Do you think winter is a bad time to list your house? Think again!

I get this question a lot: “Is winter a bad time to list my house?”
Absolutely not!

Winter is a great time to list your house – for many reasons.

1.  Houses are still being listed daily – we still have a HOT market in central Ohio.

2.  This New Year’s Resolution is popular – “This is THE year I buy my home.” Let yours be one of the resolution solvers.

3.    Buyers who want to purchase their home will learn about their potential tax refund early. They want that refund for their down payment. See point 2 above.

4.    By listing in the winter, you beat the spring rush. Stand out in the crowd and don’t get lost in the crop of houses that pop up in mid-March or early April.

5.    By listing in the winter, you can look for your new place early in the year.

6.    You can feature the cozy features of your home in the winter. Do you have a fireplace? Well, let that be a key feature of your home! fireplace
Have a garage? That is a fabulous feature – highlight that you can keep your car out of the snow/rain/cold.

garage

Do you have an area that would look great with candles? Perfect – let’s show it off! Large dining room to accommodate a lot of people for holiday gatherings? Buyers need to know about it.

7.    Buyers tend to be more motivated in the winter – whether it is due to a job transfer, to be closer to friends/family.

Thinking of listing your home? Please contact me to help you with the Selling process. I have over 12 years of real estate experience and most of that experience has been spent working in older neighborhoods. Do contact me today.

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Ohio’s Beautiful Statehouse

One of my most favorite buildings in Columbus is the Ohio Statehouse. It is called “The People’s House” because it was built to serve the citizens of Ohio.

It was completed in 1861 as a result of the State Legislature’s passage of a law on January 26, 1838 to build a new statehouse. Construction began with a contest – a design competition was announced – asking architects and designers to send in their entries of a new statehouse. The legislature reviewed 60 entries, and awarded prizes to three entrants. During the construction period, there actually were seven architects who worked on the project, the most notable architect being Nathan B. Kelly from Columbus. Construction of the statehouse took twenty-two years to complete and the building continues to serve as the heart of Ohio’s government today. The original structure exhibits the Greek Revival architectural style.

Much of the construction work was performed by convict laborers from the close-by Ohio Penitentiary, particularly the foundation and ground floors – and the tall wooden fence erected around the Capitol Square to keep the convict laborers on the construction site became a Columbus landmark of its own. Skilled tradesmen completed the higher elevation construction and the final finishes.

The limestone walls of the Statehouse are made of stone that was quarried in Columbus. A close examination of these limestone walls will reveal fossils in the stone, including the trilobite, Ohio’s state fossil.

Additions to the Statehouse include the construction of the Senate Building (Statehouse Annex) in 1901 designed by Samuel Hannaford & Sons of Cincinnati. It is built in the Neoclassical Revival Style.

From 1998 – 1996, the Capitol Atrium addition was built and the Statehouse underwent an extensive renovation using designs by Schooley Caldwell Associates and Moody Nolan Ltd, both of Columbus. These renovations include bringing the building to meet twentieth century building code, installing a fire suppression system, upgrades to electrical and heating and air conditioning systems, making the building more assessable according to the American Disabilities Act, and a reworking of interior spaces to make the building more efficient for its occupants.

The Statehouse was recognized as a National Historic Landmark by the U.S. Secretary Department of Interior in 1978.

The Ohio Statehouse covers nearly two acres of land, and when it was built, it had a place for every branch and function of state government within its walls. At that time, it was second in size only to the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington D.C.

The original cost to build the Statehouse was 1.3 million dollars. Today, that amount would equal over 100 million dollars.

In 1861, the Statehouse became the first Columbus skyscraper. It maintained that distinction until 1927, when it was surpassed in height by the LeVeque Tower.

Although most elements of the original structure remain in place, some traditions are no longer followed. At the time the Statehouse construction was completed, Columbus residents would use the Statehouse’s large green lawns as grazing areas for their milking cows and carriage horses. Animals left on the grounds would be stabled in a small area in the building’s basement. The Ohio Legislature banned the use of the Statehouse as a stable in 1878, but the residents continued to use the Statehouse lawns as their livestock grazing areas into the 1880s, according to newspaper reports.

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One of my favorite places in the Statehouse is in the rotunda. If you look up, this is what you see.
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If you look at the floor, this is your view.
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I have to admit, looking at the floor makes me a little dizzy.

