Weekend Update: August 2nd-4th


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Can you believe it’s already August?  Here are a few events going on to this weekend to kick off the new month:

Friday, August 2nd: History Happy Hour
The topic for this week’s History Happy Hour is “Jacob Jones: Naval Hero of 1812.”  Retired Navy Captain and university professor William H.J. Manthorpe will present the talk at the Lewes Historical Society at 4pm, followed by a question and answer period.

Saturday, August 3rd: Lewes Historical Society’s Antique Show
Head to the Lewes Historical Society to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the annual antique show.  The show runs from 9am-4pm and admission is $5, children under 12 are free.  The proceeds benefit the educational and preservation programming of the Historical Society.  Over 60 dealers will present 18th-20th century antiques.

Saturday, August 3rd:  Children’s Painting Class
Local artist John Donato will delight the whole family with an energetic and educational painting class.  The class is hand-on and free for all.  The class will take place at 10am at the Freeman Stage at Bayside (31750 Lake View Drive) in Selbyville.  Don’t forget lawn chairs!

Saturday: August 3rd:  35th Annual Sandcastle Contest
Over 100 teams and 800 people will participate in this year’s sand castle contest!  Contest takes place at Fisherman’s Beach at the North end of the Rehoboth Beach Boardwalk.  Registration begins 8:30am and judging begins at 3pm.  Call 302-227-2233 for more information.

All Weekend: Free Concerts at the Rehoboth Beach Bandstand
The US Army Jazz Ambassadors will perform on Friday, 8/2.  Sounds of Society, a Chicago Tribute band will perform on Saturday, 8/3, and Herbie D. and the Dangermen will perform their Blues set on Sunday, 8/4.  All concerts are free and begin at 8pm.

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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July 31, 2013


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Today’s food for thought is from Mark Twain:  “If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.”  (Fred)  “Always having to remember what you said and collate all that information turns into an impossible task, just ask a politician.”

Fred’s pick of the day is MLS #603076-From $499,000 to $399,900.  A bulkheaded lot in Ocean View, DE with 3 BR, 2 BA on .02 acre that has a first floor master, an open floor plan and a rear deck overlooking the canal.  Call me to see this home at 302 258-6983.  www.fredsporch.comJuly 31, 2013

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Tips for Finding a Seller’s Agent


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If you’re thinking of putting your home on the market and you aren’t going the “for sale by owner” route, you need a listing agent.  There are many choices when it comes to real estate agents, so here are a few tips to help you evaluate the agents you are considering.  First, considering asking the agents for their data.  Looking at the sale-to-list ratio (how much the homes your agent has listed have sold for as compared to what they were listed for) as well as how long their homes have been on the market will give you a good idea of how well they know the local market.  Just remember that there is no absolute rule here since everything is relative so there is no “magic number” you are looking for when you look at these statistics, but if you are comparing several local agents this information can help you.

At Cooper Realty Associates we would be happy to share our experience and local stats with you.  Feel free to give us a call and put us to work for you – 302-644-2266.

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July 30, 2013


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Today’s food for thought is from Mark Twain:  “A lie can travel around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.”  (Fred)  “The internet has made this quote more timely, too many people don’t take the time to evaluate the facts before they issue sound bites.”

Fred’s pick of the day is MLS # 604856-From $194,900 to $179,000.  A country rancher in Laurel, DE with 3 BR, 2 BA, in 2250 sq. ft. on an acre which boasts large rooms, a large fenced back yard with a barn, and SS appliances.  Call me at 302 258-6983 to see this home.  www.fredsporch.comJuly 30, 2013

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Get Your Home Ready To Sell


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Selling your home?  Here are some tips to help make it more marketable:

Depersonalize. Hide anything-family photos, awards, trophies, your collection of antique teacups-that might interfere with a buyer feeling like your home could be theirs. People get really distracted when they’re surrounded by someone else’s personal stuff. Make your bathroom look like a hotel’s: no one wants to see your soggy loofah and half used bar of soap. Put all your beauty products in a shower caddy, so they can easily be stowed under the sink when you have a showing.

