Citirama is Happening at the Woodland Meadows in Woodlawn September 23 – October 1, 2017!

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Cincinnati’s 14th Citirama site is located at the Woodland Meadows in Woodlawn. This home show will take place from September 23 – October 1, 2017.  There are six single-family homes being featured in the show. This new subdivision has 43 home sites.

The new homes in the show are priced from $200,000 – $375,000. A 15-year property tax abatement is available to all home buyers. (Lots will have a special yearly assessment for 15 years at about $3,000 per lot.)

Citirama Dates and Times
Open daily from September 23 – October 1, 2017
Monday – Thursday: 4pm – 9pm
Friday-Sunday: 12pm – 9pm

Tickets
Tickets are $10.00 for adults. Discount tickets will be available at Kroger for $8.00 AAA Members can also purchase $8.00 tickets at the home show’s gate by showing their membership card.

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Read more about Citirama here and here.  Read more about Woodlawn here.

First-Timers Should Look for the Best Ways to Save When Buying a Home

FirstTime_Flags.jpgThere are plenty of ways for first-time home shoppers to lock in a great deal on the starter home of their dreams. They may not know about them due to the fact that they’re relatively inexperienced when it comes to shopping for a property or not very knowledgeable of current conditions in the housing market. Working with an experienced real estate professional can help quite a bit in this regard, but it’s also important  for potential home buyers to do as much research as possible on how to effectively cut costs.

Mortgage Rates
One of the biggest issues in the current housing market – which has a huge impact on affordability over the life of a mortgage – is the rate homeowners pay on their home loans, according to U.S. News & World Report. Rates are currently hovering in the low 4 percent range, and even though that’s considered high in comparison with some of the levels seen in the past few years, it’s still extremely low on a historical basis.

Talking with an agent or a loan officer about what constitutes an affordable rate in the current market, and what that means for ongoing costs over the decades it takes to pay off the loan, gives first-time buyers a good starting point for finding an affordable mortgage.

Other Costs to Examine
The price of the home and the mortgage rate aren’t the only cost considerations new buyers face. In addition to maintenance and upgrades and property taxes, homeowner’s insurance will also be an ongoing cost of actually owning the home. Insurance costs can vary considerably depending upon the features of the property and any geographical or climactic risk factors. As with a mortgage rate and associated costs, the smart move for any homebuyer is to shop around and find the best deal possible, ultimately saving hundreds of dollars per year in a lot of cases.

More Ways To Save Money
In some cases, it may be difficult to avoid certain issues that will impact the price of a home loan. One of the best ways to save (what could be thousands of dollars) is to research, study  and  properly prepare before entering the market, according to the Columbus Dispatch. That means putting as much money as possible toward a down payment, as well as working to improve credit standings before applying for a mortgage, both of which reduce ongoing expenses significantly.

Other ways prospective homeowners can save money when buying a home is by using a home warranty to help provide a little more financial certainty. These products can help cover repair or replacement costs for appliances and home systems after a sale, potentially saving the home buyer thousands of dollars in expenses in some situations.

It is important to know the difference between homeowners’ insurance and a home warranty, and the value both provide. Put simply: home insurance will typically cover structural problems such as repairs for roof or fire damage, while home warranties protect things like HVAC or plumbing systems and major appliances, and can connect homeowners with experienced professionals who will help them get back to full function as soon as possible.

Start your home search here!

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.

Positive News for June Home Sales in Cincinnati and Dayton, Ohio; Northern Kentucky; and Southeastern Indiana

花火8
The region’s June 2017 home sales showed positive news with most of the market area showing an increase in the average sale price and number of homes sold. Dayton, Ohio set an all-time record with its average sale price at $168,771. In Cincinnati, the average sale price rose for the 13th consecutive month and that price of $222,216 set a new record value for the month of June. Although fewer homes sold in Northern Kentucky, during June, the average sale price rose by over 5%.  In Southeastern Indiana, home sales declined a bit for the month, but year-to-date the trend is for higher sales and average sale price in that market area.

It’s a great time to buy and sell homes. Mortgage interest rates are still low. Many homes that are in move-in ready condition and priced correctly for their market area are selling quickly .

