Being sanitary is on everyone’s mind with the risks of COVID-19. Your kitchen is a great place to start when it comes to being clean. Here are seven tips on how to be clean and sanitary in your kitchen:
1–FAUCETS Touchless faucets function without having to turn a knob is definitely the way to go. These type of devices allow you to wave your hands under the nozzle to start water flow. Motion-sensitive, touchless faucets come in a variety of styles.
2–GARBAGE BINS Consider an enclosed garbage bin to be sanitary. Many people opt for a pull-out cabinet with the garbage bin hidden inside. This will lessen the amount of germs roaming in your kitchen. (If your kitchen space does not have room for this type of storage, use a step-on container that allows you to open it without using your hands.)
3–SANITARYMATERIALS FOR YOUR KITCHEN If you are updating your kitchen, think about using materials that are easy to clean. Stainless-steel appliances will not stain from food or drink spills. They are also easy to clean since they are a smooth surface. A tiled backsplash is easy to clean and maintain. Granite and quartz counters are also quite easy to clean. Most household cleaners are safe to use. Marble counters require soap and water for cleaning followed an alcohol-based disinfectant. A wood counter is more of a challenge. Use a hydrogen-peroxide based cleaner to kill germs without damaging the wood. Leave the solution on the wood and then wipe with a damp cloth and use a dry cloth to dry.
4–SPONGES If you use sponges, keep many on hand and sanitize or replace them often. Wet sponges (or towels) are magnets for germs. (Place sponges in a microwave for 2.5 minutes to decontaminate.)
5–CUTTING BOARDS Keep separate cutting boards for meat and others for fruit and vegetables. This will eliminate cross-contamination of germs. Sanitize often. Store separately.
6–DISINFECT SURFACES Counters, islands, floors, sinks, stove, microwave, refrigerator, drawer pulls – these are many places for germs to lurk in a kitchen. Have a consistent cleaning routine to kill germs. Using a wet paper towel on a surface is good for cleaning only – it is not the same as sanitizing to get rid of germs. Once your countertop is sanitized, dry it with a clean cloth or paper towel.
7–USE THE DISHWASHER The dishwasher is a great appliance to use to clean and sanitize utensils, cups, plates and other items. If you do not have a dishwasher, you will need to use soapy water and a sanitizing solution.
Need help in installing a new feature in your kitchen? Contact Sibcy Cline Home Services. They can connect you to many professional, vetted service vendors.
If you are looking to purchase a home during the fall season, it’s always best to consult with your real estate agent for advise on the best ways to maximize negotiating power. In today’s real estate market, bidding wars can be common despite the usual seasonal slowdown in real estate sales activity in autumn. Here are four tips:
(1) Be Financially Prepared
Home buyers need to understand the current status of the real estate market and how fast-paced it is currently. Someone with a low credit score or the inability to make a down payment may find it more difficult become pre-approved for a mortgage. Additionally, understanding the current market main mean making a fast decision for an offer to purchase a home.
(2) Is this the Right Home in the Right Place at the Right Price?
Sometimes would-be buyers are all too eager to make a home purchase without actually considering the condition of that local market. They are willing to make too many compromises on what they’re looking for just in hopes of buying sooner than later. There isn’t necessarily anything wrong with that approach, but it’s important for buyers to think about whether their new homes fit their long-term living plans.
Buyers should seek advice from their agents about local market shifts and trends to make better informed decisions as well as consider how long to plan on owning that home before thinking of moving again.
(3) Strike When It’s Wise
Home buyers should keep in mind why autumn is such a buyer-friendly season in the first place. While competition is still considerable because of existing market conditions, the number of people looking at homes does decrease, making purchasing a home a bit easier. Sellers who have had their homes on the market since the start of spring may be more motivated to make a deal than they were in the summer.
(4) Touring Homes
With COVID-19, touring homes for sale has different rules. Masks will be required and you will not be permitted to touch things in the home. There may also be restrictions about how many people are permitted as part of your tour due to social distancing. Be mindful that the houses you view are the living spaces of people who want to stay safe.
Is the paint on the walls in your home looking a little worse for wear? If rooms in your home need to be refreshed with a new coat of paint, here are some tips to read before picking up that paint brush:
GENERAL PAINTING TIPS
Wait for dry weather when it is not as humid. Humidity can affect how paints adheres.
Remove light switches and outlet covers.
Clean walls and trim areas. Dirty and oily surfaces will easily chip and peel.
Use drop clothes. Cotton or canvas drop clothes are preferable over plastic ones. Canvas clothes stay in place. Plastic tends to be slippery and will not stay in place. (Be careful with canvas on wood floors – they can slide.)
Repair and prime before painting. After patching holes or imperfections in a wall, you need to prime that wall to avoid having a bumpy texture. The primer will also eliminate something called “flashing” which is a color difference between a wall and a patched area. Lastly, priming does not allow the paint to sink in and look dull.
It is a best practice to paint the trim areas first, then the ceiling and walls. It’s easier to tape off the trim areas rather than walls.
Use painter’s tape and tape off areas that you do not want painted. Once your paint is completely dry, you can easily pull it off the trim or parts of the walls. Use a utility knife to slice through the film formed between the wall and the tape. Pull the tape back at a 45-degree angle.
