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Get Your Champaign IL Home Ready For Fall

by Rose Price

It may seem like summer has just ended, but before we know it, the blustery winds and  cooler temperatures of Fall will be upon us. Now is the best time to prepare your home for the change of seasons, before the actual change begins. Just think of the cash you will save by taking care of the weatherizing of your home now. Here are a few area's to check out on your home:

Raise the Roof

Few home problems are more frustrating than a leaky roof, as it’s often hard to find the exact source of the problem.  So, taking care of these things before the rain and snow begin is a good idea. 

Inspect your roof from top to bottom, searching for missing or damaged shingles. Check shingles for cracks and other damage. Look for damage to metal flashing around vents and chimneys. Look in your gutters. If you find large granules, it could be a sign that you are losing your roof’s coating. Finally, make sure your gutters are flowing freely of any type of debris; leaves, sticks, sludge from rains and storms throughout the summer months.

Get your mind IN the Gutter

The drainage system on your roof is extremely important, as it diverts thousands of gallons of water from your home annually, protecting your foundation and walls. Obviously you want to keep these drains flowing smoothly.  Clogged gutters lead to basement flooding and other hard to detect damage.  They are not immune from rust and erosion, so you need to keep them cleaned out, especially BEFORE the Fall leaves start falling into them. Once they have been cleaned, we'd recommend using a mesh guard over the top to protect them from future debris, and it makes keeping them clean  & your job, a whole lot easier!  

Hunt your Home for Drafts

Many homes have air leaks around windows and doors, which can account for an increase of  10% in your energy bill (according to the U.S. Department of Energy).  So, check for gaps in caulk and weather stripping.  If you don’t have weather stripping…you’re missing out!  Seriously, weather-stripping is by far the most cost-effective way to control heating and cooling costs. It will reduce drafts and keep your home comfy cozy year round.  However, this stuff can deteriorate over time, so even if you already used it, you want to inspect it annually.  

There are a couple easy techniques for checking your stripping:

  • 1) Close your door or window on a strip of paper…if the paper slides up and down easily, you have some work to do.
  • 2) Light a candle and hold it near the frame of the closed door or window…if you find the flame flickers at any point near the frame…you have a leak!

You’ll also want to check your caulking, especially near entry points for cables.  This can also deteriorate over time, so look for area's you may have to re-caulk.  

Brrr.....It's Getting Chilly!

Winter is coming, and we all must protect our pipes or deal with a very messy & expensive aftermath! Close any shut-off valves to outdoor faucets…then drain the water line, by opening the valve outside.  

*If you don't have shut-off valves or your faucets are not "freeze-proof “, you may benefit from styrofoam faucet covers sold at home centers.

In-ground irrigation systems should come with instructions from the manufacturer on how to freeze proof. 

Where’s your Filter?

Furnace filters trap dust that would otherwise be deposited around your home.  Clogged filters also make it harder to keep your home at a comfortable temperature, and can seriously increase your utility bills. It’s easy to manage by a simple monthly cleaning to keep the filters breathing free and clear.

Disposable filters can be vacuumed once before replacement. Foam filters can also be vacuumed but these don't need to be replaced unless they are damaged. Use a soft brush on a vacuum cleaner. If the filter is metal or electrostatic, remove and wash it with a firm water spray.  Boom, your filter is good as new.

Professional Help

It's a good idea to have your Heating System inspected by a professional once a year. People often wait until the last minute, so beat the rush and schedule this for the early fall, before the heating season even begins.  Here are some of the signs that your Heating Systems isn't functioning properly:    

  • Noisy belts Weird screeches or whines may signal that belts connected to the blower motor are worn or damaged.
  • Poor performance. A heating system that doesn't seem to work as well as it used to could mean a lot of different problems. Your heating ducts could be blocked, the burners might be misadjusted or the blower motor could be on its way out.  But before you panic, check that the filter is clean.   
  • Erratic behavior. This could be caused by a faulty thermostat.

Come on Baby Light your Fire

Even if you rarely use your fireplace, you should check it annually for damage. 

