Local Real Estate Agent, Jay Mattlin Earns e-PRO® Certification

June 10, 2020 – Jay Mattlin of Gorsuch Realty has successfully completed NAR’s e-PROÒ Certification Program and has been awarded the e-PRO® certification, the official technology certification program offered by the National Association of REALTORS®.

Jay joins nearly 40,000 real estate professionals who have earned NAR’s e-PRO® certification and dedicated their time and effort towards learning how to use the latest social media technologies to create an online presence and reach today’s hyper-connected consumers.

NAR redesigned the e-PRO® curriculum to better meet the challenges of today’s real estate market. The new e-PRO® program has been expanded to include data security and strategies for safeguarding clients’ private information.

Social media is evolving every day, so it is vital that REALTORS® embrace the new technology and online resources that have become an integral part of the home buying and selling process. Agents who earn the e-PROÒ certification are dedicated to making the most of today’s social media and technology to help consumers with their real estate needs, whatever they may be.

For more information about NAR’s e-PRO® certification, visit epro.realtor or contact Jay Mattlin of Gorsuch Realty.

Easy DIY Projects To Spruce Up Your Home Office

More people are working from home than ever. And if you’re working from home, you need a space that not only allows you to focus and be productive, but also feels inviting, warm, and like a space you want to spend your time in.

recent article from realtor.com outlined quick, simple DIY projects to spruce up your home office and make it a more productive, inviting space. Some of the projects outlined include:

  • Hang a wall organizer. If your desk is covered in mail, reports, and miscellaneous papers, a wall organizer is a great way to organize your excess paper (and also add a chic focal point to your wall). A few pieces of wood and leftover scraps of leather make for a stylish (and functional!) wall organizer for your office.
  • Frame a dry erase board. Dry erase boards are helpful for keeping track of deadlines and appointments—but they’re not the most attractive item. Adding a stylish frame around the dry erase board can make it feel more like a purposeful piece of decor (and less like an eyesore).
  • Make a DIY memo board. Hang a wire grid on the wall above your desk and use clips, magnets, and hooks to organize memos, hang photos, and display other important documents.

If you struggle to feel productive in your home office, it might just need a bit of sprucing up—and with these DIY projects, you can transform your office into a space that’s equal parts stylish, inviting, and encourages productivity.

House Hunting and Renovation TV Shows – Fun Facts and Dirty Little Secrets

Television channels like HGTV and DIY have truly changed residential real estate for the better. Thanks to these channels, buyers and sellers today are more educated about their homes’ structures, décor, and remodeling costs. Everybody’s expectations are higher and most buyers and sellers’ creativity is too. Have you wondered about how these shows are made? What is real and what is not? Here are some fun facts.

First, for the remodeling or fix and flip shows, the remodeling budget is truly the homeowners’ remodeling budget. If the homeowners have wanted more than their budget will allow, the producers usually bring the buyers back to reality long before the remodel is started. If there is some unforeseen cost, other changes are omitted or downscaled.

The inspections are real inspections, too. When you see a show host presiding over a sewer inspection (yuk!), they are really checking it out.

The programs need true action in addition to just on-camera interviews. (Ever notice how each of these shows has at least one homeowner hitting a wall with a sledge hammer?) When you see a show host or a new owner actually doing work, they are not faking it – they are really doing the work that you are seeing. Those are real nails in those nail guns. All of the show hosts and all of the buyers get involved in at least some portion of the decorating or remodel.

Now for the dirty little secrets. Here is the big one for the house hunter shows. Although it is really fun to try and guess which house a buyer will pick, these programs are shot in reverse. That means the show is filmed after the buyers buy – and close on – their home. The other homes are “decoys” that are filmed after the transaction concludes and were never seen by the buyers during the actual search.

Ever notice how much the buyer or house remodeler couples argue and disagree? A lot of the drama on the shows is fake. Conflict, like action, makes a more interesting television show. The producers will encourage the magnification of buyers’ and sellers’ fears and dilemmas because it is believed – correctly or incorrectly – that it makes for better ratings.

And even though the host and home owners get involved in some of the work, most of the work is done off-camera by professional contractors and (sometimes) large crews. The projects can take much longer than they usually would as well; the contractor’s schedules and stages have to work with the production crew’s schedules and availability.

Nevertheless, these shows are really fun to watch, and offer lots of general education about homes and house hunting.

12 Must-Do Home Maintenance Tips For Spring

Ah, spring! The sun is shining, the birds are singing, and the windows are finally open! Now is definitely the time to take a realistic look at your home’s exterior (and all that goes with it), and do the necessary cleaning, or make repairs or replacements. Winter can be harsh, but springtime is all about renewal!

