Real Estate Information Archive

Blog

Displaying blog entries 1-3 of 3

Champaign/Urbana IL Protect Those Pipes From Freezing!

by Rose Price

With temperatures in Champaign/Urbana getting into the deep digits,  the chance of pipes freezing becomes a very real possibility, and untreated pipes in your basement and crawl-spaces can be an expensive scenario for any homeowner in the event of a burst.  What can you do to limit the chance of this happening to you & your home? Here are several preventative measures you can take:

  • First & foremost, you need to seal any air leaks inside near where the pipes are located in your home! Do a complete inspection around dryer vents, outdoor pipes, and electrical wiring. You'll need to use insulation, caulking, and sealants to ensure you've blocked the airway. Even a small opening can allow enough of this frigid air in to freeze a pipe.
  • Exposed pipes are most susceptible to freezing so you'll need to check your basement, and crawl-spaces where these pipes are located. Make sure you inspect all pipes to make sure each is properly insulated. Remember....ANY pipe can freeze, so inspect each one.
  • Heat Cables (thermostatically controlled)or Heat Tape can be used to wrap pipes. (Make sure any products used have been approved by Underwriters Laboratories Inc or other independent testing organizations & that you are using the products only where they are intended to be used IE: Inside or Outside, and you follow all installation and operational instructions). Check your local hardware store for supplies. 
  • To reduce freezing in the short span of the pipe, use indoor valves to shut off and drain water from the pipes that lead to outside faucets.
  • Many of us have gotten into the habit of turning down our thermostats at night, however this is NOT the time to do that! During these weather conditions it is very important to keep your thermostats set at the same temperatures both day & night. Because temperatures drop even deeper at night, if you set your thermostats lower at night you can run the risk of those pipes freezing over night.
  • Remember when your Mother told you to "Let the faucet's trickle overnight or if you are going to be gone for a day or two!"? Well, Mom was RIGHT! Trickling of hot and cold water, just letting it drip from the faucet on an outside wall, can keep your pipes from freezing! THANKS MOM!
  • Lastly,  keep the doors to your cabinets (on exterior walls) open, to allow heat to circulate through to the uninsulated pipes. Yes, I know you thought people were joking when they said that, but it is true, it can help keep your pipes from freezing as well.

Now, what can you do if your pipes have frozen?  SCREAM!  Just kidding, this isn't a laughing matter. If you turn on your faucets and nothing comes out, keep the faucets turned OFF and call a plumber immediately.  If your pipes are frozen, please keep these 4 things in mind:

  1. NEVER try to thaw a pipe with a blow torch or any other flame. 
  2. NEVER try to wade through the flooded waters in a basement or touch ANY electrical appliances or items in that area.  They will still be "ACTIVE" if plugged in prior to your basement flooding and would be cause for electrocution.
  3. If your pipes have BURST, Turn your water OFF at the main shut off valve.
  4. If trying to warm a Frozen Pipe, start as close to the faucet as possible then work toward the frozen section.
  5. Before you turn ANY water back on, MAKE SURE THERE AREN'T ANY LEAKS IN THE PIPES!!
  6. Make sure to check your Homeowners Insurance Policy and call them immediately.
I hope you'll just need to use my preventative tips and that our lovely communities around Champaign/Urbana will start to see the beautiful beginnings of spring sooner rather than later! Until then, check out my website and social media for more Homeowner tips!
If you're looking to move to the Champaign/Urbana area, and why wouldn't you Wink, give me a call! I'd love to be your tour guide and show you all the wonderful neighborhoods, schools and other points of interest in the Champaign/Urbana area. You can also sign up for my EXCLUSIVE EMAIL LISTING ALERTS! This allows you to be the first notified of homes that come onto the market that meet your personal preferences.  It's so easy, just follow this link: FREE LISTING ALERTS.

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

 

    Search for Homes in the Champaign Area 

    Featured Champaign Properties 

    Champaign Condominiums 

    Selling Your Champaign Home

    Champaign Real Estate Market Information 


    Let’s Connect!


    Facebook

 

 

**

Is Now the Time to Refinance?

by Rose Price

As interest rates drop to historic lows, several homeowners in Champaign, IL are making the decision to take advantage of refinancing their home. Keep in mind, even if your neighbor is refinancing, it might not be the right move for you. Below are some things you need to take into consideration before making your final decision regarding refinancing.

Although rates are low right now, the present economic crisis has caused a lot of lenders to reduce the amount of loans they give out.  This is a drastic change from the last few years when requirements were very loose and almost anyone was eligible for a mortgage. If you are figuring out how to save on your mortgage refinance, its vital to make sure you do your homework and get your facts right.

First, look at your loan-to-value ratio. In a no-cash-out refinancing (where the amount of your new loan doesn't exceed the balance of your existing loan, plus points and closing costs, if applicable), you may be able to borrow as much as 95% of your home's value. However, if the value of your home has fallen below the amount of your existing mortgage balance, you may not be able to refinance at all. This sadly, has been the case for many homes.  But you may be able to proceed through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009's Home Affordable Refinance program.

The major advantage of refinancing to a new lower interest rate is that you will save a substantial amount on your monthly mortgage payment. This is of course why most people choose to refinance their mortgage. It is important to keep in mind however that there are going to be costs involved with refinancing such as closing costs, points, and possible appraisal  and attorney fees.

Do your research and shop around for the best refinancing interest rates. All banks are not created equal, some banks and financial institutions charge higher rates than others. Normally, the smaller Community Banks and Credit Unions are more consumers oriented and charge lower rates.

In addition, when shopping around, look and compare interest rates and points versus no points before you refinance. Look out for embedded points included in the closing costs. Keep in mind, some lenders will include points in the closing cost without necessarily actually quoting these costs as points.

As a homeowner, it is important you do your research and educate yourself -- reach out to a professional who can walk you through refinancing as it's not a one size fits all solution.   

Have questions? Contact me today for help understanding the entire refinancing process.

 

**

 


 

Displaying blog entries 1-3 of 3

Syndication

Categories

Archives