July 30, 2015

Looking back at Ballantrae's 'Bunny Park'

Do you know the story of Ballantrae's famous “Dancing Hares” statue?

The 15-foot bronze bunnies were designed by artist Sophie Ryder in 2001, and were commissioned specifically for the community by Mr. Peter Edwards. Each rabbit had to be shipped to their Ballantrae Park location separately, and are so heavy that multiple cranes were required to lift each sculpture and put it in position.

The unique trio of rabbits are posed in “boxing” positions, to mimic the fighting stance of hares seen during mating season. Each of the rabbits has random household items and toys hidden in their fur, which invites closer inspection.

The statues were meant to be both a whimsical decoration and an interactive experience. Visitors to the park are encouraged to touch and explore the statues to see how many hidden items they can find.


July 26, 2015

June Home Sale Inventory On the Rise, Prices Highest Ever

According to a report released by Columbus REALTORS, there were over 7500 homes for sale in central Ohio this June, which is a 2.5% increase over last year and the highest number for 2015 so far.

Columbus REALTORS President Kathy Shiflet thinks this growth means homeowners realize its a good time to sell.

“Central Ohio homeowners have realized it's an opportune time to put their home on the market. . .” she said. “Both the real estate industry and the temperatures were hot last month!”

Furthermore, homes are still selling quickly in central Ohio with homes spending an average of just 47 days on the market, which is down 15 days from 2014.

More good news: home sale prices are on the rise, as well. Last month, the average home sale price for central Ohio was $206, 061. According to Columbus REALTORS, this is the highest on record.

Many think this hot market is here to stay. According to the report, 93% of central Ohio REALTORS expect this trend to continue with prices rising over the next year.

It seems that now is a great time to sell your home. If you're considering selling your home, visit my website and contact me to see how I can help. I am a full time Realtor with a 100% focus on serving Sellers (and Buyers!) in Central Ohio.

July 25, 2015

The five central Ohio communities where home values increased the most


According to an article in The Columbus Dispatch, Upper Arlington homeowners who bought their homes in April of 2009 saw the greatest appreciation in home value in all of central Ohio. Upper Arlington home values reportedly increased 28% from 2009 to 2015.

Based on a report compiled by Zillow, Bexley homeowners who bought in April 2010 also saw a large growth in home value. Buyers in 2010 were able to snag their homes for a median price of $233, 600. Those same homes now have a median value of $296,700.

Three other communities in the central Ohio area saw appreciation in their home's value over the past few years. Worthington saw 19.8% rise from 2009, Marysville saw a 17.6% rise since 2011 and Reynoldsburg home values grew by 15% since 2012.
If you're interested in buying or selling a home in these areas (or anywhere in Central Ohio)  visit my website and contact me to see how I can help. I am a full time Realtor with a 100% focus on serving Sellers and Buyers in Central Ohio.

July 15, 2015

Citizen Fire Academy Returns to Washington Township

via wtwp.com

Washington Township citizens will soon have the opportunity to experience life like a firefighter. The Washington Township Fire Department has recently announced the return of their Citizen Fire Academy, a 6-week training program for citizens. The program will be held Wednesday's starting September 2nd and ending October 7th. The Citizen Fire Academy will teach citizens about rope rescues, operating the “jaws of life,” and will include information about hazardous chemicals, ThisWeek reports. Graduates of the program may be chosen for ride-alongs, and could potentially assist with basic first aid and CPR classes in the community.

The program is available to individuals over the age of 18, with preference given to citizens of Dublin and Washington Township. The application closes July 31.

July 14, 2015

When should I replace my A/C?

via houselogic.com
Having trouble staying cool this summer? It may be time for a new A/C! Due to recent updates in the manufacture of air conditioning units, new systems may use less than half the electricity of old A/C units and will be more effective at cooling you off. According to a recent HouseLogic article, purchasing a new A/C may be more cost effective than repairing your old one. In order to determine if purchasing a new system is the right decision for your home, House Logic recommends you follow these steps:

Check your current A/C's efficiency
Units that are just 8-10 years old might use up to twice the electricity that a new unit would use. By purchasing a new A/C with more efficient energy standards, you could cut your consumption (and your bills!) by 30%. HouseLogic recommends consulting your installer to see if a new unit is worth the cost.

Investigate the ductwork
Your old A/C may only be part of your cooling problems. Your home's ductwork may leak 10-30% of its air before it reaches you. Have a technician run tests to insure that your ducts aren't the problem before deciding to purchase a new A/C unit.

Consider your home's structure
A poorly insulated house could account for your A/C's ineffectiveness. A contractor may be able to seal any cracks or improve your home's insulation. This fix may be enough to improve your old system's effectiveness and keep you cool for a few more years.

If you have considered these issues, and decided that purchasing a new unit is for you, make sure that your new system is the correct size for your home. Oversized systems cost more, use more electricity, and may still not be effective at cooling your home. Consult a trusted contractor to ensure you purchase a system that's right for you. And remember...