Have good equipment and quality paint. You will be happier with your results.
To avoid stripe marks when painting, you need to have even layers of paint that has not dried. Keep a “wet edge” so each stroke overlaps the previous stroke before that paint dries. When painting, roll the full height of the wall and move over slightly with each stroke. Keep the roller at least half loaded with paint.
Wear old clothes when painting – splatters happen!
PAINT FINISHES Different paint finishes are good for different purposes. Here is a guide to help you select the correct type of paint for your home project:
High Gloss – Durable and easy to clean, this is a great type of paint for trim, doors and cabinets. This is not a great choice for interior walls. Be sure to prep well as this finish shows every flaw. This is a very durable type of paint.
Semi Gloss – This is a perfect type of paint for kitchens, baths, chair rails and trim because it is durable.
Satin – This type of paint is easy to clean and is good for high-traffic areas such as family rooms, foyers and kids’ bedrooms. It is a durable paint.
Eggshell – This is a no-shine paint finish that is akin in luster to a chicken’s egg. This type of paint is best for walls that are not perfect. It is good in rooms that will be not be scuffed such as the dining or living room. It has a medium durability.
Flat (Matte) – Flat or matte paint hides flaws in walls since it does not reflect light. This type of paint is difficult to clean without removing paint off the wall. This is best used in adult bedrooms or rooms that will not have walls touched. It has medium-low durability.
Visit a local farm and pumpkin patch in Greater Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky, Southeastern Indian, Dayton and Springfield, Ohio. Make your way through a corn maze or enjoy a local fall festival. Protocols are in place for social distancing this year. Here’s our list of places to visit:
Cincinnati, Ohio Pumpkin Patches and Festivals
A & M Farms 22141 SR 251, Midland, Ohio (north of Fayettesville) Pick your own apples and pumpkins.
Burger Farm Fall Festival September 26 – October 25, 2020 (Weekends) Burger Farm and Garden Center at 7849 Main Street, Newtown, Ohio Animated pumpkin land, puppet show, farm animals, pony rides, carnival rides and more
Country Applefest September 26–27, 2020 Warren County Fairgrounds at 665 N Broadway Street in Lebanon, Ohio Apples, fun and more!
Fall Family Fun Weekends September 19 – October 25, 2020 (Weekends) Brown’s Family Farm Market at 11620 Hamilton Cleves Road, Hamilton, Ohio 45013 Hay rides, corn maze, straw maze, animals and more!
Fall Fest Weekend October 24–25, 2020 Washington Park in Over-the-Rhine Family-friendly activities
Fall Festival October 3, 2020 Along Wyoming Avenue, Wyoming, Ohio Crafts, food, art and more!
Fall Fest Weekend October 24–25, 2020 Washington Park, Over-the-Rhine, Cincinnati, Ohio Entertainment, vendors and more
Fall Food Fest October 16–18, 2020 Findlay Market Between W. Elder Street, Elm Street and Essen Strasse in Over-the-Rhine Enjoy food, drink, music, a kid’s scavenger hunt and pumpkin painting
Forgotten Way Farm Starts September 12, 2020 4675 Eckmansville Raoad, Winchester, Ohio (Adams County) Corn maze, hay rides, petting zoo, pumpkins
Garver Farm Saturdays/Sundays: September 12 – October 31, 2020 (Closed on Oct 24) 6716 Hamilton Lebanon Road, Middletown, Ohio Pick your pumpkin Night walks with Glowsticks in the evening
The Great Pumpkin Fest October 10, 2020 Keehner Park at 7211 Barret Road, West Chester, Ohio Puppet show, costume contest, not-so-scary haunted trail, wagon rides and more
Hallzooween October 17–28 and 24-25, 2020 (Weekends) 3400 Vine Street, Cincinnati, Ohio 45220 Trick or treat stations, special animals to meet, beauty shop of horror and more! Wear your costume if you like! Advance reservations required.
Harvest Moon Festival October 10, 2020 Swaim Park at 7650 Cooper Road, Montgomery, Ohio Hayrides, pumpkins and more!
Hidden Valley Orchards Festivals September 12–13, 2020: All About Apples Weekend September 19–20, 2020: Caramel Apple Weekend September 26, 2020: HVOktober Fete October 2–4, 2020: Pumpkin Celebration Weekend October 17–18, 2020, 2019: Harvest Fete October 24–25, 2020: Pumpkin Pie Weekend October 30, 2020: Crate Room Costume Party October 31, 2020: Halloween 5474 North State Route 48, Lebanon, Ohio
Jack O’Lantern Junction September 19 – October 31, 2020 (Closed on Wednesdays) EnterTRAINment Junction 7379 Squire Court in West Chester Trick or treat maze, kid-friendly ghosts and indoor pumpkin patch
Jackson Family Farm September 27, October 3–4, 10–11, 17–18 and 24–25, 2020 6760 West Alexandria Road, Middletown, Ohio Fall on the Farm: pumpkin patch, corn maze, hay rides, petting zoo
Haunted Village October 9, 10, 16, 16 23 and 24, 2020 – confirm before going Sharon Woods Park 11450 Lebanon Road, Sharonville, Ohio 45241 Take a wagon ride through the village or wall – if you dare! Dress in costume and trick or treat. Fun and games.
