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Money Saving Tips for Delaware and Pennsylvania Buyers This Fall

by Katina Geralis

Fall is nearly here and it's no secret that homebuyers don't hold back from perusing homes in the local real estate market during this time of year. Mortgage rates are still historically low, home prices are rising in addition to rents and first-timers are ready to invest into something of their very own in Delaware and Pennsylvania.

But when you are new to purchasing a home, you can overlook the many ways you can potentially save money in the process. Keep the following in mind as you house hunt this spring and as always, do not hesitate to reach out to our experts at the Kat Geralis Home Team with any questions!

Look past cosmetic issues
Many first-time buyers in Delaware and Pennsylvania tour a home only to write it off because they didn't like the paint colors. Remember that these are only minor cosmetic issues and can easily be fixed! Look past the paint and if the home could work for you, you might want to act before the competition does!

Get pre-approved
This step may not save you money, but it will save you time when a seller is reviewing offers. A pre-approval letter shows you are serious about the purchase and that you have the funds to back up your offer.

Don't open new credit cards
If you want to set yourself up to receive the best possible interest rate for your mortgage, it is wise to steer clear of opening any new lines of credit prior to applying. These hard inquiries on your credit report will remain there for up to two years and as a result, can cause a drop in your score.

Shop around for a mortgage
Even seasoned homebuyers in Delaware and Pennsylvania forget to shop around for a mortgage! Gather rates from different lenders on the same day in order to accurately compare terms and rates. Even the smallest different in percentage can equate to thousands over the life of the loan.

Work with an agent
Did you know working with a real estate agent saves you more money when both buying and selling a home than if you tried it on your own? The Kat Geralis Home Team has decades of experience in assisting buyers navigate the market and can help you negotiate the best offer possible.

We would be glad to assist you with finding your dream home in Delaware or Pennsylvania this fall! Give us a call today for more information and a list of available properties!

We even offer FREE First Time Home Buyer Seminars!

Katina Geralis
DE and PA Real Estate Expert
eXp Realty

Homes for Sale
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Choosing a Neighborhood for Your Delaware or Pennsylvania Home

by Katina Geralis

Today's homebuyers are constantly looking for neighborhoods with the right balance of homes and stores, the perfect mix of living and entertainment. 

In fact, according to a National Association of Realtors Community Preference Survey, those in the market to purchase a home (60 percent to be exact) were found to favor neighborhoods with a mix of homes, stores, and other businesses that are easy to walk around. 

So if you find yourself ready to purchase a new home in Delaware or Pennsylvania this year, it's important to know you might need to act quickly to beat other buyers on your dream home in a desired neighborhood. As your local Delaware and Pennsylvania real estate experts, we've included some tips below for choosing the right neighborhood, including how to know when a neighborhood is about to take off in terms of popularity.

New Homes Going Up
New homes being built in the area is a great sign that the area is about to take off— not only residential housing, but retail as well. When you begin to see large-scale developments in an area of Delaware or Pennsylvania, that can be a tip-off that there is progress happening and an interest among those who live nearby to spend more time there.

On a smaller scale, another big tip is to look for a Starbucks going in. The coffee giant spends a lot of money on market research to determine their new locations.

Trendy Places Going Up
It's not just the amount of retail or entertainment establishments going in, but the quality of them that matters in Delaware and Pennsylvania real estate. If you're a homebuyer, look for new spaces like juice bars, organic restaurants, boutique hotels and the like to determine how an area will function. These types of places tend to mimic the type of neighborhood they're surrounded by.

Location, Location, Location
Again, this real estate mantra holds true for Delaware and Pennsylvania homebuyers looking for the next big thing in neighborhoods. When communities are on the cusp of a major metropolitan area or busier city, more people tend to take interest. For instance, many homebuyers get priced out of major metropolitan areas and look for homes in outlying communities to be close to the hubbub, but at a better price.

Want more tips on choosing the right place to live or finding the right Delaware or Pennsylvania homes for you and your family? Let's discuss what areas will fit with your homebuyer needs and wants!

We even offer FREE First Time Home Buyer Seminars!

Katina Geralis
DE and PA Real Estate Expert
eXp Realty

Homes for Sale
Visit My Website
Contact Me
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As we head into late summer, now is the time to ensure your home in Delaware or Pennsylvania has had a proper check-up. Due to rising temperatures during these warmer months, you'll want to make sure your cooling system is in working order in addition to conducting an energy audit. Once these tasks have been completed at your home in Delaware or Pennsylvania, you can enjoy the rest of the summer with few problems in sight!

