Maria Walley, Realtor
January, 2018 | Cincinnati Condo Connection

Here’s one of the Best Condos for Sale In Oakley

More and more people are moving to Cincinnati every day and looking for available homes in a wide range of styles and budgets. For some potential buyers, quiet streets to raise their kids is extremely important, while for others, it is far more important to be near the hustle and bustle of downtown Cincinnati.

Here at Cincinnati Condo Connection, we work with a wide mixture of potential home buyers and sellers every day. However, when young home buyers want to purchase their first condo in Cincinnati, we find that we are recommending a few particular neighborhoods more than others. One of those special neighborhoods is Oakley.

Oakley is a picturesque neighborhood in northern Cincinnati that is known for its walkability, trendy shops, and amazing restaurants that are only a few blocks from the ever-popular Hyde Park Square (the center of Cincinnati’s boutique shopping). Located just a few miles from downtown, this neighborhood is an excellent area for all potential home buyers and also for those seeking a condo for sale in Oakley. Due to  pedestrian-friendly streets and short commute time to downtown Cincinnati, it is especially popular with professionals and young families.

The houses for sale in Oakley vary from starter homes and midsize trade-ups to condos of all shapes and sizes. With so many options in homes, potential buyers may wonder what kind of bang for their buck they can get with a condo for sale in Oakley.

Oakley Condo for Sale

The property located at 2932 Markbreit Ave is a perfect example. This three-bedroom, three-bath home is currently listed at $699,900—a great deal higher than the average listing price for a home in Oakley, which is currently around $265,000. The bells and whistles that come with this home, however, definitely provide a great bang for your buck. Not only is this home a detached, three-story unit, it features almost $55,000 dollars in custom upgrades. Some of these upgrades include granite countertops, walk-in closets, and a rooftop deck.

If you’re interested in this property or another condo for sale in Oakley this year, make sure to check out our listings page to view all of our available properties, and then contact Maria Walley today to get started!

The Three Best Neighborhoods in Cincinnati for Condo Shopping

The Verona in Eden Park

 

As we move closer and closer to spring time here in Cincinnati, the real estate market is beginning to heat up for potential buyers and sellers alike.

In fact, according to Realtor.com, there are currently 3,667 homes on the market and 3,552 homes for rent, and the current average listing price for the city of Cincinnati is $165,000. Although great homes can be found all over the city, the following neighborhoods in Cincinnati are likely to be your best bet for finding a wonderful deal on a condo.

Over-The-Rhine

Of all the neighborhoods in Cincinnati, Over-The-Rhine is the one with the most condos on the market—and it also happens to be one of the hippest, most popular areas in the city. According to Realtor, the area has an average listing price of $324,950, although prices currently range from $200,000 to $600,000. Most condos for sale in Over-the-Rhine are walking distance from area attractions like Findlay Market and a wide variety of coffee shops, restaurants, and nightlife. In addition, many homes for sale in OTR have been remodeled or upgraded within the last ten years. You can check out our recent article, “OTR: Best Deal on a Condo,” to see one of many homes that we recommend if you are considering purchasing a condo in OTR.

Walnut Hills

Although a little more removed from the hustle and bustle of downtown Cincinnati, Walnut Hills is still a great place to buy a home. There are currently around 35 condos on the market in Walnut Hills, with prices ranging from $110,000 all the way up to $995,000, so there is something here for everyone. As far as perks and amenities go, there are many options available. For instance, this two bedroom, two bath condo, located at River Terrace, 2401 Ingleside 10A.  It features a stunning river view and has undergone a complete renovation. It’s listed at $285,000 and has valet parking.  This one won’t last long. The Edgecliff Private Residences  2200 Victory Pkwy, 809 is currently listed at $349,900, features an in-unit skyline view, while the building includes a guest suite with a kitchen and a 24 hour concierge.  Meanwhile, the $149,900, one bedroom, one bath unit at The Verona 2356 Park Avenue, 104 features in-unit wood floors and an address in a coveted historic building.

