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Foreign Investors can see the Upswing coming, buying now. August 14, 2012

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Even the foreign real estate market sees the impending recovery in the US Housing Market. That’s why they’re buying now, while the prices are still low. Raises in home prices over 15% tend to scare away the foreign market, but with their added boost to our domestic customer base, they may help provide the bump we need to kick the housing market back into high gear. Full article at inman.com

<a href="http://www.shutterstock.com/pic.mhtml?id=96548410">World flags</a> image via Shutterstock.World flags image via Shutterstock.

A decline in the international share of overall house hunters in the second quarter indicates that rising U.S. home prices may be putting off foreign buyers, according to a report from real estate search and marketing site Trulia.

The report is based on all home searches on Trulia between April 1, 2012 to June 30, 2012. The share of foreign searches on Trulia fell nearly 10 percent year over year in the second quarter, with the fastest appreciating markets seeing the biggest declines in foreign interest, according to Trulia.

After years of dropping home prices nationwide, many markets seem to have found their footing. Nationally, home prices were up only slightly in June — 0.3 percent on an annual basis.

“Foreigners attracted to real estate bargains get turned off when prices increase,” said Jed Kolko, Trulia’s chief economist, in a statement.

“Investors want to buy when prices are at their bottom, but they’ll start to lose interest when prices rise 15 percent, as they have in Miami and Phoenix. Demand by people looking to scoop up bargains can dry up quickly when prices rise.”

The share of foreign house hunters is declining even among buyers from countries that are ground zero in the European debt crisis, such as Greece, Italy, and Spain. Investors in search of a safe haven drove a rise in searches from such countries in 2011, but search activity from those countries peaked in the fourth quarter of 2011, and has fallen 15 percent since then.


Good News for the Housing Market. August 2, 2012

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This is an excerpt from a report done by the National Association of Home Builders. Thought you all might like to know things are looking up!

“You may have noticed during the past two months that national media coverage of housing has turned a corner. NAHB has been doing its part by continually talking with the press to give our perspective on key housing data — new-home sales, housing starts, national home prices, the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) and the NAHB/First American Improving Markets Index (IMI) – which have all shown measurable signs of improvement during the past several months.

The HMI, which measures builder confidence in the single-family market, now stands at its highest level since March of 2007. Meanwhile, the IMI, which identifies local housing markets that have shown measurable and sustained improvement, has jumped from 12 markets when the index was first unveiled last September to 84 as of July. Moreover, production of single-family homes is now the strongest it has been since 2010 due to rising consumer demand brought on by improving market conditions.

Indeed, government data reveals that housing has gone from a net drag on the economy to a net positive and that residential home construction is now starting to reassume its traditional role of helping to move the economy forward following a recession.”

Open House – Morris Farm in Gainesville October 21, 2011

Posted by CraftmarkHomes in Community News.
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The Oakton at Morris Farm

Tour 3 incredible Immediate Delivery homes this weekend, 10/22 & 10/23 from 11am – 6pm, and discover the pure prestige, trademark craftsmanship and industry leading energy efficiency of Craftmark Homes!

Here’s a taste of Morris Farm to whet your whistle. You’ll find homes well over 4,000 sq. ft. with up to 4 bedrooms, 3.5 baths and all the luxury features to satisfy any taste.

View more photos at Facebook.com/CraftmarkHomes, or better still visit Morris Farm this weekend and see for yourself! http://craftmarkhomes.com/MorrisFarm/



Move in by the Holidays! September 27, 2011

Posted by CraftmarkHomes in Community News, Uncategorized.
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Craftmark Homes has Immediate Delivery homes in your favorite neighborhoods throughout Maryland & Virginia. Find your dream home at CraftmarkHomes.com

Craftmark Homes has built an outstanding reputation by offering homes with distinctive designs in superior locations throughout Maryland, Virginia and Delaware. Recognized for their signature stone front facades and spacious interiors, Craftmark Homes has received numerous awards for design and customer service and is consistently ranked in the top 50 companies in the Washington region and the top 50 homebuilders in the nation

A Lifetime of Luxury September 9, 2011

Posted by CraftmarkHomes in Press Release.
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Prestige has never been so affordable. Put some life in your style with a new Craftmark home!

