Saturday, December 30, 2006

Mortgage Rates Hold Steady in December

Mortgage rates held steady in December, according to Freddie Mac, as 30-year fixed rate mortgages averaged 6.13% (well below the high point of 6.80% in July). Rates had fallen precipitously in November, which partially may have accounted for the recent increases in home sales and speculation that the housing market may have bottomed.

Friday, December 29, 2006

New and Existing Home Sales Both Up in November

During the month of November, an historically quiet month for home sales, new and existing homes sales nation-wide were both higher than October. A further sign the national market has bottomed and possibly turning in the other direction.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

A Little Natural Snow Overnight

Garrett County received about an inch or so of snow since Tuesday evening, and with temperatures finally below freezing, Wisp took advantage and made snow overnight as well. Today will be seasonally chilly, however above-average temps look to return for the late week and weekend.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Real Estate for Christmas?

In the classic "A Charlie Brown Christmas" a despondent Charlie Brown asks Lucy what is it she really wants for Christmas? To which Lucy, obviously far more mature than her age would indicate responds, "REAL ESTATE!" Merry Christmas again from Deep Creek, and please feel free to contact me at if you are interested in exploring Deep Creek real estate.

Merry Christmas from Deep Creek!

Unfortunately, it now appears as if the storm we were tracking for a potential snow is going to take a track further west than previously expected and thus, greatly reduce the snow amounts Garrett County will receive from this storm. Nonetheless, on Tuesday as the storm moves to our northeast, the area should still see some lake effect and upslope snows on the backside of the storm, possibly amounting to 2-4 inches. In any event we wish you a very Merry Christmas from Garrett County!

Friday, December 22, 2006

Winter Storm Looking More Likely

Beginning Christmas day and continuing Tuesday and Wednesday, through "wrap around" and upslope snows, it is looking increasingly likely that Garrett County will be hit by a winter storm. The computer model consensus still shows a low pressure system developing along the Gulf Coast and moving northeastward toward New England. There may be some precipitation issues at the onset, but as colder air quickly filters in, any rain and ice would change over to snow. If indications continue to point toward the storm taking the aforementioned path, expect a winter storm watch to be issued by the National Weather Service some time late Saturday or early Sunday. The exact track and dynamics of the storm will determine weather this evolves as a moderate or major event for Garrett County.
Depicted below is the 06z GFS Model's interpretation of the event, valid oz Tuesday, or roughly 8pm EST Monday.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Building Permits Down Only Slightly in Garrett

While building permits nationally have declined precipitously of late, permits in Garrett County have waned only slightly. Between January and November of 2006, 650 permits were issued, down slightly from 697 of 2005 during the same period. For full story as featured in the Republican newspaper click here.

One of the newer developments in Garrett County is the Creekside Townhome Development, a lakefront community located on 219 before Uno's where Lakeside Motor Court previously was located. Construction has continued through the recent warm weather and they are making considerable progress.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

December Snow Drought About to End?

So far this December, Garrett County has only received approximately 5 inches of snow. GC historically averages about 20 inches in December. Garrett's two least snowy Decembers were 1971 (4.5 inches) and 1986 (5.5 inches).

However, signals are pointing toward a possibility of snow for Christmas night through the 26th. At this point it is highly speculative but enough computer models are pointing toward the possibility of cyclonic development over the Gulf Coast Christmas eve and tracking northeastward....a track that would favor snow for western Maryland. However, at this point we are still too far out to make a definitive call and the details will still have to be worked out. Nonetheless, after a very warm and snowless November and December at least it appears we will be getting back to seasonal temperatures as we approach the New Year.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Understanding the Role of the Buyer's Agent

Frequently, many first time home buyers are unaware that a real estate agent can serve different roles. In short, the first thing a buyer should do when planning to purchase real estate is to select a buyer's agent to work with. The reason? Buyer's agents are absolutely free to the buyer, as the buyer's agent gets paid 99% of the time through splitting the commission with the listing agent. That is, if you were to purchase the real estate unrepresented, or if the listing agent were serving as a disclosed dual agent, the listing agent would most likely be receiving the entire commission himself or herself. As such, it is in the buyer’s great interest to work with a buyer's agent as they get the benefit of professional representation both while locating as well as while consummating the transaction. If you are interested in a property and speak to the listing agent, don't expect him/her to ask why you aren't working with a buyer's agent (remember they get more money if you are unrepresented). An additional benefit of buyer agency is that when the buyer eventually decides to sale the property they purchased, they already have an established relationship with an agent (now listing) who is informed of the history and characteristics of the subject property.