Meet Rhonda Richardson!

Meet Rhonda Richardson!

Rhonda Richardson is a native of the Eastern Shore of Maryland, having been born and raised in Dorchester County. She says the natural beauty that the Shore offers, from picturesque farms to the miles of breathtaking waterways, are attributes of the area that she will never grow tired of. Rhonda says, “This is my home, and I love the opportunity to help you make it yours too!”

Rhonda has enjoyed great success in her 20-year career in real estate, and she’s very proud to be a part of the Powell Realtor team. She says it’s a good fit as a truly local, family-run business that has been serving the Eastern Shore for 46 years.

Rhonda says her number one priority as a Realtor is to listen intently to what her clients’ needs are. She makes it a point to surround herself with the best in the business – from mortgage lenders, to appraisers, to inspectors – so that she can confidently provide clients with the utmost personal and caring service to ensure a smooth transaction.

When Rhonda isn’t working, she enjoys spending time on he Chesapeake Bay and its many tributaries fishing, crabbing, or just taking in a relaxing boat ride to one of the many area restaurants. Other interests include traveling abroad, gardening, and leisurely walks. Her most cherished times are the ones spent with her family, friends, and her two elderly dogs.

Whether you’re thinking about buying or selling, we encourage you to put Rhonda’s years of experience to work for you!

Interested in working with Rhonda?

You can reach her at 410.330.2140 (cell), 410.228.9333 (office), or RhondaLRichardson@icloud.com.

Eastern Shore Real Estate Market Stats

Eastern Shore Real Estate Market Stats

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve heard that the real estate market is “hot” right now. But just how hot is it? And what does a “hot market” really mean? We’re sharing real estate market stats from four Eastern Shore counties that illustrate just how sizzling this market is.

These stats were compiled June 4, 2021 and show huge increases in the number of homes sold and in median sales prices. The stats also show that homes are selling FAST. All of this is being driven by a lack of inventory… So if you’ve been on the fence about whether or not to sell your home, this is one of the best markets to do so. We’d be happy to help.

If you’re a buyer, don’t let these rip-roaring stats spook you. Conditions are very different than in 2008-2009 and most experts say we are NOT in a housing bubble. This article from Fortune does a good job of illustrating how this time really is different. Prices will likely stabilize in the future, but they’re unlikely to fall in any significant way. So this is as good a time as any to become a homeowner! We’re here to help if you’re ready to move forward.

Without further ado, let’s take a look at these real estate market stats for Dorchester, Caroline, Talbot, and Wicomico Counties!

Dorchester County, MD Real Estate Market Stats

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Caroline County, MD Real Estate Market Stats

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Talbot County, MD Real Estate Market Stats

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Wicomico County, MD Real Estate Market Stats

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5 Reasons Why You Should Sell Your Home This Winter

5 Reasons Why You Should Sell Your Home This Winter

You’ve done the repairs and slapped a fresh coat of paint on the walls. Now you’re twiddling your thumbs, waiting for spring. After all, you’ve heard time and time again that spring is the best time of year to sell your home… All those picturesque real estate photos of manicured lawns, brilliant blue skies, and colorful spring flowers seem to suggest there’s some truth to this idea! But do you really need to wait to list your home? The answer may surprise you!

In this blog post we explore the top 5 reasons Delmarva homeowners shouldn’t wait until spring to sell their homes. The most obvious, of course, is that we frequently enjoy mild winters here on the Eastern Shore (take this one, for instance!). While temperatures may dip a bit, you can still take care of most repairs and cosmetic improvements, even on the exterior of your home. And who isn’t itching for a few DIY projects during the long midwinter months anyway? (Okay, okay — we know not everyone likes to DIY; that’s what handymen are for!). Here are some other key reasons why you might consider listing sooner rather than later:

1. There is less competition to sell your home in the winter.

The simple law of supply and demand is key here. Since many sellers still adhere to the myth that spring is the optimal time to list, the winter months yield much less competition in the housing market. Simply put, buyers have fewer homes from which to choose. This means that your home is more likely to get noticed, AND you just might be able to sell it for more than you could in the spring.  

