Maryland Mortgage Program- FREE Closing Cost Assistance

Maryland Mortgage Program- FREE Closing Cost Assistance
Betsy Spiker Holcomb, Deep Creek Lake’s Favorite Realtor
Maryland Mortgage Program- FREE Closing Cost Assistance
Call Betsy @ 301-616-5022 with questions.

Maryland Mortgage Program- Closing Cost Assistance

  • Effective 1/20/17, the Maryland Mortgage Program is offering the Maryland Mortgage Grant Assist Program.

  • Grant Assist offers homebuyers closing cost assistance in the form of a 4% grant of the first loan amount.

  • Grant funds must be used exclusively for closing costs of the mortgage loan/home purchase.

  • Grant funds may not be used for down payment or combined with any down payment assistance products offered by CDA.

  • The grant must always equal 4%; no higher or lower percentages are allowed.

  • If the grant exceeds closing costs the excess will be applied as a principal curtailment.

  • Employers, builders, developers, non-profits or other contributors may offer additional assistance; however, the Partner Match Program is not available and the assistance will not be matched by the Department.

  • The Fact Sheet with all details will be available on the MMP website Fact Sheet Page at:


Call Betsy Holcomb for more information @ 301-616-5022 or email her at

Student Loan Debt-Hogan Announces First SmartBuy Purchase

Student Loan Debt-Hogan Announces First SmartBuy Purchase
Betsy Spiker Holcomb, Deep Creek Lake’s Favorite Realtor


Student Loan Debt-Hogan Announces First SmartBuy Purchase
Taylor-Made Vacations and Sales


Student Loan Debt-Hogan Announces First SmartBuy Purchase


Program will Ease Student Loan Debt, Promote Homeownership!

 ANNAPOLIS, MD (November 21, 2016) – The Hogan Administration today announced the first home purchase under a new homeownership initiative designed to ease the burden of student debt. Maryland SmartBuy, within the Department of Housing and Community Development, is the first program of its kind in the nation and will make move-in-ready homes available to buyers while eliminating student loan debt burden, which is often a significant barrier to homeownership for younger homebuyers.


Maryland SmartBuy is the latest initiative in the Hogan administration’s ongoing commitment to help qualified buyers move out from under student debt and into homeownership. The event was attended by Lt. Governor Boyd Rutherford and Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development Secretary Kenneth C. Holt.


“With the launch of SmartBuy, Maryland is among the first in the nation to actively address student debt as an obstacle to homeownership,” said Lt. Governor Rutherford. “We recognize that first-time homebuyers play a pivotal role in the health of the housing market, which is critical to the strength of Maryland’s overall economy.”


This law, which was introduced by the Hogan Administration in the 2016 Legislative Session, authorizes the department to make direct payments on student loans in conjunction with other financial assistance or residential mortgage loans offered under the Maryland Mortgage Program, beginning with the Maryland SmartBuy initiative.


Under the initiative, eligible buyers with student debt can purchase move-in-ready properties made available through the department. The typical buyer can realize substantial savings on quality homes throughout Maryland. Specifically, Maryland SmartBuy will:


Eliminate the buyer’s student loan debt

Provide the buyer with one convenient payment per month

Enable the buyer to access attractive financing and closing cost assistance

Ensure a safe, streamlined, and straightforward home buying and financing experience.


“With Maryland SmartBuy, our state is at the forefront of removing the obstacle of student debt to successful homeownership,” said Department Secretary Kenneth C. Holt. “We want to empower young people to establish roots in Maryland and help strengthen our state as they enjoy the financial security of homeownership.”


The initiative will create an innovative home buying model that could be adopted by the rest of the nation. Mortgage loans will be provided through the department’s Maryland Mortgage Program, which has been the state’s flagship homeownership assistance program for over 30 years. Traditionally, the program provides fixed-rate mortgages, primarily to first-time homebuyers, along with other down payment and closing cost incentives.


