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Stand Out From Homes On The Market With These Handy Tips!

by The Rullo Team

It might seem counter intuitive to put money and time into your Fox River Valley home once you've decided to sell. But, it is one of the best things you can do to help your home sell quickly and for top dollar! Attract buyers and stand out from the competition with these Design Tips to Sell.



Update Curb Appeal: Just like anything else in life, it is important to make a great first impression. This starts with your curb appeal. Wash and paint the exterior of your home. Take care of your landscaping. Add some welcoming touches to your front porch to invite buyers in.

Showcase Your Home: Although it might seem like you have to modernize everything in your home to sell, you should highlight your home's tradtional elements. These structural and/or design details will keep your home unique and memorable.

Add Some Paint: The cheapest thing you can do to give your home a fresh start is by applying some new paint. Just always keep it neutral to avoid turning off any potential buyers.

Think Eco-Friendly: Energy efficient features are increasingly popular amongst home buyers. These features not only help our environment but they also help a home owner's wallet when it comes to their energy bill.

Update Bathrooms and Kitchen: The few rooms that you should consider investing more money into are your bathrooms and kitchen. These are key rooms that buyers look at to determine whether or not they want to buy the home. It doesn't have to be complete remodels. You can do more basic updates, such as changing hardware and light fixtures.

Add Master Bedroom Closets: A large walk in closet off of the master bedroom is a selling feature for buyers. If your home does not have one, find a way to add one to increase the value of your home.

Find New Storage Spaces: All home owners are always looking for new storage solutions. Be creative with it. Find new spaces, such as under the stairs, to add storage to your home.

Create Space: You always want your home to feel as large as possible when showing it to buyers. A great way to create the perception of space is by placing your furniture in groupings away from the wall.

Hire An Organizer: While you can declutter your home on your own, it can be to your benefit to hire a professional organizer. They have tips to help make your home larger, find new storage solutions, and will help you get rid of the items you really don't need.

 


Sell your Fox River Valley home for top dollar by working with The Rullo Team! Give us a call at (630) 513-1771 or visit http://www.therulloteam.com/ today!

 

Source: Houzz Inc. ©

 

Make Home Buying A Treat Not A Trick!

by The Rullo Team

It might be the month for Trick Or Treating but when buying a new home (especially as a first time buyer) you want it to be more of a treat than a trick! Unfortunately it is easy to be fooled out there with all the misconceptions and misinformation about home buying. It is important to know all the facts before setting off on your journey to find your dream home. Here are 9 myths about home buying that we are happy to debunk for you!!

 

Myth 1: Looking for a House is Your First Step.

The initial search for the home is undoubtedly the fun part of the process. You know your list of desirables and you have the internet at your fingertips to help you find your dream home. BUT, there is a lot of information that you need know ahead of time before potentially getting your heart set on a home. Your first step should be to make sure that your credit is in top form AND get pre-approval for a mortgage. These steps will help you determine your budget and allow you to search for houses that are in an appropriate price range. Plus, pre-approval for a mortgage will help you during the process as it makes you more attractive to sellers.

 

Myth 2: Your Best Finance Option is a 30-Year Mortgage.

Many home buyers think that by selecting a 30-year mortgage they will automatically save money since they have a longer period of time to pay off the loan. Although monthly payments on a 30-year are lower than a 15-year mortgage, you will end up paying MORE in the end since you are borrowing the same amount of money for both BUT are borrowing for twice as long and at a higher interest rate with the 30-year option. Look into all loan options out there before making a decision. A 30-year fixed mortgage might be the best option for you or there might be another loan that makes more sense. Stay open and do plenty of research ahead of time to make an informed decision. Check out our helpful Finance Information for this step of the process.

 

Myth 3: Your Down Payment has to be 20%.

Although a 20% down payment allows you to avoid paying for Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI), it is not always the required amount from lenders. If you are willing to pay the monthly bill for PMI, you may be eligible for loans with a 5% or 10% down payment. Otherwise, there are also FHA loans and other down payment assistance options that you may qualify for.