2. Winter home buyers are serious home buyers!

It’s true that the days are shorter, darker, and colder in the winter, and the thought of moving can be a daunting task for many during this time of year. The upside to this is that people who venture out to look at homes during the winter are generally more serious and are probably on a timeline. You’re less likely to get looky-loos and more likely to get real buyers who are motivated and — better yet — pre-approved for mortgages! Corporate relocations also tend to happen during the early months of January and February. Relocating families are often credited some moving expenses (woohoo!) and are usually anxious to get settled and get their kids enrolled in school as quickly as possible. This can be a huge advantage for sellers.

3. A quiet market means motivated Realtors & faster loan processing.

Because there are generally fewer homes on the market during the winter months, real estate agents are able to devote more attention to individual homes on their roster. Also, lenders and other real estate professionals are usually less busy. Buyers are able to get their financing and other documentation in order much more quickly, which means you’ll hit fewer snags during the closing process.  

4. Winter is the perfect time to show off your home’s “Coziness Factor”!

While it’s true that landscaping is less of a selling point during the winter months, you can easily up the ante inside your home. The key word you’re going for is cozy. If your home has a big beautiful fireplace, light it up and show it off! Stage your home with luxurious, snuggly throws, homey scents, and warm lighting. Keep your heat at a comfortable 70° during showings and emphasize the most energy efficient aspects of your home – a new furnace, new windows, insulation, sunlights, natural lighting — anything that can up the coziness factor (and cut down on your buyer’s potential heating costs!). If it’s dark outside, be sure to keep your house well lit, both inside and out. A warm, cozy home in winter is a sold home!  

5. Homes listed in winter sell faster and for more money! 

Contrary to popular belief, US home sale data in both cold and warm climates in recent years suggests that homes listed in the winter actually sold faster (by an average of one week) and for more money (by roughly 1% of the purchase price). When you couple this with the benefit of having less foot traffic in your home, the avoidance of whatever costs are associated with property maintenance over a longer period of time, and the convenience of a faster, less complicated closing process, the verdict on winter selling seems like a no-brainer! 

Now is the time to sell your home!

What does all of this mean for you? If you’re considering listing your home in the coming months, it may be advantageous to do so sooner rather than later. It’s important to remember that the vast majority of buyers looking for homes are doing most of their searching online, and the internet knows no seasons. The right buyer may be searching for your home right now! Contact us today so we can help you get started. 

Six Holiday Events on Delmarva That Will Make You Feel Merry & Bright!

Six Holiday Events on Delmarva That Will Make You Feel Merry & Bright!

The holiday season is upon us, and for those of us lucky enough to live on the Eastern Shore, that means we have a fantastic selection of activities to help us get into the spirit.  In this month’s blog post, we’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite family-friendly events taking place across the peninsula so you can fill your weekends with holiday cheer.

November 16-December 31: Winter Wonderfest at Hudson Fields | Milton, DE

Christmas tree with people celebrating outside at WonderFest

Ring in the season at this month-and-a-half-long festival that includes an ice skating rink, a 1.5-mile drive-through Lights Spectacular, hayrides, and a Christmas village complete with carnival rides, games, a Christmas tree farm, food trucks, craft vendors, and Santa’s Workshop. Opening day kicks off on November 16 with a 5k Run/Walk and one-mile Fun Walk through the lights display (you can pre-register online). Feel extra warm and cozy knowing that proceeds from Wonderfest go to local charities; since 2016, the festival has raised over $140,000 for local non-profits! For dates, hours and discounted tickets, visit the festival’s website.

November 29: Berlin Tree Lighting & Holiday Open House | Berlin, MD

Horse and carriage at Christmastime

Looking to entertain visiting family members Thanksgiving weekend? What could be more perfect than a tree lighting festival in one of America’s favorite small towns?! Stroll the decorated streets and shops, enjoy local artists and musicians, and go for a carriage ride with Jolly Old St. Nicholas himself. Be sure to stop by Stevenson UMC for some holiday caroling before winding your way to the Calvin B. Taylor Museum for a candlelit tour. Activities last from 5:30PM to 9PM, with a 6PM tree lighting in front of the Atlantic Hotel. See Berlin Main Street’s website for more details.

