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Lower Mortgage Payments for Our Service Men and Women

by Tucker Robbins

Military families are going to like what the Obama Administration has been up to lately.  A new agreement was made last year to lower the mortgage payments of those who fight for our country.  The agreement was made with five of the nation's largest mortgage lenders; Wells Fargo, Ocwen Loan Servicing, CitiMortgage, Bank of America and Quicken Loans. 

american home

These new lower mortgage payments are going to help military families in the following ways:

  • Give military families a little wiggle room when it comes to paying their bills
  • Aid military families in being able to fight for our country while providing for their families back home
  • Make military families aware that this type of help does exist and is available to them

Some military families are not aware that help from the government to lower their mortgage  has been in place for some time.  This new service will help every military family to know that it is available to them and will also make it much less of a hassle for them to receive. The big banks and financial institutions will now be notifying service men and women who qualify for lower rates.  These institutions will also make it very easy to enroll in the program.   

It is expected that thousands of military families will benefit from this new program.   It will be so nice for those who are serving us in such an honorable way to receive back a little from the government and for more military families to be able to own their own home.  Not only that, but many of these military families who take advantage of the governments help to lower their monthly mortgage payment will also be able to send their children to college or even be able to put some back to retire on. 

I personally give the government two thumbs up for this new assistance to military families.  It is a perfect time to show those who fight for our freedom just how much they are appreciated. 

Tailgating Essentials: 7 Tips for Game Day

by Tucker Robbins

Along with the hard hits, the heartache and exhilaration, football is about getting people together —even if they don’t always root for the same team. If you’re one of those fans who made several mock drafts of your ideal fantasy football team or have the stats of your favorite players memorized, chances are you’re also gearing up for some serious tailgating this season. 

tailgating

While everybody loves a good sofa or recliner, nothing captures the spirit of the game more than tailgating – where people gather, eat, drink and get ready for some football!  

Whether you are a fan of football, crazy cheers or delicious dips, tailgating has something for everyone. Don’t get sidelined this season, keep it simple with these tailgating tips to cover everything you need and nothing you don’t for a winning season.

1. The game plan. Tailgating is all about planning and having everything you need and nothing you don’t. An easy way to make sure you don’t forget something is to make a reusable, laminated checklist. That way you can easily check off everything you have with a dry erase marker then wipe it off and be ready for the next game.

2. Keep a variety of plays in your meal plan. In a world of changing diets and allergies, a good tailgating menu is about more than just burgers, brats and buns. Be prepared to please all of your tailgate guests by incorporating delicious health-conscious side dishes along with your tailgate go-tos.

3. Huddle up. Remember, you’re the host of your spot in the parking lot, and it’s your job to keep people together and keep them comfortable. It’s a good idea to have a stash of blankets and raingear tucked away in your vehicle. After all, there’s always going to be one person who forgot their coat.

4. Instant replays. Social media lets you share your tailgating fun with friends and family near and far. With apps galore you can snap and share pictures, text your post-game rendezvous point and check in on other scores. 

5. Don’t get sidelined. Keep the play and your social media updates in motion with touchdown cell phone service.

6. TP is for more than “team player.” Even if you think you have the most important things checked off your list, far too many people forget one of the most important items: toilet paper. Just because there’s a porta potty doesn’t mean there’s toilet paper. Keep your tailgate buddies covered by packing a few rolls.

7. Tackle the trash. Tailgating is fun but cleaning up, not so much when you have a game to watch! Go green and keep things simple by bringing real dishes and silverware. When everyone is done, place the dirty dishes in a tub in your trunk and hose down when you get home. After all, you have a game to watch!

Keep these tips in mind and you’ll be well on your way to the best season yet! (BPT)

7 Steps For Simplifying Your Next Paint Project

by Tucker Robbins

If you’re considering a household painting project, now’s the perfect time. The summer’s hottest days are in the past and winter’s frigid temperatures aren’t even on your radar. Whether you plan to paint your kitchen, a hallway, outdoor siding or a refurbished piece of furniture, keep in mind a few helpful tips to make your project flow a little bit easier.

kitchen

  1. Patch holes and imperfections. For better or worse, painting a room allows you to examine all of the walls and find any imperfections in need of repairs. In most cases, these dents can be repaired with a caulk or a putty knife and some spackle or joint compound. Whatever repairs are in order, they should be done a few days before your painting project begins, to ensure that everything is completely dry when it comes time to paint.
     
  2. Prepare the area before you paint. Proper preparation is key to ensure less frustration later on. First, remove draperies, pictures, switch and outlet cover plates from walls. Second, wipe off any dirt or dust from walls and baseboards with a damp cloth. If the area is highly contaminated, use a mild detergent. Lastly, tape off any woodwork, windows and trim. Using a strong, long-lasting painter’s tape can ensure your beautiful baseboards and your woodwork are protected, ultimately making them stand out.
     
  3. Find the right finish for the job. Consider the amount of dirt and activity your walls will be exposed to before choosing your paint sheen. Flat or eggshell sheens should be used in low-traffic areas, because they hold dirt and are more difficult to clean. Semi-gloss and gloss finishes are best suited for high-traffic or active areas, such as a child’s bedroom, because they can be easily washed without losing their luster.
     
  4. Choose a durable paint. If you’re looking for a paint that can stand up to the daily wear and tear that happens on the inside and outside of a busy home.
     
  5. Work from the top down. If you’re painting a room, start with the ceiling first. If you’re painting another area or structure, begin with the highest point.
     
