Friday, December 24, 2010

Selling During the Winter Holiday Season

Holiday festivities abound at this time of year. If your home is on the market, your celebrations may feel constrained by the need to keep your home ready for a showing at a moment’s notice. Your family’s favorite holiday decorations may have been replaced this year with less traditional winter décor. Fortunately, your efforts to reach out to potential buyers could definitely pay off in the long run!

During the time leading up to the winter holidays, people refocus their priorities on their home and family. There is a feeling of wellbeing that is not always present throughout the year. The arrival of the New Year brings a sense of starting over. Consequently, most sellers and brokers who have sold a home during the holiday season remember the experience as a positive one.

Buyers are in short supply during this time of year, but some people have no choice but to purchase a home due to relocation or family changes. Sellers may need to be more flexible in their selling price and other areas of the negotiations, because buyers are in high demand. 

However, there are far fewer homes on the market during the winter holiday season. The net result of all these combined factors really depends on the home and the potential buyer. When your home offers the features and amenities that a potential buyer is looking for, you are more likely to sell it quickly in the winter than during the spring or summer buying season.

Your home may be looking its best this time of year. Exterior blemishes might be hidden by a layer of fluffy snow and your front door is probably adorned with a festive wreath. You may have a beautiful tree adorning your front windows and a fire crackling in the fireplace. Your home may smell festive with the scents of baking, pine, and other holiday aromas. There is no better time to show your home to potential buyers than when you already are paying careful attention to your home’s appearance. Think of it as doing half the work that you would need to do during the summer.

One trick for selling during the winter is to use incentives. If you can cover the buyer’s closing costs, or a portion thereof, you may attract potential buyers to your home by advertising this information. Some real estate agents advise their winter sellers to offer a “decorating allowance” (a.k.a., a cash bonus) for purchasing their home during the winter months. Other  real estate agents call this a “landscaping allowance,” since in most areas the buyer  will  be unable to view the home’s landscaping until spring thaws the layer  of snow  that covers it.

The best news for sellers who decide to place or leave their home on the market during the winter holiday season is that people rarely “browse” homes at this time of year. Those potential buyers who visit your home are serious about buying it and are often in a hurry to do so.
This simplifies your job as a seller. With serious buyers and an already festive décor, you are well on the road to selling your home!

Ask your real estate agent for valuable insights about wintertime selling, as well as tips that can be useful for preparing your home for sale regardless of the season. Real estate agents have experience with home sales throughout the year and they know what attracts buyers in your specific area.

Scents of the Season Potpourri Recipe
Make your home smell its holiday best with this quick potpourri recipe made from ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry!
INGREDIENTS• 3 cinnamon sticks
• 3 bay leaves
• 1/4 c. whole cloves
• 1/2 lemon, halved
• 1/2 orange, halved
• 1 qt. water
PREPARATION Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer as long as desired. Check the pot often and add water as needed. The mixture may be stored in the refrigerator for several days and reused.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas Baby!!!-Border Collie/Cattle Dog Mix: An adoptable dog in Chester, MD


Border Collie/Cattle Dog Mix: An adoptable dog in Chester, MD

Medium • Baby • Female
Entered 12-15-10
12/22/10 Adoption Pending
Carol and her brother Dickens just recently arrived to ARF from an area shelter. She is quite socialable, and loves attention. She will soon be spayed, mcro-chipped and she is up-to-date on her shots. She is about 8 weeks old.

More about Carol

Up-to-date with routine shots • Primary colors: Black, White or Cream • Coat length: Medium

Carol's Contact Info

Animal Resource Foundation Inc, Chester, MD

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Cute as the Dickens!!!


Cattle Dog/Border Collie Mix: An adoptable dog in Chester, MD

Medium • Baby • Male
Entered 12-15-10 12-18-10 Adoption Pending
Dickens just arrived from an area shelter with his sister Carol. Dickens is very socialable and loves attention. He will soon be neutered, he is up-to-date on shots and micro-chipped. He is about 8 weeks old.

More about Dickens

Up-to-date with routine shots • Primary colors: Brown or Chocolate, Yellow, Tan, Blond or Fawn • Coat length: Short

Dickens's Contact Info

Animal Resource Foundation Inc, Chester, MD

Lawrence Yun- NAR Chief Economist- Q&A

NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun answers some additional questions from the Economic Issues and Real Estate Business Forum

Monday, December 20, 2010

Earnest Money 101

Earnest money is the buyer’s way of letting sellers know that he or she is serious about buying a home. Earnest money is a sign that buyers are willing to put their money where their mouth is. Often the amount of earnest money is unimportant. In other cases, the more earnest money offered to the seller, the better.