An architect friend of mine told me that the acoustics are so good in the rotunda, that you can stand in the middle of it on the center medallion, your voice will be heard throughout the rotunda without any need for a microphone. I believe it! Because of this fact, I always whisper when I visit.
Tell me – what is your favorite building in Columbus? In Ohio? In your favorite city?
I will write more posts on my favorite Columbus structures soon!

One House at a Time

In the fall of 2016, I listed a beautiful brick house in my neighborhood. It is located on the northern boundary of the area and had not enjoyed the blitz of renovation that is happening in the central part of Olde Towne East. Nevertheless, is is a solid, spacious brick house and it offers a lovely view of Downtown from the third floor. It just needed some love and attention.

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474 N Garfield – pre rehab

We had a lot of showings and finally 2 offers. The Buyers who did purchase the house fell in love with it and could see beyond the work that needed to be done. They used a renovation loan (203k) and brought this house back to life. They enlarged the bathroom upstairs by removing one of the 4 bedrooms. They installed a half bath on the first floor. Updated kitchen, appliances, new front porch and spruced up the 3rd floor makes this home a showcase.

There were 2 vacant city-owned lots on either side of the house and the new owners purchased them both. They installed a basketball court for their kids and built an attractive fence.

Look at this house now!

 

It is a beautiful 4 bedroom brick historic house with a huge yard, a basketball court, two and a half baths, and still has a fabulous view of Downtown.

With a little bit of creativity and vision, you, too, can turn a house that needs some love into a beautiful and updated place to call home.

Interested in your own renovation – contact me today!

July 2017 Renovation Round-up

July is always a busy month for me as I volunteer for my neighborhood Historic Tour of Homes (Olde Towne East Neighborhood Association). The home tour is always the second Sunday of July and I was the Tour co-chair this year.

Plus I wrecked my car at the end of June and had to buy a replacement car at the beginning of July. I don’t like car shopping – but I do like the car I bought.

I had a big To Do List for July and did not get all of it completed. I do think I made some good progress though. I had some painting help from my friends Tom and Chanda.

In June I primed my kitchen and had the tile floor installed. At the beginning of July my friend Tom helped me paint the kitchen. I used a color called Frolic by Sherwin Williams (SW 6703).Kitchen all Painted

I am in love with this color – it is bright and cheerful and is a terrific contrast against the gray tile floor.

Since the walls were finished, I installed all the switch plate covers. I’ve been buying Light Switch Plateswitch plate covers for the past 10 years and it is such a delight to be able to install them.

Next, I sanded, primed and painted some base cabinets that friends gave me 3 or 4 years ago. I sold them a house and these cabinets were in their garage. They asked if I wanted them and of course I said YES! So they will get a new life in my new kitchen. The color is another Sherwim Williams color – this one is called Peppercorn (SW 7674).

 

I like the way it turned out and I think it looks so nice against the walls and floor. I may put an additional coat of paint on it and then seal it with a clear coat.

My garden is going crazy but my tomatoes are all still green. I can’t wait until they ripen.

 

I primed and painted the foyer and the small room under my staircases – I call it the Mystery Room. It was really tragic looking before this work.

mystery room before
Before Primer.
priming mystery room
During Priming.
Mystery Room all primed
After Primer – photo bomb by my dogs.
Mystery Room Painted
Mystery room all done.

I also primed and painted the foyer with the help of my friend Chanda. The wall color is called June Day (SW 6682).

The foyer didn’t look as sad as Mystery Room but it did need some color. And, boy, did we give it some color! This is what it looks like now.

 

What home improvement projects did you do in July? I would love to hear about your renovation projects!

 

Foyer Transformation at Miller Manor

Ahhh … the foyer. It is the first part of your house a visitor sees when they step inside the front door. You want it to make an impression. A foyer is a transitional space – offering safety or shelter from the outside and providing an introduction to your home. I think it should be warm, inviting and a preview of what the rest of the house holds.

I love bright warm colors. I always thought that a foyer should be bold and sunny. Ohio winters can be gray and dreary and I figured the best way to beat the winter blues is to have a cheerful foyer.

The foyer was anything but cheerful when I bought Miller Manor. Its plaster was cracked and crumbling. It had a radiator but that was the only thing that made it warm. The light fixutres had been stripped and the only light was from a single and lonely incandescent bulb hanging from the ceiling. It was not a welcoming space at all.

The transformation started with installing new electric service. Holes were cut into the walls and ceiling to make way for the upgraded wiring. Those holes made it look even more sad.

