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Allyson Hoffman

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Live Colorfully

by Allyson Hoffman

February 17th through April 15th Navy Pier, in partnership with Quartier des Spectacle and RAW, brings you a one-of-a-kind immersive art installation. Prismatica is an interactive light display comprised of 25 pivoting prisms that tower over six feet tall. As you wander through the installation, guests can manipulate the prisms and observe their colorful lights, reflections, and sounds as they are turned and positioned. Admission to this exhibit is free and open to the public. Visit Navy Pier’s official website for event information.

From colorful prisms to colorful Orchids, the Chicago Botanic Gardens presents Asia in Bloom: The Orchid Show. This event takes place February 10th through March 25th. Enjoy the beauty of the orchids in the daytime from 10 AM to 4 PM or under the moonlight for Orchids After Hours from 4 PM to 8 PM with Asian drinks and light fare available for purchase. You will have the opportunity to chat with the experts. The Illinois Orchid Society will be available to answer any of your orchid questions. Also, the society will hold their annual spring show of judged orchid displays in Nichols Hall on March 10th and 11th. So, if you’re ready to purchase an orchid of your very own or simply admire their beauty, then visit Chicago Botanical Gardens official website to buy your tickets today!

This weekend offers a ton of ways to take in colorful displays so attend one or both and enjoy a splash of color in your day.

 

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 Harry Quan on Unsplash

The Art and Benefit of Correctly Pricing Your Home to Sell

by Allyson Hoffman

Once you’ve decided to sell your home, the most important decision you will make (other than selecting the right listing agent) is the correct listing price. Pricing homes appropriately requires research, time and market knowledge.

Home prices are market driven. To most accurately predict the price of your home, comparisons to similar recently-sold properties in the same area that allow for their differences will typically produce the most reliable assessment. Home pricing is not based upon how much you paid for it, how much you owe on it, the amount you have spent updating it and/or the amount you hope to get so you can buy a new house.

Thus, the selection of the best comparable sales is critical to the accuracy of a pricing analysis. Those who evaluate the pricing of homes, including REALTORS® and appraisers, will identify those homes most similar to your home in age, style, location and condition as well as those homes having the same number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and those homes having similar square footage and/or lot sizes.  Other selection criteria could include the amount of updating and the availability of municipal services such as sewer and water or common amenities. Lastly, recent sales are generally chosen over older sales with additional consideration given to the market history of similar currently-listed properties and those properties that are under contract.

As you prepare your home for the market, some items to be fixed or updated can appear. It is always the seller’s choice whether to or not to do any work.  Regardless of that decision, it is important to understand that buyers will likely perceive the value of your home based on items they want to change or that need to be fixed. Because perceived value is frequently different than replacement cost, keep in mind that you could ultimately sell your home for less net profit than if potential fixes and/or updates had been completed. This occurs when buyers assume the cost of an update or repair to be much higher than the actual cost and offer less for the home to allow for the work to be done. Generally, fresh painting and flooring, such as new carpeting for example, will return both the cost of the work and a profit to the sellers.

Lastly, price positioning can impact market response and sellers’ results.  Select an asking price that is both reflective of the market value and in a price range that provides you maximum exposure. The 90+% of buyers who begin their home search online will typically be forced to choose from a list of pre-formatted price ranges. If you price slightly above a pre-formatted price point, those buyers who used that as their “cut off” point will simply never find you. If, for example, you ask $203,000 for your home just to give you a little room for negotiation, you likely eliminated every single buyer whose selected price range ended at $200,000. Moreover, that asking price would now also place you in competition with homes priced up to as much as $225,000 or $250,000, potentially making your home seem less appealing as compared to the others in that price range. So be sure that your price makes sense and won’t cost you any exposure. Lack of exposure coupled with the wrong price simply prolongs market time.  Longer market times statistically correlate to greater spreads between listing and selling prices due to lower offers from buyers who will clearly feel more comfortable making and justifying those prices when a home has been on the market for some time.

Appropriately pricing your home can be challenging. An in-depth market analysis for your property that considers its closest competition should simplify the task when you are ready to list. Moreover, obtaining reasonable home preparation suggestions designed to enhance the condition and presentation of your home should shorten its market time, and create the opportunity to maximize its value and your profit upon sale. For any additional information regarding the sale of your home, please feel free to contact me today for a consultation. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have, 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

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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.    

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What’s Your Passion?

by Allyson Hoffman

It’s time again for the largest auto show in North America. Chicago Auto Show begins this Saturday, February 10th and runs through Monday, February 19th. The 2018 Chicago Auto Show is the best place to see all the latest designs and experience what the future holds for the auto industry. In addition to viewing these great designs, get a first-hand experience at one of the five indoor or four outdoor test tracks! Not only is it the largest show in North America but it has been held more times than any other auto exposition on the continent! So be a part of history and attend the 110th edition of the Chicago Auto Show. Visit Chicago Auto Show’s official website for additional event details and to purchase your tickets to the hottest ride in town.

