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baltimore city tagged posts

Tips for Staging Your Kitchen

staging your kitchen when your house is for saleThe kitchen is part of a home where people spend a lot of quality time. It’s very special, more so than most of the other rooms.

How can you make your kitchen stand out from other kitchens people might see when shopping for a home? Staging!

Staging is when you decorate a room to be more appealing to home buyers. It’s important to keep your personal items out and put in things that appeal to a larger group of people. Personal touches are perfect when it’s your home, but you are trying now to entice someone else to make it their home.

In this month’s Item of Value, get tips on how to stage your kitchen. Click here to read the full report.

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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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Mortgage Rates

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

As expected the Feds raised interest rates 25 bps to 5.25% on Wednesday, noting that job growth has been “strong” and inflation has been close to their 2.0% target.  In addition, a larger majority of members (12 up from 8 last meeting) now expect an additional 25 bps hike by year-end and three more hikes in 2019.

The Prime rate is for short term lending like revolving charge accounts and HELOC’s (Home Equity Line Of Credit). This also affects the construction loans that rely on the prime rate as their benchmark.

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mortgage rates 1 point

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mortgage rates 0 points

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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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What Not to Store in the Garage

garage storageThanks to Tom Benisch of State Farm for this episode of Tips from the Pros about what to store in the garage.

It’s easy for a garage to turn into a catchall storage unit. For most items that’s fine, but some things simply don’t belong in a garage, and they can even become a home hazard without proper storage protection. This list of common red-flag items can help identify what doesn’t belong in the garage.

  • Extra fuel. Stashing portable gas cans and propane tanks in the garage can be dangerous: Highly flammable fuel poses a leaking risk. If you store any fuel in the garage, do so only in dedicated, leak-proof containers out of the reach of children and pets and away from potential sources of ignition such as water heaters or power tools...
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Retirement Worksheet

retirement worksheetRetirement Worksheet

Do you want to know how much money you’ll need to retire? Use the linked worksheet to help you estimate. Although your life circumstances may change, the worksheet can give you an idea of how much savings and investments you need to retire comfortably.

If you’d like to speak to someone about financial planning, I can connect you with a professional in my network.

Topics covered on the worksheet

  • How much will you need to maintain your lifestyle?
  • How much of your income will come from non-savings sources?
  • How much income will need to come from your savings and investments each year?
  • How long will your savings and investments need to last?
  • So, how much will you need to save?
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Smoke Detector Laws in Maryland

smoke detector laws in Maryland

Smoke detectors in Maryland homes

As you probably know, the law changed on January 1, 2018 about smoke detectors in Maryland.

You now must have a 10 year battery and the alarm needs to have a silence or hush feature. You have to have a smoke detector in every level of your home, including the basement. The smoke detector must be less than 10 years old.

If you don’t have the required smoke detectors in your home and you are selling the home, you are subject to a fine. Avoid the fine and update your smoke detectors to the required hardware.

Get the full details about home smoke detector legal standards by clicking here for a PDF infographic with all of the information you need.

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September Calendar of Events

September Calendar of Events

Lots of activities are happening in September around Baltimore. There is still time to celebrate outdoors. Many events are taking place include music, food and O’s games.


Hampden Fest in September 2018

Image: Hampden Fest.

Get your beehive ready for Hamdenfest, September 8 11 a.m.-7 p.m.


Music Festival, Union Collective in Baltimore September 22

Image: Baltimore Magazine’s Music Festival

Baltimore Magazine’s Music Festival at Union Collective. Check it out in Baltimore on September 22, 4:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.


Around the World Pub Crawl in September in downtown Baltimore

Image: Power Plant Live!

Around the World Pub Crawl at Power Plant Live downtown, September 22, 2-10 p.m. Tickets


Pigtown Main Street sponsors Pigtown Festival in September

Image: Pigtown Main Street

Don’t miss the 17th Annual Pigtown Festival, September 22 from 12:00 p.m.7:00 p.m.


Oktoberfest at Power Plant Live in Baltimore this September.

Image: Power Plant Live!

Leinenkugel’s presents Oktoberfest Live!. See it September 29, 2018 from 3:00- 7:0...

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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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Good Financial Habits

financial habits can help you saveIn this issue of my Monthly Item of Value, learn good financial habits that will help you throughout your lifetime.

By following this list of tips, you will be able to make the most of the money coming in and help your lower your debt and raise your savings and investments.

  • Be mindful of spending.
  • Create and stick to a budget.
  • Pay off one debt at a time.
  • Continue building your emergency savings.
  • Keep contributing to your retirement.
  • Create a budget.

For the full report click here.

Thinking of buying or selling your home? Contact Gigi today to set up an appointment.

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