Iron’s Fruit Farm September 26–October 25, 2020 (Weekends) 1640 Stubbs Mill Road in Lebanon, Ohio Enjoy a corn maze, pumpkin patch and more!
McMonigle Farms September 26 – end of October, 2020 Pumpkin Fest: September 26 and 27, 2020 + October weekends 7441 Franklin Madison Road Pumpkins, corn maze, hayrides, etc…
Oakwood Family Fall Festival Cancelled for 2020 Shafor Park in Oakwood, Ohio Games, food, hayrides, pumpkin painting and more! Kids encouraged to dress up in costumes.
Ohio Sauerkraut Festival Cancelled for 2020 Waynesville, Ohio Enjoy sauerkraut pizza, fudge, cookies, pies, donuts, egg rolls, and more! (Not into sauerkraut – do not worry, there will be many non-sour items to enjoy.)
Schaefers Farm Market September 19 – October 2020 5024 Jacksonburg Road, Trenton, Ohio Organic 15-acre pumpkin patch, corn maze, fall festival and more
Sizemore Farm Pumpkin Patch Cancelled for 2020 7603 Upper Miamisburg Road in Miamisburg, Ohio Pick your own pumpkins at the pumpkin patch. Kids can enjoy the Dragon Wagon ride, a hay ride and sip some apple cider!
Toms Maze and Pumpkin Farm September 11 – November 1, 2020 4881 Germantown-Liberty Road, Germantown, OH 45327 8-acre maze to get lost in and enjoy the farm animal display. If you come in the evening, be sure to bring a flash light
Tuken’s Orchard and Farm Market Starting September 2020 15725 Eaton Pike, West Alexandria, Ohio Hayrides to the 15-acre pumpkin patch; petting zoo; lots of gourds and squash; apple picking, too, in September Facebook
Windmill Farm Market September 26 – October 31, 2020 (weekends) 1454 East State Route 73, Springboro, Ohio Hayrides to the pumpkin patch
Yellow Springs Street Fair Cancelled for 2020 Yellow Springs, Ohio Enjoy viewing over 200 art and craft booths along with some great food and entertainment in the artsy town!
Young’s Jersey Dairy – Pick Your Pumpkin September 19 – October 25, 2020 6880 Springfield-Xenia Road, Yellow Springs, Ohio Enjoy selecting your pumpkin from the field (or pick on from out store), wagon rides
Northern Kentucky Pumpkin Patches and Fall Festivals
Country Pumpkins – Fall Festival September 12 – October 31, 2020 Alpine Hills Dairy Farm at 1835 Sherman Mt. Zion Road in Dry Ridge, Kentucky Pumpkins, gourds, corn maze, petting zoo, pony rides, music and more!
Farm Haven Cancelled for 2020 Park at Union Presbyterian Church at 10259 US Highway 42, Union, Kentucky (walk across the bridge to the farm) Enjoy the pumpkin patch, corn maze, pony rides, petting zoo and hay rides!
Kinman Farm Fall Fest September 12 – October 25, 2020 (Fridays – Sundays) 4175 Burlington Pike, Burlington, Kentucky Corn maze, hayrides, pony rides, pumpkin patch, food, pumpkins and more! Order tickets online.
Kentucky Wool Festival Cancelled for 2020 48 Concord Caddo Road in Falmouth, Kentucky 41040 There will be lots of music and dance entertainment from two stages along with many food and drink options. Enjoy seeing live sheep shearing, sheep herding along with lots crafts of look at and purchase
McGlasson Farms Mid September – November, 2020 (Open daily) 5832 River Road, (Route 8) Hebron, Kentucky Pick your own pumpkins Facebook
Neltner’s Farm Fall Festival End of September – October 25, 2020 (Weekends) 6922 Four Mile Road, Camp Springs, Kentucky 41059 Enjoy live music along with wagon rides, pumpkin patch, petting zoo, model train display and more!
Turning of the Leaves October 10, 2020 Augusta, Kentucky Entertainment, vendors and a great way to welcome the fall season
Southeastern Indiana Pumpkin Patches and Fall Festivals
Fall Old Court Days Cancelled for 2020 Jefferson County Courthouse at 300 East Main Street, Madison, Indiana Crafts, antiques and food! Facebook
Lawrenceburg Fall Fest September 26–28, 2020 Downtown Lawrenceburg, Indiana Games, carnival rides food, beer garden, chili contest, car show and live music
Lobenstein Farm Annual Pumpkin Festival Undecided as of September 7, 2020 29703 Post Road, St. Leon, Indiana 57032 Pick your own pumpkins, enjoy a hayride, craft booths and the petting zoo.513-582-0762
Rising Sun Navy Bean Festival Cancelled for 2020 Main and Front Streets at Rising Sun, Indiana Navy bean soup, homemade cornbread and other great food, rides, games and more
Vogt Farm Pumpkin Festival September 26–27, 2020 (Weekends) 12115 North State Road 129 in Batesville, Indiana Trolley rides to the pumpkin patch, pony rides, corn maze and more
Weber Family Pumpkin Festival Cancelled for 2020 6007 Kilby Road in Harrison, Ohio Enjoy pumpkins, crafts, games, food, music, pony rides and a petting zoo!