De-clutter. Most people have too much stuff, whether it’s knick-knacks or paperwork or furniture. The goal is to create a sense of space in a room-and in all your closets. Fight the urge to shove all your stuff in your closets, since you have to be prepared for prospective buyers to open every last cabinet. An organized closet can send the message that as an owner, you’re the kind of person who doesn’t slack on any aspect (a leaky roof, a busted water heater) of maintaining your home.

Clean. No one wants to walk into a dirty house. Bathrooms and kitchens in particular should be sparkling. Don’t just do a surface clean-pay attention to hidden corners like the nook behind a toilet or the inside of your refrigerator. You never know where people are going to look. Use a deodorizer to remove any odors, and invite a neighbor over to make sure there are no leftover scents, since living there may make you immune to the smell. Only about a third of Americans live with pets, so to be sure you’re not alienating the other two thirds of the population, remove all traces (leashes, litter boxes, dog beds) of animals.

Lighten and Brighten. You want to have as much light as possible filtering through your space. Start by cleaning the windows. Ditch the screens, which just add one more darkening layer. During an open house, make sure your shades are up. Check to see if all your bulbs are working, and replace low-watt bulbs with high-watt ones to ensure the place feels bright.

Paint. Walls are the bones of your home, and it’s super important to make sure they look fresh. Painting is relatively inexpensive if you do it yourself, and can have a huge impact on the way a place looks. Avoid non-neutral colors like red, purple, or loud yellow, since they won’t appeal to the majority of people. White can feel stark and cold, which doesn’t do anything to add to the appeal of a room. Try warm beige tones instead.

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 Local Farmer’s Markets


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Who doesn’t love fresh, locally produced fruits and veggies?  We are lucky enough to have several local farmers markets worth checking out, and since they’re open different days of the week, you can have fresh food all summer long!  Here are three to check out:

Historic Lewes Farmers Market – 110 Shipcarpenter Street
Open every Saturday through the end of September. 8am-12pm.  No pets allowed.  Vendors sell everything, including fresh beef & pork, homemade jellies and jams, fruits, veggies, organic baked goods, gourmet cheeses, and more!  For a full list of vendors, check out this list.

Rehoboth Beach Farmers Market – Next to the Rehoboth Beach Chamber of Commerce (501 Rehoboth Ave.)
Open every Tuesday from noon-4pm.  In addition to the usual farmers market vendors you can also enjoy chef’s demos!  Check out the website for lots of info, suggested recipes, and a weekly newsletter.

Milton Farmers Market – Downtown Historic Milton… you can’t miss it!
Open every Friday from 3:30pm-6:30pm through the end of October.  This farmers market is only in its second year, but it’s already become a local staple!  You can friend this market on Facebook for updates and more info!

So, what are you waiting for?  Check out these local markets… you won’t be sorry!

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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Make Your Bathroom Bigger!


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If your home has a small bathroom, but you are constantly dreaming of renovating and making something a bit more spacious, then this is the post for you!  Here are a few easy tricks to make a small bathroom seem larger!

Replace the cabinets under your sink with a vanity.  Although it won’t give you as much hidden storage, utilizing baskets or open shelving under the vanity sink will provide storage while making the room feel more open.  A pedestal sink is also a great option for opening up floor space and giving the illusion of square footage!

Create a focal point.  Change out the existing lighting for a beautiful chandelier.  Switch some of the tiles out for colorful tiles or mosaics.  You could even pull several tiles from the same area to create a mosaic mural or redo a whole wall in beautiful glass tiles.  Replace your existing “boring” sinks with an eye catching bowl and faucet.  There are many ways to create a focal point in the bathroom, and no matter which one you choose, drawing attention to a gorgeous feature will definitely draw attention away from the fact that you are in a cramped space.  Just be cautious not to overdo it… you just want one focal point.  Too many will just make the space feel busy and even more cramped, and that is not the feeling you’re going for!

