Tips for Buying a Home in a Seller’s Market

6Tips_Buyers.png
House hunting in a seller’s market can be tough. With not enough homes for sale, the challenge is for a buyer to make an offer that rises to the top and is accepted by a home seller. How do you do it? It’s all about being flexible and knowledgable. Here are six tips to bring your “A” game when buying a home in a seller’s market:

1. Work with a Real Estate Agent
When buying a home, it is advisable to have agent representation. This professional will first sit down with you to review the entire home-buying process so you know what to expect. Your agent will then search for homes that meet your criteria in areas you prefer. Your agent will know of homes coming onto the market and alert you to be prepared. He or she will also craft an offer to purchase that is strong and works in your best interest.

2. Know Your Budget
Understanding how much home you are qualified to purchase is very important – especially in a seller’s market. Getting pre-qualified for a mortgage loan is your first step in creating a home budget. Once you have this information, you can feel secure in making a strong offer on a home that includes documentation of this pre-approval.

3. Need vs Want – Type of Home and Location
Once you know how much you can spend on a home, the next things to determine are the kind of home and amenities needed. This list may include the number of bedrooms and baths, ranch-style home versus two story, type of floor plan or walkability factors. By keeping an open mind of what your major needs are, the more homes you can consider in a seller’s market. When creating your list, you need to consider: “I need” and “I wish I had”.

Remember, no home will be a “perfect place to live” – especially when searching in a seller’s market. Try to keep an open mind. If the home needs updating, will it work within your budget to make those changes? Can you make do with a floor plan that offers three bedrooms instead of four?

Location will also be a consideration. You may want a home located near your work, shopping or close to a highway.  If your preferred neighborhood is out priced for your budget, you will need to start looking at other nearby areas. Widening your search geographically will cast a larger net of available homes on the market.

4. Be Ready to Act Fast
A key factor for home buyers in a seller’s market is to make a timely offer. You will need to stay on top of the daily changes in the market and when a new property is listed, be flexible with your schedule to view that home immediately and be prepared to make an offer.

5. Make a Strong Offer
In a seller’s market, think through your offer strategy. A low-ball offer will probably be dismissed right away. Don’t nickel and dime the seller. Too many contingencies can be a turn off to a seller. Think through the occupancy date and what would be appealing to that seller.

6. Be Prepared For a Bidding War
You may get caught in a bidding war for that dream home in a seller’s market. You do not want to overpay and will need to have a limit set of what you are willing to offer. Know the market and do your research on home values.

With multiple offers, the seller has his or her pick of which offer to accept, start a counteroffer process or reject all offers. The seller does not need to inform any potential buyers of the multiple offer situation. If the seller counteroffers, other offers may still come in for consideration. A seller does not have to respond to offers in the order received or reveal the status of other offers. With multiple offers, the seller has the upper hand and can use it to increase the price or improve the terms of sale.

In such a bidding war, you can either give your best offer and hope it is the strongest, or have an escalation clause that lets you bid up to a certain limit. If caught in a bidding war, you need to be available to your agent so your bid remains active.

If your offer is not accepted, do not panic. There will be other homes for sale. Don’t let your impatience to buy a home ruin your budget by offering too much for a home. Know your limits.

With these six tips, you are ready to start your home search in a seller’s market! Starting looking for homes for sale.  Find a Sibcy Cline agent.

July 2017 Festivals and Events: Cincinnati and Dayton, Ohio; Northern Kentucky; and Southeastern Indiana

JulyFestivals_2017.jpg
There are so many fun things to do this summer. Our region hosts many local festivals and other events throughout July.  Read our list of upcoming festivals and be sure to attend one. (If you’re interested in Fourth of July celebrations and fireworks be sure to check out our local fireworks blog article.)

Here is our list of July festivals and events for Cincinnati and Dayton, Ohio; Northern Kentucky; and Southeastern Indiana. Festivals and events are in order by date:

July 2017 Festivals and Events

Fireman’s Festival and Fireworks
Metamora, Indiana
July 1, 2017
The fire department raises funds with this fun festival!

