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6 Home Maintenance Tips to Keep Your Family Safe

6 Home Maintenance Tips to Keep Your Family Safe

Posted By Andrea Robinson
November 29, 2021 Category: General

While every season comes with different things you should keep up with when it comes to home maintenance, there are still plenty of things you should regularly do and check on to ensure your family’s safety in your home. Here are 6 things you can check out today...   The Gutters   You should be making sure that your gutters are clear of any blockage that would cause the rain or the water coming from the melted snow to infiltrate your house. It is recommended you clear your gutters at least twice a year, most importantly in the Spring and late Fall.    Smoke alarm and carbon dioxide monoxide detectors   You should be changing the batteries to these life-saving gadgets at least once a year. This way, you’re sure that if ever a fire happens, your family can safely make it out of your home as quickly as possible.    HVAC system   If you have a central system in your home for heat and air, make sure to call a technician at least twice a year to check your system. Typically, the technician will take care of cleaning and servicing your furnace, ducts, and vents. They’ll also look for any signs of damage and let you know when it is time to repair or change anything.   The Roof   If you can safely make it to your roof, inspect it to make sure you don’t have broken shingles, moss, broken gutters, or broken tree parts stuck on the roof. And if you can’t make it up there, you can hire som

Homeowners Insurance VS. Title Insurance: What's the Difference?

Homeowners Insurance VS. Title Insurance: Whats the Difference

Posted By Andrea Robinson
November 16, 2021 Category: General

Buying a home is one of life’s biggest moments... But it’s also one of the most stressful moments of them all.   Especially when you’re faced with lots of jargon that sounds like gibberish.    That being said, one of the things that new homeowners tend to not quite understand is the difference between homeowner’s insurance and title insurance. New homeowners often have loads of valid and important questions, which we are going to answer below.  What is title insurance? First and foremost, “title” refers to someone’s legal ownership of a property. That being said, title insurance is a policy that covers claims coming from third parties on issues that existed before you close on your home and that didn’t come up in the initial title search.   For example, if there is a lien on your home that you weren’t aware of before closing on your home, title insurance would be useful here as it would protect you from having to pay up for something that you, as the new owner, did not accrue.    Simply said, title insurance protects you against losses caused by problems related to the title of your property.  What is homeowner’s insurance? This is the type of insurance you would normally think of when someone mentions “home insurance”. This insurance covers claims you make following certain events, such as a fire, burglary, vandalism, water damage, strong winds

3 Tips to Stay Safe From Wire Fraud

3 Tips to Stay Safe From Wire Fraud

Posted By Andrea Robinson
November 09, 2021 Category: General

Unfortunately, we live in an age where wire fraud is constantly on the rise. In fact, cybercriminals have stolen over $423 Million in wire transfers from victims. While these criminals are pretty good and their traps are only getting more sophisticated over time, there are still ways you can stay safe and protect yourself from being a victim of wire fraud.   Here are 3 tips you can follow to stay safe from wire fraud:    Only send money to people and businesses you know and trust   If something seems too good to be true, it probably is. Don’t send money to anyone or any business that is guaranteeing you any type of return on the “investment” they are asking you to wire to them.   Another thing to beware of in a business setting is when a business is asking you to wire money to an unknown middle man. Chances are, both the business you are discussing with and the middle man are on the same team and have one goal: to get that money out of you and run with it.   Protect all of your personal and banking information   Your personal and banking information needs to be protected at all costs. This means you must be careful (and picky) with what type of information you give and to whom. For example, beware of payment methods that don’t seem to be secure when you’re shopping online. Also, make sure that your passwords for your online banking information (or any platform that keeps any sort of bankin

Northeast Ohio Trick-or-Treat Dates and Times

Northeast Ohio Trick or Treat Dates and Times

Posted By Andrea Robinson
October 27, 2021 Category: General

It’s almost time for all the tiny ghouls and ghosts to make their way to the streets and ask for a trick or a few treats. But If you aren’t keeping fort at your spooked-up home to feed the little trick-or-treaters, then you’re most probably looking for a neighborhood to bring your own trick-or-treaters to.   And you’re in luck because we found a list for you! You can consult it, here.   If you’re also looking for family-friendly activities during this Halloween weekend, we have another list for you! Plus, you don’t need to worry about any of these activities being too scary for your kiddos; they’re all non-scary.  Consult the list of Halloween activities in Northeast Ohio, here.   Lastly, if you want to make sure you see all the BEST and spookiest Halloween displays and decor this year, make sure to check out this page. You don’t want to miss them.   Wishing you all a safe, scary, and happy

