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Category: Ask The Agent

Interested in Career in Real Estate?

Interested in Career in Real Estate?

C.G. Boyce is Looking for New, Experienced Agents

Do you dream of taking ownership of your career?
Working hard and being rewarded when the project is complete?
Watching the “HGTV” real estate shows you think “I could do that.”
Well now is your chance. Real estate prices have escalated and so has the earning potential!

What is C.G. Boyce Real Estate Co. Looking For:

  1. Licensed or willing to become licensed to sell real estate in Ohio. Tuition assistance available.
  2. No felonies. Division of real estate rules.
  3. High school graduate, college preferred. A motivated learner that is willing to do things they don’t want to do is more important than education.
  4. Self starter. You wake up every day unemployed and the quicker you get “hired” the more opportunities to make money.
  5. Ethical. We are a family-owned, family-first company and believe strongly in treating customers better than family.

Who is C.G. Boyce Real Estate Co.?

C.G. Boyce Real Estate Co was founded in 2015 and serves clients from a diverse community including residential, commercial, investment and property management. Our president has worked with local, regional, national, independent and branded franchises in more than a decade in the industry and blended his experiences to create a unique selling environment.
Apply today by sending your resume and cover letter via e-mail to Broker and President Toby Boyce.
5 Tips to Keep Your Home Water Free This Winter!

5 Tips to Keep Your Home Water Free This Winter!

Dry Patrol of Central Ohio, a Delaware Ohio water-damage contractor, shares five key tips to reduce the chance of a water problem this winter.

The company offers flood damage cleanup throughout Columbus and outlying cities, among other remediation services. To assist homeowners in preventing this sort of damage, Dry Patrol of Central Ohio, offers timely, emergency water restoration services to home and business owners. In addition, the company provides ongoing alerts and releases containing practical information that can be implemented immediately.logo

President Bryan Daughtry comments, “Our aim is to be there for home and businesses owners should disaster strike, but as someone who has suffered from personal loss due to severe floods (before founding Dry Patrol of Central Ohio), I like to think that we can play some role in helping people prevent these disasters.”

The Delaware Ohio emergency water services company offers the following tips:

  1. Know where the water shut off is. Knowing where the water shut off is located can save time and aggravation should a household appliance go on the fritz. Surprisingly, many homeowners do not know where the water shut off resides.
  2. Disconnect any hoses outside of the home. Leaving hoses on the spigot can cause water to freeze and back up the water source.
  3. Clear gutters of all debris. Any debris in the gutters can freeze up and cause a backup, which can divert the flow and damage the structure of the roof and foundation. Ultimately, if left long enough, this could be cause for a flood inside the home.
  4. Homeowners should always have the roof inspected before winter hits. As snow piles and ice forms, any loose shingles or other damage can be an invitation for further deterioration.
  5. Caulk all doors and windows. Any leaks within the home offer an opportunity for the outside to enter in. Simple tasks such as caulking can save headaches down the road.

Daughtry adds, “While these tips are ideal for wintertime, one tip that truly resonates throughout the year is to check for corrosion or wear and tear on water supply lines for major appliances. If the water supply line for the washing machine looks sketchy, replace it now. Homeowners are shocked at just how much damage a faulty appliance within the home can cause.”

For more information on winterizing the home to prevent flood damage or emergency water damage remediation, contact Dry Patrol of Central Columbus at 740-417-9006 or visit http://columbuswatermolddamagerepair.com/.

Is It Time to Send Your Agent Packing?

Is It Time to Send Your Agent Packing?

At What Point Does Your Agent Need to Change?

It’s been a long summer with your agent. Signs of possibility but nothing comes to fruition. Is time to give your agent the Todd Richard’s treatment?

Richards was the respected and good coach of the Columbus Blue Jackets until the teams 0-7 start cost him his job this week. It wasn’t Richards fault, but in a result oriented world the buck stopped with him.