Vogt’s Farm Annual Blueberry Festival
Vogt Farm at 12115 North State Road 129 in Batesville, Indiana
July 1, 2017
Enjoy blueberry treats along with live music and a petting zoo.

Abraham Lincoln Freedom Festival
Rockport City Park in Rockport, Indiana
July 1, 2017
Parade, food, music and fireworks – all celebrating Abe Lincoln.

Berry Blast
Hidden Valley Fruit Farm in Lebanon, Ohio
July 1-2, 2017
Enjoy hayrides, treats and fun!

Warsaw Kentucky River Days Celebration
Warsaw, Kentucky
July 1-3, 2017

America’s Celebration – Newport Motocycle Rally
Festival Park along Riverboat Row in Newport, Kentucky
July 1-4, 2017
Entertainment, food and lots of motorcycles!

Red, White and Kaboom
1300 Hunter Road at Harbin Park in Fairfield, Ohio
July 3, 2017
Music, games and fireworks.

City of Dayton Lights in Flight Fireworks Festival
Riverscape MetroPark at 111 E. Monument Avenue in Dayton, Ohio
July 3, 2017
Multi-cultural festival with lots of food, live entertainment and fireworks!

LaRosa’s Balloon Glow
Coney Island, Cincinnati, Ohio
July 3, 2017
Enjoy the day at Coney Island including live music and stay until evening when the hot air balloons will fill the sky.

Red, Rhythm and Boom
Mason Municipal Campus in Mason, Ohio
July 3, 2017
Multi-platinum artist Phillip Phillips (American Idol) will be performing. Enjoy carnival rides, a zipline, lots of food. The Skydiving exhibit starts at 6pm. Fireworks at 10pm.

Americana 5k Run/Walk Festival
Centerville High School Stadium at 500 E. Franklin Street in Centerville, Ohio
July 3-4, 2017
Enjoy a live concert and a parade!

Red, White and Blanchester Blue Festival
Downtown Blanchester, Ohio
July 3-4, 2017
Food, rides, hot dog eating contest, car show, parade, games and more!

Fireman’s Fourth of July
Augusta, Kentucky
July 3-4, 2017
Enjoy the fish fry and other foods as well as activities and games. And the grand finale are the fireworks over the Ohio River!

Fort Thomas 150th Birthday Celebration
Fort Thomas, Kentucky
July 3-8, 2017
A week of celebration with all kinds of activities and fireworks on the 4th.

Star Spangled Spectacular
Faurot Park in Lima, Ohio
July 4, 2017
5k walk/run, food booths, kids’ entertainment, car show, live music and fireworks at 10pm.

Sisters of Notre Dame 4th of July Festival
1601 Dixie Highway in Covington, Kentucky
July 4, 2017
Fun, food and more!

Red, White and Boonshoft
Boonshoft Museum of Discovery at 2600 DeWeese Parkway in Dayton, Ohio
July 4, 2017
Enjoy themed experiments, entertainment and the best indoor fireworks display. Local food vendors serving yummy offerings.

Red, White and Blue Ash
Summit Park in Blue Ash, Ohio
July 4, 2017
All kinds of fun as well as live entertainment (The Steel Woods and REO Speedwagon) with the fireworks starting at 10pm.

July 4th Fireworks Festival
South Lebanon
July 4, 2017
A fun festival ending in fireworks at dusk.

Americana Festival
Centerville, Ohio
July 4, 2017
5K run/walk, parade, street fair and fireworks at the Centerville High School.

Independence Day Celebration
Historic downtown Loveland, Ohio
July 4, 2017
Kid zone, food trucks, parade, live music, Jackson Street Market and fireworks at 10pm.

RiversEdge Simmer Concert Series
RiversEdge Amphitheater in downtown Hamilton, Ohio
July 4, 13, 20 and 27; August 10, 17, 24 and 31
Enjoy music along the Great Miami River.

