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Helene Kelbaugh's Blog

By Helene Kelbaugh | Agent in Baltimore, MD
  • Do the Sellers Have to Fix Everything on the Home Inspection?

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Baltimore, Home Selling in Baltimore, Property Q&A in Baltimore  |  July 7, 2014 6:35 PM  |  33 views  |  No comments

    Do The Sellers Have To Fix Everything
    in a Home Inspection?

    For the first time buyer, buyer that hasn't purchased in years or really anyone, it could appear that the answer "should" be yes.  However, for this question, I would recommend having a serious discussion with your REALTOR.  

    Assuming the seller is required to tackle everything in the inspection report could put you back on the market shopping for a home.  Not to mention time and money wasted.

     

    What does the report mean?

    Let's dissect the home inspection.  The home inspector gets paid at the time of inspection.  Regardless if you move forward on the home purchase or not.  That being said the home inspector is required to inform you of everything about the home.  Good, bad or indifferent.  While each state is different, the contracts in Maryland state things should be in working order, unless being sold as is.

     

    What do I ask the seller to do?

    The items that commonly up for grabs are things that are not working properly or not working at all at time of inspection.  By law, your REALTOR can't advise you what to request.  Upon receipt of the report, review quickly and prepare your desired requests.  Watch your time windows to ensure you are still within the contingency period.  

     

    Best advice

    Be reasonable with repair requests.  

    This should be a win win for all.

    It's a resale, not a new house.

    Stuff will come back, but EVERYTHING is not an issue.  Chat with inspector and contractor with any concerns.  Really dig deep.  Is it really an issue or just not.

    Home Warranty!

    Get a home warranty! Review policy to ensure desire coverage.  Have monies set aside to ensure you are covered for things the warranty may not cover.

    Go in with the right expectations.  

     

    WHAT NEXT?

    Get preapproved by a lender

    Meet with a REALTOR

    Search for Homes Now

    Download Mobile App Home Search


    My success is built on your happiness by providing a quality experience with 1st class service.
     

          

    Helene Kelbaugh, REALTOR

    Internet Marketing Specialist Designation

     

    Keller Williams Realty Baltimore

    2936 Odonnell Street

    Baltimore, MD  21224

     

    410-342-4444o 443-465-8443 m

    410-342-0873 fax

     

    www.HeleneSellsHomes.com - Search for Homes

    www.BaltimoreIsBeautiful.com - Baltimore Homes

    www.MobileAppHomeSearch.com - Use code KW2JZ0QHX to connect with me

  • Confused About VA Loans? Find Out What Veterans Should Know.

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Lutherville-Timonium, Financing in Lutherville-Timonium, Military Movers in Lutherville-Timonium  |  May 27, 2014 12:37 PM  |  189 views  |  No comments

    Confused About VA Loans?  Find Out What Veterans Should Know.

     

    Fans of late-night TV will recall the infomercials of a few years ago, hawking zero-down loans. Those loans, along with loans requiring no documentation, were being handed out like candy to anyone who applied, and were largely blamed for the mortgage industry implosion.

     

    In the wake of that mess, mortgage lenders tightened standards. Lenders began demanding that homebuyers needed some skin in the game - a healthy down payment - to make them think twice about defaulting on the loan.

    Zero-down loans became a memory.

    Today, you have three choices if you're seeking a mortgage without a down payment: Navy Federal Credit Union, The U.S. Department of Agriculture (with no-down loans for very low-income borrowers who agree to live in rural areas), and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

    "The VA loan is the best mortgage around," according to Envoy Mortgage's Nathan Raich. "Not only will you NOT be required to make a down payment, there's also no mortgage insurance requirement, which makes the loan even less expensive. Finally, borrowers typically get a lower interest rate with a VA mortgage than with a conventional loan," he concluded.

      

    Eligibility Requirements

     

    Eligibility for a VA-backed loan includes what the VA calls "suitable credit" and sufficient income to make your payments every month. You'll also need a valid Certificate of Eligibility (COE), which in many cases your lender can obtain for you.

