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Survey Says … Location Drawings are Worth It

What if I told you there was a major problem with the property you are about to buy?

To identify the problem, YOU would need to read and visualize meets & bounds descriptions that read something like this:

“From the Northwest 1/4 of Section 21, run South 00 37’51” West along the West line of said Northwest 1/4 at a distance of 50.00 feet to the Point of Beginning on the Southwest right-of-way of Country Club Drive … ” Read more

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You Down with OTP? … Because Title Claims are Naughty By Nature

O is for Owners,
T is for Title, scratchin’ temple
The last P, it’s pretty simple.
It’s Policy.

An Owner’s Title Policy could be the only thing that saves your asset from a huge financial loss.

OTP … It’s as simple as ABC.

For most people, owning a home is the cornerstone of their financial future. Over time, as your home builds equity, you can use that money to pay for college, supplement retirement or put a down payment on that beach house! Read more

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Homestead Tax Credit

Happy One-Year Anniversary!

Now that you’ve lived in your house for a year, you should qualify for Maryland’s Homestead Tax Credit. This credit limits any annual tax increase to no more than 10% a year for a principle residence. As values rise, so will your taxable assessment. So lock in your base value now before you overpay on your future tax bills. To register, you must:

1) Live in the Property for a Year as Principle Residents

2) Receive Your Application by Mail or Call 410-767-2165 to Get the Access Number

3) Apply at https://sdathtc.dat.maryland.gov/

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Team Member Spotlight: Colleen Eichelberger

Colleen Eichelberger has been working in our industry for more than two decades. That’s a big reason why this licensed settlement agent is ready to take on any challenge that comes across her desk.

Along the way, she’s developed solid strategies for how to start every day with a win and how to turn things around when things aren’t going so great. Plus, she’s not afraid to eat a rattlesnake! Read more

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December Home Prices Increased Sharply

U.S. home-sale prices increased nearly 7 percent year-over-year in December to a median of $312,500, according to a report from Redfin.

The company said home prices in December also were up 1.1 percent month-over-month on a seasonally-adjusted basis, the largest increase since February 2018.

“Low mortgage rates and a strong economy fueled homebuyer demand in December, which boosted both home sales and prices,” Redfin Chief Economist Daryl Fairweather said in a release. “Prices heated up in West Coast metros like Seattle and Los Angeles, which indicates the slowdown of 2019 has officially ended in these markets.”

According to the report, year-over-year price increases in December were the largest in Memphis (median price $190,000, up 15.9 percent); Camden, N.J. ($195,000, +14.7 percent); and Cincinnati ($187,000, +14.4 percent)

In the metro areas Redfin tracks, New York (down 2.4 percent) and San Francisco (down 1.7 percent) were the only places with year-over-year price decreases in December.

Nationwide, home sales increased 6.8 percent year-over-year in December, and were up 1 percent from November on a seasonally adjusted basis.

The report identified the markets with the biggest yearly increases in home sales in December as Anaheim, Calif. (37.7 percent); North Port, Fla. (35.8 percent); and New Haven, Conn. (23 percent).

Redfin said the supply of homes for sale in December fell 14.9 percent year-over-year, the biggest decline since March 2013.

“Many homeowners have refinanced their mortgages to take advantage of low-interest rates and therefore feel committed to staying put,” Fairweather said. “The lack of homes for sale is going to fuel competition and price growth in 2020.”

Article courtesy of The Title Report

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Warning: Cash-out Mortgage Refis New Target for Wire Transfer Fraud

Historically low-interest rates have resulted in a surge of mortgage refinance activity in recent weeks. According to recent data, as many as 10 million borrowers may be able to save at least 0.75 percentage points by refinancing at current rates. As homeowners flock to take advantage of this opportunity, wire fraud prevention solution provider CertifID issued an alert warning that fraudsters are implementing new strategies to divert wire transfers away from borrowers in connection with a cash-out mortgage refinance transaction. This latest fraud trend stacks on the already active fraud scam of diverting mortgage payoffs in real estate closings.

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Ease Your Way In To The Stock Market

Heads up, you know darned well that you have to do something with your money. Something besides enjoying your weekends and getting your hands on the latest electronic gadget. That something, as you have probably already figured out is about getting up close and personal with the world of investments.

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True or False? — It Takes Money to Make Money

The short answer is YES; of course it takes money to make money. To make money in the stock market, you must have money to make the initial stock purchases. Starting a business requires money to buy inventory, marketing materials, office space and equipment. Even lottery winners had to have the seed money required to buy the ticket. The only exceptions that come to mind are inheriting, stealing or finding money.

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