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For Sale: $99,999

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Market Trends Report

New Castle Market Watch for December 2017

New Castle County DE listings decreased 7.38% in December 2017 with 31 fewer homes listed. The average sales price decreased 2.11% to $248,306, and market times decreased by 11 days.  

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Saving Money for Your New Home Down Payment

With the new year here, many people are thinking about resolutions.  If you’re seriously considering buying a new home, you’ll definitely need to be thinking about having your down payment ready when you find the perfect house.  Follow these ideas for saving as much as you possibly can. 


  • - First and foremost, know your house-purchasing budget, and estimate needing 20% of that budget. 

  • - Set up a hands-off down payment high-yield savings or money market account. 

  • - Start cutting out expenses, or find ways to make extra money.  Every little bit counts. 

  • - If you plan on getting an end-of-year bonus or income tax refund, set aside that money to begin your new nest’s egg. 

  • - Sign up with your employer to deposit a portion of your pay into a down payment savings account if you’re not great at putting money into savings.  Most of the time, if you don’t see it, you don’t miss it. 

  • - Receiving gifts from family members towards your down payment require documentation so your  lender, as well as the IRS, knows where the money is coming from, and that the money doesn’t require re-payment.  More information about down payment gifts are here from The Mortgage Reports website. 

  • - Start paying off your credit card debt by paying more than the minimum payment.  Lowering and/or eliminating your card balance also lowers your interest rates, so you can start taking what you’d normally pay on credit cards and depositing it towards your down payment fund. 

  • - If you have investments in stocks or bonds, plan on liquidating those assets when it’s time to purchase your house.  Make sure you document these sales. 

  • - A pay raise at work is great, but if you happen to get one, stay on your old budget, and have the extra pay direct deposited into your down payment account. 

  • - You can always borrow from your 401k or IRA, but make sure you’re not having to pay penalties.  Talk with your account holder before you make any withdrawals. 


A down payment, especially at twenty percent, can look daunting.  If it just looks impossible, do your research.  There are many first-time buyer programs available, as well as lower down payment options through the USDA, the VA and state-specific programs.  Zillow has a terrific guide on low down payment guidelines and opportunities. Planning ahead and keeping your eye on your goal will get you well on the way to home ownership. 


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


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DIY Home Staging

You’ve taken the plunge, and put your home on the market.  How do you stage it for potential buyers, and keep it looking great while living your day-to-day? Follow this guide for some practical ideas. 


  • 1. Look at your front entry closely. Paint porch rails and columns, and your front door, if necessary. Replace the door, if necessary.  

  • 2. Landscaping is extremely important for first impressions--clean out the flowerbeds, put down some new mulch and fresh plants, if the time of year is right. 

  • 3. Get rid of clutter and anything that isn’t necessary. Go ahead and pack these things for your potential move so you’ll have one less thing to do when the time comes. 

  • 4. Clean out closets, and throw away, give away or store anything that you’re not using or haven’t used in six months. Buyers will look in closets and cabinets to see how much storage is available. 

  • 5. Clean, clean, clean.  Your home needs to be spotless, but once it’s done, it’s easy to keep clean for realtor showings.  If you don’t have time, consider hiring a cleaning agency. 

  • 6. Using decorative containers to store things that you need while living in your staged home is a great way to hide extra clutter. Totes, benches with storage, and inexpensive shelving with baskets are great ways to hide your can’t-live-without things. 

  • 7. Rearranging furniture to make rooms appear larger is a huge plus--even taking out lesser-used pieces makes a big difference in how open your rooms will look.  If you’re unsure of this step, ask Tucker or Carol for the name of a decorator who specializes in rearrangement and using what you have to improve the space. 

  • 8. If your decor is bold and bright, go ahead and give the walls a fresh coat of neutral paint colors. 

  • 9. You don’t need to purchase new furniture once you’ve toned down the wall paint--slipcovers are an inexpensive way to make your pieces look like new. 

  • 10. Remove personal artwork/photos from your walls and replace with mirrors, inexpensive prints of landscapes or animals.  


Once you’re ready for Tucker or Carol to schedule showings, give everyone in the house a responsibility schedule, and stick to it.  Be diligent about keeping furniture dusted, floors vacuumed, countertops wiped off, and dishes stashed in the dishwasher. If you just take out an extra twenty minutes every evening or morning, your home will impress your potential buyers. 


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)