Home Sales in Champaign County Dips to 3.9% in May 2017

In Champaign County, sales of homes dipped in May this year compared with the same time last year. In May this year, 271 homes were sold, a decline of 3.9% from 282 last May 2016.

“I think they’re right around where they need to be,” said CCAR President Jim Waller. “Last year was a good year, and we’re not that far down from that.”

“We’re still lacking some inventory,” he said. “We’d love to see some more listings. There’s a lot of buyers, and they’re not all able to find what they want.”

Of the homes sold this May, 124 were in Champaign, 60 in Urbana, 23 in Mahomet and 14 in Savoy. Homes stayed listed for 61 days though as compared to 69 days last year.

The median price of homes currently listed is $155,00 in May, a 5.8% increase from $146,500 in May 2016.

“Low mortgage rates are still triggering more buyer demand in this market but some buyers are finding it taking a bit longer to find the right property that suits their prerequisites. The number of new listings and inventory of homes for sale continue to decrease in the Champaign market area,” said Jim Waller, president of the Champaign County Association of REALTORS®. “REALTORS report inventory sales and strong buyer demand is leading to more multiple offer situations in this hot spring/summer selling market and buyers have to proceed quickly on their offer if they find the home they wish to purchase.”

Sellers should note that buyers are eager to purchase and are searching the market right now. In fact, Waller expounds that Champaign County is a still a viable place to reside despite the dip in sales.

“It’s economically stronger than most of the state,” he said. “And we have some companies in town that are hiring.”

5 Nights of Hitch at The Virginia

Five Nights of Hitch

It is Halloween and the perfect time for some Alfred Hitchcock thrillers. And the setting for this weeklong Hitchcock film series is the lovely restored Virginia Theatre in the heart of downtown Champaign.

Tickets for the Hitchcock series can be purchased online or at the door and they are only $5. Shows are at 7p and 10p every night this week through Halloween.

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.

 

Curbanas Are Here!

This morning the city workers were in downtown Urbana this am assembling the new “Curbanas” (parklets) in front of Crane Alley with the one in front of Cafeteria and Co to follow pronto. The temporary structures come in a kit and extend the sidewalk into the parking places–like two parking spots will be taken in each location.

Curbanas are here
The first of the new Curbanas took shape this morning in front of Crane Alley in downtown Urbana

So some questions:

  • Will there be more of these next year?
  • Are they big enough to actually seat four people at a table?
  • Willl the loss of parking spots be no big deal for downtown Urbana?
  • Will they come to downtown Champaign next–and what will we call them–Chamcurbs?

Enlighten me!


 

Hyatt Place in Downtown Champaign

They say it will be ready soon–and the rooms are being finished now. The new Hyatt Place in Downtown Champaign has seemed so long in coming and may well be ready for guests within a few weeks. Furniture has been unloaded according to their facebook page and the News Gazette ran a picture of their swimmimg pool with water in it last weekend.

Here are some update photos:

Seems not that long ago that this downtown Champaign corner was a hole in the ground!
Seems not that long ago that this downtown Champaign corner was a hole in the ground!
Need a Champaign job? Contact Hyatt Place- they are hiring.
Need a Champaign job? Contact Hyatt Place- they are hiring.

 

 

 

414 Avondale, Champaign, Illinois

This lovely home is for sale in the Hessel Park neighborhood of Champaign…very near the University of Illinois.

Homes in Hessel Park are a value, they are near bus lines, they are close to downtown Champaign and they have that old Champaign ambiance.

Call us today to have a look at this low maintenance, quality residence.

The “Echo Boom” Generation in Champaign Urbana

Who are echo boomers?

They are 18- 35 years old and there are some 103 million of them who have come of age during one of the biggest housing downturns in history- and a downturn that has been painstakingly slow to get back to “normal”. They have been characterized as the “me, me, me” crowd that lives with their parents and spends hours snapping pics of them selves and throwing them onto facebook and twitter.

This narcissistic horde is also an important part of the Champaign Urbana scene- increasingly so in the last 20 years as new job opportunities have opened up in CU. Good evidence of this is the resurgence of downtown Champaign and the thriving CU music scene.

Condos like this for sale in Champaign are often exactly what the echo boomers are seeking in real estate.
Condos like this for sale in Champaign are often exactly what the echo boomers are seeking in real estate.

