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Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky Real Estate Blog

Fun Christmas Time Activities To Do In Cincinnati

FUN HOLIDAY ACTIVITIES TO DO IN CINCINNATI

Fun Holiday Activities To Do In Cincinnati

Take a look at some of the fun things to do during the holiday and Christmas season in the Greater Cincinnati area.  If Christmas markets, holiday light shows, and great food and drink are what you crave then check out some of the things to do below.

Coney Island Christmas Night of Lights

The Coney Island Christmas Night of Lights features over one million lights synchronized to Christmas music that viewers can hear through their car radio.  The light show is approximately 2.5 miles and is enjoyed from the comfort of your car as you drive through the path.  Great for all ages and runs through the beginning of January.

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Great Local Cincinnati Charities To Know About For #GivingTuesday

giving tuesday cincinnati charities to consider

Great Local Cincinnati Charities To Know About For #GivingTuesday

After Thanksgiving comes Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and then Cyber Monday.  Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday are all about buying something at a discount or buying local in anticipation of the upcoming holidays of Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanza, Festivus and more.  Another day for consideration is #GivingTuesday.  With #GivingTuesday the idea is to contribute some money to a charity of your choosing so those who are in need can benefit as well from the holiday season.  Being a personal fan of local charities I have compiled a number of local charities in this article that operate in both the Greater Cincinnati, Ohio area and Northern Kentucky.  Take a look at the great things these local charities are doing and consider donating to them or becoming a volunteer.

La Soupe

La Soupe located at 4150 Round Bottom Road Cincinnati, OH 45244 and helps people get nutritious meals.  Founded in 2014 by Chef Suzy DeYoung the goal of La Soupe is to repurpose excess food (that would otherwise be thrown out) to create tasty and nutritious soups and meals for those in need.  Currently La Soupe rescues approximately 5000 pounds of food per week and with that is able to feed 2000 children in and around the Cincinnati area.  La Soupe recently sent 23,000 pounds of food to assist with hurricane recovery efforts in Houston, Texas.

Not only does La Soupe give soup to those in need they also sell their soups to anyone wanting to buy their delicious soups.  So in case...

Should You Buy A Home Directly From The Listing Agent?

Should You Buy A Home Directly From The Listing Agent?

Should You Buy A House Directly From The Listing Agent?

Sometimes home buyers think they can get a better deal or get a leg up on the competition by dealing directly with the listing agent of the house.  What ends up happening though is the buyer instead ends up overpaying and/or ends up getting a poor deal since they did not have anyone representing their best interests.  The listing agent represents the seller and while it is possible for the listing agent to represent both parties in a transaction by doing so they have to be more neutral in a deal which results in no one really being represented at all.  This article explores further why it is not a good idea for home buyers to go directly to the listing agent when trying to buy a home.

Representation

In the typical home buying transaction a seller will have their own agent and the buyer will have one as well.  Each side being represented by their own agent then have their own best interests brought to the negotiating table.  If a buyer’s agent happens to learn the seller is divorcing and needs to sell their home fast then that is something important that the buyer’s agent should share with the buyer.  On the other hand if one agent is representing both the seller and the buyer they must take a more hands off approach and if that agent knew the seller was getting a divorce and that would factor into negotiations they would not be able to tell the buyer that.  

Maybe the buyer believes they can represent themselves on their own without the need of an agent and use that as the reason for talking directly to the listing...

Podcast #13: Commercial Lending and Real Estate

podcast 13 commercial lending and real estate

For this podcast about commercial lending I sat down with Angie Hoffman at U.S. Bank.  During the podcast we discussed investing in real estate, commercial lending, and how commerceial mortgages can help investors.  If you want to learn more about commercial loans this is a great pdocast for you.

I hope you enjoy the podcast and find it informative.  Please consider sharing with those who also may benefit.

Listen via YouTube:

You can connect with Angie on LinkedIn.  You can reach out to Angie for more information on their lending products by emailing her at angela.hoffman@usbank.com.

You can connect with me on FacebookPinterestTwitterLinkedInYouTube and Instagram.

About the author: The above article ...

