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Allyson Hoffman

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Beware of These Five Mistakes Between Your Loan Preapproval and Closing

by Allyson Hoffman

Real estate agents typically advise their clients to complete the loan preapproval process even before beginning to search for a new home. The process should clearly be worth the effort because once preapproved for a loan, prospective borrowers know what a lender is willing to contribute towards their purchase. Additionally, this ensures avoiding the wasting of valuable time looking at unaffordable homes.

It is important to keep in mind that a preapproval letter, even with a contract, is not a final approval. Unfortunately, inexperienced homebuyers sometimes make the costly mistake of assuming that final approval of their loan is guaranteed, a misstep that can potentially delay acceptance or lead to the loan be denied.

Here are five common mistakes to avoid while waiting to close on your home.

Taking on New Debt

While waiting to close on your home, don’t add new debt for household items such as furniture, appliances or decorating accents.  Avoid financing any major purchases like a new car or boat.

Sometimes even minor expenses can also be problematic when there are too many new charges to your credit cards. So, during this period, spend wisely and in a fashion that reflects your prior habits.

Moving Large Amounts of Money

Play it safe and let your down payment funds “age” for at least 90 days in your bank account(s).  Because lenders like stable finances and will review your bank statements during underwriting, it’s important to avoid large deposits or withdrawals. These transactions can raise red flags that ultimately delay the approval process.

Moreover, document thoroughly should you plan to use a gift or the proceeds from the sale of an item such as boat or car. Your lender will require paperwork to track the source of those monies.

Forgetting to Pay Your Bills on Time

There’s a lot going on when planning a move, so make sure to keep track of your bills. Packing can also be distracting. So whether you are moving to your new home or an interim location, make sure to contact all your providers ahead of time, verify all your bills are current and provide your forwarding address to minimize billing problems.

One way to avoid missing an important payment that could negatively impact your credit is to consider setting up online, automatic bill payments through your bank or with each provider individually.

Co-Signing for Anything

Some folks say you should never cosign a loan. That’s debatable, but you should certainly never cosign a loan while in the process of buying a home.  Lenders will consider this new debt, recalculate your debt-to-income ratio, and potentially reconsider approving your home loan.

Switching Jobs

Lenders love stability. So, if you are in the process of buying a home, this is not the time to change jobs or even the way your pay is structured – say from salary to commission based.  However, if you are offered that dream job at twice your current salary and they need an answer by the end of the week, call your loan officer and keep him in the loop. A loan officer who knows your situation can be proactive, possibility restructuring your loan package for underwriting so that no one is surprised a week before closing.

Minimize your risk by avoiding these contract-to-closing mistakes and streamline your smooth transition into your new home.

If you have any questions about mortgage pre-approval or the status of your credit, contact me for reliable references to lenders who deliver expert advice and results.  They can offer suggestions to improve your score or  recommend a wide range of loan options, and I can help you find the home of your dreams.



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 am0903cass at Flickr.com.

 

37th Annual Holiday Treasure Hunt and Tea Party

by Allyson Hoffman

It’s time for the Art Institute of Chicago’s 37th Annual Holiday Treasure Hunt and Tea Party. This Sunday, December 9th starting at 10:45 AM, bring the whole family to participate in this one-of-a-kind art exploration event. Journey through the museum and enjoy a variety of fun activities at stops on your way through the galleries and the Ryan Learning Center. Once your mission is complete, stop by the historic Stock Exchange Trading Room for a Tea Party featuring refreshments, live entertainment, gifts, and more.

Visit the Art Institute of Chicago’s official website for additional information and to purchase your tickets today! This is sure to be an event the whole family can enjoy!



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 Anita Austvika on Unsplash

Your Home Inspection Reveals …

by Allyson Hoffman

Congratulations!  Your offer has been accepted and you’ve gone under contract on a new home. However in most cases, the sale is still subject to satisfactory results of a variety of inspections prior to its closing.  Although inspections are not mandatory, a home inspection is strongly recommended, regardless of whether the home is new construction or over 100 years old.  Moreover, some types of loans, such as FHA financing actually require an FHA appraisal/home inspection. Typically other lenders permit buyers to decide if they want to assume the risk involved in the purchase of a new home without the benefit of a home inspection.  Opting out of this highly-advised inspection process may prompt your realtor to have you sign a letter stating that you have waived the right to step.

