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What is Your Home Worth?

by Rose Price

Homes in Champaign Il, like the rest of the country, has seen home prices bounce around the last several years. The same question is always being asked, "How much is my home really worth?"

Being informed and know what your home will sell for today will should be the first step in preparing to sell your Champaign, IL home.  A home is worth what someone will pay for it. Everything else is an estimate of value. To determine a property's value, most people turn to either an appraisal or a comparative market analysis.

An appraisal is a certified appraiser's estimate amenities, energy efficiency, the quality of the of the value of a home at a given point in time. To make their determination, appraisers consider square footage, construction quality, design, floor plan, neighborhood and availability of transportation, shopping and schools. Appraisers also take lot size, topography, view and landscaping into account.

The list price is the price tag put on a house in a real estate listing; it usually is only an estimate of what the seller would like to get for the property. The sales price is the amount a property actually sells for. It may be the same as the listing price, or higher or lower, depending on how accurately the property was originally priced and on market conditions.

A seller may need to adjust the listing price if there have been no offers within the first few months of the property's listing period.

The appraisal value is a certified appraiser's estimate of the worth of a property, and is based on comparable sales, the condition of the property and numerous other factors. Lenders require appraisals as part of the loan application process; fees range from $200 to $300. Appraisers use several factors when estimating value including historical records, property performance, condition of the home and indices that forecast future value.

Market value is what price the house will bring at a given point in time. A comparative market analysis is an informal estimate of market value, based on sales of comparable properties, performed by a real estate agent or broker. Because brokers and agents are not state-certified appraisers, they may not perform appraisals in most states. Instead, they estimate the value of a property using a CMA.

You can do your own cost comparison by looking up recent sales of comparable properties in public records. These records are available at local recorder's or assessor's offices, through private companies or on the Internet. Neither of these services produce official appraisals. They also don't factor in market nuances or other issues a certified appraiser or real estate professional might in assessing the value of your home.

 

Rose Price, CIPS, CRP

Prudential Landmark Real Estate
Champaignrose.com

 

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Garden Clubs of Illinois Flower Show

by Rose Price

Looking for something FREE to do in Champaign, Illinois?

An advanced standard flower show of the Garden Clubs of Illinois, Inc. will be free and open to the public Saturday, June 9, from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Lincoln Square Mall in Urbana.  Exhibits include floral design,  horticulture and educational.

It's more fun sharing your gardening expertise and learning from others. Garden clubs offer opportunities to make new friends and acquire new skills. No wonder their membership is growing.

For more information you can call 630-617-9269  or email  gardenclubsill@aol.com

Thanks .news-gazette.com for the info on this great Champaign, Illinois event!

Rose Price, CIPS, CRP

Prudential Landmark Real Estate
Champaignrose.com

 

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Dealing with Credit Score

by Rose Price

If you've been searching for a new Champaign, Illinois home then I'm sure you've heard the words "credit score" quite a few times. With the Illinois lenders tightening their requirements it is more important than ever.

You credit score is commonly referred to as a FICO score, and is a proprietary tool created by the Fair Isaac Corporation. This is not the only way to get a credit score, but the FICO score is the measure that is most commonly used by lenders to determine the risk involved in a particular loan.

Due to the proprietary nature of the FICO score, the Fair Isaac company does not reveal the exact formula it uses to compute this number. However, what is known is that the calculation is broken into five major categories with varying levels of importance. These categories, with weigh in brackets, are payment history (35%), amount owed (30%), length of credit history (15%), new credit (10%) and type of credit used (10%). All of these categories are taken into account in your overall score - no one area or incident determines your score.

The payment history category reviews how well you have met your prior obligations on various account types. It also looks for previous problems in your payment history such as bankruptcy, collections and delinquency. It takes into consideration the size of these problems, the time it took to resolve them, and how long it has been since the problems appeared. The more problems you have in your credit history, the weaker your credit score will be.