December 4-8: Winter Wonderland Music & Tree Festival at Sailwinds Park | Cambridge, MD 

Winter Wonderland festivities begin Wednesday afternoon with a senior dinner (55+) and continue into the weekend with a Friday night holiday dance (adults only) and a family-friendly open house at Governor’s Hall that features a Festival of Trees, visits with Santa, live music, a craft show, and food and beverages. Proceeds benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of the Eastern Shore and a local family. For more information, visit the event’s facebook page.

December 6-8: Christmas in Easton | Easton, MD

Santa and Mrs. Claus waiving hello from a firetruck in downtown Easton, MD

Easton offers an abundance of holiday events throughout November and December, but this particular weekend offers the most bang for your buck! The weekend starts with Moonlight Madness on Friday, December 6 from 4-10PM. Enjoy music in the streets, pictures with Santa, special in-store events, and giveaways totalling over $10,000! The fun continues on Saturday with the annual tree lighting in Thompson Park at 6PM, followed by a holiday parade complete with holiday floats, classic cars, bands, and more. Don’t forget to wind your way over to the Waterfowl Building, where the third annual Arts & Crafts Marketplace will feature fine art and crafts from regional artisans all weekend long. For a complete list of activities, visit the Discover Easton website.

December 12-15: Christmas in St. Michaels | St. Michaels, MD

Horse drawn carriage with Christmas carol singers

We couldn’t leave this oldie-but-goodie off the list! Christmas in St. Michaels is back for its 33rd year, celebrating with historic home tours, a gingerbread house competition, the holiday Marketplace & Sweet Shoppe, Santa’s Wonderland, and the Saturday-morning Talbot Street Parade, which kicks off this year with a one-mile Santa Dash fun run. Grab your Santa hats and join the festivities! View a complete list of activities here at the Christmas in St. Michaels website

December 14: Salisbury Zoo’s Critter Christmas | Salisbury, MD

Santa and Mrs. Claus will be setting up shop at the Salisbury Zoo for one day, and they’re looking for some creative little helpers to work on over a dozen holiday craft projects! Bring the kids for a fun-filled day of crafting and peruse an assortment of local artisan booths for last-minute holiday gifts. Don’t forget to visit all the animals to wish them Happy Holidays! Visit the Zoo’s website for more info. 

We hope you have an opportunity to enjoy at least one of these great events! Let us know what you think, and feel free to add to our list with your favorite local festivities. However you celebrate, we wish you and your family a happy holiday season!

Hurricane Preparedness Checklist

Hurricane Preparedness Checklist

It’s that time of year when it’s important to be prepared for hurricanes and tropical storms! Our area can experience flooding and power outages during and after major storms. We’re sharing a hurricane preparedness checklist to help you and your family stay safe! The first items on the list are things to have on hand – especially if the Eastern Shore is in the path of a major hurricane. The second part of list tells you what to do before, during, and after the storm. Stay safe, everyone!

Items to Stock

Must Haves

  • Battery powered TV
  • Battery powered Radio
  • Flashlights
  • Battery lantern
  • Extra batteries
  • Lighters/Matches

First aid kit

  • Extra prescription medicine
  • Nonprescription medicines like pain relievers, cough cold and flu, decongestant, etc.
  • Band-Aids
  • Gauze
  • Anti-biotic cream
  • Iodine
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Moist towelettes

Water minimums

  • 7 gallons per person
  • 2 gallons additional water for cooking and sanitation per person
  • Portable water filter
  • Ice chest and bags of ice for storage of food and medicine

Food

  • 2 weeks’ worth of non-perishable foods requiring little or no preparation, cooking or water, baby food and formula
  • Snacks that do not increase thirst
  • Hard candies for diabetics needing glucose balance
  • 2 weeks of pet food

Creature comforts

  • Extra cash and credit cards
  • Bug repellant
  • Sunscreen
  • Solarcaine
  • Teddy bear
  • Candy and gum
  • Juices and sports drink
  • Cards, books, games
  • 7 days of clean clothes

Important Papers

(Store these items in waterproof container and have them ready for evacuation if necessary.)