Wendel Farms September through October 2020 (Weekends) Wendel Farms at 8134 N. State Line Rd in Riley Township in Brookville, Indiana 47012 6.5 acre corn maze, petting farm and pumpkin patch. Masks required.
Have we missed any local pumpkin patches? Let us know at email@example.com
Being socially distanced while outside is not always an easy thing to do. If you are looking for a possible crowd-free place to take a walk or a bike ride, take a look at our list of local spots. (Be sure to bring your mask!)
Armleder Park Trail 5057 Wooster Pike, CIncinnati, Ohio 45227 Two-mile paved trail is located between Armleder Road and Wooster Road as part of the Otto Armleder Park.
Ault Park 3600 Observatory Ave., Mt. Lookout (Cincinnati), Ohio Beautiful gardens are there as well as some nature trails.
Beech Acres Park 6910 Salem Rd., Cincinnati, Ohio 45230 There is 1.27-miles of paved trail in the park.
Blue Ash Nature Park 4433 Cooper Rd., Cincinnati, Ohio 45242 This park have a lovely nature trail to explore.
California Woods Nature Preserve 5400 Kellogg Avenue, Cincinnati, Ohio 45230 There are 113 acres of forest at California Woods. The trails are not always open – please check first! This preserve is not pet friendly.
Cincinnati Nature Center 4949 Tealtown Road, Milford, Ohio 45150 Rowe Woods at the nature center 14 miles of trails. Dogs are permitted – they must be registered first.
Delhi Township Look at the Vibrant Delhi walking paths. There are paths from .75 miles to 2.5 miles.
East Fork State Park 3294 Elklick Rd., Bethel, Ohio 45106 There are several trails to explore: 12-mile Backpack Trail and the 37-mile Steven Newman Worldwalker Perimeter Trails that circles the park
Fernbank Park 50 Thornton Ave., Cincinnati, Ohio 45233 Located along the Ohio River near Sayler Park, this park has a 1.2 miles paved trail and a one-mile Sycamore nature trail.
Five Mile Trail 2710 Newtown Rd., Anderson Township, Ohio 45255 2.5 miles of paved trail.
French Park 3012 Section Rd., Cincinnati, Ohio 45237 Enjoy exploring the hiking trails!
Glenwood Gardens 10397 Springfield Pike, Cincinnati, Ohio 45215 There are prairies and gardens to explore as well as wetlands and forests. There are two trails – a one-mile paved trails and a 1.6-miles wetland loop trail.
Rentschler Forest 5701 Reigart Road, Fairfield Township Ohio 45011 Miles of hiking trails and the Great Miami River Recreation Trail is accessible
Sharon Woods Park 11450 Lebanon Road, Sharonville, (Cincinnati) Ohio 45241 This park is very large. There is a 2.6-mile trail around the lake, a one-mile fitness trail and a .7-mile Gorge nature trail.
Spring Grove Cemetery 4521 Spring Grove Ave., Cincinnati, Ohio 45232 This cemetery has 15 lakes and 44 miles of paved roads. The public is welcome to explore the cemetery and arboretum.
Cox Arboretum MetroPark 6733 Springboro Pike, Dayton, Ohio 45449 Enjoy several trails from one-half mile to almost two miles long. George Rogers Clark Park There are several trails to follow (Hosterman Lake Loop, Tecumseh Trail, Puckeshiwah Trail and Maluntha Trail).
Grant Park Outer Trail 501 Normandy Ridge Rd, Dayton, OH 45459 3.2 miles for walks and hikers. Enjoy bird watching while you walk!
John Bryan State Park 3790 State Route 370, Yellow Springs, Ohio 45387 This park offers miles of scenic trails with views of the limestone gorge.
Little Miami Scenic Trail 117 S. Fountain Ave., Springfield, Ohio 45502 The old Little Miami Railway is now paved for walking and biking. In Springfield (the northern-most part of the trail), is starts in the city and travels south to Milford. Ohio.
Simon Kenton Trail 80 Villa Rd., Springfield, Ohio 45503 There are 18 miles of paved trails.
Sugarcreek MetroPark 4178 Conference Road, Bellbrook, Ohio. 45305 There are many places in this park for a walk or hike. Hike the 1.3-mile Orange Tail to The Osage Orange Tunnel – a very scenic grove of trees and a great place for a photo.
Sweet Arrow Reserve Trail 789 Little Sugarcreek Rd., Sugarcreek Township, Ohio Seven trails loops from one-half mile to 1.5 miles. Woodland Historic Cemetery & Arboretum 118 Woodland Avenue, Dayton, Ohio 45409 This cemetery has 3,000 trees and hundreds of plants along their 200 acres. Solitary peaceful walks along the grounds are permitted. Download the mobile app for self-guided tours. (The Mausoleum is locked unless a scheduled appointment is made Monday–Friday.)
Alexandria Community Park 3965 Alexandria Drive, Alexandria, Kentucky 41001 The Lake Trail is along a forested wetland and is a scenic place to walk
Big Bone Lick State Historic Site 3380 Beaver Road, Union, Kentucky 41091 Walk along 4.5 miles of hiking trails (both paved and unpaved). And, be sure to view the bison!
