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Registration begins tomorrow, March 1, for summer ice-skating camps at Bowie Ice Arena during July and August. According to the City of Bowie website, skaters from ages 3-15 will enjoy on-ice instruction, games, and music, as well as off-ice crafts and games. At the end of each week, they'll demonstrate their new ice-skating skills for parents. (Print this Summer Brochure) Bowie Ice Arena is home to both the Bowie Figure Skating Club and the Bowie Hockey Club - non-profit organizations dedicated to developing youth skating throughout the area. The Arena is also home to Bowie High School (6 comments)
Annapolis Views - World War II Memorial - 02/27/11 10:10 PM
As you approach Annapolis MD and the U.S. Naval Academy from Rt. 50 via Rt. 2, you will notice a scenic overlook in the median strip. In the background, across the Severn River, is the U.S. Naval Academy; the bridge crossing the Severn is the Naval Academy Bridge (featured a few weeks ago in Annapolis Views) and, in the foreground, the World War II Memorial which was dedicated in 1998.
The Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs describes this memorial as a "four-sided open-air amphitheater surrounded by a 100-foot diameter ring of 48 pillars, that represent the 48 states (6 comments)
Ocean Downs is located just west of Ocean City, Maryland, off Rt 50 in Berlin. My husband and I were visiting my brother and his wife at their summer rental property in Ocean Pines, a few weeks ago, so it was only about 5 minutes away. We put a $20 bill into the quarter slots, and the four of us took turns playing that one machine, $5 (7 comments)
Creating a Crossword Puzzle as Productive Procrastination - 02/25/11 08:42 AM
My daughter has coined a phrase that somewhat justifies procrastination, and I find myself using it all the time. Basically, when I'm looking for an excuse to NOT do something I probably should be doing, I can justify it by doing something else that may be interpreted as productive. There are some days when blogging satisfies that definition, but there are quickie blogs and then there are more serious blogs. This morning is a time for some of that productive procrastination because I'm just not feeling any inspiration for one of those posts that requires real thought. It's a rainy Friday (16 comments)
Fun Things to Do In Crofton - Crofton Bowling Center - 02/24/11 08:49 PM
Crofton residents of all ages enjoy the Crofton Bowling Centre for family nights, kids birthday parties, or outings with friends. You can reserve one of the 48 lanes online for your own small group or participate in one of 20+ leagues that compete seven days a week. On Friday and Saturday nights, you'll enjoy "Millenium Bowling" - all you can bowl between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. for $22, including shoe rental and entertainment with a light show and D.J. Even non-bowlers can join your party for $14. Bowling isn't the only activity you'll find at Crofton Bowling Centre, however. There's (5 comments)
In case you haven't noticed, brevity doesn't come easily to me in blogging. Maybe that's why I didn't realize that my automated signature on Activerain was growing out of control: A copyright notice, disclosure, ad for my iPhone real estate app, photo, logo, contact info a la business card, cute little link buttons, even white space... If my posts were any shorter, the signature surely would have eaten them alive! A re-blog is the worst, with the original author's signature AND mine under that. I had to ask myself, ""Is all this advertising on each blog post necessary?" Most (28 comments)
What, No Food at the $150 Crofton Sweethearts Ball?!? - 02/22/11 09:19 PM
The first ever Crofton Sweethearts Ball took place on Saturday evening at the Blue Dolphin in Crofton. The committee worked long and hard, assembling a line-up of entertainers, organizing a silent auction and working with the restaurant staff to plan a fabulous dinner. But you know what they say about the best-laid plans of mice and men... Not far from the Blue Dolphin, 600 acres were burning in a four-alarm brush fire, with winds gusting at 50-60 mph all day. The area lost power, and dinner was cancelled. The guests, who had paid $150/couple to benefit the Crofton Regional Community Center (7 comments)
As a follow-up to my January 7 post, Help Save the Azaleas at the U.S. National Arboretum in DC, I'm happy to report that an anonymous Million Dollars donation will fund an endowment to save the plants, and a major fundraising drive will begin now that there's time to tap other funding sources Apparently there had been an effort to relocate the plants to the U.S. Naval Academy grounds, but negotiations on that have been suspeneded since the donation and endowment were announced on February 14. The full announcement, made on the Washington Gardener blog, can be read at (11 comments)
Fun Things To Do Near Crofton: Annapolis Restaurant Week - 02/21/11 08:21 AM
