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January
30

 

The first home purchase a person makes is exciting. There is furniture to buy, appliances to put in, that first house warming party to have with friends and family, too. With all the great things happening, it is easy to overlook the challenges of home maintenance. Things break and need repair. When a new homeowner gets a house, they may need to do some things upfront to keep things running smoothly or perhaps something breaks along the way. Here is a deep dive into home maintenance to-dos that need to be handled the first year. 

 

Furnace

The last thing a person wants to worry about is the furnace going out. Dust and grime can build up in a furnace. Clogged filters can make them less efficient, but also a fire hazard. Harmful allergens can get stuck in there and this can harm air quality. Don't let this happen. Do regular checks and look for some issues:

  • Turn off the system and pull filters
  • Inspect for dirt and grime
  • Get replacements at the store
  • Remove old filter and toss
  • Be sure to do this right away upon move-in and every year thereafter

 

Caulking Windows

Winter heat loss happens with cracks inside a home. Sealing the space around windows really goes a long way to helping this issue. Caulking products vary depending on windows and siding. Ask a salesperson what kind of caulk that is needed for a certain finish. With the right caulk, there is no need to repeat again next season. How to do it well:

  • Apply caulk carefully
  • Make sure surfaces are dry
  • Look for temperature specs in the product info
  • Start the project after things have leveled out

 

Do this on an as-needed basis. Inspect every summer and touch up but it may not need a full overhaul every year.

 

Inspect Basement and Crawl Spaces

To avoid water damage to the foundation, it is best to check for any leaks. Get into a crawl space and look around for any signs of water. It helps to also look for mold. Flashlights are helpful to inspect corners, edges, and other small nooks for changes in color or odor. Home inspectors are good for this process because they make sure everything checks out and can fix the problem by calling in someone qualified to handle the leaks. 

 

It is best not to let things slide. Make a yearly checklist to follow up with things. Make note of some things to check more frequently, but don't hesitate to keep up with things as they need work because it will be better for the home (and safety) overall to stay on top of it.

 

 

Choice Properties knows buying that first home is hard. It is a big commitment and decision. We help you make it easier by giving you space to look at the homes you want, understand the type of property you are looking for, and spend time finding just the right space for your needs. Call us if you are ready to get started.

 

January
27

 

When a home is near water, people usually look for certain features. They may like the serenity and peace or maybe they are looking for a vacation getaway property. Waterfront property is usually expensive due to high demand, but it may also cost more for flood insurance and upkeep, depending on the property. With a waterfront home, there is also a view people love. It is a good feeling to come home and show off the property to others and host gatherings. Find out more about why people flock to waterfront homes and how to buy the right home for your family. 

 

Lifestyle

There are a certain lifestyle people like by the water. People love to have access to water sports, jet skiing, and wake-boarding. Maybe they need equipment to do certain things. In some cases, a boat may cost half as much as the house or more, depending on the model. It is a good idea to look into rentals as well as purchase deals. There may be some ways to lower the costs of waterfront property to afford a lifestyle. For instance, if walking into town is not necessarily high on the list, maybe getting one further away is acceptable to have a better view of the water. Keep in mind lifestyle when looking at properties to find just the right one. 

 

Value

The value people get from their homes is not just in how much they love spending time there.  Oftentimes, there is monetary value in buying waterfront property. Resale values are higher for homes by the water because they tend to hold value while other homes decline. People who should want to move may be able to rent the property out or do other things with the property if they are not there year-round. This adds value but also brings in extra income for upkeep. 

 

Community

A community of people who live by water usually love being on and around the water itself. This might mean boating, skiing, and recreating. This makes for a great environment for children because they get to participate in water activities with friends and family. Parents may want their kids to grow up near water, including lakes and rivers. Waterfront homes tend to have low crime and be close to good schools. This depends on the home and where it is located.

 

Getting the most use out of a waterfront home is key for so many reasons. A good broker can help people navigate what they are looking for in a waterfront home and help them make the best decision possible for their family.



