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Displaying blog entries 211-220 of 381

Champaign IL Energy Saving Tips for the Winter Season

by Rose Price

For many of us in Champaign/Urbana IL the winter season brings visions of the holidays, winter sports and nights sitting around the fireplace wrapped up in a comforter sipping on our favorite hot drinks. For others it causes headaches and sleepless nights of cold or worries over a soaring energy bill.

Instead of worrying, there are things that can be done to limit the damage to our wallet, and still keep you and your family safe and comfortable during the winter months.  Here are some “easy to do” energy saving tips to try:

  • GET A HOME ENERGY AUDIT-most companies will do this for free.
  • CLEAN & MAINTAIN YOUR HEATING SYSTEM
  • REPLACE BROKEN WINDOWS & DOORS                                           
  • INSULATE YOUR WINDOWS
  • SEAL ALL LEAKS IN YOUR HOME- including where cables come into the home, around sump pump, and where pipes are.
  • WEATHERSTRIP- Windows & Doors                                                                    
  • REPAIR ROOF DAMAGE- REPLACE IF NECESSARY
  • MAINTAIN, REPAIR OR REPLACE WATER HEATER
  • WRAP (INSULATE) WATER HEATER
  • CLEAN FIREPLACE/CHIMNEY BEFORE SEASONAL USE
  • ADD ADDITIONAL INSULATION to attic, basement, exterior wall

A few other things to do ……:

  • Unplug all unused appliances,  and electrical components
  • Use Energy Star Products
  • Install Programmable Thermostats
  • Always Turn off Lights in rooms not being used
  • Turn down your thermostat at night time
  • Make sure your curtains are open during the daytime (Sunshine) hours
  • Make sure all your Heating Vents are free and clear of any furniture or blocks of any kind

Keep in mind that if you are planning on selling your home, buyers are very conscience of energy costs associated with a home. Buyers will always ask for the prior heating and cooling records for that home. So anything you can do to make your home more energy efficient will not only help you, but will also help you sell your home at a later time.  Buyers at this time are not just looking for the home to be the “beautiful home” on the outside….they need it to be the “energy efficient” home on the inside for them to grab it when it goes on the market.  

If you are a Champaign/Urbana homeowner and find yourself in need of assistance this home heating season, follow this link for more information:  CCRPC

If you're interested in more tips or information on becoming a homeowner in the Champaign/Urbana IL area give me a call, stop in my office or check out my website at www.champaignrose.com.                                                      

HALLOWEEN ACTIVITIES AROUND THE CHAMPAIGN/URBANA AREA

by Rose Price

The Champaign/Urbana area definitely loves their scary, ghoulish and gory time of the year!  We found so many activities that are taking place between now and Halloween....so get ready for the low down:

* 10/19  3:00 - 5:00 pm  Trick or Tureating With The Stars- U of I Womens Basketball Team

* 10/24  6:00 - 7:00 pm  Trick or Treat with the Illini Womens Soccer Team

* 10/25  10:00 - 11:30 am  Fall Scavenger Hunt  Mahomet IL

* 10/25  3:00 - 3: 45 pm  Howl-o-ween! ~Champaign Public Library

* 10/26  2:00 - 4:00 pm  Howl’Oween at the Bark District ~ Champaign Bark District Dog Park

* 10/26  4:00 - 6:00 pm  Mayfair Park Halloween Parade ~ Mayfair Park Champaign

* 10/27  6:00 - 8:00 pm  Trick or Treat Street (must pre-register by Oct. 20!)

Give your costume a trial run before Halloween night!  Music Games & Haunted House.

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Ongoing Scheduled Halloween Events:

* 10/30 5-7 pm Trick or Treat TangerStyle

Calling all ghosts, goblins, ghouls, princesses and super-heroes! Join in for Trick or Treat TangerStyle 

* 10/31 5-7 pm  Halloween at the Co-Op

Bring the kids by the Common Ground Flatlander classroom for some Halloween themed fun! They’ll have a few festive stations set up. Kids can making healthy Halloween snacks like ghost bananas and pumpkin tangerines, paint gourds, and if your child stops by in their costume, they will receive an extra treat from their friendly staff.

* 10/31 7:30 - 9:30  UI Wind Symphony: Halloween Concert

Expect frightful songs and spellbinding melodies at this concert held on the spookiest night of the year.

