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

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Identifying and Treating Lawn Diseases

by Allyson Hoffman

At the height of summer, the last thing any of us want to see is a brown, dying lawn. Often caused by fungus, lawn diseases are a reality that can wreak havoc with your landscaping. How can you tell if you have a problem, and what can you do to prevent or treat one? Let’s start with the possible problems.

The Diseases

  • Rust occurs in lawns with lots of shade, humidity and low nitrogen levels. It’s easy to identify from the orange color and the fact that a tissue run over the affected area will also turn orange.
  • Humid, wet weather and warm temperatures at night are the conditions that contribute to Brown Patch disease. Look for circular, sunken patches of grass that turn purple-green and then brown. The outer edges will appear dark green.
  • When temperatures are between 70 and 90 degrees, lawns infected with Dollar Spot will begin to develop dead spots up to six inches in diameter.
  • Dry weather followed by wet weather can help bring on Necrotic Ring Spot. Also known as Frogeye disease, it usually appears in fall and spring, but can affect lawns in summer as well. If it is affecting your lawn, you'll notice light yellow patches or rings which eventually turn brown or yellow.
  • Hot, dry and humid conditions are perfect for the fungus that causes Summer Patch. Crescent shaped patches result from rotting roots. Affected areas lose their color, turning reddish-brown and then tan.

Treating Lawn Disease

The bad news is that these diseases can cause permanent damage to your lawn if they aren’t dealt with promptly. The good news is that these diseases can be treated. Simply using a fungicide, and then following the guidance below will usually take care of the problem. The sooner you recognize the problem and start treating it, the better. For more information, please see this article on WikiHow.

How to Avoid Lawn Diseases

There are a number of steps you can take to prevent lawn diseases. First and foremost, proper fertilization and watering are the foundations of a healthy lawn. Watering should be done in the morning so the lawn dries before evening. Mowing should be done at a high height and with a sharp blade.

Conclusions

A lawn represents a large part of any home’s curb appeal. Damage from disease can hurt the first impression potential buyers have of your home, and so preventing and treating  lawn diseases are a priority if your house is on the market or if you are planning to sell in the near future.  So, don’t wait to take care of problems.   Should you need help getting your house sold, please contact me and I’ll help you get the best deal possible.

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 market

Wicker Parkfest

by Allyson Hoffman

July 27 and July 28
12:00 PM to 10:00 PM

A $5.00 donation benefits local non-profit organizations

Wicker Parkfest is finally upon us and it is known to be the “best street festival of the summer” by the Chicago Tribune.  It’s an opportunity to see and listen to the high quality live music featuring local and national musicians.  Enjoy the festivities with three stages filled with live bands and DJ’s in Chicago’s Wicker Park and Bucktown districts.

While you are there, you may also want to check out everything else this historic and diverse area has to offer including acclaimed restaurants, a newly distinctive arts element and family activities.

There is something for everyone of all ages to enjoy.

Get Directions

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 market

June 2013 Market Stats for Your Neighborhood

by Allyson Hoffman

In my Real Estate Update newsletter on Chicago’s North Shore, North and Northwest Suburbs real estate market, I added the latest real estate market statistics for June.  As you read the article take note of the Average Sold Home Values and the Median Sold Home Values and how they have increased for our area.  Chicago’s North Shore and Northwest Suburbs real estate market continues to rebound with notably lower inventory and markedly-increased demand.   The multitude of buyers trying to buy homes right now will find new challenges and competition while sellers will find success much more readily today. 

Take a look at the June 2013 Market Report including the sales data for Cook and Lake Counties.  Specific information for your town, subdivision or neighborhood is also available and if you would like to see a customized market report tailored to you, your home or even an area that interests you please let me know and I will send it to you.

If you would like to read the full article regarding Chicago’s North Shore and Northwest Suburbs Real Estate Market, please visit my newsletter and sign up for future newsletters with monthly market updates.

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 market

North Shore Suburban Chicago Monthly Update

by Allyson Hoffman

North Shore Suburban Chicago Real Estate Monthly Update

Chicago’s North Shore, North and Northwest Suburbs real estate market continues to rebound with notably lower inventory and markedly-increased demand.  The multitude of buyers trying to buy homes right now will find new challenges and competition while sellers will find success much more readily today. 

Take a look at the June 2013 Market Report including the sales data for Cook and Lake Counties.  Specific information for your town, subdivision or neighborhood is also available and if you would like to see the market report tailored to you, your home or even an area that interests you please let me know and I will send it to you.

Click here for Cook County June 2013 Report

Click here for Lake County June 2013 Report

Here are a few stand-out statistics that might be of interest to you: 

There are 32-39% fewer homes on the market than a year ago,  the lowest number in many years creating a strong seller’s market with well-priced homes selling in many multiple offer negotiations, a result of demand outpacing supply. 

Average sold home values and median sold home values are up in Cook County by 2-3% on detached homes and 5.7-5.9% on attached homes from one year ago.  Lake County appreciation numbers lag those of Cook County (see reports above). 

