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Six Mortgage Tips for Wilmington, DE Homebuyers!

by Katina Geralis

With a new year comes a fresh look at what will happen in housing! Due to the fact that mortgage rates are set to stay low throughout 2012, many Wilmington, DE homebuyers are thinking that now is the time to start thinking about buying a home. This is an exciting and big step to take, however there is one thing that could potentially stop you from finding the Wilmington, DE home of your dreams, and that is obtaining a mortgage.

Getting a mortgage loan has been and will continue to be a challenge. The key to getting the financing you need for your Wilmington, DE real estate transaction is to become a savvy borrower. Although financing will likely be a bit challenging, if you approach your lender prepared, you will likely have success in obtaining a loan for your dream home. As a Wilmington, DE real estate agent, I feel that it’s important to help my clients through every phase of the home buying process. These six tips will help you get the financing you need for your future home.

Know your credit backward and forward. The most important step in obtaining a loan is having a good credit score. Have your most recent credit reports ready and on-hand, and if you need to, start taking steps to improve your score now.  If your credit is bad or you need some time to rectify your score, then now may not be the best time to apply for a mortgage loan.

Have your paperwork ready to go. Every lender requires very specific documents for their mortgage application. Don’t wait for your bank to ask you for them! Have all the important paperwork ready to go early and your lender will see how prepared you are.

Have a realistic price point. It’s important to know how much you can afford before approaching your lender. Calculate what you can afford ahead of time, create a budget and leave a little wiggle room for unforeseen expenses. This will help you better estimate your monthly mortgage payments and will help you get the best loan possible for your financial situation.

Don’t settle for the first lender you meet. Shop around for a mortgage. It’s important to get a few different perspectives on what loans you qualify for. Don’t rely solely on interest rates; there are other factors that should go into your decision. Meeting with a few different lenders and brokers will help you pick the best possible combination for your financing needs.

Work in a timely fashion. You could lose out on the house you want or on your loan if you don’t work within an efficient timeframe with your lender. Ask for an estimated closing date and keep following up with your lender until the transaction is closed.

Keep your credit intact…even after approval. Once you get financing, you will be relieved, but it can be taken away if your credit rating doesn’t stay put. Don’t take out new lines of credit, finance a new car or have a slew of late bill payments. Stay on top of your finances.

These are just a few of many ways that you can become a savvy borrower! Obtaining financing for a new Wilmington, DE home can be challenging, but with the right guidance and smart strategies, you can get the mortgage you need to move in. As your Wilmington, DE real estate agent, I think that that it’s important to let you know the best way to deal with any obstacles that could come your way throughout your real estate transaction.

If you have any questions about what homes are available on the Wilmington, DE real estate market, don’t hesitate to contact me! I’m happy to help you whenever you need me. I hope to hear from you soon!

Katina Geralis
Wilmington, DE Real Estate Expert
Keller Williams Realty

Wilmington Real Estate
Wilmington Homes for Sale
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How The Shadow Inventory Affects Wilmington, DE Home Sellers

by Katina Geralis

As your Wilmington, DE real estate agent, I’m asked about the outlook for our Wilmington real estate market. One of the reasons it’s hard to pin down is the presence of our shadow inventory. Every time a home comes through the shadow inventory and hits the market, it can negatively affect the values of the homes around it.

What is the shadow inventory? Simply put, it consists of homes with defaulted mortgages that will eventually go through foreclosure and hit the real estate market.

Estimates place about 2 million homes in the national shadow inventory. This number is a moving target, because as homes go through foreclosure and get sold on the market, the shadow inventory goes down. But it can also be increased if more loans turn sour. Or, if loans that were previously brought current via loan modification, fall behind again.

This is why economists look closely at the number of “new defaults” that are reported by lenders. If we want to see the light at the end of the tunnel, loans have to stop going bad. While this is easier said than done, we’ve seen some progress lately. Banks have stepped up their modification and short sale processes to try and prevent foreclosures. Between this, and some improvements in the economy, it’s hoped that the shadow inventory will shrink.

