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Annapolis Neighborhoods with Most Increased Home Values

by John Collins, REALTOR

Maryland’s capital city, Annapolis, offers colonial charm and modern conveniences to its residents. Like most real estate markets, the city has been buffeted by the national housing collapse however; many of the idyllic neighborhoods in the city are experiencing impressive price gains in the past year. Whenever a market can support a 50% growth in housing values, over a 12-month period, those are areas worth considering, and Annapolis offers a number of such markets.

Crofton

Situated a mere fourteen miles from Annapolis, Crofton has experienced an impressive population growth in recent years. Crofton is home to such Maryland landmarks as the Katcel Archeological site, the 200-year old home of Thomas Linthicum, a close friend of George Washington. Crofton experienced an impressive increase in property values over last year by nearly 85%.

Severna Park

Severna Park has close proximity to Annapolis. Nestled between the Severn and Magothy Rivers, Severna Park straddles the Ritchie Highway, which links Baltimore and Annapolis. The neighborhood has witnessed a boost in values, which have topped off in the high seventy percentile range. With recording growths at 78%, Severna Park has achieved some impressive gains since 2012.

Davidsonville

The semi-rural town of Davidsonville, Maryland has experienced an impressive 75% growth in property values over the past year. Composed primarily of farms and suburban-like developments, Davidsonville is a rural oasis located in the heart of the Baltimore-Washington metropolitan complex.

Arnold

Tied with Davidsonville at 75%, Arnold, Maryland can also lay claim to impressive property gains as the national housing market inched up in the previous year. Located five miles from Annapolis, Arnold is located on the beautiful Broadneck peninsula, and features a myriad of natural and cultural features. Natural beauty and close access to big city amenities have played a role in increasing property values.

Tips for a Home Buyer

by John Collins, REALTOR

Good Monday Morning!

According to the National Association of Realtors, 2013 promises to be the best year for home buying in quite a while. For many prospective homeowners, buying a house represents the first rung on a long term climb toward the American dream. Having one's own place, whether to raise a family or live comfortably alone, is an unrivaled but basic privilege.

Home buying can also be a stressful, intimidating challenge—though it doesn't have to be. Before buying a home, always keep these all-important Lucky Seven Home Buying Tips atop any heap of priorities.

Lucky Seven Home Buying Tips:

  1. Do The Math - Put all finances onto paper in a cohesive, readable format. Add and subtract with brutal honesty. Knowing for certain what's affordable leaves little room down the line for impractical and/or irrational decisions. This is also a great time to determine whether step 2 is feasible.
  2. 20% Down - Putting down less than 20% entails the need for PMI (private mortgage insurance). This is imposed by the lender to protect them in case owners default on loans and is added to the monthly mortgage bill.
  3. Be Aware of Credit History & Score - Never initiate a house hunt without knowing with certainty what your credit history or score is. Knowing beforehand allows one to correct inaccuracies and address questionable items and remedy them. This places the knowledge of the buyer's financial past securely in the buyer's hands before a third party accesses it. It's simply a matter of security, confidence and peace of mind.
  4. Toss A Pre-Approved Mortgage Into The Bag - Pre-approval is an excellent way to gauge potential price range, notwithstanding the first two items on the checklist. Track down mortgage brokers through friends, family or your real estate agent. It is advisable to call upon multiple banks and credit unions also.
  5. Real Estate Agent - A good agent should become your go-to person and confidant. An agent's connections, expert know-how, and community knowledge are simply priceless.
  6. Appraisal and Home Inspection - The appraised amount of a prospective home determines how much a lender will lend. The buyer should obtain a copy for their records. Inspections are sort of the “getting to know you” aspect of home buying. This is where the house's nuts, bolts, underpinnings, and any structural issues are zeroed in on and identified.
  7. Pre-Closing HUD Statement Review - Give the HUD statement a detailed once over to catch any mistakes, or let your attorney do it for you.

Congratulations! And welcome to your new home!

LATEST HOT HOME LISTING!

1709 South Harbor Lane
1249 Indian Landing Rd.
Price: $695,000 Beds: 4 Baths: 3.5 Sq Ft: 2.048
One-level living on over 2.3 acres! Great Room with cathedral ceiling and gas fireplace. French doors lead to a private patio from the master suite with tray ceiling, walk-in closet and bath with double vanity and walk in shower. Beautiful gourmet kitchen with large cooking island with 5-burner gas cook top and sink. Premium landscape with paver patio and walk way leading to a pond with waterfall.



