What Every REALTOR® Wants You To Know About – Countertops!


What Every REALTOR® Wants You To Know About – Countertops!
Every REALTOR® has experienced the buyer who absolutely will not buy a particular house because they did not like the color of the paint on the walls in the dining room! In the last few years it has been granite counter tops. Even though neither the color of the paint in the dining room nor the composition of the counter tops will add or detract much from the price of the house. Both of these situations do not make the house unlivable and the cost of changing both items is relatively inconsequential.

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The idea of granite countertops may be losing its steam after 30 years after a rating of “absolutely must have”. Of course, that rumor has been going around for awhile now. Never the less, there are other options for countertops that seem to be working into the world of real estate. Here is a review of some of the hottest contenders for tomorrows countertops.

Engineered Quartz
Perhaps granite’s top competitor, engineered quartz offers the beauty of stone without the maintenance. It’s tougher than granite, and it’s highly resistant to scratching, cracking, staining and heat. Unlike granite, which offers the unique qualities of natural stone, engineered quartz is largely uniform; because it’s engineered, there’s no choice of one-of-a-kind slab. There are, however, a number of colors and designs available – from modern whites to options closely resembling marble. And, because engineered quartz is non-porous, it never has to be sealed like natural stone.

Wood:
Increasingly, homeowners seek and appreciate natural wood countertops – particularly easy butcher blocks and those custom-created by quality craftsmen. While wood countertops can add warmth, balance and beauty to any modern home, they also require a fair amount of maintenance. Because wood is susceptible to damage from heat and moisture, it must be sealed once a month. The best part about wood, though, is that it can be refinished in the event that damage does occur.

Soapstone:
Soapstone is an attractive natural quarried stone that ranges from light gray to green-black in color. While the material is soft and pliable, it’s also nonporous (i.e., it doesn’t require regular sealing like granite). Soapstone is also resistant to stains and acidic materials. The downside to soapstone is that it is susceptible to scratches and indentations. Light gray soapstone will also weather and darken over time, occasionally developing a patina finish. The material comes in smaller slabs, so seams will be visible in soapstone countertops longer than seven feet.
Concrete:
Concrete countertops came onto the scene in the 1980s — and they’ve evolved a lot since. These days, precast concrete countertops are available in a number of different colors. Generally, they’re flat and smooth, and they can run from 1.5 inches to 10 feet long. While concrete countertops have historically cracked and chipped easily, recent innovations have made them less prone to damage. Concrete is naturally strong and heat-resistant, and slabs can be sealed to prevent staining.

Stainless Steel:
There’s a reason restaurants use stainless steel countertops in their kitchens. It’s heat-, rust- and stain-resistant; it’s easy to clean; and it won’t absorb or harbor even the toughest bacteria. The downside to stainless steel countertops is that they scratch easily – and they show it too. For this reason, it’s necessary to use a cutting board any time you’re prepping food on a stainless steel countertop. Also, it’s a good idea to choose a brushed stainless finish that will help conceal any marks. At first blush, you may think that stainless feels ultramodern or cold, but a balance of stainless steel and wood can create a warm, timeless and super-functional kitchen.

In any event, it’s important to keep in mind that whether is the makeup of the countertops in the kitchen or the color of the paint on the walls, the price is relatively insignificant compared to the price of a home.

If you are thinking of buying or selling, talk to a real estate professional – talk to a REALTOR® – who can give you the information you need to make an informed decision.

As always, if I can help with any of your real estate needs, please feel free to text or call me at 301-712-8808 or email me at RolandLow1@gmail.com.

Roland

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Warren Buffett Gives Advice on Real Estate


Warren Buffett Gives Advice on Real Estate

Warren Buffett, one of the richest people on Earth, recently gave some sound advice on investing, specifically in real estate. Mr. Buffett gave five tips when it comes to real estate in today’s market.

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  1.  The basic premise of home ownership – that homes increase in value over time – is sound. After the recent real estate bubble, many people are questioning whether or not buying a home is a good idea, but most investors agree that home ownership is one of, if not the best way, for people to increase their net worth.
  2. Buy low. The old adage of “buy low, sell high” is true in investing and in real estate. But “buy low” does not necessarily mean low ball an offer, but rather, it is indicating for buyers to buy well within their means. All too often mortgage companies will approve a buyer up too x number of dollars and buyers feel they need to buy at that level. The sound thinking is to buy within your means. Mr. Buffett went on to say that “Home ownership makes sense for most Americans, particularly at today’s lower prices and bargain interest rates. All things considered, the third best investment I ever made was the purchase of my home…”
  3. Don’t wait too long. As with any investment, timing is everything. Buying a home while prices are low is stressful because prices are probably low because the market conditions are still down. Buffett’s advice, “If you wait for the robins, spring is already here.”
  4. The three elements to own a home. To maximize the investment potential of home ownership there are three elements that need to come into play. The three elements are; 1.) a fixed mortgage, 2.) buying a house with affordable payments and 3.) a long-term hold on the property. Our economy in the last several decades has encouraged employees to relocate every few years which prevented many folks from establishing equity in their homes.
  5. Buying your “Dream Home” can lead to nightmares. All too often buyers are encouraged to buy the “home of their dreams”. They manage to do so by settling for an adjustable rate mortgage; or mortgages that predict ever-increasing income, which may or may not be a reality. If income does not increase and the cost of the adjustable rate mortgage increases, home owner’s dream can turn sour in short order.