4 Last-Minute DIY Outdoor Halloween Decorations

4 Last Minute DIY Outdoor Halloween Decorations

Posted By Andrea Robinson
October 20, 2021 Category: General

If you’ve looked at your calendar recently and were horrified to find out that Halloween is less than two weeks away…. You aren’t alone!   Whether you’re planning to throw a Halloween party with your family and friends or are simply giving out treats, we got a few easy DIY decorations that will make your home the most spooktacular of the block!  Floating Witch Hats Source: simply2moms.com    Bewitch your patio and make sure all wandering children know that witches have parked their brooms at your house!   With a roll of string and some tape, you’ll be able to glue the hats and have them floating over trick-or-treaters in no time.   Halloween Mason Jar Lanterns Source: erinspain.com   Instead of going for the good-old Jack-o’-lantern, why not illuminate your steps for trick-or-treaters with these jar lanterns?   Simply choose a few tissue paper colors, insert them into the mason jars and brush liquid glue all over it to make it stick to the inside of the jars.   Then, cut out a few spooky shapes in black felt fabric and glue it to the outside of the mason jars. Once night comes, simply add a small candle inside each jar and voila!   Ghost Windsock Source: chickenscratchyny.com    On Halloween night, you must unleash the lost souls into your front hard… Especially if you have trees they can be tied to!    Simply go through your recycling b

Is Fall a Good Time to Buy or Sell a Home?

Is Fall a Good Time to Buy or Sell a Home

Posted By Andrea Robinson
October 13, 2021 Category: General

Historically speaking, the housing market tends to heat up for both buyers and sellers towards the beginning of Spring. By the end of the Summer, the market slowly starts to cool down as we enter the chilly season. But this year, the housing market is nowhere near slowing down. In fact, as you may already know, homes are selling like hotcakes! Here’s why homeowners are putting their homes on the market for sale and buyers are quick to snatch them: Low-Interest Rates for Buyers The pandemic has caused a lot of economic downturns all over the world. As a response to these downshifts, the Fed brought down the interest rates for loans with the goal of stimulating the economy. And boy did that work well!  With the mortgage interest rate falling 3% below the lowest in history, there’s never been a better time to search for your forever home.  Low Competition for Sellers With the interest rates being so low, the time homes spend on the market has reached a record low. In fact, prior to 2021, most homes were on the market for an average of 36 days. These days, they spend less than 21 days on the market.  That’s almost 2 weeks less than normally.  Naturally, this quick sales cycle means that there are a lot fewer houses on the market at once. This makes competition low, which brings us to the next reason why the housing market is so hot right now. High Home Values for Sellers Lastly, the biggest symptom of low inventory in a hot hou

Fall 2021 Housing Market Predictions

Fall 2021 Housing Market Predictions

Posted By Andrea Robinson
September 30, 2021 Category: General

As we welcome the fall season, it brings many changes, including new housing market trends that started in 2020 and carried over into 2021. People are thinking about 2021 as a way out of their current living situation or an opportunity for investment purposes. We'll take a look at some of these upcoming trends so you can make your own decision best-suited for this changing environment. The hot seller's market has never been more competitive. With so many homes going for over the asking price, it is no wonder that home prices were at an all-time high with 17% growth in June 2021 compared to 2020. Real estate agents believe there's plenty of time for prospective buyers to celebrate because they can breathe easier as prices remain stable. With more inventory becoming available, it is predicted that we'll see fewer fluctuations in some areas - giving you peace of mind knowing your purchase will go smoothly. According to a recent article in Forbes, demand will return to its usual cooling-off period in the fall, with the recent expansion of inventory and declining home prices. Also, expect mortgage rates to increase as we head into fall and the new year. The housing market is changing, and the economic forecast for 2021 shows that it will continue to do so. With Ohio First Land Title on your side, you can be assured of a smooth property purchasing process no matter what the future holds. So don't hesitate; contact us today to get

