Feb 8, 2018 | Buying a Home
It’s easy to list reasons why people love living on Maryland’s Eastern Shore: the water, the people, the rural landscape, the proximity to beaches and cities… We could go on! There’s a reason Maryland is referred to as “America in Mini” due to our vast landscapes and distinct four seasons. But are you aware of the unique national events held on the Mid-Shore each year?
Caroline, Talbot and Dorchester Counties are home to many annual races, art festivals and outdoor events that draw families and visitors from around the world to our peaceful destination. Whether you’re a life-time resident, a traveler wanting to visit, or looking for a new place to call “home,” you don’t want to miss these events on the Mid-Shore this year.
Eastern Shore Sea Glass & Coastal Arts Festival
April 7-8, 2018 in St. Michael’s
The Eastern Shore Sea Glass & Coastal Art Festival will showcase over 30 artisans from all over the East Coast, from Maine to Virginia. Festival Attendees are encouraged to bring their favorite sea glass and pottery shards to learn more about their pieces with fellow beachcombers.
St. Michael’s Running Festival
May 19, 2018 in St. Michael’s
The St. Michaels Running Festival has been one of the premier destination races in the Mid-Atlantic since our inaugural event in 2012. Based in one of the oldest waterfront towns on the Chesapeake, runners will be treated to beautiful water views, breathtaking communities and tranquil runs down country lanes and a rockin’ after-party in downtown St. Michaels. This race is one of only two Maryland events recognized in the TOP 100 HALF MARATHONS IN THE USA! There is also a 5K and 1K Kids Fun Run.
Cambridge Classic Powerboat Regatta
May 19-20, 2018 in Cambridge
The country’s longest-running powerboat races happen right here in Dorchester! This year marks the 108th Cambridge Classic Power Boat Regatta from May 19-20 on the Choptank River. Some of these boats reach speeds up to 170mph! The fleet ranges from the classic Jersey speed skiffs turning on their sides and going airborne at 70mph to the 1,500-horsepower grand prix boats that reach speeds of 170 mph.
May 27, 2018 in Ridgely
The 38th annual Strawberry Festival will take place at Martin Sutton Park on Sunday, May 27, 2018 from 9 am to 5 pm. The festival is one of Caroline County’s premier events! It includes music, food and craft vendors, children’s entertainment, the Strawberry Chase 5K Run/Walk, a parade, and much more. The festival kicks off with the Annual Strawberry Chase 5K Run/Walk. It continues with musical entertainment, parades, food and craft vendors and the children’s entertainment area. If you’re looking for a day filled with good wholesome fun, delicious food and entertainment, then the Ridgely Lions Club’s 38th Annual Strawberry Festival is the place to be.
July 15-22, 2018 in Easton
Plein Air Easton is the largest and most prestigious juried plein air painting competition in the United States. In its 13th year, it is held in Easton, Maryland each July. Plein air painters produce art from life (as opposed to in the studio). Artists from all over the United States and beyond will apply to this competition. Many of the world’s most accomplished artists have Easton at the top of their wish list of competitions and we will continue to set the bar for excellence in the coming year.
Waterman’s Appreciation Day
August 12, 2018 in St. Michael’s
The 9th annual Watermen’s Appreciation Day comes to the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels, Md., featuring a spirited boat docking contest, steamed crabs and other regional food, live music, beer, boat rides, family activities, and more. The fundraising event is organized by CBMM in cooperation with the Talbot Watermen Association, with proceeds benefiting both organizations.
August 17 and 18, 2018 in Denton
The 30th annual end of summer celebration unfolds on the streets of Downtown Denton from August 17-18. Check out the three stages of live entertainment, strolling performers, arts and crafts for the children, fireworks display, car show, and plenty of festival foods.
September 29, 2018 in Cambridge
IRONMAN Maryland®, also known as Chesapeakeman®, begins with a 2.4-mile swim in the fresh water of the Choptank River on the Delmarva Peninsula. The 112-mile bike takes athletes through Dorchester County and into the aforementioned wildlife refuge. The course is flat, fast and scenic. The day finishes with a 26.2-mile run on flat country roads. One thing that makes this course unique is its 112-mile bike course, taking athletes through the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge-a critical waterfowl sanctuary for birds migrating along the Atlantic Flyway and containing nearly one-third of Maryland’s tidal wetlands.
Ridgely Car Show
October 13, 2018 in downtown Ridgely
The 8th Annual Ridgely Car Show accepts all years, makes & models of cars, trucks and motorcycles in dozens of classes. There will be over 100 trophies, including some very unique trophies for specific classes, awarded on a judged basis. “The King” Richard Petty will be appearing and signing autographs at the car show. Be sure you are there for this once in a lifetime opportunity. There’s more than just cars, trucks, and motorcycles in Ridgely. Make plans to come early and stay late, there’s plenty for every family member at the most action-packed car show on the Shore!
