Kat Geralis Home Team Wilmington DE Real Estate News Archives

Blog

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 11

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

3 Questions to Ask Mortgage Lenders in Delaware and Pennsylvania

by Katina Geralis

Buying a home in Delaware or Pennsylvania is likely one of the biggest decisions (and purchases!) you will make in your lifetime and as a result, you will want a team of experts on your side to see you through the process. One of the most important is, of course, your real estate agent and the other is your lender. 

Your lender will help you secure financing to purchase a home in Delaware or Pennsylvania and be available to answer all of your questions surrounding debt, closing costs, and even your buying timeline. But remember, not all lenders are the same, so it is key to ask a few questions in order to find the best fit for you:

Is now the right time for me to buy?
Depending on your specific financial situation, it may be in your best interests to put in an offer on your dream home now or wait until next year when your buying power is stronger— and a great lender will tell you that! The right lender will clearly explain how your debts and down payment can affect your buying power—or your ability to qualify for a mortgage and favorable rate—and how that will play into your timeline.

What credit score do I need to qualify?
A great lender will share what they are looking for in terms of credit score and credit history in order to provide financing to a homebuyer. To take it one step further, they may even comb through your credit report to show what debts are worth paying off before applying for a mortgage in order to secure the best rate. 

What are the closing costs?
Depending on the loan program you choose, you will need to pay a few closing costs before anyone hands over your new keys. A great lender will outline the different loan programs you may qualify for and what the closing costs might be for that specific program. The lender should also be able to share how you will pay such costs, whether by check or via electronic transfer.

There are many facets to homebuying in our area and you can count on us to make sure you're aware of them all! Contact the Kat Geralis Home Team today for a lender recommendation or a list of available homes in Delaware and Pennsylvania

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

Spring is just around the corner here in the Greater Wilmington DE area and many buyers will soon make a break for the real estate market, ready to find their dream home. And while of course you have a variety of options when it comes to what your new home will include—open concept, updated kitchen, large backyard, extra storage space—there are ultimately two types of properties to choose from: Existing and New Construction.

Existing homes may have the character you're looking due to their age, but if you ultimately decide that a new construction home in Wilmington DE or Southeastern PA would be the best fit, there are a few things you should note.

There are not always in the MLS
As a buyer, you may not know that new construction homes cannot always be found in the MLS, or the real estate websites you use to search for available properties. Builders often have a team working on-site and advertise through local media to get the word out about their homes. If you have decided on a new construction home, let your real estate agent know so they can round up the best options for you!

Early discounts might be available
Depending on where you come in on the sales process, you may find that a builder is happy to offer you a discount or lower price on a property in order to meet their quota and drive future sales. However, don't be distracted too much by the lower price as you are then locked in to the project and may risk losing your down payment should you decide to cancel the transaction before the build actually begins.

Upgrade discounts may also be available
As I mentioned above, certain points in the sales process may allow buyers to negotiate easier. For instance, toward the end of the building project, builders are often more willing to compromise in order to wrap up their sales. A lower sales price may not be in the cards, but they may offer you an upgrade discount where you are able to choose a pricer finish like hardwood flooring or stainless appliances instead of standard finishes. Depending on what you choose, the upgrades could make for a better deal than an initial drop in price! 

Contact the Kat Geralis Home Team today to get started on your home search in Wilmington or Newark, DE or Southeastern PA! We are here to help you find the perfect property that suits your needs and budget, no matter what type of property you desire.

Happy house hunting!

Katina Geralis
DE and PA Real Estate Expert
eXp Realty

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

It may not feel like it just yet, but spring will be here before we know it! And while home buyers are indeed scouring the market for the perfect home year-round these days, traffic tends to pick up significantly in the spring months. What does that mean for you as a Delaware or Pennsylvania home seller? It means your property must be in tip-top shape to outshine the others on the market and as your local real estate experts, we have included a few tasks below to help it do just that!

Be sure to complete the following tasks before listing your Delaware or Pennsylvania home:

Clean the gutters
Once the warm temperatures begin to set in, we're all eager to get outside again— but you're probably not in a hurry to venture up to the roof. Don't forget to take stock of your gutters, giving them a good cleaning before the spring is in full swing. If left unattended, gutters can begin to overflow and wreak havoc on your foundation or the interior of your home via water damage.

