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catawba & marblehead



Saturday, June 28, 11am-4pm Sunday, June 29, 12pm-4pm

The Perfect “Stay-cation” Realize your dream of owning a place at the lake This year’s proud sponsors include:

2 June 2014


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Port Clinton, Ohio Residential • Commercial Renovations • Remodeling • Additions

Call for a Free Quote!


Serving all the Islands

Catawba Cliffs

Kelleys Island


Beautiful West Shore Sunsets Orchard Beach - Catawba Island New for Spring!

Offered at $599,000 One minute access to the lake

BEACHFRONT LOT & DOCKAGE. Fully improved. 80x120 with private park. Design, build to suit. For more information call or contact us at


June 2014 3

A Reputation of Quality AFTER MORE THAN 20 YEARS

in business, Catawba Interiors has gained a reputation. The vacationland resident know it’s the place to go for quality furniture and unique accessories. Inside their spacious showroom, you’ll find a large selection of top names in the home furnishings industry. Whether you need furniture, accessories, wall coverings, blinds or custom window treatments, they have something to suit your style. Get started today by scheduling a free in home consultation with one of their talented interior designers.

Our professional designers are ready to help you choose the furniture, accessories, wall coverings and custom window treatments to create a home that is uniquely yours. 2830 East Harbor Road • Port Clinton 419-734-5888 Monday - Saturday 10am - 6pm Summer Sundays 11am - 3pm

4 June 2014


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catawba island 11— Shipwatch Sand Road 5

4 2


22 — Sanctuary Beach Cliff Road 33 — Fairway Villas Northwest Catawba Road 44— Kopf - Harbor's Edge 4705 Tradewinds Drive



55 — Beach Towne Twin Beach Road 66— Catawba Bay 5050 East Muggy Road



June 2014 5




marblehead 11— Otterbein 9400 North Shore Blvd.

33 — Bay Point 10948 Eash Bayshore Rd.

22— Marblehead Retreat 500 North Lake Pine Dr.

44— Marblehead Estates Harbor Bay Dr.

6 June 2014


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catawba & marblehead



On The Western Shore of

Catawba Island

• 8 Luxury Townhomes On The Beach • Fabulous Views •


• 2 Car Garages • Pre-Construction Incentives • Highest Quality Construction

2525 Sand Road Port Clinton Call (419) 656-4300 More Information

The Sanctuary at Catawba Island Club

The Jewel of Lake Erie 2

Luxury Waterfront and Golf Course Home Sites from $199,900! at CATAWBA ISLAND CLUB

Maintenance-Free Living • Lake Front Dining • Beautiful Sunsets • Golfing • Boating Nature Trails • Beaches • Jet Skiing • Fishing • Kayaking • Swimming • Canoeing Wineries • Fitness Center • Island Hopping • Tennis • Heated Pool • Parasailing




June 2014 7

catawba & marblehead



Fairway Villas at Catawba Island Club

An Amazing Lifestyle! 3



Maintenance-free ranch villa condominiums from the Mid-$200’s! Maintenance-Free Living • Lake Front Dining • Beautiful Sunsets • Golfing • Boating Nature Trails • Beaches • Jet Skiing • Fishing • Kayaking • Swimming • Canoeing Wineries • Fitness Center • Island Hopping • Tennis • Heated Pool • Parasailing


4705 Tradewinds Dr.

Harbor’s Edge at Catawba Island Club Contact Joe Bolognia 440-396-7961

Kopf Builders

Two great lifestyles to choose from


Harbor's Edge features luxury townhomes, first floor master suites and ranch designs. Brand New Tournament Homes are single-family homes, some feature beautiful walk out basements and creative floor plans. All of which can be customized to fit your lifestyle. Harbor's Edge is surrounded by the lush greens of Catawba Island Clubs Arthur Hill golf course and offers a fabulous maintenance-free lifestyle! Starting in the $300,000s.

8 June 2014


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catawba & marblehead




Features . . .


“Affordable Living on the Water” Tour our models at: 5333 E. Swan Drive • Catawba Island For additional information call: Anna Piacentino at 419-797-2100 or 419-341-0863

F Catawba Bay town homes are two individual units offering 2 unique floor plans. F Both units have 3 bedrooms and 2 1/2 baths F Open kitchen and great room areas F 2 car attached garage F All the town houses are situated around 3 private marinas with sensational marina, channel or wet land views. F Enjoy the pools, club house, fitness center, marinas, nature trails and the beauty that surrounds Catawba Bay. F It is a wonderful way to relax and enjoy the many wonders of Catawba Island and Lake Erie. F Floor plans create panoramic views.

Luxury Duplex Condominiums


June 2014 9

catawba & marblehead


HOMES It’s Everything Home Should Be!




   


Close to Lake Erie Summers at Lakeside Carefree Lifestyle Safe and Secure Affordable

“Tim and Michele”

CALL TODAY! 419-798-8250


4:00 p.m.


9400 North Shore Blvd. Marblehead

Best Value on the Lake

Come and see our newly updated lake side community • 1 & 2 bedroom condos with fantastic water views. • Fully renovated with new kitchens, baths, flooring,

500 North Lake Pine Drive, less than 1/2 mile outside the gates of Lakeside in Marblehead

lighting & hardware.

• Move-in ready units you can enjoy this year. • Every condo includes 12-month home warranty.

Condos from mid $60s - $90s

Like Us and Follow Us

For more info

(419) 798-6292

10 June 2014


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catawba & marblehead




Marblehead Estates and Yacht Club Marblehead’s newest development located right on Sandusky Bay. This wonderful development features:


• • • • • •

Bay Front and Canal Lots (Bring Your Own Builder) Private Pool, Beach and Clubhouse Marina with Direct Access to the Sandusky Bay Marina Slips Available for Purchase or Lease Two/Three Bedroom Condos (Coming Soon) 40’ Marina Slip Included with the Purchase of a New Condo!

Take Route 2 to Exit 125 Bayshore Road. Take a left on Bayshore Road to Harbor Bay Drive, turn left on Waterside Court. Sales Office is located at the Clubhouse.

Sales Office Hours: Thursday thru Monday from 1 to 4. For Appointment Call 877-734-7179.


