It does seem that whenever a story about some faraway homeowners association finds its way into Frankford newspapers, nearly always it’s because something has gone awry. Either there’s an ongoing dispute about a flag display (“Indiana Couple Violate Rules for Flying U.S. Flag”), a fencing disagreement (“Border Feud is Childish and Dangerous”), or something else to catch readers’ eyes. The pettier, the better (“North Carolina Man in Dispute over Pansies Planted in Common Area”). Why does this hit the local news? Let’s face it: it is sort of fun to read about!
The downside is that when those instances are all we hear about, it can lead Frankford buyers to believe they should stay away properties with HOAs when they are buying a home. But the fact is, town homeowners associations exist to protect the common interests of owners and residents. Homeowners associations can and do offer many benefits. The key is understanding what they are, what the costs are—then choosing the right association.
Know the Rules
The first step in evaluating any Frankford homeowner's association is to thoroughly examine a current copy of its rules. When you realize that it’s natural to focus on the individual property instead of the community, it’s more understandable why many prospective buyers pay too little attention to this step. Later, they may find themselves in violation of rules they should have noted before. Those stories about flags are typical: usually the problem was not with the flag, but with rules about flagpoles. Small details can become big problems when the homeowners association ‘covenants, conditions and restrictions’ remain unread in a kitchen drawer.
Comparing Costs and Amenities
In addition to the rules of a contending Frankford homeowners association, there is the matter of its fee structure. Older homeowners associations are often (not always) less expensive than newer HOAs. Yet price is not the whole picture. Especially when evaluating two or more associations, it’s time to sharpen a pencil and compare what the fees cover. One association may include lawn maintenance, while another leaves that as your responsibility…and there may be value for the community (and your property’s resale value) in guaranteeing proper maintenance by everyone. One HOA may have a pool, tennis courts and other amenities, while another may only offer a community room. Newer Frankford homeowner associations are tending to offer more features, but not always.
Homeowner's associations offer a sense of community along with amenities and other benefits…but for some, the cost in individuality weighs against it. When I’m invited to be your real estate representative, I help you ask the right questions—the ones that will guide you to a new home that’s the right fit for your family. I hope you’ll 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.beachrealestate.com

One strategy for selling your Frankford home is to recognize the segment of the general public most likely to appreciate its inherent features, then be sure your sales approach will appeal to them. That doesn’t mean you will turn your back on all the other groups of buyers, of course—but it does mean you will make a deliberate effort to be especially sensitive to that group’s preferences, and highlight the features that are most likely to top their wish lists.
When the Target Audience is Empty-Nesters…
The majority of current Frankford empty-nesters belong to the baby boomer generation. They are somewhere between 50 and 68 years of age, and there are about 75 million of them in the U.S.—nearly a quarter of the population. Empty-nesters are parents who currently don’t have any of their kids living with at home. Most empty-nest buyers are looking for a permanent address to settle down in as they hit their later years. The question is, what features make a home most desirable to empty nesters?
Moderate Space
What can be slightly tricky about general rules for selling a home to this population is that although most are set on downsizing, they don’t want to feel shoehorned into their space, either. Empty-nesters are often moving out of a home that has become demonstrably too large after the kids moved out. But that can also mean that they are used to a lot of space—probably don’t want to be crammed into a tiny house that can’t accommodate children and grandchildren when they do come to visit.
It’s going to be a compromise. “Moderate space” would most likely be no more than 3 bedrooms and no fewer than 2—with two bathrooms the norm. This description offers nesters the possibility of catering to hobbies on a day-to-day basis, while still allowing some accommodations for guests. More significant properties—those with 4 or more bedrooms— are more likely to find success by marketing messaging that points toward growing families.
Easy to Maintain
As always, it’s a selling ‘must’ to ensure that your Frankford home is shipshape! When prospects are able to see how much care you’ve put into your property, they are that much easier to interest than when it’s clear they will be required to come up with their own extra sweat and budget dollars. When you know that part of your preparation will include replacements, it’s a good idea to emphasize ease of maintenance in your choices. Examples are gutters that are shielded, windows that tilt up for easy cleaning inside and out, etc.
Whether or not your home is likely to attract Frankford empty-nesters, knowing what part of the market will have the most likely prospects—and how to shape the sales messaging accordingly—is part of the no-obligation consultation I offer everyone who is deciding how they will go about selling their home. Give me a call to schedule one this week! 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.beachrealestate.com

