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.
You can certainly fly from Willard Airport to anywhere. The American Eagle service will connect you to Chicago (ORD) or Dallas (DFW) and connections are great. And the nearby Bloomington terminal is easy and the parking is free. Sorry east and southeast travelers- BMI is about to loose AirTran.
But it is always possible to make the journey to Chicago, Indy or even St Louis by land and fly from there at a reduced fare. The drive is not bad and there are two decent options for shuttles.
1. LEX- its a bit pricey but it works and the Lex site is easy to use.
2. My pref for Chicago is Peoria Shuttle, or Peria Charter Coach Company. They have several runs each day from the campus area that will get you quickly and cheaply to Ohare or Midway. Again their site is simple and the service is good. Right now a ride to one of the airports is $22- a steal!
Many people who fly in and out of our twin cities head to one of the Chicago airports or over to Indy. These are fine options but there are possibilities out of our local Willard Airport (CMI) or the Bloomington Airport.
American Eagle serves CMI with flights in and out to Chicago and Dallas…here is an overview from their site:
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%) .
Julie Wurth wrote about this ongoing project this week in the News Gazette. She (and many of us) seems to have had no idea that this project was going to be so huge and long as it is becoming. Actually it is “on schedule and budget” as she points out. But if you live in or drive through the area it feels like a nuclear warhead went off along those lovely, tree-lined streets. And the end seems way out there. Like the Cubs win the series way out there.
If you live in the area, you KNOW it is a good thing…”the Shop Vac is an old friend” is really an understatement for the MO of John Street area homeowners. Most have more than one of the slangy beasts and many own stock. This crumbling storm sewer deal from the civil war era -“the size of a garden hose”- just doesn’t get it when those storms come. I seem to recall one of those real estate signs along John a few years ago with a rider saying “BASEMENT POOL”.
So anyway we are going to get a break soon. The barricades will come down. The birds will be heard again. Ginko trees will breath easy (Julie- you should have planted a male, not a female). Small children will emerge from under their beds. And life along John will return to normal- until the snow melts.
Says Wurth,”Next spring the work will continue west on John to Willis Avenue, then south to Daniel Street, The hope is to have it completed by the end of June.”
Last night the Urbana City Council voted to keep property tax rates level- so the taxes for both sides of Wright street remain equal. This sounds like great news- and it is. The city of Urbana will actually take in more according to a News Gazette piece this am- mostly due to new development bringing up total value. A win win.
But really now, what is going to happen with that $2? In many Urbana java spots it wont get a cup. Long , long gone are the days it will get you a haircut or a decent hamburger or a ticket to see the Illini. It will get you a newspaper, but will not afford the down payment on any kind of magazine.
The key to understanding the real value of this windfall is to do the complex math (I did it) and realize that if all of the homeowners in Urbana put their $2 together- I am going to guess here- it might be some $40,000. Now we’re talking!
So my suggestion is that the city council mandate that every real estate owner bring their $2 bill to the parking lot at Lincoln Square Village next January 1 and throw it in a pile. Then the council could pick out a pet project (like funding the visitors bureau or hiring a police officer or contracting to some consultant from somewhere else to study something or planting say two trees) and our little corner of western civilization would jump forward.
Phyllis Wise seems to be one of the best things to happen to the University since the redo of The Auditorium . Her recent “Listening and Learning” tour around campus shows she is wanting to get a wide spectrum of people involved in helping this great university move forward.
Patrick Wade reports in The News Gazette that we now have the first of six bike repair stands. The new bike lanes around both Champaign and Urbana are a help to both bike people and car people. Now these repair
These new stands have the basics available for tire fiing and simple adjustments…great idea!