new construction homes

Get Your Spring Cleaning Done Early: Here’s How to Start

Some spring cleaning projects may require warmer weather, but you can easily tackle many of the tasks on your list while the days are still chilly and shorter. Take the time now to check these tasks off your spring cleaning list and spend the first days of warm weather outside enjoying the sunshine.

Surface clean

It might be difficult (and distracting) to scrub the backsplash when dishes are in the sink or touch up your floorboards with dirty laundry scattered everywhere. Start each spring cleaning session with a quick tidying up to get the small things out of the way so you can focus on the big stuff.

Declutter

It’s easy for clutter to build up in the different areas of your home—paperwork in the office, old clothes in the closet, that weird dish set your aunt gifted to you three holidays ago. On those especially cold winter weekends, work on filing important paperwork or donating those clothes that have been sitting in the back of your closet all winter.

Clean the linens

When’s the last time you’ve cleaned your curtains? The couch cushions? The dog bed? Start the laundry loads one category at a time, washing comforters, decorative pillowcases, and table clothes that have been collecting dust and germs all winter. You can keep the loads rotating while you work on other chores, or free yourself of the task by dropping them off at your local laundromat.

Wipe it down

You have a load in the laundry, and everything is in its proper place. Now, start the wipe down, moving room to room. Scrub the mirrors in the bedrooms, the backsplash in the kitchen, and the grout in the bathroom. Be sure to get the top of the fridge, ceiling fans, window sills, tall shelves, and other items that don’t usually make your daily chores list.

Scrub the floors

Now that you’ve pushed the dust from the shelves to the floors, it’s time to work your way down. Grab your mop bucket and hand brushes to get deep into corners and grouts. Tip—use shoe polish to brighten stained grout. You can also finally put those extra vacuum heads to use and pull up dirt, hair, and grime that’s gotten trapped at the edges of your carpet.

Get the vents and furnace, too

You can dust, sweep, and mop all you want, but if you aren’t cleaning out your vents and changing the filters on your furnace, you’re just circulating that dirt and dust into other parts of your home. If your heating or cooling unit is older, it’s a good time to get them checked professionally, too.

Are you adding house-hunting to your spring to-do list?

Whether you’re looking to buy your first home or want to move on from an aging house, adding “house-hunting” to your spring to-do list will help move you in the right direction! We invite you to schedule a viewing of the luxurious and affordable move-in ready homes available from Montchanin Builders. Take advantage of contemporary open floor plans, personalized design features, and competitive pricing. Don’t forget to ask about the attractive financing options offered by our celebrated lending partner, Cardinal Financial.

To view magnificent new homes for sale in Wilmington, Delaware, call today to schedule an appointment!

5 Reasons to Buy Your Dream Home This Year

Everyone deserves a home they can be proud of, but for a lot of people, the thought of buying their “dream home” seems out of reach. Is it possible to find something that ticks all the right boxes without stretching your finances too thin?

Absolutely, and there are a few good reasons that 2020 may be your year to fall in love with the home of your dreams.

An investment in your future

Every mortgage payment brings you closer to the American dream of homeownership. Look at it as a wise investment that will help you build equity and improve your financial security over the long-run. Given housing market trends, your dream home is likely to increase in value over the years. What you buy for $300,000 in 2020 could sell for $350,000 or more down the road. Those mortgage payments are fostering your equity – something you can tap into later for education expenses, retirement, and other costs. Rent payments, on the other hand, is money you will never see again.

Affordable mortgage interest rates

According to Freddie Mac, the average 30-year mortgage rate was 3.60% in late January of 2020, and economists believe rates may even dip lower in the coming months. Compare this to the 2018 high of 4.94%. Bottom line: mortgage interest rates are low, and they may spike again, so buying now lets you purchase ‘more house’ for your money.

Be part of a community

Being a homeowner offers other benefits, especially when it comes to connecting with others. It provides a chance to meet neighbors, develop new friendships, and be an active part of your community. Whether it’s a Saturday morning jog or a backyard BBQ, these moments can enhance the quality and enjoyment of life.

Less expensive than renting

Rent prices in gentrified neighborhoods are on the rise, making renting an expensive proposition.  When you purchase a home (and opt for a fixed-rate mortgage), you know your monthly payments will stay the same. Plus, you’ll be building equity and can reap the myriad benefits of living in a home that is 100% yours.

