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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/.

Defining 5 Important Closing Terms

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! Check out our current Homes for Sale . Give the Rullo Team a call today or visit our website at http://www.therulloteam.com/ today!

Budget For These Home Maintenance Tasks When You Buy!

by The Rullo Team


There are some costs that homeowners know the budget for when buying their
Fox River Valley home. These include down payment, closing costs, and moving expenses. But, what about home maintenance? Just because the home inspection came up squeaky clean doesn’t mean that you don’t need to make any repairs or changes to the home.

 

In fact, the first year of ownership tends to be the most expensive, as you fill the home with new furniture and appliances, add personal touches, and complete those repairs that you find are needed. It can be hard to know exactly how much you need for home maintenance as you put together your budget for buying a new home.

 

Here are some immediate home maintenance costs that you should set aside money for:

 

  1. New Locks - You have no way of knowing who has a key to your new home. Be sure to install new locks on every exterior door.

  2. Fire Extinguisher - For the safety of you and your family, your home should have at least one fire extinguisher. If there isn’t one left at the property, purchase one for your kitchen.

  3. Chimney Sweep - It may have been years since the fireplace and chimney in your new home were properly cleaned. Before using it, be sure to hire a professional to come in and clean everything out of it.

  4. HVAC Maintenance - While the HVAC system might seem to be running properly, you can’t be certain when the last time it was maintained professionally. Have someone come inspect it and make any necessary repairs as soon as you move in to avoid pricey repairs in the future.

  5. Trimming Trees - The trees outside were not part of your home inspection and some could cause issues in the future, especially if they are older. Be sure to have the trees trims to avoid any potential damage to your home.

 

While these are the key maintenance areas to focus on upon moving in, you should not stop budgeting for home maintenance. Be sure to always keep some savings aside for issues that may arise with your home. A general rule of thumb is to budget for 1% of your home’s purchase cost every year for emergencies and repairs. Note, if your home is more than 10 years old, you might want to budget for more.


Follow us on Facebook and check out our Website for more helpful home maintenance and budgeting tips throughout the year.

 

Enjoy Life In The Fox River Valley On Two Wheels!

by The Rullo Team

National Bike Month is right around the corner! But, that doesn't mean you need to wait to hop on those 2 wheels! Now is the perfect time of year to leave the car at home and explore our beautiful communities on your bike. Biking helps protect the environment and promotes healthy living! The stunning natural environment of the Fox River Valley along with the bike-friendly cities make it the perfect place for cycling enthusiasts. There are hundreds of miles of bike trails for you to explore. So strap on that helmet, pump up those tires, and enjoy biking in the Fox River Valley!


 

Fox River Trail

 

 

Bike along 30 miles of banks of the Fox River. This great trail provides access to some of your favorite Kane County natural spots and recreational facilities.

 

Great Western Trail

Get away from it all along this quiet, natural oasis. The trail is approximately 17 miles long. When it isn't used for biking in the summer, snowmobilers enjoy the route after heavy snowfalls.

 

Illinois Prairie Path

Enjoy 62 miles of biking trails through thousand-year-old prairie lands! Fun fact: the IPP was the country's first successful rail-to-trail conversion!

 

Virgil L. Gilman Trail

Explore wetlands and marvel at the local environment and wildlife on this beautiful 12-mile trail. It features a beautiful, historic truss bridge that crosses the Fox River.

 


Want to discover even more trails? There are many smaller ones located throughout the parks in our area. Click on the links below to explore all the trails just waiting for you to explore!

St. Charles Bike Trails Map

Geneva Bike Trails Map

Batavia Bike Trails Map   

 


The amazing recreational facilities found throughout the Fox River Valley are just one of the many reasons it is a great area to call home. Live in one of these beautiful bike friendly communities! If you are interested in buying your dream home in the area, give The Rullo Team
a call today or visit our website at http://www.therulloteam.com/.

Fox River Valley School Districts Are Top Of Their Class!

by The Rullo Team


Report cards for our public school districts are in! Did our
Fox River Valley schools make the grade?! Educational Review and Ranking website Niche recently released their list of the top public school districts in Illinois! And, our local school districts were once again at the top of their class! Out of the 408 school districts examined, 5 Fox River Valley Districts ranked in the TOP 30 in the state!

