Monthly Archives: September 2019

Peoria Group Offers Free Furnace Checks for Veterans

There are never enough ways to say “thank you” to veterans of the armed services, but the Illinois Valley Fuller Center for Housing is hoping it has found another way.

As the seasons are changing, many veterans are in homes that need critical repairs, especially to the heating system that will keep them warm throughout the winter.

That’s where the Fuller Center for Housing comes in.

As they do every year at this time since its inception in 2013, Fuller is offering free or discounted fall furnace safety checks for veterans and widows of veterans who register for them.

The safety checks could be as simple as checking for tight connections or making sure there is no faulty wiring.

“When they don’t have to spend a few hundred dollars to fix something that is a huge load off of their shoulders,” Joseph Milton, Vice President of Fritch Heating and Cooling who is doing the checks in partnership with Fuller told CBS-31 in Peoria. “It’s just not the ‘Oh my God, I hope this works every single year. I hope it comes on this year.’ That’s a huge load off of their shoulders.

“It feels amazing and you can’t thank that person enough. Every time you see a veteran, you should shake their hand. You should give them a high five. You should thank them, I don’t think we do that enough and hopefully what we’re doing through the Fuller Center is kind of like a virtual handshake.”

And that is the mission of the Fuller Center, which serves veterans in the Peoria, Tazewell and Woodford Tri-County area.

They partner with other companies and non-profits to help improve the existing housing stock, not just for the current homeowners, but even to help families who might have vacant properties.

“We are the only [organization] that focus solely on veterans,” Debbie Gaught, a member of the Board of Directors for the Fuller Center told CBS-31. “Now if someone is above our income guidelines, we’re not saying we won’t help that veteran, but they may pay for part of the materials. We do have a three-phase program, where there’s actually no fee, may pay half or they may pay all of it.”

And the Fuller Center doesn’t just stop at the furnace safety checks. They also offer a service for veterans and widows of veterans that assists with yard clean up during the fall, mostly raking and bagging leaves.

“It’s really not so much the gift of heat that we give people… it’s the gift of safety,” Milton said.

California Is Making Net-Zero Homes The New Standard

The term, “Net-Zero Home” sounds as if it came straight out of a sci-fi novel – but it’s actually an energy efficient building concept that may soon become the standard. California is leading the way with legislation created to help the state become as energy efficient as possible. The California Energy Efficiency Strategic Plan requires all new homes be constructed in a way that makes them net-zero by 2020. According to CNBC, “The U.S. has an estimated 5,000 net-zero energy single-family homes today; California could add 100,000 a year.”

So what exactly is a “net-zero” home? The Zero Energy Project explains that net-zero, or zero energy, homes “are regular grid-tied homes that are so air-tight, well insulated, and energy efficient that they produce as much renewable energy as they consume over the course of a year, leaving the occupants with a net zero energy bill, and a carbon-free home.”

An average non net-zero home, in the United States uses about 10,399 kilowatt hours (kWh) a year. Because a typical home doesn’t have solar panels that generate energy, those 10,399 kilowatt hours are considered wasted. EnergySavvy, puts that data in perspective. “The energy contained in the biggest oil spill in U.S. history is equal to the energy that just 75,000 homes waste in a single year.

Energy Waste

California may be setting the standard, but other states are following suit. A CleanTechnica article reported that, “According to the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), Vermont, Rhode Island, Oregon, Washington, the District of Columbia, and Massachusetts have incorporated net zero-energy construction into long-range plans.”

You don’t actually have to live in California, or construct a new home to live in a net-zero house. The Zero Energy Project is a great resource for homeowners who can’t afford to outsource a net-zero renovation, or just prefer to do it themselves. They also have a list of home builders who specialize in new construction as well as retrofitting older homes for zero energy consumption.

Harvard University retrofitted a pre-1940’s house on their campus to make an experimental, converted zero energy home. They did so with the understanding that the construction of new, net-zero homes alone isn’t the singular answer to our energy problems. The goal of this “living laboratory” is to learn how to efficiently retrofit a home so that it can produce more energy than it consumes.

New York State Experiencing Shortage of affordable homes

As a result of nearly four years of rising median sales prices, a shortage of affordable homes is affecting total home sales, according to the housing market report released today by the New York State Association of REALTORS®.

Read more from the New York State Association of REALTORS®: “Lack of affordable inventory continues to hamper NYS housing market growth.”


