5 Reasons to Have Your Fireplace Inspected

It’s the most wonderful time of year….. for fires crackling in the fireplace that is. But before you use your fireplace too often – you might consider having it inspected by a good chimney sweep. Here are five reasons why:


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It’s the most wonderful time of year….. for fires crackling in the fireplace that is.  But before you use your fireplace too often – you might consider having it inspected by a good chimney sweep.  Here are five reasons why:

1. If your chimney isn’t capped properly you can suffer leaks from both rain and snow as well as have problems with birds, rodents, or other critters building nests and/or making their way into your house uninvited.

2. If your flue liner has excessive buildup they can clean it.  Excessive build up in the flue is the number one cause of house fires from fireplaces, so it’s definitely important.

3. They can ensure that the gaskets around any openings can be replaced if necessary to ensure proper operation and prevent damage.

4. They can clean the blower if your fireplace has one.  This will help extend the life of your blower and prevent it from becoming a fire hazard.

5. An inspection can reveal broken, cracked, or hazardous bricks both in the lining and outer fireplace and chimney.  Fixing or replacing broken bricks or mortar is important to ensure the safety and longevity of your fireplace.

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

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Three Ways to Build Your Credit

If you are in the market for your first home, or have struggled with your credit in the past the first step to buying your dream home is to build your credit so that you can get a mortgage and hopefully at a good rate! Here are three tips to help you:


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If you are in the market for your first home, or have struggled with your credit in the past the first step to buying your dream home is to build your credit so that you can get a mortgage and hopefully at a good rate!  Here are three tips to help you:

1. Don’t have too many credit accounts. You do need to open a few lines of credit to establish your credit record, but you don’t want to have too many.  One to three accounts is usually sufficient for establishing credit, but don’t open them all at once.  Opening these accounts and maintaining them is key.

2.  Open a variety of credit lines.  Credit cards, department store cards, auto loans, bank loans, etc. are all good ways to open your credit lines.  To truly build your credit you should try to have a variety of credit accounts, not just several credit cards.

3.  Maintain your accounts wisely.  Don’t open all of your accounts at once or you will actually lower your credit score.  You also need to use your accounts.  If you open them but leave them at a 0 balance, they don’t help build your credit record since it doesn’t show a lender that you have a history of responsibility in paying off your bills.  To truly build your credit you need to use your accounts, but not to their limit – 30% of your credit limit is a good number to shoot for, and you also need to pay your bills on time every single month, with no exceptions.

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

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Weekend Update: November 30th-December 2nd

Looking for something to do this weekend? Check out these events in and around Sussex County:


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Looking for something to do this weekend?  Check out these events in and around Sussex County:

Friday, November 30th:  Holiday Art Show & Sale
The Holiday Art Show & Sale kicks off the holiday season in Lewes on Friday, 11/30 from 6pm-9pm with an opening reception for the Holiday Art Show & Sale that will continue all weekend.  All funds raised support the Children’s Beach House.  Tickets start at $65 and include food, cocktails,valet parking, entertainment, and more!  For more information or to purchase tickets, check out this link.

Saturday, December 1st: Lewes Historical Society House Tour
One of the most popular holiday traditions in Lewes is back this Saturday from 10am-4pm.  Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 the day of the event.  All proceeds benefit the Lewes Historical Society.  This year 8 private homes and the Society’s museums will be decorated and open to the public.  The Christmas Antiques Bazaar & Bake Sale will be going on simultaneously at the Rabbit’s Ferry House (3rd & Shipcarpenter St.) in the Lewes Historical Complex.  For more information, including where to purchase tickets, check out this link.

Saturday, December 1st: Lewes Hometown Christmas Parade, Tree Lighting & Caroling
The theme for this year’s Christmas Parade is “Let It Snow!!!”  This great Lewes tradition is from 5pm-7pm.  It begins on Savannah Road at Sussex Drive and ends in front of King’s Ice Cream Shop on Second Street.  The parade includes floats, marching bands, cards, dogs, and many other participants.  The rain/snow date for the parade is Sunday, December 2nd at the same time.

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

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November 28, 2012


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Today’s food for thought from Tacitus:  “Things forbidden have a secret charm.”  “Just ask Eve.” ( Fred)

Fred’s Pick of the Day is MLS # 596022-$269,900.  A lovely River Front Home in Nanticoke Estates, Seaford, DE, and the home boasts 3 BR, 2 BA in 2560 sq. ft. with a granite/SS Kitchen, a sprawling sunroom, and cherry laminate flooring.  Call me at 302 258-6983 to see this home.

