Monthly Archives: August 2009

Buying A Home In Cleveland – The Complete Guide Part 7 of 7

Buying A Home In Cleveland The Complete Guide Part 7 of 7 – Closing and Possession

buying a home in cleveland a complete guide

In an effort to help educate those buying a home in Cleveland, we have put together a 7 part series that will explain the entire home buying process in detail. Although our focus will be on the Cleveland market, many of the ideas discussed can be applied to other areas of the country as well. We recommend that you read the first 6 articles in the series at some point, preferably prior to reading step 7, our final step, as all of the information relates to each other.

Step 1  “The Initial Consultation – Formulating A Game plan” .

Step 2  “The Pre-approval Process“.

Step 3  “Selecting and Previewing Homes.”

Step 4   “Writing An Offer“.

Step 5   “Negotiating“.

Step 6   “What Happens After Acceptance“.

We are now at the home stretch of what has probably been a very exhausting process. At this point, your loan has been approved, the movers have been scheduled, boxes are packed,  and you are now waiting to sign loan documents, get keys, and finally own your new home. There are a few things that should be done to ensure a successful completion of the home buying process.

  Guide to buying a home in Cleveland signing documents

It is always a good idea to keep in constant communication with the company who is going to do the closing. They will set up a day, time, and location for you to sign documents, and tell you how much money, in certified funds, you need to bring with you. They often get very busy and are typically not very proactive, so you need to stay on top of them as you will need time to go to the bank and get your funds. Although they are instructed to follow the dates that are set in the purchase agreement, they often do things at the last minute, so just be prepared. It is also a good idea to get a copy of the closing documents in advance so you can familiarize yourself or have them reviewed by an attorney prior to the actual closing.

 

Here in the Cleveland area, we use title companies to handle this part of the transaction. This is a big distinction from other areas of the country that strictly use attorneys to handle title, escrow and signing of documents. Also, if you are relocating to Cleveland from another area, it is important to note that the buyer and seller sign their documents separately, not together. In fact, when buying a home in Cleveland, buyers and sellers usually do not even meet each other during the home buying process.   

 

Complete guide to buying a home in Cleveland closingAfter you sign documents, you must still wait until the deed is filed before you get the keys to your new home. The filing of the deed is the official transfer of property from one party to another and signifies the official end of the home buying process.  Once again, the title company and agents will do their best to make sure to strictly follow dates that were agreed upon during the negotiation process to make sure you get the keys on time.

 

 

 

Now, you are officially the owner of your home. Congratulations and smiles are in order as you can now move in and enjoy. As you begin the journey of being the owner of your new home, it is wise to keep a copy of all documents relating to the buying process, such as the purchase agreement, disclosures, and inspection reports. You never know if or when you may need them, so please keep a copy in a safe place.

The home buying process can be stressful and complicated, but when the boxes are unpacked and you are settled in, your home will bring you more joy and happiness than you can ever imagine. 

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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  Cleveland or surrounding suburbs,please contact the Schuman Team at 216-346-3235. 

VIEW ALL CLEVELAND AREA HOMES FOR SALE BY CLICKING BELOW

 

search all cleveland area homes

 CHECK OUT THE SCHUMAN TEAM’S AWARD-WINNING WEBSITE

Buying A Home In Cleveland Part 7, Closing and Possession is the property of The Schuman Team and may not be duplicated or used without their written consent. ©Aug 2009 

Buying A Home In Cleveland – The Complete Guide Part 6

Buying A Home In Cleveland The Complete Guide Part 6 of 7 – What Happens After Acceptance

buying a home in cleveland a complete guide

In an effort to help educate those buying a home in Cleveland, we have put together a 7 part series that will explain the entire home buying process in detail. Although our focus will be on the Cleveland market, many of the ideas discussed can be applied to other areas of the country as well. We recommend that you read the first 5 articles in the series at some point, preferably prior to reading step 6 as all of the information relates to each other.

Step 1  “The Initial Consultation – Formulating A Game plan” .

Step 2  “The Pre-approval Process“.

Step 3  “Selecting and Previewing Homes.”

Step 4   “Writing An Offer“.

Step 5 “Negotiating“.

This next step will focus on what happens after the purchase agreement is accepted.

While the negotiating process is one of the most stressful steps of the home buying process, the events that follow acceptance are just as important and shouldn’t be overlooked. It is easy to relax once a seller has accepted an offer but there is still a lot of work to be done.