No matter how you slice it, people still want to live in Broward County.

Home sales continue to rise, and they did again in the second quarter of 2019 according to data from the MIAMI Association of REALTORS® and the Multiple Listing Service systems.

Home sales in Broward increased by 2.7 percent from the second quarter of 2018.

Additionally, mid-market sales were on the rise in Broward County for all property types as single family homes that are priced between $250,000 and $600,000 increased by 7.2 percent while condominium sales, which overall were down from 2018, did see a 6.7 percent spike in sales in the price range between $150,000 and $400,000.

“We continue to see strong demand for Broward homes and insufficient supply, particularly in some cities,” said Broward-MIAMI Association of REALTORS® President Jonathan Keith in a press release. “In addition to local and foreign buyers, Broward is attracting an increased number of tax burdened [buyers], particularly since the new income tax law took effect.”

However, his high demand is creating a greater strain on the housing supply in Broward County and home prices are trending upward, meaning affordability will soon become an issue.

“We continue to see strong demand for Broward homes and insufficient supply, particularly in some cities.”

The median price for a single-family home in Broward County climbed to $365,000, which is 1.6 percent higher than it was a year ago and is about $100,000 more than the median price in the entire state of Florida. And despite sales on condominiums dipping overall, the median price for those also by more than three percent to $175,000.

This has created a seller’s market in Broward. Researchers use the amount of months of inventory available as a factor in determining whether the market favors buys, sellers or remains balanced.

A balanced market will usually have between six and nine months worth of inventory. At the second quarter sales pace, Broward County has 4.3 months of inventory for single family homes.

And there are markets where the demand is even hotter.

According to the data released by the Miami Association, the hottest neighborhoods for single-family home sales in Broward County are Pembroke Pines (2.8 months), Margate (2.6), Coral Springs (3.2), North Lauderdale (2.1) and West Park (2.9).

Coral Springs (3.3) is also on the hot list for condominiums along with Davie (3.6), Miramar (3.5), Oakland Park (2.9) and Tamarac (3.5).

Readers Agree – Document Your Home as a Disaster Precaution

Earlier this month, we suggested it was a good idea to document your belongings as a precaution to any kind of disaster.

We outlined six key steps you should follow to do this to help expedite your insurance claims.

The response to our story was overwhelmingly positive on Facebook with consumers just like you weighing in on the concept, whether it was to confirm this as a good idea, thank us for the reminder, or to share their success or horror stories related to protecting themselves in case of disaster.

“We have flood insurance, but you have to inventory and document prices for everything. I so wish we had done this. We have spent endless hours trying to remember what all we had and determining what the cost will be to replace.”

Patricia Fountain of Spokane, Wash. was the first to admit she had wished she had done these six steps prior to her unfortunate situation where she lost everything in a home fire.

“I have been through this,” she said. “It is not fun. It is long, tedious and frustrating, but you are required to do this for insurance purposes. Just remember to keep your list somewhere safe like a [safety] deposit box because you don’t want it in your house.”

While Fountain is 100 percent correct – keeping an itemized list is paramount and keeping it off site (or multiple places off site) is equally important, documenting should be more than just a list as was mentioned in the story and as Linda Tripp Fulenwider reminded everyone, video documentation is your best bet.

“Video every room and keep a copy in a safe outside your home in addition to itemizing your items,” she said. “Having receipts for the larger items is good as well… Jewelry boxes [also] need to be photographed along with the items in them.”

Susan Ann Thorpe-Miller shared a very sad story about an ordeal she went through following a house fire, explaining what it was like to go through the process without an inventory saved elsewhere. But she also advised getting replacement insurance on top of the regular insurance.

“Replacement is new, regular means the depreciated value depending how old it is,” she said.

In other words, most items through regular insurance will only bring you the return of the depreciated value of the item lost in the disaster. Whereas replacement insurance will bring back the actual value of the item to be replaced with a new version.

Marietta Dutil-Morin of Maryland said she updates all her documentation about once a decade, but also take photos of newer valuable items as she gets them.

In Marysville, Wash., Kathy Anderson called this process “absolutely essential” because it’s impossible to remember everything that might be lost.

“My parents home burned to the ground,” she said. “We remembered things we hadn’t listed – a year later.”

Marina Ruetten of Washington, D.C. suggested exchanging the info with other family members who live elsewhere as well – this is a good idea in case they need to come in and help rectify the disaster.

