Adrienne Daugherty55KRC LOGO

ADRIENNE DAUGHERTY, Cincinnati’s Real Estate Consultant

Website   |  | Office: 513.554.4800
Park Realtors, LLC 11427 Reed Hartman Hwy #405,  Cincinnati, OH 45241

Star of “Tough Market!”

Radio Talk Show Host “Real Estate Radio Hour-LIVE!” on WKRC  iHeartMedia Sundays at 4 pm Eastern Time (55KRC THE Talk Station!)



RIP, pool. It was nice stepping off your slick decking into your chlorinated waters. If you need us, we’ll be over here in the backyard pond.

“Nature lovers and chlorine haters, rejoice. There’s a new pool in town. And by pool, we mean pond,” said Business Insider. “These eco-system swimming creations are environmentally-friendly and will protect you from #DroughtShaming.

Drought shaming, you say? That’s the hashtag that has popped up to call out those who are ignoring or inflaming drought conditions in California and other stricken areas.

But that’s just one reason to forgo the traditional pool for a pond.

“If you care about the Earth, or if you hate the way your skin smells and feels after swimming in a chlorinated pool, consider going au natural,”


Have questions? I have answers.


1. What is a swimming pond

A swimming pond is a natural type of pool that is generally split between a swimming area and vegetation.

The vegetation is critical because it “acts as a biological filter,” said Good Housekeeping.

“Plants like flag irises and water lilies keep phosphate levels in check while getting rid of nitrates so there’s no algae,” added Business Insider. “Gravel also plays a role in filtering the pond. To keep the water moving, go the scenic route with a waterfall or install a small pump—this will also help keep the pond clean.”


2. Does it use chemicals?

One of the great benefits of a swimming pond is that it is chemical free. “When managed properly, natural swimming ponds have crystal-clear water and require no chemicals to maintain because they are self-cleaning mini-ecosystems,” said Good Housekeeping.


3. Are they hard to build?

No. Some people even do it themselves.


4. Does a swimming pond cost more than a pool?

“Natural pools cost about the same as traditional swimming pools—construction costs start at about $50 per sq. ft.,” said houselogic. “However, because there are no chemicals to add, yearly maintenance costs are hundreds of dollars less.”


5. What else is needed for maintenance?

“You’re building a natural ecosystem that basically takes care of itself. Monitor chlorine? Nope.

Balance the pH? Relax. The most you’ll have to do is skim fallen leaves off the surface,” said houselogic. “There aren’t any filters to monitor, either, so you don’t have change out anything. Bonus: No electricity needed to run the filter system.”

Sold yet? I am! Check out a few of these backyard swimming ponds.


The Owner Builder Network



Good Housekeeping

Ferncreek Design



And, as always, thanks for listening to my Radio Show “Tough Market-Real Estate Radio Hour-LIVE!” Sunday’s at 4 PM EST only on 55KRC, THE Talk Station!

Until next time.




Adrienne Daugherty55KRC LOGO

ADRIENNE DAUGHERTY, Cincinnati’s Real Estate Consultant

Website   |  | Office: 513.554.4800
Park Realtors, LLC 11427 Reed Hartman Hwy #405,  Cincinnati, OH 45241

Star of “Tough Market!”

Radio Talk Show Host “Real Estate Radio Hour-LIVE!” on WKRC  iHeartMedia Sundays at 4 pm Eastern Time (55KRC THE Talk Station!)


So, you’re ready to sell your home, you’ve got a buyer lined up and you’re about to make an offer on that great home down the street, and then… everything falls apart.

It’s a problem that’s more common than you’d think with home sales: a buyer has made an offer, the seller accepts, and it seems like the deal is done but then something comes along to ruin the sale and it’s back to square one.

The good news is there are easy solutions that can help save even the biggest deal killers.

Bad Appraisals

Industry professionals overwhelmingly named appraisals as the biggest obstacle they face in getting deals to the closing table.

The solution? Gather as much information as possible about your home.

Your agent should be providing comprehensive information about comparable home sales in your area. Anything you can add to that—details about homes that sold, updates you have done—can help.

Credit Mistakes

Boo boos on your credit report from years ago are one thing. Running out to make a big purchase on credit the week before you’re set to close is another.

Your loan pre-approval is based off your financial situation at the start of your escrow, and actual loan approval can be impeded by making large purchases (especially ones that cause more debt and monthly payments)

The solution: Wait until after your loan has CLOSED to make big purchases.

