December 19, 2008


Met this morning with friends at the Sparta for breakfast. Open at 6:30, got there at 6:35 ( I told Ryan I would be there first cause I'm always early and I couldn't be 2nd) and there were already patrons in the seats. Unless they were left over from the night before, like my VISA... Anyway, the food was great. I didn't get to see the variety in the breakfast menu since PJ, Ryan, and myself all ordered the same thing. Sausage bagel with cheese and egg. Kevin mixed it up with 3 eggs scrambled and some bacon. The service was excellent and look forward to going back and picking up my VISA later today. Maybe if I time it right I will be back there for lunch.

December 16, 2008


I eat lunch here almost every other day so I am happy to see that I will have more variety of stores to choose from...


December 15, 2008


Having a getaway home can be a treat during the winter, even if the home is located in a cold climate.

However, costs can add up quickly when you leaving that second home vacant, but ready for use. Here are some ways to lower costs.
  • Weatherstrip all the doors and windows and make sure that the heating and air conditioning ductwork has no leaks. Install maximum insulation.
  • Pay attention to the thermostat. Heating load is proportional to the difference between outside and inside temperature. If it is 10 degrees colder outside than the desired indoor temperature, turn the thermostat down 1 degree and save 10 percent on energy. If there is a 20-degree difference between indoor and outdoor temperatures, turning the thermostat back one degree will only save 5 percent on energy.
  • Turn back the water heater. Even if someone will occasionally shower there, keeping the water heater set at 115 degrees keeps the water at a comfortable temperature and saves money compared to usual settings.
  • Unplug appliances, televisions and anything else that is on standby. The standby features use lots of watts. For instance, a microwave oven uses as much energy to run the clock as it does to cook.

December 12, 2008

2008 Christmas Shopping Trip

Another successful Christmas shopping trip. What made it a success? Not real sure... but we all had a great time. Pictured - Santa at Easton Town Center.

November 30, 2008


Homeownership will always be a good investment.

Even if you are on the fence for now, that's OK. There will be plenty of opportunities to buy a home when you're ready. Homeownership is a vital engine in the American economy - and in our culture. It creates strong communities and builds wealth for families who buy homes. Homeownership won't go out of style.

November 29, 2008


Last night after the Courthouse lighting we attended the annual Christmas Vacation viewing at Andy's. Always a classic and always a great way to start the Christmas season.

Clark Griswold is a hero to anyone who has to spend the Christmas holiday with family... Yes, watching Christmas Vacation certainly can make you feel better about your own holiday trials and troubles. Of course, if you had to deal with Cousin Eddie and his backwoods branch of the family tree, you’d probably go ballistic too.


Talk to those who know the market best.

Visit to learn more about our real estate market, but don't forget to talk to the experts themselves: REALTORS®, home builders, and mortgage lenders who know the market well. Those of you who need financial counseling, downpayment assistance, or homebuyer education also will find links to those resources on

November 28, 2008


Don't wait too long if you like a good deal.

NOW prices are right, rates are low, and there are plenty of homes on the market, but no one knows when that will change. So if you're playing the waiting game, consider that you might be disappointed when the market heats up again (as it always does) if you don't take advantage of today's opportunities.

November 27, 2008

Ten Rules to Follow When Buying a Home

1. Stay put. Commit yourself to your new home for at least 4 - 7 years before making your next move.
2. Money matters. If you're considering a mortgage, shore up your credit and get a copy of your credit report.
3. Get pre-approved. Save yourself the time and grief of looking at houses you can't afford.
4. Determine how large your mortgage can be. Explore different loan options to determine the best scenario for you.
5. Decide what and where you want to buy. Prioritize your needs (location, schools, local amenities, home features).
6. Consider your resale value even if you don’t think you'll be moving.
7. Do your homework. Write a contract based on current sales trends of similar homes in the neighborhood.
8. Calculate the hidden costs. Property taxes, insurance, maintenance, and homeowner association fees can impact your wallet over time.
9. Don’t be house poor. Double and triple check to be sure you haven't maxed yourself out on the cost of your home and have nothing left for repairs.
10. Get help. Use a REALTOR® to get the most for your money. It pays to have someone looking out for your interests

November 26, 2008


The holiday season is a busy time for most people. No one has time for anything because "this time of year is crazy," right? That doesn't mean the real estate market shuts down. In fact, the period from Thanksgiving through New Year's can be a great time to buy or sell a house. Think I'm nuts? Hear me out.

