Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A 40 Acre Backyard



If real estate is all about location, here is a good one. We are currently building in Morton for some clients on a lot that backs up to McClallen Park. McClallen is a 40 acre soccer complex and park that hosts Morton's MYSO, Blaze, Fury and even Morton High School soccer teams. So when the home is completed, our clients will be able to walk across their backyard and onto a huge greenspace that they don't even have to mow. A 40 acre backyard that the Morton Park District will maintain for them!

We have access to wooded lots, lake lots, golf course lots, lots on parks, walkout lots, daylight lots and of course the flat 1/4 acre cornfield lot (plenty of those actually). How about a 22 acre lot with 11 acres of timber located between Morton and Bloomington? We have that too.

Hate yardwork? Don't want any lot? Check out our condo project at Prairie Vista Golf Course in Bloomington.

Whatever you prefer, great lots are out there if you know where to look. We can help you find the perfect location and build the perfect home.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Renting vs Buying


Recently I worked with clients that were renting but were anxiously awaiting the day they could purchase their first home. They saw their rent raising each year but knew they did not have enough money for a down payment at this time. They were also concerned that if they found a home that they loved, would they be able to afford the mortgage payment. I encouraged these clients to speak to a Lender about options available to First Time Home Buyers and discussed with them how we could overcome the obstacle of no down payment. Needless to say these clients were able to purchase a home that they loved, with minimal costs to them and a mortgage payment that they could afford.

I often get the question "Is this still a good time to buy" or "Can I really purchase a home with a mortgage payment less than my rent"? The answer to both is yes but not without the right Realtor or Lender to assist you through the entire process.

Here are a few reasons on "Why You Should Buy".

Home affordability is at an all-time high. The
median mortgage payment on the median priced
home as a percentage of the median household
income is lower than it’s been in a generation.

Mortgage rates are at rock bottom. It’s hard to
imagine interest rates going much lower, and
when they start to inch back upwards, monthly
payments and total loan costs will spike upwards.

Financing is readily available! Banks are back
in the game and ready to lend to well-qualified
buyers.

Owning vs. renting is increasingly favorable.
Since 2009, the average principal and interest
payment has fallen below the average rental rates,
and the gap is now wider than it’s been in the past
22 years.

If you or someone you know is currently renting and anxiously awaiting to purchase their "First Home", let me assist them in making that dream a reality. For three years in a row, J.D. Power and Associates has awarded Keller Williams associates
the distinct honor of “Highest Overall Satisfaction for Home Buyers among National
Full-Service Real Estate Firms.” Give me a call today to begin the process of purchasing your first home.

Kristal Green, Realtor
309-830-5385

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Wonders of Paint



Many people underestimate the impact that paint can have on a room. Whether buying, selling, or building a home, you will be considering paint colors. When selling your home, painting a few rooms can mean the difference between a potential buyer touring your home or not. Removing wallpaper or putting a fresh coat of paint on dated walls can make a huge difference! It is always best to use neutral colors. This will make it easier for the buyer to envision their furniture and life in the home.

If you are building or buying, you excitedly envision what your life will be like in your new home. Every house has a different personality and many people have a difficult time picking out the right paint color. Take your time and find the color that fits your furniture and lifestyle.

These two pictures are from BJA Custom Built Homes and one of them is currently for sale, 3 Prairie Vista Ct. Our interior designer, Cheryl, does a great job of picking neutral paint colors, while adding extra character to the room with accessories and furniture.

If you are having a difficult time choosing paint colors for your home, we would be happy to share with you some of our favorite colors and staging ideas.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

We Build CUSTOM Homes



I often tell people that I work for BJ Armstrong Custom Homes, but I don’t think they quite understand what being a custom home builder really means.

We don’t take this very lightly. We take pride in being a custom home builder. We stand by you through the entire construction process and guide you through every selection to ensure that each detail is exactly what you dreamed of. At the end of the day, that is our goal. Building the house of your dreams.

This whole process starts with me. I sit down with you and together we collectively bring your ideas to life by creating the designs for your dream home. We spend as much time as needed to make sure that every window, every trim detail, and every hallway will fit your family’s wants and needs. I also take a lot of pride in constantly providing our clients with fresh and unique design ideas that separate us from other builders.

That is what custom means to us. It is every room. It is all of the unique details that separate it from other houses. It is your home.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Acclimating Hardwood


When choosing hardwood flooring in your new home, there is one key step before installation, acclimation. Acclimating hardwoods is the technique of matching the wood’s humidity and temperature to your home. This process could take up to 7 days, if not longer; all you need to do is bring the material inside your house and let it sit. This step is critical. If you skip this step, after installations, your hardwood will expand and contract due to its new environment. This could lead to cracks and gaps in your floor. As part of the BJA Team, I take pride in the quality of our craftsmanship and understand the importance of this step. This picture shows about 5,000 pounds of material that is acclimating in one of our BJA homes.