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Now is the Time to Buy a Piece of Real Estate

by Tucker Robbins

So your life circumstances indicate that now is the time for you to buy real estate. Perhaps this will be your first home or you need a larger space to accommodate a growing family. You may be in search of a better school district or be forced to move because of your job. Whatever the reason for your housing search, there are four basic areas you need to investigate and specific questions you should ask before making a final decision on any house.

WISH LIST:
Before you actually tour any homes, you should determine exactly what you are looking for by asking yourself (and your family members) questions such as “What type of house do I want”? How much space will I need? What type of community and amenities are important to me? How much can I realistically afford to pay?

LOCATION:
Once you have narrowed down your neighborhood choices, do further exploration of these locations by asking about zoning, since apartments and commercial/industrial buildings lower the real estate value of homes. Is the appearance of the community appealing? Does the school district have a good reputation/rating? What about noise? Consider nuisance factors such as traffic sounds, barking dogs, railroad tracks, etc.--anything that will disturb or annoy you on a recurring basis. Ask, too, about property easements, commuting time to and from work, and demographics. Will you be the only family with young children or the sole 50+ resident in the neighborhood?

CONDITION OF Home:
In order to determine any structural or maintenance issues, ask about the age of the house, roof, and appliances. What kind of foundation and insulation does the home have? If you’re looking at an older property, ask if the plumbing and electrical systems have been updated. Has the house been inspected or appraised recently, and, if so, were any problems documented? Will the exterior of the residence require annual maintenance?

COST:
Asking the right questions in this area is extremely helpful in determining your offer on the Wilmington DE real estate. Inquiring about neighboring comps, what the seller paid, and how much he owes will give you an idea of the rise/fall of nearby prices and alert you to possible short sale or foreclosure status. Ask how long the house has been on the market and if there have been any offers; perhaps the seller will be willing to negotiate price or offer incentives. Additional inquiries should be made re: the cost of insurance and property taxes on the property and the amount of any homeowners’ association fees.

Arming yourself with answers to questions such as these should help you make an educated decision as to whether or not a particular piece of real estate is for you.

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

New Castle County DE Real Estate Market Watch For October 2016

by Tucker Robbins

New Castle County DE listings decreased 4.76% in October 2016 with 38 fewer homes being listed. The average sales price increased 4.94% to $252,037, and market times decreased by 1 day.

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New Castle County DE Real Estate Market Watch for August 2016

by Tucker Robbins

NEW CASTLE MARKET WATCH FOR AUGUST 2016

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.

new castle county de

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.

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.

What Do Realtors Do Anyway?

by Tucker Robbins


What Realtors Do

Think you know what a real estate agent does on a daily basis?  You might have to think again in order to correctly identify all the responsibilities on the shoulders of your REALTOR (a real estate agent who is a member of the National Board of Realtors).   You most likely would be surprised—and impressed—to discover the wide range and long list of activities undertaken by your REALTOR in your pursuit of buying/selling a home.

A basic job description would include renting, and buying, and selling (oh, my!) real estate for clients, interviewing potential clients, previewing and showing  property, discussing sales conditions, drawing up and presenting offers, holding open houses, and writing contracts—all the while meeting deadlines and hand-holding when necessary.  Oh, but there is so much more for your REALTOR to do, including, but certainly not limited to, the following duties:

  • Staying current with market trends in your area
  • Analyzing comparables
  • Exploring and evaluating mortgage options
  • Finding buyers or properties for clients
  • Scheduling appraisals
  • Keeping up with changing federal/state laws and program
  • Negotiating between parties
  • Preparing MLS listings
  • Promoting properties via ads, web sites, videos, and virtual tours
  • Completing required courses, attending seminars, and the like
  • Coordinating inspections, walk-throughs, and closings
  • Arranging for title searches

But did you know that the National Association of Realtors awards grants to groups of state and local real estate associates who attempt to go above and beyond in promoting and expanding housing opportunities in their communities?  These REALTORS work together to design and implement affordable housing programs and are thus eligible for the NAR grants twice a year.  In addition, the NAR offers programs, training, and resources for these groups.  Click here for details of the Housing Opportunity Program.

