Nobody in Rehoboth Beach can escape the fact that we are now engulfed in the full-bore election year media onslaught. You would need to be living under a rock not to have noticed—and the rock would have to be somewhere out of earshot of radio and tv.

Fortunately, since this is a space where we discuss buying and selling homes in Rehoboth Beach, we try as best we can to steer clear of politics; so let’s enjoy this island of non-partisanship…or perhaps that’s impossible, because of the topic, which is too interesting to ignore…

Recently, a study came out of Stanford that answered an intriguing question: do higher taxes drive wealthy people out of state? If you ever plan on selling a high-end Rehoboth Beach home, the answer would be more than academic. Whether our own state’s position on the tax rate hierarchy could measurably affect high-end property marketability—that is, if the well-heeled set are beginning to allow changes in state tax tables to determine their home base—is very much at issue.

So this investigation (it was sponsored by the U.S. Treasury Department), which focused on millionaires, came up with the statistical answer to the question (as Forbes put it) of “Do High State Taxes Drive Away the Rich?

Apparently not.

For any agent running million dollar listings—or for any multi-million-dollar property owner considering selling their home in Rehoboth Beach anytime soon—that’s one fewer factor to have to address.  The study found that U.S. millionaires who earn over $1 million annually are actually one of the groups least likely to relocate to a new state. It could be because their seven-figure incomes are tied to their current locale; or it could be because in the rarified atmosphere mega-incomes provide, marginal tax rates don’t matter (I doubt that—high income folks usually have plenty to worry about, and taxes are certainly in there).

Also interesting: the lower your household income, the more likely you are to move. In a mobile society like ours, that seems to make good sense—and is somewhat reassuring. People are still chasing opportunity; are still motivated to go where jobs can be found.

So what does this mean for those selling a home in Rehoboth Beach? Or buying one?

That depends, as it almost always does, on your individual circumstances much more than on big-picture trends that can be analyzed on a national level. What is definite is that if you are thinking of buying or selling a home in Rehoboth Beach this fall, success starts with a solid, localized market analysis. Call me anytime! Call/Text me Russell Stucki at (302) 228-7871, email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., visit more listings at www.beachrealestatemarket.com

 If you are one of Rehoboth Beach’s real estate investors (or have been interested in how real estate stacks up against other investment classes), the insights of AIG investment honcho Doug Dachille would likely get your attention. Dachille is American International Group’s Chief Investment Officer. That makes him the decision-maker for the insurance giant’s $350,000,000,000 (that’s billion) portfolio.

Last Friday, Bloomberg TV aired a candid interview on the subject of how he feels real estate investors are likely to fare. The attention-getting interview ran under the heading, “AIG’s Dachille Rejects ‘Bubblicious’ Critique of Real Estate.

It might seem that your typical real estate investor in Rehoboth Beach has little in common with the director of such a gigantic bankroll, but that’s not necessarily the case. It turns out that insurer AIG—just like any local real estate investor—labors under the necessity to safely maximize returns in order “to back obligations to policy-holders.” With government debt interest rates unappetizingly low, it has set the giants (like AIG, MetLife Inc., and Prudential Financial Inc.) scrambling for investment outlets. One answer has been to enter the arena of real estate investors, principally as lenders.

“Insurers hold funds for long periods of time…[so they] have been counting on real estate lending to obtain higher yields available to investors who are willing to sacrifice liquidity.”

So where does the “bubblicious” headline come in? It turns out to be a rejection of an earlier analyst who appraised the current real estate market as looking “a little bubblicious”—one that could face shocks should interest rates climb. That kind of worrisome analysis could cause some sleepless nights for Rehoboth Beach real estate investors with memories of the previous real estate bubble.

A return to peaceful snoozing would have been restored if they happened to catch Dachille’s response. With a very sizeable ($22.9 billion) portion of AIG’s stake in direct commercial mortgage loan exposure, he sees the ability to raise rents as a satisfactory counter to the inflation risk. “Commercial real estate is very similar to an inflation-protected bond,” he said; “What’s…bubblicious?”

Dachille regards the sector as presenting an attractive place for long-term returns—with a risk factor on a par with alternatives currently offering much lower yields. He revealed that AIG has been scaling back investments in hedge funds for a number of reasons. One that might ring true for Rehoboth Beach real estate investors is many funds’ relative lack of transparency. As Bloomberg summarized, “He was uneasy about funds when he can’t track their trades.”

Investors like AIG’s Dachille have a peculiar—and stupendous—problem in having to find suitable venues for billions in assets. For local investors, it’s a lot less complicated to uncover single opportunities in today’s Rehoboth Beach real estate market. Call me if you are interested in exploring them! Call/Text me Russell Stucki at (302) 228-7871, email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., visit more listings at www.beachrealestatemarket.com.

