Make plans this holiday season to visit one of these local Christmas tree farms to find the perfect Christmas tree to deck your halls!

Storeyland Christmas Tree Farm, Burghill

Situated right on the eastern edge of the Buckeye State, Storeyland Christmas Tree Farm in Burghill is perfect for the residents of Youngstown, Ohio.

With over 100 acres of bright green Christmas trees, this family-owned farm may be one of the most popular Christmas tree farms.

At Storeyland Christmas Tree Farm, you can choose between cutting down your own handpicked Christmas tree or picking a pre-cut tree.

Plus, there are tons of free added bonuses at this lovely farm. Hop on a free hayride to get to the Christmas trees, warm up by the bonfire, and even sip on a cup of free hot chocolate.

www.storeyland.com

Sugar Pines Farm, Chesterland

Sugar Pines Farm has a wide array of different Christmas tree varieties. Do you prefer fir, spruce, or pine? Sugar Pines Farm has all of them – both cut your own and pre-cut.

It would make the perfect Ohio day trip!

This 100-acre farm is just 40 minutes outside of Cincinnati and has much more than trees. Pay a visit to Santa Claus, hop on a hayride, snack on complimentary s’mores, and purchase a wreath to go along with your tree.

www.sugarpinesfarm.com

The Farms at Pine Tree Barn, Wooster

With a whopping 150 acres to its name, the Farms at Pine Tree Barn is one of the largest farms in the state.

And it’s one of the oldest too! Established in 1952, the Farms at Pine Tree Barn has welcomed generations of families to its land to find the perfect Christmas tree.

With 150 acres of land, this Ohio tree farm has every type of Christmas tree you could want – both cut your own and pre-cut – as well as so much more!

Choose from white pines, Fraser firs, Canaan firs, and blue spruce trees.

And there are many other activities as well! Ride on a horse-drawn wagon, purchase lovely garlands and wreaths, and warm yourself up with a cup of coffee or hot chocolate.

www.thefarmsatpinetreebarn.com

Manners Christmas Tree Farm, Jefferson

Located an hour outside Cleveland, the Manners Christmas Tree Farm gets a lot of business every single winter – and for good reason.

This small, 40-acre farm has everything you need. Choose between three varieties of fir trees, three varieties of spruce trees, and a variety of pine trees.

While there, you can also climb aboard a horse-drawn wagon and munch on tasty apple fritters. Oh, and your dog can come along on this family field trip as well!

www.facebook.com/MannersChristmasTreeFarm

Timbuk Farms, Granville

Timbuk Farms is one of the best Christmas tree farms near Columbus, Ohio. Situated about 45 minutes out of Ohio’s capital city, Timbuk Farms boasts 300 acres of land!

With seven different varieties of Christmas trees of all different shapes and sizes, you’ll be sure to find the perfect one for your family’s home.

In addition to all of the large trees, Timbuk Farms also sells what they call “Charlie Brown Trees.” These tiny trees are very affordable and are perfect for little kids or as tabletop decorations.

And while you’re there, why not stop to say hi to Santa and Mrs. Claus?

www.timbukfarms.com

Cackler Family Farms, Delaware

As an alternative to Timbuk Farms, there’s Cackler Family Farms. Only 40 minutes away from Columbus, Cackler Family Farms also boasts a wide variety of Christmas tree types.

Since it opened in 1989, Cackler Family Farms has grown over 20,000 Christmas trees! This year, you can pick a tree for yourself from this lovely farm!

Will you opt for blue spruce, Canaan fir, Fraser fir, Norway spruce, Serbian spruce, or white pine?

www.cacklerfarms.com

Country Cabin Tree Farm, Sunbury

One of the closest Christmas tree farms near Columbus is Country Cabin Christmas Tree Farm in Sunbury.

This lovely Christmas tree farm has a few different varieties ranging from six to ten feet tall, both cut your own and pre-cut.

And while you wait for your tree to be cleaned and tied up for you, head inside the farm’s cabin! While there, warm up with a cup of apple cider, do a little Christmas shopping.

And consider purchasing a beautiful wreath to hang on your front door.

www.countrycabintreefarm.com

Bartels Farm, Hamilton 

Situated near Cincinnati and Dayton, Bartels Farm boasts a prime location. But that’s certainly not all that this Ohio Christmas tree farm has to offer.

