The 6 Resources You Must Use When Buying a Home

a couple searching on a computerScrolling through online listing photos, scouting for the best neighborhoods, and pondering décor in your new home is fun. But the home search itself is not the only enjoyable experience; the entire home buying process can be pleasant when you have access to the best tools.

Here are the top six resources you should use to make buying a home easier and enjoyable.

1. A Wants vs. Needs Checklist

First determine what price, location, size, and any special features your new home must have. Then you can hone in on your favorite properties by searching for additional features that you would prefer.

2. A Mortgage Payment Calculator

What do you want your monthly mortgage payments to be? We have an easy mortgage payment calculator you can use to find out how much you can afford for a home. This tool takes into account the length of the loan, the interest rate, and annual tax and insurance to calculate how much you will pay every month.

3. A Reliable Home Search Tool

a person holding a magnifying glass over a houseIf you are using national real estate sites to search for homes near you, keep in mind that you are not seeing all the homes that are for sale. HousingWire reported that websites such as Zillow show fewer listings than are available in many major cities, which means you could be missing out on the best home.

The best source for your home search is a real estate agent and a database of available properties called the Multiple Listing Service (MLS).

4. A Local Neighborhood Guide

Choosing the best home involves more than the property itself. It’s important to research areas and neighborhoods. Here are a few questions you may want to consider when researching communities:

  • Does the community offer amenities, such as a swimming pool or fitness center?
  • What are the parking options in the community?
  • Where is the nearest grocery store, gas station, or shopping area?
  • How is the local school district?

We have helpful information about neighborhoods and areas on our website that you can use when searching for a home.

5. A List of Recently Sold Homes

a line graph with a magnifying glassResearching the real estate market will also make your home search much easier.

If you are thinking of buying a home in a particular community, ask us for the Neighborhood Sold Report, which can help you determine whether the home is fairly priced.

You can always ask us about the real estate conditions in this area, too.

6. A Local Real Estate Expert

But your best resource for buying a home in this area is the local real estate expert. He or she will have all of the tools you will need, including sold data and an easy-to-use home search, to help you easily find the best home.

Are you ready to buy a home? Let us help! Contact us today and we can work with you to find your ideal home.

home buyer receiving key to new home

3 Resources You Must Use Before Selling Your New Albany Home

If you have been seriously considering selling your home in New Albany, one major question on your mind may be “where do I begin?” There are several factors to consider when you do sell your home — your home’s equity and market value, for example — but we have compiled a list of the three best real estate resources to use before you list your home.

1. New Albany Neighborhood Sold Report

a fluctuating line graph on a laptopDo you know if your neighborhood is a sought-after community for home buyers? Understanding the current market conditions in your area is one of the first steps to take before selling your home in New Albany.

The New Albany Neighborhood Sold Report™ will provide you with a list of homes that have recently sold in your area, giving you access to information about the size and value of these properties.

2. New Albany Home Evaluation

As we wrote in a previous blog post about Zestimates, many online home value tools are inaccurate; in the case of Zillow’s home value tool, the “median error rate” is 8%, which can cost you thousands of dollars if you rely on Zestimates to sell your home.

Pricing your home right is crucial if you want to maintain your hard-earned equity but don’t want your home to languish on the market. Use our New Albany Home Values Analysis™ to determine what price is best for selling your home.

3. Home Staging Essentials

a paint roll and paint brushesBefore you list your home on the market, you want your home to look its best. Declutter, deep clean, and depersonalize your living spaces so that:

  • buyers can imagine living in your home,
  • your online listing photos will stand out, and
  • you will have an easier time packing for your move.

Follow our essential home preparation tips before you list your home.

Time to Work with the New Albany Real Estate Experts

Have you found these home selling resources helpful? If you have specific questions about the New Albany real estate market, we can provide you with the answers; please do not hesitate to contact us.

As New Albany real estate experts, we keep up-to-date with current market conditions and have additional resources you need to sell your home quickly and for the most money. Ready to sell your home? List your property with us to get started.