  6. Use the proper brush or roller technique. When utilizing a brush for tight trim work, dip half the length of the bristles into your paint, then gently tap the brush on the side of the can rather than wiping it across the lip. Be sure to hold the brush handle near the base to ensure maximum control, applying light pressure to the surface being painted. When using a roller on larger surfaces, slowly roll the brush into the paint tray, ensuring an even coat on all sides. Use the ridges in the upper portion of the tray to remove excess product, then paint the surface in a capital “M” motion. Continue this motion until the area is completely covered.
     
  7. Keep your workspace ventilated. This season’s temperatures are perfect for a do-it-yourself (DIY) project so take advantage of it. If your project has you painting indoors, open the windows and allow a fresh breeze into your painting space while you work. And when the project is done and your paint has dried, keep the windows open for a few hours to ensure your new room looks as great as it smells. If your project has you painting outside, make sure that the weather forecast is clear for a few days so that your newly-painted project has ample time to dry.

Whether this is your first painting project or you’re a seasoned do-it-yourself painter, there’s something exciting about picking up a roller and recreating a space with a fresh coat of paint. (BPT) 

New Castle County DE Real Estate Market Watch for August 2015

by Tucker Robbins

New Castle County DE Real Estate Market Watch for July 2015.

new castle county real estate

Information courtesy of New Castle County DE Realtor Tucker Robbins.

How To Pay Off Your Mortgage Sooner – And Why You Want To

by Tucker Robbins

According to a DexOne Corporation survey, as reported by CT Power Team, “42% of Americans say that their mortgage is the debt they most want to eliminate.” That is a completely understandable goal when you consider the savings. The important question is "How can I do it?” Here are some examples…

mortgage payoff

  • Increase your monthly mortgage payments simply by adding a fixed amount to your required payments. The easiest way to do this is to use an increase in your income from time to time to increase the amount of your mortgage payment. Doing that does two things for you...
  1. It decreases the amount of principal owed by a larger amount each month.
  2. The following month, after making an increased payment, you pay less interest because of the larger decrease in the principle.

    The combination of the above two changes results in paying off the mortgage in less time than originally scheduled and you will pay significantly less total interest.
  • Make additional payments on the principle at any time if you can’t increase your regular monthly payment. You can do this anytime you have a little left over at the end of the month, or you get a bonus at the end of the year, or you receive a gift. No matter how much, or how little, you pay extra it will decrease the time it takes to pay off the mortgage. That means you will save interest.
     
  • Refinance with a shorter-term mortgage if you see the interest rates come down. Just keep in mind that refinancing means spending money on loan closing costs. Only consider this if the interest rates are lowered enough to justify paying closing costs. Otherwise, you can always choose to keep your original mortgage, but increase the monthly payment as outlined above.

Here’s just one example of how paying off early works…

Let’s assume you are paying on a 30-year mortgage for $200,000 at a 5% interest rate. If you pay off the mortgage in 30 years, you will pay $186,512 in interest. If you pay off that same mortgage with even payments over 20 years, you will pay as little as $116,779 in interest. That’s $70,000 that stays in you pocket!

Visit bankrate.com for more in-depth information. Also, use their online mortgage calculator. You will never regret paying off your mortgage sooner then planned.

Information courtesy of Wilmington DE Realtor Tucker Robbins.

How Paint Color Can Sell Your House

by Tucker Robbins

 A new paint color in your home  can do wonders for your mood and it can also do wonders for helping to sell your home.  Paint colors can change your mood from happy to sad to relaxed or even make you angry.  Why not do your part to make selling your home as easy as you possibly can by choosing the right paint colors.  Below are some color ideas to get you started in the right direction.

paint

  • Blue is a nice color for a home if you are looking for a peaceful feeling.  Many people choose to paint the walls in their bedroom blue so that they will be more able to get a good night’s sleep.  Some people like to paint a spa blue in their bathrooms to make it have a spa like feel.  You can’t go wrong with blue paint when it comes to getting your home ready to sell. 
     
  • Another color that gives a good tranquil feeling to everyone who enters your home is green.  Green is associated with nature and nature is typically peaceful.  You can use green in almost any room of your house where you want to feel calm and peaceful.  Some folks use light green paint in their bathrooms while others use darker earth tone greens in their family rooms. 
     
  • Yellow is a good color to paint in your home if you are interested in selling it because it makes folks feel happy and joyful.  What better feeling would you want your prospective buyers to feel than joy and happiness as they enter your home.  Typically yellows are used in hallways or large foyer areas.  It is best however to stick with soft yellow colors and not get too carried away by attempting such as a mustard yellow color.  Yellow paint done in the right way will appeal to most people. 
     
  • Be careful with painting grey in your home if you are trying to sell it because sometimes although you may be going for a warm inviting feel you may end up with a cold harsh feel and that is not something you want your buyers to pick up on.  Grey done right can be very relaxing and inviting.  Perhaps talking with a paint expert at your local hardware store might be a good idea before using grey.
     
  • Brown is a typical staple color in a lot of homes.  If you choose to paint beige which is a light form of brown in your home, you will likely find that it can be very warm and inviting to guests or potential buyers. 

I would suggest not using orange or red in your home as a new paint color if you are going to be putting your house on the market anytime soon.  These colors tend to make people feel anxious and or angry.  Painting your home in a few new colors is a perfect way to get it ready for a great showing!  Happy selling!

Information courtesy of New Castle County DE Realtor Tucker Robbins.

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