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Solon Ohio Year End Report - 2015

by The Schuman Team

Solon Sold homes

The following is our 7th annual year in review for Solon Ohio real estate.

Here, we will provide a comparison between this past year and 2014 and offer commentary. As an added bonus, we will be adding a new statistic this year, a breakdown of specific price points.

ALL HOMES

Year          # of Homes Sold        Ave. Sales Price   Sales Price/List Price

2015                      302                    $310,027                96.24%

2014                      269                    $327,567                96.55%

LUXURY HOMES ( sale price over $500,000 )

2015                       36                     $672,009               95.97%

2014                       38                     $712,285               95.21%

2015 SALES - FIRST HALF VS. SECOND HALF OF THE YEAR

FIRST HALF              128              $307,677

SECOND HALF           180              $309,176

PRICE POINT BREAKDOWN OF ALL 2015 SALES

$0-99,999 = 6

$100,000-199,999 = 82

$200,000-299,999 = 89 ( 2014 saw only 51 in this price point )

$300,000-399,999 = 51

$400,000-499,999 = 38

$500,000-599,999= 12

$600,000-699,000 = 12

$700,000-799,000 = 9

$800,000-899,000 = 0

$900,000-999,999 = 1

$1,000,000 +   = 2

 

Source: NEOHREX

 

COMMENTARY

2015 was a very good year for the Solon real estate market. The numbers were very similar to those of 2013.

Below is a list of 5 important things that the above statistics tell us:

1.     More homes sold in 2015 vs. 2014.

2.     Average sales price was lower in 2015 than 2014 due to an increase in sales in the $200,000-299,999 price point.

3.     The second half of 2015 saw a tremendous number of sales.

4.     A well priced home will receive approximately 96% of asking price.

5.     The luxury home market is fairly stable.

 

WHY WAS 2015 BETTER THAN 2014?

While total sales last year far exceeded sales from 2014, the numbers are a little misleading. The only reason for the large increase is due to the unusually high number of sales that occurred during the 3rd quarter in the sub $300,000 price points.

Basically, there were about 30 more sales in the $100,000-$300,000 price points just during this past summer. This was due to an influx of buyers likely moving to Solon for the start of the school year. Many were first-time buyers and move up buyers coming in from other cities.

Besides for this, the numbers for 2015 and 2014 were almost identical.

2016 MARKET OUTLOOK

The beginning of the year should be strong. There are fewer homes currently for sale now   ( 85 ) than at this time last year ( 94 ).  Low inventories increase demand, and there are a ton of buyers on the sidelines waiting for the right home.

When homes start to come on the market over the next 30-60 days, buyers will likely begin snatching up the good ones.

It's hard to believe the sub $300,000 market could be any better in 2016, but relatively low rates certainly makes things affordable for this segment of buyers.

Over the years, homes have sold for,  on average, approximately 95-96% of the list price and we don't see that changing. Homes that are properly staged and priced correctly up front will sell quicker and for more money.

Buyers would be wise to get pre-approved well in advance so they can jump on the right home when it comes on the market. With limited inventory, especially early in the year, you can't afford to hesitate.

5 Winter Projects That Will Increase Your Home's Value

by The Schuman Team

Winter is the best time to do home improvement projects.

Why? Contractors are more available, material prices come down before the spring market, and you may personally have more free time on your hands, especially during winter vacation.

So with that in mind, here are 5 projects you should consider this winter to add value to your home.

1.Wow Your Walls - Adding trim, crown molding, accent walls or a sharp new paint color can provide an instant upgrade to any room.

2. Bring On The Backsplash - For a relatively small amount of money, a backsplash is an easy way to completely change the look of a kitchen.

3. Let There Be Light - Changing out dated light fixtures, ceiling fans, and adding lamps can make a room look more current and brighter.

4. Closet Organizers - Wire shelves scream "builder grade" to buyers. Spending a little money can add much needed space and organization to a closet and add resale value down the road.

