Real Estate Education, Real Estate Experience, and Real Estate Intelligence

July 16, 2021

Make Sure Your Remodeling Pays off When It’s Time to Sell

The Right Upgrades Will Pay Off

Now that good weather is here, a lot of homeowners are looking to start a project. And homebuyers check out homes with eyes to remodel after purchase or review existing remodeled spaces and choose how much extra—if any—they’re worth. Others are deciding whether spending money to remodel is a good use of funds, or if it’s better to just save your money.

Cost vs Value

Remodeling magazine and the National Association of Realtors® completes a study each year on cost vs. value. The latest report from 2021 can offer you some insight as you review remodeling plans. Something as simple as a front entrance replacement will recoup much of the expense, but not all. The study found the national cost on average for a fiberglass entry door replacement to be $10,044 with an average resale value of $6,116 making that a 60.9% return. The report also found that a steel entry door replacement costs $2,082 nationally, with a resale value average of $1,353, showing a 65% return. So, if you would like a new front entrance, go for it. Don’t expect buyers to repay you for each cent of the change though. Instead, enjoy the new addition and the way it makes your home look nicer!

Remodel Your Bathroom and Kitchen

Other popular projects that provide a good return include a bathroom remodel and major and minor kitchen remodels. Again, though, don’t expect a full return on cost. If your home needs updating, roll in the hay to enjoy the update before you will be selling your home.

A bathroom remodels costs on the average nationally $24,424 with a median return of 60.1% or $14,671. Similarly, with an average return of 58.6%, a significant kitchen remodel (new cabinets, appliances, countertops, paint room/trim, etc.) costs $75,571, and also the resale value is $43,364. However, if you choose a minor kitchen to remodel (re-facing kitchen cabinets being the most difference between a major and minor kitchen remodel), on average you’ll spend $26,214 according to the national average, but resale will return you $18,927 or 72.2%. So, if money and time are tight, you would possibly consider a minor kitchen remodel for the best return in comparison with a major kitchen remodel.

Other Great Projects With Good Returns

A deck addition made with wood would cost on average $16,766 with resale value of $11,038 or 65.8%. A Garage Door Replacement will cost you on average $3,907 with a resale value of $3,663 or 93.8%. A window replacement is $23,219 resale value being $15,644 or 67.4%. That is just a few upgrades with good returns, check out the full updated list from remodeling magazine here

For more information about what remodeling projects can pay off when it is time to sell your home, give us a call today.

Ryan Shilow

Phone: 443.602.9900


Find our last blog about 'Making a down payment? How much should you put down?' here

Posted in Blogs
June 9, 2021

Making a down payment? How much should you put down?

How much should I put down on a house?

If you’re buying a mortgage immediately, chances are you’ve heard tons of opinions about how much you ought to spend on a down payment. Many of us think that the more you'll spend on a down payment the better, but there are some factors at play that could dissuade you from making a huge down payment. Keep reading to learn what it means to put down a small or large down payment on a home. 

Don’t put down 20 percent or more if it'll obliterate your savings.

It’s not the best idea to put an enormous down payment (20 percent or more) if this may cause you to go broke. Don’t withdraw everything to make that down payment. Lenders want to check that you have savings. You should have an emergency fund should there be a change in your life, like the loss of employment. 

Large down payments traffic jam your money

If you make a big down payment, know that an enormous chunk of change is now traffic jammed in this house. If an emergency occurs, it'll be hard to get that cashback. Also, many new homeowners forget all the extras that come alongside ownership: a boiler or furnace that needs replacing, a sudden roof leak, or maybe a replacement refrigerator. Getting money out is not as easy as putting it in! So don't think that more is better. This is something you want to talk about with your bank and your financial advisors.

A small down payment means also paying for PMI

If you would like small monthly payments, however, putting less money down won't assist you do this . Lenders append PMI (private mortgage insurance) if your deposit is a smaller amount than 20 percent. This is an added monthly cost that you must factor in if you decide to put down a small amount of money on your home.

