Our Blog

You’ll find our blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from local market statistics and home values to community happenings. That’s because we care about the community and want to help you find your place in it. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. We’d love to talk with you!

Oct. 5, 2020

Home Fall Maintenance Checklist

The crisp air, the falling leaves, the the pumpkin spice everything... Fall is in the air! And while you are enjoying this amazing time of year you should also be taking this time to do some much needed routine home maintenance. We have nine things you should do before the first frost, and luckily, many are easy DIY projects. 

 

1. Check windows and doors for air leaks.

Anyone in a cold climate knows the pain of opening the gas bill in the dead of winter. Keep the cold air out and the utility bills in check by checking all your windows and doors for air leaks. If your issues are minor some low-cost DIY solutions like caulk, weather-stripping, and foam sealant are options to fixing your leaks. Call in the pros if you have major gaps or want the peace of mind that leaks are sealed properly. 

 

2. Clean the chimney.

If you have a fireplace, fall is a great time to give it a thorough cleaning and inspection. Maintaining a clean fireplace is the easiest way to remove buildup of creosote. Eliminating creosote reduces the risk of fire. You can do this on your own if you have been maintaining your chimney yearly, if not, an expert is recommended to do a thorough cleaning. 

 

3. Clean the gutters.

Throughout the summer and fall your gutters fill up with leaves and debris. Failing to clean this from your gutters can mean rain and melting snow won't drain easily potentially causing leaks into your house. You can do this easily on your own with a ladder, bucket, gutter scoop and gloves if you are comfortable with the height. After clearing, run water from the hose to make sure gutters are functioning properly. Call the pros if you're not big on heights.

 

4. Schedule a furnace check-up.

Don't wait until the first freezing day to turn on your furnace. It's good to know about any issues before the temperatures get too cold. Listen for booming, clicking, squealing or any strange noises. If you notice anything unusual, call an HVAC professional. Make sure you are changing your filter regularly and vacuuming the dust and debris around the furnace to keep it operating like new. Scheduling a furnace tune-up is a good idea either way. HVAC professionals can inspect the ducts, adjust the pilot light, lubricate bearings, and inspect fan belts and pulleys. 

 

5. Test smoke and carbon-monoxide detectors.

They're easy to forget about unless you burn the toast, that's why we designate this time of year as a good checking point. Simply press and hold the 'Test' button for a few seconds on each detector. If they are working properly you should hear a loud ring or beep. If they sound weak or there is no sound at all, its time to replace the batteries and test again. Most detectors need to be replaced at least every 10 years. 

 

6. Run ceiling fans in reverse.

With the hot and humid days in the rear-view mirror, its a good time to start reversing the direction of your ceiling fans. Reversing can actually help make your space warmer by circulating warm air near your ceiling back down into your living space. Make sure the fan is off then use a ladder or stool to reach and flip the switch typically found on the side of the fan motor to change the fan direction,

 

7. Winterize your irrigation system.

This process clears whatever leftover water from your pipes is cleared out helping preventing damage from freezing water. This is not typically a DIY project, however if you are handy and have the right equipment (air compressor) its possible to do it on your own. Where temperatures dip below freezing, professionals typically charge between $70-150 to winterize a sprinkler system. 

 

8. Disconnect and empty your garden hoses.

A frozen hose can cause water inside the wall to freeze and burst. Don't let this happen to you! Simply disconnect your hose, unravel, and let it drain at an angle. When its empty coil it and put it away for the season. 

 

9. Fertilize and reseed your lawn.

Although it may seem grass dies off this time of year, the roots are actually growing deeper to prepare for winter. Now is the best time to fertilize and reseed if necessary. You can do this on your own by following the product label for fertilizer for your grass type. Reseeding is perfect for fall because warm soil temps and cooler are temps are great for sowing seed. Just don't wait too late or your seed won't establish by the time the temperatures drop. 

 

Now get to it! Enjoy the outdoors and prep for the colder season knowing you'll be all set when the snow starts falling. 

