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Gumballs and Superballs

by Allyson Hoffman

March 29, 2014

Weekend Family Class

Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe, Illinois

This weekend’s family class offers your family hands-on activities and interactive participation unravelling the origin of gumballs and superballs. You’ll study the rainforest to find your answers since the primary ingredient in both the gumballs and superballs comes from certain trees, only to be found in the rainforest.  A milky fluid, the consistency of honey is needed and harvested by tapping the trees. You’ll discover the various trees that are tapped, and the process used to make chewing gum and rubber from the collected fluids.

In addition to learning the history behind gumballs and superballs, your family will have the opportunity to create both and take home your creations to chew or bounce -- at your leisure. 

Registration to attend the Weekend Family Class: Gumballs and Superballs costs $22.00 for non-member children.  Garden plus members receive a 20% discount.  To register your family online, please click here.

When: Saturday March 29th, 9:30AM

Where: Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe, Illinois

For more information on the Weekend Family Class:  Gumballs and Superballs, 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]

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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 of Mykl Roventine/flickr.com.

5 Signs it Might Be Time to Downsize

by Allyson Hoffman

Downsizing is becoming an increasingly popular option among a wide range of people – not just retirees. Perhaps enduring and surviving the recent recession has proven that less can sometimes be more.

Downsizing your home and your life is a big step.

Here are five signs that might indicate downsizing might be right for you.

Your Home is Too Big

Bigger is not always better. At some point, more rooms just become more empty rooms. Have you passed the point where you need a four-bedroom, four-bath home? Have all your children moved away? Are there rooms in your home you have not visited in months? If your home is simply too big, it might be time to consider a smaller, more manageable home.

Maintaining Your Home has become a Chore

If you find yourself spending way too much time cleaning, doing yard work or skimming the pool no one swims in, it might be time to downsize. Why spend valuable time, money and energy maintaining your home when maintenance-free options can eliminate most external maintenance through a homeowner or condo association.

The Financial Burden is Too Great

If you have you recently retired, had a reduction in income or unanticipated new expenses such as medical bills that are putting a strain on your finances, downsizing may relieve some of the drain.  Perhaps you’re just tired of mortgage payments and monthly utility bills.  Either way, scaling back on square footage is likely to reduce your costs.

You Want to Move Closer to Family

Family is important.  One’s desire to be close, especially to children and grandchildren who may live in other parts of the country, provides a great opportunity to explore new areas. Since there is an abundance of small homes in nearly every city in America, this may be the perfect time to reduce your overhead space and gain back some family time.

You Can Realize a Large Profit from the Sale of Your Home

Now might be the time to cash in. If you’ve owned your home for 15 or more year, your original investment may now yield a tidy profit.  So contact your local Realtor for a market study that lets you know your home’s value.

Downsizing from a larger home to a smaller home or condo can be a remarkably freeing experience. If you are ready to try a smaller, more manageable home, you may be surprised how much easier life is. Contact me today if you are ready to downsize. I will be happy to get the process started and/or help you find your next dream 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]

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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 of Roger W/Flickr.com

Wilmette Illinois Family History Fair

by Allyson Hoffman

March 22, 2014

Wilmette Illinois Family History Center, Wilmette, Illinois

Are you and your family prepared to embark on a fascinating journey through your genealogy?  Come out this Saturday to participate in the Wilmette Illinois Family History Fair.  The theme for this year’s event is “Stories that Bring Us Together”, and promises to unravel your past, right before your eyes. Learn about where you have come from, where your ancestors originated, and who your relatives are.

This free, all-day event features local genealogy expert speakers, video workshops, and intriguing content from RootsTech 2014.  RootsTech is a global family history company offering people of all ages the ability to discover and share family stories and connections, through technology.  Hands-on activities will be available for while adults can view the numerous exhibit booths.

The Family History Fair event will focus on the power of storytelling as a means to strengthening and unifying families.  Storytelling relays valuable and intimate information from one generation to the next.  While documentation is absolutely a valuable resource in recording your life history, there is nothing more powerful than spoken words between family members who relay this exclusive information.

The Family History Center will be open all day for families to browse and conduct research.  Lunch will also be offered so families can discuss what they have learned. So bring the entire family to the History Fair for what is sure to be an eye-opening experience and reveal the mystifications of your past!

When: Saturday March 22, 8:00 AM-5:00 PM 

Where: Wilmette Illinois Family History Center, 2727 Lake Avenue, Wilmette, Illinois

For more information regarding the Wilmette Illinois Family History Center Family History Fair, 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
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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.

Photo courtesy of Family Art Studio/flickr.com.

Preparing for a Home Inspection

by Allyson Hoffman

One part of the customary process in selling a home includes the home inspection. It is an opportunity for the buyer to verify the overall condition of home – from its structure and systems to its appliances and more.  Buyers want no unwelcome surprises.

For good reason, home inspections create some anxiety for many sellers. What if they find something wrong? What if the buyers back out?

Some anxiety is completely normal. After all, no matter how well you understand your home, no home is perfect, (not even brand new homes), so there’s always the chance of an unknown flaw or something you have overlooked or missed.

The possibility of surprises is actually quite common, so here are some suggestions to minimize issues and make the home inspector’s job of assessing your home easier.

