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Fantastic Home with Two-Story Addition – 5112 Westpath Court, Bethesda

5112 Westpath Court, Bethesda, MD 20816

5112 Westpath Court, Bethesda, MD 20816

A truly special offering, this 4+ bedroom home is located on a quiet cul-de-sac in the sought-after Sumner community.

Lovingly maintained, it offers a perfectly designed two-story addition. The expanded kitchen, large family room and upper level master bedroom suite are sure to please! 

The kitchen is perfectly planned with custom wood cabinetry, granite counters, top of the line stainless steel appliances and a large island with bar seating, ideal for entertaining. Two skylights offer plenty of natural light and the backyard oasis can be enjoyed through the window over the corner sink.

Incredible custom kitchen with eating bar on the island opens to spacious family room.

Incredible custom kitchen with eating bar on the island. Open to the family room.

The spacious family room is open to the kitchen and offers built-in custom cabinetry with bookshelves and lighting. Cue up your music of choice and the built-in speaker system will add the final element to enhance the atmosphere in this perfect space for entertaining guests.

The gracious formal living room off the entry foyer features a wood burning fireplace with mantle and is open to the dining room.  On cool evenings after dinner retire to the screened porch for a little relaxation!

Four bedrooms (three upstairs and one bedroom PLUS an office on main floor) and four and a half baths, two-car garage, screened porch, and a large, very private 14,500+ sq. ft. lot.Upper Level-Master Bedroom-_DSC4591

The master bedroom suite offers a vaulted ceiling, walk-in closet and private bathroom with soaking tub, separate shower and two sinks. Very large attic storage area off the master bedroom.

Enjoy some of the best schools in the country including newly expanded Woodacres Elementary, Pyle Middle School and Walt Whitman High School.

Floorplan of 5112 Westpath Court illustrating two-story family room & master bedroom addition

Floorplan of 5112 Westpath Court illustrating two-story family room & master bedroom addition

Here is the link to view the tour: tour.TruPlace.com/property/912/48852/

Call for a private showing anytime!

Listed by:

Brian and Amy Maury, Maury Real Estate

301-229-3652

Gorgeous Large Lot – 5701 Sonoma Rd, Bethesda

Charming Cape Cod on a Fabulous 17,000 SF lot!

Charming Cape Cod on a Fabulous 17,000 SF lot!

See Photos and Floorplans:

5701 Sonoma Rd, Bethesda, MD 20817

Subdivision: Sonoma

NEW PRICE!  $899,000

This tremendous yard offers room to play or room for a spectacular home addition!

This tremendous yard offers room to play or room for a spectacular home addition!

This classic larger than usual brick cape cod style home sits on beautiful deep & wide lot. It offers a side-loaded two-car garage off  private tree-lined drive. Updated kitchen and full bath on each level.

Who doesn't LOVE a screened porch on warm summer evenings?

Who doesn’t LOVE a screened porch on warm summer evenings?

Hardwood floors and classic 1930’s details add to its charm.  The delightful outdoor screen porch, pond and outdoor fireplace are perfect for warm summer evenings and afternoon picnics.   The master bedroom offers a balcony overlooking the yard.

Two-car attached garage!

Two-car attached garage!

This home has room for even more potential with a lot that’s over 17,000 square feet!  Create your dream home by adding a family room and expanded kitchen with a spectacular master bedroom suite onto the back of the home and you will still enjoy a spacious yard even after an addition to the home!

Alternatively, there are possible redevelopment opportunities for the property for the investor-types.  This home is a unique property with all kinds of possibilities.

Enjoy popular Wyngate Elementary School, North Bethesda Middle School and top ranking Walter Johnson High School.

Contact Brian or Amy Maury for a private showing anytime!  See Property Tour for all photos and floorplan drawings.

Listed by Maury Real Estate, 301-229-3652.

For a private showing or more information, contact Brian and Amy Maury.

