Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Terry Penrod, Real Living HER Realtor, Reaches Charitable Giving Milestone



Jim Stevenson
Real Living HER
(614) 273-6076

Real Living HER Realtor Terry Penrod Reaches Charitable Giving Milestone

COLUMBUS, Ohio (November 30, 2011) — Real Living HER is proud to congratulate Real Living Mortgage and Realtor Terry Penrod for generating $10,000 in donations to local charities.

Through the Sharing Advantage Program from Real Living Mortgage and Wells Fargo, Terry’s clients were able to support local 501(c) (3) organizations at no cost to them. A select few of the charities have been: Habitat for Humanity, American Cancer Society, Victorian Village Society, St. John’s High School, Stonewall Columbus, Equality Ohio Education Fund and various local churches. Simply by Terry communicating the program and his clients designating the charity, Real Living Mortgage was able to make a $300 donation at the time of a closing.

“I always look forward to helping people understand the home buying process. There is so much to know and I love helping people find their dream home,” said Terry Penrod. “I have really enjoyed letting people know they can also do good in the community through Sharing Advantage.”

“This is an innovative program that is offered nationwide, but Terry has really embraced it and his clients’ charities have greatly benefited,” said June Zepp, Home Mortgage Consultant, Real Living Mortgage.

If anyone is interested in getting involved with the Sharing Advantage Program please contact Terry Penrod at 614-273-8548, or

About HER Real Living Inc.

Real Living HER, based in Columbus, Ohio, is a full-service real estate company with more than 700 agents and 45 offices throughout Central Ohio. HER Realtors was established in 1956 and has been the dominant full service brokerage throughout the area since 1964. Real Living HER offers its consumers services that include residential & commercial real estate sales, property management and rental services, mortgage, title, warranty, and other home-related, lifestyle services. HER Realtors is a member of the Real Living franchise system, owned by Brookfield Real Estate, a leading provider of real estate services nationally & internationally, including one of the world’s leading global relocation companies. Real Living was named one of the best new franchises by Entrepreneur magazine, winner of the Inman Innovator Award, and most promising new national brand by the Swanepoel TRENDS Report. All first mortgage products are provided by Real Living Mortgage, LLC. Real Living Mortgage, LLC may not be available in your area. Wells Fargo Home Mortgage is a division of Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. ©2011 Real Living Mortgage, LLC. All Rights Reserved. NMLSR ID 484734


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

USA Today: Home prices drop in September, reversing months of gains

Home prices drop in September, reversing months of gains

WASHINGTON – U.S. home prices are falling again in most major cities after posting small gains in the summer and spring. The report suggests the troubled housing market remains weak and won't recover any time soon.

The Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller index released Tuesday showed prices dropped in September from August in 17 of 20 cities tracked. That was the first decline after five straight months where at least half the cities in the survey showed monthly gains.

A separate index for the July-September quarter shows prices were mostly unchanged from the previous quarter.

Many Americans are reluctant to buy a home more than two years after the recession officially ended. High unemployment, weak job growth and falling home prices have deterred many would-be buyers. Even the lowest mortgage rates in history haven't been enough to lift sales.

David M. Blitzer, chairman of S&P's index committee, said that while the steep price declines seen between 2007 and 2009 appear to be over, home prices are down from the same time last year and do not show signs of easing.

"Any chance for a sustained recovery will probably need a stronger economy," Blitzer said.

The largest monthly price declines were in Atlanta, San Francisco and Tampa. And prices in Atlanta, Las Vegas and Phoenix fell to their lowest points since the housing crisis began four years ago. Blitzer called the new lows reached in those three cities a "bit disturbing."

New York, Portland, Ore., and Washington were the only cities to show monthly price increases in September.

A majority of the cities tracked by the survey posted modest price increases from April through August, the peak buying months. The monthly changes are not adjusted for seasonal factors.

Even with the gains, home prices were down in all but two major cities in September from the same month one year ago.

Sales of previously occupied home sales are on pace to match last year's dismal figures — the worst in 13 years. Sales of new homes are shaping up to be the worst since the government began keeping records a half century ago.

Some people can't qualify for loans or meet higher down payment requirements. Many with good credit and stable jobs are holding off because they fear that home prices will keep falling.

"Despite record high affordability of real estate, the psychology of home buyers is still being weighed down by economic uncertainty, keeping them on the fence when it comes to buying homes," said Stan Humphries, chief economist at, which measures home values.

Atlanta has been especially hard hit in the past year. Prices there dropped nearly 6% in September and have fallen nearly 10% over the past 12 months.

Since the fall of 2008, one out of every four sales in Atlanta has been a foreclosure, an auction or a bank sale.

Many homes there were built during the housing boom. The city has also been confronted by high unemployment. In September, the unemployment rate was 10.3%— more than a point higher than the national average.

