Hagerstown, MD Real Estate News

By Craig Smith, Frederick MD Real Estate
(Re/Max Achievers)
Black Rock Estates Hagerstown Maryland Black Rock Estates is an upscale single family community in Hagerstown Maryland featuring spacious, all brick homes and located across from the Black Rock Golf Course   Sold single family homes in the last 6 months (from 7-6-2012) in Black Rock Estates     Active or under contract single family homes           Looking to buy or sell contact your Black Rock Estates expert now at 240-344-5538     Search homes for sale     Hagerstown Real Estate See more of my blogs *Compilation is based upon public information and is not intended to suggest or infer that the sales associate or broker was actually involved in the listing or sale of the properties included in the compilation. 
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By Roberto Gonzalez, Hagerstown Commercial Real Estate
(RG Realty Inc)
Lately, buying a second home here in Hagerstown has become a much more attainable goal for a great many current homeowners. Partly due to the historically low mortgage interest rates I have been writing about, the affordability factor has become less of a barrier. With prices beginning to rise, those who have been considering buying a second home might take this fall as a good time to make their move – or at least to do some serious research. The first part of that effort should be arithmetical: does buying a second home make financial sense? For most people, buying a second home will entail getting a second mortgage, with the characteristics of that mortgage dependent upon how the home will be used. For a second home that is strictly that – a property that serves as a personal residen...
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By Roberto Gonzalez, Hagerstown Commercial Real Estate
(RG Realty Inc)
             It’s a guiding principal among Realtors that superior   landscaping adds value to any housing for sale. In Maryland, different studies arrive at differing answers for how great that incremental increase actually is, but most agree that it lies somewhere in a range between 5% and 14%. Needless to say, that is huge! Since there isn’t anything like a universal way to define ‘good,’ ‘bad,’ or even ‘average’ landscaping, you can’t pin down its precise value. Nevertheless, what is certain is that in offering any housing for sale, the result will be greatly influenced by the first impression the property makes – its ‘curb appeal’. Landscaping is a great part of that. The landscaping term covers a wide swath of meanings including just about every part of a Hagerstownproperty that ...
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By Roberto Gonzalez, Hagerstown Commercial Real Estate
(RG Realty Inc)
List your home with me and get a professional stager for free! I'm so confident that the home staging process works that I offer a FREE home staging consultation with every new listing. Yes, you will meet a professional Staging artist as part of my marketing plan. Each client will get a free one hour staging consultation and $75 dollars towards services. Home staging is relatively new in this area, so understanding the advantages and importance of staging is key! Your house needs to stand out from the competition. Beyond cleaning and moving furniture, staging is all about illusions and perceptions. A well-staged home will make buyers walking into your home feel welcome. It will make your house look brighter, more spacious, and warmer. Staging is a process of selecting, adapting and desi...
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By Roberto Gonzalez, Hagerstown Commercial Real Estate
(RG Realty Inc)
According to statistics from RealtyTrac, the outfit that keeps the stats nationally, the rate of foreclosure activity is tailing off. Their mid-October report shows how a precipitous drop in September helped bring the foreclosure number to the lowest level since the fourth quarter of 2007. In other words, for Hagerstown homeowners who watched their nominal equity dive while foreclosures stacked up: the worst is over (possibly, it has been over for a while). One way stressed property owners can avoid foreclosure is to enter a short sale. Bargain hunters are still on the lookout for likely Hagerstown short sale prospects. Even though the overall price curve is now on the rise, mortgage interest rates remain so low that the investment potential beckons. By now we all understand that what a...
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By Roberto Gonzalez, Hagerstown Commercial Real Estate
(RG Realty Inc)
Lately you may have noticed that it has become more of a pleasure to open the newspaper when you are checking up on real estate news. In addition to the Internet news feeds, I do still subscribe to some of the old-fashioned kind, too: the ones printed on actual paper (so you can tear interesting articles out and carry them around rather than just Ctrl+C and Ctrl+Ving them). Given the definite possibility that paper papers won’t be around much longer, I enjoy them while I still can. The Wall Street Journal is one. I opened it up on Saturday to find a headline at the top of the second page that got my attention: “Home Sales Rise For 15th Month,” it fairly screamed. If you are a frequent visitor here, you know that I follow and comment on home sales and associated topics regularly -- but ...
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By Roberto Gonzalez, Hagerstown Commercial Real Estate
(RG Realty Inc)
When you want to sell your house, you want it to bring in top dollar. That means you want to find a Realtor® in Washington County who has the characteristics of a top performer. He or she may or may not have last month’s highest sales volume, may or may not have page after page of onscreen MLS listings. However, there are characteristics you can look for that are bound to point to the best candidate to represent your home in your neighborhood. 1) Understanding You: the Client I agree with Realtor Magazine: "One of the strongest ways to increase likability and foster a connection is to demonstrate that [the Realtor] understands someone else's needs, and is happy to help fulfill them.” A great Realtor is inherently a great salesperson, and as such, automatically adapts his or her selling...