Here are the statistics:

Cincinnati

June 2017 vs June 2016

  • 1.04%% Increase in homes sold (2,810 homes vs 2,781)
  • 4.72% Increase in average sale price ($222,216 vs $212,201)  – Setting a record for June!
  • 4.76% Increase in median sale price ($174,950 vs $167,000)
  • 5.81% Increase in gross sales volume ($624,425,918 vs $590,130,872)

January – June 2017 vs January – June 2016

  • 1.11% Increase in homes sold (12,698 homes vs 12,559)
  • 6.32% Increase in average sale price ($200,271 vs $188,360)
  • 6.6% Increase in median sale price ($159,900 vs $150,000)
  • 7.50% Increase in gross sales volume ($2,543,035,796 vs $2,365,617,223)

Dayton

June 2017 vs June 2016

  • .66% Increase in homes sold (1,690 homes vs 1,679)
  • 4.58% Increase in average sale price ($168,771 vs $161,380)  – Setting an all-time record!
  • 5.47% Increase in median sale price ($144,500 vs $137,000)
  • 5.27% Increase in sales volume ($285,222,709 vs $270,956,666)

January – June 2017 vs January – June 2016

  • 3.62% Increase in homes sold (7,757 homes vs 7,486)
  • 6.43% Increase in average sale price ($154,374 vs $145,046)
  • 5.60% Increase in median sale price ($132,000 vs $125,000)
  • 10.28% Increase in sales volume ($1,197,478,652 vs $1,085,811,300)

Northern Kentucky

June 2017 vs June 2016

  • -1.66% Decrease in homes sold (710 homes vs 722)
  • 5.01% Increase in average sale price ($192,624 vs $183,440)
  • 1.89% Increase in median sale price ($167,300 vs $164,200)
  • 3.26% Increase in sales volume ($146,763,708 vs $132,443,728)

January – June 2017 vs January – June 2016

  • 5.09% Increase in homes sold (3,491 homes vs 3,322)
  • 3.69% Increase in average sale price ($177,045 vs $170,746)
  • 2.60% Increase in median sale price ($153,900 vs $150,000)
  • 8.96% Increase in sales volume ($618,067,331 vs $567,220,517)

Southeastern Indiana

June 2017 vs June 2016

  • -7.6% Decrease in homes sold (122 homes vs 132)
  • -1.3%Decrease in average sale price ($157,554 vs $159,622)
  • -3.1% Decrease in median sale price ($140,050 vs $144,475)
  • -8.8% Decrease in sales volume ($19,221,640 vs $21,070,079)

January – June 2017 vs January – June 2016

  • 3.0% Increase in homes sold (578 homes vs 561)
  • 7.0% Increase in average sale price ($158,743 vs $148,360)
  • -1.8% Decrease in median sale price ($135,000 vs $137,500)
  • 5.5% Increase in sales volume ($87,792,130 vs $83,229,979)

Look at homes for sale in Cincinnati and Dayton, Ohio; Northern Kentucky; and Southeastern Indiana.

 

 

Five Reasons to Work with a Real Estate Agent

WhyUseAnAgent.jpgYou’re thinking of buying or selling a home. Do you really need to work with a real estate agent? Yes, you do! Here is why…

Knowledge – Reason 1
Buying or selling a home is one of the largest purchases you will make. This type of financial decision should not be made alone. A real estate agent has knowledge of the local market as a community expert, and is familiar with all of the details of the home buying and selling processes. From getting a home ready for market, pricing a property for sale, researching comparable properties or negotiating a sales contract, your sales agent has the skill set needed to get you through a myriad of details involved in a real estate sale. Plus your agent will be up-to-date on real estate laws which have to be obeyed.

Experience – Reason 2
You will probably personally experience buying or selling a home only a few times during your life – depending upon the number of times you move. A real estate agent’s daily life is spent working with buyers and sellers and looking at properties. Agents have access to the most up-to-date information of recent real estate sales.

Your agent will help you to determine the correct price to sell your home or what kind of offer should be made when buying a home.

If you’re selling a home, your agent will provide effective ways to market it and give your home maximum exposure. From photography, open houses, working professional connections to using social media, your agent will be diligent in vetting buyers and getting your home sold.

Communication – Reason 3
Part of your agent’s job is to stay in touch with you throughout the buying and selling process. He or she is there to manage expectations and minimize surprises.

