February Design Corner

Kitchen Remodels

  • Kitchen renovations can vary from small improvements to full-blown remodels.
  • The top choices for cabinet colors are white and gray. 
  • A contrasting accent color in a kitchen can make the space pop.

The kitchen remains the home’s command center and has stepped up to be the family room, office, classroom, and more. Whether you choose to do a simple yet powerful upgrade or a full-blown remodel, you will enjoy the benefits of a fresh new space.  

Homeowners are focusing on function and storage, upgraded cabinets (new or painted), countertops, sinks, faucets, appliances, tile backsplash to the ceiling, statement lighting, cabinet hardware, mixed metals, large windows for more natural light, custom vent hoods, and flooring (wood, luxury vinyl planks, or tile).

The top choices for cabinet colors remain white and gray. However, wood is enjoying a bit of a revival with medium wood tones of subtle-grained ash, paler than oak or walnut to add a rustic charm. Throw the rule book out of the window in favor of unexpected paint-color pairings. Many people choose a contrasting accent color for their kitchen island, upper cabinets, and lower cabinets. Blue or green paired with white are the top color choices for this combo. One of our favorites is Sherwin Williams Dried Thyme and Pure White. 

Photo of recent remodel with Pure White upper cabinets and Dried Thyme lower cabinets.

Before

Refine & Design is an interior styling and home staging company dedicated to making your space functional and beautiful. Refine & Design provides affordable, practical, and creative solutions personalized to fit your taste and lifestyle. You can call or email them at 614-296-9800 info@refineanddesignhome.com

If you need any other design tips or recommendations, don’t hesitate to reach us at info@thomasriddle.com. We work with trusted professionals to give you the best quality for the best prices!

February Handy Homeowner Tip

Carbon Monoxide Sensors

  • Carbon monoxide is a silent danger that many don’t realize until it’s too late.
  • Carbon monoxide is a poisonous gas that kills more than 400 Americans every year.
  • CO sensors should be placed on every floor of your home and low to the ground.

Winter weather means staying cozy at home, but that also means the potential dangers of keeping your home warm. Carbon monoxide is a silent danger that many don’t realize until it’s too late. Due to Texas’s hazardous weather, we’ve heard plenty of horror stories on CO poisonings this season. To protect yourself and your family, we’ve gathered tips on keeping your home safe every year.

We recommend having a carbon monoxide sensor on every floor of your home. A common mistake people make is mounting them high. However, carbon monoxide is heavier than oxygen and will be easier detected close to the ground. The best ones we recommend are the ones you plug into walls, so you don’t have to replace them often. 

The CDC recommends having your heating system, water heater, and any other gas, oil, or coal-burning appliances serviced by a qualified technician every year. Carbon monoxide is an odorless and colorless gas; therefore, it can be hard to detect but having sensors is an easy way to protect yourself and your family. 
If you want more information on our homeowner tips please don’t hesitate to reach out at info@thomasriddle.com. We can recommend local professional services around Central Ohio for all your needs!

Brewdog Opening in New Albany

Summary

  • Brewdog will open its fourth location in New Albany this year.
  • The brewery is expected to have a total of 8,600 sq ft of restaurant space

This month, the Scottish brewery, Brewdog, announced their new location is coming to New Albany this summer. Taking over the former New Albany Mill Building, the new brewery will have a total of 8,600 square feet, 6,900 square feet of indoor restaurant space, and 1,645 square feet for a covered patio – perfect for the summer weather.

The famous Columbus craft brewer will have various amenities like indoor and outdoor fireplaces, jumbo games, and an interactive beer school. The New Albany location will be the company’s fourth brewpub in Central Ohio. Other sites include BrewDog DogTap in Canal Winchester, BrewDog Franklinton, and Brewdog Short North. The new space will open in the spring or summer of 2021. We can’t wait to add this new spot to our town!

Courtesy of Brewdog

If you have any questions about the current active listings in New Albany email us at info@thomasriddle.com or call us at 614-939-1234!

