5 Projects That You Can Do This Weekend

Looking for a quick pick-me-up for your home? Try these projects, which shouldn’t take more than a day or two to complete!


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Looking for a quick pick-me-up for your home?  Try these projects, which shouldn’t take more than a day or two to complete!

1.  Add Molding:  Any room can be improved with the finishing touch of crown molding, and you can match the style of molding not only with your own personal taste but also with the architectural style of your home – it’s win, win!

2.  Change Up Your Interior Doors: Your interior doors are often overlooked as necessary, but they don’t necessarily have to be boring to be useful.  Considering replacing interior doors with more unique or stylish counterparts.

3.  Put Your Lights on Dimmers:  Adding dimmer switches to your light fixtures is one of the quickest, easiest, and least expensive ways to add ambiance to any room.

4.  Install a Ceiling Fan:  Installing a ceiling fan is a relatively inexpensive way to cut down on your cooling costs and shouldn’t take more than a couple of hours.

5.  Style Your Staircase:  By adding some distinctive rails, architectural embellishments, or even a coat of paint you can give your staircase a whole new look.  The best part of this project is that you can get as creative as you’d like!

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 Things To Consider Replacing Before You Sell

If you’re trying to sell your home here are five things you should consider replacing before your home goes on the market:


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If you’re trying to sell your home here are five things you should consider replacing before your home goes on the market:

1.  Worn flooring… especially carpet.  Replacing worn carpet is fairly inexpensive when you consider the amount of time your home could potentially stay on the market if the floors are turning potential buyers away.  You don’t have to replace carpet with carpet either… consider wood or laminate alternatives which can be attractive to buyers.  If you can’t replace the carpet in your home, at the very least, shampoo it and get out smell and stains, or even better, get it professionally cleaned.  Dirty and worn flooring is a huge turn-off to potential buyers.

2.  Wallpaper.  Wallpaper is very personal to each persons taste, so if you’ve got any in your home (including borders) you should consider removing it and replacing it with a coat of paint.  You want the potential buyers to see your home, not your personal taste, when they walk through the door.  If you don’t want to take the time to remove all the wallpaper in your home, at the very least remove any that is peeling, cracked, or faded and paint those walls.

3.  Outdated fixtures.  I know I’ve mentioned this before, but changing out the hardware and faucets in your kitchen or bathroom can be an easy and relatively inexpensive way to make the room feel fresh.  Likewise, changing out doorknobs, light switch covers, socket covers and lighting fixtures for new ones can give every room a little makeover.  The little things really do make a big difference!

4.  Faded/old paint.  Repainting is the most cost efficient way to get your home buyer-ready.  By choosing warm, but neutral colors you can freshen up any space.

5.  Personal décor.  You want potential buyers to envision your home as theirs, so pack away any personal photos and knick knacks.  Remember, less is more when you’re trying to sell.  Likewise, get rid of any potentially offensive décor, for example deer heads, gun collections, etc.).  Remember, just because it’s your taste, doesn’t mean it’s everybody elses, and you don’t want to scare away potential buyers when you’re trying to sell!

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 More Things To Do This Weekend

Looking for more fun things to do at the shore this weekend? Here are five more ideas fit for the whole family!

Saturday, July 7th-Sunday, July 8th: Rehoboth Beach Bandstand
If you’re looking for more bandstand excitement catch the Tim Laushey Orchestra on Saturday, July 7th and enjoy the first ever bandstand performance of Nate Myers & the Aces on Sunday, July 8th. All shows are free and begin at 8pm.


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Looking for more fun things to do at the shore this weekend?  Here are five more ideas fit for the whole family!

Saturday, July 7th-Sunday, July 8th: Rehoboth Beach Bandstand
If you’re looking for more bandstand excitement catch the Tim Laushey Orchestra on Saturday, July 7th and enjoy the first ever bandstand performance of Nate Myers & the Aces on Sunday, July 8th.  All shows are free and begin at 8pm. 

Saturday, July 7th – Shakespeare in the Garden
Bring a blanket or lawn chair and enjoy Shakespearean classic “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” in the Homestead Gardens at the Rehoboth Art League (12 Dodds Lane, Rehoboth Beach).  The show runs from 4pm-6pm and cost is $10, although additional donations are much appreciated.

Saturday, July 7th – Delaware Symphony Orchestra
Head down to the Freeman Stage at Bayside (31750 Lake View Drive in Selbyville) to enjoy the Grammy-nominated Delaware Symphony Orchestra.  The DSO is Delaware’s only fully-professional orchestra and has entertaining audiences for over 100 years!  Tickets are $10 and kids are free.  The concert begins at 8pm. 

Saturday, July 7thSt. Peter’s 46th Sidewalk Art & Artisan Show
Enjoy fine arts and crafts in beautiful downtown Lewes.  Over 140 artists will be exhibiting their work from 9am-4pm on Second Street in Lewes. 