Annapolis Restaurant Week - February 21-27, 2011 Gotta love living in Crofton MD! So many fun things to do and see in all directions - from D.C. to Baltimore and, closer to home, Annapolis. With 36 of the finest restaurants in Annapolis participating in Restaurant Week, starting today and continuing through Sunday, my family expects to dine in our State Capital city several times this week. The prices are reasonable at $15.95 for a 3-course lunch and $29.95 for a 3-course dinner. We’ll want to visit our favorites, like Buddy’s, Carroll Creek Cafe and Yellowfin, but maybe we should use (4 comments)
Tell Sellers WHAT You'll Do for Them and WHY, but Never HOW - 02/20/11 09:33 AM
A listing appointment isn't a crash course in selling a home, it's a job interview. Sometimes we forget that and find ourselves giving away our expertise and experience without compensation or a commitment by the potential client to hire us. It could be that we're "stupid" as Pat Haddad suggested in her featured post yesterday (I am Just Plain STUPID!!!!!!), but it's more likely we're simply eager to please and want potential home sellers to like us. We're only human, after all!
A listing appointment certainly is a unique job interview because homeowners typically don't have a job description (49 comments)
Annapolis Views - From Eastport - 02/19/11 09:44 PM
With all the warm weather we've had this week - relatively speaking, anyway - it's easy to start thinking "Spring" in Annapolis. To me, Spring is the season for dining outside on the deck at Carroll Creek Cafe in Eastport. The food and service are always wonderful, but the best part of eating there is this view of Annapolis from Eastport, with the dome of the U.S. Naval Academy Chapel in the background.
This Walden Townhome is Priced for Today's Crofton Home Buyer - 02/18/11 05:04 AM
There's a new listing available in Crofton MD, and you're going to like it. It's located in Walden, off Reidel Road between Old Crofton and the Villages of Waugh Chapel, near the Walden Golf Course and Club. You'll like the popular layout of this "Timberbrook" - with it's wide foyer, table-space kitchen, huge dining room, and step-down living room with fireplace and a door to the deck. You'll like the three bedrooms and two baths upstairs, including a garden bath with soaking tub. You'll like the family room opening to a second deck, and its beautiful wood-stained wainscoting. MOST of all, (6 comments)
Borders Bookstore to Close in Bowie MD - 02/17/11 06:36 AM
Borders Group, Inc. helped put countless small bookstores out of business nationwide over the past few years. After filing for bankruptcy protection today, 200 of their own stores will be closing and 6000 people will lose their jobs. In Maryland, the Bowie, Largo and Kensington stores are on the chopping block. The Bowie store website indicates that closing will be complete before the end of April. Borders Bookstore in Bowie is located at 4420 Mitchellville Rd. at the Gateway Center west of the Route 50/Route 301 interchange. My family will certainly miss this convenient location and friendly staff, and we'll continue (16 comments)
Shop Tax-Free for Energy Star Products in Maryland This Weekend - 02/16/11 05:25 AM
This will be a good weekend for some updates to your Crofton home because Energy Star products are tax-free February 19-21 in Maryland. You'll save the 6% sales tax during this annual event, on top of any sale prices.Qualifying products include new and used air conditioners, clothes washers, clothes dryers, furnaces, heat pumps, standard size refrigerators, compact fluorescent light bulbs, dehumidifiers, boilers and programmable thermostats that have been designated as meeting or exceeding the applicable Energy Star efficiency requirements developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy. Other types of appliances and equipment do not qualify (4 comments)
A Tale of Four Cities: The Bowie MD Real Estate Market, January 2011 - 02/15/11 09:33 AM
Bowie MD is a popular destination for families relocating to the D.C. area, primarily for its convenient location within a half hour of the D.C. Beltway (I-495), Andrews AFB, Fort George G. Meade, and the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis. The four Bowie zipcodes can be quite different from each other and even within their own borders - from "typical" suburban subdivisions to surprisingly rural areas, from the historic railroad town where Bowie began to established neighborhoods and newer communities, as well. You'll also find both commercial and recreation areas strategically located near residential areas. The 20715 zipcode in Bowie is (7 comments)
Can I Use HAP if My Underwater Property is Rented? - 02/15/11 05:43 AM
Q. I rented my Bowie MD home when I got PCS orders from Fort Meade to Fort Bragg because I couldn't sell it for enough to cover the mortgage. Now that my home is a rental property, will I still be eligible for the Department of Defense Homeowners Assistance Program known as HAP? A. Yes, you can use HAP if the property is rented, provided it was your primary residence at the time you received PCS orders.
