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Brighten Up Your Fox Valley Garden With These Native Plants!

by The Rullo Team

 

Spring is the perfect time in the FOX RIVER VALLEY to add instant curb appeal to your home with a lovely garden. The changing seasons in Illinois can pose a challenge when deciding what plants to choose for your landscaping. Look to plants that naturally grow in the region. These resilient botanicals will add beauty and interest to your yard for years to come. Here are the top native plants for Midwest gardens!


PALE PURPLE CONEFLOWER

Name: Echinacea pallida

Where to plant: Place this coneflower in the full sun with well-drained soil.

Appearance: In mid-summer, this plant will bloom with pink flowers surrounding a dark red cone in the middle.

Other Helpful Information: The pale purple coneflower will spread throughout your garden as it self-seeds.


POPPY MALLOW

Name: Callirhoe involucrata

Where to plant: The poppy mallow is perfect for border areas in the full sun.

Appearance: Throughout the summer months, enjoy wine-red flowers on this groundcover plant.  

Other Helpful Information: This plant is very resilient as it can thrive in dry soil and resists pests.


COLUMBINE

Name: Aquilegia canadensis

Where to plant: This plant can grow in the sun or shade.

Appearance: Enjoy delicate red and yellow flowers.  

Other Helpful Information: The columbine will attract hummingbirds and butterflies to your garden!


SWAMP MILKWEED

Name: Asclepias incarnata

Where to plant: The swamp milkweed can grow in moist or average soil but needs to be placed in plenty of sunlight.

Appearance: Clusters of pink flowers will appear in mid-summer on the 5 foot tall stems.

Other Helpful Information: Monarch butterflies love this beautiful plant.  


COMPASS PLANT

Name: Silphium laciniatum

Where to plant: This plant needs full sun.

Appearance: A giant of a plant, this flower grows up to 9 feet tall. It blooms with bright yellow, sunflower-like petals.  

Other Helpful Information: The compass plant is so called because it aligns itself from north to south in order to conserve water!  


BUTTERFLY WEED

Name: Asclepias tuberosa

Where to plant: This drought resistant prairie plant needs direct sunlight to grow.  

Appearance: During the summer, the plant blossoms with bright orange petals.   

Other Helpful Information: As its name suggests, butterflies love this plant.   


WILD ANEMONE

Name: Anemone canadensis

Where to plant: This perfect border plant needs organic-rich, moist soil.  

Appearance: Large white flowers will appear in your garden in the summer.   

Other Helpful Information: The wild anemone is perfect for filling up large spaces within your garden as it rapidly spreads on its own.   


SPIDERWORT

Name: Tradescantia sp

Where to plant: This versatile plant can grow in sun or shade but requires moist soil.

Appearance: This beauty will blossom in a variety of colors, depending on the strain of the plant, every spring with three-petaled flowers. 

Other Helpful Information: The spiderwort is a perennial.   


GOLDENROD

Name: Solidago sp

Where to plant: Place the goldenrod in full sun and well-drained soil.

Appearance: Your garden will continue to look lovely into the autumn months when the golden-yellow flowers appear.  




BLOODROOT

Name: Sanguinaria canadensis

Where to plant: This groundcover can grow in the shade.

Appearance: Daisy shaped flowers will cover the lower part of your garden with this delicate plant.

Other Helpful Information: The bloodroot will go dormant during the summer so make sure to plant it near summer blossoming plants to avoid blank spaces in your garden.


JACK-IN-THE-PULPIT

Name: Arisaema triphyllum

Where to plant: This plant is perfect for shady areas of your garden.

Appearance: Produces hooded green petals with red lines throughout the summer months and, in fall, red berries often appear.


CULVER'S ROOT

Name: Veronicastrum virginicum

Where to plant: This plant can thrive whether in sun or part shade but needs plenty of water.

Appearance: Culver’s Root grows up to 6 feet tall and produces white flowers.

Other Helpful Information: This plant is a magnet for butterflies to your garden.


BLUE SAGE  

Name: Salvia pitcheri

Where to plant: This plant needs full sun.

Appearance: Your garden will look beautiful with lovely sky blue flowers that blossom in early fall.

Other Helpful Information: Blue sage is a perennial.


