Skip to content

January 2014 market update

February 21, 2014

A total of 1,209 homes were sold (closed) last month – - a 7.2% decrease from a year ago. My office is up from last year 30% but overall I think we are feeling the effects of the winter “vortex” and all the snow and ice has kept buyers at home and sellers from putting up a For Sale sign.  Who really wants to slip and slide all over the place?!?!

That being said, now if the time to dust off your snow shoes, bundle up, and start house shopping! Great homes are coming available every day- like this one, and this one and this one (shameless plug alert). Plus dozens more each day, the sooner you start your search, the sooner you will be moving in to your perfect home.  The real problem in the market has been a lack of good inventory.  And I think this spring market is going to be HOT and QUICK. Meaning a new listing, in good condition and priced well is going to sell in a matter of days.  I’ve already been seeing that scenario all over town in the last week or so.

As a seller, now is a great time to sell! The January average home selling price maintained its upward movement to $150,908 vs. $138,592 a year earlier, an 8.9% increase. The average price has increased year-over-year for 23 consecutive months. Mortgage rates are starting to slowly climb, giving buyers at least some sense of urgency. And our regional Open House Weekend will be March 22-23. So mark your calendar!

 

For all you stat people, here you go:

January Home Sales

                                       Closings               Gross Volume               Average Price

January 2014             1,209                         $182,447,681               $150,908

January 2013             1,303                        $180,585,690               $138,592

Variance                       - 7.21%                          + 1.03%                    + 8.89%

30-Year Fixed Rate Mortgage (local)

January 2013 (average) 3.60%

January 2014 (average) 4.25%

Most recent (Feb. 20, 2014) 4.31%

A year ago (February 20, 2013) 3.65%

Home Prices Up Over 9 percent

January 21, 2014

For you “number” folks like me here are the details on the 2013 sales from the National Association of realtors:

Nationally, the number of homes sold is down 1.2%, the median home sale price rose 9.4% and the inventory of homes on the market rose 5%. Distressed homes were 14% of all sales, down from 22% in 2012.

And for those of you that like pictures:

narsalesstats_2013

November 8, 2013

A potential home buyer is on your street taking a casual look at homes. It is a Sunday and your home has an open house. Will this person stop to look inside your home?

Does your home have curb appeal? When you have you home listed to sell, it is very important to make it look appealing from the outside to draw and lure potential buyers into your home. Here are some tips:

The Lawn Keep the grass mowed and free of leaves. Be sure to trim edges to make it fabulous.

Sidewalks During winter months when it is snowing, keep all walkways, steps and the driveway clear.

Lighting Exterior lighting can make your home look more dramatic! During the winter months, there is less sunlight. Lighting can help make your home stand out during this dreary time.

Outside Decor Tasteful outside decor can add some interest to your home’s exterior. In the fall, colorful potted or planted mums look very nice. When it is a colder, minimal winter decor can also look inviting. Remember, symmetry looks most pleasing to the eye and makes it easier when creating arrangements.

Front Door The front door is usually the focal point of the front of the home. Curb appeal can be added by painting the door with a statement color to contrast from the rest of the home.

Shutters, Trim and Moldings Your home will look more “complete” and appealing with shutters around window frames. And you might want to think about adding some decorative moldings to freshen up your home’s exterior look.

Paint Yeah, we know, you hate to paint. We all do. But, paint is one of the most economic ways to freshen up your home on the outside!

Need more inspiration?

  • Go here to see HGTV’s television show’s Curb Appeal to see some transformation photos
  • The KCM Blog has a great infographic with curb appeal do’s and don’ts as well as gardening tips here.
  • See Sibcy Cline’s Beautiful Home Exteriors Pinterest board here

Cincinnati Streetcar progress

September 9, 2013

modern-streetcar1

The Cincinnati Streetcar project – how much do you know about this future transportation system? I’ve been keeping you updated from time to time and here is a summary of where things stand right now.