Your agent will serve as “your voice” when conveying concerns to a buyer or seller. By speaking for you through a tough transaction, your agent can smooth over any issues that could lead to a turn off or kill a deal. Your agent will know what is fair with conditions and contracts.

Keep in mind that many times agents are working for their clients seven days a week, including evenings. There’s not many professions that do that! They make themselves available to their clients to answer questions that may arise.

Negotiations – Reason 4
Your real estate agent will know the ropes when it comes time for negotiation. Multiple offers on a home may be the norm in a seller’s market. You want to have a strong negotiator on your side when it comes time to writing or countering a sales contract.

A real estate agent is paid on commission which is not earned until closing. Your agent has a vested interest in keeping the selling process going all the way to the closing table.

Therapy – Reason 5
Buying or selling a home can be taxing on the nerves. Your agent will listen to your concerns. He or she will calm you when you have a home inspection that did not go as expected. Your agent will also be there to celebrate the good times with you – and take satisfaction in helping you sell an old home and finding a new one.

Look for a Sibcy Cline real estate agent here.

 

Creative Ideas to Save for a Down Payment for a Home

SaveMoney_DownPayment.jpgThinking about buying a home but do not have any savings for a down payment? Make a conscientious decision to start saving for that home. Here are some creative ways to save money:

Use Direct Deposit
Have money directly transferred from your pay check into your savings. You will not spend what you do not see in your checking account.

Monitor Daily and Weekly Expenses
Adjusting little spending habits can result in big savings. If you have a habit of buying coffee, lunch or even snacks from the vending machine, consider cutting those expenditures. That $2 (or more) cup of coffee ends up costing $10 in a work week or almost $500 in a year. Lunch out Monday through Friday at $7 is over $1800 in a year. Brown bag lunches will bring in a huge savings towards that down payment.

If you belong to an expensive gym, consider finding a more affordable membership or exercise for free in a park.

Loose Change
An easy way to save money is to empty your wallet weekly of loose change and dollar bills. Keep the money aside and turn it into savings every month or so.

No-Spend Day – A “Spend Diet”
Can you make it 24 hours without spending money? Challenge yourself! And if you are up to it, perhaps schedule several no-spend days throughout the month.

Avoid the ATM
If you tend to be a cash spender, allot yourself an allowance and stick to it. Some people like to take their cash and divide the money into envelopes – grocery, gas, entertainment, etc…

Stop Using Credit Cards
By always paying by credit card, you may lose track of how much you are actually spending. If you do prefer to pay via a credit card, keep a tally of how much you are spending on the side of an envelope that holds all of your receipts.

How Much Is Your Entertainment Costing You
If you monitor your budget, you should be able to easily analyze how much money you spend on entertainment: restaurants, happy hours, movies, concerts, cable television and such. Consider cutting this budget to save money.

Curtail that movie habit and enjoy films on Netflix and save about $500 for the year (two people going to the movies twice a month at $10 per person with no popcorn.) Or, if watching films in the theater is a passion – consider giving up the expensive concessions! Cut the cord with cable – and start saving your money.

If attending live performance theater is important to you, consider saving cash by sitting in less-expensive seats. (If you volunteer to be an usher, you can see performances for free!)

Plan social events that are free. Go hiking in a park with friends. Tour a museum on the free day. Take advantage of free outdoor concerts. Invite friends to socialize at your home and provide your own entertainment – cards, board games or movies. Read more from The Simple Dollar blog article titled 102 things to do on a money-free weekend.

Use the library and read books and enjoy DVDs for free. (Or swap books and DVDs with friends.) Cancel magazine subscriptions. Go to the library to read magazines instead.

Gifts and Windfalls
Giving gifts can add up. Set limits on your budget. Purchase gifts on sale by planning ahead. If you are on the receiving end of a gift (and if it is appropriate) ask for a “house funding” gift in lieu of a sweater or other item.

If you receive a windfall of money (work bonus, tax refund, etc…), be sure to add that unexpected money into your savings.

Avoid Big Purchases
Although you may want a new 50-inch television, if your current TV is in working order, don’t buy it. The same goes for your car. Instead of a luxury hotel for a week of vacation, consider a “stay-cation” and have lots of fun and no hefty hotel bills.

Change Shopping Habits
Be a smart shopper. Do not buy things on impulse. Look for sales and use those coupons. If you are tempted by store email lures, unsubscribe to them. If you have online retail accounts, remove your credit card numbers. Place a sticky note on your credit card that says, “Do I really need this?”