 

 

This post includes some shared information from Realtor.com

July 28, 2020

Why We Live Here

1. Almost anywhere is Delaware is within a drive of less than 2 hours from Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington DC, within 2 hours of New Jersey, and within 3 hours of Manhattan. 

2. Delaware has one of the lowest median property tax rates in the United States, with only twelve states collecting a lower median property tax than Delaware.

3. Delaware has a 0% sales tax.

4.  Delaware does not have inheritance or estate taxes. However, if you are inheriting from a different state, you may have to pay those taxes. (financefile.delaware.goc)

5. Social Security and Railroad Retirement benefits are not taxable in Delaware and should not be included in taxable income. (revenue.delaware.gov)

6. Delaware has 3 counties and 57 municipalities consisting of cities, towns and villages with populations number from about 71,000 to 70 residents in each. 

7. Each Delaware county has one or more of the top school districts in the state. New Castle County- Appoquinimink School District (1), Brandywine School District (2), Kent County- Caesar Rodney School District (3), Capitol School District (5), Sussex County- Cape Henlopen School District (4). (Usnews.com)

8. Delaware's beaches have been recognized for the cleanest water quality in the nation, with Rehoboth and Dewey recognized as two of the country's 13 'Superstar Beaches' for their perfect swimming quality. (National Resources Defense Council). 

 

June 23, 2020

Quick Summer Cleaning Tips

Quick Summer Cleaning Tips

Simplify Summer Cleaning to Reduce the Summer Hustle

The first day of summer are upon us and with the sun and fun, you can use these quick and easy cleaning tips to check some things off your to-do list.

With heat and humidity comes stinky trash. Sprinkle the bottom of your garbage cans with baking soda to help eliminate the stink.

Place half a lemon in a bowl of water and place in the microwave. Microwave on high for 3-4 minutes. The steam will help loosen the grime and it will be easy to wipe clean.

Prevent mildew in your washing machine. Run an empty washing machine load with hot water and then leave the door open so it can dry out.

Use your dishwasher to its full potential! Place dirty rubber flip flops, baseball caps, non-electric plastic or rubber toys, or refrigerator shelves in the dishwasher and run a cycle.

Dust your ceiling fans with a pillow case. Place the open end of the pillowcase over the blades and pull dust off into the pillowcase. Voila, dust contained!

Change your air filters! Increased use of the AC will mean you’ll need to change out your air filters to keep your system running efficiently.

Don’t forget the swimsuits! Rinse with cold water and air dry after each use to get the longest life from your suits.

 

 

The first day of summer are upon us and with the sun and fun, you can use these quick and easy cleaning tips to check some things off your to-do list.

With heat and humidity comes stinky trash. Sprinkle the bottom of your garbage cans with baking soda to help eliminate the stink.

Place half a lemon in a bowl of water and place in the microwave. Microwave on high for 3-4 minutes. The steam will help loosen the grime and it will be easy to wipe clean.

Prevent mildew in your washing machine. Run an empty washing machine load with hot water and then leave the door open so it can dry out.

Use your dishwasher to its full potential! Place dirty rubber flip flops, baseball caps, non-electric plastic or rubber toys, or refrigerator shelves in the dishwasher and run a cycle.

Dust your ceiling fans with a pillow case. Place the open end of the pillowcase over the blades and pull dust off into the pillowcase. Voila, dust contained!

Change your air filters! Increased use of the AC will mean you’ll need to change out your air filters to keep your system running efficiently.

Don’t forget the swimsuits! Rinse with cold water and air dry after each use to get the longest life from your suits.

 

Posted in Home Maintenance
June 10, 2020

Hard flooring differences- Which is right for you?

Wood Laminate or Luxury Vinyl Tile: Which Is Right for You ...

Now-a-days it can be hard to know what type of flooring is in a home your buying just by looking at it. Many new hard flooring types have the look of hardwoods. So if the look is the same, what is the difference in installation and maintenance? We're here to give you a little insight.

