Arabian Nights Tea Party in Bowie on Saturday

BOWIE CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS:  October 1, 2011

The Ballet Theatre of Maryland invites you to dress as your favorite storybook character for a tea party at 6 p.m., prior to their performance of Storybook Theatre at the Bowie Center for the Performing Arts on Saturday.  In addition to tea and treats, there will be games and a chance to meet your favorite storybook character.  Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. and the performance will begin at 7 p.m.

Enjoy three classic fairy tales in a mini-version that will leave you wanting more:  Alice in Wonderland, Excalibur, and Aladdin. (Fortunately, you can look forward to a full version of Aladdin, playing October 21-23.)

This seems like a wonderful opportunity to introduce your children to live ballet theater, with three different stories that won’t wear out their attention span… or yours.  Free parking, no commute… what more could you ask for?

Order tickets online for this performance of Storybook Theatre at $20 for Bowie residents ($25 for non-residents), with special prices for seniors, students and children.  Under-12 tickets are just $10.

Bowie Center for the Performing Arts is located at 15200 Annapolis Rd., Bowie MD 20715, bellettween Bowie H.S. and the Bowie Library.

Posted originally at Maryland Real Estate Blog.

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Bowie Shredding Event Scheduled Next Week

Bowie residents can safely dispose of confidential documents such as old tax returns and bank records at a community shredding event on September 10th.  Two shredding trucks will be parked in the lot at Bowie High between the hours of 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. to accept documents, and you can watch as your confidential information is shredded into bits.

Quantity is limited to 5 boxes or 5 kitchen size trash bags. No businesses please. Staples need not be removed from the documents.

For more information, call the Public Works Department at 301-809-2344.

8th Annual Bowie Back to School Bash Today

The Bowie City Gymnasium on Northview Drive will come alive today (August 20) with kids and parents at 10 a.m.  That’s when the 8th annual Bowie Back to School Bash begins.

There will be free demonstrations, games, moon bounces, a community resource area, food, door prizes and a free give-away of a backpack filled with school supplies for the first 300 children under 12.

Local sponsors include Target, Chick Fila, Wegmans and several others.

The event will continue until 1 p.m.

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5 Tips for Inspecting and Maintaining Your Garage

REAL ESTATE QUESTIONS for a BOWIE REALTOR

Q.  I want a garage in my next home, but  I don’t know what to look for or how to maintain a garage.  Do you have any tips for a garage novice?

A.  The National Association of REALTORS recently published a guide on this very topic.  It’s re-posted here, with their permission, to answer your question.

5 Tips for Inspecting and Maintaining Your Garage

By: G. M. Filisko
Published: March 15, 2010

Routine maintenance will help your garage retain its value and keep it trouble-free for decades.

1. Keep your garage door running smoothly

Most newer garage doors come self-lubricated or with plastic parts that need no oil, according to builder Fred Cann, owner of JRS Solutions in Melville, N.Y. You’ll need to annually oil older doors with metal rollers, hinges, and tracks. “Use a leaf blower to blast all the grit, grime, dust, cobwebs, and dead bugs from the door’s parts,” advises Mark Secord, brand manager for PremierGarage in Mobile, Ala.

Occasionally check the rubber seal on the bottom of your garage door. It can harden or chip away from wear and tear, allowing the elements to seep under your door. Replacing the seal costs less than $100. Your door may be hitting the ground too forcefully and jarring all the parts, crushing the rubber seal, or allowing light to peek through at the bottom when the door is at rest. To correct those problems, says Secord, use a screwdriver to alter the travel limit adjustment located on the door opener’s control box.

Regularly test the garage door’s sensors to be sure they still prevent it from closing if something—like your child or pet—is in the way.

2. Clean your garage floor

Hose down your garage floor annually to prevent slip hazards, stains, and pockmarks caused by road salt and auto fluids, recommends Secord. You may notice hairline cracks in your concrete slab, but those are generally no cause for concern, says Paul Fisher, owner of Danley’s Garage World in Chicago.

If there’s a serious trip hazard because of concrete that’s crumbled or separated ¼-inch or more, take action. You can try a do-it-yourself patch with a $5 concrete mix from your local hardware store. But patched concrete often doesn’t adhere to the original slab, says Fisher, especially if a car regularly passes over the patched area. If necessary, ask a licensed concrete contractor for an estimate on replacing your slab, which typically costs about $5 per square foot.