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Restoring the Northeast: What Homeowners Need to Know After Sandy

This article is written by Erik Braunitzer, a writer for Douglas Elliman, brokers for NYC, Long Island and Hamptons Real Estate.

New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware continue to experience devastating consequences of Sandy as a new nor’easter closely followed the hurricane. Homeowners have filed millions of claims, and the estimated damage is somewhere in the billions. Despite these two storms, homeowners must rebuild, but many look at their flooded and broken homes as impossible scenes of destruction. Getting started is just half the battle.


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This article is written by Erik Braunitzer, a writer for Douglas Elliman, brokers for NYC, Long Island and Hamptons Real Estate.

New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware continue to experience devastating consequences of Sandy as a new nor’easter closely followed the hurricane. Homeowners have filed millions of claims, and the estimated damage is somewhere in the billions. Despite these two storms, homeowners must rebuild, but many look at their flooded and broken homes as impossible scenes of destruction. Getting started is just half the battle.

Where to Begin
Once allowed to return to a dwelling, homeowners need to check that it is safe to inhabit the structure. The damage must be assessed right away. Debris, flood waters and other wreckage may have left your home unstable. With down power lines, fallen trees and uprooted trees, homes can still suffer other forms of destruction weeks later after a storm. Only a home inspection can determine whether or not your home is truly safe to inhabit. In addition, inspectors let you know what kind of damage your home has suffered and what parts of your home need to be immediately restored, which will allow a homeowner to file a substantial claim.

Talking to Insurance Companies
The next step is to file the claim. If you were unable to get a copy of your claim before the storm, you should be able to request a copy over the phone or talk about your coverage options. In addition, take pictures of all damage and debris with detailed notes. These come in handy when insurance companies send out appraisers to estimate the cost of repairs. With pictures and evidence, you can often get a bigger amount from the insurance companies to help repair your home.

Avoid Scavenging Contractors
It’s a sad but true fact that contractors come to life in the aftermath of destructive storms. Many repair companies swoop in offering all kinds of deals and promising much more to homeowners who just need help. If you need substantial work on your home, you still want to check out references and really get to know contractors before signing any contract for work. You also need to obtain formal quotes with written materials and labor costs. Contractors should be licensed, bonded and insured to work on your property.

Getting the Money
After the appraiser estimates the damage, you need to provide proof of physical loss with photo documentation as well. Once you provide all the evidence to the insurance company, you pay a deductible and the insurance provider sends a payment to replace damaged property. This process can take up to 3 weeks or more, depending on whether you accept the initial appraisal, so filing early is recommended. In addition, if the deductible is too high, pay for the repairs on your own instead of going through the insurance company.

Pay Attention to Time
Cleanup is never easy after a storm, but mold and further damage can follow quickly if you don’t take necessary precautions to protect your home. In addition, filing a claim, particularly on flooding, has a time limit, so it’s best to get documentation early and start the process. Some insurance companies do extend time following a destructive event, but you should never wait to take photos and start documenting the damage to your property.

Prepare for the Next Storm
If you don’t already have a plan formulated, you need to write an emergency plan right away and start restocking your supplies to survive subsequent storms. Many families following Sandy were not prepared for the winter storm. Stocking up on water, non-perishable food items, clothes, blankets and batteries can seriously help when another storm arrives. In addition, remember important documents and place these somewhere safe, such as a deposit box.

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

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November 27, 2012


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Today’s food for thought is from Baltasar Gracian:  “Be content to act, and leaving the talking to others.”  “Indecision is paralyzing and precludes any progress.”  (Fred)

Fred’s pick of the Day is MLS # 599699-$259,900.  This Milford, DE home has 3 BR, 2 BA, on .46 acres in Matlinds Estates.  The home features a master suite, home office space, sunroom and a remodeled kitchen.  Call me to see this home @ 302 258-6983.

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The Importance of Finishes in Your Home

A lot of times when people are remodeling, they look to cut costs wherever they can. However, a penny saved is not always necessarily worth it. Cutting corners on the finishes of your home such as paint, plaster, the floors, the ceiling, the roof, or anything else that you notice on a daily basis can leave you with a sloppy looking house.


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A lot of times when people are remodeling, they look to cut costs wherever they can.  However, a penny saved is not always necessarily worth it.  Cutting corners on the finishes of your home such as paint, plaster, the floors, the ceiling, the roof, or anything else that you notice on a daily basis can leave you with a sloppy looking house.  If you are remodeling, the best option is to put aside a set portion of your budget for the finishes before the project even begins.  Otherwise, you may begin running out of money just as the job is wrapping up, which will tempt you to cut corners on all of the visible portion of your job.  The better way to cut costs is to look for bargains on items such as lumber, piping, wires, etc.  As long as the unseen portions of your job are safe, sufficient, and up to code nobody will notice if you cut corners, but when it comes to flooring, roofing, painting, and so on you should definitely make sure it’s done well, even if it means not getting a bargain, otherwise it won’t matter how much you spent on the remodel because what you look at daily will seem cheap.