Under Contract! A Contemporary Work of Art – 6102 Namakagan Rd, Bethesda

6102 Namakgan Rd, Bethesda, Listed by Maury Real Estate

6102 Namakgan Rd, Bethesda, Listed by Maury Real Estate

See Property Photos and Floorplans:  6102 Namakagan Rd, Bethesda, MD 20816

Subdivision: Glen Echo Heights

List Price:  $1,229,000 – UNDER CONTRACT

Amazing light and airy spaces in this contemporary home bring the outside in.

Amazing light and airy spaces in this contemporary home bring the outside in.

This stunning 5-bedroom contemporary home is a work of art! A sunroom/family room addition with exposed wood beams & floor-to-ceiling windows opens to a renovated chef’s kitchen. Two-story addition features a master bedroom suite on the upper level & an au pair/in-law suite w/private entrance on the main level. Three fully renovated baths in 2015. Multi-level deck & fully fenced yard. A private oasis.

The backyard offers a multi-level deck and a private oasis!

The backyard offers a multi-level deck and a private oasis!

The location of the Glen Echo Heights Community offers easy access to buses and a quick driving commute to DC via McArthur Blvd or Sangamore Rd.  Plentiful shopping options with nearby Whole Foods, Giant, Starbucks, RiteAid, CVS, Praline Bakery and more!  The nearby Capital Crescent Trail is also a convenient and popular community feature, as are the bike/walking path along McArthur Blvd.  

Master bathroom plus two additional upstairs baths have all been renovated in 2015.

Master bathroom plus two additional upstairs baths have all been renovated in 2015.

Enjoy the historic charm and community events at Glen Echo Park including the popular carousel – a summertime favorite.  Nearby Irish Inn at Glen Echo is a popular restaurant/pub with live entertainment regularly. The private Mohican Pool is available to residents in the area and has been recently renovated.  You just can’t beat this location!

Enjoy some of the best schools in the countryWoodacres Elementary, Thomas W. Pyle Middle, Whitman High Schools

Contact Brian or Amy Maury for a private showing anytime!  See Property Tour for all photos and floorplan drawings.

Listed by Maury Real Estate, 301-229-3652.

For a private showing or more information, contact Brian and Amy Maury.

Sold! Charming Wood Acres Colonial – 5909 Cobalt Rd, Bethesda

Charming Wood Acres colonial at 5909 Cobalt Rd

Charming Wood Acres colonial at 5909 Cobalt Rd

See Property Photos and Floorplans:  5909 Cobalt Rd, Bethesda, MD 20816

Subdivision: Wood Acres

LIST PRICE:  $889,000 – Sold over the asking price!  Call for details.

This charming colonial is one-of-a-kind! It offers a circular floorplan with an expanded and updated kitchen open to a breakfast room plus a cozy family room with exposed brick wall.  The breakfast room opens to a large deck and a deep, level fenced yard with a shed.

Print_Exterior-Back yard_1 (2)

Multi-level deck with large backyard.

The main floor is enhanced by a convenient half-bath plus a main floor office or bedroom.

There are three bedrooms and two bathrooms upstairs including an en-suite master.

Off-street parking is available in the driveway.  The front yard and thoughtfully enhanced with raised flower beds and blooming bushes further enhancing the home’s street appeal.  Seriously, this is a cream puff!

Print_Main Level-Kitchen_1 (4)

Kitchen island with eating bar. Main floor den through door pictured on right.

Located in popular Wood Acres, the community offers festivals and events throughout the year for its residents including the famous 4th of July celebration at Wood Acres Park.

The location of Wood Acres Community offers easy access to buses and a quick driving commute to DC.  Plentiful shopping options with nearby Whole Foods, Giant, Starbucks, RiteAid, CVS, Praline Bakery and more!  The nearby Capital Crescent Trail is also a convenient and popular community feature.

Enjoy some of the best schools in the countryWoodacres Elementary, Thomas W. Pyle Middle, Whitman High Schools

Contact Brian or Amy Maury for a private showing anytime!  See Property Tour for all photos and floorplan drawings.

Listed by Maury Real Estate, 301-229-3652.

For a private showing or more information, contact Brian and Amy Maury.

Sold! 7809 Archbold Ter, Cabin John, MD

HOT BUY in Cabin John! Top-to-bottom renovated 3-bedroom townhome!

