Hagerstown, MD Real Estate News

By Roberto Gonzalez, Hagerstown Commercial Real Estate
(RG Realty Inc)
Hagerstown Property Owners Get a Jump on Retirement The other day I ran across some eyebrow-raising financial trivia. There’s a takeaway that should be encouraging for everyone who already own property in Hagerstown. The undeniable value of home ownership is pretty clear when you take a look at some of these financial facts — According to the Employee Benefit Research Institute, 56% of workers report that they haven’t even attempted to calculate how much money they will need for a comfortable retirement. That should get them thinking (although it looks like it hasn’t). If the Center for Retirement Research is right that only 42% of private sector workers have any retirement savings at all, it might explain why they don’t want to think about it. I believe we can safely ignore Fidelity In...
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By Roberto Gonzalez, Hagerstown Commercial Real Estate
(RG Realty Inc)
Ah, spring is truly in the air…the traditional time when people can fall in love at first sight! I’ll try not to dampen those springtime spirits too much, but for anyone currently looking into the Hagerstown luxury home listings, some advice may be in order: Online love at first sight is a really bad idea. Those Hagerstown luxury home listings can indeed be truly alluring, and using your computer (or iPad, or smartphone) to winnow through the current crop of terrific Washington County luxury home listings is a supremely practical approach. But do remember that any warm glow you experience after checking out a particularly fetching online tour is best held in check until after you have paid an in-person visit. Then the love affair is more likely to be the real thing. Especially when it c...
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By Roberto Gonzalez, Hagerstown Commercial Real Estate
(RG Realty Inc)
Hagerstown Recovery’s New Obstacle: Not Enough Homes for Sale So the market’s recovering, interest rates are low, and you think you’re finally ready to buy a home? Not so fast. Buyers across the country are running into a new roadblock: there don’t seem to be enough homes for sale. Anyone who has looked at entry- to mid-level homes for sale in our neighborhoods probably knows what I mean. Mortgage rates remain near historic lows, and as the prices of homes for sale continue to rise, fears that we could soon see a repetition of a real estate equity loss seem increasingly unlikely. Why the lack of inventory? There are several reasons. Buyers may be ready to buy again, but some sellers are still not in a position to offer their Hagerstown homes for sale. When the housing market collapsed s...
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By Roberto Gonzalez, Hagerstown Commercial Real Estate
(RG Realty Inc)
Most everyone with any relocating experience should recognize ‘the moment.’ No matter how much advance thought and elbow grease you’ve put in, that’s the moving day moment when everything seems to starts happening at once, and there’s literally no time left to attend to the stray details you’ve been meaning to take care of … It’s all but inevitable: the yellow pad that you’ve organized with all the Washington County contact information you need today more than any other day: why, it’s packed! and sealed! Inside one of the cartons that’s already out there in the van! When you’re relocating from (or to) Hagerstown, the unplanned will always happen. Nevertheless, you can control the areas that have the most impact on how successful your move will be. One element that needs careful attentio...
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By Roberto Gonzalez, Hagerstown Commercial Real Estate
(RG Realty Inc)
  The City of Hagerstown will host Maymart from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 9, 2013 in Hagerstown’s Public Square. The rain date for this event is Friday, May 10, 2013 from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Maymart is an annual event in Hagerstown’s City Center that kicks off the Spring season. Maymart is sponsored by Antietam Cable Television, Home and Garden Television (HGTV) and the City of Hagerstown. For more information on this event individuals may call 301.739.8577, extension 183 or 116.
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By Roberto Gonzalez, Hagerstown Commercial Real Estate
(RG Realty Inc)
  Taste of the Arts City Center Hagerstown Net proceeds assist The Maryland Theatre, Washington County Arts Council and The Barbara Ingram School of the Arts Participating Restaurants 28 South Applause Caterers Bulls & Bears pub & Restaurant ElPaso Leiters Fine Catering The Rhubarb Restaurant Vince's Pizza Express www.VincesPizza.Net www.rgrealtycorp.com
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By Roberto Gonzalez, Hagerstown Commercial Real Estate
(RG Realty Inc)
The Hagerstown housing market’s recovery is still establishing itself. It’s not exactly in its infancy, but I would say it has a way to go before we can call it ‘mature.’ The majority of predictions for the rest of 2013 remain widely positive, and the young housing recovery is being strongly supported by continuing low mortgage rates. This might easily lull prospective home sellers into assuming they will automatically have a simple selling process, but housing upturn or not, it’s no time to go to sleep. In short, it’s still a good idea for Washington County sellers to take as much care as ever before — especially when it comes to choosing a real estate professional to represent their property. ASK. Don’t be afraid to ask every candidate for evidence that they have ample experience in s...
