Delaware Real Estate Updates First Class Properties....partnering with you for real estate success

Home Buying

How Inflation Will Impact Property Maintenance Costs In 2022

In January 2020, right before the pandemic started, 1,000 feet of lumber cost around $315. In January 2022, 1,000 feet of lumber cost around $1,200. This is a 400% increase in just two years. If a class A office property needs lumber for a tenant improvement, the lumber will cost 4 times as much as it did just 2 years ago. This type of increase is also passed on to all types of construction products that use lumber. Continue reading ...

Home Buying

How to get a mortgage

You should also make sure you are ready to be a homebuyer. While it is advantageous to get a mortgage when rates are low, first ensure it makes sense for your budget and long-term financial goals. Rates will also vary by lender and other factors such as down payment and credit score. Continue reading ...

Home Buying

News for Buyers and Sellers

Buyers viewed just eight homes before making their purchase

Three out of the eight homes were only viewed virtually


Today, homebuyers have more and more ways to view houses online. They can view high-resolution photos, view videos and go on virtual tours. The study found that among the eight homes viewed by buyers, three were viewed only online through virtual or video tours, or virtual open houses.

Property Management

5 Crucial Cold Weather Tips for Preparing Your House for Winter

Our winterizing your home checklist will help you keep your house cozy and safe from winter’s frigid assault. Insulate Windows Winter drafts can drive up your energy bill — and detract from the cozy vibe you want inside your home when it’s cold outside — if your windows have any air leaks. But by reducing drafts you can lower your home’s energy costs by up to 20% per year, according to the U.S. Energy Department, while also making your living space more comfortable. Here are five simple solutions (all under $8!) that will allow you to insulate your windows quickly: Continue reading ...

Home Buying

The Urgency in Selling Home Comfort for Holiday 2020

All of this time at home working, schooling or just stressing has led to nearly 7 in 10 consumers (69 percent) saying they “just want to curl up in a cozy bed/blanket right now,” according to the September Coronavirus Response Survey. For 86 percent of consumers, quality sheets and bedding aid in better sleep, according to the 2020 Home Textiles survey. And 73 percent say 100 percent cotton is important in home textiles, as they see the role fiber plays in softness, quality, function and comfort. Further, 78 percent of consumers are willing to pay more for quality. Continue reading ...

Home Buying

Why This Winter's 'Slow' Home-Selling Season May Be Hotter Than Ever.

Winter is traditionally real estate's slow season. Between the cold weather and the holidays, the housing market typically plunges into a hibernation of sorts, with both buyers and sellers shelving any major real estate moves until spring. So if you've assumed you should put your home-selling plans on hold until spring, read on for a surprising reality check on all the reasons this winter could be a great time to put your house on the market. Continue reading ...

Home Buying

March Newsletter


Is January the new April?

That’s what those who keep a sharp eye on real estate trends will be looking to see at the end of the first month of the roaring 20’s.

That’s because a year-over-year comparison saw a sharp uptick in January home shopping in 2019 when compared to 2018. Was it an outlier, a one-off, something that is indicative of nothing?



The Everything Guide to Selling Your First Home

Selling, a famous salesman once said, is essentially a transfer of feelings.

You love and cherish your home. You want the next owner to fall in love with it, too — through photos, through words, and through the experience of walking through your front door. But, perhaps most, you want to get the price you want.

This isn’t a small task. Selling a home requires work. It requires time. The journey isn’t always easy. There will be frustrations. But when you seal the deal and move on to your next chapter — wow, what a blissful, boss feeling.

Below, we preview and link to each step in your journey. We’ll discuss how to know what you want (and what your partner wants, if you’re selling together). How to understand the market, and ways to make a plan. And most importantly? How to create relationships with experts and trust them to help you get the job done.



How to Declutter Your Home in 2020


Part of being successful at decluttering is being organized. Follow the steps below to keep yourself organized and focused while you’re on your mission to get rid of clutter – and keep it that way – in the new year.

Did you know… Because it gives you greater control of your life, more energy, and less stress, decluttering is one of the most popular New Year resolutions people tend to make!


8 Home Design Trends That We're Looking Forward to in 2020

Home remodeling site Houzz, a database where millions of professionals and homeowners go to share decorating ideas, recently pulled together a list of eight home design trends poised to make it big in 2020—and there are more than a few ideas we'd like to steal. Read on for a glimpse into your decorating future.