 

Eden Park in Walnut Hills

Hyde Park

Just a few minutes east of Walnut Hills is the Cincinnati neighborhood known as Hyde Park. Like OTR, Hyde Park is extremely walkable, a perfect location for those who enjoy being outside in their neighborhood. Although this area is also somewhat removed from downtown Cincinnati, it still offers plenty of easily accessible shops and restaurants and easy access to I-71. Currently, there are about 30 condominiums on the market in Hyde Park, ranging anywhere from $165,000 all the way up to 1.5 million. Given the high price range, it is no surprise that homes in Hyde Park boast a variety of amenities. This two bedroom, two bath home, located at Michigan Terrace3500 Michigan Avenue, 43, is listed for $799,000. The location alone is worth every penny. This property is located right on Hyde Park Square, amid the city’s most popular shopping and dining districts. The two bedroom two bath home at the Madison House2324 Madison Rd, 304, on the other hand, is listed for $148,500 and features a large balcony and wood flooring. The building provides valet parking service, a doorman, and a heated pool.

Hyde Park Square

If one of these listings caught your eye, and you are considering purchasing a home in one of these neighborhoods in Cincinnati, give us a call today at (513) 215 – 3996 today and let us help you find the perfect condo for you.

Condo Buyers Checklist: 3 Tips to Make Buying a Condo Less Stressful

Street in Cincinnati

People make the decision to purchase a home for a variety of reasons. For some, it’s all about the location. For others, it’s about pricing and amenities, but most of all, it’s about potential return-on-investment in the future. Regardless of what you are looking for, the home-buying process can be an arduous one. Here are a few tips that, if applied, will make your condo purchase less stressful.

1. Evaluate your finances

This may seem obvious but the importance of preparing your finances when before a home purchase cannot be understated. Condos, in particular, come with some unique financial challenges, due to varying Homeowner Association rules. To help avoid confusion, both buyers and sellers should make sure to utilize the Condominium and Homeowner Association Checklist provided by the Cincinnati Area Board of Realtors. You should also ensure that your own financial statements show a history of good credit and on-time payments. For a deeper dive into how to boost your credit rating, check out Credit Repair’s recent article on “How to Fix your Credit to buy a Home.” In addition, make sure that you have saved up enough to fund at least a 5% down payment (although 20% is typically preferable) on your home

2. Research, Research, Research

You can be prepared for many of the curveballs that the condo-buying process will likely throw your way by doing lots of research. The best advice we can offer is simply to start early. Even if you may not be looking to purchase a new home right away, the more time you have to familiarize yourself with the area the better off you will be. Look at price ranges, appreciation likelihood, availabilities, and amenities. Then, create a list of must-haves for your new home, and continue to proactively add and subtract from that list throughout the process

3. Get help from a professional

As a potential home-buyer, it is in your best interest to find help from a licensed real estate agent. Not only can they help you decide which home to buy, they can offer much-needed help and advice throughout the purchase process.

Here at Cincinnati Condo Connection, we understand the intricacies of purchasing a Cincinnati condo for-sale.  We have a proven track record of quality with both buyers and sellers and often know when new units will be available before they reach the market. Contact us to begin your search for a Cincinnati condo today!

Best Deal on a Condo in Over-the-Rhine

Trinity Flats OTR

There are many beautiful, affordable homes on the market in Cincinnati. With each neighborhood providing a unique culture and great amenities there is something for every potential home-buyer.

Over-the-Rhine, one of Cincinnati’s most popular and historic neighborhoods, is no exception. The area is home to some of the city’s best restaurants: The Mercer, Pleasantry, Sartre and French Crust, as well as, Washington and Ziegler Park. The recently installed streetcar connects Over-the-Rhine to both the city’s business district and riverfront neighborhoods. Most homes for sale in the area are recently upgraded condos with lofts that range from $200,000 all the way up to $550,000.

Homes for sale in Over-the-Rhine are known for being slightly more expensive than other Cincinnati neighborhoods. The current, average listing price is $324,950. However, given the area’s growth over the last 20 years, as well as proximity to dining, shopping and nightlife, a home or condo for sale in Over-the-Rhine is almost guaranteed to be a great investment. In fact, Zillow predicts that home values will grow at least 3.7 percent over the next year.

One such listing is the home at 1326 Vine Street B, in the Trinity Flats condo complex. Natural lighting fills this open concept, two bedroom, one bathroom condo with a built-in loft. Chic wood flooring, updated appliances and granite countertops, make this home perfect Cincinnati professional or young family. In addition, The Trinity Flats building offers a rooftop resident deck, and onsite shopping and dining. This home is also only a 10-minute walk from Findlay Market. Findlay Market is a trendy spot that that is known and beloved by locals as the best place in the city to buy locally sourced goods. Currently listed at $279,000, this property provides excellent value for the interested condo buyer.

