I am a lifetime resident and licensed REALTOR in Cincinnati with Sibcy Cline Realtors. I am also a member of U.S. Green Building Council. My goal is to help Cincinnati residents achieve greener lifestyles through building or rehabbing. Contact me today!
- jamistutzman: has gotten her christmas tree from Big Tree Plantation!
- jamistutzman: original pancake house, montgomery. crowded and delicious
- jamistutzman: Heading down to the Blind Lemon tonight. I heart that place...
- jamistutzman: Showed a million condo's downtown today. I'm amazed at the amount of realtors who think their green just b/c they've got bamboo...
- jamistutzman: snowy day for showing houses! makes me wish I had a new pair of snow boots...
- The crazy things sellers leave behind…
- Reverse Contract - A great way to get those indecisive buyers
- Fannie & Freddies Holiday Cheer!
- Great Lending Opportunities are Very Alive!
- Linden Pointe II - Update
- The Cincinnati Market is Improving - a bit….
- Death of a Furnace
- Norwood is Paving its Streets!!
- Ohio Bond Money - Raising rates
- Its a buyers market. Where will you be living when its over?
- Gordo’s in Norwood
- City Wide Open House This Sunday!
- To Buy a home or not?
- Truth about FHA Mortgages
- Walkable Communities in Cincinnati
Cincinnati Real Estate
Most of the time when a buyer moves into a home they find a few items that the seller has left behind. Sometimes its something important, but most of the time its some left over “junk” in the garage or basement. I recently came across one item that a seller left behind that was very unusual.
I can’t blame the seller, we all are forgetful. Especially when it comes to moving. There is so much to think about and do for the big day that sometimes its easy to over look certain things. You’re busy cleaning, packing, coordinating contractors etc… I recently attended a final walk-through with some clients of mine. We were going through the house, which had just been cleaned and things were looking great. We stepped into the garage to check out the electrical panel work that was to be completed before the closing. While in the garage my clients started opening drawers and things and found a little wooden box.
Hmmm, curious I thought. My client client handed it over to me. It was much heavier than I expected. We opened it up and to our surprise we saw a lock of hair and some dog tags which read “Oliver” all sitting on top of a velvet bag. Oh my goodness, we found the sellers deceased dog in the garage! I quickly shut it and just said. I’ll call the agent. Needless to say, my clients were a little weirded out by this.
I called the agent and it turns out the seller had tucked “Oliver” away from the cleaning ladies so they wouldn’t inadvertently do something with him and he forgot to get him afterwards! So “Oliver” attended closing with us and we all got a good laugh.
No CommentsDecember 4th, 2008
Here is a little trick I used this past month for a seller. Its called a reverse contract. Never heard of it? Its not used much, but in the right circumstances, it can do wonders.
Here’s the story. I had a great little house in Norwood listed for a few months. I held an open house and had a very interested buyer walk through. He had an agent and a I contacted her the next day to see what the level of his interest was. She said they were coming back for a second look. Eureka! I had a live one and I was excited.
They went back for a second look, he still liked it. She took him to get approved. Why he wasn’t approved before hand was beyond me, but I didn’t ask questions. I was excited that someone was interested in my house. A week went by and I hadn’t heard anything. This wasn’t a good sign, he hadn’t made a move. But his agent assured me that he was still very interested.
“He has a few questions,” she would tell me. I would answer them and cross my fingers and pray for a contract the next day. No contract… weeks went by and still no contract. I was getting frustrated and my seller was getting frustrated. Every week I would call the agent and every week she would give me some excuse on why this was the house for him, but he was hesitant on some issue or another.
So after 2 months of this, I decided to take the matter into my own hands. My seller offered to give a verbal offer over to the buyer to see if he would bite. I said, lets do one better and lets write it down and give him a contract. What?! Have the sellers give a buyer a contract? Its almost un heard of. But these tough real estate times demand creative actions. So we wrote a purchase contract as the sellers and gave it to the buyers. We left it open for a week. We figured it had taken him 2 months to think about this house and we should give him some time to think about this offer.
6 days went by and the agent was calling me almost daily giving me excuses as to why he hadn’t yet responded. I simply told her “Get me a response. I don’t care what it is.” I wanted to keep the contract alive. Sure enough, he came back with a counter! EXCELLENT! We had gotten him thinking.
