PSA Foundation Spotlight: MOWDE Celebrity Chefs’ Celebration

Dishes featuring double smoked-bacon chowder, spiced molten milk chocolate cake, and shrimp and grits with white wine butter sauce are designed to make your mouth water. But delicious culinary creations are not the only thing on the menu at the 2021 Celebrity Chefs’ Celebration event. This annual Meals on Wheels Delaware fundraiser serves up support for area seniors in need and is our PSA Foundation spotlight for April.

MOWDE is a non-profit organization that supports the delivery of nutritious meals to homebound seniors, age 60 and above, who may be battling hunger, isolation, or loss of independence. By raising awareness and funds, MOWDE helps the various statewide meal delivery programs coordinate the charitable contributions that aid in their mission.

A history of support

From a guest bartender event to a homemade soup cook-off, PSA has supported the Meals on Wheels effort through many fundraising events over the years. Several members of the PSA family also volunteer their time to the meal delivery programs. Patterson-Schwartz is a proud returning sponsor of the Celebrity Chef event for 2021.

Mike Clement, a member of The Crifasi Group of the PSA Greenville Sales Office, has served as Board Chair for MOWDE since 2019. He also has served as a member of the Board of Directors since 2013 and as a Celebrity Chefs Brunch silent auction committee co-chair since 2005.   

“So much can be gained from being a part of an organization like ours,” says Mike. “There is a sense of community and belonging to a network of like-minded individuals you can call friends. The best part of the experience is meeting our clients, the deserving homebound seniors across Delaware, who are so appreciative of the personal touch our home delivery programs provide.”

Now, more than ever, your contribution counts

Meals on Wheels Delaware supports five meal programs throughout the state. As a result of the pandemic, they have seen the number of homebound seniors using their services increase more than 26%. In 2020, they reported the delivery of over 877,000 meals to 6,285 local seniors. 

Like many recent fundraising events, the 2021 Celebrity Chefs’ Celebration has gotten creative with its format. The event taking place April 19 through 25 will continue to showcase local chefs, wine and spirit producers, culinary personalities, and of course, the fantastic food, but in a hybrid experience. Guests and sponsors have a choice of dine-in and take-out options, with a virtual component that features interaction with the participating chefs, entertainment, and an online silent auction. To learn more about MOWDE, this year’s event, and how you can participate, please click here.  

Together we can light the way to a better tomorrow 

The PSA Foundation was created in 2001 and supports numerous local charities and organizations whose causes are close to the hearts of the Patterson-Schwartz family of sales associates, employees, and friends. We invite you to learn more about how Patterson-Schwartz is giving back to the communities where we live, work, and play, and to connect with us when you’re ready to partner with a local real estate expert.

Patterson-Schwartz Launches Coastal Rentals Division

In January of 2020, the Property Management team of Patterson-Schwartz was laying the groundwork for its Coastal Rental division. Their first major project was taking on the rental management services for the association at One Virginia Avenue in Rehoboth Beach. Little did anyone know that the start of this new venture would coincide with the challenges of a world-wide pandemic and state-ordered shutdowns.

Boardwalk access for One Virginia Avenue located in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware

“We are forever grateful for the trust that was placed in us by the owners of such an established property and active rental hub,” says PSA Property Management manager Brian Pomije of the One Virginia Avenue condos. “We owe a lot to Patterson-Schwartz leadership and the capable team at the helm of our Coastal Rentals division.”

Placing safety first and serving the clients and properties with care was paramount to navigating the rental market in 2020. As the year came to a close, Patterson-Schwartz Coastal Rentals successfully booked 198 weeks’ worth of rentals.

A busy season ahead

At this time, Patterson-Schwartz Coastal Rentals is in charge of over 50 rental properties with plans to grow. They recently launched a new web page and anticipate new rental opportunities in the days ahead.

Patterson-Schwartz has helped homeowners manage their properties since 1977 and has earned a reputation for professionalism. Their services include expert landlord guidance, property maintenance assistance, and tenant relations management. The Coastal Rentals division handles vacation/short-term and long-term rentals in the coastal Delaware community. The team, which operates out of the company’s Rehoboth Sales Center on Highway One, offers local expertise and is sure to be busy this rental season. They can’t wait to see people safely enjoying the Delaware beaches and all they have to offer!

Need someone to manage your property?

