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Increase the Value of Your Fox Valley Home!

by The Rullo Team

When the Top 24 Real Estate Experts in their field were asked this question..."WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO INCREASE YOUR HOME'S VALUE FOR $5,000 OR LESS? These are the most common answers they came up with:

(They may not all work for you or your Fox Valley Home, just find the ones that work best for your particular home and situation.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you have additional questions, please give us a call or visit our website for other great selling tips! If you'd like to find out the currect value of your Fox Valley home, no strings attached!  Follow this link: FREE FOX VALLEY HOME VALUATION.

If you're interested in purchasing a home in the Fox Valley area, give us a call or sign up for our FREE LISTING ALERTS! This is our preferred email list that allows you to be notified as soon as a property with your personal preferences comes onto the market! Just follow this link:  FREE LISTING ALERT SIGN-UP

THIRD STREET COMMUTER PARKING DECK JANUARY UPDATE

by The Rullo Team

As you may recall, the Third Street Commuter Parking Deck was closed to add a third tier to the existing structure. 
The City anticipates reopening the structure to commuters sometime in February. Per the construction contract, crews were already allowed to work on Saturdays, but to keep the workflow on schedule, the Geneva City Council authorized Sunday construction hours if needed during the month of January.
Further restoration work will take place in the spring. For updates, visit the
City of Geneva website or call the City Administrator's Office at 630-262-8495.

            

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.

HOW MANY DAYS UNTIL SPRING?

by The Rullo Team

How many days until Spring?  Click on this link to get up-to-the-second updates!!

If you would like any information on local real estate, visit our website at www.therulloteam.com.

Fox Valley IL January Home Checklist

by The Rullo Team

With the shortest days, and the longest nights of the year....January can certainly live up to the winter doldrum reputation that it has earned. However, we can always look at the positive side of cozy evenings curled up on the couch with a nice glass of wine, a glowing fire in the gorgeous flagstone fireplace in your lovely family room and a slower time of year to actually have time to sort out and simplify your life. So one of these nights, when it's too cold to do much of anything else, take advantage of the momentum that the phenomenal New Year brings to begin a NEW YOU, and a NEW REFRESHED & REVIVED HOME!

HERE ARE 10 IDEAS TO GET YOU STARTED:

DON'T PROCRASTINATE....GET THE HOLIDAY CLEAN-UP & PACK-UP DONE! Once the holiday's have come and gone we all go through the "holiday hangover" effect or the "post-holiday letdown".....or we just don't even want to think about taking it all down and packing it all up! After all, didn't we just take it all out?! Trust me, just DO IT! The sooner you get it started, the easier and quicker you get it done and the better you feel. Just make sure you take the time to wrap & pack things carefully so that nothing will break and that everything is labelled well and organized for next year's use. Then make sure you have cleaned each area extremely well! You don't want to be stepping on pine needles in June with your bare feet!

Give your Home's Command Center A Yearly Reboot: Whether or not you officially have a "command center" in your home or not, we all have a spot that housing our mail, and ends up to be the "catch-all" spot everytime we walk in the door....and where we sit to do most of our daily tasks. That may be your kitchen table, desk in your family room, an office, desk in your kitchen, etc. No matter where it may be...trust me....it always needs an annual REBOOT! What do we mean? Super clean your surfaces, repaint (if needed) and if possible, set yourself up to be more functional and time efficient this year! So many places carry a multitude of products to help you in this area, you could start at a Dollar Store, or an Office Supply Store. Where you shop isn't important, getting yourself set up and organized for the year....IS!

Create Some Space For Exercising Indoors: Since this is usually on 90% of the New Year's resolution lists, we are including it here (plus, it's always on our's as well). With winters being extremely cold in our neck of the woods, exercising outdoors becomes pretty much impossible- except for the few people who always amaze us at their dedication to run, or hike in crazy cold temperatures. Find a room, or even a corner where you can lay down an excersize or yoga mat, so that you can begin your healthy lifestyle choices.

Light some Candles & Buy some Flowers! This is a personal favorite, especially this time of year. It is the easiest way to boost your spirits on dreary winter days. If you don't want to waste money on Flower Bouquet's....buy some great potted plants that will give your home a nice splash of color and greenery to take you into springtime! The candles are great for the glow and the glorious smell! Get your favorite scent, or be adventurous and try several of the new ones out for the season.

It's time to Give Your Kitchen a Reboot: Just a tweaking...not a total makeover! Clean out all the unhealthy choices left over from the holidays, organize all the cabinets to support your lifestyle goals, and last but not least, clean behind all your appliances! It's not a chore we like to do, but once it's done we feel great! And it's a wonderful way to start off our new year.