Families who go with Choice Properties are going with the best choice out there. The goal of buying property is often to find the dream home people have always wanted. With Choice Properties, we specialize in the Ohio market to find the right property for you. Call us if you are ready to move forward with your home search.

January
24

 

Getting ready to move is a big endeavor. When people have small kids, it is especially daunting. With really little kids, like babies, they come with extra baggage and things they need to keep them entertained. Getting settled can feel like a bigger chore than anyone ever realized. Try some helpful tips when thinking about whether or not to move with small children and how to make it more successful. 

 

Packing

This may seem like a no-brainer, but packing with kids is pretty difficult (if not impossible). There may be no way around it, but packing and unpacking is easier when they are asleep. Toys are especially hard to wrestle away from them. Leave a box of toys out until the end and leave a few things to play with at the new house. 

 

Get Support

Family, friends, and loved ones are especially helpful for taking care of kids. They need to be entertained, but sometimes adults have to do the cleaning and getting the house ready for the buyer. If friends or family want to serve them, it is best to ask in advance. Plan ahead and bring in recruits to keep things fun and easier to manage. They might even consider taking them away from the house to get things done quicker.

 

Do it Early

Don't wait until the last minute (unless there is no choice). Start months earlier than seems necessary. It may take twice as long to get things done with kids. Get small stuff done, like decluttering, donating unwanted items, and putting things into storage bins now. Hands are full of kids, but even more full when it comes to dealing with packing up a house. Get a head start to keep things moving more smoothly. 

 

Use Social Media

Social media sites are huge right now for selling unwanted items. It is like a big garage sale. Craigslist and mom's groups on Facebook are a great place to get some help. Just leave it on the doorstep (for most things) and people can come to pick up what they want and leave the money. It is surprising what people may buy (old toys, unused clothing, furniture or accessories) and give some pocket money to buy new things for the next home.

 

Take the time to say good-bye properly to the old house. Walk around the neighborhood, meet people, and say good-bye to each room, one by one. Honor the memories made in those rooms and acknowledge the new days ahead. It will be challenging for a while, but then things settle and it begins to feel like home again.

 

Families who are looking for properties to purchase need look no further than Ohio. We provide a service for you that is stellar and professional. Our goal is to help you find the right next home for your family. With our resources, we are able to support your journey of finding the next home while navigating the sale of an existing home or becoming a first-time buyer. Let Choice Properties be the place you go to get help with your home search.

January
8

Getting older can be challenging for people. There are greater risks of injury for older people. The home that used to be secure and safe now feels like it is full of hazards. Seniors who want to remain at home often feel they are left with few choices as to how best to stay in place rather than move somewhere else. Giving up a home is difficult, including moving belongings and going somewhere new to start over again. Find out some of the tips to eliminate falling risk in the home and to maintain safety.

 

Balance

Many times older adults struggle with balance. As people age, their bones and muscles weaken. The best way to prevent this side effect of aging is to do yoga, Pilates, and water aerobics classes to improve balance. Many seniors have the option to take classes for free. Health insurance may also offer plans that cover benefits for seniors who want to age well. Check with local park district programs, fitness centers, and gyms to find out more information.

 

Check Flooring

One of the most high-risk situations for seniors is flooring. Hardwood, linoleum, or similar types of flooring are hazards for older people. Carpeting can also be tricky to navigate. Certain rooms have an increased risk of falls, including bathrooms and kitchens. Replace floors with non-slip flooring to make walking safer.

 

Enhance Bone Strength

Bone density wanes over time. The more a person can work to keep their bones healthy, the better. If bones are frail, they are more likely to move out of joint or break in a fall. Seniors who experience serious fractures or breaks are often susceptible to more diseases, surgeries, and shorter life expectancy. Prioritize taking care of bone health by getting screened by a doctor and speaking with them about supplements to support stronger bones.

 

Stairways and Handrails

Stairs are almost a no-brainer for aging adults. They are a huge fall hazard for seniors, especially those living alone. It may be time to think about how to move living quarters into another area of the house or live on one floor of the home. Handrails are also important. In rooms where seniors might not be able to navigate a home well, handrails can help seniors move around the bathroom, stairs, and hallways with less risk. 

