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Take a Walk with the Birds This Weekend

by Rose Price

As we move slowly towards fall, now's a great time to take a walk with the birds of Central Illinois. Specifically, with the Champaign County Audubon Society at the Anita Purves Nature Center [map] in Urbana. These lovely strolls through Busey Woods and around Crystal Lake begin at 7:30am every Sunday through the end of October, and last about ninety minutes. It's a wonderful chance to learn the basics of bird watching and identification techniques from long-time Audubon members.

Rose Price, CIPS, CRP
Prudential Landmark Real Estate
ChampaignRose.com

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This blog is maintained by Michael of Kim Hughes & Company.
Photo courtesy Judd McCullum/flickr.com

Spotlight: Quick Bathroom Renovations

by Rose Price

Home owners considering putting their house on the market often know they have work to do to maximize the value of the property. Renovations that include new flooring and appliances can go a long way, but usually need to be done by professionals, are expensive and time consuming. But, there are things you can do yourself. Today, let’s talk about making the most of your bathrooms.

The first step is to do a maximum cleaning job on the bathroom. It’s going to be easier to identify the biggest problem if everything is a spotlessly clean as possible. I’m talking about the old-fashioned, Momma’s watching you type of clean. Wash the sides of the cabinets and make sure that the area behind the toilet shines!

With that out of the way, what you see is the best of what you’ve got. Now you can start to prioritize ways to give the space a quick renovation.

Some things are almost mandatory if you’re looking ahead toward selling. The walls, for example, should be spotless and a simple, neutral light color, preferably white. Any other choice you make is a potential problem for possible buyers, who will be looking for things they’ll have to do after buying. Strip that wallpaper! Prime and paint. A fresh coat of paint is an amazing start on a great renovation. And it’s easy enough that just about anyone can do it themselves.

Got grout? You need to make sure it’s as white as possible. The Do-it-Yourself Life website has an excellent article on cleaning tile grout quickly and inexpensively. And don’t overlook the shower or tub.

Make sure your light fixtures are clean and the lights bright. Fixtures are easy to overlook when cleaning, but clean fixtures keep the look bright. Make sure the bulbs are fresh and match, and don’t even try to hide imperfections with dim light.

Add decorative touches, but keep them simple. Again, a buyer is going to do their own thing in the room, and it’s hard to imagine that when your own stuff is cluttering up the space. Make sure you coordinate colors, and avoid garish artwork.

At this point, you may want to replace a fixture or alter the flooring. But, you’ve already got a good start on improving your home and making some potential buyer a little more interested in your home. For more ideas, check out this article on Stylist Home.

Rose Price, CIPS, CRP
Prudential Landmark Real Estate
ChampaignRose.com

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This blog is maintained by Michael of Kim Hughes & Company.
Photo courtesy A30_Tsitika/flickr.com

Urbana's Sweetcorn Festival

by Rose Price

​Downtown Urbana will be filled with people this weekend. People and corn. That's right, the Sweetcorn Festival is back Friday evening and all day Saturday. In addition to all the Illinois sweetcorn you can eat, it's also time to welcome returning and incoming students at the University of Illinois.  Rock climbing, laser tag, pony rides, the Motor Muster Car Show and music, including Warrant, are on tap.

You'll find the festival where you find the people, on Main Street between Race and Vine streets. The festival runs from 5pm to 11pm on Friday, and 11am to 11pm on Saturday.

Friday Music Lineup

  • 6:00pm - Timmy D and Blind Justice
  • 7:30pm - Kilborn Alley
  • 9:15pm - Dr. Duke Tumatoe & the Power Trio

Saturday Music Lineup

  • 6:00pm - X-Krush
  • 7:30pm - Firehouse
  • 9:15pm - Warrant

If you go, have a great time and here's hoping it's a fantastic weekend. And if you need real estate assistance, just let me know!

