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

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Make the Moving Process Easier

by Allyson Hoffman

Make the Moving Process EasierMoving can be a straightforward process with an action plan to help you manage your belongings and your time. Here are some ways to organize when preparing for your move.

Start early and pack the things you want to keep but don't often use. You’ll control the process by packing these items in advance and storing them in a spare room, basement or garage. Try to pack at least one box every day.

Utilize free resources to limit the expense of buying boxes, wrapping paper and bubble wrap. Local stores often give boxes away, people share them on Craigslist, and for the environmentally conscious, www.Freecycle.org  is worth checking out.

Make labeling quick and easy.  Consider buying tape with different colors, or use multi-colored Post-It Notes to color code boxes on the fly. This makes it easier to match boxes with rooms.

Use a spiral notebook and number the pages.  Number your packed boxes as you pack them and note the contents of each box on the page with the corresponding number.  It will make your unpacking process incredibly simple and help you to easily locate the things you most need when you reach your new home.

Plan a garage sale or prepare items for donation to a worthy charity. The less you have to pack, the less you have to move to your new home.

While moving is never truly easy, these simple steps will make the transition for you and your entire family significantly less stressful.  Also remember to forward your mail and notify your contacts of your new address! Feel free to contact me today for a consultation. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have about the moving process and buying or selling a 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 Flickr.com/trosen

Exhibition - Reinventing Landscapes

by Allyson Hoffman

March 26, 2016

Noyes Cultural Arts Center, Evanston, Illinois

Chicago welcomes the beginning of art exhibition season at the Noyes Cultural Arts Center in Evanston, featuring local artist Didier Nolet, who studied at Ecole Nationale Superieure des Beaux Arts in Paris before moving to Chicago in 1979. His landscape works in oils, acrylics and pastels have been displayed in numerous exhibitions throughout the city, from the Botanic Gardens to Old Town.

Nolet’s style combines realism and impressionism to lend a dreamlike quality to his paintings, which he explains are drawn from scenes of his childhood in France, softened by time and memory. His use of subject, color and light are slightly reminiscent of Maxwell Parrish, though softer and less expansive, more enclosed, subdued, and personal. 

Mr. Nolet began his artistic expression at a very young age, and he developed his own style while studying from the age of eighteen until twenty-five, when he received his Master accreditation in France. His love of art began in childhood. For examples of his work, please click here.  He relates that his work now has begun to express not only memories but emotions as well, reflected by scenes evoking moods from tranquility to storminess. Mr. Nolet also instructs art at Vanderpoel Art Association.

The exhibition offers an opportunity for contemplation of Mr. Nolet’s expression of landscapes through memory and imagination with his unique use of color, light and mood. His work has attained wide appeal locally, nationally and internationally. Be sure to see Reinventing Landscapes at Noyes Cultural Arts Center this Saturday.

Where: Noyes Cultural Arts Center, Evanston, Illinois

When: March 26, 2016 from 10 AM - 7 PM

For more information regarding Reinventing Landscapes, 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.   

Image courtesy of VISLOQ/Pixabay.com

Make Your Home Stand Out

by Allyson Hoffman

If you plan to put your home on the market soon, it’s time to head outdoors and start sprucing up the yard. It’s unlikely that landscaping will boost your home’s value on paper, but it will help attract more potential buyers which can mean a faster sale. Great curb appeal translates to a great first impression – the one-time opportunity to put your best foot forward when selling your home.

For a relatively modest investment of time and money, you can transform the exterior of your home into a colorful, attractive showplace with well-kept flowerbeds to accent and enhance even the drabbest of properties. If your budget is limited, go for annuals. They are generally inexpensive and easy to grow. While they will only last a season, they are truly lovely.

To enhance your home’s curb appeal be sure to manicure your lawn by fertilizing and eliminating bare patches or unsightly brown spots. To transform your yard into golf course quality can be an expensive process, but simply brightening and improving it is neither difficult nor overly expensive. For the most part, everything you’ll need can be obtained at any local home and garden store. Religiously follow recommended watering and fertilization schedules for your type of grass to enjoy a rapid change in appearance.

