The Oldfather Group: Blog en-us (C) The Oldfather Group (The Oldfather Group) Mon, 16 Mar 2020 06:49:00 GMT Mon, 16 Mar 2020 06:49:00 GMT The Oldfather Group: Blog 120 80 Weekend Happenings in Coastal Delaware With the Memorial Day holiday now officially behind us, the summer of 2015 can begin in earnest. Traditionally, the couple of weeks between Memorial Day and the end of the school year are not exceptionally busy in terms of local gatherings and events.

We do, however, have a few things you can do this weekend with your friends and/or family, highlighted by an exciting skimboarding championship at Delaware Seashore State Park.

Check below for some of the happenings during the last weekend of May, courtesy of your weekly Oldfather Group “Weekender Blog.”

  • South Side Shoot Out Skimboarding Contest (May 30-31). The South Side Shoot Out is a pro/am skimboarding competition presented by Alley-Oop and Skim USA. Watch the top amateur and professional riders from around the world compete in Delaware's famous shore break.​ Photo from
  • Exploring Flora & Fauna at Prime Hook (May 30). Join a nature hike along some of the trails through the Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge. Led by an experienced naturalist, the group will not only examine the vegetation along the trail, but also check natural signs left by plants and animals that suggest a high diversity of the environment. More information HERE
  • Eating Rehoboth Walking Food Tour (May 29-31). Embark on a three-hour culinary adventure through historic downtown Rehoboth Beach, where you will enjoy exclusive food and beverage tastings at five of the resort's best eateries. The tours run from Friday to Sunday and feature a different set of restaurants and shops each day. For more information or to buy tickets, visit
  • Sail Aboard Delaware’s Tall Ship (May 29-30). The Kalmar Nyckel offers a wide array of sailing opportunities from April through October. Guests are invited to haul lines, set sails and enjoy tales of the original Kalmar Nyckel  — or become a "pirate" with the crew on special pirate sails. Delaware’s tall ship is docked at the Cape May-Lewes Ferry terminal this weekend.
  • RBFS Presents Festival Film Reviews (June 1-6).  Beginning on Monday, film enthusiasts can enjoy a unique opportunity to screen film submissions for the 18th anniversary of the Rehoboth Beach Independent Film Festival. Each session will include the screening of a documentary or a feature and a short, time permitting. Reviewers are asked to complete a rating form and to join a post-film discussion.

These are just a few of this weekend’s fun-filled events here in coastal Delaware. For more ideas on what you can do with your friends and/or family, contact your local chamber of commerce or town hall.

And be on the lookout again next week for more great ideas from the Oldfather Group. Now get out there and enjoy all the things that make living at the Delaware beaches such a wonderful experience!

(The Oldfather Group) Fri, 05 Jun 2015 05:26:58 GMT
Weekend Happenings in Coastal Delaware The calendar has flipped to June, the kids are almost out of school and the Delaware beaches have come alive over the last few weeks. The recent warm summer-like temperatures are certainly ideal for sitting on the beach and listening to the waves crash onto the shore, but there are also plenty of other things to do in coastal Delaware this weekend, should you feel like venturing about.

While the season’s biggest festivals and events are still a few weeks away, there are definitely some fun-filled things to do this weekend at and around the Delaware beaches.

Check out some of our favorites below:

  • Boats, Buttons, Beans & Beer Walking Tour (June 6). The town named for poet John Milton certainly has a rich history, and this walking tour (which begins at the Dogfish Head Brewery Steampunk Treehouse at 9:30) will highlight some of what has made Milton what it is today. The four B’s (boats, buttons, beans and later beer) have all played vital roles in this history. Explore button sheds, barns and outbuildings, before concluding your day with a tour and tasting at Dogfish Head Brewery. See the historic Delaware State Archives photo below of one of Milton’s former button factories, from James Diehl’s book “Remembering Sussex County; from Zwaanendael to King Chicken.​"

  • Bethany Beach Seaside Craft Show (June 6). This 11th annual event is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the boardwalk in Bethany Beach. Dozens of vendors are expected to participate, selling wares including jewelry, leather, paintings, glass, photography and wood. Click HERE for more information.

  • Bridgeville Beer and Barrel Festival (June 6). It's a short drive from the beaches, but the Heritage Shores community in Bridgeville will be hosting this fun-filled event that includes local beer and wines, good food, craft vendors, live entertainment and much more. Click HERE for more information or to purchase tickets. 


  • Rehoboth Restaurant Week (June 7-12). For six days, beginning on Sunday, June 7, enjoy delicious three-course meals at participating restaurants in downtown Rehoboth Beach. Whether you come for a day or stay for a week, you won't want to miss this dining opportunity as Rehoboth Beach continues to gain regional and national notoriety for its inventive chefs and menus. Visit for more information.


  • Beebe Beach Bash (June 6). A joint effort between the Rehoboth Beach-Dewey Beach Chamber of Commerce and the Cape May-Lewes Ferry, the 50’s inspired Beebe Beach Bash will be headlined by the Fabulous Greaseband and hosted by Dame Edna’s Honorary Understudy, Scott Mason. Taking over the entire ferry grounds, including the docked Delaware Ferry, the event will feature gourmet dining, dancing, open bar, casino games, vintage cars, silent auctions, live auctions and more. Click HERE for more information. 

These are just a few of this weekend’s fun-filled events here in coastal Delaware. For more ideas on what you can do with your friends and/or family, contact your local chamber of commerce or town hall.

And be on the lookout again next week for more great ideas from the Oldfather Group. Now get out there and enjoy all the things that make living at the Delaware beaches such a wonderful experience!

(The Oldfather Group) Wed, 03 Jun 2015 20:00:00 GMT
Weekend Happenings in Coastal Delaware While summer doesn't officially begin until June 21 on the calendar, everyone familiar with coastal Delaware knows that the real start to the summer season is Memorial Day weekend. Here at the Oldfather Group, we want all of our friends and clients to be aware of what's going on here at the Delaware beaches, so we're beginning this weekly blog to help you in planning your weekend activities.

