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Build Crofton High School Rally This Week

Build Crofton High School (BCHS) Rally
Anne Arundel County Board of Education

Wednesday, September 17 at 7 p.m.

 

Build Crofton High School (BCHS) supporters will rally at the Anne Arundel County Board of Education on Wednesday, September 17, at 7 p.m. to encourage the Board to include a 13th high school in the Capital Improvement Plan. 

Crofton Middle School currently feeds two distant high schools: South River H.S., 17 miles southeast of Crofton, and Arundel H.S., 13 minutes north of Crofton. Who could have imagined that this community would be celebrating its 50th Anniversary without yet having a local high school!?!?!?

Nine of the twelve Anne Arundel County high schools will be over 100% capacity by 2023, including both South River and Arundel High Schools. In spite of this fact, the Board of Education and County Council have no plan for building a thirteenth high school. If the BCHS effort isn’t successful, children currently attending Crofton, Crofton Woods, Crofton Meadows and Nantucket Elementary Schools will be attending overcrowded schools AND spending countless wasted hours on the road to get there and back home. 

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Several local politicians attended an August 28 meeting of BCHS, including Republicans Councilman Jerry Walker and Delegate Cathy Vitale, candidates for the House, Henry Green (D), Tom Angelis (D), Sid Saab (R), and Wes Adams (R). BCHS organizer John Boniface quipped that the official color of BCHS, which is purple, is a perfect blend of Democrat Blue and Republican Red.

School bus

In addition to capacity problems, several residents at the August meeting mentioned the cost of transporting Crofton students to South River and Arundel High Schools. Since a Crofton high school would be located behind the current Crofton Middle School, many students would be able to walk, significantly cutting transportation costs for the county. (And, I might add, avoid the expense of purchasing land to build a high school.)

Local schools are important to your property value. As a long-time real estate agent in Crofton, I can’t emphasize enough how important the schools are to property values in a community. Relocating home buyers often investigate factors like overcrowding and distance to school before they will consider a community. Even if there are no children in your household, it’s important for you to support BCHS now – if only for financial reasons.

The squeaky wheel gets the grease.

Crofton residents must persist in “squeaking” – a strategy used successfully by Severna Park residents to get a new high school. Please take an hour out of your evening this Wednesday, September 17, to attend the BCHS rally at the Board of Education, 2644 Riva Road, Annapolis, MD 21401.  Your mere presence will help create a visual impression on Board members that Crofton is serious about building a local high school.

Print a flier about the September 17 rally

Like BCHS on Facebook

Many thanks to Jenn Morson for contributing to this post. Jenn grew up in Crofton and her children attend Crofton Elementary School. She is an active participant in the BCHS effort. Thank you, John Boniface, for providing a copy of the flier.

Posted by Margaret Woda | Discussion: Comments Off on Build Crofton High School Rally This Week

Invest in Crofton Real Estate – The Timing Couldn’t be Better!

Crofton’s real estate market is one of the few in our nation to benefit from changes to our nation’s defense strategy. While 70,000 service members will be cut from our armed forces in the $75 million leaner military budget, nearby Fort George G. Meade will welcome 4,000 more military men and women over the next few years.

They will support the information, intelligence, and cyber security missions of the National Security Agency, Defense Informaton Systems Agency, Defense Media Activity, and Cyber Command, which are located at Fort Meade. In fact, 13 major construction projects are currently in progress to house this expansion. But these folks also need a place to live.

Crofton’s location in the middle of a triangle formed by Fort Meade, the U.S. Naval Academy and Joint Base Andrews is often the first factor in attracting military personnel to our community. The easy 20-minute commute is often overshadowed as a priority, however, when buyers and renters see American flags flying over Crofton Parkway, learn about the annual Armed Forces Day Parade, and discover the Blue Star Memorial in front of Crofton Library. No wonder that so many retired military, DOD civilians, and active duty military personnel choose to live here… it’s convenient to work, the houses and townhouses are affordable, and the community just feels like home.

This military factor has provided stability and potential to the Crofton real estate market for decades. With this latest expansion at Fort Meade, the timing couldn’t be better to purchase a home or rental property. There are more than 80 properties on the market in Crofton now that are priced under $500,000. One of the best investent opportunities in Crofton is 1615 Dryden Way.  Call me for an appointment to see this and several other homes.

Crofton Homes for Sale

Posted originally on Activerain.com 7/23/14.

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Posted by Margaret Woda | Discussion: Comments Off on

Another Source for Down Payment on a Home

How much down payment will I need for a Crofton townhouse?

The average sold price for an attached home in Crofton in May 2014 was approximately $251,500. Using an FHA loan, the 3.5% down payment would be $8,803.00. Using a 95% conventional loan, the down payment would  be $12,575.  In both cases, sellers are allowed to pay some of the buyers’ closing costs if they’re willing.

In other words, you’d be a lot closer to buying a home if you just had an extra $10,000. Right?  

Check out this excerpt from an article by real estate columnist, Pat Zaby:

Another Source for a Down Payment

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Most taxpayers know they will pay a 10% penalty for withdrawing funds from their IRA before they turn 59.5 years old.  BUT… There is an exception for first-time home buyers that allows a penalty-free withdrawal up to $10,000 per person if they haven’t owned a home in the previous two years.

