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Deerfield Festival of Fine Arts

by Allyson Hoffman

May 31 and June 1, 2014

Downtown Deerfield at Deerfield and Park Avenues, Deerfield, Illinois

Don’t miss this weekend’s 12th annual Festival of Fine Arts in Deerfield.  Held in downtown abutting Jewett Park, juried artists will transform the area into an arts and crafts paradise.  The event features over 125 registered artisans from more than 28 states, live entertainment, food, fun, and more.  This family-friendly event is certain to provide something for everyone.

The Festival of Fine Arts and its panel of jurors selected artists representing a variety of mediums including paintings, wood, photography, jewelry, fiber, sculpture, ceramics and mixed media amongst others. Debra Dembowski, who was the Best of Show winner in 2013 and a participant in the Festival since its inception, will again be featured this year. Juror recommendations during the two-day event coupled with attendee input will be the basis for this year’s awards and recognition.

For attending music lovers, Kraig Kenning with his slide guitar will perform live on Saturday and Sunday’s violin serenade by Edgar Gabriel is certain to be a melodic delight.  Additional varied live entertainers will perform throughout the entire event. 

So bring the entire family out this weekend to the Deerfield Festival of Fine Arts for a unique opportunity and memorable family experience!

Where: Downtown Deerfield, Deerfield and Park Avenues, Deerfield, Illinois

When: Saturday May 31st from 10:00 AM-5:00 PM. Sunday June 1st from 10:00 AM-5:00 PM

For more information regarding the Deerfield Festival of Fine Arts 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
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 weitse/flickr.com.

How to Save Money Landscaping Your Home

by Allyson Hoffman

The warmer weather signals the time to spruce up the grounds around your home. Landscaping costs can range from reasonable to expensive as compared to other home improvement projects, so here are some cost-saving measures for landscaping your home.

Make a Budget and Stick to It

Don’t allow your enthusiasm or excitement to overwhelm your good sense and pocket book. Buying too much to handle simply leads to discouragement or dead/dying plants by the 4th of July.

Knowing your financial and time limitations makes planning a budget that won’t exceed either much easier. If time permits, visit the local nursery or home and garden store to make a wish list. Then return after “sleeping on it” to avoid expensive impulse buying and make your purchases.

Take Advantage of Freebies

Many plants can be acquired at a significant discount or for nothing at all. If your friends and neighbors have established plants, consider asking them for cuttings to replant or swap with them for cuttings from your own garden.

Try checking with locally-owned nurseries having limited space and the need to rotate stock throughout the growing season. Watch for the “Free to a Good Home” display offering perfectly healthy plants for the taking in order to make room for new ones.

Buy in Bulk

This is where good planning can save you money.  A flat of pansies is less expensive per unit than just a few. A 50-pound bag of mulch or fertilizer is cheaper per pound than a 10-pound bag.  So if you calculate your needs ahead of time, you’ll be able to benefit more readily from these bulk discounts.

Do the Work Yourself

The most expensive element of landscaping is labor. A flowering shrub costing $5 at the store will likely cost $15 or more if someone else plants it for you.  So to save money, consider the option of doing it yourself or including your family in the project to achieve faster results.

Making your home look great from the curb does not have to be expensive. With a little planning and some hard work (yours or your landscapers), your yard can look amazing without “breaking the bank”. Contact me today for a consultation. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have, and/or help you determine the best projects to increase your home’s value.

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 SoulRiser at Flickr.com

Barrington Art Festival

by Allyson Hoffman

May 24, 2014

Cook and Station Streets, Barrington, Illinois

This Memorial Day weekend Amdur Productions is proud to sponsor the Barrington Art Festival event which promises bring the passion of ART to all visitors.

The Barrington Art Festival event will feature the works of over 125 juried artisans from around the world and include a variety of mediums ranging from ceramics to fiber, wood, watercolors, glass, jewelry, photography, and more.  Hand-picked by a panel of jurors, only the best of the best will appear at this year’s Festival.

The Art Festival will include a patrARTic graffiti wall where children can use red, white and blue crayons to express their artistic creativity.  The huge art wall provides space for children to freely draw and will eventually be housed at the local library.  Additionally, hands-on art activities, games and an art scavenger hunt will take place. Live music will fill the air and many lucky festival-goers will receive Art Bucks, given out courtesy of Amdur Productions.

The Barrington Art Festival is FREE for the entire family.  This extraordinary show provides the opportunity to see the artisan masters at work, art demonstrations and live discussions.

Where: Cook and Station Streets, Barrington, Illinois

When: Saturday May 24th from 10:00 AM-5:00 PM. Sunday May 25th from 10:00 AM-5:00 PM.

For more information regarding the Barrington Art Festival 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
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 Bluedarkat/deviantart.com.

Easy to Grow Garden Vegetables for the Novice Gardener

by Allyson Hoffman

The magic of growing, eating and preserving your own vegetables provides the added benefit of food that simply just tastes better.

