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August
2

Generally, real estate is often a smart and rewarding investment option. It is a great way to produce an ongoing income and can be a smart investment if the property value increases over the years. However, buying an apartment complex, restaurant, or piece of land may become expensive. It's important to be sure you are financially stable to start investing in real estate, and consider the ongoing maintenance costs as well as gaps between tenants. So, should you invest in real estate? Here are some tips to see if it's the right path for you:

Pay Investments in Cash

Most financial experts advise against taking out a loan for an investment project, which should be taken into consideration before investing in a piece of real estate. If you do take out a loan, it's suggested you're able to afford the monthly payment without relying on renters income. Keep in mind, there can be a high turnover with renters as there may be gaps in time where there are no renters on the property. This may become more of a financial burden if you are not able to afford the mortgage without renters, which could negatively impact your credit and create financial issues in the long run. Paying in cash eliminates these worries. 

Plan Out Expenses

When purchasing real estate, whether for personal or investment reasons, it's always smart to plan out your expenses. Consider the cost of taxes, maintenance repairs, utilities, and building upkeep. When planning expenses, estimate the cost you will be asking for your rental property so that fees and other expenses are covered. 

Research the Property

When investing in real estate that you plan on selling down the road, it's crucial to thoroughly research the property. Look into development plans or new roads that are being expected to be built to ensure it does not impact the property value. Also take time to research nearby neighborhoods for market value, if the area is up-and-coming, and other external factors. 

Investing in real estate is an appealing idea to many! With the proper planning and steps taken, it can be done well and successfully. If you are interested in starting the steps to investing in property, contact a Choice Properties real estate agent today!




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
26

Benefits of Working With Our Award Winning Ohio Real Estate Agents

The Choice Properties tagline, "Your Choice for Better Service" is something we proudly stand by as Ohio real estate agents. We are committed to serving Logan County and the surrounding areas with the buyer or seller in mind, helping individuals accomplish goals they never imagined. Our staff of expert realtors provide top-notch customer service with a friendly, yet professional approach. The Choice Properties team holds unbeatable knowledge of the area as we continue to be active within the community, immersing ourselves into the market.

Locally owned, Choice Properties is a full service Real Estate agency with offices located in Russells Point at scenic Indian Lake and in Bellefontaine, Ohio. We offer a range of services from residential to commercial, agricultural to waterfront, and first-time buyers to retirees. No matter the status, our agents are ready to assist your next journey in life.

Why Choose Choice?

Our expert agents are trained to handle every mishap that may occur during the buying or selling process. This means having the understanding of completing contracts, forms, and disclosure statements, having knowledge of competitive prices in surrounding areas, the ability to handle criticism, and negotiating to overcome objections. It's important to hire a real estate agent who is familiar with counterarguing and feels confident in getting you the home you deserve. We have experience in pre-qualifying buyers, ensuring they never go out of their price range when making a bid on a home they cannot afford.

At Choice Properties, we don't sell homes. We listen to what you are seeking and help make that happen. We believe in helping buyers with decisions rather than assuming, leaving us as a partner and team.

Contact us for your real estate needs at Indian Lake and in Bellefontaine, Belle Center, DeGraff, East Liberty, Huntsville, Jackson Center, Lakeview, Lewistown, Middleburg, New Hampshire, Quincy, Ridgeway, Roundhead, Rushsylvania, Russells Point, Urbana, West Liberty, West Mansfield, or Zanesfield. It is our commitment to go beyond the expected and we thank you for choosing Choice Properties to help with your real estate needs.




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.

January
24

Tips for Finding Ohio Property

5 Tips for Finding Ohio Property for Sale

Buying a new property can be a daunting task. The sheer amount of Ohio property for sale is overwhelming, and you may not know where to begin. Our years of experience in real estate in Ohio have taught us the best tips and tricks to find the perfect property for our customers. Using our tips will help you do the same.

Buyer's Best Interests

Naturally, you have your own best interests in mind when you're looking to make a big purchase. Consider here whether the seller's listing agent will also have your best interests in the transaction. Probably not. The dual agent representation scenario is the most common one in Ohio, however you can ask a different realtor to represent you exclusively. A buyer's agent will look out for you, and the seller should have no objection because it won't cost them anything. Beyond negotiating a transaction for you, a buyer's agent can also help you locate and look at properties within your budget, if you haven't been able to find one.