  • Copies of Driver’s license
  • Passports
  • Social security cards
  • Immunization records
  • Utility bill
  • Emergency phone #
  • Family records (birth, death, baptism, marriage certificates)
  • Copies of will, deeds, insurance policies, contracts, stocks, and bonds, next of kin notification phone #’s
  • Inventory and pictures of valuable household items
  • Any desired family photos
  • Map and directions to emergency shelters

Supplies and tools

  • Diapers
  • Sleeping bags and pillows
  • Grill, charcoal or gas for grille
  • Disposable utensils and plates/bowls for eating
  • Can opener
  • Toothbrush, toothpaste
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Toiletries
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Trash bags
  • Crowbar
  • Hammer
  • Sledgehammer
  • Chain saw
  • Hand saw
  • Nails
  • Workman gloves
  • Rope
  • Fire extinguisher

BEFORE THE STORM

Make a family plan

  • Complete a plan of action with the entire family. Make sure everyone knows evacuation procedures and preparations for inside and outside the home.
  • Get a current map and plan various evacuation routes, make sure all drivers know how to read the map.
  • Have a safe place to take your pets, evacuation center can’t take pets.
  • Make sure your pet is wearing updated ID.
  • Keep your evacuation vehicle gas tank full

Prepare your yard

  • Store loose outdoor items and furniture
  • Remove debris from yard
  • Trim dead branches from trees and shrubs
  • Protect pool filter motor
  • Secure small sheds
  • Park cars in safe place

When a hurricane watch is issued

  • Make sure your hurricane kit is complete
  • Stay tuned to WBOC for up to the minute reports
  • Board up windows
  • Remove furniture from window areas and cover with plastic sheets
  • Turn refrigerator and freezer to coldest settings and keep closed
  • Disconnect propane gas line
  • Brace garage doors from inside
  • Make hotel reservations for evacuation. Pet friendly if needed

When evacuation order is issued (leave early and in daylight if possible)

  • Sterilize bath tubs and sinks and then fill with water
  • Put chlorine in pool and leave full
  • Notify trusted neighbors of your evacuation plan
  • Notify family members outside of evacuation area of your evacuation plan
  • Bring your driver’s license and utility bill
  • Bring your pets collar and ID
  • Pet carrier or cage for travel
  • Call local emergency management for shelters that can accommodate you if you have special needs.

DURING THE STORM

  • Stay in your home if you have not been ordered to leave
  • Secure and brace from the inside exterior doors
  • Close all interior doors
  • Take shelter in a small interior room
  • Stay away from glass windows and items that could become projectiles in strong winds
  • If you don’t have an interior room take shelter under a table
  • Cover your head with pillows or anything to prevent injury from flying debris
  • If you lose electricity, use battery operated lanterns or flashlights for lighting. Do NOT use candles or gas lanterns.
  • Use a battery-operated TV tuned to WBOC for storm emergency information.
  • If you don’t have a battery-operated TV tune your battery-operated radio to Cat Country 99.5 or 107.9 for storm emergency information.

AFTER THE STORM

  • Stay tuned to WBOC for weather reports, road conditions and alerts from authorities.
  • Remember, Chopper 16 may be your only reliable source for road information.
  • Do not attempt to drive across flowing water.
  • Do not enter water or allow children to play in water as there may be downed power lines that may be or may become energized without warning.
  • If you have evacuated, return home only after the all clear.
  • Use flashlights or battery-powered lanterns for lighting until your electricity is restored and declared safe to use.
  • Use bottled water for cooking, drinking and sanitation until authorities declare the water supply safe.
  • Take pictures to document the damage to your home and property.
  • Don’t wait for the government to clear your street. Obtain the assistance of able-bodied neighbors and clear the street for traffic and emergency vehicles.
  • Watch out for snakes, spiders, insects and other animals that may be seeking dry shelter.
  • Take reasonable steps to protect your property from further damage as likely your insurance policy requires.
  • Use EXTREME caution using chainsaws and other power tools to clean up debris and make repairs.
  • Keep generators outside for ventilation.

 

 

5 Tips for House Hunting as a Couple

5 Tips for House Hunting as a Couple

Buying a house is one of the most significant and expensive purchases made in a relationship. This decision can be stressful, especially for couples with little to no experience in the field of real estate. There are many decisions to be made while house hunting, from the location of the neighborhood to the size of the master bath. Following these five helpful tips will allow couples to navigate the process of house hunting without straining your relationship!

