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Update Your Outdoor Living Space For Fall!

by The Rullo Team

Fall is just around the corner! The beautiful colors of orange, red, and yellow add much needed color to the cooler months. Take advantage of the great weather now to make some updates to your outdoor living spaces. If you're looking to sell your home this autumn or just add a little 'spice' to your landscape, check out these great Fall Landscaping Trends!


 

1. Add an Outdoor Fireplace so you can stay warm while still enjoying spending time outside.


 

2. Arrange Contemporary Groupings of Fall's Favorite Plants, such as chrysanthemums, sunflowers, mums, and colorful leaves from your trees!


 

3. Create areas for entertaining with Choice Lighting. Pendant lights and hanging old fashioned light strands give your area great atmosphere appeal.


 

4. Utilize Natural Elements. Add porcelain tiles, metal fixtures, a collage of floral pots, hanging lanterns and great outdoor organic rugs in the colors of the season.


 

For more homeowner & seller tips for your Fox River Valley home, visit our website: at www.therulloteam.com

 

Christmas Tree Safety in the Fox Valley

by The Rullo Team

Christmas Tree Safety for Families in The Fox Valley

For many people it just doesn’t feel like Christmas until there is a tree in the house.  However, Christmas trees often present a few safety issues; around 200 home fires are caused by Christmas trees each year, some even resulting in serious injury or death.  If you think you’re off the hook because you have a fake tree…think again.  Even the fire resistant fake trees can catch fire if the temperatures are right.  

Below are some tips to help ensure your Holidays are burning bright....but in a good way, not with flames!

Choose your tree wisely: If you decide, like many people do, to with a lovely fresh pine tree, there are certain things need to look for;  The tree should be flexible and fragrant NOT dry and brittle. 

*Shake the tree and make sure it doesn’t lose too many needles, this is a good indicator that the tree is fresh.  Examine the bark and make sure there are no insects crawling around.  Lastly, and often an after thought, bring a tape measure and make sure this tree will fit in your home.  

Set it up right: Sounds simple, but there are things people overlook.  First of all, your tree should be at least three feet from any heat source, including fireplaces, vents, radiators, and even light fixtures! Make sure it is secured well and not in the traffic pattern of the house. Before putting your tree in it's stand, saw at least an inch off of the bottom, just like you would fresh cut flowers.  This will ensure maximum hydration, lowering the chances of your tree drying out. Most places who sell trees provide this service for you, but you have to ask.   

Light safely: Faulty wires from Christmas lights is one of the main causes of Christmas tree fires. Although our Christmas lights are much safer now than they have ever been, caution and common sense should still be demonstrated. Make sure your lights are working properly and meant for indoor use. You also want to check that there aren't any broken bulbs, because if the shunt is broken or cracked, your tree may be exposed to the heat from the filament. Also, a big "no-no"....don't overload your outlets, and NEVER, EVER USE REAL CANDLES in your tree! If you like the old fashioned look of candles in the tree, use the electronic version!  

Your Tree Gets Thirsty....Water Often: Sure the tree is going to come down soon, it may not seem all that important to keep it watered, but having a well hydrated tree makes all the difference in preventing  a fire. If you’re planning to keep your tree up for a while, don't forget to water in the New Year - almost as many Christmas tree fires occur in January as in December.  


Faux vs. Real  Christmas Trees

Most people have already answered this question  themselves, but for those of you still on the fence, here are some pros and cons of each to consider.

If your priority is minimum cost and maximum convenience, Faux Christmas trees may be the best way to go, especially since faux trees don't look all that "fake" anymore. You just purchase a quality artificial Christmas tree once and you will be set for years.

Most environmentally-minded groups advocate real over faux trees because they benefit local farmers (the great majority of trees currently come from farms and not forests), they are also 100 percent recyclable, and don't contain potentially harmful plastics or chemicals…all good things.

The whole faux trees are safer, hasn’t been proved, especially since most holiday fires are started by overloaded electrical outlets…in these cases, both types of trees are equally likely to catch fire. Even "flame resistant" artificial trees have been known to ignite if the temperature is high enough, and unlike real trees, they emit harmful toxins while burning.

Our Conclusion: Unless your wallet prevents you from buying a new tree every year, a fresh Christmas tree may be the best option, just make sure you take care when setting up and maintaining your tree and you will have a happy and safe Holiday.  

HAVE A HAPPY & SAFE HOLIDAY SEASON FROM ALL OF US AT The Rullo Team!

