Posts tagged ‘homes in maryland’

August 25, 2014

Neighborhood Spotlight- Bethesda, MD

 

bethesda, MD

Thinking about moving to Maryland? Bethesda has a diverse selection of neighborhoods and locations to consider. Bethesda is a great choice and after reading this, your interest may be increased. Downtown Bethesda is full of entertainment and a big supporter of the arts.  There are more than 200 ethnic restaurants, countless art galleries, two live-action theatres, numerous music and dance studios, and boutiques on almost every corner.

 

Have Fun with the Children

If you are looking for a fun and artistic experience with the children, there are a handful of options. The Strathmore Music Center might be a good place to start. This 2,000 seat state-of-the-art concert hall offers performances by major national artists of various genres.

 

Go for a Walk at the Park

It’s a perfect day for a nice stroll in the park! Cabin John Park provides 528 acres to explore, with a wide variety of recreational opportunities for anyone who wants to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life. The park has one of the area’s largest playgrounds (Adventure Playland), a nature center, a miniature train, picnic areas and much more.

 

Shop until you Drop

Bethesda Row is large urban shopping center. From fine cookware to fine art, high fashion to high-tech gadgets, workout gear to sparkling gems, this center offers a mix of open-air boutiques and shops that keep you busy all day.

 

Wine & Dine

Looking to try something new? Bethesda includes an eclectic variety of cuisine. Guardado’s Restaurant offers a casual dining experience and serves a collection of authentic Spanish and Latin American cuisine.  If you are a wine connoisseur, you will fit right in at Oakville Grille & Wine Bar, a contemporary American restaurant offering an extensive wine list of more than 120 wines.

 

Interesting Fact

Last year, Bethesda placed first on Forbes list of The Most Educated Places in America (based on U.S. Census Data 2011), and first on CNNMoney.com’s list of top-earning American towns in 2012. Only 1.9% of the population has not finished high school, 27.3% of residents have professional or doctoral degrees and an impressive 26.8% have master’s degrees as their highest level of education.

 

Real Estate Overview

With a desirable combination of first rate schools, and an affluent, highly educated population ; Bethesda contains vital features that families and young adults look for when choosing a community in which to live. If you’re interested in buying a home in Bethesda, please contact one of our local real estate professionals.

July 25, 2013

Home Ownership Matters

July 2013_Ecard

Home ownership does matter. It has a significant impact on net worth, educational achievement, civic participation, health, and overall quality of life. Plus, it helps create jobs, lots of them, right in your community. Did you know that for every two homes sold in the U.S., one job is created?

A few more perks of home ownership:

Increased Equity
As you pay down your mortgage, you own more of an increasingly valuable property. Sometimes you can borrow against this equity for home improvements or other investments.

Appreciating Investment
The real estate market does fluctuate, but over time the value of your property could appreciate.

Tax Benefits
Interest and closing costs are big expenses. However, when you file your taxes, you may be entitled to deductions based on points and interest paid during the year. This can be a very significant benefit especially in the early years of ownership when you are paying more interest.

Successful Children
Studies show that children of homeowners are more likely to graduate from high school and college, have better overall grades, and fewer behavior problems. They are likely to someday become homeowners as well.

Stronger Communities
Homeowners are more likely to maintain their homes, become involved in solving local problems, be part of community groups, are more likely to vote, and will remain in their homes 4 times longer if they own it.

Stronger Families
Homeowners are more likely to attend church, belong to parent-teacher groups, read local newspapers, and have less alcohol and substance abuse problems.

Stability, freedom, privacy
Owning a home has a significant impact on overall quality of life, including health, happiness, and security. Homeowners tend to have a greater sense of control over their lives.

May 13, 2013

Is it Your Time to Sell??

righttimetosellYes, it looks like it might finally be the right time to put the For Sale sign in your front yard! Rising home prices and lower inventories are creating new opportunities for home sellers; sometimes even bringing multiple offers to purchase on the same home, as buyers become more confident and try to take advantage of lower interest rates.

Read on to discover more reasons why you should list your home NOW instead of waiting…

  • PricesHomes prices are slowly making a comeback. However, it is still your best bet, to price your home reasonably from the beginning. A newly listed home will have its largest viewing audience the first few days on the market and a properly priced home could see 8+ showings that first week!
  • Inventory – The supply of homes is at its lowest point since 2005! Typically, the home inventory increases in the spring season. A stronger demand from buyers and a currently low inventory of homes could help you get your desirable sale price!
  • New Construction – The home building industry took a hard hit the past few years, but it is showing signs of making a recovery. Builders are becoming more confident and more active, creating competition for sellers of existing homes.
  • Household changes – Family formations are changing and growing, creating a need for “move up” homes. Rental occupancy is also nearing all-time highs. And those that may have fallen on hard times are getting their credit repaired; creating buyers who are more than ready to purchase!
  • Interest Rates rising? – It has been projected that interest rates may start to inch up during 2013. This possibility is enough reason to push some homebuyers off the fence and onto the path of becoming homeowners.
  • Selling faster – Statistics also show that homes are selling faster. The average days a home was on the real estate market in January was 71, compared to 99 days on the market one year ago!

