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Date Archives: November 2020

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This time of year, avoiding potholes is easier than avoiding home delivery trucks on the road.

While the ease and convenience of ordering online and having it dropped off at your doorstep may satisfy your shopping fixes, it is easy to forget how shopping local helps keep our communities going. During a year where all businesses are struggling, it is a good to remember that supporting your local "mom-and-pop" businesses not only gets you what you're looking for, but it also the gift that keeps on giving the whole year.

When you buy your items locally, you're doing more than just support a local business owner: you're supporting the economy and, ultimately, growth of the community. There have been countless number of studies and data analyzing the way money recirculates and they all show that when money is spent in the community, it stays in the community. In fact, according to a Civic Economic Study conducted in 2017 out of Grand Rapids, Michigan, if you spend $100 at a local business, roughly $68 stays in your local economy. If you spend the same are a large business, only $43 stays in the local economy. By shopping locally, you simultaneously create jobs, fund more services through sales tax, invest in neighborhood improvement and promote community development.

Covid-19 has caused many furloughs, layoffs or outright termination of jobs for people. Many are struggling to find employment. When you choose to shop local, you are choosing to help someone find the job they want and need. According to the Small Business Administration, small companies create 1.5 million jobs annually and account for 64% of new jobs created in the United States. Shopping locally provides some of the most stable employment opportunities in a community and, in turn, causes those employees to spend their hard-earned money back in the local economy as well.

Competition is a good thing. It brings diversity and options for customers. While you may be able to get anything with a few clicks online, getting them from the people who will help build a better community matters more in the long run. Those businesses you support are the same ones who support local philanthropic and charity organizations. They are also the ones who, when you are in need of something in a pinch, they will go the extra mile to make sure you are taken care of.

Think of it this way: would you rather help fund another vacation home for a corporate CEO with your online purchase or buy from a local business so the owner can provide for his/her family, whether it be food on table, a house payment, tennis lessons for his daughter or piano class for her son?

If necessity is the mother of all invention, then shopping local is the mother of stability in a community. By supporting a locally owned and operated organization, whether it is a restaurant, retail location or even a real estate company, you are not just saying but showing your local community is important. While ordering your gifts this holiday season can be as easy as a click of a button from home, clicking online instead of shopping local is also an easy way to see the local businesses you know and love go offline but negatively impact the power of your community. This holiday season choose to shop local when you can.


November 24, 2020 (Canfield, OH) – We are often asked what type of traits a good Realtor® must possess. Having been in this business for over 43 years, we like to think we have a better handle on it than most. While some would focus on different sales tactics, organizational skills or personality traits, for over four decades, we managed to develop agents on three basic principles: honesty, transparency and integrity. They are three key elements that have created some of the best agents with our company. It is always exciting to see these traits in new agents, which is why when we find someone who possesses them, we get them to join our team immediately. So, it is no surprise when we found these three traits in Karl Reph, we worked to make him the latest addition to Burgan Real Estate group of agents.

Reph is a native of Berlin Center, though his family ties extend well beyond Ohio into Oregon, Florida and Tennessee. The core principles our company was founded upon were instilled in Karl at a young age through his participation in 4-H. In 2017, these traits and his hard work earned him the title of 4-H King. Professionally, he was looking for more out of a career that would enable him to put these characteristics to good use while helping make the lives of those he cares for and new people he meets better. He found the opportunity to start his professional journey with Burgan Real Estate as a licensed Realtor®.

"When I first started in Real Estate in my early 20's, I did not know what I was fully getting into, except for the fact that I had a strong work ethic and knew if I was honest and transparent with clients, success would inevitably follow me the way it did other agents at Burgan Real Estate," said Patrick Burgan, broker and co-owner of Burgan Real Estate. "Meeting Karl reminded me of how I was in my early days as a Realtor® and seeing the type of person he is and who he hoped to be become, it was very clear that this was someone who would embrace our culture as he grows as an agent and a person in his professional journey with Burgan Real Estate."

As Karl embraces the work that lies in front of him to make the lives of his and our clients better, he does not shy away from building something from the ground up. Perhaps it's because of his farming background in raising animals, or maybe it's from his passion in detailing cars or carpentry in using his own hands to transform something into what he envisions it to be. His passion and pride in the work will ensure success will continue to follow him.

