Springfield, IL Real Estate News

By Roy T Robinette
(the Real Estate Firm)
You don't have to sanitize your design to sell your home, as long as it stands out in the right way By Alyson McNutt English, FrontDoor.com This Tribeca townhome has double-paned windows, solar panels and other green features that impress eco-friendly buyers. Green Features If you know what the terms FSC-certified, Low-VOC and passive heat gain mean, you're probably fairly eco-savvy. More and more buyers are too, says Lopez, who thinks going green is a good way to build buzz about your property. "More buyers are coming to me asking about things like energy efficiency and other green features in homes," she says. This is especially the case in markets like Manhattan's, where Elie Pariente, executive vice president of the New York City-based realty company Urban Sanctuary, is marketing "g...
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By Roy T Robinette
(the Real Estate Firm)
You don't have to sanitize your design to sell your home, as long as it stands out in the right way By Alyson McNutt English, FrontDoor.com A bathroom with lots of upgrades can give your home a competitive edge in the market. Bathroom Bliss Real estate experts will tell you buyers love to see updated kitchens and baths in homes, but if you really want to blow away the competition, think about going above and beyond in your bathroom retreat. That's what sellers in Memphis, Tenn.'s popular Midtown neighborhood did. Briscoe Ellett, associate broker with Weichert Realtors - Chapman & Associates in Collierville, Tenn. says the bathroom in a historic home he just sold was the key to the deal. "In this area of Midtown, buyers in this price range would usually see a small bathroom with maybe a ...
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By Roy T Robinette
(the Real Estate Firm)
You don't have to sanitize your design to sell your home, as long as it stands out in the right way By Alyson McNutt English, FrontDoor.com Homes with unique architecture, like the Kiva House in Sedona, Ariz., will attract buyers who are looking for something different. Unusual Architecture Tired of cookie-cutter floor plans and rows of similar looking homes? There are buyers who are, too. In Sedona, Ariz., Lin Ennis was one of those house-hunters looking for something different. Her quest led her to her current home, which she says "doesn't have a right angle in the house." Known as "The Kiva House," Ennis says the unusual curves and interesting look of the property drew her to the home. "Every window was hand-placed by the builders and the walls were built around the window placements...
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By Roy T Robinette
(the Real Estate Firm)
You don't have to sanitize your design to sell your home, as long as it stands out in the right way By Alyson McNutt English, FrontDoor.com Buyers with children will be impressed by a well-crafted playroom. Perfect Playroom Many parents create a playroom to give their children an area where they can let loose. But while spaces where crayon-covered walls and toy clutter abound may turn off most buyers, a well-constructed, deluxe play area can be a selling point for many house-hunting families. In fact, Janie Glover says her High Point, N.C. home sold quickly thanks to her daughter's decked-out playroom. Initially, the family's Realtor had advised them they might want to dismantle the area, which had been a labor of love for the entire family and had been featured in local design stories....
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By Roy T Robinette
(the Real Estate Firm)
You don't have to sanitize your design to sell your home, as long as it stands out in the right way By Alyson McNutt English, FrontDoor.com   An inviting garden can make your home stand out, especially in an urban setting. In this "Designed to Sell" world, many people try to market their home by appealing to as many buyers as possible. But during a tough housing market, having a home that stands apart can be a boon to your sales prospects -- as long as it stands out in the right way. Here are five features that can give your listing a little more pizazz: A Backyard Oasis When Will Csaklos and Susan Harrow went house-hunting in the San Francisco Bay area, they weren't expecting their quest to take a year. But the couple just couldn't find anything that felt right to them -- until they di...
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By Roy T Robinette
(the Real Estate Firm)
  News Release Capital Area Association of REALTORS® The Voice for Real EstateTM in the Capital Area   but Market Showing Signs of Life Home Sales Down in January              SPRINGFIELD (February 25, 2009)   The median single-family home sale price decreased while unit home sales also decreased in the Capital Area during January 2009, according to the Capital Area Association of REALTORS® (CAAR) Multiple Information Service.                 For the month of January 2009, the median home sale price (for all single-family homes and condominiums) was $94,500, a decrease of 5.5 percent from  the $100,000 January 2008 price.  The median is a typical market price where half the homes sold for more, half sold for less.  Home sales in the Capital Area were down 6.9 percent in January of 2009 ...
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By Roy T Robinette
(the Real Estate Firm)
Capital Area Association of REALTORS® The Voice for Real EstateTM in the Capital Area             SPRINGFIELD (February 23, 2009)   The Capital Area Association of REALTORS (CAAR) announces its upcoming "Freaky Friday" Trivia Night to be held on Friday the 13th of March to benefit an area food program.                      Each year the Community Service Committee of the CAAR identifies one organization to be the primary benefactor of its fundraising efforts.  This year's Committee, chaired by Laura Bridges, chose the Central Illinois Foodbank as the benefactor.  As a non-profit organization the Central Illinois Foodbank's mission is "...to collect donated food and grocery items from growers, manufacturers, processors, and wholesalers for distribution to 160 charitable agencies serving ...
