Sunday, September 27, 2009

What new home buyers should know beyond the $8,000 tax credit

I helped the reporter with the list. He did not use my quote: "Buy what you want. You would never buy a size 10 shoe if your wear a size 6 even if it is a great bargain."

Click on the link for the entire article.
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Yes, there's still time to take advantage of the first-time
homebuyers' tax credit, but you'd better hurry.
A home purchase must be completed no later than Nov. 30 to qualify for up to $8,000 in tax
As you begin the search for your first house, here are 10 things you should know.
Helping us
compile the list were Cindy Flaherty, director of homeownership with the Ohio Housing Finance

Theresa Hill, a senior homeownership counselor at the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission;
Kimberly Knight, an agent in the Bexley office of Coldwell Banker King Thompson; Angela Murphy, a
partner in the Revealty real-estate firm; Terry Penrod, an agent in Real Living HER's Metro office;
and David Zambo, a loan originator with Park National Bank.

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Saturday, September 26, 2009

Kroger at High and 7th is finally slated to break ground next spring and more news about Weinland Park

Good updates from Columbusunderground about Weinland Park. Click on the link to read more.
Roadwork is scheduled to begin this fall at the Columbus Coated Fabrics site. “While the economy has taken its toll on developers all over, the project continues to progress,” reported Mark Wagenbrenner at the Urban Land Institute meeting yesterday. The meeting covered the city plans for both Weinland Park and the upcoming Campus Partners development. The presentation included a projected expansion of the South Campus Gateway between 8th and 9th Avenues along High Street. The plan also includes a proposed gateway complex on 11th Ave between North Fourth and Grant in conjunction with the Columbus Coated Fabric site.
The Kroger store on High and Seventh is finally slated to break ground next spring.
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Thursday, September 24, 2009

In Central Ohio: Roughly two in five Central Ohio home sales come from first-time buyers

and August numbers.....

The board reported 1,994 existing single-family homes and condominiums were sold last month, down 8 percent from 2,166 sold in August 2008. Homes in contract, an indication of future sales, were off 16 percent at 1,569 units.

At the same time, the average sale price of an area home fell 4 percent to $168,873 from $175,632.

The board noted the inventory of homes on the market dropped 14 percent year-over-year last month to 14,552 homes, which represents a supply of little more than seven months, just above the high end of what’s considered a balanced market. The region’s market backlog a year ago was closer to an eight-month supply.

And while the board doesn’t track first-time buyers, the government’s $8,000 first-time home buyer credit has made its mark, said President Gary Parsons in a release. Officials estimate that roughly two in five Central Ohio home sales come from first-time buyers, who have until Nov. 30 to take advantage of the credit by closing on their homes.

Columbus News, Business First, Columbus Newspaper
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Columbus Dispatch: First-time home buyers rushing to close.. I am quoted :-)

If you are a first time home buyer and you want a home...start looking now!
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Deadline for $8,000 tax credit boosts market
The number of affordable houses is shrinking in central Ohio as first-time homebuyers rush to capitalize on a federal tax credit for home purchases.
About 5,000 homes are for sale in central Ohio for less than $130,000, down from more than 6,500 a year ago, according to figures compiled by the real-estate company Real Living.
Real-estate agents and lenders recommend that buyers be in contract for a house 30 days to 45 days before the deadline if they hope to close by the deadline.
"You really need to be in contract by Oct. 15," said Terry Penrod, a Real Living agent active in the University District and other parts of Columbus. "Typically, you want 30 days to close, but if there's a dramatic influx of requests because of this tax credit, it may take a long time.
"You need to be out there now looking."
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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Graffiti Burger opens new location TODAY on 5th Avenue in Grandview

This Wednesday, Graffiti Burger will be opening up their second restaurant at 1505 West 5th Avenue, in the 5XNW neighborhood. The original Dublin location has become a bit of a cult favorite here on Columbus Underground, and this new location promises more of the same: black angus burgers, fresh-cut fries, and hand-dipped milkshakes.

The burger concept was launched earlier this year through a business partnership between Jim Torski, the former VP of operations with Cameron Mitchell, and George Tanchevski, founder of Aladdin’s and Giorgio.

Customers of Graffiti Burger have often compared the food to that of Five Guys or In-N-Out Burger. The limited menu choices and higher-quality ingredients keeps the experience much more focused than the more traditional fast food burger chains.

More information can be found online at, as well as their Facebook page.
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Closed Lanes On Rt. 315 To Reopen Friday

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Traffic on Rt. 315 will be a lot less crowded beginning Friday when closed northbound lanes
The lanes had been closed and all traffic shifted to the southbound lanes since this summer.

In all, 11 of the 21 exit and entrance ramps have been closed for the $24 million project on
the 3-mile stretch between North Broadway and I-670.

The reopening, which is several weeks ahead of schedule, should make travel to and from this
Saturday's Buckeye football game much smoother. 

Workers are repairing bridges and ramps and making other fixes.
The reopening, which is several weeks ahead of schedule, should make travel to and from this
Saturday's Buckeye football game much smoother. 
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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

At Home: In Franklinton

Chris Sherman wasn’t really looking to call Franklinton home when he came across a unique property a few years ago. At the time, he was working his construction business and had a garage, a shop and an apartment spread out in Olde Towne East and the Short North. When he found the nearly 3,000 square foot space in Franklinton, he knew he would be able to consolidate everything and make his life much easier. The area was a much better and more convenient location to many of his clients and to downtown and nightlife. The space was pretty raw and he has converted it into a workspace and a living space. His ultra-modern, contemporary minimal style fits the space well. He finds much of his design inspiration from his work, and from magazines such as Metropolis and Dwell.

