The Essential Skills Needed To Survive Homeownership
Owning a home is quite a bit different than renting a place where if something goes wrong a quick call to the property manager results in maintenance coming by and fixing a problem. Yes as a homeowner you can call a plumber to fix a toilet that won’t flush or can call a handyman (or woman) to come fix a squeaky door but eventually all of those calls will quickly add up in costs. Those dollars spent on calling someone to fix a problem could be put to better use by the homeowner spending on other things they need or by simply adding it to a rainy day fund so when something major does go wrong and a professional contractor can be called in to make repairs. This article explores some of the essential skills homeowners should have in order to make sure their home is running in tip top condition.
Basic Plumbing Skills
Whether you have a slow drain or your toilet clogs up knowing which type of drain cleaner to use or having handy a toilet plunger or toilet auger (sometimes referred to as a drain snake) can save you hundreds if not thousands over the life of owning that home. Routine calls to a plumber will run a minimum of $80 dollars and up depending on your location. Drain cleaning solutions run no more than 10-20 dollars a bottle and often provide multiple uses with one bottle. A toilet plunger should run no more than 5-10 dollars and a toilet auger should cost no more than 20-30 dollars and get multiple if not unlimited uses based on the quality of the product.
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 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 you...
What Happens When The Sellers Refuse To Move Out Of The Home
When buying a home the homebuyer goes in with the expectation that the homeowner is ready to sell and move to a new home, sometimes thought that may not always be the case. For whatever reason a homeowner may have second thoughts on leaving a home after the buyer has had all the inspections and appraisal done. What is a buyer to do in those situations? The answer depends on whether the seller is refusing to move before or after closing as to what actions a buyer can take and is explored further in this article.
Seller Refuses To Move Before Closing
Prior to closing the seller can outright tell their agent and the buyers that they changed their mind about selling their home and will refuse to close on the sale let alone move. The buyer’s options are limited in this case. Yes the homebuyer could sue to attempt to get the seller to sell their home but most courts rarely like to force people to sell their homes and instead are more likely to award damages to the buyer for actual losses (paying for inspections, appraisal, movers and more). Courts could also award punitive damages to the buyer in order to punish the seller for their lack of follow through on the contract. In the end though the buyer is without a house and must begin the process again of finding another home.
This is a situation that is hard for a homebuyer to avoid as there is no way to really tell if a home seller is really motivated to sell or is just listing the home on the market with no actual intent of really...
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.)
Park Hills, Kentucky
Starting off at the top of the list is a large apartment complex located in Park Hills, Kentucky. Located in Kenton County Park Hills was incorporated in 1927 and has an area of 0.8 square miles. Park Hills was named one of ten great little neighborhoods to live in in the Greater Cincinnati area by Cincinnati Magazine. See more Park Hills, KY real estate listings.
Next on the list comes a property in Covington, Kentucky. Also located in Kenton County Covington...
4 Helpful Tips For Buying Your Next House
Whether you are buying for the first time or buying a subsequent home there are some tips to follow in order to make sure the home purchase is a successful one. With a home being one of the largest purchases a person will make in their lifetime it makes sense to go in with full planning and an understanding of how the buying process works. Any time wasted on bad strategies are just that, time wasted that could have been saved by putting you into a home sooner. This article explores some of the strategies homebuyers should be using and ones that may only lead to frustration.
Getting Pre-Approved For A Mortgage
While this is often talked about it bears repeating, shopping for a home without a mortgage pre-approval is a recipe for frustration. The mortgage pre-approval not only gives you an idea of how much home you can purchase it also can give you an idea of your monthly payments. A $200,000 dollar house does not mean you divide $200,000 by 360 months (12 monthly payments times 30 years mortgage) and that is your payment. Your ultimate mortgage payment not only depends on the house price, but also on the taxes and insurance you will be paying for the house. So when getting a pre-approval make sure to ask your lender about the monthly payments that include principal, taxes and insurance.
Since taxes and insurance can vary on the value of the home and the location those numbers are subject to change. As a result if you do find a home that you like be sure to ask your lender to calculate the monthly payments for you based on the taxes you will be paying for...
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 design.
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 these neighborhoods:
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.