5.  Hardware - Get off your ass and replace that brass! Most people have outdated hardware, including doorknobs and handles. Replacing all of your hardware is a project that will change the look of your entire home and can be easily done yourself.

These projects will help you fall in love with your home again and offer value down the road when you go to sell.

Solon Luxury Homes - The Ultimate Guide

by The Schuman Team

 

 

 

 

Welcome to our ultimate guide on Solon Ohio luxury homes, the only one of its kind.  Whether you are relocating to Solon from out of state or making a move from across town, this guide is a perfect place to start.

Here, we will list and describe all major luxury home subdivisions in Solon and even include videos and maps.

Please note, a luxury home in the Cleveland metropolitan area is defined as anything over $500,000.

 

SIGNATURE OF SOLON

Signature of Solon Entrance

 

Signature of Solon is one of few gated golf course communities in the Cleveland area and a popular destination for those looking to relocate to Cleveland. It offers excellent location, about 25 minutes from both downtown and the airport.

It is one of Solon's most prestigious developments and consists of two phases, Signature I and Signature II. Homes in Signature range in price from $600,000 - $1,000,000 + and have all been built within the last 15 years.

The primary differences between Signature I and II are lot sizes and proximity to the golf course. Homes in Signature I have smaller lots, and are located within walking distance of the golf course and club house. Many of these homes have golf course views.

Homes in Signature II are located closer to the tennis courts and pool and and have larger wooded lots.

Homes in Signature of Solon are well laid out for today's life style. The exteriors are breathtaking and complete with lush landscaping and finely manicured lawns. The back yard spaces are also well laid out with over-sized decks and patios.

Many homes in Signature are colonials in style, but are mixed as to whether the master bedroom is on the main level or the second floor.

Homes here typically have finished basements, many with exercise rooms, home theaters, full bathrooms, and plenty of space for recreation and storage. Many lower levels also have an additional bedroom, ideal for a nanny or in-law suite.

In 2014, the average price of a home in Signature of Solon was $656,339 and the average square footage was 4396.

The Signature housing development was designed around prestigious Signature Country Club, which is a major draw in the area for those that enjoy golf. Signature offers a prGolf Course Communityofessionally designed 18 hole golf course, a swimming pool, tennis courts, and a fitness area. Membership to Signature Country Club is a requirement for anyone buying a home in Signature of Solon. Membership is also available to those who live outside of Signature.

The clubhouse is one of the largest in Ohio and offers casual and formal dining as well as a lounge with a pool table, fitness area, and an Atrium. The family room allows members to wear jeans and shorts and provides a great atmosphere for kids as it is surrounded by numerous TV's. There are also private rooms available for small parties and well as large ballrooms that are used for weddings and Bar Mitzvahs.

Signature is a fairly transient development, which is perfect for families relocating to Solon as many of the residents are transplants as well. People living in Signature are open to meeting new people and the many activities offered throughout the year offers newcomers a built in social life.

There are a ton of kid friendly events as well as functions for just adults. We have a ton of clients who live in Signature, many who relocated from out of state, and they simply love it. Living in Signature is more than just belonging to a golf club, it is a lifestyle.

 

Children who live in Signature attend the following Solon Schools:

Roxbury

Orchard Middle School

Solon Middle School

Solon High School

Please note that one of the four elementary schools in Solon ( Arthur Road ) will be closing within the next few years. While our information is up to date, we recommend contacting the schools directly to get any information that you need.

LOCATION OF SIGNATURE

The main entrance is off Aurora Rd. ( Rt. 43 ) and there is another entrance off Pettibone and Liberty Rd. as well. The following map will give you a good idea of where Signature is located:

View Untitled in a larger map
 

 

 

 

 

VIDEO OF SIGNATURE OF SOLON

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THORNBURY

Thornbury Home

 

Thornbury is another popular Solon luxury home subdivision. Although nestled inside a fairly large development, it has a small neighborhood feel, complete with its own walking path and playground.

