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2016 Brush Pickup Schedule

by The Rullo Team

Brush Pick-Up Schedule - 2016

 

CITY OF ST. CHARLES - 2016 Brush Pickup Schedule

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

East Side                              West Side

April 18                                 April 25

May 16                                  May 23

June 20                                 June27

July 18                                  July25

August 15                              August 22

September 19                        September 26

October 17                            October 24

*November: No Pick Up

CITY OF GENEVA  - 2016 Brush Program

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

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

West Side                            East Side

April 4                                   April 11

May 2                                    May 9

June 6                                   June 13

July 4*                                  July 11

August 1                                August 8

September 5*                        September 12

October 3                              October 10

November 7                           November 14

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

CITY OF BATAVIA - 2016 Brush Collection Schedule 

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

East Side                              West Side

May 9                                    May 16

June 13                                 June 20

July 11                                  July 18

August 8                                August 15

September 12                        September 19

October 10                            October 17

              November 28 - Citywide

How to Prepare Brush/Limbs

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


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

It's Almost Time For Planting, But Don't Plant Yet

by The Rullo Team

Ok, it’s been a weird spring; sunny and beautiful one day and the next snow, but here in The Fox Valley IL, we’re used to it and Summer is right around the corner, we promise. 

Your plants are no doubt confused; do they wake from winter slumber or wait? If they wake up, they’re usually damaged with a late freeze.   So, wait just a little longer before planting those seedlings.  There is plenty to do in the meantime.  

Check Your Tools

Chances are your tools were packed away hastily in the fall, so take this opportunity and use it for a little maintenance.

  •  Get your gas-powered equipment a tune-up: Sharpen the mower blades, change the spark plugs, replace the fuel, get some new oil, and double check to make sure everything is still working properly. 
  •  Sharpen and oil hand equipment: Sand any rust with a bit of steel wool, use a sharpening stone to sharpen the edge of the blades, and then coat the blades and moving parts with a light penetrating oil. (Local hardware stores usually offer these services as well). 
  •  Repair Digging tools: Did you break the handle on a shovel last year?  If it’s a quality tool, it’s worth replacing the handle, rather than throwing it out and buying a new one. Again, scrub off the rust and dirt and then spray with a penetrating oil to fight rust this season. 
EXTRA:
Soak your rusted tools in a bucket of white vinegar for fifteen minutes.  Remove and wipe dry.  Soak for an additional 15-30 minutes, remove and then brush with your steel wool.  Repeat until all rust is removed.  After rust is removed, dry completely and rub with linseed or mineral oil.  After this dries, put a little penetrating and your tools will be primed and ready for work.  


Prepare The Yard

Winter has a special way of making your yard look like a dirty post apocalyptic movie set, sticks and debris scattered, dead leaves andgrass everywhere, maybe some landmines from the neighbors dog.  So before you get to planting, you’ll need to do some clean-up and a bit of TLC.  Spring flowers won’t hide everything.

  •  Rake: Rake all of the dead leaves and add them to your compose pile. Collect all the sticks and kick em to the curb for pick up. 
    Rake up all of your old mulch and add it to the leaves in the compost pile.  Spread a ½-inch layer of finished compost over all the bare soil in your beds to replace lost nutrients.
  •  Time To Primp: Pull out your annuals that died over the winter and, guess what?…yup put them in the compost pile! Any perennials and ornamental grasses that weren’t cut back in fall should now be cut to about 4 inches tall to make way for new growth; saw off all broken branches to the larger branch they’re attached to, make sure to leave a smooth cut rather than a little stub; prune all trees, shrubs, and vines to remove dead wood and if you didn’t get to it over the winter, now is your last chance to prune fruit trees, grape vines and other food plants. 
  •  Finishing Touches: Sculpt your flower beds with an edging tool to obtain clean, crisp lines and keep lawn grass from invading your beds.  Cut early spring blooms to make way for better ones.   

 

 

Prepare Your Veggie Beds

When the soil in your vegetable garden is finally dry enough to not squish when you step on it, it’s time to start laying the groundwork.