A small down payment means higher mortgage payments

If you put, a smaller down payment on a house it means you'll have to pay a higher mortgage payment monthly. If you take out a huge loan, the rate of interest on that loan will be higher than that on a small loan. If you are thinking about making a smaller down payment, know that things like PMI and higher interest rates are going to be a part of your future.

Look into loans that allow small down payments with no PMI

Government-backed loans just like the VA loan, FHA loan, and USDA loan all allow you to put little or no down, but don’t require PMI. (However, there could also be other forms of insurance.) check out the qualifications before applying for one of these loans – there are income and location restrictions to keep in mind. Deciding how much to put on your down payment isn't straightforward; it depends on the person and therefore the situation. And bank and government policies can change quickly. 

For help deciding how much you ought to pay on a down payment, give us a call today.

Ryan Shilow

Phone: 443.602.9900


Find our last blog about 'Virtual Tour of The Hottest Property in Sykesville' here

Posted in Blogs
June 4, 2021

Virtual Tour of The Hottest Property in Sykesville

Meticulously Cared For

Built in 1993 7292 Norris Ave, Sykesville is a masterpiece. In the Shannon Run neighborhood this beautiful home sits on the corner of Norris Ave and Kalorama Rd with 1,956 square feet of living space.

Shannon Run

Shannon Run is a beautiful neighborhood consisting of houses ranging anywhere from $250,000 to $850,000+ and is one of the safest places to live in already secure Carroll County area. With 3 different parks, Including a baseball field,  2 basketball courts, and numerous  trails leading to the nearby train tracks which will take you too Main street Sykesville. This is the perfect spot for a family.

Fulton, MD Real Estate Market

The median listing price of a home in Fulton is $752k. The average price per square foot is $216. Houses in Fulton sell for around $22k above the average listing price ($774k). It is somewhat of a balanced market between buyers and sellers but their are slightly more buyers than sellers currently. On average houses in Fulton sell after 57 days on the market. R.E. Shilow Realty can cut that time in half with the strategies we put in place and team of professionals executing said strategies. Contact us for more information

7292 Norris Ave Description

This house has a new roof, new heating/cooling systems, new windows, new carpet, and so many more upgrades. The owners put a lot of care into this home and it shows through. Shows like a model home yet warm and full of love! Kitchen including granite countertops, hardwood floors, high-end cabinets so many upgrades we can't list them all here.

Interested In Norris Ave or the Fulton Market?

Please stop by Sykesville's top-rated neighborhoods. Walking paths, parks, walking distance from downtown Sykesville. 

Ryan Shilow

Phone: 443.602.9900


Find our last blog about 'A Little Inspiration For That Unused Formal Dining Space' here

Posted in Blogs
June 4, 2021

A Little Inspiration For That Unused Formal Dining Space

Inspiration For That Unused Space!

A formal dining room can feel like a waste of space. Many homes have this formal space but not every modern family hosts large sit-down dinners or holiday gatherings. There's no rule that your dining room has to be used for that singular purpose. If you’re considering turning your dining room space into a useful space for you and your family, the following are some ideas to inspire you to get started.

Media Room

Perhaps your dining room is that the perfect place to create a media center. this might be an area where you'll watch YouTube, play video games, or music. You could even use it as a studio space to practice live music.


If you have young children, this might be the right room to convert into a playroom. Creating an inside play area that keeps the toys and childhood clutter far away from other rooms within the home is a smart move for several families. Let your imagination run wild to style a fun space where your children can play.

Home Office/Schoolwork Station

If you would like a headquarters, your dining room could fill that role perfectly. Convert the space to incorporate a desk and all your organizational furniture. Most people work better in a set location, many children also work better in a set location for schoolwork. Although you might sit at the table or a desk in your bedroom, having an area that's solely used for your children's schoolwork or your business can get you both in the right mindset for learning and help to be more productive.

Family/Friends Game Night Room 

Game nights are awesome activities for family and friends. Whether you host a daily game night for role-playing games or poker or simply just play board games together with your family, a dining room may be a great space to set up a gaming table.

