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Amy and Dan Schuman's Blog

By Amy and Dan Schuman | Agent in Solon, OH
  • Solon Ohio Year In Review 2012

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Cleveland, Home Buying in Cleveland, Home Selling in Cleveland  |  February 13, 2013 6:55 AM  |  1,357 views  |  No comments

    Solon Sold homes

    The following is our 4th annual year in review for Solon Ohio real estate. Here, we will provide a comparison between this past year and 2011 and offer commentary.

    ALL HOMES

    Year          # of Homes Sold        Ave. Sales Price   Sales Price/List Price


    2011                      222                    $291,449                 94.16%


    2012                      260                    $299,924                 94.03%


    LUXURY HOMES ( sales price over $500,000 )


    2011                       29                     $626,888                94.58%


    2012                       39                     $640,749                92.95%


    2012 FIRST HALF VS. SECOND HALF OF THE YEAR


    FIRST HALF              107              $284,146               93.47%


    SECOND HALF           159              $302,114               94.39%

    Source: NEOHREX


    COMMENTARY

    This has been a very good year for the Solon real estate market. We saw a lot of positive signs that the worst is behind us and that things are getting better.  Below is a list of 5 important things that the above statistics tell us:


    1.     More homes sold in 2012 vs. 2011

    2.     Average sales price was higher this past year

    3.     The market IMPROVED during the second half of 2012

    4.     A well priced home will receive approximately 94% of asking price

    5.     The luxury home market improved, meaning affluent buyers are feeling more confident about buying a luxury home

    So, what can we take away from all of this? Improvement as a result of a slowly improving economy, low interest rates, and an increase in consumer confidence.


    BUYERS AND SELLERS BOTH FEEL BETTER

    The numbers indicate more buyers and sellers coming together and overcoming the numerous challenges presented by the market.  First time buyers are feeling a little more confident as are the local move-up buyers. Those looking to sell and buy a larger home are realizing that selling their existing home is now a realistic goal and no longer have as much fear.

    Sellers have come to better understand that the major correction in the local real estate market has brought prices to where they were about 10 years ago. I'm certainly not indicating that sellers are happy about this, but they now have more realistic expectations regarding price.

    WE NEED MORE INVENTORY

    The really good news for Solon home sellers is that the inventory of available homes is down about 25% from 2 years ago. This has helped create a much more balanced market and in some price points, things are actually learning a little toward the sellers. We have seen multiple offer situations ( bidding wars ) take place on a regular basis, especially in the $200,000-$300,000 price point.

    The real estate market should continue to recover in 2013.

  • The Perfect Home Doesn't Exist

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Cleveland  |  January 25, 2013 8:25 AM  |  1,233 views  |  No comments

    If you are buying a home, it is important to have realistic expectations because in the words of The Rolling Stones, “you can’t always get what you want.” 

    We’re not saying that you won’t get a lot of things on your wish list and end up thrilled with your new home.  Just understand that the perfect house simply doesn’t exist at any price point.  We have seen people spend a lot of time looking at every home in their price point and not like anything.  These folks end up getting very frustrated and blame “the market” for not offering them the perfect house at the perfect price. The problem may really be unrealistic expectations.

    If you can’t find a home you like, you may have to re-adjust your game plan.  You should prioritize the things that you absolutely need in a home versus the things that you want. There are likely things that you positively must have, like a certain number of bedrooms and baths. Then, there are other things that would be nice, but not a necessity, like a 3 car garage. We are not saying that you should have to settle on a home that doesn’t make you happy.  However, there does come a point during the buying process where you may have to be flexible.

    Opening your mind to alternative locations may also be helpful.  We see a lot of buyers start their search in one community or subdivision, but find that they can get more for the money elsewhere. Unless you have your heart set on a specific area, it can be helpful to keep your options open as you may be pleasantly surprised with what you find.

    START WITH A PLAN

    The first thing to do is get pre-approved for a loan and know specifically how much you would like to spend. Then, make a list of the “must haves” and “would like to haves” for your next home.  It is imperative that all decision makers have input here so that everyone is on the same page.

