Gaithersburg, MD Real Estate News

By Roy Kelley
(Realty Group Referrals)
Montgomery County, MD Population Exceeds One Million   Census data shows that the population of Montgomery County, Maryland reached 1,004,709 last July.  Montgomery County has been the largest jurisdiction in the state since 1989 and is now the first county in Maryland to reach the million milestone. The total population for the county was up 1.3% from the previous year. 13,097 births exceeded the 5,467 deaths for what is called a “net natural increase”.  8,700 people moved into the county while 3,100 moved out of the county. The strong local economy is expected to continue to attract new residents but a dramatic increase in the population is not expected this year. Families that are being relocated to the area are facing a low inventory of available homes for sale. And, many have exper...
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By Roy Kelley
(Realty Group Referrals)
Historic Kentlands Carriage House 321 Kent Square Road, Kentlands, Gaithersburg, Maryland   Walks through your home neighborhood are more interesting when you take a few photographs and learn more about the community. The one story Colonial Revival style Carriage House was constructed around 1920.  It is located next to the Gaithersburg Arts Barn which was built around 1900. The Carriage House, at 321 Kent Square Road, is currently owned by the Kentlands Citizens Assembly.  The property received a historic designation from the City of Gaithersburg in December, 2012. Photowalking is good for physical and mental health.  I usually photograph flowers but also look for interesting buildings.  Take advantage of the nice spring weather and walk through your home community.   Carriage House, K...
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By Roy Kelley
(Realty Group Referrals)
Kentlands  Historic Area 330 Firehouse Lane, Kentlands, Gaithersburg, MD   On my regular walks through the Kentlands community, I often wondered about the history of the interesting building at 330 Firehouse Lane.  I thought that it was one of the original historic buildings in the community but noticed that it was not mentioned in articles that discussed the historical buildings.  So, I decided to contact the architect that occupies the ground floor to ask about the history. Mike Watkins of Michael Watkins Architect, LLC responded immediately.  He explained  that  the lot was conveyed to him by Andres Duany and Elizabeth Plater-Zybeck, the Miami based architects and planners that were retained by the developers in 1988.  Mike opened an office for them at 320 Firehouse Lane.  The develo...
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Kentlands Historic Building - Flour Mill  320 Firehouse Lane, Kentlands, Gaithersburg, MD   This one story colonial revival style building was built around 1920.  The original use as for a flour mill.  The property currently serves as the local office of Duany Plater-Syberk & Company, architects and urban planners. The Gaithersburg City Council approved a historic designation for the property in December. The location is next to the Gaithersburg Arts Barn and across the street from the old Kentlands Firehouse. Kentlands is a neo-traditional community in Gaithersburg, Maryland, in the suburbs of Washington, DC.  Kentlands is one of the preferred areas for families that are relocated to the DC Metro Area.   Flour Mill, Kentlands, Historic Building, 320 Firehouse Lane IMG_2295 Photograph b...
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By Roy Kelley
(Realty Group Referrals)
Kentlands Happy Hour, Friday, April 5, 2013   The April TGIF Kentlands Happy Hour is scheduled for Friday evening, April 5, 2013 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.  This event is for Kentlands residents and is a good time to meet friends and neighbors before going out for dinner. The community Happy Hours are held at the Kentlands Clubhouse.  Wine, beer, soft drinks, bottled water and light hors d’oeuvres will be served.  Please RSVP to the Clubhouse, 301-948-2071. Note on your calendar that the May Kentlands Happy Hour is scheduled for May 3.   Kentlands, Spring Flowers IMG_9120 Photograph by Roy Kelley using a Canon PowerShot G11 camera. Roy and Dolores Kelley Photographs
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By Roy Kelley
(Realty Group Referrals)
When you park, take your keys   The Maryland State Police issued a warning to drivers who park their cars and leave their keys in the vehicle.  It is against the law to leave your car running. In Gaithersburg, you not only have a chance to have your car stolen but also a $70 fine and one point on your drivers license.  More than 16,000 cars were stolen in Maryland last year and many of them were easy targets.  Half of the stolen cars were unlocked and about a third had the keys in the ignition.  And, do not even think about leaving a child in a car seat with the engine idling.  The moment you are away is the moment it takes to have your car stolen.    Orchids, Brookside Gardens IMG_2658 Photograph by Roy Kelley using a Canon PowerShot G11 camera. Roy and Dolores Kelley Photographs
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By Roy Kelley
(Realty Group Referrals)
FAQ:  Do you edit your photographs?   All of my photographs are edited before they are placed on social media sites or used in blogs.  Some photographs do not need much and some have dramatic improvements with editing.  When editing real estate photographs, the goal is to improve the image but all should avoid over editing. When you are taking hobby photographs, you have no restrictions on editing and play with the colors just to have fun.  Those that follow my blogs know that I enjoy photographing flowers.  I always retain the actual image that may improved but is still realistic.  I create additional images when I wish to change to colors or create images of our Imagination series. Currently, I use the free iPiccy.com photo editing service.  If you need and easy to use photo editor, g...