Creative storage.  Adding a tall, skinny cabinet behind the toilet or a pedestal sink can add storage to your space without adding bulk.  Alternatively, cutting some recessed shelving in between wall studs can make the most of unused space and won’t take up even an inch of floor space!

Create an illusion.  By trading your shower curtain for clear glass doors, you will create an illusion of space.  Hanging a larger mirror is also a great way to give the illusion of space, just be sure to hang it so that it reflects one of your bath’s assets, or if you want to be really daring, hang two mirrors across from each other!  Alternatively, using light colors throughout the whole room and allowing as much natural light into the space as possible will also give the illusion of space.

Replace your door.  Trading out a standard door for a sliding pocket door opens enough floor space to make it worth the switch!

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

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3 Ways To Lower The Cost Of Homeowner’s Insurance


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 homeowners-insurance

There are many reasons that your homeowner’s premium might go up, but if you’re looking to lower yours, try any of these quick tips:

  1. Call competitors – Yes, it can be time consuming, but calling several companies for rate quotes can end up saving you quite a bundle in the long-run.  Just make sure the quotes you are getting match the coverage your currently have, otherwise it’s not a good comparison.  In some cases, switching carriers could save you up to 10% annually!
  2. Package it – Depending on your carrier, you may be able to get a better rate if you bundle your homeowners insurance with your auto coverage.  If you currently have separate policies, call both companies and ask about package discounts.  Who knows, maybe you’ll even save some money on car insurance while you’re at it!
  3. Raise your deductible – A deductible is the amount of money you will have to pay out of pocket before your insurance kicks in.  If you’ve got some money set aside to cover unexpected expenses then raising your deductible can save you a significant amount each month.

Looking to buy or sell a home in Sussex County?  Give Cooper Realty Associates a call and put us to work for you – 302-644-2266!

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Weekend Update: July 26th-28th


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

Friday, July 26th: History Happy Hour
Marilyn McMahon will present a talk on “Life-Saving: The Breeches Buoy & The Surf Cart” at the Lewes Life-Saving Station.  This presentation is free for all and begins at 4pm with a question and answer session to follow.  History Happy Hour is presented by the Lewes Historical Society.

Saturday, July 27th: Ran D’Shine Magic Show
Magician Ran D’Shine is an engaging magical experience entitled “Now You See It, Now You Don’t.”  The show involves audience interaction, optical illusions, magic, and storytelling.  The show is at the Freeman Stage at Bayside, begins at 10am, and is free for all.  Don’t forget your lawn chairs!

Saturday, July 27th: Tour the Lighthouse
Tours depart from the pier behind the Cape May-Lews Ferry terminal in Lewes.  Reservations are required and are required.  Tours are only available to those ages 13 and older.  Call 302-644-7046 for reservations.

Saturday, July 27th: Seafood & Arts Festival
Head to the beautiful Indian River Marina for this 5th annual festival from 10am-6pm.  Enjoy fresh seafood, delicious treats, live music, children’s activities, and lots of artists and vendors!

All Weekend: Rehoboth Beach Bandstand
Friday, July 26th Paul Cullen will present his unique mix of jazz, current, classic & original works for a groovy performance.  On Saturday, July 27th the City of Fairfax Band will play its concert band set, and The Uptown Band will round out the weekend on Sunday, July 28th with their top 40/Motown sound.  All shows begin at 8pm and are free to the public.

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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Make The Most Of Your Entryway


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The entryway of a home is often either abused or underutilized.  At its best an entryway should welcome people into your home and be an organized spot that makes your life easier!  Here are three tips for organizing your entryway to allow for both beauty and function.

  1. Limit clutter – Don’t drop everything you’re holding in the entryway as soon as you enter.  Mail, keys, bags, shoes, coats etc. can clutter an area faster than you can blink, so make sure everything has a designated spot and put it away as soon as you walk in!
  2. Utilize multifunctional pieces – Multifunctional pieces that offer storage and fit your space are the key to having a welcoming, organized entryway.  For example, a chest can offer both seating and storage, a coat rack/bench combo has many uses, and a basket rack gives you a place to hang your coat as well as out of site storage for keys, mail, pet leashes, or anything else you might need to stash on your way in or out of the house.
  3. Have a key rack – Be sure to have a designated spot to put your keys as soon as you walk in the door.  Having your keys on hand will save you time and energy later when you need to run a quick errand or make it to an appointment on time!