 

Myth 4: The Down Payment is your Only Cost Upfront.

The down payment on the home will never be the only cost you have to pay up front. There are always added costs for credit reports, inspections, insurance, and more that home buyers need to account for. Additionally, the negotiated deal for the house could include you being responsible for the closing costs.

 

Myth 5: You are out of Luck if you have Bad Credit.

Having good to excellent credit definitely helps when it comes to buying a home. But, even if your credit is not great, you can still be eligible for some financing options. FHA loans can offer low down payments to buyers with bad credit. Be sure to do plenty of research ahead of time though regarding your loan options. Something that might look great at first, might not be great in the long run.


Myth 6: Home Inspections Aren’t Necessary.

A home inspection is ALWAYS a crucial step in the home buying process. Even if you are worried that you might lose out on the house to a buyer that waives the inspection, it is worth the risk. There is far more risk in buying the home as is without knowing any hidden issues with it. You will save a ton of money and time buy spending the money upfront to inspect the home.

 

Myth 7: You Must Offer the Asking Price.

You found your dream house and you don’t want to risk losing it…..so you have to offer the full asking price, right? Although there can be competition when putting an offer on a house, you do not need to offer the asking price. Sellers will often be willing to negotiate with buyers who have awesome credit, a pre-approved loan, and a ready down payment in order to ensure that the house gets sold as soon as possible. You also do not need to offer the full asking price if the home inspection you got exposed some issues with the house. You can negotiate a price based on what the inspection found.

 

Myth 8: You Don’t Need a Realtor.

It is important to work with an Experienced Realtor during your home buying process. Although the internet might make it appear like it is easy to buy a home on your own, there is a lot of valuable information that realtors know that can assist you. We understand the market, know exactly what to look for, have experience negotiating, and so much more. The experience will seem a lot less stressful having someone knowledgeable on your side along the way!

 

Myth 9: Choose A Home Based On Your Current Lifestyle Only.

It is important to recognize what you need in a home immediately as well as in the future. Whether you are planning on having children someday or not, buying a home in a neighborhood with good schools should be on your list of must haves. Research has shown that homes in such neighborhoods have higher resale value, so if you ever consider selling in the future you are setting yourself up for success. Also, consider other lifestyle needs that you might develop over time. If you plan on being in your home for the long haul, make sure that what you will want in 10, 20, or 30 years from now is available in the home and neighborhood that you selected.

 

For more Home Buying Tips and to Search Homes for Sale in the Fox River Valley, give us a call today or visit our website at http://www.therulloteam.com/.  

5 Terms To Help You Close On Your Dream Fox River Valley Home!

by The Rullo Team

If you are in the market for a new Fox River Valley home, we know that the buying process can seem a bit complicated. This is especially true when there are words being used that you don't know how to define! Become a home Buying pro by knowing the definition of 5 important closing terms. Use these simple definitions as a starting off point to understanding the home buying process!

 

1) Down Payment – The down payment requires you to put money up front in order to secure a home loan. In general, mortgage lenders require 3% to 20% of the home value.

 

2) Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) – If you make a down payment that is less than 20% of the price of the home, you will likely have to pay for private mortgage insurance. This insurance protects your lender in case you end up in foreclosure.

 

3) Annual Percentage Rate (APR) – The APR covers all the finances and credit costs you will incur from taking out a loan. These costs include the interest rate, broker fees, points, and other credit charges.

 

4) Closing Costs – Buyers and sellers both pay closing costs based on the agreement reached during price negotiations. These costs includes application fees, property fees, attorney charges, settlement documents, title examination, and title insurance.


5) Loan Estimate (LE) – The LE includes every detail of your loan agreement terms, including the estimated closing costs.



Let us help you close on your very own dream home this fall! Check out our current Homes for Sale . Give the Rullo Team a call today or visit our website at http://www.therulloteam.com/ today!

