Tune in to see how we’re working with our buyers and sellers during COVID-19. Mike Hines (Build Collective) joins Tim O’Brien (Zipfel Capital) and Dan Orner (First Title) on the latest procedures when it comes to home buying and selling to keep you safe and informed.
As the top real estate team in Montgomery, Ohio, we are committed to keeping you well informed so you can always make the best decisions for you and your family.
Call Us With Questions
Have more questions? Need to sell or buy a home soon but don’t know where to start during these ever changing times? Please reach out to us! Mike Hines is available to chat or email at anytime…. 513.260.0424 or [email protected]
Empty Nester. Lifestyle Living. Moving Down. Right Sizing…What best describes what you and what you’re looking for?
Like it or not, these are all just fancy marketing names for all you baby boomers looking for a new home to fit your new lifestyle. Whatever you or they call it, you’re just ready to shed the home that you raised your kids in for something more your current style
So what’s important to you in a new home? One misconception that we always hear from non empty-nesters (like their kids!) is often that this move is ONLY about one floor living so you can get around easier now or in the future. Don’t get us wrong, we know this is a big part of it, but we know that’s not the only driver! The fact is that you are looking for a location to capitalize on this new found freedom. We’ve helped dozens of empty nester buyers looking for a new home and most often, the number one drive in their search is location because they want to be surrounded by things to do. Restaurants, walking trails, shopping, etc. so they can take advantage of the time they used to spend on their kids. This might not be in every case, but we’re seeing it more often than not!
Happy smiling family relaxing in autumn park
Of course, in addition to location, we know that you’ll be thinking about things like:
Function Living Spaces – One floor potentially or maybe a future elevator
No or Low Maintenance – Lock it and Leave it!
Close to your kids: Lets face it, we might need you guys more than ever!
NOW, HOW DO YOU FIND IT?
Even though you have the exact idea of what you might want, finding it is a different story! The search can be difficult because of the lack of options and inventory. That’s often why people come to us because of our less conventional ways to go about the search!
In fact, to make it a bit easier on you, we’ve outlined a few tips on how to go about your search:
Most Buyers start off searching for Existing Homes because it’s the path of least resistance. It would be ideal to find a ranch style home with one floor living, minimal steps and that’s fixed up enough that you won’t have to do much to it. However, you’ll see that the inventory of homes like this is slim. Take Montgomery for example. Of the 51 single family home listings in Montgomery, only 7 are ranches, and of those 7, only 3 are existing homes.
TOWNHOMES & CONDOS:
Condo living is fantastic! You can lock it and leave it since there’s NO maintenance. In areas like Montgomery, Blue Ash, Oakley, Hyde Park, there are quite a few new condo developments (and existing ones) to choose from. For instance, the Allora on Madison is an excellent example of a new community that has been a magnet for empty nester buyers. With low HOA fees, elevator options and located smack dab in the heart of Oakley, this development literally checks ALL boxes!
As you look as these options though, there’s a few key items to consider:
HOA fees – These can range monthly from $100 to well over $600 so keep an eye on what they cost and what’s included!
Functionality and size of your floor plan – If you’re coming from a larger single family home think about the culture shock of going from 4000 ft to 2000 ft.
In addition to the Allora, here’s a few links to some other options that are available now:
We wouldn’t be called Build Collective if we didn’t mention at least a couple of new construction options! Take for example Orchard Trail in Montgomery. Designed for lifestyle living, this community caters to the empty nester crowd by designing ranch homes, an all inclusive HOA and maintenance fee and plenty of room for outdoor entertaining without the burden of taking care of more than you need.
Things to keep in mind:
Cost Per Square Foot – Ranches tend to be more expensive because all or most of the living is on the first floor!
Lot Width – This is the most important feature to consider if you’re looking at lots!
Timing – Make sure you have adequate time to build, which can take anywhere from 6-10 months nowadays with the tight labor market
Montgomery – 10432 Radabaugh – (This lot is tremendously wide & perfect for a ranch!)
Whichever option you choose, try to think through the transition and location. It’s also key to keeping an open mind. Sometimes the best options never cross your mind until they’re right in front of you!
