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Tips for Spring Home Buyers and Sellers in Champaign/Urbana!

by Rose Price

Spring is fast approaching. As the flowers bloom and the weather warms, home buyers and sellers start looking to enter the real estate market. If you are ready to Buy or Sell you home in Champaign/Urbana this spring, it is important to be prepared and know what to expect. Here are my helpful tips for spring buying and selling in our area.

 

Spring Buyers!

As a buyer, your first step is to know the Champaign/Urbana market. Research what housing options are available to you as well as the current list prices. Before you begin to seriously search for your new home, it is important to have your Financing situated ahead of time. This allows you to accurately know what you can afford and makes you a more attractive buyer when you enter negotiations with a seller. Realize that the spring market means increased competition from other potential buyers. Once you find your dream home, you want to stand out from other offers. Consider writing a personal letter to the seller expressing why you love their home and know that it would be a good fit for you and your family. Also, remain flexible during the negotiation process to ensure that you can get the home you want.  


 

Spring Sellers!

As a seller, you need to know Your Home's Value before you list. This will enable you to price your home correctly. Since other sellers will be listing their homes this spring, you want to stand out from the competition. You can do this by improving your home’s curb appeal, staging your home, and completing any home improvement projects. Consider some updates to your home that will give you a great return on investment. To get top dollar for your home and sell it quickly, work with Champaign/Urbana’s Top Realtor!






Champaign Rose is here to help you buy or sell this spring!  Give me a call today or visit my website at http://www.champaignrose.com/ to get started today.

What Happens Before, During, and After the Home Inspection

by Rose Price

You’ve found your dream home in Champaign/Urbana! Congrats! You are ready to head into the final stages of the home buying process, namely closing. But before you start packing the moving truck to head over to your new address, it is important to take one last look at your potential new home….this time with a Home Inspector!

 

A home inspection is an important step to protect the buyer. It allows you to find out about any potential structural or mechanical issues with the home. It will help you determine whether or not you want to move forward and close on the home or if you need to renegotiate the agreement with the seller. No matter what is revealed in the home inspection, it is important to remember that knowledge is power and you are getting the necessary assurances for your investment. Don’t know where to begin or what to expect in the home inspection? Don’t worry! Champaign Rose is here to help.

 

 

Before the inspection

 

Your first step is to find the best home inspector for the job. In order to do so, you should interview several different inspectors to discover their background and areas of expertise. Ask to see their past inspection reports. If you find one with a highly detailed report that offers recommendations for found issues, they are a keeper. If you would like a list of great home inspectors in our area, contact me today!


During the home inspection.

 

The inspector will spend several hours examining the home. They will look at the physical structure of the home, including roof, ceilings, walls, doors, windows, and floors, as well as mechanical and electrical systems. The plumbing and major appliances will be reviewed. It is highly recommended that you attend the home inspection. This allows you to find out about issues as they are find and ask any questions. There is one important thing to remember during the home inspection. It is not a total x-ray of the home. There are still some issues that can remain hidden within the home or that the home inspector simply isn’t qualified to recognize. Keep this in mind as you continue to budget for your new home. While you can renegotiate your deal based on the findings of the home inspector, you should still expect some potential costs once you move in.

 

After the inspection.

Review the home inspection report. Discuss the findings with your realtor to determine how your deal can be renegotiated if issues were find or if it makes more financial sense to walk away from the home and find a different property. 

 

Check out my other Home Buying Tips! Give me a call today or visit my website at http://www.champaignrose.com/ so that I can help you find your dream home in Champaign/Urbana today.

Fall Home Buying in Champaign-Urbana!

by Rose Price

Spring and Summer are seen as the peak home buying seasons…..but FALL might truly be the ultimate season to buy. With many families settled into their new homes at the end of summer, there are amazing opportunities to find your dream home in a market with less competition and stress. Looking to buy a home in Champaign-Urbana? Use the season to your advantage! Here are the top reasons why you should purchase your new home this fall and not wait until the weather starts to warm up again next year.