Because not every potential buyer will drive by your home during the day, try utilizing exterior lighting to attract the attention of nighttime traffic and highlight its best features even after the sun goes down. If you choose to install a lighting system yourself using standalone floods, the cost will be minimal. Alternately, professional installation that involves wiring can cost thousands. Regardless of which method you choose, make sure you highlight attractive features like old-growth trees, flowering shrubs, your newly painted shutters, etc.

These simple modifications will enhance the overall curb appeal of your home and while this can be all you do or just the start, depending on your budget, energy and time – any improvement will provide more benefit than the cost and time invested.   For additional information or ideas to help you sell your home at top dollar, contact me today for a consultation. I will be happy to share information regarding additional home preparation ideas and answer any questions you may have about 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]

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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 Donna Lasater/Flickr.com

Star Trek: The Ultimate Voyage

by Allyson Hoffman

March 19, 2016

The Chicago Theatre, Chicago, Illinois

Calling all Trekkies! Defying space and time, the cultural and multi-generational phenomenon of Star Trek popularity continues. This weekend, the concert production of Star Trek: The Ultimate Voyage is happening at The Chicago Theatre. 

A video and musical montage of fifty years of beloved Star Trek scenes and characters spanning 12 movies, 5 TV series and video games, will be featured. The scenes will be “beamed up” onto a 40-foot screen, transporting viewers into deep space from the bridge of The Enterprise. Featuring the most memorable, awe-inspiring and nostalgia-invoking clips set to symphony; The Ultimate Voyage brings tears, cheers and standing ovations from Star Trek enthusiasts.

The musical selections include themes from scenes in The Original Series, The Motion Picture, The Wrath of Khan, The Voyage Home, Insurrection, The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager and more. Favorites include the live performance of Picard's Ressikan Flute solo from TNG: The Inner Light, First Contact, the Inner Light Suite, and Deep Space Nine, but most of the audience will find their favorites beyond these as well. With narration by the deep and resonant voice of Michael Dorn, the tribute to members of the Star Trek voyages now gone provides some of the most moving and emotional moments of the production. The audience’s individual favorite scenes will provide some very poignant memories also.

What better setting to present the event than “The Wonder Theatre of the World”, The Chicago Theatre, with a very special story of its own. To learn more about The Chicago Theatre, please click here.

Star Trek is a phenomenon that spans time and continues to evolve, bringing both the excitement of the present and nostalgic memories of the past to its audience.  

So “boldly go” to The Chicago Theatre this weekend and enjoy the voyage to the “final frontier” at Star Trek: The Ultimate Voyage!

When: March 19, 2016 at 8 PM

Where: The Chicago Theatre, Chicago, Illinois

Admission: Prices range from $43.50 to $78.50 depending on seating selection.

For more information regarding Star Trek: The Ultimate Voyage, 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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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.   

Image courtesy of Dimitris Kalogeropoylos/Flickr.com

Resale Value of Your Potential Home

by Allyson Hoffman

While it’s rare these days to stay in the same home for 25 years and inevitably hard to imagine ever selling it, for most Americans another move is unavoidable due to changes in family size and job mobility. So, despite finding the ideal home for you and your family as your end goal, it pays to consider the possibility of how other potential buyers will respond to your home in the future.

There are several consistent factors that are found in homes with high resale value. If you hope to sell your home quickly and for a profit in the future, it pays to keep these factors in mind when investing in a home.

• If your home is in a prime location, the odds are it will sell quickly and for a premium. Absolutely nothing tops location in the real estate industry. Of course, like many things, a prime location is in the eyes of the beholder, but typically you cannot go wrong with good schools, convenience to nearby shopping and services, low crime rate and walkability.

• Homes that make a great first impression from the street tend to sell faster and for more money than those that don’t. How a home looks from the outside plays an important role in generating interest among potential buyers.  If you plan to sell your home in the future, consider investing in a home with the potential for great curb appeal or one that already has it.

• While the number of bedrooms and baths was probably one of the first things you considered when determining which homes belonged on your must-see-in-person list, likewise, the layout is frequently an important factor as well.  Beyond just the number of bedrooms and baths, the feel and flow of a home can play an important psychological role when selling your home.  Strive to find a home that has a sensible floor plan, feels larger than it is and incorporates natural light.

