Part of the recovery in Selbyville’s real estate scene is the increasing likelihood of multiple offers on a listed property. This is every seller’s dream— but if you are one of the bidders, it’s important that you don’t allow it to become your nightmare.

There is one way— the only sure way—to keep the specter of competing Selbyville multiple offers from upsetting your home buying prospects. Summed up in one word, it’s “preparation.”

Preparation starts with assembling a strong financial package. If your target property attracts multiple offers, you want yours to stand out. By the time you learn that other offers are at hand, it’s probably already too late to begin putting together documents—they should be in hand before you even identify a property. Getting pre-approval for your loan, having a letter that says so, and being able to show you have funds available can be persuasive.

When it comes to making the offer itself, although including “Subject to” clauses will protect you from unforeseen problems with the property, when multiple offers are on the table, the fewer contingencies the better. Again, only preparation will make this reasonable. If you’ve had an advance home inspection, and also made sure that there isn’t any right-of-way or easement issues, your offer can be significantly more attractive.

Personal preparation can be another positive. Visiting the property on several occasions at different times of the day should give you added confidence for what the home is truly worth to you…and when the listing agent and owner can put a face to your offer, it tends to strengthen its validity.

When multiple offers on a Selbyville property occur, it’s possible that someone is going to bid more than the home is really worth. If you’ve done thorough research and know precisely what its value is in today’s market, that won’t be you. Having your bottom line number unshakably in mind, means that in any bidding war, you’ll be able to sweeten your offer without hesitation. You can be creative, perhaps by offering to reduce the seller’s costs by picking up escrow fees, transfer fees or title policies; perhaps by offering the seller a few additional days to move without seeking financial compensation in return; perhaps by increasing the down payment or earnest money. When you know your bottom line, the arithmetic is uncomplicated (and your less-prepared competitors are more likely to throw up their hands!)

And then…should the bidding go over what you know it’s worth, you’ll be ready to walk away. There will be other properties to bid for – and I’m always here to help keep all your options open!  Call/text 302-228-7871 or email me, Russell Stucki, REALTOR ® of Beach Real Estate Market to provide detailed information on Delaware homes for sale, investment and commercial properties, luxury and  waterfront homes, condos/townhomes, new construction, lots and land, farms and equestrian properties located in but not limited to Bethany, Bethel, Bridgeville, Dagsboro, Delmar, Ellendale, Fenwick Island, Frankford, Georgetown, Greenwood, Harbeson, Laurel, Lewes, Lincoln, Milford, Millsboro, Millville, Milton, Ocean View, Rehoboth Beach, Seaford, Selbyville, Delaware.

When a Selbyville first-time home buyer begins hunting for the prize that has to serve both as a satisfactory home base and a solid investment, most feel a mixture of excitement (a home is a landmark achievement!) and maybe just a touch of apprehension. Like any expense you’ve never encountered before, it’s appropriate to take extra care the first time out — and to pay attention to what experience teaches. Along those lines, here are some mistakes that are easy for a first-time home buyer to make. Fortunately, they’re also easy to sidestep:

1. Waiting for a better rate

Adjustable rates may well be about as low as they’re going to get right now – and some signs point to an increase in the coming months. For a Selbyville first-time home owner who will be taking out a loan, if the property is right, hesitating to make a commitment based on a loan rate gamble is seldom a good idea.

2. Thinking short term

Consider thinking of a home as a lifetime investment. Even for those who are single or newly-wedded, it’s possible that being open to a house with extra rooms could end up saving considerably on moving, transaction and agent fees, taxes, etc. It’s equally important to look at neighborhoods and how they are changing and developing. If you do resell your home, location can make a big difference in how.

3. Underestimating hidden costs

The monthly mortgage payment isn’t the ultimate bottom line. When a first-time home buyer comes across a property that fills (or exceeds) everything he or she has been looking for, if the mortgage payment looks to be right, it’s easy to overlook other homeowner expenses. Experienced buyers make hardheaded estimates of maintenance fees and property taxes — they will be every bit as consequential as the mortgage bill.

For a first-time home buyer in Selbyville, when thoughtful perspective goes into your final decision, it’s that much more likely to be a decision that pays off in the long run. If you are preparing to buy, I’ll be standing by to help get you started! Savvy shoppers; don’t sit on the sidelines, call/text 302-228-7871 or email me, Russell Stucki, REALTOR ® of Beach Real Estate Market to provide detailed information on Delaware homes for sale, investment and commercial properties, luxury and  waterfront homes, condos/townhomes, new construction, lots and land, farms and equestrian properties located in but not limited to Bethany, Bethel, Bridgeville, Dagsboro, Delmar, Ellendale, Fenwick Island, Frankford, Georgetown, Greenwood, Harbeson, Laurel, Lewes, Lincoln, Milford, Millsboro, Millville, Milton, Ocean View, Rehoboth Beach, Seaford, Selbyville, Delaware.

