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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.   

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 

For Sale and Secure in New Castle County, DE

by Tucker Robbins

Sometimes it’s necessary to leave your old home before it sells, and even if it’s in a safe community, there are steps that should be taken to make sure the home and its components are secure.  Criminals are pretty savvy these days, and you don’t want your home compromised, especially when potential buyers are there for a showing. 

 

  • - First and foremost, make sure all your doors and windows are locked.  Most of those who are looking for easy access will find it.  They don’t care to draw attention to themselves by smashing windows and creating a lot of noise. 

  • - Check with your insurance agent and make sure you’re covered properly for a vacant house. 

  • - Talk to your RealtorⓇ about the lockbox that will be placed on your entryway.  Make certain it’s electronic, because the agent can not only get in without a key, but can keep track of who’s used the lockbox to enter, and when. 

  • - If you don’t already, have motion sensor floodlights installed around the perimeter of your home.  This will help deter anyone who is creeping around after dark. 

  • - Ask a relative, trusted neighbor or hire someone with good references to keep an eye on things, especially if you’ve moved more than a short drive away.   If you have a neighbor whose driveway is close by, ask if they would be willing to use your driveway to park in. 

  • - The landscaping should be maintained to keep any suspicion that you’re not there, and it should be taken care of by a reputable landscaper.  Your RealtorⓇ should be able to help you find someone for this job.   

  • - Secure outdoor components--your light fixtures and even the HVAC unit can be stolen, and it’s not as uncommon as you’d think. The light fixtures can be motion-detection activated, and the HVAC unit circuit box can be locked, and make it more difficult to get to with fencing or a security cage. 

  • - A home security system is now more affordable than ever, and you don’t have to pay a monthly service fee to a company. Do some online research and find a system that connects wirelessly and has a coordinating smartphone app.  You can keep an eye on things yourself, and if there’s anything suspicious, call your contact and ask them to check your house for you.   

 

The cost of keeping your electricity and Wi-Fi connected to the vacant house can’t compare to the peace of mind and protection it can offer while selling your home.  That doesn’t count the money you would save from repairs for damage or stolen items to be replaced.  Protect your investment by protecting your vacant house while it waits for new owners. 

 

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

Photo credit: protecsecuritysystems.com

Selling Your Home vs. Renting in New Castle County, DE

by Tucker Robbins

Accepting a new job, moving closer to aging parents, or looking for a fresh start, you’ve decided to relocate. You haven’t chosen a real estate agent to get your house sold, because you’re considering using your house for extra income as a rental.  There are pros and cons to becoming a landlord, so look through these tips to get you started on making the decision. 

 

  • - You need to first look at the financial aspect of renting your house. 

  • - Landlord’s insurance premiums may cost more than your homeowner’s insurance. Talk to your insurance agent about the differences in these policies. 

  • - Do the math--if you have a loss after all your expenses (insurance, repairs, property taxes, etc.) are deducted from the rental payments, it’s a better idea to sell. 

  • - If the money that a home sale would generate will help you buy a new place, by all means, sell. 

  • - One factor to consider is that if your move is temporary--you know you’ll be returning in a few years, and it may be a good idea to lease while you’re away, so you won’t have to house hunt upon your return. 

  • - Take into consideration that in larger areas, there may be times of a vacancy.  Can you handle the old mortgage and the new?  If not, put the house on the market. 

  • - If there are improvements that need to be done to the home before you can sell it, and you’re not financially able to make them, then renting may be a good option.   

  • - Keep in mind that most tenants will not care for your house like you, and, after moving, it could be at a great cost when you have to make the repairs.   

  • - Things can happen, and you may get tenants that can’t pay the rent on time, or stop paying rent, and you’re stuck with the mortgage payment, as well as having to go through the eviction process.  

  • - Do you really want to become a landlord?  Talk to a few people who are experienced in renting and leasing property, writing down questions to ask, and get their thoughts on the process. Experience is the best teacher. 

 

Renting or leasing your home is a big decision to make, especially if you know you may be coming back.  The stress of renting just might be greater than house-hunting when you move back.  Talk to other property managers in your area and look at your financial information before you make the final choice. When you decide to sell, call a trusted RealtorⓇ. 

