Maryland Real Estate and Community News

March 19, 2019

Affordable Decorating for Your First Home Together as a Couple

Affordable Decorating for Your First Home Together as a Couple

When couples decide to move in together, they don’t always realize how much compromise ends up being part of the deal. Finding the right home is only the first step. Then you face the task of combining households and decorating your new home, all without spending a fortune. These tips will help you make the most of your decorating budget while finding a style that makes your new house really feel like home.

Out With the Old, In With the New

Most of us are used to living independently before moving in with a significant other, which means you probably each have your own furnishings. You don’t have to start from scratch, but setting up your home as a couple is a good time to at least give your style a refresh.

Prioritize upgrading things that will make the biggest impact on your decor and daily lives, like new linens that you pick out together. Replacing bed linens and old bath towels is an inexpensive way to get instant style for your master bed and bathroom, and this helps create a haven you always want to come home to.

One of the best ways to save money on all the little things you need for your home is by taking advantage of online discounts at major retailers. For example, a Bed Bath & Beyond promo code can be applied toward linens and a new coffeemaker, and best of all, you can purchase everything in one place while stacking your savings.

When you’re choosing home decor, design experts caution against simply blending your style with your partner’s. Instead, it works better to hone in on commonalities in what you both like and weave those throughout your home’s design. You may end up with some things that don’t go along with that style, and that’s ok. If you aren’t ready to get rid of anything, you may want to keep those items in a storage unit for the time being. This way, you have time to decide what to do with your belongings, whether they eventually make their way into your home or you end up selling or donating them. And this doesn’t have to be an expensive effort. The best value for a cheap 5'x5' unit can be found at Self Storage Plus in nearby Owings Mills for only $47 a month.

Make a Statement With High-Impact, Low-Cost Decor

Shopping online with discounts, cash back, and other offers is the best way to get your new home set up affordably. If you’re looking for new furniture, the time of year you buy can also make a difference. Along with smart shopping, another great strategy is to concentrate on decor that makes a high-impact statement without costing much. These are a few of the most affordable decor tricks that go a long way toward adding style:

     Paint - Most people paint the walls of their new home, but don’t stop there. It pays to think outside the box and get creative with your use of paint. Money Crashers recommends using special paint techniques, such as creating stripes, ombre, or stenciling. Paint can also spruce up old furniture, cabinets, and sometimes even floors.

     Houseplants - Nothing brings life into a home quite like plants. Home Edit features some creative ways to make plants part of your decor, such as building a kitchen herb garden or using one large plant as a focal point in the living room.

     Hardware - One of the quickest and most affordable ways to bring dated furniture and cabinets into the 21st century is by swapping out hardware. New hardware is already much more affordable than purchasing all new furniture, and you can often get bulk discounts if you plan on upgrading more than one item. When you combine new knobs or pulls with fresh paint, you give old furniture a totally new look on the cheap. 

Setting up your first home together is a new start, which is why you want a fresh look when it comes to decorating. The most budget-friendly solution is a combination of making old items feel new and purchasing new items selectively. This combination of savvy-shopping and a little elbow grease is the best way to get the most out of your decorating budget. 

Photo credit: Pixabay

Article credit: Natalie Jones of

Posted in Buying a Home
Nov. 25, 2016

How to Prep your Home to Sell


So you’re looking to list your house. You may think it’s as easy as sticking a “FOR SALE” sign in the yard, but there are some important steps to take to prepare your house to go on the market.


While you’re looking to list your home you might also be searching for a new place. This makes it easy to focus your attention on your house hunt and not putting your house on the market. Selling your home doesn’t have to be a tricky process but you should be sure you’ve taken all the steps to position your home to sell quick and for the price you want. Follow these simple steps and you’ll be on the right track to get your home sold!


Get Fixing!


