Archives: February 2018

Big Changes on the Horizon in New Albany

Thomas & Company recently had a chance to talk with New Albany’s city planners and we are excited to share a few changes on the horizon around town. As New Albany continues to see such an uptick in its population, it’s time to update our infrastructure in order to accommodate all of our residents. Over 20 years in the making, these smart, resident-focused improvements will perfectly blend aesthetics and functionality and help New Albany continue to grow as a bustling, thriving place to call home.

Rose Run Creek Improvements

The Rose Run Creek and Park has been a beautiful feature of New Albany, but also a natural barrier splitting the community into separate parts. This next city project is tackling this problem head-on by building a bridge for foot and bike traffic near Market Square. This will not only integrate two parts of the community in a meaningful way, but also allow residents easily traverse the town on foot and decrease the number of cars driving and parking nearby.

There is also going to be a beautiful birch tree grove added, creating a picturesque destination which bikers, walkers, and photographers will love to visit! And for New Albany’s cycling enthusiasts, there will be cycling “fix it” hubs along the Velo Loop, complete with bike pumps, water bottle fillers, benches, and bike racks.

In addition to those exciting improvements, the Dublin-Grandville Road corridor is getting a makeover; the road will be narrowed and separated by a tree lane with a Velo Loop on each side, incorporating the area into New Albany’s signature style and slowing down traffic as it enters the city.

 

School Campus Library Connection

Anyone who has spent time in or around Market Square has seen a lot of changes over the past few years; mostly, a ton of local businesses have been popping up, with even more on the way (Freshii, Nosh, and Johnson’s Ice Cream are all eateries opening early this summer!). There have also been 127 luxury apartments being built in the heart of the area by Market & Main. These 648-2,057 square foot units will be available starting in July. Now that we’ve built up the shopping and livability, the next phase of improvements will bring some much needed space for locals to relax, gather and better enjoy this central area.

Firstly, a few changes are planned in order to more cohesively integrate the New Albany School campus and the New Albany Public Library. They will be creating a generous plaza between school campus and library, complete with tree lawns, ample sitting areas, and green spaces. They will also be narrowing Dublin-Granville Road in this area to make it safer for students to access the library and Market Square.

Along with this idyllic green space, a new amphitheater is being built next to the McCoy Center. There are already plans for the New Albany Symphony to host a summer concert series here and, with three theaters so close to one another, talks of introducing a theater festival down the road! In addition to the amphitheater, there is going to be a tranquil garden and fountain space near the library, and a natural play area for kids, adding lots of vibrancy to this intimate space.

 

Conclusions

Get ready for more construction because these community projects are breaking ground later this year and expected to continue throughout 2019. Living through all of the ongoing construction can truly be a pain; however, seeing the fantastic changes on their way to town makes the inconvenience worthwhile.

New Albany is slowly morphing into a more urban city, with improved amenities that encourage residents to enjoy the city center and support our local businesses. At the same time, the city planners were careful to preserve our city’s natural beauty and enrich our communal spaces. As the street traffic slows down and foot traffic grows, residents will love the scenic walks, intimate gather areas, and upscale shopping. We can’t wait to see these plans become a reality!

Costly Mistakes to Avoid After You Buy Your First Home

A single-level ranch-style house with a front porch, two-car garage, and well-maintained front yard.You’re smart. You’re doing your research about home buying and homeownership (like you are right now!), so you feel like you’re prepared to avoid common home buying pitfalls. But you’ll soon find that once you’ve moved in, there is a whole new list of common problems that plague unwary first-time homeowners.

To help you make the best buying and ownership decisions possible, we’ve outlined some of the the biggest blunders that first-time buyers make after closing on their home.

Investing in Too Many Upgrades

Not every home improvement project is worth the money or effort. Many first-time homeowners make the mistake of not considering a project’s return on investment, at least until it’s time to sell the house down the road.

If you want to know which home improvements are worth the investment, talk with a real estate agent or get a market report for your neighborhood. Give us a call and we’ll send one to you.

