January has often been a month when Bethany Beach, DE homeowners decide to get serious about projects they’ve put on hold during the past year. It’s only logical: most of us tend to regard the annual calendar changeover as a kind of mental departure point. “Out with the old! In with the new!” is more than just a greeting card motto: January has long been a month for committing to major initiatives.

Deciding to sell your Bethany Beach, DE home can be such a project—and when you combine that January milestone idea with the popular acceptance of spring as the key home-selling season, you might think that right now—in mid-January—is the ideal time to begin preparations. In the past, that was often the case. But if the National Association of Realtors®’ latest research is on target, that notion may be passé. For the buyers, at least, the wait is over. For them, spring is already here!

 Research shows that most people think that April is when home buyers start home searches in earnest, but the latest statistics from 2019 show that February was the leader. It racked up the most monthly views per listing. And January was only 1% behind February. In other words, as far as serious homebuyers are concerned, this year’s Bethany Beach, DE homebuying push may already be underway!

The NAR believes that it’s the more competitive housing market that was responsible for the shift to an earlier start last year—and they have reason to believe that trend will continue this year. Their economists speculate that low inventories and rising prices caused searchers to begin their house-hunting early last year. That is only an informed guess, but the practical advice for both Bethany Beach, DE home sellers and buyers who have been thinking about selling this spring is clear from the NAR’s final summary: “the earlier you get started, the better.”

The ‘get started’ part is simple—especially if January is your “in with the new” time of year. Just 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

If your Bethany Beach, DE house has a working fireplace, but you’re less than adept at the fine points of dealing with it, there are a few basics that veteran fire builders observe without fail. Especially if you like to keep the household temperature on the crisp side, there’s nothing like a crackling fire to take the chill out of the air without overheating the place. Here are five valuable pointers:

1.      Have the chimney inspected. The National Fire Protection Association recommends a yearly check-over by a licensed Bethany Beach, DE inspector. For sure, if yours gets frequent use, that’s appropriate. If a sweep is called for, hold off on that first fire of the year until it’s completed.

2.      Gather your wood. Dense hardwood (oak, hard (sugar) maple and birch) logs burn at a temperature that produces coals that radiate heat for a long time. Pine, tamarack, spruce, or cedar are softer woods that burn hotter—but for a shorter time. They are especially handy for kindling when you’re getting the fire started. There are conflicting opinions about whether softwoods result in greater creosote buildup in the chimney, but no controversy about the value of “seasoning.” Seasoned wood (aged for at least six months) makes for less smoke—and less soot and creosote.

3.      Build your fire. One way is to wad up newspaper below the grate, crisscrossing narrow, finely split wood (or commercially available fatwood) on the grate, then three smallish seasoned logs on top.

4.      Prime the flue. Prevent smoke backup by preheating the cold chimney a bit. Light a tightly rolled sheet of newspaper and wave it gently under the damper. In a minute, the flame will generate enough heat to draw the smoke up and out. Now you’re ready to light the wad of newspaper beneath the grate.

5.      Keep it going. Fire is stoked by air movement, so keep things going by creative structuring of the gaps between logs. The narrower the gap, the greater the air velocity that feeds the flame.  

A working fireplace adds value to any Bethany Beach, DE house. Call me to chat about maximizing your Bethany Beach, DE house’s market appeal! 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

 Bethany Beach, DE entrepreneurs are familiar with FastCompany, the long-standing periodical of record promoting business creativity. It sponsors things like its Innovation Festival, presents Innovation by Design Awards, World-Changing Ideas Awards, etc. Fast Company is a hotbed of creativity for all sorts of endeavors—for instance, this week, it highlighted the “Top 10 Halloween costumes for pets in 2019” (the not altogether innovative winner: “Pumpkin”).

Furthering the same holiday motif, it also ran an article that touches closer to the interests of Bethany Beach, DE real estate followers—more or less along the lines of how sophisticated buyers order professional inspections of Bethany Beach, DE properties before committing to the sale. “More or less,” because the specific inspection will be available only in three cities (Charlotte, Dallas, and Tampa).

This “useful new tool” being added onto the traditional 160-point inspection punch list is a complete Paranormal Inspection Report. Included are the services of an experienced paranormal investigator, who will check the property for ghosts. For potential buyers who might not otherwise have demanded this other-worldly due diligence, it could be the proverbial “stitch in time/that saves nine.”

The service is being offered exclusively by the Bungalo real estate platform. For Bethany Beach, DE readers who might suspect that firm of being motivated more by publicity than by providing a valuable real estate service, Fast Company urges repeated viewings of Poltergeist or The Changeling. Lest future buyers in those cities expect the innovation to be available in the future, it’s only being offered this month (as midnight strikes on Halloween, it will dematerialize).

For normal (rather than para) Bethany Beach, DE real estate matters, do 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

One often-repeated lament you hear from Bethany Beach, DE house sellers is this one: “I wish we’d done the [major remodeling project] long ago so we could have enjoyed it!” It’s probably such a commonplace because we all gradually get used to working around problematic aspects of our Bethany Beach, DE houses. Some problems develop so slowly we aren’t even aware they exist.

This changes when we start preparing to sell, whereupon we have to accept the reality that potential buyers won’t be so tolerant. There’s a price to pay when a prospective buyer’s takeaway is “Nice house, except for the [unaddressed problem].” At a minimum, they’re likely to discount any offer accordingly.

The common tendency to put off the less-than-urgent home improvements just got some scientific provenance. In the recent National Association of Realtors® major research survey dealing with a wide range of remodeling topics, one finding amidst all the value-vs-expenditure figures dealt with the emotional dimension of home improvement.

The NAR’s 2019 Remodeling Impact Report leads off with statistics about renovating the owner’s master suite—and finds that 65% of homeowners “have a greater desire to be home” after completion. The same percentage report an increased “sense of enjoyment” when they’re at home. Nearly 70% experience an additional benefit: they “feel a major sense of accomplishment” when they just think about the project.

The Report is chock full of similar—and even more persuasive—statistics like that one. Kitchen upgrades, for instance, are nearly 20% more satisfying…and “complete kitchen renovations” are nearly off the charts!

The researchers were simply ratifying that all-too-common refrain heard from Bethany Beach, DE house sellers after the fact. While struggling to wash a too-large pot in a too-small sink or eyeing the overly-well-worn living room flooring, some Bethany Beach, DE homeowners might consider the NAR findings. Especially if selling the Bethany Beach, DE house is eventually in prospect, this fall might be time to act (later, it will be time 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