Meanwhile, Gail Abernathy Dickrell said she takes photos of everything that comes into her house and uploads them to the cloud for storage.

To be fair, there were also a lot of folks who weighed in calling this task too arduous saying things like it sounded like a logistical nightmare to document everything and that there’s no way everything can truly be documented.

And while there are a lot of us who feel that way – that maybe taking all the time and effort to document your belongings is a waste of time – there could come a day when you wish you weren’t so cavalier about it.

Cheryl Scism of Oklahoma said she wishes she had taken the time to do this before a devastating flood wiped out her entire neighborhood for more than a week.

“We have flood insurance, but you have to inventory and document prices for everything,” she said. “I so wish we had done this. We have spent endless hours trying to remember what all we had and determining what the cost will be to replace.

“Hindsight, as they say, is 20/20.”

Prime Time: How Amazon is Impacting Home Prices in Northern Virginia

Amazon Headquarters in Northern Virginia may still be a couple of years away from being completed, but that doesn’t mean that its economic impact on the community hasn’t already started to take effect – especially in the housing market.

According to data from the Northern Virginia Association of REALTORS®, (NVAR) home sales are dropping precipitously and prices are rising exponentially as current homeowners are looking to cash in on the wave of new Amazon employees who will be looking for somewhere to live once the Crystal City headquarters will be opening their doors.

Competition Increases

The NVAR data show that in the cities of Arlington and Alexandria – now some of the most competitive housing markets in America – the number of home sales dropped 14.2 percent and 10.9 percent respectively from August 2018 to August 2019.

Yet, in that same 12-month time span, the median sale price of a home in Alexandria has increased 6.5 percent and in Arlington it has shot up 12.3 percent, and they don’t seem to be slowing down.

“We estimate that permits of an additional 1,800 to 3,000 single-family and 1,600 to 2,700 multifamily units will be needed each year for the next 10 years.”

The median home price in Arlington was $565,000 in August 2018, it spiked to $635,000 in August 2019, a $70,000 increase.

“While housing inventory is declining, there is not enough supply to meet the demand pushing up home prices,” said Nadia Evangelou, Senior Economist and Director of Forecasting for the National Association of REALTORS®.  “It seems that some sellers are opting to hold on to their homes and wait to benefit from the Amazon effect.”

While Amazon estimates to add 2,500 new jobs in the Washington, DC area annually during the next 10 years, demand is expected to increase further in both Arlington and Alexandria.

“We should bear in mind that whenever a new job is created, additional jobs may also be created via increased demand for local goods and services,” Evangelou said. “Assuming the size of the multiplier effect is between two and four additional jobs for each job that Amazon creates, then 7,500 to 12,500 new jobs are expected to be added in the Washington, DC area.

“As a result, we estimate that permits of an additional 1,800 to 3,000 single-family and 1,600 to 2,700 multifamily units will be needed each year for the next 10 years in the Washington, DC area in order to accommodate the higher demand.”

Rents Increase, Too

And it’s not just home prices that are seeing an increase.

According to a report by CBS News, rents are already starting to spike to a level that is chasing people further away from these communities located just across the river from downtown Washington D.C.

“We’re seeing increases in monthly rents of $100 to $150 a month. That’s forcing a lot of people to leave their communities,” Danny Cendejas, an organizer with the local social-justice group La ColectiVA told CBS News. “In the past three months alone, there have been six or seven families who have moved out to parts like Maryland or suburbs in Prince William county.”

Affordable housing is already an issue in Northern Virginia, and with Amazon coming in, it’s only going to become a bigger problem.

Cities like Alexandria and Arlington have pledged to put $150 million into affordable housing over the course of the next 10 years, more than five times the amount pitched to Amazon as an incentive to come to Northern Virginia following a local government vote.

In Alexandria, a vote to change zoning laws passed that allows for smaller homes, usually described as in-law quarters, to be built on existing properties to try and create more availability.

“Alexandria and Arlington have pledged to put $150 million into affordable housing over the course of the next 10 years.”

Yet, despite the financial commitment and the zoning changes, this might not be enough.

Amazon’s main headquarters are in Seattle and that city’s issues with housing affordability and availability should be seen as a harbinger of things to come for Northern Virginia.