Once you’ve made the decision to sell your home, here are some other items to consider:

 Find the right agent – Interview several, until you feel confident that you have found the right match!
 Clean it up – Clean and prep your home right away: do a little painting, some carpet cleaning, and make minor updates. You want your home to make a great first impression!
 Consider offers carefully – especially competing offers. Consider ALL terms of the offer, not just the sale price. Things to think about……closing date, inspections, cash down, appraisals, etc.
 Plan for the appraisal – Provide the appraiser with comparable sales in your area and be sure to point out special features of your home they might miss!

Happy Selling!!!

Homes for Sale in Maryland and Pennsylvania Real Estate from Prudential Homesale. Looking to sell your home? Contact a Prudential Homesale Real Estate Agent today.

February 14, 2013

Hearts & Homes

It’s Valentine’s Day, so here’s an Infographic that we found on RealEstate.com which takes a look at how romantic attachments influence home buying.  The graph looks at the statistics for the married vs. single populations of U.S. cities. The U.S. demographics have changed, and for the first time more households are unmarried. Check out the full article here.

Valentines-Day-Infographic2

Homes in Maryland  | Homes in Pennslyvania

February 4, 2013

Repair or Replace?

faucetFrustrated by a leaky bathroom faucet?

You have two easy options, either repair it or replace it. Both options are simple enough to do yourself; follow the steps below and stop that annoying drip once and for all!

To Repair: (slightly easier than replacing)

  • First, you need to determine the source of your leak; is it coming from the tap or the handle?
  • A leak from the tap means you need a new Washer, a leak from the handle means you need a new O-ring.
  • Next, turn off the water using the valves located under your sink and then drain the faucet by turning it on and allowing any remaining water to drain out.
  • Place a towel in your sink to avoid any damage or scratches to the bowl while you make the repair.
  • Now remove the decorative handles and the screw underneath; then remove the lug nut using a wrench, turning it counterclockwise.
  • Take out the “stem” and replace the Washer or O-ring with an exact match purchased at your local hardware store.
  • Put all parts back in the way they came out.

To Replace:

  • If you are not replacing the entire vanity top, be sure to select a new fixture that is the same configuration as your current faucet; either a single-hole, all-in-one fixture or a center-set faucet with decorative handles set the standard 4” apart. If your wash bowl sits on top of the vanity, faucets that attach to the wall are an option or even a goose-neck style will work (will be more difficult to replace).
  • Turn off the water supply at the valves under the sink. Loosen the supply tubes at the hot and cold valves. Use a basin wrench to loosen and remove the nut at the faucet stem. Remove the nut holding the faucet to the sink, and remove the faucet.
  • Remove the nut above the P-trap (curved piece of pipe under your sink), and loosen the nut attached to the P-trap. Remove the P-trap. Remove the pop-up lever from the drain. Loosen the lock nut holding the drain to the sink. Unscrew the drain and the drain flange (usually metal, visible in the bottom of the sink bowl).
  • Place paste or plumber’s tape on the faucet stems. If your faucet has a rubber gasket, install it on the base of the faucet before inserting the faucet stems in the appropriate holes in the sink. If your faucet doesn’t include a gasket, run a line of caulk under the faucet before installing it to prevent leaks.
  • Secure the nuts holding the faucet to the sink. Tighten the nuts by hand then give them another quarter-turn with a wrench. Connect the water supply tubes to the faucet stems. Apply more paste to the shutoff valve threads, and tighten the coupling nuts to the faucet-supply stems. Do not over tighten.
  • Apply caulk or paste to the underside of the drain flange and press it into the drain hole. Place the lock nut on the drain housing, followed by the metal washer and the gasket. Screw the drain housing tightly to the flange.
  • Drop the pop-up drain into place, keeping the hole for the control pin toward the rear of the sink. Place the bail lever in the side hole of the drain assembly so the control pin fits through the appropriate hole in the pop-up drain.
  • Set the drain rod into the hole in the faucet, and attach the connecting link to the faucet rod by tightening the attached screw. Make sure the pop-up is up and the drain rod is down, then attach the bail lever to the connection link, using the V-clip. The pop-up should go down when the lever is pulled up.
  • Replace the p-trap and turn water supply valves back on. Clean the supply tubes by removing the aerator from the faucet and turning on the water. While the water is running, check for leaks. Shut the water off after you’re certain there are no leaks and replace the aerator.