Get Your Garden Ready For the Post-Summer Cool Down!

by The Rullo Team

As summer winds down, it is the perfect time to get your garden ready for the end of the year. Protect your Fox River Valley garden for the rest of 2019 by following these simple tasks!

 

Water

Your plants and trees will need lots of moisture in their roots to survive the colder months. Be sure to water them well over the next several months to ensure their survival.

Amend Your Soil

Till the soil and add compost to get the soil ready for next year.

Plant Fall Annuals

Keep your garden looking great well into fall by planting annuals that thrive in autumn, such as mums, kale, and pansies.

Add Shrubs and Evergreens

Plant shrubs and evergreens early in Fall to allow their roots to grow before the ground freezes.

Lower Your Lawn Mower

It is important to keep cutting your grass before the winter. Allow the soil to dry out quicker in the spring by keeping its cutting height low.

Clear Rose Beds

Remove fallen debris from roses from the bed since this foliage can cause diseases to thrive and will destroy your garden next year.

Divide Perennials

Rearrange your plants as you divide your perennials.

Remove Weeds

Make sure to take out all the weeds from your garden before you cannot get them out of the frozen ground.

Dig Up Annuals

Remove any dead annuals from your garden.

Save Summer Bulbs

If you loved some of your flowers from this year, dig up the bulbs and save them for next year.

Plant Bulbs

For bulbs that are hardy enough to survive the winter months, plant them at the beginning of fall so you will have beautiful blooms right away in spring.

Feed Your Lawn

Add important nutrients to your lawn so it remains healthy throughout the winter.

Rake & Mulch

Get rid of all fallen leaves from your yard and add mulch to your garden beds.

Protect Plants

Plants that cannot survive the colder temperatures should be protected. After the first freeze, place mulch or other protective coverings over them.

Force Bulbs Indoors

Plant some bulbs indoors so that they bloom early in the year and are ready to transfer to your garden as soon as the ground thaws.

Keep Container Plants Indoors

Make sure to remove pests and dead foliage from container plants and bring them indoors to protect them from the cold.

Empty Hoses and Other Watering Equipment

Be sure to remove all water from your hoses, irrigation systems, fountains, and other watering equipment before storing them in a dry place for the winter.


 

Check The Rullo Team's website for more helpful home maintenance and landscaping tips for every season of the year!

How To Be The Ultimate Open House Host!

by The Rullo Team

Open houses are important events to hold when you are looking to Sell your Fox River Valley home. They allow a buyer to see the home in person and ask any questions that they might need answered in order to move forward with buying the home. It is important for sellers to make sure they are putting their best foot forward during the open house in order to sell their home for top dollar and quickly. If you are looking to sell your home this season, follow these tips for selling success with your open house.

1. Have buyers excited to enter your home by creating Welcoming Entrance. Such simple touches as a nice doormat and potted plants at your front door will show that you put care into your home.

2. Clutter can be distracting and can make counters seem small. Clear Counters to only the essentials in the bathroom and kitchen.

3. Buyers know that someone else currently lives in the home but they need to have the opportunity to picture themselves living in it as well. Before open houses, Put Away Personal Items such as children's artwork or family photos.

4. Allow buyers to see the potential of your home by Setting The Dining Table. Adding place settings to the table showcases the home's potential for dinner parties and other gatherings.

5. Make the buyers feel Right At Home by having light snacks and beverages for them to enjoy during the open house. Place freshly cut flowers in central spots throughout the home to add some color and fragrance.

6. Although you might want to stick around, it is a good idea to Not Be Around for the entire open house. Having the home owner present can make buyers feel less comfortable to ask their agent questions and you want to make sure that they are getting all the information they need to want to buy your home after the open house.

Sell your Fox River Valley home in no time by following these and other Seller Tips! Work with The Rullo Team to sell your home! Visit our Website or give us a call at 630-513-1771 to get started today!

