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Knox County Ohio Real Estate Information Archive

Sam Miller


Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 11

Apple Valley Lake Homes Sales Report January 2009

by Sam Miller

The Apple Valley Lake community in Knox County Ohio saw a slight reduction in homes sales in January 2009.  As of today and according to the Knox County MLS there were only 2 residential homes that sold in January which was down from 3 sales in January 2008.  This slower sales activity was not a huge surprise due to the more severe weather we have experienced this year. 

If you are in the market to purchase an Apple Valley home the timing is ideal to be able to negotiate a favorable deal.  Home prices are more affordable than in years past and fixed rate mortgages are nearing a 40 year low so your purchase price and monthly payments will be greatly reduced.  If you are interested in learning more about buying feel free to contact us by phone at (740) 397-7800 or e-mail us anytime.  If you are interested in working with us to purchase an Apple Valley home in the future you should take advantage of our Apple Valley Listings By E-mail.  All you need to do is click the link above and register and our system will search the Knox County Multiple Listing Service and send you the available listings by e-mail. 

The Apple Valley Lake housing market is traditionally slower until early spring.  If you are considering selling your current Apple Valley home we highly recommend that you schedule an appointment to meet with us in February or March so that you can be prepared before other competing Apple Valley property owners list their homes.  Coming onto the market just one month earlier than other competing homes can give you and your home a huge advantage and get your home sold before other competing homes enter the market.   

The links below will allow you to view available Apple Valley Homes and vacant Apple Valley Lots.

View Apple Valley Lake Community Homes

View Apple Valley Lake Vacant Lots

Sam Miller

Mount Vernon Ohio Home Sales Report January 2009

by Sam Miller

January 2009 was a slower month for Mount Vernon Ohio home sales activity.  As of January 31st, 2009 the Knox County MLS had only reported 8 residential homes sales in the Mount Vernon Ohio school district so far this year.  Last year during the same time period the Knox County MLS reported 14 homes sales. This means that 2009 saw roughly a 40% decrease in home sales activity during the first month of year.  This certainly doesn't mean that prices are down by 40% but that in 2009 there were simply fewer homes sales.

Each month I spend a substantial amount of time after business hours researching the market activity that is reported to the Knox County Multiple Listing Service.  This month it is very obvious why the home sales are down and that is that many of the January home sales were bank owned foreclosure listings.  You might be asking yourself why this would make the overall home sale numbers lower and the answer is banks do not need to buy a replacement home when they sell their repo listings.  When the homeowner successfully sells their current home they generally replace it with another home purchase essentially accounting for 2 sales or transactions.  When we sell a bank owned foreclosure the bank is not taking their money and buying another home.  This is a very big part of the January 2009 sales drop in Mount Vernon, Ohio.

This may sound like bad news but in reality it isn't bad news at all.  The slow down is simply a small ripple in the Mount Vernon Ohio real estate market which I believe will begin to smooth out in months to come.  Remember that all real estate activity goes in cycles and it's good to move some of the Mount Vernon Ohio  foreclosures so that in the more active months to come many of those Mount Vernon bank owned listings will already be sold when the spring market warms up.  This is important because it can be difficult for an average homeowner to be able to compete financially with HUD foreclosure or a bank who simply needs to get their non performing asset off their books.

I created some special real estate links that will take you directly to homes, condos and bank owned listings for sale that are located in and around Mount Vernon and Knox County Ohio 

Mount Vernon Ohio homes for sale

Mount Vernon Ohio condos for sale

Knox County Ohio bank owned homes

Sam Miller 

Knox County Ohio Snow Storm 2009

by Sam Miller

Most of Ohio has been snow covered but last night the freezing rain and the ice came which added a new challenge for anyone on an Ohio road trying to get home.  I was watching the news and they made the announcement that Knox County Ohio was in a level 2 snow emergency and they were recommending that people should stay off the roads if at all possible.

I am a a big fan of Twitter and I subscribe to the 10TV Columbus News feed on Twitter so I immediately saw that 10TV had posted the school closing announcement for Mount Vernon City Schools the night before. I quickly checked the school website and they had already updated their website and had posted the Wednesday closing announcement.  I have to say I was impressed how fast 10TV and the Mount Vernon Schools made the announcement because this gives parents some advance time to make plans for their children.

I shot this short video this morning on my way to work and thought it might add a little more depth to the this topic if you could actually see the snow.  I want you to pay special attention to the street once I pull out of the driveway because you can't see where the street is and if I hadn't driven this road thousands of times before I might not have made it out of our neighborhood without landing in a ditch.  

