Spotlight on The Buttery in Lewes

The Buttery is a great restaurant right in the midst of Historic Lewes. The Buttery serves lunch and dinner and is well known for their Sunday brunch service! The atmosphere is comfortable and welcoming, and the food is creative, flavorful, and delicious! The food can be pricey, but is also well worth it.


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The Buttery is a great restaurant right in the midst of Historic Lewes.  The Buttery serves lunch and dinner and is well known for their Sunday brunch service!  The atmosphere is comfortable and welcoming, and the food is creative, flavorful, and delicious!  The food can be pricey, but is also well worth it.  The Buttery is the perfect place for a relaxed Sunday brunch with family, and is equally great for a lovely dinner or just about any special occasion!  The Buttery also hosts their own special events, including their upcoming Murder Mystery Dinner on October 22nd, which sounds like a blast!  Locals love The Buttery and after just one visit it’s not hard to see why.  You should definitely check it out!

Thinking of buying of selling a home in Sussex County? Give us a call at Cooper Realty Associates and put us to work for you – 302-644-2266.

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September 29, 2012


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Today’s food for thought is from Benjamin Franklin:  “Well done is better than well said.”  “Deeds trump talk.” (Fred)

Fred’s pick of the day is MLS # 597941-$159,000.  This Class C home in Ocean View, DE has 3 BR, 2 BA, in 1512 sq. ft. with a Jacuzzi and a screened porch.  Call me to see this home at 302 258-6983.

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5 Home Improvements for Under $1000

Yesterday I looked at three updates you could make to your home for under $200, but today we’re going to open that budget up a bit. Here are five for under $1,000:


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Yesterday I looked at three updates you could make to your home for under $200, but today we’re going to open that budget up a bit.  Here are five for under $1,000:

1. Replace worn carpeting.  Nothing makes a home look grungier than yucky carpeting.  If you’ve got worn or stained carpeting, or other floor issues in your home, consider replacing the flooring.  If your budget prevents you from redoing all the floors, start in the rooms that have the most wear.

2.  Get a new water heater.  A tankless water heater is more environmentally friendly than older models and saves energy and money by heating only the water you use, as you use it.  This update will pay for itself in the long run, and will give your home added value if you put it on the market.

3.  Update the bathroom.  Bathrooms add value to a home, and you can easily do a minor remodel for under $1000.  Simple updates like replacing old plumbing, updating light fixtures, replacing tile, or switching out a vanity will update the whole room without a huge price tag.

4.  Update the kitchen.  Obviously you can’t do a whole kitchen remodel for under $1,000, but you can swap out one old appliance for a shiny, new, energy efficient model.  Another kitchen update to consider for under $1,000 would be replacing the flooring or updating the backsplash.  Any kitchen update adds value to your home.  You don’t necessarily have to redo the entire room to update it.

5.  Add curb appeal.  Lush, green grass sells homes!  Depending on the size of your yard, about $1,000 and some hard work will allow you to replace a weedy, patchy, or dead lawn with lovely, thick, green sod.  Just remember that landscaping requires follow-up commitment to get the full value!

Thinking of buying of selling a home in Sussex County? Give us a call at Cooper Realty Associates and put us to work for you – 302-644-2266.

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September 28, 2012


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Today’s food for thought is from Henry Ward Beecher:  “The meanest, most contemptible kind of praise is that which first speaks well of a man, and then qualifies it with a “but”.”  “It is a technique to praise a man then cut him down with a “but”, I would rather the critique than the hallow praise.”  (Fred)

 

Fred’s Pick of the day is MLS # 596102-$179,900.  Here is a large colonial in the established neighborhood of Atlanta Estates in Seaford, DE.  The home has 4 BR, 2.5 BA, hardwood floors and a 3 season room.  Call me to see this home 302 258-6983.

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Thursday Three: 3 Improvements for a Tight Budget

If you want to increase the value of your home, but you only have a little bit of cash, try any of these ideas which should each cost under $200.


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If you want to increase the value of your home, but you only have a little bit of cash, try any of these ideas which should each cost under $200.

1.  Scrape the popcorn.  Popcorn ceilings seriously date your home, so if you’ve currently got them spending the time to scrape them away will add instant value without a whole lot of money.  All you need is something to soften the texture and some time to dedicate to scraping!

