Charles Town’s Best: The Mediterranean Cafe

Hey guys! How are you all doing? Excited for the long weekend? Now that Thanksgiving is just around the corner, are you ready with your recipes and decorations yet? And while we’re on the topic of food, this week I’m featuring one of the best restaurants in Charles Town, WV!

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The Mediterranean Cafe is a family-owned business that serves a variety of cuisines: Greek, French, Spanish, Middle Eastern–you name it! If you’re looking for something refined but different, then this is a must-recommend if you’re in town!

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Official website

The owner, Alfredo, is warm and accommodating and will even serve you himself! Here’s what some satisfied customers had to say:

“We live in Charles Town and this is our favorite place to eat. The hummus is excellent and everything we have tried has been delicious. The chicken piccata is so good that for months I refused to try anything else, although my husband tries something different each time. The ingredients are fresh, the food is great and the service is phenomenal. Alfredo is truly a nice guy and makes sure each person who walks in has an exceptional experience. The decor is comfortable and eclectic. You pretty much have to ignore the outside of almost everything in Charles Town in order to receive a pleasant surprise contained within the old historical buildings, and this is no exception.”

“This little gem of a restaurant right in Charles Town was perfect in every sense of the word. We had a group of 9 of us and Alfredo could not have been more accommodating. The appetizer of pita bread, cheese and fresh chopped tomatoes and sauces that he gave us was super and the food was great! A nice little restaurant with lots of character and charm and ambience and a fantastic staff. Thanks Alfredo for making our day and taking the great picture of us!”

If that doesn’t convince you, then I don’t know what will! You can’t go wrong with the variety of samplers and all the fresh, healthy dishes that Mediterranean cuisine has to offer.

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The Mediterranean Cafe is located at 134 West Washington Street in Charles Town. For reservations, call 304-724-9992.

An advanced Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!

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Factors Affecting Mortgage Interest Rate Changes

There’s more to the cost of owning that dream home than the price the seller is asking for. The interest rate on your mortgage loan affects the price and how much you’ll pay every month to your mortgage company. Comparing mortgage interest rates is important because they may change daily, and different rates may be associated with different types of loans. With variable-rate or adjustable-rate mortgages, it is understood from the outset that the loan’s interest rate will change over time, becoming higher or lower depending on the current economic climate.
Let’s look at why mortgage interest rates fluctuate so frequently.

The Federal Reserve and Interest Rates
The Federal Reserve System (“The Fed”), although considered our country’s central banking system, is independent of the federal government. In essence, the Fed controls the movement of money throughout the U.S. financial system.

The Federal Reserve System is composed of a Board of Governors and 12 Federal Reserve Banks, spread throughout the country. The seven members of the Board of Governors, the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and four other reserve bank presidents serve on the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), the policy-making body that determines, among other things, the interest rate charged to commercial banks.

The FOMC controls inflation by tightening or loosening the country’s money supply. One way they do this is by raising interest rates to control inflation. When borrowing money costs more, consumers tend to shy away from taking out loans, hopefully leading to lower prices. By the same token, lower interest rates encourage consumers to borrow and spend, which in turn boosts the economy. Overall, the fluctuations in mortgage interest rates reflect an attempt to keep a balance in the economy, and to prevent inflation without bringing the economy into a recession.

Mortgage Investors and Changing Interest Rates
The Federal Reserve is not the only player affecting changing mortgage rates. To create more money to lend, banks often sell their loans on the secondary market, now controlled by the federal government. Banks and other mortgage lenders sell mortgage-backed securities to investors. The return on investment for these investors is generated by interest paid by mortgage holders on their loans. For the investors to realize a return, banks must charge a higher interest rate.

Homebuyers (the mortgage loan borrowers) want low interest rates on their mortgages. This force drives interest rates back down. In addition, when investors know rates are going to drop, they purchase these securities, increasing demand and eventually sending interest rates back down. Banks must balance these two opposing forces, and the resulting push-and-pull drives mortgage interest rates.

The Effect of Changing Mortgage Interest Rates on Loans
Though they are locked-in once the application process is completed, fixed-rate mortgage rates are constantly changing. Interest rates for variable-rate loans fluctuate as well, and continue to change throughout the term of the loan. Another impact on interest rates occurs when lower interest rates attract homeowners wishing to refinance their mortgages.

While all of this may seem complicated to the average homebuyer, an awareness of what drives interest rate changes can help you know when the ideal time has arrived to apply for a loan.

