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Rhonda Frick Team Real Estate Blog

Rhonda Frick


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Here's Why You Should Retire to the Delaware Beaches

by Rhonda Frick

You've probably heard of Florida and Arizona as being popular retirement states, but have you heard about Delaware? Delaware is rich with benefits for retirees, and yet it manages to fly under the radar. We've compiled some of the top reasons why you need to take a look at our beaches as the place for you to invest your retirement, so read on and let us know when you're ready to make Delaware your home.

1) Significant Tax Benefits

 -NO Sales Tax                                         

-NO State Tax on Social Security         

-NO Inheritance Tax                                    

- NO Personal Property Tax

-Homeowners 65 and Over get a Tax Break on the School Property Tax

-There is a Retirement Income Exemption Available to Those 60 and Over

     (Pensions, dividends, interest, capital gains, rental income, etc.)

-Property Taxes are Some of the Lowest in the Nation

2) Activities Galore

You certainly won't be bored when you move to the Delaware shore. The beaches offer their own fun throughout most of the year, but here are some other amusements the area has to offer:

-Bike through quiet neighborhood streets, the beach towns,  and nature trails

-Hike through many of the National Parks, including the Breakwater Trail

-Fishing is a favorite pass time of locals. Bring your boat, or rent from one of the many local shops.

-Kayaking and paddle boarding are hit hear at the beach, and you are never far from a place to launch.

-Golfing is prime with numerous pristine golf courses, including the Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Courses of Bayside and the Peninsula.

-Shopping is filled with fun, whether you get great savings at the Tanger Outlets, find unique pieces at the local stores, or find a wide selection at the Christiana Mall, all with NO SALES TAX!

-State-of-the-Art gyms can be found in many communities throughout the Delaware beach towns.

-Join the many clubs, ranging from book clubs to cooking classes to sewing groups. You are sure to find a club for your favorite hobby no matter which beach town you choose!

3) Events and Festivals

All year long exciting events are held across Coastal Delaware, including:

-Sea Witch Halloween & Fiddlers Festival in Bethany Beach

-Bethany Beach Boardwalk Arts Festival

-Rehoboth Film Festival

-Rehoboth Beach Jazz Festival

-Greyhounds Reach the Beach

-The Freeman Stage Concerts

4) Close to Major Regional Hospitals

The prestigious Beebe Medical Center offers fantastic care and is expanding quickly. We are  also in close proximity to major surrounding hospitals with:

-Johns Hopkins University Hospital  within a 3 hour drive

-Jefferson University Hospital within a 2.5 hour drive

-National Institutes of Health within a 3 hour drive

5) Location, Location, Location

One of the downsides of retiring in Florida and Arizona is that it requires a plane ride (or very long car ride) to see family and friends. Not the case with Delaware! Our beach towns are within easy driving distance to several major cities, including Washington D.C., Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York City, and Richmond.

6)Variety is Key

While the Delaware beach towns are all in close proximity to each other, they each offer their own unique flavor. From Bethany Beach and its quiet family atmosphere, to Rehoboth with its enriched character, and Lewes with is sleepy historic feeling, you are sure to find an area that fits your personality. Can't choose which one? Don't worry, you're never too far away so you can visit them all.

7) Restaurants and Night Life

Whether you're looking for gourmet cuisine or a quick bite at a local crab shack, you are sure to stay busy trying out all of the fantastic restaurants in the area. Not sure where to start? Check out our "Become a Local Page" and give these great restaurants a try.

If you're looking for fun and exciting night life, you will not be disappointed. Be sure to check out some of the hot spots in Dewey Beach with live concerts throughout the year, and cross state lines to Ocean City Maryland and enjoy clubs, live bands, and so much more. 

Top 3 Myths About The Best Time to List Your Home

by Rhonda Frick

Top 3 Myths About the Best Time to List Your Home

One of the most common questions we hear from sellers is "When is the best time for me to put my home on the market?" You don't want your home to sit on the market without any activity, but you also don't want to miss your buyer. So how do you know when to list? Below are the 3 myths that most people believe when it comes to when to list, and the truth behind these myths. 

1) Summer is the Best Time to List Your Home at the Beach.

Vacationers from surrounding areas flock to the beach, escalating the volume of people in the area. More people in an area means there are more people to see your home, more people to buy homes, and thus you're sure to find your buyer faster, right? Not necessarily. While we do have a drastic increase in people in the area, not all of those people are looking to buy real estate. Most of them are here to relax and soak in the sun, and real estate isn't largely on their mind. Homes continue to sell throughout the summer months, but just because we see an influx in the people at the beach doesn't result in an influx of home sales.

