Attention, Ocean View, DE!

Ready or not, the Holidays are not waiting around!

If that alert strikes you as unnecessarily alarmist, remember that this year's calendar works out to have fewer days than usual between Thanksgiving and Christmas. And if your traditional Thanksgiving tryptophane-engendered post-turkey stupor was followed by too many days of leftover turkey sandwiches, the resulting snoozefest may have led to your catnapping through this year's shortened holiday preparation days.

The fact is, Ocean View, DE's holiday celebrations are already well underway. If you find that hard to believe, there's this proof positive: the eighth, final day of Hanukkah arrives this Friday! That's right; the Jewish Festival of Lights began last Thursday. The ninth candle will be lighted on Friday (the arithmetic works because the ninth candle is needed to light the other eight).

And for Ocean View, DE residents who consider themselves ready for Christmas because they've cleared the fridge of all the Thanksgiving leftovers, the Post Office has this sobering message:

It's already [almost] too late.

That may not be an overstatement unless all your Christmas/New Years gift-giving will be local. If the friends and relatives on your holiday gift list live far from Ocean View, DE, you need to know that the absolute, written-in-stone USPO shipping deadlines are slated for this week (the single exception is the pricey Priority Mail Express® Service deadline, which falls on Wednesday, the 23rd). But this year, even those deadlines seem likely to be overly optimistic for Christmas deliveries. For a dozen unique 2020 reasons, hard-pressed postal workers are facing a tsunami of shipping traffic. And when you read the fine print on the USPO receipts, it hems and haws a bit—"…delivery times may be extended."

Still, on the brighter side, everybody who has put up with all the other dislocations of 2020 (and that's everyone) will hardly be surprised or much troubled by delays in gift arrivals. This year, when so many are having to put off the yearly family gatherings, the truly valuable gift—that of having loved ones to gather with—will be easier to truly appreciate. Either that, or we can just pretend that, for this year only, we've chosen to take the Twelve Days of Christmas carol literally.

P.S. If pressing Ocean View, DE real estate matters also require attention, I can help with those! 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

For anyone who follows Ocean View, DE real estate trends, this year has upended all expectations. Even following the declaration of the national pandemic emergency, the course of activity continued to follow an unpredictable path. Last Thursday, the National Association of Realtors® Newsroom revealed new details about the unforeseen shifts in the housing market. Normally, when the national economy sputters as profoundly as it has since to onset of the pandemic, it constitutes “a condition usually associated with slower home sales and lower home prices.” The opposite has come to pass on both counts.

The NAR’s key findings detail a market that has tilted toward more expensive—and more spacious—properties:

1.      Buyers have been seeking housing with more rooms, greater square footage, and additional yard space.

2.      Nationally, buyers who closed after March were willing to pay considerably more: an average 25% increase ($339,400 vs. $270,000) over the previous nine months.

3.      Eighty-seven percent of buyers financed their purchases. The median down payment was 12% (6%-7% for first-time buyers; 16% for repeat buyers).

The NAR statistics were in line with press accounts citing examples of bidding wars and all-cash buyers. Last Wednesday, readers of The Wall Street Journal’s print edition learned that although in the nine months preceding the pandemic, 14% of buyers had paid $500,000 or more, by June, that percentage had risen to 25%. Among leading reasons buyers expressed was a desire for extra space to accommodate “older adult relatives or young adults now living within the residence.” Not surprisingly, the post-March buyers were more likely to relocate to the suburbs.

It’s well-documented that Ocean View, DE real estate activity usually slows after the spring-summer selling season peaks—but like just about everything else in turbulent 2020, the remainder of the year seems destined to defy the norm. At any rate, the evidence for what the Journal labels “surging demand that is pushing up home prices” should encourage area homeowners looking to sell. For buyers, it could also provide added motivation. WSJ quotes one recent Idaho buyer’s opinion: “every day you sit on the sideline you could be losing” as prices rise.

For a readout on the latest local Ocean View, DE real estate activity, 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

Last month’s U.S. News article headline looked promising: “The Guide to Understanding Your Home Value.” What Ocean View, DE homeowner isn’t at least curious about that? Written by U.S. News’s real estate editor, the piece addressed a slew of informational tidbits, some of which are not as commonsensical as you’d think.

Chief among them was a description of “the process of calculating” your home’s appraised value and how that relates to its market value. The relationship between the two—and the reasons they are different—is illuminating. A couple of the tidbits:

·         FALSE: “…your property value is based on what a buyer is willing to pay for it…” This sounds like it should be true, but it’s not. Unless the buyer is able to buy it singlehandedly, the truth is, the bottom line (literally) for its value is based on the financial backing the property can attract. If a lender can’t be found to foot the bill, a buyer’s estimate of its value is beside the point (despite the heartening vote of confidence, that isn’t a real buyer).

·         USUALLY TRUE, but…: “Hiring an appraiser can help you get a realistic estimate.”  In most circumstances, an appraiser’s professional estimate not only helps—it’s required. But the author undercuts the “realistic” by citing the high demand and low supply currently present in many U.S. markets, where “multiple offers are expected, and homes often sell well above asking price.” Those situations “make it easier to prove to an appraiser” that the market value is higher than the “exact value based on a large number of factors” of the formal appraisal (the Chicago Tribune’s definition). After all, that means that a realistic estimate was what the market indicates rather than what the appraisal calculated.

Knowing your Ocean View, DE home’s value is more than a matter of idle curiosity for area homeowners who are determining whether to put their property up for sale. Drilling down to estimate its value on today’s swiftly changing market is a balancing act combining comparable recent neighborhood sales, the facets of the property that are uniquely its own, and the temperament of the buyers we speak with daily. Call me for a readout for your own Ocean View, DE home—I’ll be pleased to compile a written report for you (of course, without obligation)! 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

Ocean View, DE residents who will be buying a home, refinancing their mortgage, or even just financing a car anytime soon, should think twice before making abrupt credit moves. Even some actions intended to reflect positively on their creditworthiness can backfire.

As everyone learns, your individual credit score determines not just whether financial institutions will grant your application for a home or auto loan—they also play a decisive role in the interest rate you will be quoted. Your score is calculated by using various historical data to determine the degree of risk the proposed loan would subject the lender to—an arithmetic calculation projecting the likelihood that repayment will proceed on schedule. As you can imagine, millions upon millions of recorded transactions tell the tale, giving the scoring companies plenty of data to make their projections pretty dependable.

Ocean View, DE consumers aren't privy to the formulas that are used, but can still observe some less-than-obvious actions to take (and not take) in order to maximize their credit scores and their power as credit customers. One of them is simply to act with caution.

Whenever you are seized with the urge to pare down your complicated financial life, go carefully. Especially when your billfold begins to bulge with plastic, or your mailbox and email box keep getting clogged up with too many credit card company statements, the rule is usually, do nothing.

There are three solid reasons why closing down little-used accounts can be counterproductive:

1.      You shorten the combined length of your 'open credit' record. The oldest accounts are the most valuable for demonstrating that you are a veteran credit user instead of a Johnny Come Lately.

2.      You bring down the total credit available to you. The higher that total, the more creditworthy you show yourself to be. Closing an account brings down the total.

3.      Likewise, the percentage that you owe of the credit available to you goes up when you close down an account—even though you haven't borrowed a penny more.

The ins and outs of adeptly navigating the credit system are the opposite of credit itself: it's like money in the bank! When you apply for a home loan, that becomes apparent—even when mortgage interest rates are as low as they are now. Feel free to call me for help and advice whenever Ocean View, DE real estate matters are in the offing! 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