Successfully Use Comparable Sales To Price Your Home!

by The Rullo Team

 

Ready to sell your Fox River Valley home? Congrats! Once you determine you are ready to sell, you need to name your price. You want something that will obviously be profitable for you while also attracting potential buyers. A good way to price your home is with comparable sales. The term comparable sales, or "comps", is used for other homes recently or currently on the market that are similar to your own home. These comps provide you with a good blueprint of your home's value. Check out our helpful tips for you to use comparable sales to price your Fox River Valley home! 

 

Homes That Are Located Nearby: In order to use comparable sales correctly, you need to focus on homes that are located as close to your own home as possible. Look within your subdivision, neighborhood, and school district. However, don't get blinded by their location. Just because a home down the street from you has sold doesn't mean that it's price is relevant for your home. 

 

Homes With Similar Styles: Once you are looking within your own location, focus in on those houses that share similar style characteristics to yours. These characteristics include architectural design, type of construction material, the square footage of the home and size of the lot, the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, etc. 

 

Homes With Similar Amenities and Amenities: Beyond the similarities in style, you want to look for homes that offer the same amenities and recent upgrades as your own since these features affect the value of a home. 

 

Homes That Recently Sold: The housing market is ever changing and prices fluctuate. This means that the price of a home that sold a year ago is no longer relevant for pricing your own home. When using comparable sales to price, never use a sale that occured over 90 days ago. 

 

Listen To Your Realtor: Your experienced real estate agent is an expert in comparable sales. They know the area, understand the current trends in the Fox River Valley market, and have handled many of the recent sales in the area. They will be able to assess the differences between your home and comparable sales to set an appropriate price to sell. 

 

 

 

Find Out The Value Of Your Fox River Valley Home! Find more great Home Selling Tips by following us on FacebookSearch Current Fox River Valley Homes For Sale to find your next dream home!

 

Looking to Buy your dream Fox Valley home? As a buyer, it is important to understand a home’s condition and maintenance. Learn to look past the design and decor elements of the home and recognize the structural “bones” of the house. Doing this will help you avoid potentially dangerous conditions and costly repairs should you end up buying the home. Become a smart buyer and use every opportunity you can to carefully inspect the home that you are interested in buying. Watch out for these warning signs that may be indicative of more serious structural problems within the home!

 

  • Incomplete or Badly Done Repairs/Renovations - Check for workmanship issues or tasks that seem incomplete.
  • Electrical Issues - Check for lights that flicker when on, warm outlets, flash burn signs near sockets and exposed wires.
  • Plumbing Issues - Check for leaky faucets, low water pressure, poor drainage, water stains near bathroom fixtures or on walls, peeling paint, musty or foul smells, and visible mold. 
  • Foundation Issues - Look for cracks in walkways and the driveway, unlevel floors and doorways (often noticeable in doors have large gaps underneath or on top of them), and trees with large roots near the foundation of the house. 
  • Roof Issues - Look out for warped, missing, or cracked shingles, materials that do not match the rest of the roof, and any noticeable wear or tear that indicates damage. 
  • Pest Issues - Check for areas that small rodents or insects could easily enter the house and be on the lookout for any wood damage that could indicate an issue. 

 

 

Being on the lookout for these warning signs allows you to have a more in depth conversation with the home inspector you hire. Work with an Experienced Realtor to help you throughout the process. Give our team a call today or visit our website at http://www.therulloteam.com/ to help you find the perfect home (free of warning signs) for you!

Relocate To One Of The Fox Valley's Top School Districts!

by The Rullo Team


With the 2018-2019 school year recently completed, now is the perfect time to think about where you want your child to attend school next fall! The
Fox River Valley is home to some of the highest ranked school districts within the entire state! Set your child up for success with a quality education by relocating to one of the area's best districts!


 

There are so many excellent school districts in the Fox River Valley area to choose from!

