Always Keep a Winter Emergency Kit in the Car

Even though you may feel confident behind the wheel when driving in winter conditions, it’s strongly advised to keep an emergency kit in your car for “just in case.”

No matter the experience a person may have when exposed to snowy, icy or otherwise difficult winter conditions, one can never be too cautious. An inexperienced driver, wildlife and other hazards could easy lead to losing control behind the wheel, potentially leaving you stranded  or requiring help and supplies.

Apart from following the basic winter road rules – driving slow, leaving plenty of space between one vehicle and another, staying home when snow is falling fast or temperatures plummet, etc. – having an emergency kit handy is vital to ensuring everyone stays as safe as possible when conditions get tricky.

Here is a list of items that should be included in every vehicle emergency kit:

(1) Thick Blanket
This may seem like an odd requirement, but heavy, warm blankets are essential if your car can’t be left running and you and your passengers need to bundle up for an extended period of time. A wool blanket can do the trick – one that’s big enough to cover multiple people at once.

(2) Waterproof or Warm Clothing
Since car mishaps can happen at any time without warning you might not be bundled up for the drive. Having extra warm clothing – as well as waterproof items to keep you warm and dry if you need to venture outside the vehicle – is smart. This will include gloves, sweatshirts and winter hats. And, don’t forget to have an extra pair of boots on hand to better navigate snow and ice around your vehicle.

(3) Lamp or Flashlight
Many auto accidents that happen in winter occur at night when temperatures dip and visibility is reduced. If you have a problem, you may need light to see inside or outside the vehicle. Having a light source, as well as extra batteries, is a necessity.

(4) First-Aid Kit
If it might take a while for emergency workers to arrive if you have an accident and someone needs basic medical attention. Having a first-aid kit on hand is a must.

(5) Shovel
Your car or truck may become stuck in the snow. Having a small shovel to clear the area around the vehicle – especially near the tires – is a great idea.

(6) Sand or Kitty Litter
In addition to having a shovel, when cars get stuck on snow or ice, putting something gritty under the tires helps a vehicle gain traction and work their way out of otherwise tough situations.

(7) Road Flares
Cars stuck on the side of dimly lit roads can be hazardous. Having a few road flares on hand will help ensure everyone can see your vehicle and greatly reduce the chances of another accident.

(8) Reflective Clothing or Items
Related to increasing visibility, if anyone has to leave a vehicle at night it’s wise to have a reflective vest packed, according to the National Safety Council. (Companies now also make reflective wrist and ankle wraps.)

(9) Tools
While it’s not usually necessary for someone to pack an entire toolkit, having a few tools in your, emergency kit is a great idea. This will allow you to tighten screws, loosen nuts or bolts, and make simple fixes as needed.

(10) Extra Phone Battery and Charger
Most people have a phone charger in their vehicle as a standard practice. In addition, because some car-charging ports don’t work unless the vehicle is running, have a spare battery pack fully charged and ready to go just in case. You do not want to be in a situation in which you need to make an emergency call but cannot use your mobile phone.

(11) Water
It should go without saying, but going too long without hydration isn’t the best move, so having a few extra bottles of water in an emergency kit is a must. This is especially true if you are putting in some effort shoveling or clearing a path.

(12) Non-Perishable Snacks
Keep a few non-perishable energy bars in your kit. This will be handy if you end up being stuck on the side of the road for three or more hours.

(13) Windshield Scraper and Brush
When your car is at a standstill or while driving through a snow storm, frost and snow can quickly build up. Keep a scraper and brush handy to clear windows.

(14) Jumper Cables
If your car’s battery dies, you can’t count on other drivers to have jumper cables to get you out of a jam. Having a pair of your own is a very good item to have on hand.
While these items certainly aren’t the only things that should be included in a winter road emergency kit, this is at the very least a good start for what drivers should pack.

Brought to you by HMS Home Warranty.  HMS is an industry leader with over 30 years of creating success for clients and providing peace of mind for customers. To learn more click www.hmsnational.com.

 

Avoid these Seven Credit Mistakes before Applying for a Mortgage Loan

Home on a Stack of CashCredit history is an important factor when applying for a mortgage loan. Your FICO® score (a measure of consumer credit risk) plays an important role in your mortgage’s loan terms.

