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


Displaying blog entries 1-4 of 4

Improving Air Quality in Your Home

by Allyson Hoffman

In our original post, Air Quality in Your Home. we pointed out that it had been suggested that the air we breathe in our homes is often more polluted than the air breather outside. this was an alarming realization and now we would like to offer a few tips to reverse this.

According to National Geographics Green Guide there are a number of things we can do to improve air quality in our homes.

  • Ventilate your home regularly
  • Vacuum weekly
  • Use a good quality air filter on your furnace and replace it regularly
  • Maintain ventilation systems (If your home has one) and dehumidifiers
  • Run exhaust fans in bathrooms and kitchens
  • If you're considering an air purifier, avoid devices that generate ozone, as these can make lung problems and asthma worse.

In addition to these few necessary steps, you should also pay close to attention to the indoor chemicals that may be linked to allergies, asthma and learning disabilities in children, according to some studies.

The two more commonly identified chemicals in our homes include formaldehyde which is present in home renovation products and solvents from fresh paint and phthalates which are used in soft plastics and synthetic fragrances such as air fresheners and dryer sheets.

There are an number of alternatives to these damaging products as described below.

There are products on the market that offer a great alternative to the products that contain formaldehyde such as formaldehyde-free-products made of solid wood and natural products. There are also a number of low or no VOC (volatile organic compounds) paints available to consumers these days.

The best way to eliminate phthalates from your home is to get rid of any air fresheners completely. Alternatively, baking soda in your trash cans can also leave your home smelling fresh. Baking soda can also replace your dryer sheets, used in the rinse cycle to soften fabrics and tackle static cling.

These are a few of the basic steps we can take to improve air quality in our homes for our families.

Image courtesy of Ivy Dawned/

Chicago Celebrates Earth Day April 22nd, 2008

by Allyson Hoffman


I think we are all aware that the environment is becoming increasingly more fragile and we need to take the time to educate ourselves and our families about environmental issues and how we can do our part.

April 22nd is Earth Day and Chicago will be celebrating the environment with numerous events and activities. We encourage you take part in this celebration, with your families,  in an effort to recognize the importance of nature around us and preserving this wonderful planet for generations to come.

A few of the Chicago Earth Day celebrations include:

  • Tuesday, April 22 - Mayor's Office of Special Events - Earth Day Celebration
    Daley Plaza from 10am to 3pm.
  • Tuesday, April 22 - 2008 Alternative Fuel Vehicle Exposition
  • Tuesday, April 22 - Chicago History Museum - The Local Eating Option
  • Saturday, April 26 - Earth Fest - IL Tour of Earth-Sheltered Homes

  • Saturday, April 26 - Chicago Botanic Gardens - Earth Day Walk

I hope you and your families have a fabulous Earth Day. For more information regarding these events and other Earth Day information please visit the following links.

Image courtesy of Kate Ter Haar/




In Part 1 of the Moving Guide series we discussed the types of moves that are available. Now we would like to continue with Part 2. You have everything packed and loaded in the movers van or vehicle that you will be driving yourself. Once you arrive at your new home, you may or may not set out to unload and pack as soon as you arrive so you want to be prepared.

Below is a list of some of the essential items that you should pack separately and have with you during the move, for your first night in your new home. These few things will help to ensure that everyone in your family, including pets, is taken care of for the first night in the event that you don't get around to unpacking or if the moving truck hasn't arrived the same time as you.

Food & Kitchen Supplies
It's a good idea to pack a few snacks, sandwiches and bottled water as cooking may not be a top priority when you arrive at your new home. A few additional items you will want to have on hand include paper plates, cups, utensils, napkins and garbage bags.

With everything packed and in boxes or possibly still in the moving van you will need necessities such as toilet paper, toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, shampoo and a few towels. Also you will want to keep with you any contact lens solutions and hygiene products that may be required.

Always pack prescription medication and keep it with you. A first-aid kit and extra band-aids are also a good idea to have on hand during the move and on the first night...just in case.

Try to have a few emergency tools on hand for unforeseen circumstances. Tools such as flashlights, candles, matches, screwdrivers, pliers and scissors.

Clothing for a couple of days should be sufficient to see you through the first night (or two) and maybe a couple of extra blankets or sleeping bags.

Children's Items
For your children you will want to have baby food, diapers and their favorite toys and blankets for their first night in the new home.

Pet Items
Your pets are affected just as much by a move as you and the rest of the family are so be sure to have food, treat, water and any medication that they may require.

These are the necessities that will help you get through the first night in your new home. Keep this list handy well in advance to your move date and add or delete items that you feel will help you best in achieving a stress free first night in your new home.

Image courtesy of Mr.TinDC/


New Chicago Illinois Real Estate Transfer Tax

by Allyson Hoffman


In an effort to solve the funding issues plaguing the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), Chicago City Council has approved the Real Estate Transfer Tax increase, and in another twist, how the transfer tax is to be paid.

Effective April 1, 2008 sellers in the Chicago area will now be responsible for sharing the cost of the real estate transfer tax with the buyer.

Previously, the Real Estate Transfer Tax was $7.50 per $1,000 of the price of the home and it was paid by the buyer. Now, as of April 1/08, the transfer tax has increased to $10.50 per $1,000 of the price of the home where by the buyer will continue to pay $7.50 per $1,000 and the balance will be paid by the seller.

For more information regarding the Chicago Real Estate Transfer Tax increase please do not hesitate to comment or contact me. You can also read more about the changes here.

Image courtesy of

Displaying blog entries 1-4 of 4




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

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.

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]