When going shopping, make a list and stick to it. Another way of looking at a purchase is to ask yourself: “How many hours do I have to work to pay for this item?”

If you tend to be a stress spender – find another way to decompress. Do yoga or meditate at home. “Pin” things on Pinterest instead of actually buying them.

A Side Gig! Earn Extra Cash
Consider side jobs to save money. Do you have a hobby or skill for which people are willing to pay? Earn cash by becoming a dog walker – and get exercise while earning money. House sitting is another way to earn money.

Have Stuff?
Sell your unwanted or needed items on Ebay or Craig’s List. Read more about selling unwanted items.

Drive and Make Money
If you have a car that qualifies, you can make money by turning it into a mobile billboard via a car wrap. Or, speaking of cars, become an Uber or Lyft driver!

Move Back Home
If your parents are willing, you may want to consider moving back home in order to save on rent and utilities.

Research Lender Programs
There are programs that offer lower or no down payment on homes. Sometimes these programs involve certain circumstances such as a cap on income or being a first-time buyer. A few programs will require a length of residency in the home in order to have the assisted down payment forgiven. It’s always a good idea to check with your mortgage loan officer to see what programs are available.

By following these creative tips, you should be saving money. In no time, you will have enough funds for the down payment on a home!

 

First-Time Home Buyer Tips

花火8Thinking of buying a home for the first time? This is sure to be a thrilling time for you! Purchasing a home will be one of the largest investments you will have and therefore making knowledgeable decisions is important. Here are six first-time home buyer tips to help you make your purchase:

Tip #1 – Is the Time Right for You to Buy a Home?
Buying a home is a long-term investment. Make sure you are prepared to stay in the home for at least five years. You will also need to determine if you have a stable income with money saved for a down payment as well as money set aside for moving expenses, insurance and home repairs.

Tip #2 – Work with a Real Estate Agent
Your real estate agent will be your professional guide throughout the home-buying process. Your Realtor’s experience will save you time and be of upmost importance when it is time to negotiate a sales contact. Your agent’s knowledge of current market values in areas of interest will help you find the home that meet your needs and from overpaying.

Tip #3 – Get Pre-Approval for a Mortgage
Looking for a home before you know how much you can afford can lead to frustration. By getting pre-approved for a mortgage loan, you will not only know how much you can really afford, but when it is time to make an offer on a home, that pre-approval indicates you are a serious buyer.

Tip #4 – Determine What Type of Home You Need
Figuring out what your home needs are is not as easy as it sounds. You may have a list that is unrealistic for your budget. It is best to write down what you need and what you would like to have.

For example, you may want four bedrooms, but could make do with three. A finished lower level might be nice, but is not absolutely necessary. Is an updated kitchen a requirement? Do you need lots of storage room? Is a large yard important to you? Do you need a home office?

Once you have determined your list of non-negotiable “must haves”, your real estate agent will then be better able to find homes that match those needs. Be willing to compromise. Your entire wish list will probably not be found all in one home.

Tip #5 – Location of Your Home
Where you live is an important factor in your home search. Do you want to reside near where you work? Do you need to be near a highway because you often travel? Does living near friends and family appeal to you? Do you prefer to live in an urban, suburban or rural area?

If you are open to location, you will have many more housing options than if you narrow possible locations. If you do have your heart set on a particular area, it might be best to be open minded to view homes for sale in nearby neighborhoods.

Once you have determined the area in which you prefer to live, it is always a good idea to drive around that area at different times of day to get a good feel for the neighborhood and its traffic patterns.

Tip #6 – Strategize Your Offer on a Home
Once you have found a home on which you want to make an offer, you will need to strategize with your real estate agent about your offer. Current market values, a home’s past sales history and the home’s key features are factors to consider when making an offer. In a seller’s market, your offer to purchase may not be the only one coming in to that home seller. A strong and fair offer may be the best strategy.

Look at homes for sale.

 

 

Home Sales Rose in May in Cincinnati and Dayton, Ohio; Northern Kentucky; and Southeastern Indiana!

HomeSales_May2017.jpgMay 2017 was a strong month for home sales throughout Cincinnati and Dayton, Ohio; Northern Kentucky; and Southeastern Indiana with increases in the number of home sales from four to almost seven percent.

