Area Real Estate News & Market Trends

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Dec. 18, 2017

Maryland Agricultural Conservation Easement Program, Transource and the Maryland General Assembly

Admittedly, I have not been following this as closely as I probably should have, but there is something very unsettling going on.
 
Last year, the Maryland General Assembly passed a bill giving utility companies the power of condemnation(eminent domain), if they had been issued a "certificate of public convenience and necessity" to construct overhead power lines.
 
 
This seems quite specific. It only applies to overhead power lines, not underground power lines or underground fuel lines. This leads me to believe there was a project already conceived and planned.
Well, no sooner than did this bill pass the Maryland General Assembly pass this bill, Transource Energy, LLC proposed a new project.
 
 
This may or may not be a big deal to many, but in Washington and Harford Counties and York and Franklin Counties in Southern PA, this has turned into a HUGE issue. To put this into context, some of the properties in the path of the proposed path of this project are farms owned for decades, some over a century, and have been entered into the Maryland Agricultural Conservation Easement program. This program pays land owners and the land is preserved in this program to prevent further development.
 
Entering the MACE program greatly diminishes the value of a property, but the purpose is to preserve the land for future use/enjoyment. The rub comes with this new bill and the proposed Transource project. The project proposed for PA and MD to construct overhear power lines would require Transource to condemn property already in a Maryland Agricultural Concervation Easement. This land is now less expensive for Transource to acquire because the value is diminished by being in the MACE. Not only is the land less expensive than land not in a conservation easement, but the easement that is in place to preserve the land, makes it more attractive for this utility company to obtain at a diminished price.
The Maryland House and Senate both passed this legislation with little resistance. Here is the voting record for SB969. The bill's lone sponsor does not even represent the area being impacted by this project. Senator Brian Feldman is a Montgomery County senator.
The Maryland Senate unanimously passed this bill and there were only 31 delegates to oppose this bill in the Maryland House.
This proposed project will have a permanent impact on Southern PA and Harford County. Property values will be devalued, agricultural businesses will be devastated by the reduction in productive land, possibly stigmatized and some believe there is a health risk from high tension power lines.
More info can be found here:
Posted in home values
Oct. 31, 2017

Easy Prep to Get Your Home Winter-Ready

Photo by Pixabay

 

As the cooler months of fall and winter are setting in, it’s time to decide when to turn on the heat, if we haven’t already. It seems like yesterday the air conditioning was on (in some places, it still is!). While we can’t control the weather, we can control how we prepare our home for the cooler temperatures and falling snow and ice.

 

Just a few chores are needed to make sure your home weathers well this winter and keeps you and your family nice and cozy until spring. Here are a few tips:

 

  1. Give your home a good cleaning -- Just like in spring, your home needs a good cleanup. Dust, vacuum, clean your blinds, clear yard debris, get rid of clutter, rotate your clothing to make space for your winter gear and get out your hats, gloves, coats and scarves.
    Also, clear all the places that have airflow. Vacuum your air vents, clean your stove hood, ceiling fans, and your dryer vent.
  2. Clean your gutters -- We often forget about our gutters because they hang out where we don’t usually look, but cleaning them can make a huge difference for your home. If your gutters get clogged, they can’t drain water properly, causing them to freeze and break loose. Ice dams in your gutters can even damage your roof and foundation. If you do it yourself, be careful on the ladder and have someone nearby to hold the ladder and call for help if you fall.You can get a professional to do it for just a little bit of expense. The average cost to have gutters and downspouts cleaned in Baltimore is $105 - $177 and takes around four hours, according to HomeAdvisor.
  3. Get your furnace inspected and cleaned -- A little maintenance goes a long way toward efficiency and endurance for your heating and air conditioning systems. Make sure you replace the air filter, too: It should be replaced once a month or every three months, depending on what type of filter you use. These things will help prevent your furnace from quitting, which usually happens on the coldest day of the year.

 

  1. Create a mud room -- Your entryway will get muddy and wet when the rain, snow and ice hit, so create a space for it. Encourage family members, kids especially, to remove all their wet things right there at the door so they don’t track moisture and dirt throughout the house. Hang hooks for coats, and put cubbies near the door for boots, hats and scarves.
  2. Sweep the chimney -- If you want a nice, cozy fire, you need your chimney clean and safe. You’ll have to call a pro for this service, but it could save your home from the major damage of a chimney fire. Creosote builds up in chimneys, which can catch fire and burn inside your home. A chimney sweep will be able to check for leaks and install a chimney cap, if needed, to keep debris and animals out.
  3. Check for air leaks -- Weather stripping and caulking can prevent major air leaks and save you money on energy bills. Caulk around the windows and weatherstrip the windows and doors. Check for air leaks regularly.
  4. Check your pipes -- If you have water pipes that are in unheated areas, make sure they are well-insulated. If they aren’t properly insulated, or if the insulation has come off, your pipes can freeze and burst, causing expensive damage. If you go out of town, don’t turn the heat below 55 degrees.