Your goal is to have a high FICO® score (700+) to achieve a lower interest rate loan. The higher your score, the lower your rate will be.  (Note: People do qualify for mortgage loans with lower scores.)

If your score is not in a higher range, you can work on boosting it higher by responsibly managing your credit over time.

Here are seven things to avoid with your credit before applying for a mortgage loan so that your FICO® score is as high as possible.

1–Not Checking Your Credit

Mistakes can occur on credit history that can affect a FICO® score. It is important to check your credit report to ensure it is accurate. There are three major U.S. credit bureaus to check: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. If you do find mistakes, you can dispute any errors and get them fixed. Be sure to check first with your loan officer before disputing items as this can sometimes have a negative affect on your credit.

2–Applying for Credit

When you apply for credit there will be an inquiry on your credit report. This new credit application can cause a small dip in a FICO® score.  If you have a “hard” inquiry – meaning you have applied for credit or a loan, the issuer of that credit or loan will pull a report (that you have authorized) on your credit history. If your score is on the edge, this could cause you to then qualify for a mortgage loan at a higher interest rate. (Inquiries will remain on your report for two years, but FICO® scores only count for the past 12 months.)

3–Over-Using Current Credit Cards

Mortgage lenders look at debt-to-income ratios and this will include outstanding credit card balances. If you have a large monthly credit card balance, you might not receive the lower mortgage interest rate. The good news is that over-using your credit cards does not have a long-term impact on your FICO® score.

4–Falling Behind on Payments

Late payments will lower your credit score. Always be current on all of your accounts.

5–Consolidating Credit

If you move outstanding credit balances, your new credit card could appear to have too high of a ratio of debt. Your goal is to keep the balance on all credit cards as low as possible.

6–Making Large Cash Purchases

Part of your loan approval will be verification of cash in the bank. If you use this cash for a large purchase, it will lower your reserves and impact your  score and loan approval.

7–Making Large Deposits

All deposits need to be documented and accounted for. You will need to explain where the money came from.

Need help applying for a mortgage? Contact Sibcy Cline Mortgage Services. Our loan officers can guide you through the entire mortgage process.

Events and Fun Things to Do throughout January 2019 in Cincinnati and Dayton, Ohio; Northern Kentucky; and Southeastern Indiana

January Festivals and Fun Things To Do

It’s January – wintertime. Get out of the house and enjoy one of these 50+ fun local things to do. Events are in order by date and cover Cincinnati and Dayton, Ohio; Northern Kentucky; and Southeastern Indiana.

MetroParks Ice Rink

Through February 28, 2019
Riverscape MetroPark at 237 E. Monument Ave., Dayton, Ohio
Skate while enjoying the views of the Miami River and downtown Dayton’s skyline

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Romantic Rachmaninoff

January 4–5, 2019
Music Hall, downtown Cincinnati, Ohio
The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra will be playing wonderful music!

Dayton Philharmonic: The Magic of Motown

January 5, 2019
The Schuster Center at 1 W. 2nd Street, Dayton, Ohio
Celebrate 50 years of Motown music magic!

CFA Cat Show

January 5, 2019
Agner Hall at Lawrenceburg Fairgrounds in Lawrenceburg, Indiana
Meow and purr!

Wendy’s Bridal Show

January 5–6, 2019
Duke Energy Convention Center at 525 Elm Street, downtown Cincinnati, Ohio
Here comes the bride!

Dayton Bridal Expo at the Nutter Center

January 5–6, 2019
Wright State University Nutter Center at 3640 Colonel Glenn Highway, Dayton, Ohio
Hundreds of vendors featuring all kinds of weddings ideas

The Second City – It’s Not You, It’s Me

January 10–27, 2019
Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park at 962 Mt. Adams Circle, Cincinnati, Ohio
The famous comedy company is performing

Igor Butman and the Moscow Jazz Orchestra

January 11, 2019
Xavier University at 3800 Victory Parkway, Cincinnati, Ohio
Enjoy this saxophone and clarinet virtuoso while he plays a tribute to Benny Goodman

Griminelli: Flautista Italiano

January 11–12, 2019
Schuster Center at One West Second Street, Dayton, Ohio 45402
Enjoy the flute as it is played by Andrea Griminella

Vivaldi’s Four Seasons

January 11–12, 2019
Music Hall, downtown Cincinnati, Ohio
The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra will be playing wonderful music!

