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Buying Your First Home

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Real Estate Corner…

 

Q.  What should I know when buying my first home?

 

A.  Buying your first home is a big step, and making mistakes can cost you thousands of dollars.  Here are three you should avoid:

 

  • Not having a professional home inspection.  Review the report carefully so you don’t buy a home with serious issues, such as pests, mold, or water damage.
  • Not doing a “walk-through” before closing.  Visit the property after all the furnishings have been removed so you won’t have any surprises later.
  • Not understanding the contract.  A REALTOR®  who serves as your “Buyer’s Representative” will help you understand your responsibilities and guide you through the process.

HAPPY 2016

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Wishing you a happy and prosperous 2016.   May all your dreams be a reality in 2016.

Marian

Blue Light Affects You

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

How Blue Light Affects You

 

            The blue light emitted by fluorescent light bulbs, cell phones, laptops and tablets can affect your body, according to medical researchers.  Here are some interesting ways (that you can use to your advantage):

¨  More than an hour of time in front of your device can delay sleep.  Exposure to all light at nighttime, but especially blue light, can disrupt your body’s natural cycle.  During the day blue light can wake you up immediately upon exposure, too, so use it to your advantage by turning up your screen for 15 minutes to stay more alert if you’re feeling tired.

¨  Blue light during the day can make you happier, but exposure to blue light at night is linked to symptoms of depression.  Turn off all your devices at night to help you sleep better.

¨  It may make you hungrier.  Various studies suggest the level of the hormone in your body that makes you feel full is reduced after exposure to blue light.  Have a romantic dinner by candlelight instead of in front of the TV.

 

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

To all of my customers, clients and friends,

May you have a wonderful holiday season no matter how you celebrate.  

 

Marian

What To Do If Someone is Following You

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

What To Do If Someone Is Following You

 

      The feeling that someone might be following you is terrifying.  Though it’s not likely, what would you do if the feeling became reality?  Being aware of your surroundings is the best way to tell if someone is actually following you.  Whether you’re on foot or in a vehicle, here’s how to know if someone’s tailing you and then how to handle the situation:

How to Tell

  • Try not to act as if you’re looking for the person following you.  Keep walking or driving at the same speed, and try not to look over your shoulder.
  • Notice small details.  Is the car behind you taking all of the same turns?  Does the suspicious person take a turn away from you but re-appear minutes later?
  • Walk or drive more slowly.  If you’re in a car, move to the right lane and drive a few miles under the speed limit.  If you’re walking, stop for a moment and notice if people around you stop as well.

What to Do

  1. Stay calm. Don’t speed or panic because you’ll be more likely to cause an accident.
  2. Be confusing.  Change your route, stop, retrace your steps, take a quick exit or enter a store unexpectedly. 
  3. Call the police.  It’s better to let the professionals handle the situation.  Let them know exactly where you are and describe the suspect person or vehicle in detail.
  4. If you’re being followed, don’t drive home in case it’s a criminal with bad intentions.  You don’t want them to know where you live.  Instead, drive to the nearest police station or busy public area.

4 Ideas For Happier Holidays

Tuesday, December 08, 2015

4 Ideas For Happier Holidays

 

            The holidays can get stressful in a hurry.  Try these simple methods for celebrating the season – and make it easier for you and your family.

  1. Focus on the act of giving, not the presents.  Buy gifts for the kids, but get your kids involved in giving homemade gifts (cookies, picture books) to other family members. 

  1. Start a family gift exchange.  One idea: have family members put books they’d enjoy on an Amazon.com wish list.  Share those lists and choose the books you want to give them.

  1. Participate in (or donate to) a charitable activity.  Check out a site like www.volunteermatch.org, but start looking early to make sure you are matched with the organization you want.  On a smaller scale, bake something special and deliver it to a fire station or senior citizens’ home.

  1. To ease your own stress, remember to plan ahead.  Use a calendar to set aside days for exercise and rest, and learn to say no if you have too many commitments.

Save on Home & Auto Insurance

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

How To Save On Home And
Auto Insurance

 

                If you just renew insurance policies each year rather than taking the time to review your coverage and discounts, you’re likely paying too much.  Shop around annually (set a date in your calendar to help you remember) to see if you’re getting the best deal.  You can contact a broker, or use sites like Insure.com or QuoteWizard.com.  Ask your provider if they offer the following deals.

