Three Ways To Lower Your Insurance Premium


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If you’re looking for a lower homeowner’s insurance premium try one of these tricks:

Call competitors.  This 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!

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!

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 Southern Delaware?  Give Cooper Realty Associates a call and put us to work for you – 302-629-6693.

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Weekend Update: November 1st-3rd


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punkin_chunkin

Can you believe that it’s almost November?  It’s crazy!  Celebrating Halloween tomorrow and then this weekend it is time for the area’s foremost unique event… Punkin’ Chunkin’!

The annual World Championship Punkin Chunkin competition will be held all weekend long in Bridgeville.  The field is full this year!  The competition is hosted by the World Championship Punkin Chunkin Association (WCPCA) which raises money for scholarships and other organizations that benefit youth in the local community.  This year’s event begins at 7:30am when the gates open on Friday, competition begins at 8am.  Competitions continues on Saturday and Sunday and the weekend is rounded out with a Cooking Contest, Chili Cookoff, Miss Punkin Pageant, and fireworks!  For a full schedule of events, ticket information, and more, check out www.punkinchunkin.com.

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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October 30, 2013


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Today’s food for thought is from John Billings:  “Advice is like castor oil, easy enough to give but dreadful uneasy to take.”  (Fred)  “The old saying:  Do what I say not what I do.”

Fred’s pick of the day is MLS # 601654-From $334,900 to $325,000.  Here is a Lewes DE Colonial with 3 BR, 2.5 BA in 2600 sq. ft. on .69 acre.  This home is 8 years young and has most of modern upgrades.  Call me to see this home at 302 258-6983.   www.fredsporch.comOctober 30, 2013

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Quick & Easy Halloween Decorations


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With Halloween just days away, here are a few quick, easy decoration ideas to get you in the spirit:

Ghost Garland.  You can make a ghost garland by covering each light in a string of lights with white fabric tied off to look like a ghost head.  So cute!

Dancing Lawn Ghosts.  Poke a styrofoam ball through the top of a stake or dowel and poke the other side into the ground.  Cover with a lightweight, white fabric that will pick up the wind to make the ghosts dance!

Hanging Bats.  Cut a bat pattern out of black craft foam, glue on some googley eyes, punch a hole through the tail with a hole punch and hang it from a tree with fishing line.  Viola!

Ghost Lanterns.  Decorate the outside of an empty gallon jug with a black sharpie marker to have ghostly eyes and a mouth then put a string of lights or a candle inside to light up a porch or other outdoor space.

Halloween Ornaments.  Cover Christmas ornaments with Halloween inspired paper mache and fill a basket, or just string or place them in strategic places.

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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October 29, 2013


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Today’s food for thought is from John Kirkland:  “If hard work were such a wonderful thing, surely the rich would have kept it all to themselves.”  (Fred)  “There is hard work and smart work, successful people work smart.”

Fred’s pick of the day is MLS # 607185-from $145,000 to $127,600.  Here is a Milton DE HUD home.  The home has 3 BR, 2 BA and id sold AS-IS.  A cash buyer is needed.  Call me to see this home at 302 258-6983.  www.fredsporch.comOctober 29, 2013

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Blue Hen Women’s Golf Team Wins Inaugural Delaware Fall Invitational


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UNIVERSITY OF DELAWARE – WOMEN’S GOLF

Over the past weekend, I had the pleasure of attending the U of DE Fall Invitational “Battle at the Beach”, held at the Rehoboth Beach Country Club. 

Eight of the top collegiate teams from the Mid Atlantic area, including Ivy League Schools – University of Pennsylvania and Brown University, and Rollins College, from Florida, participated. 

The caliber of play, skill, and talent of the women players was very impressive, to say the least.  More impressive to me was the poise, congeniality and appreciation displayed by these classy young ladies. 

University of Delaware head coach, Patty Post, did a wonderful job of organizing this first ever event and was hands on in seeing everything went flawlessly, as planned. 

I also feel local RBCC pride in recognizing the great job Head Professional, Charlie Schuyler, and his staff did in supporting and helping to organize this wonderful event. 

If you missed this year’s event, stay tuned for next year’s tournament, which I predict will grow and become bigger and better.

Tommy Cooper

President

Cooper Realty Associates

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October 28, 2013


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Today’s food for thought is from Jonathan Swift:  “Blessed is he who expects nothing; for he shall never be disappointed.”  (Fred)  “However, everyone expects something therefore, everyone experiences disappointment.”