November 9-11, 2018 in Easton
18,000 to 20,000 visitors from throughout the U.S. and other countries attend each year. Art collectors looking for the best in wildlife art, hunting enthusiasts celebrating their traditions and skills, families looking for a weekend getaway, and shoppers seeking the perfect holiday gifts all find something to enjoy at the 48th Annual Waterfowl Festival.
You can see why we love living on the Shore! If you’re looking for the perfect piece of Eastern Shore real estate to call your own, we’d love to help! Shoot us a message or call us at 410.228.9333.
Sep 11, 2017 | Buying a Home
The Fun Way to House Hunt with Family & Friends
One of the best features on our new website is the Search Party function. This feature is awesome! It lets you invite friends and family to your online home search. You can share listings with each other, react to listings, and share comments. All of this happens privately within your group, so you can be totally honest with your feedback.
To use this feature, you just need to create an account on the Property Search page. You can sign up with your email, or by using your Facebook or Google+ account.
Once you’re signed up, you’ll see a section called Search Party. Click the button to invite your friends or family to join your search. Just enter their email address and they’ll get an invitation.
Now that you’re part of the same search party, you can begin your house hunt together! Visit any listing on our site and you’ll see the Social Search box below the listing photo.
React to the listing and/or add your comments to share your thoughts with the other people in your search party. If you want to invite someone else to join the search, you can invite them directly from the listing by clicking “Add a friend to your search.”
This is a fantastic way to streamline your search and save time. When you’re ready, you can even invite your Realtor to join your search party. That will help your Realtor get an even better idea of the types of homes you want to see.
Set up your search party today and let us know what you think!
Jul 12, 2017 | Buying a Home
Your home is probably the largest investment you’ll ever make. The process of buying a home can feel overwhelming at times. With more than 40 years of real estate experience under our belts, we wanted to share five mistakes to avoid when buying a home. The more prepared you are for your home search, the more successful you’ll be!
Mistake #1: Not fully considering the importance of location
It’s easy to fixate on all the amenities you want in your home… Open floor plan, granite countertops, hardwood floors, sparkly new appliances, etc. You might find all these wonderful things in a house that isn’t in the best location for your lifestyle. Try not to be so dazzled by the home’s amenities that you neglect to consider its location. Remember, you can always change a house, but you can never change its location!
Do your legwork to be sure a particular location is right for you. Visit the neighborhood at different times of day. The area may be quiet and peaceful during the day, but loud and raucous at night. That’s something you want to know before you buy the house.
Mistake #2: Thinking short-term
If you plan on moving again in just a couple of years, buying a home may not make financial sense. There are closing costs and moving costs that can add up quickly when buying a new house. If you’re in your home for only a short time, you may not be able to recover these costs.
It’s also important to consider how your lifestyle will change over the years. If you hope to be in your house for a long time, you need to look ahead five or ten years – or more – to what your needs will be. Will there be enough space for a growing family? If you’ve always wanted to get a dog, does this house have a good yard? If you think you may be working from home in the future, is there space for an office?
Life can be unpredictable and none of us know for sure what will happen years from now. But if you have some clear goals or ideas about what your life may be like in the future, take that into consideration when choosing a home.
Mistake #3: Shopping without understanding your finances
Doing a deep-dive into your finances should happen at the very beginning of your home search. You need to fully understand your finances and what you can comfortably afford to spend on your new home. If you wait to do this, you risk falling in love with homes that are outside your price range.
It’s also important to get pre-qualified for a loan as soon as you’re serious about your home search. This will put you in a strong position to make an offer as soon as you find the right house.
Mistake #4: Overspending on Your Home Purchase
It’s really important to stick with your budget and only purchase a home you can comfortably afford. Again, don’t be so dazzled by amenities that you throw your budget out the window. If you overspend, you’re going to feel stretched financially every single month, and you may grow to resent your home. That’s a terrible way to feel!
If you can’t get everything on your wish list within your budget, that’s okay. Keep in mind that you can make upgrades to your home over time. In fact, making changes later will let you customize everything to your tastes and lifestyle.
Mistake #5: Skipping the home inspection
Never, ever skip a home inspection! An inspection costs a few hundred dollars, and it can be awfully tempting to forgo it and pocket that money instead. BIG mistake. An inspection will reveal problems with the house you need to be aware of before you own it. If a mistake is uncovered, the inspection will save you thousands of dollars. Either you can choose to walk away from the purchase at that point, or you can use the problem to negotiate for a lower price.