Professional Appraisals

When you apply for a mortgage, the lending institution will ask for a professional appraisal of the home you want to buy. This is to make sure that the agreed upon price is justified according to the current market value of the property. A professional appraiser will look at comparable Ohio property for sale, and arrive at a value. It's a cost that's well worth your while, and using a third party professional appraiser will ensure that you get an unbiased opinion.

Know Your Budget

The mistake a lot of buyers make, is finding a property they love first, and then finding out that it's out of their price range. The smart way is to figure out your budget first, and then look only at properties that fall within it. It is not advisable to buy so close to your target amount, that you become anxious at the thought of any further fees or repairs. There are a couple other approaches you can use, like adjustable rate mortgages to increase your budget and get you into a home you really want, that might be a little bit beyond your price range.

Buying Out Of State

Ohio property for sale is in demand, and you may be a buyer from out of state. In this case you will be concerned about how you will be able to monitor the purchase of a home long distance. You can look up the National Association of Realtors which is a nation-wide network of real estate sales professionals. You'll be able to find a real estate agent in the area where you are looking to purchase. Choice Properties can help you select the perfect home for you in Ohio and assist you to strike a deal when you have made that selection. Working with our agency will give you a real advantage as we have local knowledge.

Commission

It won't cost you more to be represented by a buyer's agent when it comes to commission, because the listing agent will split the sales commission with them. Commission is usually paid by the seller of the home. Only in one circumstance would you, as the buyer, pay commission to your agent, and that is when the house you are purchasing is FSBO, ie for sale by owner. This is where the owner has not listed the property with any selling agents, and would not want to pay the commission. In this case, it would be fair to expect the buyer to pay it, in consideration for the agent finding the home.

 

For more information on finding Ohio property for sale, give us a call today to speak with our award winning realtors!

December
20

Indian Lake Ohio real estate agent

Questions to Ask Your Indian Lake Ohio Real Estate Agent

You have a great home in Indian Lake that you're looking to sell. Your logical first step if you want to be successful is to speak with an Indian Lake Ohio real estate agent. What do you ask them? Most sellers don't go beyond asking how much will they get for the property, and what the commission will be. That should only be the first of many questions you should be asking any real estate agent, before you choose to list your property with them. Here are some questions to get you started.

Experience

This may seem like an obvious initial question, but surprisingly a lot of sellers don't ask agents about their experience in the market. When you first start talking to an Indian Lake Ohio real estate agent, go ahead and ask them how long they've been in the business, how many listings they typically handle. Selling your home in Indian Lake is an important and expensive transaction, so you should find an agent with enough sales under their belt to comfortably handle your needs. Choice Properties real estate agents are award-winning pros that have been in the Indian Lake market for years.

Marketing

Any agent you pick should come up with a marketing plan for your listing. Homes don't sell themselves, they need to be marketed. Ask your agent what their philosophy is for selling, and what steps will they take once they've accepted your listing. Don't be shy to ask about their previous marketing campaigns. Do they work with a professional photographer to take quality photos? How about a virtual tour? These things are increasingly important when buyers shop around.

Both Sides Of The Transaction

Some agents work with both the buyer and the seller, and others will rep either the buyer or the seller but not both. You can find out what the agent prefers, and what would happen if they repped both sides of the transaction. It's not always a conflict of interest, but clients can end up feeling like they don't know whose interest the agent is really looking out for.  Ask questions and be honest so that you develop a trustworthy relationship with your real estate agent.

Home Loans

Does your Indian Lake Ohio real estate agent have a good grasp of home financing issues? A buyer will likely need a loan and any issues that arise from the process of seeking financing can make or break a transaction. A good agent might be able to salvage the deal if issues pop up at the last minute.

 

At the end of the day, most sellers hire an agent on their gut feeling. And of course it's important for you to feel comfortable with your Indian Lake Ohio real estate agent. Taking the approach of treating your first meeting with them as an initial interview and asking all of these questions will help you reach the right decision on who to pick.

For more information about our award winning real estate agents at Choice Properties, give us a call!