Tip #1: Communicate with Each Other

Get on the same page. Owning a house together is a big commitment and responsibility. If you’re a couple looking to own a home and possibly expand your family, it’s important to agree on the list of “must haves” before you start your search. Understand what each of you are looking for, whether it’s the spacious backyard and pool, or a basement home theater.

Like most things in a healthy relationship, a successful house hunt depends on communication and compromise. Support one another and try not to pressure each other into a decision that may lead to regret or resentment in the future.

Tip #2: Have a Budget – and Stick to It!

Buying a house is a major financial commitment, and we all know money can be one of the biggest sources of strain in a relationship. Overspending is a surefire way to damage your relationship, both financially and emotionally. Stay within your budget. Consider each other’s income and savings, then consider how you’ll maintain the lifestyle you want once you buy your new home. Don’t get in over your head.

It’s also important to be sure you’re prepared for emergencies. Home ownership can entail unforeseen costs, like fixing a broken heat pump or replacing a rotten floor joist. And don’t forget to consider smaller costs like your monthly bills, the cost of your daily commute to work, and the overall cost of living in your neighborhood. Making sure you have a full understanding of the cost of home ownership will help you and your honey make a smooth transition into your new home.

Tip #3: Get Pre-Approved for a Joint Loan

Finalizing your budget is one step, but seeking pre-approval for a loan is key in speeding up the buying process. Once you’re pre-approved, your realtors and mortgage company will be confident that you are financially stable and able to purchase the house you’re requesting to view. When it’s time to sign a contract, being pre-approved and having a bank commitment letter will help everything go much more smoothly.

Married couples will typically apply for a loan together. If you’re not married, you can still apply for a joint loan, but do some research first to understand the legal and tax implications. And never put your name on a home loan unless your name is also on the deed of the house!

Tip #4: Get a Home Inspection – Always!

Never skip the home inspection! Sometimes one person in a couple is so excited about buying a home that they want to rush through this critical step. Don’t do it! Help your partner understand the importance of an inspection. You need to know what you’re getting into. You don’t want to be surprised that your septic system has failed after closing on your house, or find that the back deck is infested with termites while hosting your very first house warming party.

Again, money and finances are the most common source of problems in relationships. Skipping a home inspection opens up a financial can of worms. Even if a home is being sold “as is,” you should get an inspection. The inspection report will give you an idea future costs you’ll incur, and you can use this information to plan your offer.

You’ll save yourselves a lot of stress – and money! – if you insist on a home inspection.

Tip #5: Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

As a couple, you may not agree on all aspects of the house, from the carpet in the living room to the tile on the patio. But these are details that can be smoothed out later. You want to make sure you’ve picked a house that fits the needs of your future together. Do you need that extra spare room for the future expansion of your family? Is the kitchen spacious enough to host family dinners? If you both can agree on a house that covers everything on your “must have” list, the smaller details can be settled in the future.

The truth is, couples usually don’t agree on design choices and how to customize their home. However, once you’ve owned your home for a while, you’ll have a better sense of how you use your space and what your design or renovation preferences are. Over time, you can work together to plan and save for any upgrades on each other’s wish lists.

The most important thing about house hunting as a couple is to always remember that you are in this together! You aren’t just buying a home together; you’re investing in your future together as a couple and family. Be patient. The right house will come along. Enjoy exploring the possibilities together.  Happy house hunting!

Start your home search here. Contact us if you’d like to speak with one of our experienced Realtors.

8 Tips for a Successful Home Search

8 Tips for a Successful Home Search

So you’ve decided you want to buy a house… Congratulations! Buying a home can be incredibly rewarding – both financially and personally. In the 40+ years we’ve helped people find their homes, we’ve learned that there’s definitely a right way to approach your home search. Read on for our eight top tips for a successful home search.

Tip #1: Figure out your finances first

Before you do anything else, figure out how much you can comfortably spend on your new home. Go through your monthly budget and your savings. Figure out how much more you need to save and how long it will take.

Once you have a handle on your finances, get pre-qualified for mortgage. You’ll submit an application to a lender, along with all necessary documentation. The lender will evaluate your application and let you know what type of loan you’ve qualified for. You’ll know the maximum amount of the loan, the down payment requirements, and the interest rate. Keep in mind that you may qualify for more than you actually want to spend. Stick to your budget once you begin shopping!

