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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
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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

If there are two spaces that can help sell your Greater Wilmington home, it is the kitchen and the bathroom. Buyers today are looking for homes that require little updating and if your home fits the bill, you could already be well on your way to home sale success! But how can you be sure your property has what buyers are looking for?

Let's start with the bathroom! Below are four bathroom trends that could risk turning off Delaware and Pennsylvania homebuyers this year:

The all white bathroom
This may have been the trend in past years, but buyers today are shying away from the all white space. White tile, white floors and white paint in the bathroom can be tricky to keep clean, especially with moisture in the room. But you don't need to completely renovate your bathroom to get around this— you can easily paint and bring in color with towels or even swapping out hardware and light fixtures.

Wacky color schemes
While buyers are looking for color in their bathroom, it's essential to not get too carried away. Outlandish color schemes like mustard yellow, bright pink or even purple can be too much. Introduce subtle colors, sticking to soft hues as much as possible.

Medicine cabinets
This bathroom feature does provide more storage, but it can take up valuable space, especially in small rooms. If you have a medicine cabinet in your Chester County or Delaware County PA home, you might consider replacing it with open shelving or with a simple mirror instead.

Oversized tub
This may make your bathroom feel smaller and buyers will notice. In fact, the desire for bathtubs has been on the decline in recent years, with more buyers preferring a spacious shower. You do not need to remove your tub, but if you're thinking of replacing this feature, be realistic about its size. 

You can count on the Kat Geralis Home Team to walk you through the home sale process, from finding your property value to preparing for showings to negotiating the best offer. Give us a call today for more information! 

Katina Geralis
Wilmington, DE Real Estate Expert
Keller Williams Realty

Wilmington Real Estate
Wilmington Homes for Sale
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Negotiating Repairs After Your Greater Wilmington Home Inspection

by Katina Geralis

In a previous blog post, we discussed how important the home inspection can be to the process of buying a home in Delaware and Pennsylvania. Now it's time to move on to the next step on your journey to becoming a homeowner— negotiating repairs! What many buyers don't understand is that negotiating can be done long before you even get to the closing table to sign the contract and it's important that you consider the following ways to come away with the best possible deal.

Below are three ways you can negotiate repairs after the home inspection in Greater Wilmington and Southeastern Pennsylvania:

Ask for a credit for work needed
If you put yourself in the seller's shoes for a moment, you will quickly recognize that they are ready to move on and likely do not want to do any repair work on their home prior to leaving. You can ask for a credit when you close to complete the necessary projects yourself. After all, you will probably give much more attention to the work as the new owner than someone exiting the property would.

Think ahead
Regardless if you plan to renovate the kitchen after you move-in, the repairs the space may need are still up for negotiation! For instance, the floor tile may need replacing, but if you have an overhaul on the books, you don't really mind. No matter— you can always ask the seller for a credit to fix any problems in the home as they will help to offset your total closing costs.

Don't go overboard
Keep in mind that the home inspection could come back perfect and in that case, there is nothing to negotiate. If you insist on negotiating repairs anyway, in an attempt to make back what you didn't get in the initial price negotiations, you could risk turning off the seller and them moving on to the next buyer. Listen to your real estate agent about places you can negotiate, but don't go so far where you risk canceling the deal.

The homebuying process can seem overwhelming, but remember that your Kat Geralis Home Team agent is here to negotiate on your behalf and work for you! Give us a call today with any questions you may have about buying a home this year.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Katina Geralis
Wilmington, DE Real Estate Expert
Keller Williams Realty

Wilmington Real Estate
Wilmington Homes for Sale
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How to Buy a Delaware or Pennsylvania Home in 5 Steps

by Katina Geralis

Spring has sprung and as you read this, dozens of Greater Wilmington and Southeastern Pennsylvania residents are contemplating buying a new home. In fact, spring is the time of year when the real estate market begins to really heat up and buyers descend upon local homes for sale! However, if you're a first-time buyer this year or are feeling overwhelmed by the process, don't worry! It may be best to break it down into simple steps, so you too can take advantage of this exciting time.

You can count on the Kat Geralis Home Team to clarify any questions you have about buying a home in Delaware or Pennsylvania and simplify the path to homeownership. Below are five steps to get you started as a homebuyer: 

1. Find an agent
Your first step on the path to homeownership should be finding an expert you can both trust and feel comfortable with. This is one of the biggest financial decisions you will make in your life, so don't be too quick to choose just anyone.

2. Find a lender
One of the initial steps to buying a home is getting pre-approved for a mortgage and ultimately, applying for the loan. If you do not already have a lender in mind, your real estate agent is a wealth of resources! Ask them for a recommendation in order to find out how much home you can afford.

3. Groom your credit score
Start as early as you can on your buyer preparations as your credit score may need some time to clean up. Avoid taking out any additional lines of credit, be careful not to make late payments, and if possible, pay down your high interests debts first.

4. Make a wish list
Knowing what you need in a new home is key! However, be sure you can distinguish this from what you want. You may need to make compromises in your home search according to your budget, so know what you are willing to let go and what you absolutely have to have to fit your lifestyle.