And, as you search, we’re hear to help. Having a good agent on your side is pivotal as they can find ferret out options for you and make your purchase MUCH smoother.
Download Our Guide to Moving Down to help you as well!
Making the decision to buy or sell a home can be an overwhelming. The team at Build Collective, Coldwell Banker West Shell can help you understand the process and make sure you get the most for your home in the shortest amount of time. Contact us at 513.686.7676 to get your new home journey started!
On July 31st of this year, the Federal Reserve lowered the Federal Funds Rate 25 basis points in a much- anticipated move. As a mortgage broker, I’ve fielded many questions from our firm’s clients about this development. Specifically, people want to understand how this shift in policy impacts their mortgage and buying power in the future.
How does a Federal Reserve rate cut impact mortgage rates?
The short answer I give to my clients is to pay attention to the 10-year treasury bond rate. There is a common misconception that the Federal Funds Rate directly correlates to mortgage rates. Instead, the 10-year treasury bond is the main index lenders use to price mortgage rates. The reason? While most mortgages are 30-year products, those mortgages typically get paid off within 10 years, making it a great benchmark to determine where rates are going.
To provide an illustration, if you look at the 10-year treasury rate between January 2019 (around 2.75%) and August 2019 (around 1.66%), that 100 basis point drop is a direct correlation to how the conforming 30-year fixed mortgage rate has performed. In January 2019, that rate was around 4.5% and in August 2019 that rate is in the 3.5% range.
What are things to consider as a potential homebuyer?
1. Low interest rates represent higher home buying purchasing power
Let’s say you’re applying for a 30 year fixed mortgage loan for a new primary residence and have been prequalified to borrow up to $400,000. Last year, assuming a 740+ credit score, a 30 year fixed rate would have been in the ballpark of 4.75%. The principal & interest payment would be $2,075.43 per month. In today’s environment, that rate could be as low as 3.5%. on conforming loan amounts (<$484,350). The principal & interest payment would be $1,790.54 per month. That’s a difference of $285 per month. That also means, in today’s low rate environment, you could get approved up to $463,500. The principal & interest payment would be $2,075.43 per month at 3.5%. The drop in rates represents an ability to borrow up to $63,500 more.
If you don’t envision owning your home for longer than 7-10 years, you might consider refinancing into a 10-year fixed Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM). A 10-year ARM is amortized over 30 years but offers a lower interest rate than a traditional 30-year mortgage for the first 10 years. This can be a great way to save on interest payments. For example, if you compare a $1MM loan with a 30-year fixed rate at 4.25% to a 10-year ARM at 3.125%, there is an interest savings of nearly $107,000 over 10 years. Typically, you can refinance as much as a $3MM loan balance into this type of loan.
2. Look at a 15 or 20 year mortgage
Ideally, we all would like to pay off our debt in as short and inexpensive way as possible. In comparison to a 30 fixed mortgage, 15 & 20 year fixed options offer lower interest rates. The amount of interest you pay over the term of a 15 or 20 year fixed loan compared to a 30 year fixed mortgage is drastically lower. In fact, many financial advisors and personal finance experts recommend homebuyer’s utilize15 year fixed mortgages. So why do most buyers not finance their mortgage into a 15 year fixed loan? They can’t budget the higher monthly mortgage payment of a 15 or 20 year fixed loan into their budget. There’s too many other expenses, whether it be putting money away for retirement, school tuition, or lifestyle expenses. Assuming you can comfortably budget a 15 or 20 year mortgage payment, it’s a great financial tool to build up equity in your home quickly and eliminate interest expense.
3. Adjustable Rate Mortgage option
Consider this example. Say you don’t envision owning your home for longer than 7-10 years. You might
consider a 10-year fixed Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM). A 10-year ARM is amortized over 30 years but
can offer a lower interest rate than a traditional 30-year mortgage for the first 10 years. This can be a
great way to save on interest payments. For example, if you compare a jumbo $1MM 30-year fixed rate at
4.0% to a 10-year ARM at 3.125%, there is an interest savings of nearly $82,000 over 10 years when you
compare them side-by-side. That’s a massive amount of savings. If you select the 30 year fixed option and
moved in year 10, that’s $82,000 in interest you didn’t need to pay.