Selling Your Home For Sale By Owner

selling your home fsbo

Selling Your Home For Sale By Owner

Selling a home for sale by owner or FSBO means the homeowner is wanting to put their home on the market and try and find a buyer without the help of their own real estate agent.  Homeowners may be willing to work with an agent who brings a buyer or they may not instead preferring to work with a buyer who has no agent.  Oftentimes buyers who come with their own agent may already have an agreement in place to pay their agent so the seller does not need to be concerned with paying a commission on their side.  Whatever the reason may be for selling FBSO this article provides some tips and insights so homeowners can have a successful sale.

Preparation Is Important

Regardless of whether a homeowner is using a real estate agent or planning to sell for sale by owner getting a home properly prepared is critical.  A majority of home buyers are looking for homes that are move in ready.  A move in ready home is one where buyers don’t have to change carpet, don’t have to paint walls and may have to do as little cleaning as possible.  The best way to have a move in ready home is to use neutral paints on all walls, install new carpet and refinish hardwood floors with a modern color stain.  The instant buyers walk into the door of a home for sale is when they will start judging the quality of the home.  If walls are painted in bright non-traditional colors or the paint is worn and faded buyers may not be interested in what the home truly offers.

If the home requires repairs or updates those should be done prior to listing the home for sale.  Holes in walls, pet damage, windows that don’t...

Tips For Avoiding Bad Home Contractors

tips for avoiding bad contractors

Tips For Avoiding Bad Home Contractors

When the home is a castle making sure that home is in tip top shape or looks great is essential for both keeping the occupants happy and for retaining the value of the home. Homes require routine maintenance and updating to keep everything in good working order.  Deferred maintenance can quickly turn a great home into something that is unlivable.  Using the wrong contractors can result in overpaying for a job or worse having the contractor create more problems than what were to be fixed  This article provides tips for homeowners to find the best contractors to keep their home in tip top shape.

Search More Than Traditional Sources For Information On Contractors

One tried and true source of information on contractors is reviews on various review and social media sites.  Facebook, Google, Yelp, Better Business Bureau and more have reviews for contractors.  Keep in mind though those reviews should not be the first and only stop when researching a contractor.  Positive reviews can also unfortunately be bought by contractors to make themselves look better when in fact they have a poor track record.  Reviews also can be left by family and friends who have only seen the contractor’s best quality work and may have not seen the other clients they left hanging by not completing the job they were hired to do.

Contractors may even offer referrals from past clients as a way to show that people are happy with the work they do.  While past client referrals can be helpful they also can be faked or the contractor can pick from the very best jobs they...

Great Things To Do In Cincinnati During The Fall

great things t todo in the fall in Cincinnati

Great Things To Do In Cincinnati During The Fall

The weather may have finally cooled off a bit but that does not mean there is nothing to do.  In fact quite the opposite there are plenty of things to do for those who live in and around the Greater Cincinnati area.  Fall time activities abound in Cincinnati as this article explores.

Fall Fruit Picking

Want to pick your own fresh fruit from the tree?  Be sure to check out these farms to get apples or pumpkins.  Earlier in the season is better in order to get a good selection.

A&M Orchard

Located in Midland, Ohio this orchard is about a 40-50 minute drive from Cincinnati.  A&M Orchard have a wide variety of apples to pick from as well as a pumpkin patch for picking out fresh pumpkins.  They also sell apple jams, cider and more in their store.

Tuken’s Orchard & Farm Market

Located in West Alexandria which is about one hour north of Cincinnati and directly east of Dayton Tuken’s Orchard & Farm Market offer a variety of apples to pick and fresh vegetables grown locally on the farm.  Tuken’s also features a critter corral where visitors can see and interact with farm animals.

McGlasson Farms

Located in Hebron, Kentucky McGlasson Farms is less than 30 minutes away from Cincinnati depending on your location.  They feature live music performances by local bands, apple and pumpkin picking as...