How do you know how much to offer? A good rule of thumb to follow with earnest money is to never offer more than a liquidated damage clause will cover. In most areas, buyers and sellers sign a purchase agreement at the time that an offer is accepted. These agreements usually include a clause stating the percentage of the purchase price that can be claimed in damages by the seller should the buyer cancel the sale for any reason. This protects the buyer from having to fight for reimbursement if he or she has offered more than the standard 3% in earnest money.

The story is different in a seller’s market.
The 3% calculation is a safe bet for both parties, but the rules change quickly in a seller’s market. Sellers often receive several competing offers on their home. They need to determine which buyer is the most serious buyer and they often judge this by the amount of earnest money offered.

Earnest money is NOT a down payment.If you are new to the home-buying process, you may not realize that the earnest money you offer is not a part of your down payment. Rather it is a payment made to let the seller know that you want to buy his or her home. You do not give the money directly to the seller. In most cases, the funds are returned to the buyer so that they can be used toward the closing costs.

Give the earnest money to a trusted third party.In today’s day and age, you need to know where your money is going and protect yourself from theft. Unfortunately, people are not always who they claim to be. Make an earnest-money deposit with a known real-estate brokerage firm or an attorney who agrees to place your deposit in a temporary trust.
Get a receipt for your earnest-money deposit and ALWAYS ask questions before making the deposit. These questions should cover the refund policy and when the money will be released.

Know the local laws.You cannot be expected to know every little rule about real-estate transactions in your area. Therefore, work with a real estate agent who knows the area and the applicable rules. Some topics to research include return policies, damage clauses in the event of cancellation, and release procedures. These all vary by location.
Some areas require the signatures of both parties before earnest-money funds can be released to either party. With a successful sale, this is rarely an issue and the money is released to the appropriate party at the specified time. However, if the contract is canceled or if a dispute arises, this requirement could cause trouble.

SummaryResearch the area to which you are planning to move before determining how much earnest money you will offer. Never give that money directly to the seller. It is important to work with a licensed real estate agent to protect your interests and make your home-buying experience as successful as possible. Avoid hassles and unnecessary worries by learning more about what you are required to offer in earnest money and how the deposit needs to be structured to best protect your interests.


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Dog Beaches & Parks on Kent Island

Yes, there is a lovely spot where you may take your dog for a swim! A winding trail through the woods ends at the Dog Beach, on the sandy banks of Chesapeake Bay. Parking is permitted in the Matapeake Clubhouse lot; however, pets are not allowed at the clubhouse, its lawn, or the public beach. The pet trail begins at the fence that borders the rear of the clubhouse. Enjoy your visit and please bring along a plastic bag to clean up after your pet to ensure that this park stays open and available to dog lovers, while not posing a public health issue for the families using the public beach

Island Dog Park has two fenced areas, one for little dogs anther for larger breeds. Each is equipped with agility equipment for your dogs please. The park also offers benches, picnic tables, and a water fountain designed to serve both people and dogs!

Searching for a Rental Unit?

Rental Properties

Dina | Baxter | Rosendale Realty | (410) 643-2166

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Find Local Foreclosures Now- Request by County

The current market conditions provide a lot of opportunity for those looking to attain a more cost effective property! Use this FREE information as a guide for your foreclosure purchase as well as a list of possible properties. Click below for details!

 Rosendale Realty - Kent Island | Dina Baxter |  605 Main St. Suite 100, Stevensville, Maryland
Phone: (410) 643-2166 | Fax: (410) 643-2324

Housing Stats- November for QA County

QA County Housing STATS-November

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Title Insurance - What You Need to Know

Whether you are a first-time homebuyer or a seasoned veteran in homeownership, title insurance is often a mystery. This article explains the purpose and reasons for title insurance and provides insights for the next time when you are ready to buy (or refinance) a home.

The purpose of title insurance is to protect you, a property owner, from problems that could arise relating to the title of your home or land. You already realize the value of homeowner’s insurance, but probably wonder why you need to purchase yet another insurance policy.

Almost everyone who has a mortgage or plans to refinance a home is required to purchase title insurance. This is because the lender holds the title and stands to lose the most if a titling problem arises. Occasionally, when you purchase a brand-new home your lender may waive the title-insurance requirement. 

Why would a lender do this for a brand-new home, but not for a pre-owned home?
When you purchase a pre-owned home, it has had at least one ownership changeover. At any point during the home’s history, a lien could have been placed against the home or property and you may be unaware of it when you purchase or refinance. When that happens, the title holder has to cover legal fees and court costs and possibly settle the lien. This is where title insurance comes in.

