Does Social Media Prepare You to Buy a Home?

For many years the general public had solid confidence in the idea that real estate – especially owning your own home – was the best investment that an individual or family could make. The housing market crash and resulting Great Recession after 2008 put a dent in that public confidence. I last wrote on this subject in 2015, after a Gallup poll had confirmed that real estate was still considered the most reliable form of long-term investment, but down from past surveys.  The prolonged economic recovery has reassured most home owners that their investment was a wise one, if only […]

Mold: Major Problem or Minor Nuisance?

Just about everyone has heard something about the growing issue of mold in residential structures over the last ten years. There’s a lot of information – and misinformation – going viral on the internet. Here’s a dose of truth: if your house has wood components (studs, flooring, joists, rafters) or drywall, then you already have some level of mold in your house. It doesn’t matter how old the house is, or how well you’ve maintained it. It’s there. Most likely it’s a very insignificant amount, but over the last few years of major rainfall totals and flooding events – and […]

Beware Hidden Recording on the Real Estate Hunt

It’s a pretty good bet, these days, that you have been video recorded for some length of time every time you leave the house. Between store surveillance, police dash cams recording license plates and body cameras, and security cameras of all stripes, someone has been watching just about “every move you make.” And in Maryland, that’s pretty much legal. According to the lawyers at Avvo.com, audio recording is a little more questionable and dangerous. Maryland is a “two-party consent” state. For audio recording to be legal requires the consent of both parties in the conversation, particularly if the conversation takes place in […]

Keep the Ho, Ho, Ho in the Holidays!

As we head into the holiday season each year, we also head into one of the most dangerous for credit fraud and stolen identities. The more you use your credit cards, at malls or online, the more opportunities there are for criminals to hack into computer systems and tarnish some of your holiday cheer. Fortunately, there is a new protection available to all consumers, and I wanted to share a press release from the Federal Trade Commission with news you might want to keep in your files in case you ever need it: Free credit freezes and year-long fraud alerts […]

Homebuying? Consider Creative Financing

Buying a home can help you save money in the long run and creative financing can help you do it if home ownership feels out of reach right now. Did you know that most times when buying a home a 20% down payment isn’t necessary? Or that here in Maryland several thousand dollars are available as a grant that doesn’t need repayment? Here are a few different scenarios. • There are 3% down loans available and you don’t need to be a first-time home buyer to qualify. Let‘s do the math on that, if you purchase a home at about […]

Home buying for LGBTQ Couples & Individuals

Buying a new home is an exciting and life changing adventure. For someone that has never bought a home, the question is, “Where do I begin?” Most people simply take to Google and begin looking at the pictures of homes they like. But how do you get from seeing a home you like, to crossing the threshold of that dream home with keys in hand? Well let’s think about this for a second. When we need groceries, we go to a grocery store. When we need gas we go to a gas station. When we need insurance, we call an […]