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By Roberto Gonzalez, Hagerstown Commercial Real Estate
(RG Realty Inc)
Previously, we cited three of the most common mistakes sellers make after listing their Hagerstown property for sale. Here are three more: Proper Insurance When you have a Hagerstown property for sale, it’s more important than ever to see that your homeowners insurance is up to date. It is highly unlikely that someone will have an accident on your premises, but the increase in the number of visitors makes it prudent to be well covered. Of course you will want to mitigate obvious potential hazards like broken glass or exposed nails — but should also have a foolproof system for making pets a non-issue during showings. Contractual Terms With your Washington County property for sale, it’s only natural for your primary focus to be on the bottom line: the sale price. When an offer arrives wit...
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By Roberto Gonzalez, Hagerstown Commercial Real Estate
(RG Realty Inc)
Disclosure Signatures Disclosing material facts that might affect your Hagerstown property’s value is a fair obligation that’s understood by everyone. Yet properly disclosing all material facts won’t help you at all if an issue comes up later but you can’t prove the disclosure. A good agent will double- and triple-check all the signatures, but at the end of the day, your peaceful sleep at night is only protected when you also take care to keep complete copies of the paperwork with all signatures accounted for. Earnest Money Ah — the thrill of getting the first offer! After readying the property and listing your home, when an offer comes quickly, you’ll be tempted to say, “Where do I sign?” But slow up: getting a great offer is just the first step. Part of being a prudent seller is scrut...
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By Roberto Gonzalez, Hagerstown Commercial Real Estate
(RG Realty Inc)
Those who have been paying close attention to how the houses for sale in Hagerstown have been performing may have observed the results of the dreaded “multiple offer situation.” When a closing price seems to rise unexpectedly, it could be because of something called the “Notice of Best and Final.” That notice can be issued by a listing agent as soon as more than one offer is on the table. Experienced real estate agents sometimes choose this strategy to win the best price for their client. It instructs all interested buyers to submit their “best and final offer” by a deadline (usually within 24 - 48 hours). Since no counters or escalation clauses are allowed, one blogger has aptly called it Multiple Offer Sudden Death. Here’s how it works: • The seller’s asking price is listed at, say, $...
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By Roberto Gonzalez, Hagerstown Commercial Real Estate
(RG Realty Inc)
According to the latest from the U.S. Census Bureau, renters comprise about 35% of all households. That’s a pretty healthy portion of the nation’s population — and a pretty encouraging market-share statistic for investors considering Hagerstown properties capable of generating income to build long-term wealth. More than just an investment, the own-to-rent model is actually a simplified small business. It has a financing part, an accounting part, and (the time-consuming element): a management part. Effective management means dealing with labor (maintenance personnel), customers (the renters), and a Board of Directors (the ownership: in this case, you!). Not a surprise that many income property owners decide to make themselves the Board, and hire out the rest of property management. Some ...
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By Roberto Gonzalez, Hagerstown Commercial Real Estate
(RG Realty Inc)
Are you ready for summer? Who isn’t ready for summer? One group that’s clearly already there are this spring’s sellers: everyone whose home listings in Hagerstown are already racking up page views. For them and everyone contemplating taking advantage of the busy spring selling season, an interesting fact has come to light. It puts numbers on something that most of us feel intuitively. It was the Wall Street Journal that recently called attention to it. They uncovered a study from BYU showing that when home listings including swimming pools go into contract in the summer, their selling price is an average 0.22 percentage points higher than the baseline price for the rest of the year. This was a huge study that sampled more than four million housing transactions from 1998 to 2008 in 27 st...
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By Roberto Gonzalez, Hagerstown Commercial Real Estate
(RG Realty Inc)
Even though the Hagerstown housing market looks as certain to rise as the spring shoots, behind that optimism is the perennial question about whether another “dip” is coming — a lot of which has to do with Wall Street. Remembering how 2008’s economic downturn saw the housing market and stock market take blows pretty much simultaneously, it’s not far-fetched to assume that the two markets always move together. And while some folks are emboldened as stocks soar to record-level heights, for others, the same phenomenon causes altitude sickness. What goes up must…well, you know the rest! Historically, the housing market and stock market are hardly inextricably joined. Nor should that be a surprise. On the one hand, the housing market reflects a real good (as ‘real’ as it gets!) — Something t...
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By Roberto Gonzalez, Hagerstown Commercial Real Estate
(RG Realty Inc)
This year April 15 falls on a Monday —for many, that undoubtedly bodes ill for the weekend preceding. Tax time may be the leading contender for everyone’s least favorite time of year, yet there are some potential breaks of sunlight shining through the tax time overcast. Most of us know these already, but it’s still encouraging to remember the substantial advantage that Washington County home sellers stand to gain: • Most Hagerstown home sellers who have owned and lived in their primary residence for at least two of the preceding five years can exclude $250,000 of any gain (up to $500k for those filing joint returns). This is a gigantic incentive for homeownership. The major exception comes for those who have taken this deduction within the previous two years. • You may be able to deduct...
