How Much is My Carroll County Home Worth??

After a good year of home sales here in Carroll County, now is the time to find out “How Much is My Carroll County Home Worth?”

If you’ve been thinking about selling this Fall or in 2016, now’s a great time to get the right information. Email me directly at dpost@mris.com and I’ll go over the listed stats in your neighborhood. Just send, name, address, beds, baths, garage and any important improvements you’ve added since you purchased. I’ll get back to you within 24hrs.

Always happy to help!

 

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29 Essentail Tips for Listing Your Carroll County Home

If you have been thinking about putting your Carroll County home on the market in 2015, I’ve put together a nice 9 page report with 29 tips. Whether you live in Sykesville. Mt Airy, Woodbine, Westminster, Eldersburg, Finksburg, Hampstead, Manchester or ANY place in between- this is a must have in today’s market.

Should you get an appraisal? What should you fix and/or repair? Why should I visit Open Houses in the area? These and a bunch of other key questions are answered. It’s a great place to start when you know you’ll be putting your Carroll County home on the market in the near future.

2015 is my 10th year helping my neighbors in Carroll County buy and sell homes. This is my career, and thru the blood, sweat and tears, I’ve put this booklet together to help you avoid some of today’s pitfalls. So please- if you have been talking about selling OR know someone near and dear to you who is starting to plan, drop me a line. Email me directly at dpost@MRIS.com with your name & address and I’ll send it right out to you.

My name is David Post and I’m a full time Realtor here in Carroll County Maryland. If I can assist you or someone you know in either buying or selling a property in Carroll County or any other nearby county, please call me direct at 410-984-2221 anytime. This is what I do and this is what I love…. Real Estate!

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How to Shop for a Mortgage Rate in Carroll County

How to Shop for a Mortgage Rate

Whether you’re buying a home in Sykesville, Eldersburg, Westminster, Woodbine, Mt Airy, Finksburg, Taneytown, Hampstead or Manchester- Comparing mortgage rates sounds simple ‐ just call various mortgage lenders and ask what their current interest rate is, right? Not so fast! There is more to a mortgage than just the interest rate. The total cost of your mortgage will include the interest rate, but also mortgage points and lending fees, and varies depending on your closing costs, your credit score, and even the time period you get a quote!

Follow these tips when comparing mortgage rates across lenders to make sure you’re getting an accurate comparison:

Lowest Rate Does Not Always Equal Best Loan

When comparing mortgage rates, it is important that the rate isn’t the only factor considered. Also consider the role that lending fees will play in the total cost of your mortgage. Some mortgages may have a very low rate, but very high fees, therefore increasing the total cost of the mortgage. The lowest rate may not always be the loan with the lowest cost, consider the overall costs.

Compare Rates, Not Closing Costs

When inquiring with various mortgage companies, be sure to compare rates using the same closing cost amount. When comparing with a fixed closing cost amount, you can be sure that you are actually looking at comparable mortgage lending rates.

Gather Quotes on the Same Day

Mortgage rates can change very rapidly, daily, if not more often. Be sure to gather rate comparisons on the same day to ensure you are getting the most accurate information to compare. This will also help keep your credit score as high as possible; most credit reporting bureaus will count multiple credit inquiries (like those you’ll have when getting mortgage quotes) as just one request as long as they happen in a short period of time.

Work With Lenders You Trust

It’s important to only work with mortgage lenders you trust. Taking on a new home loan is a major undertaking and having a knowledgeable and trustworthy loan officer on your side to help you through the process makes a huge difference. Your loan officer should be available and willing to answer your questions! Take time to research the lenders on either Zillow or Google+.

Ask About Length of Lock

When mortgage companies quote you a rate, they’ll typically allow you to “lock in” that rate for a certain period of time. If you fail to close on the mortgage loan before the lock expires, you could be facing a much higher interest rate. Be sure all the companies you speak with are quoting based on the same lock‐in period, whether it be 15 days or as high as 90 days. Though comparing mortgage rates may seem to be an overwhelming process, using these tips will allow you to gain accurate and comparable information. Resist the urge to get too caught up in the numbers. A reputable mortgage lender will offer competitive rates and personal, dependable service.