Inspect your flue for creosote. Creosote is a flammable by-product of burning wood, so if it accumulates in your chimney, you could be victim to a devastating fire. Have your chimney inspected annually for creosote buildup. If you use a fireplace frequently, then have the flue inspected after each cord of wood burned.

The best option is to have your entire chimney system inspected by a chimney sweep. Once you know what to look for, you can perform the inspection by shining a bright flashlight up the flue, looking for any deposits approaching 1/8 inch thick, though the actual cleaning of these deposits should be performed by a professional.  

  • Look for flue blockages. Birds love to nest at the top of an unprotected flue. A chimney cap is an easy way to prevent this.  If you don't have a cap, just take a look up the flu to be sure.
  • Exercise the damper. The damper is the metal plate that opens and closes the flu just above the firebox. Test the open and closed positions to ensure that it is working properly.
  • Check for damage. Make certain that the flue cap is in place. Inspect brick chimneys for loose or broken points. If access is a problem try using binoculars.

Keep your Humidifier Happy 

Really dry winter air is bad for your health, but did you know it can make fine wood crack easier? You and your home will feel more comfortable if you keep your Central Humidifier running properly. 

  • Inspect the plates or pads. You can clean them with laundry detergent. You should also rinse and scrape off mineral deposits (use a wire brush or steel wool). 

Gassy 

Anything involving gas is a huge safety issue.  Heaters that are not maintained properly can spew poisons into the air of your home, or at least it may be costing you more to operate. Have a professional check these devices annually. 

Smoke and CO Detectors 

Replace batteries in all of your smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) detectors. Then vacuum them with a soft brush attachment. Test the detectors by pressing the test button or holding a smoke source (like a blown-out candle) near the unit. If you haven't already, install a smoke detector on every floor of your home, including the basement.

Fire Extinguishers 

You’d be surprised how many homes don’t have a fire extinguisher.  Every home should have at least one fire extinguisher rated for all fire types (look for an A-B-C rating on the label). Keep one near the kitchen;  though having one per floor isn't a bad idea. Check the indicators on the pressure gauge to make sure the extinguisher is charged. Make sure the lock pin is intact and in place, and then make sure the discharge nozzle is not clogged.  

  • Fire Extinguishers should be replaced every 5 Years.
  • With every replacement, use a permanent marker to mark the date clearly on the new unit

​​For more Homeowner Tips and Fall Maintenance, visit my website and Facebook page. If you're looking to Buy or Sell a home in the Champaign/Urbana IL area in the fantastic Fall season, give me a call or stop in our office. You can contact me anytime at 217-202-8843 or view local homes at this link: Homes for Sale in Champaign IL.

Have a POWERFUL day!

Items That Can't Be Moved By Your Champaign IL Moving Company

by Rose Price

It's Moving Day, you've waited for this day for a long time and it's finally here! It's early morning and you're armed with your Moving List, Breakfast is ready for the family and everything in the house is packed and ready to go. You're super prepared,  just like you always are....it's going to be a SMOOTH MOVING DAY!

Just one thing, are you aware of the list of items that are banned by Federal Law from being moved from your home?  Common sense tells us that they won't be able to move things like a Gas Tank, Propane Tank and Ammunition, but the list is actually much longer than that! So we've put together the list for you so you're not caught off guard and left having to make other choices for these items and taking up valuable time on moving day, or holding up your moving day altogether, until you can take care of these items before you can leave the home.  

It's important to pay special attention to this list because your Moving Company WILL NOT move these items, under any circumstances, and you can't just leave them in the home your vacating.

HERE'S AN UP-TO-DATE LIST:  

  • Gas Tanks
  • Propane Tanks
  • Ammunition
  • Car Batteries
  • Charcoal
  • ​Darkroom Chemicals
  • Batteries
  • Nail Polish
  • Scuba Tanks
  • Liquid Bleach
  • Household Plants
  • Lawn Chemicals:  Weed Killers & Pesticide
  • Pool Acids & Chemicals

* Some Movers will NOT take Lawn Movers or Generator's you'll need to check ahead of time. If your mover does take these, remove as much gasoline as possible before moving day!

