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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!

CELEBRATE FREEDOM IN CHAMPAIGN, IL

by Rose Price

The Fourth of July is a sacred day for our country, we call to mind the blood, sweat and tears that accompanied the founding of this great nation.  We also call to mind the many men and women who still fight to protect our freedom, especially those who've made the ultimate sacrifice so we can enjoy the rights that make America the greatest country on earth.  

Read the Declaration Of Independence here.

Champaign hosts one of the best 4th of July events in the country, with it's 66th Annual Freedom Celebration.  Festivities will start at 7pm. with live music on the main stage, located on Kirby Avenue between First and Oak Street.  There will also be a bounce house and inflatables for the little ones.  After the music will be the singing of the national anthem and retiring of the flag and immediately following, will be the long awaited fireworks show from the pyros Melrose Pyrotechnics. Go here for the full program and map.

 

 

  

OTHER 4TH OF JULY CELEBRATIONS AROUND OUR AREA:
 
Paxton IL July 4th Celebration:  Paxton celebrates with a day of fun! Starting at 9:00 am there will be Live Music, Food, Children's Games- Bounce House, Great Car Show, Tractor Show and even a Watermelon Eating Contest!  Everything will take place at Pells Park, with a grand Fireworks Display at 9:00pm at the Memorial Field.  For more information follow this link:  PAXTON IL 4TH OF JULY 
 
Mahomet IL Freedom Fest 4th of July Celebration- Lake of the Woods Park:  Get set for a day with Family activities, food, and Music in Motion beginning at 3:00 pm!  After a tribute to our military men and women, they will LIGHT UP THE LAKE with a Fireworks Display that is set to music! Admission is $1 per person. Need more information, Follow this link: FREEDOM FEST MAHOMET IL
 
Tuscola IL- Sparks in the Park- 4th of July CelebrationThey don't fool around in Tuscola! The day starts with an early morning 5K run....but then you get to eat! A hearty pancake breakfast follows, then it's a basketball tournament, parade, and so much more!  The day is filled with a family carnival carnival of inflatables, games & food for the kids. Lives Music, food and drinks for Mom's & Dads. Followed by a fantastic Fireworks Display at dusk!
 
 
                                     WISHING YOU ALL A HAPPY & SAFE 4TH OF JULY!

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. 

 

Champaign IL BLUES, BREWS & BBQ FESTIVAL!

by Rose Price

One of the best events of the summer in Champaign is the Blues, Brews and BBQ festival.  The two day-free event​, the 8th annual blues fest features two stages for musical performances, the 4th annual Dinosores Motorcycle Show and the Orpheum Children's Theatre and it's right in the middle of our vibrant downtown, with more than 90 bars, restaurants and shops within a few blocks of the fest.  The event was always designed to bring families and the community together in a fun and entertaining way.  Last year, nearly 60,000 people attended.  Bring your friends and family and come enjoy Champaign/Urbana the best way we know how, with music, food and beer.  This year the fest is headlined by two of the most talented blues women in the industry.  Check em out below, you won't want to miss these incredible performances. Fluid events is teaming up with Dinosores Motorcycle club once again and the show features cash prizes in several categories.  You'll see a ton of show bikes roll in from around the country, these custom bikes are guaranteed to blow your mind.   

Check out the facebook page for up-to-date information about the fest.  

Event Schedule:

THE MAIN STAGE PRESENTED BY COORS LIGHT, U.S. 105.9 & CIB BANK

FRIDAY

4:30-5:30 - No Solid State

5:50-7:20 - Upshot

7:45-8:15 - Adrianna Marie

8:40-10:10 - Sena Ehrhardt

10:30-Midnight - Carolyn Wonderland

SATURDAY

12:50-2:20 - Country Showdown

2:40-4:10 - Laura Rain

4:30-5:00 - Motorcycle Awards Show

5:00-6:30 - Joanna Connor

6:50-8:20 - Janiva Magness

8:40-10:10 - Shawn Murphy

10:30-Midnight - Ana Popovic

 

 

It's Champaign/Urbana Summer Fair & Festival Season!

by Rose Price

This is such an exciting time of year for the Champaign/Urbana area!  As summer approaches, so do the events taking place around the area...and that includes the array of fairs and festivals! Starting in June and going through August, here are some of the larger events taking place:

WhatFolk and Roots Friday Concerts

When: Friday, June 5, noon-1 p.m. 

Where: Lake House in Crystal Lake Park, 206 W. Park St., Urbana

How much: Join the Urbana Park District and the C-U Folk & Roots Festival on the first Friday of each month this summer for some great FREE live music!
Highlights: We’re bringing back music at lunchtime. We’ll have boating and drink/snack specials, just bring your lunch and enjoy an afternoon lunch break on the lake.


