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Kimberly Barton, Realtor

At Home Around the Chesapeake Bay

By Kimberly Barton | Agent in Annapolis, MD

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Annapolis, Home Buying in Annapolis, Home Selling in Annapolis  |  July 17, 2012 11:30 AM  |  191 views  |  No comments

    Real estate in Annapolis and surrounding neighborhoods trending upwards 

    Annapolis and surrounding neighborhoods as a whole continue to trend upwards. 
    In fact, the Anne Arundel County median sold price of $393,613 was up 17.02% at the end of June compared to last year.
    AACO Median Sold June 2012

    Certain zip codes in Anne Arundel County are showing a faster rise in prices due to demands and inventory shortages.
    • 21401: the average sold price is up 18.26% to $540,748 over June 2011
    • 21403: the average sold price is up 45.45% over last year to $584,296
    • 21409: prices increased 6.32% over last year to an average sold price of $458,358
    • 21032: up 54.17% to an average of $597,429 over last year this time
    • 21037: up 32.13% to $468,066 compared to last June

    AACO Inventory June 2012

    The bottom of the market is only visible in the rear view mirror -- when prices start to rise.  

    In the Annapolis area, we are seeing a shortage of well-priced properties for first time homebuyers and move-up buyers, less distressed properties on the market and rents have climbed an average 30%.
    Home prices throughout the county hit bottom in December 2008. The languishing glut of inventory from 2008-2009 has diminished to a more normalized market but the demand for housing has outpaced availability.
    The upward trend and inventory shortages indicate that the “deep discount sale” prices are gone.
    Mortgage money is still attractive with rates starting at 3.375% and requiring only 3.5% down payment funds needed for FHA Fixed Rate loans.
    There is still trepidation among some buyers who want to continue waiting until prices "stabilize."
    Others have realized that their monthly rent payments have risen past what they'd pay at a fixed monthly mortgage payment and related tax benefits.
    The smart ones are making the move to purchase a home now while the lending rates are still favorable as prices are moving upwards.

    Kimberly Barton, REALTOR®
    Champion Realty, Inc.
    711 Bestgate Road
    Annapolis MD 21401

    410-224-0645 Office
    800-847-9990 x 645 Main
  • Review of Annapolis' Real Estate Health in March

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Annapolis, In My Neighborhood in Annapolis  |  April 10, 2012 6:10 PM  |  220 views  |  No comments
    Annapolis home values have remained fairly steady without remarkable change in the first quarter. What is noticeable from the data is that more inventory sold this March than last March.

    Here is a quick snapshot of the zip code activity:

    • 21401: Median Sold Value is $350,000, slightly off 8.5% from March 2011. Days on the market decreased to an average of 140 days in a Year-over-Year comparison. Total unit sales in 21401 were at 50 units for March--a 66.67% increase over last year's month figures.
    • 21403: Median Sold Value is $361,500, up 36.16%.  Days on the market decreased an average of 139 days compared to last March. Total sales for 21403 were 32 units, up 6.67%, compared to last March.
    • 21405: Median Sold Value is $925,000. There was only one sale in 21405 for this March; nothing sold in 21405 last March.
    • 21409: Median Sold Value is $330,000, down 1.79% from last March's numbers. Days on the market decreased to 107 days. And, the area sales were up 40%, selling 21 units this March.
    • Anne Arundel County: The overall county is up 2.66% to a median sold value of $283,850. County days on the market are at 134 days compared to March 2011. Total unit sales for this year's March was up 9.14% for a total of 430 units.


    To see additional charts, visit my website.  If you have questions regarding other areas, or your specific neighborhood, please contact me directly for additional details.


    Kimberly Barton, REALTOR®
    Champion Realty, Inc.
    711 Bestgate Road
    Annapolis MD 21401
    410-224-0645 Direct
    800-847-9990 x 645 Main

  • Just Released: March 2012 Market Stats Showing Improvements in Many Markets.

    Click here for statistical graphs of various surrounding markets

    The figures for the Mid-Atlantic real estate market came out this morning.  The stats are decently encouraging and support my general sense of an improvement trend in the majority of markets surrounding the Washington-Metro area. 