Make sure your home is looking its best before you start showing it to prospective buyers. Touch up your wall paint or fill in a few cracks in the ceiling. Also, start working on fixing anything that would potentially require repairing after the inspection. Think about replacing appliances that are broken or can be inexpensively updated. If you’re on a budget, your real estate agent can give you an idea of what areas you should really focus on improving that will make the biggest impact.


Put Away the Pictures of Grandma


Not only should you put away all the knicknacks, souvenirs, and extra furniture, you should attempt to de-personalize the place. You want potential buyers to be able to picture themselves in your home so put away all the family photos, albums and personal touches. Feel free to pack them away in containers under the bed or in the tops of closets. Ultimately, all your excess home décor items will make the place feel more cluttered and small, so the more downsizing you can do the better. Rent a storage unit if you have too much. Selling your home quickly will more than make up for the small cost of a storage unit.


It’s the Simple Things…


In addition to cutting your home’s clutter there are a few of those special additions that can make all the difference when you start showing it to potential buyers. Make a habit of having fresh flowers throughout your home. If you have cats or dogs, be sure you’re getting rid of those pet smells – even if you have to spend a little money to get the carpets cleaned. Have your windows freshly cleaned and open the drapes. You may even think of removing outdated blinds completely. Also, be sure to keep that lawn perfectly manicured. Anything that will help your potential buyers imagine themselves in the paradise that is your home will help you move forward with a sale as quickly as possible.


Determine your Price


When you’re selling your home, pricing is going to be one of the most important steps in the process. Priced too high and you might be regretting it when it won’t sell and buyers are alarmed with how long it’s been on the market. Priced too low? It will sell quickly and you’ll soon realize there was money left on the table. Luckily, when you engage a quality real estate agent this is all taken care of. Not only are they experts in your area and how homes are being priced, they will run all the comps for your neighborhood. Don’t forget – they will be plenty motivated because they collect commissions from your home sale.



The most important way to prepare for selling your home quick is to find the best possible real estate agent. Jeannette Hitchcock spends her day finding as many buyers as possible.  She does not just list your home and hope another agent sells it - she aggressively markets it on all social media and real estate platforms to try to find that perfect buyer.  She will take the time to explain the entire process to you, what to expect and have a professional photographer take pictures of your home.  She is available anytime you need her and, unlike most agents, she actually answers her phone.  Give her a call or shoot her a text at (443)280-3286.  You can also read her Zillow reviews, search for homes and even get an instant home value estimate & market report at 

Sept. 29, 2016

How to Know When You've Hired the Perfect Real Estate Agent

When you’re searching for your dream home, it’s hard to know who the best person is to handle the entire process for you. Not only is it very personal to you and your needs, hiring the wrong real estate agent could mean losing that house you have your heart set on or paying more than you should have. While there are hundreds of qualified real estate agents in your area, there are a few signs to watch out for that will assure you that you’ve hired the perfect one. 

They understand what you DON’T want or need. Real estate agents are often asking what you DO want, but do they know what you DON’T want? Perhaps you don’t have the money to replace a roof in the next five years. Maybe you have a fear of heights and don’t want to be in a high-rise condominium. Whatever it may be, these details (sometimes private or embarrassing) often come out once you are walking through a house that has one of these deal breakers. On top of understanding what you do want, a really great real estate agent will understand everything you don’t want, regardless of how quirky or picky.

They embrace your lifestyle. What does a weekend look like for you? Are you an avid runner that would benefit from living near some scenic running trails? What if you are a movie buff that needs to be within a few miles of a cinema? However silly or quirky your interests may seem, your agent should know all about them! You’re working with them because they know these neighborhoods like the back of their hand and a really great real estate agent will show you properties that they know will make sense for your lifestyle.

They keep in mind your long-term plans. Not everyone is looking for their forever home. Maybe you have a short-term work assignment and need to be able sell a property pretty quickly after purchasing it while turning a profit. Perhaps you know your way around a tool belt and don’t mind investing in a little fixer upper. Maybe you’re planning to start a family and need a few extra rooms. Whatever your long-term plans may be, they are important for picking just the right property. An amazing agent will keep your long-term plans in mind, which may make all the difference to maximize your investment!