Wash the windows
Not only do clean windows allow for more light to enter your Southeastern PA home, but they give the impression that your home is tidy and well cared for. No matter what time of year you list your DE or PA home, be sure to give your windows a thorough washing!

Remove yard debris
Especially before having listing photos taken of your home, you'll want to make sure your home's curb appeal is on point. Yard debris in the form of tree limbs, twigs, and dead landscaping can really bring down the property's image for buyers. Take the time to clean up your yard—as well as clear walkways—and ensure it gives off a welcoming aura to buyers.

Store your winter tools
Before you invite buyers into your Wilmington, Newark, or Southeastern PA home, it is essential to store your winter tools, including shovels and rakes. Not only do these items give the feeling of clutter to your outdoor space, but it suggests to the buyers that the rest of the property is not organized and maintained.

Repair animal damage
During the colder months, it is not uncommon for outside critters to find a way in! Raccoons, birds, bats, mice, squirrels, you name it— they can easily take up residence in damaged siding, under the roofline, and in holes around your foundation. If you spot these damaged areas, it is key to repair them as soon as possible before buyers point them out themselves!

If you're thinking about selling your home in Wilmington DE or Southeastern PA this spring, give the Kat Geralis Home Team a call today! We are here to guide you through the entire process, starting with preparing your property for sale!

We look forward to hearing from you!

Katina Geralis
DE and PA Real Estate Expert
eXp Realty

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

Spring Cleaning Projects to Tackle Now in Your Wilmington DE Home

by Katina Geralis

It may be difficult to begin thinking spring when the weather is still on the colder side here in Wilmington DE and Southeastern PA, but inside your home, there are a number of projects you can take on! It's never too early to tackle spring cleaning and if you're planning to sell your home in the Chester County or Delaware County PA area this year, buyers will certainly notice and appreciate your efforts!

Below are the most effective spring cleaning projects you can cross off of your list now in your Delaware and Pennsylvania home:

Clean the windows
Winter brings longer, darker days, but you would be amazed at how much of a difference a simple window washing can do for the light in your home. Clean every window inside and out—if possible—and while you're at it, take down the drapes and blinds and give them a thorough washing too.

Clean the carpets
Over the winter months, dirt, snow, grime and slush can take a toll on your flooring— especially carpet! Just imagine everything winter boots can track inside! Now is a great time to shampoo your carpets with a professional machine to eliminate all stains and spots and if you're trying to remove pet odors, sprinkle baking soda on the carpet, wait thirty minutes and then vacuum it up.

Clean tile grout
You may have grout in your bathroom and kitchen that has gone quite some time without being cleaned. Grab an old toothbrush, baking soda and spray bottle filled with white vinegar and set out to refresh these spaces! Simply rub the baking soda into the grout and then spray with the vinegar. Let it sit for a few minutes before wiping away with a damp sponge or scrubbing with the toothbrush.

Declutter every room
There's no need to head outside to do any spring cleaning— in fact, decluttering every room will make one of the biggest impacts on local buyers! Remove any lingering holiday decor or excessive knick knacks, say goodbye to old magazines and mail, and relocate shoes and outerwear that may be taking up space in your entryway. What's more, you will want to remove any large furniture that is blocking focal points like picture windows or a cozy fireplace.

Ready for a fresh start in a new home in 2017? Do not hesitate to give the Kat Geralis Home Team a call today! We can walk you through the selling process as well as provide helpful tips for making sure your home is buyer ready!

Katina Geralis
DE and PA Real Estate Expert
eXp Realty

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

The official beginning of spring is now just a week away and the weather is gradually getting warmer in Greater Wilmington and the surrounding Brandywine Valley. This is the time of year many Chester County and Delaware County PA area residents begin to think spring and head outside to both enjoy the weather and what the local communities have to offer.

Lucky for us, the Greater Wilmington area has dozens of spring-centered events planned for the coming weeks and as your local real estate experts, we're happy to share a few of them with you!

Spring Wine Festival
March 19-20, 2016; 12 PM to 6 PM
Chaddsford Winery
Chadds Ford, PA

Complimentary treats, live music, food trucks, wine and garden demonstrations are ready to be enjoyed at this festival celebrating the start of spring!