    Interesting to note is that even the hardest hit housing markets showed gains in several areas: median home sold prices, days-on-the-market (DOM) or inventory shrinkage.

    For instance, in Baltimore City where the average home values plummeted to less than $50,000, realized a 75% increase in median home values this March compared to last March. 

    Other markets where home values remained more stable without drastic value reductions seen in many local and national markets, such as Anne Arundel County, had modest gains of 2.66%. 

    For more county market stats or a particular neighborhood, contact me for more information.

    Kimberly Barton, REALTOR®
    Champion Realty, Inc.
    711 Bestgate Road
    Annapolis MD 21401

    410-224-0645 Direct
    800-847-9990 x 645 Main

  • Pet-Friendly Waterfront Rental with Deep Water & Private Pier

    Posted Under: For Rent in Crownsville, Rentals in Crownsville  |  January 19, 2012 3:10 PM  |  322 views  |  No comments

    Bring the Boat and Your Water-Loving Dog!

    This home in the water-oriented community of Herald Harbor is just minutes from Annapolis and convenient commuting distance from Ft. Meade, NSA, Coast Guard Base, Washington and the BWI Airport.

    It features lovely peace on its private pier at Valentine Creek off the Severn River and nestled at the end of a private street. The home has a gas fireplace, all seasons porch, exterior deck overlooking the sunny waterfront yard.

    Gardeners delight with areas to box in flowers and vegetables just steps from your kitchen. Kitchen also features a small herb window green box for growing special little clippings for cooking.

    Home has four bedrooms and a nice upper lounge area that could be used for a child's playroom or a full work home office.

    Vacation year round! Pets OK w/owner approval + Deposit.

    738 Honeysuckle Trail
    Crownsville Maryland 21032
    MLS AA7705527

    For more info visit http://vt.realbiz360.com/Listing-863589.html or

    Call listing agent: Kimberly Barton at 410-224-0645 for further details.

  • Landlords & Real Estate Agents Beware: Maryland’s New Lead Paint Law to Affect Majority of Rentals in Maryland

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Maryland, Home Selling in Maryland, Agent2Agent in Maryland  |  January 19, 2012 8:03 AM  |  351 views  |  No comments

    The new Maryland Lead Paint Laws went into effect on January 1, 2012.  Since many of the area’s homes were built prior to 1979, changes to this law are expected to have a substantial impact to owners, landlords, property managers and leasing agents of those that are rentals.

    These changes arose from a recent Maryland ruling concluding that existing Lead Paint remedies and owner limitations related to permanent brain damage incurred from a child ingesting lead paint were unconstitutional and violated Article 19 of the Maryland Declaration of Rights.  Article 19 provides (1) a right to remedy for an injury to one’s person or property and (2) a right of access to the courts. 

    The provisions of the Reduction of Lead Risk in Housing Act (“the Act”) had previously provided immunity to landlords from tort liability who were in compliance with the Act’s requirements. An injured person could sue an owner up to a maximum remedy of $17,000.  However, the recent law change has lifted the liability cap and eliminated the statute of limitations.

    The term “owner” has also been expanded to include the actual property owner and any person or firm, property manager, leasing agent and/or authorized agent of the owner.  Any and all of the “owners” will now become subject to inclusion and liability under the new Law.

    What this Means to Rental Property Owners

    All units built prior to 1950 are still required to be registered with the State of Maryland.  However, it is strongly recommended that you contact the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) to register any rental property built prior to 1979 as well. 

    Additionally, it is recommended that owners obtain an MDE Lead-Free certificate instead of just a Lead-Safe certificate.  To obtain a Lead-Free certificate, owners are required to have the property inspected by an MDE qualified lead inspector to identify lead risks.  If the property is found to have lead, all sources must be eliminated and the property deemed free of lead before issuance of the MDE Lead-Free certificate. Lead hazard reduction treatments must be performed by an MDE accredited contractor.

    These additional costs and upfront care taken by owners intent on renting out their properties will help prevent lead related brain damage and avoid unlimited liability from future lawsuits long after the tenant has moved out. 

