Tips on purchasing a 2nd Home:
· Decide which area you would like to buy a 2nd home.
· Decide what type of home you would like to purchase, single-family, condominium or duplex? Condominiums can be quite costly when considering the monthly fees that will be due in addition to the mortgage payment.
· Decide on what you are looking for: on the water, lake, and canal or if that is of any importance to you. Just remember, if you purchase on the water, it is the only property purchase that will keep its value when the real estate market is declining.
· Gather your financials and find a mortgage lender and get pre-approval on your loan.
· Something we learned is lenders are not favorable to 2nd home mortgages, so be prepared to possibly have a little more difficult getting this approved. Also, because they give the pre-approval, we found that the process wasn’t any easier getting the mortgage to go through once we made an offer on the home.
· Keep in mind; are you looking for a home already furnished? These are harder to come by, however if you are purchasing a second home and it is not furnished, you will walk into an empty house and need to start from the beginning unless you have extra furniture from your first home you plan on shipping or moving into the second home.
· If you know someone in the area that you will be purchasing the home, see if you can get a referral to a realtor. If not, find a realtor before you start the process. They will make life so much simpler because they know the rules and laws for that state.
Searching for the Home:
· Once you have decided location, we found researching on the internet made the process easier. However, depending on the market at the time, we had a LOT of options, which can be overwhelming. We found approximately 100+ homes and ended up narrowing it down to 15 homes to walk-thru. We spent the weekend in the location we were looking for the home and went through 7 homes one day and 8 the next. This is about all you can absorb. Always remember, when you are walking through these homes if it doesn’t feel right, walk away. You can always go home and start the process over. Don’t settle.
· When researching the homes, we found pictures can make a home look very different from what it appears. Always keep this in mind.
· When looking at prices of homes, remember the owner has the home marked higher so there is room to negotiate. This happened in our case and originally my husband didn’t want to look at the home because of the asking price. During negotiations, we got the home down to our price range.
After Offer has been Accepted:
· Since we had purchased our first home, technology has made a huge difference on the speed of getting things done. The only area that was delayed was the mortgage lender. The loan officer made the mistake of telling us this would be done within 3 weeks and at the 11th hour we were waiting for the approval or getting ready to pull the money out of some accounts which was our back-up plan (mind you this was 6+ weeks). Long story short, don’t count on this process moving “fast”. Rarely will it ever.
· When signing off on paperwork, the realtor would email us the document. All we had to do was print it off, sign it, create a document by scanning it into the computer, and email it right back. All of our paperwork was completed and returned in less than 24 hours. This helped keep the process flowing.
· Once the closing has been scheduled, we received a list of utilities that we would have to have transferred over. The seller called to provide the cut-off date, and we called to set-up our account. Many of these utility companies can waive the deposit, however don’t be surprised if they don’t. The water company in the area required a $215 deposit and this would be returned to us after 2 years, as long as we were a good standing customer. Apparently in this area they get a lot of customers that walk-away and don’t pay their bill. They are doing this to protect themselves and told me this is the average bill that gets left behind and not paid.
· Once we went to closing, we still had surprises. We found out each state is different. We had put money aside to pay our realtor, which is what we did on our first home. We signed about 100 documents (exaggerating but it felt like it!). Once we received our keys and everything was complete, we talked to our realtor later about writing the check to them. That is where we learned in that state, the seller pays both realtor fees. Nice little surprise of extra cash at the end of the day!
· After this process has completed, and it can be stressful, walk through the door of your new home and enjoy! It is all worth it in the end.
Happy House Hunting!!
Brown Butter Almond Brittle!
