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Knox County Ohio Blog

Sam Miller

Knox County Ohio Blog

Sam Miller

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Displaying blog entries 211-219 of 219

Visit a Knox County OH Pumpkin Patch!

by Sam Miller

The temperature is dropping, the leaves are beginning to change, and autumn is officially in full swing in Ohio.  Halloween is just around the corner, and if you haven’t done so already, this weekend will be the perfect time to pick up your family’s Jack-o-Lantern!

 

A great way to spruce up your home’s curbside appeal during this season is to decorate with a few locally-grown pumpkins – maybe even add some hay and a scarecrow to really get festive!  Visiting a local pumpkin patch is also a fantastic way to enjoy the fall weather with your family and get some of those always-cute snapshots of the kids picking out their pumpkins.  Why not start a new tradition this year and visit one of these local pumpkin patches?

 

To learn more about living here and Knox County OH real estate, please visit SamMiller.net or call me at 740-397-7800.  You can begin searching for Knox County OH homes here!

Retiring in Knox County OH with a Mortgage

by Sam Miller

It's an increasingly common dilemma.  You want to retire — but you haven't yet retired your mortgage.

According to the Federal Reserve, among households headed by someone age 65 to 74, over 32% had a mortgage on their primary residence in 2004, up from less than 19% in 1992.

Are you heading into retirement and still carrying a mortgage?  Here are some tips on how to do it:

-  If you have a heap of savings and a modest mortgage, go for the loan payoff.  You might consider trading down to a smaller home or, work part-time until you're rid of the mortgage.

-  If you have cash sitting in, for example, a money-market fund held in a regular taxable account, also consider using these savings to reduce your loan balance.  Sure, your mortgage may be costing you just 6% and the interest might be tax-deductible. But your money-market fund is likely yielding only 5% — and you have to pay tax on that income.

If your mortgage is so large that paying it off will seriously impact your retirement, you might as well get the mortgage payment down as low as possible.

Better still, trade down.  After paying a 5% or 6% real-estate commission and paying off your current mortgage, in most cases, you could put down cash on your new home, leaving you with a smaller mortgage.  If you financed that over 30 years at 6.5%, your monthly payment would be lower.

You might even consider refinancing later in retirement, further shrinking your monthly payment by again extending the loan over 30 years.  Even in today's tight credit environment, you shouldn't have a problem qualifying for a new loan, as long as you have a reasonable amount of retirement income.

Thinking of retiring to Knox County OH?  Visit KnoxCountyMLS.com to receive automated emails of listings that meet your criteria.  Or, for more personalized service, please call me at 740-397-7800 or visit SamMiller.net to learn more about Knox County OH real estate.

Buyers Beware When Investing in Foreclosures in Knox County OH

by Sam Miller

We’ve been covering the unprecedented rise in foreclosures across America a lot lately, because it is such a hot topic in the real estate world.

 

On the opposite side of homeowners who are struggling to meet their mortgage payments are those who are eager to capitalize on the trend by investing in foreclosures and – they hope – selling them for a hefty profit.

 

While this seems like an easy enough idea on the surface, potential investors should take care to investigate what they are getting into before heading to an auction or purchasing any property sight-unseen.

 

As this article on RealEstateJournal.com details, there are caveats to investing in foreclosures.  If you are investing in a property with the hopes of flipping it for a quick re-sale, you should consult an experienced Realtor first to get a clear picture of the current real estate market in your area.  If homes are not moving off the market quickly, you could end up with a property that won’t sell simply because there aren’t enough buyers in your area.  Also, some homes may come with major structural damage, hidden liens, or utility bills that need to be paid.  Since these properties generally cannot be inspected prior to purchase, it is important to weigh out how much you are willing to invest in improvements over and above the actual price of the property.

 

If you are thinking of investing in Knox County OH real estate, please visit SamMiller.net or call me at 740-397-7800.  You can also begin searching the MLS here. I would be happy to help you invest in your future in Knox County OH.

How to Avoid Foreclosure in Knox County OH

by Sam Miller

If you have a mortgage on your Knox County OH home, you have probably been paying close attention to the latest interest rates and are aware of the ongoing rise in the foreclosure rate across America. 

 

What would you do if you were actually faced with the prospect of foreclosure?  Would you have the information needed to make an informed decision on your financial future?  Many homeowners think it can or will not happen to them, so they do not take the time to learn what the options are on the best way to move forward in a stressful situation such as foreclosure.