• Many buyers place a priority on being able to step outside onto a porch, patio or balcony and see something attractive each day. A nice view can sell your home when all else fails. Depending on whether you are in the city or in a more rural area, your definition of a “great view” may naturally vary. City dwellers tend to like to being up high and overlooking the skyline. Those in rural areas may prefer the beauty of nature. One thing is for sure, the view of a brick wall, highway or gravel pit, for example, rarely meets anyone’s definition of a “great view”.

These factors are important when investing in a home whether you sell sooner or later. Remember what attracted you to the home in the first place will likely attract others in the future. For assistance in the buying or selling process, feel free to contact me today for a consultation. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have about selling your home, and/or help you find the home of your dreams.

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 Flickr.com/Bob B. Brown

February 2016 Midwest Real Estate Market Reports

by Allyson Hoffman

The February 2016 Midwest Real Estate Market Reports are now ready for your review. These market reports provide an insight on the real estate market statistics for Cook County and Lake County. These statistics are helpful when you are considering buying or selling in today’s real estate market.  And, remember should you need tailored reports on a subdivision or neighborhood in the North Shore, North, and Northwest Suburban Chicago, Illinois area, please let me know.

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.

Chicago Flower and Garden Show

by Allyson Hoffman

March 12-20, 2016

Navy Pier, Chicago, Illinois

Spring is in sight and nowhere more evident than at the Chicago Flower and Garden Show. How rejuvenating to join in what has become the city’s rite of spring, first begun in 1847. The event was originally a gathering of growers displaying their prize fruits, vegetables and flowers long ago, and was one of the first events held at Navy Pier.

So many exhibitors, products, and designs will be presented that nine days and 170,000 square feet of showroom is devoted to the show. The event will feature horticulture, agriculture, natural and organic gardening, floriculture, and additionally, heritage, fashion, food, architecture and design. Last year’s show drew approximately 42,000 visitors.

The theme this year is “Chicago Is” and features the development of modern Chicago from its agrarian origins. The concept that Chicago has symbolically “bloomed” into its current international status as a leading city in architectural design, business, fashion, cuisine, art, tourism, neighborhood, diversity and community, features prominently in the theme.

The event affords visitors the opportunity to walk through 120 gardens and enjoy DIY presentations for home gardens and landscapes and products to create them, as well as food, fashion, and heritage displays. The “Evening in Bloom” preview party and signature charity event is March 11, 2016. For ticket information and purchase, please click here. 

This is an inspiring and spectacular event for gardening and landscaping enthusiasts, and for anyone who enjoys the heritage and tradition of the city. Don’t miss this celebration of modern Chicago lifestyle, still connected to its prairie roots.

Where: Navy Pier, Chicago, Illinois

When: March 12-20, 2016

Admission: $5 for children; up to $19 for adults; daily schedules vary

For more information regarding the Chicago Flower and Garden Show, 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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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 Jonathan Hetzel/Flickr.com

Transforming Your Garden Space

by Allyson Hoffman

For some, a garden is a sanctuary, hobby, or even a local market. In today's do-it-yourself world, gardening can be one of the most enjoyable things to learn about and explore.

If you plan to install or improve your garden, you’ll want it done right to add intrinsic value or curb appeal to your home. An overgrown garden that’s full of weeds and dead grass, will clearly elicit a totally different impression than one that has been thoughtfully well-maintained. 

So whether you choose to create a garden yourself or hire a professional landscaper, it's important to map out your plan. Here are some tips to consider…

Mapping the Land

Creating a garden can be a fun, a truly creative project.  But be careful to not overextend yourself.

To start, be sure to understand what types of plants grow best in your area. This information can be obtained by talking to others in your neighborhood, local greeneries, or home improvement stores where you can purchase the perfect plants, fruits, or vegetables that work specifically for you.

Right Tool for the Job

Invest in the correct equipment for the job that allow you to do it right the first time.  You’ll want to spend your time working on and in your garden rather than time fixing tools.

Be sure to take care of your tools so they can last a long time. If you're constantly banging away on rocks, or leaving dirt caked on your equipment, you’ll inevitably struggle with dull tools that no longer do the job effectively. So consider investing in high-quality items such as a good spade, rake, trowel, secateurs, fork and gloves, amongst other things you’ll need.

