move in ready homes

Home Buying Checklist for First-Time Buyers

For first-time home buyers, the process can seem a little overwhelming. That’s why we’ve developed a comprehensive checklist to guide you every step of the way.

Assess your finances

Buying a home is likely the most expensive purchase you will ever make. It makes sense that a thorough assessment of your finances is a logical place to begin. One of the first things to consider is how much you have saved up for a down payment. The traditional rule of thumb is to put down 20% of the home’s value. However, this usually isn’t necessary. You’ll find that many lenders are willing to work with home buyers with a much lower down payment. Montchanin Builders, for example, partners with Cardinal Financial, which offers custom financing with flexible down payment options.

In addition to considering your savings, you’ll want to evaluate your debt-to-income (DTI) ratio. For the purpose of determining your credit score, your DTI is exactly what it sounds like: the sum total of your debts (loans, credit cards, etc.) compared to your income. However, when buying a home, you’ll want to include all recurring bills in the “debts” category. Add up all of your monthly expenses and divide that figure by your monthly income to figure out your DTI. Ideally, your DTI shouldn’t be higher than 43%. The lower it is, the better.

Get pre-approved for a mortgage

Once you have a clearer picture of your finances, you’ll want to obtain pre-approval for a mortgage from a lender. It’s often recommended that home buyers obtain pre-approval before checking out the homes on the market. This enables you to more easily identify the available homes that you can afford.

Meet with a real estate agent

After securing pre-approval from a mortgage lender, it’s time to meet with a real estate agent. Of course, you can scout listings on your own, but it’s still helpful to have a realtor. These professionals are highly experienced with property evaluations and can help you consider the various pros and cons of each home and neighborhood you check out.

Start your home search

These days, the initial home viewing is usually done digitally. You can take virtual tours of available homes to narrow down your list. Then, visit open houses or schedule viewings. You may want to clear your phone’s gallery, as you’ll want to take plenty of pictures of the properties you view. You’ll also want to bring along a notebook and jot down notes about your likes and dislikes regarding each property.

Purchase your new home

Once you’ve finally chosen the home and neighborhood of your dreams, it’s time to make it yours! Talk to your realtor about the next steps in securing your home such as making an offer, including a deposit and more. At Montchanin Builders, our dedicated sales team will help you in determining the best floorplan, features and homesites available – walking you through every step of the process!

View new homes in northern Delaware from Montchanin Builders

Montchanin Builders strives to make the home selection and buying process as easy and hassle-free as possible. Visit our Sales Center and Model Home in our master-planned community of Darley Green—a beautiful, tree-lined neighborhood near the heart of Wilmington, Delaware. With so many wide-open spaces, you’ll have trouble believing that you’re just a short stroll away from incredible community amenities, including shops, restaurants, and transportation. Call today to schedule a tour of our move-in ready homes and inquire about our special financing offers.

Additional resources for home buyers:

3 Signs It’s Time for You to Move

Ever wonder if you’ve become so used to your current home that you’re missing the glaring signs that it’s time for an upgrade? Making a list of specific reasons to move – such as wanting more space or being closer to work – can help you focus your search for new homes in Delaware that will match your needs perfectly.

Not sure if house-hunting should be in your future? Check out this list of telltale signs that it’s time for you to move.

1. Your Family is Growing.

Babies don’t take up so much room, but their playpens, changing tables, and toys can soon consume the house. As your child grows older, fights over bathroom hogging and the desire for autonomous space to finish homework becomes inevitable. Expanding to a larger space in a comfortable community is a great solution.

Darley Green attracts home buyers with growing families who are drawn to the beautiful, tree-lined streets, ample park space, nearby restaurants and shops, and spacious homes. Our new-construction townhomes and condos are affordable, charming, and can be personalized to your preferences.

2. You’re Running Out of Space.

Many people are motivated to move because their current apartment or home doesn’t meet their storage needs. Is your living space cramped and your closets overflowing with stuff? Do you dream of having an additional bathroom, more closet space, or even a 2-car garage? Or maybe you crave extra space for work, study, relaxation, or working out.

Darley Green has beautiful homes available with spacious open floorplans, offering up to four bedrooms, 2.5 baths, master bedrooms with walk-in closets, and two-car garages. Enjoy up to 2,500 square feet of finished living areas to give you more breathing space and storage options.