That way you don’t have any chance of derailing your deal. The bonus is that once your mortgage shows up on your credit report, you might also be able to secure interest-free credit lines from retailers like Best Buy or Home Depot.

Sacramento Handyman
Bad Home Inspections

When the inspection turns up a few issues, the buyer will probably request you pay for them. Especially with big stuff like roofing problems or water damage. You can choose to say no, which may result in a cancelled contract. And, you’ll have to disclose the issues that were uncovered, which may make it even harder to find another buyer.

The solution: negotiate.

There may be some wiggle room so you don’t have to cover 100 percent of the costs of repairs. Or, do the necessary repairs with your vendors. You may know people who can get you a deal to save you money.

Unpaid Taxes

So, the inspections looked great (aside from the water damage in the closet, which the seller agreed to replace) and the loan is all set to go. But then it turns out there was something else in that closet. Five years of unpaid property tax bills! And you’re just finding out by running title a few days before closing.

The solution: Do your due diligence to make sure you are protecting your interests. If this had been addressed early enough in the process, there might have been time for a negotiation to save the deal! Make sure you educate yourself to be able to ask the right questions in the escrow process to avoid this kind of tragedy.

World Property Journal
Bank Delays

One of the biggest killer of deals these days is time itself. Many deals are falling through not because a buyer isn’t qualified for a mortgage, but because it takes the bank too long to approve it.

The solution: Good ‘ole communication. 🙂

A nervous seller may pull the plug on a deal that’s taking too long, especially if they have other options. Keeping the lines of communication open—between buyer’s and seller’s agents, and also between the buyer’s agent and the lender—can help save it.

Tense Negotiations

You have a potential buyer—finally!—and they love your home. GREAT! Now it’s just a matter of agreeing on a price. But you’re miles away and no one wants to budge. Even though your real estate agent told you from the beginning that your sales price was too high and is encouraging you come down, you just don’t want to take less that what YOU think your house is worth.

The solution: Listen to your agent!

A professional Realtor really does know best when it comes to home prices. If you refuse to negotiate, you’ll probably lose your buyer. And when you find another, you’ll be in the same negotiating situation that you were in before. If you’ve already found another house and are paying for two mortgages, you’re losing money by not selling, even if the price isn’t exactly what you had in mind.

And, as always, thanks for listening to my Radio Show “Tough Market-Real Estate Radio Hour-LIVE! Sunday’s at 4pm EST only on 55KRC, THE Talk Station!

Until next time.



Adrienne Daugherty55KRC LOGO

ADRIENNE DAUGHERTY, Cincinnati’s Real Estate Consultant

Website   |  | Office: 513.554.4800
Park Realtors, LLC 11427 Reed Hartman Hwy #405,  Cincinnati, OH 45241

Star of “Tough Market!”

Radio Talk Show Host “Real Estate Radio Hour” on WKRC  iHeartMedia Sundays at 4 pm Eastern Time (55KRC THE Talk Station!)



We’re told to be practical with our real estate purchases. Be cautious. Be smart. But what if the smartest move is the one that puts you in the home you want, not the one you’ll settle for because it’s a safer bet financially?

Will you work harder to protect your investment? Cut back in other areas to be able to afford it? When it comes to goal setting, doesn’t a dream home represent the ultimate prize?

When you buy the house of your own that you ‘really’ want, your wallet will have to open wide. Why? Because the expense is worth it! A house affects so much of your life, Living in a beautiful house improves anyone’s mood quite a lot. Excellent location, fine craftsmanship, and plenty of space… it’s worth spending a few extra dollars in my opinion.

The monthly payment differential

Now no one is suggesting you go out and buy twice the house you can afford. Banks wouldn’t allow that to happen anyway—at least not without a massive down payment. But upping your budget to account for a better location, a larger floorplan, and the kind of amenities that cater to your upscale tastes can make a huge difference without causing financial ruin.

Consider this:

Principal and interest (P&I) on a $200,000 house at four percent is $954.83 per month. Raise that budget to $250,000, and the P&I goes to $1,193.54. Will that $50,000 make the difference between a starter home and a dream home? Maybe not. But in a first-time buyer market, it can greatly improve the location, the space, or both, and all for $238 a month.

P&I on a $400,000 house at four percent is $1909.66. Opt to buy a $500,000 house instead, and you’ll pay $2,387.08 per month. The $477 increase in your monthly payment can make a world of difference in the house you buy, and how you feel about it.

