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National Open House Weekend in Crofton, MD

This weekend, April 20–21, is National Open House Weekend –  in the greater Crofton area and across the country.

“How will I find open houses?” you might ask, since most of us no longer subscribe to the daily or Sunday local newspaper. Well, you could always drive around and look for Open House signs, but it may help to start out with this list of local Open Houses scheduled for tomorrow, Sunday, April 21, 2013.

The lowest price home on this list is located on Simsbury Ct in Stonehaven Mews, off Nantucket Drive near Nantucket Elementary.  It just happens to be my listing so, of course, I encourage you to start with this home.  It’s like new, having been rebuilt after a grease fire in 2012. Just take a look at this beautiful kitchen!  Better yet, stop in between 1–4 p.m. and introduce yourself to hostess Beth McCloy.





If you’re unable to attend the open house tomorrow but would like to see one of these homes, contact me for an appointment later in the week.

Source:  MRIS

Posted by Margaret Woda | Discussion: Comments Off on National Open House Weekend in Crofton, MD

Boomerang Buyers to Fuel Housing Recovery

Selling your Crofton MD home?  There’s a new source of home buyers entering the market.

Waiting Period to PurchaseApproximately 10% of the homes sold in 2013 will be purchased by boomerang buyers –people who lost their homes in the past five years. In fact, nearly a half million boomerang buyers will purchase a home this year and several million more will in the next eight years. This activity will likely contribute significantly to the housing recovery.

Some experts expected the housing crisis to cause a shift toward renting but boomerang buyers don’t support that theory. They still believe the American Dream includes home ownership. Rising rents, increasing home prices and low mortgage interest rates are further fueling their return into the housing market. In many areas, including the Baltimore-Washington-Annapolis triangle, it is often less expensive monthly to own than to rent.

If you, or someone you know, has lost a home to foreclosure or a short sale, it’s a good idea to consult with a mortgage lender to find out if you qualify now to purchase again. It may not take as long to reestablish credit as you expected.

If you’re selling a home in the Crofton area, ask your agent how the marketing plan for your home targets boomerang buyers.

Read more about Bidding Wars This Spring, Spring’s Wild Card and Boomerang Buyers.

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Posted by Margaret Woda | Discussion: Comments Off on Boomerang Buyers to Fuel Housing Recovery

FHA approved condos in Crofton

FHA approved condominiums in Crofton, Maryland

If you’re planning to use FHA financing for purchasing a home, you’ll want to focus on active listings in these communities:

Exterior front

The home pictured above is located in Stonehaven Mews. You can click on 1013 Simsbury Ct. for the price, photos, and other details about this FHA-approved condo in Crofton, MD.

Or you can click on Crofton condos to view other active listings in the 21114 zipcode. (Make sure they’re located in one of the above listed communities!) If you’re interested in another nearby area, just enter your “wish list” on this Find a Home site.

Insider’s Secret, just for you:  I have a fabulous 4-bedroom end unit townhome in Crofton Georgetown Houses coming on the market the first week of April.  This style home is rarely available, so don’t let this listing slip past you and sell to someone else, if the $330’s is your price range.

If you’re thinking about shopping for a home, contact me to find out the latest information on FHA-approved condos in Crofton, Bowie, Odenton, and Gambrills.

Posted by Margaret Woda | Discussion: Comments Off on FHA approved condos in Crofton

How Much Deposit Will I Need to Buy a Home?

Question MarkCrofton MD Real Estate Q&A

Q.  Is an up-front deposit necessary when I find and buy a home?  If so, how much?

A.  The short answer to your first question is “Yes, you will need to submit an earnest money deposit when you make an offer on a home.”

The answer to “How much?” is not quite so simple. There is no written guideline that I’m aware of and no hard and fast rule. In fact, the amount of earnest money deposit may boil down to what the seller requires before he will take his home off the market for you.

In my experience, 1% of the sale price seems to be customary for any home in the greater Crofton area. That would be a $1,000 earnest money deposit for a $100,000 home (if you could find one priced that low in this area) or a $3,500 deposit on a $350,000 home. There are exceptions to this, of course: A highly motivated buyer in a competing bid situation might be inclined to double or even triple that amount to make his offer more appealing to a seller, or a buyer and seller may agree on a something less than 1%. The amount of earnest money deposit , like the price, is totally negotiable.