Columbus Blue Jackets fired coach Todd Richards after the team's 0-7 start. [bluejackets.com]
Columbus Blue Jackets fired coach Todd Richards after the team’s 0-7 start. [bluejackets.com]
And the buck should stop with your real estate agent. Sure she’s a nice woman but nice doesn’t pay your mortgage at the new home.

Four Reasons to Deep-Six Your Agent

  1. She can’t / won’t answer questions. Every property is going to require a slightly different marketing touch to get it sold. But when you ask “what are we doing to get the house sold?” And you get more ums and stalling it’s time to make the call to your second line.
  2. He is not featuring your property in ads as much. You pay attention to your agent’s marketing, right? You need to. Not just to see where but that he’s doing more than just throwing a sign up. Of course when the signatures are wet and listing is new everyone’s excited and pushing that listing out. But by day 30 the listing has become stale – time to refresh and get a new look. Or some agents will just let the listing slide off the radar.
  3. She won’t take your calls. Amazing how agents get so many clients when a stale listing’s owner calls and the “ums” and “got to go” show the concern she has. Now we all know how great agents reply to calls anyhow, so this is the change in routine you are measuring and evaluating.
  4. When was the last time they were at the house? One of the fun pieces of real estate is being “belly-to-belly” with your clients. But on stale listings they will stop. Simple reason – conflict avoidance. I once had an out-of-town client that would have friends take down my sign on occasion and then figure out how long it would take for me to notice. A little extreme and had we been using the sign and prayer marketing method would of been a big deal. I don’t recommend at all, but the point is made.

Sometimes it is hard to let an agent go. However professional agents know it is business and nothing personal.

Real Estate Radio Launches Sunday!

Real Estate Radio Launches Sunday!

On Sunday morning at 8:30 a.m. tune your radio dial to Local 1550 WDLR to catch the initial episode of Real Estate. Real Easy. hosted by yours truly.

listen to real estate radio show toby boyce howard hanna
Can’t hear 1550 AM in your area? Click on image to listen online!

WDLR is Delaware, Ohio’s local radio station with Fred Shafer hosting the morning show and even includes Delaware City’s Lee Youkum on Fridays with city news and updates. This Weeks Real Estate. Real Easy. show will include a projection on December 2014 and answer to three of real estate’s key questions.

  1. How is Delaware’s commercial market? (including the secret on why it is so hard to get a national restaurant.)
  2. Should I list my home now or wait until spring?
  3. Do Open Houses Work?

Can’t get 1550 WDLR in your area? Then tune-in at 8:30 a.m. on Sunday to catch it online.

Boyce is a licensed real estate agent with Howard Hanna RealCom Realty in Delaware, Ohio and has been since 2006. His experience has ranged from investment to residential to commercial transactions. Boyce serves on the Board of Directors for the Women’s City Club of Delaware Foundation and assists with numerous other charities.

Inequality in Buying a Home vs. Mobile Home

Inequality in Buying a Home vs. Mobile Home

“You can’t do it here. It wouldn’t make sense.”

whenever the topic of entry-level homes being built in Central Ohio – and Delaware, Ohio, in particular – the response has been the same. you can’t do that here.Facebookinstagramsocialtile-300x300

But, Why Not?

And that’s when the brave try to explain while the majority simply replies ’cause. It won’t work.


we can send a man to the moon, make celebrities out of pawn brokers, and build a driverless car. but, we can’t build an entry-level home that allows first-time home buyers to buy a home in respect to their income and not be forced to rent.

So, when Blog Action Day 2014 topic of inequality was announced, we at Ohio Home Team felt it very close to our heart and beliefs to take on the challenges of the inequality in housing but focus on a single aspect of the housing population — mobile homes.

What’s Wrong With Mobile Home Sales in Delaware, Ohio?

In the good-old days buying a mobile home wasn’t much different than that buying a home. However, when the Savings & Loan collapse was in large-part blamed on being too heavily invested in these mobile forms of transportation.

The Broken System

The system itself has become stigmatized towards the plight of the poor and impoverished in a way that has even crept into the financial and legal process.

