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Celebrate Fall in Wilmington DE and Pennsylvania with These Events!

by Katina Geralis

In just a few days, it will officially be the start of a new season in Wilmington DE and Southeastern Pennsylvania and aside from cooler temperatures and falling leaves, the calendar is changing too! This September and October are filled with fall-themed events around the area, including a fall arts and crafts festival, Oktoberfest, and more!

Below are a few ways you can celebrate fall in Chester County, Delaware County, Greater Wilmington DE and Southeastern PA:

Delaware Saengerbund Oktoberfest
September 15-17, 2017
Friday 5 PM to 11 PM; Saturday 12 PM to 11 PM; Sunday 12 PM to 6 PM
Delaware Saengerbund
Newark DE

Friday night's parade marks the beginning of the three-day festival celebrating all things German food and culture! The parade will feature the Muenchner Kindl, or Munich Child, a symbol of the city of Munich, which will lead the march. Food for the festival will span everything from grilled Bratwurst and Weisswuurst or veal sausage, to pretzels and Rollmops or marinated herring with rye bread. You can also enjoy potato salad and sauerkraut made by the the Ladies organization in the Delaware Saengerbund kitchen. 

Art & Craft Fall Festival
September 30, 2017; 11 AM to 5 PM
Woodside Farm Creamery
Hockessin DE

This FREE fall festival will feature arts and crafts from local artists, including original paintings, prints and more. Meet the artists and stroll around, enjoy a free sample of Woodside's newest ice cream flavor, and take home some of their homemade fudge, farm fresh cheeses or one of the farm-grown mums or pumpkins for your entryway! There will be free parking and activities for the kids like pumpkin painting and scarecrow making!

Autumn Leaf Train Ride to Hockessin
October 7 through November 5, 2017
Held Saturday and Sunday; 12:30 PM and 2:30 PM
Greenbank Station
Wilmington DE

It's a beautiful time of year in Delaware and Pennsylvania, so why not take it all in with a special train ride? Bring a camera and enjoy a trip that follows the entire length of the railroad (17 miles round trip!) to Hockessin where you will spend thirty minutes picking up treats for the train ride back or visiting the local shops.

Apple Picking at Hopewell Furnace
September and October
Hopewell Furnace
Elverson PA

What better way to celebrate fall than with apple picking? Over the next two months, visitors are able to pick apples not commonly found in today's orchards from the park's historic orchard. 

​Longwood Gardens Chrysanthemum Festival
October 7 through November 19, 2017
Longwood Gardens
Kennett Square PA

Mums are a symbol of the fall season and Longwood Gardens has a special festival dedicated to the autumn beauty! Explore the Conservatory filled with thousands of mums, fashioned into orbs, spirals, pagodas and more. This October, the Thousand Bloom Mum will show off more than 1,500 flowers arranged on one single stem and with longer hours, the foliage glows with lanterns on seven specific nights in October. Outdoors, the gardens will also be open for visitors to marvel at the fall colors including the Pumpkin Playground!

You can count on the Kat Geralis Home Team to introduce you to the surrounding areas, as well as walk you through the processes of buying a home and selling a home. Contact us today for more information about the local real estate market!

Happy fall! 

Katina Geralis
Wilmington, DE Real Estate Expert
Keller Williams Realty

Wilmington Real Estate
Wilmington Homes for Sale
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5 Tasks to Complete Around Your Chester County PA Home in September

by Katina Geralis

September is here and it's time to start getting your home ready for the fall season ahead. Say goodbye to summer by putting away garden tools, patio furniture and cleaning the gutters to make way for the falling leaves. 

As your local real estate experts in Wilmington DE and Southeastern PA, the Kat Geralis Home Team has listed five home improvement tasks to complete around your home this month:

Clean up siding
During the summer months, the siding on your home can easily become mildewed and damaged. Check for cracks in the siding that may need repaired and take the time to pressure wash away any dirt and grime that may have accumulated over the last few months. You will want to have any issues fixed before the cold arrives!

Check windows and doors
The seals around windows and doors become increasingly important during the fall and winter as they can let warm air escape and cold air enter. Check these seals in your Wilmington DE area home and if you spot a place where air can escape, you can apply a new bead of caulk or weatherstripping depending on its location.