One drive through Thornbury will leave no doubt as to why it is viewed as one of the most desirable neighborhoods in town. The lush well-manicured lawns, attractive exteriors, and large lots make it very picturesque and there is always someone riding a bike, jogging, walking their dog, or just out being friendly.

thornbury lake

 

All homes in Thornbury have been built within the last 15 years and consist mainly of single-family residences. They range in value from $550,000-$1,000,000.

Thornbury of Solon Playground
THORNBURY'S PRIVATE PLAYGROUND

Characteristics of a typical Thornbury home are an open floor plan, impressive 2-story entryway, first floor office, standard living room and dining rooms, gourmet kitchen with top of the line appliances,  2-story great room and a luxurious master suite located on either the first or second floor.

High-end finishes and attention to detail help make the housing stock here special. Many homes also have large finished basements with exercise rooms, home theaters, play rooms, and a full bathroom. Some also have additional bedrooms perfect for a nanny or in-law area.

In terms of exterior living space, many residents here have invested a lot of money into decks, stone patios, fire pits and more. It is safe to say that there are some pretty tricked out backyards in Thornbury which are ideal for both family and adult entertaining.

The major difference between Thornbury and Signature is that Thornbury does not have the additional costs that are required by living in Signature. While you can still join Signature as a social or golf member while living in Thornbury, it is not mandatory. Those that either don't golf and wouldn't see themselves using the many Signature amenities view Thornbury as a great option.

Children who live in Thornbury attend the following Solon Schools:

Roxbury

Orchard Middle School

Solon Middle School

Solon High School

LOCATION THORNBURY

View Thornbury of Solon in a larger map

 


VIDEO OF THORNBURY

 

 

NORTH PARK

  north park home 5 small

 

Why do people love North Park of Solon?  Location, location, location.   North Park is the only luxury home development of newer homes in the north part of town.

While Solon in general offers a manageable commute to downtown, the airport, or the local hospitals, North Park is especially sought out because it is the closest luxury neighborhood to the highway.

HOUSING IN NORTH PARK

The North Park development  consists of relatively newer housing, with all homes having been built within the last 15 years.

One distinguishing feature of North Park is that the topography is a bit more hilly than most neighborhoods.

Like Signature and Thornbury, homes in North Park have modern open floor plans and are mainly colonial in style.

The homes here have luxury amenities throughout such as high-ceilings with crown molding, upgraded finishes and top of the line appliances.

The landscaping in North Park is spectacular, which gives the neighborhood a very elegant and impressive feel as you drive through.

The price range for homes in North Park is $550,000-$900,000.

WHY PEOPLE ENJOY NORTH PARK

Our clients who live in North Park love the location, but also enjoy the neighborhood feel. They have been able to meet other families very easily and are happy with their choice of buying here.

The main challenge is actually finding a home in North Park. Homes here rarely turn over, with approximately 1 home selling per year, so supply is very limited to say the least.

On the flip side, home values here are very strong, so if you buy in North Park, you should have a solid investment.

Children who live in North Park attend the following Solon Schools:

Lewis Elementary

Orchard Middle School

Solon Middle School

Solon High School

 

VIDEO OF NORTH PARK

 

LOCATION OF NORTH PARK

The following map will give you an good idea of specifically where North Park is situated:

View North Park of Solon in a larger map

 

CHAGRIN HIGHLANDS

Chagrin highlands Solon Ohio

 

Chagrin Highlands was THE premiere luxury home development in Solon during the 1990's, when Solon's overall popularity was just starting to soar. Chagrin Highlands is a massive development with homes situated on beautiful 1 acre wooded lots.

Chagrin Highlands is located in the center of Solon, in close proximity to the highway. While Signature and Thornbury get a lot of attention, Chagrin Highlands is worth a look.

The lot sizes are big and private and affordability is a little better. Lower end homes sell for in the 400's but most homes in Chagrin Highlands sell from between $500,000-700,000.

