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Thirteen Thursday's are Back in Campustown!

by Rose Price

 

 

 

They're back starting this Thursday, May 21st.....Thirteen Thursday's!  School may be out but the fun is just about to begin! New this year are the Live Performances and Family-Friendly events. Plus, this year starts out with a CAMPUSTOWN TREASURE HUNT sponsored by Busey Bank.

How to play:  Just follow the "Clues" on Twitter @Campustown starting at 5:30 pm on May 21st.  Then find the commemorative hald dollar silver coins and gift cards hidden in select locations throughout Campustown.  You can only get the "Clues" on Twitter!  The "Clues" will be tweeted throughout the evening...so you'll need to pay attention, and keep working your way through Campustown to find the Silver Coins to WIN!

If you can't find the treasure, you can still win by visiting the Tech Plaza on Green St., between Apricot Lane & Mc Donald's and enter the 13 Thursday's drawing. You'll also get great information on where to get discounts on food and shopping, and great fun activities from May 21 - August 20.

For a complete schedule of the Thirteen Thursday events, follow this link: 13 Thursday's Schedule

It's going to be a GREAT summer in Champaign/Urbana!  Make sure to join us in Campustown!

                               

As always, I'm your trusted and experienced Champaign/Urbana Real Estate expert, part of this fantastic 13 Thursday's! Let me know how I can help make your move to this wonderful community easier. I am the relocation expert for the University of Illinois, and am here to help in any way I can.

If you are looking to put your Champaign/Urbana home on the market, give me a call and I'll walk you through every step and partner with you to get top dollar for your home....in the shortest time possible.

5 Tips for Selling Your Champaign/Urbana IL Home:

by Rose Price

The spring home selling season is well under way in Champaign/Urbana IL. If you have chosen to put your home on the market there are a few things you can do to make sure to you get the most Home Buyers coming through the door, and more offers coming on your home.

 Here are 5 simple tips to help with selling your Champaign/Urbana  Home:

CURB APPEAL

This is the "Welcome Mat" so to speak, of your home. As soon as your prospective buyer drives up to your home, they are developing their first impression. This will set the tone for the rest of their visit, so make sure it is a good one. Make sure the lawn is cut and the shrubs & trees are trimmed. If you have a porch, set out a nice colorful potted plant(s), a chair or two, new welcome mat and make sure your windows are sparkling clean. Let them know you take care of your home and let the entry way give off a welcoming vibe.

REAL ESTATE TEAM

The most important piece is this! Even if you've done everything possible in your home to get it ready, if you aren't partnering with the right agent or team, you aren't going to get what you're looking for. You need the experience, local market knowledge, the ability to price a house correctly and the Real Estate marketing savvy that comes from the right Real Estate Agent partnering with you to sell your home. A great agent will spend time on the photos, marketing and doing what is necessary to get your home seen, and the buyers in, to get your home sold.

GET ORGANIZED

Don't underestimate the power organization has in selling your home. You must organized every room, closet, cabinet and basement. And not even just organize, you'll want to remove probably half of what you have in these places right now.  If you decide you're going to keep what is there, that is. Moving is a great time to get rid of things that haven't used and are gathering dust.  But if you really must keep them, then you'll want to either rent a storage unit or pod and remove them from the home.  This way you're allowing your potential buyers a view of what they will be able to do with the space...not see what you've done with the space...leaving it looked crammed and small to the buyer.

HIDE SIGNS OF PETS

Whether you have a single pet;  dog or cat. You need to make sure you hide any and all signs of them.  It doesn't matter if you are extremely neat with your pets, or if your potential buyer loves them, you still need to hide the fact that you have them. That means food,  food bowls, and toys out of site. Secondly, before the home ever goes on the market you need to have your floors professionally cleaned of any stains or pet odors. Nothing will turn a buyer away quicker than pet odors and stains.

WISE UPGRADES

If you don't have a lot to spend then you need to focus on the essentials!  Freshly painted walls are always a must. Other cheap upgrades that pay-off big rewards are new cabinet & door hardware, new light fixtures, refinish hardwood floors (if they are in good general shape), paint old kitchen cabinets, new kitchen sink, etc. Small upgrades in area's of the house that are used most often, often have the highest return on investment. 

