Nottingham, MD Real Estate News

By Ron Trzcinski, 410-935-5844
(Century 21, The Real Estate Centre, 410-665-0200 Office)
Lighting Your Pathway in the Night Hours There are numerous ways to light your pathway in the night time hours. Here are a few ways to light a pathway: Wait for a moonlit evening sky; Live in a far northern region where the nights only last for an hour or two in the summer; Place a few lamp posts along the path, which are powered by electric coming from your house; Insert solar powered sidewalk lights aling the pathway; Fire up pisa torches which burn a paraffin or citronella oil; Light up some tiki torches and help keep the bugs away, or, use a new technology, which is still in its infancy such as: Glow Paths. This is a tecnology developed in Poland, which is still in a testing phase.  It is made from a synthetic material that can give out light for up to ten hours at a time once charg...
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By Ron Trzcinski, 410-935-5844
(Century 21, The Real Estate Centre, 410-665-0200 Office)
Impact of the Light from a Television I am not talking about light as in enlightenment coming from the television, but simply the light itself that is emitted from the television screen. If you stand in a room outside of the room where the television is playing, you will see the brightness of the room constantly changing from dim to bright, from very dim to very bright, and so on. When the television is playing in the evening hours, then it can become a light of sorts for that room. Now think about your eyes.  When there is more light available, the opening of your pupils will tend to get smaller and when there is less light available, the opening of your pupils will tend to get larger. Imagine your eyes in a television environment in the evening. Because it is evening, there is less li...
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By Ron Trzcinski, 410-935-5844
(Century 21, The Real Estate Centre, 410-665-0200 Office)
Indoor Plants Are a Chore  Plants are a great way to add color, texture, and life to your home, but despite their seeming lack of a need for attention, they actually require care just like your pet pooch or kitten. The signals that plants give us when they need attention are not as obvious as other living creatures such as pet dogs. A dog will come over to you with its leash in its mouth when it wants to go for a walk, or just stand by the door and bark when it needs to go out and relieve itself, or pant when it is hot and thirsty, but a plant just sits there. Where is this there that the plant just sits? Perhaps it is in a dark corner where it gets very little sunlight, or in front of the window where it gets too much sunlight and heat. Plants can be watered, but it is not always recog...
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By Ron Trzcinski, 410-935-5844
(Century 21, The Real Estate Centre, 410-665-0200 Office)
He Wore His Best Suit to Settlement Real estate agents go to settlements on a frequent basis, or, at least, they try to get there as often as they can. It is very routine to the real estate agent. Some agents actually feel like their job is done once they make it this far.  Or, I should say that their actions make it seem that way.  Some agents are talking or texting on their phones, while some are just blabbing away with trivial comments. Of course, their job is not yet over.  They are there to represent their clients all the way through settlement. The buyer and seller are signing document after document and while the settlement officer explains these documents, it can be overwhelming.  The agent should be paying attention enough to see if their client shows any confusion such that th...
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By Ron Trzcinski, 410-935-5844
(Century 21, The Real Estate Centre, 410-665-0200 Office)
E-Signing Contracts: Click, Click, Click; I'm Done Indeed, it is as easy as click, click, click and the contract or offer has been signed, but something may be missing. What is missing? The agents take the time to carefully select the correct prewritten forms from a list of forms, then fill in the blanks for things such as price, settlement date, type of financing, inclusions, inspections, and a few more things and send these proposed contracts to their clients. When the client receives this document, or set of documents, everything is completed except for the signatures, or initials.  The program is conveniently set up to jump from one place needing a signature to the next place that needs a signature. Jump is the correct word to use, because the program does not slowly scroll through ...
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By Ron Trzcinski, 410-935-5844
(Century 21, The Real Estate Centre, 410-665-0200 Office)
Showing Declined.  Why? Scheduling an appointment to show a house can quite frequently be done online.  This is relatively quick and convenient. However, some times the appointment is declined.  Unfortunately, the process of declining the appointment is just as impersonal as the process of making the appointment.  Notification of the declination to show is given via text, email, or automated voice mail. The problem with the notification is that it usually does not get specific about why the appointment was declined.  For instance, if an appointment is attempted to be made for Monday between 5:00 pm and 6:00 pm and it is declined, the reason is not given. The reason for the denial could be any of all sorts of things. For example, it could be that nobody is home from work yet, or nobody i...
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By Ron Trzcinski, 410-935-5844
(Century 21, The Real Estate Centre, 410-665-0200 Office)
No One Showed Any Interest No one showed any interest. I posted a house that was priced from $50,000 to $100,000 below market value. It was a detached home in Nottingham, MD which was priced at $207,000. No one showed any interest. I posted about a program that the State of Maryland offers that allows for one to eliminate up to $40,000 in student debt and, at the same time, purchase a house. No one showed any interest. Wake up people!