The average days on market of homes sold regardless of type of property or county are down substantially by as much as 26% as compared to a year ago.

Mortgage interest rates, now on the rise, may temper some of the current buyer activity and somewhat offset price increases as both increasing variables will lower affordability levels for many and potentially impact future demand. 

So if you’ve been waiting to buy or sell a home in Chicago's North Shore, North or Northwest suburbs, now is the sell while demand is still strong and it’s also the time to buy before rates and prices increase further. Please let me know how I can serve you with any of your real estate needs. I am here to help!

*This representation is based in whole or in part on data supplied by various Participants in the MREDLLC for the period 8/1/12 through 7/31/13. MREDLLC does not guarantee nor is it in any way responsible for its accuracy. Data maintained by the MREDLLC may not reflect all real estate activity in the market.

If you are considering buying or selling or, alternately, if you are just interested in the property value of your home or a home that interests you, please feel free to send an email request to me at allyson@allyson.com and I will gladly arrange to meet with you and/or set up a personalized webpage with data designed specifically for your home, a home that interests you or for a personalized new home search profile that matches your unique criteria.

PitchFork Music Festival

by Allyson Hoffman

It is that time again for one of the best music festivals of the summer.  Come out and enjoy three days of music, over 50 vendors and specialty fairs that support the Chicago Art community including the local business and economy.  Internationally recognized, the PitchFork Music Festival will be held at Chicago’s Union Park highlighting over 40 bands, an event that’s been consistently proven to one of be the most welcoming and rewarding weekends surrounded by music.

PitchFork Music Festival

Buy your tickets

See the Line-up

Getting There

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.

What Hurts a Home’s Market Value

by Allyson Hoffman

Evaluating a home’s market value isn’t easy for a homeowner. Sometimes an objective opinion is required, even if it is hard to accept.  Overpricing a home is a sure way to prolong the selling process and a prolonged selling process, statistically, more times than not, correlates with a lower selling price than comparable homes that sell quickly.  An experienced real estate professional, someone who knows the market and the neighborhood, is the most reliable resource to assess the value of a home.  

Many of the factors that can negatively affect a home’s value are obvious, but some are not.  Let’s look at several value-related issues to review.

Curb Appeal

First impressions are critical -- a house without curb appeal will turn off some buyers before they even get out of their cars.  Fortunately, curb appeal is one of the easiest-to-rectify problems.  A fresh coat of paint, clean front porch and neatly maintained and manicured yard are essential.  Keep in mind that a first impression can only be made once and really is essential to maximizing a home’s value.

Pets

There’s no question that odors and damage caused by pets need to be addressed before a house goes on the market and visitors view the property.  The scent of cat urine or sight of wood floors, worn or scratched by animal traffic, is likely to discourage buyer enthusiasm and inevitably drives offer amounts down.   Buyers tend to double and triple discount for the costs of perceived issues.  So addressing those up front will make your home show better and likely sell for more.

Renovations

The problem with many design and customization decisions is that they work for the current owner, but not the prospective buyers  who may simply see these choices as projects they’ll have to pay to undo. Buyers need to imagine themselves living in a home of their own and not someone else’s residence.  That’s why sellers who have over-personalized their homes should consider repainting with colors suited to many types of décor or replacing especially unique features such as a lighting fixture or carpet/flooring selection that may have buyers scratching their heads.

Physical Problems

Anything that would be a problem for the next owner of a home is definitely going to cost the seller.  Whether it’s an obvious problem, or only discovered during a home inspection, issues with roofing, structure, HVAC equipment,  other mechanical systems, appliances etc., either need to be addressed by the seller before the house goes on the market or they will ultimately be factored into a prospective buyer’s offer or post-inspection discussions.

Location

The location of a home can be one of the biggest problems facing a homeowner wanting to sell.  A home on a main road, backing up to or near a highway or train, abutting non-residential property, on a lot with minimal yard space as compared to the neighborhood or located in an area with a questionable reputation, high crime rates, filled with unkempt homes and/or an unappealing skyline is going to be difficult to sell, even if the home, itself, is in pristine condition.

Conclusion

Most homes, regardless of issues, will sell – it is a function of the price.  So if you are thinking of selling and want to get the best price for your home, you may want to address concerns like those reviewed here.  Working together, I can help you sort through what can and can’t be done to improve your potential profit and help you to set an asking price that will bring results.

Contact me today and let’s discuss your real estate needs.

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.

Taste of Chicago

by Allyson Hoffman

For over 13 years the Taste of Chicago has been a huge event for everyone attracting crowds from in and around Chicago.  Taste of Chicago is the nation’s premier outdoor food festival showcasing some of Chicago diverse dining. 

So don’t miss this tantalizing treat!  You’re certain to savor every moment and don’t forget to bring your appetite!

Join in the fun and varied Taste of Chicago cuisine at one of the beautiful parks in Chicago – Grant Park.

Children are welcome and there is always something planned for the youngsters – click here for a schedule of kids' activities.

