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Author: Andrea Robinson

Eight Lazy Housekeeping Hacks for Homeowners in Northeast Ohio

By Andrea Robinson
May 29, 2020 Category: General

Its a known fact heat makes you feel lazy. Hotter days are on the horizon in Northeast Ohio as May comes to a close and the Summer Solstice is just a few weeks away. But dont worry. We have eight housekeeping hacks for happy, lazy homeowners to keep their spaces neat, clean and organized without really trying. Washing Machine Tablets Keep your clothes washing clean by keeping the washing machine clean. No elbow grease required just drop a tablet in your machine and hit start. Pro tip: cleaning packets from Tide work in any washer including High Efficiency. The TubShroom Never ever, ever, ever snake your drain again. TubShroom stops hair from getting clogged in your drain is literally the best thing to ever happen to bathtubs since wine and candles. Quick Stain Removers The most famous? The Tide to-go stick. If you dont have a spot stain remover in one of your kitchen drawers well were judging you. Steaming Microwave Cleaner Ever go to pop a bag of popcorn and change

First Time Home Buying Tips for Veterans in Northeast Ohio

By Andrea Robinson
May 22, 2020 Category: General

Buying a home is a big milestone for anyone, and thats especially true for veterans who are looking for a place to settle down and call their own. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs offers a range of programs in Northeast Ohio that can help first-time military home buyers get the best value from this process. If you or someone you know is a veteran and first-time home buyer, here are three essential tips to take full advantage of all the benefits available! Study Up on VA Loans A VA home loan is a mortgage available to military individuals and families from a private lender that is backed by the department of veteran affairs. This is one of the best ways to purchase a home in the United States and should be explored. One of the best features of this benefit is that nearly any credit situation is eligible for the benefit, and the loan terms include $0 down payments without having to invest in Private Mortgage Insurance a fee most private loan shoppers would pay for a $0 loan. New

Four Small Bathroom Projects You Can Do Right Now

By Andrea Robinson
May 15, 2020 Category: General

Do you have some extra time on your hands? Most of us do, and there are only so many coloring book pages you can fill out before its time to be productive. But where to get started? Well, why not start by giving a little extra love to a room in your home you visit frequently but rarely think about the bathroom. You dont have to take on a big project like gutting the tub to refresh the porcelain throne room, though. These four projects are some easy, quick and affordable improvements to make a visual impact and bring a little fresh air to your next pitstop. Toss Out or Recycle Old Linen Plenty of people have a favorite comfy old blanket or hoodie, but theres nothing cozy about tattered old towels! Are your bathroom linens starting to show their age? Do you have half a dozen different colored washcloths in your closet? This is a good time to weed out threaded linens and order some matching, fresh bath towels, washcloths and hand towels. Even a set of new, inexpensive linens

Four Early Spring Landscaping Tips for New Homeowners in Northeast Ohio

By Andrea Robinson
April 29, 2020 Category: , General

So, you just got your first house with a yard, congrats! Now comes the fun part Spring is here in Northeast Ohio, and its time to start taking care of your front and back lawn or garden. Maybe you grew up mowing the grass or helped a parent with weeding, but theres a lot more to think about when it comes to landscaping as an adult than just doing your chores. If youre new to planning your own landscaping, weve answered a few common questions for first time homeowners. Whens the Right Time to Mulch? Its quite simple May is for Mulching. The weather in the greater Cleveland area can be a bit finicky, so its important to wait until after theres no more snow but well before Summertime. May is usually when we start seeing temperatures consistently above 60 degrees. Whats the Best Kind of Fertilizer? From weed killers to Miracle Grow, there are many types of fertilizer to consider as you walk through your garden center. But, for early spring, you should apply two kinds of fertilizer. First,

These Four Quick Fixes Could Be Stopping Your Home from Selling

By Andrea Robinson
April 23, 2020 Category: General

Every home has its quirks maybe a floorboard that creaks too much or a discolored brick under the patio. Quirks can be a charming feature of your house or maybe just a little imperfection that went unnoticed as youve lived there. However, some things that could be charming or gone unnoticed to you may be preventing your home from selling. Dont panic, though. Many of your homes quirks are still quite loveable, but there are a few things that you should always consider fixing before the next time you have a showing or virtual home tour. Sticking Front Door Talk about bad first impressions! You may be used to putting in a little extra push whenever you need to get inside, but to a home shopper, that sticky door will make the home feel uninviting and maybe even unsafe. This is a quick and inexpensive fix for a local carpenter, and it can make a huge difference for selling your home. Mixed-Up Waterspouts Ever encounter a sink or bathtub and wonder which knob turns on the hot water?