HOT BUY in Cabin John! Top-to-bottom renovation of this 3-bedroom townhome!

See Property Photos and Floorplans:  7809 Archbold Terrace, Cabin John, MD 20818

Subdivision: Cabin John Park

LIST PRICE:  $599,000 – Sold! Call for sold price.

Renovated throughout in 2012, this 3-bedroom END-UNIT townhome is a rare find and sure to impress even the most selective buyer.

With a private, tree-lined view from the balcony, the home offers an ideal location near Cabin John Park as well as shopping, bike/walk paths, the Post Office and restaurants such as popular Wild Tomato and Fish Taco.  Easy commute to DC via MacArthur Blvd or Clara Barton Pkwy and/or a short walk to RideOn bus 32 to Bethesda Metro Station.  There are two assigned parking spaces right out front and only a couple small steps to the front door.

Sparking renovated kitchen open to the dining room.

Sparking renovated kitchen open to the dining room.

The renovated kitchen offers an abundance of cabinets, granite counters, eating bar, built-in desk/bookshelf and stainless steel appliances.  It’s a perfect place for entertaining with a roomy dining room open to the kitchen.  The main floor also includes a generous living room and a powder room.

Master bedroom with tray ceiling

Master bedroom with tray ceiling

The spacious master bedroom suite offers two closets, a tray ceiling and a private updated bathroom with shower.  Open floorplan with hardwood floors on the main level and a balcony off the dining room area.  Two additional bedrooms and a renovated hall bath also located on the second floor.

The lower level includes a large recreation room plus ample storage space in the unfinished room and laundry area.

Enjoy some of the best schools in the country Bannockburn Elementary, Thomas W. Pyle Middle, Whitman High Schools

Contact Brian or Amy Maury for a private showing anytime!  See Property Tour for all photos and floorplan drawings.

Listed by Maury Real Estate, 301-229-3652

SOLD! 11711 Farmland Dr, Rockville

11711 Farmland Dr, Rockville

11711 Farmland Dr, Rockville

See Property Photos and Floorplans:

11711 Farmland Dr, Rockville, MD 20852

Subdivision: Old Farm

LIST PRICE:  $859,000  Call for sold price.

Lovingly-cared for and updated, this 4-bedroom, 2 1/2 bath colonial in Old Farm is “just right” in every way.  The home offers a two-car attached garage plus a fenced backyard with extensive professional landscaping including a flagstone patio off the family room.  The roof was replaced in 2012 and the HVAC system has been updated too.  The home also comes with a 20 kW generator!

Back Yard at Farmland Dr

Back Yard at Farmland Dr

The master bedroom features a sitting room and a private bath with shower and walk-in closet with custom shelving.  

Breakfast nook

Breakfast nook

The updated kitchen with granite counters and stainless steel appliances offers a nice bay window area with breakfast nook.  The spacious family room features built-in shelving, a gas fireplace, french doors to the patio and an adjacent powder room.  The generous basement includes a recreation room area and a utility room with new flooring.

Schools include Farmland Elementary, Tilden Middle School and Walter Johnson High School.  Easy access to Montrose Rd, 270 and Old Georgetown Rd for easy commute options and quick travel to restaurants and shopping.

See Property Tour for all photos and floorplan drawings.

Listed by Maury Real Estate, 301-229-3652

Radon Gas. A Silent Killer.

radon_gas_warningMontgomery County Council passes first mandated radon testing law in U.S.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) radon gas is responsible for the deaths of some 21,000 Americans a year.  The Cancer Institute states that the #1 cause of lung cancer outside of smoking is radon gas.  This past November the Montgomery County Council unanimously approved a bill that will require most single-family homes be tested for radon prior to be being sold. Montgomery County is the first in the nation to mandate radon testing, ensuring that buyers and sellers and are informed of the possible existence of radon in their homes.  This new law will take effect in October 2016.

What is radon gas?
Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that comes from uranium deposits beneath the ground.  As the uranium breaks down, it gives off radon gas, an odorless, tasteless and colorless gas, which then rises and enters your home through cracks in floors, walls, construction joints, service pipes, and sump pump pits.  Radon can also be ingested through drinking water with elevated radon levels.

