April 15, 2013
Gov. Martin O'Malley last week signed a law extending the deadline for homeowners to apply for the Homestead Tax Credit. Homeowners now have until Dec. 30, 2013, to submit an application. The credit is intended to keep property taxes on homeowner-occupied residences from increasing more than 10 percent (or less, depending on the jurisdiction) each year. Some owners of vacation and rental properties have been receiving the homestead credit improperly. In order to reduce the number of taxpayers receiving the credit on ineligible properties, more than five years ago the legislature instituted a one-time application requirement.
April 4, 2013
When it came time for Stephanie Blatchley and her husband, Tyler, to buy their first house, the young couple knew exactly what they wanted. Having grown up in western Howard County, she was most comfortable in a country setting. Both of them wanted to be near family and friends. And the idea of easy access to major thoroughfares was appealing. They also knew what they did not want: a formal dining room. "We lived in an apartment for two years, and although we enjoyed that lifestyle, we wanted to buy a house of our own," Blatchley explained.
March 18, 2013
Baltimore County homeowners would pay a fee between $18 and $36 a year for stormwater management under a plan to meet new state requirements designed to reduce pollution in the Chesapeake Bay. Legislation to impose the fee was introduced Monday, with a County Council vote scheduled April 15. The fee structure, proposed by the administration of County Executive Kevin Kamenetz, is an attempt to comply with a law the General Assembly passed last...
February 21, 2013
Jill Sorensen's basement flooded after a winter storm knocked out her power, then again in 2011 during Hurricane Irene. What stopped another encore performance during last year's derecho? She'd installed a sump pump that uses her home's water pressure to kick in when the power conks out. Knock on wood, she hasn't had a flood since. That purchase — about $800 — is one of several moves she's made to prepare her home for bad weather. "We've taken the inevitability of storms more seriously," said Sorensen, who lives in North Baltimore.
February 4, 2013
With every new news article about the new Symphony Woods plan a little more information leaks out. It is incomprehensible that CA has performed almost no outreach to its residents about the new plan. The only chance to date for public input on the plan was at a recent CA Board meeting after the plan hit the newspapers, and at that meeting only the proposed "trust," not the plan itself, was on the agenda. Last week's meeting on the plan itself at...
January 31, 2013
In the six months that have passed since Margaret Fulcher received her most recent homeowners insurance policy, she has moved on from being shocked to simply incensed. The premium to fully insure her Baltimore rowhouse increased fourfold last year — to a sum she can ill afford and one that she thinks does not accurately represent the cost of replacing her home. "This is a case of homeowners insurance underwater," said Fulcher, comparing her premium to a mortgage that is worth more than the home to which it is attached.