Tag Archives: homes

A Guide to Choosing the Right Patio Furniture

Patio Furniture

Adding patio furniture to your outdoor area is the perfect way to extend your livable space. With warm weather upon us, we put together a breakdown of the most popular outdoor furniture materials and the benefits of each.

Wicker: You might think of wicker as a material, but the term wicker actually refers to the weaving method used to make this furniture. Wicker can be made from a few different materials such as bamboo, straw, or rattan, but it is common to see wicker furniture made from synthetic plastic as well.

Organic materials like rattan are susceptible to breaking down and unraveling if exposed to harsh elements, and as a result, natural wicker furniture is not the best choice for outdoor furniture. On the other hand, synthetic wicker furniture is typically made of PVC, nylon or polyethylene materials, creating a durable material that can handle all of the seasons and one that is lightweight and easy to clean.

Synthetic wicker is UV resistant which means that you will not have to worry about your patio furniture cracking or fading out in the sun. Polyethylene also has great heat resistance and is able to withstand 230 degrees Fahrenheit continuously.

Teak: Teak is a natural wood found in Asian countries like Thailand, Sri Lanka, Indonesia and Myanmar. What separates Teak from other types of wood are the natural oils that remain in the wood after it is cut down. These natural oils protect and strengthen the wood, and as a result, teak furniture can last for many years and require little to no maintenance. The natural durability of teak makes it a great choice for high quality outdoor furniture that will last through every season.

Yellow Pine: Southern Yellow Pine originates in the Southeastern portion of the United States. This wood has some of the highest density properties of any pines, making it a sturdy choice for outdoor benches and seats. The abundance of yellow pine throughout the Southeastern United States makes this a cost-effective choice for wood patio furniture.

Another benefit of yellow pine is its high weight density, making it a strong and impact resistant. With a density between 50-55 lbs. /cubic foot when treated, this wood will be able to hold up to any demanding activities on your patio.

Recycled Plastic: If environmental protection is a priority, then recycled plastic might be your top choice for patio furniture. Recycled plastic furniture options include tables, chairs and benches, and the recycled plastic “lumber” used to make this furniture is designed to have the look and feel of real wood. This furniture is versatile in design and can fit any aesthetic that you are looking for, whether you want a wood grain look or a bright pink chair.

One type of this recycled material is Marine Grade Polymer, or MGP. This polymer is a plastic that is manufactured to last on boats, docks, and other environments where direct sunlight is constantly a factor, and as a result it is designed to not warp, rot, swell, or splinter when exposed to sunlight, humidity, or water.
Cast Aluminum: The sturdiness and longevity of cast aluminum make it a great fit for outdoor patio furniture. Cast aluminum is not prone to rust so it can be a great option for those who live in areas with high humidity or exposure to salt water. The construction of cast aluminum makes the material solid to the core, resulting in an extremely durable and long lasting product.

Additionally, aluminum and cast aluminum furniture can often have a powder coated finish, which helps protect against corrosion and color fading in adverse climates.

Steel: Steel is the heaviest of all the metals, so if you are one to constantly rearrange your furniture, it may not be for you, though the weight of steel furniture makes it extremely durable. Steel and other metal furniture (besides aluminum) can be at risk for developing rust, so some annual maintenance may be necessary, but few can argue that a nice steel furniture set can really create a beautiful outdoor space.

Worth noting is that steel, aluminum, and other metals can become very hot when exposed to direct sunlight, so they may not be the best choice in very sunny environments.

It is important to choose the furniture material that best reflects your style and your environment. Different materials have different benefits, but ultimately choosing furniture with a higher quality construction will result in longer lasting enjoyment.
This information was provided by Chris Dietrich, a furniture specialist with Patio Living. For more information on outdoor furniture and patio designs, visit patioliving.com.

More Holiday Fun in the New Albany, Ohio Area!

Are you a New Albany resident who is entertaining out-of-town family members for the holidays? Are you wondering how you’re going to entertain them throughout their stay?

No worries! We’ve compiled a list of upcoming holiday events in the area that are sure to be fun for the entire family.

