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Best Real Estate Agent in Dayton Ohio

Who’s the best real estate agent in Dayton, Ohio? Lets take a look!

Today we’re going to see who the best most awesome & coolest realtor in Dayton, and well, really all of Ohio! Maybe you’re asking yourself “exactly what scientific measures did they use to determine such a thing?” below we’ll review the criteria and exactly how we came to our conclusion.

Criteria for the best most awesome real estate agent in Ohio?

  • must be super awesome
  • must be cooler than most
  • must be an experienced realtor
  • must be friendly & helpful
  • must have the slogan “performance outsells promises” (we’re starting to narrow it down a bit now for the sake of this article)

Clearly based on the criteria above, Denise Swick is the best realtor in Dayton, Ohio!

Did we mention she’s available day and night to help you sell or buy your next home? Call Denise at (937) 619-7447 for assistance today, feel free mention that you saw this for a good laugh 🙂

Let’s take a look at some photos of the most awesome realtor in Dayton! 🙂

Here we can see Denise having a few glasses of wine with some Corgi friends of hers.

best real estate agent in dayton ohio

And here we can even more clearly see why she’s the coolest real estate agent in Dayton, Ohio.

How many realtors do you know that hang out with Unicorns?

most awesome realtor in ohio

Contact Denise Swick for complete assistance selling your home today! Denise and her team are also always ready to help you find your next dream home, call (937) 619-7447!

Different Home Styles and Their Characteristics Part 1

dayton real estate online house types

When it comes to homes, there are loads of different styles to choose from. If every house looked the same, it would just be boring. Everyone has a different taste when it comes to the styles, but not everyone might know what those house styles are or even some of the characteristics that come along with it. Hopefully this blog post can serve as a guide to help you decide what style you would like your next house to be! And of course, when you do decide, call me and I’ll help find the perfect home for you and your family! Below is just a few styles, there are tons out there, but this should be a good start!

Cape Cod

dayton real estate online cape cod

Cape Cod Type of House – Image from Wikipedia

This home style can be found all across North America and was originally found in the northeastern part of the U.S. called New England after being brought over from Britain. They were designed for easy construction and to be able to stay warm and endure the cold winters. Some features include:

  • Steep roof to help keep snow from building up
  • Low ceilings to make the home easier to heat
  • Rectangle shape
  • Not much decoration on the outside of the house
  • Hardwood floors

Colonial

dayton real estate online colonial house

Colonial House – Image from Wikipedia

Probably the most common style of home across the U.S. Its origins date back to when its name alludes: the colonial settlements of early America. Colonial homes can be recognized by a few features like:

  • Two stories
  • A door right in the middle of the home
  • The door has two windows on either side and 5 windows on the second story
  • Medium pitched roof to help rain and snow run off
  • Either paired chimneys or a centrally located chimney

Contemporary

dayton real estate online contemporary home

Contemporary Home – Image from flickr

Contemporary homes are a newer style of home relative to the previous two. They use a lot of materials such as concrete, steel and glass. They are often open floor plans that allow for a lot of light in the house. While fairly easy to point out, here are some defining characteristics:

  • Asymmetrical shape to the outside of the house
  • A lot of glass to let in as much natural light as possible
  • Often made with “green” or recycled materials
  • Lack of ornamentation on the outside with clean cut lines
  • Open floor plan

 

Craftsman

dayton real estate online craftsman house

A Craftsman House – Image from Wikipedia

This style of home began to appear in southern parts of California and borrows from a few different architectural styles. After the style had its time in the spotlight, it began to be replaced by other styles. Since then, there has been a revival of the craftsman style home that continues through today. Once you know the features of a craftsman style home, they are very easy to identify:

  • Low pitched roofs often with beams exposed in the over hangs and ornate braces under the overhangs
  • Large porches
  • Green, yellow and brown colors typically outlined with white details
  • Pillars that taper as they go up and are supported by stone
  • Interior uses a lot of woods and stone throughout with ornate details

 

Italianate

dayton real estate onlne italianate house

An Italianate Home – Image from Wikipedia

The Italianate style began over in Europe when people wanted a feel for Italian styling homes outside of Italy. The style made its way over to the U.S. and was given a different spin on the original style. The style can be found everywhere in the U.S. except in the south. The features of this house include:

  • Square shaped an usually has a small tower with it
  • Tall house, usually with 2 to 4 stories
  • Large porches
  • Ornate brackets around the porch and roof

 

As you can see, there are plenty of house styles to choose from. This is only part one of the list, and I’m not even going to cover all of the different styles out there! Hopefully you found this insightful and have a better idea of what style house you may want to move into. Be sure to check in soon for Part 2 of my house styles blog! Once you do figure out what style home you and your family would like to move into, give me a call at (937)619-7447. You can also check out our current listings on Dayton Real Estate Online 24/7. Have a great week Dayton!