Falls can be scary and even life-threatening. They may be a sign of other things going on like Alzheimer's. It is best to check in with older adults to see how they can best set up their homes to keep them there as long as possible. If necessary, an adult child or family member may have to move in with them to support their journey of healing into their older years in a healthy way.



Families who are looking for properties to purchase need look no further than Ohio. Choice properties help families make good decisions when it comes to their home purchase or sale. Call us if you are ready to make the choice to move forward with buying or selling your home. 

 

December
28

Selling a home can be a tumultuous process. While some offers may seem great upfront, it does not signify the process is almost over by any means. Between offer and closing, there is the actual sale that requires lots of time and persistence to make it through. It is often a rapid-fire time of answering and responding to emails, questions, and inquiries about credit histories and property values, and other things that can derail a home sale at any point before closing. Find out some of the top reasons why pending sales fall through and how to navigate this with an experienced realtor.

Pending Sales

Terminology is key when talking about property sales. A sale is considered to be pending when a seller accepts a buyer's offer until the sale is closed. Some agents also call this 'being under contract' or 'contract pending.' There may be contingencies that come up in the process, meaning either buyer or seller has requests that must be fulfilled as part of the contract. This prevents them from getting into the deal and being stuck if major repairs are needed. 

Mortgage Application

A common reason for pending sales to fall through is the buyer cannot qualify for financing. Most buyers finance a home because they don't have enough equity to purchase one outright. A letter is often submitted that they are pre-approved or pre-qualified for a loan. This is not a guarantee, but an estimate of how much the bank believes the buyer can afford. This means checking credit history, getting verified documents of income, and making sure they have enough money to continue making payments after the purchase goes through. 

Home Inspection

The home inspection is often where good sales deals go wrong. A professional home inspection can reveal concerns or problems a buyer is not aware of, maybe even the seller, until the report comes back. Some common issues they look for:

  • Mold
  • Foundational issues
  • Roof damage or lack of upkeep
  • Interior hardware like furnaces and water heaters including the age of these appliances

Buyer's Sale

When buyers look for a new home, they are usually trying to sell their primary residence. Doing this at the same time is tricky. If they find a home they love, they might write up an offer and include a home sale contingency. They will have sometimes up to 60 days to sell their home and keep the current offer on the table. Market conditions are important to this process to see if there may be other, better offers, or if the person is definitely a good candidate to sell their home, also, and move forward with the process.

Prevention Tips

When you know what to look for, you can often take preventative steps to keep the process going smoothly. Explore some proactive measures that might be helpful:

  • Keep contingencies in mind: some sellers require a pre-approval letter and proof of funds prior to moving forward. A strong letter and good down payment are signs the buyer can get a mortgage without major issues
  • Pre-inspection: this step will alert you to problems that might hinder the sale of your property and give you time to fix them before trying it out in the market. The older the home, more repairs there will so be/ aware this can actually save money in the long run
  • Appraiser: give them a fact sheet with things like square footage and comps in the neighborhood. The appraisal may be subjective but let them know you are aware of what local averages and ranges are so you feel you get the best appraisal for your property
  • Keep a list of repairs: if you made repairs and upgrades, you are on your way. If you have a good school district, this is often a selling point for families. Consider this a selling point and look at all the things that have been dong as potential upgrades to a buyer

Real estate transactions come with real risk and uncertainty. To have more certainty in the process, it helps to have some ducks in a row ahead of time to make the process go more smoothly on the back end and sell your home or buy the potential home of your dreams. 

 

Trying to make the process easier is the job of a real estate agent, but there are some things sellers and buyers can do ahead of time to make it go more smoothly. If you are ready to jump into the transaction part of the journey, we will help you navigate the process of selling or buying a property. Choice Properties has experienced agents ready to answer questions and help you get started on the process. Call us to get started. 

