Kat Geralis Home Team Wilmington DE Real Estate News Archives

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With the majority of buyers today starting their home search online, it is important to wow them during this initial look. If Delaware and Pennsylvania buyers see something they don't like just from flipping through listing photos, they are less likely to ever make it to the front door for a showing or visit an open house.

So how do you pique the interest of buyers in Delaware and Pennsylvania without turning them off?

Below are five things you will want to avoid as a home seller in our area:

Do not convert your garage
Keep in mind that a large number of buyers who will begin house hunting this spring are first-timers who are tired of renting, with others simply in the market for more space (which includes a place to park their car). Avoid converting your garage to anything other than what it was intended for— that means no living room, gym or media space.

Do not convert your spare bedrooms
If you have multiple bedrooms in your Delaware or Pennsylvania home, you can get by with keeping one as an office space while it is on the market as this can easily be changed back. But if you have built-in media equipment, wine storage, craft or workbenches in additional bedrooms, it could be a major turn-off for buyers who are looking for more space for their family.

Do not lay carpet over hardwood
Buyers today love wood floors, so don't cover them up if you have them! Older homes are more likely to have a layer of carpet over wood flooring and you might consider removing it before buyers arrive.

Do not leave out your dog accessories
Of course you love your pets, but a potential buyer may not. Pick up any toys or beds that are scattered around the house and consolidate them to one area.

Do not install bold fixtures
A helpful rule of thumb for Delaware and Pennsylvania home sellers this year is to create a neutral space that appeals to the majority of buyers. That means swapping out your over the top light fixtures with those more on the simple side. 

Selling your home may seem like uncharted territory if you're not familiar with the process, but we have decades of experience in assisting homeowners! Give the Kat Geralis Home Team a call today with any questions you have about listing your home or how you can prepare your property for the real estate market. 

We even offer a FREE Home Seller e-Guide!

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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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

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

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

With the wealth of real estate reality TV shows out now, many Delaware and Pennsylvania residents have their wheels turning and are ready (or so they think!) to buy a home that needs a little TLC. So, you think you want to buy a fixer upper home? While your dreams of renovating a property may be driven by what you've seen on television, it's important to remember that the reality of updating a home from start to finish can be much more time-consuming, tedious, expensive, and drawn-out than you realize.

But as your local real estate team in Delaware and Pennsylvania, the Kat Geralis Home Team is happy to share below three things to do before you commit to buying a fixer upper home this year:

Research the location
Not only should you research the location of a home before purchasing, but also look into the zoning. What you may not know is that every community in Delaware and Pennsylvania has zoning districts and restrictions surrounding what can and cannot be done to homes within their limits. You will want to take a close look at the zoning of your future property before you become too set on what renovations you will do once you get the keys.

Talk to a contractor
Unless you are confident in your ability to do all of the work on your fixer upper home yourself, it is wise to speak with a contractor or architect who can assist you in carrying out your vision. One rule of thumb— gather quotes and opinions from several contractors in the area prior to choosing one for your projects.

Recruit a home inspector 
It is a home inspector's job to look into any structural problems, in addition to pointing out what needs to be replaced— the roof, for instance. The last thing you want when you begin your renovation projects is to find that your foundation is unstable or a major operating system like the plumbing has failed. If you need recommendations for a home inspector in your Delaware or Pennsylvania area, do not hesitate to reach out! Remember, your real estate agent is a wealth of resources!

Ready to get started on finding the perfect home for you— fixer upper or otherwise? Give our experts at the Kat Geralis Home Team a call today! We even offer a FREE Home Buyer e-Guide to provide you with must-know information in an easy-to-read format!

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

If you've been considering buying a larger home in Delaware or Pennsylvania, now is the time to start taking those next steps! Buyer demand is still high, which means you could be competing with others for a property, however, with home prices and mortgage rates expected to increase, you won't want to wait any longer.

As your local team of real estate experts, the Kat Geralis Home Team is here to help you through your next home purchase in Delaware or Pennsylvania— and that means making sure you are an informed buyer, especially when upsizing. Below are three things you should know about moving up to a new home this year:

Note what you want vs. what you need
When it comes to your home search, it's important to note what you want versus what you need. Know what is absolutely essential in your new home, especially if you're upsizing. Do you need a bigger kitchen for hosting gatherings or do you just like the idea of one? Do you need a bigger yard due to pets and kids? Make a list of priorities before moving forward or you could risk ending up in a home with buyer's remorse!

Do the math
It's no secret that a bigger home will likely come with a bigger payment. You will need to do the math and research all costs involved before you commit to upsizing to a larger Delaware or Pennsylvania home. For instance, how much extra in maintenance costs will you have or will you need to purchase additional equipment to tackle it yourself? Is the home is in an association? How much are your dues every month? It's wise to have these all accounted for before starting your home search in Delaware and Pennsylvania.

Think about resale
No matter what size home you are buying, it is always smart to put on your future buyer hat and think about resale. If you choose the home and location wisely, you can make a profit when the time comes to sell. Think about what buyers will want, what area is up and coming or which neighborhood will be desirable given your timeline to sell. Think about the number of bedrooms and how that will affect resale. Even if you're upsizing now and plan to stay for decades, you will thank yourself later when it's time to potentially downsize.

No matter if you're upsizing, downsizing, or simply looking for a new home in the area, do not hesitate to give the Kat Geralis Home Team a call! We've helped numerous buyers do the same and we're here to make it happen for you!

New to the real estate market in Delaware or Pennsylvania? We even offer FREE First-Time Homebuyer Seminars!

Katina Geralis
DE and PA Real Estate Expert
eXp Realty

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

When you've found your dream home in Delaware or Pennsylvania, the next step will be meeting with your local lender to submit your mortgage application. Pending you've already been pre-approved, the rest of your home buying journey should be smooth and simple— however, there are a few reasons your application could end up in the rejection pile. 

Below are four reasons why a Delaware or Pennsylvania lender may reject your mortgage application this year:

You Changed Jobs
Lenders like to see at least two solid years of consistent employment before they will agree to approve your mortgage loan. And while you may not always be in charge of your career moves—IE. you were laid off—it is best to wait until after your closing to change jobs if you can help it.

You Don't Have Enough Credit
You may think credit cards are a no-go when it's time to buy a home in Delaware or Pennsylvania and you are entirely correct— for the most part. Your credit score and history are major factors that lenders will research in their decision process, but it's a lack of credit (not just poor credit!) that can be worrisome for them. If you haven't yet built up your credit history, remember that it is OK to carry some debt on your credit cards, so long as you pay them off on time. 

You Have Poor Credit
As mentioned above, lenders will be looking at your credit score to confirm you are capable of managing debt and paying your bills on time. However, if your credit score is too low, not only will you not qualify for favorable loan programs, but your application could end up rejected altogether. Take some time to research your own credit score and clean it up as much as possible before applying for a mortgage.

You Opened a New Credit Line
While we've established that it is important to have a credit history, you'll want to avoid opening anything new while you're in the process of buying a home in Delaware or Pennsylvania. New credit lines can signal a major red flag to lenders who want to see that you're responsible with debt management. Opening a new line of credit will drop your credit score and could imply that you're more of a spender than a saver.

Ready to start the home buying process in Delaware and Pennsylvania in 2019? Give the Kat Geralis Home Team a call today! 

We even offer FREE First-Time Homebuyer 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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