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Category Blogs I Follow

October Calendar of Events

October Calendar of Events

Lots of activities are happening in October around Baltimore. There is still a little time to celebrate outdoors. These activities include Fleet Week, theater, art and other cultural events.


Maryland Fleet Week and Air Show

Image: Maryland Fleet Week & Air Show.

Maryland Fleet Week and Air Show on October 3-9 in the Inner Harbor, Baltimore.


Shakespear in Baltimore

Image: Chesapeake Shakespeare Company

She Stoops to Conquer at the Chesapeake Shakespeare Company through October 21, 2018.


John Waters retrospective

Image: John Waters. Divine in Ecstasy. 1992. Collection of Amy and Zachary Lehman. © John Waters, Courtesy Marianne Boesky Gallery.

John Waters – Indecent Exposure through January 6, 2019. Retrospective organized by the BMA examines John Waters’s influential career.


Baltimore Marathon

Image: Baltimore Running Festival

Baltimore Marathon will be dow...

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Common Organizing Mistakes

common organizing mistakes can lead to clutterThanks to Cindy Bernstein of Aim4Order for this episode of Tips from the Pros about organizing mistakes.

Some people believe if their home is clean, it’s organized. That is not necessarily true. Clutter can be hidden in closets or under beds. People may have trouble finding things because they don’t have storage containers clearly labeled.

How do you make sure you don’t take these organizing missteps?

Kitchen counters

You don’t have to have your kitchen counters completely clear. If you use your toaster every morning, keep it on the counter. Putting it away and taking it out every day is a waste of time. However, if you only use it every now and then, it makes sense to keep it off the counter.

Entryway

A completely clear entryway can make it hard to find a place for your coat,...

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Updated Mortgage Rates

Thanks to Mark Hines of Fidelity Bank for this episode of Tips from the Pros about mortgages.

It looks like last week everything leveled off a bit even in the wake of the possible collapse of Turkey’s economy. In US news, July Housing Starts +0.9%– Building Permits +1.5%.  Weekly jobless claims -2,000 to 212,000.  News is mortgage interest rate neutral.

As everyone knows by now FHLB is out of funds till January 2019.

There are other down payment assistance p[rograms that have funds to help 1st time buyers. Feel free to reach out to me if you have questions on any of these valuable programs. Construction loans are becoming popular with the lack of inventory. I do have a one-time close construction loan...

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How to Choose the Right Firewood

Thanks to Clean Sweep for this episode of Tips from the Pros about choosing firewood.

How to Choose the Right Firewood

While warm fires are the last thing you want burning in your house in the summer heat, fall and brisk winter nights are right around the corner. When cooler days come around, you should start by cleaning out your fireplace and getting a chimney inspection. Once your chimney has been prepped, you need to choose the right firewood.

Clean Sweep choosing firewood

Dry Firewood is the Best Firewood

As a general rule of thumb, remember that dry firewood is the best firewood. Wood is filled with small tubes that run water from the roots below the ground into the trunk and branches. When the wood is cut, those tubes will still have moisture in them...

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Weekly Mortgage Rates

Thanks to Mark Hines of Fidelity Bank for this episode of Tips from the Pros about mortgages.

Looks like FHLB (Federal Home Loan Bank) Grant has used all of its funds. There could be small amount come back as available but no more applications are to be taken for this valuable grant this year. Looks like 2019 in mid-January looks like the next window of opportunity.

The projection for the rates going into new week is to downright avoid floating any locks as news is mortgage rate un-friendly.

Don’t forget we have the FHA 203k full and streamline and Fannie Mae Homestyle rehab loans available.

As always feel free to use the rates below as a guideline for this weekend’s business.

Feel free to call with any borrower questions!

tips from the pros mortgage rates tips from the pros mortgage rates for this week

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big move can be messy but it can be organized

The Big Move

Thanks to Cindy Bernstein of Aim4Order for this episode of Tips from the Pros about moving.

Whether you are downsizing, upsizing, moving for work or for another reason, making the move go as smoothly as possible is the main goal. Here are some tips to make things easier.

Create a timeline

Don’t wait until the last minute to do everything. Things like setting up your utilities, moving your cable, phone, internet access and forwarding your mail need to be done ahead of time. Schedule movers or rent a truck and organize your friends and family to help you move. Create a timeline with each task and when it needs to be completed – and stick to it.
Make lists if you need them and check off tasks as you complete them. Keep your lists and timeline together so you can easily find them.

Me...

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Stress and Your Clutter

Thanks to Cindy Bernstein of Aim4Order for this episode of Tips from the Pros on stress and your clutter.

stress and clutterPsychologist Sherrie Bourg Carter said in an article in Psychology Today, “Clutter can play a significant role in how we feel about our homes, our workplaces, and ourselves. Messy homes and workspaces leave us feeling anxious, helpless, and overwhelmed. Yet, rarely is clutter recognized as a significant source of stress in our lives.”

Touching causes an emotional attachment, and that makes us attached to the things around our homes. The pain of giving up something reaches the anterior cingulate cortex part of the brain. It’s the same place associated with physical pain, so the pain you feel when giving up your belongings is real.

That’s how we are attached to our clutter, bu...

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Fireplace Safety for the Winter

This issue of Tips from the Pros is brought to you by Clean Sweep Chimney, Gutter & Slate Service.

clean sweet fireplace safety

Staying warm during the winter could mean piling on blankets, slipping on socks or huddling on the couch in front of a space heater, but for many people, it means lighting up the fireplace. Before you get cozy, refresh your fireplace safety knowledge with these simple tips.

Is Your Chimney Clean?

Before you worry about what type of logs to burn, you need to ensure that you have a clean chimney. Your chimney should be professionally swept at least once a year. Creosote, soot and debris will all be removed from the inside and the structure will be inspected for safety. If there are any problems with your chimney, it’s much better to find them out before something dangerous occurs.

How Low Sh...

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Do I need to organize?

Thanks to Cindy Bernstein of Aim4Order for this episode of Tips from the Pros about how to organize your home.

organize your home

When you organize, you will find you have more time for yourself.

“I can find everything I need, it might just take me a while.”

“I know where all of the important stuff is in my home.”

Are these statements you’ve made? Do you spend time every day looking for things? It’s time to get organized!

Having clutter can be like carrying weights around with you all day. It slows you down and takes away time that could be spent with more productive or fun tasks. You may have trouble reaching your personal and business goals.

Once you have eliminated clutter and organized what is left, you’ll find that your mind seems more clear and you actually feel better...

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Preparedness for big storms

Thanks to Cindy Bernstein of Aim4Order for this episode of Tips from the Pros about how to organize your home.

preparedness is important when storms are on their way

With the number of hurricanes happening this season, it’s time to talk about planning for an emergency. It might seem corny or unnecessary, but having family fire drills can save lives. An emergency plan can come in handy when you need it.

In Baltimore, we have been spared the worst of the hurricanes, but the storms that end up here can be serious. They cause downed trees, water coming inside and a loss of power. Preparedness before a big storm is always a good idea.

Doctors recommend you have at least a week of your medications on hand at any given time. Having only one or two day’s worth of your medication could cause you extra stress in an already stressful situation...

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