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Date Archives: February 2020

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February
26

Spring is (hopefully) just around the corner and the agents at Progressive Urban Real Estate want to ensure that our clients are prepared for the spring home shopping market. The spring market can be a highly competitive time and we want to make sure your home stands out from the rest. To help with preparing your home for sale, we put together a few quick tips to make certain your home looks its best.

1. Organize your stuff. There is no way to tell how long your home may be on the market. Organizing and preparing your personal items for the move will help make it that much easier!
2. Make any necessary repairs + improvements. Like that leaky faucet or the squeaky door. Loose handle on the cabinet? Fix it! Buyers want to see homes that look fresh and well-kept.
3. Step up your curb appeal! While the weather may still be a bit too cold to begin outdoor improvements, now is a perfect time to start planning. Come up with some ideas for improving the look of your home and come up with a plan to get your home looking its best for spring!
4. Neutralize your home - depersonalize, deodorize, + declutter! When buyers tour a home, they want to be able to envision themselves living there. By neutralizing your home, you are making it easier for those buyers to do so.
5. Clean, clean, clean! Make your place shine. Be sure to clean all surfaces and windows. Buyers want to see a clean house that is light + bright! Cleaning windows can help let as much light in as possible to make your space look its best.
6. Find a real estate agent! Probably the most important part of preparing your home for sale would be finding a great real estate agent. The agents at Progressive Urban Real Estate are here to help and answer any questions that you may have. As the leader in the Cleveland Real Estate market, we have seen it all. Contact us by visiting our website or call us at 216.619.9696.

February
19

Brite Winter 2020

Progressive Urban Real Estate has been an active member of the community in the city of Cleveland since being founded in 1986. With deep roots in downtown Cleveland and the first suburbs, Progressive Urban has been an advocate of urban revitalization and contributing to the growth and development of Cleveland's urban neighborhoods. Not only do many of our realtors live where they work, our agency also supports local organizations such as the Brite Winter festival. Progressive Urban Real Estate is proud to be a bronze level sponsor of this year's Brite Winter festival; an annual outdoor music, arts, food, and beer festival hosted during one of Cleveland's coldest months.  

So how did the Brite Winter festival come to be? It all began when a couple of friends were sharing a pitcher on a patio at the end of the summer. Conversation turned to two things: what can younger people do to get more involved in the community; and what are things you've always wanted to do? We decided that Cleveland really needed to embrace winter and have fun with it. They ended up finding an enormous amount of support in the community and found that there were way too many things to show off in this town. Their first event consisted of 800 people listening to music, building snow forts, and sliding around on ski-bikes in an urban park. The second year lead to even more partnerships and fun. Since then, the event has grown to one with over 20,000 visitors, tons of community partnerships, and over 3 dozen musical acts.

The team at Brite Winter wanted to contribute to the Cleveland cultural landscape with a free/low cost, and accessible events during underserved times of the year, like winter; an event where anyone can experience our city through traditional and innovative activities. Brite Winter marries fire, participatory art, food, music, and games to build community while helping Clevelanders embrace the cold winter months.

Brite Winter embraces their core values of positivity, community, creativity, artistic excellence, and accessibility contributing to the Cleveland cultural landscape with a free/low cost, and accessible events during underserved times of the year, like winter; an event where anyone can experience our city through traditional and innovative activities. We at Progressive Urban Real Estate are proud to be a community partner of the Brite Winter organization.

The Brite Winter festival is scheduled for Saturday, February 22nd from 3p to 1a in the West Bank of the Flats and is a FREE event. For more information about the event, click here. We hope to see you there! 

February
14

Appraisal: A determination of the value of something, such as jewelry, stock, or, in this case, the house you plan to buy. 

APR: A yearly interest rate that includes upfront fees and costs paid to acquire the loan, calculated by taking the average compound interest rate over the term of the loan.

Closing Costs: All settlement or transaction charges (above and beyond the actual cost of the property) that home buyers (or sellers, depending on tradition in your area and what you negotiate with the seller) need to pay at the close of escrow when the property is transferred. 

Closing Disclosure: A form that provides final details about the mortgage loan you have selected.

Contingency: A provision in a contract stating that some or all of the terms of the contract will be altered or voided by the occurrence of a specific event, usually by specific dates leading up to the closing. 

Contract: The document in which the seller agrees to sell the house to the buyer and the buyer agrees to buy it. 

Conventional Loan: A conventional loan is a normal loan. It is typically fixed in its terms and rate.

Counteroffer: The rejection of an offer to enter into a contract, where the rejecting party includes a different offer that changes the terms of the original offer in some way.