Home Improvement Projects Under $1,000

By Andrea Robinson
April 17, 2020 Category: General

Do you have your COVID money yet? In the midst of the Coronavirus crisis, almost every adult in the United States will be receiving $1,200 from the federal government. For many, this money is a lifeline to be used for bills as millions of Americans are facing unemployment. However, for those that are still employed with robust finances, its recommended that U.S. residents spend this money to stimulate the economy. While everyone is at home, this may be the perfect time to start on a home renovation project. Below are four projects that are priced under $1,000. Update Your Lighting Efficient lighting upgrades are a quick and easy way to improve the interior design of any space, plus you can save on energy costs! Whether youre looking for a new chandelier or just want to replace some lamps, there are many attractive options you can get shipped to your home, and its not hard to upgrade your whole house for under $1,000. So, start online shopping! Hire a Professional Cleaner Spring

How COVID-19 Is Impacting Home Sales in Northeast Ohio

By Andrea Robinson
March 31, 2020 Category: General

At this point in time, the COVID-19 outbreak in the United States is impacting nearly every dimension of daily life restaurants and stores are closed, small businesses are hurting and people are avoiding public settings and staying home. So, how has all this impacted the real estate business? Spring is usually a hot market for home sales in Northeast Ohio, especially with 2020s low inventory and super-low mortgage rates. However, the COVID-19 pandemic is expected to slow the projected home sales for the Greater Cleveland area. Even with home sales halting with the rest of public life, realtors are adapting and the availability of credit will still be irresistible for many homebuyers. Its not all doom and gloom for real estate this spring, and here are some specific ways the housing market is changing and adapting. Virtual Open Houses and Tours Strict social distancing is proving to be an effective measure to slow the spread of the virus in Ohio, so some realtors are choosing

How to Disinfect Your Home in Northeast Ohio

By Andrea Robinson
March 18, 2020 Category: General

A three-part guide to keeping the surfaces in your home sanitary and disinfected. Self quarantine. Social distance. Covid-19. Across the U.S., were in a health crisis that may last a while, and these are all important steps recommended by the CDC to help keep you, your family and your neighbors healthy. Its a good idea to stay in your house right now while the virus runs its course, and while youre at spending some extra time alone at home, its very important that you keep your house germ free. The CDC outlines recommendations on how to disinfect your home in case you may have brought this highly-contagious virus home, and were going to outline those steps here, too. Below are three tips and best practices to disinfect your home. Routine Cleaning Right now, youll want to clean off high-touch surfaces daily especially if someone in your house is still working outside the home. For example Tables, doorknobs, light switches, handles, desks, toilets, faucets and sinks are

First Snowstorm as a First Time Homebuyer

By Andrea Robinson
February 28, 2020 Category: General

Welcome to Homeownership Moving from an apartment or condo to your own home comes with many changes. For homeowners in Northeast Ohio a major change is dealing with the aftermath of a snowstorm. This may seem like a straightforward topic but creating a plan and ensuring that you are prepared will ensure that you do not get stuck out in the snow. To help you get started, heres a list of 3 snowstorm preparedness tips in Northeast Ohio! Snow Removal The largest change for first time homebuyers will be managing snow removal from sidewalks and driveways. Many people will opt to save a few dollars and clear snow and ice themselves. Whether its an old fashion snow shovel or a gas powered snowblower ensuring that your driveway and sidewalks are maintained will help ensure the safety of yourself and others. Throwing down salt will help melt ice and keep anyone from slipping. (Pet owners make sure to buy pet safe salt to now hurt your dogs paws!) Another option would be to hire

Moving on a Budget: Five Money-Saving Tips

By Andrea Robinson
February 21, 2020 Category: General

Moving to a new home can be pretty exciting, but it also comes with a long list of expenses. Aside from the costs of purchasing a new house or condo, moving itself adds a pretty hefty expense to the homebuying process. But dont worry, there are plenty of ways to save! The secret to keeping your costs down is planning. A little extra effort in the weeks and months before a move can save you a ton of money. Below are five planning strategies you can use to help you save on your big move! Move in an Off Season Spring and Summer are the most expensive times to move into a new home because of a hot real estate market between April and October. Delaying your move till the Fall or even Winter months can land you a huge discount on moving expenses. Purchasing a home off season also comes with its own unique benefits. You can learn more about them here. Move in the Middle of the Week Cant schedule an off-season move? You can still save money during the warmer months. Scheduling

