Saturday, May 30, 2009

If you lose your job, HER Real Living (that's me) will pay your mortgage.

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Real Living HER, the real-estate company based in Columbus, announced yesterday that it will cover some mortgage payments for clients who lose their jobs.
The program is available to those who purchase a home through a Real Living agent and finance the home with Real Living Mortgage. The home must be purchased between June 1 and Aug. 31 and close before Sept. 30.
If the buyer is laid off during the first year of ownership, Real Living will pay up to $1,500 a month on a mortgage for a maximum of six months.
Buyers are covered for an additional year if the home they purchased was listed with a Real Living agent.
Derrow said low interest rates and prices make this a great time to buy a home, but "given the economic uncertainties that exist, we felt … that we needed to provide our potential consumers the added confidence they need to take advantage of the market."
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Click here to find out more!
Business News - Local News

Real Living sets up protection plan

Business First of Columbus

Taking a page from auto manufacturers, Real Living HER has introduced a payment protection plan for home buyers.

Real Living HER, the Columbus region’s largest residential real estate company, announced Thursday that buyers who go into contract with a company agent between June 1 and Aug. 31 will be eligible for six months of mortgage payment protection if they lose their jobs.

Real Living HER is a division of Columbus-based Real Living Inc.

The mortgage payment protection is part of Real Living’s “Peace of Mind Plan,” which pays up to $1,500 per month of a buyer’s mortgage payment if the person involuntarily becomes unemployed during the first year after buying the home.

Eligibility requires buyers to use a Real Living HER agent, close on their home before Sept. 30 and finance the purchase through Real Living Mortgage, the company’s mortgage brokerage business.

Additionally, Real Living HER says it will extend the eligibility of its plan from one year to two if a buyer purchases a Real Living HER listed property.

The company is also offering the plan to homeowners who refinance through Real Living Mortgage.

“In today’s uncertain economy, Real Living HER is investing in programs like our Peace of Mind Plan to provide reassurance,” said Real Living CEO Harley Rouda Jr. in a released statement. “Our intention is to give home buyers added comfort, and help them achieve the American dream of homeownership.”

Real Living will offer plan details on its Web site,, starting June 1.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Annual Short North Neighborhood Yard Sale: Saturday, June 6th, 9am-3pm

Welcome to Victorian Village.

Annual Short North Neighborhood Yard Sale
Saturday June 6th - 9 am to 3 pm

This year's yard sale will be even bigger and better than before.  The yard sale now includes all the neighborhoods of the Short North including Victorian Village, Harrison West, Italian Village, Dennison Place and The Circles.
An exciting feature this year is the ability to register your sale online and have it appear in a listing and on a map that will be viewable by everyone.  This should really help promote your sale.  We will also arrange for pickup service by a local charity for any unsold items you wish to dispose of.  Last year there were over 150 registered sales in what has become the largest neighborhood yard sale in Columbus!  Please visit the link below to register your sale.

 Registration Form

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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Restaurant Updates: Rosendale's, Thom's on Grandview, Handke's Cuisine, Bakery Gingham

Bakery Gingham, at 180 Thurman Ave. in German Village, has added all organic Hartzler Family Dairy ice cream to the product line, making cake and ice cream easier to come by. One easy combo: ice-cream sandwiches called Gingy Bars, which are halved brownies filled with ice cream ($3.50).

Thom's on Grandview Restaurant and Bar, at 1470 Grandview Ave., has closed to all dining except for private parties and events, owner Thom Coffman said.
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Handke's Cuisine has opened a restaurant called encore in space above the
subterranean Brewery District landmark to attract patrons with smaller appetites, less time or
thinner wallets.
On Friday, chef Richard Rosendale will complete the $40,000 split of his restaurant at 793 N.
High St. into Rosendale's Modern Bistro, where customers have greater control over the meal, and
Upstairs at Rosendale's, where the chef prevails.
"We're still doing a lot of covers, mainly on weekends," Rosendale said. "But we've seen a shift
in the economy and in consumers' interests. It isn't just that customers want to spend less, but
the style of dining has changed to something a lot more social."
And the menu is mostly new. Appetizers include baked potato poppers ($6.50), bison meatballs
($6.50) and white truffle popcorn ($5). Entrees include a bistro burger ($9), deep-dish pizza ($10)
and roasted half chicken ($14).
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Monday, May 25, 2009

Free WiFi Available in Goodale Park..Thanks to Victorian Village Society

Welcome to Victorian Village.
Free public WiFi access in now available in Goodale Park courtesy of Victorian Village Society and The Community Festival.  Access is available from 6 am to 10 pm seven days a week and is limited to 2 hours in any 24 hour period.  Please contact us at if you have any comments or suggestions about this service.
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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Update: $8,000 fast cash for first-time homebuyers

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HUD plans to tweak $8,000 tax credit rules so first-time homebuyers can get instant down-payment assistance.

