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Why A Leap Year?

by The Rullo Team


So, you’re most likely working an extra day this year and not getting paid for it!  It’s a leap year.  The strange worldwide calendrical event, where old folks finally celebrate their sweet sixteen, women propose to men and depending where you live, it can bring good or bad luck.  February will have 29 days this Month, but why? Why do we do it?  Why all this confusion of an extra day?  

 It’s all about Astrology:  

 One solar year is 365 and a quarter day long (around 365.242 days). It takes roughly 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, and 45 seconds for the Earth to Orbit the sun. It’s that extra five-or-so hours that are to blame for Leap days. Every four years, an extra day is added to the calendar to compensate for those missing quarters of a day. Since a solar year is 0.242 days longer than the calendar year, and not exactly 0.25, the Julian calendar drifted off by one day every 128 years. The Gregorian calendar fixed this problem by establishing a model which considered every fourth year a leap year. Also, according to Gregorian calculations any year which is divisible by 100 and not by 400 will not be considered a leap year (eg. the year 1900). Experts, however, say there are still tiny discrepancies with this method and our Gregorian system will have to be revisited...in about 10,000 years.  Now that we got the Science stuff out of the way, there are actually a lot of really fascinating facts surrounding leap days/years.  

First let’s look at some folks who took complete advantage of this extra day:

The Month of February originally had 30 days, during the reign of Julius Caesar, but when Caesar Augustus came to power, he wanted August (the month named after him) which had 29 days then, to have 31 days, just like the month of July (named after his predecessor Julius). So, he stole a couple days from February to make the number of days in August similar to that of July. Since then, February has had 28 days with Feb. 29 as the leap day. 

During his final trip to the West Indies, explorer Christopher Columbus used a lunar eclipse on Feb. 29, 1504 to his advantage. After being stranded in Jamaica for months and the indigenous people refusing any more help to him and his crew.  Knowing that a lunar eclipse was due, Columbus gathered the native chiefs on Feb. 29 and told them God will punish them by painting the Moon red and the only way God would withdraw the punishment is if they would co-operate again. Soon, the panicked chiefs agreed and heaved a sigh of relief when the Moon emerged from its shadow. Pretty sly there Chris!

Now, one of the more fun traditions is the tradition of women proposing to men.  This happens on a leap day.  There are many historical explanations; one goes all the way back to the 5th Century, when St. Bridget complained to St. Patrick that women and to wait too long for their men to propose, so St. Patrick announced that a single day in a leap year, the last day of the shortest month would be the day women can propose to men!

In Denmark, the day when a woman can propose to her man is Feb. 24, a tradition that goes back to the time of Caesar. However, if a man refuses a woman’s proposal on that day, Danish men have to give 12 pairs of gloves to the lady and in Finland, if men refuse, they have to give fabric for a skirt.

In a few European countries such as Greece, leap years are considered bad luck and people are advised to avoid certain ceremonies and activities like weddings or buying a house. In Russia, leap years are believed to bring abrupt weather patterns and increased risk of deaths.

The town of Anthony in Texas, USA is known as the ‘Leap Year Capital of the World’ and holds a festival that includes a guided trip to an Aztec Cave, a party at the horse farm and square dancing. In 2016, the festival will run from Feb. 25-29.

Famous records associated with leap days:

St. Petersburg, Florida, became a city on a leap day in 1892 

 Hattie McDaniel became the first African-American to win an Academy Award for her performance in “Gone with the Wind” on a leap day in 1940.


Other Fun Leap Year Facts:

The first ever Playboy Club was opened by Hugh Hefner in Chicago, Illinois on Feb. 29, 1960, a leap day.

 A baby born on a leap day is called a ‘leapling,’ or a ‘leaper.’ The probability of being born on a leap day is one in 1,461, as four years have 1,460 days with one extra day added in the leap year, bringing the total to 1,461. 

According to leap year folklore, beans and peas planted in this year 'grow the wrong way.

 Sir James Wilson (1812-1880), Premier of Tasmania is the only notable person known to have been born and died on Feb. 29.

 The civil code in China, since Oct. 10, 1929, suggests that the legal birthday of a leapling is on Feb. 28. In Hong Kong, March 1 is considered the legal birthday of someone born on a leap day.

 Feb. 29 is also marked as Rare Disease Day. 

 Fox Valley Leap Year Events:

Villa Olivia

Monday, February 29, 7:30 to 11:00 pm.

To celebrate Leap Year the St. Charles Singles Club is hosting a night of live music and dancing.  

