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Last day to file for Homestead Tax Credit for 2013. Fax it!

December 31, 2012 by  
Filed under Blog

FAQ
The Homestead Tax Credit requires a signed application filed by December 31, 2012. The post office is now closed, but you can still fax it. Fax your application to 410-225-9344. Strictly speaking the deadline is midnight. But If you are late, I would still fax it. You know nobody will check the faxes until the office opens on Wednesday. I don’t know how strict they will be. If there are lots of applications, they might just accept them.

You can read more about the Homestead Tax Credit:

URGENT Please help me save our family, friends, and neighbors some money.

December 30, 2012 by  
Filed under Featured

In 2007 a new law went into effect that required that we FILE a one time simple APPLICATION in order to get the credit. Up to now, the deadline kept getting extended because so many of us still had not filed. But at last we will reach the final deadline on 12/31/2012, and they aren’t going to give the credit anymore for those of us that don’t file.

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Many of us own homes in Maryland, or know people that own homes in Maryland. For some of us, in the time we have owned these homes, property values, and thus property taxes have increased.

But to save existing homeowners from being priced out of their own homes by rising property taxes, Maryland has a Homestead Tax Credit. That effectively kept the tax increase below 10% a year, and often much lower than that, IF this was your only principal residence.

When we bought our homes, the title company notified Maryland that the house would be our principal residence for us. So we all got the tax credit automatically.

In 2007 a new law went into effect that required that we FILE a one time simple APPLICATION in order to get the credit. Up to now, the deadline kept getting extended because so many of us still had not filed. But at last we will reach the final deadline on 12/31/2012, and they aren’t going to give the credit anymore for those of us that don’t file.

While many of us did file, many still did NOT. There is substantial money at stake. I have two neighbors that did not yet file. This information is available online. And it shows one of them will pay an extra $528 dollars a year in property taxes starting next year, unless they fill out a simple form and mail it in postmarked by December 31 of this year.

So even if you have filed, or don’t own a house in Maryland, you can help. Check for your friends, family, and neighbors. If they didn’t file, make sure to let them know they still can until December 31st.

The information is all available online via the Maryland SDAT web site. It is a bit tedious to find the many people that haven’t yet filed. But if you leave off the street number when searching, you will see a list of everyone on that street. You can then click through each record to see if someone has filed.

All you need to research is the street name. Leave off the “Road, Lane, Circle, Court, etc” part. Click submit. Then a list of everyone on that street that did not file, and how much money is at stake will appear in a table.

Let’s let them know and help them file if they need help. Some people will need the help. And if some of these people are up to the task, maybe they can Pay It Forward and look up their family, friends, and neighbors and start the process over.

Let’s get this ball rolling. If you can spread the word, and help this go viral, that will help too. There are very few days left.

If you miss the deadline, you can file next year, but that will only protect you from future tax increases. So this is very time sensitive. To get the benefit on your next tax bill due July 1st, 2013, you must file an application by December 31st, 2012.

Best wishes for a Happy New Year,
Peter

Peter Baumbach
Associate Broker, Realtor with Taylor Properties
peter@HelpShop.com

Search for application status here: http://sdatcert3.resiusa.org/rp_rewrite/index.aspx?county=04
Download the application here: http://www.dat.state.md.us/sdatweb/Homestead_application.pdf

Q: How is it calculated that a 1% increase in mortgage rate is equivalent to a 20% increase in the price of a home?

October 2, 2009 by  
Filed under Quick

Pie Percentage

Question: I read that a 1% increase in mortgage rate is equivalent to a 20% increase in the price of a home. (It was in the context of encouraging people to buy now, with low rates). How is this calculated?

Answer: The cost of a home is for the most part, the interest paid on the loan. You can sell a home, and reclaim most of your equity, but the interest you pay is gone. So if current interest rates are 5%, a 20% increase in the rate is 6%. It is quite an eye opener to see the total amount of interest paid on a loan. However, it is also quite a large sum if you add up your rent for the next 30 years. I am a big fan of buying your own home now, but 6% interest isn’t so bad. So buy only when you have found a home you really like, even if it means missing the lowest rate. Also, pay $100 extra toward your principle each month when you own your house. You will love how much money that can save you.

