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December
6

city of bellefontaine ohio

10 Benefits of Living in the City of Bellefontaine Ohio

The City of Bellefontaine in Ohio is the seat of Logan County. For centuries before settlers founded the town, it had been the home of many Native Americans tribes including the Miami and the Shawnee. Bellefontaine was officially laid out on March 20th 1820 and has been the quintessential Midwestern small town ever since. Some of the numerous benefits of living in the city of Bellefontaine are:

Rich History

In the 1890s the city of Bellefontaine became a major railroad town, when the big four cities of Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati and St. Louis made it one of their main terminals. Bellefontaine hosted the largest roundhouse between New York and St. Louis during those days. Presently, it is the center of Honda's operations in the US and home to many Honda suppliers.

Small Communities

All over America small towns are prospering. Bellefontaine is no exception. There are charms to living in a small town, like knowing your neighbors and attending community events where a large portion of the town is present. It's got plenty of cute historical curiosities as well. For example, the city of Bellefontaine has the oldest concrete street in America, and the shortest street in the world at only 15 feet long. Living in a small town is like nothing else, and Bellefontaine personifies the experience.

Lower Unemployment Rate

The unemployment rate in Bellefontaine is 4.10% as compared to the national average of 5.20. Job growth is positive and jobs have increased by 2.56%.

Lower Cost Of Living

Compared to the rest of the country, Bellefontaine's cost of living is 18.50% lower than the national average. This makes buying a home in Bellefontaine and raising a family more affordable. You can enjoy more of life's extras when the cost of everything is lower.

Low Crime Rates

According to recent statistics, Bellefontaine is safer than 11% of the cities in the country. The violent crime numbers are very low, and fatal attacks are at 0%.

Real Estate

Speaking of homes, the median home cost in the city of Bellefontaine is $90,000, while to rent a house averages out to $700, both lower than the national average.

Public Schools

Bellefontaine public schools spend $18,316 per student. Compare this to the average school expenditure in the U.S., which is $12,383. The students per teacher ratio is 16.3.

Education Levels

Approximately 47% of the residents of the city of Bellefontaine have a high school diploma, while 22% have an associates degree. College graduates with Bachelors degrees are at 12% and some 6% have Masters degrees.

Places To Visit

The city has numerous places to visit nearby like Piatt Castles, which has been a popular destination for over 100 years. There's also the Mad River Mountain Ski Resort, and the Ohio Caverns, which are some of the country's most visited destinations. Whether you live down the street or across the country, you will find something special nestled in the beautiful countryside around the city of Bellefontaine.

Proximity

The city of Bellefontaine is only about an hour away from Columbus and less than 3 hours away from Cleveland. So you have all the charms of small town living, with all the amenities of the big cities within reach.

 

...and if that isn't enough we also have some great restaurants in bellefontaine Ohio. You can read about some of them in this article.

 

If you're curious to explore the beautiful properties for sale in the City of Bellefontaine and beyond,

Consult with one of our award-winning real estate agents and let's get you and your family in a new home!

 

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.

June
14

The start of seller season in real estate begins April 1st, which also happens to be April Fools' Day. The time to sell a house is list it now and get ready. Homes show better in springtime. A seller is more likely to move a house quickly at good market value this time of year. In a competitive market, sellers may make a mistake by waiting to list property. Spring is a great time to showcase a home's best assets and help people envision living in the property. Some simple, yet effective, tips can position a seller's home on the market, save stress and help retain power of negotiation for fair market value.

 

First Impressions

Curb appeal is very important when selling a property. Landscape can take time to maintain. Instead, go with low-water grass and drought-tolerant plants. Visit the local garden center and explore native plants. Spruce up the front yard and back patio. Potential buyers love to see how relaxation and entertainment is possible in a new space. Make the front porch and entryway as attractive as possible as potential buyers will stop at this point to get into the home and have time to look at surroundings.

