Real Estate Information Archive


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Ranch FOR "SAIL" - Video - 2600 Apple Valley Dr

by Sherrie Toth

Call our team if you would like more info or would like to see this home! 844-411-LAKE (5253)


Catch of the Month (March) - The Bad Apple Pub

by Sherrie Toth

    The Bad Apple Pub

There is nothing more inviting or reassuring of repeat business than an establishment that serves killer food and treats its customers like family.  Our March Local Catch, The Bad Apple Pub does exactly that and it does so consistently.

Steve and Niki McCurdy saw the Apple Valley area as an opportunity.  They saw potential and a place where their years of experience could flourish.  After jumping on the opportunity to come to this area, They took over the current location at 22001 Coshocton Rd in April of 2013, remodeled it and opened on July 9th, 2013.

The McCurdys have done just about every job imaginable in the restaurant industry; it’s basically all they’ve ever done-- and it shows because they do it well. But at the end of the day, getting to know all the different people they meet everyday is their favorite thing about their job. “The one thing we love more than any other is the relationships we develop with our crew and guests.  We have made lifelong friendships with the people who have worked with us and people we have served over the years. There’s nothing like watching some of our favorite people’s families grow.”

Apart from their “you’re like family” service, the McCurdy’s have what they call their “calling cards”-- items that sets their business apart from other bars/restaurants in the area.  One of those calling cards is their half pound specialty burgers which is crafted using locally purchased beef from Lanning’s Food and is one of nine of their burgers that all have unique, impressive flavor profiles. Yum!  Their second “calling card” is their wide variety of entertainment.  Whether it’s a band playing in the summer outside on their patio, a wine and painting night, pool leagues, dart leagues, The 4th of July Cruise-in or one of their hosted fundraisers, there is something that most will enjoy.  And finally, their amazing crew would be their third “calling card.”  “Our crew is an awesome group of people who ARE our family.  They are what we’re best known for.”

From the food to the service, the Bad Apple Pub is part of what makes Apple Valley so special and centered around bringing people together.  Even their logo was designed by local artists, Mo and Kelly Dallas who approached the McCurdys with the idea after they heard they were looking to open at their current location.  So if you haven’t already, stop in and grab a drink a craft beer and one of their burgers and become part of the family!  


Stop by or give them call for take out!  740-392-3326! Their address is 22001 Coshocton Road Howard, Ohio 43028!  Located easily by GPS!

Check out the website HERE


Did you see our February Catch of the Month! See it HERE







Catch of the Month (Feb) - Howard Hilton

by Sherrie Toth


Howard Hilton


If you’re looking for a fun place to relax and enjoy the best burger around on a  pretzel bun, some delicious fries, or a beer, look no further than Joe and Sherrie's February local Catch Of The Month, the Howard Hilton. " The Hilton" is located at 23379 Coshocton Rd. I'm telling you, this little hidden gem will surely exceed your expectations. Its only a mile or so just east of Apple Valley Lake.

Back in 2010, Larry and Chris Wolford received an offer to lease “Hut’s Place” -- an offer they could not pass up.  Up until that point, Larry had always wanted to own a bar/restaurant, so when this opportunity came, he jumped on it. Life took a few twists and turns and what started as a leasing opportunity with partners ended up as a chance to purchase the place outright and with that came the new name the “Howard Hilton.”  As of August 2017, Larry has been the sole owner and he and his wife are enjoying serving up food and drinks to the regulars and those who are just passing through.


People can easily find the Howard Hilton, but they find it hard to leave.  And one contributing factor to that is the fact customers find it a comfortable place with a great atmosphere.  The bar is “nothing fancy,” according to the owners but people just love the place, the warm friendly people and the amazing food.  When asked what their secret is, Chris said, “Respect,”  Oh, and awesome burgers!  Speaking of “awesome burgers,” they are always fresh and never frozen.  Pair that with some of their fresh-cut fries and you would have to force us to leave too!  Other popular items on the menu include the Cod, fried bologna served on the famous Pretzel Bun and the “Fish Bowl” drinks.  The owners truly do take pride in their food and drinks.  But food and drinks is not the only thing that sets the Howard Hilton apart.  Customers also have the opportunity to participate in the ever popular “Queen of Hearts” drawing (which reached $173,000 last August) and an annual Spring Golf outing the third Sunday in July.