As you can see, the reasons to pay attention to rate changes are many and varied. However, as a
homebuyer, low interest rates represent a great way to increase your borrowing capacity and save
thousands of dollars in interest over the life of your loan.
Making the decision to buy a home can be an overwhelming. Tim O’Brien, at Zipfel Capital, can help you understand opportunities that will provide clarity in a complex situation like purchasing a home.
About the Author
Tim O’Brien is an equity partner in Zipfel Capital, a mortgage brokerage company based in Hyde Park, specializing in residential and commercial lending. Tim has been acknowledged by the Greater Cincinnati Mortgage Bankers Association (GCMBA) as a Diamond Level Producer, given to less than 1% of industry professionals. He has also been featured in the Cincinnati Business Courier’s “Ask the Expert” series. Tim holds a bachelor’s degree in Xavier University and is a graduate of The Summit Country Day School. He lives in Mt. Lookout with his wife and three children.
The Mason area continues to be a hot spot for new construction, and for good reason! With a top rated school district, an abundance of recreational outlets nearby, a wide variety of shopping and dining, and close proximity to I-71 and I-75, new home buyers consistently add Mason to their top choice for a new home. As the 2109 selling season goes into full swing, we wanted to give you a brief outline of three of the most popular New Home Communities in Mason.
For more information, contact Mike Hines at 513.260.0424 or Jan Gerding at 513.608.3770 at Build Collective at Coldwell Banker West Shell. They can get you started on building your perfect home in 2019!
With land prices going up across the board along with building costs, townhome living has become increasingly attractive to all sorts of buyers. Townhome living is nothing new as they’ve been around for decades, but recently, options are becoming more and more prevalent.
Now, it might be obvious, but what is a townhome? If you Wikipedia it, the history of a townhome is quite interesting considering why people often decide to live in a town home:
In the past, “a townhouse was the city residence of a noble or wealthy family, who would own one or more country houses in which they lived for much of the year. From the 18th century, landowners and their servants would move to a townhouse during the social season.”
It’s funny to see that even in the past, people we’re attracted to townhomes because of the social component. That couldn’t more true today. Since townhomes are typically vertical in nature with multiple floors of living, they tend to be clusters with many units in one complex. This can be very desirable when located around vibrant and bustling areas where buyers are looking to capitalize on their surroundings rather than focus on maintenance of their homes.
And, with pricing going up across the board and demand for living options near these walkable districts at an all time high, townhomes are becoming a great option when zoning allows. In the near future, we see townhomes and more dense units hitting the market in an effort to create more “affordable” or workforce housing options.
So, lets take a look at some of the top townhome projects in the works near in Cincinnati.
BROADWAY BROWNSTONES in Loveland
Priced from $399,000 • 1,900 Sq. Ft. • Only 1 Unit Left!
The Broadway Brownstones are located directly on the Little Miami Bike Trail in Downtown Loveland. With an bustling downtown district with Breweries, restaurants, candy shots, and an awesome new jewelry shop (shout out to Welling and Co!), Loveland is a force to be reckoned with! Dont miss the chance to live at Broadway Brownstones. Only One Unit Left… Builder Model! Check out the full website here
THE ALLORA ON MADISON in Oakley
Priced from $495,000 • 2,000 Sq. Ft. • Only 4 Units Left!
The Allora has been one of the top selling townhome project in the Cincinnati area. It’s no surprise through given that it’s in the core of downtown Oakley next to St. Cecelia and steps from the Madtree, Crossroads, and pretty much every possible convenience you could ask for. Check out the available units here
PARK MANOR in Blue Ash
Priced from $600,000
Luxury living in the heart of Blue Ash! Luxury, Convenience and Carefree living in a beautiful master planned community that offers something for everyone. Learn more about the Park Manor Townhomes here!
If you find that townhome living sounds like the perfect solution for you, reach out to us! We can give you more information on the featured townhomes above, or help you find another community that is perfect for you!
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!