Photo Credit: Christian Guthier.

American Visionary Art Museum is part of Free Fall Baltimore Event

October 1, 2009 by  
Filed under Quick

American Visionary Art Museum

The American Visionary Art Museum (AVAM) is an art museum located in the Federal Hill neighborhood at 800 Key Highway in Baltimore, Maryland. The city agreed to give the museum a piece of land on the south shore of the Inner Harbor under the condition that its organizers would clean up residual pollution from a copper paint factory and a whiskey warehouse that formerly occupied the site. It has been designated by Congress as America’s national museum for self-taught art.

The founder and director of the AVAM is Rebecca Alban Hoffberger, a former psychiatric nurse who left her job to “trumpet the wonders of raw human creativity”. The museum was opened to the public on November 24, 1995.

AVAM has 55,000 square feet of exhibit space but has a permanent collection of only 4,000 pieces. The collection includes works by visionary artists Ho Baron, Clyde Jones, Vollis Simpson and Ben Wilson as well as over 40 pieces from the Cabaret Mechanical Theatre of London. Some of this work is displayed in a gallery on the first floor of the Main Building, throughout the James Rouse Visionary Center, and outdoors when new temporary themed exhibitions are being installed.

The museum has no staff curators, preferring to use guest curators for its shows. Rather than focusing shows on specific artists or styles, it sponsors themed exhibitions with titles such as Wind in Your Hair and High on Life. Hoffberger takes pride in the fact that AVAM is “pretty un-museumy”.

Source: Wikipedia

The Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts has created the Free Fall Baltimore Event. Throughout the month of October the following Museums and Arts venues are offering specific performances, events, workshops, and exhibits for free:

  • American Visionary Art Museum
  • Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Museum
  • Baltimore Museum of Art
  • Baltimore Museum of Industry
  • Contemporary Museum
  • Homewood Museum
  • Maryland Institute College of Art
  • Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture
  • School 33 Art Center
  • The Walters Art Museum

Space is limited for some of these events. Advanced registration may be needed.

Today I’ll highlight a little more about what is happening at the American Visionary Art Museum.

On Friday October 2nd at 7pm, there will be a preview party for “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness”. There is limited access and reduced admission pricing until the opening which is Saturday October 3rd.

On Sunday October 25th, as part of the Free Fall Baltimore event, the American Visionary Art Museum is having an open house with free admission. They will be featuring their new exhibit “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness” with music, performances, and a panel discussion:

Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness
A celebration through a variety of performing arts media of the museum’s current exhibition: “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness” featuring performances from the Maryland Correctional Training Center by Baltimore-based playwright Bashi Rose. Theatrical pieces/film from the Hagerstown prison showcase meditations on civil rights from the perspective of these incarcerated men. Mr. Rose will also serve as a member of a panel discussion for the Life, Liberty and Pursuit of Happiness exhibit. Free admission to the museum.

Sun Oct 25 10am – 6 pm
No advance reservations required.

Since 1999 the American Visionary Art Museum has been sponsoring the east coast Baltimore Kinetic Sculpture Race. The 2010 event will be on Saturday May 1st. This is an amazing event, and it deserves a blog post of it’s own. I have some time before that post is timely, but if you want to enter, you may want to start building over the cold winter. Maybe a house with a heated garage would warm your heart a little.


Photo Credit: Vox Efx.