2.  Plant a tree.  As a shade tree matures over time it will add curb appeal (and value!) to your home.  Not only are shade trees desirable, but properly placed it can actually cut your cooling costs significantly.

3.  Filter your water.  Installing a water filtration system in your kitchen allows you to get the luxury of bottled water right from your faucet.  It’s an inexpensive addition that adds value because it seems luxurious!

Thinking of buying of selling a home in Sussex County? Give us a call at Cooper Realty Associates and put us to work for you – 302-856-6434.

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Weekend Update – 9/28-9/30

Well, seems like it’s a slow weekend in the area. The summer season is over, and fall activities haven’t picked up quite yet, but if you’re looking for something new and interesting, check out the Rehoboth Film Society’s monthly screening on Friday, 9/28 at 7pm. This month’s film is a “freewheeling comedy” titled The Trip which stars Steve Coogan will be shows in the upstairs screening room at the Movies at Midway in Rehoboth Beach. For a complete review of the film (which sounds hilarious!) check out this link. Tickets are $4 for Film Society Members and $6 for everyone else.


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Well, seems like it’s a slow weekend in the area.  The summer season is over, and fall activities haven’t picked up quite yet, but if you’re looking for something new and interesting, check out the Rehoboth Film Society’s monthly screening on Friday, 9/28 at 7pm.  This month’s film is a “freewheeling comedy” titled The Trip which stars Steve Coogan will be shows in the upstairs screening room at the Movies at Midway in Rehoboth Beach.  For a complete review of the film (which sounds hilarious!) check out this link.  Tickets are $4 for Film Society Members and $6 for everyone else.

That’s pretty much all I’ve got for this weekend.  If you know of other area events that would be fun to check out, comment here!

Thinking of buying of selling a home in Sussex County? Give us a call at Cooper Realty Associates and put us to work for you – 302-644-2266.

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September 26, 2012


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Today’s food for thought is from Henry David Thoreau:  “Things do not change; we change.”  “Perception of things change, but change is not always good and then is discarded from time to time.”  (Fred)

 

Fred’s Pick of the Day is MLS # 587947-$624,000.  This large canal front home has 5 BR, 2.5 BA, private dock, and only 1.5 blocks from the beach.  Call me to see this gem at 302 258-6983.

 

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Pre-Qualification vs. Pre-Approval

It’s a good idea to be pre-approved for a mortgage before you begin house hunting. In fact, many realtors won’t even work with you until you’ve gone through this process. There is a bit of confusion out there though, about the difference between pre-qualification and pre-approval. Many times these terms are used interchangeably, but they are, indeed, different


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It’s a good idea to be pre-approved for a mortgage before you begin house hunting.  In fact, many realtors won’t even work with you until you’ve gone through this process.  There is a bit of confusion out there though, about the difference between pre-qualification and pre-approval.  Many times these terms are used interchangeably, but they are, indeed, different.  Pre-qualification is basically a letter from a loan officer saying how much they believe you will be able to borrow based on your income, debt, work history, etc.  Pre-qualification is given without pulling credit scores, and is a “good faith estimate.”  However, even if you are pre-qualified you can still have trouble with your financing, since nothing about a pre-qualification is guaranteed.

Pre-approval takes everything a step further and involves pulling your credit report (which typically involves a small, non-refundable fee).  This process involves a lot more paper work, but shows that the bank is ready to work with you should you find a home that you love.  It is important to note that pre-approval does not guarantee a mortgage, but it does guarantee that the bank is ready and willing to work with you which shows that you are a serious buyer.

Many realtors will work with you if you are pre-qualified, but it is really in your best interest as a buyer to be pre-approved before you start the house hunting process.  It is heart breaking to fall in love with a home and then find out that it is way over your budget when you try to finance it.  When you’re ready to start house hunting, shop around for a mortgage and find a broker that you like and trust.  Once you have your pre-approval letter it shows your agent and the sellers that you are a serious buyer worth working with.

Thinking of buying of selling a home in Sussex County? Give us a call at Cooper Realty Associates and put us to work for you – 302-629-6693.

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September 25, 2012


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Today’s food for thought is from George Savile:  “Nothing has an uglier look to us than reason, when it is not on our side.”  “Dreamers have the ability to overlook reason, and sometimes change the world and sometimes not.”  (Fred)

 

Fred’s pick of the day is MLS # 581988-$279,900.  This ranch home is in the upscale development of Rivers End, Seaford, DE.  The home has 3 BR, 2 BA, in 2161 sq. ft., a two sided fireplace, and a large master suite.  Call me to see this home at 302 258-6983.