PENSTEMON

Name: Penstemon digitalis 

Where to plant: Make sure to keep the soil around the penstemon moist.

Appearance: During the summer, white flowers will appear amongst the burgundy hued foliage of this plant.

Other Helpful Information: You can rely on this plant to return yearly.


LITTLE BLUESTEM

Name: Schizachyrium scoparium

Where to plant: This grass needs plenty of sun.

Appearance: A great plant throughout the year, the little bluestem adds color to your garden every season. During the fall and winter, the stems are a purple-bronze hue. As it starts to warm up outside, the foliage turns blue-green. 

 

Update your curb appeal with these native plants to Sell your Fox River Valley home for top dollar! Give The Rullo Team  a call at (630) 513-1771 or visit http://www.therulloteam.com/ today!

 

Source: Better Homes & Garden

Update Your Front Porch For Spring Selling Success!

by The Rullo Team

Are you ready to "Spring" into the Fox River Valley housing market? With the temperatures rising and the snow melting, now is the perfect time to start enhancing your home's curb appeal so it is ready to sell. A great area to focus on is your front porch. It will help create an inviting first impression for buyers and, as an added bonus, can be utilized by you and your family as additional outdoor living space! Follow these design tips to have your front porch looking it's absolute best this spring!

1. Draw the eye from the street towards the front porch with the placement of colorful plants throughout your landscaping.

2. Ensure that your front porch is always well lit. Add 3 to 4 different sources of light. Make sure your house numbers are illuminated so buyers and guests can always easily locate your home.

3. Add potted greenery that will last throughout the growing season as well as window boxes and/or vases of seasonal flowers to your front porch for a bright, lush atmosphere.

4. Create a cozy spot to gather with seating for two and a small table. For a cozy, old-fashioned touch, hang a swinging bench.

5. Place a functional and fashionable doormat at the entrance to tie the space together and welcome guests inside.

6. Coordinate color throughout the space with your accents. Make sure that they share all the same hues and complement your home's exterior. A good way to ensure color coordination is to use your home's trim or front door color as a starting point.

7. Keep pests away and beat the summer heat and humidity with a cool breeze from an outdoor ceiling fan or well-placed upright fan.

8. Add some privacy and block the sun with outdoor curtains. Make them easy to open and close as needed and use fade-resistant fabric for longevity.

For more helpful Home Selling Tips, visit our Website and follow us on Facebook.

Spring Gardening Tips!

by The Rullo Team

Spring is officially here! That means its time to put that green thumb back on and prepare for your garden! Add stunning curb appeal to your Fox Valley home and create a peaceful space filled with fresh produce and beautiful flowers for your whole family to enjoy. Follow these 6 tips for spring gardening success!

1. Map It Out

Start your garden off with a plan. Figure out the layout of your garden in terms of what plants look best near each other, the distance between each of them, where the sunlight hits, and more. The more you can plan out ahead of time, the better your garden will end up!

2. Begin Indoors

Have your plants ready to go in your garden as soon as the last frost is gone by seeding indoors. All you need to do is fill containers with potting mix, moisten with water, and carefully add your seeds. Make sure to place in a warm spot of your home that receives 12 to 16 hours of daylight. Once the weather has cleared outside and the plants have gotten larger, you can transfer outdoors.

3. Prepare Your Soil

Make sure your soil is ready for the season. Purchase a soil kit from your local home improvement store to learn its type and pH level. This information will help you determine what modifications your soil needs in order to grow the healthiest plants.

4. Start Planting ASAP

With our cold winters in the Fox River Valley, you want to make sure that you time out your planting properly so you start early enough but don't expose your plants to frost. Check out this handy Farmer's Almanac Planting Guide for St. Charles to know when to start planting in our area.

5. Prune

Help stimulate plant growth and improve the look of your garden by pruning shrubs and trees. Just ensure that you are only pruning those plants that have bloomed on new growth from this year. If you prune plants that are still on last year's growth, you could cause irreparable damage to the plant.

6. Mulch

Save time in the future by adding several inches of mulch around your garden. Mulch moderates soil temperatures, saves water, reduce weeds, and wards of disease. When spreading out the mulch, be sure to water the soil before and after in order to keep the mulch a couple of inches away from your stems. Check out this Guide to Mulch Buying from the Chicago Tribune for more helpful information.