Rose Price, CIPS, CRP
Prudential Landmark Real Estate
ChampaignRose.com

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This blog is maintained by Michael of Kim Hughes & Company.
Photo courtesy Artotem/flickr.com

Keep Your Home Smelling Fresh for Prospective Buyers

by Rose Price

Walking into a home on the market, one of the first things a prospective buyer will notice is what they smell. While our sense of smell isn't as good as a dogs, people will smell the odor of dogs, cats or other pets. Even if they love animals, pet odor can turn off a buyer before the charms of the rest of the house can even be seen. Some experts advise moving your pets somewhere else while you have your home on the market, but that's not always a realistic solution.

So before you see a potential buyer crinkle their noses when they walk in your door, you'll need to address any lingering smells in the air.

Clean your home thoroughly. Focus heavily on odor traps like fabrics, upholstery and carpet. Professional ozone-based carpet cleaning can do miracles.

Cats? Make sure litter-boxes are scrupulously clean at all times.

Your pets aren't to blame here, but avoid strong cooking odors. You might love stinky cheese, but that smell won't be pleasing to strangers.

Avoid using air fresheners and heavily scented cleaning products, candles or incense. Some people can have an allergic reaction to them, and others will assume you're using them to cover up something bad.

Let your home air out naturally. When temperatures outside cooperate, open the windows for a while. The scent of the outdoors around your home will help ground it when people walk in the door.

It can be hard sometimes to notice an odor you live with, so ask a friend to walk through and do a sniff test. Better a friend than a prospective buyer!

Rose Price, CIPS, CRP
Prudential Landmark Real Estate
ChampaignRose.com

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This blog is maintained by Michael of Kim Hughes & Company.
Photo courtesy pretendtious/flickr.com

Celebrate Bluegrass at Rockome Gardens

by Rose Price

A weekend full of bluegrass music awaits you at the 18th Annual Bluegrass in the Gardens, taking place at Rockome Gardens in Arcola [map] Saturday and Sunday. Rockome Gardens is a twenty acre park devoted to Illinois Amish culture. The music starts a noon both days, and features The Roys, The Bankesters, Rigney Family, Sawtooth Bluegrass Band, Mississippi Sawyers (pictured), Pickin' Chicks, Bluetown, and High Cotton.

Tickets are $15 for adults, $8 for children, with those under 7 getting in for free.

Rose Price, CIPS, CRP
Prudential Landmark Real Estate
ChampaignRose.com

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This blog is maintained by Michael of Kim Hughes & Company.
Photo courtesy the Mississippi Sawyers/flickr.com

Managing the Little Fix-ups

by Rose Price

Before you put your house on the market, you have to address a variety of issues. Not the least of which is making the house look fantastic. So as you survey your home, you'll start to see little problems that have to be dealt with. For example, damage to drywall where you have hung artwork or secured tall furniture pieces.

And that's what I want to talk about with you. If you've got something larger than small holes, you'll probably need some professional help. It's pretty remarkable what a contractor can do to make repairs. But, if you've just got some small holes, you can save yourself some money by doing it yourself. It's not going to take long, but we need to get some tools. You’ll need to have spackle, a putty knife, a sanding block, primer, paint and a paint brush. I’ll wait while you go get them.

Fill – Okay, we’re going to use the spackling paste to fill the hole itself. Spackle is just a putty made of plaster and glue. Fill the hole and then use the putty knife to scrape off any spackle sticking up out of the hole.

Sand – A tiny hole won’t need much, if any, sanding. But, if you can You’re going to want to use a sanding block or even a dry wall sanding screen to make sure the result is perfectly flat. Just using sandpaper by hand won’t cut it.

Paint – Again, with a small enough hole, you don’t really need to prime, but it’s not a bad idea. Then you’re going to want to find the paint that was used to cover the wall you’re working on. Usually, when an interior is painted, the contractor will leave a can of the color they used in a storeroom or garage.