Clean the chimney
If you have a fireplace in your Southeastern PA home, now is the time to have it swept for use in the fall and winter. The build up of soot can make you more prone to a chimney fire, so it's best to let the pros tackle this job.

Have HVAC inspected
When you go to reach for the thermostat this fall, you will want to know everything is in working order. Call your local technician to have your HVAC system inspected now and take care to change out your furnace filter. There is often a long waiting list to have systems inspected when the weather turns cold, so avoid this obstacle and cross it off your list now!

Clean and store yard equipment
It's time to put away the gardening tools, patio furniture, garden hose, and the like. While you may use them a few more times in the coming weeks, you can at least clean them now to ensure they will not rust or become damaged once in storage. Clear a space in the garage or shed to store all of your yard equipment and outdoor furniture and once you've decided to call it for the season, you'll know exactly where they go!

Ready to make a move this fall? Contact the Kat Geralis Home Team today for more information about selling your home and finding your next dream property in Greater Wilmington, Chester County and Delaware County PA!

We look forward to hearing from you! 

Katina Geralis
Wilmington, DE Real Estate Expert
Keller Williams Realty

Wilmington Real Estate
Wilmington Homes for Sale
Visit My Website
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4 Questions to Ask Before Buying a Fixer Upper in Wilmington DE

by Katina Geralis

By now, you've likely watched a reality TV show about buying a fixer upper home and thought to yourself, "that looks pretty easy." It is indeed exciting to mull over the prospect of making a home feel fresh and new again, but what the real reality will reveal is that fixer upper homes require much more time and money than their television slots allow.

Below are four questions to ask before you decide to purchase a fixer upper home in Wilmington DE or Southeastern PA:

What are the costs?
It can be a thrill to think about what a home in need of repair could be, but it is essential to consider all costs when buying a fixer upper in Wilmington, Newark or the surrounding areas. The last thing you want is to be surprised by mounting bills when the deal is done. In addition to the purchase price, look into costs like monthly maintenance, taxes, insurance, and how much equity you may have in the home once all of the work is completed. It never hurts to consider resale right off the bat!

Is everything sound?
You will want to have an inspector come in and check if the structural elements, as well as running systems are in working order or if they need replaced. The inspector will be able to tell you what needs replaced immediately and what can stand to wait. Remember, it never hurts to ask the age of systems like electrical and how much longer they have left. If you need a recommendation for an inspector in the area, your real estate agent is a wealth of resources! 

​What is the scope of work?
One of your next steps when buying a fixer upper in Wilmington DE and Southeastern PA will be getting bids from contractors. Reality TV shows can make it seem simple to tear down walls, but there is so much more involved than what is actually shown. Gather bids from several contractors before choosing one and be sure to check references. While cost-effectiveness is important, trustworthiness will always play a major part.

Are there tax incentives?
Certain renovation projects come with tax incentives, depending on the work and the area in which the home is located. After all, you will be boosting the value of the property! Check which incentives may be available to you once you've completed all work.

Do not hesitate to give the Kat Geralis Home Team a call today for more information about buying a home in Chester County or Delaware County or for a list of available homes in the area!

Katina Geralis
Wilmington, DE Real Estate Expert
Keller Williams Realty

Wilmington Real Estate
Wilmington Homes for Sale
Visit My Website
Contact Me
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Updated Real Estate Market Stats for New Castle County DE

by Katina Geralis

Now that we’re in the midst of summer, the real estate market has seen a rapid increase in buyer demand! Buyers are out in droves in Greater Delaware and Southeastern Pennsylvania, ready to find their dream homes, however they are also being met with limited inventory. How do you know what the market is like in your area? You can always count on the Kat Geralis Home Team to keep you updated with how the current real estate market in Wilmington, Newark, Chester County, Delaware County, New Castle County and beyond is behaving. Just take a look at the following statistics!

For the second quarter of 2017, there were 2,253 homes for sale— a 14.1 percent decrease in inventory from the same time last year and as we mentioned above, a trend that buyers are finding not just in Delaware and Southeastern PA, but all across the country! The median sales price did post an increase of 2.3 percent to $225,000 and the number of home sales rose 12.4 percent for a total of 2,091 closed sales in Q2. This number alone shows buyers are determined and ready to buy, thus pushing up the number of properties sold! 
 