The Top 10 Highest Priced Apartment Buildings For Sale Today In The Greater Cincinnati Area

highest priced apartments in Greater Cincinnati

The Top Ten Most Expensive Apartment Buildings In Greater Cincinnati

The Greater Cincinnati area has been getting a lot of attention from out of state and even out of country investors looking for multi-family apartment buildings in order to build their cash flow empire.  With prices being paid for buildings in the Greater Cincinnati area investors can find their dollars generating more cash flow in Cincinnati than in many other large markets around the United States.  Check out some of the most expensive multi-family listings available on the market today as well as learn more about the locations they are in.  If you want to learn more about the cash flow possibilities of any particular property be sure to get in contact today with a local Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky Real Estate agent.  (This list focuses on multi-family buildings in one location as opposed to a listing of a portfolio of property spread around the city that are listed for sale as a package deal.)

Cincinnati, Ohio

Settled in 1788 Cincinnati metropolitan area is one of the 28th largest economies in the US.  Home to such major corporations such as Kroger, Procter and Gamble, Great American Insurance and more it has a population of approximately 2.1 million people.  Being so close to other major cities makes Cincinnati a great place for those looking for work or low cost of living housing.

Crittenden, Kentucky

Located in the Northern part of Kentucky it is close to the Cincinnati metropolitan area.  It was settled in the early 1800s.

Hebron, Kentucky

Named...

Things To Consider When Looking At Long Term Vs. Short Term Rentals

What to consider when buying short versus long term rental property

Long Term Rental Vs. Short Term Rentals

With the popularity of sites like AirBnB and VRBO (Vacation Rentals By Owner) real estate investors have some options when it comes to considering how they want to operate their residential rental units.  Short term rentals offer benefits such as faster and more frequent payment of rent but have downsides such as the requirement to fully furnish rental units and very frequent need for cleaning due to high tenant turnover.  Long term rentals give investors the ability to ensure a steady stream of income with the right tenant and only having to do maintenance when something within the investors control needs repair.  There are other considerations to take in mind between short term and long term rentals as this article explores.

Which One Will Make More Money?

The answer to that question is it depends.  Real estate is all about location, location, location and the location dictates the price and rental rates for real estate.  In locations where there is high demand for areas that tourists like to visit and stay near the demand for long term rental may not be as great.  Long term renters want to avoid the hustle and bustle of tourist areas unless they happen to work for one of the tourist attractions and want a short commute.  On the other hand tourists may not be willing to pay value going upas much if their location is farther away from the sights they want to see.  As a result investors will need to consider location as part of their purchase decision if they are considering...

Advanced Security Tips For Protecting Your Home

advanced security tips for protecting your home

Advanced Tips For Securing Your Home and Personal Identity

A home is a person’s castle and protecting the home is a top priority.  Beyond just protecting the home physically homeowners should also look at protecting their home and themselves from digital thieves who don’t even need to enter a home to steal.  A lost credit card number or worse a social security number can lead to long term issues.  This articles provides some advanced tips for securing one’s home both against physical intruders and against those who want to steal your information.

Home Alarm

Having an alarm installed is one great way a homeowner can protect their home especially if the alarm is monitored.  A monitored alarm means if the alarm is triggered the monitoring company will first call the homeowner to check if everything is ok or if they are not able to reach the homeowner they will call the local police department.  The police will then come out to check on the home to see if there is an issue.  

Home alarms can also be unmonitored where the only warning they provide is in the home through the use of a siren and/or lights.  Monitored home alarms systems usually require a monthly fee for the monitoring service and with monitored service the homeowner may be eligible for homeowners insurance discounts.  There are many do it yourself (DIY) home alarm kits like Ring, Simplifi, and more where installation of the security devices and keypads are easily done by the homeowner.  For the homeowner...

Things To Consider Before Downsizing

things to consider before downsizing

Things To Consider Before Downsizing

Whether you are an empty nester looking to reduce your footprint or just don’t want a large house downsizing may be a great way to save money and be more stress free by not having to deal with the extra expenses.  Smaller homes can mean smaller mortgages and smaller utility bills. Depending on the new location too more opportunities may open up to live in an area that is more walkable or that may have close by shopping thus making the home more convenient.  Whatever the reasons or desires for downsizing homeowners need to consider a number of aspects to make sure the decision is right for them.