Orchid Extravaganza at Longwood
Through March 27, 2016; 9 AM to 5 PM
Longwood Gardens
Kennett Square, PA

With over 5,000 orchids in various arrangements and forms, the Orchid Extravaganza at Longwood Gardens is a uniquely spring event! You can find the popular orchid meadow, large orchid baskets, an oncidium waterfall display and this month, the rare sky-blue poppies in bloom!

Newark Annual Egg Hunt
March 19, 2016; 10 AM
White Clay Creek State Park
Newark DE

Newark's annual egg hunt begins at 10 AM this Saturday! The Walking- 2 years old category and 3 and 4 years old category both at 10 AM, 5 and 6 years old category and 7 to 9 years old category at 10:30 AM. Admission is $4 for Delaware vehicles, $8 for out of state.

Easter Bunny Express
March 19-26, 2016; 11 AM to 4 PM
Greenbank Station
Wilmington DE

Come aboard the train for a 1 1/2 hour round-trip ride to Ashland with the Easter Bunny! Trains depart at 12:30 and 2:30 and all kids get a special treat and picture with the Easter Bunny.

Chester County Antiques Show
April 1-3, 2016
The Phelps School
Malvern, PA

The Chester County Antiques Show is now in its 34th year, benefiting the Chester County Historical Society. The show attracts numerous visitors and vendors alike every year to view and display the show's furniture and antique items. This year's theme is Tomfoolery!

If you have questions about moving to Delaware or Southeastern Pennsylvania this year, do not hesitate to give the KG Home Team a call! Our team has been named a 5 Star Real Estate Agent over and over again and we are here to put our expertise to work for you!

Happy spring!

Katina Geralis
Wilmington, DE Real Estate Expert
Keller Williams Realty

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

With the weather beginning to warm up and the official start of spring just a few weeks away, many homeowners in Wilmington and the Brandywine Valley are looking for ways to improve their property. But if you're one of those making a home to-do list this spring, it's important to consider the projects that will be worth your while in terms of boosting curb appeal and adding value.

Consider the following home projects that will pay off when it comes time to sell you home in the Greater Wilmington, DE area or surrounding counties in Pennsylvania.

Clean it up
Before you can start on improvement projects like adding new landscaping or painting the shutters, start by giving your home's exterior a good cleaning. Power wash away all of the grime, dirt and mildew that could have built up over the long winter. Wash the windows, inside and out, and don't forget to wash away any dust or dirt on the garage door. In some cases, simply washing your home can add thousands to the sale price.

Grab your paintbrush
Giving your home's exterior a fresh coat of paint might be just what you need to grab Greater Wilmington buyers' attention this spring. This is one of the easiest and most effective projects to complete—although it can be costly—as both the appraiser and buyer will see the value.

Groom the yard
Your home's lawn is a major focal point, especially in the spring. Take the weekend to clean up any branches and debris from around your home and groom any overgrown hedges, bushes, trees or plants that may give a Delaware or Pennsylvania buyer the wrong impression. 

Add new landscaping
Once your yard is cleaned up, you can start to plan for new flowers and other landscaping. Add fresh mulch around your trees, place a few pots filled with flowers by your front door and give your window boxes a fresh look. 

Replace fixtures
Do you have an old porch light that has a mind of its own? Now is the time to replace fixtures like outdoor lights, mailboxes and house numbers. These may be small touches, but they can have a big impact on giving your home an updated feel.

Questions about selling your home in Greater Wilmington? Wondering what your home might be worth in today's market? Give the KG Home Team a call today! We are here to help!

You can even download our FREE Home Seller e-Guide!

Katina Geralis
Wilmington, DE Real Estate Expert
Keller Williams Realty

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

Homebuyers: How to Find the Right Mortgage in Wilmington, Delaware

by Katina Geralis


As more homebuyers decide to make the transition from renting to homeownership, it's becoming clear that much of the real estate market is uncharted territory for them.

The home buying process goes beyond just searching for your dream home— it involves a saving for a down payment, getting pre-approved and it's also important you are prepared to file a mortgage application

Now that doesn't mean all mortgages are created equal. As a homebuyer in Wilmington, Delaware—especially a first-time homebuyer—you will want to find the best mortgage for you and your personal situation. How can you tell you've chosen correctly? Keep the following in mind:

  • Fixed-rate mortgages

A fixed-rate mortgage, just as the name suggests, has the same interest rate throughout the life of the loan. This type of mortgage is great if interest rates begin to climb, however, if they fall, you will be stuck with the same payment.

