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How to Get the Most Out of Virtual Home Tours

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected virtually every aspect of life—from how people work to how they purchase new homes. While in-person open houses may be on pause, the real estate market is still extremely active with virtual home tours. Get comprehensive tours of the best homes for sale in your area while you “shelter in place.” Right now is an advantageous time to buy, as mortgage rates have dropped and so too have home prices, making it a buyer’s market.

A look at virtual home tours

Virtual home tours have actually been a trend for a few years now. Realtors have relied on technology to entice homebuyers who might not live locally and who are unable to travel for the initial viewing. A 3D home tour enables you to develop a clear idea of what the home layout is like and which features it has.

While they aren’t new, virtual home tours have been exploding in popularity since the stay-at-home orders went into effect during the COVID-19 crisis. They allow home buyers to safely view new options from the comfort of their own couches. Realtors and sales agents are also protected, as they can virtually connect with buyers to answer questions about the property.

Making the most of a virtual home tour

The YouTube channel of Montchanin Builders offers virtual home tours for various luxury model homes. These include the exquisite and innovative Maxwell Model, Emerson Model, and Carlyle Model at the master-planned community of Darley Green.

When you visit a model home in person, you’ll ideally want to bring your camera (or cellphone with a camera) and a notebook. Take pictures of the rooms and features, and make notes about what you like and how you envision living there. For a virtual tour, making the most of your time requires a different approach.

First, view the entire virtual tour to get a sense of what the home is like. Then, pull up the model home’s blueprint. You can easily view the blueprint or layout for Montchanin Builders’ homes for sale in New Castle, Delaware, on our website. Split your screen so that you can view the virtual home tour and the blueprint side-by-side.

Virtual home tours in Wilmington, Delaware

Have any questions after viewing our Wilmington, Delaware virtual home tours? You can reach out to us at any time by phone or by filling out the quick contact form on our website. Although our Sales Centers and Decorated Models are temporarily closed, you can still drive through our lovely master-planned communities to see the beautiful home exteriors and landscaping. Imagine yourself in a Montchanin Builders home today!

Additional resources for home buyers:

4 Benefits of an Open-Floor-Plan Home

An open floor plan features the seamless transition between two or more traditional-use rooms, such as the kitchen and living room, with no partitioning walls. Since the 1990s, the open floor plan concept has been popular among homebuyers, with good reason. The communal living space provided by this layout supports smoother traffic flow and a greater sense of togetherness. If you’re thinking about buying a new, move-in ready home with an open floor plan, consider the following advantages.

Open floor plans support the flow of traffic

Homes with more than one occupant, as well as those that frequently host guests, will benefit from having an open floor plan. This layout allows individuals to travel unhindered from one room to the next, without getting jammed up at doorways or narrow hallways.

Open floor plans encourage communication

Another perk of the open floor plan concept is its effect on communication. Because the line of sight is unhindered from one room to the next, it’s easy for a person in one room to communicate with someone in another room. For example, if you’re preparing food in the kitchen, you’ll be able to easily chat and interact with others in the living room or dining room. Households that often have guests over typically find that the open floor plan supports hosting, making it a top choice for those who enjoy entertaining.

Open floor plans offer more natural light

No amount of lamps can replace the beauty and functionality of natural light. And with an open floor plan, you’ll get plenty of it. Since these homes do not have lots of partitioning walls, the natural sunlight is allowed to freely flow from one room to the next.

Home sellers enjoy higher resale value

There is no doubt that open floor plan layouts are highly popular with homebuyers. For this reason, this layout can increase the resale value of your home and is a financially smart decision. If you do decide to sell your home later on, it should be easier and quicker for you to sell an open floor plan home compared to a more traditional house.

Beautiful houses for sale in New Castle County, Delaware

If the thought of an open floor plan home appeals to you, you’ll love the innovative layouts of the move-in ready homes offered by Montchanin Builders. Our townhomes and condos have plenty of open spaces, high ceilings, and masterful finishing touches.

Our communities—including Darley Green and The Overlook at Rockford Falls—are master-planned neighborhoods that feature tree-lined streets, community gathering areas, and convenient amenities within walking distance. Get in touch today to inquire about special financing offers for our homes for sale in Wilmington, Delaware.

Additional resources for home buyers:

Winter is the New Spring for the Home Shopping Season

For quite a long time, spring has been the traditional time for prospective home buyers to begin searching for their ideal home. It seems only natural for people to prefer driving around looking at homes for sale during sunny, warm weather compared to the chill of winter. However, realtors have noticed a significant uptick in the number of people looking at homes for sale during the winter.