5 Simple Ideas for a Low-Maintenance Indoor Garden

a small potted plant on a living room tableMany homeowners find gardening is an enjoyable outdoor activity with several additional benefits: enhancing curb appeal, creating bright pops of color, and even providing homegrown ingredients for meals.

But outdoor plants need just the right amount of sunshine, space, fertile soil, and maintenance to be able to flourish.

You don’t need to abandon your dream of having a garden if you don’t have the space — bring the garden indoors! Here are a few ideas to spice up your home with easy-to-maintain indoor plants.

Grow Herbs on Your Kitchen Windowsill

Cooking can be a breeze when you have fresh herbs within easy reach. Choose a spot in your home with a lot of natural light, plant your favorite herbs in a container with great drainage, and you’ll be all set.

Make Your Own Terrarium

Transform an elegant glass container into a beautiful closed terrarium filled with succulents. Not only are succulents durable indoor plants that don’t require much water or sunlight, they come in a variety of colors and textures to enhance your home décor.

You can view step-by-step instructions for creating a terrarium on this HGTV guide.

flower on a living room tableFreshen a Table with Indoor Flowers

Place a brightly colored flower on the coffee table or dining room table to instantly add a focal point to the room. African violets and geraniums come in a variety of colors to match your decorations.

Create a Small Garden on a Tiered Stand

If you want to fill an empty space with color, place a variety of indoor plants or flowers on a multi-tiered stand. This small garden is a perfect addition to an empty corner or blank wall, or at the end of a hallway.

Choose Easy-to-Maintain Plant Varieties

The best indoor plants are durable and do not need much sunlight, warm soil, or water, making them the best choice for your low-maintenance indoor garden. Top picks for easy-to-maintain plants include:

  • Pothos
  • English Ivy
  • Peace Lily
  • Rubber Tree
  • Ficus

a leafy indoor plant in a potYou Can Use Plants During Your Home Staging

When you’re selling your home, you don’t have to get rid of your indoor plants to help your home sell. Placing a few simple plants or flowers in a room can make it feel fresh and look like home.

If you’re considering selling your home or are preparing to put your home on the market, we can help you decide which elements of your small indoor garden would be most effective during home staging. Just contact us; we would be happy to help.

The Top 5 Home Features That Save Time and Money

Everyone wants to save money on energy bills every month. But did you know that having today’s popular energy-efficient features in your home can also save you time and stress when you sell your home?

two home buyers surrounded by moving boxesMore and more first-time home buyers are searching for homes in the area, so there is more of a demand for move-in ready homes or homes with certain features.

As Millennial Magazine notes, what buyers are looking for in a home include open floor plans, homes with great cell service, and energy-efficient features.

Having the best energy-efficient home features now means you won’t need to upgrade your home later when you sell. Plus, these features may also add value to your home.

5. Programmable Thermostats

Programmable thermostats let you control when you want the heat and air conditioning to be running in your home, saving you money on your monthly energy bills. Some thermostats, such as Nest Learning Thermostats, even let you control the temperature remotely on your phone, an appealing feature for today’s home buyers.

upgraded kitchen with bright spring flowers4. Energy-Efficient Appliances

There are plenty of cost-saving options for the appliances throughout your home. Energy Star offers many appliances and equipment from kitchen appliances to water heaters that are popular energy-efficient home features.

3. Green Home Construction

Materials involved in home construction can be also be energy-efficient. Different types of insulation and energy-efficient windows, such as low-emissivity (low E), can be installed to reduce your heating and cooling costs.

2. Low-Flow Plumbing Fixtures

A way to save money on your water bill is to replace your toilet, faucet, or shower head with a low-flow toilet and water-conserving features.

LED light bulb on a white surface1. LED Lightbulbs

A simple switch from incandescent lighbulbs to LED bulbs will not only brighten your home but save you money on your energy bill.

