There is one persuasive reason why Lewes, DE homeowners (and prospective homeowners) don’t hear much about the likelihood that a new “housing bubble” could be in the making.

For any Lewes, DE homeowner who’s had the comfort of watching their property’s value grow steadily for years, a mere mention of the words “housing bubble” can squelch the enthusiasm. Even though real estate is “real” in a way few investments can equal, there was the last decade’s property value nosedive. Momentarily, at least, it rained on residential real estate nearly everywhere.

“Housing bubble” was the derisive term that described the previous run-up in prices that subsequently “popped” when sellers could no longer find buyers. A large part of the chaos was due to the home loan industry’s inability to finance mortgages at the previous valuations. In fact, for a while, even well-heeled buyers could scarcely find financing at any valuation.

 In 2008, the bubble metaphor seemed especially apt because the “pop” came so abruptly. When things go south suddenly, it’s particularly unnerving. But today Lewes, DE homeowners can take comfort in at least one reason why today’s circumstances bear little resemblance to what happened ten years ago.

  The Mortgage Bankers’ Association charts something called the “MCAI.” It’s a reliable measure of the availability of home loans, measured on a scale from 1 to 1,000. The higher the number, the easier it is for applicants to obtain home loans. A chart shows how, in the three years leading up to the height of the bubble, the MCAI traced an almost vertical line from 370 up to more than 850—which then nosedived to 100 in the following 20 months. You could almost hear the “pop.”

Looking at today’s much more comforting MCAI, it shows a shallow, nearly horizontal line extending from 100 to just 183. That’s what’s been happening over the last 10 years, from 2008 to today. No bubble on the horizon—it looks more like a stable foundation.

When credit it too easy to come by, true values can float upward without restraint—and the result is a “pop!” According to the Mortgage Bankers Association data, it looks like that lesson has been learned—and today’s Lewes, DE homeowners can breathe easier as a result. Call me for expert guidance in today’s 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 Thursday, the Washington Post described “a holiday gift” that could find its way to the doorsteps of Lewes, DE home seller and buyers. The Post might not have identified him by name, but there was also a hint that the Grinch could be lurking in the shadows.

Real estate writer Kathy Orton’s headline story described an unanticipated December boon “for those looking to buy or refinance a home.” It was a package that materialized in the wake of wild fluctuations in the stock market. A variety of national and international worries had combined to trigger widespread “investor anxiety.” The result a headline echoed in the Mortgage Bankers Association daily newsletter:

“Mortgage Rates Plunge to Their Lowest Level in Three Months.”

For prospective Lewes, DE home buyers who have been hoping to lock in favorable home loan offers, the news could have seemed worthy of a scene out of “It’s a Wonderful Life.” But before that holiday standard’s joyous ending could be echoed in real life, home buyers who were slow to react might be cautioned that another Christmas classic might be called to mind before long. Realistically, the Post’s “holiday gift” could fall prey to a Grinch-like plot twist.

In this year’s real-life Lewes, DE version, that villainous role might be played by the Federal Reserve’s Open Market Committee. “Markets expect another rate hike in December” according to one economist. If so, it could quickly reverse the rate slide. Already, the Post saw hints that “this recent decline may be over.”

Meantime, Danielle Hale of Realtor.com offered a prognosis that wavered midway between Dr. Seuss and Wonderful Life. “Although we don’t see it in this week’s data,” the Chief Economist said, “momentum has started to shift…”

Buying or selling Lewes, DE homes isn’t something that’s hatched in the mind of a creative artist or Hollywood producer—but it can be influenced by plot twists like mortgage interest rate shifts. In every season, I make sure my clients stay informed of all events that impact the buying and selling of Lewes, DE homes. When that becomes your own focus, do call me! 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

This Thursday, at some point in the festivities we’ll be remembering the Pilgrims and their Indian guests on that first Thanksgiving Day in the New World. After all, that gathering was the genesis of today’s Lewes, DE Thanksgiving Day celebration.

Or was it?

This momentary doubt surfaced when someone mentioned the Canadian Thanksgiving celebration. When you think about it, how likely it is that our Neighbors to the North would create a national holiday to memorialize some ancient Massachusetts get-together? Pretty unlikely.  

So if their Thanksgiving doesn’t celebrate the day the Pilgrims feasted with their new Wampanoag friends, what does it celebrate?

The Canadian version is said to be offshoots of the Old World’s “Harvest Festivals.” According to England’s Metro News, “Harvest Festival in Britain is the ancient festival that celebrates a successful yield.” It’s a “Sunday of Thanksgiving” observed on the Sunday closest to the harvest moon (this year, it came on September 23). European Harvest Festivals are said to be remnants of pre-Christian harvest festivals, during which corn dolls are traditionally fashioned from “the last sheath of the harvest.” You can find many pictures of the corn dolls (they call them ‘dollies’). No Indian tribes. No turkeys.

Pagan festivals and dollies? Does this put the accuracy of all Lewes, DE elementary school bulletin boards with their Pilgrim hats and turkey displays in jeopardy? Fortunately, there’s a problem with the Pilgrim-less version.

According to the British press, the corn dolls are “meant to symbolize the pagan goddess of the grain”—which would definitely predate Christianity altogether. But the fact is, corn was unknown in Europe until it was brought by Columbus from the New World. So the corn doll/pre-Christian link doesn’t work, time-wise.

I think we can safely bypass other Thanksgiving legends and just stick to our own story. Lewes, DE’s Thanksgiving can continue to be the once-a-year occasion to remember its true spirit—a day we celebrate our gratitude for all we have and love.  

Here’s hoping your celebration is delightful and fulfilling. 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. Happy Thanksgiving!

For a while now, one of the themes we’ve been hearing on the news has been less than encouraging—particularly if you’re one of the Lewes, DE homeowners thinking about listing your home. It’s the item that’s reported as “home sales.” When you’re about to put your home on the market, you’d like those reports to have headlines like, “Contract Signings Up 3.1%” and “Contract Signings Post Solid Gain” (those were actual headlines from last November and February).

Starting back in March, the home sales numbers reported as “pending home sales” started tapering off. The reasons weren’t that the values of the country’s residential properties were declining; the opposite was true. The reasons were that rising prices were combining with gradually rising mortgage interest rates. Too many prospective buyers were finding too few properties they could afford. Also, the overall residential inventory was sparse: too few homes were available for sale.

Put that all together, and you get what we’ve been reading and hearing about: home sales figures that might not be in an actual nosedive—but more like a swoon. The pundits who predict such things expected that trend to continue for a while. They reasoned that the underlying conditions weren’t going to change anytime soon.

SURPRISE!

As does seem to happen more often than you’d think, the pundits seem to have been off target. Last Thursday the National Association of Realtors® disclosed the latest sales results: “Pending Home Sales See .5 Percent Increase in September.” That number is “forward-looking”—that is, predictive. The longer-range interpretation was also optimistic: “This shows that buyers are out there…waiting to jump in once more inventory becomes available…”   

Too, there was another report, the 3rd Quarter HOME survey. It reported that at the end of September “63% of people believe that now is a good time to buy a home.” Evidently, the folks are ahead of the pundits: welcome news for anyone considering joining this fall’s Lewes, DE home sellers. If you are someone who’s been thinking of taking a closer look at the current local outlook, I hope you’ll 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