 If “downsizing” figures large as a goal many Seaford, DE  homeowners are seriously considering, The Washington Post is now citing a newer phenomenon that many older home buyers are discovering: “smart sizing.” It’s a cute phrase that might sound like a real estate feature writer’s invention—but the details will probably ring true for some retirement-bound adults who plan to be moving from or to Seaford, DE  in the near future.

  The cut-to-the-chase definition for “smart sizing” is the recognition that retirees who automatically equate downsizing with affordability might not necessarily be accurate. Retirees usually need to transition to fixed income living, so affordability is a primary priority. But downsizing alone can overlook other needs—some of which can turn out to be equally important.

The Post recounts examples of home buyers whose presumptions in moving turned out to be wide of the mark. Most convincing is a statistic from active-adult communities, where home sizes average 1,500-1,800 square feet. A housing research firm reports that about 30% of those who move to age-restricted (55 or older) communities “move to a larger place within the community after they’ve lived there for a while.” Since they remain in those communities, apparently the only reason for moving again is over-estimating the degree of downsizing.

Other anecdotes deal with other preconceptions. One couple thought their ruling priority was in “not having three levels.” But after seeking one-level houses that would fit their needs, they wound up with a multi-story home. Reality dictated that being close to their two adult daughters was at least equally important—and the basement level of their ultimate choice was perfect as a playroom for their grandkids!

Seaford, DE  homeowners whose plans have centered on downsizing alone might well include such “smart-sizing” examples in their thinking. Experience teaches that moving to a new residence never fails to be a multi-dimensional undertaking. For help in nailing down the priorities that will make your own next move a true success—just 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

Last week, Seaford residents who keep their eyes on real estate trends got some fresh information about one factor that seeks to put numbers to the relative benefits of buying versus renting. When real estate values head south, buying may seem to be a particularly risky proposition…even though later it’s clear that the value proposition was actually improving. The trade-offs are hard to quantify. Even now, if Seaford listings reflect prices on the rise, renters who failed to lasso the most extreme bargains may assume they’ve missed the boat.

Putting numbers to the problem is a complicated, pencil-snapping exercise. In addition to current dollars spent, it involves speculating on future market values. But Seaford readers who checked into CoreLogic’s Insights blog found some new data toward the end of last week, presented in an interesting way. It arrived in an article that looked at one particular aspect of today’s national real estate landscape “seven years after the last housing bubble.”

What CoreLogic’s market trend analyst Shu Chen did was to calculate the ratio of median home listing prices versus home rental prices, and chart it over the past decade. To come up with the numbers, national median home prices in key markets were divided by median annual rent figures. The beginning 2005 ratio was set at (indexed to) 100: the starting point for this “Price-to-Rent” ratio. The idea would be that when the ratio shows less than 100, it’s a good time to buy; when it goes over 100, the relative advantage has faded. It’s all relative, of course…and it doesn’t work out to be much more than a footnote to history—but you have to check the graph carefully to come to that conclusion.

Tracking the ratio’s movement over the past ten years, the graph shows a more or less steady Price-to-Rent ratio from 2005 until sometime in 2007. English translation: until the onset of the housing crisis, the financial incentives to continue renting versus buying remained pretty much unchanged. But then we see a bumpy but pronounced drop from 2007 until 2012. Aha! The housing crisis/mortgage meltdown! This would verify that listing prices were falling even as rent levels were rising. This would mark a point where purchasing became more advantageous—even though the risk level at the time seemed daunting.

Then, beginning in 2012, the graph does an about-face. It shows a steady rise as the Price-to-Rent ratio returned to previous heights. Right at the end, as we near today’s data, there is a minor drop: but it’s only slightly below the peak—which you’d think should coincide with the least advantage to buying versus renting.

That this conclusion is the opposite of our area’s current situation is because the Price-to-Rent ratio isn’t the only game in town. The spoiler on the US Price-to Rent Ratio graph is a second line (a faint orange one that all but disappears next to the in-your-face deep purple of the Price-to-Rent line). The orange one is the mortgage interest rate curve. It mimics Price-to-Rent’s ups and downs almost exactly…until it doesn’t. At some point in 2012, the mortgage interest rate flat-lines near the bottom, then stays there, hugging the depths even as Price-to-Rent’s purple line heads skyward.

In other words, the relative advantage to buying versus renting, which should have all but disappeared as Seaford home prices climbed, did no such thing. Today’s historically low mortgage interest rates continued to make buying a fantastic opportunity. If you’re one of those who’d like to check into those current opportunities in Seaford, I’ll stay close to the phone!   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