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Buying a new house is an exciting and important time! There is no better place to call home than CHAMPAIGN/URBANA! House hunting in a seller's market, though, adds more factors for you to consider during the process. Although the market might not be favoring buyers at the moment, there are many things that you can use to your advantage to help you buy your dream home! Look through the current HOUSE LISTINGS so I can help you begin this exciting journey, and follow these 6 useful tips for buyers in a seller's market.

WORK WITH AN EXPERIENCED AGENT. Eliminate some of the time and stress that comes with house hunting by working with an experienced real estate agent. Champaignrose  & Landmark Real Estate is here to help you find your dream home! Let me know exactly what you are looking for. I understand the Champaign/Urbana housing market, now what is available, and negotiate the best deal for your new home! Here is WHY BUYERS CHOOSE ME!

BE PREAPPROVED BY A LENDER. Get preapproval for a loan from a reputable lender that you can present to the seller. This shows that you are serious about buying the home and makes the seller feel more comfortable knowing that your finances are in order. If you already know that you can afford the home and have a high credit score, get this part of the process out of the way when you initially start your house hunting process. It can help you stand apart from the other buyers. For help with the kinds of loans that are available for you, check out our  FINANCE INFORMATION

BE DECISIVE IN MAKING AN OFFER. Buying a home is a major decision so being thoughtful about the home you make an offer on is imperative. But don’t get bogged down in over analyzing. Before you begin the house hunting process, be sure to know exactly what you are looking for in your dream home…price, location, and type. When you find a home that checks all of the factors you have previously determined, make an offer! You don’t want to miss out on your dream home due to overthinking.

MAKE YOUR BEST OFFER. Start with a strong opening offer. You should know the maximum that you are willing to pay. Set a BUDGET so you are fully area of what you can afford and can make more informed decisions. Although we all want to get the best deal possible, in a seller’s market competition is high. If you come in with too low of an opening offer, you could miss out on your dream home. Be aware of what other houses are on the market and the pricing of the homes in the area. This will help you determine what is an appropriate amount to negotiate for the house you want. Have a strong opening offer that you are comfortable with AND that will be acceptable to the seller.

PREPARE FOR A BIDDING WAR. Bidding wars inevitably cause stress for buyers. The fear of missing out on your dream home is understandable. However, competition in a seller’s market is high. Know what you are willing to pay and search for houses below your max budget. This will help you avoid spending more than you are comfortable with should you end up in a bidding war.

LEARN FROM YOUR MISTAKES. You might not get the first home that you make an offer on. In a seller’s market, it is likely that you will have to make several offers on homes before finding the perfect one for you. Recognize what happened with the transactions that don’t work out and learn from them. Stay true to what you want and realize that there are other options in the Champaign/Urbana that I will help you find!

Source: TRULIA

Follow the Farmstead in Champaign IL!

by Rose Price

Join us this Saturday, June 11th, for the 2nd annual Champaign County Farm Tours. This great event connects the surrounding community with local farms to learn about Central Illinois farming. Our area has a rich farming tradition which is celebrated through this day long tour. The Champaign County Farm tours is a family friendly event that includes demonstrations and hands on activities. Participants will have the opportunity to see farm animals, innovations in farming technology, and learn about the local food economy.

This year’s event will include six local farms and facilities located around Champaign County. Agrible Inc. will show visitors the technology it offers to help farmers collect agricultural data and improve processes. Autumn Berry Inspired and Green Island Farm Collective will showcase the local produce and food stuffs that they create while promoting sustainability. Barnhart Prairie Preserve is a prairie reconstruction site dedicated to preserving the natural landscape of Champaign County. Visitors to this site will be able to tour the prairie and learn more about the natural history of our community. Birkey's Farm Store Inc will be hosting tours between 9:00 am and noon to discuss the machinery that they supply to local farms. Pheasant Ridge Farms is a standard at local farmers markets in Champaign and Urbana. The farm will be open to the public to see their organic produce and farm animals. At the University of Illinois Beef Farm, researchers will teach visitors about work being completed at the farm. 

This fun and educational event is the perfect way to spend this upcoming Saturday! Bring the whole family out to learn about the local farming community and gain new appreciation for where our food comes from.

