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Tom Canning & Julie Canning-Hollenbeck


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Where Did Summer Go...By Tom Canning

by Tom Canning & Julie Canning-Hollenbeck

Where did summer go? Or better yet, did we have a summer?  At least weather-wise, it is as though Mother Nature gave summer a bit of the stink-eye.  Rain, rain and more rain and cooler temperatures and then two weeks of “Egad it’s HOT,” does not a summer make.

But for the housing market in Cincinnati, this summer was Hot, Hot, Hot. It was a fun and busy summer. And now, kids are back to school. 

I know that January 1 is the start of the new year.  But for me, September also seems like the start of a new year. It is a new beginning for kids … new grade in school, new clothes, backpacks and learning experiences.  

It can also be a new beginning for adults.

It is nice to have new beginnings. I don’t think one new beginning a year is enough. That might be part of the reason why I love real estate. It is all about new beginnings.

Moving is about change. Not just the physical change of the house. There are so many changes, or in affect, new beginnings that take place when you move. Some of them are psychological, others are emotional and some are physical.

Moving gives you a chance to reinvent yourself if you desire, tweak things a bit, look at life from a different vantage point, a new perspective.

So, as we get into the fall, watching football games, going for hikes on crisp cool days and eating caramel apples from a local farm market, if you are thinking about moving, we are here to help you make that change.  We will help you with understanding the psychology or buying and selling a home, the emotional aspects, and, of course, the actual home search purchase.

Just as the seasons change, personal change and physical change can be good, too. Look at moving as a new beginning. One that will bring the opportunity to meet new people, look at the world differently, and move forward with your life.  

Sellers …

Get your house spiffed up for the fall market. Look for cobwebs on doors and windows. For some reason, there are a lot of cobwebs in the fall.  Creepy crawlers need to go live somewhere else!

Put the summer “toys” away. Tidy up porches, patios and decks. Use your leaf-blower to remove summer grit and falling leaves. 

Fall is a wonderful decorating time. It is easy to make your house look inviting with a bowl of fresh apples, a nice arrangement of mums and gourds on your porch or table.

Clean up your yard … your summer garden, play areas and window-wells. Cut back or remove dead plants and flowers.

Have some nice cinnamon or apple fragrance in your home to help buyers “feel hospitality” when they look at your home.

Buyers …

Fall is a great time to shop for a house. The dog days of summer are over, vacations are wrapped up and if you play your cards right, you can be in your new home for the holidays.

Look at the bones of the house. Remember that many decorating items are easy fixes. Go into the home with an artist’s eye and envision what the house could be like with your creativity and vision.

Think positively about the change that moving is going to offer you. A new beginning can be a gift. Remember that moving to a new house is moving forward. Bring the good with you and leave things behind that don’t improve the quality of your life.

A bit of Real Estate Fun

I recently heard a story from a friend whose husband goes to a metal detecting club. One of the other members bought a house built in the 1930’s.  At the closing, the sellers gave the buyers all of the keys they had for the doors. The one key they didn’t have was for the front door. 

Being a metal detecting enthusiast, as soon as they moved into the house, the owner decided to metal detect around the house and yard. 

What would be the first thing the owner found buried in the yard?

The key to the front door.

Final Notes 

Julie and I had great summers. With the market hopping, we hopped along with it, working with our buyers and sellers to help them to achieve new beginnings.  It is always our pleasure to listen to our clients. We love to hear about their lives … where they have been, where they hope to go and figure out how we can help them get there.

Part of what we believe we offer our client is the expertise to help them move forward with their lives by finding the house of their dreams or selling the house they live in now. We become emotionally vested in your future. We work to find what is best for you.  Moving is part of many people’s journey through life. 

We appreciate being part of your life and your journey.

All the best,

Tom and Julie



Greetings and Happy Mid-Winter...By Tom Canning

by Tom Canning & Julie Canning-Hollenbeck

 I am looking out my window as I write this. I’d say we have a couple of inches of snow on the ground. Not too bad, especially compared with last winter where we had snow on the ground most of the time. 