AND HERE'S YOUR MONDAY MORNING COFFEE!!

Sincerely,
John Collins

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The Difference Between Pre-qualification and Pre-approval

by John Collins, REALTOR

Good Wednesday Morning!

Buying a home can be a time of both anxiety and excitement. Home buyers that know about the terminology associated with home ownership have a better chance of fending off some of that anxiety. Pre-approval and pre-qualification are two of the most confusing terms when buying a home. Knowing the difference between pre-approval vs. pre-qualified allows buyers to understand what their agreement with the financial institution is, as well as what kind of house they can afford.

Pre-qualification

This step simply involves looking at the buyer's finances and estimating how much they can afford to spend on a house. Items like income, assets, down payment, and debts are taken into consideration. There is no commitment involved with a pre-qualification. The buyers are not obligated to purchase a home, and the financial institution is not obligated to give the buyers a loan. Pre-qualification does not include an in-depth look at the buyer's finances or an evaluation of their credit report. It simply lets the buyers know if home ownership is an option and the range of prices they can look at. Pre-qualification is a relatively short process and there is usually no cost to the buyer.

Pre-approval

When trying to look ahead at your loan options, pre-approval takes pre-qualification a step further. In this step, the lender does an extensive evaluation of the buyer's financial history, including their credit report. Instead of just telling the lender what their income, assets, and debts are, buyers are required to provide some documentation. Payroll records, bank statements, and other records are often required to proceed with a pre-approval. A pre-approval usually includes an application fee and is a tentative agreement from a lender stating that the buyer will be given mortgage financing. It is important to understand that a pre-approval is not a mortgage guarantee. A mortgage application is only guaranteed after a title search, appraisal, and other financial verifications are established. Since the pre-approval already takes many financial situations into consideration, the pre-approval status is very attractive to sellers. In situations where multiple offers are presented, buyers with pre-approval will often get selected over buyers that haven't established financing.

There are advantages to completing both of these steps, and it is important to remember that buyers always have the option of choosing a different lender. Just because one lender performed a pre-qualification does not mean that the buyer has to continue with that lender for the pre-approval and mortgage. Shopping around sometimes reveals better interest rates or a lender that better represents the buyer's wishes and communication style.

It is also important to note that the terms pre-approval and pre-qualification sometimes get interchanged by either lenders or other real estate professionals. Knowing the difference between pre-approval vs. pre-qualified can help buyers take control of their home ownership situation.

LATEST HOT HOME LISTING!

1709 South Harbor Lane
1921 Chaparrall Ct.
Price: $950,000 Beds: 4 Baths: 5.5 Sq Ft: 4,141
Fantastic home, English Tudor on 2+ acres. 4 BR, 5.5 BA, features 2 wood burning fireplaces and large kitchen w/breakfast bar & eat-in area. 2 story foyer w/circular staircase, temperature controlled wine cellar, in-ground pool w/waterfall. Fully finished lower level w/rec room, full bath w/steam shower & 2 car garage. Pristine condition and ready for your arrival. Prefer advance notice for showing.



AND HERE'S YOUR MONDAY MORNING COFFEE!!

Sincerely,
John Collins

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Home Staging Tips

by John Collins, REALTOR

Good Wednesday Morning!

First impressions are invaluable and home staging, both easy and fun, is key. It essentially entails sprucing up a house to the utmost, heightening appeal so as to attract the maximum number of prospective buyers.

Any house for sale must look like a million bucks, even if the house's market value doesn't come close. Seem impossible? On the contrary, with a few concrete steps set in place prior to the staging process, and a handful of strategies, home staging can be simple and enjoyable. Following is the Triumvirate of Home Staging Strategies.

1. Cleanliness Is Key

If nothing else, a house for sale must be pristine. This is the most crucial step. If it's affordable to do so, hire a cleaning service to come in. De-clutter both common and private spaces. Make certain that the garage is able to safely accommodate a vehicle. Messy houses are a turn off, period. The house's condition should make it easy for the buyer to imagine themselves living in it. Indeed, the house should encourage this fantasy. Only a truly clean and polished house and environs can perform this feat.

2. Space

Opening up space provides two advantages: it gives the impression the house's interior is larger, and it also enables any interested buyers to better envision how they can or should use the space. Neutral paint hues and paired down furniture can achieve this effect. In the kitchen, bathroom, and office spaces replace drawer fronts and/or doors, or at least hardware. Paint where needed with an eye to achieving uniformity. Beef up lighting by increasing bulb wattage. Again, observe the de-clutter rule: prune furnishings down to the barest, most classic necessities.

