Waldorf, MD Real Estate News

By Dr. Stacey-Ann Baugh, A doctor who makes house calls.
(Century 21 New Millennium)
Third Annual Angie M. Houtz Memorial Scholarship Family Fun Day Come join us for a day filled with fun for the entire family...   Just $5 at the gate includes lots of activities! Saturday, May 16 ▪ 12pm - 5pm Charles County Fairgrounds ▪ La Plata, MD   Hayrides Face Painting Food Moon-bounce Arts & Crafts                         Jumbo Slide Fire Trucks 50 Cent Games  Yard Sale And much more! Visit www.angiehoutzfund.com for more information.  
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By Jonathan Benya, The Benya Group
(The Benya Group)
This morning I attended a walk-through in Southern Maryland (Waldorf, to be exact) on new construction for a first time home-buyer of mine that is due to settle this week.  Typically, people do not feel a need to pay for an inspection when they're buying a new home.  The thought is that if the home is "new", then there shouldn't be a need for the extra expense.  My buyer wanted the assurance that comes with having a professional home inspector go through the property, and it turned into a very wise investment. So what made it worth hiring a home inspector?  For starters, the threshold at the front door was water damaged.  The builder rep offered to have it painted and sealed, but the inspector stated that due to the water damage, it needed to be replaced.  Suddenly the idea of hiring an...
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By Jonathan Benya, The Benya Group
(The Benya Group)
A common complaint among home sellers is that photos that are taken to market their home look less than stellar.  I know how to take a good photo, but my brother knows how to take a GREAT photo.  I know my limitations, and I leave the photo taking up to him. I saw a wonderfully terrible photo in a listing recently, and it reminded me of just how many factors come into play when photographing real estate.  They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and this one says more than that.  It's a perfect example of things to AVOID when marketing a home!
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By Jonathan Benya, The Benya Group
(The Benya Group)
Upgrade Your Lighting to Sell Your Home  When you're putting your house on the market, there's obviously a lot that needs to be done in preparation, such as rearranging, cleaning, and landscaping in order to maximize your house's interior and curb appeal. But in today's market, perhaps touching up the paint and making the minor repairs isn't quite enough to make your house stand out. This is why sometimes it might be best to upgrade when you're putting your house on the market, especially when it comes to home lighting. This might seem counter intuitive at first; why buy additional lighting that you won't be using and that might be removed or altered by the eventual buyers? Certainly both points are valid, but a few changes can drastically help improve the appearance of your house and m...
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THROWAWAYS RESCUE FOUNDATION - CAT ADOPTION Location:  Waldorf, Petco Date:  April 18, 2009 Time:  11 AM to 3 PM Throwaways Rescue Foundation will be holding a Pet Adoption at the Waldorf Petco.  Please come by and meet and greet their wonderful cats & kittens or just stop by to donate to help care for all of them.  Not only do they adopt out cats and kittens that have been abandoned or left, they also trap the cats you see in parking lots and by abandoned buildings to take to their large cat sanctuary to live a safe & long life.  Please stop by and show your support.  They are a non-profit organization.   Throwaways Rescue Foundation, Ltd.  Waldorf, MD (301)-535-7139 Email Website   A few of the cats looking for their forever homes......... Meet Maggie-Mae a domestic calico adult femal...
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By Jonathan Benya, The Benya Group
(The Benya Group)
For years now, there has been a proposal to create a bypass road for Route 301.  The bypass would create an alternative way to get through Waldorf, MD without having to actually suffer through the long traffic lights and delays that local commuters know all too well. A proposal like this will provide a huge relief for the arduous morning commute, but there is a lot of concern for the potential environmental impact it will have.  Hopefully this long term plan will benefit the residents of Waldorf and Charles County by reducing travel times to and from DC!
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By Jonathan Benya, The Benya Group
(The Benya Group)
Unfortunately, sometimes things just don't go according to plan.  Bad apples exist everywhere, especially in the real estate market.  You do your best to avoid them, but the problem with bad apples is that they may look great on the outside, and there's no way to know about that worm waiting for you to bite! I have a client who recently purchased a foreclosure as an investment.  The deal itself was straightforward.  He was paying cash, could close immediately, and wasn't asking for closing help.  The bank was insistent that we use their particular title company.  It's not uncommon to see that, banks often like to work with one company over and over because the processors are familiar with each other, and (in theory) it should help move the transaction along quickly. The problem was that...