Of course, once you put the time and energy into making sure your entryway is organized and inviting be sure to keep it that way by making new habits and maintaining them every time you walk through the door!

Are you looking to buy or sell a home in Southern Delaware?  Give us a call at Cooper Realty Associates and put us to work for you – 302-644-2266.

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July 23, 2013


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Today’s food for thought is from Lord Russell:  “A proverb is the wisdom of many and the wit of one.”  (Fred)  “Wit of the author is a rare gift.”

Fred’s pick of the day is MLS #604376-From $1,445,000 to $1, 385,000.  An Ocean Block home in North Bethany, DE with 5 BR, 4 BA, that boasts an open floor plan, and wrap around porches.  Call me at 302 258-6983 to see this gem.  www.fredsporch.comJuly 23, 2013

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Mistakes That Sellers Make (and how to fix them…)


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mistake

If you’re thinking of putting your home on the market, there are several common seller pitfalls that you need to steer clear of.  The first is pricing your home too high.  No matter what you think your house is worth, you need to remember that you are emotionally attached to it in a way that a buyer won’t be.  There are many ways to research home values, but remember your home is only worth what a buyer is willing to pay.  Many homes sit on the market for months, if not longer, because the sellers are holding out for the price they want rather than the one they are likely to get.  Second, avoid doing major renovation before selling.  Most renovation projects don’t bring any return on investment.  Small changes like a fresh coat of paint, updating cabinet and drawer hardware, updating light fixtures, and cleaning up your home’s curb appeal are more likely to make a big impact than a brand new kitchen or bathroom.  Lastly, many sellers hold off and wait until spring to list their homes for sale, but just because spring is historically the busiest time for real estate doesn’t mean that your home won’t sell if you list it at another time.  If you need to sell your home, do so, just be sure to showcase whatever features are most applicable to the given season.  For example, highlight your central air in the summer and your wood burning fireplace in the winter!  Of course, having the right team on your side can help your home sell even faster.  That’s why we’re here!

Give us a call at Cooper Realty Associates today and put us to work for you – 302-644-2266.

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July 22, 2013


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Today’s food for thought is from Lord Acton:  “The danger is not that a particular class is unfit to govern.  Every class is unfit to govern.”  (Fred)  “All classes should be kept from a majority status; hopefully the compromise will come into play.”

Fred’s pick of the day is MLS # 601113-From $749,000 to $665,000.  Here is a Peaceful Estate in Frankford, DE which has 3BR, 3BA, in 2997 sq. ft. on 6 acres that boasts a private pier, 3 ponds, 2 wood stoves, a new HVAC in 2011 and is on Dirickson Creek.  Call me to see this home at 302 258-6983.  www.fredsporch.comJuly 22,2013

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Spotlight on The Café on 26 in Ocean View


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cafe

The Café on 26 (82 Atlantic Ave) in Ocean View is a locally owned and operated gem that features homemade, fresh, local cuisine that is delicious!  They also specialize in gluten free menu options.  In addition to all of the delicious menu choices, try the Café special, jumbo lump crap dip appetizer topped with the clams casino appetizer… a local secret worth knowing!  With nightly specials, Sunday brunch, and delicious cocktails, Café on 26 really is a full service restaurant.  The service is great too!  The Café is open year round.  During the summer it is open from 11am-3pm for lunch and 4pm-9pm for dinner every day except for Sunday.  On Sunday they serve brunch from 8am-2pm and dinner from 4pm-9pm.  Definitely check it out!

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 Tips For Pricing Your Home


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Delighted at having sold

The price of your home is the aspect that you, as a seller, have the most control over.  Even though the right pricing strategy can take a home off the market quickly, it’s amazing how many people still make mistakes when pricing their home.  Here are five tips for pricing your home right the first time!

