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Have You Been Newk’d Yet?

“Have you been Newk’d?” is a phrase making its way around Crofton, Maryland, as more and more people discover a new dining option in The Village at Waugh Chapel known as Newk’s Eatery.

It’s a question I asked a friend yesterday and she had not even heard of Newk’s but, sure enough, she was intrigued when I said that it was an upscale sandwich, soup, and salad eatery. We met there for lunch at 12:30, encountered no line to place our order, and the meals were promptly delivered to our table.

It was definitely a 5-star lunch experience!

Triple Take Salad Newk's


I ordered the Triple Take salad, described online as seasonal fresh fruit, pasta salad, and homemeade chicken salad with grapes and pecans on a bed of mixed greens with grape tomatoes, cucumbers and your choice of dressing. The chicken salad was so good that I’ll likely be tempted to order a chicken salad sandwich in a future visit.



My friend ordered the Black & Bleu salad, whick is described as mixed greens, choice beef tender, Gorgonzola cheese, pecans, grape tomatoes, and sliced red onion tossed with Newk’s bleu cheese dressing. She enjoyed her salad so much that she ate every last morsel and I will surely order the Black & Bleu salad the next time I get a salad at Newk’s.


The salads were made with appropriately crisp cold lettuce and we both were happy with our choices. The two lunches cost less than $20.00 total, and that’s hard to beat!

(During previous visits to this restaurant, I’ve enjoyed several of their sandwich and soup options. All of them were delicious.)

Give Newk’s a try if you’re looking for a hearty and delicious salad, sandwich or bowl of soup that you can enjoy at your own pace, whether on the run or for a leisurely meal. They’re located at 1360 Main Chapel Way in Gambrills, between Pier 1 Imports and Applebee’s.


Margaret Woda, Long & Foster Real Estate, 410-451-6245

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Invest in Crofton Real Estate – The Timing Couldn’t be Better!

Crofton’s real estate market is one of the few in our nation to benefit from changes to our nation’s defense strategy. While 70,000 service members will be cut from our armed forces in the $75 million leaner military budget, nearby Fort George G. Meade will welcome 4,000 more military men and women over the next few years.

They will support the information, intelligence, and cyber security missions of the National Security Agency, Defense Informaton Systems Agency, Defense Media Activity, and Cyber Command, which are located at Fort Meade. In fact, 13 major construction projects are currently in progress to house this expansion. But these folks also need a place to live.

Crofton’s location in the middle of a triangle formed by Fort Meade, the U.S. Naval Academy and Joint Base Andrews is often the first factor in attracting military personnel to our community. The easy 20-minute commute is often overshadowed as a priority, however, when buyers and renters see American flags flying over Crofton Parkway, learn about the annual Armed Forces Day Parade, and discover the Blue Star Memorial in front of Crofton Library. No wonder that so many retired military, DOD civilians, and active duty military personnel choose to live here… it’s convenient to work, the houses and townhouses are affordable, and the community just feels like home.

This military factor has provided stability and potential to the Crofton real estate market for decades. With this latest expansion at Fort Meade, the timing couldn’t be better to purchase a home or rental property. There are more than 80 properties on the market in Crofton now that are priced under $500,000. One of the best investent opportunities in Crofton is 1615 Dryden Way.  Call me for an appointment to see this and several other homes.

Crofton Homes for Sale

Posted originally on 7/23/14.


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Crofton Real Estate Update for May 2014

Real Estate Update for Crofton, Maryland – May 2014

Good news for Crofton home buyers! May was a busy month for listings in Crofton, with 72 properties added to the inventory of available homes for sale. Today, June 15, there are 99 listings on the market for sale in the 21114 zip code, ranging from $109,000 (2-BR condo in The Tiers at Walden) to $800,000 (detached home on nearly 2 acres). This is the largest inventory of homes for sale in Crofton since November 2011.

I love CroftonBy contrast, only 20 homes went under contract in the entire zip code during May. Even if you count the 24 contingent contracts (I’ll buy your house if and after my house sells), that’s only 44 offers accepted – definitely NOT in the same ballpark as 72 new listings, but it is an increase over May 2013.

What does this mean to you? When new contracts don’t keep pace with new listings, market conditions favor buyers over sellers. This usually translates into more days on market and more competitive pricing, as well. Disappointing to current Crofton home owners, but a great opportunity for home buyers.

