Last Friday’s New York Times featured a timely warning that Rehoboth Beach, DE home buyers and sellers should be aware of—especially since it uses a particularly devious dodge.

The scam has been on the rise since the beginning of 2019. It involves “spoofing” accounts that have been hacked by the perpetrators. Buyers receive phony emails that look like instructions from their lawyers or real estate brokers. They seem to be legitimate instructions for funds transfers because the crooks’ hacks have enabled them to monitor the progress of a sale and to mimic the look and language of authentic instructions. Needless to say, the goal of the criminals is to divert funds.

The F.B.I. has been monitoring these kinds of ruses for years. Although they are far from common, the warning is due to a recent rise in activity. The simplest way to prevent losses is to closely check the email properties of incoming messages. If the sender’s identity or any hyperlink leads to an unfamiliar destination (fraudsters frequently change just one or two letters from a trusted address), the difference should sound the alarm—and a quick call to the office being imitated.

Homebuyers who are late to discover that they have been the victim of a fraudulent transfer should immediately contact their financial institution to request a recall of funds—and then contact the F.B.I.’s internet crime complaint center. If the bank asks for a police report, the Times report points out that a copy of that complaint should suffice.

Today’s Rehoboth Beach, DE homebuyers are getting used to doing a greater proportion of their everyday commerce online, so the heads-up applies to more than just real estate transactions. For my clients, one part of the service I bring is to stay in close contact throughout the entire process. There are also new ways to safeguard confidential communications—call me for specifics on our latest methods of preventing scams! 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

For most everyone, this is far and away the busiest time of year—completing all the holiday preparations in addition to the regular tasks that already consume 110% of your day. When you think about how everything always does get done, it’s practically its own Hanukah or Christmas Day miracle.

For homeowners who know they will be selling their Rehoboth Beach, DE house in 2020, this year there is an added anxiety-producing factor. Since you are taking the time to read about Rehoboth Beach, DE real estate, you may be one of them. Especially for those who haven’t yet found time to get started on any house-selling preliminaries, here is a special holiday gift:

It's okay to stop worrying about not getting a head start on selling your house!  

In other words, you can go ahead and focus on all the seasonal errands that need to be attended to. No need to have qualms over not being able to spend more time on next year’s house-selling project. You can relax a little—the calendar provides a handy excuse. Here’s why:

In a couple of weeks, as the dust settles and you begin all the regular New Year’s cleanup activities, you’ll find that very little extra effort is required to start preparing to sell your Rehoboth Beach, DE house. The delay can increase your efficiency.

For instance, when you box up and store all the holiday decorations, you are doing the same kind of search-and-remove job you do with the all-important decluttering. Just expand the action—and instead of throwing out all those gift cartons, just repurpose them for storing away all the non-essential items that clutter the rooms. You’re sure to need some extra cartons to achieve the wide-open feeling that’s the goal—but after Christmas and New Years is exactly when empty cartons are everywhere!

The same goes for some of the preliminary paperwork that goes with selling your house. You’ll want to have available a year’s worth of utility bill records and property tax receipts—but after January 1, you’ll be gathering them all up for tax season, anyway. If your computer printer has a “copy” button, the only extra work will be printing a duplicate set (or copying-and-pasting the e-files for a handy desktop “House Sale” folder).

In other words, putting off your first house-selling efforts for a couple of weeks won’t really impede your house-selling effort. In practically no time, you’ll have a head start that will impress your Realtor®. Along that line, there is one thing you can do now in preparation for selling your Rehoboth Beach, DE house. Call me with a quick heads-up—I’ve made time for it! 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

For most Rehoboth Beach, DE  residents, the account of the first Thanksgiving is the Plymouth Colony story rather than the French or Spanish versions (their giving thanks celebrations started a century earlier). But since the Pilgrims’ first Thanksgiving took place in September—and the second official U.S. Thanksgiving took place in February—you might wonder why this week’s Rehoboth Beach, DE  Thanksgiving wound up being celebrated on this particular Thursday in November. Coming up with the answer is less than simple…

Starting with that first Plymouth Colony feast, for the 50% of the Pilgrims who survived the first winter below the creaking decks of the Mayflower, there certainly was ample reason to be grateful. By their second October in the New World, they had been able to erect shelter on dry land and raise sufficient food stores to confidently face the approaching winter. They’d even succeeded in negotiating a mutual defense treaty with the local Wampanoags. Once the colonists found themselves, as they wrote, “so far from want”— it was definitely party time!