5. Search for properties
Once you've met with a lender and have been pre-approved, you will know how much you can afford in a new home. Stay within those parameters to avoid falling in love with a home out of your budget, but now you can begin to search for your dream home!

Don't know where to start, but want to buy a home in Greater Wilmington or Southeastern Pennsylvania? Give the Kat Geralis Home Team a call today! We've helped numerous buyers become homeowners and we are happy to help you do the same.

Katina Geralis
Wilmington, DE Real Estate Expert
Keller Williams Realty

Wilmington Real Estate
Wilmington Homes for Sale
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What to Expect from Your DE or PA Home Inspection

by Katina Geralis

Excitement runs high when you have an accepted offer on your Delaware or Southeastern Pennsylvania home, but what comes next could bring you down if not properly prepared for— the home inspection. The inspection could make or break your deal and is a contingency often written into most offers, meaning the buyer could walk away if the results are less than ideal.

Below are just a few of the items that inspectors will be looking for during their time at your Greater Wilmington area property:

1. Structure: Integrity of your foundation, state of windows, doors and frames
2. Grounds: Faulty grading, dilapidated pathways and walks, trees, and any standing water
3. Roof: Defects in shingles, flashing, fascia, gutters, chimney and skylights
4. Interiors: Water damage, insulation, heating vents
5. Kitchen: Venting, sink leaks
6. Bathroom: Toilets flush, showers spray, sinks work

If you're worried about the home inspection, there are also several ways you can prepare to reassure both yourself and DE and PA buyers!

Clean and clean again
Inspectors will appreciate a clean home in Chester County and Delaware County, so take care of every nook and cranny! Make sure all areas that the inspector needs to access are free of obstacles like toys, furniture and decor— including electrical panels and doors to the basement and attic.

Unlock all doors 
You will want the inspector to have complete access to your home, so be sure all gates, doors and even windows are unlocked to let them test with ease. Or if your real estate agent will be accompanying the inspector, you can simply unlock those that do not have a lockbox.

Keep a maintenance log
If you've done any work to your Delaware or Pennsylvania home, keep an orderly log of them in addition to receipts and contracts from any outside laborers. You will want to be able to back up any repairs that have been completed for buyer peace of mind.

Spring is an exciting time for homeowners in Greater Wilmington and Southeastern Pennsylvania! Give the Kat Geralis Home Team a call for more information about how you can take advantage of the current market

Katina Geralis
Wilmington, DE Real Estate Expert
Keller Williams Realty

Wilmington Real Estate
Wilmington Homes for Sale
Visit My Website
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If you made home improvements to your Delaware or Pennsylvania home in 2016, you are likely eligible for certain tax deductions that can save you immensely on your return. But how do you know what you are able to deduct from your renovation? The Kat Geralis Home Team has included below those tax-deductible home improvements that you are able to claim:

Energy Efficient Upgrades
This credit is geared toward major system upgrades in your Greater Wilmington or Newark home. In order to claim, you need to have purchased a new AC system, furnace, water heater, skylight, windows, home insulation or energy-efficient roof for your home in 2016. Also, keep in mind there is a lifetime cap of $500 on this credit, so if you've already hit the limit, you cannot claim any more.

Energy Generating Upgrades
As a homeowner, you are able to claim up to 30 percent of the costs of solar panels, solar water heaters, fuel cells, wind turbines and geothermal heat pumps for a tax credit. This credit is good through 2019 and does not have a cap like its energy efficiency counterpart mentioned above.

Upgrades That Add Value
Most renovations made in your Southeastern Pennsylvania or Delaware home are eligible for a tax credit. For instance, if you built an addition, renovated a bathroom or kitchen, replaced your roof, added a deck or replaced any windows or doors, you can deduct those costs, so save your receipts! Remember, the upgrades need to add value to your home, so repairs don't count!

Interest from Home Improvement Loans
Just as you can deduct the interest of your mortgage payments, you can deduct the interest from a home improvement loan or HELOC if the money is used to renovate your home. Any home improvements are eligible for the credit and you can deduct up to $100,000 in interest.

Renovating is a great way to boost value in time to sell your Chester County or Delaware County home this year. Give the Kat Geralis Home Team a call today for more information about selling your home, your home value or available properties in the Greater Wilmington area.

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

How to Get Ahead of the Spring Delaware, Pennsylvania Real Estate Market

by Katina Geralis

The busy spring real estate season is just around the corner in Greater Wilmington and Southeastern Pennsylvania and soon a wave of potential buyers will take to searching for their perfect property. Not only do the increased temperatures play a role in getting buyers out and about to tour homes for sale, but lower inventory this season is giving sellers the edge they need to earn top dollar. 

But that doesn't always mean your Delaware or Pennsylvania home is ready for buyers to step inside and prepare their offers. You may need to do a bit of prep work before you're officially in the game! Below are four ways to get ahead of the spring real estate market this year and make your home stand out from the rest in Chester County and Delaware County PA as well as the Newark and Wilmington DE areas.

