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Beautiful updates and a close walk to Ault Park are just a few of the highlights of this week's Listing of the Week! Click here to see more!

This classic home sits on a quiet cul-de-sac with 1.2 acres of tree-lined privacy. It has wood floors, a gourmet kitchen, a wood paneled study with a wet bar, a living room with cathedral ceilings, and a wall of windows overlooking the yard. It has a screened-in porch, patio, and fire pit area. There is a large master suite wit a second-floor laundry and dressing room. The home has been lovingly updated and maintained, and is just a short walk to Ault Park. This 4 bedroom, 5 bathroom home is listed at $1.275 million.

This listing is sponsored by Ron Erdmann at Guaranteed Rate, the official mortgage professional of Cincy Chic.

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This team of mortgage gurus make the home buying process easier, more affordable, and offer newly expanded services from their new digs in Hyde Park and Fort Mitchell.

With the world’s first digital mortgage, Guaranteed Rate is dedicated to helping aspiring homeowners get a low rate on the best mortgage, as efficiently as possible.

“Purchasing a home is a big deal,” says Tammy Peko, Operations Assistant at Guaranteed Rate’s Cincinnati branch. “That’s why we built a mortgage company that places you and your needs at the center of everything we do.”

The team at Guaranteed Rate uses cutting-edge technology to simplify the mortgage process. The new technology that is unique to Guaranteed Rate allows clients to choose what type of loan they want, receive free credit scores, securely upload and digitally sign their loan and finally, receive approval — all online. 

Peko says Guaranteed Rate was created by real estate and mortgage professionals who are dedicated to putting the customer first in every aspect of the process. “This meant that they had to simplify the process and bring the lowest rates, the highest level of transparency, and even higher level of service to homebuyers and those looking to refinance,” she adds. 

What makes Guaranteed Rate unique, Peko says, is the fact that Erdmann is able to work with more than 20 different lenders to find his clients the most aggressive rates. “We have unique options for financing including but not limited to renovation loans, new construction loans, home addition loans, and first-time home buyer grants,” she explains. 

Thanks to all-time record low interest rates on mortgages, business at Guaranteed Rate is up 250 percent this year. “We have hired 10 new employees in just the last month to keep up with the great customer service experience we provide our clients,” says Peko.

The team at Guaranteed Rate is finding clients more than just mortgages, they also offer refinancing along with construction, VA, and USDA loans, in addition to debt consolidation. 

Peko says that Erdmann’s offices strive to be a one-stop-shop from loan intake to processing all the way to closing within their two locations. “We also have two of the nations top 100 loan officers in the country working from our Hyde Park location: Ron Erdmann Jr. and Drew Stacey,” she adds. 

 Peko says that Guaranteed Rate will soon be expanding into the northern region of Southern Ohio including Dayton, Mason, and Springboro. 

Guaranteed Rate recently opened new offices in Hyde Park and Fort Mitchell. The Hyde Park office is located at 2101 Grandin Road, Suite B, while the Fort Mitchell office for the Northern Kentucky area is located at 2131 Chamber Center Drive in Lakeside Park, Kentucky. 

To learn more, about Guaranteed Rate, visit their website here. You can also follow along with housing news and Guaranteed Rate updates on Facebook and Instagram

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Changing times call for evolved ways of working with clients on home design. Click here to read more about how a design firm is reflecting clients’ styles through virtual meetings.

Amy Holt spent years working as a kitchen and bath designer, but she also had a burning desire to pursue interior design. After getting her name out in the industry, winning awards in local home shows, and building a brand of her own, she launched Designs on Madison, an award-winning interior design firm based in Cincinnati.

“Designs on Madison is home to nine talented designers with a kaleidoscope of styles and years of experience, and provides residential and commercial interior design including kitchen and bath design,” says Office Manager Lauren Olthaus. 

Olthaus says that Holt opened Designs on Madison to continue to offer clients a design process that is both effortless and enjoyable.

“With a variety of designers, our clients can be placed with someone who reflects their style,” she says. 

Trends are constantly evolving in the housing industry, and Olthaus says that Designs on Madison has seen a big increase in wallpaper, whether it’s a statement pattern and a color for a powder room or a more muted and textured look for a dining room. 

