columbus: Important FHA Condo Update - 12/08/10 04:30 AM
All condominiums starting December 7, 2011 financed with FHA loans will need to be re-certified for FHA lending.  The time frame for recertifications are approximately 4-6 weeks according to what HUD has stated.The following documentation is required for FHA Reviews on "Established" Condo Project: Fully completed and executed Condominium Project Certification. Lender's form.Condominium project Budget and Financial Statements (Profit & Loss and Balance Sheet) Management Contract, if agent managedHOA Master Insurance Policy (Hazard, Liability, Fidelity and Flood)FEMA Flood Map (HMG Condo Group will obtain)Condominium project Recorded Legal Documents: Declaration/Master Deed and By-Laws, Amendments, Plat Map and Site Plans, Articles of Incorporation … (0 comments)

columbus: How Can You Afford a New Central Ohio Home?... Learn to Budget - 09/30/09 12:18 AM

Many people go through life one paycheck to the next and never bother to figure out where their money is going. It's important to know where your money is going and what you can afford if you are thinking about buying a new Central Ohio home.
Here's how to start up a monthly budget that will keep you in the know about where your money is running off to each month.
•·         Find a program you're comfortable using.  Your computer probably came with a spreadsheet program. If you are not used to using one open it up and become familiar … (5 comments)

columbus: What A Full-Time Central Ohio Real Estate Agent Can Do For You - 03/13/09 12:41 AM

We are all short on time these days, and never does that become more apparent than when trying to buy or sell Central Ohio real estate.  Deciphering the ins and outs of real estate can seem like a full-time job itself.  That's why many people decide to hire a real estate agent to guide them.
•·         A good real estate agent must have a working knowledge of local property values to make sure you get the most for your money.  Having an agent working for you full-time to find the Central Ohio home that you've been dreaming of can cut … (5 comments)

columbus: Hey Good Neighbor... - 03/10/09 11:27 PM
Are you a teacher, firefighter, law enforcement officer or emergency medical technician if so than HUD may have the deal of a lifetime for you?
Research shows that professionals who work in the above mentioned areas tend to have a stabilizing effect on neighborhoods.  HUD rewards these tireless individuals with the opportunity to acquire specific properties for up to 50% of the appraised value.
Program Highlights:
•·         Homes can be purchased with FHA, VA, Conventional and Cash.
•·         Down Payment is only $100.00
•·         Closing costs can be financed
•·         Owner/Occupant
•·         Owner must reside in property for a min of … (4 comments)

columbus: How Does HUD's $100 Down Program Work? - 03/09/09 11:40 PM

Ohio is one of the states where HUD is still offering consumers their $100 dollar down program but many folks are confused as to exactly how it works.
First it is important to know that the program is for owner/occupants only.
Next it is important to note that the program only applies to FHA Loans.
The components are as follows:
•1.        $100.00 dollars down applies to the down payment only.  ***Key point to keep in mind...-even with this program the $1000.00 earnest money deposit is still due within 48 hours of winning a HUD bid.  The $100 down payment replaces … (11 comments)

columbus: How To Purchase A HUD Home... - 03/09/09 12:01 AM

I have had quite a few calls asking how to buy a HUD home, so in an effort to address those questions I have do decided to do a series on HUD homes. ...
The best place to start the series is at the beginning with:   How To Purchase A HUD Home. 
Step 1.  Work with your lender to find out how much house you can afford.
Step 2.  Find an agent approved to place bids on HUD properties.
Step 3.  Shop for your Home:   Ohio, FL, NJ and NY CLICK HERE....All Others States Click HERE
Step 4.  Work with … (7 comments)

columbus: 10 Ways to Teach that Old House a New Trick... - 03/06/09 11:49 PM

So you have an old house but you still want to think and live green.  Here are a few tips that can help you retrofit and teach your old Central Ohio home a new "Green " trick.
•1.        Replace old windows with energy efficient windows.  If replacing windows is not in the budget prevent drafts with caulk or seal the window off with plastic.
•2.       By using recycled flooring products we can reduce our dependency on fossil fuel and.  Using natural fiber rugs and flooring is also effective in reducing oil requirements.
•3.       When you think paint ...think "Green".  Not … (9 comments)

columbus: Major Changes with Countrywide... - 03/05/09 10:19 PM
The information below was obtained by a loan officer with Countrywide Bank FSB.  It is a list of the major changes that they are making on Conventional Loans both conforming and non-conforming in the Central Ohio Area.  The source was unable to say whether or not Countrywide will be implementing these new guidelines throughout all their service areas but since our market has been tagged as "restricted" and or "soft" these changes will go into effect for all loans locked after March 19th, 2009
1)        Minimum credit scores now with loans over 80% loan to value will be … (9 comments)

columbus: Should I Stay or Should I GO? - 03/04/09 10:43 PM
 

One of the biggest questions potential sellers seem to be asking lately is, "Should I Stay or Should I go?"
With the Central Ohio Real Estate Market, like most other markets, still recovering from foreclosures, short sales and bank owned properties, which continue to drag down property values, many sellers are wondering if now is the right time to sell their home to purchase a new one. 
There are a few things to keep in mind.  Here in Central Ohio, year end 2008 saw a 13.5% drop in inventory levels over year end 2007.  Time on market showed a … (2 comments)

columbus: Drab Kitchen Make-Over…On a Budget - 03/03/09 11:22 PM
 
 
Ready to sell your Central Ohio home, but the kitchen needs an update, and you are on a tight budget?  There are tons of things that can be done to bring your dead kitchen back to life. 
Clean:
Removing wallpaper and borders are quick ways to update the look of your kitchen a little elbow grease water and vinegar will do the trick. 
Wipe down walls that do not need painting.  Don't forget doors baseboards and switch plates.
Clean oven, refrigerator and degrease backsplashes and appliances.
Paint:
Paint is always an inexpensive way to liven up a tired kitchen.  … (6 comments)

