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March
11

Buying a home can be a challenging process for young people. Millennials are buying homes at a higher rate than ever, but there are some caveats. A home inspection, while routine, should be taken seriously. From ground to roof, the entire house will be evaluated for fitness to purchase. This means the inspector walks through, documents the state of things, and points out any issues. Know what to look for in an inspection and how to know if this is a make-or-break issue during the process. 

 

Water Issues

Managing water starts with the exterior of a home and goes inside. One of the biggest contributors to a failed inspection is water leaking, damage, or other issues with water management. Foundations may be compromised, causing issues down the road. If water is managed well, this can help the cause. If the house is poorly managed, then water may continue to erode the foundation, seep into the home, or cause other damage. Inside the home, well and septic systems should be inspected along with filters and water heaters to make sure they've been maintained on schedule without issue.

 

Look Above and Below

Although the foundation is very important to a home, so is the attic. If the attic is not properly ventilated, the roof will not last to its full expectancy. Insulation in the attic is important, along with knowing how well it stays cool in summer and warm in winter. Airflow management is essential, but so it's keeping it well maintained.

 

Maintenance Challenges

Young buyers may be more eager to get into a dream home and start to work on creating that perfect property. To keep it in the best condition possible, there is a significant investment of time (and money) required. Homes built in the 1970s and earlier, in particular, were not maintained as well as necessary. Some have been given a few upgrades here and there, but not kept up well enough to escape constant upkeep. To keep dirt and debris buildup near doors and other areas, it means work. Upkeep and maintenance avoid big issues like the replacement of parts and systems down the road. 

 

A home inspection is done to keep the potential buyer aware of any issues that may come up. It does not guarantee there are no other issues or this will fix everything. The key is to stay on top of what needs immediate attention and be willing to go the extra mile to keep things updated as needed. Put away an emergency fund and look into a home warranty as ways to save some money for when things need repairs or replacement down the road. Most of all, enjoy the process of finding the right home. 



Families often look for that perfect home without realizing all homes have their issues. Choice Properties helps many families and individuals look for that perfect property. We make sure from the start until inspection and beyond you are happy with your home search and purchase. Call us to find out how we can partner with you to find the perfect home to suit your needs.

March
4

Real estate professionals often say the best time to buy a property depends on the market. Depending on where a person lives, there may be variations on when the best time is to sell a home and buy a new one. The property search can take some time. Springtime is when the market becomes flooded with properties, for sale in time for summer to end and school to begin. Buying a property in springtime never looked better. Find out why and how to get started.

 

Know Your Springs

Springtime is different depending on who you ask. The natural home-buying season starts around April and goes until June. After mid-June, sales and purchases may decline as people take a vacation and go away for summer trips. Springtime home buying can apply to other months of the year. In warmer climates, this means January through May. In the Midwest, this can begin when the snow melts and people start to warm to the idea of selling or buying with the winter thaw. Don't think too long and hard about timing. Speak to a real estate professional for advice but definitely do what feels the best when it feels like the time is right. 

 

A Little Prep Goes a Long Way

Depending on where a buyer lands, it may be helpful to spend time in the new place if possible. Check out the local scene, the schools, neighborhoods, and entertainment districts. See what people do, who is out, and get to know the area better. Interview real estate agents who seem to have a pulse on the current market trends. An agent who specializes in the area may be more familiar with downtrends and knowing when the best time to look in that area is for that perfect home. Keep location as the primary focus. It should meet the basic requirements and be in good shape. Other than that, don't worry about traditional things like looking for the perfect time. The perfect time to buy maybe now.

 

Catch a Glimpse

One of the best ways to see a home and all its flaws is right after winter has ended and spring comes along. Any leaking, wear and tear, and repairs tend to show up once the cooler weather wanes. This makes it easier to spot issues as opposed to house-hunting in winter. The snow is gone, the fog is rolling away, and the time is right to do some general inspections from the outside to see how a neighborhood, and property, have fared the weather. If all looks good, it might be worth a closer look. Any red flags like weather-worn roofs, siding, or other issues will appear and can be a sign to inspect further or walk away until the right home comes available. 

 

Don't hesitate to contact a professional in the Ohio market who understands the trends. Choice Properties has people ready to assist your search this spring, or anytime, so you can find the right home for you and your family. There are many things to consider when searching for that perfect property. Call us to have us help you set up an appointment to discuss what you need and get you started on the search. 

February
19

 

Millennials are a unique group of people with a wide array of interests, experiences, and desires for travel and adventure. They also struggle under the weight of debt for school while seeking to be employed in a shifting economy. Living 'paycheck to paycheck' is the norm for many millennials, but now they are seeking new opportunities in real estate. While homeownership seemed out of reach for many people due to rising costs, nearly half of millennial first-time homebuyers feel ready to purchase their first home. 

