The legendary figure of The Wanderer has different connotations in different cultures. English teachers in Delaware high school classrooms have always taught some of the most famous parts of Homer’s Odyssey—the heroic story of Ulysses, the most famous wanderer. Ulysses wandered in and out of a lot of trouble…

Planets are wanderers, too. During ancient night times, ancient shepherds looked up and watched them meandering restlessly among the stars, so they called them planets (“wanderers”). Dion (of Dion and the Belmonts) was the most celebrated wanderer of the 60s—at least his hit song claimed that he roamed “around around around around”).

In today’s Delaware culture, though, wandering is a lot less glamorous than it’s been through most of history. A modern definition includes the bit about moving around, but most dictionaries include less-than-positive modifiers like “aimless” or “without plan or purpose.”

So when Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen gave a recent speech that Delaware mortgage rate observers hoped would signal the direction where rates are headed, they expected clarity on the Fed’s plan and purpose. Last Thursday, The Washington Post headlined the following days’ financial reaction:

Mortgage Rates Wander Higher but Remain Near Yearly Lows.”

When financial writers talk about mortgage rates that “wander,” it doesn’t really matter in which direction. It means that they’re going up and down in what amounts to wandering’s “aimless manner.” If it signals anything, it’s mainly that the signals from all corners are mixed. At Jackson Hole, Chair Yellen had signaled that the central bank “is moving closer” to raising their benchmark rate, but it seemed that the signal was not too convincing: Bankrate.com found that nearly 90% of the experts it talked to think rates will remain unchanged for a while.

As for how the Post could see rates “wandering” higher yet remaining near 2016 lows, it became clear in the paragraphs down below. The average 30-year mortgage rate had changed from 3.43% to 3.46%, remaining stuck in the range that’s lasted all summer (it’s been moving up and down no more than 7 hundredths of a percent). “Wandering” sounds appropriate. Freddie Mac’s Chief Economist said mortgage rates have been “hovering;” but “wandering” sounds at least as apt. What this means for Delaware real estate is perhaps the only really clear signal to emerge. For the moment, Delaware mortgage rates remain appetizingly low, keeping the residential market pegged at historical bargain basement levels.

Best of all, that means it’s still a great time to give me a call! 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

Homes for sale in Rehoboth Beach compete in the marketplace based on the major search criteria that have long been in place: location, architectural style, number of bedrooms and baths, overall size, style, quality, age, etc.

It’s a given that curb appeal and the property’s other photogenic qualities also make a difference for how much buyer interest is generated, and how soon serious offers roll in. We who deal in the marketplace also keep an eye on any emerging or strengthening trends and that could impinge on our Town clients’ properties’ popular appeal. One of those factors might be in the process of becoming more important—it has to do with landscaping.

In any year, this is the season when landscaping makes the biggest impact on potential buyers.  If January is prime time to show off a home’s outstanding fireplace or welcoming radiant heating setup, July does the same for a property’s outdoor living attributes. A welcoming yard or leafy patio can be the final extra feature that propels a house for sale in Rehoboth Beach into the ‘sold’ column—but now it seems more important that the effect be due to the right kind of greenery!

That’s the takeaway from the ASLA’s latest query to its membership. The American Society of Landscape Architects is its members’ pre-eminent professional association. Part of their charge is to track the trends and innovations in what is called residential outdoor design elements—exterior features that can make a home for sale more saleable—or, it now seems, less so.

In their latest poll, landscape architects were asked to rate the expected popularity of backyard design elements based on what they are hearing from the field. Needless to say, we might expect those factors to show a commensurate impact on their popularity with prospective buyers of our Rehoboth Beach homes for sale.

Among the Top Ten project types that registered the highest expected consumer demand, all but two reflected some element of the same theme: water sustainability. Scoring highest was “Rainwater/graywater harvesting” with 88%. The next three most popular project types also showed an awareness of water conservation. “Native” and “Drought-Tolerant” plants and “low maintenance landscapes” each weighed in with more than 80% of respondents. “Permeable paving”—which can be a method of avoiding water wastage through pavement washing, came in next. Also in the list were “rain gardens”, “drip/water-efficient irrigation,” and “reduced lawn areas.”

Water conservation has long been a serious concern for those with a keen green awareness quotient, but when responses on this kind of popularity list reach eight out of ten, that awareness and concern must be notching up considerably. It’s something to bear in mind for those whose Rehoboth Beach homes will be up for sale in the future—particularly if any landscape beautification projects are being considered. I hope you will feel free to call me whenever a question arises about how to prepare your own property for Rehoboth Beach’s active real estate market! 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

 Last week brought June (and the first half of the year) to an end with a lot of happenings—any one of which could have a significant impact on Rehoboth Beachreal estate in the months ahead. The biggest event was another unpredicted swoon in mortgage interest rates.

