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Newly Released 2020 Report Ranks Home Improvement Projects with the Highest ROI

When considering a home improvement project, homeowners often grapple with the question of whether the project will be worthwhile when the time comes to sell their home.  Remodeling magazine helps to take away the guesswork with the newly-released Cost vs. Value Report.  The report lists the top home improvement projects with the highest return on investment (ROI).  Of the top 10 projects, nine are outdoor projects.

Once again, Manufactured Stone Veneer tops this year’s 2020 report as the project with the greatest ROI.  It has consistently been at the number one spot since it first made the list in 2015.

The report shows an increase in cost for all 22 projects. However, according to Clay DeKorne, chief editor of the JLC Group, which includes Remodeling magazine, “Remodeling activity is growing at a slower rate than in years past, but it continues to grow.”

Nationally, here are the 10 projects with the greatest ROI, according to the 2020 Cost vs. Value Report:

Manufactured Stone Veneer (95.6% ROI)

  • Average Cost: $9,357
  • Average Resale Value: $8,943

Garage Door Replacement (94.5% ROI)

  • Average Cost: $3,695
  • Average Resale Value: $3,491

Minor Kitchen Remodel (Midrange) (77.6% ROI)

  • Average Cost: $23,452
  • Average Resale Value: $18,206

Siding Replacement (Fiber-Cement) (77.6% ROI)

  • Average Cost: $17,008
  • Average Resale Value: $13,195

Siding Replacement (Vinyl) (74.7% ROI)

  • Average Cost: $14,359
  • Average Resale Value: $10,731

Window Replacement (Vinyl) (72.3% ROI)

  • Average Cost: $17,641
  • Average Resale Value: $12,761

Deck Addition (Wood) (72.1% ROI)

  • Average Cost: $14,360
  • Average Resale Value: $10,355

Window Replacement (Wood) (68.9% ROI)

  • Average Cost: $21,495
  • Average Resale Value: $14,804

Entry Door Replacement (Steel) (68.8% ROI)

  • Average Cost: $1,881
  • Average Resale Value: $1,294

Deck Addition (Composite) (66.8% ROI)

  • Average Cost: $19,856
  • Average Resale Value: $13,257

Nationally—and on the other end of the spectrum—here are the 10 projects with the lowest ROI:

Master Suite Addition (Upscale) (51.6% ROI)

  • Average Cost: $282,062
  • Average Resale Value: $145,486

 Grand Entrance (Fiberglass) (53.3% ROI)

  • Average Cost: $9,254
  • Average Resale Value: $4,930

Major Kitchen Remodel (Upscale) (53.9% ROI)

  • Average Cost: $135,547
  • Average Resale Value: $72,993

Bathroom Addition (Midrange) (54% ROI)

  • Average Cost: $49,598
  • Average Resale Value: $26,807

Bathroom Addition (Upscale) (54.7% ROI)

  • Average Cost: $91,287
  • Average Resale Value: $49,961

Bath Remodel (Upscale) (56.6% ROI)

  • Average Cost: $67,106
  • Average Resale Value: $37,995

 Master Suite Addition (Midrange) (58.5% ROI)

  • Average Cost: $136,739
  • Average Resale Value: $80,029

Major Kitchen Remodel (Midrange) (58.6% ROI)

  • Average Cost: $68,490
  • Average Resale Value: $40,127

Roofing Replacement (Metal) (61.2% ROI)

  • Average Cost: $40,318
  • Average Resale Value: $24,682

Bathroom Remodel (Universal Design) (62% ROI)

  • Average Cost: $34,643
  • Average Resale Value: $21,463

To view the full report, visit  

If you are thinking about selling or buying your home, contact Lisa Masys (513-236-8333).  Lisa is your local Madeira expert with Stanley Realty, the only broker based in Madeira.

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5 Tips on Choosing a Real Estate Agent

Buying or selling a home is a complex process, and many people rely on real estate agents to close deals. An agent does most of the hard work, from marketing the home to helping the seller find a new place to live. It’s a big responsibility, and it’s important to choose an agent who can get the job done. Below are a few tips on choosing a real estate agent.

1) Self-Assess the Home’s Value

If homeowners are considering selling, they should think about what makes the home special and what could be improved. Honestly assessing the home’s benefits and drawbacks will help a homeowner get ready for price discussions with potential agents.

2) Choose an Agent Who Knows the Neighborhood

It’s crucial to choose an agent who’s familiar with the area. Ask neighbors, family, and friends who’ve recently bought or sold homes in the neighborhood or look at for-sale signs to find a few agents who work in the area. An agent who knows the town will be able to provide pricing information on similar nearby properties and what potential buyers are looking for.