I get such a kick when I turn on the television and see news people standing outside in the snow, shivering and commenting on the size and weight of snowflakes. It’s especially fun if there are strong winds. There is something in me that makes me sort of hope the news person will get blown over!   

You might wonder why I am talking about the weather, but the fact is weather does have an effect on the real estate business, both for buyers and sellers. 


If you are selling your house in the winter, it is important to have your house “weather-ready” for perspective buyers. In Cincinnati, winter weather usually means rain or snow. If there is snow, the obvious thing to do is to shovel your walkways, driveways and porches.  Make certain icy areas are treated and handrails are secure. You don’t want a perspective buyer falling on your property.

Also, it might be a good idea to place a rug inside your door.  To save your carpets and flooring, make a sign that requests buyers to remove their shoes upon entering, thereby eliminating the chances of salt, snow and water from getting traipsed throughout your house. If you have room by the door, place a chair next to it so buyers have a place to sit and take their shoes off and put them back on.

Another thing sellers should consider is the temperature of the house. Make it an inviting temperature. You don’t want “the weather” inside your house to make buyers want to get out of there as fast as they can because the temperature is too hot or too cold. 

The last thing I will mention is that especially during the shorter days when it gets dark earlier, be sure to have good lighting on for showings. Brighten your house on these gloomy days. Have your outside lights on for any showing mid afternoon and beyond. It really makes a difference.


For winter buyers, you will be dealing with the elements, also.  Be careful walking to the house. Even shoveled and treated walkways can be slippery.  Remember, sellers are inviting you into their homes. Be a good guest and honor a sign that asks you to remove your shoes.  And don’t forget to leave dripping umbrellas outside. A little courtesy and thought go a long way.

Now, on with the program …

Recently the Cincinnati Area Board of Realtors held their annual Circle of Excellence awards ceremony.  It was a special day for my daughter, Julie, and me. The board for last year’s sale’s achievements honored both of us.

I also want to mention how proud I am to have been acknowledged for being a 40-year member of the Circle of Excellence. It has been my privilege to serve my clients at the best level I can for forty years. Not only am I honored, but also, I am humbled by the opportunities my career has given me.  It is in large part because of each of you that I have been able to succeed in this career that I love. 

Real estate tidbit …

Pre-approval has become a very important aspect of house hunting. Before you begin your search, it is essential for you to meet with a loan officer to determine how much and what kind of a loan you qualify for.  Ask the lender for a pre-qualification letter so that it can be presented with any offer that we write. Our contracts include a provision concerning pre-qualification letters.

Even better is a pre-approval letter. This letter is given after the lender has received and verified financial documentation. This kind of letter can be valuable in negotiations as it tells a seller that much of your information has been verified. Both of these kinds of letters are presented with the offer.

The Canning Chronicles

As a Realtor, I have seen a lot. A whole lot! I thought it would be fun to share with you some of the stories from the life a Realtor.  Some stories are hysterical, some make you shake your head, and others make you, well, want to run!  

Warning … In this story something that slithers is involved!

Once upon a time, I showed a house to a great couple.  They were looking for a property that had a nice wooded lot.  Our search took us to a property in an area on the east side of Cincinnati. 

The house was vacant. It was constructed with what we call, “bleeding mortar”, the kind of mortar that sort of oozes out between the bricks. 

As the husband and wife and I got out of the car, the husband says to me, “Tom, you don’t think there will be any snakes, here, do you?”

No sooner that the husband got those words out of his mouth than I looked up and saw a 5 ft. long red rat snake.  It had slithered up the bleeding mortar and perched itself on the windowsill. 

Needless to say, the buyer’s question answered itself!

The wife was okay but the husband?  Not so much.

His wife and I calmed him down.  What’s one snake, I thought. We can get over this. 

We decided to walk around the exterior of the house first, so we continued our tour to the backyard. I stopped in my tracks. Why? Because I didn’t want to step on two more red snakes that wriggled by!