Different Home Styles and Their Characteristics Part 2

dayton real estate online house types

Hello Dayton and welcome back to the second installment of my home style guide! If you missed Part 1 go ahead and check it out here! Like the first blog, this is supposed to help you decide what type of home you want to move into in the future! I’ll be following the same style of the last blog as well, giving you a little history and description followed by some defining characteristics of the house style. So let’s pick up where we left off!

Log House

dayton real estate online log house

Log House – Image from Wikipedia

This one may seem fairly self-explanatory but there is a little more to it than just a wooden house. This style originated in the colder parts of Europe like Sweden and Russia where there was a large supply of the type of trees used to construct the houses. These houses are usually constructed using a pine tree because they grow to be tall and have straight trunks, ideal for walls. There are also a bunch of different ways of styling the logs for the home but I won’t go into those. Some features you can look for are:

  • It is made out of logs. That’s about it, this one isn’t difficult! haha

Mediterranean

dayton real estate online mediterranean house

A Mediterranean House – Image from Wikipedia

Aptly named, Mediterranean homes originated in the Mediterranean region in countries like Italy and Greece. Because the climate in that region is so warm, these houses have overhangs from the roof to create shady areas around the house and often have porches and balconies as well. These houses are noticeable because they are usually stucco on the outside with red roofs. Because the house needed to be cool when it was hot outside, interiors were often painted with shades of blue or grey. This house is pretty simple to distinguish because they have:

  • Stucco siding
  • Red roofs
  • Painted in earthy colors like yellows, browns and some rust colors
  • Usually incorporates large windows
  • Shady outdoor areas

Ranch

dayton real estate online ranch home

A Ranch Home – Image from Wikipedia

Ranch style homes were first built in California around the 1930s. They quickly gained popularity after World War 2 because the house style is simple and economical. It was perfect for soldiers returning from the war and their families. The original style of these houses is a little bit different than they are today, but both have a few similar features:

  • Single story home
  • Simple and open floor plan
  • Lack of decoration on the outside
  • Low pitched roof
  • Horizontally long

Tudor

dayton real estate online tudor home

A Tudor Home – Image from Wikipedia

Tudor houses originated in England as far back as the 1500s. The homes back then needed the extra structural support which is why the style today has the decorative wood beams and stucco along the outside of the house. Today, those beams typically don’t play a role in keeping the house up and are there for the style and decoration. This home style can be identified by:

  • The decorative beams on the side of the house
  • Stucco between the beams
  • Tall windows
  • Ornate windows
  • Large chimneys

These are just a few more styles of home out there. Also keep in mind that not every home is going to fit descriptions and design standards perfectly. Hopefully you found this insightful and have a better idea of what style house you may want to move into. Again, if you missed Part 1 of my house styles blog, read here! Once you do figure out what style home you and your family would like to move into, give me a call at (937)619-7447. You can also check out our current listings on Dayton Real Estate Online 24/7. Have a great week Dayton!

 

How Can Your Home Help Johnny Polar Bear? An Eco-Friendly Guide

Dayton Real Estate Online Eco Friendly

            All over the news these days, we are constantly told about global warming and how we need to be more conscious about the way we are effecting the environment. So maybe you recycle and buy products that were made with old recycled products and sustainable practices, but what if you want to do more? What can you do around the house that would help out the environment? Luckily, there are a few benefits of going green with your home. Not only does it help out the environment and gives the polar bears a home, buying energy efficient bulbs and appliances and conserving water with low flow water fixtures actually saves you money in the long run. There has also been an increasing trend in people looking for homes that already have green practices implemented which can help sell your home as compared to a house without them.