My name is David Post and I’m a full time Realtor here in Carroll County Maryland. If I can assist you or someone you know in either buying or selling a property in Carroll County or any other nearby county, please call me direct at 410-984-2221 anytime. This is what I do and this is what I love…. Real Estate!

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The Carroll County Real Estate Market in 2015

Where will the Carroll County Real Estate Market go in 2015? First, we have to look back at the year just ending 2014.

Overall Carroll County Real Estate surpassed its breakout year of 2013, but not by much. The average sale price was up by just 1.1% to $283,000, with the southern end of the county, Sykesville, Eldersburg, Woodbine & Marriottsville leading the way with over a 4% increase. There were 3 other smaller areas that did even better- Manchester up 5.3%, Taneytown, up 6.3% and Manchester up 7%!  Westminster which has the most volume of home sales within the county, had a decrease in its average sale price of 2.3%.

The year ended with the average sales price in the following areas: Westminster $253k, Taneytown $225k, New Windsor $278k, Manchester $258k, Sykesville & Eldersburg $350k.

The really good news in the Carroll County Real Estate Market is that the total number of closed sales was up 6.7% with an average number of days on market staying below 100, and ending up at 92. After digesting all the numbers and trends- more homes in Carroll County are selling and at a faster pace. The Sold price is a moving target, with the traditional southern end of the county continuing to lead the way.

In 2015, having recharged my crystal ball, I see more of the same; modest sales price growth of 2-4% and more homes selling in 2015 than 2014. The average days on market may creep up to the 100 day level, why is that? I see more sellers finally being able to sell their home after being “under water” (owing more than the property is worth) for the last 7 years. Neighbors are seeing neighbors selling their homes and realizing they too can sell if they want or need.  Interest rates were headed to 5%, not anymore; I see the continued 4% mortgage interest rate range throughout 2015. Gas prices have a direct impact on the northern part of Carroll County and the outlook for 2015 looks to stay under $3 a gallon, very good news!

Overall good news, but what about your specific situation? I don’t know until I talk with you and see exactly what your neighborhood is doing and/or where and when you are looking to buy. Whether you’re buying or selling, let spend a little time with you and discuss the right path to reach your goal. Carroll County Real Estate in 2015 is not an easy thing, what worked or was known in the past, may not apply to today’s complicated real estate transactions.

My name is David Post and I’m a full time Realtor here in Carroll County Maryland. If I can assist you or someone you know in either buying or selling a property in Carroll County or any other nearby county, please call me direct at 410-984-2221 anytime. This is what I do and this is what I love…. Real Estate!

 

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Carroll County Real Estate is Starting to Bloom in 2014

Real Estate here in Carroll County Maryland is finally starting to push it’s green shoots through the never ending winter of sluggish sales. The 1st quarter of 2014 ended in a freak snowstorm and is in the books. When the finally numbers come in, they won’t be all that impressive I’m afraid.

BUT………. hold on. There seems to a late surge in the number of pending contracts right at the end of March and carrying into the beginning of April. Multiple offers, price escalation clauses and homes sold in under 10 days appeared late in the month. In addition some settlements were delayed into April due to the shut down on 3/31 of Ellie Mae. Never heard of Ellie Mae? It’s Freddie and Frannie’s long lost sister who decided to screw up a bunch of settlements  (including yours truly) here’s a link: http://tinyurl.com/EllieMaeProblem that could have a big impact on  the March numbers, pushing them into April.

Right now in the Spring of 2014, Buyers in Carroll County still want that turn key beautiful property priced right. Properties “not ready for prime time” will be passed up by all except low ball investors. And buyers that sit around looking and looking for the “perfect” listing are going to miss out. Buyers have to be out early and often with their agent looking in neighborhoods and specific properties on their list. When “that” property comes on, you have to move quick and make sure you are pre-approved and ready to go. I’m starting to hear a lot of disappointment from buyers that waited too long looking. They find just the right one and decide to “keep an eye on it”. Then watch it disappear, right into the hands of another buyer.  With great schools, low crime rates, lower taxes, good parks and recreation areas and not too bad of a commute- more buyers are choosing to look in Carroll County.

