Real Estate Information Archive


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Maintaining Your HVAC

by Audrey and Frank Serio, CRS

Some people refer to the heating and air conditioning systems as the "comfort systems."  If you've ever had to be without one in the dead of winter or the heat of summer, lack of comfort may be an understatement.  Simple maintenance with a HVAC checklist is something that every homeowner can perform.


·         Change your filter every 90 days; every 30 days if you have shedding pets.

·         Maintain at least two feet of clearance around outdoor air conditioning units and heat pumps.

·         Don't allow leaves, grass clippings, lint or other things to block circulation of coils.

·         Inspect insulation on refrigerant lines leading into house monthly and replace if missing or damaged.

Annual, in spring

·          Confirm that outdoor air conditioning units and heat pumps are on level pads.

·         Pour bleach in the air conditioner's condensation drain to clear mold and algae which can cause a clog.

·         Avoid closing more than 20% of a home's registers to keep from overworking the system.

·         Replace the battery in the home's carbon monoxide detector.

Even with the attention that performing this list will provide, it is recommended that you have your units serviced annually by a licensed contractor.  Furnaces can be inspected for carbon monoxide leaks and preventative maintenance may help avoid costly repairs.  Click Here if you'd like a recommendation.

Audrey & Frank Serio, CRS

REMAX By The Sea

Bethany Beach Delaware


Standardized or Itemized?

by Audrey and Frank Serio, CRS


Taxpayers are allowed to decide each year whether to take the standard deduction or to itemize their deduction when filing their personal income tax returns.  Roughly, 75% of households with more than $75,000 income and most homeowners itemize their deductions.

The 2012 standard deduction, available to all taxpayers, regardless of whether they own a home, is $11,900 for married filing jointly and $5,950 for single taxpayers.

Let's look at an example of a homeowner couple with a $150,000 mortgage at 3.5%.  The standard deduction would give them $2,650 more than the total of their interest paid and property taxes of approximately $9,250.  If they were in the 28% tax bracket, the actual tax savings would be $742.00.

When mortgage rates were considerably higher, many people expected the interest and property taxes to easily exceed the standard deduction but with today's low rates, a comparison is certainly justified.

There are other things that could come into consideration like charitable contributions, medical expenses and casualty losses.  Tax professionals will compare available alternatives to find the one that will benefit the taxpayer most.

For more information, see and consult a competent tax advisor.


Audrey & Frank Serio, CRS

REMAX By The Sea

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Contact Information

Photo of Audrey and Frank Serio, CRS Real Estate
Audrey and Frank Serio, CRS
Lucido Global of Keller Williams Realty
39682 Sunrise CT
Bethany Beach DE 19930
Direct: 302.537.3171
Office: 302-360-0300 x 435