For more information about the Maryland SmartBuy initiative, visit


CONTACT: Sara Luell, Director of Communications,, 301-458-1995 (cell), 301-429-7803 (office)

16 Cedar Shores Drive #17

Betsy Spiker Holcomb Deep Creek Lakes Favorite Realtor
Betsy Spiker Holcomb, Deep Creek Lake’s Favorite Realtor

16 Cedar Shores Drive #17. In the heart of McHenry at Deep Creek Lake, you will find this three level log townhome at Cedar Shores. Walk into the spacious great room where you’re immediately struck by beautiful hardwood maple floors. There’s an open floor plan with kitchen and entertaining room perfect for family get-togethers. There is also a cozy dining area with a nice view of Deep Creek Lake and Wisp ski slopes. Continue reading 16 Cedar Shores Drive #17

HAVE a HEART Guest Bartender Challenge at JG’s


Betsy Spiker Holcomb Deep Creek Lakes Favorite Realtor
Betsy Spiker Holcomb, Deep Creek Lake’s Favorite Realtor


Taylor-Made Vacations and Sales
Taylor-Made Vacations and Sales



HAVE a HEART Guest Bartender Challenge at JG’s is right around the corner! Taylor-Made Vacations and Sales will be volunteering at JG’s Pub on Tuesday, May 3 for the annual HAVE a HEART Guest Bartender challenge! Hosted by JG”s Pub, guest bartenders from Taylor-Made Vacations and Sales will mix up your favorite cocktail, get you some delicious grub, and contribute their tips to Hart for Animals! There will also be a 50/50 raffle, silent auction and lots of cool people to enjoy the fun with.


Taylor-Made Vacations and Sales
Taylor-Made Vacations and Sales

HART stands for Homeless Animal Rescue Team.

All HART animals receive:

  • Top notch veterinarian care
  • All currently needed vaccinations
  • Specialized treatment and surgeries as needed
  • 24 Pet Watch Microchips
  • Spay / neuter of all animals
  • HART members share the same goal to save, spay / neuter, love, and find them forever homes
  • HART is a 100% volunteer, non-profit 501c3 charity organization with no paid staff of any kind. All donations are tax deductible and will directly benefit the animals.



HART’s mission is to improve the lives of animals in Western Maryland by:

  • Rescuing animals and transporting them to areas where they will have a better chance of being adopted.
  • Reducing pet overpopulation through low-cost spaying and neutering.
  • Building a humane and friendly animal center, where adoptable animals will never have to be euthanized.
  • Providing information and education to owners about responsible pet ownership, obedience training and rehabilitation of rescues to reduce the number of relinquished and abandoned animals.

To achieve our mission, HART has raised $2.75 million dollars to build and equip the HART Animal Center and to provide ancillary services that will ensure the continued operation of the Center by creating a source of revenue and a permanent endowment. The Center also is creating job opportunities and training county residents interested in animal care, rehabilitation, and rescue and support Garrett County’s efforts to enforce the laws against animal cruelty and neglect.


HART’s Animal Adoption Center has become a model for compassionate animal rescue and community involvement in saving the lives of companion animals. HART has brought about a community where the famous words of Mahatma Gandhi inspire the efforts of everyone involved in making the center a reality:

“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated. I hold that, the more helpless a creature, the more entitled it is to protection by man from the cruelty of man.”


Contact information:




Real estate market looking up at Deep Creek Lake


Betsy Spiker Holcomb Deep Creek Lakes Favorite Realtor
Betsy Spiker Holcomb Deep Creek Lakes Favorite Realtor

Real estate market looking up at Deep Creek Lake. YES, this statment is proving to be true!  There have been 17 residential sales thus far in 2010, with sales prices ranging anywhere from $80,000-825,000.  On top of that, there are 32 additional residential properties that are under contract or pending sale with asking prices of  $42,900-2,250,000.  This is potentially 49 sales for the 1st quarter of 2010.  Nothing to shrug off considering the low consumer confidence we’ve seen over the last 18 months.