 

This article from FreddieMac.com outlines the terms associated with foreclosure and gives a good starting point with steps to take if you think you may soon be unable to pay your mortgage.  Some of the topics covered in this helpful article:

  • What to do if you can not pay your mortgage
  • What if you can no longer afford to keep your home
  • Beware of scam artists

I would like to add to the list of steps to take when facing foreclosure – contact an experienced Realtor!  Along with a reputable lender, an experienced Realtor can help explain your options and guide you through the choice that is best for you.

 

For more information about Knox County OH real estate, please call me today at 740-397-7800 or visit SamMiller.net, I would be happy to help you.  You may also begin searching the MLS here!

Write Off Your Move to Knox County OH!

by Sam Miller

Did you know that many moving expenses, including house-hunting trips, are tax deductible?  This is why it is of the utmost importance to keep detailed records of all moving expenses if your move is job-related. 

 

If your move is 35 miles or more from your home, you can deduct your family’s travel expenses, including meals and lodging; the cost of transporting furniture, other household goods, and personal belongings; food and hotel bills for up to 30 days in the new city if you have to wait to move into your new home; and the costs associated with selling your old home or leasing your new home.

 

Please note that there is a ceiling on deductions which is outlined in detail in the IRS’s Publication 521, “Tax Information on Moving Expenses,” available free from the IRS offices.

 

Thinking about moving to Knox County OH?  Start by signing up to receive free automated listings by email; you may also visit SamMiller.net or call me at 800-282-9096 for all of your Knox County OH real estate needs!

Items Needed For A Loan Application in Knox County OH

by Sam Miller
You may feel like you are drowning in paperwork when you head to your lender’s office to apply for your next home loan. This is thanks in part to tightening credit standards that are causing lenders to require more proof than ever of borrowers’ income and expenses. To try to help with the process, I’ve put together a list of items you may be required to bring along when are ready begin the loan application process: (please note, all lenders are different and may require more or less paperwork!)
 
Employment/Income
-          Addresses of employers for two full years
-          Gross monthly income, proven by last two pay stubs
-          W-2’s, if available
-          Proof of pensions, retirement, disability, or Social Security
-          Proof of income from rentals, investments, etc.
-          Proof of child support or alimony paid/received
-          Self-employed: two years 1040 tax returns and current year profit and loss statement
 
Creditors
-          Each creditor’s name, type of account, and account numbers
-          Monthly payments and approximate balances
-          Amount of child care expenses and other fixed monthly expenses
 
Banking
-          Names of checking & savings institutions, along with account numbers and current balances
-          Last two months bank and savings statements
 
Miscellaneous
-          List of assets in stocks, bonds, land
-          Life insurance cash value
-          Social Security numbers for all parties
-          Veterans: Certificate of Eligibility & DD-214 or Statement of Service
-          Divorce Decree and/or Separation Agreement if applicable
-          Child support documentation if applicable
-          Bankruptcy papers if applicable
 
This may seem like a lot of personal information to have to provide just to apply for a home loan. But imagine if you were about to lend hundreds of thousands of dollars to somebody – you’d probably want a pretty good idea of that person’s ability to pay you back!
 
Please click here to get started searching for Knox County OH homes. You can also visit my website or email me to learn more about Knox County OH real estate. I’m here to help!

Knox County OH Soil Analysis

by Sam Miller

Have you ever really thought about the dirt that your home is sitting on?  It may seem like just an afterthought when you’re out mowing the lawn or playing in the yard with the kids, but the details of the soil on your property can tell you a great deal about the history and future of the land upon which you tread every day.

 

The US Department of Agriculture’s has an extremely comprehensive Web Soil Survey website that contains digital maps and unbelievable amounts of digital soil data that has been methodically collected.  Just type in your address and then explore almost anything you ever wanted to know about the soil upon which your home is sitting including chemical properties, erosion factors and likelihood, and its drainage class.

 

This information is invaluable if you are considering building an addition to your existing home or are purchasing property and want to feel confident in the makeup of the soil on which your family will live.

 

To get a complimentary comparative analysis of your home’s value, please click here - or feel free to visit my website or email me if you would like to learn more about Knox County OH real estate.  I would love to help you invest in your future.

