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Friday, October 06, 2017

DARLINGTON, MD - It's fall and that means it's time for the Darlington Apple Festival. The festival is set for Saturday, Oct. 7.

The Darlington Apple Festival happens every year the first Saturday in October. It is a rain-or-shine event.

Here are all the things you need to know.

When: The Darlington Apple Festival is from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 7.

What: Enjoy a day in the country with vendors, crafters, apples, produce, family activities, live musical entertainment and refreshments. Hay rides will be available behind Darlington United Methodist Church, 2118 Shuresville Road, Darlington, and so will pony rides. A cornhole tournament is also planned.

Live music will be provided by the following:

How Big: About 50,000 people attend the Darlington Apple Festival each year. The festival started in 1986.

What Not To Bring: Neither pets nor alcohol is permitted.

How To Get There

The Darlington Apple Festival is at 2120 Shuresville Road in Darlington.

Shuresville Road will be closed at 8 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 7.

Shuttle service to the festival will be available at Chesapeake Harley-Davidson (4600 Thunder Court), the Darlington firehouse (2600 Castleton Road) and the field across from the High's gas station (4585 Conowingo Road).

Handicapped parking is on the grounds of Darlington Elementary School. To get there from MD Route 161/Darlington Road, take a right onto Old Quaker Road and then proceed on School Road. Signs for handicapped parking will be posted.

By Elizabeth Janney (Patch Staff)

SummerTime Weeding

Thursday, July 13, 2017

The Basics of Summer Weeding

Summer is here and that means splashing in the pool, kicking back with a tall glass of iced tea and everyone’s favorite activity—weeding! Maybe we are exaggerating a little bit, but weeding is an unavoidable summer chore. The combination of summer rain and summer sun means that every plant in the yard is growing like crazy, so how can you stay on top of weed growth during the warmer months?

Do a Little Bit Every Day

Since everything in your yard grows so quickly over the course of the summer, it’s important to weed every day if possible. Practice taking 10 minutes every day when you return home to weed your yard. Putting in 10 minutes 6 days a week is equivalent to spending a sweaty hour in the sun on Sunday.

Get Your Hands Dirty

While there are many different weeding tools available on the market, from devices to chemicals, nothing beats the two hands that you already have. Put on a pair of gloves and weed by hand before they have the chance to flower. The longer that you wait to pull out the weeds, the more likely they are to spread and take over your flowerbeds. The best time to weed is after a period of rain while the soil is damp but not muddy. Pull weeds out from the root to get the entire plant and prevent them from re-sprouting. Weeding in dry soil often breaks the plant off before the root so it will grow right back in a couple of days.

Use Mulch If Necessary

Once your garden is free of weeds, mulch can help to maintain it. Weeds prefer bare soil, so a quick layer of mulch will keep weeds at bay and prevent them from popping up again.  

Information supplied by Chesapeake Landscapes

Wealth with Real Estate Rental Properties

Friday, July 07, 2017

Real Estate Corner…


Q. How can I build wealth with real estate rental properties?

A.  Before purchasing rental property, consider the following factors to make a good investment:


  • Find moderately priced properties, so you can generate more cash flow than higher priced properties.  Your tenant’s rent should cover the mortgage, utilities, and additional expenses in order to produce a cash flow.
  • Get the full cost of owning and repairing the home.  Have a property inspection before you purchase the property to identify any potential repairs.  Also, get written quotes from contractors for repairs you’ll need to make before renting out the home.
  • Carefully select your tenants.  Each time a renter leaves, you have to prep it for another tenant by paying for repairs, possible upgrades, and other costs such as advertising, credit and background checks, plus taking time to show the unit.  Long-term tenants are better for your investment, so choose wisely and treat them well!


To learn more, call me to request my Free Consumer Report called
“How to Avoid 8 Dumb Mistakes Even Smart Investors Make.”   

2017-2018 TAXES

Thursday, July 06, 2017



Baltimore County has sent out incorrect bills for your 2017-2018 Taxes.   This was done in error.   The county has said they will be sending out corrected bills and will be extending the discounted dates.   Please take caution with your bill and make sure you are paying the proper amount.   If you have an escrow and your mortgage company is paying the taxes, please notify them about the error.    

Using Natural Remedies to Cure Allergies

Thursday, July 06, 2017

Using Natural Remedies
To Cure Allergies


Does spring fever make you sneeze and the family dog make your eyes water?  You’re not alone: The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America estimates as many as 30% of adults and 40% of children suffer from allergies.  To curb the effects, though, consider reaching for one of these natural remedies if your doctor gives his okay.


  • Butterbur – This root extract is often used to treat coughs, asthma, hay fever, headaches, and stomach ulcers.  Though considered safe, the plant itself contains cancer-causing substances, so it’s important to make sure the specific brand you use has had those substances removed.
  • Neti Pot – Neti Pots are used to prevent and treat upper respiratory conditions, but make sure the water you use is distilled and as sterile as possible.  Tap water contains chemicals that might actually make sinus conditions worse.
  • Raw honey – Eating a tablespoon of local, raw honey every day is supposed to help the body build a tolerance to the regional pollen and allergens in the air.
Quercetin – Naturally found in wine, onions, green tea, and citrus fruit, quercetin is a cell stabilizer, blocking the release of histamine, which causes inflammation.  Some sources suggest this is a long-term remedy, and people who suffer from seasonal allergies should take quercetin in the weeks leading up to spring. 

2015 Spring Market has SPRUNG!

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

The 2015 Spring market has sprung like the tulips.   There has been a lot of pent up demand with the cold, wet winter and as soon as the weather broke, so did the market.  Homes have sold most recently in less than a week.  Have you been procrastinating getting your home on the market?   If so, call me today for your free home market analysis, 410.591.1800.



