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Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 69

Deerfield Farmers Market

by Allyson Hoffman

Deerfield, Illinois

Saturday, September 14th

Starting at 7:00 AM to 12:30 PM

As we wind down the summer and head into the fall season you might want to visit Deerfield’s Farmers Market to get that soon-to-be-gone summer taste of organically and naturally grown fruits and vegetables.  Discover the baked goods, cheeses and so much more for kids of all ages. 

Deerfield is celebrating their 19th season and features Midwest farmers!

For more information, please visit their website

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.

Photo courtesy of Deerfield’s Farmers Market

Reptiles on a Rampage

by Allyson Hoffman

It's the Chinese Year of the Snake, and what better excuse do you need to attend this year's Reptile Rampage at the Lake Forest Wildlife Discovery Center.  The Center includes high quality habitats and exhibits for reptiles, birds, amphibians, fish and even a bobcat! The Reptile Rampage event is Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. A variety of experts will be on hand to answer questions and introduce the Center's reptiles first hand. Tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for children.

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!

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Google +1

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.

Take the Time to Prevent Fires

by Allyson Hoffman

October is Fire Prevention Month, and there's no question that everything you do now can save lives in a fire emergency. According to the National Fire Prevention Association, across the United States, there were more than 369,500 fires in homes in 2010. 2,640 people died and another 13,350 were injured in those fires, which causes $6.9 billion dollars in damage. Let's talk about a few simple things you need to do to ensure you don't become one of those statistics!

The very first thing you need to do is to make sure you have smoke detectors installed in every hallways and bedroom of your home. They need to have the Underwriters Laboratories seal to ensure quality. Make sure you follow the manufacturer’s installation instructions. Just as important is to test those smoke detectors every week to make sure the batteries are still good and that the device is operating normally.

In the case of a fire, the most important thing is to get out as fast as you can. And then stay out! The danger is not just the actual flames, but the atmosphere the fire creates, as it consumes oxygen and gives off deadly gases such as carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide.

To that end, you'll want to establish a plan ahead of the time you might need it. You'll need to establish this plan with everyone who lives in your home. Make sure you have at least two ways out, and know them by heart. Make sure someone is assigned to call 911 for help, and if someone is assigned to help those who might need assistance. And set up a meeting place outside so you can be sure everyone is safe.

Keep this fact in mind, that the leading cause of home fires and injuries since 1990 is cooking! And most of those fires happen when kitchen ranges and ovens are left unattended. The second leading cause of house fires is heating equipment, which must be cleaned properly and checked annually. The other leading causes of fires are smoking materials, electrical appliances and candles.

For much more, make sure to check out the Fire Prevention information on the National Fire Protection Association Website. Now get to work checking those smoke detectors!

This blog is maintained by Michael of Kim Hughes & Company.
Photo courtesy musubk/flickr.com

Enjoy Fall at the Grove Fest

by Allyson Hoffman

Spend some time outdoors this weekend with the family at Grove Fest. The festival is brought to you by the Glenview Park District and takes place at the Grove at 1421 Milwaukee Avenue in Glenview [map]. Celebrate the history of the people who settled in the Glenview area with live folk music, nature walks, square dancing, storytelling, gift & crafts vendors, and hearty pioneer food. The festival is open from 11am to 5pm.  Admission is $4 for adults, kids under 13 get in for $1. And if you happen to spot a house for sale that interests you, let me know. And have a great weekend!

This blog is maintained by Michael of Kim Hughes & Company.
Photo courtesy the Glenview Park District.

Painting Walls and Ceilings

by Allyson Hoffman

Previously, we’ve talked about how a new coat of a paint is vital when you’re planning to sell your home. But, you may decide that the expense of hiring a professional painter is too much when you can do most, if not all, of the work  yourself.  In the first part of this series, we looked at the steps you need to take before you dip a brush into a can of paint. Today, we’re going to get to work painting.

The first stage of paint is treating the surface with a coat of primer. The primer protects the surface, gives the paint something to adhere to and helps prevent stains. The guidelines below work for both the primer and paint.

Wait! Put the brush down for a second. You’ve moved the furniture out of the room, or pulled it away from the walls. You need to use drop cloths or tarps to cover the flooring and any furniture still in the room. Murphy’s law says if you leave something unprotected, it will wind up with paint drops on it. Anywhere on the walls and along the edges of a ceiling where you don’t want paint splatters needs to be covered with strips of painters tape. Also, go ahead and make sure you have cleaning supplies on-hand just in case.

Okay, let’s get to work. If you’re going to paint the ceiling, and that’s usually a good idea, do that first.  Again, these guidelines work for both the ceilings and the walls. The first steps here is to use a trim brush to outline the edges of the ceiling. You’ll want a border about three inches wide. When that’s done, move on to the roller and the rest of the surface.