  •  Clean: Remove any dead leftovers that didn’t survive the winter and toss them into your growing compost pile; if you planted cover crops in the fall, mow them and then let the stems dry out for a couple weeks before tilling the debris; if you mulched your beds in the fall, rake off the mulch and add it to the compost pile.
  •  Add More Compost: Spread a new layer of compost on your beds—1 to 2 inches is best, and till; add extra nutrients like lime (for acidic soils), sulfur (for basic soils), bone meal (for phosphorus), greensand (for potassium), and kelp meal (for micronutrients), then till in the compost and  extras but only once the soil is dry enough to crumble when you grab a handful, then rake the beds into smooth, ready-to-plant mounds.
  •  Sort Your Seeds: Pick out your seeds, sort and then get some started indoors!



Thanks Modern Farmer for the great Gardening information!


Sell Your Fox Valley Home In Record Time This Spring

by The Rullo Team


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

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

There are three main ingredients in a quick home sale: 

1) It needs to show well 

2) It needs to be marketed well

3) It needs to be priced correctly. 

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

Rent A Storage Unit

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

Staging/Photography

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

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

Find The Right Real Estate Agent

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

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

Do Some Work Yourself

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

Depersonalize

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

 

Upgrades

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

Lighten Up

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

Curb Appeal

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

Offer incentives

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

Know The Facts

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

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

Check out Trulia, a Great Real Estate Resource.

The Preservation Walk: Geneva IL Spring 2016

by The Rullo Team

The Preservation Walk Spring 2016
Geneva IL a picture postcard town, is full of history and thanks to the efforts of many people over the years, much of that rich history is preserved.  Now that it's Preservation Month, we encourage you to go out and explore the exquisite arhictecture and crafstmanship of the gorgeous historic downtown Geneva, IL,  with a self-guided walking tour! We've included the Maps of the sites for your convenience.  Click on a number in the map for a photograph and description of the property. These addresses and descriptions are also below.  Posters will be placed on the historic buildings, or as near to them as possible, for easy identification. It's a fantastic way to learn about the fabulous Geneva community and experience some of the great history of our town. Google Earth can be a great resource as well, for those who can't easily embark on a walking tour, simply search the address in google earth and explore the property on your computer!  More Info at City Of Geneva 

Featured Properties:

1. The Little Traveler - 404 S. Third Street

 Moore - Raftery House

Geneva banker A.B. Moore built this house in 1864. It was purchased in 1918 by Mrs. Edmond (Kate) Raftery, who conceived the idea of marketing lovely things from her gracious home. The enterprise got its name, “The Little Traveler”, from the fact that her first wares were brought to her by friends who traveled abroad. The shop has grown considerably from the original Italianate Victorian residence (which now serves as the center section of the shop) to thirty-six rooms of treasures.

2. Dodson Place - 500 S. Third Street

 Dodson House

The Dodson Mansion, named “Fieldstone” by its original owner, Benjamin Dodson, was completed in 1891. The integration of the Shingle and Romanesque styles of architecture make it a unique and most impressive building. In 1925 it became the entrance to the newly constructed Community Hospital. After the hospital was moved to Randall Rd. in 1986 the Dodson House was restored and became a part of the Dodson Place commercial complex.

3. The Paper Merchant - 328 S. Third Street

Loveday House

Built in 1869 for Chicago lawyer Charles W. F. Smith, this Gothic Revival style house brought $5,000 when Smith sold it to William Loveday in 1870.  It was a very fashionable house and conforms to the Gothic Revival ideal of “Picturesqueness”.Characterized by scrolled ornaments and lacy "gingerbread" trim, these small cottages are often calledCarpenter Gothic. Typical of the style are the steeply pitched roof, the lacy bargeboards and windows with pointed arches

4. Wells House Shops - 220 S. Third Street

Charles B Wells House

Built as the home of influential attorney C. B. Wells (c. 1850) it remains one of Geneva’s most distinguished houses. A later owner, Dr. Raymond Scott, founded Colonial Hospital here in 1900. The north wing was added to the hospital in 1909. Colonial Hospital served Geneva and surrounding towns until 1925, when Community Hospital (now Dodson Place) was established.

5. Past Basket Design - 202 S. Third Street

Pindar Ward House

This house was built in 1850 by carpenter John Rudolph Schmoldt as his own home. It was built in a plain vernacular style but in the 1870s, after its purchase by County Clerk Pindar Ward the house was remodeled, as were many early houses at that time. It was ‘updated’ with Victorian trim, new windows, eave brackets, and a fashionable veranda.

