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January
24

 

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

 

Packing

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

 

Get Support

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

 

Do it Early

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

 

Use Social Media

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

 

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

 

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

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.

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.   

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.

June
12

Fixer uppers are a popular choice among the housing market. Purchasing a home to refurbish allows personal creativity to shine through and challenges you in a whole new aspect. Unlike typical residential properties, fixer uppers are usually placed at a lower cost. Although this attracts many, it's important to know what to look for when buying a fixer upper. The main three suggestions to follow when hunting for a house to renovate include hiring specialized inspectors, learning how to evaluate repairs needed, and ensuring you're choosing the right property. When working with a  Choice Properties real estate agent, we will find the ideal house you have in mind. Purchasing property is a large investment, and we believe in helping you find the perfect house.

Evaluate the Current Condition

When house hunting for a fixer upper, don't overlook small details. Take time to evaluate the current condition of the home, separating the cosmetic issues from the structural issues. This includes:

  • Removing wallpaper
  • Patching walls
  • Replacing flooring
  • Adding trims
  • Swapping out lighting fixtures
  • Replacing kitchen and bathroom cabinets
  • Shoring up foundation
  • Replacing AC and heating systems
  • Roof condition
  • Installing new windows

Inspections to Have for a Fixer Upper

It's extremely important to have a professional home inspector walk through any home you are interested in purchasing. The type of home inspection can vary, but it's better to pay the cost than be surprised with a larger foundation issue down the road.

 

  • Roof certifications. Roof certifications are typically not included in a regular home inspection. If the seller has not shown proof of the condition of the roof, consider obtaining a roof certification at the seller's expense.
  • Pest inspection. Although often overlooked, having a pest inspection for beetles, termites, or ants is never a bad idea. Ignoring pests can cause larger problems in the future.
  • Sewer line inspection. Most fixer uppers are older properties, meaning the sewer lines have aged just as long. Have the septic tank examined to ease the mind.




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.

February
27

Real Estate Buyer FAQs

Homeownership is a common goal shared by many in the United States. Buying a home may be one of the biggest investments we make in life and is a rewarding accomplishment! Although many share the dream of owning a home, it's common for most people to be scared about following through the process. This is due to the homebuying process feeling intimidating or overwhelming, but it doesn't have to be! Working with the right real estate agent will make the process go smooth and easy. The expert agents at Choice Properties have answered your real estate buyer questions to help put your mind at ease.

Am I ready to be a homeowner?

The first step from taking the leap from being a renter to a homeowner is viewing your current financial status. Start by taking a financial inventory of your lifestyle, debts, and assets. Lenders look for those who hold a strong financial status and reliable job, as a mortgage loan must be paid on time. Another factor to consider is your credit score. Maintaining a good credit score will help you get the best loan and interest rate.

Is renting or buying a home better?

While renting and buying both have pros and cons, it simply comes down to what a person wants when buying a house. Many look at this opportunity as an investment and take pride in homeownership. This allows you to build equity with monthly payments, while also qualifying for tax incentives to help offset new homeowner expenses.

What do I look for in a new home?

When starting your home search, start by gathering your thoughts by creating lists. Identifying what you are seeking in a home, whether it's more space or a large backyard. This will help set expectations within your home search. Ask yourself if the home you are interested in is large enough to fit your needs now and in the future.

How do I get a mortgage loan?

Before setting up appointments to tour homes, it's best to shop for a mortgage rate to understand your budget. In the pre-qualification phase, you are given an estimate of what you can borrow based on your financial status. To be pre-approved for a mortgage loan means a lender has agreed to offer you a specific amount.




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.

February
14

5 Things to Look for When Buying a Home

Shopping for a new house often comes with completing a checklist of amenities that suit your needs. Perhaps you are seeking more space for a growing family, a larger backyard, or simply a fresh start. This is an exciting time, but it's important to ensure your dream home doesn't come with stack of issues and repairs. Consider these 5 things to look for when buying a home to avoid a risk.

Damaged Roof

The first thing you should notice when looking at any home is the age and condition of the roof. When working with a trusted realtor, your agent should be able to guide you in the history and quality of the roof. When doing a visual check, be on the lookout for missing shingles, rusted flashing, moss, and any other spots that look concerning. A damaged roof puts your home at severe risk and could potentially damage in the interior and exterior.

Water Damage

Water damage is an expensive repair within a house. When touring potential homes to buy, keep your eyes open for signs of water damage. This includes:

  • Check under sinks in kitchen and bathrooms while running all faucets.
  • Check the basement or crawl space to see if there is a sump pump.
  • Check the lawn for slopes, standing water, or water marks on the foundation.

Heating and Cooling

Having an air conditioner and heating system that works properly is important for your family. Ask questions, such as the age of the system, turn it on and off while listening to how it runs, and double check the filters. When walking outside, look for rust and dirt on the heating and cooling equipment. Although an inspector will test the appliances, it still doesn't hurt to see for yourself.

