Don’t miss a great event happening in Middletown this weekend. The 4th Annual Middletown BBQ Cook-Off is a family event you will not want to miss. The cook-off is sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbeque Society and will draw in over 50 teams to compete in a four meat contest. There is also an Amateur event. There will be a variety of food & craft vendors and a stage with live entertainment all day. Many regional artists and craftsman will also take part in the festivities offering their jewelry, pottery and artwork. Children will enjoy the wide selection of amusement rides, slides and games. Proceeds from admissions will benefit local scholarships and the Leukemia Society of Delaware.
When: May 17, 18, and 19, 2013
Friday from 4pm to 10pm
Saturday from 10am to 10pm
Sunday from 11am to 5pm
309 Port Penn Road
Middletown, DE 19709
Ticket Prices: Admission is $5.00 Daily for Adults. Children under 10 are free.
For more information, visit www.middletownbbqcookoff.com.May 16, 2013 May 1, 2013 April 29, 2013
You may have heard about the positive housing market today. Numerous reports show the economy is on the road to recovery, with housing attributing to a good portion of the growth. You may be asking: Is now the right time to buy a new home? There are many positive aspects to the current market. The following are ways you can take advantage of what is happening now:
Obtain a mortgage before rates rise
Interest rates have risen slightly since the beginning of the year, but that doesn’t mean it’s time to wait and see if they come back down. Today’s mortgage rates are still much lower than in previous decades. As recently as five years ago, interest rates were at five to six percent. If the current trend continues, you may end up wishing you acted sooner. In the event that rates do decline, refinancing is an option you could take advantage of. However, if rates rise substantially before you make your purchase you would have missed a great opportunity.
Your path to building wealth, the advantage of escalating home values
Rates are not the only aspect in this market that are rising. The basic principles of supply and demand are increasing home prices in many areas across the Country. Does that mean you should delay your home purchase? Absolutely not. The sooner you are in your new home, the more likely you are to leverage the pricing trend and will start building equity.
Take advantage of the Seller’s market
In many parts of the Country real estate sales reports are declaring a seller’s market, meaning there is a high demand for homes and fewer homes on the market. In a seller’s market, homeowners selling their homes have the advantage. There are usually more buyers willing to pay higher prices and bidding wars are not uncommon. If you are looking to sell your home, now is a great time to do so. You will have the best chance to get a great price and sell quickly. But what if once you sell, you want to buy a home that better meets your family’s needs? Consider buying a brand new Blenheim Home. With a new Blenheim Home, you can avoid the resale bidding wars and personalize your new home to fit you and your family’s lifestyle.
Blenheim Homes is currently offering several communities from townhomes to active adult communities to estate homes. Visit us at www.blenheimhomes.com to find the perfect new home for you.April 22, 2013
If you are considering purchasing a home in an active adult community in the next few years, this is for you! Blenheim Homes will be conducting two focus groups at Bayberry on Saturday, May 18th at 10am or 12:30pm. We are looking for input to help us develop plans, products and amenities for our new active adult community which will be part of Bayberry South. This part of Bayberry South is destined to become the premier Active Adult community in the area. We are in the early planning stages and are hopeful to begin sales late this year.
A catered breakfast or lunch will be provided. Contact Vicki at 376-7400 or Vicki@bayberryhomes.com to participate. Those participating will also receive a $500 discount certificate for the future purchase of a Blenheim Home.April 11, 2013
This Friday, check out Tom Foolery’s Restaurant and Bar in Middletown for it’s first-ever “Wing Madness” event, a bracket-style eating competition that pits iron stomachs and a tolerance for spicy foods against the kitchen prowess of Executive Chef Mike Rentz.
Like the March Madness NCAA basketball tournaments, Wing Madness will feature several rounds, pitting two participants at a time against each other. Whoever eats five wings in the fastest time will advance to the next round until the competition is left with just two competitors.