The rest of the contract went as normal. He countered, we countered and we all came to an agreement. My seller sold his house and closed on it last week.
Everyone is happy.
Get an agent who thinks outside the box. This market demands such an agent.
No CommentsDecember 1st, 2008
Perhaps Most of you saw this news yesterday:
Is the government wanting to give some holiday cheer to those in need? Are they feeling the warm fuzz of the holiday’s? Or are they so swamped that they can’t handle the amount of paperwork that they already have? Personally, I think its the former and not the latter. Having worked on a few lender owned or pre-foreclosed (short sale) properties recently, i can tell you that the hole process is ridiculous. No one bank handles them the same way and it seems as though things are always done backwards and with no consistency. There should be a stream lined process. Perhaps thats what they’re working towards?
My other question is what happens now that another 45 days goes by and the banks are now even further behind on getting paid? From experience a majority of home owners who know they’re getting foreclosed upon simply stop taking care of their property. I’ve even heard of instances where owners will sell EVERYTHING in the house that they can (furnaces, cabinets, copper piping, etc) if they know they’re house is going to be taken away. Now, its worth even less and the bank (and now the tax payers) is left picking up the pieces… I’m not saying that every foreclosed property is like this, but 9 times out of 10 thats what I walk into…
Only time will tell. In the end, it does make me feel warm and fuzzy that people won’t be displaced during the holiday season. Even though the gloom of Jan 9th will be over their shoulders.
No CommentsNovember 21st, 2008
Many current media outlets use terms such as “frozen” and “impossible” when refering to the accessibility of obtaining a mortgage loan or refinance. Many rumors also exist that if you do not have at least 20% for a downpayment, no bank will lend to you either. This is simply not the case!
Plain and simply put: If you have 3% for a downpayment, have over a 580 credit score, and have an active income; then you will be qualified to purchase a home. Also remember from my last post, the 3% down payment does not have to come from your pocket. It can come from a family member!
This sounds very simple, and it is. If you meet these simple three criteria then you will have access to a mortgage. Please feel free to contact me or Jami for any further inquiries regarding getting you pre approved for a mortgage.
No CommentsNovember 5th, 2008
Many of you already know, Linden Pointe is now moving to phase II. This is fantastic news! I’ve been trying to find someone for weeks now who would give me a little more information as to who is there and what is happening. Here is what I’ve found out:
Phase 1 is about 90% rented. In addition to SHP and Brown Mackie College, there are several other tenants in the first building including Public Safety and a new law firm, the Logs Group. Building phase II is hoping to start in the spring and they are currently pre-leasing that building. I was told they needed to have about 75% of the future building under a lease agreement before they can secure the financing so they are working on that. There are also two build to suit users that they are working with who would occupy their own buildings.
I’m excited about this. I think it will really help the North West Quadrant of Norwood as far as the residential sector goes. Go Linden Pointe!
1 CommentOctober 28th, 2008
Cincinnati Area Board of Realtors®
October 24, 2008
Contact: Karen Schlosser, President, 489-5440 (office), 702-6285 [cell]
Gene Snavley, Executive VP, 543-2211 [cell]
1,637 Homes Sold in September;
Nearly 15,000 Sold First 9 Months
The gap in year over year home sales — comparing the most recent two months — has improved, reports the Cincinnati Area Board of Realtors. Sales in September totaled 1,637, down by 4.4% over the same month a year ago. In August, sales were off 18.8% a year ago. Accordingly, the sales gap last month improved by 14.4%
—– Number of Home Sales Variance —–
August 2008 vs. August 2007: -18.8% (1,767 sales compared to 2,176 a year ago)
September 2008 vs. September 2007: - 4.4% (1,637 sales compared to 1,713 a year ago)
The gap in average home sale price also improved. September showed a 4.73% price reduction over the same period a year ago. For August, it was a 6.61% price reduction.
