CMMLS changes name to MARIT* Mid Atlantic Real Estate...


August 07, 1994

CMMLS changes name to MARIT

* Mid Atlantic Real Estate Information Technologies is the new name of the Central Maryland Multiple Listing Service Inc., which is also operating under a new ownership group.

The Greater Baltimore Board of Realtors, sole owner of the CMMLS, is sharing ownership of MARIT with the Howard, Harford and Carroll County Associations of Realtors. The four groups have participated in the multiple listing service since 1977.

* Merrill Lynch has expanded its services for the deaf and hard-of-hearing with a new program that offers mortgages, home refinancing loans and securities-based credit via tele-typewriters.

Merrill Lynch Credit Corp. recently opened five TTY lines to field customer inquiries, process applications and service accounts after mortgages are issued. "The new TTY lines offer convenient, one-stop service," said Chris Sullivan, assistant vice president of Merrill Lynch's Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing Investor Services.

Chase program eases securing mortgage

* Chase Manhattan Mortgage Corp. introduced a mortgage program to the Baltimore area that it said gives qualified homebuyers more purchasing power than conventional loans and makes qualifying for loans easier.

The Chase "Neighbor-to-Neighbor" loan program offers buyers with a maximum household income of $54,280 the option of borrowing up to $203,150 to purchase a home in neighborhoods with low- to moderate-income levels.

Buyers can meet the 5 percent down payment requirement by coming up with 2 percent themselves and covering the rest with a gift from a parent or other relative or an unsecured loan from Chase.

"Neighbor-to-Neighbor" allows a monthly mortgage payment, including principal, interest, taxes and insurance, of up to 38 percent of gross monthly income and up to 43 percent of that income in monthly debts. Interest rates on the loans are based on the 30-year conforming fixed rate, which was 8.625 percent with 1 3/4 points on July 6.

The company is also offering free counseling for first-time buyers.

Baltimore near bottom of affordability survey

* Baltimore ranks near the bottom in affordability in a survey of 70 major metropolitan areas by Ernst & Young of San Francisco.

According to the findings, 29.7 percent of household income in the city goes toward housing.

Ernst & Young compares what typical mid-level corporate employees are required to shell out of take-home pay for "amenitized housing," a four-bedroom home or luxury rental apartment. The region stretching from Texas north to Missouri remains the most affordable region in the country.

The most affordable urban area is Houston, where 18.5 cents of each take-home dollar is spent on housing. Others in the top five are Kansas City, Mo.; Oklahoma City, Okla.; Central New Jersey and Indianapolis.

The five least affordable housing markets are Honolulu, San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York and Boston.

* Druid Heights Development Corp. recently celebrated the opening of McCulloh Crest at 1915 McCulloh St. and Henderson Arms Apartments at 2100 Division St., a $360,000 renovation project which converted three vacant buildings into eight apartments. All of the apartments have security systems and several are handicapped accessible.

Financing was provided by $100,000 in Community Block Grants, $150,000 in HOME funds and $110,000 from Baltimore's Community Development Financing Corp., a city program designed specifically to rehab vacant properties.


* Builders 1st Choice has been hired by Senate-Carroll Construction of Rockville to handle sales and marketing at Edgewood, a new community in Eldersburg where Senate-Carroll will build 219 homes selling for $170,000 to $213,000.

* Craftmark Homes reports sales of more than $20 million for the first six months of 1994 at its six new-home communities in Maryland and Virginia. Since opening in June Potomac Glen in Potomac has had seven sales at an average price of $400,000.

* Long & Foster Real Estate Inc. has created an Acreage and Accelerated Marketing Department to assist homebuilders in purchasing land for their next development and in receiving a fast return on their investment through a nondistress auction process.

The acreage department will inform builders of land for sale throughout the mid-Atlantic region through a new monthly newsletter titled Land Network. According to Long & Foster, auctions will give buyers the opportunity to purchase their dream homes at "substantially reduced rates."

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