Rob’s February Update

Summary

  • The current real estate market is experiencing constrained inventory.
  • 3 things to include in a winning offer in multiple-offer situations.
  • Sellers should work with experienced agents to yield top-dollar for their homes.

Current Market

Currently, the real estate market is experiencing a constrained inventory, with more buyers entering the marketplace every week. We continue to see multiple offer situations at every price point. Since the pandemic first began, we’ve had an unprecedented market. Historically, the market has had a predictable cadence, and we know that inventory tends to open up as the weather breaks. We hope that trend continues this year. 

Tips for Buyers

In this competitive market, it’s critical you work with an experienced and knowledgeable agent. At Thomas | Riddle, we’re fortunate to have the exposure of 100+ transactions annually that help us come out on top in multiple offer situations. We have real-time information on what offers win because we work on both sides of the transaction. 

Due to the constrained market, we’ve seen an increase in multiple offer situations on homes. If you’re in a “bidding war,” we recommend these 3 things to include in your offer: 

1. Over list – by this, we mean that your offer should be over the seller’s asking price

2. In your offer, agree to purchase the home as-is (with rights to inspection)

3. Appraisal gap coverage – in the event the appraised value is below the agreed-upon purchase price, the buyer will bring additional funds to closing to make the seller hold

Multiple offer situations can seem complicated and tricky to navigate, but being an established top team in Central Ohio, our ultimate goal is to aid our clients every step of the way. Regardless of the price point, sound advice and experience are more critical than ever in this competitive environment.

Tips for Sellers

The current market is one of the best markets, if not THE best market we have ever seen for Central Ohio sellers. However, it’s important to remember that your home must be well prepared for the market and priced correctly to yield top dollar. There is a misguided tendency in a seller’s market to overprice a home or not prepare a home appropriately for the market in hopes that the low inventory/high demand will overcome those misgivings. It doesn’t. While we’re in a high market, taking advice from experienced realtors is still essential.

In a hot market, your biggest enemy is days on the market. Sellers should remember that along with a hot market comes new challenges with regards to becoming stigmatized. If your home is mispriced or unprepared and sits on the market for a couple of weeks, it will become stigmatized, and you will ultimately yield less. A couple of weeks in a hot market is like a hundred days in a regular market. Whether you’re trying to sell your home or buy Thomas | Riddle is here to help our clients through every step of the transaction. 

Columbus Housing Shortage

The Columbus housing market is experiencing a shortage of homes. We have several qualified buyers looking for a new place to call home. It’s never too early to chat about your real estate options for 2021.


Whether you’re downsizing or you’re looking for more space, reach out by emailing anyone on our team or giving us a call at (614) 939-1234. We really look forward to hearing from YOU!

Personal

February has been a big month for Thomas | Riddle, with homes quickly selling on the market every week. However, we still try to make time for family. A tradition Johnna and I have for Valentine’s Day is that we spend it with family. Every year we get together with Johnna’s siblings and their spouses, and we enjoy food, drinks, and games while our kids are with their grandparents. It’s a great way to make a hallmark holiday special for us. 

Taylor Farm Park

  • New Albany City Council approved spending on the 100-acre park at the junction of Harlem Road and Dublin-Granville Road
  • Taylor Farm Park is expected to be done by the end of 2021

This month, New Albany City Council approved spending on the 100-acre park. Phase 1 of the plan includes 3.5 miles of multi-purpose trails, seating areas, parking, and landscaping. 

Additionally, the council for the city of New Albany approved spending $500,000 through The Clean Ohio Conservation Program Fund to develop and improve phase 1. The park is expected to be done by the end of the year. 

In This Week Community News, Adrienne Joly, director of administrative services for the city, said, “it’s a very scenic piece of ground. It’s big enough that it will feel like a Metro Park that it will have woodland areas, open areas, and wetlands.” 

Currently, on the property, there is a barn and farmhouse. It is unclear whether the city will choose to preserve it.

