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

Chicago North Shore, North and Northwest Suburban Real Estate Blog

Allyson Hoffman


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Christmas in Chicago - Family Fun for Everyone

by Allyson Hoffman

This is the time of year when we try to free up extra time to enjoy the holiday season and spend time with family and friends. The Chicago area is full of fun and entertaining activities for the whole family to enjoy. Below are a few attractions you may want to check out this holiday season.

Chicago's Millennium Park
Located in the heart of downtown Chicago, Millennium Park is open 6am - 11pm daily. You won't want to miss the amazing display of art and architecture in this four season park. Round up family and friends and head down to Millennium Park's 16,000 square foot ice skating rink for a few twirls and maybe a few spills. The Park Grill is nearby and is perfect for a quick bite to refuel.

For more information visit the Millenium Park website.

Lincoln Park ZooLights
An amazing display of Christmas lights open to you and your families from 5pm - 9pm, December 14th - January 1st (closed December 24th and 25th). Perfect for the whole family, the zoo offers displays and activities sure to warm everyone. Santa's Safari, Ice Carving, Family Crafts and Giant Snow Globes are a few of the seasonal attractions.

For more information visit the Lincoln Park ZooLights website.

Winter Wonder Fest at Navy Pier
Live entertainment, music, rides, games and ice skating are sure to entertain the whole family this holiday season. Winter Wonder Fest at Navy Pier also hosts a fabulous New Year's Eve and New Year's Day Family Fireworks display. Experience the fun of Winter Wonder Fest during these hours.

December 7, 2007 - January 6, 2008

Sunday-Thursday 10 AM to 8 PM
Friday & Saturday 10 AM to 10 PM
Christmas Eve: 10 AM to 5 PM
Christmas Day: Closed
New Year's Eve: 10 AM to 6:30 PM

New Year's Eve Fireworks at 7 PM & Midnight,
New Year's Day Family Fireworks at 7 PM

For more information visit the Winter Wonder Fest at Navy Pier website.

Image courtesy of liz west/

Selling Your Home During the Holiday Season

by Allyson Hoffman

Are you trying to sell your home during the holiday season or will you take it off the market until after the New Year?

Some people will argue that leaving it on the market over the holidays is a perfect way to weed out the “looky-loos” from the more serious buyers. Others think that leaving your home on the market during the holiday’s make you appear desperate to sell.

Discuss the pros and cons of both arguments with your Realtor® to decide what would be best for you and your home. In the event that you both feel it is in your best interest to leave your home on the market over the holidays, below are a few tips to consider when it comes to holiday decorating.

As most of us like to decorate our homes with lights, Christmas trees, and holiday scents during the Christmas season, this doesn’t always work well with properly staging your home for potential buyers. Keep the following in mind:

  • Curb appeal is still important. Try not to “over decorate” your front yard. A few lights on the house should be sufficient. You want your front yard to be inviting, not clutter
  • Interior decorations should be kept to minimum. You don’t want to take away from the many features of the home, by covering them up with decorations.
  • If you are use to having a beautiful large Christmas tree in your front window, you might want to consider scaling down the size of the tree or possibly getting rid of it all together and use festive table centerpieces in stead. A tree can take away from the real focus of the room and make the room appear smaller.
  • Wrapped present should not be left out. Keep them stored away so as not to add any additional clutter to the room.
  • Instead of having holiday scented candles and incense throughout your home before a showing, why not create some natural holiday scents with fresh baking and a simmering apple cider. The baking and the cider can be left out with napkins and cups as a treat for potential buyers viewing your home.


If you would like more information regarding selling your home during the holidays, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Image courtesy of Doug Kerr/

Fending Off Foreclosure - What Alternative Will Work For You?

by Allyson Hoffman


It is no secret that foreclosures have increased drastically this year as a result of the subprime lending disaster and a lot of people are wondering if they will be next. For many homeowners there may be options, if they know what to look for and where to look. 

In the event that you find yourself struggling to make your mortgage payments, and you fear foreclosure may be in your future, the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) has suggested a few possible alternatives. These options to fend off foreclosure include:


  • Repayment Plan
  • Reinstatement
  • Forbearance
  • Loan Modification

The Federal Trade Commission wants people to know that these alternatives may not work for everyone especially if you are already three or four mortgage payments behind.

For more information regarding the above alternatives visit the NFCC's Homeowners Crisis Resource Center website. They can also assist you in locating a certified housing counselor to explore your options in an effort to fend off foreclosure.

Image courtesy


Remembering Our Military At Christmas

by Allyson Hoffman


When you are making out your Christmas card list this year, please include the following:

          A Recovering American soldier
          c/o Walter Reed Army Medical  Center
          6900 Georgia Avenue,NW
          Washington,D.C. 20307-5001

Image courtesy of liz west/


Happy Thanksgiving - Chicago McDonald’s ® Thanksgiving Parade

by Allyson Hoffman


Come join in the Thanksgiving festivities as presented by the Chicago Festivals Association (CFA). The CFA is proud to present the  McDonald’s ® Thanksgiving Parade. A fun filled morning with fabulous floats, marching bands and talented equestrian units, unique performance groups and local and national celebrities.