Bartels Farm hand plants all of the Christmas trees on their land, so you know the workers have looked after them with the utmost love and care.

It is important to note that this also means the farm has a small number of trees, so they sell out quickly! If you’d like a tree from Bartels Farm, be sure to get there within the first few days after they open!

In addition to finding the perfect hand-planted Christmas tree, you can also sip on hot chocolate and admire the beautiful hand-woven wreaths.

www.bartelsfarm.com

Nana and Pap’s Christmas Tree Farm, Felicity

One of the coolest Ohio Christmas tree farms is Nana and Pap’s Christmas Tree Farm. Located about 45 minutes outside of Cincinnati, Nana and Pap’s Christmas Tree Farm is the perfect place to find your family’s tree.

While picking a Christmas tree is definitely the highlight, you can also pet the adorable animals at the petting zoo. And enjoy a tractor-drawn carriage ride.

And you might even decide to make a weekend out of it! 

www.facebook.com/nanaandpaps

Skylar Brook Farm, Orrville 

This little 35-acre farm in Orville surely knows how to make use of its land. While it may be one of the smallest Christmas tree farms in Ohio, you can find everything you need and more.

Choose between blue spruce, Norway spruce, Douglas fir, Canaan fir, Fraser fir, and a white pine tree for your home.

As an added bonus, Skylar Brook Farm also sells a variety of alpaca products. So in addition to buying a lovely tree, you can also stock up on gloves, hats, socks, and even stuffed animals made from alpaca fur.

www.skylarbrookfarm.com

TwinsBerry Tree Farm, Shreve

TwinsBerry Tree Farm in Shreve is one of the only pesticide-free Christmas tree farms in Ohio. And, even so, this farm has managed to produce some of the tallest Christmas trees in the state, reaching up to 20 feet tall!

While at TwinsBerry Tree Farm, you’ll have your pick between concolor firs, Fraser firs, blue spruces, and white pines.

Visiting this Ohio Christmas tree farm would make for an epic weekend getaway!

www.twinsberrytreefarm.com

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If there is a home that you would like more information about, if you are considering selling a property, or if you have questions about the housing market in your neighborhood, please reach out. We’re here to help.

Winter is typically a slow time for home sales, when sellers might wonder if they have any hope of finding a buyer. But will that be the case this winter?

“Normally this is a boring question, but this year it’s anything but,” says Danielle Hale, chief economist of Realtor.com®. Although the housing market tends to freeze up once snow falls, Hale predicts that this post-pandemic winter season will be different: “Sellers can expect to see plenty of buyers.”

“Compared to other past winter seasons, this winter season’s sales activity will be stronger,” agrees Lawrence Yun, chief economist at the National Association of Realtors®. “This winter, there will be more sales compared to pre-pandemic winters going back all the way to 2006.”

This optimism stems back to (you guessed it) the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown, which created a pent-up demand for homes throughout much of 2020 that completely swamped the usual spring rush, winter lull rhythm of the real estate cycle.

And that overwhelming demand for housing is still going strong today.

“We had unusual seasonality in 2020 due to the pandemic shifting timing around for many buyers and sellers,” explains Hale. “While 2021 had much more normal seasonality—homes sold fastest in summer and slower in fall and winter—this year has been a standout for its own reasons.”

So what makes 2021 so special? For one, consider that, from March all the way into October, “homes were selling faster than the fastest-selling months in any previous year,” Hale says. That demand won’t just suddenly dry up once the temperature drops below freezing, or even once the holidays kick into high gear.

“Although there are fewer buyers in the winter months than in the competitive spring and summer period, all signs suggest that housing demand remains high,” Hale says.

Another factor is that, with supply chain issues slowing new home construction, many buyers just couldn’t find their dream homes in the spring, summer, or fall—and will still be looking into the cold winter months.

Due to this high demand and limited inventory, “Winter is likely to be a better time to sell than winter typically is,” says Kelly Mangold, principal at RCLCO Real Estate Consulting. “Many sellers should not feel the need to wait until spring, especially in high-demand areas.”

So if you’ve all but written off the idea of selling your home until spring ’22, think again! Here are a few things to know about selling your home this winter.

