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Holiday Events in Philly

Christmas tree in downtown PhiladelphiaThough the weather outside may be “frightful,” it doesn’t stop local residents from getting out to enjoy all the delightful festivities of the holiday season.

Whether your idea of fun consists of hot cocoa and ice skating or shopping at Macy’s and high-tech light shows, the best of Philadelphia at Christmastime is less than 30 minutes from the Delaware townhomes of Darley Green.

Christmas Village at Love Park

Philadelphia’s annual transformation of Love Park into “Christmas Village” has been called “the Best Outdoor Event” by Philly Happening Magazine. Open from Thanksgiving through the last Sunday of December, the outdoor holiday market is modeled after traditional Christmas markets in Germany with vendors at more than 60 wooden booths, traditional European sweets, international gifts, arts and crafts, thousands of lights and a festive holiday tree.

Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest at Penn’s Landing

The centerpiece of Winterfest is the Olympic-size skating rink overlooking the Delaware River lined with holiday trees. You’ll also find a ski-chalet style lodge, a winter garden, heated tents, fire pits, food vendors, themed parties, and holiday flea market.

Macy’s Holiday Light Show & Dickens Village

Starting the Friday after Thanksgiving and running through the end of December, Macy’s shoppers will be treated to over 34,500 LED lights on a towering pine, with another 65,000 lights decorating the scene. The voice of Julie Andrews and a Wanamaker Organ accompany your journey through classic holiday tales like The Nutcracker and Frosty The Snowman. The third floor of Macy’s flagship Philadelphia store is transformed into a 6,000-square-foot 1840s village with more than 100 animated characters telling the story of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. 

Franklin Square Holiday Festival & Light Show

No matter how many times you’ve been to Franklin Square, you don’t want to miss the Electrical Spectacle Holiday Light Show that runs every 30 minutes from 4:30 to 8 p.m. from November 12 through December 31. More than 50,000 lights flash in accordance with holiday music played by the Philly Pops – but that’s not all! Revelers can also ride a holiday train and carousel, nosh at Ben’s Bites & Brews food truck, play a round of mini-golf while staying cozy with warming stations, shop for unique gifts at the holiday market, visit with Santa, or participate in one of the many fun themed events like Star Wars Night, Frozen Night or Nutcracker Night.

Not sure what you’d like to see?

Hop aboard the Philadelphia PHLASH, which departs from the Independence Visitor Center every 15 minutes and makes 22 stops in Center City Philadelphia. For just $2, you can take the Holiday Evening Loop from 6-10 p.m. to experience Franklin Square’s Holiday Festival, Macy’s Christmas Light Show, Christmas Village at LOVE Park and more.

All the best is just a half hour drive from the master-planned community of Darley Green. To learn more about Montchanin Builders’ walkable, family-friendly community located in Delaware’s Claymont Renaissance District, please call 302-655-2600. 

5 Home Renovation Ideas For Fall

living room kitchen designSummer is an extremely busy time for Delaware home renovation contractors, but there is still much to be done in the cooler autumn months. These five fall home remodeling projects can save you money throughout the winter, protect your home from snow and ice damage, and give you a more pleasant interior space where you’ll be spending more time as you hunker down for the winter.

1. Windows and doors

Some people wait until the winter drafts are seeping in to call a home renovation contractor. However, the work then involves building a temporary wall and exterior frame with poles and polyethylene to keep the interior protected during the remodel. Sometimes projects need to be rescheduled when the weather is particularly inclement and the job cannot be done right. To avoid all this trouble, we recommend updating windows and doors in the fall to better insulate your home for the holidays and save money on your heating bills.

2. Painting

We advise that painting be done in the swing seasons to avoid issues. Summer isn’t the best time for painting, as the humidity interferes with paint drying and can cause walls to look splotchy. Winter is another bad time for painting due to the lack of ventilation, which causes paint fumes to remain in the home longer and lengthens the drying process. But why wait until spring to freshen up your interior and create a cheerier space for yourselves? New paint – particularly in the living, kitchen and dining rooms — will create a more enjoyable place to gather for the holidays.

3. Bathroom or kitchen tile

Many types of tile adhesives require temperatures between 75 and 80 degrees to bond properly, which can easily be controlled via an indoor thermostat. Colder winter air can cause issues with the adhesives — not to mention uncomfortable cold air and wet coming into the home with all the tiles. A kitchen bathroom remodel including updated tile is something you will enjoy showing off to holiday dinner guests, too!

