Proudest accomplishments: Becoming a Certified Financial Planner and running three marathons
Favorite local hangouts: Salazar’s in OTR and Washington Park’s bar area
The virtual world that we live in now was only an imagined reality in the world Damon DiBari grew up in. “It’s like something from the 80’s sci-fi movies,” Damon says, “not something we thought we’d actually see in our lifetime. Now it is just the norm, the way we do business every day.”
During the pandemic, the mortgage business couldn’t just come to a grinding halt, so making those sci-fi fantasies a reality has been a necessary move. People needed to buy and sell homes, so a pivot was the only option. “In any industry, you have to have the ability to make a 180 change based on whatever the market is. You have to come up with your own method,” he says.
According to Damon, Sibcy Cline has proven its ability to shift in response to changes in the market and he believes that ability is what has made the mortgage division successful during COVID. “Covid pushed me to my limits on how efficiently I can handle our business. I have changed processes, added new teammates, became virtual in a new virtual world.”
In his 8 years with Sibcy Cline, Damon has been able to find a space for himself as a financial planner who gives advice and information to clients, rather than simply quoting rates and terms for a loan. One of his favorite parts about his job is the freedom it gives him to innovate and create personalized plans with clients, something he couldn’t do in his previous roles as a stockbroker and private banker. “The bigger banks I worked for in my career did not have that option. Here I can come up with a plan and Sibcy Cline helps me see it through.”
It’s this kind of “personal touch” banking and the ability to innovate freely that Damon finds most rewarding in his job as a financial planner. “I have built excellent relationships that have been like family. My success is based on everyone’s success, and I truly enjoy being a part of everyone’s life and livelihood,” he says.
And the challenges that come along with that are not something that he shies away from. Rather, he sees fluctuations in the market as opportunities to learn and change so you can be better prepared for the future. “With the millennials seeing the housing crisis in 2008, they have been better prepared. They have saved carefully and are ready to buy houses. Right now, even with the Coronavirus, this is going to be the smartest group of buyers I’ve seen in my entire career. They know more, they’ve seen more,” he says.
As someone who has seen tremendous change in his lifetime, Damon speaks from experience. In his own neighborhood in Cincinnati’s West End, he’s seen a huge shift from one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in the U.S. to what is now often referred to as “the Paris of the Midwest”. “After college I got my first apartment downtown, right after the riots happened. It was rough time for downtown, before OTR was what it is now. You could find a property for $10,000 which are now selling for $500-600,000. It was a different time,” he says.
Being in the middle of so much urban upheaval in the early part of the 2000’s was far different than Damon’s upbringing on the outskirts of Cincinnati. “My parents moved here from Rhode Island and My dad worked for GE, so I grew up in Fairfield and West Chester in the 80’s, which was mostly farmland. I went to college at Miami, which was also pretty far out there…a gorgeous campus, but not in the middle of anything.”
In spite of his rural-suburban roots, something about the urban life appealed to Damon. “They built a pocket neighborhood there in 2005 on the West End, where they built 15 brownstone rowhouses. I passed by there and I fell in love with them the first time I saw them,” he says. Damon bought one of the brownstone houses and has lived there ever since, with no plans to leave. “Especially with the new FC stadium going in—I’m a big fan—I’m going to own that house forever,” he says.
Another thing that Damon loves about the downtown life is being so close to the music scene. “I love music. I go to 20-30 concerts a year. I’m a Bunbury fan and I’ve been every year since its inception.” Damon’s also looking forward to downtown’s newest concert venue, The Icon Center. “It’s unbelievable. That is going to be a gem in the city.”
It may seem like a distant reality to gather again in an indoor concert venue to enjoy live music, but Damon is confident that it’s not only imaginable, but possible. “Things will evolve,” he says, “there will always be something new, something we haven’t thought of.”
Your pooch loves to socialize with other dogs. What better place to meet fellow canines than at a dog park? Whether playing fetch or letting your dog explore and meet other furry friends, a dog park is a great way to give your pet some exercise. The popularity of these type of parks has increased since the first dog park was established in 1979 in Berkley, California, and their numbers have grown steadily in the last several years. (91% of Americans believe dog parks provide benefits to their communities.)