Apart from the amazing menu, Chris and Larry added a T-Bar, High Top Tables, two concrete patios and seven flat screen TVs-- all to ensure the customers “enjoy their time at the Howard Hilton.”  Admittedly, the couple says their favorite service to provide their customers is simply “making sure they are happy.”  


Joe and I just personally can’t say enough about this place. The service is always on point and the food always exceeds our expectations. We love to belly up to the bar and enjoy Taco Tuesdays and other evenings that we slip in for some great conversation, perfect service and the BEST burgers in town. Larry and Chris will go out of their way to say hello and check on us as well as their other guests. The staff is talented at what they do, fun and take good care of their patrons.

** Don't forget to seek out Marie and ask her what her tap of the month is or what it's going to be next!


Howard Hilton's Facebook page for daily specials HERE

Want to call  in an order for pick up? You can! 740-599-2337


If you haven't seen it, check out our January Catch of the month! 


** Photos by Tori Toth & Marie Puluso



Pantone Color of 2018 is announced!

by Sherrie Toth
The results are in! Are you sitting down? The Pantone Color of the Year is…

According to the experts, ultra violet (18-3838) is often associated with mindfulness, which definitely sounds like a good thing to go home to. Now, don’t feel pressured to go out and paint your whole house purple. I found a great article that has some suggestions on how to incorporate ultra violet into your decor.
Since 2000, the Pantone Color Institute declares a particular color "Color of the Year". Twice a year the company hosts, in a European capital, a secret meeting of representatives from various nations' color standards groups. After two days of presentations and debate, they choose a color for the following year; The results of the meeting are published in Pantone View, which fashion designers, florists, and many other consumer-oriented companies purchase to help guide their designs and planning for future products.

Please let us know if you have any questions about paint colors - or anything else real-estate related. We are ALWAYS happy to help.

Joe & Sherrie

Joe and Sherrie Toth - RE/MAX Consultant Group - at the lake
selling a lifestyle
e |
p | (844) 411-5253
f | (800) 707-3176
w |

22021 Coshocton Rd Suite A Howard, Ohio 43028


Pancakes this weekend, at the lake

by Sherrie Toth

Pancakes this weekend, at the lake!

Fluffy. Sweet. Golden. Tasty.  PANCAKES.   I’m starting to think we might take these things for granted.  Nothing says all-American breakfast like the traditional pancake and it doesn’t have to be packed with unhealthy ingredients, either. This recipe has been developed over time by researching and trying dozens of recipes and tweaking certain things here and there to make these perfect for us.  We’d love to hear how you switch things up to suit YOUR family’s taste buds.


Old-Fashioned, All-American Pancakes


2c Whole Wheat Flour

1c Oats

4T sugar (or your favorite substitute)

2 heaping T baking powder

1 Stick melted butter or 1/2c oil

2t vanilla

2 Whole eggs

3 cups milk (add more later to get desired consistency)




Preheat pan or cast iron skillet to low to medium temperature. Mix dry ingredients together.  When you’re finished add wet ingredients.  If you desire a thinner pancake, you may choose to add a little more milk or water during this step.  We like them thicker, so we typically skip any additional ingredients.   

Spray hot pan with some cooking spray and add desired amount of batter.  If you are cooking for kids or the tiny child within, you can add sprinkles or chocolate chips to this step.  Wait until you see bubbles and then flip the pancake.  Your finished product should be a golden brown.  Sprinkle some powdered sugar or any other topping you desire.

What are your favorite winter recipes?

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Karen Buchwald Wright

by Sherrie Toth

So here’s a typical conversation I find myself in quite often:


“So, where are you from?”


“Apple Valley.”


  --Blank Stare--






“Um, Apple Valley, you know, near Kenyon College?  Central Ohio?”


“OOOHHH! You mean Apple CREEK?”


“No, I mean Apple Valley LAKE. Just east of  Mount Vernon.”


“Oh, gotcha!  Mount Vernon; I know exactly where that’s at.”

People are always familiar with Mount Vernon.  Even if they’re not familiar with Apple Valley-- Knox County’s best kept secret.  So while I’m super eager to speak the praises of OUR quaint little town, I figured that starting with Mount Vernon is probably the easiest segway.


