On Thursday, USA Today published a view of what many of this spring’s first-timers have encountered in their inaugural home-buying ventures. Our own Georgetown, DE trends don’t precisely match those tapped by their research—but the themes cited in the national press are familiar here, too.

Although the headline emphasized the difficulties those buying a home for the first time may encounter (“3 Challenges Facing First-Time Homebuyers This Spring”), elsewhere in the piece, some bright spots were acknowledged. For Georgetown, DE readers inclined toward a ‘glass-half-full’ point of view, they tend to balance out the familiar challenges.  

Bright Spots:  

·         According to the Mortgage Bankers Association, affordability has advanced with the easing of 30-year fixed mortgages to a national average of 4.42%.  

·         Inventory “has loosened up slightly.” This is a relative finding since the U.S. still lags in properties for sale (at least compared with the historical norm).  

·         Prices.  Price growth has slowed “and leveled off” according to the MBA.

·         Spring buying. Nationally, good, old fashioned negotiations have replaced the frenzied bidding wars of last year. But USA Today isn’t calling this spring a buyer’s market—only one characterized by fewer competing offers.

Challenges:

·         Home prices. Prices are still relatively high—especially for those buying a home for the first time. Since they can’t count on the equity built by their current property, scrambling for a substantial down payment can be a barrier.

·         Securing a loan. In March, the FHA said that it is tightening its rules for high-risk mortgages. As is generally the case, this can provide a hurdle for first-timers.  

·         Inventory is still tight. Some finger-pointing is aimed at the home construction industry, which is only now rebounding from the recession-spawned falloff in new home starts. Entry-level housing ($200,000 and less) is the sector hit hardest.

Buying a home in Georgetown, DE may take more determination for first timers—but that doesn’t mean it isn’t well worth the effort. Whether you are a first-timer or a long-time homeowner, give me a call for an in-depth discussion of the possibilities presented by this spring’s many offerings!  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 we shop for Georgetown, DE homes for sale, we’re able to take quite a lot for granted. If we choose to be represented by a licensed Georgetown, DE Realtor® to act as our buyer’s agent, we know that our interests are being looked after in a multiplicity of ways—they’re spelled out in stringent Georgetown, DE regulations. Likewise, the seller’s agent will be duty-bound to be scrupulously honest in how she or he represents the property being offered. Too bad for any Georgetown, DE agent who tries to play fast and loose with the rules governing Georgetown, DE homes for sale: that’s an agent who won’t be licensed for long!

We’re able to rely on the time-honored protections afforded U.S. real estate buyers and sellers because their observance is invaluable to all. That rock-solid reliability adds incontestable value to the transactions. It’s been so for centuries.

Unfortunately for members of the public, it’s awfully tempting to bring similar assumptions to real estate dealings in other countries. Recently it’s been notable how mistaken that assumption can be. Even though it might seem to be commonsensical for other nations to want to protect the integrity of their own real estate markets, unscrupulous individuals can seek to make quick profits by scamming foreigners. And they might even get away with it when they partner with equally unscrupulous politicians.

According to AARP, one recent foreign scheme has cost U.S. victims more than $100 million. They report that “even sophisticated consumers” were persuaded to buy into land and retirement homes in Belize—90% of which were never built. They were tricked by “sophisticated promotional materials in print, online, and on television.” The resulting scheme is the largest rip-off of its kind ever targeted by the Federal Trade Commission. The FTC’s involvement comes too late for U.S. buyers “who regularly lost their entire investment” or were forced to sell back to the scammers at a loss. Equally dismaying is what the Wall Street Journal describes as questionable Belizean court rulings that stymied investors—a development that’s less surprising when you learn that the developers’ law firm is part-owned by the nation’s Prime Minister.

Of course not all foreign real estate dealings turn out so badly—but U.S. buyers who assume they have our level of protection—or even the chance to have a fair day in court—need to look before they leap.