Sam Miller


Knox County MLS Home Search

by Sam Miller

I recently read that approximately 86% of all home buyers start their house hunting on the internet.  I find this to be a significant number because it means that nearly 9 out of 10 buyers are shopping online for a home.  The challenge for many of these home shoppers is that they have to search dozens of real estate websites and they will still generally only scratch the surface of what's available in the Knox County Ohio MLS.  

EMailKnoxCountyHomes is a simple solution we offer for all of our customers and clients.  This service provides you detailed information by e-mail for every listing in the Knox County MLS that matches your search criteria.  The system works so well that once you are registered you will receive new listing notifications as fast as the other Knox County Ohio real estate professionals.

The best part is that registering is easy and it only takes about 2 minutes.  

Knox County Ohio MLS Listing Search


Should You Refinance?

by Sam Miller

My phone has been ringing off the hook from home owners asking me if it is a good time to refinance their existing home.  For many of my clients the answer is YES and they should refinance especially since many of the mortgage loans available offer a fixed interest rate ranging between 4.5% to 5.5%.  However, there is a large segment of clients who should not refinance.  

If you are thinking about refinancing I would like for you to consider a few questions BEFORE you contact a mortgage lender:

  1. Do you plan on staying in your home long enough to see the long term benefit of refinancing?
  2. Do you have the necessary equity and will your home appraise high enough to support refinancing?
  3. Do you have the cash in savings for the closing costs that are associated with refinancing?
  4. If you are planning on adding the refinance closing costs on top of your existing loan balance, how long will it take for you to recoup these added costs and get your loan balance back to where it is today?  
Most people want to refinance for one of two reasons:
  1. They want to shorten their loan balance and pay the home off sooner which is a great reason.  Taking your existing 30 year amortization and refinancing to pay it off in 15 years is a powerful way to build equity quickly.
  2. They want to reduce their monthly payment at the cost of starting a 30 year loan all over again.  You can reduce your monthly payment with this method but typically you are going backwards and lose equity for at least a couple of years until the savings from the refinance get you back to where you were prior to the refinance.
Here is one of the quickest ways to determine how many months it will take before the cost of refinancing is beneficial and I have created a basic example: 

  1. If you are refinancing a fairly new home loan that has an existing 6.5% fixed rate 30 year mortgage with a loan balance of $100,000 and the current principal and interest monthly payment is $632.07.  
  2. The new interest rate you can obtain by doing the refinance is 5% fixed interest rate for 30 year and that would give you a new payment of $536.82.
  3. The closing costs to complete the refinance would be $2,500. (this amount is different in each market).
  4. The monthly payment savings would be $95.25 which is the difference from $632.07 less $536.82 = $95.25.
  5. Based on this $95.25 monthly savings it would take a little over 26 months of making the monthly payment at the new lower 5% interest rate before you would recoup your $2,500 closing costs.
Before any of my Knox County Ohio friends, customers or clients contact a lender to discuss refinancing PLEASE contact me by e-mail or phone me at (740) 397-7800.  I can help you determine within just a few minutes and over the phone if refinancing is a good move for you by using a specialized refinancing computerized calculator.

For those of you who are not planning on living in your current home much longer you may want to visit a few of the links below:

Please bookmark our site and feel free to subscribe to our RSS feed for regular updates.

Thank You!

Sam Miller

Help Give Your Kids and Grandkids A Chance

by Sam Miller

I am reaching out to all parents and grandparents who want to help give their children and grandchildren a real advantage in life.  Buying a home is rarely on the minds of our younger generation and this is partially because they believe that the entrance to home ownership is actually more difficult than it really is.  

During the past 22 years in the real estate business I can say with 100% confidence that the majority of the home buyers I speak with are worried about how they will be able to meet the down payment requirement for their mortgage.  This is without a doubt the biggest road block in the minds of buyers.  This minor obstacle is easily solved with some creative thinking and a little assistance from mom & dad, grandma and grandpa and even a brother or sister.  

The most popular home loan today for first time buyers is an FHA insured home loan.  FHA is a great loan program because FHA only requires a 3.5% down payment and the best part is that the entire down payment can be a gift from an immediate family member.  This allows the parents to assist their children to buy their first home much earlier in life and essentially skip the need for them to waste their money on a rental.  This can result in huge financial savings for their children and it allows them to build equity much faster than they could otherwise.