For more helpful home improvement tips throughout the year, check out our website at http://www.therulloteam.com/.

Curb Appeal For Fall Home Selling in the Fox River Valley!

by The Rullo Team

 

 

6 Tips To Help Sell Your Fox Valley IL Home This Spring

by The Rullo Team

So, you're looking to sell your Fox Valley IL home this spring, good call!  Expect a large pent up buyer demand. 

This Spring is expected to be even busier for home sellers due to the large amount of homebuyers who are trying to buy before interest rates and home prices make their expected spike.  

 Even though demand will be high and competition fierce, buyers will still insist on good deals. Even in seller's markets, where supply can't meet demand, overpriced homes are still at a disadvantage...so, PRICE RIGHT! 

There could be many competing offers, which is good, you want people competing for your home, but the homes that are priced too high, aren't seeing any action at all.  So, price right and let the fight begin!  

Remember, the same rules still apply:  The three things that sell homes, no matter what season are: LOCATION, PRICE AND CONDITION. 

If even one of these is out of line, chances are your home won't sell.  However, you can always compensate for things like location and condition with a better price... lean on your realtor for advice.  After all, that's why you're working with them right. 

6 Tips To Help Sell Your Home This Spring:


1) Curb Appeal

It’s not uncommon for buyers to decide within 60 seconds of seeing a home whether they’ll consider buying it or not. So, obviously first impressions are Important.  

It’s not hard to add a little curb appeal.  Simple things like trimming trees and bushes and pressure-washing the driveway, walkway, house and patio can do a lot for appearances. You should also spruce up that front door a bit.  Clean it… Repaint it maybe.  Buyers will linger here for a moment while the Realtor opens the door, so make it look nice.  Don’t neglect the windows either.  Clean both the inside and outside of the windows so they sparkle in that spring sun.

Go one step further:  It’s spring, so things are in full bloom, add some colorful flowers to the porch or garden.  This is a simple effective way to add charm to your home before the potential buy even enters.   Though, you’ll want to lay down any mulch days in advance so that weird mulchy smell isn’t lingering.


2) Eliminate Clutter 

Eliminate Clutter!  This is absolutely essential.  Go through all of your furniture and closets…just go through everything in your home with a discerning eye, eliminate any and all unnecessary clutter and then… do it again! 

Ladies…and gentlemen, if you have 17 sweaters, it may be time to donate.  You need to make your closets look as big as possible.  If you absolutely must keep them all, then pack them away into storage, OFF SITE!  You want your whole home to have as much space as possible.  Even storage in the basement should be eliminated.  Buy a pod, or ask a good friend or family member to hang on to some things.  This is huge! 

Go one step further: You should also pay special attention to any dark corners of your home.  Definitely eliminate clutter here.  You can even paint them lighter color and then add a small l light to reflect off the walls to give the impression they are not as dark and cramped as they appear.


3) Eliminate Pet Odor

 If you have a pet, you’ll want to clean the carpets and open the windows to air out the house. Chances are you are immune from the smell, it has become normal to you, but new buyers will definitely notice a difference.  Don’t forget to clean the drapes, or if you have to, get rid of them completely.  

4) Pre-Home Inspection Repairs

If you expect a home inspector to find something wrong with your home, anything, big or small, FIX IT! 

If you haven't maintained your home very well over the years, you may want to hire your own home inspector before you put your home on the market.  This way you can make the necessary repairs before you try to sell it. It’s worth noting that It usually costs less to fix things before a home inspection.

Go one Step Further: Bring in an electrician to make sure the electrical panel is up to date, and a plumber to do the same.  You DO NOT want any surprises.  

Most sellers will know if something is broken anyway.  You won’t be able to hide anything, so just make the repairs, there’s no sense in waiting for a buyer to request it.  Buyers could end up asking you to spend $300 on what should really only cost $100.  Do yourself the favor!

5) Price Right

Even though prices are rising in a lot of markets, sellers need to be reasonable and knowledgable; compare your home to similar properties that have recently sold. *Your Realtor can help!