1. Anything but white kitchens

2. The return of the formal dining room

3. A bathroom with somewhere to sit

4. Tiled bathtub aprons

5. Fully wrapped powder rooms

6. Double vanities

7. Statement making laundry rooms

8. Wood range hoods



Home Buying

January 2020 newsletter

The Biggest Changes Coming in 2020 Real Estate—and What Buyers and Sellers Need to Do

Ten years ago, many homeowners were desperately hoping to hang on to their homes. Others were doing everything they could just to scare up potential buyers. Meanwhile, said buyers were struggling to get financing from newly skittish lenders. Ah, memories. What a difference a decade makes!

Thank you to the Patriotic Americans who gave us the precious gift of their time Saturday 12/14/2019 to place wreaths on the graves of our hero’s at Arlington National Cemetery. We were truly inspired!

38,000 people participated to lay 254,000 wreaths

4 things I learned from reading ‘Your Money or Your Life’ that everyone can do

This book isn’t about making us feel bad for all the ways we’re financially sabotaging our lives; it’s about getting us to daydream about the bigger picture in a world with few “job charmings.” By forcing us to question whether everything is worth it — our jobs, what we buy and how we spend our time — the authors are trying to help us live with enough to maximize our happiness.

……….” They even put a twist in the way they define frugality. “Waste lies not in the number of possessions but in the failure to enjoy them,” they write. “Your success at being frugal is measured not by your penny-pinching but by your degree of enjoyment of the material world.” Which, yeah, sounds lovely.”


My Open Houses

For the homes/neighborhoods/ price points scheduled each week.



We have 9 new Realtors for the start of 2020.  Stop by and meet them…


Jemimah Chuks            Laverne Eberhart

Johnetta Worthy          Matt McKenzie

Kimberly Page             SerMae Scindian

Latoya Wright             Ryan Hunsucker

Joanne Wingrove


These 10 Renovation Trends Will Be Popular in 2020

When you own a home, it never seems to be quite finished. In the quest to make it as comfortable, functional, and up to date as possible, there's always something to be repaired, replaced, or improved. If you're busy dreaming up new projects for the new year,……………. 2020 Home Renovation Trends

  • Surfaces will stay in Spotlight
  • Home Wellness is on the rise
  • Saving Money is the Focus
  • Paint make everything Prettier



The First 15 Things You Need to Do to Declutter Your Entire Life


It’s no secret that a home in disarray creates a less-than-ideal living environment.

The task of decluttering your closets (and therefore minimizing your wardrobe) can feel overwhelming, but taking time to create a peaceful, enjoyable living space improves more than just your aesthetic—it could also improve your overall sense of well-being. Not only is clutter linked to overall life dissatisfaction, but a disorganized household can also induce a cortisol response, negatively impacting mental and physical health.

But where’s the best place to start? Have no fear: We’re here with a comprehensive, step-by-step guide to decluttering your life and improving your sense of well-being—one section at a time.



The Psychology Of New Year’s Resolutions

Research has shown that about half of all adults make New Year’s resolutions. However, fewer than 10% manage to keep them for more than a few months.

As a professor of behavioral addiction, I know how easy people can fall into bad habits and why on trying to give up those habits it is easy to relapse. Resolutions usually come in the form of lifestyle changes and changing behavior that has become routine and habitual (even if they are not problematic) can be hard to do.

For some people, it takes something radical for them to change their ways. It took a medical diagnosis to make me give up alcohol and caffeine and it took pregnancy for my partner to give up smoking.

To change your day-to-day behavior, you also have to change your thinking. But there are tried and tested ways that can help people stick to their resolutions

1. Be realistic.

2. Do one thing at a time.


4. Tell someone your resolution

5. Change your behavior with others.

6. Don’t Limit Yourself



Home Buying

April Newsletter

These mortgages and loans pay for home renovations

Fannie Mae’s HomeStyle Loan

One of the best-known loans for home improvements, Fannie Mae’s HomeStyle Renovation loan, allows borrowers to either buy a place that needs repairs or refinance their existing home loan to pay for improvements.

 35 Real Estate Facts That Will Blow Your Freaking Mind

10 Daring Interior Design Trends You'll See Everywhere in 2019

We consulted with dozens of design experts from coast to coast to unveil the biggest decor trends we'll see in 2019. Some have been subtly sneaking into our homes for a while, ready to take center stage. Others are taken straight from the runways in Paris and New York—big, bold, and primed to be integrated in small doses into our spaces.Highest

These decor ideas promise to do just that. Striking and memorable—with a bombshell or two in the mix—these top trends are a great place to start your redesign wish list. 