Bottom line, make sure your home is ready for the market when the sign goes up. You get ONE chance to make a first impression...Make it a Good One!

For more Home Selling Tips visit our website or Facebook page. If you are considering selling your Champaign/Urbana Home, I'd be happy to help you, just give me a call at 217-202-8843. You can also visit my website at: www.champaignrose.com

Mother's Day Brunch in Champaign/Urbana IL

by Rose Price

It's the BEST TIME OF YEAR...because Mom is the most important person in the family, right?  For Mother's Day she is absolutely the Queen for the Day!  This is the day we make Mom feel extra special for everything she does for us all year long, and will continue to do for us every day going forward!  Mom is the person that makes our lives run smoothly, she cares for us when we're ill,  is our shoulder to cry on, always our biggest cheerleader for anything we are doing. and our fiercest defender (whether we need it or not ).  For all these things, we want to say "Thank You" and make her day special. Like many of you that starts with a FANTASTIC MOTHER'S DAY BRUNCH at one of Champaign/Urbana's wonderful restaurants.

Here are a few selections, out of the many fabulous restaurants that we have in our neck of the woods, to take Mom to have an unforgettable MOTHER'S DAY BRUNCH to kick her special day off right!

1. SILVERCREEK- 402 N.Race St., Urbana IL  61801   217-328-3402

Time: 10:00- 2:30 pm

Cost: $20.95 Adults, $7.95 Children 12 and Under

Serving: Their regular fabulous Brunch Menu plus a few Incredible Selections especially prepared for Mother's Day! Reservations need to be made by phone.

2. BIG GROVE TAVERN- One Main St., Champaign, IL 61820       217-239-3505

Time:  10:00 - 2:30 pm

Cost:  Menu Based Items

Serving:  A wide based Brunch menu, ala-carte based.  Scrumptious choices by award winning Chef's. Mom will be able to put together a variety of choices to her hearts desire.

3. Destihl Restaurant & Brew Works- 301 N Neil Street, Champaign IL 61820     217-356-0301

Time:  10:00 - 9:00 pm

Cost: Menu Based Items

Serving: Everything on their Regular Sunday Menu plus some additional inspired items especially for all the lovely Mother's for Mother's Day! Check out the Menu at this link:  Destihl menu

4. Dublin O'Neil's-  301 N. Neil St., Champaign, IL 

Time: 11:00 - 2:00 pm

Cost:  Menus Based

Serving:  Menu Based Items

** Walk-Ins ONLY- RESERVATIONS not accepted

With the University of Illinois having Graduation on Mother's Day there will be a very difficult time getting reservations at many places, and some venue's are not accepting any reservations.  Make sure you are making all your plans in advance.

I want to wish all the MOM's....a HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY & MANY BLESSINGS IN THE YEAR AHEAD!

The Champaign Farmer's Market Officially Opens May 5th!

by Rose Price

 

 

 

 

 

It's almost time for the Grand Opening of the much anticipated CHAMPAIGN FARMER'S MARKET!  

When:  Tuesday, May 5th

Time:   4:00- 7:00 pm

Where: Just North of 1 Main Plaza in the parking lot outside of Big Grove Tavern and KO-Fusion & several other area businesses.

This is such an exciting time for everyone in Champaign, especially our downtown residents! We have so many local farmers and merchants that have registered to be part of this incredible new event and even more residents who have wanted a permanent downtown Champaign Farmer's Market for years.

The main mission of the Champaign Farmer's Market is this:

* Healthy Food: increase access & availability of fresh, local produce

* Healthy Farms: Support small family farms with sustainable practices

* Healthy Communities: Connect local food growers & producers with the public

Some Questions you may have....and the Answers that I've been told:

What can I buy at the market:  They want this to be the kind of market where you can do all your food shopping for the week – not just vegetables, but eggs, meat, and bread too. Because these things all have to be grown, raised or produced locally, the food available each week will change as the seasons change.

Will my favorite farmer from the Urbana Market be there?  They are currently recruiting producers. If you have a farmer you’d like to see at the market, please let them know!

