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The housing market for Champaign County saw strong gains during the month of October. According to the Champaign County Association of REALTORS®, total number of home sales, median home sale prices, and number of pending sales all saw an increase during the month as compared to the same month last year.

 

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It is anticipated that these trends in the market will continue, with the 2016 year expected to close out with a strong fourth quarter in Champaign County. Average days on the market are decreasing, meaning that homes for sale are moving quickly. Sellers can take advantage of this market trend as buyers are looking to move into their new home before the end of the year. This strong home sales market reflects overall economic trends in the area, including an expanding economy, strong job market, low interest rates, and many first time homebuyers.

 
 

These October numbers for Champaign County reflect the improving market nationwide. The National Association of REALTORS expects 2016 to finish out with the highest number of existing home sales since 2006. They predict that 2017 will continue to reflect growth in the number of home sales.

 

If you are interested in Buying or Selling in the Champaign/Urbana area, give Rose Price a call today or visit my website at http://www.champaignrose.com/.    

5 Fall Home Staging Ideas for your Champaign Listing!

by Rose Price

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

Illinois Named Top 10 State to Make a Good Living!

by Rose Price

There are many reasons to choose a state to move to. A great educational system, climate, and access to amenities are all important considerations when house hunting. One of the most important factors, though…..your ability to make a living. Personal finance website MoneyRates.com recently ranked the top ten states to make a living in 2016. We are proud to announce that Illinois made it to this elite group of states at #9!!

 

 

To find these rankings, MoneyRates.com compared all 50 states based on several key factors that help determine the ability for residents to make a good living. These factors included average wages, state tax rates, cost of living, state unemployment rate, and workplace safety.

 

 

Illinois made its way to the number 9 spot due to its above average wages, with a median income at $37,320, and low cost of living. That winning combination allows for workers to keep more of their income for other necessities. The state also did well with relation to workplace injuries, illness, and fatalities, ensuring that employees in Illinois have safe working environments.

 

 

If you’re thinking of moving to Illinois, Champaign/Urbana is a great place to call home. With a thriving art and educational scene, access to great medical facilities and amenities, and low median house prices, there are many reasons to move to the area. Check out my Current Homes for Sale. Contact me today to help you find your dream home or visit my website at www.champaignrose.com/.

It’s almost time to head back to school! The quality of the local school districts within a state helps strengthen the local economy, improve home values, and creates a sense of pride. We are happy to announce that our state has made the grade.......Illinois was ranked as the #13 state with the best school districts in the country!!!

 

To determine the rankings, financial website Wallethub compared all 50 states and the District of Columbia and looked at two key dimensions, School System Quality and School System Safety. Within these dimensions, 17 metrics were used to evaluate the scores. These metrics included factors such as student to teacher ratio, standardized test scores, dropout rate, percentage of certified teachers, school safety, and disciplinary incident rates. Illinois came out at the top of the class! Not only did our state rank 13th for the overall score, but the School System Quality ranking was the 14th best in the country! Our students continue to excel academically, earning the HIGHEST average SAT scores of all the states!

 

Our local school districts are stand outs amongst the state’s 100 best school districts, according to Niche.

 

Mahomet-Seymour Community Unit School District No. 3 ranks #26 in Illinois! This school district ranked 18th overall for best academics in the state and #24 for the safest school district! Current Homes for Sale in Mahomet.

 

Monticello Community Unit School District No. 25  ranks #58 in the state. With a graduation rate of 95%, excellence is a top priority in Monticello. This school district received high grades for academics and health & safety. Current Homes for Sale in Monticello.  

 

Urbana School District No. 116  is the #73 best school district in Illinois. It is the #11 most diverse school district. The student to teacher ratio is 12:1, meaning that your child while receive excellent attention in the classroom. Current Homes for Sale in Urbana.

 

Get your child on the path to academic success by enrolling them in one of these fantastic school districts today!


Congrats to Illinois and our local Champaign/Urbana  area school districts for your recognition and for proving why there is no better place to call home!!!

