Industry Watch

THE BALTIMORE SUN

ReMax planning to buy 3 franchises in Md. and Va.

ReMax International said last month that it plans to buy three area franchises that include eight offices and 400 agents in Maryland and Virginia.

Wayne Wyvill, the owner of ReMax 100, is selling offices in Waldorf, Prince Frederick, Camp Springs and Dunkirk in Maryland and an office in Springfield, Va. Joseph Anselmo is selling his Maryland office - ReMax Realty Plus in Frederick.

Norma Marsho, the owner of ReMax Columbia and ReMax Columbia-Ellicott City, also is selling her operations.

All three will remain with the new company: Wyvill will hold the position of president, Anselmo will be vice president and Marsho will serve as consultant to the new company.

"We're all going to run our own groups and work together to pool our talents and resources," Marsho said. "And we have the resources of ReMax International."

The name for all the offices involved in the sale will be ReMax 100. The name transition is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

The sales mark the first acquisition on the East Coast since ReMax Chairman and co-founder Dave Liniger said ReMax International would begin acquiring existing real estate franchises.

Plowman is selected for Harford Realtor honor

Judy Plowman, a branch vice president of the Bel Air/Festival office of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, recently was named Harford County Realtor of the year by the county's Realtors' association.

Plowman is a 24-year real estate veteran and has received many awards during her career.

During her 14 years in Harford County, Plowman has been named manager of the year by the company for eight consecutive years and has won 45 quarterly company awards for both the state of Maryland and the Northeast.

Plowman is a member of the Harford County Board of Realtors board of directors and a member of various state and county committees.

Reno wins award for real estate law

The Baltimore office of Venable LLP said that partner Russell R. "Ronnie" Reno Jr. was honored as the first recipient of the Distinguished Maryland Real Property Practitioner Award at a ceremony last month.

Host for the event was the Maryland State Bar Association's real property, planning and zoning section.

Reno has been practicing real estate law for close to 46 years. He has worked with a number of Maryland developers and routinely serves as local counsel to New York law firms.

He also has published a two-volume report called Maryland Real Estate Forms-Practice.

Urban League to offer homeownership series

The Greater Baltimore Urban League Inc. will offer a free homeownership series this month.

The series will offer resources including the opportunity to speak with a lender about credit reports and a question-and-answer session with real estate professionals, loan officers and home inspectors.

Classes will be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. July 15; from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. July 19; from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. July 22; and from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. July 29.

The classes are at 512 Orchard St.

The series will be held monthly.

To register, call Shanelle Shakoor at 410-523-8150, Ext. 246.

Ga. survey links obesity, residential populations

Are you living in Fat City?

Maybe that's what some neighborhoods ought to be called, in light of a survey of Atlanta residents that contends that the higher the population density of an area, the less likely its residents will be overweight.

Researchers from Georgia Tech kept tabs on 17,000 people in the Atlanta area for two years, looking for connections between sprawl and health.

One major conclusion: If people can walk to restaurants and shops, they will - and thus they tend to weigh less than people who depend on cars, said the researchers, who obviously haven't taken a stroll through some busy Chicago neighborhoods recently.

The findings say that in a neighborhood of more than eight residences per acre, the percentage of white men who are overweight is 50 percent, vs. 68 percent where there are two residences or fewer per acre.

For white women, the numbers are 22 percent overweight and 32 percent, respectively.

The researchers said results are similar for black men, though the numbers for black women are less conclusive.

Study ties homeownership to personal happiness

Money may not buy you happiness, but it can buy you a home, and a new study contends that homeownership is a ticket to happiness.

The study, conducted by a professor at Ohio State University, says homeowners make society a better place, and links ownership to a host of positive traits: Homeowners are healthier, they're more public-spirited citizens and their children do better in school.

And, yes, homeowners are happier than non-homeowners, according to researcher Robert Dietz.

Just makes you want to go out and make a mortgage payment, doesn't it? Dietz may be on to something, but one should bear in mind that the study was funded by a group called the Homeownership Alliance, a collaboration of prominent housing industry trade groups.

Ocean floors off Mass. see rash of development

If you think zoning issues are heated now, wait until the Commonwealth of Massachusetts gets its act together on zoning the ocean floor.

It's a fair point: The coastline of the Bay State is littered with underwater phone lines, pipes and electrical cables, and now the apparent approach of "wind farms" - dozens of electricity-generating turbines planned for shallow waters off Nantucket - has grabbed the state's attention.

It probably will become the nation's first state to zone its public waters.

Ed McMahon settles mold case, report says

Mold has become such an enormous industry that there's now a legal magazine devoted to mold litigation.

HarrisMartin Publishing's Columns-Mold, reports that television figure Ed McMahon, who sued various companies when a pipe burst in his house, resulting in mold growth, has settled with several defendants for more than $7 million. The lawsuit contended that the mold made McMahon and his wife sick and killed their dog.

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