How are we sitting in Wilmington? By current industry estimates, clearing our shadow inventory could take 72 to 120 months. Why so long? The foreclosure process in Delaware isn’t quick. Each foreclosure can take from 200 days, to a year or more, to be completed. It depends on the volumes, court schedule, and whether or not the homeowner is contesting the foreclosure.

On the bright side, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported that new defaults in the 3rd quarter of 2011 were down by 7.99%. This is good news, because combating the shadow inventory is like dealing with a forest fire; half the battle is keeping it from spreading. A lower default rate now, means a smaller shadow inventory later.

My job as your Wilmington, DE real estate agent is to find ways to sell your home no matter what is pressuring the Wilmington real estate market. If you are struggling with your mortgage, or you simply need to sell your home in order to move on to another opportunity, I can help.

My experience in Wilmington, DE short sales and Wilmington, DE foreclosure sales make me uniquely qualified to handle this market. If you need to sell your Wilmington home, or if you have any questions, contact me. I will be here for you.

Wishing you the best for 2012,

Katina Geralis
Wilmington, DE Real Estate Expert
Keller Williams Realty

Wilmington Real Estate
Wilmington Homes for Sale
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Five Things To Know About Your Wilmington, DE Appraisal!

by Katina Geralis

It’s one of the most dreaded parts of any Wilmington, DE real estate transaction. The appraisal is a cause of anxiety for many people who are looking to buy or sell a home. Although they can oftentimes be a more irritating part of any real estate transaction, an appraisal is necessary for determining the value of a home. Even the most seasoned Wilmington, DE homebuyers or sellers have most likely experienced issues with an appraisal. They’re ever-changing due to changes in the law, and there isn’t a whole lot you can do about it. You just have to be cooperative and be as prepared as possible for the process.

As a Wilmington, DE real estate agent, I have been through my fair share of appraisals. I use my knowledge and experience of the local real estate market to prepare my clients for what they can expect during this phase of their transaction. Along the way, I have discovered that there about five things that buyers and sellers should know before going through an appraisal on their Wilmington, DE home:

Appraisals may take longer than you think. Many home buyers and sellers think that appraisals take a couple of days, but in reality, they could take a couple of weeks. This is due to appraisal laws that state that your mortgage broker can’t hire their own appraiser. Instead, a third party appraisal management company has to be brought in. The involvement of another party may slow down the appraisal process, but it also ensures that you’re getting an accurate value on your home, as they don’t feel the need to please the mortgage companies with their estimate.

They cost a lot of money. Appraisals can cost several hundred dollars. The average price can range from $400-$500, due to the inclusion of a third party in the process. This is an expense that many home sellers and buyers in the Wilmington, DE area don’t take into account during the transaction, and it’s an important one. The extra $500 could make a difference, so make sure that you plan for it financially.

The outcome could be frustrating, and you need to be prepared. While the appraisal is an incredibly important part of a real estate transaction, it can also be frustrating, as the outcome typically benefits either the buyer OR the seller, not both. If the price is a bit higher than it should be, according to the appraiser, then that obviously benefits the seller. Similarly, a lower appraisal estimate would benefit the buyers more than the sellers. As a Wilmington, DE home buyer or seller, it’s important to be prepared for either outcome and factor that in to your decisions about the transaction.

Sellers should be involved in the appraisal process. Don’t work in your garden or catch up on your errands when the appraiser comes to your home. Make it clear that you’re going to be present from start to finish to answer any questions that they may have about the home. Let the appraiser know of any upgrades or repairs, and be sure to point out details that you think may add worth to your home. Features such as granite countertops can often be missed by appraisers, and they can add value, so you’re going to want to make sure that those little details are accounted for.

Be aware of the rules. Contrary to popular belief, appraisers are allowed to speak to your Wilmington, DE real estate agent. It’s also required that your appraiser be familiar with your area so that they can put the most accurate value on your home. Being aware of these things ahead of time will help you catch any red flags that could come up, such as bringing in an appraiser that is unfamiliar with your neighborhood.

As a Wilmington, DE homebuyer or seller, preparedness is the best way to ensure that your appraisal goes as smoothly as possible. These five tips will help you know what to expect from the process, and it lets you know what aggravations may come your way ahead of time. While the appraisal is possibly one of the least-desirable parts of a real estate transaction, it is also a necessary one. My many years of experience as a Wilmington, DE real estate agent has allowed me to gain the knowledge needed to fully prepare my clients for this aspect of their transaction.