5 Ways Homeowners Price Their Home Too High
One of the key aspects of listing a home for sale is setting the right price. Price your home too high and it will result in the home sitting on the market getting little to no attention. The longer your home sits on the market to more buyers begin to think something is truly wrong with the home and they will be less likely to want to visit. Just as with anything sales related selling a home is about generating exposure for your home and getting as many qualified buyers through as possible in order to increase your chances of getting an offer. Price the home too high and qualified buyers will know to steer away from the home since other homes in similar style and condition will be more cost effective and get them the same thing. This article explores some of the common ways homeowners get the price of their home wrong which can lead to unsold home syndrome.
Basing Your Home’s Price On The Amount Spent On Updates and Upgrades
Setting a price for your home as the price you paid for it plus adding to that any money you spent to update and upgrade the home is the wrong pricing strategy to use. If you have purchased the home while prices were at their peak that does not mean you can get the same price for it today. Homes and neighborhoods do not always go up in price. As recent history has shown us prices can go down for particular homes. Homes that have not been kept in good condition and homes in neighborhoods or locations experiencing a downturn due to any number of reasons do lose value. So pricing based on what you paid for the home plus upgrades will be the wrong way to price...
Tips For Buying A Foreclosure Home
Oftentimes buyers may hear that a particular home is a bank or government owned home which is also known as a foreclosed home. A foreclosed home is a home that the prior homeowner has stopped paying the mortgage on and the lender takes the homeowner to court in order to take possession of the home in to try and recover money that is owed to them. Foreclosed homes must go through a full foreclosure hearing in a court in order to make sure the debt is valid and the homeowner has legitimately stopped paying back on the mortgage. Once back in the possession of the mortgage lender they may or may not make some repairs if needed and will put the home on the market for a new buyer to purchase. For some mortgage loans that are backed by government mortgage programs (like FHA, VA, USDA) the government will ultimately take possession of the home and eventually sell it back on the open market.
If you are considering buying a home that has been foreclosed upon this article is article is for you as it will provide tips on how to make the best of buying a foreclosure home.
Where Do You Find Foreclosure Homes For Sale
Just as most homes are found on the Internet via the Multiple Listing System (MLS) many foreclosure homes make it to the MLS as well when being listed for sale. On occasion depending on the lender and the condition of the home sometimes homes make it to select auction sites in order to limit who can buy the home and as a result may not be found on the MLS. Foreclosure homes in very poor condition sometimes will be sold with cash offer only requirement since the condition will not meet appraisal standard for traditional mortgages. ...
Tips For Choosing The Right Neighborhood
Finding the right neighborhood is just as important as finding the right house, as the right house in a neighborhood that does not work for you can lead to eventual dissatisfaction with the house. Neighborhoods encompass many different aspects so it pays to do your research fully and understand what a particular neighborhood may or may not offer. The perfect neighborhoods for a family with kids may not be the perfect neighborhood for an empty nest couple or a single person looking for a home. This articles looks at some of the things homebuyers should be considering in a neighborhood when shopping for a home.
The location of a neighborhood is key. Living in a great neighborhood fifty miles away from your workplace may leave you with little time to enjoy your neighborhood since you have to spend more time driving back and forth to work. So while there may be a great neighborhood fifty miles away that does not mean you should be considering it unless your employer offers benefits like working from home rather than having to come into the office every day. Long commute times can be stressful and result in many wasted hours that should instead be spent enjoying time with your family or enjoying your neighborhood.
The neighborhood location in terms of the community amenities and features are also something to consider. Being in a more rural area you are less likely to find recreation centers, shops, malls and other places to...
5 Smart Tips For Buying An Investment Property
With the recent boom in real estate markets all over the US many people are looking to real estate for investment purposes. Buyers are looking to buy commercial and residential properties with the goal in mind of renting out those properties and generating cash flow. Investment in real estate can generate good cash flow with better rates of returns than stocks and other similar investments. This article provides a number of great tips for the new real estate investor or the seasoned investor to make sure when the right property comes up they are ready to take advantage.