May 2017 was also a record-setting month in Cincinnati with the average sale price reaching $199,421. In Northern Kentucky, the average home sale price was $182,783 – the highest since September 2016. In Dayton, Ohio, the May 2017 average sale price was 4% better than last May. Southeast Indiana had a 4.0% increase in average sale price at $161,340.

Not increasing in all regions are the number of homes for sale – which still remain low. In Cincinnati the number of homes for sale is down 24.98% as compared to inventory from May 2016. In Northern Kentucky the inventory of new listings for sale in May 2017 was the highest since June 2016 – 950 homes. However, in that region the total number of homes for sale still remains low with only 1,726 properties. In Dayton, Ohio, there were 2,172 new listings added for sale in that region in May 2017 – which was up from 2,108 new listings in May 2016.

The real estate market remains strong – homes in good condition many times are selling quickly – some with multiple offers. Mortgage interest rates are still low. Look at homes for sale.

Here are the May 2017 home sales statistics:

Cincinnati May 2017 Home Sales

May 2017 vs May 2016

  • 4.05% Increase in home sales (2,695 homes vs 2,590 homes)
  • 7.05% Increase in sales volume ($537,439,239 vs $502,052,134)
  • 2.88% Increase in average sale price ($199,421 vs $193,843)
  • 1.19% Increase in median sale price ($160,000 vs $157,000)

January – May 2017 vs January – May 2016

  • .96% Increase in home sales (9,872 homes vs 9,778 homes)
  • 7.74% Increase in sales volume ($1,912,894,430 vs $1,775,446,351)
  • 6.71% Increase in average sale price ($193,770 vs $181,580)
  • 6.90% Increase in median sale price ($155,000 vs $145,000)

Source: Cincinnati Area Board of Realtors, Home Sales Report, May 2017

Dayton, Ohio May 2017 Home Sales

May 2017 vs May 2016

  • 4.03% Increase in home sales (1,626 homes vs 1,563 homes)
  • 8.07% Increase in sales volume ($256,075,029 vs $236,944,693)
  • 3.89% Increase in average sale price ($157,488 vs $151,595)
  • .71% Increase in median sale price ($133,950 vs $133,000)

January – May 2017 vs January – May 2016

  • 4.48% Increase in home sales (6,023 homes vs 5,765 homes)
  • 12.32% Increase in sales volume ($907,874,053 vs $808,282,267)
  • 7.51% Increase in average sale price ($150,735 vs $140,205)
  • 6.61% Increase in median sale price ($129,000 vs $121,000)

Source: Dayton Area Board of Realtors, Home Sales Report, May 2017

Northern Kentucky May 2017 Home Sales

May 2017 vs May 2016

  • 6.61% Increase in home sales (742 homes vs 696 homes)
  • 11.38% Increase in sales volume ($135,625,702 vs $121,771,783)
  • 4.47% Increase in average sale price ($182,783 vs $174,959)
  • 2.81% Increase in median sale price ($155,500 vs $151,250)

January – May 2017 vs January – May 2016

  • 6.62% Increase in home sales (2,771 homes vs 2,599 homes)
  • 10.35% Increase in sales volume ($479,594,468 vs $434,621,789)
  • 3.50% Increase in average sale price ($173,076 vs $167,226)
  • 2.74% Increase in median sale price ($150,000 vs $146,000)

Source: Northern Kentucky Association of Realtors, Home Sales Report, May 2017

 

Southeastern Indiana May 2017 Home Sales

May 2017 vs May 2016

  • 6.5% Increase in home sales (132 homes vs 124 homes)
  • 10.7% Increase in sales volume ($21,296,838 vs $19,238,573)
  • 4.0% Increase in average sale price ($161,340 vs $155,150)
  • 2.0% Decrease in median sale price ($136,500 vs $139,347)

January – May 2017 vs January – May 2016

  • 6.4% Increase in home sales (456 homes vs 429 homes)
  • 10.3% Increase in sales volume ($68,570,499 vs $62,159,900)
  • 3.8% Increase in average sale price ($150,374 vs $144,895)
  • 0% Increase in median sale price ($135,000 vs $135,000)

Source: Rick McMillin VP/Sales Manager of Sibcy Cline Harrison, Southeastern Indiana Home Sales Report, May 2017