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Top Photography Tips For Listing Your Home!

by The Rullo Team

The first impression buyers get of your home is not at your front door.....it is online! Almost all buyers begin their home search online. That means that it is more important than ever to make sure that your home pops out from the screen. Hiring a professional photographer is always a surefire way to ensure that your home looks its very best in your online photos. However, if you are looking to save money, there are several ways that you can make the photos look like they were done by a pro. Help attract buyers to your Fox Valley listing online by following these great photography tips!

Keep Your Photos Steady.

Nothing is more distracting than a crooked, blurry photo. Hands invariably shake so use a tripod to eliminate camera shake and keep the photo perfectly straight.


Avoid Using Your Smartphone.

Smartphones do have great cameras built into them, but they still do not compare to an actual camera. Use a DSLR camera for your home photography. DSLR camera's capture light better.

 

Let There Be Light.

Light is the most important element to make your photographs look their best. Use an external flash when shooting indoors. At the same time, make sure that all interior lights are turned on and keep the curtains open to let in natural light. When shooting exterior shoots, pay attention to the sun. Always shoot when the sun is facing directly onto your home to keep it bright and eliminate shadows.

 

Use a Deep Depth of Field.

A deep depth of field keeps everything in the fore-, middle, and background in focus and gives a better impression of your home. When indoors, this allows you to capture not only what is within the room but also the view of the outdoors from that room's windows. When outside, you want to have part of the yard included with the images of your home. (Extra tip: shoot the front exterior of your home from an elevated position in order to capture the landscaping within the image.) Do as the professionals do and utilize HDR imaging which allows you to layer multiple exposures.


Shoot Wide.

In order to convey the maximum amount of space within your home, shoot your images with a wide-angle lens.


Find the Best Angle.

Position yourself in a way to that allows you to capture the best image. You want spaces to appear large. Never shoot from behind furniture which will cause the room to appear cramped. Frame your photos so that three walls are captured within it. This creates space and adds balance to your photo.


Putting your best foot forward is key in listing your home for sale. At The Rullo Team, we utilize the services of a professional real estate photographer to capture your home at it's best!


For more great Home Selling Tips, turn to the Rullo Team. If you are ready to list and sell your Fox Valley home, give us a call today or visit our website at http://www.therulloteam.com/.

What To Look For When Buying A Home For Your Family!

by The Rullo Team

Room for a nursery? Check. Good school district? Check. Home buyers with kids (or who hope to have kids soon) know to look for properties with certain kid-friendly characteristics ... but do you know all the things you should check? Home buyers with kids have several things that they always keep in mind when they begin searching for a home. These include location within a great school district, room for your family to grow, and safety of the neighborhood. But, what about those things that are overlooked that could make a home less conducive for everyone in your family. If you are a parent and are in the market for a new home in the Fox River Valley, consider these 8 factors as you begin your search!


1. Open Floor Plan

If you have younger children, an open floor plan allows you to keep your kids in sight while you are taking care of other things, such as preparing dinner, in your home. Look for homes that have the family room, dining room, and kitchen open. Even as your kids get older and start using the basement or bonus room more, this open space will still be a perfect spot to gather together as a family throughout the day.

 

2. Placement of Bedrooms

Not only do you want to make sure your new home has enough bedrooms for everyone in your family, but you should also consider where those bedrooms are placed within the home. Decide whether you want to have all of the bedrooms located on the same floor so you can always hear what is happening in your children's bedrooms OR if you prefer the master bedroom on the first floor for some privacy.


3. Hot Items

Think about areas of the home that could get hot and potentially burn your children if touched. Radiators (though mostly found in older homes) can be hot to the touch. In addition, the glass over gas fireplaces can also become so hot that one could be burned if they accidently touch it. Make sure that you take necessary precautions if you have younger children in the home.


4. View of the Backyard

As important as it is to have a back yard for your children to play it, it is just as important to have an easy sightlight to that backyard from inside your home. This will allow you to keep an eye on your children as you do chores within the home.


5. Flat Yard

If your lot is too steep, it can make playing difficult and even dangerous for your children. Find a yard that is flat so your kids can safely play all that they want to.