Four Tax Tips for Homeowners in 2020

By Andrea Robinson
February 11, 2020 Category: General

For most Americans, their home will be the biggest purchase of their lifetime. That big purchase comes with some big responsibilities like keeping the property in good repair and, of course, the long-term commitment of a mortgage. But there are some financial benefits, too. One of the biggest financial advantages of a home purchase hit during tax season in the form of tax credits and deductions. To make sure youre taking advantage of these benefits, weve put together a list of four tax breaks you can still claim as a homeowner in 2020. Note: Ohio First Land Title is not a tax advisor! This list is a great place to start research on your tax benefits, but we recommend professional services for in-depth financial advice. Mortgage Interest Deduction If you purchased your home with a mortgage, the interest you pay on your loan is still tax deductible this year. Whats new for 2020? The 2017 Tax Cut and Jobs Act changed how much mortgage interest is tax deductible. If you purchased

How to Save for a House Without Really Trying

By Andrea Robinson
January 29, 2020 Category: General

Buying a house is a huge milestone. For most families in the U.S., its the largest purchase they will ever make it all starts with building up enough savings for a mortgage down payment. Last year, 13 percent of all homebuyers said that saving for the initial down payment on a house was the most difficult part of the purchasing process duh, right? Whats important to remember here is that 2020 will be a peak year for millennial homebuyers who also have the highest levels of student debt ever. That means Americas largest segment of homebuyers will also have the hardest time saving up enough money for that 20% down payment on a mortgage. So, whats a millennial homebuyer to do? Smart saving habits arent a new concept, and with the burden of student debt, young homebuyers are going to have to get smarter about how they save. Below are a few concepts to help make smart savings habits easier to manage. Know the Goal The first step to saving for a house is understanding exactly

Upcycled Décor: Four Ideas for DIY Furniture and More

By Andrea Robinson
January 22, 2020 Category: General

Did you know that millions of tons of furniture wind up in the trash each year? According to the EPA, 9.69 million tons of old furniture and decor were thrown away in 2015, and that number has only grown over the past five years. The worst part? Most of the furniture thats being bought today is pretty disposable. The popularity of particleboard, DIY assembly pieces has exploded in recent years, and that means its easier than ever to buy new furniture that will only be thrown away. So, whats the solution? Its time to start upcycling! The next time youre looking to replace a bookshelf or side table, consider making something unique and brand new yourself instead. With these four easy upcycling projects, you can help chip away at the millions of tons of trashed furniture. Re-Upholster Something Fresh fabric can add new life to just about anything especially old dining room sets. Between tools and fabric costs, a re-upholstering project like this can cost as little as $50 and

How to Calculate Accurate Home Equity Instantly

By Andrea Robinson
January 15, 2020 Category: General

One of the core benefits of choosing to buy a house is that you actually own the value of the property. Even if youre making payments on a mortgage, over time, youre actually building up equity with each payment the amount of property value that belongs to you vs. how much you owe the bank. Calculating equity may sound complicated or difficult, but its actually a pretty simple equation. Heres the basics formula: Home Equity = Home Value Loan Balance Pretty simple, right? Finding the right values is for this formula can be simple, too. Here are a few resources to help you calculate home equity quickly and accurately. How to Find Your Homes Current Value Home value is essentially determined by how much your home could sell for on the market right now. Hour propertys selling price can change a lot from the time you first had your property appraised as market conditions and seasonality can have a big impact on home sales at any given time. The quickest way to get an accurate

Housing Market Predictions for 2020

By Andrea Robinson
December 30, 2019 Category: General

A new year is just days away, and realtors and investors are busy reading up on what happened in the housing market in 2019 to get a better idea of what to expect in 2020. Overall, its been a hot year for home sales, but as the trend of higher mortgage rates and limited inventory are looming, 2020 may be the start of a cooldown. What does that mean for you? 2020 may not be a huge growth year for home sales, but the housing market is still expanding to meet demand. Theres still a lot to look forward to for people selling their homes, and prices may be a little more attainable for home shoppers. While its impossible to predict exactly what will happen in this year, here are a few industry predictions that may impact homeowners and sellers: Mortgage Rates Will Go Up Borrowing money to buy a house is about to get more expensive. The mortgage industry average has been sitting below 4% interest for a while, but this may be the year that the average finally hits that ceiling. For