December
18

Going to open houses is part of the home search for some buyers. While many like to wander into homes and just take a peek, there is some intentionality behind deciding which homes are the best to look at and how to know what to look for on those tours to get the most information out of them. Having a strategy that helps determine whether a home is a good fit is a good start. Let's get started on what other ways home buyers can inform their searches with the right tools.

Decor

The way a person designs a house with their personal touch can make the difference between an enjoyable experience and one that feels like you walked into a museum. Although sellers are told to make the house look 'like nobody lives there' so a potential buyer will see themselves in the space, sometimes it is a bit too stoic and not enough effort was put into thinking how it might come across to buyers. Personal touch aside, whether a home is designed with mid-century modern furniture or floral patterns should not be the biggest concern about a home's potential. Don't focus here too much, as there are other, bigger, structural things to be concerned about since the furniture will not be staying and walls can always be painted. 

Fixtures

Lighting schemes and features are smaller elements that can make a home look elegant and nice. Smaller appliances that are present (or absent) can tell a lot about a home owner's upkeep around the house. These cosmetic features are not going to break the bank when it comes to redecorating. They do not impact overall safety but do provide space to put a personal touch into the home. With this in mind, fix your eyes on the bigger pieces of this puzzle when it comes to appliances, whether they function properly, and any safety hazards to be mindful of that may seem invisible at first. 

Suspicious Smells

Homebuyers need to open all five senses walking into a property. If you are hit with a musty odor coming in the door, that might repel you to leave right away. Your nose can actually uncover issues that may linger in the home. Mold and mildew are two problems that can be detected by smell. This may be hazardous to your health and resolving it may be hazardous to the pocketbook, eventually. 

Some Other Considerations

Looking around a home, there are some things to watch for that are helpful when finalizing a decision during an open house tour:

  • What condition the walls and floors are in. Look for cracks, warping, watermarks, and other signs the foundation or walls have issues that go deeper than surface-level
  • Systems that include wiring, HVAC, and water heaters or furnaces should be evaluated. Leaking issues, old hardware, and lots of nonfunctioning appliances may be a sign of issues that will need to be addressed before going forward with the home purchase
  • Permit issues: any buildings on the property or additions and remodels done without permits can cause a surprise after a home sale. Unpermitted construction can be a safety concern if not done properly, as well as fines that may come with it to bring the work to code later (falling on the current owner if not listed ahead of time).

These are just starting points to the conversation when walking through during an open house. The in-depth details can get worked out later, but things that stand out immediately as a potential hazard can spell disaster down the line. It is best to try and get out while you can and save yourself the aggravation if it seems the home is not kept up properly. For mostly cosmetic things, that can be dealt with later to add personal touches and maybe a sign you could put some money down on the property and try to make it your own.

 

Looking for that perfect home is sure to be met with lots of questions and searching. At Choice Properties, we make the home buying process easier and more streamlined. With so many options available, we strive to give you the best service when it comes to helping you find the home of your dreams. Give us a call if you are ready to start the process of buying your next home. 

December
10

 

Moving to a new home is nerve-wracking for many homebuyers, regardless of whether it is their first time or one of many homes they have purchased. Location is key for many buyers, with good reason. A decent location with access to quality schools, easy transportation to work, and local, family-friendly activities gets people excited about the possibilities of being in a neighborhood that functions well and will be a home for years to come. A home that is near a busy highway or roads can be a worthwhile investment, so long as the family knows all the pitfalls of being too close to traffic. Learn more about roads and highways and just how much they impact home value.

 

Mapping the Roads

Traffic volume, location of major roads, and proximity to homes are all key elements of understanding the way roads and highways affect home value. If a road is marked as a 'motorway,' this usually indicates high traffic. Anything marked 'residential road' usually has low traffic volume. It is important to talk with the realtor and find out more about the neighborhood if there are concerns about traffic or noise pollution. Even suburban areas with residential neighborhoods can have higher levels of traffic, depending on pending developments or other issues at hand. 