For Sellers, if you’ve been thinking about selling, whether you’re in Sykesville, Eldersburg, Westminster, Finksburg, Woodbine, Marriottsville, Mt Airy, Union Bridge, Taneytown, Manchester, Hampstead or anywhere in Carroll County- this is the year. But you NEED to spend a few dollars on some curb appeal, some serious de-cluttering and some paint. You want to have your home in the Real Estate market before July 4th, if at all possible- sooner rally than later. Call me for help, it doesn’t take a lot of effort to make a big difference. A surge is coming to the Carroll County Real Estate Market, don’t miss out!

My name is David Post and I’m a full time Realtor here in Carroll County Maryland. If I can assist you or someone you know in either buying or selling a property in Carroll County or any other nearby county, please call me direct at 410-984-2221 anytime. This is what I do and this is what I love…. Real Estate!

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Problems With Over Pricing Your Home in Carroll County in 2014

Setting the list price for your home here in Carroll County this year is going to be critical. The Real Estate Market is getting ready to take off and you don’t want to be over looked.

The late winter snows have slowed things down here in Carroll County. Cabin fever is giving way to Spring Fever, as pent-up demand for nice homes that are turn key ready are going to be a driving force. In my earlier post I showed how prices are up, across Carroll County. Even in the Northern end, and really up in the Southern end. But you have to price it right to get buyers to 1) visit your home and 2) make an offer! The first 30 days of a listing is when your most qualified and ready to go buyers will view the property.

Why do Sellers over price? Emotion followed flawed logic. Here are some common reasons I have run across: ” I’m not giving it away!”- We need to “leave room to negotiate”- ” I need $XXX amount from this sale to move on.” And the one thing I’m finding more of, as the market has been turning around, the Sellers bought the home at the top of the market in the mid 2000′s, put little money down and are now trying to move on. Who sets the ultimate value for a property? A buyer who is willing and able to not only make an offer but is qualified to get the transaction to settlement. Values are going up, but here in Carroll County, we haven’t fully recovered from the peak of 2007. The Buyers will let the Seller know if it is over priced, how? by not showing up to view the home and no offers coming in the first 30 days. Once an offer is agreed to, 90% of the time the buyer will be borrowing money from a lender who will not lend until a full appraisal of the home and property is done. If it doesn’t appraise, it doesn’t sell. Make sure your Listing Agent is watching similar nearby properties to see if they are going under contract before yours does. That could be an “over pricing” sign.

To the Buyers out there looking in Carroll County- make sure your Realtor does a  Competitive Market Analysis (CMA) when you submit an offer. A lot of times the homes are priced correctly these days and you could be in a situation with multiple offers on a nice home. After reviewing the CMA, and the value is there, don’t fall into the trap of always offering 5% to 10% less than the list price. You’ll miss out on a property that you really liked. I find that after Buyers have missed out on 2 properties because of the above, they get the message, that yes, the property was price correctly.

My name is David Post and I’m a full time Realtor here in Carroll County Maryland. If I can assist you or someone you know in either buying or selling a property in Carroll County or any other nearby county, please call me direct at 410-984-2221 anytime. This is what I do and this is what I love…. Real Estate!

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Carroll County Real Estate 2013 Review

Carroll Real Estate took a big leap forward in 2013, with the areas of Eldersburg, Sykesville, Mt Airy and Finksburg leading the way. Gains were seen across the board in the rest of the Carroll County including Westminster, Taneytown, Hampstead and Manchester.


Picking up on the gains from 2012, 2013 saw double digit increases in some key statistics. Below is a brief summary:
Total Dollar Volume- up 17%
Number of units sold- up 11%
Days on Market- down 27%
Average Sold Price- up 5.5%


Carroll County finally broke through the $300k market on average sold price to $300,587. It’s been 7 long years in the wilderness since we saw that number. Days on Market is now down to 91 days, a little longer on properties north of Westminster and a lot shorter the farther south you go in the Carroll County towards Eldersburg and Sykesville where the average is 61 days. In the whole county last year, 42% of all properties, sold in 30 days or less. (On a personal note, my average days on market for my listings in 2013 were only 22 days!)


You might be asking how does this information impact “me” as a Buyer or a Seller in 2014??