Are you interested in purchasing a condo in Over-the-Rhine this year? Check out our listings page to view all of our available properties.

Looking Back: What 2017 Showed Us About Buying a Home in Cincinnati and US Real Estate Market Trends

Cincinnati Skyline

It is no secret that 2017 was a year of tumultuous political and economic change for the US, both on a local and national level, changes that had a direct influence on the US Real Estate Market.

At the beginning of 2017, Forbes predicted the following for the United States housing market:

  1. Prices will continue to rise, albeit more slowly than in recent years.

  2. Affordability will worsen, particularly in cities like Seattle, WA and Austin, TX, which continue to see huge amounts of real estate and job market development.

  3. More Millennials will become homeowners.

Now that we are a few weeks into 2018, here at the Cincinnati Condo Connection we decided to do a little research to determine how those predictions played out on both a national and local level.

According to an article published by Trulia in October of 2017, demand for homes across US markets has continued to rise. In fact, the share of inventory sold in the US surpassed its peak for the first time since the recession of 2008. Unfortunately, that increase has done little for the affordability of homes on the market. A recent study by Realtor.com shows that the median list price for a home in the US in December of 2017 was $270,000, 8% higher than the median price in December of 2016. However, earlier in 2017, the median list price was at $275,000. These numbers show that Forbes’s prediction was correct, and that, while prices are still higher than they were in 2016, they are rising more slowly than in past years.

Numbers here in Cincinnati show a similar pattern. However, Cincinnati condo and home prices are actually rising more sharply than the national average.

According to a report released by the MLS of greater Cincinnati in November 2017, the median sales price for a home in Cincinnati was roughly $170,00 0up about 10.41 percent from November 2016’s estimated $150,000.

Although most 2017 pricing reports are still being collated, research by CoreLogic from April 2017 shows that home values were indeed increasing across the United States, rising by 6.9 percent as compared to April 2016. However, it is worth mentioning that these numbers can vary vastly by market. According to 2017 data from the Federal Housing Finance Agency, Cincinnati trends show a home value gain of 6.5 percent over the last 10 years. While, in more quickly growing areas such as Austin, Texas home values have grown 65.8 percent over the last 10 years.

So the final question remains, did more Millennials actually buy homes in 2017? According to the 2017 Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends Report, the answer is yes. In fact, buyers 36 years of age and younger made up the largest share of homebuyers in 2017. However, that overall number is down 1 percent from 2016’s 35 percent. Are you a millennial interested in buying a home in Cincinnati this year? Research shows that an investment in “The Queen City” will be a smart one in 2018 given that Cincinnati was named one of Trulia’s top 10 best markets for Millennials who want to buy a home in 2017. The report evaluated housing market viability for Millennials based on the following criteria: job growth, vacancy rates, starter-home availability, online listing searches, and the percentage of people in the vicinity under age 35.

Overall, research from multiple sources shows that the housing market is finally beginning to even out, even in the nation’s most popular and expensive markets, and that the outlook for home values, prices, and inventory in 2018 is a relatively positive one.

Three Tips for Flipping a Condo in Downtown Cincinnati

The American

With the ever-growing popularity of HGTV shows like Flip or Flop and Fixer Upper, home flipping as a source of income is becoming more and more popular. While for some, it can be a great and lucrative investment; home flipping is not for everyone. Interested in flipping a home or condo in downtown Cincinnati? Check out the following tips to help you get the most bang for your buck.

1. Understand the home flipping market and the costs involved

Presently, the home flipping market in the United States is a saturated one. Atom Data Solutions’ Q2 2017 U.S Home Flipping Report, showed a home flipping rate of 5.6% of all home sales during the quarter and a gross flipping profit of $67,516. Inventory is tight nationwide, which makes flipping anywhere a tough investment. Before buying a home, make sure that you have done your research on the area in which you are purchasing. Check multiple sources to see what comparable properties are renting or selling for, and gauge the level of necessary repairs around those numbers.

The importance of understanding the growth potential of the neighborhood in which you are purchasing cannot be understated. For instance, a condo for sale in Over-The-Rhine may be more expensive and need fewer repairs than one in Oakley. However, given the rate in which home prices in Over-The-Rhine have grown in the last 20 years, a condo flipping project in that area is likely to be the better investment.

