New Castle County, DE Real Estate News

By Christopher Pataki, Hockessin Delaware Real Estate
(RE/MAX Associates)
In a market that’s shifting as fast as it is today, many homeowners wonder what, if anything, needs to be renovated before they sell their house. That’s where a trusted real estate professional comes in. They can help you think through today’s market conditions and how they impact what you should – and shouldn’t – do before selling your house.Here are some considerations a professional will guide you through.What You Need To Know About Your Local MarketSince the supply of homes for sale has increased so much this year, today’s buyers have more options than they had last year. That may mean you’re not able to ignore some of those repairs or cosmetic updates you could have skipped in previous months. As a recent article from realtor.com says:“To stand out in the market, sellers should mak...
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By Christopher Pataki, Hockessin Delaware Real Estate
(RE/MAX Associates)
 The home inspection can be a particularly stressful part of the home buying process for buyers, but the equally anxious seller might be waiting with bated breath for the results as well. The buyer is typically responsible for scheduling and paying for the home inspection, but if the house is revealed to have major defects, a new negotiation period begins for corrections, credits or losing the sale altogether.“When selling a home, one of the most nerve-wracking parts of the process is waiting to see the outcome of the home inspection,” says Mallory Micetich, home care expert at Angi.Home inspection issues like wood destroying insect or mold damage can mean the seller will have to shell out money, credits, or concessions to make things right with the buyer. If the buyer is truly turned o...
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By Christopher Pataki, Hockessin Delaware Real Estate
(RE/MAX Associates)
Moving is both exciting and stressful. You’ll be so relieved once you’re all settled inside your new home, but there is so much work to do before that point. It can be helpful to have a checklist that lists all of the places where you’ll need to change your address.Doing so will ensure that everything arrives at your new home rather than being shipped to your former place of residence. Here are the key areas to pay attention to when changing your address.The post officeThe easiest thing to do is change your address with the U.S. Postal Service. That way, if you forget to change your address anywhere else, the forwarded mail will still get to you for a few months at the very least. Visit the USPS website to make your change online.The IRS & Local Tax AuthoritiesYou’ll also need to change...
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By Christopher Pataki, Hockessin Delaware Real Estate
(RE/MAX Associates)
Home staging is the set of actions necessary to prepare your home for sale. Staging a house is an essential task that pays actual dividends. Staged homes sell for more money and in less time than non-staged homes. Why Is Staging a Home Important?Staging a home is crucial because it allows potential buyers to see your home with fresh eyes. The National Association of Realtors' 2021 Profile of Home Staging revealed that 82% of buyers' agents said buyers could more easily visualize a staged house as their own home.According to that same report, 47% of buyers' agents said that home staging affected most buyers' perception of a home.HomeAdvisor reports other benefits of staging a home to sell. It says that staged houses are on the market for 33% to 50% less time than non-staged houses. HomeA...
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By Christopher Pataki, Hockessin Delaware Real Estate
(RE/MAX Associates)
After a full day of house hunting, even the hardiest shopper has difficulty remembering each home they visited. A selling display featuring your property's benefits is a great way to be sure your home stands out. We've used the following marketing strategies to successfully sell many homes. They could work for you too!Creativity CountsYour home's best attributes can be attractively displayed on a poster, in a loose-leaf binder or photo album and displayed on your dining table or near the front door.Home shoppers appreciate a memory-jogging take-home flyer, summarizing the display information for later study. The flyer should always include the property address, price, brief description and the agent's name and phone number. Focus on Features   Each home will have its own outstanding fea...
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By Christopher Pataki, Hockessin Delaware Real Estate
(RE/MAX Associates)
 Over the last few years, home prices steadily climbed. Combining these price increases with the nearly doubling of  mortgage rates has taken its toll on the mortgage business.  Buying a home became much harder for the average American and mortgage applications were way down. Lenders did not take this sitting down, instead they went head on in to making loans less difficult to obtain.Mortgage Rates Went OffResidential mortgage rates were about 3% at the beginning of the year.  Over the next several months, rates had closed in on 6%.  This cost increase was insurmountable to many who had only seen rates extremely low for most of their adult lives.  Me, on the other hand, purchased my first house with a "discounted rate" of 11.875% in 1985. Even that was far below the high rate of over 16...
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By Christopher Pataki, Hockessin Delaware Real Estate
(RE/MAX Associates)
in Today’s Real Estate Market! If you have been frustrated by the sheer competition in the Northern Delaware housing market, now may be a time for you to recommence your home purchase plan.  There are several reasons that you are at greater probability of hitting that goal now.   First, offers on houses are down – about 20% less offers on homes than this time last year. Rising borrowing costs along with increased housing prices  and other inflationary pressures have reduced the amount of offers.  This led to "offers over asking" being down by almost 10% compared with 2021. Don't let this deter you if you plan on selling as still over half of the properties sold are settled at prices over the original list price. Thirdly, sales are down but not significantly, but enough that your chance...