He has a pretty nice art collection, mixing things he has created himself, and pieces others have created along with things such as manhole covers and casts from hydraulic pumps from the now closed Chase Foundry.

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Monday, September 21, 2009

IRS: 1.4 million have used home-buyer tax credit

Are you one of them?
Columbus News, Business First, Columbus Newspaper

An estimated 1.4 million Americans have used the $8,000 federal tax credit for first-time home buyers, according to the Internal Revenue Service.

A Dec. 1 deadline looms for first-time buyers to purchase a house to qualify for the tax credit.

The credit equals 10 percent of the purchase price of a home, up to $8,000. It either reduces the individual’s tax payment or will be returned as a higher refund next year.

There are income limits to the program, which is designed to ease the housing crisis by reducing the inventory of homes on the market.

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Thursday, September 17, 2009

North Campus High Street Construction Wraps Up

From our friends and Columbus Underground.
An email update from reveals that the North Campus High Street Construction project is in the final stages of completion. The final paving and road markings began today and should be finished in roughly two weeks (weather permitting). The paving will take place daily between 7 am and 7pm, so expect delays during those hours.
The project began in June 2008 and was initiated to separate the neighborhood sewer and stormwater lines, as mandated by the EPA. The development also includes new sidewalks for the area, the burial of overhead power lines, a widened intersection at Hudson and High, and additional street improvements, some of which may not be completely wrapped up with the end of the paving in two weeks.

More info on Columbus roadway projects can be found at

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This Sunday: 35th Annual Short North Tour Of Homes

Click on the link for more information or to purchase tickets.
Welcome to Victorian Village.
The year was 1974.
Richard Nixon resigned from office. Yitzhak Rabin replaced the resigning Israeli Prime Minister, Golda Meir. The Miami Dolphins defeated the Minnesota Vikings in Superbowl VIII. Hank Aaron beat Babe Ruth’s homerun record. Happy Days began its eleven year run on ABC. Barbra Streisand hit number one on the singles chart for the first time with The Way We Were.  Cher and Sonny Bono separated.
This year’s event features eleven homes, including 911 Neil Avenue, a home that was on the first Tour in 1974. As a special delight, the Tour will take visitors inside Westminster Thurber Village and to its rooftop patio for breathtaking views of Victorian Village and downtown Columbus.
The cost of the ticket is $15 in advance, and $20 the day of the Tour. 
Tickets are available online now and will be on sale beginning August 01, 2009 at Spinelli’s Deli located at 767 Neil Avenue.
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Thursday, September 10, 2009

First-time homebuyers face deadline

The government’s first-time homebuyer $8,000 tax credit has helped stimulate home sales, but buyers still hoping to take advantage of it will have to beat the clock.

The tax credit expires Nov. 30, giving buyers about 12 weeks to find, contract and settle on their purchase. The National Association of Realtors says on average, first-time buyers search 12 weeks to find a home, and closing can take up to 60 additional days.

The tax credit was cited as the most important reason for buying among more than one in 10 surveyed homebuyers in a recent survey. An estimated 1.4 million buyers have already filed for the credit, with that number likely to swell by the time tax returns are due next April.

Existing single-family home sales in Central Ohio lagged behind last year's pace at the end of July, but that month saw a comparably narrow decline of 3 percent. The Columbus Board of Realtors has said the credit has helped area homebuyers get off the fence and pursue a deal.

Columbus News, Business First, Columbus Newspaper
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Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Get out and take advantage of the deals during "Restaurant Week" in Central Ohio

Click on the link to view the menus.

$20.09 and $30.09
Gratuity & tax not included, restrictions may apply.
Dine Originals Columbus Restaurant Week
September 7 – 13, 2009

40 Dine Original member restaurants, from casual to fine dining, will participate.
Each restaurant will prepare a special fixed-priced menu-
some restaurants at $20.09 and some at $30.09 (excluding gratuity and tax).
The menus will be unique and exciting.
Reservations are strongly encouraged where applicable.
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Huntington Park provided boost to Arena District

Click on the link to read the entire article.
clipped from
September 8, 2009 3:04 AM

Baseball has been very, very good to the Arena District.
Record attendance numbers show Huntington Park is a hit with fans, and it's also supplying a
major boost to businesses in the district.
The Clippers' new home not only has increased foot traffic in the district, but it's brought in
customers who are experiencing the area for the first time.
<p>Friends congregate at the A and R Music Bar on Neil Avenue after a Clippers game next door at Huntington Park.</p>
"We've seen a 20 to 30 percent increase in business," said Joe Maggard, a partner in Boston's
the Gourmet Pizza on Nationwide Boulevard near the park. "It's bringing more families, a little
different crowd. We're seeing people coming down and returning on both game and nongame nights,
whereas before they may not have come down to this area at all."
Dave Cotter, owner of Cotter's restaurant, attached to Nationwide Arena and not far from the
park, sees it as the latest evolution of the area since he opened his restaurant in 2005.
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Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Nationally, Pending Home Sales on a Record Roll

Remember...all real estate is local. However, this is good news for sellers and a sign to buyers that you better find the deals NOW!
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Contract activity for pending home sales has risen for six straight months, a pattern not seen in the history of the index since it began in 2001, according to the National Association of Realtors®.

The Pending Home Sales Index,1 a forward-looking indicator based on contracts signed in July, increased 3.2 percent to 97.6 from a reading of 94.6 in June, and is 12.0 percent higher than July 2008 when it was 87.1.  The index is at the highest level since June 2007 when it was 100.7.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said the housing market momentum has clearly turned for the better.  “The recovery is broad-based across many parts of the country.  Housing affordability has been at record highs this year with the added stimulus of a first-time buyer tax credit,” he said.

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