 

Sellers with Homes still on the Market are Anxious to Sell

After having their homes listed all spring and summer, many sellers are worn out. Their homes might still be on the market because their asking price was too high during the warmer months. Now, they are looking to make a deal and are often more willing to lower their price in order to do so. As a buyer, use this to your advantage. You will likely have more success offering a lower price on a home in the fall than you would have previously.

 

Sellers in the Fall are Looking to Move

Sellers that leave their homes listed in the fall are doing so for a reason….they need to move. Whether it’s for a new job or because their new home is ready, these sellers are more serious about moving on to their new homes and need to have their current homes sold as soon as possible. They will likely be more open to negotiation in order to close the deal, especially before the upcoming holiday season.

 

You will have less Competition from other Home Buyers

Since fall is considered an off-season for real estate, there tends to be far less competition. The decrease in demand on the buying side does not translate to less inventory, however. There are still plenty of homes on the market! Whether it is new inventory or homes that have been on the market all summer long, buyers in the fall have a ton to choose from and are able to be more aggressive with their negotiations. Fall puts buyers in a great position of power to get exactly what you want! There are some many amazing homes currently on the market. Check out our Current Featured Properties to start the search for your home!

 

You have Lots of Resources at your Disposal

Since spring and summer are the peak real estate seasons, industry professionals such as agents, lenders, and movers, are incredibly busy. When the weather starts to cool and with many clients settled into their new homes, realtors and others have more time time opening up….meaning that you can have more of their undivided attention. This is extremely beneficial when you are looking to buy a home. Take advantage of all of the resources out there. An Experienced Real Estate Agent is dedicated to helping you move into your dream home this fall.

 

Crime Rates Go Down in the Fall

The end of summer tends to be the main months in which home related crimes, such as burglaries, occur. If you are buying your home in the fall, this allows you the opportunity to do more research prior to purchasing in order to find out about crime rates in the area and take precautions in your new home to protect yourself, if necessary.

 

Spruce Up Your New Home With End of Year Sales

The fall months are prime shopping season when it comes to home appliances, decor, maintenance goods, and more. Major retailers always offer these consumer goods at great discounts in the fall in order to prepare for next year’s trends and models. You can outfit your new home with amazing deals! Update your home with fresh paint and carpeting in September, when these goods are often put on sale. Prepare for next spring by purchasing your lawn mower in October. Create your dream kitchen in November with the help of new appliances and cookware at a discounted price.

 

Use Tax Deductions to Your Advantage

Regardless of which calendar month you purchase your home, homeowners can claim deductions on property tax and mortgage interest for your entire year’s worth of income. Payments completed prior to the loan closing will be considered tax deductible, even if they occur in November or December! You can save a considerable amount of money on the taxes you owe by purchasing your home later in the year!

 

Fall is the perfect time to Buy your dream home in Champaign-Urbana!! Call me today or visit my website at http://www.champaignrose.com.



Resource: Forbes

Buying a new house is an exciting and important time! There is no better place to call home than CHAMPAIGN/URBANA! House hunting in a seller's market, though, adds more factors for you to consider during the process. Although the market might not be favoring buyers at the moment, there are many things that you can use to your advantage to help you buy your dream home! Look through the current HOUSE LISTINGS so I can help you begin this exciting journey, and follow these 6 useful tips for buyers in a seller's market.

WORK WITH AN EXPERIENCED AGENT. Eliminate some of the time and stress that comes with house hunting by working with an experienced real estate agent. Champaignrose  & Landmark Real Estate is here to help you find your dream home! Let me know exactly what you are looking for. I understand the Champaign/Urbana housing market, now what is available, and negotiate the best deal for your new home! Here is WHY BUYERS CHOOSE ME!

BE PREAPPROVED BY A LENDER. Get preapproval for a loan from a reputable lender that you can present to the seller. This shows that you are serious about buying the home and makes the seller feel more comfortable knowing that your finances are in order. If you already know that you can afford the home and have a high credit score, get this part of the process out of the way when you initially start your house hunting process. It can help you stand apart from the other buyers. For help with the kinds of loans that are available for you, check out our  FINANCE INFORMATION

BE DECISIVE IN MAKING AN OFFER. Buying a home is a major decision so being thoughtful about the home you make an offer on is imperative. But don’t get bogged down in over analyzing. Before you begin the house hunting process, be sure to know exactly what you are looking for in your dream home…price, location, and type. When you find a home that checks all of the factors you have previously determined, make an offer! You don’t want to miss out on your dream home due to overthinking.

