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Press Release: EXIT Announces 2016 Top 100

Posted by Jenelle Kirton on February 1, 2017 at 4:10 PM Comments comments (0)

Rick and Carol McDaniel, Regional Owners, EXIT Mid-Atlantic, are very proud of the many Agents and Brokers within our region who were named one of EXIT Realty’s Top 100 producers for 2016.

 

It takes a lot to reach the levels they attained last year. We are happy to have them with our Mid-Atlantic region and as part of the EXIT Realty Family as a whole. These Agents and Brokers worked hard, and being part of this list is well-deserved recognition of that effort.

We want to take a moment to formally recognize our knowledgeable associates for all of their hard work, and their dedication to their buyers and sellers.

 

Those Agents and Brokers within our humbled EXIT Mid-Atlantic region who were recognized for Closed Deal Sides were:

Gregory Vurganov, EXIT Preferred Realty (MD) with 173.85

Tim Smith, EXIT Preferred Realty (PA) with 143.66

Corey Lancaster, EXIT Right Realty (MD) with 105.60

Jim Hyatt, Jr. EXIT Results Realty (MD) with 93.33

Jeffrey George, EXIT Preferred Realty (PA) with 90.60

Boyd Grainger, EXIT Landmark Realty (MD) with 79.28

William Young, EXIT Results Realty (MD) with 73.70

Donna Heslop-Adams, EXIT Bennett Realty (MD) with 68.03

Kelly Steichen, EXIT Deluxe Realty (MD) with 62.66

 

Agents and Brokers reaching Top Gross Commission Income were:

Corey Lancaster, EXIT Right Realty (MD)

Jim Hyatt, Jr. EXIT Results Realty (MD)

Tim Smith, EXIT Preferred Realty (PA)

Boyd Grainger, EXIT Landmark Realty (MD)

Gregory Vurganov, EXIT Preferred Realty (MD)

William Young, EXIT Results Realty (MD)

“Special” Ed Haraway, EXIT First Realty (MD)

Christopher Underwood, EXIT Elite Realty (DC)

George Bryant, Jr., EXIT Elite Realty (MD)

Gilbert Poudrier, EXIT 1 Stop Realty (MD)

Robert Frey, EXIT Results Realty (MD)

 

“Congratulations to all, and thank you for being part of our esteemed group of real estate professionals,” commented Carol McDaniel. “We couldn’t ask for a better group of professionals who go above and beyond for their clients, and make excellent customer service priority one,” says Rick McDaniel. The EXIT Mid-Atlantic Region looks forward to many more successful years with these, and their many other, qualified associates.

 

Cost vs. Value: Which Home Improvements Offer the Highest ROI in 2017?

Posted by Matthew T. Smoot on January 27, 2017 at 1:10 PM Comments comments (0)


 
 
With the many different projects reported annually in Remodeling Magazine's Cost  vs. Value Report, not much has changed from last year...and that's not a bad thing. The 29 projects found on this year's report paid back an average of 64.3 cents on the dollar in resale value. Looking at the 24 most tracked projects (projects consistently tracked for the last six years), their payback for 2017 was also 64.3 cents-only three-quarters of a penny higher than 2016 projections.
 
Why the little change? Simply put: the differences in underlying numbers was minimal year-to-year. The average cost for those 24 projects rose a meager 3 percent, while the value that real estate professionals put on said projects only rose 4.2 percent. Minor gains, yes, but we'll take what we can get.
 
Recent and long-time trends continued, reports Remodeling. Curb appeal projects like changes to doors, windows and siding garnered a higher ROI than work done inside the home. Replacement projects, like doors or windows, scored higher among real estate pros than did remodels.
 