 

Model Home

The emotional connection to a home is an important selling point.. A home that sells fast is one which follows these get-ready tips:

  • De-personalize the space to help potential buyer envision living there

  • Remove family photos and kids artwork

  • Edit collections, books, closets, cabinets, pantry and end tables

  • Make home look as big as possible to showcase rooms

  • Focus on big spaces in the home which will be used often like the kitchen (functionality, neutral design choices)

  • Splurge on a few main spaces which have a lot of resale value (master bath, living room)

 

Marketing

A house will not sell itself without some help. Think of the process in three parts: pricing, listing, showing. View comparable properties in the area then set a competitive price point to ensure a quick sale.

 

Get more people to the open house by listing the property on a Friday before opening the home the following Sunday. The long exposure helps before showing. Following the open house, compare all offers on Sunday night. In a good market, multiple competing offers will be given and the home can sell at or above the list price.

 

Competitive markets may be more aggressive. Direct mailers may be needed to potential buyers to let everyone know about the property for sale. A 'broker's open' invites brokers and real estate agents to view the property before an open house to receive feedback on selling more quickly.

 

Forget Perfect

Highlight the positives of the property such as access to schools, health clubs or green space like parks. A positive approach will help the property sell quickly and easily, a win-win for all parties involved.

 

Get more advice on how to get ready for this years selling season. It's a hot one!

Contact one of our agents today.

January
27

Find Incredible Properties All Over the Indian Lake Ohio Map

Indian Lake boasts 5,800 acres of lakes and 800 acres of parks featuring year-round recreation. Camping, boating, swimming, fishing, hiking and more are on offer including many unique restaurants and dining opportunities. Antique stores, marinas, golf courses and other amenities make this area the jewel of Ohio. Whatever a person is looking for, incredible properties exist all over the Indian Lake Ohio map.

 

Logan County

Logan County is located in western Ohio. Rich with natural beauty, it is also steeped in history as American Indians called Logan County home. What started with small villages throughout the county, areas began to grow such as Bellefontaine which became the county seat. Campbell's Hill is the highest point in Ohio with the first concrete street in America, built in 1891. Several natural caves dot the landscape including two open to the public: Ohio Caverns and Zane Caverns. Two castles are open for tours, owned by the Piatt family located in the Mad River Valley near West Liberty, Ohio.

 

Neighborhoods

 

Russells Point

Russells Point is situated with an amazing view of Indian Lake. Waterfront views are an enticing feature of living in this neighborhood. Along with local restaurants, bars and other amenities, properties in the area include waterfront locations with a boat dock as well as spectacular water views of the Indian Lake area. Many available properties take advantage of the lake view with beautiful windows overlooking the water and decks for entertaining guests. The neighborhood is friendly, inviting and caters to a wide range of people who enjoy the water.

 

Lakeview

Lakeview is one of the most spectacular areas to live within the Indian Lake Ohio region. Many homes boast waterfront and lake views as well as personal boat docks. Great schools, neighbors and amenities surround this neighborhood. Fishing and other water activities can be enjoyed from the vicinity of home. Sprawling properties with acreage are available as well as smaller homes. It all depends on the individual's needs and desires.

 

Finding the right property in the Indian Lake Ohio map is a challenge with so many beautiful locations from which to choose. From newer developments to rustic, historic villages the area boasts many opportunities to select a home with features that best fit an individual's budget and desires. The region is historically significant but also hosts many tourists and visitors who enhance economic development and build on the tradition of Indian Lake as a destination for all people. When searching for property in the Indian Lake area, the options are truly endless. Enjoy the waterfront dining options, golf courses, camping, hiking and biking or take a day out on the lake. The choice is yours to make when you choose Indian Lake as the place to reside and call home.

 

Get more advice on finding the best property for you.

Contact one of our agents today.

November
27

Here are some tips for smooth lining the selling process when listing a property that you no longer live in, for whatever reason.

For a major tax break, be sure you've lived in the house as a primary residence at least two of the last five years. If you haven't, then you'll be looking at a tax gain on the sale of an investment property. If you have lived in the home, then the US federal government allows for single homeowners to sell their home without paying taxes on the first $250,000 in gain. For married couples, it's $500,000.

The next most important thing for you to do is to early on get a good, trustworthy agent on board. A local agent is a local resource for you, the seller. If you're renting, these agents can field renter's issues such as leaky faucets or broken garage doors. If you're selling, these agents are going to be priceless for knowing the local market and making sure the property is kept open house ready. Potential buyers are also more open to working with a real person as opposed to internet deals.