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By Ron Trzcinski, 410-935-5844
(Century 21, The Real Estate Centre, 410-665-0200 Office)
Buy a House and Eliminate Your Student Debt Student debt has been holding people back from purchasing homes. The State of Maryland has designed a mortgage program to deal with this issue. By using this program, one can receive a mortgage to purchase a home and have a significant portion of their student debt relieved. With this program, the borrower can either purchase a home which is owned by the State of Maryland, by using the Smart Buy Program, or they can purchase any available home, by using the Smart Buy 2.0 Program. The borrower must have, at least, $1,000 of student debt to be eligible. With either program, the student debt relief can go up to 15% of the purchase price of the property, but the Smart Buy 2.0 Program has a limit of $40,000. To use the programs, any student debt wh...
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By Ron Trzcinski, 410-935-5844
(Century 21, The Real Estate Centre, 410-665-0200 Office)
I Walked into a 1950s Television Show Several years ago, like in the 1950s, television shows were broadcast in black and white.  The colors such as red, blue, green, and yellow were nowhere to be found. I went to view a house the other day and I felt like I was entering one of those old time television shows.  Everything was in shades of white, black, and gray. It actually took me a few moments for my eyes to adjust so that I could see the minute contrast of the very similar colors.  It was almost like being in a white-out condition caused by a strong blizzard, where one loses all sense of direction. Recently, it has become very popular to paint walls a neutral gray color.  Personally, I think that gray walls clash with brown wood floors, but that was not a problem in this house, becaus...
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By Ron Trzcinski, 410-935-5844
(Century 21, The Real Estate Centre, 410-665-0200 Office)
Many People in My Neighborhood Do Not Like Section 8 In some counties in Maryland, a landlord can not rule out a renter because the renter would be using section 8.  They can rule them out for other reasons such as a bad criminal background or extremely bad credit, but not for section 8 by itself. However, there are some counties that do not have this law for landlords.  Baltimore County is one of the counties where a landlord can still reject a renter simply because they are using a section 8 voucher.  In fact, the Baltimore County legislature voted 5 to 1 against stating that landlords could not reject a renter for using a section 8 voucher. One legislator stated that section 8 simply relocates poverty from one neighborhood to another.  He is wrong.  Section 8 allows for people to get...
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By Ron Trzcinski, 410-935-5844
(Century 21, The Real Estate Centre, 410-665-0200 Office)
Who Gets the Savings, You or the Investor? You are thinking about selling your house and then you receive a letter, or postcard in the mail from an investor who would like to buy your house. Let's assume that your house is worth $200,000. You give the investor a call thinking that selling your house might be very easy since there is already someone who wants it. The investor offers you $186,000. (Actually, there is not a chance that the investor will offer that much.  The investor's offer will be lower because the investor will state that the house is being purchased in its as is condition, will state that the house has several things that need to be addressed, and that the offer is cash.) But, this first reduction from the home's actual value down to the offer of $186,000, will be beca...
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By Ron Trzcinski, 410-935-5844
(Century 21, The Real Estate Centre, 410-665-0200 Office)
Basic Introduction to Mortgage Loan Approval Approval from a lender to receive a loan actually has two parts to the approval, one is the approval of the borrower, and two is the approval of the property. Approval of the property is achieved by getting an appraisal of the property and by getting insurance for the property.  Obviously, this does not happen upfront, but only after you have found the property that you like and that you get under contract.  There are some loans that require an inspection of the property, but most do not. The approval for which a buyer is initially concerned is for the borrower. A pre-qualification is based on data that you simply tell the lender, such as your income, debt, and assets.  With this data the lender can give you an estimate of how much you can af...
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By Ron Trzcinski, 410-935-5844
(Century 21, The Real Estate Centre, 410-665-0200 Office)
Home Inspection: Confidential I am the listing agent and I tell the buyer's agent that I will see him at the home inspection.He asks: Why?I try to hide my "huh?!" reaction and state that as the listing agent I go to home inspections so that I can see first hand what the inspector is finding which will allow me to intelligently report the findings back to my client, the seller.He states that this could be a deal breaker if I, or the seller, is at the home inspection.Again: "huh?!" I am at another home inspection and I hear the inspector talking to the buyer about the furnace.  I have some first hand knowledge about recent repairs and services so I go down to see if there are any questions that I can answer.The inspector says: "Could you give us a few moments of privacy?"You got it, again...
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By Ron Trzcinski, 410-935-5844
(Century 21, The Real Estate Centre, 410-665-0200 Office)
Did She Slack Off Because She Might Not Get Paid? I went to lunch at a buffet style restaurant.  In this style of restaurant, the customer pays first, seats herself or himself, then goes to get the food from the buffet. There are people working at the restaurant who come around and take your used plates and who refill your drinks.  Because they are in this waiter type of job, which also can receive tips, they are paid about half of minimum wage. When I arrived at the restaurant, it was shortly before the shift change over.  I noticed two things. The person whose shift was about to end did not remove any of my used dishes and did not ask me if I needed a refill.  The person whose shift was about to begin immediately started to remove dishes and to ask the patrons if they needed refills. ...