Members pay $8; visitors $12

Here In The Fox Valley, we believe it's GREAT LUCK to Buy a Home during Leap Year...especially when Mortgage Rates are at Historic Lows! If you'd like to learn more about the Housing Market here in The Fox Valley, give us a call at 630.513.1771 or visit our website

Home Buying Tips For Fox Valley IL

by The Rullo Team

Forget what the groundhog was predicting, you can tell it’s almost spring by the “For Sale” signs in the yards of Fox Valley Homes!  

It’s shaping up to be a competitive Home Buying season, especially in The Fox Valley.  Inventory is low and demand is high!  So, if you snooze, you lose!  

Lack of preparation is the number one reason people lose access to their dream home.

Here are Tips to keep YOU ahead of your competition:  

Close your laptop!  Get out of the house and look the old fashioned way

Using Real Estate sites to search for your home is the norm.  90% of people search for listings online during their home-buying process.

Starting your search online is a great idea, but don’t get so caught up that you forget there is a world outside too.  Inventory, in most markets is expected to be tight, so you want to get out and look as soon as possible.  Remember when demand outpaces the inventory of homes, buyers need to be ready to move quickly.  So get pre-approved, know what you are looking for and when you find it, BE READY TO MAKE DECISIONS QUICKLY!  

Another thing to remember is that photos online are taken to make the home look it’s absolute best, so it may not accurately represent what you see when you pull up, rather just what the Seller wants you to see.  So, use the internet as a tool, not your whole strategy.  

Some sites let you select certain neighborhoods and then receive alerts when new homes become available, this is the perfect use of the internet, you become alerted and then schedule a time to see the home for yourself.

 Educate Yourself .  Know the Market Values and Market Trends

Rely on your Realtor for this.  The best source of information is a well connected Real Estate Agent.  They’re the expert and have a wealth of information to share with you.  Ask questions and be sure you really understand the bigger picture.  You can also check out sites like Curbed.com for trends in particular areas and to see where new inventory is popping up.  

Everything isn’t always exactly as it appears.  There could be “micro trends” which are little trends unique to a certain area in your region that could affect prices.  Things like, maybe new homes are selling at a premium to older ones or the demand for condos outpaces the demand for single family homes.  These things will affect your price.  Be aware, too, that there could be micro-trends in your region that 

BUY NOW.  Snag A Low Mortgage Rate—Now

Mortgage rates are at historically low numbers, so take advantage of them and BUY your first home or Dream Home while you still can!  Home Buyers are getting a lot more bang for their buck and at payment levels that will be affordable for decades.  Mortgage rates are so low right now that monthly payments are lower than rent in a lot of markets.  

It’s predicted that these low interest rates will stay through the spring.  Home Buyers received another gift recently, when The Federal Housing Authority, which backs loans for borrowers who make low down payments, lowered the annual insurance premium required from 1.35% to just .85%.  It’s estimated that this will save more than 2 million FHA homeowners about $900 a year.  

What this means: It’s a prime time to jump on a home loan. Mortgage rates can be unpredictable—and a decision by the Fed to raise interest rates mid-year, as many economists predict, could cause them to spike.

Build A Home Buying Dream Team…Then Make A Bid

To be a serious contender in the Home Buying game, you need to be organized and ready, especially if a bidding war begins.

You will need a savvy real estate agent obviously, but you’ll also want your lender, inspector and attorney to be ready so you can move fast.  

Complete your mortgage application and get your loan amount determined in advance.  Things move faster today and if you are not 100% pre-approved, you probably won’t get the house.  Some people, the most successful buyers are even going one step further and getting fully approved before purchasing.  Not all lenders offer this, but some do, and if they do, it’s a way to ensure you are the top contender.  And the better known your lender is locally, the more likely you’ll win the confidence of the seller.  Lenders from the Internet can seem sketchy in the eyes of Sellers and their agents.  It’s always best to use someone who is known locally.  

Don't Be Afraid To Sweeten The Deal

So, what if you are stuck in a bidding war with an equally qualified buyer?  How do you win?  

One way is to include an escalation clause, which is an amount that you are willing to pay above a competing bid.  

For example, if you included an escalation clause of $3,000 to your bid of $200,000 and the second offer came in at $205,000, then your bid would get bumped to $208,000. 