6. Neighbors

Try to find out who the neighbors are in the area. Your children's safety should always be at the top of your mind when picking a new house.


7. Sidewalks

Even if you make sure not to move onto a street that has too much traffic, it can still be dangerous for kids to play and walk around outside if there aren't sidewalks in the area.


8. Walkability

Along with sidewalks, buyers with kids should pick out a home that is close to amenities. Make your life more convenient by moving to a spot that has parks, schools, restaurants, and stores within walking distance.



For more Home Buying Tips or to Search Homes for Sale in the Fox River Valley, give us a call today or visit our website at http://www.therulloteam.com/. We are happy to here to help you find a home that perfectly fits the needs of you and your children.

Sell Your Home By Acing The Open House!

by The Rullo Team

Open houses are important events to hold when you are looking to Sell your Fox Valley home. They allow a buyer to see the home in person and ask any questions that they might need answered in order to move forward with buying the home. It is important for sellers to make sure they are putting their best foot forward during the open house in order to sell their home for top dollar and quickly. If you are looking to sell your home this season, follow these tips for selling success with your open house.

1. Have buyers excited to enter your home by creating Welcoming Entrance. Such simple touches as a nice doormat and potted plants at your front door will show that you put care into your home.

2. Clutter can be distracting and can make counters seem small. Clear Counters to only the essentials in the bathroom and kitchen.

3. Buyers know that someone else currently lives in the home but they need to have the opportunity to picture themselves living in it as well. Before open houses, Put Away Personal Items such as children's artwork or family photos.

4. Allow buyers to see the potential of your home by Setting The Dining Table. Adding place settings to the table showcases the home's potential for dinner parties and other gatherings.

5. Make the buyers feel Right At Home by having light snacks and beverages for them to enjoy during the open house. Place freshly cut flowers in central spots throughout the home to add some color and fragrance.

6. Although you might want to stick around, it is a good idea to Not Be Around for the entire open house. Having the home owner present can make buyers feel less comfortable to ask their agent questions and you want to make sure that they are getting all the information they need to want to buy your home after the open house.

For more great home selling tips, The Rullo Team is here! Give us a call today or visit our website at http://www.therulloteam.com/.

What To Look Out For During The Home Inspection!

by The Rullo Team

Looking to Buy your dream Fox Valley home? As a buyer, it is important to understand a home’s condition and maintenance. Learn to look past the design and decor elements of the home and recognize the structural “bones” of the house. Doing this will help you avoid potentially costly repairs should you end up buying the home. Become a smart buyer and use every opportunity you can to carefully inspect the home that you are interested in buying. Look closely for these warning signs that may be indicative of the home’s structural problems.

 

 

  • Incomplete or Badly Done Repairs/Renovations - Check for workmanship issues or tasks that seem incomplete.
  • Electrical Issues - Check for lights that flicker when on, warm outlets, flash burn signs near sockets and exposed wires.
  • Plumbing Issues - Check for leaky faucets, low water pressure, poor drainage, water stains near bathroom fixtures or on walls, peeling paint, musty or foul smells, and visible mold. 
  • Foundation Issues - Look for cracks in walkways and the driveway, unlevel floors and doorways (often noticeable in doors have large gaps underneath or on top of them), and trees with large roots near the foundation of the house. 
  • Roof Issues - Look out for warped, missing, or cracked shingles, materials that do not match the rest of the roof, and any noticeable wear or tear that indicates damage. 
  • Pest Issues - Check for areas that small rodents or insects could easily enter the house and be on the lookout for any wood damage that could indicate an issue. 

 

 

Once you know what issues to look out for, you can discuss with the home inspector before you proceed with buying the home. Work with an Experienced Realtor to help you throughout the process. Give our team a call today or visit our website at http://www.therulloteam.com/ to help you find the perfect home for you this year!

Treat Your Sweetheart To A Romantic Dinner in The Fox River Valley!

by The Rullo Team

Cupid has come to the beautiful Fox River Valley! Valentine's Day is almost here! Celebrate the love you share with your sweetheart with an incredible dinner for two. There are so many delectable and romantic restaurants in the Fox River Valley to choose from. Here are our top recommendations for romantic spots to dine for Valentine’s Day. And, don't forget to grab a sweet treat for dessert afterwards!