Event Details

Date: Saturday, June 11th, 2016

Time: 9:00 am – 2:00 pm

Location: Farm Tour Locations

Cost: FREE!

Do you Live in a Relaxed or Stressed Out Town?

by Rose Price

We all deal with stresses in our lives and try to find ways to eliminate them. Although not the ultimate determining factor, where you live has an impact on the stress level in your daily life. Why not live some place recognized as a RELAXED town?! When compared to 340 other cities analyzed throughout the state…MOUNT ZION (#3), MONTICELLO (#13), and MAHOMET (#16) made it into the TOP 20 LEAST STRESSED OUT cities in Illinois!

How was the stress level of Illinois’ cities determined? Career website Zippia analyzed six root causes of stress and applied them to 340 cities throughout Illinois with a population over 5,000 people. The stress determinants included…

(1) population density

(2) long commute time per percentage of population

(3) unemployment rate

(4) number of hours worked

(5) income to rent ratio

(6) percentage of people with no health insurance.

Cities were deemed to be more stressed out the higher any of these numbers were.

Zippia’s research found that MOUNT ZION (population of 5,830) had a low percentage, 28.1%, of the population paying high rent and only 11.8% of the population having to deal with commute times over 30 minutes. MONTICELLO (population of 5,400) also maintained low percentages with regards to people paying high rent and dealing with long commutes. Plus, the rich history and beautiful architecture throughout the city maintain a relaxed environment for its residents. Located only 10 miles from Champaign, the people of MAHOMET (population of 7,592) have shorter commute times. Additionally, the excellent school system and extensive outdoor recreational facilities allow for the community to stay less stressed out. 

Congrats to MOUNT ZION, MONTICELLO, and MAHOMET for helping their communities keep relaxed!!

If you're interested in BuyingSelling or Investing in the Champaign community, give Champaign Rose a call or visit our website at: www.champaignrose.com.

Habitat ReStore logo preferred

June begins the “Honey-Do Season”!

DID YOU KNOW that Habitat for Humanity ReStore will pick up an entire truckload of your items for just $10!

Here’s a list of some of the items that the ReStore will happily take off your hands:

  • Furniture, couches, desks, tables, shelves-please no rips tears, stains, broken parts or animal stains.
  • Large and small appliances; in working order, 7 years old or less; washers, dryers, refrigerators, stoves, microwaves, blenders, coffee makes 
  • Building supplies; doors, kitchen and bath cabinets with working doors and drawers, counter tops, new flooring; wood, ceramic, vinyl, and carpet; working power, hand, and garden tools 
  • Household linens, dishes, utensils, arts and crafts/office supplies

However, the following items cannot be accepted:

  • Clothing/toys/pianos 
  • Toxic materials, lead based paint or used tires 
  • Single pane windows, parts or pieces; hollow doors 
  • Older style box televisions 
  • Mattresses or box springs

All proceeds from your donations go to support Habitat local building programs in Champaign County. Call today 217-359-0507 to schedule your pick up---and start making your Honey-Do list that much shorter!

To learn more about Community Events and Information, visit my website and Facebook Page!

Interested on learning more about the Champaign IL Community and the Real Estate options available? Give me a call and I'll personally share with you all about the homes for sale in our wonderful community and neighboring towns...or you can visit this link and view some for your self: Homes for Sale Champaign IL

It’s time to celebrate Mom!

THIS SUNDAY is Mother’s Day and if you have not already made plans to celebrate your mom, don’t fret, it’s not too late! A fun and delicious brunch to thank your mom over a mimosa or a cappuccino may just be your perfect solution!

Here are some ideas of fabulous restaurants in the community to take your mom on Sunday:

Minnecis Restaurant in Champaign

Radio Maria in Champaign

JT Walker’s in Mahomet

Milo’s in Urbana

Silvercreek in Urbana

Big Grove Tavern in Champaign

Dublin O’Neils in Champaign

 

A big thanks to all the Mother’s in the community for everything you do!

 

MOM & ME....Mother's Day in Champaign/Urbana IL!

by Rose Price

Mother's Day is one of the most important days of the year for all of us, and we want to give you an opportunity to show your Mom just how special she really is to you!

