Category Archives: Real Estate

What Every REALTOR® Wants You To Know About Warning Signs


What Every REALTOR® Wants You To Know About Warning Signs

 When you are in the market of buying a home, all too often home buyers let emotions rule rather than sound advice about the home you are about to buy.  Here are some tips that every buyer should have on their radar when looking at a home.

  1. All too often sellers think it is a good idea to have an overwhelming scent in the house to make it smell pretty! Unfortunately, what is a good smell to one, is a bad smell to another.  The word of advice for sellers, make sure your house is clean – the less smell you have in the house, the better.  As a REALTOR®, I would advise anyone and everyone to avoid scents in your home, especially burning scented candles.  Artificial scents in the home may be an attempt to mask other scents.
  2. Buyers should be aware of deferred maintenance, such as burned out light bulbs, leaky faucets, yard that is not groomed. These may be signs that other maintenance was ignored, such as changing furnace filters on a regular basis.  Deferred maintenance can cost the home buyer later.
  3. Cosmetic touch up can be an indication of a larger, ignored problem. A room that has one wall repainted, but not the rest, may be indicative of a problem that needed to be covered up, such as a water leak.
  4. Foundation cracks may be slight cracks from settling or it may be a sign of a much more serious problem. I have repeated many times in this blog to always, always, always have a home inspection done by a qualified, certified home inspector.  Only then can you be reasonably sure that the crack in the foundation is normal or an indication of a much more serious problem.
  5. Most buyers are aware to look for water damage within a house, such as spots along a wall that may have indicated a water leak at some point in time. But the other thing involving water that buyers should be alert too is that beautiful creek out back.  What may be a quaint babbling brook may turn into a torrent of water with the slightest of rain and may encroach your home.
  6. Several years ago, mold became the issue that every buyer was looking for. Black mold was the kiss of death in trying to sell your home and rightfully so.  Black mold is a very serious health risk and buyers need to be aware of mold.  However, let me very clear, just because a mold is black does not mean it is Black Mold.  Only someone certified in identifying the various types of mold can make that determination and only then by having it tested by a lab.  Never the less, any indication of mold indicates an abundance of moisture in an area and needs to be evaluated.
  7. As indicated in number 6, uncontrolled moisture can lead to several problems and may indicate improper ventilation. A good home inspector will be able to identify this issue and say what the problem most likely is.
  8. One area that I think buyers and even real estate agents may overlook is the unanswered question on a home disclosure. Most people will skim the disclosure form looking for something to jump out at them, but pay little attention to a question that the seller simply did not answer. To me that is a red flag that warrants extra scrutiny.
  9. Windows that do not open and close smoothly may be an indication of foundation issues or simply cheap, poorly installed windows. In either case, it can cost the buyer money down the road.
  10. One area that warrants a closer look and that is any patch work. If you have ever had a plumber come to repair a leak from a pipe in the wall, you will know that they will cut a spot out of the wall, repair the leaky pipe and leave you to repair the hole in the wall.  Trying to get someone out to repair one small section of drywall is next to impossible, so often times home owners will try to repair it themselves.  Be watchful for repair work on drywall or tiled areas that appear to have small areas that were patched.

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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A Home with Ample Room Inside and Out!


If you, or someone you may know, is looking for a large, bright home with plenty of space inside and out, I have just the home for you!

This home is currently listed at $749,900.  It has 5,877 taxable square feet with an additional 2,000 finished square feet in the walk-out basement for a total of 7,877 square.  That breaks down to $95 a square foot.  This home has beautiful appointments and can not be built for this price.

The home has 6 bedrooms; 4.5 bathrooms; two-story family room; master bedroom with fireplace and large sitting area; a bright, beautiful sunroom, a formal living room; formal dining room; two family rooms; and on and on.

It sits on 1.96 acres with plenty of room in the back for an in-ground swimming pool or other recreational events.

Here’s the best news – the listing says the seller is “motivated”, which means if you even think you may like this property, give me a call to set up a showing and make an offer – before it’s too late!

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

Buying a Home Is Easier Than You May Think


Buying a Home Is Easier Than You May Think

One of the comments I hear from prospective home buyers is they cannot finance a home right now.  Let’s be honest, there are many hoops to jump through when buying a house, especially when it comes to obtaining a mortgage.  But it is easier than you may think.

If you are even remotely interested in buying a home now or in the foreseeable future, I suggest that you meet with a REALTOR® to discuss the steps you may need to take to make it happen.

Obtaining a mortgage is a big step in buying a home, but there are programs out there that will work for you.  The U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development Home Loan Program may be just what you are looking for.