We found quite a few local dog parks for you and your dog to explore. Many of them provide benches for owners, water, as well as separate areas for small and large breeds. Most of the dog parks are free, but there are a few private parks with a membership fee. A few public parks require registration and/or have a park fee.
Dog parks are listed by region and then alphabetic.
Did we miss your favorite dog park? Let us know: firstname.lastname@example.org
Bark Park at Miami Meadows 1546 OH-131, Milford, Ohio Small dog park is part of Miami Meadows Park. Separate areas for small and large breeds. Water is provided. Agility equipment. Benches for owners.
David J. Stricker Dog Park 1359 Clough Pike, Batavia, Ohio One-acre park with fenced areas for small and large breeds. Benches and shade trees are available.
Diamond Dogs Park 11405 E. Miami River Rd, Colerain Township, Ohio Diamond Dogs Park is located within Heritage Park. Seating, shades areas and water are provided within the 5-acres, fenced-in former baseball field. (See Heritage Park)
Doris Day Dog Park 3006 Westwood Northern Blvd., Cincinnati, Ohio (Mt. Airy) Within Mt. Airy Forest, this dog park has a fenced area on two acres with grassy areas and wood chips. Agility equipment is available. A water hose is also onsite. (See Mt. Airy Dog Park)
Fairgrounds Park 700 S. Railroad Ave. and Fire Engine Red Rd., Loveland, Ohio The dog park is located at the south end of the park. Fence division for small and large breeds. Water fountain for pets.
Fido Field 630 Eggleston Avenue between Gilbert Ave and the I-71overpass, downtown Cincinnati, Ohio This is a fenced-in, off-leash park (with 28,000 square feet) that is maintained by volunteers! There are play areas for large and small breeds. Bring your own water.
Furfield Dog Park 6611 River Rd., Fairfield, Ohio Great view of the Great Miami River. Dog pool. Separate areas for smaller and large breeds. Shaded area. Water is available.
Hamilton Bark Park 20 New London Rd., Hamilton, Ohio Separate areas for small and large breeds. Water station for dogs and owners. Benches and shady areas available.
Harrison Dog Park 300 George Street, Harrison, Ohio Agility equipment. Trees and benches. Water is available seasonly.
Heritage Park 11405 E. Miami River Rd, Colerain Township, Ohio Diamond Dogs Park is located within Heritage Park. Seating, shades areas and water are provided within the 5-acres, fenced-in former baseball field. (See Diamond Dogs Park)
Holly’s Dog Park 2921 Vonnie Vale Ct., Hamilton, Ohio Separate areas for small and large breeds. Agility equipment. (See Schafer’s Run Dog Park)
Hueston Woods State Park 6301 Park Office Road, College Corner, Ohio The dog park is located near the park office and nature center.
Ida Juris Bennett Dog Park 225 Cook Rd., Lebanon, Ohio Located within Tecumseh Park. Three acres of dog-park fun. Separate areas for small and large breeds.
Kellogg Park Dog Field 6701 Kellogg Rd, Anderson Township, CIncinnati, Ohio Fenced-in, four-acre area for dogs to run and roam. Dog-height drinking fountain. Enjoy the dog-themed mural from ArtsWorks. Yearly permit required.
Kennel Resorts 5825 Meadowview Drive, Milford, Ohio Two dog parks available. Membership is required at this private park. Small and large breed areas. Tunnels, sand box, trees, Lake Dogbegone and waterfall. Mt. Airy Dog Park 3006 Westwood Northern Blvd. Within Mt. Airy Forest, this dog park has a fenced area on two acres with grassy areas and wood chips. Agility equipment is available. A water hose is onsite. (See Doris Day Dog Park)
Northside Bark Dog Park 5160 Morning Sun Rd., Oxford, Ohio Open space with hills and trees. Drinking fountain during warmer months. Benches available.
Otto Armleder Dog Park 5057 Wooster Pike, Cincinnati, Ohio (Linwood) Dogs can roam off leash and socialize with other dogs in a fenced area. There are separate areas for large and small breeds. Dog drinking fountains, a canine shower and lots of trees and benches.
Red Dog Park 5081 Madison Road, Madisonville, Cincinnati, Ohio Membership-only park run by Red Dog Pet Resort & Spa, Three acres of fenced grassy and wooded grounds. Separate fenced areas for large and small breeds. Drinking fountains for dogs and owners.
