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New Castle Market Watch for September 2016

by Tucker Robbins

New Castle County DE listings increased 5.76% in Sept 2016 with 46 more homes being listed. The average sales price dropped 2.72% to $235,386, while market times increased by 20 days.

new castle county real estate

Courtesy of New Castle County DE Realtors Tucker Robbins and Carol Arnott Robbins.

Which Offer Should You Accept?

by Tucker Robbins

multiple offers

You must admit the housing market is booming right now and this means that many folks are getting more than one offer on their house.   Knowing which offer you should accept  can sometimes be a daunting task.  If you do get multiple offers you may think that opting for the highest bidder is the route to go, but not in all cases is this true.  Below are a few tips for making sense of it all and deciding which home offer is best for you and your family. 

  1.  If you want your home to be sold to a family member but their offer is just too low as compared to someone who is going to use your house as an investment for example, try coming back with a counter offer.  Just because you get a really high offer from someone doesn’t mean you have to accept that offer.  If you don’t want to see your home be flipped for example, don’t accept the offer from that person.  If you can afford to do so, accept a little bit of a lower offer to keep the house in the family.
  2. If you have a potential buyer make an offer with contingencies it may be best to skip over that person.  You don’t want to get involved in things such as waiting for a potential buyers house to sell before they can purchase yours.  In most cases it will serve you best, if you have more than one offer, to skip right over those with contingencies. 
  3. If you have a buyer that makes a good offer on your house but they cannot close for a month or two, pick the one that can close more quickly if that meets your needs. 
  4. Just because someone makes a really high offer on your house doesn’t mean they are the ones who need to win the bid war.  Many times folks that make very high offers may back out in the end leaving you high and dry.  Be careful not to just accept the highest bid and not look at any of the rest. 

Hopefully these ideas on how to decide which offer to accept  when you have multiple offers on your home will make things easier for you.   Don’t worry too much about it, after all…multiple offers is a good thing! 

Courtesy of New Castle County DE Realtors Tucker Robbins and Carol Arnott Robbins.

Organizing Your Home Made Simple

by Tucker Robbins

organizing

As the seasons change many people find that they like to get things around their home organized to make the transition seem smoother.  Organizing your home can be made simple with a few of the following tips. 

  1. One way to organize your home is to get rid of “junk drawers” throughout the house. Many times folks tend to throw things they don’t know what to do with into a drawer that soon becomes a drawer full of junk. While these drawers DO keep the junk out of the eye of those that come to visit, you just never know when someone may open one of them looking for utensils or other useful items and you may be embarrassed by them.  Simple fix…..throw out the junk once and for all and have no more junk drawers in your home!
  2. Another great and simple way to organize your home   is to organize and de-clutter your pantry.  Typically there are items in your pantry that you haven’t used in years and they end up just sitting there taking up space.  This is very true for old canned food items that tend to have a shelf life of forever.   Once you get this simple organizing of your pantry complete, be sure not to let it get messy again by throwing away things you don’t use periodically. 
  3. Yet another simple way to organize your home  is to use all of your closet space for things you will actually use instead of just getting things out of the way.   If you have a lot of games for example why not make a game closet just for the purpose of storing all of your family games.  This type of closet will make it more likely that your family may have a game night once a week because you will know exactly where to go to find the games. 
  4. Keeping all of the books in the house in one spot is another great organization tip.  If you have various bookshelves in your home, you can utilize them for other purposes and keep one for only books.  Organize each shelf for books from each family member if you have a lot of books. 

Courtesy of New Castle County DE Realtors Tucker Robbins and Carol Arnott Robbins.

6 Tips for Adding a Fence on Your Yard

by Tucker Robbins

adding fence

Owning a home is a wonderful thing, but you should always be really careful to make the best choices if you make changes to the outside of your home and this includes putting up a fence of any kind.  There are a few tips for adding a fence to your property that you might want to take into consideration before doing so and some of those are listed below. 

  1. Before putting up a fence on your property be sure to talk with your neighbors about it.  You need to keep in mind that you are not only putting up a fence in your backyard but you are also adding a fence to your neighbors land as well.  Talk with the neighbors that your fence will directly affect and discuss such things as property lines and types of fencing etc. 
  2. Another thing to consider when adding a fence on your property  is the color of the fence and also the style.  Will the color and style of your fence match your home?  If you need ideas of what style fence will look good with your house consider looking online at some ideas.
  3. You may want to consider planting trees to use as a fence if you decide you can’t find a style of fencing that will look good with your homes style.  Cypress and pines are great for this type of privacy fencing and they never go out of style. 
  4. If you decide to add a wooden fence, be sure that you know you will have to take care of it and paint or stain it every so often.  If you want something that has less maintenance than that you may want to purchase a vinyl fence.  
  5. You may want to consider cost as well when deciding what type of material you want your new fence made out of.  Keeping within your budget is always a good idea when adding to your home.
  6. Longevity of the fence material is another thing to keep in mind when choosing fencing for your property.  You don’t want to purchase a material that will need to be replaced sooner than you wish for it to. 

These are just a few tips for adding a fence of any kind to your property.  Once you have gone over these tips you should be able to choose more wisely than you would have without them. 

Courtesy of New Castle County DE Realtors Tucker Robbins and Carol Arnott Robbins.

5 Ways To Reinvent Your Garage

by Tucker Robbins

garage

The garage - it's that space where you used to just store your car, lawn mower, power tools, bikes, bats and boxes of things you wore in the 90s. But to say a garage is only for storage is like saying a truck is only for hauling dressers and box springs.

From game room to workshop, man cave to hangout - your garage has the potential to be anything you want it to be. So if you're thinking of redecorating or remodeling your house, don't spend all your time picking out kitchen tile and arguing over what type of counter looks best - step into your garage and let yourself dream big.

With the right materials, some creativity and a little work, you can turn your garage into the star of the house. How? TV personality and award-winning interior designer Anitra Mecadon offers the following five ideas to get you excited about all the possibilities.

Toughen Up Your Walls

No matter what you want to do with your garage, first make sure your walls can stand up to real life. There's probably no space in the house more susceptible to scratches, scuffs and accidental holes than the garage - so pick your walls accordingly. Look for PURPLE Hi-Impact XP made by National Gypsum for extra wear and tear to resist everything from car doors opened too close to the wall to the hockey sticks swung a little too hard. This drywall is embedded with fiberglass mesh to make it impact and penetration resistant - and like all PURPLE drywall, it resists moisture, mold and mildew.

Make Your Garage Your Hideaway

Sometimes you need to get away from it all - especially from your "honey do" or project list - and the garage can be where you go, your hangout, an extension of yourself and a definite point of pride. Add a snack machine, fridge, swivel chair or two and big screen TV, and you and your friends will have it made. 

Lift It Up

Most people have a lot of stuff to store in the garage in addition to cars, tools and bikes. And let's face it, the more available space you have, the more likely you'll find stuff to fill it. That means you'll need to get creative with storage. In addition to shelves and cabinets attached to the walls, another way to store your stuff is to use a raised lift system which retracts up into the top levels of your garage and comes down with a push of a button when you need something.

Hang It Up

There are some things that just don't belong in your house but are perfect for the garage. Just like restaurants that have walls crowded with collectibles such as old soda signs, sea anchors and license plates - garages can follow this same design concept and personalize a space even more. Walls also can serve as anchors for storage systems that hold your tools, bikes, boxes and equipment. And you can rest assured that high-performing drywall, like PURPLE Hi-Impact XP, will stand up to the wear and tear of hanging up and taking down your tools, rakes, bikes and more, day after day.

Do More With Your Floor

Today, garage floors can be anything you want - yellow, red, metallic, acid-washed or made out of heavy-duty vinyl or rubber. And whether you want the grey concrete vintage look of your childhood or something that reflects your more grown-up self, when it comes to garage floors, take a chance and get inventive, because your garage can be your personal and customized sanctuary.

There's a lot you can do with a modern garage, and no matter how you decide to personalize it, the best garage remodel starts at the studs. The right drywall is as important as the right wrench in the toolbox. (BPT)

Millennials: 3 Financial Priorities That Shouldn't Wait

by Tucker Robbins

Millennials are frequently criticized for needing instant gratification, but recent reports point out that they actually have more patience than previous generations. Both the U.S. Census Bureau and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) say millennials are delaying getting married and starting a family by almost a decade.

And it's not just life decisions millennials are postponing; this behavior is also prevalent in their financial decisions. According to a recent survey from Bankrate.com, millennials are putting off important financial moves due to high levels of student debt.

"Knocking out debt should be a priority when you are young, but it's also important to balance that with other key financial priorities," says JJ Montanaro, a financial planner with USAA. "Time is your number one ally when planning for the future and delaying now may cost you more in the long run."

Montanaro highlights the three main financial priorities millennials shouldn't hit the pause button on:

Life Insurance

A recent survey found that one in three millennials acknowledge they need additional life insurance coverage. However, most aren't purchasing it because they think it's too expensive or because they have other financial priorities.

While millennials may not immediately reap the benefits of life insurance coverage, locking in the cost of life insurance premiums at a young age can pay off in the future. Montanaro explains that life insurance premiums will only increase with age and additional health complications.

With many life changes likely on the horizon, millennials should find a plan that offers term life event options that allow them to easily increase coverage following significant events such as getting married, having a child or buying a home.

Montanaro also points out that life insurance may not cost as much as buyers anticipate. More than eight in 10 people overestimate the cost of a policy. He says a life insurance calculator is a great place to start to understand coverage needs and estimate costs.

Health Insurance

Regardless of overall health or age, it's important to have health insurance and understand what it covers to avoid additional penalties and plan for the unexpected.

Under the Affordable Care Act, not having a qualified health insurance plan can result in a penalty at tax time. Montanaro points out that this penalty has risen to 2.5 percent of household adjusted gross income in 2016, or a flat rate which is expected to rise in the coming years.

For millennials who may not currently have large medical bills or health issues, Montanaro recommends they look at a high-deductible plan with a health savings account (HSA). An HSA allows account holders to set aside pre-tax money for health expenses and free-up some emergency cash when they do eventually need it.

Retirement Investing

Only one-third of individuals aged 18 to 35 say they invest in the market, according to a recent Bankrate.com survey. Montanaro says sitting on the sidelines with retirement savings may result in millennials missing out on the power of compounding returns and may even extend their retirement timeline.

But retirement investing doesn't have to be intimidating. Montanaro recommends starting small with a low-cost mutual fund, such as a target date fund, that allows a low entry point, requires little maintenance and invests in a portfolio that automatically adjusts as retirement gets closer.

The most important step is to get a foot in the door. While USAA recommends investing 10 percent of your income toward retirement, even earmarking 1 percent for the future provides a foundation upon which to build.

This material is for informational purposes. Consider your own financial circumstances carefully before making a decision and consult with your tax, legal or estate planning professional. (BPT)

Courtesy of New Castle County DE Realtors Tucker Robbins and Carol Arnott Robbins.

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Contact Information

Photo of Tucker Robbins Real Estate
Tucker Robbins
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices
3838 Kennett Pike
Wilmington DE 19807
(302) 777-7744 (direct)