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

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Displaying blog entries 1-9 of 9

Deep Path Art League 59th Annual Juried Fine Art Show

by Allyson Hoffman

The wait is over for art lovers!  Deer Path Art League’s art fair on the square, a highly anticipated art event in Chicago’s North Shore Suburban area as well as many of the surrounding communities, opens this Saturday during the Labor Day weekend. 

Art lovers everywhere will appreciate League’s mission – “to spark, nurture and enhance creativity”.

FREE ADMISSION
Open To the Public

Labor Day Weekend

September 1-2, 2013
10:00AM to 5:00 PM

For More information, 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
[email protected]

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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.

 

 

Top Tips for First-Time Sellers

by Allyson Hoffman

Recommended best practices and guidelines are readily available for first-time homebuyers, but what about new sellers who are entering the market for the first time? If you are selling a home for the first time, here are a few tips that can make the process easier.

First, it’s critical to understand that the greatest number of showings will take place within the first few weeks your home is on the market. Online listings tend to drive most home showings today. With an increasing number of buyers plugged into online databases, the moment a new home appears on a multiple listing service, they will often want to see it.  So, to take advantage of this response, it’s essential to price your home competitively right away. Additionally, when considering the actual price to choose, be aware of how buyers search for homes.  Search parameters matter, particularly when it comes to price ranges. Lowering the listing price by even $5,000 could open your home to far greater exposure.  For instance, while a home listed at $155,000 might miss out on a number of searches, if you drop the price to $150,000, it could mean that your listing will appear in searches commonly used by buyers for that specific price range.

Secondly, make certain you understand your home's target market and how to reach it.  Who are your most likely buyers?  When marketing to young buyers who are attached to their smartphones, take advantage of marketing techniques that will allow you to easily reach them, such as social media and quick response bar codes.   Don’t overlook the possibility that the style of your home could appeal to multiple demographics. For instance, the average starter home might appeal to not only first-time homebuyers, but also empty nesters who are interested in downsizing. Likewise, a home with a basement suite could appeal to multi-generation homebuyers or a buyer who is looking for a home with a separate income property.

Finally, take advantage of the opportunity to get a head start on your packing.  Packing up to list and sell your home, a task that simply has to get done eventually to move anyway, could make a tremendous difference in how quickly your home sells.  Buyers purchase not only a place to call home, but also a lifestyle. So, making it easy for buyers to imagine themselves living in your home is important.  The best way to facilitate that result is to make your home as anonymous as possible by purging clutter and personal items. You could also potentially benefit by removing large pieces of furniture that occupy too much room. Your home could appear more spacious and inviting.

When you are ready to sell your first home, please contact me.  I would be delighted to meet with you and discuss the home sale 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
[email protected]

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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 Vichaya Kiatying-Angsulee at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Port Clinton Art Festival

by Allyson Hoffman

Port Clinton Art Festival
Highland Park, Illinois

August 24 and 25th
Saturday and Sunday

10:00 to 6:00 PM

Celebrate the thirtieth season of the Port Clinton Art Festival!  The festival, one of the most successful art festivals in USA, offers original artwork in a two-day gala with over 260 exhibitors including some of the world’s most distinguished artists.

The Youth Art Division will be an exciting highlight of the festival.   It showcases young artists aged 18 and under.  This event provides these young artists an opportunity to display their unique talents. 

For more information, call 847-926-4300 or email [email protected].

Exhibition Areas Include:

Port Clinton Square, Central Ave., 1st and 2nd Streets - downtown Highland Park
600 Central Avenue
Highland Park, Illinois 60035

FREE Admission and FREE Parking

Click here for the map

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
[email protected]

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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.

Five Steps to Building Outdoor Fun

by Allyson Hoffman

As we head into the waning days of summer, you may be planning one last outdoor party. Not every home has an ideal layout for such parties, and if you find yourself in that situation, here are a few relatively inexpensive ways to create an inviting area for entertaining, while investing in the value of your home.

Budget

Your first step is to set a budget.  Remember, you don't have to spend a lot of money to make a dramatic impact. Though budget may vary somewhat as you explore your options, it's always good at the outset to have a ballpark figure to ground your decisions and assure that you don't overdo it.

Survey

Next, make a detailed survey of what you have to work with around your home.  Do you already have a functional outdoor entertaining area that you can improve?  A nicely shaded area where you can develop a feature?  Do you need shade?  If you’ve answered yes to any of these questions, chances are good that you already have some of your own ideas.

