May 31, 2013


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Today’s food for thought is from Miguel de Cervantes:  “There are only two families in the world, my old grandmother used to say, the Haves and the Have-nots.”  (Fred)  “Today’s plan is to make only one family of Some.”

Fred’s pick of the day is MLS # 604350-$239,900.  Here is a lovely rancher in Lincoln DE with 3 BR, 2 BA in 1976 sq. ft. on 1.11 acres.  All the rooms in this home are oversized.  There is a large front and rear yard, a storage shed, and a nice rear deck to entertain.  The home is move-in ready.  Call me to see this gem at 302 258-6983.  www.fredsporch.comMay 31, 2013

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Five More Ways to Save on Air Conditioning Costs


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Yesterday, I wrote about three ways to save on air-conditioning costs this summer.  Here are five more:

1.  Watch the thermostat.  Consider turning the thermostat up a single degree.  It can make a big difference in cost!  Additionally, keep lamps and other heat-producing objects away from the thermostat.  If you have a programmable thermostat set it to up the temperature when nobody is home and lower it about an hour before you arrive home.  If you don’t have a programmable thermostat, install one!

2.  Turn it off.  Lights that is, although turning off the a/c will surely save a bundle too!  Turn off any lights that are not in use.

3.  Upgrade your bulbs.  Switch any regular incandescent bulbs out for CFL bulbs which are more efficient anyway.

4.  Add insulation.  If your home is not well insulated, insulating attics, crawlspaces, garages and any other un-airconditioned spaces can save a bundle and will continue to save you on heating costs in winter as well.

5.  Change the filter.  Maintain your system yearly at a minimum and change the filter regularly for the best efficiency.

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 Ways To Save On Air Conditioning Costs


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Clip Art Illustration of a Penguin Repairing Air Conditioner

With the heat and humidity of summer fast approaching, energy costs can skyrocket with the nearly constant use of air conditioning.  Here are some simple tips to reduce your a/c costs, sometimes significantly!

1.  Reduce appliance use.  Keep the stove off and use microwaves, crockpots, toaster ovens and grills as much as possible.  Run heat-producing appliances like the dishwasher and dryer in the evening after the sun goes down, and consider hanging your clothes to dry and avoiding the dryer all together.

2.  Close it off.  Keep curtains, blinds, and shades closed during the day, or at least during the hottest parts of the day.

3.  Plan for shade.  Keep the area around your condenser unit shaded so that the system doesn’t have to work as hard to cool your home.

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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Weekend Update: May 31st-June 2nd


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Summer season is officially underway!  Here are some fun activities going on this weekend:

Saturday, June 1st: Prime Hook/Lower Sussex Bassmasters’ Youth Fishing Tournament
This 10th annual event takes place on the Broadkill River in Milton Memorial Park.  The tournament begins at 9am with registration starting at 8am and ends at 1pm.  The event is for anglers 15 years of age and younger.  There will also be t-shirt printing, hot dogs, soda, and prizes!  Everything, including bait, hooks and weights are free!  Just bring a fishing pole.  Fishing can be done by boat (provided by volunteers) or by bank.  Raindate is Sunday, June 2nd.

Saturday, June 1st: National Trails Day
Join in helping to clean up the trails at Cape Henlopen State Park to celebrate National Trails Day.  Cleanup is from 9am-1pm and volunteers are meeting at the “Hawk Watch” pavilion.

Sunday, June 2nd: Picnic in the Park
The Friends of Canalfront Park will host their second annual “Picnic in the Park” at Canalfront Park in Lewes from 12pm-3pm on Sunday.  Fourteen Lewes restaurants, including The Buttery, Café Azafran, and Irish Eyes will offer tasting at this event and both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages will be served.  Kids are welcome and events will include old-fashioned carnival games, face painting, a balloon artist and more.  Admission is $10 in advance, $15 at the door and $5 for kids under 12.  Food & beverage tickets are $2 at the event.  For more information check out this link.

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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May 29, 2013


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Today’s food for thought is from Napoleon Bonaparte:  “The best way to keep one’s word is not to give it.”  (Fred)  “Sometimes we make promises that turn out very difficult to keep in the future.”

Fred’s pick of the day is MLS # 604384-$116,000.  A beautifully reconditioned home on a dead in street with Nanticoke River views is in Blades DE.  Four bedrooms and one bath for a large family at an affordable price and is move-in ready.  Call me to see the home @ 302 258-6983. May 29, 2013

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Best Spring Cleaning Methods


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Spring is well under way, and though the weather has been finicky lately, we can expect it to start warming up permanently in the coming days. If you haven’t already done so, now is the perfect time to get a little spring cleaning done! For some people, spring cleaning is not a big deal because they keep their home meticulously clean all year round, but for others spring is the perfect time to do a little deep cleaning to make your home sparkle! Here are some tips to help you take this huge undertaking and break it down into manageable pieces.

