Georgetown, DE readers may have come across a worrisome prospect being suggested by some prominent real estate pundits: the likelihood that the steady rise in residential real estate values will trigger the emergence of a “renter nation.” That could develop if more and more people, priced out of the market, are unable to escape the financial downside of a lifetime of renting rather than owning.  

But wait!

Despite steady residential price rises, another group of experts is not so sure about the inevitability of that “renter nation” future. A handful of recently published estimates evidence a countertrend: the emergence of millions of renters now suddenly able to afford starter homes!

This is a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic: one affecting large swaths of the American labor market. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, one recent estimate shows that “31% of workers who were employed in early March had switched to working at home by the first week of April.” The majority of jobs still require significant onsite presence, yet “…37% can be performed entirely at home.” This teleworking phenomenon means that millions of workers are now newly freed from the need to live within daily commuting distance of their workplaces. It follows that rural and exurban communities, where lower population densities allow starter homes to carry lower price tags, may emerge as practical alternatives for newly empowered home workers. So a “renter nation” America becomes less likely.

But wait!

Last week, the Wall Street Journal confirmed a “new reality” for at least some of the newly homebound workers: pay cuts. Citing the lower cost of living homeworkers encounter in their new exurban and rural communities, some Silicon Valley high tech firms are deciding to lower salaries “related to housing costs and other factors.” It’s an adjustment that would result in less of an exodus from higher-priced areas, bringing back the possibility of the future “renter nation.” TBD.

Lately, keeping track of the waves of projected trends is even more dizzying than ever. What remains is the long-term benefit that those who succeed in buying Georgetown, DE homes can reasonably expect. Call me to explore the latest Georgetown, DE 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

Once you have decided to sell your Georgetown, DE house, unless it’s already in top-notch shape, you face some meaningful decisions about things that might need to be refreshed, upgraded, or replaced altogether. Some major items are hard to ignore: a roof that’s barely weatherproof, or over-the-hill front door hardware, for instance. But other facets can be a coin-toss: will they be worth the expense? 

One area where updating is most likely to pay off is in the kitchen. Kitchens are tied with living rooms as the places where Americans spend the most time (28% put each in first place, according to a recent survey). Even so, the kitchen leads as the room most respondents say is “most valued.” That fits with practical home-selling experience—everyone who shows homes to prospective buyers knows that kitchens often draw the most attention. It’s also the spot where visitors tend to stop to chat.

That’s good to know when you’re setting out to sell your own house; it may tip the scales when you are budgeting where your time and dollars should be directed. Fortunately, there are budget-wise ways to turn an elderly kitchen into more of a young‘un:

·         Appliances. When perfectly operational appliances look like they’re over the hill, one approach is to re-face them (especially with stainless steel surfaces that can’t be revived). When that’s not possible, an integrated overlay can sometimes work— but if all else fails, the cost of replacing an old range or dishwasher may be worth the freight.

·         Cabinets. Putting a fresh face on ancient cabinetry can sometimes be achieved by re-staining or repainting. Decorators know, too, that simply replacing cabinetry hardware with up-to-date designs (brushed nickel and stainless are popular) can work wonders.

·         Sink. Especially today, with more and more buyers favoring the larger single bowl designs, a dated kitchen prep area can be inexpensively rejuvenated by switching out older, unsightly versions and adding spiffy new hardware.

If you’re at the beginning stages of planning to sell your own Georgetown, DE house, starting out from a smart, penny-wise prepping strategy makes for later success. I can help with ideas that are working in today’s market—don’t hesitate to 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

 Fallout from the abrupt closure of local businesses has created financial chaos for some Georgetown, DE homeowners. For breadwinners forced to make painful choices between creditors, there seems to be no right answer. With payments pending for auto loans, credit cards, student loans, and/or the big one—the monthly mortgage payment—the dilemma can be all but disabling.

Recognizing the unfairness of the situation, the Federal government included in its CARES Act (that’s the $2.2 trillion stimulus package) a provision meant to provide temporary relief to many Georgetown, DE homeowners. Those with federally backed mortgages can request a “forbearance period” of as long as 180 days—with an option to extend for another 180 days. Since 95% of conforming mortgages on single-family homes are backed by one of the federal programs, many Georgetown, DE homeowners should qualify. Although jumbo loans are not included, most mortgage servicers have stepped forward to work with borrowers who need help as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Forbearance doesn’t come automatically, though; it must be requested. That may take patience—telephone lines have been jammed, and even emailed requests may be slow to be returned. That’s understandable when you realize the massive size of the operation (Moody’s Analytics estimates that by the end, 15,000,000 loans will be modified). But for homeowners forced to wait for business activity to resume, persistence should pay off. When forbearance is granted, delayed payments won’t be reported to credit bureaus, and no late fees will be charged.  

The details of forbearance agreements differ—and like any financial arrangement, it’s important to get written confirmation, even if only via email. If you have questions about this or other Georgetown, DE real estate issues, 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

 Georgetown, DE’s home loan picture has presented buyers with rarely seen benefits for quite a while—but last week, the picture brightened even further. That isn’t to say that Georgetown, DE mortgage rate quotes matched all-time lows—but they were coming pretty close.

Across the U.S., the numbers quieted even the most pessimistic observers. What it will mean as Georgetown, DE enters the traditional peak home sales months is something we will have to wait to see. But if the likelihood for a surge in nationwide activity is any indicator, last week saw green lights flashing. A sampling of what was being hailed from virtually all quarters:

The Wall Street Journal: “Falling Rates Could Boost Mortgages Ahead of Spring Selling Season.”

MarketWatch: “This could be the ‘last affordable’ spring home-buying season for a while…”

CNBC Power Lunch: “The average 30-year fixed fell to 3.71%—almost a full percentage point lower than a year ago—and that sent current borrowers rushing to refi.”

FreddieMac.com: “The 30-year fixed-rate was the lowest in three years.”

Mortgage News Daily found the rate drop surprising—actually convention-defying. Rates “managed to move appreciably lower” despite Friday’s strong showing in the employment numbers. “Today’s big jobs report” should have led to higher mortgage rates. That it didn’t was an indication of “some more staying power” than industry experts usually expect.

The technical factors affecting home loan rates are difficult to keep up with—and impossible to predict with any confidence. What’s easier to know is that today’s home loan picture creates opportunities for Georgetown, DE mortgage rate shoppers—which makes it terrific for buyers and sellers. If you would like to explore how you might take advantage of what continues to be a rarely seen buying and selling environment, 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