Why does it help me to pay off my mortgage faster?

You might have noticed on my mortgage calculator page after you’ve done a calculation that it has a paragraph at the bottom that looks like:

Did You Know…
If you paid just $40 a month more, you would have your mortgage paid off 54 months earlier? You’d save $20,797.14 in interest and your total payments would be $195,735.89.

I sometime get told that the above paragraph doesn’t make any sense (after all, if you owe $100,000, you owe $100,000, right?), so I thought I would explain what is happening.
Continue reading Why does it help me to pay off my mortgage faster?

Virtual Tours in Home Listings

Did you know that 55% of all homes for sale do not have a virtual tour?  I found this statistic as I was working on my brand-new home-search page, http://aroundcu.com/search.  Give it a try and let me know what you think of it!

The virtual tours that you will find when you search for homes are simply links to external sites that have more than the maximum 9 photos that are in the multiple listing service (MLS), the main real estate database that Realtors use.  This database is what you can access through my website.  

Continue reading Virtual Tours in Home Listings

It’s a buyer’s market. Trade up!

You have probably heard the news about the housing slump, and the “buyer’s market” that we are currently experiencing. A buyer’s market occurs when supply and demand factors shift to cause a drop in price. Due to the increased supply of homes from excess building and foreclosures, with demand remaining constant, prices of homes drop. The Champaign-Urbana market does not experience the large fluctuations that other areas do, but it is not completely immune. This buyer’s market is a great time to buy. Although this seems to be bad news if you are wanting to sell, it is really not bad news if you have been thinking about purchasing a larger home.
Continue reading It’s a buyer’s market. Trade up!

What does a lot size of 72X70X99X45X26 even mean, and how large is it?

When you search for a home on my website and view the "Detailed Information" link for a home, you will see something like this:Lot size portion of customer display

If you look at the "Lot Size" field, you will see a set of numbers. If the numbers are something like 100×100, it’s easy: a square lot with each side measuring 100ft. But 72x70x99x45x26? Which side is which dimension, and what is the total overall size?

Let’s start with the basics. Standard convention says that the street side is the first dimension listed, and then the other dimensions follow clock-wise. For example, if you have a lot size of 60×130, the street side measures 60ft and the lot goes back 130ft. Continue reading What does a lot size of 72X70X99X45X26 even mean, and how large is it?

Landscaping and curb appeal: Why is an ugly yard so bad?

Curb Appeal 1These last several weeks have been very busy! As I have been taking buyers around to view homes, I have begun to notice a pattern that has solidified my views regarding the importance of curb appeal. I have been amazed at the striking correlation between curb appeal and the overall condition of a house. (read more and view photo)

A brief overview on Savoy real estate trends

Existing homes overall are currently taking longer to sell than they used to, but the average selling price has gone up an average of 7.4% since 2005/2006Not bad, considering the widespread belief that 2005/2006 was the “peak” of the housing market.

It is a slightly different story for new construction homes, though. Continue reading A brief overview on Savoy real estate trends

My first billboard ad

When I was a new Realtor® at Keller Williams, they decided to start an advertising campaign, highlighting the company’s growth by displaying the names and photos of two new agents every two weeks on the digital billboard on Kirby and State. I was one of the two first agents: (read more and view photo)

How a Seller should behave when their house is for sale

Why am I writing about how sellers should behave? Isn’t it the Realtor’s® job to deal with every aspect of the sale? Aren’t I neglecting to fulfill my duties if you are possibly forced to deal with buyers face-to-face? Continue reading How a Seller should behave when their house is for sale

“Unique” homes

Have you ever gone into a house, whether it is while home-buying or visiting a friend, and thought “What were they thinking?!”? Whether it is outlandish wallpaper, clutter everywhere, everything being one color, or creepy art, some touches of “character” in a house can lead to a slower sale, lower asking prices, or simply no interest. (click for picture!)