2) People Aren't Looking to Buy During the Winter Months.

It's cold and wet, there's snow on the ground, and the vacationers have long since gone. The beach isn't nearly as appealing to sit on as it was in July, so why would anyone want to buy a home now? Believe it or not, people are out there buying homes at the beach. Investors want to purchase and start booking rentals for summer 2017 to ensure they maximize income. Second home owners are anxious for summer and want to find their dream beach house now so they can set up and be ready to vacation when the warm weather hits. Primary home owners are looking year round since their motivation doesn't change with the temperature. Homes of all kinds continue to sell throughout the winter months, so don't be fooled when you hear otherwise.

3) Spring is a Prime Time to List Since It's Warm and Summer is Coming.

Spring is when everything comes out of hibernation, and some people believe this includes the real estate market. While the temperatures are warming up and your curb appeal is looking great with the new blooms, there is still not a drastic increase in the number of sales in the real estate market. The same idea in myth 2 applies to myth 3: buyers are going to buy based on their needs and wants. Investors and vactioners are looking to get in before summer officially starts, and the primary home buyers are purchasing based on their own personal deadlines. Spring does encourage people to get out of the house, which can translate to an increase in showings, but the number of sales doesn't drastically increase.

Now to answer the question that's on your mind: So when is the best time to list my house for sale? The answer is simple: Don't time the market. No one knows exactly what any investment market is going to do, including real estate, nor does anyone have the insight into every home buyer's mind. The best time to list your home is when you are ready to sell. If you have considered the main factors in selling your home, which are pricing and presentation, the time that you list won't matter.

Are you or someone you know thinking about selling but aren't sure if the time is right? Give us a call. We'd be happy to have a consultation to find what the best option is for your goals.  

Prepare Your Beach House For Winter

by Rhonda Frick

Prepare Your Beach House For Winter

After a summer of sun, sand, and salt water, it's time to head into the chilly winter months. Winter brings low temperatures, wind, and wet weather, so you want to make sure your home is prepared so it will be ready for summer 2017. We've compiled a list of some of the best tips to make sure your home is ready which take limited time but will have the biggest benefit. Whether you have a single family home, condo, or town house, you will be ready for what winter has in store. 

1) Give Your Heating System a Check Up

Don't get caught at the end of a long list of people waiting for furnace repairs. Stay ahead of the game by having your furnace or heat pump inspected, and take care of any necessary repairs now. Inspections are fairly inexpensive, especially when compared to a hefty repair bill during a cold blast. If you won't be in your home this winter, you don't want to risk having your heat fail mid-winter with no one there to check on it. Need a recommendation for a good contractor? Shoot us a message and we'd be happy to refer some excellent options. 

2) Check the Roof

The last thing you want when you start your summer vacation is to find water damage from a winter's worth of roof leakage. Take the time now to check your roof for any weak spots or areas in need of repair. Hire a handyman to replace a few shingles, or a roofer is you need a larger area repaired. Make sure the leaves are cleared from the roof to prevent unnecessary erosion of the roof, and have it cleaned if you have moss growing. A strong roof is one of the surest ways to preserve your home and be sure it is ready for future enjoyment. 

3) Caulk Windows and Doors

Keep energy bills down by preventing drafts in your home. Silicone caulk is a great option for exterior use. If you aren't sure what your home needs, hire a handy man to inspect the caulking and be sure your home is ready for the elements. Need a recommendation for a handyman too? We'd be happy to send you some options. 

4) Clear the Gutters

Make sure the gutters are free and clear of any debris to prevent backing up and causing damage to the roof, siding, and trim. Make sure gutters are in working order, and replace any missing pieces.

5) Shut Off Exterior Faucets

This includes hose bibs, outdoor showers, dock rinse stations, etc. Any undrained water left in the faucet can freeze and cause the pipes to expand, so turn off the faucets from the interior shut off valve and make sure they are drained. Not sure how to do this? A local contractor or handyman can help.

6) Mulch Leaves Instead of Raking

Instead of raking leaves into a pile and disposing of them, mulch them with your lawn mower. This provides your lawn with much needed nutrients, leaving your with a great looking lawn next year. 

