Keep Up Curb Appeal


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Curb Appeal

Whether you’re putting your home on the market or just looking to enjoy your home’s curb appeal yourself, there is more to it than just landscaping your property and maintaining your lawn.  To really up your curb appeal be sure to maintain your home’s paint and siding by periodically checking for damage, mold growth, or peeling paint and fixing it.  In addition, you should regularly check your roof and gutters for damage and debris as well.  Keep windows and doors clean and fix any broken screens and shutters to prevent eyesores.  Finally, clean up your driveway and sidewalks by weeding the cracks, sealing any cracks, and keeping them clean.  By maintaining your home’s curb appeal you will cut down on the possibility of any of these problems becoming more dangerous or expensive to fix later on down the road, which is well worth the time and effort now.

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 – 302-629-6693.

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April 30, 2013


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Today’s food for thought is from Giordano Bruno:  “With luck on your side, you can do without brains.”  (Fred)  “I would rather have brains and make my own luck.”

Fred’s pick of the Day is MLS # 597364-From $115,000 to $99,000.  Here is a modified single wide trailer in Lewes, DE with NO lot rent.  The trailer has 3 BR, 2.5 BA, in 1052 sq. ft. on .26 acre, with a detached garage and separate work shop and a wraparound deck. Call me to see this home @ 302 258-6983.  www.fredsporch.comApril 30, 2013

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Take Advantage of Your Home Inspection


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After you’ve found your dream home comes the scary part… inspection!  Home inspections are meant to educate the buyer about the home they are interested in and ultimately give them piece of mind about the decision they make.  Inspections are scary because they are not intended to uncover every nitty gritty detail about the house, so even a home that passes inspection with flying colors still might have an issue that was undetected.  Home inspectors are not always able to pinpoint specific problems, but they are trained to examine the details of a home and determine if there might be any serious underlying issues.  At the very least, a home inspector should be able to suggest that you get the expert opinion of a plumber, electrician, or other specialized contractor if they feel there might be a problem.  When the home you love is being inspected, you should keep in mind that there are many problems that are fairly easy and cost efficient to take care of – these types of issues can even be bargaining chips in your negotiations with the seller.  There are several key problems, however, that can be a matter of safety.  If your inspector reports any of the following issues, you definitely want to keep in mind that these can be very costly and time consuming to fix.  Here are the issues that might cause you to reconsider the house, or at least reconsider how much you are willing to pay for it, considering you will most likely have costly repairs to make:

  • Foundation problems
  • Roof problems
  • Structural problems
  • Moisture issues (pooled water, wet basement, moisture in crawl spaces, improper drainage, etc.)
  • Mold issues (usually caused by moisture issues)
  • Fire, carbon monoxide, and/or safety hazards
  • Electrical hazards

In addition to finding out whether or not the home is plagued with any big problems like these, you should also be sure to find out how old the roof is, how old the furnace and water heater are and the condition they are in, whether or not the routine maintenance of the house appears to have been kept up, and whether or not the home’s exterior has proper drainage, which is especially important if the home has a basement.

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

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April 29, 2013


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Today’s food for thought is from Giuseppe Mazzini:  “Slumber not in the tents of your fathers.  The world is advancing.”  (Fred)  “Each generation needs to reinvent itself and move forward, just beware of unintended consequences and read some history; it will save time, money and your mental health.”

Fred’s pick of the day is MLS #599589-From $340,000 to $332,500.  A seven year old rancher in Selbyville, DE with 3 BR, 2.5 BA in 2600 sq. ft. on .36 acre that has a sunroom, an open floor plan and hardwood floors.  Call me to see this home at 302 258-6983.  www.fredsporch.comApril 29, 2013

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Spotlight On Mariachi Restaurant in Rehoboth


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A lot of the restaurants that I highlight serve American and/or seafood dishes or creative twists on those cuisines, so today I want to highlight a different type of cuisine… latin!  I love latin food, and Mariachi (14 Wilmington Ave) in Rehoboth serves up some of the best Cuban, Mexican, Portuguese, and Spanish food around!  Delicious!!!  Locally owned, Mariachi serves up flavorful food, delicious desserts, and happy hour Monday through Friday.  Their fresh, homemade salsa is delicious, as are the enchiladas and margaritas.  Prices are fair, the service is great, and you really can’t go wrong no matter what you order.  Definitely worth a try if you like latin cuisine!

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 Quick Kitchen Updates


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kitchen-open-shelving

Freshen your kitchen with one of these relatively quick and easy updates:

1.  Open it up.  Add some open shelving, which can be as simple as removing the doors from a few cabinets and show off your colorful, collective, or otherwise interesting or beautiful dishes.