On Wednesday, the first event came when the National Association of Home Builders released their quarterly Eye on the Economy commentary, which projected “little risk” of a financial crisis from the events in Europe. And in fact, global markets did a good job of rebounding from the previous week’s dips, ending the week pretty much in pre-Brexit territory. NAHB’s view of the stateside situation retained its optimistic tone, noting that “housing remains a bright spot for an economy overcoming yet another soft first quarter…” That was borne out statistically, with housing’s share of the economy on the increase.

CoreLogic’s MarketPulse for June supported that view, showing a home price index that rose 6.2% year-over-year, and completed foreclosures down nearly 16%—which put foreclosures at pre-Recession levels. They noted another interesting fact: cash sales as a share of the market fell to 33% of all sales, a level that matched what it was before the housing crisis. That’s the first time that has happened, and could well signify a final end to real estate’s recovery phase.

The National Association of Realtors® reported on home resales for the previous month, and it was more good news for sellers. Resales rose to a more than nine-year high, with median house prices soaring 4.7% from the same period in 2015. The annual rate was projected at more than 5 ½ million units, “the highest level since February 2007.”

Next, Harvard University released a State of the Nation’s Housing report, with findings that sounded similar. One standout item might be of special interest to local real estate investors with an eye on the rental market. Nationally, the rental market continued to grow in 2015, comprising “the largest one-year increase in renter household” ever.

But the main news had to do with mortgage interest rates and the hangover from the previous week’s vote on Britain’s exit from the European Union. Trulia’s Chief Economist wrote about what Brexit means for the U.S. housing market: “The answer is no one really knows…”

That view was countered at CBS’ Moneywatch with its bold headline, “Brexit will keep U.S. mortgage rates in the basement.” The opinion was grounded on a “powerful though indirect” correlation between the two factors. Citing Bankrate’s Chief Financial Analyst’s complex reasoning, CBS followed by spotlighting Friday’s market verification: “Mortgage rates are tumbling…to rates not seen since 2013.”

If CBS is right, Rehoboth Beachhome buyers could benefit. “Mortgage shoppers are often beneficiaries of market volatility and uncertainty,” according to CBS. Of course, that only comes to pass when the right home at the right price has been found…which is where a timely call to my office enters the picture! 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

When you find yourself being drawn to the real estate listings, even only to peek, it’s a clue that something big may be on the horizon. Either you’ve begun to think you’ve begun to outgrow your current Rehoboth Beach home, or you’re just curious about what could be available in case you should decide to upsize, or downsize—or to move on because of a professional change that only just might be hanging there as a possibility…

The tipoff is the twinge of curiosity about those other Rehoboth Beach homes—the ones that are out there on the market this summer. It’s always somewhat interesting to see what’s on the Rehoboth Beach market at any time, but if you find yourself visiting the listings more than every once in a while, it’s probably because you sense that you might find your own future somehow intertwined with one of them. Or that these could become the competition if you decide to put your own home on the market. If that particular twinge sounds like something you recognize, there’s a logical next (post-twinge) step: it’s finding a sympathetic Realtor® to talk things over with.

If you already know and have come to trust one of our Rehoboth Beach Realtors, that’s a done deal. Call ‘em up! But if that’s not the case, what to do? Finding the right professional may not seem awfully important when you are in the earliest pre-planning stages—just looking to have a brief chat about what’s going on currently—but there’s another way to look at it. In case you do wind up making an important residential move, even if it doesn’t happen for a while, having been in touch with the right Realtor over an extended period can be a significant benefit when the time comes. Professional relationships strengthen over time, as individuals get to know each other and grow comfortable talking things over. That’s makes for the kind of team-building that’s a hallmark of success in any enterprise.

That being the case, what’s a short and direct way to distinguish a likely candidate for your Rehoboth Beach Realtor? The right Realtor for you will of course be a strong salesperson—so any of us will be able to tell you about our skills, experience and accomplishments. The best will present those bona fides without seeming to brag—you just find out about them in the course of chatting.

The key to finding a Realtor who is most likely to help you accomplish your goals is to find someone who is genuinely interested in you—in your situation, your background, likes, dislikes…the works! The fact is, selling a home, or buying one, is a uniquely personal business transaction. It is not like buying an automobile, because no two residential properties are identical. Buying and selling a home is a life-altering event in which personal likes and dislikes must be taken into account. The right Realtor is one who won’t hesitate to take the time to understand who you are—and what are the set of expectations that are uniquely yours. That only happens when you find someone who is interested in more than selling a house. The right Realtor is one who’s thinking how to help you build the future you envision.

It’s one of the key reasons that being a Realtor is such a satisfying profession. Being able to help a family find the right Rehoboth Beach home and make it their own is immensely gratifying—as is shepherding a sale from preparation to closing. Of course, either only happens when I know as specifically as possible where my client’s best hopes reside...and that’s not just about listening—but also caring! 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