This year, all signs point to our Bridgeville real estate market being a sizzling hot one. For anyone who will be selling a property soon, it’s time to take stock of the factors that will influence how attractive (and competitive) their offering will turn out to be,

Always near the top of the list is, of course, location: location as geography (how close it is to Delaware’s key shopping, parks and recreation areas) and location as setting (how desirable is the surrounding neighborhood).

And when it comes to location, a stubborn fact of life is that selling a property in a rundown neighborhood can be a real challenge. Sometimes, neglectful neighbors can be the problem. According to the President of the Appraisal Institute, a property with an overgrown yard or peeling paint can readily reduce a neighbor’s sale price by 5%-10%. In run-down neighborhoods where foreclosures are common or crime levels are high, selling a Bridgeville property for what would be an otherwise reasonable price can be all but impossible. Even so, there are some steps that can be taken.

Establish a preferred route…

Most marginal neighborhoods are a mix of unsightly and good areas. To insure that potential buyers are first aware of the positive elements in your neighborhood, be sure you and your agent are on the same page for providing the most attractive route to reach your property. Sooner or later any future buyer will certainly be exposed to the less desirable blocks—but that first impression should be the best it can be.

…avoid overspending on improvements…

When selling a property in a bad neighborhood, it’s always tempting to compensate by spending on renovations. But perspective should come into play: there is likely to be an upward limit that any house in a challenging neighborhood can sell for. By not overspending on improvements, wise sellers maximize their flexibility when it comes to negotiating price.

…even tidy up a neighboring property!

The thought of taking responsibility for a neighboring property is hardly appealing. It’s not your fault that they have let their yard become overgrown or allowed their front fence to be peeling paint. But if you judge that a relatively simple amount of effort will greatly improve a neighboring property’s appearance, consider telling the neighbor that you will be selling a property this year and wonder if you could give them a hand with their yard. If you are tactful enough, some neighbors will even volunteer to solve the problem themselves.

Selling a Bridgeville property in a less-than-stellar neighborhood is undeniably a challenge. The key is to fix the things that you can while avoiding overspending on improvements. Often selling a property in a run-down neighborhood comes down to a question of price: determining that in advance can make the best outcome most likely.

Thinking of buying or selling soon?  Call me today to put a plan in motion!

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.

That Bridgeville real estate prices have been on the rise for a while is certainly one factor that has coaxed some of the more cautious buyers off the sidelines. It’s made the market a much more lively (and happy!) place than it was a few years ago—and forecasters are fairly uniform in predicting continuing growth, though at a less overheated pace.

For those who are even more cautious, the question remains whether property values and the Delaware real estate prices that reflect them are likely to hold up over the long haul. They may know that, historically, homeownership has proven to be one of the most reliable investments, but the memory of that financial meltdown from a few years back can be hard to get over…

They may be taking heart from an article I ran across this earlier, which is bound to boost confidence in the future of Bridgeville’s real estate prices. It was in a weekday edition (February 4) of The Wall Street Journal. Stretching all the way across the top of the U.S. News page was this headline: “Homeowners Acquire a Taste for Remodeling,” over the subhead “Projects Pick Up, to the Tune of $130 Billion in 2013, as Property Values and Equity Rebound; Sign of Market Confidence.”

The article had the expected chart and graph supporting the Journal’s optimistic takeaway depicting “Building Momentum.” Too, there was an illuminating quote from Moody’s Analytics. Moody’s reported an 18% leap in home equity lending—further evidence of the strong rise in home values (banks lend against equity, after all). That, WSJ pointed out, is the root of the steep increase in remodeling activity, because when people have confidence in underlying values, they decide it is worth investing in upkeep and improvements.

It’s cause and effect—sort of like a domino chain, but in reverse. The first domino picks itself up, attracting the second, and suddenly all the dominos are back upright.

The Journal summed it up: “If home prices are going up and people have more equity in their home, things like remodeling and refurbishment will do well, because it’s effectively the way of playing the reinvestment game.”

For Delaware contractors and tradesmen, this is a game they’re happy to see resume. And for cautious prospective homeowners who’ve been watching from the sidelines, it’s a good reason to give me a call. Bridgeville real estate prices look like they still have a way to go: there are some great bargains out there! 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 ongoing housing recovery is being boosted by some older participants. Builders and developers in particular have found that catering to the 55+ segment of the market is good business.

Many retired buyers in Bridgeville looking to enter the resurgent market will be pleased to learn that getting a loan is still possible, even if their income isn’t all that it used to be. In addition to the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, intended to keep lenders from discriminating on the basis of age, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued a bulletin describing new tools which help Freddie Mac lenders evaluate properties—and new guidelines for disclosing that data to borrowers and loan applicants.

Let’s face it: retirees with excellent credit probably owe that to good old-fashioned financial habits (not to mention previously paid-off home loans). That can be a powerful offset to newly-limited income.  

The mind-numbingly complex and changing rules governing Freddie Mac lending is just one reason why the guidance of an experienced Bridgeville mortgage professional is so important. But a simplified overview would highlight the major 2011 Federal Housing Administration (FHA) changes to the guidelines lenders use to qualify borrowers getting a Freddie Mac-sponsored loan. They allowed the factoring in of individual retirement accounts, sales of businesses, and even some lump-sum retirement distributions. To qualify, assets held in retirement accounts had to be fully accessible to the borrower, and early withdrawals needed to be penalized. There were also rules relating to income from non-taxable sources, provenance for social security and pension income, etc.—as well as other guidelines for whether part-time income is considered (it might not be, unless it’s a long-term situation). On the other hand, dividend and interest payment income was usually counted, as was income derived from investment and savings accounts.  

In general, the 2011 changes made getting a loan easier for retiring baby boomers, and that’s still the case. It certainly does stand to reason. After all, why wouldn’t reliable retirement income plus a good credit record mean that Delaware retirees are terrific home loan applicants?

The upshot is that getting a loan for that dream retirement home in Bridgeville may not be as difficult as you imagined…so why not give me a 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.