Patterson-Schwartz offers professional property management throughout Delaware and nearby communities in Pennsylvania and Maryland. Landlords may choose Full-Management, Non-Management, or the Landlord Assistance Program. Whether you are considering renting out your primary residence or seeking assistance with your investment portfolio, we offer service levels to fit your needs. Reach out today to get started!

5 Tips for Making a Successful Offer

Today’s real estate market clearly has high home buyer interest and low housing inventory. With so many buyers competing for a limited number of houses for sale, it’s more important than ever to know the ins and outs of making a confident and competitive offer. Here are five keys to success for this important stage in the home buying process.

1. Listen to Your Real Estate Advisor

An article from Freddie Mac offers guidance on making an offer on a home today. Right off the bat, it points out how emotional this can be for buyers and why your trusted agent can help you stay focused on the most important things:

“Remember to let your home buying team guide you on your journey, not your emotions. Their support and expertise will keep you from compromising on your must-haves and future financial stability.”

Your real estate professional should be your primary source for answers to the questions you have when you’re ready to make an offer.

2. Understand Your Finances

Having a complete understanding of your budget and how much house you can afford is essential. The best way to know this is to get pre-approved for a loan early in the home buying process. Only 44% of today’s prospective home buyers are planning to apply for pre-approval, so be sure to take this step so you stand out from the crowd. It shows sellers you’re a serious and qualified buyer and can give you a competitive edge if you enter a bidding war.

3. Be Ready to Move Quickly

According to the Realtors Confidence Index, published monthly by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the average property sale today receives over three offers and is on the market for just a few weeks. These are both results of today’s competitive market, showing how important it is to stay agile and vigilant in your search. As soon as you find the right home for your needs, be prepared to submit an offer as quickly as possible.

4. Make a Fair Offer

It’s only natural to want the best deal you can get on a home. However, Freddie Mac also warns that submitting an offer that’s too low can lead sellers to doubt how serious you are as a buyer. Don’t submit an offer that will be tossed out as soon as it’s received. The expertise your agent brings to this part of the process will help you stay competitive:

“Your agent will work with you to make an informed offer based on the market value of the home, the condition of the home and recent home sale prices in the area.”

5. Be a Flexible Negotiator

After submitting an offer, the seller may accept it, reject it, or counter it with their own changes. In a competitive market, it’s important to stay nimble throughout the negotiation process. You can strengthen your position with an offer that includes flexible move-in dates, a higher price, or minimal contingencies (conditions you set that the seller must meet for the purchase to be finalized). Freddie Mac explains that there are, however, certain contingencies you don’t want to forego:

Resist the temptation to waive the inspection contingency, especially in a hot market or if the home is being sold ‘as-is’, which means the seller won’t pay for repairs. Without an inspection contingency, you could be stuck with a contract on a house you can’t afford to fix.”

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Bottom Line

Today’s competitive landscape makes it more important than ever to make a strong offer on a home. Connect with one of our local experts to make sure you rise to the top along the way. We’ve been guiding home buyers and sellers since 1961.

Source: “Things to Consider When Buying a Home” Spring 2021 Edition, courtesy of Keeping Current Matters

2020 Patterson-Schwartz Realty Alliance Sales Award Honorees

Real Estate transactions during 2020 were certainly a bit of an adventure but, despite the shutdowns and restrictions, Patterson-Schwartz was able to adapt, thrive, and ultimately assist more clients with their homeownership needs in 2020 than in the previous year.  This accomplishment would not have been possible without the hard work and perseverance of our family of sales associates.

Realty Alliance Sales Award plaques were distributed to Patterson-Schwartz honorees in early March 2021

The Realty Alliance is a network of North America’s elite real estate firms, and each year they identify the leading residential sales professionals for their exceptional performance.

The Patterson-Schwartz agents and teams recognized for their efforts in 2020 make up the top 15% of our sales associates in the individual categories of Units and Total Dollar Volume. The qualifying amounts were 18 Units, and/or a Total Dollar Volume of $5,500,000.

A Commitment to Exceptional Service

The 2020 Realty Alliance Sales Awards are well-deserved, especially considering the year’s uncertain outlook and business challenges. We are thrilled to congratulate the 75+ Patterson-Schwartz agents and teams for being recognized at a national level for their outstanding efforts and accomplishments. These honorees exemplify our company’s dedication to providing superior guidance and service while offering exceptional knowledge of market conditions and a commitment to represent clients honestly and professionally.