HOMES IN CHAGRIN HIGHLANDS

Chagrin Highlands Solon Ohio

 
The Chagrin Highlands development consists of approximately 175 homes. While most homes here are single-family in nature, there is a street of stand-alone cluster homes that is very popular for those who are downsizing and looking for a home with less maintenance.

Homes here sit back on the lots, making them look estate-like and quite impressive. The landscaping and exterior lighting make Chagrin Highlands a pretty neighborhood to drive through both during the day as well as at night.

The homes themselves are a big mix in style, amenities and pricing. Most homes here are 2 story colonials and typically have  4-5 bedrooms, 4 full baths and finished basements with at least a half bath, and a 3 car garage.

WHY PEOPLE LOVE LIVING IN CHAGRIN HIGHLANDS

Although the homes are a little more spread out than most neighborhoods, there is still a sense of community felt by those living here.

Having sidewalks throughout the development brings people together as neighbors are often seen jogging, biking, and walking their dogs. Kids also interact freely with one another here, making Chagrin Highlands very popular for those with school aged children.

Children who live in Chagrin Highlands attend the following Solon Schools:

Parkside Elementary

Orchard Middle School

Solon Middle School

Solon High School

 

LOCATION OF CHAGRIN HIGHLANDS

View Chagrin Highlands in a larger map
VIDEO OF CHAGRIN HIGHLANDS

 

 

 

FOREST HILLS OF SOLON

forest hills Solon ohio

While not an overly large subdivision, Forest Hills is a fabulous development of luxury homes tucked away in a very pretty setting. Many people don't even know this subdivision exists but those looking to buy a higher end home in Solon should put it on their list.

Here is everything you need to know about Forest Hills.

HOUSING IN FOREST HILLS

forest hills home Solon OhioThe Forest Hills development offers a great combination of luxury homes on private wooded lots.

The detailed exteriors and well-manicured landscaping gives Forest Hills a stately feel.  A lot of the homes are all brick or stone, yet they all have a different look and feel, making them unique.

Inside, the homes are spacious, averaging just under 4500 square feet.  The floor plans are open and modern. Since the homes here were built in the 1990's, some may be a little dated at this point. However, an updated home in Forest Hills is hard to come by and will often fly off the market.

The price range for homes in Forest Hills is approximately $600,000-$900,000.

WHY PEOPLE ENJOY LIVING IN FOREST HILLS

One drive through Forest Hills will answer this question.  It is one of Solon's prettiest neighborhoods.   We have a lot of friends who live here and they love the privacy of the development and the great neighborhood feel.

The location is fairly central as well being in close proximity to so many local hot spots such as the top rated Solon Schools, Solon Community Center, Solon Public Library, and Solon Center for The Arts.

Children who live in Forest Hills attend the following Solon Schools:

Parkside Elementary

Orchard Middle School

Solon Middle School

Solon High School

FORREST HILLS VIDEO

As mentioned, Forest Hills is so tucked away that many residents don't even know it exists. So here is a map to give you an idea of exactly where it is located:

LOCATION OF FOREST HILLS

View Forest Hills Of Solon in a larger map


 

 

ROLLINGBROOK

rollingbrook home 2

For those seeking a home on land in Solon, Rollingbrook offers a unique opportunity. All homes here were built on secluded 5 acre wooded lots. In fact, many of the homes here are difficult to see from the road.

Rollingbrook consists of just one street and is located near Signature of Solon. It is so tucked that many people who live in Solon don't even know it exits.

Rollingbrook of Solon

This one of a kind neighborhood consists of approximately 35 homes that were built primary in the 1980's and early 90's.

One drive through Rollingbrook is all it will take to appreciate this picturesque neighborhood.  A handful of homes in Rollingbrook even have ponds in front of the home,  offering a look of elegance and beauty usually seen only on the cover of a magazine.

 

The average home in Rollingbrook is about 4800 square feet, has 4 or 5 bedrooms and 5 baths. Most are colonial in style and offer a mix of exteriors with brick, stone, or cedar being the most prominent.  The interiors are a little more traditional overall then those you will find in newer developments like Signature and Thornbury, a function of the time period in which they were built.