    Another critical part of the process is communicating with your agent. We get a chance to tour homes on a regular basis and can often pick homes out for you once we know what you like. Sometimes we end up finding homes for our clients just by talking to other agents in the market, homes that may be coming on the market soon, yet are not currently listed. Many of our clients also end up buying a home that did not meet their original specifications, so keeping an open mind here is helpful.

    The most important thing is to be honest with yourself.  Trying to fit a square peg in a round hole is a daunting task and will lead to frustration.  Be realistic and understand that life is often about compromise, especially when buying a home.

    ————————————————————————-

    About The Authors

    The above information is compliments of The Schuman Team, Amy and Dan, of Howard Hanna Real Estate Services.

    They can be reached at 216-346-3235 or 216-403-9189 or via email, danschuman@howardhanna.com or amyschuman@howardhanna.com.

    The Schumans service the following Cleveland area suburbs: Aurora, Bainbridge, Bay Village, Beachwood, Bentleyville, Chagrin Falls, Cleveland Heights, Gates Mills, Highland Heights, Hunting Valley, Lakewood, Lyndhurst, Mayfield Heights, Mayfield Village, Moreland Hills, Oakwood Village, Orange, Pepper Pike, Shaker Heights, Solon, South Euclid, University Heights, Westlake, Woodmere.

    Solon Ohio Real Estate - Year In Review 2012 is the property of The Schuman Team and may not be duplicated or used without their written consent.©January, 2013

  • Can Feng Shui Sell A Home?

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Cleveland, Home Selling in Cleveland, Curb Appeal in Cleveland  |  June 21, 2012 7:01 AM  |  1,509 views  |  1 comment

    Feng Shui has been around for thousands of years but until recently, most sellers have not taken it very seriously. Today, we will discuss the importance of Feng Shui and how it influences buyers in today's real estate market.

    FENG SHUI - THE WHAT AND WHY

    For those of you not familiar with the concept of Feng Shui, it has to do with the balance of energy in a home. It has even been supported by modern day science.

    Some homes are deemed more desirable to those buyers who subscribe to the principals of Feng Shui then others. In our case, we have a lot of international buyers in the local market who do feel strongly about Feng Shui. Therefore, we feel it is important for our home sellers to at least understand the basic concepts and what it can mean to their efforts in selling their home.

    SOME QUICK FIXES TO COMMON PROBLEMS

    Making a home "Feng Shui" friendly is often fairly easy and doesn't necessarily cost a ton of money. While we can't go into all the specifics in this post, we can give you some examples of how simple it can be to make your home conform to the principals of Feng Shui.

    Changing a room's color or adding some things to change the flow of energy in a home can make a huge difference. For example, the ideal color of a dining room according to Feng Shui would be sage green, a medium blue or even an earth tone.

    Sprucing up a home's entrance is also deemed important. A new front door and sparkling clean windows are said to attract positive energy to a home. Also, if you walk into a home and can immediately see through to the back yard, the energy is supposedly flowing right through the home, which isn't good according to Feng Shui. To correct this, you could simply add a table and some tall flowers or plants in the entryway to help disperse energy throughout the home.

    BEYOND WHAT YOU CAN SEE

    Another important concept in Feng Shui is the other senses besides sight. Smell and sound are deemed critical yet are often overlooked when selling a home. There are particular smells that are ideal for kitchens and bathrooms. Specific types of music will also enhance a potential buyer's experience when walking through a home. Oh, and don't forget about temperature. A home should be set at a particular temperature in both the summer and winter months to make the buyers feel the most comfortable.

    Whether or not you personally believe in Feng Shui is irrelevant. Many buyers subscribe to the concepts associated with this powerful philosophy and that alone should be reason enough for you to care. After all, if you don't give buyers what they want, they'll find it someone else.

    ————————————————————————-

    About The Authors

    The above information is compliments of The Schuman Team, Amy and Dan, of Howard Hanna Real Estate Services.