4. Fireplace or HVAC update

Winter tends to be a very busy time for Delaware HVAC contractors who field frantic calls from homeowners who are bundled up in blankets and multiple layers, anxiously awaiting emergency help. You don’t want to wait until it’s freezing outside, your hot water switches off, or there is a snowstorm to find your HVAC system doesn’t work. Maintenance inspections cost a lot less than unexpected emergency repairs! Montchanin Builders can design and install a new fireplace in the autumn months to take the chill out of the home, create a cozier ambiance and lower heating costs through the winter.

5. Roofing and gutters

Roof repair in the fall helps your family avoid extreme winter cold and summer heat. Cleaning out the gutters will avoid issues like ice dams and sudden roof or foundation leaks as well. Nothing is worse than water seeping into the home in the middle of winter! The summer months are often hindered by extremely hot weather, as materials are impacted by the scorching sun. Replacing roofing materials in the winter can be unconducive, so truly fall or spring are the best times for a roofing project.

Delaware home renovation

Montchanin Builders can help with any Delaware home remodeling or renovation project. As established local builders, we have an impressive track record of professional, top-quality work. Contact us at 302-655-2600 to discuss your needs.

 

Fabulous Summer Events in Philadelphia

family riding bikesThere are certain American cities that seem to come alive in the summer but possibly none more so than Philadelphia with its rich riverfront setting, multicultural residents, and spectacular historic traditions. The city seems to explode from Memorial Day to Labor Day with a calendar full of art, food, and music festivals, blockbuster attractions, sporting events, and family-friendly happenings.

Let’s take a brief look at where you can go to experience some real Philadelphia fun this summer:

One spectacular sight that never fails to catch everyone’s breath is the vision of a fleet of two to three hundred foot long three masted ships gliding under full sail into port. That’s what you’ll experience from June 25 to June 28 at the Tall Ships Challenge Philadelphia Camden 2015 as you’ll be able to climb aboard one of these beauties and go for a sail on the Delaware.

A convenient home base for enjoying Philly attractions

If you’re appreciating Philly for the first time or looking at Philadelphia condos as an option to make this gorgeous city your own, be sure to take a break from the many summer events to visit Darley Green, the master planned community of beautiful condos and townhouses just a quick twenty minutes away from downtown Philadelphia in Wilmington, DE.

You’ll find a wide selection of affordable condos and townhouses, great design, top amenities, and a wonderful small town feel. At Darley Green, you’ll get the best of both worlds—a dynamic and vibrant city full of culture and opportunity in Philadelphia and a delightful maintenance-free home base at Darley Green.

One of the best urban beaches in the world is in Philadelphia?

Yes, that’s exactly what the Huffington Post proclaimed Spruce Street Harbor Park on the Delaware River in Philadelphia. It called SSHP “a summer-festival-meets-urban-beach-mash-up that brings together pop-up restaurants, a sand pit strung with hammocks and a small beach with loungers and cozy fire pits. The highlight is a traditional wooden boardwalk lined with street food stalls and arcade games in old shipping containers.” Philadelphians wait all winter for this eclectic riverfront scene with its bocce court, beer garden, and a floating restaurant that Travel + Leisure Magazine calls one of “the coolest floating restaurants in the world.” And what’s also cool is that it’s FREE!

Follow Philadelphia folks in the know to another great pop up experience, the Oval, the City of Brotherly Love’s eight acre “Park on the Parkway” located next to the Philadelphia Museum of Art at Eakins Oval. Open all summer, the Oval is where you go for the latest art installations, live music, the best food trucks in town, not to mention craft beer and movie nights. It’s all summer and it’s also free!

Didn’t get enough ice skating this winter at RiverRink’s Winterfest downtown on the Delaware River? Revisit your “inner kid” this summer and roller skate at Philadelphia’s brand new Blue Cross RiverRink Summerfest. It’s got a great lodge, a play area for the kids, and will stay open until the end of September.

Darley Green just minutes from Philly events

The condos and townhomes at Darley Green in Wilmington, DE are a fantastic and affordable option for the smart buyer who wants all the big city amenities that Philadelphia has to offer but wants the luxury of a gorgeous maintenance free home just minutes away by car or train.

