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Home Prices in Metro Chicago Reaching New Highs

by mbraddick

Recent real estate reports reveal that the Chicago real estate market experienced the largest ever increase in home prices since 1988. Additionally, housing inventory has decreased with fewer homes for sale in metro Chicago. When you combine these two indicators you discover that now may be the perfect time to sell your home. If inventory is low and prices are increasing conditions are ideal to sell! The Case Shiller Home Price Index analyzed the current Chicago market and had even more good news to report:

  • From March to May, 2012 prices for single family homes rose 4.5% with condo prices increasing 4.7%.
  • This increase was the largest measured in all 20 of the metro areas that Case Shiller reported on.
  • When the percentages are seasonally adjust there is still a significant increase. The deseasonalized price increase was 2.3%.

If you are considering selling your home in metro Chicago the real estate professionals at the Rullo Team can help you prepare your home for sale and walk you through the entire process. Contact Alex and Vicky Rullo today to learn whether this is a good time for you to sell your home. Image via: Freedigitalphotos

National Dog Day, August 26, 2012

by alexandvickyrullo

 Hi everyone!  Spike Rullo here.  Did you know that we dogs have a special day designated just for us?!  It’s National Dog Day and it’s coming up soon!  Mark your calendars for this Sunday, August 26th so you remember to treat your pup extra special that day.  I will probably be begging for more treats than usual, and maybe sleeping in longer than usual, and later in the day perhaps extending my nap time an extra half hour.  National Dog Day has two goals. First, to honor us and all we do for you.  In addition to loving you and hanging out with you every day, we also look out for your safety, some of us can help you if you’re blind, or aid in search and rescue, or even seek out bombs or drugs. Whew! The second goal of National Dog Day is to rescue dogs who are homeless or being abused.  Wouldn’t it be great if 10,000 dogs a year could be rescued!  That’s their motto: “Saving 10,000 Dogs – One Day at a Time”. The National Dog Day Foundation was created by Colleen Paige. Since the first National Dog Day, August 26, 2004, 100,000 dogs have been saved through adoptions nationwide.  There was even a PRESIDENT of the United States who sent a letter to the foundation in support of National Dog Day! I have a few ideas on how you can celebrate your day; I personally like numbers 1 and 3.

  1. Spoil your dog. I don’t think I need to explain this one.
  2. Adopt a dog.  If you’ve been thinking about adding a dog to your family or even getting a second dog, do it today!
  3. Upgrade your dog’s things. A new bed? Better food? Doggy steps? (If you’re little like me.)
  4. Sign and support animal welfare groups.  Sign pledges or donate a few dollars.
  5. Volunteer.  Shelters need help.  Do you have extra time?  Any items to donate like blankets, pillows or gently used dog toys?

For an even bigger list of things you can do, visit www.nationaldogday.com/ways_to_celebrate.htm for 50 ways to celebrate! Have a fun day!  Thanks for taking care of all of us dogs while we take care of you!  If you are interested in more information about the benefits of home ownership in metro Chicago please contact a real estate professional with the Rullo Team.

Easy Ways to Lower Your Monthly Food Costs

by mbraddick

One of the biggest expenses a family encounters each month is the cost of food. Experts predict that the drought of 2012 is going to cause food costs to rise even higher over the course of the next year. There are several things you can do to cut down on your monthly food costs when living in metro Chicago:

  • Use coupons Clipping coupons from the newspaper, printing online coupons, and loading store coupons to your rewards card are all easy ways to save money on your grocery bill.
  • Eat at home When you eat at home you have more control over how much a meal will cost for your family and you aren't overpaying for drinks, dessert, or alcohol. If you do eat out consider using coupons or online restaurant discounts.
  • Buy store brands Many name brand and store brand items are similar, if not identical. Don't pay extra for the name brand unless you can taste the difference.
  • Cut back on food waste Take a careful look at how much food your family is actually consuming and buy the appropriate amount. Overbuying and then throwing away costs the American family about 600 dollars per year.