How to List Your Home on Airbnb in Northeast Ohio

By Andrea Robinson
December 26, 2019 Category: General

Ohio First Land Titles intro guide to listing your home on Airbnb. Weekly grocery deliveries, on-demand handymen, instant rides from Uber and Lyft apps have completely transformed how people do businesses and order services. Theres an unprecedented, personal level of access for consumers, and average people everywhere can easily make money for themselves through an app. So, what does that mean for you? If youre a homeowner, you can make some extra cash by renting out a spare room for travelers with Airbnb. By now, youve probably heard of this room-sharing trend, and with more than 150 million users worldwide, its easier than ever to get started. Heres How to List on Airbnb If you want to jump in on the Airbnb trend, its pretty easy to create an account and post a listing. Heres how to make a new listing online in 7 steps: 1. Visit Airbnb.com and click sign up in the top right corner. 2. Create an account with Facebook, Google or an email address. 3. When youve

Three Smart Home Upgrades that Improve Home Value

By Andrea Robinson
December 17, 2019 Category: General

The 2010s were the decade of the internet of things when household items like vacuums and thermostats and got smart by connecting to the internet. While this tech industry buzzword isnt as hyped as it was a few years ago, smart home technology is still having a moment. These days, its hard to find an appliance or home gadget that doesnt have some type of convenient, connected feature to automate your daily life. More than a passing fad, demand for connected home gadgets and devices also continues to grow more than half of all homes in the United States will be smart homes by 2023! Homeowners across the U.S. are actively upgrading their homes with convenient smart features, and in some markets, homebuyers expect properties to come equipped with some tech. If youre considering some smart home upgrades for your own house, apartment or condo, here are a few popular choices that can make your home more sellable and even improve your homes value! Smart Thermostats Programmable

Sell Your Home Without an Open House in Northeast Ohio

By Andrea Robinson
November 26, 2019 Category: General

Open houses can be a great time for buyers free food, free wine and the opportunity to imagine what life might be like in a new space. But what about the seller? Unfortunately for sellers, open houses usually dont quite live up to their hype. More often than not, your buyer wont be one of the prospects who toured your home, and the sale will actually come from a realtors network or an inquiry from an online ad. With all this in mind, theres nothing wrong with open houses, and its entirely possible to generate some interest in your home by having one. However, they arent required to sell your home. If youre trying to sell a property in Northeast Ohio, heres how you can get it done without hosting an open house. Hire a Great Real Estate Agent A good real estate agent knows that you can sell without hosting an open house some may even recommend avoiding it altogether! Take your time to find the right agent for your home who knows how to advertise online and has great networking

Three Title Insurance Myths that Every Northeast Ohio Homebuyer Should Know About

By Andrea Robinson
November 20, 2019 Category: General

Many first-time and even second-time homebuyers believe that purchasing a house is a simple, one to two-step transaction. HGTV makes it look so easy! While a good realtor can certainly make finding and purchasing the right home easy, there are many misconceptions about the nitty-gritty details of the process. Perhaps one of the most rushed and least understood parts of any real estate transaction is title insurance. Many buyers simply sign here for peace of mind without learning what this coverage does for them. With little understanding about title insurance means, there are a lot of misconceptions that fly around, too. Do you really need title insurance? You only have to get it once, right? Were here to set the record straight. If youre going to close on a home soon, here are three title insurance myths debunked. Its Optional and Not Needed The biggest and most common myth about title insurance is that you dont really need it. Its seen as an add on in some real estate

Three Snow Day Home Projects You Can Tackle in 2019

By Andrea Robinson
November 13, 2019 Category: General

Its snowing in Northeast Ohio! While the calendar may not say its officially winter yet, freezing temperatures and snowy weather are happening right now in November. More fall-like weather may be returning in a week, but the arctic blast thats hitting many regions of the U.S. right now will likely be back soon, cutting into the autumn season to make way for Winter 2019. So, what are you going to do when its freezing outside? If youre feeling a bit restless while your front porch freezes over this week, here are a few snow day home improvement projects you can start right now. Renovate the Laundry Room No sledgehammer needed here! Its pretty easy to add a bit of style to your laundry room in just a day. Installing new shelves, a modern hamper and a bit of wallpaper can transform this functional space into a stylish conduit of linen traffic. Snow have you stuck inside? Start by tidying up a bit! There should be plenty of snow days to come this year, so you can spend