2020 Realty Alliance Sales Award recipients, listed by sales office:

Brandywine
Elkton & Newark
Dover
Hockessin
Greenville
Middletown
Ocean View & Rehoboth Beach

About Us

Patterson-Schwartz Real Estate is Delaware’s largest independent REALTOR® with nine offices and over 450 full-time Sales Associates. We offer a full range of services including residential home sales, purchase and rental; relocation services, and property management. We invite you to connect with us when you’re ready to partner with a local real estate expert.

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PSA Foundation Spotlight: UnLocke the Light’s Sean’s House

This month’s PSA Foundation Spotlight is on Sean’s House of Newark, Delaware. Created by the local nonprofit SL24: UnLocke the Light, Sean’s House is located within walking distance of the University of Delaware campus and offers a mental health safe haven for young adults ages 14-24.

Sean’s House was developed in the hopes of reducing the rate of youth suicide by providing a place for young adults to feel safe, welcomed, and supported, and by promoting mental wellness through access to trained peer support specialists and assistance connecting with community mental health resources. Guests can use the space to do schoolwork, relax with friends, or simply pick up a hot cup of coffee.

Kate Bianchino of the Patterson-Schwartz Greenville sales office has been involved with UnLocke the Light and Sean’s House at various levels since its inception in 2018 through weekly volunteer work and contributions to annual fundraisers and special events.

“Mental health programs and support is something we all know is much needed,” says Kate. “The programs at Sean’s House and the community outreach that UnLocke the Light provides is removing stigmas and creating a safe and welcoming space for students and young adults on their path to health and wellness.”

At this time, many of our community’s charitable partners are suffering from the inability to hold large, in-person fundraisers, so they need our support now more than ever. To learn more about Sean’s House, the story behind the SL24: UnLocke the Light Foundation, and how you can get involved, please visit their website.

Together we can light the way to a better tomorrow.

The PSA Foundation was created in 2001 and supports numerous local charities and organizations whose causes are close to the hearts of the Patterson-Schwartz family of sales associates, employees, and friends. We invite you to learn more about how Patterson-Schwartz is giving back to the communities where we live, work, and play, and to connect with us when you’re ready to partner with a local real estate expert.

Why Low Inventory is a Win for Sellers

Real estate continues to be called the ‘bright spot’ in the current economy, but there’s one thing that may hold the housing market back from achieving its full potential this year: the lack of homes for sale.

Buyers are actively searching for and purchasing homes, looking to capitalize on today’s historically low interest rates, but there just aren’t enough houses for sale to meet that growing need. Nadia Evangelou, Senior Economist & Director of Forecasting for the National Association of Realtors(NAR), explains:

“These ultra-low mortgage rates make homebuying more attractive, boosting activity to the highest level since 2006…Nevertheless, inventory continues to fall, widening the gap between housing demand and supply.”

According to NAR, right now unsold inventory sits at a 2.5-month supply at the current sales pace. To have a balanced market where there are enough homes for sale to meet buyer demand, the market needs 6 months of inventory. Today, we’re nowhere near that number. If this trend continues, it will get even harder to find homes to purchase, and that may slow down potential buyers. Danielle Hale, Chief Economist for realtor.com, notes:

“While some buyers are frustrated, there are still plenty trying to make a move. This means that homes are still selling fast, and inventory is dropping despite an improving new listings trend.”

The Weekly Recovery Report from realtor.com keeps an eye on the number of listings coming into the market (houses available for sale) and the total number of listings staying in the market compared to the previous year (See graph below):

The number of total listings (the orange line) continues to decline even as new listings (the blue line) are coming to the market. Why? Buyers are scooping up homes faster than they’re being put up for sale. Hale emphasized:

“New listings are a necessary ingredient for further home sales, so additional improvement here will be important for home buyers and sustaining home sales activity.”

Does This Mean It’s a Good Time to Sell?

Yes. If you’re thinking about selling your house, this winter is a great time to make it happen. There are plenty of buyers looking for homes to purchase because they want to take advantage of low interest rates. Realtors are also reporting an average of 3.4 offers per house and an increase in bidding wars, meaning the demand is there and now is the opportune time to sell for the most favorable terms.

BOTTOM LINE

If you’re considering selling your house, this is the perfect time to discuss how you can benefit from the market trends in our local area. Connect with one of our local experts today.