However, time is not the only thing working against the competitors. The sauce on the wings will also become increasingly hotter. Eventually there will be 10 wings tossed in a hot sauce that Rentz expects will have “people crying by the time they finish” eating.
Stop by or call to register, or just come to cheer the participants on!
When: Friday, April 12, 2013 at 8pm
Where: Tom Foolery’s
714 Ash Boulevard
Cost: $10 registration fee
For more information, go to http://www.tomfoolerys.info/ or 302-449-2211.April 10, 2013
Over the past few years, home prices have been amazingly low. It’s definitely been a buyer’s market, but it may not be for long. Home prices around the country are starting to rise.
Prices at Bayberry have already started rising across all types of housing. With prices progressively increasing, you need to act fast to receive the best deals on your new home before it’s too late. Now is the time to get into a home at Bayberry and start building your equity.
Bayberry has always been affordable with prices starting from just $209,900. So, make plans to visit Bayberry for a tour of our beautiful homes and community. We’re open Tuesday-Sunday 11-6 and Monday 12-6.
The following is from the article “Housing Poised for Comeback” by Wade Malcolm published in The News Journal on April 7, 2013.
Housing poised for comeback
Optimism, construction uptick point to strong boost for economy
Not long after Susan and David Hauske had their third child, they decided they had outgrown their home north of Wilmington.
The sunroom off their back porch became a crowded playroom. And for mom and dad to have a home office, the two oldest daughters share a room, something the girls might find less appealing when the teenage years arrive.
But the Hauskes had a problem. Their house, purchased at the peak of the market in 2006, had lost too much value for them to feel comfortable moving.
Now, just a year later, their outlook has changed, and they’re hunting for a bigger and more expensive house. When they find one they like, they’re confident their current home will sell quickly at a higher price than a year ago.
Improved attitudes about the market for buyers and sellers is one major reason real estate veterans predict a strong year for Delaware housing, allowing that sector to provide an economic boost for the first time in seven years.
Another positive sign lies at the other end of New Castle County in Red Lion, where the Willow Oak Farms subdivision stalled during the long recession. It has sprung back to life in the last year with new homes and 12 buyers under contract. It is not unique. Developers like locally owned Benchmark Builders are expanding unfinished projects and putting construction crews back to work.
Recent real estate data support the notion that the First State’s housing market is poised for a rebound after years of falling home values, sluggish sales and rampant foreclosures.
Signs of progress abound throughout the state. The number of annual home sales in New Castle County in 2012 climbed by nearly 1,000 compared with 2010. In Kent County, homeowners have seen the strongest rebound in property values in seven years, while sales of high-end homes and in new-construction developments near the coast has buoyed the Sussex County market.
Statewide, the inventory of homes for sale is low and buyers feel more confident about their finances, Realtors say. More sellers have received multiple offers near or even above asking price, indicating upward pressure on property values, they said.
“In the last couple of months, it’s turned, I think, to a very modest seller’s market,” said Steve Storti, of Prudential Fox & Roach Realtors.
Mike and Karla Boekholder started looking for a new home in July. In the fall, they found a four-bedroom, three-bath house they liked. After thinking it over for a day, Mike Boekholder called their real estate agent to say: “I think I want to make an offer.”
His agent had some bad news: In the last 24 hours, the house got five other offers. The next two houses they pursued also received higher offers above the seller’s asking price.
“I remember when we first started looking, it even surprised our Realtor how fast things started moving,” Boekholder said.
Finally, earlier this year, they secured the winning bid on a $328,500 home in Middletown with a pool for their two daughters. They made an offer that was not contingent on the sale of their current home, essentially betting on the fact they will find a buyer before the May 30 closing on their new home.
The Boekholders’ agent, Marcus DuPhily of Patterson-Schwartz Associates, has set a goal to sell their home in two weeks. They will hold their first – and, they hope, only – open house this afternoon on Grove Mansion Way in Bear.
