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SATURDAY IN CHAMPAIGN IL!

by Rose Price

Plant Mode is a local plant shop, tucked away in the back of the Furniture Lounge in Downtown Champaign.  All you can usually find there are plants, naturally.  However, on Saturday you’ll be able buy some great records.  Green Thumbs grab your Audiophiles and head on over to Plant Mode.  You’ll both leave happy!  …and someone once told me that playing music for your pants helps them stay healthy. Who knows, give it a try.  

For the past month there’s been an amazing installation of 3D String art at the IMC Gallery. Saturday night it’s coming down, and you’ll never be able to see it again.  So, go show Artist Peggy Flavin some love and see this amazing exhibit before it goes away forever. 

 

Expressions is an exciting event that will showcase local multimedia artists.  The theme is experimental and psychedelic expression, featuring live video projections and manipulation, live painting and live electronic music.  This event will showcase local multimedia art with a shared theme of experimental and phsychedelic expression. There will be live video projection and manipulation on all walls as well as live painting, and live electronic music from artists Vibraspore, TwoLeggedZoo, JORTS, and Snayl.  

Champaign/Urbana Ranked The Healthiest City In Illinois

by Rose Price

Whether you agree or disagree with The Affordable Care Act (ACA), one must acknowledge the fact that it has really placed a focus on the state of the country’s current health.  This refocusing has obviously placed a large spotlight on the healthcare system and as a consequence more people know that the United States ranks behind most developed nations in life expectancy, despite spending more per capita on health care than any other country.

Health outcomes vary greatly around the country, for instance, over 30% of the adult population of Madera, California, reported being in poor health while at the same time only 6.4% of the population in Ames Iowa (the healthiest city as found by 24/7 Wall St.) said the same.  Addressing this vast difference is another goal of the ACA.  

24/7 Wall St. created this index to identify the healthiest city in each state (click here for the Least Healthiest Cities).

Each city was ranked based on overall health outcomes; including length and quality of life. Also The long range of factors that influence these outcomes were also considered. These include healthy behaviors, clinical care, social and economic indicators, and physical environment.

Urban dwelling has in most cases been found to have positive impacts on the health of a population, including access to healthy food, places to exercise, and enough jobs to keep people employed and earning the money they need to afford healthy lifestyles and health care.

Obviously, healthy behaviors correlate with healthier populations…for example, high rates of exercise were common in the healthiest cities compared to national rates of exercise. Also, not surprisingly, Obesity correlates with many of the leading causes of death in this country, so obviously the healthiest cities’ obesity rates were generally lower than the national rate. Smoking was also found to be an important health indicator.  Only seven of the healthiest cities in each state had smoking rates above the national average.

 

It is also worth noting that most of the healthiest cities had very high rates of health insurance coverage.  

 Another important factor in these metro areas is education. Almost every city with healthier populations has above average rates of adults who have completed at least some college. It makes sense that better-educated populations will more likely make better health decisions. But, it has subtler influences as well, for instance, better-educated people often work in better-paying jobs, which allows them easier access to healthy food and exercise options.  More so than lower incomes.  There is a lot to consider, but one thing is certain, and that is that education is at the heart of increasing people’s opportunity to lead better-healthier lives.  

Now for the most important part of this article… Drum Roll please… Champaign/Urbana has been ranked Illinois’ Healthiest City!  Obviously, for all the reasons we just talked about.  Champaign really encourages people to lead healthy lives, providing the resources and means to do so.  

Let's look at our biggest stats at the time of the Survey:

Champaign-Urbana, Illinois 

Pct. without health insurance: 9.1% 

 Pct. food insecure: 3.7% 

 Obesity rate: 27.0% 

Consistently Low Unemployment Rates

These stats contribute to Champaign-Urbana being the healthiest metro area in Illinois and to the low percentage (10.2%, which is smaller than the 15.1% of statewide adults​) reporting fair or poor health.  In Champaign-Urbana, only 16.1% of residents smoked and only 21.6% were physically inactive in their leisure time in the month preceding the survey, lower numbers than both the state and national rates.  

