Home Projects You Can Handle Yourself


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If you’re looking for a do-it-yourself project that will be usefull in the long run, consider one of these tried and true projects that are relatively easy and inexpensive:

Motion Detector Lights.  Motion Detector Lights are not just for outdoor use, you can install them indoors as well to make your life easier.  For example, install one in your laundry room so that the light goes on and off automatically when you enter and exit.  Many of these light fixtures are easy to install and can be found at your local hardware store.

Rollout Cabinets.  Nothing is more convenient than rollouts in your cabinets, especially if they are deep and hard to access every inch.  You can convert cabinets in your kitchen, bathroom, garage, or really anywhere that you have a cabinet that could be more convenient.

Garage Shelving.  If you need more storage in your garage, don’t disregard the space near the ceiling.  Installing a high shelf all the way around the perimeter gives you a lot of added storage.

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 Mixx in Rehoboth Beac


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Mixx (26 Baltimore Ave) in Rehoboth Beach has received a lot of attention from the time it joined the local restaurant scene several years ago.  Mixx serves up what they refer to as “American Fusion” cuisine and an extensive wine and martini menu as well.  With nightly specials including $8 burgers and half-priced martinis on Wednesdays and buy one get one free large entrees on Thursdays, the adventurous menu and good service make Mixx a good restaurant to add to your Rehoboth Beach rotation.

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

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5 Ways To Utilize Wasted Space Under Your Stairs


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The space under stairs is often underutilized, if not wasted.  Here are five ideas for creating practical storage in this space.

1.  Shelves.  Building custom shelves into this space is a relatively simple, but practical way to create storage without much effort.

2.  Drawers.  Creating custom stairs where each step is also a drawer can add a significant amount of storage to your home.

3.  Pull out shelves.  This idea is a combination of the first two, but creating shelves that pull out give you both decorative storage and hidden storage.

4.  Closet.  You can turn the space under your stairs into closet space by adding a door in the back for a deep storage space, or doors on the side for a long storage space, depending on what is more practical for your situation.

5.  Office space.  By opening up the space under your stairs, you can build an office directly into this space and create it in such a way to flow into the rest of your room.

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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3 Ways To Organize Your Bedroom This Weekend


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If you’re looking for ways to organize your bedroom, check out some of these ideas:

1.  Organize Wall Hangings.  Clear clutter by hanging taking what’s important to you, framing it or mounting it, and creating a wall display.

2.  Use Your Corners.  Installing corner shelving or a corner table can add usefulness to underutilized parts of your bedroom.

3.  Float Your Shelves.  Installing floating shelves offers abundant storage without the bulkiness of large storage units.

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

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Weekend Update: September 27th-29th


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

Friday, September 27th: History Happy Hour
This free presentation will run from 4-4:30pm at the Cannonball House on the corner of Front & Bank Streets.  This “season finale” presentation will be presented by William HJ Manthrope, Jr. and Paul Collins will present “Exploring and Charting the Delaware Bay.”

Saturday, September 28th: Harvest Festival
Head to the East Coast Garden Center (30366 Cordrey Road) in Millsboro for a Harvest Festival, including country line dancing, hayrides, family activities and more.  The festival runs from 10am-2pm.

Saturday, September 28th: Sussex Heritage Tour—The Agricultural Roots of Sussex County
This tour begins and ends at the Cape May-Lewes Ferry terminal in Lewes.  Tickets are $40 and include one meal.  Reservations must be made in advance by calling the Lewes Historical Society at 302-645-7670 (ex. 10).  Stops on the tour include the nationally recognized Historic Lewes Farmers Market, T.S. Smith & Sons Apple Orchard, U-pick vegetable farms, Hopkins Dairy Farm and Creamery and more.

Saturday, September 28th: Delaware Center for the Inland Bays Annual Fall BBQ
This family barbeque will take place from 11am-3pm at the James Farm Ecological Preserve on Cedar neck Road in Ocean View.  The BBQ will feature all-you-can-eat pork, chicken, oysters, sides and dessert.  It will also feature live music, pumpkin painting, and hayrides.  Tickets are $25 per person and kids 10 & under eat 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 – 302-644-2266.

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September 24, 2013


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Today’s food for thought is from Henry David Thoreau:  “Be not simply good; be good for something.”  (Fred)  “Being good for something makes life an adventure.”