You can do this project in about 2 hours and save yourself the expense of
hiring a professional plumber, it’s that easy! Good luck!

January 28, 2013

Thinking about your next home project?

winterDoing any type of work on your home can be a thrilling adventure. Conventional thinking has been to tackle home improvement and remodeling projects during the spring and summer months. Well, it is time to change the way you think! One of the best-kept remodeling secrets is to do your remodeling work during the winter months.

  • The Price is Right-Contractors may provide incentives during the winter if their work is slow. You can also beat the typical price increases that occur in the spring for items like lumber, windows, cabinets, etc.
  • Beat the rush-Don’t try to schedule your projects when everyone else is! Right now many contractors have less to do and can schedule and perform your renovations a lot quicker. This is the best time for those interior projects like painting, replacing flooring, updating lights, or replacing cabinets.
  • What about the mess? Don’t be concerned about dust and fumes. With the products and technology available today, contractors are able to contain the mess to their work area. Items such as plastic zip doors, fans with negative pressure, and filters to seal off heat ducts are available to insure that your family won’t be inhaling anything they shouldn’t be!
  • Less Interruption-Many folks plan vacations to escape the long, cold months of winter. That is a great time to have work done at your home. You won’t have to deal with the inconvenience and havoc that remodeling can sometimes cause in your daily life. So go on, relax, enjoy a break. When you return you’ll find only a beautifully, completed home renovation project; no mess and no hassle for you.
  • Outside Project? Yes, if the weather cooperates, you might even be able to cross one of these projects off your to-do list. Outdoor painting may not be such a good idea, but building a deck, porch, or other addition might just be a possibility.

It’s time to “think outside the box”. Get your contractor working during the off-season. You may be able to save yourself money and get your projects done a lot sooner than you thought! Your contractor may even thank you for keeping them working during these slow winter months.

It’s a win-win situation for all!

December 13, 2012

Holiday Decorating – Hazardous to your Health?

xmasYes, actually it can be, to you, your children, and your furry family members!

Every year during the holidays more than 14,000 people are treated in emergency rooms due to holiday decorating related injuries, and other holiday decoration “issues”. Millions of dollars in property damage and additional personal injuries are caused by Christmas tree and candle related fires! So here are some tips to keep your family and your home safe this holiday season:

The Tree

  • Artificial – Look for it to say Fire Resistant on the label
  • Fresh cut – Look for freshness; green needles that do not fall off easily. Keep your tree fresh by watering it regularly. Keep the tree away from heat sources, such as fireplaces, radiators, and heat vents.
  • Avoid sharp, breakable, ornaments or trimmings that are small or have removable parts if you have small children in your home. Best to avoid decorations that look like food or candy too!
  • Place your special keepsake ornaments near the top, out of the reach of children and pets.

Lights

  • Only use sets that have been tested for safety by a nationally-recognized lab, such as UL.
  • Check for frayed/bare wires and loose connections. Throw away damaged sets.
  • Do not use electric lights on a metallic tree!
  • Make sure your outdoor lights are approved for this specific use.
  • Use extension cords that are rated for the intended use.
  • Unplug all lights before going to bed or leaving your home.
  • Keep all cords inaccessible to your pet so they will not be tempted to chew on them.

Candles

  • Keep all candles within your sight and extinguish them before going to bed or leaving your home. (unplug them if using the electric version)
  • Keep lit candles away from items such as curtains, decorations, furniture, and your tree or other evergreens that could ignite quickly. Keep away from high-traffic areas to avoid being knocked over.
  • Electric candles – check all wires, sockets, etc. for fraying or damage and replace if necessary.

Fireplace

  • Do not burn wrapping paper, tree branches or other items inside that could ignite suddenly and burn intensely.
  • Be careful with “fire salts”, used to produce colored flames. They can cause internal irritation and illness if swallowed…keep away from children and animals.

Miscellaneous

  • Keep alcohol and baking extracts out of reach.
  • Keep candy canes, potpourri, and scented candles away from pets. Even if not toxic, you may still end up with a mess to clean up if they decide to taste them.
  • Mistletoe berries, holly berries, and poinsettias can be poisonous if ingested. If you are using them to decorate, make sure kids and pets cannot reach them.
  • Round up ribbons, bows and other shiny goodies. These are an open invite to your pets for fun and could end up in their tummies!

The holidays are a time to be with family and friends, not visiting the emergency room. Keep these tips in mind while you decorate. Not only can your decorations be dangerous, but hanging them can also be a danger; be cautious. Once all of your trimmings are up, keep a close eye on them.