When you do a little digging on Mount Vernon, Ohio--so as to be more knowledgeable about our neighboring city. And, like any other scholarly search, I started with Google.


My search brought up about 12,000,000 hits.  I immediately went to Wikipedia; it normally has other links within its article that will lead me to other places.


But what I found in this internet encyclopedia, grasped my attention immediately.


Underneath Mount Vernon’s rich history, and picturesque geography, there was one name that stood out to me:


Karen Buchwald Wright.  The only female under the heading, “Notable People.”  


I was intrigued.  I clicked on her link and I found more than just a name.  I found a humble, quiet, philanthropic, person.  Someone who’d rather go without than let the people around her fail.


Karen Buchwald Wright is the president and CEO of the Ariel Corporation, which manufactures gas compressors and is responsible for employing over 1,200 people in the Knox County area.  She took over the business from her father in 2001 and the company has taken off in the years since.


In 2009, Ms. Wright started the Ariel Foundation which was crafted to improve the quality of life for the residents of her hometown, Mt. Vernon.  And through this foundation and the generosity of her own heart, Wright has given to just about every cause/charity that one could muster up in their mind, specifically the parks, arts, and education.


One of her latest projects was the Ariel Foundation Park. An incredible 250 acre Park built on the former Pittsburgh Plate Glass manufacturing plant. Visitors will be able to enjoy lakes, woods, trails, picnic areas, a bike path, an events center, a restored railroad depot, historic ruins, terraced landscaping and more


She may earn well above the median income in her area, but she doesn’t parade it with flashing lights.  In fact, she rarely attaches her name to these donations or projects. Out of the kindness of her heart, she gives.


If you ask us, her name should be first on the list of notable people.


Central Ohio-- Home of Apple Valley Lake (not Apple Creek) and home of our blog’s first “In the Spotlight,” Karen Buchwald Wright.  




...And the Greatest of These is Love...

by Sherrie Toth

In June of 2015, Toth and Team hosted a charity event, “Luau for Love” at the Bad Apple, a local bar and grille just outside the entrance of Apple Valley Lake.  Proceeds from this event directly benefited Hospice of Knox county.  Sometime this year, Toth and Team will host another charity event. We will be announcing this in February.  


Although the following list is NOT inclusive of all of the awesome charities in our area, here are a few charitable and nonprofit organizations that might be calling your name.


  1. Hospice of Knox County-   Hospice of Knox County’s mission is to provide care to all regardless of the ability to pay.  Please visit their website to find out how YOU can help.  

  2. United Way-  United way believes that everyone is entitled to a quality education, a family-sustaining income and good health.  Please visit their website to see what role you can play.

  3. Big Brothers Big Sisters-  84% of former “Littles” surveyed agree that their Big taught them the importance of helping others.  Click here to see how you can help perpetuate this! 300x250_bigbrothers.jpg

  4. Community Foundation- Mt. Vernon- The community foundation sets up funds for a variety of philanthropic purposes.  To find out more about who they serve, click here.

  5. Underdog Society- The UnderDog Society of Knox County seeks to identify dogs in need by finding and implementing solutions with their best interest in mind.

  6. Habitat for Humanity- Habitat for humanity’s vision is a world where everyone has a decent place to live. Please access their website here to see how you can fit into their mission.

  7. NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness)- This group strives to provide help for those struggling with a mental illness.  They also specialize in suicide prevention and bullying prevention. They are not funded by any local state or federal dollars.  Founded in 1949 and struggling to stay afloat currently, they depend on and need our dollars.  Consider donating here.

    canine comp.gif


  1. Canine Companions for Independence- The North Central Regional Center of Canine Companions for Independence®, located in Delaware, Ohio, provides highly trained assistance dogs to adults and children with disabilities in 14 states including Ohio, Western Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Michigan, Indiana, Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska and Kansas.

  2. Donations 4 People- Beside the obvious Goodwill, Amvets, and Salvation Army, Donations 4 People will take your gently used clothing and furniture which will directly benefit those in Howard, Ohio.donations.jpg


10. Donate a Car- Are you ready to part with a car that wouldn’t make you much profit?  You can donate a car to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.  Visit this website to sign up.  Someone will be out as early as the next day to haul your car away for FREE.