Environmental Impact

Homes in Ohio average about 900 Kilowatt-hours of electricity per month. While it is more towards the average across the nation and far from the high and lows, that I still quite a bit of energy. How much you ask? The EPA has a neat tool that can convert things like electricity into equivalencies of other waste. For example, 900 kWh is equivalent to 1,478 miles driven by a car or creating 440 lbs of waste in a landfill. That’s per month.. So how effective is switching to green products? Energy efficient bulbs can use anywhere from 25% up to 80% less energy than traditional bulbs. That would sure put a dent in those staggering numbers. Not only that, but energy efficient bulbs last much longer too. Keep in mind, that’s just the electricity side of things. There is also water usage to think about. According to the EPA, the average American home uses 400 gallons of water a day. Old water fixtures like toilets use more than twice the water that new toilets do. There are also shower heads and sink faucets that can assist in decreasing you water usage. Not to mention with the showers, you’re also using electricity to heat the water, further adding onto the impact. When you list your home and people learn about these energy efficient steps taken, they will be impressed and give your home an upper edge against some of the competition.

Wallet Impact

Even if you don’t care about the environment, you probably care about the amount of money left in your wallet. As you can imagine, all those large numbers about consumption can take a toll when it comes to the bills you need to pay. The average Ohio home pays $105 per month on electricity. Now not every bit of electricity you use is a lightbulb but switching to energy star appliances and the efficient bulbs, you could cut that cost significantly. The same goes for water. You’re paying for all that you use, so if you cut down on consumption, you cut down on costs! Another factoid from the EPA, if you replace the 5 most used lightbulbs in your house with an energy efficient bulb, you can save around $75 per year! Not to mention you won’t have to replace them as often which saves you money and eliminates waste. So there’s definitely good reason to switch other than the environment. The draw back on these cost savings however is that energy efficient appliances tend to cost more than regular ones. However, they tend to last longer and save you money in the long run. They are worth the investment in my opinion. I don’t know about you guys, but this seems like a pretty easy choice and a win-win situation for you, your wallet, the environment and those cute little polar bear cubs. Until we find another habitable planet and way to get there, this is all we get. Plus, Earth is the only planet with chocolate. If that doesn’t get you motivated then I don’t know what will! When you’re ready to look for a home or sell a home you just renovated (maybe with energy efficient appliances?) feel free to give me a call at (937)619-7447 and look at our current listings on Dayton Real Estate Online! As always, thanks for reading and have a wonderful week, Dayton!

Learn to Speak Real Estate

dayton real estate online speaking word cloud

If you have gone through the process of purchasing a new property, you have probably run across some terms that you don’t know or have never even heard before. For people that haven’t gone through the process yet, maybe this will help make your process easier! Learning some of the terms used in real estate isn’t difficult! As with every profession, for example lawyers and doctors, they all have certain terms and sayings that they use. I will be going over some of the common terms used that people often ask me about or that would be important for you to know. If you already know some of these, great! You’re ahead of the game!

Appraisal – This is when an appraiser comes to your house and gives a rough estimate of what the house is worth. This is an important part of the process and a good indicator of the homes worth. This seems like an easy definition but I include it for a reason. I include this because this is not necessarily what that house will sell for! People are often disappointed or even angry when their house sells for less than it was appraised for. So just be aware of this!

Closing costs – Closing costs is a common one that people ask me about. Closing costs are the costs that you pay to close the Escrow account (see below). These fees typically include and of the interest, taxes, check fees, insurance and a whole handful of other fees.

CMA (Comparative Market Analysis) – Helps the agent determine the home’s fair market price. They do this by looking at a number of factors about the house including its comps. Wait what’s a comp? *pssst* read the next definition!

Comps – These are properties that are similar in features to your home that have recently sold in the area. These properties are a good indicator of what your house could sell for and helps the agent determine a fair market price for you home.

Down Payment – This one is easy. Most people know what a down payment is but in real estate, the down payment is typically in the range of 3% to 20%. The higher the down payment, the less you will be paying in interest later on!

Escrow – This is when you write a check for an offer and it is taken by a third party to hold until negotiations are finished. This third party has nothing to gain or lose from the transaction.

HOA (Home Owners Association) – I have talked about this one a few times in previous blogs but just in case you missed those I included it here! These are fees usually associated with condos but sometimes can be applied to houses as well. They pay for things that the whole development can use such as a pool or tennis court. In some cases, they even cover lawn care and maintenance which can be a huge plus for elderly people or people who travel for work a lot. These fees are mandatory and they actual cost varies on the development you live in.

