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Tomorrow is World Read Aloud Day!

by The Cincinnati Team

Hope you can find someone, young or older to read aloud to. This year on February 16th is "World Read Aloud Day." Please visit the website below and try some activities!

 http://www.litworld.org/wrad

 

 

Dining out in your hometown - Cincinnati

by The Cincinnati Team

Saving Your Hard Earned $$$

14 Ways to Save When Dining Out

  1. Slash your everyday expenses. Think one less specialty coffee, soft drink and candy bar a week.
  2. Keep your eyes open for new restaurants in town. They typically offer grand opening specials.
  3. Check your local newspapers for advertisements of lunch and dinner specials, early bird specials; look for coupons, too.
  4. Take advantage of the chambers of commerce and visitors centers—even in your own town. You’ll find great restaurant discount coupons.
  5. Limit eating lunch out, and try brown bag lunches.
  6. Dine out during the week rather than on the weekends. Often the menu prices climb over the weekend.
  7. Do lunch instead of dinner. Lunch menus usually offer the same entrees as dinner,  just smaller portions and a smaller check.
  8. Go vegetarian. Vegetarian entrees are usually less expensive than ones made with meat.
  9. Go ethnic. Some ethnic foods are better bargains than others. You can get a lot of food for the money in Chinese, Mexican, Italian, Indian and Thai restaurants.
  10. Dine early. Many restaurants offer specials before 6 pm It’s perfect for making a show on time or for parents who need to make an early night of it.
  11. Share an entrée or stick with the appetizer menu. Many restaurants serve portions that are too large for one person to finish.
  12. The markup on alcoholic beverages in restaurants is high. Instead of having a drink with dinner, have a glass of wine or some brandy after you get home.
  13. Have a candlelight dinner at home and then go out for coffee and dessert.
  14. Instead of eating in a restaurant, order out! It’s customary to tip a few dollars to the delivery person, but not as much as at a restaurant, where the usual tip is 20 percent.

Homeowner’s Net Worth is 45x Greater Than a Renter’s

by The Cincinnati Team

Homeowner’s Net Worth is 45x Greater Than a Renter’s

Every three years the Federal Reserve conducts a Survey of Consumer Finances in which they collect data across all economic and social groups. The latest survey, which includes data from 2010-2013, reports that a homeowner’s net worth is 36 times greater than that of a renter ($194,500 vs. $5,400).

In a Forbes article the National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) Chief Economist Lawrence Yun predicts that in 2016 the net worth gap will widen even further to 45 times greater.

The graph below demonstrates the results of the last two Federal Reserve studies and Yun’s prediction:

Comparison of net worth for renters and home owners

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Put Your Housing Cost to Work For You

Simply put, homeownership is a form of ‘forced savings’. Every time you pay your mortgage you are contributing to your net worth. Every time you pay your rent, you are contributing to your landlord’s net worth.

The latest National Housing Pulse Survey from NAR reveals that 85% of consumers believe that purchasing a home is a good financial decision. Yun comments:

“Though there will always be discussion about whether to buy or rent, or whether the stock market offers a bigger return than real estate, the reality is that homeowners steadily build wealth. The simplest math shouldn’t be overlooked.”

If you are thinking of Selling, NOW is the Time!

by The Cincinnati Team

If you are thinking of Selling, NOW is the Time!

Seasonality in Real Estate: How Weather and the Time of Year Affect Housing!

Weather and the time of year have a big impact housing activity, and in every housing market there are times of the year when fewer homes sell. For most, that time of year coincides with the winter months, and in much of the U.S., that’s the case right now.

But no matter where you live, it’s important to know how seasonality affects the housing market. So let’s look at the current housing numbers, how seasonality affects them, and what it means for you if you’re looking to buy or sell.

With few homes available, sellers are in pole position

Last year, limited inventory dominated the headlines for the real estate industry, and that trend looks to continue this year. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), inventory dropped 12.3 percent from November to December, falling to 3.8 percent lower than December 2014. That equated to just a 3.9-month supply of homes.

Generally speaking, a 6-month supply of homes (meaning it would take six months at the current sales pace to sell all the homes on the market) represents a balanced market, one in which there are enough homes to meet demand. For much of 2015, inventory remained well below a 6-month supply, and will likely remain so for 2016.

Why is inventory so constrained? Part of the sharp drop in December is due to the seasonal slow down in many states. Cold weather and holidays keep many buyers out of the market and many sellers waiting for demand to pick back up. Additionally, new home construction came to a standstill when the housing market crashed, so there are fewer new homes available. Existing home inventory is low as well. A combination of factors, such as locked-in low interest rates and a sense that home prices will continue to increase, are keeping current homeowners from listing their homes.

If you’re thinking of selling, this market is very much a seller’s market. When inventory is scarce, buyers are forced to compete over the few homes for sale. Homes are selling faster, and in many markets bidding wars drive home prices up well above asking. At the very least, you’ll be in a strong negotiating position.

