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Tips for the Summer Silver Spring, Takoma Park & DC Home Seller

Sell your home this summerSpring kicks off the peak home hunting months of the year, but it isn’t until summer that things really get cooking. While there are pros and cons to buying and selling homes at various times throughout the year, summer can be, on average 25 to 30 percent more active than the annual average.

In summer you have a real mix of buyers and sellers… some serious and some not-so-serious. In the winter months, many buyers searching for homes would only do so if they absolutely had to. In the summer, there are often a larger number of buyers just toying with the idea. (Many of the serious buyers are eager to get settled before school starts in the fall.)

Selling homes in the summer requires its own brand of seasonal marketing and showing. Here are a few tips you’ll want to keep in mind as you invite buyers to consider your home:

 

  1. Keep it cool, but don’t keep it dark. Your instinct may be to close the blinds and draw the drapes, but making your rooms feel dark and shut-in is counterproductive. Run the A/C and keep the air circulating. While your wallet may not appreciate the bump in your power bill, imagine how expensive it can be to keep the house on the market.

 

  1. Stage it inside and out. Have a pool deck? What about a garden patio? Make them as inviting as you would the living room or kitchen. Stage them appropriately and tell the story of what it might be like to live with such nice amenities. Think magazine photo shoot!

 

  1. Make the lawn sing. Curb appeal can be king in the summer months, especially when the neighbors’ lawns may be looking a little brown by comparison. Find bright flowers that can withstand the heat and provide a high-contrast to your green grass.

 

  1. Ride the sunset. With the longer daylight hours, you may have buyers who want to check out your home closer to dinner time, once the hottest hours of the afternoon have passed. Try and roll with the disruption… buyers prefer to see a home when the owners aren’t around.

Take advantage of the summer sales activity! I’d be happy to guide you on the buy or sell side of this white hot market . . .

Posted by Debbie Cook | | Discussion: No Comments »

Silver Spring MD Community Pools and Swim Clubs Now Open for 2015 Season

Memorial Day Weekend has passed and the various Silver Spring Neighborhood and Community Pools are now OPEN for the season! With school out and the mercury rising, a neighborhood swimming pool is the perfect place to while away those hot, humid summer days we have here in Silver Spring, Maryland.

PoolCommunity spirit, the roar of the crowd and the excitement of youthful competition all combine at a neighborhood swim meet. What better way to spend a summer evening than gathering around your local pool in a group effort to be part of an event that promotes fellowship and fun.  Swim Teams in Community Pools of Silver Spring , compete as division members of the Montgomery County Swim League(MCSL).  Being a member of a swim team in Silver Spring is a great way for kids to make friends at the pool, share a teambuilding experience, and compete in a healthy, active sport over the summer.  Some of the pools also have Dive Teams that compete in the Montgomery County Diving League.
Most of the Pools in Silver Spring  offer great Family Oriented Social Events such as Pool Camp Out night, Ice cream socials, pizza night, teen night, family movie night, float night, talent shows and more.

Check out this list of links to some of the best Silver Spring Neighborhood Pools and Swim Clubs:

Northwest Branch Pool – Home of the Northwest Branch Dolphins Swim Team

Glenwood Recreation Club – Home of the Glenwood Tigers Swim Team and DiveTeam

Calverton Swim Club – Home of the Calverton Chargers – Also has a Dive Team, Volleyball League, Horseshoes and Basketball Court

Forest Knolls Pool – Home of the Seahawks Swim Team

Daleview Pool – Home of the Daleview Swim Team

Franklin Knolls Pool – Home of the Gators Swim Team

Hillandale Swim and Tennis Association – Home of the Hillandale Hellcats Swim Team – Also offers 2 Lighted Tennis Courts, a practice wall and Tennis Camp

West Hillandale Swim Club – Home of the Dolphins Swim Team

Twin Farms Swim & Tennis Club – Home of the Twin Farms Tigers Swim Team, Dive Team, Tennis Team and Tennis Camp

Robin Hood Swim Club – Home of the Robin Hood Swim Team – Also has a Dive Team and Tennis Team

Kemp Mill Swim Club – Home of the Kemp Mill Kangaroos

Parkland Swim Club – Home of the Parkland Whales
Tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the commerical area just off of Arcola Avenue. this is one of the oldest Montgomery County Swimming Pools.
Beautiful Setting with mature shade  trees near Wheaton Regional Park and Sligo Creek Park.

