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

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Displaying blog entries 11-20 of 29

Make Your New Community Feel Like Home

by Allyson Hoffman

Starting over in a new community can be stressful.  It requires effort to make new friends, find the best places to eat, and to learn your way around. But, if you are willing venture out and explore, integrating into your new city doesn’t have to be daunting.  Here are a few tips to help you with the process:

  • The Essentials

Depending on your age and interests, what you consider essential will vary, but virtually everyone should know where to shop for groceries, pick up a prescription or get a good meal.  Beyond the essentials, what is important will certainly differ and finding these places is not really all that challenging.  We live in the internet age where a wealth of information on just about everything, including your new city, should be right at your fingertips.  So, initially, let your fingers do the walking.

  • Using the Internet

Start by checking out Google Maps. If you enter your address, a map of your area will pop up.  Type an asterisk (*) into the search field to find everything of interest in the area. For a more specific search, enter the information you are seeking, such as “Thai Restaurant”, “Pharmacy” or “Furniture Store”.  Matching results will display on the map and sidebar. The side bar will also show a star rating and contain a link to written reviews and the business’s website.  In addition, you can easily map a route from your home to any of these locations and to your place of business.

  • Ask for Advice

While the internet is great, it cannot replace the actual recommendations of people you trust. So if you know anyone in your new town or city, consider checking with those folks for information that the Internet cannot provide.  Also consider a social media shout out for local input on Facebook and/or Twitter asking for recommendations and advice about your new city. This will combine the power of the Internet with important native insights from those in the community.

  • Meet New People

While you can certainly discover great restaurants, entertainment venues, local parks and night spots in the city, nothing can replace having friends to share good times, increase your fun, and help to ease your adjustment to a new home and location.  So, make that concerted effort to personally connect with locals in your new city or town. 

  • Use Your Hobbies

Many friendships are rooted in shared interests. So, if you have a hobby, sports you enjoy, or other activity that drives your pleasure and time, use it to meet new friends. Whether it’s your golf game, children’s activities, or your love of music or painting, undoubtedly there are others in your new city with similar tastes and affections.  An easy way to connect with people in your area whose interests mirror your own is through local Facebook groups and the site Meetup.com. So try to find a group of people who share your interests and consider trying a meet up.

  • Help Out in the Community

Community service is an excellent way to meet some great, civic-minded people. When you take initiative and do some good within your community, it becomes more than just the place you live and work. So consider volunteering time to municipal activities for another path to a quickly acclimate.

If you try these ideas, you’ll inevitably meet new people with common interests, learn about your new town and neighborhood, find things to do with people you enjoy, and feel a sense of real comfort in your new surroundings. 

When you are ready to make that move, feel free to contact me today for a consultation.  I will be happy to answer any questions you may have about Chicago’s North Shore, North or Northwest Suburbs real estate.

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 LancerE/Flickr.com

Get Organized for Moving in Winter

by Allyson Hoffman

Moving can be a stressful event, even on the most gorgeous of days.  But doing so in the dead of winter has a tendency to increase anxiety levels even more.  However, with the assistance of your real estate agent, and by following a few simple winter moving tips, the show will go on without a hitch.   

  • Re-convene with your agent

After assisting in the selling, buying, and closing of your real estate transactions, your agent can also aid in the actual move.  Call for advice on moving company recommendations, and acquiring moving insurance.  You may even get special discounting.

  • Plan ahead

Even though moving companies slowdown in the winter months, they are not void of business.  Make your reservation for their services early.  And, be sure to walk-through your new home in advance of furniture delivery to envision where furniture and boxes should be located.

  • Organize

When packing, organize your boxes by room.  Using color-coded tags can simplify the move on both ends.  This is especially important in the winter when some of your items may need to be moved in, and out of the elements, more quickly than others.

  • Line boxes with plastic

To assure that your belongings remain dry should your move take place on a snowy or wet winter day, consider lining the interior of your boxes with plastic, or garbage bags to allow them to sit on the ground, without the worry of water damage.