6. Kane County Court House - 100 S. Third Street

 Kane County Court House

The Kane County Courthouse is actually the fifth building in Geneva to serve as the County Seat Court. Dedicated in 1892, this Neo-Romanesque masterpiece was widely considered to be one of the most impressive government buildings in the Mid-West. Saved from demolition and renovated in 1977 it now serves as a civil court building. It’s central rotunda, decorated with eleven large murals painted by Edward Holslag in 1910, is still among the most impressive in Illinois.

7. The Patten House – 124 South Second St.

Built in 1857 for George Patten. Patten was originally from Massachusetts and later Philadelphia. Some say that explains the unusual “federalistic” styling of the house which was a style more common in the east. Interestingly the house was built almost entirely of brick although Patten was the local “lumber merchant”. Court sessions were held in the dining room from 1890 to 1892 after the court house on third street was destroyed by fire and the new court house was under construction. From 1920 to 1924 Jennie Nottolini operated the South Park Hotel here.

8.  City Hall - 22 S. Third Street

City Hall

Geneva City Hall became officially “City” hall when citizens of Geneva voted to change their “village” to a “city” government in 1887. The present building, constructed in 1912, replaced the original Kane County Courthouse that was built on the site in 1844. The building was built to house the city fire wagons – but the horses were kept in the McIntosh livery Stable, then located next door. Early photos of this building show a tall tower on the north end that was used to hang fire hoses to dry.  (That tower can be seen in the background of the next photo of the Geneva Library.)

9. Geneva Library - 127 James Street

Geneva Library

The Geneva Library was built in 1908 with a $7,500.00 grant from Andrew Carnegie.

Citizens in the Geneva Improvement Association started the first Geneva Library in 1870.  A tax referendum was not passed until 1894 when plans were made to construct a new building as a combined Library and City Hall. The foundation was laid in 1896, but lack of funds prevented completion until the library received the Carnegie grant, so the new City Hall was built separately.

10.  Unitarian Universalists Church - 102 South Second St

Built in 1843 this is the oldest Unitarian Church west of New York State. The bell tower,  has a bell inscribed G. H. Holbrook, Medley, Mass. 1846. The side windows were added in 1879 during a remodeling project that included pews salvaged from a church destroyed in the 1871 Chicago fire. The house to the south was built as the original parsonage in 1893.

11.   Artemisia - 101 S. Third Street 

Hull-Howell Building

This building dates to c. 1870, when it was built for Sanford Hull, Esq., of ‘The Mechanical Bakery of Chicago’, presumably as a local branch of his ‘Bakery & Confectionery’ business. The Howell name is derived from the building’s long years as Valentine (“Tine”) Howell’s lunchroom, which operated there from 1885 to 1908. Later it became one of the many stops along the newly formed Lincoln Highway.

12.  All Chocolate Kitchen - 33 S. 3rd Street

The John H. Peterson Livery Stable originally occupied this site. Around 1917 Jeanita Peterson acquired the property and built the brick building which became the Tri-City Garage and Buick Dealership. That business closed in 1958. The building eventually became part of the Merri-Lee complex of shops and was covered by a false facade. The original facade was restored in 2013 as a part of a renovation project that has turned the building into contemporary shops that incorporate many design features from the original building.

13.  State Street Jewelers - 230 W. State Street

Ekdahl and Skogland

In 1904 George Ekdahl and John Skogland moved their sporting goods business to the corner of State and Third Street and added a news agency and soda fountain. They also stocked guns of all types and added a bowling alley and pool tables in the basement. They hosted an Annual Bicycle Race over a Geneva, St. Charles, and Batavia course.  The upper addition to the Hotel Geneva was added in 1928. Prior to housing State Street Jewelers the building was the Merra-Lee Shop, the Betsy Ross Tea Room, and the Jack Edwards restaurant.


14. EvenFlow Music & Spirits - 302 W. State Street

Geneva State Bank

Designed by Mundie and Jenson of Chicago and constructed by the Wilson Brothers of Geneva, it opened June 20, 1925.  It was built in the neoclassical or “new" classical, style, reflecting strength and stability. This style was inspired by the classical architecture of ancient Greece and Rome. Characteristic of the style in this building are the tall columns and pilasters that rise the full height of the building.

