What does this year have in store for you? If you’ve been waiting to sell your home, 2015 might be the perfect opportunity! This year (2014), was the best year in the U.S. economic recovery since the 2008-2009 recession. With the economy accelerating; fueling jobs and income growth, the outlook on prospects for homeowners and would-be home buyers is positive.

2015 Houising Market


Mortgage Rates Will Head Back Up
An improving economy means that mortgage rates will unavoidably increase again. Freddie Mac, the now-government controlled corporation that buys and sells mortgage securities, conducts a weekly survey of mortgage rates being offered by lenders in the U.S. They also make various forecasts relating to the housing industry. Their long-term outlook calls for gradually rising rates over the next 12 months. They expect the average rate assigned to a 30-year loan to rise gradually, perhaps reaching or exceeding 5.0% by the end of next year.

Granted, this is only a real estate prediction for 2015 — not an assurance. But it is based on some of the best data available, analyzed by economists who specialize in mortgage and housing trends. So it probably won’t be far off. Think of it as a well-educated guess.


Mortgages Will Be Easier to Obtain
According to the Federal Reserve results of its July “Senior Loan Officer Survey on Bank Lending Practices,” mortgage lenders are relaxing their standards in several key areas.

To briefly explain, lenders are allowing lower credit scores and higher levels of debt, where mortgage borrowers are typically concerned. This trend is an industry-wide reaction to lower loan volume. Traditionally, when application volume goes down, lenders try to compensate by relaxing their standards and putting more loans into the pipeline. This happened in 2014, and it will likely continue into 2015 to some degree.


The Impact of Millennials
Some millennials, born between 1981 and 2000, are no longer living with their parents as they struggle to pay off student loan debt. Although the job market has been a challenge, employment is improving, and older millennials are planning for the future.

Millennials between the ages of 25-34, represent about 65% of first-time home buyers. This means that older millennials (young adults) are at an age when many are getting married and starting their own families. In the next 5 years, millennials are predicted to have a major impact on the growth of the housing market.


Closing Out the Foreclosure Crisis
It’s been seven years since the housing bubble burst and foreclosures skyrocketed, but in 2015 we’ll see the end of that era. Already this year has seen fewer foreclosures and short sales in the mix. With foreclosure inventories down more than 30%, it is predicted that there will be a slightly greater drop in foreclosure levels in 2015.

However, the situation will differ in every market, neighborhood and individual home, which is why most people prefer working with a Real Estate professional.

Information provided by: Homebuying Institute & Realtor.com


AskHomesale.com provides real estate advise and information for home buyers, home sellers, and homeowners alike. Askhomesale.com is part of the Homesale Realty Family. The Homesale Family of Companies is the leading real estate company serving the Baltimore, Maryland, South Central and Southeastern PA real estate markets.  Homesale Realty has more than 25 offices with over 1,000 REALTORS®. Homesale Realty’s footprint includes Maryland real estate offices in Baltimore City, Federal Hill, Fells Point, Westminster, and Timonium Pennsylvania real estate offices include York, LancasterWyomissing, Chambersburg, Gettysburg, Harrisburg, and Schuylkill Haven.


Safest Cities to Live in Maryland

The state of Maryland is many things – it is the wealthiest state in the country with the highest median household income; it is one of the smallest states in area, yet has a high population, giving it one of the highest population densities in the USA; and, Maryland has numerous nicknames including America in Miniature, Little America, and Old Line State. Is Maryland a good place to live if you’re looking for family-friendly neighborhoods with low crime levels? If you are considering moving to Maryland, here are 7 of the safest cities to live.



1. Dayton
Dayton is what’s called an “unincorporated community” and it’s lessthan 30 miles west of Baltimore. Around 10,000 people live in Dayton, in Howard County, enjoying the small town feel and low crime levels. Dayton has a crime index of 96, and is the third safest community in Maryland.


2. Ijamsville
Named for its founder, Plummer Ijams, Ijamsville is a small community in Frederick County, about 7 miles southeast of the city of Frederick. Around 3,200 people live in Ijamsville and it’s the fourth safest town in Maryland. The crime index is 94.