Step 1: Room by Room
For each room in your house, pick up clutter. Throw away any trash and irreparable objects and separate anything that you want to sell or donate. Make sure everything you own has a “home” and keep them there! Dust and vacuum each room, pulling out and moving furniture to clean around it. Here are some room by room tips:

  • Bedrooms – clean blankets and comforters according to care instructions, wash mattress pads and bed skirts, rotate and/or flip mattresses, and freshen pillows using the air (no heat) setting of the dryer
  • Bathrooms – clear your medicine cabinet and discard outdated products, throw away any old bath products that can no longer be used, replace shower curtain liners, and wash or replace shower curtains and bath mats
  • Kitchen – Clean out your cabinets and drawers – wipe them out with a damp cloth and organize contents, clean out your pantry and discard stale spices or expired items, clean the inside and outside of your refrigerator and freezer, and pull out appliances as far as you can and vacuum around them

Step 2: Wash Windows
Using a traditional or homemade window washing solution, clean windows both inside and out. Black and white print newspaper is best for cleaning windows because it doesn’t leave any residue behind, but don’t use any colored newsprint or your windows will look like bad stained glass! It is also best to clean windows on a cloudy day because washing windows when its sunny can cause streaks.

Step 3: Clean Window Treatments
There’s no sense in having clean windows with dirty window treatments! If your curtains or drapes are really dirty you can put them through the washing machine or have them dry cleaned (read your care instructions!), but most of the time your curtains can probably be cleaned by using the proper attachment on your vacuum cleaner.

Step 4: Check for Safety
Change the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and test them to make sure they’re working. If you own a fire extinguisher, make sure its not expired and if you don’t own one, purchase one and learn how to use it!

Step 5: Deep Clean Carpets
Rent a professional grade carpet cleaner and deep clean all the carpets in your house, or hire professionals to do it for you. It’s best to do this after all your other cleaning is done, so that your fresh carpets don’t get covered with residue from all your other cleaning jobs.

Step 6: Clean Your Exterior
Spring is the perfect time to clean the outside of your home – rent a power washer and wash the exterior of your home as well as driveways and sidewalks. If you’re not comfortable doing it yourself, you can always hire a professional.

Don’t forget:

  • Sliding door tracks – these might not seem like a big deal, but having them clean makes a huge difference! Use a dry toothbrush to loosen dirt and then vacuum it up. If you want an even deeper clean use a wet rag or sponge to finish the job.
  • Light fixtures – make sure the electricity is off and bulbs are clean then dust with a microfiber cloth and wipe light bulbs down with a rag moistened with vinegar
  • Baseboards and doorframes – Put a few drops of dishwashing liquid in a bucket and dilute it with warm water then wipe down baseboards and doorframes with a sponge
  • Walls – walls can be cleaned with the same mixture used for baseboards and doorframes

Interested in 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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May 28, 2013


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Today’s food for thought is from James Buchanan:  “What is right and what is practicable are two different things.”  (Fred)  “This rings true in a democracy, however, if you constantly dilute what is right, the concept will disappear.”

Fred’s pick of the day is MLS # 597882-From $189,500 to $179,900.  A nice cape cod in Milford DE that has 3 BR, 2 BA on .46 acre, a nice floor plan, a rear deck, a partially wooded lot.  Call me to see this home at 302 258-6983.  www.fredsporch.comMay28 ,2013

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Contingencies in a Real Estate Contract


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Foreclosures-101-Limiting-Contingencies

Whether you are buying or selling a home, you will most likely have to deal with contingencies during contract negotiation.  Contingencies are conditions placed on the contract that, if not met, allow the buyer to either back out of the deal.  Of course in the case of an unmet contingency, buyer & seller can always renegotiate, if they would prefer.  If you’re thinking of buying or selling a home contingencies may seem a little overwhelming, so here’s some help explaining some of the most common:

  • Contingent on appraisal means that the home must be appraised and its appraised value must meet or exceed the offer price on the contract.
  • Contingent on inspection means that the house must pass any professional inspections that the buyer desires.  In addition to a general home inspection, this might also include specific inspections such as structural engineering, termites/pests, radon, mold, electrical, plumbing, roof, etc.  If any inspections turn up any problems that could be potential problems for the buyer or problems that would impact the price of the home the buyer may wish to renegotiate or to back out altogether.
  • Contingent on financing means that the buyer must secure a loan for the specified amount of the offer price.
  • Contingent on repairs means that the seller must repair any evident issues or issued turned up by the home inspection up to the agreed upon amount.
  • Contingent on closing costs means that the seller must pay the specified amount (up to 100%) of the closing costs.