  • Lack of Required Residential Property Disclosures. If you buy virtually any single-family to four-family real estate in the state of Ohio, you are required to have a residential property disclosure provided and signed for by the buyer. There are a few exceptions but one that isn’t even on the form is for a mobile home.
  • Limited Options for Purchase Finance. Did you know that if you are buying a single-wide or a double-wide not on a permanent foundation there is only one option for financing the property. And they will require at least 25% down and about a 700 credit score to even get considered.

So let me get this right. It is harder to buy a home or a car than it is to buy a mobile home?

The problem with that is simple — at least to me — in that the people buying mobile homes in Central Ohio are doing it because its the only option they have.

But Aren’t Mobile Homes Considered Cars?

Ahh, my favorite part of this argument … Well they are titled as a car so we should treat it as a car…

Seriously? You go and buy a new sofa. Which vehicle are you going to use to take it home, your Camaro or F-150?

Duh, Toby that’s pretty stupid.

Yeah, but they are titled the same. So based on your assumption they should both be able to do the exact same thing. Of course they don’t but in the mind of the state they all look exactly the same. Single and double-wide homes are not moved as often or in the same manner as travel trailers. So we should be able to take this situation and make a change.

How Do We Fix the Inequality in Mobile Home Housing?

Well it’s a challenge. I am suggesting a two-prong approach – one that can be done by the private sector and the other would require an act of the Ohio legislature to make this happen.

  1. Create More Opportunities for Mobile Home Financing. This is a private initiative that works through the program to develop competition in the mobile home market. 15% interest rates and irrational credit score requirements is not good, but the way to solve it is by having an alternative for Ohio’s mobile home population.
  2. Require the Residential Property Disclosure on All Mobile Home Sales. This will require the population to put stress on its elected officials to make a change. A former client purchased a mobile home where the previous owners had very obviously just painted over several water and fungal-growth issues in the home. But because there was no formal documentation process on the property the buyer has no recourse.

I don’t want – nor do I believe – every person to own a home. However, the mobile home sector is a good way for some people to make the move from renting to owning especially in Delaware County where the average home sells for $225,000.

Something can change. And we – as a people – can do it through programs like Blog Action Day.

Do Sex Offenders Live Near You?

Do Sex Offenders Live Near You?

delaware ohio,sexual offender, notification, list, email
The Delaware County Sheriff Office’s Web site to track sexual offenders in the County. (Delaware County Sheriff)

Received an alert tonight that a new sex-offender has moved in within two miles of our home in Western Delaware, Ohio.

Do you know how to register for the list?

It’s pretty easy, just click on the link and fill out the form. Then Sheriff Martin’s staff will keep you abreast of adjustments to offenders in your area.

Great Way to Keep Maintenance on Track In Delaware

Great Way to Keep Maintenance on Track In Delaware

“We try to keep up on the house but sometimes it just gets away from us. What can we do?”

– Susan, Delaware

Filter Fast, Delaware, Ohio, owning a home
Getting behind on changing filters? Filterfast.com can help with that. [filterfast.com]

One of those amazing things isn’t. How no matter how much we try, time just seems to shrink away from us? We’ve been guilty of this exact thing as well. But I’ve found a couple of “tricks” that I use to keep a couple of the key items on task.

Changing Smoke Alarm Batteries. This has been one of the biggest pushes most recently with the campaigns to check your batteries when also changing the clocks in your home. However, not checking the smoke alarm won’t make you late for service at Terra Nova Community Church on Sunday. But that one time you need it … being diligent could very much save your life.

Regular Inspection of Your Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning System. When it comes to our homes the “heart” is the furnace pumping air throughout the house — cooling on hot summer days and heating on those frigid cold winter days. And just like our heart, regular maintenance and check-ups will not only keep your system working longer but also reduce the likely hood that it will break down during extreme weather situations. We’ve recently signed an agreement with Aire Serv of Greater Columbus, owned by Delaware-resident Dale Matheny, to visit the house two times per year and inspect our furnace and air conditioning system. For about $160 a year Aire Serv will visit our home two times per year, in spring and fall, to inspect our furnace and air conditioning units. As part of the plan, if any service is required we receive a 15% discount on Aire Serv’s services.