3. Clarksville
The unincorporated community of Clarksville has some of the most expensive homes on the East Coast. Set in Howard County it is also famous as the home of top performing River Hill High School. The town has a population around 9,000 people and is the fifth safest town in Maryland. It has a crime index of 94.


4. Jarrettsville
Jarrettsville is a census-designated place in Harford County, home to around 2,900 people. It was named for the Jarrett family who farmed the land in the 1800s. Jarrettsville is about 30 miles north east of Baltimore and has a crime index of 93.


5. Fallston
Set in Harford County in the north of Maryland, Fallston is a census-designated place that’s home to around 9,000 people. It’s a semi-rural community only 20 miles outside of Baltimore, and it’s the seventh safest town in Maryland. The crime index is 92.


6. Myersville
Myersville is a small town set in Frederick County, about 11 miles northwest of the city of Frederick. Enjoying its status as the ninth safest town in Maryland are roughly 1,600 residents. Myersville has a crime index of 91.


7. Brentwood
Taking the last spot in our top seven safest cities in Maryland is Brentwood. This town is in Prince George’s County, just 1 mile from Washington DC. Obviously the crime problems in the nation’s capital haven’t seeped out to Brentwood yet! Home to around 3,100 people, Brentwood has a crime index of 91.


If you are planning on moving or know of someone who is thinking about moving, then contact your local Homesale Agent for help. For more real estate information, please visit our Homesale website.



Safest Cities to Live in Maryland

Holiday Safety For Your Home

It is the season of joy and everyone is excited for holiday celebrations! While you are eager to decorate your home, you should take some precautions as you deck the halls and start a fire in the fireplace. Here are a few helpful tips on how to maintain safety in your home and still enjoy the holiday season.


Dec-14-IOV - E-card



AskHomesale.com provides real estate advise and information for home buyers, home sellers, and homeowners alike. Askhomesale.com is part of the Homesale Realty Family. The Homesale Family of Companies is the leading real estate company serving the Baltimore, Maryland, South Central and Southeastern PA real estate markets.  Homesale Realty has more than 25 offices with over 1,000 REALTORS®. Homesale Realty’s footprint includes Maryland real estate offices in Baltimore City, Federal Hill, Fells Point, Westminster, and Timonium.  Pennsylvania real estate offices include York, LancasterWyomissing, Chambersburg, Gettysburg,Harrisburg, and Schuylkill Haven.

Tips for Home Buyers  |  Tips for Home Sellers | Tips for Homeowners

Holiday Safety For Your Home

Tips for Selling Your Home in the Winter

When it comes to selling your home, the process can be time-consuming and stressful. Even though as a seller you may be skeptical to place your house on the market during the winter, take advantage of the lack of inventory and play up the winter season. Here are a few tips on how to sell your home in the winter and the home selling process a little simpler.


shovelingsnowShovel and salt often

If you want prospective buyers to be able to safely enter your home then make sure you keep the sidewalk, driveway and front doorsteps clear of ice and snow. It also helps to make your house look well-maintained; similar to raking the leaves in the fall. If you’re not living in the home, or not home enough to keep on top of the snow, hire a service to salt and shovel the driveway and walkways.






Keep it warm

Part of making a home inviting to an interested buyer involves making it feel warm and cozy. You don’t want potential buyers looking at your home shivering as they walk around inside. Make sure you keep the thermostat higher if you know people are coming to look at the home, and if you’ll be there during the showing, set a fire in the fireplace.




Maximize light

During this time of year when daylight hours are at a minimum, light is important. Open the shades and let in as much sunlight as you can. Also make sure all the light fixtures are clean, and use bulbs with the highest wattage that they can safely handle. Turn on lights whenever you show the home to make it shine.


Have clean windows

Unkempt and dirty windows can turn off buyers before they even enter a house, and a strong light in the winter can reveal grime that otherwise wouldn’t be as noticeable. Make the windows as clean as possible and improve a potential buyer’s first impression.