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By Roy Kelley
(Realty Group Referrals)
Kentlands Adult Basketball League Season Begins This Week   The season for the Kentlands Adult Basketball League runs from April 3rd to October 2nd, every Wednesday night at 6:30 p.m., weather permitting. The first session for the new season is this Wednesday at the Kentlands Clubhouse court. All Kentlands residents age 35 and over are welcome.   For more information, please contact Dean Roy at daroy12@hotmail.com.   Orchids, Brookside Gardens IMG_2648 Photograph by Roy Kelley using a Canon PowerShot G11 camera. Roy and Dolores Kelley Photographs
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What is the best way to search for lender owned foreclosures in Montgomery County, MD?   Your buyer agent will help you find lender owned foreclosures in Montgomery County, Maryland as well as other counties in Maryland. There is a single multiple listing service (MRIS) for the region and there is a specific category for lender owned foreclosures. So, at any time, your agent can provide a current list of the available lender owned properties (REO).   At any given time there will be an inventory of lender owned foreclosures that are not yet listed on MRIS.  Some have title issues or occupants that have not yet been evicted.  The REO homes are not available for purchase until they are actually listed for sale.  The listing agents will list them on MRIS as soon as they receive those instru...
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By Roy Kelley
(Realty Group Referrals)
Gaithersburg School of Skate The Gaithersburg Skate Park is now open.  Parents will be happy to see that a School of Skate will now be offered to improve the skills of young people that want to enjoy the Skate Park. This is an excellent program and parents are encouraged to have their children receive the instruction that will make skating more enjoyable and much safer. This is the official notice from the City of Gaithersburg: The Gaithersburg Skate Park presents the School of Skate, taught by the City’s very own private instructors! Through a combination of group and one-on-one instruction, our skate instructors create a positive environment that will help your child become a safer, better skater. Although the beginner and intermediate clinics cover different skills, instruction will ...
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Should we select a listing agent with multiple professional designations?   Professional designations used by real estate agents should certainly be considered.  However, the designations do not all carry the same amount of significance.  Some designations require multiple courses and much experience while other designations may be obtained by taking a two day course.  If you really want to place weight on the designations, you need to know what was required to obtain them. Some experienced agents have dropped the use of designations because of the annual cost of keeping them. I am included in that group.  On the other hand, I have a law degree and a degree in financing and have taken hundreds of professional courses.  Home sellers and home buyers should take a close look at the educati...
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Mortgage Financing for First Time Home Buyers Montgomery County Housing Opportunities Commission   Montgomery County, Maryland offers several special mortgage financing programs through the Housing Opportunities Commission.  Qualified first time home buyers can obtain 30 year fixed interest rates with no points.  Check for the daily interest rates and more information at www.hocmc.org. Click on Mortgage and Financing Programs. One of the available options is to receive 3% of the sales price in purchase assistance which may be used for the down payment or closing costs.  The deferred purchase assistance loan is without an interest charge.  The borrowers do not have to work in Montgomery County.  The property must be located in Montgomery County, MD.   The maximum sales price is $429,619....
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Gaithersburg Make a Difference Day, Friday, April 5, 2013  Use less!  Do more!  Gaithersburg residents are making their commitments to change some habits for the benefit of our environment as we approach Make a Difference Day on Friday, April 5, 2013.  Small actions can add up to significant savings in our consumption of water, energy, and other natural resources. Insulate. More insulation means a smaller energy transfer between your home and the exterior environment, or your water heater and the surrounding air. Fix water leaks in the bathroom, kitchen, garden, etc. Did you know that an American home can waste, on average, more than 10,000 gallons of water every year due to running toilets, dripping faucets, and other household leaks?  Nationwide, more than 1 trillion gallons of water ...
