chicago, Illinois

When:  December 5, 2015 through to January 10, 2016 -  see hours above.

For more information regarding PNC Bank Winter Wonderfest, 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 amateur photography by Michel/Flickr.com

DIY Tips for New Homeowners

by Allyson Hoffman

Buying a first home is a big step, but learning to maintain and improve it can be both painful and rewarding. The do-it-yourself experts at The Family Handyman (www.familyhandyman.com) offer the following money-saving tips for maintaining your home when the time arrives.

First, create a homeowner’s journal. Keep insurance papers, repair receipts and all other paperwork pertaining to the house inside a binder. Storing your home’s maintenance information in one handy place makes it easier to find when you need it — especially when you consider selling the house in the future.

Before making any big changes, get to know your house. Live in your home for 12 to 18 months before undertaking any major renovations, since your initial perspective may change. After living there for a while, reassess what best suits your needs and your home.

Tackle one project at a time. If you dive right into a porch refurbishment, a kitchen remodel and an outdoor fence replacement all at once, the whole house and yard will be inaccessible at the same time. While it’s possible that it might all come together, this approach can be really stressful for homeowners and their families.

Budget for unexpected repairs. Problems inevitably arise, sooner or later. So consider establishing an emergency fund to handle these unexpected expenses.

Take advantage of quality advice by asking your real estate agent, neighbors, and friends to recommend good plumbers, electricians, contractors or other professionals for you to contact. Chances are, people who have lived in your area for a long time can give you the reliable suggestions.

Contact me today for a consultation and I will be happy to provide you recommendations for home improvement professionals in our area, as well as projects that boost a home’s value

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 Ellen Choi/Flickr.com

Deerfield's 2015 Winter Celebration

by Allyson Hoffman

December 4-5, 2015

Downtown Deerfield, Illinois

Enjoy this weekend’s family activities reminiscent of winter scenes from years gone by at Deerfield’s 2015 Winter Celebration held December 4-5, 2015. Partake in horse-drawn carriage and sleigh rides, warm food and drinks, children’s activities, and shopping, too, if you’re inclined!  

Festive activities contributing to this celebration designed to entertain everyone, include carolers, roasted chestnuts, live animals and more. In addition, Saturday’s events will feature photo opportunities for children of all ages, holiday games, dreidel games, pony rides, gingerbread house decorating, a petting zoo, live entertainment, ice sculpture, a live radio broadcast, and much more.  

Additionally on Saturday, some of the 30-plus downtown merchants participating in the celebration will offer snacks such as free hot dogs, and hot cocoa, as well as treats from the well-loved Italian Kitchen. On the Village Hall lawn, live holiday performances will take place, ranging from the Deerfield High School Choraliers to a jazz flutist, a pianist and others.

It all takes place in downtown Deerfield -- in and around the town square. Be sure to gather the family this Friday and Saturday to stop in and enjoy the annual Deerfield Winter Celebration.

Where: Downtown Deerfield, Illinois   

When:  December 4-5th, 2015

 Admission: Free

 For more information regarding Deerfield's 2015 Winter Celebration, 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

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 Jim Sorbie/Flickr.com

 

 

 

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1245 Waukegan Road
Glenview IL 60025
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Fax: 847-400-0881

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