 

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

Photo credit: homevestors.com

New Castle County DE Real Estate Market Watch For July 2018

by Tucker Robbins

New Castle County DE active listings are down 23% from last year and did not change from the previous month. The median listing price was just over $270,000 and the median sales price was just over $240,000. Compared to last year, the average days on market is down 14%. The number of units sold decreased 2% year-over-year and increased 15% month-over-month. 

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

 

Backyard Getaways in New Castle County DE

by Tucker Robbins

Many of us have seen the “she shed” photos on social media, where an outdoor building has been made into an outdoor spot for Mom to unwind--the counter to the basement man cave.  With these ideas, you can take your garden shed, gazebo or covered porch to many levels to provide a place to relax, entertain, or watch the children play in the sprinkler.   
 

Outdoor Oasis Plan 

  • - First, check with your municipal codes for accessory buildings, garden sheds, and see what permits you need to add one to your yard. If you already have one, you’re one step closer to your party hut. 

  • - Decide on what will fit in your space, then shop pre-fab shed distributors, Pinterest for DIY material-repurposing ideas, or online for downloadable building plans.  

  • - How do you want to use your space?  Will it be an entertaining area, a place to relax, or a low-budget pool house? Make a budget for decorating and extras, and stick to it. 

  •  

  • - Once you have your building in place, choose your decor and paint scheme:   

  • - Beach-inspired colors are bright, and you can include an old surfboard, vintage buoys and signal flags found at tag sales. 

  • - Rocking chairs, light colored walls, natural elements, and floral seat cushions make for a country retreat. 

  • - Go modern with simple folding chairs, which offer a storage bonus, simple green succulent plants in sleep pots, neutral colors, and a sleek bar of polished wood. 

  • - Send guests a message of fun in the sun with a palm-frond roof, tiki torches, lots of wood elements and an open-air bar for a tropical feel. 

  • - Create a small pool house with space for lounge chairs, as well as hardware for hanging clothes and towels, and storage for pool toys.   

 

Outdoor Entertaining with Conveniences 

  • - Lighting can be tricky if you don’t have electricity running to your outdoor structure.  If you decide to fully wire the place, have an electrician take care of this aspect.  You want it well-lit, but not a shining beacon--soft lighting is perfect for Summer night entertaining. 

  • - Give self-charging solar lights a try.  LED’s associated with solar lighting have come a long way, and can be bright without being harsh. 

  • - Battery-operated LED lights are an excellent alternative, and come in many designs to complement your decor.  Strings of Chinese lanterns and vintage-style bulb covers can be found in many styles in home centers and online. 

  • - You may not want to deal with the cost of a hiring an electrician to wire your new party pad, but using solar power on your small building is easier than you may think.  Home improvement centers have small solar kits that you’ll need to light the night without adding to your utility bill. 

  • - Solar-powered ceiling fans for outdoor use are easily found online, as well as stand-alone units.  Moving air will keep you and any guests comfortable.   

 

With so many products and ideas available at our fingertips, thanks to the internet, an outdoor gathering place can be outfitted as simply or luxuriously as we want--there’s no need to break the bank.  Create a haven that fits the needs for your family, and make fun-filled Summer memories without leaving your backyard! 

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

Photo credit: porch.com

New Castle County DE Real Estate Market Watch For June 2018

by Tucker Robbins

New Castle County DE active listings are down 20% from last year and up 8% from the previous month. The median listing price was just over $274,200 and the median sales price was just over $234,900. Compared to last year, the average days on market is down 15%. The number of units sold increased 1% year-over-year and increased 22% month-over-month. 

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

Easy Updates Before You Sell in New Castle County, DE

by Tucker Robbins

Once you decide to sell your home, you want it to look its best, and a total remodel may be out of your budget.  Thankfully, there are some quick and affordable updates to add to your home to give it some extra style and character, not to mention the added value! 

 

  • - You can add crown molding to your rooms with little carpentry know-how.  Plaster-covered foam molding is available in many styles, and anyone with a measuring tape, hand saw and some paint can install it.  This Old House has a how-to for this easy update. 

  • - Clean up and, if necessary, paint your front entry door.  Add a new light sconce, and get a new welcome mat. 