Schappacher Dog Park 4686 Old Irwin Simpson Road, Mason, Ohio There is a 38,000 square foot dog run in this park. There are two sections with a separate small-breed area.
Schafer’s Run Dog Park 2921 Vonnie Vale Ct., Hamilton, Ohio Separate areas for small and large breeds. Agility equipment, (See Holly’s Dog Park)
Simmonds Family Dog Park 8715 Hamilton-Cleves Pike Rd., Cleves, Ohio (Miamitown) This park is located at Miami Whitewater Forest and has 11 acres with four separate fields, dog-agility equipment, shade tree and benches. $3 a day or $10 for an annual pass.
Spencer Shank Memorial Park Robin Way and Canary Lane, Amelia, Ohio Off-leash, fenced in dog park with separate areas for small and large breeds. Benches for owners.
Symmes Township Dog Park 11600 Lebanon Rd., Loveland, Ohio Fenced dog park with shade. (Closed in winter.) Bring your own water.
Summit Park Dog Park 4355 Glendale Milford Road, Blue Ash, Ohio A large, fenced-in area is available for dogs to roam leash free. Benches are located along the perimeter. Dog-height water fountains available.
WagsPark 3810 Church Street, Cincinnati, Ohio (Newtown) Cincinnati’s largest private dog park. Three acres of grassy areas along with a central lake. Agility equipment for the dogs. Seating for the owners as well as a jumbo TV screen that plays shows and movies. Daily admission fee or yearly membership available. NOTE: This park is currently closed temporarily due to COVID-19.
Washington Park Dog Park 1230 Elm Street, Over-the-Rhine, Cincinnati, Ohio The 12,000 square foot fenced area is located within the park. There is a water creek, granite boulders and water spout. Owners can relax on park benches along the perimeter. Dogs can roam without a leash in the dog-park area.
Wiggly Field Dog Park 7850 VOA Park Dr,, West Chester Township, Cincinnati, Ohio Fenced-in dog park within the Voice of America MetroPark. Two areas for small and large breeds. There are benches, shaded structures and trees. Water fountains and water bowls are available.
Boone County Dog Park 5550 Idlewild Rd., Burlington, Kentucky Four-acre park with a 2.5 acre section for small dogs. Shelter and benches. Water fountains for dogs and owners.
Cocoa Dog Park Williamstown, Kentucky This park is located behind the baseball outfield behind the Williamstown City Building. Three separate enclosures for various-sized breeds. Water sources, benches and shade trees. (Watch for gaps in the fence.)
Cynthiana Dog Park 117 Reynolds Ave., Cynthiana, Kentucky Sections for large and small breeds. Well shaded. (Flat Run Dog Park)
England/Idlewood Park and Dog Park 290-acre park with a dog park area. (See Boone County Dog Park) Fort Thomas Dog Park 199 Mayfield Avenue in Highland Hills Park in Fort Thomas, Kentucky Separate fenced areas for small and large breeds. Grassy areas along with a few trails. A water fountain is available on a hill outside of the dog park – you may want to bring your own water. Follow on Facebook.
Newport Dog Park 901 E. 6th Street, Newport, Kentucky (behind the library) Fenced park with benches, exercise and agility features, water fountains and concrete walking paths. Separate area for small and large breeds.
Walton Community Park 35 Old Stephenson Mill Rd., Walton, Kentucky Part of the park has a dog-park area: dog enclosures with benches, trees and a covered table. Uphill walk from the parking lot to access the enclosures. Only the middle enclosure has a water fountain. Bring your own water.
DAYTON AND SPRINGFIELD, OHIO
Canal Run Dog Park 550 S. Main Street, Miamisburg, Ohio Three separate areas for large and small breeds. Water fountain is turned off during the winter. Shade structure.Tunnels and logs for the dogs. Annual registration fee.
Central Bark Dog Park 501 N Western Ave., Springfield, Ohio Three acres with designated areas for large and small breeds. Water and natural play elements. A water fountain is available.