Don’t forget this Wednesday is Valentine's Day! If you want to celebrate this weekend, be sure to check out Dance Chicago 2018 performance of DC Dances from the Heart. The performance takes place this Saturday, February 10th at the Athenaeum Theatre Chicago. No matter your preference, this production has it all from tap and ballet to urban fusion and jazz. It’s a perfect date night idea for you and that special someone. Visit Athenaeum Theatre’s official website to purchase your tickets today!

So, if you love cars or love dance, this Valentines weekend has plenty to go around.

 

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 Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash

Mastering the Bidding War Battle

by Allyson Hoffman

The current real estate market, different from recent years by limited inventory in almost all price ranges, has created increased demand for many homes. Homes with the greatest interest include those that are well priced, in good to excellent condition and staged to enhance photography that highlights the best features of the property.

Buyers currently in the market to purchase a home, depending upon their criteria, may likely select a home with other buyers also interested and find themselves bidding on a property with multiple offers existing. Should you face this scenario, here are some suggestions to enhance your offer to increase the likelihood that it will stand out from the others.

- Price is important, but don’t forget the other terms of your offer. Have flexibility where you can. If the seller wants to move quickly or stay longer, offer to adjust your closing time to accommodate their schedule.

A larger earnest money deposit is another term of the contract that can make a big impact.

- Consider including a letter to the seller with your offer. Home negotiating is relatively impersonal in today’s technology-filled world. Most offers are completed online, executed with digital signatures and submitted by email. A personal note from the buyer (even if the “letter” is emailed) can distinguish your offer from others. Share what you loved about their home and what you are looking forward to when living there. Appealing to the seller’s emotional side could be the difference in impact needed to land your offer on top of others.

Eliminate as many contingencies as you can from your offer. While most buyers require financing to complete a home purchase and cannot remove this condition, if you are comfortable purchasing the home “as is”, that scenario could be very appealing to the seller. This approach would typically still permit home inspections to ascertain the actual condition of the property before proceeding. Buying without asking the seller to make any repairs can be effective in a buyer becoming a multiple offer winner.

- Absolutely include documentation showing you are qualified to purchase the home. A preapproval letter for a mortgage or proof of funds if you are paying cash is critical for sellers to seriously consider your offer.

- Avoid requesting the seller to leave personal property not already included in the listing conveyances

Don’t ask the seller to pay your closing costs. In some price ranges, asking the seller to pay part of the closing costs for the buyer is very common, but paying your own provides one more reason your offer could look better than the next one.

- While price clearly isn’t the only factor important to the seller, it will often be a major determining criterion in choosing the successful bidder.  So if you really want the home and others do too, consider offering above the listing price. Keep in mind that if you think the home will only
appraise for the price it is listed at, and not for the amount you are offering to pay, you may need to make it clear that you are willing to pay more than the appraised value.

Because there are so many variables within an offer, it can be really hard to know what is best in any given situation.  So having a trusted real estate advisor to guide you through the home buying process is critical to determining the best terms needed to secure the property when competing with other interested parties.

For additional information on submitting an offer to purchase 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 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

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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.    

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Lyrics and Literature

by Allyson Hoffman

You don’t have to travel Across the Universe to see America’s Premier Tribute to The Beatle. BritBeat is coming to the Center Theater Sunday, February 3rd.  Enjoy a musical progression through Beatles music history and rock out to your favorite hits! BritBeat is a multi-media concert recreation produced to feature an accurate live concert experience through each era of Beatles’ music. This year, the show celebrates George Harrison’s 75th birthday by featuring some of his hit songs throughout his Beatles career. So, Come Together and enjoy this one-of-a-kind tribute to one of America’s most influential bands. Visit North Shore Center’s official site for tickets and show times.

Alternatively, if Shakespearian theatre is more your taste, then Odd’s Bodkins presentation of The Winter’s Tale may be the show for you. Featuring period costumes, and live musical performances by the cast, Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale is brought to life by one of Chicago’s independent classical theater companies. The Winter’s Tale is a story of loss and redemption. In a fit of wild and unfounded jealousy, Leontes, the King of Sicily, convinces himself that his pregnant wife is carrying his best friend’s love child. Leontes’s jealousy turns to tyranny as the king proceeds to destroy his entire family and a lifelong friendship. Witness this dramatic tale live Saturdays and Sundays, February 3rd through 25th at 2 PM. Visit Cornservatory Chicago’s official website for additional information and to get your tickets today!

So, whether you enjoy great lyrics or classic literature, this weekend has an event for you!

 

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 Lyndsey Marie on Unsplash

Tax Benefits for Home Owners

by Allyson Hoffman

If you are a homeowner, tax deductions have provided benefits that have made owning a home more appealing. Changes from the recently-passed tax bill may affect your bottom line when you do your taxes and here is an overview of some of the approved modifications.

The popular mortgage interest deduction has been downsized, now only providing benefits on mortgages up to $750,000, a reduction from up to $1,000,000. This still remains a huge benefit to most homeowners as the change only impacts a small percentage of owners. If you already own a home with a mortgage up to $1,000,000 you will be grandfathered in at your current levels, so this change won’t affect you. The mortgage interest deductions on second homes are still available as well but also at the new limits.