You’re going to pour the out the paint into a roller pan. Make sure you don’t overfill the pan: Fill it so they paint just touches the grated part of the pan.  Depending on where you’re painting, you may need to work on a ladder or with an extension pole. Dampen the roller with water for latex paint or paint thinner for oil paints. Coat the brush completely with paint, and then roll it against the grate to distribute it and squeeze out and excess.

Using a zig-zag motion, cover an area three to four feet square. Then roll over the same area in straight lines. Make sure to overlay the edges of previously painted areas to reduce visible lines when the paint is dry.  Once you’ve completely covered the surface you’re working on, move to another area and let the first dry.

You’ll want to let the painted surfaces dry before you apply a second coat, which will ensure the paint isn’t too thin or missing in places. Don’t remove your drop cloths or tape until you’re sure there aren’t any spots that need touch-ups.

The next part of your painting project is to tackle the door frames, window frames and molding. We’ll talk about that and cleaning up in an upcoming blog post. So for now, get to work on your walls. That way, when you call me to help you sell your home, we’ll already be ahead of the competition!

This blog is maintained by Michael of Kim Hughes & Company.
Photo courtesy theunquietlibrarian/flickr.com

Give Your Garage the Makeover It Deserves!

by Allyson Hoffman

Somewhere, there's a book with a rule that says a garage must be white with bare walls and a dull grey concrete pad. No one is ever confused when they go through a door into the garage. But, is that always a good thing?  The answer to that question is no, of course. 

While keeping our cars safe from the environment is the stated purpose of the garage, that's very seldom all we do with the space. A peek inside a random, representative garage shows a variety of lawn and garden tools and supplies, a garbage can, household and car tools, shelves with sports equipment and an old tent, and the singing fish birthday gift from 1997. And, as you can guess, it's an amazing mess most of the time.

With a weekend of work and some creativity, you can give your garage a makeover and turn it into an extension of your living space instead of just an afterthought.

The first step is to take a hard look at what you store in your garage. Is there a better way to organize that stuff so it takes up less space? Shelves, either free-standing or on the wall, are an obvious way. Look to the walls! Where shelves aren't an option, hardware to hang yard tools, power cords and hoses can get things up off the ground and out of the way. While some of that will go with you if you move, the rest, if done well, can be a great selling point.

After you get things cleaned up and organized, why not start to look at ways to brighten and color the space? There's no reason you can't add a touch of decorative styling to the garage. Or to put the space you may have gained by organizing to use in other wise. You'll find some great tips on familyhandman.com and (with before and after pictures!) realsimple.com. And take a look at the fantastic ideas in the Lowe's Ultimate Garage Makeover video below.

Have you found unique ways to utilize your garage for something more than auto storage? What's hanging on your garage walls? Have you decorated the space to give it a little style? Hey, if you did, share some pictures and ideas in the comments below or email me. Meanwhile, I'm going to plan my own garage makeover!

This blog is maintained by Michael of Kim Hughes & Company.
Photo courtesy Rubber Maid Products/flickr.com

Quickly Fill Those Unsightly Holes

by Allyson Hoffman

Before you put your house on the market, you have to address a variety of issues. Not the least of which is making the house look fantastic. So as you survey your home, you'll start to see little problems that have to be dealt with. For example, damage to drywall where you have hung artwork or secured tall furniture pieces. And that's what I want to talk about with you. If you've got something larger than small holes, you'll probably need some professional help. It's pretty remarkable what a contractor can do to make repairs. But, if you've just got some small holes, you can save yourself some money by doing it yourself.

It's not going to take long, but we need to get some tools. You’ll need to have spackle, a putty knife, a sanding block, primer, paint and a paint brush. I’ll wait while you go get them.

Fill – Okay, we’re going to use the spackling paste to fill the hole itself. Spackle is just a putty made of plaster and glue. Fill the hole and then use the putty knife to scrape off any spackle sticking up out of the hole.

Sand – A tiny hole won’t need much, if any, sanding. But, if you can You’re going to want to use a sanding block or even a dry wall sanding screen to make sure the result is perfectly flat. Just using sandpaper by hand won’t cut it.

Paint – Again, with a small enough hole, you don’t really need to prime, but it’s not a bad idea. Then you’re going to want to find the paint that was used to cover the wall you’re working on. Usually, when an interior is painted, the contractor will leave a can of the color they used in a storeroom or garage.

If you can’t find the right paint, you’re best bet is to repaint the entire wall: Any odd color patches are going to really stand out when the room is empty of furniture. And, if the hole is a bit bigger, you can find self-adhesive patching kits that include a metal mesh and come in a variety of sizes. You’ll still need to sand, prime and paint.