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By Roy Kelley
(Realty Group Referrals)
Montgomery County Police Remind Pedestrians to be Careful   During March, there have been several incidents involving pedestrians in Montgomery County, Maryland.  A pedestrian was struck by an automobile on a street near our home.  When I take regular walks through the Kentlands community , I frequently see careless drivers as they talk on their cell phones while driving through the area.  It is against the law to use a cell phone while driving but many appear to be above the law. As a friendly reminder, the Montgomery County Police are offering a few tips that will help make the roads a safer place. Drivers Look for pedestrians before you enter or exit a driveway. This is when you cross the sidewalk where pedestrians walk. Since they are on the sidewalk, they might be less alert than w...
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Why do I need a pre-approval letter before looking at homes?   When prospective home buyers need mortgage financing, we ask them to meet with their mortgage lender to obtain pre-approval as one of the initial steps in the home purchase process.   The housing inventory is very low in the area and multiple contract competition should be anticipated by home buyers and real estate investors.  Purchasers need to be comfortable when they need to make quick decisions in this fast moving market. For many home buyers, the maximum mortgage amount for which they will qualify will determine the price range for the home search.  It is fine to look at less expensive houses, but it is not productive to be considering homes that are beyond the means of the buyers. The maximum price is important to know...
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What information is required from the home seller for a short sale?   Home owners that owe more than the current value of their home may need to consider a short sale if they need to sell their home.  Short sale transactions require the approval of the secured mortgage lenders.  When we take a short sale listing, we recommend the use of an attorney to actually handle the negotiations with the lenders.  We use Michael Hollman at Village Settlements in Kentlands.  Mike has successfully negotiated short sales for many years.  His services are part of our real estate listing package.   Mike will discuss the specific needs with the mortgage borrowers and work with them to establish a plan of action.  The short sale route is not the best for every family.  Some borrowers should file for bankr...
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By Roy Kelley
(Realty Group Referrals)
Photowalking in Kentlands:  Early Spring Flowers Seeking the Colors of the Season An important part of my regular exercise program is walking through Kentlands, our home community in Gaithersburg, Maryland.  The walks are usually extended to Lakelands, the adjoining neighborhood.   The exercise becomes photowalking when I have my camera in hand. It is always interesting to seek the colors of the season to capture in photographs.  Our winter weather has extended into spring and the flowers are still limited.  These photographs provide examples of the current colors to be found.   When you are out and about, make sure you notice the beauty of very small blooms like the crocuses . It has snowed in Kentlands this week and you have probably seen in the news that the cherry blossoms have been...
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How will the real estate market shift affect buyer agents in Maryland?   The residential real estate market in Montgomery County, Maryland has really changed in recent months.  Home buyers and their buyer agents will definitely need to be well prepared for the market shift in order to generate successful transactions. A big change is the size of the inventory.  There is a shortage of active listings on the market.  This means that the selection may be very limited in some price ranges and in popular communities.  A smaller selection may lead to a longer search period which may not meet the time frame needs of the purchasers.  Buyer agents need to become very familiar with the available inventory in order to be able to guide home buyers to the properties that will meet their needs.  Prev...
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By Roy Kelley
(Realty Group Referrals)
Care of the Caregiver Many of us have friends or neighbors that serve as caregivers for one or more family members.   This article may provide a little better understanding of the demands faced by caregivers.  Every caregiver needs help.  If you can, reach out to a caregiver and offer your assistance.  Give some thought to how you would cope with the daily life as a caregiver. This article was provided by The Estate Planning & Elder Law Firm, P.C. Sally Abrahms in a recent article in the AARP Bulletin of November 2012 talks about caregiver burnout. It's a real problem that many adult children of the elderly face. You love your parents or in-laws. However, their desire to continue to live on their own can present additional burdens on their children. In many cases, they can no longer dri...
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By Roy Kelley
(Realty Group Referrals)
Scammers  Pose as Internal Revenue Service Representatives There are very creative scams for every occasion.   Please warn your family members and friends not to reply to false communications that claim to be from the IRS.  Seniors are often the preferred targets for the identity theft schemes. It is very risky to provide personal information to anyone unless there is positive identification.  This is a good topic to bring to the attention of individuals in your database. This is the notice issued by the IRS: Don’t be Scammed by Fake IRS Communications The IRS receives thousands of reports each year from taxpayers who receive suspicious emails, phone calls, faxes or notices claiming to be from the Internal Revenue Service. Many of these scams fraudulently use the Internal Revenue Servic...
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