Find an agent you trust:  Don’t just hire the agent that quotes you the highest list price for your home.  If they quote you a high price to insure that they get your listing, but then your home sits on the market forever because the price is too high, that’s counterproductive and you end up having to slash your price anyway.  The best idea is to interview several agents and choose someone who can back up their suggested list price with recent comps.  Which brings me to point number two…

Get the comps:  Once you have an agent you trust, ask them to prepare a comparative market analysis of similar homes that have sold recently in your area.  This is more important than looking at the list price of other homes for sale in your area, because the comps will tell you what the home actually sold for, which is often quite a bit lower than the original list price.

Pick the correct price:  Pricing your home correctly right out of the gate will gain the attention of serious buyers and sell your home faster.  If you have to list your home for less than you’d like to make this happen, think of it this way… it will cost you more in the long run to pay the costs associated with owning your home if it sits on the market for several months while you’re dreaming about an unrealistic asking price.  Then you’ll have to lower the price anyway, so wouldn’t you rather just price it right from the get go?

Price with the market:  If your house is priced to high from the start, you will most likely find yourself making price drops after several months on the market with no interest.  Dropping your price is a good strategy, but everyone else (whose homes were priced more reasonably to begin with) is dropping their prices too, meaning that your home is still the highest priced home on the market and will never catch up with the competition.  Instead of dropping the price several times causing buyers to wonder what’s wrong with your property, price it competitively from the start, rather than holding out for the high end of the market.  Remember, the more competitive the price you start with, the better the chance you will sell quickly for a higher price than if you wait it out and negotiate 6 months down the road.

Don’t balk at lowball offers:  When selling your home it’s hard not to be emotionally attached, but buyers most likely aren’t feeling the same way, so don’t be offended by lowball offers.  Use them as a jumping off point for negotiation and let it drop only if the buyer makes it clear they are not serious about buying.

Looking for a real estate agent you can trust to help you through the whole process of pricing and selling your home?  Give us a call at Cooper Realty Associates and let us show you why we’re the best — 302-629-6693.

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July 19, 2013


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Today’s food for thought is from Herman Melville:  “It is better to fail in originality than to survive in imitation.”  (Fred)  “We are all originals, be yourself!

Fred’s pick of the day is MLS #605367-From $19,900 to $17,500.  Here is a modified singlewide trailer in Lewes, DE with 3 BR, 1 BA and is only 200 yards from the Kayak Launch.  Call me to see this home at 302 258-6983.  www.fredsporch.comJuly 19, 2013

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Three Quick Ways To Add Color To Your Home


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Color-Wheel-pencils

Looking for ways to add a quick pop of color?  Check out these ideas:

1.  Choose your favorite.  Take a look around and choose your favorite fabric of pattern already in the room.  Find the dominate color in that pattern and then add 5-10 accents in the same color around the room.  The amount depends on the size of the room and the accents you choose.  Keeping all of your accents in the same color scheme will add a pop to the room while still keeping a cohesive feel.

2.  Make seasonal changes.  Adding collections of seasonal decorations is a great way to add color.  Keep them simple and bright and don’t forget to change them out regularly!

3.  Remember the rule.  Designers recommend using the 60-30-10 formula as a guide for adding color to a room.  The rule is that 60% of your room should be the predominate (usually neutral) color, 30% of the room should be your secondary color – typically found in floor and window coverings, and the final 10% should be your accent color.

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: July 19th-21st


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images

Thursday, July 18th:  Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge
Head to Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge Thursday for several fun, free events.
Birding Field Trip:  This trip is led by local birding guides.  Bring binoculars, a field guide and a spotting scope if you have one.  The trip is free and open to the public.  Meet at the refuge office 10-15 minutes ahead of schedule and come dressed weather appropriately.  The trip will run approximately 8am-11am.
Pondside Adventures:  Discover what types of insects and aquatic life are in the area from 1:30pm-2:30pm.  Footwear that can get wet is required, no flip flops.  Sunscreen and hats are recommended.  All children must be accompanied by an adult.
For more information about these or other activities at the Refuge, call 302-684-8419.