* 10/31 7 - 9 pm  An Evening with Edgar Allen Poe at Allerton Mansion 

* Shocktober Filmfest 2014- ART THEATER

   Our Late Night at the Art committee present their 2nd annual month of horror       this October!

* The Haunted Hide-a-Way    http://www.thehauntedhideaway.com/home

* CU SCARED-   https://www.facebook.com/cuscared

* Ghost Stories: Gruesome, Gory, and Ghastly Ghosts and Ghouls

* The Haunt at Bone Saw Mill  http://bonesawmill.com/

* An Evening with Edgar Allen Poe at Allerton Mansion: 10/31  7=9 PM

Tip for Selling your Champaign/Urbana Home in the Fall

by Rose Price

 

The leaves are changing to their beautiful shades of red, orange and gold and the days are getting cooler....it's Fall in the Champaign/Urbana area!  Well it may not be the most popular season to put your home on the market, there's no reason to wait for spring when the autumn season starts.  People are ready to buy homes year round....you just need to be prepared.

There will most likely be less homes on the market this time of year, so preparing your home ahead of time will allow a fast sale to the right buyer. Most buyers don't want to move when the weather is cold and blustery, if they don't have to, so the fall is your last chance to position your home with those buyers before the winter season moves in.

The Fall season is beautiful in Champaign/Urbana and allows for some amazing decorating both inside and out, but it also means that you need to maintain the exterior of your home so that it shows well to each and every potential buyer.  

1. Clean up the Yard. Make sure that the leaves are cleared from the yard regularly and that dead plants and blooms have been cleared.  Shrubs should be cut back as well to give your yard a nice manicured look. This will enhance the overall look of your home from the curb when a prospective buyer pulls up to the curb.

2. Clear deck furniture off for the season and store accordingly and wash deck,& siding of any mildew, mold that has accumulated with the change of season. This is also the time to put on the storm doors and windows and make sure all windows and sparkling clean for your potential buyers.

3. Embrace the Fall season! Most people love the fall color and the anticipation of the coming holidays. Decorating your home with seasonal arrangements of flowers, scented candles, or pumpkin & spice potpourri can really add warmth inside. Adding  lovely Mums to the front porch gives a splash of color that helps create great curb appeal. But DON'T over do it!  A little goes a long way.

4. You NEED the right Real Estate Agent! There's a reason you're selling in the Fall, and you need the agent who is experienced, and knows your area well, knows how to price your home and what it takes to sell your home now. Be serious about asking the right questions so you find the right agent for your needs.  Ask around and get referrals.

5. Keep it Light & Bright. The seasons are changing and that means that the sun is setting much sooner in the day.  It is critical to make sure that you have adequate lighting in place in all rooms. Your potential buyers need to be able to see each room clearly, every area, at all times of the day. Ask your real estate agent for tips on showcasing your rooms best asset's and how to do that at the different times of day.

6. Make sure your House is Priced Right. Fall is the time of year when your home needs to be priced right from the start. Some people think it needs to be priced lower to sell in the fall and winter seasons, but that is simply not true!  It needs to be priced competitively with the market. This is why you need to rely on your real estate agent to know the market and to price your home accordingly. 

Lastly, be prepared to move!  Once your home sells you need to be ready to move. When people buy in the Fall they want to be able to get into their new home quickly before the weather turns bad. So make sure that you have your plan in place and that once you have the offer on your home, you have set the wheels in motion and will be ready to move when your buyers are ready to get into your home.

HAPPY FALL SELLING!  IT'S A GREAT TIME OF YEAR TO SELL YOUR CHAMPAIGN/URBANA HOME!

#ChampaignIL #UrbanaIL #HomesforSale #RealEstate #TipsforSelling #Fall #ChampaignRose #downtownchampaignrose.com #Illinois  #CenterCityDistricts #UniverityofIlli

FALL HOME MAINTENANCE TIPS FOR YOUR CHAMPAIGN/URBANA HOME

by Rose Price
It's that time of year ... before we know it the Champaign/Urbana area will be blanketed with the beautiful colors of red, orange, and gold and the temperatures will be dipping lower. That means we need to get our butts in gear and start preparing our homes to handle the demands of the upcoming cooler season. Below is a checklist of the most common Home Maintenance items that need to be done in the fall. The great news is, you can easily get them done on a weekend....and you'll be able to save a little money by tackling them now.
 