    For more information, call the MDE at 410-537-3000 or visit their website at http://www.mde.state.md.us.

  • Congress Extends Flood Insurance through May 31, 2012--But is that long enough?

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Maryland, Home Selling in Maryland, Home Insurance in Maryland  |  December 20, 2011 8:42 PM  |  411 views  |  No comments

    December 17, 2011--Congress has extended another limited time frame for the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) authority through May 31, 2012. This latest extension was a part of H.R. 2055 combining the remaining nine appropriations bills to fund the federal government for Fiscal Year 2012. Unfortunately, this is another patch to an already leaky life raft.  Congress refuses to implement a longer term for this program opting instead for a 6-month extension that may jeopardize existing homeowners and purchasers at its expiration.

    What is the National Flood Insurance Program?

    The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) was established in 1968 by Congress to ensure that homeowners and renters in participating flood-prone communities have access to affordable flood insurance.

    The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) administers program.  They also prepare flood insurance rate maps pinpointing high-risk areas—known as 100-year flood plains. In these 21,000+ areas, lenders may require that homebuyers purchase flood insurance before obtaining a mortgage. The program includes more than ten million homes in these high-risk areas.

    The Chesapeake Bay area includes homes in and around Greater Annapolis, the Eastern shore, District of Columbia, and Virginia in this jurisdictional coverage area.


    What impact does it have on the housing market?

    The coverage is essential to more than 500,000+ homes sales a year.  Since lenders will most likely require flood insurance on homes in the Chesapeake Bay region of Maryland-DC-Virginia, purchasers who have not obtained the coverage prior to settlement on their home sale will not be able obtain coverage when the NFIP extension expires.

    When Congress allowed the National Flood Insurance Program to lapse twice in 2010 for several weeks at a time, it is estimated that close to 50,000 home sale transactions were affected.  This colossal mistake put the brakes on home purchase transfers for thousands of buyers across the nation, costing both purchasers and sellers money or the home sale while waiting to obtain the lender-required flood insurance.

    Imagine how many homes for sale around the Chesapeake Bay region that could not sell because flood insurance was not available.


    What impact does it have on existing homeowners in flood zones?

    Most homeowners insurance does not include flood insurance. Those homeowners who are up for renewal when NFIP expires will lose their coverage.  This could effectively provoke the lender to call the mortgage due.  Or in the event of a flood, the homeowner would incur damage that could not be remedied without the insurance coverage.


    What can you do to have a voice in this matter?

    Our region is directly affected by the flood insurance program lapses. National Association of Realtors® is requesting a five year extension to ensure housing market stability and predictability. Locate your representative and call or write to request that Congress extend the NFIP for more than the limited extensions granted these past few years.


    Email me to request a free brochure on how you can protect your home.


    Kimberly Barton, REALTOR®
    Champion Realty, Inc.
    711 Bestgate Road
    Annapolis MD 21401

    410-224-0645 Direct
    800-847-9990 x 645 Main


  • Autumnal Equinox and Preparing Your Home for the Coming Winter Season

    Posted Under: Remodel & Renovate in Anne Arundel County, Design & Decor in Anne Arundel County  |  September 23, 2011 5:16 PM  |  389 views  |  No comments

    By Kimberly Barton, REALTOR®


    The Autumnal Equinox is a solar event and falls on September 23rd this year. Both day and night will be balanced as it begins to get darker earlier. The Equinox has traditionally been a celebration marking the final crop harvest in preparation for winter. And many communities mark the change of seasons with festivals, bon fires, gatherings in fields and decorating homes to mirror nature’s seasonal reds, golds and oranges. Nature’s seasonal changes can serve as a reminder for us to take time to acknowledge where we’ve been, enjoy the present beauty and make preparations for our next season.