Inventory is low—and homes are selling fast

Although the number of homebuyers house hunting this winter may be slightly lower than during the busy spring and summer seasons, these homebuyers mean serious business. As such, Hale says, “Sellers can expect to see homes sell quickly.”

How quickly are we talking about? In October, U.S. homes spent an average of 45 days on the market—eight days fewer than the previous year, according to Realtor.com data. In the 50 largest metros across the U.S., homes sat on the market for just 39 days. In the hottest and most competitive towns and cities, it was substantially less.

Home prices may have peaked

Another reason sellers may want to list their homes now is that prices are at an all-time high. According to Realtor.com data, median home prices in the U.S. now hover at $380,000, up 9% from a year earlier.

But there are signs that these high prices are leveling off.

“The days of fast price gains are over,” Yun says. “There will be few pockets of the market where bidding wars do occur, but sellers should expect much less than what was occurring the past 12 months. Home prices generally will be higher price compared to one year ago, but maybe a bit lower compared to what occurred in the summer.”

Given that prices seem to be softening, Yun advises sellers to check their local market to see if other homes are lingering on the market a little longer than in previous months, and to talk to their real estate agent about adjusting their price accordingly.

Hale agrees: “A greater share of sellers may find that they have overreached on their initial asking price and need to adjust lower.”

Interest rates are creeping up

The all-time-low interest rates of the past 20-plus months inspired many buyers to shop for real estate. As of Nov. 10, interest rates were 2.98% for a 30-year fixed-rate loan, according to Freddie Mac. But these rates may be going up.

The Mortgage Bankers Association estimates that rates will rise to 3.1% by the end of 2021 and 4% by the end of 2022.

These increasing interest rates could discourage buyers from being as bullish going forward.

“Sellers should be aware that higher mortgage rates mean reduced purchasing power for buyers and may eat into potential buyers’ ability to offer top dollar,” Hale explains.

More homes should hit the market by spring 2022, Yun says, but buyer demand will partly depend on where interest rates go next. If they’re up, that “spring rush” of buyers may have their hands tied in terms of how much they can pay for your home.

But wait, where will you live?

According to a recent Realtor.com survey, 36% of home sellers plan to buy a new home after they’ve sold the one they have. Yet if this is your plan, be warned that you may find yourself in the same hot seat: scrambling to buy a home amid limited inventory and high prices.

So you’d better have a game plan of where you’ll move once your home sells.

Yet here’s some good news on this front: “Inventory will still be lower this winter compared to one year ago,” says Yun, “but down around 10% rather than the 20% or 30% declines we have witnessed since the onset of the pandemic.” In other words, the homes are out there, which should give you options.

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If there is a home that you would like more information about, if you are considering selling a property, or if you have questions about the housing market in your neighborhood, please reach out. We’re here to help.

If you’ve saved money to purchase a home, you should always put that cash toward your down payment, right? That might not always be the correct move.

Conventional wisdom suggests that if you have cash saved up and are looking to purchase a home, you should put that cash toward your down payment in order to reduce the size of your loan. But is that right?

Many traditional financial experts, such as Dave Ramsey, promote eliminating debt as the fastest and most secure way to financial freedom. After all, without debt, you are free to put your money to work however you want. However, a singular focus on avoiding debt at all costs may not be right for everyone, especially younger millennials who could benefit from getting into a house while also building their retirement portfolios.

When you look at your financial health as a whole, it may make more sense to consider both the short-term advantages of not paying down your loan (you keep your cash) and the long-term advantages of using the money in other ways (investing it to actually make more than you would save on interest).

There are several questions to consider when deciding what to do with “extra” cash if you are purchasing a home. At first glance, it might seem like the obvious answer is to pay down as much as you can from your mortgage. But first, ask yourself a few questions:

Can you make more money putting that asset elsewhere?

Kyle Tank, a financial advisor with Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. in Troy, Michigan, says answering this question really depends on your situation. Compare how much money you will spend on interest over the lifetime of your loan (based on how quickly you plan to pay it off) with the average return rate of market investments.

Tank adds that there may be other financial advantages to carrying debt on your home, especially when you consider tax deductions and interest rates.