We have created a special "Mother's Day" board on our Pinterest & Facebook page just for this very special day, dedicated to MOMS! All you need to do is submit YOUR favorite photo of you and your Mom along with a short paragraph- no more than 250 words- about what makes your Mom so special. Then email it to me: roseprice@champaignrose.com

On Saturday, May 7th I will select 2 finalist, based on their submissions and award a Gift Card to each winner.  You can then use this with your Mothers toward brunch, golf, shopping or whatever the two of you would like to spend time doing together!

So get writing and find your best photo....email it into me....and make Mom the center of attention like she so greatly deserves!

It’s everyone’s favorite day of the year...TAX DAY!!!

Ehh, not so much….

 

For all of you stressing over this infamous day, Marketwatch has some great advice. File an extension!! In an article posted by the news source, there are 7 excellent reasons why many people should consider an extension.

  1. You have a balance due and need more time to save up money to cover it. Give yourself that extra 6 months.

  2. Made charitable donations over $250 to one or more charities and don’t have the proper receipts (which must include the name of the charity, address, taxpayer ID number, and a statement that you did not receive any benefits or items of value for your donation) to submit with your taxes? The IRS is very strict on submitting the required documentation so an extension would give you an extra 6 months to get everything in order.

  3. Have you recently moved homes? Or are you planning to move within the next few months? If yes, it benefits you to submit an extension because the IRS may need to follow up with you on your taxes and they send all correspondence to the address you have on file.

  4. If you are waiting for K-1 forms from partnership entities, S-Corps, estates, or trusts you should file an extension.

  5. Sometimes rushing through your personal or business bookkeeping can cause sloppy or incorrect taxes. Don’t rush and do it right. File an extension to give you that extra time.

  6. Have a large balance this year? Making contributions to your 2015 retirement plan can help reduce that balance. File an extension if you would like to benefit from this. You have until October 15th to open or add to your retirement fund.

  7. And finally…. You still have questions regarding your taxes that you have not had answered. Give yourself some time to get everything settled.

Best of luck this tax season!

Champaign IL 18th Annual Ebertfest: 2016!

by Rose Price

It's that special time of year, where film lovers from all over Illinois come to Champaign to celebrate and enjoy films inspired by the Great Roger Ebert's exquisite taste and his dedication and passion to the art of film. Founded in 1999 by Roger himself, the film festival features films that didn't receive the recognition they deserved the first time around.  Though he passed in 2013, he is a constant influence on the festival.  Some of the films come from Roger's own lists of possible films for his festival while others are selected by Chaz Ebert and Festival Director Nate Kohn, based on Roger's criteria for a Ebertfest film of course. Having both worked closely with Roger for 15 years, they know pretty darn well what he would approve of and what would make him cringe.   

As Roger himself said:

"Every great film should

seem new, every time you see it."  

Well at EbertFest every film will certainly seem new!  It's core mission is to celebrate films, genres and formats that have been overlooked by distributors, audiences and/or critics; including independent, international and studio films that did not win wide audiences; overlooked formats such as 70mm; and overlooked genres such as documentaries and musicals. One of our favorite parts of the festival is that it screens one film at a time, so everyone sees the same films at the same time, which promotes a strong sense of community among audiences, filmmakers, guests, students and scholars.  

"No good movie is too long

and no bad movie is short enough." 

We know that not everyone has the same taste in movies, but if you're going to trust one critic's opinion, it should definitely be Roger's, so hopefully the above quote won't apply this week.  Come see some great films, meet fascinating directors, actors, and filmmakers and celebrate the art of film and the life of one of the world's most beloved Film Critics.  

Schedule

Tickets

FAQ

 

 

Speedy Spring Sales In Champaign IL

by Rose Price

Putting your home on the market can be stressful. Showing after showing after showing requires your home to be presentable at all times. You’re forced to vacate at a moments notice, not to mention the kids and the dog.  So, how can you make this process a little less stressful and guarantee you home sells?    

First of all, buyers are always more interested in a home the first few weeks it's on the market, the longer it sits, the lower your chances are of selling quickly and for top dollar.  So, you really need to be prepared and come out blazing.

