Archives: August 2016

What You Haven’t Considered About Owning a Vacation Home

tropical-vacationWouldn’t it be great to own a place at the beach, in the mountains, or by the lake? If you are seriously considering buying a vacation home, you have probably weighed many of the pros and cons already.

But you should carefully consider everything before you buy. Have you taken these additional costs and benefits into account?

The Overlooked Costs of Homeownership

As any experienced home buyer knows, there are additional annual costs that come with owning a home, such as property taxes, home insurance, and any association fees.

Make sure you consider maintenance costs, as well. If you decide to rent out your property, you might want to invest in housekeeping or property management services. MarketWatch outlines a few additional costs you may face.

Additional Fun: Resort-Style Amenities

golf course at sunriseIn popular vacation destinations, you can purchase a second home in a resort community. This gives you access to a range of amenities that can include a golf course, spa services, swimming pool, and dozens of events.

Just remember, you may have to pay additional fees for these amenities.

It’s a Good Investment, But Not a Guaranteed Money Maker

Many vacation homeowners rent their property out to other vacation-goers as a way to earn extra money.

But, as US News & World Report points out, you may not always make money with your vacation home.

Location is Crucial

picking a locationWhen buying any property, whether it’s a primary or second home, location is one of the most important factors in your decision. When choosing a vacation home, consider how much time it will take to get to your home, whether you will need to drive or fly, and if you will be able to visit as often as you want.

You should choose a home that is close to your favorite vacation features (such as a ski resort or private beach) and close to the grocery store, major roads or an airport, and fun things to do.

We Can Help You Weigh Your Options

Investing in a vacation home can be a great decision, but it should not be taken lightly. We can answer any questions you have about finding, buying, or renting out a vacation home. Call us and let’s talk.

Safety Tips for Your Home

The Franklin County Sheriff’s Office recently shared the following tips to help protect your home and keep your family safe.Keep Your Home Safe

  • Lock door and windows whether you are home or not. Make it a nightly routine to check the locks.
  • Hang a bell on the door. Anyone entering your home will trigger this simple, unobtrusive alarm.
  • Keep your house well lit at night to discourage criminals. Motion detecting flood lights are a great option.
  • Use highly visible and easy to read house numbers so law enforcement can effortlessly identify your home.
  • Under door mats, flower pots or fake rocks are the first place a criminal will look. Instead, give a key to a trusted neighbor.
  • Have a family safety plan. The best defense against home invasion is planning and communication.
  • Invest in an alarm system to protect you, your home, and your belongings.
  • Join a Neighborhood Watch program. These programs build cohesive neighborhoods that help reduce crime. Call the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office Community Relations for more information at 614.525.4507.

Enjoy Peace of Mind Living in New Albany, Ohio

Residents of New Albany look after each other, which is one reason why this community is a top place to live. As New Albany real estate experts, we are committed to helping buyers, sellers, and homeowners enjoy this cohesive community and peace of mind about all aspects of the real estate process.

Let us help you achieve your buying and selling goals. Call us today at 614.939.1234.

a Realtor showing a buyer a home

5 Crucial Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Buyer’s Agent

You wouldn’t buy a home without carefully researching the neighborhood, school district, or property values. A home is a major financial investment!

One of the biggest mistakes home buyers make is neglecting to do the same amount of research when choosing their buyer’s agent. Would you entrust your largest investment to a real estate agent with little experience?

You can avoid making this common home buying mistake by asking these important questions.

1. What Can You Tell Me About My Favorite Neighborhood?

homes in New Albany, Ohio's Lansdowne communityYour buyer’s agent should be the local expert. He or she can tell you how the neighborhood has changed over the years, where you can run errands near your home, and whether the local schools are excellent.

We have a wealth of knowledge about New Albany’s communities and the public school district. We even have a local directory of health clubs, childcare, parks, and fun things to do near your desired neighborhood.

2. Tell Me About Your Expertise with the Type of Home I Want.

There are important differences between buying an estate home and buying a patio home. Your buyer’s agent should not only be familiar with the type of home you want, but can also show you similar homes that fit your price and size range.

3. What is Your Negotiation Experience?

two professionals shaking handsNegotiations can be tricky. In such a stressful situation, having an experienced buyer’s agent on your side can bring you peace of mind and an agreeable compromise. The agents at Thomas & Company have unparalleled experience and success negotiating contracts.

4. How Have You Helped People in My Situation?

Whether you are relocating to New Albany or buying a larger home in your neighborhood, the right buyer’s agent has helped people like you through the transition. It’s also important to find a buyer’s agent who listens to your unique needs.

5. What is Your Current Relationship with Past Clients?

a realtor holding a house keyReviews from past clients are helpful when choosing the right buyer’s agent. But the best buyer’s agent keeps in contact with past clients long after closing and move-in day. Ask the Realtor about how he or she keeps in contact with former home buyers.

 Choose Thomas & Company for the Best Home Buying Experience

We are THE New Albany Experts. Our dedicated and experienced buyer’s agents will not only help you find the best home in New Albany, but also enjoy peace of mind about the entire process.

We are more than happy to answer these questions for you. Call us at 614.939.1234 and let’s talk.

3 Surprising Ways Public Schools Affect Your House Hunt

It’s back-to-school season. School supplies are front and center in the stores, back-to-school sales are everywhere, and school buses are becoming part of the morning commute.NA_High_School_5

Even if the public school district is not an important factor in your home search, the location of public schools can still have a significant impact on your home buying decision.

If you are looking for a home near a school, you may want to take these factors into consideration.

1. School Speed Zones

Pay attention to the speed limit around schools and times that the school zone speed is enforced. You may want to consider a home that has convenient alternate routes around the school zone.

the stop sign on the side of a bus2. School Bus Stops

Whether there is a bus route through your neighborhood or on a major thoroughfare, it can affect traffic around your home. Call the school district and ask if there is a bus that stops near your home to pick up students.

3. Morning and Afternoon Traffic

Traffic congestion near public schools may be an issue during the weekdays. Crowded carpool lanes and frequent bus stops can turn a short trip to the grocery store into a frustrating ordeal.

When you are searching for your home, visit the area during peak morning and afternoon hours. Again, you may want to consider a home that is farther from the school or has convenient alternate routes.

We Are Your Guide to Area Schools

Realtor showing a buyer a homeA school’s location and overall rating can affect your decision to buy a home, especially if you are new to the area. But we are your local expert, giving you everything you need to know about the New Albany schools and other area school districts and private schools. For more information about New Albany schools, click here.

We can help you find the best home in the best location. Call us and let’s talk about your home search.