3. You’re Spending Too Much Time Commuting.

About 9 percent of Delaware’s 430,000 workers have commutes that top an hour. If you currently have a long commute to Wilmington or Philadelphia, you may be dreaming about all the things you could do with all that lost time.

Darley Green offers a location that is just 10 minutes from downtown Wilmington and 20 minutes from downtown Philadelphia. You can reach I-95 in less than five minutes, I-495 in two minutes, and the Philadelphia International Airport in 15 minutes. You’re also within convenient walking distance to Claymont Train Station, with a DART bus stop on-site.

Move-in ready homes in Delaware

With scenic landscaping, convenient location, spacious floorplans, and highly rated schools, the luxury townhouses and condos at Darley Green are designed to cater to your every home buying need. Our beautiful move-in ready homes offer the latest modern amenities with a peaceful atmosphere reminiscent of a small-town neighborhood – all within close proximity to the city of Wilmington and a quick commute to Philadelphia. If you would like to discover our new homes in northern Delaware for yourself, please get in touch with us today to schedule a tour. Make sure to ask about our industry-leading financing options!

Additional Resources:

  1. Insider.com, 6 signs that it’s time for you to move somewhere new, https://www.insider.com/signs-you-should-move-2018-3
  2. Bob Vila, 11 Signs It’s Time to Move, https://www.bobvila.com/slideshow/11-signs-it-s-time-to-move-51391

How Living Close to Nature Can Boost Your Health

There are lots of reasons why you may want your home to be surrounded by nature, and health benefits are right at the top of the list. A recent study published by the University of East Anglia found that amongst 290 million people worldwide, those living closer to nature were most likely to feel healthier and live a longer life.

The term “nature” wasn’t just reserved for a cabin in the middle of the woods. Even those living in urban or suburban neighborhoods with plentiful green space enjoyed a longer, healthier life.

Research Shows Myriad Health Benefits for Those Living Near Green Spaces

The researchers organized participants by the level of accessibility they had to nature—whether they lived near a park or natural landscape, or if they were congested in a green-less concrete jungle—then surveyed their overall health.

They found that those with greater access to nature had significantly lower risks of Type 2 Diabetes, cardiovascular disease, premature death, and birthing preterm. Living closer to nature also increased sleep duration, lowered diastolic blood pressure, reduced heart rate, and eased stress.

Many of the studies theorized that those living near nature might live longer and healthier lives because proximity to parks and green spaces increases the probability of participating in daily physical activities, engaging in more social activities, and having less exposure to pollution.

Other studies, particularly those in Japan, suggest that organic compounds with antibacterial properties released by trees could hold some responsibility as well.

Either way, this study is enough reason to add “green space” to the “must-have” list for new homes in Northern Delaware.

Delaware Neighborhoods with Lots of Nature

Delaware attracts many residents because of its beautiful year-round natural surroundings. From bright summers to colorful fall, Delaware residents are constantly called to enjoy the great outdoors – and boost their health at the same time. At Montchanin Builders, we understand the basic human need to feel connected to nature, which is why our walkable neighborhood of Darley Green in Northern Delaware offers more than just gorgeous townhomes and condominiums.

Our neighborhood designers nestle your home within open green spaces and walking trails as part of the master-planned community layout.

Darley Green is also just a short drive away from endless outdoor activities in the Brandywine Valley —hiking, biking, horseback riding, birding, fishing, botanical gardens, nature centers, and parks.

Residents of Darley Green also enjoy being within walking distance of shops, restaurants, and other services, making it easier to enjoy modern amenities – and giving you another reason to get outside!

Tour a Montchanin Builders’ Home

At Montchanin Builders, we build more than houses—we build communities. We invite you to tour our new homes in Northern Delaware. Schedule a viewing today or ask about our special financing deals.

Fall Outdoor Adventures Near Wilmington, DE

Like most people these days, you’ve probably spent a lot of the past few months cooped up inside. If you’re looking for a way to get outside and safely enjoy the beauty of autumn, there are tons of fun fall outdoor adventures near Wilmington, DE, that you can take advantage of while practicing social distancing.