No matter where you live, what’s summer without one of America’s greatest 4th of July celebrations. Come to WaWa Welcome America in Philadelphia, a blockbuster Independence Day extravaganza of concerts, fireworks, and fun activities celebrating America’s independence.

Finally, we all hate for summer to end but what a great bookend for all the non-stop summer activities in Philadelphia is the two-day Made in America Music Festival over Labor Day weekend. Dozens of top music acts on multiple stages set up on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway and all curated by Jay Z provide a perfect cap to the summer.

Experience the best of both worlds at Darley Green

There are way too many summer fairs, festivals, and events in and around Philadelphia to list here. If you’re thinking Philadelphia condos are your only option, you’ll find there may be no more affordable and luxurious ways to experience Philadelphia than owning a move-in ready home at Darley Green, situated just five minutes from downtown Wilmington and 20 minutes from Philly.

Call 302-472-7213 to learn more about the many benefits of this master-planned community or to schedule a home tour of Darley Green.

 

5 Tips For Open Air Kitchen Home Renovation

outdoor kitchen - montchaninTwo decades ago, homeowners started to feel as though they weren’t fully maximizing their outdoor space with a simple stand-alone grill set next to an outdoor table set. Beginning in warm locales like California and Arizona, homeowners with beautiful, private backyards began designing more robust outdoor working spaces where they could cook and entertain next to their scenic in-ground pools and gardens.

Today, the trend has spread to East Coast backyards in Pennsylvania and Delaware, where Montchanin Builders helps clients design the backyard space of their dreams.

Our Delaware home addition experts offer the following five tips for a functional and charming open air kitchen design, no matter your budget.

1. Look for low maintenance materials

Being subjected to the elements is what ultimately separates an outdoor kitchen from an indoor cooking space, so material selection should factor prominently in your design. The easier your kitchen is to clean and maintain, the more use you’ll get out of your space. Stainless steel is sanitary and corrosion-resistant. Poured concrete is a popular choice for counters and table tops, as it can withstand abuse from rain and sun. Some customers like the look of cultured granite with UV stabilizers as well. Sealed pavers, concrete, or natural stone blocks with low porosity work well for low-maintenance outdoor flooring. Avoid tile, which can crack in Delaware’s cold winters, and marble, which can be slippery when wet and easily sullied by grease stains.

2. Choose an architectural focal point

As with interior design, the best open air kitchen remodels have a focal point that draws the eyes of onlookers, with the rest of the area framed around that centerpiece. For some outdoor spaces, this anchor could be a fireplace, a wood-fired pizza oven, a weather-resistant flat-screen TV, or a pool-side bar. We always like spaces that are open and airy, but still private – with tall outdoor draperies, a pergola with chandelier lighting or outdoor sconces, or floral arbors. We can help you select similar design aesthetics from your interior to bring into your exterior kitchen space for a cohesive look and blend your entertainment area with other structures like ponds, pools, gardens or children’s playsets for seamless integration.

3. Keep the cook involved in the party

Like open concept kitchens that are so popular in modern homes these days, the ideal backyard kitchen makes it easy for cooks to interact with guests, without everyone tripping over each other. Some homeowners place a water tap or beer kegerator at the end of their bars to encourage people to stop by the kitchen. Others design their kitchens with a bar top connected to the cutting and prep area, which keeps guests close by and allows helpers to join in the cooking.

4. Build in storage space

As Better Homes and Gardens points out, storage space is crucial for designing an outdoor kitchen that satisfies. Stainless steel cabinets are a popular choice, although powder-coated metal cabinets are rising in popularity due to their durability and color choices that include a natural wood look. Rot-resistant redwood works if you’re bent on using truly natural materials.

You’ll want to consider tucked-away storage space for:

  • Trash and recycling bins
  • Napkins and cleaning supplies
  • Glasses
  • Grilling tools
  • Utensils
  • Plates
  • Serving platters
  • Smokers or charcoal grills
  • Woodpile for the pizza oven or fire pit
  • Charcoal and lighters

If you’re a green thumb, add a stand for storing herbs, tomatoes, peppers and fresh-grown produce.

