Robert Easter teased us with it yesterday and today it is confirmed: the University of Illinois moved up a couple of notches in the academic ratings posted by US News and World Report. US News published their annual rankings and reviews of Universities and colleges yesterday and the list starts as you would expect: Harvard, Princeton, Yale, EIU (little joke), Columbia, CIT, MIT and so on. And in this prestigious list we slipped from 39th to 47th. Various resons for this were given by Easter as quoted in the News Gazette this morning.
But the good news is that among public universities, the U of I moved from 15th to 13th.
Considering the state budget crisis, the Category I admissions scandal, changing leadership on campus, and the almost totally inept point leadership in state government- even staying in the rankings is a miracle for the old Alma Mater!
The latest statistics on Real Estate in Champaign Urbana tells us what we already knew- this market continues to slip slide. Usually statistics can be used to emphasize something that is minor or unimportant or a bald faced lie. In this case they throw light on the pink elephant in the room.
The feature seller buyer in a News Gazette article this am sold a condo listed for $165,000 for $130,000 (see pointer below for sellers) and bought a super house which is just what they needed in South Champaign and moved. This is so typical these days and at the risk of being beyond trite I’ll say it: “THIS IS A BUYER”S MARKET!”
Here are some of the stats:
-there were 32 more closings this August compared to last (239 to 271)…the good news.
-the average selling price was down almost $20,000 dollars…the bad news…maybe. Got to be that with mondo homes over $500,000 hardly selling at all skews this figure. Better stats are needed to see this for what it truly is.
-the number of homes on the market actually decreased last week from 2,100 to 2,025. But this figure has to be taken like the unemployment figures. Most likely there is a gaggle and a half of “discouraged sellers” who have withdrawn homes because they have been on the market since the Vietnam era. A figure that needs to go with this one is average days on the market.
So…what can we conclude?
First for sellers:
-Price it right, which means low. Possibly less than you paid or owe and certainly less than you want to get. It’s tough but the best advice a realtor can give you is start at a gettable price.
-Be ready to wait…and wait.
-Have the place ready, but get good advice on what to invest in to do that. Like pull down the flowered wallpaper but skip paving the drive.
-Consider selling on contract. Just be sure to use a realtor and a smart real estate lawyer– and no that is not meant as an oxymoron jab. Get one that knows real estate contracts and is reasonably priced. And like get one that went to Mount Holyoke or some such place.
Then for buyers:
-Whoo hoo! Have fun. Shop till you drop and find a cool dream house bargain.
-Be patient…but do not let this down market and low interest rates pass you by. Max Mitchell reminds us that they are “they are the most favorable (he means low) they’ve been since the ’70s”. The Vietnam era again…great days, right Max?
-Remember that sellers pay realtors. So call a realtor today. Shop for one that meets you needs and let them work for you. Believe me, they are hungry.
“The American people are best served when members of Congress put aside our partisan differences and engage in open and honest dialogue with one another to address the pressing challenges facing our country. It is for this reason I plan to sit with my colleague and friend, Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr., at tonight’s Joint Session of Congress at which President Barack Obama will unveil his plan for economic recovery.
“While my colleague and I may not always agree on the best course of action needed to solve our nation’s problems, we both share in the same interest of serving our constituents to the best of our abilities. In order to do this, we must put an end to the hateful rhetoric found so frequently in Washington, DC.” Tim Johnson
So they sat together last night and I say- good for them!
You could not ask for a more staunch Republican- always has been, nor a more Democrats Democrat than Johnson and Jackson have been over the years.
Another move by Representative Johnson of note lately was that he unveiled his proposal for a new approach to the budget process.True to his style, this was not so much an idea fueled by partisanship and positioning as it was a pragmatic and an across- the – isle solution to a bad system.
Tim has this simple plan “to create a more efficient and reliable Congressional budgeting process”. Basic idea he is proposing is to do the federal budget every two years and to time it so it never falls on an election year. Great idea.
But no…it’s the first two opponents the U of I football team faces this season. As a matter of fact they faced those Redwolves (never heard of such a beast for real) from Arkansas State, bit them hard, and sent them howling out of town.
