Did you hear the recent GOOD news about Columbus, OH, from the National Association of Realtors? The Columbus Team is thrilled to share with you that our wonderful hometown and state Capital of Ohio has made the list of 10 Markets that are expected to outperform over the next three-five years. What does this mean for you? Chief Economist Lawrence Yun indicates, “some markets are clearly positioned for exceptional longer-term performance due to their relative housing affordability combined with solid local economic expansion.” Yun suggests that Columbus, along with the other nine real estate markets listed, offer many benefits to the consumer, including affordability and consistent job growth as we look ahead, making it a favorable environment to become a homeowner. When it’s time to plan your path to homeownership, upsizing, downsizing, or even deciding if you should rent or buy, The Columbus Team is here for you. We’d love to meet-up and share some FREE real estate advice with you. Consulting, planning, and advising are all part of our comprehensive approach to helping you meet your real estate goals! How can we help you?
This year, our team has had the privilege of sponsoring Downsize With a Heart, a social enterprise of the Furniture Bank of Central Ohio. We continue to be amazed at the work they are doing in our communities. Collaborating with them brings us great joy.
Giving back to our communities is important to The Columbus Team REALTORS® and we hope that you will join us this holiday season. If you utilize Downsize With a Heart’s packing and moving services, you are also contributing to the Furniture Bank. The Furniture Bank turns empty houses into homes, by providing furniture to individuals and families in need due to poverty or other severe life challenges.
We want everyone in the Columbus communities to have a fully furnished home this year. If you don’t need help with downsizing, you can go to the Furniture Bank’s website to give a donation. The Furniture Bank also has a Thrift store for your holiday shopping.
Thank you for joining us in building better communities throughout Columbus!
Realtors With a Heart
A Vote for Erin is a Vote for fair and honest representation for all Columbus REALTORS®
Erin has demonstrated over time her commitment to service in the real estate industry with an excellent record of participation since obtaining her state of Ohio Sales license in 2007. As a graduate of both the Columbus REALTORS® Leadership Academy and the Ohio REALTORS® Leadership Academy, she is poised and ready to be an industry leader. She has served as an Alternate OAR Director in 2019 and is now asking for your vote as Director in 2020.
Erin is a loyal collaborator and quick-witted confidant. She always operates with integrity and knows it is important to be a good and willing listener. Communication is often a critical linchpin of understanding all sides of an issue and she is committed to hearing the membership of Columbus REALTORS® and increasing communication among the membership from all Brokerages, both big and small.
You’ve finally purchased the home of our dreams in a neighborhood you’re excited to move into. Owning a home is part of living the American dream, a live-in trophy for all your hard work. You maintain it and care for it, cutting the lawn weekly, washing windows in the spring and fixing any leaks that may spring up.
Part of caring for our home includes caring for the neighborhood too. It means connecting with neighbors and knowing your children’s friends and their families. Being social is the first step in continuing to keep your new neighborhood safe. Get involved!
Here are 10 tips for keeping your neighborhood safe. It’s difficult for crime to get a foothold in communities where the following is in place:
- Neighborhood Gatherings: Throw a neighborhood party! Organize a chili cook-off in fall, luminary fundraisers in the winter, bike rallies in spring and pool parties in the summer. Neighbors who play together, know each other and communicate about anything that might be suspect.
- Beautify your space: Keep a well-maintained yard because homes with gardens and planters tell strangers that the people care. Open lots, and public parks can be fixed up with a little teamwork which will send a clear message to outsiders that you are invested in your community. Pride of place goes a long way to deter crime.
- Download notifications: There are apps such as Neighbourhood Watch and Neighborhood Crime Watch which allow you the communication of emergency alerts, crime alerts, sex offender alerts, severe weather tips, and much more. You can also upload photos, videos, and information about suspicious activity in your neighborhood, which is shared with neighbors.
- Neighborhood Watch: Join your local Neighborhood Watch. If there isn’t one in your community, start it! There’s also a Dog Walker Watch you can participate with or bring to your community. These organizations provide tips and work with law enforcement to teach you how to keep your neighborhood safe.
- Welcome Police: Invite the police to patrol your community if you are having issues with speeders, make them feel welcome with a wave when you see them pass by. Keep them abreast of any suspicious activity.
- Play outside: Encourage outdoor activities, so there are always people outside in your neighborhood. A hive of activity will deter anyone looking to do something on the sly.
