Real Estate Information Archive


Displaying blog entries 21-30 of 49

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:

Originally written and posted by: 

By Leonard Baron

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


Champaign - Urbana Renters Want To Buy A Home

by Rose Price

Champaign - Urbana Renters Want To Buy A Home

We've all  experienced the challenges of the economy and housing market the past couple years, but 2013 has been different. Champaign area resident's attitudes toward the housing market have improved, and we've seen an big increase in activity in the Champaign housing market this year. We've also seen Champiagn, IL housing prices increase this year, which has been great for sellers. I've seen many buyers entering the market, so they can buy homes now, for fear of the continuing rise in home values and interest rates.

Many Champaign, IL renters believe strongly, that home ownership is an important financial decision and most renters I speak with, tell me homeownership is one of their top goals. The National Association of Realtors®, of which I'm a member, published a survey called, "The Housing Pulse Survey"; that showed renters are considering buying a home, more now than in recent years.  At the same time, the number of people who prefer to rent has declined substantially.

This year more renters are thinking about purchasing a home, and many have told me that owning a home is one of their highest priorities. However, many 1st time home buyers either can't stop renting or can't buy the home they really want. Student loan debt, and little savings for a down payment or closing costs can make it hard for them to buy a home. Many 1st time home buyers I meet, consider student loan debt to be one of their biggest obstacles. Home buyers with student loan debt find it challenging to access mortgage credit or to save for a down payment. 

Owning a home in Champaign, IL matters to Champaign residents, who understand the benefits home ownership provide for their families and community. Right now, affordable home prices, and historically low interest rates, have more renters thinking about owning a home than in recent years. In some areas, it  costs less to own a home than to rent one.

So it’s a no brainer for renters to understand that buying a home in Champaign, IL, gives them awesome long-term benefits and is  the best major investment they can make. The bottom line is that buying a home in Champaign - Urbana is a great financial decision and NOW is a great time to buy a home. 

Current Mortgage Statistics

by Rose Price

Real Estate Industry Facts

by Rose Price

6 Ways to Go Organic

by Rose Price

Three Reasons to Buy a House Now!

by Rose Price




Here are three great reasons to consider buying a home today instead of waiting.

1.) Prices Will Continue to Rise

Standard & Poors recently upgraded their 2013 forecast for the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index to an 11% year-over-year increase from their original 8% projection.

The Home Price Expectation Survey, which polls a distinguished panel of over 100 economists, investment strategists, and housing market analysts, projects a 22.3% appreciation in home values over the next five years. The bottom in home prices has passed. Waiting no longer makes sense.

2.) Mortgage Interest Rates Are Increasing

As reported by Freddie Mac, interest rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages have risen about 1/2 percentage point over the past several weeks.

The National Association of Realtors, the Mortgage Bankers Association and Fannie Mae are calling for interest rates to rise by approximately an additional ½ percentage point by this time next year. Some are trying to minimize the impact of higher rates. For example, Freddie Mac in their June U.S. Economic and Housing Market Outlook stated:

“At today’s house prices and income levels, mortgage rates would have to be nearly 7 percent before the U.S. median priced home would be unaffordable to a family making the median income in most parts of the country.”

However, an increase in rates will impact YOUR monthly mortgage payment. Whether you are moving up or moving down, your housing expense will be more a year from now if a mortgage is necessary to purchase your next home.

3.) It’s Time to Move On with Your Life

The ‘cost’ of a home is determined by two major components: the price of the home and the current mortgage rate. It appears that both are on the rise. But, what if they weren’t? Would you wait?

Look at the actual reason you are buying and decide whether it is worth waiting. Whether you want to have a great place for your children to grow up, you want your  family to be safer or you just want to have control over renovations, maybe it is time to buy.

If the right thing for you and your family is to purchase a home this year, buying sooner rather than later could lead to substantial savings.

by The KCM Crew on June 24, 2013


Five Tips to Enhance Curb Appeal

by Rose Price

It's important for sellers to do what they can to get their home to stand out. Here are five quick tips to generate some excitement for your home in today's market.

  • Use Paint:  A new coat of paint can go a long way to make your home look up to date. Neutral colors work best because they appeal to the most people.
  • Mow the Lawn: Take the time to mow the lawn and clean the yard. Rake leaves and grass and put away any tools that may be lying around. Don't turn buyers off with a messy yard. If they like what they see on the outside, you'll improve your chances of getting them to look inside.
  • Plant Flowers: Seasonal or perennials can bring a splash of color to your home and brighten the view from the street. Flowers throughout the house will please the senses and make your house feel like a home.
  • Spruce Up Your Walkway: Dressing up your walkway with bricks or paving stones will lead people to your front door. Inexpensive solar lighting can further enhance your entry.
  • Window Treatments: Keep your home from looking plain or boring with some decorative shutters. Windows are very important to the overall appeal of your home. Add planter boxes underneath for an immediate improvement that doesn't cost a lot of money!