So if you’re feeling charitable this time of the year, there are many options as you can see to do something to give back.  What charities are you aware of that are not on this list?

Winterizing a Vacant Home

by Housecall

By Housecall

Top Tips for Winterizing a Vacant Home

For a home to remain in good shape throughout the winter it needs regular care and attention. When a home is occupied, many of the things that are necessary to keep it in good working order happen by default. But when the home is vacant, it is up to the owner or the property manager to prepare it for freezing temperatures and other winter risks.

The worst risk comes from bursting pipes, which can lead to water damage that can significantly impact the value of the home. Left alone, water can ruin everything it touches – walls, floors, electrical systems, etc. It can even damage the foundation. Other risks exist as well, such as pest infiltration, that can leave nasty surprises for the homeowner.

Taken together, the dangers of failing to winterize a home are too severe to ignore. Any real estate agent who has been involved with selling bank owned properties or vacant short sales can certainly tell you the necessity of knowing how to winterize a vacant home! In order to get an informed opinion on the subject we reached out to a well known real estate agent in Westborough, Mass., Bill Gassett, who has been selling homes for nearly 30 years. Gassett runs a popular real estate blog known as Maximum Real Estate Exposure that offers numerous tips to buyers and sellers. Below he shares all of his tips for getting your place winterized.

When readying a vacant home for winter weather, there are several things you can do to prepare before freezing temperatures and other winter risks arrive. These include:

Bring in a plumber.

Hiring a professional plumber to winterize the pipes and water system in the home is extremely important if you want to avoid the incredibly expensive water damage that can occur from freezing pipes. The plumber can examine the entire system, inside and out, and then prepare it for freezing temperatures. The plumber will drain all areas where water is stored, like water heaters and hot tubs, and will use an air compressor to expel water from the pipes throughout the house. With the water removed, you do not have to keep the house heated to prevent freezing. The pipes are protected and you save money in utility costs.

Drain outdoor garden hoses.

Water hoses must be disconnected from the home and drained of water to prevent damage to both the hoses and the spigots where they attach to the house. Left undrained, the water inside will freeze and burst not only the hose, but often the spigot as well. If winter watering must be done to keep landscape plants alive, make sure the person who does the watering drains the hoses and disconnects them from the house after each use.

Close up all openings to the house.

To prevent animals and insects from entering the home for shelter, you will need to close up all openings throughout the house. These include dryer vents and the chimney.

Have the gutters cleaned and repaired if necessary.

Gutters must be free of debris and attached properly to the house to funnel water away from the roof, siding and foundation. When debris accumulates, the gutter may stop working properly. If enough water collects and a freeze hits, the weight of the ice can pull the gutter away from the home, damaging the siding and leading to potential ice hazards where water collects at the base of the house. If you live in a cold weather climate then you understand just how bad ice damning was last year. Knowing how to prevent ice dams is something every homeowner should have a grasp of. Ice dams can cause serious damage to a home including mold behind ceilings and walls that you may not be able to detect! Have the gutters cleaned periodically until all leaves have dropped from the trees, and make sure they are in good repair.

Remove anything touching the side of the house, such as leaves and firewood.

Water and insects can accumulate in firewood and debris, causing damage to the siding and leading to potential infestations. Keeping everything away from the house creates a safe barrier and prevents water damage. This includes shrubbery and other landscaping. Keep a minimum of a couple of feet to allow the home to breath.

Have trees trimmed over the home.                                         

Remove any tree branches that may touch the house or hang too closely. Tree branches increase the leaves that accumulate in the gutter and can also break and fall on the house in a snow or ice storm. If you are negligent about keeping branches over your home it could lead to insurance denying your claim.

Use moth balls to keep insects out of the house.

Moth balls may smell unpleasant, but they are effective at keeping insects away. Use them anywhere you think insects may be a problem.

Talk to the gas company about disconnecting the gas supply.

A gas explosion can cause even more damage than frozen pipes. Let the gas company know the home is vacant and ask them to disconnect the gas supply to the home. Obviously if you are not living in the home this becomes important because if a gas leak were to form it would be too late for you to do anything about it. This is one of the major reasons why nearly all bank owned properties get winterized.