1. Roof and shingles

Winter storms, snow, and wind can take a toll on your roof shingles, and the summer sun doesn’t do your roof any favors, either. If you can, get up on a ladder and really take a good look at the condition of your shingles. Are they loose? Do you see any cracks or wearing? If so, you may want to begin to budget for a replacement roof by next winter. While you’re up there, make sure you check any skylights, and clear away debris. Examine the flashing around your plumbing vents and chimney to see if they should be repaired or replaced (by a qualified roofer, of course).

2. Gutters

Make sure your gutters are intact, and there aren’t any loose, unconnected ends. Check for leaks, and again, getting up on a ladder, use a pair of rubber gloves to clean out leaves and debris. Perhaps invest in some gutter protectors to cut back on cleaning all together. Also, make sure your downspouts are draining away from your foundation, and purchase downspout extensions if you need to.

3. Yard

Check for low areas in your yard, and around your foundation. If you find areas that are lower than the rest of your yard, they can and should be leveled up with compacted soil to avoid having water pool in areas next to your foundation. When water pools, it’ll not only lead to damage, but it’s a perfect place for insects like mosquitos to breed, and no one needs more mosquitos in the summer.

4. Chimney

While you’re up on that ladder, check your chimney exterior for any signs of over-winter damage. Now would be the time to hire a chimney sweep for a good cleaning and inspection, to avoid a chimney fire next autumn or winter.

5. Concrete

Ice heaving during the winter can cause cracks and movement within your concrete sidewalks and walkways. Also, be sure to check garage floors and parking pads for signs of cracking. These can be easily filled with a concrete crack filler. If you know you’ll have a few nice sunny days in a row, fill the cracks, power wash the concrete, and re-seal it.

6. Firewood

Firewood can be a home for bugs and vermin during the warmer months, so if you have firewood near your home, move it to a different location in the spring when you’re done with it for the season. Try to store firewood at least a foot off the ground, and away from any structure by a couple of feet, to avoid it becoming a nice haven for squirrels, mice, and rats.

7. Outside faucets

First, turn on the water, and cover the opening of the faucet with your finger or thumb. You shouldn’t be able to stop the flow of water, and if you can, you’ll need to check the interior pipes for leaks that could cause big damage. Now is also a great time to inspect your garden hose for spots of dry rot. Don’t wait until you’re ready to wash the car or water the garden to realize your hose needs replacing.

8. Air conditioning

Hire an HVAC professional to pay a visit. Have them clean and service your a/c unit. This will increase the energy efficiency of your unit, and will keep it working smoothly. Check interior filters, and purchase replacements if they are worn or dirty. Finally, make sure you test the unit well before you’ll need to use it, instead of waiting for that first hot day.

9. Lawn equipment

Get your lawn mower out and make sure it starts up. Change the oil, replace the spark plug, and clean up the air filter, if necessary. Clean the blades and take them in for sharpening if necessary. This will enable the mower to do the most efficient cutting job on your lawn. Also check out your leaf-blower, edge trimmer, and any other lawn equipment you use to make sure everything is working properly, and purchase anything you’ll need – such as trimmer string or 2-stroke oil. Check batteries in cordless items to make sure those batteries are charged when you need to use them.

10. Trees

If trees near your home have branches that are broken from snow weight, trim those before they fall on your roof. Trim back any other branches from your siding or windows. You can do this yourself, if you’re comfortable with it, or hire a professional.

11. Snow blower

If you live in a seasonal “winter wonderland”, you might use a snow blower to help keep your place from turning into a fancy igloo. Now that Spring has come, you’ll be ready to give your snow blower a rest. Before storing your snow blower away for the season, drain the fuel and run it until the gas line is clear. Remove the spark plug and store it. Cover it up for the season.

12. Deck

Check your deck for any boards that need to be replaced. Power wash it and reseal if necessary. After all, you have a long summer of use to look forward to!

Hidden Gems of Fairfield County – Lockville Canal Park

In my series, Hidden Gems of Fairfield County, I will be showing places in and around the County that people, including myself, always seem to forget exist or forget why they are even around.

Today’s post will be about Lockville Canal Park located in Lockville, OH although the physical address is actually 5895 Pickerington Road, Carroll, OH. The park is open dusk to dawn, year round.

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4 Hidden Costs of Not Owning a Home

There’s no arguing there’s costs associated with owning a home. But the adverse is also true; there are also definite costs associated with NOT owning a home.

The benefits of buying vs. renting has always been a hotly debated topic, with most people believing that — at least in the short term — renting is more cost effective. But most people don’t consider the hidden costs of not owning a home and sinking all of your money into your rental.