If you have any questions about the Wilmington, DE real estate market, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I’d love to help you out in any way I can. I hope to hear from you soon! Have a great day.

Katina Geralis
Wilmington, DE Real Estate Expert
Keller Williams Realty

Wilmington Real Estate
Wilmington Homes for Sale
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Can I Get a Mortgage After My Wilmington, DE Foreclosure?

by Katina Geralis

Going through a bankruptcy, foreclosure or short sale is heartbreaking, and for many people in this economic climate, it is a reality. One of the biggest fears of Wilmington, DE homeowners who begin to go through financial hardship is that if they go through one of these three processes, then they won’t be able to ever own a home after the fact. This is not true. You can be a homeowner again. All it takes is two qualities: patience and hard work.

It’s not impossible to buy a home in Wilmington, DE after suffering from a financial hardship, but in order to do so, you will have to clean up your credit and wait for a certain amount of time after the foreclosure, short sale or bankruptcy. As a Wilmington, DE real estate agent who specializes in foreclosures and short sales, part of my responsibility is to reassure my clients that this isn’t the end: they CAN become a homeowner again. It is also my job, however, to let my clients know exactly what they need to do to accomplish this after suffering from a Wilmington, DE foreclosure or short sale. Here are just a few of the more important things they’ll have to keep in mind if homeownership is the goal:

You’re going to have to wait awhile. Those who have suffered a financial hardship in Wilmington, DE could wait anywhere from 1-7 years after the fact before getting a home loan. If you went through a bankruptcy and have a spotless subsequent credit history, then you may have to wait only one year. If you went through a Wilmington, DE short sale or foreclosure and are looking for a conventional loan from Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, you will most likely have to wait 7 years. In between are 2, 3, and 4 year timelines that all depend on extenuating circumstances surrounding the foreclosure or short sale.

Make sure your credit stays clean. If you miss even one credit card payment after losing your home in a foreclosure or short sale, then you are pretty much ruining your chances of getting a loan in a shorter time span. Make every credit card payment on time and show signs of stable employment. The more spotless your credit is after financial hardship, the more willing banks will be to get you your loan in a shorter time frame.

Consult an expert. Shortly after going through your Wilmington, DE foreclosure or short sale, you need to make sure that you consult a mortgage or loan expert for advice. They can give you a realistic time frame for when you can expect to be a homeowner again, and they’ll also tell you what steps that you need to take before it’s possible to get a loan again. As a Wilmington, DE real estate agent, I know several people in the industry that can help counsel you on a strategy after your foreclosure or short sale.

None of these steps are easy to take, but they are necessary if you want to become a Wilmington, DE homeowner after losing your home in a short sale, foreclosure or bankruptcy. As a Wilmington, DE real estate agent, it is part of my job to help distressed homeowners in the area figure out the appropriate plan for their financial situation and get them on the right track. I also need to help advise them on what steps to take to mend the damage caused after a foreclosure or short sale.

 If you have any questions about Wilmington, DE short sales or foreclosures, don’t hesitate to contact me! I’m happy to lend a helping hand and listening ear for anything that you may need. I’d love to hear from you.

Katina Geralis
Wilmington, DE Real Estate Expert
NextRE Team

Wilmington Real Estate
Wilmington Homes for Sale
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Stop Foreclosure On Your Wilmington, DE Home!

by Katina Geralis

You hear it on the news every day: this is a difficult economy. Due to high unemployment rates and a poor economy, more and more homeowners in the Wilmington, DE area are falling behind on mortgage payments. This has led to a higher amount of delinquent mortgages and an increase in the number of homes going into foreclosure. This has caused a huge and stressful burden for many Wilmington, DE homeowners. The fear of one's home going into foreclosure can be overwhelming and cause high anxiety levels for those who are behind on their mortgage payments each month.