Creager Field Dog Park 210 Shafor Blvd., Dayton, Ohio Separate areas for smaller and large breeds. Benches and fresh drinking water is available. Agility course. (See Oakwood Dog Park)
Deeds Point Dog Park 555 Webster Street in Deeds Point MetroPark Lots of room for dogs to run and explore.
Duke Dog Park 1670 Troy-Sidney Rd., Troy, Ohio Located within Paul G. Duke Park, the dog park has two acres. Area is divided for small and large breeds.
Hazel Woods Park 3789 W. Lower Springboro Rd., Springboro, Ohio Dog drinking fountain. Three gated areas (one for smaller dogs.) Benches. (See Springboro Dog Park.)
Hisey Park Dog Park 5443 Middletown Rd, Waynesville, Ohio Separate areas for small and large breeds. Picnic benches. Bring your own water.
Kitty Hawk/Menlo Park 5210 Sabra Ave., Huber Heights, Ohio Designated areas for small and large breeds. Dog drinking fountain, misting fire hydrant water play feature, benches and trees. Walking paths inside and around the perimeter of the dog park.
Montgomery County Bark Park 6794 Webster Street, Dayton, Ohio Fenced exercise areas. Water is available onsite. Currently closed due to COVID-19.
Oak Grove Dog Park 1790 E Social Row Rd., Centerville, Ohio Fenced area with a separate area for small breeds. This park is closed the first Monday of each month for maintenance.
Oakwood Dog Park at Creager Field 210 Shafor Blvd., Oakwood, Ohio Separate areas for small and large breeds. Benches and fresh drinking water is available. Agility course. (See Creager Field Dog Park)
Snyder Park 501 N. Western Ave., Springfield, Ohio Three acres with designated areas for large and small breeds. Water and natural play elements. A water fountain is available. (See Central Bark Dog Park)
Springboro Dog Park 75 W. Central Avenue, Springboro, Ohio Dog drinking fountain. Three gated areas (one for smaller dogs.) Benches are available. (See Hazel Woods Park.)
Wiggley Field 1545 Pumphouse Rd. Springfield, Ohio Areas for small and large breeds. Grassy area, benches, water fountain, picnic tables and lots of trees. Located inside Old Reid Park.
Aurora Dog Park 107 Manchester Landing, Aurora, Indiana Near the Dearborn Trail entrance. Separate areas for small and large breeds.
Batesville Dog Park 508 E. Eastern Ave., Batesville, Indiana Located with in Liberty Park. Separate areas for small and larger breeds. Benches available. Registration is required.
Brittingham Park 326 S. Broom Street, Madison, Indiana Benches and water fountain available at this .36-acre park.
Demetral Park 2297 Commercial Ave., Madison, Indiana Benches available at this fenced-in .57-acre park. Bring your own water.
Lawrenceburg Dog Park Todd Lane, Lawrenceburg, Indiana Spaces for small and large breeds. Dog fountains and playgrounds.
McCormick Park 702 N. McCormick Ave., Madison, Indiana Benches available at this .38-acre park. Bring your own water.
North Star Dog Park 439 Milky Way, Madison, Indiana Benches available at this 2-acre park. Bring your own water.
Odana School Park 678 S. Segoe Rd., Madison, Indiana 2.8-acre fenced park. No benches or water provided.
Quann Park 1802 Quann-Olin Parkway, Madison, Indiana Benches and water fountain are found at this park.
River Front Dog Park 101 W. Main Street, Madison, Indiana Enjoy the Ohio River views! Separate areas for smaller breeds. Drinking water. Passes available from the City Parks Department.
Todd Creech Park 148 Front St., Lawrenceburg, Indiana Separate area for smaller and large breeds. Grassy area and paved paths. Water bowls.
Walnut Grove Park 202 N. Westfield Rd., Madison, Indiana Benches are available at this 1.17-acre park. Bring your own water.
Warner Park 2301 Sheridan Dr., Madison, Indiana Benches are found at this park. Bring your own water. Water in the lagoon is not tested.
February 2021 saw lots of snow and ice with winter in full force upon the region. With such fierce winter conditions, homes still sold! In Cincinnati, the median sales price increased (over the prior year) for the 22nd consecutive month. The median days on market was just three days – a 57% decrease from February 2020. In Northern Kentucky, home sales for February rose by 6% and sales prices increased by almost 14%. In the Dayton region, home sales units increased from last February by almost 2%. Sales volume increased by almost 13%.