Are you leading a healthy lifestyle? Want to live in the Healthiest City in Illinois? Maybe you want to know more about the benefits of living in Champaign/Urbana...The Rose Price Team can answer all of your questions and help make your    Champaign/Urbana    Dream Home a reality!  

January is Radon Home Testing Month!

by Rose Price

Has your Champaign/Urbana home been tested for Radon? If not, now is the perfect time to get it done! January is National Radon Action Month. As your Champaign/Urbana Real Estate Professional, I feel it’s my duty to inform you of the proper precautions and actions to take in order to protect yourself and your family from any possible radon exposure.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, radon (also known as a radioactive gas) is found at some level in almost every home and takes the lives of 21,000 Americans each year.  Did you know that the EPA and the U.S. Surgeon General have urged all Americans to protect their health by testing their homes, schools and places of business for radon? Because exposure to radon is a preventable health risk, testing radon levels in your home can help prevent unnecessary exposure and health issues! If a high radon level is detected in your home you can take steps to fix the problem and protect yourself and your family.

Here's what you need to do to Test your Home for Radon:

  • Get a Radon test kit & Test your Existing Home: Test kits are available for purchase online, however we would recommend completing the Home Radon Testing Checklist at the following website to ensure you do  a complete and accurate job of testing your home: RADON TESTING CHECKLIST. The Public Health District of Champaign County offers Free test kits at the following link: FREE RADON TEST KITS If you live outside the state of IL, check with your state government office for Free Radon testing kits. Some home goods and hardware stores also sell radon testing kits. Make sure to follow the instructions carefully for proper placement and information on where to send it afterwards to get your reading.
  •  
  • Call a Professional- If you'd rather not do the testing yourself, you can call a IL Radon Mitigation Professional and they'll come into your home and do all the testing for you.
  •  
  • If You Are Buying a Home…and the home has already been tested for radon, ask the
  • seller for the test results of the most recent radon test. You may also want to request that a new test be conducted by a professional radon tester. If a radon test has not yet been conducted, request it as soon as possible with your own specific preferences. You have the right to decide who will do the test, what type of test will be done and when the test will be done.
  •  
  • If You Are Selling a Home…and your home has already been tested for radon, review the facts and verify it was done correctly. If so, make sure the test results are available to your potential buyers. If your home has not been tested for radon, get the test done as soon as possible; preferably before your home goes on the market.

The presence of radon in your Champaign/Urbana Home can be dangerous and life threatening. While smoking causes cancer in an estimated 160,000 people a year, radon can cause lung cancer in both smokers and non-smokers alike. Radon is the number one cause of lung cancer in non-smokers, and radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer overall.  

The World Health Organization (WHO) launched an international radon project to help countries around the world increase awareness, collect data and promote action to reduce radon risks. Radon in our homes is the main source of exposure and up until now has not received widespread attention. Get the facts about radon and make sure your family is safe from its dangers. If you are buying or selling a home, take the proper precautions to radon-proof your home before it’s on the market or before you move in.

For more Home Buying and Selling Tips visit my Blog and Facebook Page  frequently. 

Top 9 Universities In Illinois. One Is In Champaign IL!

by Rose Price

Nine universities in Illinois have been ranked among the nation’s best by U.S. News & World Report, and two of them have been ranked in the top 12.  

Even more exciting...Guess who comes in at #3 in Illinois?... That's right! The University of Illinois–Urbana-Champaign.  

It doesn't surprise me, after all, it is the #11 Ranked Public University in the country. The Students and Faculty here are pioneers of innovative research, tackling global problems and expanding the human experience ever single day! Alumni of the University Of Illinois-Champaign-Urbana continue to make a significant and positive impact on our human society and with 18 Pulitzer prize winners, their track record is pretty remarkable. So it is to them we say, 

Congratulations!!!  

We are proud to have you in our communities.

The following criteria was used to rank the schools: Undergraduate Academic Reputation, Freshmen Retention Rates, Six-Year Graduation Rates, ACT/SAT Test Scores, Class Sizes and Faculty Resources, Admissions Selectivity, Financial Resources and Alumni Giving.  The analysis was based on the class that began in the fall of 2014. 

