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Crofton Craft Fair (Festival on the Green) – 2013

Festival on the Green, aka Crofton Craft Fair

Long-time Crofton area residents eagerly anticipate the Crofton Craft Fair each spring and fall on the last Saturday of April and September.

This popular event originated decades ago on the Crofton Village Green, under the sponsorship of the Crofton Newcomers Club.  The Crofton Kiwanis took over as sponsors a few years ago and re-named it Festival on the Green, but it will ALWAYS be the Crofton Craft Fair in the minds of long-time fans. It’s hard to undo 40 years of branding for such a popular community tradition.

crofton-20craft-20fair2-209.07-small.jpgOn Saturday, September 28, you’ll find the north parking lot of Crofton Country Club filled from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. with local residents and visitors alike browsing the tents and tables to admire and purchase handmade crafts, meet representatives of local organizations, and purchase refreshments. Parking will be limited to nearby streets, so I’d walk to the event if you live close enough to do that.  A beautiful fall day is expected with weather forecast of mostly sunny and a mild temperature in the low 70’s.

Meanwhile, you’ll notice the smell of chicken cooking over an open fire, compliments of Crofton boy scouts in Troop 758.  Their semi-annual fundraiser coincides with the Craft Fair and is held across the street in the north parking lot of the Crofotn Village Green. I don’t think we’ve ever missed an opportunity to support the scouts at this event, even on the rare occasions when we weren’t able to carve out enough time for the Crofton Craft Fair, aka Festival on the Green.

Does anyone else find it ironic that this event is no longer held at the Crofton Village Green, as it was for decades, but it’s now called Festival on the Green?  I’d like to suggest that Crofton’s 50th Anniversary Celebration in 2014 might be a good excuse for restoring the traditional Crofton Craft Fair identity to this event.  After all, most Crofton residents still think of it and refer to it that way.

One thing is certain, regardless of what you call the event, you can expect to have a great time and make some great buys if you participate in the festivities at Crofton Country Club on Saturday, September 28, 2013 .  Many thanks to the Crofton Kiwanis for all the hard work that goes into this!

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.

Posted by Margaret Woda | | Discussion: Comments Off on Crofton Craft Fair (Festival on the Green) – 2013

Real Estate Update for Crofton Maryland – August 2013

By Jenn Morson.  Posted originally at Activerain.com

August Market Study for Crofton, Maryland

Homes are on the move in Crofton, Maryland, according to RBIntel’s August data. In August 2013, 44 home sales closed successfully, which is up nearly 19% from August 2012, when 37 homes closed. Even better, the average list price has increased by over 20%. The one number that has gone down is a great one: days on market! As anyone who has sold a home can tell you, keeping it ready for interested buyers can be a bit of a pain, but Crofton sellers this past month only had to keep those rooms neat and tidy for an average of 30 days, versus last August’s 49 days. That’s about 39% less time spent waiting to sell your home! – See more at: http://activerain.com/blogs/jennmorson#sthash.bj9q6IJ4.dpuf

Crofton August Market Stats

So why the great news? Several factors. With interest rates rising, people are moving to get those rates locked in at favorable numbers. But another major contributer to this seller’s market is the lack of inventory. From reading other market-related posts on Active Rain, I know that this is a common situation in a lot of different areas. Here in Crofton, Active Listings in August were 60, whereas last August, there were 76 active listings. Basic principles of supply and demand at work.

Inventory

What does this mean for you?  

Sellers: If you are a Crofton resident looking to list and sell your home, there is no time like the present. Your home is a coveted commodity in our current market. With inventory down, your home will not be competing with as many other homes as it was last year. Why not strike while the iron is hot?

Buyers: Yes, it’s true. There are less homes available, which makes for a better seller’s market. That being said, interest rates ARE climbing. If you are a first-time buyer, now is the time to get in there and find your home before inventory drops further and you are competing against more buyers.

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Jenn Morson is a former client and now she is a licensed real estate agent and ASP stager with Team Woda at Long & Foster in Crofton, Maryland.

Posted by Margaret Woda | | Discussion: Comments Off on Real Estate Update for Crofton Maryland – August 2013

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. 

________________________

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?

Real Estate Market Update Anne Arundel County, Maryland – August 2013

Anne Arundel County Real Estate – August 2013

We all know that market conditions for real estate are local . Statistics we hear quoted on TV, see printed in the media, or posted online regarding home sales on a national level don’t reflect every single real estate market across the country. In the back of our minds, we can’t help thinking “Okay, but what’s happening with real estate in MY back yard?”

You’ll be glad to know, as an Anne Arundel County home owner, that the residential real estate market in this area has experienced a turn-around over the past few months that is very favorable to you. In fact, sales statistics from our regional multiple listing service (MRIS) have been better for home owners and sellers in recent months than we’ve seen in the same month during previous years – in some case, for as long as the past five years.

Let me share with you the statistics I watch each month.  These numbers are county-wide (Anne Arundel) for August 2013, compared to August 2012. If you’d like to see numbers that are even more local, ask me for a zip code analysis.

Crystal ball croppedBALANCE:

Closed Sales: 683 – up 25% from 545
Pending Sales (under contract):  1250 – up 2% from 1223
New Listings: 900 – up 20% from 745

Balance is probably the closest thing to a crystal ball that we have in real estate for predicting the future, because it addresses the question of supply and demand.  There have been many months over the past few years when new listings were double the number of pending sales, but now we see home sales closing at a 5% faster rate than new listings are coming on the market. Yay!