2. Be Wary of Costly Repairs

Allow your research to inform which repairs you undertake on your newly acquired property. While research shows that an upgraded kitchen and bathroom are large selling points on most homes, they are also the most costly upgrades, given that typically they will require plumbing work. Although some costs will vary by market. According to HomeAdvisor, the average kitchen repair will cost anywhere from $4,000 to $50,000. While the average bathroom repair ranges from $2,500 up to $23,749.

3. Work with the right contractor and construction team

Do your homework to find the best, most reliable contractor for the job. Check references, look at past projects and thoroughly interview everyone you bring on your team. The right contractor can also be a great sounding board for cost – effective re-model ideas but, be careful not to overdo it. Choose a few, impactful repairs that will help you to improve the value of the home without paying an arm and a leg and, do your own repairs where you can. The best way to save money on a home improvement project is to do-it-yourself.

Although the house flipping market is a saturated one, it is possible to make a decent profit given the right tools. Here at Cincinnati Condo Connection, we have condos for sale in a variety of price ranges, some of which may be a great flipping investment. Contact us today to begin your own project!

How Is Selling a Condo Different than Selling a House?

Selling a condo is very different from selling a house.  Make sure you work with an agent that understands and sells a lot of condominiums. Get recommendations from your neighbors or management of the building.

Lofts at 4120 in Oakley

Pricing

Condos in many buildings have a wide variety of prices.  Some of the factors that affect the price are location in the building.  In a high rise, the higher the more expensive.  Corner units also sell for higher prices than interior units.  The view also matters.  The premium for a better view can sometimes be 100% or more.

A River View in East Walnut Hills

Seasonality

Condos in Cincinnati sell year round.  They don’t follow the typical spring cycle, mainly because it’s rare for family’s to purchase a condo in this city.  It’s typically a single person or a couple.  Many empty nesters start looking at condos when their last child graduates from college Or when  they feel they are no longer able to live in their house . This can happen suddenly.  They often have encouragement from other family members to make this move.  Showings pick up around the holidays when adult children are home to help their parents find a condo.

Staging

Condos tend to be smaller than houses and many empty nester buyers who are moving from a large home worry about fitting their belongings into a condo.  Empty condos look small.  I recommend staging empty condos for many reasons but mainly because people can see that they can fit their king size bed, two night stands and dresser in the seemingly small bedroom of a condo.  The other benefit to staging a condo is that it takes the buyer’s eye away from the flaws.  They tend to see the view and the furniture rather than the dated parquet floor or worn kitchen appliances.  A good stager will have on trend colors and new stylish furniture. Developers, builders and flippers all stage homes because they know staging yields a better price and a quicker sale.  See this condo at The Ingleside that has been staged.It was on the market for 6 months as an empty condo.  It went under contract in one week after staging.

Staged condo at the Ingleside

The Building

Make sure that you have a realtor that understands the building. It’s best if you can get a realtor that not only knows the building but will be present for all showings.  There’s a lot to know about each building or community and you don’t want the selling agent who doesn’t understand your building fumbling around trying to find the party room or your parking spaces.  You want someone who can speak confidently about the amenities, the culture, the location and the financial health of the building. My team and I focus on condos and are familiar with all of the urban buildings in Cincinnati.

HOA Docs and Financials

Make sure that your realtor has current HOA documents and all amendments as well as financial statements for the building.  They will need the current budget, a recent balance statement and an income statement.  A copy of the rules and regulations is important to have too.  You don’t want to get a contract and then have the buyer find out that their 60 lb dog is not allowed in the building. Provide them with meeting minutes too. Many potential buyers want to know what the hot issues are in the building. You may also want to provide information about past special assessment and the history of the monthly HOA payment increases.

Photography

Make sure you have professional photography and that the common areas are shown.  If there is a pool or a gym, you will want to have those photographed too. If it’s winter, a good realtor that is familiar with your building will likely have photos of the pool from previous listings. For luxury condos or condos with great views consider doing a drone video to really show off the view and surroundings.

Days on Market

Condo buyers are a bit more deliberative than a house buyer.  Most will be very thorough in their evaluation of the building and the unit. In the last six months of 2017, condos in Cincinnati averaged 69 days on the market compared to single family houses which averaged 43 days on the market. Pricing the house right is the best way to beat the averages.

Advertising and Marketing

Many buildings do not allow signage so make sure that your realtor not only puts the condo on MLS but has a complete marketing plan to sell the condo.  Open houses are great for condos and usually attract a lot of people.  Make sure your realtor is willing to host open houses until it’s sold. Consider a dedicated website for your condo.

