Your credit score will have a major impact when it comes to the cost you wind up paying for a Lewes mortgage. A buyer with a high credit score of 750 or above will qualify for the most competitive interest rates available; but today’s tightened lending standards mean that some borrowers with scores under 600 may not qualify for a mortgage at all. And no matter what, a low credit score can mean paying an extra 3%-4% interest charge on every payment.

There is nothing permanent about a credit score. Lewes homebuyers who realize its importance—and who take early steps to improve their own—can save literally thousands of dollars.

  1. You can’t improve your credit score until you know what you are working with. Your first step is to obtain your credit reports. They are available for free once a year from each of the three major reporting agencies: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.
  2. The fastest way to improve your credit score is to correct any inaccuracies. Because this takes time – anywhere from 30 days to as long as six months, the earlier you begin the process, the better. To remove items that are incomplete or inaccurate, verify the correct information using the dispute procedure on the agency’s website. The creditor has 30 days in which to validate the debt; if the credit agency does not receive a response to your claim, they are required by law to remove the entry from your report. Remember that there are three major agencies, so an incorrect item may appear on all three— and all three need to be contacted.
  3. If you have an older credit card that you haven’t been using for a while, it’s a good idea not to cancel it; even to use it now and again, paying the balance in full. This will mean that the issuer keeps reporting information to the credit bureau, which can be valuable. A longer credit history improves your credit score.
  4. A low credit utilization ratio measures how much of your available credit you are using. In order to improve your credit score, keep your credit utilization ratio below 20%. One way to quickly improve a utilization score is to move credit card debt onto cards with higher limits. While this will not make a difference to the amount that you owe, it will alter individual cards’ credit utilization ratios.
  5. Consider a Personal Loan. If you have a family member or friend that you can borrow from, consider taking out a loan in order to pay down a portion of existing debt. By removing some of that debt, you can give your credit score a boost.
  6. Moving away from being measured as a poor credit risk has the biggest impact on whether a future mortgage is approved—and how much interest you wind up having to pay. Your credit score in Lewes really matters! If you would like an introduction to a mortgage broker to begin the conversation about the home loan your current credit score qualifies you for, contact me today.

Call/text 302-228-7871 or email me, Russell Stucki, REALTOR® of Beach Real Estate Market to provide detailed information on Delaware homes for sale, investment and commercial properties, luxury and  waterfront homes, condos/townhomes, new construction, lots and land, farms and equestrian properties located in but not limited to Bethany, Bethel, Bridgeville, Dagsboro, Delmar, Ellendale, Fenwick Island, Frankford, Georgetown, Greenwood, Harbeson, Laurel, Lewes, Lincoln, Milford, Millsboro, Millville, Milton, Ocean View, Rehoboth Beach, Seaford, Selbyville, Delaware.

The photos that make up your Lewes listing will be key to your home’s marketing effort. If that first impression is positive (or even if it only raises curiosity), those images will have helped you past the all-important first hurdle.

What makes a Lewes listing a visual triumph? I’m afraid that belongs in realm of art, so to a certain extent remains unclassifiable. But some factors that inevitably prevent a good listing shot are a lot easier to describe. Chief culprits:

We’ve all seen listing photos where you can barely to make out what you’re supposed to be looking at — dim shots that make a house look grey and dirty. Since everyone is drawn to a home that’s brightly lit and inviting, when in doubt, turn on more lights! Bright photo highlights make a home look clean and sparkly, so help your Delaware agent plan the photo shoot at the time of day you know your house looks its brightest -- and if the weather doesn’t cooperate, be willing to re-schedule.

A Lewes listing that shows even a few rooms that haven’t been properly de-cluttered can end up alienating potential buyers. Serious buyers want to be able to envision how a house will look once they move in: hard to do when the floors, walls or shelves are packed with your belongings.

Sometimes it’s easy to overlook garbage cans, gardening equipment, or exterior décor touches that once looked nice (and now, let’s face it, don’t). If possible, photograph the house on a bright day with the sun behind you (but remember to keep your shadow out of frame).

You don’t have to be an Ansel Adams to take winning Delaware listing photos. Acing the Lewes listings is just part of a good campaign — and if you’re ready to market your own home, part of why you should give me a call. It’s actually a great time of year to sell!

Call/text 302-228-7871or email me, Russell Stucki, REALTOR ® of Beach Real Estate Market to provide detailed information on Delaware homes for sale, investment and commercial properties, luxury and  waterfront homes, condos/townhomes, new construction, lots and land, farms and equestrian properties located in but not limited to Bethany, Bethel, Bridgeville, Dagsboro, Delmar, Ellendale, Fenwick Island, Frankford, Georgetown, Greenwood, Harbeson, Laurel, Lewes, Lincoln, Milford, Millsboro, Millville, Milton, Ocean View, Rehoboth Beach, Seaford, Selbyville, Delaware.

