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The Paczki are Here! Woodmoor Bakery – Silver Spring

The tradition is that the Tuesday before Lent is a time to indulge or Fatten up before tightening belts and giving up things for Lent, which starts on Ash Wednesday.  It is the Fat Tuesday associated with Mardi Gras and it is the Shrove Tuesday associated with Pancake Suppers or Pancake Day.

This Tuesday, February 28th is also Paczki Day, a Polish tradition of making and eating Paczki the day before Lent starts.

The best place to get Paczki in Silver Spring, is at the Woodmoor Bakery/Pastry Shop in the Woodmoor Shopping Center at Four Corners.  They make the most divine, decadent Paczki anywhere in the area.  They are the filled, rolled in powdered sugar type paczki and they are GOOD.

My advice is to get there early if you want any! – They start making them a few weeks before Paczki Day, so they
should have them NOW!  I’ve been there on Fat Tuesday before Noon and they had only 3 single Paczki left.

Here’s Hoping the Paczki are plentiful, there is no long line and they don’t run out!

Check out reviews of the Bakery and the Paczki at the Woodmoor Pastry Shop.

Woodmoor Bakery
10127 Colesville Road
Woodmoor Shopping Center
Silver Spring, MD 20901
(301) 593-7667

* The Woodmoor Pastry Shop also makes fantastic King Cakes for Fat Tuesday Mardi Gras Celebrations

Posted by Debbie Cook | | Discussion: No Comments »

Silver Spring – Takoma Park Real Estate Renovations with the Best Returns for 2017

If you’ve been kicking around the idea of some home improvements, but aren’t sure which ones make the most financial sense, don’t miss “The Renovations That Will Pay Off the Most for Your Home in 2017” published by Realtor.com.

While some renovations sound like they’re a home run for your home’s value, in actuality big-ticket projects recoup far less than some of their simpler counterparts.

For example, adding fiberglass insulation to your attic has an astonishing estimated return of 107.7% compared to a bathroom addition, which averages only a 53.9% return.

The report compares the average cost of the project to the expected value at the time of resale. Here are the top 10 projects and their ROI percentage:

  1. Fiberglass attic insulation (107.7%)
  2. Steel entry door upgrade (90.7%)
  3. Manufactured stone veneer (89.4%)
  4. Minor kitchen remodel (80.2%)
  5. Garage door replacement (76.9%)
  6. Siding replacement (76.4%)
  7. Wooden deck addition (71.5%)
  8. Second-story addition (71.1%)
  9. Basement remodel (70%)
  10. Family room addition (69.3%)

 

You can read a more detailed analysis of the projects (plus the next 9 projects in the ROI list) here: http://www.realtor.com/news/trends/best-and-worst-renovations-to-make-in-2017/

Of course, ROI is only one factor in choosing a home renovation. Some projects pay huge dividends in the pleasure they give you while you live in your home. Having a second bathroom with two teenagers in the house? Priceless!

Which renovations are you considering? How concerned are you about your return on investment when the time comes?

When you’re ready to cash in on your investment, give me a call! I’m here to help you get top dollar for your home:  Debbie Cook Call or Text (301) 233-8309

Posted by Debbie Cook | | Discussion: No Comments »

Big Kahuna of Christmas Lights are ON! – The Bishops House – Silver Spring/DC Border

This Huge Tudor style house at 1665 North Portal Drive has been attracting crowds and causing traffic jams for over 30 years.  It’s called “The Bishops house”.  The location is just 2 blocks South of Downtown Silver Spring MD, just over the DC line where Colesville Road crosses into DC and becomes North Portal Drive at the 16th Street Circle.  It is on the corner of Birch and North Portal Drive.  The first string of Lights went up in 1963 – the house has an interesting history and story.  There has been no photo taken that does it the justice it deserves.  There is no wide angle lens large enough to take it all in.  You just have to see it at night to appreciate it.

