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

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Polar Adventure Days at Northerly Island

by Allyson Hoffman

It’s time for Polar Adventure Days at Northerly Island! Celebrate the beautiful winter season as you explore Northerly Island, participate in nature-inspired winter crafts, sip hot cocoa, and get an up-close look at live animals such as Siberian huskies, wolves, birds of prey, and more. This event will run through January 26th from 12 PM to 4 PM at Northerly Island.

Visit the official Chicago Parks website for additional information. Celebrate the fabulous Chicago winter with this one-of-a-kind interactive event!  Step out, step up and step into a truly unique outdoor exploration and cure the “cabin fever” blues!

 

 

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
allyson@allyson.com

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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 Philippe Montes on Unsplash

Red Flags to Home Improvement Scams

by Allyson Hoffman

In today’s world it’s imperative to know who you hire and allow into your home. Because scam artists come in many forms, it is important to be aware and understand how to protect yourself. Before letting someone work inside your home or even do outside chores, be aware of some of common ruses fake remodelers and handymen use to gain access to your home’s interior or take your hard-earned cash.

Below you’ll find five ways to protect yourself from home improvement scams:

1. Don’t fall for high pressure ‘now or never’ deals. Some contractors will knock at your door with a special ‘one time only’ offer. If you don’t sign up immediately, they’ll warn that you will lose the opportunity to get that great deal. Reputable remodelers may offer specials, but they also recognize that you may need some time to think it through, talk it over with your spouse, or check out their references. Ask to see a price list, a website, and a list of verifiable past customers before you agree to allow any work to be done.

 2. Watch out for unsolicited offers, especially exterior repairs. In one common ploy a repairman comes to your door to report that he ‘just happened to notice’ several exterior features of the house that need repair.  Don’t fall for it.  Be especially wary, if he ‘just happens’ to have all the materials with him that are needed for your job. Chances are the materials were intended for a neighbor who paid more for repairs than needed.

3. Don’t pay for the job up front. If the contractor-to-be requires full payment before starting, it’s a real possibility that you will never see him again. Never pay for a job before the work is finished. Legitimate remodelers typically require a down payment of a third or less to get a job started (which is reasonable) and pay for materials. The balance due in your agreement should only be paid after different milestones have been completed, with the final payment due only when all work has been finished to your satisfaction.  It is advisable to get your agreement in writing.

4. Don’t do business with out-of- town contractors. Beware contractors who drive unmarked vehicles or trucks with out-of-state licenses. They may be part of a band of scammers who are making their way through your area. This is especially common after a storm or other widespread event that makes homeowners vulnerable to quick repair scams. Make sure that the remodelers or repairmen you choose are established in your area and have both trade and customer references.

5.  Always check references. Don’t just request references. Instead, take the time to actually follow up by contacting those provided to you. Five or more solid references should be encouraging.  Also ask for bank or trade references and check with the Better Business Bureau and/or local license board to make sure their business practices and credentials are sound.

Use good judgment when selecting a home improvement contractor or remodeler. To find several good, professional remodelers in your area, do a little research. The results of the effort will make you glad that you did!

If you have been a victim or can offer additional tips to help protect others, be sure to share your experiences and ideas.  And, should you need the name of a reputable contractor, feel free to contact me for recommendations. Take the time to make wise choices – it’s better to be safe than sorry!

 

 

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
allyson@allyson.com

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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 geralt/Pixabay.com.

2019 Chicago Cubs Convention

by Allyson Hoffman

Game’s on! Calling all Cubs fans, the 2019 Cubs Convention is this weekend -- January 18th through January 20th. Visit the official Cubs website to purchase your tickets today and join the Chicago Cubs for a weekend full of Cubby fun and festivities.

This event will feature “meet and greets” with your favorite players, signing opportunities, numerous interactive exhibits, panels with Cubs players, alumni, coaches and more!

Purchase your tickets today and don’t miss your chance to savior a taste of baseball, even during the long offseason.

It’s a special time for true Cubs fans to come out, come together and celebrate their favorite baseball team!

