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Category: General

Selling Your Home This Fall: Why Sellers Have an Advantage

By Andrea Robinson
September 23, 2020 Category: General

Are you contemplating whether or not to sell your home this fall? There are advantages for sellers who, despite initial doubt, are successfully selling their homes and making a profit this season! Its is not a big secret that this year has brought many unexpected challenges that have affected the economy and the housing market. Regardless, the housing market is bouncing back in a big way. One of the advantages of selling your home now is that there is probably more equity in your home since most homes sell above the asking price due to the low inventory level. Generally, when deciding to sell your home, many things need to be accomplished before putting the for sale sign in the front yard. With the current market trends, aside from simple staging and sprucing up, sellers dont have to make as many improvements when selling and can often sell the home as-is. Since the housing market status is ideal for sellers, it is recommended to list your home on a Friday morning to grab more interested

Fun Things You Can Do Now to Get in the Fall Spirit

By Andrea Robinson
September 08, 2020 Category: General

When the weather finally starts to cool down, and the leaves start to change colors, that means youve made it to the best season of the year! What makes autumn so memorable is the endless amount of fall activities that you can do together with your family and remain cost-effective. Theres nothing better than biting into a freshly made cinnamon sugar baked pumpkin donut. Instead of buying donuts from your local grocery, try preparing a homemade batch. Adding hot apple cider to complement this delightful treat will create longtime fans in your household. As an added touch to celebrate the season, bring out your fall decorations, including wreaths, pillows, and cozy blankets. The change in atmosphere will put you and your family in the fall spirit. Consider creating a few fun crafts with your children. They will love seeing something they made used to dress up the house. If you are looking for an outside activity to enjoy, here are a few suggestions. Make a fire pit for a bonfire to enjoy

Get Your Home Ready for Fall

By Andrea Robinson
August 24, 2020 Category: General

Can you believe it? Fall is less than thirty days away.!Have you started to prepare your house for the season? These tips will help you get your home ready for autumn weather AND save you some money! Inspect the roof - Take a close look at the roof and see if there are any damaged tiles, cracks, or leaves or debris. While you are taking a look at the roof, check out your gutters, and repair what needs to be fixed. Finally, get winter tools ready such as your snow blower, and make sure that everything is ready to go. Fertilize the lawn - Applying fall lawn fertilizer will help prevent winter damage and spring weeds. If you plant bulbs for spring, nows the time to get them in the ground. Put away any seasonal furniture you have and store it in a dry place. Inspect furnace and air conditioning unit Take a thorough look at the furnace, check heating efficiency, and change the filter. Winterize air conditioning. If your home has central air conditioning, cover the outside

Title Insurance: Is it Worth It?

By Andrea Robinson
August 14, 2020 Category: General

Title insurance protects the insured from a financial loss related to the ownership of a property. Two policies are recommended at a home loan closing: the lenders policy, which is required, and an optional owners policy. A monthly premium will not be added to your mortgage payment. Title insurance is a one-time upfront cost. According to a spokesman for theAmerican Land Title Association,one of every three title searches reveals a problem affecting the title to a property. Expenses can add up quickly when every dollar counts. It can be tempting to decline an optional owners title insurance. When you do the math, an owners policy of title insurance is quite reasonable. Your home is the single most substantial investment, and an essential part of title insurance is its emphasis on risk elimination before insuring. This gives you, the policyholder, the best chance of avoiding title claim and loss. Budgeting for that coverage may require some discipline when budgeting in the short term,

Heading Back to School in Northeast Ohio: What You Need to Know

By Andrea Robinson
July 27, 2020 Category: General

To secure the future of the next generation, schools have to be reopened safely. While children are less likely than adults to develop severe illness from COVID-19, it is not clear what role they play in transmitting the virus to other children, teachers, school staff, and family members. This research is required to fill in the blanks and contribute to our understanding of this virus. In light of COVID-19 the school season will begin shortly. Here are the reopening plans for some of the local school districts throughout Northeast Ohio. Bay Village City School District:Students canchoose between full-time in-person learning and full-time online learning options. The district is starting a slow launch return on Aug. 18. Fairview Park City School District:Finalized planswill be announcedAug. 1, but students will have the option for online learning this fall. Lakewood City School District:The district is offering four learning models to students and parents. This will depend on which

