News & Media

Coastal announces Fair Housing Art Contest finalists
March 13, 2019
Lower Eastern Shore, Md. – The Coastal Association of REALTORS® (Coastal) has chosen three finalists in this year’s Fair Housing Art Contest.
(From left) Coastal President-Elect Joe Wilson, Harper Hertrich, Ansh Batra, Cora Lee Conway, and Coastal President Bernie Flax. 
  • Harper Hertrich, 3rd grade, Worcester Preparatory School
  • Cora Lee Conway, 4th grade, Worcester Preparatory School
  • Ansh Batra, 5th grade, Worcester Preparatory School
Each finalist received a framed copy of their submission and a Visa gift card, compliments of Coastal.
The three finalists have been forwarded to the Maryland REALTORS®. Only one will be chosen for inclusion in the statewide 2020 Fair Housing...
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Coastal announces 2018 election endorsements
August 9, 2018
Lower Eastern Shore, Md. – The Coastal Association of REALTORS® (Coastal) is pleased to announce its endorsements in the upcoming 2018 county elections.
Worcester County
(From left) Coastal Vice President Joseph Wilson, REALTOR® and Incumbent Worcester County Commissioners Candidate Bud Church, Coastal Director Austin Whitehead, RPAC Chair Rick Proctor, and Coastal President Joel Maher.
Coastal endorses longtime REALTOR® and incumbent Bud Church for reelection to the District 3 seat on the Worcester County Commissioners. Church is a REALTOR® Emeritus, meaning he has been a...
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Coastal visits Capitol Hill for Legislative Meetings
May 29, 2018
Washington, DC – During the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) Annual Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo in Washington, DC, REALTORS® from across the country, including members from the Coastal Association of REALTORS® (Coastal), traveled to Capitol Hill to meet with their federal elected officials.
REALTORS® and association staff from across Maryland meet with Rep. Andy Harris on Capitol Hill during the 2018 National Association of REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Expo. 
The purpose of the visits is to share with elected officials NAR’s legislative priorities, which this year include strong net neutrality protections, long term reauthorization of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), tax policy improvements, and equal access to housing...
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Local fair housing contest winner honored in Annapolis
April 27, 2018
Annapolis, Md. – Maxi Ruggerio, a fifth grader at Worcester Preparatory School, traveled to Annapolis with family, teachers, and representatives from the Coastal Association of REALTORS® (Coastal) on Monday, April 23, 2018 for a special recognition ceremony with Maryland Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford.
(From left) Coastal Association of REALTORS® President Joel Maher, Worcester Preparatory Head of Lower School Laura Holmes, Worcester Preparatory School Art Teacher Rebecca Tittermary, 5th grader Maxi Ruggerio, Cindy and Rhett Ruggerio, and Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford. Photo courtesy of Executive Office of the Governor.
The ceremony, held in the Maryland State House, honored 13 students from across the state who were chosen...
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CAR Reminder: Carbon monoxide alarms only required in some rentals
March 8, 2018
Lower Eastern Shore, Md. – The deadline for installation of carbon monoxide (CO) alarms in some rental properties is April 1, 2018, and the Coastal Association of REALTORS® (CAR) is reminding the public that alarms are only required in properties that contain a carbon monoxide source.
In 2016, the Maryland General Assembly passed House Bill 849 and its companion Senate Bill 182. These bills require the installation of carbon monoxide alarms for any new and existing rental units that contain any fuel burning equipment or wood burning appliance, or has an enclosed attached garage. They are not required in rental dwelling units that are powered solely by an electric power supply,...
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CAR launches annual Fair Housing contest
November 29, 2017
Berlin, Md. – The Coastal Association of REALTORS® (CAR) is encouraging local teachers and students to participate in the annual Fair Housing Art Contest, which sends winning students to Annapolis for a meeting with the governor or other state official.
Sponsored by the Maryland REALTORS®, the contest is a means for REALTORS® across the state to help increase awareness of this important issue. “Fair housing” pertains to the Fair Housing Act, which prohibits discrimination in the sale and rental of housing based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status or handicap. The contest aims to teach children that discrimination is not only wrong, but illegal.
The format of the Fair Housing contest has changed, in that winning submissions will be displayed in an informational fair housing brochure that will be distributed statewide to public libraries, housing counseling agencies, and...
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Local REALTORS® oppose Salisbury tax increase
May 23, 2017
Salisbury, Md. – The Coastal Association of REALTORS® (CAR), a trade association that represents over 1,000 local real estate professionals, is opposed to the proposed property tax increase for non-owner occupied properties in the City of Salisbury.
Joel Maher, President-Elect of the Coastal Association of REALTORS®, speaks at the May 22 public hearing for Salisbury’s proposed Fiscal Year 2018 budget, which includes a property tax increase for non-owner occupied properties.
The Salisbury City Council is currently considering a two-tier property tax structure, which would charge more for residential and commercial properties that are not owner occupied. The current tax rate for all city properties is $.9432 per $100 of assessed value. What’s...