Once a seller has accepted an offer, the inspection period then begins. You will have a certain number of days in which to complete your inspections, based on what you indicated in the purchase agreement. It is always best to get a few names of home inspectors up front when you begin the home buying process so that you will be ready to schedule the inspections immediately upon acceptance.

 the home inspection process

Now is the time that a buyer gets to perform their due diligence and thoroughly check out the home before moving forward with the purchase. The general home inspection can take between 2-3 hours and we recommend all buyers being there in person. During the inspection, the inspector will tell you about the home, including giving you instructions on caring for it, and point out any current or potential problems. 

You will receive a written report from the inspector upon completion. You must then indicate how you want to proceed by signing off on a contingency removal form, a standard form used here when buying a home in Cleveland. If the inspection is clean, you can simply remove the inspection contingency from the agreement by signing and dating the form. If there are problems, specifically health or safety related issues, that you want addressed, you can do one of two things. You can ask the seller to correct them, or you can ask for the price to be lowered to compensate for the amount it will cost you to fix the problem. If there are major issues with the home, you may be able to get out of the agreement, depending on how it is worded. 

 

 

Your buyer’s agent will be able to walk you through the important steps of this process as it can be stressful and sometimes complicated. There is a possibility that this step will result in another round of negotiations with the seller, depending on how you proceed once receiving the inspection report. 

 

 guide to buying a home financing contingency

Besides for inspections, there are a few other things that must be addressed between the time a purchase agreement is accepted and the actual closing date. We recommend constant communication with your lender throughout the process to make sure everything is moving forward as expected. If your lender ever needs anything from you, please respond to them as soon as possible so you don’t delay the closing.

 

 

In addition to working on financing, we also recommend making a checklist of any other things that need to be done prior to moving in so you are prepared. If you plan on having improvements done to the home prior to moving in, you may want to contact contractors and plan dates for them to begin the work. You may also want to schedule a locksmith to come to the home so you can have the locks changed. Most important, you need to handle the transfer of utilities so that you have service upon moving in. When buying a home in Cleveland, there are several different utility companies that service the area. Here is a list of important companies with their phone numbers. 

At this point, the home buying process is almost complete. Click below to view Part 7, the last step of the home buying process:

Closing and Possession  

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* Please note that the Schuman Team, Amy and Dan Schuman, are licensed real estate agents in the State of Ohio but are NOT licensed to practice law. We we want to be clear that information contained here should not be interpreted as legal advice. All buyers are welcome to seek the advice of a qualified real estate attorney prior to signing any legal documents.

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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  Cleveland or surrounding suburbs,please contact the Schuman Team at 216-346-3235. 

VIEW ALL CLEVELAND AREA HOMES FOR SALE BY CLICKING BELOW

 

Search all cleveland homes for sale

 CHECK OUT THE SCHUMAN TEAM’S AWARD-WINNING WEBSITE

Buying A Home In Cleveland Part 6, What Happens After Acceptance is the property of The Schuman Team and may not be duplicated or used without their written consent. ©Aug 2009  

Buying A Home In Cleveland – The Complete Guide Part 5

Buying A Home In Cleveland The Complete Guide Part 5 of 7 – Negotiating An Offer

buying a home in cleveland a complete guide

In an effort to help educate those buying a home in Cleveland, we have put together a 7 part series that will explain the entire home buying process in detail. Although our focus will be on the Cleveland market, many of the ideas discussed can be applied to other areas of the country as well. We recommend that you read the first 4 articles in the series at some point, preferably prior to reading step 5 as all of the information ties into each other.

Step 1  “The Initial Consultation – Formulating A Game plan” .

Step 2  “The Pre-approval Process“.

Step 3  “Selecting and Previewing Homes.”

Step 4   “Writing An Offer“.

Here in Step 5, we will be covering what may be the most important step yet when buying a home in Cleveland, negotiations. In this article, we will discuss the different steps of the process and go over popular strategies used to achieve success. We will also offer a few tips to help ease your mind during this very stressful part of the home buying process.

buying a home In Cleveland part 5 negotiations

 

At the end of Step 4, we spoke in depth about the purchase agreement and mentioned that we would tell you how to best structure it so that it would be accepted. Before we get into details, one important concept to understand is that every seller has a bottom line price that they will take for their home. The challange is that you will not know what that number is up front and neither will anyone else, not even the listing agent. In fact, sometimes the sellers won’t even know what their bottom line price is until they start to really crunch the numbers after they receive an offer. A good buyer’s agent will be very beneficial in helping you negotiate and get you the right price.  