Saturday, July 7th – Doktor Kaboom’s Interactive Science Comedy Show
If you have kids in your life, head down to the Freeman Stage at Bayside (31750 Lake View Drive in Selbyville) from 10am-12pm for a free, fun event!  Doktor Kaboom! Creatively blends theater, science experiments, and comedy to entertain and educate kids of all ages!

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

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Five Ways to Get Organized This Weekend

If you feel like your home is too cluttered, try a few of these tricks to get organized. Best of all, none of them should take very long at all!

In the entryway. Prime and paint an old bookshelf, adjust shelves and add buckets or baskets to match your décor. For even more organization, personalize buckets or baskets, one for each member of the family and charge everyone with taking charge of their own clutter!


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If you feel like your home is too cluttered, try a few of these tricks to get organized.  Best of all, none of them should take very long at all!

In the entryway.  Prime and paint an old bookshelf, adjust shelves and add buckets or baskets to match your décor.  For even more organization, personalize buckets or baskets, one for each member of the family and charge everyone with taking charge of their own clutter!

In the kitchen.  Purchase an over-the-door shoe organizer with clear pockets.  Label each pocket, hang the organizer over the pantry door, and use it as a catchall for kitchen utensils and supplies.  These pockets are perfect for measuring cups & spoons, pens/pencils, spices, seasoning packets (taco, gravy, etc.), wooden spoons, boxes of jello, and much more!

In the bedroom.  Organize your jewelry by creating a piece of artwork.  All you have to do is find a beautiful picture frame and paint it to match your décor.  Frame a radiator cover or wire screen, or run ribbon back and forth across the frame and back it with a piece of fabric.  Then hook earrings through the grid and add hooks for necklaces and bracelets.

In the office.  Hide cluttered bookshelves with bookcase shades.  Measure openings and sew shades out of canvas or another weighted material.  Use tension rods to hang the shades over shelves.  Be sure to leave some shelves unshaded and display artwork and accessories to create an elegant look.

Anywhere.  Corral electronics and their cords by creating a charging station.  Decorate a shadow box with paint and/or fabric, replace one side with a power strip.  Cover the power strip by adding decorative paper to a piece of foam board and fitting it into the box.  Plug cords in, feed the wires under the foam board (chipping a notch in the bottom of the foam if necessary), plug in your electronics and store them on the shelf you have created.

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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5 Ways To Maximize A Small Bathroom

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!


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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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5 Tips For Pricing Your Home To Sell

Earlier this week I talked about what to do if your house won’t sell. And, like I mentioned in that post, the price of the home is the aspect that sellers 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!


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Earlier this week I talked about what to do if your house won’t sell.  And, like I mentioned in that post, the price of the home is the aspect that sellers 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!

1. 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…

2. 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.

3. 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?

4. 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.

5. 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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5 Things To Keep in Mind About Foreclosures

Interested in buying a foreclosed home? In today’s market foreclosures can be a valid option for many homebuyers. Unfortunately, there are many popular myths about buying bank-owned homes that make it difficult to really understand the foreclosure process. If you’re thinking of purchasing a foreclosed home, here are five things you should keep in mind…


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Interested in buying a foreclosed home?  In today’s market foreclosures can be a valid option for many homebuyers.  Unfortunately, there are many popular myths about buying bank-owned homes that make it difficult to really understand the foreclosure process.  If you’re thinking of purchasing a foreclosed home, here are five things you should keep in mind:

1.       Foreclosure Doesn’t Equal Cheap
Many homebuyers believe that they will pay less for a foreclosed home than for a similar home that is not bank owned.  Because banks want these homes sold quickly, it is true that they are usually priced slightly under comparable properties, but the key word here is slightly.  A foreclosed home might be a “steal” compared to what the former owner’s once paid, but it is likely that compared to similar homes in today’s market the price is not such a steep bargain.  You should also keep in mind that foreclosures often (not always, but often) need some work, so you should factor those costs in when consider price.  Shop around and compare foreclosures to similar homes for sale on the open-market. The foreclosure you have your eye on might be a great deal, but don’t believe that it is just because it’s a foreclosure, do your homework!

2.       Be Aware That All Foreclosures Are Sold “As Is”
Generally speaking foreclosures are owned by sellers who have never even seen the home (the bank).  This means that the home has most likely been vacant for some time, and the general care and maintenance of the home has not been kept up.  This could mean anything from a broken window to a leaky roof to termites or mold.  Keep in mind that banks will not want to issue the buyer credits the way a normal seller would, so if you’re interested in a foreclosure you need an agent who is aggressive and experienced when it comes to working with banks.