If this trend continues, homebuyers who wait until April to begin searching in earnest may be missing out on some great deals. If you’re thinking of checking out the houses for sale in New Castle County, Delaware, here’s what you need to know about the real estate market in the winter.

A look at recent home buying data

This recent home buying data is courtesy of Realtor.com, which surveyed home buyers and searchers in 20 major metropolitan areas across the U.S. Realtor.com conducts this survey every year. Since 2015, they have noticed that people have consistently been searching for a new home for sale earlier in the year.

In 2015, the average views per listing on the home sale website were highest in April. January fell behind April by 16 percent. However, by 2019, February had racked up the most average views per listing. January was close on February’s heels, behind by just one percent. A Senior Economist at Realtor.com, George Ratiu, had this to say: “With housing inventory across the U.S. expected to reach record lows in 2020, we expect to see this trend continue into the new year.”

Ratiu further noted that the trend may be driven by homebuyers who want to get a jumpstart on the process in the hopes of gaining a competitive edge when it comes to pricing and inventory.

Why winter is a great time to look for a new home

People have been flocking to home viewings in winter because they know that there is less competition during this time of year. While January and February have certainly picked up in activity, homebuyers can still get a head start on their search by starting to look for a new home as early in the year as possible. Furthermore, if you do begin your search in the winter, you can expect home listing prices to be lower.

Another factor in your favor is the fact that it can actually be easier to move during the wintertime. During the summer, professional movers are incredibly busy. Their prices increase, and they can be booked for weeks, if not months in advance. In contrast, movers often advertise discounted rates during the winter because they need to drum up more business.

Search for your new home in Delaware today

Montchanin Builders makes it easy for homebuyers to get into the new house of their dreams. Our architectural masterpieces are nestled within walkable, master-planned communities where residents have close access to amenities, yet still enjoy wide open green spaces. Our homes for sale in Wilmington, Delaware are luxuriously appointed, yet competitively priced.

Winter is prime home shopping season, so don’t delay booking your appointment to view a move-in ready home by Montchanin Builders. You can get in touch to schedule a tour of our communities: Darley Green and The Overlook at Rockford Falls.

Additional resources:

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

4 Myths Holding Back Home Buyers

Have you ever driven around a beautiful neighborhood and thought, “I could never afford to live here.”? You’re not alone. There are a lot of myths holding back potential home buyers and making them think that they can’t afford a new home (when they actually can). The truth is that, while buying a home is a major investment, it’s one that can be surprisingly affordable.

Myth: You need a 20% down payment

Conventional wisdom states that home buyers must have a minimum down payment of 20% of the home’s value. A down payment of this size will definitely allow you to borrow less and pay less in interest over time, but it’s not true that you absolutely need a 20% down payment. In fact, plenty of homebuyers have purchased their homes with a down payment as little as 3% to 5%.

Myth: You need a FICO score of 780 or higher

The higher your credit score is and the cleaner your credit history is, the easier it will be to buy a home, and the lower the interest rate could be. However, it is certainly not necessary to have perfect credit and an impeccable credit history to buy a home. In fact, many homebuyers have been able to make this major purchase despite having some credit card or installment loan debt, and a less-than-perfect credit score.

Myth: Renting is more financially advantageous

It’s true that buying a move-in ready home is a major investment. However, the key word is that it’s an investment. Investments bring long-term financial rewards. With each mortgage payment you make, you build a little more equity in your home. You can tap into that equity at a later date if you need to.

On the other hand, if you continue to rent an apartment or house from a landlord, your rent payments are only financially advantageous to your landlord. You aren’t building equity in the property you are living in. When you’re ready to move out, you’ll have nothing to show for it. The opportunity to build equity in their own homes is one of the many compelling reasons why people decide to stop renting and buy property instead.

Myth: It takes a long time to get a mortgage

If you truly want to own your own home, you shouldn’t let the thought of getting a mortgage hold you back. It’s easier and less time-consuming than you might think. This is especially true if you work with a home builder like Montchanin Builders. Thanks to our close partnership with one of the nation’s premier home lenders, we can get homebuyers in their new homes faster and more affordably!

Ready to view new homes in northern Delaware?

The many happy homeowners in Montchanin Builders communities are living proof that these myths don’t have to hold you back. If you think you’re ready to buy a home, you probably are. Check out our move-in ready homes in Wilmington, Delaware within our master-planned communities of Darley Green and The Overlook at Rockford Falls, and find out for yourself why so many people have chosen a Montchanin Builders home. Thanks to our partnership with Cardinal Financial, it’s easier and more affordable than ever to purchase your dream home! Call today to learn more!