Owning a Frankford rental property owes its popularity to the distinctive financial attributes it offers investors. Like a dividend-producing stock, it’s a holding that stands to produce a regular income stream. It’s also a real asset in the truest sense of the word—one with solid collateral value. For adroit Frankford rental property investors, it’s also an asset that can build value over time.

When it comes to quantifying an Frankford rental property’s income-producing potential, after an investor has estimated the projected rental stream, there follows a less sunny exercise: expenses need to be taken into account. If a Frankford professional management service is going to be part of the equation, they will supply reliable budget parameters. If you will be managing the property yourself, doing a thorough job of nailing down this—the management budget—is as crucial to coming up an accurate bottom line as was projecting income.

Unless you are prepared to be at the beck and call of your renters 24/7, it's a good idea to budget funds for a skilled general maintenance person. The ideal candidate can deal with a myriad of issues, from electricity outages to clogged garbage disposals. If the Frankford rental property is an apartment building or set of condos, it’s often a good idea for the maintenance pro to be kept on retainer. For single-property rentals, this handyman (or gal) can usually be hired on a job-by-job basis.

Specifics for every Frankford property differ, but it’s generally considered prudent to reserve between 10%-15% of gross rental income for maintenance and repairs. This part of your budget includes remuneration for your maintenance person. Getting a rental home back to status quo isn't always easy—especially because it’s in both the landlord’s and renters’ interest to place a premium on speedy rehabilitation. That’s not cheap!

There are also two words that belong in any rental property management budget: property insurance. The right formula may include a sizeable deductible number (you’ve already budgeted an ample reserve for lesser emergencies), but it’s also vital to take into account the possibility of any large and unexpected emergencies that you or your maintenance person can't handle alone. It may be common business wisdom, but over large parts of the country, this past harsh winter once again demonstrated the wisdom of the practice. Tenants are encouraged to insure their own property, both inside and outside the rental property, but the landlord’s policy should cover repairs to the entire structure, any small sheds on the property, landscaping damage, and the like.

This is the traditional time of year when many of the most promising investment properties go on the market. If you are looking to the future—a future that includes owning a lucrative Frankford rental property—now is the time to start looking…and to give me a call!

Virtual tours in Frankford can be potent selling tools over the coming season. To make the best use of those tools, it’s important to prepare your home with the special requirements of the medium in mind. How doing so differs from prepping for in-the-flesh showings is a subtle but real distinction. Some photographers use a couple of tricks:

Close One Eye

Virtual tours are assemblages of still or video shots —raw material that is all filtered through the single lens of a camera. When anyone walks through a home, they do so with both eyes open. They experience a three-dimensional impression of their surroundings.

What the "camera sees" is different — it’s why some people and places are said to be more "photogenic" than others. It’s also why you sometimes see a film director examining the next shot through a single-lens viewfinder — he’s viewing the set the way the camera will. The quickest way to start seeing what your virtual tour will convey is to simply close one eye. Strange but true, when you stand back and view each room that way, you get a two-dimensional (flat) version of what’s there.

Snap a Test Shot

After you have arranged a room to look pleasing in a one-eyed view, take an actual test shot, then view it critically. You will probably notice how the camera lens picks up and seems to magnify any flaws that were less apparent before. You’ll want to -

· remove excess furniture (and all clutter) to "open up" the space, expanding apparent size

· scrub any surface or thing that appears less than Q-tip clean

· place tasteful accessory combinations (lamps, plants, books) of varying heights next to one another to add dimension

The goal of virtual tours is to show a comprehensive view of the subject properties, inside and out — a view that will ignite the imaginations of potential buyers. As we enter the new season, the importance of Frankford virtual tours can’t be overemphasized! The buyers (and they are out there!) will be busier than usual. Call me today to discuss how to reach them!