As a Wilmington, DE real estate agent, part of my job is helping those who are in danger of losing their homes avoid foreclosure. Foreclosure is a painful, lengthy process where the party involved loses their home and typically can’t get another one for several years afterwards. As a real estate agent who specializes in distressed properties, I offer the clients who come to me with advice on how they can avoid the foreclosure process. My years of experience in the Wilmington, DE real estate market allow me to ease the stress for several homeowners who are in danger of losing their homes by offering them viable and better options to foreclosure.

Get a loan modification. Load modifications benefit homeowners because it means that they get to keep their home. The lender agrees to modify any or some of the terms of the mortgage, whether it be by extending the term of the loan, changing monthly payments so that they are more affordable or changing the interest rate. The result is that the mortgage becomes more affordable and they can get their home out delinquent status. This option is viable for those who have both proof of hardship AND sufficient income for the re-calculated monthly mortgage payment. This is the best alternative to foreclosure, however in this economy; it is much more difficult for Wilmington, DE’s homeowners to get through this process. Many might be rejected by their lenders for a loan modification. That is where the next option comes into play.  

Go through the short sale process. When a Wilmington, DE homeowner is facing foreclosure and can’t get a loan modification, the next option that they will want to explore is the short sale. A short sale occurs when the lender gives the homeowner permission to sell their home for less that the outstanding balance owed on the mortgage, producing a quick sale. This helps distressed homeowners avoid foreclosure. While this does put a damper on the homeowner’s credit rating, it’s a lot less stressful than a foreclosure, and you can buy a home much faster after the process is over. Many homeowners in the current economic climate are eligible for a short sale, so this could be a very viable option for you! Contact your Wilmington, DE real estate agent with questions about short sales and see if you qualify for one.

The foreclosure process is trying, stressful and lengthy for all involved. As an expert on Wilmington, DE foreclosures and short sales, I do the best I can to give all of my clients alternative options that are both viable for their financial situation and will cause the least stress or anxiety. I make it my responsibility to make sure that all of my clients are aware of all of their options. If you feel like you’re in danger of losing your Wilmington, DE home, or you have questions about the local real estate market, don’t hesitate to contact me. I’m here to help you through this difficult time, even if it’s only to lend a few words of advice. I hope to hear from you soon!

Katina Geralis
Wilmington, DE Real Estate Expert
NextRE Team

Wilmington Real Estate
Wilmington Homes for Sale
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As a Wilmington, DE real estate agent, I see my share of nervous home sellers. Particularly in a buyer’s market, marketing a home is tricky. The competition is fierce and you want to make sure that everything goes perfectly. This way, your home will be sold faster for the best price possible. I make it my responsibility to educate those who are interested in selling their Wilmington, DE home about the various tactics and techniques one should use before, during, and after marketing their listing. There is one step that I always recommend: Before listing your home on the Wilmington, DE real estate market, get a home inspection!

Home inspections are an inevitable part of selling your home. It’s understandable. A buyer wants to make sure that their Wilmington, DE home is up to code and ready to move into, but they can also use the inspection results to try and get more out of the seller. The only way to avoid such an unfavorable outcome is to get an inspection before listing your home. Here are some of the benefits to getting your Wilmington, DE home inspected early-on in the selling process:

•    Buyers will perceive a greater value on the home. If the home has already been through an inspection, then the buyers will see that as one less thing to worry about. As a result, you can ultimately get more money from the sale.

•    You can avoid buyer’s remorse. If you complete a Wilmington, DE home inspection well in advance, then you can address all of your home’s defects early-on. This can help avoid buyer panic after the contract is submitted and negotiations are completed. This can help you avoid catastrophes and headaches down the line.

•    It keeps the transaction positive. If a buyer is more focused on the positive, fixed aspects of the home, then they won’t get caught up in the home inspection and try to negotiate more out of you, the seller. It cuts down on buyer demands and gives you the opportunity to get the most value possible out of your Wilmington, DE home.

There are no perfect houses. No matter how amazing you feel that your property is, I can guarantee that a home inspection will find something that needs to be fixed. This isn’t something that you should worry about too much. As your Wilmington, DE real estate agent, I have contacts and connections with several home repair companies in the area. I can help you find the right professionals to fix any and all problems found during your home inspection. It’s the best way to get your Wilimington, DE property ready for the local real estate market!