Go through your FILES and ORGANIZE! Yes we all just love to do this, but this is the perfect time of year! Get all your Tax information together, Warranties, and other financials and paperwork. Then toss everything else you don't need. Believe me, once you actually get through it and can toss out a big load...or rather shred a big load...and be rid of it and completely organized for the new year. You'll feel like a weight has been lifted from you! Just make sure you have yourself set up for the new year. If you're all computerized, then make sure you've got your software set-up and backed up! If you're still doing things manually, they have so many cool gadgets to help you out you'll be good to go. Just make sure you complete the project before you move on.

Check your Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Detectors- This is the time of year to do the annual inspection of every smoke & carbon monoxide detector in our homes. Replace all the batteries and check to make sure each unit

is in working order. I would also recommend that you go over an exit strategy with your family in the event that a fire would happen in your home. This doesn't require a lot of your time, but it IS a TRUE LIFESAVER in the event that a fire ever happens to take place in your home.

Check Out The Pipes in Your Home...Insulate If You Need To- Hopefully you had time to prepare your home for the winter weather and insulate your pipes ahead of time. However, if time did not permit, it is important that you do a complete check of the pipes in your home to make sure that you do not have any pipes that are at risk or freezing at this time (or there now). With the recent bout of below zero temps, our homes took a beating in energy costs, and area's that lack proper insulation were at risk even more. If you find pipes at risk, you need to remedy the situation immediately. Calling an expert in your area is highly recommended.

Organize All Those Family Photos into Scrapbooks or Photo Albums- Most of us are guilty of having loose photos around the home; some of us more so than others. This time of year is perfect for organizing those photos into actual scrapbooks or digital versions of the same kind. Either way, your family & friends will love to see what you have created and appreciate having the love & time you put into the project. BONUS!

Do All Those Decorating Touch Ups Through-Out The House! This is a fantastic time to do all those nagging little touch-ups that need to be done around the house. Not big renovations! Just touch-ups...but they are the kind that make your rooms have that "Polished & finished" look. So make a list, and go room by room....and this is the time that you can be picky and write down all the little stuff that's bugging you! Get it down and one by one, fix it, paint it, etc and cross it off! It's a great feeling to get it done all through the house!

So take advantage of this NEW YOU & NEW REFRESHED & REVITALIZED HOME and the resolutions and goals that you have set and give yourself the BEST OPPORTUNITY to make those goals a reality by setting yourself up for SUCCESS in every facet of your life!

If you are looking for a home in the Fox Valley area, please contact us or visit our website at: TheRulloTeam.com

Combating Ice Dams in the Fox Valley!

by The Rullo Team

Don't those icicles hanging off the eaves of your Fox Valley home look beautiful? If you answered "YES" you'd probably be in the majority, but what you may not know is that they are a potential sign of trouble! While it is a force of nature that are allowing these beautiful icicles to form, it's a combination of nature and neglect that is allowing them to turn into something greater and potentially more dangerous...ICE DAMS! What are ice dams? Thick ridges of solid ice that build up along the eaves of your home, as a result of snow covered roofs and freezing weather.

While we already worry about one of these large, things falling and possibly harming us or a friend or neighbor, we now must think about the potential damage they can do to our homes. Ice dams can tear off gutters, loosen shingles and cause water to back-up and pour into our homes. When that happens, what we are left with is far less than the glorious icicles that were hanging in the sparkling sunlight from our roof! We are talking about warped floors, peeling paint, peeling and sagging ceilings and more are all possible outcomes of unattended ice dams! These can easily be prevented or fixed if already formed, but you need to attend to them now.

Here are a few tips to get you started:

Take Pictures: Take pictures of the exact location where the icicles are forming. This helps you identify where the interior inspection will take place and hopefully you will be able to stay ahead of the ice dam and prevent damage before any takes place! 

  1. Calcium Chloride Ice Melt: Use a Calcium Chloride ice melter to melt the ice before you start chipping away at it. The risk you run every time you try to chip away at the chunks of ice in an ice dam is ruining the shingles on your roof even further. Using this ice melt mixture will allow the melt to do have of the wrork for you.
  2. Blow in Cold Air: You can just hack away at ice dams with a shovel or hammer, right? Ah...Wrong. Doing this is dangerous and bad for your roofing & can cause you to lose your footing and fall from the roof. Not worth it on either end! If the ice dams have already caused leakage into your home, try this quick tip: take a box fan to the attic and aim it at the underside of the roof where the water is leaking in. The cold air will freeze the water in its tracks.
  3. Rake It: Using a long-handled aluminum roof rake, pull off the snow while you stand safely on the ground below.  A rake with wheels will change the exterior temperature of your roof without damaging any shingles.