June 2014 11

Things to consider before downsizing your home

Your Community Lender Patty Brugnone (419) 734-5568

Call or Apply Online MEMBER FDIC Get your Health Insurance Pricing at


Steve Gulas 419-341-1792 cell

134 E. 2nd Street • Downtown Port Clinton • 419-732-3111


1. Evaluate your Part D prescription drug plan. This is much easier than most people think. It is important to make certain your existing medications will still be covered on your present plan for 2015. Also check to see if there are other plans that may offer a lower premium and out-of-pocket drug cost savings. You can do this by going to and click compare medicare health and drug plans. This tool will allow you to make an easy side by side comparison of your present plan. Presently there are about 30 Part D prescription drug plans to choose from. 2. Re-shop your Medicare Supplement Plan. Although coverage is the same for similar plan letters from company to company, pricing can be significantly different from one company to the next. Many people have Plan F or C which are the two most benefit rich plans. For many people these plans may be overkill. You may be wasting a lot of money in premiums and could save money by considering if Plan G, N or even High-Deductible Plan F might be a better value. 3. Consider if Medicare Advantage Plan is right for


you. Many counties have plans available that have little or $0 monthly premium. These plans are typically PPO or HMO style plans. These style plans are not for everybody, however they can be a great value and provide both medical and prescription drug coverage and offer considerable premium savings compared to Medicare Supplemental plans. In 2013 there were 8 plans available in Ottawa County through 3 different companies. Some of these plans even include extra dental and vision benefits and health fitness center membership through the Silver Sneakers Program. You can view plan benefits at www.bolteinsurance. com and click on Compare Medicare Health and Drug Plans. If you need help in finding a better plan, local independent agents are available that can help you with this process. Contact Steve Gulas or Chuck Devore at Bolte Insurance Agency, 419-732-3111. They represent multiple Medicare plans and will put your interests first.

Anthem • AARP/United Healthcare • Humana • Medical Mutual • Paramount Elite • Forethought Life • United of Omaha

Contact Steve Gulas or Chuck Devore to help you at Bolte Insurance Agency.

Once their kids have left the nest, many men and women over 50 begin to consider downsizing their homes. Downsizing to a smaller home can be beneficial for a variety of reasons, including less home to clean and maintain, more affordable utility bills and lower property  taxes. But the decision to downsize is rarely black and white, and men and women often struggle with that decision. Perhaps the most difficult part of the decision of whether or not to downsize to a smaller home concerns the sentimental attachment many homeowners, especially those with children, have to their homes. The home might be too big for your current needs, but it also was the same place where your son took his first steps and where your daughter lost her first tooth. Saying goodbye to a place that was home to so many memories isn't easy. But there's more than just sentimental value to consider when deciding whether or not to downsize your home after the kids have grown up and moved out. Personal finances Your financial situation merits significant consideration when deciding if the time is right to downsize your home. If your retirement nest egg is not as substantial as you would like it to be, then it would seem as though downsizing to a smaller, more affordable home is a great opportunity for you to start catching up on your retirement savings. But that's only true if your new home won't incur any additional expenses that are already taken care of in your current home. For example, your current home may be fully furnished, while a new, smaller home may require you to buy all new furniture because your existing items simply won't fit. The cost of such furnishings can be considerable. If you plan to move into a condominium, you can expect to pay monthly homeowners association fees, and such fees are often substantial. So while the condo itself might be smaller, the additional expenses associated with the property may end up making the smaller home more expensive and prevent you from saving more money for retirement. Real estate market There are seller's markets and there are buyer's markets, and ideally you

would like to sell your home in a seller's market. But keep in mind that this might be the same market in which you hope to buy a new home. The nature of the real estate market depends on a host of factors, including geography. If the city or town where you currently live is in the midst of a seller's market and you are planning on moving to a location where buyers have the upper hand, then now might be a great time to move. But if you currently live in a buyer's market and hope to move to a seller's market, then you may end up paying a steep price, even when downsizing to a smaller home. Things may even themselves out if you want to downsize to a smaller home within your current community, but do your homework nonetheless, researching the time of year when you're most likely to get the most for your home and find the best deal on your next place. The advantage men and women considering downsizing have is that they are rarely in a rush to move out of their current home and into their next one. This gives them ample time to make the real estate market work for them. Space How much space do you really need? Once the kids have moved out, couples may feel like all of that extra space is going to waste. But that can be a kneejerk reaction, and upon a more thorough examination of the space and your needs you may just find that you can put all of that extra square footage to good use after all. If you have always wanted your own art studio, then now might be the perfect time to make that a reality. Always wanted a room devoted to home theater? Get to work on converting your basement from an all-purpose game room to your own private movie theater. If, after considering the space in your home, you find that the extra square footage really is just upkeep you aren't especially interested in doing, then you would no doubt like a cozier home that's less of a responsibility to maintain. Downsizing a home is something many men and women over 50 consider after their children have moved out. Such a decision is rarely easy, so homeowners should take as much time as they need before making a final decision to move or stay put.

12 June 2014


The Beacon


locally owned and operated

419-734-4928 website: A trusted name with over 37 years of local ownership/operation in Residential and Commercial Real Estate, Condominiums, Subdivision Developments, Sales, Refinances, and Construction


June 2014 13

14 June 2014

PARADE OF HOMES “The Biggest Little Furniture Store Around”


419-637-7292 • Mon & Fri 9-9 • Tue, Wed, Thu, Sat 9-5:30

Large selection better quality home furnishings FREE professional design service FREE delivery Custom window treatments Carpet Outdoor Furniture Family Owned since 1882 6 mo’s free financing with approved credit Quality mattress sets Value pricing