    They can be reached at 216-346-3235 or 216-403-9189 or via email, danschuman@howardhanna.com or amyschuman@howardhanna.com.

    The Schumans service the following Cleveland area suburbs: Bainbridge, Bay Village, Beachwood, Bentleyville, Chagrin Falls, Cleveland Heights, Gates Mills, Highland Heights, Hunting Valley, Lakewood, Lyndhurst, Mayfield Heights, Mayfield Village, Moreland Hills, Oakwood Village, Orange, Pepper Pike, Shaker Heights, Solon, South Euclid, University Heights, Westlake, Woodmere.

    Can Feng Shui Help A Home Sell? is the property of The Schuman Team and may not be duplicated or used without their written consent. ©May, 2012

  • Making The Home Inspection Process Easier

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Cleveland, Home Selling in Cleveland  |  April 20, 2012 8:52 AM  |  1,478 views  |  No comments

    The home inspection in an important step of the buying process and will often make or break a sale. Today we will share some thoughts that will hopefully put things into perspective and help guide you through it.

    First and foremost, we highly recommend all buyers have a home inspected by a professional. That being said, we caution buyers to have realistic expectations on what they are looking to accomplish here.the home inspection process

    The past few years have seen the inspection process turn into round two of negotiations. Buyers have gotten a little out of control and seem to be asking for sellers to fix everything under the sun, even things they were aware of when they walked through the home ( broken outlet cover, rip in screen door, etc...).

    In turn, sellers have become defensive and annoyed as they respond to a laundry list of what they think are unreasonable requests. So why have things gotten so out of hand?

    EMOTIONS

    In addition to unrealistic expectations, we feel that emotions also play a major role here.

    Think about it, the inspection period occurs when buyers' emotions are at a heightened state. Sure, they are initially exited about their new home. After a few days pass however, additional feelings start to creep in such as nervousness, anxiety, and sometimes even buyer's remorse ( did we pay too much, is this really the right house...). These are totally natural feelings that all buyers experience. If not handled properly though things tend to get magnified and out of hand fast.

    Instead of focusing on the really important things, such as health and safety issues, buyers are too often getting bogged down on really minor items. Some are even asking for upgrades to items that are working properly. This part of the process can end up becoming more drawn out than the original negotiations.

     

    THE SOLUTION

    We communicate three things to our buyers:

    1.  Offer A Price Based On What You See And Know - If you are aware that there is a cracked window, or that the roof is 24 years old, build those items into the price. Don't wait until it shows up on the inspection report and then use it as a way to re-negotiate a better price. This is a little disingenuous to the negotiation process.

    2.  Respond Quickly - Once the inspection report is received, get back to the seller as soon as possible. Although the standard contract will typically give you a certain number of days to respond to the seller ( in Ohio it is 3 days ), dragging out the process may do more harm than good. If you really want the sellers to do something, making them wait on pins and needles for days on end is not always the best way to get their cooperation.

    3. Focus On The Big Picture - Don't let pettiness and emotions get in the way of what you really want ---the home. Remaining calm and focusing on the big picture will often get you through it. That, and the help of a skilled real estate agent.

    The home inspection process is where many deals fall apart. Stay focused and try not to let your emotions get the best of you, otherwise be prepared for a lot of antacid and sleepless nights.

     Here are some of our others posts that may interest you as well:

    One Question That You Absolutely Must Ask Your Clients

    5 Reasons Why Using A Local Agent Is Better

    Cool Virtual Tool To Help Pick Out Paint Color

    Is Social Media Killing Confidentiality?

    Real Estate Agents Are Not Just Door Openers

    _____________________________________________________________________

    About The Authors:

    Dan and Amy Schuman are agents with Howard Hanna, the area's largest real estate company. They live in Solon Ohio and specialize in Cleveland Luxury Homes, working with buyers relocating to Cleveland, and first-time buyers.


    LET'S CONNECT:


    Subscribe via RSS! Follow Me On Twitter! Follow Us On Facebook! Follow Us On Linkedin! Subscribe To Our Youtube Channel!