    Separation from the service must have been under conditions other than dishonorable. Additionally, you must plan on occupying the home as your personal residence.

     

    VA Entitlement

     

     

    When buying a home for the first time, many veterans are confused by the process. One of the most confusing aspects of the loan is the VA entitlement. Basically, the entitlement is the amount of money that the VA agrees to pay the lender if you stop making payments and default on the loan.

    Here comes the confusing part: The basic entitlement amount is $36,000, but there is a secondary entitlement as well - $68,250, according to Veterans United. The secondary entitlement kicks in only if the purchase price of the home you wish to buy exceeds $144,000.

    How they come up with these amounts only causes more confusion, but it has to do with the amount that the VA guarantees, which is one-fourth of the loan amount.

    Once you use the entitlement, it can't be used again until the loan is paid off or another veteran assumes the loan and uses his or her entitlement.

     

    Loan Limits

     

    Although the VA doesn't set loan limits, since it has limits on its liability (one-fourth of the amount of the loan), lenders may set a cap on the amount a veteran can borrow.

    They typically set the cap, for a loan with no down payment, at four times the veteran's available entitlement as long as he or she otherwise qualifies for the loan, according to the Veterans Administration.

     

    The Home Buying Process

     

    Other than VA-specific paperwork, purchasing a home using a VA loan is very much like purchasing a home with a conventional loan. Your first step will be obtaining loan preapproval. This is the step that requires your COE. You'll find a chart listing service requirements that need to be met for obtaining a COE at the VA website.

    Once you have your preapproval letter in hand, it's time for you and your real estate agent to beginsearching for a home. When you find a home, your real estate agent  will insert a contingency in the purchase agreement stating that your offer is subject to final approval for a VA loan and a successful VA appraisal.

    Your lender will obtain a VA number for your loan, which is used to track your loan application. The lender will also send a VA form to a state-licensed VA appraiser who will determine the home's current market value.

    The VA has what they call minimum property requirements, or MPRs. Here are a few items the appraiser will be looking for:

    Adequate space for living, sleeping, cooking and dining, and sanitation.

    The safety of all mechanical systems. They must also have reasonable future utility.

    Hot water and a continuing supply of safe drinking water.

    A safe way to dispose of sewage.

    The roof must be free of leaks.

    Adequate attic access and ventilation.

    These are the basic MPRs and, although it seems as if the appraiser is giving the home a thorough inspection, the appraisal does not replace the need for a home inspection.

     

    The best place to get answers to your questions about a VA loan is at your lender's office or by calling a Department of Veterans Affairs Regional Loan Center.

     

     

     

     

    Where To Start

     

    Find all for sale Homes in Baltimore MD.  

     

    Our for sale property information is a direct feed from the Multiple List Service and is updated several times daily.

     

    Curious to find out what your home Baltimore MD is worth?  

    Simply complete this simple form.

     

    Great Schools

     

    If you would like to get local school information and scores for the schools in Baltimore MD for Elementary, Middle a High, you can do so my visiting my website, Baltimore School Information.

     

    Find out more about everything nearby and around the Homes in Baltimore Md.

     

     

     

    Free Market Report

    The data on this Free Market Report is consolidated from multiple sources and includes current listings, recent sales, and more. Whether you're a buyer or seller, the knowledge you gain will help put you in control of your real estate transactions. 

     

     

      

     

    Call or email me anytime to discuss how this information can benefit you!

    Provided courtesy of Helene Kelbaugh with

    Keller Williams Realty Baltimore

    Hire a positive and proactive REALTOR to help you find your next home!

