Buying or selling homes that get water from a private well can present some unique challenges. In Ohio, any home with a working well being used must have that well inspected and approved by the County Board of Health as part of the sale of real estate. Most often, a Board of Health employee will take water samples from within the home to send out to the appropriate independent lab. Some Counties, however, allow non-employees to send samples of the water directly to those labs. This could be done by either the Seller or Buyer of the home. Continue reading

Matt HeikkinenHave you heard the news? AmeriFirst Home Mortgage has welcomed a new member to the team! Matt Heikkinen, a proud Mahoning Valley native, is the new Business Development Manager for AmeriFirst’s Poland, Ohio branch. His portfolio is well diversified and includes being a realtor, entrepreneur and real estate instructor. Now, he’s ready to embrace a new challenge. So, what is he all about? Here are five things you need to know about Matt Heikkinen: Continue reading

Countryside

Well, six reasons actually. AmeriFirst has an exclusive $2,000 R2K Grant!

Are you feeling cramped from the hustle and bustle of city life? Perhaps living out in the ‘burbs’ isn’t what you thought it would be. If either of these are the case, then we have the remedy for you and your family.

Continue reading

Millennial Money: Why this tech-savvy, social media, passionate generation may have difficulty saving for the future

The stereotype is millennials are lazy and entitled. But, that’s far from the truth. In fact, this group of tech gurus, social media specialists who have a knack for food and culture are driven to making a difference in the world. Our way of living and doing business has dramatically changed due to the technology inspired and developed by this largest living generation. But, when it comes to finances, millennials may experience some challenges to building a nest egg.

Continue reading

Shipping-Container-Life

Shipping containers; you seem them, a lot. From on the road to rail and water, these large steel containers appear as giant Lego blocks, packed with goods that keep us and the world moving. It brings us to the question, have you thought about what’s inside of them? Or better yet, did you ever imagine living inside of one? Okay, chances are the idea has never crossed your mind, but calling a container home is very real.

Continue reading

There’s a new way of thinking as Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley have undergone an identity transformation, but this hasn’t come without its challenges. The latest setback involves General Motors announcing it would close the Lordstown, Ohio assembly plant, affecting as many as 1,500 jobs. Sure, we’ve endured hardships and experienced decades of economic decline, and relocating elsewhere may seem like the only viable option, but really, better days are ahead and are taking shape in the form of new opportunities in business, entertainment and redevelopment. Continue reading

Realtors® Should Really Care About Instagram Stories

Key takeaways:

  • Instagram Stories are engaging and interactive
  • Streamline specific pictures and video directly to your followers
  • Pairing with a Facebook ad lets you target the viewers
  • The catch…Stories are live for 24 hours. So make them count!

I know what you’re thinking. “What the heck are Instagram Stories and why should I care?”

Great question. First, I’ll tell you what I know about them, and then I’ll explain why I think Instagram Stories can be a great tool for agents who are listing houses. Continue reading

Key Takeaways:

  • First-time homebuyer mistakes can leave you with a difficult financial situation
  • Start with finding a trustworthy real estate agent

Shopping for your first home? That’s fantastic! No doubt you’ve already thought about what your dream home will include and scouted out some neighborhoods and school districts.

But it’s important to remember that finding the perfect home is about more than curb appeal and modern features. And while there’s plenty of advice out there on what to do during the home buying process, there are some common first-time homebuyer mistakes that can trip you up along the way. Here is a quick rundown of what not to do. Continue reading

Six Ways to Improve Your Office’s Creative Thinking

Key takeaways:

  • Creative thinking is critical for problem-solving in unique situations
  • An inability to adapt and think creatively can cost you clients and referrals
  • There are simple ways to strengthen your office’s creative thinking

If you have a problem to solve, you need to be able to think creatively to formulate the best possible solution.

This is especially true when it comes to real estate. Each buyer or seller presents a unique situation and an agent must be able to adapt quickly. Failure to adapt usually means an unhappy client, which in turn means no referral. Not a great way to earn a positive reputation in the community.

In 2010, Newsweek published the results from a recent study into creativity. The study shows that since 1990, while IQ scores may be increasing, creativity has been inching downward. Further research into the decline shows that people in general are less creative as they get older.

Now more than ever, creative thinking is crucial to productivity. Think of your career. Has there ever been a time when your ‘job title’ hasn’t evolved to adapt to changes in your industry? Have you had to think ‘outside of the box’ to get an edge over your competition?

If you answered those questions with anything other than “every day,” then you have some catching up to do. Continue reading

Check Out What One Family Did With the FHA 203k Renovation Loan

Key Takeaways:

  • FHA 203k loans require lower down payments than Traditional
  • A lower down payment frees up money for other uses
  • Two-Step Strategy – refinancing an FHA 203k loan into a Traditional Conventional mortgage
John and Lauren DeSantis recently finished renovations on their new home and they love it. They found a house that had potential, but needed some TLC. Continue reading