5. Incorporate features that extend your outdoor entertaining season

Outdoor kitchen remodeling in Delaware is aimed at adding spaces you can use well into the night and for grilling steaks even on a chilly November evening. We often incorporate rain shelters, wind-blocking walls and task lighting into our designs. For added warmth, you can opt for a natural gas heater, portable propane heater, heat lamps, fire pit, fireplace, or radiant heat beneath the patio and countertops. To cool you down on those muggy summer days, consider an overhead fan, mist sprays, shade trees, and umbrellas. Mosquito netting or a mechanical mosquito repellant device are also something to consider. Look into outdoor lighting options for the countertops, walkways, staircases, grilling and dining areas.

Partner with Delaware home addition experts

The home addition experts from Montchanin Builders offer high-quality craftsmanship and professional design assistance of the top caliber. Whether you have pictures of your ideal kitchen and know precisely what you want or you only have a vague idea of an outdoor entertainment space, we can help you plan every detail from start to finish. Call 302-655-2600 to set up a free consultation regarding outdoor kitchen remodel in Delaware.

Deck Addition: Smart Return on Investment

beautiful new deckWith summer just around the corner, many homeowners are considering the pleasures of outdoor living spaces, whether covered patios, decks or gazebos. According to Remodeling magazine’s yearly “Cost vs. Value” report, a deck addition is a smart home addition, typically yielding an 80 to 90 percent return on the original investment. This is primarily because, compared to a garage or bedroom addition, a deck increases usable living area at a minimal cost per square foot.

Not only is a deck a clever way for property owners to maintain or enhance their home’s value, this addition provides countless ways to relax with family and friends. Imagine grilling burgers and hotdogs with friends in the summer, or hosting a New Year’s Eve champagne toast under the stars. For Halloween, a deck is the perfect spot for a jack-o-lantern carving contest with the kids.

In short, a deck provides an inviting space for entertaining, BBQ parties, or just getting back to nature.

Montchanin: experienced Delaware deck builders

Whether simple or extravagant, any home improvement project is not without its challenges. From design elements to materials to construction timelines and budget, homeowners must choose their deck builders carefully. For decades, residents in the greater Wilmington area have relied on Delaware home improvement contractors at Montchanin Builders. Locally owned and operated, Montchanin has a reputation for superior construction and deck building services at incredibly reasonable prices.

Our team works hand-in-hand with clients to ensure their vision of the perfect deck is finished on time and within the specified budget. Known for our professionalism and high quality craftsmanship, our team will assist you through every stage of the project, listening to your vision, and making suggestions whenever appropriate.

Recent deck building trends include structures with multiple levels. The main level nearest to the house generally serves as a large open-air dining area for grilling. The tier below can be adorned with a Jacuzzi, fire pit or comfortable seating area for intimate gatherings.

Whether you’re considering a simple platform deck, cantilevered deck or multi-tiered version, our skilled Delaware deck builders will develop a solid plan that meets your needs and adheres to local building codes.

We’ll discuss the pros and cons of the various available materials (pressure treated woods, composite decking, hardwoods, aluminum or bamboo) as well as design ideas to highlight the perimeter with railings or planters. Your ultimate choice in materials will likely be based on regular maintenance concerns, as well as durability through rough winters and heavy rains.

Build your dream deck with Montchanin

With our construction skill and years of experience we can help you get the “wow factor” in any home addition. Life is already hectic enough; let us help you create that outdoor space you’ve always wanted.

Serving the Wilmington and greater Delaware & Pennsylvania areas, Montchanin Builders can help you and your loved ones enjoy more time outdoors while enhancing the value of your home. To set up a consultation, please call us at 302-472-7213.

New Construction Homes Near Philadelphia are Minutes from Springtime Excitement

liberty bell“Proclaim LIBERTY throughout all the land unto all the Inhabitants thereof”. So read the words around the rim of the Liberty Bell which, along with our flag, are America’s two most enduring symbols of personal freedom. The Liberty Bell now receives 1.5 million visitors per year in the Liberty Bell Center, one block from its former home in Independence Hall, America’s Cradle of Liberty.

And what more perfect time to celebrate the absolute masterpiece of American and multi-cultural freedom that is Philadelphia than springtime when the city virtually explodes from its winter cocoon with high-flying festivals and events one weekend after the next. Art, music, food, flower shows, horse shows, county fairs, college sports to pro sports, tall ships to rowing shells—Philadelphia’s got a lot to brag about, and springtime is when Philly shakes off the winter blues and starts showing it off.

