It was a bittersweet moment when we moved out of office suite at the Millennium Business Systems Building in Symmes Twp on a cold, winter day in January. It wasn’t exactly the smoothest move with losing our original mover five minutes before starting (shout out to All My Sons Moving Company for saving the day!) and then Drew Mannix, our skilled videographer, slipped and fell off the delivery truck! But, we figured it out, wiped Drew off and settled ourselves into our new home at 9361 Montgomery Rd Suite D in the heart of Montgomery!
Moving into a new office is a lot like moving into a new home…it takes a while to get settled. Especially, since Millennium had become home for so many years. It was the place where Build Cincinnati grew from just being my Dad, Bill, and I to a team of many! We had fantastic neighbors, our friends at First Title, and incredible landlords, the copier and printer Mavens at Millennium Business Systems.
Now, with over a month under our belt in our brand new digs here at Montgomery Commons, we are now excited to call ourselves Montgomery residents. Being located smack dab in the heart of downtown Montgomery, we’ve already been enjoying the new neighborhood by eating at European Cafe and Napa Kitchen and grabbing a drink or three at Z Wine Gallery. Hopefully you’ll see our sign next time you drive by on Montgomery Rd.
We’d love to see you! Take a look at us working hard in the office below! Or feel free to come see us or give us a call at 513.260.0424 !
So you’ve put a contract in on a homes and now It is time for inspections. You may think that the most important thing when negotiating the contract is the purchase price, but in our opinion it is the inspection process!
Hiring a certified home inspector is one of the best decisions you can make when buying a home. They are over 1,200 items that home inspectors look at during the inspection on your new home. Some of the biggest items are: structure, foundation, roof, plumbing, mechanicals and appliances. There are also other inspections that you can have done usually for an extra cost that include radon, termite, sewer and mold testing.
Buying a home is normally the largest investment that you make in your life so it is very important to have all of these items checked so you make a wise financial decision.
Can you imagine buying a house and not having an inspection done? Imagine a year later finding out you have major structural issues or that you need a new roof. Having an inspection done before purchasing a home can protect you for years to come on your new purchase! If issues are found during the inspection, you as a buyer can negotiate items to be repaired or replaced by the seller. The Seller is not obligated to fix any item, but it allows the buyer the option to reconsider the purchase or fix things before they move in.
This is why we feel the home inspection process is one of the most important steps when going through the home buying process. Don’t make the mistake of buying a new home without having an inspection performed!
If you’ve driven through Madeira over the past few months or even few years, I’m sure you’ve noticed all of the new construction popping up. It comes as no surprise to residents in the community since they know that Madeira is such an attractive place to live with it’s walkability, downtown district and proximity to Downtown as a suburb. And, of course, we can’t forget to mention the highly rated school district – one of the top in the State!
But, how do you sift through and compare all of the new construction opportunities? This is a request of our clients all the time and it’s simple to breakdown. You just have to break Madeira up into sections and understand the key players….
So, let’s take a closer look:
In Madeira, there are quite a few great builders: Ashford Homes, Legendary Homes, Buckhead Homes, & John Henry Homes to name a few. These builders each have their own strengths that draw clients in their own way. We’ve had the opportunity to work with virtually every builder in the area and know how great they are.
Let’s dive into one builder in particular so we can explain Madeira and it’s opportunities. John Henry Homes is one of Madeira’s most active builders with almost a dozen lots and half a dozen homes under construction. Before you ask, yes, we represent John Henry in Madeira, so of course we’re biased.
If you don’t know, John Henry is not a person. It’s two people. Josh (Henry) Blatt and John Blatt are brothers that have been building for 25 years. They have built all around the Cincinnati area for hundreds of happy customers and pride themselves on offering a quality home with as little frustration as possible.
As you review John Henry’s lot inventory, you’ll see that they have homes ranging in the low end (for Madeira) at $550,000 to up over $700,000. These price point differences come from size of home to lot type and location. Jumping into a few examples we can break Madeira up into two sections:
East of Miami and West of Miami:
On the WEST SIDE of Miami, you’ll find larger lots in Madeira. Larger is relative, but this means they’re anywhere from 70′-80′ wide and homes start around $700,000 because the lots and teardown homes are more expensive.