If you can’t find the right paint, you’re best bet is to repaint the entire wall: Any odd color patches are going to really stand out when the room is empty of furniture. And, if the hole is a bit bigger, you can find self-adhesive patching kits that include a metal mesh and come in a variety of sizes. You’ll still need to sand, prime and paint.

If your walls are bare, you can tackle this chore quickly. And a lot less expensively than a contractor will do it!

Rose Price, CIPS, CRP
Prudential Landmark Real Estate
ChampaignRose.com

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This blog is maintained by Michael of Kim Hughes & Company.
Photo courtesy mich_bsd/flickr.com

Cheeseburgers and Fun in Danville Saturday

by Rose Price

The Vermilion County Conservation District Foundation is once again holding it's 2012 Cheeseburger and Fun event on Satrurday. The party gets started at 7am at the Bunker Hill Historic Area at Kennekuk Cove County Park near Danville. 

In addition to the traditional Cheeseburger meal, which goes to fund the VCCD Foundation, there will be the Howl at the Moon run/walk, and the Bunker Hill Run Show with trucks, tractors, cars and motorcycles. Music will be provided by the Big Creek Guitar Band, Ryan Ideus and the Feudin' Hillbillys and Captain Rat and the Blind Rivets.

Admission is free, but donations to the VCCD Foundation will be accepted. For more details, call (217) 662-2142 or visit the website.

Rose Price, CIPS, CRP
Prudential Landmark Real Estate
ChampaignRose.com

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This blog is maintained by Michael of Kim Hughes & Company.
Photo courtesy L.Richarz/flickr.com

Planting a Good Investment

by Rose Price

Tree of HeavenLooking for a simple way to add beauty and value to your home? Plant a tree!  There are a wide variety of trees that thrive in central Illinois, but making the best choice takes a little work. Adding a healthy, beautiful tree is an excellent investment in your home’s value.

First of all, you’ll want to have a good assessment of the quality of the soil where you want to plant the tree. The pH balance of your soil, for example, can make the difference between a beautiful tree and a dead eyesore. Soil testers can be purchased at most lawn and garden centers.

The University of Illinois Extension has a wonderful website filled with information about trees you might want to consider. You can use the site to filter trees by size, tolerance to different conditions, exposure and use. It also contains useful warnings about pests specific to central Illinois.

You’ll also need to know how well-drained the planting area is before you put the tree in the ground. Too much water in the soil can cause problems for the roots. Adding bark mulch around the base of the tree will help add nitrogen to the soil.  And wrapping trees in the fall and winter will protect them against the cold and deer.

Whatever your choice is, you’ll probably want to consult with a local garden center or tree farm to confirm you’re making a good decision.  Do you have a favorite tree? Send me a picture! Plant a tree, invest in your home’s value, and make Illinois just a little more beautiful.

Rose Price, CIPS, CRP
Prudential Landmark Real Estate
ChampaignRose.com

Search for Homes in the Champaign Area 
Featured Champaign Properties 
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This blog is maintained by Michael of Kim Hughes & Company.
Photo courtesy ReallyBoring/flickr.com

Show Your Support for a Hero's Parents

by Rose Price

A lot of people have been enjoying the London Olympics on television this week. But, one local athlete is still looking forward to her chance to compete in London. Nichole Millage, a 1995 graduate of Champaign Centennial High School, is a member of the 2012 USA Sitting Volleyball Team that will be participating in this year's Paralympics. A fundraiser Saturday hosted by Po'Boys restaurant hopes to raise enough money to send her parents, Dave and Philomena Schnepper to watch their daughter compete. You can get a 2012 London Paralympics Sitting Volleyball and T-Shirt at the fundraiser, and register to win an autographed team volleyball and jersey! The event beings at 4pm on Saturday at Po'Boys at 202 East University in Urbana [map]. Let's all get out and support Nichole!

This blog is maintained by Michael of Kim Hughes & Company.
Photo courtesy usavolleyball.org

Displaying blog entries 1-9 of 9

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