Remember, proper insulation and ventilation help prevent ice dams and also help with energy efficiency and bills. If you are experiencing ice dams this winter, do what needs to be done to take care of the problem so it doesn't worsen during the season, but during the off-season take time to make the necessary changes so that these won't happen again next year. This will help with the overall impact on your wallet as well!

Are you looking to put your Fox Valley home on the market? Visit our FREE HOME VALUATION page to find out what your home is worth! Then give us a call and we'll help you get your home ready to  bring it on the market!

The Rullo Team Fox Valley Home Experts

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Why should the financial trends of 2015 be any harder or different today than previous years? Good question....it would certainly seem like we’ve seen worse. But then again, you wouldn’t be comparing apples to apples, because you couldn’t.  ALL the trends that exist today didn’t exist then......not even last year! So, let’s take a look:

 

IN: IMPULSE SPENDING

OUT: SAVING

I don’t think this one needs too much explaining, however we do need to understand the #1 reason why 2015 is so much stronger for impulse spending than the previous years. It begins with the addition of APPLE PAY gliding onto the scene, of an already “incredibly easy” to spend marketplace becomes a "genie in a bottle". It is now too easy for you to buy anything from the conveniece of your phone...not even your computer...that your bank account is never going to be the same. Unless we all put some self-restraint and budgets into place, saving money in general will be impossible and saving for your down payment and home maintenance will be a hurdle that many first time home buyers will never be able to jump.

IN: LUXURY HOME BUYERS

OUT: FIRST-TIME HOME BUYERS? (Not so fast!)

With rent rising at an astronomical rate across the country and student loan debt at an all time high, saving for a down payment has been impossible for most first time buyers. In fact, first time home buyers are at the lowest level they have been in nearly 3 decades, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). What is driving the market? The more stable of the group....Luxury Home Buyers! With higher incomes, job security and more equity they are able to get the loans they want/need with the most desirable terms....even if they are the ones who probably need it the least. However, with rent rising at such a signficant pace many would be renters may look to buy a home which will force builders to focus on building more entry level homes versus the luxury homes that have taken focus over the past several years. Rents in most states have consistently moved upward making it MORE ADVANTAGEOUS to buy than keep renting and throwing away that high dollar amount monthly/annually. The next several months will tell the tale of First Time Home Buyers for 2015....but we definitely see more FIRST TIME BUYERS entering the Fox Valley housing market!

IN: FREELANCERS

OUT: TRADITIONAL EMPLOYEES

Confused or Amazed? For some of us ....both! But these numbers will astound you. At present, 34% or 53 Million Americans currently work as Fixed-term Contract Workers or Freelancers!! And more and more companies are looking to move in that direction. This makes it difficult for many individuals that are applying for mortgages, since many times this is NOT a stable income stream. What they will need to do is make sure to document ALL work and all corresponding payments from ALL sources so that it can be turned over to the mortgage companies to be verified at the time of verification. On the other hand, this has been a dream come true for a family that has chosen to have a parent stay home with children, to have the option to work from home, with flexible hours, and still produce a great second income. Or for the older person who may have retired from a career position but now has an option of doing a “hobby” type job from their home for extra income...on their own terms. So, is it good or bad? Really depends on whom you are talking with and what side they are on.

IN: LIVING IN PLACE

OUT: AGING IN PLACE

Baby Boomers are redefining what it means to grow old! They want to keep their homes, take in the arts, seek out new health and wellness activities and participate in all aspects of their family & friends lives....on their own terms. This means that there is a whole new need for HOME REMODELING. They want to keep the unique parts of their homes, but upgrade to include the safety and security features they need as they have grown older. Curbless Showers, Higher Toilets, and Grab Bars but still not give up the Gourmet Kitchens and Master Suites of today..... and don't forget the technology!

If you are looking to put your Fox Valley home on the market, you picked the PERFECT time! Competition is at it's lowest right now, but you must take advantage of this exclusive time frame. Give us a call today at 630-513-1771 or check out our website at THERULLOTEAM.COM.   You can also get a FREE HOME VALUATION by following this link:  FREE FOX VALLEY HOME VALUATION

If you are searching for a home in the Fox Valley area, make sure to sign up for our FREE LISTING ALERTS! This puts you on our PREFERRED LIST and allows you to be the FIRST ONE to be informed of any home that comes onto the market that meets your preferences;  giving you a jump on the competition! To sign up, just click here.

Top New Year's Resolutions of 2015

by The Rullo Team

Happy New Year Fox Valley From The Rullo Team!

by The Rullo Team

With the New Year just around the corner, We want to say "THANK YOU" to all of our clients for making it another great year at The Rullo Team of ReMax Great American North! We love what we do and the town in which we live and work but..... getting to meet and work with clients like you is truly a blessing.

