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5 Reasons Your First Home Should Be A Duplex

You can live in one side of a duplex and use the other side as a rental property, an office, or a guesthouse.

When most people think about buying their first home, three options typically come to mind: single-family home, townhouse, or condo. But there’s a fourth option to consider: a duplex home. Owning a duplex in Columbus, OH has certain perks, like getting you into homeownership with some mortgage and tax advantages. Plus, if you rent out one side, renters can help pay that mortgage. Here’s five reasons why duplexes may be the hot new home type.

  1. 1. You get tax benefits

    You might already know that you get a tax write-off when you buy a home — you can deduct the mortgage interest you pay. If you buy a duplex and live in one side, you can write off only that side. But if you rent out the other side, there are additional write-offs. “You can write off all of the costs that take place on your Schedule E form,” says David Hryck, a New York, NY, tax lawyer and personal finance expert. “These could be fees accrued to rent the place out or even manage the property. All are completely tax-deductible.” But wait … there’s more. “The same would apply to any type of repair made to the rented half of the duplex as well as the unit’s utility bill,” Hryck says. “If you share expenses such as internet with your tenant, you can also write those off.”

  2. 2. There are mortgage advantages

    Mortgage lenders typically classify properties into owner occupied and non-owner occupied, and they tend to give more favorable interest rates to people buying a property they will live in. With a duplex, “A mortgage company considers the two units as one property,” says Lucas Hall, head of industry relations for Cozy.co and founder of Landlordology. “And you can qualify for a lower interest rate if you occupy one of the units.” If you plan to rent out the other side, you might also qualify for a larger mortgage. “Many lenders will allow you to include part of the potential rent into your income when qualifying for a mortgage,” says Eric Bowlin, a Massachusetts real estate investor. “This may allow you to qualify for more than you otherwise may have received.”

  3. 3. You learn the landlord business

    Being a landlord is a great side business and can provide a way to earn passive income. But there’s a lot to learn, such as how landlord-tenant laws work in your state, how to customize a lease, how to make sure you actually collect rent, and how to screen potential tenants. An excellent way to get started is by buying a duplex, living on one side, and renting out the other. Why? You live close to your rental property. “You will see the place every day and see any repairs that need to be made,” says Joe Polyak, a Northern California agent. “You can keep a close watch on your tenants to make sure they aren’t doing anything illegal or destroying your home — without invading their privacy. If anything goes wrong, you are just next door.”

    Before you wade into the duplex and landlord business, however, there are some numbers to consider, such as researching what rents are going for in your area. Jimmy Moncrief, a real estate investor and founder of Real Estate Finance, gives this advice: “Make sure that when buying a duplex, if only one side is rented, the rent will be able to cover the principal and interest payments as well as the insurance and taxes.” And if it seems financially doable, there’s the undeniable advantage of OPM — other people’s money.

  4. 4. It has great potential as an Airbnb

    You can potentially earn more money renting the other side of your duplex through Airbnb or other vacation rental sites than you could by renting it on a traditional one-year lease. Why? Vacation rentalsare for short-term stays, so you can charge more. Vacation renters will also pay more for a full apartment than they would when renting a single room in your home. And with a duplex, you can offer the best of both worlds for renters: They get a full apartment with you available when needed, just as you would be when renting out a room in your home. But you need to make sure you can use your prospective duplex. “Airbnb is case by case,” says Scott Trench, vice president of operations at BiggerPockets.com. “Some areas, like San Francisco, have a very strict set of rules, and some areas are more relaxed. You’ll need to get familiar with your local laws.”

  5. 5. A duplex gives you more options

    If you don’t need to go into the office every day, a duplex could serve as the perfect work space … and you would beat all your friends when comparing commute times. You also could use the other side as a guesthouse when family or friends come to visit, which is a dream arrangement if you aren’t exactly the entertaining type. The other side of a duplex could also make a convenient place to house elderly parents who need someone checking on them daily — the parents get to remain independent, and everyone gets some privacy.

Columbus Restaurants open on Thanksgiving

Not everyone wants to/needs to/can spend 2 days preparing a Thanksgiving Feast.  If you’re looking to dine out (or carry out) your Thanksgiving meal, the following restaurants will be open on Thanksgiving Day around Columbus.  There are also many options for catered or carry-out Thanksgiving dinners towards the bottom.  Reservations are strongly recommended.  Please let me know if you are aware of any others!