MAKE YOUR BEST OFFER. Start with a strong opening offer. You should know the maximum that you are willing to pay. Set a BUDGET so you are fully area of what you can afford and can make more informed decisions. Although we all want to get the best deal possible, in a seller’s market competition is high. If you come in with too low of an opening offer, you could miss out on your dream home. Be aware of what other houses are on the market and the pricing of the homes in the area. This will help you determine what is an appropriate amount to negotiate for the house you want. Have a strong opening offer that you are comfortable with AND that will be acceptable to the seller.

PREPARE FOR A BIDDING WAR. Bidding wars inevitably cause stress for buyers. The fear of missing out on your dream home is understandable. However, competition in a seller’s market is high. Know what you are willing to pay and search for houses below your max budget. This will help you avoid spending more than you are comfortable with should you end up in a bidding war.

LEARN FROM YOUR MISTAKES. You might not get the first home that you make an offer on. In a seller’s market, it is likely that you will have to make several offers on homes before finding the perfect one for you. Recognize what happened with the transactions that don’t work out and learn from them. Stay true to what you want and realize that there are other options in the Champaign/Urbana that I will help you find!

Source: TRULIA

Top 100 School Districts in Illinois!

by Rose Price

Once again the Champaign/Urbana IL area has 3 area school districts that have earned spots on the highly coveted list of the TOP 100 SCHOOL DISTRICTS IN ILLINOIS for 2016! With 863 School Districts in Illinois, earning a spot on this list isn't an easy task, you have to be truly outstanding in virtually every category. For the 3 School Districts that have found their way to this list, I feel they exemplify this type of achievement in their school programs on a daily basis. These districts are:

URBANA SCHOOL DISTRICT #116

 

 

TUSCOLA COMMUNITY UNIT SCHOOL DISTRICT #301

 

MOUNT ZION COMMUNITY UNIT SCHOOL DISTRICT #3

 

 

 

 

The 12 Credit Tips Of Christmas in Champaign IL

by Rose Price

So, the only thing you really want for Christmas is a new Home!  Homes can’t really fit down your chimney, so you can't really ask Santa, but I'm here instead!  Here's a list of tips to help you whip your credit score into shape by Christmas, so you don’t have to rely on the big guy to make your Christmas dreams come true!  

You’ve been saving and scraped together a down payment, you’ve got a line on the areas top realtor Rose Price, of course, but… have you checked your credit score lately?  If your score isn’t 620 or higher you may not even land the mortgage pre-approval, a crucial step in the home buying process.  So, before you go touring homes with your significant other, consider these small gifts, which will no doubt have your credit score in tip top shape by Christmas. 

Credit Tip #1…

Check my credit score for FREE.  Here's a link to my annual credit report. 

Ok, first, check your three credit reports.  You can do this free once a year.  This will help you spot and correct any problems you are currently unaware of.  

Credit Tip #2

Pay early!

Early payments cut down on the amount of interest on your debt.  They also reduce the chances you’ll overspend while Christmas shopping.  The last thing you want is to hurt your credit score by over shopping.  

Credit Tip #3

Freeze your credit reports.

Experian, TransUnion, and Equinox all offer consumers the option to prevent the release of your credit report without your consent.  This gives you control over who accesses your personal and financial information…BUT know that this may also interfere with or delay timely approval of mortgage applications.  

Credit Tip #4

Work with a credit counselor.

Even the best budgeters need some help sometimes,  especially if your credit reports hold a little less than satisfactory information.  A credit counselor can get you on the path to correcting these things… ensuring you don’t lose your dream home!

Credit Tip #5

Know the 5 golden factors that determine credit scores.

Kind of like a humble Kanye West, the perfect 850 credit score is extremely rare.  However, understanding these five factors and the way they are measured to determine your score can help you score better in your financial future.  

