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Odenton Real Estate Update – September 2013

Odenton Real Estate Update – September 2013

The Odenton real estate market remained robust in September, in spite of rising interest rates and uncertainty about the economy.  Average and median prices were up for closed sales, days on market were down, and more units sold than last year AND last month.

Odenton Real Estate - September 2013

Odenton Real Estate – September 2013

Odenton home owners should not take this as a license to be greedy, however, because other indicators suggest that darker days may be ahead, with more than three times as many new listings in September than there were new contracts.  This “balance” is a key indicator of the real estate market in the near future – a crystal ball, of sorts, that suggests the direction of supply and demand.

There are 132 homes for sale in Odenton today, including 34 new listings and 17 closed sales so far this month. This is a 2-1 ratio, not good news for home sellers.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHome Sellers:  With this imbalance in new listings and new sales, combined with the effects of the government shutdown, it’s likely that we’ll see declining home prices, more days on market, and fewer units sold in the coming weeks. Please be conservative in your pricing and choose an agent with an aggressive marketing plan, plenty of experience, and a great track record for average days on market.

Home Buyers: While it’s likely that housing inventory will grow and prices fall, given this imbalance of supply and demand in Odenton, interest rates have been on the rise for the past few months and new qualifying limitations seem to pop up weekly. For these reasons, it’s a real gamble for you to continue sitting on the sidelines and waiting for a return to the buyers’ market of 2009 and 2010.  Take advantage of this situation and start home shopping now.  You could be in your own home by Christmas, or even Thanksgiving.

Posted by Margaret Woda | | Discussion: Comments Off

Crofton Halloween Parade and Party – October 26, 2013

Crofton Halloween Parade and Party – October 26, 2013

Crofton Halloween Parade

Crofton Halloween Parade

The Crofton Halloween Parade and Party is a decades-long tradition in this community.  Even if you don’t have kids, come out and watch.  If this doesn’t get you into the Halloween spirit, nothing will!

Where: Crofton Parkway, between Prince of Peace Church and Crofton Woods Elementary School
When: Saturday, October 26, 2013 at 11 a.m.
What: Costumed kids and parents should gather in the parking lot of Prince of Peace Presbyterian Church, beginning at 10 a.m.  (Park at adjacent Crofton Country Club.) Following the parade, a party will be held inside Crofton Woods Elementary School, featuring prizes for costumes, refreshments, and make ‘n take crafts. (Parade sponsored by Crofton Kiwanis; Party sponsored by Crofton Civic Association)

Note: This year’s parade will follow a different route than years past.  It will end at Crofton Woods Elementary, NOT Crofton Elementary, due to ongoing construction at Crofton Elementary.

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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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.

Posted by Margaret Woda | | Discussion: Comments Off

Some Crofton residents eligible for services at new Wellness Center

New Wellness Center Opens at Fort Meade

Fort Meade GateCrofton is home to many active duty and retired military and DOD civilians who may be eligible for services at the new Wellness Center at Fort Meade.

It’s located in the former Medal of Honor Memorial Library, serving as the hub for a variety of services that promote healthy living. It’s all part of Operation Live Well, which focuses on the prevention of health care issues rather than the treatment of them.

Service members, their families, retirees, and DOD civilians are eligible for health assessment reviews, physical fitness assessments and stress management techniques, as well as nutritional assessments and tobacco addiction assistance at the new facility – one of thirteen nationwide.

Hours are Monday-Friday, 7:30 am to 4:30 pm, by appointment.  Call 301-677-2006. The Wellness Center is located in Building 4418 on Llewellyn Avenue.

Fort Meade is located less than a half hour from Crofton, which is home to many active duty and retired military and DOD civilians.

Posted by Margaret Woda | | Discussion: Comments Off

Crofton Real Estate Update – September 2013

Crofton Real Estate Sales UP (and down) in September 2013

Roller CoasterCrofton real estate news in September was good, when compared to September 2012 – at least in some categories we track monthly.  Month to month statistics were not quite so positive, however, in the face of rising interest rates in July and August when contracts were written for most of the sales that closed in September.

Crofton home prices reflected the declining consumer confidence in September.  Fortunately, prices remained fairly stagnant and didn’t show a huge decline.  In fact, the average sold price was up 8% to $351,241 over September 2012, while dropping nearly 5% from August 2013. The median sold price of $322,75o was down, but less than 2% from last year and less than 3% from August 2013.

21113 - 10.12As you can see from this chart, the market was still better last month than 3 of the past 5 years.  Let’s hope for better news next month because I’d hate to see this become a trend.  It was kinda fun to see things get back to “normal” for Crofton real estate.

Home Sellers:  Given last month’s sales statistics, it’s a good idea for you to be conservative in pricing if you want to move and get settled into your new home before Thanksiving.  If consumer confidence continues to decline and interest rates keep going up, your odds may not be favorable for getting today’s pricein another month or two.

Home Buyers:  It’s your lucky day because the housing inventory is up, thanks to increasing listings and decreasing sales.  Interest rates have stalled, so that’s more good news if you’ve been thinking of firing your landlord.

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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