Additional resources for home buyers:

How Do I Know When I Am Ready to Buy a House?

Buying a home is a major decision. Homeownership offers many advantages, like the chance to build equity in your investment over time. Plus, you’ll be able to personalize your home however you wish—something that you can’t do while you’re renting. But is now the right time, and are you ready? First-time homebuyers in the Wilmington, Delaware area can consider the following factors to determine if they are ready to buy a move-in ready home.

You have a down payment.

If you have a down payment saved, you could be ready to buy a house. It’s always a good idea to save as much as you can before making a major purchase, but you might not need as large of a down payment as you might think. Montchanin Builders has a great relationship with one of the nation’s premier lenders, Supreme Lending, so contact us today to earn about the great financing deals that are available.

You’ve been working on improving your credit.

Financial experts generally recommend improving your credit as much as possible before buying a home. This involves making all payments on time and paying down your debt to improve your credit-debt ratio. Keep in mind, however, that your credit might not need to be as high as you might think.

You’re ready to settle down in the same place for a while.

First-time homebuyers in the Wilmington, Delaware area are often motivated by the desire to settle down in the same place for a while. Ready to put down some permanent roots? You’ll love the amenities of the Montchanin Builders neighborhoods, like close access to nature paths, state parkland and shops and businesses.

You can’t wait to enjoy all the benefits of homeownership.

There are so many perks of owning your own home compared to renting! If you’ve been renting for a while, you may be tired of having to obtain your landlord’s permission for every little modification you make. It’s common for renters to be unable to paint their walls in their preferred colors or even install new shelves. When you own your own home, you can personalize it to suit your lifestyle and your unique design preferences.

Other perks of owning your own home include having plenty of space—both for storage and for entertaining guests. Plus, you’ll be able to enjoy your property’s outdoor spaces – and your pets will love them too! You’ll also enjoy the feeling of long-term stability that comes with homeownership.

Check out these gorgeous new homes in northern Delaware!

When you’re ready to buy a move-in ready home in Delaware, check out the gorgeous home sites and floor plans available from Montchanin Builders! Our masterfully planned communities of Darley Green and The Overlook at Rockford Falls offer the best of both worlds—you’ll be close to all the amenities of town, but be able to enjoy wide-open spaces and gorgeous views.

Give us a call today to discuss special financing offers and schedule a viewing. Call 302-472-7212 or use the contact form on our website to get in touch.

Additional resources for homebuyers in Delaware:

Is Spring the Best Time of Year to Buy a Home?

There are lots of factors that determine when the best time to buy a house is. Interest rates are one example. It’s never a bad idea to take a look at the interest rates before you buy, but don’t let it completely determine your decision. Another factor to consider is the season. In general, buying a house earlier in the year is ideal, and spring certainly qualifies!

There are typically more properties available in the spring

If you enjoy the process of shopping around, you’ll love house hunting in the springtime. There are generally more homes available on the market during the early months of the year. One reason for this is that sellers prefer to show their houses after the snow has melted when the flowers start to bloom. It’s easier to get a sense of what the neighborhood is like when it isn’t covered in snow.

Summer is a great time to move

Many individuals find that spring is a convenient time to purchase a new home. This is because summer is right around the corner. By the time the sale moves forward and the parties close on the house, individuals can take advantage of the summer vacation to plan the big move. They can take on age-appropriate organizing and packing responsibilities.

Summer is a particularly advantageous time to move if the children will be changing to a new school district. It can be tough to switch schools in the middle of a school year. Kids often feel more awkward and have a harder time finding new friends when they must switch schools during the school year. But if you move during the summer, you will have some time to adjust to the new town. Kids won’t feel quite so awkward when starting at the new school in the fall.

Even for those without kids, summer can be a great time to move. It’s far removed from the stressful, hectic frenzy of the winter holiday season. Home buyers can furnish their new homes without being stressed out about credit card bills from the winter holidays. Plus, they’ll have plenty of time to get their new home ready to entertain friends and family during the winter holiday season.

Are you a first-time home buyer in Wilmington, Delaware?

You’re in luck! Montchanin Builders has a selection of exquisitely designed, move-in ready homes for sale in Wilmington, Delaware. Our architects and master craftsmen focus on quality, designing homes that are ideal for the needs of modern homeowners. But our properties are going fast, so get in touch with us today!  Schedule an appointment to tour our homes in Darley Green and The Overlook at Rockford Falls.