  • - Electrical outlets are usually not something you think about upgrading, but outlets with a built-in USB port are available at home centers, and are impressive to potential home buyers because of the convenience they offer.  Put them near the kitchen counter, and a few in the bedrooms for easy access. 

  • - Cleaning the grout in the bathrooms, or even re-grouting can make your floor and tile look shiny-new. 

  • - Upgrade your doors’ and cabinets’ hardware for every room if it’s outdated. 

  • - Paint rooms a neutral color; grey and beige--even a mix called “greige”--are trendy right now if you don’t want all-white walls. 

  • - Add potted flowers or plants to your front entry for a welcome sight--just don’t forget to water them! 

  • - Check your crawl space for any falling insulation, and replace it. 

  • - Change out any dated light sconces and chandeliers. 

  • - A new shower curtain and decorative towels can do wonders for your bathroom. 

  • - The right backsplash in the kitchen can really make it stand out and look like new.  There are many DIY options, and the self-stick products on the market now make this task go much faster for the novice. 

  • - A chair rail and wainscoting in the dining area adds a nice eye-catching architectural detail. 

  • Most experts advise taking down your window curtains while your home is on the market, but you want some color on the windows.  A cornice box is an easy project to try, and cover them with your (now) old curtain fabric. 

 

You want your home to make a great impression as soon as a possible new owner walks to the front door.  Small details can make a big impact on their decision, and as the seller, it’s your call on what makes your home sell.  Walk through with your Realtor, and ask for suggestions from them, as they are the expert.  Tackle what projects are within your budget, and hopefully you’ll soon be reaping the rewards! 

 

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

 

Photo credit: alabamanewscenter.com

New Castle County DE Real Estate Market Watch For May 2018

by Tucker Robbins

New Castle County DE active listings are down 22% from last year and up 4% from the previous month. The median listing price was just over $270,000 and the median sales price was just over $210,000. Compared to last year, the average days on market is down 21%. The number of units sold decreased 17% year-over-year and decreased 4% month-over-month. 

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

Questions to Ask When Searching For A Realtor

by Tucker Robbins

All your life, you have seen For Sale signs in front yards, and there’s always a Realtor’s name, and in these modern times, a photo of them.  How did the seller decide on that Realtor?  Did they open the paper to the classifieds, close their eyes, and point to a spot in the Homes for Sale section?  That’s very unlikely, and it may take a few interviews, but you and your Realtor should be a good fit.  

 

  • Any friends that have recently bought or sold their home can get you started on a reference list.  Ask them what they liked most/least, and what they would do differently. 

  • Look to the internet for initial research.  Go down your list and search for each Realtor’s listings, blogs, and testimonials. Record contact information of Realtors you’re most interested in. 

  • Call each Realtor and set up an appointment to meet for a Q&A session. 

  • Before your first meeting, familiarize yourself with real estate professionals terms, as each title has a different job. 

  •  

  • Have this list of questions to ask on hand at every meeting: 

  • - How long have you been in real estate? 

  • - Are you in the real estate business full-time or part-time? 

  • - Do have more buying or selling experience? 

  • - How many homes have you sold in the past twelve months? 

  • - Do you specialize in any certain neighborhoods or locations? 

  • - How many clients are you working with now? 

  • - What’s the best mode of communication for you? 

  • - Do you utilize the internet and social media to list your homes for sale? 

  • - What makes you stand out in our local market? 

  • - What should I know as a seller/buyer? 

  •  

  • - A good Realtor welcomes these questions and will be honest with you when they answer them. 

  • - Don’t be surprised if the real estate pro interviews you as well! They need to know about you as much as you need to know about them. 

  • - Meeting with potential Realtors help you see their personalities, and having good chemistry is essential to your Realtor-client relationship.  You will be spending a lot of time with each other. 

  • - References with contact information are essential and can help you seal the deal with the right real estate professional for you and your needs. 

  • - If the Realtor is new in the field, don’t count inexperience against them.  They should be eager to add your sale to their portfolio and want to offer you a great experience. 

 

Once again, you will be spending a great deal of time with your Realtor, on the phone as well as in person.  Rismedia has more qualities and information for Realtor-hunting before the home hunting begins.  You will be sharing a lot of personal information with them, and a good relationship is vital to the sale or purchase of your home.  All your research could lead to a long-term relationship, not just a real estate agent. 

 

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)