Category Archives: Announcements

It’s Never Too Late

I have a “big” birthday this month which has caused me to ponder many of the decisions that I have or have not made in my life.  Recently, I came across a small book titled “It’s Never Too Late” by Patrick Lindsay.  It challenges one to consider small or not so small changes to our lives and to realize that it’s truly never too late to take on something that you’ve always wanted to do or hoped to accomplish – regardless of your age or ability.  This year, I’ve committed to identifying a number of things that it’s not too late to try.  I’ll be sharing them in order to hold myself accountable. 

My first is “It’s Never Too Late….to learn to Ballroom Dance!”   To that end, I signed Tony and myself up for beginner ballroom dance lessons which we began 4 weeks ago and we’re having a great time.  We are learning the Waltz and the East Coast Swing.  We won’t win any competitions but I’ve always been a very self-conscious dancer and it’s amazing what a few classes can do to your confidence.   

The book has nothing to do with real estate but if I had read this book 22 years ago, I might have said “It’s Never Too Late….to Begin a New Career!”.   I have been so enriched by my 2nd career in real estate and have so many of you to thank for it.  It’s not been 22 years of work but 22 years of joy (most of the time😊). Stay tuned for what else it’s not too late for! 

Wishing you a Happy Fall!  
Best,
Kate

New Albany Real Estate Market Update

Hi All,
 
I thought you might be interested in the state of the New Albany Real Estate Market as we wrap up the 3rd quarter of 2019.  There’s always information in the news but real estate is so local that you can’t always apply national or even Columbus results with our own.  In the chart below you will see how many homes sold in many of our NA neighborhoods both in the 3rd quarter and year-to-date.

New Albany 3rd Quarter Overview (click for larger view)
Source: Columbus Realtor MLS through 9/30/19 
In most cases, the number of homes sold this year is lagging behind last years numbers.  I don’t think this means our market is slowing…rather, the fewer sales are a result of a lack of homes to sell.  The only exception to this is in the New Albany CC community above $1M.  That market has seen the months’ supply shift to a Buyer’s Market while the rest of NA remains a market favoring sellers.  I can send you the information on any neighborhood in Greater Columbus so if your neighborhood isn’t in the chart and you would like it, just let me know!
 
Market activity in October and November is generally strong, and inventory is dwindling making it a good time to consider selling if you’re considering a sale in the near future.  We’d love to talk with you if you are.  We always have time to update you on the market for your home so please let us hear from you! 

Happy Fall! 
Kate

M. Kate Thomas
Founding Partner
Thomas|Riddle Real Estate Group

The Middleton House in Granville, Ohio

A Little History

Built in 1915, the Middleton House is named after its former owners, Claude and Dorothy Middletown, who lived in the home from 1935 until they donated it to Denison University in 1961. This English Country-style residence served as the original site of the Granville Literary & Theology Institution, as well as a guest house & conference center for Denison University.

Front Carriage Porch

View of the back

The Middleton House is now a stunning single-family home, thanks to a respectful renovation & restoration to preserve its historical integrity, the Middleton House features so many incredible features throughout.

View of the front

Feel Like Royalty When You Purchase This Stunning Granville Home

The home is nestled on 14 acres overlooking the beautiful hills & valleys of Granville, Ohio. It features 7,150 sq/ft of living space which includes 6 spacious bedrooms and 5.5 bathrooms (4 private bedroom suites), formal & casual living areas, den, large gourmet kitchen w/ walk-in pantry, rec/media rooms, exercise room, craft room, wine cellar, & so much more! It is currently offered for sale by the Thomas Riddle Real Estate Group for $1,225,000


Main Floor Features

Grand foyer with 2-story ceilings, elegant carpeted stair and custom arched window.

Light-filled living room with wood-burning marble fireplace, built-in cabinetry and French doors leading to grand terrace.
Den / Office with fireplace
Family Room with fireplace

Elegant formal dining room with original oak wood paneling, built-in leaded glass cabinetry, tiled fireplace and bay window.

Completely renovated (in 2006) gourmet chef’s kitchen offers one-of-a-kind Lebanese mosaic marble-tiled flooring, custom island with built-in breakfast table and prep area, white Carrara marble countertops, porcelain apron-front sink, Sub-Zero refrigerator/freezer & Wolf gas stove with double oven, walk-in pantry, wet bar with wine cooler and ice machine, desk work station and adjacent laundry room.