 

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September 24, 2012


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Today’s food for thought is from George Meredith:  “Don’t just count your years, make you years count.”  “Sometimes just making a living becomes overwhelming, don’t despair, you can still make your mark.” (Fred)

 

Fred’s pick of the Day is MLS # 595728-$166,900.  Here is a Millsboro farmhouse with 2 BR, 1.5 BA, 1342 sq. ft., on 3.9 acres.  This home needs some TLC.  Call me to see this home at 302 258-6983.

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Types of Mortgages

If you’re in the market for a home, chances are high that you are not paying cash for it which means you will need to get a mortgage. There are two basic types of mortgages, conventional and government sponsored.


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If you’re in the market for a home, chances are high that you are not paying cash for it which means you will need to get a mortgage.  There are two basic types of mortgages, conventional and government sponsored.

Conventional mortgages are come in two basic varieties, fixed rate mortgages (FRM) and Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARM).  As the name suggests, fixed-rate mortgages have a set interest rate that stays the same throughout the length of the loan.  Usually fixed-rate loans are paid off over either 15 or 30 years.  These tend to be the most popular home loans.

In an adjustable rate mortgage the interest rate rises and falls throughout the length of the loan.  Typically, adjustable rate mortgages have a lower interest rate than fixed-rate mortgages, especially for the first year or so, but they can be risky, depending on the market and how long you plan to stay in your home.

With conventional mortgages, you are typically required to make a down payment of twenty percent.  Buyers who aren’t able to put that much down are required by their lenders to pay for private mortgage insurance (PMI) until you’ve paid down a full twenty percent of the home’s value.  PMI increases the monthly payment, and should usually be avoided if at all possible.

The other type of mortgage is though loan programs sponsored by the government.  These include Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans, Veteran’s Administration (VA) programs for veterans, and Rural Housing Service (RHS) programs for families living in rural areas.  Government sponsored loans are intended for homebuyers with low income.  Most of these programs require low down payments and have more lenient qualification terms than conventional loans.  To finance a home through any government sponsored loan program, you still have to go through traditional banks or mortgage lenders to get your money.  In these cases, the government does not actually lend the money, they just guarantee the loans.

Thinking of buying of selling a home in Sussex County? Give us a call at Cooper Realty Associates and put us to work for you – 302-644-2266.

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Spotlight On: DiFebo’s in Bethany Beach

Featuring award winning fresh seafood and a variety of other dishes, DiFebo’s (789 Garfield Parkway) is one of the highest rated restaurants in Bethany Beach, and it’s easy to see why.


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Featuring award winning fresh seafood and a variety of other dishes, DiFebo’s (789 Garfield Parkway) is one of the highest rated restaurants in Bethany Beach, and it’s easy to see why.  The atmosphere is comfortable, the service is great, and the food is awesome! Considered a “modern Italian grill,” DiFebo’s is a chef owned restaurant and you can tell that the family takes great pride in their food.  Sourcing their food from local farms and fisheries as much as possible, DiFebo’s guarantees freshness.  If you’re looking for an delicious and enjoyable upscale meal, I definitely recommend DiFebo’s in Bethany or their sister location at Bear Trap Dunes in Oceanview.

Thinking of buying or selling a home in Sussex County?  Give us a call at Cooper Realty Associates and put us to work for you – 302-644-2266.

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5 Ways To Make Your Laundry Room Work For You

The laundry room is an often underutilized part of the home. Here are 5 ideas to give your laundry room more life and function:


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The laundry room is an often underutilized part of the home.  Here are 5 ideas to give your laundry room more life and function:

1.  Add storage.  Add as many shelves and cabinets as you can and your laundry room can store not only cleaning supplies and toiletries, but also craft supplies, a gift wrap station, inbox for household mail, office space, and really anything that would benefit you that doesn’t need a huge amount of square footage elsewhere.

2.  Make it a mudroom.  Install durable flooring, a sink for washing grungy hands, a bench for removing shoes and a rack to store them on, and some hooks for coats.  Voila! You’ve got a great transition area between the outdoor living space and indoor living space of your home!

