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


Displaying blog entries 1-9 of 9

Illinois Holocaust Museum Event

by Allyson Hoffman

Make plans for this educational event to take your family to in Northern Illinois. This award-winning exhibition explores and celebrates the achievements of Jewish men and women who were part of the American war effort on and off of the battlefield. In their own voices and through their artifacts, letters and photographs. The Greatest Generation tells the stories of what the war was like for all its participants, including Jews and other ethnic minorities.

More than 500 artifacts, documents, and photographs in the Karkomi Permanent Exhibition help illustrate the narrative of the Holocaust, while video testimonies from local survivors add personal detail. A German rail car of the type used in Nazi deportations sits in the center of the building. Learn more about the realities of the Holocaust and the extreme importance of fighting hatred, indifference, and intolerance in the future through this powerfully moving collection.General Admission: $12.00, Seniors (65+): $8.00, Students (12-22): $8.00, Children (5-11): $6.00. Type: Visual Arts. This event will be taking place until June at Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center 9603 Woods Drive Skokie, IL 60077. Call (847) 967-4800  for more information!

Thank you CNSCVB for the info for this Skokie, Illinois Event!




Is it Time for a New Roof?

by Allyson Hoffman

When is it time to replace your roof on your North Shore Chicago home?  There are three main reasons for replacing roof shingles: the age of the roof, weather damage, and previously improperly installed roofing.

Start by taking the life expectancy of the type of shingle you currently have then subtracting for age, weathering and weather-related damage to see how many more years you may be able to get out of your roof before needing to replace it.

Roof shingles generally are supposed to last at least twenty years.  Some shingle manufacturers have products that last twenty-five or more years.  Take your standard twenty-year product and subtract the age of your current roof.  If you’re in a newer home, or you are the original owners of your home this is an easy number to get.  If there have been previous owners, or you are otherwise unable to determine the age of the roof, you will have to estimate.

Next, inspect for any physical evidence of damage.  Do your shingles show curling, severe hail damage, cracked flashing or sealer around vents and fireplace flues?  How about brittle shingles due to a southerly exposure?  What about damaged or rotting eves?  The condition of your current roof has a drastic impact on its remaining life expectancy.

Lastly, let’s not forget the obvious.  If your roof is leaking you can skip the process above.  A leak trumps everything else.  You’re going to need some repairs at a minimum, potentially much more.  Keep in mind even newer roofs, if improperly installed, can leak or lose shingles in gusting wind.  Have leaks checked out immediately.

Estimate how much time your home has with your current roof and if you are concerned you’re near the end of its life expectancy, speak only with qualified, experienced, licensed contractors when considering having work done.  You may even weigh the pros and cons of doing the job yourself.  Whatever your decision, don’t wait until you have that first leak.  At that point your repair bill , pardon the pun, is likely to go through the roof!

For more information, or if you're looking to buy or sell your home contact me today!




Ten Chimneys at Northlight Theatre

by Allyson Hoffman

The backstage story of Broadway legends Alfred Lunt and Lynne Fontanne is told here in the North Shore!  For decades, Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne entertained the most influential artists of their time - from Noel Coward to Sydney Greenstreet - at Ten Chimneys, their legendary retreat. When a young Uta Hagen arrives to rehearse the Lunts' latest production, she sparks an offstage romantic triangle that rivals any onstage drama. Life imitates art in this comically revealing take on the private lives of these very public figures.

This entertaining tale runs until April 15th and to purchase tickets to this North Shore event click here!   The Northlight Theater is located at Northlight Theatre, 9501 Skokie Blvd, Skokie, IL. 


Thank you to Chicago's Norh Shore CVB for the details!



Moving to the North Shore!

by Allyson Hoffman

Whether you are moving to North Shore or just the next town over, it can be a time consuming and at times a frustrating process. Even the best laid plans can run into a snag, so being flexible is key. Below are some helpful tips that can help you to get organized so your move runs smoothly and help you save some time.

1. Change your address and notify companies before you move. Start by filling out a change of address form in advance of your move. Doing this ahead of time can help you to avoid hassles like past-due bills, service lapses and even identity theft. It is also a good idea before you move to set dates to discontinue your utilities at your old address as well as arrange for these services to be turned on at your new address. .

2. Create a moving schedule. It is a good idea to set up a moving schedule a few months before you move. Set it up as a week-by-week checklist to manage the process and help to stay on track. A moving schedule helps you to keep track of the little details or things that may be over looked, thus helping you to avoid last minute headaches. 

