While the Columbus region has recently ranked as the #2 housing market in the entire country, we all know that real estate is all about location, location, location. That means that some parts of town are certainly “hotter” than others when it comes to houses selling more quickly and often for above their asking price.

Below are the top 20 zip codes in Central Ohio accord to Realtor.com’s rankings as of June 2018:

  1. Worthington (West) – 43085
  2. Northwest Columbus -43235
  3. Northland / Northeast Columbus – 43229
  4. Gahanna – 43230
  5. Upper Arlington (South) – 43221
  6. Westerville – 43081
  7. Far West Side – 43228
  8. Galloway – 43119
  9. Hilliard – 43026
  10. Orient – 43146
  11. Minerva Park – 43231
  12. Clintonville (South) / Old North – 43202
  13. Clintonville (North) – 43214
  14. Reynoldsburg – 43068
  15. Grove City – 43123
  16. Marysville – 43040
  17. Upper Arlington (North) – 43220
  18. Canal Winchester – 43110
  19. Groveport – 43125
  20. North Union County – 43344

A national report issued Thursday confirms what Columbus-area home-shoppers already know: Demand for homes is high and supply is low in central Ohio.

The imbalance is so extreme that Columbus was the nation’s second-hottest real-estate market in June, topped only by Midland, Texas, according to Realtor.com’s monthly “hotness index.”

Central Ohio has routinely landed in the top 10 in the index, but this is the city’s highest ranking after landing at No. 3 a year agojune 2017. The index is based on the median number of days homes are listed in each market (a measure of supply) and the number of times listings are viewed (a measure of demand).

In June, Columbus-area homes were viewed 2.1 times more than homes around the nation. Columbus homes were on the market a median of 32 days during the month, compared with 54 days nationwide.

The most popular central Ohio home on Realtor.com during the month was a 1939 cottage-style home on the east bank of the Olentangy River in Worthington listed for $725,000.

“It’s gorgeous, right on the river,” said Jo-Anne LaBuda, the Keller Williams Capital Partners agent who listed the home. “We had a lot of activity, 12 to 15 showings, which is good at that price range. The feedback was great.”

The home, which was viewed almost 3,000 times on Realtor.com, entered into contract about a month after being listed, LaBuda said.

Most of the other widely viewed homes in central Ohio during June were far more modest, reflecting the quest for affordable homes.

Columbus’ high ranking reflects the decline of California cities on the list in favor of more geographic diversity. Only five of the top 20 cities in the lineup are in California, and none landed in the top five for the first time in the six years Realtor.com has published the list.

“Supply is so constricted in California that we’re seeing people looking elsewhere,” said Danielle Hale, chief economist of Realtor.com. “Instead, we’re starting to see activity really climb in more affordable markets. Columbus has seen demand really rise.”

Every region of the nation except the South is represented on the list of 20, including the Midwest with five cities.

Following Midland and Columbus in the top 10 are: Boston; Fort Wayne, Indiana; Boise, Idaho; San Francisco; Vallejo, California; Buffalo, New York; Colorado Springs, Colorado; and Detroit.

The next 10 are: Racine, Wisconsin; Grand Rapids, Michigan; Sacramento, California; Rochester, New York; Kennewick, Washington; Stockton, California; Dallas; Worcester, Massachusetts; Spokane, Washington; and Santa Cruz, California.

The median list price in eight of the 20 cities is below the U.S. median of $299,000, reflecting a move toward more affordable markets.

Christmas is coming.

When to start celebrating Christmas can be a polarizing subject. There are generally two types of people when it comes down to it: People who start celebrating the day after Halloween, and normal people, like myself, who wait until after Thanksgiving.

I grew up in a family of Christmas enthusiasts, so I get it. I’ve always been practical when it comes to Christmas planning, but this year, I had to give in. The thing is, I’m busy now. I understand why people start thinking about the holidays months in advance.

Whatever your reasoning is, I’m here to tell you, it’s okay. If you want to pump up the Mariah Carey, put on a Santa hat, and dance around your living room, that’s fine. If you want to have your tree up before Thanksgiving, that’s your choice.

And if you want to go and visit some totally amazing Christmas towns in Ohio every weekend between now and Christmas, I won’t stop you. In fact, I’ll give you a helping hand.

Here are 7 must-see Christmas Towns & Villages In Ohio.

