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Thursday, December 10, 2015

Don't Just Embrace Your OCD. Give It A Big Fat Squishy Hug!

Even those who don't suffer from OCD will find these images oddly comforting.  



















There.  Feel better now?

You're welcome.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

OHFA Launches New Product to Reduce Out-of-Pocket Expenses for Home Buyers

On September 1, OHFA rolled out a new product, Your Choice! Down Payment Assistance, which provides down payment assistance equal to 2.5% or 5% of the purchase price and can be used to pay for the down payment, closing costs or other prepaid expenses incurred prior to closing. Your Choice! Down Payment Assistance will help reduce out-of-pocket expenses for home buyers and help increase home ownership within Ohio. While we will continue to price this product daily, the new mortgage rates are expected to be more competitive in the future.

Program Highlights
The borrower will have the option to choose down payment assistance equal to 2.5% or 5% in the form of a 0 % second mortgage. Down payment assistance is forgiven after seven years. If the homebuyer sells or refinances within seven years, they must repay all of the assistance provided. The lender and borrower can decide the best use of the funds such as 3.5% toward down payment and 1.5% towards closing costs or 5% toward down payment 0% toward closing costs. (Homebuyer can apply funds in any combination.)

Your Choice! Down Payment Assistance (2.5% or 5%) will be included in Grants for Grads, however, the forgiveness for Grants for Grads will remain the same. The second mortgage will be forgiven at 20% per year over five years. If the borrower sells the home prior to the end of fifth year and provides evidence of continued residency in Ohio, the remaining balance will be forgiven. If a homebuyer refinances their first mortgage, OHFA will continue to re-subordinate their second mortgage. Borrowers can apply for Grants for Grads within 48 months of graduating from an accredited educational institute with an associate's, bachelor's, master's or doctoral degree.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Beautiful 4/3 Center Hall Colonial with Gleaming Hardwood Floors and Semi-Open Floor Plan

Beautiful Center Hall Colonial
This beautiful center hall colonial greets you with warm, gleaming hardwood floors and blends the right mix of causal and formal living spaces. The hardwood floors are continued through the kitchen, family room, and first floor half bath. The family room features a gas fireplace flanked by custom oak built-ins. Other features include an open floor plan, first floor laundry, a large and impressive master bedroom suite with vaulted ceilings, walk-in closet and a 4 piece master bath featuring soaker tub, corian counters with double sinks and oil-rubbed bronze faucets. Additional living space is found in the finished rec room in the basement. Use the spare basement room as an office, home school classroom, or other private space. The recreation area is large and unobstructed... think pool table! The yard size is perfect for family enjoyment with its lush lawn and expansive deck but easy to maintain. Recent updates include newer stainless appliances, family bathroom, roof (2004) furnace (2014). Balance of the seller's home warranty is transferable.

Michelle Stanifer
Stanifer-Spence Team
Russell Real Estate Services
(440) 391-1304 

Tiny Cottage with Big Charm and a Little Price Tag!

Tiny Cottage with Big Charm
Have you been thinking that a Debt Free Life in a Tiny House is for you? This small, cottage style home is loaded with tons of old world charm. The efficient kitchen is packed with storage space and cabinets galore. The living/dining space features hardwood floors and coved ceilings. The hardwoods continue through the three bedrooms. You will enjoy summer breezes on the wrap around enclosed porch. This home is situated on a quiet, private road that reminds of a time when neighbors still greeted each other, almost no one had fences and kids played catch in the street. Olmsted Falls is the perfect backdrop to step back in time and enjoy life at a quieter pace.

Michelle Stanifer
Stanifer-Spence Team
(440) 391-1304

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Berea's Moonlight Movie - July 18th, Dolphin Tale 2

On July 18th, Berea’s Moonlight Movie will play Dolphin Tale 2, the sequel to the inspiring real life story, made into a book and then the movie, Dolphin Tale.  Dolphin Tale tells the story of Winter the dolphin who was rescued by workers at Clearwater Marine Aquarium as a baby.  Winter had her tail caught in a crab trap rope and subsequently lost it.  Her rescue and rehabilitation included her gaining a prosthetic tail and learning to swim all over again. 

The sequel, Dolphin Tale 2 tells her continuing story and also introduces a new rescue, Hope who was also rescued as a baby found attempting to nurse from her deceased mother.  Winter and Hope come together to develop a bond of friendship that will leave you feeling uplifted. 

Outdoor Movies are located at Triangle, Downtown Berea. They start approximately 9 PM.

