February 2015 - Star One Realtors


January 2015 up over last year
Home sales in January started 2015 on a positive note, up +1.40%.  Homes sold (closed) last month were 1,234 compared to 1,217 in January 2014.

“2014 was an excellent year for real estate, and 2015 is looking like it will be even better,” said Joe Mock, President of the Cincinnati Area Board of REALTORS.  “January sales started the year on a high note, highlighted by interest rates and affordable housing,” said Mock.

The January average home selling price climbed to $162,286 vs. $150,326 a year earlier, a +8.0% increase.  The average price has increased year-over-year for 35 consecutive months.  At the same time, the inventory of homes for sale,a s of January 31, continued its year-over-year declining trend to 7,812 from 8,580 a year ago, down -9.0%.

Local home mortgage rates in January averaged 3.80% for a 30-year fixed rate loan. The rates were higher at 4.25% a year ago. At these fixed rates, the monthly principal and interest payment on a $100,000 home loan with no money down would be approximately $466.

“Due to such low interest rates, this is a great time for first-time home buyers and those looking to upgrade or relocate to purchase a home. But I’d like to emphasize one point: the inventory of homes for sale continues to be at an all-time record low, meaning that if you have ever considered selling your house, this may be the best time to put it on the market!

Call a Realtor to get a free, professional estimate of your home’s value in today’s market. You may want to get a jump on the Spring market!” said Mock.

Nationwide, January home sales were down – 4.9% from December on a seasonally adjusted basis, but were up + 3.2% from January 2014.

7 Things You Should Never Do to Your Home

7 Things You Should Never Do to Your Home
New homeowners can be overwhelmed with the list of things they should do to their homes on a regular basis – clean the gutters and replace the furnace filters, for example. But, say the Wall St. Journal’s home advisors, there are at least seven things a homeowner should never do – and here’s why: 
  • Don’t do your own plumbing chores – No matter how handy you think you are, leave the plumbing to the pros, experts say. The risks are high if you mess up, and homeowners may not have a good grasp on building codes and safety requirements.
  • Don’t do electrical work – The same caveats apply here – and the greatest risk of all is electrocution!
  • Don’t be too quick to remove a wall – It may seem like a great idea to give yourself a little extra space. But don’t do anything until you check with a contractor or an engineer to be sure the wall you want to remove is not a load-bearing wall.
  • Re-think a bumpout – In the same vein, think twice about moving a wall only slightly to gain a little space. Contractors say these little bump-outs are too costly. You’ll get more bang for your buck by opening the new space on a bigger scale.
  • Don’t remodel too much – By the same token, give plenty of thought before you start remodeling. If you want the best return on your investment, keep remodeling costs in line with what other homes in your neighborhood are worth.
  • Don’t neglect your yard – Bad front yards anger the neighbors and bring down property values. Don’t be the one who doesn’t get around to cleaning up and caring for the yard.
  • Don’t forget not everyone loves your pets – Even if the pet smells, hair and stains don’t bother you, they likely bother your guests – and they will certainly bother potential buyers, so keep the carpets clean and open the windows when you can.
 By Barbara Pronin

one goal. one passion.