Why you should buy

The main advantage to purchasing real estate during the holiday season is that there are fewer buyers competing with you. So, if you're serious about purchasing a home, you may have more time to make an offer or consider your options. Home inspectors, appraisers, title companies, and anyone else involved in the homebuying process will likely have less business and, therefore, may have more time to work on your transaction. And, as a bonus, many movers charge less in the winter than during the peak seasons of spring and summer.

Most sellers avoid listing their properties at this time of year, so it's possible that the property you find will have a motivated seller. The house may be on the market during the holidays because it's been for sale longer than the owner expected. Or the seller may not be able to wait until the spring, which could result in a better deal for you.

Why you should sell

You won't find many casual buyers during the holiday season. A couple who views your home on December 23 isn't doing so to pass the time. Your home will also stand out better with less inventory in the MLS. Combine fewer homes on the market with mostly serious buyers, and that sets you up for a closed transaction.

And with so many consumers using the Internet for part of their home search, it's no longer a big deal if it's sleeting outside when you home is on the market. Buyers can locate your listing from the warmth of their living room and schedule a showing on a warmer day.

Built-in staging ideas

Sellers sometimes struggle with how to decorate their homes to appeal to consumers. Well, during the holiday season, you don't have to think too long to come up with a theme. A tasteful display of holiday decorations can show off your home at its best—10,000 blinking lights on the roof and blow-up Santas and motorized reindeer in the yard may not be a wise choice.

Talk to an expert

If you're planning to buy or sell your home this holiday season, sit down with a Realtor. Sellers can learn about holiday marketing, pricing, and decorating ideas, while buyers can find out how to approach sellers during this special time of year.

With the right guidance and a desire to buy or sell property, you and your family could end up with a great gift this holiday season—a successful real estate transaction. For more information on buying or selling property in Licking County, I invite you to visit


There are many reasons to be optimistic.

Look around. The central Ohio real estate market is active. Builders are opening new models, homeowners are getting their homes ready for the market, "For Sale" signs are popping up in every neighborhood. Ask a builder or REALTOR® you know and they will tell you that rates are staying down - and 2008 is looking up.

November 24, 2008

Obama Win Causes Obsessive Supporters To Realize How Empty Their Lives Are

Obama Win Causes Obsessive Supporters To Realize How Empty Their Lives Are

United Way Fundraiser Hosted by The Natoma

The Natoma hosted a Licking County United Way guest bartender night last Thursday raising well over $1000 toward the 75th Annual Campaign. The fundraiser included a jazz quartet and several raffles and give aways. Pictured guest bartenders Andrew Guanciale, Nasie Gallagher, and Tony Adams along with Natoma owner Dean Athen.




Attached is a video from the Big Brothers Big Sisters 2008 Beat Michigan Bash held at OSU Newark. Sold out crowd every year raising $26,468.00 for the children of Licking and Perry County. The "Party on the Patio" dinner sold at auction for $1000. Huge thank you to Roger and Vicky for supporting us two years in a row! (Also thanks to Kenny and Phil for bidding it up) We would like to thank our P.O.P. party donors Andy & Andrea as well as PJ & Kelly. Sorry we (I mean Brandon) forgot to mention you... Also thank you to Shane & Dawn who are easing their way into Buckeye Nation!


Low interest rates are playing a vital role in keeping our market strong.

Mortgage rates are the biggest factor in determining how much one can afford, so when rates are as low as they are today, you and I have incredible buying power. How low are they? People who bought a home in 1963 were paying the same rate that’s available to us in 2008.

