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.

Seaford, DE  homeowners and the Seaford, DE  Realtors® and mortgage professionals who serve them aren’t the only ones who keep an eye on the day-to-day gyrations of home loan interest rates. Every move is so consequential to the rest of the national economy that even minor tics get national attention.

That was why the January 4 pronouncement from trusted analysts at Bankrate.com,Rates poised to stay low in new year,” came as reassuring news. Their reasoning was cogent. In addition to the Federal Reserve’s unusual promise not to raise their key Fed Funds rate “through 2023,” Bankrate pointed out that it also had “a number of tools at its disposal…that can push rates to where the Fed wants them to be.”

The goal in 2021 would be to stabilize markets, firm up debt prices, and extend the benefits that accompany a soaring stock market. Home loans were more than side issues. “Keeping a lid on mortgage rates in particular” would be a key to stabilizing the wider economy since lower mortgage rates would invigorate consumer spending. Bankrate elaborated on what Seaford, DE  Realtors, buyers, and home sellers have already experienced: the stimulative effect when “homeowners can cut their payments by $150, $200, $300 or more per month…”

If such expectations prove out, continued low mortgage interest rates would allow prospective Seaford, DE  home sellers to bide their time. There would be little pressure to seize the historically favorable opportunity.

For once, there would be at least one low-stress situation!

But—not so fast. By last Monday, the actual markets seemed oblivious to what the Fed governors and Bankrate were propounding. “Rates Rising at Fastest Pace in Months,” headlined the authoritative Mortgage News Daily. Last Monday’s rates reflected “the roughest week since June 2020 by some measures …” and, “if this drama were to conclude now, it would be that big of a deal.”

The concerns were being fueled by the changing of the guard in Washington. Increased spending, if it were to result, might help the economy in the long run—“but it does bad things for interest rates” [the bolded type was the Daily’s]. Because the government sells US Treasuries to finance spending, the result is higher yields/rates, and “Treasures correlate significantly with mortgage rates.”

By week’s end, rates had steadied—Seaford, DE  homeowners and prospective buyers could still avail themselves of undeniably advantageous mortgage rates. Yet, it was hard to completely ignore the shadow cast over Bankrate’s reassuring future. The soundly reasoned portrayal of sustained low-interest rates hadn’t lasted the month.

Interest rates are only one element of the complex decision to buy or sell Seaford, DE  homes. Call me anytime for a rundown on the latest information to help make a well-grounded decision. 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

There’s no shortage of research and insights into how men and women differ when it comes to consumer attitudes—but scarcely any that deals specifically with the most important purchase either sex makes: buying a home. A while back (2013), Realtor® Magazine did tackle the topic in a piece based on a 50,000-consumer survey of active house-hunters.

In general, the house-hunting process itself was slightly more enjoyable for women, with 87% saying they liked looking at homes—10% more than for the men. Their views of homeownership differed as well. Men tended to associate it with “control over living space” and “more space for my family,” while women linked homeownership to words like “pride,” “accomplishment,” or “independence.” Those answers would conform to timeworn stereotypes, with the men tending to concentrate on a future home’s physical properties, while the feminine take focused on the social implications of living there—a difference that’s certainly thought-provoking.

These stereotypes were less well-delineated when it came to the type of house-hunting responsibilities each gender tended to assume. Women thought they took the lead in chores like neighborhood research, while men considered collecting financial data was primarily their responsibility. Those results tended to be more inconclusive than not: most often, a majority of house-hunters of either sex considered responsibilities to be shared.

Such nebulous conclusions probably explain why there has been a lack of recent research into the subject. Too, there has been an understandable shift of interest into the more readily investigated phenomenon of the rise of single women as “a driving force in homeownership”(the Washington Post’s phrase). In recent years, as women move ahead in the workplace, single women account for more home purchases than do single men.

All gender stereotyping aside, 2021 is already shaping up as an active Ocean View, DE house-hunting year for all comers. I hope you’ll give me a call when it’s time for you to join in the hunt! 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