One of the largest components that is reviewed is the amount that you currently owe to lenders. While this category focuses on your current amount of debt, it also looks at the number of different accounts and the specific types of accounts that you hold. This area is focused on your present financial situation, and a large amount of debt from many sources will have an adverse effect on your score.

The other categories (length of credit history, new credit and type of credit used) are fairly straightforward. The longer you have a good credit history, the better. Of course, common sense dictates that someone who has never been late with payment over twenty years is a much safer bet than someone who has been only made on time payments for a few years. Also, people who apply for credit a lot probably already have financial pressures causing them to do so, so each time you apply for credit, your score gets dinged a little. Finally, a person with only one credit card is less risky than a person with 10, so the more types of credit accounts you have, the lower your score will be.

It is important to understand that your credit score only looks at the information contained on your credit report and does not reflect additional information that your lender may consider in its appraisal. For example, your credit report does not include such things as current income, debt to income ration, and length of employment. However, because your credit score is a key tool used by lending agencies, it is important that you maintain and improve it periodically.

Your credit score is a major factor when purchasing a home, especially in this tight lending environment. Contact me today if you have any questions about your credit score.

Rose Price, CIPS, CRP

Prudential Landmark Real Estate
Champaignrose.com

 

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City Wide Garage Sale

by Rose Price

Looking for some great deals in the Champaign, Illinois area?  Now is your big chance! Who knows what you may find at Paxton, Illinois'  city wide Garage sale! It will be continuing both June 1st and 2nd from 7:00 am until 5:00 pm.

The last several years they've had approximately 100 sales!

Maps will be available at both Caseys locations and Colonial Pantry. www.paxtongaragesales.com has all the sites listed where you could find the deal of a life time. From games to clothes, antiques and jewelry. They will have it all!

Won't be in Paxton during the weekend? What about Farmer City? They will also be having a city wide garage sale June 1st and 2nd from 8:00 am until 1:00 pm!

For more information call 309-928-2676 or write an email to msv101985@yahoo.com

 

Thanks New-gazette for the info on this great weekend event in the Champaign area!

Rose Price, CIPS, CRP

Prudential Landmark Real Estate
Champaignrose.com

 

    Search for Homes in the Champaign Area 

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Preparing for Down Payment and Closing Costs

by Rose Price
 

Now that you've found the Champaign Illinois home that meets your needs. It time to start making offers and getting ready for closing.

A generation ago, it used to be the norm to put 20 percent down, but with the real estate market in its current state of flux, many first-time homebuyers are finding ways to pay just 3 to 5 percent of the total cost upfront. Federal Housing Act (FHA) loans increasingly have become a popular option for first-time buyers, says Greg Herb, regional vice president of the National Association of Realtors. These competitively low-interest loans are ideal for buyers with less than perfect credit, and because the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) minimizes the risk of default for lenders on these loans, borrowers are only required to put down 3.5 percent of the cost--a far cry from the traditional 20 percent down payment.

Still, there are advantages to paying more at the start. A larger down payment ultimately means smaller monthly bills down the line. Also, if you purchase a conventional loan (i.e.: one that is not backed by a federal agency), paying 20 percent or more upfront will eliminate the need to pay Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) charges. PMI is insurance for your lender that can be paid upfront or in monthly installments, and is designed to offset your lender's risk in the case that you've paid less than 20 percent on your home. It can cost around $55 a month per $100,000 financed. While it's important to note that FHA loans also carry mortgage insurance with a down payment of under 20 percent, their low barriers to own still make them a good choice for first-time buyers.

Rose Price, CIPS, CRP

Prudential Landmark Real Estate
Champaignrose.com

 

    Search for Homes in the Champaign Area 

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Champaign County Humane Society Annual GIANT Garage Sale

by Rose Price

Get out of the house this Friday and/or Saturday and check out the Champaign County Humane Society Annual GIANT Garage Sale

Gigantic selection of housewares, toys, books, music, clothing, gardening, tools, pet items, jewelry, children's toy and clothing, plus Antiques Booth and our Unique Boutique, available for sale to benefit the homeless pets at Champaign, Illinois,  Humane Society. Or adopt a pet to add to your family!  $2 admission charge Friday and Saturday. Sunday its only $1 and they will be practically giving away the left overs!