Using these bulbs can also help you as you’re selling your home, too; brighter rooms are more appealing to buyers who are scrolling through online listing photos and viewing homes.

Today’s Buyers are Searching for Your Home

Not all home buyers are searching for new construction homes in the area. In fact, the National Association of Home Builders found that less than 9% of Millennials and only 12% of older home buyers bought a new home.

Today’s home buyers may be searching for a home that is similar to yours, and if you have the energy-efficient home features they are looking for, they may value your home more.

But Before You Upgrade Your Home…

person using an iphoneAs the real estate experts in this area, we know what features home buyers are looking for. So before you completely upgrade your home with these features or other home improvements, talk to us about whether you need to spend the time and money installing them.

All your home may need is expert marketing to attract buyers.

We’d be happy to talk with you about the best energy-efficient home features and what today’s buyers are searching for. Just give us a call.

Checklist with pen isolated on white

How to Prepare to Sell Your Home in New Albany

It takes a lot of time and preparation before you list your home on the market, and the selling process can often seem overwhelming. But we hope that by simplifying the steps you need to take, selling your home in New Albany will not be as stressful. Here are our essential tips to prepare to sell your home in New Albany.

Make a List of What Needs to be Cleaned or Repaired

Before you tackle the often overwhelming task of decluttering your home, take note of what needs to be cleaned, repaired, or replaced. This includes both the outside of your home as well as the inside.

Declutter the Inside of Your Home

Buyers want to see how space is used in a home. That means that any furniture, clothing, and household items you do not use and have stored in closets or the garage should be cleaned out. Donate or discard any items that you no longer want, and put the rest in storage out of sight.

living room in a new albany home that has been properly prepared to sell

This home’s living room has been carefully decluttered, showcasing every inch of space. Listing courtesy of Thomas & Company.

Neutralize the Inside of Your Home

In order to make your home more attractive to potential buyers, you want to help them easily picture themselves living in your home. Remove any distractions, such as personal photos and heirlooms, and give your home more neutral wall colors and décor.

new albany home for sale with neutral decor

This bathroom has been decluttered and given neutral wall colors.

Make Necessary Home Repairs

Does your roof need replacing or is a faucet leaking? It’s time to make the repairs now before you list your home. New Albany buyers tend to think repairs cost more than they do, and could choose a home from another seller. But if you list your home with all the repairs taken care of, buyers will have a great first impression of your home.

Remember, don’t start any major renovations, since it is unlikely you will receive a return when you sell. Make sure to consult with your trusted Realtor if you have any questions.

Select the Right Realtor

a home seller discussing her goals with her trusted Realtor in New AlbanyLast but not least, as you prepare to sell your home, selecting the right Realtor is crucial. It is important to find not only a reputable and successful professional, but a Realtor you feel comfortable working with.

The Realtors at Thomas & Company have been helping New Albany residents sell homes for over 30 years combined, helping sellers receive top dollar for their homes due to their in-depth market knowledge and their personal touch.

If you are considering listing your home, we can help you beyond these basic home preparation tips, advising you about creating curb appeal, staging your home, and pricing your home to appeal to buyers when you place your home on the market.

Just call us at 614.939.1234 and we can talk about selling your home in New Albany.

people talking about new albany

Learn What Makes New Albany Great Before You Relocate

When you are relocating to New Albany, Ohio, the largest challenge you face is knowing very little about the community. Where are the best restaurants? What are the best neighborhoods? What are the average home values? What is the weather like?

But you don’t have to do all of this research by yourself. Here are five helpful resources about relocating to and living in New Albany.

1. The Essential Relocation Checklist

Before you start to consider neighborhoods or even your favorite homes in New Albany, it’s helpful to make a list of all the things that you require in your new neighborhood.

checklist with pen isolated on whiteHere is a checklist to help you get started.

  • Proximity to shopping centers and entertainment
  • Proximity to recreational activities
  • Proximity to schools
  • Proximity to major roads

Moving with kids or moving with pets? Here are the steps that you can take to ease the transition for everyone.