November 21, 2008



If you are a first-time buyer who doesn't need to sell a home, you have an upper hand in today's market and should attend a buyer education program. Also, if you are "moving up," it's a good time to do so. Although you may have to settle for a lower sale price on your current home, the price of the higher-end home you want to buy has also dropped. In addition, investors interested in the long-term couldn't ask for a better market!

November 20, 2008


When I first started Real Estate 7 years ago there were two types of Realtors. The full-time Realtor and the guy or girl that worked at ABC company and came into our office after 5pm and was usually around on weekends. In a "great" market this "part time" Realtor could still sell 20 homes a year without putting much effort into selling. In the trying market that we as Realtors face now it doesn't matter if your are "full-time" or not. It is just like comes down to fundamentals.

What do owners of expired listings really want to know about you and your real estate services? The answer may surprise you.

Barb Van Stensel, an agent for Keller Williams in Chicago, shared an interesting piece of data about what she is hearing from the owners of expired listings these days. The first question is not, "Why didn't my house sell?" or "What are you going to do that will get my house sold?" Instead, the question that Barb is hearing repeatedly is, "Do you have a second job?" These sellers, whose properties have been on the market and have not sold, are justifiably concerned about their agent's ability to help them close their sale.

When a seller asks whether an agent is part time or full time, the real issue is whether the agent has the necessary skill set to close the sale. Just being "full time" doesn't address this issue. Across the country, managers are struggling with how to inspire their full-time agents to "get out of bed and come to the office in the morning." In contrast, there are plenty of agents who are having their best year ever. What makes successful agents in this market different?

1. They have a positive mindset. Most sellers realize how tough it is to sell a property in today's environment. They want an agent who is optimistic and upbeat while also being realistic about market conditions. The agents who are succeeding have a "bring it on" attitude towards the market.



Part One : The Central Ohio and Licking County area continues to offer many choices for homeowners.

Central Ohio is the 7th most affordable place to "live well," according to an October 2007 report from Our city was given that honor based on our housing affordability, our low cost of living, the entertainment options we have, and our overall quality of life.

Homes in central Ohio and Licking County are affordable. The median sale price of homes in central Ohio continues to be considerably lower than the national average. According to the National Association of REALTORS, the average price of homes sold in our market in 2007 was $172,531 — compared to $218,900 for the nation.

October 10, 2008

What can't he do?

My Grandfather is taking painting lessons and I think he is up to 3 painting a week. I have lost track since I have had to take pictures of each of them then email them to family. I think he just likes his picture taken. Between Freedom Years trips, dancing twice a week, going out to dinner, working out at the YMCA every day, golfing 4 times a week... I am glad he found something to keep him occupied... Jeesh. What a guy!

Pending Home Sales Up Strongly!!!

Pending Home Sales up Strongly

WASHINGTON, October 08, 2008

Pending home sales activity surged as buyers took advantage of low home prices and affordable interest rates, according to the National Association of Realtors®.

The Pending Home Sales Index,1 a forward-looking indicator based on contracts signed in August, jumped 7.4 percent to 93.4 from an upwardly revised reading of 87.0 in July, and is 8.8 percent higher than August 2007 when it stood at 85.8. The index is at the highest level since June 2007 when it stood at 101.4.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said home buyers were responding to improved affordability. “What we’re seeing is the momentum of people taking advantage of low home prices, with pending home sales up strongly in California, Nevada, Arizona, Florida, Rhode Island and the Washington, D.C., region,” he said. "It’s unclear how much contract activity may be impacted by the credit disruptions on Wall Street, but we’re hopeful most of the increase will translate into closed existing-home sales.”


October 8, 2008

Wisconsin Trip 2008

Spent this past weekend in Wisconsin... Jill and I hit the OSU vs. Wisconsin game and then on Sunday went to the Green Bay Packer vs. Atlanta Falcons game. Madison fans are rough but had a great time. Green Bay is a great place to visit...but never been there for more than 24hrs at a time. Thank you Rankins for letting us stay the night and having breakfast ready in the morning. Thank you Ben, Andy, and David for driving! 48 hour trip and we got a lot accomplished!