KOI Cavalcade of Customs Car Show

January 11–13, 2019
Duke Energy Convention Center at 525 Elm Street, downtown Cincinnati, Ohio
Look at really cool rides!

Red Bike

January 11 – February 2, 2019
Know Theatre of Cincinnati at 1120 Jackson Street, Cincinnati, Ohio
A play about a bicycle and dreams

Liezermann Cello Concerto
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anuary 12, 2019
Springfield Symphony Orchestra presents Lower Liebermann playing his cello
Clark State University, Springfield, Ohio

Elvis Tribute Artist Spectacular
January 12, 2019
Aronoff Center, 650 Walnut Street, Cincinnati, Ohio
Many of Elvis’ classic songs!

Nutter Center Sports Card Show

January 12, 2019
Wright State University Nutter Center at 3640 Colonel Glenn Highway, Dayton, Ohio
Buy, sell and trade!

Cincinnati Wedding Showcase

January 12–13, 2019
Sharonville Convention Center at 11355 Chester Road, Sharonville (Cincinnati), Ohio
Get ready to walk the aisle!

Jeff Dunham

January 13, 2019
BB&T Arena at 500 Nunn Drive (Northern Kentucky University), Highland Heights, Kentucky
Comic/ventriloquist Jeff Dunham will be performing

Special Olympics Indiana Winter Games

January 13–15, 2019
Perfect North Slopes at 19074 Perfect Lane, Lawrenceburg, Indiana
Skiing, snowboarding and snowshoeing!

Adult Nature Walk at Carriage Hill MetroPark

January 15, 2019
Carriage Hill Farm & MetroPark at 7800 E. Shull Road, Huber Heights, Ohio
Explore nature’s habitats

Finding Neverland

January 15–20, 2019
Schuster Performing Arts Center at 1 W. Second Street in Dayton, Ohio
Peter Pan and his story

Fiddler on the Roof

January 15–27, 2019
Aronoff Center, 650 Walnut Street, Cincinnati, Ohio
A classic Tony award-winning production. “Tradition!”

Almost Heaven: Songs of John Denver

January 16 – February 17, 2019
La Comedia Dinner Theatre at765 W Central Ave, Springboro, Ohio
Country roads!

Rock of Ages

January 17, 2019
Clark State University, Springfield, Ohio
Featuring music from Styx, Poison, and more!

Tri-State Fishing and Outdoor Show

January 17–20, 2019
Lawrenceburg Event Center at 91 Walnut Street, Lawrenceburg, Indiana
Vendors from throughout the U.S. will be showing the fishing goods!

The Hunchback of Notre Dame

January 17–27, 2019
The Carnegie at 1028 Scott Boulevard, Covington, Kentucky
A musical!

Musical Monte Carlo Night – Gala Fundraiser

January 18–19, 2019
10 S. Mechanic Street, Lebanon, Ohio
Music, chance and luck! The Lebanon Theatre Company will be presenting their talents.

Pops in Space

January 18–20, 2019
Music Hall, downtown Cincinnati, Ohio
The Cincinnati Pops Orchestra presents music from Stars Wars, Star Trek and more

23rd  Annual Cincinnati Golf Show

January 18–20, 2019
Duke Energy Convention Center in downtown Cincinnati, Ohio
This show could be FORE you!

Cincinnati Travel, Sports & Boat Show

January 18–20 and 23–27, 2019
Duke Energy Convention Center in downtown Cincinnati, Ohio
Dream big at this show!

Greater Cincinnati Remodeling Expo
January 18–20 and 25–27, 2019
Sharonville Convention Center at 11355 Chester Road, Sharonville (Cincinnati), OhioLearn about all kinds of home projects

Ain’t Misbehavin’

January 18 – February 3, 2019
Dayton Playhouse at 1301 E. Siebenthaler Ave., Dayton, Ohio
A musical celebration of Fats Wallers

Junie B. Jones is not a Crook

January 18 – February 3, 2019
Town Hall Theatre at 27 N. Main Street, Centerville, Ohio
Interesting things happen to Junie B. Jones

Barrel-Aged Beer Bash

January 19, 2019
Jungle Jim’s in Fairfield, Ohio
Over 80 types of beer to try!

