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


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Chicago Illinois Home Insurance

by Allyson Hoffman

When purchasing a home, you will need to acquire homeowners insurance. In fact, all lenders will require a policy be in force prior to funding the loan. Make sure you have enough coverage, should anything happen. Policies refer to "replacement costs" that may not cover everything.

You should ask your insurance agent a lot of "what if" questions. The deductible amount also plays a big part in setting your premium. Higher deductibles lower the number of claims, and reduce your insurance costs.

Check with your insurance agent for more information on these issues, and any others. If you don't have an insurance agent, we have access to several top-notch agents we can refer you to with confidence. A great online resource can be found right here.

For more information on how you can save money on your next transaction, download our free report called "Eight Insider Tips That Save Buyers Thousands!" This report is offered to all guests.

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Proposed Dual Purpose Condominiums in Evanston

by Allyson Hoffman

Developers John Cunningham and Tom Engel along with local architect Ellen Galland are proposing a unique, dual purpose condominium structure to replace the well known commercial area that was demolished last year.

 On Wednesday, February 20/08, the city's site planning committee reviewed the proposal to build seven, three and a half story condominium units that would offer office or retail space on the main floor and personal living space above the main level place of business.

Each condominium unit located kitty-corner to Penny Park will offer the following:

Main Level                                                    Third Floor
Retail/Office                                     Two Bedrooms
                                                       Two Baths

Second Floor                                                Fourth Floor
Kitchen                                            Bedroom
Living Room                                     Bath
Dining Room                                    Outdoor Deck

The developers are also looking to add an elevator to each unit and plan to sell each unit for under $800,000.

Currently this property is zoned B-1 which allows for this unique combination of commerical and residential use, therefore no additional zoning changes would be required.

To view a conceptual model of these dual purpose condominiums click here

First Time Home Buyer Assistance Programs

by Allyson Hoffman


Buying a home is a big a decision and for a first time home buyer it can be an overwhelming and complex process. A number of first time home buyers may need a little extra help in reaching their goal of buying a first home and there are a number of organizations available in the greater Chicago area that might be able to help.

Listed below are a few places to look for help in the decision making process as well as financial assistance.

Chicago City Mortgage Program

Oak Park: Home Buyers Assistance

IDHA First Time Home Buyer Program

HUD - Cities that offer home buying assistance programs

HUD - Public Houseing Vouchers for Homeownership

As with any program there will be certain qualifications that you will have to meet and the application process will include the following steps:

1. Pre-approval

2. Loan Application (see How to Prepare for Your Mortgage Lender for more information)

3. Loan Processing

4. Closing

For more information regarding first time home buyer assistance programs visit the websites listed above or visit the Greater Chicago Housing and Community Development Website for a listing of additional programs.

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IRS Tax Credits for Energy Efficient Homes

by Allyson Hoffman
As we take time now to gather receipts and information for our 2007 income tax returns we are often not aware of all the income tax credits that we may be allowed. Did you know that as homeowners, we are allowed an additional tax credit for improving the energy efficiency of our homes?


Under this tax law, homeowners are provided a 10% credit for purchasing energy efficient improvements for your existing main place of residence in the United States. In order to be eligible for this tax credit, the items purchased have to meet specific criteria as set forth by the 2000 Energy Conservation Code.

 The following items are eligible: 

  • Insulation systems that reduce heat loss/gain
  • Exterior windows (including skylights)
  • Exterior doors
  • Metal roofs (meeting applicable Energy Star requirements)

 Tax credits are also offered to taxpayers for expenses to the home that qualifies as a residential energy property. A residential energy property is also determined by meeting specific requirements as set forth by the Secretary of The Treasury.

 Eligible expenses include the following:

  •  $50 for each advanced main air circulating fan
  • $150 for each qualified natural gas, propane, or oil furnace or hot water boiler
  • $300 for each item of qualified energy efficient property.


Additional credits can be taken for the following:


  • Qualified solar panels
  • Qualified solar water heating equipment
  • Qualified fuel cell power plant


For more detailed information on Energy Credits for Homeowners, including maximum allowable credits, visit the IRS website.


Image courtesy of FutUndBeidl/

Displaying blog entries 1-4 of 4




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Allyson Hoffman
RE/MAX Villager
1245 Waukegan Road
Glenview IL 60025
Fax: 847-400-0881

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Allyson Hoffman
RE/MAX Villager
1245 Waukegan Road
Glenview, IL, 60025

(847) 310-5300
[email protected]

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