It’s not a risk many would have taken a couple of years ago for fear of getting stuck with two mortgages. During the recession, even homes in the the best condition languished on the market for months.
But with the market heating up, DuPhily believes a move-in-ready house with granite countertops, a new roof and a finished basement will have little trouble finding a buyer at $319,900.
“If it’s in a desirable neighborhood, priced right and it’s in good shape, it’s going to move,” he said.
A rising tide
Historically low interest rates – the 30-year rate stood at 3.59 percent as of Friday – have made mortgages cheaper and buyers more willing to make higher offers on homes. A better employment climate had bolstered such confidence.
As a result, prices have started inching upward, according to data from TREND Multi-Listing Services. In New Castle, year-over-year median sale prices have increased five out of the last six months – the first time that’s happened in five years. In Kent County, the turnaround is even stronger. Year-over-year median home sale values have risen there for seven consecutive months, a streak not seen since 2006. Price gains in have been inconsistent in Sussex County.
Looser credit is part of the reason. Applying for a mortgage requires more documentation than ever, but qualifying for financing has become less difficult, as investors have started providing banks with more capital to lend, said Ryan Kennedy, a loan officer with Meridian Bank.
Realtors say they think the recent strength in the market has been sparked by the re-emergence of first-time home buyers.
“First-time buyers are really the lifeblood,” said Stephen Marcus, associate broker and founder of Middletown-based NextRE Inc. “They come in and buy houses that allow everyone else to move up to a bigger house. But for a long time, they were very hesitant, very risk-adverse.”
Even as interest rates sank, many first-time buyers remained skittish watching prices collapse, and owners looking to sell and move to a bigger home had a short supply of potential purchasers. With the economy slowly improving, that has changed.
“I think they see some hope,” said Mary Beth Adelman, an agent with RE/MAX Associates. “I think they see some light at the end of the tunnel. We have historic low interest rates, and prices are still pretty good.”
The situation has created an ideal opportunity for homeowners who have waited to move up to a bigger property, several Realtors said. They have enough equity to justify selling and still can find a reasonable price on a new, larger home.
That environment made Hauske and her husband commit to moving. They, too, feel confident their four-bedroom house in an attractive neighborhood – Ramblewood in Brandywine Hundred – will sell at a price allowing them to emerge with enough equity to afford the house they want to buy.
“At first, we weren’t in a rush to move, and the way things were looking, the market was turning upward, so why not wait?” Hauske said. “And I’m glad we did.”
Construction on rise
The market revival is good news also for Richard MacDonald as he worked his way around the outside of a half-built new home in the long shadows of early morning, lining up window frames and hammering nails.
He wore multiple layers of denim and flannel on a chilly spring day as he lugged a ladder through puddles of mud. And yet he wouldn’t have asked to be anywhere else.
“I’m glad it’s finally picking up,” he said. “Because I’ve never seen the unemployment line as much as the last three years.”
This year, work should be easier for MacDonald to find.
A framer, the Smyrna resident depends on new construction for much of his livelihood. Lately, he’s had steady work at a growing development, Willow Oak Farms in Red Lion.
Benchmark Builders started the development before the recession. But when the housing bubble popped and lending froze, construction stopped, leaving behind unfinished roads, piles of dirt and vacant lots.
Within the last year, though, work resumed – a sight repeated in new or unfinished subdivisions throughout the state. Statewide, applications for building permits – a statistic often used to predict future construction activity – have surged in the last 18 months.
Building permits were up 30 percent in the last three months of 2012 compared to the same period in 2011, indicating construction companies expected a busy spring. But even with a sharp improvement, building remains far from its prerecession height.
“It’s not a real recovery yet, but it’s coming back slowly but surely,” said Fred Fortunato, vice president of project management for Benchmark and president of the Home Builders Association of Delaware. “Our industry was in critical condition. We’re not in critical condition anymore. We’re doing better, but we’re years away from being healthy.”