There is certainly no shortage of family-friendly things to do at the beach, as well as in the greater Southern Delaware area. So keep an eye out for this weekly informational blog entry, which we will distribute via our Website, our Facebook page and/or in your inbox via your Oldfather Group representative.

This weekend will certainly be busy here at the Delaware beaches, when the summer tourist season officially kicks off for 2015. But if you want to leave the sand and surf for a little while, here are a few events to consider.

  • Just Flip ‘Em Walk at Slaughter Beach (May 22) - Kick off Milton's Horseshoe Crab and Shorebird Festival with a beach walk to help flip stranded horseshoe crabs, while learning more about these unique creatures. Light refreshments will be served at the Slaughter Beach Pavilion after the walk, which begins at 5 p.m. Call the Milton Chamber of Commerce at 302-684-1101 for more information.

  • The Third Annual Maritime Festival in Lewes (May 23). This free annual event will be held at the historic Zwaanendael Museum on Kings Highway and includes local organizations, games, activities and more. For more information, call 302-645-1148 or visit

  • The Annual Horseshoe Crab and Shorebird Festival in Milton (May 23). In partnership with the Milton Chamber of Commerce for 12 years, this festival celebrates horseshoe crabs, shorebirds and other natural resources while encouraging citizen awareness and participation in wildlife-dependent recreation. Activities occur at the Milton Municipal Park and Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge. More information HERE.  See Cape Gazette photo below.

  • Eating Rehoboth Walking Food Tour (May 22-24). Embark on a three-hour culinary adventure through historic downtown Rehoboth Beach, where you will enjoy exclusive food and beverage tastings at five of the resort's best eateries. The tours run from Friday to Sunday and feature a different set of restaurants and shops each day. For more information or to buy tickets, visit

  • Events at Historic Fort Miles (May 22-23). Events at the historic fort this weekend include free artillery demonstrations, a “history hike,” a guided tour of Battery 519 and a lantern tour of the bunker, where visitors have the rare opportunity of viewing the steel fortress at night. Call 302-645-6852 to register for programs or for more information.

  • The Annual Towne and Country Fair in Seaford (May 22-24). Held at the historic Governor Ross Plantation and co-sponsored by the Seaford Historical Society and the Greater Seaford Chamber of Commerce, this annual event features the Historical Vintage Car Club of Delaware's "32nd Annual First State Meet,” crafters, exhibitors, food vendors, demonstrators and music. The Governor Ross Mansion will also be open for tours. Visit for more information.

These are just a few of this weekend’s fun-filled events here in coastal Delaware. For more ideas on what you can do with your friends and/or family, contact your local chamber of commerce or town hall.

And be on the lookout again next week for more great ideas from the Oldfather Group. Now get out there and enjoy all the things that make living at the Delaware beaches such a wonderful experience!

(The Oldfather Group) Mon, 25 May 2015 01:46:42 GMT
Home Sales Surging Nationwide There's been more good news recently from national leadership regarding the current and future state of American real estate, though there are also words of caution moving forward and changes that need to be made.

First the good news! The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) reported recently that existing home sales for the month of March rose more than 6 percent, the sixth consecutive month that year over year home sales have risen from 2014.

NAR leadership asserts that the main reasons for this are the core fundamentals of an improving economy, including job creation and “amazingly low" mortgage rates, as well as a delayed reaction from the bitterly cold winter months.

Adding to the good news, the national Association reports that more than 1 million people who lost their properties during the recession have now become homeowners again, while 1.5 million more are expected to do so within the next five years.

While this is all good news, there is still work to be done nationally, and we're keeping a close eye on these developments here in coastal Delaware. One issue at the forefront is lending requirements that still keep homeownership out of reach for many credit worthy applicants.

NAR leadership believes, and we concur, that the right balance needs to be struck between regulation and opportunity so that these households can also realize the American dream of homeownership.

One idea floated about by NAR includes adding utility and rent payments to credit scoring criteria so that young and minority households can more easily establish a solid track record of long-time payments, with the ultimate goal of qualifying for a mortgage loan.

With the warm weather season now upon us, more people are going to be looking for new homes. In our opinion, this is a perfect time to make some of these important changes.

Follow us here at the Oldfather Group, either via newsletter, blog or social media, or even give us a call at our Rehoboth Beach office, to stay up-to-date on all local, regional and national issues involving the world of real estate. We stay informed so that you can stay informed.


(The Oldfather Group) Mon, 25 May 2015 01:40:42 GMT
Land Lease Communities Offer Many Benefits Land lease communities haven't exactly received an abundance of good press in recent years and, truth be told, there are more than a few challenges and considerations when it comes to building your home on someone else's land.

But there are a number of benefits as well to those who choose to pursue buying or building a home within the confines of a land lease community. Let's examine a few of them, then you can determine for yourself whether or not this type of residential experience is right for you:

  • Less Taxes. While it's true that coastal Delaware already boasts some of the lowest property taxes anywhere in the United States, owning a home in a land lease community will save you even more when it comes time to pay the piper. That's because if you own a home in one of these exclusive communities, you pay taxes only on the home, not on the actual home site. And because most of these properties are in communities near the beach, where the price of land has skyrocketed in the last decade plus, this can save you a good deal of money in the long run.

  • Less Cash at Closing. With the high cost of home sites, owning in a land lease community requires significantly less cash when you sit down at the closing table to sign on the dotted line. This allows you more cash on hand to furnish your new home, buy appliances and even take the family out to dinner to celebrate your new purchase.

  • Amenities. In many of coastal Delaware's land lease communities, the amenities are second to none. And the use of these amenities is nearly always included in your monthly fees, so get out there and enjoy! Amenities in our area include beautiful golf courses, walking and bike paths, tennis courts, swimming pools, playgrounds, even private beaches and/or private marinas in some communities.

  • Value. When you consider the initial investment and weigh that against the amenities and the spectacular location of many of these land lease communities, it can equal an incredible value compared to other options. You are, after all, paying for the lifestyle these types of communities can offer you. So take a look and see – it may just be the right fit for you.

Every home buying experience is unique and we at the Oldfather Group encourage you to sit down with your Realtor and discuss all options available to you and your family. What's right for you will not be right for someone else, so take a few minutes to weigh all your options and decide on the best course of action.