As always if you need any help with your Wilmington, DE home sale, or you want more information about getting a home inspection, don’t hesitate to contact me! I’d love to help you in any way that I can. I hope to hear from you very soon!

Katina Geralis
Wilmington, DE Real Estate Expert
NextRE Team

Wilmington Real Estate
Wilmington Homes for Sale
Visit My Website
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Qualify for a Short Sale in Wilmington!

by Katina Geralis

Foreclosure. Short Sale. REO. All three are real estate terms that you hear in the news every day, especially during the rough real estate climate we are currently in. “Foreclosure” is a term that most people know very well. When a homeowner stops paying the mortgage payments on their home, the bank then starts to foreclose on their home. This is a very stressful and painful experience for those who are struggling financially. Once you lose your Wilmington home, it could be incredibly difficult to get back on your feet and own a home again. That’s where the short sale comes in.

As a Wilmington real estate agent, I have taken an active interest in helping many struggling homeowners through what can be a much better alternative than foreclosure: the short sale process. Short sales occur when one of two things happens:

1.    The amount owed on your Wilmington property is worth more than its market value.
2.    A negotiation occurs between the homeowner’s mortgage companies to accept less than the value of the loan. A buyer closes on the property and is sold for less than the total value of the mortgage.

http://www.kghometeam.idxbroker.com/idx/search/advanced" target="_blank">Wilmington short sales are great options for investors and first time homebuyers because they are sold at low prices. They’re also an attractive option for struggling homeowners because it can help them avoid the painful foreclosure process, and it allows them to get back on their feet much faster. Here are three things that you need to qualify for a short sale in Wilmington, DE:

 

Proof of financial hardship. You need to be able to prove to your lender that there is a situation that is causing you to miss your mortgage payments. Whether you were laid off at work, suffered a costly tragedy or have another financial drain, you need to be able to prove to your mortgage company that you are physically unable to pay your mortgage payments for a valid reason.

A monthly income shortfall. A basic way to put this is that you need to show that you have more “month than money.” Before you qualify for a short sale, your lender will want to see that you don’t have the income flow to continue to pay your mortgage or pay off missed payments. Have a few copies of your bank statement and a breakdown of your monthly income ready to show your lender.

Proof of insolvency. Your lender wants to make sure that you do not have enough money in assets to liquidate in order to pay off your mortgage. Your belongings will be assessed, so before you begin the short sale process, make sure that you don’t have enough in liquid assets to make mortgage payments.

Of course, going through a Wilmington short sale isn’t without its pitfalls. The process can oftentimes be timely and drawn-out. The more prepared you are going into the process, however, the faster your short sale will get approved. Using a Wilmington short sale expert will help ease the stress and tension surrounding a short sale.

If you are overwhelmed by your mortgage payments and feel like you need some guidance, don’t hesitate to contact me! I’d be happy to answer any of your questions regarding Wilmington short sales and help guide you on the path to recovery. If you start looking at your options now, then you can avoid the hardships and stress that come with foreclosure. I hope to hear from you soon!

Katina Geralis
Wilmington, DE Real Estate Expert
NextRE Team

Wilmington Real Estate
Wilmington Homes for Sale
Visit My Website
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Get Creative When Selling Your Wilmington Home!

by Katina Geralis

In the good old days, baking a batch of cookies for your Wilmington home’s open house and throwing in a big screen TV for the buyer was enough to produce some buzz about your home sale. Now that the market is a little more competitive, however, Wilmington’s home sellers need to get creative. In order to get the buyers interested in your home, as opposed to the competition’s, you need to be able to think outside the box.

As your Wilmington real estate agent, it is my job to make sure that all of my home sellers market their home creatively. Going the extra mile to do something a little bit different is what’s going to make your home stand out and sell faster, instead of sitting on the market for an extended period of time. My experience and expertise as Wilmington, DE’s premiere real estate agent has given me some ideas on how to sell creatively. Here are a few ideas that I have picked up along the way:

Get on Facebook. Facebook’s pay-per-click ads are free to create and inexpensive to run. Create an ad for Facebook that shows a picture of your listing and has a creative tagline. Link the ad to the listing page on your Wilmington real estate agent’s website. This will give your listing maximum exposure in your area for little cost. You can also have yourself or your agent use Facebook marketplace to put your listing online and get the word out to your friends. You never know: they may know of someone who is looking for a brand-new Wilmington home.

