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November 29, 2011

Bridal registry item: new home

Add new homes to the list of gifts you can register for as you're planning a wedding.

Greenbelt-based Bozzuto Homes announced yesterday that it has launched a bridal registry to allow friends and relatives of engaged couples to contribute to their down payment. The company says it will match up to $15,000, with its contribution going to closing costs.

The first couple that signed up is buying a home in Ellicott City.

Homebuilders appear to be moving in this direction across the country. 1-800-Registry says it is partnering with more than 500 builders on its new "home registry" program. And Bozzuto said it decided to pursue its own registry after seeing a demonstration at a builders' show.

"We thought this would be a good idea," said Bruce Rosenblatt, Bozzuto's director of sales.

I'm curious whether guests will see down-payment registries as a request for cash rather than a purchased gift, since appeals for money are typically frowned upon. Cathy Leaning, Bozzuto's senior director of marketing, thinks people will categorize it as a true gift that "demonstrates that the giver has given it some thought and really wants to give the bride and groom something meaningful to them."

"This is almost like a double gift ... because Bozzuto will match it," Rosenblatt added.

Here's how Bozutto's registry works: 

Couples have to ask to sign up at the very start of the homebuying process, so it's important to disclose your intentions immediately. You must be engaged before signing a contract to buy and either married at the time of settlement or able to provide proof that you've applied for a marriage certificate.

What about civil unions between same-sex couples? "We would honor that, absolutely," Rosenblatt said.

Bozzuto, which builds in Maryland, D.C. and Northern Virginia, has four developments underway in the Baltimore region -- Ellicott City, Fulton, Towson and Baltimore (the Uplands on Edmondson Avenue). The company will be starting a project in Annapolis early next year.

What do you think of a registry aimed at the home rather than items to put in it? This piece about the 1-800-Registry service suggests that couples with relatives willing to pay for a pricey reception would be better off foregoing and putting that money toward the down payment.

Posted by Jamie Smith Hopkins at 6:00 AM | | Comments (8)
Categories: Homebuilding


I think it's great. When I married my wife, we had already lived together for 5 years and didn't need any of the stuff you usually get at weddings. We asked our guests to donate to charities we liked in our name instead of getting gifts, but we would have loved this.

I can hardly think of anything tackier than this. Ugh. Anyone who "registered" for a house would be getting a big fat nothing from me as a wedding gift.

Meanwhile, the Case-Schiller came out this morning. Not so good.Still not bottom in housing. Who knew?

Not exactly a newsflash, unfortunately. Year Five and counting ...

Case-Shiller doesn't include Baltimore (too bad), which is why I typically don't report on it. Core Logic just released new negative-equity figures, including Baltimore, so I'll have that in the next post.

"Only" 25% of homeowner's are underwater. Yippee!!!!! Bernanke will unleash indefinite QE until housing "recovers." Expect QE3 to come within the next six months. New reports suggest the Fed will buy another $600 billion in MBS.

Never understood how telling people to go to a specific store, to buy specific items off a specific list, with prices known to all, was acceptable, but saying, "we just shelled out a bunch of money for this party you all are enjoying, have big ticket items we are working towards that we could never imagine fitting into the total gift budget, and already have all the household item junk we could possibly need, anymore will simply be clutter we need to find space for, and ultimately be of more burden than benefit to us, so why don't you do us both a favor and give cash?" was unacceptable.

How about registering at the Bureau of Printing and Engraving? Our current dictum of what is and isn't socially acceptable benefits only the peddlers of junk the average person does not need, or even want. The US wastes 10's of billions of dollars every year due to "sub-optimal gift giving" which is defined as the price the giver paid for the item, minus the value the recipient assigns to the item.

The entire concept also works for the holiday we have coming up to mark the birth of a man who devoted his life to charity, fought for the poor and downtrodden, castigated all wealth and material possessions and explicitly instructed his followers to sell all their material possessions and donate the proceeds to charity, that we now celebrate by buying junk we don't need, often on borrowed money, that was produced by third world labor living in conditions that most would find unfit for an American dog.

Captain- that was an Admiral post. I couldnt agree more. Too bad Mrs. Elweedz doensnt understand nor care to understand anything about what we all see here.

Brilliant. A new home is far better than any Vera Wang vase or Hors D'oeuvre Boat Bowl, which I will probably end up using as a spare ashtray.

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About Jamie Smith Hopkins
Jamie Smith Hopkins, a Baltimore Sun reporter since 1999, writes about the regional economy. Her reporting on the housing market has won national and local awards. Hopkins is a Columbia native and has lived in Maryland all her life, save for 10 months spent covering schools in Ames, Iowa.
She trained to become a wonk by spending large chunks of time as a geek and an insufferable know-it-all.
Baltimore Sun articles by Jamie

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