** We have provided you with a complete list as it stands within our resources. Because Federal Guidelines change & Moving Companies have their own rules and regulations, it is critical that you check with your Moving Company PRIOR to your move to find out exactly what THEY will and will not move for you.

For more helpful Home Selling and Moving Tips, check out my website and Facebook Page, or give me a call anytime at 217-202-8843.

Have a POWERFUL day!

CHAMPAIGN IL, Top 40 Commuter City in Illinois!

by Rose Price

Obviously there are many great reasons to live in the Champaign/Urbana IL area, but one often overlooked is commute time!  A bad commute can get old quickly and the daily back-and-forth to work can have a serious impact on your overall well being, turning your new dream home into a cage of sorrow. Well, no worries because now we've added a great commute to our list of great Champaign/Urbana traits.  Each of these cities are well below the average American commute time of 25.5 minutes.  

#7 Champaign

Coming in at number seven is Champaign!  That's pretty high on the list and here's why:  

Champaign IL is home to the University of Illinois' Research Park, which has received numerous high profile rewards over the past few years for it's unparalleled innovation and consistent creation of new high tech jobs.  The increasing job opportunities provided from the University means that residents no longer have to travel far to work a great job.  9 out of 10 Champaign residents make it to work in 29 minutes or less, with an average commute time of 16.4 minutes. 

#8 Urbana

Urbana IL, gets the green award on this one!  Over 10% of residents carpool and 4% telecommute!  So, obviously, less cars helps commuters get to work an average of 35 percent faster than workers across America and due to technological advancements, it looks like more and more people will be working from home, which will reduce commute times even more.    


#32 Rantoul 

The University of Illinois' Research Park isn't the only innovator in the area.  The Business Center in Rantoul IL is gaining a reputation as a new hub for innovation.  Not only does it offer new businesses high tech office spaces it is also home to the Rantoul Business Incubator and the Illinois Small Business Development Center and like The Research Park, more and more high tech jobs are being created here.  So Residents here don't have to travel far for a great job either.  Half of all workers in Rantoul travel less than 15 minutes to get to work, making the average total commute time 19.2 minutes.   

*All information and graphs taken from Obrella Insider.

Visit Obrella for a complete list of the 40 Best and Worst Commuter Cities in Illinois and check back with us for more information and useful tips for living in the Champaign/Urbana area.  

If you're sick of the lousy commute time in your area, then Champaign/Urbana may be the perfect town for you! give me a call, I'd be happy to show you around my fabulous community. If you'd rather look at some homes that are available first, visit the links below for homes available in each of the area's listed.  Then give me a call with any questions you have!

Champaign/Urbana Homes for Sale

Urbana Homes for Sale

Rantoul Homes for Sale

Mahomet IL One Of the Top 100 Places To Live In America!

by Rose Price

For those living in Mahomet, Illinois, it comes as no surprise that this thriving village has made Niche's 2015 list of Top 100 Communities to live in America. Niche ranks US suburbs based on livability; grading each for weather, safety, schools, and access to activities, jobs, housing, and transportation.  A high ranking then, indicates those particular suburbs offer a high quality of life to those living there.

MAHOMET IL

This midsize Illinois town of 7,412 is a great all around mid-western town.  Home Values are in the range of $185,300.  Rent Values are average and the Unemployment rate is extremely low at 3.1% (half of the national average).  Citizens here are usually highly educated and enjoy high income levels, with an average household income of $80,529. Housing here is varied; from turn of the century beautiful homes to high end new construction, so there's really a home to fit every taste and need.  The people are friendly and there's no shortage of unique local shops.  There are great parks in the area, providing many options for outdoor activities.  A favorite among residents is Lake Of The Woods Forest Preserve, which offers multiple walking/biking trails, swimming, boating, fishing and prime picnic spots, as well as a museum, botanical garden and golf course and in the wintertime, the preserve is a great spot for sledding, snowshoeing and other winter activities.  

