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

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Gardening without a Garden

by Allyson Hoffman

Many people who love fresh herbs and vegetables find themselves jealously watching their neighbors working in their gardens every spring. That’s because not all of us have available or suitable ground for our own gardens. Factors including soil quality and too much shade can keep would-be gardeners out of luck every year.

Of course, where there’s a will, there’s a way.  So, if you just can’t stand the thought of not growing your own veggies and herbs during the summer, you might have to consider some unconventional gardening techniques.

One of the most popular options for gardeners with no ground space is container gardening.  Some folks build their own wooden containers to suit their needs, while others simply buy large enough containers at a garden supply store.  Enterprising container gardeners will base their crops on wheels, and move them about to get the best sun each day.  While purpose-built containers, nicely painted or stained, can be a permanent addition to your landscaping features, smaller containers and pots can conveniently be moved to places where they get both good light and add to the beauty of your home.

Other gardeners choose to hang their growing treasures on porches or under roof eaves.  Tomato planters that hang upside down have been popular for years.  They can be bought ready to go, or you can even make your own.  Hanging planters filled with basil or oregano instead of ferns are also popular. The convenience of stepping out onto the porch for a few snips of parsley is nothing to be dismissed in the deep heat of summer!

Hanging gardens do require a bit more focus than a traditional garden. Because they are above ground, plants in containers dry out far more quickly than if they were in the ground. This means you need to monitor the moisture in your hanging gardens on a daily basis. Carefully read the guidance on each plant in your hanging garden to make sure you keep its individual watering correct. It might become a bit tedious, but it won’t take much to stress the plants, or even kill them, if the soil doesn’t stay properly moist.

There are a lot of benefits to gardening from the practical and therapeutic to the visual and sensory.  The added beauty of green, growing plants and the delightful aroma of fresh herbs are sure to make a positive impact on potential buyers .   So if you are thinking of selling, you may want to take advantage of these benefits for yourself and for 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
allyson@allyson.com

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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.

Breathe Deep North Shore 5 K Run

by Allyson Hoffman

Breathe Deep North Shore is a 5K Fun Run, 1-mile Walk, and Balloon Launch to raise crucial funds for lung cancer research.  Join the cause on April 28th and be early.  This year they are expected to host approximately 1,500 supporters and raise well over $100,000 to support LUNGevity.  

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Deerfield High School Football Field/Track
Deerfield, Illinois 60015 

This event will take place rain or shine!

Check-in/registration begins:  9:00 AM
Team Photos:  9:30 AM
Program/Rally/Balloon Launch:  10:00 AM
Fun Run & Walk: 10:30 AM

Closing ceremony:  11:15 AM

 

LUNGevity was founded in 2001 by seven lung cancer patients including a Deerfield High School graduate and a Deerfield mom. LUNGevity raises awareness and funding for critical research.  Deerfield High School - School Chest 2012 broke DHS fundraising records by raising more than $136,000 for the organization.

Hope you’ll join in and consider supporting the cause!

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
allyson@allyson.com

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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.

Pressure Washing Your Home

by Allyson Hoffman

There are ten good reasons you should consider pressure washing your home this spring. Those ten reasons include: Mold, mildew, wind, rain, hail, dirt, tree sap, insects, rodents and birds. All of them take a toll on the exterior of your home, from the top of the roof to the foundation.  You can certainly hire someone to do the work for you, but you might be able to save money in the long-run by investing in a pressure washer and doing the work yourself.

Pressure washers can be powered by gasoline or electricity. They can be purchased for as little as $100 or up to thousands of dollars. A washer costing $200 to $300 will be fine for a most homes. Since you would likely use one only a few times each year, even a quality pressure washer will have paid for itself after a only few years as compared to hiring someone else to do the job.

Pressure washing is great for a variety of exterior treatments, including siding, stucco or brick. Each type requires a different approach. A good overview of the process can be found on the Lowe’s website or the WikiHow site.

Pressure washing should be an essential step in staging your home for potential buyers.  If you’re thinking about selling, please contact me and we’ll talk about other important elements of staging 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
allyson@allyson.com

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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.

