It’s hard to believe I’ve survived almost 13 years in real estate. Since the beginning, I affiliated with the big brands. First, with Long and Foster for two years followed by ten more with RE/MAX. Over 12 years later, most of my business is referral-based and derived from my work with previous clients. Knowing your network and reputation have a direct impact on your business helps ensure your level customer service stays in check. For every successful transaction, a good Realtor should expect others to follow. I try to fight for my clients as if they were all close friends. It’s taken me this long to confidently know that it’s your sole reputation not the size of your company brand.
“As a Realtor, it’s crucial to surround yourself with other active and successful agents. The energy and passion in all seven Cummings & Co. offices is truly contagious, but what impressed me the most when deciding to move companies was the infrastructure and internal systems that Dave Cummings and his team have built. In my opinion, Cummings & Co. is the most efficient and tech-savvy brokerage in Maryland. I’m ecstatic to now be a part of this powerful firm and know my clients will be able to recognize the benefits of my move as well. “
I didn’t expect it. In fact, when I interviewed with the owner, Dave Cummings, I told him not to make it a priority as I was just curious what his brand had to offer. Within 30 minutes s of meeting with Cummings, I knew I’d be joining his company before the month’s end. Today I’m typing from my office at Cummings & Co. REALTORS.
While interviewing with Cummings, I asked: “Who is your biggest competition, Dave?” His response, “Zillow.” It was then when I knew I was making the right move for myself and in the end my clients. This is a fast pace industry. It seems like every day there is a new online company buying and selling homes. If your Realtor is suggesting open houses and full-color flyers, perhaps they are in the dark. iPhone apps, social media pushes, live video feeds and algorithms are what savvy Realtors utilize to stay ahead of the competitive online game. Cummings & Co. is the first real estate firm that brings this powerful additive and cutting-edge support to a brick and mortar office.
Why making the switch was so easy:
Full access to six branches in Maryland. Cummings & Co. have offices Bel Air, Perry Hall, Ruxton, Lutherville, Rolland Park, Federal Hill and Canton. While my main office is located in Canton, access to these other branches across Maryland means greater convenience for my clients in Harford County through our Bel Air branch.
Systems in place for everything. The welcome packet, the online agent tools, the in-office support staff, and IT manager made the transition flawless. Any and all questions I may have at the outset were answered for me as part of their seamless on-boarding process.
The agents at Cummings have an average of 12 years’ experience. Yes! The offices are filled with real estate agents that know what they are doing. As an independent contractor, keeping in the “know” is vital for success, and I am excited to be amongst such an experienced group of like-minded professionals.
The broker/owner. Dave Cummings is involved and understands the business and what agents need. Suggestions about possible improvements for the brokerage, while welcome, aren’t necessary as he’s already thought them. As an agent of his brand, I can dedicate my resources to running my own business and providing even better service for my clients because Dave Cummings handles the rest.
A new energy and excitement are propelling me into the 4th quarter of 2017. Thanks, Dave Cummings & staff for the great welcome, I am looking forward to my future at my new home.
Cummings & Co. REALTORS
If you are like most first time home buyers you might be overwhelmed by down payment and closing costs that come with buying a home. While a good agent will help you to negotiate seller help they should also be knowledgeable about the resources available to you through Live Baltimore. Savvy buyers can use these incentives combined with state programs leaving their out of pocket expenses next to nothing. As with the MMP there are certain prerequisites, but most first time home buyers are eligible for one if not more of these programs. Also, as with the MMP, you must attend the FTHB class, complete your one on one counseling, and receive your certificate to be eligible prior to entering a contract.
Home Ownership Assistance Program:
The community block grant (CDBG) you can qualify for $5000.00 toward your fist home.
You should know:
- Your household income should be less than 80% of the area median income
- This is a five year forgivable loan which means your balance is forgiven by 20% every year until you no longer owe, not a bad deal!
- You must receive a HQS (housing quality home inspection) on the property. This means you must use a home inspector with this certification.
Baltimore Employer-Based incentives: are among the easiest to understand, receive, and qualify for.
There are several, here are just a few of the most popular:
1. Live Near Your Work: provides between $2,000-$17,000 to homebuyers. The amount you are eligible for depends on where you work and where you buy in proximity to your work. You can ask your employer if they participate in this program.
2. Good Neighbor Next Door: This incentive is for Baltimore city teacher’s grade K-12, fire fighters/EMTs, and police officers. You must commit to living in the home for at least 3 years and must choose a home from city specific/HUD homes.
3. Baltimore city Employee Homeownership Incentive: is a deferred forgivable loan up to $5,000 that depreciates by 20% every year you live in the home. Employee for city agencies who are employed by the mayor and city council qualify. Also your mortgage can not exceed $417,000.00, you must put $1000.00 of your own money toward the purchase, and one person per household may apply.
MMP “You’ve Earned It” : is a special interest rate and down payment assistance program for those with high student loan dept.
