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

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Clearing Up the Myths & Mysteries of HOA Fees

by Allyson Hoffman

If you’re considering buying a property located in a homeowner association, HOA fees are typically a fact of life. For people moving out on their own for the first time or moving from a traditional home to a property with an association, understanding what these fees do and why they are necessary is important.

One-Time Capital Contribution

Some HOAs require new owners to make a one-time payment into the association coffers upon their purchase of the property. This money is kept in a reserve account to cover future joint expenses, such as adding amenities or updating certain common areas. This fund might be used to make exterior repairs or improve landscaping. Sometimes, when an association requires an upfront one-time payment, the monthly fees are lower.

Monthly HOA Fees

Many associations charge a monthly fee to cover certain ongoing expenses that benefit all residents. Some examples include the following:

 - Building maintenance
- Utility costs for common areas
- Trash pickup
- Snow removal
- Ongoing landscaping such as mowing or trimming
- Pool maintenance
- Maintenance of other common areas
- On-site security
- Lighting and signage for common areas

While owners not responsible for this type of actual work, they must pay their portion of the costs.

Comparing HOAs

It can be difficult to compare costs for HOAs because they are not all alike. For instance, one association may have a pool, exercise facility and/or common meeting room while another one may have none of these. The costs will differ because the two HOAs will need to maintain and provide different services.

Location can also play a role in determining the cost of fees. For example, an older association with dedicated neighborhood streets maintained and plowed by city services may have lower fees than a home within an up-and-coming new construction area where roads are private and maintained by the association. Associations, regardless of age, with non-dedicated roads will bear the expense of care through their HOA fees.

The age of the association and its improvements may also impact the monthly fees.  Newer or new communities, possibly still covered by builder warranties, may not require the same level of reserves needed in older associations where roofing, concrete, fencing and building exteriors inevitably will need attention as the years progress.

Keep in mind that it’s always important to factor HOA fees into your budget when you are shopping for a home to ensure it matches your financial criteria. Your real estate agent should be able to help you determine what areas are owner responsibilities and what services are included in the monthly fees.  This information will help you to equitably compare associations to ensure you select the right one. For additional information on selecting the right property in the right association for you, 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 of Barrington
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 skeeze/Pixabay.com

Viewing Homes – Are We Under Surveillance?

by Allyson Hoffman

When viewing property most buyers shopping for their next home typically prefer that the sellers of the home not be present. Looking at the property, without sellers, allows buyers to feel more relaxed and not worried about their reactions and/or comments during their visit.

While sellers naturally understand that buyers prefer to visit homes without them present, some homeowners just aren’t completely comfortable having strangers in their home when they aren’t there. Agents will undoubtedly encourage sellers to vacate during showings or at a minimum, be truly unobtrusive. Regardless, many sellers are reluctant to accommodate this request.

To resolve this dilemma, some sellers have installed security cameras to monitor the activity in their home when they aren’t present. As video technology has become more user-friendly and less expensive, popularity has rapidly grown. To provide some peace of mind and security when they aren’t there, an increasing number of sellers are utilizing these systems to record everyone entering their home. Likewise, sellers can also review the footage to hear the conversations between buyers and their agent.

So today’s homebuyers will likely find it best to presume that there is a recording device in any home they may visit. In fact this has become so common that many Multiple Listing Services now include a disclaimer on every listing, such as:  “Many homes contain recording devices, and buyers should be aware that they may be recorded during a showing.” Because sellers may listen to your conversations and watch your reactions, whether security or unfiltered feedback is their primary concern, be aware of what you say and do. If you are interested in the home and ultimately present an offer, hearing your thoughts in advance could provide the seller an advantage during any negotiations.

Regardless of the reason that sellers might be watching and listening, don’t allow this possibility to put you at a disadvantage in a home that you like.  It’s always best to treat a home you tour the way you would want a buyer to treat yours and limit comments about the house to those that you would make if the seller was present.

