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

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Issues You May Face on Closing Day

by Allyson Hoffman

Your offer to buy a house was accepted, your inspection was completed and other requirements have been met, so you might assume that your closing is just a formality.  Well, a few things could still go awry. Accordingly, it helps to be prepared by knowing about these potential pitfalls ahead of time in anticipation of a seamless closing when all paperwork is signed and the keys to your new home are received.

Final Walk-through

Your final pre-closing walk-through typically occurs the day before or the day of your scheduled closing. Presumably, the seller has vacated and the house should be ready to go. However, you could find that everything is not exactly in order ... a storm could have caused damage, a new problem not previously noted might appear or possibly, items that you expected were included with the house are missing.

If issues surface, be prepared to resolve them at the closing with the seller who will likely pay the cost of repairs. Refer to your purchase contract which should itemize anything to be included in the sale so that errors can be corrected.  And as long as cool heads prevail, no deal breaker should result from these last minute concerns.

Credit Changes

Once you’ve been approved for financing, typically earlier on in the process, your credit would have been checked and reviewed.  Keep in mind that loan problems can surface if there are major changes in your credit history between the initial credit review and final quality-control analysis just prior to your closing. For instance, a new car loan, large charges on existing credit cards or new credit cards could cause concern for your lender. A new job loss or job change that alters your financial picture might likewise lead to problems. Thus, don’t make any substantive modifications of this type until after you successfully close.

Closing Funds

Be absolutely clear regarding what funds need to be brought to closing and in what form. You may need to bring a cashier’s check or the funds may need to be wire transferred electronically. Failure to adhere to required guidelines for closing funds could cause delays of at least a few hours or even to a different day until you can provide the correct funds.  Check with your real estate agent, attorney and/or Title Company for information regarding the amount and permitted practices allowed for payment.

Keep in mind that most issues on closing day are nothing more than little bumps on your path to home ownership. So, don’t panic.  Just be careful and attentive to details so that no major issues impact your plans. For additional information, reliable recommendations to trusted affiliates or to arrange a meeting to discuss your needs, please contact me today for a consultation. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have about the home buying process.

 

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.    

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Memorial Day Weekend in Chicago

by Allyson Hoffman

You won’t want to miss Chicago on Memorial Day weekend. Whether you have out-of-town guests visiting or you just want to hang out in the city, you’ll find plenty of activities to keep you entertained. Start out with the Chicago Memorial Day parade which begins at noon along State Street. A wreath-laying ceremony will be held at 11AM on Daley Plaza.

Get in the mood for summer festivals with the Belmont-Sheffield Music Festival, which has been a staple of Memorial Day weekend for over 30 years. This year’s festival will be held from Friday, May 26th through Sunday, May 28th.  It will be held at Vic Theatre and cost is just a $5 donation. You’ll be able to enjoy the area’s best tribute bands all weekend long.

Lake Shore Drive closes down in the early morning hours of Sunday, May 28th for Bike the Drive. You can ride your bike from Bryn Mawr Avenue all the way to the Museum of Science and Industry and enjoy the ability to cycle for the entire five hours with no vehicular traffic!

These are just a few of the many events celebrating Memorial Day weekend in style in Chicago.

When: May 26th -29th, 2017

Where: All Around Downtown Chicago

 

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.  

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Most sellers have a long to-do list when selling their home. To assure that nothing is overlooked, here are a few suggestions to be certain to remember when selling a home.

Clarify Inclusions and Exclusions

To avoid last minute confusion, unnecessary disappointment and uncomfortable dissention, be sure that the items conveying with the sale of the property are clearly spelled out.  As a rule of thumb, anything that is permanently affixed to the real property is typically included. This means that if something is nailed on, screwed in, glued on, plumbed in or wired in, it stays unless it is explicitly excluded.  Also be sure to define which movable appliances, window treatments and similar items that could stay or go are precisely noted and agreed to in advance. Moreover, if a home is professionally staged, a buyer may erroneously assume that some staged furnishings are those of the seller.

Remember to Clean in Hidden Areas

Whether it’s a showing or an open house, buyers will inevitably be going through your home and potentially looking in every nook and cranny. Unlike ordinary guests, they will likely open cabinets and closets as well as refrigerators and ovens. So, be prepared by making sure everything is spotless, even the hard-to-reach high places that taller buyers may easily see.

Make Sure the Doorbell Works

While this may not seem like a huge deal, if the doorbell doesn’t work, this might lead buyers to wonder what else is broken even before they step inside. Likewise, torn screens on your storm door, cobwebs in the lights flanking the front door or an unhinged mailbox could provide the wrong subliminal message to a prospective buyer waiting to enter while their real estate agent opens the door.  So follow through and extend this attention to small details throughout the rest of the house such as replacing all non-working light bulbs and other fixtures.

