Real Estate Information Archive


Displaying blog entries 1-9 of 9

Pet Insurance

by alexandvickyrullo

Hello again fellow furry friends and parents! Spike Rullo here with some more helpful information: Have you owners ever heard about pet insurance? Most of you don’t even think about pet insurance until it is too late. Just like you owners, we can have health issues too such as colds, parasites, even cancers and emergency situations that can be quite costly. Pet insurance is a great way to make sure we have the longest and healthiest lives we can. Pet insurance is different from most human insurance because the veterinarian does not send in the claim for you owners. You still need to pay the veterinarian up front and then file a claim with the insurance company to get the compensation. Finding the insurance that is best for us, as well as you owners, can be a little confusing. It is important to find the policy that is best for both of us. Pet insurance might not be for everyone, but most owners do well with a high-deductible policy to cover only catastrophic events such as major illness, accidents, or unanticipated medical needs. However, there are also policies for annual wellness expenses as well as accidents and illness.  Be sure to shop around. Every policy will have a limitation on it in some way, shape or form. It could be deductibles, co-pays, benefit schedule limits, or exclusions in what is covered. Here are some questions you might want to ask when you are shopping around to make sure you are getting the best plan for you and us…

  •  How long have they been in business?
  • Is there a waiting period for coverage to start? If so, how long is the waiting period?
  • Will the insurance premium increase with our age or if you file a claim?
  • Do they cover any pre-existing conditions we may have?
  • Do they cover hereditary and/or congenital illnesses or diseases specific to our breeds?
  • How do they reimburse you? Based on the actual bill, usual or customary charges, or a benefit schedule?
  • Will the policy cover us if we have cancer?
  • Will the policy cover a chronic condition?

 There are also other things you can do to make sure we are happy, healthy pets. Make sure we are spayed or neutered. That makes us much less likely to get in fights that may cause emergency vet visits. It also reduces our chances of getting some cancers!  Also, it is very important to make sure we get into the vet for our annual check-ups and vaccinations. Those important preventative medications and vaccinations are key in making sure that the icky things out there, like parasites, stay out of our precious little bodies, and out of your wallets.  Lastly, make sure you do not let us get too many treats. It is very important to keep us at a healthy weight. Giving into our sweet little faces and letting us get overweight will put us at much higher risk for many diseases and conditions.  Hopefully you will be able to use this information and find a policy that best suits you. Your local veterinarian is always a good source of information on this topic also. Be sure to ask them. They will know what insurance they see a lot and can tell you how it has helped other furry children at their practice.  Until next time, wishing good health to you all! As for me, I’m off to the dog park… If you would like any information on local real estate, visit our website at

Should you Sell your Saint Charles Home Now or Later?

by alansche

With the national real estate market constantly changing, it is easy for both potential home sellers to think, "If only we sold our home then!" Hindsight is not the best way to determine if and when you sell your Saint Charles home. Rather than acting as a spectator, homeowners should actively engage in foresight in order to make the decision to sell their homes now or later. The number of factors and personal decisions involved with the decision to sell your home mean that you must stop and gather information before making a final decision. Simply watching home prices rise and fall prevent you from taking advantage of unique opportunities and being an engaged real estate owner. In order to decide whether your should sell or stay, consider the following:

  • What is my current knowledge of the national and Saint Charles real estate markets?
  • Is my home in any condition to sell?
  • What are the tax implications if I sell?
  • How do interest rates affect my selling and future buying opportunities?

By fully considering the market and current state of your home, you can make an informed selling decision. For more information about selling your home in Saint Charles, call The Rullo Team at 888-457-8005. Photo courtesy of Stock.xchng

Homebuyers' Preferences are not what they Seem

by alansche

When searching for a new home, there many important factors to consider. The biggest preconception in the hunt for a house is based entirely on location. However, a recent survey shows that lifestyle options are now a major priority.