Tanglewood Community Swim Center – Home of the Tanglewood Tigers Swim Team – This community center is located in the middle of the Tanglewood neighborhood and includes a large open field, playground and tennis courts

Connecticut Belair Swim and Tennis Club – Home of the Connecticut Belair Gators. This Swim and Tennis Club has recently been fully renovated and is spectacular.  Lots of water fun here with big slides and raft day on Saturdays.

Posted by Debbie Cook | | Discussion: No Comments »

The Paczki are at the Woodmoor Bakery Now!

The Tuesday before Lent the 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.

Woodmoor-Pastry-ShopTuesday February 17th 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 Donutthe most divine, decadent Paczki anywhere in the area.  They are the filled, rolled in powdered sugar type paczki and they are GOOD.

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 »

78th Annual Pancake and Sausage Dinner next Tuesday at Colesville – Silver Spring, Md Church

This coming Tuesday February 17, 2015 is Shrove Tuesday. Shrove Tuesday or Pancake Day, is the day before Ash Wednesday, (the first day of Lent) it is celebrated by the cooking and eating of Colesville United Methodist Church - Silver Springpancakes, a last feast before the fasting and self denial of Lent.  Many Silver Spring area churches will be having a traditional Pancake Supper or Dinner.

This year marks the 78th Year of the Biggest most popular and well known Pancake and Sausage Dinner at Colesville United Methodist Church in Silver Spring, MD   Since the 1930’s, the Colesville Methodist Church has been having annual  pancake and sausage supper for the communtiy.  This event is well attended by people from all over, not just people that live in Colesville/Silver Spring.  Back in the 1930’s, all the food was donated by area farmers and the dinner was Free.  
pancakes (1)History of the Colesville Methodist Church Annual Shrove Tuesday Pancake Dinner.

78th Annual Pancake and Sausage Dinner
From 5:00 to 7:30pm
$8.00 Adults – Kids under 12 – $5.00
Colesville United Methodist Church
52 Randolph Road
Silver Spring, Maryland 20904
(301) 384-1941

Posted by Debbie Cook | | Discussion: No Comments »

Do Homes Expire? Understanding Functional Obsolescence

Can a perfectly useful home “expire”? The answer is yes. If you’ve never heard of “functional obsolescence,” now’s a good time to familiarize yourself with the term.

Sometimes a perfectly nice home in fine shape simply won’t sell. Fresh paint, fine curb appeal, a solid neighborhood… and no offers. Sellers are baffled and irritated. “But I’ve been living in this tv obsoletehome ten years! There’s nothing wrong with it!”

Often the culprit is “functional obsolescence.”

Never heard of it? You’re not alone. Investopedia defines it this way: “A reduction in the usefulness or desirability of an object because of an outdated design feature, usually one that cannot be easily changed. The term is commonly used in real estate, but has a wide application.”

Functional obsolescence can creep up on a home owner, as when a built-in technological feature is no longer useful. Some homes in the 1970s and 80s had old solid-state intercom systems for communicating between rooms. What was cutting edge then is a retro eyesore now. Built-in entertainment center kiosks or furniture are also a good example of this.

Home owners can introduce functional obsolescence with poor renovation choices. Renovations should always be made with an eye on the possibility that a home will be sold down the line, but occasionally an owner will ignore this. Take, for example, the massive kitchen renovation which takes an unreasonable bite out of the living room or a 4 Bedroom House with only 1 Bathroom

Inconveniences an owner has put up with over the years can be classified as functional obsolescence as well. If you have a second floor without bathrooms or a bedroom which must be accessed by walking through another bedroom? That’s a design flaw that can bite you when it’s time to sell.

Neighborhoods can introduce a degree of functional obsolescence as well. When an smaller, older home on a large lot is dwarfed by modern homes with more space, the home itself may lose appeal or value in buyers’ eyes.

Old-ComputerSome other items that render a home functionally obsolete and may be deal breakers:

Posted by Debbie Cook | | Discussion: No Comments »

Planning to Sell Your Home in 2015? and Think Spring is the Best Time to Sell a Home? Think Again!

