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Along with budgeting to purchase your first home, you may want to consider budgeting for items you will need to go along with your new house. Buying a home is an exciting time and can easily overtake your thoughts! However, you may not have thought about the list of items you need with a home that you did not need with an apartment. Stay tuned to learn what to purchase after buying your first home, leaving you fully prepared for tackling this journey head-on. 

New Locks

The first step when moving into a new home is changing the locks and updating your keys. There's a chance the previous owners gave friends or family a number of spare keys. Avoid any misunderstandings or worries by changing your locks. 


For those who do not plan on hiring a lawn care service, purchasing a lawnmower definitely makes the top of the list. Take time to research brands and pricing to find one that fits with your needs and budget. 

Gardening Tools

While browsing lawnmower options are your local improvement store, don't forget to look through other outdoor necessities! Most likely, you will need a garden hose to wash cards, water flower beds, or to keep your grass green. Along with a hose, you should also consider a rake for leaves, weedwacker, or shovels for snow. It's best to be fully prepared when moving into your new home. 

Handyman Tools 

Buying an older home may mean small repairs here and there. It's highly advised to have a stocked tool box for last minute fixes, or for DIY projects! When purchasing a tool box, be sure it comes with:

  • Hammar 
  • Assorted screwdrivers
  • Hacksaw 
  • Pliers 
  • Plumber's wrench
  • Power drill 
  • Staple gun
  • Tape measure 

Miscellaneous Items to Purchase for Your New Home

Along with the essentials, you may also feel the need to purchase:


  • Patio furniture 
  • Outdoor grill 
  • Window coverings (blinds, drapes, curtains)
  • New kitchen appliances 
  • New linens and towels

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.


Tips for Millennial Home Buyers

It's no secret that millennials' homeownership rate is significantly lower than previous generations at the same age. The Urban Institute quotes, "Today's young adults are failing to build housing wealth, the largest single source of wealth, at the same rate as previous generations. While people make the choice to own or rent that suits them at a given point, maybe more young adults should take into account the long-term consequences of renting when homeownership is an option." Although it may feel overwhelming, homeownership comes with an endless list of benefits that millennials should not rule out. The expert real estate agents at Choice Properties have gathered some tips for millennial home buyers.

Count the Costs

When investing in a home, you're not only paying for the house itself. There are extra costs to consider, such as a downpayment, closing costs, moving costs, and maintenance updates. It may sound stressful, but working with a trusted agent will eliminate most of the work and worries.

Examine Your Finances

The most important factor when buying a home is to examine your finances. When applying for a mortgage, the lender will check your income along with credit history. Take time to improve your credit, and checking your history to make sure there are no errors (which can happen!). A lender is more likely to offer a better mortgage rate when you prove you have the finances to support the purchase.

Don't Assume You Can't Afford a Home

Perhaps the most common perception of buying a home is that it's too expensive and can't be done. Although it is a large investment that requires saving money, it is possible! Take time to shop for a mortgage lender, as each one will provide different rates and offers. Seeking advice from different lenders and a realtor will help find the best option for you.

Know What to Look for

When house shopping, keep your eyes open of warning signs the home may bring. There is no worse feeling than buying your dream home only to discover it's full of maintenance issues. If you know what you're looking for these issues can be avoided, saving you money in the long run. Consider crossing the house off your list if you see:

  • Warning signs of termites
  • Cracked walls or distorted paint
  • Foundation issues, such as uneven flooring

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.


Why Downsizing in the Right Move

Why Downsizing is the Right Move

Moving into a smaller home may appear to be a step down, but it's actually got quite a few upsides. You save money, save time and have less clutter. In fact, downsizing could be just the fresh start you need. There are plenty of smaller houses for sale in Ohio that would fit your needs.

However, if you are thinking of downsizing, then it must be done the right way. We have some tips to ensure that your downsizing dream can become a reality.

Long Term Thinking

Planning ahead is key when you're looking at smaller homes. Did you have plans for the extra space you have now? Or is that just real estate being wasted, in which case you're better off selling and going somewhere smaller. But only you can make the decision of keeping or losing extra space.

Minimizing Upkeep

And it's not just the space, it's also everything that's in that space. Clean out the clutter, throw out what you can and sell the rest. That's cash in hand, and less stuff that you have to take care of. A larger family home can take several hours a week to upkeep, and it may even be impractical if your children are grown and out of the house.

Buying Outright

A probable advantage you'll see from downsizing is the ability to buy the smaller, less expensive home in cash and end up mortgage free. For individuals who are close to retirement, this is a very popular option. Statistics show that in 2016, sellers aged 62 and above sold them home for an average price of $250,000 and bought a new home for an average price of $240,000.

Moving Closer To Family

While it is true that it is the older generation, aged 62 and above who are downsizing, their primary reason for doing so in a lot of cases was wanting to be closer to family and friends. In a study conducted about downsizing, 21% of the participants stated that they were moving due to retirement, 15% because their home is now too large and 10% because the neighborhood they are in has become less desirable.

There are many upsides to downsizing. It frees you from the cost and time commitment of maintaining a home that's simply too large. It allows you to unlock your home equity, buy a new place and maybe even retire your mortgage. If you're in the market for a smaller home, look at houses for sale in Ohio. We're confident that you will find the perfect one to begin your downsizing journey.


ohio home buyers looking for a home


Once a seller accepts an offer, the time comes to sign paperwork which seals the deal. What most Ohio home buyers don't realize is that a real estate process is complex with lots of nuances to the transaction. Learn some important things to keep in mind on the road to home ownership.


Expiring Mortgage

Mortgage interest rates may fluctuate daily. Rather than have the stress of the interest dial moving up and down, a bank will 'lock in' an interest rate for 45, 60 or another number of days. Once this expires, a higher rate kicks in. Some issues that may come up as a result may include:

  • Open permits

  • Illegal renovations

  • Roadblocks which require stop to loan process until resolution

A previous homeowner may have done renovations that do not meet today's standards and require updating prior to selling. This can require hiring an architect and documenting the issue before a bank will approve the loan. Be cautious when using a rate-lock expiration as it may throw plans out the window in the closing process.


The Mortgage Process Doesn't End

Just because an application is completed and submitted does not mean a loan is approved. Lenders need to verify income, assets and credit all the way until closing. Any last minute changes or fluctuations could result in some unforeseen challenges if not discussed previously with a mortgage professional.


See the House

A walk-through is usually provided up to 24 hours prior to closing. Take advantage of the opportunity to see the property in case any systems are not working, the seller did not finish repairs or has not completed move out yet. It is possible to postpone closing until things are completed.


Do Your Homework

Once the home closes, in most states, the law resides on the side of a buyer and requires the seller to disclose issues and confirm resolution. The purchaser should make sure the seller closes outstanding permits, releases liens on the title and resolves issues with local authorities.


Low-Key Closing

Most of the time, closings finish up without any issues. Buyers sign the loan documents and the seller goes to the title company to sign off. It is seamless and happens without issue. Buyers and sellers along with other folks may sit around for a time processing, calculating and negotiating. If the transaction was less than smooth, the closing table may get tense but it may end up being low-key.


A smooth closing can be had with some research up front and awareness of any red flags. Make sure to have a solid real estate team who is knowledgeable and will refer you to the right parties to resolve any issues prior to closing. Get as much information in the beginning as possible for a great resolution and closing.

Choice Properties is the premier realty company serving communities in and around Logan County. Award-winning agents provide assistance on residential to commercial, agricultural to waterfront properties and more to best serve your needs.

Call us to find out how we can best serve you.

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