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August
10

Purchasing a second home can be a big step. Whether seeking a cabin in the woods, a getaway beach home or modern condo in the city, buying another property is a big decision. Here's how to know if now is the time to buy.

 

Affordability

Assessment of personal finances is critical in determining whether to purchase a second home. Beyond the cost of a second mortgage are other financial issues such as what interest is charged on a second mortgage. It may also depend if the home will be rented out as lenders consider rental properties a higher risk than those listed as primary residences. Other factors may include:

  • Insurance

  • Property taxes

  • Ongoing costs such as utilities (water, electric, gas, trash removal, etc)

  • Unexpected maintenance charges such as landscaping

  • Cost to hire a property manage to check on the property while away

 

Location

Having a property by the beach may sound great but it may not be a great investment. Some things to consider include:

  • Ability to visit the second home as often as desired

  • If not used as a rental, will home get used enough to make it worth the investment

  • Decide where is the ideal location before buying and whether it is affordable versus the time that will be spent using the property before purchase

 

Investigate

Chat with the insurance company to see what is next after finding the general area in which to buy a second home. Begin by speaking with the current insurer with whom a relationship is already established. A better rate may be available for multiple lines (existing home, cars, etc). Better rates may not necessarily be more inexpensive. If potential new property is prone to flooding, insurance rates may be higher. Homes with swimming pools also have higher rates as do pools with no fence or gate which may not have coverage available at all.

 

Find the Home

After all possible expenses are accounted for and a neighborhood is identified, contact a real estate agent to get started. Once settled, soak in the benefits of the new home. A vacation in the comfort of one's own home is a true luxury. When time is spent with family and friends in the new home, the cost savings will become apparent compared to vacation rentals. Privacy and no crowds (like in hotels) are another added bonus of having one's own property. Financial benefits may exist in the long term even if the property is not rented out. Tax benefits may help lessen the financial burden. A vacation home is a space to unwind, relax and enjoy time with loved ones. Soak it in and enjoy the new home.

 

Get more advice on the steps that you need to take to owning a second home.

Contact one of our agents today.

March
30

Finding the perfect home can take some time but the market is growing and sale prices are still low. Doing research is key prior to  finding Indian Lake Ohio homes for sale which suit the family's needs. Follow these tips to find a home that's a good fit.

 

Take the Long View

Search for a home that will be in the family at least five to seven years (ideally). Time, effort and expense are considerations when moving including closing costs. Staying in a home longer helps avoid added expense and stress. The extra time put into the home, as well as any work completed within the home, can help add value long term and avoid any downturns in the real estate market.

 

Growth

Family's needs change over time whether it's additions (babies, returning older children). Seek out properties with potential for growth and provide room for expansion. Houses for sale in Indian Lake, Ohio are a perfect example of properties which offer lots of room to grow at an affordable price.

 

Flexibility

Homes with lots of options usually suit a family's needs better than ones which are less flexible. A home that is functional for years to come with an open floor plan style can be adapted to changes while a kitchen with a view of a living area is great for keeping an eye on young kids as well as entertaining family and friends.

 

Find a Suitable Type

To find the perfect home requires knowing what best suits one's personal style. Homes are not one size fits all. There are many styles including condos, houses, townhomes. A person who does not want the responsibility of upkeep for a home may want a townhome versus a single family residential house. Likewise, a family who would like a vacation style home in a resort community with amenities may prefer to search for houses for sale in Indian Lake, Ohio which has many great features of a small community with access to waterfront dining, activities year round and plenty of suitable properties for families of shapes and sizes.

 

Location

A home's location is one of the most important aspects of buying real estate. Families who desire a quiet neighborhood in which to raise kids may not be looking for homes near a busy street or in the middle of an urban city environment. While that may suit a single person or couple, once children arrive, many families seek the peace, tranquility and safety of a suburban neighborhood which offers community, friendly neighbors and access to great schools while still being near to an entertainment district and work. A home's location with a spectacular view also attracts friends and family to come visit which is many families choose houses for sale on a lake or by water.


