Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Tis The Season......

This time of year means different things to each of us. While I try to understand the righteous indignation of some I can't help but feel like we should all respect each others beliefs, feeling and traditions.

For me this is a time of joy and remembrance. Joy was brought to the world by the birth of Christ. My family celebrates a fairly traditional Christmas with the religious meanings included.  I will not apologize for our traditions nor our religion.

In the hopes of honoring the birth of our Savior I also try to give more back to my fellow man- be it in the form of monetary donations, toy donations or donation of time.

Re-telling stories of Christmas memories is a way to connect my kids with my past. It's a way to share a part of me that as they get older will hopefully help them to understand where I came from and my why's.

It's also a time to remember the people that have helped us all to enjoy the freedoms we often take for granted. Many individuals have sacrificed and still sacrifice today so we all have the freedom to celebrate this magical season in our own way.Take a moment to say thank you silently or out loud doesn't matter how just express your gratitude.


Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Columbus is Changing the World!

Columbus is more than a great place to find foodie restaurants, museums, shows, shopping and The Buckeyes sports; Columbus is a community dedicated to changing the our little part of the world.

Over the past few weeks I have had the privilege to help out with multiple events, working side by side with a group of dedicated volunteers that show up year after year. They believe in what they are doing and they work hard to pull it off.

Yesterday, October 18th, I participated in StandDown Central Ohio 2016. This event is held yearly to give a hand up to our Vet that struggle financially. It’s one day when these Vets know their service has not been forgotten. As they filed in they made their way to legal services, medical, veteran resources, cloths and cold weather gear, food, possibly a hair cut, a hot meal and their favorite – a new pair of boots courtesy of Rocky Boots.

These men and woman come with all sorts of baggage and health issues, they are appreciative of the what is being offered. Most take just what they need. They enjoy the hot meal and Dairy Queen blizzard with a side of  someone to talk to who is asking to hear their story.

Many of the volunteers come year after year and they recognize the Vets ask how their year has been and if they are ok. One volunteer I spoke with had been volunteering for 20 years at this event.

I moved here almost 2 years ago and as I explore things to do in Columbus I am happy to include volunteer opportunities!

A HUGE THANK YOU to Rocky Boots for the 100's of pairs of military grade boots once again given to our deserving Vets! And we can't forget the Ohio National Guard Troops that staffed the boot  department - I  so touched by how much patience and care they showed while fitting the Vets - I even overheard one say to a Vet that apologized for needing to try multiple sizes  - take your time today is your day and we want to get it right!

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Thank you Hills Market!!

So I was told September was lobster roll month at Hills Market. I am a huge fan of lobster rolls and I don't mean the lobster like rolls, I mean LOBSTER - GET IN MY MOUTH- ROLLS!

So on a what looked to be a gloomy Saturday I headed down to Hills Market to get my September lobster roll. It was still a bit early so the line was not very long, they had a meal deal that included lemonade so I grabbed that and an ice coffee, headed to table for a delightful lobster roll!

The lobster was good quality,  nice sized chunks served on a simple roll that did not compete with the lobster. I could tell it was fresh made and the people at Hills are so friendly and you can tell they were enjoying lobster day as much as we were enjoying it!

I will admit I really wanted the pie slice that was part of the deal but I had no room left and wanted to make sure if I was going to eat those calories I was able to enjoy them. Don't miss the last Saturday of Lobster Rolls until next year!

Monday, September 19, 2016

Short North Does it Again!

When Short North throws a party you can expect the best! Sunday, September 18th a variety of homeowners opened their doors to the public. The Short North Tour of Homes & Gardens was well attended and as expected well worth the $15 ticket!

The variety of homes we toured was well rounded. The tour started with two apartments in the 55+ Westminister Thurber Community. It was a great way to be introduced to living options for older adults. Next we went off to see many homes that had been lovingly renovated, a new build and how it amazingly fit into the neighborhood vibe to a garage that had the owner's space and a private retreat in the back he rented out as an AirBnB.