Example: 7431 North Mingo by John Henry Homes. Although this home as not been set, it would most likely feature a 3 car front entry garage with 2800 ft. plus above grade for around $729,000.
List of lots available on the WEST side of Miami:
7431 North Mingo – 80′ lot
7210 Fowler – 80′ lot
7128 Mayfield – Smaller 60′ lot, exception to the larger lot
On the EAST SIDE of Miami, lots tend to be a bit cheaper and smaller. They range from 50-60′ wide and around 140′ deep. This allows for 2 car front entry homes at anywhere from 2400-2600 ft (sometimes more) and homes priced from $550,000. Historically, the further east you go the lesser expensive the lots, but this is NOT always true.
List of lots and homes available on the EAST side of Miami:
Keep in mind there are exceptions, like Southside, Summit, Fowler, Mayfield as I mentioned above. This section is south of Euclid on the west side of Miami.
That said, the above breakdown is a good basis to follow so you can know where to focus your search based on your price point. Of course, there plenty of great builders and we encourage you to meet with a few, but select your favorite lot! You can always change things in the house, but you CAN’T change the location or lot.
Did you realize that the Fall market is already here! It snuck up on us. It might not feel like it with these 90 degree days, but now that Labor Day has come and gone, we’re in the heat of the Fall market. Literally.
Over the years, we’ve seen an incredibly strong market in September and October because of lack of inventory and increasing demand. This year is no different, but there are some trends in the market that you’ll want to keep an eye on so you can see how they might effect your selling and buying plans.
To understand the market though, we first to explain how we view and track the local real estate market. We’ve all heard that real estate is all about location and that’s never been more true. We like to use the term “Hyper Local”. What does this mean? Well, each neighborhood has it’s own ecosystem if you will. Demand and supply can be different from one neighbor or another…heck, from one street to another. Monthly, our Build Cincinnati team reviews the sales, listings and trends for each area we focus to understand the health of that market. We even go as far as breaking each area up by price point.
An example would be looking at Montgomery and Hyde Park. Below, you’ll find a quick breakdown of home sales and listings at different price points and their average days on market. By going hyper local, we can best advise our clients on how to position their homes or buying plans.
Less Than $400,000 – 10 Listings
$401,000 – $700,000 – 26 Listings (2 New Construction)
$700,000+ – 40 Listings (18 Resale or Completed Homes & 22 New Construction)
Less Than $400,000 – 28 Listings
$401,000 – $700,000 – 18 Listings
$700,000+ – 25 Listings
Most people are under the impression that each of these areas are Seller Markets, meaning the lack of inventory gives Seller’s the edge. That might be true some cases, but in many, there is actually a growing amount of inventory. Before you worry though, Cincinnati in general only has 2.1 month absorption rate. This means that if there were no new listings, all of the homes would be sold in 2.1 months (theoretically, of course). A balanced market in Cincinnati is 4.5-5 Months, so we’re still well below that.
Here’s what this means to you:
For Sellers: the market is strong! Home prices are up 7.4% across Ohio. However, Sellers and Agents need to be care not to become over confident in a home’s ability to sell at any price. When pricing your home to sell, we need to be ever vigilant in finding that sweet spot on pricing. The first two weeks after listing are the most important and you only have one chance to do it right. We always arm our clients with list price range and of course, a suggested list price. When reviewing the competition and sales, be sure that you’re being objective.
For Buyers: Inventory is low in most cases, but there are great properties that come on the market (or we find through back channels) routinely! Our team is hungry to find new homes, lots and opportunities for our Buyers, but we all have to work harder than ever to find them. This means making yourself available as much as you can to see homes the moment they hit the market and being pre-approvaled! We’ll be sure to take care of you on this front!!
Building Buyers: Cost is going up so get it now before it gets even more expensive to build! Over the past 12 months, the cost to build has gone up 8-10%. That’s purely the cost of materials and contractor work. Lumber, hardwood, labor, roofing, you name it! The longer you wait to build, the higher likelihood that the cost will go up even more. Land and lot opportunities are more difficult and more expensive to find too. If you’ve considered building, now might be the time to explore it a little more seriously.