By following these tips, you will be able to capture the hearts and minds of today's buyers, as well as improve your chances for a quick sale at the best price possible.

When you are ready, contact me today for a personal market value analysis of your home. No hassles or obligation - just honest advice on how to get top dollar for your home!


by Rose Price


The typical American spends more time thinking about buying a car than buying a house. Even though the house they buy might wind up costing several times as much as the car.

Why is that? While buying a home has long been part of the American Dream, it’s a daunting task – especially for first-time homebuyers. Many would-be buyers, overwhelmed by the process and the current state of the market, give up and decide to rent.

It doesn’t have to be that way. The fact is, today’s housing market is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for first-time buyers. Interest rates are at near-record lows, homes are more affordable than they have been in years and there are plenty of homes for sale (with more on the way, thanks to the foreclosure crisis). Buyers are more likely to truly find the home of their dreams than they were in years past.

Based on the questions I’ve received over the years, I’ve compiled a list of 6 tips every first-time home buyer should take. Keep these tips in mind as you begin the search for your perfect home, and I’m sure your experience will be far easier.

Tip #1: What’s the budget? This is the question my husband asked me when we were shopping for our first home. It seems like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many buyers don’t start by figuring out how much money they have to spend on their house purchase. It’s easy to show up at open houses and fall in love, but why waste time looking at homes that are out of your price range? The last thing you want is to find your dream home and realize it’s way over your budget.

Banks will tell you that you can spend up to 28 percent of your gross monthly income (GMI) on your mortgage, taxes and homeowners’ insurance premium, and up to 36 percent on your total debt. If you take out an FHA loan, you can go even higher – to 42 percent of your GMI.
The problem is 42 percent of your GMI will feel like nearly 60 percent of your take home pay, or more if you are contributing to a 401(k) at work. Remember this: Just because someone will lend you more money doesn’t mean you should borrow it.

To calculate a housing budget you can live with, start by figuring out how much you spend each month. Track your daily expenses in a notebook over the course of four weeks to get a real sense of how much is going out and where you’re spending most of your available cash. Watch your savings and calculate how long it will take you to come up with a down payment.

Before you commit to a mortgage amount, be sure to take the true cost of making those monthly principal, interest, taxes and insurance payments each month and apply them to your take-home pay. Don’t worry about mortgage deductions or the after-tax consequences – just look at the numbers and think about what else you spend each month and try to understand if you’ll feel comfortable. Because if you can’t sleep at night worrying about paying the mortgage or fixing your broken water heater, you’re spending too much.

Tip #2: Come up with a realistic wish-list. The key here is ‘realistic.’ Based on the housing budget you figured out, and where you want to live, compile a list of what you’d like to have in your first home.

Research is helpful when putting together your list. Check out some homes in your price range online to get a feel for what your money will buy, and make your wish list based on the home you see. If you’d love a fully renovated kitchen but none of the listings in your price range have one, be prepared to compromise. You can always upgrade later, but you really shouldn’t spend more than you can afford just for nicer finishes.

Tip #3: Get pre-approved for a mortgage. In this market, many deals contingent on financing fall apart because buyers can’t find a bank to give them a mortgage. Getting pre-approved for your mortgage will help you avoid this problem. Start by shopping around for a lender. You should speak to at least three or four different types of lenders including big national banks, mortgage brokers, regional banks, local lenders and possibly a credit union. Check out the Yahoo! Homes Mortgage page to see a list of lenders in your area, along with estimated rates and payments.

Once you’ve compared a few loans from different types of lenders side-by-side and decided on the right one for you, it’s time to get pre-approved. Some lenders will charge for pre-approval, so be sure to ask about those costs up front. You’ll need to provide the lender with details of your credit, income and assets to start the process. The bank will verify everything and issue a letter that tells you, and sellers, how much the bank is willing to lend you.

Typically, pre-approvals are good for 60 to 90 days. If you don’t find a home within that period of time, you may need to re-qualify with your lender.

Tip #4: Find a good home inspector. A knowledgeable home inspector is just as important as a great real estate agent. Getting a home inspection can save you thousands of dollars in the long run, but it has to be thorough. Ask friends and co-workers for referrals, or find out if your real estate agent has anyone they would recommend.

Once you’ve gotten a few names, interview potential candidates. Don’t be afraid to ask questions: find out what their process is for inspecting a home, how long it usually takes, what their expertise is and what kind of information and paperwork you will receive after the inspection. If there’s anything special about the property you’re interested in – for example, a septic or propane tank – be sure the home inspector knows what to look for. Finally, be sure to follow up on any red flags in the home inspection report by hiring experts to come in and take a closer look at a possibly radon issue or evidence of a pest infestation.