Continue reading to learn more!

Enjoy These Holiday Events This Week

Here are just some of the many family-friendly events going on in the New Albany, Ohio area this month:

Holiday Glassblowing Workshop: Bring the entire family and make a colorful, blown glass ornament together!  A professional gaffer will be on site to help out and no experience is necessary.  Ages 16 and up can participate.

  • When: Now through December 28
  • Where: Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens
  • Admission: $54 to $65
  • More Info: Call (614) 645-8733

Holidays at the Zoo: Enjoy a holiday light show presented by American Electric Power at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium.  Residents can also meander through the zoo to enjoy holiday decorations throughout.

  • When: Now through Jan. 1
  • Where: Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, 4850 W. Powell Rd. in Powell
  • Admission: Adults $14. Seniors $10. Children 2-9 $9.
  • More Info: Call 614-645-3550

Scrooge Performance: Bring the family to watch this holiday classic, in which a curmudgeon is visited by the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future.

  • When: Now through December 26
  • Where: Shadowbox Live, 503 S. Front St, Columbus, 43215
  • Admission: Adults $30. Students and seniors $20.
  • More Info: Call 614-416-7625

Celebrate Kwanzaa: Teach your children about different cultures by taking them to this Kwanzaa celebration,  which originated in Africa.  This event features authentic African cuisine, dancing and drumming.  Visitors can even purchase authentic African jewelry here.

  • When: December 28
  • Where: The King Arts Complex, 867 Mt. Vernon Avenue, Columbus
  • Admission: $5 to $15
  • More Info: Call 614-645-0642

Listing Your New Albany Home for Sale

We hope you get a chance to check out one of these holiday events in the New Albany area.  If you do, please let us know what you thought of it!

And we hope you have a wonderful holiday celebration with your friends and loved ones.

If after the New Year you decide that it’s time for a change and you’re ready to sell your New Albany home, contact us, Kate & Tony Thomas. 

We’ll be happy to help you navigate the New Albany  real estate market by offering you our exclusive home marketing plan as well as other home selling tools such as:

Until next time,

Kate & Tony

Franklin County Property Appraisals Released Today

Check your mail for your new home valuation!

We know property values have fallen since the last county-wide appraisals were done in 2005 but just how much?  You’ll know soon.  The Franklin County Auditor’s office is mailing the new valuations today!  It’s unprecedented and will be interesting to see what they look like.  While the auditor reports that Franklin County property values are down 6.7% from 2005, I expect to see a deeper decline in the New Albany valuations.

What if you don’t agree with the new valuation?

If you disagree with the new value established by the Franklin County auditor, you can present your case directly to county appraisers at informal value reviews held around the county beginning August 31st.  For a complete list of dates and locations for these meetings, visit the Franklin County Auditor site.  The New Albany community meeting will be held on September 8th at the Church of the Resurrection Ministry Center at 6300 E Dublin Granville Road in New Albany from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Contact Kate or Tony if you have any real estate questions would like us to provide local market information to help you prepare for your meeting.   Good luck!

Visit www.NewAlbanyOhio.com to search the MLS and get up-to-date New Albany and Franklin County real estate information.

Homes For Sale in New Albany at a 2 Year Low

The number of single family homes for sale in New Albany, OH reached a new low in February falling 34% from the same time in 2009.  There are currently 168 homes for sale in New Albany Plain Local School District versus 207 in February, 2010 and 256 in February, 2009.  The following neighborhoods have reduced inventories from the same time 2009.  Some declines are more significant than others. 

New Albany Homes For Sale Feb 2011, 2010 & 2009

Does a low inventory make it a good time to sell your home?   

The answer is “Yes”.  The timing of when to put your home on the market is a common question.  The spring market is approaching and traditionally we see more buyers during March – June than we do at any other time of the year.  There are always buyers looking for great homes in a great communities and New Albany has both!  Contact katet@newalbanyrealty.com to confidentially discuss placing your home on the market this spring and to address any questions you may have about market trends in your specific neighborhood. 

Stay informed by subscribing to our monthly marketing report from Altos Research.

