Clintonville nominated as “The Nicest Place in Ohio”

by Maddie Ogden

While it is no secret to Clintonville residents that it is a wonderful place to live, the neighborhood is now receiving state and national attention because of this. Clintonville was nominated by Larry Ziniel as one of the nicest places in Ohio and is now a finalist for the “Nicest Places in America.” 

The neighborhood started gathering attention when quarantine first started back in March. Clintonville has always been a tight-knit community, but it became even closer as people started helping each other adjust to life under COVID-19. It started with an online group for groceries.

“When one neighbor would head to the store, he or she would message others to see if anyone needed anything, limiting the number of trips,” an article in Reader’s Digest about the nomination explains.

Pretty soon, neighbors were organizing socially distant picnics and birthday celebrations. On one street in Clintonville, West Dunedin Road, resident Diane Erwin organized weekly beer deliveries to support Combustion Brewery & Taproom, a new local brewery. Other neighbors wrote birthday messages on the sidewalk and put out cake to celebrate local birthdays. 

“You get to pick your friends, but you don’t get to pick your neighbors necessarily, but somehow we have a really great neighborhood,” said Diane Ray, another resident of West Dunedin Road. 

This nomination is not the only thing that has brought national attention to Clintonville. Back in March, a video of 9-year-old Taran Tien and his sister, 6-year-old Calliope, went viral. The two kids put on a porch concert for their neighbor Helena Schlam, 78. Schlam’s grandchildren could not make it for Passover due to COVID-19, so Taran and Calliope decided to put on a show for her to give Schlam some company. 

These heartwarming stories are just a few examples of what makes Clintonville such a special place to live. It really is a tight-knit community where everybody knows everybody, and people are more than willing to help out their neighbors. It is nice to see this beloved neighborhood getting attention and this nomination is well-deserved. 

3 Local Blue Ribbon School Winners Announced

National Blue Ribbon Schools Seal

We’d like to recognize and congratulate three schools in our area who recently received The Blue Ribbon Award:

  • St Paul School (private – Catholic)
  • Tyler Run (public – Olentangy)
  • Buckeye Woods (public – South-Western City)

The Blue Ribbon Award is given to schools who excel in certain areas. The program was developed in 1982 to recognize and encourage academic excellence or progress in closing gaps among student subgroups. The award is given by the U.S. Department of Education. The coveted Blue Ribbon Award highlights the hard work of teachers, students and families who are willing to challenge themselves to accomplish more.

The National Blue Ribbon School Flag is given to those schools who win so that they can fly it proudly at the entrance to the building, letting everyone know that the teachers and students at the school are determined to master the learning process.

Both public and private schools are eligible to win the award. This important achievement is about more than just educational excellence. It also rewards and recognizes those schools that have closed the gap between student subgroups. For instance, in schools where students are from minorities or low-income homes, teachers work harder to help those students receive a quality education they can be proud of.

Let’s Look at the Schools More Closely

St Paul School – Westerville, OH (private – Catholic)

Formed in 1961, St Paul School has provided a strong educational foundation for multiple generations of families living in Westerville, OH. As a parish school they continue the tradition of an excellent Catholic education while incorporating contemporary pedagogy and modern technology. They strive to keep pace with current educational practices, but their core value of instilling the importance of a life of service is paramount. They challenge students to use God’s gifts to identify means by which they can become productive adults who recognize that service to others, especially the poor and needy, is a principal goal in life.

Tyler Run – Powell, OH (public – Olentangy)

Tyler Run Elementary School (TRES) is successful due to the sense of community among students, staff, parents, and the community. Tyler Run facilitates maximum learning for all students through engaging in many activities to build leadership skills and celebrate diversity.

The heart of their leadership is the Tyler Run Tiger’s “Paw”sitive Promise. In their community, the focus is on Teamwork, Respect, Effort, Spread Kindness (T.R.E.S). Students and staff are reminded daily of the promise through a catchy chant with hand motions. These four behaviors are taught and expected as TRES builds a positive community. Students, staff, and the community gather together to celebrate the efforts of students in a quarterly town hall meeting by recognizing students who have consistently demonstrated these behaviors.

Buckeye Woods –Grove City, OH (public – South-Western City)

Buckeye Wood Elementary is the largest elementary school in the South-Western City School District (SWCSD). As such, they face a variety of unique challenges. One of their most pressing challenges has been making certain that each and every student’s unique social-emotional and academic needs are met. The SWCSD provides high quality curriculum resources and professional development. Buckeye Woods teachers use these resources and training, along with knowledge of their students’ strengths and needs, to make skillful instructional decisions. Formative assessments enable teachers to use data-driven decision making to the fullest advantage. Teachers customize and target instruction for all students and utilize an excellent support staff to provide interventions, as needed, to supplement and enrich classroom instruction.

We Support our Schools!

The Columbus Team supports efforts like this in our community because we know it makes our world a better place to live when children can get a great education. We understand that homeowners want to choose their school districts and we can direct them to the information they need.

If you aren’t sure which district is best for your family, you can review the “School Report Cards” produced by the State of Ohio. You can compare all school districts including Gahanna, Dublin, Worthington, Olentangy, and others to find the one that fits your needs.

