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Displaying blog entries 11-20 of 83

Celebrate Oktoberfest in Champaign

by Rose Price

Drag out the lederhosen! It's never too early for Oktoberfest, and Destihl in Champaign will begin the party on Saturday afternoon at 4pm.  Champaign Mayor Don Gerard will do the honors by tapping the first keg at 4:30pm. You'll be able to compete in the best dressed and best traditional costume contests, as well as the Stein holding contest. Bavarian cuisine on the menu all day, and you'll enjoy music from the Maria Merkelo Polka Trio, the Peoria Area Accordion Club and the Killborn Alley Blues Band. Destihl is located at 301 North Neil Street in Champaign [map].

Did you know this? Oktoberfest dates back to 1810 and the wedding of Crown Prince Ludwig and Princess Therese in Munich!

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

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DIY Painting: Getting Started

by Rose Price

Many people know that painting is one of the easier home improvement efforts you can make yourself. If you have the time, and doing it right does take time, then you can save a lot of money if you can do at least the basics yourself. And that's what we're talking about today, giving your rooms a face-lift without the expense of painting contractors.

What are you painting and how do you want it to look when you're finished? Color is beyond the scope of this discussion, so let's wrap up that point by saying that unless you're going to live with the color for a good, long time, don't get  too crazy: You'll wind up having to tone it down when you decide to sell.  

You probably know there are a variety of interior paint types you can work with, but in general, you're going to use a flat, non-reflective finish on the main walls and semi-gloss or gloss finish on trim, moulding, baseboards, and door and window frames. You'll get great advice for your particular situation from the folks at your local paint store or in the painting section of Lowes or Home Depot.

How much paint to you need? You'll need to determine how many square feet you'll need to cover. Simply measure the height and width of each wall (in feet) and multiple those numbers together. If you have a lot of windows or doors along the wall, you'll want to subtract the square feet they take up from the total square feet. The paint can itself should tell you how many square feet it will cover.  Remember, paint left over is great for when you need to do repairs or touch-ups later!

You'll also need the tools to do the job: Brushes, rollers, roller tray, painter's tape and drop clothes. Don't skimp on these items - the quality will make a difference! Make sure you have a sturdy ladder. And grab some  face masks, because breathing those fumes isn't good for anyone! For more on the tools you'll need, here's expert painter Grady Johnson:

Before you start painting, you'll need to ensure your walls are ready. You're going to have big problems if you don't take care here. You need the painting surface to be in great shape, and that means fixing holes or other damage, and make sure the wall is free of dust and debris. You're going to also need to make sure you have plenty of space to work in and that the floor and any items in the room are properly protected with drop cloths.

For more details, let me suggest these articles on Sherwin-Williams.com, or the TLC network's articles on HowStuffWorks.com. And stay tuned here for the next step, actually putting the paint on the walls!

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

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This blog is maintained by Michael of Kim Hughes & Company.
Photo courtesy Wuertele/flickr.com

Savoy Orchard Days Festival

by Rose Price

The Savoy Orchard Days Festival kicks off Friday and offers a weekend of family-friendly fun. You'll be treated to a vendor fair, carnival rides, a video game trailer, and of course, food and lots of live music Friday and Saturday nights. Saturday, get your exercise with the 5K Run/Walk, the "Hardest Finish in Champaign County," and the 1K Youth Fun Run. Registration for the race starts at 6:45am. And an antique car and truck show will be held Saturday.

Friday Live Music

  • 7:00pm - The Brat Pack
  • 9:00pm - Ryan Ideus and Feudin' Hillbillys

Saturday Live Music

  • 6:00pm - The Prairie Dogs
  • 7:30pm - The Boat Drunks
  • 10:00pm - The Sugar Prophets

The Festival is located at 203 East Church Street in Savoy [map].

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

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Add an Outdoor Entertaining Space

by Rose Price

As we head into the final days of summer, you may be planning one last outdoor party. Not every home has an ideal layout for such parties, and if you find yourself in that situation, here are a few relatively inexpensive ways to create an inviting area for entertaining, while investing in the value of your home.

Budget

Your first step is to set a budget.  You don't have to spend a lot of money to make a dramatic impact. The budget may change as you explore your options, but it's good to have a ballpark figure so you don't overdo it.

Survey

Next, make a detailed survey of what you have to work with around your home.  Do you already have a functional outdoor entertaining area that you can improve? Or a nicely shaded area where you can develop a feature?  Do you need shade? Chances are good you already have some ideas.

