JACQUELINE RUTHERFORD | Columbus Real Estate


It doesn’t matter if you’re moving down the street or across the country, moving into a new neighborhood can be hard. You want to make your new property, and new area feel like home. Relocation is always a challenge. There are a few things you can do to make the transition smoother for your family. Meeting people and learning about your new community doesn’t have to be a huge ordeal. Read on for tips to make it fun! 


Approach Your Neighbors


It can be kind of scary to approach your new neighbors, but reaching out to them is one of the best ways to meet people. If you see your neighbors out and about give them a wave or shout “hello.” These gestures are a way to extend yourself without intruding on them. Ask questions about the neighborhood like when the trash pickup is or how the traffic on a local route is. You can even find out where the best grocery store to shop at is. Anything simple can open up a great conversation. 


Get Outside


It’s easy to meet up with your neighbors if you give them an opportunity to see you. Sit out on your porch. Go for a walk around the neighborhood. Spend some time outside gardening. Just be approachable. If you’re cheerful and seem a bit inquisitive about the area, people will be more likely to talk to you. 


Spend Time In The Community


If there’s a local diner or coffee shop, spend some time there. You’ll be more likely to meet your neighbors and have something in common with many of the people that live in your new space. Check out local parks with your kids or bring your dog. You can talk to other dog owners or parents and get to know them. 


Finding ways to volunteer and get involved in your community is also a great way to connect and get to know where you live. 


Other Ways To Get Involved


You can get connected with people in the area through connections you have. College alumni networks can connect you with social clubs in a new city or region. Your employer may also have mentoring programs to assist you through the transition         


Moving to a new area can be hard, but with an open mind to opportunities, you can make the transition pleasant for both you and your family.   




You’ve never owned your own home and your thinking about buying. Transitioning mentally from renter to owner can be confusing at times. As a renter, you haven't had to deal with the ins and outs of owning your own home, and as you examine the reality of ownership, it can seem like it involves more cons than pros. You have to take care of all maintenance, repairs, insurance, upgrades and more. With all the added work to maintain only to one day resell your home, it might not seem worth it. So why is buying a good idea? Here’s why!

Consistent monthly payments

As a renter, you constantly are subject to rent increases. Depending on your city or neighborhood, this might be a small percentage annually (if your rental unit is under rent control), or an annual increase determined in your rental agreement. In many cases, your rent is subject to your landlord’s discretion at the end of each term of your lease, and if the property value and quality of living go up in your neighborhood (as you hope it does), it could price you out of your favorite living space. When you choose to purchase a home, you make a longer commitment, but your monthly payments are guaranteed to be the same throughout the repayment of your fixed-rate mortgage. Living with no surprise changes allows you to set budgetary and lifestyle goals further into the future, and the certainty to achieve them.

Equity and future cash flow

Yes, you will likely need to take out a loan to purchase your own home. The upside to ownership is that every mortgage payment you make increases the percentage of equity you have in your home. When you rent, you are only paying toward the term of your lease and the owner of the rental property gains all the equity. Investing in your own property helps your financial stability for the future. The more equity you have, the better your net worth and the more you can invest in other properties or goods. The more stake you have in your home, the more valuable it becomes to you when you want to sell your property in the future—to create cash flow, or to invest in a new home, other property, or your retirement lifestyle. 

Apart from the personal value of owning your own home—taking care of it, raising a family there, or starting a new life in your place—the investment can add even more value to your life. If you’re considering your first home purchase and aren’t sure about the commitment or investment value, speak with your local real estate agent for the best advice for you. Review your current means, your interests and abilities, and your life goals and let them help you make the right decision.



If you plan to sell your home soon, you should learn about the local housing sector. By doing so, you can gain the insights you need to promote your residence to the right groups of buyers and optimize your home sale earnings.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you analyze the local housing market before you list your residence.

1. Check Out Available Houses in Your Area

For those who want to learn about the housing market, it helps to assess how your residence stacks up against other available residences. If you check out available residences in your city or town, you can gain real estate market insights to help you price your house appropriately.

If you find your home pales in comparison to other houses in your area, there is no need to worry. Remember, you can always upgrade your residence prior to adding it to the real estate market. And as a result, you can perform home repairs to ensure your house will impress buyers as soon as it becomes available.

2. Determine If the Housing Market Favors Buyers or Sellers

Differentiating a buyer's market from a seller's market is crucial. If you study the local housing market, you can determine if the real estate sector favors buyers or sellers and plan accordingly.

In a buyer's market, there may be many quality houses available that remain available for weeks or months after they are listed. Or, in a seller's market, buyers may be motivated to purchase houses as quickly as possible.

Regardless of whether you are operating in a buyer's or seller's market, it is paramount to make your home an appealing option to buyers. If you enhance your house's curb appeal, you could boost the likelihood that your home will stand out from other available residences. Plus, if your home boasts amazing curb appeal, buyers may fall in love with your residence right away.