Living in metro Chicago can be pricey at times, but the real estate experts with the Rullo Team know surefire ways to save money when you are preparing to buy or sell a house. If you'd like more information about the current real estate market, contact them today! Image via: stock.xchng

Fox Valley Marathon, Sunday, September 16, 2012

by alexandvickyrullo

One of the premier fall running events in Chicagoland, the Fox Valley Marathon Races are ideal for both veterans looking for a fast Boston Qualifier and well as first timers looking for a family friendly, uncrowded race setting. Starting in historic downtown St. Charles, the course runs through scenic Geneva, Batavia, North Aurora and Aurora and back across the Fox River in St. Charles to a spectacular finish that can be seen from over a mile away. Frequent and well positioned aid stations, staffed by incredibly supportive volunteer teams, are found along the picturesque course along with great viewing spots for families and supporters. Choose between Half Marathon, Fall Final 20, Advocate Dreyer Fox Valley Marathon or Weather Flex Option. For more information and to register,go to foxvallymarathon.com If you are interested in more information about the benefits of home ownership in metro Chicago please contact a real estate professional with the Rullo Team. Image via: runningintheusa.com

Billed as "Summer's Last Stand" the North Coast Music Festival is scheduled for August 31 through September 2 and will be held in Chicago's Union Park. Music events in metro Chicago are always very popular with residents and visitors and the North Coast Music Festival is no different. Tickets can be purchased online through the Festival's website and there are a variety of ticketing options available. You can purchase tickets per show, for an entire festival day, or specifically for after parties arranged by local concert promoters. The full musical performance scheduleis available online and includes times and stages for every performer. You can even create your own custom schedule by selecting performers you don't want to miss! Highlights of the performances include:

  • Midnight Conspiracy - Friday, 8/31 from 6:00 - 7:00 pm at the Red Bull Stage.
  • STS9 - Friday, 8/31 from 8:30 - 10:00 pm at the Coast Stage
  • Dance Floor Destroyers - Saturday, 9/1 from 1:00 - 2:00 pm at the Groupon Silent 1 Stage
  • Zebo - Saturday, 9/1 from 9:00 - 10:00 pm at the Dos Equis Stage
  • Big Boi - Sunday 9/2 from 7:30 - 8:30 pm at the North Stage

There are music events in metro Chicago all year that entice residents to relax and enjoy amazing performances. These events are one of the reasons the metro Chicago area is such an amazing place to live. If you are interested in more information about the benefits of home ownership in metro Chicago please contact a real estate professional with the Rullo Team. Image via: stock.xchng

Cost of Moving Can Get Out of Hand

by mbraddick

If you are wanting to relocate to St. Charles you likely understand that a move can be expensive. In addition to moving expenses you'll encounter charges for utility hook ups, moving supplies, and other unexpected costs. There are several things you can do to save  yourself some money:

  • Ask for help In order to curb moving costs consider how you can ask friends and family to help. You can request for others to save boxes for you, help with a garage sale, or participate in the actual move.
  • De-clutter and downsize By eliminating unnecessary items before you move you'll have the opportunity to save time and money. Professional movers charge by the total truck weight and if you're moving yourself more items will require a larger truck rental or more trips between houses.
  • Run the numbers When you are moving you have a variety of choices; professional movers, renting a moving truck, or doing it with your own truck.  Each has its own benefits and drawbacks and represent a wide range of prices based on the distance of your move and the amount of belongings you're moving. Before you decide on your moving method calculate the total cost of each option.

When you make the decision to relocate to St. Charles it is helpful to have a professional real estate agent on your side. The real estate experts at the Rullo Team are prepared to help walk you through the moving process and save you some money. Image via: stock.xchng