    Call or text 443-465-8443 for information on Buyer Representation (NO COST TO HOMEBUYERS)

    Search entire Maryland MLS for FREE at www.HeleneSellsHomes.com/search
    Get a FREE report on YOUR HOME's Value at www.HeleneSellsHomes.com/sell

    Like us on Facebook!! Facebook.com/BaltimoreRealEstateNews

    Like us on Facebook!! Facebook.com/BaltimoreFirstTimeHomeBuyers


  • Do's and Dont's for Hiring the Right Contractor

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Baltimore, Home Selling in Baltimore, Financing in Baltimore  |  May 26, 2014 9:55 AM  |  171 views  |  No comments

    Do's and Dont's for Choosing the Right Contractor

    Americans spend billions of dollars on construction and home remodeling each year. Many homeowners have discovered that improving their present residence can be a more prudent investment than purchasing a new residence!

    However, adding a room or updating a kitchen can cost more than a new car, and consumers should take some time and care in planning a costly home improvement project. Unfortunately, most consumers spend less time choosing a contractor than they do choosing a car. 

    Here is a checklist of important things to consider before starting any major construction project:

     

    The Do's

    • Plan your project carefully.
    • Get a referral or shop around before hiring a contractor.
    • Get at least three written bids on your project.
    • Provide all contractors with accurate plans or drawings that will enable them to determine the scope and cost of work when requesting bids.
    • Check with the Contractors State License Board to make sure the contractor is properly licensed, and to check the status and disciplinary history of the license.
    • Check out contractors with your local building department, trade associations or unions, consumer protection agency, and the Better Business Bureau.
    • Look at work the contractor has completed.
    • Ask your contractor to furnish a completion or contract bond.
    • Consult with more than one lending institution regarding the type of loan to obtain.
    • Make sure your contract provides for "retention," a percentage of each payment or of the total job (ordinarily 10%), which you retain until the job is completed.
    • Make sure everything you and your contractor have agreed to is included in your contract, and don't sign anything until you understand and agree with all terms.
    • Ask your contractor about inconveniences that may occur, and plan accordingly.
    • Keep a job file.
    • Do make sure you receive unconditional lien releases from subcontractors and material suppliers.
    • Make frequent inspections of the work, including a final walk-through.
    • Consult an attorney if a mechanics' lien is filed against your property.
    • Negotiate with the contractor first if problems or disagreements occur.

     

     The Dont's

    • Don't hire an unlicensed contractor.
    • Don't hire a contractor without first shopping around.
    • Don't be fooled or pressured by a smooth-talking salesperson. Take the time and effort to make sure that the person or business doing your home improvement is going to perform in a professional manner.
    • Don't act as an owner/builder, unless you are very experienced in construction.
    • Don't sign anything until you completely understand it and agree to the terms.
    • Don't make agreements with subcontractors or workers without consulting the prime contractor.
    • Don't pay cash without a proper receipt.
    • Don't make a down payment that exceeds the legal limit (check local laws).
    • Don't let your payments get ahead of the contractor's completed work.
    • Don't hesitate to ask questions of the contractor.
    • Don't make final payment until you are satisfied with the job.

     

    Where To Start

     

    Find all for sale Homes in Baltimore MD.  

     

    Our for sale property information is a direct feed from the Multiple List Service and is updated several times daily.

     

    Curious to find out what your home Baltimore MD is worth?  

    Simply complete this simple form.

     

    Great Schools

     

    If you would like to get local school information and scores for the schools in Baltimore MD for Elementary, Middle a High, you can do so my visiting my website, Baltimore School Information.

     

    Find out more about everything nearby and around the Homes in Baltimore Md.

     

     

     

    Free Market Report

    The data on this Free Market Report is consolidated from multiple sources and includes current listings, recent sales, and more. Whether you're a buyer or seller, the knowledge you gain will help put you in control of your real estate transactions. 

     

     

      

     

    Call or email me anytime to discuss how this information can benefit you!

    Provided courtesy of Helene Kelbaugh with

    Keller Williams Realty Baltimore

    Hire a positive and proactive REALTOR to help you find your next home!

