Wednesday, January 06, 2010

A Great Auctioneer/Realtor Passed Away

A great Auctioneer/Realtor has gone home to be with the lord. Dannie Hess set a high standard for us in the real estate profession to follow. Integrity, kindness, concern for others and willingness to do the right thing...are my memories of Mr. Hess. He will be missed.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veterans Day Video

Today is Veterans Day! Here is a video that honors our brave men and women and those who have paid the ultimate price.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Auditor's New Website

Highland County Auditor Bill Fawley was the guest speaking at our recent Highland County Board of Realtors meeting discussing the launching of the new website. The website now offers aerial maps and searching features to make doing business easier. The world now knows all about you! You can run but we will find you! To check out your new auditor's website click here.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Long Time Funeral Director Remembered

I was out of town celebrating my wedding anniversary with Karen when I got the news. The passing of Don Edgington. My earliest memories of Don were playing knothole baseball on a team in Mowrystown where he was the coach and Craig and I were players. He told me to go to right field and I did not know where right field was. Pretty good indication my future would not be in baseball.

Don encouraged me in my real estate career on numerous occasions and his words were always the same. He would say "Jeff, the word around town is that you work hard and are a hustler. Keep your nose clean and you will do just fine. He always stressed to me to keep my nose clean.

Don ... I'm doing the best I can. You will be missed.

Monday, October 26, 2009

We're Number One!

According to Wednesday, October 21st's issue of The Times Gazette, Highland County's jobless rate is now highest in Ohio. This is not a list we want to be on but it is were we now find ourselves.

Jobs...we need jobs. Until quality employment opportunites return to our area, the local economy is going to struggle at best...which includes real estate values. To get out of the slump we are in is going to take everyone's effort. We need your idea's ... money making, job creating ideas now. You community and your leaders need to hear from you now.

We, the people of Highland County, may not come out of this recession as quick as other parts of the country if we can not put our families back to work. My real estate collegues around the country who have experienced markets with major jobs losses say it will take 10 years to see recovery. Jobs...putting people back to work quickly is the key.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Ohio Fence Law Changes

Many landowners of Highland County real estate are not aware of the new fence law that took affect September 2008. You can now write your own fence agreements with your neighbors. You can agree to choose the type and kind of fence and who is paying for it. The old fence law of "equal shares" is all but gone. Changes have been made to the law when a despute occurs. To read more Click Here.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Rocky Fork Lake: ODNR Denies Request

I believe waterfront homes with access to docks at Rocky Fork Lake just became worth more. With ODNR continuing to hold off the Rocky Fork Golf Course project, it makes a statement to me that those who own waterfront homes with docks own something very special that there might not be any more least in the near future. Only a half dozen or so waterfront homes sell each year now and most of those have limited views of the water with no access to a dock. If you own one...who knows what it might be worth? Click here to read more.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

What's Behind Recent Increases in CAUV?

The government has been updating it's information used to calculate CAUV tax rates and the results are going to be increase taxes for farms. In some cases taxes may be increase significantly. CAUV tax rate for land owners is based on a formula that takes into consideration a number of factors such as soil type, yields, crop prices, production costs and whatever else to come up with a net profit per acre. There are 3500+ soil types alone in Ohio. Buckeye Farm News has a frotn page article in its online issue. Click here. video link explaning why are CAUV values increasing? Click Here.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Saturday, September 26, 2009

OAR Conference

Karen and I attended the Ohio Association of Realtors Conference held in Columbus Ohio earlier this week. We recieved updates regarding real estate law and technology including social media sites including Facebook, Twitter, and blogging. I look forward to utilizing a lot of the information I learned!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Thanks to The Highland County Press

Thanks to Rory Ryan of The Highland County Press for the picture on the front page of the September 12th edition! We appreciate the support and recognition for celebrating 20 years! Rory is the new owner of the paper....we look forward to working with him!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Highland County Fair

Today concludes the 2009 Highland County Fair. It has been another successful year for fair-goers. We enjoyed spending time with friends while celebrating our 20th year with cake and ice cream on Labor Day. Thanks to all those who stopped by for a visit!

We were able to attend several of the shows and sales to support the area youth. After purchasing several grand and reserve champions and several other exhibitor projects, we can say that this year has been one of the best! Congratulations to all the young people in our county! Way to go!

Remembering September 11th

Yesterday was Patriot Day. A National Day of Service and Remembrance. Patriot Day is an annual observance on September 11 to remember those who were injured or died during the terrorist attacks in the United States on September 11, 2001. President Obama released this proclamation.

We pause and give thanks to all the service men and women who are defending our freedom and protecting our country.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Busy Week at the Dickey Group!

It's been a busy week at the Dickey Group! We listed 6 properties, sold 4 properties and 2 more went under contract! We have also been getting ready for the fair. The booth is decorated and ready to go! Stop by and see us next week in the Wharton building!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Local Schools Achieve!

Congratulations to Hillsboro Middle School and Whiteoak High School for receiving "Excellent" ratings from the Ohio Department of Education. What an accomplishment for the youth in our area as well as the staff of these two schools! Way to Go!

Helping Feed the Hungry

Two local churches, New Life Church and Ministries and the Hillsboro Church of the Nazarene have teamed up to distribute over 50,000 pounds of food at Liberty Park in Hillsboro today! Contained in two semi truck loads of food, the food which is obtained through Operation Outreach in Washington Court House is intended to give hope and help to people in Highland County.

There will be entertainment and a sermon by pastor Bill Bowman. Also, prior to the start of the event at 6 p.m., a "Scoring Touchdowns in Life" message will be shared by NFL referee Steve Wilson, who also serves as an associate pastor of the Nazarene Church in Washington state. All are invited to attend and receive food. Each individual will receive food at the end of the program, regardless of income.

Thank you to these two local churches! For more information, please contact Help the Hungry at 937-393-2429.

Monday, August 17, 2009

New School Year in a New Building!