3. Find Out What Makes Your Home Unique

Once you study the local housing sector, you can find out what makes your house unique. Then, you can craft a home listing to showcase your residence's distinct features to potential buyers.

Of course, if you need assistance as you try to promote your residence to buyers, you may want to hire a real estate agent. Because if you have a real estate agent at your side, you can get the help you need to navigate the home selling journey like a pro.

A real estate agent will teach you about the housing market in your city or town and ensure you can showcase your residence to the right groups of buyers. Best of all, a real estate agent is happy to respond to your home selling questions and help you make informed decisions as you navigate the property selling journey.

Want to learn about the local housing sector? Thanks to the aforementioned tips, you can perform an in-depth review of the housing market in your city or town and obtain the home selling insights you need to succeed.



A home appraisal enables a seller to learn about the value of his or her house relative to the current housing market. As such, an appraisal represents an important opportunity, particularly for a seller who wants to maximize the profits from his or her home sale.

Ultimately, it helps to plan ahead for a home appraisal. If you prepare for an appraisal, you can use the appraisal results to achieve your home selling goals in no time at all.

Let's take a look at three tips to help you get ready to perform a home appraisal.

1. Learn About Your Home's Strengths and Weaknesses

What you initially paid for your house is unlikely to match the current value of your residence. Fortunately, if you understand your house's strengths and weaknesses, you can prioritize home improvements and complete these upgrades. As a result, you may be able to boost your chances of receiving a favorable property valuation during a home appraisal.

Also, it may be beneficial to conduct a home inspection before you schedule an appraisal. That way, you can use the inspection results to determine which areas of your house need to be upgraded.

2. Assess the Housing Market

The present real estate sector will impact the valuation of your house. To establish realistic expectations for a home appraisal, it often helps to analyze the current housing market.

If homes are selling quickly, this likely indicates that a seller's market is in place. This market favors sellers and may enable you to receive plenty of offers if you establish a competitive price for your home.

Comparatively, if homes linger on the real estate market for many days, weeks or months, a buyer's market may be in place. In this market, you may need to set an aggressive price to help your residence stand out to potential buyers.

3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

A home appraisal is an important part of the home selling journey. And if you collaborate with a real estate agent, you can work with a home selling expert who can help you maximize your property valuation during an appraisal.

With a real estate agent at your side, you can receive comprehensive support throughout the home selling journey. A real estate agent can put you in touch with the top home appraisers in your city or town. Furthermore, a real estate agent can help you determine how to price your house to ensure you can stir up significant interest in your residence.

A real estate agent also is happy to help you review any offers on your home. If you're unsure about whether to accept, reject or counter a homebuying proposal, a real estate agent can help you weigh the pros and cons of each option.

Ready to conduct a home appraisal? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can perform a home appraisal before you add your residence to the housing market.



If you've set a goal of buying your first home within the next year, there are several things you can begin doing now to set the stage for a positive experience.

While it pays to familiarize yourself with everything from your credit score to mortgage options, choosing a good real estate agent will prove to be an invaluable advantage when navigating through the process of buying a home. An experienced, knowledgeable agent will help keep you on track, prepare necessary documents for you, and answer the myriad of questions that will occur to you.

Should you choose the first real estate agent you talk to? People occasionally find a perfect fit right off the bat, but it's often a good idea to interview a couple agents before you make your final decision. Having one or two points of comparison can provide you with a wider perspective of available choices.

Not only would you want to work with a professional who has a successful track record in helping first-time home buyers, but you also want to make sure your personality is compatible with your agent's communication style and energy level. Unless you stumble on the home of your dreams on the first day, you're probably going to be spending a lot of time with them. Most real estate agents do tend to be knowledgeable, resourceful, and service oriented, but your journey will be a lot smoother and more satisfying if you sign on with an agent who's a good match for your individual needs and personality.

One of the most effective ways to prepare yourself for a real estate search is to create lists of things you need to do, have, and schedule. It's also helpful to prioritize what you want in your ideal house. By identifying and reminding yourself of the features that are most important to you, you'll have a greater tendency to recognize what you want when you see it. You'll also find yourself communicating your needs and wants more clearly to your real estate agent. As is the case with any professional or personal relationship, good quality communication usually yields the best possible results.

As a home buyer, there are many property features and priorities you'll want to ponder and discuss with your significant other. In addition to your future home's square footage, bedroom space, and number of bathrooms, you may also be interested in the reputation of school districts, the character of neighborhoods you're considering, and the amount of privacy each property affords.

Another list worth compiling before you get too far into the house hunting process is a personal budget. By seeing how your income stacks up against your monthly expenses, you'll be in a stronger position to determine a realistic price range for your next home.