Congratulations Sharon George on the Sale of Your Piney Orchard Condo!

Jerry Kline (right), Realtor with Keller Williams Flagship of Maryland, celebrates with Sharon George, following the sale of her mother's condo in the Piney Orchard section of Odenton, Md.

Jerry Kline (right), Realtor with Keller Williams Flagship of Maryland, celebrates with Sharon George, following the sale of her mother’s condo in the Piney Orchard section of Odenton, Md.

Sharon George needed help selling her mother’s condo in the Piney Orchard section of Odenton, Md. The ground floor unit in Chestnut Gable was bright, airy and completely renovated. Staged beautifully, priced right and effectively marketed, the home sold very quickly. Thanks, Sharon, for all your good humor and teamwork!

Do you know someone thinking of buying or selling a home in the greater central Maryland area? Have them give me a call on my direct line (443) 924-7418. I’d be glad to help them any way I can!

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Jerry Kline Named Keller Williams Odenton Agent of the Month for November

Jerry Kline (right), Realtor with Keller Williams Flagship of Maryland, receives the Odenton Agent of the Month Award for November 2014 from Keller Williams Associate Broker Robert Wakefield.

Jerry Kline (right), Realtor with Keller Williams Flagship of Maryland, receives the Odenton Agent of the Month Award for November 2014 from Keller Williams Associate Broker Robert Wakefield.

Many thanks to my buyer and seller clients who closed their real estate transactions in November — among them Randy Barth, Mike & Melissa Fletcher, and David & Isabella White. All of you could have chosen any real estate agent out there, and I very much appreciate the trust you put in me to get your goals accomplished. Thanks, also, to all of the agents in the Keller Williams Odenton office. You’re all great friends and you’re always there when I need help!

Federal Regulators Announce Dramatic Easing of Mortgage Standards

The move is expected to help open up the credit box to first-time buyers, self-employed borrowers, borrowers who have had recent job switches, and borrowers who faced financial hardship during the recession.

FHFA’s Dramatic Easing of Mortgage Standards

Ranch-Style Homes Are Once Again Popular: What Are Their Plusses and Minuses?

The ultimate irony for home buyers is that the stock of available ranch-style homes may eventually dwindle. Not only because more home buyers are seeing the advantages of these homes, but also because the wrecking ball continues to demolish some of the ranchers that have survived.

 

Return of the Ranch

Class-Action Lawsuit Against Creig Northrop Real Estate Team Underscores Consumer Protections for Home Buyers, Home Sellers

Scales of Justice

 

 

 

 

 

A large class-action lawsuit recently certified against Maryland’s Creig Northrop Real Estate Team serves as an excellent reminder of the consumer protections afforded to home buyers and home sellers under the federal Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA).

RESPA, enacted by Congress in 1974, is designed to protect consumers from unscrupulous practices in the real estate industry. Its chief purpose is to help consumers become better shoppers for real estate settlement services and to eliminate kickbacks and referral fees that unnecessarily increase the costs of closing a transaction.

Among other things, the act prohibits kickbacks between lenders and third-party settlement agents in the settlement process.

The lawsuit, filed in 2013, alleges that The Creig Northrop Team P.C. and others received more than $500,000 in illegal kickbacks from Lakeview Title Co. Inc. over a period of years. The class certified by the court in January includes all purchasers who engaged the services of The Creig Northrop Team and a defendant title insurance company from Jan. 1, 2008, until the present.

The number of home buyers and home sellers included in the class of plaintiffs is potentially huge. The Creig Northrop Team P.C. is affiliated with Long & Foster Real Estate Inc., and was ranked second in the country last year and first in 2012 in the amount of real estate transaction volume handled.

Under RESPA, service providers in a real estate transaction must provide a variety of disclosures to their clients. (See http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/program_offices/housing/rmra/res/respamor#HD) Certain disclosures must be made at the time of loan application, before settlement occurs, at settlement and after settlement.

Also important for home buyers and home sellers is the Affiliated Business Arrangement Disclosure. This disclosure is required whenever a settlement service provider involved in a RESPA-covered transaction refers the client to a provider with whom the referring party has an ownership or other beneficial interest.

The referring party must give this disclosure to the client at or prior to the time of referral. The disclosure must describe the business arrangement that exists between the two providers and give the borrower an estimate of the second provider’s charges.

Except in cases where a lender refers a borrower to an attorney, credit reporting agency or real estate appraiser to represent the lender’s interest in the transaction, the referring party may not require the consumer to use the particular provider being referred.

For more information on the case (Patrick Baehr et al. v. The Creig Northrop Team P.C. et al.)), see http://www.inman.com/2014/02/25/top-producing-long-foster-team-facing-class-action-respa-suit-over-alleged-kickbacks-to-title-insurance-agency/

 

Jerry Kline is a Realtor with the Odenton, Md., office of Keller Williams Flagship Realty (1216 Annapolis Rd., Odenton.) For more information on the local real estate market, contact him at (443) 924-7418, or visit his blog (www.JerryKlineRealtor.wordpress.com) or website (www.JerryKline.kwrealty.com).

 

New Disabled Veterans Mortgage Program Offers Big Help to Maryland Vets

Applicants Need to Hurry, Though – Program Ends May 30th

AAA -Disabled Veterans

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do you know a disabled military veteran looking to buy a home in this area? The state of Maryland last week announced the creation of a new – and temporary – initiative designed to help such buyers purchase a home using bargain interest rates.
Even better, the new mortgage assistance program can be used in conjunction with other state programs that offer down payment and closing cost assistance to veterans.
Interest rates for the Maryland Homefront Disabled Veterans Mortgage Program are as low as 3 percent. Up to $5,000 in down payment and closing cost assistance also is available to qualified applicants.
Interested homebuyers have to hurry, though. According to information distributed by the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development, the program is set to expire in two months – May 30, 2014.
Program Eligibility
The program is open to honorably discharged disabled veterans. By program definition, a disabled veteran is a veteran with a 30 percent or greater disability.
Eligible veterans also must qualify for a Maryland Mortgage Program loan, based on such criteria as credit score, income limitations, etc. Before buying their home, eligible veterans must take approved homebuyer education courses and use an approved mortgage lender.
Loans under the program typically are limited to first-time homebuyers. However, this requirement can be waived under certain circumstances.
Qualification for a Veterans Administration loan is not required.
Under the program, the property purchased must be located in the state of Maryland.
Jerry Kline is a Realtor with the Odenton, Md., office of Keller Williams Flagship Realty (1216 Annapolis Rd., Odenton.) For more information on the local real estate market, contact him at (443) 924-7418, or visit his blog (www.JerryKlineRealtor.wordpress.com) or website (www.JerryKline.kwrealty.com).

 

Workers Who Relocate Share Their Must-Haves for a New Home

When it comes to relocation for a new job, transferees say the two most important factors in choosing a new home are being in or near a specific school district and having a work commute of 30 minutes or less.

Relocating Employees Share Their Dream Lists