Scenic Drives  

There are stunning, Instagram-worthy fall panoramas minutes from your door in Wilmington, DE. The Brandywine Valley National Scenic Byway is famous around the world for incredible landscapes all year round, but the best time of year to enjoy its wonders is the fall. Get ready to enjoy jaw-dropping yellows, oranges, and reds as far as the eye can see.

Playing on the Railroad

The Wilmington and Western Railroad was originally built in 1867 to ship goods. But these days, this picturesque steam and diesel-powered train winds down 10 miles of track filled with sightseers looking to enjoy the stunning fall scenery.

The W&W railroad takes visitors on a tour through the Red Clay Scenic Byway and the surrounding suburbs on weekends throughout the fall season, rain or shine.

Farmyard Fun

Nothing says “fall” quite like pumpkin patches, hayrides, and corn mazes. Wilmington residents can enjoy all those activities and more at Ramsey’s Farm, located just north of the downtown district. Family owned and operated since 1995, Ramsey’s Farm offers fall activities starting September 26th.

Mt. Cuba Center

Recently named Delaware’s premiere native plant garden, this 630-acre estate is one of the best places to enjoy the value and beauty of Delaware’s native plant life.  The Mt. Cuba Center doesn’t just promote sustainability, it also offers a long list of outdoor fall activities.

DuPont Mansions

The name DuPont is almost synonymous with Wilmington, especially with the incredible and varied DuPont estates. Fall is an ideal time to visit the different mansions as the warm colors and falling leaves perfectly enhance their cultural and historical beauty.

The Hagley Museum and Library has more than 234 acres of gardens, while the Winterthur Museum, Garden, and Library offer nearly 90,000 objects from various eras of American history and over 60 acres of naturalistic landscaping.

Check Out New Construction Homes Near Wilmington, Delaware

When you live in the Wilmington area, there’s plenty of fall outdoor fun to be had. From taking a scenic drive through the valley to visiting beautiful and historical mansions, Wilmington residents get to enjoy all that the area has to offer.

Why not be a part of Wilmington yourself? Montchanin Builders offers spacious and modern move-in ready homes in Delaware with competitive pricing. Call today to schedule a tour or to ask about our special financing offers.

Additional Resources on Fall Outdoor Adventures Near Wilmington:

Top 5 Reasons People are Moving in 2020

It’s safe to say that 2020 has shaken up the norm for just about everyone. A lot of people’s priorities have shifted due to mandated home quarantines, social distancing, and other lifestyle changes, and for many, the time now seems right to move to a new home. For some buyers, this decision is spurred by current events, while others may have been planning a move for years. With that in mind, here are the top 5 reasons people are relocating in 2020.

#1 – To Escape the City

This reason is two-fold. Large metropolitan areas were amongst the hardest hit areas for COVID-19, and many residents realized that while city life can be fun and exciting, its density also makes it a breeding ground for contagions. Close proximity to your neighbors also makes following social distancing protocols challenging. As a result, many have been migrating to less risky suburban and rural areas.

The second reason that city-dwellers are considering relocating because of the pandemic is the absence of all the things that brought them to the city in the first place, such as easy access to endless dining, shopping, and nightlife options. With most of these activities being canceled or bogged down by restrictions, many residents are rethinking their high-priced cramped apartments.

#2 – More Home Amenities

Due to COVID-19, our homes have become our world, serving as our office, gym, entertainment venue, restaurant, and resting place. While things won’t always stay this way, some of these new lifestyle changes may stick for the long term. For many homebuyers, finding a place that can offer a variety of amenities—including a home office or gym—has jumped high on the priority list. The value of outdoor access has also risen, with a growing desire to be near open, airy parks or have a large private yard.

#3 – Remote Working

One of the biggest shake-ups of 2020 was remote working. Before COVID-19, some companies were already experimenting with the possibility of remote workers and flexible office hours, but the closing of offices forced the working-from-home concept into full implementation. More and more employees now expect to be working remotely on a near-permanent basis, even after the pandemic subsides. Working from home frees people to make the move they’ve always wanted without having to worry about long commutes or switching jobs.

#4 – Virtual Schooling

Adults aren’t the only ones who are doing their work online these days. Many school districts and higher education institutions have started their school year online, which is also eliminating an obstacle for some homebuyers that have school-aged children or who are attending classes themselves. It also brings with it a need for additional workspace, which may be hard in a crowded apartment or small home.

