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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

 

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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

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If you are looking for some down home country music this weekend in Champaign-Urbana then you are in luck!
 
Amazing fans with the unparalleled energy of his live shows and his honky-tonk country sound, Jared Ashley has been one of the top touring acts in the country for more than 6 years, playing over 150 shows a year since moving to Nashville 9 years ago. Jared Ashley has made his mark in this business with his hard work and dedication to his live shows and his cult like following fan base. Jared Ashley is here to stay, and we can see him here in Champaign, IL!  Make plans to see him March 23rd at 8:30 at The Stop located at 3515 N Cunningham Ave, Urbana, IL 61802

The Stop is very excited to have Jared in Champaign, IL as you can see from their Facebook page.

Thank you News Gazette for the event information!

 

 

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

 

    Search for Homes in the Champaign Area 

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Your Credit Report

by Rose Price

Having your credit report is an important step in buying a Champaign, Illinois home.  You should know your credit report before your lender views it. You can get the information by calling and requesting it. Once you have the report in your hand, check the “high credit limit”, total loan,” and “past due” columns.  It is a very good idea to get copies from all of the reporting agencies. 

Credit reporting companies:

Experian (800) 682-7954 www.experian.com

Equifax (800) 685-1111 www.equifax.com

TransUnion (800) 888-4213 www.transunion.com

You can also get a copy of your credit history at the following online locations:

http://www.transunion.com

www.creditreports.com

What if I find a mistake in my credit history?

You can correct simple mistakes by writing to the reporting company, pointing out the error, and providing proof of the mistake. You can also request to have your own comments added to explain problems.

For example, if you made a payment late due to illness, explain that for the record. Lenders usually understand about legitimate problems.

What about my overall (or FICO) score?

What does it mean? Prior to the late 1990's, credit scoring had little to do with mortgage lending. When reviewing your credit worthiness, an underwriter would make a subjective decision based on past payment history. Then things changed.

Lenders studied the relationship between credit scores and mortgage delinquencies and found a definite relationship. Almost half of those borrowers with FICO scores below 550 became ninety days delinquent at least once during their mortgage. On the other hand, only two out of every 10,000 borrowers with FICO scores above eight hundred became delinquent.

When can I stretch the percentages?

In the  Champaign housing market, lenders sometimes will allow you to stretch their allowable debt ratios. One of the best ways to encourage your lender to do so is to increase your down payment.

 Underwriters sometimes also will stretch the ratios for other "compensating factors," including:

  • Strong cash reserves after close of escrow
  • New payment that’s only slightly higher than current rent or mortgage payment 
  • History of increasing earning capabilities 
  • History of an ability to save money 
  • Large cash down payment

 Contact me today to check out what's available in the Champaign Urbana area!

 

 

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

 

    Search for Homes in the Champaign Area 

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Tax Deductions for Home Owners

by Rose Price

Most of us don't look forward to tax season, but if you own a home in Champaign, IL, you may be eligible for some tax breaks! Since you don't want to miss out on any home-related tax deductions, you'll want to meet with a tax advisor or use a tax program to find out which deductions you can claim. Here are some of the more common deductions that I would like the residents of beautiful Central Illinois to be aware of:

Mortgage Deductions.The interest you pay on a home mortgage is usually tax-deductible. Every year, you should receive a “Form 1098” from your lender which details how much mortgage interest you paid. To claim this deduction, you need to fill out “Schedule A”, under “itemized deductions” to record your interest deduction. These deductions can also include late payment charges and pre-payment penalties.

Moving expenses. If a move is connected with taking a new job that is at least 50 miles farther from your old home than your old job was, you can deduct some of the expenses for you and your family and the cost of moving your household goods.

Deducting Real Estate Taxes. Real estate taxes are deductible in the year paid. They are generally reported on Form 1098, Mortgage Interest Statement, the annual statement from the financial institution holding your mortgage, or on your county real estate tax assessment statement. You should also deduct any prorated taxes collected from you at closing. These amounts are not always included on Form 1098, but may be itemized on your real estate closing statement.

Business Use of Your Home. If you are a homeowner who uses any portion of your home for business, from daycare to home office to rental property, you can take a deduction for business expenses.

Of course, tax deduction change every year and you may be able to claim deductions that you weren't even aware of! To get the most out of this tax season contact a professional tax advisor.

Are you ready to buy your dream home in Champaign, Illinois? You could claim these exemptions and deductions next year! Contact me to start your search!

