Michael's Real Estate Blog

 

March 20, 2017

551 Palisades Blvd Crownsville MD 21032

Renovated and ready to sell! Beautifully updated open floor main level with New Kitchen that includes granite counters & SS Appliances. Updated, oil furnace & tank. Finished basement with bedroom, fireplace, new flooring and half bath. Outside, enjoy your half acre lot from the screened porch or open deck. Community access to beach, boat ramp and playground...Just a short walk away!

Contact me to schedule your showing today!

 

Posted in Home Selling
Jan. 22, 2017

Townhome For Sale in Odenton! 251 Saint Michaels Cir

Wonderful 4 bedroom town home in sought after Seven Oaks! New carpet and paint throughout. Open floor space in the finished basement with fireplace, bedroom and full bath. Beautiful kitchen with island. Large Master bedroom with walk in closet. Master bathroom has separate shower and tub. Large deck and stone patio with fenced in yard. Convenient to Fort Meade, Annapolis, Baltimore and DC!

 

Jan. 22, 2017

Home For Sale in Pasadena! 7782 Catherine Ave

7782 Catherine Ave Pasadena, MD 21122

Spectacular Renovation! This is the next best thing to a brand new home. Completely redone from top to bottom. Custom upgrades include hardwood flooring, granite kitchen counters, stainless appliances, tiled bathrooms and showers, new deck and more! The home boasts 4 large, comfortable rooms with a Master Suite that includes a full bath and walk in closet. Just a block away from Stoney Creek!

 

Jan. 16, 2017

Why Pricing Your Home Correctly is Critical

Why Pricing Your Home Correctly is Critical

The most challenging and important aspect of selling a home is listing it at the correct  price. It's one of several areas where the assistance of a skilled real estate agent can more than pay for itself.

Too high can be as bad as too low

If the listing price is too high, you'll miss out on a percentage of buyers looking in the price range where your home should be. Some sellers think that they'll be able to negotiate the price with buyers. There is a flaw in thinking that you'll always have the opportunity to accept a lower offer. Chances are the offers won't even come in, because the buyers who would be most interested in your home have been scared off by the price and aren't even taking the time to look. Your listing will become "sale" and by the time the price is corrected, you've already lost exposure to a large group of potential buyers.

The listing price becomes even trickier to set when prices are quickly rising or falling. It's critical to be aware of where and how fast the market is moving - both when setting the price and when negotiating an offer. Again, an experienced, well-trained agent is always in touch with market trends - often even to a greater extent than appraisers, who typically focus on what a property is worth if sold as-is, right now. 

Agent education, experience critical

When working with a real estate agent, it's critical that you have full confidence in that agent's experience and education. A skilled, knowledgeable agent should be able to explain to you exactly why your home needs to be priced at a certain level - compared to recent listings and sales of homes similar to yours. Experienced agents also know exactly what the current pool of buyers are looking for in relation to particular styles and price ranges of properties. A skilled agent can recommend changes that will enhance the salability of your home, thus increasing the price - and/or decreasing the length of time before a sale.

 

It's critical to keep all these aspects of pricing in mind, regardless of whom you choose to list your home.

Posted in Home Selling
Dec. 19, 2016

Latest Anne Arundel Home Numbers

Is now a good time to sell your home in Anne Arundel County?

Looking the latest housing numbers from November 2016, one could conclude that it is a great time to be a seller. Year over year for the same month, the median list price in the county increased by $100,000!

A big factor in this increase comes from the second important number to be released: housing inventory.  Anne Arundel County housing inventory fell, year over year, by 10%. Meaning, that there are fewer homes on the market than this time last year.  Fewer homes, means less competition from other sellers and subsequently, higher prices.

Take a look at these current Home Market Report numbers for the county.

Are you thinking about selling? Check your home's value here.

Low inventory and higher prices may make this a good time to list your home....

Posted in Home Selling
Nov. 5, 2016

8427 Maple Brook Lane

Every once in awhile, we get a new listing that simply blows our minds. This is one of those listings!

Beautiful - Almost New - 3 bedroom Carriage House by Toll Bros! Upgrades galore throughout the home include: Gourmet kitchen with stainless appliances, stone counters, 42" cabinets and island. Modern, open floor plan with lots of natural light. Gorgeous Master Suite with full bathroom, soaking tub, separate shower and upgraded vanities. Large open basement. Spacious 2 car garage and maintenance free deck!

Arundel Forest Community features include: hiking trails, swimming pool with kid's zone, playgrounds and more!

Check out this short video and schedule a showing today!

 

 

Posted in Homebuying
Sept. 27, 2016

Are You Ready to Buy A Home?

This may sound like a no brainer, but if you've never gone through the process of buying a home, you'll find that there is much to think about.  Buying a home can be one of the most exciting adventures of your life.  Almost everyone has dreamed of that beautiful country house with the white picket fence, or the sleek high rise condo with the panoramic city views.

Whatever your preference, there are many factors to consider before you take this big step.  You'll want to ask yourself some questions to gauge your readiness.

 Are you emotionally ready? 

There are a lot of ups and downs throughout the buying process.  You can feel amazing highs of excitement when you submit an offer on a house that seems so perfect.  Only to feel absolute lows when your offer is not- so- politely rejected by the seller.  The process can be long, and grinding.  You'll want to be sure that your mind and heart are prepared.

Are you ready for the responsibility? 

Owning a home comes with tremendous physical and financial responsibilities.  There are no landlords to call when the air conditioning unit stops working.  You are the landlord!  It will be your elbow grease, or your money to pay for the repairman that keeps your house in working order.

Why do I want to buy in the first place? 

Is your goal to have more living space?  A yard perhaps?  Do you want the tax benefits or mortgage interest deduction?  Maybe you simply just want a place of your own.  A home that you can take pride in owning.