 

So, how do we get the sellers to accept an offer? The best thing to do is give the sellers as little to think about as possible. The more decisions they have to make, the harder it will be. When representing a buyer, we like to communicate with the listing agent up front to determine what is important to the seller in regards to closing dates. Since dates, as explained in Step 4, is one of the key negotiating items, if we know up front what dates the sellers prefer, and that also works for the buyer, we can fill in the purchase agreement accordingly knowing that this will make everyone happy and won’t be an issue.  

We do the same thing with earnest money as well. If we can tackle these two items up front, we will know with confidence that our offer contains dates and acceptable earnest money figures that the seller has already agreed to and won’t be a point of contention. We will then be left to concentrate on only one item of the purchase agreement instead of three. This item is price and will often be the toughest thing to negotiate.

  What price to offer?

 

 

When buying a home in Cleveland, the most common question a buyer typically asks during the negotiating process is “what price do we offer?” While an agent cannot directly tell you what to do, we can guide you with statistics and offer different strategies. When all is said and done, this is your money and you have to be comfortable with decisions made during the negotiation process.

 

 

 

Here are 3 common strategies used by buyers when making an offer:

1. Go In Strong

2. Start Slow and Go Up

3. The Low ball

Making a strong offer can save a lot of time and energy. If you know that a home is really great, there are probably other buyers who feel the same way. A nice home priced fairly will sometimes even get multiple offers, so going in with a strong offer says that you aren’t playing games and are serious. Remember what we said earlier about every seller having a bottom line number? Well, if a house is by far the nicest in its price range, it will be obvious to everyone, including the sellers. This means that it may take a strong offer to get a home as competition, even in a buyer’s market, can be fierce.

Some buyers are more comfortable starting lower, knowing that they can always go up in price if needed. They realize the seller probably won’t accept their initial offer, but they feel like they need to try a lower offer just to see what happens. This tactic may cause you to lose a home if you end up in a multiple offer situation as the sellers could choose to only negotiate with the buyer who gave them the highest initial offer and it isn’t your offer. 

lowballing angering the sellers

 

Low balling is a technique that some buyers use although it could end up angering the sellers and negatively affecting negotiations. Since the negotiating process can be very personal and emotional, it is best to consider this tactic only on a bank owned home as decisions here are based purely on numbers, not emotions. Offering a ridiculously low price on a home could end up hurting a buyer more than helping them. We have personally had buyers lose out on homes they really wanted by using this tactic. One seller was actually so upset at our low ball offer that he took less money from another buyer because he didn’t want our buyer to have his home.

 

After making an offer, the ball is now in the sellers’ court and they can respond one of three ways. They can:

1. accept the offer

2. reject the offer

3. counter the offer

The process can be done quickly or things can go back and forth numerous times. Because every situation is unique, there is no one set procedure for negotiating. Sometimes it takes 20 minutes to negotiate a successful transaction and in extreme cases, it could take months. If you really want a home though, it is best to get things done quickly because until both parties’ signatures are on the paperwork, the home is still on the market and open for other offers.

Overall, the negotiating process can be extremely stressful and even lead to many sleepless nights. Most people, even the most mild mannered, can lose their patience and temper during this process. However, there are some things that can be done to make the negotiating process a little easier.

Proper communication is important and that starts with your buyer’s agent. Remember, all conversations with your agent are confidential, so talk to your agent and be open and honest during this process. They have experience negotiating purchase transactions on a regular basis and will be a good source to guide you through the process.

It is also critical to focus on your goal. You are trying to buy a home in Cleveland and if you find one you love, don’t let your emotions keep you from getting it. During negotiations, many buyers feel “the sellers are being difficult”, or out of principal, you just don’t want to budge any more on price. These are all natural thoughts that buyers encounter during the negotiating process. However, try to keep in mind that you will get years of enjoyment out of your home and the sellers and unpleasant memories of the negotiations will be long gone after closing, so try your best to keep things in perspective.

Click below to find out what happens during Step 6 in our series of 7:

What happens after contract acceptance  

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* Please note that the Schuman Team, Amy and Dan Schuman, are licensed real estate agents in the State of Ohio but are NOT licensed to practice law. We want to be clear that information contained here should not be interpreted as legal advice. All buyers are welcome to seek the advice of a qualified real estate attorney prior to signing any legal documents.