Buying a short-sale house: A guide to the process

When a lender agrees to accept a mortgage payoff amount less than what is owed in order to facilitate a sale of the property by a financially distressed owner, it’s called a short sale. The lender forgives the remaining balance of the loan. Buying a home through a short sale is different from buying a property at a foreclosure auction, or one that is actually owned by the bank, known as an REO, or real-estate owned property.

Are You Ready to Buy Your First Home?

So, how does the traditional process of buying a home jive with this technologically savvy generation that is used to relying on data derived from computers? More importantly, how do you know when you're ready to buy, and how do you know what to buy? There's no right or wrong way to answer any of these questions, and how you move toward homeownership is based on a variety of factors, both deeply personal and connected to the real estate industry overall.

Here are five important things to consider and questions this generation can ask themselves to figure it out:

  • Money matters.
  • How long you plan to live there.
  • Timing.
  • The online marketplace.
  • Expert advice.

The joy derived from homeownership has a price that is worth more than a simple mathematical, scientific analysis. Though this decision must make financial sense, there is without a doubt a happiness factor that comes from owning a home that one cannot put a price on. From their growing representation in the homebuyer market, millennials want a piece of this American dream as well.

First Class Properties Home Solutions April 27, 2019

10:00 thru 12:00

Mortgage Consultants, Landscaping ideas, Flag Etiquette, Decluttering and Staging your home…..just to mention some of information available to you!

Home Buying

March Newsletter

Why Paying Down Debt Faster is Not Always Better

Now on its face, I have nothing against being debt-free or paying down debt, especially if it is credit card debt. Being debt-free can be psychologically satisfying and allows individuals sleep better at night. What I do take issue with is focusing on debt reduction at the expense of everything else, like savings and investing. In my mind, financial well-being (goal achievement) is more about asset collection, creation, and growth.

The 20 best (and real) work-from-home jobs


Mortgage Terms Explained, From ARMs to Points

Mortgage terms are like most industry terms: confusing as heck if you're not in the biz. If you are like most Americans, you'll need to get a home loan—also known as a mortgage—when you want to buy a home. Paying for a home is a bit more complicated than slapping down a credit card or a pile of cash. OK, a lot more complicated. But that's why we're here—to guide you through those murky financial waters!

In MARCH…………March 10, 2019 (12-3)

72 Black Oak Drive, Felton ……$270,000

202 Lake Cove Lane, Felton …….$325,000

178 Rockwood Drive, Felton……..$285,000

10321 Greentop Rd, Lincoln……..$298,000

659 Sedgewick Drive, Magnolia….$

My Open Houses


In April…………….. Spring in Delaware

As the bright colors of the spring season bloom across Delaware’s stunning scenery, embark on a rejuvenating getaway to gorgeous gardens, fun outdoor adventures and exciting festivals



Common Plumbing Challenges in Old Buildings


Behind the walls, the infrastructure (e.g., plumbing and electrical) gets difficult to maintain and must eventually be replaced. If you’re planning to buy or live in an older building, you need to be prepared for some or all of the following plumbing challenges.

  • Aging, Corroded Pipes
  • Sewer Problems
  • Piecemeal or Inadequate Repairs

Older plumbing should not necessarily dissuade you from buying an older home. It just pays to be aware of the potential challenges so you can be prepared to deal with them if and when they arise.

35 Real Estate Facts That Will Blow Your Freaking Mind


Delaware high school students test their cooking, management skills


Caesar Rodney High School won first place for the culinary competition, and St. George’s Vocational-Technical School won first place in the management competition.

  • 1 tablespoon minced chives
  • 2 tablespoons reduced-fat mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons reduced-fat sour cream
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 bacon slices, cooked and crumbled (drained)
  • 1 (6 1/2-ounce) can lump crabmeat, undrained
  • 1 (1-ounce) slice white bread
  • 1 teaspoon butter, melted
  • 12 shucked oysters
  • Lemon wedges (optional)

  • Fresh minced chives (optional)

Combine first 7 ingredients in a medium bowl; stir gently. 


· Pl   Place bread in a food processor; process until coarse crumbs measure 1/2 cup. Combine breadcrumbs and butter in a small bowl.