The 5 golden factors:

Payment History (35%)

Debt and Credit utilization (30%)

Length of credit history (15%)

New accounts and Inquiries (10%)

Diversification (10%)

Credit Tip #6...

Keep an emergency fund...of 6 months (or more)!

Savings equals security…living without an emergency fund is risky business.  Before taking on the responsibility of a mortgage, you should really have at least 6 months of income saved, which will shelter you from credit burning events like unemployment, increased cost of living, medical emergencies, and home or auto damage.  

Credit Tip #7

Review your budget weekly.

Google calendar, iPhone apps, or just an old fashioned calendar will help you keep track of bills, ensuring timely payment.  Remember, bills paid late, even just one, can lower your score several meaningful points. 

Credit Tip #8

Use technology...here are apps to help track your spending and budgeting.

Even better than a system to help pay your bills on time, is one that gives you the bigger picture of all your income and expenditures.  This will help fine tune your budget.  A few we are quite fond of: Spendbook, MvelopesWally, YNAB, Dollarbird, BillGuard, and Mint.

Credit Tip #9

Sell the stuff you don't need or use anymore...Hello Ebay!

A great way to get extra cash!  Sell the stuff that clutters your home and you no longer use.  This is a good way to pay off debt and/or start an emergency savings account.  

Credit Tip #10

Clip, Clip, Clip your coupons.  It's a start.  

Sure, it sounds old school and it is!  I remember my grandmother sitting at the kitchen table clipping away…but there is something to it.  You can save some serious dollars on simple things like toilet paper, soap and other life essentials.  Free money?!  Why not?  If you are buying these products anyway, who not spend a little less for it.  All of the nickels and dimes will add up, just try it.

Credit Tip #11

Use calculators to help get out of debt… here is a link to 11 of the best!

It’s a good idea to know exactly how long it will take to pay off credit cards and get out of debt.  Debt calculators can provide essential information and perspective to help you understand if you’re on track or need to tweak your plans again.  

Credit Tip #12

Protect yourself from identity theft.

When someone steals your identity, they can open accounts and amass debt in your name, which obviously hurts your credit score.  

These service alert you instantly, when a new account is opened in your name…or if there is suspicious activity.  In some cases, it will even alert users to positive or negative changes in their score.  

CreditKarma.com offers FREE monitoring, however, the pay services offer a lot more preventative features and more assistance if you identity is actually stolen.  

Hopefully these tips will help bring your Christmas Wish to life!  What better gift is there than moving into your dream home?! 

 If you are interested in any homes in the Champaign/Urbana area please give the Rose Price Team a call at 217-202-8843 We'd be happy to help make these Holidays special and help you through the process of finding and moving into the perfect home.  

 

*A special thank you to Gina Roberts-Grey of Realtor.com for the great advice!

8 Things You Should Do When Moving Into A New Home

by Rose Price

Buying a home is obviously a BIG investment.  There are factors you've been considering for months: location, amenities, neighbors, schools, and more.  Once the papers have been signed, it's easy to relax and forget key chores every homebuyer should do once they move into their new home, but don't worry, here is a list of 8 important things you don't want to forget.   

1. Change the locks

You really don't know who else has keys to your place...when it comes to security, it’s always a good idea to make sure you’re the only one with keys, and the only way to really be sure is to get new locks. This is done by either re-keying or buying an entirely new lock set.  You can replace dead bolts yourself for around ten dollars.  Another option, becoming popular these days, is digital locks.  These open with a code and work with a home automation system (smart home).  So, you can live "key free" as well as lock or unlock your doors remotely.  

2. Look for leaks

Ok, so you've probably had a home inspection done before you bought the property, however, even if this report came back clean, theres no harm in double checking.  The risk is too great.  One way people are combating these water issues is with a set of sensors linked to their smart home system.  These sensors give you real time information for- if and when- a water leak develops.  This way you can be absolutely sure leaks have been taken care of, and if one occurs, you can handle it before a lot of damage can occur.   

*TIP: Here’s a neat trick: Check your water meter at the beginning and end of a two-hour window in which no water is being used in your house. If the reading is different, you have a leak.