The construction industry in Delaware shed nearly 12,000 jobs since peaking at 30,500 in the summer of 2006. The sector’s employment has contracted in six of the last seven years, ending 2012 with 18,700 workers, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
But economic data suggest the hemorrhaging will soon stop. The construction workforce appeared to stabilize in 2012, down only 100 workers from the end of 2011, said George Sharpley, chief economist for the Delaware Department of Labor.
The surge in building permits shows builders feel more positive about the coming year, ready to start new projects and hire more workers. Sharpley expects the construction industry easily could add about 1,300 people in the next two years.
The activity around a construction site shows the impact construction job growth could have on the state’s economy, beyond providing work for carpenters, plumbers, roofers and electricians. Builders and tradesmen need supplies, which creates manufacturing jobs. The supplies are sold and delivered by local lumberyards and parts vendors, allowing them to employ more workers. When a home is built and purchased, it needs landscaping, furniture and appliances.
“Construction is probably one of the industries with the largest spillover effects on the economy,” Sharpley said. “It’s definitely an important driver of the whole economy.”
And it is on the rise, if still just a shadow of its former vigor.
The number of single-family homes sold statewide in 2012 grew to 8,851, up 24 percent from a low of 7,120 in 2010. Those more robust sales reduced the inventory of existing homes, developers and Realtors said, clearing the way for builders to boost construction this year.
The encouraging trend has come as a relief to many workers, said Dan Delcollo, Benchmark’s superintendent for the Willow Oak Farms project. On a recent weekday, he had 30 people on a job site working on multiple homes in different phases of construction.
Delcollo sounds hopeful, even wistful, for the good days to be around the corner again.
“It’s a good feeling to be back in the swing of things,” he said. “This is like old times out here right now.”
A fragile sprout
While the hopeful trends in Delaware real estate are numerous, some risks remain, possibly standing in the way of a full recovery.
Many Delaware homeowners still are underwater – carrying a mortgage that is bigger than what they might get if they sold the property. About 40,000 mortgages in the state had negative or near-negative equity at the end of 2012, according to estimates by Core Logic. That is about one out of every five mortgages, and the number has been rising since 2009. Homeowners in that situation either are stuck in their homes until prices increase or are at risk of a possible foreclosure.
Since 2008, more than 8,000 properties have undergone a completed foreclosure, according to sheriff sale statistics from the Delaware State Housing Authority. And the pressure remains.
The number of foreclosures decreased significantly last year compared to 2011, but Realtors said banks have held back on trying to sell much of the property they took through foreclosure during the recession. Sooner or later, the banks may decide now is a good time to sell, and Realtors worry what the impact would be if the market becomes newly flooded with bank-owned properties being offered at distressed prices.
But after the colossally bad experience the industry has endured for the last six years, it’s no surprise people want to focus on the positive, said longtime agent Bryce Lingo, vice president of Jack Lingo Realtor in Sussex County.
“I’ve been through three other recessions, and this fourth one … was the worst by far of anything I’d ever seen,” he said. “I know very few people, regardless of their income level, that weren’t affected by it. It was painful. And this year has been a very exciting, refreshing opportunity.”
March 22, 2013
Congratulations to Stephen Voitus from Prudential Fox & Roach Realtors in Hockessin. He was the winner of the Keller Williams Showcase grand prize drawing of the Mini iPad provided by Blenheim Homes.February 28, 2013
Check out this great article written by Chris Isidore and posted on CNNMoney.com on February 26, 2013.
The housing market recovery picked up steam in the final three months of last year, with prices rising at an annual rate of 7.3%, according to S&P Case-Shiller, while a government report showed sales of new homes also shot up higher.
The home price increase marks the third straight quarter of year-over-year gains. The price report covered 20 major housing markets.