There are some additional requirements, as well: Your permanent reassignment to a new duty station or home port must be outside a 50-mile (29 comments)
Real Estate Activity was UP during January 2010 over January 2009 in Davidsonville, Maryland, as evidenced by an increase in sold/settled and listings, although new contracts gives us some pause for concern. Unfortunately, the average days on market were much higher measured both Year on Year and Month on Month, but higher-end homes often take longer to sell than modestly priced homes. And I think most home sellers would happily wait a little longer if it meant the percentage of average sold price to average list price would increase by almost (0 comments)
My Once-in-a-Lifetime Valentine's Day Surprise - 02/14/11 12:09 AM
Flowers, candy and assorted gifts have been mine on Valentine's Day throughout my 44 years of marriage to the same guy. But he has never whisked me off to a tropical island for a second honeymoon and I've never found rose petals on my pillow or experienced the romantic gestures that fill the February issue of women's magazines each year. My husband has many wonderful qualities but he just isn't a romantic guy, and creativity would not be on any list of adjectives describing him. That's okay with me... I'm a pretty lucky lady to have such a wonderful person still (26 comments)
Annapolis Views - Ego Alley on a Winter Morning - 02/13/11 05:40 AM
Crofton is located about 20 minutes from Annapolis, Maryland's State Capital and home to the United States Naval Academy. One of our favorite downtown destinations is Buddy's Crab House on Sunday mornings for their all-you-can eat brunch buffet, followed by a stroll to the City Dock and perhaps some window-shopping on Main Street. The view in downtown Annapolis MD at this time of year is quite different from the hustle and bustle of warmer months. Nowhere is that more evident than Ego Alley. All was calm and quiet on the cold Sunday morning when I snapped this photo after brunch at (14 comments)
Advice for New Real Estate Agents - 02/12/11 06:23 AM
When someone asked me recently what one piece of advice I'd give to new real estate agents, this was my answer:
"Practice, Drill, and Rehearse" From opening a lockbox to assembling a listing package... from reviewing forms with clients (knowing how to accurately summarize every paragraph of every form you might ever ask anyone to sign) to handling incoming client calls and emails... practice, drill, and rehearse for family members, for your mentor, or anyone who will listen. And, if there’s no one available to listen, there’s always your mirror, pillow or a video-cam Just do it (69 comments)
Anyone and everyone who visits Ocean City, Maryland, probably has an opinion on pending boardwalk renovations - property owners and annual visitors alike. The Mayor and City Council are addressing that up front by offering the opportunity for everyone to participate in a poll, as follows: All Board Surface - Retain the current appearance by repairing/replacing the boards. Boards with a plain concrete train lane - A concrete lane running down the middle of the boardwalk, with board lanes on both sides of the concrete. Boards with a stamped concrete train lane - A compromise, with the concrete stamped and (6 comments)
BUT (and it’s a BIG one)... There is one really bright spot on this chart that bodes well for 2011, in spite of otherwise discouraging real estate statistics for last month: The number of new non-contingent contracts for January is the highest we've seen since 2007, and triple the number of new contracts we saw in January 2010. This reflects the uptick in activity we've experienced in my office at Long & Foster and across the zipcode for the past several weeks, and it's the reason that real estate agents are optimistic in (3 comments)
Another "WOW" Moment for Maryland Public Schools - 02/10/11 03:18 AM
Maryland public schools are ranked #1 again, less than a month after they were ranked #1 by Education Week, College Board and Newsweek for the highest percentage of rigorous high schools in America. For the 3rd straight year, Maryland had the highest percentage in the nation of high school seniors scoring 3 or higher on an AP exam. According to the College Board's Annual AP Report to the Nation, they also scored 1.6 percentage points better than they did in 2009. The "WOW" moments for Maryland education and higher education just never seem to end, do they? RELATED LINKS: Maryland (12 comments)
Making Clutter Disappear with a Paper-less Challenge - 02/09/11 06:41 AM
In a perfect world, none of us would be buried in paper. We would just hand it off for someone else to sort and file, or better yet... toss it! In a less perfect world, there's another alternative that accomplishes all of that, i.e., sort, file, and toss: GO PAPERLESS.