Home Arrangement
Don’t go house poor

The term “house poor” sounds awful because it is. If buying the house you want is going to leave you eating ramen and stealing your neighbor’s cable, don’t do it. But if we’re talking the difference between sandwiching it a few days a week at work or going to a Saturday matinee to see the latest blockbuster instead of a Saturday night outing, that’s not much of a sacrifice to love your home.

Money Under 30 makes a solid argument for millennials buying their “forever home” instead of a starter home, but anyone in any life stage can strive for more if they’re willing to make it happen.

Places you can cut back

There are 1,000 ways you can cut to make room in your budget for the home you want. Here are a few that will make an impact.

1. Eating out

A night out in a restaurant is not a novelty. In fact, “Sales at restaurants and bars overtook spending at grocery stores…for the first time ever, according to Commerce Department data released Tuesday that dates to 1992, as reported by Bloomberg.”

Cheltenham Short Breaks
So just how much is that? More than $6,000 a person for the average American. Wouldn’t $12,000 make a nice addition to your down payment on your dream home?

According to Forbes, “Americans go out for lunch on average twice a week and spend $10 each time. That means they’re spending $936 annually.” Between two adults, you just found almost $2,000 a year just by bringing your lunch. Will that buy you the estate with the view? Nah. But it’ll get you closer to a home that speaks to you instead of the safe, conservative choice that makes you want to cry.

2. Trade in your car

You don’t necessarily need to get rid of your fancy ride—although it might not be a bad idea to at least consider a model lower if that house is really important to you. You could negotiate a trade for a newer model at your dealership. If you’ve been making your payments on time, you might be able to take advantage of a lower interest rate or a program reserved for preferred customers. Or, if you are currently financing your car, consider leasing. Payments are generally lower, and you might even get an upgraded package out of it.

Fotos de Carros
Or, buy a hybrid. There’s a couple hundred dollars a month in gas you no longer have to buy right there.

3. Sell some stuff

Antique furniture sitting in the corner of the garage, old electronics collecting dust in the attic, and old handbags you’re never going to use again can make you money. Check sites like Huffington Post and Country Living to get an idea of the worth of things like antiques and collectibles. Other things might be eBay worthy. Mashable has a list of the “9 Valuable Things You Didn’t Know Are Lying Around Your House.” (Pokemon cards? Really?)

4. Crowdsource it

Have a birthday, wedding, or anniversary coming up? Let your loved ones contribute to your down payment.

Need more ideas? The Simple Dollar has 100 – yes, 100 – more ways you can cut back and save money. Soon, that dream house will be right around the corner!

And as always, thanks for listening to my radio show on Sunday’s at 4:00 PM on 55KRC THE Talk Station.

Until next time…



Adrienne Daugherty55KRC LOGO

ADRIENNE DAUGHERTY, Cincinnati’s Real Estate Consultant

Website   |  | Office: 513.554.4800
Park Realtors, LLC 11427 Reed Hartman Hwy #405,  Cincinnati, OH 45241

Star of “Tough Market!”  (now filming)

Radio Talk Show Host “Real Estate Radio Hour” on WKRC  iHeartMedia Sundays at 4 pm Eastern Time (55KRC THE Talk Station!)



If you’re buying a newer home, or one that was built in the last 50 or so years, it may be lacking the charm you’re looking for. Thankfully, there are ways to add charm into your home that will give you the function – and the form – you want.

With little time and little money, you can add lots of charm all around the house.

Here’s how.

1. Moldings

Crown molding is among the easiest ways to bring some character and architectural interest into your home, and it’s inexpensive, especially if you do it yourself. But if the idea of mitering corners is making you hyperventilate, a handyman can quickly transform your blah space into something beautiful.

Houzz doesn’t stop at crown molding. They recommend transforming all the trim in your house.

“When it comes to architecture, details count. They also define,” they said. “The places where floors, doors, ceilings and windows meet the walls are usually accompanied by trim. The way that trim is executed has refined and defined our houses throughout history. Trim adds character and flavor to a home, the way pearl buttons finish off a shirt or cinnamon completes a coffee cake. And it helps distinguish one style of architecture from another.”

See Houzz for detailed examinations of how to add Victorian, Colonial, Georgian, Craftsman, or Contemporary trim to your home.

2. Cabinetry that looks built-in

Those charming built-ins you see in old Craftsman homes—you know, the ones that flank an old fireplace or create a great hutch in the dining room—are lovely. Although it would be hard to find a home built nearly 100 years ago with perfect—condition built-ins. You know what would be easier? Creating your own built-in-looking cabinetry. It’s not as hard as it sounds, and it doesn’t have to cost much either.