I personally love seeing the creativity and getting decorating tips. It is amazing to have these homeowners allow us the privilege of coming into their personal spaces. A big thank you to all who participated!

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

It Ain't Over Until The Snow Flies!!

Wow! Labor Day Weekend has come and gone! The weather was glorious and the events many! I will share it pains me a bit to hear that Labor Day is the unofficial close of Summer. With so many sunny days still ahead and so many things to do I don't close the door to Summer until the snow flies.

As move into cooler sometimes fickle weather there are so many festivals( a don't' miss the Columbus Italian Festival)  to attend, art shows, Charity Running/Biking events, the list goes on and on! Many of these events are free or almost free - love the idea of a charity run but not much of a runner? Many have a mile or so walk you can participate in or just come out and line the road cheering on the runners! Keep checking out the Farmer's Markets - many of vendors will share their favorite recipes. The public park system is a jewel to enjoy the waning days, especially when the leaves turn and the trees are dressed in their fall colors!

Considering a few winter projects? Builders and remodeling companies  often have tours showcasing their accomplishments. Or check out home tours in Columbus neighborhoods, such as the Short North Home Tour. These tours cost minimally and they are a great way to get new ideas or see what is available out there to buy!

With school back in and the days growing shorter Summer may be giving way to Fall but don't head indoors yet!

Saturday, August 13, 2016

A Little Something For Everyone!

Worthington Farmers Market is one the most anticipated markets in the area.  I can’t tell if it’s the charm of High Street in Worthington or the festival like atmosphere or the great selection of stands! Despite the heat and humidity, it was a picture perfect day to visit the vendors and get some deals!

This market offers a nice mix of Mom and Pop operations, medium size operations and seasonal operators. There are a good amount of stands selling bouquets of flowers, the bright colors and creative displays take me back a bit to the market in Florence Italy! I am especially fond of all the big and beautiful Sunflowers this time of year – what a happy flower!

I was able to pick up some really fresh vegetables, including an interesting squash. What I really appreciate is most of the vendors will give you ideas and tips on prep so if you are familiar with certain items ask!  The bread and pastry vendors were out in full force and to nicely compliment them there is coffee and juice vendors. This market also has a few meat vendors and fish vendors. You really could do a weeks worth of perishable shopping there and judging by the number of carts, many people do! They even have gourmet treats for pets!

Some of my favorite vendors are Kingdom Fish for some of the freshest Tilapia around – great recipes too! It’s hard to narrow down a vegetable vendor for me it depends on what I am looking to purchase. I am really smitten with The Lucky Cat Bakery – my downfall is fresh, pure ingredient bread! Not to miss is Ohio City Pasta – they are a longtime favorite of mine back from my Westside Market shopping days when I lived in Northeast Ohio – it’s a taste of home. The difference in fresh, small batch pasta verses mass produced stuff will bring you back to eating pasta! There are so many things to experience there you really have to make a trip. A lot of people take advantage of the restaurants that line the street of the market. They grab a table on the patio, enjoy breakfast or early lunch then enjoy some street level shopping. We all have to shop for food so why not make it enjoyable!

Monday, August 1, 2016

The Dog Days of Summer!!

The last few days have produced brutal heat and humidity. I love a hot summer, I prefer a fan over air conditioning, summer is my season; however, 100% humidity with a heat index of over 100 even this heat lover is seeking a cool retreat!

Determined to not be stuck inside I headed out to The Topiary Garden in Olde Town East. With my granddaughter and daughter in tow we took advantage of the cooler morning and got there about 10am. There was plenty of parking along side E Towne Road so we easily parked and fed the meter. Strolling along the pathways we had a chance to enjoy the topiaries as well as the beautiful gardens. The pond offers much needed refreshment for birds, squirrels and the other wild life. One of my favorite topiaries is the small boat with the person in it  fishing. This whimsical garden offered the cool retreat we were seeking! Grass, trees, well placed park benches and the cement tables and benches all seem to bounce the heat away leaving a cool spot to enjoy the creativity of the people who planned and keep the gardens.