 

With just a little advance planning, your home will be clean, safe and efficient for the season to come. And you’ll make it through the cooler months with some extra peace of mind.

 

Thanks to Eugene Williams at DIYDad.info for this article. Eugene has spent the last two decades completing a variety of DIY projects from large to small. Please visit his website for more information.

July 31, 2017

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Curious about local real estate? So are we! Every month we review trends in our real estate market and consider the number of homes on the market in each price tier, the amount of time particular homes have been listed for sale, specific neighborhood trends, the median price and square footage of each home sold and so much more. We’d love to invite you to do the same!

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We can definitely fill you in on details that are not listed on the report and help you determine the best home for you. If you are wondering if now is the time to sell, please try out our INSTANT home value tool. You’ll get an estimate on the value of your property in today’s market. Either way, we hope to hear from you soon as you get to know our neighborhoods and local real estate market better.

Posted in Market Updates
April 4, 2017

Scared to sell your home and be left without a place to stay?

 

WHAT IS MY HOME WORTH?

 

I get a lot of home owners who need to sell their current home before they are financially able to purchase their next home. This is not an uncommon situation, but how do you go about selling your home without running the risk of becoming "homeless?

 

The idea of coordinating the sale of your existing home, location of a new home and coinciding settlements can be intimidating, but doesn't have to be.

 

As an experienced agent, there are many ways to alleviate the stress from this situation. Sometimes a lender can offer a solution to allow a purchase using the equity in the clients current home. More commonly, as the agent selling your home and helping your purchase a new home, I will suggest a "home of choice" contingency. This allows a home owner to accept a contract on their property, but then allows the home owner a specified time to locate and come to an agreement on their new property. This timeframe can be as little as 7 days, but I have seen some extend to as much as 30 days. The buyer of your home typically does not proceed with inspections and appraisals until you as the home seller, agrees in writing that you have found your new home and are releasing the contingency. At this point, all parties can proceed with inspections, appraisals and plans to settle the sale of each home.

Along with the "home of choice" contingency, as a seller, you would also include a contingency in your new purchase that stipulates the settlement of your existing home must occur prior to the settlement/purchase of your new home. Most experienced agents will know how to coordinate these events so that their is ample time for everyone to perform the necessary actions to insure smooth and successful sales for all parties involved.

 

If you are stressed about the idea of having to sell and buy a home, feel free to contact me of visit the link below to find out what you home could potentially be worth. Right now the local real estate market is HOT and we are in need of homes for the many, many buyers we have looking for their perfect home.

 

WHAT IS MY HOME WORTH?

March 6, 2017

Hooray Beer! Iconic Baltimore Beer Property for Sale

When it comes to Baltimore history, beer plays a major role. One of the most iconic names in Baltimore Brewing is Baurenschmidt. Frederick Baurenschmidt is the son of George Baurenschmidt, who is one of the pioneers of the Baltimore brewing industry. Frederick opened his own brewery after the sale of his father's brewery in 1898. Frederick's brewery eventually became the iconic American Brewery.

Frederick and his wife Agnes began construction of a home in Eastern Balitmore County in 1905 on land then knows as "Planter's Paradise". This home became to be known as the Baurenschmidt Mansion. One of the most iconic Maryland homes, this property now consists of a .71 acre lot. The home has been meticulously restored and features an in ground pool, private beach and more! How would you like a property like this?

 

This historic home is now on the market.

Call me today so we can begin searching for your dream home,  443-463-3592,

or visit www.allhomes4me.com to search for all available homes for sale.

2316 Baurenschmidt Cr. Baltimore, MD 21221

 

March 3, 2017

Is Best Available Technology Always Best?

 

 

The Maryland General Assembly is in the middle of its 2017 session and there are plenty of bills to support and oppose. One bill, SB266, particularly impacts Maryland home owners, home builders and the real estate industry as a whole. The Better Available Technology for Nitrogen Removal is an idea that enhancing septic systems with oxygenation pumps will reduce nitrogen entering the Chesapeake Bay. Nitrogen is a big contributor to algae blooms, which in turn kill marine life. In 2012, then Governor O'Malley enacted a regulation requiring this new technology to be used for all new homes utilizing a private septic system, and also required the system in some circumstances on existing homes.