The number of new homes sold in January jumped more than 15% from December and nearly 30% from a year earlier, according to the Census Bureau report. There is only a 4.1-month supply of new homes available for sale on the market, the tightest supply by that measure since the bubble days of 2005.
The improvement in the market is driven by many factors, including near record-low mortgage rates, a drop in the number of home foreclosures, the tight supply of both new and previously owned homes available for sale, and an improvement in the overall economy, including a lower unemployment rate. These factors are combining to bring potential buyers who have been scared to buy during the housing downturn back into the market.
The resulting rise in home prices was the biggest annual increase since the second quarter of 2006, near the height of the housing boom. The sales of new homes were at the highest level since July 2008, about two months before the bursting of the housing bubble slammed the brakes on home sales.
But housing may not be able to continue to grow at this rate.
“These movements, combined with other housing data, suggest that while housing is on the upswing, some of the strongest numbers may have already been seen,” said David M. Blitzer, chairman of the index committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices.
Still, Cooper Howes, U.S, economist for Barclays, said that even if growth slows, there’s no sign of a new housing bubble.
“We don’t think we’re at the point where we have to talk about overheating,” he said. “The numbers are strong, but that’s just coming off a really low base.”
Barclays is forecasting a 6% to 7% price gain this year, and 5% to 6% in 2014.
The rise in home prices can provide a lift for the economy as it increases household wealth and allows homeowners who had previously owed more than their homes were worth to refinance their mortgages, putting more money in their pockets.
“This ‘wealth effect’ will play a significant role in supporting consumer spending this year,” said Joseph LaVorgna, chief U.S. economist for Deutsche Bank.
The increase was broad-based, with 19 of the 20 markets showing gains in December. New York posted the only decline, with prices edging down 0.5% from a year earlier.
Some of the markets with the biggest rise were those hurt the worst by the bursting of the housing bubble in six years ago — prices jumped 23% Phoenix, 14.4% in San Francisco, nearly 13% in Las Vegas and just over 10% in Miami and Los Angeles. Detroit enjoyed a 13.6% rebound in prices.
Richard Green of the USC Lusk Center for Real Estate, said the recovery in housing prices hasn’t been even across all the different price segments. He said the upper end of the market has done well as the wealthier families’ earnings have recovered and foreign buyers have come into the market. The lower end of the market has recovered due to purchases by investors looking for bargains.
February 14, 2013
Blenheim Homes is very proud to announce that Phase 1 of Bayberry Park will be open for play by early summer of this year! The park is 55 acres and is located to the right of the entrance boulevard as you enter Bayberry North from Boyds Corner Road.
It is safe to say that there will be no other private community park and playground to equal Bayberry’s. Children of all ages and adults will be able to enjoy this park. It is accessible by car or by using the existing paved hiker/biker trail along the boulevard. There will be a covered picnic pavilion, picnic tables and outdoor grills for families to gather and enjoy a meal together. Children have two age-separated playgrounds to choose from – one for children aged 2-5, and one for older children who are 5-12 in age. There is also a climbing structure manufactured in West Germany which will be the first of its kind in Delaware. And since kids of all ages own a variety of wheeled vehicles, there is a mini-road network which will accommodate tricycles, bicycles, scooters and even small electric powered cars, Jeeps, and trucks. The mini-roads total over ¼ of a mile and will have center white stripes and 4’ high traffic signs. What better way for kids to get exercise and learn the proper rules of the road than on their own, scaled down mini-road network. This will be another first for Delaware!
A multi-purpose field large enough for soccer will also be part of Phase 1, as will a ¾ mile hiker/biker trail traversing the edge of a natural area and the perimeter of the original farm complex.
All of these features will be built in the northwest corner of the park in full visibility of North Bayberry Parkway enhancing the overall safety of everyone who uses it. Blenheim will let everyone know when the opening date and the ribbon-cutting ceremony will be. Please plan on joining us for the opening of yet another quality feature of Bayberry – your hometown.
← Older posts