If we can help, give us a call at 302-227-6767 or visit us online at We'd love to accompany you on your journey to home ownership here at the Delaware beaches!

(The Oldfather Group) Fri, 08 May 2015 23:49:00 GMT
2015 on track for record year! Spring has arrived, which means the warm weather (i.e., tourist) season is kicking in and things are about to get real busy here at the Delaware beaches! We've definitely experienced a rough patch of winter weather at the coast, but the good news is that the Oldfather Group is on pace for a record number of transactions this year in Sussex County.

As of April 15, the real estate professionals at the Oldfather Group have further solidified the company's standing as one of the top three firms in southern Delaware, having already sold 45 homes in 2015. There are also 45 additional transactions in process and the firm now boasts an impressive 76 home listings on the books.

All of this means there's a new goal for the year – instead of the former goal of 250 transactions, the company's new goal is to help 300 families either buy or sell a home before the end of 2015.

In the last calendar year, the Oldfather Group increased it's standing as one of the top firms in the county by closing 150 transactions valued at more than $40 million. This nearly doubled the team's output from 2013 and gave notice to the rest of Sussex County that the firm is taking aim at coastal Delaware's top producers.

While many members of the team remain from 2014 – professionals like Adam Linder, Teresa “T.C.” Cason, Nancy Capps, Celia Benjamin, Donna Atsidis, Amy Pietlock, Cheryl Vogl, Jamie Haldas, Grace Nelson, Diana Harbert and Atilla Nyerges – there are also some new faces for 2015. These include agents Marian Campo, Bob Burton, Lisanne Kane and Kristen Brough, and transaction assistant Stephanie Moyer, as well as a new staff of virtual assistants and other industry professionals to help the team achieve it's lofty annual goals.

We are very excited about the team we've put together here at the Oldfather Group. We feel this group of professional men and women will help us become an even stronger force here in coastal Delaware real estate circles,” says Dustin Oldfather, the team's chief executive. “When all is said and done, I have no doubt that 2015 will be the banner year we all expect it to be.”

(The Oldfather Group) Fri, 08 May 2015 23:48:00 GMT
To Do or Not To Do - That is the Question The home buying process can be a scary and daunting one, but most of us already know this right? That's why you use a REALTOR® and pay for his or her expertise and personal service. I mean, if it were easy, everyone would do it and there would be no need for real estate professionals.

The fact is that buying a home is not easy, from the initial contact with a REALTOR®, to searching for homes, to going through the escrow and financing process and finally closing on and moving into your very own piece of the American Dream.

But there are several things you need to be aware of, which range from common sense items like not buying a home in a depressed neighborhood to more advance concepts like searching for a home with the greatest investment potential or for a loan with the most favorable terms.

But there are also some relatively new tips for buying or selling a piece of property, ones brought to us from the good folks over at Zillow, one of the nation's leading real estate databases. Two “dos” and two “don'ts” that maybe didn't enter your mind before.

Let's take a look:

  • DO buy a home near a Starbucks. Sounds crazy right, but homes in close proximity to the coffee giant are increasing in value. Zillow compared home values before and after a Starbucks was built in a neighborhood and found a 31 percent greater increase in value between 1997 and 2014.

Who knew that a good cup of coffee could equate into greater equity in your family home? Now, go grab a latte and thank your local Starbucks manager, if you're lucky enough to live near a store. If you're not one of the fortunate few, keep this little tidbit in mind the next time you're out shopping for a piece of property.

  • DON'T say your home is “nice.” A 3 percent raise from the boss is “nice.” Your favorite football team winning on Sunday is “nice.” Finding your favorite pair of jeans on sale is “nice.” Your family home is “charming” or it's “appealing” or it's “contemporary.”

Your home is an original, a one-of-a-kind. Take a little effort and describe it adequately and with a little bit of flair and passion. If you're not a writer and don't feel comfortable with this task, don't worry – that's what your REALTOR® is for.

  • DO list your home during the magic window. Unlike trying to time the stock market, choosing just the right moment to list your home for sale can not only be profitable, but it can also be a lot less stressful in the long run.

This magic window is different around the country, but in coastal Delaware, the best time statistically to list a home is in the early spring in advance of the summer tourist season.

Which means the best time is – well it's right about now.

  • DON'T automatically pick the lowest mortgage rate. There are many variables to consider when choosing the best financing option, and this is where utilizing the expertise of a REALTOR® can prove invaluable.

For example, is a 15 year, 20 year or 30 year mortgage the best fit for you? Also, the lowest rate might not always be the best choice, as there are many other factors to consider before signing on the dotted line.

As always, consult with your REALTOR® and with your financial advisor before choosing a payment plan that could well take you as long as three decades to pay back in its entirety.

There are countless more items to consider before purchasing any new piece of property, but these are a few to get you thinking about it. Happy hunting!

(The Oldfather Group) Fri, 08 May 2015 23:47:00 GMT
Oldfather Group Chosen for Exclusive Training Program The Oldfather Group of Ocean Atlantic Sotheby's International Realty, based in Rehoboth Beach, was selected recently for a special project overseen by the nation's top real estate coaching team, one of only 75 real estate offices nationwide picked for this exclusive honor.

Headed by Dustin and Mariya Oldfather since 2004, the small, tight-knit group of real estate professionals was chosen by Tom Ferry Coaching because of its “record production for Ocean Atlantic Sotheby's International Realty” over the last several years.

For a boutique type real estate company in the nation's second smallest state to be chosen for a program of this magnitude is obviously a big thrill for us, as well as a huge honor,” says Dustin Oldfather, the group's chief executive officer. “We're excited to work with Tom Ferry and Carl Ruzzuto so we can continue improving to better serve our clients. Consumers in Delaware deserve a better real estate experience, and this is part of how we will meet that higher standard.”

With more than a quarter-century of experience in the real estate industry, Ferry has influenced hundreds of thousands of real estate professionals through his coaching programs. He was also named the top real estate educator in the country by Swanepoel Power 200 and is the best-selling author of “Life! By Design.”