A home inspection is exactly as the name states.  It is an inspection of the home, typically conducted by a trained and licensed home inspector.  His, or her job, is to probe, detect and identify any deficiencies in the current condition of the home.  Additionally, inspectors can also recommend areas or systems that would be best evaluated by specialists.  These could include roofers, HVAC contractors, electricians, plumbers and/or structural engineers, amongst others. Ultimately, the inspector should provide the client with a detailed and photo-documented report summarizing the discoveries, judgments and recommendations.  Any home buyer can then use this report to make informed decisions about their pending purchase.  Some buyers presume that the home inspector is guaranteeing future conditions, efficiency or life expectancy of areas investigated.  This is not the case.  The current condition of the home is the main focus of the analysis.

Home inspection reports can be presented in various forms.  However, most reports address similar pertinent areas of evaluation.  The pre-inspection agreement will be the first document signed by both the inspector and home buyer.  This agreement states that the inspector agrees to conduct an inspection for the purpose of discovering major deficiencies in the current condition of the home.  It often bullet points all that will be inspected, pointing out that latent and concealed defects are excluded.  The agreement will also explain that they are not looking for environmental hazards, such as radon gas, lead-based paint, or airborne hazards. (There are other specialized inspection companies that perform these services). 

So what should a home inspection provide?  First, the home inspector should assess the structural condition of the house and basement (if applicable).  The inspector typically checks the soundness of the structure and for the absence or presence of water damage.  If there is no basement, the slab, or crawl space will be surveyed.  Secondly, the heating and cooling unit/units are assessed.  There should be remarks regarding their present condition, age, type and any recommendations for repair or further analysis.  Examples could include the necessity for cleaning/maintenance, the presence of moisture on or in the lines and evidence of rust or cracked heat exchangers.  The inspector will also report on the plumbing and bathrooms.  Water lines, pipes, drains, water heater/heaters, and all areas of the baths (tub, commode, fan, shower, and vanities) will be commented upon.  The electrical system including the circuit breaker or fuse box is also reviewed for electrical hazards, service capacity, proper circuits/wiring and conductors as well as outlets and fixtures.  In particular, the kitchen will also be scrutinized heavily from the countertops and cabinets, to the sink, dishwasher, range/oven, refrigerator and ventilation which should be tested for functionality and compliance with code regulations.  Investigation of the floors, walls, ceilings, stairs, fireplaces, door and windows are also surveyed and reported in the interior section of the report. Lastly, the inspector should enter the attic space checking for moisture, stains, insulation and proper ventilation. 

The exterior of your new home will also be reviewed in the home inspection.  Many times inspectors start on the outside and then do the interior of the property.  From ground up to the roof, the inspector examines the condition of everything from the shingles and flashing to the chimney, gutters, and downspouts.  Exterior walls coverings and trim (siding, brick, etc.), porches, garages, and carports are also included in the analysis.  Finally, the property or grounds on which the house sits, gets an examination.  In this section notation for driveways, walkways, retaining walls, landscaping, fencing, grading, decks, patios, porches and balconies is provided. 

The most important part of your home inspection analysis report is the summary page(s).  These pages will itemize any, and all, findings or remarks regarding deficiencies and defects found by the inspector.  Once received, it is fully up to the purchaser to determine what, if anything, to do with this information.  If the list is extensive, buyers will often ask the sellers to make repairs at their expense prior to closing or to provide credits.

Performing an inspection of this scope is nearly be impossible to accomplish without qualified assistance.  So do not opt out of having a trained and licensed professional thoroughly assess your new home.  Spending the money and time upfront for a quality home inspection may well save thousands of dollars later on repairs.  To easily avoid this potential calamity, simply perform a home inspection.  Indisputably, this decision is of paramount importance.  For additional information regarding the sale or purchase of a home, please contact me today for a consultation. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have, and/or help you determine the value of your 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

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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 provided by flickr.com

Panoramic Views!

Cash In to Great Living, Great Space, Great Amenities & Location -- Fulfill Great Expectations Here!

Combine Carefree Living with Resort-Like Amenities, Captivating Updates and a Prime Sunny Corner Setting in this "Ready-for-Prime-Time" Airy, End-Unit Condo!