Tip #2: Start your search online

You can use online home search tools to get a general sense of the types of homes available in your area and their pricing. This will help you understand the types of homes available within your price range. Take notes on what you like and don’t like about the homes that fall within your budget.

It’s also helpful to invite your spouse, friends, and family to join your online search. When you create a free search account on our site, you can create a saved search that meets your criteria. Then, you can invite others to join your search. You can share reactions and comments privately within your search party. This saves a lot of time and helps get everyone on the same page (and it’s fun!).

Tip #3: Explore the neighborhoods you’re considering

Visit the neighborhoods you’re considering – both in the car and on foot. Get a sense of whether or not they feel like a good fit with your personality and lifestyle. See how far they are from your work, shopping, restaurants, and other conveniences. It’s also a good idea to visit neighborhoods at different times of day. You want to make sure the neighborhood vibe doesn’t change dramatically at night.

Once you’ve honed in on a few neighborhoods, go back online to check home prices. Location can have a huge impact on pricing, so you may not be able to get as much house in a sought-after neighborhood.

Tip #4: Make a list of must-haves and would-like-to-haves

Now that you’ve done your research about what you can realistically expect within your budget, start making lists. Try to keep your must-have list limited to just three of four things. These are the things that you cannot or will not compromise on. Try to be flexible on everything else. Your “would-like-to-haves” list are things that you can give up or trade off to get your must-haves.

Tip #5: Meet with your Realtor to discuss your goals and develop a clear strategy

Share your budget and your must-haves and would-like-to-haves lists with your Realtor. Discuss the neighborhoods you’d like to target. Discuss your timeline for buying a home. Ask lots and lots of questions about the process of touring homes, putting in an offer, and closing on a home. Then, agree on a strategy and let the searching begin!

(Need help finding a great Realtor? We have more than a dozen fantastic Realtors on our team. You can also read this post about how to choose the right Realtor.)

Tip #6: Start touring homes and provide LOTS of feedback to your Realtor

All the research and legwork you’ve done up to this point will help your Realtor identify the right kinds of homes for your needs. Start touring the homes and take lots of notes about what you see. Share feedback with your Realtor about what you liked and didn’t like about each home. The more specific your feedback, the better. Your Realtor will use this information to further hone in on just the right home for you.

Tip #7: Put in a fair offer

When you find a home you love and you’re ready to put in an offer, sit down with a Realtor and discuss your strategy. Your Realtor will provide comps (recent sales of comparable homes), which will give you a better sense of the market value of the home you’ve chosen. Put in an offer that is fair and reasonable based on market value. It’s okay to leave a little wiggle room to negotiate, but don’t low-ball your offer. This can insult sellers and make them unwilling to work with you. It can also send a signal that you aren’t serious or aren’t properly informed, and again, sellers may be unwilling to work with you.

If your offer is fair and based on market research, you should be able to reach an agreement that works for everyone.

Tip #8: Get a home inspection

This is so important! Make your offer contingent upon a successful home inspection. If a problem is discovered, you have a few options. You can walk away from the property if it seems like too much to deal with. Another option is to negotiate that the seller will fix the problem prior to closing and provide proof that the work was done. Or, you can negotiate a lower selling price and take care of the work yourself after you’ve purchased the home.

Bonus tip: Use your Realtor’s expertise every step of the way!

You can engage a Realtor as early in this process as you’d like. If you’d like to get their input on how to figure out your finances, feel free to ask for their help. If you’d like them to narrow down your initial online search, they can do that for you. Your Realtor’s job is to make sure you understand the process and ultimately choose the perfect home. You can’t ask too many questions… A good Realtor is always happy to help!

Welcome Stephanie Bryan!

Welcome Stephanie Bryan!

Meet Stephanie Bryan, a fresh face in the local real estate industry! She recently decided to pursue her longtime dream of becoming a real estate agent, and she joined the Powell Realtors team in August. Stephanie likes many aspects of the industry, but she most loves helping people find their dream home! She also enjoys seeing and working with different styles of housing and appreciates the uniqueness of each home.

Stephanie Bryan cooking in her kitchen. Stephanie is a real estate agent on the Eastern Shore of Maryland.