Choice Properties has agents ready to help you find the perfect home by the lake.                                                                  Contact us today at 937-842-2244 to set up an appointment!

 

Get more advice on finding the perfect Indian Lake home for your budget.

Contact one of our agents today.

March
10

One of the reasons people search for investment property in Ohio is to gain financial freedom. Financial independence is possible with an investment property if a person knows how to go about finding the right home and the ins and outs of putting money into an additional place. There are many benefits to purchasing such an investment in Ohio, especially Indian Lake, as prices are low and demand is going up for homes by the water. To increase cash flow, an investment property can be leased or rented out and eventually sold for profit. The appeal of injecting cash into a property which can build equity and profit later is possible. Follow these steps to   get started.

 

Establish a Limited Liability Corporation (LLC)

An LLC is a private limited company which is a designated business structure. This is ideal for smaller businesses because it limits and shield's an entrepreneur's personal liability risk by the enterprise's liabilities. Any individual who uses an LLC does so to protect their rights as business owner against legal issues.

 

Find a Good, Reputable Real Estate Agent

A good real estate agent can find out immediately if a property will be a worthwhile investment. They will know the area and market values to help make the best choice. When a property is selected, cash will need to be available on hand for a 20% deposit. A good lender is key to help process the loans in a timely fashion. Choice Properties has excellent trained, qualified real estate agents available to help in the selection of an investment property in Indian Lake, Ohio and beyond.

 

Property Rehab

Homes are prone to wear and tear and investment properties are no exception. As years go by, a property will need upkeep as it may not be well taken care of by tenants. Damage is an inevitable part of owning a home so keeping a fund available for leaky roofs, new heating units and more is a consideration.

 

Contracts

Be selective when choosing renters for a property. Rent arrangements need to be covered in a contract. Failure to outline this in a written agreement may result in difficulties later if the need to evict a tenant arises or if other issues come up.

 

Patience

Patience is important when searching for investment property in Ohio. Indian Lake is an area with lots to offer but it will take time to locate the best property. It is time consuming to search for contractors and good renters. Taking time now will save a headache later so be patient, take time and do it right from the start.

 

Business First

Do not let renters get away with anything. After all, an investment is part of one's financial portfolio which can affect the quality of life. It is better to kick out a poor tenant for non payment or other issues than let the issue linger and risk losing money.

 

Choice Properties has agents ready to speak with you about investment properties in Indian Lake, Ohio.                                      Don't wait, call today at 937-842-2244 to discuss the options and get started!

 

Get more advice on steps it takes to own an investment property.

Contact one of our agents today.

September
21

 

It's a well-known fact that with homeownership comes home repairs. It doesn't matter if the house is new or if it's a property that has been in the family for generations, Life happens and things break. Professionals can always be called in to do the repairs, at a cost to your monthly budget, so it's best to save them for the really big break downs, like busted water heaters, roof replacements, or new HVAC systems. The common things that crop up can be handled on your own with a standard toolbox and maybe a run . . . or two, to your nearest home improvement store.

 

1. Leaky faucets, running toilets

Per the EPA, ten percent of US homes have leaks which are wasting more than 10,000 gallons of water annually due to worn out gaskets, flappers, drippy faucets, and leaky valves. Here are some ways to confirm whether you have a leak:

  • Take a reading on your water meter before and after a two-hour water period of no water use on the property. If you get any differences in your findings, a leak is likely.

  • Test toilet tanks by by placing a drop of food coloring in the tank and waiting about fifteen minutes. If water in the bowl takes on any coloring, then you have a leak. Flush to avoid staining the tank.

  • If a visual inspection of pipes, faucet gaskets, and pipe fittings reveals any water on their exteriors, then you probably have a leak.

Once a leak is confirmed, if you're unsure how to proceed you can start by talking to the experts at your local home-improvement hangout, or you can always Google for tips. Remember, if the project gets too big for you to handle, go ahead and call in the professionals rather than risk a house flood!