columbus: Youngest Victims of Foreclosure In Your State.. - 03/02/09 09:14 PM

We all know the toll that the foreclosure crisis has played on the economy and the housing market.  There has even been much reported on foreclosures impact on pets, but what about the children?
In a recent report conducted and published by First Focus , it is estimated that 1.95 million children will be affected by foreclosure over the next two years.  The report reveals some startling revelations about the impact foreclosure has on the success of school aged children:
•1.       Each time a child moves to a new school it takes an average of 6 weeks for them to … (12 comments)

columbus: Thinking Spring....Think Green for your Landscape - 02/27/09 10:12 PM
 

We are finally at the end of February and here in Ohio we are enduring another long winter.  Time to start thinking spring and here are 5 Ways Easy Ways to "Green" Your Central Ohio Landscape
•1.       Make a compost pile using kitchen and garden waste.  Mixing them together in a bin in your yard will accelerate the process.  The compost material, used in your gardens, will increase water retention and provides nutrients for plants.
•2.       Plan to put an automatic timer on your water hose.  Installation is quick and easy and requires no wiring or digging and is … (4 comments)

columbus: Foreclosure Process for Central Ohio Real Estate - 02/27/09 01:24 AM
With everyone talking about foreclosures and with how much they have been in the news lately, it's easy to get worried about the future of your Central Ohio home. The silver lining here is that you often have plenty of warning from your lender before they foreclose your property.Ohio has judicial foreclosure which basically means that your lender will have to go through the courts system to implement the foreclosure. Currently the system is so bogged down that it is taking 8-10 months to complete the entire process.The Foreclosure Act is when the lender takes legal action to repossess your home … (0 comments)

columbus: Girls Basketball... Like Watching Paint Dry..... - 02/24/09 05:10 AM

OUCH!!
 Was all I could muster after that shocking statement from a fellow agent in my office.    My daughter plays basketball for Pickerington North High School's freshman team.  They had an undefeated season this year, doing far better than their male counterparts, I might add.
Pickerington, Ohio is known for girls' basketball, being the home to a few state championships.  Several graduates have gone on to play for The Ohio State University and other great institutions.   
I would be the first to admit that back in the late 70's when I played high school sports our fan base consisted of … (2 comments)

columbus: Don't Make a Short Sale Offer.............. - 02/22/09 11:37 PM

 
Everyone knows what HUGE pain short salescan be, however; most real estate agents will agree that they are an unavoidable part of the Central Ohio landscape.  The more  the process is understood the greater likelyhood there is for a smoother transaction.  As a buyer's agent it is important have a clear picture, with as much information as possible.  This will allow agents to better understand how to effectively work through short sales process minimizing buyer frustration. 
Buyers' agents play a large role in the successful competition of short sales.  Going into the transaction with the right expectations is a key element to successfully completing … (18 comments)

columbus: Central Ohio Real Estate Selling Tips For The Winter - 02/22/09 09:24 AM


 
If you are like me, I start thinking spring in mid February, but here in Central Ohio we are still have plenty of winter days left. Any Central Ohio real estate agent will tell you that it's harder to sell your home in the winter. The days are colder and shorter, leaving less time to show your home to potential buyers. The good news is that most of the buyers who are looking at houses in the winter aren't just killing time. They're serious enough about finding their new home to go house hunting at a time that … (0 comments)

columbus: Lenders Clean Up Your Act - 02/18/09 11:44 PM

Neglected and abandoned properties are not only an eye sore they can be havens for rodents and vagrants.  Properties allowed to go uncared for has a tremendously negative impact on surrounding property values in neighborhoods.
CNN reported  about a new website, called Lender Offender, which allows anyone to post pictures along with addresses of the neglected and abandoned, lender owned homes.  Several lenders who own these properties have taken care of the problems just to avoid the embarrassment.  Please use this site and pass it along.
If we get lucky this could have a side benefit of forcing the lender-offenders … (2 comments)

columbus: REMEMBER: Cell Phone Numbers Go Public next month. - 02/18/09 02:54 AM
 

 
REMINDER.... all cell phone numbers are being released to telemarketing companies and you will start to receive sale calls..... YOU WILL BE CHARGED FOR THESE CALLSTo prevent this, call the following number from your cell phone:
888-382-1222.
It is theNational DO NOT CALL list. It will only take a minute of your time. It blocks your number for five (5) years. You must call from the cell phone number you want to have blocked. You cannot call from a different phone number.
 
If I can assist you with any of your Central Ohio real estate needs please call me at … (9 comments)

columbus: Top 50 Metro Areas for Business - 02/17/09 01:56 AM
The Wall Street Journal's Market Watch Report recently ranked the top 50 U.S. Metro Areas for Business.
I was please to see that Columbus was listed in the top 10 at #7.  Columbus gained that position through a 26 point increase over 2007 which saw the Capital City in the #10 spot.  Seattle had the the largest over all gain with a 27 point jump to land the #14 spot. 
Check out the complete story by Clicking Here.
 

(0 comments)

columbus: Quick-N -Easy Fix for Beat Up Woodwork.... - 02/16/09 11:16 PM

Recently I went to on a pre-listing appointment and found a lovely home that looked beat up because of the scratched and damaged woodwork around the doorways and the baseboards.  The client has two dogs that have really done a job on the natural woodwork.  Since everyone is looking to save a buck I have become the queen of low cost fixes.   I shared with him a tip I received a few months ago from a handy man.
First, buy wood putty for the deep gashes, my handy man suggested Minwax.  Then you will need a wood stain with a … (2 comments)

 
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Vanessa V. Simmons

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Columbus, OH

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