“It’s still possible to add character, charm, and storage space into our homes without hiring a carpenter or moving into a historic home,” said Infarrantly Creative. “In fact, getting a few built-ins of your own is as easy as getting creative with inexpensive shelving from a big-box store.”

This library wall was created by Centsational Girl using four IKEA BILLY bookcases and some trim molding.

Centsational Girl
See Infarrantly Creative for more ideas.

3. Lighting

You may be able to find charming period lighting if you scour second-hand stores, antique shops, or flea markets. Or, you can pick up a reproduction piece and instantly transform a space.

PW Vintage Lighting
4. Cozy reading nook

Is there anything more charming, really, than an inspiring space to curl up with a book?

“Give an awkward area a purpose and appeal. Transform a basic bay or boxy window into a reading nook,” said Better Homes and Gardens.

This can be easily achieved by building a platform or with in-stock cabinets from Lowe’s and a DIY cushion. See some great ideas here.

Newlyweds in New York
5. Think Hardware

“Reinvent your entry or interior doors with antiqued brass, crystal, porcelain, or colored-glass doorknobs,” said Better Homes and Gardens. The same can be done with hardware in your kitchen and bathroom to bring in a vintage or retro touch.


Need advice or helpful hints? I’m a phone call away.





Adrienne Daugherty

ADRIENNE DAUGHERTY, Cincinnati’s Real Estate Consultant

Website   |  | Office: 513.554.4800
Park Realtors, LLC 11427 Reed Hartman Hwy #405,  Cincinnati, OH 45241

Star of “Tough Market!”  (now filming)

Radio Talk Show Host “Real Estate Radio Hour” on WKRC  iHeartMedia Sundays at 4 pm Eastern Time (55KRC THE Talk Station!)



Bed bug infestations in hotels and cockroaches sightings in restaurants are the pest problems that make headlines and garner attention. But, pests can find their way into your private home, too. Many homeowners don’t know how to properly identify a pest infestation. And, often times, if a pest problem is identified, it’s already too late. Read on to learn how to properly identify and prevent common pests in your region:

Identifying Pests

It’s true that many bugs are important to the ecosystem and life cycle. But, not all bugs are good. Insects can spread disease and damage your garden and home.

For example, wood-eating termites can destroy your home by eating away at the foundation. These pests can be spotted flying in swarms, and they often leave mud tubes on the outside of your home. If you have hollow sounding wood floors or you notice cracking or peeling paint, these may be signs that you have a termite infestation. Subterranean termites are most often found in the warm, humid southern states between Florida and California. Homeowners in the Northwest, Midwest and Northeast should be on the lookout for damp wood termites.

Larger pests, like disease-carrying rodents, can nest in your home and eat just about anything that’s available to them. House mice are typical in farming communities while Norway rats live and thrive in populated areas. Most rodent infestations are identified by droppings, footprints, odors and scratching or gnawing sounds coming from interior walls.

If you suspect that your home is inhabited by pests, contact an exterminator right away!

Global Warming and Pests

Insect populations will continue to grow as the Earth warms. As the winter season gets shorter and shorter each year, bugs, such as disease carrying ticks, are coming out of their dormant stages earlier and leaving later in the season. The increased population of ticks alone has led to a record-high amount of Lyme disease cases. As warmer temperatures spread across the globe, illnesses previously limited to warm-weather regions, like West Nile and Dengue Fever, will spread across the continents and infect the human population.

This change is already happening. For example, the green shield bug was previously only found in North America, the Mediterranean, Africa, the Middle East and Australia. But recently, the bug has been showing up in the United Kingdom, a region that was once too cold to support the green shield bug. Although this insect does not spread disease, English farmers have already reported damage to their crops.

Pesticide and Chemical Usage

Pesticides are used everywhere, including parks, schools, homes, agricultural fields and forests. Not only are they found in these locations, but pesticides also are in the water and food we consume and in the air we breathe.

The University of Montreal and Harvard released a study in 2010 that found that pesticides in vegetables were linked to ADHD in children. The Public Health Institute also found that children whose mothers were exposed to organochlorine pesticides were six times more likely to have autism, according to Toxics Action Center. Pesticides can cause cancers in humans and disrupt the endocrine system, which can wreak havoc on the reproductive system, the regulation of hormones and embryonic development.

Humans are certainly impacted by pesticides, but these chemicals also harm the environment. Scientists have discovered that pesticides weaken plant immune systems and reduce concentrations of essential nutrients. The overuse of pesticides on farmland destroys essential soil microorganisms, worms and beneficial insects, claims Toxics Action Center.