“Interest rates on mortgages tend to be more reasonable than on other types of credit and can potentially be deducted on your taxes,” Tank says. In other words, it’s better to take out a mortgage and have extra cash on hand than it is to put too much down on your house and end up carrying a balance on your credit card. Mortgage interest rates are significantly cheaper than credit card rates. In addition, a home is an asset that can grow in value, in addition to the tax advantages.

What kind of return could I make on my investment?

Here’s where being young has a great advantage. If you’re looking at buying a home as a millennial, not only will you have time to pay down your mortgage, but your home will also have plenty of time to grow in value. Concurrently, you’ll also be able to increase your wealth through your investment accounts.

Plus, if you put money in the market while you’re young, those investments have a lot of time to grow into a sizable nest egg. Another thing to consider: You won’t have to opt for as many high-risk stocks as an older investor since they have less time for their investments to grow.

“Millennials are in a great position to begin investing because they have time on their side,” Tank says. “The earlier you can start investing, the sooner you can begin taking advantage of compounding interest.”

For finance coach Juliana Valverde, there is little doubt about what route is best for a young millennial looking to start investing for retirement. She points out that the advantage of compound interest can’t be discounted and could very well outweigh any risks of carrying debt for the life of a mortgage.

“If you delay retirement investing until after you pay the mortgage, you’re losing valuable time that you won’t be able to make up — even with increased contributions to your retirement accounts,” she explains.

Despite the fact that millennials have time, investing doesn’t bring a guaranteed rate of return. As Tank points out, the return you make on your investments will depend on market conditions, your risk tolerance, and your financial situation. A 30-year-old couple living in the country with a couple of kids will have different needs and different results than a 30-year-old professional in the city who plans to remain single.

Are all your other ducks in a row?

Before you do anything else, make sure you have all of your ducks in row, advises Julie Ford, a certified financial planner and CPA with Ford Financial Solutions in New York City. If you have extra cash, Ford advises you to first make sure that all of your financial needs are met and priorities accounted for.

Ford’s recommended order of priority includes:

  • Having an emergency fund of at least three months’ spending
  • Eliminating credit card debt
  • Tackling any other high-interest debt, like school loans
  • Maxing out employer matches on retirement savings
  • Contributing to your Roth IRA, if eligible, or maxing out other tax-deferred savings in 401(k), IRA, 529 college savings, etc.

From there, Ford notes that deciding on what to do with any excess cash flow depends on individual goals and tolerance for debt. “I often lean towards extra mortgage payments before saving into a joint brokerage account,” she says. “Even with a low-interest mortgage, paying down debt faster creates more opportunities and flexibility for clients. It’s a guaranteed return compared to unpredictable market returns.”

Can you split the difference?

If you’re still unsure, consider a compromise. Can you invest some of your cash flow and make a plan for extra payments on your loan? Can you use your savings to pad an emergency fund instead?

Depending on the type of mortgage you get, you may not have to put as much money down as you thought, and it may make sense to invest that surplus cash instead of automatically putting it toward your mortgage. Talk with a financial advisor who can help you figure out what kind of return you can expect on an investment, compared to what you would save on interest.

Options are always good, and in this case, having more options at your fingertips may just end up being more money in your pocket in the long run.

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If there is a home that you would like more information about, if you are considering selling a property, or if you have questions about the housing market in your neighborhood, please reach out. We’re here to help.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, people under the age of 35 make up the smallest demographic homeowners. There are a number of reasons this age group has struggled so much to catch up to older home owning generations — lower wages, larger student loan obligations, and negligible savings among them — but a lack of credit history may no longer be one of thing things holding them back, thanks to changes at mortgage lender Fannie Mae. Now, some borrowers may be able to use their history of on-time rental payments to qualify for a home loan. 

So, what’s different about this?

Starting in September, Fannie Mae announced that they would change the automated loan underwriting system they use to evaluate a mortgage applicant’s credit, according to Tabitha Mazzara, director of operations at mortgage lender MBANC. “The way it works is that their automated system can now identify recurring rent payments from bank statements, as well as your credit score,” she says, adding that previously most lenders didn’t look at on-time rental payments as part of their underwriting process. https://9570d02275ff97ef2a64cb13bed82296.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html

“Typically, lenders give a lot of weight to your credit score, which is based on your history of borrowing — things like credit cards, auto loans — and paying back,” she says. “But if you’ve been a person who’s avoided borrowing, and you have a ‘thin’ credit history, this change is an acknowledgement of the fact that it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re a risky borrower. This change enables them to take a wider view of someone’s finances.”