 

2. Cracked paint or siding

Besides looking nice, it's important to maintain the exterior of your home in order to protect it from the elements and critters. Cracked, peeling, or dusty paint (or caulk, vinyl, stucco, brick, etc.) is a sure sign that the structural integrity of your abode could be at jeopardy. If you catch it in the early stages, you should be able to handle the task yourself. Bringing in hired painters will land you a bill for a few thousand dollars at least, depending on the size of the house.

 

3. Garbage disposal jam

WARNING: Always make sure the disposal switch is OFF before you stick your hand or any other object down the drain.

Garbage disposals have an average life of about ten years. If you use it a lot, or abuse what you put down it, it's going to die much sooner. With the aid of the owner's manual, and that wonderful "RESET" button, disposals can be an easy fix. Should full replacement become necessary, you can spend a couple hundred and probably a handful of cuss words as you work or you can spend twice as much to pay a plumber to do it.

 

4. Nail pops

Most foundations will have some degree of shifting over their lifetime. Heat and cold, wet and dry weather, and even wind strengths tax the structure. Oftentimes nail pops are the result of this. Minor ones from initial settling can be fixed by driving the nails deeper, refinishing, and touching up with paint. However, if they are excessive or are suddenly appearing after years, you probably need to bring in contractors to look at the bigger picture. Home warranties and insurance will help you incur the cost of foundation repairs.

 

5. Cracks in the concrete

Your driveway, patio, and sidewalks are constantly exposed to the elements. Extreme weather, improper mixing, shrinkage during curing, pressure from vehicle loads and even old tree roots can contribute to these places beginning to crack and breakdown. Much like the house exterior, water and pests can get into these cracks which will only aggravate the problem the longer it's left untended. If you've had experience with concrete mixing and laying, by all means take on the repairs yourself, but for most homeowners, this IS going to be one for the trained professionals.

 

Tensions can run high when things start to fall apart around you, so if you share a home with somebody, do you and your partner a favor . . . don't let your relationship get added to the "honey-do" list. It's so much easier to get things done with teamwork.

 

September
7

Making the decision to buy a home in Central Ohio doesn't have to be daunting or intimidating. With a little understanding of how the mortgage process works, you'll be a proud bellefontaine homeowner in no time.

A pre-check of your finances is highly suggested to give you a starting point. Knowing what you can realistically afford, even in the case of a financial emergency, can save you heartache down the road. You don't want to bite off a mortgage that is bigger than you can chew. Knowing your limits will also narrow your property searches down and help you stay on target. Online calculators are available to help you determine affordability:

 

Affordability Calculator

(estimates an affordable purchase price based on your income and available down payment)

 

Payment Calculator

(estimates monthly mortgage payment based on purchase price, insurance, and tax rates)

 

Now that you have an idea of what you can afford, it's time to start the mortgage process by speaking with a lender. Getting your home loan underway will result in you having qualifying documentation when you reach out to a realtor and start looking at actual homes—and should you find "the one," it'll be great to have no delays in closing the deal because of bank issues.

 

Information you will be asked to provide to the lender (with documentation):

 

  • Personal — Date of birth, marital status, number of children and their ages, and social security number (to pull your credit report).

  • Last Two Years (minimum) of Residential History — Rental or mortgage, insurance, and tax figures.

  • Proof of Employment and Income — Wages, bonuses, or commissions and employment history for at least two years back. Be prepared to show completed tax returns. Mortgage lenders will average variable and self-employed income over two years.

  • Assets — Even if your down payment comes from one account, ALL checking, savings, investments, and retirement accounts will have to be recorded and verified. Keep in mind that if you're fortunate enough to have funds being gifted to you, there are special rules which apply. Speak to your lender.

  • Debts — Full disclosure of payments and balances owed on all credit cards, student loans, auto loans, existing mortgages, and any alimony or child support requirements.

  • Identify your preferred loan type and available down payment.

