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Old 07-23-2010, 04:52 PM
 
1,222 posts, read 1,545,135 times
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NY2DE,
Usually the weekly condos are from Sat 3pm check in to Sat 11am check out. In the off season I do beileve the place I stayed at in downtown Lewes does do long weekends and may be willing to be flexible on less than a week stay. I can send you a PM with the name of the realtor who manages 8 condos in the complex where I stayed if you wish.

Not sure how far you are from NY to the northern part of DE ( travel time) , but, here is a suggestion that might work for you if you do want to spend a week in DE.

I would get an early start on a Saturday to arrive at Spring harbor in Middletown De around 10am. I would plan on 2hrs to tour the models. (That is what I have averaged each time I visit a new 55+ community.) I would take a break for lunch and continue south to Noble's Pond which is a few miles north of Dover. Spend another 2 hours touring Nobel's Pond ( which is off of rt 13). It was not well marked when I visited, so when you get off of 13 make sure you have directions to the community.

I would then make my way east to route 1 and follow it south to Lewes DE. Make a left onto Savannah Road and head about 4 miles directly to downtown Lewes and to your condo rental arriving around 4PM. The nice thing about the condo I stayed at is that they email you a code so you can open the realtor's lock on the door knob to get your key to gain access to the condo. So, it does not make any difference if you don't arrive until 6 pm or whenever! ( Just not before 3pm).

Settle in to your condo and then walk about 200 yards over to the Irish Pub and Resturant for dinner. Or, go back on Savannh Rd toward Rt 1 and you will find a Food Lion on the right side of the road near the "5Points" condos. Stock up on the food you need for the week and back to your condo to relax.

Relax a little on Sunday, check out the beach, the town, Cape Henlopen State park and maybe TVNV condos which are due west of your condo about 5 miles. Just follow Savanah Rd back to route 1. Cross over route 1 and TVNV condos are about a mile up the road on the right side.

Monday plan to go north on rt 1 to just below Dover (maybe 20 to 25 minute drive) and get off at the road that takes you to Champion's club (arriving about 10am). Spend two hours at CC, take a break for lunch and then head about 4 miles west to Southern Meadows to spend another 2 hours. If you feel up to it continue west another 15 miles or so to Roseville and spend another two hours (or leave Roseville for another day).Then head back to home base in Lewes. (Two communities a day are enough for me, but since they are so close to each other you may find you can manage 3 in one day.)

Take a break on Tuesday and enjoy Lewes. If you want to check out the condos in the area that are resales only -you would need to arrange ahead of time for a realtor to take you to see available resales in 5 Points, Villas at Bay Crossing, Summerlyn, Plantations etc. (This is what I plan to do on my next trip to Lewes.)

Weednesday you might want to visit Bay Crossing (55+ community in Lewes which is right next to the Villas at Bay Crossing.) Bay Crossing single homes are pricey, but, there are some townhouses for resale in this community. The townhomes are also called "Villa's" - not to be confused with the Villas at Bay Crossing which is not a 55+ community. You might also want to take a short ride down to Independence 55+ community in Millsboro (built by the same builder who is building TVNV). This gives you a point of reference to see the various features offered by other 55+ communities in the area.

That leaves all day Thursday and Friday to decide which places make your short list and which ones are off the list completely. You can revist the ones south of Dover again on Thursday or Friday for a second look or as you head home on Saturday stop at the ones further north for a second look.

On your first trip you are ruling out the communites that don't cut it for your particular needs. Once you have a short list your next trip to Delaware will be more focused.

Mary2014

PS: There are several Bed and Breakfasts in the Lewes area where you can book just 2 or 3 nights, but, I find them pricey for just one small room.
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Old 07-23-2010, 07:24 PM
 
Location: Southern Maryland
124 posts, read 237,044 times
Reputation: 126
NY2DE:

I will try to help you answer some of your questions:

My annual homeowners insurance premium is $250 for a 1480 sq. ft. home w/two car garage and full basement.

I don't have my final tax assessment yet but I anticipate it will be approx. $1,000/year +-

You can obtain a mortgage from a lender in any state for a DE property (interest rates are not based on geographics; rates set by the indivdual mortgage loan company). Most builders have "preferred lenders" that will give you excellent service, know the builders models, and often the builder will give you some type of "perk" for using their preferred lender. For instance, CC has an affiliation with Wells Fargo and while I do not know the loan officer's name, I have met him and he is very experienced and folks who have used him were very pleased.

The transfer and recordation taxes for a CC purchase are paid 100% by the home purchaser. This may vary from builder to builder and it's a big number so be sure to try to negotiate a 50/50 split if you can.