[embed]https://youtu.be/JoLni-c4HrA[/embed]

The Maryland General Assembly is in the middle of its 2017 session and there are plenty of bills to support and oppose. One bill, SB266, particularly impacts Maryland home owners, home builders and the real estate industry as a whole. The Better Available Technology for Nitrogen Removal is an idea that enhancing septic systems with oxygenation pumps will reduce nitrogen entering the Chesapeake Bay. Nitrogen is a big contributor to algae blooms, which in turn kill marine life. In 2012, then Governor O'Malley enacted a regulation requiring this new technology to be used for all new homes utilizing a private septic system, and also required the system in some circumstances on existing homes.

 

In August of 2016, Governor Larry Hogan announced that he would repeal the regulation, but allow counties to issue permits for systems of "less than best available technology" outside of environmental critical areas.

 

To paint a very brief and simple picture, the regulation imposed by the prior administration required a system that costs on average an additional $10,000 over the tried and true existing systems. In addition, the efficacy of the BAT systems is debatable.

 

As the current bill is written, there would be no flexibility on a local level to accommodate home builders or home owners to be able to use any other systems than the over priced BAT systems. Given that this system has a minute impact on the environment, but has a much larger impact on home affordability, the senate voted 23-22 to reject this bill, but it is now being reconsidered on March 3rd, 2017(this is allowed in MD). Senator Justin Ready of Carroll County says the total impact of the new systems would be "4/1000th of the total 1.6 million pound nitrogen removal goal for Bay cleanup".

 

There is still time to oppose or support this bill. I've included a link to the actual bill.

 

Contact your senator immediately to make sure they know how you feel.

 

UPDATE!!!

After being voted unfavorably last week by the senate, this bill was proposed for reconsideration on March 3rd, but after debate on the bill, it was decided to "lay over" the bill until today, March 6th, 2017.

 

PLEASE CONTACT ANY DEMOCRAT STATE SENATOR TO OPPOSE THIS BILL!

Senator Joan Carter Conway is the sponsor of this bill. Please contact her office and ask her to pull this bill! Senator Conway is a Baltimore City senator, which does more damage to the bay than all of the septic systems in MD combined AND has NO septic systems. Baltimore City is all public sewer.

 

Joan Carter Conway

1-800-492-7122 ext. 3145

email: joan.carter.conway@senate.state.md.us

June 4, 2015

Maryland Mortgage Program You've earned it!

 

Military Veterans "You've earned it!"

Governor Larry Hogan recently opened up a Maryland Mortgage Program to active military and honorably discharged veterans. This product is called the Maryland Mortgage Program You've earned it!. This program was already available for home buyers who had $25,000 in student loan debt, but now is open to active duty military and veterans. This program avails the home buyer to a deferred down payment assistance grant of $10,000 AND a 30 year mortgage interest rate of 2.75% !

 

This program will allow 1st time home buyers to purchase home offset Maryland's already expensive home purchase process. The $10,000 grant will be a deferred 0% loan only payable when the home owner sells or refinances the mortgage. You must be a 1st time home buyer unless you meet one of the exceptions listed on the MMP website.

 

There is a requirement of completing a home buyer workshop to be eligible for the "You've earned it!" program. This is standard for all MMP loans.

 

For a map of "sustainable communities", use this map.

 

You DO NOT have to be a 1st time home buyer if you are buying in one of MMP's designated "sustainable communities". There are additional eligibility requirements which can be found here.

To find a home, use the link below.

 

Free Property Home Search

May 26, 2015

21 VISTA VIEW CT, KINGSVILLE, MD 21087KINGSVILLE21087 $515,000 www.allhomes4me.com MLS#BC8636837

mainexterior_700

Well maintained home in rarely available neighborhood. Large lot off of cul de sac.

kitchen_700

 

 

 

 

 

Hardwood floors, solar energy, generator, huge great room with windows on 3 sides. Main level laundry and freshly renovated powder room.

diningroom_700

 Potential in-law/au pair suite in lower level includes bedroom, bath, living room and full kitchen. One year Home Warranty!

sunroom_700

 

 

Hardwood floors, solar energy, generator, huge great room with windows on 3 sides. Main level laundry and freshly renovated powder room. All replacement windows, kitchen updated and more. Potential in-law/au pair suite in lower level includes bedroom, bath, living room and full kitchen. One year Home Warranty!

