Baltimore City may not always be perceived in the most positive light—it was famously referred to as a “disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess” in the news—but there is a reason it is affectionately known as “Charm City.” Baltimore was originally nicknamed “Charm City” as part of a 1970s advertising campaign featuring marble steps, steamed… Continue reading Baltimore City: Green Spaces
When renovating a house for the purpose of flipping it, the flipper can be tempted to forgo permits for building, electrical, and plumbing. The flipper is likely concerned about the cost of the permits in addition to the potential delay in receiving them. What happens if the flipper decides not to obtain the required permits?… Continue reading I don’t really need a permit, do I?
We do our underwriting in-house, and there is no charge to our borrowers for this service. Why don’t we use third party appraisers to value the collateral? In our experience, some third-party appraisers do not understand the local market as well as we do. In Baltimore, neighborhoods just a few blocks away from each other… Continue reading Underwriting: Why do we appraise in-house?
Image by Roy Buri from Pixabay (https://pixabay.com/photos/termites-nature-food-insect-3367350/) Just hearing the word termite sends a shiver down one’s spine. And wouldn’t you know that Baltimore has the distinction of being one of the “Top 50 Termite Cities in the U.S.”? With the weather getting warmer, this problem becomes more prevalent. These insidious critters (the Eastern Subterranean… Continue reading Termite Prevention in Maryland: Pre- and Post-Construction
Staging a house for sale? There are many local options for new furniture and décor that are not expensive and can make a house look like a home: At Home (closest are outside of Baltimore in Glen Burnie and Crofton) Costco (e.g., towels) Home Goods Home Sense Target Tuesday Mornings More expensive, but not… Continue reading Staging a Home in Baltimore Without Breaking the Bank
There is no question that greenery and flowers around a house adds significantly to its curb appeal. One upside of the Greater Baltimore area is that it is blessed with four distinct seasons, meaning that these touches can be customized by time of year. Aside from the middle of winter, there are always flowers that… Continue reading Enhancing Curb Appeal: Greenery
If you are in the business of renovating homes, Baltimore provides not only opportunities to donate used building materials—thereby saving them from ending up in a landfill, but also to purchase used building materials at reasonable prices. Four organizations are listed below, along with their website addresses, that provide options both in terms of donation… Continue reading Where to Find Recycled Building Materials in Baltimore
We are often asked for recommendations for contractors. We do not make it a practice to make such recommendations since if something goes awry, it could negatively impact our relationships with our borrowers. We allow our borrowers to select their own contractors, but we require the following: The contractor must be licensed, bonded, and insured.… Continue reading How did we select our contractor?
There is no doubt that capital markets have tightened in the face of the Coronavirus pandemic. While there remains access to funding, the funding requirements have changed. For real estate investors, that means that funders are offering lower LTVs and requiring higher credit scores to offset the volatility and risk that has been introduced into… Continue reading The Phone is Ringing