Pests only become problems when they become a threat to humans. Pest control providers like Orkin use products that are registered by the Environmental Protection Agency and are committed to eco-friendly business practices.

Here’s to hoping for a pest free season!


Adrienne Daugherty

ADRIENNE DAUGHERTY, Cincinnati’s Real Estate Consultant

Website   |  | Office: 513.554.4800
Park Realtors, LLC 11427 Reed Hartman Hwy #405,  Cincinnati, OH 45241

Star of “Tough Market!” TV Show (now filming)

Radio Talk Show Host “Real Estate Radio Hour” on WKRC  iHeartMedia Sundays at 4 pm Eastern Time (55KRC THE Talk Station!)



The idea of being on trend is appealing to most people, but that doesn’t mean every trend is right for everyone. Here are seven hot trends you might want to think twice about incorporating into your home.


1. Open floor plans

Take down those walls! Unless you’re a person who likes a little privacy, in which case, keep a few up! Open living areas that create more of a great room are still the preferred layout by today’s buyers, however loft-like spaces that create one big open room—sometimes without private bedrooms—may have hit a wall, so to speak.

In the last few years, open floorplans have met coolness from tastemakers and buyers alike. Even the ‘loftiest’ new construction closes off a study or media room, brokers say, while the full complement of sprawling bedrooms, baths and dressing rooms is now de rigeur in luxury construction no matter your floor plan.

2. Quartz countertops

Sleek and shiny, quartz has been gaining on granite in terms of popularity over the last few years and is a designer favorite. But if you’re in a neighborhood where buyers discard everything but “real” stone, be careful when upgrading your countertops. Buyers are finicky, and some will outright reject a home because features like quartz countertops seem too modern for their traditional tastes.

3. Open shelving

Watch HGTV or any of the multitude of design shows on TV, and you’ll see how open shelving in the kitchen is a growing trend. While the look is fresh and creates more of an open space feel, this form of shelving may not be practical for everyone (read: anyone without beautiful dishes, anyone with young kids, anyone who doesn’t like the idea of dust hitting their cereal bowls).


4. Gray everything

Gray has taken over the design world. It’s on walls, on floors, on furniture, on counters and cabinets. It’s easy to get sucked into the cool chic aura of the hue and find yourself wanting to gray everything. But that could be a big mistake.

Use grey to decorate your space from top to bottom, and it’ll not only be trying too hard to be trendy, it’ll also be just bad.

If you walk into a room and the first thing you notice is GREY, that’s a room decorated entirely in a trendy neutral. It’s too much, and will date very quickly.”

5. Barn Doors

Are they useful? Yes. Do they look snazzy? You betcha? Are they space-saving solutions for a lot of areas that seek privacy but can’t take a swinging door? Well, yes, they are. But they are also a trend that may leave you feeling the pain of a specific design choice stuck in a time warp in a few years. If you’re the type that likes to change things up every few years—great. If the thought of having to re-jigger this architectural element once it’s no longer in style stresses you out, maybe a barn door isn’t for you.


6. Black cabinets

Yes, they seem sexy and they are certainly a departure from the bright, white kitchens we have been seeing for the past few years. But while white cabinets are classic—even if overused—black cabinets may not stand the test of time. Plus, if your kitchen isn’t flooded with light, all that black can make your kitchen look more like a cave.

7. Subway tiles

They have origins back to 1904 in New York City’s, hence the name, and the “classic” description we so often hear.



Long term, the “long-lasting, good-looking material” as HGTV puts it bodes well for kitchens and bathrooms. The danger is in creating a space that looks like everyone else’s space. This is precisely why we’re now seeing subway tiles used in different ways—in vertical applications, with dark grout, or in a herringbone pattern. Something to consider if you’re still in love with the material but want to use it in a less common way.


-Happy Trending!


Adrienne Daugherty

ADRIENNE DAUGHERTY, Cincinnati’s Real Estate Consultant

Website   |  | Office: 513.554.4800
Park Realtors, LLC 11427 Reed Hartman Hwy #405,  Cincinnati, OH 45241

Star of “Tough Market!” TV Show (now filming)

Radio Talk Show Host “Real Estate Radio Hour” on WKRC  iHeartMedia Sundays at 4 pm Eastern Time (55KRC THE Talk Station!)


Plenty of sellers have visited online home valuation sites such as ZillowTrulia, and others only to be shocked at the published value of their homes. Most sellers are pleased when the values appear higher than they expected, but many online valuations come in far lower. So should you use these values to price your home for sale?

