May 13, 2015

Tips to Sell Your Home

Even though it's more of a seller’s market than a buyer’s, sellers must prepare their homes before listing them in order to appeal to buyers who are value-sensitive following the recession. The best way to sell your home is to hire a professional Realtor like myself, who is an expert on the market and has experience selling homes. Contact me to hear how I help my clients successfully and quickly sell their Central Ohio homes. The below tips will also help your home sell in a timely fashion:

  •  Enhance curb appeal. This can be as simple as mowing the grass, planting flowers, repainting the garage door, and removing lawn d├ęcor. Curb appeal is a potential buyer’s first impression of your home, so it is critical to maintain.
  • Depersonalize. Remove pictures of you and your family, but feel free to keep neutral art on display or swap out photos with stock images. The point here is that buyers should be able to picture themselves living in your home—and starring at pictures of your children will not help them do so.
  • Declutter. This goes beyond cleaning up and making the beds. Decluttering entails putting things in closets, the garage, and out-of-sight locations such as storage units. For instance, put away (or throw away) the pile of books or magazines on your coffee table. You want surfaces (and floors!) to be as clear as possible. This is especially important for smaller homes, which can benefit the most from maximizing their space. Take the kitchen, for example. Put some decorations and appliances away: buyers do not want to see your toaster, blender, George Foreman Grill, microwave, Keurig machine, and butter dish—they want to see your counter space. The same holds true with furniture. It you have any non-essential furniture pieces that do not complement the rest of the house, remove them during showings. Good examples are children’s art tables or chairs.
  • Make minor upgrades. Granite kitchen countertops are increasingly common in new builds but were rare for homes built in the 1990s. Upgrading to granite countertops and stainless steel appliances will help put your home on a more level playing field with new builds. Buyers also like to see updated bathrooms. New front doors and garage doors offer some of the highest returns on investment. Check for and fix cracks in your foundation, stucco, or any other structural areas. You can likely fix them now for less money than you could when a home inspector points them out to potential buyers. Sealing cracks ahead of time can reduce the time your homes spends on the market since less work will be required during the selling process itself.
  • Keep it comfortable. Don’t overheat your home or blast the AC. Be mindful that, when buyers are arriving in coats, they won’t appreciate an unusually warm house.  If you have pets, keep them in the garage or backyard—somewhere where they will not interrupt potential buyers.  

May 6, 2015

Central Ohio Apartment Construction Skyrockets Alongside Rental Rates

The current market in Central Ohio is geared towards renters: last year, for the first time in two decades, more apartments were built than single family homes, at 3,037 and 2,903, respectively, according to The Columbus Dispatch. This stands in stark contrast to 2006 to 2012, during which time the number of apartments built was fewer than 5000, or about 833 a year. Percentage wise, the number of rental households in Central Ohio rose 8.7 percent between 2009 and 2013 while the number of owner-occupied households dropped 9.3 percent, according to the National Association of Realtors

Part of this can be attributed to inadequate finances following the recession; part of it can be attributed it to changing preferences and demographics. Young people are getting married and starting families later in life; so too are they delaying buying their first home. On the other end of the spectrum, there is an increasing rental demand from empty nesters looking for low-mainitence lifestyles. Both cases have resulted in an increased spread of luxury apartment buildings offering things like granite countertops, walk in closets, high ceilings with crown molding, wood floors, and prime locations walking distance to restaurants  bars, shops, and parks. The Short North, Downtown, German Village, Victorian Village, Italian Village, and Brewery District are popular areas. Of course, this all comes at the expense of soaring rental rates. One bedrooms of this sort are rare for less than $1000 and two bedroom units can cost as much as $3000 per month. 

Aston Place is one of many newly constructed apartment complexes in the Short North

As a result, homeowners can find some strong incentives to buy, including historically low interest rates and tax incentives. Not to mention, when you buy a home, you benefit from building equity and property appreciation. You can update or modify your home as you please and don't have to abide by silly rules ("no candles"), and forget paying an extra $30/month for having a pet, and another $80 for parking your car. Use's Rent vs. Buy Calculator to see which option would make more financial sense for you, or contact me to see how I can help. 

Experts expect apartment construction to slow down within the coming year, as the best locations are purchased and developed.