The new school year starts this week for all Highland County Schools! Hillsboro Middle School and High School start in a new building that has been described as "big" and "beautiful"! New traffic routes and parking areas for buses, students, parents and teachers can be found in the article linked below!

Click here for traffic routes

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Free Money

There is only four months left to recieve an $8,000 tax credit for purchasing a new home! You must have your home closed by November 30, 2009 when the tax credit expires! To close by November 30 you need to go on contract to buy a home no later than September! Call us for details!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Home Prices on the Rise

It's always good to read something positive in the newspaper....

According to a recent article published in the Wall Street Journal, home prices in the U.S. are on the rise. Home prices in major U.S. cities registered the first monthly gain in nearly three years. This is an indication that the severe U.S. housing downturn could be easing.This is good news!

To read more, click here.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

It's Been a Busy Summer!

Houses are selling and The Dickey Group is busy! We love it!

In the past few weeks, we have sold several homes:

52 Walnut Creek Rd., Greenfield
8607 Stoney Point Rd., Hillsboro
247 East Main St., Hillsboro
5430 Grande Rd., Hillsboro
2145 Stringtown Rd., Sardinia
9439 US 62 N., Hillsboro
3521 St. Rt. 247, Hillsboro
9072 Evans Rd., Leesburg
6695 Golden Doubloon Ln., Hillsboro

We have had great success and thank all the wonderful families with which we have worked. We have seen an increase in the number of short sales. With this situation, transactions become more difficult and time consuming. We continue to work with sellers, buyers, lenders, and mortgage companies to get homes sold!

If you or someone you know is interested in buying or selling, please call us 937.393.7222 or visit us on the website

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Visit and Vacation in Highland County

Highland County offers many upcoming events for family and friends to share. An entire list can be found at the Highland County Visitor's Bureau. Among others is the upcoming Festival of the Bells to be held in downtown Hillsboro July 2-4th. This is always a special community event providing a chance to visit with neighbors and enjoy the music, activities, and fun. A full schedule for this event can be found at We hope to see you there!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Swackhamer Named SCOL Baseball Coach of the Year

Congratulations goes out to Rusty Swackhamer and the Hillsboro Indians baseball team!

Hillsboro head baseball coach Rusty Swackhamer was recently named the 2009 South Central Ohio League Coach of the Year. Swackhamer and the Indians went undefeated in the league with a 12-0 record. HHS finished the season 16-1 overall. Swackhamer has coached the Indians for four seasons.

It's great to see such hard work and dedication. What a fantastic honor!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

These Kids Are Amazing

This was at a Texas Tech Basketball game in February of 2008.
The National Anthem is sung by five young ladies (ages 6-8).
You have never heard it performed better than this! An entire arena remains completely silent throughout the song. You could hear a pin drop. Take a moment to listen to this. The two young ladies on the right are six years old. The two in the middle are seven and the one on the left is eight.
This young group continues to impress!

Check them out on YouTube!
Visit their website at The Cactus Cuties!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Black Bear Spotted in Highland County

For the first time in recent years, a black bear has been sighted in Highland County. The bear, believed to be a male around 200 pounds, is being tracked by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Wildlife. According to ODNR, the bear was first spotted in Adams County adn has covered dozens of miles since. He has been seen in Brown, Highland and Fayette counties. This roaming behavior is typical of a young male bear around 2 years of age.

Ohio's bear population is rising steadily as bears migrate from nearby states. In the past, the population had declined due to deforestation during the mid 1800's. The new surge in the number of bear inhabiting our area does require residents to use common sense when coming in contact with a black bear.

This black bear may makes its home near us or it may move on, either way those that had a rare glimpse of this bear have had a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Celebrating Flag Day June 14th!

You're a grand old flag,
You're a high flying flag
And forever in peace may you wave.
You're the emblem of
The land I love.

The home of the free and the brave.
Ev'ry heart beats true
'neath the Red, White and Blue,
Where there's never a boast or brag.
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
Keep your eye on the grand old flag.

To read more about the history of Flag Day, click here.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Congratulations Jill!

Jill Minter, our Client Service Manager, graduated from Whiteoak High School on May 22nd.

Jill accepts The Dickey Group Scholarship from Mr. Roush, Principal.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation's service. There are many stories as to its actual beginnings, with over two dozen cities and towns laying claim to being the birthplace of Memorial Day. It is not important who was the very first, what is important is that Memorial Day was established. Memorial Day is not about division. It is about reconciliation; it is about coming together to honor those who gave their all.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Craig Krenzel to Speak at Hillsboro High School Graduation

The Hillsboro Ministerial Association is bringing Craig Krenzel to be the keynote speaker at the Hillsboro High School Graduation which is to be held this Sunday at 2:30 p.m. Krenzel is the Ohio State University quarterback who led the Buckeyes to the 2002 national championship and went on to play two years in the NFL. The Ministerial Association is pleased to have a speaker that will give the graduates a spiritual sendoff as they wrap up that phase of their life and head out into the world. This goal of the Association has been in the works for several years - and only this year has been accomplished due to donations and fundraising to bring Krenzel to the ceremonies. We at The Dickey Group support the Hillsboro Ministerial Association's vision for the graduation ceremony and are excited to be a part of this effort. Congratulations and blessings to all the local area graduates!

The full article appears in the Friday, May 15th edition of The Times-Gazette.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Whiteoak High School Prom

Whiteoak High School held its Junior/Senior Prom a couple of weeks ago. This is always an exciting time to make memories that last a lifetime.

Someday many years from now
We'll sit beside the candles glow
Exchanging tales about our past
And laughing as the memories flow
And when that distant day arrives
I know it will be understood
That friendship is the key to live
And we were friends and it was good.
- Eileen Hehl

I do hope that the prom season was fun, safe and special to all who attended. Cherish the memories!