The best place to view the display is at the top of Portal Drive (not North Portal) and Primrose or Roxanna.  Drive down North Portal Street past the crowded display area and make a U Turn at the end of the street, this will put you on Portal Drive going up a hill.  From here you can look across a treed ravine down on the display and get the best view of the display in all it’s massive glory.

 

 

 

 

 

 
The best photo of the place at night that I’ve seen is Here at Holly’s Tacky Christmas Lights.

 

Posted by Debbie Cook | | Discussion: No Comments »

12 Good Reasons to Sell Your Home During the Holidays

1.  Inventory of Competition is Lower
Your home stands out better with less to choose from.  Your odds of selling  may actually go UP during  this time of year.  Many people feel just like you…and don’t understand that  there will be a FLOOD of new listings on the market after the holidays that can cause you to get “lost in the crowd “ Listing now means more serious buyers per home for sale.
christmas-wreath-on-door 2.  Only the SERIOUS buyers are out in the fall/winter
Fewer may be looking but you are more likely to get a contract from those that do come through!  Think  about how fantastic it will be to have this all finished when others are just getting       started!
3.  Taking Photos in the Fall…
Can be a big asset, as they look great on your MLS, and flyers…before exterior plantings die off.
 4.  Home May Show Better While Decorated
Your home may look better now than any other time of year! Why not have potential buyers see it at it’s best? Fireplaces, evergreens, scented candles…All add to the beauty inside when it’s not so pretty outside. Contrast can equal a sale!
 5.  It’s OK to have specific “no showings” Times During Holidays
Lock boxes can even be emptied of keys or removed. Just because you’re planning a few holiday events is no reason to not be for sale the rest of the time.
6.  Houses Feel More Like “Homes”
When you come in from the cold weather, this cozy feeling causes emotions in a Buyer you can’t get
other times of the year. “Home Sweet Home” is never sweeter than now!
artificial-christmas-wreaths-exterior-traditional-with-christmas-decorations-christmas-wreath-entrance-entry-entry-gate-garden-lighting-garland-grass 7.  Online Searches Go Way Up
People stay home more in colder weather and with today’s technology and our expertise in marketing your home online, the chances you get seen and sold are improved.
 8.  Buyers Who Buy Closer to the End of the Year
May pay closer to full price than other times, as they are often buying under a deadline. They have less time to negotiate and less inventory to choose from getting  you the BEST price.
9.  Buyers have more day-times off during mid-November through January
Increasing serious buyer traffic during normal business hours vs. showings during your evenings and weekends.
10.  Buyers at this time often have an “urgency factor”
Many employers want new hires to start in January, so they can’t wait to buy your home. If you don’t list until after January 1, you might miss out on those buyers. They can’t buy yours if it’s not for sale.
11.  Late occupancies are common during this time
Some buyers that need to buy by end of the year don’t have to occupy the home right away, allowing you a real win-win. They win with lower interest rates now, and you could negotiate your move for later.
12.  Decreased Demand
On lenders, appraisers, home inspectors, movers and other vendors during this time can cause your escrow processing time to be smoother and easier than during busier times.

The bottom line is that if your home isn’t available, you may miss YOUR perfect buyer. If you know you want to sell, don’t wait. “You can’t win if you don’t play” as they say…   The Question really is – why delay?   What’s the downside to listing now?

Posted by Debbie Cook | | Discussion: No Comments »

Pumpkins! – Country Boy Urban Farm Stand in Silver Spring, MD

Country Boy is like a Farm Stand you’d find on a country road in a rural area, but placed in the heart ofCountry Boy in Wheaton/Silver Spring MDbusy Wheaton-Glenmont.  Since 1955 they have been selling fruits, vegetables, flowers, plants, mulch, firewood, Christmas Trees, beer, wine, unusually fresh groceries and McCutcheon’s Products from Frederick Maryland too!

Country Boy is the best place I found to get my Pumpkins this year and at only .49c a pound the least expensive!  There is a HUGE selection and they look better than anywhere I’ve been.

