Chesapeake Bay Real Estate Blog

This blog is dedicated to the real estate market on the Eastern Shore of Maryland and the surrounding Chesapeake Bay region. We are here to let you know about ourselves, our services real estate listings, and why we love helping people achieve their real estate goals. Real estate isn’t just about selling or buying houses; it’s about people and their families. That is why we do our best to make a difference in each person’s move.

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Location: Easton, Oxford, St Michaels, Cambridge, Queen Anne's, Kent, Eastern Shore of Maryland

While Penny was raising their four children, Bob worked in the corporate world for 20 years and became President and CEO of a major, publicly held, transportation company. Afterwards, we decided to leave the hustle and bustle of New Jersey and move to Vermont where we became entrepreneurs in a successful small business. We established an apple orchard, a vegetable farm, a popular country store as well as a multi state mail order operation. Fifteen years later, we “retired” to Florida, where we spent eight years as full time real estate agents. After deciding to be closer to our family, we moved to the Eastern Shore, to continue serving homebuyers and sellers as associates with RE/MAX On The Bay serving Talbot, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne’s and Caroline Counties. Our business experience helped us to develop extensive sales programs using leading edge technology such as websites, e-mail systems, digital photography, virtual tours, and multi-media presentations. Our customers and clients benefit directly from these advanced marketing tools because The Halls can offer unparalleled exposure and attractive promotions for the home seller as well as fulfilling the needs of home buyers

Monday, January 23, 2006

Capital Gains and Taxes

It’s January—time to start thinking about taxes again. Here is a summary of the current rules regarding capital gain on personal residences and investment property. Taxation on the two is very different.

Personal Residence

The current rule permits individuals to exclude up to $250,000 of capital gain from taxation, and married couples filing jointly to exclude up to $500,000. Any amount of gain above these limitations would be taxed. The exemption can be taken per transaction. That means that the determination of whether or not the gain will be taxed is made at the time of sale.What the homeowner does next—buy a more expensive home, buy a less expensive home, or not buy at all—has no impact on the determination. The current rule does have the limitation, however, that the property must have been used as the taxpayer’s principal residence for at least two of the past five years. If that is not the case, it is recommended that the homeowner speak with an accountant to determine what tax implications the sale of their property may have.For full details, see IRS publication 523 “Selling Your Home,” at

Income or Investment Property

It’s a different story for investors. When investors sell property, they pay taxes on capital gain. However, it is possible to sell rental property or land and not pay any capital gain taxes. How? Through Internal Revenue Code 1031, which states: No gain or loss shall be recognized on the exchange of property held for productive use in a trade or business or for investment if such property is exchanged solely for property of like kind which is to be held either for productive use in a trade or business or for investment. Exchanging property for property allows the tax to be deferred to later years. This gives investors a wide range of investment freedom. IRC 1031 Tax Deferral can range from transactions involving the simple trade of two properties to complex, multi-property exchanges. Contact your financial advisor to determine the exchange strategy that is best suited for your situation.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Dream Home May Be Affordable Today, But Not Tomorrow

Home Buyers Advised to Consider Effect of
Appreciation When Deciding Time to Buy

Homes in the United States continue to appreciate at a record pace—12.02 percent (from third quarter 2004 through third quarter 2005) according to a report by the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight. That’s music to the ears of the 68.3 percent of Americans who already own a home, but first-time home buyers may be watching the home of their dreams slip further from reach every year.

Home buyers tend to focus on mortgage interest rates and the size of the savings account they have established for their down payment when deciding the right time to buy. The impact of appreciation is not typically top of mind for home buyers, but it should be. Appreciation can have a significant financial impact on the home buyer’s pocketbook and their ability to purchase a home.

For example, a home for sale a year ago at $200,000 would cost $224,040 this year, based on the 12.02 percent average appreciation in the United States. That $24,040 hike in price not only makes a big difference over the life of a 30-year mortgage, but it also has an immediate impact on the wallet.

Assuming that mortgage interest rates remained steady at 6.5 percent, the homebuyer would need $4,808 more in savings to contribute to a 20 percent down payment. In addition, principal and interest on the monthly mortgage payment would increase by $121* per month.

With interest rates still historically low today, and with no end in sight to the trend of rising appreciation, we advise home buyers to jump into the market now. For most, it is the better financial decision, especially when prices are increasing at a faster pace than consumers can save.

Friday, January 13, 2006

CyberStars® Conference

Bob and Penny Hall of Champion Realty, Inc, were two of only 130 top real estate agents invited to attend The Allen F. Hainge CyberStar® Summit recently in San Antonio, TX. The nationally recognized CyberStar® Summit is an annual invitation-only networking and idea sharing conference open only to outstanding real estate agents from the US, Canada, Mexico, the Bahamas and Australia.

As leading members of the CyberStars®, Bob and Penny have long been market leaders on the Eastern Shore due to their commitment to serving customers and clients and their use of technology to meet the needs of today’s consumer. The Halls emphasis on their Web site as a top consumer resource and on using technology for effective communication and service has made them a unique success.

According to Bob and Penny attendance at the annual CyberStar® Summit provided many personal and professional benefits: Most importantly, we learned more about using the latest in today’s technology and successful strategies so that we can better serve our clientele and help them achieve a more successful home sale or purchase.

“Our clients are continually complimenting us on the service, tools and technology we use to meet their needs, and we owe that to our association with the CyberStars® and to the fact that we share among ourselves so freely.

Chesapeake Bay Real Estate

Over the years, Bob and Penny Hall have reached a conclusion. They love being near the water - any type of water - oceans, bays, rivers or waterfalls. They thrive on the serenity that accompanies the sound of water, whether it's waves breaking on the shore, a waterfall's hypnotic rhythm or a babbling brook.

The Halls know water is the critical element in so many procedures - gardening, cooking, and mixing everything from soup to sandcastles. It's the catalyst that makes things happen. Bob & Penny also know that adding water to your lifestyle can make a huge difference for you, too. Introducing you to the peacefulness of the Eastern Shore area of the Chesapeake Bay Region is a joy for this couple. Bob & Penny want to share the beauty and lifestyle available here.

Sailboats racing on the bay, wild geese covering the horizon, a plate of steamed crabs and a wonderful sense of colonial America … all combine to add a new dimension to your life and enhance your own Chesapeake Lifestyle!