Cincinnati Streetcar FAQs

  • What is the budget? First phase = $147.81 million (Federal and local monies) for the 3.6 mile route
  • How do the cars move? The rails are embedded in the street and operate with electricity via a single, overhead wire
  • What will be the fare? The amount is unknown at this time
  • How many streetcars will there be? Five
  • What will they look like? Go here and scroll down to see a rendering.
  • What is the route? Go here to see the route map. This route will be accessible to the 70,000 people who work in the downtown area
  • Has the project started? Yes! The construction for the street car maintenance facility in Over-the-Rhine has begun

Why a Streetcar System? The streetcar project should generate economic activity along its route with new businesses and shops along its way. The streetcar will also bring people into the city and will reinforce the walkability of the area for those who choose to live in the area.

The Route People will be able to use the streetcar along 18 stops that are near:

See a route map here. Future plans for the streetcar may also include stops at the University of Cincinnati and the Cincinnati Zoo. See a great infographic map of the route here.

What happened to the original streetcar system? The original streetcars were a major form of public transportation starting in the late 1800s. With the popularity of automobiles and buses, ridership diminished and the streetcars were dismantled in 1951. Read more about the original streetcars here.

Follow the streetcar project on Facebook here and its blog here.

Can the food you eat help sell your house?

September 5, 2013

healthy food

Your home is on the market and you have de-cluttered closets, cupboards and pantries. But have you taken a look inside your refrigerator to see how organized and clean it is?

Many times, the refrigerator is included in the sale of the home and people will peek inside.

Be sure to stage your refrigerator:

  • Throw away old food (including frozen items)
  • Get rid of foods with strong odors
  • Organize food contents and de-clutter
  • Make the shelves sparkle – no sticky shelves!

Should you purchase food and drink that might appeal to the buyer? That is a bit extreme for staging. Read this fun article from the New York Times – You Are What You Refrigerate!

Six Don’ts After You Apply for a Mortgage

July 19, 2013

These 6 things might seem obvious but you would be surprised how often some small and “no big deal” to you affects your credit or loan application.  Here are a few good rules to go by.  And when in doubt, always check with your loan officer before you make any decisions that deal with your finances!

1. Don’t deposit cash into your bank accounts. Lenders need to source your money and cash is not really traceable. Small, explainable deposits are fine, but getting $10,000 from your parents as a gift in cash is not. Discuss the proper way to track your assets with your loan officer.

2. Don’t make any large purchases like a new car or a bunch of new furniture. New debt comes with it, including new monthly obligations. New obligations create new qualifications. People with new debt have higher ratios…higher ratios make for riskier loans…and sometimes qualified borrowers are no longer qualifying.

3. Don’t co-sign other loans for anyone. When you co-sign, you are obligated. With that obligation comes higher ratios, as well. Even if you swear you won’t be making the payments, the lender will be counting the payment against you.

4. Don’t change bank accounts. Remember, lenders need to source and track assets. That task is significantly easier when there is a consistency of accounts. Frankly, before you even transfer money between accounts, talk to your loan officer.

5. Don’t apply for new credit. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a new credit card or a new car, when you have your credit report run by organizations in multiple financial channels (mortgage, credit card, auto, etc.), your FICO score will be affected. Lower credit scores can determine your interest rate and maybe even your eligibility for approval.

6. Don’t close any credit accounts. Many clients have erroneously believed that having less available credit makes them less risky and more approvable. Wrong. A major component of your score is your length and depth credit history (as opposed to just your payment history) and your total usage of credit as a percentage of available credit. Closing accounts has a negative impact on both those determinants of your score.

The best advice is to fully disclose and discuss your plans with your loan officer before you do anything financial in nature. Any blip in income, assets, or credit should be reviewed and executed in a way to keep your application in the most positive light.

Need help finding a great loan office? I work with many different lenders who offer tons of different loan products for whatever your situation is!  Call me and I can help you get started!

6 ideas taken from the KCM Blog- Dean Hartman 4/12/12

Smart Upgrades for Decks

July 16, 2013

A few cost-effective add-ons can give a modest deck an edge and deliver a handsome payback should you sell your house.