July 10, 2015

Cleveland and Cincinnati top list as most affordable cities for millennials

Bloomberg recently released a report on the top ten most and least affordable cities in the country for millennials. Cleveland and Cincinnati made the cut for two of the top ten most affordable spots, clocking in at #5 and #8, respectively. Cities across the Midwest also made the list, including Detroit, Indianapolis, and St. Louis.

On the other hand, almost all of the least affordable cities were located on the west coast, with six of the top ten located in California. An article from Realtor Mag noted that the cities most attractive to young people are often the cities that are the furthest out of their price range.

You can see the full list below.

Most Affordable
  1. Detroit, Mich.
  2. Pittsburgh, Penn.
  3. Buffalo, NY
  4. Indianapolis, Ind.
  5. Cleveland, Ohio
  6. Kansas City, MO
  7. Memphis, Tenn.
  8. Cincinnati, Ohio
  9. Birmingham, Ala.
  10. St. Louis, MO
Least Affordable
  1. San Jose, Calif.
  2. San Francisco, Calif.
  3. Los Angeles, Calif.
  4. San Diego, Calif.
  5. Sacramento, Calif.
  6. New York, NY
  7. Seattle, Wash.
  8. Riverside, Calif.
  9. Washington, D.C.
  10. Boston, Mass.

July 9, 2015

Plan submitted to develop Jacquemin Farms into apartments, shopping center

via jacqueminfarms.com
Jacquemin Farms, a popular flower and produce farm on Hyland-Croy Road may soon be converted into a new development containing shops and apartments, the Dispatch reports. Schottenstein Real Estate Group recently submitted plans to develop the property. If the plans are approved, the Jacquemin Family will still continue to operate a small market on the property, but will grow their goods elsewhere. The farm was originally a sod farm, but over time the Jacquemin family converted the property into a popular destination for school trips and family outings.
According to The Columbus Dispatch, the Scottenstein Group's submitted plans call for the land to be developed in three parts. The first part, comprised of 36 acres, will be used to build 300 rental units, made up of both apartments and townhomes. The second part, comprised of 11 acres, will be dedicated to a senior assisted-living facility. The third part, comprised of 11.5 acres, will become two retail centers.
Although the Schottenstein Group has submitted their plans, the township's zoning board has yet to reach a decision on if the development will occur. The board is said to be considering the traffic impact of such a project, and has put the request on their agenda for their July 27th meeting.

July 8, 2015

Central Ohio home sales on the rise

News flash: the central Ohio housing market is booming! According to a new report released by the Columbus Board of Realtors, May 2015 home sales for central Ohio were up almost 18 percent from the previous month, and grew 8.4 percent compared to May 2014. The Board also reports that the number of home sales for the first five months of this year are the highest on record, according to data from the Columbus Multiple Listing Service (MLS).

Columbus REALTORS® President Kathy Shiflet believes this surge will last, stating “There is an incredible amount of buyer interest right now, and no one is wasting any time purchasing a new home...I don't anticipate [it] waning any time soon.”
Homes are also selling more quickly. In May 2015, central Ohio homes only spent an average of 54 days on the market before they closed. This average is down 11 days from May 2014.

And the good news doesn't stop there. Average sales prices of central Ohio homes are also on the rise. May 2015 saw a 9.1 percent increase from last May.

No matter how you look at it, this is great news for central Ohio homeowners. Shiflet summed it up best when she said “It's simply a terrific time to sell your home!”

If you're considering selling your home, visit my website and contact me to see how I can help. I am a full time Realtor with a 100% focus on serving Sellers (and Buyers!) in Central Ohio.

July 6, 2015

Columbus resident showcases minimal lifestyle on HGTV's “Tiny House Hunters”

Twenty-six year-old Short North resident Nils Root was recently featured on the HGTV series “Tiny House Hunters” to showcase his new condo. At 442 square feet, his High Street home fit the bill for the network's new show on living simply. According to a recent article in The Columbus Dispatch, the show represents an increasing population of home buyers with a desire for a more minimalist lifestyle. The article goes on to say that Central Ohio, specifically, currently has four condos up for grabs in the Downtown area that fulfill this desire, each clocking in at under 550 square feet.

via The Columbus Dispatch
Root worked with a Keller Williams agent to find a simple space that fit his needs. His search took him to Grove City, North Linden, and eventually, to the Short North neighborhood near downtown Columbus. Root was able to secure his tiny abode for $131,500 and has furnished it with small appliances and simple seating arrangements.

via The Columbus Dispatch
Another aspect that draws home buyers to purchase a small space is the opportunity to scale back on material possessions. Root told the Dispatch that he threw out any item he hadn't used in the last year. Five hundred square feet doesn't leave a lot of room for unnecessary clutter and home buyers looking to live small may have to make sacrifices when it comes to their larger furniture items. However, many people find this kind of de-cluttering gratifying. Terri Murray, the manager of the “Tiny House Hunters” series told the Dispatch that she feels many people dream of scaling back, owning a smaller home, and living more simply, and that this dream inspired the series.

The second season of Tiny House Hunters airs today, Monday, July 6th on HGTV.