In Bowers Beach, Delaware be careful where you park your Harley…..


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The other day, 13 other motorcycle riders and I left Seaford, Delaware and headed north. Only the leader knew where we were going, but I knew we were going to eat somewhere.

We ended up in Bowers Beach, Delaware. I’ve never been there before. We pulled up in the parking lot of “ JP’s Wharf Restaurant & Bar “ Looked like a real nice place.

The next thing we heard is some lady telling us to move the bikes to another parking lot on the other side of the white line. We didn’t know what to think, so we did it.

We all piled into to the restaurant and asked why we had to move the bikes and the waitress said the parking lot would be full of water in a little while. That was a first for us. By the time we ate and were getting ready to leave the parking lot was full of the Delaware Bay!! High tide and a northeast wind had pushed a lot of water out of the canal. The water was just about up to the white line in the parking lot. Luckily, one of the girls from the restaurant gave us a ride to our bikes in the back of her pickup so we didn’t have to wade through the water..

PJ’s was a good place to eat and the service was excellent and the ride through the water was free. The only thing I can say is I don’t know if you need to make a reservation to eat, but you might want to check the tide chart so you know if you need to park on the other side of the white line.

High tide at JP's Restaurant in Bower's Beach, DE

~Author- Steve Taylor

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Seaford, Delaware biker shares experience of a recent Harley ride


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Just this past Sunday, I was trying to think of someplace to ride my Harley. So I decided to just start riding, I ended up at the Indian River Inlet Marina near Dewey Beach, Delaware. I hadn’t been there for awhile, and I was impressed with the work being done on the new bridge. I stopped at the marina deli/restaurant got something to drink and a 1/2 pound of steamed shrimp and looked at the boats. It was a very relaxing day!

So if your looking for someplace in Delaware to ride, consider the Indian River Inlet Marina.
~Steve Taylor

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CAMPING BUG AFFECTS DELAWARE REALTOR!!!


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Versatility of living on the Shore

The eastern shore is a wonderful place to live. You can go from Delaware to Maryland in minutes as you can do the same with the borders of Maryland to Virginia. We went camping to Cherry Stone this past weekend which is located in Virginia. We had a wonderful time.
We caught a head boat and went fishing, then rode our bikes around the camp ground, sat and listened to the band that was playing in the pavilion that night. It was fun to see the parents dancing with their small children, even some in wheelchairs enjoying the music. SInce we live in Maryland, and I work in Delaware, we decided to go to Virgina which was about a two hour ride from Seaford De.
There are a lot of campgrounds on the shore in Maryland and Delaware. We rotate campgrounds so we never get bored. It is a wonderful way to spend time building memories with your kids.
Our kids are grown. We have grandkids now, however I still remembered the times we went to Cherrystone when I was a child. I wanted to share the memories with my husband.
Delaware has some nice campgrounds near the beach areas. There is also Trap Pond in Laurel, and Killens pond in Kent county.
If you have wanted to try camping it doesn’t take much to buy a cheap tent and some sleeping bags. Just pack your bathing suits, fishing poles, bikes and go have fun. Of course if you like camping you might want to invest in a camper or RV in the future. We met some nice people this weekend, and over the years a lot of the ones we met, have remained friends. You owe it to yourself and family to try it at least once. Who knows you might even catch the camping bug?

Check out their website: http://www.cherrystoneva.com/
~MARY HARDING

Our favorite Rockstar Mary Harding, your favorite agent for Seaford Delaware Property
She has something in mind for you!!!

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A humbling experience….


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Our National Cemetery

About 2 weeks ago, Me and a friend spent the day in our Nations Capital.
One of the most humbling experiences was watching the Changing of the
guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Every 1/2 hour during the
summer months, this spectacle takes place at the tomb that over looks
our nations capital high on the hill at the cemetery. The precision,
honor for our fallen Heroes and the pageantry is something I will never
forget. As the commander walks into the area where the the current
guard is watching over the tomb, I paused to pay my respects for all of
our men and women who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for our beloved
United States of America!
~John Allen

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I want to buy a home. Where do I start?