Mortgage rates are low. Home values are high. It’s a great time to list your home for sale and for buyers to find their dream home.
Here is a report by region of homes sales throughout February 2021:
CINCINNATI OHIO / SOUTHEASTERN INDIANA
February 2021 vs February 2020
-1.4% Decrease in homes sold (1,570 homes)
13.3% Increase in median sale price ($199,900)
-57.1% Decrease in median sales on market (3 days)
-52.6% Decrease in active homes for sale (1,376 units)
Mid-Century Songbook: Ella, Nat and More April 2–3, 2021 Music Hall, Over-the-Rhine, Cincinnati, Ohio John Morris Russell conducts the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra. The April 3rd performance will be live-streamed simultaneously.
Breakfast with the Animals April 9 and 18, 2021 (+May 5 and 22, June 4, 19; July 17, 31; August 7 and 28) Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden at 3400 Vine Street, Cincinnati, Ohio Enjoy early admission to the zoo as well as a full breakfast buffet. See the animals as they awake! Obtain tickets asap – this event sells out!
Cerrone Brass Premier & Ellington April 9–11, 2021 (+April 30) Music Hall, Over-the-Rhine, Cincinnati, Ohio This Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra will also be live streamed on April 30, 2021
Rock the Block April 10, 2021 Various locations through Kentucky, Indiana and Ohio Clean up projects throughout local communities in Kentucky, Indiana and Ohio
Wild About Spring Wildflowers April 10, 2021 Rentschler Forest MetroPark at the Riverview Shelter at 5701 Reigert Rd., Fairfield, Ohio Search for spring flowers
Art on Vine at Washington Park April 11, 2021 (+May 9 and June 6) Washington Park at 1230 Elm Street, Cincinnati, Ohio Local artists will be selling their pieces
Ballet, Beatles & Bowling April 11, 2021 Pohlman Lanes at 954 Pyramid Hill Boulevard, Hamilton, Ohio Miami Valley Ballet Theater will put on their bowling shoes at Pohlman Lanes and feature their ballet moves to the music of the Beatles
Cincy Seltzer Fest 2021 April 17, 2021 The Fowling Warehouse at 2940 Highland Ave., Cincinnati, Ohio Enjoy sipping seltzers!
Burlington Antique Show April 18, 2021 Boone County Fairgrounds at 5819 Idelwood Rd., Burlington, Kentucky Find a treasure!
Rock the Block April 10, 2021 Various locations through Kentucky, Indiana and Ohio Clean up projects throughout local communities in Kentucky, Indiana and Ohio SE Indiana Guild Spring Art & Photography Show April 12–24, 2021 302 Second Street, Aurora, Indiana 812-221-1252 for more info – Enjoy the art!
When selling and buying homes, there are three types of real estate markets: buyer’s market, seller’s market and a neutral market. When experiencing a seller’s market, there is a higher demand for homes than the supply has to offer. With not enough homes for sale, buyers tend to compete for the same available homes – which can drive prices up.
Here are some tips home buyers need to know when buying a home in a seller’s market:
One – Get Mortgage Pre-Approval You need to know how much home you can afford in order to make an offer on a home, especially in a seller’s market. It is a good idea to become pre-qualified for a mortgage loan to figure out that budget. Once pre-qualified, you can provide a pre-approval letter when making an offer which lets the seller know you are a serious buyer.
Two – Work with a Real Estate Agent Working with a real estate agent is vital in a seller’s market. Homes that come onto market may sell in a matter of hours. Your real estate agent will be in tune with the availability of new homes for sale so you can act quickly. If there are no homes on the market in the area you desire to live, your agent can reach out to that area’s homeowners to see if they would be willing to sell.
Try to be one of the first showings with your agent. If you delay until the weekend, the home may be sold.
Three – Do Your Research Knowing where you want to live and what your housing requirements are is important in a seller’s market. Communicate to your agent what home features are a must and those you would like to have but could do without. In this type of market, finding a home with everything on your list probably will not happen. It is best to look for potential in a home to make it work for you. But, do not buy a home you do not love. Remember, you will be living there for at least five years if not longer.