Interest paid on home equity loans will no longer be deductible unless you are using the money to substantially improve the residence.  So, if you planned to use your home equity line to finance other items, you may now need to consider alternative financing options. 

Property taxes as well as state and local income taxes are still deductible but have a combined limit of $10,000. If you were previously deducting more than that, your benefit will have decreased.

One of the biggest differences with the new tax bill is the standard deductions for filers. Single filers will now be eligible for a $12,000 deduction and joint filers a $24,000 deduction. Because of the significant increase in the standard deductions, the treatment of the mortgage interest and property tax deductions can change for many tax filers.

While moving expenses have been deductible in the past, this item has been repealed except for members of the Armed Forces.  Thus, most American citizens will lose this benefit.

Only about half of American homeowners own residences valued high enough to justify itemizing taxes to claim the mortgage interest deduction. Currently, more than 60% of taxpayers do not itemize their tax bills and therefore have not been taking advantage of this deduction.  With the new rise in standard deductions, there will likely be fewer people electing to itemize since there is less financial reason to do so.

For most people, the changes could have both positive and negative impacts.  So, to determine the best course of action when filing your taxes, consider consulting a tax professional. For additional information, reliable recommendations to trusted affiliates or to arrange a meeting to discuss your needs, 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!

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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.   
 

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An Abundance of Food and Fun

by Allyson Hoffman

It’s restaurant week in Chicago! Kick off this delectable weekend by taking part in Navy Pier’s First Bites Bash. This bash is the official kick-off event for the 11th annual Chicago Restaurant Week. Join Lee Wolen, executive chef and partner at Boka restaurant in Lincoln Park, Thursday, January 25th from 5:30 PM to 8:30 PM to toast the city’s culinary scene with beer, wine, and cocktail pairings. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Greater Chicago Food Depository. Visit the event’s official website to purchase tickets and to view a list of participating restaurants.

Over 370 restaurants are participating in this year’s Chicago Restaurant Week. Beginning January 26th continuing through February 8th, patrons will be able to feast on a variety of multi-course menus.

How to participate:

- Visit the event website to browse a list of restaurant participants
- Check out their special brunch/lunch/dinner menu offerings
- Make your reservations early to ensure you have a seat at the table

Fill your bellies with delectable delicious meals and variety every day or meal during this popular two-week bonanza!

 

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 Jay Wennington on Unsplash

Travel Safely this Winter

by Allyson Hoffman

Winter is here -- accompanied by some winter weather that has made travelling more difficult. Staying home isn’t always an option when snowy and icy conditions occur, so being well prepared when travel becomes treacherous is the next best thing to not leaving home.

The first step to being ready in case of adverse winter weather is to be well informed regarding current conditions as well as what is yet to come. Beyond knowledge, having adequate supplies on hand to be prepared when you do travel in case of unexpected delays or accidents is sensible.

When collecting emergency supplies, include the following items:

- Fully charged cell phone, charging cable and a portable charger
- Windshield scraper
- Battery-powered radio
- Flashlight
- Extra batteries
- Water
- Ready-to-eat packaged foods
- Extra clothing including hats, coats and gloves
- Blankets
- Snow chains for tires
- Jumper cables
- Road salt or sand
- Emergency flares
- First aid kit
- Tool kit
- Road maps and compass
- Waterproof matches and a container to melt snow for water
- Paper towels
- Towels
- Necessary medicines that you require
- Waterproof clothing
- Multi-purpose knife
- Shovel
- Backpack
- Whistle

Gathering these items may seem like a lot of unnecessary work and hopefully it will be. But should you have an emergency on the road during winter weather, these necessary items will help to keep you safe until you can travel again or while waiting for someone to arrive and assist you. For additional pointers on weathering the winter season successfully at home, feel free to contact me today for an onsite consultation.  I will be happy to answer any questions you may have about the home sale and/or home buying process.

 

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 pixel2013/pixabay.com

A Refreshing Weekend

by Allyson Hoffman

Take a plunge for a worthy cause this Saturday, January 20th at the 17th annual Chicago Polar Bear Club Polar Plunge. The plunge will take place 12 PM at Oak Street Beach. Visit the Chicago Polar Bear Club’s official website to donate and make sure to show up in your swimsuit on the 20th. Over the past 16 years, the CPBC has raised nearly $300,000 for families in need supported by the CPBC.

And if you’d like to follow up with an event that’s sure to help warm your blood, consider purchasing tickets for The Chicago Ale Fest which are on sale now! This is one of the most anticipated winter beer events of the year with over 150 American Craft Beers. The event will take place on Saturday, January 20th in the Grand Ballroom at Navy Pier. In addition to a variety of delicious beers, this event will also feature some of Chicago’s favorite food trucks and a DJ! Visit the event’s official website to purchase your tickets today.

Regardless of your choice, enjoy an exhilarating time!

 

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
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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 Nonsap Visuals on Unsplash

December 2017 Midwest Real Estate Market Reports

by Allyson Hoffman

The December 2017 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!

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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.

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 916

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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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