Sales prices in Seattle have doubled in the past decade. The city also faces housing density and affordability concerns. Not to mention, quality of life has taken a hit in Seattle as traffic has become a headache and public transit is in need of expansion.

The Washington D.C. area is even more compact and congested and will have to address these issues in advance of Amazon opening its doors or run the risk of becoming a place that most people can’t afford to live.

Oregon Takes Steps to Improve Housing Availability

Minneapolis started a trend to try and improve housing availability, and now the state of Oregon is trying to make that trend viral.

In August, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown signed a variety of bills into law that are designed to fix the state’s housing crunch.

In doing so, Oregon became the first state in the nation to require cities with a population of at least 10,000 residents to eliminate single-family zoning.

In short, this means developers in these cities can either build new construction or redevelop existing homes into duplexes – or larger.

“This session, we committed to significant investments that will help every Oregon family have a warm, safe, and dry place to call home,” Brown said in a statement, according to REALTOR® Magazine. “No one single solution will address our housing crisis, and this legislation tackles the whole spectrum of issues, from homelessness to stable rental housing to increasing homeownership.”

The city of Minneapolis started this movement, passing city-wide legislation in 2018 that eliminated single-family zoning.

The Oregon housing crisis was a marquee issue during the 2018 elections, and Brown and the legislature were tasked with finding solutions and doing so quickly.

“Supporters of zoning reform champion the notion that smaller homes — or breaking up a single-family home to create multiple units — helps to make housing more affordable in more pricey communities.”

Aside from eliminating single-family zoning, the state also passed legislation that limits rent increases and puts an end to no-cause evictions.

There have been many debates in other corners of the country as to whether these concepts are ultimately beneficial, but in Oregon, the plan seems to be to try everything and see what works and what doesn’t.

“Our crisis is so severe in this state, you have to do everything,” Tina Kotek, speaker of the Oregon House of Representatives told the Philadelphia Inquirer. “It’s that problematic out there for folks. We just came in and said, ’We’re going to do it all.’

“In Portland, we’re just trying not to become San Francisco.”

San Francisco, among many California cities, is facing an even greater housing crisis with the some of the highest median home prices in the country as well as a dearth of housing options, making both affordability and availability as hard to find as the Holy Grail.

Population-wise, you can fit 10 Oregons inside of California. Right now, according to data from the National Association of REALTORS®, the median home value in Oregon is far more affordable ($343,500) than in California ($546,800).

But that doesn’t mean Oregon doesn’t feel the same housing pinch. Oregon is a burgeoning state when it comes to job growth and although the pace of new home construction in Portland is better than each of California’s biggest cities, it’s still struggling to keep up with the demand.

While this seems like a good first step, the notion of ending single-family zoning does have its detractors.

“Making some sprawling communities more-dense could negatively impact quality-of-life, especially when it comes to traffic and noise.”

The chief complaint is how building duplexes, triplexes and even fourplexes in certain neighborhoods will simply change the fabric of those communities without any mandate on affordability.

Additionally, making some sprawling communities more-dense could negatively impact quality-of-life, especially when it comes to traffic and noise, and add additional burdens onto already stretched-thin city services.

But supporters of zoning reform champion the notion that smaller homes or breaking up a single-family home to create multiple units helps to make housing more affordable in more pricey communities.

It also could finally tackle the racial and economic issues that were borne into single-family home communities nearly a century ago.

“By simply allowing for — not requiring — townhomes and triplexes to be built on existing lands in the City of Portland, the policy can accommodate 1 out of every 7 new Portland area households in the coming decade,” Oregon State economist John Lehner wrote in a blog post last December. “That is a big finding.”

Take Inventory of Your Belongings Before a Disaster Strikes

As a homeowner, your abode is your pride and joy, and considering how hard you’ve worked to get to this point, how couldn’t it be? After spending countless months—let’s be honest, years—decorating and curating your home, you want to be sure everything is accounted for in case a disaster occurs. Surprisingly, only around half of homeowners have a home inventory, based on a poll from the Insurance Information Institute. This rate has stayed rather stagnant over the past decade, and it’s time for that to change.

Disasters don’t give us a warning. Without a home inventory, you would have to file every single one of your possessions immediately after experiencing something truly awful. Not to mention any forgotten items will be gone forever. Public insurance adjuster David Moore offers some insight when sharing, “You can lose thousands of dollars because you didn’t include everything.”