Fred’s pick of the day is MLS # 608274-From $225,000 to $210,000.  Here is a Milford, De home with 3 BR, 2 BA in 1485 sq. ft. on .47 acres.  This home has a split and open floor plan.  Call me to see this home at 302 258-6983.  www.fredsporch.comOctober 28, 2013

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Tips For Upping Your Curb Appeal


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Cartoon-House

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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Spotlight on The Buttery


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The Buttery is a great restaurant right in the midst of Historic Lewes.  The Buttery serves lunch and dinner and is well known for their Sunday brunch service!  The atmosphere is comfortable and welcoming, and the food is creative, flavorful, and delicious!  The food can be pricey, but is also well worth it.  The Buttery is the perfect place for a relaxed Sunday brunch with family, and is equally great for a lovely dinner or just about any special occasion!  The Buttery also hosts their own special events.  Locals love The Buttery and after just one visit it’s not hard to see why.  You should definitely check it out!

Thinking of buying of 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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Are You Ready To Buy A Retirement Home?


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retirement-ahead

Retirement often means moving.  After retiring, many people wish to move to a smaller home or a home that requires less maintenance.  Others finally have an excuse to move to their dream location after years of being stuck in a certain area because of their job.  Still others choose to make a vacation home their full-time residence.  There are many reasons to choose a purchase a home to retire to, but moving can be tricky and it can be difficult to feel like you’ve made the “right” decision when it comes to a retirement home.  Here are some tips that might help make the decision easier.

“Active Adult Community” vs. Traditional Community
They can be called active adult communities, 55+ communities, or a myriad of other things, but the truth is that these types of communities can be a great option.  If you are interested in having a lot of recreational and social activities to choose from then an active adult community might be for you.  These communities usually offer golf, tennis, swimming, and/or other recreational activities for a monthly fee.  This fee is usually a fraction of what it would cost you to pay for all of the individual amenities yourself.  When you are trying to decide whether or not to look at 55+ communities or purchase a home in a more traditional community seriously consider how often you think you will use amenities such as tennis courts, a swimming pool, or a clubhouse.  If the answer is “not often” then it might be worth it for you to live in a more traditional community and pay a-la-carte for the things you desire, such as someone to mow the lawn or take care of snow removal.

Location
Make a list of all the things that are most important then look for a home that is located near all of the amenities.  This list might include the beach, quality healthcare, shopping, golf, restaurants, and much more… whatever is on your list, do your best to find a home that is in the vicinity of your top choices.

Amenities
If you choose an active adult community the amenities should be part of your consideration, but don’t forget to consider amenities if you choose a more traditional path as well.  Is it important for you to have a garden?  Do you dream of sitting on a porch in the evenings?  Do you plan to host large family dinners? Consider what is most important to you and look for a home with these amenities or the ability to add these amenities easily and within your budget.

Monthly Upkeep
When you are determining where to buy a home be sure to factor in the “hidden” costs of ownership.  For example, how much will it cost you monthly to have someone mow your lawn and keep up with the yard maintenance when the time comes that you no longer want to do it yourself?  If you choose an active adult community, be sure you know what the monthly fees are, what they cover, and when they were last raised and by how much.

Safety and Layout
Not only do you want a house in a safe and secure neighborhood, but you also want to consider the future.  If there comes a time in the very far future when you need a wheelchair or other medical equipment, will the home you choose be able to accommodate you.  These are things that nobody wants to think of when they retire and have plenty of life left in them, but the time to plan for these things is before they happen to you.

Cost
Everyone’s goal should be to retire debt-free, so the overall cost of your home is, of course, something to keep in mind.  Be sure you can afford your home.  Just think of the freedom you will have in retirement if you are living mortgage-free!

Above all, when considering where you will live after retiring, be sure to evaluate and consider both your current desires as well as your long-term needs.  And, of course, hire a real estate agent to help you through the process!

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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October 25, 2013


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Today’s food for thought is from Henry Fielding:  “Wine is a turncoat; first a friend and then an enemy.”  (Fred)  “Wine-First Pleasure later Pain if abused.”

Fred’s pick of the day is MLS #608361-$275,000.  Here is a 4 BR, 2BA home with 2250 sq. ft. on 6.64 acres in Ellendale, DE.  The home has a deck off the Dining Room and the Master BR.  The entrance is from a bridge and deck over a Koi Pond.  The home has been totally renovated.  Call me at 302 258-6983 to see this home.   www.fredsporch.comOctober 25, 2013

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Sell Your Home Faster Than Your Neighbor


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home-for-sale-sign-two

If you are looking to sell your home, check out these tips to give you a head start on your competition:

1.  Know what your home is worth.  In the neighborhood, that is.  If you are going to sell you definitely want to know the comps for your home.  Your real estate agent can help you with this.  You can always start going to open houses to see what’s selling in your neighborhood, and utilize online listings to help you learn more.  Just remember that “comps” are comparable sales, not comparable listings.  It doesn’t matter what people are asking for their homes, only what the homes actually sell for.