August
29

How to Buy Land for Sale in Ohio

Those who are searching for land to buy in Ohio are in luck! There are many opportunities to do these searches online and with the support of qualified realtors. To get started, try the following options.

Where to Look

Whether it is a neighborhood, subdivision, waterfront property or other home, find the one that is right for you using the following tools:

Neighborhood Finder

Lists available homesites for buyers looking to build a home. It is a resource for purchases of land for buyers and half the people who search may not have land to build on but are looking for the best property to suit personal needs.

Online Listings

The internet is a great resource and tool for finding land and homes, especially when beginning to research neighborhoods and locations. Use websites like Zillow and Trulia to narrow down the search and save on time.

Multiple Listing Service (MLS)

Check with a real estate company such as Choice Properties in the area to access land listings. Consult with a real estate professional who has experience in the area and knows the complete listings available for a comprehensive search.

Chamber of Commerce

Plat directories for the area are available through the Chamber of Commerce. Consult the county auditor's searchable database if available.

Knock on Doors

Once a location is narrowed down, find the right place to build or buy by asking neighbors. They are a great resource and a wealth of information about land for sale or if landowners may be considering putting properties up for sale. This may seem like a last resort but in many cases can net some great buys before it ever even goes to market (which may lead to better deals). Personal connections sometimes net the greatest results.

Know What to Ask

Once the land is located it is important to make sure there is appropriate space for the home or that the home that is dreamt of will be suitable for that space. Here are some questions to ask:

  • What are lot dimensions and zoning requirements for setbacks? Subdivision lots may require a survey to stake the home within guidelines.
  • Easements may narrow the lot width. Know the easements before purchasing to make sure the selected home will be the right fit.
  • Look for restrictions in the subdivision regarding deed or neighborhood covenants. Bylaws can and do vary. Find the best neighborhood that suits the desired home.

 

Buying land can feel like a daunting process but it does not have to be. Contact Choice Properties to find out how we can assist you on finding the right home and land for your budget and desires.

 

August
1

Should You Invest in a Rental Property in Ohio?

Owning assets that bring in extra income is a great financial strategy, even better than owning assets which merely generate expenses. Owning a house or apartment requires maintenance, repairs, taxes, interest and other expenses. Income from a rental property can generate positive cash flow. Learn more about the possibilities of investing in rental property in Ohio.

Do It Yourself (DIY)

Being a handy person can be a great asset when it comes to doing light work around the house to keep things in good condition. Becoming a landlord requires some hands on work. It may be too expensive to handle outside contractors but doing the work can save money.

Know the Right People

If expanding a property portfolio sounds like a good idea, it may become difficult to manage all the work alone. Trusted contractors who have personal relationships can put an individual into a better position to negotiate discounts and enhance overall profit. Relationships take time to build and it takes time to find the people who will do a great job at a good price. Having trusted people in the business is a great way to sustain owning property for the long haul.

A 24-Hour Job

Hiring a company to manage properties is an expense that cuts into profit. Depending on location, it may be affordable to do this just from rental income. Working with a property management company who responds to household problems can be helpful unless an individual wants to take calls middle of the night. When starting an adventure with rental properties it helps to figure out what will work best for individual circumstances.

Save Up

Buying a house with rather rather than with a mortgage is eliminating the expense of a payment. Every cent of rental income received, after maintenance expenses, is profit. This makes a difference between rental property success and struggle. Leveraging property purchases by using other people's money can turn out to be profitable when values increase but is not guaranteed. Loans create the opportunity to become a landlord to more people. Having cash to buy property is not necessary but it can be helpful in generating a positive cash flow.

Working for Extra Money

Work may pay off when adding properties to the list but the path to a high status with rental properties is not as easy as it seems on television. Profit in terms of financial statements must be considered in terms of time and labor. The work isn't for everyone but can turn a good profit for those who seek success.

There are challenges to earning a living through rental properties. It is not something everyone should jump into or take lightly but it can bring some additional cash flow to the table (and pocketbook). Considering all angles of the business and what a person is willing to do to make it happen are all ways to look at the options when thinking about purchasing properties for investment in Ohio.