Paint multiple rooms in a similar hue to enhance the illusion of openness. Keep décor simple and straightforward, though don't shy away from splashes of color. Use fresh flower arrangements and vases to add accents to rooms like the kitchen, living room, dining room, and bedroom. Inexpensive but smart runner rugs in the foyer or central hallway, or an area rug in the living room, are instant ways to raise an interior's style quotient. In addition, foyers and other hallways should be spotless and inviting. Finish all home projects: warped wood floors, new faucet fixtures, etc.

3. First Impressions

A home staging to-do list may or may not include a new coat of paint for the house's exterior. Augment this with a new mailbox to compliment the house's new color. Trim all hedges to uniform height. Replant flower beds if feasible. See to it all landscaping is presentable and attractive and the lawn is devoid of brown spots. Other superficial enhancements include planted window boxes, window treatments and a repainted or new fence.

The list of home staging ideas is endless. No matter the budget, feasible home staging techniques are abundant and possible.

LATEST HOT HOME LISTING!

1709 South Harbor Lane
1829 Baltimore Annapolis Blvd.
Price: $615,000 Beds: 3 Baths: 3 Sq Ft: 2,068
Lovely well maintained split level next to Pendennis Mount -with 3 bedrooms and 3 baths this home is a great find. The inside of the home is as inviting as the outside - well thought out, great attention to detail. The open floor plan is great for entertaining. The private, wooded 1/2 acre landscaped lot has a park-like look and feel. Located close to downtown Annapolis, Rt. 50 and Rt.97.



AND HERE'S YOUR MONDAY MORNING COFFEE!!

Sincerely,
John Collins

Visit Website

Pricing Your Home Correctly

by John Collins, REALTOR

Good Wednesday Morning!

Even with the improved real estate market in the Annapolis area some homes continue to struggle with selling. There are two factors that are absoutely a must if you want your home to sell in this market and sell for top market value. The first factor is price. It is extremely important that your home is priced right. Over priced homes sit on the market and get looked at but don't get offers. In this market if a home sits more than two weeks without an offer then the price is too high and it will need to be adjusted down. Many times it may take several adjustments before the correct price is found. Once a home hits the right price in this market it will get good showing activity and offers. The second factor is condition. Having your home looking great to potential buyers is essential. This starts with lawns and landscaping and goes into the house with being clean, uncluttered and having paint, etc. all looking fresh. Staging a home for sale is an important part of the process as well.

This is a great time to sell your home and I can help with both pricing and staging. Obtaining a sale at top dollar value is not hard to achieve if both of these key issues are addressed.

LATEST HOT HOME LISTING!

1039 Rio Lane
1106 White Marsh Cove
Price: $599,900 Beds: 4 Baths: 2.5 Sq Ft: 2,988
What a great opportunity! Still time to make selections,upgrade & customize. New construction, winter water views, quite new subdivision. Baldwin Homes - The Brandon Model - delivery early Spring 2013. A grand 4bdrm/21/2 bath with 4ft bump outs in FR and MBR. Library,morning room, formal dining and living, large family room, large unfinished,lower level just waiting for you.



AND HERE'S YOUR MONDAY MORNING COFFEE!!

Sincerely,
John Collins

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Why Did My Home Not Sale?

by John Collins, REALTOR

Good Monday Morning!

Why did my home fail to sell? This is a call that I get frequently from homeowners who have had a home on the market and it did not sell. The answer to this question is often not simple, but typically a little bit of investigation will reveal the most likely cause. Nine times out of ten the problem is that the price was too high. In this market, if you miss the market with pricing your home is going to just sit and not get offers. Many times the home owners will see many showings and just no serious interest. This simply means that would be homebuyers are finding other homes equal to or better than this home at a more attractive price. It can be hard to hit pricing perfectly, but once a home is on the market, if we look at what takes place with showings and interest it will soon tell us the story as to whether we have hit pricing right or not.

The largest mistake home sellers make is to not watch the market and to not drop the price quickly enough needed. Failure to do this may cost homesellers large amounts of money and the opportuity to sell.

Also, if you are considering putting your home on the market and don't want to join the ranks of the unsold homes be cautious when you interview Real Estate agents. Be cautious as to not pick your agent based solely on the price they give you for your home. Many agents will inflate this price to get your business. Good agents will price your home correclty to start with and then watch the market for any changes and advise you quickly if an adjustment is needed.

