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Ask for help setting up an automatic home search

September 26, 2009 by  
Filed under Quick

Robot Pillows

A great feature of this website is the automatic home search. You can set this up yourself, or ask us for help. Here is a sample of what I will ask you to get started. This is based on a real email I’ve sent, with the details changed to protect my visitors privacy.


I received your request today for help setting up the search robot. I
would be glad to help.

I will need some information to make this useful. We can start off
general, and make the search more specific as we learn more about what
you are looking for in a house.

The home you mention is in Reisterstown. Do you want to limit to
Reisterstown, or cover a larger area? We can center around a location,
like your place of work. We can center on Reisterstown, but zoom out
for a larger area. So first question: What area to search?

The home you were looking at started at $425,000 and has dropped to
$395,000. So question number two: What price range are you looking in?

This home is a detached home. Condos and townhomes are other choices.
So third question: Limit to detached homes?

This home is 3 bedrooms with 2 and a half baths. Is this the minimum
to search for? Fourth question: How many bedrooms and baths?

This home is on a quarter acre of ground. We don’t have to limit this,
but if you like we can find only homes with a certain amount of
ground. Do you want a lawn, or less grounds to care for?

That is good for a start. I will take your answers and setup an
automatic search. Every time a home that meets your criteria comes on
the market, you will get an email. It is a great way to keep a low key
home search on simmer. When something catches your eye, or if you are
ready to look in earnest, we can show you the homes. We arrange
private tours of the homes you choose. Some homes look much better
than their pictures. Seeing the homes in person is one of the exciting
parts of home shopping.

Thanks for stopping by my site at I hope my
questions put you on the right track for your home search.

In the meantime, I realize you are currently in the information
gathering stage, and may not be ready to “open up” about who you are,
or what your needs are at this time. Be assured this is perfectly
okay, and that Maggie and I will completely respect your online

Also, keep in mind that my ability to help you is dependent upon
understanding your particular needs and wants with respect to finding
a home. So when you are ready to explore your real estate needs
further, I will be happy to assist you.

Have a great day, and I look forward to hearing from you.


Peter Baumbach, Realtor
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc.
Graduate Realtor Institute
410-317-7662 (Direct)
410-795-9600 (General Office Line)

Take the next step and send me an email.

Photo credit, Jelene Morris.

Anne Arundel County Crime Map

September 4, 2009 by  
Filed under Quick

Comments Off on Anne Arundel County Crime Map

Anne Arundel County Crime Map

Yesterday I told you about the Baltimore Sun”s Baltimore County Crime Map. Today I would like to point out that the Sun did two counties. Here is a picture of their Anne Arundel County Crime Map. It has all the same features as the Baltimore County map.

To try it yourself, go to Anne Arundel County Crime Map.

Baltimore County Crime Map

September 3, 2009 by  
Filed under Quick

Comments Off on Baltimore County Crime Map

Baltimore County Crime Map

The Baltimore Sun has put together a mashup of crime data and Google maps. This picture is only an example. As a test I made a heat map of traffic stops in Baltimore County. I had some troubles getting the mashup page to work. If you also have trouble, you might try more than one browser. The successful test was with Google’s Chrome browser.

To try it yourself, go to Baltimore County Crime Map.

Chat with us feature added

August 16, 2009 by  
Filed under Quick

Have Your Say

I am continuously trying to improve the website. My latest improvement is to add an online chat feature. If you look below this text, you will find an image that invites you to chat with us, or to leave us a message. This depends on our being online and standing by at the moment. If we are not, then you can leaves us a message. I want feedback on the HelpShop site, and the best feedback comes from someone who is actively using it. If you have questions , suggestions, or feedback, then please give this new feature a try. If the tool works as well as I hope, then I will experiment with adding the chat logo to the sidebar of every blog post on the site. So, please help me test it.

Real Estate Descriptions Decoder Ring

March 29, 2009 by  
Filed under Quick


Reading property descriptions can be confusing even for Realtors. The space allotted for the description is shorter than what we might have to say to glowingly talk about the home. So we shorten words, and create acronyms. There is no standard; we are free to invent as we choose. And in doing so, we make it hard for our target market to understand what we are saying. Over time, some of these abbreviations have become common. Others are never to be seen again. Here is the beginning of a dictionary to define these terms. If you see any new nonsense words that should be added to the list, or you would like to know what something means, then please send it to me, and I will define it for you.

  • EOG – End of Group. Usually a townhouse.
  • w/ – With. Saves space in the writeup.
  • LR – Living Room
  • DR – Dining Room
  • W/D – Washer and Dryer
  • LG – Large
  • SEP – Separate
  • MOD – Modern
  • APP – Appliances or Application
  • Appl – Appliances
  • INCL – Included
  • FPL – Fire Place
  • FP – Fire Place
  • f/p – Fire Place
  • CL – Closet
  • HOA – Home Owners Association
  • DBL – Double
  • MBR – Master Bedroom
  • MBA – Master Bedroom’s Bath
  • MBD – Master Bedroom
  • FMBA – Full Master Bedroom Bath
  • ATT – Attached
  • GAR – Garage
  • Avail – Available
  • FF – Fully Finished
  • Kit – Kitchen
  • Ex – Excluded
  • Dist – Distance
  • LL – Lower Level
  • L/L – Lower Level
  • w/o – Without
  • BR – Bedroom
  • SF – Single Family
  • TH – Townhome, Townhouse
  • EZ – Easy
  • BA – Bath
  • POSS – Possible
  • FLR – Floor
  • RM – Room
  • FB – Full Bath
  • HB – Half Bath
  • sqft – Square Foot
  • Sq. Ft. – Square Foot
  • SF – Square foot
  • Hdwd – Hardwood
  • Cath – Cathedral
  • FR – Family Room
  • Fin – Finished
  • K – Thousand Dollars
  • P/ – Per
  • Fin – Finished
  • Bsmt – Basement
  • CAC – Central Air Conditioning
  • HWH – Hot Water Heater
  • REO – Real Estate Owned which means Bank Owned
  • A/C – Air Conditioning
  • yrs – Years
  • Fam – Family
  • Opt. – Optional
  • isl – Island
  • bkfst – Breakfast
  • TLC – Tender Loving Care
  • Settle co. – Settlemant/Title Company
  • Tot Fin SF – Total Finished Square Feet
  • Lot AC/SF – Lot Acres and Square Feet
  • HOA/C/C – Home Owners Association or Condo or Coop

Photo credit, Daniel Lobo (modified).

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