Here are four sneaky ways that not owning a home will cost you:

1. Your pricing is never guaranteed

When you own a home, there are no surprises when it comes to your monthly housing costs. Once you lock in your mortgage, your payment will remain constant throughout the length of your loan (unless you decide to refinance in the future). The stability of having a mortgage gives you the peace of mind of knowing what to expect each month — and not having to worry about unpleasant surprises that completely throw off your budget.

When you don’t own a home, it’s different. You’re at the mercy of your landlord; they can (and often will) change the price of your rent often to keep up with market prices.

So what does that mean for you? Well, it means the price you agreed to rent the house or apartment for is not necessarily the price if will rent for in the near future, which leaves you with two options: agree to a higher price or find a new place to live (which is an expensive endeavor itself).

2. Investing in home improvement is a lost cause

Everyone wants to feel comfortable in the place they call home — whether they own or rent. And that means different things to different people; maybe it’s cosmetic changes (like painting walls or hanging art) or more practical changes (like installing insulated windows to moderate the temperature).

When you own a home, making the improvements necessary to make your home feel comfortable makes sense. Whatever you do to improve your home will only increase the value, making it a sound investment choice.

But when you don’t own your home, making improvements to your home is like throwing money away. If you paint your walls or hang too much art on the walls, you’ll likely have the cost of getting the property repainted deducted from your security deposit when you move out. You can spend the money to install the insulated windows, but they’re not coming with you (and the only person that investment makes sense for is your landlord). Some landlords might not even allow you to make any improvements or changes at all.

Everyone wants to improve the place they live. But if you don’t own a home, making those improvements just isn’t a sound investment.

3. You can’t always get what you want

When you own a home, you get to choose the services and amenities you enjoy. You can choose between satellite and cable television. You can choose which service providers you want to work with. You can install solar panels if you want to save money on energy costs.

When you don’t own a home? Not so much.

When you rent a home, you’re locking into the services and amenities that are tied to that property. Your landlord gives you a list of approved vendors you have no choice but to work with – and often times, those vendors aren’t the most cost-efficient.

If you live in an apartment community, you’ll also have to pay for the amenities of that apartment community, like a pool, gym, or resident’s lounge – even if you don’t want them or don’t use them.

And all of those costs can quickly add up.

When you own a home, you make the choices on what you want to pay for, which can save you a lot of cash.

4. You’re not building any wealth

Perhaps the biggest cost of not owning a home is the fact that you’re not building any wealth.

When you rent a home, you’re giving your money to someone else; you’re paying for the right to live there for a predetermined period of time. When that predetermined period of time is over, you walk away with nothing; all of that money is gone.

When you own your home, every time you make a mortgage payment, you’re paying down your loan and building equity in your home. This is one of the fastest and most efficient ways to build wealth — and is a significantly better investment than throwing your money away on rent every month.

You already know that buying a home is a better investment. But when you factor in all the hidden costs of not owning a home, it might be the less expensive one as well.

Why Hire A Property Manager?

So. You’ve purchased an investment property and you aren’t sure what to do next. Find tenants right? Well, if you own investment rental properties – residential or commercial – I think your first stop should be to hire a good property manager. And I’m not just saying that because I AM a Property Manager. Here are several reasons to hire a Property Manager.

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New HUD Guidelines on Emotional Support Animals – Are You Compliant?

The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development released new guidelines on emotional support animals and how it relates to Fair Housing on January 28, 2020.

It is not uncommon now for landlords to choose to employ a no pet policy in their rental properties. As a property manager for private landlords, it is a question I now ask with each new property – do you allow pets? The answers typically vary – they will allow cats but not dogs or will allow dogs but not cats. Sometimes they’ll allow small animals confined to a cage but not cats or dogs. It is truly up to them. If they do allow pets, I typically employ a pet fee and additional monthly rent to help balance out the cost of repairs should they be needed when the tenants leave.

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How Buyers & Sellers Can Prepare For An Early Start To The Spring Market

Is January the new April? When it comes to the real estate market, experts say yes.

Regardless of whether that famous groundhog sees his shadow, a recent article on CNBC suggests spring will arrive early this year—at least when it comes to the housing market. In fact, some are speculating that January may very well be the new April.

What’s causing this already-busy buying season to kick off ahead of schedule? Low inventory and rising home prices are spurring house hunters to come out of hibernation months before they previously would have.

With that in mind, whether you’re buying or selling, or both, it’s time to get moving. The following checklists will help you prepare yourself or home property so don’t get left behind!

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