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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  Cleveland or surrounding suburbs,please contact the Schuman Team at 216-346-3235. 

VIEW ALL CLEVELAND AREA 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 Part 5, Negotiating An Offer is the property of The Schuman Team and may not be duplicated or used without their written consent. ©Aug 2009 

Buying A Home In Cleveland – The Complete Guide Part 4

Buying A Home In Cleveland The Complete Guide Part 4 of 7 – Writing An Offer

buying a home in cleveland a complete guide

In an effort to help educate those buying a home in Cleveland, we have put together a 7 part series that will explain the entire home buying process in detail. Although our focus will be on the Cleveland market, many of the ideas discussed can be applied to other areas of the country as well. We recommend that you read the first 3 articles in the series prior to reading step 4.

Our first article, Step 1, was on “The Initial Consultation – Formulating A Game plan” .

Our second article, Step 2, was on “The Pre-approval Process“.

Step 3 focused on “Selecting and Previewing Homes.”

Here, in Step 4, we will focus on “Writing An Offer”.

Once you find that one special home, it is time to get serious and put together an official offer in writing. This consists of completing a purchase agreement along with some additional State of Ohio disclosures. It is important to note, at least in Ohio, that verbal contracts are not binding. In addition, a seller will not deem a verbal offer to be very serious. Therefore, if you really want to buy a particular home, the offer must be put in writing.

 purchase agreement

 

A buyer’s agent can assist you with putting together all of the necessary paperwork and explaining everything to you in detail. There is a lot of information to go over during this step of the home buying process, so plan to take 1-2 hours to go over and complete the paperwork. It is not something you want to rush through as the agreement, once accepted by both parties, will be legally binding.                         

 

 

 

If you are buying a home in Cleveland, our area Board of Realtors has a standard 6 page purchase agreement that we standardly use. We actually include a copy of this purchase agreement in the home buyer’s booklet that we give out during the initial consultation and recommend that all buyers read through it prior to actually finding a home. This way, you will have enough time to become familiar with the document and ask questions. Viewing the purchase agreement up front makes the process of writing the offer much less stressful. If you would like a copy of the purchase agreement, please contact us and we will be happy to send it to you.

Here are the major items that need to be addressed in the purchase agreement:

1. closing dates

2. inspections, such as a general home inspection, pest, radon, and in some rural areas here in Cleveland, well and septic

3. terms and conditions, including purchase price and earnest money, if applicable

 

buying a home in Cleveland get a home inspection

 

 

Just a few notes about the above mentioned items. While inspections are not mandatory here in Ohio, we highly recommend having at least a general home inspection performed on the home. Even if your “Uncle Joe”, who is a contractor, has walked through the home and given the thumbs up, it is still wise to have a qualified home inspector perform a thorough inspection, even on a new home. Remember, buying a home is one of the biggest purchases of your life, so it is important to make sure you protect yourself by having an inspection performed. Additional inspections can also be done if recommended by your inspector.

Also, earnest money, also known as “good faith” money, is not required by law in the State of Ohio. However, if you are buying a home in Cleveland or surrounding suburbs, earnest money is common and expected by the seller. Many buyers offer 1-2% of the purchase price in earnest money. Again, a buyer’s agent can go over this in more detail but we at least wanted to touch upon this subject, especially is you are relocating to Cleveland from another state, where the rules regarding earnest money may be different.

 

 

As a buyer, you will not be required to actually do any writing other than signing your name on the various documents. However, you will need to be prepared to help your agent fill in the blanks, especially when it comes down to the price you would like to offer, which is usually a difficult decision for a buyer to make. There are different tactics and strategies that can be used effectively to ensure that your offer gets accepted.

If you want to learn specifics on how to best structure a purchase agreement for acceptance, please click below to read part 5 of the series: 

Negotiating An Offer”  

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* Please note that the Schuman Team, Amy and Dan Schuman, are licensed real estate agents in the State of Ohio but are NOT licensed to practice law. Since we discussed the purchase agreement and  referred to other State disclosures and Ohio law in this post, we want to be clear that information contained here should not be interpreted as legal advice. All buyers are welcome to seek the advice of a qualified real estate attorney prior to signing any legal documents.

