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Fox Valley Tips for Simple Home Maintenance

by The Rullo Team

Home maintenance is considered a chore for a reason. Between work, taking care of the kids, and other cleaning that needs to be taken care of around the house, it often gets pushed to the side. It’s something that no one wants to spend their free time doing and can seem tedious. However, it can help cut energy costs and preserve Your Home's Value for the future. By doing regular, easy home maintenance tasks you can keep your Fox Valley area home in tip top shape! Follow these Top 10 Tips for simple home maintenance.

1. Do a Deep Clean

Perform a deep clean on everything inside of your house. Remove accumulated dust, dirt, and grime buildup throughout the rooms in your house. Clean appliances. Get rid of any mold and mildew buildup in rooms where moisture accumulates. Not only will this clean help your home looking its best but it will also allow to identify any potential problems in your house that might need further attention and repair.

2. Clean Your Dryer Vent

A clogged dryer vent is one of the leading causes of house fires. Ensuring that this does not happen is incredibly easy to do! Along with cleaning out your dryer lint trap every time you use the dryer, you should regularly clear the dryer connection. The dryer connection is the tube/pipe that attaches the appliance to the outdoor vent. Pull the tube out and vacuum it clean of all the lint that has been accumulating within the pipe and the pipe connection. After cleaning it out, reattach the pipe to the dryer and make sure that it is properly connected.

3. Clear Out Your Drains

No one wants to shower while standing in water up to your ankles. Make sure to keep your drains cleared out to avoid more serious problems such as a sewer backup. For less severe drain clogs, pouring boiling water down the drain can fix the issue. If that doesn’t fully clear it up, use a snake to remove the blockage. Always keep your plumber’s phone number handy if problems persist. Purchase a hair strainer to prevent the issue in the future.

4. Replace Your Toilet Flapper

A leaky toilet tank can prematurely wear out the toilet and cause water damage to the bathroom floor. If you notice that your toilet is leaking, the flapper needs to be replaced. After turning off the water supply to the toilet using the valve in the back, empty the tank by flushing the toilet. Remove excess water left in the tank and the flush chain from the lever. You can then slide the existing flapper off and replace it with the new one. Reconnect the chain and turn the water supply back on.

5. Fill Holes and Cracks in the Wall

There are very simple and cheap fixes to cover small holes and cracks in your drywall. A cosmetic sponge can be used to fill those holes. Cut it down to size, push it into the hole, and spackle over it. For those small cracks, add a bit baking soda to strong, fast acting glue and spread the mixture over the crack. This will create a strong surface that can easily be smoothed down by sanding it.

6. Fix Your Windows

Avoid high energy bills by ensuring that your windows are keeping in the cold air or heat. With the cold winter months approaching in Illinois, you want to make sure that heat does not escape your home. Check the caulking around your windows. If there are any cracks or holes, remove the existing caulk with a box cutter and then apply a new line of it along the seam. To get a straight line of caulk, use painter’s tape. Remove the tape while the caulk is still wet. You can also fix a drafty window by applying an inexpensive insulating window film to the glass. Find a tiny hole in the glass? You can repair it with clear nail polish! Allowing the nail polish to dry in between applications, keep adding layers of the polish until it is flush with the glass.

7. Get Rid of the Squeak Below Your Feet

Do you hardwood floors squeak when you walk of them? There is an easy fix for that. The culprit of the creak is moisture. Identify the floorboards that are creaking and sprinkle talcum powder on them. Take a makeup brush and sweep the powder in the cracks between the boards. This will help to soak up the moisture and remove the noise.

8. Clean Your Fridge Coils

Your refrigerator is one of the items in your home that uses up the most energy. To help cut your utility costs, there is a simple fix. By vacuuming the coils underneath or in back of your fridge, you will keep it running as efficiently as possible.

9. Inspect the Safety Features in Your Home

Make sure you and your family stay safe in your home by inspecting your fire extinguishers and smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. For the fire extinguisher, make sure that it is in an easily accessible spot, check for adequate pressure, and ensure that no wear and tear has occurred. For the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, dust them off, ensure that they are working properly by pushing the test buttons, and replace batteries if necessary.

10. Take Care of Your Gutters

Protect the exterior of your home and avoid more serious damage by regularly clearing your gutters of debris and buildup. If your home isn’t too tall, you can safely clean the gutters yourself by using a ladder. Remove all the muck that has been accumulating in the gutters. Then, take your garden hose to flush any remaining debris out and to make sure that water flows properly through them. If you notice that your gutters are sagging or pulling away from the house, replace the fasteners and hangers. As the leaves begin to fall this Autumn, it is important to make sure that your gutters are ready for any weather that comes our way. 