Racefest 2017
Carrollton, Kentucky
July 5, 2017
Enjoy race-car simulations, car and motorcycle show as well as live music and food.

Hump Day Concert Series
Gazebo on the Lake at 7850 VOA Park Drive at Voice of America MetroPark in West Chester, Ohio
July 5, 12, 19 and 26  (and Wednesdays through August 16, 2017)
Live music, lake activities, yard games and food!

Glier’s Goetta Party on the Purple
Access the Newport Southbank Bridge (Purple Bridge) from either Newport, Kentucky or downtown, Cincinnati, Ohio
July 5, 12, 19, 26, 2017 (and every Wednesday through August 2, 2017)
Live music on a stage at the middle of the bridge and enjoy food-truck fair and drinks.

The Take Over on the Square
The Square at Union Centre at 9285 Centre Point Drive in West Chester, Ohio
July 6, 13, 20, 27 (and Thursdays through August 31), 2017
Live music from 6-9pm.

Groovin’ on the Green Summer Concerts
310 Wessel Drive at the Village Green Park Amphitheater in Fairfield, Ohio
Live music!
July 6, 13, 20, 27; August 3, 10,17, 24 and 31

Festival of the Bells
Hillsboro, Ohio
July 6-8, 2017
Parade, food booths, car show, games, 5k run/walk, pet parade and live entertainment.

Country Concert
7103 State Route 66 at Fort Loramie, Ohio
July 6-8, 2017
Enjoy Blake Shelton and more!

The Kevin Sonnycalb Memorial Fireworks Festival
Shawnee Park in Xenia, Ohio
July 7, 2017
Traditional festival and fireworks!

Sun Valley Music Festival
July 7-8, 2017
AJ Jolly Park at 1565 Race Track Rd. in Alexandria, Kentucky

Batesville Fire & Rescue Summerfest
Batesville, Indiana
July 7-8, 2017
Enjoy a parade, beer garden, chicken and smoked pork as well as live entertainment and lots of activities for kids to enjoy. It’s the biggest little German festival in Indiana!

Ohio Jeep Fest
344 Fairgrounds Road (Ross County Fairgrounds) in Chillicothe, Ohio
July 7-9, 2017
Fee. First annual Ohio Jeep Fest! Beep! Beep!

St. Pius X Summer Festival
348 Dudley Road in Edgewood, Kentucky
July 7-9, 2017
Live music, food, pig roast on Sunday.

St. Thomas More July Fest
800 Ohio Pike at St. Thomas More Church in Cincinnati, Ohio
July 7-9, 2017
Traditional festival with all of the fun!

Fire In Your Mouth, Fire in the Sky
8501 Camden-College Corner Road at Hannon’s Camp America at College Corner, Ohio
July 8, 2017
Fiery food and fireworks! Spicy food cook off.

Cincinnati Taco Festival
705 E. Pete Rose Way at Yeatman’s Cove along the Ohio River in downtown Cincinnati, Ohio
July 8, 2017
All kinds of tacos for $2 each plus pepper-eating contest and chihuahua beauty pageant. Advanced tickets required.

Kickin Chicken Wing Fest
695 Lincoln Park Boulevard at Fraze Pavilion in Dayton, Ohio
July 8, 2017
Enjoy hot wings and music!

Springsfest Music and Craft Beer Festival
Yellow Springs, Ohio
July 8, 2017
Music and beer – what more could you ask for?

St. Lawrence Summer Church Festival
3680 Warsaw Avenue in Price Hill in Cincinnati, Ohio
July 8-9, 2017
Chicken dinners are Saturday and Sunday. Werkhaus turtle soup. Lots of fun!

Clinton County Fair
Clinton County Fairgrounds at 058 W. Main Street in Wilmington, Ohio
July 8-15, 2017
Harness racing, games, rides and food!

2017 Electronic Dayton Music Festival
Land of Illusion at 8762 Thomas Road in Middletown, Ohio
July 14-15, 2017
Attend this two-day festival with two stages and 23+ music artists!