Changing Your Furnace Filter. Probably the most basic thing you can do to keep your home systems running right is changing the filters on your appliances. Yet, in the daily grind it is one of the easiest to forget to do. Have water dispenser in your refrigerator? When was the last time you changed the filter? Yeah, I thought so. That’s where FiltersFast.com comes very-very handy. The North Carolina-based retailer not only has better prices on filters than I found at the local Big Box stores but you can create a scheduled delivery. So for our refrigerator we need to change the filter every six months – so automatically FiltersFast.com will send out the refrigerator filter. They also handle the filters for your furnace. Schedule your order and they’ll keep filters in your possession.

Schedule Reminders on Your Phone. So you’ve got a box of furnace filters but need another trigger? Me too. So I’ve gone to setting an alarm on iPhone for every 90 days — adjust for the recommended repair time of your furnace — that I need to change the filter in the furnace. I do the same for putting fertilizer on the lawn, when to Miracle Grow the garden, and lots of other household chores that I need a little reminder to complete.

Toby Boyce and Ohio Home Team, ltd. received no financial or other incentive for any of the companies mentioned in this post.

Where Will Your House Appear? Open House & Dream Homes

Where Will Your House Appear? Open House & Dream Homes

When its time to sell your home the one of the primary reasons to hire a real estate agent is to remove the stress from your shoulders.

selling your home, market a home, corner cafe, delaware, ohio, open house, dream home
Toby advertises in Open House and Dream Homes magazine monthly. It is on display racks around central Ohio, including the Corner Cafe in Delaware, Ohio, as shown here with a monthly distribution of more than 20,000 issues.

And a big portion of that stress is … getting bodies into the house.

We understand that and have spent hours — maybe even days — studying buyer demographics and determining where it would be best to showcase your home for sale. We are proud to announce that we are in the January issue of Open House & Dream Homes which publishes more than 20,000 copies each month for free distribution around central Ohio.

Why print/magazine?

Basically put, because people still pick them up and skim through them to get to know what they like and where they are beginning their search for a home. Our goal is to get you on their mind from the very beginning and make that decision quick and easy and get your home sold.

Thinking About Listing Your Home?
Contact Toby Today!

Do I Qualify For A Mortgage?

Do I Qualify For A Mortgage?

Just starting to look for a home? Well now is the time to think about qualifying for a mortgage loan.

This flowchart will give you an idea of what the loan programs that are available right now.

Mortgage Flowchart. Courtesy of RealEstate.com
Courtesy of RealEstate.com

This flowchart is not perfect! It is actually pretty conservative which is something I found pretty reassuring compared to some of the one’s I’ve seen.

How to Get a Loan
  1. Hold this piece of glass under your nose
  2. breathe
  3. did it fog?
  4. You’re approved!

Okay, in honesty that was mostly prior to 2007, but it is starting to loosen up and some people are talking like the good old days again.

However, this is a pretty conservative look at buying a home and if it says “no” I wouldn’t say that’s the final answer.

Any mortgage officer can help you buy a home, however Toby works with professionals he can trust and works with his buyers in their best interest among the options include:

Sherod McGuire
Red Brick Mortgage

(614) 785 – 9900
E-Mail Him!

Kelley Hall
Equity Resources

NMLS# 514264/ LO.030220.001
(614) 209-9209
E-Mail Her!
Apply Now!

Bill Channell
First Federal Lakewood

NMLS# 470707
(614) 963 – 5864
E-Mail Him!
Apply Now!

And of course, don’t forget that Toby can show you homes anywhere in Central Ohio but especially knows northern Central Ohio.

Graphic courtesy of realestate.com

Real Estate Q&A: Should I Sell Gutted House As-Is or Rehab?

Real Estate Q&A: Should I Sell Gutted House As-Is or Rehab?