Start an Energy Audit
Not as difficult as it sounds! Simply pick up a notepad and walk around your home looking for places energy might be able to escape. It has been said that a Delaware and Pennsylvania homeowner can save approximately 20% on heating and cooling bills just by plugging leaks, so take note of any cracks or gaps you see around the property. Doing an energy audit now before the cooler weather comes can save you a great deal of money in the long run.

Clean the Patio
Have you been enjoying your home's outdoor space this summer? While you're cleaning the rest of your home, give the patio a good sweeping and plan a quick spruce simply by cleaning the furniture! First, remove any cushions or pillows, washing those that are machine-safe, and spray down the furniture. The following recipe can be used to deep clean patio furniture:

2/3 cup trisodium phosphate (TSP)
1/3 cup laundry soap powder
A quart of bleach
Three quarts of warm water

Clean the Walks
Over the summer, your sidewalks and driveway can begin to show signs of wear, as well as accumulate dirt and grime. You can easily rinse these away by renting a power washer. It's important while you're cleaning the sidewalks and driveway to be sure the water is running away from the foundation— if not, look for any cracks or gaps where water could seep into your Delaware and Pennsylvania home. If a problem arises, it might be wise to contact a home inspector.

All of these homeowner maintenance tasks can boost your home's appearance and even appeal to potential homebuyers in Delaware and Pennsylvania! If you're ready to sell this season, the Kat Geralis Home Team is here to help! Contact us today to discuss how we can help you with your current property.

We even offer a FREE Home Seller e-Guide!

Katina Geralis
DE and PA Real Estate Expert
eXp Realty

Homes for Sale
Visit My Website
Contact Me
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Updated Delaware and Pennsylvania Real Estate Market Stats 2019

by Katina Geralis

It's time for a new Delaware and Pennsylvania real estate market update! As you know, the market is always changing, especially with the seasons, but buyer demand is still high in Delaware and Pennsylvania since buyers now shop year-round for properties on their smartphones, tablets, even set up email alerts with new listings! 

Inventory is hovering around the same mark, if not slightly under, as compared to this time last year. But remember, this is always changing! If you have questions about the market where you live, it is always best to contact your agent for an up-to-date look at the market. As your local experts, the Kat Geralis Home Team is here to help!

From April to June 2019, 2,007 homes were sold with a median sold value of $239,000. The number of units listed during this timeframe was 2,714 homes— so as you can see, buyers are still very much browsing inventory and not waiting long to jump on the home that best meets their needs!

The average days on the market for New Castle County for homes listed during April, May, and June are as follows:

April: 64

May: 54

June: 47

The summer months are typically a popular time for buyers to look to purchase a new home and move, so you'll notice as the summer progresses, the days on market (DOM) drops. 

Updated real estate market stats can provide brief insight into the local real estate market, but they are just that— brief! Contact us today for more information about the market where you live in Delaware or Pennsylvania or with any questions you have about buying or selling a home before the end of the year!

We even offer FREE First-Time Home Buyer Seminars!

Give us a call today!
 

Katina Geralis
DE and PA Real Estate Expert
eXp Realty

Homes for Sale
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How to Get Your Delaware or Pennsylvania Home Ready for a Showing

by Katina Geralis

When you've decided to list your home in Delaware or Pennsylvania, it may seem like your to-do list grows longer and longer. You will need to start searching for a new home, clearing the clutter and packing up to make your move a bit easier when the time comes. But it doesn't end there! One more added stress for you may be keeping your home buyer-ready for showings.

There are dozens of little tasks you can check off to prepare your home for a showing in minutes and as your local real estate experts in Delaware and Pennsylvania, I am sharing a few with you below!

Mop or vacuum
Complete a quick cleaning of the floors in your entryway, kitchen and bathrooms. If necessary, spot clean debris on the floor with a sponge or towel.

Dust screens and furniture
The last thing a buyer wants to see if dust lingering in the air or on your furniture. Dust your coffee table or end tables, TV screens and computer monitors before they arrive.

Remove clutter from counters
Small appliances, knick knacks, mail and other miscellaneous items should be cleared off of counters and stored elsewhere. After you've removed these, wipe down all of the counters to ensure they are clean.

Make the beds
This task takes just a few minutes and can make a world of difference in helping a room look put together. 

Empty trash cans
You do not want any lingering odors in your home when buyers arrive for a showing, so make sure all trash cans have been emptied.

Turn on the lights
Letting light into your Delaware or Pennsylvania home can help it feel lighter, airier and larger. Turn on all of the lights in your home and open the blinds or drapes to let in more sun. If necessary, clean your windows so they are free of streaks.