The Swanepoel Power 200 is the most comprehensive list of influential CEOs, thought leaders and senior executives in the residential real estate brokerage business. It analyzes more than 1,000 individuals in the industry and ranks them based on various criteria including their personal influence, their tenure in the industry and the organization’s significance and contribution to the industry.

Training with a team of this caliber is only going to help us and our team members moving forward and we're excited to be traveling on this exciting path,” says Dustin Oldfather. “We have our whole team involved and it's created a level of excitement around the office that is truly fun to watch.”

The Oldfather Group has quickly established itself as one of the top real estate firms in Sussex County, helping more than 150 clients either buy or sell a home in the last calendar year.

According to broker metrics, a leading analytical tool for brokers, agents and Multiple Listing Services, the firm is number two in the county in terms of “buyer represented sales” and number three in Sussex County in total overall transactions.

With it's main offices in the heart of Rehoboth Beach, and satellite locations in Lewes and Bethany Beach, the Oldfather Group specializes in real estate sales throughout coastal Delaware.

(The Oldfather Group) Fri, 08 May 2015 23:46:00 GMT
The Retirement Craze in Southern Delaware So you live in another mid-Atlantic state and you hear about friends, neighbors and even former co-workers retiring to tiny little Delaware, and you wonder why? Why on earth would you move to the second smallest state in the country, and in particular, the most rural county in said state?

Well, there are many reasons to move to coastal Delaware, reasons we've found over the years to be extremely compelling. Whatever nickname you decide to give to tiny Delaware, and believe me there are plenty going around, the First State has plenty to offer.

So if you know of people moving here to live out their Golden Years and you can't figure out why, well here's hoping you'll understand the appeal after reading this blog entry.

Just a few of the reasons:

  1. THE BEACH. Yes, I had to put that in all capital letters because it is clearly the most popular answer we receive to this question. With 26 miles of Atlantic coastline, five (5) top notch beach resorts, two (2) beaches named among America's cleanest by the National Resources Defense Council, entertainment galore during the summer months, tranquil beauty year-round and some of the best locally owned dining options anywhere along the East Coast, the beach is definitely the top draw here in coastal Delaware. And the best part is, these are still, for the most part, small town beaches devoid of many of the problems you see in larger Atlantic coastal resorts like Myrtle Beach, Virginia Beach and even Ocean City, Md. So come here and enjoy all the Delaware beaches have to offer – and catch a glimpse of what your neighbors are talking about.

  2. THE TAXES. If the beaches are reason Number 1 for retiring in coastal Delaware, then the low taxes are clearly Number 1A. Featuring no sales tax, no Social Security tax, no inheritance tax for most residents and some of the lowest property taxes in the country (Sussex County property taxes in 2014 are just 44.5 cents for every $100 of assessed value, the same as it has been since 1990), living at or near the Delaware beaches makes great sense from a financial standpoint. Oh, and those assessed values the property taxes are based on – home values have not been reassessed since 1972, so you're actually paying a low percentage based on what your property was worth more than 40 years ago! Are you understanding now why people want to retire here?

  3. The Proximity to the City. Backing away from the all caps here because the two (2) reasons above are clearly the most popular ones for retirees moving to the area. But another reason is the close proximity to several metropolitan areas, including Baltimore (about 2 hours), Washington (about 2 hours), Philadelphia (about 2 hours) and New York City (between 4-5 hours). So, if you feel like escaping the small town lifestyle and partying it up in the big city for a day or two, you can do so relatively easily.

  4. Low Stress. Hey, you're at the beach, which automatically means a lower amount of stress in your life, right? But living in southern Delaware also means a slower pace of life, neighbors who you will get to know and become friends with and even a less expensive cost of living. So come on over to the beach and relax. Slow down and enjoy life for a bit.

  5. Retirement Communities. There are now plenty of communities in southern Delaware reserved for those over the age of 55. Heritage Shores in Bridgeville, Cinderberry in Georgetown, Independence in Millsboro and Cedar Valley in Rehoboth Beach are just a few of the communities where seniors can relax and enjoy life with people their own age.

So, there you have it. Just a few of the reasons why southern Delaware has become such a popular retirement destination over the last couple of decades, and why it will continue to be so for the foreseeable future.

Come for a visit and see all that what some have begun calling the “Florida of the North” has to offer those of retirement age. You may just decide to stay for awhile.

And as always, feel free to call the Oldfather Group today at 302-227-6767 to see how we can help you find that perfect retirement home.

(The Oldfather Group) Fri, 08 May 2015 23:45:00 GMT
Oldfather Group Realtor makes lives a little more "Sunny" for nursing home residents A doctor can prescribe all the revolutionary medicines he wants, family members can visit regularly and filet mignon can even be served each and every day in the cafeteria – there's still perhaps no better method to cure what ails us that the loving embrace of an animal.

The “Pets on Wheels Delmarva” program takes that belief to heart, regularly sending southern Delaware residents and their pets to visit with patients in area nursing homes and assisted living facilities. It's a program near and dear to the heart of Celia Benjamin, a Realtor with the Oldfather Group of Ocean Atlantic Sotheby's International Realty.

When you're out with your dog and you're visiting with folks, you're kind of like a rock star,” says Benjamin, who visits with residents along with “Sunny,” her 11-year-old black labrador retriever. “People just love it when Sunny and I come to visit and it really is a lot of fun.”

As with many animals in the Pets on Wheels program, Sunny has a history of helping people who struggle with the daily rigors of life. He was a seeing eye dog for five years and, according to Benjamin, really enjoys interacting with nursing home residents.

Visits are regularly scheduled at nursing facilities throughout southern Delaware, including Brandywine Assisted Living in Rehoboth Beach, where Louise Enright works as the front desk concierge.

After working for 11 years at an area animal hospital, Enright realizes more than most how much a loving animal can impact the demeanor and the health of a house-bound patient.

It's a known fact that when people touch or hold an animal, it lowers their blood pressure and can just change their whole attitude,” says Enright, who brings her two miniature dachshunds to work with her on a regular basis. “They are good for whatever ails you, especially if you already love animals. It just makes our residents feel wonderful to sit there and play with them, while telling stories about their former pets.”