7) Call the Chimney Sweep

Fireplaces are great in the winter, even at the beach. Before snuggling up by the warmth, be sure to have your chimney cleaned and inspected to prevent chimney fires and carbon monoxide build up. Contact the chimney sweep early to make sure you don't end up on a long waiting list and miss out of using your fireplace throughout half the winter. 

8) Call an Arborist

The last thing you want to here is that a tree fell on your house. Make sure trees surrounding your property are trimmed up and dead trees and branches are removed to prevent any damage in a storm. 

9) Set the Perfect Temperature

Setting the thermostat at 50-55 degrees will help prevent pipes from freezing and keep the interior of your home from experiencing drastic changes in temperature throughout the winter. Thinking about selling? You will want to set it higher to make sure your buyers are comfortable when viewing your home. You don't want them to rush out in search of heat. 

10) Ramp Up the Insulation

Insulation is still one of the best ways to keep energy usage low and to save money. Make sure your attic floor is well covered, and adding more insulation within walls is always a great option. The goverment offers incentives to homes with high efficiency insulation, so talk to your financial advisor about options to help you save even more money.

These are some great ways to make sure your summer home is ready for the long winter and make sure you can enjoy it to the fullest come spring and summer. If you'd like any further recommendations, don't hesitate to message us. 

62 S Anchorage Ave South Bethany Beach DE 19930 - MLS # 710459

by Rhonda Frick

62 S. Anchorage Ave, South Bethany, DE 19930

Have you dreamed of having a home in South Bethany, with its quiet beaches, custom coastal homes, and the friendly atmosphere with people riding bikes, walking, and jogging? Have you always thought how great it would be to have your home on the water so you can walk out to your boat and head out into the bay, or enjoy paddle boarding and kyaking from your back yard? If you answered yes, then you want to schedule a private tour of 62 S. Anchorage Ave in South Bethany Beach, DE. Located on one of the most desirable streets in the area with its quiet atmosphere and luxury homes and on one of the best canals, being the widest and open to the bay with minimum time in the "no wake" zone. When you come to the beach, you are looking to relax and enjoy your stay, not keep up with home maintenance. This home has a maintenance free exterior, with hardcape, expansive sundeck, vinyl railings, and vinyl siding. Just bring your beach chair and your water toys and enjoy the summer. This home is also one of few in the area to offer a 2 car garage, which offers plenty of storage for your beach and water toys. Step inside to find an bright and airy home with an open foyer, a first floor en-suite, currently used as an office space and guest bedroom with spacious closets, custom built-ins that can be easily removed if desires, a full bath, and access to the first floor deck with outdoor shower and changing room, plenty of space to relax out of the sun, and a vast sun deck for sunbathing, games, and entertaining. Venture upstairs to find a bright and airy second floor with vaulted ceilings, skylights, Brazilian cherry hardwood floors, an open floor plan with gas fireplace, galley-style kitchen with breakfast bar, pantry, and eat-in area as well as access to a balcony with excellent water views. Enjoy the sunny 3-season room with premium Vinyl-Tech windows, allowing you to create a sunroom space or a screened porch, depending on your mood and the weather. The spacious master suite offers more Brazilian cherry hardwood floors, a walk-in closet, and a full bath with coastal flare. Travel to the third floor to find 2 spacious bedrooms, a full guest bath, and a bonus room to serve as a fifth bedroom if desired with access to a deck with fantastic water views. Within an easy distance of the beach, you can walk, ride your bike, or the new on trend transportation is to travel by golf cart! You won't be disappointed by this coastal beach home, allowing you to come to the beach with friends and family and enjoy both the beach and the coastal waterways. 

Click Here to learn more about 62 S. Anchorage Ave

89 White Sail - MLS # 504091 - Waterfront Lot in Ocean Pines MD

by Rhonda Frick

89 White Sail Cir, Ocean Pines, MD 21811

Finding prime waterfront lots in the Maryland and Delaware beach areas is rare these days. Most of the best locations have already been claimed and developed, but one of the remaining waterfront lots in the best location in Ocean Pines is now available for sale. If you're looking to have a boat out your back door, you want the following characteristics of your waterfront home:

-Deep enough water for your boat

-Wide enough canal for easy maneuvering

-No bridges to pass under in Ocean Pines (the bridges are lower and are restictive to what types and sizes of boats can pass under them)

-Close to the open water for an easy time getting around the waterways

-Closed in a canal or harbour to protect against storms

89 White Sail Cir in Ocean Pines Maryland answers all of the above concerns! You are located close to the open water of the St. Martin's River, which leads to the Assawoman Bay and out to the Atlantic Ocean, you have one of the widest canals in Ocean Pines so docking is a breeze, you have excellent water depth so bring your center console boats, you have no bridges to pass under in order to get to the open water (you can see the open water from your dock!), and yet you are securely tucked away in a canal so that your boat and home won't take the brunt of the storms. Build your dream home on one of the last remaining waterfront lots with some of the best water frontage available in Ocean Pines. Get to all the area attractions quickly by boat or car, including Ocean City MD, Assateague Island MD, Bethany Beach DE, and more. 