 

#5 Indian Prairie Community Unit School District 204 | Aurora

 

 

Overall

A+

Academics

A

Teachers

A+

Administration

A+

College Prep

A+

Sports

A+

Clubs & Activities

A+

Health & Safety

A

Resources & Facilities

A-

Food

A

Diversity

A



 

Indian Prairie Community Unit School District was ranked ninth in the state as best district for athletes and 21st for best teachers!

Search all homes for sale in the Indian Prairie Community Unit School District

#13 Geneva Community Unit School District 304 | Geneva

 

 

Overall

A

Academics

A

Teachers

A+

Administration

A

College Prep

A+

Sports

A+

Clubs & Activities

A+

Health & Safety

A+

Resources & Facilities

B+

Food

A

Diversity

C-



 

Geneva Community Unit School District was ranked in the top 18 in the state for the best teachers, best districts for athletes, and safest.

Search all homes for sale in the Geneva Community Unit School District


 

#17 St. Charles Community Unit School District 303 | St. Charles  

 

 

Overall

A

Academics

A

Teachers

A

Administration

A

College Prep

A+

Sports

A+

Clubs & Activities

A+

Health & Safety

A+

Resources & Facilities

B+

Food

A-

Diversity

B-



 

St. Charles Community Unit School District was ranked in the top 29 in the state for best districts for athletes and safest districts.

Search all homes for sale in the St. Charles Community Unit School District


 

#24 Batavia Public School District 101 | Batavia

 

 

Overall

A-

Academics

A-

Teachers

A

Administration

B

College Prep

A+

Sports

A+

Clubs & Activities

A

Health & Safety

A+

Resources & Facilities

B

Food

A

Diversity

B-



 

Batavia Public School District was ranked in the top 30 in the state for best best districts for athletes and safest districts.

Search all homes for sale in the Batavia Public School District


#30 Oswego Community Unit School District 308 | Oswego

 

 

Overall

A-

Academics

B+

Teachers

B+

Administration

B-

College Prep

A

Sports

A

Clubs & Activities

A

Health & Safety

A-

Resources & Facilities

B-

Food

B-

Diversity

A-



 

Oswego Community Unit School District was ranked the 20th best school district for athletes in the state.

Search all homes for sale in the Oswego Community Unit School District

Education is a top priority for the school districts located in the Fox River Valley! If you are interested in Buying a home within one of these great public school districts, give the Rullo Team a call today or visit our website at http://www.therulloteam.com/.

Celebrate Earth Day in the Beautiful Fox River Valley!

by The Rullo Team

Earth Day is Monday, April 22nd!!! The Fox River Valley is known for its incredible natural environment and residents in our communities take great pride in all the gifts that Mother Earth has bestowed upon our area. Celebrate the great outdoors and protect our environment for this and future generations during Earth Day! There are fantastic community events taking place in honor of the day. Gather your family and join your neighbors at these Earth Day celebrations throughout the Fox River Valley.


Earth Day Tree Planting

Date: Sunday, April 20th

Time: 10:00 am - 1:00 pm

Location: Big Rock Forest Preserve (46W072 Jericho Road, Big Rock)

Help make a difference this Earth Day by helping the Forest Preserve District of Kane County plant hundreds of trees in nearby Big Rock. This is a great way to get active and help Mother Earth. This is a FREE volunteer opportunity. There is no need to register for any group less than 10 individuals. For larger groups, please call (630) 762-2741 or email volunteer@kaneforest.com to register.


Earth Day Open House  

Date: Sunday, April 20th

Time: 12:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Location: LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve (37W700 Dean Street, St. Charles)

Head to the Creek Bend Nature Center for this extra special FREE celebration. Make nature themed crafts and complete a scavenger hunt in the nature center. Take a naturalist-guided hike around the preserve from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm.