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By Ron Trzcinski, 410-935-5844
(Century 21, The Real Estate Centre, 410-665-0200 Office)
Free Electricity The tenant's rent was already paid because she was receiving a section 8 voucher.  However, she wanted to lower her expenses even more, which is a common interest for most of us.  She said to her landlord that she wanted to rent a place where the electric utility bill was included in the rent.  This landlord could not accommodate her, but the tenant found a way to lower her electric utility bill anyway. She was able to convince a friend, who had enough knowledge of the electrical system to climb the electric utility pole, tap into the electric grid, and run an electric line directly to the house, bypassing the electric meter.  There you have it: Free Electricity. This actually happens more often than one would think.  On rowhouses in Baltimore City, it is much easier.  ...
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By Ron Trzcinski, 410-935-5844
(Century 21, The Real Estate Centre, 410-665-0200 Office)
I Am Being Stalked How was your visit to McDonald's?  Would you like to share? What?!  I wasn't at McDonald's.  I drove past one but I was not there. How was your visit to Chick-fil-a? You followed me into Chick-fil-a?!  What do you want?! Would you like to take a photo at Chick-fil-a? So you can post it all over the internet?  No! You Searched: mortgage interest rates Orioles' draft picks Maryland casino revenue Cohen testimony Should I continue?  You've been tracking my every move.  Those searches were on a secure computer. Secure?  Ha Ha, you are funny.  It's all part of an elaborate spy network involving my smart phone, google, facebook, and . . . . probably Russia. I AM BEING STALKED! 
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By Ron Trzcinski, 410-935-5844
(Century 21, The Real Estate Centre, 410-665-0200 Office)
Online Auctioneer Makes Things Difficult Let's start with the auctioneer listing and pricing a property. There is one house that was listed at $35,000.  My client bid up to $39,000.  He did not have the winning bid, but neither did anyone else.  Normally when a house is listed at a particular price, it is understood that at a minimum, the seller will accept that price, but not with auctions.  The list price is just for advertising purposes.  This particular house was seeing bids much higher than $35,000 or even higher than my client's $39,000.  The auction house admits that it puts bids in itself to try to get the bids higher, however their bids are with no intention of buying the house.  Eventually this particular house was re-listed by the same auction house at $60,000. On another hou...
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By Ron Trzcinski, 410-935-5844
(Century 21, The Real Estate Centre, 410-665-0200 Office)
It Was My First Trail Run of the Year It's winter so we have had low temperatures and wind, snow and cold rain, and short dreary days and long chilly nights. But, yesterday it was a clear and calm mid-February day with temperatures in the mid 60s.  It was a perfect day for a run.  I chose to run the trails. Although the weather was a perfect harbinger of the soon to arrive spring, the trails had not yet shed their wintry coat.  It was a snowy, muddy, slippery mess.   In spite of the treacherous conditions afoot, the excellent weather put me into a feel good mood such that I was able to glide along the trails without a single trip or fall.  Perhaps my unpredictable body is saving the falls for dryer conditions when the ground will be as hard as a rock, but on this day it was a purely ple...
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By Ron Trzcinski, 410-935-5844
(Century 21, The Real Estate Centre, 410-665-0200 Office)
Home Buyers Are Being Sold for Over $3,000 An unsuspecting person decides to buy a house and starts the search for that house on the internet. Starting the search on the internet makes sense because there is a ton of information on the internet, including almost every house that is for sale. Not only is this information available, but it is free, or, at least, it seems to be free to the user. There are web sites galore with home after home after home that are all for sale.  Pictures, prices, descriptions, and so much more are all here in front of the buyer with just a minimum of effort. However, eventually, this buyer wants to see a house, which means that they will need to get off of the internet and out into the tangible world. Now the buyer must figure out how to get from the interne...
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By Ron Trzcinski, 410-935-5844
(Century 21, The Real Estate Centre, 410-665-0200 Office)
The Deal Falls Through. Do You Take a Cut of the EMD? The documentation that I use when I list a property has a statement about the earnest money deposit (EMD). Basically it states what percentage of the EMD will go to my brokerage if a deal falls through and if it is agreed that the EMD will be dispositioned to the seller's side of the contract. Typically, from my experience, I have seen that brokerages place the percentage at 50% of the EMD. In most cases, a real estate agent does not get paid until a sale successfully goes through settlement. However, when the deal falls through and it is the fault of the buyer that it falls through such that the EMD goes to the seller, it can be argued that both the seller and the seller's agent had a loss and hence should share the EMD. The seller'...
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