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Learn Ways to Make Your Home Affordable

by Rose Price

Are you finding that your Champaign, Illinois home is just becoming to costly? If you’ve never heard of this amazing website launched by the federal government, you better go check it out!  Making Home Affordable is a website that offers a variety of online tools that will help today's homeowner determine if they are eligible to participate in the “Making Home Affordable” loan modification and refinancing program. In this tough economy saving money anyway you can is key!

This site will show you how this program works and who is eligible for assistance. This is the same $75 billion program you may have heard about in the media. To see if it can help you, first have this information in front of you:

* Information about your first mortgage, such as your monthly mortgage statement.

* Information about any second mortgage or home equity line of credit on the house.

* Account balances and minimum monthly payments due on all of your credit cards.

* Account balances and monthly payments on all your other debts such as student loans and car loans.

* Your most recent income tax return.

* Information about your savings and other assets

* Information about the monthly gross (before tax) income of your household, including recent pay stubs if you receive them or documentation of income you receive from other sources.

* It may also be helpful to have: A letter describing any circumstances that caused your income to be reduced or expenses to be increased (job loss, divorce, illness, etc.) if applicable.

There are many programs out right now including the energy tax credit, $8000 tax credit for first time home buyers, and long term interest rates lower than 5%. There is something for everyone it’s just a matter of knowing where to look.  

Check out these opportunities and see if any of them can help you or contact me to discuss your current situation.  Together we can find a solution to your real estate needs.

What are you concerns about home affordability in the Champaign Illinois real estate market?

 

Rose Price, CIPS, CRP

Prudential Landmark Real Estate
Champaignrose.com

 

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Young Artists Exhibit

by Rose Price

Make plans to go out today in  Champaign, Illinois and see some beautiful art!  As part of the Boneyard Arts Festival, enjoy the student artwork from Hua Nian Art Studio on display in the Children's Department on the ground floor. The art will be on display until April 28. Library hours: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday.

The Boneyard Arts Festival has grown into an 'open source' festival that Champaign County residents have truly made their own. Last spring, the Boneyard featured over 130 different venues - both indoors and out - where residents and visitors alike could enjoy an incredibly diverse range of performing, spoken and visual art offered by nearly 500 artists from all backgrounds.

The Boneyard Arts Festival is string band music in Sidney, yodeling in downtown Urbana, a cinema festival in Champaign, Brazilian bossa novae on the U of I campus, opera and origami, glass blowing and graphic design, puppetry and painting, juggling and jewelry, hip hop break dancing, photography, ceramics and so much more.

Thanks 40 North for the info!

Rose Price, CIPS, CRP

Prudential Landmark Real Estate
Champaignrose.com

 

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Potential Costs When Selling Your Home

by Rose Price

There are some cost you may not know you could encounter when selling your Champaign Illinois home. Below is a list of some of the most common costs associated with selling your home.

Closing Costs: Although most of the closing costs are the responsibility of the buyer, the seller is expected to pay the property taxes and insurance up to the date of the closing, even if they're not due yet. In addition, some buyers will ask the seller for help with other closing costs as part of the negotiations.

Home Inspections: Although the buyer pays for the home and pest inspections, it's a good idea to get your own inspection before putting your house on the market. This way you're aware of any hidden problems before selling.

Home Repairs: If your inspector finds problems or if you know of problems that you have been wanting to correct, it is time to fix them. The less problems that the home has, the more attractive it is to buyers. Don't forget to budget for new paint, plants, hardware etc. that offers a fresh new look as well.

Realtor Commission: Typically there's a 4 percent to 7 percent commission on the sale price of the house if you opt to go with an agent. Usually this rate is between 5 percent and 6 percent, so be sure to account for this cost when pricing your home and figuring up your expenses that come with selling your home.

Legal expenses: Many sellers choose to work with a real estate attorney to examine the sales contract and assist with closing, which can be complicated.

Prepayment penalty: Many mortgages have prepayment penalties if you pay off the mortgage early. Be sure to examine your mortgage agreement and read the fine print.

Other Fees Negotiated by the Buyer: Buyer negotiated fees are becoming more common in the current real estate market. Some of the most commonly seen buyer negotiated fees might include a home warranty paid for by the seller, the cost of repairs needed to make the sale, and the cost for a home inspection. Keep in mind that most all parts of the real estate contract is negotiable.


Many homeowners are not aware of the costs involved with selling a home but there are some perks as well. With any home sale you are eligible for a tax write off of up to $250,000 gained in the sale of your home for a single owner, and $500,000 for married couples. This applies for most state taxes as well; check with a tax professional to get all the details of any tax credit that may be available to you and your situation. 

Contact me today for assistance in selling your Illinois home!

