Fall Family Favorites in Champaign County

Now that school is back in session, swimming pools have closed and the hot summer temperatures have turned to a crisp autumn chill you may find yourself  looking for something that the entire family will enjoy.  Well look no further…Champaign County is host to several Fall Family Favorites! 

Curtis Orchard located on the edge of Southwest Champaign has something fun for everyone. From their country store filled with homemade goodies, to  hayrack rides, to picking your own apples and pumpkins you cannot go wrong  when you visit Curtis Orchard.  Visit them on the web for more information and their vast array fun family activities. http://www.curtisorchard.com/Welcome/

Hardy’s Reindeer Ranch in the northern part of Champaign County puts an unique spin on family fun! In the Fall the Hardy’s Reindeer Ranch is famous for the 10 acre corn maze and new this year “Jack Splat” a pumpkin cannon that is certain to thrill crowds at any age.  Visit Hardy’s on the web for more information on all they have to offer this Fall!  http://www.reindeerranch.com/index.html

Dawn Mohr-Administrative Assistant


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The Diferent Shades of Green in Champaign County

Experience the Different shades of Green in Champaign County! New home construction is constantly evolving to meet the demands and expectations of the consumer. Over the years the Home Builders Association of East Central Illinois would host the Showcase of Homes to introduce new trends and designs that were available when building a new home. This year The Home Builders Association of East Central Illinois has joined forces to build a single home for The Green Build Showcase. The members of the homebuilders association have been collaborating for the last several months to bring Champaign County this unique property along with several seminars throughout the showcase to help educate the community. Take advantange of this great opportunity to preview a truly “green” built home and to see first hand all of the options available to build a more energy efficient and eco friendly home.

The model home is located in Urbana’s South Ridge Subdivision, at 1711 Horizon Lane, in southeast Urbana. It will be open on Friday, September 16, 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday, September 17 and 18, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

In addition to the Green Build Showcase, a second home will be open to the public. Chad Vliet of Vliet Builder’s LLC will be available to answer questions on how his homes are standing out front when it comes to affordable, energy conscious homes. Chad’s home is located in South Ridge Subdivision as well and the address is 3407 Deer Ridge. Make it a point to stop by and view this affordable, energy efficient home.

If you prefer a rural subdivision with city amenities, Chad Vliet has another energy efficient home in Landis Farm Subdivision that has a lot of the same energy conscious features as the property in South Ridge. The property is located at 2501 Fairfield Drive and can be viewed by appointment.

Finally, in Northeast Urbana near the intersection of Highcross Road and Airport Road a unique subdivision has been developed in the Historic Big Grove of Urbana. Brickhouses Road Subdivision features 7 one acre lots (approximate in size). This subdivision was developed with the vision that all homes follow the “zero net energy” plans. To learn more about this beautiful subdivision visit www.brickhousesroad.com


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Thinking about buying a home in Champaign County?

NOW is the time to make a move and take advantage of what our current market has to offer. Home ownership has never been more affordable in the Champaign-Urbana area, and following are some reasons why:

Angie Brix

1.) Selection – Did you know there are over 2,000 homes on the market according to our Champaign County Association of Realtors Multiple Listing Service System, and homes continue to come on the market every day? There are many options to choose from that will meet the needs you are looking for in a new home.

2.) Motivated Sellers – Sellers who must sell in this market need to be smart and aggressive in their pricing. Sellers know they have to price it right, and as a result, homes in our area are selling on average within 95-97% of list price to sales price.

3.) Affordability – Interest rates are still holding low. You can get a 30 year fixed loan for a little over 4%. Eventually, those rates will go back up, and for every percentage the interest rate increases, you lose about 10% of your buying power. With rates where they are, you are definitely able to buy more home now.

4.) Financing Options – There are still loans out there that require no or low down payments. There are also down payment assistance funds available for those that qualify. Be sure to meet with a lender to find out what options would work best for you, and to get a clearer sense of how much it would actually cost you to purchase a home and what your monthly payments would be.

Waiting for a better time to buy could be costly for buyers. Many will want to make sure the market has bottomed before they make a move, which is impossible to know until it starts going back up. Don’t miss out on possibly the best time ever to buy!!

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End of Summer Festivals in Champaign County

Let’s send the Summer of 2011 off with a bang! On August 26th & 27th two Champaign County  communities turn their downtown areas into a festival. 

The Urbana Business Association is hosting the 36th Annual Sweetcorn Festival & The Mahomet Area Chamber of Commerce is converting downtown Mahomet into the Sangamon River Music Festival.   Both communities invite you to come out and spend the weekend with them.  

In Downtown Urbana the live music line up is fabulous!


5:30 – 6:45 THE BRAT PACK

7:15 – 8:45 The Tons O’ Fun Band

9:15 – 10:45 Headlining – The Boat Drunks


6:00 – 7:00 Lou Dibello Band

7:30 – 8:15 The Feudin’ Hillbillys

9:00 – 10:30 SURVIVOR

For a complete list of activities visit http://urbanabusiness.com/events/sweetcorn

If you are looking for a slightly smaller venue  you cannot go wrong with the Sangamon River Festival in Downtown Mahomet ! I love the small town vibe this festival offers.