They listen to you when you offer up your real budget. Many agents are quick to show you homes that far exceed your budget. It’s important for you to go in with your budget after you’ve done your own homework on exactly what you can afford but an excellent agent will offer up help in understanding the hidden fees that could come with buying a home. Not only that, they will respect your true budget and make sure all the properties they show you are well within your reach.

To get the most out of your home buying experience and to ultimately find that perfect home you’ve been dreaming of, you need to open up a little to your agent. They want this process to be as quick and easy as you do and while some of this may feel like an over share, it can all help your agent pinpoint the perfect property. The best agents will really listen to all these important facts about you and your future home, and incorporate them into the house hunt. Your real estate agent can either make or break your home buying process so take your time picking the right one that you trust to find your dream home.

Feel free to call, text or email me at (443)280-3286 or anytime!  Read my Zillow reviews, search homes or get an instant home valuation estimate at


Posted in Buying a Home
Sept. 27, 2016

The Best of Carroll County: Road Trips


We know how much our residents love their home in Carroll County, but sometimes you just want to get away! Maybe you’re craving the wind in your hair on the open road and the sights of something new. The good news is you don’t have to spend a small fortune getting out of town. Carroll County is a quick hop, skip and jump from some amazing destinations, so all you need are your wheels and a great road trip playlist. Here are some ideas to get the creative juices flowing to plan your next great road trip out of Carroll County.


Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Distance: 2+ hours driving


“Historians and Foodies Unite”


This city has a little something for everyone. For just a few short hours in the car you can be chowing down some Philly cheese steaks in one of America’s most patriotic cities.


For the history buffs, they can spend the weekend checking out the famous Liberty Bell, touring Independence Hall, or hitting the Philadelphia Museum of Art or perhaps the Franklin Institute. There is no shortage of American history in this town and it’s a great lesson for the kids.


Now if history doesn’t strike your fancy but food does, this is still the weekend trip for you. Try one of the city’s many cheesesteak hot spots or head over to Federal Donuts to satisfy your sweet tooth. Grab a table at one of Kevin Sbraga’s restaurants. He was a past Top Chef winner and now has three restaurants in the area: Juniper Commons, Sbraga, and The Fat Ham.



Richmond, Virginia

Distance: 3 hours driving


“Enjoy the Great Outdoors and a Cold Beer”


Richmond may not be on the top of your “must see” destinations list but it has really put itself on the map recently due to its rising craft brewery and restaurant scenes, as well as its love for outdoor activities.


If it’s outdoors you love, check out Richmond Rides, a two-hour bike tour that includes stops for eats. Follow up your ride with a stop in to Perly’s Deli for some killer pastrami. Some of the other major food scenes to take advantage of if you can get a table are Heritage and L’OPPOSUM. Wash that grub down with beer from some of Virginia’s hottest breweries including Lickinghole and Strangeways Brewing.



Western Pennsylvania

Distance: 3 hours driving


“Rest, Relaxation and Scenery”


This spot is for those of you Carroll County residents looking to take in some natural beauty and relax. The picturesque scenery of the cities of Mill Run and Farmington, Pennsylvania will make you feel like you’ve stepped foot into an ad for a spa resort.


Speaking of spa resorts – you’ll feel like you’ve walked into an adult Summer camp at the Nemacolin Woodlands Resort. They have activities ranging from ropes courses to clay-pigeon shooting, and a spa to help you forget all your worries. Isn’t that why you’re taking this road trip?


Take a drive over to the famous Frank Lloyd Wright’s Falling Water home. You can even schedule a guided tour to see all the elements of nature surrounding it that inspired its design. You can also pop over to the “Kentucky Knob” which is a lesser-known Frank Lloyd Wright house in the area.  It will leave those design and architecture enthusiasts happy they agreed to this weekend getaway.