Next we drove the short mile to the Scioto Fountains. Getting there around 11:30 the crowds were not too bad! There is a lot of metered parking around the area, so we were able to park on Front St and walk the short distance to the fountains. I really appreciate the way the parks monitor the activity and keep the area so clean. The bathroom building makes it especially easy when you have little ones with you. My granddaughter joyfully splashed through the water trying to anticipate the next move of each nozzle. it is really enjoyable to watch all ages of kids splashing, laughing and moving around without the aid of electronics! Nice to see whole families taking advantage of this FREE activity offered by Columbus Parks. Today more than ever it is so important for families to spend time together playing and enjoying each others company! So pack a bag of snacks, grab the bathing suites and don't let this summer experience get away!

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Easton Town Center's Farmer's Market

Looking for something to do on a Thursday evening? Then consider stopping b the Farmer’s Market at Easton . The Market is located over by the splash pad in front of Brio’s patio. Although it’s small with a handful of vendors the atmosphere is lively and very interactive. Kids can enjoy the splash pad or a specialty flavored popsicle  while you browse hand made soaps or take in a demo – recently ( Bibibop joined the market providing  a  healthy dose of goodness!

I personally was absolutely delighted to pick up some fresh focaccia bread from Omega Artisan Baking – I also picked up some pointers on baking my own, focaccia bread!   The scent of the handmade soaps was absolutely intoxicating on a such a warm evening and the I picked up some super fresh spinach at a great price -$3 a bag, grown without the usual chemicals crisp and ready for my salad!

This is a great stop on a Thursday evening a chance to buy a few things, relax to some music and enjoy all that summer has to offer!

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Looking for Something to Do???

One of the things we love about Columbus is the variety of events. Year round there are so many things to do and places to go. With something to delight all ages and tastes and lifestyles! I have found with a little planning and research there are a lot of things to do that won't break the budget!

Over the next few weeks I am going to explore free and almost free events in Columbus. Thinking I will take a yoga class at Easton, check out a few Farmer’s Markets, take in a little culture at the Columbus Museum of Art and who knows what else will pop up on the radar! 

Check back to see what where I go and the adventures I have!

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Who Offers The Best BBQ in Columbus???

Here We Go Again! …………. Best Bites Barbecue

When Columbus Underground throws a party you know you are in for a treat! Thursday we attended the Best Bites Barbecue at the The BoatHouse. Adding to the delicious food was a spectacular view of the Scioto River.  Seventeen area restaurants treated us to their best barbecue dishes and sides.

We have gone to quite a few of these events, burgers, pizza, tacos, etc they are always well attended, friendly events and this one was exceptionally laid back. Our table had a lively bunch of no longer strangers and we enjoyed conversation as well as comparing dishes and making recommendations for what to taste next.

As usual I could not name one favorite, the dishes served were imaginative and great combinations of textures and flavors. One of my favorite food trucks dazzled us with their bourbon glazed BBQ brisket taco – Paddy Wagon offers this regularly on their food truck – it’s a not to miss treat! I think one of the biggest surprised was a potato skin with grilled chicken topped with Hawaiian style slaw – it was the perfect combination of sweet and crunchy on a potato skin – I would never think to put these items together and it was pure heaven, thank you Aloha Streatery! To break up the heat from jalapeo corn bread and hot sauce was Sho-Oh serving up Snoballs in amazing flavors! 

And to think all this eating was for a great cause! The beneficiary of the a portion of the ticket sales was CelebrateOne! This agency actively educates parents on ways to reduce the factors that contribute to infant mortality. Thank you to all who worked so hard to make this event pure pleasure!