Friday, July 19th: Nate Myers & The Aces
Head to Canalfront Park in Lewes for a free Americana/blues inspired concert sponsored by Dogfish Head Brewery.  The show begins at 6:30pm.  Don’t forget a lawn chair and some bug spray!

Saturday, July 20th: The Sound of Music
Local theatre company, Clear Space will perform the classic Broadway production, The Sound of Music on the Freeman Stage at Bayside (31750 Lake View Drive in Selbyville).  Show begins at 7pm.  Cost is $10 per person, but kids 18 and under are free.  Don’t forget lawn chairs!

Saturday, July 20th:  Everyday Magic Artwork
Millville Town Peddler and Reynolds’ Back Door Surfboards will host artist Sharon O’Bien Huey and her “Everyday Magic Artwork” for a month-long exhibit.  This artist reception will kick off the event at 4pm with a meet the artist.  Admission to both the reception and the month-long show are free.  Come and enjoy the art, reception, specials and refreshments.  The event will be held at 35308 Atlantic Ave. in Millville.

All Weekend: Free Concerts at the Rehoboth Beach Bandstand
Groove Train will perform a fun 70’s Disco & Funk show on Friday night, followed by a classic and modern rock performance by King’s Ransom on Saturday.  The Milford Community Band will wrap up the weekend with their performance on Sunday.  All concerts are free and begin at 8pm.

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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July 17, 2013


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Today’s food for thought is from Herman Melville:  “There is all of the difference in the world between paying and being paid.”  (Fred)  “Compensation for ones efforts fulfills life’s design.”

Fred’s pick of the day is MLS #603497-From $775,000 to $745,000.  A Contemporary with an inverted floor plan on the Delaware Bay in Milton DE That boasts 2BR, 2 BA, and is deeded to the Beach and a boat dock. Bay Views in the Front and Wildlife Refuse Views in the Rear make this home special.  Call me to see this unique home at 302 258-6983.  www.fredsporch.comJuly 17, 2013

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Boosting Curb Appeal


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curb-appeal-landscaping-1

You only get one chance to make a first impression, and first impressions are lasting.  We know this, yet when many people put their home on the market they don’t take the time to make sure that the first impression is a good one.  When you’re trying to sell your home, you want buyers to fall in love at first sight!

Here are a few tips to boost your property’s curb appeal:

  1. Take a picture.  You’re so use to seeing the outside of your house that you might not notice it anymore.  If you take a photo (or several photos) you may be able to see the property with new eyes.  Show the photos to friends, family, neighbors, etc. and ask them to point out any concerns they would have if they were thinking about buying the place.  Make a list and address as many of the concerns as you can, especially recurring concerns.
  2. Paint – It’s amazing what a fresh coat of paint can do for the exterior of a home.  If the entire home doesn’t need to be painted, consider freshening the trim, doors, shutters, and/or garage door.
  3. Clean & repair the driveway – Take the time to repair small cracks and rent a power washer to get that driveway clean.  If your drive way is a major mess, think about getting it redone.
  4. Spruce up landscaping – Keep your grass mowed and fertilized.  Rake your yard.  Edge along your sidewalks.  Plant some bright, low maintenance flowers – marigolds are a good choice!
  5. Replace your door – If your front door has seen better days, consider replacing it.  Remember, the door is what will welcome potential buyers into your home.  Make it a nice welcome!
  6. Clean – Wash your windows and doors (including screens), rent a power washer and spray down the deck, driveway, sidewalks, consider power washing the exterior of your home if you aren’t going to paint.
  7. Replace light bulbs – check the view of your home at night and replace any burned-out bulbs.  Consider adding lights if the property is in need of better lighting.

Of course the front of your house will offer the first impression to potential buyers, but don’t forget the back and side views as well!

Considering putting your home on the market?  Let us help.  Give us a call at Cooper Realty Associates and put us to work for you – 302-644-2266!

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