On a national scale, the top five projects with the greatest ROI in the report's "midrange" cost category are:
  1. Attic Insulation (Fiberglass) (107.7% ROI)
    Average Cost: $1,343
    Average Resale Value: $1,446
  2. Entry Door Replacement (steel) (90.7% ROI)
    Average Cost: $1,413
    Average Resale Value: $1,282
  3. Manufactured Stone Veneer (89.4% ROI)
    Average Cost: $7,851
    Average Resale Value: $7,019
  4. Minor Kitchen Remodel (80.2% ROI)
    Average Cost: $20,830
    Average Resale Value: $16,699
  5.  Garage Door Replacement (76.9% ROI)
    Average Cost: $1,749
    Average Resale Value: $1,345
The top five projects with the greatest ROI in the report's "upscale" cost category are:
  1. Garage Door Replacement (85.0% ROI)
    Average Cost: $3,304
    Average Resale Value: $2,810
  2. Entry Door Replacement (fiberglass) (77.8% ROI)
    Average Cost: $3,276
    Average Resale Value: $2,550
  3. Window Replacement (vinyl) (73.9% ROI)
    Average Cost: $15,282
    Average Resale Value: $11,286
  4. Window Replacement (wood) (73.0% ROI)
    Average Cost: $18,759
    Average Resale Value: $13,691
  5.  Grand Entrance (fiberglass) (70.1% ROI)
    Average Cost: $8,358
    Average Resale Value: $5,855
Regionally, the Pacific division (California, Oregon, Washington, Alaska and Hawaii) saw an average payback of 78.2 percent for all projects, with 10 projects posting cost-recouped levels of at least 90 percent. The East North Central states of Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois and Wisconsin, however, saw an average of just 54.9 percent, with no single project offering a payback of as much as 80 cents on the dollar.
 
At the other end of the spectrum are projects with the lowest returns on investment-improvements generally not in demand by the market. Again on a national scale, the five projects with the lowest ROI in the "midrange" cost category are:
  1. Bathroom Remodel (64.8% ROI)
    Average Cost: $18,546
    Average Resale Value: $12,024
  2. Master Suite Addition (64.8% ROI)
    Average Cost: $119,533
    Average Resale Value: $77,506
  3.  Backyard Patio (54.9% ROI)
    Average Cost: $51,985
    Average Resale Value: $28,546
  4.  Backup Power Generator (54.0% ROI)
    Average Cost: $12,860
    Average Resale Value: $6,940
  5.  Bathroom Addition (53.9% ROI)
    Average Cost: $43,232
    Average Resale Value: $23,283
The five projects with the lowest ROI in the "upscale" cost category are:
  1. Major Kitchen Remodel (61.9% ROI)
    Average Cost: $122,991
    Average Resale Value: $76,149
  2. Master Suite Addition (59.9% ROI)
    Average Cost: $250,687
    Average Resale Value: $150,140
  3. Bathroom Remodel (59.1% ROI)
    Average Cost: $59,979
    Average Resale Value: $35,456
  4. Bathroom Addition (57.1% ROI)
    Average Cost: $81,515
    Average Resale Value: $46,507
  5. Deck Addition (composite) (56.4% ROI)
    Average Cost: $39,339
    Average Resale Value: $22,171

Matthew T. Smoot-Your "Whatever it Takes" REALTOR® When You List with Smoot, You Sell with Smoot

With over 9 years in the business I offer my clients the most comprehensive representation in Maryland.  Not only am I a REALTOR, but I also hold a Broker's license, which is the highest and most specialized license a REALTOR can hold.  Customer Service is my Priority, Selling Houses is My Goal!  Contact me for any and all of your Real Estate Needs.  443-504-8930

 

 

Housing Made More Affordable with FHA's Reduction in Mortgage Insurance

Posted by Matthew T. Smoot on January 19, 2017 at 11:40 AM Comments comments (0)

Housing Made More Affordable with FHA's Reduction in Mortgage Insurance

Annual mortgage insurance premiums for Federal Housing Administration (FHA)-backed mortgages are lowering toward their pre-bust level, with FHA announcing on Monday another reduction, this time to 0.60 percent for most borrowers. The one-quarter point reduction is expected to save FHA-insured borrowers with a closing date on or after Jan. 27, 2017 an average $500 this year.
"After four straight years of growth and with sufficient reserves on hand to meet future claims, it's time for FHA to pass along some modest savings to working families," said U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Julián Castro in a statement. "This is a fiscally responsible measure to price our mortgage insurance in a way that protects our insurance fund while preserving the dream of home-ownership for credit-qualified borrowers."