According to the report, its two “pillars” upon which the rankings were based:

"First, regionally accredited schools are categorized by their mission, which is derived from the breakdown of types of higher education institutions as refined by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching in 2010. The Carnegie classification, which is used extensively by higher education researchers, has been the basis of the Best Colleges ranking category system since our first rankings were published in 1983…"

"Once schools have been divided by category, we gather data from each college on up to 16 indicators of academic excellence. Each factor is assigned a weight that reflects our judgment about how much that measure matters. Finally, the colleges and universities in each category are ranked against their peers, based on their composite weighted score."

As the report on the rankings points out, there are dozens, if not hundreds, of “intangibles,” or other factors that go into college choice decisions by students and their families. On top of the metrics measured by U.S. News & World Report, finances, location, student life, areas of specialty, sports, student activities and many other factors must be considered before enrollment. There is no real way to account for all of these intangible variables, but this list helps quantify a small portion of the variables facing future college students.

*The test scores are displayed as a range of scores of whichever test (SAT/ACT) taken by the most students

1. University of Chicago

National rank: 4

Acceptance rate: 8.8 percent

6-year graduation rate: 93 percent

Test score range: SAT math and verbal: 1430-1590

2. Northwestern University

National rank: 12

Acceptance rate: 13.1 percent

6-year graduation rate: 94 percent

Test score range: SAT math and verbal: 1390-1560

3. University of Illinois–Urbana-Champaign

National rank: 41

Acceptance rate: 59 percent

6-year graduation rate: 84 percent

Test score range: ACT composite: 26-32

4. Loyola University Chicago

National rank: 99

Acceptance rate: 63.3 percent

6-year graduation rate: 73 percent

Test score range: ACT composite: 25-29

5. Illinois Institute of Technology

National rank: 108

Acceptance rate: 50.6 percent

6-year graduation rate: 65 percent

Test score range: ACT composite: 25-31

6. DePaul University

National rank: 123

Acceptance rate: 69.9 percent

6-year graduation rate: 71 percent

Test score range: ACT composite: 23-28

7. University of Illinois–Chicago

National rank: 129

Acceptance rate: 72.7 percent

6-year graduation rate: 60 percent

Test score range: ACT composite: 22-27

8. Illinois State University

National rank: 149

Acceptance rate: 73.9 percent

6-year graduation rate: 72 percent

Test score range: ACT composite: 22-26

9. Southern Illinois University–Carbondale

National rank: 153

Acceptance rate: 81.7 percent

6-year graduation rate: 44 percent

Test score range: ACT composite: 19-26

The report also listed these Universities in Illinois that were scored but unranked. These schools didn’t fit into the parameters used by U.S. News to rank the schools (they might not use the SAT or ACT tests to admit students, for example), or they might not have been ranked by enough peer schools for the report authors to gather an accurate picture of the schools.

The Illinois schools on the unranked list are:

Benedictine University

National Louis University

Northern Illinois University

Trinity International University

Interested in more of what makes living in Champaign/Urbana so great?  Give Rose Price  a call. She'll be happy to make your dream of owning a home in Champaign/Urbana a reality!.  

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

 

 

 

 

Brrrr… Simon & Pharis here… Talking about Winter!

 

Winter is a time when your beloved fur babies need a little extra care. So here is a little list of tips to protect your loved ones from the dangers of winter.

 If your pet spends most of the time in the backyard, you might want to keep them indoors during the freezing months, especially if you live in bitterly cold areas. No one wants an icicle for a pet -- they’re simply not that cuddly. But If you must keep your pet outdoors, consider this, your pet’s fur coat isn’t enough protection during winter. Provide your dog with a warm, dry and draft free shelter outside. The shelter should also comply with any state laws that apply.

 

It takes more energy to stay warm when it's cold so outdoor animals will eat more during the winter. Likewise, fresh, running water is vital for maintaining your pet's health. Keep an eye on the water bowls and make sure they haven’t turned into little skating rinks for fleas (boo, fleas!). While ice pops might be a fun treat, your pet really doesn’t want to have to lick a frozen lump of ice to get his water.Meanwhile, Indoor animals have different dietary needs. They conserve energy by sleeping more in the winter. Dogs and cats also exercise much less when they do go outside, so you may need to adjust their amount of food accordingly. After all, no one wants an overweight pet!