For additional information regarding purchasing a home, please contact me today for a consultation. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have about the home buying or selling process, help you to find a new home or determine the value of your existing property.

 

 

Allyson Hoffman, ABR, ACRE, CDPE, CRS, e-PRO, GRI, SFR, SRES
RE/MAX of Barrington
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 geralt/pixabay.com

Northshore Turkey Trot

by Allyson Hoffman

Gather your flock and head over to the Northshore Turkey Trot this Thursday, November 28th.  Meet in the Eastside Metra parking lot near Park Avenue and St. Johns in downtown Highland Park, Illinois. The race, which offers both a 5k and 10k option, is a great way to earn the turkey dinner you will likely be feasting upon later in the day. Donations from the Northshore Turkey Trot support a great cause and benefit the Highland Park Police Benevolent Association.

So be sure to visit the official event website to register today. Then come on out this Thanksgiving to strut your stuff, gobble up the fresh air and advance the success of this year’s Northshore Turkey Trot!

 

 

Allyson Hoffman, ABR, ACRE, CDPE, CRS, e-PRO, GRI, SFR, SRES
RE
/MAX of Barrington
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 by Mikkel Bergmann on Unsplash

The Long and Short Regarding Property Liens

by Allyson Hoffman

Did you know that it’s possible to have a lien on your property without your knowledge? Unfortunately, many owners first realize that such an issue exists when deciding to sell their property.  These unexpected revelations can create unanticipated and inconvenient delays, can actually affect one’s ability to sell or even cause a contract to be cancelled.

What is a Property Lien?

A property lien is a legal claim to receive money from the sale of a property. Lien amounts vary, but are equal to the amount of debt owed to the lienholder who requires the property as collateral to ensure the debt is repaid. For example, a mortgage company would be the lienholder for the amount still owed on the property’s financing loan. But in addition to these common liens, other parties may have filed additional claims against the property. If real estate taxes are not paid, a lien for these taxes may be established or if a contractor has gone unpaid for work completed on the property, a lien may be recorded.

The Effect of Liens on the Property Owner

Property owners cannot sell their property until all liens are removed and cleared. Typically, this only occurs when the debt is fully satisfied. If creditors have recorded a property lien, they must receive the amount due for the lien to be removed and the title to be cleared for sale.  A clear, unencumbered title to the property is a critical part of transferring the property to a new owner.

In some cases where required payments are not being satisfied, a creditor may elect to foreclose on the property, take title to it and resell it to recover their financial losses. When foreclosures occur, the debts are repaid in their order of priority with real estate tax arrearages coming first followed by the primary and any secondary mortgages.

How to Check for Liens

A public records search before you are ready to sell can reveal if there are any unsuspected liens on your property.  Additionally, the title company will also perform a title search as part of the sale process and, should issues surface, addressing and correcting these before selling your home is advised.

When it comes to liens, it’s definitely better to manage the problem in advance of listing your home or entertaining offers to purchase. For additional information regarding potential obstacles that can impact the sale of your home, please contact me today for a consultation. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have about the home buying or selling process, help you to find a new home or determine the value of your existing property.

 

Allyson Hoffman, ABR, ACRE, CDPE, CRS, e-PRO, GRI, SFR, SRES
RE/MAX of Barrington
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 Clkr-Free-Vector-Images/pixabay.com

Chicago’s Toy and Game Fair

by Allyson Hoffman

Chicago’s Toy and Game Fair begins this Thursday, November 21st, and will continue through Sunday, November 24th. This event is perfect children or the child at heart and is your chance to explore and test this season’s hottest toys pre-holiday!

The event features tons of demo stations from LEGO, Automoblox, Flower Fairies, and much more where you’ll enjoy the opportunity to meet the inventors of your favorite games, such as BopIt, Operation, Shopkins, and others.

Additionally, you can pitch your fantastic new game idea to the pros or participate in the young inventor challenge and show off your skills to top industry professionals. Don’t miss the chance to get your hands on this season’s top toys and games.