2. A List of the Best Places to Live in New Albany

From New Albany’s country clubs to new construction communities off of Central College Road, there are dozens of neighborhoods and subdivisions that top the list of best places to live in New Albany. Explore the best neighborhoods here to find price ranges, a list of common home features, and available homes for sale. You will be the expert in no time.

3. See Who’s Involved in the Community

What makes New Albany a great place to live is not just the beautiful homes. Community members such as Fire Chief John Hoovler and organizations such as Cooking With Friends are all dedicated to keeping this community a welcoming place to live.

Spend some time learning about New Albany’s hard-working community members by watching videos in the “Around New Albany” series.

4. Know About All the Schools in New Albany

apple on stack of school textbooksThe New Albany-Plain Local School District is an exceptional public school district. All of its schools have earned the prestigious distinction of National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence. You can find details about New Albany public schools here, including a list of distinctions, contact information, and their academic performance.

There are also a variety of private school options for New Albany residents. See the full list of schools in the area in this New Albany private school directory.

You can also find a full list of pre-schools in the New Albany area, including contact information and ages served, on the New Albany pre-school directory. Now, relocating to New Albany, Ohio is much easier.

5. Get Insider Information on the Real Estate Market

Want to be the expert on New Albany before you relocate to the area? Now you don’t have to spend hours researching the real estate market conditions.

Keep up with the housing market on the New Albany, Ohio real estate blog, view featured listings to see what’s available for sale, and impress New Albany residents with your knowledge of which homes have recently sold.

We Want to Make Your Relocation Enjoyable

Relocating to New Albany does not have to be a stressful process. We want to make sure that it’s an enjoyable experience for you!

home buyer receiving key to new homeAs the New Albany, Ohio real estate experts, and residents of this excellent community for over 20 years, we know everything about living in New Albany. Our website has all of the resources you need to make a smooth transition to your new home in this community.

Are you ready to find your next home in New Albany? Let’s view an available property you have been considering; just call us at 614.939.1234.

Is Renting Truly Cheaper Than Buying a Home?

Owning a home is a dream for many people. You have the opportunity to invest in a place of your own and build equity, not to mention carve out a space that reflects who you are and what you love.

However, worries about down payments, property taxes, maintenance, and insurance (and student loans) can make buying a home seem like wishful thinking, which is why you may prefer to rent a home or apartment.

But is renting cheaper than buying a home? There are more than just financial costs to consider. Let’s discuss the advantages and disadvantages of renting.

a person holding a wad of cashYou Receive No Return When You Rent a Property

As a renter, you’re paying hundreds of dollars a month to live in your community, and if you want to move, it’s much easier. But renting a home doesn’t offer you investment opportunities.

Unlike paying off your home loan and building equity, the money you pay when you rent goes straight to the property owner or manager.

You Don’t Build Credit When You Rent

As this recent Forbes article explains, your credit score often does not factor in your on-time monthly rent payments, so renting a property is not a great way to build credit.

Additionally, renting doesn’t provide you with any tax benefits. If you own a home, however, you can deduct mortgage insurance and property taxes, and exclude capital gains when you sell.

You Cannot Customize Your Living Space

upgraded kitchen with bright spring flowersNot all costs are financial. There are opportunity costs of renting a home instead of buying a home, and customization is one of them.

There may be rules and regulations in your rental community that prevent you from changing your space to fit your style, such as painting the walls or upgrading the kitchen. These rules may also prevent you from living with a pet.

Owning a home means you can create your own space (with your choice of countertops and kitchen cabinets), you can invest in home improvements, and you can live with your furry companion.

You Have a Harder Time Connecting with Your Community

Forming deep connections with your neighbors is likely not high on your priority list if you’re a renter, especially when you consider that you will only be living in the community for a short time. If you desire to get to know your neighbors, homeownership is a better option.

buyer holding house keys to new homeRenting vs. Buying: The Bottom Line

Renting gives you flexibility and little maintenance to worry about. Buying a home is a long-term investment that gives you a space you can customize, helps you build credit and equity, and connects you with your community.