Estimating a home’s market value is far from an exact science. What these sites attempt to do is provide greater transparency to homebuyers and sellers by making data derived from public records more accessible. They publish what you paid for your home and how much you pay in taxes. Many have satellite views so accurate they can spot your cat laying on the front walk.

But few consumers realize that two homes right next door to each other could have been purchased at different times and have vastly different tax bases which in turn skews values. The property tax base resets for each home every time it’s sold. Then the taxes can go higher every year, remain the same, or go down according to market conditions. Most communities impose ceilings so that your taxes don’t escalate to an unaffordable level in a single year.

If you’ve only owned your home for five years, you are likely paying much more in property taxes than your retired neighbors who bought their home 30 years ago. Yet your home may not be “worth” more unless you’ve done some substantial updates and/or additions.

Then how do these sites come up with valuations? All property is registered with the city and county for property taxing purposes. Home valuation sites contract with major title companies such as First American to obtain county tax roll data. They also find ways to become members of local multiple listing services, which are either subsidiaries of real estate associations or owned by local real estate brokers. That way, they have access to current listing data and recent solds.

Between tax roll data and listing data, home valuation sites apply their own secret sauce, or algorithm to come up with “zestimates” or approximate values of what homes in a given area are worth. Sometimes the results are spot on, but they can also be inaccurate.


First, transaction data has to be recorded with the county, which could take weeks. But, what alters the algorithm most is that properties not currently on the market are included in the data. These homes have not been tested by the current marketplace and cannot possibly contribute to recent market values.

In addition, the algorithms may include whether or not a home has been updated, but there’s no way to quantify subjective information such as how well the home is maintained, curb appeal, interior design, window and yard views, and neighborhood popularity. For these reasons, online valuations should be used only as one of many tools to estimate a home’s value.

Your best approach to choosing a listing price is to ask your real estate professional for a comparative market analysis, or CMA. He or she can show you the most recent listing asking prices and sold comparables in your neighborhood. These results are accurate up to the hour in most cases. updates listings from MLSs every half hour.

If your home is estimated for far less on a home valuation site than current comparables, be prepared to argue pricing with buyers who take these numbers as gospel. If they have a real estate agent representing them, the agent can confirm the comparables you show them to help them understand the market a little better.

By the same token, don’t expect to get more for your home if home valuation sites put your home in a higher price bracket. Recent comparables tell the true story of the current market as long as buyers and sellers are using the same search parameters.

Remember, a set of comparables is only a guide to pricing your home, so you can sell your home quickly and for the most money possible in the current market.


Adrienne Daugherty

ADRIENNE DAUGHERTY, Cincinnati’s Real Estate Consultant

Website   |  | Office: 513.554.4800
Park Realtors, LLC 11427 Reed Hartman Hwy #405,  Cincinnati, OH 45241

Star of “Tough Market!” TV Show (now filming)

Radio Talk Show Host “Real Estate Radio Hour” on WKRC  iHeartMedia Sundays at 4 pm Eastern Time (55KRC THE Talk Station!)



It’s great to have straight walls with no funky angles, no funky textures, and no funky decisions that need to be made about where to stop—and start—the painting. But that’s rare these days. Whether you have rounded corners and aren’t sure where the paint line begins and ends, chair rails or other molding that you’re not sure what to do with, or a tray ceiling that’s confounding you, we’ve got the tips to help.

Ready, set, paint.


There isn’t one right answer when it comes to painting a room with strange angles. Even among designers and painters there seems to a difference of opinion of how best to treat angled walls and sloped ceilings.

The designer has provided four options:

Paint everything wall color except the flat (horizontal) ceiling.

Paint the whole room in one color, including the ceiling. If your space has odd angles dormers, or unsettling beams…use the same paint or paper on every surface. It will make all the oddities disappear.

Make the angles stand out as “the focal point of the room.”

Paint the angled surfaces and the ceiling white, and everything else dark.


Niches can pose a challenge. Do you paint the whole thing? Just the back wall? Do I paint the back wall when there are shelves?


While painting only the back wall of a niche seems to be a popular choice because it allows artwork or decorative items to stand out, the same can be said of panting the whole thing, depending on the color of the paint and the color and composition of what you are displaying. Same goes for niches with shelves. Painting just the back or the whole thing each provides a distinctive look. It’s simply a matter of choice.


Tray ceilings

Tray ceilings are a great way to add architectural interest to a room, but it can be difficult to figure out how to show them off. And if you have a double tray…well, then what do you do?!

