Interest rates for Champaign Urbana

Interest rates for Champaign Urbana get lower and lower and have not risen since January 1st as some predicted.

Now home prices are perhaps beginning to move a bit…but only slightly.

What this means for Champaign Urbana real estate is that this is the ideal time to buy.

You may be coming the University of Illinois next fall – or perhaps for some other employment. Be assured that there is an excellent choice in homes for sale in Champaign Urbana.

Let us help you!



Champaign Urbana Real Estate Stabilizing

An article in this morning’s News Gazette brings good news for people looking for Champaign Urbana Real Estate– and actually for sellers as well. The market is beginning to improve locally. Especially for homes for sale in Champaign and Savoy, the selling climate is much better.

One stat that stands out for the local real estate market is that median home prices are only down .36% while the statewide figure is down 9.2%. Beyond this Champaign and Savoy median prices were up 4.4%.

Here is what this means if you are looking at the Champaign Urbana real estate market:

Sellers: Inventory is clearing out and spring is a good time to get your home on the market. Call Sharon Harkness today and she will be glad to give you some help on getting your home ready to sell.

Buyers: Prices are still low, mortgage rates are a give away- mortgage rates for Champaign Urbana can be as low as 3% for a 15 year fixed! Beyond this there are many home on the market and buyers are usually able to negotiate a very good deal.

803 Fairway, Champaign.












Ont example of what this means is that homes for sale in Champaign like this one can be purchased at a bargain price right now. This one is on a lovely shaded street and is very close to the University of Illinois.

Here come the Chinese…to the U of I!











Just out this morning Tom Kacich writes in the News Gazette that the University of Illinois ranks #2 in international student enrollment- actually #1 among public universities. Ten years ago we were at #11 and few schools have increased as much as the U of I. The total is up to 8,009 from 3,798 in 2001.

There are three big pluses from this increase. First is the diversity it brings to the Champaign Urbana area. Then there is also the additional tuition since these students pay more. Beyond this they bring money directly into the economy- something like $28,000 per head per year. The impact on the Champaign Urbana real estate market is particularly important.

One of the aspects of this that is also personally a plus is that it is quite common now to interact with internationals at restaurants, concerts, etc. Most are from Asia (China leads the way with 22%) .

Trends for the local Real Estate market

Champaign Urbana real estate is not in bad shape compared to the state and national averages according to some statistics released by the   “Housing Trends eNewsletter” .

The report says:

  • Prices are up from a year ago, but price growth is slowing
  • This area has held onto positive equity growth despite the national market decline
  • Most buyers in this market have access to government-backed financing

So the long and short of it for Champaign Urbana real estate is that sellers are in decent shape and buyers are in great shape- this is an excellent time to purchase one of the many homes for sale in Champaign Urbana.

We can show you this home for sale on Fairway Drive in Champaign or any other home on the market in the area.

Welcome News for the Real Estate Market

The Obama administration is moving to rectify the refinance situation that is hampering many from taking advantage of low interest rates. Crain’s New York explains that for homeowners who are current on payments and have federally backed loans there will be some help.

Caps will be place on the amount of margin between loans and value and costs for the refinance will be lowered.

The announcement will be made in Las Vegas- welcome news for Sin City, hit hard by the housing slump. And welcome news for the rest of us as well.

Here are some details from Crain’s: The housing program Mr. Obama will announce Monday will be implemented by the independent Federal Housing Finance Agency. At its core, the initiative will relax eligibility standards for a federal refinancing program, allowing those who owe more on their house than it is worth to take advantage of loans with lower interest rates.

Read more:

Like watching a pet rock?

That is an expression that has been used on the real estate market many times in the last three years.  I thought people had forgotten about pet rocks. That link on pet rocks is for the convenience of those under forty.

But no, this expression seems to be perfect for what is happening in real estate now. They were mentioned again today by a prominent real estate analyst to describe this listless home market.

What it means for you depends on if you are a real estate buyer, a real estate keeper, a real estate seller, or a real estate builder.

Real estate buyer:

You are in the driver’s seat. If you have good credit and some cash, you can buy quality at a good price. Find an excellent buyer’s agent and have fun.

Real estate keeper:

You may want to sell your home but it is worth less than you paid. Be patient. This may take a while. In the meantime, keep the home up and things will turn around.

Real estate seller:

You have to be realistic. Price it right, be ready to bargain, and you will have to be patient. If the right buyer comes along, you might be able to sell the home on contract.

Real estate builder:

Hang up your hammer and get a job at Wal-Mart.

Right here, right now!

OW is the time to make a move and take advantage of what our current market has to offer.  Home ownership has never been more affordable in the Champaign-Urbana area, and following are some reasons why:

1.)    Selection – Did you know there are over 2,000 homes on the market according to our Champaign County Association of Realtors Multiple Listing Service System, and homes continue to come on the market every day?  There are many options to choose from that will meet the needs you are looking for in a new home.

2.)    Motivated Sellers – Sellers who must sell in this market need to be smart and aggressive in their pricing.  Sellers know they have to price it right, and as a result, homes in our area are selling on average within 95-97% of list price to sales price.

3.)    Affordability – Interest rates are still holding low.  You can get a 30 year fixed loan for a little under 4%.  Eventually, those rates will go back up, and for every percentage the interest rate increases, you lose about 10% of your buying power.  With rates where they are, you are definitely able to buy more home now.

4.)    Financing Options – There are still loans out there that require no or low down payments.  There are also down payment assistance funds available for those that qualify.  Be sure to meet with a lender to find out what options would work best for you, and to get a clearer sense of how much it would actually cost you

Champaign Urbana Real Estate Update

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.