Daisy Planting Party - Highland Park, IL

by Allyson Hoffman

In honor of Earth Day, Beanstalk Toyland and Bookstore which is a colorfully decorated store located in the middle of downtown Highland Park, invites children and their parents to learn how to garden. Each child plants his or her own daisy in a clay pot, decorates the pot, and takes it home.  Join in the fun at:

Beanstalk Toyland and Bookstore  

Saturday, April 20th

11:30 AM

654 Central Avenue

Highland Park, IL 60035

For more information: 847-432-8300

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
allyson@allyson.com

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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.

 

© Pcheruvi | Dreamstime.com

Staging Your Home to Sell

by Allyson Hoffman

When you put your house on the market, you're inviting people to consider what living in your home might be like for them. And you need to make that experience as positive as possible. Home Staging is the process of doing just that -- giving the buyer a great first impression. I can help you assess what needs to be done, but here are some of the most important things to remember:

Keep it Neat and Spacious

Most of us just can't help ourselves, and over time we accumulate more and more stuff. Unfortunately, finding a place to store stuff can be a problem. But before a buyer walks through your front door, you need to find a place for as much of your stuff as possible.  Preferably, that place should be somewhere besides your house.  A good option is to put almost everything you don't need for day-to-day living in a rental storage space or if that is simply not possible, then find  a spot where you can pack up and store things you plan to move. First give away or donate what you don’t need and won’t take to minimize the need for storage space.  Then packing up for storage will be a much easier task.

Keep it Light

Pull back the curtains and open the blinds. Let the sun fill your home with natural light and bright open spaces. Make sure all your lights have working bulbs and that your light fixtures sparkle. 

Keep it Clean

Now is the time to be vigilant about keeping the entire house clean. Even people who can't keep their own homes clean will notice that yours is dirty if they're walking through as potential buyers. After you've cleared out the non-essential clutter, you may want to invest in a deep cleaning service. 

Keep Yourself Out

One of the most common staging mistakes is leaving all of your personal photos, keepsakes and mementos on display. You may have a great life in your home, but your family reminders distract buyers. They need to imagine themselves living in your house, with their own furniture and their own stuff.

Home Staging is an important part of the process of selling your home. Whether you hire an expert or do it yourself, taking the time and energy to make a great first impression can be the key to closing the deal!

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
allyson@allyson.com

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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.

International Tom Hanks Day - Lakeview

by Allyson Hoffman

Celebrate the Academy Award winning actor, Tom Hanks, at a benefit for his favorite charity, Lifeline Energy.

Free raffle tickets are given to those who donate $5 to the event.

Saturday, April 13th at 12 p.m.

Headquarters
950 W. Wolfram St.

It may have started off as an April Fool’s joke but the day has grown into much more – an international and charitable event now supported by Tom Hanks. 

April 13th will mark the tenth anniversary of International Tom Hanks Day and its founder, Kevin Turk, has some BIG plans this year.

Watch Tom Hanks discuss the event last year on “Jimmy Kimmel Live”.

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
allyson@allyson.com

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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 Chicago Now
http://www.chicagonow.com/chicago-quirk/2012/03/happy-international-tom-hanks-day/

Checklist for the Final Walk-through

by Allyson Hoffman

The final walk-through of your new home is not something to be rushed. Plan to take 30 to 60 minutes to complete this important task.  You should be as detailed as a home inspector.  In fact, you could even include your home inspector in the walk-through.

Here’s a short checklist for the final walk-through of home:

  1. Preferably, conduct the walk-through the day before the closing.  This will allow time to address any issues in the home.
  2. Check to be sure repairs were made.  Bring the seller’s property condition disclosure form and the home inspector’s report to ensure all repairs have been made as agreed to.
  3. Test everything.  Make sure appliances, lights, heating and air-conditioning systems, furnaces, faucets and toilets are all in working order.
  4. Check windows and doors. Open and close windows and doors to be sure they work. Test the latches and locks. Make sure all the screens are in place.
  5. Check for items you purchased with the house. If your contract states that the drapes, refrigerator and dining room chandelier are included in the sale, be sure they’re still in the home and in good condition.
  6. Ask for receipts for any repairs.  The receipts will prove that the repairs were made and by whom, in case there are problems later.
  7. Talk to your agent.  If any problems are found,, he or she will help to negotiate any repairs or compensation so that the closing can continue as planned.

 Unless a home is listed “as-is,” you should be able to ask the seller to fix or compensate you for any problems.  So be sure this is addressed at the time an inspection is completed with solutions agreed to in writing.  The Final Walk-though, also called a Pre-closing Orientation ensure you the time to verify that obligations are met before the parties meet at the closing table.   