Rollingbrook residents attend the following schools:

Roxbury

Orchard Middle School

Solon Middle School

Solon High School

Overall, Rollingbrook is one of Solon's most exclusive streets and until recently, homes here rarely came on the market. Now, we are starting to see a lot more turnover, offering buyers a great opportunity to buy in this special neighborhood.

 

BEST OF THE REST

Here is a list of some other luxury home developments in Solon. Most of these are just single streets containing 15-20 homes. Because of their size, inventory in these neighborhoods is often limited but they should still be considered in your search.

 

High Point - Conveniently located just off Cannon Road in the northern part of Solon. Close in proximity to the highway, homes built in the 90's.

Horseshoe Farms - Small street of homes located off Cannon Road in the western part of Solon.

North Woods - Small development off Cannon Road, in the western part of town featuring some of the most spectacular newer homes in Solon. Built in the early 2000's.

Stillwater - Luxury home street in the north part of Solon located across from North Park.  Homes sit on pretty wooded lots and were built mainly in the 1990's.

The Woodlands -  Small development of about 15 homes off Aurora Road. Homes here were built in the 1990's and early 2000's.  Homes sit on nice wooded lots and are fairly desirable for those relocating to the area.

 

 

 

Here is a map showing the location of all Solon Ohio luxury homes:

View Solon Luxury Home Developments in a larger map

 

 

 

SOLON LUXURY HOMES - CHEAT SHEET

As a summary, here is a "cheat sheet" to make your search a little easier.

Chagrin Highlands - Large development of luxury homes built in the 1990's on 1 acre lots.

Forest Hills - A tucked away neighborhood of highly sought out luxury homes built in the1990's. Pretty neighborhood on private lots.

High Point - Conveniently located just off Cannon Road in the northern part of Solon. Close in proximity to the highway.

Horseshoe Farms - Small street of homes located off Cannon Road in the western part of Solon.

North Park Estates - The only development of newer luxury homes located in north Solon.  Convenient highway access makes this very popular.

North Woods - Small development of newer homes off Cannon Road, in the western part of town. Some of Solon's nicest homes are located here.

Rollingbrook - One of Solon's most picturesque and exclusive areas.  All homes here sit on at least 5 acres of land. Homes built in the 80's and early 90's.

Signature - One of Northeast Ohio's only gated golf course communities.  Homes were all built after 2000. Signature I is closer in proximity to the clubhouse and golf course while Signature II is closer to the pool and has larger lot sizes.

Stillwater - Luxury home street located across from North Park.  Homes sit on nice wooded lots and were built mainly in the 90's.

Thornbury -  One of Solon's newest and largest developments of luxury homes.  This subdivision is known for it's neighborhood feel complete with its own playground and walking path.

The Woodlands -  Small development on one street located off Aurora Road.  Homes sit on nice wooded lots.

Solon Ohio 3rd Quarter Market Report - 2015

by The Schuman Team

Here is our Solon Ohio Third Quarter Market Report.

First, we will provide market statistics for the past month of September. Then we will offer a look at the statistics for the third quarter and compare them to how we fared at the same time last year.

We will also provide year to date statistics and break down the luxury market, which is defined as homes that sell for $500,000 or more.

 

HOME SALES - SOLON OHIO

Date                                         # of homes sold         Ave. Sales Price             

September 2015                                33                           $291,909

September 2014                                19                           $371,037

 

Third Quarter  2015                           120                          $302,851

Third Quarter 2014                             96                           $353,864

 

YTD 2015                                         248                         $305,343

YTD 2014                                         223                         $330,866

 

SOLON LUXURY MARKET

Third Quarter  2015                           12                            $651,792

Third Quarter 2014                            17                            $691,957

 

YTD     2015                                    27                             $640,820

YTD     2014                                    34                             $711,097

*source NEOHREX ( Regional MLS )

 

THE STATE OF THE MARKET

While the first quarter started out on pace with 2014, the last two quarters saw an increase in sales compared to last year. Overall, sales are up in 2015 while the average sales price is down.