Miss to Mrs. A Bridal Fair

January 19, 2019
Agner Hall on US 50 in Lawrenceburg, Indiana 57025
See lots of bridal vendors!

TRAXXAS Monster Truck Show

January 19, 2019
BB&T Arena at 500 Nunn Drive (Northern Kentucky University), Highland Heights, Kentucky
Car-crushing giants!

Ripcord

January 19 – February 16, 2019
Ensemble Theatre in at 1127 Vine Street in Cincinnati, Ohio
A comedy to enjoy.

Martin’s Dream

January 19–20, 2019
Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati, Madisonville, Ohio (and other touring locations)
Dr. King tells the story of his life

In the Heights

January 19 – February 17, 2019
Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park at 962 Mt. Adams Circle, Cincinnati, Ohio

Hipihop musical

Early Spring Show – Fabulous Foliage

January 19–March 10, 2019
Krohn Conservatory at 1501 Eden Park Drive, Cincinnati, Ohio
Enjoy spring on a winter’s day!

Art on Vine

January 20, 2019
Rhinegeist Brewery in Over-the-Rhine, Cincinnati, Ohio
Fine art and homemade goods for sale from local artists.

Live the Dream: Our Declaration of Unity

January 21, 2019
The Clocktower at The Square at 9285 Centre Point Drive, West Chester, Ohio
March followed by a program in Lakota West High School auditorium

Cincinnati Hunting and Fishing Show

January 23–27, 2019
Duke Energy Convention Center in downtown Cincinnati, Ohio
Learn new stuff about hunting and fishing

Fences

January 23 – February 16, 2019
Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati at 1127 Vine Street, Cincinnati, Ohio
A play about baseball and life after starring in the Negro baseball league

Cincinnati-Dayton RV Show

January 24–27, 2019
Dayton Convention Center at 22 East Fifth Street, Dayton, Ohio
Travel trailers, motor homes and more!

The Graduate

January 24 – February 10, 2019
Warsaw Federal Incline Theater at 801 Matson Place, Cincinnati, Ohio
Here’s to you Mrs. Robinson

Aurora Lions Club Feed the Hungry Chili Spaghetti Dinner
January 25, 2019
228 Second Street, Aurora, Indiana
Call 812-926-1100 for more information

We Banjo 3

January 25, 2019
Clark University Performing Arts Center, Springfield, Ohio
This band from Galway, Ireland will present their Irish music along with American bluegrass songs

Cirque Musica – Crescendo

January 25–26, 2019
Schuster Center at One West Second Street, Dayton, Ohio 45402
Enjoy the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra along with the Cirque Musica

The Exonerated

January 25 – February 9, 2019
Falcon Theatre at 636 Monmouth Street, Newport, Kentucky
True stores of six wrongfully convicted death-row survivors

A Little Piece of Heaven

January 25 – February 3, 2019
Beavercreek Community Theatre at 3868 Dayton-Xenia Road, Beavercreek, Ohio
An unlikely friendship in a tourist shop

Lebanon Antique Show

January 26–27 2019
Warren County Fairgrounds at 665 N. Broadway, Lebanon, Ohio
All kinds of great things to admire and purchase

Mozart’s Requiem

January 26–27, 2019
Music Hall, downtown Cincinnati, Ohio
The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra will be playing wonderful music!

Stop the World – I Want to Get Off

January 26–27, 2019
Greaves Concert Hall at 1 Louie B Nunn Drive, Newport, Kentucky
Kentucky Symphony Orchestra will be playing!

