Company News

Strong Market Prompts Real Living to Open New Office

BOARDMAN, Ohio — A strengthening housing market helped by continuing low mortgage rates led the three owners of Warren-based Real Living Brokers Realty Group to open a 1,700-square-foot office here.

Partners Mary Sims, Yvonne Smith and Dan Alvarez displayed the result of that decision Tuesday with a grand opening at 1240 Boardman-Canfield Road.

The office, across from Creekside Plaza, “represents our commitment to our clients,” said Smith, and of Real Living’s intent to grow.

“With the rapid growth in the real estate market, both commercial and residential,” added Alvarez, “the opening of a permanent office in Boardman was needed to support our client base.”

Sims took note of Fed Chairman Janet Yellen’s signal Tuesday that the Fed Open Market Committee would consider raising its benchmark interest rate later this year. While mortgage rates have hovered from just below 3% to as high as 4% since the end of the Great Recession, even an increase to 5% is not much of an impediment to buying a residence, she says.

“Even at 5%,” Sims said, “it’s still very affordable to purchase a home.”

With the economy in recovery, owners see the value in their houses returning and would-be buyers seeking to buy before values reach much higher, Sims, Smith and Alvarez say.

This trend is reflected in sales by Real Living agents increasing 55% in 2013 over 2012. The partners project at least a 10% increase this year, possibly more in 2016.

“With the new inventory, obviously, more homes are available,” said Sims. There’s a greater availability “for people that wish to have updated homes. They don’t have to purchase a home and then find they’ll have to do the updates themselves.

These are turnkey homes,” meaning the houses Real Living offers are ready to move into, she added.

Pictured: Dan Alvarez, Yvonne Smith and Mary Sims celebrate the opening of their company’s new office.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.