MLS (Multiple Listing Service) – This is a service online that realtors use to show their properties. This is a place where all properties are displayed and spans different agents and brokerages.

Title Insurance – This is another one that I am frequently asked about. Title insurance is insurance that it meant to cover a lender or owner’s interest from fraudulent claims of ownership.

As with all my blogs, I hope this helped fill you in and answer some of your questions about the whole process. There are plenty of other terms that I did not cover but these are just some common ones that people ask me or that people don’t know. When you are ready to test your knowledge of these terms and to sell your home or to find the next one for your family, give me a call at (937)619-7447! Feel free to check our current listings 24/7 at Dayton Real Estate Online! Thanks for reading and have a great week, Dayton!

Home Inspections: How to Inspect the Right Inspector

Dayton Real Estate Online Home Inspector

So you have found the perfect home and is has all the features you want. It just couldn’t be any better. You get a home inspection done and it get a clean bill of health. You move forward with the sale and you still can’t believe it. You’re loving the home and it goes great for a year or two when suddenly the roof begins leaking.. You also notice there’s a new crack in the wall that wasn’t there before. Oh, and you’re also going to need to replace your air conditioner.. Out of nowhere, your perfect dream home has become your worst nightmare. How could this happen? Well, think back about your home inspection. Maybe you didn’t know what a good home inspector looked like or maybe you just didn’t want to spend a bunch of money. This blog should help you find the right home inspector so you don’t end up in the situation above!

As with most services you look at, the easy simple trick to finding a good inspector is research! Doing some research on home inspectors in your area is crucial to having a positive experience and making sure that one of the largest purchases you’ll ever make is safe and sound. You can begin looking in places like Angie’s list or Yelp. If a number of other people have had a poor experience with a certain inspector, you may want to steer clear. If there are a bunch of good reviews, you may want to dig a little deeper! When you read reviews on these places however, take them with a grain of salt. I’m sure you all know how people can be and sometimes people lie or can become irrational on those boards if they didn’t have the perfect experience.

Another good thing to look for are some of the certifications. These certifications are not mandatory but do hold members to a certain set of standards and tests. One of the certifications to look for is the National Association of Home Inspectors (NAHI). To even qualify for NAHI certification, you need to have taken 40 hours or more of a home inspection training class and have completed some home inspection reports. Members in the NAHI have access business and technical assistance as well as opportunities for continuing their education on home inspections. The second certification to look for is the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI). To become a member of InterNACHI, inspectors must pass a test and continue to pass it every few years. They are held to a certain standard when it comes to home inspections and also have access to continued education to help them as well. An inspector with these certifications may cost a little more for their services, but a home is often the largest purchase you will ever make, so why skimp out on the inspection?

There are also a few different types of inspector. First there are whole home inspectors and then there are specialized inspectors. Whole home inspectors do pretty much what their name says: they inspect your whole house and then give you a report. Specialized inspectors focus on one area such as electric and wiring, plumbing or heating and cooling. There are multiple different things to be specialized in. Which would I choose if I was going to have a home inspected? I would go with the specialized inspectors. The reasoning behind that is yeah it may be a little more expensive and take longer, but I would rather have someone who knows a lot about one thing than someone who knows one thing about a lot of stuff. I’m not saying whole home inspectors cannot or will not do a good job, but, for example, when I need to make an investment, I would rather go to someone who specializes in investments that I know will make me a return than to a bank or someone who works with a bunch of different financial things that will probably make me a return. This analogy works great too because financial advisors don’t always make you a return. Home inspectors don’t always catch everything and often there is an insurance that comes along with the inspection. Inspectors can’t always tell you when something will happen either. They may be able to say that you need a new roof within the next two years, but they can’t tell you, “in 10 months this will leak”. They can give a time frame and their expertise on the remaining usage of things around your house.

As with all my blogs, I hope this one has helped with a question that you may have had during the home buying process. Like I said above, it is usually the single largest purchase you will ever make and it is important that you give it a check-up and maintain it from there. If you have any other questions or are looking to list/sell, give me a call at (937)619-7447. Feel free to look at our current listings on Dayton Real Estate Online which is available 24/7. Have a great week, Dayton!

Condos vs Houses

dayton real estate house condo

In the First Corner, Condos! In the Second, Houses! Fight!