Foundation Faults

The foundation is the most important part of a house. When browsing homes, be sure to check for foundation faults by walking around the exterior, the crawlspace, or basement. A few signs of foundation damage includes:

  • Cracks within the walls
  • Uneven floors
  • Rotten wood
  • Tile cracks
  • Doors out of square
  • And more

Working Appliances and Electrical Outlets

Don't let cosmetic repairs distract you from other issues, especially in a kitchen with fresh paint and backsplash. Turn on all the appliances to confirm they properly work, run the dishwasher, and peek into the fridge. Checking appliances and electrical outlets gives you a piece of mind, and you can never be too cautious!




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
27

Tips for First-Time Home Buyers Looking for Indian Lake Homes for Sale

 

Tips for First-Time Home Buyers Looking for Indian Lake Homes for Sale

Indian Lake is a beautiful place to vacation and even more beautiful if you're looking to buy your first home. The area features numerous islands and inlets, expansive wildlife areas, and approximately 30 miles of shoreline with a walking/hiking trail. When you're considering buying your first home in central Ohio, you should definitely check out Indian Lake homes for sale.

Buying a home in Indian Lake shouldn't be a headache, especially when you have friendly agents here at Choice Properties that know the area and go out of their way to help you find the perfect home for your family. There are many factors to take into consideration in the home buying process, including mortgage rates, property taxes, assessment fees, plus home inspections, closing, and of course actually moving. To make things just a little bit easier for you as you look for Indian Lake homes for sale, we have come up with a few tips you can use to ease the process. 

Get Your Finances Organized

This includes taking a close look at your credit score and getting finance approval from a lender ahead of time. Find out how much financing your bank will approve and then shop wisely for a home that fits within your budget. Moreover, shop around with different lenders, get options and quotes before you decide to partner with a bank or lender. Remember, you'll be paying that mortgage for many years to come, and you want a lender you are comfortable with.

Save, Save, Save

Buying a home requires a down payment, and it is no different with Indian Lake homes for sale. Plus there can always be hidden fees and expenses. This is why it is important not to spend your entire budget just on the house, because there are many other expenses that will come up as you're moving in. You might need to replace or repair something. Maybe you decide to get some new furniture. Whatever the case may be, it is always wise to have some cushioning room in your budget.

Take Advantage Of The Open House

Open houses are fun! And you should absolutely take advantage of them when you are house hunting. After you've had the cookies and lemonade, use the opportunity to scope out the neighborhood on a deeper level. An open house will also afford you opportunities to pay attention to the home's overall condition. Are there any stains or smells? How old are the plumbing and heating systems? Ask all the questions you want to and don't hesitate to schedule more visits.

What's Behind The Walls?

We've all seen an episode of 'Property Brothers' where they tear down a wall, only to find structural damage to the home. There will be many things that you can't spot just by looking at the home, which is where the home inspection comes in. Keep in mind however, that not all home inspections test for everything, so make sure you know what's included. A home inspection only takes place after your offer is accepted, and if you're not happy with its results, you will have to decide whether to rescind the offer, or stay with it and pay for renovations. Having room in the budget will be an important part of the equation.

Finally, keep it all in perspective. When you look at Indian Lake homes for sale, remember that buying a home is like choosing a life partner. You have to be able to live with what you see, and there is only so much you can change. Let us help you find something that's perfect for you and your family.

 

 


For the most helpful and qualified Logan County real estate agents,
contact your friends at Choice Properties Real Estate today to view the best properties in the area!

December
13

 

 

 Comparing Renting vs. Owning

One of the hottest topics in housing is whether to rent or own a home. Market conditions and personal finances and other things factor into the decision to rent or own a home. Learn how calculations actually work in order to feel confident on deciding what is right for the budget and family.

 

Check Numbers

The first thing to understand is how math works for each individual looking at homes. Calculating monthly costs of home ownership, subtracting tax benefits and comparing the final figure will help gauge the difference between home rental versus home ownership in the same neighborhood.

Assume a credit score of 750, a $300,000 home purchase price with 10 percent down ($30,000) for a 30-year fixed mortgage. Current rates hover around 3.25 percent. A mortgage calculator will tally the total monthly cost as follows:

 

Mortgage payment of principal and interest  $1,175

Property taxes  $300

Private mortgage insurance (PMI)  $133

Homeowners insurance  $67

TOTAL monthly cost  $1,675

 

Calculate the tax benefit by deducting the mortgage interest and property taxes. Multiply the loan amount by $270,000 by a rate of 3.25 percent for a total of $8,775. To calculate annual property tax, multiply the $300,000 home price by a national average of 1.2 percent property tax to get $3,600. The sum of $8,775 along with $3,600 equals $12,375 in deductible costs. Based on the income needed to qualify for a $300,000 home, the tax bracket is likely around 28 percent. Multiply $12,375 by 28 percent for annual tax savings of $3.465. Divide that number by 12 months for estimated savings of $289. Subtract this number from the total housing cost of $1,675 for after-tax cost of $1,386.

Compare the estimated after-tax housing cost of $1,386 to market rent for a comparable home in the same city with similar size, quality and location.

 

Looking Ahead

The second thing to understand is that it takes time for owning to become cheaper than renting.  A cost-benefit analysis is helpful when determining which is more cost effective but also which provides the most benefit over the long term. A breakeven horizon is when buying becomes more favorable in a year when costs to buy become less than or equal to renting costs. When it comes to making an investment, it is important to note how long it will take for this to happen if questions remain as to the benefit of renting versus owning for the future.

 
 

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