Archive for the 'Houses' Category

May 28 2009

HGTV Looking for Homeowners in Baltimore

Published by under Houses,Real Estate

The HGTV show Bang For Your Buck is looking to locate Baltimore homeowners who may be interested in having their recently remodeled great room featured on the show.

Home & Garden Television’s (HGTV) BANG FOR YOUR BUCK is coming back for a second season and we’re looking for fun and enthusiastic homeowners in the greater Baltimore area RIGHT NOW!

Renovations must have taken place recently (no more than 3 years ago).

Each episode will tour three similar remodels at similar price points in the same city. We’ll bring in our design expert and real estate expert to determine how the renovation impacts each home’s value. We’ll also provide viewers with expert advice, answers on remodeling values, and inspiring ideas for design.

Taping will begin shortly, so if you’re interested, please apply immediately!

Please send photos of your great room and request an application at:
BSchledewitz@highnoonentertainment.com
Or Brooke Schledewitz at (303) 712-3168

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Oct 08 2008

Owner of Caesars Forum Hair Salon Costing Taxpayers Millions

I came across this really great story in the Baltimore Citypaper.  This further reinforces the point I made in an earlier post that many of the home foreclosures in Baltimore are greedy investors that got in over their heads.  While it’s great that these houses may ultimately be put to good use, stories like this across the nation have contributed to the financial crisis and will cost the rest of us taxpayers dearly.

This story in the Citypaper is about the owner of Caesars Forum Hair Salon (George Agelakis) located at the corner of Fleet and Patterson Park Avenue in the Canton area of Baltimore.  Apparently him and some of his cronies had conspired to by several properties in the area…mostly shells…through a mortgage game of financing one property to cover another.  When the bottom fell out, he foreclosed on millions of dollars worth of loans over several properties…which probably will end up as part of the bailout being covered by our taxpayer dollars.  I for one am outraged.

The story is a long and convoluted one, but a great representation of how America got into this mess anyway.  I suggest if you have a few minutes you read it!  I’m interested in hearing any comments anyone might have.

Click Here to Read the Article

 

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Jul 29 2008

Could the Real Estate Crisis be Good for Baltimore?

Published by under Houses,Real Estate

This is a story about a house.? This is the house next to mine in Canton.? When I bought my home two years ago, the house next to mine was also on the market.? It was listed for about the same price as mine and it sold shortly after I put the offer in on mine.? I moved in and anxiously awaited my new neighbors.? However, the house just sat…and sat…and sat.? No one moved in.? It became obvious that the house had been bought by a speculator.?

It’s estimated that thousands of houses in Baltimore are owned by real estate speculators.? Speculators are often criticized for perpetuating urban blight and lack of community development, especially in severely depressed neighborhoods.? Often times speculators are waiting for others to make an investment or the first move in order to sell their property for a profit.

Then something strange happend to the empty house next to mine.? Late notices started overflowing in the mailbox and foreclosure notices were posted on the door.? Pretty soon, the house was back on the market…this time advertised as a “bank owned” property.?

Long story short, the house was sold, and a young woman moved in.? She just graduated from medical school and is starting her residency at Hopkins Hospital in Urology (the best program in the country).

The point of this story is that while many unfortunate people are losing their homes to foreclosure, there are many more speculators and investors who got in over their head expecting to make a quick buck.? Instead of these properties remaining vacant, many people are finding great deals on their first home by picking up a foreclosed property which is being sold by the bank or at auction.? A lot of these people are young doctors, artists, engineers, lawyers, writers, etc. that will help Baltimore continue to grow and become great.?

So while some people have had to sacrifice due to the housing collapse, the silver lining is that Baltimore will continue to remain an afforable place to live.? Cities like San Francisco and Washington D.C have gotten so pricey that most of the young people are relegated to the suburbs.? This ultimately? will create? a vacuum in the city, devoid of activity generated by fresh blood.?

The more empty houses in Baltimore that can be put back to productive use, the better for our city as a whole.

foreclosure

jeffcantonite@yahoo.com

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Jul 17 2008

Shells, anyone?

All this talk about crabs has got me thinking of shells. Not hardshell crabs, mind you- rowhouse “shells”.

A “shell” is a rowhouse that has the brickwork and roof and structure still in good shape, but the interior could range from completely gutted to very tatty to very decent. You’re gonna get the biggest bang for your housing buck in a shell. A good shell isn’t easy to find.

Mortgage lenders won’t lend on a house that isn’t up to code. So unless you’re buying a shell for cash, you have to find one that’s in (at least somewhat) livable condition. This means that the electric and plumbing and heating are operational. Finding that “sweet spot” of a shell that’s a bargain and up to code yet still below market price is the Holy Grail of Real Estate.