Boone Co. Arboretum 9190 Camp Ernst Rd., Union, Kentucky 41091 The arboretum has many gardens to walk and explore: Theme Gardens and the Rain Garden, to name two. There is a native grassland and woodland area where you can observe nature. There are 2.2 miles of walking trails in the arboretum!
Boone Cliffs Nature Preserve 4700 Middle Creek Rd. Burlington, Kentucky 41005 There are 2.4 miles of unpaved walking trails along with beautiful cliff formations to admire.
Devou Park 1201 Park Drive, Covington, Kentucky 41011 The backcountry trails have eight miles available for walkers or bikers. There are also paved trails available that take you past some of the park’s landmarks.
Dinsmore Woods 5700 Burlington PIke, Burlington, Kentucky 41005 There are unpaved trails available for foot traffic. (No bicycles permitted.) Note: there is no phone coverage.
Doe Run Lake Park 1501 Bullock Pen Rd., Covington, Kentucky 41017 Doe Run lake is surrounded by hiking tails.
Fort Thomas Landmark Tree Trail 100 Carmel Manor Dr., Ft. Thomas, Kentucky 41075 The looped trail is 1.1 miles long and has some steep hills. There are beautiful old trees to admire along the walk.
Gunpowder Creek Nature Park 6750 Sperti Ln., Burlington, Kentucky 41005 An unpaved, 1.25-mile looped trail heads uphill and ends at Gunpowder Creek.
Hiking Trails at Highlands Cemetery 2167 Dixie Highway, Fort Mitchell, Kentucky You’re going to find over four miles of connecting trails here. View woodland wildflowers as well as birds and other animals.
Middle Creek Park 5655 Burlington Pike, Burlington, Kentucky 41005 Unpaved trails (8.5 miles) are available for hiking. View wildflowers and wildlife along the way
Dearborn Trails Greendale, Lawrenceburg and Aurora, Indiana 4.5 mile paved path along the Ohio River. Access the trail from Walnut Street in Lawrenceburg.
Lawrenceburg/Aurora Trail Lawrenceburg and Aurora, Indiana This is a 7.3-mile trail with tunnels, little towns and scenery along the way.
Ludlow Hill Park Oelker Drive), Lawrenceburg, Indiana 47025 Walking trails with scenic fishing lakes.
Versailles State Park 1387 U.S. 50 East, Versailles, IN 47042 This is Indiana’s second largest state park. Enjoy one of the many walking trails.
Have a local trail or interesting place to walk that you want to add? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org
Have you been missing the arts this spring and summer? We have, too! The fall season is nearing. Some arts organizations are offering virtual experiences while others have figured out how to have live performances in a socially distanced manner.Here is what is happening with the local arts scene this fall and winter:
Aronoff Center Fall performances are cancelled. Look at the winter 2021 performance schedule here.
Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra September – December 2020: Live From Music Hall Digital Series The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and Pops will be offering seven free digital series streaming from September through December. The first concert is scheduled September 26, 2020. Other concerts to be announced at the end of August 2020.
Concerts will vary from 30 to 40 players and each performance is 90 minutes. The details in providing this type of socially distanced concert is all in the details. Musicians will maintain six-foot distancing. Plexiglas panels are going to be stationed between the winds and brass. The conductor’s podium is going to have machines that measure “aerosolization” to make sure all are safe from droplets in the air.
Pop-up community concerts are also planned for “unexpected places and spaces” throughout Cincinnati featuring small group of musicians.
Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park Live performances will start in December 2020. There will be staggered start times for productions between the two theaters and deep cleaning between shows. Audience seating will distanced. Note: A Christmas Carol will be one-person production this year. See the 2020–2021 Season here.
The Carnegie Live performances are postponed until the 2021–2022 season. A tiny concert series will run September 2020 through March 2021 with a maximum of 50 audience members (at the 447-seat theater.) Live-streaming is also available for these concerts. Movie musicals will be shown for 50 people in the theater throughout fall 2020.
Devou Park Amphitheater Behringer-Crawford Museum presents A Midsummer Night’s Dream – September 18, 2020 performed by the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company at the amphitheater in Devou Park. Limited to 50 people. Tickets not sold in advance can be purchased at the door if available. For more information, call (859) 491-4003.
If you are interested in local community theater venues, go here.
Home sales increased for all local regions in July. Home sales for the Cincinnati region set a record with the best sales record for that month ever: 2,825 homes were sold – up almost 11% from 2019. The dollar volume for the month increased by almost 22%. In the Dayton area, July also saw gains for home sales with all-time highs in average sale and median sales prices. With 1,773 homes sold in the area, the region had an over 6% increase in the number of homes sold as well as over 16% in sales volume. In Northern Kentucky, home sales increased by over 2%. Average and median sale prices also increased for the month.