“Vacation at home sale” July 10-26

The Beacon

Simple ways to childproof your home Bringing a new baby  home  from the hospital is a great moment for parents. But as a child settles into his or her new  home, parents look around that  home  and see less "home" and more "hazard." Kids are going to get some bumps and bruises along the way, but it's still important that parents childproof their homes to keep such instances to a minimum and ensure that trips and falls don't lead to something far worse than just some scrapes and tears. Childproofing a home is typically more difficult for first-time parents who don't have the trained eye for hazard spots that parents of one or more children feel is second nature. But a practical approach to childproofing a home can keep kids safe and let parents rest easy knowing their youngsters are safe. The following are just a handful of the many ways parents can make their homes safer for newborns and young children. • Turn down the water heater. Young children are susceptible to burns from hot water, even if that water temperature is perfectly fine for the rest of the family. Mayo Clinic recommends setting the temperature on the hot water heater to below 120 F and installing anti-scald devices on bathtubs and showerheads. In addition, always test the water before your child gets into the tub. • Store potentially dangerous household items high up. Childproof locks on cupboards and drawers can be an effective deterrent to curious babies, but parents should never underestimate just how inquisitive some youngsters can be. To safeguard especially curious kids from their own behaviors, always store

potentially harmful household items in high cabinets that little boys and girls won't be able to reach. Knives, household cleaners and scissors are just a few items that should be stored well beyond kids' reach until they have clearly demonstrated they can handle such objects without cause for concern. • Remove magnets from the refrigerator. Small magnets on a refrigerator often fall off when doors are open or closed. Babies or toddlers can easily find such magnets, which then become a choking hazard. Kids should not be in the kitchen anyway, but curious kids have a way of finding their way into rooms parents try to make off-limits, so it's better to be safe than sorry. • Secure flat-screen televisions. The televisions of yesteryear were so heavy that many adults couldn't even move them without help. Not so for today's flat-screen televisions, which are not only lightweight but also easily tipped over thanks to their often top-heavy structure. Such televisions should be mounted to the wall or kept high off the ground where kids can't reach them. Televisions that aren't wall-mounted or those that are close to the ground are far more likely to tip over when curious kids go exploring. • Keep cribs away from the window. Cribs should never be kept near a window, where cords hanging from blinds present a choking hazard. In addition, cribs located too close to a window can expose babies to the elements, potentially upsetting their rest and making them susceptible to sunburn.


June 2014 15

Professional & Friendly Experienced Men Quality Service Local & Nationwide Service Over 80 Years!

Complete Moving, Packaging, and Storage

419-332-3111 Toll Free: 1-800-214-3353

PUCO - 4102 HG ICC - 030098 ODOT - 71689 326 Sullivan Road • Fremont, Ohio •800-214-3353 • Fax: 419-332-3449

16 June 2014


The Mon Ami Restaurant and Historic Winery can host your special event. Whether your occasion calls for a relaxed atmosphere or a formal style, our historic winery makes the perfect setting and offers a variety of venues WEDDINGS • BANQUETS Proud Sponsors 419-960-4208 of the 2014 Pasta Bar EVERY THURSDAY

The Beacon

Restaurant and Historic Winery OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK Chalet/Restaurant Monday - Thursday 4pm Friday & Saturday 11:30am Sunday 10:30-2 Brunch Full menu in Chalet Noon

Parade of Homes

WINE SHOP HOURS: Mon -Thurs 4pm-10pm Fri and Sat 11am-10pm Sun. 10am-9pm

3845 East Wine Cellar Road, Port Clinton • 419.797.4445 •

ENTERTAINMENT Thursday 5-8pm June 19 - Classic Trendz June 26 - Epitome July 3 - Colin Dussault July 10 - Kevin & Yvonne July 17 - Classic Trendz July 24 - Colin Dussault July 31 - Kevin & Yvonne August 7 - Frank & Dean August 14 - Classic Trendz

Fri & Sat 8:30pm-12:30am June 20 & 21 - Cruisin’ June 27 & 28 - Heart & Soul July 4 & 5 - Cruisin’ July 11 - Swamp Boogie Band July 12 - Heart & Soul July 18 - Eddie & the Edsels July 19 - RayBans July 25 - Rumours July 26 - The Late Show August 21 - Kevin & Yvonne August 1&2 - Lounge Lizards August 28 - Colin Dussault August 8&9 - Heart & Soul August 15&16 - Cruisin’ August 22&23 - Late Show August 29 - Cruisin’ August 30 - Swamp Boogie Band

Sunday 2-6pm June 22 - Epitome June 29 - Colin Dussault July 6 - Sandtown July 13 - The Rat Pack July 20 - Cats on Holiday July 27 - The British Invasion August 3 - Colin Dussault August 10 - Epitome August 17 - Cats on Holiday August 24 - The Rat Pack August 31 - Colin Dussault (2-6PM) August 31 - The Chesterfields (6-10PM)


June 2014 17

How to cut costs on your home improvement project Over the last several decades, more and more homeowners have embraced the notion that homes need not all be alike, and that an individual's home can cater to his or her personal tastes and needs. The trend of modeling a home after one's own tastes has extended beyond choosing furniture or other replaceable elements to structural changes and fullscale renovations, thus upping the financial ante for homeowners who want to turn their homes into places more in tune with their own personalities. When it comes to improving their homes, many homeowners associate cutting costs with cutting corners, which can put residents' safety at risk. But there are ways for homeowners to save money on home improvement projects while still ensuring their homes are safe and sound.

• Work with recycled materials. Homeowners about to undertake smallscale do-it-yourself projects can often save money by using recycled materials. Many homeowners do not go the DIY route when making larger renovations, but those that do also can save money by using recycled materials. However, homeowners should know that many contractors do not work with recycled materials in an effort to avoid liability should something go awry during the project or after it is completed. But DIY-ers can benefit from using recycled materials, which can be purchased at various locations. For example, Habitat for Humanity, a nonprofit organization

Homeowners willing and able to chip in on home improvement projects can bring the

See IMPROVEMENT, Page 24 costs of labor down considerably.

The BEST of Both Worlds at the Catawba Island Club Visit our exciting Brand New Model TODAY!