Dr. Frank Folke Furstenberg, a retired allergist and Sinai Hospital physician, founded Pets on Wheels in Baltimore, in May of 1982. Originally, the program was meant to measure the effectiveness of pet visitation on shut-ins, with four volunteer teams visiting four nursing homes.

Furstenberg noted that the stimulation of playing with animals benefited the patients by getting them back to a higher quality of behavior. He noted that pets love unconditionally even when a person is no longer attractive, even-tempered or agile and that their warmth seems to make a difference in those they visit.

It can be really wonderful when people who seem kind of lonely and depressed, and are sitting in a corner by themselves, just perk right up when a dog comes in,” says Susan Bennett, former coordinator of the Delaware program and now the newsletter editor for Pets on Wheels Delmarva. “I'd like to think that they're making a real connection and maybe remembering a dog that they had in the past.

It's people like Celia and her dog who make a real impact when they come to visit. She has such an outgoing personality that people just love seeing her come through the door.”

The feeling, says Benjamin, is mutual, both for her and for her beloved Sunny.

Says the coastal Delaware Realtor: “There is no greater joy than making a difference in someone's life. If Sunny and I can do that in some small way, then we are grateful for the opportunity to do so.”

(The Oldfather Group) Fri, 08 May 2015 23:44:00 GMT
Do Open Houses Still Work? It's no secret that most prospective homebuyers these days begin their searches on the Internet. In fact, a recent study conducted by the National Association of REALTORS® revealed that real estate-related searches on grew 253 percent between 2009 and 2012, with 90 percent of homebuyers now searching online during their home buying process.

Furthermore, the study broke information down into various categories and revealed some interesting information on our very own state of Delaware. The First State, the study showed, is one of the top five states in the country for online queries from people presuming to be first-time homebuyers.

So with all these people learning online about homes they're interested in, the question when it comes to open houses is simply: Are they even still relevant?

Well they are, when done in the right way and if done in the right market. For our markets here in coastal Delaware, it's an excellent way to drive foot traffic into your home and to show it off in a way that often photos simply cannot do.

It's also, as has always been the case, a way for several prospective homebuyers to view your property all at the same time, and without an appointment.

Of course, open house events should be handled by your REALTOR® and not done yourself. These are the kinds of things you hired a professional to do for you, so let them leverage their years of experience and host this type of event at your home.

At the Oldfather Group, we host Open Houses all the time and would be happy to discuss these, and other, options with you. Call us today at 302-249-5899 to see how we can help.

(The Oldfather Group) Fri, 08 May 2015 23:43:00 GMT
January May Be the Perfect Time to go House Hunting in Coastal Delaware The holidays are in the rear view mirror, the cold weather has set in and, for many of us, we've begun counting the days until springtime. In the real estate industry, we also have a tendency to sit back during the first quarter of the year and sort of get our ducks in a row for the spring and, eventually, for the busy summer season.

But some shocking news coming out of the annual conference of the National Association of REALTORS® late last year – according to NAR, the period with the highest number of online real estate searches on average is actually the first month of the year!

Seriously, January? Who knew?

But there it is in black and white. According to Google, not only does January feature the highest number of real estate searches annually, but it's also a number that increases an average of 39 percent from December.

Now here in coastal Delaware, we don't think of January as a great month for selling real estate. And there's nothing in this data that indicates these homes are being sold in January – but still, if people like you are out there searching for properties during this time, we need to be here ready and able to serve you.

And we certainly are! If you need help in selling your home or you're in the market to make a purchase, give us a call at the Oldfather Group of Ocean Atlantic Sotheby's International Realty.

Come to think of it, January may be a perfect time to take a drive around and look at some of the excess inventory currently on the market. There's less traffic, no crowds and still most of the amenities that makes living in coastal Delaware such a rare find are open and available.

Give us a call today and let us show you what we have to offer. Or enjoy your holiday season and we can talk in what may well become one of our new favorite months – January.

(The Oldfather Group) Fri, 08 May 2015 23:42:00 GMT
Nancy Capps Named the Oldfather Group's "MVP" for 2014 The owners of the Oldfather Group of Ocean Atlantic Sotheby's International Realty in Rehoboth Beach recognized local real estate agent Nancy Capps with it's “MVP Award” for 2014 during a brief ceremony at the firm's Rehoboth Avenue office in early November.

Capps, a licensed agent since 2013 but who boasts more than 25 years in the industry, was honored for her commitment to the Oldfather team and for becoming known around the office as the consummate team player.

"From our first meeting with Nancy, we just found her to be a delightful person. She lives a life filled with optimism, gratitude and kindness – always with a focus on the positive and never an ill word,” says Dustin Oldfather, the group's chief executive. “We are so fortunate to have her as a part of our real estate family. Because of her tenacity, dedication and infectious personality she is having an amazing impact in our lives and on her clients."

Originally from a small town in Virginia, Capps also spent a number of years as a licensed Emergency Medical Technician, in addition to being a licensed Realtor.

Her experience includes more than two decades in new home construction and five years working for a major real estate firm in North Carolina, before moving to coastal Delaware and eventually coming to work for the Oldfather Group in 2013.

She said she is humbled by the recognition but remains committed to being a team player and doing whatever is necessary to help the Oldfather Group maintain its ranking as one of the top real estate firms in Sussex County.

“I just do what I do, it's not really something I think about,” says Capps, who specializes in residential real estate along the Delaware coast. “I didn't really think I was doing anything all that special, but it was nice to be recognized. I was surprised by it, but very grateful.”

Headquartered in Rehoboth Beach, the Oldfather Group specializes in real estate sales throughout coastal Delaware, including Lewes, Rehoboth Beach, Dewey Beach, Bethany Beach and Fenwick Island.

(The Oldfather Group) Fri, 08 May 2015 23:41:00 GMT
Golf Course Living in Coastal Delaware So you've moved to the Delaware beaches and you want to enjoy all this area has to offer right? From the boardwalk, to the great local eateries, to the 26 miles of Atlantic coastline, to the abundant signature golf courses? More than likely, this is why you moved here to begin with.