Having Your Funds Or Pre-approval In Order
While this is often repeated when it comes to buying any type of real estate it bears repeating since it is so important. In many markets real estate is selling fast (even investment real estate) and if buyers do not already have a mortgage pre-approval ready to go they will lose out to other buyers who do have a pre-approval. No seller wants to add extra time to a transaction for a buyer to get pre-approved when they get offers with buyers who may not only be pre-approved but may even be an all cash buyer.
When it comes to an offer where a buyer must get pre-approved versus a cash offer the cash offer will win every time assuming everything else is the same. Cash buyers often forgo asking for an appraisal as they are comfortable with the purchase price since they have usually run their numbers and know a good investment when they see one. If a buyer is not pre-approved that means there are two areas to cause a deal to fail, the buyer can fail to get approved for...
Smart Tips For Buying A Waterfront Home
Waterfront properties for some are highly desirable either for the ability to use a boat or some sort of other water recreation vehicle or for the great views. Waterfront views can add significantly to the price tag of a luxury home with a great view of a lake, river or ocean. While waterfront properties may offer excellent views and offer more value there are still some things to be aware of when considering the purchase of a waterfront home as this article explores.
New Construction vs. Existing Home
If you are building a new home with waterfront access the build method may be different when it comes to the foundation. Depending on the condition of the sub-surface where the house will ultimately rest upon different kinds of supports may be needed to ensure the house is stable after being built. Also depending on whether the water levels can come up to or beyond the house the house may need to be raised in order to limit its exposure to the water. In order to make sure the house is setup properly from the start homebuyers should make sure their builders are using qualified engineers to analyze the ground below where the house will be built in order to make sure the right type of foundation support is used.
If you are considering an existing waterfront home then in addition to having a regular home inspection it would be wise to have a structural engineer look over the home to make sure the foundation is strong and secure so that your investment does not go floating off into the water or get damaged due to a shifting foundation. Depending on when the home was built and whether there are any plans still available that show how the house was...
Should You Transfer Your Real Estate Into An LLC?
An LLC or Limited Liability Company is a business structure similar to a corporate form like S Corporation found in many states that allows for a business owner to run a business and limit their liability exposure to just the business assets itself. If the business owner were to be sued for something that the business did then the business owner’s personal assets should be protected from the lawsuit if they were to lose the case. Where a business owner runs a business without an LLC, then they run the risk that if they are sued a court can use any and all of their assets to satisfy a lawsuit judgment. LLCs are commonly used by small business owners, are sometimes used by real estate owners and investors. This article explores whether it makes sense to have your real estate in an LLC.
How Is Real Estate Usually Owned?
All real estate is registered to the owners (can be individual, LLC, corporation, trust and more) name with a deed. The deed is generally put in the name of the buyers as the current owners of the property and recorded at the local government office where records of deeds are kept. In order to get the best protection, deeds should be registered with the local registrar/recorder but it is not a requirement to do so when purchasing real estate with cash. If the real estate is purchased with a loan the lender will require the purchaser to have the deed registered and recorded in their name with the local government in order to put everyone on notice that the property is subject to a mortgage lien. By providing notice of a mortgage liens lenders can be assured that the homeowner cannot get too...
What Is An Escrow Holdback?
During the final stages of buying or selling a home generally the homebuyer will be performing a final walkthough and the home sellers should be in the final stages of moving everything out of the house. If certain repairs were not completed prior to closing or maybe the seller has been slow in moving out there are options that can be used to help protect the homebuyer and make sure the home seller completes the requirements called for by the contract. One of the options a homebuyer may be able to use is called an escrow holdback. This article looks at the escrow holdback and some of the situations where it may make sense to use it.
Escrow Holdback Explained
An escrow holdback is simply money held from a real estate transaction in an escrow account. The escrow account used is usually owned by the title company since they are a neutral party to the transaction. So for instance a home is being purchased by homebuyers for $200,000 dollars. The home sellers owe $150,000 on the mortgage and are expecting to receive $40,000 directly back to them (after commissions and closing costs). So in a transaction without any escrow holdback the title company will transfer $150,000 of the total sale amount to the mortgage company who holds the mortgage on the property being sold and then will provide the remaining amount from the sale to the sellers.
If the sellers were not able to complete some agreed upon repairs prior to closing, have not fully moved out of the house yet or caused some damage to the home while moving out for which they have agreed to repair, money...
