You are currently browsing the monthly archive for August 2007.

How are our schools doing? Not too bad, according to the latest data from the State of Ohio Department of Education. All the public schools in the State of Ohio were given a “solid B” (effective rating) based on state tests results from the 2006-7 school years.

Small Report CardAll of our local central Ohio schools did fairly well in the latest test results. For the first time, all central Ohio school districts were rated a “C” or higher. The Columbus school district (central Ohio’s largest school district) improved to “continuous improvement” over “academic watch”.

The main web site for the Ohio Department of Education is a tremendous resource for statistics, data and information on our schools. If you like to review statistics and data then you will love this post. You can research every imaginable statistic (proficiency test results, enrollment, student disciplinary actions, attendance, graduation rates, etc.) that deals with your local school district.

Survey results from our clients have shown that the condition of the school system is always one of the homebuyers top “biggest fears” when buying a home.

Below are some good links to review:

I hope this information helps.

HomeBuyer Advocate Mike

*You will need to “uncheck” the match case box to utilize the power users reports section.  This section is also incredibly slow.

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eSORN is the electronic sex offender registration and notification web site for the State of Ohio.  Attorney General Mark Dann has implemented one of the most advanced and effective web sites in the country to deal with sex offender notification.  Most states have a antiquated patchwork system (mailing postcards) to notify the public of sex offenders in their community.  The eSORN database is one of the first systems in the country to link all of the state’s county sheriff’s offices and correctional facilities records offices together.  The eSORN web site is easy to use and provides great information to the public.   Some of the great benefits of the new system are:

  • Email Alert;  you can quickly sign up to be notified via email if any sex offender moves into your community (within one mile)*.
  • County Sheriff Offices;  “one click” access to contact your local county sheriff to obtain more information or to submit a tip/sex offender.
  • Instant Offender Search; you can instantly search to see which sex offenders currently live in your community.  A great map tool**.
  • Most Wanted List;  View a list of the state’s most wanted sex offender

Everyone should check out the new eSORN system today, especially if you are thinking about buying a new home.

HomeBuyer Advocate Mike

*To ensure that you receive email notifications please place in your address book and adjust your bulk or junk mail settings.

**make sure any “pop up” blocking utility program are turned off.

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Did you know that the “Do Not Call” list is expiring?  Don’t fret, most of us didn’t know either!

The National Do Not Call Registry was started 5 years ago (September 2002) to protect us from annoying telemarketer jerks and “phone spammers”.  The “Do Not Call” (DNC) list has been an extremely popular piece of legislation with the public.  Nearly half of the 140 million phone numbers in the DNC list were registered within months on the new law taking effect in September 2002.  Your phone number is only vaild on the DNC list for 5 years after you have registered.  You have to re-register every 5 years or your phone number will expire from the DNC list.

So take a few minutes to re-register all of your phone numbers (up to 3 phone numbers).  You can also register cell phone numbers.  In the past, fake email scams and bogus information circulated on the Internet that cell phone numbers would be under attack by telemarketers because cell phone numbers were exempt from the list.  This is totally FALSE.  Get the real scoop here: 

Please make sure all of your friends, family members and co-workers are aware of this information.  No one wants to start getting “bombarded” again with phone calls at dinnertime regarding lawn care specials, 20% discounts on duct work cleaning for the next 30 days and the “most popular” annoying telemarketing call of all time; how to save money on your long distance service.

Here are some “FAQ’s” that also might help you.

Good Luck!

HomeBuyer Advocate Mike

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The National Association of Exclusive Buyer Agents (NAEBA) is back in the news again.  The July 17, 2007 Newsweek Magazine touts the huge benefits of using an Exclusive Buyer Agent that belongs to NAEBA.   Not all Buyer Agents are the same.

Don’t be FOOLED!  Many traditional real estate agents just use the title of a Buyer Agent in order to “drum up” more business.  The best representation and protection for any residential or investor home buyer is an Exclusive Buyer Agent.  Exclusive Buyer agent simply means that the agent will NEVER take listings or sell homes.  You will not be steered toward company listings or SOLD a home.

An Exclusive Buyer Agent is the guaranteed highest and best form of representation available for a home buyer.  Exclusive Buyer Agents will have access to all the homes on the market and probably have access to more homes then even a traditional real estate agent.  Every potential home buyer should read this Newsweek Magazine article.  It is great information.

I also really appreciate that the author of the article quoted Stephen Brobeck of the Consumer Federation of America (CFA).    For nearly 30 years, the CFA has been the PREMIER consumer advocacy group in the country.  The CFA works to advance pro-consumer policies dealing with food, agriculture, real estate, finance and communication.  From nearly day one!, the CFA has always advocated using an Exclusive Buyer Agent instead of any other type of “so called” Buyer Agent.

So don’t settle for anything less then a true Exclusive Buyer Agent from NAEBA

HomeBuyer Advocate Mike

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In early August, Governor Ted Strickland signed a new, expanded Homestead Exemption Act that will provide tax savings (money!!!) to qualified senior citizens and disabled Ohioans.  The Homestead Exemption credit has been in effect for years.  But, in the past there were very restrictive income requirements to qualify for the credit.

The BIG NEWS now is that the new Homestead Exemption has NO income qualifications.  If you are 65 years or older and a homeowner in the State of Ohio then you can reduce your taxes and save money just by filling out a form (Franklin County) and sending it in to your local county auditor

IMPORTANT; completed form must be received by your county auditor by no later than October 1st, 2007.   Please, you don’t think our government would give us anything free or make it easy.  Good news is that the form is very simple to fill out.  So don’t delay.

For example, if you have a home with a market value of $100,000, you would get billed as if your house was worth $75,000.  The average savings to you would be $400.  

Don’t fret if you don’t qualify for the new credit, just contact your parents, grandparents and other family members that might qualify for the credit.  Your family members will be so happy that you saved them money that they will put you back in their will.  Voila, you are in the money!

You can follow the links in this post for more information.  Please contact your local county auditor for more information on  eligibility and tax savings.  

HomeBuyer Advocate Mike

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Michael Marshall – Angie’s List Super Service Award 2013!

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HomeBuyer Advocate Mike

Representing People, NOT Property in Columbus, Ohio. If you are a home buyer, then you need me to protect you. I can help you get the best price and terms for your next home purchase. You must use a true Buyer Broker! 1.614.805.7607



August 2007
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