Indian Prairie Community Unit School District 204 | Homes for Sale

Geneva Community Unit School District 304 | Homes for Sale

St. Charles Community Unit School District 303 | Homes for Sale

Batavia Public School District 101 | Homes for Sale

Oswego Community Unit School District 308 | Homes for Sale

 


When it comes to what schools within these districts are the best of the best, you will need to do a little schoolwork on your own! There are several factors to consider when determining the quality of schools. Look beyond test scores. Although this information is helpful, it does not always provide the best indicator of a school's quality. Explore websites such as GreatSchools.org, Niche.com, and U.S. News & World Report for great unbiased data and rankings of local schools. Check out each school's individual website to learn about awards or recognitions received. Do not be afraid to reach out to the schools to ask further questions and request a site visit. Seeing the school in person and meeting with the staff can help you determine whether the school would be the right fit for your child.

 

 

Once you find the perfect school for your children, work with an experienced realtor to find your dream home within the school's boundaries. Give The Rullo Team a call today or visit our website at http://www.therulloteam.com/ to get started today!

Our Hats Off To The Class Of 2019!

by The Rullo Team

Schools out for summer across the Fox River Valley! Before all students head off for summer vacation, it is time to celebrate all of their academic achievements....especially the Class of 2019! These students are our best and brightest and have helped to strengthen the communities that we live in. Show your support for these incredible young people at these upcoming high school graduation ceremonies!


St. Charles East High School

Commencement Ceremony

Sunday, June 2nd | 11:30 am

Northern Illinois University Convocation Center | 1525 West Lincoln Highway, DeKalb


St. Charles North High School

Commencement Ceremony

Sunday, June 2nd | 3:30 pm

Northern Illinois University Convocation Center | 1525 West Lincoln Highway, DeKalb



We would also like to wish the very best to those who recently graduated from Batavia High School, Geneva Community High School, and ALL the other high schools located throughout our area!



Congratulations to the Class of 2019 on all of your achievements! The Rullo Team wishes you GOOD LUCK on all of your future endeavors!  



The school districts located throughout the Fox River Valley are some of the top ranked districts in the entire state! They are dedicated to academic excellence and provide ample opportunities for extra curricular activities. If you are interested in living within one of these amazing school districts, check out our current Homes for Sale. Give our experienced team a call today or visit our website at http://www.therulloteam.com/.

 

Become A Home Buying Pro By Avoiding These Common Mistakes!

by The Rullo Team

Buying a new home can lead to a lot of excitement and anxiety. All of these emotions can lead to mistakes made by Buyers during the process. If you are on the market for your dream Fox River Valley home this summer, avoid making these mistakes and enjoy life in your new home in no time!

Waiting on Financing. Before you even begin the home search, you should get your financing in order. This allows you to know what you can actually afford and limit your search to just those properties that fit within your price range. You don't want to fall in love with a home just to find out there is no way you can make the financing work.


Not Researching Your Lender. Unfortunately, there are bad lenders out there that offer scams. Do your own research but also ask your real estate agent for recommendations. They will only let you know about credible mortgage providers.


Not Getting Pre-Approval. Some home buyers mistake pre-qualified for pre-approval. They are very different. Pre-approval requires you to go through the documentation process and actually gets you an agreement with the lender. The seller must see that you are pre-approved when you submit your offer.


Offering Too Low. We understand that you want to get the home for a great deal but you don't want to risk insulting the seller. Work with your realtor to figure out a fair and competitive price to offer.


Spending Too Much During Escrow. Even if you are pre-approved, the final part of the loan doesn't start until right before closing. At that time, your lender goes through your finances again to make sure that your finances are still in order. If you buy too many big ticket items or add additional lines of credit during this time, you could alter your debt to income ratio so much that you no longer qualify.


Not Having Your Closing Costs In Order. As you budget for the home, make sure to always keep enough for closing costs. You need to have enough cash to cover it otherwise the deal will fall through. Ask your lender what the estimated closing costs are so you can have it ready from the very beginning.


Move into your dream home by avoiding these buyer mistakes. The Rullo Team is here to help you throughout the buying process. Give our team a call today or visit our website at http://www.therulloteam.com/.

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