Tag: Whit Harvey Group

Featured Home in Greenpring Valley + 3 Reasons to Sell During the Holidays

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from the Whit Harvey Group Blog:

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3 Advantages of Selling During the Holidays

by Dave Ramsey

The Tip: Thanks to reduced competition, motivated buyers and a warm and cheery holiday home, you can sell your home faster and for more money during the holiday season.

We all know—or maybe we assume—that spring and summer are the best times to sell a home. And it’s true that many buyers do plan their new home purchases during the warmer months. But that doesn’t mean all the serious buyers evaporate after Labor Day.

If your home is for sale now, you’re actually in a great position to sell your home faster and for more money by taking advantage of the unique characteristics of the holiday selling season.

1. Less Competition

You’re not the only homeowner who’s considered taking your home off the market during the holidays—most don’t want the hassle. And most new sellers will decide to wait until the first of the year or even springtime to put their homes up for sale. Click to view full post

The Whit Harvey Group Wants to Know – How Far Will YOU Go to Get What You Want?

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from the Whit Harvey Group Blog:

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How New Home Builders are Catering to Current Buyer Needs

The new generation of buyers is looking for something entirely different from what their parents wanted. Formal living and dining rooms are on their way out, and their focus is more on location than square footage.

Below, in an excerpt from a recent article in the Baltimore Business Journal, Keith Minney describes how home builders are customizing new homes to buyer demand.

“Locations near amenity-rich urban centers and highly useful home designs appeal to today’s prospective homeowners. Homebuilding companies have adjusted accordingly.”

Consumer-driven design

In a 50,000-square-foot warehouse in Elkridge, Pulte Homes has constructed mock-ups of townhomes that the company pays consumers to walk through, assessing the floor plans and giving feedback on what works and what doesn’t. The consumers point out when a closet seems like wasted space or when the bathroom is too close to the kitchen. Click to View More

 

Gorgeous Listings from the Whit Harvey Group

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from the Whit Harvey Group Blog:

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How New Home Builders are Catering to Current Buyer Needs

The new generation of buyers is looking for something entirely different from what their parents wanted. Formal living and dining rooms are on their way out, and their focus is more on location than square footage.  Click to view more

 

The Whit Harvey Group Has a Home That’s Just Your Size

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from the Whit Harvey Group Blog:

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By Emily Heffter for Zillow, August 13, 2014

Sean Gibbons, 28, has a college degree and makes $65,000 a year as a contract worker for Microsoft.

At his age and income, economists might expect him to buy a house of his own, or at least a condo. Instead, Gibbons is paying about $600 a month in rent to live with nine roommates in a house on Capitol Hill, one of Seattle’s most walkable urban neighborhoods.

“The thought of purchasing a home hasn’t crossed my mind,” he said. “I don’t see myself settling down. … I just have other things that I care more about, like my social life. It’s a time-consuming thing, and if you want to be a homeowner you really have to be knowledgeable about those things, and there’s a fear of making the wrong decision.”

So many people are interested in living there that the group has an occasional “open house” to select new roommates from among applicants.

Gibbons is contributing to a dramatic drop in homeownership rates. Economists say young adults in the millennial generation born in the 1980s and ’90s are reaching home-buying age and deciding, in many cases, not to buy a home.
Delayed homeownership

In the house Sean Gibbons and his millennial-age roommates live in, there are three refrigerators, a chore rotation and a strict prohibition on leaving dishes in the sink.

Historically, 43 percent of home purchases were first-time buyers, but now that number is just 30 percent. Meanwhile, the percentage of 24- to 33-year-olds who rent is on the rise, from 47 percent in 2008 to more than 51 percent in 2012.

Economists say the generation staying out of the game is slowing down the housing market’s return.

A majority of more than 100 economists nationwide recently surveyed by Zillow said they expected the homeownership rate in five years to be lower than the current rate of 64.7 percent. The national homeownership rate peaked at 69.2 percent in 2004, just as the housing market was beginning to overheat prior to the Great Recession.

The homeownership rate falling will have ripple effects — both positive and negative — on the economy.

“Millennials will have enormous influence in coming years, especially as they hold off on getting married and having children, the two biggest reasons for first-time home purchases,” said Zillow Chief Economist Dr. Stan Humphries.

Shifting priorities

Millennials have a variety of reasons for staying out of the housing market. Many of them graduated from college in the middle of the recession and got a slow start on their careers. They may be paying off student loans. In general, they’re waiting longer to get married and have kids.

They have also seen firsthand the risk involved with such a big investment. Jesse Bowen of Atlanta bought an apartment in 2005, taking what he thought was a customary next step after graduating from college and getting his first job.

