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It's too soon to say for sure, but the number of homes sold in Champaign County this year could actually top last year's.
During the first half of 2009, sales ran about 13 percent behind last year's. But thanks to a strong second half, spurred by the first-time-home-buyer tax credit, the number of sales appears on pace to catch up with last year.
URBANA – The home Ty and Deb Newell are building in Urbana will have enough solar power to heat and cool the place – plus run the car.
Ty Newell, a retired University of Illinois professor of mechanical engineering, has always been interested in solar energy and other green technologies. So he decided to put them to work in creating the Newells' retirement home.
CHAMPAIGN – Developer Jeff Mellander said he hopes to put 10 to 12 loft apartments – and possibly more – in the Sports Publishing building on North Neil Street.
Mellander Holdings LLC acquired the two-story building at 802-804 N. Neil St., C, this week, following the auction of it last month.
URBANA – Architect Gary Olsen and his wife, Michele, say they hope to redevelop the Windsor Swim Club property in Urbana for condominiums.
The Olsens have agreed to buy the 4-acre site from the Harold Lopeman family, which operated the club for 43 years. The transaction is expected to close by the end of the year, both parties said.
CHAMPAIGN – The number of foreclosures filed in Illinois jumped 56 percent in October from the previous month, according to RealtyTrac's monthly foreclosure market report.
The report said 19,946 properties in Illinois were subject to a foreclosure filing in October. That was the highest monthly total for Illinois since RealtyTrac began issuing its report in January 2005.
CHAMPAIGN – For heaven's sake, do something.
That's the advice the president of the Illinois State Bar Association gives to those who have gotten word – or just suspect – that their home faces foreclosure.
More homes were sold in Champaign County last month compared with a year ago, but they sold at a lower price.
The median sales price for homes, including condos, sold in Champaign County in September was $135,500, down about 16 percent from September 2008, when the median price was $162,061, according to the Illinois Association of Realtors.
The hottest tickets in East Central Illinois this week will allow holders through the front door of a house in Philo.
People who just can't wait until the 7 p.m. Sunday television show to see the interior of the "Extreme Makeover" home can bid for an in-person preview showing.
Meanwhile, viewing parties at hotels in Champaign and Bloomington are scheduled for $10 per person, with proceeds going to charity.
CHAMPAIGN – Several contractors are awaiting payment from a local development firm for work performed on the M2 building in downtown Champaign, prompting the contractors to file mechanics liens.
In addition to the liens, the sluggish economy and time-consuming repair rework have slowed the project's completion and hindered office and retail rentals.
The county's homeless population continues to rise, according to two recent surveys, a trend authorities blame at least in part on the economic recession.
The latest survey, in August, counted 594 homeless people in Champaign County, including 358 children, according to the Urbana-Champaign Continuum of Care, a group that oversees homeless services.