Kitchen

First Upper Level

Wonderfully spacious master suite with seating area, fireplace, French doors leading to a private balcony and striking tiled bath with glass shower, dual marble vanities, walk-in closet, and laundry closet.

Master suite with seating area
Master bathroom with marble vanities

The second floor features four spacious bedrooms with private bathrooms, large closets and fireplaces.

Upstairs Bedroom with En-Suite
Upstairs Bedroom

Second Upper Level

Billards Room
Media Room

Lower Level

Completely finished and renovated in 2006.

Exercise Room
Studio / Workshop
Walk-in Wine Cellar

Exterior

  • Beautiful 14 acres with panoramic views of the surrounding countryside.
  • Lots of space to relax, play and entertain on the sprawling, covered wrap-around porches, veranda, and gently-rolling grounds.
  • Four-car detached garage with extra storage.
  • 25-car paved parking lot and motor court.
Panoramic views of the surrounding countryside
Courtyard with access to the kitchen & lower level
Veranda leading to the four-car garage
Garage and motor court

Searching for a Smaller Home? Here are the Top Tips for Downsizing

Downsizing can be a great choice for homeowners looking to make a financial or lifestyle change. After all, a smaller amount of space means less money on utility bills and less stress from clutter.

Are you a recent empty-nester? Moving for financial reasons? Or maybe you’ve watched a few episodes of Tidying Up with Marie Kondo and feel inspired?  No matter your motivation, you’re not alone—downsizing has become an increasingly popular trend for homeowners everywhere.

If you’re making the move to a smaller place, here are the top tips for a Marie Kondo-style downsizing experience.

Know What You Have

A suitcase filled with random belongings.Walk through your house room by room, and make a detailed list of your belongings. A helpful tip for keeping track? If you aren’t in a rush to downsize, take note of each item and how often you use it over the course of a few weeks or a month. That way, you learn exactly what you’d miss most and what you could go without.

Some downsizers use a color-coded sticker system, some jot notes in a notebook, and some just sort things into piles. Find the method that works best for you, and go from there.

…And What You Don’t Need

A row of clothes hanging in a closet.Once you’ve found out what items aren’t essentials, it’s time to toss them out. Try to focus on things like duplicate items, such as more than one kitchen utensil, and large collections that have accumulated over the years. To paraphrase the aforementioned organizing consultant Marie Kondo: keep the things that spark joy….but get rid of the rest.

There are plenty of great options for rehoming your unwanted items. Try making a little extra money by selling online, donating things to a good cause, or giving items to friends and family.

Maximize Your Space

A built-in wall shelf with small trinkets.When your overall amount of space goes down, you’re required to think of ways to use what you have more efficiently. Storage gadgets such as wall racks, built-in shelves, and pull-out cabinets can tuck belongings out of the way and give you a surprising amount of real estate to work with.

You might also have some furniture that can do double duty. Lots of kitchen or coffee tables either come with or can be customized to include drawers underneath, and bed frames are great for hiding away sliding storage units.

Measure, Measure, Measure

Measuring tape and two rulers laying on a white surface.Hopefully, you’ll have a solid idea of the space you’ll be moving into—at least as far as square footage goes—so you’ll know exactly how much room you have for all of your belongings.

Once you know the size of your space, break out the measuring tape, and take note of the dimensions of the furniture you’re bringing along. The last thing you want is to haul your couch all the way to your new home only to discover that it doesn’t fit in the living room.

Ready to Make a Move?

We know that paring down your possessions can be tough, and moving comes with a wide range of emotions. Try taking pictures of the things you’ll miss most, so you can keep the memories around in your new space.

Once you’re ready to get started on your new home search, give our team a call. With years of local experience and a wide range of professional expertise, we’re here to make sure your real estate experience is successful and stress-free.

Make Buyers Fall in Love with Your Home with These Easy Staging Tips

Love is in the air! We’re not talking about Valentine’s Day — we mean all of the buyers falling in love with your home thanks to these easy staging tips. From simple DIY projects to decor and decluttering pointers, these effortless staging tips will wow the next buyers that step through your front door.

Clean, Clean, Clean

A woman mopping her kitchen floor.The single most important step for staging success? Clean. Break out those rubber gloves and scrub every corner, crack, and crevice that you can find. Not only will a clean home convey to buyers that you take good care of your space, but it’ll also ensure less work and fewer problems when they move in.

The home-staging cleaning process is more than just regular vacuuming, dusting, mopping, and scrubbing; you’ll need to go the extra mile. We’re talking waxing the floors, deep cleaning the carpets, polishing all of the handles and doorknobs, and more. Make an extensive list, and devote a whole weekend to tidying up.

