real estate communication
Communicating the home buying process to clients in a way that is easily understandable – especially if this is their first time – can be difficult… trust us, we deal with it as well.

“FHA,” “comps,” “under contract”

Words and phrases like these are so familiar to us that we often forget it’s because we deal with them daily.

For a first-time homebuyer, you may as well be speaking a different language. That can lead to real problems, such as a less-confident buyer that is hesitant to move forward because they don’t fully understand the process. The longer it takes for them to feel ready to buy, the longer it takes for you to make your money, that is, if they even go through with the deal at all. Continue reading

renting vs owning a home
In a previous article – which you can read here – we discussed how there are many misconceptions when it comes to home buying and lending that make many millennials hesitant to go through with the process.

“Many” equates to about 42% of millennials, or 30,000,000(!), that have yet to buy a home. That’s a huge portion of the US population that has yet to tap into the real estate market.

So how do we in the industry better get through to them? One of the ways is addressing the concerns they may have directly – whether or not they have any factual backing. Continue reading

Bob Gratz 2
Bob Gratz
NMLS #1483055

YOUNGSTOWN, OH — Amerifirst Home Mortgage Poland’s own Bob Gratz was recently recognized as an honoree at the 25 Under 35 event at Stambaugh Auditorium in Youngstown, Ohio.

The event, which is hosted by Mahoning Valley Young Professionals (MVYP), a group Gratz holds a board seat on, honors members of the community that have proven outstanding dedication to their profession as well as recognizing their involvement in volunteer work around the Mahoning Valley. Continue reading

Here’s what $250,000 can buy you in different markets across Ohio

It’s no surprise that different parts of the country have drastically different price points when it comes to housing. What may cost you $1 million in LA may only be valued at $150,000 in the Cleveland area.

But what about when you look at different counties in the same state? Ohio, for example, boasts some of the cheapest living in the country, with Youngstown perennially at the absolute bottom of the list in terms of median home sale price. Below, we listed out about what under $250,000 could fetch you here in different Ohio counties. How’s your area look?

Continue reading

Realtor Cup of Coffee
Realtor Cup of Coffee

When a Cup of Coffee Cost $166

By: Matthew Heikkinen, Realtor

The following story is true.  I feel like I must provide you with this disclaimer, now, before we go any further.  If one waited and stated this rather simple sentence at the end of this story – few would believe it.  So… hand to God, cross my heart and hope to die, pinkie swear, and however else you’d like me to attest to you in the affirmative – it is true.  Better yet… the author is telling this story firsthand.  Yes, I was there and I experienced parts of it.  And, yes, I thought it was ridiculous even at that time.  Now that I got that off my chest…here…we…go… Continue reading

Owning a home vs renting
Today’s Millennial generation is, in many aspects, similar to all the generations of Americans who came before them.  After high school, it’s either on to some form of higher education or into the workforce.  Eventually, by their early 20’s the great majority of Millennials are ready to “leave the nest” and find a new place to call home of their own.  Statistically, the great majority of those places have been rentals.  Why? One may ask.  A lot has to do with perception.  Specifically, HOW Millennials view renting vs. buying/owning a home. Continue reading

reds renovations
Red’s career began in the hospitality industry in 2015 after one of his professors at Tale University recognized his knack for networking and sitting on command. Hired on as our Client Relations Manager in 2019, Red is responsible for greeting guests at the door and howling to that song that’s continuously playing in his head. He also has many duties that take him out of the office. Continue reading

moving day

For much of the last couple decades, a homeowner could be expected to start looking for another home, on average, around the 4-6 year mark. The reason for that being a life change such as a new job, growth in family size, or time for downsizing. Real estate agents could then count on repeat business more consistently and frequently.

In fact, between 2000 and 2007, the average homeownership tenure was just 4.21 years.

Recently, however, that short tenure is no longer reliable. Homeowners are staying put for much longer – now between 7 and 13 years.

So what has changed?  A couple things are factoring into this: Continue reading

For the majority of agents (especially the ones in Northeast Ohio), we are officially in the “slow” season. While some agents may actually have great volume during these winter months, the fact is that on average, home transactions are down between November and January.

According to the National Association of REALTORS®, the average number of transactions during the “hot” months across the country is 2.1 million over that 4-month period. Not surprisingly, that equates to nearly 40% of the total annual sales volume.

Conversely in the winter months, the average number of transactions is around 1.5 million over that 4-month period – not a number to scoff at, but still roughly 40% fewer transactions. Continue reading