Even with a local real estate agent, it won't hurt you to stay on top of what the market is doing in the area where you're selling. Keeping yourself knowledgeable will let you react quickly when an offer to buy does come in. Knowing if what they're offering is high or low is good business. It's the sign of a smart homeowner.

So is taking care of your tenants if you are renting the property. If they've been loyal tenants, you may want to offer them the first opportunity to buy the property when you decide it's time to sell. At the very least you'll want to give them a good lead team to know they'll need to be moving if they aren't interested in purchasing. Keeping them happy should translate to them continuing to take care of your property while they reside there.

 If you're looking to sell a house long distance, contact the award-winning real estate agents at Choice Properties for advice on plannign the best possible sale.

 

 

Get more advice on listing and selling your home from long distance.

Contact one of our agents today.

November
17

Maybe you stumbled on 'the one' with the first property you looked at, but it's more likely you've been at it for months, critiquing every detail until at long last, you found it. Your dream home. Landscaping to die for surrounding a home just right for you and yours. It has all the neighborhood amenities you wanted. The location is perfect. This is it!

Now what?

 

Here are some tips to remember when making your first offer to buy. 

First, there is no absolute wrong or right way to do this. Be realistic with your offer, however. Working with a good real estate agent can go a long way toward helping you do this. You don't want to offend anyone by offering fifty grand for a home valued at half a million. On the flipside, you don't want to pay more for a property than it's worth either. Knowledge is power.

Compare and evaluate any notes you've taken while attending open houses or private viewings. Narrow down what you liked about the schools and neighborhoods, the amenities to each home, et cetera. Your agent can then pull up comparable listings based on the features that appealed to you. With these numbers, you can establish a ballpark offer price.

Now would be a good time to give your lender a head's up. If it's been more than thirty days since you've touched base, or if your financial status has changed in any way, they may need updated information. Having a pre-approved mortgage loan ready to go allows you to act fast and lets sellers know that you're serious.

If you or your agent take a little extra time to research the listing history on the property in which you're interested, you may discover information to give you some negotiating room. Have there been price reductions? How quickly does the seller want to close? Are there any active bids on the house?

Depending on the answers to these questions and any others regarding closing terms, and the ballpark price you determined based on the current market, you'll be able to make an offer which is advantageous to both you and the seller, hopefully making it a win-win situation for all parties.

 

For more information on making an offer on your dream home, contact Choice Properties Real Estate to speak with one of our award-winning agents today!

October
7

Selling a home rarely happens overnight, yet sellers can find it frustrating if it seems that too much time is passing without closing the deal. On average, a home shouldn't take more than six weeks to sell—if the market is strong and the property is priced appropriately. If it sits much longer, buyers can become wary, so let's look at some ways to generate interest if your home isn't selling as fast as you'd like.

 

Location, Price, and Condition

While you can't just move your home to a different part of town if traffic is low, you can reassess the price you're asking, and whether it's comparable to other homes in the area in addition to what the property itself offers.

If you've got some time, and have received consistent feedback over issues with the house, then you may want to go ahead and take the house off the market for a short time to address those issues. There are low-budget fixes you can do to make a house more desirable. Sometimes it's as simple as decluttering, slapping on a coat of a fresh paint, and putting out fresh flowers. In other instances, it could take a little more . . . maybe updating the kitchen and/or baths will be what it takes.

If you are unable to spare the time or money for a remodel, or the location is out of your hands no matter how nice the house actually is, another option is to go ahead and reduce the asking price.

 

Do You and Your Realtor Have the Same Goal?

As large an investment as a home is, you want to be sure that your Logan County real estate agent has your back. Be honest with your expectations from the first meeting with them. Also, be open to their suggestions and recommendations. Remember, they do this for a living and it's their job to know the market you're trying to crack. A good agent won't let you undersell or overprice, and will be willing to pursue offers by following up with any potential buyers who've shown interest.

 

If you are having trouble selling your home, let us help!

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

 

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
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.

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.

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