“There are so many options to choose from and it really gives a room a nice finishing touch,” she says. “As for paint colors, various shades of gray were popular for a while. We are seeing a switch to lighter shades of gray and more use of whites. Another fun trend is using black paint for accents like on a ceiling, accent wall, or door for a dramatic effect.”

And since the world is much different than it was just four months ago, Designs on Madison has evolved in its design work since the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Clients are still interested in updating their homes, but with these uncertain times, clients are gravitating toward doing a refresh of rooms rather than completely redoing them.

“This can be a new piece of furniture or updated accessories and art; or even adding wallpaper,” says Olthaus. “Also, we’re getting more calls for remodeling current homes now that people are staying in more and not wanting to move.” 

Social distancing is also applying to housing professionals, as Olthaus says the design team at Designs on Madison is utilizing virtual meetings more than ever before to meet the needs of their clients. 

Work may be different, but it hasn’t slowed at Designs on Madison. Currently, they are working with Sterling Homes on two houses for this year’s Homearama at Walworth Junction in the City of Cincinnati. “The homes in this year’s show are geared toward luxury city living and have views of the Ohio River versus the traditional large neighborhoods in the northern parts of Cincinnati,” adds Olthaus. 

You can learn more about Designs on Madison at designsonmadison.com. There you can see photo galleries and projects. Designs on Madison also has weekly posts on Facebook and Instagram showcasing current projects and offering design tips.

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An Ohio-based event that’s raised $211 million for cancer research is going virtual with a star-studded, custom experience. Read on for more!

Pelotonia is so focused on its mission to end cancer, not even a pandemic can get in its way. This year this world-renowned event that’s raised millions for cancer research is launching a virtual concept to continue engaging supporters and raising funds that get us closer to a cancer-free world.

“Founded in 2008, Pelotonia was established with the objective to fund innovative cancer research at the OSUCCC James in Columbus, Ohio. Pelotonia is known for its three-day experience that includes a weekend of cycling, entertainment and volunteerism and has raised more than $211 million for cancer research to date,” says Emily Smith, Pelotonia Marketing and Communications Manager. “This year, due to COVID-19, we can’t host our traditional ride weekend, however, we have redefined Pelotonia this year and have created ‘My Pelotonia.’ My Pelotonia has completely removed all barriers to entry and allows each participant to set their own fundraising and activity goals for this year.” 

The My Pelotonia platform allows people to experience their event in a brand new way, despite everything going on with the pandemic, by allowing the participants to personalize their goals. “You can set up to five different activity goals at a time and check them off as you complete them. There are no registration fees, age limitations or fundraising minimums,” Smith says. “Participants also have the chance to earn Pelotoniaswag through different fundraising milestones.”

Along with app participation, there will be a live broadcast hosted by Pelotonia on August 7 at 7pm, called Legends Live! ”This 60 minute broadcast will be packed with stories from legendary community members and special guest appearances and will highlight why cancer research matters more than ever. You can learn more about Legends Live! on Pelotonia.org/RISE.” Smith says. There will be celebrities appearing on the broadcast and they include: Sheryl Crow, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Robert Smith, who will be the host of the event; Ethan Zohn and Kristina M. Johnson, PhD.

The My Pelotonia platform works by users cresting an account or logging in with their same username and password as last year. “All participants are guided through a process to choose a fundraising goal and up to five activity goals. There is no registration fee and no mandatory fundraising minimums,” Smith says. 

There is an option on the My Pelotonia platform to be part of the pivoted event concept this year. It is “a team that fundraises together and can help with training and motivation. Once a My Pelotonia profile is created, you can write a profile story and choose a photo. Participants can then easily share their profile with potential donors through the ‘Share My Profile’ link on their page,” she explains. “A full tutorial on the My Pelotonia platform can be found in our informational video.”

Pelotonia is important for the community because it encourages and challenges the community to take action against cancer and unifies the community. “Over the past 12 years, thousands of participants have gotten to experience the spirit of Pelotonia, whether it’s through the Ride experience, utilizing our PULL app, listening to the stories of those impacted by cancer through different mediums, such as the One Goal podcast, blog posts, our Opening Ceremony experience and social media,” Smith says. “I know that personally, I have made friendships from events that I have participated in for Pelotonia that I may have never had the opportunity to; had it been for this organization. Pelotonia does a wonderful job of engaging the community and creating friendships that will last a lifetime.”