As you can see from the charts above, the average sales price in New Castle County for the second quarter was $250,162, a number that rose 2.3 percent from this time last year, and what’s more, home sellers in the area will be glad to note that the percentage of the original price received comes in at 96 percent, posting an increase of 0.8 percent!
 
Inventory for the second quarter of 2017 posted a 21 percent drop from the year prior, totaling a 3.9 months supply— which is why the market is ready and waiting for your home! With few homes for sale, home sellers are likely to spark a bidding war or sell their home in a limited number of days, pending the right real estate team to help you achieve your goal. Plus, with mortgage rates still at historic lows, you could sell your property successfully and move on to your next dream home for the perfect price!
 
While these updated statistics can help provide insight into the real estate market, they are but a brief snapshot of the overall picture! Do not hesitate to contact us with any further questions you may have! Our experts at the Kat Geralis Home Team are on hand to provide more information about buying a new home, selling your current property or provide a list of available homes for sale!
 
Give us a call today!

Katina Geralis
Wilmington, DE Real Estate Expert
Keller Williams Realty

Wilmington Real Estate
Wilmington Homes for Sale
Visit My Website
Contact Me
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3 Refinancing Myths in Greater Wilmington DE Real Estate

by Katina Geralis

It is no secret that mortgage rates won't be this low forever and as a result, many Greater Wilmington DE homeowners are thinking about refinancing. Refinancing can indeed save you thousands if you strike while rates are low, however, this is one real estate topic that comes packaged with dozens of myths.

Below are three common refinancing myths that end up holding Southeastern Pennsylvania homeowners back from saving money on their loan:

1. You're Too Late to Refinance
If hearing about rising rates has caused you to hit pause on your decision to refinance, think again! You most definitely have not missed your chance to save on your mortgage. As long as your lender confirms that refinancing will indeed lower your monthly payment and you are on the same page with the costs associated with the refinance, now is still a great time to make it happen!

2. You Won't Qualify
Even if you are trying to improve your credit or have recently switched jobs, you may still be able to qualify for a refinance. Don't let this hold you back from inquiring! The best course of action is to meet with a local lender to discuss your options and your eligibility as many requirements are beginning to loosen again and you could be surprised!

3. You'll Have to Reset the Term to 30 Years
If a refinance could be favorable for you, but you've already paid off decades of your home loan, don't jump right into thinking the term will be reset to the 30 year mark. Perhaps the best move during your refinancing is not the standard 30-year loan, but a shorter term ARM (adjustable rate mortgage). Consider your future plans and the time you plan to live in your current home as a shorter loan could still allow you to save and when the higher rate sets in, you may be ready to sell and move on!

Questions about the local real estate market, selling your home, or recommendations for lenders in the Wilmington DE, Newark DE, or Southeastern PA area? Give the Kat Geralis Home Team a call today!

We look forward to hearing from you!

Katina Geralis
Wilmington, DE Real Estate Expert
Keller Williams Realty

Wilmington Real Estate
Wilmington Homes for Sale
Visit My Website
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When shopping for a home in Greater Wilmington and Southeastern Pennsylvania, you likely have a long list of must-haves to check off of your list. Examining everything from the number of bedrooms to the yard size becomes a priority and it is easy to overlook other important features like the resale value or even your commute time. 

As your local real estate experts in Wilmington DE and Newark DE, the Kat Geralis Home Team has included five things you will not want to overlook as you prepare to buy a home this year:

Resale value
Even though you're looking at homes for right now, it's important to look ahead for the purposes of resale value. If there is a feature of the house that doesn't bother you, but may bother another homeowner, you will want to decide if you're willing to fix it (and the costs) or if it will potentially affect your resale. 

Neighborhood at night
You may love the neighborhood a certain property in Greater Wilmington DE is in, but what about what the area looks like in the morning or at night? What is the noise like once everyone is home from work and school? Is there more traffic noise at a specific time you will need to consider? If you're interested in a home, visit at all hours of the day to get a good idea of what you'd be buying into.

Commute time
Buying a home in a new location of Chester County or Delaware County PA means the distance to your workplace may be longer. Before you jump into the mortgage application process and commit to a new property, factor in how long it will take you to get to work each day.