Stage your home. Staging is of the utmost importance when you’re selling a home because it allows buyers to visualize living in your property. The neutral and clean look that comes from staging presents your home in the best light while minimizing clutter, so that it’s easy for a buyer to insert their possessions into your home. Staging can be done creatively and switched so that each room can be seen to serve multiple purposes. It’s a great way to present your property in the best way possible.

Throw in some extra incentives. Do you want to get some buzz surrounding your property? If so, the answer might be to throw in some great incentives with the purchase of your home. Whether it is season tickets to a basketball or baseball game, airline tickets, or even monetary incentives like a mortgage stipend, these extras will increase the interest in your property and get more traffic through your home. They might not seal the deal, but they’ll get people through the door, and your fantastic home will do the rest.

Make your open houses more festive. Having cookies at your open house is great, but try generating interest by turning it into something of a party. Prepare hors d’oeuvres, have music playing, and if you’re motivated, have some sort of contest or raffle. Making your open house seem more fun and festive might draw interest to your home and allow potential buyers to relax while they look around.

Thinking outside the box and marketing your home creatively is the key to selling your home on the Wilmington real estate market. These creative tactics will increase the traffic going through your property and get your home sold faster. If you have questions about what it takes to sell your Wilmington home, or have questions about the Wilmington, DE area, don’t hesitate to contact me! I’d love to be here for you as your real estate and community expert.

Katina Geralis
Wilmington, DE Real Estate Expert
NextRE Team

Wilmington Real Estate
Wilmington Homes for Sale
Visit My Website
Contact Me

Why the Current Real Estate Climate is Perfect for Wilmington Investors!

by Katina Geralis

The current real estate climate is, for lack of a better word, difficult. Despite record-low interest and mortgage rates, strict lending standards and higher down payments have made it much more challenging for people to buy a home. It’s no surprise, then, that July saw a major slump in existing home sales. In fact, most industry experts and analysts knew that there would be a mild recovery in sales for August, but they were shocked to see just how big of a jump there was: between July and August, there was nearly a 19% rise in existing home sales.

Many industry analysts feel that this is explained by one key factor in the current real estate market: investors. In the month of August alone, investors accounted for 22% of purchase activity. As an investor, there are several reasons you should purchase REO and foreclosure properties in order to bolster your income. As your Wilmington real estate agent, I consider it part of my job to guide Delaware’s investors in the right direction by showing them some of the best bank-owned and foreclosure properties on the Wilmington real estate market. Here are a few reasons distressed properties are desirable for investors:

The price is right. The low cost of REO and foreclosure properties make them attractive investment options. You can obtain property without breaking the bank, with the goal of seeing a sizeable return on investment. The key is to find a distressed home with potential and see what you can do with it from the get-go. The more potential you see, the easier it will be for you to profit from your investment.

Renovations greatly boost home value. Many distressed properties haven’t been maintained, aren’t up to code, or have a variety of maintenance issues. As an investor, you have the power to address these issues right away. You can make the appropriate fixes to the property, as well as give it the upgrades that will make it attractive to a potential homebuyer. The more upgraded and maintained the property, the easier it will be to sell that home for a profit. It will take investment and hard work, but the return you get will be worthwhile.

The current market climate is perfect for investors. With the influx of foreclosures in the national real estate market, it’s not just dilapidated or run-down properties that are getting foreclosed-on. In the current market, all types of homes are going through foreclosure. You can obtain a really beautiful piece of property for a low price and sell it for a sizable profit. Take advantage of the options of distressed properties available on the Wilmington real estate market! It’s a prime time to be an investor; you just need to look for the right properties to invest in.

As a well-rounded Wilmington real estate agent, I don’t just work with Delaware’s home buyers and sellers. I also work with local investors to help them find the right distressed property to maximize their profit in Wilmington, DE. If you want to see some distressed properties on the Wilmington real estate market, don’t hesitate to contact me! I’d love to help you find your next big investment.