Does An Open House Make Sense When Marketing A Home For Sale?
In the past when there was no Internet for marketing homes the open house was a great way to get many people into a home at one time in order to help get it sold. Advertising in local newspapers could be expensive so not many pictures of the home would be able to get published. Advertising in local magazines also would be expensive but would be generally slow since magazines published usually no more than once a month. As a result many agents would advertise their open houses or host open houses at one time in one neighborhood in order to maximize on homebuyer foot traffic.
Since the internet has taken over as the go to source for home marketing the use and need of open houses has declined greatly. This article explores why open houses are no longer commonly used and some reasons why homeowners may want to completely pass on it.
How Are Homes Marketing On The Internet Today
With over 90% of home shopping starting online it makes sense for the home seller and their agent to focus on the place where most of the buyers will be looking. Starting with a clean and de-cluttered house the pictures of a home online are what will make or break a sale. Clean freshly painted rooms that show the space available in a home make for great photographs that allow homebuyers to see the potential of a house. Using great photo gear to help take great photographs will translate into interested buyers so make sure the photographs are taken during the best time of day with the best quality equipment in order to show the features of a home.
Video is another huge selling point for many homes especially with video...
Buying A Home As A Single Parent
Buying a home can be a challenging task that requires plenty of attention to detail and the ability to research homes, neighborhoods and schools. There are many different housing styles, different locations and more to consider when looking for a home. Add to that being a single parent and there is a lot more that one person has to handle on their own in order to make sure they get the right home that meets all of their family needs. This article explores some tips and ideas for the single parent to help make their home buying decision easier on them and their family.
Hire A Realtor
First and foremost hiring a Realtor will set you on the right track towards finding a home. The Realtor or real estate agent helps home buyers and sellers on a daily basis with their real estate needs. It is their job to know local markets and to help get homebuyers the information they need during all crucial stages of the home buying process.
Don’t get offended though when the real estate agent starts asking for you to get pre-approved for a mortgage. While you may have a price range in mind for a home or have an idea of what monthly payment you can afford, until you go through the pre-approval process you will not know if your assumptions are correct which could lead to a big disappointment if you find a home you like and find out it was out of your mortgage pre-approval range. A mortgage pre-approval is a deep dive into your credit and income history. You may have a great job but not a very long credit history which could hinder your getting a mortgage for the amount you can truly afford. Or there may be errors...
Great #RealEstate People To Follow On Twitter
As much as some like to claim Twitter is no longer relevant compared to other social media platforms most active users know that is far from the truth. Twitter still has many active users with plenty of information to share. This list represents some of the top real estate related bloggers, social media experts and all around great people and companies to follow on Twitter. Not only are they sharing their own informative well written content they are sharing great real estate articles, tips and tricks from many different sources thus truly embracing the social nature of Twitter. If you are not following any of the accounts below be sure to add them to your feed and you won’t be disappointed!
1. Bill Gassett. One of the top 5 RE/MAX agents in MA for the last decade. Social media/SEO junkie. Maxrealestateexposure.com
2. Kevin Vitali. Tewksbury MA- Realtor. Serving the Merrimack Valley home buyers and sellers. MerrimackValleyRealEstate.com.
3. Chris & Karen Highland. Frederick MD Realtors, Agent/Owners with eXp Realty. FrederickRealEstateOnline.com
4. Michelle Gibson. Michelle Gibson...
Great Tips For Improving The Curb Appeal Of Your Home
Curb appeal generally means how a home looks while seeing it from the street. A home’s curb appeal is one of those things that a home has or either does not have. While technically there can be an in between status of curb appeal where it is not completely bad that is not what makes buyers stand up and take notice. Homes with great curb appeal present well in photographs which do grab the attention of homebuyers online as well as in person when they come to visit. This article will help you learn how to boost the curb appeal of your home so everyone takes notice.