Capon Bridge Market Insider

Hey everyone! It’s that time of the month for another edition of Market Insider! This week I’m featuring the lovely town of Capon Bridge, WV. If you happen to be buying or selling a home here, you might want to take a quick read at this!

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The number of active listings in Capon Bridge increased by 5.3% from the previous month. he median listing price for homes in this area is $159,900.

Understand the difference between “listing prices” (what sellers are asking for) and “sold prices” (what buyers are willing to pay). By comparing these price trends, you’ll have a good idea of where the market is heading. The median listing and sold property prices are calculated based on the market activity each month. (Some sales are not immediately available from public records. As they become available, the data are updated.)

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Median household income in Capon Bridge is $35,277 with 27 households earning between $35,000 to $40,000 annually.

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The Crime Risk Index compares the likelihood of different crimes happening within this community to the national average. The national average for each type of crime equals a score of 100. A score of 200 would represent twice the risk as the national average, and a score of 50 would represent half the risk.

43
Median Age
33%
Married
808
Number of Homes
252
Homes with Children

The above data was gathered from multiple sources and includes current listings, recent sales, and more. Whether you’re a buyer or seller, the knowledge you gain will help put you in control of your real estate transactions.

Homes for sale in Capon Bridge

If you’d like to read more statistics on the current housing market in Front Royal, visit my website here. You can find more information on it such as local schools, a list of establishments (categorized and searchable by map), and you can even compare areas/neighborhoods according to zip code. It can really provide you with a thorough insight so you have a better idea of the community you want to move into.

Enjoy the rest of the week, everyone!

Fresh & New Color Schemes For Your Home!

Time and time again whenever I share interior design tips with you guys, I often talk about colors. But like fashion, home decor has its own trends as well, and today I’d like to share with you these fresh, new color combinations that are gaining popularity in homes all across America! Maybe this will help inspire you for as well the next time you decide to redecorate your home!

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Rustic Ruby + Khaki
This is a perfect combination of using a bold color and not making it overwhelming, while at the same time bringing to life a palette that would otherwise be dull on its own. The red and the brown compliment each other harmoniously to give that comfortable and yet energetic vibe just like in the living room shown above.

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Honey + Cream
This is also a classic combination that radiates nothing but warmth and comfort upon entering. The cream makes it clean and gentle, while the honey is a relaxing hue that is pleasant to the eyes. It’s truly fail-safe and something everyone can appreciate.

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Aqua + Brown
If you’ve noticed, blacks and whites aren’t the only universal colors anymore. Literally anything can go with brown nowadays! Even aqua/mint, which has been a popular color in fashion lately, has been incorporated into the world of home decor as well. It’s a refreshing, new take in bringing life into a room–literally with that cool, mint touch!

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Feeling inspired yet? I won’t be surprised if you’re suddenly excited at the new prospect of giving your home a new look! Give it a try!

For more color combination ideas, feel free to check out the rest of the article from BHG.com here.

Have a good weekend, everyone!

Berkeley Springs’ Best: Lot 12 Public House

So I thought I’d be back with my Insert-town-name-here Best series, and this week I’m featuring the most popular restaurant in Berkeley Springs, WV! (Well, according to Trip Advisor anyway). It’s the Lot 12 Public House!

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Now the name may not sound appetizing, but according to Trip Advisor, it’s ranked as the most popular restaurant among locals and visitors in Berkeley Springs. Awarded with a Certificate of Excellence for 2013, it is a great pick for tasting the local cuisine, having a romantic dinner, or sealing a client deal. It’s been featured in several magazines for its upscale but hearty dishes.

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Official website: http://www.lot12.com

 

“We’ve dined here several times over the last few years. It’s always one of our favorites while in Berkeley Springs. The wait staff is enthusiastic and friendly and the kitchen does a great job with most of the dishes we’ve tried. It’s clear they aim high.”

“Lot 12 is every bit worth the extra scratch. The experience of dining there rivals any top rated restaurant in DC (where I spend most of my time.) The food is heavenly to say the least. If you go, make sure to come early to have a drink in the bar with Sky. Berkeley Springs is lucky to have such an outstanding restaurant.”

Food critics define it as ‘comfort food with continental influences’, perhaps due to Chef Damian Heath’s Italian roots and international training. When you look at their dinner menu and see entrees such as coq au vin and duo of lamb, then you know you’re in for a proper dining experience.

Homes for sale in Berkeley Springs

Lot 12 Public House is located at 117 Warren St., Berkeley Springs, WV. Call 304-258-6264 for inquiries and reservations.

Let’s all work hard this week, everyone!