I was sure the husband was going to be like Forrest Gump and just take off running. 

But I was wrong.  We proceeded on the tour.  We went inside the house. With a bit of trepidation we walked around gingerly like people in those Sci-Fi movies looking around every corner for the monster. 

We all settled down believing we had seen all of the snakes we were going to see.

As we were leaving the house, another red snake climbed up the side. All I could think of was there is no way this couple will buy the house.

I was wrong.

Lo and behold, both husband and wife really liked the house. They liked it enough that they decided to write an offer.  One big contingency was Critter Gitter had to come and get rid of the snakes.  There was also a house inspection clause. 

A few days later, at the house inspection, the inspector went up to the attic.  He was not up there a minute when he yelled, “There are snakes up here!” A few minutes later the inspector emerged from the attic carrying snakeskin that was taller than the husband.  The inspector hung the skin over the closet door.  As he did that, he said, “I have never seen so many snake skins in my life.” There had been so many snakes that the insulation was matted from the weight of the snakes.

Trying to remain ever the professional, I looked at the buyer and said, “Do you still want this house?” thinking by then both husband and wife would want to get out of dodge.

Again, I was surprised.  They were not going to let a few snakes keep them from the house they wanted. 

The house inspector and Critter Gitter told them how to get rid of the snakes in the house and more importantly, keep them out. 

They had all of the access points into the house closed.  Between that and their dog, they have kept the snakes out of the house and it has become a wonderful home. 

Don’t you love a happy ending?

I sure do.



















Let's talk Real Tom Canning

by Tom Canning & Julie Canning-Hollenbeck

Hello there.  Welcome to the Canning Family Team blog. This is a spot where I hope to chit-chat with you a bit, provide answers to some real estate questions you might have, and let you get to know our team and services.

First, let me say that I am really pleased that you have taken the time to visit our website.  We have put a lot of thought into making it your one-stop shop for all of your real estate needs.

So, here we go!

On first appearances, the real estate business seems like it is all about houses.  Allow me to let you in on a little secret.  Although our product is bricks and siding and mortar and windows, doors and drywall, our actual business is people.  It is about relationships, trust, knowledge, experience and personalities.  Yes, it is essential that we know our product, laws, ethics and markets, but the most important part is to know how to work with people.

The people I have met throughout my 4-plus decades in the business have given my life depth and purpose.  What other business could I be in where I work with such a wide range of personalities and professions? Sure, I have met and worked with some challenging characters, but that is part of what makes this an interesting business.

Now, let’s get down to business.

One of the questions I frequently get from people is, “Is now a good time to buy a house?”

The answer to that question multifaceted.

Many people think house prices are the only factor. What if prices go up?  And what if prices go down? Guessing whether the real estate market is going to go up in value or decline is tough. Even the leading “experts” often disagree making it somewhat of a guessing game.

What I can tell you is that interest rates are still at near historical lows and financing availability is good.  Your purchasing power is still good.

But there is something beyond financial information that you need to think about. 

A house is where you make your home. Although you want to make sure your monthly payment is well within your comfort range, remember that your house, your home, will most likely be the center of your and your family’s life.  It is where you will gather through good times and bad. It will be where you can’t wait to get home to after a rough day.  It will be your refuge in a world that often doesn’t work the way you think it should. And it’s where friends and family gather to eat, laugh, rest, care and make fun of one another! 

So, yes, now is a good time to buy a house. I’d say it is a friendly market as far as financing and there is no time like the present to find that special house you want to make into your home.  

If you need further information, Julie or I would be glad to answer your questions. 

We would love to start you on the road to home ownership.

Until next time, all the best,


Tom Canning for the Canning Family Team

Displaying blog entries 1-3 of 3




Contact Information

Photo of Tom Canning & Julie Canning-Hollenbeck Real Estate
Tom Canning &
Julie Canning-Hollenbeck
Comey & Shepherd Realtors
7870 E. Kemper Road, Suite 100
Cincinnati OH 45249
Tom: (513)703-5430
Julie: (513)703-7151