3. Establish a packing system. Packing is a major time consumer so thing about coming up with a packing system so all of your boxes end up in the right rooms when they get to your new North Shore home. Many professional movers recommend that you use the color code system where you color code each box with a particular room to avoid any confusion with the movers. It is also helpful to give your movers a floor plan of your home with each room labeled.

4. Get rid of unnecessary items. The less boxes you pack, the less you have to move and finally unpack. So it makes sense to thoroughly go thru your items and get rid of the things you just don't need. Items such as unread books, half-empty cleaning products, clothes that you know you won't wear again should be given away or sold at a garage sale. You don't want to bring the clutter to your new home!

Contact me today to find the perfect Northern Illinois home for you!  Have any moving tips that have worked for you? Share them here!




Children's Theater Performs the Lion King

by Allyson Hoffman

If you and the little one are fans of the famous movie the Lion King, then you will love this event that brings the characters to the stage! Make plans this Friday, the 16th or Saturday, the 17th in the North Shore, The Children's Theater will be performing the Lion King at Book Market located at 2651 Navy Boulevard. Join in the fun and entertainment of this timeless tale of love, pride and the importance of finding yourself.

This free Northern Illinois event will be held Friday, March 16th and 5pm  and Saturday, March 17th at 12pm and 2pm.

After the play, grab a bite to eat at any of the following North Shore restaurants that provide complementary valet parking:

Yard House
Ted's Montana Grill
RA Sushi
Bravo Cucina Italiana
Jameson's Char House

The Glen Town Center now offers free valet parking for these wonderful dining spots hours 4 to Close, 7 days a week.

Thank you to the North Shore CVB for the information!





Become a Better Borrower with Your Credit Score

by Allyson Hoffman

If you are ready to buy a North Shore home then you probably know that lenders look at your credit score to make a decision on if you can get a loan for your Northern Illinois dream home.  In today's tight lending market, this article from the Equifax experts can help you to get the loan you need.

Raise your credit score! There’s good reason to do so—a higher credit score can provide you a greater array of financial options and more favorable credit offers. And there’s always room for improving your creditworthiness by understanding your credit score, even if yours is good to begin with.

Keep in mind, however, that your credit score is based on your history of borrowing and repaying money, so there’s no way to instantly change it. But here are some effective strategies that can help to strengthen your creditworthiness over time.

Top ten strategies for improving your credit score

10. Learn what your current FICO credit score is and what appears on your credit report. You’re allowed one free credit report from each of the three credit reporting bureaus, accessible at When you pull your report, you can also pay a small fee to see your credit score. If you’ve used up your freebies for the year, Score Power can give you immediate access to your Equifax Credit Report, which includes your current FICO credit score.

9. Don’t open new credit cards that you don’t need just to increase your available credit. This approach could backfire and could lower your score.

8. Try to keep your total account balances as low as possible. High outstanding debt may negatively affect your score, as you have a greater chance of missing payments.

7. Check your report for inaccurate information and correct any mistakes. Incorrect information on your credit report is a warning sign for identity theft, which can be very damaging to your credit score. Check out more information for preventing and recovering from identity theft.

6. If your credit is severely damaged, or if you have a very short credit history, there are still ways to improve your creditworthiness over time. Consider opening new accounts responsibly and pay off debt on time.

5. If you fall behind on paying a bill because of illness, unemployment, or family issues, write a short explanation to the credit reporting agencies. They will add it to your credit report. It won’t improve your credit score directly, but creditors may take your personal statement into consideration when evaluating you. Also, call your creditor to explain the circumstances and, if possible, work out a payment schedule you can meet.

4. If you need help managing your credit, contact a reliable nonprofit credit counseling agency. Find an agency in your area through the National Foundation for Credit Counseling.

3. To minimize the number of inquiries on your credit report, don’t apply for multiple credit cards over a short period of time, and don’t apply for a card you’re not likely to get. Apply for new credit accounts only as needed.

2. Make all of your payments on time. If you are forced to miss a payment, be sure to pay it the following month along with the current payment. Past due accounts will be listed on your credit report. If you have missed payments, get current and stay current. As a general rule, the longer you pay your bills on time, the better your score.

And the number one strategy to improve your credit score…?

1. Continue to check your credit report regularly, charting your progress along the way. Everyone’s financial situation is different and all credit reports are different as well. Monitor your credit report for how certain activities affect your credit score. Keep an eye out for false information and identity theft. And watch and see how positive activities like on-time payments and a good mix of credit accounts will raise your credit score over time.

Are you ready to find your perfect home in the Chicago North Shore? Contact me today so I can help!