  • De-clutter

Moving presents the ideal opportunity to eliminate all unnecessary items that were uncovered during the boxing-up process.  The less you have to pack, the less you have to move.

  • Clear a path

For a wintertime move it’s imperative to have a safe and unobstructed walkway.  Evaluate the path from the point of exit to the moving truck.  Having a snow, ice, and clutter-free pathway will not only expedite the moving process, but will also ensure the safety of the movers.

  • Have plenty of towels on hand

Upon arrival at your new home, you may want or need to wipe off any furniture or boxes that have become wet, or dirty in the move.  Additionally, towels can be thrown at the door for feet to be wiped clean.

For a successful winter move, you’ll want to cross all your t’s’ and dot all your ‘i’s.  Preparing for winter hazards beforehand and anticipating potential issues will make the difference between an easy and an unbearable move.  Moving does not need to be a taxing endeavor even with snow, sleet or rain in the equation.  So feel free to contact me for advice and consultation to make your winter move a smooth one.

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
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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 bea & txema/Flickr.com

Factoring Livability into Your Move

by Allyson Hoffman

There are a multitude of different lifestyles for homebuyers to choose and that choice typically depends on needs, likes and stage of life whether young, single, professional, married, retired or empty-nester … amongst others.

Regardless of these differences between folks, their choices center around the concept of livability as it contributes to their quality of life.  This may include area attributes such as availability to transportation and medical care, the climate, education opportunities, access to business, crime/safety/political stability considerations or even proximity to natural beauty.

For information regarding choices on where to live in the future many, people rely upon websites like www.livability.com or www.areavibes.com. It’s important to keep in mind, however, that polls or statistics may be skewed or cater to specific buyer profiles that are not compatible with yours. So if you plan a cross-country move, in-depth research is always important.  Be sure to check out area ratings with accessible details providing ample data to assist in making an informed decision on where to live.

Determine which factors are most important to you including area amenities, cost of living and/or housing choices.  With this insight and your research, you’ll be better equipped to assess livability considerations that will lead you to an appropriate decision about where to live.

For information regarding Chicago’s North Shore, North and Northwest suburban communities and the facts you may need to decide if one of those is a match for your needs, feel free to contact me today for a consultation. 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
[email protected]

Get your latest Home Value
Receive Your Personalized Listing Alerts

Let’s Connect, Socially!

Facebook
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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 mendhak/Flickr.com

Simplifying the Moving Process

by Allyson Hoffman

Moving, in theory, is a pretty straightforward process. You pack everything into boxes, put those boxes into a large truck and head off to your destination.

But if you're one of the forty million Americans that pack up their homes and move each year, you probably don't find it that effortless. That's why you need an action plan to help you manage your belongings and your time.

Inside most folks’ homes are things they want to keep, but don't often use.  One way to gain an edge is to pack these items early and store them in a spare room, basement or garage. Tackling a box or two each day also helps to simplify the process as the actual moving day approaches.

A great way to keep organized during a move includes creating a labeling system. A basic labeling system for most people is a black permanent marker. But when using recycled boxes or when pressed for time, a different easy solution may be the answer.  Trying buying tape in different colors or use multi-color Post-It Notes, to color-code boxes on the fly. This makes it much easier to match boxes with rooms.

When packing, it’s easy to forget things stashed in areas that don’t get much use.  These might include the garage, the attic or even storage under the stairs. A good rule of thumb is to address those areas first and eliminate items that can be trashed, donated or sold. The less there is to pack, the less there is to move.

Buying boxes and bubble wrap can very quickly get expensive. So consider free resources to help you get started.  Local stores often give boxes away.  Some folks share them on Craigslist or for the environmentally-conscious mover, try www.Freecycle.org.

The truth is that moving isn't easy. But when you're prepared for the transition, the entire family will benefit, stress will be reduced and that is definitely a big plus.

Contact me today for a consultation. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have about the moving process, buying or selling a 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
[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 markets.