There may be certain models in a builder's portfolio that you are interested in that they do not have a model home for or perhaps they only have it another one of their subdivisions. Often they can make arrangements for you to see a completed home by making an appt. with one of their homeowners. So if you have some specific models that you have a strong interest in if you contact the builder's sales rep. before your visit hopefully they can arrange for you to see that specific model home. Those of us in CC are always happy to show off our houses to prospective home buyers!

Yes, at settlement you will pre-pay one to two months of HOA fees plus at CC there is a one-time fee of $500 at settlement. This is a typical practice in new home sales but perhaps some of our folks in other communities can share what their builder's settlement charges for HOA fees were.

Most builders will pay your Realtor's commission if you are working with a Buyer's Agent but most of us @ CC wrote our contracts directly with the builder's rep. You will need to have a settlement attorney for your settlement. CC gave us a list of local attorneys and I was very pleased with the attorney I chose and the settlement took place right in the CC sales office; a very short, simple settlement (but I did not have a mortgage; loan papers take more time at settlement)

I hope some of this info. will be helpful to you! (I am a retired Realtor and most builders policies are fairly similar but you would definitely want to address these same questions to the individual builders)

Good luck planning your visit to DE!!!
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Old 07-24-2010, 04:56 PM
 
Location: Queens, New York
75 posts, read 123,684 times
Reputation: 58
Mary…it sounds like a plan to me. Just for information sake, according to Google I’m a 149 miles from Middletown (2hrs. 53min.), 179 miles from Magnolia (3hrs. 25min.) and 210 miles from Lewes (4hrs. 6min.). Of course these times do not reflect such things as traffic conditions, weather etc.

My situation dictates that the earliest and only time window this year I can manage a trip to Delaware would be the last 3 weeks of September and perhaps, only if absolutely needed, the first week in October. Would this time span be considered off season? My next window of opportunity to visit would probably come in March/April of 2011.

I think a week is the ideal time for this sort of assessment trip. I had already googled hotels in the areas and found that many were already booked for the weekends during that time period and thus a full week’s stay is unavailable. I really don’t particularly fancy jumping from hotel to hotel hoping to find a place to bunk down due to vacancy availability while trying to conduct property surveys. Absolutely, please do PM me that realtor information and thank you very much again for your input and assistance.

CWTR:

Quote:
I hope some of this info. will be helpful to you! (I am a retired Realtor and most builder's policies are fairly similar but you would definitely want to address these same questions to the individual builders)
CWTR, I highly regard your input as a Realtor and want to thank you for sharing your experience and knowledge. Your information has helped me to flesh out my questions with real numbers and have clarified some ambiguities I had concerning mortgaging, settlement and the HOA fees.

Correct me if I’m wrong but further reading on my part leads me to understand that Delaware has the highest transfer tax rate in the country; 1 % - 2% of the value of the property. This would be 1 % for the state and 1 % for the county coming to 3% total. So if we assume a property value of say $250,000 then 250,000 x .03 brings us to a transfer tax of $7,500…that is quite a chunk of change and to be paid at settlement together with HOA and closing fees. So yeah, it would be nice if I can leverage a 50/50 deal with the builder. There is a transfer tax exemption which I read about for first time home buyers (FTHB) of .75% which I might be able to take advantage of. I would gladly show my sources but they all turn out to be realty services and not allowed on this site so I’ll quote it here:

Quote:
Delaware Property Transfer Tax Exemption - (Kent and Sussex Counties)

ATTENTION: First Time Home Buyers

Many Delaware municipalities and counties have enacted the 1 percent tax, so generally the Delaware property transfer tax is a total of 3% (1 percent to the State and 1 percent to the county or municipality). This amount is split between the buyer and seller of real estate, unless the parties agree otherwise.

The State offers NO Property Transfer Tax Exemption; however, if you are a first time home buyer (FTHB) - have never previously owned property anywhere, you may qualify for an exemption of .75% of Kent or Sussex County transfer fee and recording fee for the deed and mortgage, which normally is 1.5% of the purchase price.

"First-time home buyer" means a natural person who, individually or as a co-tenant, has at no time held any interest in residential real estate, wherever located and which has been occupied as their principal residence, and who intends to occupy the property being conveyed as his or her principal residence within 90 days following recordation.
Thanks all!
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Old 07-24-2010, 05:53 PM
 
1,222 posts, read 1,545,135 times
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NY2DE,
Sent you a PM...I think. I have only used PM to respond to a message sent to me, so, hopefully I did it correctly.
Mary2014
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Old 07-24-2010, 08:01 PM
 
Location: Southern Maryland
124 posts, read 237,044 times
Reputation: 126
NY2DE: very interesting about the 1st time homebuyer credit, unfortunately for most of us you can never have owned a home ANYWHERE! Good luck - you're doing some great research!
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Old 07-24-2010, 11:28 PM
 
