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The Federal Trade Commission issued a statement two weeks ago informing previous Countrywide Financial borrowers that more than $108 million in excess charges would be refunded to over 450,000 individuals. FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz stated, "We are proud to be getting every single dollar back to hundreds of thousands of struggling consumers who can least afford to lose the money." The first types of overcharges were linked to home maintenance, inspections, and other services that Countrywide provided to borrowers in default on their mortgages. The company used its subsidiaries to hire local vendors and significantly mark up the prices of the services. The other group of overcharges included claims and fees for borrowers that entered into Chapter 13 bankruptcy. These borrowers were not properly notified of the fees when they were incurred, so they are being given back the amount of those undisclosed fees. The refunds will cover those homeowners that were in default between January 1, 2005 and July 1, 2008. Those with questions about the Countrywide Financial refund program should call redress administrator Gilardi & Co. at 1-888-230-3196. You can also visit the Federal Trade Commission's Settlement with Countrywide page. For more real estate news and information for the metro Chicago and surrounding areas, bookmark The Rullo Team blog or visit our website. Photo courtesy of CNN Money

Elburn Days 2011

by alexandvickyrullo

Elburn Days 2011 August 19th - 21st Downtown Elburn & Lion's Park - 500 Filmore St, Elburn, IL. 60119 Elburn Days is the communities largest event. It is held annually the third full weekend of August. Lion's Park will have live music, carnival games, rides and TONS of food. Much more food than any one person will be able to sample, even if you stayed all weekend long! There will also be sidewalk sales, commercial expositions and a bunch of other activities hosted by the Chamber of Commerce. You and your family will have plenty of options to fill your day. Friday, the Elburn Days Parade steps off at 6pm from the intersectoin of Gates and Shannon Streets. It will travel east to Main Street (Route 47), then south along Main Street to South Street, where it turns west to end at Lion's Park. Make sure you get there early to get a good seat! For information on local real estate, visit our website at www.TheRulloTeam.com.

Pending Home Sales up 2.4 Percent in June

by alansche

The National Association of Realtors Pending Home Sales Index rose 2.4 percent from May to June based on the number of contracts signed. Even better, the index was up 19.8 percent from the same month last year. The optimistic numbers were unexpected to say the least; economists polled by Reuters predicted a two percent decrease in the index. NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun acknowledged the rise in the Pending Home Sales Index, but he stated that the latest monthly reading shows that tight lending and economic uncertainty continues to hold the market back. In order to ensure a solid housing recovery, Yun supports lenders returning to more sound credit standards. This way, only properly-qualified home buyers can take out a mortgage, reducing the risk of a troubled market. If you would like to learn more about the Saint Charles and Geneva housing markets, give us a call at 888-457-8005. You can also visit The Rullo Team's website to view all of our current listings. Photo courtesy of Stock.xchng

Farmers Markets in Geneva and St. Charles, Illinois

by alexandvickyrullo

There is still time to visit and enjoy your local Farmers Market!

 

 

St. Charles, Illinois Baker Memorial United Methodist Church, 4th Avenue and Main Street (rte 64). June to October, Fridays, weekly, 7am - 1pm Open air/seasonal Farmers Market featuring local Kane County Illinois Farmers as well as farm produce from Illinois and Michigan. This market carries certified organic and natural produce, fruit, meat, dairy (eggs & cheese), flowers, honey, nursery stock and more! It has something for everyone!

 

Geneva, Illinois

75 North River Lane

June to October, Thursdays, weekly, 7am to 1pm

The Geneva Green Market offers food that is locally grown and minimally processed products to chefs, foodies and people who really care about the quality of what they consume on a daily basis. The Geneva Green Market is held at 75 N. River Lane in Geneva, in the beautiful park along the west side of the Fox River. It is a community supported Farmers Market. All the farmers live within a 200 mile radius of Geneva, IL. They offer fresh vegetables, cheese and frozen beef. They also have freshly-cut flowers, chef demos and a "kid's corner".  

 

Be sure to enjoy these good eats before the season is over!

For local real estate information, please visit our website at www.TheRulloTeam.com.

Foreclosures Fall in Most U.S. Cities

by alansche

More than 84 percent of U.S. metro areas saw foreclosures drop for the first half of 2011, but analysts are not claiming a market turnaround just yet. RealtyTrac CEO James Saccacio says that the decrease in foreclosures is mainly due to the backlog of REO properties that lenders are currently attempting to sell or finalize through paperwork. It will not be until these properties begin moving that accurate foreclosure numbers will show up. Even so, the news is encouraging for both buyers and sellers and could provide the national housing market with a boost when it needs it most. Want to find out how the metro Chicago area is doing foreclosure-wise? Give us a call at 888-457-8005 or visit the Rullo Team website. We can provide you with some of the most recent market numbers for Saint Charles and Geneva and help you decide if now is the best time to buy or sell. Photo courtesy of Stock.xchng

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 www.therulloteam.com.

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 Amantranrealty.com

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

Displaying blog entries 701-710 of 713

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