Here is a report by region of homes sales throughout July 2020:
CINCINNATI / SOUTHEASTERN INDIANA
July 2020 vs July 2019
+10.91% Increase in homes sold (2,825 homes vs 2,547 homes)
9.93% Increase in average sale price ($264,286 vs $240,410)
12.95% Increase in median sale price ($218,000 vs $193,000)
21.93% Increase in gross sales volume ($746,607,822 vs $612,324,260)
January–July 2020 vs January–July 2019
-5.50% Decrease in homes sold (14,205 homes vs 15,032 homes)
6.12% Increase in average sale price ($240,4756 vs $226,617)
7.08% Increase in median sale price ($198,000 vs $184,900)
.28% Increase in gross sales volume ($3,15,959,636 vs $3,406,513,171)
Statistics courtesy of Cincinnati Area Board of Realtors July 2020 Home Sales Report
July 2020 vs July 2019
6.29% Increase in homes sold (1,773 homes vs 1,668 homes)
9.42% Increase in average sale price ($206,750 vs $188,950)
9.09% Increase in median sale price ($180,000 vs $165,000)
16.31% Increase in sales volume ($366,566,948 vs $315,168,484)
January–July 2020 vs January–July 2019
-3.19% Decrease in homes sold (9,172 homes vs 9,474 homes)
8.26% Increase in average sale price ($190,812 vs $176,260)
9.63% Increase in median sale price ($165,000 vs $150,500)
4.81% Increase in sales volume ($1,750,126,850 vs $1,669,882,543)
Statistics courtesy of Dayton Realtors July 2020 Home Sales Report
July 2020 vs July 2019
2.07% Increase in homes sold (789 homes vs 773 homes)
10.52% Increase in average sale price ($233,078 vs $210,900)
17.76% Increase in median sale price ($214,918 vs $182,500)
12.80% Increase in sales volume ($183,898,800 vs $163,026,380)
January–July 2020 vs January–July 2019
-2.98% Decrease in homes sold (4,076 homes vs 4,201 homes)
8.86% Increase in average sale price (221,142 vs $203,149)
11.43% Increase in median sale price ($195,000 vs $175,000)
5.62% Increase in sales volume ($853,433,062 vs $901,376,338)
Statistics courtesy of Northern Kentucky Association of Realtors July 2020 Home Sales Report
If you are planning on selling your home, you may have questions about the process. Here are seven tips to read before putting your home on the market:
1. Do I really need to improve my home before selling it? You need to consult with your real estate agent to see what improvements makes sense to sell your home at the highest price. Remember, you only get one chance to make a positive first impression when your home goes on the market to sell. If your home is in need of updates, you could have a hard time to get the interest of the buyer. An unmaintained home sometimes indicates it needs lots of work and repair.
Some home improvements just take some time and a small budget. Painting, caulking and cleaning are great (and economic) ways to make your home shine. If your carpet is old and worn, you may also want to replace it. One thing to remember is that home improvements do not necessarily equate to a higher price, but should result in more showings and stronger offers.
2. I think I will price high and see what happens. Everyone’s goal is to obtain the highest price for their home. (Your agent wants that for you, too!) However, pricing your home way over its current market value is a strategy that does not always work. It can result in fewer showings and no offers and you may be perceived to be an unrealistic home seller. (Those potential home buyers who do tour your home will give feedback that it is overpriced or will have lower offers.) Remember, the most attention given to a home is when it first hits the market. Price it correctly and bring in the offers.
3. My home is worth what? Over-improving a home can backfire when it is time to sell. For example, if your custom kitchen has finishes to meet your specific taste (with special colors or tile for example), it may not appeal to buyers who will want to replace what you have done. An in-ground spa may be a great feature for you to enjoy, but the buyer might not find value with it. Everyone has different priorities with their home. Bottom line – the market will never pay dollar for dollar for improvements to your home, especially taste-specific projects.
4. Everyone who sees my home wants to buy it! Oh, if that were the case! You never know what buyers’ needs are. People have different things that are important to them. Their “need to have” list versus a “nice to have” list may not sync with your home. Do not take it personally if your home’s floor plan or features do not meet their requirements. Also, you need to realize, some buyers are just out looking and are not serious about buying. They may be in the beginning stages of looking for a home and not willing to commit.
5. I had an inspection and now I have to make even more repairs? A home inspection gives the buyer an idea of the condition of your home. Following this inspection, you may be asked about making repairs depending upon what is on the list. At that point, you can either make those repairs or re-negotiate. If the buyer walks away, your home will go back on the market and you will need to deal with that stigma. Another buyer will then have his own inspection and you will need to address repair issues once more. (Helpful hint: We suggest paying for a pre-inspection before your home goes on the market. The inspector will review: electrical, plumbing, heating and cooling systems; windows, ceilings, walls, doors and floors; attic, visible insulation and roof; and the foundation, structural elements and basement.)
6. I think I want to include a carpet allowance instead of replacing it. You cannot give a buyer an allowance as part of closing on your home. It is better to reduce the purchase price or simply replace the carpet yourself.
7. Do I really need to stage my home? A staged home presents its best features making it very appealing to buyers. At a minimum, your home needs to have a deep cleanse, decluttering and organization. From there, your agent can guide you as to whether it needs more staging to be market ready to sell. If your home is empty, keep in mind that professionally staged properties for sale tend to sell more quickly.