15 posts, read 28,020 times
Reputation: 22
Charley/Goin2,

Why are you so wrapped up on my experience or expertise? Is it because I do not agree with you? I am offering an opinion or information for people to think about. I am not always correct on the sizes of clubhouses or the fees but those things are secondary to the points that I was trying to make. You blast me on the little details but your missing the boat and not looking at the big picture. However, it seems that everytime someone offers a different opinion or questions the decisions made you seem to find something negative about it and start putting them thru an interrogation. To make matters worse you seach the internet for the first article or blog that favors your opionion. Goin'2De gets on here and blasts Ryan Homes who is the number one homebuilder in Delaware and gets away with it. You don't become the number 1 homebuilder in Delaware by building "shoddy" homes. But then again, anything other than Roesville or C.C is crap.
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Old 07-25-2010, 03:11 AM
 
19,922 posts, read 9,974,814 times
Reputation: 27341
Quote:
Originally Posted by NJtoDE View Post
Why are you so wrapped up on my experience or expertise?
Because when you fill your posts with lines like ...

Quote:
I come from the construction field
and

Quote:
I have alot of experience in this industry
and

Quote:
I will lay my reputation on the line
... then I would have hoped that maybe you actually KNEW something about the topic of 55+ communities in Delaware. However from your general demeanor, your mishandling of facts and your continued failure to tell us about this so-called experience that gives you a "reputation worth laying on the line", it appears that you do not.

Until you can back up your information with something that shows you have some level credibility or expertise or actual knowledge, I think the conversation between you and I has now reached an end. I value those individuals who have knowledge and are able to share it in a friendly and congenial manner without making themselves superior to others. We've been very fortunate here that most members (with few exceptions) have done just that.

I wish you good luck and hope that you make the right choice for yourself.
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Old 07-25-2010, 05:29 AM
 
Location: Felton, DE
560 posts, read 804,368 times
Reputation: 662
Quote:
Originally Posted by NJtoDE View Post
There are only about 20 homes sold/occupied in the 1 1/2 years since start up.



FYI, your wrong on the years since start up. You can underline it all you want and make it look pretty but your way off. Would you like me to tell you or do you want to do your reseach and back to all of us? Its up to you.
The first home was settled/closed in April of 2009. That's approximately 1 1/2 years ago. Would you like the owner's name so you can call them and confirm?
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Old 07-25-2010, 07:34 AM
 
12,605 posts, read 28,027,153 times
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A friendly terms of service reminder,

http://www.city-data.com/forumtos.html
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Stay on topic. Attempts to hi-jack threads by switching topics or going off topic will be deleted and infractions issued. This is not a chat room - when people hi-jack threads by posting messages that are of interest to only few people, the threads often stop being useful discussions of initial topics.
Let's get back to the spirit of this thread which is to help each other out by sharing information on the 55+ communities.
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Old 07-25-2010, 11:36 AM
 
1,222 posts, read 1,545,135 times
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[quote=toobusytoday Let's get back to the spirit of this thread which is to help each other out by sharing information on the 55+ communities.[/quote]

Toobusytoday,

I agree. Without getting into further arguments on this topic, I would like to ask if everyone agrees what costs are the responsibility of the HOA?

I just noticed that there is a homeowners association (not 55+) that appears to have made the top 100 tax deliquents in Sussex county for $14K of unpaid real estate, water/ sewer taxes.

So that brings up the question: Do we know what the HOA fees need to cover? In addition to landscaping and snow removel you have insurance, electric, water, sewer, maintenance, legal fees and you may want to out source accounting functions just to name a few.

Does the HOA fee cover the real estate taxes for the community areas?

How much does it cost for liabilty insurance? Where I live now there is no pool or community center and liability insurance is 6% of our annual budget.

I also noticed that DE just came out with tough new laws last year for condo and HOA associations. I don't know the details but, it looks like these associations are required to maintain enough in reserves to cover replacement of capital equipment. So, for example if the community center roof has a 20 expected life and it will cost 20K to replace it 20 years from now, the HOA has to maintain a sinking fund and collect money each year. Same for a pool and any other item considered capital assets of the community. Not sure if everyone here has included such costs as part of HOA "costs". We may not still be around in 20 years when a new roof is needed - but, we do have to pay for it a little each year in advance while we are living in the community.


When we talk about HOA costs - high or low I don't think we are all considering the same list of items for which the HOA my be responsible.

I did look up on line some of the HOA newsletters for various communities that have been around for a few years. Reading their news letters gives you insight on how well they have been able to keep/not keep costs under control. This new DE requirement to maintain reserves for capital improvements is forcing some to increase their fees.

So, is there any chance we can agree on a list of what items the HOA is responsible for paying - before we even consider assigning a yearly cost to each item?

Mary2014
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