All Blog Entries by BJ Matson

BJ Matson • Realtor®

I have lived here in Montgomery County, Maryland my entire life.  I have been working the real estate and mortgage markets here since 1993.  Here on my Blog page I try to post relevant information to owning your home and buying here in Maryland... or selling here in Montgomery County.
You can learn more about me here, bjmatson.com

Feel free to comment on the posts or contact me directly. 

BJ MatsonRealtor®
Home Buying Expert • RE/MAX
301-881-8900 text-call
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Found 81 blog entries published by BJ Matson.

Creating Wealth through Home Ownership

Real Estate can be the best way to get on the path to real wealth.  About 90% of Millionaires are wealthy through real estate.  Whether you're ready to buy now, or, we sit down and create a specific plan now for YOU to buy in the near future... the sooner you decide to commit to this outcome the sooner you can start building Equity!  Did you know there are opportunity zones in Montgomery County?
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You hear the term 'Redlining' and the effects on lower-income neighborhoods. It's a topic frequently discussed... and we're seeing it make the news more and more. One issue, are properties within these areas that are shells or foreclosed… thus affecting the value of neighboring homes.  Appraisers need ‘sold…
662 Views, 0 Comments

100% financing • $0 down

About six years ago I wrote the below article...  not much has changed since then.
VA loans and USDA loans are still the 2 programs that Lenders are referring to when they advertise "No money down!" or "100% financing".  It's a great headline to get you to inquire with the Lender and from there they hope to get you into a program.  Any program.

100% • There is another loan program available if your household income is under 115k.  Most of the Montgomery County area (and MD) is eligible.  No mortgage insurance, and no 2nd loan.  Of course good credit is required.  Don't forget in most scenarios there is still $ you will need to cover closing costs and/or have in reserves after closing.  It is possible to minimize this,

11,435 Views, 5 Comments

My average water bill has been about $120 for every 3 month billing cycle ($40/month).

water bill


Imagine my shock when my latest bill was over $1,000 !

water bill WTF

This happens to homeowners more than we realize.  Whether from a burst pipe while on vacation, or outdoor spigot left open, or as in my case a toilet flapper that wasn't making a complete seal.

I called WSSC and they walked me through a few steps on my Water Meter, first.  We determined the meter was working and matched their outside reading that was taken.  There was no way around it, I had to find the source of the leak and stop it.

WSSC told me to fix the issue, and to then call them back.  They allow for this to happen to their customers 1x every 3 years, and they will ADJUST the bill.  Thank God

292 Views, 0 Comments

Go to ->> Maryland Dept of Assessments & Taxation website:
Enter address...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NEXT SCREEN:

Click link below 'Account#' on far right

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NEXT SCREEN:

Records go all the way back to 1999
"Click" under View at far right, to see FULL PROPERTY TAX BILL

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NEXT SCREEN:

You'll be shown the complete TAX BILL
(Make sure you have filed for your Homestead Tax Credit)



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

45,693 Views, 0 Comments

Go to the Maryland Department of Assessments & Taxation website

 

 

 

NEXT SCREEN:

 

 

 

 

NEXT SCREEN:
Click "View Map" in upper right-hand corner

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NEXT SCREEN:
You did it, you found the Plat


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9,574 Views, 0 Comments

The Riviera of Chevy Chase is located a half mile east from the heart of downtown Bethesda, Maryland.  This high-rise overlooks East West Highway to the North and The Capital Cresent Trail to the South. 

The building features spacious apartments, with great views from all windows and upscale light filled interiors.  Residents are met with a very cozy lobby and 24/7 front desk host. Residents also enjoy private garage parking, a roof top deck/pool with lifeguard, exercise room, sauna and a condo fee that includes all utilities. 

There is laundry on each floor, plenty of visitor parking, additional storage if needed and the building is very well managed with a friendly staff.

The Riviera has a prime location just a 5 minute walk from the shopping,

10,891 Views, 0 Comments

Cabin Branch is a new subdivision within the planned community of Clarksburg, MD. Conveniently located close to I-270, off exit 18, Cabin Branch sits east of Clarksburg Rd, between Cabin Branch Ave and Old Baltimore Rd. It is considered the western portion of planned Clarksburg.

The planned community of Clarksburg has been building and expanding at a steady pace since the early 2000’s, and Cabin Branch is the latest portion to be built. Much of the community is still under construction, and new home sales make up a good portion of the listing inventory.

Cabin branch, and Clarksburg in general, is an excellent place for walking, jogging or riding bikes. The community has lots of walking paths, and the 2,000 acre Black Hill Regional Park, located in

522 Views, 0 Comments

 

Churchill Town Sector

Single Family and Townhouse Community

Germantown, MD

Churchill Town Sector consists of over 1,700 townhouses and single family homes, located along Father Hurley Blvd, between Wysteria Drive and Crystal Rock Drive. One of the first large communities in Germantown, it was originally developed between the early 1970's and late 1980's.

This community is really convenient, and is ideal for anyone commuting within the Washington metropolitan area. It's located a few minutes from the MARC Train, Interstate 270, and Great Seneca Hwy. Shady Grove metro station is about 15-20 minutes away. 

                   

Awesome summers!!

There is always something to do when it's hot outside. Residents are free to enjoy one of

28 Views, 0 Comments

Testing your well water 

Lead
https://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/drinking/private/wells/disease/lead.html 

Radon
Most people think of Radon gas, another test that should be done when buying your home.  Radon can be found in outdoor air, indoor air, soil air, and ground water.  People exposed to radon in drinking water have higher chance of getting lung cancer.  Learn more about Radon & testing

Bacteria
Including E Coli

Chemicals
Including Nitrite & Nitrate

Here's a good website to help you interpret your water testing results.
You'll see MCL= Maximum permissable Contaminant Levels
Water is tested to see if it is safe for human consumption & meets federal, state, and local requirements.

 

Also think about getting a whole-house water filter &

931 Views, 0 Comments

The Washington Suburban & Sanitation Commission (WSSC) explains Front Foot Benefit Charges;  https://www.wsscwater.com/customer-service/rates/front-foot-benefit-charges.html

Here in Montgomery County we have seen this more and more on the newer developments. It's a way of prorating service charges specifically to those who are using them.  Instead of the previous method where it's all pulled from our property taxes, regardless.  If handled properly, this should be a more efficient model. 

If you are selling your home and currently pay this yearly FFBC...
You must disclose to your potential Buyers.  It will be listed on your Property taxes as a separate charge from WSSC.
Your Buyers will want to know how much, AND, how long into the future will they

1,757 Views, 0 Comments