 

Rose Price, CIPS, CRP

Prudential Landmark Real Estate
Champaignrose.com

 

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The 10th Annual Boneyard Arts Festival

by Rose Price

The 40 North Boneyard Arts Festival is an annual four-day event showcasing the broad range of creative activity flourishing in our community. Make plans to stop by on April 20 from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.  The goal of this event is to bring together local artists and businesses for a special event showcasing the art that lives in Champaign County.

More than a traditional arts walk, the Boneyard is a unique countywide celebration that takes place in a wide variety of venues (over 100!) - both traditional (clubs, galleries & museums) and non-traditional (ice cream shops & real estate offices) - and features the work of literally hundreds of artists.

Sculptors, weavers, painters, photographers and other visual artists join musicians, actors, dancers, poets and performers of all kinds in sharing their creativity throughout Campustown, Champaign, Urbana, Mahomet, Homer, Rantoul, Sidney and St. Joseph. 40 North invites artists to partner with local businesses, arts organizations, nonprofits, schools or municipal offices in hosting a performance or display of work...and join the celebration!  

For a complete list of venues and artists please visit 40north.org or pick up The News-Gazette on Monday, April 16th for the official map of the festival.

Thanks News Gazette for the info!!!

 

Rose Price, CIPS, CRP

Prudential Landmark Real Estate
Champaignrose.com

 

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Choosing a Pest Control Service

by Rose Price

Summer is almost here in Champaign Illinois. Unfortunately, that means the bugs are here too. If you are a homeowner who has these uninvited guests, fortunately they can be controlled. Household pests can be eliminated through a combination of preventive measures, including proper sanitation and over-the-counter pesticides. However, some pest infestations may be extensive or a particular pest may be difficult to control, requiring pest control services.

While many household pests are merely a nuisance, some can cause serious damage to our homes or property and other pose dangers such as bites, stings, and transmit disease-causing agents. Choosing a pest control company is a serious matter, you want someone who is honest, dependable, state-certified, and who has the proper training and expertise to use the pesticides safely in your home. Below are some tips to help you in your search to find a professional in your area.

• Select a company based on their reputation, time in your community and willingness to answer your questions. They should give you written material that describes the problem they propose to treat and how they propose to treat it including what chemicals will be used and in what amounts.

• Pest control companies differ in their guarantees so be sure to Inquire on the specifics. If a guarantee is given, know what it covers, how long it lasts, what you must do to keep it in force, and what kind of continuing prevention and management are necessary.

• While the cost is an important factor, it is important to not base your decision on price alone. An advertisement in the phone book or the "deal of the week". Be cautious of unsolicited sales pitches and never select treatment just because your neighbor's property is being treated or because there is "leftover spray from another job." Get references and check them. 

• Make sure you receive a written estimate detailing how much will they charge to do an inspection to determine the extent of your problem, outline the services they would perform.

• Ask how long it will take to solve your pest problem, and how often the company will return to do more work or to track results. Ask the company what other measures they can take to manage the pest problems, or what you can do to reduce future pest problems.

Choosing a quality
pest control company is an important decision. You want the company to get rid of the pests but you also want to keep your Champaign Illinois home safe.  Do not be pressured by a sales person or a company to sign a contract immediately or to pay in advance, take your time to make a sound decision. The key to any decision is having confidence in the company you chose.

 

Rose Price, CIPS, CRP

Prudential Landmark Real Estate
Champaignrose.com

 

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Carnival Exhibit

by Rose Price

Need some thing fun for you and the kids this weekend in Champaign Illinois?  The Spurlock Museumhas a new exhibit that you've got to check out!

For all participants—rich or poor, young or old— Carnival provides the opportunity to play by leaving the everyday world, becoming someone else, and behaving in unusual ways.Through artifacts, interactive opportunities, and dazzling photographs, this exhibition provides information on the origins and evolution of this celebration, as well as windows into eight communities in Europe and the Americas where Carnival is a high point of the yearly cycle.This exhibition has been made possible through NEH on the Road, a special initiative of the National Endowment for the Humanities. It is brought to you by Mid-America Arts Alliance. ¡Carnaval! was organized by the Museum of International Folk Art.

The exhibit is open during Museum hours: Tuesdays noon to 5 p.m., Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturdays 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sundays noon to 4 p.m. April 6 through Aug. 11.

Free admission!

Location:  Spurlock Museum, 600 S. Gregory St, Urbana, Illinois.Thanks News Gazette for the info on this fun  and educational Illinois Event!

 

Rose Price, CIPS, CRP

Prudential Landmark Real Estate
Champaignrose.com

 

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Eight Simple Ways to Add Curb Appeal

by Rose Price

Need help selling your Champaign home? Add some curb appeal!  Some of the tips can be downright overwhelming! Want to improve the view from the other side of the curb without breaking the bank or making remodeling your full time job?

Here are eight easy tips to help you with your curb appeal!