Tax advantages

Another financial incentive to buying a home is the tax deduction you get for both property tax and mortgage interest. This can save you thousands of dollars each year, and in some markets, can make it less costly or equivalent to renting.

Discover beautiful move-in ready homes in Delaware

If you’re ready to take the plunge but without breaking the bank, it’s time to explore the new construction homes in Wilmington, DE by Montchanin Builders. Homebuyers will be delighted with the variety of contemporary floor plans, quality craftsmanship, and state-of-the-art features, not to mention low maintenance expenses since everything is brand new.

Take advantage of attractive financing options on our spacious townhomes and condos in the master-planned community of Darley Green. Call us today to schedule a home tour and make 2020 a year to celebrate!

Additional Resources:

  1. Themortgagereports, Will mortgage rates go down in February 2020? https://themortgagereports.com/32667/mortgage-rates-forecast-fha-va-usda-conventional
  2. Homeadvisor, Why Buy a House? https://www.homeadvisor.com/r/why-buy-a-house/

3 Mistakes to Avoid When Selling a Home in 2020

If you’ve decided it’s time to move, you’ll undoubtedly want to sell your home quickly for the highest price possible. However, it’s important to take some time to plan the process and understand what to expect. Lots of home sellers make a few critical errors that can negatively affect the sale price and process, as well as their move to their next home. For best results, avoid the following mistakes when selling your home during 2020.

Spending too much on renovations and upgrades

If you want your home to sell both quickly and for the highest amount possible, you’ll probably come to the conclusion that some renovations and upgrades are necessary. For example, you might decide to overhaul the kitchen and bathrooms, install new flooring, or even knock down a wall or two.

While it’s definitely a good idea to get your home in great condition before putting it on the market, it’s in your best interest not to spend too much time or money on the renovation process.

Spend wisely. For example, it might not be worthwhile to pay an arm and a leg to give your home automated, motorized window treatments, as these are not a major selling point for most home buyers. However, a fresh coat of neutral paint, energy star-rated appliances, and new carpeting would definitely appeal to most buyers.

Failing to disclose the home’s history

When you’re trying to sell your home quickly, you might be tempted to avoid disclosing certain facts. However, covering up your home’s history is not only potentially unethical, but it can also affect the closing. Buyers will have an inspector conduct a thorough evaluation of your home, uncovering signs of past or hidden damage. If you’ve failed to disclose your home’s history, the buyers might wonder what else you’re hiding from them, and they might decide not to buy it after all.

Waiting too long to look for your next home

Don’t wait too long before you start looking at new homes in northern Delaware. It’s often thought that buyers should sell their old home before buying their next one. But actually, it usually makes sense to buy first and sell second. Once you buy your next home, you can begin moving your possessions to it, which will make it far easier to stage and sell your old home. Plus, you won’t have to worry about finding temporary housing after the sale.

Look for your next home with Montchanin Builders

Even before you’re ready to put your old home on the market, you can begin looking for your new home with Montchanin Builders. Our talented architects and craftsmen create master-planned communities with thoughtfully designed homesites and beautiful, functional homes. You can request a tour of our move-in ready homes in Wilmington, Delaware and tour our friendly, walkable communities.

When you’re ready to talk financing, we’ll get you in touch with our partner, Cardinal Financial. We’ve selected Cardinal Financial to offer personalized financing to our customers —which means you’ll have access to some of the lowest rates and closing costs available! The talented loan officers who work with our customers can help you navigate the process of buying a new home while your old home is still on the market or in the process of being sold. Call us today to learn more!

Additional resources for home sellers and buyers:

The Secret to Hosting a Great Holiday Party in Your Home

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

Balance your planned menu

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

Consider a buffet-style meal

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

Do some cooking ahead of time

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

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

Play music with care

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

Looking for a new home for the holidays?

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

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

Additional resources for new homeowners:

Buying a Home: Do You Know the Lingo?

