Archive for September 2016

Spotlight on DC’s historic parks: Potomac Park, Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, Rock Creek Park

Washington, D.C. is blessed with beautiful public spaces. Today, take a walk and explore three of the best parks in the capital.

Potomac Parks

Divided by the iconic Potomac River, the Potomac Parks are divided into two parts: East and West. Together, the parks encompass approximately 395 acres.

East Potomac Park
Located southwest of the Jefferson Memorial and the Washington Channel, East Potomac Park is frequented by a bevy of locals. East Potomac Park’s well-maintained paths are a favorite among cyclists, runners, and inline skaters.

East Potomac Park is home to a number of popular D.C. attractions. Within the expansive park, you’ll find the following:

  • East Potomac Park Golf Course
  • East Potomac Pool
  • Athletic fields and sports courts (for American football, baseball, softball, rugby, and soccer).

West Potomac Park
West Potomac Park is a designated national park located near the Washington Monument and the National Mall. The park, which encompasses approximately 395 acres, is the site of many national memorials and recreation fields.

Here are some of the key sites you’ll find within the West Potomac Park:

  • Vietnam War Veterans Memorial
  • Korean War Memorial
  • Lincoln Memorial
  • Jefferson Memorial
  • World War II Memorial
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial
  • FDR Memorial
  • Constitution Gardens
  • The Tidal Basin

Chesapeake and Ohio Canal

Also known as the C&O Canal or the Grand Old Ditch, the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal is a national park that starts at Georgetown and ends in Cumberland, Maryland.

The C&O Canal is a popular spot for outdoor recreation and history. Seasonal public boat rides are offered to take visitors down the canal, which once transported coal from the Allegheny Mountains downstream. Other activities at C&O Canal include hiking, biking, and camping. For more information, click here.

Rock Creek Park

Encompassing over 2000 acres, Rock Creek Park is a protected landscape/seascape and a registered historic district. Aside from flourishing nature, you will find a well-preserved collection of buildings — perfect examples of NPS Rustic, Late Nineteenth and Twentieth Century Revival, and Early Republic architecture.

Aside from outdoor recreation and history, visitors flock to Rock Creek Park to observe and learn more about the night sky. You can find the high-tech Rock Creek Park Planetarium within the grounds.

Homebuying tips: Finding the right mortgage lender

Financing your home is half of the battle, which is why it’s important for you to come across the mortgage lender that is suitable to your needs. To find the best mortgage lender, here are five things to bear in mind.

  1. Make sure you have your credit report.

    The first step when you shop for a loan is to get your credit report. This will help you determine whether you even need to obtain one. If you do, your credit report will also play a role in figuring out the best loan program for you.

  2. Narrow down your search through referrals.

    To get names of potential lenders or brokers, turn to your trusted friends and family, or your real estate agent. Once you have some names, it’s time to take the search online and read reviews. From there, you can reach out to lenders or brokers you like.

  3. Ask questions.

    Now that you have names of potential lenders, it’s time to ask the right questions. Raise topics like their preferred means of communication, turnaround times, and lender fees. The sooner you know, the better.

  4. Don’t be afraid to disclose your financial situation.

    When shopping for a loan, communication is important. In order for lenders to offer the best loan program for you, you need to provide them the essential information. You might feel uneasy, but sharing all the significant details will make a ton of difference. Remember: potential lenders won’t be able to provide solutions if they are kept in the dark regarding your situation.
  5. Look at the bigger picture.

Get quotes from different mortgage companies, then compare. Some people stop at the principal and the interest rate, but it’s best to include all the points, so you can compare the full package. There are plenty of costs associated with homeownership, and reading the fine print and asking questions will help you make an informed decision.

Buying a home? Read more homebuying tips here.

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