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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  Cleveland or surrounding suburbs,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 Part 4 of 7, Writing An Offer is the property of The Schuman Team and may not be duplicated or used without their written consent. ©Aug 2009

Buying A Home In Cleveland – The Complete Guide Part 3

Buying A Home In Cleveland The Complete Guide Part 3 of 7 – Selecting and Viewing Homes

buying a home in cleveland a complete guide

In an effort to help educate those buying a home in Cleveland, we have put together a 7 part series that will explain the entire home buying process in detail. Although our focus will be on the Cleveland market, many of the ideas discussed can be applied to other areas of the country as well. We recommend that you read the first 2 articles in the series at some point, preferably prior to reading this.

Our first article, Step 1, was on “The Initial Consultation – Formulating A Game plan” .

Our second article, Step 2, was on “The Pre-approval Process“.

This article focuses on “Step 3 – Selecting and Previewing Homes.”

Now that you have had your initial consultation with a qualified agent and gotten pre-approved for a loan, you can now start what many people feel is the fun part of the process, looking at homes.

Guide to buying home in Cleveland viewing homes on line

 

The popularity of the internet has made the selection process much easier as every home on the market can be viewed on line in the comfort of your home or office. The best thing to do at this point is to have specific parameters set for your home search in terms of area, price range, style of home, and other details such as year built, number of bedrooms and baths, basement type, and lot size. 

 

 

 

Additionally, your agent can take your parameters and put you on an automated home search through the Multiple Listing Service ( MLS ). Here in the Cleveland area, our MLS is called NEOREX, the Northeast Ohio Real Estate Exchange. This automated search will enable you to get a list of homes that fit your preferred specifications emailed to you as they come on the market. You will also get notified if a home has a price reduction. This will ensure that you get to see everything available and won’t miss any great opportunities.

When viewing homes on line, there are a few things to look for. First, see how many photos each home has. Ones with a lot of pictures will give you a better feel for the home than ones that do not. Additionally, we advise our clients who are buying a home in Cleveland to be leery of listings that have no or few photos.  Also, some listings offer special notes highlighting special features of the home. These notes may indicate if the home is bank owned, a short sell, or if the seller is motivated. 

One thing to remember when looking at homes on line is that the job of a listing agent is to make their listing look as attractive as possible. A house that looks great on line may have power lines in the back yard not noticeable from the pictures. There may also be a highway or railroad track located behind the property.  A good buyer’s agent will preview homes in advance so you don’t end up wasting your valuable time looking at homes that just aren’t a good match.

Once you have a list of homes that you would like to see, please allow 48 hours to schedule showings as it can take some time to communicate with the seller. Additionally, most sellers would like an opportunity to have the home properly prepared for a showing. This may include getting children or dogs out of the home.

Viewing Homes

Here are a few things we recommend when going out with your agent to look at homes:

1.     Only see 5-6 homes at one time. Seeing more than that can be confusing as they all begin to blend together after a while.

2.     Pay attention to homes in the neighborhood so you can get a good feel for overall pride of ownership.

3.     Take notes of each home so you can remember them. You may also want to bring a camera as well as a tape measure with you to make sure specific pieces of furniture will fit in certain rooms.

4.     After viewing each home, give your agent specific feedback about what you liked or didn’t like.

5.     If you like a particular home, put it on the “A” list and make plans to see it again.

The process of going out and looking at homes will continue until you find the right home. How long that takes really depends. Some buyers find the right home on the first time out and others take 6-12 months to find a home.

Overall, a motivated buyer should be able to find a home in 60-90 days, especially after reading this Complete Guide To Buying A Home In Cleveland.

If you would like to continue reading the Complete Guide To Buying A Home In Cleveland, click the link below to get to Step 4:

Writing An Offer

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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  Cleveland or surrounding suburbs,please contact the Schuman Team at 216-346-3235. 

VIEW ALL CLEVELAND AREA 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 Part 3, Selecting and Viewing homes is the property of The Schuman Team and may not be duplicated or used without their written consent. ©Aug 2009

Buying A Home In Cleveland – A Complete Guide Part 2

Buying A Home In ClevelandThe Complete Guide Part 2 of 7 – Getting Pre-Approved

In an effort to help educate those buying a home in Cleveland, we have put together a 7 part series that will explain the entire home buying process in detail. Although our focus will be on the Cleveland market, many of the ideas discussed can be applied to other areas of the country as well. Our first article, Step 1, was on “The Initial Consultation – Formulating A Game plan” . Please feel free to read it as it will give you a solid foundation in which to begin the home buying process.

buying a home in cleveland a complete guide

This article focuses on “Step 2 – Getting Pre-Approved For A Loan.”