Four – Fast Offer You may need to act fast with your offer on a home in a seller’s market. A low-ball offer will not work in this type of market. Be prepared to offer full price or over-the-asking price.
When you make an offer, it may work in your favor to find out why the seller is moving so you can figure out what kind of closing date to offer. Making things easier for the seller could work to your advantage. Make your best offer first and be prepared for a bidding war.
Five – Cash Offer Cash offers and strong earnest money deposits indicate a serious buyer.
Six – Fewer Contingencies (A Clean Offer) There are usually a few contingencies (such as the home inspection) in a purchase contract. In a seller’s market, the fewer contingencies, the more attractive your contract will look to the seller.
Counter offers are not always advisable in a seller’s market. The seller does not need to write a counter and can move on to the next offer.
Rejection :< A seller can accept only one offer. If your offer is rejected, remember the home seller wants to make the most money with the least inconvenience. In addition to price, the seller may have accepted another offer that offered better terms (larger cash up front, fewer or no contingencies, already pre-approved for a mortgage, etc…)
If your offer is not accepted, keep your spirits up. There will be another home that meets your needs and soon become your dream home.
ChimneyRidge development in Loveland will be the site of next year’s HOMEARAMA® and this week kicks off the build up to the completion of some of the finest custom homes in Cincinnati. Always a well-attended and popular event drawing thousands of locals every year, HOMEARAMA® displays top-notch craftsmanship and the most innovative approaches to home design and home building in the country.
Included among the top homebuilders in Greater Cincinnati who have committed to build homes is Sibcy Cline’s builder partner, WP Land Company. 2022 will be WP Land Company’s second time to participate in the event. In 2019 they were part of the Kensington development of Mason.
“When ChimneyRidge was selected as the community for 2022, we were excited to jump in as we felt the location was a home run,” said Tim Mahoney II of WP Land Company and Executive Sales Vice President with Sibcy Cline.
“Today’s buyers are always looking for opportunities to be close to amenities, but still crave a sense of privacy and space to retreat to,” Tim said. “Marrying those two can be challenging, which is what makes ChimneyRidge such a unique opportunity.”
Due to the popularity and desirability of the Loveland area and low housing inventory in the market as a whole, Tim knows that new construction is a welcome option for many future homebuyers. “There are also six additional lots in the community we’d be happy to secure for interested buyers, so we’re really looking at 15 opportunities for a custom home by WP Land Company in the ChimneyRidge community,” he said.
Tim’s not alone in his belief that the ChimneyRidge development is an attractive site for homes. Sibcy Cline REALTOR® Andrea Lucke DeStefano agrees. Andrea, who is the listing agent for lot #11, the site for a custom-built home by Robert Lucke Homes, Inc, listed off the many features of the development that buyers want, like the charming gas street lights, a small community with only 30 home sites, and wooded/private lots. “It feels like you’re in the country, but so close to everything,” she said.
ChimneyRidge sits high on 26 wooded acres off of Butterworth Road, less than one mile from the Downtown Loveland and the Little Miami bike trail. It also offers easy access to I-275. Homeowners who build with HOMEARAMA® builders for the 2022 event at ChimneyRidge save thousands on expensive upgrades for homes outfitted with the newest innovations in custom homebuilding.
For more information about the meet and greet event on Tuesday, March 16, visit the HOMEARAMA® blog.
A combination of both math-minded and artistic, Paula Wilton spends her life walking the line between the analytical and creative. The pursuit of balance is her zone, and she has done it well—few people can move so easily from left-brain to right-brain tasks and perform well. But for Paula, jumping from spreadsheets to painting murals is all in a day’s work.
In the early days of her career, after earning her degree in graphic design, Paula worked as Donor Research Coordinator for the Cincinnati Art Museum, a job where she discovered her love of numbers while preparing financial reports for the Board of Directors. The position at the art museum was the perfect balance of number-crunching mixed with creative stimulation.
“I absolutely loved the fact that I was surrounded by art! I would take afternoon walks through the galleries to clear my head. I could satisfy both sides of my mind—the mathematical and the creative. It was the best of both worlds.”