15.  Starbucks Coffee - 229 W. State Street

The Bank Block

Built in 1906 by the John Wheeler Construction Company for the State Bank of Geneva. The bank remained at this location until 1925, when it relocated to 302 West State. The building also housed many tenets, including the American Legion Post 75 Headquarters.

16. The Sugar Path - 315 W. State Street

Fargo Theater

H.B. Fargo employed August Wilson in 1923 to build the Fargo Theater. The theater originally seated 800 and had a $25,000 pipe organ manufactured by the Geneva Organ Company.  The theater operated until 2000.

17. Antiques on State - 422 W. State Street

 John Reed House 

This home was built for Irish shoemaker John Reed in 1854; remodeled for commercial use in 1959. It is the only surviving river stone residence on West State Street.

Hungry for more information about Geneva IL and the surrounding area?  Visit our Geneva Community Page.  Thinking about selling a home in Geneva IL?  We have Free resources for both Buyers and Sellers. Visit our website at your convenience.  If you have a question, or are ready to talk with a Real Estate Agent, give us a call at 630.513.1771.  We'd be happy to help you make your Geneva Dream Home come true! 

Happy St. Patrick's Day Fox Valley!

by The Rullo Team

15 DELIGHTFUL FACTS ABOUT SAINT PATRICK'S DAY


It's Time to Spring Forward Fox Valley IL!

by The Rullo Team

It's time to Spring Forward Fox Valley! Remember to set your clock's an hour ahead tonight, Saturday- March 12th, when you go to bed!

Daylight Saving Time gives us the opportunity to get a little more out of sunny summer evenings.  Yet, the implementation of Daylight Saving Time has been pretty controversial ever since Benjamin Franklin conceived of the idea. Even today, there are regions and countries continually changing their approaches to Daylight Saving Time.

Most of the United States begins Daylight Saving Time at 2:00 a.m. on the second Sunday in March and reverts to standard time on the first Sunday in November. In the U.S., each time zone switches at a different time.  2:00 a.m. was originally chosen as the changeover time for practical reasons.  Most people were at home and this was the time, few trains were running, it is late enough to minimally affect bars and restaurants, and it prevents the day from switching to yesterday, which would be confusing, and it’s early enough that the entire continental U.S. switches by daybreak, changing over before most early shift workers are affected.

In the U.S., clocks change at 2:00 a.m. local time. In spring, clocks spring forward from 1:59 a.m. to 3:00 a.m. 

The main purpose of Daylight Saving Time (called "Summer Time" in many places in the world) is to simply make better use of daylight. We change our clocks during the summer months to move an hour of daylight from the morning to the evening. 


INTERESTING DAYLIGHT SAVINGS CONTROVERSIES

Daylight Saving Time Chaos 

Widespread confusion was created during the 1950s and 1960s when each U.S. locality could start and end Daylight Saving Time as it desired. One year, 23 different pairs of DST start and end dates were used in Iowa alone. For exactly five weeks each year, Boston, New York, and Philadelphia were not on the same time as Washington D.C., Cleveland, or Baltimore--but Chicago was. And, on one Ohio to West Virginia bus route, passengers had to change their watches seven times in 35 miles! The situation led to millions of dollars in costs to several industries, especially those involving transportation and communications. Extra railroad timetables alone cost the today's equivalent of over $12 million per year.

Minneapolis-St. Paul

The Minnesota cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul once didn't have twin perspectives with regard to the clock. These two large cities are adjacent at some points and separated only by the Mississippi River at others, and are considered a single metropolitan area. In 1965, St. Paul decided to begin its Daylight Saving Time period early to conform to most of the nation, Minneapolis felt it should follow Minnesota's state law, which stipulated a later start date. After intense inter-city negotiations and quarreling, the cities still couldn’t agree, so the one-hour time difference remained, bringing great time turmoil to the cities and surrounding areas.

Daylight Saving Riots

Patrons of bars that stay open past 2:00 a.m. lose one hour of drinking time on the day when Daylight Saving Time springs forward one hour. This has led to problems in numerous locations, and sometimes even to riots. For example, at a "time disturbance" in Athens, Ohio, site of Ohio University, over 1,000 students and other late night partiers chanted "Freedom," as they threw liquor bottles at the police attempting to control the riot.

