Neighborhood spotlight: Carillon at Cambridge Lakes

Carillon at Cambridge Lakes by DR Horton – Active Adult Communities

Carillon at Cambridge Lakes is an active adult community located right in the heart of the Northwest Chicago Suburbs. The community was created by DR Horton, and was constructed between 2008 and 2012. It is part of the scenic master-planned community of Cambridge Lakes, which consists of over 3,000 homes (of which, nearly 1,300 are part of the Carillon active adult community). Cambridge Lakes was awarded “Best Overall Suburban Community in the Greater Chicago Area” by the National Association of Home Builders in 2007.

The gated community is located in the laid-back town of Pingree Grove, and consists of a mix of single-family homes, duplexes, and ranch-style townhomes. Residents of Carillon at Cambridge Lakes enjoy a relaxing and fun-filled lifestyle, thanks to the neighborhood’s serene atmosphere and superb amenities.

Carillon at Cambridge Lakes features and amenities

Carillon at Cambridge Lakes is home to a state-of-the-art clubhouse equipped with a terrific selection of amenities. Residents can work up a sweat at the clubhouse’s fully equipped fitness center and aerobics studio, or go for a refreshing dip in either the indoor or outdoor swimming pools.

The clubhouse is also used for a number of community-wide social events, celebrations, and club activities. Its majestic ballroom serves as a perfect location to host dinners, parties, and other formal gatherings. Other features include a library, a computer hub, a billiards room, and hobby and crafts rooms.

For residents who would rather spend more time outdoors, Cambridge Lakes features a network of biking and walking paths perfect for a quick morning jog or a refreshing nature walk. There are also bocce ball courts, tennis courts, and a well-maintained 3-hole golf course for golfers looking to hone their skills.

Real estate in Carillon at Cambridge Lakes

There’s a great selection of wonderful properties waiting for buyers looking for the ideal home in Carillon at Cambridge Lakes. Some of the choices include single-family homes, single-level townhomes, and duplexes.

Those in the market for a single-family home can choose from ten different floor plans from the Resort Series. This fine selection of homes offers an unbeatable blend of privacy and luxury, and is available in sizes ranging from over 1,500 to 2,300 square feet. Resort Series homes are available in 2 or 3-bedroom models with 2 to 2.5 baths, and are equipped with 2 to 3-car garages and optional basements.

More affordable options include the Composer Series duplexes and Bayside Series townhomes, which are excellent for residents looking for a maintenance-free lifestyle.

Nearby attractions

  • Residents who love shopping can easily get to the Woodfield Mall in Schaumberg, which is located just a few minutes away from the community.
  • The Randall Road corridor is just six miles away from Carillon at Cambridge Lakes, offering residents easy access to a diverse selection of shops and restaurants.

Looking for the perfect home in Carillon at Cambridge Lakes? Talk to the Huntley Realty & The Tom Hall Group about your goals. Take a look at our featured listings or get in touch with us by calling 847-669-4010 or sending us an email at

7 Essential Steps to Selling a Home

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In today’s housing market, the days of placing a “for sale” sign on your front lawn, waiting for multiple offers, and accepting the right offer within several weeks (or even days), are over.

To sell your home for top dollar, you need the right preparation, an effective strategy, and plenty of patience. Below is a handy 7-step guide that can help you sell your home successfully:

    Step 1: Preparation

    Selling a property requires preparation. You need to be familiar with the many different form agreements, seller disclosure statements, as well as environmental concerns for different areas.

    In addition, you need to take a look at the local real estate market and take note of the trends in your area. Use the Internet and view similar homes in your neighborhood to get an idea of the ideal price range for your property.

    Step 2: Look for a realtor

    An experienced realtor will help make the selling process quick, easy, and stress-free for you. Selling a home involves lots of paperwork, marketing, pricing, inspections, and negotiations, so you’ll want someone experienced in dealing with all of these to help you out.

    You also want to find a realtor who has completed many successful transactions in your area, as these are the ones who are best-equipped to sell your home for top dollar.

    Step 3: Price your home

    Different factors such as interest rates and market conditions are just some of several factors that will determine your home’s price. Pricing is a crucial step in the selling process – overpricing your home will only make it stagnate in the market, possibly lowering its value over time.