Down Payment: The portion of the sale price that you pay in cash. The rest is paid with the mortgage.

Debt Ratio: The ratio of your debt to your income. Banks use this to figure out how much money they're willing to loan you, which of course impacts what price home you're able to buy.

Deed: A deed is a signed legal document that transfers the title of a property to a new holder, granting them the privilege of ownership.

Earnest Money: A deposit made that represents a buyer's good faith to buy a home.

Equity: The amount of value you own in a property, after subtracting the outstanding loan.

Escrow: The holding of funds or documents by a neutral third party (typically a title/escrow company) prior to closing your home sale.

FHA Loan: A program in which the federal government insures the lender if you fail to pay and they have to foreclose. 

Fixed Rate Mortgage: A mortgage loan that has an interest rate that remains constant throughout the life of the loan, usually 15 or 30 years.

Home Insurance: A form of property insurance that covers losses and damages to an individual's residence, along with furnishings and other assets in the home.

Mortgage Insurance: An insurance policy that protects a mortgage lender or titleholder if the borrower defaults on payments, dies or is otherwise unable to meet the contractual obligations of the mortgage.

Pre-Approval: A mortgage lender indicates that they have reviewed a buyer's finances and will approve them for a home loan of a certain amount, pending final review of their finances and the property being purchased.

Principal: The outstanding balance on a loan. Also refers to the portion of a loan payment that pays down your debt (as opposed to interest, which is the bank's profit)

Property Taxes: Taxes paid to local governments on property you own. 

Title Insurance: Protects both real estate owners and lenders against loss or damage occurring from liens, encumbrances, or defects in the title or actual ownership of a property. 

Variable Rate Mortgage: A type of home loan in which the interest rate is not fixed. Instead, interest payments will be adjusted at a level above a specific benchmark or reference rate.

February
5

Since 2016, there has been an influx in short-term rentals across the city. To ensure that our clients and the general public are informed on the rules and regulations of the imposed housing codes, we put together important details regarding the steps needed to be taken in order to operate a short-term rental in the city of Cleveland. The details listed below come directly from the City of Cleveland's Department of Building and Housing codes and ordinances under Title IX: Housing Codes.

Chapter 371 - Rental Dwelling Standards 

Under the current codes and ordinances, an owner, operator or agent shall not rent, lease or offer for rental or lease for residential occupancy any dwelling units, dwelling structures or any part of a dwelling unit or dwelling structure that does not comply with the standards for residential occupancy (371.01).

In the case of short-term rentals, any units that are intended to be used as a short-term rental property for more than 91 days per calendar year require a Rental Unit Registration form and must obtain a rental permit in order to operate (365.02). The ordinance requires that each particular dwelling unit must be provided as limited lodging for no more than 91 days a year. Additionally, the titled-owner or tenant must use a dwelling unit for residential household living purposes more than 51% of the year.

An owner of a residential rental unit or units located in the City shall register each unit with the Department of Building and Housing in a rental registry which is established by the Director (365.02).

Key Take-a-Ways

1. A property dwelling cannot be purchased with the sole-intent of being rented out as a short-term rental. 

Example: An investor buys a building with 2 apartments, they rent one on a long term basis (over 30 days) and the other one they use as a full time (more than 91 days per year) short term rental on airbnb.  The owner does not live in the building.

2. Property dwellings that are being rented out as short-term rentals (30 days or less) must be owner-occupied for 51% of the year. 

3. Rental properties (short-term rentals included) must comply with the city of Cleveland's Department of Building and House standards and regulations. 

If these code standards are not upheld, the Commissioner of Housing is hereby authorized to make or cause to be made inspections of all structures or premises used for dwelling purposes to determine whether such structures or premises conform to the provisions of this Housing Code, and to the provisions of the Zoning Code (367.02).

Housing Codes: Purpose (361.02)

Within the scope of this Housing Code as hereinafter defined, the purpose of this Code is to establish minimum standards necessary to make all dwelling structures safe, sanitary, free from fire and health hazards and fit for human habitation and beneficial to the public welfare; establish minimum standards governing maintenance of dwelling structures in safe and sanitary condition; fix responsibilities for owners and occupants of dwelling structures with respect to sanitation, repair and maintenance; establish additional standards for rented or leased dwellings and rooming occupancies; authorize the inspection of dwelling structures; establish enforcement procedures; authorize the vacation or condemnation of dwelling structures unsafe or unfit for human habitation; and fix penalties for violations.

To view a more comprehensive, complete list of codes and ordinances according to the City of Cleveland's Depart of Building and Housing, visit their website by clicking here.

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