Luxurious Townhomes and Single Family Cluster Homes Award Winning Designs 1st and 2nd floor Master Suites • Lake Erie’s Finest Resort • Arthur Hill Golf Course • Vacation Living Year Round • Tennis

Maintenance Free Living Customize Your Home

• Boating • Swimming • Uncompromising Kopf Quality

For more information call Joe at 440-396-7961 Starting in the $300,000’s

18 June 2014


The Beacon

How to get approved for a mortgage Real estate professionals say the market is rebounding, and many would-be home buyers are eagerly awaiting their opportunities to purchase their own homes. Fresh data indicates that the inventory of properties is quickly drying up and soon the market is poised to point in the sellers' favor. According to Allen & Associates, a real estate appraisal, consultant and research firm based in Colorado, properties in the area listed for sale are below the six-month supply of inventory. Now could be the time to get a good deal on a home, provided buyers are able to secure mortgages. No matter how many affordable homes are available, if a buyer cannot get approved for a mortgage, then his or her chances of owning a home are slim. In the wake of a tumultuous economy, many lenders tightened restrictions on mortgage lending. And even though the economy has rebounded, many lenders have continued to follow strict guidelines before lending money. In order to secure a mortgage with a good interest

rate, buyers must take control of their financial situations and fix problems that could lead to loan rejection. Many things can impact a mortgage application. Here are the ways to overcome liabilities and improve your standing with prospective lenders. Know your credit rating. Your credit rating is a score that lenders rely on when deciding whether or not to approve your mortgage application. The higher the credit rating, the more attractive you look to prospective lenders. But the lower your score is, the more difficulty you will have getting a loan. Should you get a loan with a low score, you may have to pay a higher interest rate than someone with better credit. Prior to making any big financial decisions, such as applying for a mortgage, it is vital to find out your credit score. You can request a free copy of your credit report, which includes your credit score, once a year from the three major credit reporting agencies in the United States and Canada: TransUnion, Experian and Equifax. You also can pay for your credit report.

Address any issues on your report. Once you know your score, you can take steps to address any issues on the report. Pay down revolving consumer debts, such as credit card balances and auto loans. Report any errors on your credit report so they can be adjusted. Pay bills on time and address any notices of collections before they make it onto your permanent record. If you will be applying for a loan soon, avoid opening any other credit accounts for the time being. Maintain steady employment. Having a job is often vital to getting a mortgage. Lenders tend to look for long-term financial stability, which is best illustrated by maintaining steady employment. Jumping from job to job may be a red flag to lenders, so it's better to make a switch after you have been approved for a loan. Save, save, save. Having more money in the bank lowers your loan-to-value ratio, or LTV. This will make you appear less risky to lenders. Individuals who have saved for a considerable down

payment on a home are also seen in a better light. Make sure you have a credit history. Some people are too cautious with their credit and think closing accounts or avoiding credit entirely will make them more attractive to lenders. But this can backfire. Lenders will want to see a strong credit history that indicates your ability to pay your debts on time. Get a cosigner. If you are uncertain about your ability to secure a loan on your own, then consider a cosigner to make you more attractive to prospective lenders. The cosigner helps guarantee the lender that your mortgage payments will be made. People looking to buy a home in the near future must make themselves attractive to mortgage lenders, many of whom are still reluctant to approve loans for candidates without strong financial backgrounds.


June 2014 19

Pros and cons of reverse mortgages Chances are you have come across an advertisement for a reverse mortgage and have probably wondered what this type of mortgage is all about. Geared toward seniors, reverse mortgages are growing in popularity and inspiring the curiosity of older homeowners. A reverse mortgage is a loan offered to people over the age of 62 that enables borrowers to convert part of the equity in their homes into cash. People of retirement age may find that their limited income can make monthly expenses more difficult. Reverse mortgages were conceived as a method to helping people at this stage in life use the money they put into their homes to pay off debts or cover routine living expenses. The loan is dubbed "reverse mortgage" because instead of the homeowner paying money to a lender as is customary with a traditional mortgage, the lender makes payments to the borrower. What's more, the borrower is not

required to pay back the loan until the home is sold or vacated. As long as a person is living in the home he or she is not required to make any payments toward the reverse mortgage loan balance. However, the borrower must remain current on insurance and tax payments. When a person takes out a reverse mortgage, he or she may borrow a portion of the market value on the home. Any outstanding existing mortgages are paid off with the proceeds of the reverse mortgage, and either a lump sum of the balance or monthly payments are established. A homeowner may also opt for a line of credit with the reverse mortgage proceeds. Here is a more in-depth look at the pros and cons to reverse mortgages. Pros A reverse mortgage enables seniors to live in their homes for the rest of their lives without fear of mortgage payments. Because

there are no payments being made during the life of the loan, borrowers do not have to meet income requirements or credit checks. As long as the borrower continues to maintain residence in the home, he or she is still eligible for the monthly payments received through the reverse mortgage. This money can be used for any purpose and is tax-free. Borrowers can opt to modernize their homes or make safety improvements. The funds can also be put toward medical expenses or travel or to help family with their own financial needs. Because the government insures the reverse mortgage program, borrowers need not worry about receiving their payments. Should a lender fail to make a payment, the borrower is eligible for that money and a late fee as well. Another benefit of reverse mortgages is they protect

See REVERSE, Page 30

Reverse mortgages enable seniors to retire comfortably in their own homes, but that comfort does come with some drawbacks.

20 June 2014


Now introducing our newest neighborhood. The Reserve at Bay Point consists of 10 premium lakefront lots offering unsurpassed views of Lake Erie and Cedar Point along the Marblehead coastline. Take advantage of this rare opportunity as these lots won’t last long. (Four lots sold in the first two weeks!)

Photographic rendering of The Reserve

Sunset Cove Villas offer the carefree lifestyle. We have several floor plans from 1,500 to 2,600 square feet and ranging in price from $399,900 to $519,900. The Villas have a Cape Cod style and offer a host of standard luxury features. All homeowners at Bay Point can enjoy a state-ofthe-art clubhouse and pool complex with fitness center and gathering room.

The Beacon

AMENITIES As a resident of Bay Point you will enjoy numerous amenities. Visit The Shores Club, our beachside restaurant with deck and the Channel Deck where you can watch the boats go by. The Bay Point Market, a general store supplies all your convenience grocery and beverage needs. Our world-class 730 slip marina offers direct access to Lake Erie and Sandusky Bay. For the golfer we have an executive Par 3 nine hole golf course. Beach Treats, our new concession stand, offers soft serve ice cream, sandwiches and beverages. At Bay Point Resort, a weekend visit may turn into a lifetime of enjoyment and memories. Contact Chris LaCorte at 440.503.3050 for details on our real estate development or villas.