Bedrooms to bathrooms
The number of bedrooms in a new home in Delaware or Southeastern Pennsylvania is likely one of the first things you check for, but you'll also want to look into the number of bathrooms. Many bedrooms and one single bathroom could be problematic for families— or if you host guests often, you may want a powder bath available to keep your own bathroom private.

Room to grow
As I mentioned above with resale value, homebuyers should always be thinking one step ahead. Consider how much space a potential home has for your growing family or if you may need more storage in the future. The last thing you want to overlook is a lack of space and find you have to move sooner than you had hoped.

Give the Kat Geralis Home Team a call today for more information about homes for sale in Greater Wilmington Delaware or Southeastern Pennsylvania!

Katina Geralis
Wilmington, DE Real Estate Expert
Keller Williams Realty

Wilmington Real Estate
Wilmington Homes for Sale
Visit My Website
Contact Me
Find me on Facebook

 

Mistakes That Will Keep You From Selling Your Wilmington DE Home

by Katina Geralis

With buyer demand soaring and inventory still trending lower, the ball is in the seller's court in the local Wilmington DE and Southeastern PA real estate market. But that doesn't mean you can simply place a "For Sale" sign in your yard and the offers will begin to pour in. There are several mistakes that can actually hold you back from selling your Delaware or Pennsylvania home and as your local experts, we've included them below!

If you plan to sell your Chester County or Delaware County PA home this summer, be sure to avoid the following:

1. Overpricing
In order to attract buyers and prompt them to write an offer, your home needs to be priced well from the beginning. Overpricing can cause buyers to pass over your property entirely, given their search parameters, or wonder why they seem to be getting less in your home than they would in another of a similar price. Always consult with your agent on your listing price before determining the best.

2. Using poor listing photos
Buyers today first begin their home search online and poor listing photos could turn them away before they even make it to the front door. Make sure you have professional photos used in your online listing— they should be crisp, bright, and showcase your home in its best possible condition.

3. Not de-cluttering
When buyers enter your Greater Wilmington home, they should be able to focus on the property itself, not the furniture or knick knacks on display. Take the time to de-clutter before you allow buyers inside, or even before you list, to ensure the best results.

4. Not being flexible
If you do have offers on your home, at least consider a counter offer before rejecting one entirely. Holding firm without being flexible could just cause your home to "sit" on the market longer than it needs to and force buyers to walk away.

The Kat Geralis Home Team has helped numerous sellers earn top dollar for their homes and we can help you do the same! Give us a call today to get started finding your home value and preparing your property for the market.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Katina Geralis
Wilmington, DE Real Estate Expert
Keller Williams Realty

Wilmington Real Estate
Wilmington Homes for Sale
Visit My Website
Contact Me
Find me on Facebook

Types of Debt That Will Affect Your DE or PA Mortgage Approval

by Katina Geralis

Whether you've just started house-hunting in Greater Wilmington or Southeastern Pennsylvania or have already found your dream home, the next step is moving on to the mortgage application. Starting early is key as you may need to amend your credit report errors and score in order to increase your chances of approval with your lender. And what's more, there are certain types of debt that will have a major impact on your ability to secure the loan.

Below are three types of debt that will affect your mortgage approval in Wilmington, Newark, and beyond:

Student Loans
While they are considered unsecured debt, student loans are not necessarily harmful to your credit score if you make your payments on time. In fact, because of the lengths of the loans, they may even help to boost your score! Just keep in mind that these do affect your debt-to-income ratio (DTI), so a large loan amount may have an impact on the outcome.

Auto Loans
These loans are considered secured debt as the bank can take ownership of your vehicle if you don't pay on time. Auto loans are also harder to get approved for than credit cards, so lenders may look kindly upon the fact that you've already been approved for one.

Existing Mortgages
Mortgage loans also fall into the secured debt category as the bank can take ownership of your property should you not be able to pay. It's important to not miss a payment as this can ultimately cause a lender to turn you down for a new loan, however, if you make payments on time, a mortgage can boost your credit score! Existing mortgages play a major role in your DTI, so if possible, try to pay down as much as you can before taking out another.

Do not hesitate to contact the Kat Geralis Home Team with any questions you have about the mortgage approval process, available properties in the area, or the local market! We're here to help!