 

Choice Properties has trained real estate agents who excel in the business of properties. If you are seeking to rent or buy property in Ohio, contact us to find out how we can assist you in finding the right place for your investment.

December
8

 

 

Legal Benefits to Using a Licensed Real Estate Agent

 

Whether buying or selling, a professional, licensed real estate agent can provide great benefits in finding a dream home. Legal obligations to clients can provide a safety net for the client. Find out what legal benefits exist to using a licensed real estate agent and how to take advantage of the opportunity.

 

OLDCAR

The acronym OLDCAR is used to describe legal obligations afforded to clients by licensed real estate agents. The benefits included are listed as follows:

 

Obedience

If an agent represents an instruction with financial implications, the agent is required to follow it even if disagreement ensues. This pertains to anything that is legal and does not contradict a contractual agreement.

 

Loyalty

An agent is obliged to put the interest of his or her client above those of anyone else involved in the deal (including the agent). Loyalty gives the client a sense of peace and reassurance the agent has his or her best interests at heart.

 

Disclosure

If an agent knows any fact that is 'material' to the sale, the agent is obligated to share the information with his or her client. It is more beneficial to the agent to find out as many material facts as possible.

 

Confidentiality

The agent must protect his or her client's confidentiality. Any information about the client cannot be shared without permission to any other party in the deal.

 

Accounting

The agent is responsible for keeping track of funds which factor into the deal.

 

Reasonable Care

An agent must use 'reasonable care' and diligence while handling affairs of the client. This may end up being decided by a judge in court depending on the specific transaction being handled.

 

The Agent

Fiduciary responsibilities mentioned above only apply to a real estate agent working for the client. This includes having had a written or verbal agreement. An agent may come into the picture who is part of the deal but is not formally representing one's own personal interests. If the agent represents the seller, the obligation exists to the seller not the buyer and legal obligations do not apply to interactions with the buyer.

 

Every agent has an interest in maintaining good relationships with other agents. Agents can sometimes be too friendly if things get cozy and carelessly disclose information. Over-sharing may involve collusion where two agents work together on the side to structure a deal which benefits both the agents or a hidden outside party which goes above the client's interests. Getting a different agent is always an option if the individual no longer wishes to be represented by the agent or it is believed the behavior is unethical. The other option is to turn the agent into the company for illegal practices.

 
October
6

 

Whether you are looking to buy or sell a home in Central Ohio, you'll need to know your market, i.e. your 'comps'. Comps are the homes in the area where you are transacting business that are comparable, meaning they are in the same neighborhood, are similar in size, layout, and condition, and have similar features or extras (like pools, fireplaces, or even neighborhood playgrounds).

These comps are used when determining pricing. From the buyer's standpoint, knowing the market gives them a place to start with a fair offer, while from the seller's viewpoint, comps help them to figure the best price point for the property. A good real estate agent stays on top of their local market, making sure to understand the ins and outs of what makes a property comparable.

 

Location, location, location . . .

When pricing or valuing a home, the first thing you want to do is look at what's nearby. Stay within the neighborhood to ensure things like the age of the homes and the community features are similar. School zones make good measures of parameters.

 

No time like the present . . .

Keep your eye on the pending sales. The initial bargaining has taken place between the buyer and seller, so these are, in effect, a plethora of current data for the market—including the latest 'dollar per square foot' average. A good rule of thumb is to look at sales within the last three months, but not more than six months old, as trends could've changed drastically in that time.

 

Show me the extras . . .

With the where and when pinned down, now you can look at the fun stuff, the property features. The main thing to compare here are the number of bedrooms/bathrooms and the lot size. Narrow those down, and then you can get into the smaller extras. Views, updated appliances, flooring materials, pools, garages, fireplaces . . . the list can get rather long, but these are the creature comforts that are going to help you turn your purchase into an Indian Lake Home (or sell your property to the highest bidder).

 

Don't overanalyze or stress . . .

While it is a good idea to have some knowledge of how the market works, there are professionals available to help you navigate the world of home buying and selling. Choice Properties has trustworthy agents to assist with the petty details of each comparable Logan County home. We make it our job to know the market so that you can make Indian Lake, Bellefontaine, or the surrounding areas your home.