    Call or text 443-465-8443 for information on Buyer Representation (NO COST TO HOMEBUYERS)

    Search entire Maryland MLS for FREE at www.HeleneSellsHomes.com/search
    Get a FREE report on YOUR HOME's Value at www.HeleneSellsHomes.com/sell

    Like us on Facebook!! Facebook.com/BaltimoreRealEstateNews

    Like us on Facebook!! Facebook.com/BaltimoreFirstTimeHomeBuyers

     

     

    POSTED BY
    My success is built on your happiness by providing a quality experience with 1st class service.
     

          

    Helene Kelbaugh, REALTOR

    Internet Marketing Specialist Designation

     

    Keller Williams Realty Baltimore

    2936 Odonnell Street

    Baltimore, MD  21224

     

    410-342-4444o 443-465-8443 m

    410-342-0873 fax

     

    www.HeleneSellsHomes.com - Search for Homes

    www.BaltimoreIsBeautiful.com - Baltimore Homes

    www.MobileAppHomeSearch.com - Use code KW2JZ0QHX to connect with me

     

  • First Time Home Buyer Closes on Home and Gets 1.8% Interest for 30 Year!

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Baltimore, Home Selling in Baltimore, Property Q&A in Baltimore  |  May 26, 2014 9:19 AM  |  169 views  |  No comments

    First Time Home Buyer Closes on Home and Gets 1.8% Interest for 30 Years!

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    First Time Home Buyer

     

    My client went through rigorous and in depth program that took a year.  Patience is a virtue because in May my client closed on a gorgeous single family home only 15 minutes from work!  This single family home in Baltimore has 3 bedrooms, 2 full baths a finished basement and beautiful gourmet kitchen with granite counter tops and stainless steel appliances.  His yard is a green thumb's dream.   My buyer is delighted to have family and friends over to enjoy his new and amazing home!

     

     

    Affordable Low and No Down Payment Programs

      

    Homes in Baltimore MD are approved for several types of financing with low or no down payment required, pending qualification.  Find out what programs you qualify for.  VA Zero Down Financing approved, FHA financing approved, Conventional Financing approved.  Find out more about financing in Baltimore MD

     

    The rates are still at historic lows.  While they are slowly creeping back up, they are still lower than they have ever been before.   Contact me now for financing information.

     

     

     

    Where To Start

     

    Find all for sale Homes in Baltimore MD.  

     

    Our for sale property information is a direct feed from the Multiple List Service and is updated several times daily.

     

    Curious to find out what your home Baltimore MD is worth?  

    Simply complete this simple form.

     

    Great Schools

     

    If you would like to get local school information and scores for the schools in Baltimore MD for Elementary, Middle a High, you can do so my visiting my website, Baltimore School Information.

     

    Find out more about everything nearby and around the Homes in Baltimore Md.

     

     

     

    Free Market Report

    The data on this Free Market Report is consolidated from multiple sources and includes current listings, recent sales, and more. Whether you're a buyer or seller, the knowledge you gain will help put you in control of your real estate transactions. 

     

     

      

     

    Call or email me anytime to discuss how this information can benefit you!

    Provided courtesy of Helene Kelbaugh with

    Keller Williams Realty Baltimore

    Hire a positive and proactive REALTOR to help you find your next home!

    Call or text 443-465-8443 for information on Buyer Representation (NO COST TO HOMEBUYERS)

    Search entire Maryland MLS for FREE at www.HeleneSellsHomes.com/search
    Get a FREE report on YOUR HOME's Value at www.HeleneSellsHomes.com/sell

    Like us on Facebook!! Facebook.com/BaltimoreRealEstateNews

    Like us on Facebook!! Facebook.com/BaltimoreFirstTimeHomeBuyers

     

     

  • But I Saw It on HGTV!

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Lutherville-Timonium, Home Selling in Lutherville-Timonium, In My Neighborhood in Lutherville-Timonium  |  May 26, 2014 7:05 AM  |  172 views  |  No comments

    But I Saw It on HGTV!

    by Helene Kelbaugh of Keller Williams Realty Baltimore

    Anyone else like reality TV? I sure do.  As a REALTOR I experience some of what I see that is "depicted" on TV.  I even have clients that say, "I was watching HGTV and such and such happened and will that happen with me?"

