Archive | November, 2011

Choosing a Realtor (Real Estate Agent)

18 Nov

You’ll get different opinions about the importance of “local” agents in a property purchase, and the current market certainly has moved many agents to work beyond their traditional areas.  But the type of property can sometimes be just as important a factor in your decision…for example, buying a vacation home (or historic homes, or land, or other unique real estate) with an agent who does not specialize in those subsets of the primary and vacation real estate markets. In any case, feeling comfortable and connected with your agent is certainly a solid and critical base for any buyer.

As more buyers consider non-traditional options and areas, often because of evolving lifestyle needs (multi-generational living, pre-retirement investment or vacation homes/land, etc.), they will often decide to work with an agent with whom they’ve had a longstanding relationship.  But at times that agent might not be familiar with the new areas of communities their client is considering.  In that case, perhaps a referral can be made to a “local” agent, with both agents then sharing the process as well as relationships with the buyer…so the buyer is comfortable in various ways, and agents can provide individual knowledge as well as care and service.

By the way, all Realtors are real estate agents, but not all real estate agents are Realtors (the latter being a copyright for the National Association of Realtors.

Beer Tasting at The Lodge in Hide-A-Way Hills

18 Nov
Brewmaster Scott Francis provides the inside story of the lodge’s craft brewery

We’ve been Hide-A-Way Hills (HAH) members since the 1990’s, and have been regulars for dining and socializing at the lodge ever since…and probably do so at least 2-3 times per week these days.  We’ve also been to a few wine tastings at the lodge through the years, but this is the first beer tasting event that we can recall…sampling both the lodge-brewed Rushcreek Pale Ale and Lager, along with very tasty brews from the new nearby Rock Mill Brewery.

HAH has its own brewery because the lodge is located in a dry township.  Years ago the state liquor laws allowed for a full liquor license even in a dry township if there was a brewery on site….hence the brewery inside The Lodge in Hide-A-Way Hills.  That legal opportunity no longer exists, but the public is invited to dine at the lodge…for reservation, please call 740-569-7944.
We’re also currently offering a weekend cabin getaway plus a dining gift certificate to the lodge on the Ohio Citizens Action Coalition fundraising auction:  http://www.biddingforgood.com/auction/item/Browse.action?categoryId=135616811&auctionId=135616786

School District Election Issues

11 Nov

 Read a couple of posts wherein a parent worried about the impact on kids after pending/possible school district cutbacks…someone suggested that things will be ok because mom and dad are the primary people in kids’ lives….certainly so, but there’s much more to the story….

Unfortunately, dad and mom can’t always provide the opportunities that a school system can (nor other forms of goverment, for that matter)…not without paying much more for them personally, in any case.  We had a long discussion with our son last night, now in OSU’s MBA program and a longstanding cancer survivor; we were talking about the “me” perspective vs. the “we” perspective when it comes to businesses and a whole lot of other things in life. As a former Hilliard school board member as well as a volunteer, it’s been my experience that the folks on the board and in the administration have long endeavored to be on the “we” side of the spectrum. If that were not so, the district would not have the premium standing it has earned.

Hocking Hills Visitors Guide

10 Nov

2012 Hocking Hills Tourism Assn. Visitors Guide coming soon…demand exceeded supply in 2011, but you can find special Guide supplements….check at the Welcome Centers in Logan and Laurelville when you come visit!   In the meantime, you can also find an online version of the 2011 HHTA Visitors Guide at  http://www.logandaily.com/app/logan/DigiMagLoader.swf 

(update January 2012….the new Hocking Hills Visitors Guides for 2012 are now available at the Hocking Hills Tourism Assocication welcome centers (Logan and Laurelville), and should be posted online asap…)

Vacation/Investment Home Owners, Taxes & Management

10 Nov

If you use your vacation/investment property as a rental (no matter how much or how little), don’t forget that you must track information for all vendors/contractors for information you’ll need to send them the required IRS 1099 form…for all work done over $600.  Check with your CPA or accountant for details.

Also a note for those considering or using a property manager or property management company….Ohio law requires those managing properties other than their own to have a state real estate agent license, and be working under a state licensed real estate brokerage that has agreed to perform property management…including setting up the required financial accounts.  For more information, consult your attorney; also see http://www.ohiorealtors.org/absolutenm/templates/article.aspx?articleid=3179&zoneid=31

School District Election Issues and Property Values

9 Nov

I’ve written about this previously on our www.ikarensell.com web site and elsewhere, and want to disclose that I am a former member of the Hilliard City School District Board of Education.  We continue to market and sell real estate in the greater central Ohio area, certainly including Hilliard, as well as southeast Ohio’s “hills” vacation real estate, and as a result now follow a great many school districts.  This morning’s election results, which showed Hilliard’s levy issue losing by a handful of votes, along with a rundown of vote totals for board candidates, caused me to do a bit more searching.

The levy opposition posed by “For Hilliard Kids” and that group’s endorsed candidate offers a web site with a blog where I found a thread covering school issues and property values.  I fully acknowledge that I disagree with the thoughts there that state one does not affect the other…and for the record posted the following, which summarizes those thoughts I’ve posted before:

“I’d suggest reviewing the histories of property sales and values in central OH surburban districts that have had repeated difficulty in passing school issues…specifically, ask appraisers what the impacts might have been on property values; they’re bottom-line folks, ultimately reporting to even more bottom-line underwriters. And perhaps Hilliard’s major growth spurt (and subsequent ongoing property value increases, at rational rates) had some connection to voters repeatedly approving school issues. Doug Parker, former HCSD member”

As for candidate and vote totals, the local TV media web sites have done a nice job of presenting information online, including http://www2.ohiovotes2011.com/election_results/?page=Refresh

Fall for The Hocking Hills year-round

9 Nov

Here’s a new video production for southeast Ohio’s Hocking Hills vacation region…full disclosure – I am a member of the Hocking Hills Tourism Association and its Board….

http://www.ohiotraveler.com/hocking-hills-autumn.asp

for other videos, see:  http://www.1800hocking.com/video

If you’re thinking that tourist season ends around here after the leaves fall, come see things through winter’s perspective as well…you’ll find things you hadn’t noticed or even been able to see when all the hardwoods were full.  And don’t just take my word for it, check out all the online views of the huge turnouts for the annual Winter Hike.