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

 Last Wednesday and Thursday’s stock market nosedive had analysts debating whether the Fed’s hike in interest rates was to blame. Since Lewes, DE mortgage rates are likely to also be affected, local selling-minded homeowners might well have begun to wonder whether we are headed into a less-than-favorable selling environment.

If so, would listing your home now make sense? Would holding out until lower Lewes, DE mortgage rates reappear be worth the wait? The benefit to potential buyers would be immediate: more affordable monthly payments for the same asking price.

Ultimately, the answer to that timing question will always be uncertain, but one clue can be found in the history of mortgage rates in recent decades. According to the Freddie Mac’s mortgage rate archive, that history leads to an unambiguous conclusion:

 30-YEAR MORTGAGE INTEREST RATE AVERAGES

2000s:  6.29%

1990s: 8.12%

1980s: 12.7%

1970s: 8.86%

Putting it all together, the previous 40 years produced average mortgage interest rates just shy of double digits: 9.9%, to be precise! Even after the latest Federal Reserve action, last week’s national 30-year rate “jump” was to only 4.9%. With Lewes, DE mortgage interest rates currently at less than half of what U.S. home buyers have been willing to pay in past eras, it turns out that we are still in the midst of a decidedly friendly environment for buyers—which makes it seller-friendly territory, too.

There can be many reasons why a homeowner may decide to put off listing their home, but today’s Lewes, DE mortgage rates shouldn’t be one of them. I’m happy to offer a no-obligation rundown on the outlook for this fall’s market—and how your property might fit into that picture. Call me if you’d like to chat! 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

 Free free free! It’s familiar to every Lewes, DE resident with a landline or mobile telephone: the call from an unknown source offering the free vacation come-on. Sometimes the gal at the other end of the line explains the windfall is the result of a lottery, or of a random drawing; sometimes it’s connected to a valid account (there actually ARE some legitimate drawing giveaways).

In many cases, though, the “free” vacation has a few strings (some of them can turn out to be costly)—and often involve the obligation to experience an hours-long sales pitch for an exotically sited timeshare, condo, or some variation of same. 

 Now, however, this same tactic seems to be migrating to the highest tier of vacation home proprietors. According to the Wall Street Journal, some of the world’s most luxurious resorts are adopting a similar free sample tactic. It spotlights one Belizean island resort which won’t be completed until 2021. Its proprietor is The Four Seasons, the outfit famous for its top-end hotels and resorts. Now developing a private island community, it faced a sales dilemma: how to demonstrate the finished vacation home experience before ground is even broken?

The answer, in one word: tents.

The developer has erected four “tricked-out beach tents” on their Four Seasons’ Caye Chapel beach “that have every luxury.” Teak-floor showers. Espresso makers. Air conditioning. The tents enable potential vacation home buyers to experience what are called “bite-sized luxury getaways.” The Journal is only half kidding when it characterizes the tactic as having been borrowed from a Costco free sample aisle.

Whether your idea of a vacation home is right here in Lewes, DE or in some far-flung corner of the globe, the free trial gambit does embody an authentically useful concept—the value of actually experiencing a location. When deciding on a place you might want to call home (or vacation home), it’s always worthwhile to do your best to experience it as fully as possible—even through more than one season, if possible.

Whether you will be buying or selling your own Lewes, DE vacation or other home, I hope you’ll decide to 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

It’s been quite a while since inflation was a subject that cropped up regularly in the news—yet it’s never ceased being a major factor affecting Lewes, DE real estate wealth. For younger Lewes, DE homeowners who have never experienced rampant inflation, if it starts to build steam, it can get the public’s attention in a hurry.

Inflation is what happens when the value of money—what you can purchase with a dollar—shrinks. Normally, it does that at a snail’s pace, so we barely notice. Over the past decade, the annual inflation rate has been about 1 ⅔% per year. At that rate, a half-gallon of milk priced at $2.10 today would cost $2.14 a year from now. You’d never notice because other factors affect the price of milk more significantly.

Even so, for long-range planning purposes, Lewes, DE householders thinking about retirement many years from now are wise to take inflation into account. More so if the rate of inflation begins to increase.

What does this have to do with Lewes, DE real estate wealth? The government’s Freddie Mac, for one, points out real estate’s resistance to the corrosive effects of inflation. Unlike other monthly living expenses, the principal portion of each mortgage payment remains with the spender. If it were like some other forms of savings, that growing pile of equity could be a sitting duck for the ravages of inflation.

But residential real estate prices tend to rise to compensate for drops in the value of the dollar. The fact that this, like inflation, usually occurs at a barely noticeable pace doesn’t diminish its long-term impact. And when the increase in the value of Lewes, DE real estate exceeds the rate of inflation (as it has been doing for years), more real estate wealth results.  

Back in February, Bankrate published a list of “Inflation’s Big Winners.” Leading the pack was “anyone with large, fixed-rate debts like mortgages…” Economics Professor Mark Thoma explained why: “They’re going to be paying back with devalued dollars.”

Whether or not the pace of inflation actually does start to quicken, I’m here to help you with all your Lewes, DE real estate needs. Call me anytime! 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