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

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Highwood Days with Taste of Summer

by Allyson Hoffman

June 27-29, 2014

Everts Park, Highwood, Illinois

This weekend the Highwood Chamber of Commerce is excited to kick-off the Celebrate Highwood 2014 agenda.  The Highwood Days with Taste of Summer event is North Shore’s version of “Taste of Chicago”, featuring a family-friendly, carnival-style happening.

For three consecutive days you can partake in Highwood’s oldest, and most popular, must-attend festival.  The extravaganza has been revamped, now being hailed as the most memorable Highwood-hosted event, throughout the entire year.

This weekend Everts Park will be transformed into a fair-goers paradise, offering on-going live entertainment.  Music will fill the air as your family enjoys carnival rides or convenes with friends for a bite to eat.  Expect to find fresh foods from a variety of local vendors and restaurants introducing the tastes of the North Shore.  You can even imbibe cold ale in the beer garden while your children participate in the varied activities being offered.

The Highwood Days with Taste of Summer event is free.  So clear your agenda this weekend and don’t  miss all three days of this spectacular event!

Where: Everts Park, Highwood, Illinois

When: Friday June 27th from 5:00 PM-11:00 PM. Saturday June 28th from 1:00 PM-11:00 PM. Sunday June 29th from 1:00 PM-9:00 PM.

For more information regarding the Highwood Days with Taste of Summer 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 Kniye/deviantart.com.

Remodeling: Cost vs. Value

by Allyson Hoffman

There are lots of questions to ask yourself when you're tossing around the idea of remodeling your home.

Whether you're planning to redecorate a room or staging to sell your home, the objective is typically to add value without breaking the bank.  But not all projects provide the same potential return for your effort and investment.    

Remodeling magazine's annual Cost vs. Value Report for 2014 provides some great insights that can help you maximize the benefits of your money and time.  For example, a simple front door replacement, sometimes a good paint job, can add, on average, a 96.6 percent return on the amount you spent on the door and add that value to your home.

Because people focus on rooms where they spend precious time, updating kitchens and bathrooms remains one of the most profitable, if not difficult, ventures to undertake, adding roughly 82.7 percent of the cost to the value of the home. These improvements are not inexpensive with even the average minor kitchen remodel running about $19,000 -- not exactly pocket change for the average consumer.

Start with smaller renovations.  This might include guttering, energy-saving windows, heating and cooling elements or small decks.  These changes can add value without knocking down walls. For those with an adventurous spirit and the need for a new room, consider converting an attic or other usable space to a bedroom or powder room with a sizable 84.3 percent return. But be cautious before embarking on any major home expansion.  While these can be profitable, many more factors must be reviewed before proceeding with assurance that the end result will be worth the cost and inevitable headaches.

Here are three renovations with great returns on investment:

  • Deck addition (wood): 87.4 percent
  • Garage door replacement: 83.7 percent
  • Minor kitchen remodel: 82.7 percent

Here are three renovations with not so great returns on investment:

  • Home office remodel: 48.9 percent
  • Sunroom addition: 51.7 percent
  • Master suite addition: 67.5 percent

Remember, these are merely financially-based results that cannot measure the actual value to your family.  So if a game room, greenhouse or in-ground pool will bring years of joy to your clan, keep that in mind too since happiness typically does not have a price tag.  Contact me today for a consultation. I will be delighted 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 cilesfineline/Flickr.com

Family Geocaching

by Allyson Hoffman

June 21, 2014

Heller Nature Center, Highland Park, Illinois

This weekend the Heller Nature Center invites your family to partake in the Family Geocaching event where they will learn about combining technology with outdoor adventure. The core of the geocaching sport utilizes a hand-held GPS receiver to guide you to designated geocache locations -- you could consider this as a fun, high-tech treasure hunt for the whole family.