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Where should you start when you want to buy a home? The first place I would start is by contacting a reputable mortgage broker, or your local bank. You should have the loan officer pull a tri-merge credit bureau to see if there are any mistakes. If so, this gives you time to correct any blemishes  on your credit bureau, before you formally apply for a loan. The loan officer will determine your eligibility, and the maximum purchase price you are eligible to purchase. They are aware of programs on the state and federal levels which offer help to people who need down-payment, or closing cost assistance and can help with credit repair and various other issues.

After determining eligibility, and the amount of house you are qualified to purchase, the next step is to find a Realtor who is qualified, and you are comfortable with. Your Realtor can be a big help. They will show you houses, help you determine the market value of the home, and help write the contract to make sure all your wishes are put in writing. Once the offer is accepted,it becomes a contract. Your Realtor will help you arrange inspections of the mechanical, structural, and electrical systems of the home. If the home is out of town then the septic and well should be inspected. Finally all homes should have a pest inspection, and survey to insure any unforeseen problems. At this point if any problems are found, your Realtor can help negotiate a solution to the problem.

After all the inspections are done, and the bank is satisfied reviewing the inspections, they will contact your attorney for a final review of all the bank documents, the inspections, the survey, and title work. When the attorney is satisfied, they will contact the bank and set up a settlement date and time.

Just before you go to settlement, your Realtor will arrange a final walk through of the property to ensure it is basically  in the same shape as you saw it in before.They will  also go with you to the settlement table. Usually the listing agent will be present with the sellers, and sometimes the mortgage company will be there also.

Once all the papers  at settlement are signed, the attorney will file the deed and survey under your name as the new owner of the property. This is the basic process for buying a home.  There are several scenarios, such as when you are building, or have a home to sell before you can buy. If you need help or have any questions about buying or selling a home please feel free to contact me. I will be more than happy to answer questions.  I can be reached by email mharding@cooerealty.com.

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Can you afford to wait???


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THE PERFECT STORM IN REAL ESTATE!!

Buy now or you might regret it later……Buying a home is one of the biggest decisions an individual can make.  So, it’s understandable that one considering a home purchase may take their time to avoid rushing into such a large financial commitment.  However, several factors might leave prospective home buyers who don’t purchase a property now wishing they had taken action sooner.

“Current market conditions have created A PERFECT STORM of sorts that has made it an ideal time to purchase for first-time and trade-up buyers alike,” said James M. Weichert, president and founder of Weichert, Realtors.  “Those who have the means and the desire to buy now but don’t, aren’t likely to see such a great opportunity again anytime soon.”

LOCK IN ON THE HISTORICALLY LOW INTEREST RATES

Thanks to measures taken by the Federal Reserve including the purchasing of mortgage-backed securities, interest rates have remained historically low for several years.  With the economy beginning to show signs of recovery, it is widely believed that the government will soon put an end to these stimulus efforts.  If that happens, many economists believe we will begin to see a sharp increase in interest rates which could result in a much higher monthly payment for those who wait.  For example, an interest rate increase of 1% on a 30 year fixed mortgage of $300,000 could cost a buyer $188 more a month or $67,000 more over the span of the entire loan.  Another way of looking at it is that for every 1/8% rise in rates, the “amount of home” you are able to afford reduces by $10,000.  For instance, if you can afford a $350,000 home with today’s interest rates, when the rates increase by just 1% you will only be able to afford to buy a $270,000 home.  So, I ask you….If rates are historically low, what is the likelihood they will go up”?

TAKE ADVANTAGE OF RECORD HOME PRICE AFFORDABILITY

Home price affordability is at its most optimal level in decades.  As a result, those who wait to buy will likely pay more for the home they purchase than what that same home would cost right now.  In fact, home prices have already begun to rise slightly in some markets.  Instead of getting a better bargain, waiting to buy a home might net buyers a higher purchase price, less appreciation and less house for their buck.

THERE IS NO TIME TO WASTE for anyone who wants to take advantage of this great buying opportunity.  If you are prone to saying “what if” and wondering what could have been, you will thank yourself down the road for buying now.

Contact me, and let me show you how to take advantage of this Perfect Storm in Real Estate!!

~Connie Cooper

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Myth #3 about short sales


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Real Estate Myth # 3

Myth # 3: I can find more homes for sale by calling more than 1 agent!