“Fire-damage required stripping to the studs. I am considering selling and don’t know if one option is better than the other for obtaining down payment on new property?”

fire starter, Jeinny Solis S., stock.xchng
When a fire occurs it often creates an issue with how to sell the home. [Jeinny Solis S., stock.xchng]
Well, that all comes down to money. Point blank. Plain and simple. I know it sounds callous and harsh but when you are investing in real estate or dealing with a property that’s been damaged it is essentially the only way to look at things.

The key here is the question’s last part: what is best for obtaining a down payment on a new property. Assumption is that you are rolling the funds from the home into a new investment as a down payment. Which means we need to sell the house for as much “outright” as we can.

We also have to assume that you own the subject free-and-clear and have made no insurance claims in regards to the fire damage. Keep in mind if you have a mortgage the bank will often make a decision on what they deem to be the best “answer” to this question for you in consultation with your mortgage company.

Okay, now let’s assume that as-is the property will sell for $25,000 and with real-estate related fees you’ll make just over $19,000 on the sale. Totally rehabbed, you could sell it for $115,000 and the rehabilitation would cost you $50,000. You would net about $102,00 after the real estate fees and then that drops to $52,000 after the rehabilitation costs are taken into account.

Okay, so I’ll rehab it … $33,000 more in my pocket!

Well, not so fast there Mr. Investor.

That $33,0000 is subject to cost over runs and when you have a gutted house you never know what you are going to get into. Haven’t you ever watched Flipping Sheboygan

That $33,000 doesn’t include carrying costs, which would be basically taxes and opportunity cost on other options that you could have moved your money into had you taken that $19,000 purchased something right away. However, the biggest cost not included is cost over-runs on the budget for rehabbing the current property.

Should You Rehab a Damage Property or Sell it As-Is?

Well that depends on your risk situation and your comfort level with that risk. If you are playing with next month’s mortgage on your personal residence then sell it as-is for what you can. If you’re in a stronger financial position where you can take on the added risk to make a little more money then go for the bigger bucks if that’s up your alley.

Real Estate Q&A: When Should I Put My House on The Market?

Real Estate Q&A: When Should I Put My House on The Market?

We’ve been considering listing our house for sale but have always been told to wait for Spring. But should be wait? – Susan, Delaware
sold property
The properties in Powell, Ohio, are selling faster than they can put them on the market in September 70 homes transferred to new owners.

The short answer is always the most frustrating one, that depends.

Now allow me to take a few minutes to explain with two different scenarios and decide which one your home fits into best.

Why You Should List Your Home Today
  • You’ve been planning to sell your home and it is ready for the market. The paint is done, the trim is complete, and everything is ready for your home to maximize the value for location.
  • You’re facing a distress situation and need to sell your home.
  • You are prepared to sell for a little less if it isn’t in top condition.
Why Should You Wait to List Your Home
  • You need to make updates to your home that will assist you in getting maximum price for your home.

The facts are very simple when it comes to putting your house on the market in the winter. You are going to get less showings, however those that are looking are traditionally more-realistic and more-buying oriented than those looking in summer. Add that information with the fact that Delaware County currently has its lowest inventory in many years and you get a market that is ripe for fresh properties.

So in that matter, the answer would be list, and list as fast as you can. Your neighbors are waiting for the spring selling season to roll around, if you list today you have a chance to get a good 4-6 week jump on them and if priced right and ready to move should be in contract and ready to close.

Ahh, but I hear a but coming here Toby …

You’re right. The biggest thing to keep in mind is that while the real estate market is in this unique situation where there are record-lows of inventory, buyers are not willing to overpay for a home or give up on those things they seek out as being “keys” to their new home.

So buyers are keeping the real estate market moving, but they aren’t ready to improve the market price too much yet.

How Can I Pay My Mortgage Off Quicker?

How Can I Pay My Mortgage Off Quicker?

Bankrate.com recently shared “4 Ways to Pay Off Your Mortgage Earlier” and it basically was one way to pay off your mortgage quicker – and three tips to make that one way easier.