Pelotonia also provides opportunities for education on cancer research and developments due to funding. “Overall, Pelotonia brings the community together around a common cause and allows us all to have an opportunity to help those who are impacted by cancer every day,” she adds.

To learn more, sign up or follow along, visit their websiteFacebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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A boutique fitness studio in Columbia Tusculum recently launched on-demand workouts and live virtual classes. Keep reading for all the heart-pumping details! 

Knowing the importance of physical activity and social connection, one local fitness boutique is launching on-demand and live virtual classes to keep their community engaged, healthy and happy.

It’s Working Out is a “Boutique fitness studio with TRX, Water Rower and Foam Rolling Classes, personal training and a year round Golf Fitness Program led by Titleist Performance Institute Certified Trainers,” says Kristen McAuliffe, owner of It’s Working Out. 

There are a variety of different classes offered through It’s Working Out and they include: TRX, Stretch and Foam Roll and Golf Fitness. People can experience the fitness classes online, as well as in person. “We have over 40 weekly classes in person at our Columbia Tusculum Studio,” McAuliffe says. “Our members also have access to over 60 On Demand workouts from our website and we have live virtual classes as well, that can be accessed by reserving via our schedule page. A link is sent to join the class one hour before class begins. Zoom is the platform we use.” They have been having the online classes since the studio was forced to close down due to statewide restrictions. 

The inspiration behind starting the online classes came from a desire to keep the community engaged in the midst of quaratine. “We know how important exercise is for health, both physically and mentally, and wanted to make sure we were there for our members when the studio needed to close for 10 weeks,” she says. 

It’s Working Out defines success by whether or not they are working out safely. “Are the participants having fun, while completing safe and effective workout that can be modified for various fitness levels and orthopedic limitations? Are they achieving the goals they set for themselves from coming consistently to the three modalities we offer (strength, cardio, strength) for a complete fitness routine,” McAuliffe says.

To learn more about It’s Working Out, follow along on FacebookInstagram, as well as their website.

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Thinking of putting your home on the market? This locally based business wants to be a one-stop-shop to help prepare your home to sell.

Cincy Chic: What is HOMEstretch?
Derek Shewmon, Co-Founder of HOMEstretch: HOMEstretch is a “one-stop” service that helps families prepare their homes for sale. We specialize in home clearouts, interior and exterior painting, landscape clean-up, and deep cleaning. Our goal is to make the home preparation process as simple and streamlined as possible by providing one point of contact and an exceptional and trusted service offering.

Cincy Chic: What’s the inspiration behind it?
Shewmon: My business partner, Nick, and I worked together at Everything But The House. We were inspired by EBTH’s mission of helping homeowners deal with difficult situations such as the death of a loved one or downsizing of a home. Additionally, we witnessed how stressful the process of moving can be on families. EBTH does a great job helping families monetize valuable items on its marketplace, but Nick and I noticed that homeowners had bigger needs with the necessary “home prep” services such as removing unneeded items, painting, and cleaning. We felt that the home service industry was very fragmented and had a bad reputation in terms of customer service, communication, and punctuality. We created HOMEstretch to fill that need of a “one-stop”, premium service that could help any homeowner going through a life transition.

Cincy Chic: Who’s behind it?
Shewmon: Nick Lobert and Derek Shewmon are the founders. Nick’s family has been in real estate for decades, and he has a true love and knowledge for the space. Nick has a sales background and spent a portion of his career helping real estate and technology companies grow. Derek has an entrepreneurial background, having founded and sold a software company and is an adjunct professor at UC teaching entrepreneurship to undergraduate and graduate students.  Derek and Nick went to grade school together at Sycamore and rekindled their friendship when their careers crossed paths at EBTH.

Cincy Chic: What services do you offer clients?
Shewmon: Most essential cosmetic improvements on a home. We specialize in clearing-out unneeded items of a home for individuals who are downsizing or dealing with the loss of a loved one. In addition to home clear-outs, we offer interior and exterior painting, carpet installation, landscape clean-up, pressure washing, window cleaning, and deep cleaning.

