April 4 - April 17, 2013


amar group

Five Home Staging Secrets for Quick Sales

staged home

Real estate staging is a vital part of getting a home ready for sale, but since a home that is “staged” for sale is also calmer, less cluttered and more attractive than an “unstaged” home, many people are staging their homes to live a more comfortable life.  Whether you are planning to put your home on the market or you simply want a more beautiful living space for yourself, you can use these five home staging tips to achieve success.

  1. Clear the clutter.  Make your house as clean and organized as possible.  A cluttered, overstuffed home sends a message to potential buyers – and to your own psyche – that there is not enough space and storage in the home. 

  2. Choose warm hues to paint your walls. Many homeowners make the mistake of thinking that all walls need to be white to be neutral.  But white tends to look unfinished and cold.  Look for warm colors, based on reds, oranges and yellows.  Using soft tints of these colors will make a space feel inviting.

  3. Pay attention to lighting. Lighting is a crucial part of a well-staged home.  A well-lit home feels more cheerful and attractive.  Make sure the windows are clean to allow as much sunlight in as possible.  In dark rooms, add high-hat (recessed) lights.  If installed lighting is impossible, make sure you have several lamps with high-voltage bulbs.  Replace dark-colored lampshades that block light with lighter shades that allow light to flow through the room.

  4. Update cabinet knobs.  Replacing knobs and hardware in the kitchen or bathroom is easy and inexpensive and can transform the entire room.

  5. Highlight the most positive features in your home.  Create vignettes that draw the eye to the most attractive elements of your house, like picture windows, fireplaces and unusual architecture. Emphasize focal points by arranging furniture around them. 

staged homeRemember that first impressions are critical.  Take a good, hard look at how it feels to drive up to your home, walk up to the front door and enter.  Is there anything that blocks your way?  Do you need to clean up your yard?  What lighting can you add? 

The entrance to your home sends a very strong message to potential buyers and it also evokes long-lasting emotions in your mind and in the minds’ of others living in your home. Improve your curb appeal, front door and entrance hall and you are sure to have a home that feels more inviting and comfortable to all.

Don’t Miss Build/Renovate Your Own Castle V – Sat, April 6 – 11a-2p - Alexandria, VA
free admission – free parking

Free Webinar on
Change After Stroke

strokeHas a stroke caused significant change in your life? Whether you’re a stroke survivor, caregiver or family member of a stroke survivor, learn how to manage that change and live your best post-stroke life in Living After Stroke: Managing Change on Wednesday, April 17 at noon EDT.

African-Americans and Strokes

  • The rate of first stroke in African-Americans is almost double the rate in Caucasians.
  • African-Americans are twice as likely to die from stroke as their Caucasian counterparts.
  • African-American stroke survivors are more likely to become disabled and have difficulty with activities of daily living than their non-Hispanic Caucasian counterparts.

Washington, D.C. to Enforce Transgender Health Laws

The D.C. Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking (DISB) announced that it will immediately begin enforcing an existing city law that prohibits health insurance companies from denying or limiting insurance coverage based on someone’s gender identity or expression. In a new directive, the DISB said insurance companies found to have exclusionary language in application forms for health insurance policies pertaining to transgender patients would have 90 days to remove that language from the forms.

“Some of the services denied to transgender individuals, but approved for other patients, included mastectomies for breast cancer, hormone replacement therapy and high blood pressure medications,” DISB says.

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Dissonance Dance Theatre Tryouts

dissonance dance theatreDissonance Dance Theatre is looking to diversify its dancer roster with talented and hard-working dancers looking to assist in the emerging development of DC's only African-American managed contemporary ballet company. Alum of Dissonance Dance Theatre perform in NYC, Europe and nationally in major companies.

Auditions will consist of a Contemporary Ballet Class/Contrasting Dance Combination. Apprentices/DDT II members will be selected from this audition.  Registration Required.

Audition Fee: $10
Sat, Apr 20, 6:30p - 9p
916 G Street NW Flashpoint (Coors Dance Studio)

Antebellum African-American Women in Towson, MD

Hampton National Historic Site's 7th annual symposium on African American History takes place Wednesday, April 10. This year’s theme is “A Strong Body, Mind and Spirit: African American Women of the Antebellum Era.”  The Hampton National Historic Site is in Towson, MD, north of Baltimore, MD.

Angela Roberts at 443 742-2277 is accepting reservations.  Fee: $20-$30.

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champion services travel - group travel

Things to Do

Washington  Celebrates Ellington

Celebrating Edward Kennedy Ellington
[b. April 29, 1899]
East of the River Jazz
Saturdays in April

Sat, April 6, 4p, free, donations appreciated
Plymouth Congregational United Church of Christ
5301 N Capitol St NE, DC

Sat, April 20,5p, free, donations appreciated
Fort Dupont Park Community Center
3600 F Street SE DC

Sat, Apr 20, 6:30p
$10 General Admission | $7 Seniors/Students | Free Admission Children 12 & under
Wesley United Methodist Church
5312 Connecticut Avenue, NW

Sat, Apr 20, 5p
$15 General Admission | $7 Students | Free Admission Children 12 & under
$10 Advance Online Purchase
St. Mary's Episcopal-Anglican Church
728 23rd Street NW

Baltimore /Washington - More Events

sherry ways
Build/Renovate Your Own Castle
Alexandria Black History Museum
Wythe Street Alexandria, VA
Sat, Apr 6, 11a-2p, free admission, free parking
Registration encouraged

The 100 Black Men of Prince George's County
2nd Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Prayer Breakfast
2000 Marbury Drive
District Heights, MD. 
Apr 13, 8:30a-11a


Ecology and Botany 101
Sat, April 6
Sand Ridge Nature Center
15891 Paxton Ave
South Holland, IL, 9A, free

POH’s Favorite Eateries with WIFI in Greater Banjul

Attaya Café –  61 Kairaba Avenue (opposite US Embassy)  – taste the deserts

Caramel – The Village, Senegambia – try the BLT sandwich, wonjo juice slush , almond croissant

Fast Ali – Westfield Junction – try the slow-roasted chicken with chips

Maya’s Café - Pipeline Road off Kairaba Avenue – try the shrimp pizza

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   US Housing Market is Back
Build/Renovate Your Own Castle V

The U.S. Department of Commerce reported on March 19 that housing starts for February were at 917,000 nationally — up 10% from the month before and at their highest levels since the recession brought hammering to a halt. Still, starts are also down almost 60% from their 2006 peak.

staged homeAs the housing market continues to look upward, the Alexandria Black History Museum and Port of Harlem host the Build / Renovate Your Own Castle V interactive seminar for those who want to stay ahead of the upward curve.  The biennial event is Saturday, April 6 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The seminar is free; however, space at the museum is limited.  Therefore, Port of Harlem suggests that you make your reservations by calling the museum at 703-746-4356 or online.

The event is for future and current home buyers, renters and homeowners. “Our goal is help people see their homes as more than shelter, but a place to fully enjoy and realize their dreams,” says Port of Harlem publisher Wayne Young.

The participants include the principal architect at Millennium Design Architects James Jordan and Citibank Home Lending Specialist Noel Shepherd. Interior decorator and author of “Feel Good Spaces: A Guide to Decorating for the Body, Mind & Spirit” Sherry Ways caps the seminar with an interior design “game.” Each speaker will provide plenty of time for questions and answers between refreshments and the awarding of door prizes.

The Alexandria Black History Museum is at 902 Wythe Street in Alexandria, Virginia, three blocks from Braddock Road Metro station. There is also plenty of free street parking around the museum.

Photo; Staging by Sherry Ways.

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