work where you live

Although we are part of Keller Williams Advisors, and use the office there for meetings and closings, our 'real' office is at home.  I'll be honest, as I type this I am sitting on the couch in my Family Room.  I can also be found, in my jammies, captioning a visual tour in bed.  But in this age of portable technology, it's still important to have that organized area that houses office supplies, important files, and the trusty printer/scanner.  Our office is in our walkout lower level.  It was originally a second kitchen.  For us, it made way more sense to use the space as an office.  

making curtains out of 'pezzy' fabric purchased from sewn in oakley. they were inspired by the black and white curtains in roger sterling's office on mad men.

So, for the first time ever, I am sharing pics of our office.  Furniture is Techline (readily avialable and customizable when we bought our house and designed the office in the 90's), chairs are Knoll, floor is Congoleum VCT, light is George Nelson (purchased at one of those great DWR warehouse sales) and I made the curtains from fabric purchased at Sewn in Oakley.  But my favorite part is the FLOR carpet tiles.  We have these all over our house and the uses and combinations are endless.  Every time I walk in this room, the FLOR rug makes me smile :)

Here's a great chance to try FLOR (warning, it's addictive!).  Click this link for 20% off! 

and visit this old blog post for more FLOR inspiration




back to the future......

arlen and me outside our OTR apartment in 1985

As Arlen and I approach our 30th wedding anniversary this September, it is only natural to look back and reminisce.  Not surprisingly, much has changed since we walked down the aisle in our finest 80’s attire.  But the strange twists, turns and coincidences are what keep us going.  We also share this 30th anniversary with one of our favorite movies, Back to the Future, and we are just a couple months away from the ‘future’ day depicted in the movie trilogy, when hoverboards are the preferred method of personal transportation, and communications are still sent via fax.  As with any prediction of the future, some things are close, but most of the forecast is way off base.   

In our business, we have had the great pleasure of selling many architectural gems, designed with the finest materials of their time by forward thinking designers for their equally forward thinking clients.  Often we criticize them in retrospect, instead of appreciating the progressive original intent.  I have made it a personal quest to try to understand the original intent of every home I have had the pleasure of representing, and to urge buyers to not make any changes until the home has had a chance to reveal itself.  

One of the greatest treasures we run across is the original ephemera that often accompanies architecturally designed properties.  Original concept drawings, spec sheets, blueprints, newspaper clippings.  And in the case of our upcoming condo listing overlooking downtown, the original sales brochure with the architect/developer/builder’s dream all laid out in “black and white.”   

What makes this particular brochure even more special is that it is from the building right above the building that we lived in when we got married in 1985.  We were pioneers of sorts, living in OTR well before it was known by the acronym.  It was when ‘Over the Rhine’ was said under your breath to the gasps of those around.  And where there was still build able city view properties.  We lived on a small section of segmented Ohio Avenue in a recently rehabbed 1890’s Italianate multi family building.  Our landlord lived in a house next door, one of Cincinnati’s first AIDS victims lived downstairs, and a friendly Appalachian family lived across the street.  There were winos on the corner.  We were within walking distance of Findlay Market, which had fallen out of favor at that time, and I’m embarrassed to admit that we never once walked there.   

In the midst of the urban mish-mosh that this part of OTR was in the mid ’80’s, there was a modern beacon on the hill above us in University Heights, off of an upper section of Ohio Avenue.  A then new condo building that appeared to jut right out of the hillside, with unobstructed city views.  One day, we thought.  One day! 


Well, that day has come.  Not to live there, but to sell a wonderful condo in The Elysian Cliff Condominiums  - the state of the art dream of architect Peter Seidel in the early 1980’s.  Where you could live in close density, near work, shopping and recreation.  Where each condo could be unique and special and private, but you could walk a few short blocks to Findlay Market, or up a stairway to the amazing Bellevue Hill Park. “The concept - maximize a unique setting at the end of a quiet cul-de-sac on a verdant cliff, 250 ft. above the city.  Fashion new space to compliment a rustic setting, within eye shot and walking distance of the city’s core.  Conjure a condominium that masters light, air and energy efficiency and minimum maintenance.”


It’s a chance to realize the forward thinking vision of one man, and live the dream of being very close to the city that one day in the future, he knew people would embrace.  Where we’re going, we don’t need roads.  Just one really cool building at a time.  


~Susan Rissover

for more information on the Elysian Cliff Condominium, contact us directly at

 or 513-886-7841


where are the listings?

Inventory continues to be at historic lows.  If you are in the market to buy this year, be ready to jump when your dream house hits the market (or even before!) - buyers must be very competitive in this seller's market!  Ask us how!

Sneak preview of an upcoming listing......


midcentury ranch in amberley village. this one has it all!

the family room in the same amberley village ranch. check out the pecky cypress paneling!



come see us at the show this weekend!  booth W8.  please stop by and introduce yourself if we have not already met.  



market 411


our new listing in wyoming....

So far the 2015 market is shaping up to be a continuation of what we were experiencing in 2014 with a few differences.  So here’s what’s going on in cincinnatimodern land (and beyond) as we see it:

  • inventory continues to be at historic lows.  Prices are starting to climb (in most areas), but slowly.  Interest rates are back down to historic lows as well.  This is creating a bonafide SELLERS MARKET.
  • It’s a great time to buy if you are 1. patient. 2. pre approved for a mortgage and 3. have a strategy.  This is where it pays to work with agents (like us) who can lead you to a good lender, supply you with listings the minute they hit the market (or before), and know how to negotiate in multiple offer situations!  
  • FHA has just substantially lowered the rate for its mortgage insurance, making it possible for many people to buy who previously thought they couldn’t qualify.  It’s certainly worth a conversation with a knowledgable lender if you are thinking of buying any time in the near future.  It does not cost anything to ask!  For mortgage information and or preapprovals, contact Shawn Huss at Talmer Bank 513-703-6489.
  • We are seeing the most demand for modern houses in the $150,000 - $400,000 range.  We get calls regularly from other agents asking if we have anything coming to market for their clients.  But OUR CLIENTS get first priority when we know of modern listings coming.  It’s one of the benefits of working with us as your buyer’s agent.  And it doesn’t cost you a thing.  Why leave home buying to chance in such a competitive market?  
  • It’s also a great time to SELL (see above).  We had many deals last year that were bid well over asking price.  IF your house is in great condition and you price it at (or just below) market value, you have the best chance of getting the highest price.  Price a house too high and no one takes it seriously.  
  • Many sellers think you should wait until Spring to list, but the best time to list in this market is NOW!  Winter traditionally has the lowest inventory, AND we are in an inventory slump.  There are rabid buyers just waiting to pounce on new listings right now (no offense to any of our rabid buyers :)! 

We also have big changes coming to in the next month as we roll out our newly designed website (yay)!  And don’t forget to mark your calendars for the 20th Century Cincinnati Show on February 21 and 22.  Stop by and see us there - we’d love to talk about your buying or selling needs, or just gab about modern homes!