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Best time to rent in Crofton area?

Q. When is the best time to contact an agent about renting a property in Crofton, Odenton, or Bowie?

Rent SignA. If you plan to move in the next 30 days, now is the time to contact an agent about looking at rental properties. That’s because most rental listings are already vacant and cleaned for the next tenant. Landlords are eager to find and accept a tenant to occupy the property and some may be more flexible about the terms and the tenant’s credit qualifications than he/she would be for a later move-in. It’s possible you can even negotiate a small discount in the advertised rent for a quick move-in, because landlords don’t want to maintain a vacant property.

In recent weeks, several people have contacted me for spring and summer move-in dates, and it’s difficult (perhaps even unlikely) to find a property listed now that will become available 60 or more days out, because current or recent tenants rarely give notice sooner than 30-60 days.  After they move out, the landlord will probably need at least a few days to prepare the property for the next tenant.

I know you’re eager to get started, so invest some time looking at rentals online to get a sense of market prices for the size and location you want. It would also be a good idea to order your free credit report to make sure there won’t be any surprises when you make application.

At the time of application, you can expect to pay for a credit report for each adult who will occupy the property plus one month’s rent and a security deposit, usually equal to one month’s rent.  If you ask, it’s possible the agent and/or landlord will agree to hold either the first month’s rent or security deposit until your move-in date. It won’t be automatic – you’ll have to ask!

If you have any additional questions about renting a property in the greater Crofton area, including Odenton and Bowie, please call my office at 410-451-6245.

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Crofton’s 50th Anniversary Calendar

 

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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

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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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Replace the Carpet or Give Buyers an Allowance?

Should we Replace the Carpet or Give Buyers an Allowance?

Digital Image by Sean LockeDigital Planet Designwww.digitalplanetdesign.comReplacing the carpet is always the best option for home sellers in the greater Crofton area, unless your carpet is in GREAT condition. Chances are that investment will more than pay for itself in the sale price, and it will likely shorten the time your home is on the market. For many home sellers, a quick sale is a high priority because of looming deadlines for a job transfer or settlement on another home. For others, the inconvenience of keeping the home tidy to show is a significant inconvenience – especially if there are children and pets in the house.

That makes 2 good reasons for replacing your old and worn carpet: higher sale price and fewer days on market.

In my experience, most home buyers don’t want to deal with deferred maintenance issues before or after their move to a new home. Unpacking and getting settled in is daunting enough, and they prefer a home that’s in move-in condition. Yes, it’s true that they may change the carpet or replace it with hardwoods, but that’s not your problem – at least they’ll buy the house! If all things are equal between your home and a competing property down the street, buyers will likely choose the one with new carpet – even if it’s not their choice of color and quality.

If replacing the carpet isn’t something you’re willing or able to do, listing your Crofton area home at a lower price will be more effective than offering a carpet allowance because it will attract more eyes to your home listing.  As they say on one of the HGTV series, “Price trumps everything!”

I’m always happy to answer real estate questions for Crofton home buyers and sellers, even if you’re not yet ready to make a move.

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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What school will my kids attend if I buy that house?

Crofton Real Estate Q&A: What school will my kids attend if I buy that house?

This is a question that I hear from most relocating home buyers. Think about it… you probably asked that question yourself when you started looking at homes in this area.

You really can’t go wrong with any school in this area.  

Maryland public schools rank #1 for the fifth year in a row, according to nationwide rankings by Education Week and, according to U.S. News, three Anne Arundel County Schools are in the Top 15 statewide:  Severna Park, Broadneck and South River.  Students from many areas of Crofton and Gambrills, as well as Davidsonville and Edgewater, attend South River.  Many Annapolis and Arnold students attend Broadneck. Students who live in Severna Park and some areas of Arnold attend Severna Park.

Since the quality of our schools is such a major draw for potential home buyers, it seems a little crazy that so many real estate agents fail to include the school names for each and every listing. And some of those listed are incorrectly identified. So what’s a home buyer to do?  

Home buyers who want to know, “What school will my kids attend if I buy that house?” should bookmark this link:  LOCATE MY SCHOOL. As you look through the listings online and find homes that interest you, click on this link and enter the address of the property.  It only takes a minute or two, and it will give you peace of mind.

In response to an inquiry from a relocating military family this morning, I did a little research and came of with this list.  I’m going to include it with this post, in case you might find it helpful:

Gambrills communities within the Crofton Middle/South River H.S. boundaries:

  1. Arrowhead Farms
  2. Bladen
  3. Bottners Woods
  4. Chestnut Ridge
  5. Hallmark Woods
  6. Heather Woods
  7. Hermitage
  8. Huntington Woods
  9. Mt. Tabor Glen
  10. Nancarles
  11. Patuxent Preserve
  12. Patuxent Run
  13. Rosehill

Contact me if you want to know what school your kids will attend before you buy a home in Crofton or anywhere in the surrounding area.  

Copyright 2013.  Margaret Woda. All rights reserved. 

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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.

Posted by Margaret Woda | Discussion: Comments Off on What school will my kids attend if I buy that house?

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