  • Adjustable-rate mortgages

Think of this as the opposite— the mortgage with a rate that changes throughout the life of the loan. An adjustable-rate mortgage usually begins with a low, short-term interest rate (which will stay low if rates follow suit) and yet if rates rise, your payment could do the same.

  • 30-year mortgages

As a homebuyer in the Wilmington and Newark area, you have likely heard about 30-year mortgages. This is a common route, but you also have the option of taking on a shorter term mortgage; for instance, a 10, 15 or 20 year loan. The loans with the shorter payback period will allow you to pay less interest, but the payments will be higher than the standard 30-year mortgage.

Now, Wilmington homebuyers, it's also important you shop around for a lender. Don't be too quick to settle on the first company to offer you a mortgage. Interest rates and terms can vary widely among lenders and you will need to compare these to find the best deal. If you don't know where to begin shopping, the Kat Geralis Home Team would be glad to provide recommendations!

The spring real estate market is heating up and will only continue to do so as we progress into April. You will be competing with numerous other motivated buyers this season, so do not wait to get a jump on the mortgage process. The earlier you start, the earlier you can settle into the home of your dreams in Greater Wilmington!

----

If buying a home is on your mind this spring, you are already on the right track toward building long-term wealth! Today, financing costs are generally low and with the rising cost of rent in Wilmington and Newark, real estate is the best possible investment you can make. 

Stop throwing your money away in the "renter's trap!" It's time you start building wealth the right way!

Katina Geralis
Wilmington, DE Real Estate Expert
Keller Williams Realty

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

In the past, Wilmington and Newark DE area home sellers have had to compete with a large inventory of distressed properties—both foreclosures and short sales. Now, the amount of foreclosures and short sales available has dropped significantly in most markets and for home sellers, spring seems to be the time to list with the competition gone.

However, 2015 holds new competition and Delaware homebuyers are viewing it as the better option over what is available in the current real estate market.

New construction 

Newly-constructed homes accounted for 16% of all homes sold in 2014, according to the National Association of Realtors' Profile of Home Buyers & Sellers. New construction homes in the Wilmington area not only offer them the ability to customize and choose the home's design, but also free them from the burden of existing home issues.

As the new competition on the real estate block, new construction also offer Wilmington area buyers the following that existing homes do not:

  • No need for renovations
  • No need for repairs that existing homes may require
  • Amenities in new construction communities— for instance, a swimming pool, clubhouse, fitness center or golf course
  • Green or energy-efficient appliances, windows and other eco-friendly features
  • An alternative to the lack of existing homes inventory in the real estate market

One of the main reasons new construction is emerging as a strong competitor for home sellers is the current lack of inventory. In fact, the number of those who cited a lack of existing homes in the survey is likely to increase this year.

Existing home inventory is currently sitting at a 4.7 month supply, while it needs to be at 6 month supply to maintain a "normal" market by historical standards. In comparison, the inventory of new construction homes available is currently pegged at a 5.4 months supply.

So, what can you do to avoid the competition as a Wilmington or Newark DE home seller? List now! Many homeowners are waiting until spring to list their properties and acting now could put you ahead of this rush of homes soon to hit the market.

As your Greater Wilmington real estate experts, the KG Home Team can walk you through the home sale process every step of the way. Do not hesitate to contact us with any questions and if you're ready to get started, we're here to help!

-----

While home sales did indeed stumble in January, compared to December, we can see that existing homes sales have outpaced last year every month. In fact, this January's sales numbers were 200,000 homes greater than January of last year. 

Also better when referencing last year's numbers are pending home sales. The number of houses going into contract has done better in the last five months as compared to last year at this time.

What does that mean for you? Don't be afraid to list! Demand is currently 3 times greater than last year and today's housing inventory is not enough to support the motivated buyers. This may be the perfect time to get the best price for your home!

Katina Geralis
Wilmington, DE Real Estate Expert
Keller Williams Realty

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

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 11

Syndication

Categories

Archives

Kat Geralis Home Team Real Estate