Movies are shown on a 30' inflatable screen. Please bring your own chair or blanket.

Copyright © 2015 Stanifer-Spence Team, All rights reserved. 

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Lakewood Colonial w/Refinished Hardwood Floors Throughout! REDUCED

Priced to sell at $119,900 this 1321 sq ft Lakewood colonial offers features that many Lakewood homes do not.  The kitchen has been updated and comes with brand new stainless appliances.  A full bathroom on every floor puts an end to waiting in line!  The third floor space makes a nice finished attic for storage or could be used as extra living space.  The seller has invested in all new cement for the drive and walk-ways.  The furnace, central air and hot water heater have been recently updated as well.  Call Michelle Stanifer today at (440) 391-1304 for a private showing.  Tomorrow may be too late!

Russell Real Estate Services and The Stanifer-Spence Team

offers buyers great rates and services though their lender partner, insurance company and preferred title agency.  Ask for details how you can save with Russell Real Estate Services!

Copyright © 2015 Stanifer-Spence Team, All rights reserved. 

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Berea Art Day May 30th 10 am - 5 pm

The annual Berea Art Walk is combining with the Berea Fine Arts MayFest to create the Berea Arts Fest this year.  The event will be held on May 30th from 10:00 am - 5:00 pm.  The Art Walk will be held in the Triangle, Berea's downtown area.  Visit local Berea businesses to meet the artists, hear music and more!

The MayFest can be enjoyed at Coe Lake behind Berea City Hall.  Meet and see the work of established artists.  No matter your taste, you will find something to love!

Cool off afterwards with a decadent custom frozen yogurt treat at Berea's coolest new downtown business, Igloo's Frozen Yogurt.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Memorial Weekend Remembrance May 24th & 25th

In its usual fashion, the City of Berea, OH does it better than most.  Of the Memorial Day events that are being held around the Greater Cleveland Area, Berea, OH remembers our nation's fallen with a reverence and tribute that the occasion deserves.

On Sunday, May 24th beginning at 1 pm, the tribute begins with St. Paul Lutheran Church conducting the “Of Faith and Freedom Cantata” at Coe Lake Gazebo.  From the City of Berea website: This beautiful tribute to America includes an orchestra, chorus and readings by Berea veterans and civic leaders. Participating members represent many churches and organizations in this area. The performance is free. Rain location will be St. Paul Lutheran Church, 276 E Bagley Road.

On Monday, May 25th the observances continue as the American Legion Post 91 conducts remembrances beginning at the Adams Street Cemetery at 8 am followed by services at Woodvale Cemetery, immediately following.  

Berea's Memorial Day Parade will begin on May 25th at 10 am.  Because of construction at McKelvey Park, the ceremony will be held on the Berea Triangle.  

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Habitat for Humanity Drive May 16th 9 am - 12 pm

Even if you can't swing a hammer, you can help.  Spring cleaning or preparing a home for the market often reveals a treasure trove of re-usable household items or building materials that can be donated to be put to good use.  

Habitat for Humanity is seeking donations of construction and rehab materials to help improve housing in our area.  The city will hold a drive from 9 a.m. to noon at the Service Center, 16099 Foltz Pkwy, on May 16. 

Needed are sinks, vanities, kitchen counters, electrical/plumbing supplies, furniture, refrigerators, washers and dryers, microwaves, doors, freezers, air conditioners, countertops, lumber, tools and gardening tools and supplies.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Chocolate Cake... The Breakfast of Skinny People!

When I was little, the morning after our birthdays, we were allowed to have birthday cake for breakfast.  Mmm… so decadent!  When I grew up, I added pie to the “ OK for Breakfast” list as usually it included fruit.  Sounds healthy, right?

I recently read an article that cited a study which said that women who ate sweets for breakfast lost more weight than women who ate a healthy breakfast.  They don’t know why that is, but I love, love, love this study!

In that spirit, I am sharing one of my favorites.  My uncle passed on this recipe that, not surprisingly, is very guy friendly, also.  It is easy and fast to whip up for unexpected guests or as a last minute dessert idea, or, well… for breakfast!  It is one of the best chocolate cakes I have ever tasted.  It is rich, dense, moist and chocolate-y good.  And I always have all the ingredients, so it can be made on a whim.

Here’s the thing: I have played with this recipe and thought, I am sure I don’t have to really make the holes and alternate the liquids.  I mean, what difference would that make?  And if I make it in a round cake pan and made two so I could stack them, that shouldn't matter, right?  Wrong.  Make this recipe exactly as directed or you won’t be as pleased with the results.  I am not sure why, but it is so. Some things, like why chocolate cake for breakfast works as a diet food, are just a mystery!

