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

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Biggest Home Improvement Mistakes

by Allyson Hoffman

Whether you’re a homeowner looking to sell, or a buyer looking to make improvements on a new home, remodeling is one way to increase value and get the look you want. However, you’ll definitely want to avoid common mistakes people make when they start a remodeling project. Here are three of the biggest miscalculations.

Overdoing It

Remodeling can increase the value of your home … if it’s done right. While you may want your home to stand out as the best one on the block, it shouldn’t be so different that it doesn’t fit in.

Remember, buyers often choose a location because of price range and certain amenities. Keep this in mind when tackling your remodel project.  It will enhance the likelihood that your home will be easier to sell when the time to do so arrives. A $70,000 kitchen remodel may look great but ultimately not provide a good return on your investment if the rest of the homes in the neighborhood have a $30,000 kitchen.

Changing Your Mind

Take the time to research your remodeling project thoroughly. Compare products and prices to determine what the final result should look like. A preferable approach may include working with a professional designer who can show you a mock-up of the completed look.

Once you choose a design, stick with it.  Owners who require changes along the way typically end up exceeding their budget or cutting costs in other areas to make up the difference. It’s better to take your time making the decision than to try to alter it after the work begins.

Not Padding the Budget

Unless you’re doing a minor DIY remodel, it’s likely you will end up with at least a few unanticipated expenses. These unplanned surprises will undoubtedly add cost, so cushion your budget to include for a few inevitable unforeseen issues.

Most experts project from 10 percent to 30 percent extra to prepare for these problems. So, for a $20,000 remodel, plan $2,000-6,000 extra in your budget.  Should you live in an older home with outdated wiring and plumbing, you may want to increase that amount.

Accordingly, if you are planning a major home improvement project this year, make sure you avoid these three common mistakes. Being prepared will save you time, money, frustration and heartache. For additional information on beneficial and value-improving remodeling projects to consider, contact me today 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
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.   

Image courtesy of Roland O’Daniel/flickr.com

Memorial Day Parade

by Allyson Hoffman

May 28, 2016

State Street and Lake Street, Chicago, Illinois

Hailed as one of the largest Memorial Day parades in the nation, Chicago’s Memorial Day Parade is a century-long event that brings in people from all over the country. First launched in 1870, the parade follows along State Street from Lake Street to Van Buren Street.

The event begins at 11:00 AM with a Wreath Laying Ceremony at the Eternal Flame, which is located at Daley Plaza on the corner of Dearborn and Washington Streets. Following the ceremony, the parade steps off at 12:00 PM. This year’s grand marshal is Lt. General Kenneth R. Dahl of the US Army. Part of the festivities includes an awards ceremony honoring special military personnel.

The event is free and public transportation to the parade location includes the Pink, Orange, Green, and Brown lines on the El. You can also take the bus or the Metra and South Shore to Millennium Station.

This Saturday, don’t miss the opportunity to join the masses in honoring our fallen heroes at the Memorial Day Parade.

When: Saturday, May 28, 2016 at 11:00 AM

Where: State Street and Lake Street, Chicago, Illinois

For more information regarding the Memorial Day Parade, 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.   

Image courtesy of Unsplash/pixabay.com

Benefits of Sending the Seller an Offer Letter

by Allyson Hoffman

If you’ve found the home of your dreams only to discover you aren’t the only one putting in an offer, you may be worried the sellers will choose someone other than you. This is a credible concern in a seller’s market where multiple offers give the seller the upper hand.

But as the buyer, you don’t have to just stand back and hope for the best. In addition to putting in a solid offer, you can also write a letter to the seller.

Why Write a Letter with Your Offer?

A letter included with your offer will personalize the offer and make it stand out from others. You will likely be the only buyer doing this, which will make your offer memorable. While sellers generally accept the offer with the highest price and best terms, when the offers are close in dollar amounts, that letter might distinguish you from the others. As long as your offer is realistic, a personal letter to the seller could give you the upper hand.