Title insurance protects lender’s interests in the amount that has been mortgaged or refinanced. It does not protect the equity in your home, nor does it protect you. A different type of insurance, known as owner’s title insurance, is designed with the owner in mind. This is an optional purchase that can be added onto the lender’s title insurance policy.
Request that the seller provide an owner’s title policy add-on when purchasing a new home. In some areas, this is a standard part of the home-purchase negotiation process and is expected by the buyer. However, the seller may refuse. In such a situation, you would need to purchase the policy on your own if you nevertheless wanted it.

Owner’s title insurance is that it is the only type of insurance that offers coverage that ends on the date the policy is purchased. Title insurance covers only those losses that result from the actions of previous owners. The policy lasts for as long as the owner or his or her heirs have a claim in the insured property.

Title insurance covers only liens and title disputes that result from actions that occurred before the policy was purchased, regardless of how many years the home has been covered.
If your home’s value increases substantially, you may need to increase the amount of coverage. Many homeowners fail to upgrade their owner’s title insurance. Years after the date of purchase, they feel less vulnerable to titling disputes. However, this is a risk.

Many homeowners are choosing to refinance their mortgage to take advantage of favorable lending conditions. Remember to consider the cost of title insurance when refinancing. Your owner’s insurance policy will continue to be in effect for as long as you own your home, but the lender title insurance policy will become defunct once the original mortgage is paid off. 

Therefore, you will need to purchase new title insurance on behalf of your lender when you opt to refinance your home. Generally, the minimal additional expense is minimal does not dissuade owners from refinancing for more favorable terms.

Quick & Easy Holiday Punch
When time is short and guests arrive unexpectedly, serve this quick and easy punch that will make a nice match for cookies, cake or even a simple dinner.
• 4 cups cranberry juice cocktail, chilled
• 1 can (12 ounces) lemon juice concentrate
• 4 cups cold water
• 2 12-ounce cans chilled lemon-lime carbonated soda, or about 4 cups
Combine the cranberry juice, lemonade concentrate, and water. Refrigerate. Add ice cubes immediately before serving. Carefully pour carbonated soda down the sides of the bowl.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Husky: An adoptable dog in Chester, MD- Just in time for Christmas


Size: Large
Age: Young
Sex: Female
entered 8/26/2010 Maya was adopted March 23, 2010. It was an act of kindness. A family was breaking up and Maya had to have a home. She was spayed April 23, 2010 and is up to date on all of her vaccines. Her vet is Chesapeake Veterinary Hospital. She is groomed at home on a weekly basis: brushed, nails trimmed, teeth brushed and ears cleaned. At home there is a 15 year old, a 7 year old and a newborn. Maya has learned to sit, lay down, give a paw, wait and say I love you. Also at home is a 60 pound Shepherd/Akita mix that Maya plays with every day. She plays with the neighbors dogs too, so she is socialized. The only challenge is that she soils her crate, even if only in there for a short time. As a result, Maya is bathed everyday and the crate is scrubbed each day. Sometimes bathing and scrubbing happens twice a day. Maya is now in need of a home with a family with more time to help her overcome what seems to be separation-anxiety. Maya lives on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, across the Chesapeake Bay from Annapolis. Maya is not an ARF dog. If interested in Maya please contact Wendy: for more information.

Maya is up-to-date with routine shots and spayed/neutered.
Animal Resource Foundation Inc
Chester, MD
(410) 643-8700

Hot listings

Single Family-4 bedroom-2 Bath-Kent Island

Offered at $234,900

Chester, MD
Click Here for More Information
•  Single Family Home•  Unspecified lot•  4 bedrooms 
•  Built in Unspecified•   sq. ft. living area Area•  2 bathrooms 
•   Status: Active•  Type: Detached home, Fee simple•  Hardwood floors
•   County: QUEEN ANNES•  Kitchen•  MainFloorBedroom
•  Subdivision: HARBOR VIEW•  Parking features: Driveway/Off Street, Gravel Driveway•  MainFloorBathroom
•  Approximately 0.31 acre(s)•  Lot size is less than 1/2 acre•  LivingRoom
•  2 total full bath(s)•  Call agent for details on association fee info.•  Master Bedroom
•  1 stories•  Cooling features: Cooling,Electric

Dina Baxter
Rosendale Realty
605 Main St. Suite 100
Maryland 21666
(410) 643-2166