 

buying a home in cleveland get pre-approved

Many people make the mistake of beginning the buying process by looking at homes, not only on the Internet, but also in person. While looking at homes is fun and exciting and certainly a big part of the home buying process, many potential buyers overlook the importance of getting pre-approved for a loan first.

There is nothing more disheartening than seeing the dreams of a home buyer crushed when they find out they cannot qualify for a loan on the home they have already fallen in love with. The pre-approval process is fairly simple and can often be done initially over the phone in a 10-15 minute conversation with a qualified mortgage professional, so please take this step seriously.

 

Whether you are buying your first home, you are a move-up buyer, or are relocating to Cleveland from out of state, having your finances in order is a critical step in the process. Even if you have purchased a home in the past, today’s tough lending environment is creating challenges for all home buyers.

When the market was good, getting a loan was fairly easy. Buyers were able to put no money down, have marginal credit and still qualify to buy a home. Today, things are much different. Banks and lenders are much more conservative in their decision making due to the mortgage crises that has hit the financial markets. Credit and income requirements are constantly changing and have created a very unsettled marketplace. Because of this, it is more important than ever before to get pre-approved prior to looking at a home.  

Here are the main benefits of getting pre-approved:

•1.      You will find out how much you qualify for up front, saving you valuable time.

•2.      An offer from someone who is pre-approved will be stronger than an offer by someone who is not.

•3.      Since over 20% of all credit reports contain errors, the pre-approval process will help identify any potential problems and give you time to correct them.

•4.      You will be able to aggressively make an offer, and with confidence, on a home with an approval letter in hand.

•5.      Sellers will be more comfortable negotiating with a pre-approved buyer, which could lead to a more attractive price and terms.

  buying a home in cleveland getting pre-approved for a loan

 

There are many places you can go to get pre-approved, such as a bank, lender, or mortgage broker. Each one is a little different, so we suggest contacting one of each so you can do some comparison shopping. If you need help finding a lender or have specific questions, feel free to contact us. Dan has over 15 years experience in mortgage lending and can be a very helpful and unbiased resource.

 

 

Also, if you are relocating to Cleveland from out of the area, we recommend using a local mortgage professional who is familiar with some of the Cleveland area nuances such as point of sale inspections. Remember, all states and cities have different rules and guidelines when it comes to lending, so using someone local may make the process easier.

Getting pre-approved for a loan isn’t the most exciting step in the process, but it is one of the most important. If you are buying a home in Cleveland, please do yourself a favor and get pre-approved before actively engaging in looking at homes.

If you would like to continue reading the Complete Guide To Buying A Home In Cleveland, click the link below to get to Step 3:

Selecting and Viewing Homes

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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  Cleveland or surrounding suburbs,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 Part 2 Getting Pre-Approved is the property of The Schuman Team and may not be duplicated or used without their written consent. ©Aug 2009

Buying A Home In Cleveland – The Complete Guide

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 

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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. 

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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. ©Aug 2009

Paraben Free Cosmetics – Spell Cosmetics

Paraben Free Cosmetics – Spell Cosmetics

In an effort to focus on locally owned and operated businesses, today we are focusing on a very unique company which has their headquarters right here in Solon, Spell Cosmetics. Although Spell Cosmetics does business throughout North America and overseas as well, they started right here in Solon and are considered the trend setters in the field of cosmetics as they specialize in paraben free cosmetics.

 

Paraben free cosmetics

 

The world of cosmetics can be very complicated in terms of how they are made and the specific ingredients that go into them. We won’t get too technical in this article as it is not our area of expertise and can be very confusing. However, as very health conscious consumers, we can certainly appreciate when a company like Spell Cosmetics is making products that don’t contain any controversial ingredients. Their motto is “Glamour Without Guilt”, and their paraben free cosmetics are being used on the set of television shows, by professional make-up artists, salons, and by thousands of people around the globe who want to look fashionable yet are concerned about their health and well-being.

 

Spell Cosmetics Natural Products

 

Spell Cosmetics was founded by beauty and fashion icon Elle Gemma.  They create their own products, put them through strict quality control guidelines, and offer a no questions asked full return policy. Their products are made without the use of parabens, phthalates, talc, bismuth oxychloride, and is committed to using fair-trade raw materials that have been screened for any contaminates. The use of parabens in products is a very hot topic today, and those not familiar with them will find the following paragraphs to be quite eye-opening:

 

 

Parabens are found in many brands of make-up and in tens of thousands of other products. They are even found in processed foods that claim to be “natural” or “hypoallergenic” (buzz terms that aren’t governed by federal standards or definitions).The reason for concern is that parabens’ chemical structure is strikingly similar to the hormone estrogen; in fact, the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) states that all parabens have been proven to have endocrine-disrupting effects.

