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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

 

Champaign County Humane Society Annual GIANT Garage Sale

by Rose Price

Get out of the house this Friday and/or Saturday and check out the Champaign County Humane Society Annual GIANT Garage Sale

Gigantic selection of housewares, toys, books, music, clothing, gardening, tools, pet items, jewelry, children's toy and clothing, plus Antiques Booth and our Unique Boutique, available for sale to benefit the homeless pets at Champaign, Illinois,  Humane Society. Or adopt a pet to add to your family!  $2 admission charge Friday and Saturday. Sunday its only $1 and they will be practically giving away the left overs!

This event will be held at Kesler Hall, Champaign County Fairgrounds, Coler and Fairview avenues in Urbana

Thanks News-Gazette for the info on this great local event!

Rose Price, CIPS, CRP

Prudential Landmark Real Estate
Champaignrose.com

 

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Tips for Buying a Home

by Rose Price

Are you ready to find the perfect Champaign, Illinois home for you? Then you'll need to think about a few things before getting started.  These are some of the top 10 things you need to know when buying a home.

1. Don't buy if you can't stay put.

If you can't commit to remaining in one place for at least a few years, then owning is probably not for you, at least not yet. With the transaction costs of buying and selling a home, you may end up losing money if you sell any sooner - even in a rising market. When prices are falling, it's an even worse proposition.

2. Start by cleaning up your credit.

Since you most likely will need to get a mortgage to buy a house, you must make sure your credit history is as clean as possible. A few months before you start house hunting, get copies of your credit report. Make sure the facts are correct, and fix any problems you discover.

3. Aim for a home you can really afford.

The rule of thumb is that you can buy housing that runs about two-and-one-half times your annual salary. But you'll do better to use one of many calculators available online to get a better handle on how your income, debts, and expenses affect what you can afford.

4. If you can't put down the usual 20 percent, you may still qualify for a loan.

20% is the norm these days, but there are options if you don't have the cash. There are a variety of public and private lenders who, if you qualify, offer low-interest mortgages that require a down payment as small as 3 percent of the purchase price.

5. Buy in a district with good schools.

In most areas, this advice applies even if you don't have school-age children. Reason: When it comes time to sell, you'll learn that strong school districts are a top priority for many home buyers, thus helping to boost property values.

6. Get professional help.

Even though the Internet gives buyers unprecedented access to home listings, most new buyers (and many more experienced ones) are better off using a professional agent. Look for an exclusive buyer agent, if possible, who will have your interests at heart and can help you with strategies during the bidding process.

7. Choose carefully between points and rate.

When picking a mortgage, you usually have the option of paying additional points -- a portion of the interest that you pay at closing -- in exchange for a lower interest rate. If you stay in the house for a long time -- say three to five years or more -- it's usually a better deal to take the points. The lower interest rate will save you more in the long run.

8. Before house hunting, get pre-approved.

Getting pre-approved will you save yourself the grief of looking at houses you can't afford and put you in a better position to make a serious offer when you do find the right house. Not to be confused with pre-qualification, which is based on a cursory review of your finances, pre-approval from a lender is based on your actual income, debt and credit history.

9. Do your homework before bidding.

Your opening bid should be based on the sales trend of similar homes in the neighborhood. So before making it, consider sales of similar homes in the last three months. If homes have recently sold at 5 percent less than the asking price, you should make a bid that's about eight to 10 percent lower than what the seller is asking.

10. Hire a home inspector.

Sure, your lender will require a home appraisal anyway. But that's just the bank's way of determining whether the house is worth the price you've agreed to pay. Separately, you should hire your own home inspector, preferably an engineer with experience in doing home surveys in the area where you are buying. His or her job will be to point out potential problems that could require costly repairs down the road.

Rose Price, CIPS, CRP

Prudential Landmark Real Estate
Champaignrose.com

 

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Why I Work by Referral in Champaign, IL

by Rose Price

Relationships Are More Important Than Transactions.

If you are shopping for a home in Champaign, IL, you may have noticed that many real estate agents take a transactional approach to sales-identifying clients, closing the deal, and then moving on to the next one. I choose not to work that way because I believe you deserve more from the professional you decide to work with. That is why I work by referral and have testimonials from happy clients here in Champaign, IL.

Since my primary source of new business is referrals from people who know and trust
me, I don’t have to spend precious time prospecting and promoting myself. I can dedicate
myself fully to the activities that benefit you most, and always deliver truly exceptional
service.

You Control My Business

I know that I must earn your future referrals, so I aim to exceed your expectations. I
have vested interest in making sure that you are completely satisfied at the end of our
transaction together. I want you to be so “fired-up” that you can’t wait to tell your friends
and family about me and the fantastic service you received.

When you come across an opportunity, I appreciate you referring me to great people like
yourself, who would benefit from the excellent service and personal attention I provide.

Service After the Sale

I devote myself to serving the needs of my clients before, during and after each sale.
Instead of disappearing after the closing, you can expect me to keep in touch. I will be
sending valuable information to you each month, and will also be calling from time to
time just to check in and see if you need anything.

I hope you will turn to me for help with any of your real-estate-related needs because it is
such a privilege to work exclusively with people like you who I admire and respect, and
who value the service I provide.

Working by referral is all about trust. And let’s face it, when we are seeking any
service we are looking for someone we can trust-someone proven who comes highly
recommended and is already on our side.

Are you ready to find your dream home in Champaign, IL? Contact me today - I would be happy to help!

