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


Displaying blog entries 1-4 of 4

Has Your Mortgage Loan Been Denied?

by Allyson Hoffman

Many mortgage lenders tend to advertise with satisfied customers who appear to have been approved for a loan. The truth is unfortunately that this isn't always the case and a lot of people get denied for a loan, especially in this economy. However, it is important for homebuyers to realize that it isn't always the lenders fault. Of course they would like potential customers to assume that they will be approved but the loan industry is a very risky one right now and they have to protect their assets.  If you have been denied recently or in the past for a loan, it's time to take control of the situation and do whatever you can to educate yourself on how to change that NO answer to a YES answer! Here, to help you out are some suggestions.

  • Consider a co-signer if your income simply is not high enough to qualify for the actual loan. The co-signer's income can possibly be considered as an amount towards your loan regardless if the person is living with you or helping you pay the actual bill. In many cases, the cosigner might also be able to compensate for your low credit. It is important however to understand that there are risks for your cosigner and if you default on your mortgage, the lender can actually in turn go after your cosigner for the full amount!
  • Wait it out.  Sometimes the best advice you can get, especially if the conditions in the housing market is slow or the economy is bad, is to simply wait. Oftentimes when conditions improve in the economy, the lenders will be more willing to let you "borrow" the money for your loan. While you are waiting, you can take this time to work on your credit score. While you are waiting, home prices could also drop!
  • Consider a less expensive property. We all want what we want, but you might have a better chance of being approved if you switch to a less expensive option. For example, if you wanted a house, but you cannot wait and you cannot qualify for the loan, you might consider switching to a smaller home or to a town home instead. Later on down the line when your financial situation improves, then you can trade up the property and move to the location and home you really want to.
  • Apply with a different lender. The world is full of lenders, if you don't like what one says or you get denied - try someone else! However, if every single lender you go to denies you, you should become aware that it is for a reason - in fact, if they all list the same reason then you will know what you need to fix.  Use common sense and stay away from predatory lenders. We have heard some pretty scary stories about these places - so just don't do it. You could literally be signing your life away.

Keep in mind that if you are denied, keep trying and work on your credit and then in a few months try again! With a little time, patience and understanding, you could be able to turn the situation around to your favor!


Image courtesy of

North Shore Memorial Day Events

by Allyson Hoffman

The long weekend with the last Monday in May is celebrated as the start of summer. Parades, barbeques and other special kick off the summer season. The Chicago area offers many fun events for everyone to enjoy. Have a fun and safe holiday!

Memorial Day Parade-May 29, 2010 - Downtown Chicago

The annual Chicago Memorial Day Wreath Laying Ceremony and Parade is scheduled for Saturday, May 24, 2008. The Wreath Laying Ceremony will begin at 11 a.m. at the Eternal Flame on Daley Plaza in Chicago ( at Dearborn and Washington Streets). The parade will step off at 12:00 noon and proceed south down State Street from Randolph Street to Van Buren Street.

Randolph Street Fest

Randolph Street Fest is the festival of the week this weekend. It runs all
summer on specific weekends. This street market used to be known as the Chicago Antique Market, but alas less antiques leads to a name change. This means all kinds of good stuff is for sale, although not at discount prices. Check it out for some browsing action at 1400 W. Randolph St, in Chicago 60607. They now feature indie items (eco friendly, home made, crafters) and world goods from all over in addition to the antiques. From 10am -5pm Saturday may 24th and Sunday May 25th. It is $10.00 to enter to cover the site rental and security fees. Call 312-666-1200 for more info. 
A free trolley departs from Water Tower Place on the hour between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.; and returns to North Michigan Avenue from the Market every 30 minutes between 11:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

14th Annual Memorial Day Dedication & Wreath Laying Ceremony at Grant Park

The Lawrence Pucci Wedgwood Society of Chicago and co-sponsor Chicago Cultural Mile Association invite you to celebrate this Memorial Day by reaffirming our pledge to assemble, honor and remember those who served this glorious country in the spirit and memory of General John A. Logan, founder of Memorial Day. The dedication and wreath laying ceremony will be held on May 31, 2010, 11:00 AM at the foot of the John A. Logan statue in Grant Park (Michigan & 9th). This event is free and open to the public, more info at


Image courtesy of wintersixfour/

Damages During A Move

by Allyson Hoffman

You have searched for weeks and now that you have found the perfect home  it is time to move in! If you are using a moving company, it is likely that no matter how careful your movers are you will still have a lost or damaged item. So what should you do if a box of belongings arrives in pieces -- or just fails to materialize? Here are some tips for what to do if a moving company damages property or loses something of yours.