Make the home appear occupied at a glance.

It is better for potential buyers and discouraging to unwanted visitors if the home appears occupied. You can setup lights on timers and have the landscaping tended to periodically to keep things looking nice. If snow is an issue you can also have the driveway cleared. We provide a list of many tips on how to sell a home in the winter. This advice applies to both occupied and non-occupied homes. Keep in mind that if your home is on the market you are going to need to get it un-winterized with fairly short notice when the buyer schedules a home inspection. Buyers will want to be able to check the heating and plumbing systems and will not be able to do so if the home is winterized.

Hire a landscaper to perform a fall cleanup.

As the weather gets colder, plants will die and you will be left with a disheveled looking yard and landscape. It is beneficial for the sales process if you have someone come in and cleanup around the home after the first freeze or two, when most of the vegetation has died off. The landscaper can cut back any dead growth, rake up leaves and prepare plants for the winter.

Check on the home periodically.

An unoccupied home, even when the lights come on and the driveway is plowed, can be appealing to burglars and to squatters. It can also be a destination for kids in the neighborhood to come hang out for fun. The only people you want visiting are potential buyers, so you should maintain a schedule of visiting the home periodically to make sure it is being left alone and to discourage unwanted visitors.

Use of all these tips and your experience with winterizing a home should be a breeze!

DRONE: 5 Fairway Court Golf Course Front!

by Sherrie Toth

Super cool perspective of our 5 Fairway Court Condo on the beautiful Hiawatha Golf Course in Mt Vernon, Ohio! Also see our 5 Fairway Court Full listing




Apple Valley Lake is one of the top places to retire to!

by Sherrie Toth

Retire Here, Not There: Ohio

Published: Aug 3, 2015 11:27 a.m. ET

Ohio's state capitol in Columbus.

Ohio is better known for its cold winters and depressed industrial areas than its retirement hot spots. But the state’s low cost of living, friendly Midwestern vibe, respected universities and many lakeside recreation areas deserve a look.

To the north, the Buckeye State is bordered by Lake Erie, one of the Midwest’s top tourist attractions and a popular spot with boating and fishing enthusiasts. The Sheldon Marsh State Nature Preserve and adjacent wetlands along the Sandusky Bay attract many visitors, and nearly 300 species of birds. Canoers and kayakers enjoy the Ohio River which runs along the south side of the state, and the Miami River, near Cincinnati. The state has many other smaller lakes which attract both retirees and weekend vacationers with second homes such as Apple Valley Lake and Indian Lake. For those who prefer dry land, miles of bike trails and paved streets also meander through the Ohio’s plains and rolling hills.

The state is also known for its arts and culture. The cities of Cleveland and Columbus are cultural hubs, thanks to such world class facilities as Cleveland’s Playhouse Square Center, the second largest performing arts center in the country, and the Columbus Museum of Art, which is undergoing a $37,6 million renovation and will open a new wing in October 2015. More arts activities, as well as continuing education opportunities, flourish in Ohio’s many college towns, such as Oberlin, Oxford and Athens.

Perhaps most appealing to retirees is the relative low expense of living in Ohio. The cost of living is 11.8% below the national average and the median home price is just $112,400. State tax rates have nine brackets, up to 5.33%, ranking Ohio as the 23rd lowest in the nation. And if retirees want to leave something for heirs, estate taxes are high— 6% for net values up to $500,000 and go up to 7% for higher amounts.

Since the recession clobbered once booming manufacturing areas such as Canton and Youngstown, Ohio retirees, especially snowbirds, often flock to more exclusive -- and expensive -- enclaves like the islands of Lake Erie. But here are four spots that offer plenty of natural beauty, culture and community spirit at a much lower cost.

Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio.

Founded in 1833, Oberlin College was the nation’s first co-educational college, and two years later became the first to admit African Americans. Today Oberlin is still known for its progressive policies, especially concerning the environment, and that activist attitude has extended to the town. About half of the school’s electricity comes from environmentally favorable sources, and all new buildings are required to be LEED certified, a certification given to environmentally friendly buildings. As a member of Bill Clinton’s Climate Positive Development Program, the city of Oberlin has set a goal of having net-negative greenhouse gas emissions. Some steps in that direction include sustainable garbage trucks and so many bike paths and bike-friendly rules that it was named a Bronze Level Bicycle Community by the League of American Bicyclists. “We’re not just a town that talks about sustainability, we live it,” says Janet K. Haar, executive director of the Oberlin Business Partnership.