Start Planting

Let your vision and passion express itself in your garden. Create the vegetable garden you've always dreamed of having, plant a bed of beautiful flowers, or grow herbs that make your whole house smell wonderful. For inspiration on the possibilities, consider consulting home and garden television shows, magazines, or websites.  

With time and effort, your garden can be everything you want it to be, and can boost your curb appeal in the process. If are planning to sell your home in future, contact me for a consultation. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have, and/or help you determine the value of 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

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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 artemtation/Pixabay.com

Fox River Shiver Weekend

by Allyson Hoffman

March 5 - 6, 2016

The Broken Oar, Barrington, Illinois

This weekend, support worthy causes at the Fox River Shiver Weekend. “Shiver” events at Barrington begin with the Shiver River Run on March 5 and “wrap up” on March 6 with The Annual Fox River Shiver. The events benefit the causes of the Make a Wish Foundation and Lurie Children’s Hospital.

The Shiver River Run begins at the Broken Oar in Port Barrington and continues along the backroads in the Fox River area for around 5k. Pre-registration is advised and the Run starts at 9:30 AM. The $30 entry fee for adults, $20 for children under 12, includes an event tee-shirt, breakfast after the event at 10:30 AM, and a pint glass. For more information and map, please click here.

On Sunday, March 6, the Shiver plunge into the Fox River takes place at The Annual Fox River Shiver at the Broken Oar. This is a very popular event and draws thousands. There is no entry fee, and participants may take part individually or in teams. Prizes are awarded for specified fund raising levels, and spectators are asked to donate $10. Prizes are also awarded for best costume. Check-in begins at 12 noon, and the plunge happens at 3 PM, with a party afterward featuring live entertainment in a heated tent.

So join in at this Port Barrington fun weekend event and show your support for Make a Wish Foundation and Lurie Children’s Hospital.

Where: The Broken Oar, Barrington, Illinois

When:  March 5 - 6, 2016

For more information regarding Fox River Shiver Weekend, 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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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.   

Image courtesy of Zach Chisholm/Flickr.com

Down-Payment Requirements

by Allyson Hoffman

The days of zero-down mortgages are virtually a thing of the past and unlikely to make a return any time soon. In the current lending environment, potential homeowners are encouraged to save as much down-payment as they can before approaching a lender and requesting a loan. But, is it really necessary to save a 20-percent down-payment? Consider the advantages and disadvantages of a larger down-payment:

Advantages

Approval. For those prospective borrowers with past credit problems, a significant down-payment could make the difference between being approved for a loan or denied. Lenders generally look favorably on those who can afford to make larger down-payments with 20-percent down-payment borrowers more likely to be approved.

Lower Payments and Interest Rates. For those willing and able to tender a 20-percent down-payment, slightly lower interest rates may be available. The difference of a few hundred dollars a month could potentially improve a new homeowner’s quality of life and additionally lower overall stress levels. Larger down-payments typically mean smaller debts and lower monthly payments.

Private Mortgage Insurance. PMI (Private Mortgage Insurance) is a way for lenders to reduce risk when owner equity is low and lender investment is high. It also helps mitigate against possible foreclosure. Eliminating the added PMI expense required when down payments are under 20-percent of the home’s appraised value can save borrowers thousands.

Disadvantages

Tied-Up Capital. If you prefer that your money works for you rather than having it sit in the bank, tying up a large amount of your available capital in a home could mean missing out on potential investment opportunities – and when those opportunities yield a higher rate of return on your money than the cost of borrowing those funds, it may be better to retain funds for investment.

Time.  For many Americans, saving for a down payment can take a significant amount of time, possibly years. If, for example, the average price of a home in the United States is roughly $200,000, a 20-percent down payment would require $40,000. Depending upon the area’s rate of appreciation in home values relative to the time needed to save those funds, it may be more prudent to buy with a lower down payment now than lose out on the more rapidly increasing value of your home than the time it takes to save the additional funds.

In the end, each individual or family’s situation is different and each must determine the size of their down payment based upon their own financial circumstances.  To make the best decision, enlisting the aid of trusted professionals is certainly recommended including financial experts, mortgage lenders or an experienced real estate agent. For recommendations on trusted mortgage lenders or to set up a consultation, feel free to contact me today. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have, and/or help you find your 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]

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 Flickr.com/401kcalculator.org

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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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