Restaurants open on Thanksgiving in Columbus

The Berwick
3250 Refugee Rd.
614-235-7100 – reservations recommended
HOURS: 11 a.m. to 4:30p.m.
MEAL:  Buffet – See menu options here.
COST:  $27.50 for adults, $14 for ages 4 to 12, free for age 3 and younger)
TO GOCarry-Out Orders also available for Pick-Up on Thanksgiving Day, from full turkey dinner for 2-25 people, to sides, main dishes, and more in a variety of sizes

The Boat House Restaurant
679 W Spring St
Columbus, OH 43215
(614) 469-0000
HOURS: 10:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.
MENU: Champagne Buffet with Breakfast Items, Roasted Turkey, Yankee Pot Roast, Sliced Ham and more all day! Plus, a Specialty Bloody Mary Bar.  See menu.
COST: Adult: $48.95/Child: $22.95
EXTRAS: Enjoy our Specialty Bloody Mary Bar all day, $4 Brunch Cocktails, and live entertainment.

Bob Evans
various locations
HOURS:  8 a.m. – 8 p.m. for dine in and carry out
MENU: Limited menu available after 11 a.m.
TO GO:  Farmhouse Feasts can be ordered online or by calling your local restaurant.

Boston Market
various locations
HOURS: varies, contact local store
MENU: Regular menu, plus Dine in/out Thanksgiving meal $10.99
TO GO: Holiday Meals – A la Carte options, Heat and Serve ($6-$18/person). You can even have fully-cooked, full Thanksgiving dinner or main dishes shipped to you frozen to just heat and serve.

Buca di Beppo
Reservations strongly recommended!
HOURS: 11am – 8pm
MEAL: Traditional Turkey Dinner – Sliced White Meat Turkey or Hickory-Smoked Ham • Homestyle Gravy • Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes • Spicy Italian Sausage Stuffing • Green Beans • Cranberry Sauce • Pumpkin Pie.  Traditional Italian dishes are available as well.
COST: Individual $20, Buca Small® $60, Buca Large® $120 Buca Small® feeds up to 3 • Buca Large® feeds up to 6
TO GO: Party Pans to Go, Thanksgiving to Go, and Catering are also available.

Champps Sports Bar
1827 Olentangy River Rd
Columbus, OH 43212-1496
HOURS:  11 a.m. – 1 a.m.
MENU: Standard menu
COST: menu pricing

China Dynasty
(At The Shops on Lane Avenue)
1689 West Lane Avenue
Upper Arlington, OH 43221
Phone No: (614) 486-7126
HOURS:  12 p.m. – 6 p.m.
MENU: Thanksgiving Day Special Buffet – details not available for 2017.
COST: Adult: $26.99/Child: $12.99 (6-12yrs old) and free (5 and under) (pricing is from 2016)

Claddagh Irish Pub
585 S. Front St.
Columbus, OH 43215
Phone: (614) 224-1560
HOURS:  11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
MENU:  Thanksgiving turkey & ham dinner special for $19.99, $3.99 for dessert
COST: $19.99

Columbus Fish Market
1245 Olentangy River Road
Columbus, Ohio 43212
HOURS: 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.
MENU: 3 Course Traditional Thanksgiving Meal; regular dinner menu available
COST: $28 for adults, $9 for children, or menu pricing
TO-GO: Full holiday meal available from $129-$249. Orders picked up on Nov 23 from 9-11 am.

Coopers Hawk Winery
4230 The Strand
Columbus, OH  43219
HOURS:  Call for details
MENU: Traditional Thanksgiving Meal (see meal), plus regular menu.
COST: $27.99 for adults, $12.99 for children 12 and under

Cracker Barrel
(All locations)
HOURS:  11 a.m. – 10 p.m. (regular breakfast menu available from 6 a.m.)
MENU:  Regular menu, plus Thanksgiving Platter
COST: $11.99 Adult or $6.99 Child for platter (pricing from 2017)
TO GO: Hams and pies available for pickup, plus heat-n-serve and hot and ready meals for pick up

de Novo
150 S High St
Columbus, OH 43215
HOURS:  10 am – 3 pm for brunch, 5-9 pm for dinner
MENU:  Brunch buffet or dinner menu
COST: $39 Adult or $19 Child 5-12 for buffet.  Menu pricing for dinner

