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New Castle County DE Real Estate Market Watch For September 2018

by Tucker Robbins

New Castle, De Sales Activity


Q2 2016Q3 2016Q4 2016Q1 2017Q2 2017Q3 2017Q4 2017Q1 2018Quarter50100150200

New Castle, De Home Sales Price Trends


Q2 2016Q3 2016Q4 2016Q1 2017Q2 2017Q3 2017Q4 2017Q1 2018Quarter120K140K160K180K200K
 Median      Average
Period Total Sold Average Price Median Price
2018      
JAN-MAR 83 $154,348 $120,000
Total 83 $154,348 $120,000
2017      
OCT-DEC 142 $182,089 $140,650
JUL-SEP 173 $181,614 $150,000
APR-JUN 142 $163,863 $139,950
JAN-MAR 135 $140,735 $124,900
Total 592 $168,148 $139,900
2016      
OCT-DEC 126 $193,530 $158,950
JUL-SEP 187 $188,611 $162,500
APR-JUN 180 $161,890 $137,500

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

Small Kitchen Tips!

by Tucker Robbins

There are many other clever ways to maximize the space in a small kitchen.  Whether you’re downsizing or moving to a tiny home, or are getting used to a smaller condo kitchen, it’s important to use the space you have, and take into consideration what you’ll use the most, and keep it close.  Check out these tips for ways to make the most out of your small kitchen: 
 

  • - Wherever you have available wall space, add shelving or purchase easy-install shelves or holders from your local home center. 

  • - A stylish towel rack can be installed virtually anywhere to hang pots and pans with S-hooks and keep them out of the cabinets. 

  • - If drawer space is at a minimum, keep the long-handled cooking utensils nearby in an unused cookie jar on the counter, or hang a basket on the wall or cabinet side to hold these important items. 

  • - Use racks that can be mounted to the insides of cabinet doors to store spices and other smaller items that take up precious cabinet space.   

  • Domestically Speaking has a great how-to for adding tip-out storage onto false drawer fronts for smaller items like sponges and scrub pads. 

  • - If pegboard storage is good enough for Julia Child, it’s good enough for our kitchens!  It can be cut to fit any wall space, then painted to match any decor, making it even more stylish for your pots and pans. 

  • - Magnetic strips can store lots of things:  cutting knives and metal cooking utensils on your backsplash, or spice jars (with metal lids) under cabinetry.  Mount smaller strips with sticky backs to baby food jars, and store spices in them on the side of your fridge. 

  • - The open space over cabinetry is the perfect place to use baskets to store lesser-used items.  Anything to save precious cabinet space. 

  • - Very small kitchens leave little space for a table or an island, so mounting a folding table or shelf to the wall can help you during prep or mealtimes, and fold out of the way when you don’t need it. 

  • - Stove covers aren’t just for RV’s.  They’re great for providing extra space for prep and storage, and come in many styles and sizes. 

  • - Use a tiered cooking rack inside cabinets for storing virtually anything--plates, coffee cups, or your smaller baking pans.   

 

According to the building industry, the average size kitchen is 70 square feet, and many homes have an even smaller space. Taking the extra steps to make the space work best for you will make a big difference in meal prep, and meal times, not to mention satisfaction with your home. 

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

Photo credit: shapemasters.info

Getting the Best Home Inspection in New Castle County DE

by Tucker Robbins

Whether your offer on an older home has been accepted, or you’re buying brand-new construction, it’s highly recommended that you have the house inspected.  Yes, it’s an added expense to the home-buying process, but it could save you money and heartache in the end.  Get the most out of the inspection by following these tips: 

 

  • - Ask your RealtorⓇ for a list of qualified inspectors in the area.  Be sure to check reviews, and ask other recent home buyers for recommendations. 

  • - Call at least three different inspectors for price, experience, and whether your state requires a license and bonding or not, ask about these anyway.  A top certification they could have is one by ASHI (American Society of Home Inspectors). 

  • - Once you choose an inspector, choose a date for the inspection when you can accompany them.  If they have a problem with you being there, find another inspector. 

  • - Ask the seller if you can go in the house on your own before the official inspection to get an idea of the condition of the property for your own satisfaction.  Popular Mechanics offers a thorough list of things to look for in your new prospective home. 

  • - While you’re in the house, look for cosmetic things like paint and patching that could be covering bigger issues. 

  • - The inspector will have a process of their own, complete with checklist, but make one for yourself so you can have a record of your own for issues they show you as you walk through the house. 

  • - Don’t be afraid to ask questions during the inspection--a reputable inspector welcomes questions, plus, you’re paying them for their knowledge.  Getting answers before you get their final report will help you understand it better. 

  • - If you’re not quite sure of how to change the hot water heater temperature, how to work the circuit breaker box, or where the water shut-off is, the inspector can help you become more familiar and knowledgeable about the house.  Use your smartphone to take photos and video as they give you a how-to lesson, so you’ll have it in case you need it. 

 

Once you get your report, go over it carefully.  If there are major repairs that need to be made, ask the seller to make the repairs or offer you a credit or reduction in selling price.  Being as knowledgeable as you can be during this process can mean more money saved.  Just be sure to hire a good inspector, and stay involved in the process. 

