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Free gift with purchase - of home

Vacation houses tough to sell in cooling market

September 07, 2006|By Lorraine Mirabella | Lorraine Mirabella,sun reporter

Siciliano, the owner of the 94th Street Ocean City condo, blames a surge in construction of condos and townhouses in the resort town and in the vicinity, which he says makes it especially tough for sellers of existing homes. About 600 of the 1,700 condos on sale in Ocean City are new construction.

"My condo is only a few years old, but there are so many new places down there now, and that's what has flooded the market," he said. "You can get a new place for as much or less than an established place."

Siciliano said he and his agent came up with the idea of including the WaveRunners and pier along with the fully furnished condo because many homebuilders have resorted to offering incentives in pricing or financing to sell off excess inventory.

Both Toll Brothers and Centex Homes have low-interest financing deals available on new communities in Ocean City and elsewhere on the Eastern Shore.

At Bayside at Ocean City, a 310-unit Toll Brothers development of upscale townhouses and single-family homes, buyers can get an interest rate below 3 percent on completed homes for which contracts have fallen through, said Matt Wilkinson, the senior project manager for the community. Located five miles southwest of Ocean City, the complex offers its residents a shuttle to the beach.

Buyers can also get financing below 3 percent on about 50 completed or partially constructed homes at four new Centex Homes communities: Glen Riddle in West Ocean City, slated for 650 condos, townhouses and single-family homes; Decatur Farms in Berlin; Seaside in West Ocean City; and the newest one, Broad Marsh on 70th Street and the bay in Ocean City. The financing incentive has helped draw traffic to the communities, said Karen Silver, division manager for Centex for the Eastern Shore.

"We're in a zero-growth market, she said. "We're still getting the sales, but they're not as heavy as last year.

"What you're seeing is investors are leaving the market," she said. "The people who are looking now are people who are going to retire in the future or who have been coming here for years and years and still want a vacation and beach home in the market."



The Army's new manual on humane treatment of detainees specifically prohibits:

Using military working dogs to intimidate prisoners

Mock executions

"Waterboarding" (mock drowning)

Beatings, electric shock, burns or other forms of physical pain

Depriving the detainee of necessary food, water or medical care

Forcing the detainee to be naked, perform sexual acts or pose in a sexual manner

Placing hoods or sacks over the head of a detainee; using duct tape over the eyes

Inducing hypothermia or heat injury [Department of Defense]

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