What has been the most popular place in your home this summer? Odds are it’s your backyard. With the current world situation, everyone has been spending time at home and enjoying their outdoor spaces. And, many people have added improvements to their yards – from mulching, gardening, fencing, or adding fun “toys” such as a pool. Reports the Wall Street Journal, “Some 46% of consumers said they did a landscaping, gardening or outdoor-living project update in the last three months.” The newspaper also said sales of grills increased by 46% in May and sales of inflatable pools, playground equipment and water blasters increased by 51%. Needless to say, Americans are staying busy in the yards. It’s the destination for summer!
We wanted to share some of Sibcy Cline agents’ and employees’ backyards and outdoor spaces with you:
Shelbey Loudin (of Sibcy Cline’s Professional Development Center) lives along a beautiful golf course and her backyard has very lovely views. Shelbey’s family spends much time outside on the patio. They enjoy grilling out, using the fire pit and jumping on their trampoline. Their dog, Maya, also loves being outside and has been very good about leaving the golfers alone. The Loudins stay up-to-date with their neighbors with evening chats – all from the backyard!
Cindy Zulla, Branch Office Administrator from Sibcy Cline’s Hyde Park, lives in the West End in Cincinnati and has a very quaint backyard. The brick-laid courtyard gives her some green space that she enjoys with her dog, Twyla. Behind the lattice arbor is Cindy’s veggie garden. And, on the side is a flower garden filled with hostas. Cindy’s backyard is hidden, green urban treasure. A tree grows in the West End – so to speak!
Wayne Milam a Realtor from Sibcy Cline West Chester has an awesome backyard. It has everything you could want: Large stamped patio – check. Sun umbrellas with LED lights – check. Fire pit – check. Hot tub spa – check. Pool – check. Swing set – check. Half-court basket ball – check. Wayne and his family basically have a vacation built right in the backyard. Weekends are busy at the Milam house with family BBQs. The pool is been quite popular since many family member’s HOA pools were closed this season. The basketball court is enjoyed by all including Wayne, his children and grandchildren. His backyard borders some Fairfield Township woods so there is plenty of privacy.
Maura Black of Sibcy Cline’s Western Hills office has been enjoying wooded views from her 1.5-acre backyard this year. (She moved to her home this past spring.) The former homeowner was a master gardener and converted the green space into a wildlife habitat and converted fallen trees into a log-style walking trail. From a screened porch, Maura enjoys taking in nature and has seen owls (see pic of a Barred Owl below), deer, foxes, turkeys, ravine salamanders, turtles, snakes as well as bugs. She says the best time in her yard is between 8:30am and 11:30am when the sunlight filters through the trees. She and her family love where they live and if you visit, bring binoculars!
Sometimes that backyard just has to have amenities. Such is the case of the home of Rob Streicher,Vice President/Sales Manager of Sibcy Cline West Chester. He and his wife, Vonda, have a “decked” out deck complete with a flat-screen television and hot tub spa. They can enjoy being outside while watching their favorite sports – which this summer has been viewing Reds baseball games. It’s very good times at the Streicher residence!
Tawnyah Wolff, Branch Office Administrator at Sibcy Cline West Chester, has a gorgeous three-season porch decorated “boho chic”. She hung a porch swing and has all kinds of interesting fabrics that mix well. It’s a comfortable place to peer out and enjoy viewing the backyard and bird feeder. Tawnyah said this outdoor room is her “happy place” and is her favorite place to relax, listen to music, chat on the phone or take a nap. (The room used to be simply decorated in blue and white. Her son gave her a Moroccan-inspired lantern and that inspired the color changes!)
Lisa and Rob Fix (aka The Fix Solution) moved into their home a couple of years ago. Their backyard is along a golf course that offers the most heavenly sunset views. They spend much of their leisure time in the backyard patio or screened porch, grilling dinner and enjoying life. There have been a few instances of golf balls hitting windows – but Lisa and Rob don’t mind. It’s worth it to have those vista views!
Lovita Williams, a Sibcy Cline Florence and Northern Hills agent, has been busy gardening in her backyard this summer. She and fiance, Curtis Gordon, worked very hard tilling and planting in the spring. They are now harvesting a bounty of veggies: zucchini, cucumbers, kale, potatoes, banana peppers, green peppers and tomatoes. And, we cannot forget about their garden containers of herbs! Lovita and Curtis also enjoy relaxing in their yard – they have two hammocks where they can sit back and enjoy life.
Larry Fisher, Sibcy Cline’s Webmaster, enjoys vegetable gardening in his backyard. (He has been known to plant very hot peppers!) Larry and his wife, Anne, are serious about their garden – please note the raised bed, animal-guard fencing and weed-guard cloth in the photo below. This year, the Fishers are enjoying zucchini, yellow squash, jalapeno peppers and several varieties of tomatoes from their backyard garden.
Sandy Butler, an agent with Sibcy Cline Kenwood, is a passionate gardener. (She hosts a Facebook group called Cincinnati Urban Farmers.) This year, Sandy (along with her friend Donald Morris) planted: peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, beets, green beans, collards, kale, watermelons and herbs. (She also enjoys planting flowers along with the veggies.) Sandy checks the plants daily, looking for bugs, removing dead leaves, waters and fertilizes when needed. Once Sandy harvests items, she takes them to the kitchen where she either prepares wonderful meals or cans veggies to use later. (Where do you find time for all of this?) Sandy and Donald’s backyard is one of green-thumb wonderfulness – from the patio to the beautiful lawn, to the flowers and vegetables.
