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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.

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

Champaign/Urbana IL Protect Those Pipes From Freezing!

by Rose Price

With temperatures in Champaign/Urbana getting into the deep digits,  the chance of pipes freezing becomes a very real possibility, and untreated pipes in your basement and crawl-spaces can be an expensive scenario for any homeowner in the event of a burst.  What can you do to limit the chance of this happening to you & your home? Here are several preventative measures you can take:

  • First & foremost, you need to seal any air leaks inside near where the pipes are located in your home! Do a complete inspection around dryer vents, outdoor pipes, and electrical wiring. You'll need to use insulation, caulking, and sealants to ensure you've blocked the airway. Even a small opening can allow enough of this frigid air in to freeze a pipe.
  • Exposed pipes are most susceptible to freezing so you'll need to check your basement, and crawl-spaces where these pipes are located. Make sure you inspect all pipes to make sure each is properly insulated. Remember....ANY pipe can freeze, so inspect each one.
  • Heat Cables (thermostatically controlled)or Heat Tape can be used to wrap pipes. (Make sure any products used have been approved by Underwriters Laboratories Inc or other independent testing organizations & that you are using the products only where they are intended to be used IE: Inside or Outside, and you follow all installation and operational instructions). Check your local hardware store for supplies. 
  • To reduce freezing in the short span of the pipe, use indoor valves to shut off and drain water from the pipes that lead to outside faucets.
  • Many of us have gotten into the habit of turning down our thermostats at night, however this is NOT the time to do that! During these weather conditions it is very important to keep your thermostats set at the same temperatures both day & night. Because temperatures drop even deeper at night, if you set your thermostats lower at night you can run the risk of those pipes freezing over night.
  • Remember when your Mother told you to "Let the faucet's trickle overnight or if you are going to be gone for a day or two!"? Well, Mom was RIGHT! Trickling of hot and cold water, just letting it drip from the faucet on an outside wall, can keep your pipes from freezing! THANKS MOM!
  • Lastly,  keep the doors to your cabinets (on exterior walls) open, to allow heat to circulate through to the uninsulated pipes. Yes, I know you thought people were joking when they said that, but it is true, it can help keep your pipes from freezing as well.

Now, what can you do if your pipes have frozen?  SCREAM!  Just kidding, this isn't a laughing matter. If you turn on your faucets and nothing comes out, keep the faucets turned OFF and call a plumber immediately.  If your pipes are frozen, please keep these 4 things in mind:

  1. NEVER try to thaw a pipe with a blow torch or any other flame. 
  2. NEVER try to wade through the flooded waters in a basement or touch ANY electrical appliances or items in that area.  They will still be "ACTIVE" if plugged in prior to your basement flooding and would be cause for electrocution.
  3. If your pipes have BURST, Turn your water OFF at the main shut off valve.
  4. If trying to warm a Frozen Pipe, start as close to the faucet as possible then work toward the frozen section.
  5. Before you turn ANY water back on, MAKE SURE THERE AREN'T ANY LEAKS IN THE PIPES!!
  6. Make sure to check your Homeowners Insurance Policy and call them immediately.
I hope you'll just need to use my preventative tips and that our lovely communities around Champaign/Urbana will start to see the beautiful beginnings of spring sooner rather than later! Until then, check out my website and social media for more Homeowner tips!
If you're looking to move to the Champaign/Urbana area, and why wouldn't you Wink, give me a call! I'd love to be your tour guide and show you all the wonderful neighborhoods, schools and other points of interest in the Champaign/Urbana area. You can also sign up for my EXCLUSIVE EMAIL LISTING ALERTS! This allows you to be the first notified of homes that come onto the market that meet your personal preferences.  It's so easy, just follow this link: FREE LISTING ALERTS.

