Lake County History – Average Sale Price Last 5 years by month.

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Avg Sale PriceClick on the link below to pull up a PDF – Lake County History of Average Sale Price per month.  If you are into statistics or even if you are not, you will likely find the information very interesting. Sale prices in Lake County have continued to increase month after month beginning 2016. The shortage of inventory and multiple offers has certainly been a factor in increasing prices.  If you have any questions or would like to know a particular area, please let me know. I am happy to help.

 

Lake County Ohio Sale Price Average

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Active Listings In Geauga County Ohio by Month – Last 5 years

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Active ListingsThe chart shows the number of active listings on the market in Geauga County by month over the last 5 years.  Click on the link below to see the entire chart.  While the market is moving quickly, it is still a great time to buy. Interest rates are still very good!  The process of selling your home or buying a new one can be made easier with the experience of agent. Let me help guide you or someone you know through the process.  Here is a little snippet for month of December over the last 5 years.

Month of December:

2013 – 1016 number of active homes on the market

2014 – 921 number of active homes on the market

2015 – 873 number of active homes on the market

2016 – 724 number of active homes on the market

2017 – 673 number of active homes on the market

Number of Active Listings in Geauga County

I will be sharing Lake and Cuyahoga county as well. Or if you would like some statistics by a particular northeast Ohio city, please let me know?

Looking to find out what your home is worth, let me provide you a free market analysis for your northeast Ohio home.

Great information for buyers – check it out my e-book 10 Things buyers need to know before they buy.

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Jody Finucan 440 221-6383 jodyfinucan@gmail.com

Key Professionals in a Real Estate Transaction

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When you are buying or selling a home there are a number of individuals you will come in contact with.  Here are some of them:

  1. REALTOR® – A REALTOR® is a licensed real estate agent and a member of the National Association of REALTORS®.  They also belong to their state and local Associations of REALTORS®.
  2. Listing Agent – A listing agent or broker forms a legal relationship with the homeowner to sell the property.  The listing agent’s responsibility and fiduciary duties are to the seller.
  3. Buyer’s Agent – A buyer’s agent or broker works with the buyer to locate a suitable property and negotiate a successful home purchase.  The buyer’s agent’s responsibility and fiduciary duties are to the buyer.
  4. Home Inspector – A home inspector can be hired by the seller before they put their home on the market or by the buyer when an offer has been accepted.  The inspector provides a comprehensive analysis of a home’s major systems and components.
  5. Loan Officer – A loan officer is a representative of a bank or financial institution.  They help customers identify their borrowing options and help them understand the terms of the loan.  A seller should also meet with a lender before putting their home on the market so they know the “big picture” of their financial situation.
  6. Appraiser – An appraiser works on behalf of the lender and provides a market analysis of the subject property. An appraiser’s finding is subjective and combined with market data of sold properties within the surrounding neighborhood.
  7. Insurance Agent – An insurance agent helps a home buyer determine the coverage needed and finds the right insurance policy for the home.
  8. Real Estate Attorney – In some states, real estate closings can only be conducted by an attorney.  They can give advice on all legal aspects of a real estate transaction. Such as drafting and reviewing contracts, help with how to take title and assist with the closing process.
  9. Escrow/Closing Officer – An escrow or closing officer is a non-biased third party who works with all participants to facilitate a successful closing of a real estate transaction. At the closing, the closing officer will collect the purchase money funds from the buyer and settlement costs from each party.  The will prepare and record all necessary documents to transfer ownership of the property.
  10. Title Company – The title company will search the title and provide title insurance policies to produce clear property titles and enable the efficient transfer of real estate.

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Common Closing Costs for Buying a Home