1.Be sure to read the Bill of Lading carefully.  This contains the terms of your agreement with specifics such as information on the type of liability you and your mover agreed upon. By law all companies are required to insure their cargo at a rate of up to 60 cents per pound. However that means small high value items will only be replaced for 60 cents.

2. Address any obvious damages or loss. It is vital that you review your inventory and make sure that everything has been accounted for and is not damaged beofre you sign anything.   If you do notice any damages or missing items before make sure to alert them of any issues and make a note on the inventory sheet or Bill of Lading. It is recommended to not accept any offer made by the company to settle on the spot as you may end up underestimating the damages.

3. Know your rights.  According to The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, which regulates moving companies, they indicate that "Movers are prohibited from having you sign a receipt which relieves the mover from all liability for loss or damage to the shipment.  Make re to NOT sign any receipt which does not indicate thatprovide that you are signing for your shipment in apparent good condition except as noted on the shipping documents." If you've made a note on your contract about concealed damages, that last bit will keep you covered. However, even if you have a claim, you are still responsible for paying for the move in a timely fashion.

4. If you suffer a lost, file a claim. You have to file a claim within nine months of the date of service. Contact the movers via certified mail, informing the movers of the damage and requesting a claim form. Be sure to keep a copy of your inventory sheet handy, along with any photos or videos that can support your claim. If the movers are not in contact about your within 30 days or if they refuse to recoup your loss, you may want to file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau or even take your case to small claims court.

5. Invest in moving insurance. Even before you sign a contract with a mover, research your options for moving insurance.  This type of insurance will insure your possessions in the event of a damage or loss, or for a catastrophe occurrence.  Check with your current renter or homeowners insurance company to see what might be covered from your current policy as well.

 Image courtesy of Crispin Semmens/


Tips On Choosing A Generator

by Allyson Hoffman

Spring storms are here and when power goes off for extended periods due to storms or equipment failure, having a backup emergency generator can be very beneficial. There are various types and sizes of generators out there that differ upon your needs. If you are a homeowner considering investing in one below are some helpful tips that can help you.

Types of Generators

Generators come in different sizes and deciding which generator type you need is determined by your power need in emergencies. The more items you plan to to provide power to, the bigger and more costly the generator.

Stationary Generators

A stationary generator is equipped with a forced air or other type of cooling system that allows it to be enclosed typically outside mounted on a concrete pad similar to a central air conditioning unit.

  • Permanent generators are installed as part of the electrical system and provide power to the building wiring.
  • Electrical current from the generator may back-feed into the home's electrical system and cause damage or fire and ruin equipment if it is not properly installed. It is recommended a qualified electrician install a generator to a home electrical system.
  • Stationary generators are far more powerful than any portable unit, a stationary generator will allow you to weather any outage for an extended period of time.

Portable Generators

  • Best for use of a few selected circuits such as  for lights in the general living area, heating or cooling systems, or refrigerator.
  • If deciding to use a portable generator, it is important to select one that is adequately sized. Some electrical motors in home appliances and equipment can be ruined or damaged if they do not receive enough electrical current.
  • Portable generators are least expensive and can be transported for camping, trips or other locations where temporary power is needed

Noise Level

The noise level of your generator is a major factor in determining the right model.

•Many areas have noise ordinances that may impact generator usage, particularly at night.
•Noisy generators are unsuitable for many applications, including camping, powering outdoor events, and RVing.

Most generators are labeled with a decibel rating. For every increase in 10 decibels, the noise level is 10 times more powerful. A generator that runs at 70 decibels is ten times as loud as a generator that runs at 60 decibels.

Before you purchase a generator be sure to you have determined the total watts needed to power the items you need. This is important to help you determine what size generator is required. An electrician can help make this determination or you can check the manufacturer information for each appliance.

Whether you choose a portable or a stationary, all generators burns fuel and must be run outdoors. Always follow the manufacturers instructions and never run it in the garage or inside the home.



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

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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]