Looking to work with a real estate agent who will be by your side through every step of the home-buying process? Call me today at (847) 310-5300 or email me at allyson@allyson.com to learn how I can help you.

Related Links:

Property condition disclosure

http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/required-disclosures-selling-real-estate-30027.html

Home inspector’s report

http://www.homegauge.com/inspector/home-inspection-software/sample1-hg4/format1.html?css=Style%201%20-%20ReallyRed.css

Final walk-through checklist

http://www.closing.com/learning-zone/article/final-walk-through-checklist/

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
allyson@allyson.com

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 © Gvictoria | Dreamstime.com

 


Starry Starry Nights

by Allyson Hoffman

Starry Starry Nights

Heller Nature Center in Highland Park is offering a great get together for children and their parents.  It’s an opportunity to learn about stars in their Starlab and then take a trip outside the Starlab to identify different constellations.  Join other local families for a night of fun held:

Saturday, April 6th at 7 p.m.

Heller Nature Center

2821 Ridge Rd.

Information:  847-433-6901

Cost: $8

Heller Nature Center is a nature preserve in northwestern Highland Park complete with trails, a nature center with museum and several features throughout the site such as a pond, bonfire circle and bird habitat. The center offers a piece of wild Illinois that is not otherwise available in the area. Heller is also available for meetings, birthday parties and other events. Park Rangers are happy to talk about the land and explain the exhibits or answer any questions about the center.

Allyson Hoffman, ABR, ACRE, CDPE, CRS, e-PRO, GRI, SFR, SRES
RE/MAX Villager
Chicago's North Shore, North and Northwest Suburbs
847-310-5300
allyson@allyson.com

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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.

Allergy Proof Your Home

by Allyson Hoffman

As we ease into warmer weather, we approach the terrible discomfort of allergy season.  Every Spring, millions of Americans suffer through the sneezing, itching, wheezing and coughing caused by allergies to pollen, mold and dust-mites, among other things.  They turn to their doctors and pharmacists for help dealing with the symptoms.  But what can you do to make your home allergen free? As it turns out, plenty!

First, a warning:  Before you take on some of these allergy-fighting projects, protect yourself.  Wear a dust mask and plastic gloves. Take a shower and wash your clothes in hot water after you're done.

Bedrooms

Since you spend a large fraction of your life in your bedroom, let's start there.  Keeping the bedroom allergen free will help you get a better night's sleep.

•Keep the windows closed.
•Vacuum carpets twice a week with HEPA-Filter vacuum.
•Wash bed linens once a week in hot water, and blankets and mattress pads twice a month.
•Wash curtains and blinds once a month, or replace them with shades.
•Cover beds and pillows with dust-mite and allergen-impermeable covers.
•Dust with a damp rag -- you want to capture dust particles, not stir them up into the air!
•Change your air filters every month to six weeks.
•Keep pets out.  Pets are magnets for dust and they'll undermine all your other efforts if you let them in the bedroom.

Bathrooms

In bathrooms, the key is to eliminate moisture.  Here, the problem is mold.

•Make sure you run the fan when you shower.
•No wallpaper. It's a perfect place for mold to hide behind.
•No wall-to-wall carpet. Bath mats washed weekly.
•Wash bath towels once a week in hot water.
•Wash shower curtains once a month.
•Clean your toothbrush holder!

Kitchens

Kitchens are also vulnerable to mold, and additionally need to be kept clean to avoid attracting cockroaches and other bugs.

•Don't leave food or dirty dishes out.
•Clean refrigerator spills right away to avoid mold.
•Run the exhaust fan when cooking to reduce moisture.
•Replace carpet in the kitchen with tile or hardwood floors.
•Scrub the garbage can and deodorize your garbage disposal.

More Help

For more help and advice, follow these links to the Mayo Clinic, Better Homes and Gardens, How Stuff Works and This Old House websites.

Improvements you make to your home to prevent allergies can turn into a powerful selling point.  When it comes time to sell, we'll work together to present potential buyers all of the benefits of purchasing 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
allyson@allyson.com

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.

Displaying blog entries 1-9 of 9

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RE/MAX Villager
1245 Waukegan Road
Glenview IL 60025
847-310-5300
Fax: 847-400-0881

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1245 Waukegan Road
Glenview, IL, 60025

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