Contact us today for other creative ways to re-purpose the dining room in your new home.

Ryan Shilow

Phone: 443.602.9900


Find our last blog about 'Buying a New Home Before Selling Your Current One' here

Posted in Blogs
June 4, 2021

Buying a New Home Before Selling Your Current One?

Is It Risky to Buy a Home Before Selling My Current One?

Which comes first, the chicken (buying a home) or the egg (selling your current home)? There's no simple answer. Knowing and understanding your options can assist you in making the choice that’s right for you. There are often several advantages to purchasing a home before selling your current one, so we've listed several things you should consider.


If you continue to owe money on your current home, then you’ll need to be ready to afford two mortgages until your current home sells. How quickly that happens depends on the housing market in your area. Having two house payments will limit your purchasing power for a replacement home.

Selling before you purchase gives you the advantage of knowing the precise amount you'll be able to put toward your new home purchase. While this might provide you with more peace of mind and buying power, it could mean missing out on homes you see searching during the period of trying to get yours to sell.


You can take it slow with the buying and moving process. You’ll have longer to buy a replacement home that has the features and is in a nice area that you simply want to live in. Then once you purchase your new home you'll move in at your own pace, and put your current home on the market when ready.

On the opposite hand, if you sell your current home before buying, you face the likelihood of not having a place to live and having to rent until you buy. Including possibly renting your current home from the new owners depending on their situation. Or, once you've got an offer, you can begin buying your new home and do your best to coordinate closing dates. While not impossible, this would take a touch of finagling and tons of luck. The best route, if you are trying to avoid renting, would be to buy first then sell.

Ask the Professionals

R.E. Shilow Realty real estate agents can estimate the worth of your current home and how fast it'll sell on average depending on the market and how it's moving near you. They will also assist you in finding information about neighborhoods you're curious about moving to and the amount of buying power you’ll need for the house you would like.

A mortgage lender can assist you in finding out if you'll afford to possess two mortgages. They will also inform you about the way to use the equity in your current home to assist with the down payment on your brand new home.

Have more questions on buying a home before selling your current one? Contact me with the information below for more information.

Ryan Shilow

Phone: 443.602.9900


Find our last blog about 'Home Staging Cost' here

Posted in Blogs
June 2, 2021

Home Staging Cost

Staging your home?

Home staging has been a standard practice for several years and has become a strong sales tool to rework homes into desirable products. While it's not an accredited field, it does require a keen eye and knowledge to make the proper look. If you’ve decided to hire or DIY, here’s how much it'll cost to stage your home.


Should you plan to hire a knowledgeable home stager, the prices can vary from $150 for a consultation to many thousands after the work is performed. Most home stagers charge by the hour others charge a consultation fee then a further flat fee.

Preliminary consultation is typically required and therefore the professional will make suggestions regarding the removal or relocation of things, what must be cleaned or repaired, and if anything needs repainting. Have a plan before hiring a professional, additional services usually include:

Rearranging furniture

Redecorating windows

Displaying accessories and collectibles

Adding elements that draw the eye to appealing areas like fireplaces, patios, and porches

Bringing in a sizable amount of "props" or furniture pieces that help enhance the space. This might mean adding plants, pillows, artwork, lighting, and more.

It’s extremely important to make sure you sit down together with your home stager and determine your budget well beforehand to make sure that there are not any unexpected costs. it's a good idea to talk with and interview 2-3 home stager candidates before choosing one. These meetings should include a discussion of the budget, goals, and references.

Do it Yourself

Should you plan to stage your home yourself, consider meeting with a home stager for a consultation ($150-$250 fee) and implement the changes yourself. you'll save thousands of dollars by purchasing any suggested props, furniture pieces, minor repairs, or paint.

Another way to save lots of money if you’re staging your house is to target a couple of rooms, versus the whole house. Consider making changes to the entryway, main living area, the kitchen, and therefore the main bedroom, as these are the rooms that potential buyers target the most.