NO, THAT'S NOT MY DESK, but it does belong to an agent I know and love. My desk and office are clutter-free most days because I like being able to meet with clients there. But that doesn't mean I have my act together... my clutter is carefully hidden (70 comments)
Crofton MD Principal Named Outstanding Technology Leader in Education - 02/08/11 09:28 PM
Anne Arundel County School Superintendent Kevin M. Maxwell announced today that Nantucket Elementary School Principal, Dr. Diana Strohecker, has been named Maryland's 2011 Outstanding Technology Leader in Education. The Maryland Society for Educational Technology recognizes each year “an educator outside the classroom who has made exemplary contributions to the implementation of technology in Maryland schools.” Technology has been heavily emphasized by Dr. Strohecker ever since she was named Nantucket Elementary's first principal in 2008.
The award will be presented to Dr. Strohecker at MSET’s spring conference in Baltimore during April. Congratulations Dr. Strohecker and Nantucket Elementary School!
She'll look forward to the event all week long and you'll both have a great time on Saturday, February 19, at the Blue Dolphin Banquet Room. Tre Williams will MC; Elliot Phillips will take photos; and Crofton songwriter and recording artist Ashley Forrest will perform.
The Blue Dolphin is going "all out" with a fabulous buffet spread for this event, and there will be a silent auction in addition to entertainment and dancing. It should be a fun evening, not to (6 comments)
Have you ever tracked your blog topics? As January came to an end, I decided to create a table listing my 42 Activerain posts for the month and categorizing them by topic. I used an Excel spreadsheet to do this, thinking I might someday wish to sort them by topics with the mere click of a finger, or create a graph like the one you see here, using the Excel Chart Wizard. You could track them in a table on MS Word, however, or even by hand in a notebook. Reblogs (8) and original content (34) were tracked and categorized (111 comments)
Thank You to The Other Margaret in Maryland - 02/06/11 09:02 AM
If any member of Activerain thinks of anyone other than Margaret Rome for Baltimore MD referrals, I'd be surprised. Her posts are packed full of information about listings in the city and surrounding area, not to mention the landmarks and various local venues she writes about. I'd say Margaret pretty much "owns" Baltimore on Activerain! Margaret shared Baltimore with about 20 other Activerainers up close and personal yesterday when she hosted an informal Activerain gathering at Suburban House Restaurant in Reisterstown. People came from far and wide, including D.C. Virginia, Pennsylvania and New York, as well as many areas of Maryland. (11 comments)
Annapolis Views: The U.S. Naval Academy Observatory - 02/06/11 06:31 AM
Rarely-seen view of the U.S. Naval Academy Observatory This is another one of many "rarely-seen" views of the Annapolis area that I photographed at the U.S. Naval Academy last summer. In fact, I was unable to find a single picture of it online as I searched for background information to accompany this photo.