Resort & Marina

10948 E. Bayshore Rd., Marblehead, OH 43440 Phone: (419) 798-4434 Fax: (419) 798-9089


June 2014 21

Tips when creating an outdoor living space Outdoor living spaces have become increasingly popular over the last several years. The home improvement boom has shown many homeowners just how easy it can be to transform a home into a private sanctuary that caters to the personalities of the home's residents. Outdoor living areas have become an extension of the home's interior, with many homeowners creating outdoor living rooms and dining areas so they can relax and eat meals outside just as they do indoors. But homeowners thinking of creating outdoor living spaces should consider a few tricks of the trade before beginning their projects.

Illuminate the area. Summer nights spent relaxing in the outdoor living area make for great memories. But such nights are nearly impossible if the area doesn't have some lighting. Tiki torches might do the trick for some, while others who want to avoid giving their outdoor A few tricks of the trade can help homeowners create the outdoor living space area a luau feel might prefer solar- of their dreams. powered accent lights, which won't 2031 S. Bristol Dr. Marblehead require any wiring. If your backyard 4Bd, 3FB - Open Floor Plan • One Floor Sat. June 28th & Sun. June 29th attracts its fair share of insects, look Living Custom Built, Many Upgrades! for insect-repelling lights or lamps. 11:00-4:00pm 70 ft boat dock at your door Whatever your preference, don't forget to have some lighting so those $574,900 summer evenings spent under the sky don't have to end when the sun goes down.

Strategically place the space. Property  often dictates where the outdoor living space will go, but it helps to keep in mind that the outdoor space is more likely to be used if it's easily accessible from the inside of the home. For instance, if residents need to walk out the front door to access an outdoor living space in the backyard, then residents might find the area is too inconveniently located and they won't make the most of the space. Whenever possible, plan the outdoor living space so it's easily accessible from the home's interior, preferably from the kitchen so it will be easier to carry meals outdoors when dining outside.

Keep the design consistent with your home. In addition to providing an outdoor respite from the daily grind, an outdoor living space can also increase a home's resale value. However, homeowners who have one eye on R&R and the other on resale value should keep the design of their outdoor living space consistent with their home. One of the goals when designing an outdoor living space should be to create a seamless transition from the home's interior to its exterior. The best way to do that is to keep the designs of both living spaces consistent.

Emphasize comfort. Many homeowners look at their outdoor living areas as places to kick their feet up and relax, so comfort should take precedence when planning the space. Forgo the plastic patio chairs of yesteryear for furniture that's more sturdy and roomy so you won't feel cramped or sweaty on warm summer evenings and afternoons. In addition, don't forget to shade the area. Some homeowners choose to build pergolas, but oftentimes an umbrella or two can do the trick at a fraction of the cost. If the outdoor living area is near trees, they might provide sufficient shade from the often blistering summer sun. But keep a few umbrellas in the garage just in case.

Don't forget the fire pit. A fire pit provides a great focal point for an outdoor living area. Instead of sitting at the dinner table, families and friends can gather around the fire pit and relax with some s'mores and share stories. But even when guests aren't coming over, a fire pit makes for a great place to relax and let the time go by. With more and more homeowners transforming their homes into their own private sanctuaries, outdoor living spaces continue to grow in popularity. By employing a few simple tricks of the trade, homeowners can create the outdoor areas of their dreams.





4967 East Muggy Road, Port Clinton 419-797-6470 Summer Hours: Monday-Friday: 8 - 4:00, Saturday & Sunday: Closed

SUMMER LANDSCAPE SALE 10% off Landscaping of $500 or more Exp.7-31-14

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Like Us on Facebook For a Special Offer!

22 June 2014


The Beacon

Determine the best time to refinance a mortgage Refinancing a mortgage is advantageous to homeowners for a variety of reasons. The primary reasons people refinance their mortgages are to reduce their monthly payments or free up equity to use toward home improvements or other necessities. Lenders will frequently advertise that "now" is the time to refinance, but people may want to get all of the facts before making their decisions. A low interest rate is not reason alone to refinance. Conventional wisdom has long suggested that borrowers wait to refinance until interest rates drop 2 percent below their current rate. While a low interest rate is important, there are several other factors to consider. Closing costs Refinancing a home is an expensive undertaking. While it can effectively shave $100 or more off your monthly payments, there is a financial outlay during the process, which includes closing costs. A person can expect to pay anywhere from 2 to 5 percent of the loan's value in closing costs when

refinancing. Lenders used to enable some to roll the cost of the closing into the mortgage, but stringent rules have changed the way many banks now do business. If the finances are simply not there to cover the closing costs, refinancing may not be an option. Credit rating If your credit rating is better now than it was when you initially earned your home loan, then this might be a good time to refinance. Not only will a person benefit from a low market rate, the interest rate may be even lower because lenders look more fondly on you now than they did years ago. Lenders often base their assessments of borrower reliability and stability on those potential borrowers' credit scores, so a strong credit score makes you look better in the eyes of lenders. Borrowers with poor credit ratings may not benefit from refinancing. Interest rates are not the only factor homeowners must consider when decid-

See REFINANCE, Page 30 ing whether or not to refinance their mortgages.

To West Harbor & Lake Erie







Muggy Rd.

An Award-Winning Conservation Development Close-Out Pricing on Remainder of Lots Seller Financing Available

Quality Home Sites with Nature Preserve • Waterfront and Woodland Views Onsite Dockage Available • 2 Mile Nature Trail • All Utilities Underground 60 Acres of Protected Wetlands • Lot Financing Available

Heated Boat/RV Storage Mini Storage - Business Units

Information Office 4789 E. Muggy Road

4789 E. Muggy Road - Port Clinton, Ohio

Catawba Mini Storage Hours: Monday - Friday 8 - 4:30



June 2014 23

24 June 2014


The Beacon

IMPROVEMENT, from Page 17 devoted to building homes for the less fortunate, operates its own ReStores, which are nonprofit home improvement stores that sell recycled building materials at a steep discount. ReStore locations can be found by visiting www. • Get your hands dirty. Labor costs on home improvement projects are considerable, but homeowners can cut these costs by doing some of the labor themselves. Even those men and women with little or no DIY experience can still chip in and save some money. Homeowners about to embark on a rebuilding project can chip in and do some of the demolition on their own. For example, when replacing sidewalks, homeowners

can simply break up and remove the existing sidewalk on their own rather than paying their contractors to do such work for them. It's best for homeowners to leave interior labor to the professionals, as they are more knowledgeable about how to find load-bearing walls and plumbing fixtures than the average weekend warrior homeowner. Homeowners who mistakenly take out fixtures inside their homes in an attempt to cut down on labor costs might find such miscues are far more costly than simply paying for the labor from the get-go. • Remember how flattering imitation can be. As the old adage goes, "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery." Homeowners