- This is a deferred loan and will have to be paid back at time of sale of property without interest
- Buyer must have at least $25,000.00 in student debt
- Interest rate is a .25 percentage point under
- Mortgage loan cannot exceed $525,901.00
- Homebuyer must invest at least $1000.00 of personal funds
Buying into Baltimore: is a $5000.00 incentive that can be used to buy a home anywhere in Baltimore City. There are two events: a spring/summer and fall/winter. 20 individuals will be selected by a lottery to receive awards. You need to know:
- Mortgage amount cannot exceed $517,000.00.
- Applicants have ten business days after attending to enter into a contract on a home and submit the application to be eligible for the lottery.
- Winners must close within 60 days for being selected.
- Co-signers, cash sales, or owner financing are not permitted.
- No short sales, no foreclosures, and no new construction will be considered.
- Home buyer must invest at least $1000.00 from personal resources
Most new Maryland buyers ask for the seller(s) for contribution towards the down payment and other upfront closing costs they need to buy their first home. While a good agent can help you negotiate seller concession, also known as seller help or seller contribution toward closing there are other resources available to you. The Maryland Mortgage Program (MMP) is a down payment assistance program offered to first time home buyers looking to purchase in the state of Maryland. While it is not “free money” it is a 0% interest deferred loan. This loan will give you up to $5,000.00 toward your down payment and is paid off only when you sell without interest.
**To be eligible for this program applicants must be:
- First time home buyers, who have never owned (or held title for) a principal residence anywhere in the last three years.
- Purchasing the home to use as their primary residence. Home may NOT be used as an investment property or rental.
- Able to complete a Homebuyer Education course. *This course needs to be finished, your one on one counseling session completed, and you should have your certificate in hand prior to making an offer or gong under contract on a home.
- Making a MAXIMUM income of $108,600.00 (for 1-2 people) or $126,700.00 (for a household of 3).
**Other important factors that apply outside of being approved include:
- Your current debt, employment status, and credit history.
- Loan type:
· FHA loans require a minimum credit score of 660.
· Conventional loans require a minim credit score of 640.
- Your debt-to-income ratio must also meet the loan requirements for your loan type.
**Important details you’ll need to know:
- Your new mortage loan cannot exceed $525,901.00.
- You CAN use this program with other grant incentives.
- Home buyer must use an approved lender.
Christmas is 4 days away. Most Baltimore City sellers would just wait until after the holidays to list a brand new renovation. Mason Properties wanted this to hit the market as soon as it was completed no matter the date. It’s a Baltimore City CHAP tax credit renovation so there is never a bad time to list these homes. In fact many baltimore city buyers won’t settle for anything without the 10 year CHAP tax credit.
411 S Washington St – Butchers Hill – Listed @ $344,900
3 true bedrooms
3 full baths
kitchen with granite, stainless, and tiled backsplash
wood floors throughout
3 finished levels
2 level roof deck
Located in Butchers Hill, just north of Fells Point, this home offers 3 large bedrooms, 3 full baths, wood floors throughout, and a 2 level roof deck. The kitchen has granite, SS appliances, plenty of cabinet space and a breakfast bar. Full renovation was just completed December 2016. With 1000+ sq ft above ground, the house has the space for different types of households. And with the CHAP tax credit it’s aordable.
If you’d like to tour this home or would like to know more about the CHAP tax credit and Mason Properties, Inc. let me know! Suzie Coronel
The housing market can be a fickle thing, and while many people look to roll the dice and get lucky in the house flipping game few are able to turn a profit. When working with Baltimore investors, or new home buyers looking to cash in on resale down the road, I always say Baltimore’s Highlandtown neighborhood is the place to buy now. Highlandtown, zip code 21224, boarders the booming neighborhood of Canton. Canton has it all: nightlife, shopping, restaurants, water views, and the price tag shows it. Curious how far your dollar goes in the Canton area, click here.
Lately I’ve been working with some smart millennials, on a first time home buyers budget. Many have decided to look slightly south to Highlandtown area. Highlandtown has long been home to Baltimore staples like Di Pasquales, The Creative Alliance Theater, and the always charming Laughing Pint. Highlandtown Main Street has a strong community force aiding in the area’s popularity.
Additionally, in the last year we have seen the sale and demolition of the iconic Haussners building on Eastern Avenue which is to be rebuilt into luxury apartments, a Mount Pleasant church is set to become a seventy unit condominium building, and smart contractors are buying homes in need of rehab. Hip new restaurants like “Snake Hill Tavern” and “Gnocco” are popping up on Highlandtown corners.
The numbers don’t lie. New rehabs are listing in the low 200’s and closing at or slightly under ask. 3 bedroom 1 baths in need of renovations are moving much higher than they were only five years ago but a savvy Baltimore investors can buy in the 50-70K range and turn a heathy profit quickly. Curious what’s out there? Contact me!