Fred’s pick of the day is MLS # 599078-From $1,025,000 to an approved Short Sale of $950,000.  A Lewes Home and a Canal front lot with a boat house and 3 floating docks.  The main home has 4 BR and 2BA.  Call me to see this home at 302 258-6983.  www.fredsporch.comSeptember 18, 2013

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Take Care Of Your Grout


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If you have grout anywhere in your home than chances are that you’ve spent a lot of time and elbow grease trying to get those lines clean, which can be very difficult!  The best way to get this clean is to start with a solution of half vinegar, half water in a spray bottle.  Spray the grout and let sit for five minutes.  If the stain is a tough one, cover it in a paste of baking soda and water and then spray the vinegar solution and watch it foam.  With a stiff-bristled brush, scrub and rinse with plain water.  For super stuck on stains, you can use a product that contains oxygen bleach, just don’t use chlorine bleach, which can break down the grout.  If you’re past the point where cleaning your grout helps, it may be time to replace 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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Tips For Staying Within Your Renovation Budget


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If you’re planning a renovation, whether small or large, staying within your budget is a huge stressor and can be difficult!  One of the best ways to preemptively avoid breaking the budget is to work with a designer to work out all of the details of your project before hiring a contractor.  Yes, you will have to pay up front for the design plan, but then you will have specific details to ask contractors to bid on and you will have specific parameters and can make adjustments from there.  Without that plan, you are susceptible to every unexpected thing that comes up which is usually what blows the budget.  Another thing you can do is prioritize your materials to what is going to make the biggest impact on your room and then surround those materials with less expensive things rather than choose the priciest materials for every surface.  Finally, avoid last minute changes which are the costliest of all!  One delay or change can set off a chain of delays and cost adjustments that make a budget a thing of the past.  Again, this is where an initial plan will be helpful because putting time and thought into these decisions in the first place negates the need for last minute switches later on.

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 Fins Fish House and Raw Bar in Rehoboth Beach


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Fins Fish House and Raw bar (243 Rehoboth Ave) in Rehoboth Beach is one of the top rated restaurants in Rehoboth.  Serving an impressive variety of fresh oysters, daily fish options, and seafood entrees, you really can’t go wrong no matter what you order.  Fins prides themselves on pairing delicious, fresh food with craft brews and select wines.  With a friendly atmosphere, good service and great food, Fins has definitely earned its top spot among Rehoboth Beach eateries.

Thinking of buying or selling 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 Things To Know About Homeowner’s Insurance


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Homeowner’s Insurance is something that everyone has to deal with, but not everyone understands.  Here are five tips for dealing with it:

1.  Shop around.  You shouldn’t just shop around for the best price, you should also shop around for the best agent.  If you need to file a claim, you will have to work with an insurance adjuster.  Knowing, liking, and trusting your agent can make this process much smoother.

2.  Lower your premium.  Insurance companies figure out your premium from formulas that are based on how much risk they forsee in your property.  Taking some preventative measures can lower your premium by up to 20%!  Examples of preventative measures that affect your premium are installing smoke detectors, dead bolts, and alarm systems just to name a few.

3.  Replacement v. market value.  The policy you choose will either cover the “replacement cost” of your home or the “market value” of your home.  A market value policy is typically less expensive, but in the event that your home is ruined by a serious disaster you may not recoup enough to rebuild.  A market value policy will pay out based on how much someone would pay for your home and accompanying land in whatever condition it is in – so basically the insurance company will buy you out at market value after a disaster.  A replacement policy will pay out based on how much it will cost to replace your entire home.  Replacement coverage is definitely recommended, and sometimes even required by mortgage companies.

4.  Time limits.  When you purchase your homeowner’s policy, be sure to ask about time limits for reporting claims and then follow them.

5.  Jewelry coverage.  Many homeowner’s policies limit the coverage of jewelry.  If you have expensive jewelry in your home, even if it is just a couple of wedding rings, be sure to note the jewelry limits in your policy and purchase a supplemental policy (often called a rider) if necessary.

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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3 Simple Storage Solutions


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If you’re looking to add storage to your home, try one of these tricks:

1.  Utilize Your Foyer.  Add a storage bench to your foyer for both storage and seating.  You can also stretch mesh, rubber boating straps, and a myriad of other materials around painted frames for both decorative and storage purposes.

2.  Over The Fridge.  If you don’t have cabinets above your fridge, build or purchase some storage boxes that match the décor of your kitchen and store odds and ends that you don’t use every day.