From the highlighted figures above, one could interpret this to mean that values in Solon have come down close to 10% this year.  However, the reason for the difference in both increased sales and lower average price is a direct result of 28 additional homes being sold in the $100,000-$300,000 price point this year.

The decrease in demand for luxury homes has also had a negative effect on overall average purchase price.

INVENTORY

We currently have 141 active listings, about 15% more than we had at this time last year.  While we had been screaming for more inventory over the last few years, things have gotten a little bit better, especially in specific price points.

Fall is a popular time for sellers to put their homes on the market, evidenced by over 20 homes that have come on in the last 30 days.

FINAL THOUGHTS

The fourth quarter can be fairly hectic. Many buyers and sellers would like to avoid moving during the cold winter months, and are thus motivated to get something done during the fall.

Fall can be an ideal time for buyers. Homes that didn't sell over the summer are now seeing price reductions as these sellers realize their window of opportunity is limited with winter coming. This is where deals can be had.

For sellers, a nice home priced right in any market will sell, especially in the fall. We have seen bidding wars and homes fly off the market recently so a seller with an updated home can expect to sell quickly and for top dollar.

The luxury market is the one area of concern based on the numbers. There are a lot of homes in this segment of the market that have been lingering for 150-200 days or more.

With the average time on market for luxury homes being around 100, these particular sellers may need to do re-evaluate their strategies because whatever they are doing is obviously not working.

On the bright side, a 1.3 million dollar home sold in a matter of days recently, so the high-end buyers certainly do exist.

Overall, we expect to finish out the year on a good note and can say with confidence that Solon remains one of the highest demand areas in the state.

Please note, the above statistics are merely on overview of the market, not to be used to determine if a home's value is increasing or decreasing. If you are looking to sell or buy a home in Solon and want help determining what a home is worth, we recommend contacting an agent who specializes in the Solon market to assist you.

Real estate can be neighborhood specific, requiring an in depth look at sales pertaining to a certain development or geographical area.

Why Fall Is A Great Time To Buy

by The Schuman Team

 

Many people think that homes mainly sell in the summer, but the truth is that houses sell all year round. While the summer is the busiest time, the fall market can actually be the best time for a buyer.

 

WHY IS FALL IDEAL?

1. Less Competition Equals Better Deals

2. More Time To Look

3. New Inventory

Let's elaborate on the items above.

1. Most families want to move during the summer and this creates competition for housing ( translation = higher prices ). Less buyers in the fall can sway the pendulum back in the favor of the buyer.

Also, sellers whose homes got passed over during the summer suddenly feel pressure with winter approaching. Therefore, many sellers become more reasonable on price during the fall.

2. Some buyers are too busy during the summer and simply don't want to spend every weekend looking at homes. These buyers prefer to shop for homes during the fall and can end up benefiting because of it.

3. New homes often come on the market after Labor Day as many sellers also want to enjoy their summer and prefer to wait until fall to sell. These sellers, however, have winter looming over their heads and realize they have a limited time to sell, making them more realistic.

There are plenty of buyers who missed out on the summer market, yet are serious to buy. Fall is the ideal time for them to shop for a home and even move in before winter hits.

The Most Important Question You Can Ask Someone

by The Schuman Team

question to ask clients

 

Communication is key, whether it's a business or personal relationship.  If you have something to say, you certainly want your message to be received, don't you?

So it is important to ask people this one simple yet specific question, a question that could make or break you.

Want to know what it is?  Here you go:

 

"WHAT IS YOUR PREFERRED METHOD OF COMMUNICATION?"

 

Let's face it, what you say, and when you say it are important, but nothing is more critical than how you say it.  As the old saying goes, if you give the people what they want, they'll keep coming back for more.

PHONE, TEXT, OR EMAIL?

Remember, this isn't about me or you, it's about those around us. Some people love email, while others rather text. There are also many folks that still prefer speaking by phone or face to face.  