 Visit their website!http://www.mahometchamberofcommerce.com/Events/SangamonRiverFestival/tabid/1004/Default.aspx

Friday, August 26:
Raminator Monster Truck Rides
Carnival Rides, $17 Armbands
Booth Vendors & Food Court
“Kings Highway”
Bingo – At the Community Building
“Ryan Ideus & Feudin Hillbillys”

Saturday, August 27:
Parade – Begins at Lincoln Trail School
Booth Vendors & Food Court
Carnival Rides $17 Armbands
Raminator Monster Truck Rides
Ronald McDonald Magic Show at Masonic Lodge
Bingo – At the Community Building
CAR SHOW at Sangamon School Parking Lot
Bingo – At the Community Building
Blooze Brothers

So no matter what you choose this weekend you have no reason to walk in Monday morning and say you did nothing! Because if you do you missed out on 2 of the most popular events of the season! 

Hope to see you there!

Dawn Mohr

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Selling Your Home In Today’s Real Estate Market

Despite what you might hear about our local real estate market, there are homes selling.  In fact, hundreds of homes per month are sold by the members of the Champaign County Association of Realtors.  Our marketplace appreciated over the last several years at a steady rate, therefore it has declined at only a nominal rate. There are still hundreds of homes that will sell this year, so don’t be afraid of our market.  It is a beauty contest and a pricing war.  You must be the most attractive home and priced very well.   Be realistic with your price, proactive with staging your home and prepare for the best.

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Protesting Real Estate Taxes in Champaign County

Are you paying too much in property taxes in Champaign County?
If so, now is the time to protest.  The Champaign County Board of Review will be reviewing residential property assessment complaints from July 1 through September 9, 2011. 
To see how much your home is currently assessed for, go to the the Champaign County Assessors website and look up your property –  http://www.co.champaign.il.us/ccao/Assessors.htm
Several common reasons to protest include:
  • You recently purchased a home for less than the amount of the current assessment.
  • You have had your home on the market and it is listed under the current assessed value.
  • Your assessment is higher than others in your neighborhood.
To proceed, complete the Residential Property Assessment Complaint Form – http://www.co.champaign.il.us/BOR/2011borcomplaintresidential.pdf, sign it, provide the necessary documentation and return it to the Champaign County Board of Review, Champaign County Brookens Administrative Center,1776 E. Washington St., Urbana, IL 61802 between July 1 and September 9, 2011.  
If you need additional information or have any questions about the process or the form, please contact the Champaign County Board of Review at (217) 384-3758.   
 Angie Brix, Broker Keller Williams Realty
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4th of July Hot Spots in Champaign County

While living in Champaign County is a treat in itself when it comes to the 4th of July Freedom Celebrations, Champaign County has plenty of Hot Spots!  If you are looking for a large parade or a small town atmosphere, Champaign County really does have it all!

In Champaign-Urbana the family fun starts at 1:05 with the parade. You definitely don’t want to be late! The best locations fill up fast!  For a parade map and complete schedule of the holiday events visit http://July4th.net After the parade you will want to make your plans to head over to Dodd’s Park for the festivities. Captain Rat and the Blind Rivets, a local, legendary 50’s and 60’s band will take the stage at 7:00 followed by the annual firework display.

If you are looking for a small town atmosphere this year head on over to Seymour for their annual 4th of July parade. The parade begins at 10:00 followed by a car show and many other family filled events throughout the day.

My personal favorite “Hot Spot” in Champaign County is in Mahomet at The Lake of the Woods Forest Preserve. I have been to several firework shows over the years and the Light up the Lake Freedom Fest celebration has stolen my heart.  I will never forget that feeling I had the first year I attended the Freedom Fest, I remember thinking ‘this is really what it is all about.’  I don’t know if it was the music, the crowd singing in harmony to the National Anthem, the children playing in the park or watching the amazing firework display over the Lake as my friends and family lined the shore but I can tell you it is like a scene out of a movie. The feeling is surreal and it will stay with me forever.

Light up the Lake Freedom Fest is a fun-filled family event that starts at 3:00 but if you would like to take full advantage of the day at picturesque Lake of the Woods, the boats will open at 1:00 and a live band will begin at 2:00. This year The Main Street Band is performing.  For those of you who do not plan on grilling out the concessions will open at 3:00 along with the fun family activities.  

Music in Motion, local DJ service will start at 5:00 and carry us onto the main event! They will Light up the Lake at approximately 9:00 so don’t be late! The firework display is set to music and it adds to the excitement.  You definitely do not want to miss out on this funtabulous event! Plus the cost is very affordable at just $1 per person with children 5 and under FREE! For more information visit http://www.ccfpd.org/FreedomFest.html

I hope to see you there!

Dawn Mohr-Administrative Assistant for Gallivan & Associates.

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