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


Displaying blog entries 21-27 of 27

Your Chicago Illinois Area Moving Guide

by Allyson Hoffman

Spring is among us and it is the time of year when people decide to list their houses and move on to their next place to call home. It is the time in between the listing, and the final sale, to the time when you are settling into your new house that can be overwhelming and stressful if not planned right.

In the coming weeks I will provide you with the information, tools and resources that will assist you with your move to help you and your family with this transition.

Part 1 of this moving guide will outline the three "types" of moves and which method will be best for you and your family.

Full-service Movers
This type of move is an all-inclusive type package. Full-service movers are professional and licensed and handle all aspects of your move from packing and loading to unloading. Full-service movers may cost more than the other options listed below, but keep in mind it may be well worth the investment to free up your own time and lessen the stress on you and your family.

Self Service Movers
If you want a little more control over the move, the Self Service move may be the way to go. Here you will be responsible for packing, loading and unloading of the moving vehicle provided by a professional and licensed mover while they take care of the actual driving. This is a popular option for small to medium interstate moves.

Do It Yourself Move
If working with a professional mover doesn't fit into you moving plan you can always "Do It Yourself". Consider the number of items you need to pack and move as well as the distance you need to go; it might be quit manageable on your ow using a rented truck. When renting a truck to drive yourself, you want to make sure it is large enough to accommodate all your boxes and furniture and whether or not the truck requires a special license to drive it.

Which ever method you decide to go with, try not to let it overwhelm you. There are a number of moving tips that we are going to share with you to make this transition as stress-free as possible.

Don't forget to check back for Part 2 of our Chicago Illinois Moving Guide.

Damages During A Move

by Allyson Hoffman

You have searched for weeks and now that you have found the perfect home  it is time to move in! If you are using a moving company, it is likely that no matter how careful your movers are you will still have a lost or damaged item. So what should you do if a box of belongings arrives in pieces -- or just fails to materialize? Here are some tips for what to do if a moving company damages property or loses something of yours.

1.Be sure to read the Bill of Lading carefully.  This contains the terms of your agreement with specifics such as information on the type of liability you and your mover agreed upon. By law all companies are required to insure their cargo at a rate of up to 60 cents per pound. However that means small high value items will only be replaced for 60 cents.

2. Address any obvious damages or loss. It is vital that you review your inventory and make sure that everything has been accounted for and is not damaged beofre you sign anything.   If you do notice any damages or missing items before make sure to alert them of any issues and make a note on the inventory sheet or Bill of Lading. It is recommended to not accept any offer made by the company to settle on the spot as you may end up underestimating the damages.

3. Know your rights.  According to The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, which regulates moving companies, they indicate that "Movers are prohibited from having you sign a receipt which relieves the mover from all liability for loss or damage to the shipment.  Make re to NOT sign any receipt which does not indicate thatprovide that you are signing for your shipment in apparent good condition except as noted on the shipping documents." If you've made a note on your contract about concealed damages, that last bit will keep you covered. However, even if you have a claim, you are still responsible for paying for the move in a timely fashion.

4. If you suffer a lost, file a claim. You have to file a claim within nine months of the date of service. Contact the movers via certified mail, informing the movers of the damage and requesting a claim form. Be sure to keep a copy of your inventory sheet handy, along with any photos or videos that can support your claim. If the movers are not in contact about your within 30 days or if they refuse to recoup your loss, you may want to file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau or even take your case to small claims court.

5. Invest in moving insurance. Even before you sign a contract with a mover, research your options for moving insurance.  This type of insurance will insure your possessions in the event of a damage or loss, or for a catastrophe occurrence.  Check with your current renter or homeowners insurance company to see what might be covered from your current policy as well.

 Image courtesy of Crispin Semmens/


Saving On Moving Costs

by Allyson Hoffman

When buying a new home there is no doubt that there will be many expenses, both planned and unplanned. You have to figure in closing costs, inspection fees, utility hook up costs and many other things that can pop up and drain your budget quickly. Especially in a difficult economy saving money and cutting costs anywhere you can is vital. Below are some cost cutting tips to help you save money where you can when you move.

Moving your belongings yourself is going to be a big money saver but it may not always be possible. If you do plan to use a professional service, be sure to shop around. As with any professional service, it is a good idea to do your homework and get at least three estimates. It's important to remember that the cheapest service may not always be the best value. Check references, ask questions, look for red flags and do your homework before deciding on a moving company to avoid being scammed.

Be creative and use your own packing supplies. Most moving companies will charge big fees for supplying packing supplies. You can save big money by being creative and using items you already have to pack. Things like suitcases or plastic bins are great for packing clothes or other small items. Consider using linens and towels to wrap breakable items. Instead of paying for boxes, start collecting free cardboard boxes from local stores as well as newspaper for packing.

Look for discounts. If you are using a professional service, be sure to ask about all available discounts. Some movers will give discounts if you are able to give the mover some room when it comes to pickup and delivery dates. If possible, give the movers a span of three to five days when they can pick up the load and three to five days when they can deliver. Be sure to ask about hidden costs such as if the mover has to go up stairs or if there are accessibility problems on arrival.

Pack It Yourself. Having a moving company pack your items is expensive-sometimes up to or more of 25% of the moving cost. Something to think about is to do a partial pack where you pack things like your clothing, linens and then have the mover handle the breakables.

Image courtesy of Hitcom/




In Part 1 of the Moving Guide series we discussed the types of moves that are available. Now we would like to continue with Part 2. You have everything packed and loaded in the movers van or vehicle that you will be driving yourself. Once you arrive at your new home, you may or may not set out to unload and pack as soon as you arrive so you want to be prepared.