September
21

 

From mid-century ranchers and ramblers to 21st century Mediterranean villas and works of abstract architecture, in the half a century plus which has elapsed since the '50's, home floor plans have changed. They've grown in size, number and use of rooms, and even lighting has evolved to be more 'natural' . . . skylights and picture windows favored by many for the outside hues they let in.

Let's take a look at the main rooms that have transformed over the years.

 

The Kitchen

Then: Appliances like refrigerators and dishwashers were a novelty in the 1950s. Not everyone had them, and those that did, wanted them displayed. As a result, over time walls have been removed to open up floorplans, leading into today's open kitchens with islands that are often the central gathering place of a home.

Now: The more decked out, open, and inviting the kitchen space, the more appealing the house is overall to potential buyers.

 

The Dining Room

Then: Hosting dining parties where everyone gathered in a separate dining room was a way to show status and station in life. A well-liked hostess was one who could ooh and ahh her guests—and making her husband proud, Mrs. Cleaver-style—with each dish she brought out from the kitchen.

Now: Meals are no longer the formal affair they were, gatherings are reserved for holidays and special occasions, and so most designated dining areas tend to be used as offices or play spaces for younger children.

 

The Living Room

Then: The living room was considered the family room and was often placed toward the back of the house, away from the front entertainment areas, for privacy. In the '70s, designers began incorporating conversation pits or sunken living rooms, and gradually, these rooms were brought more to the forefront of the floor plans.

Now: A shared space, the living room is a space that tends to open into other rooms, making the house inviting and welcoming to guests. Not only are the spaces larger, design trends have gone taller … vaulted ceilings, floor-to-ceiling windows, and open lofts are all quite common.

 

The Bathroom

Then: Bathrooms were purely functional—get in, do your business, get out. One to a household sufficed on most occasions, and was often "shared" by household members. While little Johnny brushed his teeth, baby Davey was getting his bath . . . that kind of thing.

Now: Floorplans now account for at least a 2:1 ratio of bedrooms:bathrooms, but it's not uncommon for the ratio to be higher, so that nearly every occupant in the house gets their "own" bathroom.  Master bathrooms can be turned into private retreats, racking up the expense with specialty tubs, showers, vanities, and flooring materials.  

 

The Master Bedroom Suite

Then: Bedrooms weren't a place to hang out or relax. Closets were small, as were wardrobes, and available floor space was compact.

Now: Following the mindset for the master bathroom, the master bedroom has typically been given more square footage than any other room in the house, next to the living room and kitchen, in today's floor plans. It's not uncommon for master "suites" to have sitting areas, walk in closets, and of course, the attached spa-like bathrooms.

March
16

 

2014 was a relatively strong year for real estate across the farm belt and greater Midwest.  However, the National Association of Home Builders predicts 2015 will be even stronger for single-family homes, despite the continued rise of mortgage rates.  While the recovery seems to be delayed in many states, Ohio is noticing a resurgence of interest in homes and available land.  In the meantime, let's focus on the standard best practices that have kept us strong for decades.

 

It's the Little Things

The best possible presentation of a house is necessary to capture an eager buyer's eye.  Little things like trimming the bushes near the front door, changing out old welcome mats, and de-cluttering closets and shelves will add to an already well-prepared home. 

 

Take Notes

If you're a buyer looking at the home options available on the market, you're probably seeing several properties a day.  In this situation it's helpful to keep a notebook on you and make notes on the properties you visit.  Pros and Cons for each house will help you make a decision later on.

 

Sell for Spring

The winter months are over so it's time to start thinking springtime at your home.  Fresh flowers are always a nice touch for highlighting the rebirth of warm weather and add color and life to the rooms of your home.  Spring cleaning is important, especially to wash away the salt brine from the winter roads and the clutter that accumulates while we're hibernating. Take advantage of the smiles brought on by the sunshine.  

 

Transparency is Trust

A smart home buyer is going to hire an inspector or two to investigate the quality and possible problems with a property so it behooves sellers to be forthright with the state of the home.  Don't try to hide anything because buyers will assume you're hiding even more.  Try to get minor fixes out of the way like plumbing leaks and paint jobs.

 

We're all hopeful this year on both sides of the real estate market so let's keep the enthusiasm rolling and make this a great year for home buyers and sellers!

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