Whether you are buying or selling your home, it can be an overwhelming process. It is helpful to work with a dedicated and informed real estate professional who can help you along the way. Although there are many realtors out there, some have proven success in providing the best service for their clients time and time again. We are proud to announce that The Rullo Team was named as one of America’s Best Real Estate Agents!

Residential real estate consulting and communications company REAL Trends recently released their 2016 rankings of America’s Best Real Estate Agents. This prestigious ranking evaluates agents by metropolitan area and state. Agents and real estate teams are recognized for their sales volume and/or transaction sides based on data from 2015. To make it into this elite group of realtors, real estate teams need to have a closed sales volume of $30 million and/or 75 transaction sides. The rankings are beneficial for prospective home buyers and sellers to find the top realtors to work with in their area by an unbiased resource.

The Rullo Team is proud to join the other agents within the RE/MAX national network who were recognized in REAL Trends’ ranking. We are part of the 2,691 RE/MAX agents and real estate teams included in the rankings, accounting for nearly one third of all realtors included!

The Rullo Team is honored to have been included in this elite group of national real estate agents! We are dedicated to providing our clients in the Fox Valley with the best service and expertise in the area. If you are interested in Buying or Selling your home, give us a call today or visit our website

Back to School Tomorrow for Fox Valley Students!

by The Rullo Team

The first school bell of the year is about to ring throughout the Fox River Valley! It's time to gather your school supplies, pack your backpack, and head back to school! Students in Batavia, Geneva, and St. Charles are starting the new school year. To make the transition back to school easier for you and your family, here is some important information below for the 3 cities’ school districts.

Batavia Public School District 101 (BPS 101)

All students in Batavia have already been back in the classroom! The first day of school for BPS 101 was Wednesday, August 17th. There are 6 elementary schools in this district….including Alice Gustafson School (PK-5), Grace McWayne School (KG-5), H.C. Storm School (KG-5), Hoover-Wood School (KG-5), J.B. Nelson School (KG-5), and Louise White School (KG-5). This district is served by one middle school and one high school….including Rotolo Middle School (6-8) and Batavia High School (9-12). Make sure that your kids know where to catch the bus! The district provides Transportation information on their site. To find a list of the bus routes for your school, log onto PowerSchool.

Interested in moving to Batavia? Check out our Current Homes for Sale in Batavia.

Geneva Community Unit School District 304

All students in Geneva will be heading back to school on Wednesday, August 24th! This district has one early childhood education school for children ages 3 to 5….Friendship Station Preschool. There are 6 elementary schools in this district….including Fabyan Elementary School (KG-5), Harrison Street Elementary School (KG-5), Heartland Elementary School (KG-5), Mill Creek Elementary School (KG-5), Western Avenue Elementary School (KG-5), and Williamsburg Elementary School (KG-5). Geneva students in grades 6 through 8 attend one of the two middle schools in town…..including Geneva Middle School North and Geneva Middle School South. There is one high school for the district….Geneva High School (9-12). Does your child need a ride to school? Use the district’s bus system. There is helpful information and contact numbers for Transportation on the district website.

To have your student enrolled at one of the great schools in Geneva, look at our Current Homes for Sale in Geneva.

St. Charles Community Unit School District 303 (CUSD 303)

The first day of school for all students in St. Charles is Wednesday, August 24th! CUSD 303 is the largest of the 3 districts. This school district is served by 12 elementary schools….including Anderson Elementary (KG-5), Bell-Graham Elementary (KG-5), Corron Elementary (KG-5), Davis Primary (KG-2), Ferson Creek Elementary (KG-5), Fox Ridge Elementary (KG-5), Lincoln Elementary (KG-5), Munhall Elementary (KG-5), Norton Creek Elementary (KG-5), Richmond Intermediate (3-5), Wasco Elementary (KG-5), and Wild Rose Elementary (KG-5). There are 3 middle schools in St. Charles…..including Haines Middle School (6-8), Thompson Middle School (6-8), and Wredling Middle School (6-8). Students in grades 9-12 attend one of 2 high schools….including St. Charles East High School and St. Charles North High School. To make your student’s commute to school easy, the district provides all the routes online. Log into Bus Route Info e-Link information for your school.

Want your student to attend school in St. Charles? We have amazing Current Homes for Sale in St. Charles for you to check out.


The Rullo Team hopes all of the students in the Fox River Valley have a fun and successful 2016-2017 school year!!!