2.  Go glamorous.  Add a beautiful or interesting chandelier over an island or kitchen table too add some architectural interest to the room.

3.  Add some red.  The color red is known to enhance the sense of smell, sensitize the taste buds, and stimulate appetite.  If your kitchen is neutral, add a splash of this appealing color to the room’s palate.

4.  Organize.  Fit your silverware drawer with dividers, add a pot rack, and fit disorganized cabinets with wire shelving to clear the clutter and keep things neat.

5.  Add an artful touch.  Tile a backsplash for a simple, relatively inexpensive custom touch.  To keep costs down choose a simple tile and throw in just a few accents.

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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April 26, 2013


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Today’s food for thought is from George Sand:  “Charity degrades those who receive it and hardens those who dispense it.”  (Fred)  “Things have changed since George’s time, today Charity by the Government is thought of as a right that is owed one, oh where have we gone wrong.”

Fred’s pick of the day is MLS #599035-From $599,000 to $549,000.  A canal home in South Bethany, DE with 4 BR, 2.5 BA with a 65’ wide deep water canal in the back yard, plus it will sleep at least 12.  Call me to see this Beach Home at 302 258-6983.  www.fredsporch.com.April 26, 2013

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3 Brilliant Storage Solutions


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Consider these professional storage tips to declutter your home:

1.  Sliding drawers.  Add shelves on rollers to any deep, difficult to access storage space, such as a linen closet.

2.  Divide and declutter.  Set up busy drawers like nightstand drawers and junk drawers with compartments to keep things organized.

3.  Mobile office.  To help tame clutter keep your office mobile.  A cart with wheels allows you to move about and work wherever you want, but it also limits the amount of clutter you can stow, keeping you organized and clutter-free.

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 – 302-629-6693.

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Weekend Update: April 26th-28th


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eventImage_49_Pea Patch Island Nature Preserve, by Chris Bennett of DNREC 1

If you’re looking for something fun or different to do this weekend, check out these events:

Thursday, April 25th-Sunday, April 28th:  Delaware Birding Weekend
Delaware’s annual birding weekend celebrates the spring migration of many species of local birds.  With more than 400 species recorded in the Delmarva Peninsula and a variety of environments there are many opportunities for rare sightings.  The weekend boasts many field trips by boat trips, paddling treks, and food expeditions.  For a complete schedule of events, registration, and more information, check out this link.

Saturday, April 27th: Flower & Art Festival
Head down to the East Coast Garden Center (30366 Cordrey Road) in Millsboro for a fun family day including food, face painting, spring plants, local artists, and more!  The festival runs from 8am-5pm with a cooking class, “Cooking With Herbs,” at 11am.

Saturday, April 27th:  Queen’s Day
Celebrate the Dutch monarchy with Queen’s Day at the Zwaanendael Museum.  The celebration runs from 10am-4:30pm on Saturday.  For more information call 302-645-1148.

Saturday, April 27th: Chili Cookoff
Head into Rusty Rudder (Dickinson Street ant Hwy 1) in Dewey Beach and sample chilis from over thirty vendors who compete for Best Chili and Best Decorated Booth awards.  This event is delicious and free for all ages!

Saturday, April 27th:  Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra Finale Concert
Come out to Mariner’s Bethel United Methodist Church (81 Central Ave. at the corner of Route 26) for the season finale concert featuring guest artists playing the classics.  For more information or tickets, call 888-846-8600.

Sunday, April 28th:  Vintage Baseball Game
The Lewes Historical Society is the proud home of the Lewes Vintage Base Ball Club, which enjoys our national pastime with a few twists on contemporary rules.  The game begins at 1pm and will played at the University of Delaware Lewes campus at 700 Pilottown Road.

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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Garage Sale Tips: Finding Bargains


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yard-sale

Yesterday I talked about tips for hosting a successful garage sale, but if shopping for bargains is more your style consider these tips.  First, be selective.  Even though a dollar here and there doesn’t seem like much it can add up quickly, so unless you want your home to become cluttered with other people’s stuff, be discerning about what you buy.  Don’t feel obligated to buy just because you’re there, and choose things that you know you will definitely use.  Second, shop with a supply of small bills and change – single dollars and quarters are best for scoring bargains and making change quickly and easily.  Last, consider a drive-by.  After you’ve done your research on which sales you are going to hit up, drive by to see if they are as advertised.  If not, don’t hesitate to move on… just because you’re hunting bargains doesn’t mean you need to waste your time.  Enjoy bargain hunting during this garage sale season!

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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April 23, 2013


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Today’s food for thought is from George Savile:  “A man who is a master of patience is the master of everything else.”  (Fred)  “Patience is desirable but procrastination is not and a wise man knows the difference.”