Declutter Your Home

Inspectors don’t like to move or climb over things. Make sure that your attic, garage, mechanical systems and basement are accessible without effort.  For example, clean out under the sinks so that the inspector can easily view the pipes.  The inspection will take less time and the inspector will be in a more favorable mindset as a result of your cooperation.

Gather Any Necessary Paperwork

Home inspectors are less likely to raise red flags in a home that has regularly performed maintenance. So, if possible, gather all documents related to the maintenance of your home and place them in a binder. You can leave this binder on the table for the home inspector and buyer to review.

Unlock Doors and Gates

Make sure to unlock all doors and gates – including those to out buildings such as sheds and pool houses.  Locked doors and inaccessible areas add to concerns regarding hidden defects.

Clean Your Home

A dirty home does not imply structural or mechanical problems, but a clean home suggests that the owner takes pride in ownership and performs regular maintenance on the home. So, give your home the benefit of a thorough cleaning before the home inspector is scheduled to arrive.

Go Out to Lunch

Home inspectors prefer unrestricted freedom to do their jobs.  So don’t hover.  Give your buyer and their home inspector the space and ability to independently review and discuss the findings – keep in mind that home inspections are an educating as well as investigative tool for your buyer. 

Remember, making the inspection process easier and quick can work in your favor.  So do what you can to simplify the analysis of your home and enhance the likelihood of a favorable report.

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions. I am happy to go over this information with you and help you start 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!

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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 of www.stockmonkeys.com/Flickr.com

Nature Mural Project

by Allyson Hoffman

March 8, 2014

Emily Oaks Nature Center, Skokie, Illinois

The Emily Oaks Nature Center invites you and your family to discover your instinctive creativity. The Nature Mural Project is an inspirational, communal event, beckoning creativity from visitors of all ages, and all perspectives.

The Emily Oaks Nature Center is a 13-acre savanna full of native wildflowers, grasses, tall oak trees, a pond and several trails.  It has an abundance of birds, animals, and reptiles.  Great blue herons, coyotes, flying squirrels, water snakes, red foxes, and many more can be seen. They all call the Nature Center home, and may be sighted this Saturday.  You are welcome to walk the grounds and take note of anything that grabs your attention and provides motivational creativity.

Your walk should be inspiring, so bring that creative energy and enthusiasm to the table.  Using acrylic paints, a massive mural will be assembled which incorporates each person’s points of interest and stimulus. The experience, in a group setting, combines the creative designs of all persons involved.

Prices to partake in the Nature Mural Project are $30.00 for residents and $38.00 for non-residents.  To register your family, please call the Emily Oaks Nature Center at 847-674-1500, ext. 2500.  Or, you can click here to create a member profile, and register online.

This Saturday unleash your creativity by participating in the Nature Mural Project event.  All you need to bring is your enthusiasm.

When: Saturday March 8, 9:00 AM

Where: Emily Oaks Nature Center, Skokie, Illinois

For more information regarding the Nature Mural Project 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 The Inversion/deviantart.com.

Getting Ready for Your Final Walkthrough?

by Allyson Hoffman

For many homebuyers, the last step prior to sitting down at the closing table is the final walkthrough inspection. This last-chance-to-view-the-home-before-it-officially-becomes-yours is the time to make sure that everything is as anticipated.

Typically, a final walkthrough should preferably be scheduled within 24 hours of closing.  If major repairs are expected, some experts advise scheduling two walkthrough visits. The first, ideally about a week prior to closing, should establish that required repairs are completed or nearing completion.  The second, within 24 hours of closing, should ensure that the home is essentially in the same condition as when purchased and that all items to remain are present and in good working order.

Things to Do on Your Final Walkthrough

  • Bring your home inspection report, a copy of contract and seller’s disclosure form so you know what items were to be repaired and what items are to remain with the home.
  • Check for all items (window treatments, appliances, pieces of furniture and fixtures) that should remain to make certain those are present in the home. If not, have your agent contact the seller’s agent immediately.
  • Check that no unwanted items are left behind. It’s the sellers’ responsibility, not yours, to remove their unwanted belongings.
  • Check all appliances to ensure they are in working order.
  • Check the HVAC unit to make sure it is still heating and cooling properly (weather permitting).

What If You Find a Problem?

First, it is important to understand that contracts typically stipulate that a home be left  “broom” or “vacuum” clean … neat, but not immaculate. So, unless the house is very dirty, making a fuss over the cleanliness of a home is likely not worth the effort.

Second, minor imperfections like blown light bulbs or light damage/marks on the walls or doorframe are also probably are not worth a delay of closing.  In the long run, it’s generally cheaper and easier to just fix these minor problems yourself.

However, if you find a major issue such as a missing appliance, fixture etc., a leak or defect that will negatively affect the value of the home, contact your real estate agent immediately to begin the process of reaching an agreement that resolves the concern.  The sooner you make that call, the better.

In the end, what is important enough to delay a closing and what is not remains the choice of the buyer.  Please feel free to contact me if you would like to go over this information. I am happy to discuss any questions you may have regarding the home buying process.

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 Jason Jones at Flickr.com.

Displaying blog entries 1-6 of 6

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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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Allyson Hoffman
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1245 Waukegan Road
Glenview, IL, 60025

(847) 310-5300
[email protected]

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