New construction homes near Philadelphia are the perfect home base

Twenty minutes from one of the most culturally rich and historically important cities in America lies Darley Green, the highly regarded master planned community of affordable and luxurious condominiums and townhomes in Wilmington, Delaware. Young professionals, growing families, downsizers, and retirees alike love the proximity and convenience of their Darley Green homes to one of America’s greatest treasures, Philadelphia.

Spring happenings in Philadelphia

Is there a more fitting way to kick off a fabulous Philadelphia spring than to simply breathe in and enjoy the annual Spring Bloom Display at the sprawling venerable Longwood Gardens starting April 4th   through May 31st?  Then for more contemplative beauty, appreciate the serenity of the weeklong citywide Subaru Cherry Blossom Festival sponsored by the Japan America Society from April 6-12.

Things get turned up a notch on April 25th at one of Philadelphia’s first great music festivals of the spring season, the Center City Jazz Festival, celebrating Jazz History Month and Philly’s rich jazz heritage.

May is when Philadelphia truly begins to operate on all springtime cylinders. May 2 is both the Rittenhouse Row Spring Festival and the South Street Spring Festival and Maifest treating thousands of visitors with blocks of food, music, and craft beers. For the kids, May 7-9 is the 30th anniversary of the Philadelphia International Children’s Festival.

For the next two days, the largest intercollegiate rowing regatta in the United States, the Aberdeen Dad Vail Regatta, takes place on the heralded Schuylkill River, one of the most famous rowing routes in the sport. Sit on the banks of the Schuylkill with a picnic and cheer them all on!

Be sure to mark down May 16th and 17th for a feast for your stomach and your soul at the South Street Italian Market Festival, America’s oldest continuously operating open air market, smack in the middle of South Philadelphia.

Enjoy the best of all worlds

As a resident at Darley Green’s new construction homes near Philadelphia, you and your family can enjoy the pleasures of your own maintenance free lifestyle in a community with the small town atmosphere that’s easy to call home. Because it’s only a quick twenty minute drive to Philly, the culture, the history, the shopping, and the excitement of an iconic American city are yours whenever you want.

From May 21-31, America’s oldest and largest show of its kind, the Devon Horse Show and Country Fair, holds forth at the Devon Show Grounds. On May 23-25, this year’s Memorial Day weekend, Lincoln Financial Field hosts the 2015 NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Championships. Come see the best lacrosse teams in the country play in their own Big Dance.

May 30 sounds like a great day to enjoy a daylong concert hosted by Grammy Award winning Philly band The Roots, better known as the sizzling hot house band for Jimmy Fallon and the Tonight Show. The Roots promise to bring a lot of their friends to Festival Pier at Penn’s Landing that day,  so it is a must-attend.

It’s spring, so thankfully, it must be time for baseball, and the Philadelphia Phillies want to welcome you to Citizens Bank Park on June 1st to meet the players, take pictures, get autographs, and have fun. And all to benefit a great cause –to raise funds to fight ALS.

Darley Green boasts maintenance free living

When you own one of the maintenance-free townhomes or condos at Darley Green, you can spend your springtime weekends enjoying your freedom. You may want to check out the Rittenhouse Square Fine Arts Show from June 5-7. Celebrating its 84th year, it’s the nation’s oldest outdoor arts show with over 100 original artists. Or staying on that theme, the Manayunk Arts Festival is the largest juried art show in the region with artists coming from all over the country to show on June 21.

June is a great music month, and there’s plenty to enjoy at the Ambler Arts and Music Festival on June 12-13. You’ll also like the State Street Blues Stroll with top guitar pickers of every stripe doing the honors. A special treat takes place on June 14, the 40th anniversary of the Odunde Festival, the longest-running and largest African-American street festival in the country with over a half million visitors. Covering twelve city blocks, the Odunde Festival is a true feast of food, crafts, art, and live music

June is also International Gay and Lesbian Pride Month, and the cradle of personal freedom, Philadelphia, does it right. June 14th, Pride Day, is celebrated with the 27th annual LGBT Pride Parade and Festival.

If you’re a nautical buff, you’ll want to be a part of Philadelphia’s great seagoing heritage at the Tall Ships Challenge Camden and Philadelphia on June 27th and 28th on the Camden waterfront and Penn’s Landing.

Schedule a home tour today

If you’re ready to experience maintenance free luxury and affordability, call 302-472-7213 to speak with a representative from Montchanin Builders or to arrange a home tour of Darley Green.

