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Potential homebuyers near transit sites may get larger mortgages

Baltimore residents can take part in a new program that allows homeowners to qualify for larger mortgages if they live near transit stations.

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Fannie Mae and the Maryland Transportation Administration said last week that they will bring the Smart Commute incentive program to Baltimore. It would be the 12th city to take part in the pilot program.

Under the program, homebuyers can have up to $250 a month added to their potential income if they use public transportation. The added income should enable homeowners to purchase a more expensive home, officials said. Homeowners owning more than two cars cannot qualify for the program.

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Homes inside city limits and within a quarter-mile of a bus station or a half-mile of a rail station are eligible for the program.

The MTA also will offer a one-month transit pass to each household approved for the program.

Area banks participating in the program include SunTrust, Chevy Chase Bank/B.F. Saul Mortgage Co., and the Municipal Employees Credit Union of Baltimore.

Ginter to resign in October from real estate board

Roswitha K. Ginter, an eight-year member of the Maryland Real Estate Commission, is resigning her post at the end of October, saying she wants to give Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. the chance to nominate someone of his choosing.

Ginter, who was appointed to the post in 1995 by then-Gov. Parris N. Glendening, said she enjoyed her role as a consumer member of the commission. Ginter acknowledged, however, that she is looking forward to some relief from the time demands of the volunteer post, saying she and other members often devote up to 60 hours a month to the commission.

Ginter, who owns an insurance company in Camp Springs, serves on the nine-member panel that oversees and regulates the state's real estate industry. It is composed of consumers and real estate professionals.

Commissioners are appointed to staggered, four-year terms. Ginter was appointed through June 2004.

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Coldwell Banker's Neary named Realtor of year

William J. Neary Jr., an associate broker with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage's St. Michaels office, has been named 2003 Realtor of the year by the Mid-Shore Board of Realtors.

This is the second time Neary has received the award.

Neary has been in real estate for 15 years and is involved with the National Association of Realtors.

The Easton resident, who has served on numerous state and regional committees, also is active at the state level, as president of the Maryland Association of Realtors Foundation for Affordable Housing and chairing this year's nominating committee for state leadership.


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