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As we get closer to the official start of winter in Delaware and Pennsylvania and temperatures continue to drop, homeowners would be wise to consider whether they are prepared for winter storms ahead. While some may feel prepared for any weather coming our way, others will be scrambling to de-ice sidewalks and driveways and protect pipes after the fact. 

As your local Delaware and Pennsylvania real estate experts, the Kat Geralis Home Team is happy to provide a few suggestions to protect your property from winter weather and help you stay as stress-free as possible through these hectic holiday months.

Remember, the cold, winter conditions can wreak havoc on your home and it's important to take the following steps ahead of time:

Shut off outdoor faucets
Be sure to shut off inside valves for your outdoor faucets and unhook hoses. Any excess water left in the exterior faucets should be drained ahead of a snowfall in Delaware and Pennsylvania. When the temperatures dip low, the pipes leading to these faucets are susceptible to damage, so you might also consider wrapping them in a towel for added insulation.

Protect indoor pipes
Cold air can also put your indoor pipes at risk of bursting. Open your cabinet doors under the sink to allow warm air from your home to circulate inside. If necessary, you can always turn up the heat inside your Delaware or Pennsylvania home to warm up the pipes.

Clean the gutters
Prior to a snowstorm, your gutters should be clear of any leaves as ice dams can form and flood your home.

Purchase salt and sand
Sprinkling salt or sand ahead of a snowfall can actually cut down on your shoveling time! A few hours before the snowfall, toss on walkways and driveways to be safe.

Check carbon monoxide detectors
Gas appliances and wood-burning fireplaces have the potential to produce carbon monoxide, so it is always wise to conduct a routine check of your detectors. 

As your local Delaware and Pennsylvania real estate experts, the Kat Geralis Home Team is here to answer any questions you might have about buying or selling a home in the winter months—as well as year-round—so do not hesitate to contact us!

And if moving is on your agenda before 2020, we even offer FREE Home Valuations and FREE Home Seller e-Guides!

Katina Geralis
DE and PA Real Estate Expert
eXp Realty

Homes for Sale
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Thanksgiving is now just two weeks away and as a Delaware and Pennsylvania area resident, you may be preparing to host the holiday in your home. You've cleaned each room from top to bottom, you've purchased your turkey, but just as your guests arrive, you realize the oven won't heat.

Holiday hassles are not uncommon in the hustle and bustle of the season, but there are precautions you can take to avoid them!

Follow these three rules to make sure you can enjoy your Thanksgiving feast without worry.

Problem: The Oven Won't Heat
Unfortunately, a heating malfunction in the oven will pop up in Delaware and Pennsylvania homes everywhere during the holiday season. But the good news is that there is an easy solution to prevent it! Do not allow the oven to self-clean until after the holidays as you risk blowing a fuse or thermostat. What's more, it can be tricky to find an available oven technician around this busy time of year.

Problem: You Have No Heat
Although the weather may not call for much heat this Thanksgiving, you don't want to risk your thermostat going out. The key to this is having your HVAC system serviced as usual each year. Regular maintenance tasks like replacing the filter can help you avoid holiday disasters such as this.

Problem: The Fridge Won't Cool
Thanksgiving cooking requires a chilly refrigerator to keep every dish in its best form and discovering this problem too late can really put a damper on your holiday plans. Install a thermometer on your fridge to make sure it stays below 40 degrees. The coils located underneath or on the back of the appliance should be free of dust and allowed to breathe. Remove any boxes that may be preventing air from circulating around these.

Thanksgiving marks the beginning of the busy holiday season and an opportune time to both buy a new home and sell your current home in Delaware and Pennsylvania

If you're feeling like moving on to a new home for the new year ahead, contact the Kat Geralis Home Team today for more information about your home selling options in Delaware and Pennsylvania!

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

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 still slightly under where it was at 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 July to September 2019, 2,004 homes were sold (about the same as the last time we shared this report) with a median sold value of $248,000 (slightly up from our last report). The number of units listed during this timeframe was 2,199 homes— which comes in just under this number from our last report, but 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! Even with the changing seasons!

The average days on the market for New Castle County for homes listed during July, August, and September are as follows:

July: 37

August: 42

September: 39

While the summer months are typically a popular time for buyers to move homes in New Castle County, you'll notice that the Days on Market (DOM) for properties during this time didn't drop much as we headed into September.

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

If you haven't heard about the latest and greatest from the real estate world, you'll want to put iBuying Programs on your radar! 

iBuying real estate companies essentially allow motivated sellers to submit their properties to buyers who can make an instant cash offer.

eXp has just debuted their iBuying Program, called Express Offers, and while currently only available in select markets, plans to expand the program into more states by the end of the year. 

Express Offers, eXp's iBuying platform, allows agents to submit their sellers' homes to several institutional investors who are able to make an instant cash offer. In addition, the agent can submit the home to more than one investor to yield multiple offers for their sellers— whereas many other iBuying programs only allow for one instant offer at a given time.

Why is this appealing to sellers? iBuyers allow home sellers the opportunity to unload their home quickly, equalling a faster sale and avoiding traditional marketing.

If iBuying Programs are something that strikes a chord with you or you're interested to learn more, keep reading for a few key facts on what you should know:

  • iBuying Programs typically look for homes that meet specific requirements, IE. age of the home, condition, improvements needed.
     
  • Offer prices are often less than the current market value due to the iBuyer wanting to make a profit (and likely quick!).
     
  • iBuying Programs can cost you more in fees, potentially ranging from 13 to 15 percent of a home's sale price.

Contact the Kat Geralis Home Team today for more information about your home selling options in Delaware and Pennsylvania!

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

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
Visit My Website
Contact Me
Find me on Facebook

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
Visit My Website
Contact Me
Find me on Facebook

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
Find me on Facebook

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

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