Make it look comfortable

Keeping with the theme of making your house feel like a home, small touches go a long way; throw blanket or on a sofa and a large folded-over comforter on a bed. Make the buyers see themselves’ comfortably living in the home.


Emphasize conveniences

Is your home on a street that gets plowed often or next door to a school so that kids don’t have to wait in the cold for a school bus? Make sure to emphasize the ways your home makes it convenient to deal with inconvenient weather.


Use timers on lights

In the spirit of keeping your home well illuminated, setting up timers on the inside and outdoor lights can make sure your home looks good at dusk and at night. Also pay attention to the light around the front door, and make sure it’s bright enough to seem inviting.


Make it feel festive

When showing a home, you want to make possible buyers feel like they’re invited guests. Set the dinner table with your good china, if you can leave small snacks and drinks like cookies and cider, do that too. You don’t want the home too look stale – reflect the possibilities the home has for entertaining guests when showing your house.





Keep an inviting aroma

The one sense of the human body that sellers may neglect the most is the sense of smell. Make your home pleasing to the nose. Scents to use for the winter season include: cinnamon rolls, chocolate chip cookies, apple pie, and vanilla. Make sure you don’t overdo it with scented candles and incense everywhere – you don’t want buyers to feel like they walked down the perfume isle and can’t breathe. If your home suffers from musty odors and pet smells, clean those areas thoroughly and replace or clean rugs and fabrics that may hold those bad smells.




Appear meticulous

It may seem inconvenient to potential buyers to be asked to remove their shoes or slip on rubber shoe-covers before walking around the home. But some buyers will see that you’re very picky about maintaining a certain quality and cleanliness – and it will reflect well on the state of the house in general.




Decorate to the season

Don’t keep the Christmas tree or Hanukkah lights up after the holidays are over, but other seasonally appropriate decorations can help make a home more inviting, such as decorative wreaths and dried arrangements around the door.




Use winter to your advantage

Some homes can use winter as a selling point. Is there a popular ski resort close by? Is there a great sledding hill down the street? People want to hear about the winter perks they will enjoy living in your home.


If you are planning on selling your home, or know of someone who is thinking about putting their house on the market this winter, contact your local Homesale Agent. For more tips for sellers check out our previous article, Secrets for Selling Your Home.

Tips for Selling Your Home in the Winter

Happy Thanksgiving




From our Homesale family to yours, we hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving! As you are gathering around the table with family and friends it is important to let them know what you are thankful for.  We would like to take this time to thank you, our customers, for allowing us to service all of your real estate needs!


May your Thanksgiving be filled with joy and tons of turkey! If you need any last minute Thanksgiving ideas, check out our Thanksgiving Pinterest Board!


For real estate information please visit our Homesale website!






Happy Thanksgiving

Thankful for…… Buyers & Sellers


Savory turkey, delicious mashed potatoes, and all kinds of mouth-watering dishes are calling your name. So is hosting or attending another open house worth passing up a slice of pumpkin pie?

Not many people are going to leave the Thanksgiving dinner table to run out and look at for-sale homes. Nor are many people going to try to persuade their real estate agent to hold an open house for showings on a holiday. However, there are pros and cons to selling your home or looking for your next one over Thanksgiving and the other winter holidays.

If you are seriously shopping for a home and have decided to forgo the lines at big box stores, then looking for a home over the holidays can be rewarding.



Thanksgiving weekend   

This Thursday is Thanksgiving and no one can compete with the all-day food fest, and no one in their right mind wants to go head-to-head with Black Friday madness. But this weekend might be another story. If your house is currently on the market, then you certainly want to get it sold before the December holidays arrive and the first big arctic blasts of snow hit.

Thanksgiving weekend may be a smart time to hold an open house. Your home is already for sale, so pack up the leftovers, take down some of the holiday decorations, and take advantage of everyone’s downtime to try to get some of those home shoppers through your front door.