Ignoring “Minor” Maintenance Issues

Water dripping out of a long kitchen faucet and into the sink.As your home ages, seemingly minor issues may arise. But be careful: A dripping faucet, crumbling caulk, or slanting floors could spiral into much bigger headaches if you don’t take care of them quickly.

To avoid shelling out hundreds or even thousands of dollars down the road, tackle these maintenance issues as soon as you can.

We’re happy to provide local vendor recommendations if you need maintenance work. Just give us a call!

Choosing the Cheapest Repair Option

Quality comes at a price, especially when it comes to making repairs. Whether it’s picking up a cheap tool set or going with the lowest bid for a service provider, many first-time homeowners make the mistake of sacrificing quality for cost.

Contact us and we’ll be happy to recommend a high-quality local service provider.

Trying to DIY a Complicated Project

A large bathroom with white countertops, a white standing tub, white bidet, frameless glass shower, and orange walls.Some things can be done yourself. Think painting, hanging up shelves, or sprucing up the front entry.

But when it comes to stuff like plumbing, electricity, or structural engineering, think again. Hiring a professional will save you time and money — and keep you from starting a project you don’t know how to finish.

Need to talk to a contractor? Call us and we’ll give you recommendations.

Not Preparing for the Unexpected

A sudden job change, severe weather damage, or major maintenance problem can throw a wrench in your plans. Be sure that you budget accordingly for unexpected expenses as a homeowner.

We’re Happy to be a Resource

As local real estate experts, we have a wealth of information that can help you avoid many of these first-time home buying and homeownership mistakes. Contact us to learn more.

Do You Know What These Crucial Real Estate Acronyms Mean?

A man standing on a flat field and juggling apples.Acronyms are tossed around like crazy in the real estate world, which can be confusing to even the most veteran home buyers. But don’t worry — it doesn’t take long to learn the language.

Here’s a quick list of the most widely used home buying acronyms and what they actually mean. Of course, if you’d like to know even more real estate terminology, don’t hesitate to call us.

MLS: Multiple Listing Service

The multiple listing service is a massive database of available properties that is split up into hundreds of different regions. If you’ve ever heard someone refer to a home as “on the market,” it means that the home is available on the MLS.

Buyers can search for properties that are on the MLS by using a real estate agent’s website (like ours!), but that’s not the only way to find homes. Your agent can send you updates whenever new properties hit the market.

Want to get these email updates? Call us and we’ll set them up for you!

PITI: Principal, Interest, Taxes, and Insurance

A wooden cutout of a house standing next to three stacks of coins, each taller than the next and with a sprout growing out of the top.Principal, interest, taxes, and insurance are the four parts of a mortgage payment. Initially, you will pay more toward the interest on the mortgage, but you will start to pay off more of the principal (the initial loan amount) the longer you stay in your home.

Want to see the estimated PITI for your next loan? Check out our handy mortgage calculator on our website.

FHA: Federal Housing Administration

The Federal Housing Administration, or FHA, is a mortgage insurer that offers a variety of home buying assistance programs to help people purchase homes that they otherwise couldn’t afford.

FHA-insured loans generally offer more flexible credit qualifications and a lower down payment. However, borrowers are required to pay for mortgage insurance.

Interest rates and terms depend on the FHA-approved mortgage lender you choose.

PMI: Private Mortgage Insurance

Speaking of mortgage insurance, many lenders require you to have private mortgage insurance (PMI) if you can’t put 20% down on your home. This insurance protects the lender in case you can’t pay off your mortgage.

HOA: Homeowners Association

A community pool with orange inflatable innertube floating on top.Want to live in a community with a pool or clubhouse? Chances are you’re looking for a neighborhood with an HOA, or homeowners association.

An HOA is responsible for maintaining common areas and any amenities, and it typically sets standards for how homes should look in order to keep property values up. In some cases, homeowners associations may even include Internet, cable, and lawn care with their HOA dues.

If you’re considering buying a home in a neighborhood with an HOA, check the association’s CC&Rs — Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions — to see what rules the HOA enforces.

We’ll Help You Speak the Language

Understanding real estate terminology is one of the best ways to start your research as a home buyer. Want to know the meanings of other commonly used terms? Give us a call!