Dickens of a Christmas at Ohio Village
Columbus

What: Capture the spirit of holidays past at Ohio Village, where Charles Dickens’s festive and enduring vision comes to life through jolly carols, decorations, and traditions inspired by his colorful tales. Enjoy craft and cooking demonstrations and shop P. Wylie’s Emporium for the perfect gift. Tickets are $14 for adults, $11 for kids 4-12, and free for kids 3 and under.
When: December 8 & 15 from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. and December 9 & 16 from noon to 5 p.m.
Where: 800 E 17th Ave, Columbus, OH 43211

The Christmas Ranch
Morrow

via Facebook

What: The “Gift of Lights” is a celebration with 1,000,000 lights which dance to the music. This is truly a magical family experience with shops, food, and fun. Visitors can also enjoy a train or wagon ride! Admission to the Christmas Ranch is $20 per vehicle.
When: November 16 through December 23. Open Sunday-Thursday from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., and Friday & Saturday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Where: 3205 S Waynesville Rd, Morrow, OH 45152

Christmas in Zoar Village
Zoar

via Facebook

What: Experience all the joy and cheer of the season during Christmas in Zoar. Visitors can enjoy musical entertainment, a juried craft show, tour the village, take a horse-drawn wagon ride around the village, and more. On Saturday evening, there will be a candle light church service at the Historic Zoar Meeting house, followed by a tree lighting ceremony. Cost for Christmas in Zoar is $8/person and children 12 and under are FREE.
When: December 2 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and December 3 from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Where: Zoar, OH

Castle Noel
Medina

via Facebook

What: Good news for those “every day is Christmas” folks. Castle Noel is the worlds larges indoor, year-round Christmas attraction. You can see props from all of your favorite Christmas movies, including the iconic Santa slide from “A Christmas Story”. Tour prices start at $17 and tickets can be purchased here.
When: Open year round, hours vary.
Where: 260 S Court St, Medina, OH 44256

Historic Roscoe Village
Coshocton

via Facebook

What: Step back in time at the Historic Roscoe Village. During the afternoon, guests may enjoy a horse-drawn carriage ride, visit with Santa, strolling carolers, complimentary hot-mulled cider and cookies, and many other holiday festivities. Roscoe Village will offer “A Roscoe Christmas” tour during each Candlelighting. Learn about Canal Era holiday traditions and how they were practiced in the 1830s.
When: December 2 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. and December 9 from 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Where: 600 N Whitewoman St, Coshocton, OH 43812

Legendary Lights at Clifton Mill
Clifton

via Facebook

What: After 31 years of celebration, it’s safe to assume that Clifton Mill knows exactly how to brighten up your holiday season. Although this isn’t technically a whole town event, Legendary Lights at Clifton Mill is 100% worth your time.
When: November 23 until January 1, Saturday-Sunday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Special hours on Christmas Eve, Christmas, and New Years Eve.
Where: 75 Water St, Clifton, OH 45316

Christmas in the Village
Waynesville

via Facebook

What: Head to Waynesville for a quintessential smalltown Christmas. There will be 1,300 luminaries, carriage rides, decorated storefronts, delicious restaurants, dozens of vendors, and of course, a special appearance by Santa Claus.
When: November 30-December 2
Where: Waynesville, OH

Let’s do Christmas right, Ohio!

The spring and summer seasons are notorious for hot days and a hot real estate market. But have you ever considered buying a home in the fall? Potential home buyers are usually more concerned with trick-or-treating and pumpkin spiced lattes during the autumnal months, when in reality, they should be scoping out neighborhoods as fall is the best season to find the perfect property.

Fall is considered the “off-season” in real estate and in turn means less competition. Most buyers want to find a home during the summer to avoid moving districts before the school year starts, and if they don’t, they usually drop out of the market until after the new year. Buying in the fall puts you in the best position possible: less competition and a better chance of having an offer accepted without getting into a bidding war against multiple offers.

“Besides there being less competition for a buyer, there tends to be more inventory available, which affects the pricing in the buyer’s favor,” said Igor Babamovski, residential sales mortgage manager at Telhio Credit Union. “Also, fall weather means more rain and wet conditions. This is optimal for buyers because any issues such as basement dampness or roof leaks can be discovered more easily.”

Buyers also score better deals in the fall. Homes that are put on the market during this season are new or repositioned inventory that didn’t sell during the spring or summer. This means asking prices on new inventory are lower, and repositioned inventory is seeing price cuts. Sellers are more motivated during this season in order to be out before the holidays – they are ready to make a deal. Buyers are urged to go in at a lower offer and can participate in more aggressive negotiations.

Buying a house near the end of the fiscal year means more tax deductions in the following tax season. Even if you close on your home a few months shy of the new year, buyers are able to deduct property tax and mortgage interests for the entire year. Any payments made prior to the closing of the loan are tax deductible.

But before jumping into the real estate pond, buyers are advised to be well prepared, get pre-approved first, know their loan options and buying power, and hire an experienced real estate agent that is familiar with the area you are interested in buying.

Learn more about Telhio by visiting telhio.org.

Telhio Credit Union is open to anyone who lives, works, worships or goes to school in Franklin, Fairfield, Delaware, Licking, Madison, Pickaway, Union, Hamilton, Warren, Butler and Preble counties. Founded in 1934, originally as the credit union for the Columbus Telephone Co., Telhio is a not-for-profit financial cooperative where its members are also its owners. Driven by its philosophy that members come first, Telhio is committed to the highest standards of responsibility and conduct. Telhio offers a variety of innovative programs, services and products to support its members’ financial needs. Telhio offers 10 branching offices throughout Central and Southwestern Ohio and nearly 4,000 shared branching locations nationwide. Federally insured by NCUA. Equal Housing Lender. NMLS #251831