For comparison, there were 18 home sales during the same time last year ( 1/1/09-3/1/09), 32 sales in 2008, 49 sales in 2007 and 67 sales in 2006.  Our average list price to sales price ratio is still 91%, which is considerably good when looking at the nation’s averages.  (Source for # of units sold: Metropolitan Regional Information Systems, MRIS)

Deep Creek Lake’s real estate source

Real estate market looking up at Deep Creek Lake
Real Estate expert Betsy Spiker Holcomb


Real Estate information from Deep Creek Lake

Betsy Spiker Holcomb Deep Creek Lakes Favorite Realtor
Betsy Spiker Holcomb Deep Creek Lakes Favorite Realtor


We’ve made it through the first 36-48” we received at Deep Creek Lake this weekend and now we’re bearing down for the next 12-20” coming tonight and tomorrow.  Having been housebound for a day, I was able to catch up on some market tidbits and interesting facts recently released by The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR®).

NAR® has recently released a book that outlines the buying habits of the previous year, 2009.  What we have believed over the past year is now official…90% of buyers use the internet to search for real estate.  Although these statistics are geared toward a primary residence homebuyer rather than a second homebuyer, the tactics are still the same for any buyer.  This information is helpful in ‘moving with the market’ and adapting your business plan to meet the wishes of your target market.

  • 47% of recent homebuyers were first-time.
  • 21% of recent homebuyers were single women.
  • Typical homebuyer searched for 12 weeks and saw 12 homes before buying.
  • Recent sellers sold their home for 95% of asking price and 60% had reduced the price at least once.
  • 42% of recent sellers offered incentives in terms of warranties and closing help.
  • Sources recent buyers used in home search:  90% internet, 87% agent, 59% yard sign.
  • Most frequently used sources by buyers:  76% internet, 68% agent, 24% yard sign.
  • “Most useful” information for buyers was found:  81% agent, 77% internet, 42% yard sign, 2% newspaper.
  • Buyers found the home they purchased using:  36% agent, 36% internet, 12% yard sign, 2% newspaper.
  • Website features buyers found “very useful”:  84% photos, 82% detailed information, 63% virtual tours, 46% agent contact information, 43% interactive maps, 40% neighborhood information.
  • What buyers want most from real estate agents:  46% finding home, 16% negotiating terms, 13% negotiating price, 9% help with paperwork, 8% comps.
  • What buyers considered benefits of using an agent:  63% understand process, 53% pointing out unnoticed features/faults, 42% negotiate terms, 41% improve knowledge of search area, 41% improved list of vendors, 20% expanded buyers search area, 18% narrowed buyers search area.
  • Number of agents interviewed by buyer:  66% one, 19% two, 10% three.
  • “Most important” factors for buyer agent selection:  98% honesty/integrity, 95% knowledge of purchase process, 93% responsiveness, 92% market knowledge, 84% negotiating skills, 83% people skills.
  • Methods used to find agent:  40% referral, 24% used agent used previously, 5% met agent at an open house, 3% saw contact information on yard sign or open house sign, 1% calendar, magnet, etc.
  • “Most important” factors for listing agent selection: 22% pricing help, 21% find a buyer, 19% marketing help, 19% selling home within specific timeframe, 10% find ways to fix-up home so it will sell for more.
  • 85% of all FSBOs had an agent bring the buyer.
  • FSBO vs Agent Assisted Sales Price:  FSBO $172,000, Agent Assisted $215,000
  • (Source: National Association of REALTORS®)

As always, feel free to contact me anytime concerning Deep Creek Lake or Garrett County real estate 301.616.5022.  With the upcoming President’s Day holiday and the fresh powder, it’s the perfect opportunity to visit Deep Creek Lake, Maryland for a long weekend and take on Wisp Ski Resort’s 30+ trails.

Real Estate information from Deep Creek Lake
Wisp Resort