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Date Archives: January 2012

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Uncategorized | 16 Posts
January
30

Remodeling a home to stay green

We recently came across this article and found that the rehabbing of old houses can end up "greener" than the "greenest" of new houses. No new impervious surfaces, no new infrastructure, etc. This certainly is a different look at what is really "green". We thought you would enjoy the perspective. Check out the link below.

This old house: Why fixing up old homes is greener than building new ones
http://grist.org/cities/this-old-house-why-fixing-up-old-homes-is-greener-than-building-new-ones/

YWGC Realty and all of our associates are always looking to bring you the most up to date information on all aspects of housing. YWGC Realty has 8 real estate offices and 200 real estate agents serving the Baltimore Metropolitan area.

January
25

House vs Home

The real estate business is about more than houses - it's about homes.

We at YWGC Realty think the best part of our business is helping people find the home of their dreams, whether it's a young couple starting a family, empty nesters looking for a home that meets their changing needs, or anyone in between.

It may sound corny, but owning your own home really is the American dream. Sometimes people focus too much on home ownership as a hedge against inflation, and houses as investments or assets, like so many stocks or bonds.

We live and work in a world of numbers: prices, interest rates, appraisals, comparables - the list is endless. In the short term, that's what our jobs are about. but in the long term, our careers are about people - their hopes, their dreams, their families, and their homes. If we keep that in mind, we will continue to do well no matter where we are in the real estate cycle, because home ownership is the great constant in the American dream.

Remember that the real estate business is about more than houses - it's about homes. At Yerman Witman Gaines & Conklin Realty we have the real estate agents with the expertise to get you into the home of your dreams.

Search Baltimore homes for sale or other Maryland real estate with ywgcrealty.com

January
24

Buying or selling a home in today's market can be complicated.

You need a good real estate agent. You need a mortgage. You need a title company. Sometimes, you may even need legal advice. Wouldn't it be great if you could find everything you need in one place?

Well you can. that's the concept behind the Strata Group - six companies under one roof that can handle whatever you need for a successful real estate transaction in a complex world:

Yerman Witman Gaines & Conklin Realty - the fastest growing residential real estate company in the greater Baltimore real estate region.

Mortgage Master Inc - for the funds you need to purchase a new home, refinance your current home, or even build your dream home.

Real Estate Title & Escrow - for a smooth transaction with peace of mind.

Strata Law - with experienced real estate lawyers on-site whenever they're needed.

Strata Financial Services and strata new home sales and consulting.

At the Strata Group, we make the home buying process something you never expected it to be: Simple. See for yourself on the web at mystratagroup.com.

Contact a YWGC real estate agent for help Buying or selling a home in today's real estate market.

January
18

On Thursday January 19th from 6-8 our baltimore real estate office in Federal Hill will be hosting an opening reception for Rebecca Swanston, FAIA. Rebecca specializes in Architecture & Interiors with Swanston & Associates in Baltimore, Maryland. Check out the flyer below for more details.

Federal Hill office event

January
10

Choosing the right neighborhood

If you care as much about your neighborhood as you do your home (and many people do these days), there's only one way to be sure that your prospective community is a good fit for your circumstances and lifestyle: get away from your computer and get out of your car - and take a leisurely walk around the block. The fact of the matter is that many buyers don't spend enough time actually observing their (possibly) new surroundings from street level. Here are some tips from the article on what to look for as you walk around.

  • If you're moving because your circumstances are changing (divorce, starting a family, downsizing, etc.), make sure you don't choose a neighborhood based on your old circumstances. That sounds obvious, but very often our mindset doesn't change as quickly as our lives.
  • Don't go strictly by someone else's advice or commonly held assumptions. In the words of President Reagan, "Trust, but verify." If an area's crime rate is assumed to be low, confirm it by checking official records. If the area school is commonly held to be excellent, check it out on the record and visit the school to see for yourself.
  • Be realistic about any sacrifices you may have to make - how long a commute can you really handle every day, how far are you really willing to walk your dog to get to a park, how much social interaction do you really need to be happy? Don't overestimate your tolerance for inconvenience because you're in love with the house.
  • Observe and meet your prospective neighbors and analyze how the character of the neighborhood meets your priorities. Do you want a lot of children in the neighborhood? Do you want a wide range of restaurants and entertainment venues in the immediate area? Think about it while you walk and compare what you want with what you see.

Takeaway: Hopefully, you'll be living in your new neighborhood for a long time. Make sure the community fits your circumstances and lifestyle now and in the future.

Take a look on the right side of the blog site for a list of counties in Maryland that we have a a large library of information for each neighborhood with that county. Or try our real estate search engine and use the search by neighborhoods feature.

January
6

YWGC Mobile

YWGC Mobile can now be downloaded from Apple, Android and Blackberry app stores.

From time to time, we want to remind you about our cutting edge technology. YWGC Mobile is one of our most popular tools - the latest innovation in real estate search that works on any phone. YWGC Mobile is a mobile real estate application that allows you to view all MLS listings "anytime, anywhere" from the convenienceof any standard cell phone or Smartphone.

  • Displays detailed property information - including price, bedrooms, baths, taxes and features.
  • Maps closest homes, and even provides photos.
  • "Call to See" feature connects you directly to an agent.

YWGC Mobile is a free application "easy to download" easy to use. It's part of the YWGC commitment to providing the best customer service to home buyers and sellers in central Maryland. In combination with our new state-of-the-art website (www.ywgcrealty.com) you'll have everything you need to find the perfect house as soon as it comes on the market. Download your copy and start searching on the go today.

*Simply text "YWGC" to 87778

OR

*Go to YWGCmobile.com

Contact a YWGC real estate agent with your questions about buying or selling a home in Maryland or use our state-of-the-art real estate website to search baltimore real estate, and homes throughout Maryland.

January
4

As the great American philosopher, Homer Simpson, once so eloquently said: "Alcohol! The cause of and the solution to all of life's problems."

Maybe some version of that applies to housing too?

Plenty of people blame the collapse of the housing market for kicking off some of the country's current economic woes. On the other hand, could housing also be the solution?

At least that's the theory being posited by the National Association of Homebuilders. According to RealtorMag the organization is unhappy with tight government restrictions on credit, "that are dampening demand and reducing Americans' ability to purchase a home."

The government is doing this, the NAHB claims, in a number of ways, from "tightening of credit and possible stricter down payment qualifications to reducing the conforming loan limit on Oct. 1."

Without these onerous government barriers NAHB feels that "housing can be a key engine of job growth."

Bob Nielsen, NAHB chairman says that constructing just 100 single-family homes can generate more than 300 jobs and $8.9 million in taxes and revenue for state, local, and federal governments.

This is really significant NAHB says, when you consider that since April 2006 more than 1.4 million residential construction jobs have been lost, according to NAHB. "

"Yet there is demand for housing in markets that are on the mend," Nielsen says. "Home builders have plenty of shovel-ready jobs set to go but they can't keep their doors open and create jobs in their communities if federal regulators continue to shut off the credit spigot."

Brian Kesler, a senior mortgage counselor with Mortgage Master, Inc. of Baltimore, couldn't agree more. "Credit has been like a car careening out of control," he said. "First it was too lax and anyone with a pulse could get a mortgage. Now it is too hard for perfectly qualified people to get mortgages. The first thing dashed the economy and the second one hold back the recovery. There has to be a middle ground that makes sense for everyone."

To see the full video of Brian Kesler's thoughts on mortgage and the economic recovery, click here.

For additional information, visit YWGC Realty's Mortgage Master Inc services page.

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