3.  Think Outside The Box.  Many handy organizers can be used for things other than their intended purpose.  For example, install an over the door shoe holder in your pantry to store small bottles, spice packets, and more.

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

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Weekend Update: September 20th-22nd


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

Thursday, September 19th: Local History Tour
Hop on the Jolly Trolley in Rehoboth Beach for a local history tour.  The tour begins at the Anna Hazzard House at 17 Christian Street in downtown Rehoboth.  Tickets are $10 per person, and you must call ahead to reserve a spot.  Contact 302-227-7310 if you want to reserve your spot.

Friday, September 20th: “Fun Friday” Oktoberfest
This event will take place from 4-6:30pm on Market Street between Front and Second in Lewes.  There will be Bavarian-style dancers, a German Oompah band, local restaurants will feature German cuisine, and more.

Saturday, September 21st: Millsboro Country Festival Car Show
The Millsboro County Festival Car, Truck, and Bike Show will take place from 8am-3:30pm on Monroe Street in Millsboro.  Judging is at noon with awards at 2pm.  If you’d like to register a vehicle, it’s $15 and you can register the day of.

Saturday, September 21st: Millsboro Country Festival
This festival will take place all day on Main Street in Millsboro.  The car, truck & tractor parade will begin at 10am.  The day will also include rides, music, games, crafts, children’s activities, bed races, and more.  For more information call the Millsboro Chamber of Commerce at 302-934-6777.

Sunday, September 22nd:  Farmer & Foodie Festival
This fourth annual festival will take place at The Circle and the Brick Hotel Property in Georgetown from noon-4pm.  Admission is free for all and the day includes children’s activities, hay rides, a pig roast, live entertainment, and more.

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

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September 17, 2013


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Today’s food for thought is from Henri Frederic Amiel:  “Work while you have the light.  You are responsible for the talent that has been entrusted to you.”  (Fred)  “It is a sin to not use the talent you have-let us hope it is a good talent.”

Fred’s pick of the day is MLS #602035-From $90,000 to $75,000.  Here is a Laurel DE, vintage home with 4 BR, 2BA in 2767 sq. ft. on a city lot.  This home needs updating and is sold AS IS.  Call me to see this home at 302 258-6983.  www.fredsporch.comSeptember 17, 2013

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Tips For Working With Contractors


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Home improvement projects are stressful, and unfortunately working with contractors can make this even more difficult at times.  Contractors are busy people and they don’t want to work with difficult customers any more than you want to work with a difficult contractor.  To make the relationship smoother, avoid disputing payments unless there is an extreme legal reason, be gracious about filling online reviews in a timely and truthful fashion, and offer to serve as a reference for completed work.  These tips will help you build a relationship with your contractor and pave the way for a smooth transaction.

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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A Guide To Molding


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Molding is a beautiful, decorative architectural detail that is a part of many homes, but since it comes in so many different types and forms it can also be very confusing.  Here’s an alphabetical guideline to follow:

  • Baseboard.  Baseboards usually measure 3-5 inches.  It trims walls where they join with the floor.
  • Batten.  This type of molding is also called board-and-batten is used to hide the joint between pieces of paneling.
  • Bead.  Bead molding and pearl molding are similar types of trim that have a row of small spheres that are often paired with crown or chair moldings.
  • Casing.  This is the type of molding that goes around door and window frames to fill the gap.  Typically this type of molding is 2-3 inches wide.
  • Chair Rail.  This molding is installed partially up a wall and is supposed to protect walls from being damaged by furniture, but many people use it just for decoration.
  • Crown.  This molding is a beautiful architectural detail that fills the transition between wall and ceiling.  They can also be called cornice moldings and range in size from very small and simple to extremely large and ornate.
  • Dentil.  This type of molding is made up of small, evenly spaced blocks in a repeating pattern.  This type of molding is typical of historic homes and is usually just a part of more intricate crown molding.
  • Picture Rail.  Picture railings are hung anywhere from a few inches to a few feet below ceiling height and allow artwork to be hung without driving nails directly into the wall.

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

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September 16, 2013


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Today’s food for thought is from Henry Adams: “Philosophy:  Unintelligible answers to insoluble problems.”  (Fred)  “The big questions seem to have no answers, therefore Philosophers tackle these problems for us, mostly without a satisfactory or clear answer.”