If you are interested in looking for a home in the lovely Fox Valley area, please give one of our experienced Team Members a call! We'd love to show you around this spectacular community. 630-513-1771.

 

Upcoming Events for the Fox Valley!

by The Rullo Team

UPCOMING EVENTS FOR THE FOX VALLEY!

6th Annual Chicago Pet Show  --> November 7 & 8 -- 10am-5pm

Price: $7.00 Adults $7, kids under 18 free with parent. Seniors 65+ free.

Back in its 6th year, The Chicago Pet Show at the Kane County Fairgrounds!  You can meet local rescues, make friends,  and find new ways to help out needy fur balls!

Want to pamper your pet? Check out some of the over 100 hundred food and vendor boutiques offering show specials, but it’s not just shopping, stick around and watch some of the great shows like Jim Nesci’s Cold Blooded Creatures, Mike D’s Magic, and the West Burb Weiner races! 50% of ticket proceeds help benefit local rescues. And, if you save your bracelet you can come back on Sunday with Saturday admission!  For more information visit the Official Chicago Pet Show Website.

Full Schedule

Tickets

Featured Presenters

Kane County Sportsman's Show --> November 8th -- 7:30am-1:30pm.

A show for the whole family!

With more than 250 Vendors, Attendees can Buy, sell and trade firearms and all related items.  Fishing tackle, military, air guns, muzzle loading, Indian artifacts, swords, gun parts, knives, reloading components, books, Indian jewelry, hunting gear, gun safes, display cases, clothing, etc.

Free parking and only $5.00 admission.  

For more information visit the Official Kane County Sportsman's Website.

Geneva Women's Club Annual Craft Show --> November 7th -- 9:00 am-3:00pm

The Geneva Women's Club is a Non-Profit philanthropic women's organization dedicated to improving the lives of Families in the Fox Valley.  Each year they host a fantastic crafts festival, where proceeds go to helping local charities.  For more info visit the Geneva Women's Club Official Website.

There's so much more to come this holiday season! Make sure to check back to our Blog, Website & Facebook page. If you'd like us to post one of your Organizations Events, please comment on this Blog or post to our Facebook Page. We're always happy to help get your event get more exposure anytime we are able to do so.


*All content is subject to approval by The Rullo Team.

Illinois' Top Ten Most Haunted Cities

by The Rullo Team
   

Illinois has no shortage of ghost stories and spooky legends of haunted places, and the spooks inside them.  From the state’s creepiest cemeteries to roads known for strange and inexplicable happenings, there is a rich history of haunts in the Land Of Lincoln.

For years, Mysterious Heartland has sought out some of the most notable haunted locations throughout Illinois and the Midwest.

Mysterious Heartland’s Michael Kleen acknowledges some people’s claim that Illinois is one of the most haunted states in the nation, and the eerie stories across the state seem to validate this claim. 

Below is a list of the Top 10 most haunted cities in Illinois, according to Mysterious Heartland.

10. Naperville

In 1946, [Naperville] was the scene of one of the worst train disasters in U.S. history. Two passenger trains collided, killing 47 and injuring 125. There have been Eyewitness accounts of seeing lost disoriented specters walking along Loomis Street.  The residents along 4th avenue have also reported experiences of cold spots, strange noises and shadows; which makes sense since this is where they laid all the bodies out after the crash.  It is said that as many as half a dozen ghosts haunt the Barbara Pfeiffer Hall and Theater, on the campus of [North Central College]. Naperville Cemetery, usually a peaceful place, has also been the scene of strange encounters.

9. Galena

First opened in 1855, the DeSoto House is one of the oldest operating hotels in Illinois. Hotel staff and guests have witnessed apparitions in old fashioned clothing, passing through walls where doorways once were. Others have heard voices in the hallway and even caught the scent of old cigars. The Galena History Museum, Turner Hall, and One Eleven Main (a former mortuary turned restaurant…strange) are also believed to be haunted.

8. Decatur

Author Troy Taylor has spent more than a decade documenting and offering tours of Decatur’s haunted places. High on his list are the Avon and Lincoln theaters, Millikin University, and Greenwood Cemetery. After the Avon Theater reopened in the 1990s, staff began experiencing strange events, including hearing laughter, footsteps, and applause after hours. They have also seen the apparition of Gus Constan, who owned the Avon during the 1960s. At Greenwood Cemetery, visitors have caught a glimpse of spook lights, phantom funerals, and the “Greenwood Ghost Bride.”