This would allow a married couple who each have an IRA to withdraw a lifetime maximum of $10,000 each – $20,000 total, penalty-free for a home purchase. In many cases, the money would be used for a down payment or closing costs.  However, some buyers might consider this source to increase their down payment so they could qualify for a loan without mortgage insurance or a lower interest rate.

Another interesting fact about this provision is that the taxpayer making the withdrawal can use it to help a qualified relative which includes children, grandchildren, parents and grandparents.

I am not an accountant or attorney, so before using IRA funds for a home purchase you should get expert advice from your own tax professional concerning your situation.

Let’s Get Started!

Contact me today or visit my website for information about the home-buying process. No cost or obligation, just information to help you decide if you’re ready.  The payoff for you will be huge: you can have the option to fire your landlord and enjoy the tax benefits of home ownership, not to mention all the other benefits of home ownership.

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Posted by Margaret Woda | Discussion: Comments Off on Another Source for Down Payment on a Home

Walden – Featured Crofton Community

Walden – Featured Crofton Community

Walden Golf Course 2More than 900 homes are located north of Rt. 424 in the Crofton community of Walden, including townhouses, multi-unit condos, and detached homes built around the community centerpiece of Walden Golf Course, clubhouse, tennis and pool facilities. Most of these homes were built during the 1990’s.

The earliest Walden homes – approximately one hundred 3-level townhouses and seventy-two garden-style condos – appeared on the south side of Johns Hopkins Road between 1990-1992.

The exterior appearance of these early Walden townhouses was somewhat stark and boring, with little or no brick on the facade, but their interior layouts were spacious and more than made up for the exterior. Some of them featured a garage and some even backed to the golf course. The Tiers of Walden condos ranged from 710-1280 square feet, appealing to buyers who wanted an apartment-size dwelling with the benefits of home ownership and, as a bonus, their own garage. Fourteen attractive detached homes, featuring basements and garages, were built on Walden Drive during this same period.

Other Walden neighborhoods popped up along Reidel Road over the next eight years, between Johns Hopkins Road and Crofton Meadows, adding more than seven hundred households to Crofton. The homes included 3-level townhouses, many with garages, zero lot-line villas that introduced another new concept to Crofton, and traditional detached homes.

Demand for Walden homes in Crofton has never wavered since the day they were built, as many buyers are attracted by their relative “newness” – about 30 years younger than most homes inside the Crofton triangle. Yet residents enjoy the same convenience to D.C., Baltimore, and Annapolis, excellent Crofton schools, participation in Crofton community organizations, and the same shopping, dining, and recreational venues.  As the community celebrates 50 years since the first home was built in Crofton, we celebrate the neighborhoods in Walden built in the 1990’s.

Check out current listings of Walden homes for sale by clicking on the icon below.  This list updates automatically, so it will be current whether you read this post today or years later.  When you see a home (or two or three) that catches your eye, contact Team Woda at [email protected] or call me at Long & Foster (410) 451-6245 to see the home and community up close and in person.

Button Find my Next Home

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Crofton’s 50th Anniversary Calendar

 

Posted by Margaret Woda | Discussion: Comments Off on Walden – Featured Crofton Community

When is the best time to sell?

REAL ESTATE F.A.Q.

Q. When is the best time to sell my Crofton home?Crystal ball cropped

A. My fist instinct is to reply with “Spring” – but all I have to do is look back at my own listings to know that would have been the wrong answer for some of them. In January 2013, one of my listings had seventeen appointments scheduled the first week, and four contracts the first day. The home literally sold for more than full price to a cash buyer in less than 24 hours. In fact, the average “days on market” for my listings in recent years has been less than two weeks, regardless of the timing.

The answer is further confused by the fact that “most new contracts” occur in Crofton at various times. Over the past 8 years, it has been June (2013 and 2011), July (2012 and 2008), October (2009), and March (2010, 2007 and 2006) when the most new contracts were written. The “most new closings” tend to follow by 30-60 days.

You probably won’t be surprised to learn that the “fewest new contracts” have often occurred during the colder months – December (2013, 2010, 2009,2008*, 2007 ), January (2010*), February (2012*) – with a few exceptions: October (2008*), November (2012*, 2011, 2008*) ), July (2006) and May (2010*). An asterisk (*) indicates an equal number of contracts in more than one month that year.

The bottom line is this: The best time to sell your home is whenever you want or need to sell. There’s not a single month in the eight years I’ve been tracking Crofton real estate statistics that no homes have gone under contract – not even during the worst real estate market in decades, as the real estate bubble burst here and all around us.

So stop procrastinating and waiting for the “best time to sell” because the best time may be NOW!

WANTED: Crofton colonial with basement and 2-car garage, 4 bedrooms, 2.1 baths, low $500’s. Relocating military family wants to buy in mid-April.

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Crofton’s 50th Anniversary Calendar

Posted by Margaret Woda | Discussion: Comments Off on When is the best time to sell?

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