Paula took a career break from the museum after her second child, returning to work later part-time for a family-owned wine business in Anderson Township, Wine World. There she went back to her creative roots by designing displays, gift baskets, and creating monthly newsletters—but her love of accounting held strong and eventually she took over as bookkeeper for the store as well.
Later Paula desired a full-time position, which led her to Sibcy Cline. Paula’s rich career and life experiences made her exactly the right fit among the well-rounded and varied backgrounds of Sibcy Cline employees. “I enjoy working for a family-owned company and it truly feels like one big family,” says Paula.
Since her start at Sibcy Cline 6 years ago, Paula has embraced the opportunity to dive deeper into the world of accounting and hone her skills. “I enjoy a variety of tasks. While everything runs on a cycle in accounting, each day still brings new challenges and opportunities to learn,” she says.
And for Paula, the learning doesn’t stop at 5 o’clock. She’s still active in a wide variety of creative pursuits. Her biggest love right now? Rehabbing a home out in Felicity with her boyfriend. “It’s a lot of work, but I know it will be well worth it when we are sitting in our home and looking around, knowing we did it all ourselves,” she says. Despite all the time and effort it takes to gut and rehab a house, Paula manages to squeeze in some relaxation, “I love to read out on our balcony, overlooking the river.”
Spring is almost here! Be sure to grab your mask and head out to enjoy a fun, local event. Although some events are virtual, there are still quite a few things to do throughout our communities in person. Events are listed by region and date. CINCINNATI AND NORTHERN KENTUCKY
Rapunzel’s Hairy Fairy Tale Through March 21, 2021 Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati – Redbank location, Cincinnati, Ohio Public and digital performances
28th Annual Bockfest March 5–7, 2021 Bockfest Hall and various venues in Over-the-Rhine in Cincinnati, Ohio Celebrate the Coming of Spring, Over-the-Rhine’s brewing heritage, and bock beer at the largest Bockfest in the United States
Let’s Go Hiking! Scavenger Hunt March 20, 2021 Huffman Park at 2100 John Gray Rd., Fairfield, Ohio Find objects along the trail. Space is limited. Pruning Seminar March 21, 2021 Spring Grove Cemetery & Arboretum at 4521 Spring Grove Ave., Cincinnati, Ohio Learn from the experts how to prune from this outdoor walking seminar. Rain or shine.
Easter Egg Hunt March 27, 2021 Liberty Park at 6757 Yankee Rd, Liberty Township, Ohio Have fun searching for eggs!
Easter in Candyland March 27, 2021 Liberty Home Association: 2361 Hamilton Cleves Rd., Hamilton, Ohio The candyland trail guides you! Easter Bunny breakfast.
Easter Egg Hunt March 27, 2021 Freedom Park at 550 Freedom Park Dr., Edgewood, Kentucky Masks required. 2pm event.
Easter Egg Bunny Express March 27–28 + April 2–4, 2021 LM&M Railroad at 127 S. Mechanic Street, Lebanon, Ohio 45036 Enjoy a train ride with the Easter Bunny! Kids will enjoy an easter egg hunt
Things That Flutter: Rookeries March 27, 2021 Gilmore MetroPark at 7950 Gilmore Rd., Hamilton, Ohio Observe birds and learn about their nesting grounds. Space is limited.
Egg Orienteering March 28, 2021 Forest Run MetroPark Timberman Ridge area at 1976 Timberman Rd., Hamilton, Ohio Forest Run MetroPark Wildlife Preserve area at 1810 Hamilton-New London Rd., Hamilton, Ohio Egg hunt course with a map. Pre-registration required.
Egg-Splorers March 29 – April 4, 2021 Fairfield Parks Six large wooded Easter eggs will be placed in 6 of the city’s 29 parks. Find all six eggs — take a photo of them by April 5 and email the pics to email@example.com. Prizes to be awarded!
Best Restaurants Event March 29, 2021 Delta Hotel by Marriott at 11320 Chester Road, Sharonville, Ohio Cincinnati Magazine presents local restaurants offering tasting portions
Buying a home is usually the single biggest purchase most of us make in our lifetimes. And while there are many benefits to owning a home, they may differ for everyone. As Pat Kuether, President of Mortgage Services at Sibcy Cline, points out, “A first time borrower might be looking to build wealth and find that perfect home to raise a family; A baby boomer might want the sense of comfort and security that comes with owning your own home, while the corporate transferee might see it as a transitional commitment.”