Explore

Carefully consider possible designs and materials needed to complete your potential plan or plans.  Resources are often as close as your friends and neighbors whose experiences and outdoor spaces may be worthy of noting.  If you haven’t already done so, turn on HGTV, or go to HGTV.com.  Both resources offer a variety of ideas that are definitely worth checking.  Additional inspiration and ideas can also be found at Home Depot or  Lowes websites in sections devoted to outdoor living ideas.

Plan

One of the hardest parts is narrowing the scope of your project to its essentials!  This can be done with the aid of a simple sketch or layout that can help you to determine the materials you’ll need and the steps you’ll need to take.  If you're accomplished at home-improvement, you'll likely be able to assess this with minimal assistance. If not or if you are a novice to home improvement, then it may be best to enlist some of the experts at your local home-improvement center for direction. Regardless of your skill level, you should readily find a wide variety of books for sale or available at the library that can also help. And don’t forget to ensure your project won't violate any city or county ordinances – it’s definitely better to be safe than sorry!

Build

If doing the actual hard work seems like a daunting task, you could consider turning it into something fun by inviting your friends and family to help you create your outdoor living space in exchange for a great summer-time party when all is done.  What a great way to score two goals with one shot -- you can have your party and your brand new outdoor entertaining space at the same time!

Are you ready to buy a home that accommodates your outdoor living?  Contact me and let’s talk about your wish list. 

 

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
[email protected]

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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.

 

Highwood Craft Beer Festival

by Allyson Hoffman

Saturday, August 17th

1:00 to 5:30 PM

Everts Park
130 Highwood Avenue
Highwood, IL 60040

(847) 432-1924

Spend the afternoon experiencing sixty different Craft Beers, great music and some of Highwood’s notoriously exceptional food at this weekend’s Highwood Craft Beer Festival.  Beer enthusiasts will find selections from many well-known Midwest Craft and Micro Breweries including participants from the Chicago area!

Pet lovers should note that a portion of the proceeds from this event will go to The Puppy Mill Project.

For more information about this special happening, please visit the website for additional details.

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
[email protected]

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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.

Home Staging on a Budget

by Allyson Hoffman

 

Are you ready to sell your North Shore home?  One of the largest challenges you’ll likely face is maximizing your home’s appealing to potential buyers.

Staging your home should increase your home’s appeal to incoming homebuyers without having to change your entire house!  Many homeowners shy away from home staging because they perceive the process as expensive or feel they have to do a total home transformation like so many “Do It Yourself” television programs.  On the contrary, there are several ways to stage your home on a budget, without losing your entire wallet in the process.

De-clutter and de-personalize: One of the easiest and cheapest ways to stage your home is to significantly reduce clutter. De-cluttering includes clearing counters and furniture tops, eliminating unwanted items and/or purging those possessions that don’t enhance the overall aesthetics of each room.  De-personalizing is a part of this process but refers, more specifically, to the removal of things like family photo collections, your high school trophies or grandmother’s antique plate collection.  Since you are moving anyway, just pack up those belongings for displaying at your next home.  Doing it upfront before you sell will not only improve the look of your home but also give you less to do when your moving day approaches.  The goal is to welcome any prospective new owner and allow them to imagine your home with their own cherished items in it. The great thing about de-cluttering and de-personalizing is that it costs you nothing and, more often than not, returns added dollars to your pocket when you sell.

Color in your home is important: Walk through your home to determine if there is an eye-easy appeal throughout your home that will work with many prospective buyer décor choices.  Are the colors neutral from space to space, or are they vibrant – the kind that knocks-you-over-the-head bold?  If so, you may want to consider painting those rooms that are overly personalized. Neutrals and muted tones are the safest. Color palettes of browns and grays or the gray tones tinged with greens, blues and yellows are popular choices that satisfy the need to keep things generally neutral with the greatest overall appeal. Painting is undoubtedly the most cost effective upgrade you can make to your home.  It typically will return more dollars to your pocket than the cost of the effort and homebuyers often favorably respond to this type of visual improvement.

Make your home look inviting: Home staging is truly all about ‘setting the stage’ for a homebuyer to want to buy your home. So fluffing up pillows in the bedrooms and keeping rooms and surfaces sparkly clean are essential.  For example, you may want to even make sure to hang clean/matching towels in every bathroom. Though these may all seem like very simple tasks, a homebuyer will notice and will often equate these signs of obvious care and pride to how well you have cared for the house in the areas that cannot be seen!  To ensure fresh and inviting aromas, you might even consider baking some cookies before visitors arrive and open windows to allow fresh air to circulate throughout your home. Setting the stage often requires no money at all.  But your invested time and a conscientious effort to prepare in advance as suggested here will pay off in the end.

