Recent Posts

It’s not all about houses here…

Let’s talk about food for a minute.  You see, in the REALTOR® world we are always go go go!  I find myself forgetting to eat lunch some days,  other days I am too tired to cook when I get home so I cruise through a drive through, grab a super healthy burger and scarf it down on my way home.  Unhealthy?  Yep.  Time to make a change?  You bet.  I decided to reach out to a friend who is a super healthy working mom that follows a Paleo and Whole30 diet, and get this, her hubby and kids do too!  She recommended that I pick up the book “It Starts With Food” so, I did.  This weekend I will be cleaning out my cabinets, creating a meal plan and diving in head first.  This is going to be a tough habit for me to break, those that know me know that my absolute favorite “food” is candy.  Have you switched to the “clean eating” lifestyle?  I would love to hear your experiences!



Thanksgiving Treats

It is hard to believe that Thanksgiving is just a week away!  One thing that I love about the Holidays is baking.  I recently have added cake pops to my “love to bake” list.  At first, I thought that they would be impossible and not worth the time and effort.  It took me several (failed) recipes to find the perfect one, but now that I’ve got it, they are super easy (and fun) to make.  Below is a great recipe from Hello Little Home that I made earlier this year.  I did not make this batch cake pops, they were more of a truffle, but they still turned out great.  These are quick, easy and delicious, a perfect Thanksgiving treat!


Your Home Sweet Home is waiting…

This home is just waiting for you to move right in!  One of Signature Homes most popular floor plans offers plenty of living space, an eat in kitchen, a gorgeous dining room and finished basement.  The house sits on a corner lot in the popular Prairie Fields Subdivision in Savoy.  For more details, click here.


Kristen Long is a Licensed REALTOR® with The Matt Difanis Team at RE/MAX Realty Associates, Champaign IL.
 Each Office Independently Owned & Operated.
302 Trefoil, Savoy IL 61874
4 Bed, 2 Bath $299,000

Mom’s Day Pinterest Gifting…

Happy Mother’s Day!  I hope you all had a chance to enjoy this beautiful day. If your mom is anything like mine, there is nothing that you can possibly gift her that would be big enough to say “Thanks for Everything.” This year I decided to go the Pinterest route and make her something she would enjoy. Now, I’ve been successful with my last few Pinterest projects.  Cake Pops. ✔️ Rehab Bathroom Cabinets. ✔️ Complete Home Office Makeover. ✔️ Yep, that too. So, here I am thinking “I’ve got this, I’m going to make some bath bombs.” I get on amazon and order the citric acid and cute little silicon molds for shaped bombs. Everything arrives Friday and I’m all set to get down to business. I follow the instructions and… Okay, maybe that recipe wasn’t just right, so I try again…and another fail. I was just about to admit defeat and scrap the idea when I decided to give one more recipe a try. Finally, someone who speaks my language and spells out precise instructions step by step. It’s all about the process and MuffinChanel nailed it. So, if you’re ever in the mood to make yourself some bath bombs, don’t even bother with the other recipes, and just click here.


this is what I was going for


yep, looks about right.




the end result.


Neutrals, and why we love them.  

 Neutrals, and why we love them.


For this post, I teamed up with my great friend Kelly Hieronymus to bring to you the importance of a neutral palette.  These days, you only have one chance at a first impression and usually, it starts online.   When buyers are searching through photos of listings and come across that lime green bedroom or bright yellow kitchen they are likely to skip right past that house because let’s face it, no one enjoys painting.  On the flip side, painting over those lime green walls could get your house from “oh no” to “SOLD.”
Here are some words of advice from Design Consultant, Kelly Hieronymus.

“Choosing a neutral palette doesn’t mean boring.  Use accessories to make your space pop. If you’re color addict, like me, spring for colorful (or plaid! YES, it is making a comeback!) furniture instead of springing for a paint brush.  If you want to add interest to your walls, consider picking up large black frames and ordering posters from Society 6.  A grouping of three 16″ x 20″ frames looks sharp behind a couch or above a mail drop in your foyer.  Also, their prints are inexpensive, so you wont feel so bad if you grow tired of them.  When you do choose to switch them out, you won’t have to worry about changing the wall color, because you will have already selected something that goes with everything!
If you insist on painting your home, pick small areas to paint.  That way if you do choose to bring home a re-finished neon-mint coffee table, changing the wall color is a snap.  And please, please hire a professional!