Visit Country Boy tucked away off Randolph Road near intersection of Georgia and Randolph
Glenmont Shopping Center
2211 Randolph Road
Silver Spring, MD 20902
(301) 942-6355

Posted by Debbie Cook | | Discussion: No Comments »

How to Get Over an Expired Home Listing . . .

Everyone says selling your home is one of life’s great emotional rollercoasters. From making the leap to moving day, the process is one of surprises, anticipation, and (hopefully) celebration.  But expired-listing-photowhat happens if your home doesn’t sell?

 

If your home’s been on the market for the length of your contract with your real estate agent and it hasn’t sold, your home is on its way to becoming “an expired listing.” At this point you have to make a choice whether to continue with your agent, find a new agent, or delay your dreams and take your home off the market. Still, the sting of the experience lingers. How do you move on from an expired listing? Here are some tips to learn and even grow from the experience:

 

1. Admit it happened and acknowledge it’s not uncommon. It can be tough to tell people that your home didn’t sell. But you’re not alone. It happens often and it happens for a variety of reasons. Many factors influence this, but if you’re going to make your next move, you have to be open to learning what you can from the heartbreak.

 

2. Look for lessons, but avoid blame. The number one reason homes don’t sell is a failure to price accurately. This isn’t your fault and it isn’t your agent’s fault… it’s a shared responsibility. Did you feel a price was one you “had to get”? Did your agent fail to present a compelling case for an accurate price? Were there other factors besides price you should consider as part of the whole package?

 

3. Abandon worrying about what is beyond your control. If you’re selling in a buyer’s market, there’s nothing you can do about it. If the market crashes, or they discover pesticides in your neighborhood’s water system and values plummet, you aren’t responsible and shouldn’t feel the burden of guilt or anxiety. It’s not easy, but sort through what’s truly not your fault and try to distance yourself from those factors.

 

4. Decide on what you can do next. Review your agent’s approach to selling and your comfort with the relationship. Was there enough communication? Do you feel the home was marketed to the standards of the market? Did you do all you could to make the house welcoming to buyers? Were there curb appeal issues you might want to resolve? Do you want to try again, or should you take a break?

 

5. Act on next steps. Decide if you’d like to keep your agent or find a new one. If you move on, take your lessons with you, but don’t demonize the past. Accept, forgive, and get back to the dream!

 

Listing expire? I can help: Debbie Cook Call or text me at (301) 233-8309 or email me at [email protected]

Posted by Debbie Cook | | Discussion: No Comments »

Retro Lovers Delight SOLD in South 4 Corners – Silver Spring

Need Your Help.  Took a Listing in Silver Spring, South 4 Corners Neighborhood – Sold for 12,000 Over List Price in less than 5 days with 5 Offers! Portland Sold
Do you know anyone in your Silver Spring neighborhood thinking of Selling?
Need Inventory: Lots of Buyers but No houses.  If you or someone you know has thought about selling, please let me know – Perfect time.
Call or Text me at (301) 233-8309 or email [email protected]

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The Retro Lovers Delight!  10109 Portland Place Silver Spring, Md 20901 – Interior Photos and More Info at:    www.South4CornersHome.com

Posted by Debbie Cook | | Discussion: No Comments »

Vintage Takoma – 127th July 4th Celebration Parade and Events 2016

This Old Fashioned Independence Day Parade is one of the oldest in the nation.  Takoma Park Marylandis with it’s tree lined avenues and Victorian Homes, the perfect setting for an annual patriotic July 4th parade.   The Takoma Park, Maryland Community has had 126 years of practice for this event and it does not disappoint.
On Monday July 4th 2016, enjoy what people living in Silver Spring and Takoma Park have have been enjoying for the past 126 years.   This will be the 127th annual Takoma Park 4th of July Celebration.