The parade will travel north on State Street from Congress to Randolph. Click here for a detailed route map.

Thursday, November 22, 2007—Thanksgiving Day

8:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

State Street—from Congress to Randolph
Click the link below for Google map directions.

For more information about the  McDonald’s ® Thanksgiving Parade, visit the Chicago Festivals Assocations website.

Wishing you and your families a safe and Happy Thanksgiving.

Image courtesy of morano.vincent/


Setting the right price is an important first step in the process of selling a home. Is it necessary to spend $200 to $400 for a professional appraisal of your property before placing your home on the market?

A professional appraiser's opinion of a property's market value is based on the recent sales of similar homes in the neighborhood, and on the square footage and condition of the property. Different appraisers might come up with different figures. Even if all of them agreed on a value, there is no guarantee that you would receive that amount for your property.

An alternative to a professional appraisal is to ask a professional real estate agent for a written market analysis of your property. This analysis will include information about recent home sales in your neighborhood, as well as how those homes compare to yours. Real estate agents may provide this service with no charge or obligation. If you are still unsure of the value of your home, you may wish to pay for an appraisal.

To get started with a FREE, no obligation computerized analysis of your home's value, click on the link below and have the report emailed directly to your inbox.

Image courtesy of Bernt Rostad/


Chicago Illinois North Shore Suburbs

by Allyson Hoffman

Strategically located within easy reach of the city of Chicago by trains and highways, Chicago's North Shore suburbs are culturally inspiring, diverse in housing and rich in community services and activities. From the lakefront to the Botanic Gardens, the Ravinia Music Festival Park to the Skokie Lagoons and dense forest preserves, area dwellers are fortunate to combine the appeal of suburban comforts with the benefits of convenient access to a major city. 

 To learn more about Chicago's North Shore Communities and what they have to offer, follow the links below.

Deerfield Lincolnwood
Evanston Mettawa
Glencoe Morton Grove
Glenview Northbrook
Highland Park Riverwoods
Highwood Skokie
Lake Bluff Wilmette
Lake Forest Winnetka



If you have any questions or for more information regarding your buying or selling needs, please do not hesitate to contact me

Image courtesy of ElsieNessie/

Buying or Selling Real Estate in Chicago Illinois - A Must Have Read

by Allyson Hoffman

 If you are thinking of buying or selling a home in the Chicago Illinois area, you won't want to miss these two highly acclaimed, Chicago Illinois specific, real estate books that I was a co-author of.

As a home seller in Chicago Illinois, the book, Get the Best Deal When Selling Your Home will guide you through the home selling process and cover topics such as:

   Selling Your Home: The Basics

   Buying Your Next Home

For more information about the authors and a detailed listing of the Table of Contents visit Buying in Illinois or Selling in Chicago?.



How to Make Your Realtor®  Get You the Best Deal will guide you through the purchasing process and describe the following topics:

   History of the home buying process

                 A new law for the people

                How to select your Realtor®

          Negotiating the best deal


For more information about the authors and a detailed listing of the Table of Contents visit Buying in Illinois or Selling in Chicago?.

Please do not hesitate to contact me should you require additional information regarding either of these books. I would be happy to discuss the contents of these books with you in more detail.

Halloween in Highland Park - October 25, 2007

by Allyson Hoffman


 Halloween is coming early in Highland Park. Renaissance Place and Port Clinton Square are hosts to a Halloween event for the whole family on Thursday, October 25th  from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm. Halloween Fun ‘Round The Block will include:


  • Pony Rides on The Plaza


  • Children’s Train Rides on 2nd Street


  • Pumpkins and Decorating on 2nd Street


  • Hay Rides ‘Round The Block


  • Carmel Apple Dipping on 1st Street


  • Trick or Treating in the Stores


Do not miss the Rag Time Banjo Band and you’ll have to check out the Costume Stroll.


Admission is FREE and indoor parking for 3 hours is also FREE.


Visit Port Clinton Square website for directions and more parking information.

Image courtesy of Windell Oskay/





Do Not Call Registry - Will You Still Be Listed In 2008?

by Allyson Hoffman


Most of us are, or have been, extremely frustrated at some point with unwanted calls made by telemarketers. One way to help prevent telemarketers from calling was the creation of the Do Not Call Registry back in 2003. Individuals can register their phone numbers with the registry in hopes to eliminate these unsolicited calls to our homes and businesses.


There were a staggering number of registrants within the first four days of the lists launch date and continued to grow to 149 million phone numbers currently.


The important thing to remember is there is a term to your registration. Your registration with the Do Not Call Registry is only good for five years at which time your phone number will be removed from the list unless you renew by your renewal date. As the five year anniversary of the list is coming up in the summer of 2008, you early registrants will have to think about renewing. You can check the status of your registration by visiting the website.


Read the full MSN Money Central article titled Do Not Call list about to expire.


Image courtesy of niekverlaan/Pixabay

Displaying blog entries 1071-1080 of 1107




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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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