If you want to go shell hunting with me, what I ask is that you sign a standard “Buyer’s Agency” agreement and also that you have a letter from a lender saying you’re credit worthy. I’m on the prowl for the perfect shell… anyone want to tag along?

http://www.joshuaberlow.com/real2.htm

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May 09 2008

ABC2 News Works to Help a Timonium Family Sell Their Home

Published by under Houses

Baltimore, MD (May 7, 2008) – According to Forbes.com (April 15, 2008), Baltimore ranked among the top 10 worst markets to try to sell a home. In a two-day live event, ABC2 News works to help a Timonium family sell their home.? On Tuesday, May 13th and Wednesday, May 14th, the welcome mat will be rolled out for stagers from Bright Idea Interiors to prepare the Cape Cod style home for staging and Long & Foster Real Estate to conduct a brokers open house. ABC2 reporters, Joce Sterman and Christian Schaffer, will give live reports from the home.

After eight years in the quiet Timonium neighborhood, the Fields family plans to move to a bigger home in Baltimore County, but before they go, a team of experts will do some extensive spring cleaning and renovations to the home.? On Tuesday, May 13th, beginning at 6a.m., Bright Ideas Interiors will stage the home.? Carpets will be ripped out, walls painted, and curtains hung in preparation for placement on the housing market. The entire renovation can be viewed on ABC2 News and on abc2news.com, via a live web broadcast, along with before and after photos.

On Wednesday, May 14th, from 11a.m.-3p.m., Long & Foster agent Mary Wodka spearheads a brokers open house. ABC2 News cameras will be there as real estate agents as they move through the newly redecorated rooms in hopes of matching the home with prospective buyers.

About WMAR & Scripps

WMAR TV is owned by The E. W. Scripps Company.? The E.W. Scripps Company? (NYSE: SSP) is a diverse and growing media enterprise with interests in national cable networks, newspaper publishing, broadcast television stations, interactive media, and licensing and syndication. ? The company’s portfolio of media properties includes: Scripps Networks, with such brands as HGTV, Food Network, DIY Network, Fine Living and Great American Country; daily and community newspapers in 18 markets and the Washington-based Scripps Media Center; 10 broadcast TV stations, Scripps Interactive Media, Shopzilla, uSwitch; and United Media.?

Bright Ideas Interiors

Bright Ideas Interiors offers interior design and home staging services including selection of colors, furniture, fixtures, and finishes, floor plans, budget development, decorating, custom woodwork design, shopping
services, and more. From providing one aspect to creating the entire scheme, Bright Ideas customizes each project to its client’s needs.
The company, based in the Baltimore, Maryland, is owned by interior designer, Pamela Molino Turnbull. This sole proprietorship was founded in 2005, is licensed by the State of
Maryland to resell home décor products, and is insured by Encompass Insurance.

About The Long & Foster Companies
Long & Foster® Real Estate, Inc. is the largest privately-owned real estate firm in America. The firm has 245 residential real estate sales offices throughout Maryland, Virginia, the District of Columbia, Delaware, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, New Jersey, and North Carolina, with 16,000 Sales Associates and annual real estate sales for 2007 of $35.4 billion on 95,871 properties sold. Prosperity Mortgage Corporation, Long & Foster Insurance, and Long & Foster Settlement Services are also part of The Long & Foster Companies.? 2007 sales for all the Long & Foster Companies totaled $61 billion worth of homes, mortgages, insurance, title insurance, and settlement services. ?

Contact, Simone Baptiste, Public Relations Manager ABC2, WMAR-TV,

6400 York Rd.,? Baltimore, MD, 21212

(410) 372-2668,Baptiste@wmar.com?

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Feb 03 2008

Has Pigtown become the next Federal Hill?

Published by under Houses,Real Estate,Uncategorized

I was intrigued when I read an article the other day reporting that a developer plans to build 99 new townhouses and condos in Pigtown near th B&O railroad museum (expected to go on sale in 2010).? The developer also wants? to revitalize a block? of Pigtown’s commercial district along Washington Blvd. bringing new restaurants and shops.? Pigtown has been gentrifiying for a while, but I didn’t expect to hear this kind of announcement.? It’s definitely a good thing for the area.? Maybe it has to do with Pigtown’s name change to “Washington Village”, but has this area finally become the next Federal Hill or Canton?? Seems like there might be no stopping it at this point, especially with University of Maryland creeping across MLK.? However, I haven’t been over that way in a while.? I’m interested to hear perspectives from anyone who lives over there…especially the early pioneers…as to how redevelopment is going in that area.?