The changes will help those who previously wouldn’t have qualified for a loan.

The new Fannie Mae feature should help to remove some serious obstacles to homeownership for potential borrowers who have been overlooked by traditional mortgage systems, according to Andrea Puricelli, operations director of Inlanta Mortgage in Pewaukee, Wisconsin.

“It will help improve the number of borrowers as an acceptable credit risk and increase the number of prospective homebuyers who are approved under Fannie Mae’s guidelines through their Automated Underwriting Assessment engine,” she says. “This is a great opportunity for consumers currently paying rent on time from their checking accounts.” Unfortunately, for now, only borrowers approved for home loans through Fannie Mae will benefit from these changes.

This may make the path to homeownership easier for BIPOC buyers.

Mazzara says these changes are a step in the right direction when it comes towards making automated systems more inclusive of people who’ve been paying their rent responsibly, but don’t have a lot of credit history. “In this country, that is the case for a larger proportion of minority communities — homebuyers of color,” she says. In fact, a new report from The Mark Up suggests that automated underwriting algorithms can sometimes be skewed against BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color).

“Unfortunately, that lack of credit history can be an obstacle to homebuying, which is somewhat ironic — many people see it as fiscally responsible not to use credit cards or take out loans, or it’s just something that their cultural background encourages them to avoid,” Mazzara says. These changes at Fannie Mae might just be the thing to help offset some of that unintentional bias. Hopefully, the option will roll out to more lenders in the coming months. 

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If there is a home that you would like more information about, if you are considering selling a property, or if you have questions about the housing market in your neighborhood, please reach out. We’re here to help.

It’s the celebration with all your friends.

Fall marks the beginning of the holiday season, with people everywhere booking plane tickets and planning to head home to their families for the holidays. Come November, many choose to reunite with relatives for Thanksgiving. But for those who can’t—or who, um, don’t want to—Friendsgiving has risen in popularity. You’ve heard of it, right?

What does Friendsgiving mean?

The world “Friendsgiving” was officially added to the Merriam-Webster dictionary in January 2020 after being on its “Words We’re Watching” list. It’s, quite obviously, a compound of the words “friends” and “Thanksgiving” and refers to an informal iteration of the holiday that has become super common. It’s basically the day you have Thanksgiving but with your friends. Sometimes it’s in lieu of Thanksgiving or in addition to.

When did Friendsgiving start?

According to a Merriam-Webster post, the earliest use of the term Friendsgiving dates back to a 2007 tweet, but some people credit the hit show Friends for inspiring the concept of spending the holiday with friends. Another theory suggests that a 2011 ad campaign by Baileys Irish Cream liqueur used the word, giving the Friendsgiving movement more momentum. Since then, it’s become a word that refers to a Thanksgiving dinner celebrated with friends.

What day do people celebrate Friendsgiving?

There’s no official date for Friendsgiving, like there is for Thanksgiving (which is celebrating on the fourth Thursday of November, by the way). Many people choose to host it before legit Turkey Day, if they spend Thanksgiving traveling home to be with family. Others will just co-opt the true Thanksgiving and call it Friendsgiving if they’re celebrating with a group of pals.

What’s the menu like on Friendsgiving?

It’s up to the host and attendees, but typically, the menu looks a lot like a classic Thanksgiving day menu. Potluck meals are popular, with everyone bringing something to share—like their favorite recipe or one that reminds them of home. It’s also a chance for groups to try out some less traditional recipes, since grandma won’t be there to ask why her version of pecan pie isn’t on the table. Sometimes the centerpiece is a classic turkey, and sometimes there isn’t a turkey at all.

Are there any Friendsgiving traditions?

While the Thanksgiving season may evoke memories of familial traditions, you can always make your own new traditions with those close to you that aren’t related by blood; Friendsgiving is perfect for doing so. All it takes is some sort of delicious food on the table and a bunch of seats filled with people you love. If you need a nudge in the right direction, though, check out these Thanksgiving recipes and fun DIY decorations.