Thumbs up! Don’t miss this super-special sunny, Southwest corner unit with six rooms, 2 bedrooms and a multi-functional family room or third bedroom. This “Winner’s Circle” gem features a beautifully updated kitchen, baths and stunning Cherrywood flooring. The cheerful, bright living room with windows on two sides, boasts both a fireplace wall and sliders leading out to the balcony overlooking a quiet, central courtyard. Entertain with ease or enjoy family gatherings in the separate dining room, conveniently-adjacent to the like-new kitchen with its cherry cabinetry, granite counters, stainless appliances, breakfast bar and planning desk.

The spacious master bedroom suite includes a huge customized walk-in closet and appealing-remodeled, private master bath. Enjoy an additional large second bedroom with easy across-the-hall access to the lovely renovated family/guest bath and a great den, library, or third bedroom with the carefree flexibility to accommodate your individual needs. Add a convenient in-unit laundry room, deeded and heated underground parking and fabulous resort-like amenities including two outdoor pools, tennis courts and renovated clubhouse to this best-value delight. Combine lovely grounds, aerated ponds and a great easy-access location in desirable Pheasant Creek. Stop, look, love and buy!

To view the full description and collection of photos for this home please visit www.3050PheasantCreek-304.com!

Contact Allyson Hoffman for more information or to schedule a showing.  Visit www.RealEstateNorthernIllinois.com or email Allyson@Allyson.com!

Chicago Botanic Gardens Wonderland Express

by Allyson Hoffman

Looking for fun the whole family can enjoy? Then don’t miss the Garden for Wonderland Express at the Chicago Botanic Gardens. This extravaganza will begin November 23rd and continue through January 6th, 2019. Be sure to check out the magnificent model trains, magical and glittering indoor snow or enjoy the amazing sound of the indoor carolers singing your favorite holiday songs.

Don’t miss the unbelievable ice sculptors as they use chainsaws and other carving tools to create fanciful figures. If all that isn’t enough fun, the Wonderland will also feature FREE movie days on December 23rd, 29th, and 30th.

Visit the Chicago Botanic Garden’s official website for additional information and event times. Be sure to enjoy the awe and winter wonder of this festive event!

 


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
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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 John Matychuk on Unsplash

Think Warm and Fuzzy to Evoke a Welcoming Aura

by Allyson Hoffman

Less than ideal weather often inspires us to spend a greater amount of time indoors this time of year. Few things compare to the coziness that awaits inside a warm and inviting home after being out in the weather. As a home seller, you’ll want to give buyers that same sense of warmth and welcome when they visit. Here are a few tips to make your home feel cozy and inviting during cold winter months.

Create Conversation Areas

Instead of setting your furniture apart in a large living area, create multiple seating zones in separate spaces. A small coffee table between two chairs, a sofa with an ottoman that doubles as extra seating and a small bistro table with two stools allows you to build a sense of cozy conversation in an otherwise open floor plan.

Decorate with Throws

Place a decorative throw, afghan or blanket over the end of the couch or across the back of a chair. This encourages potential buyers to imagine wrapping-up in the blanket while watching a movie or reading a book on a cold evening, and inspires buyers think of home when they see your property.

Add Candles

Overhead lighting and table lamps provide enough light to see by, but they often lack the warmth that comes with candles. The flickering flame makes a room feel warmer even if the candle uses LED lights. Set them up throughout the room to enhance that feeling wherever people look.

Use Warm Tones and Earth Shades

As you decorate a room, consider colors that inspire feelings of warmth. Use reds, yellows and warm earth tones like brown for accent pieces. Remember that blues are cool, so stay away from them if you want to add warmth to a room.

Paint the Ceiling

Large rooms can be made to feel cozier by painting the ceiling a color other than white. By choosing a darker shade, your space can seem a little more intimate. For rooms with high ceilings and a sense of sterility, painting the walls only two-thirds of the way up will make the room feel shorter without sacrificing the openness.

Add Plants

If you have more space than furniture to fill it, add plants to bring in life and soften empty corners. Tall plants are ideal for rooms with extra height while shorter plants like ferns work perfectly in average spaces.

Add Sensory Appeal

To add a boost of hominess for visitors, the smell of freshly-baked cookies can work wonders.  Alternately, try brewing a kettle of spiced apple cider and leave its enchanting simmering scent to provide one more inviting subliminal message to your guests.

