How to Conserve Water at Your Home

Water is an important resource and many homeowners use more of it than realized. It’s important to consider ways to conserve water and help to create positive environmental changes as well as cut costs.

There are many ways the average homeowner wastes water without even being aware. In fact some methods homeowners may think save on water use actually do the very opposite, according to the Charles River Watershed Association. For instance, running a dishwasher only when it’s absolutely full doesn’t keep dishes from getting clean, but it does save water quickly and easily. And for those who hand-wash their dishes it’s vital to turn off the tap in between rinsing dishes as a means of saving water. The same is true of brushing teeth and shaving.


What about Outside the Home?
There are many ways to save water and obtain a healthier lawn simultaneously. The best time to water a lawn isn’t in the middle of the day because that leads to evaporation. Watering the lawn when the sun is just starting to rise or set will give grass the best chance to absorb as much water as possible. People also often water their lawns more than is necessary to keep the grass healthy.

There are many ways to maintain a healthy lawn and conserve water simultaneously. For example, leaving grass clippings on the lawn after cutting it will provide more shade and nutrients for the remaining grass. Also, well-fed grass results in a thicker lawn that can withstand the stress of heat and drought. Mowing grass at a higher height (3-4 inches) is another way to conserve water. Properly mowed grass allows for a deeper root system for the grass to find water and soil nutrients.

Rear view of gardener watering plants at garden

Another Way to Water Your Garden
Many homeowners often enjoy cultivating their own gardens, but it is unfortunate that water is often wasted here as well, according to the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. Instead of using a watering can or spraying hose multiple times a day, homeowners may wish to consider installing a drip-irrigation system. Not only can this save time – as it doesn’t require gardeners to physically water plants every day – but it can also reduce water costs and potentially yield better crops.

Of course, a drip-irrigation system costs money and requires time to set up, but there is a significant return on investment over time. Many modern drip systems also operate on timers that can be scheduled and beat the alternative of having to manually turn them on and off each day.


It’s a good idea to use common sense when looking at ways to save water. Most people probably know when they have a little wiggle room to cut their shower times or find other ways to reduce consumption around the house. A little effort and consideration may very well make all the difference.

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

What Home Sellers Can do to Boost the Sale of Their Property


There are plenty of DIY projects that can help homeowners make their properties more appealing both inside and out, and boost appeal when selling their homes, according to HGTV. One of the simplest is to put a little more effort into making a yard look good with some extra gardening, yard cleanup (like raking leaves and clearing twigs or branches) and a freshly mown lawn.

Improving the Exterior
It’s relatively easy to clean out gutters or pressure wash the side of a home to really make the property sparkle. Be sure to make any repairs to damage that may be visible on the home’s exterior. A fresh paint job – especially on the front doors or around the windows –  can go a long way toward making a home look newer than some might think. Simply buying a new welcome mat can also make the entryway look fresh.

Inside the Home
Once the outside of the house is taken care of, home sellers need to turn their attention to the inside. Taking the time to make rooms a little less personalized – so would-be buyers can more easily picture themselves living in the house – is a good idea. Repaint any bold-colored rooms to make them a bit more muted. Efforts to organize drawers, closets, and other hidden-away areas help with creating appeal, especially when curious open house attendees might want to poke around.

It’s also important to keep in mind the kinds of rooms home shoppers will want to investigate most thoroughly, according to IKEA. Chief among them is the kitchen. Stow away most of your appliances to keep counters and islands free of clutter. And, remember to make sure every surface in this room sparkles.

Along similar lines, people are always going to be particularly interested in the home’s bedrooms, so be sure to keep them tidy with personal items hidden away  including emote controls or toys. Finally, it’s also wise to give everything in the bathroom a serious scrubbing, because anything awry in there can be a serious turnoff for many would-be buyers.

Consult with Your Agent
Working with real estate professionals to get advice about boosting curb appeal is always a good idea since they know what efforts are most likely to result in a quick and easy sale.

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

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


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 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.


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

Homeowners Should Invest in Smart Security Systems

Homeowners and potential buyers should explore the options available in making their properties safe and secure. The good news is the variety of security systems now readily available are at relatively low costs with easy installation and monitoring capabilities.

One of the most popular types of home security features is the connected security camera, giving owners the ability to look at live footage of their home from anywhere with internet access or Wi-Fi, according to the National Association of Realtors®. Entire networks of these cameras can be set up around a home at a relatively low cost, and can also function as a high-tech baby monitor for new parents.

Ways to Stay Connected
Home security systems are now designed to pair with smart phones, tablets and computers giving homeowners real-time information, based on networks of motion sensors as well as door and window sensors – sending alerts to homeowners when alarms are tripped. Some services will also automatically contact the police or other emergency personnel in the event of a break-in or fire-triggering smoke detectors.

Doesn’t Have to be High-Tech
For homeowners who want to go beyond the benefits of smart home security devices, looking to low-tech solutions can be a good idea too, according to Reader’s Digest.

Something as simple as getting rid of the mail slot on a front door and asking neighbors to keep an eye out for any suspicious activity can go a long way towards ensuring a home isn’t subjected to a break-in. In the event that a family goes on vacation, it’s also a good idea to make sure all doors and windows are locked – including those on the second floor.

Homeowners who take pleasure in gardening may wish to take that extra step in planting large, thorny bushes which can deter thieves from breaking through ground floor windows.

It’s also advisable to never stack items – such as firewood, ladders or lawn care equipment – which could enable burglars, should they choose to enter by way of a higher window.

Experts recommend homeowners install lawn signs or window decals that say they’re protected by home security companies – even if they aren’t – to ward off would-be thieves.

In general, common sense is often the best tool any homeowner has to keep their properties safe. Simply being smart about keeping doors or windows locked and keeping close tabs on their keys is often the best first defense against any sort of break-in.

Interested in installing a professional home-security system? 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

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

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

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:


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)


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.



Blair Schroeder of Sibcy Cline Named to Lead Magazine’s Great Leaders Under 40

Blair Schroeder, President of Sibcy Cline Relocation Services, was honored as Lead Magazine’s Great Leaders Under 40 list in July 2017. This list celebrates the strongest leaders under 40 who have made an impactful contribution to the community.


About Blair Schroeder
Blair has headed up Sibcy Cline Relocation Services for the past three years overseeing its referral, corporate third-party and government lines of business. Prior to serving in this capacity for Sibcy Cline, Blair helped manage Corporate Communications for Duke Energy in Ohio and Kentucky as well as media spokesperson on legislative and regulatory issues.  Additionally, he has also served as the VP of Public Affairs for the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, worked in Government Relations for Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, and handled media relations for Boone County.

A native of Texas, Blair and his family have lived in the Greater Cincinnati area for the past 15 years.