General Real Estate

Thoughts, observations and news regarding real estate markets and housing.

For Good or Bad, Washington DC Rated Best Performing Housing Market

Branden Schroeder posted this 2 3,317 Views

In light of federal budget woes, staggering national debt, and continued economic uncertainty, most of the United States will take little solace in, and perhaps will be even a bit irritated by a recent S&P/Case-Schiller home-price report, a leading measure of current residential housing market trends, showing that the Washington, DC metro market to be the best performing residential real estate market in the entire country.  It is, according to the report, a "Top 10" market to watch in 2...

Branden Schroeder joins Coldwell Banker in Annapolis, Maryland

Branden Schroeder posted this 1 4,402 Views

As of today, Monday, March 7, I am now officially an Associate Broker with the Annapolis, Maryland office of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage (Annapolis Plaza Office). For the past six years I have had the opportunity to work at the Annapolis office of Prudential Carruthers Realtors.  I will miss my colleagues at Prudential Carruthers and leave with much respect for the owners, management and agents of that company.  At the same time, I am very excited with the new opportunities avai...

New Direct Phone Number for Maryland Homes and Property Website: (443) 333-9060

Branden Schroeder posted this 3,697 Views

As of today, February 2, 2011, the Maryland Homes and Property website has a new direct phone number for users/clients to use for support or questions.  The new number is:  (443) 333-9060.  The previous phone number (410) 571-1378, will continue to be operable for a short time, but will most likely be discontinued as of the end of February. 

New design launch of 'Maryland Homes and Property' real estate website!

Branden Schroeder posted this 2 3,277 Views

I'm pleased to announce to launch of the newly re-designed, customized real estate website at  Featuring industry-leading property search functionality and advanced user panel control tools, the aim of the site is to provide users with extremely efficient access to information about Multiple List System (MLS) 'For Sale' properties throughout Maryland. Most individuals conducting searches enjoy being able independently begin the process of finding pr...

Maryland Mortgage Rates, HUD-1 and Good Faith Estimate Changes for 2010

Branden Schroeder posted this 3,574 Views

Happy New Year and best wishes for 2010! This post is the first of a series of entries that will report on important changes impacting the Maryland residential real estate and home mortgage markets.  Home mortgage interest rates leading up to the 2009 Holidays were especially volatile. The 10 year treasury yield index (ticker TNX) moved from its recent lows in December of 32.5 up to 38.15 as of Friday, January 8. This, along with other key economic factors have caused 30 year fixed ...

Maryland Homeowners Must Now Apply for Homestead Tax Credit

Branden Schroeder posted this 35 17,843 Views

As of January 1, 2008, property owners of a principal residence in Maryland are required to file a one-time application in order to receive the Homestead Tax Credit.  This credit limits the amount of assessment increases for real estate tax purposes.  Previously, eligibility for the credit was automatic, but legislation passed in 2007 by the Maryland General Assembly mandates the one-time paper or online application filing.  The Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation will be sendi...

Zillow's Not the Only One!

Branden Schroeder posted this 1 7,164 Views

Although Zillow clearly dominates the market of providing free, instantaneous real estate valuation estimates, it is not the only source.  A variety of websites now offer similar online valuation calculators that provide results simply by having a user enter a residential address.  There has been and will continue to be significant debate about the accuracy of results from these online algorithm-based valuation calculators.  While many of the criticisms leveled against Zillow...

Top 10 Tips for Remodeling and Home Improvements

Branden Schroeder posted this 1 4,467 Views

If you are thinking about a remodeling project or are perhaps just considering ways to lower your electric bill by making small home improvements, all the available options now being discussed in the media may seem a bit overwhelming.  As “green” issues have become recently in vogue many people are holding themselves out to be experts and the array of recommendations and sources of information have grown considerably.  To help remodelers, whether homeowners or contract... -- Will it work?

Branden Schroeder posted this 2,662 Views

Sometime in the next few weeks yet another website,, will be launched with the goal to fundamentally change how residential real estate transactions are handled.  “Stand by for The Real Estate Market shake up!”, claims the home page of, under the motto “Be Your Own Agent” as it ambitiously touts itself as “The For Sale By Owner of the future - today.”   At its core, the plan of the business model is to ...

Tulips, Tech Stocks and Townhomes

Branden Schroeder posted this 2,898 Views

What do these three “T” items have in common? In their respective markets, they have all been the source of severe overvaluations and bubble bursts because people failed to pay proper attention to the foundations and fundamentals of value in the hope to get-rich-quick.   The so-called ‘tulip bulb craze’ that occurred in 16th Century Holland is one of the most vivid demonstrations of wild speculation run amok. When the “bulb bubble” burs...