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Festival Season is Here !

Festival Season is Here !  With the nicer days of spring leading into the summer stretch – we know that EVERY WEEKEND and just about EVERY COMMUNITY has something special to offer YOU.  Not sure what Festival to attend??  You may want to checkout a few of our highlights from last season – to get a feel of the festivals and communities – and to pick the one best for YOU!




Or maybe you feel like taking a nice leisurely drive through one of the surrounding counties?  Preble County has some amazing scenic bridges that are worth seeing, along the way enjoy food in local restaurants and see a bit of the slow lane of life 😉 COVERED BRIDGES TOUR OF PREBLE COUNTY

And last, but certainly not least – don’t forget to check out a few of the FIVE RIVER METRO PARKS for water activities, bike trails and MORE – like – the WEGERZYN GARDENS & CHILDRENS PARK

Emergency Preparedness – helpful tips and ideas

No one really thinks about having an emergency plan – until it is almost to late.  However, this time of year it may be beneficial to put a little thought into the “what if” scenario and make an actual plan, with the hopes of course that it is never needed.

My family thinks I may be a little “too overboard” with this – thru the years we have done a number of things, like: having a “go bag” ready and in the back of the car; having emergency food storage; having a backpack with flashlight, weather radio, granola bars and water stuffed in the hall closet with a pillow and blanket; to talking about a check-in point when going on vacation in the event we get separated.  OK – so call me a little OCD if you want, but the peace of mind I have had in those instances of “feeling prepared” certainly out weighs any inconvenience they may have felt.


When our area had the massive outbreak of tornadoes during Memorial Weekend 2019, it was a flash back to the Xenia tornado in my mind.  2019 was worse – because it affected a wide range of our communities and had far more impact to our housing and roads and normal activities, for a much longer time due to then the onset of Covid.

Fires in California, massive snow storms across many states, now rain and flooding – it isn’t necessarily the apocalypse but it sure is enough to make a person a think “WHAT IF”.

Personally, I suffered a total loss of a home and know that there are some things you cannot plan for nor expect and it certainly can take time to re-build from a point zero position after such a loss.  In the end, if all we loose is material “things” – then we can count ourselves among the lucky.  I was blessed to have had friends and co-workers assist with their prayers and well wishes and clothing donations, with insurance to take care of other necessities.  But I did take away from that experience a plan of action to at least try and be prepared or willing to plan when situations may present for action.

Here are just a few things that might help you 😉

Having a “go bag” is a great idea – I think of it as a what if I needed to make a quick run out of the home to another location – what would I need.  Nothing big and bulky, but a quick change of clothes, important documents or small treasured things that might be nice to have (something that can “ground” you in an otherwise chaotic or challenging time).  I have that bag packed and ready to grab – at times, I have kept this in the back of my vehicle as I maybe felt that was a step more proactive.  If you have multiple family members in your care – this may mean multiple bags, so decide accordingly.


When you see pictures / video of tornado destruction – you might be struck by how “explosive” the scene looks, everything scattered and who knows if anything can actually be salvaged.  I’ve thought about this and think that a good “attempt” to try and save some things may happen in a couple of ways: packing that luggage you have stashed in the garage – with actual clothes you might need, documents, keepsakes. I mean, they won’t take up any more room if they are filled with these things – so why not at least have a bag (or two or three) packed for the “what if”.  Good to have your contact information inside of the bag, on the outside or with a luggage tag – in the hopes that if it is blown away (as a whole) that you stand a good chance of being able to claim / recover when found.


We all have important documents that we don’t want to carry around with us, but if we lost them – we’d have a hard time replacing them as quickly as they might be needed… If you have a water resistant pouch / bag that you can keep these documents in – placing them inside the dishwasher or refrigerator may help secure these from blowing away or burning in a fire.  Now that of course means you at least are having a little heads up about a situation – but some of the household appliances seem to fair pretty well, at least by being intact – therefore some chance of these being protected.  Of course, a fire safe / lock box is also well advised protocols.

Speaking of protocols – SCANNING any documents you have that can then be pulled from computer access or even your phone is a good thing to do.  If you do not have the ability to “scan” documents, I am happy to provide this as a service for you, you can take them all on a zip drive and feel better prepared.

The other thing I learned (the hard way) was to have PICTURES / VIDOE of the household – of closets full of clothes, shoes and things; the drawers, the things you just won’t think about having accumulated – until potentially too late when you are trying to “make a list” after the fact.  Having some record of inventory of things will help you to know what insurance claim to make, what items to look for and eventually those things that you may want to replace.  (Also good to have on that zip drive with your documents)

Our hope is not to cause panic for anyone by talking about emergency preparedness – but to hopefully prompt you in advance of a potential loss to be better equipped for the situation. Really narrowing down those items that are most important to have on hand / secure in the event of gaining safety is a great first step.

A Listing Agreement for 40 years???

Reading the Listing Agreement your agent is presenting to you – is just the beginning.  But as someone who may not have recently sold a home – you have no idea what to look for or ask.