    Work with your realtor in order to determine an ideal price point for your home.

    Step 4: Create a solid marketing plan

    Although your realtor is in charge of creating a marketing plan, you’ll be a great help if you’ve done your research about the home selling process. When you’re more familiar with the selling process, your realtor will be able to work closely with you in order to accomplish your goals.

    Step 5: Accept an offer and negotiate

    One of the most complex parts of the selling process is negotiating the sale. It’s important to keep in mind that not every offer you receive will be immediately acceptable. You need to work with your agent to carefully evaluate each offer, before you start to negotiate with the buyer and his or her agent.

    During this period, having a bit of patience is very important. Be prepared to go through a series of back-and-forth negotiations before you get the ideal price and terms for your home.

    Step 6: The settlement

    During the settlement period, it’s possible that some contract contingencies can affect you, especially if you’re still in the home. Generally, a home inspection is required, so you need to make sure your home is available for inspection. Should the inspector find anything that may violate the terms of your contract, you will need to re-open negotiations with the buyer once again.

    During the settlement period, you will also need to negotiate a settlement date that both you and the buyer agree with. In case you haven’t found a new home to move to, you can negotiate a “rent-back” arrangement with the buyer, which will allow you to remain in the home for a certain period after the settlement.

    Step 7: Make your move

    Although planning your move is the final step, you should begin your plans for relocation right after you’ve decided to sell your home. Whether you’re about to move to another country or just a few miles away, planning ahead will certainly make things easier. Start looking for a mover, stock up on boxes and packing materials, and make a handy checklist before you sell your home.

8 Easy Projects that will Revitalize your Home

Want to give your interiors a new look, but worried that it may require a lot of time and money? Don’t fret – there are plenty of affordable ways to spruce up your interiors without making you break a sweat.

Below, we’ll show you 8 easy and budget-friendly ways to spruce up different rooms in your home:

DIY nature-inspired coat rack

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Add a touch of whimsy to your foyer with this adorable nature-inspired coat rack. It’s very easy to make – all you need is wood, masking, tape, some paint, and a few branches you can collect from your yard.

Take a look at the full tutorial here.

Decorative tape picture frames

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Inject a bit of fun into any room by adding these colorful DIY picture frames. All you need are a pair of scissors, a box cutter or X-Acto knife, and some decorative tape from your local crafts store. You can use these frames for photographs, magazine clippings, postcards, or anything you’d love to have on your wall.

Visit this page for the full tutorial.

Stenciled bookcases

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This project can make any home office or library look more cheerful. No matter what you place on your shelves – books, office supplies, vases, or vintage décor – having a colorful pattern as a background is sure to make your bookcase appear livelier.

See the full tutorial here .

Confetti tumblers

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Add a burst of color to any room by creating these colorful DIY confetti tumblers. These fun tumblers are the perfect addition to your bar cart or kitchen/dining room displays, and are fantastic for outdoor BBQs.

See how to make them by visiting this page .

Kitchen chalkboard cupboard

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Keeping track of recipes, grocery items, or important phone numbers is now easier with your very own chalkboard cupboard. All you need is some chalkboard paint for the insides of your kitchen cabinets, and voila – you have a handy kitchen memo board.

For instructions, take a look at this blog post from Tidbits from the Tremaynes.

Linework wallpaper

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Installing wallpaper can be quite costly. If you want to create a different look for your wall without breaking the bank, here’s a great way to add an elegant, linework-based pattern to any wall. Keep in mind though that this project requires some basic knowledge of design software like Photoshop, as well as access to a large-scale printer.

Take a look at this page for the full tutorial.

DIY no-sew pillows

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No need to buy new bedspreads – give your bedroom a fresh update just by adding new pillows. The best thing about this project is there are no sewing skills involved. Simply head to the nearest fabric store and choose new patterns!

To find out how, look at this great tutorial.

Easy vinyl floor paintjob

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Make your laundry room’s vinyl or linoleum floors look brand new by giving it a new paintjob! This project is very easy to follow, and will only require a few cans of paint and some painting materials. It can easily be accomplished in just a few hours, too.

