March 12th, 2014 Categories: Crofton News
Crofton Library is arguably the heart of our community, and it’s no wonder… with several events scheduled each month by the library staff and meetings held there throughout the month by various community organizations.
Just look at the schedule for the remainder of March…
- Thursday, March 13, 2014 – 9:30am
- Thursday, March 20, 2014 – 9:30am
- Thursday, March 27, 2014 – 9:30am
- Thursday, March 13, 2014 – 10:30am
- Thursday, March 20, 2014 – 10:30am
- Thursday, March 27, 2014 – 10:30am
Babies in Bloom – Babies from birth to 18 month (with caring adult) enjoy songs, action rhymes and playtime while building early literacy skills. A great way to get to know other families in your community!
- Wednesday, March 19, 2014 – 10:00am
- Wednesday, March 26, 2014 – 10:00am
Reading with Ladybug – Improve your reading skills while enjoying the RAPT attention of Ladybug, a Yorkie dog tutor! Call the Crofton Library at 410-222-7915 to book a 15 minute slot. Sessions will be in the meeting room.
- Thursday, March 20, 2014 – 3:30pm
- Tuesday, March 18, 2014 – 7:00pm
Online Job Search – Learn what is available and how to use online tools to master the skills of job searchin
- Friday, March 21, 2014 – 10:00am
One on One Computer Training for Adults – Work individually with a librarian and learn to access your library account, search the catalog and the Internet, navigate electronic databases and set up a free email account. Instruction in Microsoft Word may also be available.
- Call 410-222-7915 or 301-261-3909 for available dates and times.
Crofton Library is located at 1681 Riedel Road, Crofton, MD 21114. It’s open Monday-Thursday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. , Friday and Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and closed on Sundays.
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March 10th, 2014 Categories: Market Updates
Crofton Real Estate Market Update
This report is based on closed sales in the 21114 zip code during February 21114, which were released by RBIntel and MRIS on 3/10/14.
Here’s a look at some key statistics in Crofton during February 2014, along with comparisons to the previous year (YoY) and month (MoM).
Sales Volume: Sales picked up last month, whether we compare February closings with January 2014 or with February 2013. Good news, with more good new yet to come.
Sold Price: Both the median and average sold prices increased in February – only slightly from February 2013 but a LOT better than last month (January 2014).
Sold vs. List Price: The ratio of sold price to list price down less than one percent from last year and up less than one percent from last month. I’d say that’s pretty consistent! Homes are selling about 96% of full price, and not too many home sellers will complain about that.
Days on Market: The days on market were up in February – more than double last year BUT the lower than any previous February since 2006.
Following is a chart of February real estate statistics for Crofton (click on the image to enlarge it):
What you don’t see here: The number of homes for sale in Crofton during February was 72, a significant increase over February in 2012 and 2013, but not yet back to 2011 levels. This is likely due, in part, to bad weather keeping prospective buyers indoors during February and also to 42 new listings going on the market during the month compared to 25 in February 2013, a 68% increase.
Home Buyers – Rates aren’t as low as they once were, but they’re still below 5% for most loans. There’s no telling what they’ll be in six months or a year, so I wouldn’t wait for falling interest rates to buy a home… you can always refinance if rates drop in the future.
Home Sellers – You have good reason to be optimistic, with median and average home prices increasing and a high sold vs. list price ratio. But the competition is stiff, and you can’t afford to stick a sign in the ground and wait for a buyer. Smart sellers are removing excess belongings from their property, bringing in a professional stager, and investing both time and money in home sale preparation. While price trumps everything, to coin a phrase from HGTV, property condition is more important than ever to selling your Crofton home.
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March 7th, 2014 Categories: Questions and Answers
Pre-Settlement Inspection Checklist
You’ve found that dream home, come to agreement with the seller on price and terms, successfully negotiated the home inspection repair items, received your appraisal and loan commitment… The only thing left to do (other than packing and moving, of course) is your pre-settlement inspection, sometimes referred to as your walk-thru.
Tempting as it may be to use the time for taking some last minute measurements of the windows or to plan your furniture placement, it’s important to focus on the matter at hand: making sure that everything included in the contract is present and any deficiencies identified in the home inspection are corrected.
- UTILITIES – Confirm in advance that utilities are turned on. If the property is vacant, it’s possible the current owner has turned them off. You can’t do a thorough walk-through inspection without using electricity and water.
- CONTRACT OF SALE – Bring a copy of your signed sales contract to verify that the appliances and other “inclusions” in your contract – such as window coverings, fireplace tools, and pool equipment – are present in the property. If the seller has left anything NOT in the contract that you don’t want, ask the seller to remove the item(s) from the property prior to closing.
- DISCLOSURES – Bring a copy of the Maryland Property Condition Disclosure/Disclaimer form. Even if the seller “disclaimed”, the list of unanswered questions in the disclosure form may be helpful to you during your walkthrough.
- HOME INSPECTION REPORT – Bring a copy of the report received from your home inspector AND a copy of the addendum listing any deficiencies that the seller agreed to correct. Be sure to confirm that said items have been repaired or replaced to your satisfaction and list any that have not. If your addendum indicated that work must be performed by a licensed contractor, request a copy of the paid invoices prior to closing.
- VOLTAGE DETECTOR – Bring an inexpensive voltage detector (or at least a night light) to test all the electrical outlets. And don’t forget to test the light switches to look for mystery switches.
- APPLIANCES – Operate all of the appliances to make sure they’re functioning properly.
- SMOKE DETECTORS – Test all of the smoke detectors.
- KEYS – Confirm that keys are available for all locks and try them to make sure they work.
- GARAGE DOOR OPENER – Confirm that the garage door openers are present and test them to make sure they work.
- HVAC SYSTEM – Turn on the heat or air conditioning to make sure they work. However, it may not be possible to operate the air conditioning in freezing temperatures. If you’re not able to test any element of the HVAC system, you may want to purchase a home warranty if one was not included in the sale.
- PLUMBING – Run the faucets, flush the toilets, etc., to confirm that the plumbing is operating correctly. Be sure to run hot water to confirm the hot water heater is operating. If not, it may be turned off… you’ll need to ask the seller to turn it on so you can go back another time to confirm that it is okay.
- PENCIL & PAPER – Bring pencil and paper or an electronic device for listing any issues that you identify during your pre-settlement inspection. You may decide to let some of them go and proceed to settlement, but this list could serve as a to-do list for you.
It’s possible that your real estate agent will have a pre-settlement checklist for you to use, but it may or may not include everything mentioned above.
One last thought…
Chances are that your current home is packed and you’re ready to move. It’s okay to accept some things you find during the final pre-settlement inspection and take care of them yourself so you can go to settlement without any further delays. Discuss this option with your agent.
Remember, tensions and exhaustion may be high for everyone involved in this transaction… it may not be worth it to make a big deal out of something you can fix for under $100.
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March 5th, 2014 Categories: Crofton Events
The Anne Arundel County Library invites teens ages 11 to 18 to submit their artwork for a chance to grace the cover of this year’s Fall issue of Library Happenings. We’re always amazed at the talent shown by our local teen artists!
This is just a short snippet from the article titled Library Hosts 4th Annual Teen Cover Contest on the Anne Arundel County Library website. There’s no chance I could describe it any better, so click on the link and check it out.
Entries can be dropped of at the Crofton Library or any A.A. County Library location during the month of March, or emailed to [email protected] Wouldn’t it be nice to have the winner be one of our own talented Crofton area teens?
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March 2nd, 2014 Categories: Questions and Answers
Q. When is the best time to contact an agent about renting a property in Crofton, Odenton, or Bowie?
A. 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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