Your Fall Home Maintenance Checklist

Your Fall Home Maintenance Checklist

Posted By Andrea Robinson
September 23, 2021 Category: General

As the warm summer months end, make sure that your home is ready for the cooler months ahead. The change in seasons means that your home will need a little TLC. Here are five tips to get your home fall-proof! 1) Clean out your gutters Falling leaves can leave your gutters clogged. Clogged drains can lead to various issues, including water damage, a leaky roof, and pest infestations. Gutter damage can be costly, so make sure you clean out your gutters before fall! 2) Wash your windows Washing your windows and checking your screens for repairs is a must before fall. Your windows may appear clean, but the grime from summer storms, pollen, and dust can make your windows dirty. 3) Check your heating system The cool fall months are just a precursor to the chilly winter days, so you want to ensure that your heating system works properly. Having someone do a maintenance check early in the fall will guarantee that you will not be scrambling to find a repair company later on in the season. 4) Put your outdoor furniture into storage Everyone loves their outdoor living spaces, so make sure you put your outdoor furniture into storage to prevent damage. As the cooler months settle in, your furniture may not be able to withstand the changing elements. 5) Check for drafts Checking your windows and doors for drafts may seem unnecessary, but it can make a world of difference for your home's temperature. If you notice drafts, using draft stoppers or weatherstripping your windows

Cleveland's Last Days of Summer: Things to Do

Clevelands Last Days of Summer: Things to Do

Posted By Andrea Robinson
September 08, 2021 Category: General

With fall right around the corner, you may be worried that the summer fun is over. Don't worry; there are still plenty of exciting events in Cleveland this month! Here's a list of events that you don't want to miss. Doggy Brunch at Terrestrial Brewing Company Terrestrial Brewing Company hosts a delicious brunch every other Sunday of the month, and the best part is, you get to bring your dog! The farm-to-table style menu boasts a variety of healthy, tasty food. Your dogs are in for a treat, too, because Spoiled Dog Boss brings the goodies! Alcohol will be available for purchase, and they will donate a portion of beer sales to a dog organization. The event runs from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM, and the next brunch will be Sunday, September 12th. 10th Annual Crocker Park Wine Festival Who doesn't love drinking wine for a good cause? Starting Friday, September 17th, to Saturday, September 18th, Crocker Park will be hosting the 10th Annual Wine Festival. This benefit for University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital offers a selection of 150 wines. Ticket prices vary, so check out their website for more information. Tremont Arts and Cultural Festival Experience the rich art and culture of Cleveland at the Tremont Arts and Cultural Festival. From September 18th to September 19th, enjoy this free event located in Lincoln Park. There are over 130 vendors and artists selling their work. Live music and dance performances will be sure to entertain p

Title Insurance Terms to Know

Title Insurance Terms to Know

Posted By Andrea Robinson
August 31, 2021 Category: General

Buying a new house can sometimes seem like navigating through uncharted waters: unfamiliar territory filled with terminology and procedures completely foreign even after consulting professionals and other resources! We have compiled a list of ten title insurance terms to know before buying a home.   Title: A title is a legal document that proclaiming an individual's right to ownership of a property.   Abstract of Title: An abstract of title is a summary of public records concerning a specific piece of land.   Chain of Title: A chain of title is a document that details the title transfers of a piece of property throughout the years.   Certificate of Title: When an attorney examines abstracts or chains of title, a certificate of title is a written opinion upholding the validity of the title's abstract.   Examination of Title: The examination of title is the report on the title of a property from the title's abstract or public records.   Loan Policy: A loan policy protects the lender's interest against loss due to title defects. It acts as an insurance policy by upholding the validity, enforceability, and priority of the lien of a mortgage.   Owner's Policy: An owner's policy is title insurance for the property owner, not the lien holder.   American Land Title Association (A.L.T.A): A.L.T.A is an organization of title insurance companies that have adopted certain insurance policy forms