John & Francie Pepper Freedom Lecture Series with David Blight

January 31, 2019
National Underground Railroad Freedom Center
50 E. Freedom Way, Cincinnati, Ohio
David Blight shares his book about Frederic Douglass

November Home Sales Report for Cincinnati and Dayton, Ohio; Northern Kentucky; and Southeastern Indiana

Here is the November home sales report for Cincinnati and Dayton, Ohio; Northern Kentucky; and Southeastern Indiana:

Cincinnati
Home sales slowed a bit in November as compared to November 2017. The month was still one of the strongest in over 10 years per the Cincinnati Area Board of Realtors.

November 2018 vs November 2017

  • -3.62 Decrease in homes sold (1,946 homes vs 2,019 homes)
  • 1.33% Increase in average sale price ($209,237 vs $206,483)
  • 2.25 Increase in median sale price ($170,750 vs $167,000)
  • -2.33% Decrease in gross sales volume ($407,175,980 vs $416,888,872)

January – November 2018 vs January – November 2017

  • -.1.03% Decrease in homes sold (23,923 homes vs 24,172 homes)
  • 5.73% Increase in average sale price ($214,261 vs $202,642)
  • 2.25% Increase in median sale price ($173,900 vs $163,000)
  • 4.64% Increase in gross sales volume ($5,125,765,194 vs $4,898,271,642)

Statistics courtesy of Cincinnati Area Board of Realtors November 2018 Home Sales Report

Dayton
The Dayton region had positive increases in all categories: homes sold, average and median sales prices as well as sales volume as compared to 2017.

November 2018 vs November 2017

  • 3.36% Increase in homes sold (1,260 homes vs 1,219 homes)
  • 8.36% Increase in average sale price ($165,754 vs $152,965)
  • 3.36% Increase in median sale price ($138,500 vs $134,000)
  • 12.01% Increase in sales volume ($208,849,759 vs $186,464,350)

January – November 2018 vs January – November 2017

  • 1.06% Increase in homes sold (15,195 homes vs 15,036 homes)
  • 6.36% Increase in average sale price ($165,733 vs $1155,822
  • 5.97% Increase in median sale price ($142,000 vs $134,000)
  • 7.49% Increase in sales volume ($2,518219,409 vs $2,342,944,306)

Statistics courtesy of Dayton Realtors October 2018 Home Sales Report

Northern Kentucky
Average sales price, median sales price and sale volume were up from November 2017.

November 2018 vs November 2017

  • -.97% Decrease in homes sold (510 homes vs 515 homes)
  • 4.76% Increase in average sale price ($194,979 vs $186,111)
  • 3.13% Increase in median sale price ($165,000 vs $160,000)
  • 3.75% Increase in sales volume ($99,439,291 vs $95,847,254)

January – November 2018 vs January – November 2017

  • -.58% Decrease in homes sold (6,651 homes vs 6,690 homes)
  • 7.15% Increase in average sale price ($193,629 vs $180,716)
  • 3.13% Increase in median sale price ($167,000 vs $157,210)
  • 6.52% Increase in sales volume ($99,439,291 vs $95,847,254)

Statistics courtesy of Northern Kentucky Association of Realtors November 2018 Home Sales Report

Southeastern Indiana
The Southeastern Indiana region had increases in most categories: median sale prices, number of homes sold as well as sales volume in November.

November 2018 vs November 2017

  • -2.8% Decrease in homes sold (103 homes vs 106 homes)
  • 5.0% Increase in average sale price ($170,460 vs $162,317)
  • 9.3% Increase in median sale price ($164,500 vs $150,458)
  • 2.0% Increase in sales volume ($17,557,382 vs $17,204,613)

January – November 2018 vs January – November 2017

  • 2.4% Increase in homes sold (1,172 homes vs 1,145 homes)
  • 5.9% Increase in average sale price ($168,148 vs $158,768)
  • 5.5% Increase in median sale price ($153,000 vs $145,000)
  • 8.4% Increase in sales volume ($197,069,427 vs $181,789,051)

Statistics courtesy of Rick McMillin – Southeastern Indiana Board of Realtors MLS Homes Sold Report dated December 19, 2018.

Look at homes for sale.

Cincinnati Citirama 2019 to be held in Springdale

The Home Builders Association of Greater Cincinnati has announced its site location for Citirama 2019 in Springdale at the Springrose subdivision (Kemper Road and Rose Lane). The show is scheduled for September 7–15, 2019.

The home show will feature six new homes priced from $300,000. There will also be a “demonstration” home where visitors can learn about new construction materials and products.

Springrose has availability for 50 single-family homes.




Home-Maintenance Items to Check On as Winter Arrives

Winter officially begins on December 21, and now is the time for homeowners to perform one last check around their houses before cold and snowy weather sets in. Your home check will help keep everyone safe and warm inside as well as can save you money for utilities and repairs.

Water Pipes
Perhaps the biggest financial risk homes face during the winter is a pipe burst, according to Consumer Reports. When that happens, water can spill into the walls and cause quite a bit of damage long before a problem is even detected. It’s a very good idea for homeowners to assess where they stand with their water pipes.

Pipes that run along the outside of a home or along the ceiling in the basement and are uninsulated could be at risk. Wrapping them in an inexpensive specialized material or even just towels can help protect them.

It’s also a good idea to keep your home at 65 degrees F. or more to avoid large temperature fluctuations that could cause a pipe to burst. Know where your home’s water shutoff is located so you can quickly shut off water in an emergency.

Other Insulations
When insulating pipes, it’s also important for homeowners to make sure they aren’t losing too much heat in their homes from uninsulated attics or other spaces. Since heat rises you may lose a lot more heated air than expected through ceilings. When attics are properly insulated along floors they not only help with heat savings, but its warmth also prevents potential (and undetected) ice dams from forming on the roof.

Up on the Roof
When thinking about your roof, it’s a good idea to make sure all the shingles are in good shape and all gutters are cleared of fallen leaves and other debris that can lead to backups and potential ice dams. A quick trip up a ladder might be all it takes to identify problem areas before they become major issues.

Homeowners should also go around the exterior of their homes and look for any cracks and holes along the edges of window frames and doorways. If you find cracks, be sure to fill them with caulk which will help keep the heated air inside the home. While any individual crack or hole is going to be small, some experts estimate that the collective area of all of them across an entire house can amount to the size of an open window.

Need help with the winter upkeep of your home? Contact Sibcy Cline Home Services. They can recommend vetted service providers to you.

Brought to you by HMS Home Warranty. HMS is an industry leader with over 30 years of creating success for clients and providing peace of mind for customers.  To learn more click www.hmsnational.com.

Test Your Home-Heating System Now!

ThermostatAs the weather gets colder, homeowners need to make sure home-heating systems are ready for the rigors of another winter. There are plenty of ways they can do that – some by themselves, or with professionals involved – but getting it done before the truly cold weather settles in is a must for any house.

The first thing to do when attempting to test a home-heating system is to head down to the furnace and check out your air filters. Experts recommend this should be done once a month and if they’re looking particularly dirty, the filters should be swapped out. (The absolute maximum time between replacing the filters is, in most cases, going to be no longer than three months.)

Other DIY Efforts
It’s a good idea to test the thermostat – especially older models – to make sure it can be easily adjusted to whatever temperature is necessary. Own an older thermostat? Consider installing a “smart” thermostat to give even more responsive control over the home’s temperature.

Homeowners should inspect outside-facing doors and windows carefully for any cracks or fissures. If found – and given many homes have enough small cracks to add up to the size of an open window – patching them can be a great way to increase home-heating efficiency.

When to Call in a Pro
Most people don’t have a lot of experience in dealing with heating systems themselves, and in certain situations it might be a bit dangerous to tackle repairs or maintenance, even with the help of an online guide or how-to video. When a job seems particularly daunting, it’s wise to simply call in an HVAC expert.

This may feel like a less cost-effective option, however, you must consider the trade-off between that initial cost versus having both the initial problem and the mistakes repaired. That comes in addition to the obvious safety risks with fixing a furnace with little experience or know-how. It’s also worth considering that, for new homes with potential heating problems, there may be some fixes that end up voiding the furnace’s warranty, which can be even more costly.

Need a Recommendation for Servicing Your Furnace?
Contact Sibcy Cline Home Services. They can recommend vetted HVAC professionals to you.

Brought to you by HMS Home Warranty.  HMS is an industry leader with over 30 years of creating success for clients and providing peace of mind for customers.  To learn more click www.hmsnational.com.