While many of us don't give it much thought, it is important to recognize how other people prefer to get their information, otherwise the message can get lost.

My parents learned the hard way as they continued for years to try to call my kids by phone. They grew frustrated at the lack of response until I suggested they start texting instead. Now, communication between the two generations has never been better.

Even if you have a preferred method to communicate, the people around you may prefer a different way.  By asking this one simple question, it could make a huge impact and lead to better relationships with those around you.

————————————————————————

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

The above information is compliments of The Schuman Team, Amy and Dan, of Howard Hanna Real Estate Services. They specialize in relocation, Solon luxury homes, and move-up buyers.

They can be reached at 216-346-3235 or 216-403-9189 or via email, danschuman@howardhanna.com or amyschuman@howardhanna.com.

The Most Important Question You Can Ask Someone is the property of The Schuman Team and may not be duplicated or used without their written consent.©September, 2015

7 Apps You Can't Live Without

by The Schuman Team

We all rely on apps to make business and personal life more efficient.

In an effort to help make all of your lives easier, we reached out to our past clients and asked what apps they cannot live without. Here's what they come up with:

 

Cozi - Helps families stay organized. Allows multiple family members to manage appointments and schedules with one account, as well as organize and update shopping and to-do lists. We personally use this and it rocks.

DarkSky - Predicts down to the minute weather conditions at your exact location.

Dropbox - Keeps your files safe and allows you to easily share photos, docs and videos.

Lastpass - Password manager. Saves your passwords and gives you secure access from every computer and mobile device.

TripAdvisor - Read reviews on hotels, restaurants, a must have when traveling.

True Caller - Identify missed calls, avoid telemarketers,  and keep current contact’s information up-to-date.

Waze - Nothing is worse than getting stuck in traffic. This app gets information from real drivers and will track real time traffic.

How To Dispute My Property Tax Bill

by The Schuman Team

We have been bombarded from friends and past clients lately regarding the recent notice that was mailed out last week regarding property taxes.

So, we decided to send out some information that we hope you will find helpful.

TO DISPUTE OR NOT DISPUTE

You need to first decide if the proposed 2015 value of your home is accurate. If it is, you don't have to do anything.

However, if you don't agree, you can formally dispute:

1. By going on line at www.fiscalofficer.cuyahogacounty.us

2. Mailing in the response form that was sent to you.

3. Attending an informal meeting in person.

All of these scenarios require you to provide documentation to support your claim. A recent appraisal is likely the best but if cost or time constraints won't allow this, there is other documentation you can provide such as:

Recent purchase agreement

Contractor estimates for deferred maintenance along with pictures

Recent sales of comparable properties

The last item is where we come in as we can provide that to you at no charge.

Let us know if you need our help.

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Oh, by the way, we are looking to grow our business. If you know of anyone looking to buy or sell a home, PLEASE give us their name and number so we can contact them. We promise to be a positive reflection of you and treat them like family.

We can be reached at 216-403-9189 or simply hit reply and send us your contacts information.

Thank you so much for thinking of us.

 

The Ugly Truth About Bidding Wars In Ohio

by The Schuman Team

Yes, it’s true – we are seeing multiple offer situations in Northeast Ohio.  Inventory has been low and when a sweet home comes on the market, buyers will jump to snatch it up before someone else does.

Bidding wars can get ugly fast but if you know what you're doing, you can end up getting the home of your dreams.

THE RULES ARE UNFAIR

Many buyers initially think there are certain rules that sellers must abide by in a multiple offer situation to make things fair for everyone.  Unfortunately, this is not true. They can do whatever they want. Here are some “ugly truths” you may not know:

  • Sellers do not need to follow any order in responding to an offer.  First offer in doesn’t win you first place in line for negotiations. 
  • Seller can respond to any and all (or none) of the offers in any way they see fit.
  • The listing agent does NOT need to disclose that there is more than one offer.  That means they can tell none, all, or even only some of the parties what is going on.
  • The highest purchase price doesn’t always win you the home. 