3) Look for an Agent With the Right Area of Expertise

Buyers and sellers should work with agents who focus on homes in the appropriate price range. For instance, an agent who typically sells fixer-uppers may not know the intricacies of selling higher-end properties and vice versa.

4) Conduct Live Interviews

Many experts recommend interviewing prospective agents to ensure that everyone is on the same wavelength; it’s also a good idea to request referrals and verify credentials. Ask questions about the agent’s skills and history, and remember that it’s okay to walk away if the answers aren’t as expected.

5) Do Some Research

An online search on a potential agent or team will tell a client a great deal about how they work. Does the agent have an online presence, and do they have good customer reviews? Has the agent written or commented on industry articles? When an agent is active online, he or she is more likely to be current on other things as well.

Numerous factors go into the selection of an agent. By asking the right questions and doing some research, a home buyer or seller will find it easier to choose an agent who meets their needs.

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10 Reasons to Look Into Cincinnati Real Estate

The Cincinnati real estate market has plenty to offer for families of all sizes, so it should be no surprise that new residents are arriving every day. Those wondering, Where should I move to in Cincinnati will find that options abound, and all of them look pretty good. Continue reading to find out why.

1. Arts and Culture

Cincinnati is home to over 100 arts and cultural organizations. These include the Cincinnati Symphony orchestra, the Cincinnati Ballet, the Taft Theatre, the Cincinnati Art Museum, and more.

2. Affordable Living

The Queen City boasts all of the advantages of other nearby cities like Chicago and Cleveland, but it is much less expensive. Its lower cost of living allows residents to spend more of their time enjoying the sights and sounds and less time working.

3. Amazing Restaurants

Restaurants like Senate, Salazar, and Boca give Cincinnati a well-deserved reputation for culinary excellence. Residents can find just about any kind of food they want when they head out to eat.

4. Beautiful Parks

Eden Park, Ault Park, and Smale Riverfront Park are just three of the most beautiful, meticulously maintained public parks in this great city. Along with its many other public areas, they offer plenty of hiking and recreation for outdoor enthusiasts.

5. Family Friendly

There are plenty of kid-friendly destinations in town, including a zoo, a botanical garden, the Children’s Museum, and plenty of parks. Plus, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital is well-known for its excellent pediatric specialists.

6. Colleges and Universities

No matter what a student wants to learn, he or she will be able to find a well-respected college or university right in town. Local schools like Xavier University and the University of Cincinnati rank well on national scales.

7. Plenty of Work

Unlike residents of some modern cities, newcomers will have no trouble finding jobs. This fine city is home to nine Fortune 500 companies and a thriving local economy.

8. Sports Teams

Cincinnati is home to the Bengals football team and the Reds baseball team. The city boasts two new stadiums and a thriving college sports scene as well.

Cincinnati Night Life9. Vibrant Nightlife

There are plenty of options to keep night owls busy here. These include live music, casinos, restaurants, bars, and more.

10. The Ohio River

Residents love walking along the riverfront, while new arrivals enjoy sightseeing tours. There’s plenty to do along the Ohio River. Find out the answer to the question, Where should I live in Cincinnati by learning more online today.

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Cincinnati Tax Rates: What Buyers Need to Know

A mortgage payment is not the only expense for home buyers. Another concern is the tax rate in the area where they hope to buy. Every county of Ohio has a different rate, so understanding how the tax is assessed is important.

Why it Matters

Cincinnati Tax RatesTax liens are put in place when non-payment of property tax occurs. The lien remains until the tax is paid regardless of how many times the home changes hands. Any research into the desired home should include a check to verify all property taxes have been paid in full so the new owner is not liable for the bill.

Tax reform is another concern for people researching Cincinnati real estate. Recent changes in federal tax laws reduced the amount of taxes and mortgage interest that are deductible from income tax returns each year. A high tax bill is no longer guaranteed to be offset by an income tax reduction as it has in the past.

How it Varies

Cincinnati Tax Rates are based on the values assessed for Hamilton County. The current rate averages 1.53 percent of the assessed property value. Hamilton County has one of the highest rates in the country, but it is not the highest in Ohio. Cuyahoga, Delaware, and Montgomery counties all have higher rates. Cincinnati adjusts its tax rates each year to ensure the city has a specific amount of revenue. This unusual step makes it more difficult to precisely determine future property tax bills.

Where to Buy

The fair market value of the home determines the amount of tax placed on the property each year. Homes are not taxed at different rates because they fit into a certain value range. The metro area continues to have lower priced homes per square foot than the city overall. Prices have risen approximately six percent over the last year and are expected to continue to rise at about three percent each year.

When asking, “where should I live in Cincinnati?”, it is important to ensure any of the areas with the services and amenities desired also have homes that fit the budget of the home buyer. Despite the high assessment rate of property taxes, the prices of homes in the city are still much more affordable than other comparable metropolitan areas.