Amtrak

To keep to their published timetables, trains cannot leave a station before the scheduled time. So, when the clocks fall back one hour in October, all Amtrak trains in the U.S. that are running on time stop at 2:00 a.m. and wait one hour before resuming. Overnight passengers are often surprised to find their train at a dead stop and their travel time an hour longer than expected. At the spring Daylight Saving Time change, trains instantaneously become an hour behind schedule at 2:00 a.m., but they just keep going and do their best to make up the time.

Operas

Among the first institutions affected by Daylight Saving Time was the Berlin Opera, on April 30, 1916--the evening when the clocks in Germany were to be set forward for the first time. At 11:00 p.m., all German clocks were to be set to midnight. The Berlin Opera, with wonderful forethought, changed its schedule and began its performance of Die Meistersinger an hour earlier than usual. This allowed grateful audience members to be able to catch their customary trains home at the end of the performance. (All trains scheduled to depart between 11:00 p.m. and midnight were immediately behind schedule when 11:00 p.m. changed to midnight, and so left as soon as possible. And trains scheduled to depart after midnight left the equivalent of one hour early.

Violent Crime

A study by the U.S. Law Enforcement Assistance Administration found that crime was consistently less during periods of Daylight Saving Time than during comparable standard time periods. Data showed violent crime down 10 to 13 percent. It is clear that for most crimes where darkness is a factor, such as muggings, there are many more incidents after dusk than before dawn, so light in the evening is most welcome.

Antarctica

In Antarctica, there is no daylight in the winter and months of 24-hour daylight in the summer. But many of the research stations there still observe Daylight Saving Time anyway, to synchronize with their supply stations in Chile or New Zealand.

Indiana

Indiana has long been a hotbed of Daylight Saving Time controversy. Historically, the state's two western corners, which fall in the Central Time Zone, observed DST, while the remainder of the state, in the Eastern Time zone, followed year-round Standard Time. An additional complication was that five southeastern counties near Cincinnati and Louisville unofficially observed DST to keep in sync with those cities. Because of the longstanding feuds over DST, Indiana politicians often treated the subject gingerly. In 1996, gubernatorial candidate Rex Early firmly declared, "Some of my friends are for putting all of Indiana on Daylight Saving Time. Some are against it. And I always try to support my friends."

In April 2005, Indiana legislators passed a law that implemented Daylight Saving Time statewide. 

Oil Conservation

Following the 1973 oil embargo, the U.S. Congress extended Daylight Saving Time to 8 months, rather than the normal six months. During that time, the U.S. Department of Transportation found that observing Daylight Saving Time in March and April saved the equivalent in energy of 10,000 barrels of oil each day - a total of 600,000 barrels in each of those two years.

In 1986, Daylight Saving Time moved from the last Sunday in April to the first Sunday in April. No change was made to the ending date of the last Sunday in October. Adding the entire month of April to Daylight Saving Time is estimated to save the U.S. about 300,000 barrels of oil each year.

Beginning in 2007, Daylight Saving Time commenced on the second Sunday in March and ended on the first Sunday in November, thereby saving even more oil.

Births and Birthdays

Twins born at 11:55 p.m. and 12:05 a.m. may have different birthdays, and more impressive, Daylight Saving Time can change birth order -- on paper, anyway. During the time change in the fall, one baby could be born at 1:55 a.m. and the sibling born ten minutes later, at 1:05 a.m. In the spring, there is a gap when no babies are born at all: from 2:00 a.m. to 3:00 a.m.

In November 2007, a mother in North Carolina gave birth to Peter at 1:32 a.m. and, 34 minutes later, to Allison. However, because Daylight Saving Time reverted to Standard Time at 2:00 a.m., Allison was born at 1:06 a.m.

Amish Observance

Amish communities in the United States and Canada are divided about whether or not to observe Daylight Saving Time. Although the Amish are generally known for leading simple lives without modern conveniences, practices vary from community to community. Likewise, some Amish communities observe DST, while others do not. In one county in Ohio, approximately 10 of the 90 Amish church districts opt out of DST (known as “fast time” or “English time,” preferring to observe what they term “slow time.”

Stealing Time

As with the U.S., Great Britain has had a colorful past with Daylight Saving Time (or Summer Time, as it is known there). In the early part of the 20th century, citizens protested at the change, using the slogan, “Give us back our stolen hour.”