In a nutshell, the Listing Agent is bound to do WHATEVER the SELLER wants them to do.

Sound like fun yet? Wait, there's more.

  • Rejecting a sellers counter offer negates that offer. If you change your mind after and want to accept the sellers' counter, the seller must agree again to those terms.
  • Get it in writing!  A verbal acceptance of an offer from a seller is not binding in the State of Ohio.  If buyer and seller are in agreement, have your agent get it in writing ASAP.  You never know when someone may tempt the seller with a sweeter deal ( we've seen this happen ) .

Many buyers shy away from these transactions out of fear or ego. However, if you really love a home, don't be discouraged.

Most of our buyers end up winning in these situations because we are able to help them stand out from the competition.

HOW TO WIN A BIDDING WAR

Here are some things you can do to win out:

  1. Have a top notch agent by your side, one with experience working in these situations.
  2. Make sure your pre-approval is solid and from a recognizable lender. Giving the sellers an approval from an unknown internet lender may keep the sellers from wanting to work with you.
  3. Have your agent present your offer in person if possible.  He or she will be able to personalize the transaction and differentiate you from other buyers.
  4. Give the seller what they want, such as their preferred closing date and earnest money amount.
  5. Go in strong. If you go in with a weak offer, you probably won’t get another chance.

During a bidding war, someone is going to lose the home of their dreams. Don't let it be you.

 

Why Cleveland Real Estate Transactions Don't Close

by The Schuman Team

 

While bringing buyer and seller together is a challenge, keeping things together is even more difficult.

Today, we will discuss why real estate transactions fail to close and what can be done to avoid these problems.

MAIN REASONS FOR FAILURE

1. FINANCING

While all buyers get pre-approved prior to submitting an offer, things can still go wrong. Buyers lose their jobs, incur extra debt, or have unforeseen challenges when getting loan approval.

For example, we had a buyer who got paid salary and a bonus and used his total income to qualify for a loan. The underwriter would not allow the bonus to be included as it was not guaranteed and inconsistent from year to year. Therefore, the buyer could no longer qualify. 

The best way to avoid financing problems is to first hire a great loan officer, and then make sure nothing is left to chance. Communicate to your loan officer up front about everything to make sure you don’t run into last minute problems.

2. APPRAISALS

Regardless of what price buyer and seller agree to, the lender has final say. If their appraisal comes in below the purchase price, you could have a problem.

While a low appraisal doesn’t always kill a transaction, it does require either re-negotiation on price or willingness of the buyer to bring in the difference between purchase price and appraised value.

We always recommend our clients try to work something out with the other party. However, there are cases where the gap is just too big to overcome.

3. HOME INSPECTIONS

One of the biggest reasons that a transaction dies is due to the general home inspection. It’s not necessarily what’s on the report that quashes the deal, but how a buyer reacts to the information.

For example, while mold is fairly common, especially in attics, some buyers run for the hills at the mere mention of the word. 

The reality is that mold can be found in a large percentage of homes here in Cleveland and is easily treated. If a buyer is thoroughly informed up front what to expect during the inspection,  perhaps their expectations can be better managed. This entails thorough communication and education from their agent, which leads us to the next item.

4. COMMUNICATION

Lack of communication between client and their real estate agent can create huge problems.  There are issues that arise during every step of the transaction that , if not prepared, can cause a buyer or seller to react irrationally.

Nobody likes surprises, so a good communicator will prepare their client for potential problems and be able to effectively navigate them through the many obstacles they will surely encounter.

A real estate transaction is very complicated and it doesn’t take much for things to fall apart. Being aware of the main pitfalls and hiring a great agent will help keep things together and get you to the closing table.

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Contact Information

The Schuman Team
HOWARD HANNA REAL ESTATE SERVICES
3550 Lander Road
Pepper Pike OH 44122
Dan: 216-346-3235
Amy: 216-403-9189
Fax: 216-456-2333