Declutter

When going from a larger house to a smaller house the first consideration to be made relates to how much stuff one will be taking to the smaller house.  Furniture, kitchen wares, decorations, and other household items can easily be downsized since a smaller house will not have the space for all those items a larger house does.  Before even listing the larger house for sale the homeowner should sell or giveaway those items that are not needed or will not fit in the new house. 

Heirloom items can be passed onto children or other relatives who can make better use of them. Money obtained from selling collectibles that others may not have the appreciation for can be put to better use by the homeowners themselves.  As many who are downsizing are also close to retiring if not already retired extra money in a bank account from selling off excess items can make a great travel fund or home for salerainy day fund for future use.

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What Should Buyers Be Reviewing On The Property Disclosure Form?

What Should Buyers Be Reviewing On The Property Disclosure Form?

What Should Buyers Be Reviewing On The Property Disclosure Form?

The property disclosure is an important document that sellers provide to potential buyers. With the property disclosure the sellers are listing out details about the condition of a home.  Most states have laws governing the use of the property disclosure form as a means to help inform buyers about the house they wish to buy. Generally homeowners are required to disclose known (or should have known) conditions about the home they are trying to sell.  Buyers should carefully review the disclosures because even if the home that looks great on the internet it may be one they wish to avoid if there are major issues disclosed about the home.  This article looks about what buyers should know about the property disclosure form.

Use The Disclosure Form As A Screening Tool

Before a home buyer goes to visit a home they should be asking their real estate agent for a copy of the property disclosure form.  The property disclosure form is often uploaded into the local MLS along with other disclosure documents to which their real estate agents have access to. Buyers should review the disclosure form for any condition they may consider to be a deal breaker before they visit the home.  If the property disclosure forms mentions mold, foundation issues, bad roof, water leaks or something else many buyers may not want to view those homes as some of those conditions can prevent the buyer from using a traditional mortgage to make the purchase.  By...

The Top 10 Highest Priced Homes For Sale Today In The Greater Cincinnati Area

THE TOP 10 HIGHEST PRICED HOMES FOR SALE TODAY IN THE GREATER CINCINNATI AREA

The Top 10 Highest Priced Homes For Sale Today In The Greater Cincinnati Area

Cincinnati is the third largest city in Ohio and the Greater Cincinnati Metropolitan area covering Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana is the largest metropolitan area in Ohio and the 27th largest metropolitan in the United States.  The Greater Cincinnati area has a unique variety of architecture and the homes offered in Cincinnati are no different in their unique style and features.  You can find 100+ year old one of a kind homes in different neighborhoods in Greater Cincinnati as well as brand new homes with modern features.

The Greater Cincinnati is no stranger to luxury homes and has many luxury apartments, condominiums, and homes to choose from.  The neighborhoods these homes are found in are in and around the Greater Cincinnati area and represent the best the city has to offer.  These homes offer some of the latest and greatest in luxury as well as technology and are found in the following great neighborhoods:

Indian Hill, OHio 45243:

What began as a farming community in 1904 the Village of Indian Hill later was reshaped into more of an area for large estates.  The homes in Indian Hill represent some of the best of what Cincinnati has to offer.  In 2002 the Robb Report rated Indian Hill, OH as one of the best places to raise a family.  Of the top ten priciest homes in the Greater Cincinnati area Indian Hill has 7 homes on the list.

ANDERSON TOwnship,...

Do I Have To Give Earnest Money When Buying A Home?

Do I have to give earnest money when buying a home?

Do I Have To Give Earnest Money When Buying A Home?

When buying real estate often times the buyer is expected to give some earnest money as part of the transaction.  Earnest money is usually paid up front when the offer is accepted and is held in a trust account with the listing broker, the buyer’s agent broker or with the title company.  The earnest money stays in a trust account until the real estate transaction is closed or when both parties agree to terminate the transaction and there is agreement as to where the money should go to.  While earnest money is not a requirement it is highly recommended and this article will explore more about earnest money works in a real estate transaction.

Should You Give Earnest Money When Making An Offer?