    More often than not, many these reality shows are edited and cut down to a 20 min episode.  If it's on TV or the Internet it must be true!  

    With the plethora of real estate based reality TV shows, Internet and Social Media there is a new disease called information overload! 

    The cure is education from a trusted resource like a local REALTOR!  If you suffer from information overload read on address the symptons.

     

    Are the shows really edited?  

    Yes, the TV shows are edited for a nice package the viewers will enjoy watching and the advertisers will enjoy paying for.  Buying or selling a home has many players, emotions, reason,s actions etc.  The process in reality is not edited like it is on tv.    

    Different State means different laws

    The TV show is probably not in the same state or country.  Real Estate is different state to state.  Procedures, laws, disclosures essentially everything from soup to nuts is different. Check with a local REALTOR to confirm the home buying process in your area.

    Why so much?

    "Why do I need all this documentation?"  Preparing a verbal over lunch to submit doesn't happen here in good ole Maryland to buy a house.  A contract is required for the sale of any real property.  That means going through the process of meeting with a REALTOR and getting approved by  a lender. If buyer is using grants then even more documentation and paperwork is  needed.

     

    Do you trust your REALTOR?

    When a lot of questions are being asked, education needs to happen immediately!   The reality shows may not be your reality.  Basing your next moves and decisions based on what was seen on TV could be the biggest mistake ever made. 

     

    Moral 

    Create your own story.  Meet with a REALTOR to understand your local market and the process.  This is save so much time, money and a lot of stress.

     

    WHAT NEXT?

    Get preapproved by a lender

    Meet with a REALTOR

    Search for Homes Now

    Download My Mobile App Home Search

    POSTED BY
    My success is built on your happiness by providing a quality experience with 1st class service.
     

          

    Helene Kelbaugh, REALTOR

    Internet Marketing Specialist Designation

     

    Keller Williams Realty Baltimore

    2936 Odonnell Street

    Baltimore, MD  21224

     

    410-342-4444o 443-465-8443 m

    410-342-0873 fax

     

    www.HeleneSellsHomes.com - Search for Homes

    www.BaltimoreIsBeautiful.com - Baltimore Homes

    www.MobileAppHomeSearch.com - Use code KW2JZ0QHX to connect with me


  • Homes Near West Towson Elementary School 21204

    Posted Under: Schools in Towson, Home Buying in Towson, Home Selling in Towson  |  May 14, 2014 6:59 PM  |  202 views  |  No comments

    Homes Near West Towson Elementary School MD 21204

     

    West Towson Elementary School

    6914 North Charles Street

    Towson, MD  21204

    Phone: 410-887-3869

    West Towson Elementary Website

     

     

    Find all for sale Homes Near West Towson Elementary in Towson MD.  

     

    Our for sale property information is a direct feed from the Multiple List Service and is updated several times daily.

     

    Curious to find out what your home Lutherville MD is worth?  

    Simply complete this simple form.

     

    Great Schools

     

    If you would like to get local school information and scores for the schools in Towson MD for Elementary, Middle a High, you can do so my visiting my website, Towson School Information.

     

    PTA

    For the West Towson Parent Teacher Association, visit West Towson Elementary PTA website.

     

    Convenient Baltimore Location

    This location has access to everything.  Great restaurants, walking trails, malls, well known hospitals, colleges, top employers and more.

     

    6.8 Miles to Towson Town Center

    4.6 Miles to Towson State

    4.8 Miles to Greater Baltimore Medical Center

    1.8 Miles to College of Notre Dame

    1.4 Miles to Loyola College

    3.7 Miles to National Baltimore Aquarium

    4.5 Miles to Ravens Stadium

     

    Find out more about everything nearby and around the Homes near West Towson Elementary School in Towson Md.

     

    Find available homes for sale as of right now, in addition to all available homes in Towson on my website.