Documenting all of your belongings certainly may seem like an intimidating undertaking, but with the right assistance and resources it can be totally manageable. As of March 2019, natural catastrophes caused an estimated $52.3 billion in losses in the U.S. With only half of Americans proactively taking inventory, that is a lot of sentimental possessions being unaccounted for. So, if you’re wondering if it’s worth it to make a home inventory list—the answer is yes.

Sure, you may have a good idea of what you own, but are you aware of the value of all your assets? It can be difficult to put a price on everything you have accumulated over your lifetime, which is exactly why documenting everything is so essential to be fairly reimbursed if you suffer losses from any natural or man-made disasters. A woman who lost her home after the devastating Tubbs Fire, Alice Plichcik, shares, “You don’t realize how much you have lost until you try to replace everything.”

Here are six steps to help make the process of inventorying your belongings as easy as possible.

1. Handle One Room at a Time

 Baby steps are key here. On the bright side, this process may give you the push you need to declutter a bit. When beginning to take inventory, choose one room or a section of your house at a time. Starting this process is the biggest step, so take your time! Try focusing on one area of your home a day, or even a week, to make it seem less stressful and overwhelming in the long run.

2. Start with Bigger Items and Work Your Way to Smaller Items

As cherished as your bookshelves and crammed closets are, starting with your more expensive and larger items will make this task more tolerable. Your big ticket items will need the most amount of attention and time, so it’s best to get those out of the way first so the remaining items seem more approachable to catalogue.

natural disaster

3. Organize Your List by Category

Keeping this list organized is crucial. It is hard to comprehend how many items you own until you’re writing them down and all of a sudden your list has reached page 20. In order to keep this inventory document as organized as possible, try listing your valuables by categories such as electronics, furniture, etc.

4. Get a Little Help from Your Phone

 You’re not alone here, and becomes very clear when you start to look into the variety of apps created to help homeowners take inventory of their belongings. If you’re looking to speed things up, give Encircle a try. With this app you’ll focus on one room at a time by quickly snapping some photos of your space and then going back to add details on individual items. Another noteworthy app is Nest Egg, which will cost you $4 for the full version, but is well worth it. While it will take you longer to enter in all of the details of your things, it offers benefits such as giving you a heads up that a warranty is nearing expiration, or that something on loan is due back soon. Both of these apps, and most that are offered, are password protected so there is no need to fear your private information getting out.

5. Use Photo +/ Video

A video is actually an excellent option if you are worried about how tedious this process will be. Taking a detailed video of each room in your home will help jog your memory if there is anything you’ve missed. Additional details such as serial numbers and/or model numbers for expensive pieces is important to jot down but a video is a great start, or alternatively you could take a more in depth video and get a close-up shot of these details on your items. If you hung onto a receipt for an item, you can even get that on the video as well to be reimbursed for the exact price. Many insurance companies accept this type of recording during a claim—some even prefer it. If you’re choosing this route, just double check that your insurance company accepts a video, like State Farm does for example. Photos are also very helpful in keeping things cohesive when putting together a list. Many apps previously mentioned allow you to insert photos along with the details of the object to help keep things organized.


6. Keep a Copy (Somewhere Safe!)

One advantage to using an app or a Google Doc rather than a list is that it is secure in the cloud or your drive. If making a list on another program on your computer, be sure to put a copy on an external hard drive and keep it in a safe spot.

Life happens, and unfortunately, disasters do as well. If you’re responsible and proactive when it comes to your beloved possessions, then there is no reason to live in fear of potential damage. Whether you’ve lived in your home for 50 years or are just beginning your homeownership journey, you can start your home inventory list today and prepare for your future. As the director of insurance for the Consumer Federation of America, Robert Hunter, says, “The whole idea of insurance is to make you whole, not under-pay you or over-pay you.” Your home inventory is something you will continue to work on as you obtain more belongings. Once you get started, the rest will come easily. Anytime you splurge on a new electronic, or upgrade a worn out appliance, just be sure to update your list so you’re always prepared for the worst. Don’t put off a task now that you’ll certainly regret later.

Live Better for Less in Up-and-Coming Cincinnati

If you’ve been pondering taking on the midwestern lifestyle while still enjoying the lively and hip ABC’s of the city, then take a one-way trip to Cincinnati. Within the past few years, this city has climbed the charts and made its way onto everyone’s radar; both millennials and families are flocking to this bustling city, and with good reason. While the city’s population suffered a bit in the early 2000’s, it is making its way back up each year. In 2018, 12,249 millennials moved to the Queen City and families are equally attracted to Cincinnati considering its strong job market, good school system, and low cost of living.