The Family Geocaching event introduces the basics of geocaching including how to follow a trail in the direction of “caches”, or hidden objects by using GPS coordinates.  If your family is not equipped with a fancy GPS device, your cell phone will work just fine.  Just be sure to have a GPS locator app installed and activated on your phone.

Registration for the Family Geocaching event is $25.00 per family of four (aged 8 years and older).  To register your family for the Family Geocaching event online, please click here and enter 32822 as the program code.

Don’t miss your chance to experience this unique opportunity to learn about this new outdoor sporting adventure that is taking the country by storm!

Where: Heller Nature Center, Highland Park, Illinois

When: Saturday June 21st - 3:00 PM

For more information regarding the Family Geocaching 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 Harry Wood/en.wikipedia.org.

The Importance of Curb Appeal

by Allyson Hoffman

When offered a home selling survey in 2014, real estate agents claimed that curb appeal was one of the most important factors in making a property more attractive to buyers. That's because a good first impression will quickly determine whether a buyer chooses to check out the inside or keep on driving.

Oftentimes improving curb appeal merely involves taking on a few small projects that make a large impact -- many of which don’t cost a lot of money. For example, cleaning up the outside of the house by washing the windows and siding, replacing broken trim or gutters, changing light fixtures, mowing the lawn, pruning the bushes and removing dead trees or shrubs are all easy ways to make a noticeable difference.

However, sometimes the challenge of home-improvement comes down to adding the extra touches.

By planting colorful plants along your walkway or healthy shade trees to the yard, you'll provide a much more welcoming atmosphere for prospective buyers. Also, cleaning your front door is a good start, but painting your door with a new, stand-out color can really make the entire front of the house look different. Adding symmetrical light fixtures, sconces or plants, can create a warm, welcoming entrance. This also a chance to color coordinate with that pretty new door.

Even a mailbox can express a homeowner's personality and attention to detail. It can also reflect the care given to the inside of the home. By installing a new or unique mailbox and surrounding it with flowers or other small décor, the appearance indicates that the inside of the home also carries the same amount of love.

Remember that when you're trying to improve the curb appeal of your home, the best thing you can do is think like a buyer. Take a step back, forget that it's your pride and joy, and pretend that you are viewing your home for the first time. 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.

Photo courtesy of Media Director/Flickr.com

Is Buying a Home with a Swimming Pool Worth It?

by Allyson Hoffman

Each year thousands of families across America choose to invest in a home with a swimming pool. For some, it’s the fulfillment of a lifelong dream. For others, it’s the beginning of an expensive nightmare.

Many people want a pool because they truly enjoy swimming or relaxing on a float with a cold drink at hand. Pools are great fun and can be the setting for many lasting memories.

As we get older, lifting weights or logging miles on the hard asphalt becomes harder on our joints. Swimming has long been cited by leading fitness experts as one of the absolute best total body workouts. It is not only an excellent cardiovascular workout, but can build muscle and increase flexibility. With a pool of your own, there is no need to go to the gym.  Just step into your pool for a good fitness workout.

Homes with pools are particularly inviting, especially during hot summer months. So if you are a pool owner and you plan to sell your home in the future, the best time to distinguish your home from the competition is during the “pool season” when a functioning, crystal clear pool is most attractive.  While it is unlikely to allow you to sell your home for more than your pool-free neighbors, summertime is the best time to maximize its value unless you live in an area where a pool can be enjoyed for many more months.

Keep in mind that pools can be hazardous. Having a pool can be a liability. Especially when small children are around, it’s important that to maintain a watchful eye at all times.

Depending on the age and type of pool you have, pool maintenance can add significant annual cost. The expense of additional water, electricity, heating and chemicals, can easily add several thousands of dollars a year to expenses for something used primarily during the summer. So before you commit to pool ownership, make sure you are comfortable with the necessary maintenance expenditures.

On paper, installing a pool is actually a poor investment that’s unlikely to return the cost of installation. In most cases, appraisers add a third or less of the pool’s installation cost on an appraisal report.  So if you choose to install a pool or invest in a home with a pool, do it because you love to swim, you’ll enjoy the fun it can add for your family and friends and not because you want to increase the value of your home.

