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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
Find me on Facebook

The dog days of summer are here!

And while we're all certainly enjoying the warmer temperatures and sunshine, the summer heat can bring about a rise in utility bills for Delaware and Pennsylvania homeowners.

There are dozens of ways to keep mounting utility costs at bay for the rest of the summer and as your Delaware and Pennsylvania real estate experts, I'm sharing some with you below!

Clean your air filters
It's important to clean your air filters to keep your heating and cooling bills down this summer. When filters are dirty, these systems have to work much harder and use much more energy to function properly. With clean filters, your home can run as it is meant to and help bring down your utility bills.

Install a new thermostat
If you haven't already, consider installing a new thermostat in your Delaware or Pennsylvania home. A programmable model can control your home's temperature at various times of the day—for instance, when you're sleeping or out of the house—to keep costs low. These types of thermostats can reduce your energy usage drastically this summer.

Add mulch
Summer is a popular season for planting flowers, vegetables and herbs, but that also means you'll be watering more often. Adding mulch into your landscaping will help to slow evaporation, keep the water on the ground longer and allow you to water less frequently.

Apply window film or curtains
To keep the hot summer sun out of your home and reduce cooling costs, Delaware and Pennsylvania homeowners can install curtains or window film. Installing window film is as simple as measuring your window size, cutting the film and applying it to your window; this will help to block the heat from entering your home.

If you're ready to begin house-hunting in Delaware or Pennsylvania this summer or contemplating selling your home, contact the Kat Geralis Home Team today! 

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
Find me on Facebook

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
Visit My Website
Contact Me
Find me on Facebook

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

Breaking Down the Mortgage Process in Delaware and Pennsylvania

by Katina Geralis

Buying a home in Delaware and Pennsylvania has many steps— from getting pre-approved to house hunting to beginning the mortgage process. And while finding your dream home may not be a quick and easy feat, the mortgage process can appear much scarier to some buyers

As your Delaware and Pennsylvania real estate experts, the Kat Geralis Home Team looks forward to simplifying the real estate process for our clients, including the process of obtaining a mortgage! Remember, your real estate agent can always recommend local finance professionals to put you at ease. 

What else do you need to know about the mortgage process? The following should help break it down and further calm your nerves about buying a home in Delaware and Pennsylvania this year.

You need: Down payment
To qualify for a mortgage in Delaware and Pennsylvania, a down payment of anywhere from 5 to 20 percent is helpful. Don't let previous assumptions about money down stop you from purchasing your dream home— depending on the type of mortgage you choose, your down payment could be as low as 3 percent!

You need: Income verification, credit history
Your lender will want to see verification of your income and your credit history to ensure you have the funds to make a monthly mortgage payment. Now is the time to put together all of your documents, keep them organized, and research your credit history to ensure there are no errors. If there are, correct them before you begin!

A stable income and good credit history will put you on the path to homebuyer success.

You need: Appraisal
The lender will need to verify the value of the home you wish to purchase in Delaware and Pennsylvania

You need: A real estate agent
Remember that your real estate agent has done this before— leave it to the pros! Team up with an experienced agent in Delaware and Pennsylvania who can answer any concerns or questions you have about the process. We are happy to help!

Ready to start the home buying process in Delaware or Pennsylvania? Contact the Kat Geralis Home Team today! 

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

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

It is by no means a secret that the moving process can be overwhelming. After all, you're on your way to settle into your dream home! It's both exciting and new and as a result, it can be easy to overlook a few key items like fees along the way.

If you're moving to a new home in Delaware or Pennsylvania this summer, it is important to keep an eye out for these extra fees that could pop up when changing homes. Even little things like disposing of packing materials can add up in charges.

Packing and Unpacking
If you don't take the time to carefully package each item or piece of furniture, you could risk damaging them in your move. However, some new homeowners just do not have the time to dedicate to this task. It's understandable, but know that it can cost you! 

Some moving companies will pack for you and even unpack when you arrive. Fees are typically calculated on an hourly basis and if you want them to dispose of the packing materials when it's all said and done, you could acquire a disposal fee as well.

Disassembling and Assembling Furniture
We all know how much time it can take to disassemble furniture and try to remember what goes where before packing it onto the moving truck. Your moving company can do this for you (they oftentimes have extra tools to make it efficient!), but for a fee. They will also reassemble the furniture in your new home for an added charge so you can jump right into unpacking.

Handling Heavy Items
If you have extremely heavy personal items like a piano, pool table, hot tub or safe, movers can charge an additional handling fee as these often require special treatment and packing. Items like appliances can be transported to your new DE or PA home and set up, but movers will also charge an appliance servicing fee.

Carrying a Distance
It may not even cross your mind, but if movers have to park more than 50 to 75 feet from the entrance of your home in Delaware or Pennsylvania, you could be required to pay an extra fee for them to take the items inside. This is called a "long carry fee" and is assessed based on the distance movers need to carry items from the truck to the entrance of the home.

Moving to a new home in Delaware and Pennsylvania is an exciting time, so don't let unexpected moving fees catch you off guard! With our experience in the local real estate market, the Kat Geralis Home Team is happy to help your home buying process run as smoothly as possible. 

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

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

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