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By Roberto Gonzalez, Hagerstown Commercial Real Estate
(RG Realty Inc)
The other day I was with a client -- together we were going over some of our Hagerstown listings. She had emailed me a few possibilities that had caught her eye, and from that I had earmarked some others that shared features with her original picks. We take it for granted at this point, but digitized listings have to be the greatest of all the advances technology has brought to real estate. For both prospective Washington County home buyers and sellers, the ease and efficiency that has resulted puts past practices back there with horses and buggies. There are some unintended side effects, too (isn’t it always so?) The way the search features work, future home owners find themselves thinking objectively much sooner than they used to. In order to narrow down any search, prospects have to ...
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By Roberto Gonzalez, Hagerstown Commercial Real Estate
(RG Realty Inc)
 Rare is the Hagerstown property owner who doesn’t remember at least one budget-busting maintenance emergency. It may have been a roof problem; perhaps a plumbing or electrical mishap…whatever the cause, unforeseen cratering of the household bank account can furrow brows and send blood pressures soaring. For the very wealthy, it’s a non-issue. For all the rest of us, there is one foolproof method of avoiding the problem: create an emergency fund. Everyone does his and her best to save for the future – for everything from the great events in life to more modest occasions, like family vacations. But making a clear distinction between those kinds of savings and a special emergency fund is worth the effort. For one thing, you remove the temptation to reach for a credit card – and create mon...
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By Roberto Gonzalez, Hagerstown Commercial Real Estate
(RG Realty Inc)
Everyone brings their own priorities to the table when checking out the Hagerstown homes for sale. Some folks drive street-by-street through their favored neighborhoods, eliminating or accepting through that first curb-appeal impression. Others trawl through the web listings, prioritizing by price, or lot size, or by number of bedrooms. Regardless of how they determine which Hagerstown homes for sale get a second look, savvy buyers eventually compare the amount of repair work each will need. They try to think like an inspector. This is not to suggest that anyone except an experienced professional will be able to complete a thorough inspection – you need a pro for that. Nevertheless, while you are first comparing properties, putting on your inspector’s hat can help you whittle down the f...
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By Roberto Gonzalez, Hagerstown Commercial Real Estate
(RG Realty Inc)
Smart Local Sellers Give Appliances a Starring Role Success in selling Hagerstown homes can depend on being able to distinguish what is important to buyers from what is not. Proactive homeowners know that one room usually gets more attention than does any other: the kitchen. There are many good reasons why this is so (we have discussed them before) -- but one kitchen detail in particular can have a disproportionate impact. It’s a detail that is all too easy to overlook: the condition of the appliances. Realty Times declares, “Sellers should update their appliances." I don’t think I would go quite that far, but the gist is right. When the appliances look like they deserve their starring role in the main act -- the kitchen -- it indicates a homeowner who has taken pride in their property...
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By Roberto Gonzalez, Hagerstown Commercial Real Estate
(RG Realty Inc)
Record-Breaking Interest Rates Cause for…Yawns? (Yawn). There is something to be said for relaxation, for sure. In today’s fast-paced world, allowing yourself some low-key moments is important. It’s stress-reducing. Health-promoting.         But there’s a time and place for everything, and whenever I set out to share the latest real estate news, my hope is to be able to offer new information that is more than just informative – it should be fascinating, too!     (Stretch; yawn). Even exciting. However, sometimes it turns out that, in the interest of accuracy, that just isn’t possible. This month, for instance.    It’s time to share the late-breaking October news on mortgage interest rates, and although it actually is record-breaking (stifled yawn), somehow it’s hard to get awfully work...
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By Roberto Gonzalez, Hagerstown Commercial Real Estate
(RG Realty Inc)
Alternate Solutions Via Local Buyer’s Agent Sometimes, acting as the buyer’s agent for one of my Hagerstown clients, I wind up dealing on their behalf with what can be frustrating financial roadblocks. It’s part of the service all buyer’s agents bring to the table…and in recent years it’s become a more common situation. There can be any number of reasons that trigger a financial snag. A client’s down payment funds might be tied up due to a business-related delay, some other ongoing real estate transaction can hit a scheduling snafu, or it may simply be that an unexpected credit ding has surfaced which can’t be solved within the necessary time frame. No matter what the reason, when a client is on track to buy a home -- but also needs to buy time -- alternate avenues need to be explored....
