Real Estate Information Archive


Displaying blog entries 1-2 of 2

Home Improvement by the Numbers

by Terry Sullivan - Lyons-Sullivan Realty

It’s time once again to find out how your latest home improvement project will fair when you are ready to sell your home.


Every year, Remodeling Magazine releases results of their study of more than 100 markets across the United States and thousands of individual projects. The magazine defines the report as compar[ing] changes in job costs with Realtors’ perceptions of what those jobs bring to a home’s price at resale”


Last year, bathrooms, attic bedrooms and deck updates topped the list of projects that netted a big return on a small investment.


While the projects change from year to year, the over-arching idea is that improving your home and your property will pay off in the long run. You will make more money at sale if you have updated, added and changed your home than if you don’t.


This year, the Remodeling 2015 Cost vs. Value Report ( shows a less exciting outlook for home improvement projects, although there are still some jobs that promise to be money makers for the homeowner.


One area that might not net a huge return, but that will at least gain you a little is exterior  improvement projects. Doors are a big help to the seller according to the Remodeling 2015 Cost vs. Value Report ( If the homeowner replaces entry doors, both steel and fiberglass, as well as garage doors, they can recoup up to 86% of their outlay. Roofing and siding should also prove to improve your resale value with a return on investment of up to 73%, as compiled in the Remodeling 2015 Cost vs. Value Report (


Interior projects showed a similar trend in that projects like new windows and kitchens far outperform additions. It seems the maintenance projects fair better than cosmetic.

The magazine slice and dices the data into areas of the country, types of projects, whether or not the project is upscale or midrange, as well as a host of other information outputs.


Take a look at what they learned this year, then plan a home improvement project for your home. Your checkbook will thank you when it is time to sell.


For more ideas to improve your home’s resale value, visit  or call us at (815) 842-1400.


© 2015 Hanley Wood, LLC. Complete data from the Remodeling 2015 Cost vs. Value Report can be downloaded free at


Funding Your Rural Housing Dreams

by Terry Sullivan - Lyons-Sullivan Realty

Looking for a mortgage to purchase a home or land in a rural area like Livingston County? Many people long to live in the great wide open, enjoying the slower pace and less-crowded spaces of a small town or the country. Obtaining a mortgage to buy or renovate a place in wonderful central Illinois could be easier than you think.

The USDA is a great place to start looking for financial assistance when buying or building a home in a rural area such as Livingston County. Visit their website especially for Illinois residents to find out about their programs designed to assist rural residents in building and improving housing. 

Single Family Housing Programs

According to the USDA, their “Single Family Housing Programs provide direct loans or loan guarantees to help low- and moderate-income rural Americans buy safe, affordable housing in rural areas. USDA also offers loans and grants to help rural residents make health and safety repairs to homes.”

Low-income individuals interested in purchasing a home in a rural area should contact the USDA for loan information. The USDA explains, “Funds can be used to build, repair, renovate or relocate a home, or to purchase and prepare sites, including providing water and sewage facilities.”

No down payment, interest as low as 1% (adjusted) and repayment over 33 years.

Find out more here.

Multi-Family Housing Programs

The USDA also provides assistance to residents and potential residents of multi-family housing units such as apartment buildings. The program is available to very-low, low- and moderate-income residents as well as the elderly and disabled. The USDA states, “Funds also may be used to buy and improve land and to provide necessary facilities such as water and waste disposal systems.“ They also offer rental assistance to help eligible rural residents.

To determine if any of the USDA income limits apply to you, go here and select Illinois, then select Livingston County.

Looking for a home in Livingston County? Call your real estate professionals at (815) 842-1400.

Displaying blog entries 1-2 of 2