Wacky Cake

1 ½ c all purpose flour
3 TBS mounded, cocoa
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp vinegar (I use balsamic)
5 TBS canola oil
1 c water

  1. Put dry ingredients into 8 x 8 baking pan and mix until well blended.
  2. Make 3 holes and add liquid, alternating each hole.
  3. Pour water over all and mix well.  Make sure to get the corners and sides of the pan.
  4. Bake at 350˚ in preheated oven 30-40 minutes.  Test for doneness by poking toothpick or wooden skewer in center of cake.  If it comes out clean, cake is done.  Do not over bake!
  5. Cool on wire rack.  Do not remove from pan.  Ice as desired.  Serves 9-16 depending on cut sizes.

Mocha Icing

½ c unsalted butter
3 TBS mounded, cocoa
¼ tsp salt
½ tsp vanilla
3 c confectioner’s sugar
3 TBS milk, warmed
1 tsp rounded, instant coffee crystals

  1. Warm milk for 45 seconds in microwave in a glass measuring cup.  Add coffee crystals and mix until well blended.  Cool.
  2. Whip butter to slightly soften in mixing bowl.  Add cocoa, salt and vanilla and whip until well blended, scraping bowl as needed. 
  3. Add sugar and mix on low to incorporate.
  4. Increase mixer speed to medium and drizzle in milk mixture, 1 tsp at a time until desired spreading consistency. 
  5. Spread icing on cooled cake. 
 Enjoy!  I will be seeing you on the beach in your bikini!!  

© Michelle Stanifer 2013.  All rights reserved.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Free Pool Table with Purchase! $189,900

Fantastic Family Home
Completely updated, well laid out home features a comfortable mix of formal and casual spaces. The newer eat-in kitchen with vaulted ceilings, granite, upgraded cabinetry with pull outs and lazy Susans, and all appliances opens to the family/great room with wood/gas fireplace for great everyday casual living. The family room walks out to a wonderful back yard space with patio that lends itself to easy entertaining. A natural gas grill and the patio furniture stay. Kids, pets or both? The first floor is finished with high end, quiet vinyl laminate flooring throughout for easy care. The living and dining spaces feature vaulted ceilings, French glass doors and lots of natural light. A first floor bedroom and half bath make a welcoming space for guests or a nice home office space. The master bedroom features a generous walk-in closet and private master bath. Entertain family and friends in the enormous basement rec room with pool table (stays). Those who work or teach from home will appreciate the large downstairs office space. The thoughtful design of this home left nothing to want.

Michelle Stanifer
Stanifer-Spence Team

(440) 391-1304

Russell Real Estate Services
12198 Pearl Rd
Strongsville OH  44136

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Handyman Special in Prime Location!

Handyman Special on Nearly 2 Acre Lot!
Property is in Valley City but address is Columbia Station due to mailbox location. Buckeye LSD. This is a great opportunity to own a gorgeous piece of land in a great location at a low, handyman special price. This three bedroom, two full bath ranch style manufactured home is situated on a pristine 1.89 acre wooded lot. This home has an attached two car garage, central fireplace, semi-open floor plan and a full, waterproofed basement that could be turned into additional living space. Seller has maintained the systems, including the septic and furnace. Grab your tools and take advantage of this rare opportunity. This listing is a short sale, so please plan for extra time to close.

Michelle Stanifer
Stanifer-Spence Team
(440) 391-1304 

12198 Pearl Rd
Strongsville OH

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

New Price! See it Now Before it's Gone!

Suburban Farm in Berea
Become a part of the Sustainability Movement! This is a rare opportunity to own your own urban farm. This quaint bungalow is situated on 1/2+ acre of growing space. With hoop houses, chicken coop, bunny hutch, raised beds, established perennial crops, and more, you'll have a head start on establishing your own personal food source w/ surplus to share! This three bedroom, bath and a half home is warm and welcoming from the moment you enter. Pride of ownership shows here as the sellers have worked over the years to restore the charm of this old quarry worker's home, while cultivating the lot on which it sits. Enjoy special touches like hand painted cabinets, reclaimed Tremont French doors, and a unique kids room that is both a place to stay and a place to play. Features like the half bath on the second floor and the first floor laundry add convenience. Take advantage of this rare opportunity now and start your seeds in the spring. Sellers will even include the chickens!

Michelle Stanifer
Stanifer-Spence Team
(440) 391-1304

12198 Pearl Rd
Strongsville OH