Earnest money is in essence a good faith deposit that a home buyer or investment real estate buyer is giving that shows they have true interest in purchasing certain property. While earnest money is not a requirement it is highly recommended since it can show the level of interest a buyer has.  It is in essence a down payment put towards the purchase of a home.  Earnest money can be refundable depending on the terms of the real estate purchase contract. If the real estate purchase contract conditions the purchase on a home inspection, appraisal and/or the buyer being able to get a loan to purchase the property then the language of most standard contracts state if those conditions cannot be met the earnest money should be returned to the buyer.

In some commercial real estate transactions sellers will sometimes require some or all of the earnest money to become “hard” or non-refundable due to the time and complexity involved with commercial real estate.  The...

What Kind Of Paperwork Does One Need For A Mortgage Pre-Approval?

what kind of paperwork do you need for a mortgage pre-approval?

What Kind Of Paperwork Does One Need For A Mortgage Pre-Approval?

The first step when buying a home, buying investment real estate or buying real estate for business purposes should be getting pre-qualified or pre-approved for a loan. A pre-approval letter lets buyers know they have the ability to get a loan to buy real estate.  Additionally it lets buyers know how much real estate they can afford and usually what the payment terms will be.  By having one’s paperwork in order prior to starting the pre-approval process the buyer can ensure a pre-approval process that runs smoothly and is done quickly enough so they can start with the actual shopping for real estate.

Real Estate Buyer Who Are W2 Wage Earners

For those who work for an employer who provides them a W2 form at the end of the year the W2 form will be something lenders will want to see as part of the pre-approval process. Generally lenders are looking for a copy of the last two to three years of W2 forms provided from an employer. If a buyer works multiple jobs then make sure the W2s from each employer is presented as the income from those forms will be used to determine the buyers overall income.  The more income a buyer can show the higher their pre-approval can be.  The W2 also shows the stable income flow of the buyer which will help in making the determination to approve for a mortgage or not.

Lenders will also be looking for the last two pay stubs from the buyer’s job.  The pay stubs show how much the buyers pay currently is and also details the deductions a buyer has from their paycheck.  While the typical federal...

Advanced Tips For Real Estate Investing

Advanced Tips For Real Estate Investing

Advanced Tips For Real Estate Investing

Real estate investors have probably heard the typical investment advice before: get pre-approved, work with a real estate agent, run the numbers, have cash reserves etc. This article looks to go beyond the typical real estate investing advice and provide more in depth guidance that can help investors protect themselves and their investing partners.  This article will explore investing in real estate with partners, syndication investing, getting legal advice and more.

Investing With An LLC

If an investor is purchasing property with cash, with a hard money, or commercial loan then generally it is best to have the property registered in a limited liability company or LLC.  Some lenders may even require the investor to register the property into an LLC based on their lending requirements.  An LLC provides an extra layer of protection to the investor in that if someone were to sue based on an accident that happens at the property the LLC will limit liability to what is owned by the LLC and keep personal assets out of the equation.  Of course an LLC must be properly run and managed and if the LLC was not run properly courts have been known to ignore the LLC and allow personal assets to be considered during a lawsuit.

Generally an LLC can be created in any state and some may choose to create one in their home state.  LLCs formed in one state can own property in another state but the investor must review the local laws with regards to registering the LLC as a foreign LLC.  For example in Ohio an LLC formed in another state must be registered in Ohio as a foreign LLC in order to be able to file a lawsuit.  If...

Tips For Creating A Better Landscape

tips for creating a better landscape for your house

Tips For Creating A Better Landscape

A beautiful yard gives the homeowner more of an enjoyable and pleasing space to work or relax in. Whether one just wants to enjoy the outdoors for leisure purposes or one wants to get hands on involved in creating the look of their yard a great landscape makes a home look more appealing. Even more so if a home is soon to be put up for sale a great landscape helps draw the buyers in.  This article provides some tips on having a great looking landscape that is sure to have an impact.

Start With The Basics For A Great Landscape

The quality of the soil around your house will dictate the type of plants, grass and trees one can and cannot have.  The climate as well plays an important roll.  Certain fruit trees (like oranges) will work great in many areas of Florida. For an area like Cincinnati, Ohio though oranges will not survive the winter.