There are three main ingredients in a quick home sale: 

1) It needs to show well 

2) It needs to be marketed well

3) It needs to be priced correctly. 

So, without further ado, here are some of the best tips and tricks to optimize these three ingredients and to ensure a speedy spring sale.  

Rent A Storage Unit

Most people think, “ok, declutter, let’s put everything in the closet.” This is  BAD idea, the closest are part of the home, so anyone viewing the home is certainly going to look at the storage spaces and an unorganized, overstuffed closet doesn’t show well.  Your closets should be as clutter free and beautiful as you’ve mede the rest of the house. Instead of shoving things in the basement and closets, consider renting a storage unit.  It is super convenient and will allow you to keep your home show ready much easier.  As a general rule, you probably don’t need or use a third of your stuff, and it’s actually probably closer to half. Things like holiday decorations, old baby stuff, seasonal clothes, your kids old art projects…put it all in storage. Better yet, you can choose a portable unit, which can be transported on moving day, making your move even more convenient.  

Staging/Photography

A professional home stager sees your home from a the most discerning buyer's perspective and a good stager knows exactly how to highlight your home’s best features and minimize it’s flaws.  The first impression a buyer gets is often from listing photos online, so naturally these photos should be the highest quality possible.  Also of note, is that studies show homes with more than six listing photos online are twice as likely to be viewed by buyers. 

However, not everyone wants their home staged, and we understand. So, what can you do instead?  Have a friend or two or three take turns walking from the curb through your house as if they were a buyer. Encourage them to look for areas to improve.  Then have your agent do the same thing.  Even the most beautiful homes can benefit from these practices.  

Find The Right Real Estate Agent

Don't hire a real estate agent just because your friend used them or because their son is in your kid’s English class. Hire an agent with a proven track record.  Someone who has proven their ability to sell homes fast.  You want someone who is familiar with the neighborhood.  You want someone who is not afraid to correct your errors.  Face it, they do this for a living and no matter how hard you try, you’re going to miss some things.  Your agent should be able to walk into your home and tell you exactly what buyers will love and hate, and then help you fix those hate points.  

Besides a great track record, look at their reviews.  What is it like to work with this person?  You should also make sure your agent is savvy online, since this is where most Real Estate business starts these days.  Look at the photos on their website (remember tip #2?), make sure they hire professional photographers to take photos of the home. Look at their social media.  Are they utilizing these outlets to sell homes? 

Do Some Work Yourself

If you’re really trying to sell your home, don't leave all the marketing to your agent. Get the word out yourself.  Facebook, Instagram, Twitter; if you have these use them.  Send e-mails, texts, let people know!  Don’t stop at your friends either.  Make it known in your neighborhood too! You never know who may know someone whose looking for a home in town. Let others help.

Depersonalize

This is Important, and can be hard for some people.  Most homes are covered with family photos and this can make it hard to imagine yourself living their.  At this point it still seems like someone else’s home, but your buyers need to imagine themselves living there. So, no matter how cute those baby pictures are, take them down when you put your home on the market.  Same goes for extravagant art.  You want your home to be interesting, but you don’t want the art distracting from the home itself.  People also have different tastes in art, so if they hate the art, they again, may find it hard to imagine living there.  

 

Upgrades

You don't need to go overboard on remodels to make your home more appealing. Honestly, chances are, you probably won’t get this money back in the sale.  So, instead, focus on the little things, especially the kitchen and bathroom.  New sinks and cabinets go a long way! Light fixtures, new shower curtains nice towels; these are all little things that can have a huge impact on potential buyers.  So, instead of spending $35,000 on a full kitchen remodel, get rid of your mismatched appliances and spend $3,500 on new stainless steel appliances. Small investments can make a huge impact, and you’ll have a better chance at optimizing your ROI.  

Lighten Up

Chances are pretty good you are not a vampire, its likely your buyers aren’t either, so brighten up your home.  Dark or poorly lit home can feel a little depressing.  A bright combination of natural and artificial light is the best way to go.  G the highest wattage lightbulb your fixture will allow, which even come in eco friendly styles now and it will instantly make your home brighter and more inviting.  Every time you leave for a showing, turn the lights on and open the blinds.  A fresh coat of paint will also go a long way.  A lighter natural color paint will help make your rooms look larger.  Last finishing touch, a good solid cleaning.  Make those baseboards sparkle!   