So if you plan to start a backyard or kitchen garden this summer, but are a little concerned about the planting and caring for it, here are vegetables you can plant that are virtually foolproof.

Lettuces and Other Greens

Greens are incredibly simple to grow. Prepare your soil, either by tilling the ground or filling a container with good compost or potting soil, and then sow your seeds directly on the prepared soil. Finish by applying a little water and you will have ready-to-eat lettuces and greens in just a few weeks.

Radishes

You’ll be shocked at just how easy these are to grow at home. Just like with lettuces and greens, all you’ll need is a little prepared soil, seed and water. Remember to keep the soil loose since radishes are root vegetables and grow best when they have a little room to expand.

Tomatoes

Tomatoes take a bit longer to mature than lettuce, greens or radishes, but the wait is well worth the possibility of enjoying a perfectly red, white, purple, green or striped tomato. Tomato plants need daily attention, room to grow and typically, must be staked or caged to prevent the plant from falling over or splitting. If you plan to go organic, try planting basil around your tomatoes to discourage many pesky critters from enjoying your tomatoes before you do. Nothing beats a homegrown tomato and just a few plants can supply your whole family with a large supply.

Cucumbers

Cucumbers can be trained to grow on trellises or you can just let them run wild.  Either way, they grow quickly and require daily harvesting once they really sprout. You might want to consider preserving them by pickling.

Squash and Zucchini

These plants require a bit more room than most since mature plants can easily span a five-foot diameter circle.  They should provide a rich bounty for very little effort. You may find that growing and harvesting these vegetable yields enough squash and zucchini to feed the entire neighborhood throughout the summer!

Gardening can be rewarding pastime. It can also reduce grocery bills while providing your family with healthy foods and give you an excuse to enjoy some fresh air each day. So if you are thinking of selling your home, a vegetable garden may add some bonus appeal to impress those prospective buyers. Contact me today for a consultation and I’ll be happy to 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
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 ConstructionDealMkting/Flickr.com

Sugar Cookie Artistry

by Allyson Hoffman

May 17, 2014

Local Goods Chicago, Chicago, Illinois

Whether you are a first-time cookie artisan or consider yourself to be an expert, you and your family will absolutely not want to miss out on the opportunity to participate in the Sugar Cookie Artistry event occurring this Saturday.  The happening will feature two sessions, for each level of experience.  The family-friendly event promises to have children and adults alike, mastering the art of cookie decorating.

The Sugar Cookie Artistry event invites your entire family to learn to design a well-defined, colorful work of art. Lori Byars, the Mad Baker of Cheshire Cat Confectionary, will be leading both the Amateur, and Masters instructional Sessions.  She will teach the skills required to dispense icing and other various cookie toppings.

The first session in the art of cookie decorating, Amateur Artistry will begin at 11:00AM and is targeted for younger or less experienced children.  Children ages 2 to 8 are welcome to participate if accompanied by an adult.  The cost to participate in the Amateur Session is $10.00 per child or $16.00 for two children.  Tickets can be purchased online.  For this session, please click here.  The second session, Master Artistry will begin at 1:00PM.  The cost to attend this session is $20.00 per artist or $36.00 for two participants.  This session is primarily for adults and children eight years and up.  To purchase your tickets for this session, please click here.

Bring your imagination, creativity and the desire to create edible works of art.  The Sugar Cookie Artistry event promises to provide the entire family with the skill and the ability to create amazing works of sugar cookie art!

Where: Local Goods Chicago, Chicago, Illinois

When: Saturday May 17. 11:00 AM Amateur Session. 1:00 PM Masters Session

For more information regarding the Sugar Cookie Artistry 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
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 madlinlovewithlife/flickr.com.

Model Railroad Garden: Landmarks of America

by Allyson Hoffman

May 10, 2014

Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe, Illinois

This Saturday the Model Railroad Garden:  Landmarks of America exhibit is chuggin’ back into town. The event features a spectacular showcase of model trains and 3D landmark exhibits. 

The Model Railroad Garden began as a seven-track layout intended to be a 5-month, one-time only, run.  However, due to its resounding success, the happening now features a 7,500 square foot exhibit with 18 operating trains, running on 17 tracks. The layouts are built around American landmarks and points of interest.  Mount Rushmore, the Statue of Liberty, Yellowstone Park and Mount St. Helens are just a few of the sites that can be seen.  There are annual revisions to the landscaping to keep the scenery fresh and interesting.  This year’s additions include Cape Cod and the New Orleans’s French Quarter.  Upon the close of the railroad season, the trains will have travelled an astonishing 22,000 miles.

Admission prices to attend opening day of the Model Railroad Garden:  Landmarks of America event are $6.00 for adults, $5.00 for seniors, $4.00 for children ages 3 to 12, and free for children 2 years of age, or younger.  Garden members will receive a $1.00 discount, while Garden Plus Members will be admitted for free.

