4 Things to Take Care of Right After Moving In

Moving into a new home is an exciting time, and you’re probably daydreaming about decor and paint schemes and new furniture. But before you get into the fun stuff, there are some basics you should cover first.

Change the locks
Even if you’re promised that new locks have been installed in your home, you can never be too careful. It’s worth the money to have the peace of mind that comes with knowing that no one else has the keys to your home. Changing the locks can be a DIY project, or you can call in a locksmith for a little extra money.

Steam clean the carpets It’s good to get a fresh start with your floors before you start decorating. The previous owners may have had pets, young children, or just some plain old clumsiness. Take the time to steam clean the carpets so that your floors are free of stains and allergens. It’s pretty easy and affordable to rent a steam cleaner—your local grocery store may have them available.

Call an exterminator
Prior to move-in, you probably haven’t spent enough time in the house to get a view of any pests that may be lurking. Call an exterminator to take care of any mice, insects, and other critters that may be hiding in your home.

Clean out the kitchen
If the previous occupants wanted to skip on some of their cleaning duties when they moved out, the kitchen is where they probably cut corners. Wipe down the inside of cabinets, clean out the refrigerator, clean the oven, and clean in the nooks and crannies underneath the appliances.

Was 2016 a Buyer’s Market or a Seller’s Market?

It was both for Cornerstone Realty, Inc. A special thank you to our clients for this past year! Cornerstone Realty, Inc. either had the buyer, seller, or both for the following transaction in 2016:



  • 3348 Blue Ridge Rd
  • 1734 South Pointe Dr
  • 24363 Stateline Rd
  • 20658 Schaefer Rd
  • 506 W Galbraith Rd
  • 20 ac Yorkridge Rd
  • 375 Teakwood Ln
  • 10986 North Dearborn Rd *
  • 18 Cook Ave
  • 214 George Lewis Ct
  • 25067 Apple Blossom
  • 2517 Salt Fork Ct
  • 2102 Morningside
  • 26073 McCann Rd
  • 24765 Ester Ridge
  • 10125 Oak Meadows
  • 27268 Valley Vista
  • 18.3 ac SR 1 *
  • 36 ac Yorkridge Rd *
  • 5004 New Trenton
  • 27391 Dog Ridge Rd
  • 10043 Baughman Rd
  • 20938 Lakeview Dr
  • 1743 South Pointe Dr
  • 2120 Inghams Mill
  • 10005 Campo Verde
  • 408 Kings Mill Rd
  • 23844 Salt Fork Rd
  • 3 ac Werner Ln
  • Lot 24 Hidden Acres
  • 10503 West Rd
  • 9201 Leatherwood
  • 250 Tebbs Ave
  • 20544 Alpine Dr
  • 11136 SR 48 *
  • 24359 Mt. Pleasant
  • 26136 Easy Way Dr
  • 10305 North Dearborn Rd
  • 2567 Belhaven Dr
  • 6969 Hager Rd
  • 25053 Cavalry Crossing
  • 225 Cook Ave
  • 27097 Valley Vista
  • 4706 Yorkridge Rd
  • 142 Miami Trace
  • 25848 Easy Way Dr
  • 23766 Mt. Meadows
  • 15009 Maple St
  • 3883 Florence Ave
  • 3003 North Dearborn Rd
  • 22462 Jackson Ridge
  • 2004 Blue Creek Rd
  • 1810 Greentree
  • 26282 Farmland Dr
  • 1463 Park Ave
  • 24969 Sawdon Ridge
  • 4.1 ac North Dearborn
  • 3950 N Dearborn Rd *
  • 8486 N CR 800 E
  • 3654 Puhlman Ave
  • 318 Harmony Dr
  • 21 ac North Dearborn
  • 27 ac Kammeyer Rd
  • 19268 Par Dr
  • 1363 Skyview Dr
  • 25 ac Mortshed Rd
  • 23787 Mt. Meadows
  • 24948 Henderson Rd
  • 2850 Austin Ln

* Sold at auction


Moving in 2017? Give Cornerstone a call at 637-2220 for a Free Market Analysis. Motivated Sellers, be sure to ask about our “Auction Option.”

Happy Holidays

untitled-14I want to thank past & present clients for your continued support for Cornerstone Realty (27 years) and Lutz Auction Service (39 years). July 1st of this year marked my 31st year as a full-time Realtor.

Every year the public doesn’t know what to expect for our entry in the Bright Parade. This year I chose Richard Simmons with a “farmer’s tan”. Our slogan was “It will all work out with Cornerstone”. I see so many familiar faces and friends along the parade route. Wow, what a wonderful community event to show support for the unsung heroes of our Life Squad and Fire Department!