FHA raised premiums several times since the recession to keep its Mutual Mortgage Insurance Fund (MMIF) afloat, at a considerable cost to borrowers, and, according to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), to the detriment of housing; research by the organization shows that the increases priced out approximately 1.5 million renters. The Fund's capital reserve ratio is now at 2.32 percent, above the 2 percent requirement.
 

NAR applauded the reduction, stating it "breathes new life" into FHA-insured mortgages.
"FHA mortgage products exist to serve an important mission: providing home-ownership opportunities to creditworthy borrowers who are overlooked by conventional lenders," says NAR President William E. Brown. "The high cost of mortgage insurance has unfortunately put those opportunities out of reach for many young, first-time and lower-income borrowers. Now, we have a real opportunity to get back on track.
"This is a question of simple math," Brown continues. "Every time we cut the cost of mortgage insurance, it means more borrowers meet the debt-to-income ratio required to purchase a home. It follows that dropping mortgage insurance premiums will mean a whole lot more responsible borrowers are suddenly eligible to purchase a home through FHA. That puts more money in the Fund to protect taxpayers, and it puts more families in homes so they can live out the American Dream."


HUD expects the new reduction to help 1 million households. FHA last reduced premiums in January 2015, which saved 2 million FHA-insured borrowers an average $900 annually.


Matthew T. Smoot-Your "Whatever it Takes" REALTOR®
When You List with Smoot, You Sell with Smoot

With over 11 years in the business I offer my clients the most comprehensive representation in Maryland.  Not only am I a REALTOR, but I also hold a Broker's license, which is the highest and most specialized license a REALTOR can hold.  Customer Service is my Priority, Selling Houses is My Goal!  Contact me for any and all of your Real Estate Needs.  443-504-8930

New Year Predictions: What to Expect with Real Estate in 2017

Posted by Matthew T. Smoot on January 13, 2017 at 2:55 PM Comments comments (0)

The new year is here and with it comes new factors which can and will affect real estate throughout the year. Below you will find what the experts are expecting in 2017. Keep an eye on the following:
 

1. Increased interest rates will be a game-changer.
While interest rates are still some of the lowest they've been in years, they are increasing and will be a motivating factor for buyers early in the first quarter, especially since 95 percent of first-time homebuyers are dependent on financing. Expect them to act quickly and lock-in reasonable long-term loans enabling them to make long-term buys.
 
2. The market is not in decline; it is re-setting.
Nationwide, home prices are forecast to slow to 3.9 percent growth year-over-year, from an estimated 4.9 percent in 2016. The biggest shift will occur in the ultra-luxury market, especially in urban environments with a massive construction boom, where the highly accelerated and unsustainable growth for the past five years lead to inflated asking prices and declining absorption rates.
 
3. Millennials and baby boomers will dominate again. These two dominant demographics will power demand for the next 10 years. Both generations are approaching life changes that traditionally motivate people to buy or sell a home. These life-defining changes include: marriage, having children, retiring and becoming empty-nesters. As such, the baby boomers could boost the market with double transactions as both buyers and sellers. Most of them are already homeowners, so they will be looking to sell and downsize to a smaller home, lowering their cost of living to maximize ease of retirement. Baby boomers have the potential to make up 30 percent of buyers in 2017, and being less dependent on financing gives them an advantage to be more successful with closings. Millennials, on the other hand, are more likely to finance and thereby more susceptible to increased interest rates, but they are still expected to make up 33 percent of buyers in the new year.
 
4. The Midwest is the new frontier.
Due to escalating rents and inflated home prices in the coastal cities, millennials are drawn to the Midwestern markets because they have a lower cost of living coupled with tremendous job growth. Midwestern cities claimed 42 percent of the millennial purchase market share in 2016, much higher than the U.S. average of 38 percent.
There is strong affordability in 15 of the 19 largest Midwestern markets, so this trend is expected to continue even as interest rates increase. Strong local economies and population growth will fuel the appeal of these hot markets, so keep your eye on: Columbus, Ohio; Omaha, Neb.; Des Moines, Iowa; Grand Rapids, Mich.; Minneapolis, Minn.; and Colorado Springs, Colo.
 