The Kat Geralis Home Team has years of experience in helping homeowners sell their properties and move on to their next dream homes! If you're ready to do just that, contact us today!

We even offer a FREE Home Seller e-Guide!

Katina Geralis
DE and PA Real Estate Expert
eXp Realty

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

How to Stand Out as a Delaware or Pennsylvania Home Buyer

by Katina Geralis

As we get closer to the official start of summer, the temperatures aren't the only thing picking up! The number of Delaware and Pennsylvania residents planning to buy a new home is rising— as it tends to do during these warmer months! As the summer continues, the local real estate markets in Delaware and Pennsylvania will see a much larger influx of homebuyers.

So now that homebuyers are flocking to local markets, how can you stand out? Grab a pen and paper and make yourself a checklist to ensure you're on the right track to buy a home in Delaware and Pennsylvania. Here are a few tips to give you that homebuyer edge over the others this year:

Clean Your Finances
After you spring clean your home this year, turn to your finances. A seller doesn't know your financial situation, so despite how confident you are in obtaining a mortgage, they might not feel the same. Oftentimes when sellers are in a rush to sell, they do not want to worry about financing potentially falling through.

To be pro-active, you can get pre-approved by your lender. The pre-approval process is extensive and involves paperwork to detail your income and assets. For both your Delaware and Pennsylvania real estate agent and the home seller, this letter of approval offers peace of mind that you're serious about buying.

Work with the Seller
Think about it— when you're competing with other buyers, the best thing you can do is to work with the seller. Be flexible! There are likely a number of buyers in Delaware and Pennsylvania real estate who are set on dates, numbers, and come packaged with contingencies.

Show that you are willing to work with the seller on the home sale puts you ahead of other buyers who may have the purchase contingent upon their own home sale. Sellers are more willing to work with buyers who don't have extra hoops to jump through.

Be Quick
Found a home in Delaware or Pennsylvania that you love? One that meets all of your wants and needs? You may want to act fast. Other homebuyers may have started the process and love the home as much as you do. Remember, sometimes an accepted offer can come down to a matter of minutes between buyers.

Let the Kat Geralis Home Team help you find your dream home this year! We have helped numerous other buyers find the perfect property to call home and we'd love to assist you in doing the same!

We even offer a FREE Home Buyer e-Guide and FREE First Time Home Buyer Seminars!

Katina Geralis
DE and PA Real Estate Expert
eXp Realty

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

How to Shop Around for a Delaware or Pennsylvania Mortgage

by Katina Geralis

When it comes to homebuyer mistakes in Delaware and Pennsylvania, perhaps the biggest one is failing to shop for a mortgage. Many homebuyers simply take the first mortgage they are offered without knowing they could have secured a better loan, with lower fees and a lower rate. 

As you shop for a home in Delaware and Pennsylvania this summer, make sure you then also take the time to shop around for a mortgage. Use the following tips to ensure you're getting the best possible deal and loan for your dream home:

First, research your budget
Use a mortgage calculator to determine how much you can afford in a DE or PA home. Include all of your monthly expenses, including property taxes, monthly maintenance and utilities, insurance and any private mortgage insurance (PMI) that you may acquire. Once you've determined your budget, you can then proceed with shopping for the best rate.

Research the different types of mortgages
It's important that Delaware and Pennsylvania homebuyers know the different types of mortgages— from fixed rate mortgages to adjustable rate to those that allow payment adjustments. Each loan type will come with its own set of fees, terms, requirements and limitations. For instance, you may receive a penalty for paying off your mortgage early with some loans. Take the time to find which loan type is best for you.

Compare loans among lenders
On one specific day, gather quotes from several lenders and even brokers. Lenders can give out different rates and fees to consumers on the same day for the same loan, so it's important to shop around. Once you have a list of rates from many lenders, then you can go about finding which is the best deal.

Ask for help
If finding lenders and brokers in your area is stressful for you, always ask for help! As your local real estate experts, the Kat Geralis Home Team can provide suggestions for experts in the mortgage space that can help you find the best rate for your new home loan. A recommendation can oftentimes put you at ease, knowing that you are working with a trusted pro.

Shopping around for a mortgage in Delaware and Pennsylvania can save you thousands of dollars over the life of your loan, so don't leave it out of the mix! Our team is happy to help walk you through the process of buying a home and answer any questions to calm your concerns. Just give us a call!

We also offer a FREE Home Buyer e-Guide and FREE First Time Home Buyer Seminars!

Katina Geralis
DE and PA Real Estate Expert
eXp Realty

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

This time of year, Delaware and Pennsylvania residents have filed their taxes and thinking one step ahead, are now planning ways to spend their refund. While you likely have dozens of ideas about how you're going to spend your money this time around, why not invest it back into your home? 