- Improve lighting: Consider lobbying to bring streetlights into your region if you don’t have them already. Keeping the area lit up makes it more difficult for someone to get away with illegal acts without being seen
- Secure your home: Do your part to make theft and vandalism unpalatable to criminals. Keep the exterior lights on, install a security system, and if you travel, ensure a neighbor watches your house, picks up mail and newspapers, so it appears you’re still at home. Keep your curtains and windows closed at night
- Teach your children: Walk the neighborhood with them to discuss boundaries, safety, and suspicious activity. Children can offer watchful eyes and ears too while at bus stops or playing with their friends. Let them know they should report anything suspicious to you and/or a safe adult. Define clearly who a safe adult is to you.
- Be an example: Treat your neighbors with respect. Proactively participate in your community and resolve conflicts with patience and communication. Encourage your children to do the same and have zero tolerance for bullying. Promote peaceful negotiations between friends and neighbors.
These are our tips for keeping your neighborhood safe. If you’re looking to relocate into a different neighborhood, we’d be happy to help! Let us know what type of home and area you’re looking at, and we’ll let you know when something matching your description becomes available.
Want to invest in real estate in Columbus, Ohio? If you’re not sure where to begin or what you should be considering, read these tips to start your successful real estate investment portfolio.
The Columbus Team’s Top 10 Tips for buying your first investment property:
- Ensure your financial house is in order
Eliminate all debt if possible. School loans, credit cards, medical bills, and any other areas you may owe money. Not having all these bills allows you to save down payments for your investments faster. It also removes the financial pressure to help you make better, less emotional decisions throughout the process of the purchase.
- Save the down payment
Save a minimum of 20% down. If this is an investment property, a minimum of 20% is required down before you can get a mortgage. If you can pay the entire cost in cash, you have a better chance of winning the contract in tight markets with limited inventory. Sellers will often take an all-cash deal that is less than one that requires lenders be involved. The more you save and pay upfront, the better your cash flow will be while you own it.
- Start small.
Consider investing in an affordable single-family home or duplex first. Keep your investment small so you can net returns faster from the rental income or sale, then take those profits and invest in your next property. Operating expenses and repairs are the most reasonable in this type of real estate. Purchasing multi-family units, commercial real estate, or apartment buildings require a more substantial investment and monthly operating expenditures.
- Establish your parameters.
Know exactly the type of property you’re looking for. Choose the neighborhood, school district, and price point of the property you are targeting.
- Amass your professionals.
To keep your profits in your pocket, it’s best if you have some repair skills yourself. You can save a lot of money by being able to replace a leaky faucet or repair drywall and paint. If you don’t possess these skills, you’ll have to source some affordable local laborers who can do the work for you. Keep in mind this will impact your operating budget. Drywallers, plumbers, electricians. Forging relationships with these people and knowing what the charges are ahead of time will make your investment life easier. Add an excellent REALTOR who will be looking for potential investment properties that meet your criteria. S/he can also connect you with reputable service professionals when needed.
- Secure a loan, if required.
Take advantage of any period of low-interest rates to use a mortgage when purchasing. A lower interest mortgage will keep your operating costs at a minimum and your profits at a maximum. Interest rates are slightly higher on loans for investment properties, so be sure to account for that in your budgeting.
- Plan for Expenses and Profits.
Determine your financial break-even point and how much income needs to be produced to cover your expenses and turn a profit for further real estate investments in Columbus. Also, consider whether the property will need renovations before you can rent or re-sell it. With your first investment, you may not yet have the professionals you can count on in your contact list. You may best purchase a home that does not need immediate repairs or even consider a turn-key home with reliable renters already living there. In a turn-key scenario, you will not immediately need to interview and vet new renters.
- Consider a partner.
An investment partner may be an idea for cost-sharing and profit-sharing and may allow you to start investing earlier. Keep in mind that, like a marriage, a partnership’s success or failure depends on the commitment and shared goals of the people involved. Who you choose may simplify or complicate the process and outcome.
- Keep your emotions in check.
From finding the right property to dealing with adversity in an income-producing home, you must learn to keep your emotions in check. From the purchase to negotiating with tenants and partners can be sidelined by emotions. You’ll need a cool head and a laser-like focus on your plan to keep your new business profitable.
- Evaluate Risk & Reward.
Any investment has risk and potential for reward. If you follow your plan and don’t make decisions based on emotion, you will reduce your risk and increase your chances for financial reward.
Follow these tips, and before you know it, you’ll have purchased your first investment property and be looking for your second!