Can I bring my dog/cat/iguana?  They are tentatively allowing pets of all kinds for the first season. Please be a good owner and only bring animals who are well-behaved and enjoy being around people, and be considerate of their behavior.

Where will there be bike Parking?  They are currently working with the City of Champaign to finalize details like this.

I’m a farmer. Can I have my CSA pickup be at the market?  Yes! CSA produce may not be on display, however.

Can I use my credit card?  Hopefully! They are working on applying for an EBT machine. Other options, such as Credibles, or card readers like Square, are things vendors must set up themselves.

Can I use my SNAP benefits?  Hopefully! We are working on applying for the machine.

Why shop at the farmers market instead of the grocery store?  Eating locally grown, in season food tastes better! Knowing the farmer that grew your food personally is something many people like

THAT'S IT...I CAN'T WAIT FOR TUESDAY MYSELF!   SEE YOU ALL THERE!

What a great community we live in!  You Rock Champaign!

Taking a queue from the Blockbuster Feature Film, Fast & Furious - the last in the series, is the best way to describe the Champaign/Urbana Real Estate market

April saw gains in the Existing Home Sales Market of Owner Occupied Homes by 11.4%, in fact owner-occupied buyers accounted for 63.2% of all residential single family home and condo sales in the first quarter of 2013. This is a switch in the marketplace, especially in places like Champaign/Urbana from the investor sector of the market. 

But this isn't the BEST part! The housing market in the our area is HOT and inventory is moving fast and furiously, so this is what you need to know: (and the Fast & Furious Soundtrack to go with it!)


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CLICK ON THIS LINK OR THE PHOTO /to listen to the Fast & Furious Soundtrack

WHAT IS GETTING LOW? Listings spent 10 fewer days on the market in April than in March and are expected to spend even fewer days in May!

HOW BAD DO YOU WANT IT? When a market is moving this fast, you need to decide a few things up front right away. Seventy-eight percent of home searches start on the Web, and 90% of buyers use the Internet at some point during the search and buying process.  Review's show that traffic, searches, and listing views are up more than 35% over last year. 

With 3 million jobs created and close to 1.5 million new households formed in the past 12 months.  More & more people want a new Champaign/Urbana area home of their own, and they want it now and they want it bad. The only bad news is that inventory is low, so finding the "home of their dreams" is going to be hard....testing their patience! This was the #1 problem for buyers in April- low inventory & not finding the home that they really liked and met their needs!  

So you need to decide... What you want, What you are able to afford, Where you want to live, and What you want in a home & neighborhood.  Lastly the big question....What are you willing to give up, if  you find the home you are really looking for?

"SEE YOU AGAIN.....FAMILIES ALL WE'VE GOT"  Although this song is obviously a moving tribute to the movies lost star, Paul Walker, the words aptly fit into our world of homes so well. HOME is where our family's heart and soul reside. It is the nucleus of our everyday lives and where we share our lives with each other. So it's no wonder that Buying A Home remains the American Dream and why so many people are STILL making it the #1 priority for themselves and their families. With the market rebounding back, interest rates still near historic lows and more homes coming onto the Champaign/Urbana market weekly....this IS THE TIME TO MAKE YOUR DREAM OF OWNING A HOME A REALITY!

If you are looking to move-up into that DREAM HOME, or downsize into a more manageable home now that the kids have grown....NOW IS THE TIME! With all the Real Estate Guru's reporting, these numbers will NOT hold for long and we will not see them this low for a long time to come. Don't miss your chance, come in and talk with me today and we'll find you the home that suits you wants & needs before the market turns again.

You can also search any homes directly from my website at: Search Homes for Sale Champaign IL

Search Homes For Sale Urbana IL   Search Homes For Sale Monticello IL  Search Homes For Sale Savoy IL

*Realtor com Blog information 2015

Does Your Champaign/Urbana Home Have Curb Appeal?

by Rose Price

You've heard the old saying.."Don't Judge a Book by it's Cover", well  this rule simply DOES NOT apply in the Real Estate Market! A good looking face isn't just memorable, the exterior of your home can make or break a sale! It can be the difference between you getting your asking price or settling for much less. First impressions are everything in the Real Estate business. According to the National Association of Realtors;  63% of people will stop by to view a home they found and liked online.  What will they see? Sometimes only the front of the home, driveway,landscape....the facade of the house. Meaning you have to focus just as much attention on the outdoor impression of your Champaign/Urbana home as the indoor. You want the Home Buyer that sees your Home online or driving by, to call you up and make an appointment to see the inside of your home. A GREAT FIRST IMPRESSION is what is needed so that potential Home Buyer says WOW...I NEED TO SEE THE INSIDE OF THAT HOME!