Hidden fasteners for decking

For years now, deck screws have been the fastener of choice. (Nails, prone to popping out over time, are old news.) Deck screws come in a useful range of colors, won’t corrode, and hold exceptionally well. However, even when installed carefully, they cover the deck with rows of little pockmarks—tiny depressions that may have splintered edges and trap dirt.

Enter the hidden fastener. This clever innovation holds deck planks down while leaving the surface looking sleek and minimalist. There are scores of hidden fasteners on the market, each of a slightly different design. One category fastens with a screw to the framing and grips the side of each plank with barbs. Another fits into a groove in the side of the plank (some composite planks come with this groove) before being fastened to the joist. Yet another type fastens from underneath the deck, firmly snugging the decking onto the joists.

Hidden fasteners are labor intensive to install, which adds a premium of about $4 per square foot compared with the cost of an installation using deck screws. However, many deck owners find the investment worthwhile, especially if they have selected composite, vinyl, or premium wood decking and want to show off these materials to best advantage.

Decks-003

Adding style with planters

Planters give a deck character. The various shapes and sizes of planters add texture and color. Built-in versions, often made of the same material as the decking, can be positioned to separate seating areas from cooking areas. When planted with tall plants, such as ornamental grasses, they can act as living privacy screens.

Wood planters typically are lined with galvanized sheet metal, plastic containers, or are built to conceal standard pots that are easily removed for cleaning or planting. Planters made of pressure-treated wood sometimes forego the liner altogether.

With all built-ins, some means of drainage is necessary, which may mean you’ll have to bore holes in the bottom of the container. Because excess water will drain from the bottom of your planter, you’ll need to be mindful of where you position the planter. If you hire a pro to custom build your deck planters, assume a cost of $150 to $250 labor and materials for each lineal foot of a 2-foot deep and 2-foot high built-in planter.

Built-ins aren’t your only option. Home centers offer a wide variety of planters available at prices from $10 to $200. Ceramic or cement pots can be a decorative feature, running $50 and up for a 2-foot tall container. Hanging planters (about $25 each) are a great addition to a pergola or trellis. Planters that attach to the railing ($70 for a 40-inch-long terracotta planter with metal holder) all but disappear when filled with plants.

Cable railings

Railings are typically required on any deck when the decking surface is more than 2 feet above ground. Railings are the most visible part of the deck from ground level and offer a great opportunity to echo the colors and architectural details of your house. However, if you are lucky enough to a have a scenic vista (or just an awfully nice yard) you won’t want the railing in the way.

One solution is a cable railing–thin stainless steel cables strung tautly between wood or metal posts. This alternative looks great, preserves the view and, at a cost of about $70 per lineal foot for a pro installation, is about $1,200 more expensive than a standard wood railing for a 16×20-foot deck. To further spare the budget, consider using cable only where the view is important and use wood elsewhere. Or, if you are handy, do it yourself for a materials cost of about $25 a lineal foot.

Taming the sun with shade sails

Overhead structures like wood pergolas and trellises help shield a deck from the sun, adding a pleasantly dappled shade pattern. However, they can be costly to install and challenging to maintain over the years.

Shade sails are a cool, eye-catching alternative. Made of UV-resistant polyethylene knit fabric, sails are triangular, square, and rectangular, and come in a variety of colors. They produce a muted, diffuse light, cutting the glare of full sunlight while still permitting light into windows adjacent to the deck. Shade is not all the sails offer. Many homeowners consider shade sails a form of aerial sculpture and delight in watching them rise and fall gently in the evening breeze.

Shade sails for a 16 x 20-foot deck would cost about $5,500 when professionally installed. (Expect to pay at least 30% more for a custom-built pergola of comparable size.) If you have a smaller installation in mind, you can buy a 12-foot triangular shade at your home center for as little as $200. However, bear in mind that a sail can exert a mighty force on a windy day and must be attached to the framing of the house or to steel or wooden poles set in concrete. A professional installation is recommended.

By: Dave Toht

Photo Courtesy of Home Dressing

Visit HouseLogic.com for more articles like this. Reprinted from HouseLogic.com with permission of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 439 other followers

%d bloggers like this: