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CAMPTON HILLS....SAFEST CITY IN ILLINOIS 2016!

by The Rullo Team

The list of 100 safest cities in America were recently announced by SafeWise and six of them were located in Illinois….and at the top of those six, and #10 in the nation, was Campton Hills!! Click here to view the entire article.

Located West of Chicago, this wonderful and SAFE community of Campton Hills is known for its parks, historic farms, and for participating in programs that encourage people to spend time outdoors. “Leave No Child Inside” is an initiative by the Chicago WIlderness, which Campton Hills actively participates in, that encourages children to reconnect with nature.

With all of that time being spent outdoors and keeping an eye out for crime it is no surprise that Campton Hills made this list! To see all available homes for sale in West Chicago, please click here.

Congrats Campton Hills!

If you're interested in Buying, Selling or Investing in the, give The Rullo Team a call or visit our website at:  www.therulloteam.com.


MOM & ME! Mother's Day in the Fox Valley!

by The Rullo Team

Mother's Day is one of the most important days of the year for all of us, and we want to give you an opportunity to show your Mom just how special she really is to you!

We have created a special "Mother's Day" board on our Pinterest & Facebook page just for this very special day, dedicated to MOMS! All you need to do is submit YOUR favorite photo of you and your Mom along with a short paragraph- no more than 250 words- about what makes your Mom so special. Then email it to us at: rullos@rullos.com

On Saturday, May 7th we will select 2 finalist, based on their submissions and award a Gift Card to each winner.  You can then use this with your Mothers toward brunch, golf, shopping or whatever the two of you would like to spend time doing together!

So get writing and find your best photo and make Mom the center of attention like she so greatly deserves!

Starting a business is both a challenging and rewarding experience for entrepreneurs! One of the first things to think about is WHERE to build your company? It is a common misconception that big cities are the best places to start a new business, but depending on the type of business you are planning to run, BIGGER IS NOT ALWAYS BETTER. Small cities offer some very unique advantages, such as lower overhead costs and deeper relationships with your customer base.

 

Reboot Illinois recently published an article about the Best Small Cities in Illinois to Start a Business, and to uncover this list, analysts studied factors such as cost of living, corporate taxes, office space availability, number of start ups, etc.. at more than 1,200 small cities across the United States. Can you guess who made the list? Our very own St. Charles--- #21!  

 

St. Charles is officially a perfect place to start a business, and also a wonderful place to live! Offering both charm and modern conveniences, St. Charles, IL a great place to buy a new home. Click here to see current available homes in the St. Charles, Geneva, and Batavia communities.

 

Congrats St. Charles!


If you're interested in Buying, Selling or Investing in the Orlando area, give The Rullo Team a call or visit our website at: www.therulloteam.com

Camp Local in Kane County this Summer!

by The Rullo Team

Kane County Forest Preserve Campsites open May 1st!

Good news for all of you campers out there…. Kane County Local Forest Preserve camp sites open May 1st!

Have you ever had an itch to plan a last minute trip to the great outdoors to spend some time away from technology and the hustle bustle of life...oh and to enjoy some delicious s'mores by the campfire?  Don’t have the time to travel too far to do it? Your Kane County Forest Preserve has been working extra hard this year to ready your local camp sites for a wonderful season, and to encourage residents to “camp local.”

“You don’t have to drive far or spend a fortune to experience camping — it’s available right here in Kane County. Whether you’re interested in vehicle camping, tent camping or even camping with your horses, Forest Preserve District campgrounds have sites available to meet your needs.” -Kane County Forest Preserve Press Release

From May 1st - October 31st recreational camping will be available to you at two sites. Paul Wolff, located in the Burnidge Forest Preserve in Elgin, offers 104 total campsites and Big Rock, located in Southern Kane County within the Big Rock Forest Preserve, offers 109 campsites. Both locations give you various options for the type of campsite you would like, including improved sites (with electricity), primitive sites (no electricity), equestrian sites, and ADA accessible sites. (Both sites are first come first serve, so make sure to call (630) 444-1200 to check on availability)

Dust off those hiking shoes and start prepping your fishing gear, because it’s going to be a great summer for camping!