Festival in Sycamore
Bechtold Park at 4312 Sycamore Road in Sycamore Township
July 14-15, 2017
Listen to Grammy-nominated Ambrosia, the Greg Kihn Band and the Marshal Tucker Band. Enjoy great food!

Oldenburg Freudenfest
Oldenburg, Indiana
July 14-15, 2017
Everything’s German at this fun festival! Enjoy German food, games and music!

St. Cecilia Parish Festival
3105 Madison Road in Oakley in Cincinnati, Ohio
July 14-16, 2017
Food, games, rides and fun! Enjoy live music, too. Petting zoo on Sunday.

Bacon, Bourbon & Brew Festival
Festival Park along Riverboat Row in Newport, Kentucky
July 14-16, 2017
This festival celebrates the historic local industries of brewing and pork. Enjoy all kinds of great food, music and games.

St. Gabriel Summer Fest (Church Festival)
Glendale, Ohio
July 14-16, 2017
Traditional church festival.

Backyard Concert Series
July 15, 2017
General Butler State Resort Park at the Butler-Turpin State Historical House in Carrolton, Kentucky
Bring your lawn chair and listen to music while enjoying nature!

Blues, Brews and BBQ
Pyramid Hill sculpture Park at 1763 Hamilton-Cleves Road in Hamilton, Ohio
July 15, 2017
Enjoy live blues music along  with BBQ from various vendors and craft beer.

Crazy Cardboard Boat Regatta
Voice of America MetroPark in West Chester, Ohio
July 15, 2017
Build your cardboard boat and race around the lake.

Bastille Day Celebration
Downtown Montgomery in Cincinnati, Ohio
July 15, 2017
Vive la France! Enjoy music, vendor food and kids activities.

Culture Fest (Church Festival)
2573 St. Leo’s Place at St. Leo’s Church in North Fairmont in Cincinnati, Ohio
July 15, 2017
Enjoy music along with Guatemalan, Salvadorian and Columbian food! (No alcohol or gaming.)

Sweet Corn Festival
Georgetown, Kentucky
July 15, 2017

Barnstorming Carnival
Springfield Beckley Airport in Springfield, Ohio
July 15-16, 2017
Enjoy aviation’s roots when you view plans from 1920’s, 30’s and 40’s.

Dayton Blues Festival
Riverscape MetroPark at 111 E. Monument Avenue in Dayton, Ohio
July 16, 2017
Enjoy the blues!

Kids, Cultures & Crafts Festival
3400 Vine Street in Avondale at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens in Cincinnati, Ohio
July 19, 2017
$1 Zoo admission. Enjoy crafts from all cultures that day.

Party on the Plaza
7850 Five Mile Road at the Anderson Center in Anderson Township in Cincinnati, Ohio
July 20 (August 10 and 24), 2017
Live band concert and lots of great food.

Miami Valley Music Fest
Troy, Ohio
July 21-22, 2017
Enjoy live music!

BBQFest
Downtown Sidney, Ohio
July 21-22, 2017
Sample all kinds of BBQ wonderfulness.

Ohio Challenge Balloon Festival
Smith Park at 500 Tytus Avenue and Verity Parkway in Middletown, Ohio
July 21-22, 2017
Balloon race, live music, food, and carnival ride.

Augusta Riverfest Regatta
Augusta, Kentucky
July 21-22, 2017
Enjoy watching the race along the Ohio River!

Kolping Schutzenfest Church Festival
July 21-23, 2017
This “shooting” festival is a tradition dating back 500 years in Germany.  Participants shoot at a hand-carved eagle and attendees enjoy German food, drinks and entertainment.

Immaculate Heart of Mary Church Festival
7770 Beechmont Avenue in Anderson Township in Cincinnati, Ohio
July 21-23, 2017
Traditional festival activities.

St. James the Greater Parish (Church) Festival
3565 Hubble Road in White Oak in Cincinnati, Ohio
July 21-23, 2017
Games, food and lots more.

Swamp Romp
695 Lincoln Park Boulevard at Fraze Pavilion in Dayton, Ohio
July 22, 2017
Zydeco music with a taste of Louisiana!