Well, there's no better place to enjoy the last item on that list than the fabulous development of Plantation Lakes, a sprawling community with amenities that include an Arthur Hills Championship Golf Course, more than 26,000-square-feet of clubhouses, swimming pools, a fitness center, tennis courts, walking trails and more.

And there is perhaps no better view in this development than the one at 29458 Glenwood Drive, which sits just a few feet from the picturesque 5th green of the golf course, a hole that features a spectacular water feature and a promise that the view will never change.

Click below to view a short 30 second video featuring this beautiful property.


Not only does this home come with one of the most spectacular back yards around, but it also features 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, hardwood floors and a full basement. It's a must see for the discerning home buyer who wants to be close to the Delaware coast, but just far enough away to get the best possible bargain for their money.

And isn't that what we all want, when it comes right down to it? We want the best bang for our hard-earned buck while still living the best possible life we can here at the Delaware beaches.

This is southern Delaware living at it's finest, and it's just waiting for you to turn the key and make it your own. So, what are you waiting for?

Call the Oldfather Group of Ocean Atlantic Sotheby's International Realty today at 302-227-6767 to see this beautiful home while it's still on the market. 

(The Oldfather Group) Fri, 08 May 2015 23:40:00 GMT
The Holiday Season could be the Perfect Time to List Your Home With Thanksgiving now officially behind us, Tom Turkey has been put on the shelf for another year and the jolly old man himself can finally take center stage. It's officially the Christmas season, as I'm sure any visit to or drive past a shopping mall can easily confirm.

Now this time of year doesn't always come to mind when buying or selling real estate in coastal Delaware. But, there are many compelling reasons why perhaps it should.

In fact, several arguments can be made in favor of listing your home during the holidays – and I'm going to give you a few right now. Check them out!

  • Buyers are Serious. True, there may not be as many potential buyers out there looking at homes in December as there are in June or July. But the ones who are viewing homes are serious and are often ready to take immediate action.

  • Less Competition. There are typically fewer homes for sale during the holidays, which means less competition for you. Your home is more apt to get noticed and seen during the Christmas season for this reason.

  • The January Rush. When the holidays are over, the supply of listings goes up substantially and the demand for your home will typically not be as great. As always, more competition means less money in your pocket at the settlement table. So why not beat the rush?

  • Holiday Decorations. During the holiday season, homes are festive and colorful and typically show very well. Think of a potential buyer seeing all that holiday cheer or smelling the lingering effects of those Christmas cookies you made last night. Talk about subliminal advertising!

  • More Time. Holiday schedules are typically more relaxed and potential buyers have more time to look at homes than they do during a typical work week. So put that “For Sale” sign out front and see who comes a knocking.

  • Delayed Move. If you sell your home during the holidays, you can remain there until January or February and not have to move during the Christmas season. And think of what a great Christmas present that would be. Your home is sold, you can enjoy one last holiday season there and then, when the presents have been opened and the tree taken down, you can begin the process of moving.

So why wait? Take advantage of those holiday home shoppers and list your property today. And be sure to give us a ring at the Oldfather Group (302-227-6767) so we can put our advanced marketing techniques to work for you.

(The Oldfather Group) Fri, 08 May 2015 23:39:00 GMT
Professionally trained chef finds new life as one of coastal Delaware's top Realtors

For many a night in the shadows of Capitol Hill back in the 1990s, Adam Linder toiled over a hot stove preparing French-inspired cuisine for the Washington, D.C. elite. Politicians, high powered businessmen, international visitors – all have savored his culinary creations over the years.

It was, without a doubt, a good living doing something he had honestly always wanted to do. But it was obvious that something was missing; he just couldn't quite put his finger on it.

It was an always prevalent frustration that festered for many years.

Linder's career is one that began with training at the renowned L'Academie de Cuisine in Washington and wound its way through the popular Red Sage Restaurant in Northwest D.C., and the more-relaxed Bailiwick Inn in Fairfax, Va. But the fast-paced life in the nation's capital just didn't leave the Alexandria, Va., native feeling satisfied.

Then one day, now working in the furniture industry, he realized the missing piece to his own personal puzzle. He remembered that some of the best days of his life had been spent as a youngster at or near the “Nation's Summer Capital” of Rehoboth Beach, taking in the rays and the tranquil beauty that a life in coastal Delaware affords on a regular basis.

The beach was calling and Linder, after much soul searching, finally decided he was going to answer that call. Even if it did take him the better part of a decade to pick up the metaphorical phone.

I know so many of the people who live here now have a similar story to my own, coming here with their families in their youth and then longing later in life to recapture those feelings,” says Linder, who today makes his living selling real estate for the Oldfather Group of Ocean Atlantic Sotheby's International Realty. “But I've never regretted my decision. I may not be cooking professionally anymore, but I love my life here and have definitely found my calling in the real estate industry.”

Over the last several years, Linder has made quite the reputation for himself in the coastal Delaware real estate industry. Since 2012, he has worked for the Oldfather Group, quickly working himself up to the position of Chief Buyer Consultant.

He may not be whipping up fancy French meals anymore, but every day now he's out on the streets cooking up deals on a regular basis, bringing buyers and sellers together for mutually beneficial relationships.

Adam has been a real shining star for us, with his engaging personality and his willingness to do whatever it takes in order to please his clients,” says Dustin Oldfather, chief executive of the Oldfather Group. “It's amazing that he's been able to completely change careers and be so successful at it. He's been a real Godsend to all of us here at the Oldfather Group.”

In 2013, Linder received a special commendation from the Oldfather Group, earning recognition for the difference he's made for the organization since his arrival. In the last two years, Linder has been responsible for more than $15 million in sales volume for the company.

The Oldfather Group specializes in real estate sales throughout coastal Delaware, including Lewes, Rehoboth Beach, Dewey Beach, Bethany Beach and Fenwick Island.

(The Oldfather Group) Fri, 08 May 2015 23:38:00 GMT
Don’t “99″ Your Way Out of a Sale Real estate agents have used the old $9.99 marketing gimmick forever. Newspapers, magazine ads and flyers theoretically enticed more buyers by listing a $500,000 house at $499,999 or some other similarly insignificant lesser price.

