Blog: At Home in Annapolis

  • Maple-Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon

    Serves 6

    – 1 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed

    – ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

    – 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup

    – 4 slices bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

    – ½ teaspoon salt

    – ¼ teaspoon black pepper

    Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place Brussels sprouts in a single layer in a baking dish. Drizzle with olive oil and maple syrup; toss to coat. Sprinkle with bacon; season with salt and pepper. Roast in the preheated oven until bacon is crispy and Brussels sprouts are caramelized, about 45 minutes, stirring halfway through.

    Enjoy — and Happy Thanksgiving!

  • Top 4 Ways To Improve Your Home’s Value

    As a listing agent, clients are always asking which updates and renovations offer the biggest
    return on investment when they go to sell their house. Although it varies from client to client, typically I suggest 4 things.

    Increase Your Curb Appeal
    The outdoor presentation says a lot about the care of the home. Chipped paint, rusted shutters,
    broken gutters, and wild bushes imply that there isn’t a lot of care being put into the property.
    Walking up the driveway, down the sidewalk, and up to the front door, your mind almost
    anticipates opening the door to find something frightening.

    Freshen up the exterior paint job of the home. Get the front door, garage door, trim, address
    numbers, and even some of the accents like gutters, mailboxes, and birdhouses. Make those
    colors pop both in the photography and in person. If your home is susceptible to dirt, grime, and
    mold, give it a good pressure washing. You want potential buyers to be excited to see your
    home and first impressions not only matter, but set the tone for the showing.

    Update Your Kitchen
    It’s been said that kitchens sell houses. It’s true. It’s the most common gathering place in the
    home.

    Your kitchen being up-to-date and functional is an important aspect of getting top dollar for your
    home. How does your kitchen look and feel? Is it clean, bright, and spacious? Does it flow well?
    Make sure the appliances are relatively new and in working order. Clean them inside and out.
    Believe it or not, some buyers will actually open the appliances. Make sure that your secondary
    kitchen items work such as your Lazy Susan, your rolling beverage cart, or your countertop
    butcher blocks.

    Replace or update any countertops that need it. Replacing the countertops and kitchen island
    tops add value and present well. Make sure the backsplashes, lighting and fixtures compliment
    the space as well. Consider painting the kitchen to give it that bright and airy look and feel.

    Update Your Bathroom
    Kitchen and bathroom updates can offer upwards of 70% return on investment. Home buyers
    are looking for relaxing owner’s suites. A big part of that is a nice, cozy and welcoming
    bathroom.

    Consider how the bathrooms present themselves to potential buyers. Are they nice and clean?
    Are the bathrooms dark and dingy looking or do they feel fresh and clean? Make sure to tackle
    that dirty grout.

    How do the countertops and cabinets look in the bathroom? Make sure all the hardware looks
    sleek and modern and don’t forget to complete the space with new or clean mirrors and towel
    racks, toothbrush holders and other complimentary accessories.

    Improve Your Outdoor Living Area
    Buyers love to visualize themselves in the backyard entertaining company. Adding a sitting area
    or fire pit in the backyard is easy, affordable and a great return on investment.
    If you don’t already have a focal point in the backyard, consider adding a deck and putting up a
    gazebo or canopy. An outdoor fireplace can also be a wonderful addition.

    If you already have a nice outdoor space, be sure to clean and spruce it up.
    Getting a great return on investment and maximizing the value of your home doesn’t have to be
    particularly hard or expensive and using these tips is a great place to start!