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By Christopher Pataki, Hockessin Delaware Real Estate
(RE/MAX Associates)
    Not a 2007-08 Repeat With housing prices increasing and the mortgage interest rates increasing, there was a slowdown from unprecedented levels of home sales. Do NOT think that this will be a repeat of the house market from just 15 years ago where prices crashed. First, housing in general is a better position health wise than during 2007.  Controls were put into place to minimize the potential of repeating the devastation to our entire economy starting with much more stringent lending guideline that sifted through the potential of problem loans before they made it to a purchase.  Today there is no sub-prime lending that was afforded to people who otherwise could not fulfill their goals of living the American Dream of homeownership.     New Lending Practices With higher standards, im...
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By Christopher Pataki, Hockessin Delaware Real Estate
(RE/MAX Associates)
 It’s been a bit tricky to predict when is the best time to buy a house. The last couple of years have seen home price increases in the double digits in some areas. But, rents have risen, too. Now, mortgage interest rates have begun to creep up. It’s hard to tell what effect that will have on home prices, or how it will affect whether it’s the right time to buy. But here are some things to consider as you think about, “Should I buy a house now, or wait til 2023”?When is the right time to buy a house?The right time to buy a house is when it makes sense financially for you and for your lifestyle. You’ll want to do a calculation of the total cost of ownership to see if it makes financial sense for you. You can compare your cost of your current situation, whether it’s renting or owning a di...
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By Carolyn Roland-Historic Homes For Sale In Delaware and S. Chester County PA, Carolyn Roland, GRI, CRS
(Patterson-Schwartz Real Estate)
A recent rainy day brought me  inside Winterthur Museum for what is called the "Closer Look" tour. It turns out that up to 5 people can take a look at whatever your guide (ours was Barbara) feels like showing you. That explains the eclectic assortment of rooms we visited. The photo above is either called the "go big or go home" or "bordello red."  Since the room settings go up to the 1870's, it's at the top range as far as periods go.  Another room we saw was museum founder Henry Francis duPont's bedroom (much more conservative). And he didn't lack for a fine architectural setting (he collected physical doors and millwork from old homes). With a network of friends on the lookout for homes about to be destroyed or aristocrats down on their luck, this early 20th century collector could ch...
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By Christopher Pataki, Hockessin Delaware Real Estate
(RE/MAX Associates)
In many areas of the country, homes continue to sell even as rising mortgage rates, high prices and recessionary concerns filter through economy. During the recent real estate boom, the urgency many would-be buyers have felt to act means making an offer sight unseen.Nearly half of homebuyers — 47% — made an offer in the past two years without physically touring the property, according to LendingTree.“I see a big sense of urgency with folks,” especially those who have lost out on multiple offers, said Adam Lampe, co-founder and chief executive of Mint Wealth Management in Houston, Texas.While the housing market is cooling, to date it’s still a seller’s market, and buying sight unseen can be a viable strategy. Here are four caveats.   1. Don’t make snap decisions It’s a challenge when you...
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By Christopher Pataki, Hockessin Delaware Real Estate
(RE/MAX Associates)
 Home renovation trends are constantly evolving. Many homeowners struggle to find the perfect balance, because the rules are always changing. Between creating a home that will sell for top dollar to living in a space that reflects their taste now, it’s a difficult balance to strike. Following home trends just because they offer more profit isn’t relevant if you’re not thinking about selling, right? Conversely, if you’re about to sell it’s not beneficial to ignore home trends in your market in favor of your style. It’s all about where you are in the process. Additionally, as we pick up the pieces of a global pandemic as a society, we are also redefining what home means to each one of us individually – what we want from the spaces in which we create our lives. The pandemic has forever cha...
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By Christopher Pataki, Hockessin Delaware Real Estate
(RE/MAX Associates)
Ever since interest rates decreased at the beginning of the pandemic, the real estate market throughout most of the country has heavily favored sellers. When interest rates decrease, more buyers enter the market to secure mortgage loans with low interest rates. High buyer demand means that sellers oftentimes receive multiple bids.The combination of low interest rates, extremely quick sales, low inventory, and rapidly increasing price gains, has the housing market favoring sellers by a considerable amount. While this is still true today, market conditions may be set to change in the near future. What the Future Indicates for BuyersOver the past six months, interest rates have been steadily increasing. While rates averaged around 3.05% towards the end of 2021, they have since increased to...