The first tip is to “pay more money” while the remaining include:

  1. Refinance with a Shorter-Term Mortgage. “Standard” mortgages are 30 years, so go down to 15- or 20-years instead. You’ll pay more per month in principle but will also get a break on the interest rate as the bank’s risk is reduced by the amount of time.
  2. Switch to Bi-Weekly Payments. Concept is that you’ll make 26 paymens per year rather than 12, and it the amount will reduce your interest payments over that amount of time – hence saving money and in time paying your home off quicker.
  3. Money-Merge Account (Australian Method). Not something I’ve seen in Central Ohio, but the concept is similar to your home-equity line of credit in that you are loaned “x” amount of dollars and then you write the check to pay for the home and in time pay it back.

Boy that’s an amazing list of ways to pay off your mortgage early. Seriously. If you refinance from a 30-year to a 15-year mortgage you’ll pay it off quicker alright. But honestly, there is only one way to pay your home off early …

Pay more money.

I know that’s boring to say, but it is the only way. Now that doesn’t mean there aren’t savings involved when you utilize sound financial monetary discipline when it comes to your mortgage and focus on doing it correctly.

I love that they include refinancing to a shorter term as way to pay it off quicker. Since, usually 30-years is done because it allows for people to afford a home. For example, if you buy a $130,000 home with $20,000 down payment

I’m not a fan of bi-weekly payments for the simple fact that there is usually charges to setting the program up and monthly surcharges that limit the actual effectiveness of doing the program. However, I do suggest making a “13th payment” every year.

The 13th Payment Made Easy

Very few people have the cash to just pay an extra mortgage payment every year towards their principle, however it becomes much easier when you do this basic trick. When you go to write your January mortgage payment divide it by 12. For example, if you pay $1,000 per month (I do the full amount we pay to maximize our savings) divide that by 12 for $83.33. So instead of writing that check for $1,000 write it for $1,083.33 and after 12 payments you’ll have paid an extra mortgage payment this year.

The savings? I figured this out for Gretchen and I’s house and just by doing this we cut a 30-year mortgage down to 21-years. I can pay an extra $90 per month to save nine years on our mortgage. Of course, if you can’t do that much that’s fine just do something and it will add to your savings.

[wnt_search title=”Quick Search For Your New Home!” /]

Thumbnail image by Jakub Krechowicz

Toby Boyce Featured in Sunday Dispatch Short Sale Article

Toby Boyce Featured in Sunday Dispatch Short Sale Article

Toby was featured in an article in Sunday, October 28, Columbus Dispatch highlighting the coming end to the Foreclosure Relief Act of 2007 and was quoted in “Tax break on forgiven debt to end.”

Toby Boyce, who specializes in short sales with Triumph Realty, said he figures the tax break ultimately will be extended.“If it doesn’t get extended, it’s going to slow down stuff, and then you have a huge outcry because it sounds really bad,” he said.

Now of course, anyone that has spent two — or twenty — minutes talking to Toby knows that he could never say something that short about a subject. So head on over to the Dispatch and read the story and soon you’ll see an update here on more of my thoughts about the Foreclosure Debt Relief Act of 2007 and its extension.

Should I Resurface My Delaware Ohio Driveway?

Should I Resurface My Delaware Ohio Driveway?

Should I hire someone to resurface my Delaware Ohio driveway?

Well Toby takes that on in our latest Home Ownership video. Give it a watch, or slip below for more information in written format on resurfacing your Delaware, Ohio drive way.

Should I Resurface My Drive Way?

Is it gray? I know it seems a simple answer but if it is then the shortest possible answer is “yes.

toby boyce triumph realty how to apply drive way sealant
Is it time to apply driveway sealant to your Delaware Ohio driveway and do you need to hire a professional to do so?

Can I Do It Myself?

Of course you can. It is a very easy – though messy – task to complete and will give your home’s exterior and easy pep up when finished.

To start with you need to get the surface ready.