    My mother transitioned our home from summer to fall with subtle changes that marked the beginning of shorter outdoor playtime and many of these traditions remain with me today.  She would rearrange the living room and bedroom furniture to “freshen” the home and bring new energy to the rooms for the coming shut-in months. She placed a variety of polished, unshelled nuts in a bowl on the living room table with a silver-handled nutcracker.  Apples were plentiful. We would bob for them and make candied or caramel apples.  Pinecones and acorns would replace the summertime themes. She pulled out the fall china and table settings changed to warm reds, oranges and browns. All the bed and bath linens were changed to deep, warm cozy themes. My father packed the freezer and stocked up on firewood. And the storage pantry would be stocked well with canned and packaged goods and a dozen gallons of water.


    This seasonal change was always a good marker to remind us to say goodbye to summer and welcome the cooler days ahead.  It was also a time to prepare our homes for the coming winter months. While there may be some fair weather still left ahead of us, it is never too late to begin preparations for the colder months.


    Here is a basic home checklist to help you prepare and preserve your home for the coming cold months:

    • Inspect and repair your exterior siding, fascia and eaves for loose items, holes or pest infestation. 
    • Check that your downspouts are affixed well, are free of cracks and draining away from your home. This will help eliminate water seepage into the foundation and walls of the property.
    • Inspect your gutters for alignment, dents, bending, breaks and clogged areas.  As the leaves on the trees begin to fall, they can clog the gutters and cause water spillover damage to the home. Be sure to monitor gutter drainage performance during a rain for hints at failing or clogged areas.
    • Make sure that the pathway to your home and garage is clear and smooth. It makes shoveling snow easier when you don’t have to deal with broken concrete or crumbling asphalt.
    • Check your bricks and foundation areas for splitting, cracking or separation. Repair as appropriate.
    • Inspect the condition of your plantings and make sure that they will winter well.
    • Check your railings and secure as necessary.
    • Oil the hinges and locks of all your entry doors.
    • Clean the windows inside and out and make sure all of them open and close properly.
    • Winterize your spigots and hoses before the first frost. Many put this off during the fair weather and then forget it once the foul weather has moved in.
    • Look for dead limbs and trees hanging over your home, car or other property. Have them removed before foul weather. If something falls during the inclement weather, not only will you have to deal with damage but it could cost you more for removal.
    • Have your HVAC or furnace system serviced, change filters and make sure everything is in working order.
    • Make sure you have firewood for the fireplace.
    • Inspect and clean your chimney before first use.
    • Check to make sure that your home's number address is clearly visible and present on your home.
    • If you have a generator, be sure that it is easily accessible, working, and you have everything you need to make it work when needed.
    • If you have a garage, get rid of the clutter inside so that you can actually use it to pull the vehicle inside during inclement weather. This also helps you stay out of the weather when you need to do minor auto maintenance, such as adding windshield washer fluid, checking the oil or antifreeze levels.
    • Go into your attic and inspect for water seepage, stains, or indications of any roof problems.  Also be sure that your attic insulation is intact to reduce heat loss during the winter. And check for indication of birds, bats, mice or other unwelcome guests expecting to winter in your home.
    • Clean out your dryer vent and be sure the whole line is clear back into the dryer to reduce any fire potential.
    • Take stock of your pantry, freezer and household needs to be sure you can manage a power or storm emergency.
    • Make sure your sump pump is working and if possible, have it hooked up to a battery back up system in case of power outages.
    • Clean out debris from any drains inside and outside to reduce the likelihood of water overflow into your basement or low-lying areas of your home.
    • Check exposed areas of the basement flooring and walls for water or moisture. Locate source, clean and seal as necessary.
    • Remove and store all flammable items in a safe area away from heat sources or areas that may become hot due to inside temperatures, HVAC or fireplace use.

    Consistently conducting routine maintenance on your home will help it hold value and avoid costly repair bills. Then you can celebrate the fall colors and enjoy your home more fully knowing you’ve done the preventative maintenance. 

    Kimberly Barton, REALTOR®
    Champion Realty, Inc.
    711 Bestgate Road
    Annapolis MD 21401

    410.224.0600 Office
    410.224.0645 Direct

    Buy. Sell. Rent. Invest. Relocate, Anywhere.
    Member, Leading Real Estate Companies of the World â„¢


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