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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
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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

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
Visit My Website
Contact Me
Find me on Facebook

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
Visit My Website
Contact Me
Find me on Facebook

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
Visit My Website
Contact Me
Find me on Facebook

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
Contact Me
Find me on Facebook

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