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

Appraisal

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

Closing Costs

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

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

Down Payment

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

Pre-Approval

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

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

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

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

Additional resources for home buyers:

Real Estate "sold" sign

6 Powerful Reasons to Own Instead of Rent

Owning a home is a big life step. While renting can be a convenient and relatively commitment-free option for the short-term, don’t ignore these powerful advantages that home ownership has over renting:

You Can Do Anything You Want with Your Home

Owning rather than renting allows you complete freedom when it comes to your property. You can paint any room any color you want, change the floors from carpet to wood and back again, or redo the kitchen all without having to get permission from a landlord.

Better Privacy and Socializing

Many rental properties come with rules about guests, overnight stays, parties, and pets. When you own your own home, you can have guests over as much as you want, and not have to worry about landlord rules for events or parties. You can also enjoy your pets without having to pay additional fees. You will also enjoy better privacy and separation from noisy neighbors than you could ever achieve in an apartment building. Whether you prefer to be a social butterfly or like your peace and quiet, a home allows you to do you.

Appreciation

Owning a home is an investment that can show incredible returns. Homes appreciate over time, and often accrue this appreciation faster than a stock investment. This is because when you own a home, you get appreciation on the home’s entire value, not just on your down payment.

Tax Benefits

Homeowners can deduct property taxes and mortgage interest payments when they file their annual tax returns. You don’t get any tax breaks from spending money on rent.

Savings Over Time

Rent is a fixed amount and usually increases on a yearly basis. Mortgage payments, however, can decrease over time as you pay down your principal and accrued interest. This means that as a homeowner, you will get more out of your property over time while paying less and less on the interest.

Building Equity

As a homeowner, when you make a mortgage payment you are buying yourself more equity in your home. Yes, you have to pay each month, but that money is going back into your home and equity. In other words, owning a home is like having a savings account or investment, rather than paying monthly rent to a landlord that you will never get back.

Strong Community Ties

By putting down roots in a permanent home, you are also creating ties to a community. You can develop strong, friendly relationships with your neighbors, get involved in local events or charities, and really call the place that you live “home.”

New Construction Homes in New Castle County, Delaware

Another good reason to buy instead of rent is the option of purchasing gorgeous move-in ready homes in Delaware from Montchanin Builders. Our carefully planned and expertly built homes offer all the above benefits and more. Call us today to learn more about our new construction homes in New Castle County, Delaware.

Additional resources for homebuyers in Delaware:

  1. Zillow.com, 5 Reasons to Buy Vs. Rent, https://www.zillow.com/mortgage-learning/buying-vs-renting/
  2. US News, 10 Reasons to Buy Instead of Rent, https://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/articles/2012/04/24/10-reasons-to-buy-instead-of-rent

Why New Castle County Is a Great Place to Live

New Castle County, Delaware is the most populous county in the state and the northernmost county. The county seat, Wilmington, is one of the most popular places for home shoppers who are looking for new homes in northern Delaware. From the Wilmington area, individuals can easily access all the best that New Castle County has to offer. From beautiful vistas and outdoor recreation to shopping, dining, and cultural attractions, you’ll find everything you’re looking for when you come home to New Castle County.

Lots of community fun

Residents of New Castle County, DE love their annual festivals. There are plenty of opportunities to get out in the community, mingle with the neighbors, and have fun with family and friends. The New Castle County Old Fashioned Ice Cream Festival, Fall Craft Festival, Blues Festival, Brandywine Festival of the Arts, and Middletown Olde Tyme Peach Festival are just a few examples.

Beyond festivals, county residents enjoy spending time in the great outdoors. New Castle Battery Park is located by the scenic riverside, Rockwood Park offers hiking trails, and Carousel Park features horseback riding.

World-class dining options

The dining scene in New Castle County is one to be savored. You’ll find everything your stomach desires—from American cuisine to Chinese takeout to fine French dining, and everything in between. Enjoy a romantic evening with your significant other, followed by a stroll along the river, or take the kids out to a casual family diner after a morning spent at the park.

New construction homes in New Castle County, Delaware

Looking for high-quality new construction homes in New Castle County Delaware? Montchanin Builders focuses on superior craftsmanship and architectural innovation in our move-in ready homes. Plus, our walkable communities feature plenty of wide-open green spaces and neighborhood amenities. Darley Green and The Overlook at Rockford Falls are two of our world-class neighborhoods that blend the best of modern living, while remaining close to nature. Call us today to schedule a viewing. Be sure to ask us how to get $15,000 toward your home purchase, available at select  homesites at Darley Green!