    Making The Home Inspection Process Easier is the property of The Schuman Team and may not be duplicated or used without their written consent. ©April 2012

  • Great Gift Ideas For Kids

    Posted Under: Entertainment & Nightlife in Cleveland  |  December 15, 2010 1:07 PM  |  811 views  |  No comments
    Great Gift Ideas For Kids - Originally posted at Cleveland Real Estate Blog


    family gift ideas

    Are you looking for gift ideas for your kids that will also bring the family together?  The following is a list of games that our kids love and can be played by the entire family. 

    QWIRKLE- This is a game that we had never heard of until it was recently given to one of our children.   It's simple enough that you can learn to play it in about 10 minutes, but there is still strategy involved that will keep you on your toes. If I had to describe it, I would say it is a mix of Scrabble and Dominoes and uses colors and shapes. No reading is involved here, so children that haven't learned how to read could play. It is geared for ages 6 and up.

    APPLES TO APPLES- This comes in two versions, the regular version ( in a red box) and a Junior version ( a green box).  It is a game of comparisons where every game is different depending on who is playing.  The regular edition has words that are a little more conceptually difficult or even a little dated.  The Junior version is better for younger children, and it can also be played together with teens, parents, and grandparents. We prefer the Junior version and have played it for hours with groups of all ages. This game is really a ton of fun for the entire family. One thing to note is that players must be able to read to play on their own. Otherwise, younger children who cannot read will be better off pairing up with an adult.

    CRANIUM CADOO - Cadoo is like a mixture of Charades, Pictionary, and trivia.  It is a fast moving game so kids don't get bored of it very easily and it involves them using their hands, bodies, and minds.  It also comes with special glasses that reveal secret words ( like 3-D glasses ). 

    UNO - This game has been around awhile, but is always a hit, and easy to learn and play. It is a card game that can be played by as little as 2 players. The fact that it is small makes it portable, so can be taken on small trips.  There are even themed versions (Dora, etc) for little ones to teach them how to play until they are ready for the original version.

    RACKO - This game has been around a long time, and is often hard to find.  It is a combination of skill and luck and involves putting your 10 cards in numerical order from lowest to highest. The concept seems simple but still provides some challenges.

    We hope this short list helps you with some ideas as you complete your holiday shopping.  We wish you a safe holiday season filled with love and good cheer.

     *********************************************************************************

    About The Authors:

    Dan and Amy Schuman live on the East side of Cleveland and specialize in Cleveland Luxury Homes, working with buyers relocating to Cleveland, and first-time buyers.

    For Ohio and Cleveland Oh real estate and homes see  Cleveland OH real estate

    For a personal consultation or to speak directly to The Schuman Team, call 216-346-3235 or email.


    Homes For Sale in Cleveland OH What's my Cleveland Home Value

      

     LET'S CONNECT:

    Subscribe via RSS! Follow Me On Twitter! Follow Me On Twitter! Follow Me On Twitter! Follow Me On Twitter!

      

    Great Gift Ideas For Kids is the property of The Schuman Team and may not be duplicated or used without their written consent. ©December, 2010

  • Cleveland OH Real Estate - Relocating To Cleveland: The Complete Guide Part 1

    Posted Under: General Area in Cleveland  |  August 19, 2010 7:54 PM  |  541 views  |  No comments

    Original Source: Cleveland OH Real Estate - Relocating To Cleveland: The Complete Guide Part 1


    Rock and Roll Hall of Fame


    So, you've just found out you are relocating to Cleveland Ohio. Like most people in your situation, you are probably going through a wide range of emotions. You are also beginning to realize how much work you have to do to prepare for your big move. This guide was designed to help alleviate the stress that comes with relocating and to provide sound advice.

    WHY ARE WE PROVIDING THIS GUIDE?

    We personally relocated to Cleveland almost 15 years ago and know exactly what you are going through. We understand how stressful moving to a new city can be, especially if you don't know a lot of people, and we wanted to provide some help and friendly advice.  So, take a deep breath, try to relax and let us help you put together a successful game plan so you can have a smooth transition when relocating to your new home, Cleveland, Ohio.