Remember, real estate doesn’t sell due to advertising alone. In fact, a large share of real estate sales comes as the result of a practitioner’s contacts through previous clients, referrals, friends, and family. When a property is marketed with the help of a REALTOR®, you do not have to allow strangers into your home. Your REALTOR® will generally pre-screen and accompany qualified prospects through your property.

Contact us!  We’re qualified, experienced, and looking forward to assisting you.

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

Saving Money Through Home Improvements

by Tucker Robbins


Home Improvements Can Save You Money

Yes, you just read the title of this article correctly; there are some home improvements that may actually save you money in the long run. Let’s take a look at a few home improvements that may help you save money by helping you to avoid paying taxes. 

  1.  A few small home improvements that will help you to not only avoid paying taxes but will reap you small tax credits are:  HVAC upgrades, new roofing and insulation.  Roofing and insulation will earn you around a 10% tax credit while HVAC upgrades can earn you as much as $300.  Who doesn’t want an extra $300 to do with what they want.    
  2. Energy efficient additions to your home are a great way to help save you some money on taxes.  If you decide to add some 
  3. energy efficient doors, windows and or skylights you can earn as much as a $500 tax credit.  Of course you can also make bigger energy efficient additions to your house such as a solar water heater or heat pump but these are a bit more expensive.   
  4. If you are disabled you can do a few renovations to your home to help you out not only by making it easier to live daily life but also by saving money on your taxes and actually getting a return as well.  You can save money on taxes by installing a wheelchair ramp, making doorways wider and therefore easier to maneuver through, lowering kitchen and bathroom cabinets, and making the ground outside more level so that you can easily move over it with your wheelchair.  Make sure with your doctor that any medial renovations done are deemed medically necessary before you make any of these changes in the hopes of saving on your taxes. 
  5. Purchasing alternative energy equipment is another way to save money and get a return on your taxes.  Energy equipment such as solar water heaters, wind turbines and geothermal heat pumps are just a few ideas for alternative energy equipment for your home. 

These are just a few of the home improvements that you can do to help you save money on your taxes.  I would suggest doing a bit of homework before deciding to do any of these however to make sure that they are in the best interest of you and you household.

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

 

Tips for Selling Your Home

by Tucker Robbins

Tips on Selling Your Home

More than likely if your house is on the market you have done your best to get it as clean as you possibly can.  What you may not know is that there are many other tips and tricks that go above and beyond cleaning your home to help you in the selling of your home.  A few of those tips and tricks are listed below. 

  • One of the main things you need to do if you want to sell your home  is to leave when someone is taking a tour of your home.  This may sound like a no brainer but you would be surprised at the number of folks who try to stick around during a home tour.  The prospective owners want to see the house and envision themselves in it. This cannot happen if you are lurking in the background during the tour. 
  • Another tip for selling your home is not to leave your pets behind during a home tour.   Although people love pets, they don’t really want to meet your pet in person while touring your house.  Be sure to clean up after them as well and not leave the pets belongings strewn throughout the house. 
  • Be sure to move your car where the Realtor and the prospective buyer will have a place to park when touring your home.  If you need to park all of your extra cars at a friend’s or neighbor’s house during the tour, do so.    
  • Be careful not to leave your bills and other mail laying around on the kitchen counter-tops when you have someone coming to take a tour of your home.  Not only is clutter a turn off to prospective buyers but it is also not a good idea to leave important documents lying around that can be seen by eyes that don’t need to see them. 
  • Do not call your Realtor five minutes after the home tour has taken place.  Be careful to give him or her time to do their job and get things in order before they come to you with feedback from the tour. 

These tips for selling your home  are very helpful if you are sure to take them to heart.  Most importantly remember to do your part in the preparing for the sale of your home and always be willing to negotiate.  

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

How Much Spook Are You Willing To Live With

by Tucker Robbins

In honor of Allhallows Eve, Trulia polled 2,005 U.S. adults to find out how men and women react differently to some very eerie home hauntings. You won’t believe which ghoulish living situations men and women find totally acceptable, and which they could really, um, live without. ​

Courtesy of Wilmington DE Real Estate Expert Tucker Robbins.

New Castle County DE Real Estate Market Report - August 2014

by Tucker Robbins

New Castle County Delaware Real Estate Market Report for August 2014.

new castle county de

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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)