It is possible but unlikely. Like any industry there are Great Agents, Average Agents, and Below Average Agents. Some agents specialize in neighborhoods, cities or other specific areas. Almost all agents have access to the Multiple Listing Service in their area, which means that they all have access to the same # of homes.

Today, if you are Internet savvy, you can narrow the search yourself. However, a Realtor should know the little things that make a neighborhood suitable for you. They are there to serve you, so take advantage of their expertise.

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Short sale myth #2


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Short Sale- Myth # 2

Myth # 2: It’s smarter for homeowners to walk away than to short sell their home.
As Tara-Nicholle Nelson says in her article Yes and No. “Increasingly, I’m hearing those who own upside down homes ask why they would bother with a short sale, when they could just walk away with much less effort and drama. The reality is that walking away and letting your home go to foreclosure is an extremely serious, personal decision – the wisdom of which varies dramatically owner to owner and state to state. Some states allow lenders to sue homeowners who default on their mortgages, and impose taxes on the mortgage debt cancelled out in foreclosure, sometimes totalling tens of thousands of dollars.

Other homeowners’ family and financial plans would be impaired much less by a short sale than by a foreclosure. For still others, it’s pretty much a wash. For everyone, though, it is faster to recover your credit and ability to take out another mortgage on a new home after a short sale than after a foreclosure.

Given that a short sale costs a seller little or nothing except some time an effort, in many instances it is smarter to make an effort to short sale than it is to walk away.”

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Short Sale Myths….


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Short Sale Myth # 1: That there is anything typical, standard or normal when it comes to getting a Short Sale approved?

No, “typical” is not in the vernacular for these transactions.
The bank is the power broker in Short sales. They can respond to an offer any way they want. “They may counter at a much higher price and demand a cash payment from the seller. Or not. They may take weeks or they may take six months. They may approve a way below asking offer, or require a hundred thousand over the asking price. Forget the idea of standard, when it comes to a short sale.”

Short Sales can either be torture or easy, there is no way to tell.

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An Abundance of Produce!


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carol-tn.jpgDelaware has so many varieties of “farm fresh” produce and vegetables, I was wondering why my husband and I decided to build a container garden last year. We thought it would be fun…and it was! So much so, we built a second one just a little larger this year. There is nothing like a grilled cheese with a nice juicy slice of a garden tomato in it! In our garden this year are radishes, string beans, green peppers, two varieties of hot peppers, broccoli, large sandwich tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, scallions and beets. I can’t wait! Now I will tell you why I’m really happy Delaware has so many delicious foods to offer. Because we can’t grow them all in our yard! Enjoy the fruits of the earth here in Delaware or wherever you live.

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Delaware’s Greatest Asset


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maryharding-tn2.jpgDelmarva gets it’s name from eastern shores of Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia which are on the peninsula. It is a great place to live.

Having been a transplant 30 some years ago, I used to kid with people and tell them once I felt the sand between my toes I didn’t want to live anywhere else. The truth of the matter is once someone experiences eastern shore hospitality, they won’t want to live anywhere else.

I have had flat tires of which kind souls have helped me change, to having a friend show up Christmas day with Christmas dinner for my family and myself when I was too sick to cook. I am eternally grateful to those people.

That is just an example of the wonderful people you meet here. I am sure there might be one or two bad apples, but you can’t have a bushel of apples without finding a few worms.

My point is when I think of our community’s most important asset; I know it is our people which are hardheaded, stubborn, and independent, some of which through out history have helped make our country great. They are our greatest asset, along with all our soldiers who have fought to keep us free.

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Memories of Summer


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maryharding-tn1.jpgOne of my best childhood memories is of the colorful flowers my grandmother planted around her house. We would sit on the porch in rocking chairs and watch the Humming birds circle the endless blossoms on my grandmother’s Four O’clock bushes. As kids we were always surprised how the bright little trumpets closed up at night, only to open again the next day. There were many other beautiful flowers planted in her garden, But none as much fun as her Four O’clock bushes.

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Delaware Fishing


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maryharding-tn.jpgDelaware is a waterman’s paradise. There are all kinds of places to go fishing. There are freshwater areas such as ponds, and cypress bog areas where the bass like to hide. Delaware also has brackish rivers like the Nanticoke, the inland bay areas, and of course the ocean. There are also great spots for crabbing which are well kept secrets by the locals.