Okay, so after our bad experience at C. Williams Bistro, we were definitely not sticking around for dessert! Then, we headed to Jeni's Ice Cream--their newest location in Powell! First of all, when you enter, you are overwhelmed because their giant chalkboard is loaded with unique ice cream ingredients. This is truly a "foodie" paradise! I mean have you ever tried the Queen City Cayenne--decadent chocolate ice cream with cayenne pepper! Talk about sweet and spicy! You will need a glass of water with this ice cream to keep your mouth cool from the heat of the cayenne! This time, I decided to something more on the sweet side--Brown Butter Almond Brittle. Yes, and it does taste as good as it sounds! Rene ordered the Buckeye State-dark chocolate with peanut butter..what is better than that??? Kelly stuck with her old standby favorite: Bangkok Peanut which is peanut butter with a hint of coconut and a spicy cayenne finish! Supriya dared to go all the way with "One Night in Bangkok"--this is a full out SUNDAE! (See picture below) It included caramel sauce, whipping cream, bananas, and a sprig of parsley! (I think there were a few more ingredients that I can't remember!) Price? The price for a single scoop w/ cone was $4! Pricey, yes! Worth every penny! Yes!
I can go on about all of the delicious and unique flavors (goat cheese with cognac fig sauce??) but you really have to experience it for yourself. So if you are interested in something other than "rocky road" then head on over to Jeni's for a truly "out of this world" experience!
One Night in Bangkok Sundae!
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If you've ever looked for a way to tell a child how much they're loved, a spouse why they're appreciated, or friends or family what they mean to you, we've got the products and advice to help.
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Prepping Your Home for Sale?
By Beth Dittmar, REALTOR®, RE/MAX Affiliates, Inc.
Thinking about selling your home can be a very daunting decision. You’ve lived in your house a long time, perhaps started to raise your family there, celebrated holidays, birthdays and more. But, eventually, you may reach the point where you’ve just run out of space for that growing brood! That’s about the time that I get the call…”We’re thinking about selling our house…”.
If that thought has crossed your mind in the last few months, then Spring is a great time to start your plan of attack. If you’ve ever watched HGTV’s Designed to Sell, then you’ve definitely heard the word “de-clutter”. De-cluttering is definitely the key to getting your home ready to sell. As much as those piles of magazines in the corner may (or may not) bother you, they will drive a perspective homebuyer looking for the next best thing. Here are some great places to start:
1) Tackle those closets!
One of the main reasons we think about moving is because we’re out of storage space. One of the main reasons someone WON’T buy your house is for the same reason! Make sure your closets look roomy. Pack away out of season clothes or clothes that no longer fit (so often the case with the kids!) or build that donation pile.
2) Find your basement again!
It’s so easy to tuck things in that storage space in case you “might need it later”. Now is the time to make the use it or lose it decision! If you haven’t had a need for it in the last couple of years, chances are high that you don’t really need it. This is also a great time to show all the usable space that’s available (once it’s cleaned out). Even if your basement isn’t finished, use whatever extra pieces you’ve collected down there to stage a craft, exercise or play space. Buyers have a difficult time imagining what it could be, so help them see the potential!
3) Purge the pantry.
Last year’s Halloween candy is not a good selling feature! Just like the bedroom closets, people always want lots of kitchen storage space. Pull up the trash can, and start pitching all those outdated crackers, cereals and cans. It’s amazing how much gets collected way in the back! A roomy pantry may be just what that Buyer was looking for!
Regardless of your intentions, a deep spring cleaning and clean OUT is just what you need to get ready to relax and enjoy your summer. Donating to a worthy cause will leave you with a great feeling, and a cleaned out house will definitely be refreshing! If now is the time to sell, you’ll be ready to add those finishing touches to make it “show –ready” and get it on the market just in time for the busy summer selling season!Beth Dittmar is a fan of “Social Moms Around Columbus” and a Realtor with RE/MAX Affiliates in Westerville. She specializes in helping Buyers and Sellers in Southern Delaware County. She can be reached at 614-839-1049 or at www.bethdittmar.com
GOLDSTAR ONLINE TICKETING LAUNCHES IN CINCINNATI
National Ticket Provider Answers the Question: “What Should We Do Tonight?”
Thursday, April 14, 2011—Goldstar (www.goldstar.com), the Internet company that gets people out more to live entertainment, announced today that it will officially launch its online service in Cincinnati next Tuesday, April 19, 2011.