Parade
Master of Ceremonies:  Charlene Porter
Parade starts at 10:00 am beginning at Carroll & Ethan Allen Avenues, travels south on Carroll Avenue to Maple Avenue, turns right onto Ritchie Avenue where the parade will disband.  The parade lasts for 2 hours.  More about this year’s Parade.


Evening Events and Fireworks
 – Starts at 7:00 pm

Takoma Park Middle School – 7611 Piney Branch Road, Takoma Park, Md 20912

Master of Ceremonies:  Jared Garelick

ilyAIMY (Acoustic Rock Band)
AcroAirs from Washington Adventist University

Takoma Park Community Band


Announcement of Parade Winners

Greetings from the Mayor – Kate Stewart
Drawing for Raffle Prizes

Patriotic Medley and National Anthem Vocals – Heather Aubrey Lloyd and David Goette

9:30 PM Fireworks!   by Bay Fireworks (rain date -first clear evening)

Posted by Debbie Cook | | Discussion: No Comments »

How to get the Most Money when Selling Your Home

How To Get The Most Money When Selling Your House | Keeping Current Matters

Every homeowner wants to make sure they maximize their financial reward when selling their home. But how do you guarantee that you receive maximum value for your house? Here are two keys to ensuring you get the highest price possible.

1. Price it a LITTLE LOW

This may seem counterintuitive. However, let’s look at this concept for a moment. Many homeowners think that pricing their home a little OVER market value will leave them room for negotiation. In actuality, this just dramatically lessens the demand for your house (see chart below).

How To Get The Most Money When Selling Your House | Keeping Current Matters

Instead of the seller trying to ‘win’ the negotiation with one buyer, they should price it so that demand for the home is maximized. In that way, the seller will not be fighting with abuyer over the price, but instead will have multiple buyers fighting with each other over the house.

Realtor.com, gives this advice:

“Aim to price your property at or just slightly below the going rate. Today’s buyers are highly informed, so if they sense they’re getting a deal, they’re likely to bid up a property that’s slightly underpriced, especially in areas with low inventory.”

2. Use a Real Estate Professional

This too may seem counter intuitive. The seller may think they would net more money if they didn’t have to pay a real estate commission. With this being said, studies have shown that homes typically sell for more money when handled by a real estate professional.

Research posted by the Economists’ Outlook Blog revealed that:

“The median selling price for all FSBO homes was $210,000 last year. When the buyer knew the seller in FSBO sales, the number sinks to the median selling price of $151,900. However, homes that were sold with the assistance of an agent had a median selling price of $249,000 – nearly $40,000 more for the typical home sale.”

How To Get The Most Money When Selling Your House | Keeping Current Matters

Bottom Line

Price your house at or slightly below the current market value and hire a professional. That will guarantee you maximize the price you get for your house.

 

Posted by Debbie Cook | | Discussion: No Comments »

Adorable, Cute as a Button House for Sale – Columbia MD 21046

kindler just listedSweet House for Sale – Village of Kings Contrivance – Columbia, Md.  21046

This Adorable Home is filled with charm from the Hardwood Floors, Crown Molding and Wood Burning Stone Fireplace to the gleaming white “eat in” kitchen with Plantation Shutters.

There is a fantastic huge “All Season” Sunroom addition with a little deck off the Kitchen overlooking a picket fenced backyard

Cape Cod Columbia MDThere is a spacious First Floor Master Bedroom with hardwood floors, crown molding and attached Full Bath. Additional 2 Bedrooms with Hardwood Floors and Full Bath are upstairs.

Nestled in a quiet Cul de Sac of the popular Convenient Columbia, Maryland Neighborhood of the Village of Kings Contrivance.  This house is steps from the vast interconnecting hiking, walking, running, biking trails, woods, streams and parks of Howard County.


There are Great Howard County Schools and an abundance of Shopping and Recreation choices!

 

Virtual Tour 7392 Kindler Road, Columbia, Md 21046 – $330,000

Posted by Debbie Cook | | Discussion: No Comments »

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