NEW YORK ( -- Home prices are cheap. Affordability is at a record high. And the market is littered with distressed properties looking for a buyer.

But there is one big obstacle for many first-time house hunters looking to take advantage of the market: cash for down payments. The typical first-time buyer has only saved enough to cover 4% of the purchase price, according to the National Association of Realtors.

As part of the stimulus package, Congress created a refundable first-time homebuyers tax credit in hopes of helping on-the-fence buyers to take the home-purchase plunge. But buyers couldn't collect the $8,000 credit until tax time, rather than at closing time - when it's needed.

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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Grandview Yard Update: Capitol Square takes a stake

The developer of the Arena District has gained a significant partner in the redevelopment of the industrial core of Grandview Heights.

Nationwide Realty Investors Ltd. said Capitol Square Ltd., the real estate investment arm of the Dispatch Printing Co., will take a 20 percent stake in Grandview Yard, the $600 million-plus commercial and residential complex slated for more than 80 acres between Goodale Boulevard and West Third Avenue.

Capitol Square also plans to increase its stake in the Arena District from 10 percent to 20 percent. About $750 million has been invested in the area surrounding Nationwide Arena during the last 10 years.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“We are thrilled to be expanding this highly successful partnership,” Nationwide Realty President Brian Ellis said in a news release. “Capitol Square has been a great partner in the Arena District and we look forward to carrying that strong relationship to Grandview Yard.”

Columbus News, Business First, Columbus Newspaper
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Palm Pre phone available June 6 for $199* (See conditions)

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Palm Pre device

The new Palm® Pre phone will be here June 6, starting at $199.99 on the Sprint network (after rebate and service agreement).1

People, events, information that matters. With Palm Pre, it´ll come to you.

See what's new with Pre.
Register with Sprint to get your hands on the new Pre.
Forward this email to a friend, or send this link2:

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Monday, May 18, 2009

City trying to speed up the $16.9 million project to rebuild High Street between Lane and Arcadia avenues.

"I can tell you what I lost last month ... $22,000 in business," Galipeau said, comparing April 2009 to April 2008. "We're getting killed."

The three-quarter-mile stretch of High Street links Ohio State University to Clintonville and is lined with mom-and-pop shops, restaurants and bars in the Old North Columbus neighborhood.
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Reconstruction has left N. High Street a mess between Arcadia and Lane avenues. Some owners say their businesses are in the same shape.
North Campus Video has weathered economic ups and downs for three decades. But recession or no
recession, manager Jeff Galipeau says his current financial troubles are the result of what's going
on right outside the door of his University District business.
The city is trying to speed up the $16.9 million project to rebuild High Street between Lane and
Arcadia avenues. The project, which started in June 2008, has blocked lanes on the west side of the
street and reduced traffic to one lane in each direction.
<p>Ohio State University student Dusty Gray, 30, makes his way through a maze of construction equipment and traffic barriers along N. High Street. The city is trying to speed up the $16.9 million reconstruction project, which began in June last year.</p>

Ohio State University student Dusty Gray, 30, makes his way through a maze of construction equipment and traffic barriers along N. High Street. The city is trying to speed up the $16.9 million reconstruction project, which began in June last year.

<p>Rick Burwell works on the concrete outside Cazuela's Grill on N. High Street. The restaurant has lost some lunch business but is surviving, owner Maria Diaz said.</p>
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Sunday, May 17, 2009

Completely Refinished Home For Sale at 1090 Summit in Italian Village

3 Bedrooms, 2 Full Baths, 2,258 Square Feet.
Only $299,900
Many more pictures and more information here:

Youtube Virtual Tour.
(Best viewed after you have seen all of the pictures at the above link)

Click here to see the entire presentation:
FloorPlanOnline Virtual Tour

A musical montage
(This is best viewed in the full screen mode.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Ohio housing bubble called a myth by the Federal Reserve

Great article. Click on the link to read the entire story. My Broker is quoted in it.
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Ohio's rise in foreclosures and slip in housing values can't be blamed on a housing bubble, says the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
Instead, Ohio's problems are rooted in long-term economic challenges coupled with easy credit, according to a report released yesterday.

"It wasn't a housing boom in Ohio; it was a credit boom," said Emre Ergungor, a senior research economist with the Cleveland Fed. "The growth in credit still supported home prices, but of course we didn't get a boom by California or Florida standards."

"It wasn't a housing boom in Ohio; it was a credit boom," said Emre Ergungor, a senior research economist with the Cleveland Fed. "The growth in credit still supported home prices, but of course we didn't get a boom by California or Florida standards."
"Columbus is frankly very different from most Ohio cities. … We are continuing to grow, not at the pace we were a few years ago, but hopefully more when the economy recovers."