 

However you answer these questions will determine what type of home will suit your needs.  Spend some time thinking this through.  Having a clear goal in mind - of what you want in a house - will help in your buying process.  This will give you direction, and help you to avoid properties that don't make sense.  

Need help with buying a home or have a real estate question? Contact me directly!

Posted in Homebuying
Sept. 20, 2016

Why the VA Mortgage is So Good

VA mortgage

VA loans are made by approved lenders, but are guaranteed by the federal Department of  Veterans Affairs. This guarantee is similar to mortgage insurance in that it protects the lender against loss in the event of the borrower’s default. The veteran borrower is charged a non-refundable upfront funding fee, which can be financed, instead of a mortgage insurance premium, for the guarantee.

A veteran receiving VA compensation for a service-connected disability is exempt from the fee requirement. The fee varies based on whether the borrower is a first-time VA borrower or a repeat borrower, whether he is eligible due to service in the regular military or the reserves or National Guard, and whether he puts nothing down or at least 5% down. The fee for a first-time VA borrower who is a veteran of the regular military is 2.15% of the loan amount. It is higher if he qualifies as a reservist or has obtained a VA loan previously. It is lower if he makes at least a 5% down payment. As with the FHA premium, this fee can be financed in the loan.

The primary advantage of a VA loan is that there is no down payment required on a loan of up to the Freddie Mac conforming loan limit. In addition, the seller can pay:

§  all of the borrower’s nonrecurring closing costs and discount points, with no limit.

§  up to 4% of the sales price in seller concessions. Concessions include prepaid taxes and insurance, the VA funding fee, payoff of the borrower’s existing debts, temporary buy down fees, and gifts.

It is easier to qualify for a VA loan than for a conventional loan. The VA uses two methods for qualifying borrowers:

1. A 41% debt-to-income ratio (including housing and fixed debt).

2. The residual income method, which determines whether the veteran has enough income after paying his fixed debts to cover his daily living expense. It can qualify a borrower whose ratio might exceed the 41% limit.

A VA loan is available only to veterans of the armed services, those currently on active duty, and their spouses; however, the loan is assumable by nonveterans.

In order to obtain the loan, the applicant must obtain a Certificate of Eligibility from the VA. This will determine whether he is eligible for a VA loan and whether he is eligible for a loan with the full guarantee.

The maximum loan guarantee varies depending on the location of the property. While the VA does not have a maximum loan amount, it will guarantee to the lender the lesser of 25% of the loan balance or of the Freddie Mac limit. For high-cost counties, the guarantee is the lesser of 25% of the loan balance or of the VA county loan limit, which takes into consideration the county’s median home price and the Freddie Mac conforming loan limit. The guarantee enables the lender to avoid losing money if he could recoup 75% of the loan balance from a sale of the borrower’s property at or after foreclosure.

An applicant who has used all or part of his entitlement for a VA loan can get it back to purchase another home if any of the following applies:

§  The prior property has been sold and the VA loan has been paid in full

§  A qualified veteran buyer has agreed to assume the outstanding balance on the VA loan and substitute his entitlement for the same amount of entitlement the applicant originally used to get the loan

§  One time only, the applicant has repaid the prior VA loan in full, but has not disposed of the property securing that loan

§  Even if an existing VA loan has not been paid off, the applicant has “remaining entitlement” due to an increase in the maximum entitlement amount since he obtained that loan

The borrower must also sign a Certificate of Occupancy, certifying that he will use the property as his primary residence. As with an FHA loan, for a VA loan the applicant must intend to move in within 60 days after closing and stay in the property for 12 months.

A veteran cannot borrow more than the value shown on the VA appraisal, called a Certificate of Reasonable Value (CRV). He can, however, buy the property for a higher purchase price if he pays the difference in cash. If he does not wish to do so, he can terminate the transaction and receive a refund of his earnest money, utilizing an escape clause required in the VA sales agreement.

 

The VA does not warrant the condition of the property and is not concerned with cosmetic items, such as chipped paint. However, if the property was constructed before 1978, any area with chipping or peeling paint must be stabilized (i.e., scraped and painted to remove the lead-based paint hazard) and a lead paint notification and disclosure must be provided to the buyer.

Do you know someone who could benefit from a VA mortgage? Contact me directly!

Posted in Homebuying
Aug. 24, 2016

When Should You Remodel Your Bathroom?

Next to your kitchen, your bathroom(s) are probably the most important rooms in your home. In terms of saleability and value, the state of your bathrooms can literally make or break your home!

Having said that, you want to make sure that your bathrooms are fresh, clean, and up to date.

Check out this great article and decide if you need to remodel your bathroom...

Have a real estate question? Please contact me directly!

 

Posted in Home Selling
Aug. 9, 2016

GORC For Your Kids

 

gorc

I recently agreed to coach another season (this time in the Fall) for my daughter's softball team. We live in Odenton, MD...so she plays in the Gambrills Odenton Recreation Council (GORC) league. 

If you live in the Gambrills - Odenton area, and have kids involved in sports, I definitely recommend checking out GORC. It is a friendly, organized league with many sports for both boys and girls of all ages.

My daughter plays softball in the Spring and basketball during the Winter months. GORC also has football, soccer, baseball, and even cheerleading...

The costs are relatively low - depending on the sport, and the practice and game times are pretty easy to make for parents. The coaches and staff are friendly and helpful (if I do say so myself) and make the children's experience both fun and educational.

Most of the outdoor sports are held at the fields in the Piney Orchard community in Odenton. During basketball season, the games and practices are rotated around the 3 public elementary schools in the area: Piney Orchard, Waugh Chapel, and Four Seasons.

For more information, please check out the GORC Website.

 

Posted in community, Homebuying