2.  Get inspected.  Of course, inspection falls to the seller, but if you want to give yourself a leg up consider paying for an inspection yourself.  If you do you will know what needs to be repaired before you begin negotiating.  If you can plan for repairs in advance you will be able to fix them for less money than they would cost you in buyer credit down the road, or you can price your home with the repairs factored in.  Either way you will save money for the long run.

3.  Stage your home.  By hiring a designer or stager, you will be able to show your home in the best possible light.  Again, even though this is an up-front cost, it will save you money in the long run!

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

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Make Your Home More Appealing to Buyers


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declutter

If your home is on the market, but it’s not selling, consider putting in some time and elbow grease to make it more appealing to potential buyers.  Here are five relatively inexpensive tips to help you market your home:

1.  De-clutter

You want to show off your home to potential buyers, not your stuff.  Even if you feel like your stuff is organized, the truth is it is still taking up space… space that will seem more appealing to buyers if it is empty, giving the illusion of more square footage.  Here are some tips to help you:

  • If you haven’t used it in over a year get rid of it – donate it or throw it away.
  • Pack up knick-knacks, books, photos, etc. – you want potential buyers to envision themselves in your home, but they won’t be able to do that if they see your family everywhere they look.
  • Get a small box for essentials (toothpaste, toothbrushes, etc) and put them out of site (like under the sink) when not in use.
  • Rent a storage unit – all homes show better with less furniture.  Remove pieces that are too bulky for their space, block walkways or doorways, or are not necessary.  For example, take the leaves out of your dining room table and store extra chairs – this will make your dining room seem larger.  If your guest room doubles as an office, either remove the desk and all office furniture or store the bed and other pieces of bedroom furniture.  You don’t want potential buyers to walk into a room and wonder what it’s used for.

Remember, de-cluttering goes for all areas of your home, so don’t think that boxing up your stuff and putting it in the garage, basement, or closet is helpful.  You want to be prepared for potential buyers to open every last door, drawer, and cabinet and scrutinize every last square inch of space.  What kind of impression would it give to open a closet door and see piles of stuff jumbled up?  At best this is distracting to potential buyers and at worse it can deter them.  Get rid of your stuff, get organized, and get potential buyers thinking about the space in your home as theirs.

 2.  Clean

When a house sparkles it give buyers the impression that you are the kind of people that take good care of your things.  Everyone wants to buy a house that has been well cared for, so keep your house clean and increase your odds of selling.  In addition to daily cleaning, consider doing the following:

  • Rent a power washer and spray down your driveway, sidewalks, and exterior
  •  Wash windows inside and out
  • Dust for cobwebs
  • Re-caulk tubs, showers and sinks
  • Polish all faucets and mirrors and keep them polished
  • Get your carpets professionally cleaned and then vacuum daily
  • Dust not only your furniture, but light fixtures, picture frames, electronics, fan blades, and anything else that collects dust
  • Hang clean, fresh towels
  • Replace any worn out bedding or curtains
  • Eliminate any odors – all odors should be avoided, but be especially aware of pet odors.  You are accustomed to them, so ask a friend or neighbor who does not have a pet to come over and let you know if there are lingering odors.  As much as you love your pets, others may not and may even be allergic.  If you want to sell your home, don’t alienate buyers who are not “pet people.”
  • Wax floors

3.  Check Curb Appeal

You don’t want potential buyers to walk away before they even come inside!  Walk around your house and think about how it comes across to potential buyers.  If you can’t be objective ask a friend or neighbor for help.  Consider the following: edge sidewalks, trim bushes, plant flowers, add potted plants, mend fences, keep sidewalks cleared, keep the lawn mowed, paint faded trim, be sure that your house number is clearly visible.

4.  Make Minor Repairs

Even inexpensive repairs can make a big difference in showing a home.  Consider the following: tighten leaky faucets, patch holes in walls (even nail holes from those family photos you removed!), caulk or plaster where necessary, replace cracked tiles, fix doors that don’t close properly, fix windows or drawers that jam, replace burned out light bulbs or broken light fixtures, fix broken blinds, oil squeaky hinges or windows that get stuck, replace any window or door hardware that is broken or “tricky”

5.  Paint

Painting is relatively inexpensive (if you do it yourself) and is perhaps the one thing you can do to make the biggest impact on the way your home shows to potential buyers.  Paint all the walls in your home in neutral shades.  Stay away from white which can feel cold and clinical, and instead choose from one of the lovely, warm beige tones that exist.  Definitely avoid non-neutral colors – you don’t want potential buyers to remember your home as the “one with the green room.”

None of these suggestions require a large amount of money, but if you combine them with some time and elbow grease your home will be much more appealing to potential buyers.