Additional resources for home buyers:

  1. Delaware Today, New Castle County Living, http://delawaretoday.com/Delaware-Today/Delaware-Ultimate-Guide/Annual-2015/Great-Places-to-Live/New-Castle-County-Living/
  2. GreatSchools.org, Wilmington, DE, https://www.greatschools.org/delaware/wilmington/

3 Things To Do in Your First Month as a Homeowner

While the days and weeks leading up to a finalized home purchase can be demanding, the day you turn the key to walk into your new house is often one of the most rewarding days of your life. Once the last box is off the truck and you’ve finally settled into the new environment, there are a few simple steps you can take to get yourself off to the best possible start as a new homeowner.

Take a Break from Your Day Job

The first few weeks in your new home are likely to be a whirlwind of phone calls, repairs, unboxing, deliveries, and arranging for services such as power and Internet to be transferred to the address. Organizing all these essential tasks around your work hours makes the move-in much more difficult and stressful, as typical jobs take up the bulk of business hours and severely limit your flexibility for getting everything in place.

For these reasons, you should strongly consider taking a few days off from your daily routine in order to focus on all the small details that make turning a house into a home. You’ll rest easier knowing that your new home will be up and running sooner, and you can return to work fully refreshed after your break.

Perform Essential Repairs

Regardless of whether you plan to tackle the tasks yourself or seek out the help of a professional, it’s always easier to perform some repairs before you are fully unpacked. Interior painting, plastering, and refinishing hardwood floors are all much less troublesome without furniture and other items taking up space, and improvements such as upgraded wiring or replacing rusted pipes will be easier as well.

Locate Shut-off Valves

Small, everyday issues with the utilities of your home are bound to crop up within the first few months of living there, and so confirming the location to emergency shut-off valves is another essential first step to moving in.

First, find the local shut off valves for smaller issues such as a leaking sink or overflowing toilet, which are usually positioned around where the pipes meet the wall. For homes that use natural gas as a heating source, there should also a gas shut-off valve near the stove and the dryer, and you should familiarize yourself with their locations as well.

Next, you should look for the main shut-off valves that control the flow of gas and water into your home from public sources, which are most often found in the basement or utility room. Knowing where the shut-off valves are can save you an enormous headache in the case of more substantial issues such as burst water pipes and major gas leaks.

You should also learn which switches control which rooms in the circuit breaker box as soon as possible.

Move-in ready homes in Wilmington, Delaware

A new house is a new start, and making the right preparations as you move in can help ensure it is a successful one. Of course, not every new home requires substantial improvements or fixes. Schedule a tour to see the beautiful new move-in ready homes available from Montchanin Builders. When you move in to one of our new houses for sale in Wilmington DE, you have the peace of mind of knowing that no fixes or repairs are needed. Are you a Wilmington Delaware first time home buyer? Ask about our industry-leading financing options!

couple moving into new home

3 Ways to Save Money on Your Move

Purchasing a new home in northern Delaware is a major investment! New homeowners are often so focused on the price tag of the new house that they neglect to consider the cost of moving itself. The expenses can add up quickly, especially if you’re moving to Delaware from another state. Fortunately, it only takes a little extra planning to cut costs and save money on your move.

Lighten the load

The first step in preparing for any move is to reduce the amount of stuff you have to move. By reducing the amount of stuff you’ll have to move, you’ll save on movers’ fees. The good news is that it can be easier to let go of old furniture when you’re moving into a new house compared to moving into another apartment. When you buy a new construction home, you can look forward to decorating it in your own style. This will likely require buying new furniture. Decide which pieces of furniture you’re going to keep and what you’ll donate or discard.

Then, ask every family member to sort through their belongings and decide what they can donate or discard. If you have kids who have trouble letting go of old possessions, you could motivate them by setting up a garage sale. Tell them they can keep the profits from any of their own possessions they sell.

Get multiple quotes

It’s always a good idea to shop around before selecting a moving company. You have two main options: Hire actual movers or rent a moving container. If you rent a moving container, it will be delivered to your current residence. You’ll fill it at your leisure and then have it shipped to your new home. Bear in mind that the longer you take to fill the container, the higher the fee will be—so try to pack quickly.