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By Jonathan Benya, The Benya Group
(The Benya Group)
    Patience pays off!  I have a client and very dear personal friend that I have been working with for roughly 2 years to help her buy her first home in Waldorf, MD.  Other agents have been ribbing me for  awhile now about not convincing her to write a contract on the 78 or so real estate properties that we had seen.  To them, this was about more than just her finding the perfect home, my reputation as a Realtor seemed to be at stake here! Fortunately, I took it all in good stride.  I hate having people force decisions down my throat, and I don't ever want to be "That Realtor Guy" who pushed someone into buying a home they didn't love; especially when that someone is a friend of 14+ years! With the current economic downturn and low interest rates guiding us, we finally found a fantasti...
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By Jonathan Benya, The Benya Group
(The Benya Group)
Congratulations to Westlake high school for their 13-0 shutout victory at the state football championship! I'm a westlake grad myself ('99), and I wrestled for Coach Zacharelli during my time there. This is a hard fought, well deserved victory for everyone, and I'm thrilled to see them pull it off! I have the utmost respect for Coach Zac, and have never met a more deserving coach, mentor, of role model for his players. He is a true asset to Waldorf, Charles County, and Westlake High School!
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By Jonathan Benya, The Benya Group
(The Benya Group)
Lennar Homes is responsible for several new construction developments in Charles County, and could be considered one of the regions largest builders.  Among their projects is the 55+ community known as the Heritage at St. Charles, and the Fairway Village Subdivision. The Fairway Village Subdivision is really quite impressive.  The townhomes are in the $200k-$300k price range, and their single family homes are in the $300k+ range.  One of the things that I like about the subdivision is the fact that they are building more than just homes, they're building a community.Community Features In addition to the walking and jogging trails, they're building playgrounds, a community center (complete with pool and clubhouse), and they're working to make the area an attractive place to live. Their f...
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By Chris Hill, Your Southern Maryland Real Estate Professional
(Century 21 New Millennium)
I wanted to take a minute in these difficult times and share with you an experience that my Cub Scouting unit shared this past weekend, and I was truly humbled. It is my understanding that the scout units in Southern Maryland collected more then 25,000 POUNDS of Food for local food banks over the weekend! Thats right over the weekend! These young scouts went through their local neighborhoods and collected canned goods for local food banks and the giving people gave 25,000 pounds. I have always been a supporter of the local scouting program, but It really occured to me last night how truly life changing the program was to me, and I would like to share that with you. When I was a child my Father was in the Army. My mother was actually our Den Mother. My Father when he was in town was our ...
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By Ellen Crawford, Alpharetta Real Estate Agents & Alpharetta REALTOR
(Maximum One Executive REALTORS®)
Waldorf Maryland - Real Estate Market Update - Waldorf Maryland MD Homes for Sale (edit/delete) This is a Waldorf Maryland real estate update for Saturday November 8, 2008.  As of today Saturday November 8, 2008 there are currently 439 homes for sale in Waldorf Maryland in our MRIS MLS System.  These are fee simple homes for sale and detached single family homes.  Waldorf Maryland is located just north of Washington DC.  Waldorf Maryland has great homes, neighborhoods, and some great subdivisions with reasonably priced single family detached fee simple homes for sale. Below is a current list of activity on single family homes for sale in Waldorf Maryland. 439 'Active' -  Waldorf Maryland Homes 8 'Cntg/KO' -  Waldorf Maryland Homes 21 'Cntg/NO KO' - Waldorf Maryland Homes 38 'Contract' -...
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By Jonathan Benya, The Benya Group
(The Benya Group)
Choosing a Realtor is a big decision. Every Realtor (myself included) is trying to tell you why they're the greatest thing since sliced bread and why it would be a mistake to even consider working with someone else. It makes Realtors gigantic windbags, but that's a real estate agent's job: to market/promote themselves and their properties. What's really surprising is that many people aren't looking for what really matters when it comes to hiring an agent. People look at the bottom line. Money. Cash. How much are you going to put in my pocket? Quite often, the agent with the highest bottom line wins! This method of thinking is the WORST WAY TO PICK A REALTOR!!! Here's why: 1) An agent's job is to market your home, not set the price. Their CMA is only a recommendation of price, and you ha...
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By Chris Hill, Your Southern Maryland Real Estate Professional
(Century 21 New Millennium)
I don't usually spread a lot of this stuff around, but I noticed a few people were reading the blogs here, so I thought I should post this information. I am an active Coach in St. Mary's Youth Soccer and one of the members has been diagnosed with Acute Leukemia. If anyone can make it to this, I think it would truly be a testament to how giving the Real Estate Community Truly is. Thank You All. Bone Marrow Drive Scheduled Saturday   One of our own was diagnosed with acute leukemia recently and needs the help of the southern Maryland community to find a bone marrow match. The patient is a father of three soccer players and is ready to resume his normal life after fighting the disease for months. The next step is a bone marrow transplant.  For more info, please visit www.marrow.org. Friend...