#5 – More Value

Many homebuyers are moving out to find more bang for their buck. Some are leaving their small and pricey city apartment for a more spacious, affordable home in the ‘burbs. Others are just looking to trade their current suburban home for a slightly more modern floorplan and a tax-deductible home office.

Schedule a Home Viewing Today

If you’re in the market for new construction homes in New Castle County, Delaware, schedule a tour of Montchanin Builders’ spacious move-in ready homes near Wilmington, DE. Our award-winning walkable communities let you enjoy plenty of open green space while being only a short drive from Wilmington’s plentiful restaurant and shopping options. The housing market has never been more buyer-friendly, and financing options available through our preferred lending partner make buying a new home more affordable than you think.

Schedule a tour today and make your 2020 home owning dreams a reality!

Moving In? 5 Steps to Help You Feel Quickly at Home

Buying a new house can be tremendously exciting, but on your first day in the new place, the bare walls, empty spaces, and monotonous stacks of boxes can make it feel impersonal and daunting – not like “home” at all! Before you start questioning your decision to move, remember that there are many things you can do immediately to make your new home feel a little more like yours.

Follow these five simple moving steps to make your new house feel like home:

#1 – Do a deep scrub

Empty home? Now’s the perfect time to make sure everything from the ceiling corners to the floorboards are sparkling clean. Some older homes will probably require a good deep cleaning, but even for new builds, dust from construction work and walk-throughs can collect along floor edges, ceiling fans, and countertops. Plus, giving things a good thorough scrub will help make the place feel fresh and new (or newer).

#2 – Organize your moving boxes

Unpacking can be fun. You get to slowly see your style take over the blank walls, floors, and shelf space. It can also be overwhelming if not organized properly. Keeping your boxes labeled and ensuring they’re moved to the right room the first time around will prevent the task from feeling monumental and will let you quickly unpack the necessities and the home favorites you’ll need from the very first night in your new place.

#3 – Transform one room at a time

In addition to organizing your boxes, you may also want to consider which rooms you want to unpack and set-up first. Focusing your energy on one area of the house, then moving to the next gives you a completed space you can retreat to when it’s time to take a break from the cardboard boxes. For some, this might mean ensuring the bedroom is put together for a good night’s rest. Others might prefer getting the kitchen unpacked and in order so it won’t be back-to-back pizza nights. Even simply hooking up your TV in front of a few comfy chairs can allow you the comfort of a familiar nightly ritual.

#4 – Make Small Touches

Sure, hanging a door wreath may not seem like the most logical first step in getting your new house together, but it is a quick, easy win and will almost instantly make your space feel more welcoming and homey. It may be prioritizing a few family photos, getting your favorite piece of artwork hung, or displaying your prized book collection.

#5 – Paint

A clean coat of paint can bring color and personality to your home. It’s also a good way to cover up scratches, marks, or nail holes left behind by the previous owners when moving into an older home. For move-in ready homes in Delaware that are already painted with neutral colors, painting just a simple accent wall or going bold in one room can be enough to incorporate your taste and style into the house.

New homes for sale in Delaware

Find your new dream home with a little help from Montchanin Builders! Our new-construction townhomes and condos in the exquisite walkable community of Darley Green allow you to choose your own floor plan and finishes, so you can personalize your space to make it instantly feel like home-sweet-home. Contact us today to learn more about our move-in ready homes in Delaware and to schedule a home tour!

Housing Market Soaring: Now Is the Time to Buy!

Looking at current market trends, now may be the right time to finally buy the home you’ve always wanted!

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) has noted an astounding rebound in the U.S. housing market. In May of 2020, pending home sales (a key metric in housing market strength) spiked more than 44 percent — the highest month-over-month gain in nearly 20 years.

With August arriving, there is a growing demand for housing inventory, as buyers are eager to jump back into the market and take advantage of record-low mortgage rates.

Low interest rates = lower payments

Federal mortgage rates continue to decline, meaning that home buyers will enjoy a significant decrease in their monthly payments. As of July 30, 2020, the average rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was 3.106%, and the average rate on a 15-year fixed-rate mortgage was 2.682%.

