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Don't Risk Being Unprepared for Disaster

by Rose Price

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Take a Walk with the Birds This Weekend

by Rose Price

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

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

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

Spotlight: Quick Bathroom Renovations

by Rose Price

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Urbana's Sweetcorn Festival

by Rose Price

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

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

Friday Music Lineup

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

Saturday Music Lineup

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

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

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

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

Celebrate Bluegrass at Rockome Gardens

by Rose Price

A weekend full of bluegrass music awaits you at the 18th Annual Bluegrass in the Gardens, taking place at Rockome Gardens in Arcola [map] Saturday and Sunday. Rockome Gardens is a twenty acre park devoted to Illinois Amish culture. The music starts a noon both days, and features The Roys, The Bankesters, Rigney Family, Sawtooth Bluegrass Band, Mississippi Sawyers (pictured), Pickin' Chicks, Bluetown, and High Cotton.

Tickets are $15 for adults, $8 for children, with those under 7 getting in for free.

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

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

Planting a Good Investment

by Rose Price

Tree of HeavenLooking for a simple way to add beauty and value to your home? Plant a tree!  There are a wide variety of trees that thrive in central Illinois, but making the best choice takes a little work. Adding a healthy, beautiful tree is an excellent investment in your home’s value.

First of all, you’ll want to have a good assessment of the quality of the soil where you want to plant the tree. The pH balance of your soil, for example, can make the difference between a beautiful tree and a dead eyesore. Soil testers can be purchased at most lawn and garden centers.

The University of Illinois Extension has a wonderful website filled with information about trees you might want to consider. You can use the site to filter trees by size, tolerance to different conditions, exposure and use. It also contains useful warnings about pests specific to central Illinois.

You’ll also need to know how well-drained the planting area is before you put the tree in the ground. Too much water in the soil can cause problems for the roots. Adding bark mulch around the base of the tree will help add nitrogen to the soil.  And wrapping trees in the fall and winter will protect them against the cold and deer.

Whatever your choice is, you’ll probably want to consult with a local garden center or tree farm to confirm you’re making a good decision.  Do you have a favorite tree? Send me a picture! Plant a tree, invest in your home’s value, and make Illinois just a little more beautiful.

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

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

Know Before You Go with Facebook

by Rose Price

In a tight economy, many people are having to look far and wide for the right job opportunities.  Which can mean moving to unfamiliar places, a daunting prospect, especially if you have school-age children.  Finding the right neighborhoods and school districts is a vital part of making the experience a good one in the long run.

To get the information you need to make a good decision, you’ll rely a lot on a local real estate professional, someone who has an established network of contacts throughout the area.  But, you probably have your own network, and it’s a perfect time to put it to use.

I’m talking about Facebook and other social media sites.  If you’re a regular online, let your friends and contacts know where you’re planning to move and ask them for information about the area.  Ask about neighborhoods, schools, local parks and attractions, favorite restaurants and other places that may soon be a big part of your new life.  If your Facebook friends don’t know themselves, maybe they have other friends that do.

You can do the same thing with other services like Twitter or LinkedIn.  Tweeting something like: “Planning to move to Champaign. What are the best schools in town? #Champaign” is a simple way to solicit information from a variety of people. 

If you already have a job in the new location, make sure to ask your new company’s human resources department for any assistance they can offer you.  Find out specifics like where you’ll need to go to get your car registered and a new driver’s license.  Churches can be an excellent resource as well.

Of course, you’re going to want to see your options personally before you make any decision. And you can plan ahead for your scouting trip by using services like Yelp to pinpoint specific shops, services and restaurants that will be important to you. 

And having prepared before you tour the area with a real estate professional, you’ll be in a much better position to ask specific questions and provide information that will make your search for a new home a much easier and enjoyable experience.

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

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

 

Flying History and Saturday Musicals

by Rose Price

For those of you who are looking for something unique and interesting this weekend...

Texas Raiders Overhead

Folks who love vintage airplanes are going to flip over this event.  Texas Raiders is a B-17 bomber from World War Two, one of the eleven that still fly after all these years. And you'll be able to fly aboard it throughout the weekend. It's flying into the Chanute Air Museum Friday. Flights and walk-throughs are available until Tuesday. For information on the rides , please contact B17Rides@gulfcoastwing.org or call 817-304-0393.

Willy Wonka Kids and Seussical, Junior

Something for the whole family to enjoy, the ACT Theater Company is presenting this musical double feature at the Gibson City North Park pavilion (at the corner of 13th and Church) at 7pm on Saturday. More than a hundred kids ranging in age from six to eighteen will be performing! Admission is four dollars.

I hope you have a fun weekend.  Check back next week for more event ideas!

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

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This blog is maintained by Michael of Kim Hughes & Company. Video courtesy Commemorative Air Force

 

What Life Stage Is Your House?

by Rose Price

Family Portrait

I’m not asking how old your house is or what era of construction it is. Instead, I want to know, who is the ideal family to live in your house? Think about the family structure you can picture making a life in your home. 

First-time Home Buyers

First-timers want lower maintenance to ease into homeowner responsibilities. So, a newer home that doesn’t require much work, or a townhouse with some of the exterior maintenance included would be perfect. First-timers often don’t need much space, and a quick-turnover neighborhood works well as the family starts to grow out of the starter house.

Young Family

Let’s face it. Small children take over every square inch that isn’t dedicated space for something else. That’s why playroom space is nice to have to contain toys and games. Young families like yard space for kids to run, lots of storage space, and easy childproofing ability.

Mature Family 

Families with older children gravitate toward homes with plenty of room for teens to have their own space. Many families need garage space for multiple drivers, and a place for teens to have friends over that won’t disturb Mom and Dad.  

Empty Nester

Functionality is key for the retiring family. Empty nesters like a single floor, main-floor laundry, a low-maintenance yard, a quiet neighborhood, minimal upkeep and an atmosphere of relaxation.

Investor

A real estate investor, or “flipper,” buys up houses in good markets that are priced low and need some simple upgrades. As we would expect, they want to turn a profit.

If you’re not sure what life stage your house is, I can help you figure that out. I’ve heard lots of feedback from lots of buyers and I know what people are looking for. We should talk about why you bought the house in the first place. What was your family situation? What features really worked for you? Just email me some of the key features of your house, and I can let you know who to target!

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

Search for Homes in the Champaign Area 

Featured Champaign Properties 
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This blog is maintained by Michael of Kim Hughes & Company


 

Displaying blog entries 21-29 of 29

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