It’s not just getting into a new home; it’s being comfortable over time. With lower energy bills backed by the ENERGY STAR Leadership in Housing award for two straight years, you can put some life in your style.

Visit any Craftmark community in Maryland or Virginia today for more details!

Craftmark Group Rankings by Washington Business Journal, Builder Magazine and Professional Builder Magazine Reflect 2011 Sales Increases. July 20, 2011

Posted by CraftmarkHomes in Press Release.
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McLean, Virginia – The Craftmark Group, one of the largest privately held homebuilders in the Nation’s Capital area, is proud to announce its high national rankings in the Washington Business Journal and the two leading homebuilding industry trade magazines.

Washington Business Journal’s Annual Report on Washington’s 100 Largest Private Companies, the lead story in the newspaper’s June 10-16, 2011 issue, honors the Craftmark Group as 56th in the Nation’s Capital region based on total revenues.

Builder Magazine’s annual top 100 builders list, “The Builder Top 100,” the lead story in the magazine’s May, 2011 issue, recognizes the Craftmark Group as 92nd nationally based on total units sold.

Professional Builder’s annual top builders list, “2011 Housing Giants,” the lead story in the magazine’s May, 2011 issue, honors the Craftmark Group as 42nd nationally based on total revenues.

These high rankings are reflected in an equally notable 10% sales increase in 2011 over the same time period in 2010.

“We are proud to be leaders in the recovery of new home sales in our region,” said Ken Malm, President of the Craftmark Group. “When people see our communities firsthand, they experience the prestige we build into every home. With prices and financing still remarkably affordable, our customers can live their dreams right now.”

“People appreciate our quality and dedicated service, which has been honored by the QBW Builder of Integrity Award,” he went on to say. “They also recognize the enduring value of our unique energy efficiency and savings through our Craftmark and Craftstar Green Energy Star programs.”

As befits its status in the Top 100 Builders nationally, the Craftmark Group, consisting of Craftmark Homes and Craftstar Homes, has averaged 400 – 600 sales per year. They are the 6 time winner of the Large Volume Builder of the Year Award, as well as 50 other major design and quality awards.

Craftmark Homes builds luxury estate homes, single family homes and townhomes in Montgomery, Frederick, Howard and Prince George’s Counties in Maryland, and in the City of Alexandria and Fairfax, Loudoun, and Prince William Counties in Virginia.

Craftstar Homes builds townhomes, townhome style condominiums and carriage style single family homes in Montgomery, Frederick, Prince George’s, Talbot and Queen Anne Counties in Maryland, and in Prince William County in Virginia.

For information on other Craftmark communities, visit: www.CraftmarkHomes.com

Conserve Water in your Home Garden! July 6, 2011

Posted by CraftmarkHomes in Home & Lawn Care.
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It’s wonderful to have a garden and add a splash of green in an urban environment; but our gardens tend to consume massive amounts of water; something that’s becoming an increasingly scarce resource in many parts of the world.

Irrigation accounts for the bulk of water use in homes, particularly in drier areas over the summer months. A few of the biggest mistakes made are:

a) Plant selection; usually by using plants that aren’t native to the area
b) Sprinklers that throw water up into the air, which is then windblown or evaporates
c) Watering during the hottest part of the day
d) Over-watering

Here’s some tips for reducing your garden watering footprint – and to save some money on water rates at the same time.

Plant selection

When you’re next shopping for plants for your garden, consider not only your area’s current rainfall, but what’s projected for the future. In many regions of the world, rainfall is dropping; so a plant that might get by fine now without additional watering may not do so in the future.


Many sprinklers throw out fine droplets and on a hot day, these droplets simply evaporate. While your garden gets some water, much is lost. Look to buy a sprinkler that throws water closer to the ground in large drops

Drip irrigation

This can save you a ton of water. Drip irrigation (aka  trickle irrigation or micro-irrigation) consists of a series of pipes with drippers hanging off them that deliver water directly to where it’s needed. Given the targeted nature of the delivery, far less water has to be used.  Using a special piercing device on the main pipe, you can attach drippers exactly where you need them and you can plug the hole at a later date if need be. The equipment is simple, easily scalable, pretty cheap and durable and can be purchased at most hardware stores and nurseries.