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• Schedule projects during the offseason. Like many professionals, contractors have busy seasons and seasons that tend to be slow. These seasons can change depending on geography, but homeowners can save money by postponing projects until the slow season, when contractors are more likely to offer discounts in an attempt to stay busy and continue to generate income. Savings will vary depending on a variety of factors, but it's not unlikely that patient homeowners willing to wait until the offseason to renovate their

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homes can save as much as 5 percent on the overall cost of the project. • Try not to customize. Though the driving force behind many home improvement projects is to create a dream home that caters to homeowners' individual needs, going overboard with customizing is expensive. Larger-than-normal dimensions may seem like a great idea, but unless they're absolutely necessary, they're best avoided by budget-conscious homeowners. Building supplies are sold at certain dimensions because those dimensions are the most common. Altering these dimensions unnecessarily is only driving up the cost of the project, so it's best to stick with stock sizes when money is tight. Home improvement projects are often expensive undertakings, but such endeavors need not break the bank.

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June 2014 25

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26 June 2014


The Beacon

Real estate investing for beginners On the heels of a recession that saw home values drop, many would-be investors have shied away from buying investment properties. But real estate has historically remained a sound investment, boasting a longterm appreciation rate that makes it a worthwhile investment for those who can withstand temporary setbacks in housing prices and hold on to their properties  over the long haul. But investors are often nervous as they look for their first  properties. Uncertainty about housing prices aside, investing in real estate also is risky, and first-time investors need to be comfortable with such risk in order to make the most of their investments. The following are a few things potential real estate investors should consider as they decide if investing in real estate is right for them.

Personal ability Real estate investors typically have tenants, and those tenants inevitably have needs. Investors who have experience as contractors may not find it difficult to renovate a property and make it more attractive to tenants, nor are they likely to be inconvenienced when minor issues on the property need to be addressed. Investors with no such experience will need to hire contractors to do the work for them, cutting into potential profits down the road. In addition, investors who don't have the ability and/or the time to address minor issues like a clogged drain or a drafty window on their own will need to hire a property management firm to tend to such needs. Such firms are effective, but also expensive, further cutting into your profits. Even those investors with contracting experience may have little or no knowledge of how the leasing process works, forcing them

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to rely on a real estate firm to write up leases and ensure all leases stay current. This, too, can cut into an investor's profits. Investors who don't bring any relevant expertise to the table can still make a profit from their real estate investments, but those profits likely won't be as significant when outside companies must be hired to ensure the property is in good shape and all necessary documents are in order and up-todate. Time Real estate is often a time-consuming investment. Tenants pay good money to live in attractive rental properties, and those tenants will have a host of needs that must be met. Investors must be sure they have the time to address their tenants' concerns, especially investors with no plans to hire property management firms. Potential investors who already have full plates at work and at home may not be able to devote the time necessary to make the most of their real estate investments, and therefore might be better off finding another way to invest their money. Time also must be considered when considering profits. Real estate is not the type of investment that turns a profit overnight. Even investors who are looking to invest in an up-andcoming neighborhood must be prepared to hold onto their  properties  for at least a few years, if not much longer, to maximize their investments. Though real estate is a sound investment, it is not a get rich quick type of investment, so investors looking to make a quick buck should consider alternatives before buying investment properties. Size First-time real estate investors might be wise to choose a smaller property for their initial investment. Larger properties can be overwhelming to manage, and investors often rely on  property management firms to tend to these  properties. Such firms charge more to manage bigger properties, which can eat into investors' finances. Veteran investors can handle such overhead costs, but

first-timers might find themselves caught off guard upon realizing the gravity of their financial commitment. A good rule of thumb for first-time investors is to stick to smaller properties, only moving on to larger buildings once they are fully comfortable with all that comes with investing in real estate. Costs The cost of a real estate investment goes beyond the purchase price of the home. In addition to the mortgage on the  property, investors must pay the  taxes  and insurance on the  property, as well as any costs associated with maintaining and managing the  property. Certain  tax breaks are available to real estate investors depending on where they live. For example, in the United States,  taxes  on the profits when a property is sold may be deferred if those profits are immediately rolled into another property  (such a deferment is only available to those investors who arrange this exchange prior to selling the initial  property). Potential investors need to consider all of these costs, and might want to hire a real estate lawyer to help them make the most of their investments and any profits they yield. But even hiring an attorney is an additional cost investors must consider before investing.


June 2014 27

Poorly situated sprinkler heads can deny lawns the water they desperately need when the temperatures rise.

The right watering can make all the difference in a lush lawn Proper watering is essential when trying to restore or maintain a lush green lawn. If watered incorrectly, a lawn can be susceptible to a host of problems, including insect infestation, weak roots and disease. When watering a lawn, especially when temperatures start to soar in the summer, it's easy to think a lawn needs more water and needs it during those hours of the day when the sun is at its most intense. However, those are two common misconceptions about watering. The following are a handful of tips for homeowners who want to help their lawns endure the summer heat and maintain their lush appeal into the fall. • Water when temperatures are mild. In the summertime, humans typically need water when temperatures are at their most extreme, but that does not mean lawns should be watered when temperatures soar. Water attracts the sun, so watering when temperatures are at their hottest, which is typically around midday and into early afternoon, will likely lead to brown spots indicative of a burned lawn. That's because the sun will be drawn to the water, bearing down on the lawn and burning the grass as a result. When summer arrives, a lawn is best watered when temperatures are at their most

mild. That often translates to early morning or early evening. An added benefit of watering when temperatures are on the mild side is less water will be lost to evaporation during this time, meaning you won't be wasting water. • Situate sprinklers to conserve water. Homeowners who won't be hand watering their lawns should make sure their sprinklers are placed properly throughout their property. Situate sprinklers so they aren't watering driveways, walkways or patios. All of the water should be going to the grass, especially when drought restrictions are in place and the amount of watering the law allows is limited. It's also important to make sure water from sprinklers isn't being blocked from reaching the grass by trees. Homeowners with especially large trees on their  property  should consider hand watering the grass beneath such trees to ensure these areas receive adequate water. • Lean on mulch. Homeowners tend to fear drought for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is that drought can cause a green lawn to turn brown, potentially affecting property value and robbing a landscape of its beauty. But there are ways to help the soil retain moisture when

