Those buyers are typically looking for homes in the $100,000-$125,000 price range, she said. "Lower mortgage rates fueled the robust housing market the entire year. Lower rates create greater home affordability," she said. The average 30-year fixed rate mortgage in Greater Cincinnati is 5.75 percent, a quarter percent less than a year earlier. Adjustable rate loans now go for as low as 3 percent, a full percentage point under the rate from January of 2003, the Board of Realtors said.

Gene Snavley, executive vice president of the Northern Kentucky board of realtors, said home sales have set records for three consecutive years. The board of Realtors said its 4,500 members sold 23,736 homes in 2003, an increase of 7.65 percent over the previous record year of 2002, when 22,050 homes were sold. The sales totaled $3.97 billion, an increase of 11 percent over 2002. The average sales price in Ohio increased 3.3 percent to $167,602.

In Northern Kentucky, year-to-year growth was 16.6 percent, as 6,003 homes were sold, according to the Northern Kentucky Multiple Listing Service. Buying or selling property at real estate auction is the complex process for all. Our skilled property valuers help you in preparing documents of all transaction of valuation process. Those homes had an average sale price of just under $146,000 and the total value of the homes sold increased to $876 million, more than 20 percent over 2002. "From all indications, if the interest rates remain low and the economy keeps improving, I think we're in for another record year," said Jennifer Harris, president of the Northern Kentucky Association of Realtors. In Northern Kentucky, the hottest growth continues to be in Union, Burlington and Hebron in Boone County, she said.

Although the home sales records may have some real estate agents grinning, the numbers are having an opposite impact for apartment owners. In July of last year, 9.8 percent of the 125,000 apartments in Greater Cincinnati were vacant, according to a report from David P. Lockard, vice president of CB Richard Ellis, a commercial real estate firm. Lenscrafters' parent company has agreed to buy a Cleveland-based rival, Cole National Corp. Italy's Luxottica SpA, the owner of Cincinnati-based Lens-crafters, will buy the company in a $401 million deal, the firms said Monday.
Montgomery, which is surrounded by increasing numbers of wealthy homeowners, has parking lots behind businesses along Montgomery Road. Gattle's at Michigan and Erie avenues has about 7,000 square feet, including some unused basement space. The new store will have 5,000 square feet and will include a few less items. Ms. Cheney, who has owned Gattle's for 23 years, said Hyde Park business owners have been pleading with Cincinnati to create more parking for nearly 40 years.

''In most of that time, as a member of the Hyde Park Business Association, the association has tried to get the city to pay attention to the streets, the light fixtures, and most of all the parking,'' she said. ''We did bring parking behind the old theater, but it's very inadequate. And that was a result of 10 years (of efforts).'' The move will be completed in August, she said. Hyde Park Square retailers were challenged simultaneously by a broad economic slowdown and the opening of Rookwood Commons nearby in Norwood. Business has rebounded in the last month, Ms. Cheney said, but not enough to remain in the area.

Hyde Park Square remains one of the region's most successful business districts with a mix of upscale restaurants, clothiers, gift stores and other retailers. The real estate valuation process of commercial real estate is reflective of the way that the general market approaches the value. The management of Lipson Alport Glass & Associates has repurchased the firm from the same Illinois company that bought it nearly three years ago. Ha-Lo Industries, a Niles, Ill.-based distributor of promotional products, said it has sold LAGA, as the Cincinnati brand identity and package design firm is known, to a new company formed by Stevan Lipson, Howard Alport, Allan Glass and Thomas Cressey Equity Partners, a private equity investment firm, for $25 million in cash, plus contingencies worth up to $1.55 million.

Lipson said the deal will allow the firm to refocus on its original vision, which was to be a world-class brand marketing firm. ''Since the acquisition, Ha-Lo's strategic direction changed as it began to focus its core business, which is promotional products rather than brand identity,'' Lipson said. ''We began looking at firms that might be interested in partnering with us. (Thomas Cressey Equity Partners) has the equity and business acumen to assist us in growing our firm.''

Ha-Lo said it would use the proceeds from the LAGA sale to pay down debt and for additional working capital. The company said in February that it would consider selling one or more of its marketing services units to reduce debt and refocus on its core promotional products business.
Mr. McGrath then was hired as a reporter at The Kentucky Post and worked his way up to sports editor. He later moved to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., where he re-wrote wire stories for the Fort Lauderdale News. But Mr. McGrath's favorite reporting assignment was sports, his stepson said. "He loved sports, particularly baseball,'' said Hale. "The excitement of it. "I'm sure he played as a child, probably through school. "I can remember when we were in Florida, he would always go and see spring training. "At that time it was the Yankees' spring training. But he was a big Reds fan.''