The Case Shiller index covers half of all U.S. homes. It measures prices compared with those in January 2000 and creates a three-month moving average. The September data is the latest available.

Prices are certain to fall again once banks resume millions of foreclosures that have been delayed because of a yearlong government investigation into mortgage lending practices.

Home prices had stabilized in coastal cities the past six months, helped by a rush of spring buyers and investors. But this year, home prices in many cities, including Cleveland, Detroit, Las Vegas, Phoenix and Tampa, have reached their lowest points since the housing bust more than four years ago.

Foreclosures and short sales — when a lender accepts less for a home than what is owed on a mortgage — are selling at an average discount of 20%.

Home prices

Metro area
Index Sept. 2011
Chg. from Aug.
Chg. from Sept. 2010
Las Vegas
New York
San Diego
San Fran.
The indexes have a base value of 100 in January 2000; so an index value of 150 translates to a 50% appreciation since then for a typical home in the market.
Source:S&P Indices and Fiserv

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Columbus Underground: Waffle House Coming to OSU Campus Area

Good news for breakfast enthusiasts that live near The Ohio State University campus! According to an article in today’s Business First (subscription only), Waffle House is planning on opening a shop at 1712 North High Street, next door to the Newport Music Hall.

Monday, November 21, 2011

New York Times Video: How to carve the Thanksgiving turkey

Central Ohio home sales were up again in central Ohio

Home sales in central Ohio home have exceeded 2010 for the last four months according to the Columbus Board of REALTORS®. The 1,543 homes sold in October marks an 8.6 percent increase over the 1,421 homes sold in October of 2010. Home sales in September were up 16.6 percent compared to the year before.

Year-to-date, home sales (January through October 2011) are only 2.1 percent behind 2010 and closing the gap.

Homes put in contract last month (1,379) were up 46 percent from a year ago making October the sixth straight month of increased contracts.

“The number of homes put into contract have been up for the last several months,” said Rick Benjamin, 2011 President of the Columbus Board of REALTORS®.  “However, contract failures – cancellations caused largely by declined mortgage applications or failures in loan underwriting from appraised values coming in below the negotiated price continue to be a problem for central Ohio buyers.”

Total housing inventory at the end of October fell 23.3 percent to 13,827 existing homes available for sale, which represents an 8.1-month supply at the current sales pace, up from an 8.7-month supply in September.

The average sale price for single family homes and condominiums year to date is $157,327, down 2.4 percent from homes sold January through October 2010.

“Affordability conditions this year have been the most favorable on record since 1970,” said Benjamin. “As mortgage interest rates continue to remain low, more first time home buyers, investors and move up buyers are being drawn into the housing market.”

Click here  to view the October sortable housing market report by area.
Click here to view the entire central Ohio Local Market Update.

The Columbus Board of REALTORS® Multiple Listing Service (MLS) serves all of Franklin, Delaware, Fayette, Licking, Madison, Morrow, Pickaway and Union Counties and parts of Athens, Champaign, Clark, Clinton, Fairfield, Hocking, Knox, Logan, Marion, Muskingum, Perry and Ross Counties.

For information about the central Ohio housing market, visit
To view commercial properties for sale or lease in central Ohio, visit
To view residential properties for sale, visit  

The Columbus Dispatch story is here

Thursday, November 10, 2011

On Veteran's Day: A Memory Of Vietnam

A great story from my hometown paper, the Toledo Blade

Why  is this significant to me?

As a 2 year old in Toledo, Ohio, my earliest memory is being held by my father at a place where everyone was crying.  I learned later that it was the funeral of Vito Bruno.  Vito was the son of our next door neighbors, Mr. and Mr's Bruno. With Veteran's Day on my thoughts, I decided to search the internet and found this story from 2009 in the Toledo Blade.  It brought tears to my eyes.  

We must never forget.

A silver seashell magnet secures a yellow note card to the side of Mary Worden's refrigerator.

Years ago she scrawled on the card detailed directions to the grave site of a young soldier who died Dec. 11, 1966, in Vietnam.

His name is Vito Vincent Bruno.

Today, as the United States of America, land of the free and home of the brave, observes Memorial Day, flags will fly in Calvary Cemetery in Toledo, the final resting place for Mr. Bruno and scores of other service members who made the ultimate sacrifice.

The flag on Mr. Bruno's grave was posted this holiday, as in years past, because Mrs. Worden of Toledo cares deeply and passionately about her country and its veterans.

A chance meeting with Mr. Bruno's mother more than a decade ago in the cemetery prompted Mrs. Worden to make a promise: Never, ever would Mr. Bruno's grave go undecorated on Memorial Day.