Compare this to exactly one year ago, when the rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage was 3.813%. Depending on the purchase price of your home, you could save around $100-$150 per month.

Factors driving housing sales

According to Lawrence Yun, home prices could increase in the coming months “due to heavy buyer competition and a significant shortage of supply.” Whether driven by attractive mortgage rates, rising rental costs, or a yearning for more space to accommodate work-from-home orders, housing sales are taking off – particularly in suburbs where green spaces are accessible and home prices tend to be more affordable.

Pent-up demand for home buying

Though the pandemic and economic slow-down hit the spring housing market hard, homebuyer demand is spiking now that summer is here. According to NAR Chief Economist, Lawrence Yun, “This has been a spectacular recovery for contract signings and goes to show the resiliency of American consumers and their evergreen desire for homeownership.”

NAR projects that new home sales may reach 690,000 this year, and 800,000 in 2021.

New construction homes in New Castle County, Delaware

As the economy gradually re-opens and the housing market takes off, Montchanin Builders is ready to meet the demands with our selection of move-in ready homes in Wilmington, Delaware. Contact our representatives today to schedule a tour of our new construction townhomes and condos at Darley Green. This master-planned community is one of the most sought-after neighborhoods in the area, with peaceful walking trails and green spaces for homeowners to enjoy.

Be sure to ask about our custom financing options and low closing costs that can help make your homeownership dreams come true!

What COVID-19 Means for First-Time Homebuyers

We’re all facing many challenges because of COVID-19, but buying a home doesn’t have to be one of them! You don’t have to put your first-time homebuyer dreams on hold because of the pandemic. In many ways, now is a better time than ever to buy a home.

Many first-time buyers are seeing their dreams come to fruition during this unprecedented time, but things are a bit different now than they were before coronavirus. If you’re looking into buying a new home right now, there are a few things you should keep in mind.

Shopping for a new home during COVID-19

Social distancing means shopping for a new home is a bit different than it used to be.

Most realtors and construction management companies have instituted new showing procedures in order to keep themselves and their customers safe. For example, many showings require buyers:

  • Wear masks and maintain social distancing at all times
  • Avoid touching surfaces such as light switches and doorknobs
  • Make appointments to allow for one-on-one showings

Buyers can take live FaceTime, Zoom, or Skype tours of homes or visit realtor websites for 3D virtual tours of available listings. The internet is an incredibly valuable resource when it comes to shopping for a new home during the pandemic. Rather than driving around or visiting locations, you can do online research to find good neighborhoods. Google Maps lets you navigate areas within a certain mile radius of any home you’re interested in, and websites allow you to search for communities that fit your needs.

Low mortgage rates

The Fed cut interest rates to 0% because of the pandemic, sending mortgage rates down to record-breaking lows. Some economists think that the drop isn’t over yet, and the coming months will see mortgage rates fall even lower. First-time homebuyers have a chance to lock in an amazing mortgage deal right now.

Gorgeous new homes for sale in Wilmington, Delaware

Montchanin Builders is open for business! We are taking all the necessary precautions to protect our staff and customers. Call us today to learn more about our new homes in Northern Delaware and the amazing financing options offered by our lending partner, Katherine Dunckley with Cardinal Financial.

Additional Resources:

  1. com, COVID-19 First Time Homebuyer, https://time.com/nextadvisor/mortgages/covid-19-first-time-homebuyer/
  2. com, Buying a Home During COVID-19 Pandemic?, https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/04/13/buying-home-during-covid-19-pandemic-it-can-be-done-under-right-circumstances/

Why Summer Is the New Spring for Real Estate

Spring has traditionally been a great season for home sellers. After a long winter, buyers are eager to jump in their cars, tour through new neighborhoods, and set up viewings of move-in ready homes. However, many regular routines have been put on hold in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Now that some regions are phasing into re-opening, home buyers are once again starting to venture out to take a look at new homes in northern Delaware. If you’re ready to move into your next home, right now is the perfect time to begin your search!

The current state of the housing market

In this time of economic uncertainty, there is at least one reason to be optimistic: This summer is actually a great time to buy a house. In fact, the rates for 15-year and 30-year fixed-rate mortgages are at historic lows. Furthermore, experts predict that the mortgage rates will continue on their downward trend for the foreseeable future. This makes it a great time to lock in a historically low interest rate.