Choosing to buy a home with a pool is not a decision to make lightly. Make sure you weigh the pros and cons before you commit. Contact me today for a consultation. I will be happy to answer any questions you may, 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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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 Coppell Pools/Flickr.com

Nature Nights: Ready, Set, Garden!

by Allyson Hoffman

June 7, 2014

Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe, Illinois

The Chicago Botanic Garden offers one of the most spectacular 385 acres of gardens and natural areas in the entire country.  Daytime visitors can meander through the grounds and take in the sights, sounds, and smells of nature at its finest.  If you’ve ever wondered what takes place in the Garden after hours, this Saturday the Garden welcomes families to roam the grounds after the doors have officially closed, at the Nature Nights:  Ready, Set, Garden event.

The Chicago Botanic Garden, home to over 26 various gardens and 4 natural areas, with 9 surrounding islands and 6 miles of lakeshore, is a perfect setting for a picnic dinner, so be sure to pack one to sustain your family as they explore different areas of the Garden.

Post dinner-hour activities are discover-based activities where your family will learn how to plan, plant, mulch, and water an assortment of plant life.  Horticultural experts will lend a hand, offer advice, and provide insight into the art of gardening.  They will even help you to pot a plant to take home.

To cap off this beautiful outdoor evening experience, a short tram ride of the grounds will be offered where experts will point sunset hour occurrences in the Garden.  Upon your return enjoy a roaring campfire with friends and family … yes, s’mores will be provided!

Registration costs to attend the Nature Nights:  Ready, Set, Garden event are $25.00 for non-member children, and $20.00 for member children.  To place your family’s registration online, please click here.

This Saturday brave the night and unravel the secrecies of nature at sunset.  The Nature Nights:  Ready, Set, Garden event will allow your family to investigate the grounds, participate in planting activities, and even snuggle up around a campfire.  The Ready, Set, Garden event promises to provide something for everyone!

Where: Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe, Illinois

When: Saturday June 7 from 5:00 PM-7:30 PM

For more information regarding the Nature Nights:  Ready, Set, Garden 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 Jim/flickr.com.   

Is That Neighborhood Right for You?

by Allyson Hoffman

Finding the perfect home is about more than just bedrooms, baths, walk-in closets and a formal dining room -- the neighborhood is equally, if not more important than all those things.

But how do you research a neighborhood if you don’t live nearby or have friends in the area?

Fortunately, it’s gotten much easier than it was in the past when word of mouth was the only option.

Start with an online search. Go to your preferred search engine and type in the name of the neighborhood. Instantly you will see a list of reviews and perhaps even a neighborhood message board describing what the people who live there, or have visited, think about the area. Take these with a grain of salt, but note that they are a great way to get a “feel” for the area.

If you are considering buying a house in an unfamiliar neighborhood, talk to the neighbors after you view the house. Generally, people love to talk about their neighborhood, and you will likely get an honest, unbiased opinion of the neighborhood from those who live there and are not trying to sell you anything. A smile can go a long way.

It is normal and typically preferable to keep an arm’s length relationship with the sellers of a home. It helps during the negotiation process, but asking the sellers about the neighborhood is normally acceptable. Feel free to ask about commute times, good restaurants or the schools.  Many sellers will be more than happy to answer.

Where you live is as important as what you live in; so please, don’t forget to do your due diligence regarding neighborhood selection. It will cost you nothing and I am sure you will enjoy your home more if you are in a neighborhood that meets your needs rather than one that does not.

Contact me today if you want to know about schools, zoning or anything else to do with a neighborhood or area. 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

Get your latest Home Value
Receive Your Personalized Listing Alerts

Let’s Connect, Socially!

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
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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 Kevin Poh/Flickr.com

Displaying blog entries 1-7 of 7

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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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