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Barn of the Year

We would like to congratulate Bill Fling for his award winning "Barn of the Year" as designated by the Friends of Ohio Barns organization. Winning Barn of the Year for Adaptive Use, the Fling Barn is used to host receptions and conferences. The activities at the farm include many demonstrations and displays. This barn was built by Fling's great-grandfather and is relaxing sancutary for all who visit.

To learn more.... visit or click here.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Annual Chamber of Commerce Dinner

The annual Chamber of Commerce Dinner was held on April 23rd. Over 200 people attended to network, enjoy local catering, and laugh - Drew Hastings provided entertainment for the evening.

The Highland County Chamber of Commerce is a membership driven business organization dedicated to representing and providing assistance for the local business community. For more information, call 393-1111 or go to

To read the entire article that appears in the Times-Gazette, click here.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

A Recent Visit from Trisha Mullenix

This morning, Trisha Mullinex, a college student attending Marshall University and friend of our office, visited with us to gain insight into our information systems. She is taking a course about Management Information Systems and is completing a project about systems in real estate. It was great to share how we use technology to enhance our services for our clients. Trisha was excited to learn how we use multiple systems to manage our office and communications allowing us to bring a high level of service to all of our clients. We were glad to help Trisha - we hope we helped her get an A on the project!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Annual Trout Derby Held at Rocky Fork Lake

On April 4th over 500 children ages 15 and under participated in the Annual Trout Derby held at Rocky Fork Lake. This event, held every year on the first Saturday in April, is sponsored by the Highland County Rod and Gun Club. It provides youth the opportunity to experience outdoor sports and enjoy quality time with their families. To read more, click here.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

2009 Dickey Group Scholarship Winner

We are pleased to announce that Jill Minter has been awarded the 2009 Dickey Group Scholarship. Jill has been a member of our team since April 2008, serving as our Client Service Manager. Jill plans to continue to attend Southern State Community College after graduation from Whiteoak High School. She currently attends Southern State under the Post-Secondary Enrollment Option. Jill plans to obtain her Assoicate degree in Human Services and fulfilling her goal of becoming a social worker. We are excited to help Jill pursue her dreams! Congratulations!

Pending Home Sales Rise

Maybe the world is not as bad as the media would have you to believe?? Signed contracts to purchase homes rose according to Washington AP. Home prices are now believed to be more affordable than they've been since at least 1970 the article reads. With interest rates in the 4%'s and an $8000 tax credit available, now is the time to buy! Read more click

Saturday, March 14, 2009

An Old Irish Blessing
May love and laughter light your days,
And warm your heart and home.
May good and faithful friends be yours,
Wherever you may roam.
May peace and plenty bless your world
With joy that long endures.
May all life’s passing seasons
Bring the best to you and yours.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

$8000 Tax Credit

Hot off the press!
Your government, through the new stimulus package, is offering an $8000 Tax Credit if you buy a home before Dec. 1, 2009! This is like the government giving you an $8000 down payment to buy a home at the time you file your taxes. Tell all friends and family members to check this out!
We are excited help families take advantage of this new offer!
To read more visit these websites:
IRS - US Dept. of Treasury
Homebuyer Tax Credit Chart
First Time Homebuyer Tax Credit FAQs

Over the Back Fence

I subscribe to a southern Ohio magazine title Over the Back Fence. It has some neat articles and always provides information on upcoming events in southern ohio. In the moast recent edition, I was reminded of the great county we live in through a feature article about Highland County. This article listed must-see places such as The Colony Theater, Highland House Museum, Rocky Fork Lake, Highlands Nature Sanctuary, Travelers Rest, and our very own courthouse. The writer captured the essence of our county: rich history, great outdoors, and recreation! We have a fantastic place to call home!

Visit Over the Back Fence to check it out!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Food Assistance for Former DHL Employees

On Thursday February 19, 2009 local churches helped distribute truckloads of food and other items to former DHL employees. Feed the Children provided the boxes of food and other items. The Dickey Group Realtors moving truck helped transport the boxes from Wilmington to Highland County. We were honored to be a part of meeting the needs of our community!

To read more about this click here.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Spring On The Farm!

My favorite time of the year is here! New babies are being born! As of this posting, five new baby beef calves are on the ground...actually up and running all over the place with more on the way! New life, a new season, a new hope, Spring around the corner, Winter almost over...I like this time of year! Watch as you enter our driveway to the office....we have been known to have babies get out and lay in the driveway!

Passing of Charles "Lou" West

A dear friend of Karen and I recently passed away and will be deeply missed. Lou West was the song leader for decades at the Fairfax United Methodist Church where we attend. Saying that Lou loved to sing is an understatement. He was always looking for a partner his sing what he called "a special". He would come into Church and announce we need to sing "a special". My wife would sing with him on many occasions. Lou would sing solo's, duet's, with small name it! Any one he could round up! They would gather around the piano at choir practice and sing until 10:00 p.m.! Lou loved the Lord and loved the youth. He could often be seen at ball games and ball parks. It didn't matter who's kid it was... Lou faithfully supported the youth! Lou played fastpitch softball on a Church team many years ago with my father, Lowell. Dad would occasionally recall the great times they had playing together. Karen and I will miss that man! Lou was preceed by his beautiful bride Clarice! We will meet again some day.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Highland County's History

I was reading the Times-Gazette this week and came across an article related to Highland County's beginnings. I found it very interesting and thought I would share the link for all readers.

Find out more about Highland County's rich history by clicking here.