3.  Make it pet friendly.  If you’ve got to keep your pet confined during the day, the laundry room is a great place to do it.  If it would work for your situation, you could even add a doggie door so that Fido can let himself in and out during the day!

4.  Add amenities.  Adding things like a drying rack, hanging rod, and counter space for folding can help speed up the chore of laundry and cut down on your ironing.

5.  Boost your appliances.  If you have a front loading washer and dryer, put them on pedestals so that loading and unloading them isn’t so back-breaking.  But not only should you put them on pedestals, make those platforms work for you by building drawers or other storage into them!

Thinking of buying or selling a home in Sussex County?  Give us a call at Cooper Realty Associates and put us to work for you – 302-856-6434.

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September 21, 2012.


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Today’s food for thought is from Charles Goodyear:  “A man has cause for regret only when he sows and no one reaps.”  “I am thinking of the Sinatra song, regrets I’ve had a few, but too few to mention, let ones labors benefit someone!” ( Fred )

 

Fred’s pick of the day is MLS # 595945-$1,095,000.  This contemporary with a split floor plan, 3BR, 2BA, in Bethany Beach, DE is 2 ½ blocks from the Ocean.  Call me to see this home @ 302 258-6983.

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3 Steps To Appealing Your Property Taxes

On Tuesday I talked about property taxes. And today I am going to talk about how to appeal your property taxes if you feel that they are too high. Like I said before, property taxes are based on your homes assessed value, so if you feel that the value of your home as declined or is otherwise less than what it has been assessed for you may be able to file a grievance to have your property taxes reassessed. If you think you’re in this position, here are three actions for you to take:


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On Tuesday I talked about property taxes.  And today I am going to talk about how to appeal your property taxes if you feel that they are too high.  Like I said before, property taxes are based on your homes assessed value, so if you feel that the value of your home as declined or is otherwise less than what it has been assessed for you may be able to file a grievance to have your property taxes reassessed.  If you think you’re in this position, here are three actions for you to take:

1.  Find out if and when there is a specific time to file a grievance with the county assessor and research the steps and guidelines that apply to your home.  Typically there is a specific time period each year in which grievances are accepted, so you need to find out when that is.  Every area is different, so you can start by visiting your local assessor’s website to get information, figure out the requirements for your home, and download forms to start the appeal process.

2.  Get research to back up the claim you are making about your home’s value.  In order to appeal you will have to prove your home’s market value is lower than its assessed value.  To do this, you will have to get the sale information of comparable homes in your neighborhood that have sold in the past six months.  Remember, that you are not just looking at the prices of all homes that have sold, you want to find comparable homes, so you’re looking for information on homes with approximately the same number of bedrooms, bathrooms, square feet, yard space, etc.  Also remember that home values vary widely from neighborhood to neighborhood, so you want to look for the comps in your specific area.

3.  After you’ve done the research on your home’s fair market value, if you find the number truly is lower than your home’s assessed value you should complete the forms and submit your documentation.  If the appeal doesn’t turn out in your favor, you usually have the right to appeal in person with that decision being final.

Although it does hurt when property taxes go up, just remember that this is actually good news because it means that the value of your home is also rising!

Thinking of buying or selling a home in Sussex County?  Give us a call at Cooper Realty Associates and put us to work for you – 302-644-2266.

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Weekend Update: 9/21-9/23

Check out some of the fun things going on in Sussex County this weekend:


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Check out some of the fun things going on in Sussex County this weekend:

Friday, September 21st: Fun Friday! Oktoberfest
This Friday the Lewes Chamber of Commerce will sponsor their first annual Oktoberfest!  This event will take place at Mary Vessels Park and on Market Street between Front Street and Second Street in Lewes from 4pm-8pm.  Local merchants and vendors will be serving German good and German-themed merchandise and specials throughout the day.  The festival will be all about live entertainment and family-fun and will include Bavarian dancers, an Oompah Band, and more! 

Saturday, September 22nd: Fall Beach Party in Dewey
On Saturday the Dewey Business Partnership will host their annual end of season beach party on the beach at Dagsworthy Street.  This event is open to the general public and property owners in Dewey alike.  Parking is free and the event runs from 5:30-9pm.  Good and drinks from local business will be available at discounted prices and live entertainment includes Jimi Smooth and Bruce in the USA.  This event is free to attend and is open to all ages.

