Dustin & Mariya Oldfather

Company: Ocean Atlantic Sotheby's International Realty, The Oldfather Group
C.E.O The Oldfather Group; REALTOR
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From the first moment Dustin & Mariya Oldfather caught each other’s eye during a chance meeting on Second Street in Rehoboth Beach, this place has held special meaning to them. Though road trips have taken them up and down the entire eastern seaboard and they’ve visited exciting locales around the globe—the windy streets of Chicago, the tropical sands of Key West, romantic Niagara Falls, Mariya’s birthplace in Bulgaria and romantic Buenos Aires—no place has captured their hearts in quite the same way as the coast of Southern Delaware.

The Perfect Sanctuary

Undoubtedly, Dustin & Mariya share a fondness for the area because it’s where they met, but for them, it’s so much more. The peaceful pond right behind their waterfront home is the perfect sanctuary to unwind and share a bottle of wine with friends after a long day or exciting journey. These adventurers also love nature and enjoy invigorating bike rides or hikes through the woods. They share a passion for gourmet food and appreciate the abundance of fine local dining. Their philosophy of life is to live it to the fullest by continually experiencing new things, and they relish knowing they can do it here.

Even before that day on Second Street, Dustin & Mariya’s lives traveled similar paths. They both were committed to higher education, pursuing extremely rigorous studies. While Dustin trained at the Florida Naval Base and studied molecular biology and nuclear physics, Mariya completed a challenging curriculum of math, language and computers, obtaining her degree in accounting from the prestigious University of National and World Economy in Sofia, Bulgaria. From the moment they met, they respected each other’s intellect, wit and core values. But more importantly, they admired their mutual desire to embrace life on the coast.

True Professionals

It’s no surprise that Dustin & Mariya have been able to turn their fondness for the coast into a successful career as real estate professionals. As a team specializing in Southern Delaware’s extraordinary coastal communities, they are able to provide their clients with more than information and guidance toward their home purchase or sale. They offer genuine enthusiasm for the lifestyle and a desire to help their clients make the most of it.

When you combine Dustin’s innovative thinking and extensive knowledge of mortgage programs with Mariya’s strong analytical, financial and organization skills you experience a noticeable advantage in today’s complex market. Add their technical savvy, heavy Internet presence and use of virtual tours and you have two valuable resources in real estate. Both Dustin & Mariya are also certified Senior Housing Specialists and work closely with many local builders so they are able to help clients in every stage of their investment portfolio, from new construction to downsizing.

Dustin & Mariya will soon be published in a book with multiple Best Selling author, Brian Tracy, called Counter Attack - Business Strategies for Explosive Growth in the New Economy. Their property marketing has been featured in The Wall St. Journal, The New York Times, Extraordinary Properties Magazine Journal and Delaware News Journal. They have appeared on CBS, FOX and WRDE television affiliates speaking on subjects ranging from branding, marketing and real estate.

Extraordinary Coastal Living

If you’ve made the decision to embrace life on the coast or would to get top dollar selling your home, Dustin & Mariya are true professionals who focus closely on helping you do just that, and they strive to provide a higher standard of service. When you’re ready to Experience Extraordinary Coastal Living, turn to Dustin & Mariya for the knowledge and enthusiasm necessary to achieve your ultimate goals.

Serving Rehoboth Beach, Lewes, Dewey Beach, Bethany Beach, Fenwick Island, Milton and Millsboro Delaware.

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Oldfather Group Realtor makes lives a little more "Sunny" for nursing home residents

27 January 2015, 3:00 am

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.”

Do Open Houses Still Work?

16 January 2015, 3:00 am

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 Google.com 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.