There are many other contingencies that can be written into real estate contracts, but these are just some of the most common.

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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Happy Memorial Day


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american-flag-2a

Thank you to all the service men and women who have put their lives on the line for the freedoms that we enjoy in this country!  I hope everyone is having a safe and enjoyable weekend.

And now that the summer season is officially kicked off it’s officially the time of year for all of the free concerts to begin!  The Town of Milton free summer concert series starts this week on Wednesday, 5/29 at 7pm.  Concerts are held in Milton Memorial Park, and moved to the Fire Hall in case of inclement weather.  This week will feature Reunion Band which plays Chicago-style rock music.  Refreshments are available.

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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Spotlight on Jam Bistro in Rehoboth Beach


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Jam Bistro(21 Baltimore Ave) in Rehoboth Beach  is the casual answer from the owner’s of Eden.  Specializing in down-home cookin’ and craft cocktails, Jam is open for lunch from 12pm-3pm and dinner from 5pm 7 days a week.  With a wide variety of menu options and daily specials, Jam Bistro is definitely worth checking out for a good American meal with a twist.

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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Five Questions To Ask Before You Buy


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If you’re trying to decide whether to keep renting or buy a home, consider the following questions:

1.  Where will you be in the next 5 years?  If you buy a home, you need to live in it long enough for it to appreciate in value.  If you end up moving, changing jobs, or anything else unexpected comes up, selling a home quickly can result in loss of money.

2.  How’s my credit?  Look into your credit and the credit of your partner if you are buying together and take steps to fix any discrepancies before applying for a mortgage.

3.  What’s the expense?  In addition to the down payment and cost of the mortgage, consider the expense of insurance and taxes, monthly upkeep and maintenance as well as any necessary repairs.

4.  What’s the market like?  Don’t just look at the current market, take into account over the past few years too.  Resist the urge to pay more than you should for a home and keep in mind that the more quickly you have equity in your home, the less of a burden it is.

5.  Plan your exit.  Decide what you will do if and when the time comes for you to move.  Keep in mind that you will not be able to sell for a profit until home values rise in your market or until you’ve lived there long enough to have equity in your home.

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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May 24, 2013


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Today’s food for thought is from James Anthony Froude:  “The first duty of an historian is to be on guard against his own sympathies.”  (Fred)  “I really dislike revisionist history, they are seeing things from a very different perspective than even a bias participant in the making of that history.”

Fred’s pick of the day is MLS # 602257-From $174,000 to $147,000.  A Fannie Mae property in Lewes, DE with 3 BR, 1BA on .31 acre, that is in a great location.  Call me to see this property at @ 302 258-6983.  www.fredsporch.comMay 24, 2013

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3 Rules For Flipping A House


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The idea of flipping a home is less popular now than it was a decade ago, but it’s still out there.  If flipping a home is something you’ve ever thought of, here are three tips for you:

1.  Remember the 70% rule.  In order to profit from your purchase, take the price that the home will sell for after renovations and factor 70% of it.  Subtract your renovations from the 70% and that leaves you with the maximum price you should pay for the home.

2.  Remember the rules.  If you’re considering a short sale or REO because of a great deal, be sure to research the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac guidelines that restrict resale of such properties within a set amount of time from the original sale.

3.  Remember the inspection.  Even though you intend to flip the home you buy, you should not forgo the home inspection.  You will want to know if there are hidden problems that are more of commitment than you are financially prepared for.

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: May 24th-26th


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

Friday, May 24th: Lightship Overfalls Opening Party & Auction
This year celebrates the 75th birthday for “Big Red,” the historic lightship in Lewes.  This fabulous annual party will take place from 6pm-9pm at the Virden Center on the University of Delaware Marine Campus.  Tickets are $40 in advance or $45 at the door until they are sold out.  This event is a great kick-off to the summer season and includes food and drink, games, raffles, silent and live auctions and more.  For more information or to purchase tickets, check out the Overfalls website.

Saturday, May 25th: Horseshoe Crab & Shorebird Festival
This annual event is hosted by the Milton Chamber of Commerce and will run from 10am-4pm at Milton Memorial Park.  This will be the tenth year for the festival, which boast over 1500 visitors yearly.  The day includes arts and crafts, boat rides on the Broadkill River, canoe trips on Prime Hook Creek, games, food, music, trail walks, kids’ train rides, a scavenger hunt, and more!  A shuttle bus is available to transport guests to and from the Refuge.  For more information contact 302-684-1101.

