Living in Delaware

Why Home Buyers Have Their Eyes on the Suburbs in 2020

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, people are being urged to continue practicing safe social distancing and taking other precautions to curb the spread of the coronavirus. However, this is easier said than done when you live in a large city, where masses of people inevitably find themselves in close proximity to one another. It can be difficult, if not impossible, to practice social distancing when you and a dozen of your neighbors are all trying to get an elevator up to the 12th floor at the same time.

But in the suburbs, people are a bit more spread out. There is more room to breathe and sufficient space to follow safe social distancing. In short, there has never been a better time to consider buying a home in the suburbs.

Suburban homes offer more amenities than city apartments

City inhabitants often find themselves having to adapt to apartments that are small and cramped – yet still expensive! Apartment dwellers may find it extremely challenging to follow stay-at-home orders since there isn’t much room for a home office, let alone a home gym.

The solution is to buy a home in the suburbs, where you will have plenty of space to set up your ideal home office. You can even set up your dream gym, all in the comfort of your own home. Plus, you’ll be able to go out into the yard and enjoy the outdoors without inadvertently getting too close to your neighbors.

Suburbs are more affordable than city life

City living is unquestionably expensive. Housing costs far more, and so too do everyday expenses like groceries and auto insurance. Yes, auto insurance companies charge urban residents far more than their suburban counterparts—even if they have the same driving record and vehicle! In contrast, moving to the suburbs can save you a bundle over the years.

Find your sanctuary in the suburbs of Wilmington today!

Are you interested in escaping big city life for the comfort and wide-open spaces of the suburbs? There are lots of beautiful and affordable homes for sale in Wilmington, Delaware, built by Montchanin Builders. We are a local leader, providing master-planned communities that encompass wide open, green spaces, and family-friendly amenities. Yet, you’re never far away from the attractions and conveniences of the city.

Check out our new homes in northern Delaware today by calling us today. Remember to ask us about our special financing offers available through our partner, Cardinal Financial!

Additional resources for home buyers:

6 DIY Projects to Tackle While You’re At Home

Self-isolating for weeks on end is a sure-fire recipe for cabin fever, but there are plenty of ways to stay busy and productive while sheltering in place. Why not tackle some family-friendly art projects or home improvements that you’ve been putting off?

Round up the kids, turn on some music, and prep for summer with these easy DIY projects.

Eco Friendly Laundry Soap

Make homemade eco-friendly laundry soap A few household staples are all that’s needed for this liquid detergent. You’ll need 1 cup of Dr. Bronner’s castile liquid soap, 2 cups of warm water, 1/3 cup of salt, 1 cup of baking soda, plus a dash of your favorite essential oil. Simply add all ingredients to a 1-gallon jug and mix well. This homemade laundry soap smells great and tackles the toughest of stains!

Vintage dog bed with style

Does Fido need a comfy nook to shelter in place? Try your hand at this vintage suitcase dog bed! All you need is an old hard shell suitcase and a few common tools. First, attach a strap around the back of the suitcase, so it does not snap shut. Then line the bottom with either two 5-inch throw pillows or one standard bed pillow covered in the cloth of your choice. Voila!

Update your front door

A fresh coat of paint can do wonders, and create an inviting entry to your abode. Painting your front door can also boost curb appeal while providing an opportunity to try out some of those dark greens or muted pastels that are trending now.

Decorate an old dresser

Have a couple of hours? That’s all you’ll need to transform a boring old dresser into something special. Supplies needed: wallpaper of your choice, X-Acto knife, screwdriver, foam brush, and Mod Podge (for adhering the paper to the drawers). Punch up the color in any room with these detailed instructions on how to wallpaper a dresser.

Give your backyard some TLC

Studies have proven the benefits of green spaces for healthy living and well-being. If you have a yard, why not turn it into a private oasis? A few simple additions like comfy chairs or strategically placed fairy lights can make a world of difference. This also applies to a patio or balcony. Lanterns, candles, and twinkle lights can really add to the ambiance, giving a cozy feel.

Organize the cleaning pantry with shoe organizers

Sheltering in place offers ample opportunity to de-clutter and organize, and your cleaning closet or pantry should be no exception. One of the easiest hacks for de-cluttering this messy area? Over-the-door shoe organizers! Those handy pockets are perfect for storing everything from spray cleaners and linens to paper towels.