Culture is another big draw, driven by such college institutions as The Allen Memorial Art Museum, which houses roughly 14,000 works of art, including pieces by Rothko and Monet, and is consistently ranked as one of the top five university museums in America. The Oberlin Conservatory of Music, the oldest conservatory in the U.S., was the 2009 recipient of the National Medal of the Arts. It’s also home to the largest privately held jazz collection in the country. In addition to continuing education opportunities at the college, retirees also often take classes at FAVA, a community-supported arts education center. The five-week Oberlin Summer Festival, outdoor concerts at Tappan Square and other family-friendly activities guarantee the city doesn’t roll up its streets when students go home in the summer either. In addition, Oberlin is just 45 minutes from Cleveland and all the arts activities it has to offer.

Like many college towns, Oberlin’s downtown offers a variety of eclectic shopping, restaurants and bars. A WalMart and other big box retailers are within a 20-minute drive, and the Cleveland Hopkins International Airport is about a half-hour away. Mercy Allen Hospital has 25 beds and cancer and rehabilitation centers. Of course, this town’s liberal vibe may not appeal to everyone.

By the numbers

  • Population: 8,288
  • Median home cost: $109,500
  • Cost of living: 8.2% higher than average
  • Unemployment: 6.7%

Source: Sperling’s Best Places

Oxford, Ohio.

Named No. 1 Best College Town in America in 2015 by Forbes, Oxford is home to Miami University — dubbed a “Public Ivy” due to its rigorous academic curriculum. “It’s a great place to retire because of the access to both the arts and educational opportunities,” says Carol Dockum, president of the Oxford Chamber of Commerce. The Institute for Learning in Retirement provides classes in everything from the arts to history to business to anyone age 50 or above. The Miami University Performing Arts Series offers year-round theater. The Miami University Art Museum houses works from painters, sculptors and printmakers from around the globe. The free Oxford Summer Music Festival Concert Series features jazz, blues, modern, rock ‘n roll and bluegrass performers.

Founded in the early 1800s, Oxford also prides itself on its history. Mile Square, in the heart of town, houses the university, with its Georgian-style, red-brick buildings including two National Historic Landmarks. A nearby residential area is full of quirky historic homes like the Dewitt Cabin, built by pioneers, and the Lorenzo Langstroth Cottage, the home of the “Father of American Beekeeping.” With more than 16,000 students, the university also has nurtured a vibrant shopping and dining scene.

While winters can be long and cold, Oxford has plenty to offer outdoors-loving retirees, too, including 11 parks and a heavily forested area just outside the city limits. More than 1,000 acres of hiking trails dominate the area and there are two championship golf courses. During winter months, retirees can stay active at Miami University facilities including an indoor ice skating rink, indoor pools and a horseback riding stable, all of which are open to the public. Retirees have plenty of volunteer opportunities to choose from with area nonprofits and there’s also a “very active” senior center, Dockum says. In addition to traditional services, the center has a music group called the “Songbirds” and organizes regular trips to far-flung places like Atlantic City, she adds. McCullough-Hyde Memorial Hospital has a main campus in Oxford, as well as outpatient and urgent care facilities throughout the area. Both within an hour’s drive, Dayton and Cincinnati offer easy access to city amenities and international airports.

By the numbers

  • Population: 21,338
  • Median home cost: $155,400
  • Cost of living: 4.8% lower than average
  • Unemployment: 4.7%

Source: Sperling’s Best Places

Columbus, Ohio.

Known for its educated and culturally savvy population, Ohio’s capital city of Columbus serves up a dynamic arts scene with a symphony, ballet, opera, the Columbus Museum of Art, and plenty of independent arts activities. The Wexner Center for the Performing Arts at Ohio State University offers more performances, including jazz concerts and plays, and retirees can take free continuing education classes at the school. Columbus’s downtown has been enjoying a vibrant resurgence including a dynamic restaurant scene, which has been attracting retiree empty nesters. A number of quirky historic artsy neighborhoods also are in various stages of gentrification. The free Cbus circulator makes it easy to get around many downtown neighborhoods.