While the worth to hire a knowledgeable home stager will presumably be above a DIY project, they need the experience to decide on what is going to attract buyers and the way to stage your home accordingly so finding the right professional for the job is very important. It also offers convenience to you, especially if you are busy not having overtime to frolic learning about items or fixing minor repairs.

Whatever you opt to try home staging, the value to stage your home can vary counting on the space, your budget, and more. For help staging your home and determining the general cost, give me a call today.

Do you want to learn more about home staging or stage your home? Contact us today!

Ryan Shilow

Phone: 443.602.9900


Find our last blog about 'The Basics of Fence Installing' here


Posted in Blogs
June 2, 2021

The Basics of Fence Installing

The Basics  

Do you want to install a fence in your yard? Whether it’s to keep animals and little ones in or keep other animals and other people out, choosing the proper fence will go an extended way toward ensuring that your home and yard work for you. The subsequent short guide will assist you to pick the proper fence materials and understand other basic tips you would like to know about installing a fence.

Fence Materials 

For the foremost part, any fence you install in your yard is going to be made from either wood or metal or some combination of the two. Some walls are made out of stone or brick, but that’s another category. Chain-link fencing is the cheapest choice to install, but it's not the foremost aesthetically pleasing. Privacy fences are made up of tall wood planks. 

Fence Height

You need to work out what height fence you would like. If you’re just looking to keep pets or your kids in your yard, a fence height over which you'll easily be able to look over could be sufficient. If you would like to take care of privacy in your yard, you'll need a tall fence that is made from wood planks generally speaking. Most people will differentiate what they do base on the placement of their house. If you live near busy roads you might prefer taller fences all around. But in a front yard, 3 feet is that the average height. In a backyard, fences often are between 6- and 8-feet high.

Property Lines

Before you put in a fence, it’s imperative that you fully understand the location of the property lines. Accidentally installing a fence on your neighbor’s property can trigger a cascade of problems between households. To put in a fence, you likely have to obtain a work permit. You'll check out the property maps to work out the proper dimensions of your yard. Check regulations to make sure that your fence isn't too on the brink of your neighbors and doesn't otherwise violate local rules. You'll need to get permission and file plans with an area authority.


You also should consider access to your yard employing a gate. A gate generally is integrated into the fence so you only have to determine the simplest placement for access to your yard from outside your home. You furthermore may make sure that your gate is secure and may be locked to stop others from accessing your yard when uninvited.

If you're able to move forward with a fence for your property, contact us today.

Ryan Shilow

Phone: 443.602.9900


Find our last blog about 'The Importance of Bathroom Lighting' here


Posted in Blogs
June 1, 2021

The Importance of Bathroom Lighting

The different types of bathroom lighting

When decorating, there are three basic sorts of lighting to consider:

General, including the overhead lights you'll have in any given room

Task, like reading lights at your desk or in bed

Accent, used to highlight décor, such as paintings

How are these sorts of lights utilized in a bathroom?

General and task lighting could also be the foremost applicable sorts of lighting to use in a space like a toilet. But that’s to not say you can’t use an accent light if you would like to showcase a feature. Typically, however, general and task lighting are more important to think about when lighting a toilet.

Shower Lighting

Have you ever tried to use a shower in someone’s home or a hotel that has no light? Especially when paired with a dark, heavy curtain, it is often oppressive to shower in those conditions.

Although you'll wash your body intuitively, light can help in many sorts of ways. It can even improve your mood. If you can’t install an overhead light in your shower, think about using a curtain that allows light or installs glass doors instead.

Vanity Lighting

Most close-up work is completed at the toilet vanity. You may use the mirror to put on makeup or to shave within the morning. You need good lighting so you'll see details and work efficiently.

You often see task lighting configured to round the vanity. This lighting could also be mounted just above or to the side of the mirror to assist you to see clearly when you’re working on the brink of your face. You can get vanity lights that can be custom designed to dim or brighten up depending on the situation.