  1. Place two posts and “caution” tape at the end of the driveway to keep walker, dogs, and cars off your driveway – and you’ll want to leave them up for at least 48-72 hours.
  2. Use a shovel to clean off the edges of the driveway and push back any growth of grass that has pushed onto the driveway. I usually will cut it back a little further to give a clean look.
  3. Take a broom and sweep off the grass and debris from the top of the drive way.
  4. Clean the drive way off. The most common way is to use a pressure washer which uses forced water to combine all the aspects of cleaning off the drive way and usually you don’t need any detergent. These can be rented at most rental appliance locations for about $50 a day – however keep in mind that it will also remove pieces of your drive way along with the dirt.

Once the drive way is clean then you want to make sure to have enough drive way sealant to cover the entire surface without stopping. If you stop in the middle you’ll get two different colors as the batches could be different however more likely is that the sun and temperature will cause it to cure just a little different.

I like to use the heavy-duty sealant that will coat the drive way and if we have a mild winter usually can last for 2-3 years (don’t believe the “five year” guarantee) considering the Ohio winters that’s not a bad deal. But as you can see, ACE has a lot of options – I like to support the local guys but Lowe’s, Home Depot and Andersons do offer cheaper prices on these products – for redoing your driveway.

What Do I Need?

  • Sealant
  • Squeegee or large broom
  • Sunny day with no chance of rain for 48 hours
  • work clothes

If you have cracks that are bigger than 1/4-inch wide and less than 3/4-inch wide then you need to get a crack sealer and begin with that process. Basically, it is a 48-hour cure where you squeeze the tar-based liquid into the bottle to fill the cracks in your drive way. The goal is to create a smooth surface that will be sealed when you add the final sealant.

After allowing the crack sealant to cure for at least 48-72 hours, the easiest way is once you have the surface clean and still slightly damp (read the instructions for your particular sealant as each kind is a little different) pour a slight bit out in a corner of the drive. I usually work high to low and will focus on one side and then move across to the other.

The key is to create a smooth coat with no runs across the surface as those “blobs” will become very noticeable in the final product – and yes I speak from experience.

This is why I like to use the squeegee over a brush. The squeegee gives a nice smooth look and you can control the pressure on the blade leaving a little more in a certain section than another if required.

I will always work across and down the driveway towards the sidewalk using little bits of sealant as I go in an attempt to keep from having an overloaded amount at the end.

Why Shouldn’t I Just Hire The Guy?

I’m not saying you shouldn’t “hire the guy” but this is one of those things that I think you do a better job than 90% of the people that will do it for you. My neighbors have someone do it for them every summer at $60 to $80 a pop and I watch these guys do it. They are in and out in 10-15 minutes. How much care is in that process? They are giving you a ‘skin’ of new covering just to make it look nice, but it is a guarantee you’ll be redoing it in 2013. Mine? A really rough winter and I might be, but more than likely it will be 2014 or 2015 before I do it again and I’m paying less for the project. And it just ain’t that hard.

Give it a shot. You’ll be surprised.

What is the Best Way for Me To Get To Know the Neighborhood?

What is the Best Way for Me To Get To Know the Neighborhood?

“I like this house, but what is the best way for me to get to know the neighborhood?

The buyer had been looking in “X” but after we moved around a little he took a look at a house in another area of town. As we stood outside the home it looked like every other subdivision we’d visited – cars were parked, kids playing in back yards, dogs barking – but every subdivision has its own unique fabric.

[media-credit name=”José Antonio López | sxc” align=”alignright” width=”300″]Watching the Neighborhood[/media-credit]
If you want to know if a neighborhood is good for you, then the best way to figure it out is by watching and listening.
And the key is to make sure that fabric is one that you — not me, not Yelp, not the guy in accounting — can comfortably reside in for the next several years. So what can you do to get to know the neighborhood better?