Alex Rullo Named As One of the Top Real Estate Agents in Illinois!

by The Rullo Team

CONGRATULATIONS to Alex Rullo and for being named one of the 100 MOST INFLUENTIAL REAL ESTATE AGENTS IN ILLINOIS!! Here at the The Rullo Team we are incredibly proud of his achievement. We strive to provide the top service to our clients whether they are interested in Buying or Selling real estate in the Fox River Valley.

Alex Rullo received this award from Real Estate Executive Magazine. Every year the magazine does comprehensive research to find the 100 most influential real estate agents in each state. Alex Rullo was selected based on his hard work, dedication, and service as a realtor in Illinois.

We provide all of our clients with The Rullo Team Advantage. We are here to assist you with all of your real estate needs. Let us help you find your dream home today! Check out our Current Homes for Sale to begin your home search. Alex Rullo and the rest of the team will help you with the entire process! Call us or visit our website at http://www.therulloteam.com/ to work with our award winning team!

ELBURN DAYS 2016!

by The Rullo Team

 

ELBURN DAYS 2016!!

Looking for some fun activities to round up the end of Summer? The Elburn Lions will hold their annual Elburn Days event August 19-21 at Elburn Lions Park. The 3-day festival has a little something for everyone, enjoy the parade, craft show, 4H events, tractor pull, mud volleyball or bingo!! Kids will love the petting zoo and the carnival rides!! Don’t miss the food stands and beer garden in addition to live music in the evenings!! This is a great summer event and proceeds assist in helping the club meet their charitable goals…So you can have fun and help a great organization!!

Visit http://www.elburnlions.com/elburn-days for more details!

 

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.

 

If you would like any information on local real estate, visit our website at www.therulloteam.com

Illinois Schools Rank in the Top 15 in the Country!

by The Rullo Team

It’s almost time to head back to school! The quality of the local school districts within a state helps strengthen the local economy, improve home values, and creates a sense of pride. We are happy to announce that our state has made the grade.......Illinois was ranked as the #13 state with the best school districts in the country!!!


To determine the rankings, financial website Wallethub compared all 50 states and the District of Columbia and looked at two key dimensions, School System Quality and School System Safety. Within these dimensions, 17 metrics were used to evaluate the scores. These metrics included factors such as student to teacher ratio, standardized test scores, dropout rate, percentage of certified teachers, school safety, and disciplinary incident rates. Illinois came out at the top of the class! Not only did our state rank 13th for the overall score, but the School System Quality ranking was the 14th best in the country! Our students continue to excel academically, earning the HIGHEST average SAT scores of all the states!


Our local Fox River Valley school districts are stand outs amongst the state’s great school districts, according to Niche.


Indian Prairie Community Unit School District No. 204  ranks #7 in Illinois! This school district has an average graduation rate of 99%! It ranked 5th overall in the state for college readiness and 6th for best teachers! Current Homes for Sale in Aurora.


Geneva Community Unit School District No. 304 ranks #14 in Illinois! This school district received high grades for academics, teachers, clubs & activities, and health & safety! Current Homes for Sale in Geneva.


St. Charles Community Unit School District No. 303 came in at #20 (Current Homes for Sale in St. Charles) and Batavia Unified School District No. 101 at #30 in Illinois (Current Homes for Sale in Batavia). Both of these school districts are recognized for having excellent academics, teachers, and administrations.


Get your child on the path to academic success by enrolling them in one of these fantastic school districts today!


Congrats to Illinois and our local Fox Valley school districts for your recognition and for proving why there is no better place to call home!!!

Spike's Corner - Dog Days Of Summer...

by The Rullo Team

Spike Rullo Here!


Boy, my human parents are sure enjoying the warm, sunny weather! I heard them say these sure are The Dog Days of Summer… Now, this smart pup looked into what this means…

Although "The Dog Days Of Summer" seems to refer to times of persistently hot weather in the summer, this term actually refers to a Star in the constellation Canis Major that is one of the brightest stars in the sky and is approximately 8.6 light-years distant from Earth. The Dog Days is named after Sirius, the Dog Star. The Dog Days come when the Dog Star begins to line up with our Sun. It was thought long ago that when the Dog Star aligned with the Sun, they combined their energy to make the weather even hotter. Even this pooch knows that no other star could warm the earth at even the smallest fraction that the Sun does since stars are very far away!

 I do know that this hot weather does make for some unique summer pet care challenges!

Although wild animals are well adapted to the elements, companion animals like me can be just as susceptible to extreme temperatures as our owners are. When the temperatures get extreme, your pet’s safety should be top priority!

