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December 20, 2011

Join in on homestead credit Q&A

Got questions about the state's Homestead Property Tax Credit or the Sun's investigation into how it works and doesn't work?

Ask them here. We'll have a live Q&A at noon today, but you can type up your question (or questions) beforehand, too. 

On a related note: You've been commenting, tweeting and emailing various thoughts about how the homestead credit -- and the city's property-tax system overall -- could be fairer and/or better. I'm going to pull them together for a post this week (I'd hoped to do it in time for this morning but other stories interfered, including this one about a lawsuit against the Creig Northrop Team), so there's still an opportunity to pipe up.

Thanks for all the ideas! Interesting discussion.

Posted by Jamie Smith Hopkins at 6:00 AM | | Comments (7)
Categories: Homestead Property Tax Credit, Property taxes, Q&A


Regarding the Northrop lawsuit,

Very common practice, especially during that 06-07 window. The lender for the home equity loan that was placed on the home they were trying to sell has a cause of action as well.

Agency dilemma, the conflict of interest is directly proportional to the amount of potential commission. To that end, the Realtor cartel limits competition, inflates its own commissions, and creates its own conflict of interest, with the help of the MD government who will jail you for selling real estate without a license, essentially for "illegally" competing.

Regarding the fraud described in Northdrop article, all I have to say is -DUH! In my years as an LO, you would not beleive the things that I witnessed. I know of an LO that had software to alter appraisal values received from the appraiser.

I dont understand how Realtors continue to maintain a death grip on the MLS and monopolize the home selling market. The internet has changed so many business models. How has this one not changed too? I suspect its like the post office. People are used to it and terrified of the unknown if it were to cease to exist. Truth is, after a couple months of no realtors or no post office, people will wonder why they ever existed in the first place.

I was surprised so few people took the options meaning they are happy where they are. Maybe those people are not participating in this discussion, but that doesn't mean you should forget about us. I am in the category of renting and happy where I am. My husband and I have lived in rented apartments in Baltimore for 33 years and have always found it to be a good way to live.

Where is the Maryland Real Estate Commission in response to the Craig Northrop lawsuit in March and this most recent revelation. Are they not supposed to monitor the actions of brokers and sales people for ethics violations? Interesting that no commnent on the Maryland Real Estate Commission has been made.

Suki, thanks for the reminder -- talking to the commission is on my extremely long to-do list, and I'm having trouble getting to it.

Craig Norththrop? Everyday there are lawsuits filed in this state, some valid and some are not. There are very good real estate agents that serve their clients well. I deal with agents each and everyday that I feel have no business doing what they do. I have also been to court and had complaints filed with the Real Estate Commission. In each case the complaints were dismissed because the accuser was unhappy with their situation and had nothing at all to do with what I had done. It's a horrible feeling to be charged with any wrongdoing, be it valid or not.
Before any of us throw stones at Mr. Northrop, we should watch as this sceen plays out. We may all learn something about human nature and emotions. He and his team may be guilty of something, then and only then should they be punished. I would not defend any agent for blatently doing evil to a client for their own gain, let's all just watch, read and learn.

k- since you are taking the proverbial high road with regard to MR. Northrup, how do you reconcile the MLS and its monopoly on home listings? Who decided realtors that they should be the gatekeepers to a free market? They unecessarily add to the total purchase price of homes. I dont need the assistance of anyone with making my buying decisions. Why should anyone need one with regard to real estate?
Imagine being in the market for a TV and having to contact a person to drive you to Best Buy and Walmart with the price being inflated by their chauffer service.

If Realtors are truley worth their salt, why not make the mls fee to everyone and let the consumer decide if their services are so valuable and warrented?

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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.
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