And next week it is the Jackrabbits easing into town from South Dakota State to meet our boys…who have sand of course. They will roll- or hop – in from Brookings and there is good news: they can scream “gojacks!” all they want, but this team should be cake.
More good news.
There are plenty of tickets for this match…surprise! As a matter of fact the low (45,154) attendance at last weeks wolf deal was of real concern to our new athletic director, Mike Thomas. This morning’s News Gazette featured this issue and explained that Thomas would be knocking on a few doors (actually getting his coaches to do that), digging up some old tricks he used at Cincinnati, and looking at the “philosophy of scheduling”. Hey Mike- I’m not sure it is really a philosophy. This is football- smashmouth football and this is just called plain ole “scheduling teams you can cremate” so that when the Big 10 season comes. you have at least four wins…five if you can knock off Northwestern again this year.
Even more good news.
The next two games on the Illinois football schedule are very winnable and actually the whole season looks about as favorable to the Illini as it could be. And Thomas says winning is one of those things that is most important for bringing the faithful into the old house that Red built. Actually we all know that alcohol sales would do it a lot quicker- but that’s not going to happen.
Thomas knows what he is talking about I think. He packed out Nippert Stadium (great name!) by encouraging coaches to get out into the community and of course by showing Gilligan’s Island reruns on the jumbotron during time outs.
Two things- I had no idea that that place held over 62,000 fans- Thomas has his work cut out for him.
Also we have “none” for a mascot? I know the Chief is gone- sort of – but did we not replace that racist image? We can think of something…anything- even a Jackrabbit – would be better than NONE! Can you imagine the dance they have at halftime up there in South Dakota?
Here is how to get tickets.
I used to just call Mad Max back in the 80s to get good tickets…or go around the corner on Ells to his house …or catch him along Kirby before the game. Max was a Champaign legend.
Prices are $50 for these first five winnable games and $65 for the last three loosable ones. Hmm…not sure I get the logic of the pricing structure. I guess we pay a bit more for the pleasure of seeing our boys in orange just maybe knock off Ohio State or Michigan or Wisconsin….maybe.
I will tell you something my friend: I saw those Wisconsin guys play on TV last week and to be sure, they play like Badgers- not Jackrabbits!
Market at the Square is one of the largest and most diverse farmers’ markets in Illinois, and helps demonstrate Urbana’s firm commitment to sustainability.
This gateway into Lincoln Square Village and historic downtown Urbana has enjoyed steady patronage since its inception in 1979…and over the years it has been alot of fun!
Market at the Square showcased over 170 registered vendors in 2009, and people flock in by the thousands each weekend.
You can choose from a wide variety of made-in-Illinois goods at the Market, including fresh produce, meat and dairy products, prepared foods, plants, and flowers to jewelry, pottery, wood workings, candles, bodycare products, garden décor, clothing, and more!
Join thousands of residents and visitors during Market season and connect with growers. Choose locally-raised foods and treasure-hunt among the art and craft vendor booths. Gather information about local non-profits, schools and other community groups on our Community Row. Catch up with friends, take in a set from local performers, and enjoy the public square atmosphere the Market has to offer.
Saturday morning at Market at the Square is one of Urbana’s signature institutions. It’s a great way to kick off your Saturday!
Both Champaign and Urbana have various great events during the year. Blues, local bands of all kinds, arts, food- and there is a great weekly farmer’s market in downtown Urbana from spring through fall.
The Urbana Business Association is hosting the 36th Annual Sweetcorn Festival & The Mahomet Area Chamber of Commerce is converting downtown Mahomet into the Sangamon River Music Festival. Both communities invite you to come out and spend the weekend with them.
Parade – Begins at Lincoln Trail School
Booth Vendors & Food Court
Carnival Rides $17 Armbands
Raminator Monster Truck Rides
Ronald McDonald Magic Show at Masonic Lodge
Bingo – At the Community Building
CAR SHOW at Sangamon School Parking Lot
Bingo – At the Community Building
This site is designed to serve people in knowing and settling in the Champaign Urbana area. We will be a complete resource for you with information about this fine city. We can as well keep you updated on homes for sale in the area…including this gem on Willis in Champaign.