Depending on the property you’re considering, you may need additional inspections. If it’s an older home in a rural area, you may want to have the septic system inspected. A failing septic system is expensive to replace, so that’s something to be aware of before closing. It’s also a good idea to have a pool professionally inspected.
In summary, you’ll be successful if you balance the financial and emotional considerations of buying a home.
Buying a home is both a business transaction and a very personal and emotional process. That can be tricky to navigate. But if you have a budget and a plan from the very beginning, it will be easier to stay on track.
Jun 30, 2017 | Buying a Home
Life on the water is one of the things we love best about the Eastern Shore. Finding your own slice of waterfront real estate can be a dream come true. But there are some unique challenges with buying waterfront property that are important to understand. We’ve learned a LOT about buying waterfront homes over the past 40 years. Read on for our top advice for buying waterfront property!
1: Take time to thoroughly research the property.
When it comes to buying waterfront, it’s impossible to ask too many questions. If you want to make changes to the property, find out what’s allowed. Environmental regulations may limit your options. This not only impacts your ability to add or change structures on the property. It may also impact your options when it comes to landscaping and tree removal.
Your Realtor can connect you with local, county, and state agencies that oversee the various permits required for any sort of alteration in the critical area. Meet with these folks before you buy the house. You want to do as much of your investigatory work as possible before you put in an offer. If the market is hot and you feel you need to get an offer in before your research is complete, discuss including contingencies that will enable you to back out of the deal.
Finally, don’t forget to research the unique insurance needs of waterfront homes. You may need not only flood insurance, but also special wind or storm insurance as well.
2: When buying waterfront, it’s more important to consider the property than the house.
Not all waterfront property is suitable for how you may want to use it. Think about the activities you’d like to do on the property. Is it easy to get down to the water? Do you need deep water? Is it a good spot for fishing? Think about your lifestyle to determine if a particular property is right for you and your family. Share this information with your Realtor to help focus your search.
3: Look into the utilities available at the property.
Cable and broadband internet may not be available for more secluded waterfront properties. Are you prepared to live without these modern conveniences? Also, consider the condition of the septic system. If a new one is needed, make sure you understand the permitting process and costs involved. Homes in the critical area require special septic systems that are more expensive.
We have true waterfront real estate experts on our team. If you’re interested in finding the perfect waterfront home, message us and we’ll help you get started!
Jun 16, 2017 | Buying a Home
The weather is hot, and so is the local real estate market! We’re seeing houses sell faster and at or near list price. This can be intimidating as a buyer… You don’t want to rush into anything, but you also don’t want to miss out on the perfect home. Below, we’re sharing our top advice for buying a home in a hot market.
1: Get pre-qualified for a mortgage.
If your finances aren’t in order, you won’t be prepared to make a strong offer. A seller is likely to accept another offer while you go through the process of getting qualified for a loan. Taking care of that at the very beginning of your home search makes a huge difference.
2: Be clear on your “must haves” and your “would-like-to haves.”
It’s a good idea to narrow your wish list down to three or four “must haves.” These are the things that you really don’t want to compromise on if at all possible. Try to view everything else on your list as a “would-like-to have.” Even in a true buyer’s market, you probably won’t find a home that ticks everything on your list. In a hot market, you may need to be even more flexible. Keep in mind that you can always make changes to the house once you own it.
3: Make sure your agent is sending you a daily email with new MLS listings that fit your criteria.
This is standard practice for Powell Realtors. It’s important that you see new listings as soon as they come on the market – before they show up on Zillow, Trulia, etc. As soon as you see a listing you like, contact your Realtor to arrange a showing.
Contact us if you have any questions about preparing for your home search. We’re happy to help!
Jun 2, 2017 | Buying a Home
Buying a home with a pool means tons of summer fun for you and your family! If the home you buy already has a pool, you avoid the hassle and expense of building one yourself. It can be very expensive to build a pool, so it’s almost always cheaper to buy a house that already has one. Also, if your new home already has a pool, you don’t have to worry about the noise, mess, and stress that come with building one.
As wonderful as having a pool can be, there are some important things to consider first:
1: Maintenance & Upkeep
Pools require a lot of maintenance, so be sure you understand the time and cost that will be involved. This is something people often underestimate when caught up in the excitement of buying a home with a pool.
2: Safety & Insurance
There’s a reason why insurance costs are usually higher when your home has a pool. They can be a safety hazard, especially for young children and pets. Be sure the pool has a secure fence that is up to code.
3: Inspection & Records
Before buying a home with a pool, ask the current owners for all of the information related to the pool. Ask who the builder was and to see a copy of all maintenance records. We also recommend that you have the pool inspected by a professional.
If you’re looking for a home with a pool, we can help you find it! There are great options out there, including some of our current listings. Message us and we’ll help you find the perfect outdoor oasis!