Fred’s pick of the day is MLS # 602856-from $209,900 to $204,900.  A Seaford, DE rancher with 3 BR, 2BA, in 1932 sq. ft. has just been reduced.  The home has granite, SS appliances, a large sun room and a detached garage.  Call me to see this home @ 302 258-6983.  www.fredsporch.comApril 23, 2013

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Garage Sale Tips


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‘Tis the season of garage sale-ing!  Garage sales are an awesome way to get rid of clutter around your house when you are preparing to sell, but you can also use them to raise money for a good cause, or just because.  No matter why you’re planning a garage sale, start by collecting items to sell.  The best thing to do is methodically go through each room of your home and put anything unused in a box to sell later.  Once you’ve got your goods for sale, put a price on everything, or if you want to save time, price it when you put it in the box.  Once you’re ready to sell you need to advertise.  The best way to do this is to place a free ad through craigslist.  Post your ad a few days before the sale and keep it bumped.  Include the address, times, and a list of items for sale.  You can also call your local newspaper and ask about ad space, but often it is too expensive to be worth it.  In addition to your ads, create several signs with large bold letters that advertise your sale.  For best results stick to the basics – the words “Garage Sale”, address, date & time.  You can even advertise your sale through your personal Facebook and Twitter account and other social media sites.  Ask your friends to share the info for even greater word-of-mouth!  For the best success make sure to set up your display neatly and in an area that is easy to find.  If you live in a difficult to find neighborhood, consider teaming up with a friend in a better location or purchasing a spot at a community sale.  Price everything, but be sure you don’t overprice it.  Garage sale pricing is significantly below retail value.  Your goal should be to earn a few bucks on something you would otherwise throw away or give away, not to recoup the price you paid for an item, even if it is still brand new.  Finally, consider teaming up with your friends or neighbors for a neighborhood-wide yard sale.  This will generate more traffic and create better success.  And don’t forget, the purpose of a garage sale is to clear clutter, so as soon as the sale is over box up anything that’s left and donate it to a local thrift store or non-profit organization.  Many will gladly take your leftovers and even give you a donation receipt that you can use as a tax write-off next year.

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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April 22, 2013


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Today’s food for thought is from George Savile:  “Men are not hanged for stealing horses, but that horses may not be stolen.”  (Fred)  “Punishment is designed to deter an act; the dilemma is that it never works, but we cannot cheat justice, what should we do?”

Fred’s observation for today is:  Should we care what the Boston bombers motive is, these people are murderers.  Anyone who does this kind of act, which is premeditated doesn’t deserve any defense.  I don’t care if they had a bad childhood, their country wants to be free, their religion is persecuted, or any other possible motivation that sends these nut cases over the edge.  I will bet money that anyone hurt or killed at the Boston Marathon had nothing to do with any possible grievance.

I have a novel idea.  Any foreign national (if the terrorist is a U.S.Citizen, we will take care of them under our laws) that commits an act of terror in the U.S., will cause all student visas, travel visas, work visas, business visas and immigration papers from their country, to be immediately pulled and all those individuals will be given 48 hours to get out of the country, also all foreign aid to that country will be suspended for 10 years.  I understand that this is like throwing the baby out with the bath water—but the babies are already dead.

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Spotlight on Café Sole in Rehoboth Beach


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Café Sole (44 Baltimore Ave.) in Rehoboth Beach was voted one of the best restaurants in Sussex County by Delaware Today last year.  With Key West flavor and a cozy beach décor, Café Sole serves up one of the best crab cake sandwiches around, and the regular crab cake is delicious too.  The pork tenderloin is also a flavorful favorite.  With a full lunch menu and great specials, stop in Wednesday-Sunday for lunch from 11am-3pm or dinner from 5:30pm-10pm.

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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April 19, 2013


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Today’s food for thought is from Elbert Hubbard:  “Do not take life too seriously.  You will never get out of it alive.”  (Fred)  “Everyone needs to laugh at life and themselves.”

Fred’s pick of the day is MLS #600580-From $110,000 to $99,900.  Here is another Freddie Mac home in Frankfort, DE with 3 BR, 2BA in 2112 sq. ft. on 1.01 acres and is being sold AS IS for cash or a 403k loan only.  Call me to see this home at 302 258-6983.  www.fredsporch.comApril 19, 2013

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Five Tools You Definitely Need In Your Toolbox


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Whether you’re a die-hard do-it-yourselfer or you just tackle a project occasionally, here are five tools you definitely need in your arsenal:

1.  Multi-bit Screwdriver.  A screwdriver with interchangeable bits will tackle pretty much any job you will encounter and is a definite necessity in every homeowner’s tool kit.