Tackle Any Unfinished Projects

A toolbelt on a roofDo you have a notoriously leaky faucet that you haven’t gotten around to fixing, or a stain on the floor that you’ve been covering with a rug? Now is the time to take care of it.

Take an inventory of any unfinished projects you’ve accumulated. Whether it’s repairing a lighting fixture or patching a hole in the roof, ticking off pending projects is critical in the staging process. The last thing a buyer wants is to inherit problems from a home that they could’ve avoided.

Try Small-Scale DIY

A man rolling a paint roller in a tray of yellow paintYou don’t have to add an extra room or install an in-ground pool to make your home stick out to buyers. There are plenty of simple and affordable DIY projects, from decor improvements to easy upgrades and repairs, that’ll make your home pop!

Need some ideas to kickstart the process? Try putting a fresh coat of paint on the walls, replacing outdated lighting, upgrading cabinet handles and doorknobs, or de-popcorning your ceiling — just a few of the many easy ways to elevate your home’s look.

De-personalize and De-clutter

A row of succulents against a white wall.While decorating plays a big role in catching a buyer’s eye, there’s a fine line between standing out and overdoing it. While you might like your style of decorating, buyers could find it off-putting, so keeping it neutral is key. Using house plants and seasonal greenery is always a solid option for filling empty space!

While you’re putting up that new decor, you’ll want your space to be clutter-free and open. If you have any old couches, outdated decorations, or unnecessary accent pieces, take the opportunity to get rid of them before showings start.

List Your Home with Local Experts

From helping you get your DIY on to handling the complicated closing paperwork, our team is dedicated to helping you have a successful and stress-free real estate experience.

Are you ready to get started on your selling journey? Don’t hesitate to give our team of local experts a call today!

The Pros & Cons of a Buyer’s Letter: Standing Out in a Busy Market

Imagine, after weeks of searching, that you’ve finally found your dream home. It’s in the perfect location with the right features and exactly the amount of space you need. But after requesting more information, your agent informs you that there are already several offers made on the house. How do you stand out in a busy market and snag your dream home?

When buyers are looking to make a lasting impression on sellers, they often opt to submit a letter to the seller. In fact, a recent study found that buyers who submitted letters were 9% more likely to have their offer accepted.

A Buyer’s Letter can work both with you and against you, so it’s important to understand what they are and when you should use one.

What is a Buyer’s Letter?

A man typing on a laptopA Buyer’s Letter is pretty much what it sounds like — a letter written by the buyer for the seller in order to stand out in a busy market. The letter is your chance to make a case for why you should get the home over other buyers.

Many people opt to write about how they envision their lives in the home, how well they would take care of it, how much owning this specific home would mean to them, and similar sentiments.

You might also use this space to talk yourself up, bringing up steady finances, your down payment, and job security — things geared towards making the seller confident in choosing you.

Advantages of a Buyer’s Letter

A man and a woman shaking handsA Buyer’s Letter sets you apart from the crowd and makes you more than just an offer on a sheet of paper — it allows you to connect with the seller on a personal level. In a constantly growing and changing market, being able to stand out or connect puts you a big step ahead of other buyers.

Is the home close to a golf course? Does the seller have bikes in their garage? Are there signs of pets in the home? If you notice you have common interests, including them in the Buyer’s Letter can elevate your standing.

When you choose to forgo a Buyer’s Letter, you miss out on the chance to advocate for yourself, which can go a long way in the seller’s final decision.

Disadvantages of a Buyer’s Letter

A woman writing in a notebook. While there are plenty of pros to using a Buyer’s Letter, there are also pitfalls to consider. Making your case is great, but it does give the seller leverage. If you really love the house as much as you say, then what’s to stop the seller from raising the asking price?

Maybe the seller accepts your offer, and you move to the home inspection stage. If issues turn up, then the seller might refuse to make costly repairs, assuming that you’ll buy the house no matter what.

Another unexpected con of a buyer’s letter? It can be tricky for sellers to navigate around discrimination issues. If a seller picks a buyer of a certain race, religion, gender, or family status instead of another, they could face backlash. Be aware of this when writing your letter so as to not put the seller in an uncomfortable position.

Need Help Standing Out?

If you’re kicking off the home-buying process and need help standing out, we’ve got you covered. Get in touch with us today, and we’ll help you secure your dream home, and answer any and all of your questions in the process.