Tip: when using drip irrigation, you’ll need to check the drippers regularly as they can get clogged with water-borne particles, particularly when used with a greywater or blackwater recycling system. Birds also have a tendency to move the dripper hoses as they forage.

Irrigation timers

If you use an irrigation timer, set it to run half the normal time, but run it a second cycle a minimum of half an hour later. This will dramatically reduce runoff. 

Check your equipment

Check over your hose and sprinkler connections for leaks – a drop wasted each second can add up to a couple of gallons each day. Also check the heads of your sprinklers are clear for maximum effectiveness. 

Watering time

The best time of the day to water is either just on sunrise or just on sunset, as this minimizes water evaporation

Make use of old soda bottles

Richelle D. contributed this tip: “I have several 3 liter bottles, filled with water and pushed upside down into the ground to water my outdoor trees.  The soil draws the water from the 2 liter bottle or even gallon jugs when dry.”

Mulch, mulch, mulch

Mulching is adding layers of plant material such peastraw or bark to keep the sun off the soil and therefore retain water. Mulching is one of the most effective ways to reduce water needed in a garden – up to 50%. Mulch has the added benefit of preventing weed growth, deters pests, helps to stabilize soil temperature and provide nutrients to the soil as the mulch decomposes.

User fertilizer sparingly

Try to avoid using high nitrogen fertilizers during dry conditions as they will encourage growth and your plants will need more water.

Aerate your lawn and garden

Aerating tools can be purchased at most hardware stores for around $50. An aerator pulls out small plugs of soil allowing air and water to penetrate deeper. Deeper moisture means deeper root systems; which makes plants more resistant to dry spells and requiring less water.

Make trees a watering priority

Grass may die, but it grows back quickly, whereas a tree may take decades to grow. Trees also provide protection from the harsh sun for other plants and can reduce ground temperatures in a garden substantially. If you have to choose between watering your lawn and watering your trees; prioritize the latter.

Consider a rainwater tank

Given the amount of water gardens require; consider adding a rainwater catchment system to your property – it can help act as added insurance for a reasonable supply of water during the dry months or when your local authorities introduce restrictions.

There’s all sorts of rain water tanks and barrels available to suit your premises, ranging from holding a few dozen gallons, to thousands.

Rainwater catchment formula

So much water is wasted through not harvesting rainfall. To get an idea of how much water you’re missing out on, use these simple rain water catchment formulas:


1mm of rain on 1 square meter of roof equals 1 litre of water


Roof square feet multiplied .6 for every inch of rain = gallons

By the way, many local governments now offer incentives and rebates if you install a water tank, so check with your local council for any programs they may have in place.

Recycling household water

Just as water is wasted outside the house, so it is inside. Thousands upon thousands of gallons go down our drains each year from the the washing machine, shower, sink and toilet. You can do simple things like:

– putting a bucket in the shower
– run a hose from your washing machine outlet to the garden (if it’s not uphill)

Article Source: http://www.greenlivingtips.com/articles/242/1/Saving-water-in-the-garden.html

Craftmark Homes Announces New Website Design! May 20, 2011

Posted by CraftmarkHomes in Press Release.
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Where can you find A Better Brand of Home?

On our all new website www.CraftmarkHomes.com!

If you liked our old website, you’ll love our new one. This exciting, unique and interactive look behind the scenes of our driving motto, “A Better Brand of Home” is the next best thing visiting Craftmark Homes in person. Just look at all these exciting new features:

  • A sleek New Homepage depicts in a single glance stunning Craftmark homes and all the qualities you desire in a homebuilder.
  • Oversized Graphics & Slideshow Galleries bring every photo to life, winning your heart and mind at a single glance.
  • Craftmark Green interactive modules & videos coming soon illustrating our enduring commitment to the environment, energy efficiency & you.
  • Interactive Navigation on every page of the site makes finding your next destination and getting easy and even fun!