5. Foreign buyers expand their borders beyond coastal cities.  While international buyers still look to New York City, Los Angeles, Miami and San Francisco real estate as a safe haven for their money, escalating price per square foot numbers-an average of $2,400-plus in Manhattan-are pushing them to look in other metropolitan areas nationwide. Cities like Nashville, Tenn.; Charlotte, N.C.; Columbus, Ohio; Chicago, Dallas and Austin, Texas are rapidly grabbing foreign buyers because prices are lower and they can get a better return on investment.

Their primary interests are long-term growth opportunities, a luxury lifestyle and security. Moving forward, prime coastal locations will remain strong but the trend of international buyers expanding their searches and taking a serious look at new locations will continue to accelerate.

 
6. Consumer confidence will boost home sales.
With the anticipation of stronger economic and wage growth in 2017, home sales could exceed 6.3 million transactions, a significant increase from 2016. The GDP growth is forecast to be 2.1 percent with a 2.5 percent increase in the consumer price index, while unemployment is expected to decline to 4.7 percent by the end of 2017.
 
Furthermore, the record-breaking rise and powerful performance of the stock market post-election has fueled confidence and given people the assurance they need to loosen their purse strings. Folks who were hesitant to spend money during a tumultuous and uncertain election year are now ready to put their money to use.
 
7. Lack of inventory spurs fast-moving markets. Buyers should be prepared.  Inventory is currently down an average of 11 percent in the top 100 metropolitan markets nationwide, but with interest rates on the rise, prices may go down slightly. A slowdown in home price appreciation could motivate more property owners to sell, easing some of the inventory crunch. Regardless, in a competitive market, buyers need to be prepared and able to act quickly when they find Home Sweet Home.
 
Matthew T. Smoot-Your "Whatever it Takes" REALTOR®
When You List with Smoot, You Sell with Smoot
With over 11 years in the business I offer my clients the most comprehensive representation in Maryland.  Not only am I a REALTOR, but I also hold a Broker's license, which is the highest and most specialized license a REALTOR can hold.  Customer Service is my Priority, Selling Houses is My Goal!  Contact me for any and all of your Real Estate Needs.  443-504-8930
 


Annette Anthony Comes to Town

Posted by Jenelle Kirton on January 9, 2017 at 5:30 PM Comments comments (0)

Annette Anthony, Real Estate Technology Expert, joins the Mid-Atlantic region on Wednesday, January 11th for a 2 session seminar geared toward business plans, leveraging contacts and how to use technology to dominate your market. Each session has been designed to speak specifically to Brokers and Agents respectively.

Show up to also find out about the latest in virtual reality technology in real estate. Great photos from your laptop or tablet are great, but is it possible to have a home tour from your office that makes the buyer feel like they are actually in the home? Join us Wednesday to find out…

 

Preparing to Buy

Posted by Jenelle Kirton on December 29, 2016 at 9:20 AM Comments comments (0)

Automate your saving. It is hard enough to save money when you have other bills and expenses, however, it is even harder when you have to make that choice between spending the money in your checking account or brushing a little aside for saving. Go with the theory, ‘if you don’t see it, you won’t spend it.’ Automatically have a portion of your checking account transfer into a savings account, that way when you check your balance to take care of day to day business, you are spending what’s available minus your savings.

 

Get that score up. Your credit score is a crucial part of getting any type of loan, especially a home loan. For those with 600 and below credit scores, there are a few companies who will grant you a credit card, although they may request a small down payment. These cards are a great way to work on obtaining credit and increasing your score. If you have reasonable credit debt, don’t pay it all off, pay on it each month keeping the balance to about half, or less, of your available credit. In addition, go ahead and set yourself reminders to pay your bills by their respective due dates.

 

Window shop: Don’t wait until you are ready to buy, go ahead and start looking around now to see what is available in your desired area and what the prices are. The more you know about what you can afford and what is available, the better prepared you will be when you are ready to work with a realtor. Having a realistic “must-haves” list in the area you want to live in will go a long way to helping you find your dream home.