    ABOUT CLEVELAND

    First things first, since you are moving to Cleveland, you should learn a little bit about one of Ohio's largest cities. Overall, Cleveland is known as offering its residents the amenities of a big city but with the feel of a small town. The people here are also very welcoming to outsiders, willing to extend you our Midwestern hospitality. We are confident that in time, once you get to know all the fantastic things Cleveland has to offer, you will become excited to be a part of our community. 

     Cleveland Museum of Art

    Cleveland has a rich history and has been named an All-America City on several occasions over the past twenty years. It also boasts many historic landmarks and cultural institutions such as Terminal Tower, Cleveland Grays Armory, The West Side Market,  Severance Hall, The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland Botanical Garden, and the Cleveland Metropolitan Parks System (more commonly known around town as "the Metroparks")  which includes the Cleveland Zoo. Cleveland is also home to 3 major sports teams and numerous minor league teams as well.


     

    There are a ton of things that are great about Cleveland, such as the cost of living, culture, shopping and lack of traffic compared to big cities.  In fact, here is our complete list of our top 10 things that are great about Cleveland.

    So now that you have learned a little bit about our town, on to the task at hand, your upcoming relocation to Cleveland. 

    STEP 1 - ADDRESS YOUR HOUSING NEEDS

    A major step in the relocation process is finding a place to live in Cleveland. Do you want to live on the East side or West side? Are you going to rent or buy? What can you get for your money here in Cleveland? Cleveland has some great housing options, but you'll need someone to guide you through the process.


     Home in Cleveland Ohio


    We highly recommend hiring a real estate agent to help you find suitable housing.  This person, especially if you don't have a lot of contacts in Cleveland, will be relied on for more than just housing too.  They will be your tour guide, friend, and in general, a valuable resource for everything, not just real estate. You may need to find specific information on schools, doctors for your children, places to board your pet, restaurants and shopping, so a good local agent will play a critical part in a successful move. 

    When we moved here in the mid 90's, we were very fortunate and grateful to find a fantastic agent to help us with our move. She was so valuable to everything we did and we are still friends with her to this day.

    If you are relocating to Cleveland, you will have 2 options when it comes to finding a real estate agent:

    1. your company, if assisting in the move, will find you an agent on your behalf.

    2. find one on your own

    If your company is handling your move, be cautious as relocation companies don't always match relocating clients with an agent who is a great match. Sometimes a company merely assigns an agent based on seniority or production without really giving thought to specific needs of the person being relocated. Even if your company is coordinating everything for you, the choice of which real estate agent to use is still up to you.

    If you are on your own to find an agent, do some research and choose wisely. Getting names of agents from friends or family is helpful. You can also find some great information on line. No matter who you hire, it is important to define what you want in an agent and what you expect of their services. This way, when you can contact them, you can be sure to ask the right questions to make sure they are a good fit.

    Once you have decided on an agent, it is now time for step 2, Where To Live in Cleveland. This will be made available in a few days, so please keep reading our blog.

    Here are a few helpful articles pertaining to relocating to Cleveland OH:

    Cleveland Ohio relocation - Important Contact Information

    Buying A Home In Cleveland - The Complete Guide 

    Cleveland Ohio Private Schools

    ******************************************************************************************

    About The Authors:

    Dan and Amy Schuman reside on the East side of Cleveland. They specialize in luxury homes, working with buyers relocating to Cleveland, and first-time buyers.

    For Ohio and Cleveland OH real estate and homes see Cleveland Oh real estate.

    For a personal consultation or to speak directly to The Schuman Team, call 216-346-3235.

    SEE ALL CLEVELAND OH AREA HOMES FOR SALE BY CLICKING BELOW:

    view all Cleveland luxury homes

     CHECK OUT THE SCHUMAN TEAM'S AWARD-WINNING WEBSITE

     

    Cleveland OH Real Estate - Relocating To Cleveland: The Complete Guide Part 1 is the property of The Schuman Team and may not be duplicated or used without their written consent. ©July2010

    Disclaimer: The Schuman Team practices real estate in Ohio. Since many states have different laws and protocol regarding a real estate transaction, we recommend consulting a qualified local legal professional prior to entering into any written agreement. This blog contains observations and opinions related to our first hand experience working with buyers and sellers in Ohio, but should not be construed as legal advice.  Accuracy is not guaranteed.  