The Columbus Team has compiled information on the parochial, private, alternative, and public schools in the Columbus area as well, and we would be happy to pass that on to you!

Information on Columbus colleges and universities is also available. We’re here to help home buyers and home sellers in any way we can.

Best Place to Invest In Real Estate

As the pandemic drags on, home sales in Columbus, Ohio have definitely been affected. However, the numbers show very clearly that the effects are positive. In August 2020, we experienced robust activity for both buyers and sellers. Homes sold more quickly as well. Ohio continues to be listed nationwide as one of the best places to invest in real estate.

Another unusual aspect involves the effects of school closures on families that traditionally move during the summer months. They will now have a longer period of time to find a new place and get settled. In spite of continuing cases of covid-19 reported in Ohio, the general public is doing its best to return to normal. There are positive signs afoot and families do seem to be looking forward more this year to Thanksgiving and Christmas. Keep reading to learn all the specifics.

Record home sales in August!

(Sept. 22, 2020 – Columbus Ohio) – The central Ohio housing market saw record home sales in August 2020 as almost 3,400 homes and condominiums changed hands, up almost five percent from last year and the highest number of sales documented for this late summer month.
The number of homes closed during the first three quarters of 2020 is now just 1.3 percent behind 2019 according to the Columbus REALTORS® Multiple Listing Service.
“Traditionally we experience a higher number of sales in August as buyers seek to move into a new home prior to the start of the school year,” said Andy Mills, 2020 Columbus REALTORS® President. “However, given that so many children are now attending school virtually, or in a hybrid situation, that opens up a broader time frame for families to pursue a move.”

Days on Market.  Record home sales continue to prove that Ohio is one of the Best Places to Invest In Real Estate

Homes sold even more quickly than in months past during August. Homes under $350,000 sold in an average of 17 days. Homes sold between $350,000 and $500,000 took about 33 days to sell. Homes sold between $500,000 and $700,000 sold in an average of 52 days and homes over $700,000 took an average of 75 days to sell.
Although the number of residential homes and condominiums for sale during the month of August 2020 trailed the previous month by just 7.0 percent, the month was 47.0 percent less than the number for sale during August 2019.
There were 3,600 homes newly listed for sale last month providing motivated buyers additional inventory to consider.
As a result, there were almost 4,200 homes put into contract in August, a jump of 14.9 percent from 2019 and up slightly (0.8 percent) from July 2020.
For the second consecutive month, the average sale price exceeded the last list price. The average sale price in August was $279,134, up 12.8 percent from last year and the median sale price of $243,000 rose 13.8 percent over August 2019.

“Real estate has been, and remains, the foundation of wealth building for the middle class and a critical link in the flow of goods, services, and income for millions of Americans,” added Mills. “Accounting for nearly 15 percent of the Ohio gross state product, real estate is clearly a major driver of the U.S. economy.”

Current housing report – August 2020

Columbus REALTORS® is comprised of over 8,100 real estate professionals engaged in residential sales and leasing, commercial sales and leasing, property management, appraisal, consultation, real estate syndication, land development, and more.

The Columbus REALTORS® Multiple Listing Service (MLS) serves all of Franklin, Delaware, Fayette, Licking, Madison, Morrow, Pickaway, and Union Counties and parts of Athens, Champaign, Clark, Clinton, Fairfield, Hocking, Knox, Logan, Marion, Muskingum, Perry and Ross counties.

Patriotic Pros Play Golf from Sunup to Sundown

On September 8th, patriotic pros will play golf from sunup to sundown in an effort to raise awareness and donations that will benefit families of fallen and disabled service members with educational scholarships for their children.

These committed golf pros will be led by PGA Director of Golf Dave MacLaughlin, PGA Head Pro Andy Oxender and Assistant Pro Trent Kopala at the Golf Club at Little Turtle.  Erin Ogden Oxender is proud of her husband’s involvement in this worthy cause.

How you can help!

Pledge:  Pledge a donation in advance for each hole played!

Birdie/Eagle:  Pledge a donation for each birdie or eagle

To make a pledge stop by the Golf Shop at the Golf Club at Little Turtle for details.

Donation: Donate a flat rate.

To donate a flat rate visit the team fundraising website here.

How the money is used

The Folds of Honor impact hits close to home for this group of Patriotic Pros. Approximately 24,000 scholarships have been awarded to deserving recipients since inception in all 50 states and beyond. This academic year alone, more than 4,500 scholarships were dispersed; a 12% increase over previous year. However, not all qualified recipients were awarded due to lack of funding. The need remains great. Over the last twelve years, golfers nationwide have been instrumental in raising donations for Folds of Honor making it the largest grassroot golf fundraiser in the country.

