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Taking a queue from the Blockbuster Feature Film, Fast & Furious - the last in the series, is the best way to describe the Champaign/Urbana Real Estate market

April saw gains in the Existing Home Sales Market of Owner Occupied Homes by 11.4%, in fact owner-occupied buyers accounted for 63.2% of all residential single family home and condo sales in the first quarter of 2013. This is a switch in the marketplace, especially in places like Champaign/Urbana from the investor sector of the market. 

But this isn't the BEST part! The housing market in the our area is HOT and inventory is moving fast and furiously, so this is what you need to know: (and the Fast & Furious Soundtrack to go with it!)


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CLICK ON THIS LINK OR THE PHOTO /to listen to the Fast & Furious Soundtrack

WHAT IS GETTING LOW? Listings spent 10 fewer days on the market in April than in March and are expected to spend even fewer days in May!

HOW BAD DO YOU WANT IT? When a market is moving this fast, you need to decide a few things up front right away. Seventy-eight percent of home searches start on the Web, and 90% of buyers use the Internet at some point during the search and buying process.  Review's show that traffic, searches, and listing views are up more than 35% over last year. 

With 3 million jobs created and close to 1.5 million new households formed in the past 12 months.  More & more people want a new Champaign/Urbana area home of their own, and they want it now and they want it bad. The only bad news is that inventory is low, so finding the "home of their dreams" is going to be hard....testing their patience! This was the #1 problem for buyers in April- low inventory & not finding the home that they really liked and met their needs!  

So you need to decide... What you want, What you are able to afford, Where you want to live, and What you want in a home & neighborhood.  Lastly the big question....What are you willing to give up, if  you find the home you are really looking for?

"SEE YOU AGAIN.....FAMILIES ALL WE'VE GOT"  Although this song is obviously a moving tribute to the movies lost star, Paul Walker, the words aptly fit into our world of homes so well. HOME is where our family's heart and soul reside. It is the nucleus of our everyday lives and where we share our lives with each other. So it's no wonder that Buying A Home remains the American Dream and why so many people are STILL making it the #1 priority for themselves and their families. With the market rebounding back, interest rates still near historic lows and more homes coming onto the Champaign/Urbana market weekly....this IS THE TIME TO MAKE YOUR DREAM OF OWNING A HOME A REALITY!

If you are looking to move-up into that DREAM HOME, or downsize into a more manageable home now that the kids have grown....NOW IS THE TIME! With all the Real Estate Guru's reporting, these numbers will NOT hold for long and we will not see them this low for a long time to come. Don't miss your chance, come in and talk with me today and we'll find you the home that suits you wants & needs before the market turns again.

You can also search any homes directly from my website at: Search Homes for Sale Champaign IL

Search Homes For Sale Urbana IL   Search Homes For Sale Monticello IL  Search Homes For Sale Savoy IL

*Realtor com Blog information 2015

FALL HOME MAINTENANCE TIPS FOR YOUR CHAMPAIGN/URBANA HOME

by Rose Price
It's that time of year ... before we know it the Champaign/Urbana area will be blanketed with the beautiful colors of red, orange, and gold and the temperatures will be dipping lower. That means we need to get our butts in gear and start preparing our homes to handle the demands of the upcoming cooler season. Below is a checklist of the most common Home Maintenance items that need to be done in the fall. The great news is, you can easily get them done on a weekend....and you'll be able to save a little money by tackling them now.
 

 

1. Paging Dr Heat!........It's time to get your furnace a physical. Each year you need to clean and /or replace furnace filters and wipe down any dust that has accumulated around the unit. If you hear any screeching or whines, or unusual noises with the system, you should call in to have a service technician come out and check the unit before winter season sets in. If you would like a recommendation, you can call me directly or follow this link to the people I work with and recommend: Rose's Recommended Providers.