That was in 1621, and for more than the following century, various Thanksgiving celebrations were observed in different regions of the country. These were often thought of as New World versions of European harvest festivals. Since those were offshoots of ancient Pagan rituals, they were often frowned upon by those favoring more religious observances.

This week’s Rehoboth Beach, DE  Thanksgiving Day is a more direct offshoot of the uniform national holiday whose legal roots go back 240 years. In 1789, the new Union’s first Congress petitioned the President to declare a day “of public prayer and thanksgiving.” George Washington obliged, and on November 26, 1789, the first national holiday was observed. A quick Googling of that date verifies that, yes, it was the 4th Thursday in November. But that proclamation was only for that one-time observance—the next Thanksgiving wasn’t proclaimed until six years later, when Washington declared a day of thanksgiving be held on Thursday, February 19.

Nowadays, Rehoboth Beach, DE  Thanksgivings are always celebrated on the 4th Thursday in November—a designation signed into law in 1940. Washington’s 1789 version had been ambiguous about Thursday: in 1789, it was both the 4th and last Thursday. Whenever there are five Thursdays in November, designating the last one results in a merchant-enraging shortening of the pre-Christmas shopping season. Proclaiming Thanksgiving on the 4th avoids that situation.

This year, despite that solution, the calendar makes for a somewhat brief holiday shopping season, anyway—hence the flurry of noticeably premature “Black Friday” sales. But before the Friday sales hubbub, here’s hoping your Rehoboth Beach, DE  Thanksgiving features an abundance of good health, good food, and good cheer! 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

Now that we’re almost to Thanksgiving, we find ourselves at the traditional moment when real estate’s soothsayers dust off their crystal balls and get busy. In the coming weeks, they will go to press with their projections, informed guesses, and unbridled hunches about how real estate will fare in the coming year.

Everyone contemplating Rehoboth Beach, DE  real estate transactions in 2020 will be affected to some degree by shifts in the national disposition, so it’s always worth keeping an ear open to the experts’ conversations—their projections do influence what actually comes to pass (even if they’re ultimately off-target).

Last Friday’s Forbes release led the pack this year with Senior Contributor Aly Yale’s roundup of six opinions from Forbes-selected mortgage, real estate, and housing experts. For Rehoboth Beach, DE  readers hoping to gain fresh insights about the coming year, the consensus views were less than electrifying: if any big changes are hovering over the horizon, the experts are keeping them on the q.t.


Housing.  Throughout 2019, housing inventories have remained limited, in large part because people are choosing longer stays in their current homes. One study found that the average duration was 8 years in 2010—but is now 13 years. Says O. Kushi, chief economist for First American title insurer, “you can’t buy what’s not for sale;” hence, the cap on housing sales. The prediction for 2020? More of the same.

Real Estate: With interest rates low and incomes climbing, the share of younger buyers has been growing. Even so, it has still been an uphill battle due to higher prices and a dearth of starter homes. For 2020? Expect more price pressure. One prediction is an average price appreciation of 5.6% by next September (versus this year’s 3.5% rise).

Mortgages: This year, Rehoboth Beach, DE  home loan rates fooled most of the experts, falling in line with the national monthly average with a drop of about 1%. Next year, they’re expected to “stay low—or maybe go lower.”  The Mortgage Bankers Association concurs, projecting average rates of 3.7% to 3.9%. Freddie Mace “actually predicts rates…even lower”—3.5%-3.6%.

As we’ve seen many times, you can’t take predictions about interest rates “to the bank,” but they do have some value as calmatives—particularly when they’re like these, projecting advantageous conditions to come. Another advantageous idea is to give me a call when Rehoboth Beach, DE  real estate matters are in your own future! 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