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

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Good News and Opportunities for You

by Allyson Hoffman

There's more very good news for the housing market. The S&P Case-Shiller index, released this week, shows house prices rising 8.1% in January, the biggest increase since June 2006. A different government report shows a decline in sales in February from the previous month, but that's still up 12% over earlier levels. The U.S. Census Bureau reports that privately-owned housing starts in February were up 27.7% over the same time last year.  Experts suggest bad weather may be responsible for the slower growth in February, and the growth trend is expected to pick up pace during the rest of the year.

Much of the growth has been in markets that were particularly badly hit during the housing bubble. Phoenix, for example, saw a 23% increase.  San Francisco, Las Vegas, Detroit, Atlanta, Minneapolis, Los Angeles and Miami were also up more than 10%.  Chicago, in comparison, while definitely a showing positive trend, is not reporting such dramatically impressive numbers.

Related: How Much is Your Home Worth?

In the fallout of the housing bubble, seven million people lost their homes to foreclosure or in short sales.  Now, with an improving economy and job numbers, some of those families are back in the market. Veteran Administration backed loans can be obtained only two years after a foreclosure, and with the enormous benefit of having lower mortgage rates.  Extenuating circumstances like health issues, natural disasters or a layoff can reduce the wait time to three years for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Increasing employment numbers, low mortgage rates, fewer homes in foreclosure and a tight inventory of homes are all factors experts believe are behind the current boom.  In turn, the stronger housing market helps put more people to work. And it helps homeowners who owe more on their mortgages than their homes were worth.  As they regain equity, they'll also be able to refinance at lower rates.

This recovery is an exciting time for all homeowners.  And if it signals a time for a change for your family, let me show you how I can help sell your old home and find something wonderful and new.  Working together, we can identify the best options available to you.

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]


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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.

This blog is maintained by Michael of Kim Hughes & Company.

Hunting Easter Eggs

by Allyson Hoffman

Wolff’s Flea Market in Palatine is sponsoring a day of carnival excitement and Easter Egg fun this Saturday. The activities begin at 8:00 a.m. The Easter Egg Hunt itself begins at 11:00 a.m. and the Easter Bunny is expected to make an appearance for photographs from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.  Food, face-painting, games and prizes will be awaiting both old and young. The location is indoors, at 1775 North Rand Road in Palatine [map].   So stop in and enjoy the festivities!

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]


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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.

This blog is maintained by Michael of Kim Hughes & Company.

Life Lessons from the Circus

by Allyson Hoffman

Skooled: A Study in Circus is on stage for a final weekend at the Actors Gymnasium in Evanston.  Featuring the work of Chicago clown Dean Evans, Co-Artistic Directors Larry DiStasi, Sylvia Hernandez-DiStasi and an amazing team of designers and performers, this circus production explores the school of hard knocks.  Performances are Friday at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday 4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.  Tickets are $15 to $20 and can be purchased online.

For a preview, click here for the show's official trailer.

 

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
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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.

More Homeowners Breathing Easier

by Allyson Hoffman

There is yet another sign that the housing market is recovering from the long-term slump. CoreLogic reports that rising home prices helped 200,000 homeowners get above water on their mortgages in the last quarter of 2012. In all last year, 1.7 million properties went from negative to positive equity.

21.5% of all mortgages, roughly 10.4 million homes, remain underwater.  Of the 38.1 million mortgages with positive equity, 13.6 million had less than 20% equity, which can make it difficult for those homeowners to refinance.

CoreLogic’s president Anand Nallathambi indicated the trend towards positive equity should continue throughout the year. A five percent gain in housing prices could push another 1.8 million homes into positive equity.

Earlier this month, Fiserv Case-Shiller forecast Chicago area homes would increase in price slowly through most of this year, but jump up by 5.5% by the third quarter of 2014. More specific information for your town, neighborhood or street is available.  Feel free to contact me and I’ll be glad to provide you the details tailored precisely to your area.

If you find yourself in a position to sell, let me help you get the most value for your home. Or, if you are in the market for a new home, I have some great opportunities that you should consider. Contact me, and let’s get to work selling your current home or finding your dream home together.

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
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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.

***

This blog is maintained by Michael of Kim Hughes & Company.

St. Patrick's Day Theater

by Allyson Hoffman

The Metropolis Performing Arts Centre in Arlington Heights is celebrating St. Patrick's Day with a presentation of Flanigan's Wake. One of Chicago’s longest running shows, Flanagan’s Wake is a hysterical interactive comedy centered on an Irish wake. Flanagan’s friends and family grieve over his death in Irish fashion – with stories, songs and alcohol. Shows are at 5:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets are $35, with a 20% group discount.  You can get your tickets here. And however you celebrate the holiday, have a great weekend!

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!

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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.

***

This blog is maintained by Michael of Kim Hughes & Company.