Once my house passed its electric inspection, my contractor started to repair the walls and ceilings.

After the wall repair, I primed the walls and celing of the foyer, along with a little room located under the staircases (I call it the Mystery Room). It is the room leading to the basement entrance and will be a storage room for extra wine, seasonal dishes, and guests’ coats. When the house was a boarding house, it was actually a half bathroom. You can still see the holes in the doors from the towel holders.

The left photo is Mystery Room before priming and painting. The one on the right is after.

My dear friend Chanda helped me paint the Foyer and Mystery Room a sunny Sherwin Williams color called June Day (SW6682). I knew this color would beat any winter blues and highlight Miller Manor’s beautiful features – the front stair case, beautiful trim and 9 foot paneled doors.

splochy floor

The paint color looks terrific but it also shows how bad the floors and trim look. The trim refinishing is a project for winter, but the floors I can improve right now. 

I spent an entire evening scraping the drywall mud off the floors with my 5 in 1 tool. 

Then I cleaned the floors with good old Murphy’s Oil Soap. Twice. Since you have to dilute the MOS with water I keep re-using this Method Floor Cleaner bottle. 

Helpful tip: don’t put your coffee mug next to the floor cleaner. You may accidently grab the wrong container to take a sip of what you think is coffee. 20170806_095513_Film1

Yuck.  

Next, I used a lambs wool applicator to apply a product called Holloway House Quick Shine Floor Finish. This is NOT a floor cleaner – rather it is a protective glossy finish. 20170806_102933_Film1

The more coats you apply, the more glossy the floors look. 

I love the way it turned out and now I can’t wait to do the other rooms!! Maybe I will do the front parlor floors next.

Stay tuned for more Miller Manor transformation updates.

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April 17 Columbus, OH Metro Housing Stats

Hello Friends!

Happy May 2017! Soon we will experience warmer temperatures and will be getting ready for the summer season.black butterfly

May is the time for planting – those who want to have a vegetable garden will be busy mid-month getting their plants into the soil. Do you plant a vegetable garden? If so, what are your favorite plants to grow? Do you have a container garden, raised bed or a section of your yard devoted to gardening?
I hope you enjoy the information included in this April 2017 Cbus Housing Stats link. As you can see we have increased average sales price in the Metro ZIP codes (43201, 43203, 43205, 43206, 43215, 43222) from last month and also the last 3 months with a property being on the market for an average of 50 days. In fact, the April 2017 average sales price was at highest level compared to April of 2016 and 2015.

I would like to wish all moms reading this email a Happy Mother’s Day. If you are a mom to a pet, I want to send you warm Happy Fur Kid Mother’s Day wishes too. Thank you for giving your fur kid a happy loving home.

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Please contact me if you are considering selling or buying property in central Ohio. As you can see, we have a market well suited for sellers. Let me put my real estate and renovation experience to work for you!
Thank you for your friendship and trust!
Christina  

 

2017 Tax Season is Upon Us

“I LOVE doing my taxes!” said nobody.
Ever.

The tax deadline will be here before we know it and for this year, 2016 taxes are due on Tuesday, April 18, 2017.

This is not a typo. According to eFile.com:

Why is Tax Day April 18?

The regular tax return filing deadline is April 15. However, due to April 15 being on a Saturday and the Washington D.C. Emancipation Day holiday being observed on April 17 instead of April 16, 2017, Tax Day is on the following Tuesday.

Did you buy a house last year? If you did, you may know that there are tax several deductions you can now take on your personal income taxes that you could not take before.

From  this 2015 article on The Motley Fool Website, you can now take advantage of 9 different tax breaks. A quick summary follows:

  1. Mortgage payment interest deduction.
  2. Mortgage Credit Certification
  3. Mortgage Points Deduction
  4. Tax-free IRA withdrawals
  5. Real estate tax deduction
  6. Home improvements deduction
  7. Home office deduction
  8. Home energy tax credits
  9. Private mortgage insurance deductions

Of course, if you already own your home (not a first time home buyer) you can take advantage of these deductions too.

As always, it is best to check with your accountant to make sure you can take all of these deductions and ask them for tax advice.

Thinking of buying a home in 2017 so you can deduct some of thest items from your taxes? Please do contact me!

Take care,
Christina
Christina Miller – Your Renovation Realtor
Coldwell Banker King Thompson / Metro Office
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