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Can Nursing Home Residents Protect Their Home Equity In Cincinnati?

Nursing Home

In 2015, over 44,000 Ohio residents were living in a long-term skilled nursing facility, and more than half of those patients were recipients of Medicaid. With skilled nursing care costs increasing, people worry about how to afford a nursing home stay if they need it, and how they can qualify for Medicaid assistance without forfeiting their home equity. The following is some information that can help elders and their family members make important decisions about long-term care.

The Rights Of The Community Spouse

When a nursing home resident has a spouse who is still living in the family home, the spouse is designated as a “community spouse,” and the home is not counted among assets for Medicaid eligibility. This rule applies only to the primary residence as of 2017. Vacation homes or other secondary residences can count against Medicaid eligibility. This is a relatively recent change to the law.

When There Is No Nursing Home Spouse

Nursing Home

For people who have no spouse at the time of their Medicaid application, the value of their home can count against their eligibility unless they express an intent to return home after a temporary stay. If that is not a reasonable expectation, then the home owner may need to sell the home and spend down the proceeds in order to qualify for Medicaid. In most cases, the home can only be sold; it cannot be given away as a gift.

Transferring A Home To An Adult Child Or Sibling

In certain circumstances, however, a home can be transferred to an adult child or sibling of the home owner so that the home is exempted as a countable asset. Home owners can transfer their home to a minor child, to a disabled adult child, and to an adult child who has been living in the home for at least two years and provided care giving services that delayed the move into a care facility. A home can also be transferred to a sibling who shares equity in the home.

When a person is unable to qualify for Medicaid due to a high income or high-value assets, home equity can be an option to pay for long-term care. Visit this site to learn more about Cincinnati real estate and to find out where should i live in Cincinnati.

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Fixing a Leaky Basement: Identify & Address Water Issues

Homeowners with a leaky basement do not enjoy the rain showers that signal the start of spring. The discovery of water in the lowest level of a home is a disturbing find. It could become a very expensive problem because it can eventually cause structural problems or mold issues. Excessive leaks may even put electrical panels, furnaces, and anything else in the basement at risk. Every homeowner needs to know what to do when this problem arises.

Why Basements Leak

Leaky BasementsThere are many reasons why water enters a basement. Poor drainage around the foundation or rainy spells that cause an abundance of water in the soil could make the issue appear. When the water enters the basement, it is a sign of either a crack in the foundation walls or floors, basement windows that are not sealed or are installed incorrectly, or gaps around plumbing pipes or doors.

It is easy to determine when there is water in the basement, but it is not always as easy to discover where it originates. Water may come in around a pipe, travel its length, and collect somewhere else. The basement may lack ventilation and the water is a condensation issue rather than an actual leak. Some basement leaks may even be water seeping from a damaged water heater or water pipe.

Where to Look

Inspect all plumbing and the water heater first for any signs of damage. Look for white, chalky powder on the walls, the existence of mold, or peeling paint to determine the area affected most. Carefully search the walls, floors, and other structural components for signs of cracks or gaps.

How to Resolve Wet Basement Issues

Leaky BasementsIf you have a leaky basement you should contact a contractor that specializes in basement waterproofing. The contractor will inspect the interior and exterior of the basement to determine the cause of the leak and provide an estimate for the repair. The cost of the work could be minimal if the problem is simple, or it could cost significantly more. The price will rise if the foundation is damaged and exterior drainage is needed.

A wet basement does not go away, and ignoring the problem will only cause additional damage. All Cincinnati real estate is valued higher when the basement is waterproofed and the home is protected against further water damage. Address the issue early to prevent any added expense.

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5 Benefits of Modern Walkable Communities

Cincinnati Communities such as Madeira are making pedestrians a priority by creating walkable, pleasant environments. In designing communities with nearby services and shops, outdoor cafes, and plenty of opportunities for personal interaction, cities are bringing the urban and the suburban together. Here, readers can learn some of the many advantages of Walkable Communities.

Creating the Ideal Environment for Walkers

Do you ask yourself “where should I live in Cincinnati” or “where should I move to in Cincinnati”? We have a variety of neighborhoods and communities that each provide something unique to its area. What area works for you?

In a walkable community, inhabitants will gradually realize that they don’t have to have a car to get things done. When stores and workplaces are nearby, people can bike or walk there within minutes. In a world where many people do their shopping online, a walkable community will get them outdoors and encourage them to interact with others.

MadeiraEncouraging an Increase in Physical Activity

There’s no need to pay for a gym membership when it’s possible to lose weight by taking a walk each day. According to information from the Mayo Clinic, walking can lift the mood, manage or prevent conditions like Type 2 diabetes and heart disease, strengthen the bones, and improve balance and coordination. The more a person walks, the more they benefit.