Click Here to learn more about this property.

11500 Coastal Hwy Unit 905 Ocean City MD - MLS 505068

by Bethany Frick

Available For Sale: 11500 Coastal Hwy Unit 905, Ocean City, MD 21842 - The Sea Watch

It's not often that you experience views that make you stop and enjoy the moment. Would you like to wake up to these views of the Atlantic Ocean and Ocean City beaches every day? Now you can. Unit 905 in the Sea Watch is currently available for sale with 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, and numerous trending upgrades throughout. Summers in Ocean City mean ending the day covered in sand, so you don't want to deal with carpet after your day at the beach. Unit 905 has upgraded tile in the living areas and upgraded composite flooring in the bedrooms, meaning easier cleaning for you. Want to bring the whole family down for a summer trip? This unit includes a bonus room that can be another bedroom, plus a pull out sofa in the living room makes for another space to sleep. That makes 4 total rooms, meaning you can bring your friends and each have a space to get to some privacy and R & R. Unit 905 comes fully furnished, so you can move in tomorrow and enjoy the remaining weeks of summer and be ready for summer 2017. 

Click Here for more property details.

Living Room of Sea Watch Unit 905Sea Watch Unit 905 Balcony

White Marlin Open 2016

by Bethany Frick

White Marlin Open 2016 

If you happen to be visiting Ocean City MD or the surrounding areas between August 8th - 13th, make sure you partake in the festivities of the World's largest billfish tournament: The White Marlin Open. For 6 days, you will witness some of the most spectacular fishing boats with well equiped teams as they head off the coast of Ocean City for their chance to win a large cash prize. Make sure you check out the scales at the Harbour Island Marina where each day the teams bring in their catches. The scales are open from 4PM - 9:15PM, but the best times are from 5:30PM - 7:30PM. Enjoy live entertainment, great food, shopping, all while cheering on your favorite team and watching how quickly the standings can change. If you are a morning person, you don't want to miss the action of watching the boats leave the inlet at 4AM as they head out into the Atlantic. Lines can be dropped no sooner than 8:30AM, so the teams head out bright and early to be prepared when the clock strikes the right time. It is a fantastic ceremonial event as people gather and cheer on the boats as they head out. 

Parking in downtown Ocean City can be tough, and Harbour Island does not offer public parking, but you can find parking at the Presbyterian Church on 14th St for a small donation, as well as at the Holy Savior Church on 17th St. There are also numerous lots around the area that allow you to pay to park. 

Would you like to have a front row seat to the White Marlin Open every year? There are homes available available for sale in Harbour Island, which offers a fantastic marina with slips for sport fishing boats, fish cleaning station, pool, tennis, the Reel Inn Bar and Grille, tot lot, dog park, and 24 hour security. Click here to see what's available. 

Oceanfront Homes For Sale Ocean City and Bethany Beach

by Rhonda Frick

Oceanfront Homes For Sale in Ocean City MD and Bethany Beach DE

Have you ever wondered what it would cost to own an oceanfront property in Ocean City MD or Bethany Beach DE? There are many options available, ranging from condos to townhomes to single family homes, and ranging from the excitment of downtown Ocean City with the boardwalk attractions to the gated North Bethany communities with tranquil beaches. Click the links below to see what is currently available along the fantastic beaches of Ocean City and Bethany Beach, or refine your search to find the perfect property for you.

Ocean City MD Oceanfront

Bethany Beach DE Oceanfront

How Much Does It Cost to Buy a Home?

by Bethany Frick

How Much Does It Really Cost to Buy a Home?

38020 Bayview Cir W, Delaware

When buying a home, there are more costs involved that just the purchase price. Before starting your home search, make sure you are aware of all of the expenses involved so you can budget appropriately. Below we've listed the common costs involved in home purchases. Keep in mind all home sales are different, so talk to your agent about what costs may be involved in your home purchase.

