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Displaying blog entries 181-190 of 207

Prairie Elementary School Hosts American Indian Storyteller

by Rose Price

It's time for an annual Champaign/Urbana event which features an American Indian story teller for the Winter Tales event each February. 

This year, in partnership with Spurlock Museum, Prairie Elementary is proud to host Gene Tagaban, a teller and raven dancer from the state of Washington.

Gene Tagaban is a speaker, motivator, trainer, and performing artist of Cherokee, Tlingit and Filipino heritage. With over 20 years of storytelling experience, Tagaban uses his gift of storytelling, dance, and music, as he travels across the country performing, presenting, and facilitating workshops on suicide prevention, empowerment, leadership, relationship-building, communication skills, self-awareness, spirit and honor to participants of all ages.

The storytelling assembly will be held at Prairie Elementary School on Friday, February 3rd, at 9:00am.

If you would like more information on this local Champaign event, contact Prairie Elementary Principal, Yavonnda Smith, at 384-3628.

 

 

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Packing Tips

by Rose Price

I don't know anyone who enjoys packing up all their belongings and moving them to a new home, but if you are organized about the entire process it can be a lot less stressful to get ready for your move!

  • Plan ahead and research the best price and service if you will you require the assistance of a moving company. It’s a good idea to price this out ahead of time by using a moving calculator.
  • Stock up on the following supplies: strong packing boxes (more than you think you will need), markers and tags to label boxes, rolls of packing tape, bubble wrap for fragile items, packing paper, scissors and a knife for opening boxes. 
  • Pack room-to-room keeping similar items together and use smaller boxes for heavier items so it is easier to lift. 
  • You don't need to spend a lot of money on packing items to protect your delicate items. You can use towels, linens and curtains to line the bottom and sides of boxes with fragile items. All fragile items should be individually wrapped and clearly marked FRAGILE.
  • Make sure that any opened boxes or jars are tightly sealed before packing them. You don't want to find out that the bleach spilled once you have reached your new home! 
  • Use colorful tags to identify the contents of the box and which room it will be taken to in your new home. 
  • There will be so much to do and it will be easy to forget what you have. Make a master list of all household items and personal belongings.
  • Finally pack a box with all the essentials and mark it “Open Me First.” This box may contain items such as: a few basic tools (flashlight, pocket knife, masking tape, light bulbs), bathroom essentials (toilet paper, soap, shampoo, toothbrushes & paste, hand towel), Kitchen items (paper towels, coffee maker & filter, paper plates, cups, utensils, pet food, trash bags).
     

Do you have any tips or tricks for moving into your new Central Illinois home? 

 

 

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Karaoke with a Live Band at Boomerangs!

by Rose Price

Are you ready to get on stage with the official band of the Chicago Blackhawks for some live band karaoke? Make plans for this weekend to head over to Boomerangs in Urbana!

There are over 300 songs to chose from, lyrics provided, so you're bound to find something you want to perform!

Karaoke starts at 9pm and goes until 1am! Get there early to grab a $5 pitcher and order from the full menu until 9pm, appetizers until midnight.

Boomerang is located at 1309 E Washington, Urbana - next to Silver Bullet. Don't be shy and get on stage!

 

 

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How Can You Sell Your Home When Your Neighbor's is Unsightly?

by Rose Price

Have you looked at your neighbors home and though, "There goes the neighborhood!" Before you were trying to sell your Champaign home your neighbors overgrown lawn, chipping paint and littered driveway may have been unsightly and annoying, but now there unkempt property is a hindrance to you selling your home. How can you expect to get your asking price when your neighbor's house is not a good selling point?

Here are a few actions you can take to make your neighborhood a little more presentable:

1. Your best bet is to start by being neighborly and simply communicating with them. You may uncover a problem that you can help to solve. Is your neighbor elderly or ill? Perhaps you could help out with lawn care or basic maintenance. You might even get other neighbors involved to lend a hand.
2. If you have an HOA, you can go to the president or governing committee. Most HOA’s have strict requirements for upkeep, and they take quick action to correct violations.
3. Call the city code enforcement. If your neighbors’ grass is knee high and they have a rusted out Chevy in the front yard, they are probably in code violation.
4. Use a fence or landscaping to hide unsightly side or back yards.
5. Some home sellers who are serious may offer to pay to haul off trash or try to work out another option to try to help the situation.