One of the main reasons Stephanie decided to get into real estate was her drive to help people. She understands being a home buyer is hard and offers advice about getting a wish list together about what you want in a house. She also suggests that with almost every house you have to compromise on something, so it’s important to have your priorities straight. She also values criticism and offers home sellers advice to take criticism as an opportunity to learn.

When Stephanie isn’t working hard, she enjoys spending time with her husband and stepson. She has lived in the area her entire life, and the warm and friendly community is what motivates her to stay. Boating, water skiing, and fishing are a few of the water activities she enjoys with her family. To Stephanie, cooking was never a chore but more of a hobby; she loves the art of it. Although Stephanie adores doing all of these things, traveling with her husband has to be on the top of her list.

Stephanie Bryan enjoys traveling with her husband when she isn't working as a realtor with Powell Realtors.
Stephanie Bryan, realtor with Powell Realtors, spends time with her stepson when she isn't working with Powell Realtors. Here, they enjoy a tour of a chocolate factory.

If you’re interested in working with Stephanie, you can reach her at 443.521.3198 or stephaniebryan0818@gmail.com.

Meet Jessica Lewis!

Meet Jessica Lewis!

Introducing Jessica Lewis! Jessica joined the Powell team in 2017. She’s been helping people her whole life, formerly as a registered nurse and certified case manager. She always enjoyed putting a smile on people’s faces and now she gets to work with families to help them find the perfect home where they can grow or downsize.

When she started doing this job, Jessica determined that buying a home is something people should never feel rushed into. She says it’s important to take your time because buying a home is such a huge decision. She believes it’s really important to make sure you truly love a home before making any decisions about buying it.

Jessica also really loves working with sellers. Her secret tip for home sellers: Stage your home! Many people look at homes on the internet and seeing a home furnished makes them picture their own family in that house.

When Jessica is away from work, she spends time with her husband, four kids who are still at home (plus one adult daughter when she’s able to visit!), and dog Axl. She enjoys many coastal activities that are part of life on the Shore. She loves traveling with her family and kayaking on the water. She regularly volunteers with various organizations to help in the community, as does her husband who is a volunteer firefighter. Aside from their five children, Jessica and her husband have also chosen to be a foster parent for nine years. She loves having the opportunity to help and care for others.

Jessica Lewis, Eastern Shore Realtor, with her family

Jessica Lewis, Eastern Shore Realtor, with her husband

If you would like to chat with Jessica to see if she’s the right Realtor for you, just shoot us a message!

Jessica Lewis, Realtor at Powell Realtors, shares photos of her family enjoying the Eastern Shore lifestyle

DIY Home Repairs: Our Favorite Articles, Videos & Resources

DIY Home Repairs: Our Favorite Articles, Videos & Resources

Repairs and maintenance are a reality of home ownership. There are some jobs that are definitely best left to the professionals, but there are many repairs you can do yourself. Mastering a few simple DIY home repair techniques will save you a lot of money in the long run. Here, we share a few of our favorite tips and resources for DIY home repair.

Kitchen Home Improvement & Repairs

DIY Kitchen Repairs | Powell Realtors (showing a bright, modern white kitchen)

How to Fix a Clogged Sink

It is quite common for food to get clogged in the sink. To clear the path, you can take a plunger to try and suction the particles out of the drain. If pesky particles are remaining, make a baking soda and vinegar mix to unclog the sink.

How to Fix Burns on Laminate Countertops

Hot pans can do serious damage to laminate countertops. Large burns will call for a replacement, but minor burns are a simple fix. First, start by scrubbing the area with steel wool or a rough material like sandpaper, then create a homemade abrasive cleaner (baking soda and water) to remove all excess material.

Check out other great kitchen repair tips at the DIY Network blog!

Bathroom Repairs & DIY Renos

DIY Bathroom Repairs | Powell Realtors (showing a tiled bathroom with soaker tub)

Planning & Managing Bathroom Renovations

Whether your vision for your bathroom involves tile, vinyl, wallpaper, or paint, this book will ensure you are repairing and remodeling your bathroom like the professionals. It also includes steps for planning out your project and finding fixtures that fit! This is a great beginner’s guide to bathroom renovations.