Each year as the New Year rolls in we are all faced with the thought of New Year's Resolutions. Sometimes we are psyched and have our lists ready to go, while other times we may be dreading the thought of them altogether. After reading through some great articles recently, I found it really comes down to this:

Resolutions should be made by us only if it is something that we truly want to change, learn or accomplish that will make us happier, healthier or have a positive impact on our lives. A resolution should never be made because someone in your life wants you to change something about yourself, or wants you to do something differently. The ONLY resolutions you make are the ones that impact you, and only you, on a POSITIVE level. Plain and simple.

Now the GREAT NEWS! When you make your resolutions, keeping this simple statement above in mind, your chances for success dramatically increase!! So let's get down to the nitty gritty!

 

  1. Think about what's most important to you, and then get very specific when you list out each resolution. Next to each give your reason for the resolution in detail.                      
  2. Remember, you're being realistic, so make sure you have no more than 3-4 resolutions and make sure they are things that are attainable with reasonable timeframes.
  3. What is your "Plan of Attack" and how will you track & monitor your progress?
  4. What is the PRIZE for achieving your goal? This is really important because you need to be rewarded for achieving this important resolution!

 

                                                 TOP RESOLUTIONS FOR 2015

We all know that starting off the New Year is easy and exciting and we are ready to ROCK our resolutions! But once February rolls around our committment can sometimes start to wane, this is where your good habits need to take over and why having "good habits" is critical to the success of your resolutions.

Studies show that it's much easier to create "bad" habits than to cultivate good ones; we easily indulge in short-term pleasures like expensive cups of coffee and sugar-laden foods. The good news is, with frequent repetition, you can create new, constructive habits. Be patient with yourself, however; it can take several weeks for new habits to form. If you slip up for a day, just pick up where you left off. Don't give up! Build in "cheat" days for a diet plan, or an occasional shopping splurge for a savings plan, but ALWAYS go right back to your plan so you WILL reach your ultimate goal....your resolution.

I sincerely hope these tips help you reach your resolution goals during the New Year! And if buying or selling a home in the Fox Valley is among your goals for 2015, We'll be happy to help you! My team and I have the local market experience & knowledge to help you succeed and are here whenever you need us. 

 If you are new to the Fox Valley, We will be happy to be your guide and introduce you to our community! Whether you have questions about Fox Valley real estate or you would like more information about our Award Winning Schools or community, please feel welcome to contact us today!

Wishing you a Happy, Healthy & Prosperous New Year!

 

 

The Rullo Team

Fox Valley Home Experts

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Christmas Traditions in the Fox Valley

by The Rullo Team

                                                                                 

WHAT ARE YOUR CHRISTMAS DAY TRADITIONS? A RECENT SURVEY REVEALED THAT 60% OF FAMILIES TODAY STILL CARRY ON TRADITIONS THAT HAVE BEEN IN THEIR FAMILIES FOR DECADES!

It's true...we may tweak those traditions a bit, but for many families, Christmas Day tradtions are still very much in tact. Here are a list of the top traditions kept today:

  1. Going to Church as a family.
  2. Christmas Brunch
  3. Opening Gifts around the Christmas Tree
  4. Watching a Christmas Movie (It's A Wonderful Life ranks as the #1 Christmas Movie)                                                                                                                                  
  5. Sitting around in Matching P.J's all day.
  6. Christmas Dinner
  7. Going Bowling or other event as a family (extended family).
  8. Baking (making) Gingerbread House.

Do any of these traditions match with the ones that you and your loved ones keep on Christmas Day? Do they sound like ones you'd like to add? The bottom line is that Christmas is a time to spend with family and friends and those we hold dear and traditions are born out of the love we have for those individuals. Whatever traditions you do keep, make sure to hand them down the line to future generations and add to them the new ones that are created today.

From all of us here at The Rullo Team.....Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy Healthy and Prosperous New Year!

If you are looking for a new home in the Fox Valley area for the new year give us a call or check out our website at www.therulloteam.com.

YEA! THE DAYS ARE GETTING LONGER!

by The Rullo Team

Sunday, December 21 was the first day of the winter solstice.  On that day in Chicago, the sun came up at 7:15am and the sun set at 4:49pm, which means we had 9 hours and 34 minutes of daylight; less daylight than any other day during the year.

Even though the 21st is the shortest day of the year, it doesn’t mean that the latest sunrise and the earliest sunset occur on this day. In Chicago, the latest sunrise will occur on January 4th at 7:18am and the earliest sunset has already occurred on December 9th.  These dates change depending on your location, i.e.: how close you are to the equator or to the north/south poles. 

Really what this means is that Spring is just a few months away!

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
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