7. St. Charles

St. Charles is home to a surprising number of haunted places. Al Capone’s Hideaway and Steak House, which closed in 2012, was probably the most famous. The Arcada Theater, Dunham-Hunt Home, Hotel Baker, and St. Charles East High School are all also believed to be haunted. The Dunham-Hunt home is one of St. Charles’ oldest buildings. According to Bethany Krajelis of the Kane County Chronicle, “Museum staff have reported hearing footsteps, seeing moving shadows under doors, and claw marks on the wallpaper, as well as neighbors reporting flickering lights.” One former museum director held a séance in the home.

 

 

 

6. Springfield

Aside from its position as the political hub of Illinois, Springfield is known for its many museums and connections to President Abraham Lincoln, whose tomb is located in Oak Ridge Cemetery. The ghost of Lincoln himself has been spotted numerous times around the old State Capitol. Additionally, the Dana-Thomas Home, Legacy Theatre, Yates Mansion, and the Chesapeake Seafood House are all believed to be haunted. In the 1970s, an exorcism was performed at the Sober Duck, a former disco and rock club on Fox Ridge Road in Springfield that burnt down under mysterious circumstances in 1992. In the Dana-Thomas Home, volunteers have heard humming, the sound of chairs tumbling down the stairs, and have even seen a lady dressed in black wandering the home when no tour groups were present.

 

 

 

 5. Carbondale

Southern Illinois University is rich with ghost-lore, and many of its buildings are believed to be haunted. Oakland Cemetery is also no stranger to the unusual. The ghost of a young woman in a flowing white gown, a mausoleum that unlocks on its own, vapors, glowing balls of light, and even strange creatures have all been reported there. The Hundley Home, where a former mayor of Carbondale and his wife were found shot dead, was featured on the Discovery Channel’s series Ghost Lab in 2010. Even the former post office, now home to a blood plasma center, has experienced unusual activity. Employees have seen the lobby chandelier swing back and forth, doors open by themselves, radios turn on and off at will, and at least one janitor quit because he “could not handle the intensity and frequency” of the activity.

 

 

4. Peoria

Aside from its association with the infamous Peoria State Hospital (actually located in neighboring Bartonville), Peoria is home to more than its fair share of haunts. The Meyer-Jacobs Theatre at Bradley University is one of the most haunted theaters in the state. Equally haunted is the Peoria Public Library, which was allegedly built on cursed ground and is occupied by as many as a dozen different ghosts. At the Peoria Players Theatre, Lights flicker and props seemed to move on their own. Once, the grandson of a volunteer saw the ghost of a man in a gray suit sitting in the auditorium. Ghostly nuns reportedly comfort the sick at Saint Francis Medical Center, and the sprawling Springdale Cemetery is home to an isolated place known as the “Witch’s Circle.”

 

 

3. Rockford

Rockford Female Seminary evolved into present-day Rockford University, which is home to numerous ghost stories. The laughter of past students has been heard in the vicinity of Adams Arch, which was constructed using a doorway from the original campus. Though not well advertised, haunted sites abound throughout the rest of the city as well. Twin Sister’s Woods, the Emma Jones Home, Coronado Theater, Faust Hotel, and the Camp Grant Museum and Command Post Restaurant are just a few. Most famously, in 2012, Tinker Swiss Cottage Museum was featured on Syfy’s Ghost Hunters. The Atlantic Paranormal Society documented every inch of the museum while filming the episode. At one point in the evening, a rocking chair began to move on its own. At the Emma Jones Home, a newlywed couple reported that an old woman appeared in their living room and asked what they were doing in her home, before she vanished.

 

 

2. Alton

Perhaps because of its rich history, Alton has a disproportionately high number of allegedly haunted places. Most famously, it is home to the McPike Mansion, one of the most haunted houses in the Midwest. There are a lot of repurposed buildings here, leaving behind ghosts of the past. That was the case with the former Enos Sanitarium, now an apartment complex, as well as the Mineral Springs Mall and Old Milton School. The Mineral Springs Mall, a former hotel, is said to be haunted by several ghosts, including that of a jasmine-scented woman, an artist, and one frightening specter who hangs out in the former swimming pool. The modern Saint Anthony’s Health Center is also believed to be haunted by at least three ghosts.