WhatStrawberry Jam
When: Saturday, June 20, 4-8:30 p.m.
Where: Meadowbrook Park, 2808 S. Race St., Urbana
How much: Free family event
Highlights: Summer is a time to take it slow and easy. There’s no better way to celebrate that feeling than with live music and your favorite summertime treat! Enjoy musical performances and taste fresh strawberries over ice cream (while supplies last).  Visitors can also take guided walks through the prairie, Champaign/Urbana Herb Society Garden and Organic Gardens.  Hay rides will be available to and from the playground.  Visitors are also invited to bring their own picnic dinners and blankets to wrap up the evenings. Stay up to date with everything jam at their facebook page or check out Chambanamoms page for other fun family things to do.  

 

 

 

What: Heritage Days
When: June 4-6
Where: Downtown Farmer City
How much: Free admission but tickets required for carnival rides.
Highlights: Full carnival, car show, food, live music, and more!

 

 

What: 8th Annual Old Glory Festival
When:
 Saturday, June 13
Where: Bement
How much: Admission is free (fees may apply to special events)
Highlights: Petting zoo, inflatables/kids games, food, music, entertainment, stagecoach rides.

 

 

What: Piatt County Fair
When:
 June 15-21
Where: Cerro Gordo
How much: Admission is free (fees may apply to special events)
Highlights: Tractor pulls, bands, inflatables, fair pageant, and much more!

 

 

 

 

What: Vermilion County Fair

WhenJune 23-27
Where: Vermilion County Fairgrounds, Oakwood
How much: Gate fee for the week is $10/person and lasts all week. Ticket prices vary for grandstand events

Highlights: Queen pageant, truck and tractor pull, bull riding, racing, carnival rides and more. 

 

What: Gifford Community Celebration

When: June 27
Where: Werner Roessler Park, Gifford; Main Street (parade); behind the Gifford State Bank
How much: Free
Highlights: The Gifford Community Celebration is a full day jam-packed with entertainment and fun for all ages. The event is held on the last Saturday in June each year. More details to follow as the date gets closer.

 

What: Ford County Fair
When: June 21-27
Where: Melvin
How much: Season Ticket $20; Most nights entry from 3-9 p.m. $5.  (6 and under free).
Highlights:  This year’s fair will include a horse show on Sunday, queen pageant on Monday, Frankie Ballard & Granger Smith concert on Tuesday, talent show on Wednesday, tractor and truck pull on Thursday, rodeo on Friday, and demolition derby on Saturday.

 

 

 

What: The Blues, Brews, and BBQ Festival
When: Friday, June 26, 4 p.m.-midnight.; Saturday, June 27, Noon-midnight
Where: Downtown Champaign at the corner of Walnut and Washington
How much: Free admission; food for sale; other items may be ticketed.
Highlights: Two days of music, motorcycle show, free inflatables, lots of barbeque and beer.

 

What: Tolono Fun Days
When: June 26 and June 27
Where: West Side Park
Highlights:  5K Kracker Klassic on Friday at 7 p.m., movie in the park. More details to come!

(Reminder, Fourth of July info will be in another post.)

 

 

What: Moultrie – Douglas County Fair
When: July 5-11
Where: Located at Jurgens Park in Arthur behind Arthur High School.
How much: Most nights, free gate fee. Grandstand shows vary.
Highlights: A full week of activities such as livestock shows, tractor pulls, demolition derby, horse and pony shows, live entertainment, carnival rides for all ages, and exhibits for the whole family.

 

 

 

What: Fisher Community Fair and Horse Show

 

When: July 7-11
Where: Fisher Fairgrounds
How much: Admission prices vary from $2-$10. Season tickets also available.
Highlights: Scheduled is still being finalized … but you can count on favorites such as the Demolition Derby, Lawn Mower Demolition Derby, the 5K run/walk, car show, live music, queen pageant and more.

 

 

 

 

 

 

What: Champaign Music Festival
When: Saturday, July 11, 6 p.m.midnight 

Where: Downtown Champaign
How much: Free
HighlightsThe Champaign Music Festival, formerly Mariposa, will feature nationally recognized musicians in Hessel Park. Join us for this exciting night of music, and enjoy food and beverages from your favorite local establishments as we pack the park! The event will feature two stages of entertainment. Check the website for a full band schedule coming in June.

 

What: Champaign County Fair
When: July 24-August 1
Where: Champaign County Fairgrounds, Urbana 
Highlights: County music shows, rodeo, Demolition Derby, motorcycle racing, harness racing, tractor and truck pull, talent Show … plus all of your fair food favorites and carnival rides!

 

 

What: Coles County Fair
When: July 26-Aug. 2
Where: Coles County Fairgrounds, Charleston (map)
How much: 7:00 am- 4:00 pm Admission is FREE!  After 4 pm Adults pay $3.00. Parking is $2.00, or a Parking Permit may be purchased for the duration for $15.00. Grandstand tickets vary per show.
Highlights: Illinois’ Oldest Continuous County Fair, since 1854. Carnival rides, a Western Horse Show, Art Hall, Pro bull riding, Demolition Derby, harness Racing, and truck and tractor pull and more!

 

Reference:

Chambanamoms.com  awesome website & work.

 

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

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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