Last year comprised a decision point for many a local investor who had been holding back from the Sussex County real estate market. There’d been a number of good reasons for them to hesitate.

First, there were memories of the pervasive price drops that followed the global financial meltdown. Not exactly what a prudent investor was looking for—even given the real estate’s traditionally invincible long-term record. Then there were fears that the economy’s slow reverse out of the Great Recession (a term that was in itself enough to freeze many a checkbook!) would hamper apartment and single family unit rental increases. A landlord could get squeezed by inflation…if there were any inflation…who could know for sure?

But as 2013 began, some positives that were at last beginning to provide a degree of optimism. Last year’s Sussex County real estate investment decision was looking a little less risky when the historically low mortgage loan rates were taken into account. They penciled out to what looked like a potentially rosy cash flow outlook. And even the more hesitant investors had been noticing for a while how institutions had been pouring their own cash into residential real estate—you had to wonder why so many of the larger investment concerns suddenly seemed to want to become local landlords…

Now we can look back at 2013 and realize what a fantastic year it was for a Sussex County real estate investment. First, there was the rise in real estate prices, which was nationwide. According to the S&P Case-Shiller Index, U.S. real estate prices increased 11.3%—the highest rate of increase in many years. By the end of the year, website Zillow was predicting that the rise would continue through 2014 at a steady (and less superheated) rate. That tempering was attributed to the gradual rise in still-low mortgage interest rates—and to the inevitable fact that the most extreme bargain properties had been snapped up.

 The latest news on multi-family dwellings shows that fears of inflation outpacing landlords’ ability to increase rents were exaggerated (to say the least). National research firm Reis has just reported that for the 12-month period ending in June, rents rose 3.4%—the 18th consecutive quarter of rent increases! “You have definitely seen the recovery now spread to all of the major markets around the country,” according to Reis economist Ryan Severino. Single-family home rentals are on the rise also. According to Zillow’s latest Year-over-Year Rent Index, “increase renter demand is driving rental appreciation” even though rent affordability continues to be low in terms of percentage of incomes.

What does this mean for today’s investor deciding whether to enter the Sussex County real estate market? That’s always a choice individuals make for themselves—although, as a not-entirely neutral observer I tend to side with landlords throughout the ages whose reliable backstop has always been the real estate “they aren’t making any more of.” One thing is for certain: checking out the values to be found in current Sussex County real estate offerings is the only sure way to gauge the opportunities that are out there. In other words, give me a call.

It’s only prudent!

This year, it looks as if the busy spring real estate season extends beyond the residential arena. Latest reports show commercial property sales on the rise throughout the nation—and in volumes that make it one of the main contributors to the overall economic upturn.

The most reliable data comes from the National Association of Realtors®, whose latest quarterly survey shows year-over-year sales increasing a full 11% (with prices rising 4%). It’s an encouraging backdrop for businesspeople and individual investors who are gauging the opportunities in today’s Delaware commercial property market. Despite the vagaries of the tax and political climate (it is an election year, after all), with rental rates increasing and leasing activity up across the nation, the market does invite a closer look by anyone considering a fresh entry into Delaware’s commercial property arena.

While working with a buyer’s agent to find and purchase a Delaware commercial property isn’t an absolute essential, it certainly can be more efficient to have professional assistance and guidance throughout the process. When you choose a Realtor who has specifically commercial experience in Delaware, you make the same kind of choice as when you seek expert help in any other area of your business or personal endeavors—an expert’s insight can be priceless!

 Whether you are buying or selling a commercial property, it’s also important to avoid fixating on short-term impacts. Today’s cash flow may be your leading financial factor, but balancing with the long-term impacts is a juggling act worth mastering. Buying or selling a commercial property has long term impacts that spread out well beyond this year’s bottom line. Don’t hesitate to discuss your current business model with your accountant or tax professional. They are sure to have concrete ideas about potential impacts that will be quite real five and ten years from now. The right commercial property in Delaware will be one that is able to accommodate your needs both now and into the future.

With the right agent and clear-cut financial goals, your search for an Delaware commercial property can result in the best financial move you make this year—or for many years to come.  If you’re weighing the value of purchasing a commercial property or placing your own for sale, call me to open the discussion about the opportunities in today’s market.

Fenwick Island, DE families with members currently serving in the armed forces don't need to be reminded of the purpose of the Memorial Day holiday. In most years, that somber meaning can be all but drowned out by its more festive significance as the unofficial kickoff to Fenwick Island, DE's summer season. This year, of course, Fenwick Island, DE's regular crowded Memorial Day celebrations are largely curtailed by the practical effects of social distancing.

Still, the festive mood is not entirely lost. Mixed in with this year's restraint, it's hard not to notice the budding of a more optimistic spirit. It's becoming more possible to envision the future time when 2020 will be looked back upon as "that year" when the world briefly suffered societal mayhem.

We hope, briefly.

One difference this year is the comparative scarcity of the poppy lapel pins. The red poppy became a symbol of fallen soldiers after the flowers blossomed on the ravaged Belgian battlefields of World War I—"The Great War." A soldier's short poem, "In Flanders Field," caught the world's imagination with its portrayal of the red flowers as symbols of the unconquerable spirit of the fallen. This year may be partly remembered as one with fewer of those red poppies (the ones you wear after contributing to the veterans' charities). Every Memorial Day, volunteers can be counted upon to man their posts in front of supermarkets and malls, collecting contributions for surviving veterans as they hand out the poppies. Next year, they should be back in force…

For now, here's wishing that Fenwick Island, DE’s Memorial Day finds you and your family safe and well—and more than ready to enjoy what we hope turns out to be an almost normal summer! 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 other day, it was interesting to read a featured commentary on the MoneyCrashers.com website. It promised to pinpoint the “6 Factors” to consider when deciding whether you “should buy a home now— or wait?” No dateline was visible, but you’d have to deduce that it had first been published a while ago. The absence of any mention of today’s changed circumstances and the uncertainties ahead made it pretty clear that it had been written in pre-pandemic days (remember those)? Even so, the “6 Factors” do hold their validity. They may not cover all the key considerations—but they do set the stage for that very weighty decision.

The first factors dealt with financial viability. Realistically, those first three are basic qualifiers for buying any home in Dewey Beach, DE. Counted as #1 was a buyer’s current state of finances—having the financial wherewithal, including a provision for emergencies, to fund the process. The second was the stability of future income (a factor that’s suddenly become less predictable). We can hope this soon becomes more foreseeable. The third factor dealt with having an adequate credit score. Those first three are all factors without which buying a home would be imprudent, if even possible.

The remaining three factors were more subjective but also more original and thought-provoking. A commitment to staying in one place may be personality-driven, but has ramifications that are also financial. A buyer who might not stay rooted in Dewey Beach, DE for at least three years would usually be better advised to settle for renting—thus avoiding the expenses of buying and selling in a compressed timeframe. Next, commitment to homeownership is a sometimes overlooked quality-of-life consideration. Without the willingness to take on home repair and maintenance challenges, the pride that homeowners take in mastering those skills can instead become a collection of drudgery-laden burdens.

The final factor was the “state of the current real estate and credit market.” Half of that one is clear: the state of the ‘credit market’ part couldn’t be more auspicious. The other part—the state of today’s Dewey Beach, DE real estate market—is easily determined. 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