If you're interested in Buying, Selling or Investing in the Fox Valley communities, give The Rullo Team a call or visit our website at:  www.therulloteam.com.

It’s everyone’s favorite day of the year...TAX DAY!!!

Ehh, not so much….

For all of you stressing over this infamous day Marketwatch has some great advice. File an extension!! In an article posted by the news source, there are 7 excellent reasons why many people should consider an extension.

1.)   You have a balance due and need more time to save up money to cover it. Give yourself that extra 6 months.

2.)   Made charitable donations over $250 to one or more charities and don’t have the proper receipts (which must include the name of the charity, address, taxpayer ID number, and a statement that you did not receive any benefits or items of value for your donation) to submit with your taxes? The IRS is very strict on submitting the required documentation so an extension would give you an extra 6 months to get everything in order.

3.)   Have you recently moved homes? Or are you planning to move within the next few months? If yes, it benefits you to submit an extension because the IRS may need to follow up with you on your taxes and they send all correspondence to the address you have on file.

4.)   If you are waiting for K-1 forms from partnership entities, S-Corps, estates, or trusts you should file an extension.

5.)   Sometimes rushing through your personal or business bookkeeping can cause sloppy or incorrect taxes. Don’t rush and do it right. File an extension to give you that extra time.

6.)   Have a large balance this year? Making contributions to your 2015 retirement plan can help reduce that balance. File an extension if you would like to benefit from this. You have until October 15th to open or add to your retirement fund.

7.)   And finally…. You still have questions regarding your taxes that you have not had answered. Give yourself some time to get everything settled.

Best of luck this tax season!

Batavia: 3rd Happiest Town In Illinois

by The Rullo Team

Originally called the “Head of Big Woods”, Batavia was founded by farmers looking for good land.  Later settlers found employment helping these farms and other areas stay productive; mainly working in Windmill Factories.  Eventually the Batavia area came to be known as the Windmill capital of the world, having six windmill manufacturers at one time.

The area also provided great opportunities to quarry stone and timber, and due to it’s close proximity to the Fox, Batavia residents were able to utilize the water for power, which greatly increased their productivity.  This perfect combination led to the production of ice, lumber, flour, paper and stone, which were sold in the Chicago market. 

Though the days of Windmill Production are long gone, Batavia IL is still a fantastic place to live. Business week ranked it on the National list of the best 50 places to live in America for raising kids.  Just a couple years later, CNN Money’s Best Small Towns in the Nation ranked it #56 and even more recently, it was ranked in the Top 10.  Oh and it was also ranked the 3rd happiest town in Illinois by Credit Donkey.  It’s no wonder, so many people are moving here lately.  The perfect combination of city and small town, Batavia has something for everyone.  

Batavia Real Estate For Sale

$400,001 - $500,000

Over $500,000

Have Questions? Need more info? Give The Rullo Team a call 630.513.1771.  We'd be happy to help you into your Batavia Dream Home.  Not ready to make a call?  Then please use some of our FREE Buyers and Sellers Resources.  

The St. Charles Consumer EXPO!

by The Rullo Team

Tired of the cold and rainy weather? Going stir crazy in your house? You are in luck! Not only is it going to be a beautiful weekend, but there is also an exciting event happening in town---The third annual St. Charles Consumer Expo is being held this Saturday at the St. Charles Sportsplex!

The St. Charles Expo, hosted by the St. Charles Chamber of Commerce, is designed as a fun event for local business to showcase their products and services. A huge variety of vendors will be at this year’s Expo, including restaurants and resorts, dance and fitness studios, sports teams, medical practices, local news and radio, and many more! Click here to see a full list of participating vendors on the event’s Facebook page.

Along with meeting local businesses, Expo attendees will enjoy food samples provided by TASTE of Fox Valley, door prizes, raffle items, and endless amounts of entertainment for the kids such as a bounce house, face painting, arts & crafts, story time, Traveling World of Reptiles, and even a meet & greet with Elsa from Frozen!

We look forward to seeing you on Saturday at the St. Charles Expo!

Event Details:

Location: St. Charles Sportsplex, 1400 Foundry Street

Time: 10:00am - 4:00pm

Cost to Public: FREE!

For more information on upcoming events in the St. Charles community please visit our Facebook Page and Blog.