With the launch, Goldstar opens the door for Cincinnatians to discover the wealth of live entertainment the city has to offer — things like Cirque du Soleil’s OVO, STOMP and The Drowsy Chaperone – Cincinnati Music Theatre. Not only does Goldstar spread the word about events people may not have known were in their area, but with tickets at half price or better, they break down purchase barriers and inspire people to try new types of events.
Since its inception nine years ago, more than 1.5 million members nationwide have joined Goldstar. With more than 4,000 partner venues in an ever-increasing number of U.S. cities, the company provides a full spectrum of entertainment options at a great value to its members.
The site also offers access to the world’s largest source of user reviews for live entertainment — all online and all free to Goldstar members. (There is no charge to join the site.) Word-of-mouth and user-generated reviews are consistently the biggest influencers of people’s live entertainment choices, making the Goldstar user review system — with its thousands of written reviews and event ratings — an invaluable tool in planning a night out.
“Cincinnati is a great town with a lot to offer in live entertainment,” says Goldstar CEO Jim McCarthy. “Goldstar’s goal is to not only make people aware of that but help them take advantage of it.”
To sign up:
Who doesn't love a good piece of chocolate?? I have driven by this store many times on State Street and thought to myself, I have to go into that store! The chocolate display looks so good through the store front window. Finally, Valerie and I went with my 3 year old a few weeks ago to try it out!
Before you even walk into the store, you can smell chocolate! Once the door opens, you see a beautiful array of chocolate bunnies wrapped in boxes that are tiered stacked on the center table. (Can you see the giant chocolate bunny in the picture??)
After you get past the table, you see an open glass wall with various chocolates lined across the countertop. You look throught the glass with delight when you see the various fancy chocolates that they sell: truffles, bonbons, mini chocolate bars, seasonal chocolate eggs, mini chocolate bunnies, etc. I think it is overwhelming because what I really want to do is reach right over that glass and take a handful to try them all!
Then the manager behind the counter comes over and asks if you would like to sample the "broken" chocolate pieces of candy. (Who says no to that??) These are the chocolate bits that broke during the molding process. The chocolate was sweet and it really melts in your mouth...
He asks if this is our first time in the store and we both said "yes". He then starts telling us a bit about the store. He said that the two sisters (owners of the Westerville store) had relocated from Iowa and had learned how to make chocolate from the Stam family. I did some research on the web and it is actually a chain--there are some stores in Wisconsin, South Carolina as well as stores in the Netherlands!
And even more chocolate!
They offer other items in their store likes coffee, cookies and various packaged chocolate goods.. I forgot to mention that they also sell GELATO! (You can sample this too!) I tried a few (I know Valerie tried a Merlot gelato, chocolate and and the manager said that there was one gelato that they hadn't named yet but we should try it--he called it "Super Delicious" and it was SUPER DELICIOUS! I did wind up ordering that one for my 3 year old--she told me to stop eating it because I kept taking big spoonfuls for myself!
Valerie bought the beautifully decorated mini chocolate bunnies for her kids for Easter. She was going to surprise each of them with a small boxes of chocolate Easter bunnies! (She later told me that they loved it!)
Val and I left thinking that maybe our next SMAC event
should be here..hmm..ladies, get out your stretch pants!
Nanny Matchmakers of Columbus is now offering date night sitters! Are you tired of searching for a babysitter on a weekend evening, one that will show up on time or even show up at all? We have reliable, experienced, pre-screened sitters at a low fee. You will be guaranteed a qualified sitter, so no more fuss paying monthly fees on websites that can’t even guarantee a sitter for you. You will never have to decline an event or party again; let us take the pressure off of you. Start planning your year out now by using our date night sitters!
FEES: (does not include the hourly rate you will need to pay the sitter)
Individual date night sitter: $25 per day
Unlimited monthly date night sitter plan: use as many sitters as needed within a month for $75.
Yearly membership plan: If you pay a year in advance you will have unlimited sitters for $50 a month, that’s only $600 for the year.
We also offer full-time/part-time nannies and mother’s helpers, pet sitters, house sitters, and even personal trainers! If you mention this ad you will receive 20% off our nanny matching fees, just go to our website to apply online and check out our fees at www.nanny-matchmakers.com
Ameya Grimm and Olivia Casey