Why selling your Silver Spring or Takoma Park home this winter may be the best, most lucrative route to take if you want to sell this year!

While some sellers think about taking their home off the market in the winter, believing spring or summer would deliver better results, I would caution against this thinking. Here are three reasons why:

Home Sold in Winter

  1. Those home shopping in the winter tend to be more qualified buyers. Often they have to buy a house, or they wouldn’t be facing bad weather and shorter daylight hours to find just the right place.

 

  1. Many people wait to list their home in the spring or summer, meaning available inventory in the winter months is lower.  Are you certain you want to face a market flooded with freshly listed homes?

 

  1. There’s no guarantee the spring or summer will be a better housing market. A variety of factors can influence home values.  What if there’s more inventory and prices have dropped?

 

Right now could be a better time than Spring to sell your Home.   There are buyers out there, and I would hate to see you miss out.  The ultimate decision is yours, but as a professional I like to give the best possible advice I can, based on my experience and the statistics about buyers in winter months.

 

 

Posted by Debbie Cook | | Discussion: No Comments »

Goldie Hawn’s Childhood Home in Takoma Park MD

Duplex in Takoma Park Md - Goldie Hawn

Goldie Hawn the famous actress and comedian grew up in this quaint and charming circa 1927 Brick Duplex in the Historic District of Takoma Park, Md 20912.

Goldie Hawn - Blair HS PhotoThe Hawn Family lived in the Left Side of this duplex.  Goldie’s small wedding to John Hudson in the 1970’s was in the backyard of this home.

Goldies father Edward Hawn, a musician, died in 1982 and Goldie’s mother Laura lived inthis home up until 1984, when she sold the house and moved to California, where she died in 1994.

Goldie graduated from the old Blair High School in Silver Spring, Md in 1963 and attended American University in Washington DC. Although she grew up in Takoma Park, her “stomping ground” was Downtown Silver Spring in it’s heyday.  She speaks of her fond memories in the Documentary Film “Silver Spring, Story of an American Suburb”

The house has 3 Bedrooms, 2 1/2 Baths, a Basement and 2 Fireplaces. It is within a few blocks of the Takoma Metro Station.  The last sale of this house was in May of 2010 – the sales price was $581,250
The real estate listing description of the house when it was on the market in 2010 . . .

“Elegant urban living on quiet cul-de-sac steps to Metro. Gracious 1920’s light-filled home has comfortable LR w/ wonderful windows and FP. DR is open to both chic designer kitchen and beamed ceilinged family room w/ stone FP open to great deck, hot tub and lushly landscaped yard.If you’re lucky maybe stardom will strike you too – this was Goldie Hawn’s childhood home!”

Posted by Debbie Cook | | Discussion: No Comments »

Charming Old North Woodside – Montgomery Hills Homes – Silver Spring MD

North Woodside Bungalow - Silver SpringNorth Woodside is a true Bungalow Lovers Heaven!  Many of the homes in North Woodside are built from models of  SEARS HOMES, built between 1927 and 1940.  In North Woodside, you can find examples of almost every Sears or Aladdin Type “Kit Homes” that were built in this era.  There are 170 Homes in the North Woodside Subdivision.

The 100 homes in the adjacent subdivision of Montgomery Hills and Montgomery Forest were built in the early 1940’s through the early 1950’s.  The Montgomery Hills houses are charming and elegant brick colonials, cape cods and tudors.

These Subdivisions in zip code 20910, are older, charming “inside the beltway” neighborhoods that have a fantastic collection of 270 single family houses within walking distance of the Forest Glen Metro Station and the Silver Spring Metro Station.

The neighborhood has an award winning neighborhood public school, beautiful Rock Creek Park with access to the Capital Cresent trail and Historic Forest Glen nearby.  There is the ever popular Snider’s Supermarket, two dry cleaners, Staples, CVS, Tropical Ice Cream, Armand’s, the Woodside Deli and a host of other attractions on nearby Georgia Avenue.

 Classic Tudor in Silver Spring MDSchools
The Montgomery County public school system is well known as one of the best in the nation.