Why You Should (Always) Get the Title Insurance

Why You Should (Always) Get the Title Insurance

Posted By Andrea Robinson
August 24, 2021 Category: General

Title insurance is one of the most important purchases a homeowner can make. We are here to help you understand why it's crucial to purchase title insurance. It offers financial security and protection, putting your mind at ease and free of worries from any unexpected situations that may arise. When you purchase a home, you receive the property's title. The title gives you the legal rights to own the property. The property's history is reviewed during the title search process to determine if any issues could pose a problem to your ownership. Sometimes, title searches fail to discover critical title defects that can put your homeownership rights at risk. Title insurance assures you that the title search will not miss any types of defects, and if it does, then your policy covers the cost. An owner’s title insurance policy differs from other types of insurance because you are protected against any claims that can arise from past occurrences, such as liens, conflicting wills, or back taxes. Defects in titles can be costly, so taking advantage of this protection is vital. If you are worried about monthly costs associated with title insurance, don't be. Title insurance is a one-time-only premium; the price of your home determines the cost, and it lasts as long as you own your property. Most of your fees go toward the title insurance process, clearing title requirements, and examining documents; your premium ensures that you and your property rights are pr

5 Summer Desserts You NEED to Try

5 Summer Desserts You NEED to Try

Posted By Andrea Robinson
August 17, 2021 Category: General

It's summer, and you know what that means - it's time to get out the grill and make some of those delicious BBQ foods! But when you're done grilling for dinner, don't forget dessert! Here are five awesome desserts that will satisfy your sweet tooth this summer. 1. Berry Parfait This parfait is a cool and refreshing dessert that you can make in minutes. Use store-bought pound cake, whipped cream, berries, agave syrup to make the marinade for your fruit topping. Layer all ingredients into wine glasses before serving cold! The perfect compliment during these hot summer months in any season of the year with family or friends. 2. Margarita Cupcakes Nothing says summer like a cold pitcher of margaritas, and these cupcakes are the perfect way to celebrate. The moist cake is sprinkled with lime zest for added flavor. Drizzle them with tequila syrup if you want an extra kick. 3. Mocha Torte A frozen chocolate and coffee cheesecake that will satisfy your sweet tooth. The Oreo crust adds plenty of chocolaty flavors, while a creamy filling made from cream cheese, chocolate syrup, condensed milk, and coffee makes it the perfect treat to cool down with on these hot summer days. Folding whipped cream through the mixture helps to incorporate air for a rich texture. Top with Bailey’s whipped cream for something even more decadent. 4. Passionfruit and Prosecco Jello Cups Jello isn’t just for kids. This grown-up version is made with sweetened passion f

No, We're Not Entering Another 2008 Housing Bubble.

No, Were Not Entering Another 2008 Housing Bubble.

Posted By Andrea Robinson
July 29, 2021 Category: General

The 2008 Housing Crisis still weighs heavy in many Americans' minds. As the housing market continues to heat up, some may worry that another housing bubble is on the rise. Thankfully, the likelihood that another housing bubble will occur is low.  After 2008, the mortgage industry went through a total overhaul. The market was less regulated, so people were obtaining home loans that could not pay them back. The mortgage industry is more regulated now than in 2008 because of the fallout from the Housing Crisis, so a housing bubble is unlikely. People now have to go through a much stricter process to qualify for a mortgage loan. The federal government also created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to regulate and enforce these more stringent standards on the financial sector.  If you are still concerned about the soaring home prices, don't be; it is merely a matter of supply and demand. Due to historically low interest rates, more people are looking to buy homes than are available. The limited supply of homes is driving up home values. Also, Covid halted the supply of raw materials needed for home construction. Once new home construction is completed, home prices will begin to fall.  The Federal Reserve is also keeping the housing market stable by its actions. It has purchased $1 trillion worth of mortgage-backed securities to keep mortgage rates low and bond markets liquid. The Fed's preemptive actions quell any immediate signs of financial