Below is a list of some of the essential items that you should pack separately and have with you during the move, for your first night in your new home. These few things will help to ensure that everyone in your family, including pets, is taken care of for the first night in the event that you don't get around to unpacking or if the moving truck hasn't arrived the same time as you.

Food & Kitchen Supplies
It's a good idea to pack a few snacks, sandwiches and bottled water as cooking may not be a top priority when you arrive at your new home. A few additional items you will want to have on hand include paper plates, cups, utensils, napkins and garbage bags.

With everything packed and in boxes or possibly still in the moving van you will need necessities such as toilet paper, toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, shampoo and a few towels. Also you will want to keep with you any contact lens solutions and hygiene products that may be required.

Always pack prescription medication and keep it with you. A first-aid kit and extra band-aids are also a good idea to have on hand during the move and on the first night...just in case.

Try to have a few emergency tools on hand for unforeseen circumstances. Tools such as flashlights, candles, matches, screwdrivers, pliers and scissors.

Clothing for a couple of days should be sufficient to see you through the first night (or two) and maybe a couple of extra blankets or sleeping bags.

Children's Items
For your children you will want to have baby food, diapers and their favorite toys and blankets for their first night in the new home.

Pet Items
Your pets are affected just as much by a move as you and the rest of the family are so be sure to have food, treat, water and any medication that they may require.

These are the necessities that will help you get through the first night in your new home. Keep this list handy well in advance to your move date and add or delete items that you feel will help you best in achieving a stress free first night in your new home.

Image courtesy of Mr.TinDC/


Do You Qualify for a Moving Expense Deduction?

by Allyson Hoffman

Have you recently moved or relocated as a result of a new job or job transfer? If yes, you might like to know that some of the costs associated with a move of this type may be used as a moving expense deduction on your income taxes. A few of things to keep in mind that help in determining if you would qualify for a moving expense deduction include:

  • The distance between the old home and the new job must be at least 50 miles
  • If you move within a year of taking the job at the new location
  • If you work full-time for at least 39 weeks (the total is 78 weeks if you are self-employed)

Whether a homeowner or renter, you can deduct the cost of moving household goods and the direct cost of moving you and your family. You can also deduct expenses for lodging during the move but not meals.

It is important to keep detailed records of all expenses during a move and
consult a tax expert to make sure that you take all the lawful tax deductions allowed by the IRS criteria for expenses related to selling your old home or buying your new one. For additional reading regarding moving expenses, the IRS publication No. 521 entitled "Tax Information on Moving Expenses" is also a great resource.

Image courtesy of Hitcom/

Things To Be Aware of When Moving With Children

by Allyson Hoffman

Moving can be extremely stressful especially if you have children. It is important to be aware of the things that may be a concern to your children when making a move.

A few areas of concern for children when making a move may include:

  • Preschool children tend to worry about being left behind or separated from their parents.
  • Kids aged 6 to 12 can be concerned with how their daily routines will be affected.
  • Teenagers are concerned primarily with fitting in and having their social life disrupted.

A way to ease these concerns may include:

  • Communicating with your child about what the new house will be like.
  • Take them on a visit of the new home and neighborhood (if possible)
  • If you can, visit the school with your child and meet some of the teachers.

Involving your children in the move can help make the transition easier. Your kids can be a great help to you and the move if you involve them such things as:

  • Packing some of their own special belongings, and decorate the box with stickers and markers.
  • Make plans together on how to decorate their new room.

There is a lot to consider during a move and by involving your children you just may relieve the stress your children are feeling, reduce your own stress and be able to focus more on other aspects of your move!

Photo courtesy of ashleigh290/

10 Packing Tips For Your Next Move

by Allyson Hoffman

When you decide to make a move to a new home there are a number of things to take care of including the dreaded packing. Not many people enjoy this process, but it can be a lot less stressful if you are organized and make a plan.


Here are a few tips to get you started.


  1. Plan ahead and budget for the move. Will you be moving yourself or will you require the assistance of a moving company? If you are planning to use a moving company it’s a good idea to price this out ahead of time by using a moving calculator.


  1. Make sure you have plenty of the following: strong packing boxes (more than you think you will need), markers and tags to label boxes, rolls of packing tape, bubble wrap for fragile items, packing paper, scissors and a knife for opening boxes.


  1. Pack room-to-room keeping similar items together.


  1. Use smaller boxes for heavier items so it is easier to lift.


  1. You can use towels, linens and curtains to line the bottom and sides of boxes with fragile items. All fragile items should be individually wrapped. Clearly mark these boxes FRAGILE.


  1. Make sure that any opened boxes or jars are tightly sealed before packing them.


  1. Use colorful tags to identify the contents of the box and which room it will be taken to in your new home.


  1. Pack any rugs last so that they will be the first thing unpacked and placed in the home.


  1. Make a master list of all household items and personal belongings.


  1. Finally pack a box with all the essentials and mark it “Open Me First”. This box may contain items such as: a few basic tools (flashlight, pocket knife, masking tape, light bulbs), bathroom essentials (toilet paper, soap, shampoo, toothbrushes & paste, hand towel), Kitchen items (paper towels, coffee maker & filter, paper plates, cups, utensils, pet food, trash bags).


Planning ahead will make all the difference to an overwhelming move. Do your research and make a plan.


Image courtesy of Lisa Risager/

Displaying blog entries 21-27 of 27




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Photo of Allyson Hoffman Real Estate
Allyson Hoffman
RE/MAX Villager
1245 Waukegan Road
Glenview IL 60025
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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