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Tips for Spring Home Buyers and Sellers in Champaign/Urbana!

by Rose Price

Spring is fast approaching. As the flowers bloom and the weather warms, home buyers and sellers start looking to enter the real estate market. If you are ready to Buy or Sell you home in Champaign/Urbana this spring, it is important to be prepared and know what to expect. Here are my helpful tips for spring buying and selling in our area.

 

Spring Buyers!

As a buyer, your first step is to know the Champaign/Urbana market. Research what housing options are available to you as well as the current list prices. Before you begin to seriously search for your new home, it is important to have your Financing situated ahead of time. This allows you to accurately know what you can afford and makes you a more attractive buyer when you enter negotiations with a seller. Realize that the spring market means increased competition from other potential buyers. Once you find your dream home, you want to stand out from other offers. Consider writing a personal letter to the seller expressing why you love their home and know that it would be a good fit for you and your family. Also, remain flexible during the negotiation process to ensure that you can get the home you want.  


 

Spring Sellers!

As a seller, you need to know Your Home's Value before you list. This will enable you to price your home correctly. Since other sellers will be listing their homes this spring, you want to stand out from the competition. You can do this by improving your home’s curb appeal, staging your home, and completing any home improvement projects. Consider some updates to your home that will give you a great return on investment. To get top dollar for your home and sell it quickly, work with Champaign/Urbana’s Top Realtor!






Champaign Rose is here to help you buy or sell this spring!  Give me a call today or visit my website at http://www.champaignrose.com/ to get started today.

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/.    

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

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/.

Buying a new house is an exciting and important time! There is no better place to call home than CHAMPAIGN/URBANA! House hunting in a seller's market, though, adds more factors for you to consider during the process. Although the market might not be favoring buyers at the moment, there are many things that you can use to your advantage to help you buy your dream home! Look through the current HOUSE LISTINGS so I can help you begin this exciting journey, and follow these 6 useful tips for buyers in a seller's market.

WORK WITH AN EXPERIENCED AGENT. Eliminate some of the time and stress that comes with house hunting by working with an experienced real estate agent. Champaignrose  & Landmark Real Estate is here to help you find your dream home! Let me know exactly what you are looking for. I understand the Champaign/Urbana housing market, now what is available, and negotiate the best deal for your new home! Here is WHY BUYERS CHOOSE ME!

BE PREAPPROVED BY A LENDER. Get preapproval for a loan from a reputable lender that you can present to the seller. This shows that you are serious about buying the home and makes the seller feel more comfortable knowing that your finances are in order. If you already know that you can afford the home and have a high credit score, get this part of the process out of the way when you initially start your house hunting process. It can help you stand apart from the other buyers. For help with the kinds of loans that are available for you, check out our  FINANCE INFORMATION

BE DECISIVE IN MAKING AN OFFER. Buying a home is a major decision so being thoughtful about the home you make an offer on is imperative. But don’t get bogged down in over analyzing. Before you begin the house hunting process, be sure to know exactly what you are looking for in your dream home…price, location, and type. When you find a home that checks all of the factors you have previously determined, make an offer! You don’t want to miss out on your dream home due to overthinking.

MAKE YOUR BEST OFFER. Start with a strong opening offer. You should know the maximum that you are willing to pay. Set a BUDGET so you are fully area of what you can afford and can make more informed decisions. Although we all want to get the best deal possible, in a seller’s market competition is high. If you come in with too low of an opening offer, you could miss out on your dream home. Be aware of what other houses are on the market and the pricing of the homes in the area. This will help you determine what is an appropriate amount to negotiate for the house you want. Have a strong opening offer that you are comfortable with AND that will be acceptable to the seller.

PREPARE FOR A BIDDING WAR. Bidding wars inevitably cause stress for buyers. The fear of missing out on your dream home is understandable. However, competition in a seller’s market is high. Know what you are willing to pay and search for houses below your max budget. This will help you avoid spending more than you are comfortable with should you end up in a bidding war.

LEARN FROM YOUR MISTAKES. You might not get the first home that you make an offer on. In a seller’s market, it is likely that you will have to make several offers on homes before finding the perfect one for you. Recognize what happened with the transactions that don’t work out and learn from them. Stay true to what you want and realize that there are other options in the Champaign/Urbana that I will help you find!

Source: TRULIA

11 Small Towns Where Everyone Knows Your Name

by Rose Price

Is there anything better than walking into your local coffee shop and having the barista write your name on the cup without having to ask you? Ok ok, I get that this may seem trivial, but you do have to admit it is a wonderful feeling when the locals in your community all know you.  This month onlyinyourstate.com published a list about “11 small towns where everyone knows your name” in Illinois, and we were thrilled to see Tuscola and Monticello, two towns in our community, named!

But what makes these towns so special? 