*In Boxing Announcer Voice* Hellooooooo Daytoooon! Today we have a great match up between condos and houses! You may often wonder: what are the differences between the two? What the pros and cons of each are? Which is right for you? In today’s comparison, we should be able to answer these questions for you and see which comes out on top!

The first contender: Condos! Condos are actually units of a larger building or complex that you can buy instead of rent. They often include common areas such as a pool or lounge areas which everyone who owns a condo in the development can enjoy. Because of these areas, condos usually come along with a Home Owners Association (HOA) fee. This fee is used to maintain these common areas to keep them working and looking nice for the residents of the complex. The HOA fee also typically covers lawn maintenance as well, which is ideal for older generations or people who may be away from home a lot for their job. Condos can also be cheaper than some of the alternatives (depending on the areas) but do include the long term cost of continually paying the HOA fee. Because condos have people living so close together, there are often different social activities that you can attend and meet the people that live around you.

And the second contender: Houses! Houses are pretty self-explanatory. Pretty much everyone knows what they are and what they entail. You have your own home that you are responsible for paying all of the maintenance and bills on. This also gives you much more privacy than a condo but you also lose out on some of the social gatherings as well.

So let’s get to the fight! The pros and cons of each will be what the match is judged on. Aaaaand begin!

Condos

Pros:

    • Cheaper than a comparable house
    • Yard maintenance is taken care of for you
    • Public areas such as a swimming pool for everyone to enjoy
    • Perfect for the elderly or people who travel for business often
    • You own the condo so you build equity like a house

Cons:

    • Less privacy than a house
    • HOA fees that can add up over time
    • Sharing common areas like a pool or gym may not be the ideal situation for some people

Houses

Pros:

    • Privacy
    • Can make changes to house appearance without having to ask the HOA
    • No HOA fees (usually, but some neighborhoods may have one)
    • Perfect for families who don’t travel often or can handle the maintenance of the yard and house

Cons:

    • Costs more than a comparable condo •
    • No common or social areas

Houses come in with a strong hit, but condos takes it and fires back! What a fight! Oh! Ding Ding Ding! It looks like we have a winner! Wait.. the crowd is rushing the ring. I can’t see who won! Who do you think won?!

Boxing theme aside, there are definitely pros and cons to each and one may be better for some families than others. You need to weigh the pros and cons and decide which would be best for you. As always, I would be more than happy to help in your home search and get you into the right place for you! Feel free to give me a call at (937)619-7447. In the mean-time, check out our current listings on Dayton Real Estate Online to start your search. Thanks for reading Dayton and have a wonderful week!

Meet the Team

 

Hey Dayton! Your resident intern, Chris Huls, has taken over the blog today! I hope all of your real estate ventures have been going well! In today’s blog post, I wanted to write a blog about our team to help you all learn a little more about who we are and who you can expect to be working with when you decide you want your home sold. First there will be a small bio about each team member, then a little about what they do here at Swick & Co and finally I came up with a list of questions they could choose to answer to learn something unique about them! Let’s start with Denise!

Denise Swick

Bio: Denise moved to Dayton area in 1978, graduated high school in 1987, and began selling real estate in her 2nd year in college while attending Wright State University. She graduated in 1992. Denise received her Ohio Broker’s license in 1996 and has been in the RE/MAX organization since 1995. Denise is heavily involved in the Dayton community. She is so involved it would take me a while to tell you all of them but here are just a few: Past President of the Board of Directors for Habitat for Humanity and current Board Member of Habitat for Humanity, Board Member of the Dayton Racquet Club, House of Bread and Downtown Dayton Rotary. Like I said, I could continue listing the things she does!

Role: Denise is the founder of the company (Surprise in a company called Denise Swick & Co…). She is our lead listing specialist and CEO.

What is the most exciting thing you have ever done in your life? “The most exhilarating thing I believe I’ve ever done was jump out of an airplane at 10,000 feet. It was hard to pick just one!”

Bryan Gase

Bio: Bryan moved here to Dayton almost 8 years ago and began working in high end jewelry for most of his time here. After that, he became a buyer specialist here at Denise Swick & Co. where he has sold over 85 homes in 2 years. Bryan is also very involved in multiple foundations such as We Care Arts and Big Brothers Big Sisters. He was a finalist for the 2012 Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Man and Woman of the Year.