     

    Affordable Low and No Down Payment Options

    Homes near West Towson Elementary School in Towson MD are approved for several types of financing with low or no down payment required, pending qualification.  Find out what programs you qualify for.  VA Zero Down Financing approved, FHA financing approved, Conventional Financing approved.  Find out more about financing in Lutherville MD

     

    Free Market Report

    The data on this Free Market Report is consolidated from multiple sources and includes current listings, recent sales, and more. Whether you're a buyer or seller, the knowledge you gain will help put you in control of your real estate transactions. 

     

     

      

     

    Call or email me anytime to discuss how this information can benefit you!

    Provided courtesy of Helene Kelbaugh with

    Keller Williams Realty Baltimore

    Hire a positive and proactive REALTOR to help you find your next home!

    Call or text 443-465-8443 for information on Buyer Representation (NO COST TO HOMEBUYERS)

    Search entire Maryland MLS for FREE at www.HeleneSellsHomes.com/search
    Get a FREE report on YOUR HOME's Value at www.HeleneSellsHomes.com/sell

    Like us on Facebook!! Facebook.com/BaltimoreRealEstateNews

    Like us on Facebook!! Facebook.com/BaltimoreFirstTimeHomeBuyers

     

  • Homes Near Ridgely Middle School Lutherville Timonium MD 21093

    Homes Near Ridgely Middle School Lutherville Timonium MD 21093

     

    Ridgely Middle School

    121 Ridgely Road

    Lutherville, Md  21093

    Phone: 410-887-7650

    Ridgely Middle Website

     

     

    Find all for sale Homes Near Ridgely Middle School in Lutherville MD.  

     

    Our for sale property information is a direct feed from the Multiple List Service and is updated several times daily.

     

    Curious to find out what your home Lutherville MD is worth?  

    Simply complete this simple form.

     

    Great Schools

     

    If you would like to get local school information and scores for the schools in Timonium MD for Elementary, Middle a High, you can do so my visiting my website, Lutherville School Information.

     

    PTA

    For the Hampton Parent Teacher Association, visit Ridgely Middle PTA website at www.RidgelyMiddlePTA.com

     

     

    Convenient Baltimore Location

    This location has access to everything.  Great restaurants, walking trails, malls, well known hospitals, colleges, top employers and more.

     

    2 Miles to Towson Town Center

    3.4 Miles to Towson State

    4 Miles to Greater Baltimore Medical Center

    6.6 Miles to College of Notre Dame

    6.8 Miles to Loyola College

    14.6 Miles to National Baltimore Aquarium

    16 Miles to Ravens Stadium

     

    Find out more about everything nearby and around the Homes near Ridgely Middle School in Lutherville Md.

     

    Find available homes for sale as of right now, in addition to all available homes in Lutherville on my website.

     

    Affordable Low and No Down Payment Options

    Homes near Ridgely Middle School in Lutherville MD are approved for several types of financing with low or no down payment required, pending qualification.  Find out what programs you qualify for.  VA Zero Down Financing approved, FHA financing approved, Conventional Financing approved.  Find out more about financing in Lutherville MD

     

    Free Market Report

    The data on this Free Market Report is consolidated from multiple sources and includes current listings, recent sales, and more. Whether you're a buyer or seller, the knowledge you gain will help put you in control of your real estate transactions. 

     

     

      

     

    Call or email me anytime to discuss how this information can benefit you!

    Provided courtesy of Helene Kelbaugh with

    Keller Williams Realty Baltimore

    Hire a positive and proactive REALTOR to help you find your next home!

    Call or text 443-465-8443 for information on Buyer Representation (NO COST TO HOMEBUYERS)

    Search entire Maryland MLS for FREE at www.HeleneSellsHomes.com/search
    Get a FREE report on YOUR HOME's Value at www.HeleneSellsHomes.com/sell

    Like us on Facebook!! Facebook.com/BaltimoreRealEstateNews

    Like us on Facebook!! Facebook.com/BaltimoreFirstTimeHomeBuyers


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