How does the gas hurt you?
If you breathe in radioactive particles over a long period of time the radiation from the gas breaks down the cells in your lungs and eventually causes lung cancer  This cancer can then spread to other parts of your body. Smokers are at the greatest risk of developing radon related lung cancer due to the stress already on their lung tissues from the smoking.

Who is at risk?
The EPA estimates that 1 out of every 15 homes in America may have elevated radon levels.  In our local area the geology suggests a high probability of elevated levels of radon gas.  Montgomery County is rated Zone 1 by the EPA (the highest level) with predicted average indoor radon screening levels greater than the EPA action level of 4 picocuries per litre or 4 pCi/L.

RadonEntryHow do you test for radon gas?
The EPA and the U.S. Surgeon General recommend that all homes be tested (and monitored) for the presence of radon gas.  Testing is relatively inexpensive with in-home test kits being offered for less than $20.  These test kits include a radon gas collector that hangs in the basement for 2-7 days and then are sent to a laboratory for analysis.  Long-term test kits are also available.  Radon levels fluctuate naturally and can be impacted by weather conditions.  There are often short contingency periods in real estate transactions to test for the presence of radon.  As a result, professional radon testing companies will provide sophisticated equipment to test for radon, resulting in test results in a matter of days at a cost of around $150.

What do the radon test results mean?
Radon is measured in picocuries per litre (pCi/L).  A curie, so named after the French scientists Marie and Pierre Curie and their ground breaking work on radioactivity, is the standard measure for the intensity of radiation in a given material.   The EPA recommends that mitigation steps be taken on a home if the long-term radon exposure will average 4 pCi/L or more. To give you some perspective that level is the equivalent of about 200 chest x-rays.  The issue in your home is that the house is often well insulated and the level of radon gas concentration can build, exposing you to higher levels of radioactivity and the potential health hazard.  Interestingly the EPA’s action level of exposure does not mean your home is safe at that level, or even corresponds to some known threshold with regard to a cancer effect.  It’s simply the result of the EPA’s cost-benefit calculation (economic cost to reduce risk vs. the economic cost of lost human life).  What?  Really.

How do you reduce radon gas levels in your home?
The typical solution for reducing indoor radon gas is the installation of a sub slab depressurization system.  This involves installing a PVC pipe in the basement floor which is connected to a fan.  When the fan is running a vacuum is created under the basement floor and the air from below the basement floor is drawn away and released above the roof.  There is literally no underground air entering the home when the fan is running.  We recommend you hire a qualified radon mitigation contractor if you want to reduce the level of radon gas in your home.  The contractor should have certification and training from either The National Environmental Health Association (NEHA) or The National Radon Safety Board (NRSB).  In Maryland the contractor also needs to hold a Maryland Home Improvement Contractors license (MHIC).  The cost for these sub slab ventilation systems is typically between $1,000 and $1,500 dollars depending upon the configuration and unique properties of your home.

Will radon gas impact my future home sale?
The Montgomery County Council unanimously passed Bill 31-15 that requires a seller of a single-family home to test for radon and give the buyer a copy of the radon test results.   The seller of the property must either perform the radon test or permit the buyer to do so.  If the seller performs the test the results must have been from a test performed within one year of the settlement date.  There are some exceptions to the new law such as the transfer of a home into a trust, transfers related to divorce, foreclosures, estate sales and homes that will be torn down by the buyer.  The new law will go into effect on October 1, 2016.

My final two cents on radon.
Radon gas is clearly a health danger.  The EPA action level of 4 pCi/L may likely be way above the level of exposure that most people would feel comfortable having over their lifetime (200 chest x-rays anyone?).  I would be more comfortable with an action level that was based on the real risk of getting cancer than some cost-benefit analysis made by the EPA.  If you walk outside you are likely exposed to a ½ picocurie of “background” radiation from radon.  Shouldn’t that type of exposure be the goal for indoor air quality?  That may not be practical or technologically feasible today but perhaps until it is ALL homes should be equipped with an active radon reduction system.  New homes in Montgomery County do require passive radon mitigation systems to be installed.  This essentially gives the new home the required PVC piping (without a fan) so the current retrofitting of piping that’s needed in older homes is not required.  As the public learns more about the health hazards of radon, mitigation systems will likely become a standard feature, just like fire sprinkler systems in new construction and smoke detectors in older homes.  – Brian