Use Due Diligence in Selecting Your Real Estate Agent

Even when a real estate agent provides seller references, many home sellers fail to contact them.  Don’t make this mistake.  Take the time to check with others who can provide firsthand accounts of how your preferred agent performed, how smoothly the process went and how successful was the end result. 

Use Social Media

Make sure your real estate agent utilizes social media to promote your home. At the same time, ask your own friends to share the information about your house. The more people who share your listing with their contacts, the more people will know about the property and because of the increased exposure, the greater the likelihood that it will sell in a shorter period of time.

Because of the numerous activities occurring when selling a house, some things could be overlooked. Don’t let these suggestions be missed and potentially delay the sale of your home. For additional information on how to prepare your home to sell, feel free to contact me today for a consultation. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have, and/or help you to find your dream home or determine the value of your existing property

 

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.    

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Long Grove Chocolate Festival 2017

by Allyson Hoffman

This event is the ultimate experience for the chocolate lover. The festival will be held May 19th-21st in downtown Long Grove where there’s assured to be something for the entire family. Visitors will enjoy a unique look at historic Long Grove enhanced by chocolate samples from various shops, live music and a variety of fun activities.

Culinary specialties to sample include hamburgers with chocolate barbeque sauce and chocolate beer. There will also be plenty of traditional chocolate favorites. Live music all weekend will serenade the festival. Children of all ages will enjoy sword fighting demonstrations and duels as well as a scavenger hunt. To find out more or to purchase tickets, visit the event’s Facebook page.

When: Friday, May 19, 11am-11pm
           Saturday, May 20, 10am-11pm
           Sunday, May 21, 10am-6pm

Where: Downtown Long Grove, 308 Old McHenry Rd. Long Grove, IL 60047

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

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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.  

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April 2017 Midwest Real Estate Market Reports

by Allyson Hoffman

The April 2017 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 ShoreNorth, 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

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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.

What to Consider When Looking for a Multigenerational Home

by Allyson Hoffman

Thanks to the Recession of 2008 impacting more pocketbooks and growing numbers of older adult children choosing to live at home even after they graduate high school or college coupled with the prospect of aging parents who may move back in with adult children, multigenerational living has become increasingly common.

While looking for this kind of home can be complicated, it is possible to find the property that fits everyone’s needs. Know what to look for when you visit properties with your real estate agent to ensure a successful home search.

Look for Separate Living Spaces

Maintaining harmony under one roof typically means providing room for folks to be separated. A common family room or den in addition to a formal living room can be the ideal setup to accommodate the divergent needs of differing age groups.

Ideally, each person would have their own bedroom for personal space and enough bathrooms to avoid competition for the shower when others need to also get dress

ed. Depending upon the budget, some sacrifices could need to be considered.

Figure Out How to Adapt

Because securing everything that’s wanted may not be possible or practical, adapting to the situation can be the make-or-break factor in how it works for your family. For example, if you need an additional bedroom and already have an eat-in kitchen, perhaps the dining room could be converted to an extra bedroom or an unfinished basement could temporarily add that space until the funding for more significant modifications can be planned and executed.

If storage is challenging, use creative solutions to guarantee that everyone has a place for their belongings.

Don’t Forget the Details

Wider doorways, grab bars in the bath and a bedroom on the main floor may be especially important for an aging parent. For the independent elderly family member, a separate kitchenette and/or den can also ensure their ability to function with minimal aid.

Lastly, don’t be afraid to include an elder member of your group in the search since they’ll like provide valuable input as they review the options from a different perspective. While putting three generations under one roof can be difficult, it’s definitely not impossible.

For additional information, reliable recommendations to trusted affiliates or to arrange a meeting to discuss your needs, please contact me today for a consultation. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have about the home buying process.

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 Brian Smith/flickr.com

Mother’s Day House Walk

by Allyson Hoffman

The annual Mother’s Day House walk at the Evanston History Center is celebrating its 42nd year on Sunday, May 14, 2017. The houses will be open from noon to 5 PM.

The homes that are part of this year’s walk have significance to World War I. Attendees will learn about the impacted of the war on residents of this area and about the architectural styling of the properties. Five homes and two coach houses will be included. Tickets purchased in advance are $40 or $45 the day of the event. For additional information, visit the Center’s website.

When: Sunday, May 14, 2017, 12 PM  to 5 PM

Where: Evanston History Center, 225 Greenwood Street, Evanston, IL 60201

 

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.  