"I was taking a flag to my mother and father's grave in Calvary, and an elderly woman told me her son was killed in Vietnam and he had no flag on his grave. She wondered where I got my flag," Mrs. Worden, 70, recalled. The two mothers talked briefly.

"Then I turned to walk away, and I knew my mother would want the woman to have the flag. I turned back, and said, 'Here, take this flag.' After she put the flag on her son's grave and left, I walked down and looked at her son's grave. He was only in his 20s. He was killed in Vietnam. Every year since, I give him a flag."

And attached to the flag, always, always, a hand-written note: "We will never forget you."

Every year, she and her husband, William, took not only a flag but also garden shears to Mr. Bruno's grave.

"We'd sweep off the dirt and we'd trim the grass around the flat marker," said Mr. Worden, 74. "We would do that as a remembrance to him. When we saw that his mother had died, we started to do the same for her."

Mrs. Worden, who has devoted her life to helping others, has been faithful to her promise, to her vow to never forget Vito Bruno. It was an anonymous gesture of respect and honor.

A few days ago, however, she reached out, seeking help to continue the tradition this Memorial Day and Memorial Days to come.

Her life has reached a turning point. "You always think you can keep your promise, but when you cannot " Her words trail off as tears trickle down her cheek.

Mrs. Worden, who never learned to drive, stays close to home these days, by the side of her husband, who is in hospice care there. On May 9 they celebrated their 50th anniversary (they call each other "Honey").

"Mary gets her caring way from her mother. Her mother lived on Prouty and the bums back then knew where they could get a meal. The bums would come and sit on her porch and she would fix them an egg or a sandwich of something," Mr. Worden said.

When Mrs. Worden realized she couldn't get to the cemetery this year, she said, "I was so upset and was kind of crying and I was telling about the flag."

Listening was Nathalie Wilson of Toledo who provides hospice care to Mr. Worden. She offered to deliver the flag and Mrs. Worden's handwritten note.

For years, Mrs. Worden took under her wing dozens of military personnel who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. She wrote them letters and sent care packages. "I started out when Ann Landers said to write to any serviceman. That was in 1990," she recalled.

A scrapbook bulges with photographs of soldiers touched by Mrs. Worden. One of her military pen pals was John Tellez of Missouri, who calls her each Mother's Day.

After Staff Sgt. Matt Maupin of Batavia, Ohio, was captured near Baghdad in 2004, Mrs. Worden passed out color copies of his photograph - embossed with "Love Never Loses Its Way Home" - to her friends, asking for their prayers for the Maupin family.

The sergeant's remains were found last year, and thousands of people participated in his memorial. Mrs. Worden's son Dave, who lived in Batavia, rode his motorcycle as an honor guard during the memorial procession.

Mrs. Worden also wrote to Brian Wagoner, a 1994 Maumee High School graduate. He was killed by a roadside bomb in Iraq in 2005. She went to his memorial service. She wrapped letters she received from Brian in black ribbon and presented them to his father, she said.

"It is our duty to remember veterans and make sure they are recognized for what they do for our country," Mrs. Worden said. "My belief is honor above all."

Dedicated volunteers throughout Lucas County place flags on thousands of veterans' graves just ahead of Memorial Day each year, but sometimes some get missed. Cemetery lists are incomplete, said John Hunt of Toledo. As he and his wife Margaret crisscross sections of Calvary Cemetery, they update their lists of deceased veterans.

Volunteers do their best, but records need updating, and that takes time and people, Mrs. Hunt said. The Hunts placed hundreds of flags on veterans' graves in sections of the cemetery near where Mr. Bruno is buried.

Dominic M. Bruno of Sylvania, who said he was unaware of Mrs. Worden's annual trek to Vito's grave, recalled his cousin as a "very gentle person" who went to war after being drafted. Vito Bruno was a conscientious objector, a true one, but did not declare himself as a conscientious objector, his cousin said. "I think he felt it was his duty even though he wouldn't carry a gun."

Vito, who was an Army medic, and other Central Catholic High School graduates who died in World War II, Korea, and Vietnam are honored on a memorial plaque on display in the school's first-floor hallway.

Names of those killed in Korea were added only recently to the plaque, which was donated by the Class of 1947, and a rededication ceremony will be held, according to Mary McCarty Pierce of Toledo.

A 1965 Central graduate, she said that this summer she would like to have the plaque reorganized, listed by war and in alphabetical order. She'd like to have the plaque polished and a light installed over it.

Mrs. Worden, who also is a Central Catholic graduate, last week contacted the school, asking if students would keep alive the promise to never forget Vito Bruno.

She's awaiting a reply.

Often, she thinks about the fallen soldier and his family.

"I never saw his mother again," said Mrs. Worden.

"And I do not know how many years later we saw the mother had died and I said, 'I think she died of a broken heart.'•"

Contact Janet Romaker at: or 419-724-6006.