 

With this information your lender will be able to create a personal profile and recommend loans commensurate with your individual budget. Everyone is different and therefore multiple loan and rate tiers exist. Your lender will be like your personal guidance counselor as you go through this process. Your existence is at their disposal, on paper at least, and so they can use their expertise to suggest what will likely be the best path for you to follow. Whether it be a short term investment property with plans to turn around and sell, or settling in with a 30 year mortgage on a family home.

 

Our Choice Properites Real Estate agents are knowledgeable and willing to meet with you and your lender so that the fun part can start . . . home shopping! In the crazy days that will come in the whirlwind process of home buying you can expect the following to happen:

  1. Upon finding "the one," your agent will write up an offer of what you're willing to pay for the property and present it to the seller; if accepted, then your loan process will move to the final approval phase.

  2. Your lender will lock the interest rate on your loan (this can't be done without an acceptance as it is determinate upon buyer/seller price agreement).

  3. Depending how much time has elapsed since financials were initially gathered and verified, your lender may request updated documentation from you; your lender will also order an appraisal on the property and review the property title report at this stage.

 

When all I's are dotted and T's are crossed, the final loan documents will be drawn up and your closing will be scheduled. Once the papers are signed and the loan is funded, the keys will be placed in your hand.

 

Congratulations and enjoy your new Logan County home!

August
17

 

 

Purchasing a home will be one of the most important investments of your life, and can be slightly overwhelming and even a bit scary at times throughout the process.  Here are some helpful tips to ensure that your first home purchase will run smoothly and be an exciting time of your life:

 

Save Up For a Down Payment

 

A majority of mortgage lenders will require a down payment of 5%-20% of the home sale price. First-time home buyers today may find it difficult to come up with such a large amount of cash, especially those who have recently graduated college with excessive amounts of student loan debt.

Luckily for young adults, home affordability and down payment assistance programs are offered by a majority of mortgage lenders.  

 

Find the Mortgage That Fits Your Needs

 

It's important to find a lender that is willing to communicate with you on an ongoing basis. The first step in your home buying process should be to find a  The First-Time Home Buyer Pulse revealed that saving for a down payment is a barrier to homeownership for many first-time buyers. That's why it's important to find a lender that helps buyers understand what they can afford and share what financing options are available. Today, mortgages are not one size fits all—to find the option that best fits their needs, buyers should discuss their financial situation with a lender they trust.

 

Factor Renovation Costs & Monthly Expenses

 

With today's low inventory of affordable homes for first-time buyers, many buyers will find themselves settling on a home that requires renovations or upgrades. These costs should be factored in at the start of the financing process so buyers are comfortable with their down payment and monthly payment and will have money available to make improvements. For buyers who have not lived on their own or for those who previously rented, the added costs of running a household can be a shock. Monthly costs for utilities, homeowner's association fees, cable, and Internet, can add up quickly. Factoring these expenses in at the beginning of the mortgage financing process can help borrowers better assess their overall budget and a realistic monthly mortgage payment.

 

Educate Yourself

 

Perhaps the single most important aspect of purchasing a home is to fully understand the mortgage and the overall home-financing process. Take advantage of educational courses offered by local financial institutions and government programs. In fact, TD Bank offers a First Time Home Buyer Seminar series that addresses all aspects of a home loan—starting with helping buyers decide if they're truly ready to own a home. Following that, the seminars share information on the criteria lenders use to evaluate a borrower, the documentation buyers will need to provide, what each portion of a mortgage payment goes toward, and the mortgage team that processes and approves the loan. These seminars are useful tools and provide valuable background for borrowers who are daunted or overwhelmed by the process.

 

 

While buying a home may feel overwhelming for first-time buyers, finding a lender you can trust will guide you in the right direction and help you prepare for the mortgage process.

April
27

Our award-winning real estate agents are exceptional for many reasons, not the least of which is their knowledge and awareness of all that the Bellefontaine community has to offer. When you're representing the beautiful homes for sale in Bellefontaine, it pays to know the area's best attractions and that starts with great food. The following 4 local restaurants of Bellefontaine are some of the most popular and highest rated eateries in town.

