Sibcy Cline Employee Spotlight: Ronnie Weiss

  • Hometown: Okeana, Ohio 
  • Current home: White Oak, Ohio 
  • Proudest career accomplishment: Changing people’s lives with homeownership 
  • Favorite local hangouts: Local backyard firepit or any place with my wife  

“I’m glad I enjoy what I do, and I’ve never called it ‘work’ from day one,” said Ronnie Weiss, explaining that the thing he likes most about his job as a mortgage consultant with Sibcy Cline Mortgage Services is his ability to make such a significant impact on individuals and families who want to become homeowners. “It’s great to see people able to buy a home when just a year before they were struggling with building credit or coming off a hardship.”  

Like many others in the business, real estate was something Ronnie unexpectedly found himself in, but quickly realized that he was in the right spot. He was managing retail leather stores in local malls, occasionally working with a friend at a title company, and that led him to the mortgage business in Marco Island, Florida. “A couple of years after that, a partner and I owned mortgage offices in Michigan, Ohio, and Florida,” said Ronnie. Helping people achieve their dreams of home ownership was something that gave him a sense of purpose. “I learned not to look at things as problems, but rather as opportunities for solutions.”  

Moving back to Ohio was a decision motivated by wanting to help care for his aging grandparents who were bedridden. “No matter how hard it was to care for them, I would never go back and change the fact that I was able to allow them to pass in the home my grandpa built when they were first married in the 40’s. I’m even happier to say I own this house now and it’s where I plan to raise my family.”  

Staying settled in the Cincinnati area is important to Ronnie and his wife Mila, who have been married since 2019. When he began searching for a new job in 2021, he wanted to find a place where he could see himself working until he retired. Known as “the fedora guy” for his trademark hat, Ronnie was looking for a place he could hang his hat, a career home; Sibcy Cline felt like that kind of company. “What stood out was the number of long-time employees I found; it was a major deciding factor. I felt comfortable in the interviews and really enjoyed the atmosphere.”  

Although he finds his work rewarding and feels like he’s found the right company to spend the duration of his career, Ronnie also values time off to spend with family and enjoy life. He and Mila like to explore the area and spend time at Cincinnati parks. A lover of automobilia—any memorabilia related to classic cars—Ronnie likes to search old barns for rare finds. “I can’t wait to find that missing Duesenberg, Bugatti, or Fiat,” he says, adding that he also enjoys “working on old cars, motorcycles, or anything with a motor that goes fast.”  

5 Perks of Selling Your Home Right Now

Reasons to sell your home now

You may have been considering putting your home on the market to sell but are unsure due to current real estate market conditions. You know can sell, but are not so certain you’ll find a home to buy. Here are five “perks” of selling now to take under consideration:

Perk 1: Take Advantage of Buyer Demand
Many buyers are looking now to purchase homes. (First-time home buyer properties are especially in high demand.) If you sell now, these buyers will take notice right way and your home should sell quickly. This will mean having to deal with less open houses and showings. The entire selling process will be smoother. Once your home is “sold pending”, you won’t need to worry about keeping it “show ready 24/7”.

In 2021, homes were typically on the market for a single week (as compared to three weeks in 2019 and 11 weeks in 2013.)

Perk 2: Easier Terms for Home Sellers
In this market, contract terms favor the home seller. You can set the closing date and occupancy to your preferences. You do not need to offer home warranties, concede money for home repair or have to offer “carrots” to make the deal more alluring to buyers. With fewer sacrifices when selling, you are giving up less. According to the National Association of Realtors, 75% of home sellers did not offer any incentives to attract buyers in 2021.

Perk 3: More Money For Your New Home
With the home inventory shortage many homes on the market are receiving multiple offers. Competition for homes is driving prices upward. Sell your home now for a high market price and you will have more money to purchase that new home. According to NAR, 74% of home sellers did not have to reduce their asking price in 2021.

This does not mean asking too much for your home. If you overprice, the selling process will slow down and you may lose out on multiple, escalating offers. Talk to your agent about a pricing strategy.

Perk 4: You Can Trade Up to a Better Home
Upgrading your home to one that is larger or better suited to your needs is a great reason to sell now. Lock in a still-low mortgage rate. Even if the home costs 10 to 20 percent more, you will come out ahead in the long run in your new home.