Homebuyer's Preferences are not what they seem

Don't get us wrong - location is still a very important factor. Yet, "Today's buyers are looking for a sense of belonging in a community as well as creating a desirable lifestyle with the home they buy," according to an article on Realty Times by Phoebe Chongchua. The survey, conducted by Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate LLC and the Meredith Corp., consisted of 1,000 homeowners' and future home buyers' ratings on how satisfied they would be with the purchase of a new home and their lifestyle priorities when searching for a new home. Highlighted here are some of the results, found from Better Homes and Gardens:

  • Ease of commuting by car: 38%
  • Access to health and safety services: 34%
  • Family-friendly neighborhood: 33%
  • Availability of retail stores: 32%

"If you're selling your home and you know that the above priorities can influence buyers, it only makes sense to play up the lifestyle options that apply to your home," according to Phoebe Chogchua. The full survey can be found on the Better Homes and Gardens website here. To read more into Phoebe's article, visit Realty Times. Photo courtesy of

Stage your Geneva Home and Sell it Fast

by alansche

By taking rooms in you house and completely turning them around, you can sell you Geneva home much more quickly. Take a look at some of these living spaces featured on HGTV's Frontdoor website that were successfully staged, creating a more appealing home for potential buyers.


In the above picture, a cluttered hallway distracts the viewer from the potential of the room. It is essentially a storage closet, and potential buyers have no reason to actually want this room.


After removing unnecessary items and staging the room, buyers see what was once a storage space as a legitimate living space. A new bar-top and stools make the space usable, and the new paint opens up the room.


The kitchen shown above is fully functional for its current owners, but it leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to the overall look and feel. The owner wanted to achieve a loft-style appearance, but the lack of cabinet doors feels more awkward than intentional.


After adding matching cabinet doors, clearing the clutter, and installing a new light fixture, the kitchen looks and feels much more modern and intimate. This is a place the buyer will want to be and, ultimately, buy.

If you are looking to stage and sell your Geneva home, give us a call at 888-457-8005. We know exactly what the rest of the local real estate market looks like and work with the best homestagers in the area.

Photos courtesy of HGTV Front Door

Don't be Surprised by Closing Costs...

by alansche

Purchasing a new home always has the ability to be a nerve-wrecking experience. There are many different expenses associated with buying a house, including one that so often surprises people: the 'closing costs.' However, they don't always have to be so shocking. Highlighted here, from Aol Real Estate, are several steps to better prepare you for the next time you run into these.

Closing costs don't always have to be a surprise.

First, ask the seller to pay the closing costs. Moreover, before you make a final offer on a home, discuss with your real estate agent on whether or not you can get the seller to pay some (if not all) of the closing costs. In fact, sellers who are urging to complete a sale or transaction may offer to pay some of the costs in order to close the deal in a timely manner. Next, make sure you fully comprehend the 'Good Faith Estimate'. In other words, review and know the document that your lender is supposed to provide you within three days of your loan application. Aol Real Estate states that, "This paperwork will describe to you the closing costs associated with your loan, ranging from lender-related fees (such as loan origination fees) to outsiders' fees required to complete your transaction (inspection, appraisal, etc.)." You should note that a 'good faith estimate' is only an estimate, and some of the closing costs that were worked out in that estimate are subject to change.

  • You should also receive more than one good faith estimate, because the form itself remains constant through various lenders. Afterwards, compare the estimates the lenders and sellers and negotiate with them on some fees.

Lastly, examine the 'HUD-1 Settlement Statement' closely. Aol Real Estate lets us know that a buyer should ask his or her lender to provide the HUD-1 Settlement Statement long before closing the deal. In turn, this will allow you to compare the closing costs that were listed in the statement with the closing costs from your Good Faith Estimate. A list of all the documents and fees you can expect in closing a deal can be found in the full article here. Be sure to follow The Rullo Team Real Estate blog for more updates on the real estate market and what's going on in and around St. Charles, Geneva, and Batavia! Photo courtesy of Images_of_Money via Flickr

Mortgage Rates Remain a Good Deal in Metro Chicago

by alansche

Metro Chicago mortgage rates remained steady over the past two weeks.