All ChiTAG events will take place at Navy Pier in Chicago. Visit ChiTAG’s official website for tickets, event information, and event times. This is an event you won’t want to miss! 

 

 

Allyson Hoffman, ABR, ACRE, CDPE, CRS, e-PRO, GRI, SFR, SRES
RE
/MAX of Barrington
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 by Vanessa Bucceri on Unsplash

November 2019 Midwest Real Estate Market Reports

by Allyson Hoffman

The November 2019 Midwest Real Estate Market Reports are now ready for your review. These market reports provide an insight on the real estate market statistics for Cook County and Lake County. These statistics are helpful when you are considering buying or selling in today’s real estate market.  And, remember should you need tailored reports on a subdivision or neighborhood in the North ShoreNorth, and Northwest Suburban Chicago, Illinois area, please let me know.



Allyson Hoffman, ABR, ACRE, CDPE, CRS, e-PRO, GRI, SFR, SRES
RE/MAX of Barrington 
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.

After Dark Featuring Andy Warhol—From A to B and Back Again

by Allyson Hoffman

After Dark Featuring Andy Warhol—From A to B and Back Again features over 350 works of Warhol’s amazingly varied career. The event, held November 15th at Art Institute of Chicago, is your chance to view this one-of-a-kind art show. Along with late-night access to the exhibition, you’ll enjoy live performances by Gilligan Moss, DJ sets coordinated by Bizarre Love.  Complimentary snacks to enjoy will be available throughout the evening, and a cash bar will feature cocktails inspired by the exhibition.

Visit the official event website to purchase your tickets today and don’t miss your chance to view these unique works of art from this the beloved and iconic American Pop artist.

 

 

Allyson Hoffman, ABR, ACRE, CDPE, CRS, e-PRO, GRI, SFR, SRES
RE
/MAX of Barrington
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 by Mingjun Liu on Unsplash

For Sale by Owner Facts & Fiction

by Allyson Hoffman

Whether you drive by a house with a sign that says “For Sale By Owner” or you’re the person putting out the sign, before you take the next step, consider what it means to have a house “For Sale By Owner”.

Costs

Many people like the idea of buying or selling a FSBO because they presume that it costs less without agent’s commissions factored into the price. However, if you are a buyer with your own agent, you may still need to pay their commission out of pocket instead of from the purchase proceeds unless the contract with the seller agrees to cover that expense. When this scenario occurs with presumably only the buyer’s agent involved, the total commissions due might be lower than a listed property.

Pricing

Theoretical commission-cost savings could affect the pricing but since most buyers and most sellers entering a “For Sale By Owner” transaction are equally seeking to save those fees, it’s important to understand that both parties cannot save the entire amount. In most cases, the best that can be achieved by forgoing professional representation is some potential savings to each party. Absent professional pricing input, the prices of homes sold direct by owner are frequently higher than agent-listed homes because FSBO sellers may not have an informed estimate of the value of the property and/or the skills to interpret the comparable pricing information correctly. Not unexpectedly, many owners tend to think their homes are worth more than what the market will bear.  

Paperwork

In part, agents earn their commissions by managing much of the contract paperwork and overseeing the real estate transaction milestones. Without an agent, buyers and sellers will need to administer all the details themselves including required state and federal disclosures, needed addendums, adherence to dates relating to contract conditions and post-contract negotiations needed to reach the closing finish line successfully.  Absent this effective detail management, difficult problems relating to the house or contingencies can surface and result in transaction delays or even cancelled contracts.

Marketing

Marketing a home can be time-consuming, especially if the objective is to reach large numbers of prospective buyers who are qualified to purchase in a reasonable timeframe and ready to act now.  One key element in obtaining the best price includes massive exposure to the greatest number of potential buyers.  This could be a difficult goal for sellers who may be unable to match the reach of agents with their Multiple Listing Service access and an established online presence enhanced by great staging, photography, video marketing and skilled social media coverage. Building a strong marketing program from the ground up could undoubtedly be challenging while also juggling family and work obligations at the same time. So teaming up with a professional may be a better option for busy sellers. 