The fun is discovering these spots for your self. You just need to pack a cooler full of bait, sandwiches, drinks and your fishing rods. It’s a great way to have fun with your family or friends. It will leave your kids with great memories, and other than a fishing license, and a little bait, it doesn’t cost you any more than your time.

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Connie Cooper, I am a “gadget girl”…


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connie_cropped_5-28-10_web_f.jpgI am a “gadget girl”….I love learning about the latest technology and how to use it to my advantage, both personally and professionally.

That’s why I am so excited about my new Motorola DROID mobile phone. I just got it this week, and I have had so much fun exploring all of the awesome things that it can do and all of the apps that I can download on it. This is my first “smart phone”, so now I have the capability of staying connected with my friends, family and clients 24 hours a day (well, except for when I sleep). I get my e-mail, stay in touch on FaceBook and Twitter, and I can do property searches all from the palm of my hand. There are so many applications available on this gadget, that I have only begun to “scratch the surface” of what a powerful tool this is going to be. One of first apps that I downloaded is called “Car Home” by Google maps. This app is an audible turn-by-turn direction navigation system. The accuracy is incredible!! This is an essential tool for me as a REALTOR. When I am showing properties to clients, I have to know where I am going ;-) Besides tools for work, I am having fun getting apps that are fun and apps that will help me get organized. I definitely could use some help in that department!!! One of the apps that will help me with being organized is called “Key Ring”. Do you ever get to a store where you have one of those membership cards that saves you money at the check out counter and you realize that you forgot your card, or you have lost it, or it has fallen off of your key chain? Well, “Key Ring” is an app that will end all of those problems. With this app, you simply scan in the barcode on the back of all of your cards, save it on your phone in one organized file, and when you are going through the check out counter the clerk simply scans your barcode right from your phone. It’s awesome!!! I registered all of my membership cards (12 of them) in 5 minutes. Now, I can de-clutter my key chain and my purse from all of those cards. No more fumbling around trying to find my card while people behind me are getting impatient :-) I can’t wait to find more applications to put on my new phone!! You can learn more about Connie and what she does here, www.Team-Cooper.com

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How does the “Real Estate Spread” affect you in today’s market


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I am Tommy Cooper – President and broker of Cooper Realty, Associates.  I have been a real estate broker since 1976, and I established Cooper Realty in 1984, 26 years ago.This is the 4th recession I have been through, and let me categorically state that the previous 3 were amateur hour compared to our current recession, depression, or however you choose to describe it.

All the tried and true workings of real estate what we dealt with in the past, have been replaced by an all new set of scenarios.

Mortgages, appraisals, settlements, they all have new and more cumbersome regulations to deal with.  Add short sales, foreclosures, credit rating standards, and we have a whole new real estate world to address.

The good news, for buyers and sellers who have found the few realtors who have adapted, is there are tremendous opportunities to take advantage of.

To understand these opportunities, you must relate to what I refer to as “the spread theory”.  If your current property is worth 30% less than it was 3 yrs ago, (and it may very well be), who cares?  It makes no material difference if you are upgrading to a better and more expensive purchase.

“Is he crazy”? you may be asking yourself.  No, I am not, and here’s why:

Hypothetically, if your property was worth $400,000 3 years ago, and only $300,000 today, to upgrade to that just right property 3 years ago would have cost you $600,000.  Now, it can be purchased for $500,000.

The spread to live in your dream home 3 years ago would have cost you $200,000 ($400,000 to $600,000).  Today, the spread from the reduced value of $300,000 to your dream home cost of only $500,000 is still the same $200,000.  Everything is relative- the spread is still the spread.

Add to that, record low interest rates, and you have the perfect scenario-  the same spread as 3 years ago at the height of the market and a much lower monthly payment than would have been, because of  record low interest rates.

Digest my theory and think about it.  There has never been a better time to buy real estate.

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Obtain the Best Home Mortgage


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The following items are traditionally used to support your application; however, you do not have to provide all of the documentation to begin the loan process. Most Mortgage Companies have the ability to submit a loan application on your behalf electronically. The information they provide in their submission will be based on a brief Q & A with you (with the documentation to support the loan submission to follow) or the summation of the material you have brought with you.