Taylor Farm Park will also give more outdoor opportunities for the New Albany community. Located at 5526 Dublin-Granville Road, the park will be close to New Albany’s Market District. Park-goers will be able to enjoy the amenities of Market District thanks to its proximity.

Courtesy of The City of New Albany

If you have any questions about the current active land listings in New Albany email us at info@thomasriddle.com!

January Design Corner

  • Maria Bonaventura of Refine & Design says the top decor trend for 2021 is earthy, organic palettes and textures.
  • Sherwin Williams 2021 Color of the Year, Urbane Bronze, is perfect for interior and exterior projects as the primary color or accent color.

As many people spent more time indoors throughout 2020, not only were they craving more comfort — they were also forced to reimagine their spaces to meet the demands of their new lifestyle.

Whether that called for creating a functional home office, designing a multipurpose room for a Zoom meeting, or remote learning, just about every area of a home likely required a refresh.

A top home decor trend for 2021 is earthy, organic palettes and textures. For example, lots of wood finishes, mixed metals, rattan, camel color, and deep hues like Sherwin Williams 2021 Color of the Year, Urbane Bronze. This color is perfect for interior and exterior projects as the primary color or accent color. Pair it with warm neutrals and bone whites to create an updated take on minimalism.

  • Maria Bonaventura, Founder of Refine & Design

Refine & Design is an interior styling and home staging company dedicated to making your space functional and beautiful. Refine & Design provides affordable, practical, and creative solutions personalized to fit your taste and lifestyle. You can call or email them at 614-296-9800 info@refineanddesignhome.com

If you need any other design tips or recommendations, don’t hesitate to reach us at info@thomasriddle.com. We work with trusted professionals to give you the best quality for the best prices!

January Handy Homeowner Tip

  • It is important to burn 1 good, hot fire a year to maintain your fireplace 
  • When using a fireplace, do not burn softwoods that may cause creosote buildup inside the chimney

Our Handy Homeowner Tip of the month is all about fireplaces. We know Santa has already come and gone from your fireplaces and chimneys but keeping them in shape for next year is important.

If you have a true mason fireplace, like most in New Albany, it is important to burn 1 good, hot fire a year. Not using your fireplace every year can compromise the fire brick inside of the chimney. Burning one fire a year dries out the masonry and prevents cracks from forming in the mortar joints. Cracks inside your fireplace are very costly, upwards of $4,000 to repair. You can save yourself quite a lot of money if you turn on the gas log, gas starter and build one fire a year to really dry it out in the wintertime, especially as we go into these colder months.

If you plan on burning a lot of fires, you should be sure to have your chimney checked out annually. We advise you not to burn pine or any softwoods, only hardwoods. Sap in softwood is what causes creosote on the inside of the chimney and will catch on fire. A common cause of house fires is the creosote build up inside chimneys due to using bad wood. For chimney cleaning services, we recommend Whempys or Blackburn’s Chimney Service.

If you need another professional service please don’t hesitate to reach out at info@thomasriddle.com. We work with the same trusted people time and time again because they do quality work for great prices!

Rob’s January Update

Summary

  • Every month, we hope to bring clients up to date on Thomas | Riddle through casual conversations. If you have any questions you want to be answered, please email info@thomasriddle.com and we hope to answer them in next month’s issue.
  • Rob Riddle talks about the unpredictability of the pandemic on business.
  • The real estate market saw a spring market shift to the fall post stay-at-home order.
  • Thomas | Riddle hopes to continue to grow the team in 2021.

Looking Back on the Market

Business in 2020 was unpredictable. The team was off like a cannon at the beginning of the year. We were on a great pace for a record-shattering year, and then with the pandemic, there was a pretty significant interruption to our second quarter. Ultimately, people were home long enough to decide that their house was too big, too small, they needed more yard, less yard, etc., and that caused the housing market to be strong.

A different trend we saw this past year was a Spring market shift to the Fall due to the stay-at-home order. Typically, the Spring market is a fiercely competitive market because you have two subsets of buyers competing for limited inventory. The Spring is the perfect storm for selling, where you have carryover buyers from winter that didn’t find their home, went dormant during the holidays, and then you have this new subset of buyers that decided during the holidays that they want to move.