We know it’s tough to get away, and who would want to when they live in a place as wonderful as our own Carroll County; however, sometimes you need a break from the routines and a short weekend road trip always satisfies that need. One of the great things about living in Carroll County is that there are plenty of great options in the area that don’t require hopping on an airplane. Happy travels!


Sept. 22, 2016

The Best of Carroll County: Best Restaurants in Eldersburg & Sykesville


We’ve already brought you foodies the best of Westminster, but don’t worry – we haven’t forgotten about the residents of Sykesville and Eldersburg. Here at we have put together a list of our favorite spots for good eats in the areas of Sykesville and Eldersburg. We want to be sure you, and the family, are well fed this Fall. So when you inevitably get the “what should we have for dinner” question, we have three great answers for you!


E.W. Beck’s Restaurant and Pub


7565 Main Street, Sykesville

Open for Lunch, Dinner and Brunch on Sunday


E.W. Beck’s Pub is a family owned place founded by two brothers in 1992. They pride themselves on offering locally sourced produce, meats and seafood in support of local producers and farmers. It’s just another way this family-owned business supports the local community of Sykesville.


This bar and pub also offers seasonal menus so you’ll never tire of the options. Some of the recent seasonal favorites that will leave you with a taste of summer include pan-seared salmon, smoked BBQ, and street tacos.


While the restaurant closes at 10pm, feel free to keep the party going in E.W. Clark's pub. With frequent events like “pint night and food pairings,” bar crawls and live music you'll move in to this place. This is the ideal spot for hearty portions, local food and a neighborhood atmosphere.


Oscar’s Ale House


1438 Liberty Road, Eldersburg

Open for Lunch and Dinner


Looking for a massive burger or satisfying sandwich? Look no further than Oscar’s Ale House in Eldersburg. This spot is known for its wood grilled burgers, big sandwiches and cheesy pizzas.  Oscar’s is another option for more than just food – every Wednesday is trivia night! Try one of their new beers on tap.


Oscar’s also offers up nights with live music – check their music calendar on their website. For those of you looking for corporate event or party venues, Oscar’s has a great back room available to rent out for your next celebration.


The County Cork Wine Pub


1716 County Cork Wine Pub, Eldersburg

Open for Lunch, Dinner and Brunch on Sunday


If you’re in the mood for a bit more sophistication, have a glass of wine and fine fare at The Cork Pub in Eldersburg. This menu is for a bit more refined palate with cuisine like octopus salad, duck confit poutine, and crab and brie fondue. Not only will you explore a little less than ordinary “redefined American” dishes, you can drink all the wine!


Don’t get us wrong though, The Cork Pub is still a great place for a laid back evening with friends. Watch the big game and eat wings on NFL Night, sip martinis on Thirsty Thursdays or listen to live music while doing a wine tasting. There is really something for everyone at this neighborhood eatery.



Ultimately, there is no need to head over to Westminster for a good bite to eat. Eldersburg and Sykesville have great options for not only delicious food but excellent entertainment. Enjoy!


Sept. 16, 2016

Most Serious Move Higher For Rates in Over a Year

Following last week's announcement from the European Central Bank, the tone in rates markets has shifted. This time around, it's less about the fear of a potential Fed hike and more about the risk that central banks won't be able to keep longer term rates low forever.

Right now, the driving force behind ultra-low long-term rates is central bank bond buying.  Even in the US, despite the absence of an official quantitative easing (QE) program, the Fed continues reinvesting the money it receives each month from the mortgages it bought during the the 3 previous QE programs.  

Europe and Japan's central banks are still expanding their balance sheets.  That means they're pumping new money into the financial system.  Currently, the primary vehicle for this money creation is the purchase of bonds (similar to the Fed's QE programs).  This is great for mortgage rates because higher demand for bonds results in lower rates, and central banks are a HUGE source of demand!