Hardwood Flooring

Solid hardwood flooring is made of flooring boards that are solid hardwood material through-and-through. The boards, usually 3/4-inch thick, are generally milled with a smooth top surface and tongue-and-groove edges that interlock to hold the boards together. They are usually installed by nailing the boards to the subfloor. If the boards are unfinished, the floor is stained and varnished once the installation is complete. However, prefinished solid hardwood flooring is increasingly used.

 

Hardwood flooring can last a lifetime—or even longer. Unusual circumstances, though, like flooding, can render a hardwood floor worthless if rescue attempts come too late. Hardwood likely will need to be recoated or refinished occasionally, depending on wear and care. Periodic resealing is recommended, and when the damage becomes severe, the floor can be sanded down and refinished. Hardwood flooring is best cleaned with dry methods. 

 

 

Laminate Flooring

Laminate Flooring is made from wood byproducts bonded together with resins. The top surface is a hard, transparent plastic wear layer that covers the printed design layer. 

Virtually all laminate flooring uses a fiberboard core. Because this core is a wood product, it will soften and swell if it is exposed to water. The fiberboard core will not resume its original dimensions after it has dried. Additionally, the wear and design layers sometimes peel away after the core has become waterlogged. Laminate flooring is durable and low-maintenance. However, laminate flooring's many layers may eventually delaminate over time or if it is exposed to water for too long. Once laminate's top wear layer is scratched, it cannot be repaired. Laminate flooring is best cleaned first with dry methods, such as with a dry mop or broom. 

Luxury Vinyl Plank-

Luxury Vinyl Planks (LVP) are made of 100% synthetic material with a core layer and a backing. Older forms of vinyl flooring may have a fabric or felt backing that is not waterproof. But newer vinyl flooring are made of 100-percent polymer materials. Luxury vinyl flooring can be fully immersed in water for long periods, dried out, and then reused, completely unaffected. Vinyl flooring is a supremely durable, low-maintenance flooring, thus the industry term resilient flooring. 

Luxury Vinyl Planks can be easily cleaned with wet methods.

 

Information borrowed from The Spruce.com

 

May 20, 2020

Delaware Parks

Social Distancing in State Parks

Delaware Parks offer a wide array of walking and hiking trails from inland wooded areas to beach side exploring. We’ve put together a list of both state and county parks, including how to access each during these COVID-19 times, across the state for you to enjoy.

View More
Posted in Recreation
May 11, 2020

Planting a Vegetable Garden during Quarantine

You may have seen that many people are taking this time at home to plant a garden, and maybe you should, also! Why? Not only does it beautify your immediate surroundings, gardening also helps reduce stress and improve mood, according to studies. And if you’re going to put in the effort why not also reap the rewards? Let’s talk vegetable gardens.

View More
Posted in Home & Garden
April 21, 2020

Household Items that Double as Cleaning Supplies

 

You may have noticed that many of the household cleaning supplied that you rely on are a bit hard to find these days. Try some of these cleaning techniques with household items you probably already have laying around! (We’ve intentionally left out things like rubbing alcohol and hydrogen peroxide which so make great cleaners as well, however, are equally hard to find at the moment.)

View More
April 7, 2020

Delaware Furniture Stores by County

Delaware’s retail furniture stores offer pieces for every customer. From high end to low, modern to antiques and everything in between. We’ve listed some of the state’s best furniture stores by county for you below.

View More
Posted in Home & Garden
March 30, 2020

Golf Course Communities

Delaware offers some great golf course communities featuring beautiful homes and amenities. We’ve listed some neighborhoods on or near some of the First State’s golf courses. Many golf course communities in the state are active adult communities however, you can still find family friend golfing communities in each county.

View More
July 18, 2018

12-Point Pool Maintenance Checklist

When the sun is high in the sky and the wind feels like a blow dryer on your face, there's nothing like the blessed cool blue of your private pool.  If you've only just recently become a pool owner, you may be weighing your options:  should you hire someone to juggle your pool chores or can you do this one yourself?  Taking care of a  pool isn't hard, provided you've got a checklist to follow (just so you don't miss a step).

View More