 

 

1. Chicago

With so many people living and dying here, it comes as no surprise that Chicago would be home to many ghosts. Entire books and their sequels have been devoted to the ghost-lore of the Windy City. The Congress Plaza Hotel, Excalibur Club, Red Lion Pub, and Drake Hotel are among the most infamous. Guests at the Drake have reportedly seen the ghost of a “Woman in Red” throughout its halls. More than half a dozen bars and pubs in Chicago are believed to be haunted. Ethyl’s Party in Chinatown, for example, was a former funeral home, and employees have seen the ghost of a man dressed in a brown trench coat, a thick white cloud, and even an extra band member who was spotted on stage for a few moments before vanishing. Though technically not located within city limits, one of the most famous ghost stories in the world, Resurrection Mary, and one of the most famous haunted places in the world, Bachelor’s Grove Cemetery, are often associated with Chicago.

 

 

*Special Thanks to Michael Kleen of Mysterious Heartland for the spooky info.  Check out their website for more haunts!

Illinois: 5th Best State To Make A Living

by The Rullo Team

Last year Illinois missed the Top 10 ranking of Best States To Make A Living, but it's made a huge come back this year!  

A new report by MoneyRates.com confirms that Illinois' position as a good place to earn a living grew a lot from 2014 to 2015, moving up many spaces since not making the Top Ten Last Year, to claim the number 5 spot in this year's ranking, which was based on: 

 

  1. Average Wages (data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics)
  2. State Tax Rates (moneyrates.com analyzed state tax information collected by the research group Tax Foundation)
  3. Cost Of Living (data sourced from the Council For Community and Economic Research's Cost Of Living Index)
  4. Unemployment Rate (from UA bureau of Labor Statistics)
  5. Incidents of Workplace Illness/Injuries/Fatalities (data sourced from reports to the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the BLS Survey of Occupational Injuries)
No doubt, this is due to Illinois' high wages combined with a reasonable tax rate and cost of living.  Check out the infographic below to see what states beat us and what states are seriously lagging.  For the full report and a full ranking of states, visit Reboot Illinois.

 

 

*Graphic Obtained From Reboot Illinois

So, if you'd like to make the most of the state you live in or maybe you're planning a visit or moving here, either way, Keep checking back with us on our website blog and our Facebook Page as we keep posting Events, Festivals and all the great things taking place in St. CharlesGeneva and Batavia Illinois!

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

Kane County IL Severe Storms Emergency Preparedness!

by The Rullo Team

It's finally summer and that hot sun feels good, but along with the heat comes a more unwelcome summer player, Severe Storms.  It is important to understand what is possible, the correct terms, and how to protect yourself and your property.  

Preparing for severe thunderstorms, tornados and floods will not only benefit you during the spring and summer months, but year round. Almost half of all tornadoes reported in Illinois the past three years (2012-14) have occurred in fall or winter! Though the “peak” of severe weather season is from April through June; however, recent weather events have proven that we need to be “Weather Ready” in Illinois the entire year.  This information will help keep you and your family safe while helping you be completely prepared if extreme weather arrives. 

TORNADOS

FACTS:

• Illinois ranks fifth in the United States for the most tornadoes per square mile.

• The majority of Illinois tornadoes have occurred between April 1 and June 30 and between the hours of 3 p.m. and 10 p.m. However, tornadoes have occurred every month of the year at all hours of the day.

• Nearly 30 percent of all tornadoes in Illinois occur after dark.

• There is an average of 47 tornadoes each year in Illinois.

• There were 48 tornadoes reported in Illinois during 2014, which resulted in two injuries and nearly $5 million in damage to homes and crops.

•  Since 1950: 76 percent of tornadoes have been weak with wind less than 110 mph, 22 percent of tornadoes have been strong with wind between 110-167 mph and 2 percent of tornadoes have been violent with wind greater than 167 mph.

Two violent tornados occurred on November 17, 2013; one in Washington and one in New Minden. The chances of being affected by a tornado may seem small, but if you are in a threatened area, act QUICKLY. This information will tell you what to do to do before, during and after a tornado.  

 

THUNDERSTORMS

People often ignore severe thunderstorms, believing only a tornado will cause damage or threaten their lives. The fact is a majority of the property damage and injuries each year is from high winds and large hail.

FACTS

• Illinois averages 550 reports of wind damage and large hail annually.

• Severe thunderstorms can produce tornadoes, damaging winds, lightning, hail and/or heavy rain.