Especially for first-time buyers and sellers, it is typically helpful to partner with someone who has “been there, done that” for fewer headaches and less stress as the process advances. For additional information on buying or selling a home, feel free to contact me today for a consultation. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have, help you to find your dream home or determine the value of your existing property.

 


Allyson Hoffman, ABR, ACRE, CDPE, CRS, e-PRO, GRI, SFR, SRES
RE/MAX of Barrington
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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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.    

Image courtesy paulbr75/pixabay.com

The Antiques + Modernism Winnetka Show

by Allyson Hoffman

The 2019 Antiques + Modernism Winnetka Show (A+M Show) opens with a Preview Party on Thursday evening, November 7th, and runs from Friday, November 8th through Sunday, November 9th at the Winnetka Community House.

Presented by The Woman's Board of Winnetka Community House, this spectacular style and design event takes place on Chicago's beautiful North Shore. It is a much-beloved favorite of locals and beyond. Proceeds from the Show benefit the Community House, a unique, local non-profit that provides educational, cultural, social, and recreational opportunities for people of all ages. Ranging in styles from classic to modern, the Show is known for gorgeous home furnishings and accessories, artwork, clothing, and jewelry.

Visit the official event website to purchase your tickets today! If you are interested in unique items that are exclusively available for purchase from dealers who are nationally recognized specialists, then this is the event for you!

 

 

Allyson Hoffman, ABR, ACRE, CDPE, CRS, e-PRO, GRI, SFR, SRES
RE
/MAX of Barrington
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.  

Photo by Vorsen Furniture on Unsplash

Mastering Design Show Successes in Your Own Home

by Allyson Hoffman

Owners can build skills to make their homes look magazine worthy by simply watching or attending home design shows. Tips and techniques when applied to your own home will likely amaze friends and family. Moreover, that fabulous new look will undoubtedly help to impress buyers should you plan to list your property.

The Overall Picture

Remember it’s the big picture that really counts!  First impressions inevitably embrace the entire space, even on TV design shows where rooms are staged to show off a particular design element or product. Think of “the big reveal”, both the exterior and interior with rooms that truly stand out.  

So focus on the overall picture when you choose a room’s accents or decide on its special features. You’ll want to make sure that all of your components work together and create the cohesive look instead of fixating upon only one element.

Invoke Emotion

Plan your own design with an objective intended to trigger the feelings you’d like folks to enjoy when they visit your home and view each room. Every aspect of your design should work towards that goal.

Check out any of the multitude of design shows on HGTV and watch for the reactions resulting from the makeover.  Then additionally, monitor your own response and feelings. Well-designed rooms should produce a desired reaction such as a relaxing family room, romantic bedroom or fun playroom. A foyer could be inviting while the kitchen might provoke a sense of warmth, and both areas when designed with emotion in mind, might foster a welcoming atmosphere.

Embrace the Unexpected

Try visiting a home design show to actually view the latest styles, materials and products where innovative ideas for your home may be among the many unique and unusual displays. Unexpected design elements when incorporated within a complete picture enhance a fresh look and will likely add both interest and excitement to the space.

So, don’t be afraid to try something new in your home. Starting with small accent items that are easily replaced will help you begin to master the challenge without feeling overwhelmed.

For additional information or advice regarding decorating and/or home design elements that maximize home values, please feel free to contact me today for a consultation. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have about the home buying or selling process, help you to find a new home or determine the value of your existing property.


 

Allyson Hoffman, ABR, ACRE, CDPE, CRS, e-PRO, GRI, SFR, SRES
RE/MAX of Barrington
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
YouTube


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 PIRO4D/pixabay.com

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 345

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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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Allyson Hoffman
(847) 310-5300
[email protected]

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