You can also consider removing contingency clauses.  Contingencies are terms of a contract that must be met or the buyer or seller can walk away from the deal; home inspection, appraisal and financing contingencies are among the most common.  All of these presents a certain level of risk, so consult with your Realtor and team before removing any.  These can often be removed just by doing due diligence.  For instance, you can remove the financing clause if you get fully approved.  Also, be sure to conduct a pre-inspection prior to making your offer, this way, you won’t have to include an inspection contingency.  

There are also smaller but nice gifts you can use to entice a Seller.  Find out what date the Seller prefers to close, then use that date in your contract.  You can also offer to close as quickly as possible, and offer to accept rent payments from the Seller until their planned move date. Adding these little perks can mean a lot more than you think.  There have been times my seller ultimately went with a lower bid, simply because it had NO CONTINGENCIES. Many Sellers prefer NO RISK as opposed to a few extra bucks.  

Most of this has to do with preparation and knowledge.  Don’t get caught off guard and lose your dream home because you weren’t properly prepared.  This starts with your Realtor.  Find a trusted expert and then work hard with them!

If you're looking for more information or tips on the buying process in The Fox Valley, call The Rullo Team, experts at the forefront of the Real Estate Industry, making your home buying process an enjoyable one.   

Top School Districts In Illinois: Fox Valley

by The Rullo Team

MORE FROM NICHE!

The Fox Valley has been known as a great place to raise a family and one of those reasons is the quality of Schools, which get top nods year after year.  The education ranking and review website Niche just released its K-12 rankings for 2016, including the best public school districts in each state, and guess what?!  5 of them are in the Fox Valley!  Each school received individual grades for its academics, health and safety, teachers, resources and facilities, and extracurricular activities, and other factors.

Below are the Top 50 Illinois School Districts on Niche’s 2016 List. 

39. Oswego CUSD 308Oswego  

4175 ROUTE 71, OSWEGO, IL 60543   Phone: (630) 636-3080

Academics: B+
Health & Safety: C+
Teachers: B+
Resources & Facilities: B
Extracurricular & Activities: A-

For more information on the community of Oswego, the School System and the Homes available, follow this link: Oswego IL  

30. Batavia USD 101Batavia

335 W WILSON ST, BATAVIA IL 60510  Phone: (630)937-8834

Academics: A
Health & Safety: A-
Teachers: A
Resources & Facilities: B
Extracurricular & Activities: B+
For more information on the beautiful community of Batavia, IL, the school system and Homes available, please follow this link: Batavia, IL

201 S 7TH ST, ST CHARLES IL 60174  Phone:(331)228-2000

Academics: A
Health & Safety: A
Teachers: A+
Resources & Facilities: B
Extracurricular & Activities: A
For more information on the lovely community of St. Charles, IL, the school system and Homes available, please follow this link: St.Charles, IL

227 N 4TH ST,GENEVA IL 60134  Phone:  (630)463-3000

Academics: A+
Health & Safety: A
Teachers: A+
Resources & Facilities: B+
Extracurricular & Activities: A
For more information on the fantastic community of Geneva, IL, the school system and Homes available, please follow this link: Geneva, IL

7. Indian Prairie CUSD 204 | Aurora

780 SHORELINE DR, AURORA IL 60504  Phone: (630)375-3000

Academics: A+
Health & Safety: A
Teachers: A+
Resources & Facilities: A
Extracurricular & Activities: A

 

For more information on the incredible community of Aurora, IL, the school system and Homes available, please follow this link: Aurora, IL
If you're interested in Buying, Selling or Investing in Real Estate in the Fox Valley, give The Rullo Team a call, or stop in our office. You can also visit our website to check out our communities and Homes that are available at this time.

St. Charles IL Restaurant Week 2016!

by The Rullo Team

If you have been contemplating dining at one St. Charles, IL many delicious restaurants this month, or have been putting off a long overdue date night, you are in luck--- It’s Restaurant Week February 22-26th!

Over 30 restaurants are participating this year, and this list covers almost every single cuisine imaginable. Included are restaurants such as Rox City Grill, Pub 222, Charlie Fox’s Pizzeria & Eatery, Francesca's by the River, Colonial Cafe & Ice Cream, E&S Fish Company, El Puente, and many more! For the week of February 22-26th you will receive 20% off your meal! Diners will be able to save some money….or get that extra nice bottle of wine you might not have chosen before!

Make sure to visit restaurant week website to to see the full list of participating restaurants. We've included the Restaurant Week coupon below. All you need to do is print and take it with you to receive your 20% off your meal!

Bon Appetit!