Sunday, September 23rd: Sampling of Sussex County
The Jefferson School in Georgetown will be hosting its 2nd Annual Sampling of Sussex event from 12pm-3pm on Sunday.  This family friendly event will include face painting, a petting zoo, live entertainment, and samplings from local restaurants.  For more information and admissions costs call 302-856-3300.

Sunday, September 23rd: Farmer & Foodie Festival
Stop by the Georgetown Circle from 12pm-4pm Sunday for the Farmer & Foodie Festival!  This event celebrates and honors local farmers.  There will carriage rides, pumpkin decorating, a backyard bbq competition, live entertainment, cooking demonstrations, and tastings from local businesses.

Sunday, September 23rd:  Free Concert in Cupola Park
Head to Cupola Park in Millsboro on Sunday evening to see local favorites “The Funsters” perform live.  The concert begins at 5pm and is free for all!  Don’t forget to bring a lawn chair or blanket!  Picnic dinners are encouraged too.

Thinking of buying or selling a home in Sussex County?  Give us a call at Cooper Realty Associates and put us to work for you – 302-644-2266.

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September 19, 2012


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Today’s food for thought is from Charles Dickens:  “Credit is a system whereby a person who can’t pay gets another person who can’t pay to guarantee that he will pay.”  “Credit today is necessary for the house and car, but is widely abused for the rest.” ( Fred)

 

Fred’s pick of the day is MLS # 595908-$118,000.00   An Estate Sale Farmhouse features 4 BR, 2 BA, in 2400 sq. ft. on 1.25 acres.  Call me to see this gem at 302 258-6983.

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All About Property Taxes

Property taxes can be a significant portion of your monthly house payment, yet most people are painfully unaware of the ins and outs of property taxes and are happy to just be able to pay the bill each month. When you’re looking to buy a home, the property tax information is available on most real estate websites, but that information is not always accurate.


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Property taxes can be a significant portion of your monthly house payment, yet most people are painfully unaware of the ins and outs of property taxes and are happy to just be able to pay the bill each month.  When you’re looking to buy a home, the property tax information is available on most real estate websites, but that information is not always accurate.  Although the information listed about property taxes may have been the amount paid in the previous year, property taxes are calculated according to the value of the property.  These are calculated yearly, and generally, when you buy a home the sale price is considered to be the assessed value.  The issue is that there are state laws that only allow the property value to be assessed at a small increase each year, so if the home hasn’t been sold in a long time, the home may have appreciated more than the assessed value shows, in which case a buyer’s property taxes can be much higher than the current taxes.  Of course, if the home has depreciated, this can mean your taxes are much lower.  On top of that, there are also lots of different tax exemptions that you or the previous owner may or may not be eligible for, so if you’re eligible for a different amount of tax breaks, that’s another reason that your property taxes will end up being higher (or lower) than the previously paid amount.

To best estimate what your taxes may be ask your realtor and/or mortgage broker to help you find out what the tax rate will be in the areas you are looking at then multiply your estimated purchase price by that rate.  Just keep in mind that this is only an estimate and that laws, assessment rates, and values can all change in the future.

Although it is difficult (or impossible!) to know exactly what your property taxes will be, these tips should help you be able to estimate more accurately than the tax history you find on a real estate website.  Happy house hunting!

Thinking of buying or selling a home in Sussex County?  Give us a call at Cooper Realty Associates and put us to work for you – 302-644-2266.

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September 18, 2012


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Today’s food for thought is from Charles Dickens:  “I never could have done what I have done without the habits of punctuality, order, and diligence, without the determination to concentrate on one subject at a time.” “Today’s idea of multi-tasking is way over blown.”  Fred

 

Fred’s pick of the day is MLS # 593802-$115,000.00.  This townhouse in Crossgate Village, Seaford, DE, has 2 BR, 2 BA in 1200 sq. ft. with a large 4 season room.  Call me @ 302 258-6983 to see this home.

 

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September 17, 2012


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Today’s food for thought is from Charles Buxton:  “The rule in carving holds good as to criticism; never cut with a knife what you can cut with a spoon.”  “Criticism can be handled with class or absolute destruction.”  Fred

 

Fred’s pick of the day is MLS # 597775.  A very well landscaped rancher on 1.10 acres is being offered as a Short Sale for $214,900, in Ocean View, DE.   This home has 3 BR, 2 BA, hardwood floors, a back deck and a yard patio.  Call me to see this home at 302 258-6983.

 

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