Six Hundred Downtown

With several awards to their name and a long-standing #1 ranking on TripAdvisor for the best restaurant in Bellefontaine, Six Hundred Downtown leads our list. Pizza Champ Michael Shepherd offers classic handcrafted pizzas in old fashioned brick ovens that are good enough to have been featured on the Food Network and Discovery Channel. Don't miss this local excellence!

 

Don's Downtown Diner

Another local favorite, Don's place features classic American burgers like your granddad used to make. The chef is highly creative and does some amazing things with ribs, pulled pork, and chili too! As a Main Street original, Don's Downtown Diner is a great example of the homegrown quality of the Bellefontaine community.

 

Vicario's Pizza

It's all in the sauce, is the famous saying of great Italian pizza around the world and at Vicario's, that's never been more true. Famous for the sweet sauce and creative toppings, this local pizzeria gets consistent 5 star reviews and continues to draw in crowds from far and wide.

 

Los Cabos Mexico

No town is complete without a great Mexican restaurant and Los Cabos is the local favorite. With a classic Mexican atmosphere and delicious signature dishes, the residents of Bellefontaine can't say enough good things about this place. Try the Chili Relleno next time you're in town!

 

There are plenty of great places to eat in Bellefontaine Ohio and the surrounding area so don't limit yourself to just these four. When you come to town, try something different each time. It's hard to be disappointed by the local eats.

April
17

After a long and anticipatory wait, Bellefontaine can finally welcome its newest home grown steak house to the neighborhood.  Dan Stinebaugh proudly opened his doors recently to offer locally-made craft beers to the Bellefontaine community along with choice steaks and classic American eats at Chops & Hops Brew Haus.

 

We're always excited to welcome new local businesses to the community. Locally owned restaurants and shops are the lifeblood of a strong and vibrant community and with so many wonderful houses for sale in Bellefontaine, the area is ripe for new life. 

 

The new Chops & Hops steakhouse will be offering a variety of local beers and foods and they're open for lunch at 11am. The buildinghas a long history, built in 1973 by the Tazwell Corporation and later spending much of its life housing the Pardner's Steak House before serving as home to a local Wingers franchise until 2012.

 

Now it's back in the hands of a local with promising dreams for the property and its new restaurant-brewery. Be sure to stop in and congratulate Dan and his family and welcome their new enterprise to Bellefontaine. We'll be highlighting this new expansion of the local economy to anyone interested in moving to Bellefontaine.

To read about more bellefontaine restaurants be sure to check out his article.

 

Be sure to check out the most recent homes for sale in Bellefontaine and Indian Lake at our website.

April
11

When you and your family decide to move to a new town or area, one of the first things likely to come to mind is the local school district. Will my kids have a good education? What about extra-curriculars? What kind of friends will they have? These are all valid concerns for parents looking to relocate to Bellefontaine Ohio and have the kids switch schools.

 

Fortunately for you (and our residents), Bellefontaine has one of the highest rated school systems in the state of Ohio. With exceptional test scores at the high school level and enrichment programs for all our K-12 students, Bellefontaine schools rank in the top 5% of Ohio schools.

 

New stadium at Bellefontaine High School

 

Elementary School serves the little ones in Kindergarten up to 2nd grade and then our Intermediary School takes care of grades 3-5. The Middle School (Grades 6-8) prepares our young adults for High School (grades 9-12).  

 

Homes for sale in Bellefontaine Ohio are appealling to families relocating to the area because the school system has such a great reputation and track record. You know you're in a good community when everyone loves the schools.

 

Boasting an open enrollment policy, Bellefontaine schools invite families from neighboring communities to enroll students if they so choose.  We take pride in the next generation in the Bellefontaine community and there's no place where that's more apparent than in the halls of our school system, the fields of our athletic teams, and the minds of our students.

 

Welcome to Bellefontaine Ohio and enjoy the search for your new home!  Go Chiefs!

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