If this sounds like the perfect town for you, give me a call! I'd be happy to show you around the town and find a home that fits your personal needs. If you'd rather look at what is available first, follow this link to see all available homes for sale in special mid-western town. Mahomet IL Homes for Sale

I'm here to help make your Home Buying as easy & painless as possible, so please contact me with any questions you may have at 217-202-8843.

Getting your Champaign IL home ready for a walk through can be frustrating, especially when you're still living in your home, but keeping your home clean as you take all the necessary steps to sell your home is key; things like removing the personal items, staging, and ramping up your curb appeal.  Hiring a professional cleaning service isn't a bad idea, but those expenses add up over time.  So, here are some tricks to help you clean your house in a hurry, and  you'll be ready for a walk-through or a surprise visit from your inlaws, at a moments notice!

The trick is to start with the big rooms and move to the small:

1. Kitchen 15 minutes

  • Remove Clutter from all counter tops, cabinets and tables.
  • Clean Counters and Cabinets Wipe down counters and cabinets with all-purpose cleaner, speed up your process by brushing all crumbs and such on the floor (you'll sweep later).
  • Wipe Appliances Wipe down the fridge, dishwasher and cooktop areas as well as microwaves, toasters, etc.  
  • Load Dishes into your dishwasher.
  • Sweep and Mop Starting from the back and working your way to the front sweep those crumbs up and mop.  

2. Living and Dining Rooms 10 minutes

  • Clean Up The Clutter put anything that's out of place in boxes or drawers...if you put it in boxes, you're going to have to neatly hide the boxes somewhere.
  • Ditto for the Dust! Dust tables, fireplaces, mantels, window blinds and shades.  If any dust happens to fall on the floor, no worries, you will vaccuum at the end.  Don't forget to dust the ceiling fans and bookshelves... get yourself a long armed duster.  
  • Make that Glass Sparkle! Use glass cleaner to wipe down anything made of glass.
  • Ramp up the Vaccuum Now... vacuum all the dust you just put on your floor and on to the next room. 

3. Bathrooms 10 minutes

  • Start With Sink and Tub wipe down the sink and shower/tub with a good all purpose cleaner.
  • Clean the Toilet Thoroughly scrub the bowl with a brush, finish by scrubbing the outer area with a rag.
  • Wipe Mirror with your glass cleaner.  Start from the top corner and work your way down in a circular motion, think karate kid, "wax on...".
  • Wash The Sink Scrub the spots around the sink and fixtures with a brush to free up the grime, then finish with a rag and cleaner.  
  • Wipe the Shower/Tub Use a damp rag to wipe the shower and tub, if there are any tough-grimey spots, use a hard cleaner and brush to remove it...but don't scrub too hard. 
  • Mop the Floor Use a mop to quickly clean the floor of your bathroom, starting at the far corner and then working your way back to the door.

4. Bedrooms 10 minutes

  • Remake the Beds Remove the linens and replace with fresh ones so they look clean and crispy.  Don't forget to tuck the sheets in at the corner, go for the 5 star hotel feel, neat and crisp!​
  • Clear the Clutter Everything out of sight! Use drawers, baskets, the closet...you can organize more later.
  • Clean Furniture Wipe down furniture with a moist cloth or use a vacuum with hose attachment to suck up the dust.
  • Dust everything! tables, furniture, lamps, closets, shelves, ceiling fans, mirrors...everything.

Try these steps before your next showing, and be amazed at how quickly this can all be done.  If you are no longer living in the home or will be out of town you can hire a cleaning service and have this done for around $150. Check out my website for area businesses who are trusted individuals or companies who will provide these services in the area:  Preferred Vendors

For more Home Selling tips you can visit my website or check out my Facebook page.  Better yet, give me a call or stop in to see me!  I've been helping people Buy and Sell homes in the Champaign/Urbana area for 20+ years very successfully....and I'd like to do the same for you!

9 Tips For Making Your Champaign IL Home Energy Efficient

by Rose Price

Summer is officially here and inevitably your electrical bill is slowly creeping up as the months go on.  We have a few simply upgrades you can make to your home to make it more efficient and help keep more money in your bank account. 