"As I start my professional career, I was searching for an opportunity that would not only challenge me but allow me to be in control of my path to success," said Reph. "Meeting Patrick Burgan and seeing both the joys and successes he and Sue have both had early on in their careers in real estate is something I know I can achieve by being with a company that is as supportive and trusted as Burgan Real Estate."

Karl, we know the same successes our agents have had by being a part of the Burgan Bunch await you as you begin your real estate career with us. Those three traits that guide the success of our company will guide you to a path to a better life and profession at Burgan Real Estate. We can't wait to watch it happen together. Welcome to our Burgan family, Karl!

About Burgan Real Estate
Burgan Real Estate has been a leader in the real estate industry in the Mahoning Valley for the past 42 years. By maintaining high standards of integrity, honesty, and transparency, Burgan has thrived and grown into one of the area's and region's most successful independent brokerages. As a second generation, locally owned business, Burgan Real Estate takes great pride in supporting the community it proudly calls "home." To see why life is Better with Burgan, visit or connect on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.


November 16, 2020 (Canfield, OH) – If you're into the art of thrift store shopping, you know that hunting for treasures and "finds" can be very exhausting. From location to location and item to item, each journey presents its own set of challenges and rewards, some of them leaving you empty handed. However, the rewards greatly outweigh the obstacles, as you patiently evaluate, search and, ultimately, find something that is better than you could have ever imagined. As we continue our search for new agents to add to the Burgan Bunch, we discovered a great "find" and are excited to welcome Melissa Birmingham as the latest Realtor® we have added to Burgan Real Estate.

A native of Leetonia, Ohio, Melissa received her associate degree from The Fashion Institute of Technology before earning her bachelor's degree from The Ohio State University. She applied her education to numerous positions, including the medical, banking and retail industries. As she searched for the perfect "find," each career path left her wanting more. With her husband by her side, Melissa continued to search for the right profession, and, after seeing the treasures Burgan Real Estate has to offer its own agents for their personal and professional lives, Melissa become a licensed Realtor® and joined the Burgan Bunch.

"Being a real estate agent is a challenging career as it requires a great deal of patience in both working with a client and in finding the right home they are looking for," said Patrick Burgan, broker and co-owner of Burgan Real Estate. "Not every new agent has experience in being attentive and patient to the process, but Melissa has shown that she is not only going to be a welcomed addition to our team but an advocate for people who are looking for a better home to continue their journey in the Mahoning Valley."

If you couldn't tell, Melissa is not only an avid shopper at thrift stores, but she's an expert at it. Her dedication to traveling to locations and finding the right items will prove to be valuable for her clients as she searches for their new home. She enjoys music, being a part of Anglophiles Unite! Youngstown as well as the Handel's Neighborhood Association.

"I had a feeling that Burgan Real Estate was going to be the right brokerage for me because I've always appreciated how they weren't afraid to be different in their marketing, plus it is important to me that they are locally owned," said Birmingham. "I knew after my first meeting with Patrick Burgan that they are definitely the right brokerage for me, and I feel honored to be part of such a dynamic and successful agency."

Well, Melissa, we have to look no further than you for the perfect addition to our team. Your commitment and patience to finding a better home for each of your clients makes us a perfect match. We are so excited to have found you! Welcome to our Burgan family, Melissa!

About Burgan Real Estate
Burgan Real Estate has been a leader in the real estate industry in the Mahoning Valley for the past 42 years. By maintaining high standards of integrity, honesty, and transparency, Burgan has thrived and grown into one of the area's and region's most successful independent brokerages. As a second generation, locally owned business, Burgan Real Estate takes great pride in supporting the community it proudly calls "home." To see why life is Better with Burgan, visit or connect on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn.


I'll admit it, I had an awesome childhood.

I mean, I might have the coolest parents in John and Jackie Burgan. While they made my childhood, and even now into my adult years, fun and rewarding, they were also very committed to "tough love" when needed. Like when I got my first car and my father wouldn't cosign on a loan for me.
"What the hell, JB?" That was pretty much my reaction.
But even at that young age, my father explained to me why he will never cosign with me on anything, especially a house. While I didn't understand it then, I now realize that father really did know best, especially when it comes to cosigning on a home for your child. Cosigning puts more than your child's dreams of owning a home at risk.

You've risked everything for your children: don't risk your credit. When co-signing on a home, you become the person on the hook for the loan. If your child doesn't make his / her payment, the bank is coming after you. As a cosigner, the loan becomes part of your credit history, which means it impacts how much you will be able to borrow, should you need to do so.