Less traffic, but serious buyers

The downside is that during the holidays, most prospective homebuyers are focusing their attention elsewhere; family, traveling, shopping, parties..etc. Therefore they may be postponing their home shopping until January, making it their New Year’s resolution to find the perfect place. However, the good news is that the buyers who are looking around the holidays are serious buyers. They may have deadlines by which they need move or are simply determined to buy.


Fewer choices, but motivated sellers

If you are seriously shopping for a home and have decided to forgo the lines at big box stores, then looking for a home over the holidays can be rewarding. Most home sellers are acutely aware that the December holidays are fast approaching and the bad weather is on its way. The clock is ticking to get their house sold, and the number of buyers on their doorstep is only going to keep dwindling until buyer interest picks up again in late winter and early spring. All that makes for a lot of very motivated sellers and some great home deal possibilities.


Not the best time to list your home … or is it?

Historically, the majority of home sellers will wait to list their homes in January after the holiday season and the New Year’s madness. However, several real estate agents do very well placing houses on the market between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. The theory is that there is far less competition and inventory. Sellers get all of the foot traffic to themselves, as there are fewer homes on the market to preview.





The bottom line

No matter where you live, Thanksgiving is the day to enjoy family and friends, not necessarily the day to go looking for your next dream home! But the weekend after is a different story; the quieter period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s is the perfect time to consider your next move. Contact your local Homesale Real Estate Professional to help you with your home needs.






Thankful for…… Buyers & Sellers

9 Ways to Make an Old Home Feel New


Whether you are planning on selling your home, looking to buy an older house or are looking for a few ways to give new life to your home, here are 9 easy tips on how to give your house fresh facelift.



1. Clean or Replace Carpetsvaccuum
Transform the room by making the space feel fresh. Deep cleaning vacuums can help remove odors and make your carpet feel almost new. If you want to take on a DIY project, you could try replacing your carpet with new carpet or even hardwood flooring.



2. Make it Cohesive
As the years go by, it is easy to lose focus or forget about making a room/entire house flow nicely together. An update here and an update there can leave the home in a state of mis-matched chaos. You should determine whether you want rooms to be the same throughout or to each have their own uniqueness.




3. Update Outlets, Light Switches & Plates
Small changes such as updating outlets, light switches and plates make a significant difference. Some may have yellowed, been painted over, various shapes & styles through the years. Updating plates can be simple but updating outlets and light switches can be tricky. Therefore, if you are not experienced hire a licensed electrician or find online tutorials to guide you through the process. While you are at it, you should also update old alarms, thermostats and smoke detectors.


4. Repair Walls
If your house has numerous holes in the walls due to hanging up pictures/mirrors, etc.., and/or have apparent DIY patching, you should consider getting your walls professionally repaired. You could even have your painters fix blemishes and fill the nail holes. Repairing your walls will make them look brand new!




5. Add Light
There are numerous ways to add light to your home beyond light fixtures. You could replace old blinds. Rethink the idea of curtains by making a curtain rod extend past the width of the window, making the window appear larger and not blocking any light. You should also consider adding or replacing light fixtures. Change out light bulbs to newer bulbs that give off a higher wattage and offer a different effect; soft or white.


6. Paint
Even though this is an obvious answer, changing the color or even adding a fresh coat of the same color can make a major difference. A current and cohesive paint palette brings the home into the present.


7. Remove Dated Fixtures
Updating lights and hardware are easy ways to freshen up your home.


8. New Doors/Door Frames
Replace your older doors with newer models. Sometimes older doors no longer fit in the door frame and may not lock correctly. Also adding a new front door will help with curb appeal and can even brighten up your foyer.

hardwood floors



9. Refinish Hardwood
If your hardwood floors are scratched up and have lost their shine you should consider refinishing your hardwood floors. Choose an appropriate stain and give your floors a makeover. This can either be a DIY project or you can hire a professional.







If you are considering selling, purchasing or even staying put in your current house and want to take on a new project such as updating an older home contact your local Homesale Agent today.

9 Ways to Make an Old Home Feel New