—– Average Sales Price Variance —–
August 2008 vs. August 2007: -6.61% ($165,166 avg. sale price compared to $176,859 a yr. ago)
September 2008 vs. September 2007: -4.73% ($156,639 avg. sale price compared to $164,419 a yr. ago)
For the first nine months of the year, 14,796 homes were sold. That compares to 13,144 homes sold through August. “We’re not out of the woods yet,” said Karen Schlosser, president of the Cincinnati Area Board of Realtors. “But buyers are still buying. The numbers prove that – there were 14,796 buyers the first nine months of this year…and 14,796 sellers.” Nationwide, September home sales seasonally adjusted rose 5.5% from August. From a year ago, nationwide sales are up 1.4% and the median sale price of $191,600 declined by 9%. Mortgage rates remain attractive. Locally, a fixed-rate mortgage averaged 6.55% last month. Yesterday it dropped to 6.49%, while earlier in the week it was higher.
September Home Sales
Summary of Single Family and Condominium Sales
Multiple Listing Service of Greater Cincinnati
Cincinnati Area Board of REALTORS®
September Monthly Home Sales
Closings Gross Volume Average Price
Sept. 2008 1,637 $256,418,131 $156,639
Sept. 2007 1,713 $281,650,413 $164,419
Variance -4.4% -8.96% -4.73%
Year-to-Date Home Sales
Closings Gross Volume Average Price
Jan-Sept. 2008 14,796 $2,461,878,015 $166,388
Jan-Sept. 2007 17,571 $3,087,307,553 $175,705
Variance -17.11% -21.44% -5.22%
30-Year Fixed Rate Mortgage (local)
Sept. 2007 (average) 6.55%
Sept. 2008 (average) 6.34%
Current (Oct. 23, 2008) 6.49%
# # #
No CommentsOctober 24th, 2008
I’m so excited and happy that this past week I purchased a new furnace. As I was sitting there with the my guy Dan from Apollo signing the paper work and picking out my new machine, I thought to myself “you know you’re growing up when purchasing a new furnace gets you all pumped up.” I think Dan was tickled seeing me get so excited about it. Well, what’s not to be excited about? My Duke bills will be lower this winter, i will actually be warm in my house without feeling guilty and I’m helping the environment by upgrading my efficiency! YIPPEE!
Site Map My old furnace (and i’m sad i didn’t take a picture of it before they started dismantling it) was a Williamson probably installed somewhere between the 1960’s-1970’s. When I purchased my house 3 years ago, my inspector told me that my old Williamson furnace is a “work horse” and will never die. In fact it’s rumored that Williamson put themselves out of business because their equipment never broke down and never needed replacing! Not sure how true that is, but everyone in the real estate biz around here seems to know that story. This furnace was so inefficient that everytime I would hear it crank up in the basemnt I would just see dollar bills floating out the windows. My heating bills weren’t outrageous, but I also wasn’t very warm for the prices I was paying. So, now I can feel comfortable both temperature and pocket book.
Here are some before and after photos of the furnace:
The ENTIRE new furnace could fit inside the duct work of the old furnace! WOW!the Work is Complete! Here is my BEAUTIFUL new furnace. I also got a humidifier so tackle those winter dry skin problems. I can’t wait until it gets really COLD!
1 CommentOctober 24th, 2008
Is it a sign of the Apocalypse? I don’t think so, but its great to actually see! I know they had paved part of Robertson (I think it was Robertson) a little while back, but I thought maybe it was a fluke and that they would never pave anything remotely close to my house (besides Montgomery Rd). Well friends and lovers of Norwood, they’ve started paving Buxton Ave today!! Don’t know where Buxton is? Well, its a sweet corridor of a short cut for all of those who live “Indian Mound near.” Everyone uses the back roads for easy access to the highway (or Swifty Gas) and to avoid Montgomery Rd and all if its stop lights. As I was taking these shots, the people driving by were actually cheering!! Who would have thought that simply paving some roads would make people so gleeful?? I hope Marion is next….
If they’re paving near your house, let me know :) We want all to share in the splendor.
Does anyone know if there is an actual plan to the madness? Or are they just randomly picking streets to pave?