To find out how, take a look at the full tutorial here.

Neighborhood spotlight: Lions Chase

Located in the Village of Huntley, Lions Chase is a neighborhood developed by Richmond American Homes and D.R. Horton, two of the largest homebuilders in the country.

Considered one of Huntley’s most desirable neighborhoods, Lions Chase offers an outstanding quality of life, with stylish, well-built properties, a scenic environment, and plenty of fantastic recreational opportunities.

Residents of Lions Chase enjoy a peaceful and very laid-back atmosphere, with quiet tree-lined streets and scenic views. Those who enjoy spending time outdoors have plenty of options, as there are several nearby parks managed by the Huntley Park District.

Lions Chase features and amenities

Lions Chase has a walking path that provides easy access to Deicke Park, the largest park in The Village of Huntley. The expansive park boasts numerous features perfect for outdoor recreation, including tennis and basketball courts, a playground, several ball fields, and a large picnic area.

Deicke Park is also home to several venues such as:

  • The Stingray Bay Aquatic Center, a water park with slides, kids’ pools, sand areas, competition swimming lanes, and more.
  • The Community Recreation Center, which is equipped with a state-of-the-art gym, a fitness center, and classrooms for hosting lectures and workshops.
  • The Cosman Cultural Arts Center, which is used as a venue for numerous performances and community events.
  • The Betsey Warrington Park, an extension of Deicke Park that was originally used as a farmland.


Schools located close to Lions Chase are served by Huntley School District #158, one of the top-performing school districts in the region.

Some of the nearby schools include:

  • Leggee Elementary School
    13723 Harmony Rd, Huntley, IL
  • Marlowe Middle School
    9625 Haligus Rd, Lake in the Hills, IL
  • Heineman Middle School
    725 Academic Dr, Algonquin, IL
  • Huntley High School
    13719 Harmony Rd, Huntley, IL

If you’d like more information regarding schools in the area, visit

Lions Chase, Huntley, IL – Huntley, IL Townhomes

Buyers looking for an ideal home in Lions Chase can choose from four different, well-designed floor plans, with living spaces ranging from approximately 2,400 to nearly 3,000 square feet. Homes have 3 to 4 bedrooms, 2 to 2.5 bathrooms, and garages that can accommodate 2 to 3 vehicles.

Homes in Lions Chase come with superb features such as:

  • Spacious living rooms
  • Elegant dining rooms perfect for hosting guests
  • Stylish kitchens with high quality stainless steel appliances
  • Gorgeous master bedrooms with private baths
  • Tons of storage space

Nearby attractions

  • Lions Chase is a few minutes away from Main Street Huntley, as well as popular shopping venues such as the Algonquin Commons and the Huntley Outlet Mall.
  • Residents who enjoy golf can head to the Pinecrest Golf Club, which is just five minutes away from the neighborhood. This superb 18-hole course features rolling fairways, challenging course layouts, and picturesque views, offering golfers an unmatched playing experience.

Looking for the perfect home in Lions Chase? Talk to the Huntley Realty & The Tom Hall Group about your goals. Take a look at our featured listings or get in touch with us by calling 847-669-4010 or sending us an email at

6 Great Home Decorating Tips for First-Time Homeowners

After buying a home for the very first time, new homeowners often face a different challenge: decorating.

For many people, decorating an empty home may seem a little bit overwhelming, given the amount of choices as well as the time and resources it can require. But it doesn’t have to be difficult – decorating your new home can be a fun experience as well, and it’s something that will make your house more comfortable and inviting, perfect for starting a new life in a new place.

Below, we offer six excellent suggestions on how you can start decorating your new home:

The process starts in your old home

What you do in your previous home before you move has a huge impact on your new home. You can make things a lot easier if you get rid of about half of your old stuff – old, bulky furniture, outdated electronics, broken appliances, and other random things that are no longer usable.

It’s time to start fresh by taking only the things that you feel will be a good fit in your new home. Donate all of your old possessions to charity, hold a garage sale, or sell some of your items online.

Set a budget

The key to successfully decorating a new home is knowing how much you can spend. Keep in mind that you don’t need to decorate the entire house all at once. If you have a tight budget, you can start with the room where you’ll be spending most of your time, like the bedroom. That way, you’ll have a nice, comfortable room to stay in as you’re dealing with the rest of the house.