Overhead Lighting

Of course, you almost certainly will produce another general lighting in your bathroom also. This lighting may include ceiling lights that illuminate the space generally. This lighting could enhance your shower if you don’t have a fanatical shower light.

Popular overhead lights include recessed ceiling canisters or more decorative lighting fixtures. Pick the lights that employment with space but also that are easy to wash and maintain during a bathroom.


If you're trying to find a home with an excellent bathroom setup, contact us today for help.

Ryan Shilow

Phone: 443.602.9900


Find our last blog about 'The Best Kitchen Countertop Materials' here

Posted in Blogs
May 30, 2021

The Best Kitchen Countertop Materials

Kitchen Countertop Materials

Your kitchen counters need to work for your lifestyle. There are many materials to choose from, so how do you decide? Here are a few ideas that can get you started when you pick out the countertop for your home.


Granite is a naturally occurring stone used frequently in kitchen countertops. The stone is sourced from quarries and is cut into thin slabs that can be polished and fit as countertops. It has several benefits, including an easy-to-clean surface without cracks or crevices.


Like granite, marble is a natural stone. It is typically found in shades of white and makes an excellent single-surface countertop. Once polished, marble counters are high-gloss and easy to use. No two marble countertops are the same.


Some people like to use tile made of ceramic, stone or glass on countertops. It's easy for do-it-yourself counter builders. However, you must use the correct grout to ensure that the counters stay clean and free of debris.


A popular choice for countertops right now is wood. Wooden countertops are also referred to as "butcher blocks" and are durable, cleanable and attractive. However, they need additional care to keep them clean and free of damage.


Laminate countertops have come a long way since they were first introduced in the mid-20th century. Laminate is good for budget-conscious homeowners and can mimic natural forms such as granite or wood, among other fun patterns.


Some homeowners love the look of concrete countertops, which can be poured in custom forms. Once the concrete is set, the surface is durable. Concrete can also be tinted or have decorative aggregates added.


Have any questions about real estate or are you in the market? Contact information is below.

Ryan Shilow

Phone: 443.602.9900


Find our last blog about '5 Major Factors That Affect Your Home Insurance' here


Posted in Blogs
April 29, 2021

5 Major Factors That Affect Your Home Insurance

Factors That Affect Home Insurance

Homeowners should understand what factors dictate their insurance rates to know what they are paying for and how much they can save. The 5 factors below will directly impact your home's insurance rates. 



The materials used to build your home are very important when determining your home's insurance rates.  High-end expensive materials have higher insurance rates, whereas lower-end materials cost significantly less to insure. The material used contributes to your home's insurance policy because it will need to be replaced if a claim is made.


Home Style

The home's style can help you determine what kind of issues are bound to be expected down the line. Styles like townhomes and condos provide 'Walls-In' coverage also known as form H06; providing coverage for the interior of the residential unit and protection for the personal belongings of the unit owner.  Styles like Single Family homes (Form H03) provide all the necessary coverage on one form except the perils of earthquakes and floods which are usually on a separate policy.


Square Footage 

Larger square footage homes are more expensive to insure because they pose a higher risk for incidents to occur. Larger spaces mean more possibilities and more coverage. If you end up making a claim, it will be more intensive than a smaller home.



Having the latest greatest home amenities can be nice but these items will cause your insurance rates to spike. Features such as sheds, decks, and garages will cause your interest rates to increase. Risks like pools, fireplaces, trampolines, and even certain type of animal breeds make interest rates increase 


Age of Property

If not cared for right, homes deteriorate as they get older. For insurance companies, older homes represent higher risks for damage and issues. Homeowners should alert their insurance agents to any recent repairs, renovations, and damage mitigating systems they have in place to keep the home young. 

Always keep these 5 factors in mind to better understand what affects your home's insurance rates.


Have any questions about real estate or are you in the market? Contact information is below.

Ryan Shilow

Phone: 443.602.9900


Find our last blog about 'Best Home Renovations for ROI' here