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Mintz Homes Offers Advice for First Time Home Buyers

“Buying a home can seem complicated – but it’s really not. There are fundamentals that first time home buyers may not know – but only if they haven’t done any research. Here’s my take:

1. Get pre-qualified for a loan before you go shopping. I’m a Millennial, so I can tell you that lots of young people, especially, think they can just saunter out and buy a house. But knowing how much the bank will lend you will be a major determinant. It’s ok to have an idea of what you want…”

Check out the entire article here!

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Home Prices Rise 70 Month in a Row

Home prices are on this rise once again. This has been the case every month for the last 70 or almost 6 years straight!

If you are looking to sell, it is a sellers market. Inventory is 9% less nationally than what was available at the same time last year. This continues to increase competition and driving prices up.

If you are looking to buy, signs point to price increases going forward. This fact, coupled with the expected increase on interest rates throughout the year points to now being the most affordable time to by.

Take a look at this article to get a better understand of the curernt market dynamics for Central Maryland, and well as the entire country. Real Estate is hot!

Click here to read more

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The Dark Side of Real Estate – Your Data at Risk


When conducting a real estate transaction, some of your most valuable information is being exchanged.  If you are not careful, this data could end up in the wrong hands.

Check out this post from Ryan Shilow, Broker of R.E. Shilow:

Protecting your real estate transaction and personal information involved in your real estate transaction starts with making sure the Brokerage you decide to use has systems in place to guard your data. In Maryland, real estate transactions keep in mind when using agents that send information via personal emails your information is at risk. There is a real cost to doing business in Real Estate and brokers must use the most secure platforms that are monitored on a daily basis with end to end encryption. These services are expensive and most Brokerages/ Agents usually don’t have the funds for these types of services. Even the largest brokerage firms in Maryland do not have protocols in place to protect your data when buying or selling your home. This is very scary because the largest firms are the first to be attacked because of the transaction volume is so large that your transaction is just a number.

The most important way to ensure your data is protected when working on a real estate transaction is to confirm prior to sending or receiving any critical information is to verify with the real estate Broker / Agent what they are sending and when. If a system has been hacked you might get a random email you think is from your Agent and it just might be a ruse. So again, always confirm who and what is being sent.

Number One, beware of companies using the lessor websites platforms or off name services. As the saying goes you get what you pay for, and even if the services providers used are the best in the market you should always ask your real estate broker, what is their protocol if one of their systems are compromised.

Number Two. It sounds very simple but is one of the best ways to protect your information is make sure you are changing any passwords at least once a month and ask your broker how many times they change their service provider passwords. The most concerned real estate brokers should be changing their firm’s passwords on a weekly/ bi-weekly basis. By doing this it makes it harder for hackers to zero in on your data and theirs.

Here are some passwords to avoid:

1. 123456







You should have passwords that you keep in a log that is not related to you or anyone in your immediate family. As a Real Estate professional, it cost money to do business. And if you want to make sure you are dealing with the best real estate brokers they will understand servicing their clients it starts with protecting their client’s valuable data.

Number three and in conclusion, you should ask your real estate agent/broker personal information about themselves and their education and the easiest way to do this is to ask for their resume and quiz them on the information they provide. There is almost a no better way to make sure you’re dealing with a true professional then knowing where they came from and legitimate certifications/degrees they have achieved. You would not want a surgeon operating on you that does not have a degree in medicine. Why would it be any different with your finances and real estate?”

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Video tour

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced on Wednesday a proposal to delay the effective date of the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure rule until Oct. 1.

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Real Estate Roundup!

May new home sales gain 2.2% from April

Sales of new single-family houses in May 2015 were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 546,000, which is up 2.2% from April, according to estimates released jointly today by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. — From Housing Wire

3 ways to tame student loan debt and afford a mortgage

It’s no secret that student loans can make buying a home a challenge. But what exactly is the problem, and how can buyers overcome it? The problem is that student loans can be included in the buyer’s debt-to-income ratio, or DTI. — From Bankrate

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We’re ready for the TRID rules!

At 5 p.m. EST June 17, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issued a statement that the effective date for the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure (TRID) rules would be pushed back to Oct. 1, 2015.

CFPB Director Richard Cordray said in a prepared statement: “The CFPB will be issuing a proposed amendment to delay the effective date of the Know Before You Owe rule until Oct. 1, 2015. We made this decision to correct an administrative error that we just discovered in meeting the requirements under federal law, which would have delayed the effective date of the rule by two weeks. We further believe that the additional time included in the proposed effective date would better accommodate the interests of the many consumers and providers whose families will be busy with the transition to the new school year at that time.”

Rainier Title has been working towards the TRID implementation for over a year and felt prepared for August 1st. However, with the proposed delay we will be taking this opportunity to continue our education and training of TRID. While we believe that we have been proactive and ready for this change, there are still so many unknowns that will have to be addressed at the time of implementation. The industry should still prepare for 45-60 days for transaction to close due to the new timing parameters of the forms.

We’re working hard to be ready for all changes!