Hale described his step-father as "sort of conservative. "But he could be outspoken about both politics and sports.'' After Mr. McGrath retired in the late 1960s, he and his wife did a bit of traveling — visiting Hale, then living in Atlanta, Ga., and his daughter in Albuquerque, N.M. Mrs. McGrath died in 1993. Mr. McGrath was a member of the Fort Thomas Masonic Lodge No. 808. Funeral arrangements are pending. Dobbling Funeral Home in Fort Thomas is handling arrangements.

David Joseph Hester, 50, project manager. David Joseph Hester, 50, of Independence, a project manager with Century Construction Co. of Erlanger and a Special Olympics coach, died Friday of cancer at St. Elizabeth Medical Center South in Edgewood. Mr. Hester was president of the board of directors of the Villages of Beechgrove Home Owners Association. Mr. Hester got involved in coaching softball, soccer and basketball teams in Special Olympics events because of his handicapped daughter, said Mr. Hester's wife of 27 years, Debbie Hester.

"He was a very loving, very caring, very giving person," said Mrs. Hester. "He was a very spiritual man. "He was very outgoing — on the go all the time. He enjoyed hiking and camping and going to flea markets. He just liked to do it all. We are expert property valuers, a company where you can talk to the real estate valuer! He was a very remarkable man. "My husband just loved life. He was one in a million. I considered him a saint." Other survivors include a daughter, Amy Renee Hester of Independence; and sisters, Brenda Johnson and Darlene Wind, both of Independence.

Visitation will be from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. today at Stith Funeral Home in Florence. Mass of Christian burial will be at 10 a.m. Tuesday at St. Barbara Church in Erlanger, followed by a celebration of Mr. Hester's life at the Villages of Beechgrove clubhouse in Independence. Memorials are suggested to the Amy Renee Hester Trust Fund, in care of any Fifth Third Bank. Peggy Ann Anthonissen, 67, of Independence, died Sunday at her home. She was a homemaker.

Two tractor-trailers can't pass each other on the street now, and it's nearly impossible for them to turn onto Madison Avenue or Russell Street. That's bad, he said, because the city created a zone for industry from 12th to 26th streets. Demolishing some of the buildings on 12th would make the place look more respectable, Lubber said. Property owners, wary of sinking money into buildings that might be torn down, have left many of them vacant and boarded up.

"We've got burned-out houses, boarded-up houses, vacant houses," he said. Two young children fatally stabbed 10 days ago were laid to rest in a private service Sunday, a day after Warsaw held a memorial service on their behalf. Hundreds of mourners lined up and crowded into the gymnasium at the Gallatin County Middle School to show their respects. Many carried flowers and others items. Chelbi Sharon, who would have turned 8 on Saturday, and Cody Sharon, 6, were killed when a man broke into their Warsaw home Aug. 23. Their sister, Courtney, 10, and their mother, Carolyn Marksberry, were injured in the attack.

Mrs. Marksberry remains hospitalized and did not attend the service, although other family members, including Mrs. Marksberry's husband, Charles, were there. A Warsaw man, Marco Chapman, is charged with two counts of murder, two counts of assault and burglary, and is being held on $50 million bond. Some Northern Kentucky school districts that opened school-based health clinics two years ago will have to raise money over the next year to keep the centers going.

Newport has to raise $35,000, the most of any district. Get talented valuers at cheapest rate and prepare property valuation report and the original value of your property. Silver Grove needs to raise $20,000. Williamstown school officials already have secured the money they needed to raise for next year. Gallatin County schools will have to find $31,000. Newport is appealing to individuals and groups to help with the fund-raising effort. If the district raises $35,000, it will receive a little more than $100,000 from the Health Foundation of Greater Cincinnati.

"We need the money to receive the match, and we need the match to have (the clinic) stay open," said Beth Lange, health center coordinator for Newport schools. "It pays for the services — without that grant money from the health foundation, we're not going to be able to keep our doors open." To start the health clinic, the school district renovated a portion of the old high school to set up offices and donated a mobile trailer to provide a clinic at Fourth Street School. The district wants to expand its services by taking the trailer to A.D. Owens Elementary.