Beautiful new homes in northern Delaware

Delaware will be lifting its shelter in place orders soon, allowing Montchanin Builders to resume operations with some new practices in place. Our sales team is eager to show off our move-in ready homes in Delaware, located in the master-planned community of Darley Green.

To learn more about our new construction properties, or to request a virtual home tour, please drop us a line.

The Cost of Not Owning Your Own Home May Surprise You

The decision to buy a home is a big one. One of the biggest factors to consider is whether you can afford to buy a new house. Becoming a homeowner involves making a down payment, paying the mortgage each month, and purchasing homeowner’s insurance.

While these expenses are significant to be sure, buying a home may be much more affordable than you think. In fact, when you discover all of the financial advantages of owning a home, you may decide that you can’t afford NOT to buy!

The cost of not owning your own home just might surprise you. If you choose to remain a renter, you will miss out on a lot of financial incentives of homeownership, and you will have to contend with the many hidden costs of renting.

Renting your home won’t give you equity

The opportunity to build home equity is one of the most compelling reasons to buy a home. Equity is earned with each mortgage payment. It refers to the amount of the home that you own. For example, if you make a 5% down payment, you’ll earn 5% of the home prior to your first mortgage payment.

When you rent your home, your entire rent check goes to fatten your landlord’s wallet. Your landlord uses it to pay off the mortgage on the rental property, which means that every rent check you write is building your landlord’s equity. As a renter, you aren’t receiving any long-term benefits from it.

Renting your home could raise your income taxes

One of the surprising ways that not owning your own home costs you is the effect on your income taxes. Homeowners have the ability to count their property taxes and all of the interest they pay on their mortgage as deductions on their annual tax returns. Renters aren’t able to do this.

Renting your home may mean paying extra for storage

Let’s face it: Apartments don’t typically have a great deal of storage. Unless you’re a dedicated minimalist, you’ll probably accumulate a lot of stuff over the years. And you’ll need a place to put all that stuff, which means that you may need to fork over some hard-earned money for a long-term storage unit. Those monthly storage payments can add up.

Renters may move more frequently than homeowners

Another hidden cost of being a renter is the cost of moving. A typical lease will only last a year. Once it’s up, renters are often on the lookout for a better place (perhaps next to quieter neighbors). In 2017, 21.7% of renters moved, compared to 5.5% of homeowners. Each time you move, you have to either pay professional movers or rent a truck and do the backbreaking work yourself. Plus, each new apartment requires a new deposit and new fees. In addition, you’ll have to take time off work and lose your vacation hours.

Join our community of satisfied homeowners in Delaware!

If you are taking a look at the Wilmington, DE real estate market, there is a good chance you’ve already come across Montchanin Builders. We are the area’s premier home builder, with multiple master-planned communities in prime locations close to exceptional amenities. Our new construction homes in New Castle County, DE are architectural masterpieces situated within friendly, walkable communities.

Give us a call to schedule a tour. Be sure to ask us about our special financing offers through our lending partner, Cardinal Financial!

Additional resources for home buyers

No Sales Tax in Delaware: See How Much You Can Save in a Year

Looking to save money this year so that you can put more toward saving for retirement, taking more vacations, paying off student loans, or just living more comfortably for less money? Well then, you might want to consider buying a home in Delaware.

Delaware is one of the few states in the U.S. that allows you to make completely tax-free purchases on anything. While you might not pay much attention to the relatively small amount added to your total for each transaction, those dollars can quickly add up. Sales tax is especially burdensome when you’re making big purchases, such as a new car, a home, furniture, electronics, etc.

How much can you save without sales tax?

There are a lot of things to factor when determining exactly how much you’ll save, such as what the sales tax percentage is in your current state, what your normal spending budget is, and if you’re making any changes to your spending habits once arriving in Delaware. However, for quick comparison, we’ll break down the average consumption.