 

Frostbite is a serious problem during winter, especially for paws, tips of tails and ears. This makes it even more important in keeping your pet warm, especially if they’re an outdoor pet. Get special booties, coats, and maybe a hat for your pet during their walks. Look for early warning signs of frostbite such as firm, waxy skin and blisters.


 

The worst of all the wintertime chemical spills is antifreeze, which often leaks from a car's radiator. It may taste delicious to your cats or dogs, but it is extremely deadly - even the smallest sip can be fatal! If your pet starts acting "drunk" or begins to convulse, take him to the vet immediately. Better yet, keep your pets away from the garage and clean up any accidental spillage. You should also not let your dog wander too far during his walks. Who knows what dangers lie in your neighbors' driveways?

 

If you live in an area with cold and icy winters then you are probably accustomed to salt on the sidewalks and roads. However, the types of salt (typically calcium or sodium chloride) used to melt ice and snow and keep it from refreezing are somewhat harsh on delicate paws -- not to mention they corrode concrete and damage the beautiful vegetation. Protect your pet's paws, and keep him warm during walks, by outfitting him with booties.

 

Cars are particularly attractive to animals in the winter-time, especially frigid cats that love to climb up under the hood and curl up on the warm motor. This, as you can imagine, has led to many mishaps when motorists start their car… ouch! Avoid such accidents by tapping your car's hood before starting the vehicle. Sure, you may wake Kitty from her deep slumber, but she'll thank you in the long run.

 

Wintering with your pet is mostly common sense. If you’re cold, your beloved pet will most likely be cold too. So snuggle up, keep your pet warm and safe and sooner than you can say "Spanish Terrier" we’ll all be hitting the beaches for some summertime fun.

 

Investing in the Wealth of Diversity in our Community

“But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation.” – Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The purpose of the event is to celebrate the life of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and to recognize and honor individuals/organizations that have made many contributions to their community in the areas of civil rights, human rights and humanitarian efforts.​ 

Along with celebrating Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., The Rose Price Team would like to recognize and congratulate the following individuals:

Barbara Kessel, recipient of the James R. Burgess, Jr. – Susan Freiburg Humanitarian Award

For over a decade, Barbara Kessel has been in and out of the Champaign County jail, volunteering.  She works with an organization that puts books in the hands of inmates. 

Her Books to Prisoners and other efforts on behalf of incarcerated men and women and their families, especially the Three Rs (Reading Reduces Recidivism), a men's movie club, CU Citizens for Peace and Justice and its Courtwatch program, Barbara has been named the recipient of this year's James R. Burgess Jr.-Susan Freiburg Humanitarian Award.  Thank you Barbara for all of your hard work.  

Rohn Koester, recipient of the Doris Hoskins Prestigious Community Service Award

This award honors individuals/organizations that engage in outstanding volunteerism and in so doing, contribute to the well-being of the Champaign County Community.

Melany Jackson, recipient of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Outstanding Achievement Award

This award honors individuals/organizations that work for social justice in the spirit of Dr. King. The principles of justice that Dr. King espoused include promoting equal rights for all persons regardless of race, religion, economic status, or physical or mental disability.

HOSTED BY:

  • Champaign County
  • City of Champaign
  • City of Urbana
  • Parkland College
  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

​​

Winter Home Tips For Your Champaign Home: Ice Dam Prevention

by Rose Price

 

Icicles hanging off your house look beautiful, but they're usually a sign of trouble. 

The same conditions that allow icicles to form; snow-covered roofs and freezing weather, also lead to ice dams (thick ridges of solid ice that build up along the eaves). 

These dams can tear off gutters, loosen shingles, and cause water to back up and pour into your house. Obviously when this happens, the results aren’t pretty.  Paint peels, floors warp, ceilings get stained and worse sag, and the insulation in your attic becomes soggy, which is magnet for harmful mold.  