Will echo boomers buy real estate?

In a recent article on this topic, RIS Media gives a resounding “YES” and this could have huge implications for the emerging Chamapign Urbana Real Estate market. Here are some ideas from the RIS Media analysis:

  • According to recently released national survey findings from Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate, 75 percent of echo boomers surveyed believe owning a home is a fundamental indicator of success.
  • Those same respondents also believe they are more informed about home ownership than previous generations of buyers.
  • More than three-quarters (77 percent) of the next generation of American homeowners surveyed believe they have become increasingly knowledgeable about home ownership due to increased media coverage on real estate topics in the wake of the housing crisis.

With these changes in perspective and a healthy amount of homes for sale in Champaign Urbana, this demographic can make a huge difference over the next few months. Consider also that the good supply of lofts and upper story condos for sale in downtown Champaign offer desirable options for this market.

Closing Costs on Your Real Estate Deal

This great info comes from the newsletter of Diane Loomis, Keller Williams agent in Langhorne, PA.

The Scoop on Closing Costs

Are you a buyer preparing to close on a house? Now is a good time to refresh yourself on the most common closing costs.

There are more expenses to buying a house than just the monthly mortgage payment. More than likely you’ll need to come up with some cold, hard cash in order to finalize the deal.

Here are some common closing costs to consider:

  • Down Payment: Due to today’s economic climate, most buyers will need to put down at least 20 percent. This makes good financial sense. If you can’t afford to put 20 percent down then you probably can’t afford to buy this particular house.
  • Loan Origination: This is what the lender charges you to underwrite the loan, meaning what they charge for their time and all the paperwork they need to do.
  • Points: You’ll often see that different lenders have different “rates” and different “points” they charge. By paying points, you can receive a lower interest rate, but this means more cash at closing.
  • Credit Score: You can access your credit report for free at annualcreditreport.com, however, in order to see your credit “score” — the magic number that lenders use to determine your interest rate — you’ll need to pay a small fee.
  • Home Inspection: You want to be sure, no matter if the house is new or old, that you get a home inspection by a qualified inspector. You may love the house and the price, but if you find out that a big ticket item needs replaced you will be able to renegotiate the price or decide to change your tune on buying the home. A typical inspection will run you from around $300 to $500.
  • Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI): This is what a lender charges if you are putting less than 20 percent down on the cost of the home. It usually runs about .5 to 1 percent of the total cost of the loan and is simply a safeguard to protect the lender should you default.

Other Small Fees: Insurance escrow, property tax escrow, notary fees, land surveys, deed recording, etc. Be sure to ask your real estate agent which will apply to your contract and what the expected costs will be. Congratulations on the decision to buy! Owning a home can be a wonderfully fulfilling experience. Just be sure you’re ready for the closing costs coming your way!

Written by Carla Hill

Champaign Streetfest July 14

Champaign Streetfest
Delta Kings haulin freight at Streetfest, 2011

They block off the streets twice this summer and celebrate one of the important parts of local heritage- the music scene. The first is coming up July 14, 7p-12a right in downtown Champaign.

Its called Champaign Streetfest and one of the sponsors in the Champaign Park District. They provide stages. There is plenty of standing and sitting and dancing space and the local establishments open their doors for plenty of food and drink for all.

There is no admission charge and there is typically a wide range of music styles. Last summer it featured the Delta Kings with blues, Tons of Fun Band, and even Hum– local Indy heroes.

 

Downtown Champaign…alive and well!

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Osgb3HeQHA]
In the last 10-15 years, downtown Champaign has become an important part of the life of this “micro-urban” community. Before then it was empty, the traffic sped through, and the stores closed up nights and weekends.

All that has changed now.

The Virginia Theatre has been renovated and is now home to frequent quality and sometimes nostalgic events. Bars and restaurants such as Boltinis, Seven Saints, the vintage Esquire Lounge, and Escobars as well as scores of others crowd the byways of downtown Champaign.

All of this is close to the University of Illinois and is easily accessed by Champaign Urbana MTD as well.

Real estate in downtown Champaign is hopping now as well. Developments such as M1 and M2 have put this area on the Champaign Urbana Real Estate map.