Experts disagree on whether to treat a garage slab with a sealant. “Sealants don’t protect the slab at all; they’re just for aesthetics,” says Cann, who worked as an engineer for the city of New York for 10 years. “We had more problems after we sealed and painted garage slabs. The paint would chip, discolor, or become slippery. I’d leave concrete alone.”

Secord, however, sells garage floor sealants and says they protect the concrete, prevent discoloration, and are easier to clean than bare concrete. Do-it-yourself sealants for an average two-car garage cost about $800 to $1,200 and need reapplication every three to five years. One-time, professional applications cost $1,500 to $2,000, says Secord.

3. Monitor your garage walls and foundation

Inspect interior and exterior walls and the foundation twice a year for moisture and cracks. If you see discoloration or mold, moisture is seeping in from the roof or the walls. Call a building or roofing contractor for an inspection and repair estimates.

Wall and foundation cracks smaller than ¼-inch wide that aren’t causing water damage are typically harmless. “Anything larger than a hairline crack is something to be concerned about,” says Cann. “If one side of your ceiling appears a little lower than the other, the foundation or footing has settled.” That’s sometimes hard to evaluate with a visual inspection; if necessary, get out your level.

Structural concerns require an expert evaluation. Cann suggests hiring a structural engineer, who will charge $200 to $300 per hour but won’t hype potential problems to secure the repair work.

4. Clean interior doors and gutters

Once a year, clean and inspect the interior door. Make sure the door is properly weatherstripped and that the threshold seal fits snugly against the bottom of the door.

Most building codes require the door allowing entry to your home to be fire-rated and self-closing. If the door is damaged or the self-closing mechanism has failed, repair or replace it. You’ll pay $250 to $300 for a new fire-rated door, plus $25 to $75 for installation.

If your garage has gutters, clean them every spring and fall and inspect them for damage. While you’re at it, check your roof for damaged or missing shingles or tiles.

5. Watch for pest invasions

Insects like termites and carpenter ants can furtively damage your garage walls. Inspect dark, cool, and moist spots, especially where garage walls meet the foundation, for borings from carpenter ants or termites. “Termites digest the lumber, but carpenter ants tunnel it,” says Cann. “If you see trails of sawdust, it’s carpenter ants. If you see chewed wood, it’ll likely be termites.” Call in pest-control experts for an inspection and treatment.

G.M. Filisko is an attorney and award-winning writer who oversaw the renovation of her condo association’s five-space garage so a sixth space could be added—for her. A frequent contributor to many national publications including Bankrate.com, REALTOR® Magazine, and the American Bar Association Journal, she specializes in real estate, business, personal finance, and legal topics.

Take Me Out To The Ballgame – Fun Things to Do in Bowie

Bowie Baysox, the Class AA Affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles

Don’t miss the Bowie Baysox vs. New Britain Rock Cats game on Friday, August 12.

The gates open at 6 p.m., pre-game activities begin at 6:30 p.m., and the game starts at 7:05.  After the game, kids are always invited to run the bases.  But that’s not all, because it’s a night for…

Video Games,  a Family Campout on the field after the game, and fireworks!

If you’d like to participate in the campout, reserve space by contacting Chris Rogers at (301) 464-4813 or order online at Baysoxshop.com.

It seems like there’s always something special going on at the Baysox stadium.  The very next night, for example, is a Rocknocerous concert before the game.

For a complete schedule, click on this link to the Bowie Baysox website

National Night Out Tomorrow in Bowie

Meet public safety officials and get advice on keeping you and your loved ones safe at Bowie’s 2011 National Night Out Against Crime., sponsored by the Bowie Police Department.

This event aims to teach citizens how to prevent crime or being a victim of crime in a fun and friendly atmosphere. There will be a dunk tank, moon bounce, food, a visit from Spiderman, information booths and lots of giveaways.

Activities will take place at Allen Pond Park, 8/2/2011, from 6 to 8 p.m.

Bowie Real Estate Statistics – June 2011

Bowie, Maryland, is comprised of four zipcodes, 20715, 20716, 20720, and 20721.  Each is a very large area, but all of them are conveniently located east of Washington, D.C., about a half hour from BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport to the north, Andrews AFB to the south, and Annapolis, the Maryland State Capitol, to the east.

It never ceases to amaze me how different the real estate markets are from one Bowie zipcode to the next.  Just take a look at the numbers from June 2011, particularly the Month on Month (MoM) statistics (click on chart to enlarge it):

If you’re thinking of buying or selling a home in the Bowie area, you can’t rely upon published real estate statistics like these.  It’s important to narrow down your research by the immediate neighborhood and/or type of home. Contact me today, to help you with this.

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