Cincinnati’s historic Over-the-Rhine district, now has a streetcar that allows quick and easy access from neighboring towns to downtown, while offering a fun and unique mode of transportation. If you’re looking to stay active Red Bike, the cities shared bicycle system similar to Citi Bike, has over 50 stations in the metro area. The district’s thriving art and bar scene has also expanded rapidly with a handful of new performing arts venues, community driven events, breweries, and restaurants. If you’re a fan of beautiful parks, impressive bridges, and scenic views of the river, your Cincinnati vacation will quickly involve a lot of home browsing and job searching.

“Over the next 35 years, the city is going to see a 10% growth.”

 It’s rather clear by now that where millennials flock to sets the momentum for that area’s future.  As a SmartAsset report states, “Where millennials decide to move has enormous impact on local markets, from the cost of a mortgage to whether or not you will be able to find a good avocado toast in your neighborhood.” Pew Research Center supports this information as well, when estimating there are around 71 million millennials in the States and they’re expected to surpass the number of baby boomers in 2019. With the huge influx of millennials in Cincinnati, it’s clear that the growth of the city is staying at a steady pace. Tomasz Stepinski, a professor of space exploration and geography at the University of Cincinnati, explains that he mostly sees urban growth in the area. Over the next 35 years, the city is going to see a 10% growth. In other words, there will be about 200,000 new people in the area.

Downtown Cincinnati

With population growth comes an abundance of conveniences and that is proven in Cincinnati, as U.S. News says, “Although Cincinnati is often perceived as a sleepy Midwestern metro area, residents benefit from a wealth of amenities, including museums, professional sports teams and a wide selection of restaurants.” The list of venues, galleries, and restaurants in the Queen City is extensive, and new businesses are popping up overnight. Between The Contemporary Arts Center, 1c Museum Hotel Cincinnati, and 5th Street Gallery, you’ll have a day packed full of inspiring art. The influx of immigrants during the late 19th century encouraged the city to become culturally diverse which manifested quickly into the city’s food scene. So once hunger strikes, indulge in one of the many restaurants the city has to offer such as Japanese Gastropub and sushi bar, Kaze, lively Italian-European restaurant The Mercer, and classic Cincinnatian restaurant, Revolution Rotisserie. Last but not least, line up for the coveted Graeter’s Ice Cream as a night-cap.

The Cincinnati Region is a national hub for employment in careers ranging from hospitality to biohealth and is certainly on the rise. With nearly 10 Fortune 500 companies based out of the city, it’s almost hard not to find a job. Not to mention Cincinnati’s startup growth rate is among the fastest in the Midwest. If you have a million dollar idea you’ve been holding onto, this city may be the perfect place to make moves, especially with the low cost of living to support you as you flourish. With a medium home price of $130,000 alongside a very low average commute time of 24.5 minutes, you’re bound to keep your finances up as well as your happiness. The Cincinnati Region’s real estate market is 40% lower than the national average, so what’s stopping you from buying a home in this up and coming city? As The Cincinnati Experience says, “Live better for less in the Cincinnati Region.”

The Cincinnati Region’s real estate market is 40% lower than the national average, so what’s stopping you from buying a home in this up and coming city?”

We’ve established the growing millennial population in the city, but families are settling down in the region as well, which in part has to do with the excellent school system. The city’s school district ranks among the nation’s top 10. Indian Hill Exempted Village School District in particular ranks as the number one school district in the region and is known for weaving creativity and learning with facilities that are continually improving. Whether you have a crowded dinner table of children or are thinking of starting a family, Cincinnati is a leading place for your kids to receive an education. With a small student to teacher ratio, thriving sports programs, a variety of extracurriculars, and high enrollment growth, there is something for every student.

Whether you’re a midwesterner at heart or thinking of slowing life down in the middle of the country, Cincinnati is the perfect balance between city and country. Say goodbye to your overpriced mortgage, your long commute time and say hello to your new home in Ohio. Have your belly ready to indulge in delicacies such as goetta, a pan-fried patty similar to sausage, catch a Cincinnati Reds game, and simply relish in the carefree lifestyle this midwestern up and coming city has to offer.