So check out these simple, but low-cost, home improvement tips that create great Curb Appeal!

1. Bring a Splash of Color to your Front Door. Make your front door & whole house stand out from the others by giving it a bold blast of color. If you have a solid wood door that's in good condition you can prepare it to paint a new color, if not buy a new door in an already bold color and forego having to do any of the painting yourself.  Then choose a fantastic door fixture.  Finish with a nice wreath, swag or other ornament that reflects your personal style.

2. Install Outdoor Lighting.  Any type of low voltage landscape lighting provides a big impact on curb appeal and gives the added benefit of safety & security to you and your guests. It is also an added value when selling your home. 

3. Container GardensMany times we hear from Cheshire Homeowners that they don't have the time or space to put in flower beds or landscape gardens. This is where Containers Gardens are excellent! You can buy ready-made containers or create your own. You can use varying sizes and styles of containers and of plants and flowers to give your garden an asymmetrical look. It gives you such a unique look with a personal stamp and you can use these containers in the yard or on your porch.

4. Window Boxes. An easy way to bring Curb Appeal to your home, as well as whimsy & charm, are window boxes! Just remember to choose copper or iron for a more traditional look and painted wood for a cottage feel. Flowers should be mixed and matched to suit lighting and color schemes.

5. Outdoor Art! We love this category! So many things can be art to different people, but we'll keep it in the basic range.  The key is to choose pieces that complement your home's natural color palette and exterior elements. Water Fountains, Birdbaths, sculptures, and wind chimes are good choices for outdoor art. In fact, water sculptures can serve a dual purpose functioning as yard art and allowing the burbling sounds to soothe;  making hot days seem cooler.

6. Keep your Lawn & Greenery Manicured. One of the cheapest and easiest things you can do is keep your grass mowed and your shrubs and trees pruned and trimmed regularly. Nothing looks better than a well manicured yard and it also shows your attention to your homes maintenance, which in turn let's your prospective buyer know that you "Care" for your homes exterior. That's important because if you Care for your home's exterior, the logical conclusion would be that you MUST CARE for your Home's Interior. Therefore, they will be calling to set up an appointment to see your home.

For more Homeowners Tips visit my website or Facebook page. If you are interested in looking for a home in our wonderful communities around the area of Champaign/Urbana IL, please stop by the office or give me a call!  Id be happy to help in any way that I can.

HAVE A POWERFUL DAY!

Champaign IL It's the 17th Annual Roger Ebert Film Festival!

by Rose Price

The College of Media at Illinois presents:

The 17th Annual Roger Ebert’s Film Festival!

April 15th-19th

Held every April inside downtown Champaign’s Historic Virginia Theatrea restored movie palace with state-of-the-art 35/70mm and digital projection.  REFF celebrates films that haven’t received the recognition they deserved during their original runs, giving these films and their filmmakers a well-deserved second look.

Staying true to Roger’s vision, the twelve films screened during the five day event represent a cross-section of important cinematic works overlooked by audiences, critics and/or distributors. Some of the films come from lists Roger drew up over the first 15 years of the festival.  Additional films are selected based on Roger’s established criteria for an Ebertfest film. 

You can also watch the film panel discussions live.  How cool is that?!

Patrons buying a festival pass will receive a confirmation ticket for each pass they purchase. Confirmation tickets must then be exchanged for an actual pass – the ones you wear on a lanyard around your neck. The actual festival passes will become available for pick up at the Virginia Theatre box office beginning Monday, April 13, 2015.