Why should 2015’s financial trends impact on the Housing Market be any different today than the years before it?  Good question....it would certainly seem like we’ve seen worse. But, you wouldn’t be comparing apples to apples, because you couldn’t. ALL the trends that exist today didn’t exist then....not even last year!  So, let’s take a look:

IN: IMPULSE SPENDING

OUT: SAVING

I don't think this one needs too much explaining, however we do need to understand the #1 reason 2015 is so much stronger for impulse spending than other years. It begins with the addition of APPLE PAY gliding onto the scene of an already "incredibly easy" spending marketplace which then becomes "a genie in a bottle".  It is now so easy for you to buy anything from the convenience of your phone...not even your computer...that your bank account is never going to be the same. Unless we all put some self-restraint and budgets into place, saving money in general will be impossible and saving for your down payment and home maintenance will be a hurdle that first time home buyers will never be able to jump.

IN: LUXURY HOME BUYERS

OUT: FIRST-TIME HOME BUYERS? (Not so fast!)

With rent rising at an astronomical rate across the country and student loan debt at an all time high, saving for a down payment has thus far, seemed impossible for most first time buyers and is looking very bleak for 2015.  In fact, first time home buyers are at the lowest level they have been in nearly 3 decades, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). What is driving the market? The more stable of the group....Luxury Home Buyers! With higher incomes, job security and more equity they are able to get the loans they want/need with the most desirable terms....even if they are the ones who probably need it the least. However, with rent rising at such a significant pace many would be renters may look to buy a home which will force builders to focus on building more entry level homes versus the luxury homes that have taken focus on the past several years. Rents in most states have consistently moved upward making it MORE ADVANTAGEOUS to buy than keep renting and throwing away that high dollar amount monthly/annually. The next several months will tell the tale of First Time Home Buyers for 2015....but we definitely see more FIRST TIME BUYERS entering the housing market! 

IN: FREELANCERS

OUT: TRADITIONAL EMPLOYEES 

Confused or Amazed? For some ....both! But these numbers will astound you. At present, 34% or 53 Million Americans currently work as Fixed-term Contract Workers or Freelancers!! And more and more companies are looking to move in that direction. This makes it difficult for many individuals who are applying for mortgages since many times this is NOT a stable income stream. What they need to do is make sure to document ALL work and all corresponding payments from ALL sources so that it can be turned over to the mortgage companies to be verified at the time it needs to be done.   On the other hand, this has made it very easy for a family that has chosen to have a parent stay home with children, to now have an option to work from home, with flexible hours, and still produce a great second income. Or for the older person who may have retired from a career position but now has an option of doing a “hobby” type job from their home for extra income...on their own terms. So, is it good or bad? Really depends on whom you are talking with and what side they are on.

IN: LIVING IN PLACE

OUT: AGING IN PLACE

Baby Boomers are redefining what it means to grow old!  They want to keep their homes, take in the arts, seek out new health and wellness activities and participate in all aspects of their family & friends lives....on their own terms. This means that there is a whole new need for HOME REMODELING. They want to keep the unique parts of their homes, but upgrade to include the safety and security features they need as they have grown older. Curbless Showers, Higher Toilets, and Grab Bars but still not give up the Gourmet Kitchens and Master Suites of today and don't forget technology!

With all these trends in place, and the incredible swing of the Housing Market from 2014 moving back in the right direction, the Champaign/Urbana market is looking FANTASTIC  for 2015. We are looking at a consistent upward trend with existing home sales and New Home Construction to start building again. In fact I am extremely excited to share with you this extraordinary opportunity to build your DREAM HOME in this one of a kind subdivision in MT ZION IL!  This newly created subdivision is just being marketed and I will be announcing information on my social media in the coming weeks.

If you are looking to put your Champaign/Urbana home on the market, you picked the PERFECT time! Competition is at it's lowest right now, but you must take advantage of this exclusive time frame. Give me a call today at 217-202-8843 or check out my website at CHAMPAIGNROSE.COM.  You can also get a FREE HOME VALUATION by following this link: FREE CHAMPAIGN/URBANA HOME VALUATION

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Displaying blog entries 21-27 of 27

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