  • Buying A Home In Cleveland - A Buyer's Complete Guide

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Cleveland  |  January 14, 2010 6:38 AM  |  400 views  |  No comments

    Buying A Home In Cleveland - The Complete Guide Part 1 of 7 The Initial Consultation

    If you are buying a home in Cleveland, you will find this series of 7 articles very helpful. We will focus on every step of the home buying process, from the first step of the initial consultation and putting together a game plan to closing, and everything in between. Buying a home can be complicated, especially if you are a first-time buyer, haven't bought in a long time, or are relocating to Cleveland and buying from out of state. However, if you are armed with the proper information up front, you can move forward with confidence and make the entire process a lot less stressful, and even have some fun.

     complete guide to buying a home in cleveland

    While the information contained in this article and the rest of the series focuses specifically on those who are buying a home in Cleveland and the surrounding suburbs, many of the main ideas described here can be used to buy a home anywhere. Keep in mind that every geographic area has different nuances and some of the things we will discuss throughout this series may not be applicable to those living in other areas of the country or outside the U.S.  

     initial consultation is first step of buying a home

    The first step to buying a home in Cleveland is the initial consultation with a real estate agent. This does not have to be a lengthy or difficult process and usually only takes an hour or so. It is critical though to define your home buying goals up front and as detailed as possible so you can achieve success. While this may sound simple, many home buyers decide their first step should be to look at houses on line and go see them at an open house. While there is nothing wrong with driving around looking at homes, if you are serious about buying and want to make sure you don't make any costly mistakes, you should sit down with a real estate professional and map out a plan.

     

    Think of it this way, if you were going on a 2 week vacation with your family, would you just pile everyone in the car and start driving? Probably not, so buying a home should be viewed the same way, you need to have a plan. In fact, using the above analogy of going on a trip, working with a real estate agent would be equivalent to having a high-end GPS system navigate you from start to finish. The best thing is that when  buying a home in Cleveland, the seller pays all real estate commissions, so hiring a buyer's agent does not cost you any money.

    The initial consultation should be done in person, although those relocating to Cleveland may need to do it by phone. Regardless, this important first step is a time of fact gathering, so be prepared to be asked a lot of questions. In turn, you should feel comfortable asking questions as well, to make sure you and your agent are on the same page.  Remember, this is the beginning of what will hopefully be a successful long-term relationship, so asking questions and being able to speak openly and honestly with each other is important.

    It is during this time that you will discuss things like time frame, if you need to sell before buying, your price range, and specifics about the desired location and type of home you are looking for. The more information your agent has, the easier it will be for them to find you that one special home. We realize that many home buyers just want to start seeing homes and prefer to skip this initial first step, but don't make this mistake. This first step is the most important and can dictate the success of your home buying experience.

    If you would like to continue reading the Complete Guide To Buying A Home In Cleveland, click the link below to get to Step 2:

    Getting Pre-Approved 

    *****************************************************************************************

    About The Authors:

    This information is provided compliments of Amy and Dan Schuman, The Schuman Team Keller Williams Realty. The Schumans have worked with numerous professional athletes, business owners, and those relocating to Cleveland from out of the area.

    If you are considering buying a home in the Cleveland area, please contact the Schuman Team at 216-346-3235. 

    VIEW ALL CLEVELAND HOMES FOR SALE BY CLICKING BELOW

     

    view all cleveland homes for sale

     CHECK OUT THE SCHUMAN TEAM'S AWARD-WINNING WEBSITE

    Buying A Home In Cleveland The Complete Guide Part 1 Initial Consultation is the property of The Schuman Team and may not be duplicated or used without their written consent. ©2009-1010

 
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