7 CommentsOctober 15th, 2008
I recently received 2 emails from the Ohio Housing Finance Agency (OHFA), letting me know that the Ohio Bond Money Program is raising its rates and also that they are also temporarily discontinuing their downpayment assistance Program. Both changes are effective immediately. So what is OHFA?? OHFA helps low- to moderate-income Ohioans purchase new homes, keep their current homes, or find quality, affordable rental housing. They have a variety of programs to deliver qualified buyers. Is this a good option for you if you’re looking to purchase? Perhaps, make sure you mention it to your loan officer and let them work some of the numbers and details for you.
This is a simple response to what is happening in the market. We saw 100% financing leave months ago, the Ameri-dream program dry up the end of last month, and now this. Its a sign of the times, but I think in the long run it will help buyers realize that buying a home is a BIG investment and that you need to be able to save up some cash in order to invest…
Here are copies of the emails received:
Subject: Down Payment Assistance Programs—Temporarily Discontinued
Effective Date: 8:00am October 13, 2008
As volatility in the financial market continues, offering a product that meets the needs of first-time homebuyers has become increasingly difficult. The ability to obtain capital to continue our programs is severely limited. Despite recent rate increases, program volume has continued at a pace that can not be sustained. It has become evident that down payment assistance, not interest rate, is the primary reason today’s homebuyers select an Ohio Housing Finance Agency (OHFA) mortgage.
To protect and continue our core First-Time Homebuyer Program, the Agency will temporarily discontinue our down payment assistance programs, effective at 8:00am October 13, 2008. This announcement applies to both second mortgage loans and down payment assistance grants. We will honor reservations for loans with down payment assistance made prior to this announcement.
OHFA’s mission is to “open the doors to an affordable place to call home” for Ohio families and we are proud to have helped thousands of borrowers through our down payment assistance programs. It is a difficult decision to suspend these programs, but it is now imperative that we devote increasingly scarce resources effectively.
Borrowers can still purchase their home using the First-Time Homebuyer program.
We will continue to evaluate our programs and respond to the market as necessary. We appreciate your patience as we work to preserve the program that for 25 years has helped thousands of Ohio borrowers purchase their first home.
Dear OHFA Participating Lenders,
Due to the continued turmoil in the financial markets, OHFA must raise
rates for our First Time Home Buyer program. The tax exempt bond market
is effectively shut down, and it is unclear when it will improve. We
are pursuing other avenues to access capital, but anticipate higher
In the mean time we are committed to maintaining a program, while taking
prudent action to slow production.
Thank you for participating in our program and for helping Ohio families
to become homeowners.
1 CommentOctober 14th, 2008
Interesting to think about isn’t it? Where will you be living when housing prices start to creep back up? Will you then think its a good time to buy?? According to some, this is the best opportunity to buy since the 1989-1991 real estate crash.
Sure you think my point of view is skewed a bit and I think everyone should be buying right now! Well, yes. However, I’m not the only one. An article printed in the New Yorker about 1 month ago was brought to my attention last week. Whether you agree with it or not, its pretty interesting…
Jim Cramer predicts to the day, when the housing market will turnaround; June 30, 2009. Thats a pretty stick to your guns statement, but he does bring up some valid points on why he thinks this market will make a comeback by next year.
The most interesting point I found was his statement on the effect of immigration on the housing market. Evidently, before George W, we could reliably anticipate about 1million illegal immigrants to arrive each year, but that number is much lower now (partly explaining why Florida, California & Arizona have been hit especially hard by excess inventory). Both presidential candidates are much more immigrant-friendly and once either is elected, we can start to see an influx of new immigrants and home buyers. I’m not 100% sure on how many illegals were actually purchasing homes, but I’m sure there is a strong correlation between the two, but maybe not a causal relationship.
For those of you on the fence, start to look for small signs that the market is returning in the states that were hit the hardest. Cramer claims that the absolute worst areas, those with the highest foreclosures, bottomed out this summer. When there are small signs of life returning in these areas, you know the rest of the country is going to follow. Here in Cincinnati, we were never hit very hard with the high prices, so we won’t see a dramatic down swing, so it may be less evident. The longer you wait the more chance you take on missing the boat. My advice, if you can purchase now, do it. Go with a nice clean 15 or 20 year FIXED rate mortgage - Rates are in the upper 5’s to lower 6’s. Its a great time to buy!
No CommentsOctober 9th, 2008