Saturday, May 25th: Historic Lewes Farmer’s Market
Don’t forget that the Historic Lewes Farmer’s Market is now open for the season.  See more details in this post.

Saturday, May 25th-Monday, May 27th: Maritime Weekend
Celebrate maritime weekend all weekend long at the Zwaanendael Museum in Historic Lewes.  For more information call 302-645-1148.

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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May 22, 2013


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Today’s food for thought is from James Bryce:  “Three-fourths of the mistakes a man makes are made because he does not really know what he thinks he knows.”  (Fred)  “Make sure you have all the facts or as many as possible on both sides of the issue before making a decision.”

Fred’s pick of the day is MLS # 603801-From $114,900 to $109,900.  A 3 BR, 1BA older home in Seaford, DE that has 1150 sq. ft. on .39 acre with new carpet, paint, and septic.  There is also a 24’ x30’ garage pole building with a lean-to.  Call me @302 258-6983 to see this home.  www.fedsporch.comMay 22, 2013

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Consider a 15 Year Mortgage


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15-year-mortgage-vs-30-year-mortgage

When you are buying a home, the industry standard is a 30-year mortgage.  However, if you can swing it there are definite advantages to a 15 year mortgage instead.  The biggest benefit of a fifteen-year mortgage is, of course, that you pay your home off in half the time and wind up saving a lot of money in interest.  In addition you will also accumulate equity in your home faster as you pay off the principal, which could free you up to take out a home equity loan if needed.  Of course, you shouldn’t bury yourself to be able to afford a fifteen-year mortgage.  Remember that you don’t want to spread yourself too thin… your home should not be your only source of savings.  You also want to make sure you can save for retirement and emergencies each month.

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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May 20, 2013


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Today’s food for thought is from Charles Buxton:  “You will never find time for anything.  If you want time you must make it.”  (Fred)  “If time is required, make sure you set it aside.”

Fred’s Pick of the day is MLS # 603412-From $850,000 to $799,900.  An inverted floor plan home in Rehoboth Beach, DE has 5 BR, 2 BA, 2 half baths, in 2544 sq. ft. on .90 acres boasts a deep water dock, a large granite kitchen in an open floor plan.  Call me at 302 258-6983 to see this home.  www.fredsporch.comMay 20, 2013

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Spotlight on the Lewes Farmer’s Market


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Farmers-Market

The Historic Lewes Farmers Market opened for the season last week and will be open every Saturday until the end of September.  Most Saturdays the farmer’s market is at the Historical Society (110 Shipcarpenter Street), but on June 22nd, July 13th, and August 3rd the market will move to the Shields Elementary School parking lot (910 Shields Ave.).  Vendors sell everything, including fresh beef & pork, homemade jellies and jams, fruits, veggies, organic baked goods, gourmet cheese, and more.  For a full list of vendors, check out this list.  It is definitely worth checking out, although you should leave your pets at home because they are not allowed.

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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May 17, 2013


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Today’s food for thought is from Miyamato Musashi:  “Perceive that which cannot be seen with the eye.”  (Fred)  “The eye is not to be always trusted and must be used in conjunction with the brain.”

Fred’s pick of the day is MLS # 600470 From $449,900 to $399,000.  A Stately Colonial in Seaford DE with 4 BR, 3.5 BA in 4100 sq. ft. on 1.65 acres boasts a 4KW solar electric, a 7500 KW generator, a heated salt water pool, music room, 2 master suites and is directly on Patrick’s Pond.  Call me to see this home at 302 258-6983.  www.fredsporch.comMay 17, 2013

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5 Steps to a Successful Remodel


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How_to_Save_Money_on_a_Remodeling_Project_8575409_460

I’ve been talking a lot about remodeling this week, and today’s post is no different.  If you’re considering a remodel here are five steps to help you succeed:

1.  Do your research.  See yesterday’s post for several questions you should ask and do your own research before you even begin.

2.  Get your money straight.  Remodeling can be a big task with a seemingly endless cost attached to it.  Before you begin any work be sure that you have a reasonable budget for the kind of work you want and that your financing is completely in order.  Going back to number one, this is something you should research to determine what your best options are.

3.  Get estimates.  Ask for recommendations from friends, family, and others that you know and then get in-person estimates from multiple designers, contractors, and anyone else you might employ.  Ask for references and examples of work.

4.  Consider the details.  Make as many decisions as possible before you project begins.  Even the smallest details will cost you time and money once your remodel is under way.

5.  Plan for the unforeseen.  There is no such thing as a perfect renovation and the unexpected can throw a wrench in even the best plans and even the most generous budget in the trash.  Plan to cushion your budget by at least twenty percent from the beginning so that you are prepared if (often more likely, when) these things happen to you.

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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