 

 

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
allyson@allyson.com

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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 Blake Guidry on Unsplash

December 2018 Midwest Real Estate Market Reports

by Allyson Hoffman


The December 2018 
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 Villager 
Serving Chicago's North Shore, North and Northwest Suburbs
847-310-5300

allyson@allyson.com

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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.

Half-A-Dozen Costly Mistakes to Avoid When Selling Your Home

by Allyson Hoffman

Most folks who want to sell their homes know that cleaning and sprucing up prior to listing is advised.  However, several common mistakes that many sellers make can potentially have a greater impact on success than a dirty floor or soap scum on the shower door.

Here are six mistakes sellers can make with potentially negative impact on the final sale price of your home. It’s prudent to do your best to avoid them:

Failing to Get a Home Inspection

This applies to older homes and newer homes as well. If you think your home could have problems that might require repair, get a home inspection prior to listing. This will allow you to identify and correct any problem areas in your home, on your own timeline and budget, before negotiating with a buyer.

Not Properly Preparing Your Home for Sale

In a competitive market, the first impression is essential. Take full advantage of that initial rush of agents with potential buyers that occurs in those first few weeks after listing. To help your home show well, consider repainting, fixing any minor problems and thoroughly cleaning it inside and out. Some sellers will hire professionals to do this for them.

Trying to Hide Issues with the Home

Hanging a painting over a hole in the wall or a throwing a rug over that huge water spot in the middle of the floor might seem like a good idea at the time, but it isn’t. Today’s buyers and their agents are remarkably adept at finding these hidden problems. If you cannot afford to fix them, be honest about the problems to avoid a potentially contentious negotiating process, a deal falling through at the last minute or even a lawsuit.

Allowing Your Pets the Run of the House

Animals can be wonderful companions, and many people love them. But not all people love animals and some visitors may be allergic.  So in order to sell your home, make sure to appeal to the non-animal lovers as well. Many experts suggest boarding animals with friends and family while your home is on the market.  If this isn’t an option, make sure any evidence of your furry friends (fur, litter boxes, etc.) is removed daily to avoid discouraging potential buyers.

Not Choosing the Right Realtor

When you decide to sell your home you will likely have several friends who know a real estate agent, and while the experiences of your friends and family are often a good place to start, make sure to choose a Realtor who knows your area and is an experienced listing agent with the skills and connections to sell your home quickly.

Overpricing Your Home

Sellers frequently overinflate the value of their home. That’s understandable, but pricing your home above market value could cost you money in the long run. If your home lingers on the market becoming a “stale listing” and you are forced to reduce the price, you could end up selling it for less than you would have if you had priced it correctly in the first place. Be willing to listen to your agent when it comes time to set the asking price for your home.

Selling a home does not have to be a difficult process. In fact, with an experienced listing agent acting as your advocate and guide, the process can progress smoothly through closing and beyond. Contact me today if you are ready to sell your home. I will be glad to answer any questions you may have, and help get the process started.



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
allyson@allyson.com

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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 Images of Money at Flickr.com.

 

Storyland at the Kohl Children’s Museum

by Allyson Hoffman

This weekend is your last chance to check out Storyland at the Kohl Children’s Museum. Storyland is a hands-on interactive exhibit that enables children to experience their favorite children’s books in a new and unique way. Storyland’s immersive environment includes engaging exhibits from The Tale of Peter Rabbit, The Snowy Day, Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, Abuela, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, Tuesday, and Where’s Spot.

Visit the official Kohl Children’s Museum website for additional information and to purchase your tickets today! The exhibit runs through January 13th so don’t miss your chance to encourage your child’s literary exploration and foster their love of reading!

Make a memorable “storybook” family day to remember this weekend at Kohl Children’s Museum engaging Storyland!

 


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

allyson@allyson.com

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 Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Managing Your Wintertime Move

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 complicate the event and 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 should 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 helpful insights to reduce your stress.