Title Insurance Myths Debunked

Title Insurance Myths Debunked

Posted By Andrea Robinson
July 23, 2021 Category: General

Becoming a homeowner is a substantial financial step for most people. When purchasing your home, you want to make sure you do everything to protect your investment, which is why you should buy title insurance. Misconceptions surrounding title insurance can dissuade people from obtaining the essential coverage they need. At Ohio First Land Title, we understand the importance of purchasing title insurance, which is why we are debunking some of the most common title insurance myths. Myth: Title insurance offers little protection for the cost. False. For a one-time payment, title insurance protects you from incurring costs caused by defects in your property. Owner's title insurance ensures that you will not be financially responsible for claims against your property from previous owners, including liens, conflicting wills, and back taxes. Myth: I only need lender's title insurance. Almost all lenders will require you to purchase lender's title insurance, but it does not protect you as a homeowner. Lender's title insurance only protects the lender against loss, which is why you must purchase owner's title insurance to protect yourself and your property. Myth: Since I have homeowner's insurance, I don't need title insurance. Homeowner's insurance and title insurance are entirely different policies and having homeowner's insurance does not mean you do not need title insurance. Title insurance protects your right to ownership as a buyer an

Dog Days of Summer: The Best Ways to Cool Off in CLE!

Dog Days of Summer: The Best Ways to Cool Off in CLE!

Posted By Andrea Robinson
July 13, 2021 Category: General

You can always count on summertime in Cleveland to bring the heat. Make the most of the longer days by visiting these locations to keep you cool all summer. Edgewater Beach Edgewater Beach is the perfect place for a family outing, as it offers serene Lake Erie sunsets and views of downtown Cleveland. Located in lower Edgewater Park, this 2400 foot beach has 1000 feet of swimming access with places designated specifically for dog lovers! Waterworks Family Aquatic Center This waterpark has something for everyone. Located in Cuyahoga Falls, it is home to a lazy river, waterslides, pools, cabanas, and more. If you are not a member, day passes are available for residents and non-residents of Cuyahoga Falls. Parma Heights Pool If you are looking for a place to cool off while your kids have fun, the Parma Heights Pool is a great place to spend a hot summer day. It has two pools, waterslides, and a splash pad. This community pool is open to non-residents of Parma Heights for a slightly higher admission fee. Kalahari Indoor / Outdoor Waterpark The largest indoor waterpark in the whole of the USA is right here in Ohio! Kalahari’s Indoor Outdoor Waterpark has so many activities and rides that you're sure to find something for your family. What's more, there are no bad weather days at this place because it stays open 365 days a year! As summer continues to heat up, make sure you visit one of these locations to stay refreshed all season

Tips to Prevent Wire Fraud

Tips to Prevent Wire Fraud

Posted By Andrea Robinson
June 29, 2021 Category: General

Your bank account is one of the most important aspects of your life. It keeps track of your money, and you use it every day to pay for things like groceries, gas, and utilities. You may not think about it a lot, but if somebody else were to get their hands on your banking information, they could wreak havoc on your finances. That's why there are some simple steps that you can take to help protect yourself from wire fraud. For starters, make sure you're careful with what personal details or copies of ID that you give out online. If someone needs access to an account, then they should be present or if they are over the phone, have a secure verification process in place so that they can verify who they are before granting them access to sensitive information such as passwords and PIN numbers. Second, make sure to use two-factor authentication on all of your online banking platforms so no one can access and misuse the information in your account. If this is not possible for you, implement some steps that may slow down or stop unwanted activity from occurring, such as implementing a credit freeze. Review your credit report and bank statement monthly to stay current with the details of each statement. Third, don't store sensitive financial documents since this could easily lead to someone gaining unauthorized access if they manage to break through security barriers elsewhere. If you do end up storing them somewhere else besides your home, though, be sure that the l

The Benefits of Homeownership

The Benefits of Homeownership

Posted By Andrea Robinson
June 22, 2021 Category: General

Owning a home has many advantages, but one of the most important is that homeowners have more control over their living situation. When renting, you never know what might happen to your landlord or what might happen in the future. A homeowner can always make changes and fix up their home so it's perfect. Building Equity When you own your own home and pay off your mortgage each month, you build equity with every payment. Equity is the amount of value you have in an asset that is a powerful financial tool. Renting does not allow you to build equity like owning a home does. Consistent Mortgage Payments If you opt into a fixed-rate mortgage, your monthly payments will remain constant for the duration of your mortgage; regular monthly payments foster financial stability. Renting does not give the same level of security because rental prices can fluctuate. Increase Credit Rating Your credit score can affect your ability to qualify for loans, so owning a home is an excellent way to increase your credit score. Your payment history and credit age will improve your credit score when you make on-time payments. Tax Deduction for Mortgage Interest Any interest paid on a home mortgage is tax-deductible, which is an incentive that isn't available to renters. Homeowners can reduce their taxable income when they deduct the interest paid on a mortgage. For many people, owning a home is a personal goal that has plenty of benefits. At Ohio First Land Title, we can help you nav