 

Meeting the Challenges

Millennials are not new to challenges. Unfairly labeled as 'having it easier,' than previous generations, they work hard to create new work environments and spaces, redefining what people think of as 'work.' Delayed marriage can often delay the onset of that first home purchase. More often, millennials are working while raising a family to keep costs low. Older millennials graduated during the last great recession and found themselves struggling with an economy not hiring, school debt, and a housing crisis all in one. This made them more resilient and less fearful in the current economy to strike while the iron is hot.

 

Home Ownership Perks

Giving up creature comforts like going out to eat with friends and buying the latest gadget is easy for some millennials focused on buying a home. Young homeowners are getting savvy about what they buy, where, and how they invest in property for the future. As millennials make their new homes, renovate, and buy furniture, they create space for themselves and the family they can enjoy. They are looking to move out of bigger, more expensive cities in suburbs or smaller towns with a more community feel. Some of the perks they enjoy:

  • DIY projects with the help of more stores and helpful shows demonstrating how to care for a home
  • Using the sharing economy to barter and use friends to help them navigate homeownership like lawn care and maintenance
  • Creating vibrant communities of young people with young families
  • Investing time in learning about interest rates and mortgages to avoid higher payments in the future 
  • Buying less house for the money or investing in fixer-uppers
  • Encouraging friends and other millennials to invest in their own homes

 

Building equity for the future is important. It is also important to have a stable home environment in which to raise a family. The concerns and worries over rentals can drive people to homeownership quickly, investing more money up front to make an investment down the road. Millennials are joining the homeownership club now more than ever and reaping the great benefits of having their own property to call home sweet home. 

 

Millennials are not the only people purchasing homes. Everyone is looking to own property at low-interest rates and in affordable markets. Choice Properties helps you decide where and when to invest in property for your future. If you are a millennial, or someone looking to buy a future home, call us. Let us help you make the best investment possible for your family.

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.

October
24

Autumn is officially upon us. There are a number of reasons people are fond over the season from hayrides, chilly days with warm soup, and football weekend. You can't forget the plus of enjoying pumpkin flavored anything! But, it's not just the cooler temperature that should get you excited. House hunting can be very successful in the fall, as autumn proves to be a great time to buy a new home in Ohio. So, why is fall the best time to buy a house?

Home Sellers Are More Serious

Although there may be a little less inventory, those in the market are serious about selling their home before the holidays, otherwise, they would wait until spring. A motivated seller brings the potential of negotiating offering prices. Fall also brings a lower competition from other interested buyers, giving you an advantage of having first dibs on a home.

 

Less Competition for Home Buyers

Previously mentioned, fall comes with lower competition in the real estate market. This means you will not feel rushed during the home buying process, having more time to look and attend open houses. This also allows an appropriate timing for negotiating a great deal for a price that suits your needs, without the worry of competing against multiple buyers.

 

Lower Home Prices

Moving during the Autumn often means paying slightly less than usual. Due to it being the off season for real estate, pricing is less competitive as homeowners are looking to sell fast before the holidays. To add to this, homeowners who list their home during the fall and winter months are usually on a timeline, making them a motivated seller. 

 

Choice Properties offers you a chance to find the home of your dreams. We work with your budget and ideas in mind to support your ultimate vision. Call us if you are ready to check out the available inventory or to speak with a reputable agent who can assist you with your home buying needs.

September
25

Buying a home is the American dream that many families hold. We all know it's never cheap to purchase a home, and may take a couple years to save for an appropriate downpayment. But, how much should you save for a downpayment on a home? Typically, it is suggested you save 5% of your maximum budget. Meaning, if your budget for purchasing a home is $180,000, you should save $9,000 for a down payment. With the right tips and tricks, you will be able to save up for a down payment in no time. Try these tips on saving money for a down payment, turning your dream of purchasing a home into a reality! 

Develop a Savings Plan

Taking time to create a savings plan will help you stay organized on spending habits, along with developing a timeline. If you are looking to move in two years, calculate how much you need to save each month to have a 5% down payment you're seeking. In order to make a savings plan, you will need to carefully comb through your weekly and monthly spending to figure out the amount you are able to save in a certain timeframe. Some things to include when making your monthly budget include:

  • Gas expenses
  • Grocery shopping 
  • Rent/monthly housing payment
  • Car Payments/insurance 
  • Utility bills
  • Emergency funds 
  • Miscellaneous expenses 

Avoid Mindless Spending

Along with making a savings plan, make a note to avoid mindless spending. Once you start to manage your spending habits, you will quickly notice the amount you spend without even realizing it. Doing so could easily save you a couple hundred dollars a month. 