When paraben-laced products are applied to your skin, they are absorbed into your body and may be mistaken for estrogen, disrupting the endocrine system, and too much estrogen – or estrogen mimickers – can cause big problems, including weight gain, fluid retention and depression. Researchers are also investigating what role estrogen may play as a culprit in the development of breast cancer.

 

Spell Cosmetics Paraben Free Foundation

With everything that is known, or not known, about parabens, more and more people are learning towards buying paraben free cosmetics. Especially considering that many products, especially those made overseas, are produced without any regulations, informed consumers are finding that Spell Cosmetics is a much safer and smarter choice as their products are free from all contaminants.

Check your product labels for these terms:  Benzyl-parahydroxybenzoic acid, Butylparaben, Butyl-parahydroxybenzoic acid, Ethyl-parahydroxybenzoic acid, Ethylparaben, Methylparaben, , Methyl-parahydroxybenzoic acid, Propyl-parahydroxybenzoic acid,  Propylparaben, Parahydroxybenzoic acid and Parahydroxybenzoate. They are all forms of parabens. If possible, check the ingredients of items in your home and try to identify which ones contain parabens so that you can throw them away and purchase similar items that don’t contain parabens.

 

Spell Cosmetics offers a full line of paraben free cosmetics including: foundations, eye shadows, blush, lip glosses, eye liner, and much more. Spell has a fantastic interactive website featuring their entire array of products and even includes product reviews by their clients, chat forums, and hi-def images of shade selections applied on a model.
Spell Cosmetics Paraben Free
Check out their official website at :  www.spellcosmetics.com and blog at www.spellcosmetics.blogspot.com

 

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About The Authors:

Dan and Amy Schuman are Solon residents. They specialize in luxury homes, working with buyers relocating to Solon, and home staging.

If you are looking to buy or sell a home in Solon or the surrounding Eastern suburbs, please contact the Schuman Team.

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

VIEW ALL SOLON HOMES FOR SALE BY CLICKING BELOW

 

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CHECK OUT THE SCHUMAN TEAM’S AWARD-WINNING WEBSITE 

 

Paraben Free Cosmetics – Spell Cosmetics is the property of The Schuman Team and may not be duplicated or used without their written consent. ©Aug,2009 

K9 Design Dog & Cat Grooming

K9 Design Dog & Cat Grooming

In our effort to highlight some great locally owned and operated small businesses, today’s post will focus on our favorite pet groomer, K9 Design Dog and Cat Grooming located just outside Solon at The Shops at Glenwillow Village Center 29715 Pettibone Rd. ,Glenwillow, OH 44139.

K9 Design Dog & Cat Grooming

 

For those who have a dog or cat, pet grooming is always a concern as it can be hard to find one that you like and trust. Pet owners relocating to Solon from out of the area know that finding a good groomer can be a challenge. It can also be stressful for new pet owners as well.  After interviewing several of our friends who have pets we decided to give K9 Design a try when our dog was a puppy and have been loyal and happy customers even since.

 K9 Design Dog & Cat Grooming

K9 Design Dog & Cat Grooming is owned and operated by Vania Velotta, known throughout the area as “Dr. Doolittle” and the “Dog Whisperer” because of her ability to be “in tune” with animals. Vania has a very special way of not only communicating with animals, but also dealing with their owners as well. She strives on enhancing the bond between the pet and owner. Vania and her staff also pride themselves on being able to work with aggressive and nervous animals. They want all of their animal clients to have a positive experience.  K9 Design will work with any breed and coat types.

Pictured to the right, Vania Velotta and our loving mini-labradoodle “Goldie” Schuman.

 

 K9 Design Dog & Cat Grooming reatail area

K9 Design Dog & Cat Grooming offers a variety of services including full grooming, drop-in services, express grooming, and even retail services such as collars, leashes, videos, and treats. The full grooming process is quite extensive and will be like a day at the spa for your pet. It can take from 4-5 hours from the bath and blow-dry to the full grooming, so it is advisable to plan accordingly. K9 Design offers some great information on their personal website that will help educate their clients about their services and procedures. It is a very informative site and highly recommended for any pet owner. 