While everyone is different, there is one benefit to home ownership for all of us. “In all of these examples, the fact that you can take advantage of the tax deduction is a huge benefit,” says Pat.
Many buyers, especially first-time buyers, don’t always see the tax benefits right away. “Most buyers only the see from the perspective that [buying a home] is a place to live ‘at cost’. As a financial planner, I feel it is my job to communicate the financial benefit,” says Damon DiBari, Loan Officer and Certified Financial Planner at Sibcy Cline Mortgage Services.
Tax Benefits to Claim on Your Tax Return
The tax benefits of homeownership are significant, and knowing what benefits are available to you will help you get the most money back on your taxes this year. We’ve compiled a list below for your reference.
1. Mortgage Interest
This is the biggest tax benefit you will receive for being a homeowner. Every homeowner who is married and filing jointly who has a mortgage up to $750,000 can deduct the interest paid on their loan. Single filers can write off up to $375,000. You may also be able to deduct the interest on a home equity line of credit of up to $100,000 when it is used to purchase or make improvements to your home.
If you purchase home from $150,000 to $250,000, you will pay about $6000-$10,000 in mortgage interest in the first year, and you will be able to then deduct that against your income. The larger the mortgage, the larger the deduction becomes.
Here’s how it works: You will receive a 1098 form from your lender which lists the mortgage interest you paid. You can use the amount on this form on Schedule A of your 1040 to deduct from your taxes owed.
2. Property Taxes
The latest rules for property taxes (a.k.a. real estate taxes) allow you to deduct up to $10,000, which includes both state and local taxes.
If you paid your taxes directly, you will need to keep receipts and copies of checks to claim this deduction. When you pay through an escrow account with your lender, the total will be on your Form 1098.
3. Mortgage Points
When you take out a mortgage, it is common to pay “points” to the lender in order to reduce your interest rate. Paying these points is another tax benefit of being a homeowner since they are also tax deductible.
You will need to check with your lender to evaluate your mortgage payment and see if you qualify for this deduction. For example, if your monthly payment includes $200 for points, your deductible would be $2,400.
4. Private Mortgage Insurance
When you don’t put 20% down on a home, lenders require that you buy private mortgage insurance (PMI). Although this is an added expense to your mortgage, you can claim it as a deduction.
There are a couple of guidelines for this deduction. The first is that your mortgage must have been taken out after 2007. The other is that you can’t claim this deduction if your income is over $100,000 if you are married or over $50,000 if you are single.
5. Energy-Efficient Upgrades
Going green can get you rewards when you own a home. Under the residential energy-efficient property credit, IRS has made upgrades that conserve energy a tax credit for homeowners. You can be credited up to 30% of the cost of your upgrades.
To get this credit, you must make improvements (such as solar energy panels) to your home that increase its energy efficiency. For a full list of eligible improvements, you can visit energystar.gov.
6. Home Office Expenses
Although many of us worked from home this past year, this benefit is only available to self-employed workers and the guidelines are strict. If you qualify, you can deduct up to $5 per square foot for up to 300 sqaure feet of office space—a maximum deduction of $1500.
Included in this deduction are other expenses such as your electric bill, internet bill, and computer equipment.
7. Capital Gains from Selling Your Home
One last benefit of homeownership comes when it is time to sell. You are not required to pay taxes on the profit you make when you sell your home, up to $500,000 if you’re married and $250,000 if you’re single.
There are some guidelines around this benefit that are worth checking out, but most homeowners will not have to pay any taxes on their profits from selling. This is a huge benefit and allows homeowners to use the money on the purchase of a new home if they choose.
Help with Claiming Your Tax Benefits
Figuring out which tax benefits you qualify for and what documentation you need can be confusing and frustrating. “Our number one goal is to communicate with homeowners to help with their taxes. We promote a proactive approach by reaching out in February and March to ensure the documentation and information are received and understood,” says Damon.
“We take pride in having the background to be an advisor for our clients as part of their trusted team,” Damon says. If you have any questions regarding your tax benefits related to home ownership, get in touch with a loan officer with Sibcy Cline Mortgage Services for assistance.