Bathroom Remodeling for Dummies

How to Fix a Broken Faucet

Make sure when fixing a broken faucet, you have a replacement at the ready! Also, ensure your water is turned off and you put a stopper over the drain to keep any pieces from falling into the pipes. These are the basic things you need to do to prep your bathroom for a faucet repair or replacement. Check out these handy videos on how to actually tackle the job!

Repairing a Leaky Faucet

How to Replace a Bathroom Sink Faucet

Keeping Every Room Beautiful

DIY Home Repairs | Powell Realtors (showing a high-end bedroom with vaulted ceilings)

How to Paint Like a Pro

Nothing makes your home feel cleaner than a fresh coat of paint! It’s incredible what a difference a fresh paint job can make. It’s one of the easiest, most affordable, and most dramatic home improvements you can make. Check out this article about how to paint a room like a pro!

Top 10 Ways to Paint Like a Pro

How to Change Out Lights Fixtures

Light fixtures are like jewelry for your house! Updating ceiling fixtures can make a HUGE difference in your home. Light fixtures may seem difficult to replace, but this video will teach you how to do it step-by-step. It’s much easier than you’d expect!

How to Replace a Ceiling Light Fixture

How to Replace Doorknobs & Cabinet Hardware

Okay, doorknobs and hardware are ALSO the jewelry for your home! This is another simple change that can make an amazing difference. Few things can cause a home to look as dated as doorknobs and hardware. To change out cabinet hardware, just unscrew from the back side of the cabinet door, pop in the new one, and tighten. Replacing a doorknob is almost as easy!

How to Replace a Door Knob

Bonus tip: If your cabinet hardware is a dated color or finish, you can give it a SUPER affordable update with spray paint! Just remove the hardware and give it 2 – 3 coats. Let everything dry thoroughly before reinstalling.

DIY Outdoor Spaces

DIY Exterior Home Repairs | Powell Realtors (showing a backyard patio with plants)

How to Repair Chipped Outdoor Paint

When your exterior color begins to crack, it’s not just unsightly; it’s a sign that your interior and exterior walls may be compromised. Any exposed wood can start to rot and decay, leaving your home vulnerable to moisture and pests. Pressure washing your house will get rid of chipped paint and will allow you to create a new coat to avoid the wood becoming molded. Check out this link for other important exterior maintenance tips!

6 Must-Do Outdoor Spring Home Maintenance Tasks

Weeding Out the Weeds

Getting rid of weeds is one of the simplest and most dramatic ways to improve your curb appeal. The best solution is to pull weeds out by the roots to make sure they don’t continue to grow. Pre-emergent herbicides can help prevent weeds from sprouting without doing damage to your lawn. Specific tools are more manageable for different types of weeds because of the way the root structures grow. Check out this article about determining which device works best for your needs.

Tips & Tricks for Eliminating Lawn Weeds

6 Cases When you Should Hire a Professional

When to Call in the Professionals for Home Repair | Powell Realtors (showing a man with drill and lumber)

Photo source: https://www.bidvine.com/

Installing Crown Molding

This may seem like an easy DIY, but you should leave this to the experts. There are dozens of different angles you’ll have to consider and your math has to be exact. Save yourself a LOT of frustration and call in a pro!

Replacing Windows with French Doors

This job requires a lot of specialized materials and tools. You also have to consider how to keep the wall structurally sound during the replacement. Finally, you may have electrical wires that need to be rerouted to accommodate the new doors. Because of this, this project is best left to the experts.

Removing a Load-Bearing Wall

Knocking down walls should be left to the pros. Structural changes in your home require tons of planning. A licensed contractor is familiar with this procedure and will get the job done right.

Replacing an Old Driveway

There is a lot to consider when replacing an old driveway. This is hard work that requires specialized equipment. A small miscalculation may be costly, so play it safe and hire a professional.

Building a Pergola

Building a pergola involves site planning and understanding local code requirements. It also involves digging and setting concrete footers, which is no easy task for most homeowners.

Waterproofing Your Basement

Every home is unique, and no one game plan for waterproofing your basement that will work in every house. There are different approaches that professionals will recommend based on your home’s unique challenges.

We hope these resources are helpful to you! If you’re ready to tackle home ownership and all it entails, give us a call or send us a message. We’d love to help!