Vehicle Insurance

  • Safety devices:  Providers like State Farm and Geico offer a discount for daytime running lights, while Liberty Mutual and Travelers offer a discount for anti-lock brakes. 
  • Young drivers:  Drivers under 25 in your household can mean your rates skyrocket, but good students usually warrant a discount because they’re often safer drivers.  Insurance companies may want to see proof of a B average in school.

Home Insurance

  • Multiple plans:  If you buy auto and home insurance from the same company, you can often get 5 to 15% off your rate.
  • Land value:  Don’t mistakenly buy coverage for the price of your land in your homeowner’s policy – only include coverage for the price of the home.  Land is not at risk of theft or fire, which is what you’re protecting from. 
  • Modernizing/disaster prep:  Ask your insurer – You may be able to add storm shutters, better roofing material, or modernize your electrical or plumbing systems to help lower premiums.

Consider ways to get lower rates as soon as you purchase a new home or vehicle (homes in areas with lower crime rates or a professional fire department generally have lower rates. Vehicles with certain features like anti-theft devices can usually get a discount from auto insurers). 

TAX FREE SHOPPING IN TIME FOR BACK TO SCHOOL

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

This year, once again, Maryland will offer tax free shopping.  It will start August 9th through August 15th.  See below for more information....

http://comptroller.marylandtaxes.com/Public_Services/Agency_Information/Office_of_the_Comptroller/Comptroller_Initiatives/Shop_Maryland_Tax-free_Week/

Avoid Vlolent Crime

Monday, June 22, 2015

How To Avoid Violent Crime

Incidence of personal violence has dropped to its lowest levels in decades, but you should still know how to protect yourself.  According to the National Crime Prevention Council, there are several strategies to stay safe.  Here are the most useful tips organized around four common life situations:

In your car:

  Keep your doors locked and windows rolled up in stop-and-go traffic and at stoplights.

  Leave space between you and the car ahead when stopped so you can escape the line of traffic if necessary.

Walking around:

  Don’t look like a victim.  Criminals often decide on victims based on body language.  Make direct eye contact with people around you, keep your head up, and your phone in your pocket or purse. 

  If you think someone is following you, cross the street.  If a person is following you, quickly go into an open store or restaurant.  Don’t be afraid to yell for help.

When exercising:

  Don’t walk or jog alone early in the morning or late at night when the streets are deserted.

  If you do exercise alone, let a “safe buddy” know where you’re going, and to alert authorities if you don’t check back in at a pre-appointed time.

At night:

  Of course you should park in a well-lit area close to exits, but also have your key out and ready as you approach your car door or house.

  Carry a bright flashlight, pepper spray, or a personal alarm/whistle.  Websites like www.womenonguard.com and www.tbotech.com sell these types of inexpensive devices to help you stay safe. 

If someone tries to rob you, give up your property and not your life.  If you are robbed or assaulted, report the crime to the police.  Try to give a detailed description of the attacker to help prevent someone else from becoming a victim.

Life with Music

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Change Your Life With Music

                Music is an important part of life for many people, but did you know it can affect everything from eating to productivity?  Choose your playlist wisely – you don’t want to accidentally listen to “sleeptime” music when you’re completing a big project for work!  The tempo, or beats per minute (BPM) of music can affect your heart rate and brain waves. Find the BPM of songs you like at https://songbpm.com.  Here are the best types to listen to if you are –

  • Eating – Happy songs without lyrics in a slower tempo, according to a study by psychologists, will help you eat at a slower pace and actually take fewer bites per minute, to help you digest and prevent overeating (BPM varies – try around 60).
  • Relaxing – Classical, not jazz or electronic, tends to affect your brain waves to help you relax and slow down, and can even lower blood pressure.  Try listening to music by the composer Vivaldi  (about 90 BPM).  Look for music that relaxes you, then check the BPM.  That’s the number that works best for you.
  • Improving performance – Whether you’re working out or cleaning the house, play your favorite music.  Studies say your favorite music makes you happier, can boost distance/time of workout (or cleaning time), and make the task more enjoyable (try songs over 100 BPM).
  • Waking up/staying awake – Not surprisingly, faster songs can help you wake up or stay awake.  Very fast songs are great for staying awake during long car rides. Think techno or swing jazz (150 BPM and higher is perfect).
  • Saving a life – “Stayin’ Alive” by the BeeGees is a song almost everyone knows, and it’s the perfect tempo for correct CPR compressions!  If you’re ever called upon to perform this life-saving procedure, just sing this song to yourself and time compressions to the rhythm (120 BPM).

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