Reduced Speeds for Automobiles and Greater Safety for Everyone

In walkable communities, streets are often narrower than those in other places, which forces drivers to obey the speed limit. Additionally, reserved lanes for cars, cyclists, and pedestrians reduce the chances of a dangerous accident.

Cincinnati CommunitiesMeeting the Demand for Walkable Cities

On the subject of bringing things up to speed, the world’s economy gives workers the chance to relocate. Companies compete to attract the best talent, and offering increased convenience and mobility is a great way to build a stronger workforce. When a company’s potential employees see that shops, schools, restaurants, and workplaces are all close by, they see that Cincinnati is a modern place to work and live.

Making Movement Affordable

When a city is made walkable, people can drive less and save money at the same time. Reducing the use of motor vehicles means less is spent on maintenance, insurance coverage, and wasted fuel. When a person is considering moving to the Cincinnati area, its walkability will encourage them to save money on transportation while making new friends and meeting new people.

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Signs the Current Market is a Housing Bubble

It’s been almost ten years since the last Housing Bubble, yet many people are still hesitant to enter the property market. They don’t want to be upside down in another mortgage if a Housing Collapse does occur. However, how can a person tell if a bubble does exist? What signs should he or she be looking for before entering the housing market?

Housing Bubble

Subprime Lending

When it appears anyone can get a loan, even those with horrible credit, a housing collapse may be coming. During the 2008 market decline, it was found that numerous people had been approved for a loan even though they weren’t credit worthy. These individuals then could not pay the loan as agreed and the market was flooded with properties that simply sat. Fortunately, lenders have tightened their standards and this is less of a concern. However, there are still programs that allow a person to buy a property with very little down payment. Thankfully, they come with stricter underwriting standards also.

Rising Prices

Much has been made of the middle class and stagnant wages. Politicians continue to point out that people make less now than their parents did, when all factors are considered. When housing prices are on the rise and wages aren’t, it may not be the time to purchase. With the measures put into place by lenders, uncontrolled price inflation is less of a concern. This doesn’t absolve the buyer of responsibility, however. He or she may wish to look to cheaper areas, such as the suburbs of Cincinnati, OH, as opposed to buying in the city to ensure housing isn’t excessively priced.

Real Estate Housing Market

Rising Interest Rates

Interest rates remain incredibly low, yet they have been rising over the past few years. When interest rates go up, fewer people buy homes. Look to the lending market to see the trend and what experts predict for the near future. If the rates are on an upward curve, it may be best to hold off on buying for a period of time.

These are only three things every person should be looking at when contemplating the Real Estate Market. Others include the current unemployment rate in an area and the foreign demand for property. If a person carefully examines the market, he or she can determine if now is the time to buy or if holding off will be wiser as a Housing Bubble exists.

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Buyers Age and Home Buying: How Priorities Change Over the Years

Where should I live in Cincinnati is a question that does not have a one answer solution for everyone. The location that is the most appealing and useful depends a lot on the buyers age of the home buyer and their priorities. The city offers something for everyone, but to be truly happy it is important to select the neighborhood based on need.

Buyers AgeBuyers Age 25-35

Buyers at this age are usually seeking a starter home that puts them near a downtown area. Walkability to shops, salons and restaurants is important because many want to live where there is a feeling of community and where they can meet others with similar interests and lifestyles. Affordable single-family homes with one or two bedrooms or even condos with good potential resale value are available that will meet this need.

Buyers AgeBuyers Age 36-46

This group has traditionally settled down and started a family or have one planned. They need real estate that offers the potential for resale value as well, but not always as quickly as they did a few years before. Some prefer move-in ready homes and others like project houses that let them personalize everything. Nearly all want something that is close to schools and services and offers a safe neighborhood with a strong community feel.

Buyers Age 47-57

The forties and fifties are a time of reflecting and re-prioritizing. Many people at this age have reached the pinnacle of their career and raised their children. Their desires may be similar to where they were a couple of decades prior. They want a home that is convenient to the services and entertainment they need and enjoy. Investments in a second home are also desirable to many in the age bracket as they may have the income and the desire to earn a little extra from their property.

Buyers Age 68 and Over

This is the age when many buyers decide to downsize if they have avoided it previously. Many want their time free to visit with loved ones and pursue their interests rather than caring for a home. Some will choose to move into a small investment property purchased previously and others will seek out something entirely different in an area with plenty of services, reliable public transportation and communities that offer entertainment that interests them.

The Consumer Age has as much to do with where people should live as any other determining factor. People that buy based on the area instead of just on the house are often much more satisfied with their lifestyle. Where should I move to in Cincinnati is a question that is often easier to answer based on age rather than income or other factors.