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Long Grove Strawberry Festival

by Allyson Hoffman

June 26-28, 2015

Long Grove, Illinois

It would be difficult to imagine a finer place to be on a lovely weekend in June than the Long Grove Strawberry Festival. What better way to spend three full days, than surrounded by all things strawberry and enjoying good food and drink, entertainment, and the charming, historic village of Long Grove. Strawberry desserts, strawberry beer, strawberry wine, strawberry lemonade, preserves, soda, vinegars, salads, and Italian ices -- these are only a few reasons to partake.

Be sure to take a leisurely stroll on the cobblestone streets and visit shops in historic buildings preserved in their nineteenth century origins where you can visit gift shops, restaurants and more. The Village of Long Grove, recently named one of Chicago’s Best Public Spaces, will convince you why.

Festival entertainment is varied, offers activities for the entire family and features fourteen playing at the Main Stage over the three days of the festival. Children will be entertained by a magician, a balloon artist, face painting, races, and an around-town scavenger hunt. Be sure to watch the pie-eating contest (or join in), community mural drawing and projects by Home Depot.

Village restaurants are numerous and offer a variety of tempting choices from BBQ to Italian and more. Sample fine craft beers and wines with an emphasis on strawberries, of course, as well as other favorites.

Admission to the Long Grove Strawberry Festival is $5.00 per adult. Children ages 12 and under are admitted free. To purchase tickets online, please click here.

So treat your family to a memorable weekend at the Long Grove Strawberry Festival. Don’t miss this opportunity to see why Long Grove is famous for its slow, relaxed pace and welcoming atmosphere.

Where: Long Grove, Illinois

When:  Friday June 26th from 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM

     Saturday June 27th from 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM

     Sunday June 28th from 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM

For more information regarding the Long Grove Strawberry Festival, 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 F_A/Flickr.com

Home Buying Milestones

by Allyson Hoffman

Searching for your dream home can be an exciting adventure. But upon finding that perfect home, don’t be surprised by the several milestones needing to be met before the sale can be completed. Understanding these contingencies can help you prepare for the experience of purchasing and make the process go more smoothly.

Review the seller's disclosures. Sellers are required by law to disclose information they may have regarding the subject property, and they could be held legally liable if they fail to do so.  Note that disclosure requirements may vary from state to state.

Review the initial title report. This report provides information about ownership, liens, encumbrances, judgments, tax liabilities, easements, and any other issues related to the property.  If attorneys are used for closing or settlement in your area, your attorney will likely review this information as a part of their services.

Home inspection. Typically deadlines will apply to the time provided in the contract for the home to be inspected by a professional inspector who then provides a comprehensive evaluation of the home and a report of his or her findings regarding the current condition of the property. Based upon the results of the inspection, you may choose to request certain issues to be remedied or repaired, propose a credit from the seller to cover the cost of the issues of concern, or cancel the contract entirely.

Appraisal.  If mortgage financing is a requirement of the the purchase of the property, then an appraisal will typically be required by the lender. Although it is not required for cash purchases, it may still be wise to consider an appraisal condition in your offer and have a professional appraisal prepared.

Final loan approval. If you are unable to obtain financing through no fault of your own, generally you may terminate the sales contract and obtain a refund of the earnest money you have paid.

After all conditions have been satisfied, a closing will be scheduled where funds will change hands, documents will be executed and the property will officially transfer from the seller to the new buyer.

When you are ready to start the adventure of buying your dream home, please contact me for assistance. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have, and help you start 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.   

Image courtesy of Michael D Martin/Flickr.com

Father’s Day Weekend at Chicago Botanic Garden

by Allyson Hoffman

June 20-21, 2015

Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe, Illinois

This Father’s Day weekend, consider treating dad to one of many regular summer events and activities available at Chicago Botanic Garden. A special Canoeing Adventure will be held this weekend on the lakes, especially for dads.

The Botanic Garden grew from humble beginnings on the Illinois prairie.  It was once a place where food and timber were produced to meet the needs of early dwellers. Its steady metamorphosis has now produced a world class botanical garden.

“Urbs in Horto” – City in a Garden – reads the City Seal of Chicago. Born as a phoenix rising from the ashes after the Great Fire of Chicago, the Botanic Garden was envisioned by the Chicago Horticultural Society during the rebuilding of the city, and was brought to life by landscape architects Frederick Law and Jens Jensen. Ground was broken in 1965 and the Gardens opened in 1972.

Today, visitors can walk through twenty-six gardens, including the English Walled Gardens, Waterfall, and Water Lilly Gardens, the Japanese Island Gardens, and the Butterfly Gardens. So take a leisurely stroll through these fine attractions, the Fruit Orchards, Farmers’ Market, or bike along the North Shore or Green Bay trails if preferred.

Children’s’ delights include the Enchanted Railroad Garden with miniature city landmarks, treasure hunts, puzzles, toys and a Children’s Growing Garden. If hunger strikes, consider eating at the Garden View Café or various other restaurants throughout the Gardens, which help support the park with foods grown on site.