Perk 5: Max out the Equity in Your Home
Now is a great time to take advantage of your home’s equity. Take your current mortgage balance and subtract it from your home’s estimated market value. That sum is your home’s equity. Your goal is to have enough equity to pay off your current mortgage and additional money to make a 20% down payment on a new home.

Should You Sell Now?
If you are motivated, you can handle the home-buying process once your old home has sold. It will take tenacity and deep understanding of the market. Working with your real estate agent will play a key role in hearing about homes coming onto the market. Patience and pricing strategies will be important factors in buying that new home.

If you’re willing to either rent or move in with family in the interim, you will have more time to find your new home. Also, you may be able to negotiate renting your current home from the new home buyer.

Sibcy Solutions
Not interested in a double move or need further assistance in securing a down payment for your new home? Sibcy Solutions offers innovative selling options that allow you to remain in your current home until you find a new one. For buyers, we can accelerate getting you into a home by making you a cash buyer. Your real estate agent or Sibcy Cline Loan Originator can review with you based on your unique situation.





7 Smart Reasons to Use Your Home Equity

Homeownership has cemented its role as part of the American Dream, providing families with a place that is their own and an avenue for building wealth over time. This ‘wealth’ is built, in large part, through the creation of equity…Building equity through your monthly principal payments and appreciation is a critical part of homeownership that can help you create financial stability.”

-Freddie Mac

The past year may have had its challenges, but there have been some silver linings. Home values, for example, have risen rapidly resulting in huge equity gains for homeowners. The average amount of equity that homeowners have gained in the last year is over $33,000 and the average homeowner has over $216,000 in equity (Source: CoreLogic).

These gains in equity are great news for homeowners. According to Jay Buten, VP of Production for Sibcy Cline Mortgage Services, “Now is a great time for homeowners to take advantage of the increased values and utilize the equity to improve their overall financial picture.”

There are many ways that homeowners can choose to use their equity to give themselves a leg up financially, from debt consolidation to college expenses. “It’s a great time for homeowners to evaluate their personal finances and look for opportunities to benefit from the increased equity they have gained.” said Buten.

Think you might be able to use your equity? Here are 7 smart ways to consider:

1. Move Up to Your Dream Home

One of the most common ways that homeowners use their equity is to sell their home in order to buy or build something more suitable to their needs. Sellers can use the cash they make at closing for their next down payment OR take out a bridge loan that allows them to borrow that cash before they close to make their down payment on a new home. 

2. Home Improvements

Improving your home can further increase its value and your equity, depending on the type of improvements you choose to do. 

3. College Costs

This can make sense when the interest rates are lower than other sources for borrowing money for education. 

4. Debt Consolidation

Homeowners can save money by using equity to pay off high-interest debt. 

5. Long-Term Investments

Some long-term investments, such as a second home or rental property, can be worth drawing on your equity. 

6. Wedding

Rather than using credit cards or other high-interest sources to fund a wedding, consider drawing on your home equity to celebrate this long-term commitment.

7. Start a business

Starting a business or investing in a current one can bring a huge return on the investment of your equity.

Ready to get started on buying or refinancing? Reach out to one of our Sibcy Cline loan officers!

Sibcy Cline Employee Spotlight: Damon DiBari

“My success is based on everyone’s success, and I truly enjoy being a part of everyone’s life and livelihood.”
  • Name:  Damon DiBari, CFP, ChFC, MBA 
  • Title: Senior Loan Officer 
  • Birthplace: Providence, RI 
  • Current home: Downtown Cincinnati’s West End
  • Proudest accomplishments:  Becoming a Certified Financial Planner and running three marathons 
  • Favorite local hangouts: Salazar’s in OTR and Washington Park’s bar area 

The virtual world that we live in now was only an imagined reality in the world Damon DiBari grew up in. “It’s like something from the 80’s sci-fi movies,” Damon says, “not something we thought we’d actually see in our lifetime. Now it is just the norm, the way we do business every day.” 

During the pandemic, the mortgage business couldn’t just come to a grinding halt, so making those sci-fi fantasies a reality has been a necessary move. People needed to buy and sell homes, so a pivot was the only option.  “In any industry, you have to have the ability to make a 180 change based on whatever the market is. You have to come up with your own method,” he says.

According to Damon, Sibcy Cline has proven its ability to shift in response to changes in the market and he believes that ability is what has made the mortgage division successful during COVID. “Covid pushed me to my limits on how efficiently I can handle our business.  I have changed processes, added new teammates, became virtual in a new virtual world.” 