Image courtesy of Lisa Risager/Flickr.com


Five Ways to Help Your Children through the Process of a Move

by Allyson Hoffman

Preparing to move your family requires seemingly-endless lists of things to do and so many things to pack.  But the most important hurdle to surmount is preparing children for the event.

Adults, who have likely moved multiple times, experience stresses of moving that tend to be more practical in nature.  They worry about things like making sure all the boxes are packed and labeled, contacting the movers, transferring the utilities, returning the cable box and filing change of address forms.

For children, the stresses of a move are much more personal. Depending on a child’s age, the home and neighborhood you are leaving behind could well be the only home they have ever known. Moving makes their lives literally feel uprooted and they will likely need help to cope with the change.

Parents can lessen the stress of moving for their children and even make it an adventure. So here are some helpful anxiety-reducing strategies to consider:

Tell Your Children about the Move Early

Don’t surprise your children with a move. As soon as you decide to move, let your children know. Explain your reasons for moving in a way they can understand. Ask them how they feel about the move and talk with them about their feelings.

Get Your Children Excited

If you have pictures of your new home, let your children see them. Involve them in decorating their new rooms. View your new home on Google Earth and explore the neighborhood together, highlighting things they might be interested in like parks, malls, skate parks, etc. If your new location is nearby, take your children to visit the new neighborhood and explore the area.

Familiarize Yourself and Your Children with Their New Schools

School plays a huge role in your children’s lives.  The stress involved with starting afresh in a new school can be very difficult for a child. So to minimize that stress, acquaint your child with their new school. Point out programs offered that may interest them such as sports, theater and/or the science club. Try to arrange a tour of the school where your children can meet teachers and even interact with a few students.

Let Your Children Help

Have your children take an active role in the moving process. This will help your children come to terms with the fact that they are moving. It may have been an abstract concept, but once they begin to pack their toys and clothes away, it becomes very real. Be there if you are needed for emotional support.

Have a Farewell Party for Your Children and Their Friends

If you are leaving the area, have a farewell party for all of your children’s friends.  You can even have a “registry” where their friends can write down well wishes, email addresses and phone numbers. Take plenty of pictures of the fun. Your children – younger and older alike -- will certainly appreciate those pictures, email addresses and phone numbers after the move.

So feel free to contact me today whether you are planning on moving to a new home in your area or relocating miles from your current home. I will be happy to answer any question, offer suggestions to make the process go smoothly or provide relocation references should you need them.

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
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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 ashleigh290/Flickr.com

7 Tips to Make Your Household Move Easier

by Allyson Hoffman

Buying a new house can be one of the most exciting times in your life. Moving your household possessions to that new home, however, can be one of the most stressful events you’ll experience. While moving may not be pleasing, there are some steps you can take to make the process easier.

1. Start planning your move early. The earlier you plan your move, the more time you’ll have to take care of all the details and unexpected last-minute surprises.

2. Get rid of clutter. This means you’ll need to go through your belongings and sell or donate everything you don’t need, don’t want or will no longer use. Once the clutter has disappeared, packing will be easier, and you’re likely to sell your old home faster, as well.

3. Get your supplies ready. Start collecting boxes, tape, packing paper and markers as soon as possible. Once you actually start packing, you don’t want to run out of boxes.

4. Inventory everything you own, list serial numbers, and note the condition of each item. Make a video or take photos of your large and valuable items. This will help you keep track of your things, and will help if you have to file an insurance claim for damage or theft during the move.  

5. A handy new spiral notebook can be used to record, page-by-numbered-page, the contents of each box you pack.  Number boxes as you pack them to correspond to the same numbered page in your notebook.  That way when you get to your new location, finding what you need will be a much simpler task.

6. Start packing as soon as you can. Anything you won’t need before you move can get boxed up and go into storage. This will help you de-clutter, and you won’t have to move everything at the last minute.

7. Enlist help from your friends and family for moving day. The more people you have helping you move, the faster you will finish.