According to data collected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average household made $78,635 before taxes and spent about $61,000 of that in various expenditures. Since not all of those purchases would be subject to sales tax in most states, let’s see the break down of how the average family spends their paycheck, along with the savings opportunities that eliminating sales tax can provide:

  • Eating out – $3,459
  • Apparel and Services – $1,866
  • Vehicle purchases – $3,975
  • Entertainment – $3,226
  • Personal care products and services – $768
  • Expenditures – $2,030

These goods and services, averaging a total of $15,324, are usually taxed in most states. With state sales tax rates wavering between 2.9% and 7.25%, this can mean consumers are spending an additional $444 to $1,111 each year just in sales tax. Imagine having that money to put toward a dream vacation or to pay off some debt.

For some people, that number may increase even more. If you live in a state that imposes local sales tax in addition to state sales tax, you may be looking at a combined sales tax rate as high as 9.53% for every single purchase. That would mean you’re spending nearly $1,500 a year in sales tax alone.

Add in other expenses that could be taxed in your state, such as gasoline ($2,109), groceries ($4,464), and education ($1,407), and you could be paying an annual sales tax as high as $2,220.

Ready to post the “For Sale” sign on your lawn yet?

Where to buy in Delaware

Saving on sales tax is just one of many reasons to consider buying a home in Delaware. Montchanin Builders is proud to offer affordable, luxurious new construction homes in New Castle County, Delaware that give you the space and amenities you need in a unique master-planned community setting. Customize your new home at our Design Center by selecting floor layout, cabinets, counters, flooring, and more.

Take advantage of competitive interest rates and homebuyer programs when you work with Cardinal Financial, our preferred lending partner. Call today to schedule a tour today!

Delaware Is a Winter Wonderland: 4 Great Ideas for Weekend Escapes

Delaware is a fun and beautiful place to live in throughout the year. In the winter, there are many options for enticing weekend getaways. Some of them are close to home, like the Inn at Montchanin Village and the Boardwalk Plaza Hotel. If you’re interested in venturing farther away, there are some exciting ski destinations in nearby Hawley, PA.

Boardwalk Plaza Hotel

The Boardwalk Plaza Hotel is situated just steps away from the beach. Because it’s a popular summertime attraction, winter getaway guests will enjoy special rates, and peace and quiet! Treat yourself to an ocean view suite, enjoy fine dining or afternoon tea, and warm up in the heated soaking pool.

While you’re staying at the Boardwalk Plaza Hotel this winter, consider booking a local tour. The Holiday Garden of Lights & Winery Tour combines wine tastings with festive lights. Enjoy a fine glass of wine as you stroll through the local botanical gardens, decked out with over 30,000 lights for the holidays!

The Inn at Montchanin Village

You don’t have to go far from home to find a relaxing wintertime retreat. The Inn at Montchanin Village is a beautiful, historic property dating to the 19th century. Its 28 guest rooms are scattered among 11 historic, lovingly restored buildings, complete with gas fireplaces and period furniture. Even in the winter, its ornate gardens are a delight to explore, and the onsite restaurant—once home to the village blacksmith shop—features a five-course tasting menu with paired wines on the weekends.

The Bellmoor Inn & Spa in Rehoboth Beach

While Rehoboth Beach is a popular summertime destination, it also makes for a relaxing weekend getaway in the winter. Consider booking a stay at The Bellmoor Inn & Spa, which features luxurious suites and a full-service day spa.

Ledges Hotel

If you’re in the mood for a road trip, you’re in luck! Delaware is a short drive away from many major attractions, including the Ledges Hotel in Hawley, PA. Choose from traditional hotel rooms and full-service luxury suites. Long-term rentals are also available at this prime property in the gorgeous Pocono Mountains. From the Ledges, you’ll have easy access to exciting downhill slopes, as well as more aerobically challenging cross-country ski trails and snowshoe routes. An exercise-based weekend getaway is the perfect way to honor your New Year’s resolution!

Check out new construction homes in New Castle County, Delaware

These fabulous winter weekend getaways are just one more reason to love living in Delaware. If you’re thinking of moving to the area, there are still some homes for sale in Wilmington, Delaware from Montchanin Builders. Homesites are still available in Darley Green and The Overlook at Rockford Falls, but they’re going fast so don’t delay!

Get in touch today to schedule a tour of our luxuriously appointed homes or a tour of our communities. Be sure to ask us about how to get $15,000 toward your purchase on select homesites at Darley Green!

