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

Blog

Displaying blog entries 1-8 of 8

Weekend Family Class: Homemade Ice Cream

by Allyson Hoffman

March 1, 2014

Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe, Illinois

This Saturday, the Chicago Botanic Garden invites you and your family to learn how to make homemade vanilla ice cream. Your family will first be introduced to the vanilla bean seed starting from the inside of a vanilla orchid plant to the creation of a heaping bowl of homemade vanilla ice cream.

This hands-on adventure begins with a microscopic examination of the vanilla bean seed and the eventual plucking from the stalks for an ice cream making event.

Each family will receive a pail for combining all of the ice cream ingredients.

Pricing to attend this very sweet event is $22.00 per child.  Garden Plus members will receive 20% off their admission pricing. To register your family online, click here.

Where: Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe, Illinois

When: Saturday March 1, 9:30 AM-11:00 AM or 1:00 PM-2:30 PM

For more information regarding this sweet treat 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
[email protected]

Get your latest Home Value
Receive Your Personalized Listing Alerts

Let’s Connect, Socially!

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Google +1

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 Robyn Lee/flickr.com.

Five Steps to Get Your Home Ready to Sell This Spring

by Allyson Hoffman

Spring is right around the corner, and is one of the absolute busiest times for real estate sales and purchases in Chicago and the north shore, north and northwest suburbs.

Here are five things sellers can do in the coming months to prepare for the likely rush of potential buyers this spring.

Improve the Curb Appeal

Curb appeal is essential to selling your home, and spring is the perfect time to improve how your home looks from the street.

Take the time to clean and replant your flowerbeds, trim back trees and hedges and power wash the drive and sidewalk. Also, make sure that your windows are clean and the grass and yard are maintained the entire time your house is on the market. If you do this yourself, you might consider it as an excuse to get that long-awaited-winter-relief and enjoy a dose of sun and fine weather.

Combine Spring Cleaning and Packing

Spring is a traditional time of year when many families clean their homes from top to bottom and eliminate winter’s clutter.  Combine spring cleaning and packing as you go through closets, basements and garages.  Discard, donate or sell belongings that won’t be needed when you move.

Your home and moving process will both benefit.  Your home will appear larger to prospective buyers and your actual move will be easier since you will have already sorted, eliminated and packed up many possessions in advance.

Inspect and Repair Your Home

Foliage can cover a variety of outside problems with a home. Take advantage of sparse foliage in early spring to thoroughly inspect your home’s exterior.  Also inspect the inside of your home for problem areas such as holes in the wall, missing socket covers and chipped or broken tiles, etc. Should you find something that requires repair or replacement, fix it.

Examining your home and correcting issues in advance of listing your home is important to maximizing its value.  When homes have been neglected, some owners even consider hiring a home inspector to thoroughly pre-inspect the property so that potential problems can be eliminated before the home is shown to prospective buyers.

Gauge the Market

How you price your home is critical to success. You do not want to price your home too low for the market or too high. Buyers sometimes believe that homes with below market pricing signal hidden problems. Pricing too high for the market with later price reductions increases market time and also reduces demand as potential buyers frequently view this negatively.  Maximum value typically results when initial offer pricing is near or at market value.

To find the right price for your home, consult with your agent who will research comparable homes in your area that have sold recently. Pay special attention to properties with market times of 60 days or less because those properties were likely priced correctly.

Determine How You Will Market Your Home

Consult with your real estate agent whose marketing plan should take advantage of both new technology and tried/true methods.  Today’s studies show that homes with professional-quality photography, videoed and/or staged can sell for up to 20 percent more.

So follow these five steps to be ready to sell this spring.  Feel free to contact me for a consultation and help you begin the process of selling your 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
[email protected]

Get your latest Home Value
Receive Your Personalized Listing Alerts

Let’s Connect, Socially!

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Google +1

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 Swallowtail Garden Seeds/Flickr.com

Sap’s Rising

by Allyson Hoffman

February 22, 2014

River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook, Illinois

The Northbrook River Trail Nature Center invites you and your family to visit this Saturday and venture through the sugar maple woods.  The gorgeous maple trees that flourish in the Nature Center are ready to be tapped -- the Sap’s Rising.

The professional naturists at the River Trail Nature Center who have been studying the art of maple sugaring for years, will guide you along the river’s edge and share the sweet history of maple sugaring.  No one is actually sure who first discovered how to make syrup from the tapped sap of the maple tree.  However, history suggests that the sugary commodity was fundamental in the lives of North American Indians.  The sap seeping from the maple trees provided the Indians evidence that the trees must contain an abundance of the savory sweet sap.  So, they used a process called tapping to extract sap from the trees.  Once buckets of sap were collected, they were boiled over an open flame transforming them into sweet, fresh maple syrup.