But as of late last week, investors began to worry that Europe and Japan might be reaching an inflection point where their conversations shift from "should we buy even more bonds?" to "maybe we can get away with buying fewer bonds."  

The catalysts were twofold, at least.  First of all, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi avoided his typical level of reassurance regarding asset purchases and easy money.  In separate news, Japanese officials expressed concerns over the efficacy of their central bank's easy money policies.  

Speculation is increasing that both banks may run out of bonds to buy, ushering a shift from "monetary accommodation" (easy money from central banks) to "fiscal stimulus" (government programs intended to help their respective economies).  The latter is bad for financial markets (including rates) in the short term, because it doesn't involve the creation of new money.

These bigger-picture considerations mean that this week's volatility in rates has much less to do with Fed rate hike fears (which had been a key consideration in recent weeks).  In fact, rate hike expectations have decreased, even as 10yr Treasury yields (the best proxy for big-picture momentum in longer-term rates like mortgages) have risen.

2016-9-15 Treasuries

The move in rates is serious.  It fits a pattern that some market watchers refer to as a "triangle breakout."  The term comes from the lines that can be drawn along the highs and lows of any chart.  When those lines converge, prices or yields are consolidating--moving closer together.  Such consolidations are often followed by more substantial moves, be they higher or lower.  

The thinking is that markets are either finally making a decision after a period of indecisiveness, or simply that they've finally spent enough time finding their footing from the last major move that they're ready for the next one.  Unfortunately for rates, the current triangle is being broken on the upper line.

2016-9-15 Breakout

There are two great sources of perspective though.  First of all, consider the depth of the last "triangle breakout" earlier this year.  Rates didn't cover too much ground before changing course.  In other words, the fact that we're breaking toward higher rates doesn't mean rates have to go significantly higher.  It merely identifies the current trend.

The other source of perspective is pretty simple, and it has to do with where we are in thebiggest of pictures:

2016-9-15 Long Term


Housing News and Economic Data

It was a light week for economic data until Thursday.  Multiple reports were released with the most significant--Retail Sales--coming in at -0.3 versus a median forecast of -0.1.  Odds for a Fed rate hike decreased further following the data, but that wasn't much consolation to mortgage rates, for the reasons discussed above.

In news off the beaten path, CoreLogic highlighted the the interesting phenomenon of lower-FICO borrowers increasingly moving away from urban areas.

Next week's focal point will be Wednesday's Federal Reserve Announcement.  Again, the Fed is not expected to hike rates (although it is technically a possibility), but markets will be very interested to see what Yellen has to say in the press conference following the announcement.  Also potentially significant are the updated economic projections from Fed members, released with the announcement at 2pm.

We recommend that you get pre-approved for a mortgage BEFORE you begin house hunting.  That way you will know exactly what you can afford and all the costs associated with buying a specific property.

Recently Released Economic Data

Monday, Sep 12
13:00 10-yr Note Auction (bl)    20    
13:00 3-Yr Note Auction (bl)    24    
Tuesday, Sep 13
13:00 30-Yr Bond Auction (bl)    12    
Wednesday, Sep 14
8:30 Import prices mm (%)  Aug -0.2 -0.1 0.1
8:30 Export prices mm (%)  Aug -0.8 0.1 0.2
Thursday, Sep 15
8:30 Philly Fed Business Index  Sep 12.8 1.0 2.0
8:30 Retail sales mm (%)  Aug -0.3 -0.1 0.0
8:30 NY Fed manufacturing  Sep -1.99 -1.00 -4.21
8:30 Producer Prices (%)  Aug 0.0 0.1 -0.4
8:30 Initial Jobless Claims (k)  w/e 260 265 259
9:15 Industrial output mm (%)  Aug -0.4 -0.3 0.7
9:15 Capacity utilization mm (%)  Aug 75.5 75.7 75.9
10:00 Business inventories mm (% )  Jul 0.0 0.1 0.2