In his 8 years with Sibcy Cline, Damon has been able to find a space for himself as a financial planner who gives advice and information to clients, rather than simply quoting rates and terms for a loan. One of his favorite parts about his job is the freedom it gives him to innovate and create personalized plans with clients, something he couldn’t do in his previous roles as a stockbroker and private banker. “The bigger banks I worked for in my career did not have that option. Here I can come up with a plan and Sibcy Cline helps me see it through.” 

It’s this kind of “personal touch” banking and the ability to innovate freely that Damon finds most rewarding in his job as a financial planner. “I have built excellent relationships that have been like family.  My success is based on everyone’s success, and I truly enjoy being a part of everyone’s life and livelihood,” he says.   

And the challenges that come along with that are not something that he shies away from. Rather, he sees fluctuations in the market as opportunities to learn and change so you can be better prepared for the future. “With the millennials seeing the housing crisis in 2008, they have been better prepared. They have saved carefully and are ready to buy houses. Right now, even with the Coronavirus, this is going to be the smartest group of buyers I’ve seen in my entire career. They know more, they’ve seen more,” he says.  

As someone who has seen tremendous change in his lifetime, Damon speaks from experience. In his own neighborhood in Cincinnati’s West End, he’s seen a huge shift from one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in the U.S. to what is now often referred to as “the Paris of the Midwest”.  “After college I got my first apartment downtown, right after the riots happened. It was rough time for downtown, before OTR was what it is now. You could find a property for $10,000 which are now selling for $500-600,000. It was a different time,” he says.

Being in the middle of so much urban upheaval in the early part of the 2000’s was far different than Damon’s upbringing on the outskirts of Cincinnati. “My parents moved here from Rhode Island and My dad worked for GE, so I grew up in Fairfield and West Chester in the 80’s, which was mostly farmland. I went to college at Miami, which was also pretty far out there…a gorgeous campus, but not in the middle of anything.”  

In spite of his rural-suburban roots, something about the urban life appealed to Damon. “They built a pocket neighborhood there in 2005 on the West End, where they built 15 brownstone rowhouses. I passed by there and I fell in love with them the first time I saw them,” he says.  Damon bought one of the brownstone houses and has lived there ever since, with no plans to leave. “Especially with the new FC stadium going in—I’m a big fan—I’m going to own that house forever,” he says.  

Another thing that Damon loves about the downtown life is being so close to the music scene. “I love music. I go to 20-30 concerts a year. I’m a Bunbury fan and I’ve been every year since its inception.” Damon’s also looking forward to downtown’s newest concert venue, The Icon Center. “It’s unbelievable. That is going to be a gem in the city.”  

It may seem like a distant reality to gather again in an indoor concert venue to enjoy live music, but Damon is confident that it’s not only imaginable, but possible. “Things will evolve,” he says, “there will always be something new, something we haven’t thought of.” 

Sibcy Cline Mortgage Services has a New, Mobile-Friendly Web Site!

SCMortgageWebsite.pngSibcy Cline Mortgage Services has transformed its website with a new look that is also mobile optimized. The site looks very fresh and current. Here is what you will find:

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Mortgage Calculators
Five easy-to-use calculators are featured on the site: How Much Can I Afford; Monthly Payment; FHA Monthly Payment; Refinance; and Rent vs. Own.

Built especially for Sibcy Cline, these calculators are some of the most comprehensive tools on the market providing not only just a principal and interest payment, but a full PITI (principal, interest, taxes and insurance) including mortgage insurance if the down payment is less than 20%.

The Rent vs. Own calculator includes average rate of return, inflation, opportunity costs and closing fees into its design and is updated to stay current. This is a great tool for current renters.

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Shop Local
Sibcy Cline is all about being local and 100% of Sibcy Cline Mortgage Services’ loan process is local. The interactive regional map allows potential home buyers to easily find a loan officer in their own neighborhood who in turn will refer those buyer leads to our local Sibcy Cline agents.

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Loan Product
Browsers on the site can learn all about the various loan products available from Sibcy Cline Mortgage Services. They can “like” the products of interest and opt to have more information emailed to them.

 

Sibcy Cline Mortgage Services Ranked Number Seven of Cincinnati’s Largest Residential Mortgage Lenders

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Sibcy Cline Mortgage Services has been ranked by the Business Courier as the 7th largest residential mortgage lender in the Greater Cincinnati region. Sibcy Cline Mortgage Services had 1,232 loans valued at $172.96 million from September 1, 2014 through August 31, 2015.