Highland County Chamber of Commerce

Chamber welcomes new board membersFive newly elected members of the Highland County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors began their tenure at the Jan. 22 board meeting. The new board members bring a variety of backgrounds and experience to the county chamber board. "I welcome our new board members, thank them for their willingness to serve and look forward to their input and guidance as we work to build and strengthen our chamber," said Katy Farber, chamber president. The new board members are pictured, from left: Jeff Dickey, The Dickey Group Inc.; Marta Cox, Leesburg Federal Savings Bank; Heather Cummings, NCB; and Amanda Bledsoe, Crowe Financial Group. Brad Markwood, South Central Power Company is absent from the photo.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Cow Tax Draws Critcism

Our Genius Leadership! Your EPA is proposing to regulate greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act resulitng in new taxes on livestock operations. The fees proposed would be $175 for a dairy cow, $87.50 for a beef cow and $20 per hog! There is an article in the Buckeye Farm News, a Farm Bureau publication describing the proposal. Only in a America! To Read More

Hudson River Crash - A True Miracle

On Thursday, January 15th, US Airways Flight 1549 crashed into the Hudson River shortly after takeoff at La Guardia Airport in New York City. This happened after the plane's engines were hit by a flock of birds. The pilot, Chesley "Sully" Sullenbrger, heroically landed the jet, resulting in 0 fatatlies.

This crash is a reminder to all of us just how fast accidents happen and truly what a miracle it was that no one lost their life.

Read more about this event by clicking here.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Market Update

It's 10 degrees right now which is a 20 degree temperature swing in just a few hours! A regular heat wave! I got up at 3 A.M. and it was 10 below on my front porch. That makes two nights in a row below 0. I grew up hearing Will Parr on WSRW call Harry Hart and talk about how cold it was in the Belfast valley and thought they were crazy about the temperatures they would report. It was always colder in Belfast than any where else. I thought Harry's thermometer was broke. Now that I'm in the area, I've become a believer!

Real Estate...We are quickly headed back to the way Banks and Lenders used to do business 20 years ago. If you don't have a down payment, a good credit score, and a good will probably be a renter! Many folks ask me... what's wrong with that? Much of the real estate related crisis and foreclosures we are experiencing we brought on ourselves. Many families were allowed to buy homes (because the loan programs were available) that did not stand a chance of making it. When the mortgage broker, realtor, and title company are betting at the closing the buyer won't make it 6 months before going into default, it not a good sign! It was just matter of time before trouble would come...payday is here! Most of the foreclosures in our area are happening because of no money down loans and doublewide financing.

It depends whichside of the fence you are on! Buyers are loving the new market. Home values are down, interest rates are at record lows, inventory levels are high meaning there are some good opportunities and excellent values out there! I had a young couple say to me, "it' about time values come down...we can now enter the market, stop renting and buy a home! We have been waiting and felt like we were priced out the market and could not afford a nicer home." Guess what...they're right and they recently bought a home $20,000 under what it would have cost 18 months ago.

Lary Lohse, mortgage broker for Midwest Mortgage called yesterday and said another one of his sources for doublewide financing pulled all loans. This has steadily been happening one by one. This gradually forces buyers to have a bigger down payment and go with a conventional type loan. We'll see how this all plays out.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Be Your Own "Weather Channel"

There was an interesting article in Rurallife magazine that addressed predicting the weather. I found it very timely with some recent years' unusual weather. Following are the links to the two pages which include the article and chart.

Page 1
Page 2

Maybe now we can all become a little better at knowing what the weather will be!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

The Christmas Gift

I read this and thought of our family, friends and clients....

The Christmas Gift of Knowing You
The Christmas season fills our hearts with joy;
Bright, happy days bring special kinds of pleasure.
We're wrapped in the excitement of it all,
The sights, the sounds, the smells, the tastes we treasure.

Yet when we have some quiet time to think
About our finest blessings all year through,
We focus on our family and our friends,
And appreciate the gift of knowing you!

By Joanna Fuchs

Saturday, December 06, 2008

This Sunday marks the anniversary of the December 7, 1941, attack on Pearl Harbor. That attack, as you know, spurred President Franklin D. Roosevelt to send the United States into World War II.

It is a sad reminder of the past and of our amazing soldiers that lost their lives.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Noah Today!

A good friend shared this link with makes us think about how much different the world is today!

Noah Today

Monday, November 17, 2008


My wife Karen's mom & dad Bill & Hazel Gustin just celebrated their 50th wedding anniverary in late October! This past weekend the four of us took off to see The Grand Ole Opry and stay at The Opryland Hotel. I'm not able to get out of the office very often so for me it was a breath of fresh air! The Hotel is a must see...simply incredible! The Rockettes were performing and we got tickets to the show. The girls liked it! The Grand Ole Opry was held at the Ryman downtown Nashville! A blend of old country music and modern artist were featured. A good time was had by all! We toured Studio B on Music Row were over 30,000 songs have been recorded including half of Elvis Presley's recorded songs. That was a great field trip!

Saturday, November 01, 2008


Why Every Vote Counts: has a Voter Guide that emphasizes moral, religious and constitutional heritage.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Line Fence Law

Ohio legislators recently passed a new line fence law that was based upon the recommendations of a Farm Bureau task force. The law overhauled a century-old fence statute that many farmers found unworkable.

If you have more questions, Ohio Farm Bureau has developed a complete breakdown of the new line fence law. For a copy, visit and click on "Featured Links" or call 614-246-8231.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Fall Festival of the Leaves

This weekend Bainbridge will host the 41st annual celebration - Fall Festival of the Leaves! With music and entertainment, food, arts & crafts, flea market areas, contests, rides, and much more, this festival is sure to have something for everyone. Please support our local events!

Read more in the The Highland County Press.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Birthday Party

On Friday, September 26th, our Projects Manager, Mary had a birthday....the big 3-0! Our team celebrated with an office party. We enjoyed pizza, chips and chocolate (yes, chocolate! Mary's favorite!) birthday cake with ice cream.
"We know we're getting old when the only thing we want for our birthday is not to be reminded of it." Author Unknown
No such luck for Mary - we wouldn't let her forget!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Hurricane Ike

Higland County experienced it's first ever hurricane and his name was Ike! We still have power outages in the county and minor to extensive damage. Brett at Nationwide Insurance just informed me that they have 40,000 possible claims across the State. Cincinati still has thousands with no power and homes ripped up. High winds began to blow last Sunday afternoon and became fierce. The amazing thing was that the sun was shining and no rain! We personally lost shingles off the office, broke our company sign beyond repair and lifted up a section of barn roof that I have not repaired yet. I may add hurricane straps to it! Our prayers are for the families in the area that are suffering the most. Don't tell me a huricance can't hit Ohio!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Jeff Holbrook Memorial

The Highland County Fair is in full swing and it is a hot one! Temperatures in the 90's all week! That has not affected the die hard fair goer. Labor Day was a large turnout and we had the Wharton building full of people as we gave away 1500 free ice creams! It hit the spot on a very hot day! We also picked up several good buyer and seller leads!