Upcoming Economic Data

Friday, Sep 16
8:30 CPI mm, sa (%)  Aug 0.1 0.0
8:30 Core CPI yy, nsa (%)  Aug 2.2 2.2
10:00 Consumer Sentiment Prelim  Sep 90.8 89.8
Monday, Sep 19
10:00 NAHB housing market indx  Sep 60 60
Tuesday, Sep 20
8:30 Housing starts number mm (ml) Aug 1.200 1.211
8:30 Building permits: number (ml)  Aug 1.159 1.144
Wednesday, Sep 21
14:00 FOMC rate decision (%)  N/A 0.375 0.375
Thursday, Sep 22
9:00 Monthly Home Price mm (%)  Jul   0.2
10:00 Existing home sales (ml)  Aug 5.44 5.39

Event Importance:
No Stars = Insignificant   |    Low   |    Moderate   |    Important   |    Very Important

Sept. 15, 2016

The Best of Carroll County: Best Schools

Best Schools in Carroll County


One of the scary things about moving your family to a new area is the idea of sending your kids to a new school. Will they be able to adjust? Will they make friends? How are the sports programs? And most importantly, will they get a good education? For those of you moving to Sykesville and Eldersburg – there’s no need to worry. This area is home to some of the best schools nationwide. Here’s why we love these top schools in Sykesville and Eldersburg.


Century High School
355 Ronsdale Road
Sykesville, Maryland



Century High School is a secondary school located in Eldersburg, Maryland in the Carroll County School District. This 205K square foot school was built on 65 acres of land in 2000. Not only does Century High School have an extensive Carroll County campus and excellent academics, it has an abundance of extracurricular activities for the well-rounded student. The kids can participate in anything from the Gender Equality Club to the Japanese Club. There’s something for everyone at Century High School. Being one of the best schools in Carroll County means there are plenty of options for athletics as well. Sign your daughter up for lacrosse, or perhaps take your son to join the rugby team. Whatever sports your kids like to play – Century High School is winning at the sports game. Go Jaguars! 


Liberty High School
5855 Bartholow Road
Sykesville, Maryland


Liberty High School, home of the Lions, not only has an excellent reputation for academics and Advanced Placement courses, but also some pretty interesting activities for the kids attending this Sykesville school. Here at Liberty High School it isn’t even just about having access to the traditional sports programs, it’s about expanding your horizons. Maybe instead of joining the wrestling team, your kid would like to challenge his mind as part of the robotics team. Perhaps they would like to play ultimate Frisbee or join the snowboarding club. Not only will your kids have great access to a high quality and experienced faculty, this is a place where they are taught to be individuals and expand their thinking outside of the ordinary or the traditional.


South Carroll High School
1300 West Old Liberty Road
Sykesville, Maryland

At South Carroll High School it’s clear that the teachers and principal really care about their students. This Sykesville school has a reputation for really making people feel at home which is key when you’re relocating to a new area. While there are a lot of options for sports at South Carroll, the school also places high importance on music and the arts with its new facilities to support those programs. There’s also a career and tech center where students can participate in programs that will help them learn more about entering the workforce before they even head to college. All the employees at South Carroll value the students and the good they are trying to do in the community. So if you want to feel at home in more than just your new house, send your kids to South Carroll for a warm Maryland welcome.

When buying a new home or relocating to a different area it’s so important that the entire family feels excited and safe in their new environment. Because Carroll County has an excellent school system it will be easy to make a smart choice about where to send the whole family for their education. The most important thing is to find the right fit for you and your kids so that everyone is well educated and having a blast in their new home in Mid-Maryland.


Sept. 13, 2016

Reasons for Buying a Rental Property


If you’ve ever owned a home, or maybe even just rented one, you’ve probably thought about buying a rental property. It’s seems easy enough, right? Not only is it a safe way to invest your money in a market that is less volatile than stocks, you can generate a passive income. If you’re smart about the property you purchase and the tenants you take on, the process can be seamless and profitable.