Seating: General Admission

Tickets: Festival Passes – $145 (available 11/1/14) Additional per pass processing fees apply (online, phone or box office)

– $2.75 service fee (per festival pass)

– 2.5% credit card fee (per festival pass)

Individual Film Tickets (available 4/1/15)
– $14 Regular Admission
– $12 Senior
– $12 Student

FOR MORE INFORMATION, OR TO BUY TICKETS OR PASSES 

PLEASE VISIT THEVIRGINIA.ORG

This festival is part of what makes the Champaign/Urbana community such an awesome place to live, work, attend college and raise our families. If you find yourself looking for a home in our little neck of the woods, give me a call. I'd be honored to show you around the area and partner with you to find the home of your dreams.

Spring Maintenance for your Champaign/Urbana IL Home!

by Rose Price

It's spring in Champaign/Urbana and time to get our homes ready for the spring real estate market, which is already moving full-steam ahead. Is your home ready for the many buyers who will see it in the coming days? In order for your Champaign/Urbana home to stand out among the many that a potential buyer will take a look at, and for it to get the BEST OFFER possible, you want to have it looking it's absolute best!   That means you don't leave ANY stones unturned!  Make this spring's home maintenance and preparation top notch. 

HERE ARE TIPS TO GET YOUR HOME LOOKING GOOD:

Exterior Windows- Get those windows shining like the commercials we see on Television! No streaks or smudges and definitely no dirt from the winter season! Check all caulk and weather stripping too.

Decks & Patios- Power wash your decks and patios, then stain and reseal. They'll be looking like new again. If you have outdoor furniture, make sure it is staged appropriately.

Exterior Walls- Check for damage from the winter months. This can be cracks, stains, or holes. Repair as needed and be mindful of problem areas that may need more than just a minor repair.

Lawn- Pick up sticks and other debri from the long winter months, mow the grass and trim all shrubs and overgrown trees.  Lay down any herbicides and start your spring lawn care programs. 

In-ground Sprinkler Systems- Maintenance any in-ground sprinkler systems on the property so that they are in good working order.

Roof- Inspect for any missing or cracked shingles? Make sure to address any issues from winter damage or ice dams to keep your roof in top shape.

Chimney- If you have a stone chimney, check the bricks looking for efflorescence, a white calcium deposit that means your chimney is absorbing water. If you find this is the case, you need to reseal the chimney.

Downspouts & Gutters- Your favorite job! Clean the gutters and make sure all the downspouts are in the right position so water is directed away from your house.

Next Blog post I'll tackle Spring Maintenance on our Home Interior's! For more Home Maintenance Tips visit my Facebook Page and my Website.

If you are looking to put your Champaign/Urbana Home up for Sale, you'll want to do that very soon! Give me a call or you can find out what your Champaign/Urbana Home is worth by visiting this link for FREE: Get a free CHAMPAIGN/URBANA HOME VALUE REPORT

I are here to help in any way I can. I'd love to partner with you to sell your home and get you the Value and Price you deserve for your Champaign/Urbana Home! Give us a call anytime.

The Dangers of Overpricing Your Champaign/Urbana IL Home

by Rose Price

You want me to list my Champaign home for what?!?! 

I know, you've heard someone say this type of exclamation at least once, somewhere before.  Unfortunately,  sometimes the price that is given to a homeowner as the"listing price" for their home, is not what the homeowner had in mind.  Many times, a homeowner had a much higher number in mind because of the improvements, loving care and emotional attachment they have developed for the home over the years.  This is understandable, but it is also why you need an experienced, unbiased real estate professional to advise you on this important component of the selling of your home before you put your Champaign home on the market.  Pricing your Champaign home in today's housing market can be very tricky with so many variables to consider.  But it is the most important component and decision you WILL make once you have decided to put your Champaign home up for sale.  This is why your choice in a Real Estate Agent is critical Over pricing your Champaign home is dangerous for several reasons, but the biggest is the simplest....IT WON'T SELL! 