• High wind from straight-line winds and downbursts can cause more damage than nearly 75 percent of the tornadoes that occur in Illinois.

• Hailstones ranging from 3.00 to 4.00 inches in diameter impacted the Douglas County, Illinois city of Tuscola on May 21, 2014. Roofs and windows of buildings were severely damaged, hundreds of vehicles sustained major damage and two people were injured. Property damage was estimated around $100 million from this hail storm.

• Most lightning deaths occur under or near trees and in open fields.

TERMS TO KNOW

Severe Thunderstorm Watch: This means severe thunderstorms are possible in or near your area. Stay alert for the latest weather information. Be prepared to take shelter.  

Severe Thunderstorm Warning: This means severe thunderstorms will be approaching or are occurring. Severe thunderstorms produce damaging wind in excess of 60 mph and/or hail measuring one inch in diameter or larger. Seek safe shelter.

Significant Weather Advisory: This means strong thunderstorms with wind gusts of 40 to 55 mph and/or hail measuring less than one inch in diameter will be approaching or are occurring

FLOODS

Prolonged flooding from creeks and rivers and flash flooding from rain swollen roads and waterways is a danger that too many people ignore, sometimes with fatal consequences. Many flood-related rescues, injuries and fatalities have been the result of people in vehicles attempting to drive across flooded roads.

FACTS

• The most dangerous type of flooding is a flash flood. Flash floods can sweep away everything in their path.

• Most flash floods are caused by slow-moving thunderstorms and occur most frequently at night. The peak time for flash flooding in Illinois is at night.

 • Flooding is to blame for 33 deaths in Illinois since 1995. Most of these fatalities involved people in vehicles trying to cross flooded roadways.

 

Disaster strikes sometimes, but if you are prepared and know how to handle the situation, you can reamain calm and ensure the safety of you and your family.  Make sure you have your HOMEOWNERS insurance in place and make sure all your policies are all up to date with the proper coverage for your dwellings.

The American Red Cross has some more information on severe weather preparedness and resources.

The State Of Illinois Emergency Management Agency also provides alot of great information on preparedness.  

 

Things to Do in the Fox Valley this Weekend!

by The Rullo Team

Summer is fast approaching and the activities and events around the Fox Valley and Kane County are heating up just like the temperatures! This weekend is no exception. We have some wonderful festivals and Things to do in the 'Burbs This Weekend!

* Grayslake Craft Beer Festival- It's the buzzphrase for the summer...Craft Beer Festival...and Grayslake will stand shoulder to shoulder with any big city when it comes to their Craft Beer Festival! Saturday, May 30th from 1:00 - 5:00 with VIP passes starting at noon, and over 100 craft brews represented from 40 different breweries! Add to that food, music, and so much more...and you've got a festival you wish lasted much longer! Don't miss out...get it on the calendar now. More Info: 

GRAYSLAKE BEER FESTIVAL

* Fine Line Arts Festival- St Charles very own outdoor festival including a "hands-on" experience in a variety of copper etching, felting, Japanese Raku, and more! Held at the Fine Lines Creative Arts Center, on Friday and Saturday- (05/29- 05/30) For more information check out their website at:  FINE LINE ARTS FEST

* Butterflies and Blooms at Chicago Botanic Garden - Always beautiful and worth the ride! Open daily 10-5 pm. You'll see hundreds of Butterfly's from all over the world! Check out their website for pricing and more information: CHICAGO BOTANIC GARDEN

* Gilberts Community Days! Sure to be a crowd pleaser...May 28-31. Music, food, rides, a car show and more! Get more info at the link below: 

GILBERTS COMMUNITY DAYS

* Get your fill of VINTAGE CARS at the Antique Car Show in Wheaton! It's CRUISING Friday night, May 29th, from 5-9:00 pm. Check out the schedule here:

VINTAGE CARS SHOW

* Lana Del Ray in Tinley Park- Yes! She's really here! Check out all the info at this link:MIDWEST AMPHITHEATER

* Geneva Chamber Golf Outing- This outing is June 1, at Royal Hawk Country Club, and is going to be an exceptional event! For more information please call thenumber at the following link:  Geneva Chamber Golf Outing

The Fox Valley has so much to offer for both families and singles! Check out our Facebook page as well as our Blog and website to keep up on all the great summer events and activities taking place around our wonderful communities!

If you're looking for a home in one of our communities, give us a call!  We'd be happy to help in any way we can.

Have a terrific weekend!

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