 

1. Paging Dr Heat!........It's time to get your furnace a physical. Each year you need to clean and /or replace furnace filters and wipe down any dust that has accumulated around the unit. If you hear any screeching or whines, or unusual noises with the system, you should call in to have a service technician come out and check the unit before winter season sets in. If you would like a recommendation, you can call me directly or follow this link to the people I work with and recommend: Rose's Recommended Providers.

2. Time To Get Your Mind In The Gutters! Inspect your gutters and downspouts for any clogs, and clean out the path thoroughly. Make sure this is done once the leaves are completely down from the trees at the end of the season as well. Keeping the gutters cleaned ensures that your home will not incur exterior damage to foundation walls or water in the basement. You may want to invest in mesh coverings for your gutters that will prevent any leaves or other debris from collecting in them in the future.

3. Get Yourself A View From The Top! Now that we're already talking about the top of the house we might as well stay there. It's very important to check your roof for damaged shingles before entering the winter season. Nothing is worse for a homeowner than a small drip that turns into a full blown disaster by the time they realize it's a hole in the roof! So take the time to scan the entire roof, top to bottom, looking for cracks, wind damage, curling of shingles, ones completely gone, damage to the metal flashing, etc. Once you have done your evaluation, have it repaired as soon as possible. Again, if you find yourself in need of a professional Roofer, give me a call or follow this link:  Rose's Recommended Providers.

4. Walk the Walk Baby! You really need to take a walk around your home, inspection every walkway surface. Damaged walkways are a hazard everyday, but bad weather makes them even more dangerous. Look for large cracks, uneven payment, loose bricks or pavers, loose railings, etc. Once you've made your list head over to your local home improvement store and get to work. The little time it takes to fix could potentially save you thousands in bills later on.

5. CHILL OUT.....or maybe we should just say FREEZE! Make sure to shut off all your exterior irrigation systems and drain the lines of the systems and hoses. Make sure to use a styrofoam faucet cover for your outdoor faucets and make sure all valves are in the closed and off position.

6. Gather 'Round the Fire. Fall and Winter are great for having fires in the fireplace, but making sure you have cleaned out the soot and creosote buildup is critical. It is also important to clean out any cobwebs and check for any bird nests or any other unwanted pests. I recommend calling in a professional if you have any questions at all.

7. Keeping the OTHER Wood fires Burning. Wood-burning stoves have made a huge comeback over the past couple years, but like fireplaces, need to be inspected to run efficiently and safely. Be sure to read and operate by the instruction manual and maintenance as required.

8. I'm Sealing Away.... This can be a big job, but a very necessary one that can help save some green on the heating bills for the year! Walk through your home and seal any gaps and cracks around windows and doors with weather-stripping or caulk. If you are going to be using caulk- especially in places like joints, corners, & places protruding from the wall- this will need to be done before the temperatures get too cool.

9. Keep it Humming! With winters dry air many of us keep the humidifier going on a constant rotation. To ensure efficient operation make sure to clean the plates or pads every 30 days or as recommended by the manufacturer. This also helps cut down on re-circulating moisture into the air that has any mold or bacteria in it that has built up in the humidifier itself.

10. Ready....Stop, now Reverse. Help with your heating bills by changing the direction of your ceiling fans. Reverse the direction of the fans and create an upward draft that redistributes the warm air from the ceiling. Also make sure to clean the blades of the fan regularly with a soapy water mixture. Dust and bacteria builds up on the blades daily and regular use also moves that through the air as well.

11. It's a Safety Dance. Make sure your family is safe. A home safety check is a ritual that should be done twice annually in every household. Test your Smoke Detectors & CO Monitors, Inspect or Install Fire Extinguishers, Review or Make a Fire Escape Plan for your Family and rid your home of any fire hazards.

12. A Few Final Notes...... Make sure to embrace the season! Put up a great fall wreath on the front door, buy a few Mums from a local store. Visit a local orchard and pick some apples for baking a yummy Apple Pie and get ready for the pumpkins!  