Here are a few things to HELP YOU make the right decision.

(not just about – Is it the right decision to SELL the house or WHO is the right Realtor to use) but:

What is the difference between an “Agent” and a REALTOR?

What is the Listing Agreement TERM (are you really wanting to give someone 40 years to sell the property??)  Yes – I know that sounds EXTREME – but WHO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT that was an actual thing? (Until of course the news made us all aware IT HAPPENED).

Now, we can’t name names – or identify the potential “brokerage / agents” who were involved with this ridiculous listing agreement for 40 years (due to our Real Estate Law and Ethical Code) which seems ironic that we can’t call out something as crazy as this – but THEY can DO IT?!?!  (Well, that is still to be decided).


Anyway, here is my go at calling out a few things you SHOULD be aware of from the start:

An agent – MAY or MAY NOT be LICENSED with the State to Sell Real Estate.  Ohio REQUIRES a Real Estate License for the activities involved with buying / selling / representing others in real estate and being compensated with payment; including PROPERTY MANAGEMENT (unless it is your own property and transaction).  Your first clue – ASK IF THEY ARE A REALTOR and then you can look this up online – free, at https://elicense3.com.ohio.gov/lookup/licenselookup.aspx.

Legally and Ethically – a person cannot use the term REALTOR without being a Realtor, paying those National / State and Local Dues and adhering to the Code of Conduct.  Does that mean bad apples slip in or hide from the process?  Sure – but at least that is a good place for you to start.


The “Term” of your listing agreement is normally considered to be the amount of time you agree to work with that Realtor / Brokerage in the efforts to sell your property.  This could be ONE WEEK (although not normally this short) – to ONE MONTH, or even ONE YEAR – really, it can be ANY length of time that is agreed between the parties; but NEVER HAVE I EVER seen one for multiple years.   No one wants to do paperwork needlessly, so making an agreement by the day would be just as unlikely.  If the market turnover of listings is less than six months, then agreeing to a Listing Agreement of six months would seem reasonable and customary.

SECOND, you should be given or receive a COPY of anything you sign – at any time.  I like to provide a copy in advance, certainly giving you plenty of time to review BEFORE SIGNING, or at any point if you lose your copy, I am happy to provide.  If you want to have an attorney REVIEW the Agreements and any Documents PRIOR to the actual Listing of your property – that is certainly YOUR RIGHT.


The next thing to raise alarm – is this part about a LIEN AGAIST THE HOUSE.  In no language of our board sanctioned Listing Agreement is there anything that refers to the right of the Broker to hold / take a LIEN against your house!  No reason whatsoever for this to be a part of the Listing Agreement, it is not needed in order to SELL the property and YOU should BEWARE of having to give up ANY OF YOUR RIGHTS just to try and Sell the Property.  It’s almost as ridiculous as saying you have to give the title to your car just to get it serviced or washed!!

Finally, in this case that has made the news circuit – it sounds like an OFFER was made in advance of the Agreement for a “Payment” to be made to the Seller for the opportunity of the company to get the Listing Agreement.  I don’t know about you – but THAT would certainly raise a red flag for me!  Offering to PAY someone for the ability to SELL their home maybe be considered an inducement and I would question if that was Ethical, let alone Legal – especially since that is NOT THE NORM in our Industry.

The saying, “If it seems too good to be true – it probably is” rings loud and clear!

“Housewives” from Real Life to Reality

Our ladies from past decades would be mortified! To think all that “hard work” and physical labors they endured to try and gain the ground for equal rights and the opportunities to be in the workforce, if they chose… all to come down to reality tv shows highlighting the “good life” of the well-to-do “HOUSEWIVES” whether in Atlanta, Beverly Hills or Jersey!!?

Besides being a slap in the face – this also gives a grand illusion to “upscale” a term of being a housewife.  First of all, when it was considered the “norm” and a woman stayed home to cook, clean and take care of the kids / household, it was done with a household income (average 1970) of less than $10,000!  And these “housewives of…” are showing up in gowns carrying bags that exceed that by no less than 10 times!?  Even if you compare to the average of 1980 which basically doubled, $21,000 a year meant the housewife wasn’t going out for lunch and grabbing drinks with her pals to cheers some latest BS in the neighborhood.  REALITY TV has really ventured outside of what is REAL for most of us!

Seems to me that the fight for women’s rights has taken huge steps BACKWARDS and the struggles we will face in the future will be just as concerning as those from the decades past.

So while we may have a guilty pleasure of watching the far-fetched series of Housewives in whatever locale seems to be trending, remember how hard women fought to be given their dignity for a term you are now throwing around.  A housewife, was and likely remains to be – an integral part of society that should be looked upon as just as important as any other title. They are the boss of a complicated and multi-layered scheduling system (from the kids, school, sports and other activities; to coordinating meals and preferences for all, keeping inventory and budget mindfulness; to all the other daily / weekly / monthly events that need to be facilitated) and they deserve the credit of being considered more than a diva wearing high priced clothing while eating fancy foods and jet-setting around with their pals.