This event will be held at Kesler Hall, Champaign County Fairgrounds, Coler and Fairview avenues in Urbana

Thanks News-Gazette for the info on this great local event!

Rose Price, CIPS, CRP

Prudential Landmark Real Estate
Champaignrose.com

 

    Search for Homes in the Champaign Area 

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Tips for Buying a Home

by Rose Price

Are you ready to find the perfect Champaign, Illinois home for you? Then you'll need to think about a few things before getting started.  These are some of the top 10 things you need to know when buying a home.

1. Don't buy if you can't stay put.

If you can't commit to remaining in one place for at least a few years, then owning is probably not for you, at least not yet. With the transaction costs of buying and selling a home, you may end up losing money if you sell any sooner - even in a rising market. When prices are falling, it's an even worse proposition.

2. Start by cleaning up your credit.

Since you most likely will need to get a mortgage to buy a house, you must make sure your credit history is as clean as possible. A few months before you start house hunting, get copies of your credit report. Make sure the facts are correct, and fix any problems you discover.

3. Aim for a home you can really afford.

The rule of thumb is that you can buy housing that runs about two-and-one-half times your annual salary. But you'll do better to use one of many calculators available online to get a better handle on how your income, debts, and expenses affect what you can afford.

4. If you can't put down the usual 20 percent, you may still qualify for a loan.

20% is the norm these days, but there are options if you don't have the cash. There are a variety of public and private lenders who, if you qualify, offer low-interest mortgages that require a down payment as small as 3 percent of the purchase price.

5. Buy in a district with good schools.

In most areas, this advice applies even if you don't have school-age children. Reason: When it comes time to sell, you'll learn that strong school districts are a top priority for many home buyers, thus helping to boost property values.

6. Get professional help.

Even though the Internet gives buyers unprecedented access to home listings, most new buyers (and many more experienced ones) are better off using a professional agent. Look for an exclusive buyer agent, if possible, who will have your interests at heart and can help you with strategies during the bidding process.

7. Choose carefully between points and rate.

When picking a mortgage, you usually have the option of paying additional points -- a portion of the interest that you pay at closing -- in exchange for a lower interest rate. If you stay in the house for a long time -- say three to five years or more -- it's usually a better deal to take the points. The lower interest rate will save you more in the long run.

8. Before house hunting, get pre-approved.

Getting pre-approved will you save yourself the grief of looking at houses you can't afford and put you in a better position to make a serious offer when you do find the right house. Not to be confused with pre-qualification, which is based on a cursory review of your finances, pre-approval from a lender is based on your actual income, debt and credit history.

9. Do your homework before bidding.

Your opening bid should be based on the sales trend of similar homes in the neighborhood. So before making it, consider sales of similar homes in the last three months. If homes have recently sold at 5 percent less than the asking price, you should make a bid that's about eight to 10 percent lower than what the seller is asking.

10. Hire a home inspector.

Sure, your lender will require a home appraisal anyway. But that's just the bank's way of determining whether the house is worth the price you've agreed to pay. Separately, you should hire your own home inspector, preferably an engineer with experience in doing home surveys in the area where you are buying. His or her job will be to point out potential problems that could require costly repairs down the road.

Rose Price, CIPS, CRP

Prudential Landmark Real Estate
Champaignrose.com

 

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An exhibit entitled Prologue to Presidency: Abraham Lincoln on the Illinois Eighth Judicial Circuit will make a stop at the Champaign County,  Courthouse in Urbana from May 17 through June 18. This exhibit offers a groundbreaking view of Abraham Lincoln and of Lincoln’s America during the middle of the nineteenth century. The exhibit is free and open to the public during regular Courthouse hours, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. For security reasons cell phones are not allowed in the courthouse.