How it happens:

First, heat collects in the attic and warms the roof...but doesn't warm the eaves.

The snow on the warm roof melts, causing the water to rush down to the eaves…which are still cold.  So, the water freezes again. 

This ice accumulates along the eaves, forming a dam, preventing the water from running into the gutters and away from the house. So the Melt water from the warm roof backs up behind this ice, forcing it to flow beneath the shingles, and finally into the house.

Find out how to get rid of them OR better yet, prevent them below:  

 

Quick Fixes: 

Hacking away at ice dams with a hammer, chisel, or shovel is bad for your roofing—obviously…and is also quite dangerous for you. Throwing salt on them will do a lot more damage than the ice.  So, what do you do?

 Freeze It

Bring a box fan into the attic and aim it at the underside of the roof where water is actively leaking in. This targeted dose of cold air should freeze the water in its tracks.  This method can stop water from flowing in in just a few minuets.  

Rake It

Pounding is bad.  Raking, you can get away with.  Simply use a long handled aluminum roof rake to rake the snow and ice.  You want to make sure it is a dedicated roof rake, so you don’t damage your shingles. 

Steal Your Wife’s Pantyhose

Ok, so maybe you should ask first.  But you can lessen the damage after a dam has formed with a simple trick.  Fill the leg of an old pair of pantyhose with Calcium Chloride Ice Melter.  Then simply lay the hose onto the roof so it crosses the ice dam and hangs over the gutter.  The calcium chloride will melt through the snow and ice and create a channel for water to flow down into the gutters or off the roof, thus eliminating the backed up water.  

 

Permanent Fixes 

Preventing ice dams for good is simple: Just keep the roof the same temperature as the eaves. Do that by increasing ventilation, adding insulation, and sealing off every possible air leak that might warm the underside of the roof.

Taking care of these trouble spots (listed in order of priority) will give you a dam-free winter and will also lower your energy bill!

How to prevent it?

Two words: Heated Cables.  Attach with clips along the roof's edge in a zigzag pattern. Heated cables combat ice dams that lift shingles and cause leaks. This method allows you to equalize your roof's temperature by heating it from the outside.  Keeping your roof one consistent temperature will prevent ice dams from flowing beneath your shingles.  You’ll want to be sure to install the cables well before bad weather hits.

 More Prevention Tips:

1. Ventilate Eaves And Ridge. A ridge vent paired with continuous soffit vents will circulate cold air under the entire roof. Both ridge and soffit vents should have the same size openings and provide at least 1 square foot of opening for every 300 square feet of attic floor. Place baffles at the eaves to maintain a clear path for the airflow from the soffit vents.

 

2. Seal Your Attic. Attics are full of air leaks.  Fill these! This will help keep everything the same temperature in your attic, which will in turn help to keep the roof one consistent temperature. You may want to add some more insulation as well.  Follow the video below for instructions on how to seal attic air leaks.  

 

3. Always Exhaust to the Outside. Make sure that the ducts connected to the kitchen, bathroom, and dryer vents all lead outdoors through either the roof or walls, but never through the soffit.

 

5. Install Sealed Can Lights. Old-style recessed lights give off great plumes of heat and cannot be insulated without creating a fire hazard. Replace these with sealed "IC" fixtures, which can be covered with insulation. Keeping the heat from escaping into your attic.

 

6. Flash Around Chimneys. Bridge the gap between your chimney and house framing with L-shaped steel flashing.  * NOTE * Using canned spray foam or insulation isn't fire safe.

 

7. Seal and Insulate Ducts. Spread fiber-reinforced mastic on the joints of HVAC ducts and exhaust ducts. Cover them entirely with R-5 or R-6 foil-faced fiberglass.

 

8. Caulk Cracks, Gaps and Air Leaks. Seal around electrical cables and vent pipes with a fire-stop sealant. Also, look for any spots where light shines up from below or the insulation is stained black by the dirt from passing air.

Looking to sell your home this winter?  Want more tips like these to keep your home in tip-top shape this selling season?  Contact the Rose Price Team for more Champaign Home Tips.  
 

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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