When companies need to move employees who are also homeowners, they have to make the transition as painless as possible (or risk losing a valued asset). UrbanBound is a Chicago-based professional relocation group who know the landscape. “Even the most hands-on HR departments in the world can have too much on their plates to give relocation the attention it needs,” they point out. Thus the $16 billion relocation industry!

If you’re contemplating a relocation to Lewes any time soon, even without the services of a specialist, there’s much we can learn from the do’s and don’ts they offer. Here are some key don’ts:

Don’t Underestimate the Commute

If relocation to Delaware or Sussex County will find you entering unfamiliar territory, don’t rely on MapQuest to tell you how long you drive to work will be. Take a serious look at public transportation, too, as you choose where you want to live in relation to your new job.

Don’t Overestimate the Raise

When you are relocating, the difference between a $30,000 and $45,000 salary (or even $70,000 and $100,000) might actually amount to a decrease in real earnings. When you’re considering cost of living differences for relocation to or from Lewes, don’t be tempted to stop at the obvious living expenses, like housing and food. Will you be doing more holidays traveling to visit those you left behind? Will the kids wind up in private schools if available public schools aren’t up to snuff? You’re looking for all cost differences…which can go the other way, too!

Don’t Ignore Key Findings

The experts mention (politely) that not only do you have to do the research; you also have to accept the results. School quality really can vary. Even noise quality can be a factor that drives location. Best practice? Find out what people have to say about where they live, good and bad. When you plan Lewes relocation carefully, you’ll take advantage of your new opportunity while avoiding common oversights. And if relocation is in your future, I’m here to help you find the right — and practical — new place to call home. Call/text 302-228-7871 or email me, Russell Stucki, REALTOR® of Beach Real Estate Market to provide detailed information on Delaware homes for sale, investment and commercial properties, luxury and  waterfront homes, condos/townhomes, new construction, lots and land, farms and equestrian properties located in but not limited to Bethany, Bethel, Bridgeville, Dagsboro, Delmar, Ellendale, Fenwick Island, Frankford, Georgetown, Greenwood, Harbeson, Laurel, Lewes, Lincoln, Milford, Millsboro, Millville, Milton, Ocean View, Rehoboth Beach, Seaford, Selbyville, Delaware.

Recently, the National Association of Realtors® reported the largest number of existing home sales since February 2007— and I expect we will see similar results when this year’s final numbers come in. With more individuals looking to enter (or re-enter) the real estate market, buying a house in Lewes can be expected to continue to be newly competitive.

That does not mean that you should adopt a defensive mindset. Even after finding what looks like a great deal on a seemingly terrific home, it’s wise to keep an eye out for unexpected developments that could make it necessary to walk away from the deal. Some of the situations that usually don’t (but still can) trigger that option:

If the Delaware home inspection uncovers issues that you didn’t know existed, you have several options. The seller may offer to pay for needed repairs, or add a credit at closing. Depending on the extent of the problem, it’s sometimes wiser to simply take the credit and avoid complex amendments that could overcomplicate the contract. But if the seller refuses any concessions, it could be that you won’t be buying a house as quickly as hoped.

A mortgage can fall through unexpectedly. An abrupt change in employment, credit downgrade, or if the bank has trouble verifying income, an underwriter may back away from the table. Most often, financing contingencies in the paperwork will allow you to walk away from the deal.

An unexpectedly low appraisal can make buying a house financially unworkable. When a home appraises for less than the agreed-upon selling price, the bank will not finance. This means the seller will either have to lower his price, or you as the buyer will need to come up with additional cash to cover the difference. You may believe the appraisal is not a fair measure of the property’s true worth (at least to you) — but remember that should you later wish to sell, the next appraisal may not be much higher. In all cases, whenever you contemplate buying a house in Lewes, I’m here to help you reach smart long-term decisions. Call/ text 302-228-7871 or email me Russell Stucki, REALTOR ® of Beach Real Estate Market to provide detailed information on Delaware homes for sale, investment and commercial properties, luxury and  waterfront homes, condos/townhomes, new construction, lots and land, farms and equestrian properties located in but not limited to Bethany, Bethel, Bridgeville, Dagsboro, Delmar, Ellendale, Fenwick Island, Frankford, Georgetown, Greenwood, Harbeson, Laurel, Lewes, Lincoln, Milford, Millsboro, Millville, Milton, Ocean View, Rehoboth Beach, Seaford, Selbyville, Delaware.