When he decided to move to another city, the market had worsened, and he chose to rent his place out rather than sell it at a loss.

Now Bowen is married, with a 3-year-old and a baby on the way. He and his wife are thinking of buying in the next three years, but they are wary.

“I think a lot of millennials that came through the economic downturn basically saw people invest heavily into houses, and then in a matter of months it just evaporated,” he said. “I think that scared a lot of people. A lot of people I’ve talked to have said it’s not as important for them to purchase property as it may have been for our parents.”

Bucking the trend

Of course, it sometimes turns out well.

Thomas Eyler, 28, got lucky when he stumbled on a short-sale condo near downtown Seattle 2.5 years ago. As rents have risen, he has found that he is paying less per month than his friends who are still renting.

Plus, he figures he has picked up about $100,000 in equity. He is not worried about flexibility, because he says if he wanted to move, he could rent his 1-bedroom condo for more than he pays for it.

“I plan on keeping it forever,” he said.

If you’re a millennial bucking the trend, check out our penthouse listing in Cross Keys! Great views with an easy commute to downtown or Hunt Valley.

Gorgeous Listings and Advice from The Whit Harvey Group: Should You Buy That Fixer Upper?

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Check out these gorgeous listings from the Whit Harvey Group.

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from the Whit Harvey Group Blog:

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Should You Buy that Fixer-Upper?

While watching a recent episode of HGTV’s “Fixer Upper”, I was struck by how surprised buyers are when they uncover problems that they never suspected, such as outdated wiring, mold and pest infestations. Really?

If the exterior of the run-down exterior is covered with ivy, the floor is uneven, and the home was built in the 1920s, why would you not expect to find issues that go beyond old paint and linoleum floors when tearing out a wall to create a dream kitchen?

I am speaking from experience.

When my husband and I purchased a fixer-upper several years ago, we had no idea that major problems existed, such as a rotted sill plate at the front of the house that involved thousands of dollars to repair, and jury-rigged headers along the back of the house the necessitated a complete rebuilding of that wall when we decided to install new windows and a new door.

When we first found the house, we were excited about the vaulted ceiling addition to the 1930s home, which created an open floor plan, loft, and opportunity for a dream kitchen. We brought in a contractor and interior designer to help us come up with an estimate of $60,000 for updating the bathrooms, tearing out the wall-to-wall carpet, refinishing the existing hardwood floors and a kitchen with custom cabinetry, stainless steel appliances and granite countertops.

New kitchen, windows, hardwood floors...totally worth it.

We subtracted that from the home’s likely market value after renovation, and what decided what would work within our budget. What we SHOULD have done was to then deduct at least another 5 to 10 percent for unforeseen problems.

Four and a half years and $145,000 dollars later, with 2 kids in college, and potential upgrades still to do, we decided that we were done with the house and would turn it over to a younger couple to finish what we had started. Luckily the homes in our area had retained their value, and we were able to get our money back out of the house when we sold it, and the new buyer got a home where all of the major problems had been solved and they needed only to do a few finishing touches.

So how DO you know if a fixer-upper in a great neighborhood IS something you want to undertake? I did a little research and came up with 6 tips that I had considered before purchasing our home.

1. Include an inspection clause in your contract. 
At best, the inspection will assure you that the house is a good investment; at worst, it will help you back out of the deal. Often with fixer-uppers, it’s something in between. The inspector will document a serious problem or two, (if they can see them) and you can use the findings to get the seller to pay for repairs or negotiate the sale price downward. Accompany your inspector and ask questions about anything you are unsure about.

2. Avoid a house that needs significant structural improvements. 
Major repairs — plumbing and electrical system overhauls, foundation upgrades, and extensive roof and wall work — are usually “invisible” and hardly ever raise the value of the house enough to offset the cost of the renovation.

3. Pick Projects That Pay
The ideal fixer-uppers are those that require mostly cosmetic improvements — paint touchups, drywall repairs, floor refinishing — which generally cost much less than what they return in market value. New lighting fixtures, doors, window shutters, and siding, as well as updated kitchens and bathrooms, are also lucrative improvements.

4. Don’t over improve. 
For maximum resale value, remodeling investments should not raise the value of your house more than 10 to15 percent above the median sale price of other houses in your area, according to the National Association of Home Builders.

5. Line Up The Money
One of the most challenging aspects of purchasing a fixer-upper is paying for the renovation. Understandably, most people don’t have much extra cash after making the down payment and paying closing costs, so coming up with additional money to cover repairs or remodeling can be difficult.

By far the most popular funding choice for a fixer-upper is a renovation loan, either through a home equity line of credit or a mortgage. Even more advantageous is a renovation loan tied to the first mortgage. Similar to equity lines, these loans can be borrowed against the house’s value after the work is finished, but like any mortgage, the interest is tax deductible up to $1 million.

