The home buying process demands intelligence, commitment and trust.

When Pamela and David Pendry moved into their new new home in Sugar Creek Township in July 2013, they counted on all three to make their dream a reality.

“It was a grueling marathon and multiple times we would give up making offers,” says Pendry. “It was a six-month process of us making offers and them saying ‘no.’ ”

In a foreclosed home purchase that included a large amount of government red tape, home improvements and patience, the couple finally came away with a beautiful ranch-style home this summer.

“HER was there for us the whole time,” says Pendry. “We wouldn’t be in this home without their help.”

As the country bounces back from a historic collapse in the housing market, Dayton has emerged as an affordable and appealing location for homebuyers. With significant potential on the horizon, HER Realtors—named after founder Harley E. Rouda—is helping families like the
Pendrys find the home of their dreams.

“I think in most areas of the Miami Valley you will see property values continue to increase and foreclosures will start to taper off as the market naturally corrects itself,” says Matthew L. Watercutter, HER real estate broker and regional vice president.

Dayton saw a 19 percent increase in home buying from August 2012 to August 2013, according to the Dayton-area Board of Realtors. Clear Capital, a real estate information provider, released data that said Dayton was among the top 20 best-selling housing communities during the first quarter of 2013. It was a huge turnaround compared to 2012 when Clear Capital labeled Dayton as one of the worst real estate markets during the same quarter. It’s a wave HER hopes to continue.

“This trend will add more buyers and sellers into a positively increasing equity market in months to come, as well as an increased rate of recovery across Ohio,” says Michael Mahon, executive vice president of HER Realtors.

Since 1956, when Harley E. Rouda started the company in the basement of his home in the Columbus suburb of Upper Arlington, the company has grown to include 850 associates and 60 offices throughout Central Ohio, Dayton and Cincinnati. The firm now offers residential and commercial real estate sales, national and international relocation, property management, titles, warranty and other home-related services.

While HER captures a growing market, they have maintained a commitment and trust with their clients.

When the Pendrys found their dream home in July 2012, they started making offers. Since the home was foreclosed following the recent housing collapse, it was owned by Fannie Mae, the federally sponsored corporation that purchases and packages mortgages sold to investors. Every offer they made had to be submitted online to Washington D.C. where the information on the home didn’t accurately reflect its current condition.

“We did our due diligence in assessing the value of the house and the cost of the rehabilitating to turn it into fair market condition,” says Gregory Blatt, an HER real estate broker who’s worked in the industry for 34 years and helped the Pendrys secure their new home. “They are in Washington and they don’t have a clue of what the value of a home is, and it takes time for them to do that.”

After six months of repeated attempts, Blatt was finally able to help the couple secure their home and two-and-a-half acres of land. Since the home was vacant for more than three years, the couple was forced to make significant improvements, including replacing the floor, knocking down a wall and improving the plumbing.

“We were having nightmares on whether this was the right thing to do,” says Pendry. “[Greg] knew a lot about home improvements and was able to help us out.”

Blatt’s start came in 1979 during a another huge recession where interest rates peaked at 21 percent compared to today’s 3 percent. He believes government regulation is keeping the market from really blossoming.

“We were able to sell more real estate than now and it’s because of regulation,” says Blatt. “The climate has really changed.”

While there is room to grow, Dayton’s housings prospects are much brighter than three years ago. It’s hard to peg a single factor to Dayton’s bounce back, but a rebound in manufacturing and a large military installation have sparked some of the resurgence. Along with reasonable housing prices and strong median incomes, the Miami Valley is looking stronger.

“Dayton has really struck a proper balance and number in terms of affordability,” says Blatt.

HER is also reinventing how people look at homes. It's embracing technology that gives their clients more information to make the correct decision. HER developed mobile platforms that give interested parties multiple listings, while their website has video tours of homes. Interested buyers can even text 937-431-7777, which sends you a link to their mobile website to browse listings.

“The marketplace is demanding ease of access to information,” says Blatt. “They can get the information and prices they need within seconds.”

While technology lends to informed decisions much easier, Pendry and Blatt know that a relationship between an agent and buyer must exist.

“Our goal is to be the most trusted adviser for people looking to buy a home,” says Blatt. “That means it’s our individual agents working for the best interest of their clients to ensure they can make the right decision in the marketplace.”