· AaArrange Oysters on a broiler pan. Spoon about 1 tablespoon crab mixture over each oyster; sprinkle each with about 1 teaspoon breadcrumb mixture. Broil 7 minutes or until tops are browned and oysters are done. Serve with lemon wedges and garnish with chives, if desired.


Home Buying


“Owners make up 60.7% of housing units. 32.2% of the housing units are occupied by renters.” They house singles, retirees, young couples, and families from many cultures and backgrounds. Some are locals and some are transplants. Many 55+ communities are new to this area and really speak to the need for us to redefine our “neighborly” obligations. Continue reading ...

Home Buying

February Newsletter

The 7 steps to obtaining a mortgage for your dream home

Deciding to buy a house is one of the most rewarding things you'll ever do. After all, there's nothing like being able to sit back and relax in your very own living space.

ü Get your financial and personal information in order.

ü Find a realtor with whom you feel comfortable.

ü Get pre-qualified, and then pre-approved, for a mortgage loan.

90 Ideas in 90 Minutes – 2019


What the new House bill to expand Social Security could mean for you


“We have a deficit in Social Security, and it’s a pretty simple program: It brings in money through payroll taxes, and then it pays out benefits,” Munnell says. “So you have the choice, raising taxes to pay promised benefits or reducing promised benefits to come down to the level of current taxes. What this bill does, it says, ‘Let’s keep the benefits that we have on the book. Let’s enhance them a little. Let’s raise the money to pay for them.'”


Help Wanted: The Skills Employers are Looking For


Companies have fewer people on staff, and they are doing more things. They expect the individuals they hire to meet challenges. When they encounter a problem on a line, are they going to shut the line down, or are they going to go a step further and ask, ‘Why did this happen, and what can I do to fix it?’”




  • Nautical motifs - Seashells, sailor’s rope and (especially) anchors, should be cast away.
  • Edison light bulbs - This design shines for a while but it’s burned out now.
  • Tufted headboards - They were once “glam” but now design “spam.”
  • Tuscan kitchens - They were everywhere in the early 2000’s, but it’s time to say Arrivederci!
  • Damask - Once hot for wallpaper and curtains, but it now looks extremely dated.
  • Matching window valances - It’s no longer cool to have curtains, valances and furniture that matches.
  • Mason jar mania - Put a lid on it and bring on the hand-crafted vases instead.
  • Wicker furniture - It’s so 80’s and 90’s. Time for a bright sofa instead.
  • Hollywood mirror lights - The popularity of these bright lights have dimmed.
  • Vertical blinds - RIP to this annoying relic. Invest is

Home Buying

January Newsletter

In residential real estate, boomers still own the home market

Older boomers don’t face the same retirement housing factors their parents did. They are healthier and wealthier than previous generations at retirement age. They often don’t have to downsize to sustain their current standards of living. Many have the money to renovate their homes to allow them to age in place.

Firefly 2019 Lineup


More homebuyers consider pets’ needs in purchases

Seven out of 10 Americans own pets, and 90 percent of them say their pets’ needs figure in their home-buying decisions. The two largest generations — millennials and boomers — are so devoted to their pets that they are causing a minor shift in the real estate market.

Ninety-nine percent of pet owners feel pets are part of their family, according to a National Association of Realtors report, and 89 percent say they would not give up their pets to buy a house.

More than one-third of National Association of Realtors members said animal owners often refuse to make an offer on a home that is not ideal for their animal.

5 Home Improvement Trends to Watch in 2019

1. DIYers Are More Likely to Be Millennials.

2. Over-inspiration Is a Key Factor in Home Improvement Regret

3. The Rental Housing Market Is on the Rise

4. Remodeling Activity Isn't Slowing Down Anytime Soon

5. With Home Wellness on the Rise, the Lighting Industry Is Leading the Way



Renting vs. buying a home: Which is right for you?

Weighing the rent-versus-buy decision? Both have upsides and drawbacks. Ultimately, the answer depends on multiple factors, including your finances, your long-term plans and the real estate market in your area. Here are five questions to ask when deciding to rent or buy a home.

  1. What can you afford and how much savings do you have?
  2. How long do you plan to stay in the home?
  3. Do you want stability or flexibility to move around?
  4. Do you want to be responsible for repairs/maintenance?
  5. What are your financial, career and family goals?