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

Photo credit: drakeshomeins.com 

Adding Value or Not?

by Tucker Robbins

Almost every homeowner has some upgrades or small projects on their to-do list, from installing new gutters to new landscaping.  What they aren’t always thinking is if the next small project will add value to their home.  Not every home improvement increases the value of a property, whether they’re a necessity or not.  
 

  • Roofing While a new roof looks great, it is considered a maintenance issue, so unless your roof needs replacing, or you have damaged shingles, this job rarely adds value.  On the other hand, depending on where you live, a metal roof can add some value to your home, lower your homeowner’s insurance premiums, and may save on the electric bill. 

  • Landscaping Keeping your yard trim and weed-free doesn’t decrease or increase your home’s value, and some landscaping certainly helps if you’re trying to sell. Adding a small fish pond with waterfall, however, isn’t necessarily going to add to add value.   

  • Electric/Plumbing In older homes, an upgrade here is something that’s necessary, and even if you used top-of-the-line products and the most expensive plumbers and electricians in the area, it won’t add value. 

  • Swimming Pool Putting in a pool is simply a personal choice--you have it done because you want to enjoy some refreshment and relaxation on a hot day.  Rarely does an added pool or spa put money in your pocket if you sell. 

  • High-End Upgrades In order for upgrades to add resale value, they must be consistent.  Don’t add imported tile to one bathroom, and then leave vinyl and Formica in the half bath.  

  • HVAC A new A/C unit or heating system is another maintenance item, and though someone looking for a home may find some relief in knowing that there’s a brand-new unit attached to the home, they’re not going to pay more for it because it’s new. 

  • Carpet If you’re thinking about installing new carpet to prep your house for the market, talk to your RealtorⓇ.  Going to the expense of new carpeting may be less desirable to house-hunters in your area.  If you want to make that money back, then consider another type of flooring for your house. 

 

These items don’t necessarily mean that you shouldn’t have them done, but it does mean that you likely won’t get the extra money they cost back in case you sell your home.  What it will help is the home sale itself--someone on the search for a new house will be more likely to purchase a home that has a new roof or new flooring.  Nolo.com has some excellent information on what will add value to your home, as well as some other home improvement tips.  When in doubt, do some research, and give your RealtorⓇ a call, as they know exactly what you need to do to get the most out of your house. 

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

Photo credit: NationalCashOffer.com

Back-to-School Routine

by Tucker Robbins

In most parts of the US this time of year, there is a lot of groaning by kids who are heading back to school, and some parents as well, because they dread the busyness of the school being in session.  Take the dread out by getting organized and staying organized so that it becomes a routine for you and your kids. 
 

  • - With sales and coupons abounding at every store this time of year, we usually end up with more school supplies than we need.  Have a dedicated storage spot for everything for easy access when it’s time to replenish.  Donating some of those extra supplies to the school or organization who help kids in need is a good thing, too. 

  • - If your school requires uniforms, go through old ones, and if they’re not worn or stained, take them to your school office so other students have a change of clothing in case of spills or accidents.  

  • - Getting ready for school begins the night before.  Set a bedtime, get a good routine going, and stick to it.  It can help reset your child’s body clock so that even when things get busy, they’ll be ready for sleep at their set time. 

  • - Even if they haven’t yet learned to tell time, get your child an alarm clock.  Set the alarm and help them be responsible for getting themselves up.   

  • - Have all their school clothes for the week hanging on a wreath hanger on the back of their bedroom or closet door or folded on their dresser.  This way, they can decide what to wear each day without staring at a closetful of clothes. 

  • - Let the kids pitch in with lunch prep.  Have their lunchboxes, storage containers, plastic bags and drink containers all in one easily-accessed spot in a kitchen cabinet. Good Housekeeping has a video with some great tips for packing up lunches. 

  • - Breakfast on the go can be so much more than a toaster pastry and juice box.  Mique from Thirty Handmade Days has compiled a list of links of 31 healthy make-ahead meals that kids will love! 

  • - Whether you have a mudroom or not, place some baskets or totes near the door for shoes, bookbags and sports bags.  It certainly helps with “I can’t find…” when it’s time to get them out the door. 

  • - After-school routines can vary, with extracurricular activities, sports, and lessons.  Keep a white board in a prominent place and have everyone’s schedule listed by days of the week.  Have the kids go over their schedule the night before so they’ll be prepared for their activities the next day. 

  • - Sometimes children come home from school and can’t wait till dinner and want to eat a full meal.  Have some snack bags of sliced fruit or veggies keeping cold in the fridge.  Add some fruit dip or ranch, and they’ll have a yummy snack that will tide them over until meal time. 

 

Getting in a routine doesn’t mean there won’t be mishaps or struggles or lost socks.  Go with the flow and remind the kids of the importance of putting things in their place or having things ready to go.  When they see you getting things ready beforehand, they’ll pick up your habits, get used to it, and it will soon be second nature.   

 

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

 

Photo credit: 01 Insurance

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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)