Congrats to Mt. Zion for being named on of the safest cities in Illinois!! Home security website Safewise recently released a ranking of the 100 safest cities, with a population over 5,000, in the state. The rankings were based FBI data which looked at the number of reported violent crimes per 1,000 residents and reported property crimes per 1,000 residents. Mt. Zion (population of 24,264) made it to the top of the list at #17 with a violent crime rate of 0.67 and property crime rate of 5.40.

A SAFE COMMUNITY is a primary factor in choosing where to buy a home. Mt. Zion’s commitment to safety is one of the many reasons why it is a great city to move to! Looking to build your dream home here? WOODBINE PARK PRAIRIE ESTATES is the perfect spot for you!

This 194-acre conservation community located in Mt. Zion offers endless possibilities for families. Live in a beautiful rural environment with plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities. The Woodbine Park Prairie Estates are filled with lakes, trails, and other common areas for residents to enjoy. The community is conveniently located in Mt. Zion school district and close to all the great amenities in the city. Lots are available from 1 to 10+ acres for you to custom build your dream home!

Let us help you make Woodbine Park Prairie Estates in Mt. Zion your haven! There are still several SITES available!

Contact Champaign Rose Real Estate by phone at (217) 202-8843 or at our website http://www.champaignrose.com/ to find your dream home in this amazing community!

 

Congrats! You’ve decided to sell your house in the CHAMPAIGN/URBANA area! After all the years of love in your home, though, you want to make sure that you get the most for it. All homes go through wear and tear that might not be noticeable to you over the years but will surely stand out to potential home buyers. In order to make the best sale for you and your family, you need to decide what repairs and upgrades should be done before listing your home on the market. It is important to go through each room with a critical eye and see what fixes are necessary. 

Selling your home and negotiating the sale can be a daunting process but you do not need to go through it alone! A great Real Estate Agent is there to assist you along the way. When deciding what fixes should be made, your real estate agent can provide you with crucial help. They will know what changes are absolutely necessary before placing your home on the market and what can be negotiated in the final deal. 

There are several simple things you can do that won’t cost an arm and a leg and will help your home look its best! We have great suggestions on ways that you can maximize your sale. Here are the Top 9 Home Repairs or Upgrades to Make Before Selling Your Champaign/Urbana Home!

Add a Fresh Coat of Paint – The fastest and cheapest way to make your home look inviting to potential home buyers is adding a fresh coat of paint. Go through your home to see which rooms really need it. It is not necessary to repaint every room home. For the ones in need of some sprucing, choose light, neutral colors that will appeal to everyone. Also, make sure to remove all wallpaper! Wallpaper can be a great accent to any room but everyone’s tastes are different. By removing the wallpaper and using light paint colors, the new owners have total flexibility in how they want to make the home their own.

Fill in Nail Holes and Cracks – This one may seem obvious but you should fill in all nail holes and cracks. This simple fix will help any room appear new and will avoid buyers feeling like they have a lot of work that needs to be completed. Spackle the holes and cracks, sand it, and add a fresh coat of paint.

Provide Adequate Lighting – Lighting throughout your home can have it looking its best. Make sure that all of the rooms in your home have adequate lighting. Replace any outdated light fixtures. Ensure that all lights and switches probably work. If needed, fix any potential electrical issues that might kill the sale. Along with lighting, natural light is very important. Use light drapes on the windows that allow for maximum sunlight to come in and really make the room shine!

Hardwood Floors – Hardwood floors are attractive to potential buyers. These floors can also take a beating over the years. You do not need to spend a ton of money replacing the floors though! Make the floors look brand new refinishing or polishing them! 

Kitchen – The kitchen is truly one of the most important rooms in the home and is something that buyers definitely make decisions based off of. Full kitchen remodels are expensive and not necessary when selling your home. It is important, however, to make some simple fixes to make the kitchen look its best. Be sure to refresh the paint and replace any outdated or broken fixtures. If necessary, refinish or paint the cabinets. Granite and marble countertops can help sell your home. If there is money in your budget, replace the countertops to automatically make your home more attractive. Before showing your home, make sure that your kitchen is clean and uncluttered.