2.  Cordless Drill.  Second only to the interchangeable screw driver in usefulness, the cordless drill is a versatile and necessary part of any tool kit.

3.  Tape Measure.  A tape measure is the first tool you use in many projects, but you don’t just need any tape measure.  A quality tape measure is worth its price in the time it saves with improved accuracy.

4.  Quality Level.  A weighted level/straight edge is a definite must for all kind of projects from hanging photos to heavy repairs, and a magnetic level can be even more useful.

5.  All Purpose Saw.  There are many options for a small, power saw, so you just need to find a versatile one that you are comfortable with and learn to use it.

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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Three Reasons to List Your Home Now


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If you’re thinking of selling, this is the perfect time to list your home for many reasons.  Here are three:

1.  Demand is up.  Nationally, the number of houses on the market has been dropping consistently over the past year.  When inventory is down, like now, buyers have less options, making it a seller’s market.  If you have a nice home in good condition, it is likely your home will show well among the competition.

2.  Prices are stabilizing.  After years of low and dropping home prices, home prices are on the rise across the country, making it a perfect time to list your home if you need to sell.

3.  Serious buyers lead to quick sales.  With mortgage rates still low, but mortgage qualifications tight, lenders are cautious about who they are pre-approving.  This means that a buyer with a pre-approval letter in hand is serious, and serious buyer will offer more quickly than those who are “just looking.”

If you’re thinking of listing your home, give us a call at Cooper Realty Associates and let us put our expertise to work to help you – 302-856-6434.

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April 17, 2013


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Today’s food for thought is from Elbert Hubbard:  “Where much is expected from an individual, he may rise to the level of events and make the dream come true.”  (Fred)  “With small expectations it is difficult to excel.”

Fred’s pick of the day is MLS #602259-From $44,900 to $34,900.  An older Colonial that has been gutted in Seaford, DE on 1.35 acres, this is a Freddie Mac home for sale AS IS for cash or a 403K loan only.  Call me to see this diamond in the rough at 302 258-6983.  www.fredsporch.comApril 17, 2013

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Weekend Update: April 19th-21st


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If you’re looking for something difference to do this weekend, check out these local events:

Friday, 4/19-Saturday, 4/20: Dewey Beach Popfest
This free event is open to anyone ages 21 and older.  This annual music fest features PowerPop, Alternative Pop, and BritPop bands from all over on four stages on two nights.  For a complete list of performers and full schedule, check out this link.

Saturday, 4/20: The REBEL Baroque Ensemble
This instrumental quartet will present period selections from 17th and 18th century composers such as Vivaldi, Corelli, Telemann, Boyce and more.  The concert will take place at the Bethel United Methodist Church (129 W. Fourth Street) in Lewes beginning at 8pm.  For more info or to purchase tickets check out this link.

Saturday, 4/20:  Dutch American Friendship Day
Celebrate Dutch American Friendship Day at the Zwaanendael Museum from 10am-4:30pm.  For more info call 302-645-1148.

Sunday, 4/21:  Vintage Baseball Game
The Lewes Historical Society is the proud home of the Lewes Vintage Base Ball Club, which enjoys our national pastime with a few twists on contemporary rules.  They game begins at 1pm and will played at the University of Delaware Lewes campus at 700 Pilottown Road.

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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Ideas for More Interesting Walls


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One of the easiest ways to add interest to your décor is to utilize your walls.  Whether they are solid or windowed, white or colorful, painted or wallpapered, walls are basically the blank canvas of your home.  If you’re looking to update your home’s look, one thing you can consider is installing crown molding, or if your home already has crown molding, install picture molding just below ceiling height to extend the look.  In your dining room, installing a chair rail is a nice touch.  If you’re looking to add some color you can stencil a favorite quote or look into the awesome wall decals that are available from many reputable dealers – many have a professional look and finish, but you can apply them yourself!  Another colorful option is to paint a thick stripe of color around the room, about two-thirds of the way up the wall.  Outlined with thin strips of white paint of chair rails above and below the stripe, this gives a real pop of color that can be a great accent to an otherwise drab room.  If you like the idea of a pop of color or texture, but aren’t willing to make the commitment to your walls, consider lining the backs of bookshelves, the entertainment center, or other open storage with wall paper that suits your taste and accents your room.  Another great way to add interest without a long-term commitment is to mat and frame artwork or black and white photo prints and group them in arrangements at eye level.  If you want your home to reflect your tastes, start with the walls – they are the easiest and fastest place to add personality, and can be (relatively) easily changed when you’re ready for something new!

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 – 302-629-6693.

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