temperatures are especially hot and dry. Mulch around trees, flower beds, gardens and shrubs can help homeowners get the most bang for their watering buck. That's because mulch retains moisture, even when temperatures are especially hot. This helps foster stronger root growth and healthier landscapes that are less susceptible to disease and insect infestation. • Get to know your lawn. Several variables combine to determine how much water a lawn needs. Understanding these variables helps homeowners understand how much to water their own lawns. Local climate is a variable to consider, as is whether or not a lawn was fertilized (experts typically recommend a lawn be fertilized several times, beginning in the spring and ending in October). Soil type and grass type also help to determine how much water a lawn needs, and homeowners who need to determine the type of soil and grass on their property  can consult a local lawn care center or landscaping professional. Proper watering can help a lawn survive the dog days of summer, and it's up to homeowners to learn the right techniques.

28 June 2014



How to acclimate to your new community


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The Beacon

Moving is seldom easy. But even after all of the boxes have been unpacked and the furniture moved in, some of the difficulty of moving remains. Much of that remaining struggle can be traced to adjusting to your new environment. Though many people settle into a new residence after a short period of time, acclimating yourself to a new community is a taller order, especially for those without friends or family already entrenched in the community. The following are a handful of ways men and women who recently relocated to a new community can acclimate themselves to their new surroundings. Join a local community organization. Local community organizations provide great opportunities to meet new people and learn about a town or neighborhood. Parents may find such organizations more accessible, as associations that focus on local youngsters are quite common. Adults can join parental organizations sponsored by their children's school or volunteer with an extracurricular organization, such as a local youth sports program. These are great ways for moms and dads to meet fellow parents and begin forming new friendships. Singles or married couples without children also can take advantage of community organizations. Volunteer with an environmental cleanup group or sign up to play in a recreational sports league with neighbors in your age group. Opportunities to assimilate into your new community abound, it just takes a little effort on your part to get involved. Don't be a shut-in. Communities are often home to numerous traditions, and many such traditions are aimed at increasing the sense of community within a given town. Summer carnivals or winter holiday balls can make for a fun way to assimilate into a community and meet your neighbors. Leave the couch and your television behind to take advantage of such opportunities when they present themselves. Make an effort to meet your neighbors. The days of yore when everyone knew their neighbors are largely a thing of

Inviting neighbors over for a casual backyard barbecue is a great way for men and women who are new to a community to meet people and form new friendships. the past, but that doesn't mean you can't make an effort to meet the people who live next door. Once you have settled in, knock on your next door neighbors' doors and introduce yourself. If you really want to go the extra mile, host a casual backyard barbecue and invite your neighbors and their families. Such an affair can be a great way to break the ice and you might just find your neighbors share similar interests. Join a professional organization. Many professionals find the demands of their careers are simply too great to give them the amount of time they need to fully assimilate into their new communities. In such instances, men and women might want to join their local professional organization, which can help them meet professional peers and make contacts that can pay both professional and personal dividends. If no such organization exists in your community, consider starting one. The difficulty of moving is often considered a burden on children. But adults may struggle to acclimate to a new community as well. Making that adjustment and learning to thrive in your new community may require some creativity and a little extra effort on your part, but it can be done.


June 2014 29

Plant right to save water and money Many communities endure harsh summers characterized by high temperatures and infrequent rainfall. In such locales, local governments typically institute water restrictions on local landowners. These restrictions limit the amount of water homeowners can use to maintain their properties, and some homeowners choose to install new irrigation systems in an effort to help their lawns and garden survive the potentially harsh summer weather. While new irrigation systems can be effective, homeowners looking for alternatives to such systems can find ways to save both water and money. Planting right is a great way to conserve water and save money, and homeowners need not be veteran landscapers to ensure their lawns and gardens survive and even thrive during warm weather.

water penetration. Operating an aerator in the yard can be challenging, so it's often best to leave such a project to the professionals. But when planting in a garden, homeowners can turn and cultivate the soil to improve its moisture retention with a goal toward growing healthier plants.

Learn about native plants and grasses. The most beautiful lawns and gardens in the dog days of summer are not necessarily those owned by the most obsessive homeowners. Instead, these homeowners might just have chosen grass and plants native to the local climate and therefore more capable of handling the ups and downs of that climate. When choosing grass and plants for your lawn, consult with a local lawn care professional if you're hesitant to choose your own grass and plants. If you don't want to work with a consultant, do your homework on both your property and the region where you live before making any decisions. For example, if your home is located in a region where summer drought is commonplace, then grass and plants that do not need much water might be your best option.

Lay mulch around bushes, plants, shrubs and trees. Mulch serves many purposes, from the practical to the aesthetic. Many homeowners find laying mulch around their property adds to the property's visual appeal. But mulch also is practical, helping soil to retain its moisture and reduce evaporation. In addition, mulch helps curtail the growth of weeds, which compete with existing plants for water.

Aerate the soil. Healthy soil can help to protect grass and plants forced to cope with harsh conditions. Aeration is a process by which soil is punctured with spikes or cores of soil are removed from the ground to improve drainage and

Choose the right season to plant. Some plants thrive when planted during certain times of the year, but many plants should not be planted during the summertime. When planted in the summer, plants typically need more water to establish themselves because the temperatures are hotter. Spring or fall tend to be the best seasons to plant, but homeowners can consult a local lawn and garden professional to determine the best time to plant in their specific region.

Make trees work for you. Planting trees around a lawn can not only improve the curb appeal of your home, but also trees serve more practical purposes. When planting trees, look at trees as natural providers of shade that can lower soil temperatures and reduce moisture loss. You may want to plant trees in such a way so they provide shade to areas that tend to be hit especially hard by summer sun. Planting right with a goal of protecting their property from the elements and conserving water can save homeowners money and make their lawns and gardens more aesthetically appealing.