DINNER

Atwater's | 15 South River Lane, Geneva | (630) 208-8920

Fioras | 317 South 3rd Street, Geneva | (630) 262-1317

Moveable Feast & Company | 321 Franklin Street, Geneva | (630) 845-3287

Niche | 14 South 3rd Street, Geneva | (630) 262-1000

Osteria Bigolaro | 317 West State Street, Geneva | (630) 402-0597

The Pattern House | 124 South 2nd Street, Geneva | (630) 492-5040

Wildwood Restaurant | 477 South Third Street, Geneva | (630) 377-8325

Club Arcada | 105 East Main Street, St. Charles | (630) 962-7000

The Finery & Blacksmith Bar | 305 West Main Street, St. Charles | (630) 940-2380

Hotel Baker | 100 West Main Street, St. Charles | (630) 584-2100

Nuova Italia Restaurant | 18 North 4th Street, St. Charles | (630) 584-4040

Pheasant Run Resort | 4051 East Main Street, St. Charles | (630) 584-6300

St. Charles Place | 2550 East Main Street, St. Charles | (630) 377-3333

Vintage 53 | 162 South 1st Street, St. Charles | (630) 549-0423

Gaetano's Batavia | 15 East Wilson Street, Batavia | (630) 406-3009

 

DESSERT

All Chocolate Kitchen | 33 South Third Street, Geneva | (630) 232-2395

Sugar Path Bakery | 315 West State Street, Geneva | (630) 262-3353

Graham's Fine Chocolates & Ice Cream | 302 South Third Street, Geneva | (630) 232-6655


 


The Rullo Team
wishes everyone in the Fox River Valley a very Happy Valentine’s Day! Follow us on Facebook for more local information and events!

Tackle These Home Maintenance Tasks This February!

by The Rullo Team

Winter Home MaintenanceWith the cold weather outside, now is the perfect time to take care of some maintenance around the house. Keep your Fox River Valley home in tip top shape the rest of this winter and all year round by completing some tasks. Here are easy tasks to complete this month and keep your family healthy and cozy in your beloved home.

1. Give Your Wood Floors Some TLC. Winter can be the toughest season on your wood floors. Heating in your home can dry out the planks, resulting in cracks and shrinkage. Salt can scratch and stain the floors. There are several simple steps you can take to resolve these issues. Add a humidifier in your home to add moisture to the air. Sweep and mop the floors routinely to remove salt and buildup. Add rugs and mats in areas with a lot of foot traffic.

2. Prepare For Winter Storms. Winter will still be here for the next couple of months. That means freezing temperatures and percipitation. Keep shovels and snow fear close to the door so that you can easily access them when needed. Keep walkways cleared of snow and ice. Remove large snow piles, when the weather permits, from the roof and tree limbs to avoid costly damage.

3. Clean Your Oven. Your oven sees a lot of action. There is likely a lot of grease and grime built up. Use the self-cleaning function once a month if your oven has one. Create a paste of baking soda and water to scrub out the buildup in the oven.

4. Take Care Of Drafts. Hot air can be escaping from your home and increasing your energy bill. Pick up some door sweeps from your area home improvement store to all doors leading outside. Add weatherstripping around windows.

5. Remove Allergens. Indoor allergens increase during the winter. Keep your family healthy all season by removing these issues. Dust throughout the house, particularly blinds and ceiling fans. Be sure to vacuum all carpeted areas regularly. Add an air purifier with HEPA filter to your home to remove particles from the air. Wash your bedding in hot water weekly and cover your mattress in a zippered allergen-resistant cover.

6. Complete A Property Inspection. Brave the cold weather and complete a home inspection in the winter. This is important since major issues are more likely to take place during this season. Check the conditions of gutters, look out for frozen pipes, and inspect windows and doors. Make sure to change out the batteries in the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Consider hiring a professional to complete the inspection to ensure that all potential issues are found.

 


Contine to check The Rullo Team's website for more helpful home maintanence tips throughout the year!

Amp Up The Elegance In Your Fox River Valley Home!

by The Rullo Team

Selling your Fox River Valley home? Help drive your offer prices up and make your home stand apart from the competition by making your listing look more expensive! Add some elegant touches to help increase the apparent value of your home! Follow these simple tips and your home will be sold in no time!