We want to help you make the best decision, and we have important real estate market resources that you can use to help you decide if renting is cheaper for you than buying a home. Just give us a call and we can talk about your plans.

the decluttered master suite in 4267 Vaux Link for sale in New Albany

4 Essential New Albany Home Selling Strategies

When you are selling your home, it takes more than a coat of fresh paint and a newly mowed lawn to attract New Albany home buyers. With a majority of home buyers finding homes for sale online, every detail matters, from the way your home looks on the outside to the way your room looks in a listing photo.

Here are our essential home selling tips, which will help you sell quickly and for more money this spring.

1. Create the Best First Impression

front exterior and curb appeal of 4267 Vaux Link home for sale in New Albany OH

4267 Vaux Link in New Albany. Listing courtesy of Thomas & Company.

How your home looks from the outside can make or break a sale, since buyers tend to think that how your home looks on the outside reflects what it looks like on the inside. The more curb appeal your home has, the more likely it is to sell quickly and garner a higher selling price.

To increase your home’s curb appeal, try:

  • mowing the lawn and edging the yard
  • cleaning the gutters
  • painting the front door
  • setting flowers on either side of the door or walkway

2. Set the Stage for Showings

a decluttered entryway in a New Albany home for sale

This New Albany home features neutral wall colors and furnishings, a crucial aspect of home staging.

The first impression from curb appeal needs to continue when buyers enter your home. Make sure that your home is clean and clutter-free, smells fresh, and looks like new.

Don’t forget to neutralize the interior — home staging is all about eliminating distractions to allow buyers to picture themselves living in your home. You can find more about home staging on our article about preparing your New Albany home to sell.

3. Attract Buyers with Quality Listing Photos

a luxury kitchen in 4267 Vaux Link for sale in New Albany

Home buyers appreciate high-quality photographs when searching for homes online.

Once your home has excellent curb appeal and has been staged well, it’s time to take pictures. With over 75% of home buyers looking at listings online first, it’s not enough to take a picture with your phone. You need to show them every perfect detail with a high-quality photograph.

4. Effectively Market Your Home Online

It’s no longer enough to put a “For Sale” sign in your yard. New Albany home buyers are searching online for homes, and home marketing has shifted to include social media marketing.

If you want to see examples of these homes selling strategies in action, visit the featured listings page.

Real Estate Experience Gets Results

As long-time residents and real estate experts in New Albany, we have earned a reputation for our marketing performance and have created a network of trusted professionals and home buyers to help you get your home sold and looking its best. Let us help you sell your New Albany home for the right price and on your timeline. Contact us today and let’s talk about listing your home.

7 Best Strategies for House Hunting

Spring is almost here! The warmer weather, beautiful flowers, and longer days are perfect for viewing homes in person, and it’s no wonder that the spring season is a popular time for home buyers to start looking at homes and neighborhoods.

But before you start driving around and visiting open houses, you should follow these important house hunting tips.

a buyer getting preapproved for a mortgage with a lender1. Get Preapproved for a Mortgage

Getting preapproved for a home loan is one of the best tools you have when searching for a home, especially when you have competition.

If you are preapproved, the home seller takes your offer seriously and may end up accepting your offer over another interested home buyer who is not preapproved.

2. Get to Know the Neighborhood

If you have a specific home in mind, it’s best to visit the area more than once, at different times of the day and week.

3. Have a List of Your Wants and Needs

Have a detailed house hunting checklist outlining your wants and needs, and make sure that your list covers the type of home (e.g. house or condo), the location, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and home features that you are looking for.

One mistake that home buyers make during their home search, however, is having a wish list that is too strict. You don’t want to get stuck searching for the perfect home that may not exist.

Hand holding magnifying glass. Plain background4. Don’t Be Afraid to Examine Everything

If you have narrowed your home search and are viewing homes in person, it’s time to examine everything: doorknobs, cabinets, windows, faucets, light switches. Now is the time to find out if there is anything that needs repair, not after closing.