Take a walking tour of our communities, enjoy the wide-open spaces, lush greenery, and friendly neighbors. Be sure to ask us about special financing incentive —including up to $15,000 towards closing costs. Call (302) 655-2600 to learn more!

Additional resources for home buyers

  1. Money Under 30, How Do You Know When You’re Ready To Buy A Home? https://www.moneyunder30.com/how-do-you-know-youre-ready-to-buy-a-home
  2. Money Crashers, Should I Buy a House Now or Wait? – 6 Factors to Consider, https://www.moneycrashers.com/should-buy-house-now/

The Role of Natural Light in Choosing a New Home

There are so many factors home buyers look for when they’re shopping around. A house is the biggest investment most families make, and so it makes sense to take your time and compare the details. If you’re a first-time home buyer in Wilmington, Delaware, one of the factors you might want to consider is the amount of natural sunlight a house receives. Sunshine is so important for your overall health—plus, it improves the energy efficiency of the home!

Benefits of natural sunlight

There is plenty of scientific evidence to suggest that natural sunlight is beneficial for human health. Perhaps the most well-known benefit of sunlight is the vitamin D it produces in human bodies. Vitamin D is the only vitamin that can be synthesized through a photosynthetic reaction. It’s essential for strong bones, cancer prevention, and heart health.

Even if you were already familiar with the benefits of the “sunshine vitamin,” you might not have known that natural sunlight can make you more productive in the office. This is because sunlight is a key regulator of melatonin, a hormone. As sunlight enters the optic nerve, it triggers the cessation of melatonin production. When sunlight ceases entering the optic nerve, melatonin production begins again. This regulates the sleep-wake cycle. In other words, if you don’t get enough natural sunlight during the day, you’re more likely to suffer from daytime sleepiness and subsequently, poor work productivity.

Sunlight exposure triggers the production of another hormone, called serotonin. If serotonin levels are too low, people are at an increased risk of depressive disorders. In other words, living in a home with plenty of natural sunshine can help boost your mood.

Finding a home that optimizes natural sunlight

Now that you’re familiar with the benefits of natural sunlight for your family’s well-being, it’s time to take a look at shopping for a home that maximizes light exposure. Perhaps the most important factor is the positioning of the house. Since the U.S. is in the northern hemisphere, all walls facing south will receive the most amount of sunlight throughout the day. Look for a home that places the longest wall facing south. Ideally, this wall would have few to no offsets.

The interior layout of the house can also play a role in optimizing natural light. It’s a smart idea to put the rooms that receive the most daytime activity on the south-facing wall. And of course, that wall should ideally have lots of large windows. This is why architects often place bedrooms along the north-facing wall.

Homes for sale in Wilmington, Delaware 19806

Montchanin Builders embraces new concepts in home design and building, including the optimization of natural sunlight and the incorporation of energy-efficient features. Tour our walkable communities in Delaware today! Enjoy the tree-lined streets and wide open spaces of Darley Green. Tour The Overlook at Rockford Falls, which has a prime location near the Brandywine River, and easy access to state park land and walking trails. If you’re looking for homes for sale in Wilmington, DE  and beyond, schedule a personal tour of our new homes for sale in Delaware by calling 302.472.7212.

Additional resources for home buyers

  1. National Institutes of Health, Benefits of Sunlight: A Bright Spot for Human Health, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2290997/
  2. Utah State University Extension, Designing Your Home for Maximum Natural Lighting, https://digitalcommons.usu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2497&context=extension_curall
Woman decluttering, throwing away things from a house

3 Tips for Decluttering Your Home

A house full of clutter doesn’t just look unappealing; it can also affect your mood and productivity. It’s hard to get things done in the midst of chaos. Some people even find that too much clutter makes them feel more stressed out. And the longer you delay organizing your home, the worse the clutter will get. But there’s good news. If your New Year’s resolution was to declutter your home, you don’t have to completely overhaul each room right away. Start small and do a little more each day. Before you know it, you’ll have a beautifully organized home worthy of a Zen master.

Create a sustainable system for your entryway

Does your family usually enter through the front door or the mud room? Whichever entry point receives the most traffic, focus your efforts there first. You’ll need a coat rack or hooks to receive outerwear. If you have a coat closet that’s jam-packed with miscellaneous items, that should be the first thing to declutter.

Next, add a storage space for shoes. A bench with storage underneath will work well for the entryway. You’ll also need a designated space to hold keys, or a key rack on the wall. These designated storage spaces create an organizational system that’s easy for family members to follow, which will reduce future clutter.