Additional resources for home buyers:

The Secret to Hosting a Great Holiday Party in Your Home

The holidays are magical, but they can also be a bit stressful. There’s so much more to do and not enough time to get it all done. The real secret to hosting a great holiday party in your new construction home in New Castle County, Delaware is to make it as stress-free as possible, while still giving your guests a fantastic experience. Use these tips to host a holiday party that’s memorable for all the right reasons.

Balance your planned menu

Your top priority is making sure your guests have a good time. You’ll want to make sure you plan a balanced menu that includes options for guests with special dietary needs. Try to include at least a couple of vegetarian or vegan entrées and side dishes. You might also want to ask your guests in advance if they have food allergies or gluten sensitivity. They’ll appreciate having a general idea of what’s on the menu in advance.

Consider a buffet-style meal

If you’re hosting a large holiday party, it might not be practical to seat everyone at the dinner table, even if you set up a separate kids’ table. A buffet-style meal instantly relaxes the ambiance and encourages people to help themselves and socialize freely while they eat. It’s also less stressful for you since you won’t have to worry about setting places. Just stack plates at one end of the buffet table, and remember to leave out napkins, silverware, and condiments.

Do some cooking ahead of time

It can be super stressful to do all of the cooking on the day of the party. You’ll probably end up in the kitchen for most of the party and be unable to enjoy yourself or socialize with your guests. Try to do some of the cooking and prep work ahead of time. Soups and stews are excellent make-ahead options that you can simply warm up before your guests arrive. You can also make quiches and tarts ahead of time, and freeze them until the day of the party.

Although not everything can be cooked ahead of time, you could do prep work ahead of time for the rest of the items on your menu. Chop and refrigerate veggies, for example.

Play music with care

Music is essential for setting the ambiance and helping your guests relax. However, it’s best to keep the volume relatively low. When it’s time for your guests to enjoy the meal, switch to instrumental music so that lyrics won’t interfere with the dinner conversation.

Looking for a new home for the holidays?

If you’re looking for a new neighborhood to call home, the Wilmington, Delaware area is a great place to relocate to. And if you purchase a new home in a Montchanin Builders master-planned community, you can look forward to friendly neighbors and walkable streets with great local amenities nearby.

There are homes for sale in Wilmington, Delaware right now, but they won’t last long. Homesites are selling fast in the communities of Darley Green and The Overlook at Rockford Falls. Call Montchanin Builders today to schedule a tour. Be sure to ask us about our special financing offers!

Additional resources for new homeowners:

How to Choose the Perfect Artwork for Your Home

Your new home will reflect your personal style and design aesthetic. There really are no unbreakable rules of selecting artwork, since every individual will appreciate art in different ways. However, there are some general guidelines that you can follow to help your home’s décor appear well-balanced and tastefully designed.

Consider the feelings you wish to evoke

Artwork can inspire a spectrum of feelings, from peacefulness and serenity to surprise and excitement. Think about the feelings you wish to inspire in every room of your home. For the kitchen, many people like to choose whimsical pieces, including word art. In the bedroom, you might want the artwork to inspire relaxation, as many people view the master bedroom as a sanctuary. This is why abstract pieces work well here.

In the more public rooms of your home, such as the formal dining room and living room, you might prefer to choose pieces that will spark conversations. Look for surprising or intriguing artwork that is boldly designed to capture the eye. Artwork with a nature or landscape theme works well in the bathroom, as it inspires feelings of serenity.

Lastly, if you have a home office, you might want its artwork to encourage productivity and bring positive vibes to the room.

Choose the right size artwork for each room

It’s likely that the biggest pieces of artwork will go in the living room and bedrooms. It’s usually best to choose large artwork to fill large spaces and small artwork to fill smaller spaces. However, you can break this rule if you wish by filling a large space with a cluster of smaller pieces that embrace a shared theme. It’s best not to break this rule by hanging a large piece in a small room like the bathroom, as this will feel overwhelming. However, you could place two very small pieces side by side if space allows.

Look beyond paintings and prints

When most people hear the word “artwork,” they automatically think of paintings and watercolors, as well as more affordable prints. However, artwork can embrace three-dimensional media. Look for sculptures and unique conversation pieces, like an African drum or a Native American dreamcatcher. Ideally, choose 3D artwork that follows the same general theme or style as your wall art for any given room.