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mortgage

Carefully Assess Each Fee
Buying a home and obtaining a mortgage can be overwhelming. There are forms to sign and a multitude of fees involved. While closing costs vary by state, some of the costs may be disputable or negotiable.
Some nebulous charges or fees that are commonly associated with mortgage loans are often referred to as junk fees or garbage fees. For example, a lender may present you with a low percentage rate offer that has an extraordinary amount of junk fees. If you don’t understand what fees are and mean, then you may be taking a loan that isn’t the best option for you.
It’s of the utmost importance that you work with a reputable loan officer. You may want to ask for previous client recommendations and check the Internet for any negative information associated with the lender.
Within three days of applying for the loan, your lender should give you a good faith estimate. From the good faith estimate, you will know what your APR (annual percentage rate) will be. You will want to find out what costs have been included in the APR, especially if it seems abnormally high. A good faith estimate is essentially a listing of the closing costs that will be needed to secure the loan. You should carefully assess each item for validity, while also attempting to negotiate better terms on other items.
Here are 13 of the most common fees in a good faith estimate:
1. Loan Origination Fee – Most mortgage brokers and lenders have some sort of loan origination fee. It may be included in the APR or a separate title. The amount often varies based on how much work the lender/broker did to secure your financing. For example, those with exemplary credit may have a lower origination fee because the lender didn’t have to do as much work to secure their loan. On the other hand, a broker/lender trying to secure financing for someone with questionable or low credit will usually work much harder to secure a loan.
2. Application Fee – A usually upfront fee that covers the cost of appraisal and pulling your credit report. Some lenders will refund this fee in the event your application is denied. This fee will vary per lender, but it shouldn’t seem unreasonable.
3. Attorney Fees – Your attorney will usually represent you during the mortgage process, notarize the documents involved in the closing, record necessary information with the county, and possibly facilitate the actual closing. The attorney fees pay for those services and any amount due to other parties involved.
4. Document Preparation Fees – The charge for document preparation may be separate or included under the application fee or attorney fee. Just check to make sure the fee isn’t imposed under more than one title.
5. Processing Fee – This is often a camouflaged way of charging another loan origination fee to cover the incurred overhead costs of the lender.
6. Discount Points – You will pay for points (a fee equal to one percent of the loan amount) upfront. You’re actually prepaying interest on the loan, thereby getting a lower interest rate in return. One point on a $200,000 mortgage would cost you $2,000 dollars. Points may be a prudent route if the mortgage will be paid over a long period of time. This is another fee commonly found under the APR.
7. Mortgage Insurance – Lenders may require anyone not putting at least 20 percent down to purchase mortgage insurance. The fee will usually be paid in full at closing or annually from an escrow account. It too may be one of those fees included in the APR.
8. Escrow Account – Think of this fee as a forced savings account of sorts. The account serves as a middleman between you and the county for property taxes, you and the homeowner’s insurance company for premiums, and so forth. The money, which is a portion of your total mortgage payment, is held by the lender in the escrow account until the payment is due. This is a way that the bank can ensure that bills related to the mortgage are paid.
9. Pre-Paid Interest – It’s usually best to schedule the closing date for the end of any given month. Gaps between the date of closing and when the mortgage loan payment is due at the first of the month may leave you paying the amount of interest incurred during the gap. It too may be one of those fees included in the APR.
10. Title Insurance – This is a necessary evil. It must be bought to cover you and the lender. It makes sure that the property title is free and clear of any claims or liens so that someone can’t come along and make a legal claim of ownership on the property after you’ve taken a mortgage out on it. Occasionally, title insurance is covered by the seller, but more often than not the purchaser is responsible for it. However, the policy rate may be less if the previous owner only owned the property a short time and the insurer is willing to reissue the policy to you.
11. Flood Certification Fee – A certification stating if your potential home is in a federally designated flood zone.
12. Pest / Termite Inspection – Aside from termites, it will cover water damage and wood rot.
13. Surveyor Certificate – A certificate that defines the parameters of your potential property. This will be necessary if the existing survey is outdated or if the property has never had one done.

Information courtesy of David Bender…Mb Financial Bank…Branch Sale Manager…614-893-4868

Looking to buy a home, I can help.  Call Jody today 440.221.6383.  Would you like to search for a home like an agent utilizing the most up to date accurate information available?  I can help, click here.      You can also visit RE/MAX Website

 

The secret to good gardening is . . . lasagna?


If you’re considering putting in a new garden and want to keep it as environmentally-friendly as possible, you might want to consider prepping the ground this year and plant next year.

Creating a great garden space can’t just happen overnight. Getting the soil ready for planting a garden takes some time, work, and organic matter to make some garden lasagna.

What is lasagna gardening?

Building your garden soil through a process similar to composting lies at the heart of lasagna gardening. Made popular two decades ago by a book written by Patricia Lanza called – what else? – “Lasagna Gardening.”

Rather than bringing in yards of soil, Lanza reasoned, you build the soil from the ground up by adding alternating layers of nitrogen-rich (green) and carbon-rich (brown) organic matter. The green layer can include grass clippings, kitchen compost, coffee grounds and herbivorous manure. The brown layer includes fallen leaves, straw, newspaper and even shredded cardboard. Each layer should be at least an inch thick.

Making garden lasagna

This is the perfect time of year to start your soil for a new garden. It will take about a year for your soil to be completely ready. The process is simple.

  1. Mark off your garden plot.
  2. Using a shovel, turn over the soil about a foot deep and break up the sod.
  3. Rake all your leftover leaves from the winter into the spot. Better yet, mulch them to create your first brown layer. Save a week’s worth of newspapers and add a bale of straw and you’ve got a pretty good first layer.
  4. Ask your neighbors to catch their first mow grass clippings to add to your first green layer. You may have to buy a couple of bags of manure to get enough to make a good layer.
  5. Don’t compress the layers. You want to make sure your lasagna is getting enough air and water to aid in the breakdown.
  6. PRO TIP: Don’t add more green than brown; your soil will turn acidic.
  7. You can make as few or as many layers as you want.
  8. When you get to the last layer, cover it in brown matter or soil.
  9. Water it down to start the process.
  10. Walk away – for a year – and let nature take its course.

It’s perfectly fine to plant in the decomposing mulch in the first year. By next year, the soil will be perfect.

