Champaign IL Information and Resources


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What is your house worth ?

by Tom Cain and Company

Many people have asked this year what their house is worth in todays market. For some people they are not able to sell their house for what they owe on it but still need to move. One great option is to consider renting your home until we start to see appreciation again. For many people coming to work at the University of Illinois they have a home inn a different state that hasn't sold yet so their only option is to rent a home for a year to see if their house sells.

By renting your vacant home it can take the cash flow strain away from your monthly cost. Utilities and monthly rent can and does add up to a great cost saving. We also have a way to protect home owners against high repair cost by offering a one year home warranty that will protect high replacement cost items such as furnance and air conditioning, plumbing and electrical, and major kitchen appliances. There have never been more renters in the market place and now is a good time to hire a property manager to help you stop the bleeding of paying for a home that you are not living in.

For more information call me Tom Cain to see how I can help you.


Tom Cain
RE/MAX Choice
217-359-3131 office
217-202-3136 cell

Top Reasons to Buy in a Down Market!

by Tom Cain and Company

Are you sitting on the fence about buying a home? Right now, is a great time to buy if you are financially secure and have all your ducks in a row; i.e. downpayment saved, credit rating in good repair. Some top reasons experts are saying now is the time to buy:

1. Rates are lower now than they have been in years! It's a great time to take advantage of the rates now in order to keep your monthly payment at a reasonable amount.

2. Inventory is rather high at the moment and homeowners are eager to sell. Now is a great time to find your dream home!

3. Because of the quantity of homes on the market, prices are lower than they have been in years. Not great for the market overall, but for buyers who are prepared to purchase, lower prices mean getting a great home and more than likely a great price!

4. Another benefit of higher inventory levels is the opportunity to negotiate with buyers. If the window treatments are just your style or kitchen is outfitted with appliances that are perfect for you, don't hesitate to negotiate those items into the price of the home. If nothing else you have one more item to negotiate with in order to get the perfect price for your needs.

5. The Bottom Line. Buying a home is always a fantastic long-term investment. So if you're in the position to buy, go ahead. You'll more than likely get a great price for the home of your dreams!

Visit: for more information on purchasing your next home!

1704 Lincoln Road

by Tom Cain and Company



Call Tom Cain for more information or visit:

207 CR 1200 E

by Tom Cain and Company

Click for Virtual Tour!


Farmhouse w/ Space to Spare!

 Well maintained home offers 5bd/3ba. Newer furnace & A/C. Original woodwork, built-ins, wood floors under carpet. Metal pole shed 54x70, barn 63x54, shed 32x15.Multiple garages.

Great property for horses!

1 year home warranty


Offering a 1 Year Home Warranty

by Tom Cain and Company

A home warranty offers coverage for your home while it is for sale and once your property is sold, you can transfer ownership of the warranty with the home. This can be a bit of a bargaining tool when trying to negotiate a sale, although, it probably won’t be a deal winner, it gives you the opportunity to offer one more incentive to any prospective buyers. Generally, home warranties have a wide range of options for coverage but might include:

Washer/Dryer, Refrigerator, central vacuum, sump pump, dishwasher, whirlpool bathtub and the electrical system as an example for x amount of time for $xxx.

Most home warranties also offer an upgrade that can include:

Heating system and furnace, hot water heater, all duct work and plumbing system.

It is possible to make the home warranty become effective at closing so that the buyers have the benefit of the full year of coverage. I recommend doing this for your buyers.

Costs vary but tend to range from the around $250.00 to $600.00 on the high side. It just depends on the company you choose to buy coverage through and the options you want included.

A home warranty does not cover incidents covered by home insurance and it is important to have a home insurance policy in place as soon as possible after you purchase a new home. Home Insurance covers personal items in your home as well as any damage to any part of the actual home. A home warranty resembles a service contract, in that; it covers systems within in the home that could possibly have issues such as the hot water heat, a/c, or duct work.

If you are in the market to purchase a new home, don’t be afraid to ask for a home warranty when negotiating the sale! It never hurts to be prepared for those rare occurrences that can be rather costly. If you are selling your home, offer a 1 year home warranty as an added bonus to whoever purchases your home. It never hurts to have one more negotiating tool!

"Green" Building

by Tom Cain and Company

“Green” living has become more than just the latest trend. It is the first step towards creating a better world.  No matter what brings you to search for more information about green building one thing is sure, going  “Green” in building, as well as your day to day life, is a great way to help preserve our limited resources and create beautiful structures that are easy on the eyes and the earth. Before you embark on the journey of building an “eco-friendly” home, you probably want to be as educated as possible on where to find the best products,  who you should choose to be your builder and what steps you should take to begin the process of “green” building. There are many resources online to get great information on “green” living and building. I’ve listed a couple that I found to be educational. Check them out to get started on your way to “green” living today!

