Real Estate in Maryland

Maryland may not be one of the largest states in the United States; however, it does serve as the home state for a significant portion of the population. This state has suburbs jam-packed with families and busy cities filled with businesspeople and politicians who have commuted from Washington, D.C. for a less expensive cost of living. There are a great many real estate opportunities throughout Maryland.

Maryland Real Estate Commission

The State of Maryland has a Real Estate Commission under their Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing. Not only does the Commission handle licensing of real estate agents and brokers, but it also takes care of any complaints and subsequent disciplinary actions against agents or brokers.

The official mission statement of the Commission states that the organization will work to safeguard the "health, safety, and welfare" of the general public through the methods it uses in examining, licensing, and regulating real estate activities. In other words, the Commission acts to make laws on real estate practices and procedures that help the public.

Real Estate Laws in Maryland

Of course, there are dozens (if not more) of real estate laws in Maryland. However, these are some of the more commonly known:

  • A home buyer cannot be compelled to go through a specific lender or settlement company, no matter if he is purchasing a new home or an existing home.
  • Maryland real estate advertising that contains a phone number of an individual broker or agent must also contain the contact number of the branch office.
  • Each real estate agent must complete a three-hour ethics course once every two years that "includes Maryland Code of Ethics and a discussion of the practices of flipping and predatory lending."

Ground Rent – A Unique Real Estate Concept in Maryland

Ground Rent isn't common across the country; however, in parts of Maryland—especially throughout Baltimore—it is quite ordinary. The concept dates back to the 18th century and was intended to keep initial homeownership costs low.

The way this real estate practice works is that when someone purchases a home, they become the owner of the actual home; however, someone else owns that actual property on which the home resides. So, the homeowner must pay rent to the owner of the property, or ground—in other words, he must pay ‘ground rent.'

Typically, this amount ranges from $50 to $150 annually, paid in two installments. Homeowners can arrange to purchase the ground when buying their homes, though, so as to avoid this yearly cost.

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