In addition to not selling when you've overpriced it, you've really stacked the deck against you from day one. Selling your home can be an emotional roller coaster.  What your home means to you and how you imagine it, needs to come to terms with the real world and the current real estate market...and that is no more apparent than in pricing.   Everything you are doing at this point is looking at the home to "list" and sell.  That may seem apparent, but it's much harder than it looks. You must take the emotional strings out of the way. You may cherish the color, flooring, or some other "prized possesion", but none of that matters, it's simply black and white.  You are looking at it objectively just to list and sell.                                                                                                                                                           

Just "because you paid a certain amount for your home", or because "it means so much to you", is a sure fire way to stall the successful sale of your property.  Buyers also aren't going to care if you "need to get a certain amount for your home in order to buy your new home".  All the new buyer cares about is paying a fair market value for your home and that there aren't any hidden surprises that are going to come up later in the home inspections. Nothing will blow up in your face quicker than an OVERPRICED PROPERTY!  

In fact, overpriced properties are at the top of the list of the reasons why homes do not sell!

You are free to list your home for any price you choose. However, any exceptional real estate agent will tell you that overpricing a home can lead to serious problems. Some of these include:

*Scare off Buyers- You don't want to miss out on an ideal buyer by pricing yourself out of their category. Rely on the expertise of your Real Estate agent and their knowledge of the local market so that you can maximize your exposure on the market and with buyers while still getting the best price for your home.

* Too much Time on The Market- When a home is priced too high it ends up spending far too much time on the market.  If a buyer decides to put an offer in on the propertythat offer takes into consideration the amount of time the property has been sitting idle on the market.  Therefore it has a negative effect on the property.

* Home Price Appraisal Issues- If you have overpriced your home, and a buyer has agreed to pay the "overpriced" price, you still have to pass the Home Appraisal. If the Home Appraiser comes back with a Market Value that is noticeably lower than the price the buyer is offering, the bank is likely to deny the buyer a mortgage.  Leaving you looking for new buyers.

Best advice....Stay realistic on the home pricing.  Seek out a great real estate agent and listen to his or her advice for pricing your home.  Many good agents will advise you to list a little lower and encourage a bidding war, than to risk all of the problems that would come with listing too high.  Stay realistic with your pricing and you will achieve your ultimate goal of selling your home;  in the shortest amount of time AND with the best possible price.

Pretty winter snowfalls and glistening trees are a beautiful sight here in Champaign/Urbana IL, but the bitter temperatures, howling winds and icy precipitation can turn into a dangerous winter storm very quickly.  Are you ready?

First, you need to make sure you are in a safe and warm place.  If you are using your fireplace for warmth, make sure you use all the fireplace safety precautions.  Using candles are almost always the first thing that comes to mind, but make sure you never leave them unattended or close to combustibles.  Also, if you are using a generator, make sure it is outside of the home only, in order to provide proper ventilation.

Anticipate a power outage.  Close off any unused rooms and turn your heat up...this allows the home to heat to a much higher level, allowing it to retain the heat longer during an outage. Allow water to trickle from your faucets to prevent pipes from freezing.  Make sure your battery powered flashlight, radios and other electronic devices are fully charged and ready to go.  You should also have a first aid kit readily available, should the need arise.

Check your supplies.  It is important that you make sure you have enough heating fuel for your home and generator, or a stockpile of dry wood for your fireplace or wood-burning stove.  Snow-blowers, shovels and melting salt should be on hand to keep all walkways clear.  You must also make sure you have plenty of non-perishable food, water, medications, warm clothing and blankets for you and your family to cover several days of need.

Stay inside your home.  If at all possible, you need to stay at home and off of the roads.  If you go outside to clear snow, make sure you are dressed in loose layers of clothing to prevent any frost-bite or hypothermia; this will also keep you the warmest while out in the elements.  If you MUST use your vehicle, make sure you have sufficient gas and an emergency roadside kit, should you need to pull off the road.  Always stay clear of downed power-lines!  Additionally, it is important to have your gas tank at least half full at all times, to prevent gas-line freeze.

Take care of your pets.  You need to treat your pets to the same precautions that you yourself would use.  Make sure they have plenty of food and water, and when they need to go outside that they are only out for a few minutes at a time.

Winter in Champaign/Urbana is a wonderful and beautiful season, filled with sledding, skiing, and other fun winter events...but you need to be prepared at all times for the weather to turn dangerous.

If you need any other valuable information about the Champaign/Urbana IL area, please feel free to contact my office at Champaignrose, and I'll be happy to help in any way I can.

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