Apartment living isn’t conducive to social distancing

Stay-at-home orders may have begun to ease, but that doesn’t mean social distancing is any less critical. In fact, certain areas of the country are seeing alarmingly high spikes in COVID-19 cases. This means that it’s still important to exercise precautions by wearing a mask and keeping your distance from others. Unfortunately, it’s hard to practice social distancing when you’re living in an apartment building. You’ll inevitably run into people in the hallways, elevators, and the laundry room. This is just one more good reason to start looking for a new home this summer. You can keep yourself safer by giving yourself more living space.

Homebuyers are reconsidering their priorities

Like a lot of Americans, many homebuyers have shifting priorities. A great number of people have been working from home these days, and this arrangement can create some challenges. It’s essential to have a designated workspace that limits distractions and boosts productivity. Since working from home is a trend that’s likely to continue (some companies have stated they will continue to have work-from-home employees on a permanent basis), homebuyers often crave a floor plan that includes space for a home office.

See new homes for sale in Wilmington, Delaware

Montchanin Builders is pleased to be open for business to help you find your dream home. If you’re looking for a floor plan with flex space for your home office, we invite you to tour our master-planned community of Darley Green. The manor townhomes, such as The Montgomery model and The Clemson model, feature flex space that is perfect for a productive workspace. We’re taking all necessary precautions to protect our visitors and staff members. Please wear a face covering and maintain a six-foot distance between yourself and others while visiting our Sales Center or Model Home.

Get in touch today, and make sure to inquire about our competitive home pricing and buyer-friendly lending partner!

Additional resources for home buyers:

Summer Staycation in 2020? Here Are Some Fun Ideas

This year has certainly been a challenge for everyone, but there is no reason why you can’t have fun this summer. A staycation is the perfect solution that bypasses travel restrictions and safety concerns alike. Whether you’re planning to pamper yourself during the perfect solo staycation, looking to create a couples’ stay-at-home retreat, or to find ways to keep the kids entertained, you’re sure to find some fun ideas below! Don’t try to schedule every hour of your staycation, but do write down some activities to do each day.

Plan an outdoor upgrade.

After spending a few months cooped up at home, a slight change of scenery can be just the ticket. You don’t have to make major changes ahead of your staycation, however. Consider hanging up a hammock in your backyard, building a fire pit, adding some plants to the living room, or even simply rearranging the furniture.

Be a tourist in your own town.

Many people live in or near places with significant historical or cultural value, yet they often don’t take advantage of these resources. Pretend to be a visitor in your own town and go to places that tourists would normally visit. Visit your town’s official website and look for a “For Visitors” section that recommends attractions and activities.

Become a foodie.

One of the best parts of a vacation is not having to cook for yourself. You can replicate this while staying at home. During your staycation, pick up curbside takeout for dinner at a different restaurant every night—but avoid restaurants you’ve previously dined at. Challenge yourself to expand your taste buds by eating foods you’ve never tried before. For example, if you typically go for Chinese food, try Korean instead. If you prefer Italian, try looking for a restaurant with Brazilian food.

Plan a spa day.

You can still have a spa day even if you’re trying to avoid close contact with non-household members. Start with some relaxing yoga and meditative music. Then, take a long soak in the tub before pampering yourself with a facial and manicure. Don’t be shy about spending the whole day in your robe and slippers—it’s supposed to be relaxing, after all.

Try something new.

A summer staycation could be the perfect time to find a new hobby. Challenge yourself to go outside your comfort zone. For example, if you’re a devoted woodworker, try learning how to crochet. If reading is your passion, consider learning how to play a musical instrument. Look for online classes to teach yourself new skills.

Schedule a viewing of move-in ready homes in Delaware

If you’re looking for a summer activity that’s as fun as it is practical, consider setting up a viewing of your next dream home. Montchanin Builders is the Wilmington, DE area’s premier homebuilder, designing coveted master-planned communities such as Darley Green and The Overlook at Rockford Falls. Right now is the perfect time to buy a new home, so stop by today to see all that Montchanin Builders has to offer! Call today or fill out the simple contact form on our website.