Back by popular demand and bigger and better than ever, the Model Railroad Garden:  Landmarks of America exhibit opens this Saturday. Bring the entire family out for a captivating day -- ALL ABOARD!

Where: Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe, Illinois

When: Saturday May 10th from 10:00 AM-5:00 PM

For more information regarding the Model Railroad Garden:  Landmarks of America 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
allyson@allyson.com

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 of Lively One/flickr.com.

Ten Ways Not to Sell Your Home Quickly - Part Two

by Allyson Hoffman

Previously I provided five costly and common mistakes that sellers make when selling their homes. Here are five additional mistakes to avoid when selling your home.

Being Unwilling to Negotiate

Some sellers overvalue their homes for a variety of reasons.  The most common cause for overvaluing improvements results from emotional attachment. Buyers frequently make offers below list price with the expectation that a seller will negotiate and possibly accept a lower price, agree to do some repairs or make some other type of concession. It’s always the seller’s choice whether to consider these options, but keeping an open mind helps to maximize the potential of each opportunity.  Digging one’s “heels in”, so to speak, could mean never knowing how far a buyer will actually go… and many times it is a pleasant surprise to sellers who explore the possibilities.  Keep in mind that it doesn’t matter where the buyers start – it only matters where they end up.

Subpar Online Presence

According to the National Association of Realtors’ statistics, 90-percent of homebuyers begin their home search online. So, to attract the most potential buyers within those critical first few weeks of their search, a powerful online presence is essential to standing out in a good way.  Pictures should portray your home in its best light. Poor pictures can ruin even the best marketing plan. Make sure that the pictures used to market your home online are of professional quality or, at a minimum, better than average.

Not Keeping the Home Clean

In a perfect world, sellers would like their homes under contract within a week of listing, yet many times that is not the reality of the situation.  Keeping your home “showroom ready” for several weeks on end, can be difficult.  But realistically, the initial effort to keep your home ready to show at the drop of a hat (no dishes in the sink, no shoes in the living room and no dirty towels in the bathroom, etc.) is what it takes to sell it in short order.  That initial effort may seem difficult, but it more than likely will shorten the time to success and provide you some respite sooner.

Sticking Around During Showings

No one knows your home better than you, but buyers find it hard to relax when the seller is present during their home tour. Potential buyers react more favorably when they are comfortable walking through your home. So, when an appointment to see your house is scheduled, take the opportunity to go out, if you can, or make yourself really scarce when visitors are viewing your home.

Choosing the Wrong Realtor

Not all real estate agents are created equal. An experienced Realtor can guide you through the entire process of selling your home and can be an invaluable resource. Make sure you choose a Realtor who knows your area and is an experienced listing agent with the skills, marketing saavy and connections to sell your home quickly.

Avoiding these additional five mistakes and embracing the advice of your Realtor, should undoubtedly minimize the problems of selling your home and maximize your likelihood of success.  Contact me today for a consultation. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have, and/or 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
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 webherper/Pixabay.com

 

Long Grove Chocolate Fest

by Allyson Hoffman

May 2 - May 4, 2014

Historic Village, Long Grove, Illinois

Are you and your family looking to indulge in a three-day event full of chocolate, shopping, live entertainment, activities, and more?  If so, you will absolutely not want to miss out on the Long Grove Chocolate Fest event occurring this weekend.  The Historic Village of Long Grove will be transformed into a chocolate lover’s paradise, featuring decadent chocolates being brought to you by a variety of participating chocolatiers.

Treat yourselves to chocolate concoctions of all sorts.  From chocolate-dipped strawberries and bananas, to brownies and fudge, the famous Long Grove Confectionery, along with many other chocolate shoppes will be serving gourmet delights that are sure to please even the pickiest of chocolate eaters.

To accompany a delicious day of chocolate indulgence, the Fest also features live entertainment from over 30 of the area’s most popular bands.  You won’t want to miss the many quaint specialty shops that are nestled within the Village. They will be offering chocolate tastings as well as discounted pricing.

Activities, games, and more will be provided for your family at The Kid’s Zone. The Long Grove Chocolate Fest additionally features for children’s enjoyment a rock climbing wall, an obstacle course, pony rides and more.

Admission prices to the Long Grove Chocolate Fest event are only $5.00 per person.  The proceeds will go to benefit programming and events held in Historic Long Grove throughout the year.  Tickets can be purchased at the gate.

Historic Downtown Long Grove invites your entire family to embrace a fun-filled weekend of chocolate tasting, eating, and savoring.  Do not miss this mouthwatering event!

Where: Historic Village, Long Grove, Illinois 

When: Friday May 2, 10:00 AM-6:00 PM. Saturday May 3, 10:00 AM-6:00 PM. Sunday May 4, 10:00 AM-6:00 PM.

For more information regarding the Long Grove Chocolate Fest 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
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 Joits/flickr.com.

Displaying blog entries 1-8 of 8

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1245 Waukegan Road
Glenview IL 60025
847-310-5300
Fax: 847-400-0881

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