SOLD! 5907 Anniston Rd, Bethesda, MD 20817

5907 Anniston Rd, Bethesda in Alta Vista Terrace

5907 Anniston Rd, Bethesda in Alta Vista Terrace

See Property Photos and Floorplans:

5907 Anniston Rd, Bethesda, MD 20817

Subdivision: Alta Vista Terrace

LIST PRICE:  $849,000 – Sold for over the asking price!

Family room and breakfast room off the kitchen

Family room and breakfast room off the kitchen

This “just-right” renovated 4-bedroom home offers a two-story addition with a family room & breakfast room off the updated kitchen.  The breakfast room opens through sliding doors to the brick patio and spacious back yard with planting beds – a perfect space for entertaining! 

The home has been extensively updated with refinished hardwood floors on the main and upper levels, newer double-pane windows and doors and freshly painted throughout.  The main floor also includes a formal living room with wood-burning fireplace & mantle, formal dining room and charming sunroom/den with a vaulted ceiling, skylight, exposed brick wall & sliding door to the back patio.    

Sunroom with exposed brick wall & vaulted ceiling

Sunroom with exposed brick wall & vaulted ceiling

Upstairs you will find 4 bedrooms and 2 full bathrooms.  The spacious master suite offers a sitting area and a walk-in closet.  The master bathroom is light & bright with it’s skylight, new vanity light, countertop & faucet.  Outside the master bedroom is a roomy linen closet and built-in bookshelves in the hallway.  The three additional bedrooms offer refinished hardwood floors & fresh paint.  The hall bath has a new mirror, vanity and lighting.

The freshly updated basement with exterior backyard access has newly-installed carpet, fresh paint and extra storage closets.  The attached one-car garage offers a work bench with lighting, painted floors and storage.

Spacious backyard

Spacious backyard

The roomy, level, fenced backyard offers planting beds & a brick patio perfect for entertaining and outdoor play. The home is ideally-located near Ayrlawn Park, Bethesda Trolley Trail, YMCA, RideOn bus, shopping and restaurants, plus easy access to Interstate 495.  

Enjoy some of the best schools in the countryWyngate Elementary, North Bethesda Middle School, Walter Johnson High School.

Contact Brian or Amy Maury for a private showing anytime!  See Property Tour for all photos and floorplan drawings.

Listed by Maury Real Estate, 301-229-3652

Sold! 5108 Lawton Drive, Bethesda, MD 20816

5108 Lawton DR, Bethesda, MD 20816

5108 Lawton DR, Bethesda, MD 20816

See Property Photos and Floorplans:  5108 Lawton Dr, Bethesda, MD 20816

Subdivision: Sumner

LIST PRICE!  $829,000  – Call for final sales price

This remodeled rambler is ideally located on a quiet cul-de-sac in popular Sumner. Updated kitchen with painted wood cabinets, granite counters and stainless steel appliances.

Remodeled kitchen at 5108 Lawton Dr

Remodeled kitchen at 5108 Lawton Dr

Fully remodeled baths on the main level. Newer windows and hardwoods throughout main floor.

Family room with sliding door to deck

Family room with sliding door to deck

The family room with its vaulted ceiling opens to a roomy deck overlooking the private backyard. Office or 4th bedroom option adjacent to family room.

The master bedroom offers a private fully renovated bath with vanity and shower.  The spacious basement with 440 sq. ft. offers a generous second family room with fireplace, plus tons of storage space, a half-bath and a laundry area.

Master bathroom at 5108 Lawton Dr

Master bathroom at 5108 Lawton Dr

The home offers off-street driveway parking and street parking on the quiet cul-de-sac.

Conveniently located in Sumner, it is within approximately one mile of the DC line and an easy commute via Massachusetts Ave.  Ideally located near the Capital Crescent Trail, MetroBus, RideOn, parks, restaurants & shopping at Westbard, Kenwood Station, and Sumner Place shopping centers.