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Coastal REALTORS® holds annual Legislative Breakfast
May 15, 2017
Salisbury, MD – The Coastal Association of REALTORS® (CAR) held its annual Legislative Breakfast on Thursday, May 11, 2017 at the Wicomico Youth & Civic Center.
(From left) CAR Director and Government Affairs and RPAC Committees Chair Joseph Wilson, Del. Chris Adams, CAR President Don Bailey, Sen. Adelaide Eckardt, Sen. Jim Mathias, Del. Charles Otto, Del. Sheree Sample-Hughes, Del. Carl Anderton, Eastern Shore Intergovernmental Affairs Liaison for Governor Larry Hogan’s Office Bunky Luffman, Del. Mary Beth Carozza, and Del. Johnny Mautz.
Nearly 80 REALTOR® and affiliate members, state elected officials, and local elected officials attended the event, held in the Flanders Room. Attendees enjoyed a hearty Eastern Shore breakfast while...
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Local REALTORS® meet with state legislators in Annapolis
January 25, 2017
Annapolis, Md. – Members and staff from the Coastal Association of REALTORS® (CAR) traveled to Annapolis on Tuesday, January 24, 2017 to participate in the Maryland Association of REALTORS® (MAR) 2017 Lobby Day.
Members and staff from the Coastal Association of REALTORS® participated in the 2017 Maryland Association of REALTORS® Lobby Day in Annapolis. (From left) Mickey Lobb; Government & Public Affairs Director Sarah Rayne; Board Member and Government Affairs and RPAC Committee Chair Joseph Wilson; Board Member Grace Masten; Sen. Jim Mathias; Past President Vicki Harmon; President Don Bailey; Vice President Terrence McGowan; and Board Member Brandon Johnson.
This annual event is an...
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Local REALTORS® applaud eased FAA drone regulations
June 27, 2016
Lower Eastern Shore, Md. – Eased regulations announced last week by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) are expected to open the door for expanded Unmanned Aerial System (UAS), or drone, use in the local real estate industry.
Drones are useful in a number of real estate-related applications, including marketing properties, assisting with appraisals, facilitating insurance claims, and overseeing utility work. However strict regulations have historically hindered commercial use of drones. The new rules announced last week should allow for more real estate and other professionals to use drones for commercial purposes.
  • Commercial drone operators are no longer required to hold a pilot’s license. However, they must still obtain new certification for ‘remote pilot in command’ authority, which is less burdensome then a pilot’s license. The test is administered at FAA...
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Coastal REALTORS® celebrates Fair Housing Month, announces statewide calendar contest winner
April 8, 2016
Lower Eastern Shore, Md. – In recognition of April being Fair Housing Month, the Coastal Association of REALTORS® (CAR) is pleased to announce Lindsay Birkhead-Morton of Snow Hill Middle School as a statewide winner in the annual Maryland Association of REALTORS® (MAR) Fair Housing Calendar Contest.
(From left) Snow Hill Middle School Art Teacher Debra Passalacqua, 2nd place winner Lindsay Birkhead-Morton, and Community Involvement Committee member Ann Hammond of Long & Foster in Salisbury.
Birkhead-Morton was one of three local contest finalists. The other two were Ayati Sangwan of North Salisbury Elementary School and LaNazia Goeins of Princess Anne Elementary School. Each received a Visa gift card from CAR and...
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Trend of increased contracts carries into September
October 2, 2015
Berlin, Md. – The Lower Shore again saw increased pending sales throughout September, according to the latest figures from the Coastal Association of REALTORS® (CAR).
CAR’s local housing statistics for September 2015 showed an overall 19.2 percent increase in contracts, or pending sales, compared to same time last year in Somerset, Wicomico, and Worcester Counties.
Single family homes in Worcester and Wicomico Counties saw the highest jumps in contracts, increasing by 33.3 percent and 27 percent, respectively, compared to the same time last year.
Overall settlements throughout the Tri-County area decreased by 12.8 percent, however single family home settlements in Somerset County were up 7.1 percent. Listing and sales prices were down by 9.4 percent and 11 percent, respectively. Days on market decreased by 33.9 percent, which indicates that homes are being sold faster,...
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Coastal Association of REALTORS® joins Real Estate Standards Organization
August 19, 2015
Berlin, Md. – To ensure the clarity of its Multiple Listing Service (MLS) data, the Coastal Association of REALTORS® (CAR) has joined the Real Estate Standards Organization (RESO).
“By joining RESO, CAR is ensuring its data is standardized so that it is easily understood by brokers, agents, and clients across the country,” said Veronica Bishop, CAR’s MLS Administrator. “For example, the definition of a bedroom or a waterfront property will be the same in our MLS as it is in an MLS owned by any other association or broker.”
CAR’s MLS tracks the activity of 1,000 REALTORS® in Somerset, Wicomico, and Worcester counties. The MLS is a vital tool to help listing brokers find cooperative brokers working with buyers to help sell their clients’ homes. Without the collaborative incentive of the MLS, brokers would create their own separate systems of cooperation, fragmenting rather than...
