All posts by Pinnacle Real Estate


Rising Mortgage Interest Rates ?

We have all heard that mortgage rates have been hovering in recent years at an all time low but you may have not seen that demonstrated.  Take a look at what rates have done over the past 40 plus years.


Opportunities still exist to refinance while rates are low.  For instance there are 15 year fixed mortgages in the low to mid 3′s%.

Rising mortgage interest rates are inevitable.

Lower interest rates especially effect 1st time home buyers who are seeking to attain a target payment… say that is comparable or lower then rent.  In a scenario with rising mortgage interest rates you are forced to seek a lower price house to get the same payment and the choice of available homes can substantially shrink causing you to compromise.

If you are a seller rising interest rates can shrink your target buyer pool when they are driven to lower priced houses in order to qualify. So it is been widely publicized that the Fed is seeking to raise rates in the 3rd to 4th quarter of 2015.  There will be a definite impact on the real estate market for the reasons identified above and more.

There are a wide range of available products that assist in keeping you payment low including taking advantage of low rates while they exist, minimizing or eliminating costly mortgage insurance among others.

Credit scores can dramatically effect rates and pricing.  If your credit score is poor or somewhat compromised you can be stuck with a higher rate.  However do not fret… with proper guidance improvements can be made to scores and sometimes quickly.  It is not advisable to ASSUME that you cannot qualify because you feel your score is too low.  There are many variables.  There are credit management services, mortgage lenders that can work with you and proper guidance from a real estate professional from Pinnacle.  Call us at 410-560-3556.

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People in a Meeting and Single Word Productivity

First Time Home Buying and College Debt

Studies report that once your debt related to college exceeds $25,000 you are much likely to consider purchasing a home as opposed to someone who has little of no college debt.  This dilemma applies to Millennials, many of whom are burdened with with excessive debt levels.  Of course coming out of college we expect a return on investment related to obtaining a college degree.  Earning potential, conceptually should be permit the offset any financial impositions related to from obtaining a college degree, the cost of college.  While this is generally true, the millennial generation still seems to be getting older as they enter the housing market.

There is a bit of a juggling act.

Do you save for the down payment or pay back college loans first?  . If you’ve already saved up, do you use that money for a house or to pay off student loans. What are the qualifying guidelines for buying a home.  If you are not aware of these how can you prepare for home ownership.  What is the minimum required credit score in order to qualify for a home.   How much cash does it take to make that 1st purchase and are there special first time home buyer programs to assist (BTW… Yes !)

You may want to seek guidance

Guidance could be in the form of a financial planner, tax account and a whole host of other parties including a real estate professional.  We still contend that investing in a home is generally a sound investment and a tool for building additional net wealth over time.  Early in the game there should be a clear understanding of the rent versus owning concept.  It is very simple but often time totally misunderstood.

Our advise, make the call and explore home buying regardless of your college debt.  It does not cost anything to become informed.  In the short term, maybe it is not the time.  But if it appears so, there can be financial  and personal benefits.  Call the Pinnacle Real Estate Co. today at 410-560-3556 for a no obligation meeting to explore answers to these questions and others.

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Increasing Property Values in Maryland

bigstock-House-In-Hands-Of-Businessman-45250603After a few years of correction from a challenging market, property values in Maryland are rebounding.  When you hear statistics in the evening news you always have to consider geographic.  There are wide swings in values based upon varying markets and this even holds true from county to county within our state of Maryland.  Actually as we know property values in Maryland can differ from neighborhood to neighborhood for a host of reasons.  Cutting right to the chase, values seem to be rising and doing so pretty consistently.  Take a look at the attached report which provides year over year statistics county by county.

I just heard today on a business news channel that a personal owned residence is one of the best means of saving.  Consider this… do you put a certain amount of money into a savings account each month for a nest egg???   Well if you own you potentially have two means of accomplishing that.  One, with each monthly payment you are curtailing your outstanding mortgage and building equity.  Secondly, if your property is appreciating and per the attached report in most cases it appears to be doing so then you are getting a return on your investment.

Is it time to buy or sell?  Maybe so!!


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3D Rendering Of A House With Garage On Top Of Blueprints

Cost Effective Architectural Design and Plans from a Real Estate Co? YES!

House with open interior on top of blueprints, documents and morTake a look at . This wonderful platform where you can get some great ideas on home remodeling, design, and building. Its a great resource especially if you are a visual person… thousands of pictures for interior and exterior fit and finishes and outdoor living.
For nearly 20 years our company has provided a source to generate permit ready architectural design. This includes a professional set of specifications and direction on choosing the right builder to meet your needs. YES, you can get that service from a SPECIALIZED Real Estate company !!