Montoya CDPE, SFR, MDI, mls#BC8636837 5bed 4.5bath

Source: 21 VISTA VIEW CT, KINGSVILLE, MD 21087KINGSVILLE21087 $515,000 www.allhomes4me.com MLS#BC8636837

May 21, 2015

Maryland Real Estate Statistics for April 2015

Memorial Day 2015

 

The April 2015 Real Estate Statistics for Maryland are in and the positive trends continue. While the Baltimore Orioles are not so hot, the real estate market in Baltimore County, Harford County and surrounding area continues to be on fire!

cookout

 

 

While there are fewer homes available this year than last year, more homes are actually selling. This means real estate inventory is down. In Harford County that number is about a 4% reduction, in Baltimore County the number is about 3%, in Baltimore City there are about 17% less homes available this year and about 17% more homes being sold. All this leads to a changing real estate market. The market is quickly correcting itself from a buyer's market to now a very competitive seller's market.

 

Bidding wars are becoming more common again and properly priced homes are sometimes selling for more than list price. What does this mean for home buyers? It means you better have your ducks in a row. Have a home to sell before you purchase your next property? Make sure your current home is in the best condition possible, meet with a REALTOR to plan the sale of your home and have your financing in order for the purchase of your new home. The best buyer in our current real estate market is a buyer with approved financing and a home already under contract. Imagine being a home seller and getting an offer from a buyer that says they need to list their home and they have not completed the mortgage application process. Now, imagine a competing buyer having their home already listed, or even better under contract, and their financing only contingent on a contract and acceptable appraisal? Which offer would you take? The seller may even concede some of the sale price for the more stable offer.

 

Real Estate Statistics Real Estate Statistics

 

For the potential home seller, now is a great time to sell. Current interest rates are still at very, very attractive levels which is allowing home buyers to purchase and keep their monthly expenses under control. Now is the time to sell with very low housing inventory levels. If your home is well maintained, priced well and marketed properly, it WILL stand out. Also consider this, the average time on market for a home sold in April was roughly 60-70 days. This means listing now would likely mean your home will be under contract and sold by July. As a seller, you need to have a plan in place to coordinate a move and possibly the purchase of a new home. An experienced REALTOR can help make this an easy, stress-free experience.

 

Below are some links to Maryland real estate statistics. If we see the current trends continue, we will see the real estate market prop up the local economy and bring back job, lower unemployment and improve the overall confidence of Marylanders.

 

 

 

 

ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY REAL ESTATE

BALTIMORE CITY REAL ESTATE

BALTIMORE COUNTY REAL ESTATE

CARROLL COUNTY REAL ESTATE

CECIL COUNTY REAL ESTATE

HARFORD COUNTY REAL ESTATE

April 15, 2015

Maryland Real Estate Statistics for March 2015

  Spring Tulips   

 

The Real Estate Statistics for March of 2015 show encouraging trends. With the warming weather, approach of the end of the school year and lack of available and desirable inventory, I expect the pace of the market to continue to quicken and even turn into a seller's market! Inventory is down, prices are slightly up and lenders are less stringent then they were this same time last year. 

 

Oriole Park at Camden Yard

 

     In most of Baltimore County, the inventory levels are averaging only 4 MONTHS OF SUPPLY! This is an incredibly low level and could have an immediate impact on buyer's ability to negotiate and purchase homes. With inventory that low, the cash strapped buyer or someone not willing to bid aggressively will be left out. 

 

     Harford County is less competitive , but is still at only an average of a 6 month supply of homes. This still does not take into consideration that within that level of inventory, there will still be foreclosures and short sales that are not desirable for some buyers. IF YOU SEE A HOME THAT YOU LIKE, BID AND BID WITH SINCERE INTENTIONS!

 

     Interest rates are still at very low levels. For someone with very good credit, rates can still be had at or just below 4% for a 30 year fixed mortgage. 

 

If you are looking to buy or sell, contact me today for a FREE home buyer consultation or a FREE home valuation. I am happy to answer any questions and point you in the right direction!

 

Real Estate Statistics

Below are links to some of the surrounding counties and their real estate statistics for March of this year. 

 

ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY REAL ESTATE

 

BALTIMORE CITY REAL ESTATE

 

BALTIMORE COUNTY REAL ESTATE

 

CARROLL COUNTY REAL ESTATE

 

CECIL COUNTY REAL ESTATE

 

HARFORD COUNTY REAL ESTATE