Colonnade Gray SW7641 from Sherman Williams is one of the best neutral colors out there right now.  It works well with warm woods, and it looks great in cool shady corners.  I have placed this color in traditional homes, as well as super modern… and in my own bedroom! Looks sharp with brushed nickel, and polished brass.”

kelly logo 2 Be sure to check Kelly’s work out on houzz. And, in case you missed it, Kelly was featured on smile politely this week.

Her art has been on display at common ground food co-op this month. Come meet Kelly at the Art Reception this Friday, March 25 from 6:30 to 8:30 at common ground.  Her talent never ceases to amaze me and I am honored to have such a great friend to collaborate with.

2015 Champaign County Home Sales

Last Friday, the Champaign County Association of REALTORS® announced the statistics for home sales in 2015.  This was quickly picked up by several media outlets, and created quite the buzz with potential sellers and buyers alike.  What is typically considered to be our “slow season” has been anything but. In December of 2015, there were 233 home sales reported, a 16.5% increase from December of 2014.  The warmer temps have given the industry an advantage.  More people are out looking at homes rather than waiting for better weather in the Spring.  Even the frigid temps this week have not kept buyers indoors.  Seller’s take note, people are house hunting; they are aggressive and ready to buy!  Below you will find an info-graphic I created using information from the CCAR report released January 15, 2016. 

2015 home sales

Information shared above was obtained through Champaign County Association of REALTORS News Release 1/15/16

The REALTOR® Journey, Twenty Months In

Almost two years ago I took a huge leap.  I left a salaried position with regular hours, insurance benefits, sick leave, vacation time and all the perks of “corporate America” to take a dive into a career with an income based 100% on production.  I had no idea what I was doing.  I was freshly licensed and scared to death.  Most people don’t realize what it means to be a REALTOR®.  They see fancy cars, billboards and big paychecks for “just selling a house”.  But, what they do not see is the irregular hours, working around the clock, the research we put into finding the perfect home for our clients and all the work that goes on “behind the scenes” when listing a home. There have certainly been obstacles along the way, but I love my career more and more everyday.  In 2015 I was awarded the Champaign County Association of REALTORS ® R.O.O.K.I.E of the Year,  Alex Ruggieri invited me on his Central Illinois Business Radio Show to talk about my career.  Twenty months and close to thirty transactions into this career, I know I am right where I am supposed to be.



Max McComb 2015 REALTOR® of the Year & Kristen Long 2015 R.O.O.K.I.E. of the Year

2015 R.O.O.K.I.E. of the Year

Taken from THE Real Estate Book Volume 24, Issue 12

“KRISTEN LONG was recently honored as the 2015 Champaign County Association of Realtors R.O.O.K.I.E. of the Year. The award is presented annually to a new REALTOR® who has been in the industry no more than two years but who has actively served on Association committees.

Kristen is a native of Champaign and graduated from Central High School.  After gaining experience in property management Kristen began a career in real estate and joined RE/MAX Realty Associates in early 2014.

Kristen has always had a passion for helping people, and has found that there is nothing more rewarding than finding her buyer clients a place to call home and assist her seller clients in a seamless transition in the sale of their home.  She serves as the Vice Chair on the Young Professionals Network Committee at Champaign County Association of Realtors.

Kristen is involved in the ONE to ONE Mentoring Program, participates in Crisis Nursery’s Unwrap a Smile every year and gives back to the community every chance she can.”


Champaign County Association of REALTORS Release

Kristen Long REALTOR®, The Matt Difanis Team

Born and raised in Champaign, IL Kristen Long has a vast knowledge of Champaign and surrounding areas. As a graduate of Champaign Central High School, she has many connections in the community and utilizes these connections throughout the home buying or selling process. Her experience in advertising, social media marketing, and business management is beneficial to providing the necessary tools to actively marketing her clients properties. Kristen has always considered herself to have a passion for helping people and finds this trait valuable when helping others to come to decisions throughout the transaction. Helping her buyer clients find a place to call home, and to help her seller clients with a seamless transition in the sale of their home is Kristen’s main goal as an agent. Kristen joined RE/MAX Realty Associates in 2014, she currently serves on the Champaign County Association of REALTORS® Professional Development Committee, Special Projects Committee and serves as the Vice Chair on the Young Professionals Committee. Whether you are a first time home buyer, relocating to the area, or selling your home, she would be happy to assist you in any way that she can.

Kristen Long


The Matt Difanis Team

RE/MAX Realty Associates, Champaign, IL

217-373-4829 – office

Each Office Independently Owned & Operated.