Sunday in Champaign Urbana

Champaign Urbana Real Estate Open house
1908 McDonald in Champaign will be open this Sunday from 2-4 pm

One good way to see your way around Champaign Urbana and experience the neighborhoods is to visit some real estate open houses. They are free and they give you a way to get some ideas of what is available in the Champaign County real estate scene. Walking through homes for sale in Champaign Urbana is also a way to get some remodeling and decorating ideas for your own home.

You can get a listing of real estate open houses this weekend by looking at the News Gazette website or the Sunday print paper.

Here are two open houses of note this weekend:

902 West Church, Champaign

Champaign real estate open house
This lovely and stately home at 902 West Church, Champaign will be open this Sunday, 2-4p.

1908 West McDonald, Champaign

 

Dragon Fire Pizza

Champaign Food Truck
Dave and Christy Saam are the owners of this new food truck soon to hit Champaign Urbana called “Dragon Fire Pizza”- photo from the News Gazette

We have yet another food truck rolling onto the streets of Champaign Urbana–and may their tribe increase! A new custom built 20 ft trailer will serve up wood-fired pizza under the name “Dragon Fire Pizza“. Plans are for it to be out there pleasing our pizza loving taste buds by Veterans Day, 2014.

The pizza will be Neapolitan style and will feature a range of meat, veggie, spicy, and build your own options.

 

Dancing Dog- New Vegan Option in Urbana

vegan in urbana
The new Dancing Dog in Urbana is set to open October 20 with vegan entrees. From the News Gazette

The Dancing Dog Eatery and Juicery is getting set to open in downtown Urbana. The open date is set for October 20, and this will be the first all-vegan eatery in the area. The address is 126 West Main, Urbana–downtown Urbana just keeps adding new options!

Breakfast, lunch and dinner will be offered Monday though Saturday and then brunch on Sunday. Some of the dishes on the menu are black bean burgers, eggplant parmesan lasagna, and hummus plate. Add in some crepes, super salads, and cupcakes and you have some great vegan eating.

Drinks will include coffee from Columbia Street Roastery as well as teas, soda, beer and wine…all organic.

 

 

 

Uncorked at Krannert Tonight

Krannert Uncorked
The James Jones trio kicks of Krannert Uncorked tonight at 5p at KCPA on the U of I campus.

The Thursday after work event at KCPA is back for another season and it get rolling tonight at Krannert on the University of Illinois campus. The Uncorked at Krannert show (and drinks) start at 5p in the spacious lobby and its free. The series extends through the school year each Thursday afternoon.

Tonights kickoff group is The James Jones Trio is traditional blues band from nearby Danville. James Jones will whail away as you sip wine after work–don’t miss it!

 

2nd Annual Grease Sing Along

courage connection fundraiser
Grease is the feature at the second annual sing along fundraiser for Courage Connection.

Fundraiser for Courage Connection

It was a huge success last year–raised lots of money and was fun. Now it is back for the second annual and lets hope it goes on year after year. In just 10 days the storied confines of the historic Virginia Theatre  in downtown Champaign will be echoing with the much loved music of Grease.

Here are the details: Tickets can be purchased at the Virginia site or at http://courageconnection.org/ . The event is October 11 at 7:30 with VIP party at 6p.

 

Fighting Illini Football Lightning Delay

It was a first ever for Memorial Stadium at the U of I–a lightning delay. There were few fireworks on the field, just a few from the corners as the Illini scored, but lots of lightning in the skies. As the tailgaters gathered into Memorial Stadium, a few clouds formed in the west–a harbinger of a long afternoon–and evening!

NCAA regulations require that when lightening occurs within 6 miles there must be a delay of 30 minutes. University of  Illinois regulations set it at 8 miles, so for almost 2 hours the Texas State game was delayed. Here are some photos from our cub reporter:

University of Illinois
The game started with a TD for Illinois on the first play from scrimmage.
Texas State vs Illinois
Then a few clouds gathered and the fans expected a bit of rain as forecasted. Lets hope the Illinois Nebraska game can go on without rain–our Illini need to be able to pass the ball in order to have a chance!
Texas State vs Illinois
Quickly, clouds formed, sprinkles dropped and lightning was heard in the west.
Tailgating parking
The stadium was emptied, the clock was frozen in the second quarter and 1000s of fans stood under the east and west stands.
Tim Beckman at Illinois
The new south scoreboard at Memorial Stadium made it clear–you must leave the stands. and take cover.
U of I
University of Illinois police and other law enforcement people made sure all was clear before the crowd was allowed to return to Memorial Stadium.

This weekend Illinois plays Nebraska in Lincoln and rain is forecasted–lets hope no lightning!

Brick Streets in Champaign

Champaign Brick streets
Both Champaign and Urbana have bricks stockpiled for future repair of existing brick streets–and important part of local history!