Economic Conditions and Home Affordability Continue to Sideline Buyers

For buyers, the market is tough, and the low number of first-time buyers illustrates just how tough it is. In a separate study conducted by NAR, first-time homebuyers in 2015 made up the lowest share of the market in nearly three decades.

Many factors are keeping first-time home buyers sidelined. Despite a strengthening economy and job growth, wages have remained relatively stagnant. At the same time, rent prices have skyrocketed and continue to rise. Combined, these factors are preventing millennials from saving enough for a significant down payment.

At the same time, home affordability continues to suffer. Home prices have risen quickly over the last three and half years, again outpacing wage and job growth. Prices are expected to rise more modestly this year, somewhere around 4 to 5 percent.

These factors combined with limited inventory are making it difficult for buyers to find the home they want at a price they can afford. However, if you’re thinking of buying, it is important to start looking sooner rather than later…

Mortgage Rates& Increasing Finance Accessibility

In February, mortgage rates remain near record lows. According to Freddie Mac’s Mortgage Survey, the average mortgage rate for a 30-yr FRM was just 3.65%. Despite tough market conditions, these rates present an excellent opportunity if you’re thinking of buying.

In a piece of good news for buyers, it should be easier to get financing in 2016. Fannie Mae's fourth quarter 2015 Mortgage Lender Sentiment Survey™ shows that lenders expect to ease mortgage credit standards for GSE-eligible loans and government loans over the next three months, opening the door for more buyers to get financing.

If You’re Thinking of Buying, Act Sooner Rather Than Later

If you’re thinking of buying a home, it’s important to act sooner rather than later. As the year goes on, affordability will continue to suffer. With home prices expected to increased around 4 to 5 percent this year and mortgage rates expected to rise to around 4.5 percent, the longer you wait to buy, the less home you’ll be able to afford. Even small increases in mortgage rates and home prices can have a large impact on your future monthly mortgage payment!

Clean your washing machine

by The Cincinnati Team

Maybe you never considered that something that exists to clean would need to be cleaned regularly. Giving your machine a periodic clean-out using bleach and vinegar (in separate cycles!) helps to eliminate residue left behind by soaps, and improves the ability for your machine to clean your clothing thoroughly. A must-do if you’re sitting at home with a few hours to kill!

Getting your laundry back on track starts with just two items*:
• 1 quart of bleach (many tutorials went without the bleach step, if you’re concerned about using harsh agents in your laundry)
• 1 quart of white vinegar

* Some of you might be thinking: But wait, isn’t it dangerous to mix bleach and vinegar? The answer is yes, but we will not be mixing the two here. Read on …

Alternate option: Vinegar with baking soda will do a very good job of cleaning the inside of your washer and leave it smelling fresh, but I would suggest a couple of cups vinegar, rather than a whole quart.

Fill the empty washer with hot water, as if you’re doing a large load of laundry. Add the quart of bleach, and let the full machine run for one minute to mix up the bleach with the water. Open the top of the machine and let it sit, all bleach-y and full, for an hour. At the end of the hour, shut the cover and let the machine run a complete cycle. (The water will drain out all the bleach, so it won’t have a chance to mix with the vinegar.)

When it’s done, start again. This time, when you fill the washer with hot water, add the quart of white vinegar to the water and down the bleach channel and let the machine run for a minute to agitate the water and vinegar. After that minute, open the top of the machine and again, let the hot water sit in the basin for an hour before you let the cycle complete.

- See more at: http://blog.diynetwork.com/maderemade/2013/04/30/get-your-laundry-back-on-track/#sthash.hixqu3S6.dpuf

Thinking of remodeling a bathroom?

by The Cincinnati Team

 

 

Real Estate and Your Estate Plan: How Does It Work?

by The Cincinnati Team

Things you don't necessarily want to think about, but should!  Here is an interesting article regarding your real estate and estate planning: http://www.realtor.com/advice/finance/real-estate-and-your-estate-plan-how-does-it-work-2/

 

Coming in October to Cincinnati

by The Cincinnati Team

The Greater Cincinnati Kitchen and Bath show is coming in October. Please check out the website and note a Groupon was sent today for half price admission! http://cincinnatikitchenbathshow.com/

Get some great ideas!  Enjoy the fun ideas!

Throw away things, leads to better health

by The Cincinnati Team

Please check out the link below. You can be exercising or not, here's more to get your heart rate moving!

http://time.com/3683078/throw-away-stuff-better-health/

Evolution of the home

by The Cincinnati Team

The National Association of Realtors puts out an online magazine and I found this article fascinating!  Hope you find it interesting to:

http://realtormag.realtor.org/daily-news/2015/07/16/how-american-homes-have-evolved-1994#.Vaf2kVVSYNk.aolmail

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 467

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Photo of The Cincinnati Team - Saralou & Mary Real Estate
The Cincinnati Team - Saralou & Mary
RE/MAX Preferred Group
3522 Erie Avenue
Cincinnati OH 45208
Saralou: 513-646-4819/Mary: 513-310-4448
Fax: 513-842-7892

Last modified: 3/15/10