Obama for Housing

Hey everyone! Hope you’re all having a great Friday! I won’t keep you long from enjoying the weekend, and for all you home buyers and sellers out there, I’ve got some good news to share! Guess my surprise when I saw this article in my inbox this morning!

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Obama Administration Extends Application Deadline for the Making Home Affordable Program (HAMP & HARP)Extension through December 2015 Will Provide Struggling Homeowners Additional Time to Access Sustainable Mortgage Relief and Align End Dates for Key Assistance Programs

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of the Treasury and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development today announced an extension of the Obama Administration’s Making Home Affordable Program through December 31, 2015. The new deadline was determined in coordination with the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) to align with extended deadlines for the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) and the Streamlined Modification Initiative for homeowners with loans owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

“The Making Home Affordable Program has provided help and hope to America’s homeowners,” said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. “Families across the country have used its tools to reduce their principal, modify their mortgages, fight off foreclosure and stay in their homes – helping further stimulate our housing market recovery. And with this extension, we ensure that the program keeps supporting communities for years to come.”

Homeowners seeking assistance with their mortgage payments should remember that there is never a fee to apply to the Making Home Affordable Program. Homeowners can work with a HUD-approved housing counseling agency free-of-charge to understand their options and apply for help. Homeowners should visit MakingHomeAffordable.gov for more information about free resources for assistance or call 1-888-995-HOPE (4673).

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Now you can all breathe a big sigh of relief! There’s no better news than having more freedom in your search for the perfect home! Good luck and have a great weekend!

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Inspiring Bathroom Decor Ideas

Happy Tuesday, guys! How are you all doing? It’s been a busy week for me, but I’m back as always to give you the latest information on all things home and real estate! This week I’d like to share with you a home decor related post on bathrooms. It’s one of my most favorite parts of the house, and if you’re looking to redecorate, you might want to take a look at some of these inspiring design ideas.

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Designed by architect Margaret McCurry, this bathroom was inspired by farmhouses in the Midwest, thus the predominantly wooden floors and paneling. It’s a simple, classic approach to bathroom design that everyone can appreciate.

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This design by Japanese architect Kengo Kuma certainly adds a calming effect to bathing. The outside view and simple use of space calls for relaxation and rejuvenation. It’s almost like having a spa in your own house!

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Does the scenery look familiar? This bath in a 300-year old summer home is rustic but lovely as it overlooks the Sicilian coast in Italy. Designed by architect James Cavagnari, this bathroom will certainly allow you to appreciate the view in a beautiful landscape.

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If I had a bathroom like any of these, I’d probably take a bath as much as I eat! Just like good bedrooms prove conducive to a good night’s sleep, a beautiful bathroom can help you to de-stress and wind down from a long, tiring day. Most of us just take a shower, but hot tubs are proven to help even with blood circulation! It’s certainly not a bad idea to invest in expanding and redecorating your bathroom!

For more bathroom design inspirations, feel free to check out the rest of the article from Yahoo! Homes here.

What a milestone!

Happy Tuesday, everyone! Hope you all had a great weekend! Here on my end things are busy as usual (if not busier!). I snagged a new listing in Maryland (I’ll blog about it soon!) and I’m up to my ears with all sorts of transactions left and right! It’s tiresome but challenging, and I’m happy to say that things are finally paying off! For the first time since I started as an agent at Keller Williams, I managed to get over 200 leads this month! What an awesome way to start the new year! I can’t be any more thankful and happy with this milestone. Now if only all 200 leads bought a home, I could go on vacation! Haha!

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January seems to be my month! Here’s to breaking a new record soon, hopefully!

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Anyway, I thought I’d share with you guys some good news that I read at AGBeat today. To everyone in the real estate industry and to those who are looking to buy or sell a home, 2013 looks to be our year! The housing sector was one of the biggest to be affected with the recent economic crisis, but lately studies have shown that house prices are finally rising again after two years. Finally! Real estate is strengthening again! With this news in mind, maybe potential home buyers and sellers can finally push through with their plans with less worries.

See that big dip right there? At least now the numbers are finally looking good! Hopefully this carries on for the rest of the year!

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Analysts confirm that the housing market is set to improve continuously from here on, as it’s still winter time and considered the season with the lowest sales all year round.

To read more about the article, click here.

Now we can all breathe a sigh of relief!

Goodbye, 2012!

It’s the last day of 2012! It’s already the New Year in some countries, but to everyone who’s in the States like I am, I’m sure all of you are busy preparing for your New Year’s Eve dinner! I’m looking forward to tonight as well as it will be another great opportunity to be with friends and family! I just love December!

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2012 has been a pretty good year for me. Since the later part of the year I’ve been busier than I’ve ever been! Recently I was at a Market Leader webinar and I was featured by the speaker for reaching 200 leads in one month! It was a big achievement on my part and a personal record that I hope to break in 2013 as well. Here’s to more closings, hopefully!

Also, I’ve been active again on various social media. It would be great if you’ll add or follow me on the sites below!

1. Facebook - www.facebook.com/berkeleywvhomesearch
2. Twitter - www.twitter.com/WVRealtor
3. LinkedIn - www.linkedin.com/in/howardkronthal
4. Pinterest - www.pinterest.com/hkronthal
5. YouTube - www.youtube.com/user/BuckHillRoadAcres

Work talk aside, I hope that 2013 will be a great year for everyone. A new year calls for a fresh start and new opportunities, so I hope that all of you will stay safe and be prosperous in your endeavors! We’ve had our own share of hardships this 2012 with tragic incidents and calamities left and right, not only here in the US, but also around the world. I wish everyone strength and guidance, but I know that all of us will get through this!

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That said, this is my last post for 2012! Let’s end this year with a bang! See you guys in 2013!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

The Nutcracker visits Shepherdstown!

For the sixth year in a row, the Shepherdstown School of Dance performed to a sold-out crowd at Shepherd University last Sunday in their rendition of The Nutcracker. I personally wasn’t able to go, but the performance has received so many raving reviews that it’s become a popular event to look forward to every year in the community.

The school is famous for its ballet, tap, and jazz shows performed by dancers of all ages. Their rendition of The Nutcracker has become a must-see winter highlight in Shepherdstown over the years.  Even if you are not a fan of ballet or classical music, it will be difficult not to appreciate the talent and hard work that these performers dedicate to their craft!

Writing this I regret not having been able to watch this year’s show, but I will strive to see it next year! It’s definitely an event that the entire family will enjoy!

Meanwhile in Maryland, The City Ballet School and the Western Maryland City Ballet Company also performed The Nutcracker on Sunday at The Maryland Theatre in Hagerstown.

It’s certainly a Christmastime classic that should not be missed!

Looking to move into Shepherdstown or Hagerstown? Click here to find out more.