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Piney Orchard Townhouse for Rent

2732 Cherrywood Court, Odenton, MD 21113

Contact me today to see this beautiful 2 bedroom 2 level townhouse in the Woodland Walk section of Piney Orchard. This interior of this home has been redone from top to bottom, including new carpet, flooring, and paint. Available immediately. $1700/month.

Margaret Woda
Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc.
410-721-1500

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Loan Approvals Get Tougher in 2014

Loan Approvals Get Tougher in 2014

New mortgage approval requirements in 2014 could make it harder for you to buy a home.  In fact, you may want to make your purchase in the next 30 days if you are:

Dollar Sign

Other homebuyers who will likely be impacted negatively include those who rely on commissions, bonuses, or overtime pay for income and those who still owe on student loans.

In fact, most home-buyers will feel the impact of new regulations because lenders tend to be conservative when new regulations go into effect. They’ll likely err on the side of caution as they evaluate your:

1. Monthly Debt to Income ratios (43% or less)
2. Current debt obligations: credit cards, car loans, student debt, alimony, child support, etc.
3. Current or realistically expected income or assets (such as bonuses or overtime).
4. Current employment status (and length of employment).
5. Monthly payment for the property.
6. Monthly payment on miscellaneous loans.
7. Monthly payment for related obligation, such as the Condo or Homeowner’s Association, insurance, and taxes.
8. Credit history.

Since some people who qualify for a loan today will not qualify sixty days from now, it simply makes sense to buy in December before the new loan requirements go into effect. Contact me today if you’d like the contact information for Crofton area lenders my clients have recommended or if you have any questions for me about real estate in the greater Crofton area.

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Maryland Real Estate Forms Updated – 2013

Crofton Real Estate Q&A

Q.  How often are real estate forms updated in Maryland?  The offer on my home includes several forms that haven’t been updated since 2009 or earlier. Should I be concerned?

A.  Maryland real estate forms are typically updated as the laws change, usually in the fall following the legislative session ending in April when new real estate laws are passed.

Nearly forty standard real estate forms have been updated so far in Maryland during 2013, including the Maryland Property Condition Disclosure and Disclaimer from the Maryland Real Estate Commission, a division of the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation.

sign papersMaryland Residential Property Disclosure/Disclaimer Statement

Of the four new statutory forms, changes to the Maryland Residential Property Disclosure/Disclaimer Statement may be the most noticeable at a glance.

Home owners are now asked to disclose if permits were pulled from the county or local permitting office for improvements made by the homeowner or a contractor. Additionally, home owners are asked for details about their smoke detectors.  To view the new form in its entirety, click on Real Estate Commission – Maryland Residential Property Disclosure/Disclaimer Statement.

Maryland Association of REALTORS® Forms:

There were six changes to the Residential Contract of Sale and two changes to the Unimproved Land Contract. Both of these contracts now include a provision advising buyers to inquire about any deferred water and sewer assessments.  Another change to the Residential Contract of Sale is a provision requiring any permit violations to be corrected prior to closing.

Several addenda were modified, including the Short Sale Addendum, the VA and FHA Financing Addenda, the Financial Condition of Property Addendum, the Lockbox Addendum and several others.

The brokerage agreements for buyers and sellers were updated, as well.

This is not meant to be a complete list of updates, of course, but a reminder to check the date at the bottom of the page on any so-called “standard” real estate forms. If they’re not dated 2013, ask the agent to confirm that the form is the latest update. This information is easily available to all real estate agents and brokers at the Maryland Association of REALTORS® website.

Copyright 2013. All rights reserved. Margaret Woda

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Local information posted to Focus on Crofton is my way of attracting new buyers to our community while keeping my neighbors informed. Please feel free to comment below or contact me directly if you would like to see a post about an event sponsored by your community organization or a specific real estate topic.

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How does the government shutdown impact real estate?

The buck stops here!

The buck stops here!

If your home is currently on the market or you’re shopping for a home, you’re probably wondering about the government shutdown and how it will impact your plans. I certainly don’t have a crystal ball, but I can repeat what industry insiders are telling me.

The National Association of REALTORS published a white paper yesterday titled What a Goverment Shutdown Means for REALTORS, and I’m relying on that for the information that follows.  A link to the PDF file for this can be found at the bottom of this post, if you would like to download it and read the entire document.

Home Buyers: If you have a VA or FHA loan in process, you can expect some delays if the shutdown. I recommend contacting your agent and lender for their advice on substituting alternate financing or extending your contract closing date.  Hopefully all will be resolved quickly but that will require both sides to give and take in the ongoing political debate.

If you have a Conventional loan in process, you’re in luck because Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will continue to operate normally.  This is because they don’t rely on appropriated funds.  Buyers using the Making Home Affordable program, including HAMP and HAFA, will not be affected, since those programs are funded through the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act and this spending is mandatory, not discretionary. HOWEVER, any delays in obtaining verifications from the IRS regarding your tax record or the HR Department of a government branch where you are employed could have a trickle down effect.