That same home, listed online, is actually losing buyer traffic because of its pricing gimmick. The reason is simple, and it should be an obvious reason to never use the “99″ pricing model again.

Online buyers search in zeros. Buyer A searches for homes from $400,000 to $500,000. Buyer B searches for homes from $500,000 to $600,000. That’s the way MLSs, portals and agents’ websites have set up the pricing parameters. With a listing priced at $500,000, both Buyer A and Buyer B will see the home. Priced at $499,999, Buyer B won’t see it.

It’s tempting to believe that you’d miss out on only a small percentage of buyers or that most buyers won’t set a “lowest price” in their search, but it’s simply wrong. Our company has a database of around 10,000 users, and we track their searches on our websites. While there are a few “bargain hunters,” the vast majority of users set a fairly tight price range in their searches. They know what they can afford and don’t want to waste time looking in a price range that they know won’t fit their needs.

Don’t let your listing miss out with a $1 gimmick. Ninety percent of buyers are searching online. Price the home the way buyers search.

(The Oldfather Group) Fri, 08 May 2015 23:37:00 GMT
2014 Spring Market Update We want to give you a quick update regarding the Spring 2014 Real Estate Market in Delaware as the shift from buyers to sellers market appears to be underway.

So, what’s happening in our market? Well, for the third consecutive year - home sales in Sussex County have increased by double digits - up 13 percent in 2013, listing days on market for 2013 decreased from 198 to only 168, while the number of homes on the market fell to just 44 weeks. (This is the lowest it’s been in more than two years.) So, Real Estate Recovery in Sussex County is clearly gaining momentum.

Even with the government shutdown throwing a wet blanket on our fall market, as the snow begins to melt, we are seeing well priced turn key homes sell quickly – often with multiple offers, sellers holding their ground and getting their price often above highest recent comparable sales, new construction communities continue with frequent price increases. Buyers anticipating interest rates climbing further are booking showings way in advance of their visits. Just, this past weekend our team wrote 7 offers and we sold a property in house buyer prior to completing the paperwork. 

Although REO, Short Sale and Foreclosure inventory is down there are still some great opportunities for investors in the market. So, if you see an opportunity you should grab it!

The good news though, is that you still have a opportunity in this last chance market as a buyer, and an opportunity for a quick sale at a fair market price as a seller. While well priced turn key homes are selling quickly and often with multiple offers, mortgage rates are still near all-time lows. But, now is the time to act if you are a buyer or a seller who needs to move.

So, If you know need to get an idea of your current home value, have given any thoughts to selling, need information about a property, or know someone who may be a little behind on their mortgage, give us a call email, tweet, or Facebook us.

(The Oldfather Group) Fri, 08 May 2015 23:36:00 GMT
Closing Costs in Delaware Thank you for your interest in beautiful Coastal Delaware!

Most people are excited to find out how low taxes are in Delaware but you probably would like to know more about the costs associated with buying a home and the closing costs. Once you decide to write an offer and it is accepted by the seller of a home you like, your deposit will be held in an escrow account. Then you will make application with a lender and then you will decide on the necessary inspections and your Realtor will get them scheduled for you. In Delaware you can expect to pay between $350-$500 for the home inspection depending on the size of the home. If there is a well - a water test will cost about $140-$250 (re-tests $100-250.) If the property has a septic system- septic inspection costs on average $450-500. Radon is not frequently found in Delaware but a Radon Test is always a wise test just in case, expect $100-$150. In most cases you will usually have a termite inspection. Expect $100-200. Most home inspection companies in our area will bundle all of these tests together for convenience. 

Transfer Tax is the largest portion your closing costs. The transfer tax in Delaware is 3% (1.5% to the state and 1.5% to the county) of the purchase price and it is customarily split between buyer and seller evenly at 1.5% each. However, if you are purchasing new construction, many builders will request that the buyer pay the full 3% transfer tax tieing this condition to an attractive incentive. Please be aware this can be negotiated! And, we can usually negotiate this down for you. Title Insurance is the next biggest portion of the closing costs. Title insurance protects you from any future claims of ownership. 

Lender costs do vary depending on rates, but be careful agreeing to work with a builder’s “preferred lender” in order to get an incentive without getting competitive bids. In the past we have seen some lenders buried origination fees into the HUD and there is no recourse for the buyer one they agree to accept the incentive. As part of the mortgage process your lender will order an appraisal ($400-$600) and survey ($400-$600.) The seller typically pays for the preparation of the HOA docs and DUCIOA/Community Docs. 

In all, if you are taking a mortgage you can expect to pay 3-4% of the purchase price in closing costs for your new Delaware home. If you pay cash, you can expect to pay 2.5-3% of the purchase price. 

Coastal Delaware is a wonderful place to live and enjoy life. If you’d like to receive more information about the area, please let me know your mailing address and I’ll be happy to send it out to you.

(The Oldfather Group) Fri, 08 May 2015 23:35:00 GMT
US Senate Passes Flood Insurance Bill On January 30, 2014, the United States Senate voted 67-32 to approve the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act (S. 1926), sponsored by Senators Menendez (D-NJ) and Isakson (R-GA). 

This bipartisan legislation calls for a 4-year timeout on rate increases triggered either by a property's sale or a flood map update for a property with previously grandfathered rates.  The National Association of Realtors provided Congress with expert testimony suggesting that many of these increases are excessive and inaccurate. The bill also creates a flood insurance advocate within the Federal Emergency Management Act (FEMA) to investigate home owner complaints of multiple different or excessive rate quotes.

The Senate vote sends the measure to the House of Representatives, where Reps. Grimm (R-NY) and Waters (D-CA) have already built an impressive list of 181 co-sponsors in favor of the bill; a total that is 30 votes shy of a House majority.  

The "companion bill" to S.1926 in the House is H.R. 3370, the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2013.