At day’s end, listen for the bells on Evening Island, or gaze at the Japanese Island of Eternal Happiness – you may not be able to go there, but you can surely see it from here!

Admission to the Chicago Botanic Garden is free. Prices to attend events vary. For information and schedule of events and activities, please click here.

With so much to offer, the Chicago Botanic Garden is the perfect place to bring dad for his special day. Don’t miss this opportunity to create lasting family memories this Father’s Day weekend.  

Where:  Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe, Illinois

When:   Opens at 7:00 AM, closes at 9:00 PM

For more information regarding the Chicago Botanic Garden, 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 BonnieJames/Flickr.com

Life-Changing Tidying-Up

by Allyson Hoffman

Judging by the success of Marie Kondo’s New York Times® Bestseller, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, it seems that many homeowners are aware that they could use a little help in the organization department. Just in case you weren’t compulsively tidying by the age of five, like Marie, her book can help with some motivational and practical tips. Be warned – some of it’s tough, but the results may be truly life-changing.

First, use categories, not locations, to begin your tidying. This method accommodates organizing not just rooms of stuff but all stuff, per category. Start with easy categories such as items of clothing, accessories, etc. and then add sub-categories – for example, jackets, skirts, pants, shirts and so on.  Once you have everything in a pile, handle each item.  If it “sparks joy”, then keep it. If not, discard. Marie suggests starting with items of least attachment and moving to items of greater attachment.

Keep in mind, this should be done as one happening since perpetual tidying doesn’t work well, and won’t be necessary, after this once-in-a-lifetime “special event”.  

The next category to tackle should be books and papers. Practice and reinforce letting go. By bringing out dormant or least invisible possessions to examine for joyful contributions to our lives, the lesson is learned: “later” or “sometime” never comes. Let it go.

The process should continue with miscellaneous items, and finally, mementos. By that point, hopefully the experience and some of the magic of the process will produce the required changes in self-perception.

Lastly, for those joy-producing items that stay, Marie offers revolutionary storage methods that have been tried, tested and succeeded in making an astounding storage space impact.

Clutter typically results from a lifetime of accumulation and habit.  Because habits are hard to change, the solution requires commitment and the acknowledging that “you can’t take it with you”. Instead embrace the fact that you have the opportunity to share some beautiful things and produce joy for others.

So consider Marie Kondo’s smart ideas, as millions of readers have discovered, designed to create the same instant gratification from letting go of possessions as you experienced when you acquired them. It becomes life-changing!           

For additional information on the buying and selling process, contact me today for a consultation. I will be happy to offer suggestions on how you can make your home more appealing to potential buyers, your move an easier undertaking, or help you to determine the value of your home or one that may be of interest to you.  

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 Flickr.com/MarkWallace

May 2015 Midwest Real Estate Market Reports

by Allyson Hoffman

The May 2015 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

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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.

Old Town Art Fair

by Allyson Hoffman

June 13-14, 2015

Old Town Triangle District, Chicago, Illinois

In Chicago’s historic Old Town Triangle District, 250 newly-juried artists and 50,000 visitors gather each June for the Old Town Art Fair. The Fair began 66 years ago when residents of the neighborhood displayed their own artwork on fences to raise money for community projects. Today local, national and international artists display works in widely varying mediums including paint, photography, ceramics, natural materials, textile and mixed-media.

In addition to the artwork, for those who enjoy the growing season, a Garden Walk through 50 urban gardens winds through the historic Old Town District, providing visitors with the opportunity to see lovely examples of Victorian architecture as well. Maps of the Garden Walk will be available at the entrance gates. Music lovers will appreciate two music stages that are also a part of the Fair experience – the Main Stage at Wisconsin and Orleans and the Food Court Stage at North Park and Menomonee. For performers and schedules, click here.

The Old Town Art Fair will be a memorable family outing, featuring children’s activities such as the Children’s Corner for creative arts and crafts. Seller’s booths provide souvenirs and gifts for the entire family as well.

Admission to the Old Town Art Fair is free for children under 12, and $7.00 for adults. Proceeds will go to numerous worthy causes.

Bring the family to the Old Town Art Fair, one of Chicago’s premier summer events! If this is your first time to attend, it is the perfect opportunity to start a new family tradition.   

Where: 1763 N. North Park Ave., Chicago, Illinois

When: Saturday June 13th from 10 AM to 6 PM

    Sunday June 14th from 10 AM to 6 PM

For more information regarding the Old Town Art Fair, 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 Pixabay.com/irenne56

Creating the Perfect Space for Outdoor Entertaining

by Allyson Hoffman

Are you thinking of planning an outdoor party, but don’t have the ideal layout? Look at this as an opportunity to create the perfect space for entertaining. There a several relatively inexpensive ways to create an inviting area for your guests and family, as well as improving your home’s value. Consider the following tips to help you prepare.

First, determine your budget. Fortunately, it doesn’t require spending a great deal of money to make an impact.

Consider your existing belongings and outdoor features that can be utilized by taking a detailed survey of anything available, such as a nicely shaded area where you can anchor a part of your setting. Pay particular attention to any current functional outdoor entertaining area that you can improve and if you need to plan for shading.