 

Programmable Thermostats

Energy.gov suggests that turning your thermostat down 7-10 degrees for 8 hours a day can save you "as much as 10% a year on your heating/cooling."  Save more money; follow the recommended optimum daytime (78 degrees) and night time (70 degrees) temperatures, you can preset these and your thermostat will adjust on it's own.

 

 

Insulate

Adding new or additional insulation to your ceilings, attic and walls along with using caulk and or weather stripping (ensuring windows and doors are properly sealed) will prevent cold drafts and air leaks, keeping warm air inside in the winter.  These same improvements will help trap cold air inside in the summer.  

Ceiling Fans 

Now you've programmed your thermostat to the optimum levels, but chances are you may feel a little warm in certain rooms throughout the day.  This is where an energy star ceiling fan can help.  The average central air conditioning unit uses 3,500 watts of energy when running while the average ceiling fan uses only 60 watts, even when running on high!  You could save a lot of money even by running your fan for only half an hour a day.  In order to get the most from your ceiling fan follow these simple ceiling fan hacks from The Simple Dollar.  

 

 

HACK #1  In the summer time you want to adjust your fan so the air blows downward.    

Most fans have both a clockwise and a counter clockwise setting.  There are conflicting theories on what direction to use and when, simply because it is all dependent on how the blades are aligned and this varies from model to model.  Forget the theories, there's an easier way.  Simply stand below your fan and turn it on high, if you immediately feel a breeze, then it is on the summer setting (usually counter clockwise).  During the summer months, your ceiling fans should be running on high, with air blowing down, this will create the most air movement and give you the coveted breeze effect.

HACK #2 Turn the heat up a few degrees in the summertime.  

Sounds crazy right?  But, running your fan on high throughout the day will circulate the air better and create a breeze effect that will make the room feel cooler than it actually is.  

HACK #3  Turn ceiling fans off when you leave your home.

Obviously! Right?! Though running at 60 watts isn't a ton, you are sure to save quite a bit more if you shut your fans off when you're not home.  

 

Check out the video from Home Depot for instructions on how to install a new ceiling fan:

Replace Old Appliances

Obviously, old appliances aren't as energy efficient as newer models.  So, replace these dinosaurs with newer more efficient, Energy Star certified appliances.

For example:

  • A high efficiency on-demand water heater only fires when you need hot water.  It heats it quickly and then stops burning fuel.  
  • Get low flow appliances.  Low flow toilets, shower heads, and washing machines save a lot of water than more traditional models.
  • For the best results, double up.  Combine a low flow shower head with a on-demand water heater and double your savings.    

Window Treatments

Installing blinds, drapes, and shades will reduce the amount of sunlight and heat that enters your home.  Of course, these can be positioned in a way to let light and heat in only when you want it.  

Go Fluorescent

Fluorescent light bulbs last 8-12 times longer than incandescent. Plus they look dynamite in the home!  

Open Your Doors

Keeping your doors closed stops your cooling systems from cooling the entire house and interrupts the flow of air, so open those doors!

Check Those Vents

A lot of homes, especially older ones have vents in strange places like closets for instance.  Go through your home and seal off any vent that is cooling an area that doesn't need cooling.  Even spare bedrooms and little used rooms can be wasted vents; blocking these will save you money. There are a large variety of covers out there, you're sure to find one that suits our vents. 

Last but certainly not least...

Take Advantage of Tax Incentives

The federal government offers a ton of incentives for making energy efficient home improvements.  Recent increases in incentives now allow for up to 30% of the cost of the home improvements, whether its for new windows, insulation, or air conditioning, up to $1,500 back into your bank account. 

 

5 Tips for Selling Your Champaign/Urbana IL Home:

by Rose Price

The spring home selling season is well under way in Champaign/Urbana IL. If you have chosen to put your home on the market there are a few things you can do to make sure to you get the most Home Buyers coming through the door, and more offers coming on your home.