8. Consider hiring professionals. Moving companies provide many different services, including supplying and packing boxes, moving items, unpacking boxes at your new home and carting away the debris. You can select the services you want based on your budget, your available time, and how much you can physically accomplish. It absolutely costs more to hire professionals, but your time is valuable and the added expense may be the most practical and sensible solution for you and your family.

Though moving is a lot of hard work, it doesn’t have to be an awful experience if you plan ahead, enlist help, and do as much as you can in advance before the big day arrives. This will cut down on the stress and hassle of moving, and hopefully, make this your easiest move yet!

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 markets.


Photo courtesy Rachel Spaulding, Stock.XCHNG

What to Look For in Choosing a New Neighborhood

by Allyson Hoffman

There’s a lot to consider when shopping for a new home. It’s important to decide how much space you’ll need, how many bathrooms and bedrooms are essential, what location or community offers the lifestyle you are seeking or even what kind of kitchen you might want as well as the size of the backyard.

While you consider all the interior features you prefer, remember to look outside the home, too. The neighborhood where you choose to buy your home can influence how well it retains its value over the years, as well as how much you will enjoy living there.

Different people have different priorities, so it’s up to you to decide what’s important.  When selecting the area that is right for you, here are some essentials to consider when you are buying a home:

Location – Homes close to amenities like public transportation, jobs, downtown centers, schools, and shopping areas tend to hold their value. Parks, bike paths or jogging trails often add additional neighborhood benefits.  Regardless, it is crucial to assess your personal location preferences such as an easy commute to work or nearby proximity to schools, relatives or friends.

People – Signs of recent improvements and revitalization may signal a neighborhood undergoing renovation where values are stable rather than in decline.  Many buyers also are happier in areas where neighborhood demographics match their own.  So while it is important to seek signs of stability in your new locale, you might also consider who lives there and how they would relate to you and your family.  Are they young professionals, families with kids or retired folks?  Ask yourself what would make you most content and keep that in mind when selecting a home to buy.

Access – Efficiently-designed neighborhoods allows you to get around easily. Assess the amount of traffic, how the streets are laid out and if there is ample parking. Pedestrian conveniences can also help to maintain home values. If you are not in a rural setting, you might want to consider areas where walking is safe and easy such as those with adequate sidewalks and lighting.

Remember, there is no one-size-fits-all formula for choosing the best neighborhood for your home. What is attractive to a young single person just out of college might not suit a family with four children under the age of 12.  So determine your own priorities for your next neighborhood, as well as your home.   If your expectations are clear before you buy and your share this information with your agent, it will be much easier to find the perfect place to live.

When you are ready to buy your home in your favorite neighborhood, please contact me.  I would be delighted to meet with you and discuss the neighborhoods of interest to you in Chicago's North Shore, North and Northwest Suburbs in the Northern Illinois Area.

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.

Moving? Make Your Social Network Work for You

by Allyson Hoffman

In this tight economy, many people are having to look far and wide for the right job opportunities.  Which can mean moving to unfamiliar places, a daunting prospect, especially if you have school-age children.  Finding the right neighborhoods and school districts is a vital part of making the experience a good one in the long run.

To get the information you need to make a good decision, I provide a complimentary relocation assistance program.  But, you may have a fantastic social network, and it’s a perfect time to put it to use.

I’m talking about Facebook and other social media sites.  If you’re a regular online, let your friends and contacts know where you’re planning to move and ask them for information about the area.  Ask about neighborhoods, schools, local parks and attractions, favorite restaurants and other places that may soon be a big part of your new life.  If your Facebook friends don’t know themselves, maybe they have other friends that do.

You can do the same thing with other services like Twitter or LinkedIn.  Tweeting something like: “Planning to move to Glenview. What are the best schools in town? #Glenview” is a simple way to solicit information from a variety of people. 

If you already have a job in the new location, make sure to ask your new company’s human resources department for any assistance they can offer you.  Find out specifics like where you’ll need to go to get your car registered and a new driver’s license.  Churches can be an excellent resource as well.