Explore

Now you'll want to explore your options in terms of designs and materials. You can draw on your friends and neighbors experiences and outdoor spaces. Turn on HGTV, or go to HGTV.com, which offers a variety of ideas that are definitely work checking out. Home Depot and Lowes both offer sections on their websites that can provide inspiration and ideas.

Plan

The hard part is narrowing your project down to its essentials!  Create a simple sketch or layout of what you have in mind. If you're accomplished at home-improvement, you'll be able to determine what your material needs will be and how best to proceed. If not, turn to some of the experts at your local home-improvement center for direction. You'll find a wide variety of books for sale or available at the library that can help. Also make sure your project won't violate any city or county ordinances: Better safe than sorry.

Build

Doing the actual hard work might seem like a daunting task, but turn it into something fun! Invite your friends and family to help you create your outdoor living space in exchange for a great summer-time cookout.  That way you can have your party and your brand new outdoor entertaining space at the same time!

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

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This blog is maintained by Michael of Kim Hughes & Company.
Photo courtesy R_A_L/flickr.com

Food Fundraiser for Kids

by Rose Price

For the 18th year in a row, The Hope Institute is holding it's Annual Celebrity Chef fundraiser. Tickets, which range from $150 to $250, can be purchased on the website. Since 1957, The Hope Institute has been helping children with developmental disabilities and their families.

This year's Celebrity Chef is Stephanie Izard (at left), who's "Girl and the Goat" restaurant in Chicago was named "America's Best New Restaurant" by Saveur magazine. You may have seen her win the 2008 season of Bravo's Top Chef, or read about her in Wine Magazine, where she was named 2011's Best New Chef. Now, get the full spectrum by being able to enjoy her fabulous menu.

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

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This blog is maintained by Michael of Kim Hughes & Company.
Photo courtesy Stephanie Izard

Don't Risk Being Unprepared for Disaster

by Rose Price

It is not something anyone wants to ponder, but the only thing worse than a natural disaster is not being prepared for it.  Not having proper insurance coverage can make a bad situation far worse. Here are some disasters that may require insurance special coverage.

Flood Insurance.  If your house is in a flood-prone area, you may already have flood coverage in your basic homeowners policy. Don’t wait to find out:  Call your agent and make sure. Flood insurance policies are usually inexpensive, unless you are in a flood-prone region.  But even a few inches of standing water in your home can cause enormous damage.

Mine Subsidence.  Sinkholes are rare, and so are the homeowners policies that cover this type of disaster.  More common is minor ground shifting that can damage your foundation and structure. Coverage for this type of damage isn’t expensive at all. You can get coverage for about a hundred dollars a year for a $250,000 home.

Earthquake. Another rarity, but they do happen. You might remember the little quake that shook northern Illinois a couple of years ago.  Typical homeowner policies don’t cover earthquake damage, and it can be expensive. You might also want to read this guide from the Red Cross of Central Illinois!

Tornadoes. Usually a standard part of a homeowners policy, but worth double checking. Tornadoes happen just too often for this not to be a part of your protection. The image above is from a tornado near Secor, Illinois on May of 2004. 

Insurance is vital for preserving the investment you’ve made in your house, furnishing and personal property. If you have questions, talk to your agent, or check out the insurance information website the state of Illinois provides.

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

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This blog is maintained by Michael of Kim Hughes & Company.
Photo courtesy tlindenbaum/flickr.com

Take a Walk with the Birds This Weekend

by Rose Price

As we move slowly towards fall, now's a great time to take a walk with the birds of Central Illinois. Specifically, with the Champaign County Audubon Society at the Anita Purves Nature Center [map] in Urbana. These lovely strolls through Busey Woods and around Crystal Lake begin at 7:30am every Sunday through the end of October, and last about ninety minutes. It's a wonderful chance to learn the basics of bird watching and identification techniques from long-time Audubon members.

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

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This blog is maintained by Michael of Kim Hughes & Company.
Photo courtesy Judd McCullum/flickr.com

Spotlight: Quick Bathroom Renovations

by Rose Price

Home owners considering putting their house on the market often know they have work to do to maximize the value of the property. Renovations that include new flooring and appliances can go a long way, but usually need to be done by professionals, are expensive and time consuming. But, there are things you can do yourself. Today, let’s talk about making the most of your bathrooms.