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If there is a home that you would like more information about, if you are considering selling a property, or if you have questions about the housing market in your neighborhood, please reach out. We’re here to help.

The fourth quarter of 2021 is upon us (even though it still firmly feels like Q1 2020 — maybe Q2 at a stretch) and the next few months may actually feel like some kind of pre-pandemic normal.

Here’s what you need to know as the year winds down, and some other tips and tricks for what’s going on in the mortgage and real estate corner of the world.

1. Mortgage rates are likely to rise

It’s always fun to live through history, and 2021 saw the lowest mortgage rates ever. But experts said from the beginning that it wouldn’t last, and the tide should really start to roll back in this quarter. Inflation and Fed policies are likely to push mortgage rates up before the end of the year, and the trend should continue into 2022.

Read the story.

2. Actually, mortgage rates are already rising

This week saw a big jump, with mortgage 30-year mortgage rates gaining 12 basis points on average. If you haven’t already refinanced, you should really do it. There may be some fluctuation ahead, but there’s no going back to the interest sub-basement at this point.

Read the story.

3. Seasonality returns to real estate

The pandemic-era real estate market bucked just about every normal trend but this winter should see the usual transaction slowdown. Inventory and affordability issues still persist, but experts say the winter and into 2022 should be a little less frantic.

Read the story.

4. Reverse mortgage scams to watch out for

Don’t fall prey to someone trying to pull the wool over your eyes. Reverse mortgages can be a great financial tool, but there are plenty of shady dealers out there looking to take advantage of you if you have access to new funds. Here are some of the most common tricks, and other things to keep in mind before taking out a reverse mortgage.

Read the story.

5. Home equity loan or line of credit — what’s the difference?

One benefit of the crazy housing market is rising equity for current homeowners. If you’re looking to take advantage of that for yourself, the two most common options are a home equity loan and a home equity line of credit (HELOC). The best option for you depends on your situation, so it’s important to understand the difference so you can decide what you need.

Read the story

If there is a home that you would like more information about, if you are considering selling a property, or if you have questions about the housing market in your neighborhood, please reach out. We’re here to help.

As we prepare to round out 2021 in the coming months, one thing is for sure—the kitchen remains key. “We’ve spent so much time in the kitchen over the past 18 months, so people are really being mindful of how kitchen design is so essential and has a major impact on how people inhabit their homes,” interior designer, Peti Lau, explains.

When it comes to fall 2021 kitchen trends, what can we expect to see, well, everywhere? We spoke with eight design experts who weighed in with their predictions.

Dining Tables In The Kitchen

Remember the eat-in kitchen of your youth? Well, it may just be making a comeback. Erin Kestenbaum says we can expect to see dining tables in place of islands this year. “I believe we’re all craving cozier, more lived-in spaces and that extends into the kitchen, where warmth and patina continues to trend,” she says. As Lau states, “A kitchen is the heart of the home and we spend so much more time at home now, that the kitchen brings the family together to be nurtured.”

Islands As Furniture Pieces

Those who do choose to opt for islands are taking a different design approach, Claire Staszak says. “We also particularly love the trend of islands looking more like furniture pieces or tables and less like big cabinet blocks.” Prep tables are also on the rise, Katherine Thewlis notes. “These tables usually have legs as opposed to closed sides,” she explains. “This exposes more of the flooring, making the room feel much larger. It’s a more rustic, utilitarian look which can provide balance to a modern kitchen.”

Custom Storage Solutions

We’ll be seeing more upgrades “that make your kitchen work harder for you while maximizing every square inch of storage,” Kestenbaum says. What features, exactly, may be rising in popularity? “Produce drawers, in-drawer knife storage, under-sink drawers, and integrated cutting boards,” Kestenbaum notes. We wouldn’t be at all surprised if this largely stems from spending more time cooking at home and really utilizing our cooking spaces over the past year and a half.

Work From Home Solutions

And on the note of spending more time at home, Dominique Fluker says we can expect our kitchens to continue to serve double duty and function as makeshift offices. “Be prepared to see many flexible open kitchen models, as people are still working from home and need alternative workspaces,” she comments. “Modular kitchens highlight smart shelves, space-saving features, and maximized corners. Additionally, we may see an insurgence of kitchen nooks, as they are a cozy work-from-home option.”

