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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)

Paint like a Pro

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Paint Like A Pro


      Whether you’re inspired to splash a new hue across a room’s walls or they’re just due for a fresh coat of the same ol’ color, make sure you DIY with these tips in mind.


Choose your paint wisely.  It’s important to choose indoor paint for indoor paint jobs.  Water-based paint is easy to use and clean up, while oil-based paint is more appropriate for specialty jobs.  Check with an expert at the paint store to choose the right type of paint for your situation.


Prep like a pro.  This may take more time than the actual painting itself, but take your time here to avoid mistakes. Prep work includes:

  • Laying down drop cloths.
  • Cleaning off dirty areas.
  • Filling in holes in the walls with spackle.
  • Sanding any uneven surfaces.
  • Priming the walls, if needed.
  • Taping off non-paint zones like outlets and molding.


Do detail work.  Use a thin brush to paint around window and door frames, baseboards, and trim.


Use a roller brush.  Roll the full height of the wall and keep a wet edge.  Start near a corner, and move over slightly with each stroke of paint.  Don’t let the roller become dry, and paint so the open side of the roller frame faces the area that is already painted.


Let it dry.  Once your entire paint job is dry, make sure everything is evenly coated.  Add a second coat as needed.  Wait at least 24 hours before removing the tape between the painted walls and unpainted places.  Use a sharp utility knife or box cutter to slice the tape; do not just pull it off.



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.    

Carpet Cleaning

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

4 Clever Carpet Cleaning Tips

                Whether you have a full house of carpet or a few rugs scattered over sleek wood floors – cleaning carpets is always a pain.  Try these cleaning tips the carpet cleaner pros won’t always tell you:

  1. Pet hair problems?  The trick is to dampen the carpet first.  Spray the carpet with a spray bottle full of water, then sweep all of the hair away in one direction.

  1. Rug fringe dingy?  Take a dry scrub brush and brush away from the rug.  Then, vacuum up.

  1. Stains?  Start with seltzer water to loosen dirt.  Blot with a clean towel.  If the stain is still there, try a dab of shaving cream.  Work into the stain, let dry, then rinse with cool water.  Not budging?  After testing on an inconspicuous spot first, try 3% hydrogen peroxide to lift out a tough stain.

  1. Odors?  Dry-clean and freshen carpet by sprinkling baking soda and cinnamon or lavender and letting sit overnight.  Vacuum up in the morning.

De-cluttering your Home

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

De-clutter Your Home Fast

                Whether you are planning to sell your home or just would like to be more relaxed and enjoy spending time there, here are some quick ways to start the de-cluttering process – and keep it clutter free:

  • Use the three-box method.  In the room you’re de-cluttering (try to focus on one at a time), set up 3 boxes and a trash bag for trash.  Label the boxes “Put Away,” “Give Away,” and “Keep” and go through every item in the room to decide which of the 4 spots the item is placed in.

  • Try the closet hanger experiment.  Put everything in your closet in with the hangers facing backward.  When you wear an item and return it to the closet, face the hanger the right direction.  After 6 months or a year, get rid of everything still facing backward.

  • Give away one item every day.  You don’t have to throw out everything at the same time.  Find one thing each day to donate, and make it fun by thinking about which charity or friend could most benefit from the item.

Fall Home Maintaince Tips

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


October means the weather is about to turn cold, which brings along with it, a number of homeowner tasks.  Among them are:

  • Roof….check for cracked, missing or loose shingles
  • Trees….trim branches from house and/or windows
  • Check weather stripping and caulk around windows and doors, repair or replace if necessary.
  • Store paints, caulk, and liquid material from areas that get extreme cold and sheds
  • Detach and store hoses
  • Open and bleed all hose bibs so they don’t freeze and burst pipes
  • Clean gutters of all leaves and debris and make sure all downspouts are in good repair
  • Set thermostats and automatic sprinklers for the winter season
  • Reverse fan blades for winter settings
  • Ensure your fire extinguishers indicate a full charge.  If not, replace for safety
  • Schedule your HVAC contractor for your routine winter check up before turning on your heat
  • Clean out and prepare your fireplace
  • Professional clean chimney, if you didn’t in the spring
  • Order and stack firewood for the winter
  • Replace batteries in your smoke detectors

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!

Spring Maintenance

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Now that spring has arrived early this year, here are some helpful tips to help you maintain your and help save you some money.
Gutters.....make sure you check your gutters for clogs.  They tend to accumulate debris and leaves during the winter so remove them and help your gutters drain properly.  Also, check to make sure they are securely attached to your house.

Shrubs and Trees......Make sure you maintain your shrubbery by pruning and remove any organic debris.  This will help shape and improve their health, which gives your house "curb appeal".

Decks/Patios.....Check your deck for rotting wood and and any boards/rails that may need to be replaced.  Make sure it doesn't squeak when you walk on it.  Also check your patio for cracks that may need to be fixed.

Pipes.....Check your pipes for any leakage that may occurred during the winter.  Check your shutoff valves, for each plumbing fixture, to make sure they function properly.

Sump Pumps........with spring comes April showers.  Make sure your sump pump has a new battery in the backup.  Also look  oil that may present from in the water.  This could mean you have a faulty oils seal, which could ultimately burn up the motor.

Air Conditioner.....Make sure you get a professional air conditioning  inspector out to check this.  They know what is needed to maintain it and keep it working properly during the upcoming hot months!  Nothing is worse than having your AC not work during the hottest day of the year!

Batteries.....Check you batteries in you smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.  They should be changed and checked atleast once a year, but a good rule of thumb is to check and change with daylight savings time.  These batteries could ultimately save your life and your home possessions.

Fireplaces.....I know winter is over, but now is the time to get it cleaned and service by a professional chimney sweep.  That will save you the hassle in the fall when everyone is trying to get ready for old man winter.

These are just some minor tips that you can do during these nice days.  They don't take long and could save you a headache in the long run.

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