Looking to buy or sell your home, visit my remax website…and remember I am only a phone call away. Jody Finucan, REALTOR  440 221-6383

Serving Lake County, Geauga County and Cuyahoga County and relocation services around the world.

Unusual things that your homeowner’s insurance may cover

Insurance is one of those things you have to buy and hope you never use. Homeowner’s insurance is no different.

If you’re like most homeowners, you never take the time to read the fine print of the policy. This could be costly. There’s a good chance that your loss may be covered. Even something that you think “There’s no way it will be covered.” It just may.

Here are some of those things…

Accidental damage or injury

Most people know that their homeowner’s policy will cover injury or damage that occurs in the home, but many don’t know that your policy can cover things that occur, even outside the realm of your home.

Student property

When your kids go away to college and live in dorms, they’re going to take most of their stuff with them, naturally. Your homeowner’s policy may protect their expensive gadgets such as phones, tablets and computers when they go.

Collections

If you have a really extensive (and expensive) collection, you may have to get additional coverage. But if you have a collection of pigs that people gave you because you’re from Arkansas and lose those mementos in a fire, they should be covered.

Expensive cooking ingredients

If you’re a foodie, you may have ingredients in your kitchen that are both unusual and pricy. The internet makes it possible to buy things like truffles, saffron, cheese, and imported olive oil. If you’re a foodie, make sure to save your receipts, just in case.

Dog bites

You’re hosting a dinner party and the family dog gets excited with all the people around and jumps on a guest and bites her. So if medical treatment is needed, check your policy to see if you’re covered.

Interior designer fees

It’s happened before. A homeowner does a major renovation to their home and just as soon as the project is complete, disaster strikes. Your policy may cover fees you paid to the decorator, not just for the furniture and décor.

Of course, these are just a few examples of what may be covered. Make sure to read your homeowner’s insurance policy, especially the fine print. It’s a good idea to know what’s covered and what isn’t. If you do happen to incur some damage, it never hurts to contact your agent to ask.

Looking to buy a home or need information on selling a home, visit my website for more information.  RE/MAX Traditions

Creating a fire evacuation plan

Whether you have children or live alone, in a duplex or a two-story house, it’s a good idea to make a plan for how to evacuate your home.

If you work in an office building, chances are your company has a fire drill at least once a year. If you have kids, their schools have fire drills at least twice a year. Why not do the same thing at home?

With a proper plan and by practicing regularly, you increase the odds that everyone gets out safely in case of a fire in your home.

Tips for making a fire escape map

Any time you stay at a hotel, you’ve probably noticed a fire escape map on the door of the hotel room. It makes perfect sense to draw a map that shows the exits for every room in your home. It’s easy and there are plenty of options online to help you draw one up. Check out NFPA for more safety tips and advice about creating a fire escape map.

Maps should include:

  • Two escape routes for each room in the home.
  • Locations of fire extinguishers in the home.
  • Meeting place outside the home to meet in case of fire.
  • Emergency phone numbers.

After you make a fire escape map

Put the map in the bedrooms and common areas of your home, including the bathroom and kitchen.

Have a discussion with the members of the family to discuss the map and what is expected of everyone if a fire were to happen. Make sure everyone knows where to meet and the emergency phone number.

Above all, make sure to practice. If it’s your first time, do it during the day. Make sure everyone knows the escape routes for each room of the house.

A few weeks later, run through everything again at night. Why? Because most deadly fires occur at night. Knowing this fact is another good reason to make sure that your smoke detectors are installed and working properly.

Do a fire drill four times a year.

Proper planning, practicing, and making sure that everyone knows what to do can mean the difference between everyone getting out safely and a disaster that no one wants to think about.
Find out all the information you need on homes for sale, market data, selling your home and buying a home….click here.  

New Year’s resolutions for homeowners

The end of the year is always a great time to reflect on the past year and look forward to the new one. Many people signify this fresh start with a New Year’s resolution. If you’re a homeowner, here are a few resolutions you may want to consider for your home.

Save energy

There are some simple ways to save energy (and a few bucks). Turning down your thermostat when you’re at work or sleeping is a great first step. A better option is to replace it with a programmable thermostat that will remember to do it for you.

Keep your home safe

Many people install new batteries in their smoke detectors on the day the time changes in the fall and spring. Did you forget? Make it a point to ensure that you have fresh batteries in your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. Don’t have a carbon monoxide detector? They are fairly inexpensive and as easy to install as a smoke alarm. While you’re at it, check to make sure your fire extinguishers are in working order.

Help the environment

Whether your community requires it or not, recycling helps the environment and is everyone’s responsibility. Save water by repairing dripping faucets, installing low-flow showerheads, and replacing old toilets with new water saving or dual-flush models. When buying new appliances or electronic equipment, be sure they carry the federal Energy Star seal for energy efficiency.

Save money

Home maintenance projects can help you prolong the life of your home and make things more efficient, and therefore, save you money in the long run. Changing the air filter on your central air unit every month or two helps you save energy and allows your system to run more efficiently. If you still have a standard water heater, draining the tank once a year removes any sediment buildup, which can make it last longer and work more efficiently.