The Jeff Holbrook Memorial was recently finished and on display in front of the Dairy Barn. It put a lump in my throat. Jeff was a man who loved the Fair and especially the Dairy area! I knew Jeff most of my life since I was a dairy kid myself. My memories of Jeff were of him consistantly beating me in classes, showmanship, you name it. When he finished his showing career, I then was consistantly beat by his sister! A man respected and held in the highest regard by all! In my opinion...all generations of the Holbrook family are 1st class!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

School District Report Cards Released

Lynchburg-Clay school district has received an "excellent" rating from the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) on its district report card. Three other districts, Hillsboro City, Fairfield Local and Bright Local have all received "effective" ratings. These ratings are produced annually by the ODE based on the progress the schools have made on four measures, adequate yearly progress (AYP), performance index, state indicators and value added. Information about district report cards can be found at the ODE website, type in "district report cards" in the search box.

School district information is important when making a home buying decision. As an added benefit, we include the school district report card in our Homebooks for all of the homes we have for sale. To view available homes, click here.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Highland County Fair

The Highland County Fair is coming up on August 31 through September 6, 2008! Livestock starts to arrive on Saturday August 30, 2008! There will be plenty of entertainment such as Blue Steel, Angie Evans, Savana Jack, Jimmy Wayne and more! Don't forget about the motorcycle thrill show, demolition derby and tractor pulls! The new 100 x 120 ft. rabbit and poultry barn near the camping area has wider walkways and more room for the 4-H and FFA members to get their animals in and out of cages!

Monday is Senior Citizens Day and the Dickey Group Realtors will be giving away ice cream at their booth in the Warton building! Also stop by for free daily giveaways and door prizes! Hope to see you there!

To read more about livestock arrival times click here!

To read more about the new rabbit and poultry barn click here!

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

2008 Olympics

The 2008 Olympic Games will soon be underway! The torch has already made it to Beijing, marking the anticipation of the centuries old tradition of the Games. The sacred flame arrived in Beijing on Tuesday, August 5 at 4:20 p.m. for the last leg of the 2008 Torch Relay before the official start of the Games. The sacred flame will tour China's capital city from August 6-8.

Resources about the Olympics can be found at the official website as well as NBC's website.

Go team USA!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Last Lecture

I recently attended a real estate conference in which the book, The Last Lecture, was a recommended read. I am currently reading this book written by Randy Pausch, a computer-science professer from Carnegie Mellon University. Randy died Friday, July 25th from pancreatic cancer.

His story has been shared with the world by many including The Wall Street Journal. His goal was to provide his message to those who remain. While I am still reading his book, I cannot fully evaluate its impact on my life....I just know that it will have one.

To find out more in The Wall Street Journal about this inspiring story, click here and type in Randy Pausch.

To view The Last Lecture, click here.

Homebuyer Tax Credit

H.R. 3221, the “Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008,” passed the House on July 23, 2008, by a vote of 272-152. On Saturday, July 26, 2008, the Senate passed the bill by a vote of 72-13. The President signed the bill on July 30, 2008. The bill includes the following provisions:

Homebuyer Tax Credit - a $7500 tax credit that would be would be available for any qualified purchase between April 8, 2008 and June 30, 2009. The credit is repayable over 15 years (making it, in effect, an interest free loan).

Click here to read more! Please call The Dickey Group if we can help you in purchasing a home!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

State Fence Law Mended

The governor recently signed a measure that overhauls the old line fence statute in Ohio. The previous law had been in place for over a century and desperately needed revision.

Previously, the law stated that adjoining landowners must equally share the cost of building and maintaining fences that divided their properties. With many different situations in place, township trustees really had no fair way to enforce this law. The law now states that for existing fences, adjoining landowners are now responsible for "equitable" rather than equal share of their upkeep. To determine fair shares, the law gives specific criteria that should be considered such as the number and type of livestock, topography, bodies of water, vegetation and the risk of trespassing.

Also, landowners that have disputes can go directly to common pleas court and have their case settled through binding arbitration.

To read more, click here.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Rocky Fork Lake Remains Popular Summer Destination!

Camp managers at Rocky Fork Lake have seen a steady number of reservations for boating and camping this summer! People continue to take advantage of all Rocky Fork lake has to offer! The park offers swimming, golf, camping, fishing, boating and more.

Visit the Rocky Fork Lake website to learn more.

Click here to read more!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Rocky Fork Lake Campground Listed #1

In a recent article in the Times Gazette it was reported that Rocky Fork Campground is listed as number one out of all Ohio state parks.This designation was given based upon the many activities that are available at the park. There 45 full-service camp sites. Free WiFi, refreshments, boating, swimming, fishing, hiking and bird watching provide many opportunities for campers. The park hosts Thunder in the Hills, a car show and craft displays. So much to do!

For more information contact the camp office at 937-393-3210 or visit! Read entire article by clicking here.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

DHL Leaving Town!