Many designers recommend painting only the vertical surfaces.

A tray ceiling, also called an inverted or recessed ceiling, features a center section that is several inches (or several feet) higher than the areas around the perimeter of the room, This design allows for the use of colors painted on the trim that can turn a bland ceiling into a focal point.

Tray ceilings also offer an opportunity to do something truly unique.


The higher center of the ceiling also provides an opportunity to create a focal point by hanging a beautiful chandelier, pendant light or ceiling fan. The center section is also a great place to paint a ceiling mural. Scenes with clouds or stars are popular, but you can paint any scene that appeals to you. Painting the center of the ceiling a darker shade will create a look of height, causing that part of the ceiling to recede visually. Paint with a metallic sheen creates depth and warmth.

Rounded corners

Painting bull-nose corners becomes a home-owner’s nightmare when it comes time to replace the inexpensive builder beige with a color palette that includes more than just one color. There is a way to do it and make it look wonderful…only stop a corner at a 90-degree angle.


Crisp crown molding and more intricate applications such as chair rails and panel molding can give a room pizzazz. But knowing how to paint them isn’t always easy.


Conventional wisdom says paint them all glossy white. But why not make your moldings a standout in the room? Paint then out the same color as the room, in a complementary color, or in a dark hue one that contrasts with light walls. Or, go crazy with color and create a space that is interesting and innovative.


Contributor:  Jaymi Naciri


Adrienne Daugherty

ADRIENNE DAUGHERTY, Cincinnati’s Real Estate Consultant

Website   |  | Office: 513.554.4800
Park Realtors, LLC 11427 Reed Hartman Hwy #405,  Cincinnati, OH 45241

Star of “Tough Market!” TV Show (now filming)

Radio Talk Show Host “Real Estate Radio Hour” on WKRC  iHeartMedia Sundays at 4 pm Eastern Time (55KRC THE Talk Station!)

It’s time to spring forward, and you know what that means: spring cleaning. Boo. Actually, there’s a whole bunch of things we want to do to our home, and with an extra hour of daylight, we may just have the energy to tackle a few. Here’s what we’ll be springing into starting this weekend.



1. Sell! Sell! Sell!

Two words: garage sale. Does it stink to have to get up at 6am to greet the early birds? Yes. Will you be oh-so-happy when your old, useless, space-stealing stuff is gone and you’ve got Starbucks money for a month in your pocket? Oh yes.

2. Make someone’s day

Set aside some of the more useful items that didn’t sell: jackets, shoes, blankets, and towels to help a homeless person get through the rest of the cold season.

3. Donate the rest

Take anything that didn’t sell at your garage sale to a local charity. Not only will you be helping those in need, but your donation is also tax deductible.

4. Clean it out

Large items that can’t be sold or donated tend to sit in the garage or an extra room for years, eliciting grimaces every time you walk by. Check with your city services to see if they offer large item pickup. Many cities do this annually, while others offer this free service once a month.

5. Scruba-dub

Now’s the time to tackle those projects you only get to every once in awhile. Cleaning out your gutters. And your dryer vent. And under your bed. While you’re at it, pull furniture away from the walls and vacuum behind there as well. If you have windows you never open or that are blocked by furniture, now is also a good time to clean those. You’ll feel good about your accomplishment, and your post-dust-bunny breathing will thank you.

6. Get organized

If your junk drawer now numbers three and your closets are bulging with stuff you never got around to folding or sorting through, there’s no time like the spring to get it outta there and make it pretty.

7. Give an old favorite new life

Everyone has an old sideboard that was willed to them or a set of chairs they picked up at a garage sale when they couldn’t afford to buy new. Just because you’re in a better financial situation now doesn’t mean it’s time to chuck them. It’s amazing what a little sandpaper, paint, fabric, and a staple gun can accomplish. You might just create a standout piece that you can pass on to the next generation.

8. Curb your enthusiasm

Has the hard winter affected your curb appeal? Once the ice breaks, it’s time to get out and pretty up your yard. It’s amazing how raked leaves, a new doormat, and a touch of color in your flowerpots can easily transform the front of your house.

9. Update your look

Still sporting the beige everywhere? It’s time to get with the popular paint color of gray. I’m sure it comes in 50 shades! 🙂 

10. Let the sun shine in

Yes, it’s still cold outside. But for many of us it’s been a particularly nasty season. If you’re the type that decorates by season, give the weather the cold shoulder by switching out your winter décor early.

*Let me know if you’d like more ideas!