Closing Costs: What You Need to Budget for When Closing on Your Home

By Andrea Robinson
July 21, 2020 Category: General

You have been saving for a house for a long time and finally, have enough saved. After searching, you found the one your dream home! When moving forward, the topic of closing costs comes up, and then you begin to wonder, Do I have enough saved to buy a home right now? Here is everything that you need to know about closing costs so that you wont be caught off guard when purchasing your dream home. Closing costs are fees charged by lenders that include the loan-application fee, credit report, and loan origination fee. The average closing costs are typically between 2%-5% of the loan amount. It is recommended to get 2-3 loan quotes from mortgage lenders to make sure youre paying an appropriate amount. Loan Origination Fee - fee to compensate the lender for processing the loan Discount Points - pre-paid interest that will reduce your interest rate Appraisal Fee - fee paid to home appraisal before closing Credit Report - fee for pulling your credit report Tax Service - title delivery

Should You Buy or Sell a Home Right Now in Northeast Ohio?

By Andrea Robinson
July 13, 2020 Category: General

It is a sellers market in Northeast Ohio. More buyers are looking to purchase homes with a limited amount of inventory to choose from. With higher rental rates and mortgage rates down, many renters are looking to purchase their first home.The National Association of Realtors shows thatnearly half of recently sold properties were on the market for less than a month. Before deciding to sell your home, take into consideration the following items. You have home equity Recently, home prices have been increasing in turn, building equity. To determine an estimated amount of equity in your home, use this simple formula: take the market value of your home and subtract the mortgage balance. The answer is the amount of equity in your home. You have savings and a small amount of debt, if any Examine your financial wellness. Is most of your non-related mortgage debt paid off? Do you have six months or more of living expenses in savings? If the answer is yes to both of these questions, you

Northeast Ohio's Top Summer Events

By Andrea Robinson
July 01, 2020 Category: General

Warmer weather is here to stay in Northeast Ohio. Although, this isnt a traditional outdoor season where there are plenty of things to do. That doesnt mean that you have to miss out on all of the fun. Here are some exciting events happening this year that you dont want to miss! Asian Lantern Festival The Asian Lantern Festival presented by Cleveland Clinic Childrens is returning with over seventy all-new larger than life, colorful lantern displays, and live performances. The festival opens on July 8th and runs through August 23rd. The hours of operation are Wednesday through Sunday, from 6:30 p.m. to 10: 30 p.m. The Cleveland Metroparks Enjoy the outdoor life at one of Clevelands Metroparks. Explore more than 23,700 acres in 18 reservations located throughout Cuyahoga County and Hinckley Township. Have fun hiking with your family, or have a picnic. Hanging out at one of the Metroparks for the day is an excellent alternative to being indoors. Northeast Ohio Family Fun Play Dates Northeast

Summer Landscaping Trends

By Andrea Robinson
June 22, 2020 Category: General

Are you looking for some ideas to make your homes landscape more appealing? Here are some creative ideas that will make your outdoor space attractive and will have your neighbors green with envy! When planning your landscaping strategy, include mostly perennial plants that will come back each year and group them based on their watering needsincorporating plants with flowers that complement the color if your home will make a lasting impression. Add a few scented plants for some aromatherapy that will bring a sense of tranquility to your outdoor space that can be enjoyed individually or with guests. Do your research when selecting hardscaping materials. Choose quality stones that wont require repair after a short amount of time. Investing in outdoor furniture that you want to sit in is crucial, especially if you plan on spending more time outdoors. Include lighting to make your outdoor space easy to access when it gets dark out. To get the most out of your landscape, in various weather

Title Insurance 101: Everything You Need to Know

By Andrea Robinson
June 12, 2020 Category: General

Title insurance is a type of insurance that protects both the homebuyer and the mortgage lender against potential financial losses attached to a new home and property. When a buyer and seller enter into a contract of sale for a property, a title agent is selected to initiate a search in the local jurisdictions land records for any encumbrances, liens, claims, or conflicts that need to be resolved before the transfer of the property from one party to the other. If those hindrances have not been settled through the title search process before closing, the financial liability of fixing those issues could fall on the new homeowner. If a claim had to be made, a title insurance policy would pay for damages and costs associated with repairing the problems. Lets take a look at the various type of title insurance that is available. Lenders Title Insurance - This policy covers liens (including contractor and mechanic liens), easements not on record, access rights, and defects on the title.

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