One Love Fest Cincinnati
Washington Park in Over-the-Rhine in Cincinnati, Ohio
July 22, 2017
Peace and unity via speakers and music. Food trucks will be on hand to handle your hunger!

Buckeye Bourbon & BBQ Festival
Miami Valley Gaming at 6000 SR63 in Lebanon, Ohio
July 22, 2017
Sample bourbon and BBQ while enjoying live music!

Unlock the Block Music Festival
Latonia, Kentucky
July 22, 2017
Listen to some great music!

SummerSing 2017
Christ Church Cathedral at 318 East Fourth Street in Cincinnati, Ohio
July 24-30, 2017
A participatory choral festival!

Cincinnati Music Festival
Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio
July 27-29, 2017
Originally called the Ohio Valley Jazz Festival, you will enjoy lots of talent including Usher, Mary J. Blige, Kem, Fantasia, BBD, Anthony Hamilton, Confunkshun and more.

Bright Community Festival
23759 Brightwood Drive at the Bright Fire Department
July 28-29, 2017
This annual festival raises money for the Bright Fire and EMS departments.

Blooming Grove Fireman’s Festival
Blooming Grove, Indiana
July 28-29, 201** (Cannot confirm dates)
This festival helps to support the volunteer fire department.

Holy Cross Parish Church Festival
3612 Church Street in Latonia, Kentucky
July 28-29, 2017
Live music, games, corn hole and great food.

St. Ann Parish Church Fiesta
3064 Pleasant Avenue in Hamilton, Ohio
July 28-29, 2017
Traditional church festival.

Sharon Fest
Gower Park at 10990 Thornview Drive in Sharonville, Ohio
July 28-29, 2017
Music, rides, games and food.

Greater Anderson Days
6910 Same Road in Beech Acres Park in Anderson Township, Cincinnati, Ohio
July 28-30, 2017
Live music, games, rides, Anderson’s Got Talent and fireworks on Sunday.

Bacon, Blues and Brew Music and Arts Festival
Batesville, Indiana
July 28-30, 2017
Enjoy American “roots” music! Kids activities and great food!

Our Lady of Lourdes Parish Church Festival
2832 Rosebud Drive in Westwood in Cincinnati, Ohio
July 28-30, 2017
Beer garden, rides, games and food.

Dayton Celtic Festival
Riverscape MetroPark in Dayton, Ohio
July 28-30, 2017
Enjoy everything Irish!

Adjust Your Eyes Music and Arts Festival
Various places throughout Northside in Cincinnati, Ohio
July 28-30, 2017
Lots of live music!

GreekFest at Sts. Constantine and Helen (Church Festival)
Middletown, Ohio
July 28-30, 2017
Traditional Greek food and pastries plus lots of fun festival things to do.

St. Bartholomew Church Festival
8375 Winton Road in Finneytown in Cincinnati, Ohio
July 28-30, 2017
All the fun of a traditional festival!

St. Margaret of York Fest
9483 Columbia Road in Loveland, Ohio
July 28-30, 2017
Church festival with food, drink, rides and lots of entertainment.

Holy Trinity Parish (Church) Festival
Norwood, Ohio
July 28-30, 2017
Traditional festival with all of the fun and food.

Boulevard Bash
Fraze Pavilion in Kettering, Ohio
July 30, 2017
Enjoy this food truck festival with live music!

 

QUIZ: How well do you know your Famous Homes?

You’ve laughed with them and you’ve cried with them. You’ve grown up watching them. We’re talking about your favorite TV and movie families. You may know Kevin McCallister’s siblings’ names or how to dance The Carolton…but how well do you know their homes? Test your skills with our famous homes quiz! Scroll through the photos below and take your best guess. Answers are reveled at the bottom—let us know on our Facebook page how you did!

brady-house-800

via people.com

Fresh Prince

via Hooked on Houses

Full House

via Hooked on Houses

Home-Alone-movie-house-Christmas-lights

via Hooked on Houses

Marley-and-Me-movie-farmhouse-in-Chadds-Ford-PA

via Hooked on Houses

scarface

via Zillow

the-lake-house-glass-house-built-in-illinois

via Hooked on Houses

TheNotebook

via Hooked on Houses

top_gun_1Py_t700

via KPBS.org

Walt-Whites-home

via Google Street View

 

Okay, time to make your final guesses!