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The ranking appeared in the November 13, 2015 issue of the Business Courier.

 

Overlooked Sources of Down Payment Assistance

People
With interest rates hovering around historic lows, the main barrier to entry into the homeownership market is the cost of making a down payment. While saving for a down payment is still important, there are many sources of assistance that otherwise qualified homebuyers often do not consider. Knowing about these sources may help some buyers to enter the market earlier than they expected or purchase a home that they wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford.

Government Programs & Grants
Many prospective homeowners know that government programs exist, but either do not know about specific programs or grants that apply to them or assume that they are too affluent to qualify. In reality, applicants making as much as 140 percent of the median area income may qualify for government assistance. Additionally, there are specific programs that buyers may qualify for regardless of income.

Buyers who are new to the market or who have not owned a home in the previous three years often qualify for down payment assistance as a result of programs that are designed to encourage homeownership. Military veterans, service members on active duty, reserve personnel and their widows or widowers qualify for VA loans, which come with favorable terms including the possibility of a low down payment. Police, first responders and teachers may also qualify for government assistance through their work.

Interest-Free Loans
Another option may be to take out an interest-free loan to cover the down payment. These loans may come in the form of a secondary mortgage that only requires repayment after the original is paid off or the house is sold or some other, similar structure. Because homeowners who take out these loans will have no initial equity in their homes, this option is generally best for buyers who plan to own the property for many years.

There are a number of potential sources of interest-free loans, but a good place to start is your local government. Many cities offer interest-free loans to help area residents defray the cost of purchasing their first home.

Independent Options
If you have good credit, but you don’t have access to government programs, grants or interest-free loans, you may qualify for a down payment loan through a traditional lender. These loans are for well-qualified borrowers who do not have the money to make a down payment but who still represent attractive customers. Generally, these loans will have interest rates, meaning that they are not as attractive as other options. However, if these options aren’t available, traditional lenders may be happy to fill the gap.

Generous family members or foundations may also help buyers to clear the down payment hurdle. Many FHA programs allow up to 2 percent of a down payment to come from external funds. Properties that have been previously foreclosed upon by Fannie Mae may allow the entire down payment to be funded by a gift, grant or loan.

Making that first down payment is a major step in most Americans’ lives. It may be difficult, but most homeowners would agree that it is well worth it.

Need help with your mortgage? Contact Sibcy Cline Mortgage Services!

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Brought to you by our preferred Partner, 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.

 

Common FHA Appraisal Repair Items

Here are some common appraisal repair items to note when a home is sold via a FHA mortgage loan:

Paint roller

Chipped/Peeling Paint
Any chipped or peeling paint inside or out of homes built prior to 1978 must be corrected (including scraping and repainting.) All paint chips must be removed from the home.

Working on roof

Roof Condition
The roof must not leak or allow any moisture in to the home. The roof must be able to function well for two years.

Electrical Wiring
No frayed or exposed electrical wiring is permitted and must be corrected. Missing light switches or outlet covers must be replaced. Outdoor electrical boxes require weatherproof covers.

Utilities
All utilities must be turned on for the house inspection and appraiser.

Dry Basement
Older homes, by nature, may have moisture from time to time, and this is acceptable as long as the appraiser says it is typical. Newer homes with water in the basement on any regularity will require an inspection by a professional to determine the source of the water and any corrective measures.

Whenever possible, it is best to prepare in advance and correct the above issues prior to the appraiser performing an FHA inspection.

Need help with your home mortgage loan? Contact Sibcy Cline Mortgage Services.

Need help with home repair? Contact Sibcy Cline Home Services.

 

Why Home Loan Pre-Approval Is Important

Pre-Approved

If you are planning on purchasing a home, pre-approval for a home mortgage loan can make a difference when making an offer. Here is why:

You Are Serious
With pre-qualification, you are showing a seller you are a serious buyer and this may work in your favor. Your offer to purchase may look attractive since the seller will not need to wait days to see if you are approved for a mortgage. (In competitive selling markets, non-approved buyers risk getting offers accepted.) If there are multiple offers on the home, a pre-qualified buyer may be the most attractive one.

You Know What You Can Afford
Without pre-qualification you do not know how much home-buying power you have. Why waste time looking at homes you cannot afford?

Need To Be Pre-approved?
Contact Sibcy Cline Mortgage Services.