Since Halloween comes around with ‘nary a difference from one year to the next, you’d think that editors eventually would be stumped to come up with a new topic for their writing staffs. This month, Fenwick Island, DE subscribers to the Wall Street Journal’s real estate pages were treated to a creative solution: The Journal simply dug up some scary stories about real estate.

The first was “Home Renovation Horror Stories,” a chilling retelling of just how wrong remodeling attempts can go. These spooky construction nightmares that happened in real life lived up to the premise, starting with readers’ complaints that, rather than the good old days when a kitchen renovation was a huge ordeal, today “just finding qualified workers to do the job is a huge ordeal.”

The various renovation horror tales included one contractor who tried to remove the cabinets he’d just installed when a progress payment was delayed (because the work was behind schedule) and crews who “showed up and immediately began to destroy our home” (because their skill sets had been “overstated”).

Just as spooky for Fenwick Island, DEfamilies with dogs or cats was “Pets Can Take a Big Bite Out of Your Home’s Resale Value.”­ The headline may have been a little misleading since most of the horrifying details didn’t have much to do with selling a home. They dealt with pet hi-jinx whose consequences would surely be addressed before any marketing could begin. One example was the puppy who found a bottle of red food coloring, which he chewed and then…(well, some horror stories are scariest when details are left to the imagination).

Beyond the “stains, chips, rips, scratches, watermarks” and other minor signs of pet habitation that Fenwick Island, DEpet lovers will recognize, there were teeth-chatterers like “insurance claims are the costliest to repair” and “dogs can have a big impact on home values.” There was one panic-quelling caveat, though. Direct damage “doesn’t necessarily affect the value,” according to one Rhode Island agent—yet chewed furniture and scratched floors may “send a message about how the homeowner is taking care of the house.” That’s true enough—but needn’t result in horrendous outcomes. They’re eminently fixable.

Here’s wishing your Halloween is only appropriately spooky—but also one that has no frightful Fenwick Island, DEreal estate details. Those are best addressed in the daylight hours. That’s when 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

The fix-and-sell investment strategy is as popular as ever thanks to exposure on cable television—both as TV series and late-night advertorials. Fenwick Island, DE fixer-upper properties offer first-timers a straightforward way to test the real estate investment waters. The simplicity of the strategy is appealing—but as presented in 30-minute chunks, a bit over-simplified.

Last week, Forbes magazine posted a relevant commentary aimed at informing new real estate investors of some basic stages common to just about every Fenwick Island, DE fixer-upper project. It amounts to a 5-part master checklist for fixer-upper project management:

1.      Inspecting. Spotting and detailing problems is the first order of business. Forbes gives a rundown of the major areas of concern—but a more detailed listing is available by reading any professional inspection report.

2.      Recruiting. Whether you engage a contractor to oversee the rehab or decide to hire the sub-contractors yourself, locating reliable Fenwick Island, DE personnel is key.  

3.      Scoping. Formulating a detailed SOW (Scope of Work) comes next. It should detail the objectives (and limits) of fixer-upper activity—important ingredients for assuring the precision of bid proposals.

4.      Bureaucracy wrangling. Obtaining building permits, insurance indemnification, and keeping ahead of all the varied governmental and legal paperwork prevents fines and penalties (or the worst case: having to tear down renovations already proceeding).

5.      Management. Whether you are relying on a contractor or doing the work yourself, keeping tabs on the progress of the Fenwick Island, DE fixer-upper needs to be a continual, hands-on activity.

   First-timers can’t be expected to anticipate every potential time-consuming setback that fix-and-sell projects sometimes encounter, but with mortgage interest rates near historic lows, the expense associated with the time factor is less of a profit-killer. That makes today’s market an unusually inviting one for first-timers ready to wade into the opportunity. For a look at some of today’s intriguing Fenwick Island, DE fixer-upper candidates, 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

When you first begin thinking about house selling, most Fenwick Island, DE sellers are rightly focused on getting the property in top shape, establishing a solid relationship with their Fenwick Island, DE Realtor®, and making some key decisions (like what the optimal asking price should be). In other words, laying out a practical strategic house selling game plan.

About the last thing anyone thinks about is their relationship with the ultimate home buyers. It would be impossible, anyway; until the first offer is tendered, the buyer’s identity and personality are unknown. That might even remain true throughout the entire house selling process—particularly when the agents manage the communications for the many details in the buying and selling process.

But even when some thorny disputes need to be ironed out, by the time the keys are handed over it is in everyone’s best interest that the relationship end on a graceful note. After all, the new owners will be taking their own place in the Fenwick Island, DE community in which so many of your family’s relationships have flourished—and whether your new home is in Fenwick Island, DE or elsewhere, it can only be a plus when the final takeaway from your house selling transaction is a gracious one.

Leaving behind a welcome letter that’s more than a polite pleasantry can do that—especially if it’s a thoughtful one. Some ideas on that score:      

·         Share your family’s favorite Fenwick Island, DE restaurants and watering holes, local tradespeople (including quirks, when relevant), and details like your personal “best” lists of shops and stores.

·         If it’s been agreed that you are leaving household extras, give helpful information. If planters are included, it will be helpful to mention your secrets for keeping them green. If electronics like built-in speaker systems have been left, hookup details will be appreciated.

·         If appropriate, you might describe your own wish list of things you have always intended to change about the house, but never had time to do (but be careful not to disparage the property).

·         List idiosyncratic shortcuts—like “jiggle the dishwasher’s soap  tablet holder to make it click shut” and “the back porch light switch isn’t missing: it’s hidden under the right-hand side of the second shelf!”

It’s my job to make your Fenwick Island, DE house selling experience a positive (and profitable!) experience. 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

 Ever since its introduction in 1965, Americans by the millions have embraced the retirement vehicle known by its IRS handle, the “401(k).”  It hardly matters that few Fenwick Island, DE breadwinners know much about its relatively recent origins (much less, its family lineage)—but had they attended the Wall Street Journal’s recent “Future of Everything Festival,” they’d have been enlightened. The inventor of the 401(k) is Ted Benna—now known in financial circles as its father.

What the Father of the 401(k) had to say is encouraging for Fenwick Island, DE’s homeowners. Since his popular financial brainchild has massively changed the retirement picture far and wide (Japan’s retirement law is called the “Japanese 401(k).” His words have earned more than the usual amount of credence financial advisors receive.

He introduced his main point by referencing some of his more prosperous private sector clients. In his lengthy career, he noted that some of the most hugely successful people never bother to become successful at saving—yet some others “who don’t make big bucks” wind up with substantial savings—and comfortable retirements. Benna has a single explanation for these twist endings:

The key is learning early in life what you’re going to be.”

Even though that may sound somewhat obtuse, it translates into some specific advice aimed at younger adults. He advises that young people make a decision to put “at least 1% of their pay” into savings. Then, “Every time you get a pay increase, you bump it up.”  

So Benna’s “what you’re going to be” refers to whether you will become a saver or its antithesis: a spender. For Fenwick Island, DE’s younger homeowners, the equity they are already building is plain evidence of which kind of retirement they’re headed for. The Father of the 401(k)’s “early in life” dictum turns out to be the vital factor.

For ideas on building for the future through Fenwick Island, DE real estate: 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