homes: 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)

homes: 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)

homes: 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)

homes: 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)

homes: 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)

homes: 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)

homes: 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)

homes: 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)

homes: 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)

homes: 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)

homes: 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)

homes: Your House Smells!!! - 02/16/09 12:47 AM

No matter how we may want to dance around the subject, the truth is, one of the first things people notice when they enter your Central Ohio home is the way it smells good or bad.  Everyone will agree that each home has its own unique smell.  As residents we often become immune to the smells in our own homes, however, when a seller is looking to impress perspective buyers it is critical to be aware of potentially offensive smells.  Below are a few tips on how common household occurrences like pet stains and musty odors can be eliminated.
 
(2 comments)

 
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Vanessa V. Simmons

Realtor

Columbus, OH

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