Make repairs
One way your Greater Wilmington area home can rise to the top of buyer wish lists this spring is by being up to date on repairs. You may wish to get a home inspection prior to listing which will help you identify any problems, but if you know now that faucet needs fixing, now is the time to do so!

Boost curb appeal
How does your home stack up to others for sale from the outside? Landscaping can do wonders in the eyes of buyers, even if it's just planting flowers around your entryway or sprucing up garden beds with fresh mulch. Any hedges or shrubs that may have grown unruly over the winter should be tended to as well.

Kick the clutter
Once you've wowed buyers from the outside, you will want to do the same inside. Walk around your home, careful to observe any interruptions in the flow from room to room. Do you have to sidestep furniture? Remove it or relocate it! Do you have excess knick knacks that take away from showing the true beauty of the property? Put them away while your home is listed.

​Brush up on your finances
Do you know how you will respond to offers? Do you have realistic expectations in terms of how much you want to sell your Delaware or Pennsylvania home for? Before you are ready to dive into the market head first, you will want to have a plan in place so you don't experience seller's remorse later.

You can count on the Kat Geralis Home Team to guide you through the spring market this year! Whether you're ready to list now or have questions to clear up first, we're here to help you every step of the way.

Give us a call today!

Katina Geralis
Wilmington, DE Real Estate Expert
Keller Williams Realty

Wilmington Real Estate
Wilmington Homes for Sale
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December 2016 Real Estate Market Stats for New Castle County DE

by Katina Geralis

It's a new year and for Delaware and Pennsylvania residents, both buyers and sellers, that means reevaluating their real estate goals and deciding when to jump on the opportunities currently available. But how can you be sure now is the best time? You can always count on the Kat Geralis Home Team​ to keep you updated with how the current real estate market is behaving in New Castle County. Take a look at the following statistics!

For the fourth quarter of 2016, there were 2,064 homes for sale— a 12.2 percent decrease in inventory from this time last year and a trend that we're seeing in many places around the country. The median sales price did post an increase of 4.4 percent to 224,883, however, and the number of home sales rose nearly 10 percent to 1,630 which proves that buyers are still out pushing up demand!

As you can see from the charts above, the average sales price in New Castle County for the fourth quarter rose 4.3 percent to $250,630 and also a plus for local home sellers, the percentage of the original price received comes in at 94.4 percent— a number that remains unchanged from this time last year. 

Inventory for the third quarter posted a 15.6% drop from the year prior, totaling a 3.8 months supply— but just remember, that did not stop buyers! The number of home sales still saw gains in 2016's fourth quarter! Given these statistics, you may notice that now is an excellent time to be a home seller in the New Castle County real estate market and with mortgage rates still at historic lows, you could sell your property successfully and move on for the perfect price!

While these updated statistics are informative, keep in mind that they are but a brief snapshot of levels in the local real estate market, so do not hesitate to contact us with any further questions you have!

The top-ranked Kat Geralis Home Team is here to help with all of your real estate goals this year, from selling your home in Greater Wilmington, Chester County or Delaware County PA to finding the next best property and moving on!

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
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Spring Cleaning Projects to Tackle Now in Your Wilmington DE Home

by Katina Geralis

It may be difficult to begin thinking spring when the weather is still on the colder side here in Wilmington DE and Southeastern PA, but inside your home, there are a number of projects you can take on! It's never too early to tackle spring cleaning and if you're planning to sell your home in the Chester County or Delaware County PA area this year, buyers will certainly notice and appreciate your efforts!

Below are the most effective spring cleaning projects you can cross off of your list now in your Delaware and Pennsylvania home:

Clean the windows
Winter brings longer, darker days, but you would be amazed at how much of a difference a simple window washing can do for the light in your home. Clean every window inside and out—if possible—and while you're at it, take down the drapes and blinds and give them a thorough washing too.

Clean the carpets
Over the winter months, dirt, snow, grime and slush can take a toll on your flooring— especially carpet! Just imagine everything winter boots can track inside! Now is a great time to shampoo your carpets with a professional machine to eliminate all stains and spots and if you're trying to remove pet odors, sprinkle baking soda on the carpet, wait thirty minutes and then vacuum it up.

Clean tile grout
You may have grout in your bathroom and kitchen that has gone quite some time without being cleaned. Grab an old toothbrush, baking soda and spray bottle filled with white vinegar and set out to refresh these spaces! Simply rub the baking soda into the grout and then spray with the vinegar. Let it sit for a few minutes before wiping away with a damp sponge or scrubbing with the toothbrush.

Declutter every room
There's no need to head outside to do any spring cleaning— in fact, decluttering every room will make one of the biggest impacts on local buyers! Remove any lingering holiday decor or excessive knick knacks, say goodbye to old magazines and mail, and relocate shoes and outerwear that may be taking up space in your entryway. What's more, you will want to remove any large furniture that is blocking focal points like picture windows or a cozy fireplace.

Ready for a fresh start in a new home in 2017? Do not hesitate to give the Kat Geralis Home Team a call today! We can walk you through the selling process as well as provide helpful tips for making sure your home is buyer ready!

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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