Festival of the Vine 2012 in Geneva Illinois

by alexandvickyrullo

Geneva’s Festival of the Vine provides plenty of good wine, good food and good fun for the whole family. Initially a celebration of anything grown on a vine, the festival now revolves around food and wine. At the event’s Flavor Fare, twenty two Geneva restaurants will offer a “taste” of their specialties – from appetizers to desserts. Just steps away, wine will be available for purchase by the glass. Enjoy versatile local and Chicagoland musical and dance entertainers on the Flavor Fare stage. Friday night entertainment includes ‘Under the Willow’, ‘Billy Elton’, and ‘Assisted Living’. On Saturday, enjoy ‘Swings n Arrows’, ‘Lincoln Don’t Lie’ and ‘Hiline Band’. ‘The Blind Roosevelts’ will take the stage on Sunday.  Additional festival events include an arts and crafts show, a fall fresh flower market, daily demonstrations on the stage by the old courthouse, complimentary horse-drawn carriage rides and trolly rides and Kid’s Corner. For information about this festival , visit www.genevachamber.com or call 630-232-6060 for a schedule of events.  If you are interested in more information about the benefits of home ownership in metro Chicago please contact a real estate professional with the Rullo Team. Image via: genevachamber.com

There is a lot of good news to share about the metro Chicago real estate market.  So far in 2012 real estate conditions continue to improve and buyer and seller confidence levels are rising. Highlights of the most recent metro Chicago real estatereports include:

  • 22% more homes were sold in the first half of 2012 than in the first half of 2011.
  • Detached home sales increased 19% during the first two quarters of 2012. Attached home sales rose 28% in the first quarter and 26% in the second quarter.
  • The median home price for the first half of 2012 was $160,000. This rose to $185,000 in June alone.
  • The number of days a house was on the market decreased from 180 days in 2011 to 166 days this year.
  • The number of distressed sales dropped in June. For the first half of the year distressed sales accounted for 41.6% of the market.  However, in June this decreased to 33.5% of the overall market.

There's no time like right now to enter the metro Chicago real estate market as either a buyer or a seller. Selling conditions continue to improve and the current mortgage rates allow buyers to borrow money at a very low interest percentage. Please contact one of the real estate professionals with the Rullo Team to discuss how today's market can benefit you as either a buyer or seller. Image via: stock.xchng

Scrapbook EXPO Coming to St. Charles in August

by mbraddick

The Scrapbook Expo is the place to be for anyone who loves scrapbooking!  The St. Charles Expo will be held August 24 and 25 and promises to be a fun two days of creativity. There will be plenty to do at one of the premiere scrapbooking events in St. Charles, including:

  • Make and Take These sessions are a wonderful opportunity for you to experience the newest scrapbooking trends and take home a page ready to add to your album.
  • Workshops There will be workshops available both expo days and you are encouraged to register ahead of time.  Each workshop requires different materials so note carefully what you are to bring with you.
  • Crop Party There will be an entire area available for you and friends to scrapbook together.  Bring your materials, great ideas to share, and inspiration for new projects.
  • Vendors Vendors will be on hand to share their expertise and sell their products.  This is a great opportunity to find new products to use on your current projects.

The St. Charles Scrapbook Expo will be held at the pheasant Run Resort. You will want to access the full expo site for more information and common questions. Community events in St. Charles help make this a wonderful place to live. Please contact the real estate professionals at the Rullo Team to learn more about the benefits of living in St. Charles.  Image via: stock.xchng

Chicago was recently awarded a coveted spot on the list of the 30 greenest cities in the United States. Nabbing the 8th spot, Chicago has proven itself to be a leader in practices that promote sustainable living and responsible environmental stewardship. The rankings were published by Corporate Knights Capital and took into account a variety of factors when determining the rankings. A city's smart growth activities, land-use, transportation, pollution policies, energy and resource conservation, sustainability, and governance were all analyzed. Chicago's strong showing in these rankings proves that the metropolitan area is serious about its environmental impact and the benefits these practices have on its citizens. The green trends aren't limited to the city's policies and practices though.  Many of the sustainable practices the city promotes are also being reflected in the metro Chicago real estate market.  Many homeowners are installing environmentally friendly products including solar panels, tankless water heaters, or energy efficient appliances. Recycling programs are thriving across the metro Chicago real estate market and homeowners are exploring ways to cut down on their carbon footprint by utilizing public transportation, adjusting their home's thermostats, and conserving energy. Although the Chicago metropolitan area ranked high on this year's list there are always improvements to be made.  As a community we can work together to lower our environmental impact and reduce our footprint. If you are interested in  Chicago metro real estate, please contact one of real estate professionals at the Rullo Team. Image via: stock.xchng

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