The following home upgrades actually pay off at resale and will be well worth their initial cost:

Remodeled Kitchen
Upgrading your kitchen is one of the smartest investments you can make in your Delaware or Pennsylvania home. Stick to high-quality fixtures, including stainless steel appliances and granite or quartz countertops. However, also keep in mind the size of your home when remodeling. If your home is a smaller, two-bedroom, you may not recoup all of your investment. Do not be afraid to ask your real estate agent about the best upgrades for your home's size if you're planning to sell this year!

New windows
During the winter months, you may notice drafts around your windows and doors, not to mention higher energy bills each month. Replacing windows will keep your home warmer and intrigue Delaware and Pennsylvania buyers that are looking for a newly-updated home.

Landscaping
Curb appeal is the first thing a buyer will notice when they visit your home or view it online. Every addition from hedges to flower beds is well worth your while as a homeowner as these tell homebuyers that you care about your property and its upkeep.

If you're thinking about selling your home in Delaware or Pennsylvania, it is wise to invest in the upgrades that will pay off! Contact the Kat Geralis Home Team today with any questions about the real estate market or for more information about selling your home for top dollar in DE and PA!

We have helped many Delaware and Pennsylvania home sellers find the right buyer and we'd love to help you do the same! 

We also offer a FREE Home Seller e-Guide and FREE Home Valuation Tool

Katina Geralis
DE and PA Real Estate Expert
eXp Realty

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

Homebuyers are out in droves as the busy spring real estate season gets underway in Delaware and Pennsylvania. If you've already taken the steps to list your property in DE or PA or are planning to soon, the next step involves highlighting your home's key features that buyers will love.

The following elements of your home may seem like nothing to you, but to buyers, they could be just what they are looking for— Don't be afraid to point them out!

Location
You've heard the phrase "location, location, location" before and it never holds more true than when assessing your home's value. Is your home located near restaurants, shopping and entertainment? Do you have an excellent commute time from your neighborhood? Buyers will want to know! And as your real estate experts in Delaware and Pennsylvania, the Kat Geralis Home Team can help identify such selling points this year!

Storage
Many Delaware and Pennsylvania buyers are diving into the real estate market simply because their current home lacks storage; this is also one of the reasons current renters will make the transition to homeownership over the next few months. A large garage, walk-in closet or pantry just might spark the interest of a buyer whose sole purpose for moving is to gain more space.

Layout
While Millennials are expected to make a big impact on the real estate market this spring, another group ready to make a move is seniors. Those whose children are all grown and out of the house will be looking to downsize and features like a ranch-style layout, zero exterior steps and minimal upkeep will be high on their list.

We have helped many Delaware and Pennsylvania home sellers find the right buyer and we'd love to help you do the same! Give us a call today for more information on next steps toward listing your Delaware or Pennsylvania home!

We also offer a FREE Home Seller e-Guide

Katina Geralis
DE and PA Real Estate Expert
eXp Realty

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

You've made a wish list of all of the features you want in a potential Delaware or Pennsylvania home and now it's time for the house hunt to begin. However, after viewing a few properties, you may notice that not every one of your must-haves can be fulfilled in a single home in your price range.

What now? Compromise. While it is not always a word DE and PA homebuyers like to hear, there are worthwhile trade-offs you will want to consider as you view available properties this spring.

Square footage
A potential home in Delaware or Pennsylvania could have everything you're looking for— an updated kitchen, the right school district, proximity to family and friends—but that could also mean giving up a finished basement or guest bedroom. A compromise on square footage should only be entertained if you don't anticipate your space needs growing in the near future, otherwise you could find yourself needing to move all too soon.

Location
If a compromise on square footage is not in the cards for you, many buyers find they are willing to budge on location. Oftentimes, a home within walking distance to entertainment, shops and restaurants is smaller than you would like— but moving a bit farther away could open you up to more homes that meet the criteria on your wish list.

Backyard
Suppose a home fits the bill with the right amount of bedrooms and bathrooms, as well as your budget, but you step outside to find a smaller yard. A compromise on yard size may be worthwhile if the home's interior succeeds in providing the space you are looking for this spring. 

The Kat Geralis Home Team has decades of experience in helping Delaware and Pennsylvania homebuyers find their dream homes, identifying what is important to them in terms of features, location, and home size. Give us a call today for more information about available homes in your desired area!

We also offer FREE First-Time Home Buyer Seminars!

Katina Geralis
DE and PA Real Estate Expert
eXp Realty

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

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