Cincy Chic: What makes HOMEstretch unique?
Shewmon: Our value proposition is that we are a “one-stop” service to get a home ready to list. Instead of having to call, schedule, and deal with 4 or 5 vendors, you make one call to HOMEstretch. We pride ourselves on delivering exceptional customer service and communication to all of our clients. We understand that moving is  stressful, and it’s our goal to minimize the stress for our clients as much as possible.

Cincy Chic: Is there anything new on the horizon?
Shewmon: HOMEstretch has been in business for 1.5 years. Our focus has been on delivering a quality and consistent service experience to all of our customers.  Our next phase in the upcoming year is continuing to get our brand and service out to new homeowners and real estate partners in Cincinnati with the potential to expand into new cities.

Cincy Chic: Where can readers go to learn more and follow along?
Shewmon: Readers are more than welcome to visit our website www.home-stretch.com or  see us on  Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and NextDoor. If you’d like to give us a call, you can reach us at 513-518-5919.

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Being grounded at home takes on a whole new meaning as an adult. Our life coach explains how to use this extra homebound time for growth and realignment.

One thing I know for sure that being in quarantine you sure get to spend an extra amount of time in your home. Discovering things that you no longer like in your home, or finding the cobwebs that you’ve overlooked for some time, all you can do is just embrace the life of being within your home.

What does it look like when you find yourself stuck at home? The freedom to not go out, to not be engaging with others like you once did, and even having to work from home?

Although it feels like a big struggle with the transition, because change is always difficult especially when you don’t expect it, I often find the balance comes when you can really embrace what is.

When I think about coming home, or being at home, I think about grounding myself inside of my body.

This was something I learned a long time ago not realizing how out of my body I lived my life. When I learned to calm my thoughts and be still I could bring back all those pieces that were “out there” and move them into a safe space that is within my heart. 

Your mind runs the show so often and you follow it without resistance. But when you begin to realize that your heart is the one that really has all the answers, and knows what’s best, it will allow your mind to quiet so that that feeling inside of yourself allows you to make those better decisions, feel good about yourself, and just live in the happiness, most joyful way that is available for you.

Don’t ever limit yourself to what you can achieve in your lifetime. Knowing that everything is working out to your highest good and that all things happen in divine timing will lead the way. 

So get grounded. Allow yourself to be still to quiet the mind and go within your heart space and see what you find. As it was said in the Wizard of Oz by Dorothy “there’s no place like home!”

Sending Love & Light,

Melissa

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Check out a recap of the small and local businesses we've featured this week on our new sister page Spend With Cincinnati.

Cincy Chic recently launched a new sister account called Spend With Cincinnati. The goal of Spend With Cincinnati is to share how the public can still support small and local businesses during the COVID-19 outbreak. Below is a recap of what we’ve featured this week:

Doodleshine Design: Our doggies deserve to get dressed up too! How adorable are these accessories from @doodleshinedesign made just for your furry friends! 🤩 They are able to be customized too! Head over to their website to get your order started today or DM for special request!

Kalu Lifestyle Co: Whose ready to help save our oceans and turtles!! 🙋‍♀️ @kalu__reusablestraws has created these adorable 100% food-grade silicon reusable straws! PLUS: they are BPA free, reef friendly, and vegan! They are perfect for both hot and cold drinks AND they have created a wider diameter straw perfect for frozen drinks!
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Head over to their website and get your order started to help “be the solution not the pollution” today!
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The T Squash Academy: Looking to get out of the house and try something new? Or love the game of squash and looking for a place to play? Check out @thetsquashacademy!! They offer squash for people of all ages and skill levels! Check out their website to see all they have to offer such as a men’s Thursday night league, private lessons, or even the junior mentoring program!

Mom ‘n ’em Coffee: Happy Wine Wednesday everyone! @momnemcoffee offers not only wine, but coffee, pastries, sandwiches, and more! Head over to their website to see all they have to offer and get your order started! PLUS: make sure to check out their amazing merch and accessories for making coffee right at home!

The Budding Florist: “My goal is to create floral arrangements that bring beauty to your home, to others, or your special day!” Ellie, owner of @thebuddingfloristcincy has had a love for flowers since a young age and is here to share her love with you! Whether a small bouquet for someone special, a house arrangement, or a wedding, she’s here to help! Head over to their website to order online or stop in the shop!

