It’s a tempting scenario: after succeeding in gathering a substantial trove of cash, you find your Ocean View, DE dream house—and sit down to write out a check for the entire agreed-upon sum, buying it outright! The future looks like ultra-smooth sailing, financially speaking. No mortgage payment. No interest. No monthly insurance set-aside or property tax pre-payment shunted into some account the mortgage company insists upon. And you really own the place yourself, with no strings attached!

Although there are definite plusses to buying your Ocean View, DE dream house with cash, there are at least three opposing reasons why it would be prudent to at least think twice before writing that monster check:

1.      Taxes! The federal tax reform passed in 2017 may limit the interest tax deduction to $10,000, but that’s still a hefty plus come tax time—one that cash buyers might miss. It has the effect of reducing a mortgage’s bottom line cost. 

2.      Diversification. Investment counselors preach the advantages of diversification. If buying your Ocean View, DE property with cash means funneling the preponderance of your liquid assets into that one investment, it limits your freedom to explore all other avenues. If a business opportunity beckons, you might wind up borrowing against your home equity—in which case you could have saved the trouble with a home loan in the first place!

3.      Leveraging your position. Even if you don’t make an all-cash offer, that solid bank balance will contribute mightily to the way you will be viewed by lenders. The home loan terms you are offered should reflect that substantial financial standing. When historically low interest rates are offered, the financial consequences they embody are worth considering.

Of course, there are also some considerable advantages to buying your Ocean View, DE dream house for cash. Chief among them is that many Ocean View, DE sellers may choose cash offers over competing bids that require lender approval.

Whether you are looking to buy or sell, one aspect of what I bring clients is my professional experience in helping structure and evaluate successful offers. 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

Our Ocean View, DE listings contain one figure that’s quite useful for apples-to-apples comparisons of the properties being offered. This one is quietly tucked away beneath the more prominent pieces of information. It doesn’t usually draw much attention, although it probably deserves more. And last week, it also happened to prove how fortunate home shoppers in Ocean View, DE really are—especially compared to what their counterparts have to contend with in places like Hong Kong.

That point was evident in a feature on the CBS Overnight News TV show. It dealt with current real estate reality in the Chinese enclave of Hong Kong. The details were truly gasp-worthy—especially the one we were describing earlier. That one—the figure that doesn’t get much attention—is the cost per square foot. Most house hunters have in mind a price limit they will be willing to spend as well as a general idea of the amount of space they need—a square footage number. Those two factors help them zero in on the homes they’ll be interested in exploring further; it’s why those figures are up near the top of the listing.

But also useful is the cost per square foot. It can help online house hunters get a relative idea of how a slightly smaller home might stack up, price-wise, against a slightly larger one. If you also compare it with another figure, the average sale price per square foot in the surrounding community or zip code, you get another view of the offering. If the listed price per square foot is starkly higher than comparable properties, it might signal a home of much higher quality—or sellers who have an unrealistic idea of what their home is worth. Likewise, a considerably lower figure might signify a real bargain (or some problem worth looking into). Keeping an eye on these metrics makes for informed house hunting.

What do Hong Kong and the overnight newscast have to do with informed Ocean View, DE house hunting? It’s that cost per square foot number. The former British colony has become such a magnet to newly rich mainland Chinese homebuyers that its average cost per square foot is now equal to HK$20,000—that is, $2,330 per square foot. You can do the arithmetic yourself, but as an example (this one was noted in Forbes), a tiny 242-square-foot apartment (that’s the size of a single-car garage) just sold for over $636,000…

Give me a call if you’re ready to take a deeper look into the properties displayed in this December’s Ocean View, DE listings. You don’t even have to compare them with Hong Kong to see the value that’s currently out there! 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

First-time homebuyers might not be aware of something veteran homeowners assume automatically: those advertised mortgage interest rates are not necessarily the rate that will be offered. To Ocean View, DE consumers who usually assume that they are protected from false promises in ads, that can be pretty annoying. But as with some furniture store “interest-free” offers, those interest charges may suddenly appear if you don’t pay the balance in full by a certain date. It pays to read the fine print.

The reasons why the actual Ocean View, DE mortgage interest rate you are offered may be higher than what you saw advertised on TV or on the web lie in definitions and qualifications. They aren’t misleading to home buyers who know what to look for.

As you would expect, home loan ads promote the lowest rates that can be honestly stated. But that published rate might have qualifications that don’t apply to the loan you will be promised if you apply. That will be the promised rate, which may be higher if, for instance, the published rate was only available for homes in a different zip code. A home loan ad’s small print may specify other qualifications, such as an applicant’s credit score, debt-to-income ratio—or it might only apply to loans of a certain size.

Equally important is that the advertised interest rate itself does not tell the whole story. The cost of a loan may include points or partial points—and since a “point” equals 1% of the amount of the loan, that can be a sizeable sum. When points are added onto the principal, the larger loan amount requires higher payments. Even for no-point loans, other fees—like processing, underwriting, appraisal, title and escrow fees—may be high or low, depending on the offeror.

What this means is what Ocean View, DE veteran homeowners assume: that a higher interest rate might still constitute a better bargain when all the bits and pieces are considered. All the “fine print” details need to be part of the calculation. It’s one reason I always recommend that more than one mortgage originator be considered before making a final decision. I’ll be happy to assist with these and all the other parts of your Ocean View, DE real estate endeavors! 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.

 “Millennials are buying homes!

This was what The Dallas Morning News reported last week—but Ocean View, DE homeowners didn’t need any Dallas real estate to be interested in the statement. It was based on data from all across the country.

Millennials (anyone born between 1981 and 1997) made up 34% of homebuyers last year—"more than any other age group” according to the National Association of Realtors®. Ocean View, DE homeowners probably found that surprising, given all the contrary news that’s been long reported about the group. The stereotype had it that the whole pack of “plastic straw-hating snowflakes” were going to be doomed to a future of nothing much more exciting than avocado toast feasting in their permanent quarters (i.e., their parents’ basements).

Particularly for Ocean View, DE homeowners whose properties fall into the starter home category, those assumptions about the entire millennial generation—that they might never even aspire to a home of their own—have been disconcerting. If legions of younger folk drop out of line in the traditional progression of residential ownership, that would constitute a monkey wrench in the whole economics of home ownership. And there had been some evidence that this was in fact taking place…

The latest reports brighten those gloomy suspicions. The non-profit Urban Land Institute finds that millennials have very different plans. Perhaps partially due to the current brightening economic picture, something like 70% expect to live in a single-family home—within a couple of years!

But current Ocean View, DE homeowners who look to attract younger buyers might also be wise to note a few changes in some millennial preferences. Many “want community, connectivity and inclusiveness”—translation: the concept of walls and gates “is completely inverted.” Another factor impacting many millennials is an unprecedented level of student and car loan debt, which tends to make them even more cost-conscious than prior generations.

As for the millennial buyers themselves, when it comes to buying Ocean View, DE homes, since “they grew up on the internet,” relying on Realtors might at first seem less of a necessity. But seeking expert guidance in ferreting out and negotiating the best buys among today’s Ocean View, DE home offerings is still the majority’s heads-up move.

Millennial or not: 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