Golden Corral
HOURS: Varies per store
MENU: Endless Thanksgiving buffet.  Carved turkey or ham, sliced turkey, fried chicken, roast beef, meatloaf, and even steak and shrimp are featured, as well as more than a dozen side dishes
COST: varies per store

Granville Inn
314 E. Broadway
Granville OH 43023
740-587-3333 for reservations
HOURS: 11:30 am – 3 pm
MENU: Buffet including chilled foods, hot foods, and dessert
COST: $37.95 adults, $17.95 kids 5-12 (pricing from 2016, call for details)

Inn at Cedar Falls in Hocking Hills
21190 State Route 374
Logan, OH 43138
Ph. 800-653-2557
HOURS: Call for hours/reservations
MENU: 3 Course Thanksgiving Dinner – see menu
COST: $42/adults, $23/kids 12 and under

J Gilbert’s
1 E. Campus View Blvd
Columbus, Ohio 43235
Call 614.840.9090 for reservations
HOURS: Open 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.
MEAL: Regular menu and Thanksgiving Day Three Course Menu
COST: $38 for adults, $19 for kids 12 and under

J. Liu Restaurant and Bar
6880 N. High St., Worthington (614-888-1818)
50 W. Bridge St., Dublin (614-718-1818)
HOURS: Open 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
MEAL: Thanksgiving Buffet
COST: Adults- $29.99, Kids ages 5 to 11- $18.99, Kids under 5- $5.00

169 East Beck Street
Columbus, Ohio 43206
(614) 228-4343
HOURS: Open 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
MEAL: special Thanksgiving Menu (see menu)
COST: varies per menu

Matt the Millers
Dublin: 6725 Avery-Muirfield Dr., Dublin, Ohio 43016
Grandview: 1400 Grandview Avenue, Columbus Ohio 43212
Polaris: 1436 Gemini Place  Columbus, Ohio 43240
(614) 841-4430
HOURS: Open 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
MEAL: Traditional Thanksgiving Buffet
COST: $31.95 adults, $11.95 kids ages 5-10, free for 3 and under per one paying adult (pricing from 2016)

McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood 
3965 New Bond Street
Columbus, OH 43219
(614) 476-3663
HOURS: 10 a.m. – 10 p.m.
MENU: Roasted Turkey Dinner; dinner menu also available
COST: Contact location for pricing

Mimi’s Cafe
1428 Polaris Parkway
Columbus, OH 43240
(614) 433-0441
HOURS: 7 a.m. – 8 p.m.
MENU: Standard menu, plus traditional Thanksgiving Dine-In Meal beginning at 11 am on Thanksgiving Day. The quintessential three-course dinner
COST: Standard menu pricing; $18.99 for adults and $8.99 for kids for the Thanksgiving meal
TO-GO: Take Home heat and serve Turkey Dinner serves 8-10 for $99

Mitchell’s Steakhouse (2 locations)
1408 Polaris Parkway
Columbus, OH 43240
(614) 888-2467
45 North Third Street
Columbus, OH 43215
(614) 621-2333
HOURS: Polaris, 12 – 8 p.m., Downtown, 2 – 8 p.m.
MENU: 4 Course Thanksgiving Meal, 3 Course Meal for Kids, or regular menu
COST: $42/adults, $20/kids

Nicola Restaurant and Bar
4740 Reed Rd.
Columbus, OH 43220
(614) 459-7000 – reservations required
HOURS: 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
MENU: Special Thanksgiving menu
COST: menu pricing

Paul’s Fifth Avenue
1565 West Fifth Ave
Columbus Ohio
DETAILS: A reader told me that they are open and also have carry-out meals, but I don’t have details at this time.

Smith & Wollensky
4145 The Strand West
Columbus, OH 43219
HOURS: 12 pm to 8 pm
MENU: Traditional Thanksgiving Prix Fix Menu; regular menu available
COST: $55/person, $25/children under 12.  Regular menu will also be available.