Make sure to visit our website, Facebook and Google+ pages for more fantastic Fox Valley upcoming events! It's a terrific time of year in the Fox Valley...full of family fun, events, festivals and more.

If you're looking to Buy, Sell or Invest in Real Estate in the Fox Valley Communities, give one of our experienced team members a call. We're always here to help in any way we can! 

DOWN PAYMENTS: FOX VALLEY IL

by The Rullo Team

With a booming economy and comfortably plump market in the Fox Valley IL, there are many more first time homebuyers flooding the market. So I thought it fitting to start a few blogs for those less familiar with how buying a home works, I mean, lets face it, even if you’ve been buying homes for 20 years, the process doesn't get less confusing.  So, lets start at the beginning; naturally, the Down Payment.

Let’s discuss what a Down Payment IS and IS NOT.

Definition of Down Payment

For a home buyer, the Down Payment, from here on out referred to as the DP, IS the sale price minus the mortgage loan amount. It IS NOT the same as the buyer’s cash outlay (the two are often confused). They are different by the amount of settlement costs charged to the buyer. 

For example, if the price is $100,000, the settlement costs $5,000 and the buyer has cash of $30,000, the amount available for down payment is only $25,000. 

Thus why many home buyers pay a higher interest rate in exchange for a lender rebate that will cover some or all of the settlement costs.

The DP IS NOT the same as the owner’s equity, except on the day of the purchase. Owner equity is what the owner could potentially net from selling the property. Where as the down payment is a one-time measure as of the purchase date, owner equity changes month by month. It will rise above the down payment as the mortgage loan balance is paid down and as the market value of the house rises, due either to property improvements or to market changes. AND obviously the owner equity could also decline if house prices fall…remember 2008? 

Why are down payments necessary?  

Basically to protect the lender.  You risk losing your down payment if your home ends up in foreclosure, so it's a way to make sure you make your monthly payment obligations.  

Minimum down payments

Most mortgage lenders require a down payment of at least 3 percent. FHA loans (mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration) require a down payment of at least 3.5 percent. Depending on your credit history, the type of dwelling and your reason for buying, the minimum down payment could be 5 percent, 10 percent, 20 percent or more.  This is why it makes sense to shop around for a mortgage.  Use your Real Estate Agent as a resource.  They will be able to help you find a few different mortgage options.  

Mortgage Insurance

When you make a down payment of less than 20 percent, your only option is to also buy mortgage insurance. There are two main types:

Private Mortgage Insurance (often called PMI), is paid to an insurance company. You will pay what are called annual premiums, which you will most likely pay monthly and most insurers also offer the option of an "upfront premium", in which you make a big payment at the beginning of the loan.

FHA insurance is paid to the federal government. When you get an FHA-insured mortgage, you will pay an upfront premium AND monthly premium payments.

Additional Fees

In many cases, lenders charge fees for down payments of less than 20 percent. Those fees will be on top of mortgage insurance premiums. Usually, the smaller the down payment, the higher the fee.  These fees will be paid at closing, FYI.  Sometimes the lender will charge a higher interest rate instead of fees.  

Options For Down Payments:

Appraised Value VS Sale Price

A big questions I get, is whether in the case where the appraised value is higher than the sale price, the difference can be counted as part of the down payment? From the lender’s perspective, the answer is “no”.  The property value used in determining the down payment is the sale price or appraised value, whichever is lower. The one and only exception to this is when the seller provides a gift of equity to the buyer (usually a family member). In these cases, the lender acknowledges that the house is being priced below market and will accept the appraisal as the value. In most of these cases, Lenders will require two appraisals and then they will take the lower of the two. 

Land as the Down Payment

Another big question is if land purchased as part of a plan to construct a new home can be used as down payment? The answer is “yes” actually. However, the land is then valued based on how long it has been held. If the owner has held the land for a long time, the lender will appraise the completed house on the lot and the difference between the appraisal and the cost of construction will then be viewed as the down payment.

So, if a builder charges $160,000 for the house and the appraisal comes in at $200,000, the land is assumed to be worth $40,000. A loan of $160,000 in this case would have a down payment of 20%.

However, if the land was purchased recently, the lender will NOT value it for more than its purchase price. If the price was only $30,000, for example, the lender will value it at $30,000, and the down payment will only be 15.8%.

Down Payment and Mortgage Insurance

From the borrower’s perspective, a larger down payment means a lower mortgage insurance premium. For example, a home purchaser with a good credit score who puts 3% down on a conventional loan will pay a monthly mortgage insurance premium about twice as large as the premium on an otherwise identical loan with 5% down, and 4 times as large as the premium on an otherwise identical 15% loan with 20% down.