Another property de-valuer, especially in today’s economy, is the foreclosure. While it is true that you unfortunately cannot personally do anything about a foreclosed home in your neighborhood, you should be prepared to take a hit on your home’s appraisal value. As unfair as it is, it is a good idea to be aware of the home values in your neighborhood and what other sellers are listing their homes for. You may need to consider discounting your home or offering incentives to counteract the foreclosure.

Foreclosure is so commonplace now that it probably won’t affect people coming to your neighborhood – in fact, it may draw potential buyers. You just have to be ready to compete with the ‘bargain’ a foreclosure may present.

Have you been in a similar situation? Share your tips with us - we would love to hear them!

 

 

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Turning Foreclosed Properties Into Rentals

by Rose Price


There is an interesting trend in the market that is gaining attention in Champaign/Urbana as well as the entire country.  Federal officials  are hoping to launch a pilot program in early 2012 to convert government-owned foreclosures into rental properties.

The program, which was cited by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke last week as one way to address the housing crisis, would sell foreclosed homes now owned by Fannie Mae (FNMA, Fortune 500) and Freddie Mac (FMCC, Fortune 500) to investors in bulk. The properties would then be converted into rentals.


The initiative began back in August, when the Federal Housing Finance Agency, the Treasury Department and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced they were seeking suggestions on ways to dispose of repossessed homes now owned by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Housing Administration.

In addition to getting the properties off the government's books, officials are hoping putting the homes back into productive use will stabilize neighborhoods and housing values. Also, it is looking to expand the supply of rentals, which are increasingly in demand.

The agency is not releasing details on how the rental program would work, instead saying it is "proceeding prudently but with a sense of urgency to lay the groundwork for the development of good initial transactions in early 2012."

Administration officials said they are continuing to work with the agency to develop the program.

Housing, stocks, gold and oil: Hot or not in 2012?

Until now, most foreclosed homes have been sold individually because investors have demanded bigger discounts to buy large numbers of properties.

But federal officials are warily eyeing the expected surge in foreclosures as banks ramp up their action against delinquent homeowners. The process had been stalled since late 2010 when banks' shoddy paperwork practices came to light.

There are close to 2 million homes in the late stages of delinquency, according to Lender Processing Services. Since foreclosed properties often sell below market value, they can wreak havoc on home prices.

Converting these homes to rentals can both help the neighborhood and minimize losses to Fannie, Freddie and the FHA, which hold about 250,000 properties, Bernanke told lawmakers last week.

He urged lawmakers to ramp up their efforts to fix the housing market, placing particular emphasis on the problem of vacant homes on the market.

"Restoring the health of the housing market is a necessary part of a broader strategy for economic recovery," he said.

Bernanke's comments launched a full-court press by Federal Reserve officials last week to raise awareness of the continuing problems plaguing the housing market.

His proposals were quickly followed by Fed Governors Sarah Bloom Raskin, who spoke on ramping up enforcement of mortgage servicers, and Elizabeth Duke, who said Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac could do more to help heal the housing market.

Meanwhile, New York Fed President William Dudley gave a speech that touched on a wide range of housing policies -- including principal reduction and mortgage refinancing -- that he believes will boost the economy.

The Fed has already tried to boost real estate sales by pushing mortgage rates down to record lows through massive bond-buying programs.

But the renewed push for housing help indicates that the Fed, which has basically run out of monetary policy ammunition to revive the real estate market, is urging the federal government to ramp up its efforts.

"The Federal Reserve is signaling in even stronger terms the need for the government to do more to help housing," said Jaret Seiberg, a policy analyst with the Washington Research Group.

Thank you to Tami Luhby at CNN Money for the information.

Contact me to learn more about this trend, or to buy or sell a home in Champaign, IL! 

 

 

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All Steamed Up Teapot Show

by Rose Price

Calling all tea fanatics! Tea drinking has soared in popularity in recent years and tea and tea drinking accessories are the latest trend. Find an unique piece of art at the invitational teapot show at Cinema Gallery located at 120 W. Main, Urbana.

There will be over 60 teapots by ceramics faculty in Illinois colleges in a wide range of styles and prices.

Support your local Champaign artist and join locals for the All Steamed Up Teapot Show! Click here for location/directions.


 

 

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What is The Role of a Property Appraiser?

by Rose Price

Are you a first time buyer looking for your perfect home in Champaign, IL? If so, you may wonder what a home appraiser does. Home appraisers are a necessary part of your real estate transaction and it is important to know exactly what the appraiser's responsibilities are.