Hockessin, the Foodie’s Dream, Just Minutes From Move-In Ready Homes In Delaware

restaurant food“First we eat. Then we do everything else.” So said M. F. K. Fisher, the preeminent American food writer. Mary Frances Kennedy Fisher may have never visited Hockessin, Delaware, but if she had she would have delighted in this classic off-the-beaten-path foodie’s dream in the gorgeous Brandywine River Valley. Aside from being a charming scenic little town in the Vintage Atlantic Wine Region, it’s a place where smart food folks are making the journey to find cuisine prepared by young and exciting chefs in imaginative ways and served in comfortable down home restaurants. It’s also part of the Red Clay Valley Scenic Byway where covered bridges, orchards, streams, and rolling farmland rule the scenery.

Only nine miles from the delightful foodie paradise of Hockessin is Darley Green, the much-talked about master planned community of affordable move-in ready townhomes and condos. Just minutes from downtown Wilmington and only twenty minutes from downtown Philadelphia, these luxurious yet affordable classic three bedroom townhomes and condos are the perfect solution for young professionals, downsizing couples, a growing family, or retirees looking to enjoy Delaware’s amazing retirement lifestyle.

Hockessin’s imaginative dining scene

Hockessin’s new and veteran chefs alike are turning out innovative and imaginative fare morning, noon, and night, all based on using fresh, local, and sustainable ingredients to “connect real people with real food.”

For breakfast, try Drip Café in Lantana Square. Drip Café partners with Farmart, Lancaster Farm Fresh Co-Op, Ceremony Coffee Roasters, and PT’s Coffee Roasting Company to deliver the freshest ingredients in all of their products. For a morning revelation, have a cup of perfectly brewed French Press coffee and their bacon-studded Caramel Apple Pancakes, topped with roasted apples, smoked bacon, and house-made salted caramel sauce. Add bananas for a buck.

Lunch might be ribs from competition BBQ champion Dave Deal who serves up some of the finest barbecue in Delaware at Big Dave’s on Lancaster Pike. Big Dave serves up true, traditional barbecue, delicious with or without his homemade sauce. For something lighter, hook up with one of Dave’s insanely delicious wraps.

Lettie’s Kitchen on Old Lancaster Pike is a traditional white farmhouse restaurant owned by Susan Alexander and Tom Alexander, a mother and son team whose goal is simple: “to bring homemade comfort food prepared in a unique way using only the freshest ingredients to the residents of Hockessin.” Lettie’s serves wonderful sandwiches, salads, side dishes, and complete meals ready to take home or eat in. Lettie’s Fried Chicken was voted the best in upstate Delaware in 2014.

For a truly extraordinary dinner experience in the actual home of the chef/owners, be sure to make reservations for the House of William and Merry, Open Table’s Diners Choice Winner in 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015, as well as Top 100 Fit for Foodies Restaurants in America. For sheer decadence, not much compares to their Slow Braised Painted Hill Farms Beef Cheek with Chanterelle Mushrooms, Brie Cracklings, Onion Puree, Black Truffle Tater Tots, and Cool Breeze Greens served at a delightful table right in the kitchen so you can watch the show.

These restaurants are a small sampling of the current growing food scene in Hockessin. In addition, there’s a fabulous raw bar at George and Son’s Seafood Market and phenomenal burgers and wings at Two Fat Guys. Try the area’s freshest sushi and great Japanese at Asian Kitchen Bar & Restaurant and Okura Japanese Restaurant, grab the winner of the Delaware Burger Battle at Redfire Grill & Steakhouse, and savor one of Delaware’s finest food institutions, the pumpkin-mushroom soup at Back Burner Restaurant.

The day’s not over until you’ve had a few scoops of just about the best ice cream there is at Woodside Creamery.

Move in ready condos & townhomes are minutes away at Darley Green

Only minutes by car from Hockessin’s culinary bounty, Darley Green comes complete with a village green, library, jogging and hiking trails, and its own shops and restaurants. If you’d like to visit and see how comfortable, luxurious, and affordable move-in ready homes in Delaware can be, call us at 302-655-2600 to set up your personal tour!

Philadelphia Real Estate Market Booming – Price Points Go Up

townhome exteriorAll signs are pointing to another banner year for residential real estate in the Philadelphia region, according to a recent report by Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Fox & Roach. Low interest rates coupled with an increasingly robust economy means more people are snapping up properties with favorable mortgage terms.