There is an influx of buyers that come to me in mid-February and are ready to hit the ground running. However, many sellers are thinking, ‘I’m not going to put my home on the market until Spring.’ In reality, February or March is probably the best time of the year to list.

We saw this same thing happen after the stay-at-home order. That period was almost a “false winter” where people were forced inside and put their searches on hold. Though we still had a strong market because another subset of people decided that they need more room or less room. It may have been unpredictable, but the team was prepared to handle all aspects of the change. 

In the end, I’m proud of our team and how we handled business during the pandemic. As a business owner, you’re faced with many challenging decisions. At the end of the day, we knew where our priorities were, and that was taking care of our team and keeping our clients safe.

Looking Forward in the Market

One way we plan on changing up our business this year is by bringing back the newsletter. The newsletter is a great way to stay in touch with our clients. We consider our clients to be friends, and it can be hard to keep in touch and give them regular updates on the company.

In 2021, I generally hope for health and happiness in our community. As for business, I hope to grow the team. As we begin this new year, we hope to strengthen our relationships with current clients while also building new relationships with the friends and neighbors they refer to us. 

Columbus is Experiencing a Shortage of Homes

The Columbus housing market is experiencing a shortage of homes. We have several qualified buyers looking for a new place to call home. It’s never too early to chat about your real estate options for 2021.

Whether you’re downsizing or you’re looking for more space, reach out by sending us an email at RobR@thomasriddle.com or giving us a call at (614) 578-4199. We really look forward to hearing from YOU!

Personal News

2020 was a challenging year all around. However, the best thing about 2020 was the arrival of our second son, Charlie. He’s a great joy, and I love watching Stanley, our two and a half-year-old, be a big brother. That is just something that I wasn’t anticipating, and it’s so fun to see how Stanley treats Charlie and interacts with him.

With two kids and running a business, it can be a challenge to balance both. However, my wife, Johnna, is so supportive of the demands of this business. Because our clients become friends, she wants the best outcome for them. She selflessly carries a lot of the parenting weight, allowing me to devote as much time as I do to our clients and their goals. 

Take care,

Rob Riddle

robr@thomasriddle.com

5 tips for Preparing Your Home for Sale – Holiday Edition.

It’s a good idea to take an objective look at your home to see what needs to be repaired or replaced. Your house will be scrutinized by potential buyers who won’t overlook smudges around the light switches, boxes stacked in the laundry room, or peeling paint on the backsplash. A spruced-up home makes a good first impression, which is essential for getting buyers to investigate further.

Ultimately, you want buyers to picture themselves living in your home. This means you will need to clear your home of all distractions, such as clutter and personal photos on the walls. Let us take you through the process.

1. Depersonalize

Did you know we offer a professional stager to advise you when you list with us?

Help buyers see themselves living in your home by removing personal items like photos and collections. You want the buyer to look at your home, not your possessions.

2. Neutralize

Neutral paint, décor, and carpeting create a home for any lifestyle. Neutralizing also helps buyers see their own things in your house and picture themselves living there. Eliminating distracting colors and accessories lets the buyer concentrate on positive impressions.

Recommended Paint Colors

3. Curb Appeal

Creating that excellent first impression of your home starts from the outside and can make or break a sale. If potential buyers don’t like what they see on the outside, chances are they won’t look any further, so make your home’s exterior look its best.


4. Deep Clean


Have your carpets cleaned professionally; if they are badly worn or stained, replace them. It’s a relatively inexpensive way to increase the appearance of your home.

4. Make all Necessary Repairs


Making repairs eliminates buyer objections before they arise. If you think something is too much trouble to fix, chances are the buyer will think so, too. Buyers tend to think repairs will cost more than they do. Don’t start any major renovations since it’s unlikely you will recoup the cost, but do repair leaky faucets, slow drains, torn screens, broken windows, and any other minor issues.

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 Neighborhoods