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

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November 26, 2012


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Today’s food for thought from David Hume, Hume’s Imperative:  “You cannot data crunch your way to the truth.  Ever.”  “Statics can be made to fit any agenda, be wary of cherry picked thoughts from the right or left, they never lead to consensus.”( Fred)

Fred’s pick of the day is MLS # 594136-$339,000.  Here is a 4 BR, 2.5 BA remodeled farmhouse on 4.55 acres in Millsboro, DE.  Also present are a 4 car garage, barn and a Koi Pond.  Call me to see this gem @ 302 258-6983.

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Spotlight on Jimmy’s Grille in Bridgeville, Delaware

Jimmy’s Grille & Family Restaurant in Bridgeville (18541 S. Main St.) is a great place to go for a down home family meal. They are well known for their fried chicken which has been called, “to die for,” “best at the beach,” and “greatest chicken ever!” but their Cream of Crab soup is also the best of the best.


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Jimmy’s Grille & Family Restaurant in Bridgeville (18541 S. Main St.) is a great place to go for a down home family meal.  They are well known for their fried chicken which has been called, “to die for,” “best at the beach,” and “greatest chicken ever!” but their Cream of Crab soup is also the best of the best.  Their down-home desserts are also sure to please, and you can even order whole pies to go for special events or really any reason you’d like!  The service is friendly and the atmosphere is casual and welcoming.  If you’re looking for good food in a casual atmosphere, definitely try Jimmy’s.

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

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November 23, 2012


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A banker is a fellow who lends you his umbrella when the sun is shining, but wants it back the minute it begins to rain.”  Mark Twain  “Bankers will always lend money to people who don’t need it,  but try to get some when you really need it.”  (Fred)

 

Fred’s Pick of this Black Friday is MLS # 599069-$173,500.  This colonial in Governors Grant, Seaford, DE has just been reduced and has 4 BR, 2.5BA, in 1750 sq. ft. with an open floor plan and a fenced back yard.  Call me to see this home @ 302 258-6983.

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Five Tips for Selling Your Home During the Holidays

If your home is on the market during the holiday season consider these tips for taking advantage of the opportunities you have:


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If your home is on the market during the holiday season consider these tips for taking advantage of the opportunities you have:

1.  Price to sell.  Just like always, if your home is priced right it will get the attention that it deserves.

2.  Pay attention to curb appeal.  Again, this is a year-round tip, but at this time of year in particular be sure that leaves a raked, stairs and walkways are kept free of ice and snow, and gutters are cleaned.

3.  Decorate reasonably.  If you decorate during the holidays be sure not to go overboard.  Keep things scaled to your home and decorate to emphasize your home’s best features, not cover or detract from them.  If you want to avoid offending potential buyers it is best to decorate with general winter themes rather than religious items.

4.  Focus on motivated buyers.  People who house hunt during the holidays are generally motivated buyers.  Work with your agent to target buyers who are on a deadline and looking to buy before the end of the year.

5.  Hire a trusted agent.  At this time of year in particular it is important to have a real estate agent who is reliable and not someone who will disappear during the holidays.  Some who will go above and beyond to work for you will help get your home sold.

Looking to buy or sell 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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Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!


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From the Cooper Realty Associates family to yours, we wish you a Happy Thanksgiving!

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Weekend Update, 11/23-11/25

This holiday weekend will, of course, be filled with shopping for many, but if you’re looking for something different to keep you busy, consider checking out Clear Space Theatre’s presentation of “A Christmas Carol!” which is opening this weekend.


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This holiday weekend will, of course, be filled with shopping for many, but if you’re looking for something different to keep you busy, consider checking out Clear Space Theatre’s presentation of “A Christmas Carol!” which is opening this weekend.  Shows are Friday at 7:30pm, Saturday at 7pm and Sunday at 3pm.  Tickets range from $15-$30.  Kick the holiday season off with a new holiday tradition!

Looking to buy or sell 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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Holiday House Hunting

If you’re house hunting during this busy holiday season you have a couple of things working to your definite advantage. First, there aren’t too many people house hunting, so with less competition you may in for a good deal.