- Plan ahead

Even though moving companies may slowdown in the winter months, they are not void of business.  So make your reservation for their services early.  And, be sure to walk-through your new home in advance of furniture delivery to plan 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-free, ice-free, 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

allyson@allyson.com

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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 Jason VantuylFlickr.com           

 

Maxwell Street Market

by Allyson Hoffman

If you are a fan of bargain hunting, then look no further than the Maxwell Street Market. This Chicago tradition offers goods at a bargain but with international flair. This market is the perfect place to find all your needs at fantastic prices from tools to fresh produce and rare finds to collectibles. You’ll find this appealing market open every Sunday year-round from 9 AM to 3 PM, and best of all, admission is free! The market was closed for the holiday season but will re-open this Sunday, January 6th.

Visit the official City of Chicago website for additional information and directions. Don’t miss your chance for one-of-a-kind finds all at reasonable prices!

Max out your purchases at the Maxwell Street Market!

 

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
allyson@allyson.com

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 Lukas Budimaier on Unsplash

Enhancing Winter Curb Appeal

by Allyson Hoffman

Having your house on the market in the winter means you'll face some special challenges. Without the benefit of landscape in full bloom, a home can appear drab. To avoid losing potential buyers, here are three tips to garner buyers’ hearts through better winter curb appeal.

1. Turn drab into fab by adding a few winter-flowering shrubs and perennials to your landscaping. Some attractive options could include Pieris Japonica, the Hellebore, Christmas rose and winter jasmine.

2. Spruce up your intrigue. If you've got visible mulch around your trees and shrubs instead of a crisp white layer of snow, make sure it's fresh. The longer mulch sits in the sun, the grayer it becomes.  At some point it’s hard to even tell it is mulch anymore. So add that subtle punch of color to the otherwise dormant landscaping.

3. “Crisp and Clear” should be your motto during the winter months. So check all areas where winter storms can deposit problematic ice and snow. While you might not have issues with it, the young, old and those with disabilities likely will. Minimize your liabilities, both visual and actual, by shoveling snow and spreading salt or melting agents to alleviate the problems as they occur.  Keep in mind that an ounce of prevention can produce a pound of cure, so for more permanent solutions to recurring buildups of snow and ice, check for good drainage away from your driveway and house. Additionally, clean your gutters and downspouts to help to eliminate ice dams or the formation of massive (potentially dangerous) icicles and ice puddles as those begin to melt.

Selling a home in winter may not be the most ideal time to show off your home's beauty, but these tips can mitigate seasonal challenges. For additional information regarding the selling process, feel free to contact me and I'll be happy to offer suggestions for preparing to sell and regarding the best way to increase appeal or help you to determine the value of your current 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
allyson@allyson.com

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 ColinBroug/Stock.xchng.com

New Year’s Eve Festivities at Navy Pier

by Allyson Hoffman

Looking for fun-filled New Year’s Eve festivities? Look no further -- Chicago is full of a variety of celebrations everyone can enjoy.

Visit the Chicago Children’s Museum, Monday, December 31st from 10 AM – 12 PM to take part in their Noon Year’s Eve Celebration. This family-friendly event will feature craft making, dance party, and a countdown to high noon. Visit the official event website to purchase your tickets today.

If you are looking for a night out on the town, then be sure to check out the 7th Annual Chicago Resolution Gala at the Aon Grand Ballroom. This event is for adults, 21 and older, and features a variety of food, drinks, and fabulous music to dance the night away and ring in the New year. Visit the official event website for additional information and to purchase your tickets.

Crystal Gardens will also be hosting a fabulous New Year’s Eve party. From 9 PM to 1:30 AM enjoy top-shelf drinks, delectable treats, Live DJ, and a private terrace to watch the fireworks. Visit the official event website to purchase your tickets today!

Wanting to ring in the new year with a bang? Then don’t miss the New Year’s Eve Fireworks at Navy Pier. Enjoy this spectacular show of lights and color as the fireworks burst over Lake Michigan. The 15-minute spectacular will begin promptly at 12 AM. Visit the official website for additional information. This event is free to the public.

Whether you are with friends or family, dancing the night away or watching the spectacular fireworks show, there is an event for everyone is sure to enjoy to bring in 2019!

 


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
allyson@allyson.com

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 by Amy Shamblen on Unsplash

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 245

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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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