If you're interested in moving to the Fox Valley area, give The Rullo Team a call at 630-513-1771, or visit our website at: www.therulloteam.com

Best Places For Golf In The Fox Valley

by The Rullo Team

In honor of Golf's biggest event and the millions of people who have been glued to their televisions, day dreaming of deeply bunkered greens and rolling fairways, we've decided to feature our favorite places for golfers in the Fox Valley IL, so you can get a head start on perfecting that swing, if you haven't already.  

White Pines Golf Dome

The White Pines Golf Dome is one of the world’s premiere indoor golf facilities.  Measuring 300-feet wide, 300-feet long and 100-feet high, it is Chicagoland’s best and largest golf dome, so large that it can actually track ball flight.  Though it’s more than just a dome.  There is new State-of-the-art Golfzon Golf Simulators; two full bay, free standing Vision simulators that produce a true virtual golf experience.  If you’re looking to enhance your game, White Pines is the place and best of all is it’s inside, perfect for this late chilly spring we’re having.  


Settler's Hill Golf Course- Batavia, IL

Settler's Hill is known as a "Golf Odyssey" because of the dramatic elevation changes within it's 18 holes. It is a favorite among locals in Kane County and beyond. The course has quirky greens and deep bunkers along with a beautiful seasonal wildflower display that only add's to this courses charm...keeping with the town's feel and atmosphere. Settler's Hill offers something for every golfer, of every level of play. Great for group events as well.


We can't talk golf in the Fox Valley without mentioning Cantigny Golf, one of the midwest's premier golf facilities.  A perfectly maintained 27-hole championship golfcourse is the centerpiece of Cantigny, but this private club experience has even more to offer.  You can work on your game at the Golf Academy, which offeres training for every skill level, or host an all day golf outing, endless possibilities for a fun day of Golf.  

Bloomingdale Golf Club was once the site of Glendale Golf Course. Opened in 1924, the original course designer, Tom Bendelow, was also an integral participant in the design of Medinah Country Club. When the village of Bloomingdale purchased the 72 year old Glendale Golf Course in 1996, a commitment was made to create a challenging course with outstanding amenities within a country club setting. In the fall of 1998, the village brought on the golf course architecture firm, Lohmann Golf Design to handle this task. If you enjoy challenging greens and a not too overbearing course, you have come to the right place. Bloomingdale Golf Club offers an enjoyable challenge for golfers of all levels.

Professional Golf Tips:

 

Learn more about the great outdoor activities in the Fox Valley by visiting our Facebook Page and Blog frequently.

Speedy Spring Home Sales

by The Rullo Team

Putting your home on the market can be stressful. Showing after showing after showing requires your home to be presentable at all times. You’re forced to vacate at a moments notice, not to mention the kids and the dog.  So, how can you make this process a little less stressful and guarantee your home sells?    

First of all, buyers are always more interested in a home the first few weeks it's on the market, the longer it sits, the lower your chances are of selling quickly and for top dollar.  So, you need to be prepared and come out blazing.

There are three main ingredients in a quick home sale: 

1) It needs to show well 

2) It needs to be marketed well

3) It needs to be priced correctly. 

So, without further ado, here are some of the best tips and tricks to optimize these three ingredients and to ensure a speedy spring sale.  

Rent A Storage Unit

Most people think, “ok, declutter, let’s put everything in the closet.” This is a BAD idea, the closets are part of the home, so anyone viewing the home is certainly going to look at the storage spaces and an unorganized, overstuffed closet doesn’t show well.  Your closets should be as clutter free and beautiful as you’ve mede the rest of the house. Instead of shoving things in the basement and closets, consider renting a storage unit.  It is super convenient and will allow you to keep your home show ready much easier.  As a general rule, you probably don’t need or use a third of your stuff, and it’s actually probably closer to half. Things like holiday decorations, old baby stuff, seasonal clothes, your kids old art projects…put it all in storage. Better yet, you can choose a portable unit, which can be transported on moving day, making your move even more convenient.  

Staging/Photography

A professional home stager sees your home from the most discerning buyer's perspective and a good stager knows exactly how to highlight your home’s best features and minimize it’s flaws.  The first impression a buyer gets is often from listing photos online, so naturally these photos should be the highest quality possible.  Also of note, is that studies show homes with more than six listing photos online are twice as likely to be viewed by buyers. 