Monday, June 6, 2016

$$$$ It's A Seller's Market $$$$

This year has proven to be very challenging for buyers. Rates are still low, rents are high and going higher and for sale inventory is low. The average first time buyer price range is especially competitive. So what does this all mean for sellers?

Sellers this year can typically expect multiple offers and expect about a 6% price increase over last year - this is an average some areas are more, some are less. Does this mean as a seller all you have to do is plant a sign in the yard and buyers will throw money at you? Well if that were the case there would be many more homes on the market. Despite the low inventory, sellers still need to properly prepare their home. Most buyers are still looking for a home that they can move into with minimal work.

Preparing a home to go on the market is labor intensive, however the return on the time invested is amazing. Clean, DeClutter, Paint and Stage - these rules still apply today. Create a plan, call a Realtor and have them assess your home. If your short on time, hire a yard company, cleaning company and don't forget to get your windows cleaned. Do you have lots of stuff? Box is up and rent a storage unit short term - the garage is not a good place to put the overflow. Spruce up the front path and make sure your door is well maintained - the curb look is your first impression - the front door the second.

If you are looking for expert, honest advice on your Central Ohio home, call me for a no obligation market analysis, 330-304-9015.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Fresh, Local and Fun! Summer Time Is Farmer's Market Time!

No summer is complete without exploring area Farmer's Markets. These dedicated vendors offer fresh vegetables, fruit, baked goods, herbs, flowers the list is endless and ever changing! What a great way to spend some down time browsing the selections and talking with the vendors. The atmosphere is always charged with energy and very social experience. So go on put down your phone and get out there and check out your local Farmer's Market!!


Pearl Market

Columbus Square Farmers Market  July 9th - October
161 and Cleveland Avenue


Uptown Westerville Farmer's Market
May 1 - Oct 30

Franklin Park Conservatory   June 1 - September 7
3:30pm - 6pm

Clintonville Farmer's Market
North High between Orchard Lane and W Dunedin Road
Thur Aug 14th

Dublin Farmer's Market
May thru September in the parking lot of the Oakland Nursery

Reynoldsburg Farmer's Market
1520 Davidson Drive - Huber Park July 11 - Sept 26

2111 East Main Street

Easton Town Center
June 6 - Sept 12


Pearl Market


North Market
59 Spruce St - Short North
8am- 3pm

Olde Worthington Farmer's Market
644 N High Street
8am - 12pm


Tuesday, May 24, 2016

How To Survive in a Highly Competetive Market

As any serious buyer knows the number of buyers far outnumber the listings. It feels like the minute a home in good condition hits the market several offers are being considered and the home goes under contract. It's a race to get there and put in the winning offer. Often buyers are barely looking at the house and the idea of due diligence goes right out the window.

So how do you compete and at the same time make a well informed decision? First really know what you want in a home, know the ideal location and features you must have. Don't waste time on homes you are not going to buy. Your agent can set up listing alerts with the area you want, features such as you must have a basement or need 4 bedrooms - looking at homes you are not going to buy in an area you don't want to live in makes the search even more frustrating. If you are looking in a lot of areas time to think about what is really important to you are there amenities you want and does one area more ideal for you? Are you willing to take down wallpaper, paint, put in new flooring? If not pictures tell the story eliminate homes needing that type of work.

So now you have a better idea of what your next home looks like time to get into  few homes. Make sure you dedicate time to look at homes - many agents put homes on the market on Fridays so cancel your weekend get away plans. Make sure when you are touring homes you look at the bones of the house - don't get hung up on paint colors or bad furniture. Find out about the house hold systems, the HVAC, Windows, Roof,etc these are the items that keep your home intact and will cost big bucks if they need to be replaced. Knowing this information should help you decide if it's a good idea to fight for that home.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Why Didn't My Home Sell? Isn't It A Seller"s Market?

Even with limited inventory there still are some homes that the listing expires and the home is unsold.  Although there are many reasons a home may not sell, there are  3 main reasons, Price, Condition, Accessibility for showings.