To make your home feel cozy and to inspire buyers to fall in love with it, try one or all of these ideas. For additional information regarding the sale of purchase of a home, please contact me today for a consultation. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have, and/or help you determine the value of your 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 JamesDeMers/Pixabay.com

Grant Park Turkey Trot 5K/10K

by Allyson Hoffman

Here’s your opportunity to work off a little of that Thanksgiving turkey and pie. Be sure to check into the Grant Park Turkey Trot 5K/10K this Saturday, November 24th.  The race course passes through beautiful Grant Park and finishes with the famous finish-line cinnamon rolls! Proceeds from the Grant Park Turkey Trot 5K/10K will benefit Playworks Illinois whose work brings play-based programs to schools that teach children valuable social and emotional skills including teamwork, conflict resolution, and empathy.

Last-minute registration will begin at 7:30 AM with the Kids Dash starting at 8:45 AM and the 5K/10K beginning at 9 AM.

Visit the official event website for additional information and to register today. Join the fun and start a new and invigorating Thanksgiving tradition for you, your family, and friends!

 


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
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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 Ruth Caron on Unsplash

Moving Somewhere? Moving Anywhere? Anywhere Agent Referral Service …

by Allyson Hoffman

Don’t miss out on this helpful FREE SERVICE – Anywhere Agent Referral Service. When you are relocating to a new area, it is critical that you have an experienced real estate agent to rely on. Your agent will not only help you with the process of buying and selling real estate, but will also be there to help you acclimate to your new area.

Real estate agents are often considered the expert on all things local in their area. Because of this, you can count on them to guide you in your new location and serve you well beyond just the real estate information you will need. Real estate agents typically can provide recommendations on almost everthing including doctors, schools, restaurants and so much more.

When you are moving to a new area and don’t know anyone, how are you supposed to find the local expert without getting to know the area first?  To assist you with this transition, I have created my Anywhere Agent Program. Call me and I will do the rest. I will find you the local expert who is best suited to your needs. Before referring them to you, we will have a personal discussion and I will review their experience, education and knowledge to assess their likelihood of providing the quality and type of assistance that matches your unique situation. Best of all, this service is totally free to you!

Need to sell a home somewhere else? I can do the same thing to help you find you the local listing expert with the perfect marketing plan and listing approach to help you sell your home. I don’t just stop there. If your friends and family need a real estate agent somewhere else, I will also provide this service to them as well. Let me screen the agents for you to find the one most able to help guide you..

Why do I take this extra step? It’s simple – I believe you deserve the best possible service and am dedicated to help make that happen in every transaction for you, your family and friends.  For additional information and advice regarding relocating to a new area, 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 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
Google +1
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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 iStockphoto.com

October 2018 Midwest Real Estate Market Reports

by Allyson Hoffman

The October 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

Get your latest Home Value
Receive Your Personalized Listing Alerts

Let’s Connect, Socially!

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Google +1 
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.

Magnificent Mile Lights Festival

by Allyson Hoffman

The BMO Harris Bank Magnificent Mile Lights Festival is this Friday and Saturday, November 16th and 17th. On Friday, bring the whole family to Lights Festival Lane in Pioneer Court and enjoy dozens of family-friendly activities including live music, interactive holiday-themed activities, festive treats, and a special appearance from Santa Claus.

Enjoy these same activities on Saturday plus also take in the sights of the Tree-Lighting Parade beginning at 5:30 PM. The parade will step off at Oak Street heading south on Michigan Avenue to Wacker Drive.

Wrapping up this spectacular celebration will be the fireworks spectacular over the Chicago River. In addition to the parade, fireworks, and other activities, you can also enjoy live musical performances from your favorite artists such as Cailee Rae, DCappella, Cozi Zuehlsdorff, and Cody Simpson + The Tide.

Visit the official event website for additional information and event times. This is a remarkable celebration you don’t want to miss!  Light up your pre-Thanksgiving weekend at the Magnificent Mile Lights Festival this weekend!

 


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
Google +1
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.  

Photo by Sharosh Rajasekher on Unsplash

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 1012

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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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Allyson Hoffman
RE/MAX Villager
1245 Waukegan Road
Glenview, IL, 60025

(847) 310-5300
Allyson@Allyson.com

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