(The Oldfather Group) Fri, 08 May 2015 23:34:00 GMT
The Oldfather Group Awarded as 2013 Top Producing Team The Oldfather Group's impressive performance in  2013 secured them one of the brokerage’s Top Producing Team awards, as well as a spot as one of the top 10 Realtors in Sussex County. The team successfully closed 85 transactions valued at over $30MM in 2013, with 23 additional settlements already on the books for early 2014. The group now includes recently promoted Chief Buyer Consultant Adam Linder who has helped select and train four new agents - Jamie Haldas, Nancy Capps, Celia Benjamin and Donna Atsidis. Chuck Seaman, who sold 20 homes in 2013, is focusing on listings and, along with Amy Pietlock, will be taking on more responsibilities in 2013. Grace Nelson, Cheryl Vogl and Janice Fendrock round out the team and will continue providing client support and exceeding expectations.  "This is an exciting time for real estate, as the market continues to climb,” remarked Dustin Oldfather. “We are so blessed to work with such an amazing group of people, which allowed us all to meet our goal of helping 100 families buy or sell in 2013. Hopefully, we can assist even more good people next year." One of the fastest growing Realtor teams in the county, The Oldfather Group is poised to assist well over a hundred clients buy or sell homes in 2014.

(The Oldfather Group) Fri, 08 May 2015 23:33:00 GMT
USDA Releases 2014 Funding The USDA has released 2014 funding:  Funding for Rural Development’s Single Family Housing Guaranteed Loan program is now available for fiscal year (FY) 2014.  The funding received is based on a Continuing Appropriations Act, 2014 (P.L. 113-46, H.R. 2775).  Loans that were issued Conditional Commitments “subject to” commitment authority will be obligated on the Agency’s Guaranteed Loan System (GLS).

Also, we are pleased to announce that the USDA has extended the use of previously eligible areas until January 15, 2014.  This update retracts our September 4 announcement in which we announced that certain areas may have become ineligible. 

Check for eligible properties here:


(The Oldfather Group) Fri, 08 May 2015 23:32:00 GMT
Discover Delaware's 3M! Most folks aren't aware that Delaware residents can boast of their own local 3M.  The communities of Milford, Millsboro and Milton are all located in Sussex County and have a unique charm exclusive to them.  Let's discover why you should make your home in one of these three neighborhoods.

The city of Milford features a beautiful river walk, affordable housing, and an active city recreational program.  They offer an old-fashioned Main Street with stalwart fixtures like Lou's Bootery.  Be sure to saunter through the local museum for a taste of Milford history. Indoor exhibits include an historic doll collection, Delaware ladybugs, and the chronicles of early Milford baseball. Priceless!

Next is the Millsboro community, renown for its lovely waterfront homes along the Indian River.  And just outside Millsboro sits the beautiful golf course at Bayside. The area is the preferred location for young families as well as the active retired.  And choices for your dining pleasure are a newly built restaurant called the Luca as well as the already existing Georgia House. Amazing!

The final triangle of our 3M is Milton, Delaware. Longtime residents say they love the beauty of Milton from the Broadkill River to the Preserve. In addition the close proximity to the area beaches is a huge drawing card for homeowners of any age and gender. There are year round garden and home tour and annual events such as the Horseshoe Crab, Shorebird Festival and Bargains on the Broadkill.

Milton is also a veritable home show, with an artful mix of skillfully preserved homes from several eras - Victorian, Gothic, and Colonial. With an abundance of reasonably priced town homes and subdivision dwellings that feature first-floor master suites, Milton is a great place to retire. But with its proximity to Cape Henlopen district schools, it's also a wonderful place to raise a family. Awesome!

Because community is such a big part of life in Milford, Millsboro and Milton, we welcome you to discover Delaware's own 3M.

With so much to see and do in Milford, Millsboro, and Milton and with the most favorable real estate climate we've had in years, now is the perfect time to make the move. If you are ready to buy or sell real estate in the 3Ms and the surrounding area, please contact Dustin & Mariya Oldfather, The Oldfather Group - Ocean Atlantic Sotheby's International Realty at 302-249-5899 or 302-227-6767 x 211.


(The Oldfather Group) Fri, 08 May 2015 23:31:00 GMT
What Elements Make A Neighborhood Great? If you asked an urban planner, a geographer or an architect to pinpoint an area that has the elements to make a neighborhood great, Rehoboth Beach, Delaware should pop right into their heads.  Why does Rehoboth Beach stand out among the rest? Simply because the City of Rehoboth Beach offers its residents the three main fundamentals to awesome living…location, elements and people. 

You can enjoy the small town feel of Rehoboth Beach while still being within close proximity to the bustling cities of New York, Washington DC and Philadelphia.  To add to its location appeal, Rehoboth Beach has a sparkling and tranquil oceanfront that offers spectacular scenic beauty.  The state of Delaware also has amazingly low property taxes that save their homeowners thousands of dollars each year.  It is the perfect locality for families and individuals alike! 

The next aspect that creates a great neighborhood is its elements.  To put an area on the map, it has to encourage interaction.  Rehoboth Beach oceanfront features a mile-long boardwalk, a variety of parks and public plazas that encourage people to mingle together and enjoy each other’s company.  There are theaters and galleries to browse, restaurants and cafes to visit and festivals to attend.  Attractions for the kids include pizza parlors, bumper cars and a water park. Rehoboth Beach has it all!

As for the last element that puts an area on the map, founder and president of the Project for Public Places validates that it is people who create the next big place.  The residents of Rehoboth Beach verify what a vital role they play due to their incredible sense of community.  They truly care about their city and demonstrate their passion by involving themselves in its growth, maintenance and culture.

People really do attract people. So, if you are looking for an area that offers the three basic elements to a great neighborhood for you and your family, look no further.  Come to Rehoboth Beach…you’ll be glad you did!

With so much to see and do in Rehoboth, and with the most favorable real estate climate we've had in years, now is the perfect time to make the move.  If you are ready to buy or sell real estate on Rehoboth Beach or the surrounding area, please contact Dustin & Mariya Oldfather, The Oldfather Group - Ocean Atlantic Sotheby's Internation Realty at 302.249.5899 or 302.227.6767 x 211.


(The Oldfather Group) Fri, 08 May 2015 23:15:00 GMT