2. Time To Get Your Mind In The Gutters! Inspect your gutters and downspouts for any clogs, and clean out the path thoroughly. Make sure this is done once the leaves are completely down from the trees at the end of the season as well. Keeping the gutters cleaned ensures that your home will not incur exterior damage to foundation walls or water in the basement. You may want to invest in mesh coverings for your gutters that will prevent any leaves or other debris from collecting in them in the future.

3. Get Yourself A View From The Top! Now that we're already talking about the top of the house we might as well stay there. It's very important to check your roof for damaged shingles before entering the winter season. Nothing is worse for a homeowner than a small drip that turns into a full blown disaster by the time they realize it's a hole in the roof! So take the time to scan the entire roof, top to bottom, looking for cracks, wind damage, curling of shingles, ones completely gone, damage to the metal flashing, etc. Once you have done your evaluation, have it repaired as soon as possible. Again, if you find yourself in need of a professional Roofer, give me a call or follow this link:  Rose's Recommended Providers.

4. Walk the Walk Baby! You really need to take a walk around your home, inspection every walkway surface. Damaged walkways are a hazard everyday, but bad weather makes them even more dangerous. Look for large cracks, uneven payment, loose bricks or pavers, loose railings, etc. Once you've made your list head over to your local home improvement store and get to work. The little time it takes to fix could potentially save you thousands in bills later on.

5. CHILL OUT.....or maybe we should just say FREEZE! Make sure to shut off all your exterior irrigation systems and drain the lines of the systems and hoses. Make sure to use a styrofoam faucet cover for your outdoor faucets and make sure all valves are in the closed and off position.

6. Gather 'Round the Fire. Fall and Winter are great for having fires in the fireplace, but making sure you have cleaned out the soot and creosote buildup is critical. It is also important to clean out any cobwebs and check for any bird nests or any other unwanted pests. I recommend calling in a professional if you have any questions at all.

7. Keeping the OTHER Wood fires Burning. Wood-burning stoves have made a huge comeback over the past couple years, but like fireplaces, need to be inspected to run efficiently and safely. Be sure to read and operate by the instruction manual and maintenance as required.

8. I'm Sealing Away.... This can be a big job, but a very necessary one that can help save some green on the heating bills for the year! Walk through your home and seal any gaps and cracks around windows and doors with weather-stripping or caulk. If you are going to be using caulk- especially in places like joints, corners, & places protruding from the wall- this will need to be done before the temperatures get too cool.

9. Keep it Humming! With winters dry air many of us keep the humidifier going on a constant rotation. To ensure efficient operation make sure to clean the plates or pads every 30 days or as recommended by the manufacturer. This also helps cut down on re-circulating moisture into the air that has any mold or bacteria in it that has built up in the humidifier itself.

10. Ready....Stop, now Reverse. Help with your heating bills by changing the direction of your ceiling fans. Reverse the direction of the fans and create an upward draft that redistributes the warm air from the ceiling. Also make sure to clean the blades of the fan regularly with a soapy water mixture. Dust and bacteria builds up on the blades daily and regular use also moves that through the air as well.

11. It's a Safety Dance. Make sure your family is safe. A home safety check is a ritual that should be done twice annually in every household. Test your Smoke Detectors & CO Monitors, Inspect or Install Fire Extinguishers, Review or Make a Fire Escape Plan for your Family and rid your home of any fire hazards.

12. A Few Final Notes...... Make sure to embrace the season! Put up a great fall wreath on the front door, buy a few Mums from a local store. Visit a local orchard and pick some apples for baking a yummy Apple Pie and get ready for the pumpkins!  

Tips for Buying a Home in Champaign/Urbana IL

by Rose Price

It's spring and you're ready to find the Champaign/Urbana IL Home for Sale.....for YOU!  So I've put together some tips to help make your Champaign/Urbana IL Home Search go smoothly:

1. Find the Right Real Estate Professional. This is such an important step and will truly make the difference in the home you buy, your stress level and the money you ultimately spend.