The exhibit reveals a very different perspective of Lincoln the politician, and of Lincoln the president. He is often thought of as a “railsplitter” and a man of the people, but the exhibit shows that he was actually a sophisticated lawyer who learned the use of legal technicalities and mastered the art of argument. Indeed, Lincoln was shaped as much by his professional life as by any other single force, and by the end of his 21 years on the circuit, he was ready to enter the most elite group of lawyers in the nation. In spite of Lincoln’s statements in his autobiography he was, in fact, a very accomplished lawyer. It was those accomplishments, and Lincoln's entire experience on the circuit, which propelled him to the presidency.

Thanks news-gazette for the info on this historical Champaign County event!

Rose Price, CIPS, CRP

Prudential Landmark Real Estate
Champaignrose.com

 

    Search for Homes in the Champaign Area 

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Sharing Closing Costs

by Rose Price

The last thing to do when you purchase a Champaign home is the closing,and some people don't know that you can actually split the costs. This is a time when the paperwork will be completed, and for the home seller it is the remaining mortgage balance and the agent's commission will be deducted from the sales price. However, many however don't figure in the closing costs that are involved as well. 

While the amount and who will be responsible can vary from state to state, typical closing costs refer to all of the taxes, fees and costs required to close a real estate transaction.

When selling your home, it is important to ask your agent for a breakdown of what you are expected to pay in closing costs as well what the buyer will pay. In most states the buyer and seller split closing costs but some states consider the buyer to be responsible or both parties can be required to pay the costs. 

Typically the person responsible for paying closing costs can be dependent on the market. For example in a market that is plentiful, the seller could have more of a chance in having the buyer pay the majority of the closing costs. But in a market that is struggling such as now, buyers tend to have the upper hand and many sellers will pay the majority of the closing costs in order to complete the sale.

Below are some of the common closing costs faced by sellers and buyers:

Escrow/attorney fees: Some states require third-party escrow companies handle real estate closings, while others dictate attorneys perform the function. Title companies, title agents, lenders, brokers and even real estate agents are allowed to handle closings and/or escrows depending on the state. These fees are usually split between the buyer and seller.
Title insurance: There are usually two types of
title insurance that must be purchased – the lenders’ policy and the owners’ policy. Usually either a title company or in some states a lawyer will research the title to make sure there are no liens against the property or unidentified owners. These policies protect the lender and new owner for the full value of the property. Usually, the seller pays for the owner’s policy and the buyer pays for the lender’s policy. This is often referred to as clearing title.
Transfer or documentary taxes: These are paid either to the state, county, city or a combination depending on the state. This is where the government agency gets their share of the transaction. This is also known as a reconveyance tax.
Recording fee: Usually paid to the county for recording the deed, which shows ownership of the property.
Mortgage tax: This is an additional tax collected by some states. Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Kansas, Maryland, Minnesota, New York, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Virginia are the states that collect this tax.

Brokerage commission: The fee you contractually agreed to pay for the selling of your home.


Aside from these costs, the seller may be responsible for costs such as any credits that were promised to the buyer for repairs or home warranties. Don't forget that Federal law requires that sellers and buyers receive a copy of a
HUD-1 form outlining all charges in a real estate transaction.

Rose Price, CIPS, CRP

Prudential Landmark Real Estate
Champaignrose.com

 

    Search for Homes in the Champaign Area 

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Bird Walks

by Rose Price

Have you been looking for a early morning walking partner in Champaign county?  Do you need to get out of the house for some fresh air? Or have you always been interested in bird watching? Champaign County, Audubon Society, is having  Sunday Morning Bird Walks in Busey Woods and Crystal Lake Park beginging March 4 and continuing each and every Sunday through May 27.

Meet at the Anita Purves Nature Center parking lot, 1505 N. Broadway, Urbana, at 7:30 a.m. Walks usually last about 1-1/2 hours. Birders of all skill levels are welcome.

Thanks News Gazette for the info!

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

    Champaign Real Estate Market Information 


    Let’s Connect!


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