A few factors to consider about the current housing market:

  1. Interest rates are at a 40 year low making homes even more affordable
  2. Fixed interest rate home mortgages are readily available
  3. Mortgages with fixed rates help protect against future inflation
  4. Home values have fallen which makes it an ideal time to purchase.
  5. Home ownership often creates stability, security and the home can become an investment like savings account.
  6. When you combine the lower home prices that are available today with the lowest fixed rate mortgages since the 1960's it becomes amazingly clear that it is the right time to buy a home.
If this topic has even slightly peaked your curiosity and you are wondering if this is the time to help a loved one, just pick up the phone and call us at (740) 397-7800 and tell us you read our blog and want to help a family member.  

We specialize in Knox County Ohio real estate and we have real estate connections throughout America and Canada.  If you need a recommendation or a referral to a prescreened real estate professional we offer this service entirely free of charge to you.

Sam Miller 

Apple Valley Lake Real Estate Search

by Sam Miller

The popularity of online house hunting continues to grow at a rapid pace.  My team and I are constantly researching the most popular websites and there seems to be movement to simplify the online house hunting search process.  A common goal among many within the real estate industry is to enable home buyers to see and view homes within 3 clicks once the consumer has entered their website.  

My team and I gave the 3 click real estate search some serious consideration.  We determined that in order to meet this goal our current website would require some specific updates but most importantly we were able to determine that our goal was within our reach.  We worked closely with our website designer and in less than a month we not only met our goal...we were able to exceed our goal and get over 80% of all home buyers searches down to a single click search.  One Click!

Apple Valley Lake Community Homes For Sale  This is an example of a simple single click Apple Valley home search.  You can now also visit and search for homes in specific price ranges by highlighting the "Search Listings" button and a menu will appear, just click on your selected price range and only those listings will be displayed.  We have also created a one click specialized search for Bank Owned Listings which enables visitors to bypass sifting through every listing on our site and instead have a direct link to the specific listings they want.  

If there is a special search feature you would like to see us add to our website please let us know in the comment section below.  If for any reason we are unable to fulfill your request we have the ability to create a personalized Knox County Ohio MLS search specifically for you within 24 hours of your request.  The Sam Miller Team wants to be your REALTOR and we are willing to go the extra mile to earn your business.

Thank You!

Sam Miller 


Digital Camera Wide Angle Lens Comparison

by Sam Miller

A statistic that those of us in the real estate industry know very well is that 86% of all home buyers begin their home shopping adventure searching for homes on the internet.  Buyers often visit dozens of real estate websites viewing detailed information on listings including taking virtual tours and viewing real estate slideshows.  Websites, virtual tours and slide shows all have one thing in common and that is that buyers are looking at digital photos of these homes.  Wouldn't you think that it would be logical for a real estate professional to invest in the technology that produces the best quality photos considering that 4 out of 5 buyers will be making their decision of which homes they want to take an interior tour of based on what photos they see online? 

The biggest mistake I see agents make is that they are trying to photograph their listings with a small pocket digital camera.  The challege with these types of cameras is that they are truly not designed for taking interior photos of homes especially in lower light settings.  The biggest issue with these types of camera is that most are limited to a 25 mm to 35 mm camera lens.  This makes for some very awkward photos when you are trying to get some really good shots of a moderate to smaller sized room such as a bathroom, breakfast nook, media room, enclosed porch, breezeway, kitchen pantry or pretty much any other smaller room.   The type of camera, the camera sensor, the lens and the flash all contribute to the quality of interior photos of our homes.

The following four photos were taken using a very high quality Canon DSLR 40D camera.  I wanted to demonstrate the difference between a more standard 35 mm lens shot compared to a 24 mm, 17 mm and even the ultra wide 10 mm lens shots.  The reason is that to the average consumer a digital photo is a digital photo UNTIL they actually see how much more of the room we are able to feature using the wider angle lens that is simply not available on the small pocket sized digital cameras.  

Sam Miller 35 mm digital camera comparison35 mm Setting.  The above photo was taken using the 35 mm lens setting.  As you can see it only captures a small portion of this kitchen.  What is amazing is this kitchen is a huge room but because of the narrow focus of the 35 mm lens you only see a fraction of this home.  This is obviously NOT how to highlight your listing.

Sam Miller 24 mm Photo Comparison

24 mm Setting.  The above photo was taken from the exact same angle and the major difference is that with the 24 mm lens you can start to see more of the actual kitchen area.  This photo is a major improvement over the 35 mm because it makes the kitchen appear a little larger.  the problem is that 24 mm is a wider angle view than most poctet digital camera allow.  It would be extremely rare that most pocket digital cameras produce a photo that is this wide angle. 