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By Roy T Robinette
(the Real Estate Firm)
.....................about the budget deficit BY RICH MILLER   Medicaid seniors would see hard times if the state decided to leave the Medicaid payment cycle where it is to help make up some of the state's budget deficit.PHOTO BY NEAL LAURON/MCT The chickens are coming home to roost. In fact, more chickens are on their way than we've ever seen before. And they're mad. Gov. Rod Blagojevich spent years ignoring and exacerbating the state's structural budget deficit. What that means is he did a lot of one-time budget fixes with one-time revenue sources to stem the tide of red ink, while at the same time expanding state spending exponentially. You can get away with that as long as other revenues are growing enough to help patch the rest of the budget holes, but state revenues have tanked al...
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By Roy T Robinette
(the Real Estate Firm)
Iraqis open arms to romance as violence fades    By Missy Ryan and Aseel Kami BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Romance is in the air in Baghdad as war-weary Iraqis celebrate Valentine's Day after a sharp drop in violence, allowing lovers to cautiously hold hands in parks and to buy gifts for their sweethearts. Public courtship and more daring clothing for women are increasing after years of growing intolerance, perhaps signaling the Islamic dogma and conservatism that accompanied Iraq's slide into sectarian slaughter may be losing their grip. "You cannot imagine how happy I am today," said Usama Abdul-Wahab Khatab, a recent university graduate nestled beside his girlfriend at a riverside Baghdad park. A year earlier, the park shook to the sounds of artillery fire that rained on the U.S. diplomatic a...
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By Roy T Robinette
(the Real Estate Firm)
what to do this week   EMPLOYMENT | Career FairIn today's job market, a room filled with multiple employers interested in your talents and skills seems like a fantasy, but UIS is making the dream come true at the 11th annual Springfield Collegiate Career Fair. The fair is the most high-profile event to be held at UIS for students seeking employment. The event attracts close to 100 area employers in addition to national government agencies. The goal is to provide access to information about various organizations, hiring trends and more. Business casual attire is required. Participants should bring a copy of their resume. UIS is also offering "A Last Chance Resume Critique" and "Recession Proof Job Search Techniques" workshop to prepare students for the Career Fair.Last Chance Resume Crit...
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By Roy T Robinette
(the Real Estate Firm)
BY TOM IRWIN   New Frank Trompeter Quartet plays Marly's Pub every Friday from 6 to 8pm. In a column last month I mentioned a few of our standard weekly club shows, giving them the annual plug-in-print. Since then I've been accosted by more than one patron of the Springfield scene, wondering why I left out the many other weekly gigs going on around town. My reasoning went that the shows I wrote about were long-running events hosted by organizations featuring different artists each week, not weeklies with the same performers. My faithful and helpful readers were quick to point out that not all the shows I mentioned were hosted by organizations, and requested and suggested I give everyone an equal pitch. What could I do but shake my head, acknowledge my mistake and hope for redemption in ...
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By Roy T Robinette
(the Real Estate Firm)
Why Lisa Madigan leads the political pack BY DUSTY RHODES   Lisa Madigan takes the oath of office in January 2007 for a second term as attorney general. With Madigan is her husband, Pat Byrnes, center, and Joel Flaum of the U.S. Court of Appeals.PHOTO COURTESY OF THE OFFICE OF LISA MADIGAN "So how was the inauguration?" If you had asked Lisa Madigan that casual question on Barack Obama's third day in office, you would've been treated to a 15-minute rhapsody on the joys of having a seat on the platform looking out over the podium and onward toward the estimated 1.5 million well-wishers thronging the mall. "It was just this sea of happy humanity, as far as the eye could see," Madigan says. All of Illinois' statewide officeholders had platform passes, and Madigan - a former state senator a...
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By Roy T Robinette
(the Real Estate Firm)
Day center needs may be covered by expanding shelters BY AMANDA ROBERT   Springfield's homeless and their advocates have long promoted the idea of a separate day center, but as two local nonprofits expand their space and services, that need could be eliminated. The Salvation Army began its search for a new site more than four years ago, after the needs of its homeless shelter and community center exceeded their current 35,000-square foot space at Sixth and Carpenter streets. Dave MacDonna, capital campaign and development director, says they need something with at least 60,000 square feet and have set their sights on a building on Ninth Street. The organization plans to increase the number of beds in its homeless shelter from 40 to 100 and add private rooms for families. More computers ...