Dawn Wandling, a retired nurse, and her husband Jim, a retired Boy Scouts of America executive, moved from Rochester, NY, to a condo in the Pickrington, just south of the city, in 2013 to be near two daughters and four grandchildren. The couple, both age 60, enjoy the low cost of living and friendliness of the people, Dawn Wandling says. “My daughter says, ‘Mom, you’ve got more friends than we do, and you’ve only lived here a year,’” she adds. Because Jim has been diagnosed with brain cancer, having the world-class Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center nearby is also an essential community asset, Wandling says. Home prices are on the rise, but supply is also increasing especially for retirees wanting to downsize to a condo or smaller home, says Joan E. Perez, an agent with Coldwell Banker King Thompson in Columbus.

For luxury-minded retirees, Columbus does have several large malls and ample high-end shopping, Perez says. Winters can be cold, especially the last few, though not as frigid as upstate New York, Wandling says. Columbus’s central Midwest location makes it convenient to get to Chicago, as well as Philadelphia and points east, or drive south to warmer winter climates, as many Ohio retirees do. Downsides include typical problems of American cities such as heavy traffic during rush hours, Perez says. And like many cities, crime rates also are above national averages, according to Sperling’s Best Places.

By the numbers

  • Population: 790,168
  • Median home cost: $95,900
  • Cost of living: 17.9% lower than average
  • Unemployment: 4.3%

Source: Sperling’s Best Places

Mt. Vernon, OH., near Apple Valley.
Apple Valley

Planned community Apple Valley is technically part of Howard, Ohio, but with a population that’s almost doubled (up 45.68%) since 2000, the idyllic recreationally oriented community around Apple Valley Lake now has its own U.S. Census designation. The reasons why so many are moving there are as clear as the clean water, which attracts boaters, fishers and water and jet skiiers, many of whom are retirees, says Sam Miller, owner/broker of Apple Valley Real Estate. “It’s a place to kick back and enjoy life, and once someone buys here, most people don’t leave,” he adds.

Both age 76, Bob Meldrum, a retired software services director for NCR Corp., and his wife Anne, a retired nurse, moved to Apple Valley from Centerville, Ohio, in 1994. The couple first considered retiring by the ocean, but “every time we’d pick a spot, a hurricane would come through,” Bob Meldrum says. Lake activities and natural beauty are only the start of the perks of living here, he adds. For just a $208 annual property owners association fee, residents can enjoy all of the community’s amenities, including three beaches on the lake, a large indoor pool, an outdoor pool and another under construction, tennis courts and pickleball courts. Apple Valley also has plenty of social activities from clubs—examples include bridge, fishing and garden—and the association facilitates weekly fishing tournaments and holiday group activities from a Valentine’s dinner/dance to Easter egg rolls.

The immediate vicinity offers more outdoor fun, from an 18-hole PGA-rated golf course to hiking and horseback riding at Mohican State Park. Grocery, clothing boutiques, big box retailers and Knox Community Hospital are just six miles away in Mount Vernon. Three miles away in Gambier, small liberal arts Kenyon College offers concerts and other arts activities, Meldrum says. “Big-time shopping” and other city amenities are within an hour’s drive to Columbus, as well as an international airport.

Crime rates are well below the national average. Down sides include a lifestyle too easygoing for some and the lake does freeze over in the coldest winter months. About 40% of residents are snowbirds, Miller says.

By the numbers

  • Population: 5,210
  • Median home cost: $156,900
  • Cost of living: 3.2% lower than average
  • Unemployment: 4.8%

Source: Sperling’s Best Places

Retire Here, Not There: Colorado

Retire Here, Not There: Iowa

Retire Here, Not There: Vermont

More from ‘Retire Here, Not There’>>

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 14

Contact Information

Photo of Toth & Team Real Estate
Toth & Team
RE/MAX Consultant Group - at the lake
22021 Coshocton Road Suite A
Howard OH 43028
Sherrie’s Mobile: 740-390-0735
Joe’s Mobile: 330-388-6293
Fax: 800-707-3176

Apple Valley Lake Team 844-411-5253