Next, review options for designs and materials. It may help to recall the experiences and the outdoor spaces of your friends and neighbors. HGTV.com offers a variety of ideas that are definitely worth checking out while Home Depot and Lowes also both feature sections on their websites that can provide you inspiration and ideas.

Once you have formulated some ideas, create a simple sketch or layout to work with. If you're accomplished at home-improvement, you may be able to determine what your material needs will be and how best to proceed. If not, turn to some of the experts at your local home-improvement center for direction. Also, you’ll want to make sure that your project won't violate any city or county ordinances.

Though it may initially seem like a daunting task, spending the time and effort will likely be worth it. Once you’ve created an amazing outdoor space to enjoy, you will almost assuredly have added to the value of your home. If you are planning to sell your Chicago North Shore, North or Northwest suburban home, feel free contact me for additional information or an onsite consultation. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have about the selling 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.

Image courtesy of Wicker Paradise/Flickr.com

Melancholy Play: A Chamber Musical

by Allyson Hoffman

June 6-7, 2015

Piven Theatre, Evanston, Illinois

Theatre can provide a nice night out, as can opera, or also the ballet—but theatre embodies the freedom of expression required for thought-provoking concepts, as in the case of “Melancholy Play: a chamber musical” by Sarah Ruhl and Todd Almond at the Piven Theatre.

So why should a melancholy mood be thought-provoking? Or the premise of a play? Surprisingly enough a melancholy mood proves to be the actual star of the show, and its transformation to radiant happiness becomes a disappointment to all, in an ironic twist. Therefore, the playwright surmises, melancholy must be a more attractive and provocative emotion than happiness. It is suggested that perhaps the beauty of melancholy is in the eyes of the beholders due to some positive advantage to themselves. The transformation of melancholy to happiness in the leading character inspires profound reactions from not only her relationships in the play, but from the audience as well. Set the whole thing to music—and this performance becomes something that you must see for yourself!

“Melancholy Play: a chamber musical” runs through June 21 with performances each Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:30 PM, and Sundays at 2:30 PM, with the exception of June 19th when Piven Theatre celebrates its 44th anniversary with a Gala event.

Where: Piven Theatre, Evanston, Illinois

When:  Saturday, June 6 at 7:30 PM

             Sunday, June 7 at 2:30 PM

For more information about “Melancholy Play: a chamber musical” and to purchase tickets, 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 Andy Roberts/Flickr.com

Homeowners Insurance

by Allyson Hoffman

Whether you own your home or rent, being prepared for a natural disaster is not something to take lightly. These events can affect anyone, and they can be devastating. The process of rebuilding can be slow and painful in the wake of tornadoes, earthquakes, hurricanes, wild fires, floods and more. Often, survivors need to rebuild or sometimes even buy a new home. Assistance from the state and/or the federal government can mitigate some needs, but having the proper insurance to cover unfortunate unforeseen occurrences is of paramount importance.

For homeowners, making the right choices about insurance is vital. For renters, though the considerations may be easier and less expensive, the need is equally important.  It’s best to begin by selecting a trusted insurance agent and company who offers the types of policies you’ll need. They can advise you and recommend the policies designed to cover contingencies to ensure you’ll have the funds to rebuild or replace after a disaster.

Some natural disasters that could impact you and your home where insurance coverage would be essential include the following events:  

Tornados

Though most frequently seen in certain parts of the Midwest and Southeast, tornados can occur just about anywhere. Around 1,000 tornados touch down every year in the United States. Though tornado damage is often part of a basic homeowner’s policy, it’s prudent to check your policy to make sure you are covered.

Flooding

Flooding is the most common natural disaster in the United States, according to the National Flood Insurance Program, and can even affect homes in areas considered low-risk flood zones. It only takes a few inches of standing water in a home to cause enormous damage.  So contact your insurance provider to be certain of the type of coverage you have relating to water intrusion. For homes located in a flood-prone area, flood insurance coverage may actually be a requirement, especially from your lender, if any. 

Earthquakes

Earthquakes that cause damage are actually rare, but they can happen in any State at any time. Also rare, but equally damaging, are sinkholes and shifting ground caused by mine subsidence. These types of disaster coverage usually have to be purchased separately, and can be expensive.

Some threats, like wildfires, are far more likely in some parts of the country than in others. So awareness of the specific threats to your neighborhood and your home will help you to tailor an insurance policy suited to your specific needs. The right insurance agent is safest course to obtaining the right coverage. Two good articles for additional information on selecting the right insurance representative include Wikihow: How to Find a Good Insurance Agent and eHow money: How to Find a Good Insurance Agent.

Insurance is just one important facet of homeownership.  If you’re planning to buy a new home and/or sell your current home in Chicago’s North Shore, North or Northwest suburbs, I can help you as well. Feel free to contact me today for a consultation. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have regarding the sale of your home, and/or help you to 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!

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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 f2n_downtown/Flickr.com

Displaying blog entries 1-9 of 9

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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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