Andrew Tanen of Sibcy Cline Kenwood has been quite busy this summer in his backyard. He and his wife, Victoria, have been tending to their flowers and shrubs that include: sunflowers, butterfly bushes, zinnias, Black-eyed Susans, Russian lavender among many other types of flowers. They also have been growing veggies – tomatoes, cucumbers, jalapeno, cilantro, shallots, turnips and lettuce. Andrew and Victoria “hardscaped” the flower beds with decorative lighting, rock edging, statue figures and river rock. Their yard is gorgeous and has been attracting pollinators including butterflies, honey bees, bumble bees, yellow finches and humming birds. What a wonderful place to enjoy while staying home this summer.
Nancy Holthaus, Sibcy Cline Photographer, has been busy this summer with her backyard garden. For the past several years, she has worked on clearing out the back area, and this spring she planted hydrangeas along with other plants. She dug a vegetable garden for the first time and planted lots of tomatoes, zucchini, butternut squash and peppers. The container-style herb garden has flourished this summer and Nancy reports she shares the bounty with neighbors. The piece de resistance are the dinner-plate sized hibiscus that grow in the yard. Those plants came with the house when she purchased it and have been blooming yearly. Nancy had help with all of her planting this year in her backyard from her daughter and son!
Melanie Beck with Sibcy Cline Northeast has had fun in her backyard with her granddaughter, Hannah. When you want to go to the beach but you are stuck at home – all it takes is a watering hose and a beachball. Voila – fun times cooling off in the yard!
It’s pool time at the home of Chip Hatfield, agent with Sibcy Cline West Chester. He has a wonderful yard with an upper deck, lower patio and in-ground pool. He and his family have spent hours in the yard. The grandkids love to come over and splash in the water.
Bev and Bill Scott (aka The Bev Scott Team) are from Sibcy Cline West Chester. The view from their deck in the evening is glorious with the full moon! The Scotts live along the 7th fairway of the Shaker Run Golf Course in Lebanon. They watch all of the golfers in action from their third-level porch. Bev and Bill enjoy entertaining family and friends all summer long on their deck where the drinks are cold and the friendship is free!
Helena and Marc Cameron (aka the Cameron Group) have a beautiful backyard to enjoy. These Sibcy Cline Northeast agents have over one-half acre of yard along the end of a cul-de-sac. Three Honey Locust trees turn a breathtaking golden color in the fall. The Camerons’ dog, Banks, loves to run throughout the yard and chase deer and squirrels. Helena and Marc spend as much time as possible on their deck taking in the views. They have a grill and a smoker and have enjoyed many meals outside this summer. For the past two years, a family of Cooper Hawks have nested in their backyard trees and they have enjoyed watching these birds teach the fledglings to fly. (And, yes, Marc does all of the mowing!)
Susanne Anton has a peaceful backyard setting at her home! An agent with Sibcy Cline West Chester, she has been taking advantage of its screened-in back porch and deck this summer. It’s coffee, dinner and socially distanced entertaining outside for Susanne and her husband, Dave Wendt. Their home backs up to a green belt and they like to watch the birds and admire the trees!
Tiffany Allen-Zeuch of Sibcy Cline West Chester enjoys outdoor living with her family. Her father has a fabulous covered patio that is an oasis of wonderfulness. It includes two televisions, a fireplace, kitchen, fire pit, grills and plenty of seating. Why go on vacation? Just step outside!
That’s it for our “Sibcy Cline Backyard Round Up”. If you want ideas on enjoying a vacation at home, read our article here.
What’s been your favorite outdoor activity at home this summer?
Germanfest Picnic LITE August 14–15, 2020
Riverscape MetroPark at 111 E. Monument Avenue, Dayton, Ohio
Order your German meal ahead of time and enjoy it at your favorite park or at home! (2021 picnic dates: August 13–15)
Springboro Oktoberfest September 10–11, 2020 – no public festival –Take-out food to go!
Springboro United Church of Christ, 5 West Mill Street, Springboro, Ohio
Order your German meal to enjoy in your private Oktoberfest this year.
Oktoberfest Zinzinnati September 18–27, 2020 – virtual
In Za Haus – a do-it-yourself party! Order Oktoberfest packs and celebrate at home. There will also be polka pop-ups in various Cincinnati neighborhoods. Various restaurants will also be celebrating Oktoberfest Zinzinnati at their locations
Newport Oktoberfest September 25–27, 2020
Newport, Kentucky riverfront
It’s a German tradition with food, drink and more!
St. Agnes Parish’s Oktoberfest September 2020? – please confirm – check website (8/24/2020)
1680 Dixie Highway, Fort Wright, Kentucky
Rides, food and live music
St. Cecilia Oktoberfest Oakley September 26, 2020 – need to confirm (08/26/2020)
3105 Madison Road, Oakley, Cincinnati, Ohio
German music, food and dancing
St. Leon Oktoberfest October 2–3, 2020
St. Joseph American Legion Post 464, 28866 Post 464 road, Brookville (St. Leon), Indiana
German food, beer games and a pie auction! Pork chop dinner on Saturday evening. 812-407-0455