Properly pricing your home is really a matter of looking at solid numbers and if necessary go look at a few homes in your area that are at the price point you feel your home falls into. Look at features and condition. Keep in mind your home will sell at market price - trying to get above will only cause issues later when it comes time to appraise the home. Make sure when you talk with an agent they are giving you apples to apples. You deserve an honest market analysis.

Take a good look around your home, if you were walking in for the first time what would you see? Does the home appear clean and well maintained? Is there a lot of stuff around that takes your attention away from the great features of the home and the nice sizes of the rooms? Cleaning and pre-packing your home is essential to properly presenting your home to potential buyers. If your home is not clean, accessories streamlined and maintained buyers are either going to walk away or hit you hard on the price because the home will appear to need work. So clean, touch up, pre-pack and keep in mind you are selling your home and need to present it that way. It's like going into a retail store that is visually appealing, clean and well organized you expect to pay more than at a chaotic flea market.

As agents we know you still in your home and we certainly know how disruptive it is to have to leave your home for showings. So generally speaking, requesting 24 hours notice is not unreasonable. What doesn't work is putting a lot of restrictions on when the home can be shown, when you do that buyers feel like you are not motivated. Hanging around when buyers are walking through is also a no no - they are there to see your home don't make them feel like they are visiting you. Make sure your pets don't greet the agent at the door either, have a neighbor or dog walker remove them prior to the showing, arrange for doggy day care or if crate trained use the crate (remember to add that information to showing instructions).

Although other factors do come into play on unsold homes - the photos, marketing or an agent that doesn't return calls or emails; these are the main reasons a home doesn't sell. If you would like your expired listing analyzed I am happy to take a look at the WHOLE picture and help you go from on the market to sold!

Some helpful web sites to explore:


Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Getting Ready To Sell - How Much Should You Spend?

It seems like there are two kinds of sellers – the ones that are willing to see the flaws of their home and spend money to get I ready for a sale and the ones that fell their home is perfect as is. Finding middle ground with either one of these sellers can be a challenge for Realtors.

So how much is enough and how much is too much? The age old advise of pre packing, cleaning ceiling to floor (don’t forget the windows!)  and arranging your home to maximizes the great features of your house ALWAYS apply. We all have those little things we live with – the dripping faucet, stuck window, possible an outlet that doesn’t work those are obvious things we should address. I recommend my seller’s have the furnace/air conditioner cleaned and serviced. Freshen up exterior doors, the landscaping and any other areas that could use some attention. 

Should you remodel the kitchen? The bath? Replace carpeting? It all depends, on your personal situation. In most cases by doing these things you will receive a higher dollar for your home, now here comes the “but”. Know your market and the demographic looking in your market. You might not get back 100% of your costs for these items. If the countertops in your kitchen are worn and showing their age, new counters are probably a good idea, just make sure they don’t make your cabinets look more dated. Pick and choose your projects carefully – you might be better off pricing your home to reflect the current condition. Certain items are always going to go a long way – new carpets, fresh paint and new storm door.

Your Realtor should be able to guide you on projects – don’t be afraid to check out a few homes in the price range you are hoping to fall into – see what the competition looks like! When selling your home you need to think like a buyer – I know that is easier said then done at times your home contains your memories.  So when it’s time to say goodbye it can be difficult to look at it objectionably. Ask your Realtor to be honest with you.

If you are thinking of selling or buying please consider calling me to help you with one of the most important purchases you will make! Contact me at

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Tax Abatement - Good or Bad?

At first glance a Tax Abated condo looks like a really great deal, after all anytime we can pay less in taxes it’s a good thing! However, it is always wise to ask a few questions before jumping into the pool of buyers looking for a tax abated condo.

First question you need to ask is when does the tax abatement end? Do some research if it ends soon and see approximately what the unabated tax will be on the condo. The auditor’s office can generally help you with this type of research. If the abatement ends soon, be prepared to increase your housing budget by that much.

