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New Castle County DE Real Estate Market Watch for August 2016

by Tucker Robbins


New Castle County DE listings increased 1.79% in August 2016 with 196 less homes. The average sales price climbed 6.51% to $257,725, while market times dropped by 3 days.

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Common Moving Mistakes To Try To Avoid

by Tucker Robbins

Moving mistakes to avoid

Moving into your dream home is one of the most wonderful and exciting feelings in the world. However, there are a few moving mistakes that you should try to avoid at all costs if you can.  A few of these mistakes are listed below.  Be sure to do whatever you can do to avoid making these moving mistakes.

  1. Typically, when folks move they hire a moving company.  If you are moving from one state to another, don’t make the mistake of thinking or expecting your things to arrive before you do.  Many times your possessions will not even arrive all at one time.  It may be that it takes a couple weeks for everything to arrive at your new home.  Don’t panic.  Realize that this may be the case in the first place and you won’t freak out when it happens to you.
  2. One issue when moving into a new home that folks may have is more of just a personal mistake.  To avoid this mistake do your best to let go of the past and embrace the new home and the changes it will bring to your life.  Don’t try to recreate your old home in your new home.  Allow for some growth and change to enter your life and you will be more able to enjoy all that is new. 
  3. Be sure to call the school district where you would like your children to attend to make sure they have room for more students.  It is not a good feeling to move into a new home with the expectation of sending your children to a wonderful school only to find out they don’t have room for them and you end up having to send them to a less desirable school system. 
  4. If you have to store a few things while you move, do your best to get them out of storage as soon as possible.   Most storage centers charge a monthly fee to store your stuff and there is no need to pay a bill that is not exactly necessary longer than you absolutely have to.   A good rule of thumb is, if you haven’t used something in a couple of weeks to a month you don’t need it and you should throw it out or give it away.  Don’t fall into the trap of storing all of your “stuff” for extended periods of time just because you think you might use it one day. 

Hopefully this list of moving issues you should try to avoid will be helpful to you in your next move.  Do your part to make the move an easy one by realizing what things you should avoid.

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

What Does HOA Stand For?

by Tucker Robbins


If you are currently in the market for a new home it is likely that if you haven’t already you will eventually hear the term HOA.  What does HOA stand for you may ask?  HOA stands for Home Owners Association.  Many neighborhoods have a Home Owners Association these days but not all neighborhoods do.  Let’s take a closer look at what an HOA is all about and what exactly the fees associated with an HOA actually cover.

  • Home Owners Associations were created to keep neighborhoods on the up and up so to speak.  They will keep your neighbor for instance from painting their house hot pink or putting up an 8 foot tall fence.  HOA’s will also keep your neighbors yards looking nice and manicured as many of them have strict rules about keeping the grass cut short.
  • You can expect to pay as much as $400 per month for a Home Owners Association fee.  This price will vary of course depending on how expensive the homes are in the neighborhood in which you choose to live. 
  • Many times neighborhoods that have HOA fees will also have things for your enjoyment such as clubhouses and swimming pools for all to use.  Some may even have tennis courts and walking trails for you and your neighbors to enjoy.  If these types of things are important to you then you most likely won’t mind paying an HOA fee each month. 
  • You can choose to take part in monthly Home Owners Association meetings or you can choose not to.  Regardless of whether or not you are active in meetings, you will still have to pay your monthly HOA fees so don’t be confused by that. 
  • As a new homeowner you need to be well informed about all the rules and regulations as well as the costs associated with your homes owners association.  By staying in the loop you will know what to expect each month. 
  • Before buying your new home in a neighborhood that has an HOA, make sure that your new monthly payment as well as your HOA fees fit into your budget. 

As long as you go into an HOA well informed  you shouldn’t have any issues arise as a result of buying a home in an HOA community and you will be more able to enjoy all that an HOA has to offer!

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

Some Ways to Say Farewell to Your Home

by Tucker Robbins

Saying farewell to your home.

There are many reasons why you might have to leave a home that you have lived in for several years.  You may have had to leave do to not being able to pay the mortgage because it was too high for you or you may have outgrown your home as your family has become larger over the years.  Still another reason you may have to say goodbye to your home is due to a job change that takes you from your home and places you into another area or even another state.  Below are a few ways in which you can say farewell to the place you have come to know and love as your home. 

  1. One way that you can say goodbye to your home that may help everyone feel a bit better about a move is to go around the house room by room and have each family member say aloud why that particular room was important to them and what if anything it meant to them personally. 
  2. Another way you can say goodbye to a home  or rather feel like you are still connected to it years after moving out is by planting a few trees around the house.  If you and your family are blessed enough to be able to come back and visit the home after some time you can watch as the trees begin to grow and see how they change year after year and perhaps still feel a connection to the house.
  3. Yet another clever way to bid farewell to your home is to have someone paint a picture of your home before you leave it.  You can then carry that home with you to your next home and place the picture in a prominent place for all to see.  This is a great way to keep the memory of a beloved home alive for years to come. 
  4. Making a movie of yourself and your family inside of your home before you leave it to travel to your new home is another great way to remember the good times you had there.  If you ever feel like you are missing your “old” home place you can always get the video out and feel connected to it once again.

Homes are not just walls and plaster, they are where we raise our families, where we love and are loved.  Leaving a home is never easy but hopefully these ideas about how to bid farewell to your home  will make it a bit easier for you.  

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

Election Update: Americans Want Action On Housing and Credit

by Tucker Robbins

Decisions made by the next President and Congress could change the way Americans buy and sell homes for generations to come. Rising prices are making it more difficult for working families and young adults to become homeowners. Government control over the vast majority of mortgages through Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae unnecessarily exposes taxpayers to risk and continue to stifle the innovation of new lending products that responsible borrowers need and want.

More business as usual?

Depending on who is elected this year’s presidential election could either deliver a mandate for Washington to act on far-reaching reforms integral to our system of housing finance or bring more business as usual.

Here are the priorities Americans want the next President and Congress to address, according to a new research conducted for loanDepot, the nation’s second largest nonbank consumer lender: 

* Make homeownership more affordable for middle- and lower-income families (37 percent).

* Keep interest rates low, especially during the first 100 days of the new presidency (34 percent).

* Make more credit available to small businesses (11 percent).

Few see the election improving their pocketbooks

Most Americans expect their personal financial situation to either stay the same or get worse when new leaders take over the White House and Congress. Only 6 percent think that they will be better off as a result of the election.

Each vote counts

One out of every five Americans said the candidates’ housing and finance policies will influence their vote. Another 40 percent have not yet made up their minds. That is because only 9 percent think the candidates have done a good job articulating their positions on the economic issues that affect peoples’ daily lives.

Perception doesn’t match reality

Some 77 percent think it is just as hard or even harder to get a loan today than during the Great Recession eight years ago. Young adults may be more discouraged than most; they worry about not making enough money and nearly half (46 percent) fear the election outcome will make it even harder to get a loan.

In fact, while guidelines have tightened since 2008, applications for purchase mortgages were more likely to be denied in 2008 than in 2014, the most recent year for which Federal Reserve data is available. Denial rates for home purchase loan applications hit 18 percent in 2008, while denials in 2014 topped out at 13 percent. Denial rates for home refinance applications in 2008 were 38 percent and dropped to 31 percent in 2014.

Find out if you qualify for a home loan

Getting into the home of your dreams may be easier than you think. All you have to do is get pre-qualified by the local lender of your choice. Don’t know a lender? Contact us and we’ll be glad to recommend someone.

Courtesy of Wilmington DE Realtors Tucker Robbins and Carol Arnott Robbins.

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