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By Roberto Gonzalez, Hagerstown Commercial Real Estate
(RG Realty Inc)
Hagerstown Luxury Homes Need Luxury Financing, Any home carrying a price tag of $1 million or more generally falls into the ‘luxury property’ category.¬¬ To finance it, a luxury loan is called for. Since financing luxury homes in Hagerstown can be more challenging than financing run-of-the-mill properties, many prospective home owners at the luxury level seek the services of a specialist lender. Market Watch has found that the average price of luxury properties in some major US cities is well over the million dollar threshold – making care in preparing jumbo loan applications more important than ever. Whether or not you choose to ask your REALTOR® to help you find a mortgage broker well-versed at your price point, the same guiding principles need to be followed: Detail-Orientation As wi...
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By Roberto Gonzalez, Hagerstown Commercial Real Estate
(RG Realty Inc)
It was fascinating reading: especially if you currently have, or are looking for, a Hagerstown home for sale. The New York Times’ headline was “After You Read the Listings, Your Agent Reads You.” I thought that sounded sort of hokey — especially since I’m one of the agents who is supposed to be doing the ‘reading.’ I had to agree with one of the signs for reading a client’s reaction to a given home for sale. If their “progress from the hall…through the living room…through the dining room…to the kitchen takes 30 to 45 seconds…that’s not so good.” I began to think I must be one of the agents who is an expert at reading clients. But then the article said, “If they linger for a long time in any one room, that’s telling you that there is something about this room that’s especially interestin...
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By Roberto Gonzalez, Hagerstown Commercial Real Estate
(RG Realty Inc)
Observers of residential real estate nation-wide have started sounding a new upbeat note. It has to do with the effect of recent shifts in buying and selling — some of which may well affect investment real estate in Hagerstown, too. Hagerstown investment real estate has always drawn area residents seeking to profit by owning investment property close to home: properties they can monitor conveniently and with confidence. The one negative has been the assumed general neighborhood effect of widespread rental ownership. When rental home proportions rise within a community, there can be a gradual decline in the area. The reason: residents who own their homes are more careful about upkeep. Renters have less at stake. Now comes the well-documented increase in investor interest in housing. “Inv...
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By Roberto Gonzalez, Hagerstown Commercial Real Estate
(RG Realty Inc)
Setting the Stage for Hagerstown Real Estate Listings, Remember the days when you didn’t have to rummage furiously through the house to find a ringing phone, because it stayed where it was supposed to be—plugged into the wall? You remember: it used to take less than 10 minutes to check out the TV listings because there weren’t hundreds of channels. And a gallon of gas cost less than a loaf of bread… Of course, those days are long gone. Unless you want to live on an isolated island somewhere in an underdeveloped country, that’s that. In the real estate profession, the good ol’ days are gone, too. When I’m helping a client sell his or her home, I make the most of the fact that the super-highway to today’s buyer is no longer the newspaper or snail mail. It’s the Web. It’s the listings. The...
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By Roberto Gonzalez, Hagerstown Commercial Real Estate
(RG Realty Inc)
The concept of “starter homes” cropped up after the end of the Second World War, when millions of young families took advantage of low-cost new developments to gain a foothold in home ownership: the emblematic first step in fulfilling the American Dream. Today’s first-time Hagerstown home buyers are a lot less predictable—just as the market itself is altogether different. As we recover from the previous years’ economic declines, which temporarily suppressed the number of Washington County home buyers, the combination of low interest rates and historically affordable home prices allows many to aim for bigger and more accommodating housing— skipping the starter home altogether. For sure, the market hasn’t completely abandoned the starter home idea—especially if you include local REO and f...
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By Roberto Gonzalez, Hagerstown Commercial Real Estate
(RG Realty Inc)
Features That Set Hagerstown Luxury Homes Above the Crowd, Some Hagerstown luxury homes are so distinctive that they stubbornly resist fitting into any simple category. Whether due to unusual architecture or unique geographical features, such properties remain in a class of their own. But for most other homeowners preparing to sell their luxury homes in Hagerstown this spring, some baseline features are close to must-haves. According to Morgan Brennan of Forbes.com, “It is almost a given,” that listed multimillion dollar properties will claim certain features. Top-of-class luxury homes almost always include a pool. In fact, many traditional homes now offer this feature as well (sometimes labeled a “luxury” addition). That being the case, the pools that appear in luxury home listings oft...
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