1. Look at the big picture. Some things should go without saying. But the truth is that after you've lived with fading trim or a cracked driveway for a year or two, you probably don't even see it anymore. Remember that people are not going to look at your home the same way that you do, Ask your real estate agent, or a trusted friend to look at the front of your home with a new set of eyes. Would they be interested in the home if they didn't know you? If not, what are the turn-offs?

And always do the obvious: keep the lawn mowed and the gutters clear. Trim the bushes, get rid of any dead branches and fix anything that's hanging or broken. And keep outdoor lights on in the evening and in good working order, the better to show off your house 24-7.

2. Got a brass doorknob? Make it shine. If you have wrought iron, clean it or paint it. Wash the windows so that they gleam.  Make your home look cared for!

3. Mesh your home to fit into the community. For example, if you live in a neighborhood with alot of young children, it's OK to have a bike in the yard. Most buyers interested in that type of a neighborhood most likely have children as well. Keep your audience in mind as you show your house.

4. Use flowers. If you have room, go for the traditional two large planters -- one on either side of the door or walkway. Fill them to overflowing with flowers if it's spring or summer or evergreens in the cooler months, she says.

This will create a focal point, forcing home buyers to focus on one area rather than the whole home at once. Consider hanging a colorful flag out front to draw in the buyers' eye. Or put a seasonal wreath on the door. You really want your home to say, "Come on it!"

5. Apply pressure! If the exterior needs a fresh look, consider getting it pressure washed. (This is a great way to clean trim or walkways and give them a clean, white look.)

6. Make the yard look manicured. Put some fresh mulch or bedding material around the plants in the yard and use a hoe to make the edges of the bedding sharp.

7. Paint. Want to make the house look great without painting the whole thing? Just paint the trim and the front door. And since the porch frames the front door and is the first part of the house buyers will actually visit, make sure it looks freshly painted. But if it needs it, then paint the whole house. The outlay will be well worth the money if you get a clean looking home that moves fast.

8. Invest in landscaping. If you have just a little money to spend, consider visiting a nursery where they can recommend the most bang for your buck. Or, if you don't have a lot of time or a green thumb, think about creating some informal garden areas. 

Your realtor has been through this many times and is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to curb appeal and these easy and inexpensive tips should be able to get you started!

Rose Price, CIPS, CRP

Prudential Landmark Real Estate
Champaignrose.com

 

    Search for Homes in the Champaign Area 

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Blood Drive

by Masha Halpern

Are you looking for a way you could give back to your Champaign community? You could help save a life by donating your blood or bone marrow!  

Helia Healthcare will host a blood drive with Community Blood Services of Illinois on Friday, April 6 from 8-11 a.m. There is no substitute for human blood. Give Blood! It's about life.

Date and Time: 

04/06/2012 - 8:00am - 11:00am

Location: 

Helia Healthcare, 1915 S. Mattis, Champaign

For More Information call 367-2202 or email  ahowie@bloodservices.org

Special thanks to News-Gazette for the info on this Champaign Illinois event!   

 

Rose Price, CIPS, CRP

Prudential Landmark Real Estate
Champaignrose.com

    Search for Homes in the Champaign Area 

    Featured Champaign Properties
 

    Champaign Condominiums 

    Selling Your Champaign Home

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Help for Buyers

by Rose Price

Have you been searching for that Central Illinois dream home and are finally ready to make an offer? You may have some concerns about the down payment and in this difficult economy it can be difficult to pay a large down payment so what are your options?  There may be an option to help you you complete the sale if you don’t have extra cash.

Different lenders have their own minimum down payment requirements and can vary depending on the mortgage program, loan amount, borrower income and credit rating. A good rule of thumb is roughly 20%, but you can find different ways to help you meet down payment requirements, including buyer assistance programs -  also called down payment assistance programs.

Assistance programs and grants can help you avoid robbing your savings or 401K or borrowing the money elsewhere to come up with a cash down payment. Some of the most common buyer assistance programs are for first time home buyers, but other assistance programs are available as well. How do they work? Below are some key requirements of standard programs. 

  • Home buyers must qualify for a loan that allows gift funds from a charitable organization
  • Limits may apply to the price of the home
  • Funds can be used for the down payment and for closing costs
  • Gift funds can be used for new or existing homes

There are several different organizations that provide buyer assistance, including Grant AmericaNehemiah and American Family Funds. Many other buyer assistance organizations are available, so do some homework and talk to your tax preparer and mortgage lender about options.

Always speak to your lender about available programs in your market, they can help you structure the down payment assistance to be compatible with their underwriting guidelines and offer advice on program advantages for your type of loan. 

​For more information and help finding that perfect home for you and your family contact me today!

Rose Price, CIPS, CRP

Prudential Landmark Real Estate
Champaignrose.com

 

    Search for Homes in the Champaign Area 

    Featured Champaign Properties 

    Champaign Condominiums 

    Selling Your Champaign Home

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