Back Yard 5108 Lawton Dr

Back Yard 5108 Lawton Dr

Enjoy some of the best schools in the countryWalt Whitman High School, Pyle Middle School and Woodacres Elementary. This home is a rare find!

Contact Brian or Amy Maury for a private showing anytime!

Listed by Maury Real Estate, 301-229-3652

Selling your home? Our Top 10 Seller’s To-Do List

Are you thinking about selling your home? Perhaps you’ve explored a major renovation and/or adding an addition to your home to meet your needs. After the contractor’s estimate comes in (and you have picked yourself up off the floor) you are beginning to think it might make more sense to find another house. In the meantime you know intuitively that your house needs some attention, especially if you are going to get top-dollar for it. If you’re like most people you didn’t want to make any improvements if a full-scale renovation was in the works but now —that’s not likely. So what should you do?

Here’s our Top 10 Seller’s To-Do List to help you get on your way.

OMG#10   Remove the fear.
Nothing will kill a potential sale faster than fear. Home buyers are a nervous bunch, looking for reasons not to buy your home. Don’t let a minor repair create unnecessary fear in a potential buyer’s mind. Remember that roof leak from years ago? The stained ceiling that never got repainted could send a buyer running for the hills. Ask your agent for a referral to a quality contractor to patch, sand and paint the old damage. Basement leak? We’ve all had them. If the issue has been resolved let’s get things cleaned up and looking like new. If the issue is on-going consult your agent for a referral to the right contractors to solve the problem before you list your home for sale.

#9 Make strategic upgrades.
Some improvements can make the difference between selling quickly for top-dollar or languishing for sale on the market for months. The challenge is figuring out what the buyer hot-buttons are and making the right upgrades without breaking your bank account. This is where your real estate agent’s experience and advice can be invaluable. For example, installing a brand-new kitchen is very expensive and rarely makes sense. However, perhaps a few new appliances, a new counter- top, new shiny knobs on the cabinets, painting and updated lighting might be all that’s needed and just do the trick.

#8 Give a strong handshake.
One of the first lessons my father gave me was to give a good handshake. Your front door is like your handshake to the world. Buyers linger at the front door while their agent wrestles with the keys. Does the lock work easily? Is the door freshly painted? How is your entry light (filled with bugs)? Would a new light be more welcoming?

#7 Give yourself some curb appeal.
We all want an attractive home. Sure it’s a 1950’s brick home but look how charming the house is! That’s the sentiment you’re after. Hire a professional landscaper to trim, edge and mulch. First impressions matter and what your home says on the outside communicates what a buyer will find inside. A fresh coat of paint goes a long way!

Scrub#6 Clean. Then clean again.
“Did you see that bathroom? That was so gross!” We’ve heard buyers utter these very words as they quickly piled back into our car and on their way to the next house. Pay close attention to bathrooms and the kitchen where dirt and grime often build up. Remove mildewed caulk and give the refrigerator and stove a good scrub. Watch for offensive odors.  Can you see out the windows?  Sometimes hiring a professional house cleaning service is best.

#5 Should I paint that? The answer is YES!
There is truly no better pre-sale home investment than painting. Our home stager can provide color advice. Grey hues are the new beige and white semi-gloss remains the safe color of choice for trim.

#4 Professionally stage your home.
Home searches today begin on the Internet. The photos of your home will be your first (and often last) opportunity to make a good impression. We provide our clients with a complimentary professional home staging consultation because we know our stager can make a big difference in the visual appeal of their home and that ultimately creates more buyer interest.  We also offer virtual staging services, an exciting new cutting-edge real estate tool, in situations in which it makes the most sense for a space.

#3 Great photos and a floor plan.
The most important step in any home marketing plan is great photography. Today your home is being shown first on-line, then in person. If you don’t make the cut on-line you might not ever get the chance in person. Professional photography is a must and a floorplan of the house is critical too.  Check out a sample of our photography and floorplan tours here.