 

The best real estate agent schooling isn’t something that takes place in a classroom. That kind of school is necessary, of course, because some of the most important work every Rehoboth Beach real estate agent does has to do with being intimately familiar with the letter of current state laws and Department of Real Estate strictures.

Observing best practices—keeping on top of all the current professional guidelines and legal regulations—does form a solid foundation for building a career in the profession. But important as that is, it’s only a foundation. You have to get busy and build something on it.

As every Rehoboth Beach real estate agent soon discovers, doing the kind of effective job that sets you apart begins early in the morning, and often continues long past what is quitting time in many a 9-to-5 occupation. What’s unusual about what goes on during that day is the array of specialized activities to be attended to. Just about every day, you will be energetically juggling tasks satisfying a wide range of different needs, for instance—    

  • Pulling and reviewing activity reports from the Rehoboth Beach Multiple Listing Service

Keeping your finger on the pulse of the community yields the up-to-the-hour intelligence that’s a vital resource for sellers and buyers in our active Rehoboth Beach market

  • Monitoring and responding to online contacts

Increasingly, as email and messaging become central to real estate activity, near-  instantaneous response times are the norm

  • Scheduling showings

Arranging showings to accommodate both owners and buyers—and handling the inevitable last minute changes—calls for organizational perseverance (and an abidingly calm demeanor)

  • Creating and executing media marketing

Fashioning the kind of attractively worded and designed listings is only the start of the all-important media campaigning that translates into results for your clients  

Simultaneously, an accomplished real estate agent often will be keeping track of closing deadline requirements, handling negotiations between buyers and sellers, facilitating communications with home loan brokers, home inspectors, photographers, staging companies and any number of other facilitators…and fielding the dozen other details that might crop up unexpectedly in the course of the day.

Being called upon to wear so many different hats is a challenge that’s not covered in the real estate licensing exams—and one that couldn’t be taught in a classroom. At the same time, I can report that at the end of a full day, it’s one of the most rewarding aspects of being a real estate agent in Rehoboth Beach. When you give me a call, you can count on my bringing the whole of my energy and experience into play on your behalf! Call/Text me Russell Stucki at (302) 228-7871, email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., visit more listings at www.beachrealestatemarket.com

 It’s probably just an inevitable part of the human condition.

For almost everyone, awaiting any Rehoboth Beach home inspection is pure, unadulterated jitters time. Nail-biting time. Edge-of-your-seat time.

It isn’t because anyone seriously expects any of our Rehoboth Beach home inspectors to be ogres. Certainly the inspectors I recommend are uniformly courteous, professional, and quite empathetic. They should be empathetic, because of the situation—which consists of a buyer standing by, ready to become the proud owner of seller’s Rehoboth Beach dream house. With only the home inspection remaining to be conducted…

In other words, the inspector is asked to perform a professional service, the purpose of which is to uncover any previously unknown defects.

Potentially derailing the otherwise blissful scenario of uniting of buyer with house.

That is why, in the backs of both seller’s and buyers’ minds, there is usually some form of this scenario: the seller is in the act of dropping the front door keys into the outstretched hand of the buyer, only to have the home inspector snatch them out of the air. Caved-in roof has suddenly materialized; termite-infested inner walls discovered; fireplace housing found to actually be made of strawberry jello (all right, I made that one up). The point is, if you have house-hunted extensively to little avail—then finally found THE place of your dreams, you really really don’t want your Rehoboth Beach home inspection to turn up any bad news. Ditto if it’s your home about to be sold. With the additional factor that if some defect turns up that you knew nothing about, you still could wind up looking like a jerk…

Given the tension and anxiety involved with the profession, it’s just short of miraculous that our home inspectors aren’t all fighting peptic ulcers. The reason is probably because, when all is said and done, performing a thorough home inspection is a high-skill accomplishment—one of great value to both buyer and seller.

For the seller, the home inspection ritual is an exercise that bolsters the buyer’s confidence in the wisdom of such a momentous transaction. Without it, who knows how many homes would not change hands as readily? For the buyer, even when no defects are discovered (as is often the case), the home inspection report serves as an invaluable handbook, filled with useful details about the nature and status of the residence’s structure and systems.

Some agents believe they should spare jittery home buying clients a nerve-wracking experience by counseling them to stay away during the actual home inspection. However, accompanying the inspector is a valuable way to get in-depth knowledge about the workings of their new residence. Plus—there’s no better way to get over those jitters than to acquaint yourself with the real value you are about to acquire.

Having an experienced Rehoboth Beach agent on your team is an excellent way to prevent any jitters from developing in your home buying process—another good reason to call me! Call/Text me Russell Stucki at (302) 228-7871, email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., visit more listings at www.beachrealestatemarket.com