Role: Bryan is a buyer specialist.  A buyer specialist is someone who helps find a buyer for a home and represents them in the transaction.

What is the most exciting thing you have done in your life? “Repelling down the Key Bank building that was 27 stories for Big Brothers Big Sisters.”

 

Yanzel Daskalakis

Bio: Yanzel was born in Puerto Rico but lived a lot of her life in Florida. She moved to Ohio with her husband around 2008 and hopes to go back to Florida someday. She really enjoys spending time with her two kids and traveling when she can. She has also helped five start-up companies become successful during her career.

Role: Yanzel puts all of the listings into the systems like MLS and is usually the person you hear on the phone when you call into the office. She handles all of Denise’s mailings and helps keep all of our listings in order. She also delegates all the annoying work to the interns…

What is something interesting that people may not know about you? “In my spare time, I work for an MMA Sponsoring and Apparel company. I design all of the women’s clothing line.”

Tangy Thomas

Bio: Tangy is married with 2 children. She has 12 years of business work experience in banking and real estate and even has her real estate license.

Role: Tangy is the contract manager and deals with all the contracts once they are accepted and gets them to closing. She works with the lenders, title, inspectors, buyers, sellers, and other agents to complete the sale.

What is something interesting that people may not know about you? “I have played some of the major golf courses in the world and have had a hole in one ….St. Andrews, Carnoustie and Crail in Scotland, Pebble Beach (CA), Spyglass (CA), Pinehurst, Kapalua (Hawaii), Bethpage Black Course (NY)”

 

Larry Hudson

Bio: A native of Centerville, Larry brings a deep understanding of the Dayton Area. He and wife Ashley reside in Kettering with their young children –son Judah and daughter Rowan.

Role: Larry D. Hudson, Jr. represents homebuyers at Denise Swick & Company. His own home buying experience has helped him develop a keen understanding of homebuyers and the challenges each one faces in finding the ideal home.

Who is your favorite super hero and why? “I would have to say Batman because of all the gadgets he uses.”

Steven C. Schuler II

Bio: Steve has a 12 year old daughter with whom he spends much of his free time with. They enjoy hiking, fishing, amusement parks, and relaxing with a good movie. He is currently finishing his marketing degree through SHNU and wants to use his degree to help small businesses grow.

Role: Steve is our Inside Sales Agent and creates opportunities for the entire sales staff. He has done an amazing job in creating new business for our team and has kept us busy!

What is one fear or phobia you have? “I have an intense phobia of snakes and spiders, two creatures I cross paths with every time I go hiking or fishing. If you want to see me run, show me either of the two..”

 

Bob Clarke

Bio: Bob is retired and works for us three days a week. Lucky guy, right? In his spare time, Bob enjoys working with computers, cameras and other technology.

Role: Bob’s main task is to go out to our new listings to take pictures and place a sign in the yard. He also does other things around the office as needed.

If you could spend a year in one room of your house, which room would it be? “I would spend a year in the home office because there would always be something to do with the internet.”

 

Dennis Mejia

Bio: Dennis was formerly in the health care and information technology industry where he worked on process improvements. Dennis is well educated with a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing and Computer Science and is working on his Thesis for his Master’s of Science in Health Informatics.

Role: Dennis monitors all of our extensive lead generation platforms for optimal performance. He also monitors and updates our sellers with current market information and market feedback for their property. He also runs analysis for the best marketing strategies.

What is the most exciting thing you have ever done in your life? “I find excitement in being actively involved with my two daughters and I am proud of the relationship we have built.”

 

The Interns – Darin and Chris

Darin Soat

Bio: Darin is currently a student at Ohio State University where he studies Finance and enjoys watching the Buckeyes Football team play at the Horseshoe. He plans on attending law school immediately after undergrad and is studying to take the LSATs. This is his second summer working for Denise as a marketing intern. He also enjoys spending time at the lake with his family and neighbors on the weekends.

Role: Marketing Intern. Darin and I help take care of our social media presence as well as assisting the office with the tech side of things. Darin also gives Yanzel sass.

If you were stranded on an island and could only bring three things with you, what would you want? “I would want to have a hammock, a large supply of margaritas and a boom box with Jimmy Buffet CDs.. no, wait. Cassettes. Jimmy Buffet Cassettes!”