Closer to home, right now you can call me to look over February’s assortment of terrific Georgetown, DE homes for sale—offered with U.S.-level buyer protections! 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

 Last Friday was the final day for the Las Vegas mega-trade exposition: the annual Consumer Electronics Show. Forward-thinking Georgetown, DE homeowners have learned to keep an eye on the CES because the public debuts of new appliances, gadgets, apps, and devices that take place there often wind up influencing Georgetown, DE real estate. Sometimes, in major ways.

Past examples are numerous. Not too long ago, giant screen TVs were oddities—but today it’s unusual to find a single Georgetown, DE house for sale that doesn’t have at least one room configured to suggest an inviting big screen entertainment area. CES is where the latest television advances showed up first—and America bought into big screen in a big way.

CES is also where the newest Bluetooth- and WiFi-ready devices have their coming out parties—important because some older Georgetown, DE houses with dense, WiFi-stopping flooring and walls need some serious signal-boosting setups before their listing can promote “WiFi throughout.”

The 2019 CES continued its tradition of providing a launchpad for devices intended to transform the way consumers live, work, and play—but this year did so without a lot of star power in the real estate department. There wasn’t that one single standout that could grab headlines major media attention, at least not one likely to transform the prospects for future Georgetown, DE houses for sale.

What did debut were a collection of incremental additions to the roster of gadgets and appliances that listen to you and talk to each other. These gizmos belong under the heading of “IoT” (the Internet of Things). On display was everything from smart refrigerators (by now, they are old hat) to smart bread-making machines (the Breadbot) that send and receive electronic signals.

Overall a surprising number of the new advances were in the voice assistance direction—aided by the industrial clout of the internet giants. The BBC noted the drift toward “voice assistance everywhere.” Their headline read, “Amazon and Google Assistant carve up tech expo.” That was demonstrated throughout the 2.9 million square feet of exhibits, with, as moneycontrol.com put it, voice assistance for everything “from TVs, toilets, or toys.”

 As more and more daily household tasks are enabled by voice command—and collected into a single unified memory store—expect that to make inroads on what future prospects will expect in any Georgetown, DE house for sale. It’s a future where 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.beachrealestatemarket.com

 Georgetown, DE readers won’t be surprised to learn that anyone able to afford a multimillion-dollar vacation property is likely to be fairly adept at math. It turns out that an emerging trend in the highest end of the vacation home market also calls for some familiarity with fractions.

Closing out the year in style, the Wall Street Journal’s real estate section editors provided an interesting spread delving into the palazzos, castles, villas, and vineyards that make up the second homes of international luxury buyers. This would not ordinarily be especially newsworthy for WSJ readers since their Mansion section regularly offers similar photo spreads.

What made this December entry worthy of crossing over into the news area was what is becoming a growing trend for “some well-heeled nomads” investing in second and third luxury homes: fractional ownership.

The idea is that rather than investing millions in centuries-old luxury villas (there was an example in Tuscany) or , some wealthy vacationers are opting to “hop among bite-sized” private residences in which they have only partial ownership. Since they might visit these real estate acquisitions only a couple of times a year, they are opting to split ownership with similar-minded folks. This is known as fractional ownership strategy. A similar but slightly different incarnation is found in the private residence clubs. Both are gaining traction.

Since there is a myriad of ways the details can be handled, the article was scant on details. It pointed out that a residence club usually costs more than does a typical fractional property—but that higher price tag confers nicer amenities and fewer owners. Both typically have the advantage of dispensing with the tedious side of luxury vacation home ownership: opening up the house, power-washing the patio, etc.

But “there are downsides” which sound similar to complaints heard by some timeshare buyers. Partial owners can find that scheduling the weeks they will be allowed to visit their luxury home is determined by rotational systems that vary from year to year. More significantly for those with an eye to the investment value of their luxury getaways, the Journal quotes one observer regarding the difficulties of trying to sell a fraction of a ski area property. “Listing 1/10 of a ski condo can be as tough as trying to sell one-half of a pair of skis.

For properties for sale with less ambiguous ownership fractions of 1/1 (that’s “one-oneth”—better known as “100%”), check out this week’s Jamestown listings, where there are real values to be found. Then 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