 

Adjusting Values for Roads

It helps when looking at home values to understand why we need to adjust them based on roads. It is difficult to know which road is responsible for a home selling for more or less than its value. By reviewing maps and local home values, it can inform some of the reasons why this happens. In most cases, a home may be affected by a busy road only by distance to the nearest busy road. The distance and cutoff approach does not work well where there are fewer homes. If a home is near a big highway but another one is between that home and the highway, it is still reasonable to consider a busy road adjustment for the first home. Homes not so near that highway will not have the same adjustment, even if they are still nearby. A group of homes or subdivisions located near a highway might have higher home values if it is a commuter situation where people in that area are likely to live there because they can compute costs associated with people desiring a location near arteries that take them into a major city. People likely will pay more to live in those areas than rural ones further from desirable ones. 

 

Road Geometry

Home values are calculated by looking at road geometry. This means reviewing home coordinates and putting them into a set of points for a given market. This generates a diagram from the set of all points. This Voronoi diagram looks at all home points to compute where the region touches a road point. If a home region touches a road region, that home is adjacent to that road. The region of space is closer to that road than anything else. Data may seem unimportant but it is the bigger picture of how home values are determined. New roads are built all the time so it is important to keep it updated for buyers and sellers, as well as real estate agents. Looking at this data gives people an idea where the best places are to build with the best opportunity to sell their units and make a profit. When people have information, they are more empowered to move forward with their purchases and sales, informing the process all the way through. 



Finding that top-notch property is tough work. There is a lot to consider. When you make the decision to work with Choice Properties, we have done all the leg work. All you have to do is find the house of your dreams and we are ready to help you make it a reality. We specialize in meeting your home buying and selling needs all the way to close. Call us to find out how we can help you today.   

December
5

Buyers looking to get into a home are often looking to finagle their way to a good deal just as much as the seller wants top dollar. Each one has to compromise and meet in the middle when it comes to negotiations. Finalizing the offer can often be a tough road, but once both parties come to an agreement, the real fun starts. When a seller accepts the offer, there is still a lot to do. Find out how to navigate this road to complete a home sale. 

Sign the Purchase Agreement

An offer on a house is considered 'under contract' when it is accepted and signed in writing by both the seller and potential buyer. This written contract is called a purchase agreement. Think of it as the first step in finalizing the sale of the property. There are some things to keep in mind about what it means:

  • Financial details are outlined like earnest money deposits, financing, and closing costs
  • Contingencies
  • Timelines are laid out
  • Closing date is agreed upon

Lots of little details are figured out at this point like the condition of the home, disclosures, and any seller concessions, repairs or credits. Once the agreement is signed and money deposited, the buyer has the right to purchase the property.

Negotiations

Sellers ultimately want to get the most for their house value. They are often willing to negotiate lots of things to get what they want, but the buyer also wants a good value. A counteroffer may be thrown out there at this time but a seller may not want to make requested changes. When thinking about negotiation, consider the purchase price and down payment, adjusting the length of closing, modifying contingencies and reviewer any credits being offered. When accepting a home buyer's offer, make sure all the cards are on the table to make it the best sale possible. 

Backing Out

Trying to get out of a purchase agreement can get kind of messy, a bit in that gray area of the process. Withdrawal of the offer if agreements are not made can be tricky. What determines how things go really depends on where things are in the process and the reason for backing out. Negotiations can always be made, but it might be better for both parties to re-negotiate than lose out on the sale and purchase of the property.

Acceptance of an offer might seem like the endless days of finding the perfect home has come to an end. However, it is the start of another journey to finalize everything and close. Until close, anything can happen. Work with your agent to establish a game plan and prepare the way for things that can happen between an agreement to the final closing. A home buyer's offer can be accepted with lots of contingencies to finalize, so be aware of all these walking into it and have an open mind until the day of close to being open to the process for the best outcome.



Looking for the best real estate professionals to help in home purchase and sales can be difficult. Look no further than Choice Properties to help you finally end that search and give you what you need. With all the options out there, we work with you to determine what you want and how to get there. Contact one of our top notch realtors at Choice Properties who specialize in your local market to find the property that is right for you.

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