The Walters Art Museum is part of Free Fall Baltimore Event

September 30, 2009 by  
Filed under Quick

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The Walters Art Museum

The Walters Art Museum, located in Baltimore, Maryland’s Mount Vernon neighborhood, is a public art museum founded in 1934. The museum’s collection was amassed substantially by two men, William Thompson Walters (1819-1894), who began serious collecting when he moved to Paris at the outbreak of the American Civil War, and Henry Walters (1848–1931), who refined the collection and rehoused it in a palazzo building on Charles Street which opened in 1909. Upon his death, Henry Walters bequeathed the collection of over 22,000 works and the original Charles Street palazzo building to the city of Baltimore, “for the benefit of the public.” The collection touches masterworks of ancient Egypt, Greek sculpture and Roman sarcophagi, medieval ivories, illuminated manuscripts, Renaissance bronzes, Old Master and 19th-century paintings, Chinese ceramics and bronzes, and Art Deco jewelry.

Source: Wikipedia

The Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts has created the Free Fall Baltimore Event. Throughout the month of October the following Museums and Arts venues are offering specific performances, events, workshops, and exhibits for free:

  • AMERICAN VISIONARY ART MUSEUM/BASHI ROSE
  • BALTIMORE & OHIO RAILROAD MUSEUM
  • BALTIMORE MUSEUM OF ART
  • BALTIMORE MUSEUM OF INDUSTRY
  • CONTEMPORARY MUSEUM
  • HOMEWOOD MUSEUM
  • MARYLAND INSTITUTE COLLEGE OF ART
  • REGINALD F. LEWIS MUSEUM OF MARYLAND AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY & CULTURE
  • SCHOOL 33 ART CENTER
  • THE WALTERS ART MUSEUM

Space is limited for some of these events. Advanced registration may be needed.

Today I’ll highlight a little more about what is happening at The Walters Art Museum.

The Walters Art Museum is located at 600 North Charles Street in Baltimore City. Since 2006, the permanent collection has been free admission. The featured exhibitions require admission, or a museum membership. During this event the following is free as well:

Lectures, Concerts, Exhibits, Family Festivals and Mysterious Evenings
Lunch and Learn–Tiny Treasures with Great Power
Bring your lunch to the Graham Auditorium & hear Ben. C. Tilghman, Zanvyl Krieger Curatorial Fellow, Manuscripts & Rare Books, discuss “miniature art” in conjunction with The Walters exhibition: Shrunken Treasures: Miniaturization in Books and Art.
Thur Oct 1 12:15pm-1:15pm
Pre-registration recommended

The Red Cedar Trio
Award-winning Iowa-based chamber ensemble performs a program of new music inspired by Roman artworks
Sun Oct 4 2pm
Pre-registration recommended

Ignite Baltimore
Only 16 People can speak for five minutes on any topic using 20 slides. Come join the fun! To be selected, visit www.ignitebaltimore.com
Thur Oct 22 7pm-11pm

Opening Day Talk – Heroes: Mortals and Myths in Ancient Greece
Introduction by Sabine Albersmeier, Associate Curator of Ancient Art, The Walters Art Museum
Sun Oct 11 2pm
Pre-registration recommended

First Fridays at The Walters
Every First Friday from 5:30pm-8:30pm
Visit www.thewalters.org for specific details

Master of the Macabre: A Night at the Museum with Edgar Allan Poe
A mysterious evening of gothic music, Poe readings, and explorations of the Walters’ Chamber of Wonders.
Fri Oct 2 5:30pm-8:30pm

October Drop-In Art Activities: Bump in the Night
Bring the family in for a month of celebrating Edgar Allen Poe through art. Create illustrated Poe stories, nighttime creature sculptures, moonlit silhouette shadow boxes and some of the critters you might find in the Walters’ collection.
Every Sat & Sun in Oct 10am – 3pm

Free Family Festival of Champions
Discover your inner superheroes and explore famous characters from ancient Greece to modern times. Celebrate local Baltimore heroes and create artwork honoring champions. Enjoy imaginary journeys with storytellers, musicians and theater groups.
Sat, Oct 24 10am-4pm

Heroes Weekend Walk-in Tours
Sun Oct 25 2pm


Photo Credit: Vox Efx.

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