Interested in buying a home in Ohio? This guide will teach you the best tips and tricks on buying a home, ensuring nothing gets left out.
Nationwide, home prices have grown over the past few years, but the 2023 rate of growth in many locations has slowed or stopped entirely. The good news for people looking to buy houses is that the typical home price in Ohio is $220,031, compared to a $350,113 national average.1
While some federal regulations apply, real estate transactions are primarily governed by state law. Many aspects of buying a home are consistent across the country, but you’ll want to know what types of professionals you’ll need to engage and how much protection is available for home buyers before you start shopping.
Whether you’re a native or new to the Buckeye State, if you plan on buying a home in Ohio, you’re in the right place. Here are 10 tips and tricks to finding and purchasing your dream home in Ohio.
Before you head out to view open houses, craft an objective wish list of what you want in an Ohio home, especially if you are a first time home buyer. Consider your current needs as well as what you can predict for the future. It should include:
Try to differentiate between needs and wants, and to prioritize your list. Which are the features you can trade off? Which are options you could add or change after buying a home without them?
If you’re shopping for a first home or as part of a job-related move, it’s tempting to put down commute time as the top factor for location—but convenience isn’t the only priority for real estate. Consider location in terms of factors that you value, such as:
Based on where you’re at in your life and your family make-up, check out “best place to live for” lists online that drill down to the neighborhood level. For instance, according to Niche, the top five Ohio locations to raise a family in 2023 are2:
On the other hand, Niche’s top five Ohio locations for young professionals to move are3:
Talk to your real estate agent about negotiation—depending on market conditions, you may be able to submit an offer lower than asking for your dream Ohio home, or you may end up bidding against other buyers for a sale that goes above the property’s listing price.
Keep in mind that you can negotiate creatively for more than changes to the actual sale price, such as:
Unlike some states, Ohio doesn’t require you to engage a lawyer as part of the sale or closing process.4 You may want to do so, however, if there are any contractual disputes, title issues, or other concerns that require legal guidance.
Ohio’s residential disclosure laws mandate sellers to complete a form prescribed by the state’s Department of Commerce (the Residential Property Disclosure Form) and provide it to potential buyers. The form serves to communicate details and known defects related to5:
It also inquires about the presence or state of:
Usually, sellers make the form available to realtors and prospective buyers, but in some cases, it may not be provided until after a contract is signed. If this is the case (or if the form isn’t provided at all) then the buyer can legally rescind their offer prior to closing, cancel the sales agreement with no liability, and receive any earnest money back.6
The seller’s disclosure doesn’t negate the need for a home inspection. Disclosures simply require the seller to tell what they currently know about the property. An independent home inspection purchased by the buyer results in a detailed review of the structure and grounds to highlight the current condition of all structural, mechanical, and other elements of a property.
Inspectors often have general contractor backgrounds and may take from one to several hours to go over the site. This is followed by a lengthy written report that can act as:
In Ohio, the average cost of an inspection for a 1,500 square foot single-family home is $375.7
Radon is a concern in Ohio, whether you’re buying a home with a basement or built on concrete slab.
A colorless, odorless, cancer-causing gas that seeps up from the ground might sound like the start of a horror movie, but it’s a hazard that can easily be solved. You can order radon testing by searching for a licensed provider at the State of Ohio’s data site (click on the “Visualize” tab and then fill in or click on the desired county).
If testing results in levels at or above 4 pCi/L (picocuries of radon per liter of air), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommends installing a radon mitigation system.8 As a homebuyer, you could either negotiate for a seller to cover the cost or pay to have it installed prior to moving in.
If your dream home is not quite as dreamy as you’d like, do some quick homework before you make an offer to determine the cost and time that would be needed at this location for critical changes.
For instance, the average (labor plus materials) cost of these common remodeling jobs in Columbus, Ohio, is9:
Try to keep in mind that being a fan of remodeling TV shows doesn’t necessarily translate to being an active do-it-yourself-er. If you go with a fixer-upper, consider your budget, resources (such as friends or family members with professional skills), and actual experience and willingness to tackle projects.
Federal and Ohio law both prohibit certain types of discrimination in real estate buying, selling, and renting at all stages.10 These include:
Additionally, Ohio prohibits discrimination based on:
If you encounter discrimination, contact the Ohio Civil Rights Commission or the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
Now that you can hold up a “Buy home in Ohio or bust” sign, you may need to explore the flip side—selling. Buying can be tricky if you already own a home. Balancing timelines, budgets, and lender requirements is challenging when you have to find a buyer for your property at the same time as securing your new home. Discover more on how to sell a house in Ohio in our guide.
Truehold's sale-leaseback is an excellent solution for Ohio homeowners looking for convenience and flexibility while they plan a move. A sale-leaseback combines your home sale with a negotiated lease and your right to remain as a renter until you’re ready to head for your new dream home.
You’ll increase your buying power by:
Instead of trying to fit your own home’s staging, showing, negotiating, and closing with an as-yet-to-be-identified buyer, you sell directly to Truehold for a competitive price and rent back your home until you’re ready to move. Plus, we’ll immediately take over property tax, homeowners insurance, and major repairs and maintenance.
Contact us today, and one of our advisors will reach out to discuss the process with you and see if a sale-leaseback is right for you.
Chat with a real person & get an offer for your home within 48 hours.Call (314) 353-9757