Take Your Time

Buying a new home is exciting, and it can be hard to not rush the process. Perhaps you are ready for this next step in life. However, it's important to remember not to get ahead of yourself. Take your time with the homebuying process, and be sure to not bite off more than you can chew. When you are ready to start the home buying process, contact the expert real estate agents at Choice Properties! Whether you are a first time homebuyer or experienced in the process, our team is eager to assist. 



Choice Properties understands your needs and desires when it comes to the home search. We are here to help you define what you want, seek the best property and move forward feeling educated and able to make good decisions throughout the process. You can trust us to help you navigate it with the best real estate agents working for you. Call us to get started on your dream home search today.

September
4

Buying a new home is an exciting time in life! Whether you are a first time homebuyer or experienced in the homebuying process, it is a huge accomplishment. However, the downpayment and monthly mortgage isn't the only costs that come with owning a home. Homeowners insurance may often be overlooked by first time homebuyers, as it's not a popular topic of discussion. When financing through a bank, homeowners insurance is typically required. Although it's required, it's most certainly worth the cost. Navigating through various homeowners insurance policies may feel confusing. Here is what to look out for when searching for the best homeowners insurance, ensuring you're paying the best price for the best coverage. 

 

1. Coverage

 

Coverage is the most important factor when searching for the right homeowners insurance. Most offer an array of coverage policies which are broken down by the amount protection they offer. This means how much the insurance company will replace your valuables after a natural disaster or a loss. The three main types of coverage policies include:

 

  • Cash Value Replacement Coverage: This option will replace the cash value of the items lost, while taking into account the depreciation of your personal items.
  • Full Replacement Coverage: Full replacement coverage will reimburse you the complete cost of your items, at today's cost. Meaning there is no depreciation. 
  • Guaranteed Replacement Cost Coverage: If your home is a total loss, this coverage will completely reimburse the actual cost with no coverage limits, in today's dollar amount.

2. Additional Coverage Plans

There are an array of coverage plans that you can add to your existing policy, for even more protection. Many opt for this if they live in an area where natural disasters are known to occur. This may include:

 

  • Flood Insurance: Those who live in areas prone to flooding are encouraged to purchase an add-on of flood insurance onto their policy. This will ensure your items are covered following an event of a flood or severe storm surges.
  •  Earthquake Insurance: This plan will protect your values and items in an event of an earthquake. Those residing in California are more inclined to include this policy onto their plan. 

3. Get Three Quotes Before Making a Decision

Just as you browse and shop for your new home, you will want to do the same for homeowners insurance. Take this time to consider what you need within a policy, in terms of the coverage needed and where you reside. For example, those buying a home in Ohio most likely do not need earthquake insurance. By shopping around and learning pricing and options available, you will be able to make the best decision.




Choice Properties offers you a chance to find the home of your dreams. We work with your budget and ideas in mind to support your ultimate vision. Call us if you are ready to check out the available inventory or to speak with a reputable agent who can assist you with your home buying needs.

August
7

Making the leap from renting a home to owning a home is a huge reward! The hard work and savings have finally paid off and you are now ready to work with a real estate agent on making your dream a reality. But, perhaps you're wondering what to expect when buying your first home. It's natural to feel a sense of stress when making a large investment, as there will be a shift in responsibility and life changes. However, don't let this scare you out of your dream! Owning a home is one of the best accomplishments you will experience in life. Check out this guide on going from a renter to a first time homeowner to fully embrace each step. 

Increase in Responsibility

The best part about owning a home is having the freedom to make the space unique to you. You can paint the walls, replace kitchen cabinets, plus take full advantage of the financial savings that come with buying a home over renting a home. These are intriguing benefits of buying a home, but it's important to remember the increase of responsibility that also accompanies homeownership. This means being financially able to make any unexpected repairs, such as a broken cooling or heating. 

Repairs, Renovations, and Updates

Chances are, when buying your first home the house will need minor repairs or updates. Many incorporate this within their budget when looking at homes on the market. Becoming a homeowner means repairing broken appliances or leaky faucets, as well as any additional expenses. When working with your trusted real estate agent during the home buying process, take time to assess damages or repairs that will need addressed both in the short term and long term. If you do come across a home emergency that needs addressed as soon as possible, reach out to neighbors in your community for referrals.

Miscellaneous Home Buying Expenses

Unfortunately, there's more to simply getting a mortgage and buying a home. There is the cost of the house, but other upfront and miscellaneous expenses that may catch you off guard. It's important to educate yourself on the hidden, unexpected costs of purchasing a home. Here are some extra expenses to consider:

 

  • Home inspections 
  • Home insurance
  • Closing costs (Lender fees, Appraisal, Title, Escrow fees, Interset)

 

  • Maintenance and repairs



Choice Properties understands your needs and desires when it comes to the home search. We are here to help you define what you want, seek the best property and move forward feeling educated and able to make good decisions throughout the process. You can trust us to help you navigate it with the best real estate agents working for you. Call us to get started on your dream home search today.

 

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