 

Chris Huls

Bio: My Turn! I am studying Marketing at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. I really enjoy playing intramural hockey and soccer with his friends in my free time. I would really like to end up in a big city like Chicago or maybe a smaller one closer to home like Columbus. I’m sad that I am going to be a senior in college because I don’t want to leave Miami! I will be graduating next spring.

Role: Marketing Intern. Darin and I maintain our social media presence online and assist the office with tech issues. I laugh at Darin giving Yanzel sass.

What is the weirdest food I have ever tried? I would have to say it would be a tie between escargot covered in a garlic butter sauce and buffalo style frog legs. And yes, they do taste like chicken.

 

Well Dayton, it has been an awesome summer, even though it seemed to fly by. I think I speak for both Darin and myself when I say that we have enjoyed our time here at Denise Swick & Co. Everyone on the team was super welcoming and had a fun energy in the office. My goal with this blog was to help you and other clients learn a little something about the team you should be working with and to gain an insight to what it was like to work in the office. Unlike a lot of real estate agencies, we operate as a team here with each team member specialized in every aspect of the buying and selling process to give you the best experience possible. It may seem odd that you aren’t working with the same person all the time, but refer to this guide and it should make it easier!

 

You stay classy Dayton. This is Chris Huls, signing off.

 

 

Ninja Costs… Because They’re Hidden and Potentially Dangerous

Money Ninja Star

So you’re looking to buy a brand new house? Congratulations! It is a huge step in everyone’s life and most often the largest purchase most people make! It probably feels great to finally be looking for your first place to call your own. But if it is your first time buying there may be a few things that you weren’t aware of that you will need to keep paying for! A lot of people over look these costs when they are buying a new house and then are surprised down the road. Today I wanted to talk about some of these costs to help you with your home purchase! These costs include Mortgage, Property Taxes, Home Owners Association (HOA), House Insurance, and Maintenance and Living. Let’s take a look!

Mortgage

A mortgage is basically a loan that helps you pay for your house by using your house as collateral. This means that if you don’t pay the bank or lender for the loan, they have the right to take the property and sell it to cover the debt. This is called foreclosure.

The amount you pay per month on a mortgage depends on how much the house costs, the period of payment and the interest rates. The mortgage on a house that is a $500,000 is going to be more than a house that is $50,000. Also most mortgages are 15 years or 30 years long. If you choose the 15 years, the payments are going to be higher since you’re paying off the house quicker. Finally there is the interest rate to consider. This is how the lender makes their money and is a percentage of the principal balance. The quicker you pay off the loan, the less you’ll be paying into interest.

Property Taxes

Taxes are pretty easy to explain since everyone has dealt with them before. It is the money that you owe the government for owning your home. This is determined by the value of your home and the area you live in. A more expensive home will have higher property taxes than a home that costs less in the same area. There are also varying tax rates between cities and towns. The taxes are usually included in your mortgage payments.

HOA

Home Owners Association fees are mandatory fees that usually accompany the purchase of a condo, apartment or even some houses in certain neighborhoods. These costs go towards things like lawn care, some maintenance or public use spaces that the association maintains such as a pool or tennis courts. Again, these are costs that you HAVE to pay so be aware of these before you make a decision on a new home. Some people don’t like HOA fees and they buy houses that don’t have them. Other people like the benefits and enjoy using the public spaces like a pool. HOA fees aren’t good or bad, it’s whether or not you think they are worth it.

Insurance

Like taxes, insurance is a familiar concept to most people. Home insurance is meant to cover your property from damages like fire, weather and theft. You will need to have this to be able to secure a loan from a lender. No insurance, no house. The cost of insurance depends on a few different things. First, the type and amount of insurance you buy. A policy that covers more is also going to cost more. Also the cost varies depending on what state you live in as well. Costs will vary slightly depending on the company but they will be competitive for the most part.

Maintenance and Living

Home buyers also tend to overlook this cost when they are buying a new home. Every home is still going to need some upkeep and fixing from time to time. General wear and tear and preventative maintenance can be expensive when it comes to parts of your house like the roof, siding or inside appliances. There is also the utilities bill each month. A bigger home is going to consume more energy and electricity than a smaller home will. The costs for utilities depend on usage and the area you live in.