Rumors are flying that the overnight freight company DHL may be leaving Wilmington. Phone calls are coming into our office daily wanting to know how this may affect the future real estate market. Here's my thoughts: If DHL leaves our area, a significant down pressure on home values will be created. My counsel is that if you have been planning to make move, now will probably be better to sell than later. With approx. 6000 employees facing job loss, approx. 2500 of which live in Highland County, it is unknown at this time how many homes will be entering the market to be sold. Inventory levels will most likely significantly increase forcing prices downward as families compete for a smaller pool of buyers. If you do not need to sell and plan on staying in the area for many years to come, don't worry about DHL. If my house goes up in value, so does yours, if your house goes down in value, so does mine. Whatever happens, we're all in it together! This is home!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Memorial Day

This Memorial Day, we say Thank You to those who have died in our nation's service. We remember.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Southern Ohio Travel Guide

With gas prices on the rise and family budgets tightening, many families may look for vacation spots a little closer to home and less costly. Brown Publishing who owns our local newspaper, just put out a magazine called TRIP - Southern Ohio Travel Guide. I thought it was well done, informative, giving many options for the family to have a good time in an affordable, close to home manner! If you haven't saw one, check it out! They are around town, available at the Times Gazette newspaper office, or see me!

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Celebrating 100 years

The real estate industry has a rich history that will celebrate a monumental anniversary this month. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) turns 100 years old! With a century of change behind us, we have seen many positive influences to the business of real estate. These changes have included a Code of Ethics, creation of a MLS system, promotion of healthy competition, and more equitable, affordable and accessible home ownership.

The recent issue of the Realtor magazine showcases the many people that have impacted the many events throughout the past 100 years of the NAR. Click here to read more. To read another article click here.

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Saturday, April 12, 2008

Hillsboro Gets A New Road!

According to Highland County Engineer Dean Otworth, Hobart Drive will extend by approximately 7100 feet to reach St. Rt. 73. Unanimously approved by the Highland County Commissioners. The read more click here.

Pay Less Property Tax

If you believe your property value has decreased since the market has been should your property taxes! To check out how to pay less property tax click here. USA Weekend has an article half way down the page.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Is the Real Estate Market as Bad as the Media Says?

The National Association of Realtors has reported that sales of existing homes rose by 2.9 percent in February. Economists were caught by surprise as they had been expecting another decline. To read more click here.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Seven Caves is now Cave Canyon Nature Preserve

We live in a wonderful area! A great article about our 7 Caves now known as Cave Canyon Nature Preserve was featured in our local newspaper. Breath-taking beauty, awesome scenery, cliffs and canyons, 23 caves, and rare plant life can be found minutes East of Hillsboro! Take the family and check it out! To read more and contact information, click here.

Monday, March 17, 2008

State of the Highland County Market

When someone asks me how is the real estate market, let me answer the question this way. It's not as bad as the media would indicate! Locally in the Highland County, houses are selling! Interest rates are at record lows and great loan programs are available, which means that if you are going to borrow money do it now! You can buy more house for the money now than 10 years ago! Inventory levels are high which means there are plenty of quality homes to pick from and some really great deals to be had! Listen to a video by a Realtor friend of mine Sam Miller, in the Mt. Vernon area. Click here.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Repossessed Homes

Highland County Sheriff Ron Ward states in a local article that a steep rise in Highland County foreclosures and sheriff sales beginning in 2001 when an average of 75 sheriff sales per year increased to more than 200. The count for 2007 was 366 new sales. To read more click here.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Ohio adds military status as new protected class

A new law, recently signed by Gov. Strickland will provide greater protections and benefits to members of the Armed Forces beginning March 24, 2008. To read more click Here.
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Saturday, January 26, 2008

Highs and Lows

The Cincinnati Business Courier has written an excellent article stating that the greater Cincinnati area which includes us in their statistics now stands as one of the financially safest places to live. The greater Cincinnati area ranks in the lowest risk category for housing price declines, with a prediction of a less than 5% chance that home prices will slide below their current levels by 2010.

Click here for the full story as featured in the Business Courier. To find out more about Highland County real estate statistics visit our website.

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Saturday, January 12, 2008

Highland County Treasurer Announces New Tax Bill for '08

The treasurer's office is responsible for the printing, mailing, and collecting of taxes set by the county auditor's office. And, Fenner says, your upcoming tax bill will have a brand-new look.

The new bills are very from what has been sent in the past. Now, you'll not only be able to see the county, but also the township, school, JVS, MRDD, health and mental-health departments, and the appraised value. You'll also see the Homestead reduction and any special assessment.

To read this full article by Corinne Gompf, click HERE.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Mortgage bankers' report says Ohio 9th in nation in delinquencies

Ohio was the top state in percentage of loans in foreclosure, and ninth in delinquencies not yet in foreclosure in the third quarter. The percentage of all mortgages nationwide that started the foreclosure process jumped to a record high of 0.78 percent during the July-to-September period. The rate in Ohio for foreclosures was 1.17 percent. The rate of all loans in foreclosure was 3.72 percent.

To read this full article by The Associated Press, click HERE.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Wall Street rallies again on Bush plan, high hopes for Fed rate cut

Wall Street has been concerned about the housing slump's impact on consumers. However, stocks eventually pushed higher; a weak consumer, though bad for corporate profits, at least supports the opinion of the Federal Reserve to lower interest rates. A rate cut could help rejuvenate the slowing economy and loosen up the tight credit markets.

As President Bush announced a plan allowing some homeowners facing foreclosure not only to freeze their interest rates for up to five years, but also to refinance their mortgages, stocks got a major boost. The plan was created by the Treasury Department, mortgage lenders and banks, and might be able to help about 1.2 million homeowners.

To read this full article by Madlen Read, click HERE.

Monday, December 03, 2007

October U.S. foreclosure filings up a whopping 94 percent over last year

The foreclosure filings in the U.S. have nearly doubled this October from the same month last year. The latest consequence of the increase is that many homeowners are falling behind on mortgage payments and increasingly losing their homes. Unfortubetly, Ohio's foreclosure rate remained among the highest in the country.

A total of 224,451 foreclosure filings were reported nationwide in October. This is a 94 percent increase from the same month a year ago. The number of foreclosers has increased 2 percent from September to October alone. This has equaled an incredible 1out of every 555 households filing a foreclosure in October.