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By Chris Hill, Your Southern Maryland Real Estate Professional
(Century 21 New Millennium)
Since I was just sending out my monthly homeowner reminders, I thought I would post a little something about maintenance for your home. I think one of the most overlooked items that we forget to do to maintain our home is also one of the most dangerous. Every November 1rst in my market I recommend that homeowners "winterize" their outdoor hosebibs. Other markets need to do this sometimes much earlier, or even not at all. Here in the Washington D.C. area the freeze usually starts to occur around November one. Failing to properly winterize your hosebibs can easily result in frozen pipes. Basically what happens is when the temperature outside drops below freezing the residual water in the line starts to freeze from the farthest point out and leach its way back into the house. When the pres...
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By Chris Hill, Your Southern Maryland Real Estate Professional
(Century 21 New Millennium)
     You know there is a ton of negativity in this market. I find myself writing this blog in frustration. I am a very happy positive person, but it seems of late there isn't a lot of positive out there. I was speaking with a friend a few months ago that said, "this bad market will simply thin out the bad seeds." I actually took that to heart. His discussion was that the bad Realtors and bad builders would all pack up and leave. Well we must not have reached that point just yet.       Earlier this week I took a moment to tour some of the homes on the market. I visited a couple model homes, and was simply disgusted at the overall quality. The funny thing is that being in the homebuilding business in this market for 20 years has only jaded my opinions. It is hard to imagine that builders ...
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By Jonathan Benya, The Benya Group
(The Benya Group)
    I firmly believe that getting a home inspection when buying a home in Charles County or Waldorf is a MUST DO sort of thing.  Home inspectors are worth their weight in gold when they catch a huge flaw in a property that nobody else noticed.      Sometimes however, they seem to get a little over-zealous.  On a recent home inspection, an inspector informed the buyer that he found "major structural problems" in the foundation of the home and that repairs would cost big bucks.  The buyer became nervous and the seller offered to pay a structural engineer to look at the home.     The structural engineer decided that the home was just fine, and there was no risk of the home being "structurally unsound".  What the inspector saw was normal settling, and there was no cause for concern.     Of ...
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By Jonathan Benya, The Benya Group
(The Benya Group)
FHA and Conventional Loan guidelines were revised this morning, this time to prevent the so-called "buy and bail" folks trying to escape their overpriced mortgages. Haven't heard of a "buy and bail" scenario? It goes something like this: Until now, people who decided to rent their home instead of sell it were allowed to claim 75% of the rent on their current property as "income", which they could use as income towards the purchase of another home. There have been people exploiting that to avoid selling their home, and then letting their previous home fall to foreclosure, leaving their lender holding the bag. (This sort of thing is also known as "mortgage fraud" in certain circles...) The new guidelines are designed to prevent people from doing that. You can still qualify to use that ren...
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By Jonathan Benya, The Benya Group
(The Benya Group)
Why are so many homes sitting on the Southern Maryland real estate market without a buyer? The answer is simple: The sellers are cat juggling! Remember the Steve Martin movie "The Jerk"? Father Carlos Las Vegas De Cordoba shows Navin Johnson (Martin) an absurd video clip of cat juggling and Martin proceeds to cut a big fat check to Father Carlos to combat the evil cat jugglers. It's funny because the idea of cat juggling is absurd, and paying a church to stop it is even dumber. Overpricing your home in a buyers market is a lot like cat juggling. It's completely absurd, and the only people who would even consider buying your home would be a true sucker. Even placing your home on the market for 2-3% more than the market comparisons show would be dangerous ground. Think like your buyer: Wi...
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By Jonathan Benya, The Benya Group
(The Benya Group)
    There seems to be a common misconception about buying a real estate foreclosure in Charles County.  Banks are trying to get as much money as possible for the real estate they own, but they typically demand that their homes are sold "as-is".      This does NOT mean that you should skip the home inspection!  Quite the contrary, if you're trying to buy a primary residence, the inspection is absolutely crucial!      Don't believe me?  Well, would you buy a car without knowing it runs?  Buying a home without an inspection is the same concept.  Does the furnace still work?  Have the pipes burst?  Have termites eaten through the walls?  You just don't know without that inspection!  I can see the marketing slogan now: Lovely home with rustic living (furnace is shot, bring blankets), In-grou...
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