The first step is to do a maximum cleaning job on the bathroom. It’s going to be easier to identify the biggest problem if everything is a spotlessly clean as possible. I’m talking about the old-fashioned, Momma’s watching you type of clean. Wash the sides of the cabinets and make sure that the area behind the toilet shines!

With that out of the way, what you see is the best of what you’ve got. Now you can start to prioritize ways to give the space a quick renovation.

Some things are almost mandatory if you’re looking ahead toward selling. The walls, for example, should be spotless and a simple, neutral light color, preferably white. Any other choice you make is a potential problem for possible buyers, who will be looking for things they’ll have to do after buying. Strip that wallpaper! Prime and paint. A fresh coat of paint is an amazing start on a great renovation. And it’s easy enough that just about anyone can do it themselves.

Got grout? You need to make sure it’s as white as possible. The Do-it-Yourself Life website has an excellent article on cleaning tile grout quickly and inexpensively. And don’t overlook the shower or tub.

Make sure your light fixtures are clean and the lights bright. Fixtures are easy to overlook when cleaning, but clean fixtures keep the look bright. Make sure the bulbs are fresh and match, and don’t even try to hide imperfections with dim light.

Add decorative touches, but keep them simple. Again, a buyer is going to do their own thing in the room, and it’s hard to imagine that when your own stuff is cluttering up the space. Make sure you coordinate colors, and avoid garish artwork.

At this point, you may want to replace a fixture or alter the flooring. But, you’ve already got a good start on improving your home and making some potential buyer a little more interested in your home. For more ideas, check out this article on Stylist Home.

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

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This blog is maintained by Michael of Kim Hughes & Company.
Photo courtesy A30_Tsitika/flickr.com

Urbana's Sweetcorn Festival

by Rose Price

​Downtown Urbana will be filled with people this weekend. People and corn. That's right, the Sweetcorn Festival is back Friday evening and all day Saturday. In addition to all the Illinois sweetcorn you can eat, it's also time to welcome returning and incoming students at the University of Illinois.  Rock climbing, laser tag, pony rides, the Motor Muster Car Show and music, including Warrant, are on tap.

You'll find the festival where you find the people, on Main Street between Race and Vine streets. The festival runs from 5pm to 11pm on Friday, and 11am to 11pm on Saturday.

Friday Music Lineup

  • 6:00pm - Timmy D and Blind Justice
  • 7:30pm - Kilborn Alley
  • 9:15pm - Dr. Duke Tumatoe & the Power Trio

Saturday Music Lineup

  • 6:00pm - X-Krush
  • 7:30pm - Firehouse
  • 9:15pm - Warrant

If you go, have a great time and here's hoping it's a fantastic weekend. And if you need real estate assistance, just let me know!

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

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This blog is maintained by Michael of Kim Hughes & Company.
Photo courtesy Artotem/flickr.com

Keep Your Home Smelling Fresh for Prospective Buyers

by Rose Price

Walking into a home on the market, one of the first things a prospective buyer will notice is what they smell. While our sense of smell isn't as good as a dogs, people will smell the odor of dogs, cats or other pets. Even if they love animals, pet odor can turn off a buyer before the charms of the rest of the house can even be seen. Some experts advise moving your pets somewhere else while you have your home on the market, but that's not always a realistic solution.

So before you see a potential buyer crinkle their noses when they walk in your door, you'll need to address any lingering smells in the air.

Clean your home thoroughly. Focus heavily on odor traps like fabrics, upholstery and carpet. Professional ozone-based carpet cleaning can do miracles.

Cats? Make sure litter-boxes are scrupulously clean at all times.

Your pets aren't to blame here, but avoid strong cooking odors. You might love stinky cheese, but that smell won't be pleasing to strangers.

Avoid using air fresheners and heavily scented cleaning products, candles or incense. Some people can have an allergic reaction to them, and others will assume you're using them to cover up something bad.

Let your home air out naturally. When temperatures outside cooperate, open the windows for a while. The scent of the outdoors around your home will help ground it when people walk in the door.

It can be hard sometimes to notice an odor you live with, so ask a friend to walk through and do a sniff test. Better a friend than a prospective buyer!

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

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This blog is maintained by Michael of Kim Hughes & Company.
Photo courtesy pretendtious/flickr.com

Displaying blog entries 11-20 of 83

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Rose Price
Landmark Real Estate
One East Main Street, Suite 200
Champaign IL 61820
217-202-8843
217-352-1933
Fax: 217-378-1281