Second question is there a chance the abatement will be extended? If the answer is yes go a little deeper, has the request been made and if so when will they know the answer. Extensions are not a sure thing.

On the positive side if you are looking at a home that is tax abated and it’s going to be quite awhile it can be a really good thing! If you are paying on a $400,000 condo with a tax abatement it drastically reduces your monthly costs. Based on a tax rate of $7000 per year you are knocking off  over $500 in housing expenses per month. So possibly you can get more condo than you expected!

There is a good side to an abatement and a scary side – just be sure you are informed and working with an agent that knows the questions to ask before you  buy. If you are ready to start your home search!

When your ready to buy or sell please give me a call for a FREE NO OBLIGATION consultation!
My direct phone number is 330-304-9015 my office number is 614-383-7937

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

The First Sign of Spring For Sale Signs!

You might look out your window and see grey skies, possible a few snowflakes, maybe  a frosty windshield. So it’s still winter – right?  Not so in the world of real estate!

All over sellers are shining up their homes, pre-packing clutter and getting ready to roll out the welcome mat for you! Every newly listed home represents a choice for buyers.  An opportunity to compare features, condition and prices. While all of that is taking place, buyers everywhere are gearing up for the hunt. The longer you wait to seriously look at houses the more you could end up in paying due to multiple offers.

Multiple offers are good for the seller and cause the buyer to possible pay a little more for a home than they would have if they were to be the ONLY offer. When you make an offer on a home you are really starting a conversation with the seller. You talk about terms, inspections, who pays for what and when you expect to close and take possession. If you are writing an offer on a home that has other offers coming in, you need to give your highest and best (in some markets often above asking) and the least restricting terms for the seller is always recommended.

So what are you doing this weekend? Now is the time to start seriously looking at homes and looking with your eye on potential.  Get on paper your FIVE MUST HAVES, determine your ideal location and a secondary location. Approach each home with the desire to make it your own, consider the potential and don’t forget to take condition into consideration – possibly you can get the seller to take less so you can update. Make sure your agent presents a well-written offer that includes an explanation on your offer price if it’s considerably lower than asking.

If you are thinking of buying or selling, let’s talk! I have over 10 years experience in real estate and many resources to help you get the most value for your money!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Full Disclsoure

Recently Sean Penn has been the talk of all the news channels. Journalists everywhere are either for or against his now famous interview with El Chapo. As the debate rages on regarding the ethics of what he did the thing that hit me was the questions about Sean Penn allowing El Chop to edit the article Penn was writing.

On Fox News, Geraldo Rivera felt Penn was acting a s true journalist and because he fully disclosed at the beginning of the article that El Chapo had full control over the content and Penn had not violated any journalist rules or obligations. With that in mind I started to think about what “full disclosure” means and how it applies to life today.

In so many areas of modern life we need to dig for the truth, we need to ask questions that go three layers deep in an attempt to reveal true intentions. The Internet and social media explosion has allowed people, companies and yes terrorists to hide in the shadows. I personally do not want to conduct my life and my business this way

So in the spirit of full disclosure here is what I want people to know about my professional services as a Realtor. My mission as your real estate professional is:

To provide you with the most relevant market information helping you make a well informed buying, selling, investing decision. As part of my dedication to providing excellent service to my clients I have committed to a variety of educational opportunities to enhance and keep my skills up to date in an ever-changing business environment. I am prepared to help you through every step of your transaction.

As your Realtor I will market your home as though it were my own. I will negotiate to get you the best price with the best terms. When you need a lender, an inspector, etc I can refer you to some of the best in the business – these are people I would use on my own home. I will treat your transaction as though it were my own.

About Pam Kutsick, Accredited Buyers Rep, multi-million dollar producer, over 10 years in real estate. Helping buyers and sellers get the best deal in Central Ohio.