Select a color scheme

There are several approaches when it comes to selecting an ideal color scheme for rooms: it can be anchored on the flooring, based on a single focal point like a painting or a piece of furniture, or simply based on whatever colors you prefer to use.

Choose neutral colors for investment pieces, such as dining tables, sofas, and other large pieces of furniture, and apply your color scheme on accent pieces like pillows, curtains, and other décor. This will make it easy for you to switch to a new color scheme in the future, in case you want to create a new look.

Size it up

List down the different measurements of elements such as windows, doorways, and ceiling height before you go shopping. This will give you a better picture of how a piece of furniture will look like when placed in a room, as furniture tends to look smaller when it’s in a large showroom with high ceilings.

Combine the old with the new

Not everything in your new home has to be new. Drop by an antique store, or if you have a tight budget, look for flea markets, auctions, or garage sales.

Mixing in vintage pieces of furniture or décor is a great way to add more personality to any space, and will prevent your living space from looking like a furniture showroom.

Relax and just have fun

Your first home won’t necessarily be your last home, so do yourself a favor and don’t put too much weight on every design decision. Sure, foundation pieces deserve a little more thought, as you’ll likely be using them in your next home. But for small items like lamps, tablecloths, and throw pillows? Don’t stress yourself out too much and just have fun choosing what looks best in your home.

Relocation Guide for New Illinois Residents

Are you a new resident of Illinois? Here’s a handy guide that will tell you all about filing a change of address, updating your vehicle registration, applying for an Illinois driver’s license, and more.

Change of address

New residents can file a change of address at the Office of the Secretary of State (SOS) Driver Services Department and Vehicle Services Department.

Residents are required to update their address within ten days of an address change. Changing your address will update records associated with your driver’s license or ID card.

You can change your driver’s license address or ID records online, by mail, or in person. Here’s how:

  • Online – Visit the Illinois SOS website.
  • By mail – Write a letter that includes your name, previous and current address, IL driver’s license/ID card number, and send it to:
    • Driver Services Department
      2701 S. Dirksen Parkway
      Springfield, IL 62723

  • In person – Visit your local Secretary of State office. You can locate the nearest office by visiting this page.

Vehicle registration

New Illinois residents who are bringing a vehicle from out of state have a 30-day window to officially register it with the Secretary of State. You can find out more by visiting this page.

If you are registering a special vehicle such as a snowmobile, custom-built vehicle, all-terrain vehicle (ATV), or recreational vehicle (RV), each type has a different procedure for registration. Take a look at this guide to registering special vehicles in Illinois.

Voter registration

To update your Illinois voter registration address, complete Form SBE R-19 otherwise known as a Voter Registration Application.

Once you have accomplished the form, submit it to your local Illinois Secretary of State office, which will forward your application. You can also submit it personally or mail it to an Illinois County Clerk or Board of Election Commissioners’ office.

Take note that in order to be eligible to vote, you need to be a resident within the voting precinct for at least 30 days before the next election.

For more information about voter registration, take a look at this page.

Getting an Illinois driver’s license

If you’re from out of state, your non-Illinois license is eligible for up to 90 days upon moving.

To apply for an Illinois driver’s license, drop by your local Secretary of State Driver Services Facility. You’ll need to present the following requirements:

  • Your out-of-state license
  • Valid IDs
  • Payment for new driver’s license fees

In addition, you are required to undergo written and vision exams to get your license. The Illinois Secretary of State typically does not require a driving test for new Illinois residents with valid driver licenses from out of state, although agents reserve the right to decide whether or not you must take one.

Non-commercial Illinois driver licenses are:

  • Class D license – The most common type of license in the state. This allows you to operate passenger vehicles or trucks.
  • Restricted local driver license – This type is issued to residents living in towns with small populations, who only need to drive to local areas such as the grocery store.

Neighborhood spotlight: Talamore Townhomes

Talamore Townhomes is a master-planned resort-style community from CalAtlantic Homes, one of the top homebuilders in the US. Located in the Village of Huntley, the community offers a great selection of outstanding amenities, including a large state-of-the-art community clubhouse, a fitness center, a swimming pool, and more.