For more information, be sure to read Paragraph 18 of the Maryland Association of REALTORS standard Contract of Sale, which spellls out in some detail what happens to your deposit from the moment you write the offer until closing.

View more Real Estate Questions and Answers at

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DISCLAIMER: Information contained in this post is deemed reliable on the date of publication, but it is not guaranteed and it is subject to change without notice.

Posted by Margaret Woda | Discussion: Comments Off on How Much Deposit Will I Need to Buy a Home?

Five Tips to Help You Get Top Dollar for Your Home

You can’t just stick a SALE sign in your yard and wait for offers to pile up at your door. Those days disappeared about five years ago!

if you want to maximize your home sale profits and minimize the days on market, you really need to put your best foot forward from Day #1 of the listing. This requires you to transform the property from a home that reflects your taste, personality, and needs to a home with the potential to satisfy the taste, personality, and needs of potential buyers.

Real estate agents will tell you there’s a buyer for every home, regardless of condition – at that’s true. There are some things you can do, however, to maximize your sale price and home-selling profits. Making these improvements could put many thousands of extra dollars into your hands at closing:

1. ClosetSIMPLIFY!

Home buyers want to imagine themselves living in your home and, frankly, it’s not easy for them to do so if the space feels cluttered to them. Take half the books off your shelves, remove half the clothes from your closet, take everything off the kitchen counters, desks, dresser-tops and other flat surfaces; make room for a car in your garage; remove personal pictures and your cherished ceramic pig collection. Then organize any remaining items by storing them in attractive containers that aren’t visible without opening a closet door.  It doesn’t matter to your home sale whether you trash it, donate it, pack it, or hide it in your neighbor’s attic… just simplify! Most of us have too much “stuff,” so this is not a commentary on your personal decorating style or housekeeping. P.S. – De-clutter exterior spaces, too, such as your yard, storage shed, porch, and garage.


Again… home buyers want to imagine themselves living in your home and they don’t want to Be surrounded by dirt and grime… Or even fingerprints on the walls.  The ideal solution is to replace worn and stained carpet, but at least clean it.  Wash your windows inside and out, bathroom mirrors, and any glass on light fixtures. Polish your bath tub, sink, and chrome fixtures, and consider replacing interior doorknobs. Clean the outside too… power-wash your deck or patio, remove mildew from siding on the shady side of your house, cut the grass, edge the sidewalks and beds.

Cartoon - new carpet3.  REPAIR/REPLACE.

Replace non-working light bulbs, cracked window panes, broken hardware, leaking faucet washers; repair grout around your tubs, the latch on your fence, and anything else that needs fixing, no matter how minor. If there are major repairs or updates you can’t afford to do before selling, obtain a price estimate (or two) for having the work done and reduce your list price to accommodate them. If nothing else, make sure your front door area is “perfect” with fresh paint, lighting in good condition, a nice “welcome” mat, and new or polished door hardware.


Neutralizing your home is an extension of the earlier suggestion to “simplify” so that prospective buyers can imagine themselves living in your home.  Neutralizing your home begins with painting walls and trim a fresh neutral color and extends to other things such as eliminating odors from pets, exotic foods, or smoking.  It also could mean replacing outdated olive green kitchen appliances or pink bathroom tile and fixtures… or removing religious symbols, collegiate memorabilia, and political signs. If you live in a condo that is sized and priced for empty-nesters, don’t scare them away with baby equipment and toys; confine it all to one room.


Accessorizing is the final touch that will take your home across the finish line. It is the art of adding finishing touches, not unlike choosing the right jewelry or necktie to wear. Many women wouldn’t leave home without make-up, at least not for a special occasion, and this is a special occasion for your home. A stager may strategically arrange a trio of items on the bedside table you cleared during the “simplify” stage of preparation, lay a book open on a desk, or even partially assemble a jigsaw puzzle in a playroom. I recently staged the screened porch of a vacant home with a new rug, plants, and a table that was set for lunch to attract the buyer’s eyes beyond the vacant living room and dining room. From there, it was likely they would fall in love with the back yard.

In many cases, I will recommend a professional stager.

If all this sounds overwhelming to you, you’re not alone. Many home sellers simply don’t have the time or energy to do all this preparation. If that describes you, I can still sell your home… but you have to price it accordingly. The condition of your home is totally within your control and the decision to sell at a lower price is yours alone.


Posted by Margaret Woda | Discussion: Comments Off on Five Tips to Help You Get Top Dollar for Your Home

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