1295 Grandview Ave
Columbus, OH 43212
(614) 486-1114 ext. 1
HOURS: 1 p.m. – 5 p.m.
MENUSpecial Thanksgiving menu
COST: varies per menu

Ted’s Montana Grill
6195 Sawmill Road
Dublin, OH 43017
Phone: 614-760-7753
Easton Gateway
4169 Worth Avenue
Columbus, OH 43219
Phone: 614-337-1457
HOURS: 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.
MENU: Regular Menu plus Turkey Feast. See Available Menu.
COST: varies for menu, or $29 for Turkey Feast

Texas de Brazil
4040 Easton Station
Suite E 105
ColumbusOhio 43219
HOURS: 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.
MENU: Regular Menu

The Guild House
624 North High Street
Columbus, Ohio 43215
HOURS: Open from 6:30 am through dinner
MENU: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner, plus a prix fixe holiday menu
COST: Menu pricing; prix fixe menu $49 per person, $79 with wine pairings

35 N. High Street
Dublin, OH 43017
(614) 792-3466
HOURS: Open from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
MENU: 3-course prix fixe menu featuring traditional favorites and Chef’s selections to choose from. Also offering a kids’ menu.
COST: $45 per person

Worthington Inn
649 High Street
Worthington, OH 43085
Phone: 614-885-2600 reservations required
HOURS: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
MENUThanksgiving Feast Buffet
COST: $41.95 adults, $19.95 for kids 4-12, free for 3 and under


CCAD Building New State of the Art Animation Center

The Columbus College of Art & Design is giving a big boost to its animation program. Representatives from the college unveiled plans today to construct a new $1.5 million facility inside the Design Studios on Broad building on the Downtown campus. The facility will be formally known as the Cloyd Family Animation Center, and will house both analog and digital drawing studios, a virtual reality drawing lab, a stop-motion classroom, and additional gallery, classroom and flex space.

“Animation is a growing industry here in Columbus and around the world,” stated Charlotte Belland, Chair of CCAD’s Animation program. “At the end of the day, animation is all about storytelling. But animators also need to know the latest industry-standard software.”

CLICK HERE to learn more about the future of CCAD in our new interview with President Melanie Corn.

Construction is expected to begin in March 2018, with the new center ready to open in Fall 2018. The center is getting its name from CCAD Board of Trustees member Gil Cloyd, who has made already pledged $300,000 to the project. Cloyd is a former CTO of Procter & Gamble, as well as the founder and CEO of the Ohio Film Group.

Animation has been a major at CCAD since 2008, with classes that date back to 1988. Currently, it is the second most popular major at the school.

Via Columbus Underground

Mortgage Rates are at a 4-Week Low

Mortgage Rates are at a 4-Week Low

Rates for home loans slid as the promise of sweeping tax reform increasingly came into question.

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.90% during the November 9 week, down from 3.94%, mortgage financier Freddie Mac said Thursday. The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.24%, down three basis points. The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage averaged 3.22%, down from 3.23% during the week.

Mortgage rate trendsmarketwatch.com

Bond prices have rebounded, nudging yields down, as Republicans’ promises to enact comprehensive tax reforms has met with stiff pushback from special interests. Mortgage rates track the U.S. 10-year Treasury note.

Investors also worry that the kind of sweeping tax overhaul Republicans have envisioned would spur inflation, making bonds that have already been issued worth less. The plan proposed by the House of Representatives would widen the deficit by $1.7 trillion over a decade, the Congressional Budget Office said Wednesday.

The benchmark 30-year fixed-rate mortgage has averaged 4% so far throughout 2017, defying expectations for a breakout from long-time lows.


From Iceland’s volcanic heat harvesting to a Norwegian couple’s use of a giant glass dome for solar gain, colder climes seem to inspire new ways of warming up homes. And now, a pair of Russian entrepreneurs are experimenting with a futuristic way of not only heating homes, but making sweet cash in the process: bitcoin mining.

Bitcoin mining entails using a computer—or hundreds of computers—to validate transactions made with the cryptocurrency. All that computing generates a surprising amount of heat. While there’s been talk of harvesting the heat from large data centers, builders Ilya Frolov and Dmitry Tolmachyov wondered if they could use the same principle to heat private homes.

The pair built a simple 215-square-foot house in the Siberian town of Irkutsk and installed two bitcoin miners. The heat from these small computers warms up a liquid that’s then pumped through a sub-floor heating system. The cabin is essentially heated at a profit of $430 a month from processing transactions.

“People who mine cryptocurrencies use big miners. And they just heat the atmosphere,” said Dmitry Tolmachyov in a Quartz video, embedded below. “And we say, ‘No, the environment! We shouldn’t heat the atmosphere. We have a nine-month long heating season. We should heat our homes. The miners should not be concentrated in one place. They should be in various places, in private homes. The technology allows it nowadays.”



I am always available to talk. (614)289-8799 #RealEstateSuitedForYou


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