6. Add at least 10% to what you think you will spend.
Even if you don’t encounter major problems, knowing that you have allowed 10% more in your budget will give you peace of mind when those unexpected expenses crop up, whether it is minor electrical work, or upgrading to better appliances.

When all is said and done, my husband and I are not sorry that we renovated our last home. It was rewarding being able to restore some of the 1930s details in the older part of the house, and satisfying to fix all of the structural damage, because we were able to install beautiful new walls of windows that filled the house with light. The kitchen was indeed my dream and we had many a great party centered around the granite island.

We were also delighted to move into a smaller home that only needed a little bit of paint to make it perfect. Now, of course, five years later, I am eyeing up the kitchen wall that I would like to take down, and thinking about creating a workshop in our garage.

Would I ever take on another fixer-upper? Ask my husband.

By Cathy Evans

The Latest Featured Listing from the Whit Harvey Group & Baltimore Home Sales Figures for July

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The Latest Featured Listing from the Whit Harvey Group:  4BR, 3.5BA three-level townhouse in Thornton Wood. New windows, high ceilings, hardwood floors. First floor den/family room with built-in bookcases. Living room with woodburning fireplace. Dining room has sliders opening to L-shaped deck. Recently redone baths on upper level. Lower level includes bedroom, full bath & family room with walkout. Community pool & tennis.

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from the Whit Harvey Group Blog:

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Baltimore Area Home Sales Figures for July

More families in the Baltimore region were trying to sell homes in July than any month since November 2011, but sales did not keep pace, according to monthly data provided by RealEstate Business Intelligence, a subsidiary of the MRIS multiple listing service.

Relatively high sales volume last July also lessens the significance of the dip in closed deals this year, said Corey Hart, a senior product manager for RB

Bob Kimball, Branch Vice President at Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Greenspring Sales Office says, “Home showings are heading on a natural down turn as we end the year. If there has not been an offer on a listing in 60 days, the market is telling the seller what needs to be done. If a listing has not had a price adjustment in 60 days then now is time to find the right price!”

July By The Numbers:

  • 13,856 homes on the market
  • Active listings up 22.5 % in July compared to the same time last year
  • Approximately 4,900 of the listings were new
  • Number of July sales dipped 2% year-over-year.
  • Pending sales up 9.6 percent year-over-year to 3,422 last month.
  • Median days on market: 34, eight more days than July 2013

Median sales price for the region was $256,000, down 3% compared to last year. Prices by county:

  • Anne Arundel County $325,000 (down less then 1%)
  • Baltimore City $135,000 (down 9.1%)
  • Baltimore County $227,750 (down less then 1%)
  • Carroll County $295,000 (up 3.5%)
  • Harford County $232,316 (down 5.1%)
  • Howard County $418,000 (up less than 1%)

Source: The Baltimore Sun Real Estate Wonk

A Peek Inside the Whit Harvey Group’s Featured Properties & Great Summertime Home Deals

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A Peek Inside the Whit Harvey Group’s Featured Properties & Great Summertime Home Deals

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Great Summertime Home Deals

The end of spring and beginning of summer show the most home buying and selling activity. According to seasonal statistics, about 60 percent of all homes are sold during these prime months. But as the temperature heats up near the end of summer, home selling activity slows down. There are many reasons for this: uncomfortable temperatures, vacations, and not a lot of new inventory. But for those willing it sweat it out, this a great time to find bargains.

Here are a few tips for snagging those end-of-summer deals:

Look For a Long History

Check out homes that were listed in the spring and have been on the market for 60 days or more. If the property has only just been listed and put on the market, the seller will likely want to receive a full-price offer. If it’s been on the market for a few months, the owners might be ready to make a deal.

Vacation Every Day on Gibson Island
719 Skywater Road

This delightfully Open Contemporary Ranch exemplifies the ease of one floor living! Completely gutted and rehabbed in 2006 with exposed beamed ceilings, red oak hardwood floors, granite counter tops, walk in jetted shower, dipping pool with deck, and so much more! New Price Reduction!

 

 

The Latest From The Whit Harvey Group: Pristine Home With Easy One Level Living in Lutherville

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Property Details

The latest from the Whit Harvey Group.  Pristine describes this delightful 4BD (1st floor master) home with a simply wonderful flow for easy lifestyles and entertaining. Beautifully maintained with numerous updates. Kitchen is polished with stainless steel appliances, 6-burner stove and granite countertops. Finished lower level with full bar, built-ins and entertainment center/system. Large deck with awning and hot tub. Shows extremely well! For more information, please click here.

 

From the Whit Harvey Group Blog:

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