With that, we’ll leave you with an interesting statement that sums up what many are seeing out there and to calm any of those that are throwing the term bubble around…
“We’re seeing the first indications that price appreciation may be slowing, but the underlying fundamental housing market conditions support a natural moderation of house prices rather than a sharp decline.” -Mark Fleming Chief Economist at First American
How many homes are on the market in Cincinnati? About 4,000.
In other words, not many. And housing inventory—that’s what that’s called—is falling fast. This time last year there were 15 percent more homes on the market than there are today.
Here’s what that means if you’re thinking about dipping into the housing market: The buying windows are smaller, the prices are rising, and more than any time in recent memory you should consider building one yourself.
As to that last part—the whole resale vs. new construction debate—we’ve got a few words of wisdom to get you started:
Upfront/long-term costs: Generally the cost to acquire a lot and build on it is higher than buying an existing home. The thing to keep in mind here is maintenance costs, which are reliably lower in new homes—at least in the time frames we’re talking about (20-30 years).
Build it now: Rising interest rates are increasing the cost of homeownership, whether new build or resale. But new build prices are also sensitive to commodity prices—lumber, steel, roofing, etc. And commodity prices are rising too, meaning if you want to build new, you should do it soon.
Hot neighborhoods: The myth about new homes is you can’t find lots in hot neighborhoods—Madeira, Hyde Park, Downtown, et al. But that’s not true. Whether through subdivision or tear down, lots are available in these communities, and you can get ahold of them today.
Exactly yours: File this one under the category of “super obvious things,” but when you build a new home, you get to make it exactly what you want. That includes the floor plan, materials, interior design… everything you can afford, you can have. It really will be the house of your dreams.
Character: Like a broken-in baseball glove, an existing home is aged and polished in all the right places. It has strange intricacies, lovable imperfections, and a certain way of getting better the more you get to know it. You don’t get that with new build.
Maintenance costs: The thing people underestimate most about owning a home is the constant work it requires. Well, that work gets more expensive as a house ages. Yes, this is the downside of the whole “character” thing; it’s all fun and games until you need a new boiler.
Walk-in ready: Build new and you could be waiting for more than a year to move in. Buy a home that’s already built and, well, “here are the keys.” All you need to do is arrange the furniture, and your life immediately gets simpler.
The market is about to heat up: Think it’s difficult finding a house you love now? Wait until it really gets warm out—May and June. That’s when home sales go into overdrive. It’s also when things tend to go on and off the market in a matter of days, if not hours. So you should strike before the iron gets hot; that is, get looking now.
…and when you do decide to get looking, there’s not a better team out there than our friends at Build Cincinnati. With them you get the best of both words—a diverse portfolio of resale homes in hot communities, and a better understanding of new construction than any other realtor group in the area.
Do you know the benefits of owning a home VS renting?
Are you tired of increased rent each year, neighbors who come and go, places that
don’t accept your pets and everything else that comes along with renting? We know owning a home sometimes seems like a scary thought, but owning a home is not only a smart investment but it also has several advantages that you may not have thought of:
1. Build Equity – Unlike renters, homeowners build equity over time. On most mortgages, a portion of each monthly payment goes toward the loan’s interest. The remainder pays down its principal. Every dollar you put toward your loan’s principal represents a dollar of equity – actual ownership of the property. Usually once you reach 20% equity, you can tap that equity through a home equity loan or to secure a lower interest rate.
2. Deduct Mortgage Interest – You can deduct your property taxes and the interest paid on your mortgage, reducing your overall income tax burden (often substantially).
3. Sense of Belonging to a Community – Since homeowners tend to stay in their homes for longer than renters, they’re more likely to put down roots in their communities. You might join a local neighborhood association, sponsor block parties, volunteer at a nearby community center, or join with a business outing.
4. A Place to Call your Own – As a homeowner, your decorating and home improvement choices answer to no one. You can paint walls, add new bathroom fixtures, update your kitchen, finish your basement, or build a patio or deck to your heart’s content. Making your home to suit your personality is a fun, and even cathartic aspect of homeownership.
…and so much more!
If these all sound like things you are ready to take advantage of, it is the right time for you to start your search to find your home! At Build Cincinnati, we have years of experience working with first time home buyers and will hold your hand through every step of the home buying process. Reach out to us today so we can get started at 513.686.7676!