Bathrooms – Like the kitchen, the bathrooms in a house can make or break a deal. You want it to look brand new! The first step is a deep cleaning. Scrub the grout and replace any missing tiles. Fix or replace any plumbing issues. Ensure that the lighting in the bathroom is bright.

Maintain Appliances – Make sure that all appliances currently in the home are functional. Appliances are an added bonus for home buyers, but no one wants the stress of knowing they are going to have to be soon replaced. Provide any warranties for the appliances to your real estate agent. By having functional appliances, you are showing pride in your home.

Functionality – Along with functional appliances, make sure that everything else in your home is in working order. Replace broken doorknobs and locks. Have a creaky door? Remove the squeak by applying WD-40 or a natural oil to the hinges. If your home has a garage, make sure that the garage door is properly working.

Exterior – Now that the interior of your home is looking its best, it’s time to tackle the outside! After all, the exterior of your home is the first thing that buyers will see. You want your home to look like you take pride in it! We often get storms in Illinois that can cause wear and tear on the outside of the home. Repaint or replace broken siding. Refinish porches, patios, and fences. Keep the landscaping clean and attractive. You want the buyers to be excited to see the rest of your home as soon as they arrive.

For more helpful Home Selling Tips, give ChampaignRose a call at (217) 202-8843 or check out or website at http://www.champaignrose.com/.

Do you Live in a Relaxed or Stressed Out Town?

by Rose Price

We all deal with stresses in our lives and try to find ways to eliminate them. Although not the ultimate determining factor, where you live has an impact on the stress level in your daily life. Why not live some place recognized as a RELAXED town?! When compared to 340 other cities analyzed throughout the state…MOUNT ZION (#3), MONTICELLO (#13), and MAHOMET (#16) made it into the TOP 20 LEAST STRESSED OUT cities in Illinois!

How was the stress level of Illinois’ cities determined? Career website Zippia analyzed six root causes of stress and applied them to 340 cities throughout Illinois with a population over 5,000 people. The stress determinants included…

(1) population density

(2) long commute time per percentage of population

(3) unemployment rate

(4) number of hours worked

(5) income to rent ratio

(6) percentage of people with no health insurance.

Cities were deemed to be more stressed out the higher any of these numbers were.

Zippia’s research found that MOUNT ZION (population of 5,830) had a low percentage, 28.1%, of the population paying high rent and only 11.8% of the population having to deal with commute times over 30 minutes. MONTICELLO (population of 5,400) also maintained low percentages with regards to people paying high rent and dealing with long commutes. Plus, the rich history and beautiful architecture throughout the city maintain a relaxed environment for its residents. Located only 10 miles from Champaign, the people of MAHOMET (population of 7,592) have shorter commute times. Additionally, the excellent school system and extensive outdoor recreational facilities allow for the community to stay less stressed out. 

Congrats to MOUNT ZION, MONTICELLO, and MAHOMET for helping their communities keep relaxed!!

If you're interested in BuyingSelling or Investing in the Champaign community, give Champaign Rose a call or visit our website at: www.champaignrose.com.

Spring House Hunting Tips For Champaign IL

by Rose Price

Forget the groundhog, you can tell it’s almost spring by all the “For Sale” signs in the yards.  

It’s shaping up to be a competitive home buying season, inventory is low and demand is high!  So, if you snooze, you lose!  Literally.  

Lack of preparation is the number one reason people lose their dream home, so here are some tips to keep you ahead of the competition.  

Close your laptop!  Get out of the house and look the old fashioned way

Using Real Estate sites to search for your home is the norm.  90% of people search for listings online during their home-buying process.

Starting your search online is a good idea, but don’t get so caught up that you forget there is a world outside too.  Inventory, in most markets is expected to be tight, so you want to get out and look as soon as possible.  Remember when demand outpaces the inventory of homes, buyers need to be ready to move quickly.  So get pre-approved, know what you are looking for and when you find it, pounce!  

Another thing to remember is that photos online are taken to make the home look it’s absolute best, so it may not accurately represent what you see when you pull up, rather just what the Seller wants you to see.  So, use the internet as a tool, not your whole strategy.  