It is a good idea to consult your real estate agent before including a letter with your offer to determine if a letter is appropriate for your situation.

What Should You Say?

The letter, your personal introduction to the sellers, should explain who you are and why you want this house – including pictures of your family can also be compelling. Keep it brief, but include a few especially relevant points that may create a positive reaction from the sellers. Let the sellers know that you are a solid buyer and definitely include reasons why you want the house by mentioning key features that won you over or ideas of how you will use a certain space. Avoid any reference to renovations because you don’t want to give the impression there’s anything about the house you don’t like. Instead, keep everything positive.

Convincing the seller that you will love the home as much as they have will go a long way toward helping your cause. Remember that this is an emotional as well as financial decision for the sellers, and you should appeal to both sides. For additional information on the home buying process, feel free to contact me today for a consultation. 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
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.   

Image courtesy of FirmBee/pixabay.com

Yoga in the Sky at Navy Pier

by Allyson Hoffman

May 22, 2016

Navy Pier, Chicago, Illinois

Enjoy a unique experience with Yoga in the Sky presented by AMped and Zen Yoga Garage this weekend. Visitors will enjoy an amazing yoga session, shopping, and lots of fun on the Rooftop Terrace at Navy Pier on Sunday, May 22, 2016.

The marketplace will feature top Chicago artists, craft makers and designers showcasing special goods for sale. There will be live music for entertainment, surprises, and attendees will have the opportunity to participate in health and wellness giveaways.

The event lasts from 10 AM to 3 PM with an hour of yoga to begin the festivities against the amazing backdrop of the city. After the yoga session, attendees have the opportunity to browse the wares offered by local designers, jewelers and artists, followed by a fun dance party that will last all day.

Participants will need to bring their own yoga mats, and arrive by 9:15 AM. Admission is $40 and includes all activities plus a free gift bag.

Yoga in the Sky provides an opportunity to enjoy something truly different this weekend. Don’t miss out on great shopping, yoga and fun at Navy Pier.

When: May 22, 2016 from 10 AM to 3 PM

Where: Rooftop Terrace at Navy Pier, Chicago

For more information regarding Yoga in the Sky, 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.   

Image courtesy of Corey Burger/flickr.com

3 Tips for Choosing a Neighborhood

by Allyson Hoffman

If you’re moving to a new location, one critical decision in finding a new home is choosing the right neighborhood. While you may prefer a short commute or require quality schools, you’ll also want to select a community that fits your personality and your family. Here are three tips to help with your analysis.

Know What You Want

Start by identifying what location features are important to you.  Are you seeking a picture perfect suburbia setting with tree-lined streets and children playing in the yards?  Perhaps you’d prefer an action-filled downtown with all of the best places to eat and hang out within walking distance. Or would a sophisticated neighborhood filled with fun amenities and young professionals be optimal?

Consider the amenities you need near your chosen location. Maybe public transportation is a priority or a city park. Some buyers like to be within walking distance of a library or grocery store, while others feel that multiple choices of restaurants are appealing. Decide what is important to you and your family in advance of your search.

Consider the Type of Housing

In most cases, the majority of suburban homes will be single-family detached residences with smaller numbers of townhomes and condominiums mixed in.  Conversely in the downtown urban areas, condos and apartments will prevail with lesser numbers of free-standing homes. Consider the upkeep you’ll be willing to undertake and how much space you’ll want.

If you are looking for neighborhood amenities, newer subdivisions may be designed in their planning and construction phase to provide and offer more than traditional older single-family home neighborhoods where proximity to a downtown center may offer some of what you’d like and need, but it may be further from your home. If freedom from home maintenance chores is attractive, you might consider seeking a property in an area that includes lawn care and/or common areas with a pool, fitness center or entertaining space.