To read this full article, Click HERE.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Sewer rates may be going up in Rocky Fork area

Residents of the Rocky Fork Lake area may be experiencing a raise in sewer rates in the near future, after the sewer system operating fund decreased as the result of a large number of people who have fallen behind in payments.

The Highland County Board of Commissioners was told during the board's regular meeting Wednesday that 23 percent of residents in the area have left their sewer bills unpaid for an extensive amount of time. This has lead to the only alternative that can be found, raising the rate.

To read this full article by Katie Wright, click HERE.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Commissioners open bids for new project

Three sealed bids for the construction of a new sewer pump station on the north shore of Rocky Fork Lake were opened by the Highland County Board of Commissioners during the board's regular meeting Wednesday.

Bids for the project were received from Downing Construction of Baltimore, Ohio at $166,313.60, Cooper's Excavating of Winchester at $131,750, and Unger Construction of West Union at $122,512.

To read this full article by KATIE WRIGHT, Click Here.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

State hearings seek fix to septic systems

On Nov. 14, the state of Ohio will begin a series of legislative study commission hearings on household sewage treatment systems. These hearings are designed to fix the septic system rules created by the Ohio Department of Health almost two years ago.

To read the full letter to the editor, click HERE.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Activity in Ohio's housing market continued to progress at traditional levels during the third quarter. Sales have reached the fifth best ever for the period, according to statistics provided by Ohio's Multiple Listing Services. Statewide sales of new and existing homes during the first nine months of the year are right at 6.9 percent behind sales posted during the period a year ago. The housing market is continuing to progress in Ohio, and will hopefully continue to increase.

To read the full article, click HERE.

Skyrocketing cropland prices shackle some farmers

Average cropland values in the U.S. rose by 13 percent to $2,700 per acre this year, up from $2,390 last year, according to the Department of Agriculture. In Ohio, the price jumped 10.7 percent, to $3,920 an acre.

The increasing value of cropland is being fueled by higher prices for commodities such as soybeans, wheat and corn, which is getting an extra bump by the popularity of the corn-based fuel additive ethanol.

To read this full article, click HERE.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Administration tells Congress it is dealing with rising mortgage foreclosures

The Bush administration assured Congress on Friday that it is aggressively working to deal with a rising tide of mortgage foreclosures in the country. Officials, however, said homeowners threatened with the loss of their homes must do their part by actively seeking help to avert foreclosures.

Many Democrats have been highly critical of the administration’s efforts. They have been contending that they are too dependent on the industry and offer too little in terms of government assistance to stem what could be an estimated 2 million home foreclosures in the coming two years.

For full article, click HERE.

Fed slices key interest rate by a quarter point

The Federal Reserve sliced an important interest rate this past Wednesday, its second reduction in the last six weeks. This was done to help the economy survive the strains of a deepening housing slump that is likely to crimp growth in the coming months.

All but one of the Fed colleagues agreed to lower the federal funds rate by one-quarter percentage point to 4.50 percent at the end of a two-day meeting. The funds rate affects many other interest rates charged to millions of individuals and businesses and is the Fed's most potent tool for influencing economic activity.

To read the full article, click HERE.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Water emergency in Hillsboro continues

There is a phase two water emergency that was declared on Oct. 3 by the city's safety and service director that is still in effect. At this point, any non-essential uses of water is considered unlawful and conservation of water is urged. Noone is allowed to use any excess water consumption such as watering lawns, washing cars, washing sidewalks, etc.

A drilling project was approved by city officials in early October to find additional water that would help lift the emergency situation in the city.

To see the full article, click HERE.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Much of U.S. could see a water shortage

With the crisis feared in the nation’s dwindling freshwater supplies, more technology and conservation are being seen. "Is it a crisis? If we don't do some decent water planning, it could be," said Jack Hoffbuhr, executive director of the Denver-based American Water Works Association.

The price tag for ensuring a reliable water supply could be a major expense. Experts estimate that just upgrading pipes to handle new supplies could cost the nation $300 billion over 30 years. Although the immediate concern for us is the U.S., it's not just America's problem - it's global...

To read the full article, click HERE..

Housing slump likely to worsen

The problems in housing have been a serious drag on the overall economy - slashing more than a full percentage point off growth in some quarters. This major slump began in late 2005, and isn't expected to get better for another year or so.

The Joint Economic Committee estimates there will be 1.3 million foreclosures from mid-2007 through 2009 in sub prime mortgages. These loans are provided to borrowers with weak credit histories. Those foreclosures will wipe out an estimated $71 billion in housing wealth directly and another $32 billion indirectly....

To read the full article, click HERE..

Fate of venerable school will be discussed again

There is a committee exploring possibilities for the Hillsboro middle and high school buildings. The original high school buildings were built in 1935, and the middle school is in them now. Many people, including Marilyn Hiestand, a member of the committee, say the buildings are a symbol of their memories of their lives in Hillsboro. A lot of people are dreading the thought of the possibility of seeing the structures destroyed.

The committee is open to the public. It holds monthly meetings to discuss suggestions for possible uses of the buildings once students move into the new high school and middle school. Although the students aren't scheduled to be into the new schools until 2009-10, the decisions for what will happen to the old buildings will be made much sooner.

To read the full article, click HERE.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Another Step Forward for Hobart Drive/S.R. 73 connector

The Highland County Board of Commissioners announced this funding has been approved to begin the first phase in building a link between U.S. 62 and state Route 73.

Briefly discussed during the meeting was a grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) that will enable the county to move forward on plans to extend Hobart Drive to reach state Route 73.

To read the full article, click HERE.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Changes to Sewage Disposal Rules

We are always asked about the rules and requirements associated with sewage disposal systems. It seems there is always new information about this topic to share with the public. On that note, the following link will provide readers with a copy of the letter sent to local boards of health regarding the repeal of the Department of Health’s home sewage disposal rules which were effective on Jan. 1, 2007.

To view the letter click here.

