Posts Tagged ‘real estate’

U.S. Home Prices on the Rise

Posted on: August 15th, 2013 No Comments

National real estate trendsHome prices continue to climb on the national housing market, according to the most recent reports.

Real estate data specialist RealtyTrac recently revealed that property prices across the country are up 5 percent year-over-year.

Meanwhile, home sales are up 8 percent.

And the news just keeps getting better for national home sellers!

More Information on Recent National Housing Market Activity

RealtyTrac recently released a report that offered some encouraging figures for interested home sellers:

Keeping Our Eye on National Housing Market Trends

Just consider us your real estate market experts!

As more develops on the market, we’ll keep you posted on those trends and how they may affect home sellers.

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Building a Home – Raised Bed Gardens

Posted on: November 15th, 2012 No Comments

Early stages of a garden back home in Sidney, OH.

I grew up on a farm in a small town north of Cincinnati in Ohio called Sidney. Besides having cash crops like corn and soybeans, we had a garden for our own use. We used to eat sweet corn in the summer until we’d bust. When I moved to the city, I realized how I’d come to take fresh produce for granted. When Sara started coming home with me, we’d forage through my mom and dad’s garden looking for anything salvageable that they’d left behind. Now that we’d have our own place and enough space, we wanted to plan a garden. We decided to build several raised bed gardens because of the following advantages:

This soil is actually a 50%/50% mix of topsoil and compost (“garden mix”). Had we gotten the 100% compost, it may have been too strong for some plants to survive.

Our builder brought up the idea of installing the beds before we finished the house because once the sod and concrete sidewalks went down, there wouldn’t be a way to get a dump truck full of garden mix soil to the backyard without doing significant damage. We could have had the compost dumped in the front yard, but that would involve a LOT of trips with a wheelbarrow. So our planning started with the question of how much garden mix soil we would need. We had a little patch in our back yard that would serve as a good location and it measured about 30’x20′. A resource we had been using from the University of Florida extension in Miami Dade county (click here for the publication) recommended a planting depth of at least 8″. Using those three measurements, we figured we’d need about 400 cubic feet of garden mix, or about 15 cubic yards (“yards”). I decided to go with a little less and I’m glad I did: I failed to realize that raised beds can accommodate roughly twice the plant density of a regular garden because there are no walking paths. I ended up ordering 12 yards.*

The Lead Gardener screwing landscape timbers together. Timbers warp like crazy, so it’s best to use outdoor wood screws to hold them together.

Next came the question of what material to build the beds from. At $3 per piece, landscape timbers made the most sense. We were worried about the chemical treatment the timbers contained leaching into the soil and our food, so we lined the inside with a durable plastic. The first bed we made was 28’x4’x0.75″, which required about 24 landscape timbers. To prevent weeds from sprouting from under the newly laid garden beds, we put enough cardboard down to cover the entire 28’x4′ area. We then started to back fill the bed with the garden mix. The next two beds were 28’x4’x1′, requiring 32 timbers each (because we had ordered about 2 yards of garden mix too much, we decided to make the next two a little higher)**. We left about two feet between each of the beds as a walking space, hopefully enough space to fit crates of fresh vegetables!

Three raised bed gardens ready for planting!

We’re pretty happy with the final product. Sara is a little worried we’ll need to put out a bunch of plants to make full use of the space. I figure whatever we don’t use we can seed with flowers, but I’d rather have too much garden space than not enough.


*We got 12 yards of the garden mix delivered from Roberts Sand and Gravel for $450.

**There was a lot of additional work done to level the beds, way to much detail for the intention of this post. For more information on how to level your raised bed garden, send me an email or call me.

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Backup Offers

Posted on: July 25th, 2012 No Comments

Contracts for the sale of real estate can fall apart for any reason: financing, inspections, title flaws, and cold feet can all sink a deal. If you’re selling your home, make sure to tell your agent that you want to accept backup offers. This can save you time-on-market and provide leverage in negotiations.

A backup offer is an offer that comes in after another has already been accepted. There’s no limit to the number of backup offers in a transaction. The buyer and seller in a backup offer have no contractual obligation to one another until the primary offer has been terminated. The order of each backup offer is clearly stated in the contract (i.e. “Buyer acknowledges that Seller has entered into one or more contracts on this property prior to the execution of this contract. This contract will be in position number __”).

Why accept a backup offer? The majority of activity for a home occurs shortly after it’s listed. After about a month, activity declines significantly. If a home is on the market for a long period of time, it can become stigmatized. As a seller, it’s best to take full advantage of your home’s market freshness (I made that term up). By accepting backup offers, you can capture all that new interest in your home that may not be there in a couple months.

Another reason to accept backup offers is to provide leverage for negotiations with the primary offer. Buyers can often be unreasonable with what they’ll ask a seller to fix or pay for in contract negotiations. With no backup offer, the seller faces the prospect of putting their home back on the market and starting over if they don’t acquiesce to a buyer’s demands.  Having a backup offer in hand puts the seller in a much stronger position since they need just pick up the phone to put their other offers in play.

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