Design should always be accomplished with a  budget in mind.  Many times architectural designers simply keep drawing to accomplish their clients wish list only to arrive at the finish line with a house that exceeds the budget by $50,000 or more.   Also you must design to the physical characteristics of the home site.  More importantly the home site should accomodate specifically what you are trying to accomplish.  Of course the cost to improve the lot is a critical component in determining the final budget.

The bottom line… seek competent advice right out of the gate. Building is a very detailed involved and rewarding process.


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LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION – Finding a Lot for Sale in Maryland

believeIf you are seeking to build a new home it obviously begins with the ideal home site.  While it is not always the case, often time finding  a lot for sale in Maryland that meets your needs, fulfills your goals, is in the right geographical area, etc can be a challenge.  Believe you can accomplish this goal !

In recent years because of a tepid real estate market property owners have sat on the sideline not developing or subdividing their property.  The end result is a limited supply and i some instances especially in the high demand areas you may have to choose from the bottom of the barrel, leftovers.

The good news is that there are special ways of identifying home sites sometimes before they have even hit the market.  Most real estate brokers and agents simply go to the multiple list till.   However, be cause we specialize in the area on land, subdivision and home building related services we have a number of additional outlets.  For instance we monitor subdivision applications both major and minor.  A minor sub is generally one that is 3 lots or less.  We can actually approach a property owner or engineer before final approval to determine if they are interested in selling.

As a member of the local building industry associations and being identified as a specialist we know builders and developers that have “pocket inventory”.  These are properties that they may not be actively selling but would consider under the right terms.

Don’t be discouraged by seemingly limited inventory.  You can fish for the ideal home site and find a lot for sale in Maryland to build your dream house.

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Possible Interest Rate Increases and the Result on 1st Time Homebuyers

African American family on porchOver the past year or so we have begun to experience the economy improving.  As a result mortgage rates are on the rise, posing a challenge to many first-time home buyers as well as relatively any prospective home purchaser.  If you think about it even if you are a current homeowner who needs to see your home, its possible the incoming buyer will a more interest rate sensitive party.

Recent economic news such as higher than expected retail sales and the improved jobs market has raised consumer confidence has led to increased spending and economic growth in our country.  The result…  many supposed experts suggest the Federal Reserve will raise rates as early as the third quarter of this year in 2015 leading to interest rate increases.

A rise in interest rates means one of 2 things.  Either your purchasing power is reduced or you could be pushed out of the market altogether and need to defer your purchase.

However, fear not,  There are many creative financing vehicles even in an environment subject to interest rate increases.  The role of an informed real estate profession is to identify all of the options.  With all of that being said, the time to jump in could be now before rates rise.  Choose your mortgage professional carefully.  There are some incredibly creative well informed mortgage bankers and you need to seek the best.  That in itself is a feat in that in recent years the mortgage banking industry has gone through some transformation.  Get a good referral and them some proper guidance on the right questions to ask.

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African American family on porch

HOME Search – The Best Available Tool

PinnacleGBLogoFINAL.jpgPinnacle-WP-Header2.pngIn modern times use of the internet is obviously the first go to in conducting a home search.  Over 90% of the general public starts here. There are a host of real estate websites that allow you to search including most real estate company’s own websites.  For instance you can conduct a nice search on our site…

However, we’ve figured what we feel is the best means of searching whether you are a buyer or seller and we’ve made the investment.  By special invitation (with no string attached AND free) we provide a service that is tied real time to the multiple listing data.  We 1st set your criteria and then you are welcome to change it to conduct your own home search.  You are then provided with a number of benefits.

First you get the information real time as if you were an agent yourself.  Secondly you get a higher level of information than is typical and it comes 24/7.  The service is tailored to be BUYER specific and SELLER specific because the data ideally is slightly different.  Best of all once you determine your market and search criteria you can request a daily MORNING REPORT that shows the changes to listings, pending contracts and settlements.

The bottom line is that YOU ARE INFORMED and should be.  Our job at Pinnacle is to set you up to make the right decision on what is probably one of the most important decisions of your life.  Give us a call today at 410-560-3556.