Financing

Financing a condo is more complicated than financing a house.  You and your realtor will want to line up a mortgage officer that does a lot of condos.  Not all condo mortgages can be sold on the secondary market. Other condos that have storefronts or restaurants are considered mixed use buildings and many lenders will not underwrite mortgages on those buildings.  The Edgecliff Private Residences, The Regency and many condos in OTR (Over-the-Rhine) are mixed use.

 

 

 

 

Best Neighborhoods for Millennials in Cincinnati

With fifty-two diverse neighborhoods, the city of Cincinnati has something for everyone looking to purchase a new home in 2018. Not to mention there’s never been a better time to invest in a home or condo in Cincinnati. Trulia real estate trends show a 4% year-over-year increase in home prices, and according to the most recent U.S. Census Report, Cincinnati has seen consistent population growth over the last five years. According to Trulia, the median age in Cincinnati is 38 —a reflection of the city’s popularity among millennials.

So, what makes our lovely home city so popular with the younger demographic? Recent studies have shown that in more congested, urban areas, millennials look for an easy commute, walkability, and easy access to restaurants, coffeeshops, nightlife, and amenities. Of course, Cincinnati’s many neighborhoods offer these features in spades, but which are the best for the discerning millennial home-buyer? With prices ranging from $125,000 all the way up to $750,000, the following neighborhoods offer excellent options for every price range.

Over-the-Rhine

Although Over-the-Rhine is one of Cincinnati’s most historic neighborhoods, the area has seen a great deal of growth and development in the last 20 years. Many of the homes for sale in Over-the-Rhine are newly constructed condos, with price points spanning the full range from $125,000 to $750,000. The neighborhood’s proximity to downtown makes nightlife and restaurants easily accessible.

The Eagle is a hot spot for fried chicken and socializing. Also check out historic Findlay Market, one of the country’s oldest public markets for farmers and artisans.  One Mercer is a good building.

The Allison is a new building in OTR with private parking on a tree lined street.  One of the better values in OTR.

Clifton

Adjacent to the University of Cincinnati, Clifton is one of the city’s most sought-after areas, with a populace made up mostly of current and former students. Among young graduates, condos are some of the most popular homes for sale. Given the proximity to the University, the area boasts numerous walkable streets with a plethora of shops and restaurants on Ludlow Avenue. In addition to great rental options, the homes here cost anywhere from $62,000 to $695,000. Don’t forget to stop at Graeter’s Ice Cream Shop before heading to Esquire Theatre for a movie.

20th Century Theatre in Oakley

Oakley

Located on the I-71 Corridor, Oakley is a popular suburban area. There are a lot of really fun spots to walk to such as Mad Tree Brewery Tap Room and Deeper Roots Coffee.  Due to the older housing stock the single family homes  this area tend to be smaller than those in other neighborhoods, and prices tend to be slightly higher, in the $250,000 to $600,000 range.  Competition is also fierce in this area, and many of the homes that enter the market are quickly gobbled up by interested buyers.  There are plenty of great apartments in Oakley but not a lot of condos.

 

Walnut Hills and East Walnut Hills

Nestled between downtown, Mt. Adams and Hyde Park, Walnut Hills is the perfect blend of urban and suburban.  There are numerous housing options from high rise condos, townhouses and single family homes.  Although prices are going up, you can still snag a single family house or condo in the low $100,000s if you are quick! Walnut Hills and East Walnut Hills are a walkers paradise. Walnut Hills is centered around Eden Park which is one of the best parks in the city.  The business districts of the neighborhoods are also experiencing a renaissance with lots of hip urban retailers, breweries and restaurants opening.  Shop at HyBred for vintage clothing and then grab lunch at O Pie O.  If you still have energy for a beer, pop across the street to Woodburn Brewery or coffee at Cafe DeSales.

The Verona is a lovely courtyard condo favored by millennials and close to historic Peebles Corner.

 

Northside

Sometimes compared to Brooklyn, this edgy neighborhood has one of the largest and most independent business districts.  There aren’t many condos in this neighborhood.  It’s mostly single family homes and duplexes.  There are some graceful Victorian homes on tree lined streets and smaller Italianate row houses on others.  It’s close to downtown but set apart from the other neighborhoods that millennials have typically gravitated.  It’s full of trendy businesses and quirky independent minded people. Take a  trip to Northside and experience it for yourself.  Stop at Shake It Records to get your vinyl fix and then get a bite at Ruth’s Parkside Cafe