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Landscaping and Exterior Tips to Add Curb Appeal

by Allyson Hoffman

Over time yards and exteriors can begin to age and appear unkempt. Just mowing the grass and trimming bushes may not be enough to create real buyer appeal if you’re planning to sell. So, even if you aren’t ready to leave home just yet, you can begin to add eye-catching curb appeal with these tips.

1. Identify Your Problem Areas

Before beginning any project, determine which areas of your yard and exterior need the most help. Look for places that are overgrown or bare and spots needing some color or clearing out. Once you’ve mapped your problems, create a plan to remedy the situation.

2. Define Your Space

Yards typically include areas designated for flowers or bushes and possibly a seating area for outdoor enjoyment. Create distinct spaces for each by adding attractive borders with bushes, plants, pavers or stones.

3. Add Color

Rejuvenate any yard  or exterior with the addition of color. Pops of color throughout your outdoor space can include garden areas with planted flowers or, alternately, pots that hold these plants which can easily be positioned where you most need the impact. If you have outdoor furniture, try using colorful pillows on your seats or even strike a colorful note by painting your front door in an attention-grabbing new tone. Don’t be afraid to be creative.

4. Compare

Stroll through your neighborhood and check out other homes for intriguing ideas. By pinpointing what you like and what draws your eye to the home, you’ll have a basis for selecting appealing display and features to use in your own landscape improvements.

5. Don’t Forget the Mailbox

The mailbox, an often overlooked part of the outdoor décor can be a focal point for fun. Try planting a small bush or flowers around the base of a freestanding mailbox or replace the box with something that has color and personality. Also, don’t forget to replace old house numbers while you’re at it with something shiny and bright. Not only will it make it easier for people to find your home, but it will add character.

6. On a Grand Scale

If your home needs a new coat of exterior paint, this is one assured way to strike a new look from the street.  Try to make your shutters and window trim distinctive if possible.  Alternately, if your home has aluminum or vinyl siding, a good power washing can create a refreshed look that adds appeal to your exterior and yard.

Try one or all of these ideas to create a fresh new look for your home’s exterior and yard. For additional ideas to enhance your home’s curb appeal, feel free to contact me today for a consultation. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have, and/or help you to find your dream home or determine the value of your existing property.

 

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.    

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Deer Dash

by Allyson Hoffman

It doesn’t matter whether you are a beginning runner or have run several races, the Deer Dash is a fun event for all. There is a 5K race as well as a 10K. In addition, there is a one mile family fun run for everyone.

All participants are winners, so there are no awards for placement. This is a great practice run for anyone who would like to try one of the serious races in the area. The race will be held in Jaycee Park with check in starting at 6:30 am. Check in ends at 7:15 am and the race begins at 7:30 am. To register or find out more, check out the event website.

When: Sunday, May 7, 2017

Where: Jaycee Park, 1050 Wilmot Road, Deerfield, IL 60015

 

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.  

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Which is Your Best Option – Build Up or Out?

by Allyson Hoffman

When many people plan to expand their homes to gain more square footage, they often think of adding rooms by building out. For some homeowners, this is not an option, especially if they live on a small lot and/or if they have strict zoning laws. An alternative to settling on accepting what currently exists might be to consider building up as an option when building out isn’t possible.

The Benefits of Building Up

Building up rather that out has several distinct advantages including the potential to nearly double living space without utilizing more yard area. For anyone located on a small lot, this is likely to be the only realistic way to enlarge your home. Additionally, because the first floor foundation already exists and the footprint of the roofing area will not substantially change significant cost savings to this construction approach combine with lower expenses for future roof replacement.

Lastly, one of the best reasons to build up includes the ease of providing second floor plumbing connections to the existing first floor utilities. Also the possibility increases for creating multiple rooms instead of adding just one or two as is often done with a home addition.

The Concerns with Building Up

Before settling on constructing a second floor, a structural inspection to determine if the foundation can handle the added weight is critical. If not, there can be substantial extra cost required to accommodate the strength needed to support an addition.

Finally, living through a renovation is never easy or pleasant. So before choosing your path, consider that building a room to the side or rear of a house will be much less invasive than building on top of the home where for at least some period of time, you may have an open view of the sky. This fact may cause the need to actually move out for some period of time while the project is completed.

If the issues accompanying the adding of a second story are manageable and the potential outcome is desirable with such a remodel, then building up may be the best option to gain new square footage in your home. For additional information regarding home renovations and their value effect on your home, feel free to contact me today for a consultation. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have, and/or help you to find your dream home or determine the value of your existing property

 

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.    

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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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1245 Waukegan Road
Glenview, IL, 60025

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