PRICE:

Median Price of Closed Units:  $320,000 – up 3% from $310,000

Median is the middle sale price, with an equal number of higher and lower priced homes. Most housing analysts consider to be a more accurate indicator than Average Price.

Average Price of Closed Units: $367,111 – down less than .2% from $367,710

Detached homes: up 2%
Attached homes: up 5%

Average is determined by dividing the total sales volume by the number of closed homes.

 DAYS ON MARKET:

75 days – down 27% from 103 days

SOLD vs. ORIGINAL LIST PRICE:

94.5% – up 2% from 92.4%

If you’d like to see the numbers for your own zip code, let me know.  I’ve maintained a chart of real estate statistics going back to 2005 for most Crofton area zip codes, so you can follow the ups and downs of the real estate market by month or year or both.
I’m happy to provide this information to local home owners at any time, even if you’re not thinking of selling in the near future.  Sometimes, it’s just good to know the value of your home.

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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What are the Electrical Energy Users in Your House?

What are the Electrical Energy Users in Your House?

By Jay Markanich, Real Estate Inspector – Activerain.com 9/13/2013

The question might better be put “who…” but you should ask yourself, what are the electrical energy users in your house?

We all have choices.  Sometimes we don’t have a choice as regards energy, but in many ways we can choose to use energy or not.  We can save energy too. For example, we can try to replace older things with newer things.  Older things, and we’ll get into this, typically use more energy than newer things.

What things?

Our electrical use is measured in terms of kilowatts.  A kilowatt is 1,000 watts per working hour.

Electrical things are absolutely necessary.  We all have them!

Sometimes electrical power used all the time, like your fridge for instance.  Other things only when we turn them on.  Then there are those things that continue to use energy even when turned “off.”  Those are called Energy Vampires, and we’ll talk about those later.

You can pick your poison when looking for energy-use pie charts.  I have this one on my website.  They vary somewhat.

These are the top six electric energy users found in most American houses, followed by their watt usage per hour.  The watt calculations for everything in this post come from General Electric.

1.  Electric furnace 17,221
2.  Central air conditioner 5,000
3.  Dryer 3,400
4.  Oven 2,300
5.  Dishwasher 800
6.  Water heater 479

But there are a multiplicity of electrical things we use in our houses every day!  This will vary from house to house, of course.  But as Americans our personal energy use grows every year.  How many computers and TVs did you have in your house 25 years ago, and how many do you have now?

Typically savings come from technological advancement.  That’s what we do as Americans!  We make things more efficient!  As we do people can save money.  So it really does pay to get newer things, generally speaking.  Some new things use MORE energy!

Here is the wattage use for appliances most people will have in their houses:  hair dryer 1,538, coffee maker 1,500, microwave 1,500, iron 1,100, toaster 1,100, and vacuum cleaner 650, freezer 273.

Some electric users most people have but don’t use so much wattage per hour include video games 195, DVR 33, cable TV box 20, DVD 17, wireless router 7 and cordless telephone 3.

Energy Star suggests that some electrical appliances are Energy-Use Vampires.

Basically these energy vampires include anything with a light that’s on all the time!

The light indicates there is stand-by power being used.

I have them, you have them, we all have them!  A couple of things that most people might not consider would include the garage-door opener, satellite dish, smoke detectors and security systems.

Many of us consider those things to be necessary!  And much of the things we have that draw stand-by power we probably consider to be necessary too.

But, some vampires, like charging cords, can be unplugged.  And things plugged into power strips can be turned off.

What about old versus new?

Some new things save energy and some do not.  For example, an old refrigerator (older than 1995) can use as much as 1,400 watts per hour.  These are plugged in all the time, so they can be expensive.  My power company charges me $.09 per kilowatt, so that old fridge could cost me $1,226 per year in electricity!  A new fridge, by comparison, regular kitchen size, uses about 188 watts, and costs around $70 per year.  That is a DRAMATIC savings!  So, don’t put that old fridge in the basement or garage!  It’s better to donate it to a charitable organization and buy a new one – you will break even really quickly!

A 60 watt incandescent light bulb uses, oh, 60 watts per hour!  A CFL 60 watt equivalent about 18 watts.  There are drawbacks to switching, but in terms of pure energy the CFL will save power.

What new things use more energy?  Remember the stand-by light?  New, flat-screen TVs use huge amounts of energy compared to the older TVs.  An old TV used about 150 watts, and if turned on 5 hours a day would cost $27/year.  The new flat screens?  About 339 watts, for an annual cost of $62 for those same 5 hours!  How many do you have in your house?

That’s why the stand-by appliances are called vampires!

Of course you’re asking – my computer and printer are on a lot.  What does it cost me?

A tower computer uses about 150 watts, a monitor 150 and printer 50.  If they are on 8 hours a day together they’re costing you about $90/year.  A laptop, by comparison, uses only 50 watts, so it saves a lot of electrical energy, costing only about $15/year.

My power company has an energy-use calculator.  Yours might too.  Just plug in your kilowatt charge, look up the watt usage of the electrical appliance, and figure it out!

My recommendation:  we are all managers.  We manage ourselves, our homes and our lives.  In terms of energy use we can all be better managers!  And after all, no one reaps the savings for smarter energy use but us!  That’s ALL of us!

Thank you for sharing this informative post, Jay!

Posted with permission from Jay Markanich.  Visit Jay’s website for more information.

Posted by Margaret Woda | | Discussion: Comments Off on What are the Electrical Energy Users in Your House?

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