Free of charge, the City of Northbrook welcomes your family to take this fantastic journey through the Nature Center, view the seeping maple trees and enjoy a discussion of the evolution of tapping.  The Sap’s Rising event begins at 1:30 PM sharp.  So be sure to have your family bundled up and on location by 1:00 PM.

Where: River Trail Nature Center, Northbrook, Illinois

When: Saturday February 22, 1:30 PM.

Admission: Free

For more information regarding the Sap’s Rising 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
[email protected]

Get your latest Home Value
Receive Your Personalized Listing Alerts

Let’s Connect, Socially!

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Google +1

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 Ian Morton/flickr.com.

Five Ways to Help Your Children through the Process of a Move

by Allyson Hoffman

Preparing to move your family requires seemingly-endless lists of things to do and so many things to pack.  But the most important hurdle to surmount is preparing children for the event.

Adults, who have likely moved multiple times, experience stresses of moving that tend to be more practical in nature.  They worry about things like making sure all the boxes are packed and labeled, contacting the movers, transferring the utilities, returning the cable box and filing change of address forms.

For children, the stresses of a move are much more personal. Depending on a child’s age, the home and neighborhood you are leaving behind could well be the only home they have ever known. Moving makes their lives literally feel uprooted and they will likely need help to cope with the change.

Parents can lessen the stress of moving for their children and even make it an adventure. So here are some helpful anxiety-reducing strategies to consider:

Tell Your Children about the Move Early

Don’t surprise your children with a move. As soon as you decide to move, let your children know. Explain your reasons for moving in a way they can understand. Ask them how they feel about the move and talk with them about their feelings.

Get Your Children Excited

If you have pictures of your new home, let your children see them. Involve them in decorating their new rooms. View your new home on Google Earth and explore the neighborhood together, highlighting things they might be interested in like parks, malls, skate parks, etc. If your new location is nearby, take your children to visit the new neighborhood and explore the area.

Familiarize Yourself and Your Children with Their New Schools

School plays a huge role in your children’s lives.  The stress involved with starting afresh in a new school can be very difficult for a child. So to minimize that stress, acquaint your child with their new school. Point out programs offered that may interest them such as sports, theater and/or the science club. Try to arrange a tour of the school where your children can meet teachers and even interact with a few students.

Let Your Children Help

Have your children take an active role in the moving process. This will help your children come to terms with the fact that they are moving. It may have been an abstract concept, but once they begin to pack their toys and clothes away, it becomes very real. Be there if you are needed for emotional support.

Have a Farewell Party for Your Children and Their Friends

If you are leaving the area, have a farewell party for all of your children’s friends.  You can even have a “registry” where their friends can write down well wishes, email addresses and phone numbers. Take plenty of pictures of the fun. Your children – younger and older alike -- will certainly appreciate those pictures, email addresses and phone numbers after the move.

So feel free to contact me today whether you are planning on moving to a new home in your area or relocating miles from your current home. I will be happy to answer any question, offer suggestions to make the process go smoothly or provide relocation references should you need them.

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
[email protected]

Get your latest Home Value
Receive Your Personalized Listing Alerts

Let’s Connect, Socially!

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Google +1

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 ashleigh290/Flickr.com

The Orchid Show

by Allyson Hoffman

February 15, 2014

Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe, Illinois

The long-awaited and highly-acclaimed Orchid Show premiers this Saturday at the Chicago Botanic Garden.  Bring your family to be amongst the first attendees of this spectacular orchid exhibition.  The show will feature over 10,000 live orchids in full bloom – a truly awesome and truly amazing exhibit.

With winter still bearing down on us, the Chicago Botanic Garden will provide a welcome breath of fresh air as you and your family venture inside to the refreshing sight and smell of fresh flowers bursting with color.  This astonishing orchid exhibit will occupy the Regenstein Center, the Garden Greenhouses and the Gallery.  Fresh orchids of all sizes, shapes, and colors will cascade from the doorways and scale the interior columns.  Additionally, orchid branches will be creatively intertwined, forming orchid “trees”. 

Dendrobium to Phalenopsis, Oncidium to Cattleya-Venda, and a wide array of hybrid orchid variations will be featured in this fresh and colorful exhibit.  The vibrant Vanda and the unique-looking Masderallia will also be on exhibit.  The Orchid Show prides itself on offering you and your family the opportunity to learn more about the intriguing family of Orchidaceae. 