Event Dates:  July 10th to July 14th.

Admission:  Free

Hours include:

July 10-12:   11:00 AM to 9:00 PM

July 13-14:   10:00 AM to 9:00 PM

Click here to see the daily schedule of events.

For information on music events – click here

Map of the Event – 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.

The Trouble with Pets

by Allyson Hoffman

For many homeowners, pets are part of the family. And just like other members of the family, pets can sometimes cause problems around the house … a stain here, damaged wooden floors there.  The damage can add up over time.  Before selling a home, a homeowner will want to rectify these problems, amongst any others.

Oh My, What’s That Smell!

Sometimes you can tell that pets live in a house the moment you open the door. This reaction is not something you want when potential buyers come in to take a look.  Unfortunately, there is no simple fix for pet odors.  Sprays, plug-ins and scented candles might cover the smell, but those remedies may also set off alarm bells as people wonder what you’re trying to hide with all that perfume.

There is no short cut to the secret in solving this problem.  Thorough and complete cleaning of all problem areas is essential.  That means deep cleaning carpets, furniture, floors and walls.  The smell of cat urine is perhaps the worst offender in the odor department, and it the hardest to remove successfully.  The process can be involved, but here are guides from wikihow.com and petfinder.com that will help immensely.  In addition, you might want to try this solution:

 

The Damage Pets Can Do

Hardwood floors and sharp, hard claws do not mix well.   So watch those dogs and cats on any wood floors.  Their proximity to window screens is also often a disaster in the making.  Exotic pets can unleash additional issues that you likely would not even consider.  All in all, pet damage translates to significant repair costs.  So, here are some ideas to help prevent damage in the first place:

  • Keep pets’ nails trimmed so they don’t ruin the finish of a hardwood floor.
  • Give your cat something to scratch so they’ll be less likely to attack window screens.
  • Don’t train your dog to scratch at the door to be let out – an unprotected door will suffer over time.
  • Try a bitter smelling spray from the pet store to discourage teething puppies from chewing doors, woodwork, walls or cabinetry.
  •  Try double-wide sticky tape to keep cats from scratching an area.
  • Clean up urine and water spills quickly – liquids readily seep through the floors causing underlying damage.
  • Mitigate the potential for allergic reactions by vacuuming up pet hair accumulating behind the refrigerator, underneath furniture or anywhere else it can hide.

Here’s one final tip:  Your homeowners’ insurance policy will only cover damage caused by pets if that animal is covered by the policy.  So you may want to talk to your insurance agent if you think you need to expand your coverage.

And when it comes time to sell your home, I’m here to help you.  Contact me so I can help you get the best possible price for your home, pets or no pets!

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.

 

Windy City Ribfest Uptown

by Allyson Hoffman

The 4th of July is all about celebrating our freedom and Chicago is known for keeping the festivities going on with the Windy City RibFest in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood.  Come on out and enjoy a serving of savory ribs along with all the BBQ delights.  Enjoy live music, beer, wine and so much more!  Bring the kids and let them take in all that the Windy City Ribfest has to offer.  There will be a kid’s area catering to just them for a weekend of fun under the sun.

Event: The Windy City Ribfest

Dates:  July 5th through July 7th

Friday: 5:00 to 10:00 PM

Saturday: 12:00 PM to 10:00 PM

Sunday: 12:00 to 9:00 PM

Admission: Parking $10.00 per day

Public Transportation is available:  Red Line – Lawrence

Bus: #36 and #81

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 market.

Never Forget Crucial Maintenance Tasks Again

by Allyson Hoffman

Everyone has a way to keep track of things that need to get done around the house. They range from having a staff to handle your affairs (not particularly affordable) to just not remembering everything when you’d like to (not particularly useful).  If you’re still looking for a way to remind yourself of home maintenance tasks, perhaps you should take a look at your phone.   There’s an app for that!

The iPad/iPhone boasts a number of useful apps to consider. HomeSaavy is free, highly rated, and provides customized maintenance scheduling and alerts.  Home Maintenance costs $4.99, and is also highly recommended.  It also provides support for multiple schedules if you have more than one home. Good Housekeeping offers @Home (free), which is full of advice for keeping your house clean along with other great features.

HomeSaavy can also be downloaded for Android devices.  Among the other available home maintenance apps for Android are myHouse (free) and House Maintenance Schedule (free), which also has a Pro version for $2.99. In addition, you may also want to take a look at Helpful Household Hints ($2.99), which features how-to cleaning and repair tips and tricks.

Other phones have more limited choices. Blackberry users can get House Maintenance Schedule Pro, mentioned above, for $1.99.  Alternately, Windows Phone users might consider Home Maintenance Tips ($0.99).

As always, your experience with these programs may vary depending on the phone you’re using.  But, one way or another, you’ll need to keep up with the regular maintenance tasks necessary to keep your house in good condition. When the time is right, please contact me and let’s discuss the best strategy in selling your home.  You’ll be glad you did!

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

 

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 market.

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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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