Buyers today are are pretty keen. If you price too low, they'll think something is wrong, but If you price too high and then have to lower, it will hurt you. You can avoid all this by just pricing it right the first time around.  This will attract motivated buyers!  The more buyers you attract, the better, and if you’re lucky, your home could become the center of a bidding war amongst interested parties. Something that would definitely not happen if your home is priced too high or too low.   

Overpriced homes that stay on the market for 90 to 120 days are extremely difficult to sell, and we don’t use the word extremely or difficult lightly, they really are very hard to sell.  So, don’t let this happen to you. 

There is another danger of overpricing: Appraisers will be cautious and may not value your home as high as the sales price… even if you do find a buyer willing to pay that much.  You definitely don’t want this headache!  


6) Make The Internet Work For You

The majority of buyers today, start their home search online. So, if you want to sell a home this Spring, hire a Realtor who will maximize your online presence.  You want to make sure your Realtor will use professional photos, video, and vibrant descriptions of your home, that will entice buyers from the internet.  A lot of buyers are using mobile phones and tablets to search for homes too, so you’ll want to be sure that your Realtor can use marketing materials that are easy to navigate on these devices as well.  We call it responsive design, which is basically means a website is easy to navigate  and looks beautiful not matter what device it is being viewed on.  Ask your realtor about it.  

Go One Step Further: Sure your Realtor will be blasting your home out with all of their resources, but you should too.  Use social media; Facebook, Instagram, whatever your preferred medium is, to market your home yourself!  Consider putting it in an Employee newsletter or any other material at the office, all of this will help sell your home...FAST!  

If you'd like more information on how to optimize your Fox Valley IL home for the Spring market and sell for top dollar, give The Rullo Team a call, we'd be happy to help you sell your home in record time this Spring! 

Getting your home ready for a walk through can be frustrating, especially when you're still living there, but keeping your home clean as you take all the necessary steps to sell your house is key; things like removing the personal items, staging, and ramping up your curb appeal.  Hiring a professional cleaning service isn't a bad idea, but those add up over time.  So, here are some tricks to help you clean your house in a hurry.  You'll be ready for a walkthrough at a moments notice!

Ok, so first start big and work your way to the smaller rooms, as these will be easier to do in a pinch.

1. Kitchen 15 minutes

  • Remove Clutter from all counter tops, cabinets and tables.
  • Clean Counters and Cabinets Wipe down counters and cabinets with all-purpose cleaner, speed up your process by brushing all crumbs and such on the floor (you'll sweep later).
  • Wipe Appliances Wipe down the fridge, dishwasher and cooktop areas as well as microwaves, toasters, etc.  
  • Load Dishes into your dishwasher.
  • Sweep and Mop Starting from the back and working your way to the front sweep those crumbs up and mop.  

2. Living and Dining Rooms 10 minutes

  • Clean Up The Clutter put anything that's out of place in boxes or drawers...if you put it in boxes, you're going to have to neatly hide the boxes somewhere.
  • Dust! Dust tables, fireplaces, mantels, window blinds and shades.  If any dust happens to fall on the floor, no worries, you will vaccuum at the end.  Don't forget to dust the ceiling fans and bookshelves... get yourself a long armed duster.  
  • Wash Your Glass Use glass cleaner to wipe down anything made of glass.
  • Vacume Ok, vacuum all the dust you just put on your floor and on to the next room. 

3. Bathrooms 10 minutes

  • Start With Sink and Tub wipe down the sink and shower/tub with a good all purpose cleaner.
  • Clean the Toilet Thoroughly scrub the bowl with a brush, finish by scrubbing the outer area with a rag.
  • Wipe Mirror with your glass cleaner.  Start from the top corner and work your way down in a circular motion, think karate kid, "wax on...".
  • Wash The Sink Scrub the spots around the sink and fixtures with a brush to free up the grime, then finish with a rag and cleaner.  
  • Wipe the Shower/Tub Use a damp rag to wipe the shower and tub, if there are any tough-grimey spots, use a hard cleaner and brush to remove it...but don't scrub too hard. 
  • Mop the Floor Use a mop to quickly clean the floor of your bathroom, starting at the far corner and then working your way back to the door.