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By Roberto Gonzalez, Hagerstown Commercial Real Estate
(RG Realty Inc)
Sanity-Preserving Ideas for Relocating Pets Success! You have listed and sold your home -- or are making the final preparations to move to Hagerstown. By now, the kids are either grumbling or eager, friends and relatives are waiting by their phone or computer screens to catch the first snapshots of the new neighborhood…everyone is clued in, on the same wavelength, ready to go! Right? Uh-oh -- we may have left somebody out. In fact, all those ‘somebodies’ who happen to have four paws. When all is said and done, it’s a sure bet that they will be happy in their new home (after all, they’re always happy as long as you are paying attention to them). But in the interim, what steps can you take to simplify their move to the new home? The first order of business should be a simple safety measu...
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By Roberto Gonzalez, Hagerstown Commercial Real Estate
(RG Realty Inc)
Selling a Hagerstown Home From the Top Down There’s nothing like a clear October day to get you wondering how the heck summer disappeared so quickly…or to suddenly flash on how soon winter is going to be here. Especially for anyone who is seriously thinking about selling their home in Hagerstown, now is the time to take on any maintenance issues that could crop up later, when weather conditions might hinder your ability to fix them. If that suggestion has you thinking ‘roof,’ you are not alone -- roofs deteriorate more often than any other part of a building. No wonder the Labor Department says that the number of roofing jobs is expected to increase by 18% between now and 2020! Any home that has been around for a while will require regular roof maintenance, repair and perhaps even repl...
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By Roberto Gonzalez, Hagerstown Commercial Real Estate
(RG Realty Inc)
Rehabbing Hagerstown Foreclosed Homes via FHA 203(k)   One of the key factors serious buyers eye when appraising foreclosed homes for sale in Hagerstown is condition – the shape those properties have been left in. The Federal Housing Administration has weighed in with a program that can materially affect how that condition – good or bad – will finally affect the bottom line: it’s known as the FHA 203 (k). If you are among those currently looking at Hagerstown foreclosed homes for sale, the 203(k) can make a big difference. Here are some points that might influence your decision: First in line is whether the program is applicable. HUD tells us that for a local property to be eligible, it must be a one- to four-family dwelling that has been completed for at least one year. The number of ...
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By Roberto Gonzalez, Hagerstown Commercial Real Estate
(RG Realty Inc)
Moves To Make Your Hagerstown House Sell If October turns out to be the month you decide to list your Hagerstown house for sale, it’s looking like you have found a propitious moment. According to the latest from the National Association of Realtors, pre-owned home sales are again up nationwide. I have to believe that’s an indication that measurable amounts of long pent-up demand is finding its way into the marketplace. Better yet from the seller’s point of view, sale prices have also been steadily rising over the last five months – hence, it could be the right time to list your house for sale. But let’s not pop the champagne just yet - despite the upswing in home sales, it remains important for sellers to do everything they can to achieve that strong sale. One of the best ways to sell ...
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By Roberto Gonzalez, Hagerstown Commercial Real Estate
(RG Realty Inc)
Getting a Mortgage Refi in: Kick the Tires! Getting a mortgage refinance has seldom looked more attractive than it does this October. Ads for seemingly ridiculously low teaser rates are popping up all over the place -- and even if the closing costs are hefty (many aren’t), the underlying rates make them all but irresistible. But do you qualify?  Some folks don’t realize that a refi can be just as tough as getting a mortgage in Hagerstown in the first place. Or tougher. One client has a stunning property, top credit, and a guaranteed income stream that was more than adequate to fund the refi. She put together all the required paperwork, hosted an inspection (the inspector told her, ‘this is the finest property in the area’), and then waited a week before being told she had failed to qua...
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By Roberto Gonzalez, Hagerstown Commercial Real Estate
(RG Realty Inc)
Managing Your Hagerstown Investment Property   Whether you are in the process of buying anincome property thisfall or are already an owner, your decision about whether to work with a Hagerstown property manager is pivotal. When you lack the time or capacity to effectively manage your investment, hiring a professional property manager is certainly the right business move. But suppose you have already decided that you will use a pro – does that solve all management issues for your investment? If you have chosen well, the answer may be almost ‘yes’ – but not quite. As you would with any service provider, keeping tabs on their performance is simply prudent. The happy truth is that managing your Hagerstown property manager will not command a large amount of your attention: a little will go ...
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By Roberto Gonzalez, Hagerstown Commercial Real Estate
(RG Realty Inc)
Sniffing Out Hagerstown Foreclosed Homes Bargains If you have ever wanted to buy foreclosed homes in Hagerstown, a recent look at the market will have shown you that it is becoming more of a competitive exercise than was the case just a short while ago. Especially if you are an investor who is focused on the profit potential, not every offering will clearly fit the bill. Here are some ideas for sniffing out a profitable deal: 1. Look for a home that has been on the market for a while. Low-priced homes which have been listed for a short duration often wind up fetching higher prices than higher-priced homes that have been idling on the market for a while.  If you are looking to buy foreclosed homes in Washington County, ask your agent about bank-owned listings he or she feels may be over...
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