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Jun 29 2007

Federal Place – Million Dollar Federall Hill Town-Homes

Published by under Federal Hill,Houses,Real Estate

Federal Place Town-Homes - Federal Hill, BaltimoreFederal Place? a 49 unit? town-home community being built on the hill overlooking Key Highway and the Harborview town-homes, and adjacent to Digital Harbor High School.? These are very impressive looking properties, no wonder they are priced from $900,000 to $1.25 million.? Amazingly they are 5 stories tall.? I’m not sure how the builder – Patriot Homes, a Lennar Corp.? subsidiary – managed to get the permits to build such high structures.? They? easily exceed the 35 foot limit enforced on much of the properties in south Baltimore, and tower over the height limits of the? nearby controversial Pier Homes.

These houses are pimped out with elevators that run from the 2 car garage level all the way to the rooftop terrace, 2 car parking pad, 3 bedroom, 3.5 baths, professional kitchens, and amazing views.? But for that much money I might go with a 6 bedroom estate in the county.

Photo tour of properties

Official Website

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Jun 18 2007

Green Harbor Point – Green Homes in Locust Point, Baltimore

Published by under Houses,Locust Point,Real Estate

Green Harbor Point – the green homes being built in Baltimore’s Locust Point community are well under way.? These are the first green town-homes to be built in Baltimore. I snapped a couple pictures while walking by them the other day.? They look pretty interesting and? unique from the outside.? The builder (Dan Rieth) and builder (Hawkeye Construction) have taken a different approach than most of the town-homes currently being built in the city.? ? ? I guess you could say they look a bit out of place among Locust Point’s standard row homes that typically feature a pretty flat and basic front facade.? But to me it makes them a lot more visually interesting.

Green Harbor Point - Green Homes in Locust Point, Baltimore? Green Harbor Point - Green Homes in Locust Point, Baltimore? ?

The standard floor plan seems to have only 2 bedrooms, but there is an option to do a third on the? lower level with the garage.? The lower level sits partial underground.? This blueprint below comes from the Green Harbor Point website.? The split level design is unusual for the area, but the result is pretty cool. Prices are starting in the mid $500′s.? Which is pretty standard for new construction.? Apparently the “green” tag doesn’t command a much higher price than similar “environment killer homes.”? The materials used and feature offered on the inside are pretty impressive – range hoods, bamboo floors, designer sinks, etc.

Locust Point Green Home? Green Harbor Point - Green Homes in Locust Point, Baltimore

If your not yet familar with the term “green” for construction – it basically means that they are more energy and resource efficient than typical construction.?

More specifically from the website…

The homes at Green Harbor Point are LEED Certified Green Buildings by the U.S. Green Building Counsel (USGBC) and have earned Energy Star Rating by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).?

Green

Building is the practice of creating healthier and more resource-efficient models of construction, renovation, operation, maintenance, and demolition. The many elements addressed through

Green

Building include: Energy Management, Water Conservation, Improved Indoor Environments, Choice of Building Materials, and Construction Waste Reduction.

Homes that earn the ENERGY STAR must meet guidelines for energy efficiency set by the EPA. ENERGY STAR qualified homes are at least 15% more energy efficient than homes built to the 2006 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC).

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Jun 10 2007

Locust Point Mailbox

Published by under Houses,Locust Point

I came across this cool mailbox on Towson street in Locust Point today.? Thought I would grab a pick since it’s the only freestanding mailbox I have seen for a row home.?

Who said you couldn’t have a front yard in the city? The house? shown? here? (with the fence) sure is making the most of their limited space.

locust-point-mailbox.jpg

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Jun 03 2007

Harbour Pointe Townhomes by NV Homes

The new townhome development by NV Homes on Fort Avenue is well under way.? The community sits between the entrance to Locust Point and the Riverside Community.? Which is funny beacuse the flyer I got in the mail, and magazine advertisements? say “in Federal Hill.”? ? In any case? it is a pretty convienent location.? It is amazing NV Homes was able to carve out such a large piece or property along the densely developed Fort Avenue.? The community will have? roughly 20? homes, with? 4 already partially complete.? The property sits at a relatively high point, so the view should be great.

The homes a pretty large – roughly? 2,000 square feet, 3-4 bedroom, 2.5-3.5 bath,? 3 stories with a roof top terrace.? The sign along Fort Avenue in Locust Point, the? NV Website, and the recent ad in Baltimore magazine says the “Starting Upper $490′s”.? So basically once you have picked your upgrades you can expect? to be spending close to $525 – $550.? That puts them roughly in the same price range as the McHenry Point Homes built by Pulte Homes – located at Silo Point (in Locust Point).

? There are floorplans up on their website.? They seem pretty standard, but a bit stripped down. It doesn’t seem there is an option for a separate shower and bath in the master bathroom – which seems pretty small.? Most of the new construction in the area allows for this option as it seems to be popular.

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