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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October 23, 2013


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Today’s food for thought is from Henry George:  “Man is the only animal whose desires increase as they are fed; the only animal that is never satisfied.”  (Fred)  “It is distinguishing trait but it could and probably will be his undoing in the end.”

Fred’s pick of the day is MLS #608362-$118,000.  Here is a cute Bungalow in Blades, DE.  This small home has 4BR, 1BA in 1400 sq. ft. on 49’ x 76’ lot.  The home was totally remodeled two years ago and has a view of the Nanticoke River.  Call me to see this lovely home at 302 258-6983.  www.fredsporch.comOctober 23, 2013

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October 22, 2013


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Today’s food for thought is from Henry Wadsworth Longfellow:  “All things come around to him who will but wait.”  (Fred)  “All things come around to him who positions himself correctly and has the ability to wait for the right moment.”

Fred’s pick of the day is MLS #605916-From $743,000 to $699,000.  This Milford DE home has 3BR, 3.5 BA in 3568 sq. ft. on 2.03 acres.  The home has 400’ of Pond Front, teak flooring, stone countertops, and a heated pool.  Call me to see this home @ 302 258-6983.  www.fredsporch.comOctober 22, 2013

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October 21, 2013


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Today’s food for thought is from Henry Morgan:  “A careful driver is one who honks his horn when he goes thru a red light.”  (Fred)  “This is an oxymoron because a careful driver would not run a red light.”

Today I would like to comment on the Congressional problem of once again “Kicking the Can Down the Road.”  It really does not matter your political views.  Mathematics is not political.  We cannot continue to spend 20% or more of borrowed money forever.  We need to get our spending under control NOW.  We elected our Representatives and Senators to look out for our welfare.  They are supposed to make the hard decisions of what to fund and what not to fund and at what level.

Let the liberals, moderates, and conservatives hammer out an agreement.  But this time the target number should be 95% of anticipated revenues leaving 5% for debt retirement.  It is better to have some pain now than a total collapse tomorrow.  There must be one budget not several spending bills. Does anyone inside the beltway know how to balance a check book?

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Update Your Kitchen Cabinets


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Kitchen cabinets can really be the thing that make or break a house.  If yours are in need of an upgrade, but you don’t have the money to replace them, consider refacing them instead.  When you reface cabinets you replace the cabinet doors and fronts but keep the frames intact and just refinish any showing pieces, such as end pieces to match the new cabinet doors.  Refacing takes less time and is less expensive than a complete replacement.  Even less expensive, is refinishing all of the cabinetry yourself, although this is not a project for those with little patience.  Refacing or refinishing cabinetry won’t do anything to improve the layout or functionality of your kitchen, but it can be a good facelift for a tired, but otherwise useful kitchen.

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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Great Ideas for Garage Storage


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If your garage is in need of some organization, consider some of these storage ideas, specifically intended for the garage:

An Overhead Storage Rack:  These racks come in many styles and sizes and are ideal for maximizing unused space to store off-season items that are used infrequently.

Metal Pegboard:  Metal pegboards are several times stronger than conventional pegboards and can be customized with pegs, hooks and brackets to fit whatever organizational needs you have.

Utility Shelving:  Utility shelving can be made in any configuration to fit a variety of spaces, sizes and needs.  You can include shelves, baskets, drawers, hooks, etc. to create the ideal shelving for your situation.

Commercial Bins:  A commercially designed bin rack can organize tools and much more.

Bike Hoist:  A bike hoist can raise and store your bike with a simple pulley system to free up floor space and take advantage of underutilized vertical storage space.  Bike hoists don’t have to be used exclusively for bikes, you can also use them for your kayak, ladders, or other bulky items as well.

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 Rehoboth Ale House


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rehoboth-ale-house

Rehoboth Ale House (15 Wilmington Ave.) in Rehoboth Beach is a great, low-key bar with friendly service, decent food, and over a hundred beers available.  If you’re looking for a sports bar with a welcoming atmosphere, look no further.  Ale House also features barside games and trivia and live entertainment on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.  A full and reasonably priced menu is served every day beginning at 11am and each day of the week features a different special.  Try the Rehoboth Ale House for decent food and good service in a laid-back atmosphere.

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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October 18, 2013


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Today’s food for thought is from Benjamin Disraeli:  “How much easier it is to be critical than to be correct.”  (Fred)  “Criticism shouted the loudest can over shadow what is correct.”

Fred’s pick of the day is MLS# 606321-From $549,900 to $450,000.  Here is a house in Slaughter Beach, DE that has 2 BR, 2 BA and is on a double lot.  If you want both Delaware Bay and Prime Hook Refuse views, this is for you.  Call me at 302 258-6983 to see this home.  www.fredsporch.comOctober 18, 2013

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