If you’re a Seller and you bought your property before 2005 (and didn’t re-finance taking money out of your home) you might actually walk away with some money from the sale of your home! Each situation is different depending on how much you put down of course. Buyers continue to be picky wanting properties “fresh & clean”, de-cluttered, and turnkey ready. 2014 (I believe) will be a year of “in-county” move ups. We haven’t seen a lot of this in recent years as the majority of sellers were moving out of Carroll County and the buyers were moving into Carroll County for the first time.


If you’re a Buyer and you want to be in Carroll County- make sure to have your financial ‘ducks in a row’ and get pre-approved. The lending world continues to evolve with new rules enacted in January of 2014. Interest rates are currently in the low 4% range, with crystal ball readers predicting 5% by 2015. One thing to keep in mind this year, there is a difference in being “pre-qualified” and “pre-approved”. We’re starting to see lenders pushing “pre-approvals” and offering to have you ready to go to settlement within 2 weeks. This is new on a broad scale, mainly due to the new 2014 lending regulations. With the average days on market continuing to get shorter AND the available housing inventory continuing to shrink, the nice homes are moving fast. If you find a property that meets most of your needs, you need to make an offer- then you need to attach your lenders “pre-approval” letter to show the seller you are serious and ready to go. If you’re in competition for a property, having that all important piece of paper could be just the thing that gets you your dream house!


My name is David Post and I’m a full time Realtor here in Carroll County Maryland. If I can assist you or someone you know in either buying or selling a property in Carroll County or any other nearby county, please call me direct at 410-984-2221 anytime. This is what I do and this is what I love…. Real Estate!

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Carroll County Real Estate 2013

The Real Estate market in Carroll County has really turned around in 2013.  The southern end of Carroll County from Mt Airy, Eldersburg, Winfield, Sykesville, Woodbine, Marriottsville, Gamber and Finksburg have seen the biggest gains. This has been followed by Westminster, particularly the 21157 zip code. The towns of Hampstead, Manchester and Taneytown are also finally making gains in 2013 as well.

Low inventory of saleable homes has fueled this increase. In addition, interest rates around 3% during the first part of the year helped as well. As of July, we can say good bye to those amazing, all time low 3% mortgages, and say hello to the 4% range. This adds about $1.25 to every $1000 borrowed on a monthly basis. Bottom line, still a great time to buy. Someday when we (and we will) have rates above 7% and 8%, people will be kicking themselves for not buying a home at these low rates.

Having read the above, this next statement seems hard to believe–Buying and Selling a home in Carroll County has never been more difficult! In order to buy a home 90% of buyers need lender financing. There are some cash buyers out there, mainly with investors buying under $200k here in Carroll County. But the vast majority of buyers need to go to a lender and qualify for a mortgage. Today’s lenders are very nervous about lending money and following the strict government oversight that can be very “gray”. The goal posts keep moving and the guidelines are fluid. For this reason lenders are very cautious, not only with the buyers themselves, but with the home and property they want to purchase. You have to have a Realtor who knows how to navigate the minefields of today’s Real Estate market. It’s hard enough to get a ratified contract that both buyer and seller are in agreement with. That part of the transaction is very emotional to begin with. Ideally the terms of the contract are a “win win” for both parties. But getting to the settlement table on time has been a Herculean effort this year. 

Please check out the link above on the “Latest Stats Video” to see how Carroll County is doing with regards to Real Estate. That gets up dated around the 15th of each month and is a great way to follow our local market. 2013 should finish as our best year since 2008 in all categories. If you been think about buying or selling- NOW is the time. More lender regulations and higher interest rates are expected for 2014.

My name is David Post and I’m a full time Realtor here in Carroll County Maryland. If I can assist you or someone you know in either buying or selling a property in Carroll County or any other nearby county, please call me direct at 410-984-2221 anytime. This is what I do and this is what I love…. Real Estate!

 

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The Changing Real Estate Market in Carroll County Maryland

The Real Estate market here in Carroll County turned the corner in 2012. For the first time since 2006, the average sold price of homes was up, year over year. The number of available properties for sale (inventory) continued its downward sloop and the average number of ‘days on market’ continued its overall downward trajectory. **(Look at my pervious post “How is Carroll Doing in 2012″ for the current market statistics- it’s interactive and updated on the 10th of every month)**

So what does this mean? We are in a period of “normal” market conditions. It’s not a Buyer’s market anymore and we are not in a Seller’s market right now. Homes that show nicely, are up to date and priced right are most likely going to sell under a 100 days. There will be the usual flood of listings this Spring as sellers who have equity and have been waiting out the market, put their homes on the market. But in 2013 they will not be competing with as many foreclosures as in years past. There will continue to be Short Sales, but most buyers are not interested in waiting 3-6 months for an “as-is” property. The turn-key, up to date home with good curb appeal will sell before any short sales, as long as the price is inline.