Most people like definitive answers from their Loan Officer when it comes to their ability to purchase a home. So be prepared. Your Loan Officer wants to make this as simple as possible, for you as well. As a former Loan Officer, trust me when I say this, be honest and forth coming with information. If you hide certain information or neglect to discuss certain aspects of your income, employment or credit history; your Loan Officer will more often than not come back to you with more questions. If this has happened to you or if you are still thinking that this may be the approach you want to take…. DON”T! It is one of the worst mistakes you can make. You will lose the trust of your Loan Officer.

* W-2’s / 1099’s for each applicant for the 2 most recent years. Handwritten W-2’s / 1099’s will not normally be acceptable unless accompanied with a letter from the Employers CPA. If you are providing 1099’s, be prepared to also provide complete tax returns.

* 30 days of your most recent and consecutive pay stubs. You will want to make sure that your Social Security number is on the check, your name and year to date gross amounts. If this is not the case be prepared. Provide the Loan Officer with the Persons name, address and phone to provide verification of the information they will need for income and employment purposes.

* 3 months most recent complete (all pages) banking statements. Your Loan officer will be looking for the liquid or to be liquid assets used to purchase the property and also to verify that you will have two (2) months in cash reserves. It is a common mistake to not bring a page or two of your banking statement because it has absolutely no information in it at all. In fact the only thing showing on the page is an advertisement for an IRA. If the Loan Officer gets to page 2of3 and does not have page 3of3, they will ask where that 3rd page is. Please bring all your bank statement pages.

* If you are Divorced Copy of divorce decree for each applicant that either pays or receives alimony and/or child support. If you are using the child support to qualify for your new home loan be aware of two things 1) Proof that you have received Child Support payment for the last twelve months will be required, 2) Determination of how much longer you will be receiving Child Support will be made and used in the evaluation for qualifying for your new home loan.

* If you have Filed for Bankruptcy (within the last seven years), you will need to provide a copy of your complete Bankruptcy papers and an explanation letter why you filed.

* If you currently have a property under a Purchase Contract; Copy of sales contract or purchase agreement for property being purchased. This can be provided upfront or can be obtained in the loan process.

* Other Income:
If you derive a portion of your income from social security benefits, please provide the most recent Social Security Award Letter indicating the amount of your current monthly payments from social security. If you receive income from Bonuses, Commissions or Loan repayments, please provide proof and be prepared to document.

* If you have rental properties:

Copies of current lease agreements for each residential rental property that you own and be prepared to provide tax returns.

Additional Documents for Special Sources of Income: If you derive more than 25% of your employment income from bonuses or commissions, you must also provide:

* Tax Returns (Form 1040) for the 2 previous years. If you are a sole proprietor (report income on Schedule C of your Form 1040 tax return) or if you own 25% or greater interest in the business from which you derive your primary income, you must also provide:

* Tax Returns (Form 1040) for the 2 previous years.

* Year-to-date Profit & Loss Statements for that business.

* Business Tax Returns (Form 1065 or 1120) for the 2 previous years, if the business is a corporation or partnership.

* K-1’s for that business, if it is a Subchapter S corporation or partnership.

WHEN TAX RETURNS ARE REQUIRED, PLEASE PROVIDE ALL SCHEDULES, FORMS AND ATTACHMENTS TO THE RETURNS. If you have a CPA, provide their contact information.

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Delaware’s extraordinary qualities rate high on most people’s wish list.


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With no state sales tax, no personal property tax, and one of the lowest property tax rates in the ation, it certainly has its advantages to residents. Consider the fact in Delaware, you’ve got lower housing costs than most of the people in the nation. Clean air and water, great shopping a short drive from any part of the state, beaches, bays and beautiful parks make it the ideal place for your home. Centrally located, Delaware is a short commute away from Philadelphia, PA, Washington, D.C., Baltimore, MD, and other major metropolitan hubs.

Sussex County is one of the fastest growing regions in the nation, with gorgeous beaches, vast forests, state parks, and other attractions minutes away. Come see why this thriving community is the perfect spot for your home or business!

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