Katina Geralis
Wilmington, DE Real Estate Expert
Keller Williams Realty

Wilmington Real Estate
Wilmington Homes for Sale
Visit My Website
Contact Me
Find me on Facebook

2017 Memorial Day Events in Greater Wilmington DE

by Katina Geralis

It's hard to believe Memorial Day weekend is already here! It's time to start up the grill, head outdoors and enjoy the summer season (and weather!) that's ahead of us! But let's start with this weekend— there are dozens of events to attend in the Greater Wilmington DE area, from parades to farmers markets and veteran discounted days at the museum. 

The Kat Geralis Home Team has included five events you can attend this Memorial Day weekend below:

New Castle Farmers Market
May 26-28, 2017
Friday and Saturday 9 AM to 9 PM, Sunday 10 AM to 6 PM
110 N Dupont Hwy
New Castle DE

Enjoy food and fun for the whole family at this local farmers market! From Friday through Sunday, there are over 70 vendors present selling everything from meats to baked goods!

Memorial Day at Hagley
Monday, May 29, 2017; 10 AM to 5 PM
Hagley Museum
Wilmington DE

Come watch a canon firing presentation in the powder yard at 1 PM, 2 PM or 3 PM. Admission is free for military veterans.

Fireworks & Fountains
Longwood Gardens
Kennett Square PA

The summer season at Longwood will include the return of the popular Fireworks & Fountains show. Each night has a different theme and music for the amazing display that will illuminate the night sky!

Memorial Day Parade
Monday, May 29, 2017; 10 AM
Kennett Square PA

Don't miss Kennett Square's biggest parade of the year! The route will begin at Kennett High School, heading to East South Street, South Union Street to East Cypress Street, South Broad Street to West State Street, North Union Street to the Union Hill Cemetery. The parade will last about an hour and feature over 1,000 participants!

Flags for Heroes
Now through May 30, 2017
Newark Municipal Building
Newark DE

Visit the Newark Rotary's display of Flags for Heroes in front of the Newark Municipal Building to honor those who have served our country.

We wish you a happy and safe Memorial Day and as always, do not hesitate to reach out to us with any questions about the local real estate market, buying or selling a home this year!

Katina Geralis
Wilmington, DE Real Estate Expert
Keller Williams Realty

Wilmington Real Estate
Wilmington Homes for Sale
Visit My Website
Contact Me
Find me on Facebook

As a buyer in Delaware or Southeastern Pennsylvania, it is essential to consider all costs association with your new home. Everything from maintenance to renovation, repairs and closing costs should be factored in to ensure that you do not have any surprises or worries down the road. But if you're purchasing a new construction home in the Greater Wilmington area, it's also important to be aware of the costs you'll have after the closing.

Below are four costs you will have after the purchase of your new construction home in Greater Wilmington, Chester County or Delaware County PA

Utilities
Yes, all homeowners will have utilities to factor into their budget, but if you're moving up to a larger home, you will need to research how much more yours will cost. If you're relocating to Delaware or Pennsylvania, you may also have a deposit or set-up fee for installing new services like cable or bringing in new equipment that may have already been in place in an existing home.

Window Coverings
Remember that when you purchase a new construction home, you are the first owner! There are no window coverings to work into your offer. You will want to take measurements of the windows and note how many when adding up your costs. Plus, it's key to start early as lead time for receiving new window coverings could take longer than expected, leaving you with no privacy upon move-in!

Appliances
With some builders, you will be able to work an appliance package into the overall purchase price of the property. However, that is not always the case! After you've inquired with the builder about what is and is not included in the price, it's time to sit down and decide all of the appliances you will need and how much they will run you. You will want these in place on your move-in date!

Landscaping
You've probably been dreaming about the interior of your new Delaware or Southeastern PA home and as a result, the exterior has not even crossed your mind. Landscaping outside of your new construction home may look pristine, but is the backyard on the same level? Make sure you know if the landscaping will be finished by the builder or if that is an additional cost for you. What's more, if you will live in a homeowners' association, note if there is a timeline to have landscaping completed. 

Does a new construction home feel like the best fit for you this year? Give the Kat Geralis Home Team  a call today for more information about available properties or how you can get started on your home buying journey!

Katina Geralis
Wilmington, DE Real Estate Expert
Keller Williams Realty

Wilmington Real Estate
Wilmington Homes for Sale
Visit My Website
Contact Me
Find me on Facebook

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