New Albany Real Estate Market Improves for 2010

Three Key Metrics All Positive

A look at a few key metrics tell the story.  New Albany real estate is on the rebound.  While first portion of 2010 was driven by tax incentives and first time home buyers, we really just “borrowed” future sales from July and Aug to hit the June 30th deadline.  We were really pretty flat through mid 3rd Quarter 2010.  Then we had a good finish and pushed ahead of 2009 in these important areas:

Traffic & Sales…Up

 

 

In 2010, 302 homes closed in New Albany vs 272 the previous year.

Median Sale Price …Up

 

The median sales price for homes sold in New Albany increaded from $283,000 in 2009 to $308,000 in 2010.

Median Days on Market…Down

.

The median home in New Albany was on the market for 88 days in 2010 – in 2009, it was on the market 104 days.

So what’s all this mean to me?

Well if you are a Buyer trying to time the market (if you can do this, let me and my financial advisor know asap) we may well be seeing the bottom.  If you are a Seller, you may be encouraged that the worst may be behind us.  In any event, if you want to buy or sell a New Albany home, now is the time and Kate & Tony are the ones to help.  Let us show you how Kate & Tony’s service and results make them the market leaders in New Albany Real estate.

P.S. You can also just search the MLS yourself to see how your home compares…

New Albany, OH Market Update

Year to Date Results through 6/30/2010

The first half of 2010 results are in and the New Albany real estate market continues to show some signs of improvement.  Unit sales in every New Albany neighborhood are up over 2009.  Sales in the total New Albany school district are up 41% over the same time last year.  The 137 homes sold in New Albany are a marked improvement but a far cry from our peak in 2005 where 188 homes sold in the first half of the year.  Average $ per sq ft of the homes sold slid ~5% over the same period as last year.

Will the New Albany sales trend continue?

The home buyer tax credit definitely created some business into the first half of the year.  It’s a little early to know if we just moved business from 3rd and 4th quarter into the first half of the year.  We will track it closely.  Hopefully, interest rates at the lowest level they have been since these rates have been tracked will help keep homes selling.  There are some great homes available for sale.  Don’t let these historic rates pass you by. 

If you are considering a move or want to understand the changes that have taken place in your neighborhood, ask Kate & Tony, New Albany’s best source for real estate information.  The chart below shows the New Albany sales results by neighborhood for the first half of 2010. 

New Albany 2010 Year To Date Recap through 6/30/2010      
               
Neighborhood Active In Sold Sold YTD Sold YTD Ave Ave
  Listings Contract June’10 2010 2009 $/Sq Ft DOM
The Preserve 13 2 4 15 13 $104 80
Albany Park 3 2 2 $114 40
Windsor 8 5 1 8 5 $103 84
Hampsted 22 7 3 13 9 $115 80
NA Links 45 7 2 16 13 $109 166
New-CCollege* 5 3 2 4 $133 474
NACC < $1M** 62 11 11 38 32 $149 148
NACC > $1M 33 2 3 10 6 $205 259
Tot Plain Local              
School District 252 40 36 137 97 $120 137
               
*    Includes Tidewater, Saunton, Enclave and Wentworth      
**  Includes NACC and The Reserve          

 

We Give Thanks for Hopeful Real Estate News

GoodNewsLawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, presented the NAR Forecast for 2010 real estate at the annual conference held in San Diego in November.  His projections included the following good news:  13.6% increase in the sale of existing homes as well as a return to positive growth in home values as inventory levels continue to decline.

Although real estate markets vary widely from community to community and his forecast is a national one, we hope his projections will hold true for our local market in Columbus, Ohio.  I for one am ready for some good news to share.

New Albany Market Supports Projection

Unit sales of existing homes in New Albany, Ohio for the trailing 3 months (September, October, November)  supports one of the projections made by Mr. Yun.  2009 Unit sales for those 3 months are up 20% over the same time in 2008.  As reported in our November eNewsletter, inventory levels are down almost 15% over last year so hopefully, the sales prices will begin to stabilize and New Albany will begin to see positive growth in prices going forward.

