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Frederick MD Real Estate

Real Estate News for Frederick County Maryland

By Chris Highland | Agent in Frederick, MD
  • Changing FHA Rules will Affect Your Frederick Condominium Purchase

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Frederick, Home Selling in Frederick, Financing in Frederick  |  March 13, 2011 2:40 PM  |  614 views  |  1 comment

    Changing Condominium Rules Affect Frederick Buyers

    Condominium rules have changed drastically since the “housing meltdown”.  FHA recently (Oct. 1) drafted newer, stricter rules for approval of Condominium Developments seeking FHA financing.

    Condominium ownership is different from townhouse or single-family ownership, which are called “fee simple”.  The entire development must meet certain rules for even a single unit to receive FHA financing.

    FHA used to allow relatively simple Spot approvals for condo’s that were not approved by FHA.  Now it is a major process so lenders are not taking the risk to do it for one unit, on a building that is not already FHA approved.  This has greatly diminished FHA financing on condos.

    Conventional financing process is much more involved than previously.  It requires an analysis of the condominium development’s budget, bylaws, and a questionnaire that the lender provides.

    Waterside Condominiums

    Condominiums in Waterside

    The usual deal killers are as follows

    • Condo dues delinquency greater than 15% (with so many condo’s in foreclosure, there are lots of unpaid dues adding up.)
    • Investor concentration too high (there is no set figure for owner occupied purchases but lenders get nervous when the amount of investor-owned units is over 40%)
    • Pending litigation, and
    • Insufficient budget.
    There are others, but those are the usual suspects.

    Forget new condos less than a year old, they never fit.

    The list of specific condo developments that do not meet the criteria is a moving target. One could fit one month and not the next, and vice versa. One can lookup approved FHA condos by county on the HUD Website.

    This is partly why condo prices have declined at a faster pace and at a greater percentage that single-families and townhouses. They will likely continue to do so as more of them become “un-lendable”, and therefore fill with more investors paying cash or using unconventional financing sources.

    A guest post by:

    D. Michael Giampietro

    VP/Branch Mgr
    M&T Bank/Mortgage Division
    195 Thomas Johnson Dr., Frederick,MD 21702
    301 846-2063 office
    301 846-2097 fax
    301 639-3968 cell  800 380-2193 x2063 toll free
    Thanks Mike!
    As of Today, Condominiums in Ambertowne and Frederick Heights are not able to be purchased with FHA financing.

  • Green Renovations May Help You Sell Your Home

    Posted Under: Home Selling in Frederick, Going Green in Frederick  |  January 5, 2009 3:24 PM  |  641 views  |  5 comments

    With the challenges of selling a home in a declining market, a seller needs every advantage. Also, for those of you who are thinking you might sell in the next few years, here is some news you will want to take note of: Buyers are more attracted to “green homes”.  Here are several survey results to prove the trend is real and here to stay.

    1. In a recent survey by U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and McGraw-Hill Construction, the results show that interest in green-friendly renovations and building strategies are on the rise.  Some of the findings:   

    • Builders are finding it much easier to sell green homes than traditional homes in a down economy.
    • 70% of buyers surveyed are more inclined to buy a green home.
    • Making homes greener is now the number one reason for home improvement (42 percent) over remodeling for comfort reasons (34 percent) or to improve appearance (24 percent).

    2.   A Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate survey

    found that consumers are well-informed about green homes (82%) and that 48% of homeowners would spend $2500 on green renovations, while about 1/3 would spend as much as $5000.

    3.  The American Institute of Architects Home Design Survey shows that business for residential architects has declined sharply, with the exception being home improvement architects.    The emphasis is on home insulation technologies, while interest in alternative energy generation techniques and energy management systems is growing.

    What are Green Homes?  Green homes are defined by McGraw-Hill as those containing energy-efficient, indoor air quality, water-efficient, resource-efficient and site management features.  To read more go to the Survey of Green Home Builders

    . If your home is on the market or you plan to put it on the market soon, check out some of the Green Homes websites, before you undergo any major renovations.  You’ll find that often making some minor changes will make a big difference. If you are not thinking of selling anytime soon, then you have lots of time to do your research.  Any time you need a new appliance, or need to make a repair, check out the green alternatives and give them serious consideration.  When it is time to sell, no matter how many years from now, you won’t find yourself light years behind the latest money-saving technologies. Great places to start your search:  The New American Dream, Green Home Swicki, (a swicki is a custom social search, on a topic of your choice), and the National Association of Home Builders.

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