The Orchid Show exhibit at Chicago Botanic Garden begins on February 15th, and runs through March 16th.  For additional information on Orchid care, return the weekend of March 8th.  The Illinois Orchid Society will be present, offering potting advice and services, and will be awarding the winner of the best orchid display.  Additionally, the Society will be hosting an Orchid Marketplace every weekend, allowing you to shop for an exquisite orchid to take home.

The Orchid Show guarantees to appeal to your winter longing for spring weather with its display of thousands of orchids in bloom and will surely take your breath away!

When: Saturday February 15, 10:00 AM-4:00 PM. Sunday February 16, 10:00 AM-4:00 PM.

(Continues through March 16th.)

Where: Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe, Illinois

Admission: Members prices are $8.00 for adults, $6.00 for children ages 3-12 and seniors over 62. Non-member prices are $10.00 for adults, $8.00 for children ages 3-12 and seniors over 62. Children ages 2 and under are admitted free. To purchase your tickets online, please click here

For more information regarding The Orchid Show 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
[email protected]

Get your latest Home Value
Receive Your Personalized Listing Alerts

Let’s Connect, Socially!

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Google +1

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 Darren Johnson/flickr.com.

Fill Your New Home with Love First and New Furniture Second

by Allyson Hoffman

Buying a new home is exciting. Finally, you’re in your great new place, but often that means there’s new space to fill and not much furniture to fill it.

Because moving can be an expensive process, going on a shopping spree to decorate your new home right after you move in, might not be financially feasible or best idea.

So here are a few tips for filling all that new space without depleting your bank account or feeling overly stressed.

Get Used to Your New Home before Buying Anything

No one expects your new house to be magazine perfect right after you move.  There’s simply no need to rush.  Many times, the best decorating results from your taking time to acclimate to your new home and decide exactly how you want to live in it and what furniture will work best and where. A more relaxed approach helps to avoid the risk of splurging on new pieces that you don’t really need in an attempt to quickly fill empty space.

Set a Budget and Stick to It

Going into additional debt trying to fill up your new house may not be a wise idea. To avoid new financial burdens, set a realistic budget that makes you comfortable.  Consider buying only a few pieces at a time and building up new funds as a part of that budget to allow for future purchases. You’ll likely enjoy your new furniture more if your wait results in the confidence of knowing that you won’t be adding stress to paying the new mortgage or the monthly bills.

Concentrate on High Traffic Areas First

What rooms in your house are used most often?  Those may be the rooms to tackle first. Rather than concentrating on the formal dining room where use is typically limited to special occasions, the biggest bang for your bucks generally apply to family rooms, great rooms, living rooms (in homes without a family room) and the kitchen.  Bedrooms may also be important as secondary areas to address, unless those suffer from a total lack of furnishings.  A one-room-at-a-time approach should limit stress, maintain momentum and assure progress in the overall plan for decorating your new space.

Don’t Overdo It

Buying new furniture for your home is exciting and it’s easy to get carried away. Try to avoid anxious anticipation that can overtake common sense decisions as you fill your new home.  Too many new pieces, hastily bought in the excitement of filling your new space, could leave you with a new home that is as crowded as your old home may have been. If you bought a new home because you wanted more space, keep that in mind when making selections.

Decorating your new home is supposed to be enjoyable.  So create a plan, set your budget and tackle your home one room at a time.  Purchasing new furnishings at a comfortable pace while decorating should ensure a great result and create a process that you can enjoy to the fullest. Contact me today if you would like advice on where to begin. I can help you determine the steps to take to maximize your home’s value and appeal.

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
[email protected]

Get your latest Home Value
Receive Your Personalized Listing Alerts

Let’s Connect, Socially!

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Google +1

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 Tim Samoff at Flickr.com.

Winter is for Worms

by Allyson Hoffman

February 9, 2014

Heller Nature Center, Highland Park, Illinois

With the amount of trash that our society produces a year, it is fantastic that we are coming together to embrace the “Go Green” concept.  One of the simple ways you and your family can participate in helping the environment is to start composting.  And the place to begin, is at the Winter is for Worms event.

Even in the middle of winter, your family can lessen the amount of garbage being dumped into our landfills, simply by composting.  If at the end of the day if you were to take a look into your garbage can, you would probably be shocked at how much kitchen waste is produced.  This waste is constantly being generated, and must be disposed of.  The Winter is for Worms event will teach your family how to compost this kitchen waste, properly disposing of it, thus enhancing our environment.  How is this done, you ask?  With worms, of course!  Also known as vermicomposting, this composting process uses worms to break down food scraps, and other kitchen waste.