As usual, the southern end (below Westminster) of Carroll County continues to outperform, as homes have had a higher increase in their average sold price. Properties selling less than 10 days with multiple offers were not unheard of in Sykesville, Eldersburg, Finksburg, Winfield and Woodbine in 2012. Mt Airy and Westminster had a good year, with Taneytown, Hampstead and Manchester still having the longest days on market in Carroll County.
2013 will be a good market for both buyers and sellers here in Carroll County if there are careful and have a good Realtor on their side.

For Buyers, interest rates are staying below 4% on 30 year fixed. The ultimate loan right now is the 15 year conventional fixed, where rates are currently below 3%. If you can put down 20% and qualify for a 15 year fixed rate- you are golden! This is your year that the history books will be writing about. Still FHA rates with 3.5% down payment continue to be below 4% on 30 year fixed, though the PMI (private mortgage insurance) continues to raise and eat into your monthly payment. If you credit score is below 700, FHA is the first place to look. There are other programs out there, and that’s where having a good Realtor working on their behalf here in Carroll County can help. Now that the market has ‘normalized’ and not a true Buyer’s Market anymore, a new mindset has to take place- compromise. And Buyers are going to have to move/decide quicker. There are a lot of qualified buyers out there right now and with the housing inventory so low, the nice ones go quick. If you have been looking and looking and watching homes you like go under contract, you know what I’m talking about. Maybe the home and property doesn’t have 100% of you ‘wants’ you were looking for. This is where having that all important ‘needs ‘vs. ‘wants’ list comes into play. MAKE SURE YOU REALTOR HAS YOU SET UP ON AN AUTOMATIC EMAIL PROPERTY SEARCH THRU THE REGIONAL MULTIPLE LIST SERVICE. As soon as a new listing that matches your search criteria comes on, you’ll know about it. This is key, if a great property comes on, don’t wait for the weekend to go see it, it might be gone by then!

For Sellers, if you have been sitting on the sidelines during the Great Recession, now is the time to contact a Realtor and start running some numbers. Does it make sense to sell now and what is a true “marketable” price and what is the ‘net’ price? With a normal market you still have to do everything you would do to the home and property in the Buyer’s Market. The home HAS to fresh, clean and de-cluttered and needs to be as up to date as possible. It MUST have curb appeal and it must be ready the first day of the listing. And it MUST have a great on-line presence starting with professional photography. It still MUST have a verifiable price point that will appraise when the Buyer’s lender sends out their appraiser. But, sellers don’t have to take that first low offer, they don’t have to agree to every repair the buyer wants, and IF it’s priced correctly you may have multiple offers. If a seller doesn’t any offers in writing within 30 days of a listing, it’s over priced in the eyes of today’s buyers. If the seller has been getting a steady stream of buyers and no offers, it comes down to price, even in this normal market.

My name is David Post and I’m a full time Realtor here in Carroll County Maryland. If I can assist you or someone you know in either buying or selling a property in Carroll County or any other nearby county, please call me direct at 410-984-2221 anytime. This is what I do and this is what I love…. Real Estate!

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How is Carroll County Doing in 2012

Below are the latest stats on how Carroll County is doing this year.
First is the number of Sold listing per month:

Next is the average sales price. This graph goes back to 2009. It “appears” we hit bottom in January of this year:

Finally is the Average Days on Market or how long is the average number of days for a property to get to settlement:

The real estate market in Carroll County Maryland seems to have turned a corner looking at the above graphs. There a lot buyers out in the market right now looking for nice, updated homes that are turn key ready. Interest Rates are still below 4%, making it a great time to buy.

If you would like more information about an specific zip code or area, please contact me anytime at 410-984-2221 or email me at dpost@mris.com. My name is David Post and I’m a full time Realtor right here in Carroll County helping people buy and sell real estate.

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