Celestial navigation was an important aspect of the USNA curriculum when it was founded in 1845 to train future naval officers. Construction of the first observatory was completed in 1854, and the Clarke refracting telescope first became operational there in 1857. That original Clarke (7 comments)
As the spouse, daughter and granddaughter of veterans, I take a lot of pride in serving today's military families, and military moves have been a large segment of my real estate business for over 30 years. Using the Department of Defense Home Owners Assistance Program in Maryland, obtaining a VA Compromise, buying a home before the extension for military families expires - these three programs are just (12 comments)
Fun Things To Do Near Bowie MD - Nature Hike and Puppet Show - 02/04/11 12:27 AM
Bowie Moms and Dads, make plans now to take your kids to Groundhog Day on Saturday, Feb. 5, at the Frank Oslislo Visitor Center at the Merkle Wildlife Sanctuary. The hour-long event (2-3 p.m.) is sponsored by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and the Maryland Park Service. Take a short nature hike and attend a puppet show, too. Doesn't this sound like fun for the whole family? Ranger Jarboe suggests you remember to dress warmly, wear comfortable shoes and bring water to drink. For more information, you can contact him by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Merkle Wildlife Sanctuary is about 20 (5 comments)
Be sure to wear RED tomorrow, February 4, for NATIONAL WEAR RED DAY - an annual reminder from the American Heart Association that another woman dies every minute from stroke or heart disease. Could the next one be you, your spouse, your mother, your sister, your daughter, your best friend, your favorite mentor?Dig out that once-a-year RED Valentine tie, Guys, because this reminder isn’t just for women. YOU can make a difference, too, by joining the important women in your life who will be wearing RED on Friday to create awareness of this national problem.Macy’s is helping to spread the (25 comments)
Would you like a breath mint? - 02/02/11 12:22 PM
Find out what your agent is REALLY saying when he/she asks if you'd like contact information for a professional stager before you put your Crofton home on the market...
Via Richard Strahm -- Lansdale and North Penn Real Estate (RE/MAX Realty Group - Harleysville, PA): Would you like a breath mint? I think we all realize by now, that when someone asks you the question, "Would you like a breath mint?" it's their way of saying, "Dude, you need a breath mint! Pee-yew!" Only nicer. There are certain diplomatic questions in life that take the edge off of what could be an (5 comments)
Will the Crofton MD Real Estate Market Improve in Spring? - 02/02/11 10:00 AM
Q. I’m concerned about the Crofton real estate market because I'd like to list my home for sale. Do you think the market will pick up in Spring?A. If you’ve been feeling a little blue about the real estate market in Crofton and throughout this area, I understand. From December - February, sales tend to be fewer than the rest of the year for a variety of reasons beyond our control - weather conditions being the #1 culprit. The world-famous weather-reading groundhog Punxsutawney Phil predicted from his home at Gobbler's Knob, near Punxsutawney PA, earlier today, that spring is on (6 comments)
Join the New Group, Real Estate Questions and Answers - 02/02/11 06:29 AM
Consumers have real estate questions. Activerain members have answers. Inspired by Bob Stewart’s Activerain Challenge: Never Answer the Same Question Twice, Activerain members are posting more and more Q&A blog posts every day. There are 324 comments on his post so far, and half of them include links to multiple real estate questions and answers. Imagine how many more there will be by the Challenge deadline of February 11.I couldn’t find a group specifically for posting real estate questions and answers, so I just created one. Why not, when we have groups for market studies, listings, local posts, photoblogs, vblogs, newbies, (12 comments)
You finally found the right Crofton home, you negotiated in earnest with the seller, you applied for a loan and submitted all your paperwork, you even made arrangements for a mover. Then... your appraisal came in $27,000 low. Now what? Earlier today, I came across a blog post by Nevada REALTOR Linda Humphrey that may help answer that question for you.
Via Linda Humphrey, M.D., Broker/Owner HHC Realty (Humphrey Home Connections Realty, Reno, Nevada): My home didn't appraise, now what? This is a question I have been hearing a lot more than I would prefer lately. I have heard it on (5 comments)
Within the past few weeks, Maryland public schools were ranked #1 in the nation for the 3rd year in a row by Education Week, the College Boards, and Newsweek Magazine and five Maryland public higher ed institutions made the top 100 of Kiplinger's Best Values in Public Education, including the University of Maryland, College Park at #5. And now U.S. News & World Report has selected the U.S. NAVAL ACADEMY as the Most Popular Liberal Arts College in the Nation, based on the percentage of (4 comments)
Real Estate and community information for home buyers and sellers, military transferees, and rookie agents in the greater Crofton area, including Bowie, Davidsonville, Fort Meade, Gambrills, Odenton, and the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis.
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.