The keys to selling a home for top dollar value in any market are to:

  1. Price correctly with the market and adjust quickly if offers don't materialize.
  2. Stage your home. Get rid of clutter, paint, do yard work, needed repairs and make your home as appealing as possible.
  3. Make your home accessible. If your home is easy to show you will get maximum exposure.
  4. Make sure that your agent is getting feedback from showings and sharing this feedback with you. Listen to the market and adjust accordingly.

LATEST HOT HOME LISTING!

1039 Rio Lane
4 Woodbent Drive
Price: $580,000 Beds: 3 Baths: 2 Full, 2 Half Sq Ft: 3,000
This lovely Cul-de-sac Colonial has an open and versatile floor plan featuring a first level master suite. Spacious family room includes vaulted ceiling, skylights and gas fireplace. The large eat in kitchen has new granite tops and stainless steel appliances. Great back deck with retractable awning overlooking tall mature trees. Full basement will recreation room opens to private patio.



AND HERE'S YOUR MONDAY MORNING COFFEE!!

Sincerely,
John Collins

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Tips for a Home Buyer

by John Collins, REALTOR

Good Monday Morning!

The spring market is heating up and the inventory of homes available for purchase has decreased significantly over the past six months. In fact, homes that are in great condition and priced well don't stay on the market long.

If you're a home buyer, among the things you can do to be prepared is to have a plan of action. If you're an aggressive buyer eager to find a home, hire a real estate agent that can help you find what you're looking for and will act quickly when properties hit the market.

When a home is first listed it will get the most attention. In a hot real estate market that could mean not just viewings but multiple offers and even offers that are over the listing price (not something we're used to thinking about lately, but that's the nature of real estate - it cycles through ups and downs).

So, if you're really serious about finding a home in a market where the inventory has dropped and the prices have increased, be prepared to take action the minute homes come on the market. Don't delay and say, "I'll drop by this weekend when I get a free moment." In some of today's markets, procrastination could be the deal breaker.

LATEST HOT HOME LISTING!

1039 Rio Lane
1039 Rio Lane
Price: $945,000 Beds: 3 Baths: 3 Sq Ft: 5,600
Wow What a View!! Enjoy endless views of the Severn River from most rooms of this spectacular oasis. This lovingly updated sanctuary is ideal for year round living/ weekend getaway. Kitchen features granite counters, upgraded appliances and bay window. Upper level Master retreat with awesome views. Whole Home Generator. Lower level is ideal for guests/in-laws. Community dock is just steps away.



AND HERE'S YOUR MONDAY MORNING COFFEE!!

Sincerely,
John Collins

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2012 Real Estate Trends for Anne Arundel County, Maryland

by John Collins, REALTOR

In order to better understand the 2012 real estate trends for Anne Arundel County, Maryland, there are a number of indicators to examine. These include the total dollar volume of sold properties, the sales prices, the number of days on the market, and the number of properties sold. Overall, the data show an improved real estate market for 2012 over 2011.

Dollar Volume of Sold Properties

One of the most significant trends for Anne Arundel County is the large increase in the sold dollar volume. In 2011, the sold dollar volume totaled 1.782 billion dollars. The 2012 figure showed an increase of over 17 percent, to 2.087 billion dollars.

Sales Prices

Prices are another important indicator of the market. The 2012 real estate trends for Anne Arundel County show an overall increase in prices. In the county, the median sold price increased over five percent between 2011 and 2012. Specifically, the figure was $280,000 in 2011, and climbed to $295,000 in 2012. Furthermore, the average sold price went from $346,720 in 2011 up to $356,297 in 2012, presenting a nearly three percent increase.

Days on the Market

The number of days on the market is another factor in real estate market health and may show whether the market favors buyers or sellers. Properties stayed an average of 122 days on the market in 2011, while in 2012 it dropped by nearly 12 percent, down to 108 days.

Number of Properties Sold

Trends also show that another very large increase occurred in the number of units sold. In particular, 2011 figures depict 5,142 units sold. The 2012 number of 5,859 units sold reveals an almost 14 percent increase. These figures may be broken down further into attached and detached units. The larger growth in units sold occurred in the detached units, namely, a 16 percent increase. These may include Bed & Breakfasts, double wide units, dwellings with rentals, houses of worship, patio homes, rooming houses or vacation homes. Attached units grew by over eight percent. Properties fitting into this category involve condos/co-ops, attached houses, duplexes, high rises, mid-rises, multi-family properties, units over storefronts, penthouses, townhouses, triplexes and vacation rentals.