In Memory of 9/11

by Rose Price

It’s hard to believe 13 years have past since that tragic day. Once again, our thoughts and prayers turn to all those who lost loved ones on September 11, 13 years ago. But how can we participate to commemorate this anniversary and why is it so important 13 years later? When we choose to commemorate this anniversary, we’re playing an important role in memorializing those who lost their lives, honoring the first responders and remembering the unifying spirit that emerged afterward. Performing acts of kindness and service in our community, in memory of the victims, is one way we can participate on this day, so that the events, sacrifices and people are never forgotten. Things have never been quite the same in the United States of America, since that tragic day. So as you go through your day, remember the victims you know, those you don’t and that we still live in the land of the free and home of brave. So today, cherish your freedom, family and friends as you remember.

Chicago Bears Opening Game 2014

by Rose Price

FINALLY THE SEASON BEGINS!

Chicago Bears vs Buffalo Bills Season Opener

Finally, NFL preseason football is over. Bad, generic football with too many whistles is a poor substitute while we wait for the real season to start. The regular season started Thursday for Seattle and Green Bay fans, and Bear fans loved the outcome. Now the regular season is here for us.  Almost.

The Bears open tomorrow against the Buffalo Bills. But if you just can’t stand the wait, here’s my top 10 list of things you can do to pass time until kick off.

  1. Watch college football, today. Some of these kids will be on our team soon enough.
  2. Watch the last preseason game again. (I know you recorded it.) WATCH the game this time. Cheer when we score. Throw stuff at the TV on bad plays and bad calls. Pretend it’s a real game.
  3. Imagine what it would be like to watch a real football game, with game plans, and players who can actually make a difference tomorrow.
  4. Laundry. According to mom, you can never have too much clean underwear.
  5. Decorate the house for tomorrow’s game. Get out the colored lights, decorations and jerseys.
  6. Pray that key players, critical to our playoff run, don’t decide to play a little pickup basketball this weekend and blow a knee or ankle.
  7. Celebrate that we live here and aren’t Texan or Viking fans.
  8. Bet friends on which second-stringers will become the next WWE Heavyweight Champion, after football.
  9. Tailgate. Tailgating isn’t just for game day anymore! Fire up a new grill & try a new drink recipe. Opening day starts tomorrow and gives you a license to have an epic party.
  10. Thank the heavens above that the regular season is only a day away. 

September Events for Champaign/Urbana IL

by Rose Price

It's still hard to believe summer is really behind us now. But the kids are back to school and that means busy schedules for everyone in the family. It’s sometimes easy to forget to relax and add a little fun to our busy weeks once we get into these routines.  But September in the great Champaign/Urbana area has some great activities and events you won't want to miss!  Take a look and add them to your calendar:

Labor Day Parade & Picnic

Say a final farewell to summer at the annual Labor Day Parade and Celebration.  All of those wonderful people who keep the community running will be floating through the streets of Urbana on Monday September 1st. This year’s theme is “The Living Legacy of Labor.” After the parade, head over to Prairie Park for free food, games and entertainment.

Jazz Walk

Whether you are looking for that perfect first date, or need a night away from the kids, mark down September 5th on your calendar. Walk through the candlelit paths of Meadowbrook Park while listening to live Jazz and local musicians.  The Jazz Walk will feature a variety of jazz soloists and small combos throughout the Wandell Sculpture Garden.

Illini Football vs. Western Kentucky                                                                                             

Are you ready for some football?? The Fighting Illini are back and ready for action. Come on out for a full day of fun and football at Memorial Stadium on September 6th. Experience the Illini Walk, take a stroll through Street Fest, and watch the Marching Illini Public Warm-up. Check out the full game schedule and make sure you don’t miss out.

Whiskey & Whiskers

Whiskey & Whiskers is the perfect night out for any gentleman. Kühl and Champaign Surplus are sponsoring a night full of food, music, whiskey and spirits. Throw in some cornhole, contests, and free giveaways and you have yourself a wonderful evening. Firehaus Bar & Grill will be providing beer, whiskey, and appetizers all night long. The event begins at 5:00pm on September 18th

Preparing your Champaign/Urbana IL Home for the Market

by Rose Price

 

It takes a lot of work to prepare your home for success on the market.....but it is definitely worth the reward at the end!  These tips will be your guide to help you get the best return on your investment, your home.

Get an Inspection.

Although your property may look up to par, it is beneficial to be aware of any potential problem that could come up later in the process. Every time a buyer walks through the door, they will be looking for the slightest reason to lower the price. The best way to eliminate this issue is to get an inspection on the front end.  Home inspections usually range from $300 - $700,  but will save you thousands in the end.