Green Building Resource Guide

Green Building

Tuesdays with Tom

by Tom Cain and Company

Tuesdays with Tom ( Laura Bryan) from hdavid films on Vimeo.

Experts Forecast 2011 Housing Market

by Tom Cain and Company


We asked top real estate experts Ilyce Glink of, Paul Bishop of the National Association of Realtors, Barbara Corcoran of the Today show, and Dan Green of to share their thoughts on the housing market in 2011.

Here’s their takeaway on what to expect.

Real estate isn’t much better than in the past two years. Unemployment is still high, and real estate sales are tied to jobs. Unemployment might have to go below 8% before the market is spurred.

Even with record low interest rates, lots of people don’t qualify to buy a house. And the number of households is shrinking. People don’t have enough money to live separately. Also, foreclosure is impacting housing enormously. Buyers don’t want to pay what sellers want. That drives down prices.

Some markets are very tough, like Florida, Michigan, Arizona and parts of Illinois. Prices may not have hit bottom. But it’s localized; even in Florida, some pockets are doing OK. Across the country, homes prices are up 1%. But after falling 35%, prices aren’t going to jump that much. This massive drop is unprecedented in the past 100 years.

What to Expect From Real Estate Next Year

Real-estate outlook for New Year

I expect existing and new home sales to be weak this year.

Headwinds will temper recovery

Paul Bishop is an economist at the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

The real estate market will recover slightly this year. It won’t bounce back like you’d expect.

What’s pushing the housing market is low mortgage rates, high housing affordability and some economic growth. We’re adding jobs at a modest pace.

Headwinds include high unemployment, and our forecast doesn’t suggest that it will drop. And foreclosures are keeping the market from moving ahead more quickly. High levels of foreclosures exist in areas such as Florida, Nevada, parts of Michigan, and Ohio. Consumers will be more cautious. They don’t want to buy a home today because they fear falling prices. And there’s new concern about the process itself. It’s such a mess. We don’t know what the impact will be.

There are signs that the market is stabilizing.

Hardest hit areas are mostly at or near [price] bottoms. Best performing areas are in the middle of the country, from Texas up to North Dakota. They avoided subprime mortgages and never saw rapid increases in price. They haven’t suffered as much. And they’re not dependent on [cyclical] business like finance, retailing and construction.

Short-term, supply is high. About 4 million homes are on the market. That’s 10.7 months of inventory, which hasn’t changed much in the past few months. We hope to get to the 8- or 9-month range by the middle of this year, partly driven by population growth. It won’t be a straight line up, though.

Mortgage rates will rise. NAR expects them to average 4.8% this year.

More of the same in 2011

Barbara Corcoran is a nationally known real estate and business expert.

I see more of the same this year, for a few reasons. There will be more foreclosures. And getting a new mortgage is great if you have a stellar credit rating. It’s as if amazingly low interest rates were rendered meaningless.

There are rays of hope, though. As many markets are up as down in the third quarter, according to NAR. Florida, southern California and Nevada haven’t hit bottom yet. Until we get rid of foreclosures, we can’t have a rebound.

There are pockets of growth. Boston is in good shape, and Columbus, Ohio, is doing well. Parts of Florida are happier prospects, like the Treasure Coast. Markets with momentum should have an easier time this year. Metropolitan areas always lead the parade.

The government should lower mortgage rates for everyone. It’s like a Cash for Clunkers program, but for houses.

Mortgage rates: a sprung coil

Dan Green is a loan officer at Waterstone Mortgage and writes

There’s more room for mortgage rates to rise than fall. I tell clients to lock in something now. When rates start to rise, they’ll rise quickly. There is lots of concern about ARM (adjustable-rate mortgage) resets. But I never believed that. The ARMs adjusting in 2011 are tied to LIBOR, and it’s cheap. Most mortgages are going to adjust down.

But mortgage guidelines will get tighter. It will be harder to be approved. There’s extra scrutiny by banks. They’ve raised their minimum requirements so the loans are better. That decreases the buyer pool.

This article was originally published on

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Wood Flooring: Not such a hard choice

by Tom Cain and Company

Home Life Perks

Wood Flooring: Not Such a Hard Choice

Give the rooms in your home a new beginning by installing rich, stylish and polished hardwood floors. Popular, durable, and cost effective, hardwood flooring is a compelling choice for a number of reasons:

  1. Looks great and fits easily into any decor with it's timeless appeal and beauty.
  2. Lasts a lifetime and will add value at the time of resale.
  3. One of the most ecologically sound decisions you can make for your home. Wood is the healthiest option for indoor air quality.
  4. More cost effective than you may think and well worth the investment.
  5. Easy to maintain and if kept properly, will only look better with age.
Three important factors to consider when purchasing hardwood floors is their durability, cost and color:


If durability is an important part of your decision, consider staying away from woods like white pine, fir, and chestnut for your flooring. These softer woods can easily dent and not support large amounts of force. Varieties like walnut, cherry, and teak ranked the highest on hardness and durability tests conducted within the industry. (Janka hardness test)


When considering price, it is important to remember that plank size, color, and finish all play a role in how expensive your hardwood flooring will be. Typically, exotic woods like Brazilian cherry or Australian cypress can run upwards of $13.00 a square foot, while more common and readily available woods like Maple, Pine, or Bamboo will generally cost between $4-6 a square foot. It is also important to remember to add on at least $2-4 a square foot for labor and installation.