 

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


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 



     



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“Fragments: Recent Paintings by Kenneth Hall”

by Rose Price

If you love art and are looking for something to do this weekend then take a look at local Champaign art during this exhibit.

Recognizable figures from famous paintings in art history take on new meaning in artist’s Kenneth Hall’s paintings, to be featured in a Parkland Art Gallery exhibit opening Monday, February 13.

“Fragments: Recent Paintings by Kenneth Hall” will run in the gallery through Tuesday, March 27. An artist reception takes place from 6-8 p.m. on Thursday, February 16, with gallery talk by Hall at 7 p.m. and music by the Urbana High School Jazz Band. Hall will provide an additional lecture in the gallery earlier on February 16, at 1:15 p.m.

Support local Champaign artists by checking out this lecture and exhibit!

 

 

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February is Heart Health Awareness Month

by Rose Price

Did you know that heart disease is the number one killer of women? February is Heart Health Awareness month and now is the perfect time to fight back against this disease.

For example, by exercising at least 30 minutes a day you can reduce your risk of heart disease. Take the stairs, and know that every time you make a decision to chose a healthier option you could be saving your life.

Studies show that for every hour of walking you may increase your life expetancy by two hours! The time to get moving is now!

Start with small workouts and find friends in Champaign to help you meet your goals. Very soon, you'll be enjoying the benefits of an active lifestyle.

Do you have any words of motivation for our readers who are just beginning the journey to heart health? Contact us and share them!

 

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Moving with Children

by Rose Price

You may not be the only one who is overwhelmed by a move to Champaign, your children may be extremely nervous or even downright dreading the move! Here are some tips that can help:

1. It's a good idea to inform your children about moving as soon as possible and not delay the news. Children need time to let the big news sink in and you will need the time to help them prepare!

It can be natural to assume that the less time kids have to think about moving, the easier it will be for your children. However, experts say it is actually the opposite. Kids need time to get used to the idea of moving. Don't put off telling them about moving.

2. Welcome your children's questions about moving.

Open lines of communication will go a long way toward helping your children feel comfortable with moving. And it's okay even if you can't answer all their questions right now. Your kid's questions can give you an idea of how they're feeling about moving — whether they're excited or uneasy. Some questions may also offer an ideal way to get them involved in the moving process, such as suggesting they get online to locate nearby libraries or parks.

3. Be positive and upbeat about the move.

Your attitude about the move will influence your children's attitude as well. If you dread moving, then the move will seem dreadful to them too. Be enthusiastic, upbeat, and positive about the experiences and opportunities in store, and your children will be more likely to feel the same way.

4. Let your children know they can help with the move.

This is a good time to emphasize that the move is a family event and that everyone will be part of the planning, packing, and perhaps even choosing the new home. Start your kids on thinking of things they can do and how to get ready for the move. Assure your kids that their contributions, however small, will be valued and greatly appreciated

Have you mastered the art of moving with children, please contact us to share your tips - we'd love to hear them!

 

 

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Prairie Elementary School Hosts American Indian Storyteller

by Rose Price

It's time for an annual Champaign/Urbana event which features an American Indian story teller for the Winter Tales event each February. 

This year, in partnership with Spurlock Museum, Prairie Elementary is proud to host Gene Tagaban, a teller and raven dancer from the state of Washington.

Gene Tagaban is a speaker, motivator, trainer, and performing artist of Cherokee, Tlingit and Filipino heritage. With over 20 years of storytelling experience, Tagaban uses his gift of storytelling, dance, and music, as he travels across the country performing, presenting, and facilitating workshops on suicide prevention, empowerment, leadership, relationship-building, communication skills, self-awareness, spirit and honor to participants of all ages.

The storytelling assembly will be held at Prairie Elementary School on Friday, February 3rd, at 9:00am.

If you would like more information on this local Champaign event, contact Prairie Elementary Principal, Yavonnda Smith, at 384-3628.

 

 

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All Steamed Up Teapot Show

by Rose Price

Calling all tea fanatics! Tea drinking has soared in popularity in recent years and tea and tea drinking accessories are the latest trend. Find an unique piece of art at the invitational teapot show at Cinema Gallery located at 120 W. Main, Urbana.

There will be over 60 teapots by ceramics faculty in Illinois colleges in a wide range of styles and prices.

Support your local Champaign artist and join locals for the All Steamed Up Teapot Show! Click here for location/directions.


 

 

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Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 27

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