Darker Tones

Wood tones in the kitchen will “become darker and richer,” Meg McSherry believes. Emily White agrees. “Rather than the flawless, white kitchens we know and love, people are taking a much more ‘lived-in’ approach with dark color palettes, beautifully stained wood cabinetry, and organic countertop materials, like marble and quartzite, with lots of depth and movement,” she comments. Lau predicts the same—“Instead of blue, grey, and white kitchens, the new kitchen trends are more warm, calm, and earthy tones.”

Jessica Brigham believes that autumnal hues in particular will reign when it pertains to cabinets. “The moodiness of burgundys, magentas, and even deep blues bring in such a fabulous pop of color and beckon the chillier, crisper autumnal days ahead,” she notes.

Note that the resurgence of upper cabinets themselves is also a key trend. Says Thewlis, “Cabinet doors are going to have a moment again with impressive hardware and cut-out details on the door fronts.”

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If there is a home that you would like more information about, if you are considering selling a property, or if you have questions about the housing market in your neighborhood, please reach out. We’re here to help.

The best time to purchase a home is the week of Oct. 3, according to realtor.com

The past year has been a double-edged sword for homebuyers as they’ve struggled to take advantage of record-low mortgage rates in the midst of record-high home price growth. However, there’s a silver lining for bidding-war-weary buyers, according to realtor.com’s latest market report.

Thanks to a normalizing market, homebuyers can expect to experience some much-needed price breaks as the fall homebuying season goes into full swing. Based on four years of listing data, realtor.com said the week of Oct. 3-9 is the “sweet spot” for buyers looking for the perfect abode at a reasonable price.

“Fortunately for buyers, some relief may be on the horizon as the season quickly approaches the best time to buy — the time of year when the balance of market conditions favor buyers the most,” the report read. “With all of the challenges facing buyers as the housing market recovers from the impact of the pandemic, this week provides a balance of market conditions that favor buying over every other week of the year.”

Realtor.com said homebuyers are benefiting from the kickoff of the school year, meaning most parents are holding off their homebuying plans until next spring or summer when moving is easier. Also, many markets are experiencing a boost in new inventory, meaning savvy buyers have more leverage to negotiate as the competition takes a timeout.

“The typical seasonal trend expects this week to have 17.6 percent more active listings than the start of the year,” the report read. “If this trend holds in 2021, we can expect to see around 705,000 listings on the market in October, which is roughly 100,000 more active listings nationwide than during the peak summer season in July and 166,000 (31 percent) more active listings than the average week so far this year.”

“The summer has the highest concentration of buyers looking at each home for sale, which translates to competition for buyers looking to lock down a home,” it added. “During the Best Week, demand is 18 percent lower than the peak in July, and 6 percent lower than the average week.”

The increase in inventory and the decrease in competition also leads to a longer list-to-sale pipeline, meaning homebuyers will have more time to do a proper home search and find a home that actually fits their needs.

“The best week historically slowed by 18 percent compared to the peak pace earlier in the year,” the report noted. “With a median time on market of 37 days in June, by the time the best week comes around in October, that pace should slow down to 44 days, adding an additional week for buyers.”

Although most buyers will have a few weeks to take advantage of their market sweet spot, some homebuyers will have to strike a little faster. In Los Angeles, Boston, New York City, Denver, Portland, and Minneapolis, the best week to purchase has already started — Sept. 12-18.

“Those markets made up 17.4 percent of the national inventory in July,” the report explained. “Among those markets, the week of September 12-18 has historically had an average of 27 percent more listings on the market over the typical week of the year.”

“Competition with other buyers, as measured by views per property, has been down 32 percent during this time compared to the average week,” it added. “The time on market has been up 40 percent. On average, listing prices are 5.8 percent lower during this week compared to the peak prices in these areas at other times of the year.”

If your buyer isn’t ready to push the pedal to the metal right now — no worries. Some of the top markets along the west and east coasts prime buying week extends into late October before it gets too cold. Meanwhile, plenty of southern markets’ prime buying week is in January or February, thanks to year-round warm weather.

“Each of these housing markets strike a different balance of market factors during this week as it relates to buyers,” the report concluded.