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Local REALTORS® support alternative concept for rental restrictions
August 12, 2015
Ocean City, Md. – The alternative concept for R-1A rental restrictions presented to the Ocean City Mayor and Council by Chris Mitchell, Regional Vice President of Coldwell Banker Vacations on Tuesday, August 11, 2015 has the full support of the Coastal Association of REALTORS® (CAR).
The concept was approved for endorsement by the CAR Board of Directors as a means to address short-term rental concerns voiced by some homeowners in Ocean City’s R-1 Single Family Home Zoning Districts.
The concept was made part of the Mayor and Council’s public work session agenda packet. The council voted to instruct town staff to turn the concept into a formal proposal for consideration at a later date.
The preventative and enforcement measures suggested in the concept include a separate rental license for short-term rentals in R-1 zoned areas, a city inspection to ensure compliance...
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Local REALTORS®: “Private Property Rights Matter!”
June 12, 2015
Ocean City, Md. – The Coastal Association of REALTORS® (CAR) – which serves REALTOR® members in Somerset, Wicomico, and Worcester counties – is strongly opposed to proposed Ocean City legislation that would infringe the rights of private property owners.
The Ocean City Planning & Zoning Commission will hold a public hearing on Tuesday, June 16, 2015 at 7 p.m. in City Hall regarding legislation to create an R-1A Single Family Residential District, which would prohibit all rentals with leases that run less than 12 months. Residential neighborhoods would need to apply for the designation, and that request would be considered by the Mayor and City Council.
The legislation is very similar in nature to a measure proposed last summer, which automatically prohibited short term rentals in existing residential neighborhoods, minus the application process...
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Over 100 local REALTORS® sign letters to oppose Somerset property tax increase
May 26, 2015
Princess Anne, Md. – The Coastal Association of REALTORS® (CAR) – which serves REALTOR® members in Somerset, Wicomico, and Worcester counties – submitted over 100 signed letters to the Somerset County Commissioners today in opposition of the 13.1 percent property tax increase proposed for Fiscal Year 2016.
“Too often, government bodies turn to the real estate industry to address their budgetary shortfalls,” said Vicki Harmon, president of the CAR board of directors. “In Somerset County, they’re turning to an industry that’s already struggling.”
According to CAR’s local housing statistics derived from the Multiple Listing Service, only 176 residential properties were sold by CAR members in Somerset County in 2014, compared to 928 in Wicomico and 1,759 in Worcester. CAR members believe that an increased property tax rate, on top of increased flood insurance rates coming later this year...
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Local REALTORS® support Wicomico impact fee moratorium
April 22, 2015
Salisbury, Md. – Members of the Coastal Association of REALTORS® (CAR), which is the leading local advocacy group in the real estate industry on the Lower Eastern Shore of Maryland, banded together this week to show their support of a moratorium on residential impact fees in Wicomico County proposed by County Executive Bob Culver.
Several members of the Coastal Association of REALTORS® sit in the audience at the Tuesday, April 21, 2015 meeting of the Wicomico County Council. 
In a 6-1 vote, the Wicomico County Council on Tuesday, April 21, 2015 approved the six-month moratorium on the imposition and collection of the Public School Impact Fee for new single- and multi-family construction. During that six-month period, the county will study the...
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Salisbury officials remind public of residential occupancy limits
August 25, 2014
Salisbury, Md. - The City of Salisbury reminds the public that occupancy limits exist in certain residential districts.
Predominantly, occupancy is limited to either a "family" as defined in the Salisbury Municipal Code or two unrelated persons. These occupancy classifications cannot be intermingled. Fines and penalties exist for non-compliance. Residents, landlords, and new leasees are encouraged to know the current occupancy requirements in single family neighborhoods.
The City of Salisbury passed the Tenants Bill of Rights in July 2011 that requires that renters are informed of the number of non-related persons that may live in a dwelling and that landlord retaliation is prohibited if a renter exercises his or her rights under the law or a lease.
"Our code enforcement officers have seen an uptick in the amount of renter issues where the number of non-related persons allowed in a dwelling...
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Local REALTORS® turn out in droves for Ocean City rental restrictions public hearing
August 20, 2014
Ocean City, Md. – In response to a possible restriction on short-term rentals in Ocean City’s single family residential zoning districts, local REALTORS®, many of whom are members of the Coastal Association of REALTORS®, shared their concerns and suggested alternatives at an August 19, 2014 Planning and Zoning Commission public hearing.
The restriction, proposed by city staff, would prohibit short-term rentals in the R-1 and MH zoning districts. This proposal was spurred by complaints, primarily from residents of the Mallard Island subdivision, regarding overcrowding, excessive noise, inadequate parking, and a general incompatibility between residents and tourists.
The commission was tasked with holding a public hearing to gather information that members would use to formulate an opinion, which will be forwarded to City Council. The issue will be considered again by the commission at its next regular...
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