Contributor: Jaymi Naciri



Adrienne Daugherty

ADRIENNE DAUGHERTY, Cincinnati’s Real Estate Consultant

Website   |  | Office: 513.554.4800
Park Realtors, LLC 11427 Reed Hartman Hwy #405,  Cincinnati, OH 45241

Star of “Tough Market!” TV Show (now filming)

Radio Talk Show Host “Real Estate Radio Hour” on WKRC  iHeartMedia Sundays at 4 pm Eastern Time (55KRC THE Talk Station!)



Question: Our board dealt with a contentious issue recently. When it came time to vote, one of the directors pulled out a proxy from an absent director authorizing her to vote on his behalf. Is that proper?

Answer: Proxies are not appropriate for board meetings since directors are elected to perform HOA business. Elected officials are not entitled to have others stand in for them. Proxies, of course, are appropriate for votes that involve the general members who are having someone represent their personal interests.

Question: A couple of our condominium building roofs are beginning to fail. We recently performed a reserve study and discovered we do not have enough in reserves to do all the roofs let alone the other components for which the HOA is responsible. In order to avoid a special assessment and/or increase in maintenance fee to catch-up, some directors are suggesting doing one building at a time. Another is suggesting we let the residents in each building pay for their own roof replacement. Do you have a good response?

Answer: Replacing roofs one building at a time is a bad idea. It complicates the maintenance and warranty issues and provides some unit owners with an improvement that all do not enjoy. Units with new roofs sell for more than those with old roofs. The HOA cannot circumvent its maintenance responsibility by passing it off to owners. Besides contradicting the governing documents, individual owners simply will not do it properly.

If money is lacking, a special assessment is called for and the board has a fiduciary duty to move forward with it. And reserves require an adequate funding plan so this problem doesn’t continue.

Question: My HOA recently passed a Transfer Fee of 2% of a condo’s sale price. Many of the unit owners are up in arms about this fee. Do you have any advice?

Answer: All HOA governing documents define how expenses are to be allocated to the members. The norm is either equally or according to square footage where footage varies significantly.

Charging a Transfer Fee changes the prescribed allocation formula and blackmails buyers to pay if they want to “join the club”. Some HOAs justify the charge as newcomers contributing to the reserve fund just like current owners have. The problem is, newcomers don’t owe the reserve fund a penny since they haven’t benefitted from the assets. Proper reserve funding requires that money is set aside as the assets deteriorate. That way, each members pays for assets they directly benefit from, no more, no less. Charging a future owner for reserves is wrong and improper.

The general rule (and often described in the HOA’s governing documents or state statute) is that changing the expense allocation structure requires approval from 100% of the owners (or the owners being affected) and often their lenders since the fee structure directly impacts the lenders’ collateral. This will never happen because who will vote to pay more?

From a practical standpoint, transfer fees inhibit sales by reducing the pool of buyers that are willing to pay them. Reducing the pool of buyers has an adverse affect on market values. Maybe your HOA is one of a select few that can charge with impunity but during a buyers’ market, this policy will cause values to fall and sales to fail.

Question: When I purchased my condo, I bought loss assessment insurance coverage. My HOA recently filed a lawsuit against the builder for construction defects. To pay for the legal fees, the board levied a special assessment of $2000 per unit. When I made a claim against my insurance for this assessment, I was told that costs of litigation were not included under the protection. Help!

Answer: Loss assessment coverage only kicks in as the result of a covered claim. That means that if the HOA’s insurance doesn’t cover a claim in full and the HOA needs to special assess the members for the balance, loss assessment coverage would cover an owner’s share up to the limits of the coverage which is usually $1000 unless the owner has purchased extended coverage. Legal fees are generally not a covered claim. Bit insurance policies vary from company to company. Press your agent to explain your coverage in detail.

Question: I made an offer to purchase a condo recently and was advised to review the reserve study. Basically, the HOA has almost no money set aside and is planning to special assess each member $1,000 to cover painting. I really love this condo but my gut instinct told me to steer clear of it because of the lack of reserve money. Did I make the right decision?

Answer: You did the right thing and would do the board a big favor by passing on your reasons for backing out. More and more, informed real estate agents and buyers look closely at HOA reserve funding because lack of it always means special (and unpredictable) assessments and usually mean the property isn’t being maintained consistently. When reserves aren’t adequate, smart buyers move on to another property where they are adequate and often pay more money for a similar property. HOAs that lack adequate reserves will lose buyers and market value.


Contributor: Richard Thompson