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Source: “Things to Consider When Selling Your House” Winter 2021 edition, courtesy of Keeping Current Matters

This Old House

Contributing blogger Charlie Schwartz, II, shares real estate insight steeped in family tradition in the January 2021 Schwartz Report

My father was fond of dispensing real estate bromides in the form of little parables that more often than not had snappy punch lines.   They often left the receiver scratching their head trying to winnow out what he was intending.  For example, take these two which are particularly appropriate to today’s inventory starved seller’s market:  “You can’t sell fruit from an empty wagon”; or, “You wouldn’t go to Happy Harry’s if Happy Harry didn’t have anything on the shelf.”  By which he meant to charge us with the need to urge more sellers to put their homes on the market NOW! For a buyer’s market when prices were too high and showing activity stagnant, there was this one: “Too much weight stops the freight.” That generates images of a little steam engine struggling to pull a heavy load up an impossible incline much like a seller trying to get more for his property than the current market will bear.

To a buyer, most appropriately to a first time buyer, there’s this gem:  “Never buy a home on a road with a line down the middle of it.” This gets at the three most important things about residential real estate, location, location and location. Highway departments put lines on roads with significant traffic counts, don’t they? So stay away from them. Here’s one that will need some explaining. It gets to the subject at hand:  “Never buy a home that is older than you are.” This seems like the most improbable dictate of them all. It might be difficult to follow especially in our three state market area where many homes date well into the last century and beyond.

photo scanned from “Houses, The Illustrated Guide to Construction, Design and Systems” by Henry Harrison

Here he was advising that you not take on more of a fixer upper than your age, finances, temperament and or experience will allow. A historic home, one full of “character”, which may have been the former residence of some important family, might just be a project that you take on at your peril, a bridge too far. The illustration above is one of 56 that appear in the first reference book that I bought after starting in the business. Houses, The Illustrated Guide to Construction, Design and Systems by Henry Harrison was published in conjunction with the National Association of Realtors in 1973 and many sections, particularly those dealing with classic home architecture, are still valid today. Want to know the difference between a Cape Cod Colonial and a Cape Ann Colonial or a Dutch Colonial and a Salt Box Colonial; it’s in there. You will find a Swiss Chalet and a Spanish Villa as well.

When you consider that European settlers began constructing homes on the Atlantic Seaboard in the early 1600’s and that many of those dwellings survive in one state of repair or another to this day, it’s not difficult to fathom the appeal of owning such a place. Perhaps fond memories linger of the This Old House show on WHYY where the team came to the rescue of a historic treasure.

But remember the lighthouse keeper is also responsible for the light house’s upkeep.

You will also meet an interesting and interested group of people who may at any moment become your not-so-silent partners in the endeavor. This is especially true if you have any changes in mind.  Imagine something as simple as repainting the house in the exact same color that it has been for years and having to get someone’s approval to do it. A seller of mine who was the proud owner of a 200 plus year old farm house on the historical register referred to these preservationists as the “hysterical review committee”.  That farmhouse is still there but the new owners started with not just “wide pine floors and cast iron latch door handles, horsehair plaster walls and antique wallpaper.” They also got “…windows that won’t close, sagging rafters and old water stains on cracked ceilings…” and “…an electrical system that consists of well-fed rats physically carrying tiny baskets of electricity to the lamps and appliances…”  a reference no doubt to the knob and tube wiring. The preceding quotes are taken from Kris Frieswick’s “Historic Home Horror Show” that appeared in a MANSION section of the Wall Street Journal this past December.

Owning a historic home will make you proud but also be prepared to become the museum’s curator, the lighthouse’s keeper and as Kris Frieswich advises:  “Put the following professionals on retainer:  A master plumber, an electrician and a furnace specialist.” You might also throw in a master mechanic, carpenter and cabinet maker. And before you choose your team ask each of them, what is the oldest historic home they have ever worked on. If they can describe their experience positively and without breaking down they’re keepers.

About Patterson-Schwartz: A Sixty Year Legacy

Patterson-Schwartz Real Estate opened for business on December 1, 1961, when William D. Patterson, Charles E. Schwartz and a small group of associates left the firm of Hanby, Patterson-Schwartz, Inc., Realtors to form their own company. The fledgling group began business in a semi-detached house at 1013 Washington Street in Wilmington, Delaware, with a staff of just 10 people. Today Patterson-Schwartz has grown to a sales team and corporate staff of over 400 strong and has expanded to nine locations that stretch from Brandywine Hundred to the Delaware Beaches.

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Content by Charlie Schwartz, II ©2021. Visit charlieschwartz.com for more Schwartz Report content.