 

Answers:

  1. The Brady Bunch
  2. The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
  3. Full House
  4. Home Alone
  5. Marley & Me
  6. Scarface
  7. Lake House
  8. The Notebook
  9. Top Gun
  10. Breaking Bad

Fourth-Generation Agent Ashton Gustafson Speaks to Sibcy Cline Agents

AshtonRobin1

Two fourth-generation real estate professionals: Robin Sheakley and Ashton Gustafson!

Ashton Gustafson, a Texas-based real estate professional, spoke to a group of Sibcy Cline Top 100 agents to share his thoughts on real estate – how to have music among all of the noise. His two-hour presentation sped by as he shared his stories of working with buyers and sellers. Here are some of the points taken from his presentation:

Faster than Expected is Greater than On Time
To deliver “happiness” and be memorable to clients, agents have to have be on top of their game. Service that is faster and better will be definitely be remembered and appreciated. Ashton cited an example of ordering boots online with free, three-day shipping. Instead, the boots arrived in under 24 hours with a note from the company that they realized he was ordering for the first time and wanted to do something special for this buying experience. That action led to lots of praise from Ashton for that shoe company – which was Zappo’s.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Building Your Brand
An agent’s brand is not a logo – but how that professional conducts business. Ashton feels it is important to “get in the path of people’s stories long enough to eventually be in the past of their business.” In other words – call, write and see your sphere of influence. Offer people good information and stay connected often. He said people prefer to work with real estate agents who are also friends. In order to qualify as a friend, an agent needs to make that personal connection first.

Ashton shared an example of an agent who heard a buyer who casually mentioned that if he bought a certain home he would want to camp out in the backyard on the first night at that home. That agent leased a large star-gazing tent and to make that wish happen when the client purchased the home – and created a memorable real estate experience.

Ashton offered several useful apps to maintain agent brand building:

Slydial – This direct-to-voice-mail messaging app lets you easily leave a message. In minutes agents can make “just-thinking-about-you calls”.

Snip.ly – This app has the ability to add a personal touch to a digitally shared article. When a reader clicks through on the Sniply link, that agent’s contact information appears at the bottom of that piece – making it a much more personalized connection for the reader.

Search.Twitter.com – Twitter is great place to find out what is happening locally. By connecting to “search dot twitter dot com” – one can type in a search term and find out local news in just seconds. (Much easier than scrolling through Twitter news feeds!)

Evernote – This app is effective for note taking and lists.

Listening is Greater than Shouting
Paying attention to what people are saying, an agent can be even more connected. When house hunting, don’t see just one home, but plan tours for several homes so you can have the time to talk and figure out what that buyer really desires.

Ashton feels that having a “human” thumbprint is much more important than a mere digital one. The more personally connected agents are to their sphere, he feels will result in  more business in the future.

Your Music is Greater than the Noise
There are 1,440 minutes in a day. Ashton suggests spending those minutes wisely and not waste time on meaningless activities. He feels connecting to email all of the time is not productive – nor is immediately answering a phone call. He utilizes a “60 Daily Points of Rhythm” (or here), a system that includes 25 relationship-building calls, 25 personal prospecting emails and 5 handwritten notes of gratitude.  By concentrating on getting his points, he is accomplishing his job so he then has time for his interests and family.

Ashton consistently provides his sphere with hyper-local CMAs every 6 months, offers of home evaluations and post-buyer transaction neighborhood updates of real estate activity. Consistently providing information has resulted in recognition of Ashton as a market expert.