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30 June 2014


The Beacon

REFINANCE, from Page 22 Income A person's debt-to-income ratio is another factor in determining mortgage interest rates and approval. A positive change in income status as well as reduction in debt could make it a good time to refinance. Adjustable rate mortgages: Many people opted for adjustable rate mortgages when buying homes years ago. Over time, their monthly

payments may have increased considerably, making it nearly impossible to afford a home. Refinancing for a fixed-rate mortgage, regardless of the current interest rate, will likely ease some of your financial burden. Home value A higher home  value  means more equity in the home. This money can

be used to pay down debt or for home improvements that further improve the value of the home and property. It is important to speak with a real estate professional to determine if home values have spiked in a particular neighborhood and to gain an accurate appraisal of the home. This will help determine if refinancing is frugal. Interest rates Lower interest rates often motivate homeowners to refinance, as a lower interest rate can save homeowners a substantial amount of money over the course of their loans. However, refinancing too soon (within 4 years of the original home loan) may put homeowners in a negative light. Lenders may see borrowers who refinance too soon or too frequently as

risky borrowers who cannot successfully manage their money. Prepayment penalties Certain mortgages have prepayment penalties built in. Should a person pay off the mortgage too early, usually within two to five years, 2 to 4 percent of the home's loan value must be paid out. Refinancing counts as paying off one loan and opening up another. Penalties could deter a person from refinancing too soon. Determining the best time to refinance your home mortgage takes effort on the part of the borrower and information about market trends. By doing one's homework and being aware of certain factors, a person can save money by refinancing a home loan.

REVERSE, from Page 30 homeowners against falling home prices. If the value of the home drops after the loan is negotiated, it will not affect the equity  value  assessed for the life of the loan.

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Cons One down side to reverse mortgages is that the loans have higher up-front fees than other types of financing. Borrowers have to pay not only an origination fee and closing costs, but mortgage insurance costs as well. These initial costs can be several thousands of dollars. Unlike a traditional mortgage, where the balance gets lower and lower over time, with a reverse mortgage, no payments are being made on the loan. This means the loan balance simply gets larger over time depending on how much money is drawn from the home's equity. At the end of the loan, when the homeowner moves from the property  or the premises is vacated upon the borrower's death, the value of the estate decreases based on the pay-off  value  of the reverse mortgage loan. Heirs will pay off the mortgage by selling the home and will only inherit the remaining money after the reverse mortgage lender has the loan satisfied. This means men and women will be leaving less money for their heirs, but those heirs will not be personally liable if the home sells for less than

the value of the mortgage. The mortgage lender has to claim a loss and request reimbursement from the Federal Housing Administration. Something many seniors may not be aware of with regard to reverse mortgages is that these loans can affect eligibility for some need-based programs. Although Social Security and Medicare are not affected, Medicaid and other government assistance programs can be affected if a senior has a surplus of funds from a reverse mortgage that are not spent during the month. A reverse mortgage is a long-term solution. People who are looking for a short-term fix will find that this type of loan probably doesn't meet their needs. Furthermore, it is hard to be approved for reverse mortgages on newly purchased homes. Lenders usually like to see at least six months or a year chain of title on a  property  before issuing a reverse mortgage. Many seniors often find reverse mortgages confusing. Seniors may unwittingly agree to a loan without fully understanding the scope of the reverse mortgage. It is advisable to seek counseling on reverse mortgages before applying for one.


June 2014 31

Simple ways to maximize profits on your investment property Real estate investors have many reasons for making such investments, but one of the more common motives behind a decision to invest in a property  is the belief that real estate rarely depreciates in  value. Though the recent housing crisis might have debunked that myth once and for all, real estate is still widely considered a sound investment, one that many people wish they could afford to make. Those who have already invested in real estate know how difficult it can be to maintain a  property  much less improve it, which should be high on an investor's priority list. But improving a  property  does not have to involve a complete overhaul or any other dramatic changes. In fact, there are several simple ways investors can improve their real estate investments and improve their chances of turning a large profit when they decide to sell a property. Hire a property management firm. Some real estate investors, especially those new to the business who just purchased an investment and have little money to spare, shy away from hiring a  property  management firm. But such a company is worth the expense for investors with little time or know-how with regard to fixing a home. A  property  management firm will ensure the building is kept in shape, and depending on your agreement with the company, may even take care of cleaning vacant apartments, readying them for showing and renting them to new tenants. Perhaps the biggest advantage to working with an effective  property  management firm is the likelihood that they will turn over the vacant apartment quickly, ensuring you aren't losing money when tenants move out. Carefully vet prospective tenants. One of the easiest ways a  property can fall into disrepair is to allow bad tenants to move into the building. It's understandable that investors want to get a building occupied as quickly as possible so they can use tenants' rents to pay for the property. But bad tenants can cause damage to the  property, and their behavior might encourage reliable fellow tenants to find a new living situation. When looking to fill a vacancy,

establish a minimum income requirement for prospective tenants and ask applicants to produce proof of income and references from past landlords. This increases the chances you will find a respectful tenant who's fully capable of paying their rent on time. Work quickly. Few people want to rent forever, so expect significant turnover, especially if your investment property is a larger complex with multiple dwellings. If you aren't working with a property management company, an easy way to maximize your profits on an investment property  is to work quickly when turning apartments over after a tenant moves out. This includes painting and cleaning the apartment, and the process should go smoothly if you properly vetted tenants and the vacant unit did not suffer significant damage while the previous tenants were living there. A unit with just minor wear and tear should take one week or less to get ready to show to prospective tenants, Turning over a unit when a tenant moves out should take no more than a week. and the unit should be vacant for only one month before new tenants move in. Anything longer than a month and you're losing money you don't have to lose. Upgrade appliances. Renters are just as likely to fall in love with curb appeal as buyers are. While there may not be a yard to entice renters if you purchased an apartment complex, curb appeal can apply to an apartment's interior. One of the more notable eye-catchers to prospective renters is updated appliances, especially since appliances may be the only items actually in the apartment when it is shown. Stainless steel appliances provide an instant upgrade over older appliances that may appear dated and are certain to make a strong first impression on prospective renters, many of whom would be willing to pay more in rent for a unit with update appliances. In addition, renters may feel that landlords who took the time and spent the money to upgrade appliances are likely to make a greater effort maintaining the property. Investors can maximize their returns on investment properties in a variety of ways, many of which don't require significant effort.

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