2. Make sure you are Pre-Approved for a Mortgage. You've heard it said before, but it's true, you need to know how much you can afford. Unless you are buying in cash you'll need a financing source and you'll need to know how much that source is willing to finance.

3. Create a 'Must Have" List. This is your list of non-negotiable's and allows your agent to select only listings that meet the qualifications of this list, so that you're not looking at every home on the market and wasting valuable time.

 4. Open yourself up to Suggestions. Share your "must have" list with your Real Estate Agent. They will be able to make suggestions that you may not have considered about the style or type of home/neighborhood you are looking at and could ultimately change your requirements or amenities list.

5. Make sure to check out the Neighborhood. Now that you've found your home, walk the neighborhood at different times of the day, and even at night. Talk to neighbors to find out about the people, what they like, dislike, recommendations etc. Make sure it will be a good fit for you and your family.

6. The Home Needs to be Inspected! You'll need to make sure that YOU walk through the Home and do a total checklist of your own. But you aren't a professional inspector so make sure you hire one to go through the Home, once that has been done make sure you follow through on all of their recommendations.

7. Submitting a Reasonable Offer. This is another reason why you need to work with a local Real Estate agent. Understanding the local housing market, the inventory of condos, home values and if a condo may get multiple bids is all information that goes into the offer YOU will make.                                                                                                                                                        

8. Understand the Process & the Paperwork. Your agent should have gone through all of this with you in the beginning of your search, but don't hesitate to ask questions along the way. This can be an overwhelming process at times. Once you have found a home you will be advised to seek an Attorney to handle the legal aspects of the sale of the home.

9. Stick to Your Pre-determined Price. It's always tough to have your heart set on a Home and lose it in a bidding war, but it is much worse to go above what you can afford! It is better to find a second Home that you like "almost as much" as the first so that you have something to lean back on if the situation arises.                                                                                  

10. Don't expect the Sellers to make too many Improvements.Things like worn carpeting and countertops are figured into the sales price of the home upfront, so trying to get the homeowner to make more adjustments at the end can be difficult. Rely on your agent to know what is permissible and what isn't. 

For more Champaign/Urbana IL Home Buying Tips check out my website at www.champaignrose.com. I've lived and worked in the Champaign IL  area for 20+ years and would be happy to give you a tour of the area and all the great homes for sale. Give me a call any time!

How Home Buying Habits Have Changed

by Rose Price

5 Reasons Why You Need To Close On A Home Before Years End!

by Rose Price

Are you debating  whether or not to make an offer on a home before the New Year begins?  Well....STOP deliberating and get out there and submit the offer!  Between changing lender rules, mortgage rate hikes and the 2013 tax benefits;   closing before the end of the year can mean significant financial benefits.  

Here are five ways you WILL benefit by closing on a home before the end of the year.

1)  New Year means new lending rules.  Lending rules are changing on Jan 1st, and that means it could become more difficult to get a loan. The new rules will allow you to borrow less, at your same income level!  The current 2013 mortgage borrowing rules allow for a 45% total debt-to-income ratio.  This ratio does go down to 43% in 2014,  meaning you will have to make or reduce your debt in order to buy the same house you are currently living in.

2) Avoid rising interest rates. Although mortgage interest rates are still pretty attractive, they are up 1-2% over last year during the same time period.  The Mortgage Banker's Association is predicting that mortgage rates will rise to around 5% in 2014.  If you decide to buy now and the rates drop...you can always refinance, but if you wait...you are stuck.

3) Maximize tax deductions.  Although this is the most commonly thought reason for closing on a home before years end, it is also a very important one.  You can start deducting mortgage interest and building equity immediately.  Also, because some closing costs and points are deductible, you can start deducting them the year you purchase the home,  so they can be included in your 2013 tax return!  If you wait even 3 days into the new year you will not be able to take any deductions until years end of 2014.

4)  Easier financing.  Are you waiting for home prices to decrease?  Don't!  It is quite possible that the mortgage rule changes for 2014 will make it more difficult to get financing.  So if you are waiting to "save" a few bucks waiting for home prices to decrease, you may put your ability to purchase a home in jeopardy,  if you cannot secure a mortgage at all!