Bring the entire family to the Winter is for Worms event.  Together, you will learn how to build and maintain a worm bin, which will serve as your composting container.  Each family will get to construct a bin, fill it with worms, and take it home.  Composting experts will be on-hand, offering your family advice on composting and the direct influence it has on our environment. 

To register your family to attend this fun and interactive event, please click here.  Then enter the 5-digit code for the event, which is 31491.  Each worm bin costs $12.00 to build, and dependent on the number of attendees, your family may be able to assemble more than just one.

So, instead of throwing that banana peel into the garbage can, throw it into your newly-built vermicomposting bin.  This Sunday, the Heller Nature Center invites you and your family to build and learn how to maintain a worm composting container that is going to help in protecting our environment. Come out, have a great time in this hands-on workshop, and learn about vermicomposting.

When: Sunday February 9th, 1:00 PM.

Where: Heller Nature Center, Highland Park, Illinois

Admission: Free

For more information regarding the Winter is for Worms 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
[email protected]

Get your latest Home Value
Receive Your Personalized Listing Alerts

Let’s Connect, Socially!

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Google +1

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 SuSanA Secretariat/Flickr.com

Five Ways You Know It’s Time to Move Up to a New Home

by Allyson Hoffman

Deciding to move to a new home is an important decision. For current owners, it means listing your home, showing your home, selling your home, finding a new home, packing up and moving. It can be a long and/or stressful process. It can be, but it doesn’t have to be. With the right help and a commitment to seeing the process through to the end, selling your home and buying another can be exciting and even fun.

Here are five signs that you are ready to move.

Is Your House Just Too Small?

That two-bedroom one bath was quaint and cozy when you first married. You turned that second bedroom into an office/storage space and, later, a nursery. It was the perfect size. Now, that your family has grown beyond three and you have acquired more things than you can easily store, the once-cozy space feels incredibly cramped.

Everyone needs their own space. Since it is difficult to make an existing home larger, buying a new home is generally the best way to gain the space you and your family need.

Is the Neighborhood Just Not the Right Place Anymore?

When you bought your home, that neighborhood bistro was one of the best features. Now, your priorities have changed. You’ve had everything on the menu at that bistro and what was charming is now annoying. You are more concerned about safe streets and good schools rather than a vibrant nightlife.

Neighborhoods don’t change overnight. If you find that your priorities no longer match your neighborhood, it’s likely time to move to a new neighborhood with services and conveniences that better align with your current needs.

Does the Thought of Renovating Make You Break Out in a Cold Sweat?

Maybe you bought that fixer upper with the honest intention of rehabbing it back to its former glory. You were going to redo the kitchen, retile the bathroom, and bring that scuffed hardwood floor back to its original luster. Unfortunately, life got in the way, or you realized the cost in both time and money would just be too much. Now, you look around at all the half-completed projects and down at that still scuffed up floor and shudder.

If you have discovered that you do not like the idea of renovating your home, moving to a finished, up-to-date home could be a better option.

Are You Spending Too Much Time in the Car?

Time spent in the car going to and from work is time not spent doing things you would rather do – like spending time with family or enjoying your favorite hobbies.

If you are spending more than an hour each way commuting to and from work, that is probably too much time in the car or on a train. We all change jobs over the years, and our new jobs are not always convenient to our homes.

Moving to a home that is closer to your work could reduce your commute time and return valuable hours to devote to your family, friends and personal interests.

Have Your Priorities Changed?

Are you just ready for a change? Do you find that what you once loved about your house isn’t that great anymore? Are there many little things that you just don’t like about where you live?

People change over time, and if you are no longer happy where you live, that is a valid reason to consider making a change and relocating to a new house offering you more of what you like and need.

Moving to a new home can be an exciting and rewarding experience. Make sure you have the help you need.  Feel free to contact me today and I will guide you through the process of selling your home and buying a new one.

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
[email protected]

Get your latest Home Value
Receive Your Personalized Listing Alerts

Let’s Connect, Socially!

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Google +1

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 Mike K/Flickr.com

Displaying blog entries 1-8 of 8

Syndication

Categories

Archives

Contact Information

Photo of Allyson Hoffman Real Estate
Allyson Hoffman
RE/MAX Villager
1245 Waukegan Road
Glenview IL 60025
847-310-5300
Fax: 847-400-0881

Listing Alerts

Be the first to know what's coming up for sale in the Chicago Illinois real estate market with our New Property Listing Alerts!

Just tell us what you're looking for and we'll email a daily update of all homes listed for sale since your last update. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Get Notifications

Quick Search

Contact Us

There are several ways to reach me. Call me at the number below for the quickest response or click the Contact us Online button. Thank you.

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

(847) 310-5300
[email protected]

Contact Us Online