 Here are 5 simple tips to help with selling your Champaign/Urbana  Home:

CURB APPEAL

This is the "Welcome Mat" so to speak, of your home. As soon as your prospective buyer drives up to your home, they are developing their first impression. This will set the tone for the rest of their visit, so make sure it is a good one. Make sure the lawn is cut and the shrubs & trees are trimmed. If you have a porch, set out a nice colorful potted plant(s), a chair or two, new welcome mat and make sure your windows are sparkling clean. Let them know you take care of your home and let the entry way give off a welcoming vibe.

REAL ESTATE TEAM

The most important piece is this! Even if you've done everything possible in your home to get it ready, if you aren't partnering with the right agent or team, you aren't going to get what you're looking for. You need the experience, local market knowledge, the ability to price a house correctly and the Real Estate marketing savvy that comes from the right Real Estate Agent partnering with you to sell your home. A great agent will spend time on the photos, marketing and doing what is necessary to get your home seen, and the buyers in, to get your home sold.

GET ORGANIZED

Don't underestimate the power organization has in selling your home. You must organized every room, closet, cabinet and basement. And not even just organize, you'll want to remove probably half of what you have in these places right now.  If you decide you're going to keep what is there, that is. Moving is a great time to get rid of things that haven't used and are gathering dust.  But if you really must keep them, then you'll want to either rent a storage unit or pod and remove them from the home.  This way you're allowing your potential buyers a view of what they will be able to do with the space...not see what you've done with the space...leaving it looked crammed and small to the buyer.

HIDE SIGNS OF PETS

Whether you have a single pet;  dog or cat. You need to make sure you hide any and all signs of them.  It doesn't matter if you are extremely neat with your pets, or if your potential buyer loves them, you still need to hide the fact that you have them. That means food,  food bowls, and toys out of site. Secondly, before the home ever goes on the market you need to have your floors professionally cleaned of any stains or pet odors. Nothing will turn a buyer away quicker than pet odors and stains.

WISE UPGRADES

If you don't have a lot to spend then you need to focus on the essentials!  Freshly painted walls are always a must. Other cheap upgrades that pay-off big rewards are new cabinet & door hardware, new light fixtures, refinish hardwood floors (if they are in good general shape), paint old kitchen cabinets, new kitchen sink, etc. Small upgrades in area's of the house that are used most often, often have the highest return on investment. 

Bottom line, make sure your home is ready for the market when the sign goes up. You get ONE chance to make a first impression...Make it a Good One!

For more Home Selling Tips visit our website or Facebook page. If you are considering selling your Champaign/Urbana Home, I'd be happy to help you, just give me a call at 217-202-8843. You can also visit my website at: www.champaignrose.com

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

Does Your Champaign/Urbana Home Have Curb Appeal?

by Rose Price

You've heard the old saying.."Don't Judge a Book by it's Cover", well  this rule simply DOES NOT apply in the Real Estate Market! A good looking face isn't just memorable, the exterior of your home can make or break a sale! It can be the difference between you getting your asking price or settling for much less. First impressions are everything in the Real Estate business. According to the National Association of Realtors;  63% of people will stop by to view a home they found and liked online.  What will they see? Sometimes only the front of the home, driveway,landscape....the facade of the house. Meaning you have to focus just as much attention on the outdoor impression of your Champaign/Urbana home as the indoor. You want the Home Buyer that sees your Home online or driving by, to call you up and make an appointment to see the inside of your home. A GREAT FIRST IMPRESSION is what is needed so that potential Home Buyer says WOW...I NEED TO SEE THE INSIDE OF THAT HOME!

So check out these simple, but low-cost, home improvement tips that create great Curb Appeal!

1. Bring a Splash of Color to your Front Door. Make your front door & whole house stand out from the others by giving it a bold blast of color. If you have a solid wood door that's in good condition you can prepare it to paint a new color, if not buy a new door in an already bold color and forego having to do any of the painting yourself.  Then choose a fantastic door fixture.  Finish with a nice wreath, swag or other ornament that reflects your personal style.

2. Install Outdoor Lighting.  Any type of low voltage landscape lighting provides a big impact on curb appeal and gives the added benefit of safety & security to you and your guests. It is also an added value when selling your home. 