1. Paint Color. Clean up the appearance of your home by applying a fresh coat of paint throughout. Choose a neutral color that will appeal to all buyers. Add elegance by selecting one with a slight sheen.


2. Declutter. Eccentuate the space within your home and highlight your home's best architectural features by removing all clutter and unnecessary items that could be distracting for buyers.


3. Kitchen Appliances. Higher end homes have kitchens with brightly colored or stainless steel appliance. Upgrade yours before selling.


4. Fixtures. Help bring your home into the modern era by replacing all outdated lighting and plumbing fixtures, as well as hardware.


5. Crown Molding. Add crown molding to the living and dining rooms for instant elegance.


6. Window Treatments. Let ample light in to make your home look big and bright. Update window treatments to solid colored blinds, drapes, or shades.


7. Garage Door. Your garage door takes up a lot of real estate on the outside of your home. Get a great return on investment by updating the door to own that looks more expensive. We recommend a wood door with carriage home details.

For more helpful tips or assistance in Selling your home, give The Rullo Team  a call today or visit our website at http://www.therulloteam.com/!

Be Safe! Test For Radon This January!

by The Rullo Team

 

Protect your family from the hazards of radon by testing your Fox River Valley home during National Radon Action Month!

 

Click HERE to find great resources, such as testing kits and lists of certified radon mitigation professionals, from the Illinois Emergency Management Agency.

Find more great homeowner’s safety and improvement tips on our Website  or follow us on Facebook!

 

Choose The Rullo Team For All Your Real Estate Needs!

by The Rullo Team

 

 

Our incredible, award winning team includes Alex Rullo (Broker), Vicky Rullo (Realtor), Sandy Selander (Buyer Specialist), Adam Rullo (Buyer Specialist), and Denise Huelskamp (Client Care Manager).


The Rullo Team is dedicated to providing our clients with the highest level of service. With over 3,000 homes sold and 33 years of real estate negotiation, we offer the expertise and experience providing a wide variety of services to meet all of our clients real estate needs in the beautiful Fox River Valley! Work with the best team around for Buying or Selling your home. Give us a call at (630) 513-1771 or visit our website at www.therulloteam.com so we can begin helping you today!

Avoid These Buying Mistakes In The New Year!

by The Rullo Team

Earlier this week we gave you the top reasons to buy, but buying a new home can lead to a lot of excitement and anxiety. All of these emotions can lead to mistakes made by Buyers during the process. If you are on the market for your dream Fox River Valley home in the new year, avoid making these mistakes and enjoy life in your new home in no time!

Waiting on Financing. Before you even begin the home search, you should get your financing in order. This allows you to know what you can actually afford and limit your search to just those properties that fit within your price range. You don't want to fall in love with a home just to find out there is no way you can make the financing work.


Not Researching Your Lender. Unfortunatel,y there are bad lenders out there that offer scams. Do your own research but also ask your real estate agent for recommendations. They will only let you know about credible mortgage providers.


Not Getting Pre-Approval. Some home buyers mistake pre-qualified for pre-approval. They are very different. Pre-approval requires you to go through the documentation process and actually gets you an agreement with the lender. The seller must see that you are pre-approved when you submit your offer.


Offering Too Low. We understand that you want to get the home for a great deal but you don't want to risk insulting the seller. Work with your realtor to figure out a fair and competitive price to offer.


Spending Too Much During Escrow. Even if you are pre-approved, the final part of the loan doesn't start until right before closing. At that time, your lender goes through your finances again to make sure that your finances are still in order. If you buy too many big ticket items or add additional lines of credit during this time, you could alter your debt to income ratio so much that you no longer qualify.


Not Having Your Closing Costs In Order. As you budget for the home, make sure to always keep enough for closing costs. You need to have enough cash to cover it otherwise the deal will fall through. Ask your lender what the estimated closing costs are so you can have it ready from the very beginning.


Get into your dream home in the new year by avoiding these buyer mistakes. The Rullo Team is here to help you throughout the buying process. Give our team a call today or visit our website at http://www.therulloteam.com/.

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