 

 

Here are 5 ways to stay safe while enjoying summer activities with your pet:

1-Respect the heat. Pets just as Humans can find a hot summer day overwhelming. Unlike you, we have limited ability to deal with the heat. Dogs release heat through their paw pads and by panting, while humans can sweat through all of the skin on their body. Also, dehydration can be a big problem. Animals with flat faces—like Pugs and Persian cats—cannot pant as effectively, and are therefore more susceptible to heat stroke. You should also keep an eye on elderly or overweight pets or animals with heart and lung disease. In the summer, make certain that Fido and Fluffy always have access to plenty of fresh, cool water, and avoid letting them run around outside during the hottest parts of the day.

2-Keep bugs away - safely. Another summer pet safety issue is the presence of ticks and other summer insects. Not only can bugs carry diseases, but the ways people try to ward them off can also cause problems for your pet's health. Fertilizers and pesticides may help keep a lawn looking great, but they can be very dangerous. In areas where your pets play, try to keep the grass cut short to reduce the presence of ticks and other insects. Talk to your veterinarian about the best ways to protect your pet from fleas, ticks, and other insects.

3-Beware of antifreeze. In the summertime, antifreeze can leak out of cars when they overheat, leaving puddles on the ground that your dog can easily lap up and swallow. The sweet taste of antifreeze is tempting to dogs and cats, but when this toxic substance is ingested, it's potentially lethal.

4-Find out if your pet needs sunscreen. Some pets, particularly those with short fine hair and pink skin, can be susceptible to sunburn. Talk to your veterinarian about which types of sunscreen are safest on your pet's skin. But be careful! Do not use sunscreen or insect repellents that are not designed specifically for use on animals.


5-Practice water safety. As with other aspects of summer pet care, water safety is all about thinking ahead. It's fun to bring your pet to the beach or pool to stay cool together, but always keep a close eye on your pet when they're in or near the water. Even a strong swimmer could have trouble getting out of a pool, or get trapped by ropes and other obstacles. For more risky summer adventures with your dog, like boating, look into a doggie life preserver.

Well off to the pool, my mom has cool treats all ready for me!

Have fun and stay cool just like me!


If you would like any information on local real estate, visit our website at www.therulloteam.com.

Upcoming Events in Geneva, St. Charles, Batavia IL

by The Rullo Team

Summer may be winding down but there are still plenty of great events to enjoy in the Fox River Valley. This weekend is filled with exciting, family fun activities. Here is a list of the local events that we recommend for this first weekend in August.  

 

Thursday, August 4th

Concerts in the Park: 7:00 pm at Lincoln Park Gazebo in St. Charles. Grab your blanket and pick your spot in the park to watch the entertaining Wild Daisy band perform. This great Chicagoland band will have you dancing the night away to country music. Your family will love their high energy performance.

 

Movies in the Park: 8:30 pm at Island Park in Geneva. Bring the whole family to see the classic film The Goonies under the stars. Children and adults will love this adventure film from 1985. Concessions will be available for purchase during the screening.

 

Friday, August 5th

Remembering Prince with "The Purple Xperience": 8:00 pm at Arcada Theatre in St. Charles. Honor this legend of rock n roll with a special tribute concert by Minnesota band The Purple Xperience. This five-piece band features Doctor Fink, a Grammy award winning artist for his work on the film Purple Rain. This concert will surely be an amazing event.

 

Saturday, August 6th

11th Annual Festival of Flight: 9:00 am till dusk at the Fox Valley Aero Club in St. Charles. Marvel at a variety of aircraft at this great annual event. Have the opportunity to get up close to the airplanes and talk to the pilots who fly them. Set up your lawn chairs to watch the two spectacular air shows, occurring at noon and 9:00 pm. Tickets are $5.00 for adults and children 12 and under are FREE.    

 

Kane County Flea Market: Noon to 5:00 pm at Kane County Fairgrounds in St. Charles. Kicking off its 49th year, hit up the Kane County Flea Market to find some collectibles and antiques from 1,000 different dealers. Admission is $5 for adults and children 12 and under are FREE.

 

Sunday, August 7th

Durant House Museum Pickling Party: 1:00 to 4:00 pm at The Durant House Museum in St. Charles. Learn a new skill at this great local museum. Pioneers in the 19th century preserved their food by pickling. See the pickling techniques in action and have the opportunity to ask questions so that you can preserve your own food at home. The event costs $3 for adults and $1 for children. Visitors will also have the opportunity to tour the house.


Shakespeare on Clark at the Centre: 7:00 pm in the courtyard at the Batavia Fine Arts Center. Enjoy a live performance outdoors of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Everyone in the family will love this 90 minutes of classic entertainment.

 

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