Tip #5: Understand the true costs of homeownership. This tip comes from one of my Twitter followers in Florida, @pstaines. Many first-time home buyers get so caught up in the idea of owning a home that they forget about life after closing. The real costs begin after you move into the house. In addition to mortgage payments, you’ll owe taxes, insurance and homeowner’s association (HOA) fees, and be responsible for any maintenance issues that come up while you own the home.

These costs are all the more reason not to spend every last dime on your mortgage payment. If you have nothing left after paying your mortgage, you’ll be unable to pay all the other fees or save for unexpected expenses.
Tip #6: You may love the home, but get to know the neighborhood before you make an offer. This is another good tip from one of my Twitter followers, @abirenews in Atlanta. He suggests talking to the neighbors to get the inside scoop on what it’s like to live there. Bad neighbors can affect your property’s value, but good neighbors can be an invaluable resource to first-time homebuyers.
If you think you’ve found the neighborhood you want to buy in, take it a step further. Drive from your potential new home to your office during rush hour to see what the commute is like, and to places you’d go on a regular basis like the grocery store, gym and gas station.

There’s a lot to think about when buying your first home, but remembering these tips should help you navigate the process and avoid potential minefields. Take your time, do your research and don’t let anyone pressure you into buying a home you’re not completely sure of. In this market you’ll be there a while, so make sure it’s somewhere you want to live for the long-term. 

Champaign Housing Market

by Rose Price

Market View for Champaign

Avg. Listing Price $192,853 Wk ending May   01

Median Sales Price $152,117 Dec '12 - Feb '13
688 Homes for sale 0 Open Homes
317 Recently Sold 104 Foreclosures
Listing price – Champaign
Movers & Shakers
Avg. listing price Week -ending May 1, 2013

Average price per square foot for Champaign IL was $562, an increase of 332.3% compared to the same period last year. The median sales price for homes in Champaign IL for Dec 12 to Feb 13 was $152,117 based on 78 home sales. Compared to the same period one year ago, the median home sales price increased 11.9%, or $16,117, and the number of home sales decreased 49.7%. There are currently 688 resale and new homes in Champaign on Trulia, including 104 homes in the pre-foreclosure, auction, or bank-owned stages of the foreclosure process. The average listing price for homes for sale in Champaign IL was $192,853 for the week ending May 01, which represents a decrease of 0.9%, or $1,792, compared to the prior week.


Mortgage Rates Heading Toward Historic Lows

by Rose Price


Mortgage Rates


Mortgage rates fell again this week and continue to trend downward, inching closer to historic lows. It is the third consecutive week in which home loans saw a decline, according to the latest survey by mortgage buyer Freddie Mac. However, the week-over-week change in home loans was minimal or “rangebound,” to use mortgage industry-speak.

The average rate for a 30-year fixed loan saw a minor change, moving slightly down from last week’s 3.43% to 3.41%. As it stands, loans are now just .1% away from the historic low reached in November, 3.31%, which was the lowest average for a 30-year fixed dating back to 1971.

The relatively static change can likely be attributed to continued stabilization of U.S. economic conditions. The bond market has especially benefited from uncertainty in the stock market, a relationship that will continue to have a dramatic effect on mortgage rates moving forward, according to mortgage expert Al Bowman:

This leaves the stock markets to be the biggest influence on bond trading and changes to mortgage rates. If we see sizable stock gains, bonds will likely be pressured, leading to slightly higher mortgage rates. On the other hand, if the up and down pattern in stocks continues tomorrow, we are due to see the major stock indexes in negative territory. If that is the case, we should see a positive morning in bonds with a slight improvement to mortgage pricing.

The 30-year fixed wasn’t the only loan to see a slight dip. The average rate on a 15-year fixed mortgage also fell marginally, creeping slightly downward from last week’s 2.65% to 2.64%, which is now just a hair above (.01%) above the historic low.

Additionally, hybrid 5-year adjustable-rate mortgage went down from 2.62% from a week ago to 2.60%. The 1-year ARM, however, saw a slight increase week-over-week, moving up to 2.63% from last week’s 2.62%.

While some attribute the continued decline of interest rates to the bond and job markets, Frank E. Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist, points to weak consumer spending. “Retail sales contracted for the second time in three months, falling 0.4 percent in March,” Nothaft said in a statement. “In addition, the University of Michigan reported their Consumer Sentiment Index dropped 6.3 points in April to settle at 72.3, its lowest level since July. The April reading snapped a streak of three consecutive gains.”

Barring a surprise, rates are expected to remain consistent moving forward, presenting home buyers and people looking to refinance an opportunity to benefit from rates at near-historic levels. In this week’s Mortgage Rate Trend Index by, 87% of the experts and analysts polled believe that rates will either continue their downward change or remain relatively unchanged.

Article copyright-


Displaying blog entries 21-30 of 49