  1. Talk to Neighbors – We love to talk about our home and where we live. So visit with a few of the neighbors and get a feel for what they have to say about the community. You’ll be amazed what they’ll say — my favorite was learning that the house my buyer was for sale because the seller needed to get money to pay his attorney. Leverage baby.
  2. Call the Police – Do not (and I repeat NOT) call 9-1-1. However, you have the chance to call the local police or sheriff offices to find out the number of calls in your area. Depending on where you live, there are even some great online tools that could help you out. For example, if you have kids don’t miss the sex offender listings, or if you are in Delaware County ABC 6 has created its Crime Watch that will show police reports on an interactive map for you.
  3. See It With Your Own Eyes – All the talk is great, but there is nothing like good old-fashioned gum-shoe work. Visit the area at several different times of day and be watchful – not freaky – but observant. Are there broken-down cars on the street? Do you get a homey feeling from the development?

Basically the best-way for you to get to know your neighborhood is to spend some time in it and get a feel on its “vibe.” Your REALTOR — of course it’s Toby isn’t it? — can provide you with facts and details – but the important decisions — that “vibe” is up to you.

I’m Struggling With My Mortgage, Where Can I Turn?

I’m Struggling With My Mortgage, Where Can I Turn?

As the “recovery” from the recession continues to move along at a snail’s pace a question sadly continues to be asked on a routine basis.

“I’m struggling with my mortgage. What are my options?”

We’ve discussed on several occasions the options that are afforded to those that are struggling with their mortgages.

I had a great discussion with the folks at the Ohio Housing Financing Agencyduring the Ohio Association of REALTORS Convention and Expo about this exact topic.

[media-credit name=”savethedream.gov” align=”alignleft” width=”293″]Restoring Stability[/media-credit]One of the most under-utilized aspects in your arsenal as a home owner are the accredited housing agencies that are supported by FHA and OHFA. If you picked up the phone and called a guy that worked for McDonalds and asked “I’m hungry for a burger where should I go?” What would you expect him to say? He works for McDonalds so in theory he’s going to suggest the Golden Arches.

The people you are talking to in your short sale discussions are very similar. Should you do a loan modification, sell your home in a short sale, file bankruptcy or something else? Well if you ask a person that has a vested interested — like a REALTOR — then you have to keep that bias in mind when you evaluating the responses.

Which is why the counseling agencies are great places to gather information and learn more about your options. Why? Your decision doesn’t have an impact on them getting paid.  There are several Central Ohio Counseling Agencies and they include:

[media-credit name=”Michal Zacharzewski | sxc” align=”alignright” width=”300″]Talking About Your Mortgage[/media-credit]

Struggling with your mortgage? Take the time to talk to the right people about your situation.
  • CCCS of the Midwest, Inc., Columbus, 800-355-2227
  • Columbus Housing Partnership, Columbus, 614-221-8889
  • Columbus Urban League, Columbus, 614-257-6300
  • Homes on the Hill, Columbus, 614-275-3060
  • Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission, Columbus, 614-233-4177

Fore more information the Save the Dream initiave visit www.savethedream.gov or call 888-404-4674,

Ask Agent: How Can I Tell Who Bought This House?

Ask Agent: How Can I Tell Who Bought This House?

Ask The Agent: How Can I Tell Who Bought This Delaware Ohio House?

Who Bought That House?
Who bought that house? The auditor's site will share the information - eventually - with you.

As the communities continue to change ownership, it is human nature to want to know who will be moving in next door.

There is no immediate way to know who bought the house, short of walking next door and just asking. Be sure to bring cookies, everybody loves cookies.

However, if you’d rather do the search from behind the computer screen, the Delaware County Auditor’s Web site is the best place to get the information — as every parcel of property in the county is shown online and ownership can be tracked once it is recorded by the county’s office.

  1. Log on to the Delaware County Auditor’s Web site
  2. Click on the “Real Estate Data Property Search” link mid-way down the main page
  3. On the left-hand column click on “property search
  4. On the left-hand column, there are options to choose how you’ll conduct the search by address, parcel number, sales history, or even address

I hope that helps you figure out who bought that house in Delaware, Ohio.

Ask the Agent is an occassional addition to the Delaware County Real Estat and Events real estate section. If you have a question, don’t hesitate to contact us or send an e-mail to toby@tobysellshomes.com.

Image: Danilo Rizzuti / FreeDigitalPhotos.net