Want to learn more about Ashton Gufstason?
Ashton is a native of Wichita Falls, Texas. He is a fourth-generation real estate professional who was named by Realtor Magazine as part of the “30 Under 30” class in 2010.  Here is how to follow Ashton:

Sibcy Cline Realtors Ranks Among the Top 500 U.S. Power Brokers

RISMediaRanking.pngRISMedia has published its annual U.S. Power Broker rankings and Sibcy Cline Realtors was on that list at number 37 for transactions and number 65 in sales.

See a digital version of the magazine.

RISMedia is a residential real estate information resource company founded in 1980.

Spruce Up Your Patio or Deck for Spring


With spring already here and summer right around the corner, now is the perfect time for homeowners who plan to spend a lot of time on their decks and patios in the months ahead to put a little work into making them as welcoming as possible. There are plenty of ways to do that with simple DIY projects that don’t take a lot of expertise or even financial investment.

One of the easiest ways to make a deck or patio look better – especially if it hasn’t been touched up in recent years – is to repaint or re-stain it before the summer begins, according to House Logic. This can be done regardless of the material the patio or deck is made of, and there are actually plenty of ways to add a little pizazz by  painting with patterns or using bright, bold colors.

Outdoor furniture on a deck or patio can start to look worn out, so repainting chairs and tables – or simply replacing weather-resistant cushions for benches – is another quick fix that doesn’t require a major cash investment.

Putting in More Work
For homeowners who feel more comfortable working with tools, it might be possible to make an outdoor space even more welcoming. For instance, building – or simply buying – outdoor storage pieces like crates and chests can really clean up the clutter not only on the deck or patio itself, but around the yard. Ensuring these storage units match the new paint or stain job on the deck or patio goes a long way toward making the whole area look great.

For those with more construction skills, building a new fire pit will make staying out on the deck late into the evening even more inviting. There are plenty of DIY instructions about how to do this type of project quickly, easily and safely. (Go here and here for instruction.)

A Little Greenery Goes a Long Way
For those homeowners who have a green thumb, you might want to consider the benefits of making a deck or patio a lot more plant-friendly, according to the Seattle Times. There are so many ways to incorporate plants into a design overhaul, and most can be done at a low price point. After all, if plants just need plenty of sunlight and water, it can be easy to accommodate those needs in the summer, and make an outdoor gathering space a lot more attractive.

One of the easiest ways for owners to get inspiration for how they want a new deck design to look is to simply surf the Internet for a few hours. The number of great ideas they’re likely to find with a simple search can provide all kinds of good plans that are easy to carry out in short order.

Need professional help with your deck or patio? Contact Sibcy Cline Home Services.

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.

La Soupe Visits Sibcy Cline Kenwood!

PippinBusamSibcy_Soupe.jpgThe La Soupe van visited the Sibcy Cline Kenwood office offering up their tasty soups, salads and desserts!

Photo: La Soupe volunteer, Maureen Pippin (Sibcy Cline Kenwood), Pam Sibcy (Sibcy Cline Corporate), Piper Warren and Stephanie Sudbrack-Busam (Sibcy Cline Kenwood.)

About La Soupe
La Soupe is a non-profit agency (founded by local chef Suzy DeYoung in 2014) that rescues food by converting it into soup which is then donated to people in need of sustenance. Donated ingredients are turned into fabulous-tasting soups, salads, frozen meals and desserts. The organization receives food and monetary donations from individuals and companies. Partnerships include Kroger, Jungle Jim’s, Sugar Creek, Chefs’ Warehouse, Farmer Family Foundation as well as many local organic farms.

Each month about 4,000 pounds of produce is collected and 60 volunteers help transport the food to local chefs for soup creation. Those soups (as well as fresh produce) are then taken to local churches and schools to be distributed to those who live in “food deserts” – without  easy access to healthy food.

The public also gets involved with La Soupe by purchasing their soups and salads. The Soupe Shack is located in at 4150 Round Bottom Road in Newtown. Follow La Soupe on Facebook so learn about their daily menus.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Read more about La Soupe Cincinnati here, here, and here. Watch this video: