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New Castle County DE Real Estate Market Watch for March 2016

by Tucker Robbins

New Castle County DE new listings declined 19.75% in March 2016 with 65 homes for sale compared to 81 in March 2015. The average sales price rose 2.71% in March to $168,345 from $167,000 in March 2015.

new castle county de real estate

Information courtesy of New Castle County DE Realtor Tucker Robbins.

Professional Or Amateur? 5 Qualities Of An Expert Contractor

by Tucker Robbins

pro vs amateur

Are you one of the more than 3 million people planning to renovate your kitchen or bathroom this year? Or perhaps you're adding on a room or finishing your basement. If you're going to hire a contractor for any home remodeling project, make sure you know the difference between a great contractor and an "OK" one. In other words, learn what separates a professional from an amateur.

A quick Google search on "remodeling disasters" or "renovation mistakes" returns an endless number of nightmare remodeling projects and scams, where the homeowner is left dealing with unfinished projects or unsafe conditions, and ultimately spends more money rectifying the issue.

When making such a significant investment, you want to make sure you're getting a reputable and dependable professional so your project doesn't become another horror story. It's important to do your research, read reviews and check references before you put your home in the hands of someone else.

So, now that you've narrowed down your list of potential contractors, how can you weed out the amateurs from the tried and true professionals?

Look for these qualities:


* Professional: Puts clients first and will work with you to make sure your goals are feasible and that the project can get done on time and on budget. Treats customers, their families and their homes with respect.

* Amateur: Focuses on finishing the job as quickly as possible, with little regard for your family's personal needs and schedule.


* Professional: Well-equipped to deal with the No. 1 threat to livable remodeling - dirt and dust. Protects you and your family from annoying and potentially dangerous air particles by using the most effective tools and processes for dust elimination, such as the BuildClean Dust Control System.

* Amateur: Doesn't have a proactive strategy to manage indoor air quality and jobsite dust. "Brushes it under the rug" without concern for your indoor air quality, your belongings and the short-term and long-term health of you and your family.


* Professional: Proactively addresses challenges head-on, immediately notifying you of an unexpected issue.

* Amateur: Ignores problems uncovered during the project in order to keep it moving. Leaves behind things like hidden mold, leaky pipes or structural issues, putting the health and safety of your family at risk.


* Professional: has a license, certifications and insurance. Obtains all necessary permits, protecting you against unsafe work and legal issues. Guarantees their work.

* Amateur: Unaware of - or doesn't care about - building codes, required permits and health and safety regulations. Leaves you liable for any improper work, mistakes and in a potentially dangerous situation.


* Professional: Communicates with you to establish an estimate and negotiate a fair contract and payment schedule.

* Amateur: Underbids a project by thousands of dollars and is likely to cut corners to meet the budget or overwhelm you with costly change orders.

When beginning your remodeling projects this year, remember professional contractors will put your interests first. They will proactively address potential issues and discuss a livability strategy with you that includes timeline, logistics, dust control and safety. With an amateur, there are no guarantees, so you're putting yourself and your loved ones at unnecessary risk. (BPT)

Spring Cleaning: 6 Areas To Repair, Replace And Refresh

by Tucker Robbins

spring cleaning

Spring is one of the most popular times of year to clean up your home inside and out, make renovations and take steps to ensure it operates efficiently for the rest of the year. But after the long winter months, the list of projects can pile up. This year, focus on six key areas to repair, replace and refresh around your house now - to avoid spending more time and money later.

1. Repair your roof and gutters. Inspect the roof to check for loose or cracked shingles. Also, be sure to look at indoor ceilings for any signs of water leakage and get started on repairs before more damage occurs. Take a look at the gutters to see if there are areas in need of repair as well, and tackle them now before there's too much rain.

2. Repair and reseal your deck. Remove debris and sweep the deck clean. Fix broken or bent boards and pushed up nails. Choose a cleanser formulated for your deck surface - whether for wood or composite - and apply a new coat of sealer and stain. A local home improvement center can advise you on formulations for your particular needs.

3. Replace your furnace. As you make home upgrades, this is also a good time to upgrade your furnace for greater home comfort and lower energy bills.

4. Replace windows and doors. Older windows can let unwanted air and moisture into your home. Installing newer, more efficient models will not only save money on cooling in summer and heating in winter, but they can bring the look of your home up to date. Replacing your front door in a great color and style can also add to your home's efficiency and instantly add curb appeal.

5. Refresh with paint. There's nothing like a new coat of paint to transform and update the look of a home. It's also one of the easiest and most economical home improvement projects you can undertake. Check out your local paint store for ideas and suggestions to help you visualize your home in fresh new colors.

6. Refresh your indoor air. The spring and fall months can trigger allergies, so consider adding an indoor air cleaner.

Lastly, renew your commitment to home maintenance by creating a yearly schedule of home projects. Mark your calendar with target dates to remind yourself to complete key tasks - including what to focus on for the next season, before the colder months arrive. (BPT)

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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)