Things to Do in Cleveland This Summer

Things to Do in Cleveland This Summer

Posted By Andrea Robinson
June 16, 2021 Category: General

Are you looking for something fun to do this summer in Cleveland? Look no further—here's a guide of exciting events and places to visit in Northeast Ohio! Crocker Park Summer Events The shopping center, which is in Westlake, has a slew of summer events planned for all ages. Their weekly activities, including live music, a farmer's market, yoga, and more, are being held now through Labor Day. In addition, their kid-friendly activities include a splash pad and an express train that children can ride around the grounds. Throughout the summer, Crocker Park will also host 5k's and bring in food trucks. Fifth Annual Flats Festival of the Arts From August 21, 2021, to August 22, 2021, artists will be exhibiting and selling their works in the Fifth Annual Flats Festivals of the Arts. This free event, which is in the Flats East Bank, will also include live music and dancers. Eventgoers are only a short distance away from various dining and entertainment establishments conveniently located nearby in the East Bank. Lakewood Truck Park This 12,000 square foot indoor/outdoor food truck park offers a rotating food truck selection, making it a great place to visit all summer long. Located on Detroit Avenue, the Lakewood Truck Park provides a wide variety of food options, including Mediterranean, Italian, Filipino, and more. The park also has two bars and hosts events throughout the summer. Tennis in the Land Topnotch Management will be hosting the first-ever prof

3 Myths About Title Insurance Debunked

3 Myths About Title Insurance Debunked

Posted By Andrea Robinson
June 03, 2021 Category: General

  The topic of title insurance is surrounded by misconceptions that keep home buyers from recognizing its importance. To help you better understand why you need title insurance, we will debunk some popular myths about how title insurance works and whether you need to purchase a policy.   1. The home is entirely new, so I don’t need it. Even when a home is brand new, the land where the house is built has still been owned by numerous people over the years. The age of the home has nothing to do with potential issues that could arise over ownership of the home. In addition, owning a new home comes with other potential problems. Items such as easements, restrictions, HOA liens, and other things could affect your ownership interest and use of the property.   2. I’m in good shape because there was a title search done at some point. A title search will examine the chain of title, legal description, check for judgments and ensure that the taxes are current on the property. An owner’s title insurance policy protects the buyer against anything that may have missed in the title search protecting one of your most valuable investments.   3. The sellers owned it for many years, and I don’t have anything to worry about. You might assume that there aren’t any issues if a home has been in a family for a long time. The amount of time a home has been owned has no bearing on whether or not it can come with title issues. A home that has be

Buyer Competition is High in Cleveland

Buyer Competition is High in Cleveland

Posted By Andrea Robinson
May 18, 2021 Category: General

  A shortage of homes for sale continues to increase prices by double-digit rates across the country. Those looking to purchase a home are being pushed to extremes to win bidding wars. While low-interest rates make borrowing less expensive, high home prices, low inventory, and tightened borrowing criteria are increased due to the Covid-19 pandemic. According to NerdWallet 2021, HomeBuyer Report found that 23 percent had plans to buy a home at the start of 2020, but 39 percent of that group delayed or canceled those plans, citing the pandemic and its effects.   With the housing market challenges, there are some hopeful solutions on the horizon. Realtors are coming up with some creative ways to showcase their local inventory. Most realtors are relying heavily on networking in person and online to find sellers and buyers. Many are using social media to connect and educate about available properties.   As buyers, it can be discouraging to continue to house hunt in these circumstances. Here are a few tips to use that can help set you apart from the competition.   · Get a mortgage preapproval · Look for homes under your budget so that you can bid up · Consider more than just one house, have a backup plan · Expand your search · Hire an experienced real estate agent   Good luck and happy house

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