 

Repair What You Can.                                                                                                                        

After receiving your home inspection, it is time to tackle each problem one step at a time. Whether you revive your garden, replace an appliance or repair a broken screen... every improvement counts.  A new line of caulk in the shower and a fresh coat of grout on the tiles can make your bathroom look brand new. If you are ready to take on your next project, head over to your local hardware store for a great selection of tools, paint, grout and just about anything else you may need. Just remember, the old 3:1 ratio...you want to make sure that for every dollar you spend, you are getting at least a return of three dollars back in your pocket.

 

Get Estimates on What You Can’t Fix.

While making repairs to your Champaign/Urbana home, keep in mind that the money spent on small projects will give you a positive return. However, there may be a few issues that stretch outside your budget, or the return on your investment may not be worth the dollars spent. In this case it is better to negotiate with your potential buyer than to lay out the larger sums of money at this time.

 

Clean.

Image getting ready for a first date, trying on different outfits, and spending hours in front of the mirror. This is the same way you need to treat your home. Your potential buyer needs to fall in love at first site. It doesn't cost you any additional money, just your time...and it will pay off big. Your home needs a DEEP clean in every corner, nook and cranny.  Appliances, counters, bathroom sink, tub, toilet, closets...everything!  A home in pristine condition will ALWAYS garner a higher selling price point than one that is not. If you would rather call in a service to help you do a deep, thorough clean, you can contact my personal favorite....Wanda's Service.

 

Get Rid of the Clutter.

It may be hard to clean the house with a pile of boxes taking up all the space, or the childrens toy's all over the living room. In order to maximize your properties potential, you need to show off the beautiful square footage in every room. Take the boxes, toys, excess knick knack's, etc  out of the equation, you must clean up and out everything....even your storage space. Get rid of the clutter and stack up your boxes in the proper areas.  Getting a storage pod or space unit off site is always a good idea. 

 

Painting.                                                                                                                                            

Give your home a fresh look by changing up the color scheme. You won’t believe how far a can of paint can really go until you see for yourself. Give every room a new facial by tearing down that old school wallpaper and rolling on a shiny new color. When a buyer sees the fresh look and modern colors, it is sure to leave a positive impact on the offer and on your pocket. 

 

Landscape.

Aside from checking every nook and cranny inside the home, a smart seller would spend a day working on the outside as well.  When a buyer pulls into the drive, the first thing they notice is the welcoming look of the front of the home.  Taking extra time to mow the lawn, trim the greenery, laying fresh mulch or planting colorful flowers appropriate for the season are cheap and easy ways to make your house stand out and greet potential buyers with a warm and friendly welcome. If you aren't up for the labor, contact MJ Heckert Lawn Mowing,  he's the best!

Bottom line...Don't leave money on the table.  A little preparation goes a long way. Do the little things that will pay back in a big way.....in the form of an offer that you will find most acceptable.

For more Home Selling Tips check out my website or give us a call!  We'll be happy to come to you and go through your home with you to make sure that every room is absolutely "SHOW TIME" ready, to bring you the best offer and timeliest sale available today.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SOURCE:  AOL REAL ESTATE SURVEY

Champaign/Urbana Summertime is Winding Down!

by Rose Price

I can’t believe July is over! Summer is winding down and students are getting ready to go back to school. For Champaign-Urbana, that means Campustown is getting ready to welcome back thousands of college students. Don’t worry though; you still have a few more weeks to enjoy the peaceful streets before the crowd comes in! So get out and explore the cute shops and restaurants downtown, while receiving the best deals in town.  There are only two weeks left of 13 Thursdays. Check out a list of the participating stores and restaurants below. 

13 Thursdays Participating Businesses                                              

If you are looking for a fun night with the family, be sure to head downtown on Friday night. The sidewalks along Main Street will be filled with color this weekend! Come on out for the 2nd Annual Friday Night Live Kids Sidewalk Chalk Contest. This free event is the perfect way for your kids to show off their art skills in the heart of the city. The contest starts at 6:30 PM in front of Big Grove Tavern.  

HAVE SOME FUN IN THE CITY WHILE THE SUMMER IS STILL VISITING OUR TOWN!

 

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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