 

Hopefully you have found this article insightful and helped you think about some costs you may not have thought of on your own! Maybe it’ll help keep those sneaky little ninjas from surprising you down the road! Buying a new home should be fun and this article is meant to help make sure you are informed so you can make a smart decision during your next purchase! When you are ready to move forward, feel free to check out our current listings on Dayton Real Estate Online and as always, feel free to give me a call at (937)619-7447! We have a great team who are ready and willing to give you the best buying experience. Happy house hunting Dayton!

Bubble Bath Made of Money: Renovating Your Bathroom

Bathroom - 35 Farr Dr

Bathing in a tub full of extra cash is a pretty common fantasy for most people. While renovating your bathroom might not accomplish this goal for you, it is a great way to add value to your home. When it comes to adding value to your home, kitchens, bathrooms, paint and flooring are the best updates you can do. In a previous blog I wrote about landscaping and curb appeal , I talked about how keeping up the appearance of your house is very important when you’re selling your home, as well as the possibility of adding some value. Keeping up the curb appeal and landscaping won’t be giving you as much return on your money as the four things I listed above, but a house that looks nice will draw more attention than a similar house that hasn’t been taken care of. Renovating your bathroom and kitchen, if done correctly, will definitely add value to your home. So what should you be looking for in your next bathroom renovation? Well, let’s get down to business! (No bathroom pun intended)

 

Bathroom Renovation Tips

  • Plan the Budget! – Make sure when you go to start a renovation that you plan out a budget. Renovating your bathroom can add value to your home, but if you keep spending more and more money, you’re going to end up losing money on the renovation. Planning out a budget before the renovation is a great idea to keep you on track and hopefully maintain the added value.
  • Go Green – Putting quality recycled products and water conserving toilets is a good way to appeal to potential buyers. With more and more emphasis on going green and saving our planet in the media, people are going to be looking for ways to help. When it does come to these products however, make sure you aren’t wasting your money on cheap quality or overly expensive products.
  • Lighting – Getting the lighting in a bathroom can be tricky. You want to have enough light to be able to see your face when you are shaving or applying makeup, but you also don’t want those lights blaring on you when you are taking a relaxing bath or shower. Try using a dimmer switch so you can adjust how bright the lights are in the bathroom. As for the positioning of the lights, wall sconces on either side of the mirror at face level will provide you with the perfect light for shaving and makeup application. If the bathroom is big enough, an overhead light may be a good idea as well.
  • Slippery when wet! – Make sure you choose the right flooring for your bathroom. Your flooring choice needs to be able to withstand a lot of moisture, which immediately rules out carpet, leaving us with some sort of tile or wood floors. Wood is going to be a poor choice unless it is sealed correctly because it will absorb the water and begin to rot or deteriorate. If done right, wood can actually look very good in a bathroom. Tiling is also a good choice because of its ability to handle moisture and it also adds a nice finish to your bathroom that home buyers will appreciate. As long as either are done correctly, wood and tile are going to be your best bets.
  • Ventilation – equipping your new bathroom with proper ventilation is crucial. If you don’t install a system, all of the moisture from showers and other sources will be lingering in your bathroom. Over time this will begin to ruin all the hard work and money that went into it. People don’t think about this often, but it is very important!

Renovating with a Low Budget

Renovating a bathroom can be expensive. Maybe you don’t have the extra money on hand to be able to replace the tub, sink and toilet along with all the other materials that come along with a renovation. Here are a few things that you can do to spruce up your bathroom if you have a tight budget:

  • Refinish Surfaces – Give the walls some new paint and look into refinishing your tub. This will cost much less than tearing down walls or installing a whole new tub.
  • New Hardware – replace all of the knobs, handles and even the shower head. This will go a long way in making the bathroom look newer.
  • Leave Mario to Princess Duty – If you do have enough of a budget to replace the toilet, sink and tub, you can save some money by replacing them where they were. If you have to call out a plumber to move plumbing to accommodate a new bathroom layout, it will cost you quite a bit.

These small updates won’t be adding a ton of value to your home like a larger renovation would, but they are still a good idea to make the bathroom look as clean and new as possible to add a little value. As always, there are a ton of resources to check out online and don’t be afraid to speak with a professional before you begin your project. If you do plan on renovating your bathroom, I wish you the best of luck! Once it’s all finished, give me a call to help you get the most money out of your renovation and home. Also feel free to check out our current listings to find your new home at Dayton Real Estate Online! I also seem to have made it through this blog without too many crappy jokes…. Ha! Happy renovating Dayton!