Research shows that houses aren’t staying on the market nearly as long as they were just a couple of years ago. Philadelphia properties took an average of 78 days to sell last year, down from 98 days in 2012. The report also shows a rise in median sales prices across several counties, with Chester County the highest of them all with an average selling price of $305,000.

The HomeExpert report also reveals dwindling inventory compared to last year, leaving some homebuyers with little choice.

New homes near Philadelphia at Darley Green

With price points slowly creeping upward and less selection from which to choose, lots of people are beginning to hunt for their dream home in nearby markets, where $225,000 goes so much further in the way of space, comfort and curbside appeal. In reality, most new homes near Philadelphia are not only more affordable, they’re more luxurious.

There is perhaps no greater example of this in the Tri-State region than the master-planned community of Darley Green, where move-in ready homes feature tons of upscale touches, like gourmet kitchens with gas ranges, luxury master baths, 17-foot ceilings and built-in services like professional landscaping. You’d be hard-pressed to find a 2,500 square foot Philadelphia townhome with these perks at such a low price.

Darley Green’s central address in Delaware’s Claymont Renaissance District, just a 20-minute drive from Philly, ensures you won’t be sacrificing on location. On the contrary, homeowners are thrilled with the convenience of quick access to major thoroughfares I-495, I-95 and the Philadelphia Pike. Residents who commute daily can also rely on the SEPTA R2 line, the Amtrak Station and the Claymont commuter train – all just a few minutes away.

According to Darley Green homeowners, it isn’t just the location or amenities that make this neighborhood so special: it’s the family-like feel of a tight-knit community that truly cares for its residents. Neighbors can enjoy an afternoon jog on manicured trails, kids can play outside under the shade of trees, and friends can chat over coffee at one of the many onsite restaurants and eateries.

And being so close to the revitalized Wilmington Riverfront ensures plenty of entertainment and recreation for the young and young-at-heart, with excellent dining and nightlife, plus kid-friendly activities.  The city is also renowned for its vibrant arts and culture, including local theater companies that present main stage productions throughout the year.

Looking for peace and comfort? Explore Delaware living!

To learn more about the many benefits of homeownership at Darley Green, please give us a call to schedule a home tour today. You can reach our Information Center at 302.655.2600, or swing by any time between 11 am and 5pm to explore your potential new home in Delaware.

Resources:

BizJournals.com, Philadelphia-area homes selling at fastest pace in three years, http://www.bizjournals.com/philadelphia/blog/real-estate/2015/02/philadelphia-area-homes-selling-at-fastest-pacein.html

Seven Residential Real Estate Myths Busted

Darley Green exteriorIn the realm of real estate, there are many long-held myths about what makes a valuable and smart property investment. We’ve all come believe that “location, location, location” is paramount when purchasing a new townhome or condo, but are these maxims really true?

After pouring over years of residential real estate data and numbers, Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff and chief economist Stan Humphries have questioned the validity of seven popular adages in the industry, giving new homebuyers something to think about before taking the plunge.

7 real estate myths busted

  1. Location is key, but look toward the future – In their new book,  “Zillow Talk: The New Rules of Real Estate,” Humphries and Rascoff claim that today’s location isn’t nearly as important as to what the neighborhood will be like in 10 or 20 years. Will infrastructure improve, new developments or schools pop up nearby, or other changes that can affect the value and curb appeal of your home-to-be.
  2. Don’t buy the worst or smallest house on the block – Market data has proven that buying the worst house in the neighborhood or gated community isn’t so wise after all, as price gains on these properties typically underperform their surrounding homes. The authors suggest that savvy homebuyers consider purchasing a fixer upper in the “hottest” or most sought-after neighborhood within five years of it becoming popular.
  3. Remodel your bathroom before your kitchen – Data shows that extensive kitchen renovations with pricy upgrades have a low return on investment compared to say, a modest bathroom remodel.
  4. Home ownership isn’t right for everyone – Most of the properties low-income buyers can afford are in less affluent areas where homes don’t hold their value and suffer the effects of price instability.
  5. Firesales and foreclosures aren’t the deal of the century – Steep discounts on foreclosed properties are often misleading, caution Humphries and Rascoff, who say it’s like comparing apples to oranges since the advertised prices are compared to non-foreclosed properties.
  6. Mortgage interest deductions are an ill-conceived public policy – The real estate experts argue that such deductions cost the federal government $100 billion in lost tax revenue every year, just to help Americans live in homes valued at $865,000.
  7. Listing your property before March in time for Spring buyers  – is no longer necessary given today’s internet age where many buyers search for homes online. To get yours on the top of the web page, it’s better to list in late March, or after the Masters golf tournament.