Lenders judge all of us based on our likelihood to repay a loan. Their business is making money … and they're good at it. If the bank says your child isn't right for a home loan, they're probably right. If the bank thinks your child's poor credit, or lack thereof, is a sign of a lack of experience in responsibly borrowing money, you should listen to them. The risk for them is too great, which means it should be too great for you as well.

I know it is hard to believe, but I haven't always been the son who made life better or easier for my parents. But through it all, we've become closer and stronger. However, when money is involved, mending fences isn't always easy. Delinquent payments incur more than just late fees — it creates animosity. If the goal is to teach being responsible with money, cosigning on a mortgage is not the way to go. When you cosign on a home loan, you aren't helping them, you're just enabling them and setting you both up for an inevitable argument.

If after reading this you think I'm crazy and you're committed to helping your child out, at least take this approach: co-borrow. While cosigners and co-borrowers both share legal responsibility for debt, here is a big difference between the two: When you co-borrow, you still have a responsibility for the debt but you also own the property as well. If you and your child are co-borrowers on a home mortgage, for example, you would both have your names on the title to the house, which means, if your child skips town on the payments, you actually have property that you can own and take over from them. If you cosign on a loan, you are just on the hook for the payment with nothing to show for it.
Over my lifetime, I am very grateful for everything my parents have provided me. They have taught me a sense of right and wrong, empathy and a belief that good things happen to good people. However, when it comes to cosigning on a home, tough love has always been the best teacher that has both of our interests at heart.
Patrick Burgan is the 2020 president of the Youngstown-Columbiana Association of Realtors.


November 10, 2020 (Canfield, OH) – Many individuals today look for the easiest way to get what they are looking for in life. Whether cutting corners or not having to traverse around any corner, we are constantly looking for people who realize and appreciate that the greatest rewards are those that are given because of the work put in to achieving the goal. In real estate, that requires someone who is dedicated to doing what needs to be done and realizing the role they play is about something much bigger than the immediate fruits of their labor. That's why we are excited to welcome, Braxton Wessell, as the latest Realtor® we have added to Burgan Real Estate.

A native of Geneva, Ohio, Braxton grew up on a small farm where his hard work ethic was first cultivated. At a young age, he spent his time raising pigs, chickens and turkeys, gardening and being involved with the local 4-H organization. In high school, his commitment, dedication and hard work eventually lead him to participate in the high school science fair, which then lead to a win with a perfect score at districts as well as a place to participate in the state competition. Braxton would go on to receive a superior score, as well as a full tuition scholarship to Youngstown State University, where he graduated and received a degree in Environmental Science. His commitment to hard work continued in his service in the Ohio Military Reserve where he gained teamwork and leadership skills. Braxton worked on a Class I railroad and it was here that he realized that hard work is found everywhere and in most situations. Today, in real estate, Braxton found a career he can work hard to help others paring them with the perfect home, while also helping them navigate through the process. Braxton worked hard to became a licensed Realtor® and has found a home for his new career as a member of the Burgan Bunch.

"Every agent we welcome into our Burgan Bunch has an appreciation for what hard work has done and can do for them," said Patrick Burgan, broker and co-owner of Burgan Real Estate. "Braxton has a personality and work ethic that is the perfect model for what successful real estate agents should be. His presence on our team will not only benefit the clients he helps but add to our culture of agents who have a relentless commitment to making our community, clients and company better."

When he is not giving his all to the task at hand, Braxton finds time relaxing with his family. His wife, son and labradoodle are companions on his outdoor adventures, usually consisting of fishing, hiking and occasional archery in which he has found an enjoyable hobby in bow making and has made a couple of bows of his own. He's hoping that his dedication to hard work will pay off during this new career and adventure, but he is more focused on instilling these traits onto his 19-month old son, who rightfully consumes his time as a proud and dedicated father.

"I have always took great pride and joy in the things I have done. Not only because of the hard work it takes, but the outcome that benefits others in the process," said Wessell. "A career in real estate is something that I knew was going to be a challenge but, deciding on joining a company like Burgan Real Estate, one that values hard work because it produces something better for our clients and our community, was the easiest choice I had to ever make."

You'll soon see, Braxton, that we not only work hard at Burgan Real Estate, but we play hard too. We are excited to welcome you to our Burgan Bunch family and look forward to seeing the great things that come your way because we have no doubt you will work hard for them. Welcome to our Burgan family, Braxton!

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