I know, still a bit confusing, but that’s why we’re here, this is what we do!  If you need help navigating the murky waters of first time home buying, give The Rullo Team a call, we'd be happy to help you get into your first Fox Valley home.  The best way to buy a home will always be to find a good Realtor you trust and then let them do all the hard work and remember don’t be afraid to ask questions if you need things clarified.  If your Agent doesn’t encourage you to ask questions…find another Agent.  

Not ready to talk to an agent yet?  Then check out some of the FREE Home Buyer Tools we offer. 

Geneva IL It's a GREAT Time to SELL Your Home!

by The Rullo Team

 

As we've been talking about for several weeks now, the Spring Market has SPRUNG! Albeit a bit earlier than normal, don't be fooled by the white fluffy stuff on the ground, if you're considering SELLING your Geneva, IL Home in 2016, the time is NOW!

Why are we telling you this? It's simply;

  • Inventory of Homes is Extremely Low Right NOW 
  • Buyer Demand is High
  • Competition it Low
  • Home Values have Risen
  • Home Prices are higher than they've been in 5 Years!
  • Interest Rates are Still LOW...but they ARE NOT GOING TO STAY THERE!

Right now in Geneva IL, ONLY 4 area's have 6 months of Home Inventory (considered a healthy, average level of homes for sale) they are:

 

 

ALL other area's within Geneva are between >6 Months to 0 Zero Inventory!!!  Meaning there are not enough homes on the market to sustain even 1 month in several cases! Home Sellers, this is a HUGE SELLERS MARKET OPPORTUNITY!! If you are living in Randall Square, Geneva East, Pepper Valley, Sunset Meadows and Fisher Farms and are thinking of SELLING your HOME, give one of our EXPERIENCED TEAM MEMBERS A CALL.

We'll help you get your home ready for the market so that it can garner top dollar while still being sold in the minimum number of days.
If you'd like to find out what your GENEVA HOME IS WORTH in this fantastic new market, visit this link and receive a FREE, No Obligation Home Value Report Instantly! FREE HOME VALUE REPORT 
Then give us a call and we'll strategize on putting a SOLD sign in your yard!
Don't miss this AMAZING opportunity! Whether BUYING, SELLING or INVESTING in REAL ESTATE IN THE FOX VALLEY.....The Rullo Team can help.  The Right Realtor ALWAYS Makes the Difference!

Upcoming Events For Fox Valley IL

by The Rullo Team

February 12, 13, 14 At Pheasant Run Resort, St. Charles IL

10:00 AM-5:00 PM

Click Here for $1.00 OFF Admission

Celebrate the Spirit of Home Transformation! 

Update, renovate and revitalize your home surroundings with 300 award-winning contractors, designers, select remodelers, leading brands and creative craftsmen. Explore the latest in building, remodeling, kitchens, baths, basements, additions, landscaping, architecture, interior designs, exteriors, flooring and more. Enjoy daily workshops and attractions for ideas, information and inspiration to tackle projects with ease. A portion of event proceeds benefits The Habitat for Humanity/ReStore of Northern Fox Valley.


Valentine's Day Farm Dinner February 13 at 6 PM Heritage Prairie Farm

2N308 Brundige Rd.
Elburn, IL 60119

Deepen your connection to Heritage Prairie Farm as you cozy up to your sweetheart for a romantic Valentine's Day Farm Dinner. From rack of lamb to lobster cappellacci, every dish guarantees a perfect Valentine's day dinner. Tickets are $100 (including tax, gratuity, beer, wine).


Learn to raise Chickens at Garfield Farm February 13 at 1 PM
3N016 Garfield Road
Campton Hills, IL 60175

Interested in having a small flock of backyard chickens but don't know where to start? Join our staff members for an introduction to raising chickens from incubation to egg collection.

Reservations preferred. $6.



Kane County Sportsman's Show held February 14th form 7:30 AM-1:30 PM in the heated Kane County Fairgrounds buildings west of St. Charles, IL at 525 S. Randall Road between Route 64 (North Ave.) and Route 38 (Roosevelt 

A show for the whole family, with over 250 vendors selling firearms and all related items; Fishing Tackle, Military, Air Guns, Muzzle Loading, Indian Artifacts, Swords, Gun Parts, Knives, Reloading Components, Books, Indian Jewelry, Hunting Gear, Gun Safes and Display Cases. Clothing and more.  