The U.S.D.A. program allows for 100% financing and has flexible credit and qualifying guidelines.  The minimum credit score at the time of this writing is 620.  If your credit score is currently below that number I would encourage you to talk to a REALTOR® who can get you in touch with a mortgage officer who can provide guidance on the specific steps to take to increase your score.

In addition to 100% financing the program allows for closing costs to come from other sources than your bank account.  Sources could include seller contribution and/or gift funds.

There are fees associated with the loan program but those fees can be rolled into the mortgage.

There are some restrictions, such as location of the home and income limits.  These limits can be provided by your REALTOR® or mortgage officer very easily.  For example: In Frederick County, Maryland for 2017, the income limit for a family of up to four is $108,550; five or more family members is $143,300.

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

 

 

Finding the Right Mortgage Officer


Finding the Right Mortgage Officer

Anyone who has bought a house will tell you that finding the right REALTOR® and the right mortgage person is absolutely critical.  If you talk to a REALTOR®, they will tell you that you should select your real estate agent first; if you talk to a mortgage person they will say you should select your mortgage person first.  In reality it doesn’t matter which one you select first as long as you select people who are going to do a good job for you.

There is one factor that is critically important when selecting a mortgage person that I think warrants discussion.  If you are like millions of people in this country who may have less than stellar credit, or do not have a gazillion dollars to put down, it is important to have a mortgage person who can guide you in making those decisions.

All too often I have clients who talk to a mortgage person only to be told that they do not qualify for a mortgage without telling them what they need to do to correct the matter.  The good news is that there are some mortgage officers who have the computer programs and the desire to provide this information to clients.

I have had clients who thought they needed to have no debt in order to buy a house and have used all their money to pay off credit card debt but then did not have the money for closing costs or down payments.

Before you make that decision I would encourage you to talk to a mortgage person or a REALTOR® who can get you in touch with a mortgage officer who can advise you on what to pay down and what not to pay down.  It really does matter.

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

 

 

Fun Facts and Inspiration for May 30


Fun Facts and Inspiration for May 30

 Inspiration…

“The significance of a man is not in what he attains but in what he longs to attain.”

                                                                                                Kahil Gibran

Did you know that…

After the “Popeye” comic strip was launched in 1931, spinach consumption went up by 33% in the United States.

Elephants communicate in sound waves below the frequency that humans can hear.

The bands on hats traces back to the custom when knights wore their lady-loves scarves around their helmets.

To ensure continuity of government, Prince Charles and Prince William never travel on the same airplane as a precaution.

During World War II sugar was in in short supply making it difficult for theatres to obtain candy.  As a result, they turned to popcorn which is not the best-selling snack at movie theatres.

Men can read smaller print than women can; however, women can hear better.

The Pacific entrance of the Panama Canal is farther East than the Atlantic entrance.

In real estate, signing with a real estate agent as a buyers’ agent is the only way a buyer has true representation.  Until that contract is signed, the agent is most likely working for the seller, even if they are not the listing agent.  I have said this many, many times, if you are in the market to buy a home, always, always, always sign a contract with an agent so you have representation.

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

 

 

What Every REALTOR® Wants You to Know About Picking an Agent


What Every REALTOR® Wants You to Know About

Picking an Agent

 As in any profession there are good agents and some “not so good” agents.  But what separates the good from the not so good?

If you asked 100 agents about what makes a good agent, you would most likely get 100 different answers.  And their response will most likely be whatever they are either good at or what they like to do.

Some agents are experts in a given market area and can recite facts of properties currently on the market in a 25 mile radius (slight exaggeration on my part).  Others can suggest staging of a home that makes it look like it is ready for a photo shoot for a magazine.

But if you ask clients you will get a very different response.  Although clients want agents to have a reasonable knowledge of what’s on the market, most clients do not expect an agent to pull everything from memory.  What most clients want from an agent is someone who will listen to the concerns of the client, communicate with them and walk them through the process of buying or selling a home – step by step. That includes many facets of real estate.

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 – Sunday May 7 – 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM


This weekend, May 7th, I will be holding an open house at 6330 Spring Forest Rd in Frederick.

This colonial style 4 bedroom, 3.5 bathroom house has 3,000 square feet of living space on over a quarter acre of land.

The open floor plan has a family room with double doors leading to the patio in the back yard.

If you, or anyone you know, may be interested in seeing this property, stop by the open house this Sunday.  If you have any questions, or would like to set up a private showing, contact me today.

Roland