Cincinnati and many parts of Ohio and Northern Kentucky are known for having dense clay soils.  These dense clay soils can stop things from growing or flourishing if the proper prep work has not been done.  Some homeowners treat their soils with various additives in order to break up the clay and bring forward a more loose soil like structure.  One of the first places for Greater Cincinnati area homeowners to start is at their local extension, which provides soil testing. By getting ones soils tested they will know what nutrients are lacking and what should be added in order to boost the quality of it.

For those who do not want to tackle an entire yard of clay it may be better just to treat/condition smaller selected...

Should You Sell Your Home Before You Buy A New One?

Should You Sell Your Home Before You Buy A New One?

Should You Sell Your Home First Before You Buy A New One?

When the time comes for a homeowner to consider buying a new home the thought comes to whether they should sell their current home first or buy the next home and then sell.  Whether they are buying to change locations, to upsize or downsize due to change in family size the decision to sell first or not is an important decision.  Homeowners have various factors to consider including whether they can afford two mortgages at the same time, whether they can find another home in time once their current home is under contract with a buyer, or do they have some place to move to temporarily if their house sells and closes before they can buy a new one. This article looks at the various options homeowners have when looking at the decision to sell their home first before buying a new one.

Affordability Should Be The Top Factor When Deciding To Sell A Home First

If a homeowner needs equity from their current house in order the make the down payment for their next house or the ability to pay two mortgages will severely hamper the household budget then the best choice is for the homeowner to sell their current home first and then find another home.  Depending on the market and how many homes are available for sale it may be easy for a homeowner to have their house under contract for sale and find another house to buy before they close.  The contract for closing can be arranged such that the homeowner can either stay in their current home until they close on the new home with agreement of the buyer or move into the new home before they close on the old home.  The risk to moving before closing on the old home...

Where To Get Great Tacos In Cincinnati

Where To Get Great Tacos In Cincinnati

Where To Get Great Tacos In Cincinnati

Who doesn’t love tacos. Whether soft tacos or hard tacos and fillings of ground meat fish or vegetables sometimes a taco is what is needed to hit the spot.  Cincinnati being a foodie town is no stranger to tacos and this post looks at some of the great taco places in and around the Greater Cincinnati area.  Presented in no particular order, be sure to check out the places below when a taco craving comes on.  (All the restaurants on this list offer both meat and vegetarian options)

Gomez

Nothing goes along better with great tacos than great homemade salsa which Gomez has.  Salsa recipes passed down through family tradition go great on their tacos, nachos, burritos and their unique turtle offering.  We are sure you will agree based on the pictures that the food will be great.  Gomez is located in the Walnut Hills and Over the Rhine neighborhoods of Cincinnati. Meat and vegetarian options are available.

...

Can A Buyer Walk Away From A Contract To Purchase A Home?

can a buyer walk away from a contract to purchase a home

Can A Buyer Walk Away From A Contract To Purchase A Home?

After an offer has been accepted on a home a buyer has some options for walking away from the contract and even getting their earnest money back.  Usually those times to walk away and get the earnest money back apply during the contingency periods written into the contract.  A buyer can walk away though at any time from the contract up until the actual signing of all documents at closing.  Walking away from a purchase contract though could result in the buyers losing their earnest money and worse being sued if there were no contract contingency clauses upon which they based their decision to cancel the contract.  This article explores some of the different ways buyers can walk away from a contract to purchase a home and the consequences for doing so.

Walking Away During The Inspection Contingency

One of the typical contingencies included in a real estate purchase contract is the inspection contingency.  In the inspection contingency the buyer is given the right to inspect the property in order to determine the quality of the house.  During the inspection period the buyer can cancel the purchase for pretty much any reason.  For example a single electrical outlet is bad or even a door squeaks, the buyer can cancel the deal and get their earnest money back as spelled out in the contract. The buyer must cancel within the time frames specified in the contract if they are using the inspection contingency. Depending on the market that could be anywhere from a couple of days to a couple of weeks after both the seller and buyer have agreed to the sale.

The buyer can also re-negotiate the purchase...

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