All About Delaware Real Estate

By Christopher Pataki, Hockessin Delaware Real Estate
(RE/MAX Associates)
There are a few different scenarios for homeowners that are struggling to make their mortgage payments or are “underwater” on their homes (and owe more than what it’s worth)—including short sales and foreclosures.But what, exactly, are short sales and foreclosures, and what’s the difference between them?A recent article from realtor.com answered key questions people have about short sales and foreclosures, including:   What is a short sale? A short sale happens when a homeowner’s mortgage is higher than the market value or sale price of the home when they want to sell; in other words, they’re “short” on what they owe. In a short sale, the lender agrees to settle the debt for a lower amount than what’s due on the mortgage—and the home is then listed for sale through a real estate agent. ...
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By Christopher Pataki, Hockessin Delaware Real Estate
(RE/MAX Associates)
At this point everyone knows not to fall for the email from a Nigerian prince promising to share his fortune with you if you just send him your banking information. After all, that scam has been around almost as long as the Internet has existed, and most people have seen it at least once!But people don’t buy or sell a house all that often, so real estate scams and shams can be easy to miss to the untrained eye.So let’s take a look at 5 things you should be leery of as a homebuyer or seller that may be an outright scam, or just something that’s not quite as promising as it may appear to be, so you know what to look for and can avoid them. 1) Asking you to wire escrow or closing cost moneyWhen you buy or sell a house, there’s a good chance that a title company or attorney will be handling...
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By Christopher Pataki, Hockessin Delaware Real Estate
(RE/MAX Associates)
When you buy a home, you want it to retain (and, ideally, grow) its value over time.But how, exactly, do you determine if a home you’re considering purchasing will deliver a return on investment (ROI)—or lose its value in the coming years?A recent article from realtor.com outlined elements that typically help homes retain their value in the long-term, including: Classic home design. Homes with a classic, niche design style—like a Colonial, Victorian, or American Craftsman—are timeless. Thanks to their unique design, quality, and high-end craftsmanship, these types of homes are more likely to retain their value over time (particularly when compared to more “cookie cutter” homes).  A single-story layout. Whether because of age, accessibility issues, or preference, some people can’t or don...
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By Christopher Pataki, Hockessin Delaware Real Estate
(RE/MAX Associates)
The market is changing in Northern Delaware. While bidding wars, sky-high prices, and homes flying off the market were a reality just a few months ago, rising mortgage rates, changing economic conditions, and increasing inventory have caused a serious shift in Delaware home sales.And if you’re selling your home, it’s important to operate under the conditions of the market the way it is now, not the way it was last year or a few months ago.So what, exactly, does that look like?A recent article from realtor.com outlined some of the widely believed rules about selling a home in today’s market that are no longer true (and that you’ll definitely want to consider breaking!), including:  Pricing your home as high as you’d like. There was a time when sellers could virtually put any price tag on...
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By Christopher Pataki, Hockessin Delaware Real Estate
(RE/MAX Associates)
Despite the Federal Reserve's best efforts to reduce inflation, the most recent data indicate that it is still high, hovering around 8%. The stock market was affected by this information, and discussions about a recession gained momentum.As you watch the price of goods and services rise, you're probably already feeling the effects in your day-to-day existence. Should I continue purchase a property at this time given the strain it's putting on my pocketbook and the oncoming economic uncertainty? Here is what you need to know if that is the burning question on your mind.Owning a home has historically been a fantastic inflation hedge.Prices generally increase in an economy that has inflation. Owning a home has historically been an excellent way to protect yourself from those rising prices ...
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By Christopher Pataki, Hockessin Delaware Real Estate
(RE/MAX Associates)
Marcia Castro Socas has been a landlord for years.She says the landlord-tenant relationship is an often-overlooked part of owning rental real estate.She says buying the cheapest place isn't always best, and the news shouldn't dictate your plans.One of my biggest financial goals is to invest in real estate. I've always wanted to own a handful of properties, all around the country, that I rent out to tenants as a way of making passive income. While I'm years away from being in the position to buy my first investment home, I'm doing what I can to understand how the whole process works.In addition to finding out how much cash I'll need for a down payment, renovations, insurance, taxes, and to cover fees before a tenant moves in, I'm also eager to find out what else I should know before I en...