Consider incorporating different textures as well. For instance, you could hang an artistic tapestry on your living room wall in lieu of a painting.

Find your dream home at a Montchanin Builders community

Homebuyers in Delaware are asking, “What are the best move-in ready new homes near me in Wilmington, DE?” Our answer is that it’s time to check out the beautiful new homes available from Montchanin Builders. We focus on building walkable, neighborly communities with luxurious, finely crafted townhomes and single-family homes. Our master-planned communities of Darley Green and The Overlook at Rockford Falls still have homesites left, but they’re going fast so don’t hesitate to get in touch with us to schedule a tour or request more information! You can reach us by phone or check out our new homes in northern Delaware online.

Additional resources for home buyers:

Buying a Home: Do You Know the Lingo?

Buying a new home is an exciting event, but it can also be a bit overwhelming. There is a lot of new lingo to learn, especially if you are a first-time homebuyer. Here are a few of the terms you should become familiar with before you begin the process.

Appraisal

Every home being sold should receive an appraisal from a professional, unbiased third party. An appraisal is a determination of the home’s value based on its condition, features, and location. It’s important for two main purposes. First, it lets home buyers know they aren’t paying a great deal more than the home is really worth. Second, it reassures lenders that homebuyers aren’t borrowing more than the home is really worth. This is important because the house serves as collateral in a mortgage.

Closing Costs

Even if you’re new to the home buying process, you are probably familiar with the idea of a down payment (see below). However, many new home buyers aren’t quite sure what closing costs are. “Closing costs” are an umbrella category for any expense in the home buying process that doesn’t include the purchase price of the property. These include expenses associated with the title search, title insurance, lender costs, real estate agent commissions, and taxes. It also includes the homeowner’s insurance. Although closing costs can vary, they generally average about two to five percent of the purchase price of the house.

Note that lenders are legally required to send you a notice within three days of receiving your loan application. This notice should give you an estimate of your closing costs.

Down Payment

The down payment is the amount of money you pay toward the purchase price upon buying the home. The mortgage is the loan that takes care of the remainder of the purchase price. It’s considered standard to pay 20 percent of the purchase price as a down payment — however, most homebuyers don’t actually put that much down. The down payment can be as little as 3% depending upon the mortgage program. Talk to a lender to find out how low your down payment could be.

Pre-Approval

If you obtain pre-approval from a lender, it means you’ve been approved to borrow up to a certain amount of money to buy a home. This will allow you to shop for a new home with confidence. If you’re pre-approved, the lender will give you a pre-approval letter. It states that the lender will approve the loan as soon as you submit the required documents and make an offer on the house.

Still unsure about some of the home buying lingo? No problem! At Montchanin Builders, we make the process smooth and easy. We partner with one of the nation’s most respected mortgage lenders. Their lending professionals work closely with our home buyers to ensure they are knowledgeable and fully informed about each step of the process.

You’ll also find that Montchanin Builders’ homes are surprisingly affordable. Call us today to schedule a viewing of our new construction homes in New Castle County, Delaware.

Our move-in ready homes in Delaware are located within beautiful, walkable communities close to nature trails and community amenities. Homesites are still available in Darley Green and The Overlook at Rockford Falls, but they won’t last so call soon!

Additional resources for home buyers:

money for house

What Is a Forced Savings Plan and Why Do Homeowners Rave About It?

If you’ve been looking for ways to build up your savings or work toward being able to retire someday, buying a move-in ready home in Delaware may not be the first move that springs to mind. After all, a mortgage will take up a large portion of your earnings. However, taking out a mortgage is actually one of the smartest financial decisions you can make. Here’s why financially savvy Americans are raving about this “forced savings plan.”

The problem with renting

Long-term renters may experience the frustration of paying hundreds, if not thousands each month to a landlord, and yet still being unable to call their home truly “theirs.” Each time you write a rent check, you’re enriching your landlord, but not yourself. You do not own any part of your rental apartment or house. When you move out, you’ll have nothing to show for your efforts except perhaps a lightened bank account. In other words, renting your home builds equity for your landlord, but not for you.