   Posted: November 24, 2010

Monday, November 22, 2010

Chester River Beach

Offered at $524,500

Grasonville, MD

Click Here for More Information
Single Family HomeUnspecified lot3 bedrooms
Built in Unspecified3837 sq ft sq. ft. living area Area4 bathrooms
Status: ActiveKitchen2 car garage(s)
County: QUEEN ANNESRiver viewCooling features: Electric, Heat Pump(s)
Subdivision: CHESTER RIVER BEACHWater viewFireplace
Approximately 0.22 acre(s)Parking features: Concrete Driveway, Driveway/Off Street, Garage Door Opener, PDining room
3 total full bath(s)Attached parkingDen
1 total half bathCommunity boat facilitiesLaundry room
3 storiesCommunity security featuresHardwood floors
Type: Detached home, Fee simpleLot size is less than 1/2 acreHandicap features
Family roomCall agent for details on association fee info.MainFloorBathroom

Dina Baxter
Rosendale Realty
605 Main St. Suite 100
Maryland 21666
(410) 643-2166

Posted: November 21, 2010

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Could Facebook become a Bank?

A very interesting idea on how social networking sites could develop NEW innovative business models that could disrupt or displace the way we conduct business.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Dancing Babies- Roller Style

This has nothing to do with Real Estate but I thought it was a nice way to bring in the weekend!!!!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Homeowners Battle Rising Utility Costs

Homeowners Battle Rising Utility Costs

Savvy homeowners are battling all-time-high energy costs by incorporating building techniques to make their homes more energy efficient. As more people begin to struggle to meet rising utility costs, these practices are expected to grow in popularity.

Just as current owners are renovating with energy savings in mind, new home builders are seeing increased demand for green buildings and energy-efficient homes.

Here are some ideas for how you can reduce your energy consumption – and costs – by selecting building materials and appliances that promise to improve your home’s energy efficiency.

Use Highly Rated Energy-Star Appliances: This is not a new idea, but as costs rise, buyers are looking at the yellow energy-consumption tags on new appliances more seriously. Retailers know that buyers are paying more attention to the higher-rated appliances, and this could lead to more advertising and discounts for such products.

Consider How You Heat Your Water: Most homes have a traditional tank-style water heater. However, with rising heating costs, this practice may change. Other options for heating water in your home include solar heating and tankless water heaters.

Solar water heating requires a significant upfront investment, but once it is installed you no longer need to pay for heating the water. Installation includes a pump, plumbing through which the water circulates for exposure to the sun, and possibly large glass tanks for storing the hot water.

A tankless water heater has no storage tank and the water is heated as you need it. Heating water on demand is much less expensive than heating water and storing it until it is needed.

Supplement Your Electricity: Installing photovoltaic roof shingles instead of standard asphalt shingles lets you use the sun’s energy to generate supplemental electricity for your home. A wire is pulled from each shingle and connected to the home’s power grid. You might not be able to generate enough electricity to meet all your needs, but with rising costs, every bit of savings can be a huge help to homeowners.

If you are considering a new roof or you are building a home, consider using this roofing material to decrease your utility bills.

Consider Your Home’s Placement: If your home was built 50 or more years ago, it probably is already more energy efficient than most new homes. This is because central air-conditioning was not prevalent in the past. To keep homes cool in the summer, windows were located strategically for cross-drafts. Also, the largest windows were designed to receive the morning sun, thereby helping to heat the home.

As energy prices declined, many homes were built without these considerations. However, today’s builders are beginning to return to traditional building practices in order to have more energy-efficient homes.

Consider Your Window Treatments: Whether you live in a new or old home, or are building your home, you can control your window treatments. What you put on your windows can make a serious different in your home’s heating and cooling costs. Light- and heat-filtering blinds and heavy draperies may significantly reduce the need for continuous air-conditioning.

Hopefully, this information has given you some ideas for countering rising energy costs. By using one or more of these suggestions, you can make your home more energy efficient. If you decide to sell your home in the future, these updates may make your home more attractive to buyers.
This is an excellent window cleaner that costs about a quarter per bottle. Use it with newspaper for a clean you won’t believe!
Window Cleaner Recipe (Compliments of Heloise)
12 to 16 ounces water
1/2 cup white or apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup rubbing alcohol (70%)
1-2 drops blue or green food coloring, if desired
1-2 drops lavender, cinnamon, clove or orange essential oil. Combine the ingredients and pour into a labeled spray bottle.

