Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Heat Wave to Hit East Coast

Record high temperatures are hitting many states in the nation this week and it seems that we are next. Forecasters are anticipating the heat index values to rise in between the range of 105 to 115 for the rest of the week.

The American Red Cross has published the following precautions to keep you and your family safe during extreme heat conditions.
  • Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of fluids, even if you do not feel thirsty. Avoid drinks with caffeine or alcohol. Eat small meals and eat more often.
  • Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing. Avoid dark colors because they absorb the sun's rays.
  • Slow down, stay indoors and avoid strenuous exercise during the hottest part of the day. Postpone outdoor games and activities.
  • Take frequent breaks if you must work outdoors, and use a buddy system when working in excessive heat.
  • Check on family, friends and neighbors who do not have air conditioning, who spend much of their time alone or who are more likely to be affected by the heat.
  • Never leave children or pets alone in enclosed vehicles.
  • Check on your animals frequently to ensure that they are not suffering from the heat.
With code orange and code reds in place, many counties and cities have opened up cooling centers where residents can go and get a break from the sweltering heat. Please visit your city or county government's website to see a list of cooling centers in your area.

Friday, July 15, 2011

New Cost Options for Solar Power

Using solar energy is a great way to cut cost on utility bills, but it can be a big expense upfront when installing solar energy systems.

Two companies, Standard Solar and Greenspring Energy, are offering a type of leasing program in which the homeowner can choose how much money they want to put down. This allows Maryland homeowner's to reap the benefits of solar power without the big start up costs.

To read the WBAL TV article and view more information on the program, please CLICK HERE.

MD Daily Record: Maryland foreclosures fall, but news isn't good

"Maryland foreclosures fall, but news isn't good" by Maryland Daily Record

Foreclosures on Maryland properties in the first half of this year fell more than 68 percent compared with the corresponding period in 2010, an extreme example of a nationwide trend, foreclosure listing company RealtyTrac Inc. said Thursday.

But the decline, which resulted from delays in foreclosure processing, may not be good news for homeowners, instead indicating that the housing market is far from recovery.

Foreclosures nationwide fell 29 percent from the first half of 2010, with June marking the ninth straight month where foreclosure activity decreased. Maryland's decrease was the second steepest in the nation, following only Washington, D.C.

"It really unfortunately is an artificially low number, and does not indicate that the housing market is improving," said Rick Sharga, a senior vice president at RealtyTrac. "A lot of foreclosure activity has just been delayed. Ultimately, those foreclosures will hit. The question is when, not if."

Sharga said the delays may push the housing market's recovery out to 2015, a year beyond previous predictions. Maryland, he said, may recover earlier because it was not hit as hard by the housing market crash as many other states.

"It's possible Maryland could come out a little earlier than the rest of the county," Sharga said. "Maryland had some trouble with the housing market, but it wasn't as insane as it was in places like California. The wave of foreclosures now is being driven mostly by unemployment, and Maryland's unemployment rate isn't as high as some other states."

James Saccacio, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac, said the delays in processing may push as many as 1 million foreclosure actions that were scheduled for this year to 2012 or beyond.

"This casts an ominous shadow over the housing market, where recovery is unlikely to happen until the current and forthcoming inventory of distressed properties can be whittled down to a manageable number," Saccacio said in a statement.

Maryland's steeper decrease may be due more to political and social factors than economic ones, said Daraius Irani, director of the Regional Economic Studies Institute at Towson University.

"Maryland is much more of an activist state," Irani said. "It has more consumer interests at heart than maybe some other states would, and its rigorous control requirements are being put into effect and slowing things down."

Although Irani also said Maryland may recover sooner than many other states, he said the housing market will continue to struggle both locally and nationally.

"Until the market settles down and finds the bottom, which I still don't think it's done, all we're doing is postponing the inevitable for the next three to four years," Irani said.

Banks foreclosed on 421,212 homes nationwide in the first half of the year, down from 529,633 in the first six months of 2010.

In Maryland, Prince George's County was hit the hardest with foreclosure notices, with 1.04 percent of all housing properties receiving one, followed by Charles and Frederick counties at 0.5 and 0.42 percent, respectively. Garrett County had the lowest rate at 0.06 percent. The rate in Baltimore City was 0.33 percent, and Baltimore County's rate was 0.25 percent.

Maryland homes receiving foreclosure-related notices over the last six months totaled 8,905, down from 28,293 between January and June of 2010, according to RealtyTrac. The total nationwide was 1.2 million homes.

CLICK HERE to visit the Maryland Daily Record website.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Changes Coming to My Corner Page in for Registered Homeowners

American Community Management has been working with the web designer of to help make navigation easier for our homeowners. Next week, we will be implementing a new My Corner page for all registered users of The information and events posted on the community websites will still be fed onto the My Corner page for quick view, but we have revised the icons on the right hand side of the screen to make it easier to access account information. We believe that this change will not only make navigation easier, but will also enhance the homeowners experience in ACM Home even more.

Flexibility of Services

ACM would like to welcome Lake Village Square Homeowners Association and Mt. Airy Estates Homeowners Association to the Full Community Management level of service offered. Both of these associations recognized the possibility for more involvement from ACM with the management of their community and seized the opportunity to switch levels of service based on the needs of their association at no additional cost.

ACM offers two levels of service to associations; Accounting and Administrative services and Full Community Management services. To learn more about the different levels of service offered, please visit our website, and click on the "Our Services" tab. Associations have the liberty to alternate levels of service depending upon the needs of their association. This switch can be made at any time during the association's contract with ACM at no additional cost. We've structured the two levels of services specifically to meet the different demands and levels of involvement of associations we represent. We MANAGE to Make a Difference!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Administrator of the Month: June 2011

Congratulations to Amber Courtock for being voted Administrator of the month for June 2011! Amber was elected by her peers for her willingness to help whenever and where ever needed. Her positive attitude and commitment to the department makes Amber our star for June!