The public schools serving the North Woodside and Montgomey Hills neighborhoods in Silver Spring are:

Woodlin Elementary
  (k-5)
Sligo Middle School  (6-8)
Einstein High School  (8-12)

Also, at the high school level the Downcounty consortium is available giving students a choice regarding their academic area of study. The five high schools in the Downcounty cluster include Montgomery Blair, Northwood High, John F. Kennedy and Wheaton.

Dutch Colonial in North Woodside Silver SpringNorth Woodside and Montgomery Hills Real Estate


In 2014 there were 9 Homes Sold
Average List Price in 2014 – $635,211
Average Sold Price in 2014 – $634,978

Low Sale Price – $480,000
(for a 3 Bedroom 2 Bath Brick Colonial Style Home built in 1940)

High Sales Price – $810,000
(for 3 Bedroom 2 1/2 Bath Brick and Stone Tudor built in 1932 that had been totally Updated)

Real Estate and Homes for Sale Now in North Woodside and Montgomery Hills – Silver Spring, MD 20910

Posted by Debbie Cook | | Discussion: No Comments »

The Vintage Foursquare Style Homes in Silver Spring Takoma Park and DC

Four Square on Sligo Ave in Silver Spring Md

Four Square House in Silver Spring

The American Foursquare Style was popular from the mid 1890’s through the 1930’s.  The typical foursquare has a square, cubic design that is 2 to 2 1/2 stories high. The simple floorplan of the Four Square is 2 boxy rooms wide by 2 rooms deep on each floor.  A foursquare will most likely include a center dormer and a large front porch with wide stairs.  Another common feature of the foursquare is a distinctive hip roof.  A four square house often offers wonderful interior detailing such as craftsman style woodwork, high ceilings, vintage light fixtures , built-in cabinetry, arches and hardwood floors.

four square house in  Takoma dc

A Foursquare Home in Takoma DC

This style of home was great for the small, narrow city lots of this era, because it made the most use of interior room space.  The foursquare style is found in the older more urban areas of Silver Spring, Takoma Park and NW DC, where the first trains and streetcar lines served these areas. The Foursquare was a popular “mail order” era house.  The house came by train in pre cut pieces on a boxcar with directions for putting it together.  This is why you find many of these homes in close proximity to a rail road line.  The largest mail order catalog companies were Sears and Alladin.

Many Vintage Foursquare style homes can be found in Takoma Park, Forest Glen, Downtown Silver Spring, Old Woodside, Capitol View Park, Silver Spring Park, Blair Subdivision, Takoma DC, Brightwood and Shepherd Park.   There are other “close-in” areas nearby, such as Kensington, Rockville and Garrett Park in Montgomery County, along with College Park, Brentwood, Mount Rainier, Cottage City, Cheverly and Hyattsville in Prince Georges County that also offer vintage foursquare homes to choose from!

If you are hunting for that perfect old, vintage gem of a house or want to sell one in Maryland or DC, please contact me – I am passionate about knowing how and where to find and sell them!

Posted by Debbie Cook | | Discussion: Comments Off on The Vintage Foursquare Style Homes in Silver Spring Takoma Park and DC

Visit The Silver Spring Pumpkin Patch

The  Annual Pumpkin Patch has a good selection of Pumpkins and some pretty chrysanthmums at Woodside Methodist Church in the Woodside area at the edge of Downtown Silver Spring.

Boy Scout Troop 209 is Montgomery County’s Oldest Boy Scout Troop.  Boy Scout Troop 209 has been in existence since the 1930′s at this same Silver Spring Location.

Buy a pumpkin or some mums and Support  your Local Silver Spring Boy Scout Troop 209.   All proceeds go to the troop’s financial aid fund to make sure that all scouts can participate in the troops many activities and it’s more fun than just picking up a pumpkin at the local grocery store!

Woodside United Methodist Church

8900 Georgia Avenue Silver Spring, MD 20910

Located at the corner of Georgia Avenue and Ballard Street,

1 block north of Spring Street. Google Map

Look for the Boy Scout Troop 209 Truck.

Make your pumpkin last much longer this year:
Check out these tips for preserving your pumpkin and prevent it from rotting out in the yard or on the porch.

Posted by Debbie Cook | | Discussion: No Comments »

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