However, not everyone wants their home staged, and we understand. So, what can you do instead?  Have a friend or two or three take turns walking from the curb through your house as if they were a buyer. Encourage them to look for areas to improve.  Then have your agent do the same thing.  Even the most beautiful homes can benefit from these practices.  

Find The Right Real Estate Agent

Don't hire a real estate agent just because your friend used them or because their son is in your kid’s English class. Hire an agent with a proven track record.  Someone who has proven their ability to sell homes fast.  You want someone who is familiar with the neighborhood.  You want someone who is not afraid to correct your errors.  Face it, they do this for a living and no matter how hard you try, you’re going to miss some things.  Your agent should be able to walk into your home and tell you exactly what buyers will love and hate, and then help you fix those hate points.  

Besides a great track record, look at their reviews.  What is it like to work with this person?  You should also make sure your agent is savvy online, since this is where most Real Estate business starts these days.  Look at the photos on their website (remember tip #2?), make sure they hire professional photographers to take photos of the home. Look at their social media.  Are they utilizing these outlets to sell homes? 

Do Some Work Yourself

If you’re really trying to sell your home, don't leave all the marketing to your agent. Get the word out yourself.  Facebook, Instagram, Twitter; if you have these use them.  Send e-mails, texts, let people know!  Don’t stop at your friends either.  Make it known in your neighborhood too! You never know who may know someone whose looking for a home in town. Let others help.

Depersonalize

This is Important, and can be hard for some people.  Most homes are covered with family photos and this can make it hard to imagine yourself living their.  At this point it still seems like someone else’s home, but your buyers need to imagine themselves living there. So, no matter how cute those baby pictures are, take them down when you put your home on the market.  Same goes for extravagant art.  You want your home to be interesting, but you don’t want the art distracting from the home itself.  People also have different tastes in art, so if they hate the art, they may find it hard to imagine living there.   

Upgrades

You don't need to go overboard on remodels to make your home more appealing. Honestly, chances are, you probably won’t get this money back in the sale.  So, instead, focus on the little things, especially the kitchen and bathroom.  New sinks and cabinets go a long way! Light fixtures, new shower curtains nice towels; these are all little things that can have a huge impact on potential buyers.  So, instead of spending $35,000 on a full kitchen remodel, get rid of your mismatched appliances and spend $3,500 on new stainless steel appliances. Small investments can make a huge impact, and you’ll have a better chance at optimizing your ROI.  

Lighten Up

Chances are pretty good you are not a vampire, its likely your buyers aren’t either, so brighten up your home.  Dark or poorly lit home can feel a little depressing.  A bright combination of natural and artificial light is the best way to go.  G the highest wattage lightbulb your fixture will allow, which even come in eco friendly styles now and it will instantly make your home brighter and more inviting.  Every time you leave for a showing, turn the lights on and open the blinds.  A fresh coat of paint will also go a long way.  A lighter natural color paint will help make your rooms look larger.  Last finishing touch, a good solid cleaning.  Make those baseboards sparkle!   

Curb Appeal

Curb Appeal is so hugely important, it can’t be overstated.  Your home’s exterior is the first thing potential buyers see.  If it doesn’t look great, a buyer won’t even consider it.   So, clean up the yard.  Consider trimming the hedges and the lawn, add fresh mulch, maybe get your lawn edged, a good pressure washing is always good, clean the driveways and walkways, maybe a fresh coat of paint to the trim and shutters as well. Everything matters, even the little things like polishing the brass on the front door.   Go a bit farther, add some Flowers near the entryway, a splash of color helps your home feel alive and inviting. 

Offer incentives

It may seem a little counterintuitive in a seller’s market, however the facts don’t lie. Last year, the best year for U.S. home sales in almost a decade, 37% of all sellers offered incentives to attract buyers.  With the added competition in the market, incentives could be the deciding factor for a buyer.  If you’re a seller and you’re able to offer a little money toward closing costs, you’re making it easier for that buyer, which may in turn make them more willing to give you the full asking price.  So in the end you could end up with a faster sale and a larger profit. 

