Creating a happy home would have to weigh in as among the most rewarding of all endeavors—and, you’d have to believe, one that requires a goodly dose of what lifestyle gurus call “the art of good living.” That’s why one general interest article in Realtor® Magazine deserved at least a double-take with its headline, “The Scientific Secrets of What Makes a Home Happy.”

Really? Happiness is not generally thought to be something that lends itself to scientific scrutiny: graphs and charts and mathematical precision. If there truly are scientific ways you can make Milton, DE homes happy ones, it promised to be worth looking into.

In fact, the piece did have a scientific basis—research findings that identified conditions that produce high levels of self-reported “contentment.” The “secrets” may not be shrouded in mystery, but four of the leading ones seem sensible:

·         Long commutes are mood killers. Researchers found a strong correlation between easy access to workplaces and contentment.

·         Clutter costs happiness. UCLA’s Center on Everyday Lives and Families found that “high densities of objects in the home” raised female subjects’ stress levels (measured by presence of the hormone cortisol). Men apparently didn’t notice.

·         Know your neighbors. Relationships with neighbors leads to a sense of well-being—as anyone in Milton, DE can probably tell you!

·         Pay down the mortgage. Even the researchers admit that this one is easier said than done, but when the “debt dwindles” the “mood rises.”

There was one tip to a happy home that I might question: “paint your walls green or yellow.” The source was a university in Holland—but since it might be true that color preferences vary by continent, there’s cause to hesitate. For the record, the study suggests yellow walls for playrooms (to spark “creativity and playfulness)” with green for bedrooms (engendering “comfort and serenity”).

One tip that’s no secret at all is that happy Milton, DE homes start with the choice of the right property—which is where I help. Do 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

Milton, DE’s holiday season is well underway now that we’ve passed the commercial post-Thanksgiving kickoff days: Black Friday, Cyber Monday, etc. If you are one who is debating whether or not to sell your home during the holidays, there are plenty of both pros and cons. One good reason is the relative lack of competition; another is the attitude of most house hunters in December: they tend to be an earnest crew.

As to whether this particular holiday season looks like a good one to sell your own Milton, DE home, last week offered what might be a relevant hint. Although it’s true that measuring consumer “moods” can be an iffy proposition, last week delivered at least one piece of hard evidence. Since Milton, DE home buyers are by definition the ultimate consumers, it was one element pointing to how this year-end market might be expected to fare.

On Tuesday, the Rasmussen Reports polling organization published one of its periodic consumer attitude polls—this one zeroing in on residential real estate. Among the findings in a report titled “Homeowner Optimism Still Among Record Highs”

·         U.S. homeowners are “more optimistic than ever” about their home’s value.

·         69% of polled U.S. homeowners say that were they to sell their home now it would be worth more than what they owe.

·         Already last May, 66% fewer had held that opinion—and that was the highest in nine years!

·         Homeowners expect that their home’s value will continue to rise through 2019.

The positive real estate views were buttressed by a number of other positive signs. More than a third of those queried (39%) expect that they will earn higher incomes in the coming year—creating a large pool of workers who are “more confident than ever.” And on the employment front, fewer than ever (41%) say they know anyone who is unemployed and trying to find a job. Last May that number was 46%—making this the first time ever that this measure has fallen below 50%.

When you are nearing a commitment to sell your Milton, DE home, those kinds of supportive attitude indicators are definitely what you’d hope to hear. When the public shares the belief that house values are on the rise, that can be a persuasive factor supporting today’s rising selling prices. Give me a call if you would like my up-to-the-minute compilation of sales results for Milton, DE homes like your own. I’ll be happy to offer it free of charge! 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

 U.S. News and World Report may not be the primary source most homeowners turn to for Milton, DE real estate news flashes, but this month they have brought up some relevant insights regarding home improvement projects.

A week or so before Thanksgiving Day, they published an opinion piece urging homeowners to get off the sofa and “set yourself up for success” for coming home improvement initiatives. They pointed out that timing those projects can be tricky—not just because of weather considerations, but also because hiring professionals can be more difficult during certain times of the year.

I might add that planning in advance gives our local tradespeople the kind of notice they greatly appreciate. U.S.News listed their ideas on the best time of year for a dozen home improvement projects—and these four called for winter starts:  

1.      Interior paint: Winter (low humidity helps paint dry evenly, so Milton, DE’s drier winter air is a plus).

2.      Electrical updates: Winter (avoid the crush of competing Milton, DE homeowners).

3.      Building a deck: Winter (!!) (deck builders say pressure-treated wood stabilizes best when humidity is low—and cloudier winter skies help avoid early cracking that blistering direct sunshine can cause).

4.      Full-room remodel: Winter (since updating any room can take place at any time of the year, avoiding jam-packed summer months can mean avoiding higher labor costs).

Number 3 includes the proviso that early winter is best—before inclement weather makes outside work too difficult.

Advance planning does pay off when it comes to home improvement initiatives—especially when you’re solidifying plans to put your own Milton, DE home on the market. In that case, another forward-thinking initiative is to call me for a no-obligation consultation! 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

A $180 Million Lotto Winner’s Massive Mountain Estate” was the headline in the Wall Street Journal’s “Real Estate” section. The photo above the headline really did look to be many millions of dollars’ worth of breathtaking. The panorama behind the stone-and-brick estate, perched on a California mountainside, provided an unobstructed 180-degree view of the valley far below. The lush landscaping around the mansion’s acreage was the very definition of “pristine” (literally, since the forest of trees was definitely newly-planted, lottery-winner style).

The surprise for Milton, DE  readers is that the article was not another expected retelling about a big lottery winner who lost it all. The former roofing company employee and Mega Millions winner was not, in fact, wallowing in debt and crushed relationships. In fact, the story was about accomplishing the kind of real estate coup that usually plays out only in daydreams.  

Rick Knudsen used to look up from the front porch of his 4-bedroom home to view the progress of an enormous house being constructed on the side of distant Little San Gorgonio mountain. Then he bought the lottery ticket, won, retired, and plunked down $5.5 million for the not-yet-completed mansion. Then, “just bam bam bam…within three months, I owned it all,” he says, recounting how he added an adjoining 155-acre buffalo ranch and its accompanying steakhouse and saloon; then (why not?) another 640-acre parcel. And a home for each of his 5 kids.

The best part of this lottery/real estate story lies not with the details of the 16,000 square feet of living space in the new digs, nor the elevator, car collector’s garage, gym, wine cellar, the 5 ½ mile hiking and driving trail, stocked fishing pond, nor the 17-seat movie theater. It’s not in how the 45 grass-and-apple fed buffalo are served at the steakhouse, nor that, all in, he spent just $11.5 million for the entire domain—purchases all “driven by feeling” rather than investment returns.

The best part might be that he hooked up with the right financial manager, so he’s worth more today than when he won the lottery. Or it might be what comprises a second, less luck-driven windfall, since he’s just listed the entire assemblage for a not unrealistic $26 million. The reason he’s selling? Because assembling the domain was so much fun, he’s eager to tackle another challenge.

If you are ready to open the book on your own Milton, DE  real estate story, luck doesn’t need to play a leading role. Just 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