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If you’re house hunting during this busy holiday season you have a couple of things working to your definite advantage.  First, there aren’t too many people house hunting, so with less competition you may in for a good deal.  Additionally, home prices in December are typically lower than any other month, while interest rates are at their lowest.  Sellers who keep their homes on the market over the holidays are usually motivated sellers who are willing to negotiate on all reasonable offers.  Finally, if you close on a home before the end of the year you can deduct any mortgage interest and closing costs on your taxes.  So, if you’re in the market for a new home, it might be to your advantage to make time for your hunt during this busy season.

Looking to buy or sell 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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Tips for Selling During the Holiday Season

With Thanksgiving just a few days away, one of the busiest times of year is getting under way… the holiday season! Selling a home during the holiday season can be tough, and there are advantages and disadvantages to both leaving your home on the market & pulling it off and relisting in January.


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With Thanksgiving just a few days away, one of the busiest times of year is getting under way… the holiday season!  Selling a home during the holiday season can be tough, and there are advantages and disadvantages to both leaving your home on the market & pulling it off and relisting in January.  You might want to keep your house on the market because buyers who look for a home during the holidays are serious buyers looking for a home during a time when there are less homes on the market than after the new year.  Additionally, many buyers want to close the deal before the end of the year for the tax advantages.  However, you might want to pull your home off the market if you love to go overboard with the holiday decorations, have lots of company during the holidays, or want the advantages of relisting your home in January to generate new traffic during a home-shopping period that it usually busier than the holiday season.  What is best for your home depends on your neighborhood, home, family schedule, and your agent’s advice.

Looking to buy or sell 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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November 19, 2012


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“When you want to fool the world, tell the truth.”  Otto von Bismarck  “Truth is being destroyed by half-truths and 10 second sound bites.”  (Fred)

 

Fred’s Pick of the Day is MLS # 591687-$269,900.  Here is an end unit Townhome in Heritage Village, Lewes, DE which has 3 BR, 2 BA in 1678 sq. ft.  Upgrades include granite/SS kitchen and hardwood floors.  Call me to see this home @ 302 258-6983.

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Spotlight on Luca Ristorante Enoteca

Luca Ristorante is an authentic Italian restaurant and wine bar located in the heart of Millsboro (303 Main Street in Millsboro). Located in a historic bank, the atmosphere is warm and unique.


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Luca Ristorante is an authentic Italian restaurant and wine bar located in the heart of Millsboro (303 Main Street in Millsboro).  Located in a historic bank, the atmosphere is warm and unique.  As members of the Sussex County Farm Fresh Program they proudly serve fresh, locally grown and farmed products.  With a menu including pizza, Italian classics, and more there is sure to be something for everyone.  They offer private dining and daily specials worth trying, like a three-course meal including appetizer, entrée, and dessert for just $22 on Wednesday nights.  Luca is open Tuesday-Thursday from 5pm-9pm and Friday & Saturday from 5pm-10pm, and they do take reservations.

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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November 17, 2012


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“It is not strange… to mistake change for progress.”  Millard Fillmore   “Change can be good, bad, or indifferent, but change for change’s sake is dumb.”  (Fred)

 

Fred’s Pick of the Day is MLS # 595192-$357,000.  This Lewes, DE home has 4 BR, 2 BA, in 2633 sq. ft. on half an acre and has a granite/SS kitchen and a wraparound porch.  Call me @ 302 258-6983 to see this home.

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Five Thanksgiving Recipes to Try

Thanksgiving is right around the corner. If you’re looking for some traditional recipes with a twist, try these five that are sure to be crowd pleasers.


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Thanksgiving is right around the corner.  If you’re looking for some traditional recipes with a twist, try these five that are sure to be crowd pleasers.

1.  Northwest Fruit Stuffing – made with cherries, pears, apples, and raisins this sweet twist on a Thanksgiving staple is sure to please.

2.  Spiced Cranberry Jelly – This tart cranberry sauce has less sugar than most, is super easy to make, and can be refrigerated for up to a week.

3.  Harvest Casserole – This casserole is made with veggies and a hint of parmesan cheese.  It is a great dish to accompany turkey or ham.

4.  Chipotle Smashed Sweet Potatoes – This simple to make sweet potato recipe comes from Alton Brown.

5.  Amaretto Pumpkin Pie with Almond Praline – This delicious twist on a crowd favorite is time consuming but delectable.

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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November 16, 2012


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Unless a man feels he has a good enough memory, he should never venture to lie.”  Michel de Montaigne “Lies seen to have a life of their own, those who espouse them, loose control.”  (Fred)

 

Fred’s Pick of the Day is MLS # 599507-$74,900.  Here is a bank owned home in Downtown Milford. The home has 4BR, 2BA, in 2360 sq. ft. and was built in 1920.  Call me to see this home, at 302 258-6983.

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