If you haven’t yet found a home, don’t stop looking.  Chances are that some people will do just that and you will have less competition for the best houses on the market.

Home Sellers: If your buyer has a VA or FHA loan in process, you can expect some delays.  If you’re buying another home, contingent on the closing for your current home, I recommend you contact your agent on the new home to make sure he or she is aware of this situation with your current home.  It may be appropriate for your buyer’s agent to notify the listing agent of the home you’re buying.

If the buyer for your home is using a Conventional, HAMP, or HAFA loan, cross your fingers… it looks like you’ll be okay.

However, if your home is not currently under contract, expect less buyer activity until this matter is resolved because VA and FHA buyers may wait until this matter is resolved to look at homes.  Even Conventional buyers may become disheartened, simply because no one likes uncertainty AND so many local and relocating buyers are government employees whose regular paycheck may be at risk. In fact, anyone working for a government contractor may also be facing some uncertainty about their next paycheck.

The bottom line:  September may be a tough month for anyone buying or selling a home and for anyone in the industry such as agents, lenders, contractors, home inspectors, and the like.  Let’s hope this matter is resolved quickly.

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I can’t help thinking that compromise is something we do every day in real estate.  We find something both parties agree on and go from there, no matter how tiny or insignificant, and then both parties compromise on their differences.  In the end, no one is 100% happy, but everybody gets enough of what they want to feel satisfied with the outcome.  We need to communicate to our elected officials that we expect them to do this.  After all, Congress and the President work for ALL the people, even those with whom they may disagree.  Just sayin’.

What a Goverment Shutdown Means for REALTORS

 

 

 

 

 

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Crofton Georgetown Homes in High Demand

Crofton Georgetown Homes 

Three of the four most recent closings in this beautiful neighborhood were my listings, and I am happy to report that two of them went under contract in a day and the third sold in a week.  Much as I would like to claim all the credit for these results, the home owners deserve a lot of credit for their well-maintained homes and the time invested in preparing their homes for sale. And we all know about the importance of location, location, location – not to mention the standard features in these popular townhouses.

History of Crofton Georgetown Houses

The Crofton Village Green, Crofton Country Club, and approximately 470 homes were built in the new community of Crofton between 1964 and 1966.  159 of these new homes were in The Crofton Georgetown Homes, located at the intersection of Crofton Parkway and Duke of Kent Street. When these colonial style townhouses were first offered by Hamilton Crawford, standard features included hardwood floors on the main living levels, heat lamps in the bathrooms, central vacuum systems, pantries off the kitchen, an open concept layout between the dining room and kitchen, and stairs with a low rise and wide tread.  Many of the homes were brick, and most of them included a basement.

Crofton Georgetown Homes Today:

There are three separate regimes in the Crofton Georgetown Homes, each with its own governing board and covenants.  Regardless of the regime, outstanding maintenance of the public areas is a hallmark of the community and one of the things which attract new home buyers.

Elementary school students can walk to nearby Crofton Elementary, and Anne Arundel County school buses transport the older children to Crofton Middle School and Arundel Senior High School.

There are three models:

WARBURTON is larger than many single family homes, with 3,000 sq. ft. including the basement. This model is a four bedroom, 2.5 bath colonial with a partially finished basement which may or may not include another half or full bathroom.  It originally featured a center foyer, formal dining room, a large formal living room and a family room on the main level. Today, you’re likely to find the a Warburton with the kitchen and dining room combined, as they were at 1736 Dryden Way.  This home sold in 2013 at $328,000, after a low appraisal forced the price down from the original contract price.  Since then, another Warburton closed at $339,000.

CARLYLE is the smallest model in the community, with almost 1900 sq. ft. including a basement, but some of the earliest Carlyle’s did not have a basement. This model is a two or three bedroom home, with one full bath upstairs and a half bath on the main level. A Carlyle, with basement, sold in 2013 for $283,000.

THORNTON is large town home, nearly 2500 sq. ft., with three bedrooms, 2.5 baths, and a full basement. As you step inside the door, you can see all the way through to the back windows and beyond – which creates a very open and spacious feeling. The two most recent sales for this model (as of August 25, 2013) were $299,000 and $280,000.  Both homes were in excellent condition; the price variance reflects the difference in updating and added features such as a stone fireplace and 3rd full bath in the more expensive home.

There are a few homes in this community that feature a different layout, with the kitchen in front overlooking the parking lot rather than the patio.  I can’t say for sure if these homes were alternate layouts to the Thornton and Carlyle or if they had a different name.  I’m only aware of about  five of these in the entire community.

If you’re interested in buying a home in the Crofton Georgetown Homes, don’t wait for one to come on the market.  Contact me today so I can let you know about any upcoming listings BEFORE they become public knowledge!

Copyright 2013. All rights reserved.

About Focus on Crofton:

FocusonCrofton.com is my way of attracting relocating homebuyers to the greater Crofton area while keeping current residents updated about local real estate, news, and events. Please click on Contact Margaret Woda if you would like to see information about your community organization or local event posted on FocusonCrofton.com or our Facebook page.

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