4. Bedrooms 10 minutes

  • Remake the Beds Remove the linens and replace with fresh ones so they look clean and crispy.  Don't forget to tuck the sheets in at the corner, go for the 5 star hotel feel, neat and crisp!
  • Clear the Clutter Everything out of sight! Use drawers, baskets, the closet...you can organize more later.
  • Clean Furniture Wipe down furniture with a moist cloth or use a vacuum with hose attachment to suck up the dust.
  • Dust everything! tables, furniture, lamps, closets, shelves, ceiling fans, mirrors...everything.

Try these steps before your next showing, and be amazed at how quickly this can all be done.  If you are no longer living in the home or will be out of town you can hire a cleaning service, they will do these things for you for around $150, but remember this can really add up.  So, it depends on your budget.  

Remember, if you find yourself looking for a home in the Fox Valley, our experts on The Rullo Team are here to help! The housing market is the best it's been since 2007 and moving fast. So give us a call or visit our website. You may even want to sign up for our exclusive Email Alerts for new homes that come onto the market. Just follow this link: Preferred Email Listing Alerts

Green For More Green in the Fox Valley

by The Rullo Team

You've heard the age old saying "don't judge a book by it's cover", well this rule simply doesn't apply to the real estate market.  A good looking face isn't just memorable, the exterior of your home can make or break a sale.  It can be the difference between you getting your asking price or settling for much less.  First impressions are everything in the real estate business.  According to the National Association of Realtors; 63% of people will stop by to view a home they found and liked online.  What will they see? They will see the driveway, the front yard and the facade of your house.  So, what this means is you have to focus just as much attention on the outdoor impression of your home as the indoor.  This impression starts immediately when they see your home online.  So, invest a little time and money into the exterior of your home...before you take the stunning photos you will post online.  Green up the grass, plant some flowers and shrubs, clean the lingering winter dirt from the side of your house; give the exterior of your home a little loving makeover.  I promise, it will be worth it when you sell your home for exactly what you were asking for it.  


Residents in the Fox Vallery area are especially lucky because right here in St. Charles is one of Today’s Garden Center magazine’s Revolutionary 100 Garden Centers for 2015. 

 Wasco Nursery Named One of Today’s Garden Center’s “Revolutionary 100”


Wasco Nursery & Garden Center is putting Saint Charles, IL on the map. It was recently named one of the top Garden Centers in America by The Revolutionary 100 program, which began in 2006.  The program surveys garden center owners and managers on how they run their businesses.  The revolutionary 100 determines the health of these businesses and how they impact their communities.  

 

 Wasco Nursery & Garden Center is the perfect resource for homeowners and sellers looking to spruce up the  exterior of their homes for the summer market.   With a full service retail garden center, nursery and a    landscape business Wasco Nursery can meet nearly every landscape need. Wasco has remained dedicated to  growing and selling the best varieties of trees, shrubs, annuals and perennials, as well as new exotic plants  from around the world. They also have a whole library of information in store and online, on how to care for your lawn safely and effectively.  There are tools on the website to help you plan your next garden, a plant search database and tips and tricks to help through the entire process.  They are constantly reccomending the best and safest new products, for example: This Organic Lawn food turns lackluster yellow lawns green again, without harming your family or pets in the process. Their friendly staff are always willing to talk you through new processes and with a staff of 48 people in the peak season, the customer service is damn near perfect.  Check out their website to learn more.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Curb Appeal - Exterior Home Staging

by The Rullo Team

  Whether they drive by or have an appointment, your potential buyer’s first impression may make or break the deal.  What is the first thing they see when they get out of the car?  Is it your beautiful front door with the colorful wreath?  Or is it the broken bench in the corner next to the overgrown shrubs? 

Get a pen and paper and walk across the street; turn around and face your house.  Look for the positive and the negatives, and make your lists.  Are there some colorful unused pots in your garage waiting to be filled with plants?  Does your sister have an outdoor table and chairs you can borrow for the front porch?  Are there toys everywhere? Do you need to weed or trim those overgrown bushes that are blocking the view of your house? For great exterior home staging ideas, visit www.homestaginghints.com

Make sure everything is clean and in good repair. Pressure wash the siding, professionally clean the windows, rake dead leaves, replace light bulbs, brighten up your house numbers… For an excellent checklist, go to http://www.saratoga.com/neil-bindelglass/home-staging/outside.cfm

Happy House Selling!

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.

 

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