The list is as follows:

  1. Clarendon Hills, located outside of Chicago in Dupage County.

  2. Casey, known for its large construction projects.

  3. Cherry Valley, located in Boone County with a population of 3,000.

  4. Winchester, located in Scott County and known for its gorgeous courthouse.

  5. TUSCOLA, located in Scott County, and is our backyard, and known for its great outlet mall. Click here to view current homes for sale in Tuscola.

  6. MONTICELLO, is also located in our community! Click here to view current homes for sale in Monticello.​

  7. Milford, located in Iroquois County and has a population of only 800.

  8. Ladd, located in Bureau County and was a former mining town.

  9. Hebron, located in McHenry County with a population of 1200.

  10. Galena, may get a lot of visitors but the locals still know you well.

  11. Benld, located in Macoupin County and is known as one of a small group of towns where an object was hit by a meteor.

Please click here to read the entire article.

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

 

Boost Wintertime Curb Appeal for your Champaign IL Home!

by Rose Price

BOOST YOUR HOME'S CURB APPEAL DURING THE WINTER MONTHS!

It's easy to do with these simple steps:

1. YES....I'll Take Door Number One!

If you want to make a great impression & be remembered...start with your entry door. Even a fresh coat of paint with new hardware can make a statement! Go for a "pop" of a coordinating color and you're in for an amazing transformation!

2. BRING ON THE GREEN!

Evergreen shrubs look terrific in pots on the porch and can add a great boost to the look of your Entry way!

3. SAFETY FIRST....

Be sure your walkways are clear of snow and ice. It's that simple It prevents injuries due to slip and falls, and a shoveled or plowed driveway creates clean line that look great and imply your property is well cared for.

4. SAY GOOD-BYE TO MR. & MRS. CLAUS

Once we've reached the New Year it's time to take down the Christmas Decorations and neatly pack them away and store them for next year's festivities. Nothing is worse than a home that is on the market at the end of January...still sporting it's Christmas finest!

5. PORCHIFY!

Your porch is an excellent assest....Spring, Summer, Fall or WINTER! If you have the space, set out a Rocking Chair with a Cuddly Winter Throw or Bistro Set that is perfect for your home type that you can "stage" for the season. Let your prospective Buyers visualize what an evening during warmer months may be like spending time out there!

The "Spring" Home Selling season is HERE!! If you're considering putting your Champaign/Urbana Home on the market, the time is NOW! Use these tips to give the front of your home the extra WOW factor that will make Home Buyers want to get in the inside and take a tour!

For more Home Buying Tips give Champaignrose a call at 217-202-8843 or visit my website at champaignrose.com. You can also get great tips and ideas from my Facebook & Pinterest Page!

January is Radon Home Testing Month!

by Rose Price

Has your Champaign/Urbana home been tested for Radon? If not, now is the perfect time to get it done! January is National Radon Action Month. As your Champaign/Urbana Real Estate Professional, I feel it’s my duty to inform you of the proper precautions and actions to take in order to protect yourself and your family from any possible radon exposure.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, radon (also known as a radioactive gas) is found at some level in almost every home and takes the lives of 21,000 Americans each year.  Did you know that the EPA and the U.S. Surgeon General have urged all Americans to protect their health by testing their homes, schools and places of business for radon? Because exposure to radon is a preventable health risk, testing radon levels in your home can help prevent unnecessary exposure and health issues! If a high radon level is detected in your home you can take steps to fix the problem and protect yourself and your family.

Here's what you need to do to Test your Home for Radon:

  • Get a Radon test kit & Test your Existing Home: Test kits are available for purchase online, however we would recommend completing the Home Radon Testing Checklist at the following website to ensure you do  a complete and accurate job of testing your home: RADON TESTING CHECKLIST. The Public Health District of Champaign County offers Free test kits at the following link: FREE RADON TEST KITS If you live outside the state of IL, check with your state government office for Free Radon testing kits. Some home goods and hardware stores also sell radon testing kits. Make sure to follow the instructions carefully for proper placement and information on where to send it afterwards to get your reading.
  •  
  • Call a Professional- If you'd rather not do the testing yourself, you can call a IL Radon Mitigation Professional and they'll come into your home and do all the testing for you.
  •  
  • If You Are Buying a Home…and the home has already been tested for radon, ask the
  • seller for the test results of the most recent radon test. You may also want to request that a new test be conducted by a professional radon tester. If a radon test has not yet been conducted, request it as soon as possible with your own specific preferences. You have the right to decide who will do the test, what type of test will be done and when the test will be done.
  •  
  • If You Are Selling a Home…and your home has already been tested for radon, review the facts and verify it was done correctly. If so, make sure the test results are available to your potential buyers. If your home has not been tested for radon, get the test done as soon as possible; preferably before your home goes on the market.