What Changes to Credit Scoring Mean for You

by Allyson Hoffman

Owning a home is major investment in your financial future. Unfortunately, for a lot of people who would like to buy a home, the last several years have been rough. So, it comes as welcome good news that the three major credit bureaus that calculate your credit scores are revising their formula to benefit people with limited or no credit histories.  Under the change, debts with zero balance that are paid in full or settled will no longer be taken into account. Previously, those same debts would have been a component of credit scores for up to seven years, even if the balance on them was zero. Additionally, victims of natural disasters won't be penalized for negative accounts in the aftermath of those events. VantageScore is now used by seven of the top ten U.S. financial institutions and four of the top ten auto and mortgage lenders.

FICO, the most relied upon credit scoring model, may be making changes as well. Monday, they announced they would look into ways to take alternative records into account for people with limited or no credit histories. People who are trying to improve their scores should consider FICO's top three tips for repairing credit.

  1. Check Your Credit Report – This is your first step to identifying what needs to be paid or corrected.
  2. Setup Payment Reminders – Your best strategy for repairing your credit is to pay your debts on time.
  3. Reduce the Amount of Debt You Owe – This sounds obvious, but even paying off a debt a little at a time can be a big boost for your credit.

You’ll have to show lenders you are serious about being financially responsible before they will approve a mortgage loan. For more about those tips and repairing your credit history, see this story on myFico.com and this report from the Federal Trade Commission.

If you're ready to buy now, let's sit down and talk about what you want, what you need and what will work best to make your dreams come true!

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!

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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.

This blog is maintained by Michael of Kim Hughes & Company.

Reptiles on a Rampage

by Allyson Hoffman

It's the Chinese Year of the Snake, and what better excuse do you need to attend this year's Reptile Rampage at the Lake Forest Wildlife Discovery Center.  The Center includes high quality habitats and exhibits for reptiles, birds, amphibians, fish and even a bobcat! The Reptile Rampage event is Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. A variety of experts will be on hand to answer questions and introduce the Center's reptiles first hand. Tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for children.

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!

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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.

8 Ways to Give Your Home an Edge

by Allyson Hoffman

You're ready to sell. The market is gaining strength. Home prices are climbing. The time is now. When you call me, we'll assess your situation, determine the value of your home and begin presenting it to potential buyers.

I've had a lot of experience helping people make their home stand out in an active market. To get the most value from your home, you're going to need to do everything you can to display it at its best. The following tips are designed to do that.

  1. Make sure the house is clean! Clean carpets and floors, a fresh coat of paint, replacing broken or missing fixtures and fittings and making sure the kitchens and bathrooms are bright and shiny is a must.
  2. If you still have furniture in the house, make sure it is clean and neatly arranged. Eyesores, even if you love them, are best taken somewhere else while buyers are walking through the house. You may love it, but it might turn buyers off.
  3. Open the shades, pull back the curtains and pull up the blinds. Let the sunshine in! 
  4. Make sure the air in the house is clean and fresh. If the weather cooperates, air out the house. If you use any sort of air freshener, use it lightly. Too much is just as bad as not enough.
  5. Have a plan for your pets since pets can sometimes be problematic. For example, some people may be afraid of dogs, while others may be allergic to cats. If possible, take your pets with you, to animal daycare or a neighbor's house for the day. You may love cats, dogs or ferrets, but potential buyers may not. If the animals can go outside, keeping them in the yard while buyers visit may be a good option.
  6. Children can be a distraction as well. You want the buyers focusing on what their lives would be like in your home, not what your kids are doing in the kitchen or den.  So if you are home with children when buyers visit, consider taking them for a walk if weather permits or plan an activity that will occupy their curious minds while visitors view your home.
  7. Make sure your landscaping is at its best. It’s the first thing prospective buyers will see and making a good first impression is critical.  This may mean hiring a landscaping crew if doing the cutting, trimming, edging and weeding yourself is not possible. Either way, make your yard as beautiful as possible. Planting a few annuals in strategic locations can help enliven an otherwise drab landscape.
  8. Doing a little detective work might reveal additional ways to make your house an even better choice.  You can visit the open houses for competing homes of similar value in your neighborhood to see how those homes are being staged, and perhaps get ideas that can be valuable when presenting your own home.  You might even consider pre-inspecting your own home to discover issues that you can correct before a buyer’s inspection takes place.

Every home is different.  So working together we'll come up with a unique strategy that will put your home in front of the competition. Getting the ball rolling is as easy as a phone call (847-310-5300) or an email ([email protected]). I look forward to hearing from you!

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
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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.

This blog is maintained by Michael of Kim Hughes & Company

Supporting New Classical Music

by Allyson Hoffman

The Four Score Festival is dedicated to bringing new music to the public. This year, they'll be featuring works by Janice Misurell-Mitchell, Michael Daugherty, Frederick Rzewski and Frank Zappa. Sunday, there will be a Festival fundraiser at the Music Institute of Chicago at 1490 Chicago Avenue in Evanston. It includes performances by Four Score Festival members, and improvisational piano by Director Abraham Stokman. The concert begins at 3:00 p.m. Tickets are $30 for adults, $20 for seniors and $10 for students. They may be purchased at the Music Institute website. The first concert of the series follows next weekend.

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.

This blog is maintained by Michael of Kim Hughes & Company.

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

(847) 310-5300
[email protected]

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