3. Container GardensMany times we hear from Cheshire Homeowners that they don't have the time or space to put in flower beds or landscape gardens. This is where Containers Gardens are excellent! You can buy ready-made containers or create your own. You can use varying sizes and styles of containers and of plants and flowers to give your garden an asymmetrical look. It gives you such a unique look with a personal stamp and you can use these containers in the yard or on your porch.

4. Window Boxes. An easy way to bring Curb Appeal to your home, as well as whimsy & charm, are window boxes! Just remember to choose copper or iron for a more traditional look and painted wood for a cottage feel. Flowers should be mixed and matched to suit lighting and color schemes.

5. Outdoor Art! We love this category! So many things can be art to different people, but we'll keep it in the basic range.  The key is to choose pieces that complement your home's natural color palette and exterior elements. Water Fountains, Birdbaths, sculptures, and wind chimes are good choices for outdoor art. In fact, water sculptures can serve a dual purpose functioning as yard art and allowing the burbling sounds to soothe;  making hot days seem cooler.

6. Keep your Lawn & Greenery Manicured. One of the cheapest and easiest things you can do is keep your grass mowed and your shrubs and trees pruned and trimmed regularly. Nothing looks better than a well manicured yard and it also shows your attention to your homes maintenance, which in turn let's your prospective buyer know that you "Care" for your homes exterior. That's important because if you Care for your home's exterior, the logical conclusion would be that you MUST CARE for your Home's Interior. Therefore, they will be calling to set up an appointment to see your home.

For more Homeowners Tips visit my website or Facebook page. If you are interested in looking for a home in our wonderful communities around the area of Champaign/Urbana IL, please stop by the office or give me a call!  Id be happy to help in any way that I can.

HAVE A POWERFUL DAY!

Spring Maintenance for your Champaign/Urbana IL Home!

by Rose Price

It's spring in Champaign/Urbana and time to get our homes ready for the spring real estate market, which is already moving full-steam ahead. Is your home ready for the many buyers who will see it in the coming days? In order for your Champaign/Urbana home to stand out among the many that a potential buyer will take a look at, and for it to get the BEST OFFER possible, you want to have it looking it's absolute best!   That means you don't leave ANY stones unturned!  Make this spring's home maintenance and preparation top notch. 

HERE ARE TIPS TO GET YOUR HOME LOOKING GOOD:

Exterior Windows- Get those windows shining like the commercials we see on Television! No streaks or smudges and definitely no dirt from the winter season! Check all caulk and weather stripping too.

Decks & Patios- Power wash your decks and patios, then stain and reseal. They'll be looking like new again. If you have outdoor furniture, make sure it is staged appropriately.

Exterior Walls- Check for damage from the winter months. This can be cracks, stains, or holes. Repair as needed and be mindful of problem areas that may need more than just a minor repair.

Lawn- Pick up sticks and other debri from the long winter months, mow the grass and trim all shrubs and overgrown trees.  Lay down any herbicides and start your spring lawn care programs. 

In-ground Sprinkler Systems- Maintenance any in-ground sprinkler systems on the property so that they are in good working order.

Roof- Inspect for any missing or cracked shingles? Make sure to address any issues from winter damage or ice dams to keep your roof in top shape.

Chimney- If you have a stone chimney, check the bricks looking for efflorescence, a white calcium deposit that means your chimney is absorbing water. If you find this is the case, you need to reseal the chimney.

Downspouts & Gutters- Your favorite job! Clean the gutters and make sure all the downspouts are in the right position so water is directed away from your house.

Next Blog post I'll tackle Spring Maintenance on our Home Interior's! For more Home Maintenance Tips visit my Facebook Page and my Website.

If you are looking to put your Champaign/Urbana Home up for Sale, you'll want to do that very soon! Give me a call or you can find out what your Champaign/Urbana Home is worth by visiting this link for FREE: Get a free CHAMPAIGN/URBANA HOME VALUE REPORT

I are here to help in any way I can. I'd love to partner with you to sell your home and get you the Value and Price you deserve for your Champaign/Urbana Home! Give us a call anytime.

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