Know The Facts

Spring and summer are the best times to sell your home.  If you can wait until then, you probably should.  However, selling during the peak season also means there is more competition and buyers can be pickier.  So, if you are selling in the Spring and Summer, these tips are especially important. Another important fact, is that homes that aren’t priced right just don’t sell, and the longer your home sits on the market, the less desirable it is.  Buyers often expect something to be wrong with these homes.  You absolutely have to price your home right, it’s that simple.  Do some research on local comps, get a few suggestions from other agents, and then ultimately listen to your agent, which should be the expert we discussed in the beginning of the article.  It can be hard hearing your home isn’t worth what you thought, but it’s not worth wasting the summer on.  Let your Agent take the lead on pricing and negotiating.

Looking for more information on how to Sell your home quickly this Spring, give the Rullo Team a call 630.513.1771.  Not ready to chat yet? Then visit some of our FREE Seller's Resources.  We also have numerous FREE resources for Buyers.    

Check out TruliaFor great Real Estate information. 

2016 Brush Pickup Schedule

by The Rullo Team

Brush Pick-Up Schedule - 2016

 

CITY OF ST. CHARLES - 2016 Brush Pickup Schedule

The Brush Pick Up program includes the months of April, May, June, July, August, September, and October. Only residents that pay an additional monthly fee on their utility bill are eligible. Review your City utility bill to see if this fee is included, check My Neighborhood or call Utility Billing at 630.377.4426 for verification.

East Side                              West Side

April 18                                 April 25

May 16                                  May 23

June 20                                 June27

July 18                                  July25

August 15                              August 22

September 19                        September 26

October 17                            October 24

*November: No Pick Up

CITY OF GENEVA  - 2016 Brush Program

The City of Geneva's brush program provides monthly pickups from April through November. The collection is intended for the disposal of limbs/branches that are removed by the property owner for normal maintenance and upkeep, not for lot clearing. The City's contractor will not collect material produced by a private contractor.

For more information, please call the Geneva Public Works Department at 630.232.1501

West Side                            East Side

April 4                                   April 11

May 2                                    May 9

June 6                                   June 13

July 4*                                  July 11

August 1                                August 8

September 5*                        September 12

October 3                              October 10

November 7                           November 14

* Holiday observed. Crews will begin the following scheduled workday.

CITY OF BATAVIA - 2016 Brush Collection Schedule 

Curbside residential brush pickup resumes in May for residents that pay the monthly leaf/brush fee on their utility bill.  If your brush was out at 7 a.m. on Monday of your scheduled collection week and not collected by the end of the workday on Friday, please notify the Street Division at 630.454.2400 no later than the following Monday. 

East Side                              West Side

May 9                                    May 16

June 13                                 June 20

July 11                                  July 18

August 8                                August 15

September 12                        September 19

October 10                            October 17

              November 28 - Citywide

How to Prepare Brush/Limbs

  • Brush should be put out before 7am on Monday of the scheduled pick up.
  • With cut ends facing the street, branches must be at least 3 feet in length and less than 12 inches in diameter.
  • Do not tie bundles of brush with rope or wire and do not pile higher than 4 feet.
  • Branches must be on the parkway, in front of your house or along the frontage where refuse/recycling is collected.
  • Please make every attempt not to park in front of the piles; crews will be unable to pick up the brush.
  • Tree trunks/stumps: If you take down a whole tree, please be aware that the maximum size that the crew has the ability to pick up is 12” in diameter by 12’ long.  Anything larger or longer would need to be cut up or split before pick-up.
  • Small branches, trimmings and leaves: These items can be placed in a generic brown paper yard waste bag and place one refuse sticker on each bag. Yard waste bags will be picked up on your weekly refuse pickup day.
  • Severe storms could delay the timeliness of the pickup due to an extremely large volume of material to be collected. Every attempt will be made to deploy additional staff and equipment if such delays do develop.


If you are interested in more information about the benefits of home ownership in the Fox Valley Area please contact a real estate professional with the Rullo Team.

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The Rullo Team
RE/MAX Great American North
40W160 Campton Crossing Drive
St. Charles IL 60175
Phone: 630-513-1771
Mobile: 630-272-4310
Fax: 630-513-5308