Champaign IL Information and Resources
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There are alot of options out there for windows. Some are more affordable than others, but finding the right windows for your home can make a world of difference in the efficiency of your home which can drastically affect the cost of heating and cooling. Listed below are some links to more information on finding the right fit for your home and your budget!
Check these out:
Cain and Company Real Estate
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We asked top real estate experts Ilyce Glink of Thinkglink.com, Paul Bishop of the National Association of Realtors, Barbara Corcoran of the Today show, and Dan Green of TheMortgageReports.com 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.
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 TheMortgageReports.com.
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 HSH.com.
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:
|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.
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:
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:
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.
Internet trends ready for prime-time:
New technologies and companies on the scene like Blockbuster/Netflix, Youtube, Hulu, Last.fm and Pandora offer a variety of videos and music for a fraction of the price. A bit about each:
Home Life Perks
|The weather is warm, your spirits are high, and the grill is getting hot. Before you toss on the charcoals or purchase a new propane tank, take a minute to read through some of these fun grilling tips.
|A few prepping tips:
Temperature Control: it can make a difference!
July, the most expensive month for gas, is the perfect time to discuss conserving fuel. A question some may be asking themselves, is it time to go hybrid? Hybrid technology has actually been around for over 100 years, but only has gained popularity and familiarity with the American public the last decade. Auto makers have answered the demands of consumers to offer more efficient and economical alternative energy vehicles. From electric cars to vehicles running on hydrogen and solar power, alternative technology has grown greatly.
A Hybrid vehicle, simply stated, is an automobile that has two or more major sources of propulsion power. Most hybrid cars currently on the market have both conventional gasoline and electric motors, with the ability to power the vehicle by either one independently or both working together in tandem. The first mass produced hybrid vehicle, the Prius, was introduced to the American market in 2000. However, with the growing popularity of hybrid technology, every major carmaker has hybrid vehicles for each of their models. Coupled with luxury automakers like Lexus, Cadillac, and BMW, hybrid technology is available to a higher income demographic without sacrificing luxury and brand recognition.
Overall, hybrid technology is capable of drastically changing our world. The face of alternative technology is changing daily. Fuel efficient vehicles can offer benefits like tax incentives, cost savings at the pump, reduced carbon footprint, as well as America's dependence on foreign oil. In light of the recent oil spill in the Gulf, we all know how important this is. Although at home and abroad it appears that there have been amazing advancements in green technology, we still have far to go, and the future holds exciting developments.
If you can't quite go hybrid... make sure to take advantage of these fuel saving tips:
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