Mr. Buffett said that buying his home was his “third best investment.” When asked what the first two best investments were, he replied, “The two best investments were our two wedding rings.”

If you are thinking of buying or selling, you can call Warren Buffett or you can call me! Either way, if you are thinking of buying or selling, talk to a real estate professional – talk to a REALTOR® – who can give you the information you need to make an informed decision.

As always, if I can help with any of your real estate needs, please feel free to text or call me at 301-712-8808 or email me at RolandLow1@gmail.com.

Roland

To Buy or Not To Buy – Real Estate


To Buy or Not To Buy – Real Estate

Although the real estate market is continuing to improve, there are a lot of potential buyers that are sitting on the fence for a variety of reasons. Some of the reasons are understandable, but some of the reasons are due to a misunderstanding of the real estate market.

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To be sure, the market has taken a hit for several years, but it is has been steadily rebounding for the last couple of years. Here are several reasons why home buyers should make their move at this time.

1. Mortgage interest rates are still remarkably low. The latest rate review put interest rates below 4.0%. That being said, it is important to understand that there are many factors the determine the interest rate. Yours may be higher or lower.

2. Average home prices have risen 5.9% in the last year, and are expected to continue to rise at a rate of 5.3% over the next year and average a climb of 3.2% over the next five years. That means that a home purchased last year for $350,000 would cost $415,673 in five years resulting in mortgage payments increased by over $200 a month. Over the life of the loan that would result in over $60,000 additional payments – assuming the mortgage interest remains at 4.0%.

3. Renting is getting pricier than owning a home. Owning your home will stabilize your payments as opposed to renting that will result in a substantial increase with each lease renewal.

4. The income tax deductions of home ownership cannot be overstated. Homeownership, along with the tax deductions, is probably the greatest step we can make to increase our net worth. Always talk to a tax professional to see the benefits of home ownership.

One of the dangers I see when people are looking to buy a home is that they often times talk to one mortgage person to determine if they will qualify for a mortgage. There are many programs out there and I would suggest that you talk to a few mortgage brokers to find a mortgage that works for you. If you need help finding a mortgage broker, talk to your REALTOR® who often times works closely with a mortgage person, especially one who can help you navigate challenging mortgages.

If you are thinking of buying or selling, talk to a real estate professional – talk to a REALTOR® – who can give you the information you need to make an informed decision.

As always, if I can help with any of your real estate needs, please feel free to text or call me at 301-712-8808 or email me at RolandLow1@gmail.com.

Roland

OPEN HOUSE SATURDAY AND SUNDAY!!


OPEN HOUSE – THIS SATURDAY AND SUNDAY!!

7161 Masters Road, New Market, Maryland – Priced at $384,900 THAT IS UNDER $118 A SQUARE FOOT!!

This house has 4 bedrooms & 3 bathrooms. It has 3,272 square feet of living space on three levels in The Meadows development of Lake Linganore. A formal dining room, eat-in kitchen, large bonus room in the loft, first floor master bedroom.  All appliances convey with the property to make move-in simple.  The HOA has three lakes, hiking trails, swimming pools, tennis courts and more. The open house is this Saturday and Sunday from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM – if you need a private showing, contact me today!!  This property is priced to sell this weekend.

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Maryland Continues It’s Trek Toward A Seller’s Market


Maryland Continues It’s Trek Toward A Seller’s Market

Maryland has continued it’s trend towards a seller’s market again in June, 2016. Maryland had an increase of 10.8% in sales of homes with an average price increase of 4.3% at the same time.

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The state in general went from 3.4 months of inventory in May to 3.1 months of inventory in June. Below 3 months of inventory is considered a buyers’ market.

Frederick County has moved deeper into a sellers’ market, from 2.7 months of inventory in May to 2.6 months of inventory in June, 2016. At the same time, the average price of sold homes in Frederick County increased 6.2%.

If you are thinking of buying or selling, talk to a professional real estate agent – talk to a REALTOR® – who can give you the information you need to make an informed decision.

As always, if I can help with any of your real estate needs, please feel free to text or call me at 301-712-8808 or                    email me at RolandLow1@gmail.com.

Roland

4 Bedroom – 3 Bathroom House In Lake Linganore!!


If you, or someone you know, is looking for a home in the Lake Linganore area, this home may be just what you are looking for!  This  home has 3,272 square feet of living space on three levels and it is priced to sell!  The average square foot price for active listings in The Meadows is $187.50 – this home is listed for $122!!

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The Lake Linganore Home Owners Association has three lakes, tennis courts, swimming, hiking trails and more.

http://www.7161MastersRd.com

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Contact me today for more information or a private showing!

Roland