If there is a home that you would like more information about, if you are considering selling a property, or if you have questions about the housing market in your neighborhood, please reach out. We’re here to help.

The housing market took a slight dip in contract signings in July, but that could potentially mark an opening for home buyers who have been shut out by fierce competition over recent months.

The National Association of REALTORS® reported this week that pending home sales dropped by 1.8% in July compared to June, the second consecutive month for declines. Only the West saw contract signings increase last month. But all major regions across the country posted year-over-year declines. Contract signings dropped 8.5% nationwide annually.

“The market may be starting to cool slightly, but at the moment there is not enough supply to match the demand from would-be buyers,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “That said, inventory is slowly increasing, and home shoppers should begin to see more options in the coming months.”

Homes listed for sale are still generating lots of interest from potential home buyers. “But the multiple, frenzied offers—sometimes double-digit bids on one property—have dissipated in most regions,” Yun said.

However, “even in a somewhat calmer market, a number of potential buyers are still choosing to waive appraisals and inspections,” Yun added. More than a quarter—27%—of buyers waived an appraisal and inspection in making an offer on a home recently. Buyers are looking to accelerate the home purchase process by doing so, Yun said.

Labor Day traditionally signifies the end of summer in the United States, but in Columbus there are plenty of events and activities to close out the summer in style! Check out our list of things to do on Labor Day Weekend in Columbus.

Festivals

Columbus Greek Festival

Columbus Greek Festival

Sep 03, 2021

The Columbus Greek Festival is back for its traditional Labor Day celebration at the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral in downtown Columbus. Enjoy Greek dancing, food and more. Get additional details on the annual festival here. Read More

Breakaway Music Festival

Breakaway Music Festival

Sep 03, 2021

Breakaway is the fastest growing multi-city music festival with events in the mid west including Ohio, Michigan, The Carolinas and Tennessee. Read More

Obetz Zucchinifest

Obetz Zucchinifest

Sep 03, 2021

Free admission, free concerts and everything zucchini at this four-day, family-friendly event! National entertainment rocks the Zucchinifest main stage in Fortress Obetz with free concerts on Saturday and Sunday. Local artists perform throughout the weekend. Read More

2021 Bexley Brewfest

2021 Bexley Brewfest

Sep 05, 2021

The 2021 Bexley Brewfest will be held in conjunction with the Bexley Labor Day Celebration. Enjoy music, food, delicious beer and events for children. Read More

Upper Arlington Labor Day Arts Festival

Upper Arlington Labor Day Arts Festival

Sep 06, 2021

This annual free event at Northam Park is currently scheduled from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., though subject to change due to COVID-19. Get the latest updates here. Read More

Events

September 2021 Gallery Hop

September 2021 Gallery Hop

Sep 04, 2021

Check out the September Virtual Gallery Hop on Saturday, September 4. To participate, follow @ShortNorthArtsDistrict on Instagram account or the Short North Arts District Facebook and click the SNAD profile image to watch all the Virtual Gallery Hop Stories. Read More

Bike the Cbus 2021

Bike the Cbus 2021

Sep 05, 2021

Columbus Ohio’s original city-wide ride since 2008, Bike the Cbus is a bicycle tour, for all ages and abilities, highlighting our city’s unique and evolving neighborhoods. #BiketheCbus. Follow our Facebook page or website for more details. Read More

Music @ the Museum

Music @ the Museum

Sep 05, 2021

Join us Sundays afternoons at the Columbus Museum of Art for special presentations of solo repertoire paired with art work. A musician from the Westerville Symphony will play for 10-15 minutes at 1:00, 2:00, 3:00 and 4:00 on select Sundays May 16 through September 26. Read More

Massive Day-- Presented by Columbus Crew and Land Grant

Massive Day– Presented by Columbus Crew and Land Grant

Sep 05, 2021

Columbus Crew and Land-Grant Brewing Co. are excited to present: MASSIVE DAY – an all-day celebration of Columbus’s own Black & Gold! Join us on Sunday, September 5 (Labor Day Weekend) in the Beer Garden for a family-friendly day filled with live music and Crew giveaways. Read More

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If there is a home that you would like more information about, if you are considering selling a property, or if you have questions about the housing market in your neighborhood, please reach out. We’re here to help.