#2 Know thyself.
This timeless wisdom, passed down from nearly all the ancient civilizations, applies to selling your home as well. You need to look at your home as an observer (buyer) from the outside. Put your own personal feelings and emotional attachment aside and candidly assess your home’s value and appearance. Ask your agent take you on a tour of the homes you will be competing against.

#1 Call a real estate agent. (hint: Call Brian & Amy)
In addition to helping you with the aforementioned “to-do’s”, your agent will help you establish an accurate price. Nothing is more important than pricing your home correctly. Lean into your agent’s experience and advice.

Heed this list and we’re sure you’ll have no trouble selling your home.

If you are considering the sale of your home in the future please call us for a free consultation! We’re here to help.

~ Brian and Amy Maury

Chase Away the Winter Blues in Bethesda

Lemon Almond Cake at Praline Bakery

Lemon Almond Cake at Praline Bakery

After the epic blizzard, Snowzilla, last weekend many Bethesda residents are experiencing cabin fever!  We found today that a delectable dessert like Lemon Almond Cake at Praline Bakery in Bethesda chased the blues away!

Sick of the melting snow everywhere?  There’s nothing like a sunny slice of heaven melting in your mouth to make your day a little brighter.  We highly recommend a slice…or maybe the whole cake!

 

Praline Bakery is located at 4611 Sangamore Rd, Bethesda, MD 20816 in The Shops at Sumner Place.

2015 Real Estate Year in Review

It was a solid year of price performance for homes in our Bethesda area in 2015. The average price of detached home in Bethesda (zip codes 20814, 20816 and 20817) climbed to $1,117,073, an increase of 2% over 2014. The median price of a detached home was $945,000, an increase of 2.6% over 2014. That may not seem like much but by way of comparison, the S&P 500 index finished a choppy year just under where it started.

Screen Shot 2016-01-04 at 6.10.42 PMIt took a little longer to sell a detached home in Bethesda last year. The average days to secure a contract climbed from 36 days to 40 days.

The big story this past year was the increase in the number of homes sold in our area. There were 813 detached homes sold in Bethesda this past year, an increase of 12% over 2014.  By way of comparison, the high-water mark of detached home sales in Bethesda occurred in 2003 (four years before the financial crisis began) with 1,030 homes being sold that year.

Low interest rates, combined with a steadily growing economy, have helped consumers feel more confident in their jobs and financial future. Lynn Franco, Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board, summed it up this way,

“As 2015 draws to a close, consumers’ assessment of the current state of the economy remains positive, particularly their assessment of the job market. Expectations regarding their financial outlook are mixed, but the optimists continue to outweigh the pessimists.”

There has been much hype recently about the Federal Reserve’s hike in the discount rate (the first rate-hike in nearly a decade) and the impact on interest rates. The 0.25% Fed rate hike won’t have an immediate effect on mortgage rates. However, 30-year fixed rate mortgage rates have risen over the past year, from 3.75% at the beginning of the year to 4.0% at the end of December, and will likely go higher.  The Office of the Chief Economist at Freddie Mac recently gave these insights, “We don’t expect tighter monetary policy to generate a spike in longer-term interest rates in the foreseeable future…While mortgage rates will rise modestly, they will remain at historically low levels.”

InterestRateMost economist are predicting that mortgage interest rates will gradually rise into the 4.25% to 4.5% range over the coming year. This is bad news for first-time and trade-up buyers but overall still very attractive and considered “affordable” interest rates. In contrast, interest rates were hovering around 6.5% just before the financial crisis began in 2007.

Looking ahead….
We predict 2016 will be another solid year for real estate in Bethesda with price appreciation expected again to be around 2%. Our area receives a multiplier effect locally as the national economy continues to improve and bring more people to the area for employment. As you can see by the number of cranes hovering over the downtown Bethesda skyline, our area is experiencing significant growth and development. It’s a bittersweet experience as we transition from a small town to a small city.

If you are considering the sale of your home in the future please call us! We’re here to help. We live in Bethesda and are never too busy to answer any question you may have.