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3D Rendering Of A House With Garage On Top Of Blueprints

Always Searching for Creative Home Loans

3D Rendering Of A House With Garage On Top Of BlueprintsThere are always a hosts of creative home loans that become available that allow a home buyer to accomplish special goals.  This could pertain to a lower interest rate that can save hundreds per month… or down payment and closing costs assistance that can help you purchase a home with limited resources… or a renovation loan that would allow you to acquire a home and immediately renovate to make it LIKE NEW.  The list goes on and on and some of these programs are rolled out just for a limited time, sometimes apply only to certain circumstances and possibly limited geographic areas .

A critical element of the role of a real estate professional is to flush out these programs, clearly understand their features and benefits and then make them available to the Buyers and Sellers that we serve.

My role as the principal at The Pinnacle Real Estate Company is to seek these creative home loans and  collaborate with our licensed professionals to make these programs available every day to the clients that we serve.

Take a look that this NEW program being rolled out in a joint effort between the State of Maryland and the City of Baltimore for those who wish to purchase a home in the Baltimore City.


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Make Your Property More Attractive for Homebuyers

Ensure a Good First Impression

Homebuyers make up their minds about a property in the first few minutes. Make sure your home makes that vital first impression. New paint does wonders. Make sure the front yard is flawless with manicured lawns and attractive foliage. Add a hanging basket or some flower pots at the door. The front door is also critical, make sure the hardware is presentable. Continue reading

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Make Your Property More Attractive for Homebuyers

Ensure a Good First Impression

Homebuyers make up their minds about a property in the first few minutes. Make sure your home makes that vital first impression. New paint does wonders. Make sure the front yard is flawless with manicured lawns and attractive foliage. Add a hanging basket or some flower pots at the door. The front door is also critical, make sure the hardware is presentable.

Make them Feel Welcome

Don’t forget buying a home is in many ways an emotional decision, so it’s important to give buyers that warm and fuzzy feeling! Keep the temperature in the home at a comfortable level. Light some candles in the bathrooms and make sure it smells nice and clean. Have fresh flowers around the house.

But don’t make it too personal

Make them feel welcome, but don’t go too far. Too much personality, for example in the form of personal possessions and family photos makes it hard for buyers to visualize living in the space.

Clear out the Clutter

Make sure your property is clutter-free for all your viewings. This will make your home look and feel bigger, and the buyers will be able to imagine how they could make the space their own. Make sure that there is a clean, logical flow through the home by getting rid of all excess furniture. Less is more.

Improve Lighting

This is another way to make your home seem more spacious. Open all your curtains and flood the space with natural light. Make sure the darker rooms are also lit. Invest in some light fixtures and fittings, and place them strategically to illuminate even the gloomiest of areas.

Decorate to Sell That House

Slap on a fresh coat of paint in a neutral color to give it that blank canvas look but do not be too sterile. Have some contrast in the trim as well as the ceiling. Neutral colors make properties appear lighter and brighter, so take advantage of this inexpensive and easy option. You may also add color with decorative window coverings, rugs, and towels.

Clean Up Your Act

Your home should be spotless. Make sure the beds are made and the countertops are free of clutter. The dishes should be put away and nothing should be scattered on the floor. Don’t forget to tidy your garden too: Cut the shrubs back, sweep the patio, and wipe down the backyard furniture.

Those Minor Repairs You Put Off

It is easy to forget things such as broken doorknobs, cracked tiles, holes in walls and damaged but buyers will notice them first thing as they are walking around your home.

Maximize Your Space

The golden rule of selling is to make your space look and feel bigger and better than what your competitors have to offer. We’ve already mentioned that lighting your home, both naturally and artificially, can maximize your assets, but getting rid of bulky furniture can also be a great way of making the most of what you have. Large pieces of furniture make a space feel smaller, so put these items into storage and dress your home with more compact pieces.

Don’t Forget Your Floors

Make the investment of improving and investing in those floors. Worn carpets and damaged vinyl floors need to be replaced, and wooden floors especially should undergo some maintenance. This is not chap by any means, but the prospect of selling your home for the best possible price will likely outweigh the cost.

Remove Pets During Showings

You do not need to remind the potential buyer that the previous owner kept pets.

Try to remove your pets from your home when you are showing the home. Having a pet in the house or yard can create complications for your agent while trying to show the house, and puts your pet at risk of accidentally getting out during the showing. There are also liability issues to deal with as well. They may react differently to stranger and it may cause them stress. All pet-related damage should be repaired prior to showing the home. Make sure to also remove all odors and stains. New visitors will notice smells when they come to view the house. This is not something you want to happen. Have your carpet and floors professionally cleaned or replaced. Pick up any messes in the backyard and have any sod replaced and other damage repaired.

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