Move in ready homes in Delaware

As the real estate marketplace continues to evolve, so does the way that Americans buy homes. And now more than ever, it’s a buyer’s market in the United States, with incredible deals to be found along the Eastern Seaboard. Montchanin Builders features a selection of affordable move in ready homes in Delaware – a state known for its historic attractions, gorgeous beaches and business-friendly tax laws.

How does a 1,350 square foot luxury condo with no down payment and no closing costs sound? This two-story condo features hardwood flooring, granite countertops, 17 ft. ceilings and a designer master bath! To learn more about townhomes and condos within the master-planned community of Darley Green, or to schedule a home tour, please call 302-655-2600.

Resources:

BizJournals.com, 7 real estate myths busted by ‘Zillow Talk’ http://www.bizjournals.com/sanfrancisco/blog/2015/01/residential-real-estate-myths-busted-zillow-talk.html?page=all

Philadelphia Townhome Buyers Swayed By More Than Just Interest Rates

Philadelphia townhomesThere’s good news for people in the market for Philadelphia townhomes or single family residences: the 30-year fixed mortgage rate shouldn’t break 5 percent this year. However, industry observers say there is more to a home buying decision than the interest rate.

“Consumer confidence and perception of the economy as a whole have a greater effect on residential real estate than whether the rates are at 4 or 6 percent,” Jeff Block, a Berkshire Hathaway Realtor, told Philly.com. In fact, he said, the hottest market in the last decade corresponded with the highest interest rates.

Here at Montchanin Builders in nearby Delaware, we see a number of buyers from Philadelphia, whether the interest rates are high or low.

Why do people buy homes for sale in Philadelphia?

Greg McBride, a chief financial analyst at Bankrate.com, believes the mortgage rates will hover between 3.75 and 4.25 percent this year. The lower interest rates benefit first-time homebuyers most. “In many cases, interest rates may be the difference between renting and buying,” explained Coldwell BankerAgent Frank Dolski. Similarly, this group may be motivated to jump into the housing market if they observe a slow-rising interest rate, fearing that they may be missing out on the best deals. A one-point interest hike may not seem like a big deal, but over a 30-year period, the principal and interest actually goes up by about 12 percent.

Other factors affecting home purchase habits include:

  • Downpayment requirements: In December, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac announced a 3% down for qualified first time buyers.
  • Mortgage underwriting requirements: According to the “Mortgage Lender Sentiment” survey conducted by Fannie Mae, the number of lenders who have tightened their credit standards has dropped from 28 to 13 percent from the third to fourth quarter of 2014.
  • Household incomes: This has remained largely stagnant in 2014, with the median household income in Philadelphia County hovering around $37,192, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
  • Consumer confidence: Nationally, consumer confidence hit an 11-year high this month, due to plunging gas prices and improved job markets. Retail data suggests a 3 percent jump in consumer spending this year.

Ultimately, job growth and increased incomes are needed to see a strong local real estate market as a whole, but we are seeing a steady stream of first time homebuyers with the means to purchase, especially when they see a great deal!

Looking at Philadelphia townhomes? Try Darley Green instead!

No matter what the interest rate may be, prospective buyers looking at Philadelphia real estate are attracted to Montchanin Builders’ Darley Green neighborhood for access to tax-free shopping, close proximity to amenities, and to get more space for their dollar. Our Delaware townhomes, condos, and custom homes are sophisticated and stylish, with generous features like spacious walk-in closets, and up to 2,500 square feet of living space.

Located just 20 minutes from Philadelphia, our neighborhood is a convenient commute for anyone looking at homes for sale in Philadelphia, but considering other options. With no sales tax, no inheritance tax, no tax on social security benefits, reasonable property taxes, and a very modest state income tax, Delaware is among the five U.S. states with the lowest tax burden.

For more information about Darley Green’s move-in ready homes, please contact Sales Manager Amy Maluski at 302.655.2600.