Fred’s pick of the day is MLS # Fred’s pick of the Day is MLS # 598133.  A 4 Bedroom ranch, 2 Bath-Master Bath with Jacuzzi tub + custom tile shower is for sale.  Oil Heat, central AC, 2 car attached garage, new eat-in kitchen, formal dining room, with tray ceiling + tile inlayed in wood floor, Living Room with fireplace and Great Room with vaulted ceiling.  You walk across a bridge over a Koi Pond to the front door.  All this on 6.64 wooded acres in Ellendale. There is plenty of wildlife and room for horses.  Call me to see this home @ 302 258.6983.  www.fredsporch.com Front entrance

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Natural Ways To Get Rid of Pests


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If your yard or home seems to attract pests, but you don’t like the idea of using chemicals to combat the problem, consider these natural solutions:

  • Plant Basil.  This will help block flies, which hate the smell of basil.  Planting pots at doorways or on windowsills or countertops can help repel flies.  Dried basil will also work, as long as the smell stays strong.
  • Vitamin C.  Citrus fruits are good for you and spiders hate them!  Mix unsweetened lemon or lime juice with water and wipe your countertops, doorways and windowsills with it.  If you have a spider problem in your garden spread around lemon, orange, or lime peels.
  • Vinegar.  A half water/half vinegar solution will destroy scent trails that ants use to navigate, thus helping to destroy your ant problem.  Just be sure to wipe down any surface where you’ve spotted ants multiple times a day for best results.
  • Trick Wasps.  Wasps are territorial and will not built a nest within 20 yards of another one.  You can purchase a fake wasps nest that is similar to a paper lantern.  Hang several around your property and you won’t have to worry about wasps taking over.
  • Catnip.  If cats are an issue, this is probably not a good idea, but according to a scientific publication catnip repels mosquitoes more effectively than DEET.  Grow it in your garden to keep mosquitoes at bay.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar.  If fruit flies are an issue, trap them in a glass filled three-quarters of the way with apple cider vinegar, than add 6-8 drops of dishwashing liquid and fill the rest of warm water… fruit flies will be a distant memory!

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 Espuma in Rehoboth Beach


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espuma-rehoboth-beach-front

Espuma (28 Wilmington Ave) in Rehoboth Beach serves delicious Mediterranean fare made with fresh, local, seasonal ingredients.  The cocktails at Espuma are legendary, the food is amazing, the atmosphere is warm, intimate and lovely, and the service is great.  A meal at Espuma is an all around memorable experience.  Espuma opens daily for dinner at 5pm.  If you have a special occasion to celebrate or are just looking for a fine meal, definitely go to Espuma!

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

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September 13, 2013


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Today’s food for thought is from Diogenes:  “We have two ears and one tongue so that we would listen more and talk less.”  (Fred)  “The art of listening should be taught with the 3 R’s.”

Fred’s pick of the day is MLS # 607007.  Nestled in a gated community with not much yard to care for is this 2005 Doublewide.  It is just large enough for two active people and small enough to be easily maintained.  The open concept creates a large area in the middle of the house.  The split floor plan gives guests their own side of the house.  The master bath has it all, 2 vanities, a nice tub and shower.   Do not miss out on this one.  The community offer security, an in-ground pool and a playground.  Most of the furniture is available for a nominal price.  Call me to see this home @ 302 258-6983.  www.fredsporch.comBack side with deck and rear door

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5 Ways To Make Your House Smart


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brainhome

If you’re looking to increase your home’s technological presence, check out these five cool ways to make your home smarter:

1.  Home Automation Systems.  Hooking your lighting and appliances up to a home automation system is a great way to ease into smarter home technology.  Many companies sell this type of technology at a variety or price points.

2.  Video Doorbell.  A video doorbell will allow you to see and even talk with visitors before you open the door.  And if you’re not home, you can view snapshots of who was at your door while you were away.

3.  Programmable Thermostat.  If you don’t already have a programmable thermostat, getting one can save you a significant portion of your heating and cooling costs.  Some are so intelligent they can even program themselves after learning your schedule!

4.  Water Saver.  There are systems available that keep track of your water usage and automatically alert you to your water usage so that you can save water… and they really work!

5.  Smart Lock.  There are new locks available that use keyless technology downloaded to a smart phone to control your locks.  With these you can even let guests in remotely and keep track of who has locked and unlocked your door without ever being home.  Many of these can also be operated manually so that during a phone, internet, or power outage there are no issues.

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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