3. Kick out the pests

 Pests are tricky.  You may not even know you have a pest problem. The previous homeowners may not have known about the issue, or maybe they simply "forgot" about the “friendly” squirrel living in the attic.  Well, there are a number of ways to get rid of these critters, some are more squeamish than others.  But, the easiest way is to hire a professional, which will run you usually costs about $100-$300, and there is a way to ensure these professionals don't miss anything; similarly to the water sensors, you can place motion sensors where suspected pests are, which will then alert your mobile device when motion is detected.  Now you know exactly where these pests have been hiding and can call a pest control company and point them right to where the problem exists.  

4. Inspect your Furnace / AC

Get familiar with your new HVAC system as soon as possible. Make sure to take a close look at the duct work around your furnace for broken or torn ducts and excessive taping.  Also, stand near the furnace while it’s running- the air should move through the system not into the room.  

Digital thermostats are also a great investment.  Especially ones you can control with your smart phone or tablet.  They give you the ability to set your temperatures remotely... say if you're on vacation and it is a super hot day back home.  

5. Update your Lighting

Everyone has their own unique lighting preferences.  I like being able to change the brightness of lights in each particular room, so I like the dimmable ones. Once you've lived in the house for a couple weeks, you start to get a feel for your preferences in this particular space.  Make it YOUR home.  And yes, you guessed it, you can also set these up digitally and control them from your phone! 

6. Get to know your Circuit Breaker 

It's always a good idea to figure out what fuses control which room and then label them accordingly.  It will take two people: One to flip the switch and and yell "How about now?" and the other to stand in the different rooms and yell back "yeah, that one!".  All kidding aside, it's good to figure out your new circuit breaker before you may really need it. If you need some assistance, your local hardware store is usually a good source for some of the more basic questions.

7. Get to know the Main Water Valve 

You want to make sure you can turn this valve off incase of an emergency; tornado or plumbing emergencies are common.  Another smart idea is to turn this valve off when you leave town.  You don't want to come home from vacation to find a pool of water in the basement.  It could be located outside or inside the home; find it and make sure you can turn it off.  Then test it by going inside and turning on the faucet.  

8. Steam Clean your Carpets

If you really want to get off to a fresh start, steam clean your carpets before you move any of the furniture in. You can hire a professional for around $50. a room or you can rent a steam cleaners and do it yourself.  Either way, you won't regret it.  

 

CHAMPAIGN IL, Top 40 Commuter City in Illinois!

by Rose Price

Obviously there are many great reasons to live in the Champaign/Urbana IL area, but one often overlooked is commute time!  A bad commute can get old quickly and the daily back-and-forth to work can have a serious impact on your overall well being, turning your new dream home into a cage of sorrow. Well, no worries because now we've added a great commute to our list of great Champaign/Urbana traits.  Each of these cities are well below the average American commute time of 25.5 minutes.  

#7 Champaign

Coming in at number seven is Champaign!  That's pretty high on the list and here's why:  

Champaign IL is home to the University of Illinois' Research Park, which has received numerous high profile rewards over the past few years for it's unparalleled innovation and consistent creation of new high tech jobs.  The increasing job opportunities provided from the University means that residents no longer have to travel far to work a great job.  9 out of 10 Champaign residents make it to work in 29 minutes or less, with an average commute time of 16.4 minutes. 

#8 Urbana

Urbana IL, gets the green award on this one!  Over 10% of residents carpool and 4% telecommute!  So, obviously, less cars helps commuters get to work an average of 35 percent faster than workers across America and due to technological advancements, it looks like more and more people will be working from home, which will reduce commute times even more.    


#32 Rantoul 

The University of Illinois' Research Park isn't the only innovator in the area.  The Business Center in Rantoul IL is gaining a reputation as a new hub for innovation.  Not only does it offer new businesses high tech office spaces it is also home to the Rantoul Business Incubator and the Illinois Small Business Development Center and like The Research Park, more and more high tech jobs are being created here.  So Residents here don't have to travel far for a great job either.  Half of all workers in Rantoul travel less than 15 minutes to get to work, making the average total commute time 19.2 minutes.   