~Brian & Amy

Top 3 Impacts to Home Ownership in 2015

The Year 2015 brought with it some important changes for homeowners and would-be home buyers in Montgomery County and nationwide. Here are the top 3 changes this past year:

  1. Federal Reserve Rate Hike

    Fed Implements 0.25% Rate Hike in 2015

    Fed Implements 0.25% Rate Hike in 2015

On December 16th, 2015, the Fed raised interest rates by 0.25% for the first time since June 2006. While mortgage rates will not drastically increase quite yet, you can certainly expect to a see a gradual and continuous rise in mortgage interest rates in the year ahead. If you’re thinking about buying, act sooner rather than later.

In addition, if you have an adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) or home equity line of credit (HELOC), it will likely adjust upward upon your next anniversary date especially if the Fed continues to raise rates incrementally in 2016.  Most economist are predicting that mortgage interest rates will remain at historically low levels but gradually rise into the 4.25% to 4.5% range over the coming year. 

2.  Mandatory Radon Testing Required to Sell Your Home

In November 2015, the County Council approved a new regulation requiring home sellers in Montgomery County to perform radon testing before the sale of any single-family home – the first such regulation in the entire country. There are a few exceptions to this testing rule – estate sales and tear-down properties are among them. The new regulation goes into effect in October 2016.  While there is no requirement for the installation of a remediation system based on testing results, a buyer will be permitted to cancel a home sale contract if the seller should refuse to do so. The cost of installing a radon remediation system is usually around $1,000.

Radon testing required as of Oct. 2016

Radon testing required as of Oct. 2016

There has been a great deal of controversy surrounding this new legislation. While proponents assert that buyers need to be informed about radon and the impacts of this odorless, colorless carcinogenic gas that may be present in homes, opponents challenge that the testing requirement is ridiculous for a number of reasons including flawed test results (home kits can be purchased from stores for around $40 for a 2-day test; however, the World Health Organization and the EPA state that 90-day testing is much more accurate). Opponents have also suggested that buyer educational requirements should suffice versus mandatory testing.

  1. Massive Overhaul in Home Sale Closing Process Nationwide

    Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is now in charge

    Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is now in charge

Thinking of buying or selling a home in 2016? As of October 2015, MASSIVE changes occurred in mortgage lending laws across the country. Thanks to the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has taken over the administration of RESPA (Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act) from HUD (Housing and Urban Development). With this new government agency comes sweeping changes including new forms, new rules and new time frames for a typical home sale. These changes are nationwide affecting home sellers, home buyers, settlement attorneys, mortgage lenders and real estate agents alike.

The goal of this reform was to simplify the information provided to buyers and make mortgages more transparent and easier for the consumer to understand. As with most any government agency created to “simplify” things, complaints run rampant that these new changes are more confusing, more time consuming and more expensive for everyone.

If you are planning to buy or sell a home in 2016, expect longer settlement times (45-60 days versus 30 days), new procedures and new forms you have never seen before. Contact Brian and Amy Maury or your mortgage lending professional to discuss these changes in more detail.

SOLD! 5823 Osceola Road in Bethesda, MD

Subdivision: High Point

List Price:  $835,000 (Call for sold price)

5823 Osceola Road, Bethesda, MD 20816

We helped a local family find a home that would be ideal for a large scale renovation/expansion.  We assisted our clients in a competition for the property with another well qualified buyer and helped them prevail in a multiple offer situation.  We further assisted the clients by providing guidance on renovation ideas in terms of floorplan development and general cost estimates.

What can Brian and Amy help you do?

For questions, please contact Brian and Amy Maury.

Maury Real Estate

Maury Real Estate has unveiled a new company website featuring information about the team, the services offered and home buying and selling information.

Maury Real Estate agents are highly educated and offer decades of experience, specializing in the greater Northwest DC and Montgomery County, Maryland area.  Their agents offer a complimentary home buyer and seller consultation to anyone thinking about an upcoming home purchase or sale.

Custom marketing plans for each home coupled with the latest technology tools are a few of the keys to their success.  Maury Real Estate agents care most about client satisfaction as evidenced by the fact that most of their business is generated from satisfied customers referring friends, family and business associates.  High quality communication is the foundation of their business model.

For more information, take a look at the Maury Real Estate website and contact their agents anytime for a complimentary consultation:

MauryRealEstate.net

Maury Real Estate.net