There is much more to discover for yourself! Just visit the all new www.CraftmarkHomes.com.

It’s Time for the Annual Spring Cleaning! April 7, 2011

Posted by CraftmarkHomes in Home & Lawn Care.
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There comes a time each year when we need to turn our attention to house spring cleaning.  We are usually busy doing daily and weekly chores. But this type of deep cleaning is needed. For not only will it ensure that every nook and cranny of our home has been thoroughly cleaned, it will also enable us to concentrate on maintenance and prevention cleaning afterwards.

Preparing your home for spring cleaning
Clutter is the most prevalent problem facing spring cleaning.  Before we can get down to the business of serious cleaning we first need to get rid of the junk that clutters our homes.  Pick up and toss old magazines and papers.  Put away toys and other items back in their respective areas.  

The key to successful spring cleaning is to be able to get to all walkways, surface areas, windows and doors.  Your home should be open enough to get to the dirt that hides in nooks and crannies.

What needs cleaning?
Spring cleaning conjures up images of sunny days with the windows thrown wide open and sunlight flooding every room.  It provides thoughts of freshness and summer scented air.  

While it may not be possible to attend to every inch of your home, spring cleaning should cover lots of tidying, dusting and scrubbing.  Study each room and make a list of what needs to be done.  Your list will provide you with a timetable as well as what equipment will be needed.  From this you will be able to divide up your chores into manageable sections.  If you are aiming at washing all your curtains for instance plan to do them all at the same time.  Without the clutter of curtains you will have the opportunity of getting to curtain rails, windows and windowsills.  This will also give you the opportunity of dusting and cleaning high up into the corners of the ceilings.

Spring cleaning tips
Spring cleaning is traditionally undertaken in spring, especially in colder climates.  The warmer weather provides the motivation needed to get rid of dust and grime accumulated during the winter months.  However the warmer weather often calls for outdoor activities and spring cleaning is far down the list.  There are ways to help you get organized and in doing so alleviate the time taken for this chore.

1.    First, decide how much time you want to dedicate to the task and when it is most convenient.  For instance some people may prefer to tackle the task over an entire weekend while others may prefer to devote a few hours to it each day over a period of time.

2.    Ensure that you make your task as enjoyable as possible.  Put on your favourite music and be sure to take sufficient breaks.  Order your favorite take out foods as a treat at the end of the session.

3.    Ask for help if you can.  Get your family or friends involved and offer them incentives for helping you.  Equip each person with a bag they can keep on them filled with cleaning materials and a list.

4.    Be brutal about getting rid of items you no longer have any use for.  Sort and separate them and sell them if you can.  You can also offer them to friends and family or donate them to charity.  Most charities will accept almost anything for fundraising.  Be sure however that you offer them goods that are in good working order.

5.    If you are disposing of hazardous materials ensure that you do so in an environmentally friendly way.  You can either deliver them to a waste station or arrange for them to collect.

6.    Arrange those items you are keeping in containers and find an area where you can store them neatly.

7.    Once you have finished spring cleaning why not rearrange your furniture for a fresh look.  If you can afford it, spring cleaning offers a perfect opportunity for re-decorating or re-painting.

8.    Spring cleaning is a great way to get rid of the old and bring in the new.  Pay attention to every area.  De-clutter your bookshelves, cabinets, clothes and even your computer.

Read more: http://www.articlesbase.com/home-improvement-articles/house-spring-cleaning-a-necessary-task-1798795.html#ixzz1IsDm9K3K

The Craftmark Group Celebrates Another Successful Month with 36 Sales in February! March 4, 2011

Posted by CraftmarkHomes in Press Release.
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The Craftmark Group’s unique combination of supreme value and pure prestige in Maryland and Virginia resulted in an outstanding performance of 36 sales in just the one month of February, 2011. A strong supporting role was played by the group’s team of experienced and caring sales professionals, who made sure that each and every homebuyer was shown exemplary service and provided with the home of their dreams. You should consider a home from Craftmark, a proud member of The Craftmark Group, too – check us out at http://www.craftmarkhomes.com