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By Roy T Robinette
(the Real Estate Firm)
Decatur site gets new study and a makeover BY TARA MCCLELLAN MCANDREW   This is one of many depictions of what the Lincoln family cabin near Decatur looked like. Standing in front of it are John and Dennis Hanks, Abraham's second cousins.ILLUSTRATION Courtesy of Decatur's Lincoln Heritage Project When Abraham Lincoln, his father, stepmother, and step-brother first came to Illinois from Indiana, they settled in a log cabin about three miles west of Decatur on the Sangamon River. The history of that long-gone cabin is a tangle of folklore and interesting facts. The city of Decatur, through its Lincoln Heritage Project, commissioned a makeover and study of the cabin site, located in the state-owned Lincoln Memorial Homestead Park. So, for the first time, experts are unraveling the cabin's ...
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By Roy T Robinette
(the Real Estate Firm)
Minor drug offenses no longer criminal BY AMANDA ROBER    Now that Ward 2 Ald. Gail Simpson pushed through an ordinance that classifies minor drug charges as city code violations instead of as criminal offenses, what effect will it have on Springfield? Simpson introduced the measure to help fill the city's $12.5 million gap in the fiscal year 2010 budget. Instead of referring such charges as possession of less than 2.5 grams of cannabis, drug paraphernalia and tobacco by a minor to the Sangamon County State's Attorney's office for prosecution, the city will collect fines from offenders. "These were revenues that were before going to the county," Simpson says. "Now all of them will be coming to the city." The alderman said it wasn't yet clear how many dollars the change would generate, b...
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By Roy T Robinette
(the Real Estate Firm)
Will the plan to "capture" carbon dioxide work? BY R. L. NAVE   A rendering of the planned 630-megawatt Taylorville Energy Center. To put coal's importance to the Illinois economy into perspective, consider that while state officials and members of the Congressional delegation tried feverishly to prevent Rod Blagojevich from naming Barack Obama's successor to the Senate, no one lifted a finger to stop him from signing a bill that cleared the way for a new generation of coal-fired power plants. One of the former governor's final acts in office came in early January with his approval of the Clean Coal Portfolio Standards Act, which defined "clean coal facilities" as those capturing at least 50 percent of carbon dioxide emissions and limiting other environmental pollutants such as carbon-m...
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By Roy T Robinette
(the Real Estate Firm)
Locally produced documentary chronicles Lincoln's time in central Illinois BY ZACH BALIVA   By the mid-1850s, Lincoln was the leading attorney in the state of Illinois, trying more than 300 cases heard by the Illinois Supreme Court.WILL-TV Noted historian and author of the best-selling Team of Rivals, Doris Kearns Goodwin, says that Lincoln's days in Illinois were "the root of his political education." Kearns is one of many Lincoln scholars interviewed for WILL-TV's new documentary, entitled Lincoln: Prelude to the Presidency. The one-hour program, which features interviews and reenactments, examines how the young prairie lawyer shaped and honed the skills that would serve him as America's president during a complex time in the nation's history. Kearns Goodwin is joined by fellow Lincol...
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By Roy T Robinette
(the Real Estate Firm)
'Someone asked the other day, 'What was your favorite fast food when youwere growing up?''We didn't have fast food when I was growing up,' I informed him.'All the food was slow.''C'mon, seriously. Where did you eat?''It was a place called 'at home,'' I explained. !'Mom cooked every day and when Dad got home from work, we sat down togetherat the dining room table, and if I didn't like what she put on my plate Iwas allowed to sit there until I did like it.'By this time, the kid was laughing so hard I was afraid he was going tosuffer serious internal damage, so I didn't tell him the part about how Ihad to have permission to leave the table.But here are some other things I would have told him about my childhood if Ifigured his system could have handled it :Some parents NEVER owned their ow...
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By Roy T Robinette
(the Real Estate Firm)
................................ Nearly Unchanged   SPRINGFIELD (January 26, 2009). The median single-family home sale price and the number of home sales decreased in the Capital Area during December 2008, according to figures from the Capital Area Association of REALTORS® (CAAR) Multiple Information Service. For the month of December 2008, the median home sale price (for all single-family homes and condominiums) was $86,000, revealing a decrease of 22.9 percent from the $111,500 December 2007 price. The year-to-date median home sale price through December of 2008 yielded $104,000 which is nearly unchanged from the $104,500 during the same period in 2007. The median is a typical market price where half the homes sold for more, half sold for less. According to REALTOR Nancy Long, ABR, C...
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By Roy T Robinette
(the Real Estate Firm)
 .....................guarantees a green card The purchase of a piece of property in America, a single-family house, a PUD (planned unit development) or a condo (flat within a condominium) will guarantee you and your family a green card. This is one of the extreme measures implemented to help stall the meteoric fall of the United States economy in light of the economic crisis, Bulgarian weekly Stroitelstvo Gradut reported on January 15. Thirty-five accredited investors will have the opportunity to acquire real estate in the south-eastern state of Florida - by purchasing a house - they will be granted a green card for permanent residence and right of employment for the buyer himself and his/her entire family. Additional conditions are that the prospective buyer must have a clean criminal...
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