Preparing To Sell Your Home Tips

by Sam Miller
Let me begin with some very basic yet very important concepts: #1. When your home is in "Top Condition" it will sell faster and for a higher price. #2. If the buyer smells cat or dog odors you won't sell it for top dollar and maybe not at all. #3. A home full of clutter and disorganization is a major turn off to buyers. #4. Clean, nice and neat homes that are well staged sells for higher prices than fixer upper homes. If the potential buyer feels that you love your home and if they believe you have taken good care of it you will be more likely to sell for a fair price, sell faster and have less issues with inspections and other inspection contingencies. However, homes that are simply listed for sale with no regard to the condition and are not show ready will sit, the seller will be forced to reduce the price over and over again in order to sell it. The best news is that preparing a home for sale is not difficult, it is not costly and is always worth the extra effort. If you want a faster sale for more money with less negotiating you will want to talk with me about my tops and methods for getting your home ready to sell. When I represent a home owner and after they have hired me to sell their home I work with them on ways we can make their house show it's best and appeal to the highest number of buyers. As part of my service to my sellers I provide a home preparation DVD called "Preparing Your Home To Sell" by real estate specialist David Knox. This DVD shows you tips and methods for making your house appear lighter and brighter, cleaner and it shows you how to give your home an advantage over other competing homes for sale. If you have ever watched shows like "Sell This House" you will truly appreciate this video. The real estate market is more competitive than every before anand it is important to take advantage of every opportunity available to you. Getting your home ready to show and sell and selecting a price that will attract ready, willing and financially capable buyers is what I do so if you want top notch representation give me a call at (740) 397-7800 or 1-800-282-9096. Sam Miller

Kokosing Gap Trail: Ohio’s Finest Rail to Trail

by Sam Miller

Once an active branch of the Pennsylvania Railroad, the Kokosing Gap Trail offers Knox County residents a relaxing and very scenic means of exercise and recreation. Opened in 1991, the Trail is a 10-foot wide paved path that stretches 13.5 miles from Mount Vernon to Danville. Along its course, the Trail follows Knox County’s scenic Kokosing River and surrounding countryside. Forested hills, wetlands, family farms, and the river itself offer pleasant scenery, and many opportunities for memorable photos. Beginning in Mount Vernon’s Phillips Park, the trail runs east to historic Gambier, the home of nationally respected Kenyon College. Here, one can stop for a rest at one of the Trail’s restroom facilities and take photos with one of the Trail’s travelers from the past: and old steam engine, coal car, flatbed and caboose; a standing reminder of the legacy of America’s once great railroad system.

 

From Gambier, the trail continues northeast towards Howard, where the beautiful Apple Valley Lake and resort are located. Here, Trail goers will pass underneath Route 36 through a stone-arched tunnel, and then continue on towards Danville. It is in Danville where the 13.5-mile Kokosing Gap Trail ends, but if one wishes to travel further, the Mohican Valley Trail, which opened to the public in 1999, begins only a few blocks from where the Kokosing Trail ends.

 

Many people use the Kokosing Gap Trail. Its close proximity to Mount Vernon Nazarene University and Kenyon College in Gambier makes it an excellent place for college students to get away from the stress of campus life and prevent the infamous Freshman 15. It is a great way for families to spend peaceful, quality time together, and instill in young children good exercise habits and a respect and love of nature. The Trail is an excellent way for anyone, of any age, to get the exercise needed to live a healthy, happy life.

 

The Trail is also a great place for nature lovers. In addition to the common squirrel, chipmunk, and deer, the Kokosing Gap Trail is also a great place for bird watchers. One of the most inspiring sights at the Trail is the rare spotting of the American Bald Eagle. At least one mating pair is reported to soar the skies along the Kokosing River, making the Trail one of the best places to try and spot this majestic, once endangered, bird of prey. With the 4th of July fast approaching, the spotting of the American Bald Eagle within Knox County could be one of the most memorable sights of the summer.

 

Parking for the Kokosing Gap Trail can be found in Mount Vernon, Gambier, Howard, and Danville. The trail features several river crossings on wooden-decked steel bridges, a few of which include observation decks where people can rest and take in the scenery or take a few photos. Recently, there has been some talk on extending the Trail to also run north to Fredericktown, Ohio. The Kokosing Gap Trail is a beautiful, relaxing stretch of path, which is enjoyable to people of all ages and backgrounds. Whether biking, walking, running or skating, the Trail is an excellent venue for exercise and shows off the beauty and rich history of Knox County.

Displaying blog entries 211-219 of 219

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Sam Miller
RE/MAX Stars Realty
710 South Main Street
Mount Vernon OH 43050
740-397-7800
Fax: 740-399-3604