Here at, we love helping people generate passive income through rental properties and we’d be happy to show you properties that are perfect for maximizing a rental income. We’ve even provided a few reasons why we think your next home should be a rental property! 

Passive Income is the Best Income.

The key to benefiting from rental property passive income is to consider the amount you can reasonably charge in rent versus your current and future expenses. Your current expenses include your known costs like your fixed mortgage payment while your future expenses include more unexpected costs that come with property repairs, potential property management services, and times of tenant vacancy when the property is unoccupied. The best rental property investment includes rental income that exceeds all your costs which equals extra money in your pocket every month. What would you do with some extra cash coming in? 

Just Say No to Taxes.

Buying an investment property comes with a handful of advantages – one being tax breaks! And this isn’t just dropping off a bag of clothes at goodwill, these tax breaks can really pay off! Typical expenses like your investment property’s mortgage interest, insurance premiums, and legal fees are all tax deductible.

Other expenses surprisingly eligible for tax deductions include marketing costs associated with finding renters, home maintenance, property management support, and even gas money spent traveling to and from your property. Just make sure you document all of it! Your account will thank you.

Time to Hit the Beach... Indefinitely.

Are you ready to retire early? Have you dreamed of running a bed and breakfast in Spain? Maybe you’ve always wanted to hike Patagonia or take an around-the-world cruise. If you focus on finding properties with the greatest rent to value ratio while keeping your expenses and vacancy low, you can benefit from an awesome passive income. You could potentially even reinvest that rental income into additional properties and increase your earning potential significantly. Many property investors are living off the passive income generated from their properties. You could even hire a property management company and spend your days at the beach instead of in a cubicle.

Whether you want to protect your savings or get away from the 9-to-5, buying a rental property can lead to financial independence. Becoming a landlord doesn’t even have to consume your life or limit your investments to your own location. Hire a property management company and rest easy knowing your properties and tenants are being taken care of. Let help you find your financial independence!


Posted in Buying a Home
Sept. 8, 2016

The Best of Carroll County: Best Auto Repair



One of the biggest challenges when you’re moving to a new city or even just into a different area of town is finding all of your favorite places again. Whether it’s a reputable doctor, a restaurant with fabulous food, good schools for the kids, or even a new favorite grocery store, it always take time to build up your list of go-to spots for all your needs. In the meantime you’re spending lots of time and money weeding through all those bad eggs to find a good one. This is exactly why is taking the guesswork out of moving with “The Best of Carroll County.”

Today we’re talking automotive repair by providing you a list of the best mechanics in Carroll County. Having a vehicle repaired when you aren’t quite sure of the reputation of your repair guy can be a stressful and worrisome process. A good auto repair company can be the difference between smooth sailing on a cross-country trip to Grandma’s with two kids in tow, or you on the side of the interstate crying to the operator at AAA. We totally get it. An awesome automotive repair guy is one of the most important experts to have in your back pocket. So here it is… the best auto repair companies in Carroll County.


Moonlight Automotive
11 Railroad Avenue, Westminster


Moonlight Automotive in Westminster has been family owned and operated for the past seven years. The technicians are all ASE certified, and advanced level Master Certified. If you don’t know what that means, rest assured they have over 40 years experience. Chad, the owner and operator, started working on lawn mowers and go karts as a kid, so he surely has a sufficient number of years experience under his belt. Moonlight Automotive prides itself in old-fashioned customer service and their parts and labor are backed by a 12-month, 12,000 miles warranty. Old-fashioned service and a company that stands behind its work – no complaints here!


Airpark Automotive
60 Aileron Court, Westminster


If you’re looking for another automotive repair company in the Westminster area, look not further than Airpark Automotive. This team is also ASE Certified and specializes in automotive emissions and engine performance, computer and electrical problems, brakes, steering and suspension, HVAC and detailing services. The owner, Jimmy, has over 25 years experience and runs his business with honesty and integrity. They are conveniently located just adjacent to the Maryland Emissions Testing Facility, so hop on over if you’re having an issue with your emissions and need a quick fix. Jimmy will be happy to help out a new friend of the community!