5) Lower Sales could mean higher inventory.  Look at it this way...it's the "After Christmas" sale...before Christmas!  Even though 2013's theme was low inventory and higher home prices, the fourth quarter has always seen a slowing down of the housing market, and 2013 is no exception.  Housing sales have declined since September, so the inventory has increased, but the constrained inventory still means double digit year-over-year gains.  What does that mean to you...you may secure a GREAT DEAL IN DECEMBER!

At ChampaignRose, I are here to answer any and all of your real estate questions, help you find the home of your dreams or get your home ready to be put on the market.


Source:  RISMedia

What are the Benefits of House Hunting During the Holidays?

by Rose Price

When you're writing out the holiday shopping list, maybe it's time to put your name on it and a home as the gift. If you've been considering buying a home, here are a few reasons why shopping for one during the holiday season can benefit you.

Yes, it may involve you really prioritizing your time; the holiday season is a busy time. But if you can make time to house-hunt and you have already been pre-approved so you know how much home you can afford, then this could be a very good experience. And it may lead you to a new home in time for Christmas!

 

Like many businesses, the holiday season can cause things to slow way down. That's often the case for real estate. However, that doesn't mean you won't find eager sellers hoping you'll make an offer on their homes. Even though there are parties, kids' social activities and end-of-the-year work commitments, real estate sellers are still ready to let you step inside their homes to see if you'll find one is a good fit.

When real estate slows down, that means mortgages slow down. So this is a good time to get a mortgage. There's a chance your loan will move through the process faster. That doesn't mean you will have lax guidelines, rather it means that if there are fewer loans to process, yours can move along faster.

Some say that you have fewer options because inventory drops during the holiday season. While that may be true, it doesn't mean that every seller takes their home off the market. Sellers with their homes on the market during the end-of-the-year months are typically serious sellers. There may be tax reasons motivating a seller to sell before the end of the year which could create greater opportunities for negotiation. There's likely a sense of urgency on the seller's side.

Often home prices are lower in December than in other months. If you wait until the spring, you're likely to wish you'd, at least, done some house-hunting. Industry reporting services often show home appreciation slows in the fourth quarter, making homes more affordable.

Since it is a busy time of year, you may find that there aren't many buyers shopping for homes, which is exactly why this may be a good time to house-hunt. Fewer buyers could mean a great opportunity for you to make an offer and negotiate a favorable price. However, fewer homes to choose from could mean you have more difficulty finding precisely what you're looking for. But too many homes can also create a no-win situation by confusing and overwhelming you.

Shop smart by making a list of the "must-have" and the "really-would-like" items. Carry the list with you or use a home-buyers' app to keep it on your smartphone. It's much like a holiday gift shopping list - better to know who you're buying for, how much you want to spend, and, at least, an idea of what you'd like to get that person. Same goes for a home.

Simplify the house-hunting process by having some written notes about what you intend to buy. Of course, things do change, so be open to discovering that dream home that has something on your list you never knew you needed or wanted. Your list will just help you evaluate and prioritize which things in a home are most important to you. Then instead of unwrapping this holiday season, you might be wrapping up and packing up your belongings!

Written by - Realty Times

Home Warranties....Good? Or Good For Nothing?

by Rose Price

Home Warranties are a service contract to complete future repairs/ or replacement on household appliances and systems. The interest in Home Warranties seem to go in cycles, but bottom line- they do help both the seller and buyer. Once misconception about Home Warranties is that they are only available for "single family" homes. Untrue- they can also be purchased to protect appliances and systems in condo's, townhomes, vacation homes, multi-family homes and rental properties.

What do Home Warranties typically cover? Most policies cover the cost to repair/ or replace the following:

*Furnaces

* Air Conditioning Systems

* Plumbing & Electrical Systems

* Dishwashers

* Ovens

Garbage Disposals

* Refrigerators

* Water Heaters

and so much more.