Arizona Is Divided

In the U.S., Arizona doesn’t observe Daylight Saving Time, but the Navajo Nation (parts of which are in three states) does. However, the Hopi Reservation, which is entirely surrounded by the Navajo Nation, doesn’t observe DST. In effect, there is a donut-shaped area of Arizona that does observe DST, but the “hole” in the center does not.

Thanks to IDEA for sharing some interesting Daylight Saving Facts.

St. Patrick's Day In St. Charles Illinois

by The Rullo Team

Every year on March 17, the Irish and well those that wish they were Irish, celebrate St. Patrick's Day.  Originally a Religious Feast for the Patron Saint of Ireland, St. Patrick's Day has evolved into a general celebration of all things Irish.  Parades, Dancing, Music, Green Beer, and a good time will be had all over the country this year.  In Champaign, the Parade/Celebration will take place on March 12th.  There will be no shortage of fun and lots of green.  So, don your best Greenware and come celebrate Irish Culture with the community in St. Charles. 


Saturday, March 12

Downtown St. Charles

2pm

The St. Patrick's Parade on Main St./Rt. 64 Presented by the Downtown St. Charles Partnership. More Information at the Downtown St. Charles Website.

For the pet lovers: Deck Out Your Lucky Dog is a contest during the parade, for those who bring their dog decked out for the St. Patrick's celebration. Participants in the Deck Out Your Lucky Dog contest are encouraged to walk in the parade with their decked out dog!

dog_photo.jpg

 

More Fun St. Patrick Stuff Below:


BUYERS

LAST MINUTE IS OK

If you get a call that a buyer wants to see your house in 15 minutes, then for God’s sake, NO for your sake, let them see the house!…yes, even if it’s a bit messy. 

Last-minute types are known to make impulsive decisions, and as such might decide to buy a house that day.  As a general rule, if someone wants to see your house, let them! Whenever it is. 

 NO PLUG IN AIR FRESHENERS 

You know those Plug-in air fresheners, well, not too many people like those.  They are actually a turnoff to a lot of people. 

So if you want your house to smell good, bake cookies right before a showing. This will hit em twice, because you can then offer them a delicious treat while they look at your house.  Now, we don’t want to get too psychological on this one, BUT the pleasure of eating a tasty treat is now associated with your home, which is now a more pleasurable memory than say, if they saw a house without cookies!  Pretty sly eh? 

DON'T SKIP THE FINAL WALK THROUGH

It's absolutely imperative!!! Don’t skip the final walk-through.

DO NOT SKIP THE FINAL WALK THROUGH!!!

It’s your very last chance to confirm all repairs were done properly, that the owner’s personal items have been removed, and that the items you agreed should stay are still there. It’s not uncommon for these things to mysteriously grow legs!  So, do the final walk through!  

 

 

NEIGHBORHOOD KNOWLEDGE

Your agent should be familiar with the neighborhood. One of the number one complaints from
buyers is that their real-estate agent didn’t know, or didn’t warn them about, key issues in a new neighborhood.  While your agent can’t share the economic standing or predominant ethnic background of the people in the area or the local crime rate (as it violates fair housing laws, they can provide you with resources where you can find out this kind of info for yourself.  They should also be able to tell you if there is a bus stop or train near-by, that goes past every 20 minutes.  Your agent should take you around the neighborhood in the morning, afternoon and night, in order to get a real sense of what the area is like.  


BIDDING WARS

Multiple offers, which are common in hot real-estate markets, are a sellers dream, however many qualified buyers are left in the dust. BUT someone has to win the war.  How do you ensure it’s you?  

Well, again, it comes down to your agent. An agent who is well acquainted with other agents in the area and is a skilled negotiator is are two important traits.  Someone whose read Sun Tzu’s “Art Of War” is an even better bet.   You just want your agent ready to go into battle, fully prepared for the fight ahead.  Someone whose been around the block a few times.  Tell your agent what your absolute highest bid would be, this will ensure there is no confusion once the bullets start flying.  This information will give your agent a powerful advantage when working with the seller’s agent, especially when other Agent’s don’t know this information for their clients. 

Now, this requires something from you too, buyers.  You need to be honest with yourselves.  There is a notorious saying in the Real Estate Industry: “Buyers are Liars.”  Buyers will often say things like: “This is as high as I’m willing to go”…then weeks later, change their mind.  This is especially true when losing a bid.  Buyers will say “Oh, I would have gone up  more!”.  This hurts you.  You need to know your absolute highest bid and let your agent know from the start.  The Real Estate Market today moves way too fast, and those who aren’t prepared, lose.  So, be honest from the get go.  

