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Jennifer McGillis

Sales Associate

My Blog

Why we like old houses so much......


I read this from a handout at a recent meeting in Price Hill and thought it summed it up quite nicely.


"Recently, while reading a back issue of a favorite magazine, the following quote caused me to attempt to answer a question I often ask myself.

     'Why is it that we like old houses so? Most have cracked plaster and a shortage of electrical outlets; more often than not they're chilly in the winter, their floors squeak, and their kitchens are primitive by today's standards... they're also frequently out of plumb, unlevel and out of square."


I could come up with many more points to add to this list.  But upon arriving home one cold night, I was reminded of the many more reason why I do love this old house of mine.  The lights sparkle a warm welcome through the leaded glass and upon entering I am greeted with a warmth I have never experienced when entering a newer home.  It is like the hug of an old friend.


In truth, our home has become more to us than a dwelling.  It has become part of our family, part of our history, the history we share with the others who have called it home over it's 85 years.


Many Christmas morning I have watched my children descend our stairs with the warm orange glow of the sun through the stainted glass window shining on their smiling faces.  During these times I have ofter thought of the joyous faces of the other children who have come before them.  I even feel this special kinship with the craftman who left the Barbarosa Beer label within our walls.  Though he may be gone, he lives on with us through his special treasure that we uncovered.


What a great feeling of pride and accomplishment we have felt upon the completion of each room.  Though it may have taken many weeks or even months of hard work, it is such a joy to see everything come together and a room come back to life. 


No matter how many old homes I see, each is such an original.  I have never see the same turn of a spindle, design in a mantle, or pattern of stained glass.  This is something we usually cannot say of today's houses.


When we first began our renovation 15 years ago, an acquaintance 30 years my senior came to see the rooms we had completed.  I often think of something she told me, which I thought was odd at the time. "I feel every house has a spirit," she said, "and I feel the spirit in your home is very happy with what you are doing."  I now know exactly what she meant.


I'm sure the list of problems will continue to grow as our house contines to age, but this special spirit, this kinship with the past, this pride in our accomplishments, this unique beauty, this warm hug from an old friend makes it all worthwhile.  These special things are something a new homeowner will never have the privilege to experience.


Katherine Ferrris Brown

Suire Ave Resident (Price Hill)

10 Things you should know before buying a home


1. Before you start looking for a home, get pre-qualified for a loan. Banks, credit unions, and mortgage bankers make home loans; mortgage brokers process loans through a variety of lenders. The lenders will take an application, process the loan documents, and see the loan through to the funding stage. 


2. If you have marginal or bad credit, consult your lender. You may be able to qualify for a loan depending on how long ago and what reason(s) caused the bad credit. 


3. You will need a down-payment. Down-payment requirements vary depending on the type of loan. Many down-payment assistance programs exist. These programs may loan or grant you the funds necessary for the down-payment. Consult with a lender about programs available in your area. 


4. You will need funds for closing costs. Closing costs are charges for services related to the closing of your real estate transaction. They include, but are not limited to: Escrow fees, title policy issuance fees, mortgage insurance fees, fire, flood, and homeowners insurance, county recorder fees, & loan origination fees. Consult your lender for an actual estimate of these costs. 


5. Some loans have "points" and some do not. A point is a loan origination fee equivalent to 1% of the loan amount. Together with the interest rate, they constitute the yield on your loan for the lender. 


6. Mortgage rates can be fixed or adjustable. Which one is right for you depends on whether mortgage rates are at a high or a low point when you purchase, and on how long you plan to live in the home. 


7. There are two main types of loan categories.Conventional Loans. Conventional mortgage loans are available with fixed or adjustable interest rates. Government Loans. These include FHA fixed and adjustable rate mortgage loans, and VA fixed rate mortgage loans. 


8. If you are a low-to-moderate-income homebuyer, there are special programs designed to help you.These loans are available through private lenders, as well as local and state housing agencies. 


9. You may have to pay mortgage insurance. Mortgage insurance protects the lender from potential loss if you should default on your mortgage loan payment. Mortgage insurance is always required on FHA mortgage loans. 


10. Many organizations offer home loan counseling to prospective homebuyers. They will cover home selection, realtor services, lenders, loan programs, homeownership responsibilities, saving for a down-payment, and other important pieces of information. 



If you have any questions regarding this or the home buying process in general, feel free to ask!  No question is 'dumb'.  


Sincerely, Jen McGillis



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