1) Down Payment

The down payment is typically 20% of the purchase price of your new home, although this amount does vary based on your loan program. You may be able to qualify for as little as 0%, so talk to your lender about what options may be best for you.

2) Closing Costs

Closing costs vary per transaction and location, but typically fall around 3% of the purchase price of your home. They are not calculated on a percentage basis, but are costs that relate to your loan or lender's fees. Common closing costs are:

Loan Origination Fee

Credit Report Fee

Loan Application Fee

Owner's Title Insurance

Title Insurance Fee and Title Insurance Premium

Appraisal Fee

Survey Fee

Government Transfer and Recordation Taxes

Attorney's Closing Fees

Escrowed Taxes and Fees

3) Inspection Costs

It is always recommended that you inspect the property you are purchasing to be aware of any hidden defects that weren't initially apparent. These fees are usually a few hundred dollars each, and some may be required by your lender. The common types of inspections for our area are:

Home Inspection - General inspection of the house

Pest Inspection-Inspecting the home for any wood destroying insects

Well Inspection-Testing the functionality of the well

Water Test-Testing the quality of the water

Septic Inspection-Testing the functionality of the septic system

Radon Inspection-Testing the property for unsafe levels of radon gas

4) Deposit

It is common to put down a deposit when making an offer to purchase a home to show your good intent to move forward with the purchase. This value changes based on the home value, but $1,000-$5,000 is common in our area. This value will be put toward your closing costs at settlement once you purchase the house, but it will be held in an escrow account until that time.

5) Moving Costs

You may need to pay a moving company to help you move into your new home, or you may need to invest your spare time in moving yourself. Either way, be prepared to invest in the move.

Before you start your home search, put together an estimation of what your total expenses will be at closing to ensure you don't have sticker shock at the settlement table. Your agent and lender can help you with this as well, so talk to them about helping you put together a home purchase strategy. 

How Much Will it Cost to Sell My Home?

by Bethany Frick

How Much Does It Cost to Sell a Home?

You're trying to decide whether or not to sell your home, and one of the big questions on your mind is "how much will this cost?" Selling your home isn't free. It requires time, energy, commissions, and other costs to get from putting your home on the market to getting to the closing table. Below we discuss what costs you should plan on incurring when deciding to list your home for sale.

Costs to Get Your Home Market Ready

Most homes will need some form of prep work in order to get ready to show to buyers. You may need to freshen up the paint, make minor repairs that have been on the to-do list, or pay for a storage service to start preparing for your move. A strong, professional real estate agent should help you to decide what needs to be done and help you find contractors to do any necessary work.

*Tip - Consider having your home staged for the market. Buyers like move-in ready properties, so the better it shows, the more likely a buyer is to choose your home. 

Real Estate Agent Commission

The commission is most commonly paid by the seller and will probably be your largest expense. This is a negotiable value and varies among agents.  You could pay up to 6% of your final sale price, and this is usually split between your agent and the buyer's agent. 

*Tip - When you interview agents, be sure to ask what their commission will be. Don't be quick to choose the agent with the lowest commission, or think the agent charging the most is the best. Make sure they are a full time professional agent that will get the job done for you. Ask for recommendations from friends and family to help narrow down the search. 

Closing Costs

Closing costs such as attorney/title company fees, inspection fees, and lender fees are commonly paid for by the buyer, but it is also common for buyers to negotiate closing cost assistance. This can vary based on what you and the buyer negotiate. If a buyer has chosen a USDA, FHA, or VA loan program, closing cost assistance may be required. Talk to your agent about how to negotiate the best terms for you in this situation.

*Tip - In some markets, it can give you an advantage to offer buyers some form of closing assistance. If buyers are low on cash, they may be drawn more to your home if it saves them from spending money up front. 

Repair Costs

Most buyers are going to have a home inspection completed on the property to make sure everything is in working order. If any issues are discovered in the inspection, they will probably want to negotiate some compensation for repairs. You can negotiate to have the repairs completed yourself, give the buyers an allowance to cover the repairs, or sell the property as-is. The best stragety depends on the transaction. 

*Tip - Have any small repairs on your to-do list that you've put off for a while? Those items should be addressed before your home goes on the market, but they definitely need to be fixed before the home inspection. Every item that shows up in an inspection is another negotiation tool for the buyer. Also, consider having a home inspection completed BEFORE listing your home for sale. This can help to avoid any surprise findings later in the process. 



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