One of the things we have as a part of our local history is a significant number of brick streets in near west side Champaign and in certain Urbana neighborhoods as well. Dan Corkery wrote about this in last Sunday’s News Gazette. He opened with the line. “I’m a sucker for brick streets”. And I would have to agree.

They stand the test of time, they resist the destructive forces of freeze and thaw we encounter, and they sound so good as you drive them. So why have most been replaced? First of all they are costly. Secondly they don’t do as well with todays heavier vehicles and truck traffic.

Champaign has 8 miles of these antiquated roadways and their future is assured in that they are in historic districts near downtown Champaign. Much of the credit for saving what we have for brick streets is due to preservationist and former Champaign mayor Dannel McCollum.

Dannel McCollum
Dannel McCollum–the brick man of Champaign.

 

Real Estate Open House in Urbana

Urbana real estate
This fine home in quiet Urbana is open for you to see this Sunday 2-4p.

904 S Carle in Urbana is open for you to see this Sunday 2-4pm. This vintage home is listed for 184,900.

This home is right on Carle Park, is close to the University of Illinois, and has 3 bedrooms and  1 1/2 baths.

A real estate open house works like this:

  • there is no charge
  • we answer your questions about the home or any other real estate in the area
  • you get a chance to interact with one of our real estate pros

So drop on by and have a look!

Chicagoscapes, Larry Kanfer

Chicagoscapes
Larry Kanfer’s new book “Chicagoscapes” will be the feature of a show at his gallery starting next week.

Larry Kanfer is one of Champaign Urbana’s great artists.  He graduated from the University of Illinois in 1979 and promptly opened his gallery which for many years was in Round Barn Center. The Larry Kanfer Gallery is now at  2503 S. Neil St.  in Champaign.

Larry’s photography comes from around the world, but in his six books, there are many that were shot in the Champaign Urbana area.

Now Kanfer has a new book, “Chicagoscapes” and it is the feature of an upcoming show at his gallery. According to 40 North, this new collection of photos carries the grit, sophistication, and friendliness of the Windy City.

The show runs September 17-27 with a launch and book signing at 5p on the 18th.

First Step in Selling your Champaign Home

Champaign real estate open house
1020 W Armory in Champaign is open this weekend–Sunday 2-4p–stop by!

 

A functional and beautiful kitchen, flowing floor plan, plenty of storage, and spacious master bathroom will help win buyers’ hearts.

However, often before they see those areas, they see your landscape. It’s the curb appeal theory that I’m talking about. Some buyers will decide based on the look of the outside of your home whether they’ll even bother to come inside.

If your front yard is cluttered, your exterior paint is chipped, driveway cracked, you’ll find that the for sale sign in your yard won’t attract as many buyers as it could if you spent some time to clean up and create curb appeal.

Fortunately, you don’t have to hire a landscape company to come and renovate the entire area. There are things that you can do that are fairly simple and will attract buyers.

Pull out the dead plants and debris. Start by removing dead plants, shrubs, and debris. Doing this step will create space in your yard and allow you to find a few potted plants to fill in the empty space to bring some color into your yard.

If you get a lot of fallen leaves, make sure you have someone rake and sweep up regularly. Remember your home is on the market every day, not just when it’s being held open. So, keep it up daily. Just like when you go out to eat, you like to dine in pretty restaurants that are clean, buyers want to see your house in its best condition and that starts at the street.

Treat your lawn to a fresh coat of paint. It might sound odd but you can, indeed, paint your lawn. Large patches of brown lawn can lower the value of your home or turn a buyer off completely. It might not be practical to completely remove your lawn. So, you might try hiring a company to spray paint your lawn. Companies that do this can match the color of your lawn so that it looks natural.

Some cities have used this method to clean up lawns on foreclosed homes. Painting lawns has been used on commercial properties for decades. The paint is typically made from a non-toxic vegetable oil so it’s not harmful to people and pets.

Lawn paint is similar to dying your hair. It’s a semi-permanent color that stays on the grass and won’t wash off but it will fade over time, usually about three months.

Fix broken windows and dents in the garage door. Take a walk around the exterior of your home and note which areas need repairs. If you have paint chipped areas get them fixed. It’s likely that the cost won’t be that much and yet the payoff of repairing these items will help improve your home’s overall value.

Add a splash of color. I saw a home the other day that had a yellow front door and a matching yellow umbrella in the front yard. Frankly, I don’t remember much else about the landscape except that I thought the home was charming. The bright yellow door stood out and the umbrella made it seem quaint. Nothing else about the landscape was that spectacular, but adding some eye-catching color made the home shine.

The time and money you put into cleaning up your front yard will help attract buyers and keep them from bypassing your home.

Written by Phoebe Chongchua