When you are ready to talk about selling your in home in today’s rebounding market, please contact me.  I can help you to prepare a personalized list of these budget-friendly home staging tips that could likely help you to sell your home more easily and for more money!

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
[email protected]

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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.

 

Retro on Roscoe – Roscoe Village

by Allyson Hoffman

Enjoy a two-day festival featuring six full blocks of artisans, antique vendors and some pretty cool merchants.  This event also includes some of Chicago’s great entertainment on three main stages and savory samplings and wonderful treats from many of the area’s local restaurants.

 Venture out to Roscoe Village this weekend and have a great time supporting Roscoe Village Neighbors, a non-profit organization that is committed to excellence in advocacy of quality of life.

Admission is a $10.00 suggested donation

For more information about this weekend’s fun – 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
[email protected]

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.

 

 

Identify Theft – Protect Yourself

by Allyson Hoffman

When you are ready to buy a home one of the first things to do is to check your credit.  Unfortunately, this is when you might discover that someone has stolen your identity.  In a day and age when technology seems to rule a big part of our lives, it is important to make sure that our “identity” is protected.  We have all read the horror stories of the victims of identity theft, but there are steps we can take to protect ourselves and our personal information.

For starters it’s important to be clear about what identify is and how we are identified as individuals in this high tech world. Identity theft occurs when our personal information is collected without our permission and utilized, most of the time, for criminal activity. What personal information do these people target?

1.      Your Name

2.      Address

3.      Birth Date

4.      Social Security Number (SSN)

5.      Credit Card Numbers

6.      and Other Personal Identification Numbers

This is the type of information someone would need to open credit card or bank accounts, apply for cellular phone service, purchase vacations packages, forward your mail, etc. So how can you protect this information from getting into the wrong hands?

  1. If asked to provide personal information, ask why is it needed, how will it used, if it will be shared and with whom.
  2. Carry the least amount of personal information with you as possible.
  3. When asked for your credit number over the phone or internet, make sure that you know who you are dealing with and the communication line is secure.
  4. Take extra security measures when dealing over the internet (i.e. digital signatures and data encryption).
  5. Know your billing cycles -- should you not receive your bills in the mail, this could help in determining if your mail has been illicitly redirected.
  6. Order your credit report at least once a year and review it for any inaccuracies or any unusual activity.
  7. Report lost or stolen credit cards immediately.
  8. Request that your accounts require passwords before any inquiries or changes can be made.
  9. Choose secure passwords -- not anything obvious and you DON’T write them down.
  10. Always protect your pin number(s) when using debit machines, bank machines or telephones.
  11. Review your credit card cardholder agreement – many companies offer protection from credit card fraud.
  12. Don’t throw anything with sensitive personal information in the garage – instead shred these types of documents/documentation (especially financial statements, receipts, etc.) as an effective step in preventing identity theft.

Taking the necessary steps above to protect your identity is as simple as being aware of what identity thieves are looking for and arming yourself with the knowledge of how to properly protect your personal information.

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
[email protected]

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 market.


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Lollapalooza – Grant Park

by Allyson Hoffman

Lollapalooza is definitely a festival for the fans!  It’s Grant Park setting on over 115 acres includes multiple stages consisting of 130 artists -- from hip-hop, electronica, reggae and indie to rock and so much more!

What does Lollapalooza have lined up for you?  Everything from handmade arts and crafts, a farmers’ market, gourmet food and some of the best music in the world that’s certain to make you want to rock out!

Come out and celebrate 20 years of Lollapalooza in Chicago’s gorgeous Grant Park.

To have a great time, click on the links below for additional event information:

Tickets

Line-Up

FAQs

Map

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
[email protected]

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.

Displaying blog entries 1-9 of 9

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Photo of Allyson Hoffman & Paul Wells Real Estate
Allyson Hoffman & Paul Wells
RE/MAX of Barrington
306 W. Northwest Highway
Barrington IL 60010
Allyson: 847-310-5300
Paul: 847-913-6100

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RE/MAX of Barrington
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(847) 310-5300
[email protected]

Paul Wells
(847) 913-6100
[email protected]