 

 

If you want a groomer who has a passion for animals and will take excellent care of your pet, stop by and introduce yourself and your pet to Vania at K9 Design. Your pet deserves it and you will have the peace of mind that they are in the best of hands. 

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About The Authors:

Dan and Amy Schuman are Solon residents. They specialize in luxury homes, working with buyers relocating to Solon, and home staging.

If you are looking to buy or sell a home in Solon or the surrounding Eastern suburbs, please contact the Schuman Team.

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

VIEW ALL SOLON HOMES FOR SALE BY CLICKING BELOW

 

view all solon homes for sale

CHECK OUT THE SCHUMAN TEAM’S AWARD-WINNING WEBSITE 

K9 Design Dog & Cat Grooming is the property of The Schuman Team and may not be duplicated or used  without their written consent. ©Aug,2009 

John Roberts Hair Studio and Spa Solon Ohio

John Roberts Hair Studio and Spa Solon Ohio

In our continued effort to write about great locally owned businesses, today’s post will be about John Roberts Hair Studio and Spa. Although “John Robers” has multiple locations, including the original location in Mayfield Heights, our focus will be on the Solon location located at 33705 Station Street, in Solon.

 

John Robert Hair Studio and Spa Solon Ohio

 

John Roberts is one of the area’s greatest business success stories as it has evolved from being a 1 location hair salon with only 2 employees in 1993 to having multiple locations and being known as one of the top salon’s in the nation. The major factor in the success of John Robert’s is two-fold: providing legendary customer service and having talented and enthusiastic employees.

In regards to service, the knowledgable staff at John Roberts is specially trained to make sure all clients receive tremendous service each and every time they are there. The intention of John Roberts is to make sure that all of their clients have such a positive experience that they can’t wait to book their next appointment, and also tell their friends about how well they were treated.

Owner John DiJulius literally wrote the book on customer service, having authored two popular books on the topic. In 2003, DiJulius wrote “Secret Service”, which describes different techniques used by the popular Salon. The customer service strategies described in “Secret Service” can actually be used in almost every business and is a must read for business owners and anyone else in a service industry. The second book, “What’s the Secret? To providing A World-Class Customer Experience”, was equally popular and reached #1 on Amazon.com.

 

 John Roberts offers manicures

While the service is spectacular, the success of John Roberts is built on having unbelievable employees, who help create the special atmosphere of the Salon. Whether it is designer, massage therapist, or nail technician, the staff at John Roberts Hair Studio and Spa in Solon are all expertly trained to help carry on the great “service” that is known throughout the industry. Many of the employees here in Solon ave been at John Robers for a long time and thoroughly enjoy the atmosphere that has been created there.  In fact, John Roberts was voted one of the “Best Places To Work” for five straight years.

 

 

John Roberts solon

 

The menu of services offered at John Roberts includes: hair ( using Aveda products ), nails, spa, make-up, waxing, weddings, and spa parties. The staff at John Robers goes through great lengths to make sure to get to know their clients well so they can best service their particular needs.

 

While John Roberts Hair Studio and Spa in Solon is popular among women, there are actually a large number of men and children who frequent John Roberts as well. The children’s cuts are quite reasonable and the friendly atmosphere makes kids comfortable. It is also a very popular destination for people relocating to Solon as they are looking for a salon to replace the one they had in their previous city.

 

John Roberts also participates in some very unique and wonderful charity events throughout Cleveland. They reach out to the Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital with their sharing wreath and giving tree every year during the holiday season to deliver gifts to children. They also visit the Hospital on a monthly basis and provide free services to the children, braiding hair, polishing nails, and doing other services.  There is an entire list of organizations that get donations from John Roberts, a fantastic local business who believes in giving back to the community.. For a complete list, click here.  

We are very loyal John Roberts clients and are glad to support such an outstanding local business.

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About The Authors:

Dan and Amy Schuman are Solon residents. They specialize in luxury homes, working with buyers relocating to Solon, and home staging.

If you are looking to buy or sell a home in Solon or the surrounding Eastern suburbs, please contact the Schuman Team.

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

VIEW ALL SOLON HOMES FOR SALE BY CLICKING BELOW

 

view all solon area homes for sale

CHECK OUT THE SCHUMAN TEAM’S AWARD-WINNING WEBSITE 

John Roberts Hair Studio and Spa Solon Ohio is the property of The Schuman Team and may not be duplicated or used without their written consent. ©Aug,2009