Curb Appeal

Curb Appeal is so hugely important, it can’t be overstated.  Your home’s exterior is the first thing potential buyers see.  If it doesn’t look great, a buyer won’t even consider it.   So, clean up the yard.  Consider trimming the hedges and the lawn, add fresh mulch, maybe get your lawn edged, a good pressure washing is always good, clean the driveways and walkways, maybe a fresh coat of paint to the trim and shutters as well. Everything matters, even the little things like polishing the brass on the front door.   Go a bit farther, add some Flowers near the entryway, a splash of color helps your home feel alive and inviting. 

Offer incentives

It may seem a little counterintuitive in a seller’s market, however the facts don’t lie. Last year, the best year for U.S. home sales in almost a decade, 37% of all sellers offered incentives to attract buyers.  With the added competition in the market, incentives could be the deciding factor for a buyer.  If you’re a seller and you’re able to offer a little money toward closing costs, you’re making it easier for that buyer, which may in turn make them more willing to give you the full asking price.  So in the end you could end up with a faster sale and a larger profit. 

Know The Facts

Spring and summer are the best times to sell your home.  If you can wait until then, you probably should.  However, selling during the peak season also means there is more competition and buyers can be pickier.  So, if you are selling in the Spring and Summer, these tips are especially important. Another important fact, is that homes that aren’t priced right just don’t sell, and the longer your home sits on the market, the less desirable it is.  Buyers often expect something to be wrong with these homes.  You absolutely have to price your home right, it’s that simple.  Do some research on local comps, get a few suggestions from other agents, and then ultimately listen to your agent, which should be the expert we discussed in the beginning of the article.  It can be hard hearing your home isn’t worth what you thought, but it’s not worth wasting the summer on.  Let your Agent take the lead on pricing and negotiating.

Looking for more information on how to Sell your home quickly this Spring, give the Rose Price Team a call 217.202.8843.  Not ready to chat yet? Then visit some of our FREE Seller's Resources.  We also have numerous FREE resources for Buyers.    

Check out Trulia, a Great Real Estate Resource.

March 24th is the 75th anniversary of Chanute Airfield's Tuskegee Airmen! Champaign Illinois was the birthplace of the Tuskegee Airmen. These brave men showed incredible heroism and courage at a time of severe racism in our country and a belief that black soldiers were inferior to white, that they didn't have the capacity or fortitude sufficient to fly warplanes into battle. 

It wasn't until 1941 when A. Phillip Randolph pushed President Roosevelt to include Black Americans in combat roles, that they became eligible to fight. However, St. Louis and Detroit were the original designated locations for training sites, but neither city would allow these men to train in their airspace. it was Champaign County that stepped up and supported the program and offered Chanute Army Air Field to host the training.  This historical event took place during the week of March 19-26, 1941 at Chanute Air Field, Rantoul, IL for the Black Fighter Pilots. 

Later that fall, these fighter pilots were transferred to Tuskegee, AL but Chanute Air Field was kept as an integrated base for weatherman, armorers, fire fighters and mechanics.

On March 24, 1945, three Tuskegee Airmen shot down 3 German jets, marking the very first time American pilots shot down enemy jet fighters. 

While only 14 of the original Tuskegee Airmen are still alive today, there are many pilots who helped integrate the Army Air Corps. 

Our Illinois National Guard Armory will host a kick-off celebration on Thursday, March 24, designating Champaign County as the Birthplace of the Tuskegee Airmen March 1941.” The program will begin at 11:00 a.m. and last one hour. Following the event, the Champaign County Engineers will install the “Birthplace of the Tuskegee Airmen March 1941” signs on all US and IL highways entering Champaign County.

Various Veteran organizations throughout Champaign and Douglas counties will be on hand to commemorate the designation. The public is also encouraged to attend to celebrate the role of Chanute Air Field in this monumental time in our country’s history.

Photo Credit- VisitChampaign.org

Displaying blog entries 81-90 of 138

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