5. Consider the Weather

Relocating from another state or country? When buying a home in a new area, considering weather conditions and seasonal temperature changes is important.

For example, you may value a home that has a covered garage if you move to an area where snow is more common, or you may want to choose a home with a shaded backyard in an area with warmer temperatures.

6. Order the Home Inspection

It’s crucial to have a trained professional examine the home you are interested in buying, even a home that has just been built. This is the best way to identify any major repairs that need to be made.

a home buyer meeting with a trusted real estate agent7. Have the Best Real Estate Agent on Your Side

If you are feeling frustrated and overwhelmed while house hunting and competing with other home buyers, your real estate agent is there to guide you through the process and keep you focused on the next steps.

We want you to be able to find the best home in the best location, and we are here to help. So if you are searching for a home this spring, talk with us about what you are looking for in a home and we can find it together.

well-maintained New Albany, OH home with a mown lawn and clear sidewalks

This New Albany Home for Sale Could Be Yours

Spring is almost here, and that means home buying season is coming on strong. But selling your home in New Albany means more than putting a “for sale” sign in your yard to attract potential buyers driving by.

It requires expert home marketing to place your home in the spotlight so that the buyers who are looking for their dream home — your home — can find exactly what they are looking for. Let’s take this home as an example.

5385 Aldie Mill Drive’s Attractive Features

the two-story great room in 5385 Aldie Mill Drive for sale

The home for sale at 5385 Aldie Mill Drive is a stunning house on a large corner lot in New Albany, with 4 bedrooms, 3 full and 1 half bathrooms, and 3,999 square feet used to its full potential. The entire property conveys a sense of timeless elegance, and no detail is overlooked.

Gourmet Kitchen

beautiful, spacious kitchen in a new albany ohio home for sale

One of this house’s best features is the gourmet kitchen, outfitted with the finest details:

  • granite countertops
  • stainless steel appliances
  • spacious center island
  • double-door pantry
  • sunny eating area

These features make the kitchen an ideal centerpiece in the home for cooking meals and hosting get-togethers with friends and family.

This kitchen opens to the 2-story great room (featuring a wall of windows and beautiful fireplace) to give the area great flow, a key feature in an entertaining space.

Impressive Master Suite

tub, double vanities, shower, and spacious areas in 5385 Aldie Mill Drive's master bathroom

The upstairs master bathroom is another key feature in this New Albany home for sale, with a separate tub and spacious countertops giving it the feeling of a private spa rather than a mere bathroom. The master bedroom is equally impressive, with an enormous dream closet you would have to see to believe.

About the Tidewater Neighborhood

well-maintained New Albany, OH home with a mown lawn and clear sidewalks

Neighborhoods and nearby schools matter to New Albany buyers. The Tidewater neighborhood, where 5385 Aldie Mill Drive is located, is a new construction community off Central College Road, a growing area in New Albany, and offers buyers an intimate residential community with homes on wooded lots and close to water features.

But these three key features are not the only reasons that 5385 Aldie Mill Drive is a dream home in New Albany. View the property page to find other stunning home features, a gallery full of large photos, and a map of its location — all of which help New Albany home buyers see why they should request an in-person showing.

The New Albany Home Marketing Experts

You have invested your time, money, and energy into your home in New Albany. Doesn’t it deserve to be in the spotlight?

a New Albany, Ohio home recently sold by Thomas & CompanyWhen it comes time to sell your home, you want to display your home’s best features — like the features from 5385 Aldie Mill Drive — for every New Albany home buyer to see, so you will need to rely on the top Realtors and their superior home marketing to broadcast that your home is for sale and that it is every buyer’s dream home.

We want you to earn top dollar on the sale of your home, which is why we will use our expertise in home marketing and every resource at our disposal to get your home sold. Contact us today at 614.939.1234 to talk about how we can market your home.