Of course, you’re going to want to see your options personally before you make any decision. And you can plan ahead for your scouting trip by using services like Yelp to pinpoint specific shops, services and restaurants that will be important to you. 

And having prepared before you tour the area with a Real Estate Professional, you’ll be in a much better position to ask specific questions and provide information that will make your search for a new home a much easier and enjoyable experience.

Image courtesy of Hitcom/Pixabay.com

This blog is maintained by Michael of Kim Hughes & Company

Moving to the North Shore!

by Allyson Hoffman

Whether you are moving to North Shore or just the next town over, it can be a time consuming and at times a frustrating process. Even the best laid plans can run into a snag, so being flexible is key. Below are some helpful tips that can help you to get organized so your move runs smoothly and help you save some time.

1. Change your address and notify companies before you move. Start by filling out a change of address form in advance of your move. Doing this ahead of time can help you to avoid hassles like past-due bills, service lapses and even identity theft. It is also a good idea before you move to set dates to discontinue your utilities at your old address as well as arrange for these services to be turned on at your new address. .

2. Create a moving schedule. It is a good idea to set up a moving schedule a few months before you move. Set it up as a week-by-week checklist to manage the process and help to stay on track. A moving schedule helps you to keep track of the little details or things that may be over looked, thus helping you to avoid last minute headaches. 

3. Establish a packing system. Packing is a major time consumer so thing about coming up with a packing system so all of your boxes end up in the right rooms when they get to your new North Shore home. Many professional movers recommend that you use the color code system where you color code each box with a particular room to avoid any confusion with the movers. It is also helpful to give your movers a floor plan of your home with each room labeled.

4. Get rid of unnecessary items. The less boxes you pack, the less you have to move and finally unpack. So it makes sense to thoroughly go thru your items and get rid of the things you just don't need. Items such as unread books, half-empty cleaning products, clothes that you know you won't wear again should be given away or sold at a garage sale. You don't want to bring the clutter to your new home!

Contact me today to find the perfect Northern Illinois home for you!  Have any moving tips that have worked for you? Share them here!

 

 

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Four Short Sale Myths

by Allyson Hoffman

The economy is still in recovery here in the Chicago North Shore and across the nation. This has unfortunately has made foreclosures and short sales common place in today's real estate market. Eventhough it's very common to see short sales and foreclosures on the market, much of the information regarding these types of homes is outdated or simply untrue!

Here are some of the top misconceptions of short sales:

Short sales can take up to a year to close. This is simply not true. It can take 7-10 days for the lender to acknowledge receipt of the complete short sale package, which consists of personal seller documents and related real estate items, including the buyer's short sale offer. Once a negotiator is assigned it can take an additional 30 to 45 days for a BPO or appraisal. After this has been completed usually another 2 to 3 weeks for management / investor review and short sale approval.

If you purchase a short sale, you will end up paying too much.  Some listing agents may set a short sale below market value, this is a tactic used to attract multiple offers. Remember that a listed price on a short sale is fabricated, because you won't know how much a bank will accept until the offer is submitted. However, most banks will consider a price at a minimum of 90% of market value.

Lenders of a short sale won’t accept a discounted payoff. Many sellers are often surprised to learn that in markets where prices have fallen over a 5-year-period, a home might be worth 50% or less of its original value when the seller bought it. Lenders know about these declining markets and will do their own research about value and typically come to the same conclusion. The value of the home is not based on the amount of the mortgage; it's based on recent comparable sales.

Short Sale Sellers Must Be in Default Before the Bank Will Approve a Short Sale. The lender will approve a short sale based on the seller's hardship and the value of the home. Many sellers may struggle to make the monthly mortgage payment, but have not fallen behind in their payments. It is true that sellers in default receive immediate attention, but a seller can also pay a mortgage payment on time each and every month and still qualify for a short sale.

Do you have questions about a short sale? Contact me today to see if this type of purchase is a good fit for you and your family!

Image courtesy of Rheog/pixabay.com

 

 

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Displaying blog entries 11-20 of 29

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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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[email protected]

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