The benefits of a forced savings plan

On the other hand, taking out a mortgage is like paying yourself back over time. You will gradually build equity in your own home with each mortgage payment you make. The more equity you have, the more of your home you’ll own free and clear. In other words, by the time you pay back $100,000 of your mortgage, you’ll have that much in equity that you could draw from, similar to a savings account. Although equity isn’t liquid, it could actually figure into your retirement savings plan. Many retirees decide to downsize at this stage in life by selling their houses and moving into a smaller house or a retirement community. If you own all the equity in your home free and clear, you’ll get a nice fat check when you’re ready to downsize.

Another crucial benefit of taking out a mortgage instead of renting is payment stabilization. Your rent is subject to being increased at the end of every lease term—and quite a few landlords raise the rent regularly. On the other hand, if you take out a fixed-term mortgage, your interest rate will stay the same and so will your monthly payment. It’s an extra form of financial security in an uncertain world.

Find your dream home in Delaware today and begin saving!

If you’re ready to take on a mortgage in order to build up equity and improve your financial health, it’s time to take a look at the gorgeous homes for sale by Montchanin Builders. Our architects and expert craftsmen take pride in building beautiful new construction homes in New Castle County, Delaware. With generous floor plans and luxurious features, our homes are in high demand—so schedule your visit today!

Take a tour of our walkable neighborhoods of Darley Green and The Overlook at Rockford Falls. Fall in love with the nearby amenities, like pristine state land, well-maintained parks, restaurants, and so much more! Get in touch today and be sure to ask us about our special financing offers!

Additional resources for home buyers:

Romantic Fall Getaways Near Wilmington, DE

There’s no need to wait until Valentine’s Day to have a romantic getaway. In Delaware, the fall foliage is simply stunning, and it creates the perfect setting for couples to fall in love with each other all over again. If you’ve purchased a home from Montchanin Builders in one of the planned communities near Wilmington, DE, you’ll have easy access to plenty of romantic destinations nearby, such as the following.

Rehoboth Beach

Rehoboth Beach is like a slice of California coastline right in Delaware. This sunny, sandy retreat is perfect for couples looking for a romantic getaway at any time of the year. During the fall, the temperatures are moderate enough to allow for long, relaxing walks along the beach. Then, head indoors for a couple’s massage at one of the local day spas. Enjoy fine dining and a theatrical production later in the evening. If you decide to turn your trip into a weekend getaway, there are plenty of hotels in the area. Before you head back to Wilmington, stop by the Rehoboth Beach Farmers’ Market.

Wilmington and Western Railroad: The Autumn Leaf Special

What’s more romantic than a train ride through the countryside? Perhaps a train ride through the countryside at the peak of the fall foliage season. The Wilmington and Western Railroad has been in operation in Delaware since 1966. You and your partner have two train rides to choose from. On weekends, you could choose the 1.5-hour round trip to the Mount Cuba Picnic Grove. Or, go on the 2.5-hour round trip to Hockessin. If you’d rather take your getaway during the weekday, there are some 1.5-hour round trips offered to the Mount Cuba Picnic Grove during select days of the week.

Each trip features a half-hour layover at the destination. The picnic spot is a scenic location along the banks of the Red Clay Creek. Lunch is available for purchase at the Greenbank Station or you can pack your own. In Hockessin, there are several eateries near the track, where you can purchase a meal for the return ride back.

Lancaster County, PA

Lancaster County, PA is only a short drive away from Wilmington, Delaware, and it’s well worth the ride. A visit to Dutch country makes the perfect romantic fall getaway. In Lancaster County, thousands of Amish live an old-fashioned lifestyle. You’ll see plenty of horses and buggies on the road, and windmills scattered across a picturesque landscape. You can take a tour in a buggy, enjoy authentic Pennsylvania Dutch cuisine, and shop for handmade Amish goods. It’s also the right time of year to pick your own fruit at the famed Pennsylvania apple orchards!

New construction homes in New Castle County, Delaware

There’s a lot to fall in love with at the masterfully planned communities designed by Montchanin Builders. The walkable communities are full of friendly neighbors and close to local amenities like nature trails, state parkland, and fantastic school systems. Plus, these move-in ready homes in Delaware are luxuriously appointed! Call Montchanin Builders today to schedule a tour or to ask us about our special financing offers—including $15,000 toward your purchase on select homesites at Darley Green!

Additional resources for home buyers