Have a safe and happy holiday season!

 

Check out some more holiday decorating tips here.

November 29, 2012

Oh, the Joys of Packing

Finding the home of your dreams is fun and exciting. Preparing to leave the old one can be a bigger task then expected. Starting weeks ahead of the move and being organized is the key. Here are some ideas to help you prepare and simplify the process.

Items you may need:

  • Boxes
  • Bubble Wrap
  • Packaging Tape
  • Markers
  • Moving Company (or friends and family)

Purge – Packing items you don’t need is a big waste of time, box space, and moving manpower. Take the time to go through drawers, cabinets, closets and be honest with yourself about what you need and no longer use. If it is something you haven’t worn in the past 12 months it should go! Some items could be sold, some trashed, and others donated to your local Goodwill or shelter.

Clean – Once you have eliminated the items you no longer need, give everything in the house a good dusting. You will be very grateful to have clean items to unpack after a long day of moving. This is one step that is better to do now, rather than later!

Create a system – Devise a packing plan and schedule. If time allows, plan on packing one room every 2-3 days. If you are in a time crunch, order some pizza and host a packing party for your friends. Start by packing the items you use most infrequently. Be sure that each box is sealed tight with packaging tape and clearly labeled. Always label the box on more than one side so finding its new location will be easy!

Packing pointers – Even if you’re not moving far, wrap delicate items in bubble wrap and label as fragile. Fill each box to the top to avoid having it smashed during transit, but don’t over-pack. Over-packing a box can put your items at risk of being damaged. If it is an option, you may want to keep valuable, irreplaceable items with you rather than the movers. Also create a plan on how to move un-packable items, such as pets, plants, etc.

Use it or lose it – Start using the items you can’t or won’t want to pack, like frozen and perishable foods.

Not to be forgotten – Aside from the physical work involved in preparing for a move, there are other important tasks that require your attention prior to moving day. File a change of address form with the postal service, forward medical records and children’s school records, arrange time off work to move, clean out safe deposit box, refill necessary prescriptions and consider a tune up on your car, especially if you will be driving a long distance for the move. The last thing you need is a roadside break-down!

On your way out the door – Keep a box or two for the very last day. As you go through your home one more time, you are bound to find a few missed items and items that you used up to moving day. Pack these remaining things to take along with you or ship to your new home.

A little planning will help you and your family to navigate the thrills and frustrations of moving and get you well on your way to having fun and making memories in your new home!

 

Relocating to Maryland or Pennsylvania? Take a look at our relocation services to help you with all your needs in the search of a new home.

October 22, 2012

RENTING VS BUYING

Owning your own home has often been referred to as the “American Dream”. Before the housing crisis began in 2007, it wasn’t even a question as to whether or not you should try to buy a home. The thought was…..If you could afford it, you should do it!! The housing crisis has definitely taken its toll and made people stop to think before taking this leap. With current mortgage rates at an all-time low, the question has come up again, repeatedly. This could be the best time for renters to become first time homeowners.

Even though the real estate market has changed dramatically over the past few years, your thought process should still be the same as in the past. Some factors you should consider:

  • Hope for appreciation. As in the past, your home should appreciate in value over the years. The beauty of your home is more than just an increasing dollar value. Being able to make your home into something that reflects you personally is also a very rewarding.
  • Stay put. Be sure you are ready to stay in the same place for at least 4 years. Moving too early can cost you more than just the hassle of packing all your belongings. Moving too quickly will not allow you to build much equity in your home.
  • Be ready. Don’t just be emotionally ready to buy, make sure you’re financially ready as well. Build your credit and savings before buying; having both of these items in tip-top shape will help you secure a better interest rate on your mortgage!
  • Location. Buy in an expanding area. An area with a growing economy and employment opportunities will help bring greater value to your home purchase.

Still unsure about taking the big step, here are a few more items to ponder:

  Advantages Disadvantages
Buying:
  • Freedom to paint, remodel and change landscaping
  • Build Equity
  • Sense of stability, security
  • Not dependent on landlord for upkeep
  • Responsible for maintenance
  • Higher costs, taxes, insurance, etc.
  • Less mobility
  • Possibility of equity loss or even foreclosure
Renting:
  • Little or no responsibility for maintenance
  • Easier to move
  • No additional costs, like taxes or maintenance charges
  • No equity is built up
  • No control over rent increases
  • Dependent on landlord to make timely repairs, etc.
  • No freedom to decorate

Bottom line: after considering the factors above, if you feel like you are in the right place and at the right time in your life to buy a home, one of our Homesale real estate agents would be happy to help!

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