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

Sure, spring cleaning is one thing. Ocean View, DE homeowners find it easy to tackle major housekeeping chores they avoided during the winter weather months. When the sun is out and spring is in the air, somehow it’s just more inviting to freshen up the household.

Autumn home maintenance chores may not beckon in the same way, but for conscientious Ocean View, DE homeowners who take the time to attend to them, the rewards are just as handsome. The idea is to prevent some expensive fixes.

It goes without saying that clearing rain gutters and drainage systems are high on the list—but that’s a job for later on when leaf fall is the issue. Here are four autumn home maintenance recommendations as Ocean View, DE’s autumn begins:

Flush the water heater. This is one job many conscientious Ocean View, DE homeowners overlook, but it’s a fact that corrosion-causing sediment shortens a water heater’s service life. Additional reward: that sediment reduces efficiency, so clearing it out will cut power bills all winter long.

Check for water leaks. This one is easy. Take a reading on the water meter, then turn off all appliances that use water (and don’t flush for a couple of hours). If the meter has changed, scout for the leak—leaky hoses are prime suspects. If you come up empty, a plumber’s expertise is probably indicated—better now than in the dead of winter.

Empty the drip pan. Most refrigerators have a drip pan down behind the kick panel. Be careful when you pull it out—it’s probably full of water, and possibly mold. If mold has clogged the drain line that leads down to the pan, shaping a metal coat hanger to clear it is standard practice.

Soak the clothes dryer’s lint screen. If gathering the lint off the dryer screen no longer clears it completely, you can remove the greasy film that develops by soaking it in a dishwasher soap-hot water bath, then gently brushing and rinsing.

An associated but more obscure tip: if clothes are still wet after ending the auto dry cycle, it could be caused by dryer sheet residue that builds up on its moisture sensor bars. Your dryer’s user manual will show where the metal sensors are located—on older models, they are usually found on the back wall of the drum; on newer models, on the inside front near the lint screen. After unplugging the machine, the white buildup can be cleared with some fine grit sandpaper, followed by polishing with a clean rag.

 Autumn or spring, I’m standing by to consult on all Ocean View, DE real estate matters. I hope you will give me a call anytime! 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