How it works to your advantage:  Once you as a buyer have set a ceiling, your agent can start strategizing.  They can settle on a price and then throw in extras like, covering closing costs, and title insurance, or waiving appraisal fees and other contingencies, all while staying under your ceiling.  It’s not just the home price that matters, it’s often these extra little bits that seal the deal.  

SELLERS

CHOOSE YOUR AGENT WISELY

Beware of Agents who overestimate your home’s selling price. 

Every agent is hoping you’ll choose them over other agents, so, some Agents will say whatever makes you happy in order to secure you as a client, and since homeowners love hearing that their house is worth a lot of money, some agents will price too high, setting unreal expectations for their Sellers.  They in other words “buy your listing”.  AVOID THIS.  It will hurt you in the long run and only guarantees your home will sit on the market for a very long time, and after that long time, Sellers will have no choice but to lower the asking price….which presents a whole bunch of unwanted perceptions of the home.   

On the flip side:

Some Agent’s undercut the price in-order to generate a quick sale and a commission for themselves, even though it may not be the best price for the seller.  

So, it’s extremely important to choose an experienced Agent with a proven track record.  Someone who knows the market, prices your home right, and sells quickly, without sacrificing any money in your pocket.  How do you secure one of these unicorn Agents? Start by googling them, see if they pop-up, then check the listing agent’s references, request a detailed marketing plan, and then meet personally to discuss what the agent can and cannot do for you, during this meeting ask how many transactions they’ve completed this year.  This will tell you right away if it’s someone you want to work with.    

A savvy agent can also put more money in your pocket in non-conventional ways, ways only an experienced agent can do, like:Subtracting furniture, appliances and other personal property from the total price, then having the buyer write a personal check for those items.  This revised home value means a lower transfer tax for the Seller, and a lower property tax for the Buyer.  Not too shabby. 

Simple Things Go A Long Way:

CLEAR COUNTERS

We’re Americans, and for whatever reason we absolutely love vast, wide-open counter space.  So, just clear your counters!   It's that simple. 

STAGE YOUR HOME!  BUT DON'T BE TACKY!

Yes, staging your home by getting rid of clutter and bringing in furniture or accessories can help it sell. 

...But music, champagne glasses next to the bed and fake pies on the countertop? That's a little much, and it will turn some buyers off.

HELP YOURSELF! YOUR NEIGHBORS WON'T.

If your house is for sale and the lawn next door is starting to look overgrown, just go cut the grass for your neighbors. Especially if you have an open house coming up!  It’s a small thing, but it can make a huge difference.

YOUNG BUYERS DON'T WANT OLD HOUSES.

Surveys of home buyers show that many people have a preference for environmentally friendly, technologically up-to-date dwellings that require no more than superficial repairs.

This is especially true of Millennials, now in their 20s and early 30s. According to a study by market researcher GfK Roper Reports, Millennials will bail on a house immediately, if the house is old, tacky and well, uncool.  Millennials want a fun house!  They want the Whirlpool bath, a game room, large walk in closets, a swimming pool; these are all dream home amenities for Millennials. After all, what do you expect from a generation who grew up watching MTV Cribs.  The survey showed High-tech entertainment centers and a sauna/steam room also make their fantasy list, while State-of-the-art kitchens,were less of a priority.

Better Homes and Garden Real Estate‚Äč Survey of 18-35 year olds, conducted by Wakefield Research, found that 64% of respondents said they would not consider living in a home that lacks the latest technology. Even more, 84% of Millennials surveyed said technology is an “absolute essential” for their homes.

More than Millennials, more and more people are looking for Move-In ready homes.  It's just the world we live in today.  People have the money, just not the time to make repairs or upgrades.  

However, if your home isn't techy-fresh! Don't feel glum.  There are simple things like a fresh coat of paint, window treatments, refinished hardwood floors and new carpeting, that can make all the difference. These things will breathe new life into old homes and are relatively affordable.  If it is beautiful and you price it well, it will sell! 

If you want more expert Home Buying OR Selling Tips for the Fox Valley, give The Rullo Team a Call!  We love what we do and can make it work for you! If you're not quite ready to chat, use our Buyers and Sellers resources on the website.  They're Completely FREE!

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