FREE PARKING and ONLY 5$ Admission 

 



Fly Away at Norris Cultural Arts Center 

It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s a kite. It’s anything that flies or depicts flying. Open to any medium. Let your imagination soar!

If you haven't been over to see the work of "Fly Away" yet, head over to the center anytime from 11 AM-4:30 PM to see some inspired work from various mediums.  All centering on the theme Fly Away.  The exhibit will close February 28th with a reception honoring the artists, so if you wait till the last minute you'll get to meet some of the creators of this fine work.   

 


Best Chocolate Candy Stores in the Kane County!

by The Rullo Team

Who's the Best Chocolatier in the Fox Valley? That's the #1 question on the minds of all romantics for this upcoming Valentines Day!

We're all searching for the Best Chocolate out there for our loved one and hoping to find the most delectable concoction of the perfect chocolate combinations from our local chocolatier's. So where do we go? Who do we trust to truly have the most mouthwatering, velvety smooth chocolate in Kane County? According to our research, and tastebuds over the years, we've compiled a list of Fox Valley's best!

We hope you agree...If not, make sure to comment here and on our Facebook Page. We always want to know what YOU think, and your experiences with,  the wonderful businesses & shops here in the Fox Valley. 

1. Graham’s Chocolate

302 S 3rd St

Geneva, IL 60134

Phone number (630) 232-6655

www.grahamschocolate.com

 

 

 

2. Le Chocolat du Bouchard

127-129 S Washington St

Naperville, IL 60540

(630) 355-5720

www.lechocolatdubou­chard.com

3. Naper Nuts & Sweets

10 W Jefferson Ave

Naperville, IL 60540

Phone number (630) 355-5330

www.napernutsandsweets.com

 

 

4. Rocket Fizz

303 W Main St

St. Charles, IL 60174

Phone number (630) 797-5889

www.rocketfizz.com

5. The Cocoa Cabana Gourmet

651 S 8th St

West Dundee, IL 60118

Phone number (847) 851-8775

www.thecocoacabana.com

6.Morkes Chocolates

1890 N Rand Rd

Palatine, IL 60074

Phone number (847) 359-3454

www.morkeschocolates.com

 

 

7. All Chocolate Kitchen

33 S 3rd St

Geneva, IL 60134

(630) 232-2395

www.allchocolatekitchen.com/

8. Kilwins Chocolates & Ice Cream

407 S 3rd St

Geneva, IL 60134

(630) 232-7122

www.kilwins.com/geneva

 

9. Chicago Turtle Factory

10 S Riverside Ave

St. Charles, IL 60174

Phone number (630) 584-2977

 

10. Riverside Chocolate Factory

2102 W Rt 120

McHenry, IL 60051

(815) 344-6040

www.riversidechocolatefactory.com

Stay tuned for more Valentine Day events, party ideas, drink recipes and more! 

Early Spring For The Fox Valley IL

by The Rullo Team

Take of your jackets, you won’t need them.  The most famous Weatherman of all, Punxsutawney Phil has confirmed an early spring for all, and just to verify, a Groundhog in Canada has reported the same, and if you’re still not convinced, it seems Groundhogs everywhere concur with Phil, including General Beau Lee in Georgia and Staten Island Chuck in New York.  Notice the repetition here (which is actually the collective noun for groundhogs)?  Ahh, I get it now Harold.

Now, not everyone agrees with Phil.  For the Northeast and mid-Atlantic, AccuWeathermeteorologists are concerned for just the opposite, predicting cold air and possibly snow, that could linger into March.  However, a quick warmup is predicted, allowing milder air to arrive faster than it has in the past two years for both regions.

Big cities around the Great Lakes will have nice weather for an early planting season in May, with milder temperatures and frequent sunshine expected.  There you have it, the weather forecast from two very different kind of Weathermen.

Now For the most Famous Groundhog's Day of all:


The bizarre tradition of Groundhog Day originated from an ancient celebration of the midway point between the winter solstice and the spring equinox (the day right in the middle of astronomical winter.) According to the ancient superstition, sunny skies mean a stormy and cold second half of winter while cloudy skies indicate an early arrival of warm weather.  This evolved in Germany where a Badger or a Sacred Bear was the predictor and evolved again with German Immigrants in the 18th and 19th Century.  It is similar to the Celtic Holiday Imbolc, which is celebrated on Feb. 2nd and also includes weather predictions.

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