Drive the Neighborhood

One sure way to become familiar with any neighborhood is to drive to/through the area, park your car and take a leisurely walk down the streets. This will often provide insights as to who lives there and the sounds you’ll hear such as children playing, trains rolling by, the hum of a nearby highway, planes flying overhead or the soft silence of trees fluttering in the wind.

Multiple visits at different times of the day will provide the best overview of life in the area. While it may be relatively quiet during the day when everyone is at work and children are in school, nighttime could be the total opposite with cars cruising down the street or partying neighbors.

Searching for a home to buy is also committing to a neighborhood. Make sure you like both before you make that final decision. For additional information regarding the purchase of a new home, contact me today for a consultation. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have about Chicago's North Shore, North or Northwest Suburbs, 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
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.   

Image Courtesy of Bill Benzon/Flickr.com

Just Listed - 75 Downing Road, Buffalo Grove, IL $335,000!

by Allyson Hoffman

Fall In Love Here!

No Place Like Home and No Place Like this SPECIAL Dream Home!

Paint It Pretty and Pristine with Personality Plus -- A Sure Family-Pleasing Memory Maker! 

 A prescription for family pleasure in this instantly-appealing show stopper! Packed with extras, this pristine four-bedroom tri-level with attractive updated brick/vinyl exterior, side-loading garage, newer concrete drive/walkway, leaded-glass front door and covered front porch entry is beautifully landscaped.

The lovely exterior foreshadows the exceptional interior highlights -- starting with an inviting foyer with wood balusters & wrought-iron rails overlooking the step-down to a sunny living room with a bowed picture window and adjoining el-shaped dining room. Gorgeous oak floors extend throughout the entire main and upper levels. The updated eat-in kitchen features all stainless steel appliances, direct access to the patio and fenced backyard, newer counters and a view of the spacious lower-level family room with its huge corner raised-hearth, wood-burning brick fireplace. Also located on the lower level is an updated full bathroom, convenient fourth bedroom or in-home office, ideal for guests, and access to the big finished sub-basement with a giant recreation room, shelved storage room and finished laundry/mechanical room.  

The upper level features the master bedroom with two-double door closets, a lighted ceiling fan and access to the sparkling, updated shared bathroom as well as two family bedrooms each with a lighted ceiling fan, double-door closet and view of the backyard.

This special home with over 2400 SF of finished living area is a truly picture-pretty-love-at-first-sight opportunity – ready today for the next lucky family!

To view the full description and collection of photos for this home please visit c.
 
Contact Allyson Hoffman for more information or to schedule a showing.  Visit www.RealEstateNorthernIllinois.com or email Allyson@Allyson.com!

April 2016 Midwest Real Estate Market Reports

by Allyson Hoffman

The April 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
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.

World Bonsai Day

by Allyson Hoffman

May 14, 2016

Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe, Illinois

This weekend the Chicago Botanic Garden is featuring a special presentation you won’t want to miss. World Bonsai Day was first organized in 2010 to promote friendship and bonsai. The curator, Chris Baker, and special volunteers provide a demonstration of bonsai rock planting.

The event will also include tree styling and a Bonsai Collections Highlights tour. Visitors will see Azalea, Wisteria and Crabapple as some of the highlights of the tour, which starts at 1:00 pm in the Runnells Courtyard.

The Chicago Botanic Garden is open 8 am – 7 pm, and the World Bonsai event is from 11 am – 3 pm. Guests will learn more about bonsai and will have a wonderful opportunity to enjoy beautiful blooming bonsai. Admission to the Garden and the event is free with a parking fee if you’re not a member. Visitors can enjoy a meal at the Garden View Café or take home some souvenirs from the Garden Shop.

Don’t miss the opportunity to take part in a wonderful event at the Chicago Botanic Garden this weekend. The whole family will enjoy the beauty on display at World Bonsai Day.

When: May 14, 2016, 11:00 AM – 3:00 PM

Where: Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe, Illinois

For more information regarding World Bonsai Day, 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.   

