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Finding The Perfect Christmas Tree in Champaign/Urbana Illinois!

by Rose Price

FA LA LA LA LA......Let the Christmas decorating begin!

"The most enduring traditions of the season are best enjoyed in the warm embrace of kith and kin. Thith tree is a thymbol of the the thspirit of the Griswold family Chrithmath," Clark W. Griswold says as he stands with his family, frozen, in front of the perfect Christmas tree."

- Scene from 1989 Classic "Christmas Vacation"

Don't you just love the smell of a fresh cut Christmas Tree in your home?  Well, if you're like me, you can't wait to get your Christmas Tree up, trimmed and the rest of your home decorated for this wonderful season. Searching for your perfect tree is a family tradition....along with eggnog and cookies.

Here in Champaign/Urbana,  we are blessed to have so many Christmas Tree Farms and Stands from which to choose the perfect tree for your home.  Here are some Christmas Tree Farms in Champaign/Urbana that would proudly help you select the perfect one:

Moore’s Christmas Tree Farm, Urbana: Open through Dec. 21, Monday through Friday, 12 to 5 p.m., and weekends from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. They accept credit and debit cards, and cash. No checks, please!

Hardy’s Reindeer Ranch: Hardy’s Reindeer Ranch in Rantoul has more than five acres of Christmas trees, and as a bonus, you can visit with some real live reindeer! You can purchase a tree right up to Christmas Eve here, as well. The ranch is open daily from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Dec. 24.

Seifert Tree Farm: This White Heath farm started growing Christmas trees in 1922! You can choose from and cut down a variety of trees, or choose from a pre-cut selection. They are open up through Dec. 23, from 12 to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday and on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Sunset Christmas Tree Farm: This seems to be a Chambana favorite. This Mansfield tree farm is open only on the weekends: from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Sunset Christmas Trees

Prairie Gardens: Plenty of folks said they like the selection of pre-cut Christmas trees available from this Champaign store. A Balsam will run you about $20 at the Springfield Ave."

Transform your house into a "Holiday Masterpiece"

If you are looking for a home for the holidays, then Champaign/Urbana IL might just be the kind of place you are looking for.  As an experienced realtor, and decades long Champaign resident, I can help you find your dream home here in Champaign IL.




What are the Benefits of House Hunting During the Holidays?

by Rose Price

When you're writing out the holiday shopping list, maybe it's time to put your name on it and a home as the gift. If you've been considering buying a home, here are a few reasons why shopping for one during the holiday season can benefit you.

Yes, it may involve you really prioritizing your time; the holiday season is a busy time. But if you can make time to house-hunt and you have already been pre-approved so you know how much home you can afford, then this could be a very good experience. And it may lead you to a new home in time for Christmas!


Like many businesses, the holiday season can cause things to slow way down. That's often the case for real estate. However, that doesn't mean you won't find eager sellers hoping you'll make an offer on their homes. Even though there are parties, kids' social activities and end-of-the-year work commitments, real estate sellers are still ready to let you step inside their homes to see if you'll find one is a good fit.

When real estate slows down, that means mortgages slow down. So this is a good time to get a mortgage. There's a chance your loan will move through the process faster. That doesn't mean you will have lax guidelines, rather it means that if there are fewer loans to process, yours can move along faster.

Some say that you have fewer options because inventory drops during the holiday season. While that may be true, it doesn't mean that every seller takes their home off the market. Sellers with their homes on the market during the end-of-the-year months are typically serious sellers. There may be tax reasons motivating a seller to sell before the end of the year which could create greater opportunities for negotiation. There's likely a sense of urgency on the seller's side.

Often home prices are lower in December than in other months. If you wait until the spring, you're likely to wish you'd, at least, done some house-hunting. Industry reporting services often show home appreciation slows in the fourth quarter, making homes more affordable.

Since it is a busy time of year, you may find that there aren't many buyers shopping for homes, which is exactly why this may be a good time to house-hunt. Fewer buyers could mean a great opportunity for you to make an offer and negotiate a favorable price. However, fewer homes to choose from could mean you have more difficulty finding precisely what you're looking for. But too many homes can also create a no-win situation by confusing and overwhelming you.

Shop smart by making a list of the "must-have" and the "really-would-like" items. Carry the list with you or use a home-buyers' app to keep it on your smartphone. It's much like a holiday gift shopping list - better to know who you're buying for, how much you want to spend, and, at least, an idea of what you'd like to get that person. Same goes for a home.

Simplify the house-hunting process by having some written notes about what you intend to buy. Of course, things do change, so be open to discovering that dream home that has something on your list you never knew you needed or wanted. Your list will just help you evaluate and prioritize which things in a home are most important to you. Then instead of unwrapping this holiday season, you might be wrapping up and packing up your belongings!

Written by - Realty Times

1. Clean Your Furnace

A clean furnace is an efficient and happy furnace. If you’re looking to save money on energy bills, you should start with having your furnace checked and cleaned. Clearing dust and other build up out of the furnace will help the furnace more effectively heat your home during the winter months.

2. Change Your Air Filter
Air filters need to be changed on your furnace regularly. Dirty filters block airflow and can result in system failures and pollutants in your home. So for about $20 keep your home furnace running efficiently and pollutants to a minimum.

3. Use Your Ceiling Fans
While this may sound counter-intuitive, using your ceiling fans during the winter helps push that warm air lingering on your base floor upwards into the living areas of your home. You'll ultimately save money by not having to hike up that temperature!

4. Use Washing Machines and Dishwashers Wisely
When doing your laundry, make sure you are doing only "full" loads at any given time.  Laundering daily with partial loads ends up wasting energy!

5. Use Compact fluorescent Lighting
Fluorescent lighting has improved greatly over the past few years and they use half of the energy of incandescent bulbs and last longer!

6. Keep Shades Up and Blinds Open
Open up those blinds and shades and harness the natural energy and light from the sun!  This also cuts down on heating costs and closing them at night keeps the temperatures in the house consistent.

7. Insulate Your Water Heater
Insulation is important in older water heaters because it helps retain heat and reduces energy bills.  Also, remember to change the mode of your unit if you will be gone from the home for more than several days.

8. Install and Use a Programmable Thermostat
If you're goal is to truly save money this winter season, then switch out those old thermostats for the new programmable ones. They allow you to program your heat by individual floors and while you sleep.  Easy to install and lowers energy costs.

9. Light A Candle
Light a candle on a windy day and walk through your home looking for air leaks.  Once you've identified them;  seal the areas so that you won't sending your heat right out the door!

10. Ensure Duct Work is Properly Sealed
Hot and cold air alike can be lost in improperly sealed and insulated duct work. Our expert staff can assist with repairing or replacing your duct work with super efficient duct work to help cut your yearly home comfort expense.

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