Summary

Figures regarding the real estate trends for Anne Arundel County show improvements across the board compared to 2011 data, proving that today is a great day to explore all your real estate options around Anne Arundel County.

The Benefit Of Professional Home Inspectors

by John Collins, REALTOR

Good Monday Morning!

One of the most important things you will want to do when purchasing a home is to have it inspected thoroughly by a professional home inspector. Not only will your home inspector be able to find any damage such as dry rot or pest infestation but they can also find potential probelms with heating systems, roofing, plumbing electrical, appliances, etc. Serious problems with homes do not just show up with older homes, but newer homes as well. Don't ever feel that the home you are purchasing is in great shape without a thorough inspection. This is one thing that you never want to leave to chance. Home inspectors can also point out areas that might need attention down the road and give you helpful information on how to maintain your home and service systems such as heating, plumbing and electrical.

When choosing a home inspection provider, it is adviseable to ask your real estate agent as to who they recommend. Once you have ordered the inspection, it is also a good idea to meet with the inspector at the home and follow the inspector as they perform their inspection. This way your inspector can actaully show you problem areas and talk with you about how to do routine maintenance. Once the home inspector has completed the inspection, they will generate a written report. It is also adviseable to sit down with your home inspector and go over the inspection report. Investing some time and money with a whole house inspection is one of the best investments you can make when purchasing a home.

If you are considering selling a home, one of the best investments you can make as a seller is to have your home inspected before you place it on the market. By having your home inspected ahead of time you can address any major repair issues prior to going on the market. This alone will save you time and greatly lessen your stress in selling. It will take away the pain of negotiating repairs with a buyer part way through your sales transaction. I find that pre-inspected homes sell faster and for more money than those that have not been inspected.

If you would like to connect with a prefessional home inspector in the Annapolis market area, please contact me. I would be happy to furnish you with a list of home inspectors that we have found to do a great job.

Have An Awesome Week!

LATEST HOT HOME LISTING!

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1421 Harmony Lane
Price: $599,000 Beds: 3 Baths: 3 Sq Ft: 2,260
Three bedroom (room on lower level could also be a bedroom)3 full bath is in Beacon View. A rancher with a cape cod feel - this home has a huge master suite with a sitting room and attached office - just beautiful. Open and airy there is plenty of light from skylights - vaulted ceilings in most rooms and ledges to showcase treasures. Backyard looks like a park - lots of special touches throughout.



AND HERE'S YOUR MONDAY MORNING COFFEE!!

Sincerely,
John Collins

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Deep Creek Towns Approved - Arnold, Maryland

by John Collins, REALTOR

When it comes to its ‘Deep Creek’ project in Arnold, Koch Associates has spent most of the last few years awaiting one decision or another from the Administrative Hearing officer.

Finally, it appears one of the last such decisions has been issued – the one that allows Koch to transform 75 townhouse lots from condominium ownership to fee simple. Deep Creek Village, located off College Parkway at Bellerive Drive has morphed from a market residential community to active adult to a continuing care facility and back to market rate residential, as Koch tried to find the right franchise in a market without school capacity. Finally, Annapolis-based Koch agreed to underwrite new classrooms at Broadneck High, freeing the subdivision for development.

Besides the 75 ‘villa’ lots, Koch has 34 singles. All are promised to NVR, with Koch doing the land development. The subdivision was finally approved in December, but Koch has found what every other developer holding condo townhouses has found: getting mortgage backing for condos is on the far side of difficult right now. Given that state of affairs, the Hearing Officer agreed that Koch could switch from condos to fee simple units.

 

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 19

Contact Information

Photo of John Collins, Realtor Real Estate
John Collins, Realtor
JohnCollinsGroup of Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc
108 Old Solomons Island Road - U4
Annapolis MD 21401
Office: 410-224-4999
Cell: 410-693-6000
Fax: 410-224-4032 Email: John@JohnCollinsGroup.
John Collins, Realtor
 Office: 410-224-4999 * Cell: 410-693-6000
www.JohnCollinsGroup.Com
 of Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc.   
Office: 410-224-4999 Cell: 410-693-6000 Fax: 410-224-4032
Email -
John@JohnCollinsGroup.com
108 Old Solomons Island Road, Suite U-4
Annapolis, Maryland 21401

We will never sell or divulge your email address to any vendor or other organization.

The finest compliment I can receive is a referral from a friend, client or colleague. If you know of someone thinking of buying or selling real estate, I would appreciate an introduction.  Please be assured I will extend them my highest degree of service and professionalism. John Collins, Realtor