“It can be kind of confusing.” - Tom Quinn, V.P Business Development for myFICO in “The Scores That Matter in Mortgage Lending.

Unless you’re a buyer who falls into the all-cash category, once you begin to zero in on buying your next Bethany Beach, DE home, you will already have been paying close attention to your bill-paying reputation. You will probably have requested one or more of the free credit score reports the reporting agencies furnish free of charge once a year.

Mortgage lenders use Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax in differing ways, and since each follows its own system to rate your creditworthiness, their scores differ. And it’s more complicated than that because the agencies offers lenders different scores depending on the type of loan being considered.

In fact, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau once ordered TransUnion and Equifax to pay millions of dollars in fines “for deceiving consumers about the usefulness and actual cost of credit scores they sold to consumers.” So Equifax’s Score 5 differs from its Score 8—and Experian’s Score 2 differs from TransUnion’s Score 4…and so on. FICO will sell consumers access to “28 of the most widely used” score versions—but when you try to find out which scores any given lender is currently using, you’re unlikely to come up with a useful answer.

That means that the successful way to navigate the system is common sense-based. As FICO acknowledges, although evolving credit models “keep pace with changing consumer credit behaviors,” all have a “similar underlying foundation.” All are designed to show the lenders who’s likely to pay obligations faithfully. So keep an eye on your reported scores, dispute any black marks that are inaccurate, and take all the well-publicized steps that create strong scores: use a variety of credit types, make payments on time, etc.

It’s as simple as that.

Establishing and maintaining strong credit is a career-long affair—and buying your next Bethany Beach, DE home will be a major hallmark in that career. I hope you’ll give me a call to help you reach that goal! 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

We’ve just made it through another extended holiday season. This was one of those where Christmas and New Year’s fall two days after the weekend. For some families who are hosting the celebrations, that can tax their entertainment resources to the max. When it gets to the point where anyone’s best idea is to watch “Die Hard” or “It’s a Wonderful Life” for a second time, you know new thinking is called for.

Even more dire, next year the situation will be compounded. Bethany Beach, DE’s holidays will fall on a Wednesday—for host families, the most extreme holiday predicament. It will call for the utmost entertainment ingenuity. Here is an absolutely original suggestion for next year:

Hold a family Real Estate Word Game competition!

 Since it’s unlikely previous real estate word game competitions have been held in the past, here are some suggestions to spark the creativity that will be necessary by 2019’s year-end:

Real estate riddles—like,

“Why did the real estate agent cross the road?” (Answer: to put up an Open House sign).

 “What do you call a sprinkler system that won’t turn off?” (Answer: A source of constant irrigation)

 “If two antennas on a house for sale get married, what’s the result? (Answer: a brilliant reception)

 “What three letters are the opposite of ‘FSBO?”   (Answer: REO).

“What does ‘REO’ stand for? (Answer: Real Estate Owned)

“What the heck does that mean? (Answer: a bank owns the property)

“Why is that important? (Answer: because the bank probably wants to sell it ASAP!)

Real estate knock knock jokes—like,

Knock knock

Who’s there?

Needle.

Needle who?

Needle little help selling this house!

Knock knock

Who’s there?

Police.

Police who?

Police stop with these real estate jokes!

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Needless to say, it’s a good thing that next holiday season is a year off—we’ll all need at least that much time to work on less groan-producing examples. But in the meantime, whenever you need some real estate expertise that’s no joke—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

As Thanksgiving rolls around again and our Bethany Beach, DE houses fill with visiting relatives and friends, it’s hard to repress an occasional thought like, “Gee, I hope the water heater holds up” or “Boy, this would NOT be the time for the range to give out!” But it’s true that if there’s one thing first time homeowners can learn from their more experienced Bethany Beach, DE neighbors, it’s to expect the unexpected—at least when it comes to home repairs. That isn’t to say that some wallet-draining breakdown is certain to happen a month or two after moving in—but the odds are close to 50-50 that something could need attention within the first year or so.

That was just one of the major takeaways for Bethany Beach, DE readers of last week’s NerdWallet 2018 Home Improvement Report. Among Americans who have ever purchased a home, a whopping 44% say they experienced some unexpected home repair within the first year of ownership. And 48% reported having experienced at least some level of anxiety due to unexpected home repair costs.

Fortunately, Realtor Magazine issued some follow-up research that should quell at least some of that anxiety over unexpected Bethany Beach, DE home repairs. Among 113,000,000 “high-dollar” projects, the average cost was only $1,350. The NerdWallet report furnished an explanation for this less-than-budget-breaking bottom line: the growing popularity of do-it-yourself solutions. They ascribed the phenomenon to the growing popularity of DIY TV programs coupled with the ready availability of online “how-to” videos.

Even so, when it came to major home repairs that most people leave to the professionals, roof repairs led the list.

Whether you’re a first-timer or veteran homeowner, anxiety-reducing solutions range from home warranty policies to what Consumer Reports also recommends: self-insurance via regular deposits into your own emergency repair account. Even though it takes most first-timers a while to build up that kind of substantial rainy-day war chest, the majority report feeling positive about their homeownership—it “makes them feel more accomplished” and financially stable.

For any and all your Bethany Beach, DE real estate questions, I hope you’ll feel free 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

Successful pricing strategies in any endeavor must take the competition into account—so when it comes to right-pricing your Bethany Beach, DE home, that factor is at least as important as any other. 

From the seller’s point of view, right-pricing starts with a walk-away number: a price that would be so low it would result in financial hardship. Offers at or below that level are not welcome (although good practice dictates a counter, rather than a true walk-away, which risks bringing emotion into what might otherwise have resulted in an acceptable final offer). At the top of the pricing range are the outlandish pie-in-the-sky prices that never really materialize. Those billionaires who don’t care about their bottom lines also never materialize. As has been pointed out elsewhere, they didn’t become billionaires by not caring about the bottom line.

From the buyer’s point of view, right-pricing is what they’re looking for (or at least hoping is out there, somewhere). Many of today’s serious house hunters begin combing the Bethany Beach, DE listings by specifying a price range. It may top out at just a bit more than they will be actually willing to pay— but the lower number is often well below what they can afford. Needless to say, if a listing fits all their other criteria but the asking price is below comparable offerings, it’s a lead pipe cinch they will be calling their Realtor® to arrange for a showing. It’s a phone call they’ll make sooner rather than later—especially if they’ve had earlier experiences that led to a bidding war.

You can be reasonably assured that your house is priced wrong if it’s been on the market for months with no reasonable offers forthcoming. Other market factors can be at play, but the asking price is the first place to question.

So how do you know if your Bethany Beach, DE house is priced right? If you are confident that your property is in top shape, and if your agent’s comparable report shows that recent similar sales have closed safely above the walkaway level, setting a price that’s below top dollar should result in a strong buyer reaction—and a timely offer (or offers) from qualified buyers on terms that put a smile on your face.

That’s how you know your house was priced right! Getting there means teaming with an experienced Bethany Beach, DE professional—which can start with a call to my number!  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