Residents of Talamore Townhomes enjoy a combination of privacy and relaxation, along with a wide selection of enjoyable recreational activities. The neighborhood boasts very scenic surroundings, where views of refreshing open space, serene lakes and ponds, and stately trees combine to create a relaxing atmosphere.

Talamore Townhomes features and amenities

The family-friendly townhome community features a variety of amenities as well as easy access to parks and outdoor destinations perfect for a wide range of activities.

Some of its top-notch community amenities include:

  • A spacious 8,000-square-foot community clubhouse, which features a fully equipped fitness center, a game room, and a cozy entertaining area with a stone fireplace.
  • For residents looking for a refreshing dip during those hot summers, Talamore Townhomes’ pool area features a children’s pool and a spray and play area, an 18-foot water slide, and a lap and activity pool.
  • A large fishing pond and a relaxing outdoor area with picnic tables and a pavilion with fireplace, perfect for picnics and outdoor BBQs


Talamore Townhomes is within Huntley School District #158, which is one of the top-ranked school districts in the area.

Schools located close to the community are:

  • La Petite Academy Preschool
    4540 W Algonquin Rd, 60156, IL
  • McHenry County College
    8900 US-14, Crystal Lake, IL
  • Leggee Elementary School
    13723 Harmony Rd, Huntley, IL
  • Marlowe Middle School
    9625 Haligus Rd, Lake in the Hills, IL
  • Huntley High School
    13719 Harmony Rd, Huntley, IL

To find out more about the schools of Huntley School District #158, visit [Link]

Talamore, Huntley, IL – Huntley, IL Townhomes

The townhomes feature spacious and well-designed interiors with access to walkout basements. Prospective buyers can choose from five different floor plans with sizes ranging from 1,300 to nearly 1,700 square feet of space.

All units feature two bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms, except for the Dunham floor plan, which has 1.5 bathrooms. Each townhome has two stories, and comes with a two-car garage.

Some of the features you’ll find include:

  • Expertly crafted railings with painted spindles
  • Modern kitchens equipped with upgraded cabinets and top-quality stainless steel appliances
  • Impressive master bedrooms with private baths and spacious walk-in closets
  • Comfortable lofts which can serve as an additional living area

Nearby attractions

  • The Village of Huntley is home to the sprawling Deicke Park, which features the Stingray Bay Aquatic Center and the Cosman Cultural Center.
  • The Randall Road corridor and Route 47 provide easy access to shopping destinations such as Huntley Outlet Mall and the Algonquin Commons.

Are you relocating to Talamore Townhomes? Let Huntley Realty & The Tom Hall Group serve as your guide. Take a look at our featured listings or get in touch with us by calling 847-669-4010 or sending us an email at

Recreation in and around Huntley

The Village of Huntley and its neighboring communities offers tons of enjoyable recreational opportunities for visitors and residents of all ages. You can find an impressive selection of picturesque parks, first-class facilities, and other family-friendly venues perfect for a wide range of activities.

In case you’re planning to spend some quality time with friends or family, here are some places you should definitely check out:

Deicke Park

Located a few minutes away from downtown Huntley, Deicke Park is Huntley’s largest park as well as the venue for a wide variety of community events. The sprawling park features a playground, tennis and basketball courts, ball fields, picnic areas, and several park district offices. It’s also home to major recreational venues such as:

  • The Betsey Warrington Park, an extension of the park which was originally used as a farmland. The original farmstead is open to the public for both historical and recreational purposes.
  • The Community Recreational Center, which features a fitness center, a gym, a mess hall, classrooms for workshops or lectures, and the Cosman Cultural Arts Center, a large theater/auditorium.
  • The Stingray Bay Aquatic Center, a fun water park with water slides, sand areas, competition swim lanes, a café and snack bar, patios, and child-friendly water features.

Pinecrest Golf Club

Opened in 1972, the Pinecrest Golf Club is an outstanding 18-hole course that encompasses over 130 acres. The course is officially managed by the Huntley Park District, which assumed management of operations in June of 2003.