 

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


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Bon Appetit!

by Rose Price

Hungry and looking for some fun? Make plans to attend Bon Appetit! This Saturday, March 3, 2012 - 7:30 pm at City View at Illinois Terminal, Champaign. This is a fun and special fundraising concert with food and wine tasting with Dawn Harris as the “French Chef.” Also the opening act will be Songs About Food with local theater singers Lee Hoiby.

The top floor of the Illinois Terminal in downtown Champaign  will provide a dramatic nighttime setting for this intimate fundraising event. The highlight of the evening will be Hoiby’s 18-minute one-woman opera with small chamber ensemble, the text of which comes from a recipe for chocolate cake by Julia Child. The evening will conclude with the cake itself served up to those in the audience. Sounds delicious, hope to see you there at this local event for a good cause! Call 355-9077 to reserve tickets.

 

   

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


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Tax Deductions for Home Owners

by Rose Price

Most of us don't look forward to tax season, but if you own a home in Champaign, IL, you may be eligible for some tax breaks! Since you don't want to miss out on any home-related tax deductions, you'll want to meet with a tax advisor or use a tax program to find out which deductions you can claim. Here are some of the more common deductions that I would like the residents of beautiful Central Illinois to be aware of:

Mortgage Deductions.The interest you pay on a home mortgage is usually tax-deductible. Every year, you should receive a “Form 1098” from your lender which details how much mortgage interest you paid. To claim this deduction, you need to fill out “Schedule A”, under “itemized deductions” to record your interest deduction. These deductions can also include late payment charges and pre-payment penalties.

Moving expenses. If a move is connected with taking a new job that is at least 50 miles farther from your old home than your old job was, you can deduct some of the expenses for you and your family and the cost of moving your household goods.

Deducting Real Estate Taxes. Real estate taxes are deductible in the year paid. They are generally reported on Form 1098, Mortgage Interest Statement, the annual statement from the financial institution holding your mortgage, or on your county real estate tax assessment statement. You should also deduct any prorated taxes collected from you at closing. These amounts are not always included on Form 1098, but may be itemized on your real estate closing statement.

Business Use of Your Home. If you are a homeowner who uses any portion of your home for business, from daycare to home office to rental property, you can take a deduction for business expenses.

Of course, tax deduction change every year and you may be able to claim deductions that you weren't even aware of! To get the most out of this tax season contact a professional tax advisor.

Are you ready to buy your dream home in Champaign, Illinois? You could claim these exemptions and deductions next year! Contact me to start your search!

 

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


Rose Price, CIPS, CRP

Prudential Landmark Real Estate

 ChampaignRose.com



    Search for Homes in the Champaign Area 

    Featured Champaign Properties 

    Champaign Condominiums

    Selling Your Champaign Home

    Champaign Real Estate Market Information



    Let’s Connect!


    Facebook 



     



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The Krannert Center Presents the Nutcracker!

by Rose Price

Visions of sugarplums will dance right before you in this stunning performance of The Nutracker presented by the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts.

Herr Drosselmeyer sets in motion Clara’s dreamy night of warrior mice, waltzing flowers, billowing snowflakes, and a nutcracker prince in this production choreographed by Deanna Doty of Champaign Urbana Ballet set to Tchaikovsky’s lush strains played by Sinfonia da Camera.

This performance will last approximately 2 hours and is reccommended for ages 5 and up.

See this holiday classic in Champaign beginning December 2nd and enjoy the show with the whole family!

 




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Mortgage Points Explained

by Rose Price

If you are a Central Illinois homebuyer who is requesting quotes from a lender for a home loan, you have most likely found that the quotes frequently include both loan rates and points. If you are like most people, you may be confused by what exactly a point is.

Mortgage points describe certain charges to be paid in order to obtain a mortgage on a home. Each mortgage point is a fee based on one percent of the total amount of the loan

A point is a fee equal to 1 percent of the loan amount. For example, A 30-year, $200,000 mortgage might have a rate of 6 percent, but come with a charge of 1 point, or $2,000. A lender can charge 1, 2 or more points. There are two kinds of points: discount points and origination points.

 •Discount points: These types of points are really prepaid interest on the mortgage loan Because, the more points you pay, the lower the interest rate on the loan and vice versa. Borrowers typically can pay anywhere from zero to 3 or 4 points, depending on how much they want to lower their rates. The advantage to this type of point is that it is tax-deductible.
 

Origination fee: This is a fee that is charged by the lender to cover the costs of making the loan. The origination fee is only tax deductible if it was used to obtain the mortgage and not to pay other closing costs. The IRS specifically states that if the fee is for items that would normally be itemized on a settlement statement, such as notary fees, preparation costs, and home inspection fees are not deductible.

The longer you keep the home financed under the loan that has the purchased points, the more money spent on the points will pay off.  And if the homebuyer has the intention to buy and sell the property or refinance in a big hurry, the buying points will actually end up costing more than just paying the loan at the higher interest rate.

Whether or not you pay points, or how many points can be effected by a variety of factors.  The amount of money that you can put down at closing and also how long you plan on staying in your home can be a factor. If you are planning to stay in your home for a long time, you may find it worth it pay points so that it reduces your interest rate.

The process can be confusing so make sure to have your mortgage lender explain these fees with you at length!

 

 

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Displaying blog entries 1-8 of 8

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Rose Price
Landmark Real Estate
One East Main Street, Suite 200
Champaign IL 61820
217-202-8843
217-352-1933
Fax: 217-378-1281