1. Spray the newspaper.
2. Wipe down the window to avoid drips.
3. Wipe one side of the window vertically, and the other horizontally, so you will know which side a streak is on!
This bottle of nice-smelling window cleaner can cost as little as 25 cents. The solution also works well on mirrors and glass shower doors.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Flashing red or blue lights say 'move over'- New law requires drivers to change lanes or slow down

My Sun colleague and weather wizard Frank Roylance went driving recently on U.S. 50 in Talbot County when he had one of those learning experiences most of us would prefer to avoid.

He noticed two state police cars with flashing blue lights on the right shoulder of the highway, apparently making a traffic stop. He was in the right lane and stayed there, maintaining the prudent 56 mph set on his cruise control.

It was right after that that he noticed those lights coming up behind him. An officer motioned him to pull over.

"The trooper came back to my car and asked me, 'Do you know why I pulled you over?' I said I had no idea," Roylance recounted.

The trooper explained that Roylance had just run afoul of a new law, which took effect Oct. 1 and has been woefully underreported by myself and others, requiring motorists to move over by a lane or to slow down when passing an emergency vehicle on the side of the road with its red or blue lights on.

Fortunately, the trooper let my colleague, who hadn't heard of the law, drive off with a warning. But the trooper explained that Roylance could have been issued a ticket carrying a $110 fine and two points. Had the trooper really wanted to be a hardliner, he could have doubled that by writing a ticket for each of the police cars that were passed.

Roylance figured other motorists might want to piggyback on the benefit of his warning. So here's the story:

The General Assembly, after several years of rejecting the idea, passed legislation without dissent last spring adopting what is known as the "move-over" rule. Maryland became one of the last three states to enact this law, which is intended to protect emergency workers.

Specifically, the law says that unless a motorist is otherwise directed, a driver on a road that is wide enough should merge left when there is an emergency vehicle with flashing lights on the shoulder ahead. If traffic won't allow the driver to merge before reaching the scene, the law calls for slowing to a "reasonable and prudent" speed that takes into account weather and road conditions.

The law does not spell out what "reasonable and prudent" is, but Roylance's report that he was stopped at 56 mph on a 55-mph road indicates that officers interpret that as something below the speed limit. (Mindful of his experience, when I subsequently found myself in the same position and unable to merge left on Interstate 95, I slowed to about 45 mph and attracted no law enforcement attention.)

The "reasonable and prudent" standard is a subjective one that leaves a lot to the officer's discretion, but that's no different from a general speeding charge that has been on the books for eons. If a judge believes the officer's testimony, you can be convicted with or without a radar reading.

Maryland State Police spokesman Greg Shipley said a driver who is speeding in the lane adjacent to the traffic stop faces the possibility of receiving separate tickets for the two violations. He said that in some cases, officers keep their radar on while writing another ticket. Thus, somebody cruising along obliviously at 80 mph while passing just feet from a traffic stop or medical emergency could face a double whammy.

Shipley said the legislation was passed with strong support from police and other emergency response workers from around the state. Little wonder. According to the Department of Legislative Services, more than 150 law enforcement officers have been killed nationwide at roadsides when struck by vehicles over the past decade.

One reason officers want drivers to move over and slow down is the tendency of rubberneckers to fix their eyes on the traffic stop, Shipley said.

"As driving instructors will tell you, you tend to steer toward what you're looking at," he said.

The legislation's prime sponsor, Del. James Malone, is a retired Baltimore County fire lieutenant with 35 years of professional and volunteer experience. The Arbutus Democrat said the way some people drive by emergency vehicles "literally scares you to death."

"You'd be amazed how many people pay no attention to fire apparatus, medic units, police cars," he said. "They are literally flying by at 90 mph."

Roadside safety is a matter that emergency and law enforcement workers feel strongly about, Shipley said. "This is their office. This is where they work."

Shipley said he knows of no written policy that specifies that motorists will receive only warnings for a particular period of time. Whether to give a ticket or warning is up to the officer's discretion, he said.

According to Malone, the purpose of the law is education, not punishment. He's hoping that over time it becomes second nature for Maryland drivers to move over when they see an emergency vehicle on the side of the road.

"I want to make sure everybody knows it's the law," he said.

One detail worth knowing is that the penalty for a violation that causes a crash is three points and $150 — $750 if it leads to death or serious injury.

Malone said an earlier version of the legislation that would have added the same protection to highway workers was amended out of the bill to overcome some lawmakers' reservations. But he indicated that that provision could be added at some future time.

Let's hope it is. Highway workers deserve the same protection as others.

The best strategy is to get used to moving over or slowing down for flashing yellow lights the same way drivers now must for blue. Though it's not the law now, it probably will be soon.

Consider this your warning.

By Michael Dresser, The Baltimore Sun