*All information and graphs taken from Obrella Insider.

Visit Obrella for a complete list of the 40 Best and Worst Commuter Cities in Illinois and check back with us for more information and useful tips for living in the Champaign/Urbana area.  

If you're sick of the lousy commute time in your area, then Champaign/Urbana may be the perfect town for you! give me a call, I'd be happy to show you around my fabulous community. If you'd rather look at some homes that are available first, visit the links below for homes available in each of the area's listed.  Then give me a call with any questions you have!

Champaign/Urbana Homes for Sale

Urbana Homes for Sale

Rantoul Homes for Sale

Mahomet IL One Of the Top 100 Places To Live In America!

by Rose Price

For those living in Mahomet, Illinois, it comes as no surprise that this thriving village has made Niche's 2015 list of Top 100 Communities to live in America. Niche ranks US suburbs based on livability; grading each for weather, safety, schools, and access to activities, jobs, housing, and transportation.  A high ranking then, indicates those particular suburbs offer a high quality of life to those living there.

MAHOMET IL

This midsize Illinois town of 7,412 is a great all around mid-western town.  Home Values are in the range of $185,300.  Rent Values are average and the Unemployment rate is extremely low at 3.1% (half of the national average).  Citizens here are usually highly educated and enjoy high income levels, with an average household income of $80,529. Housing here is varied; from turn of the century beautiful homes to high end new construction, so there's really a home to fit every taste and need.  The people are friendly and there's no shortage of unique local shops.  There are great parks in the area, providing many options for outdoor activities.  A favorite among residents is Lake Of The Woods Forest Preserve, which offers multiple walking/biking trails, swimming, boating, fishing and prime picnic spots, as well as a museum, botanical garden and golf course and in the wintertime, the preserve is a great spot for sledding, snowshoeing and other winter activities.  

If this sounds like the perfect town for you, give me a call! I'd be happy to show you around the town and find a home that fits your personal needs. If you'd rather look at what is available first, follow this link to see all available homes for sale in special mid-western town. Mahomet IL Homes for Sale

I'm here to help make your Home Buying as easy & painless as possible, so please contact me with any questions you may have at 217-202-8843.

Champaign IL BLUES, BREWS & BBQ FESTIVAL!

by Rose Price

One of the best events of the summer in Champaign is the Blues, Brews and BBQ festival.  The two day-free event​, the 8th annual blues fest features two stages for musical performances, the 4th annual Dinosores Motorcycle Show and the Orpheum Children's Theatre and it's right in the middle of our vibrant downtown, with more than 90 bars, restaurants and shops within a few blocks of the fest.  The event was always designed to bring families and the community together in a fun and entertaining way.  Last year, nearly 60,000 people attended.  Bring your friends and family and come enjoy Champaign/Urbana the best way we know how, with music, food and beer.  This year the fest is headlined by two of the most talented blues women in the industry.  Check em out below, you won't want to miss these incredible performances. Fluid events is teaming up with Dinosores Motorcycle club once again and the show features cash prizes in several categories.  You'll see a ton of show bikes roll in from around the country, these custom bikes are guaranteed to blow your mind.   

Check out the facebook page for up-to-date information about the fest.  

Event Schedule:

THE MAIN STAGE PRESENTED BY COORS LIGHT, U.S. 105.9 & CIB BANK

FRIDAY

4:30-5:30 - No Solid State

5:50-7:20 - Upshot

7:45-8:15 - Adrianna Marie

8:40-10:10 - Sena Ehrhardt

10:30-Midnight - Carolyn Wonderland

SATURDAY

12:50-2:20 - Country Showdown

2:40-4:10 - Laura Rain

4:30-5:00 - Motorcycle Awards Show

5:00-6:30 - Joanna Connor

6:50-8:20 - Janiva Magness

8:40-10:10 - Shawn Murphy

10:30-Midnight - Ana Popovic

 

 

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Rose Price
Landmark Real Estate
One East Main Street, Suite 200
Champaign IL 61820
217-202-8843
217-352-1933
Fax: 217-378-1281