Cornerstone is having another record setting year with nearly70 closings. exceeding last year. Interest rates remain at a historical low, but may trend higher. Real estate values have risen due to lack of inventory and cost of new construction. Demand was higher in the upper end homes. It seems the foreclosures are clearing up. Even after all these years, I still get an adrenaline rush when I bring buyers and sellers together for each to reach their goal. I am so grateful that I have the opportunity to meet such great people.

Lutz Auction Service had a career high with conducting over 50 auctions this year. As always, we are amazed with where the merchandise comes from and that we can find it a new home. We handled several estates where we clear the home of the personal belongings, cleaned or painted to prepare the home to be sold and then sold the real estate. This would never happen if it wouldn’t be for Dan Freese who is an independent contractor we use to take charge of performing services for these owners. We highly recommend Dan and he is an excellent painter and handyman if you ever need his services. It brought back memories when we went on location for the Trossman Estate held at their 100-year-old farmstead. We also conducted 2 auctions for good friends and former employees who passed, Merle Steele and Mark McClure. We extend our sympathy & prayers to their families and all families who lost loved ones this year.

Our family is doing great, everyone is healthy! The six grandchildren are ranging from 3-8 years old. Proud to have the 4 oldest taking turns assisting at the auctions. What a great experience for them and the public gets a kick out of their antics. What a joy and blessing having them live close to us. Scott & Abby (our oldest daughter) and family are now our new neighbors. They purchased an adjoining property to the farm. Rachel continues to provide a Sunday evening meal for all!

I am truly appreciative to have such a team being either full time or part time employees to accomplish the volume of business we do each year. Randy operates the farm as real estate takes up most of my time. The wettest summer ever was a challenge for planting & hay making, however produced good yields and thankfully it dried up for harvest. We sold several grain feed angus cattle this year for freezer beef. We also had a beautiful day for our 30-mile tractor ride this year.

Every day I count my blessings! I truly enjoy my profession and want to thank you for being a present or past client. It is the referrals and repeat customers that have allowed Cornerstone Realty to survive the tough times. I could not have done it without you, my family and my support staff at Cornerstone Realty and Lutz Auction Service.

untitled-15And yes, I have 2 Rachels! Rachel my wife and Rachel Offill who manages the office at Cornerstone. I know it gets confusing. Rachel, Rachel, Randy and I want to wish everyone a great Holiday season. If we can be of any assistance in the coming year give us a call. My cell is 513-266-1859 or you can send me an email at cstonehomes@fuse.net. You can sign up for auction Constant Contact at www.lutzauctions.com or visit www.cstonerealty.com for real estate information.

Remember the reason for the season.

May God bless America and our troops.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Don’t forget about homeowner tax breaks

A New Year means tax season is right around the corner. One of the many perks of homeownership is big tax breaks. So whether you’re doing your taxes yourself or getting help from a professional, it’s important to take advantage of those breaks!

Mortgage Interest Deduction: Before buying a home, a standard deduction may have made the most sense when you prepared your taxes. But homeowners can deduct the interest portion of their mortgage payments, and the earlier you are in your mortgage, the greater the percentage of each payment that goes toward interest, so take advantage right away!

Home Office: There are specific criteria that have to be met in order to deduct home office expenses, but it can lead to a very large deduction. In general, your home office has to be used specifically for business purposes. Check with a tax professional to see if your home office qualifies for a deduction—it’s a little extra work, but can make a big difference in your tax responsibility.

Five tips for selling your home in a hurry

There are a lot of factors that will determine how quickly your house is sold, and it’s important to tackle the factors you can control. If you’re still living in your home while trying to sell it, these are a few simple ideas that can help speed up the home sale process.

1. De-clutter: Buyers want to step into a prospective home and imagine the possibilities. That’s a lot easier to do when a space is airy and clutter-free. Get rid of the clutter that’s just taking up space in your home, and it can totally transform how a buyer sees the property.

2. Offer an incentive: Don’t break the bank for add-ons that don’t make financial sense in the long run, but there are some reasonable expenses you can use to entice buyers, such as offering a home warranty.

3. Focus on flow: Now that you’re working toward a new home, it’s important to position your furniture for easy movement through the space, rather than how you personally like it arranged. Position your furniture so that it’s natural to flow from one room to the next.

4. Take care of your to-do list: There’s probably a list of small repairs that you’ve been putting off for a while, like fixing a dripping faucet or touching up paint on some walls. Make those repairs so that the home is more move-in ready for buyers.

5. Commit to cleanliness: Just like removing clutter, keeping your place clean can go a long way toward appealing to buyers. It’s especially true in the kitchen—no dishes in the sink or coffee rings on the countertops!