 

The Millennials Are Coming

Posted by Jenelle Kirton on November 29, 2016 at 4:10 PM Comments comments (0)

2017 is expected to be the year of the newbies. First time homebuyers are being slated to dominate the housing market…are you ready to support their not so ordinary needs?


According to Jonathan Smoke for Realtor.com, first-time buyers are more than three times more likely than a repeat buyer to say that they lack the funds for a down payment. Likewise, they are 2.9 times more likely to be held back because they are subject to the terms of a lease. And they are 2.7 times more likely to say that they need to improve their credit score.


A couple tips he has for first timers are these:

1. Understand the importance of improving your credit score, to ensure you can qualify for the lowest mortgage rate.

2. If you think you need to put 20% down, because that’s what your parents did? Think again. It is possible to get a mortgage with less than 5% down. The average down payment in the U.S. so far this year (through September) is 11%.


Get yourself ready for the coming wave of homebuyers and bone up on what their needs might be. Prepare to position yourself as their ally and most reliable source of information as they navigate their way through the homebuying maze.

 

Game Day! Up Close and Personal

Posted by Jenelle Kirton on November 9, 2016 at 3:00 PM Comments comments (0)

Fall is my favorite time of the year! The changing of the leaves is spectacular, and we have FOOTBALL!! Ever since our two children went to West Virginia and Virginia Tech, Rick and I became avid college football fans.

It was a little difficult cheering and rooting for both teams when they played against each other. We hung out both flags on game day and tried to be supportive of both sides.

Rick and I later realized it is a lot easier rooting for the Ravens and Eagles.

Stan Bishop, EXIT Real Estate Gallery - Orange Park, and his lovely wife, Elise, invited us to go to the Ravens vs. Jaguars game on Sunday, September 25th. Since the Bishops are sponsors to the Jaguars, we were treated to all the VIP amenities. We were allowed to view the locker room facilities and be on the field to watch the players practice before the game.

The highlight of the day was when John Harbaugh came out onto the field and came over to me. We talked about how we were going to win the game, he gave me a hug and posed for a picture with me!! What a THRILL! It was an experience I will never forget!

LIFE presents itself many opportunities.

All you have to do is reach out and grab it!


~Written by Carol McDaniel

 

Wealthy Living

Posted by Jenelle Kirton on November 4, 2016 at 8:55 AM Comments comments (0)

You can live like the rich and famous on your budget. The wealthy tend to look for three key features when searching for a home, now you can too!

An open layout is paramount. With the amount of entertaining they do from day to day, the wealthy are looking for great open floor plans and spacious rooms for all of their elite family and friends to gather.

They are also looking for smart technology. These can be as extravagant as having a remote that controls the blinds and lights in the home, to something as affordable as managing their alarm system, or checking the contents of their refrigerator from their smartpohones.

A last feature they love is energy efficiency. They spend money in a lot of places, but are more reluctant now to spend on high energy costs. With so many options available today, you can find several affordable ideas to incorporate into your home, or your home search.

 


Adapted from realtor.com

 

EXIT Mid-Atlantic Partners with The CE Shop

Posted by Jenelle Kirton on September 30, 2016 at 9:25 AM Comments comments (0)

EXIT Mid-Atlantic has partnered with The CE Shop, the leader in online real estate education. We know our members' time is valuable and trying to stay on top of business and family priorities can be a challenge--especially as your license expiration date nears.

That's why we've partnered with The CE Shop--to give you more flexibility and control over how to meet your Continuing Education requirements. All our members benefit from our co-branded course website. This means you have a one-stop shop that lists the courses you need and describes them in full detail so you know what's offered before you enroll.

Go to exitmid-atlantic.theceshop.com at any time to review and purchase the courses you need. You can start your course immediately or come back to it later.

The CE Shop's courses not only provide the most relevant and current information, and are delivered in user-friendly language, but you also have the added benefit of pausing and bookmarking at any time during your course. You can then return to your learning environment when you have the free time to do so.

Go to exitmid-atlantic.theceshop.com to check out the site today!

 


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