Some sites let you select certain neighborhoods and then receive alerts when new homes become available, this is the perfect use of the internet, you become alerted and then can go see the home for yourself.

Educate Yourself .  Know the Market Values and Market Trends

Rely on your Realtor for this.  The best source of information is a well connected Real Estate Agent.  They’re the expert and have a wealth of information to share with you.  Ask questions and be sure you really understand the bigger picture.  You can also check out sites like Curbed.com for trends in particular areas and to see where new inventory is popping up.  

Everything isn’t always exactly as it appears.  There could be “micro trends” which are little trends unique to a certain area in your region that could affect prices.  Things like, maybe new homes are selling at a premium to older ones or the demand for condos outpaces the demand for single family homes.  These things will affect your price.  Be aware, too, that there could be micro-trends in your region that 

BUY NOW.  Snag A Low Mortgage Rate—Now

Mortgage rates are going up.  So, now is definitely the time to buy.  Take advantage of the low interest while you can.  

Mortgage rates are still historically low, so buyers are getting a lot more bang for their buck and at payment levels that will be affordable for decades.  Mortgage rates are so low right now that monthly payments are lower than rent in a lot of markets.  

It’s predicted that these low interest rates will stay through the spring.  Home Buyers received another gift recently, when The Federal Housing Authority, which backs loans for borrowers who make low down payments, lowered the annual insurance premium required from 1.35% to just .85%.  It’s estimated that this will save more than 2 million FHA homeowners about $900 a year.  

What this means: It’s a prime time to jump on a home loan. Mortgage rates can be unpredictable—and a decision by the Fed to raise interest rates mid-year, as many economists predict, could cause them to spike.

Build A Home Buying Dream Team…Then Make A Bid

To be a serious contender in the Home Buying game, you need to be organized and ready, especially if a bidding war begins.

You will need a savvy real estate agent obviously, but you’ll also want your lender, inspector and attorney to be ready so you can move fast.  

Complete your mortgage application and get your loan amount determined in advance.  Things move faster today and if you are not 100% pre-approved, you probably won’t get the house.  Some people, the most successful buyers are even going one step further and getting fully approved before purchasing.  Not all lenders offer this, but some do, and if they do, it’s a way to ensure you are the top contender.  And the better known your lender is locally, the more likely you’ll win the confidence of the seller.  Lenders from the Internet can seem sketchy in the eyes of Sellers and their agents.  It’s always best to use someone who is known locally.  

Don't Be Afraid To Sweeten The Deal

So, what if you are stuck in a bidding war with an equally qualified buyer?  How do you win?  

One way is to include an escalation clause, which is an amount that you are willing to pay above a competing bid.  

For example, if you included an escalation clause of $3,000 to your bid of $200,000 and the second offer came in at $205,000, then your bid would get bumped to $208,000. 

You can also consider removing contingency clauses.  Contingencies are terms of a contract that must be met or the buyer or seller can walk away from the deal; home inspection, appraisal and financing contingencies are among the most common.  All of these presents a certain level of risk, so consult with your Realtor and team before removing any.  These can often be removed just by doing due diligence.  For instance, you can remove the financing clause if you get fully approved.  Also, be sure to conduct a pre-inspection prior to making your offer, this way, you won’t have to include an inspection contingency.  

There are also smaller but nice gifts you can use to entice a Seller.  Find out what date the Seller prefers to close, then use that date in your contract.  You can also offer to close as quickly as possible, and offer to accept rent payments from the Seller until their planned move date. Adding these little perks can mean a lot more than you think.  There have been times my seller ultimately went with a lower bid, simply because it had NO CONTINGENCIES. Many Sellers prefer NO RISK as opposed to a few extra bucks.  

Most of this has to do with preparation and knowledge.  Don’t get caught off guard and lose your dream home because you weren’t properly prepared.  This starts with your Realtor.  Find a trusted expert and then work hard with them!

If you're looking for more information or tips on the buying process in Champaign IL, call The Rose Price Team, experts in relocation and led by Rose Price, a trusted Real Estate Agent since 1989.     

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

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