C&A Automotive
1441 B Liberty Road, Eldersburg


Moving to Eldersburg or Sykesville? C & A Automotive is a great option in Eldersburg. It’s another family owned business and has been providing service to the community since 1982. C & A is a Certified Maryland State Inspection facility and offers a 24-month / 24,000-mile warranty on most repairs. These guys are all about convenience, too. They provide a free local shuttle service to get you where you need to go while your car is repaired. They also allow for online scheduling of appointments, so there’s no need to even pick up the phone when you have a problem.

So now you can relax and enjoy your house hunting or move to Carroll County without the stress of finding a dependable, trustworthy auto mechanic. Here at, we’ve got you covered with the best auto repair in Carroll County. We want to welcome you to the area as if you’ve been a local for years already. Happy house hunting.

Sept. 6, 2016

The Best of Carroll County: Best Restaurants in Westminster



Here at, we love our little piece of paradise in Maryland. Part of loving your home includes its proximity to great places, which is why we’ve introduced “The Best of Carroll County.” Whether you’re thinking of moving to Carroll County from out of state or just looking for a new home and exploring your options for areas of town, we’ve got you covered when its comes to the area’s best restaurants and more. Today we’re offering up our favorite spots to get some good grub in Westminster. So save up that appetite because tonight you’ve got a few restaurants to check out from our list of the very best.


Rafael’s Restaurant
32 West Main Street, Westminster
Open for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner


Rafael’s Restaurant is a charming, yet casual restaurant nestled in Westminster’s historic downtown. It offers lunch and dinner seven days a week, and brunch on Saturdays and Sundays. Guests can dine in or enjoy their dinner “al fresco” on the huge outdoor patio. They even offer delivery for lunch!

Voted Carroll’s Best Outdoor Patio by “Carroll’s Best,” it is no surprise this place draws a lively crowd and offers some serious entertainment. Several times a month you can catch live entertainment on the deck. Come early for a good seat and some awesome happy hour specials with different deals almost every night (did we hear half-priced burger Tuesdays?). Rafael’s traditional American fare offers something for everyone, especially to those new Maryland residents that can’t wait to get their hands on some killer Maryland crab cakes!


310 East Green Street, Westminster
Open for Lunch and Dinner


If you want to feel like a local in your potential new town, make a trip over to Maggie’s. Enjoy traditional pub food like nachos and cheeseburgers, or step it up with more sophisticated fare like chicken champagne or filet mignon. Maggie’s will satisfy any appetite with appetizers for munching, small plates, or generous entrees.

Looking to make it a date night? Every Saturday night enjoy live music after your dinner for no extra cover charge. Maggie’s also occasionally has some pretty cool events. Are you an aspiring “Top Chef”? This Fall Maggie’s is offering up the opportunity to fulfill your chef dreams with “Open Chef” Night where you can cook up your favorite recipes with Maggie’s professional staff for 30 guests.


Cinco de Mayo
402 Englar Road, Westminster
Open for Lunch and Dinner


Need to take a break from your house hunting with a refreshing “margarona”? Head on over to Cinco de Mayo Mexican Restaurant on Englar Road. Start with a cold margarita or the massive “margarona” and guacamole made right at your table. Indulge in traditional Mexican favorites like tacos, enchiladas and chile rellenos. Our neighbors in Westminster are all talking that this is the most authentic Mexican food in the area, one even saying “best Mexican cuisine in Westminster, period.” We’d absolutely like to agree.

We love sharing our favorite spots here in Carroll County, as well as our neighbor’s choices. It won’t be hard to fall in love with not only a new home in Carroll County but all of the great restaurants right around the corner. Check back in with us as we review more of “The Best of Carroll County” – your appetite will thank you!