Earth Day Celebration

Date: Saturday, April 27th

Time: 11:00 am - 2:00 pm

Location: Montessori Academy (595 South River Street, Batavia)

This 2nd annual celebration has something for the whole family! Discover a wide variety of eco-friendly vendors, listen to live music by Make it a Double and Finn Atwood, dine on delicious food, win incredible prizes in the silent auction, and more. Your children will love the arts & crafts, bounce house, games, salad making station, henna designs, and so much more. Be sure to meet the adoptable pets and onsite wildlife! Admission for this family fun celebration is $25 per person with children under 13 years old FREE! Purchase tickets HERE!


Elgin's Annual Earth Day Celebration

Date: Saturday, April 7th

Time: 12:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Location: Hawthorne Hill Nature Center (28 Brookside Drive, Elgin)

This FREE, family-friendly event has something for everyone. Learn something new about native plants, local waterways, sustainable energy, and area food production. Enjoy live entertainment, healthy snacks, seed planting, children’s activities, arts & crafts, and so much more during this fun filled afternoon.


Happy Earth Day from The Rullo Team! Buy your dream home in one of our eco-friendly communities! Give us a call today or visit our website at http://www.therulloteam.com/ to get started!

Best Home Maintenance Tasks To Tackle This Spring!

by The Rullo Team

Give your Fox River Valley home some TLC this spring to have it in tip top shape for the summer. These projects for inside and outside of your home will help spruce it up for you and your family and keep you comfortable and happy throughout the year. Here are our top home maintenance tasks to tackle this spring!

1. Touch Up Exterior Paint - Boost your home's exterior appearance by touching up the paint. If you do not have any exterior paint on hand and need help matching the color, ask a professional to come out to help you find the perfect match.

 

2. Wash Windows - Be able to see the beautiful scenery of your landscaping by washing the outside of your windows. You will get best results by scrubbing with a bucked of hot soapy water.

3. Clean Window Screens - Window screens also need to be washed at this time. Gently scrub them with the same mixture. If they are too covered in dirt and grime, it is a great time to replace them.

4. Clean Exterior of House - This might be the most difficult maintenance task on our list but it is also vitally important. The warmer weather gives you the opportunity to wash the outside of your home and, after our winter, it is a good idea. Do a soft washing to update your curb appeal and extend your home's lifespan.

 

5. Reverse Ceiling Fans - Change your ceiling fans to spin counter-clockwise so that a breeze is created throughout the home.

6. Clean A/C Filter - Keep your family cool all summer long by cleaning the air conditioner filter. Wash with warm water or vacuum cleaner if your system does not have a self-cleaning function. Remember that this task should be done frequently while your air conditioner is in continual use.

7. Remove A/C Fan - After dealing with the A/C filter, now is a good time to dust off the fan. Remove it, clean it, and return it to its rightful place when done.

8. Check Furnace Filter - Your furnace has also been accumulating dust. Remove the filter and give it a thorough washing if the filter is a reusable one. If it is not, be sure to replace it with a new filter.

9. Maintain Washing Machine - Give your washing maching some care so your clothes continue to come out clean. Remove soil buildup from the seal around the door.

10. Inspect Driveway and Walkways - Driveways and walkways take a beating throughout the winter. Check for cracks and weeds and handle those issues as they are found. Afterward, it is a good idea to pressure wash these areas.

11. Clean Baseboards - It's a great time to work on those areas of the house that often get overlooked and that includes the baseboards. Give them a cleaning with a damp cloth to remove built up dust and dirt.

12. Clean Garbage Disposal and Dishwasher - Just like the laundry machine, now is a good time to clean the garbage disposal and diswasher. Refresh both by using vinegar. This will help remove food odors that have been building up.

13. Inspect Hoses - Look for cracks, wear and tear, or any signs of leaks in the hoses located around your house (i.e. dishwasher, refrigerator, washing machine, toilets, etc.). Replace as necessary.

14. Inspect Attic and Basement - Check both of these spaces for water leakage, mold and mildew, and pests. Handle any issues that you might discover right away.

15. Declutter - Get rid of those items that you really do not need around the house by hosting a rummage sale or donating them. If you discover that you have a lot of items to simply toss, consider renting a dumpster so you can do a giant purge at once and be done with it.

 

 

Check The Rullo Team's website and follow us on Facebook for more helpful home maintenance tips throughout the year!


 

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