Mortgage rates have remained stable over the past couple of weeks, continuing the buyer's markets seen across many areas of the country. Low rates are also available across metro Chicago, Saint Charles, and Geneva, the lowest being 4.25 percent for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage. Current 30-year fixed mortgage rates are 4.25 percent across the country, and 15-year fixed mortgages are at 3.5 percent. These are more great rates that we have been seeing all year long for those that meet minimum qualifications, including a good credit score. The Federal Housing Authority still leads the way in affordable lending. With less strict qualifications and lower down payments, FHA is the most popular lender in the country and great way for those that cannot meet a 20 percent down payment to enter the housing market. As more positive real estate news is felt across the country, it is only a matter of time before these incredible rates are gone. If you are looking for a home in the metro Chicago area, give The Rullo Team a call at 888-457-8005. Photo courtesy of Stock.xchng

How to Add Affordable Luxury to your Geneva Home

by alansche

Thanks to MSN Real Estate, we have the perfect ways that you can add affordable luxury to your Geneva home. Instead of eyeing bigger or fancier properties, local homeowners are updating their houses and adding touches of luxury to feel more comfortable. Here are three ways you can add special and unique touches to your home without spending a fortune.

  1. Small, dedicated spaces throughout your Geneva home will give it touches of luxury. For example, an area in your house set aside specifically for playing chess will make it feel more special and ensure there is always space to enjoy one of your favorite activities.
  2. Instead of spending money on a large remodel, updating some of the fixtures throughout your home can give it a luxurious feel without the luxury price tag. Shower heads, kitchen fixtures, and similar items are all areas that you can improve by replacing them with higher-end products.
  3. High-quality furniture is a great option for homeowners that do not have the money for a large remodel. The new furniture will add a luxurious feel to the rooms throughout your house, and you can take it with you if you decide to sell your home and move.

What are some of your tips for adding luxury to your home in Geneva? Leave a comment to share with others! As always, visit The Rullo Team website for more information about living in Saint Charles, Geneva, and surrounding areas in metro Chicago. Photo courtesy of Stock.xchng

How to Fund your First Housing Purchase in Saint Charles

by alansche

As the economy continues to recover, more first-time home buyers are left to fund their real estate transactions without the assistance of their parents or grandparents. With financial assistance not as readily available, newcomers to the Saint Charles real estate market need to make sure they properly plan to make one of the most important purchases of their life. One of the first things to consider when buying your first home in Saint Charles is your personal savings. Although it may be difficult, watching your expenses very closely is necessary to save for a down payment on a home. If your job offers he option to do so, cashing in on stock options is another way to fund a down payment on a Saint Charles home. If you are unable to save that much money but are determined to buy Saint Charles property, the Federal Housing Authority and other organizations offer housing loans that require a smaller down payment. However, these loans are usually accompanied by higher fees and costs due to the insurance that covers the lender in the event that the borrower is unable to pay. By submitting an offer on a home, you can include a clause that states the seller will cover all of the closing costs on the house. Cutting the closing costs out of your real estate transaction puts you one step closer to reaching your goal. For more tips on buying your first home in Saint Charles, call The Rullo Team at 888-457-8005. Photo courtesy of Stock.xchng

Saint Charles homeowners that are reluctant to put more money into home improvements should reconsider. Home improvements are added to your home's tax basis, so the cost of the improvement is essentially tax-free when you sell your home in the future. For example, a Saint Charles home that was bought in 1990 for $200,000 and is now worth $800,000 generates $600,000 in profit for the homeowner at the time of sale. The home sale tax exclusion says that $250,000 of this amount for single homeowners and $500,000 of this amount for married homeowners is tax-free. If you are a married Saint Charles homeowner, that would leave you with $100,000 that is set to be taxed. However, by having $100,000 worth of home improvements put into the house, your taxable gain is reduced to nothing. As a result of spending $100,000 in home improvements, the Saint Charles homeowners would technically only make $500,000, so that is why the taxable gain is reduced to nothing after the home sale tax exclusion for married homeowners. So, if your Saint Charles home needs improvements, but you are hesitant to shell out some money right now, fear not. The amount can be deducted from your taxable gain when you sell it in the future. For more information, please see Inman News or give us a call at 888-457-8005. Photo courtesy of Stock.xchng

Displaying blog entries 1-9 of 9