Peak moving season is from May through August. If you’ll be moving during that time, you’ll need to book a moving company as far in advance as possible. If you can delay your move until after August, you can typically get lower rates.

Deduct your moving expenses

One less commonly known way to save money on your move is to deduct your moving expenses on your tax return. Bear in mind that not everyone is eligible, so you may want to consult an accountant. The deduction requirements are outlined in IRS Publication 521. Remember to save your receipts!

Save money on your new construction home

Budget-savvy home buyers know the importance of shopping around. After comparing their options, many of them decide to purchase properties in one of Montchanin Builders’ beautifully designed communities. Our new construction homes in New Castle County, Delaware are placed in friendly neighborhoods and are designed with the needs of modern families in mind. Get in touch with us today to find out about our special financing deals, including $15,000 toward your purchase price! Call today to schedule a viewing at Darley Green or The Overlook at Rockford Falls – 302-472-7212.

Additional resources for new homeowners

  1. Bankrate.com, 7 ways to save on moving costs, https://www.bankrate.com/personal-finance/smart-money/7-ways-to-save-on-moving-costs/#slide=1
  2. U.S. News & World Report, How to Save on Moving Costs, https://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/my-money/articles/how-to-save-on-moving-costs

Buying a Townhouse Checklist: 4 Top To-Dos

So you’ve decided to purchase a new townhouse. It’s a smart decision to build equity in your own property, rather than pay rent to a landlord. Plus, townhouses are typically located in beautiful, family-friendly neighborhoods, such as The Overlook at Rockford Falls near Wilmington, Delaware. When you’ve saved up for a down payment and you’re ready to take on the responsibilities of homeownership, you can use the following checklist for buying a townhouse.

1. Get pre-approved for a home loan

It’s helpful to get pre-approved before you get down to the business of house hunting. During the pre-approval process, the lender examines your proof of income, credit history and score, and other financial documents. Based on that information, the lender will tell you how much of a house you will be able to purchase. You’ll get a pre-approval letter, which states that your mortgage application will be approved pending the submission of certain documents. With this letter in hand, you’ll be able to view houses with confidence.

2. Schedule a viewing

The viewing of a house for sale is easily the most exciting part of the process. Come prepared with a small notebook and camera or your smartphone. You’ll want to take notes and pictures. If you tour multiple houses, you can compare your notes and pictures later on to help you make your final decision.

3. Take a tour of the community

It’s all about location, location, location. After you’ve checked out every inch of the townhouse you’ve fallen in love with, take a walking tour of the neighborhood. Explore the community, check out the nearby nature trails, and meet the neighbors if they’re out and about. After your walk, you can hop back in your car to check out the nearby amenities. Some of the local attractions you might want to look at include schools, parks, museums, restaurants, recreational centers and fields, and stores.

4. Purchase your new home!

The last step on our buying a townhouse checklist is to schedule your purchase agreement appointment for your new home! While it’s important to make sure that you truly want that particular townhouse, you don’t want to wait too long to schedule a follow up appointment. If it’s a desirable property, there could be lots of other house shoppers looking at it. Once you’ve purchased your new home, you can start counting down until your selections appointment and closing day, when that beautiful new townhouse will be all yours!

Must-see townhomes in Wilmington, Delaware

When you’re ready to become the proud owner of a new townhouse, you’re invited to schedule a viewing at Darley Green or The Overlook at Rockford Falls—Montchanin Builders communities. These luxury townhomes in Wilmington DE have everything that modern homebuyers need, from plenty of storage space and flex rooms to gourmet kitchens and even an optional elevator! The Ovelook at Rockford Falls community is fabulously walkable, with homes that overlook Brandywine Creek and border state park land.

Call Montchanin Builders today to schedule a viewing. Ask us about our special financing options. Our recommended lending specialist, Supreme Lending, can get you pre-approved quickly so you can focus on shopping for your dream home in Delaware!

Additional resources for home buyers:

  1. Discover, 10 Steps to Buying a Home, https://www.discover.com/home-loans/articles/10-steps-to-buying-a-home
  2. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Buying a House, https://www.consumerfinance.gov/owning-a-home/