To learn more about and support The Golf Club at Little Turtle’s FOH Golf Marathon efforts, please visit or call the Club at (614) 212-4000. For more information about Folds of Honor, please visit

About Folds of Honor

Folds of Honor is a 501(C)(3) nonprofit organization, rated a four-star charity by Charity Navigator and platinum on Guide Star, that provides educational scholarships to the families of military men and women who have fallen or been disabled while on active duty in the United States armed forces. Our educational scholarships support private educational tuition and tutoring for children in grades K-12, as well as higher education tuition assistance for spouses and dependents. Founded in 2007 by Major Dan Rooney, a PGA Professional and F-16 fighter pilot in the Air Force Reserves who served three tours of duty in Iraq, the Folds of Honor is proud to have awarded over 24,000 scholarships in all 50 states and some US territories, including approximately 4,500 in 2019 alone. For more information or to donate in support of a Folds of Honor scholarship, please visit

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About…..Triennial & Sexennial Revaluations and How They Affect Your Property Taxes

Every County Auditor is required by Ohio Law to value all properties in their respective County, at fair market value, twice during a six-year cycle. The review of “fair“ market value will directly impact the property taxes for each property owner in the county. The cycle begins with a reappraisal and revaluation of all properties. In this article we will explore what & when triennial & sexennial valuations occur, how market value is determined, what causes changes in valuation, how does it impact your property taxes and what to do if you disagree with your new property valuation.

2020 is the year for Triennial Updates in Franklin, Delaware, Morrow, Licking and Pickaway counties. Below is the planned schedule by County Auditors, the one cited below is for Franklin County ( call or email for other county schedules):


  • Tentative Value Mailer goes out to residents


  • FCAO (Franklin County Auditor Office) holds “Informal Value Review Sessions”


  • FCAO prepares final abstract of values


  • FCAO submits final abstract of values to Ohio Department of Taxation


  • Final values approved by State. Tax bills issued & FCAO sends final value mailer to residents

Why is this important for Property Owners to Know?

Short answer is that it will affect the value of your property for real estate tax purposes and a possible increase in you bi annual property taxes you pay.

What is a Triennial Update ?

A Triennial update is a review of valid sales over the period of 3 years, since the last appraisal. The sales data is looked at for trends in the market and values are equalized based on sales factors specific to each neighborhood. Therefore, changes in value will vary between neighborhoods. Neighborhood areas for valuing purposes are defined by like housing, type, age and size. As the name indicates, this is designed to update market values and therefore update assessed values of properties to tax purposes. Triennials occur 3 years after the last Sexennial.

What is a Sexennial Re Appraisal?

Under Ohio law, County Auditors are required to do a full, general countywide reappraisal once every 6 years. The Auditor or his/her qualified appraisers are required to view and appraise every property in the county for this purpose. The process takes between 2 -3 years to complete. Reappraisals can be in the form of an actual appraiser visiting the property, however it also includes “drive bys” of properties as well.

What is Market Value?

Ohio’s constitution, laws and courts have determined that the measure to be used determining the value by which property is subject to taxation is the “estimated fair market value”. Market value is defined as the price your property, would likely sell for in the market.

What Causes Changes in Valuation?

A primary objection of a revaluation is to adjust and equalize property values to reflect changes in the marketplace since the last valuation (Sexennial) . Since property values do not change uniformly, some values will go up, some stay the same and some will have gone down since the last valuation. Other facts, beyond variations in market value may cause a change in valuation. These could be alterations or change in the property, such as new construction not previously reported, new siding, buildings added or removed, interior finish added to basement or garage, new pole buildings constructed etc. A change in property use might also dictate a change in valuation, for example, a property use change from residential to commercial.

How does the county determine the value for a property?

For the Triennial, they appraise properties utilizing mass appraisal methods using a hired contractor that specializes in mass appraisals. The contractor will complete a reappraisal of all properties by gathering data on every property in the county and building tables that will determine the value. The accuracy of these tables is tested by looking at sales that actually occur to determine if the tables need adjusted.

If I disagree with my property valuation what can I do?

In September 2020, Franklin County Auditor (for other surrounding counties contact us for the schedules by counties) will hold Informal Review Sessions. In light of COVID-19, they will be setting up infrastructure for remote informals and will be encouraging residents to participate remotely. They do intend to have a least one in-person location for folks who cannot do their Informal Review Session remotely. For the first time Franklin County is asking all residents who wish to utilize the Informal Review Process to schedule an appointment in advance.

What type of Information do I need to support my opinion of value? Here is where we can help!

You may believe your value is incorrect, you have to be able to provide evidence to support your opinion of value. Evidence can include, but is not limited to:

  • Correcting data the auditor has on your property
  • A recent sale of your property.
  • A recent independent fee appraisal of your property.
  • If your property is listed for sale, a listing for the property.
  • Sales of comparable properties in your neighborhoods. You must provide the specific properties you used as comps.
  • Condition of your property (photos are always good to support this position).
  • Improvements or injuries to your property.
  • Any other information you think is relevant to support your claim to value.

How do I secure this information to support my claim?

The Columbus Team is here to help and can help walk you through the process, provide data to support your claim and just be there to talk you through the whole process. Sue Lusk-Gleich, Mary Allen, Patrick Florence, Erin Ogden Oxender, Terri Zellar, Heather Gott and Jeanne O’Keefe are committed to being your advocate in all things real estate, always delivering exceptional client services before, during and after the sale. Call us at 614-888-6100 or email us at