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By Christopher Pataki, Hockessin Delaware Real Estate
(RE/MAX Associates)
When you’re looking to sell your house, there are a lot of little things that you can do to increase the likelihood that some prospective buyer is going to make an offer. Many of the tips you’ll find to improve your home’s appeal focus on things inside the house, ranging from paint colors to furniture and a variety of other little tweaks. There is something else that you can do to improve the appeal of your home that’s often overlooked, though: add some plants.A lot of people don’t put much thought into the plants around their home when prepping for a sale, and this can be a big missed opportunity. From fixing up your lawn and garden to adding splashes of greenery indoors, there are several ways that you can leverage plants to help sell your home when the time comes. Here are a few idea...
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By Carolyn Roland-Historic Homes For Sale In Delaware and S. Chester County PA, Carolyn Roland, GRI, CRS
(Patterson-Schwartz Real Estate)
Many years (other than the last 3 years when the tour was not held) we worried about rain impacting this oldest house and garden tour. This year it was the heat in the upper 90's which wilted this tour-goer.  Our first garden was at the old RR station where we sat in the secret garden and looked at the Delaware River and the steamy view (picture above).  An appropriate plant found in one garden was a cactus, not usually found in a lot of gardens here. But my friend Diane and I did get a chance to play "what's that plant," and no one was grading us, so we were free with our answers. A couple of times, other garden visitors asked us if we knew names of plants, and we could usually come up with the answers. One garden on The Strand (riverfront) had a lovely wisteria growing on an archway a...
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By Christopher Pataki, Hockessin Delaware Real Estate
(RE/MAX Associates)
Many people ask me if home prices will fall and if they should wait to buy or sell.  Here are some facts to  make buyer and seller decisions easier.  Home Price ExpectationsHome prices have grown for over 120 consecutive months (10 years) year over year. The price appreciation has averaged 15% for 2021 which is a stark increase to 6% in 2020.  Why are prices growing?  Demand drives pricing.  There are still many more buyers in the market to purchase a home than homeowners who are willing to sell. Because of this imbalance, home price forecasters believe prices are expected to increase throughout 2022.  Experts are forecasting price appreciation though the year although at a lesser gain than last year.  Below is a chart of projected price increases by 7 forecasters with an average apprec...
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By Christopher Pataki, Hockessin Delaware Real Estate
(RE/MAX Associates)
With low inventory, high home prices, and rising mortgage rates, there’s no denying that today’s market is a challenging one for buyers.So how, exactly, are buyers navigating the process of finding and purchasing a home in today’s market?Bank of America recently released their 2022 Homebuyer’s Insights Report, which explored how buyers are navigating today’s competitive real estate landscape. Some of the report’s findings include:   85 percent of buyers would be willing to make an offer in three days or less. Today’s buyers know that if you find a house you want to buy, you need to act—and you need to act fast. As such, 65 percent of buyers surveyed said they’d be willing to make an offer within three days of viewing a home—and 20 percent said they’d put in an offer immediately.   Many ...
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By Carolyn Roland-Historic Homes For Sale In Delaware and S. Chester County PA, Carolyn Roland, GRI, CRS
(Patterson-Schwartz Real Estate)
We went to Winterthur Museum and Gardens today especially to see the azaleas. They were still not at their peak, but oh how lovely they were.  And I got to see my special favorite at this time of year, the Dove or Handkerchief tree, whose flowers resemble white handkerchiefs blowing in the breeze. And STOP the garden tram! We want to get off at the Quarry Garden, replete with Candelabra Primroses. They never disappoint. (as seen from bridge above quarry). 
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By Christopher Pataki, Hockessin Delaware Real Estate
(RE/MAX Associates)
Many homeowners who plan to sell in 2022 may think the wise thing to do is to wait for the spring buying market since historically about 40 percent of home sales occur between April and July. However, this year’s expected to be much different than the norm. Here are five reasons to list your house now rather than waiting until the spring.  1. Buyers Are Looking Right Now, and They’re Ready To PurchaseThe ShowingTime Showing Index reports data from more than six million property showings scheduled across the country each month. In other words, it’s a gauge of how many buyers are out looking at homes at the current time.The latest index, which covers November showings, reveals that buyers are still very active in the market. Comparing this November’s numbers to previous years, this graph ...
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By Christopher Pataki, Hockessin Delaware Real Estate
(RE/MAX Associates)
  Mothers Day is right around the corner and if you cant  find the perfect gift, LEGO has helped you out immensely. LEGO has announced two new additions — an orchid and a set of succulents — to its Botanicals Collection of artificial florals that you build instead of grow. The first one is a 608-piece, 15-inch-high orchid that features six large flowers and two smaller newly-opened buds, with the bloom potted inside a blue fluted vase.   LEGO Flower Bouqet “A challenge with this set was creating a cylindrical pot from LEGO elements that would be fun to build but also beautiful to look at,” said lead designer Michael Psiaki. Fun fact: the orchid was inspired by a real one in the LEGO office. And while the artificial version might not be scented like the original, it sure just as elegant....
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