Real Estate Corner...

Friday, May 01, 2015

Real Estate Corner…


Q.  How can I secure a low mortgage interest rate?

A.  Securing a low mortgage interest rate helps make your monthly payment more affordable and saves money over the life of your loan.  Besides using a larger down payment, here are three things to do to secure a low mortgage interest rate:

  1. Compare multiple lenders and meet with your top three.  Review the application process and your credit report to start working on any issues you may have.  The higher your credit score, the better borrower you will become.  Lenders will review the various loan programs with you.


  1. Your debt-to-income ratio should be below 36 percent before you apply for a mortgage.  The lower it is, the greater your eligibility for a higher loan amount.

  1. Don’t make any drastic changes such as changing jobs or making large purchases on credit cards.  You want lenders to see you have a stable job history and ability to make the payments.

Easy Bathroom Renovating Tips

Tuesday, June 05, 2012
Out of all the rooms in a house, the bathroom is the most popular to renovate. It gives the homeowner the option to make it a luxurious spa-like serenity or simple functioning space suitable for all of one's needs. Renovating your bathroom can also bring up to a 64% return on your investment should you ever decide to sell. Here are 8 tips to help with a stress-free renovation.

1. Know the Building Code
Renovating your bathroom could become costly if you don't make a plan of action. Make sure to apply for permits if you need them well in advance so you have them when you are ready to get started. Also, make sure you have a list of professionals to enlist or supplies you will need if you are doing it your self. Plumbers and electricians have a pretty hefty fee if they know you started a project and it gets over your head due to the fact that they have to figure out what you did and how to correct the problems. Make sure you plan for emergencies and permits in your budget so when one arises you won't be stranded without a bathroom for days.

2. Do It Yourself
Remodeling your bathroom on your own is the most cost efficient way to remodel, however only do this if you plan to do simple changes. Some simple changes would include putting in a new toilet, fixing some cracks in your tub, putting in a new vanity. If you have to change plumbing or electricity then you should probably call an experienced contractor.

3. Maintain The Same Footprint
This goes hand in hand with doing it yourself. Don't move major components of your bathroom like the toilet or the tub. Like I mentioned before, if you have to move a waste line or plumbing things become more difficult and costly. Again, you may want to hire a licensed contractor to do that. Stick with simple things like changing out the toilet or re-caulking some tub cracks.

4. Choose Your Colors Well
The best colors for a bathroom, especially if you are planning to sell in the near future, are neutral colors. If you like a bold look then add bold accents like light fixtures, artwork, rugs, faucets, etc.

5. Keep Lighting in Mind
The Bathroom is where most of us start and finish our day so make sure you have plenty of light for your space. Using a light neutral color on the walls will help make the most out of the artificial light available. Afterall, we want to make sure we look good to begin the day!

6. Save Money on Cabinetry
No need to spend a lot of money on custom cabinets when there are less expensive and just as beautiful cabinets and vanities available. Home improvement stores sell a wide variety of stock and semi-custom cabinets and vanities. They also keep custom returns in their sale section which may have slight defects like scratches and dings. These can normally be fixed by the placement of the area against a wall or some touch-up paint.

7. Go Faux
Everyone these days want the name brand items. The best thing for the bathroom is faux. You can get tile that looks like stone, at home improvement stores, that is cheaper and more easily maintained and will give you the same look.

8. Keep Your Space Functional
Most bathrooms have limited space so why not make the most out of it. Pedestals or wall mount sinks can free up extra space for additional storage or luxury items. Also you can use your walls for shelving or mirrors with shelving.

Hopefully these tips will help you get to your dream bathroom without a lot of money and headaches! Happy Renovating!

Home Inspection vs Appraisal

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

So many buyers ask me what inspections should we do?  That question is answered only by the buyer and the concerns each buyer has.  However, I always recommend that buyers do a Home Inspection.  It is the best money spent in the transaction. 

A Home Inspection will cost $250 and up based on the price of the house.  It should take approximately 2.5 to 3.5 hours, again depending on the size of the home.  Home Inspections should be done on both re-sales and new homes.  (New home prices could vary due to the number of times the home inspector comes out....typically 3 times.)  You as the buyer should plan to attend the inspection along with your real estate agent.

What does a home inspection consist of?  A home inspector will determine the CONDITION of the property.  The inspection will consist of all of the mechanical of the home; i.e.: heating, air conditioning, water heater, plumbing, electrical, appliances, etc.   Also, foundation, water penetration, roof, leaks, doors, windows, exterior items such as decking, porches, grading, etc. 

A home inspector will give advice on maintenance to keep your home in good condition and some inspectors will even offer phone support while you are in the home.

What does a home inspection NOT INCLUDE?  A home inspection is not for cosmetic or maintenance items, even though advice to help you as a homeowner will be obtained.


An Appraisal will determine VALUE for the bank.  The appraiser will contact the listing agent to obtain entry into the property.  This inspection will take approximately 20 to 30 minutes.  Usually the only person that attends is the person who gives entry, i.e. the listing agent or homeowner.  

What does the Appraiser inspect?  Depending on the loan program of the buyer, the appraiser will have a checklist of items.  He/she will make sure those items meet the requirements of the loan program, as well as making sure the price is a fair price for the market conditions.  The price is determined by recent SOLD comparables in the area.  The costs of the appraisal is built into the lender fees and usually range $350 - $550.  As a buyer, you are not normally involved in the process and your lender will let you know when this process is completed.

So to summarize:  Home Inspection is for determining CONDITION

                            Appraisal is for determining VALUE

If you have any questions regarding inspections with regard to buying or selling a home in Harford County or the surrounding areas, please contact me for the names of reputable inspectors and appraisers in your area.



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