Variety is also a large part of what makes hardwoods so appealing. The wood grains, board widths, and different types of wood all factor into the color of hardwood floors. Below is a small chart to help you break down what woods would fall under the categorization of light, medium, or dark.

  Ash   American Cherry   American Walnut
  Beech   Hickory   Bloodwood
  Birch   Red Oak   Brazilian Mesquite
  Maple   BirdsEye Maple   Brazilian Teak
  White Oak   Brazilian Cherry   Brazilian Koa
  Pine   Bolivian Rosewood   Purple Heart
  Natural Bamboo   Australian Cypress   Santos Mahogany
  Eastern White Pine   Strand Bamboo   Carbonized Bamboo

The investment that you make will increase the value of your home, lend comfort and warmth, and instantly add character and polish to your floors.

Estimate your Square Footage

In order to estimate how much hardwood flooring installation will cost you, apply this formula:

  1. Measure the Length and width of the area (work in inches for convenience)
  2. Multiply the length * width
  3. Add 10% to the total. This will give you room for error
  4. Divide the total by 144
  5. The answer will give you the total square footage of your room

Thinking outside the box!

by Tom Cain and Company

Home Life Perks

Thinking Outside the Box

If you're paying a ton of money for cable and other services, but not getting the desired level of satisfaction, consider altering your home entertainment setup.

New services such as Netflix and Pandora make great additions to basic cable or digital TV at a fraction of the cost. Benefits include:

  • Access to an extensive selection unrivaled by your local cable company.
  • Availability around your schedule.
  • Easy to .
  • No extra devices required. Internet solutions generally require a high-speed connection and a Netflix ready device such as a Roku box, or a popular game console, such as the Nintendo Wii.
  • Cost effective. These new services eliminate the need for premium channels and a la carte on-demand services, which can take a toll on your wallet.

A quick cable company feature contrast:

Basic cable or digital television is a home entertainment staple many need. Most cable companies' basic package will do, however, each cable company stands out or excels in one area more than the next.

  • Comcast: Xfinity is powered by a fiber optic network that delivers the fastest internet available.Therefore, bad weather will never affect your viewing. For people who bundle services and/or are fanatic about a strong internet connection, Comcast is a dominant choice.
  • Direct TV: Unlike other carriers, Direct TV allows you to record and watch shows in any room with one DVR.
  • Dish Network: Dish Network has developed the Slingloaded DVR, which allows you to watch your DVR'd shows on your mobile device or computer. However, rivals such as the Slingbox may offer more compelling features and a better user experience.
  • AT&T U-Verse: Record four shows with Total Home DVR. U-Verse also offers web and mobile remote access for your showings and a slick channel surfing interface.

Digital Television:

  • DTV Converter Box: If you are considering an internet based streaming solution for all your movie needs, you might get away with free digital TV for your daily dose of the news. As of February 2009, everything has gone digital. Affordable DTV boxes are available at many of our fine retailers.

Internet trends ready for prime-time:

New technologies and companies on the scene like Blockbuster/Netflix, Youtube, Hulu, and Pandora offer a variety of videos and music for a fraction of the price. A bit about each:

  • Hulu: The new kid on the block. Access hit shows, movies and clips free of charge on your computer 24/7. Share videos with others or imbed them in your social media outlets. A subscription service allows you to add movies and shows to your "queue", acting just like a DVR system.
  • Blockbuster/Netflix: Blockbuster and Netflix offer their own version of "In Demand" by allowing you to watch their content on your TV, Blu-Ray, Tivo, PS3, Wii, Xbox, cell phone or other mobile device. Streaming is the free bonus in addition to any DVD's you get in the mail. Prices starting as low as $9 a month.
  • Pandora/ are Meccas for the music lover. Totally free music on the internet. With Pandora you enter the name of a song, album, or artist and create a channel dedicated to that type of music. Create over 100 unique channels of music and refine them anyway you would like. Rate suggested songs and artists sent to you and create your own musical library. While basic Pandora is free, an upgrade is available for a slight fee.

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 42

Contact Information

Photo of Tom Cain and Company Real Estate
Tom Cain and Company
RE/MAX Choice
2919 Crossing Ct.
Champaign IL 61822
Fax: 217-359-2334

Champaign County Chamber of Commerce