This should answer any questions about the most recent activity regarding home sewage disposal rules. If you have further questions, please contact the local Board of Health at 937-393-1941 or our office at 937-393-7222.

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Friday, October 05, 2007

Home expo coming up Oct. 13 at SSCC

Do you have questions about the home buying process? If so, then don't miss out on the Home Expo, which is geared toward helping the general public in the home buying process. It is being held at SSCC and is free for anyone to attend. There will be popcorn and soft drinks provided at the seminars. There are several people from other counties also expected to be in attendence.

In addition to seminars, there will be several realtors available to answer any questions about home buying or selling. There are also door prizes that will be given to people who enter a drawing.

Click here for the date and times of the Home Expo.

If you are unable to attend, and you have any questions about the home buying and selling process, then don't hesitate to ask us. You can contact us at

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Tuesday, September 25, 2007

County Increase in Foreclosures

A recent article published in The Times Gazette addressed a very real concern for a lot of families in Highland County: foreclosure. This article reported that the number of homes in foreclosure has and continues to increase across the nation, state and within our county. The Highland County Clerk of Courts office reports that over the past two years, the number of foreclosures has gone up and a large number reported up to mid-August may indicate another increase.

This increase in foreclosures is attributed to two main reasons according to Paulette Donley, the Cleark of Courts: 1. Appraisals for the property were made at a higher cost than what the property is actually worth in order to get the loan. Payments on the home cannot be made and when foreclosure happens, the property value isn't even enough to cover the loan. 2. Most families rely on two incomes to make payments. When a major life change occurs (illness, job loss, divorce), it puts a major strain on the family's financial situation.

The midwest, including Ohio, was hit hard by heavy job losses, especially in manufacturing. This, along with problems with subprime mortgages, Ohio's foreclosure rate and late payment rate is more than twice the national average.

To read this article, click here.

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Saturday, September 01, 2007

A Treasure in Our Backyard

I am always encouraged to learn about fascinating people and places in Highland County! Just the other day I was reading about Fort Salem, an earthwork believed to be constructed by the Hopewell or Adena Indians perhaps as early as 100 B.C. It is a circular enclosure about 450 feet in diameter that surrounds a conjoined mound. It is believed to have been used primarily as burial ground and an enclosed sacred space and ritual area. This area is owned and managed by The Archaelogical Conservancy and is open to the public.

To find out more about this neat place and the individuals who work tirelessly to keep it available to the public, click here.

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Saturday, August 25, 2007

Local School Newsletter

I recently received the Bright Local School District newsletter "Bright Lights." This newsletter keeps the community up to speed with what's going on at the schools. I commend the district on distributing an informative publication. It is great to hear that Bright Local Schools is an Effective District. This rating proves that hard work and dedication have their rewards. Congratulations!

We at The Dickey Group like to support the local schools by providing information at one of the websites that we host - . This website includes the Bright Local Schools district newsletter as well as links to each of the districts in Highland County. Check it out!

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Saturday, August 11, 2007

New Shoe Store in Town

Last weekend saw the addition of a new business in town - Shoe Sensation opened its doors! With over 6,500 sq. ft., more than 10,000 pairs of shoes and a partnership with Factory Connection, area residents can now shop for a variety of shoes and clothing! The local store offers names brands at lower-than-department-store prices and is located in the Hillsboro Plaza Shopping Center.

We welcome a new business to town!

To read more, click here.

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Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Hillsboro Housing Project Receives $400,000 Tax Credit

The Ohio Housing Finance Agency (OHFA) has awarded nearly $400,000 to the Hillsboro Senior Apartments project. This project calls for a development to be built on State Route 73 just north of Pea Ridge Road. This project is sponsored by Frontier Community Services and will be built by Leatherwood and Associates. This project is expected to be well received by the public. The same company developed the Pants Factory Apartments which have been full since their beginning.

To learn more, click here.

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Wednesday, July 25, 2007

10 Ways to Make Your House in Highland County, OH More Saleable

1. Get rid of clutter. Throw out or file stacks of newspapers and magazines. Pack away most of your small decorative items. Store out-of-season clothing to make closets seem roomier. Clean out the garage.

2. Wash your windows and screens to let more light into the interior.

3. Keep everything extra clean. Wash fingerprints from light switch plates. Mop and wax floors. Clean the stove and refrigerator. A clean house makes a better first impression and convinces buyers that the home has been well cared for.

4. Get rid of smells! Even if you think you house does not have smells, spring for a good carpet and drape cleaning to eliminate any possible cooking odors, smoke, and pet smells. Keep the windows open when possible (if road noise is not an issue).

5. Put higher wattage bulbs in light sockets to make rooms seem brighter, especially basements and other dark rooms. Replace any burnt-out bulbs.

6. Make minor repairs that can create a bad impression. Small problems, such as sticky doors, torn screens, cracked caulking, or a dripping faucet, may seem trivial, but they’ll give buyers the impression that the house isn’t well maintained.

7. Tidy your yard. Cut the grass, rake the leaves, trim the bushes, and edge the walks. Put a pot or two of bright flowers near the entryway.

8. Patch holes in your driveway and reapply sealant, if applicable.

9. Clean your gutters. Remove any debris that has accumulated on the roof.

10. Polish your front doorknob and door numbers. Remember, the door is the first part of the home potential buyers see!

To learn more about buying or selling a home in Highland County, OH please call me at 937-393-7222 or visit my Web site at I would love to help make your home more saleable!

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Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Summer Fun in Highland County

Summer is in full swing and as the novelty of being out of school begins to wear off, most parents are bracing themselves for the inevitable “I’m booooored” that is just bound to come out of their children’s mouths soon.

Below is a link to information about community events and fun things to do with your children this summer to get them outside and enjoying this beautiful time of year in Highland County:

Highland County Community

For more information about real estate and living in Highland County, OH please call me at 937-393-7222 or visit my Web site at Happy trails, and here’s to an exciting second half of the summer!

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