Monthly Archives: July 2009

Record High Home Sales for the Month of June!

The Creig Northrop Team of Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc completed the month of June with a record high, selling 122 homes – making it our best June in three years.

On a national level, existing-home sales – including single-family, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops – increased 3.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.89 million units in June.

The National Association of Realtors said about 31% of last month’s sales were distressed homes, down from the 45-50% last month. Approximately 29% of the June buyers were first-time buyers, up nearly 12 percentage points since June 2008.

“What’s even more amazing, comments Creig Northrop, “is on a local level.” The number of homes sold in Maryland rose 10 percent in June 2009 compared to June 2008. “That’s a huge jump” he adds.

In June of 2009 there were 5,082 units sold in Maryland compared to 4,621 in 2008.

One of the largest increases was seen in Montgomery County – which saw a 20.9 percent increase in units sold over last year. Howard County saw a 3.7 percent increase. Carroll County was up 5.20 percent.

“We recognize this is as a very positive sign in the market,” says Creig Northrop. “Certainly we face the challenges of the market but through knowledge, market experience, and dedication to our clients we are able to stay ahead. It’s great to  see signs that the housing market is finally bouncing back.”

New Construction Sales were also up in June. The government says new US home sales rose by 11 percent – the largest amount in nearly nine years last month.

To find out “Why This is the Year to Buy a House” or “Why Your House Isn’t Selling” sign up for our August webinars at www.northropteam.com/events

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Coming Soon: A redesigned White Flint neighborhood in Montgomery County

Residents, businesses and local leaders have been presented with an unprecedented opportunity to create a new neighborhood for White Flint– transforming the current hodge-podge of traffic, parking lots and urban sprawl – into a new “Smart Growth” hometown that is less dependent on automobiles and more oriented towards walking, biking and mass transit.

The new White Flint can become a place where the community comes together, friends meet on walkable streets, bicyclists traverse new trails to work and play, and families enjoy vastly improved park space in safe, more environmentally friendly neighborhoods, where development is concentrated along the new Pike and away from existing homes. Think shops, outdoor cafes, bistros, and galleries along wide tree-lined sidewalks.  Envision a new White Flint that is connected, convenient, vibrant, accessible, and sustainable!

Your help, input and questions are an integral part of the planning process and the key to making the new White Flint a model smart growth success. The White Flint Partnership is working hard with citizens, neighborhood groups and our elected and appointed officials to transform the White Flint area into an accessible, engaging and vibrant community in Montgomery County Maryland.

Please stay in touch with the White Flint Partnership and take a moment to spread the word to friends and family in the area. For more information visit http://www.whiteflintpartnership.com

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June new home sales up 11%, largest amount in 9 years

The government says new U.S. home sales rose by the largest amount in nearly nine years last month, in another sign the housing market is finally bouncing back from the worst downturn in decades.

The Commerce Department says sales rose 11 percent in June to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 384,000, from an upwardly revised May rate of 346,000.

It was the strongest sales pace since November 2008 and exceeded the forecasts of economists surveyed by Thomson Reuters, who expected a pace of 360,000 units. The last time sales rose so dramatically was in December 2000.

Sales have risen for three straight months. The median sales price of $206,200, however, was down 12 percent from $234,300 a year earlier.

Interested in purchasing new construction? Visit our new constrution resource center now!

Source: The Associated Press, Alan Zibel (July 27,2009)

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Downtown Columbia to lose another gas station

Second gas station to close on Little Patuxent

Owner blames rent hikes from Exxon


Less than three months after an Exxon service station closed on Little Patuxent Parkway, the owner of another Exxon station on the same road has said he will close at the end of July, leaving that major Columbia artery with no gas stations, at least temporarily.

Abid Qureshi, co-owner of the Town Center Exxon at 10141 Little Patuxent Parkway, next to the Sheraton Columbia, said increased rents on the property and fuel prices have forced him and his brother, Amjid, out of business after more than 10 years in that location.

Qureshi declined to reveal how much he pays for rent or fuel, but said he has not been able to find a buyer for his franchise. “The rent is so high that nobody would want to come in here,” he said.

His rent has more than doubled over the last six years, he said. Though he declined to be specific, he said he had lost hundreds of thousands of dollars.

“The last six years have been rough,” he said.

On May 7, the Exxon gas station at the corner of Little Patuxent Parkway and Banneker Road closed, and the station remains vacant. Continue reading

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Howard County Restaurant Week is Coming!

Starting Monday, July 27th and running through Sunday, August 9th local Howard County restaurants will be serving menus created with locally grown products to help residents save money and our environment.

Restaurant participation will vary, but menu prices will range from $10.99 to $40.09.

For more information, to find participating restaurants or to make a reservation visit http://www.howardcountyrestaurantweek.com/home.html

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House Extends High Limits for Federal Loans

The House Appropriations Committee approved an extension of the $729,750 loan limits for Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and Federal Housing Administration financing in high-cost areas through September 2010.

Without this extension, the loan limits revert at the end of the year to $417,000 in the highest-cost areas.

The spending bill also would extend FHA’s Home Equity Conversion Mortgage reverse mortgage program for seniors. And it provides $70 million to continue pre-purchase counseling for prospective home buyers and counseling for families facing foreclosure.

Get pre-approved now with The Mathews Lending Team of Prosperity Mortgage Company. The Mathews Lending Team has a 100% success rate for all pre-approvals issued!

Already pre-approved, search for your new home now!

Source: Inman News (07/21/2009)

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Columbia, MD one of the Best Places for Aging Entrepreneurs to Live

Entrepreneurs don’t retire, they just find a new project.

Over the past decade, baby boomers produced a high rate of entrepreneurial activity, and Dan Stangler, senior analyst at the Kauffman Foundation, says the number of baby boomers starting a business in their traditional retirement years is likely to increase.

In response to that analysis, U.S. News & World Report identified 10 places that it says are the best places for an entrepreneurial baby boomer to retire. It picked the areas because they have an affordable cost of living, proximity to healthcare, fun recreational amenities, and access to information, particularly colleges and university with technology-focused departments.

Here are their 10 best suggestions:

  1. Arlington, Va.
  2. Columbia, Md.
  3. Fargo, N.D.
  4. Fayetteville, Ark.
  5. Fort Collins, Colo.
  6. Knoxville, Tenn.
  7. Lincoln, Neb.
  8. Madison, Wis.
  9. Round Rock, Tex.
  10. West Des Moines, Iowa

Search for homes in Columbia, MD now!

Source: U.S. News & World Report, Emily Brandon (06/29/2009)

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