Libby’s Southern Comfort: In need of a little southern comfort this rainy day? @libbys_southern_comfort has you covered! They are open to serve you both indoors, outdoors, or for carry out! Load up on their delicious apps, sandwiches, and entrees today and don’t forget to grab a drink! Head to their website for more details and a full menu and let them “put a little south in your mouth!”

Beck + Call: Couldn’t agree more with this statement🤩 @beckandcalldayton is a female-owned business brining you the latest and greatest on clothing, accessories, and home goods! They are currently temporarily closed due to Covid, but head over to their website to get your order orders in! Click the link in their bio to shop and help them promote/support women!

Juice Bar Anderson: Kickstart you weekend on a healthy foot with @juicebaranderson today! They create juices, smoothies, and food packed with fresh ingredients and nutrients! Plus they have shots to help boost your immunity, energy, and more! Text 859-307-2006 for pre-order and home delivery, order online, or stop in!
Open:
Monday-Saturday 9-4
Sunday 10-4

La Ofrenda: It’s Friday! It’s also national tequila day! @laofrendatequila is having some amazing specials to help you celebrate tonight! Join them on their patio for $3 El Jimador shots, $5 Ranch water cocktails, and $8 frozen house margs! What an amazing happy hour 🤩

Open:
Wednesday-Friday 5-10
Saturday 12-10
Sunday 12-6

Villa Mocha: Happy Saturday everyone! Get your Saturday morning caffeine from @villamocha today! Whether hot or cold, they have the coffee for you! Plus: make sure to try out one of their delicious bakery items like pies, quiches, and more!

Village Pantry Catering: Have a big event coming up? @villagepantrycatering is here for all your food needs! From parties, to weddings, and so much more they cater for it all! They even offer the ability to customize their menus to fit your exact want and needs! Click the link in their bio to head to their website and see all their services offered!

Curious Concoctions: @curiousconcoctions5 is dedicated to creating clean and non-toxic skincare products made just for you! All products are handmade with local ingredients! From soaps, to body lotion, to even room sprays, they have it all! Head to their website to see all their amazing products and get your order started today! PLUS: they offer FREE SHIPPING on all orders $25 and over!

Marigold & Co: Happy Monday everyone! Add some greenery into your life this week with @cincyscrazyplantlady 🤩 from small pots to hanging plants to even standing trees, she has it all!
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Check out their page for the latest being sold and fill your home with some new plant babies!
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Going back and forth between installing a septic or sewer system? Our plumbing expert gives you a breakdown of the differences between the two!

Drainage systems make wastewater disappear whenever toilets are flushed or hands are washed in buildings and residential properties. But for all the functions that drainage helps make possible—dishes, laundry, showers—few people stop and think about the mechanisms that go into the process. The whole thing basically comes down to two types of systems: sewer and septic.

Sewer systems are more common because they’re funded and maintained by local governments. Septic systems, however, are becoming more popular as an affordable, environmentally sound alternative that give homeowners full control over their drainage. The following article examines the facts, pros, and cons of the whole septic vs sewer system debate.

Here’s a breakdown of the differences between sewer and septic systems:

Where does the waste go?
Septic System: The waste goes into a holding tank.
Sewer System: Sewers lines carry waste to a treatment facility.

How does it work?
Septic System: Bacteria break down the solid waste and the liquid effluent is then released into the drainfield.
Sewer System: The facility removes contaminants and then discharges water back into local water supplies.

What is the cost?
Septic System: If buying a new home from a reputable new home builder, then the cost of the septic system is included in the price of the house.
Sewer System: The cost to use a public sewer system varies depending on location.  Some areas separate the cost of water and sewage, while others combine the two.

What type of maintenance is needed?
Septic System: Depending on the usage, septic tanks need to be pumped out yearly or every few years.
Sewer System: None

Who is responsible for the maintenance?
Septic System: It is the homeowner’s responsibility to maintain the septic system.
Sewer System: Your local municipality is responsible for maintaining the public sewer system.

What do you do if it fails to work?
Septic System: Call a professional septic repair company.
Sewer System: Call your local municipality public works department

What are the benefits?
Septic System: If maintained properly a septic system generally has fewer ongoing costs.
Sewer System: Sewer systems are very convenient and the homeowner has no responsibility for repairs

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