Now is the time to consider your goals for real estate in 2010.  If you are thinking about a larger home, a smaller home, or a move out of the area, please contact Tony or me to discuss your plans and how we can help you achieve your goals.

Did The $8000 Tax Credit Help The New Albany Real Estate Market?

kateblog

With the $8,000 tax credit for 1st time home buyers about to expire on November 30th, I was expecting to see a lot more  New Albany homes for sale and Columbus homes for sale going into contract.  When the tax credit was announced, the experts thought it would jump start the housing market.  From my vantage point, there has been little “trickle up” effect seen in New Albany Ohio real estate.

Usually when one home sells, the seller buys another home, and the seller of that home buys another home and it goes on up the line with buyers trading up or down to different homes.  What has actually happened is that a large number of the buyers who have taken advantage of the tax credit have purchased NEW homes which means there is no ripple effect following the sale of that home.  The builders have moved a lot of spec inventory but the resale market remains unchanged.

New Tax Credit Being Considered

A bill was introduced in the Senate to extend and EXPAND the home buyer incentives.  It’s targeted at the “move up market” which was what was missing from the current incentive.  The passage of this bill is what I think will finally launch a recovery of the entire housing market.
The proposal being would extend a $15,000 tax credit to anyone who purchases a home through the end of next year.  A recent Moody’s Economy.com analysis suggests that the $15,000 credit would result in the sale of an additional 675,000 nationally – New Albany, Ohio and the Greater Columbus area would surely see the number of homes sold as well and, hopefully, a gradual return of some of the home equity that was lost during the past several years.  Stay tuned or contact Kate & Tony for any updates on the bill.

Until next time,

Kate

On-Line Home Value Sites Can Be Misleading

We recently did a market analysis for a prospective seller in New Albany.  They were surprised that my actual analysis was different from the one they got using an on-line valuation service.   Zillow.com and Cyberhomes.com are two sites that will generate a suggested market value of your home using computer models.  We find their results to be very hit or miss.

These programs cannot take into consideration the location of a home within the neighborhood or any advantages/disadvantages that a lot has.  It does not consider condition or improvements an owner has made.  The results can be really off if there aren’t enough comparables in the area from which to pull.

While these sites can provide a general overview of a neighborhood, I recommend that you consult a licensed full-time REALTOR™ who is a specialist in your neighborhood for an opinion of value.  A good REALTOR™ knows the “nuances” of the homes for sale, in contract, and homes that have sold.  They will give you the best possible estimate of the value for your home in today’s market.   

Tony and I specialize in all the neighborhoods of New Albany – please contact us if we can assist you with a market analysis of your home. 

Get Your New Albany Home Sold…Now!

It Takes Location, Condition and Price to Sell a Home! Selling a home in today’s market is challenging to say the least. In the past, you could overcome a less desirable location with a great price. You used to be able to overcome dated condition/décor with a great location and floor plan. And occasionally, a home in a great location and superior condition would sell for more than one might have predicted. But not today.

Today’s buyers want it all – a great location, excellent condition and a price that is too good to resist! There is enough inventory on the market that a buyer will pass on a home with wallpaper, a dated kitchen, or flooring in need of replacement. Most buyers will not even look at a home that they perceive to be priced unrealistically. To a buyer, an overpriced home indicates an unmotivated seller.

Price is still the key but the location and condition part of the equation are factors that must also be considered when setting the asking price. Currently, there are more homes than buyers for those homes. When Tony and I are determining the best possible price for a home, we will identify the 3 homes that offer the most competition and then recommend that the home be priced in front of them. We do not want to “test the market” or “follow the market down.” Rather, we want to “lead the market.

This pricing strategy doesn’t guarantee that a house will be the next home sold but it sure will increase the likelihood of it being shown to potential buyers. It has to be shown to sell. Once you have an offer, you can accept, counter or reject it. But at least having an offer, puts you (the seller) in charge.

Find out how actual selling prices compare to listing prices in your neighborhood by getting an instant MLS Market Snapshot.

New Albany Neighborhoods