3.       Don’t Lowball
Banks understand the value of the homes they are trying to offload and it is does not make good business sense for them to accept an offer that is significantly less than market value.  Think about it:  if you had a million dollars sitting in a checking account, you wouldn’t sell something for $1,000 when you know if you wait for a month or two you can get $2,000 or even $3,000 – you just don’t need the money that badly!  That’s the position the bank is in.  Although it is true that banks do not want to own these properties, it is also true that they are not desperate enough to give them away at steeply discounted prices.  In fact, they want these homes to sell at as a high a price as possible in order to cut their losses.  So if you’re seriously interested in a foreclosed home, be sure to offer a fair price.  A lowball offer will most likely be trashed.

4.       You Can’t Cheat The System
A lot of people believe that if they can purchase the foreclosure straight from the bank before it goes on the market, they will get a better deal.  However, banks have no interest in handling business this way.  Why would they?  It is in their best interest to get the best price for the property and that means putting it on the market and seeing what kinds of offers come in.  If you really want to purchase a foreclosed home before it hits the market, you’re going to have to pay cash at auction.

5.       Get The Home Inspected
Many people believe that buying a foreclosed home means that they have to forego inspection.  It’s true that if you’re buying the home at auction you will not have the opportunity to have it inspected, however if you’re purchasing a foreclosed home that is for sale on the open market you can and should have that home inspected.  Even though you will be responsible for paying the inspector and fully funding any repairs that need to be made (if you go through with the purchase), it is ultimately in your best interest to have the home inspected.

Are you in the market for a new home, foreclosed or otherwise?  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 Consider Before Refinishing a Basement

Do you have an unfinished basement that you are considering refinishing? A finished basement can give you a lot of extra living space and also add a lot of value to your home, but finishing a basement is a lot of work! Here are five things you should consider before you make any plans…


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Do you have an unfinished basement that you are considering refinishing?  A finished basement can give you a lot of extra living space and also add a lot of value to your home, but finishing a basement is a lot of work!  Here are five things you should consider before you make any plans…

1.  Know the Safety Standards and Zoning Codes

Make sure all access points meet safety standards – do the stairs from the inside of the house meet building codes?  Are there any exterior entrances or does there need to be?  Is the ceiling high enough?  Will any structural support be altered?  Is there enough airflow?  Have you gotten any permits that you need for the work you’re planning to do?  And if you’re planning to refinish your basement as a rental unit, you will need to check with your local municipality to be sure that rentals are allowed in your neighborhood.

2.  Make Sure It’s Dry

Lots of basements flood.  If you want to finish your basement, you need to make sure the exterior of your house has good drainage.  If you have an older house, this is especially important.  If you’ve recently purchased your house, consider living in it for a year before making any plans to finish the basement.  See what it’s like in all seasons, so that you know what kind of moisture issues you are dealing with.  If your basement has moisture issues, take care of them before you do any finishing work.  Whether you need to install a drain, re-landscape for better drainage, reroute your gutters, install a sump pump, or waterproof the exterior of your house, not taking care of the issue before you finish your basement is like throwing time and money down the drain.

3.  Decide What It Will Be Used For

Finishing a basement just to have it finished is a bad idea.  Decide beforehand how the space is going to be used.  Will it be a family room?  An office?  Converted into bedrooms?  A media room?  A game room?  Your plans for the room will factor into your design and ultimately the amount of time and money it takes to do the work.  For example, a game room might just need some walls, flooring, and paint.  But more extensive projects will require you to think about electrical wiring, plumbing, and ventilation well in advance of starting the project.

4.  Decide How You’ll Weather-proof

There is no sense in refinishing an area that is too cold to use in the winter and too hot to use in the summer.  There are many different methods of insulating, and you should research them to decide what type will work best for your house.  In addition to insulation you want to make sure you have the proper heating and/or air conditioning installed in the space as well.  This might mean rerouting or adding duct work to your home, installing small wall units, or even upgrading your home’s existing system if it is not equipped to handle heating or cooling the extra space.  Again, you will want to do all of this research before you start any work so that you don’t end up with any big, unexpected costs, or worse, a lovely finished basement that can only be used for a few weeks out of the year due to climate control issues.

5.  Decide on the Finishing Touches

There are so many options for finishing the ceilings, walls, and floors of your newly improved space that you will want to do some research ahead of time.  A lot of these choices will depend on what you plan on using the space for (see #3), and I’m not suggesting you have every last detail down to your paint colors chosen before you start any work.  It is in your best interest, however, to do some research and narrow down your decisions ahead of time.  Putting this thought in before any work begins will prevent your costs from skyrocketing at the very end of the project.

Basements are versatile rooms that add useful living space to any home, but refinishing them poorly is not only a waste of money, but can also detract from the value of your home.  Spending time planning, researching, and fixing any existing issues before you begin work will save you a lot of hassle and money in the long run!

Are you looking for a new home?  (Perhaps one with a basement that is already finished?)  We’d love to help you find your dream home.  Give us a call at Cooper Realty Associates – 302-644-2266 and put us to work for you!

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