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How to Buy a Home With Propane and/or Oil Tanks

When you buy a home, you need to know everything about the propane and oil tanks. Who owns them? Have they been tested recently?

When buying a home in the Baltimore area, you need to be aware of propane tanks and oil tanks.

As a buyer, you need to know who owns these tanks and whether they've been tested. Always ask your agent who owns the tank; they can talk to the listing agent and find out.

If you have a smaller tank, it's likely just used for cooking. If you're looking at a home that uses propane for everything (cooking, hot water, and heat) then you'll likely have a much larger tank. In that case, it will likely be a 500- or 1,000-gallon tank. These tanks can either be above or below ground.

You really want to be careful with these tanks and be sure that the home seller owns them. If not, hopefully they'll have information about the company that owns the tanks. Make sure you clarify this at the settlement table.

Heating oil is used for hot water and heat. Usually, you'll have a 275-gallon tank in the basement or outside. Larger homes might even have an underground tank that's 500 or 1,000 gallons. I definitely recommend having these tanks tested. If they haven't been tested in the last five years, let the listing agent know that you wish to have them tested. You don't want to move into a house with contaminated dirt.

One thing you don't want is to move into a home with contaminated tanks.

I hope this information is helpful to you as you look for your next home. If you have any questions for us, don't hesitate to give us a call. We'd be happy to help.

How Rising Rates Impact the Baltimore Market

The market is really heating up thanks to rising interest rates and the start of the new year. If you were on the fence about buying or selling, you might want to come down. Here's why.

Happy New Year! We're already getting to the point where things are picking up in the Baltimore real estate market due to rising interest rates from December and the Fed saying they will go up in the next two quarters. We were lucky to see rates below 3% as we're now approaching 4.5%, and I think we'll be in the 5% range before the end of the year.

This has already started pushing some buyers off the fence and into the market to buy a home before rates go up again. With the holidays being over, we're already starting to see more showings and sales. If you're thinking about selling, reach out to us soon to get an appointment set up. There are also many 'coming soon' houses that will be on the market this time of year, and we're expecting a very busy spring due to the rise in rates.

Basically, a 1% rate increase raises the cost of a house by 10%. If you could afford a $350,000 house and rates went up 1%, you would only be able to afford a $315,000 house. Rates don't always change based on the stock market, but rather the bond market. If you see interest rates starting to tick up, don't be surprised. It's also predicted that in 2018, we'll see two or three more increases in rates.

A 1% rate increase raises the cost of a house by 10%.

If you have any questions about the market, interest rates, or your home's value, give us a call or send us an email. We look forward to helping you.

Happy Holidays From the Lee Tessier Team

We had our best year yet in 2016 and as we approach Christmas and the New Year, we want to reach out and thank you.

It's hard to believe, but Christmas is almost here. I wanted to reach out and wish you and your family a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year!

We had our best year yet in 2016, and we appreciate you helping us get there. Thank you for letting us serve your real estate needs and trusting us with your referrals. 

We look forward to a prosperous 2017 and hope you have a healthy and happy Christmas and New Year.

If you need anything, we're always here to help. Just give us a call and we'd be happy to speak with you.

Join Us for Free Pie and Drinks

I'd like to officially invite all of our friends and clients to join us Tuesday, November 22nd at Liberatore’s in Bel Air from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. for our Thanksgiving party! We'll also have food and an open bar, just like last year.

We can't tell you enough how much we appreciate your business and the referrals you send us. I look forward to seeing you Tuesday the 22nd!

Which Questions to Ask When House Hunting

If you're in the market for a home, you need to ask the right questions. Today we have a set of preliminary questions that every house hunter should be armed with.

When house hunting, there are a lot of questions you should ask in order the find the right home at the right price and in the right condition. First, you’ll want to have a consultation with your buyer's specialist to go through all the things that are important in terms of wants and needs in your next home—the needs are always the most important. We also want to drill down on the wants as well so that everyone is on the same page. Since there is never a truly perfect home, we want to focus on hitting all the needs. Buyers always have a laundry list of wants, but what are you willing to sacrifice because of pricing or inventory?

Be sure all your needs are covered before focusing on the wants.

When you see a home, one of the first things you should ask is how many days it has spent on the market. If it's a hot property that shows well and is priced appropriately, it could go in as quickly as one to three days. Sellers who start with their price too high and are forced to come down may be on the market for closer to six months. Then, you'll want to look at the updates and overall condition of the house. Look at the major mechanicals of the house, like the roof and whether there have been water or mold issues, for example. Ask your agent about the things that they run into on a regular basis. If you’d like a full list of the questions you should be asking as a Baltimore home buyer, reach out to us by phone or email and we'd be happy to set you up. We want to make sure the home buying process is a great one for you.