Image courtesy of Stephanie Clifford/Flickr.com

Inexpensive Tips to Update Your Home to Sell

by Allyson Hoffman

If you’re considering putting your home on the market this spring or summer, you’ll undoubtedly want to ensure that it sells quickly and for top dollar. While you can’t control the market, you can influence what buyers see when they walk into your space. Here are a few suggestions to make your home look fabulous in the eyes of the buyers.

1. Paint is a Cheap Fix

Paint provides the biggest bang for the buck.  It can cover a lot of imperfections and it doesn’t break the budget. So strongly consider painting to provide a fresh, new look to your home.  From walls to cabinetry that would be costly to replace, paint can do wonders. To create an unforgettable first impression, repaint your front door in a distinct and attractive color to capture buyers’ instant attention.

2. Install New Lighting

Outdated light fixtures, a potential eyesore to buyers looking for an updated space, can typically be replaced economically with something brand new. By adding new lighting and possibly more fixtures, especially in kitchens and bathrooms, the space will generally appear both larger and brighter. Consider under-cabinet lighting in your kitchen workspace or sconces around the bathroom mirrors to enhance visual appeal.

3. Replace Faucets

Another inexpensive upgrade to make your kitchen and bathrooms feel fresh and new is to replace the faucets. Consider popular low-flow showerheads with spa settings and a kitchen faucet with a pull-out sprayer to entice buyers. By updating faucets with a new contemporary style, the entire sink or vanity will appear newer without the cost of replacement.

4. Re-glaze the Tub

If your tub is older or its color is not in vogue, rather than enduring the mess and costly expense of replacement, an inexpensive fix is to have it re-glazed. This process removes chips and cracks and provides a shiny new finish. Your bathroom will appear well-maintained and problem-free when you re-glaze the tub and re-caulk and re-grout the surrounding tile.

5. Declutter

One of the easiest and cost-effective ways to make your home look fabulous involves removing all excess clutter. So store those extra family photos and eliminate the majority of unneeded decorative items. Clear off counter tops, vanity tops and dresser tops as well as eliminating extra furniture. If needed, identify a section of your basement or garage where things can be stashed or even rent a storage unit which often can be obtained for minimal cost. A clutter-free space that looks larger and more inviting to buyers will go a long way toward improving your chances of a fast sell.

Following these tips will help to showcase your home in its best light and leave potential buyers with a distinctly better impression. For additional ideas regarding preparing your home for sale, feel free to contact me today 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
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.   

Image courtesy of kaboompics/Pixabay.com

Mother’s Day Weekend Cruises at the Navy Pier

by Allyson Hoffman

May 7, 2016

Navy Pier, Chicago, Illinois

Consider treating Mom to something special this year at the Navy Pier. Three different weekend cruises offer a few hours of fun and relaxation for the special mom in your life. Bring your wife, your mother, your grandmother, your sister or just a special friend to your pick of three different cruise boats.

The first option, The Odyssey, offers a level of elegance that is sure to be appreciated. Delicious cuisine and entertainment create a sophisticated atmosphere with dancing for your family’s special time together. A second option, the Spirit of Chicago, features a spectacular buffet with DJ entertainment and fabulous views. The third cruise line, the Mystic Blue, sails from noon to 2:00 pm and includes a brunch and music.

Family members of all ages are welcome to join the festivities with adult ticket prices ranging from $54.90 to $94.90 for a dinner cruise aboard the Spirit of Chicago and children’s pricing at a reduced rate. The length of each daytime cruise is two hours with the dinner cruise lasting 2½ hours.

Don’t miss this special opportunity to treat the special mom or moms in your life to a day of fun at the Navy Pier this Saturday.

When: May 7, 2016 from 10:00 AM to 9:00 PM

Where: Navy Pier, 600 East Grand Avenue, Chicago, Illinois

For more information regarding Mother’s Day Cruises at Navy Pier, 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!

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Google +1
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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 Cortney Martin/Flickr.com

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 11

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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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