Deal with paperwork and junk mail

Junk mail and miscellaneous papers comprise a significant portion of the clutter in most homes. Your first step is to get all of it together in one place. Then, sort it into three piles: One to discard immediately, another for the shredder, and a third to keep. Now that you’ve got your papers under control, you’ll need an inbox tray or basket. Ask all family members to put the mail and any other papers in the inbox tray. Several times per week, sort through it to prevent it from getting out of control again.

Visit donation drop-off points

Your community probably has a Goodwill shop or consignment shop, or perhaps those receptacles for donated clothing placed in strategic areas. Become acquainted with these drop-off points, and use them frequently. As you work through the rest of your home, put items you don’t need and will likely never use again in a box. After a decluttering session, put the box in your car immediately and drop off the items the next day. You’ll love the satisfying feeling you get each time you get rid of another box of clutter.

Check out these new communities in Wilmington, DE

If your growing family needs more space to stay organized, then it’s time to explore the beautiful, family-friendly communities near Wilmington, Delaware. Montchanin Builders invites you to explore the walkable, planned neighborhoods of Darley Green and The Overlook at Rockford Falls. Schedule a viewing of one of our masterfully crafted homes for sale in Wilmington, DE. You’ll find plenty of space for your growing family in our move-in ready homes. Get in touch today at 302-472-7212, and be sure to ask us about special financing opportunities!

Additional resources for homeowners

  1. Good Housekeeping, How to Declutter Your Home, According to Organizing Experts, https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/home/organizing/tips/g656/decluttering-tips/
  2. Prevention, How To Declutter Every Room In Your House To Reduce Anxiety And Stress, https://www.prevention.com/life/a20516000/declutter-your-home-0/
Real Estate "sold" sign

Why the End of the Year is a Great Time to Buy a Home

As fall inches toward winter and thoughts turn toward the holidays, savvy house searchers are browsing the houses for sale in Claymont, DE. There is a handful of reasons why the end of the year is a great time to buy a home. During the winter holidays, it tends to be more affordable, more convenient, and more practical to buy a home and move into it. Here’s a closer look from expert home builders in Delaware explaining why you should set aside some time to hunt for your new home.

The end of the year is a buyer’s market.

It’s no secret that most people move in the summer. Starting in the spring, the competition among home buyers starts heating up, and this increase in demand drives housing prices upward. This is why financial experts generally agree that it makes more fiscal sense to purchase a house in December, when housing prices typically drop.

Less competition for attractive homes for sale in Wilmington.

Because there are more buyers hunting for affordable family home communities, there’s far more competition for the most attractive homes in the summer. Bidding wars are great for sellers, but not good for buyers. If you wait until summer to buy your home, you just might find yourself ensnared in a bidding war. And even if you manage to sidestep bidding wars, it’s still frustrating to deal with the competition in the summer. Other buyers might snap up the house you want right when you’ve made the decision to make an offer.

It’s typically easier to book moving companies.

Buying a new home and going through closing is only part of the transition in this major life event. You’ll also need to pack everything up and move your household. If you buy a home at the end of the year, you’ll usually find it easy to book a reputable moving company. Since moving companies have less work during the winter, they may lower their rates to entice customers.

You can snap up bargains to furnish your home.

One of the most fun aspects of buying a house is furnishing it to reflect your personal decorating style. If you’re purchasing a home toward the end of the year, you can take advantage of all of those great sales on home furnishings, décor items, and kitchenware. Additionally, one of the most popular New Year’s resolutions is to get organized. That’s why you’ll typically see organizing systems, baskets, and bins on sale during this time of year. Take advantage of the bargains to organize your new home to fit your family’s lifestyle.

You can find year-round special financing deals in Delaware.

Even though winter is a fantastic time to buy a house, some builders can be counted on to offer great deals and special financing offers year-round. Montchanin Builders is a trusted company that designs walkable, neighborly Delaware townhome communities with beautiful, functional homes. Schedule a tour today to check out our homes for sale in Wilmington, DE. Just one visit to Darley Green, The Overlook at Rockford Falls, or The Town of Whitehall, and you’ll see for yourself why so many home buyers have chosen Montchanin Builders for their new home communities in Delaware. Call us at 302.472.7212 today, and be sure to ask us about special financing!

Additional resources for home buyers:

  1. The Motley Fool, When’s the Best Time to Buy a House? https://www.fool.com/investing/2018/05/31/whens-the-best-time-to-buy-a-house.aspx
  2. The Balance, The Best Time to Buy a House, https://www.thebalance.com/when-is-the-best-time-to-buy-a-home-1798329