The presence of radon in your Champaign/Urbana Home can be dangerous and life threatening. While smoking causes cancer in an estimated 160,000 people a year, radon can cause lung cancer in both smokers and non-smokers alike. Radon is the number one cause of lung cancer in non-smokers, and radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer overall.  

The World Health Organization (WHO) launched an international radon project to help countries around the world increase awareness, collect data and promote action to reduce radon risks. Radon in our homes is the main source of exposure and up until now has not received widespread attention. Get the facts about radon and make sure your family is safe from its dangers. If you are buying or selling a home, take the proper precautions to radon-proof your home before it’s on the market or before you move in.

For more Home Buying and Selling Tips visit my Blog and Facebook Page  frequently. 

Top 9 Universities In Illinois. One Is In Champaign IL!

by Rose Price

Nine universities in Illinois have been ranked among the nation’s best by U.S. News & World Report, and two of them have been ranked in the top 12.  

Even more exciting...Guess who comes in at #3 in Illinois?... That's right! The University of Illinois–Urbana-Champaign.  

It doesn't surprise me, after all, it is the #11 Ranked Public University in the country. The Students and Faculty here are pioneers of innovative research, tackling global problems and expanding the human experience ever single day! Alumni of the University Of Illinois-Champaign-Urbana continue to make a significant and positive impact on our human society and with 18 Pulitzer prize winners, their track record is pretty remarkable. So it is to them we say, 

Congratulations!!!  

We are proud to have you in our communities.

The following criteria was used to rank the schools: Undergraduate Academic Reputation, Freshmen Retention Rates, Six-Year Graduation Rates, ACT/SAT Test Scores, Class Sizes and Faculty Resources, Admissions Selectivity, Financial Resources and Alumni Giving.  The analysis was based on the class that began in the fall of 2014. 

According to the report, its two “pillars” upon which the rankings were based:

"First, regionally accredited schools are categorized by their mission, which is derived from the breakdown of types of higher education institutions as refined by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching in 2010. The Carnegie classification, which is used extensively by higher education researchers, has been the basis of the Best Colleges ranking category system since our first rankings were published in 1983…"

"Once schools have been divided by category, we gather data from each college on up to 16 indicators of academic excellence. Each factor is assigned a weight that reflects our judgment about how much that measure matters. Finally, the colleges and universities in each category are ranked against their peers, based on their composite weighted score."

As the report on the rankings points out, there are dozens, if not hundreds, of “intangibles,” or other factors that go into college choice decisions by students and their families. On top of the metrics measured by U.S. News & World Report, finances, location, student life, areas of specialty, sports, student activities and many other factors must be considered before enrollment. There is no real way to account for all of these intangible variables, but this list helps quantify a small portion of the variables facing future college students.

*The test scores are displayed as a range of scores of whichever test (SAT/ACT) taken by the most students

1. University of Chicago

National rank: 4

Acceptance rate: 8.8 percent

6-year graduation rate: 93 percent

Test score range: SAT math and verbal: 1430-1590

2. Northwestern University

National rank: 12

Acceptance rate: 13.1 percent

6-year graduation rate: 94 percent

Test score range: SAT math and verbal: 1390-1560

3. University of Illinois–Urbana-Champaign

National rank: 41

Acceptance rate: 59 percent

6-year graduation rate: 84 percent

Test score range: ACT composite: 26-32

4. Loyola University Chicago

National rank: 99

Acceptance rate: 63.3 percent

6-year graduation rate: 73 percent

Test score range: ACT composite: 25-29

5. Illinois Institute of Technology

National rank: 108

Acceptance rate: 50.6 percent

6-year graduation rate: 65 percent

Test score range: ACT composite: 25-31

6. DePaul University

National rank: 123

Acceptance rate: 69.9 percent

6-year graduation rate: 71 percent

Test score range: ACT composite: 23-28

7. University of Illinois–Chicago

National rank: 129

Acceptance rate: 72.7 percent

6-year graduation rate: 60 percent

Test score range: ACT composite: 22-27

8. Illinois State University

National rank: 149

Acceptance rate: 73.9 percent

6-year graduation rate: 72 percent

Test score range: ACT composite: 22-26

9. Southern Illinois University–Carbondale

National rank: 153

Acceptance rate: 81.7 percent

6-year graduation rate: 44 percent

Test score range: ACT composite: 19-26

The report also listed these Universities in Illinois that were scored but unranked. These schools didn’t fit into the parameters used by U.S. News to rank the schools (they might not use the SAT or ACT tests to admit students, for example), or they might not have been ranked by enough peer schools for the report authors to gather an accurate picture of the schools.

The Illinois schools on the unranked list are:

Benedictine University

National Louis University

Northern Illinois University

Trinity International University

Interested in more of what makes living in Champaign/Urbana so great?  Give Rose Price  a call. She'll be happy to make your dream of owning a home in Champaign/Urbana a reality!.  

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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