Katina Geralis
Wilmington, DE Real Estate Expert
NextRE Team

Wilmington Real Estate
Wilmington Homes for Sale
Visit My Website
Contact Me

Eight Tips For a Successful Wilmington Home Search!

by Katina Geralis

It’s a buyer’s market, and the current climate of Wilmington Delaware real estate suggests that if you’ve been thinking about buying a home in the area, now is a hot time to do so. With home prices and interest rates at record lows, now is probably the ideal time to start your Wilmington home search. That way, you can take advantage of the current, low costs and find the home that really suits you best. It’s time to start house-hunting.

With all of that being said, buying a Wilmington, DE home is far from easy. Especially if it’s your first time around the block, you can get slammed with extra feeds, stressful transactions, and sticky negotiations if you don’t have the right professional looking out for your best interests.

As a Wilmington Delaware real estate agent, I make it my responsibility to help first-time homebuyers navigate the local market by both providing quality advice and making their transaction as smooth and seamless as possible.

When you first start your Wilmington home search, it can be easy to get caught up in the excitement of buying a home and make some costly errors. Follow these eight quick tips, however, and you’ll be in your brand new Wilmington, DE home in no time!

1. Research the neighborhood. It’s an old, but true, mantra: Location, Location, Location! If you don’t take the time to research a neighborhood you’re interested in, you could be in for some serious buyer’s remorse after purchase. Remember, you might find the dream home, but if it’s in a neighborhood that doesn’t suit your needs, you’ll never be fully happy. Take the time to do some research, and you’ll be much more satisfied after signing the papers.

2. Look at several houses before you buy. We’ve all heard of love at first sight, but if you use that during your home search, you could be stuck with a home that needs costly repairs or that doesn’t really fit your needs. Take the time to look and you could find a home better than you even dreamed possible. Just keep an objective eye out on every property!

3. Get a professional inspection. Even if a property is pre-inspected, it can be hard to trust that a seller is disclosing everything wrong with the house, or that the repairs they did make were done thoroughly. Investing in a professional inspection can ease your mind and insure that you’ve covered all your bases, which will make move-in day much less stressful.

4. Go after what you need, not what you want. You might love that cozy, two-bedroom home with a lot of fancy upgrades, but if your family is growing, is it really what you need? Keep your future plans in mind when you’re buying a house. If you focus on what you need instead of what you want, chances are you’ll be more satisfied with the house down the line, and you’ll be in the property for a longer time. It will create a more worthwhile investment.

5. Buying a home at auction? Never overbid. Due to the high number of foreclosures sweeping the nation, many of you may be interested in buying a home at auction. This could be a great idea, but you have to be careful not to overbid. Do your research before attending the auction and stick to the price you know is right. Many auctioneers try and push the home way over market price during auction, so don’t get sucked into that game. Know your limit and stick to it.

6. Never buy a home based on décor. Sure, that house you looked at might have nice decorations, but how will it look with your furnishings in it? Take a step back and imagine your belongings in the house. If that changes your opinion of the property, then it’s probably not the best home for you.

7. Be careful when you read real estate ads. Ad copy is meant to make a house sound amazing and grand. Their phraseology is meant to “talk up” the property. “Cozy” is probably code for small. “As-is” means you might have a lot of work to do. Learn how to read between the lines, so you can avoid wasting time by going to see houses that you’ll want nothing to do with.

8. Don’t buy the most expensive home on the block. Sure, it’s great to keep up with the community you live in, but if you surpass them, you’ll never get the same return on investment. If you buy the priciest property, you’ll find that when you put it back on the market, you won’t get what you put into the home. Try and avoid this by finding a home that is within the average price range of your community.

Buying a home is complicated, but if you stick to these eight tips when you begin your Wilmington home search, you’ll find that your satisfaction after purchase will be high. As your Wilmington real estate expert, it’s my job to educate you on the best home buying tactics for amazing results. If you’re thinking about moving to the Wilmington, DE community, or would like to see some of the homes available on the Wilmington real estate market, don’t hesitate to contact me! I’d love to help you find your dream home.

Katina Geralis
Wilmington, DE Real Estate Expert
NextRE Team

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Wilmington Homes for Sale
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