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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Update: HUD announces plan to offer bridge loans for $8000 first time homebuyer tax credit.

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UPDATE: Here is the text of Secretary Donovan’s prepared remarks, given during his keynote address this afternoon:

We all want to enable FHA consumers to access the tax credit funds when they close on their home loans so that the cash can be used as a downpayment. So FHA will permit trusted FHA-approved lenders and HUD-approved nonprofits, as well as state and local governmental entities to “monetize” the tax credit through short-term bridge loans. We think the policy is a real win for everyone, ensuring that borrowers can tap into the numerous organizations that are already part of the FHA network to receive this additional benefit. FHA will be publishing the details shortly.

VAR Logo
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Columbus Home Values See The Smallest Decline In The State...Prices Should Start Edging Up Soon

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"I think we're near a bottom, but we're not there yet," said David Resler,
chief economist at Nomura Securities. While prices could hit bottom as soon as this summer, he
said, they are likely to remain stable and start edging higher slowly.
Home sales fell in all but six states - Nevada, California, Arizona, Florida,
Virginia and Minnesota - where buyers have been able to snap up foreclosures at a deep discount.
Sales more than doubled in Nevada, rose 81 percent in California and grew 50 percent in Arizona -
signaling that the worst may be over for those distressed states.
Of Ohio's major cities, Columbus home prices have dropped 10.4 percent to a
median of $118, 300. Cincinnati recorded a drop of 17.1% to $106,500. Home prices fell 31.5 percent
to $69,900 in Cleveland and 27 percent to $65,500 in Toledo, the report shows.
"We expect a measurable increase in home sales during the second half of the
year, which would help stabilize prices in most areas," Yun said in a statement.

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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

German Village Wants Input on Third Street

The German Village Society has been working on a plan to redevelop Third Street between Livingston Avenue and Schiller Park. Third Street is the gateway into German Village. The society is looking to get more community input from everyone who lives, works and loves to visit the neighborhood. What kinds of things would you like to see? The street paved over with bricks? Bike lanes? Trees, benches or bike racks? Minimized utility poles? Click here to find the survey, then return it via email or drop it off at the Meeting Haus. Written in suggestions are welcome. The deadline for completion is Friday, May 15th.

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Breaking Real Estate News: $8k First-Time Home Buyer Tax Credit Can Be Used For Down Payment

The biggest news was HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan’s announcement that funds from the $8,000 First-Time Home Buyer Tax Credit would be available for FHA financing, which would permit home buyers to monetize their tax credits for down payments. He promised additional details about this in his keynote address. Stay tuned for more info!

At the morning session of the Real Estate Summit at the 2009 NAR Midyear Meetings, comments about improving short sales and foreclosures and driving a turnaround in the housing market and the economy generally with home buyer tax credits drew the biggest applause.

Speaking of Real Estate.  Timely insights and observations from the editors of REALTOR® Magazine.
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Bexley Gateway Condos Not Selling As Planned

A Dispatch article that ran today revealed that the Bexley Gateway condos have not been selling as well as originally planned. Only 5 of these 33 high-end units have occupants, which is the same number of buyers they had lined up in October 2007 when the Dispatch ran a more optimistic article about the mixed-use development.

The Bexley Gateway was developed by Plaza Properties, who has had more success with the more affordable Hartman Lofts building Downtown and the Yukon Lofts in the Short North. There has been plenty of talk about the oversaturation of higher-end condo units in the Downtown market, but it seems as though these sorts of condos would sell more quickly in Bexley. Which leaves us wondering if more tax abatements are needed, as mentioned in the article, or if the condos will sell as is whenever the housing market starts to make a comeback.

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Wednesday, May 6, 2009

School Levy Update: Central Ohio voters pass 10 of 15 school issues

Reynoldsburg, South-Western are among losers
Wednesday, May 6, 2009 3:13 AM
By Jennifer Smith Richards
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Many central Ohio school districts declared victory in yesterday's election despite the
sputtering economy. Others blamed it as their property-tax requests failed.
Three of Franklin County's six school-district issues passed. Two of those issues approved by
voters -- in Canal Winchester and Groveport Madison schools -- were sought as emergency levies,
which means they raise a certain dollar amount rather than raise taxes by a set millage.
The other tax that passed was in Westerville. It was a permanent-improvements levy, which means
voters could see specific projects that are to be completed with the money raised.
Pickerington schools in Fairfield County and Newark schools in Licking County were among 10
central Ohio districts that declared victory last night. It was Newark's fifth attempt since fall
There were 15 issues total in central Ohio.
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