Suppose your Lewes, DE home is an oddball? It may be a terrific residence, but there’s no denying that it just doesn’t fit in very well with the feel of the neighborhood. In Lewes, DE, we have a reasonably eclectic mix of architectural styles, so it’s unusual to come across a house that stands apart as decidedly out of place.

If your own Lewes, DE home is one of those oddball properties, when it comes to selling it, that might not necessarily be such a bad thing. At least that’s the verdict reached by reporter Katy McLaughlin after she was assigned by the Wall Street Journal to investigate the fate of unique homes in today’s market. Are they harder or easier to sell? Do they bring premium prices—or discounts?

A less than stellar example is the Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired mansion that awaits a buyer in the Savannah, Georgia neighborhood. Buyers in California or Arizona would probably leap on the 6,595 square-foot home, but in its current neighborhood, buyers are nearly unanimous in preferring “Gone With the Wind” style homes.

Builders are familiar with the social pressure that can result when they try to construct homes with a design too far afield from the neighborhood norm. One builder got pushback “even from friends” when he agreed to design a chateau-style home in his Santa Fe neighborhood.  

Despite such headwinds, it turns out that selling results can be mixed. It may take longer to sell an outlier, but the final selling prince can reward patience. By definition, such properties defy classification—but one way to predict their selling performance is to identify them by the adjectives used in their listings. These are some Zillow-tallied results:

“unusual” – 3 days longer on market than comparable properties

“unique” — 7.5 days longer   

“quirky” — 11 days faster!

“avant-garde”— 24 days longer

Interestingly, the homes described as “unique” brought a 1.6% price premium over the comps. Such a varied array of results go to show that whether you are selling your Lewes, DE home that’s a nice fit for the neighborhood, or a quirky standout that could draw tour buses, the marketing should be aimed at an accurate depiction (with the possible exception of ‘avant-garde’). Every property has a buyer or buyers who will appreciate it—the trick is attracting their attention. If it’s time to sell your own home, I hope you’ll give me a chance to demonstrate! 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, in contrast with the nearly unanimous optimistic forecasts coming from the financial and economic think tanks, Lewes, DE news consumers were exposed to a single worrisome detail. The cloud on the horizon was called “coronavirus.” Like the 21st century’s first pandemic—SARS—early reports from its point of origin were covered up by Chinese authorities. The World Health Organization is sending a team to China early this week.  

So far, Lewes, DE has escaped direct manifestations of the new strain—and it’s been reassuring that American health services have been quick to take stringent precautionary measures to slow down its spread from Asia. But there’s little doubt that we won’t be able to contain it completely. It’s widely thought that its spread in the U.S. will most likely follow the earlier SARS pattern. That virus was effectively stifled here through similar containment efforts.

At least where Lewes, DE real estate commerce is concerned, it seems unlikely that this is a cloud on the horizon that will wind up affecting this spring’s home buyers and sellers greatly, if at all. Locally, expect more disinfectant wipes to be offered in Lewes, DE stores and offices (and possibly at this spring’s open houses, too). To date, medical investigators have yet to determine if the coronavirus strain is any more virulent than the influenza strains that annually hit the U.S.

Nonetheless, it’s odd but true that thus far, the only apparent effect on local Lewes, DE real estate may have been to boost activity. According to the Mortgage Bankers Association, mortgage applications and refinances jumped on fears that the coronavirus was spreading overseas. “That may seem far-fetched,” according to Money magazine, “but it highlights the amazing interconnectedness of the global economy.” That’s certainly true—as is the reality of home loan interest rates even lower than last year’s.   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 selling price that any Lewes, DE home brings depends on any number of factors, the most critical of which is most often how it stacks up alongside its neighborhood comparables. If its comps are in line, the property is virtually certain to attract interest. If overpriced, it’s likely to attract little interest; if bargain-priced, it’s sure to draw a crowd.

Studying the significance of the many other factors that contribute to how a home sale fares is a tricky business. Predicting what an “expected sale price” for any Lewes, DE home would be is a necessary starting point—yet that figure would have to depend on any number of factors, all of which combine to create how the house shows.

That being said, it’s still interesting to see what the researchers come up with when they cull through the hundreds of thousands of national home listings, looking for listing features that coincide with better-than-expected final sales prices. Zillow Research does this from time to time—most recently coming up with a “top 10” list that offers few surprises, except for one: that’s a “steam” thing.

The top ten listing features include “professional appliance” (meaning at least one quality  brand name appliance), “outdoor kitchen,” “prep sink,” “waterfall countertop,” “wine cellar,” and “heated floor.” It’s not surprising that the majority are features found in gourmet kitchens and well-designed bathrooms. One feature you might not predict is “Pot filler”: that’s the faucet located on the backsplash behind a range or cooktop. Pot fillers are relative newcomers in popularity. Non-kitchen features listed were “shed/garage studio” and “heated floor.”

But especially interesting was the presence of two “steam” features—“steam shower,” and the leading feature, topping the list with a 34% premium over “expected price”: “steam oven.” This surprising finding might be explained by its unexpectedness. Like “pot filler,” it could well trigger curiosity—and therefore, showing traffic. But more showings don’t automatically result in premium sales prices—to achieve those, real value is required. You have to suspect that any Lewes, DE home with a built-in steam oven has a number of other distinctive features, too. When your own Lewes, DE home is soon to go on the market, I hope you will give me a call. We’ll create a listing that brings premium results! 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 National Association of Realtors® is a sunny organization whose pronouncements can be relied upon to promote (you guessed it) real estate. Like any gigantic organization (we have more than a million dues-paying members), the NAR tends to be cautious in its public pronouncements. But in last Wednesday’s article about the course of residential real estate in 2020, Lewes, DE readers would have found the kind of sweeping statement that makes people think twice. “Is that really so?” “If that’s true, what then?

The statement was this: the decade just past “has been the most consequential stretch in American real estate history…one that fundamentally altered the landscape.”

Quite a pronouncement.

There followed a quick summary of the decade just past, making a convincing case that so much has changed that it might as well be part of “a different landscape.” Ten years ago, “many homeowners were desperately hoping to hang onto their homes” and, “buyers were struggling with newly skittish lenders.” The turnaround in those crucial elements is undeniable, yes, but reversals in conditions happen regularly. What makes this decade’s about-face “the most consequential” ever?

Their answer boils down to the scope of the recovery combined with a dearth of entry-level housing starts. The recovery has meant a sustained, robust rebound in existing house values, but unaccompanied by the resurgence of entry-level builders who were stricken from the scene. Even as price rises are finally leveling out, the starter house inventory remains strikingly sparse.

This is happening as major demographic changes take place. Baby boomers and GenXers aren’t deciding to exit their homes in numbers that match previous generations—at precisely the moment that millennials are stepping up to become the most active group in the housing market…and there are 71 million of them!

According to the author, what it all adds up to is, among other things, a lot of competition for housing by young families deciding to have kids. This raft of buyers is resulting in a new reality. Among possible outcomes: high prices in coastal metros could see an increase in buyers’ willingness to settle down in less pricey environs.  

Whether or not such shifts really will be among the most consequential in American history is far from certain. But today’s buyers are paying close attention to bottom lines—and sellers looking for speedy results are aware of it. Call me for up-to-the-hour details on what this fall has produced in our Lewes, DE 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