Sam Miller 17 mm Photo Comparison

17 mm Setting.  The above photo view obviously shows a much larger kitchen view and you can now appreciate the amount of counter space and the actual size and feeling of the kitchen.  A 17 mm lens is not an available option on a popular pocket digital camera such as the Kodak, Panasonic, Sony, Olympus or the HP models.  This is where the Canon DSLR cameras really shine because they can take advantage of the availability of specialized lenses such as the 10-22 which is ideal for shooting the interiors of homes.  Yes, they are certainly more expensive but the results are well worth the investment and your clients will love you for it. 

Sam Miller 10 mm Photo Comparison

10mm Setting.  This is the widest angle setting I have on my Canon DLSR which is 10mm.  The room looks absolutely huge and you can really notice how much work area and you can see there there is plenty of room to walk around the center island.  Notice this is the only photo where you can see that this kitchen actually has a vaulted ceiling.  The 10 mm view highlights more than  3 times the shear space and volume as the more standard 35mm lens.

When you are interviewing a real estate professional to market your home it is a great idea to view and compare the quality of their photos and their website and virtual tour marketing.  With more than 80% of all home buyers making their home buying decision based on what they see online remember that a picture is worth a 1,000 words so consider what will your agents photos say about your home. 

Sam Miller

*All photo examples were used as they came out of the camera and no retouching or photo enhancements were utilized.   

2008 Annual Real Estate Sales Report for the Mount Vernon, Ohio Housing Market.  

  • 211 Residential homes sales within Mount Vernon, Ohio in 2008
  • $22,261,868 or just over 22 million in combined volume
  • $105,506 was the average sales price for Mount Vernon, Ohio
  • $425,000 was the highest residential sale in Mount Vernon
  • $8,000 was the lowest actual frame constructed home sale (repo) 

Here are the 2008 Knox County home sale numbers broken down by specific price ranges, how many sold in each price range and the average sales price per price range grouping.

  • 27 homes sold from $50,000 or less with an average sale price of $36,104.
  • 41 homes sold from $50,001 to $75,000 with $61,411 average sales price.
  • 47 homes sold from $75,001 to $100,000 with $86,655 average sales price.
  • 33 homes sold from $100,001 to $125,000 with $110,719 average sales price.
  • 25 homes sold from $125,001 to $150,000 with $138,222 average sales price.
  • 13 homes sold from $150,001 to $175,000 with $158,592 average sales price.
  • 13 homes sold from $175,001 to $200,000 with $189,882 average sales price.
  • 9 homes sold from $200,001 to $250,000 with $231,044 average sales price.
  • 2 homes sold from $250,001 to $300,000 with $276,250 average sales price.
  • 1 home sold above $300,001 in the Mount Vernon, Ohio area in 2008.
Sam Miller

Apple Valley Lake Annual 2008 Residential Home Sales Report

by Sam Miller

Each year I compile "The State of the Market Residential Housing Report" for the Apple Valley Lake Community which is located in Knox County, Ohio.  This report highlights all residential home sales for the previous year.  This report includes only home sales in Apple Valley Lake Community including Apple Valley lakefront homes, lakeview homes, golf course homes and wooded and more typical locations.  This report excludes all vacant lot sales which are being featured in my Annual Apple Valley Lot report.  

  • 101 Residential homes sales in 2008 at the Apple Valley Lake Community
  • $16,058,378 or just over 16 million in total combined volume (per MLS)
  • $158,993 was the average sales price for the homes sold in Apple Valley
  • $530,000 was the highest residential sales in Apple Valley in 2008 MLS
  • $65,000 was the lowest sales price in Apple Valley per Knox County MLS 

Here are the 2008 Apple Valley home sale numbers broken down by specific price ranges, how many sold in each price range and the average sales price per price range grouping.

  • 3 homes sold from $50,001 to $75,000 with $68,500 average sales price.
  • 23 homes sold from $75,001 to $100,000 with $88,607 average sales price.
  • 23 homes sold from $100,001 to $125,000 with $113,744 average sales price.
  • 16 homes sold from $125,001 to $150,000 with $138,059 average sales price.
  • 4 homes sold from $150,001 to $175,000 with $161,236 average sales price.
  • 15 homes sold from $175,001 to $200,000 with $184,950 average sales price.
  • 4 homes sold from $200,001 to $250,000 with $227,625 average sales price.
  • 1 home sold from $250,001 to $300,000 with $295,000 average sales price.
  • 9 homes sold from $300,001 to $400,000 with $351,333 average sales price.
  • 2 homes sold from $400,001 and higher with $467,000 average sales price.
Click Here to view the 2008 Knox County Ohio "State of the Market" residential home sale report.

Sam Miller


Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 11