Because these items are not typically covered in a Homeowners Insurance Policy, the cost to repair/replace even one item, more than pays for the cost of the warranty itself.  And having one in place gives your buyer an added level of protection and comfort knowing that if something should go wrong with any of these....that it will be covered.  This is another enhancement to the Homeowners Insurance Policies.

If you're a seller, you should know that research from the National Home Warranty Association estimates that, on average, listings with home warranties sell 50% faster than homes without warranties. And Business Week Magazine indicated that homes with home warranties sell at a premium of 3% in higher price.

Even better...these claims are extremely easy to use! Here are the simple steps you would take to file a claim:

  • When a covered appliance or system fails, the home owner calls the Home Warranty company.
  • The Home Warranty company then confirms that the failure is on a covered system or appliance.
  • If the system is eligible, the home warranty company selects a pre-screened service provider from its roster and asks them to make an appointment with the homeowner.
  • When the service provider arrives at the home they will diagnose the problem and call the Warranty company who will then authorize the claim.
  • The homeowner usually pays a service fee to the contractor, and the Home Warranty company pays for the balance of the repair.

‚ÄčFor more information on Home Warranties or any of your Real Estate questions or needs, give me a call and I'll be happy to assist you!

 

HOW TO WIN A BIDDING WAR

by Rose Price

When entering a bidding war, you need to put your best foot forward. With multiple offers to consider, the seller needs to see that you're serious and ready to act fast. Below are a few tips to help you knock out the competition.

Be prepared. While it might seem smart to lay your offer on the table right away, don't do so unless you are fully prepared, pre-approved for a loan, and have all your paperwork and finances in order. Otherwise the seller won't take you seriously and will pass your offer over for someone who has completed their homework.

Be quick. This may sound counter intuitive to being prepared, but it's important to act fast when you see a home you like, or it will go to another bidder.  This is why it's important to get your finances in order before you even begin searching. That way, you can put in an offer right away when you find a good fit.

Don't overbid.  Offering more than the home is listed for may seem like a way to get a leg up on the competition, but overbidding and exceeding the home's appraised value can decrease your chances of a loan-- and the seller (or their agent) knows that. If you overbid make sure, be sure you can afford the excess cost flat out.

Don't underbid.  In a bidding war, your offer needs to be just right.  Just like the seller won't take you seriously  if you overbid too much, they surely won't consider your lowball offer  if they have offers from many other buyers. To find your "Goldilocks" price point, figure out the maximum you can afford, and then offer that.

Get under their emotional skin. Last year, everyone was back to writing "love letters" to the seller of a home they were crazy about. Now, you can one-up everyone and really stand out from other offers by making a video of you and your family talking about why you love this home, and why you can see yourself in it.  Does that third bedroom look perfect for your new baby?  Then get her on the camera!  Is that basement office perfect for running your business?  Talk about that.

As a member of the Top 5 in Real Estate Network, I have a wealth of  real estate and homeownership  information that may be of help to you.  Feel free to contact me any time to learn more about this important information, and be sure to forward this article on to any friends or family that may be interested as well.

Avoiding Home Owner Assoc. Horrors

by Rose Price

Only about 25 percent of homeowners purchase a property in a development, that has a homeowners association, or HOA. Now all home ownership has issues, but HOA's have unique operational, legal and financial issues that buyers must consider and perform their due diligence when purchasing in a common interest development. It's ultimately the buyers choice, but many people won't even consider purchasing in an HOA these days because of the many horror stories associated with this type of home ownership. 
I read about some of those HOA horror stories in a great article and wanted to share them with you. 

Click this link to read this article on Home Owner Association Horrors:

http://realestate.aol.com/blog/2013/09/10/avoiding-hoa-contract-problems/

Originally written and posted by: 

By Leonard Baron

By Zillow   | Posted Sep 10th 2013 9:00AM

 

Displaying blog entries 11-20 of 48

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