One of the most common misconception about appraisers is that they work for the home seller. Actually, appraisers are hired to be impartial and provide an accurate "value" to your home in order for lenders to determine if the collateral supports the debt. These same lenders are also putting a lot of pressure on appraisers which result in higher than market value home appraisals.

If you are buying or selling a home it is a good idea to do some research on the role of appraisers and how they effect you.

Below are some quick facts your should know about the appraiser and the process:

•Appraisers are licensed by individual states after completing coursework and internship hours that familiarize them with their real estate markets.

•The lender might use an appraiser on its staff, or contract with an independent appraiser. If you are allowed to choose the appraiser, and it isn't someone the lender is familiar with, the results might be subject to review before they are accepted.

•The appraiser should be an objective third party, someone who has no financial or other connection to any person involved in the transaction.

•The property being appraised is called the subject property.

•You will probably pay for the appraisal when you apply for your loan.

What You'll See on a Residential Appraisal Report

Appraisals are very detailed reports, but here are a few things they include:


•Details about the subject property, along with side-by-side comparisons of three similar properties.

•An evaluation of the overall real estate market in the area.

•Statements about issues the appraiser feels are harmful to the property's value, such as poor access to the property.

•Notations about seriously flawed characteristics, such as a crumbling foundation.

•An estimate of the average sales time for the property.

•What type of area the home is in (a development, stand alone acreage, etc.).

 

Contact us if you have any advice or experience with home appraisers that you would like to share that might help local homebuyers!

 

 

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Illini Farm Toy Show This Sunday, January 8th

by Rose Price

Support local Champaign Agriculture programs by coming out to the Illini Farm Toy Show at the Holiday Inn and Convention Center on Sunday, January 8th from 9am - 2pm.

There will be Open Trading, Live Auctions, a Kiddie Tractor Pull and more. There will be great sales and toys for all ages!

The Holiday Inn- Urbana is located at 1001 Killarney Street, Urbana, IL 61801.

Start off the new year right by supporting our local programs, getting some great deals and having fun with the family at this unique event!

 

 

 

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Use Curb Appeal and Good First Impressions to Sell Your Home

by Rose Price

With the general consensus being that it's a buyers market, the current real estate market can be very competitive for Champaign home sellers.  You need to make your home stand our to buyers by allowing them to envision themself calling your house home. How do you do that? With impressive curb appeal and awesome first impressions! 

This is where the home staging process begins and by following a few important staging tips, you will be prepared to  wow potential buyers and create an unforgettable home shopping experience.

Begin with your front yard. It should be inviting and clean. A good wash or fresh stain to the exterior of your home will present a fresh clean look.

Your lawns, shrubs and trees should be trimmed and flower beds and pots weeded so as not to take away from the exterior view of your home. If you are selling during the winter season, be sure to free the walkway of any snow or ice.  If the outside is inviting,  buyers will want to continue inside your home. 

Now that you have attracted a buyer into your home, first impressions don't stop there. A buyer will know within minutes of stepping foot into your home if they want to take a thorough look through the home.

A few things to consider when staging the interior of your home include the following:

  • Keep your home clean and free of clutter. Old newspapers and knick knacks do not attract buyers!
  • Remove "personalization" in your home by taking down family photos, knick-knacks and such.
  • Eliminate any strong scents that may be in your home (i.e. pet odors, candle scents, cigarette smells, etc.)  A fresh coat of paint is always a good idea that could help freshen and clean-up a room.
  • Some rooms in your home may appear small to some buyers so you may want consider removing extra furniture in a room to give the illusion of more space. The same effect can be achieved by eliminating clutter from closets.
  • Burn some calories with your cleaning and impress you buyer!  

Home staging is a tried and true method of getting the edge to sell your home and having curb appeal to draw potential buyers in is key! Contact me with any questions, I would be happy to help you with selling tips!

 

 

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New Years Eve at High Dive

by Rose Price

High Dive is closing out 2011 in Champaign with a triple-bill of local bands! The current cream of the crop are joined by a reunion of a former top-tier CU rock band. Champagne toast at midnight, complimentary coat check, 400+ balloons, and great time.

$20.00 in advance (and $TBA at the door)

Doors/Bar Open 8:00pm
Temple Of Low Men 9:00-10:15pm
Elsinore 10:45-12:00am
The Dirty Feathers 12:30-1:45am

Make plans now and don’t wait until the last minute to scramble for tickets for this Champaign New Years Eve event!

Have a safe and happy New Year!
 

 

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Displaying blog entries 181-190 of 207

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