Pinecrest offers an enjoyable golfing experience for players of all skill levels. The scenic course features well-maintained greens, rolling fairways, soaring trees, serene lakes, and 63 strategically placed sand bunkers.

For golfers looking to perfect their stroke, Pinecrest also has a driving range, which is open daily.

Tomaso Sports Park

Tomaso Sports Park serves as the venue for several sports competitions, particularly during the months of April to October. Located in the Talamore neighborhood, the 38-acre recreational facility features seven soccer/football fields, lighted ball fields, a multi-purpose path, and a plaza area. Different sports enrichment programs are also held at the park throughout the year for residents of all ages.

Tomaso Sports Park is named in honor of Carl Tomaso, the former Huntley Village Manager who passed away in 2008. “Coach” Tomaso was a beloved figure to many Huntley residents, and was very passionate about sports.

Other parks in Huntley

If you’re searching for more great outdoor destinations where you can relax and take in the beauty of the outdoors, Huntley has several small to medium-sized parks perfect for many different outdoor activities. Many of these parks are equipped with features that include ball fields, basketball or tennis courts, picnic areas, large grassy fields, playgrounds, and more.

Some of the neighborhood parks in Huntley include:

  • Ol’ Timer’s Park
  • Marvin A. Weiss Park
  • Kiley Park
  • Tures Park

Whether you’re going for a quick morning jog, a friendly game with friends, or a relaxing picnic under the trees, these parks are sure to see as the perfect venue for whatever activity you have in mind.

Home buying guide for first-time buyers

Buying a home can sometimes feel like an intimidating and overwhelming task, especially if it’s your first time. It’s understandable – purchasing a property is a huge decision, so you want to make sure everything goes according to plan.

Buying a new home is easy when you’re prepared. By gathering information about the home buying process, you’ll know what to expect, allowing you to make the best decisions and an effective strategy that will lead you to your dream home.

In this article, we’ll show you some of the steps involved with buying a home:

Your decision to buy

A property is a great investment. It can lead you to long-term wealth by providing you with several financial advantages such as tax benefits, appreciation potential, and equity buildup.

However, it comes with many potential risks as well, so make sure you’re financially capable before you start your search.

Look for an experienced and trustworthy realtor

Once you’ve made the decision to buy, your next step is to find a real estate professional that can help you. Having a great realtor at your side is a surefire way to make the entire process easier.

A realtor will be keep you updated on the local market, give you a selection of homes that fit your criteria, help you with offers, give you an advantage during negotiations, and more.

Mortgage preapproval

Getting a mortgage preapproval from a lender before you start your search will give you a tremendous advantage. It will help save you time, as you’ll know what type of homes will fit your price range.

It also gives you an edge over competing buyers – having a mortgage preapproval letter is evidence that you’re already qualified for purchase.

Selecting the ideal home

Once you’re preapproved, you can start looking for the perfect home for you and your family. To make your search easier, list down certain characteristics such as house size and lot size, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, features, condition, access to amenities, proximity to schools, and so on. This list will serve as your guide as you look through available listings.

Make an offer

Found the right home? Now it’s time to make an offer. Your realtor will play a huge role during this part of the process, as he or she will be responsible for looking at similar properties in order for you to make the best, most informed decision.

Home inspections

After you and the seller have agreed to the terms and conditions of the purchase, you’ll need to get an inspection, which should be conducted by a professional home inspector. The inspector will be in charge of revealing any issues regarding the property’s structure, exterior, roof, and major systems, so you know exactly what you’re getting.


The closing is the final phase of the buying process. Before closing however, buyers will usually get a final opportunity to look closer at the property, to ensure that it is unchanged after the agreement was signed.

Closing procedures vary from state to state, but the following parties that are typically present during the closing meeting include:

  • You, the buyer
  • The home seller
  • Closing agent
  • Attorney
  • Title company representative
  • The seller’s real estate agent
  • The lender

The closing agent will be in charge of making sure all documents required are signed and recorded, and all escrow payments and closing fees are settled and distributed fairly.


Thank you to all of our friends and neighbors for your consistent support and referrals! We couldn’t have made it 11 years in a row as Huntley’s # 1 Real Estate Office without you! Please click the link to read further about our success. 

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