Cleanliness Of The Landscape
One of the easiest things to do with your yard to improve your home’s curb appeal is make sure it is clean. What that means is making sure no dead plants or trees are present anywhere in the yard. Trash as well should be picked up otherwise the home may have more of an abandoned property look than one of a lived in and cared for home. Often times the trash may not necessarily be the homeowners doing as based on the traffic from the street others may throw trash onto the property for “convenience” sake. Regardless of who put the trash in the yard in the first place the homeowner still should strive to keep the yard clean as that adds to the appeal of a home.
Especially right after winter time or during periods of drought grass, bushes, shrubs, plants and trees may die out. Leaving the dead vegetation in plain view is a major detractor of curb appeal. Potential homebuyers may think since the homeowner did not care enough to clean up their yard how must the rest of the home look and would be more likely to...
4 Things That Can Sap Your Cash Flow And Your Wealth
There are a number of factors that can affect your cash and wealth position. One of the big things that can have a great impact on your cash and wealth is real estate. Real estate can both positively and negatively affect your ability to build wealth and can be a slow grind on your finances if you are not careful. It is your wealth that will sustain you when the economy is down and will keep growing when the economy is great. This article explores some of the major expenses that can quickly sap your cash flow and hurt your overall wealth position.
What Is Wealth And Cash Flow
Cash flow is a term often used in real estate investor circles to describe how much money a rental building is bringing in after all expenses have been paid. Cash flow for an individual is similar in that it is how much money are you saving at the end of the month after all bills have been paid. Wealth is the accumulation of resources including cash. So if you do have a positive cash flow at the end of the month overtime as you accumulate that cash (whether as plain old cash, investments in stocks, bonds, real estate or something else) you build wealth. Now keep in mind if you have more debts than you have cash or assets that does not necessarily mean you have much wealth. The type of debt is also a big factor. More credit card debt is not a good thing. Debt that was used to purchase investment real estate is not a bad thing so long as the cash flow from the real estate can keep up with all the expenses.
Things That Can Destroy Your Cash Flow And Wealth
Owning More Home Than You Can Afford
While the mortgage lenders are...
Tips For Hiring The Best Contractor For Your Home
When it comes to home improvement or home repair hiring the right contractor can mean the difference between getting a quality final product or possibly losing money and having to find someone else to complete the work. Some unsavory contractors are more than ready to collect money upfront and promise to complete the job only to never show up again. Other contractors may stick around to do the work but after everything is completed the quality of their workmanship is revealed to be not that great. So how are homeowners able to find the best contractors who will do a good job and won’t take the money and run? This article explores the topic in detail.
Determine Your Actual Needs First
Determining your actual needs first can help you narrow down the type of contractor you need to get in touch with. Does your home need plumbing work like installing a new toilet or are you looking for new lighting to be installed in your kitchen? Sometimes the work one contractor does will also require another contractor to fix up. For instance many electricians will need cut into drywall in order to run wires, switches and fixtures. Once done most electricians are not able to make the drywall repairs nor offer painting services so that will require a call to one or more additional contractors. Similar would happen in the case of a plumber who had to cut into drywall in order to access the pipes behind the wall, they may not have the skill set nor desire to get into drywall repair.
What Is A Notice Of Sale?
Homeowners who fall too far behind in their mortgage payment may find a Notice Of Sale or Notice Of Sheriff’s Sale mailed to them or posted on their front door. Often times the mortgage companies will attempt to contact the borrower and make arrangements for the mortgage to be paid back with some different terms that make it easier for the borrower to pay. On the other hand some lenders due to lack of ability or resources do not do or say much of anything until the late payments are sufficient enough to file for foreclosure which results in the Notice of Sale of Notice of Sheriffs Sale. Even when such notices are delivered to a homeowner there still may be a few options homeowners can consider in order to prevent their home from being sold out from underneath them.
What Is A Foreclosure?
Foreclosure is a step lenders take to obtain possession (title/ownership) to a house so they can sell the home and attempt to recover money owed to them under a mortgage. Foreclosures happen generally only after the homeowner has stopped paying on their mortgage and has not attempted to work out something with the lender. As the foreclosure process is expensive for both the lender and the homeowner it is better for the homeowner to try and sell the home well before the foreclosure process has started. With easy credit and easy money for buying a home sometimes homeowners get in over their head and end up in a house poor situation. Especially where some major repairs have been deferred and the homeowner cannot maintain the condition of the...