Springtime Shopping Soiree!

by Allyson Hoffman

The time has come for Yelp's unofficial spring shopping and chic style soirees at Bucktown's favorite boutiques for full-figured fashionistas, vive la femme and violette!  It's springtime in Chicago's North Shore -- and that means it's time to sparkle!

Vive la femme is thrilled to celebrate its 10th anniversary kickoff this March with the lovely ladies of Yelp, who will enjoy first dibs on the boutique's handpicked range of darling dresses, sweet separates, and spiffy shirts in flattering colors and shape-showcasing cuts for Spring 2012.  As Chicago's only independent shop exclusively for stylish women of size, vive la femme has been outfitting thousands of curvaceously confident women for a decade now, and we are just tickled to ignite our anniversary series of events with Yelp.  

The vive la femme family is also pleased to announce a Spring Shoe Soiree at violette, Bucktown's only shoe store and accessories oasis!  All women are welcome to shop for cheap-n-cheerful footwear in sizes 7 though 11.  Most shoes at violette run between $29 and $59, and all jewelry is $24.  violette specializes in super comfortable shoes, sandals, wedges, and boots, all chosen to encourage maximum spring swing and seasonal strut! Throw in some $16 scarves and life is good!

Need more springtime sparkle?  Well, have no fear -- the spring line from Stella and Dot will be on hand to ensure you glimmer and gleam from head to toe!  Necklaces, rings, bracelets, and earrings abound with seasonal sass -- and sparkle!

So, spruce up your spring wardrobe with fabulous frocks, spunky skirts, tasty tops, kicky kicks, and awesome accessories. All shoppers will enjoy light refreshments, as well as a 20% discount on all styles at both vive la femme and violette!

If you were looking for something new and exciting to do in Northern Illinois you found it - it's times to sparkle! 

Thank you for all of the great information on this local North Shore event!





Wow! Make Impressive First Impressions for Potential Buyers!

by Allyson Hoffman

The saying “You only have one chance to make a first impression” rings especially true when you are putting your North Shore home on the market.  You must make sure your  home is in the best shape it can be in for showing. Your experienced Northern Illinois real estate agent will let you know any major things, if any, you need to do, however prior to your showing here are a few basic things you can do to be assured you are ready to show:

1.       Tidy Your Home

2.       Unclutter cupboards and closets

3.       Make any minor repairs

4.       Cut lawn in the summer and shovel walks in the winter

5.       Put away all valuables

6.       Lock up pets or take them with you

7.       Open all drapes and blinds

8.       Make beds

9.       Turn on all the lights

10.      Leave the house

It's a buyers market across the country so the little things DO make a difference. Doing these few things to spruce up your Chicago North Shore home will help create a lasting great impression for each potential buyer that comes through your door!



Sky Lantern Festival this Saturday, March 3rd!

by Allyson Hoffman

Are you looking for things to do in Skokie, IL? On March 3rd, 2012, a spectacular display of lit-up lanterns will be released into the Chicago North Shore sky to celebrate Highwood's 125th Anniversary! As seen in hit movies such as The Hangover 2 and Tangled, the sky lanterns are truly a sight to see.

Originally an ancient Asian tradition, many cultures participate in this custom including Thai, Taiwanese, and Chinese. The Sky Lantern Fest will also feature a Tough Man Barbecue Challenge that will begin the evening before, continue all through the night, and conclude the following day. Participants will bring their own barbecue equipment and cook into the night, with the last man or woman named the challenge winner! In addition, there will be a "Battle Buddy" 5k obstacle course, where pairs of racers will have to take on and conquer a variety of surprise challenges to claim the title of obstacle winner!

Beginning at 11 am, participating bars and restaurants will open up to live music ranging from smooth blues to classic jazz all day, in addition to tasty Bloody Marys and mimosas for sample!

As the festivities progress in beautiful Nothern Illinois, visitors can stop in to any participating Highwood business and make their very own paper lantern using the materials provided for the evening launch. All lanterns made will be launched between 6-6:30 pm, and all main streets in Highwood will close for the hour as the lanterns ascend into the air.

Displaying blog entries 1-9 of 9




Contact Information

Photo of Allyson Hoffman & Paul Wells Real Estate
Allyson Hoffman & Paul Wells
RE/MAX of Barrington
306 W. Northwest Highway
Barrington IL 60010
Allyson: 847-310-5300
Paul: 847-913-6100

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RE/MAX of Barrington
306 W. Northwest Hwy.
Barrington, IL 60010

Allyson Hoffman
(847) 310-5300
[email protected]

Paul Wells
(847) 913-6100
[email protected]