If your walls are bare, you can tackle this chore quickly. And a lot less expensively than a contractor will do it!

This blog is maintained by Michael of Kim Hughes & Company.
Photo courtesy idovermani/flickr.com

Five Steps to Outdoor Fun

by Allyson Hoffman

As we head into the end 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.  You don't have to spend a lot of money to make a dramatic impact. The budget may change as you explore your options, but it's good to have a ballpark figure so 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? Or a nicely shaded area where you can develop a feature?  Do you need shade? Chances are good you already have some ideas.

Explore

Now you'll want to explore your options in terms of designs and materials. You can draw on your friends and neighbors experiences and outdoor spaces. Turn on HGTV, or go to HGTV.com, which offers a variety of ideas that are definitely work checking out. Home Depot and Lowes both offer sections on their websites that can provide inspiration and ideas.

Plan

The hard part is narrowing your project down to its essentials!  Create a simple sketch or layout of what you have in mind. If you're accomplished at home-improvement, you'll 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. You'll find a wide variety of books for sale or available at the library that can help. Also make sure your project won't violate any city or county ordinances: Better safe than sorry.

Build

Doing the actual hard work might seem like a daunting task, but turn it into something fun! Invite your friends and family to help you create your outdoor living space in exchange for a great summer-time cookout.  That way you can have your party and your brand new outdoor entertaining space at the same time. And when it comes time to sell, you'll have added value to your investment!

 

This blog is maintained by Michael of Kim Hughes & Company.
Photo courtesy Teri Tith/flickr.com

New Mariano Fresh Market Opening August 23 in Chicago!

by Allyson Hoffman

Mariano's Fresh Market has become quite famous in Illinois due to its wide selection of grocery items and unique features. There are already two of these excellent grocery stores in our area, one in Arlington Heights and the other in Vernon Hills. Mariano's Fresh Market has announced it is now set to open its first store in the city of Chicago, located at 3350 N. Western Avenue (Roscoe and Western) on Tuesday, August 23, 2011 at 6:00 a.m.

Mariano, the CEO of the company, is thrilled to be back in Chicago and proud to once again provide the community with what he calls “the aisle by aisle selection and the value every shopper deserves.” Mariano’s Fresh Market epitomizes their brand promise: Shop Well. Eat Well. Live Well. The emphasis of the stores is on fresh offerings in produce, meat, seafood, bakery and deli, with prepared foods available for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The full-service shopping experience also includes natural and organic products, and a wide selection of homeopathic remedies.

The wine and spirits department, sushi bar, and Italian themed café featuring espresso, gelato, and panini are additional attractions that elevate the shopping experience to a new level.

Image courtesy of jjuntune/pixabay.com

 

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Top 5 Trends of the Modern Home

by Allyson Hoffman

Potential homebuyers in today’s real estate market have made it crystal clear that extravagant, over-the-top homes are a thing of the past. Today’s buyers want their Northern Illinois homes to be affordable comfort zones with efficient and sustainable materials. They want combined elements of indoors and outdoors lifestyles, thoughtfully planned living space, and room to make a nice home office. Listed below are some of the top trends that homebuyers are looking for these days:

  1. Green building and sustainability – from recycled materials to water wells and water collection systems, today’s home buyer is concerned with organic, sustainable features. While green building can sometimes be expensive up front, even the cost conscious know that the results may save money in the long run.
  2. Energy efficiency – those who go green are also concerned with sustainable, efficient resources. Buyers want energy efficient appliances and the latest in insulation techniques using spray foam and gels. Not only do they reduce current energy costs, but energy efficient homes help with resale.
  3. Outdoor living areas – more people are staying home these days, and one of the hottest trends is outdoor living areas that create a seamless indoor to outdoor space and include living room style features. From comfortable sofas to televisions and sound systems and creative outdoor cooking areas, the right outdoor space becomes a natural extension of the interior.
  4. Main floor master suites with luxurious baths – now more than ever, home is an oasis for hardworking homeowners, and large masters on the main floor (away from kids rooms or play areas) are key to a homeowner’s satisfaction. Along with the master, buyers are interested in soaker tubs, walk-in showers with seating and dual showerheads.
  5. Home offices – more and more people find themselves telecommuting or working from home in the evenings, and space for a home office has taken priority over traditional home features like formal dining and living and even media rooms. Home buyers seek that unique space that separates work from family living areas.

Home buyer's priorities have shifted to reflect changing economic times. The top trends reflect a new desire for comfort and flexible lifestyles, along with an ever growing concern for sustainability and efficiency.

Image courtesy of Nick Keppol/Flickr.com

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Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 69

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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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Allyson Hoffman
RE/MAX Villager
1245 Waukegan Road
Glenview, IL, 60025

(847) 310-5300
[email protected]

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