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By Christopher Pataki, Hockessin Delaware Real Estate
(RE/MAX Associates)
The playbook for selling a home needs a makeover, and often so do the houses.Selling a house takes much more elbow grease than it did a year ago. Homeowners earlier could expect a bidding war the moment they staked the for-sale sign in the front yard, even if the property was in dire need of updating.  With mortgage rates now pushing 7%, buyers are harder to come by and easier to turn off, real-estate agents say. Making repairs or even small cosmetic improvements that buyers care about could make the difference between getting your asking price or giving a discount.Between mid-July and mid-August, about 95% of home sellers made updates or repairs before listing their properties, up from 71% of sellers six to 12 months ago, according to Realtor.com. They spent an average of $14,163.  Not...
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By Christopher Pataki, Hockessin Delaware Real Estate
(RE/MAX Associates)
“Even though asking prices are still climbing, [recent] data shows that more sellers overreached what buyers were willing to pay, and had to reduce their asking price,” says Realtor.com® Chief Economist Danielle HaleThe thing is, many home sellers haven’t gotten the memo yet. Or they have, but are in denial, hanging on to some long-shot hope that their property may still find some buyer willing to pay a sky-high price. Since so many home sellers are clinging to the past, real estate listings are rife with rip-offs these days.No buyer, of course, wants to overpay for a property. But how can you tell if a listing is overpriced? We’re here to help, by highlighting five red flags that a listing has “rip-off” written all over it—plus how to persuade sellers to graciously let go of that pie-i...
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By Christopher Pataki, Hockessin Delaware Real Estate
(RE/MAX Associates)
Renovating your home is a great strategy for homeowners for two reasons. The first, and perhaps the most obvious, is that you are able to remodel your home to exactly the way you want it, giving your living space a new life with all the modern amenities and conveniences at your fingertips. The second reason, however, is resell value.It's not always easy to know how much a renovation is worth to your bottom line, though. Simply tacking on the cost of renovations to your sale price won't cut it most of the time, so we put together this handy list of how much ROI (return on investment) you can expect from the various different types of renovations.One note before we dive in: All of the figures we present here are meant as national averages. Of course, your specific neighborhood and housing...
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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)
After years of wondering what was hidden behind the civil war cannons south of Newark, Delaware, I finally got a spot on a tour of the Cooch's Bridge Historic Site.  The homestead and 10 acres were donated to  the State Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs a few years ago by the Cooch family. The 1769 house has been owned by the family since it was built, and being Delaware, I have been acquainted with a couple of them for years.  It was the site of the Sept. 1777 Revolutionary War battle (details here). There is a lot of conserved land still owned by the family and farmed by tenant farmers.  The homestead still contains many original outbuildings in addition to the stucco over brick home (large picture is river facing side of house) on the Christina River (the land is heavily wo...
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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 John Thomas, First Time Home Buyer Expert
(Primary Residential Mortgage Inc.)
Virtual Delaware Home Buyer ClassSaturday September 17, 2022 at 10 AMDelaware Home Buyer Class Saturday September 17, 2022 at 10:00 AM. The webinar will last about 2 hours and each participate will be able to receive a complimentary copy of their credit report. The seminar will cover all of the basics of buying a new home in Delaware. The seminar will cover Delaware FHA loans, Delaware VA loans, Delaware USDA Rural Housing Loans, First Time Home Buyer Loan Programs and the Delaware FHA 203k Rehab loans. Each participate will receive a Credit Scoring Handbook, Homebuying Handbook, and an opportunity to meet with a mortgage planner to be pre-approved to buy a home at the seminar. You will also learn importance of credit in buying a home and learn valuable tips on how to improve your credi...
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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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