Mixed news in “sold” statistics: Closings in May (37) were the highest we’ve seen in 2014, and an increase of nearly 6% over May 2013. The average days on market for the homes closed last month was 47, however, a 161% increase over the 18 days on market in May 2013. Average sold price to original list price was down approximately 2% from last year, but it was still a respectable 96.4%. The breakdown of attached vs. detached homes closed in May 2014 was nearly even at 18/19, compared to last year when it was 23/12.

This increase in sales of detached homes contributed to the nearly 4% increase in average sold price overall, but the average sold price of detached homes in Crofton dropped 5.6% from last year to $453,958 and the average sold price of attached homes dropped 7.05% to $251,564 from 2013.

Real estate statistics are only a small part of the story for Crofton home buyers and sellers, but they do help provide some perspective. Crofton homes are selling, but sellers and real estate agents should not be surprised if their property is on the market longer than it might have been at this time last year. Home buyers, this is an opportunity for you to take advantage of the relatively large inventory of homes on the market in Crofton while rates are hovering around 4%… chances are good that your monthly payment to own will be lower than rent on a comparable property.

View Crofton Homes for Sale


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Beware electric hedge clippers…

Crofton home owners are busily grooming their yards, and you’ll see us throughout the neighborhood on summertime weekends. We tend to be educated people who know to “Beware of power tools,” but accidents can and do happen.

Trimming the BushesAccording to a 2004 Consumer Reports article, nearly 4,000 trimmer related injuries involved lacerated fingers. I couldn’t find more recent stats, but suffice it to say that I became a participant for the next set of statistics when someone updates that article again. Fortunately, I didn’t lose my finger, but there’s a lot of blood and pain when that happens, and my finger looks pretty darn ugly a week into recovery.

Even though you probably already know and practice these safety tips from that same Consumer Reports article, it can’t hurt to share these reminders with you:

1. Never use electric trimmers in the rain, on wet grass or shrubs, or near water.
2. Use an undamaged extension cord rated for outdoor use, and plug it into an outlet with a ground fault circuit interrupter (or use a GFCI-equipped cord).
3. Keep cords safely looped behind you.
4. Wear safety goggles, ear protection, work gloves, nonslip shoes, and clothing that won’t get caught in the blades.
5. Don’t overreach, especially on a ladder.
6. Keep both hands on the trimmer, and fingers and other parts of your body away from the blades when trimming.
7. Turn off the power and wait for the blades to stop before adding fuel or removing debris.

My accident happened so quickly that I don’t know exactly what happened, but obviously I failed to keep both hands on the trimmer (#6).

Let me add one more suggestion, in case you ever do have an accident like this: Call 911. The EMT performed initial triage, so I arrived at the Emergency Room with the bleeding controlled and the pieces more or less held together by sterile gauze. The inevitable wait to see a doctor was much less frustrating and stressful than it would have been if someone else had taken me.

No matter how many times you’ve safely used electric tools in the past, remember that’s no guarantee against an accident in the future. Take care!


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Another Source for Down Payment on a Home

How much down payment will I need for a Crofton townhouse?

The average sold price for an attached home in Crofton in May 2014 was approximately $251,500. Using an FHA loan, the 3.5% down payment would be $8,803.00. Using a 95% conventional loan, the down payment would  be $12,575.  In both cases, sellers are allowed to pay some of the buyers’ closing costs if they’re willing.

In other words, you’d be a lot closer to buying a home if you just had an extra $10,000. Right?  

Check out this excerpt from an article by real estate columnist, Pat Zaby:

Another Source for a Down Payment

IRA 250.jpg

Most taxpayers know they will pay a 10% penalty for withdrawing funds from their IRA before they turn 59.5 years old.  BUT… There is an exception for first-time home buyers that allows a penalty-free withdrawal up to $10,000 per person if they haven’t owned a home in the previous two years.

This would allow a married couple who each have an IRA to withdraw a lifetime maximum of $10,000 each - $20,000 total, penalty-free for a home purchase. In many cases, the money would be used for a down payment or closing costs.  However, some buyers might consider this source to increase their down payment so they could qualify for a loan without mortgage insurance or a lower interest rate.

Another interesting fact about this provision is that the taxpayer making the withdrawal can use it to help a qualified relative which includes children, grandchildren, parents and grandparents.

I am not an accountant or attorney, so before using IRA funds for a home purchase you should get expert advice from your own tax professional concerning your situation.

Let’s Get Started!

Contact me today or visit my website for information about the home-buying process. No cost or obligation, just information to help you decide if you’re ready.  The payoff for you will be huge: you can have the option to fire your landlord and enjoy the tax benefits of home ownership, not to mention all the other benefits of home ownership.


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