For Selbyville homeowners who are simply coping with the challenges of daily living, keeping the place clean when your small kids are in the house is one of those “trying” situations. If a real estate showing is added to the mix, it can become something close to a sanity-testing situation—“trying” in the same way that brushing your teeth while eating peanut brittle would be “trying.” ­

For veterans of the real-estate-showing-while-parenting situation, there’s light at the end of the tunnel. There is ample evidence that prepping your Selbyville place with kids underfoot can be accomplished without the loss of parental sanity. This word comes from survivors who have lived to tell the tale—and sold their houses, too, no less!

Here are five key tips that are cited most frequently—

  1. Involve ‘Em! This is the advice we also hear from psychologists commenting on housework in general. Rope the little ones into activity at a level that fits with their age level and attention span. Think ‘game,’ and you’re halfway there. Since there is no way you can stop kiddy messes from developing in the first place, create a “new normal” where the end of an activity is always cleaning up afterward.  
  2. Reduce Overwhelm. For little ones, help right-size a big job (like “let’s clean your room” into a series of doable ones (“let’s put the books away”). A corollary is to limit any tidying job so that it doesn’t last longer than max 15 minutes (this will work for you, too—once you’ve let go of the idea that every task has to be finished once it’s started).
  3. Construct a Visual. Crafts are fun—so make a connection with cleaning. Tasks can be assigned via your own colorful chore wheel (a Wheel of Fortune with tasks), or a chore grab-bag. Be sure that after task completion comes a reward.
  4. Everything has a Place. Learning where things go is only possible when there IS such a place. It’s good news that kids usually find that returning things to where they belong is sort of fun all by itself. When the job is done, point out how nice everything looks!
  5. Schedule. Since real estate showings happen at unpredictable intervals, there will be much less to do if cleanups are part of the everyday schedule, anyway. For moms and dads whose goal is to avoid turning into The Hulk every time they want to prepare their Selbyville home for a real estate showing, the central key is to involve the kids in a steady-as-she-goes, continuous low-key cleanup system.

Many post-sale adults report that the benefits turn out to be long-lasting. In addition to being able to put the house in top real estate showing trim, they establish ongoing juvenile involvement in household chores—one that travels well (right into their new house, in fact)! If you are going to be listing your Selbyville home when small children are part of the equation, the upshot is that it can be turned into a decidedly positive educational experience.

Give me a call for other ideas about how to navigate these and other pre-sale waters when it’s your time to list! 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

There’s a reason that Selbyvillehome loan providers sometimes choose to lead their ads with a ‘lock’ provision. They know that potential clients likely to be enticed by low Selbyvillemortgage rate numbers are fairly sophisticated—they know that today’s mortgage rate is not necessarily tomorrow’s. By the time a home loan is finalized, the headlined number could be less favorable; hence, the ‘lock’ guarantees.

For quite a while—years, actually— Selbyvillemortgage rates have behaved themselves pretty much the way we’d like. There may have been occasional minor upticks, but seldom any that would cause serious consternation. The interest rate hikes which some experts had predicted for 2014 and 2015 never seemed to materialize: every notch up was followed by notches back down. Mortgage rate volatility disappeared as a topic of interest from real estate and financial pages. What discussion there was tended to be predictable: rates would certainly have to rise, sooner or later—but later was (yawn) a lot more likely. It was pretty much All Quiet on the Mortgage Front…zzzzzzzzzz….

Until last week, which provided a definite wakeup call. It was a textbook example of how mercurial mortgage rates can turn—and how right those were who have been championing financing and/or refinancing while rates are in the historically low range.

The week started out quietly enough. In the previous week, before the Federal Reserve’s 2-day meeting, consumer mortgage rates were, per themortgagereport website, “scraping new lows, bestowing refinance opportunities on homeowners and boosting the purchasing power for buyers” across the nation. As usual, the Fed get-together provided hints that the Fed Funds rate would certainly have to rise, sooner or later…and although sooner did seem to be jostling later for consideration. It had been a possibility for so long, the usual carefully-worded announcement failed to raise undue concern. Yawns had to be stifled.

Until Friday, when the Non-Farm Payroll report hit the snoozing nation like a tornado in January. It crushed the forecasts. It was stellar. This was as unexpected as, per FuturesMag writer Matt Weller, it was “essentially perfect.”  The world’s largest economy had created a “stunning” 271,000 jobs. What was not to like?

For those who were banking on mortgage interest rates remaining frozen in the cellar, there was a lot not to like. The strong news made the Fed much more likely to finally raise the Fed Funds rate next month! Web headlines were screaming within minutes: “Bad Day for Mortgage Rates; Non-Farm Payrolls Soar” and “Non-farm payroll paves the way for a Fed rate hike in December.The Washington Post even came up with “This settles it: The Fed is going to raise interest rates in December.” That may be far from certain, but quoted home loan rates did begin to rise in anticipation. By the close of business on Friday, the Mortgage News Daily observed rates that were the highest since July.

What does this mean for Selbyvillemortgage interest rates? If the now wide-awake experts are credible, it looks as if taking advantage of still-low rates is likely to prove advantageous. There are never any guarantees, but for anyone intending a move that involves a home loan, it might not be a bad idea to give me a call—sooner rather than later! 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

When it comes to understanding the factors that come into play when buying or selling a home—or any practical real estate information at all— Selbyville high school (or even college) graduates are on their own. If any real estate information has even been touched upon, it will have been in the most cursory manner: at best, one line item in a Home Economics budgeting discussion.

That’s one reason why everyone from first time Selbyville homebuyers to itinerant real estate investors can benefit from the best of today’s how-to real estate books. Here are some of the popular oldies—as well as some valuable newcomers:

100 Questions Every First Time Home Buyer Should Askis Ilyce Glink’s compilation of insights from top brokers across the country. Town first time buyers aren’t the only readers who will find this general reference valuable— Selbyville home sellers who want insight into the concerns of potential buyers will find it a useful resource. The “100 Questions” don’t address every Selbyville real estate information topic; but on the whole, this book is concise and informative.

Solid, practical information for homeowners readying their property for the Selbyville market can be found in Rhoney and Richard’s Smart Essentials for Selling Your Home. In the same way that 100 Questions book is also useful to sellers, this one would make excellent reading for prospective home buyers who recognize the importance of understanding sellers’ priorities. Smart Essentials is mercifully short: just 92 pages!

For more seasoned readers who might be considering an Selbyville residential investment, the bookshelves have plenty to offer:  

The second edition of Gallinelli’s What Every Real Estate Investor Needs to Know about Cashflow has been around for a while, but comes highly recommended for its textbook-level explanation of how economists digest real estate information for investment purposes. The formulas are all there, as well as examples that demonstrate how to apply them. Reading it won’t encourage prudent Selbyville non-CPAs to do their own business tax returns—but will acquaint them with valuable foreknowledge on how their tax advisor approaches maximizing their refund. Its description of four different ways to make money from real estate can be eye-opening.

J. Scotts’ The Book on Flipping Houses (how to buy, rehab, and resell residential properties) is a roadmap from start to finish on how to go about a lucrative house flip. There are many books on the subject, but this one is the leader of the pack. First published in paperback in 2013, it’s been a real estate information best seller ever since. Part of its wide appeal is the author’s (he’s a veteran flipper) candid step-by-step descriptions of how he executes his own projects. The author’s other book (with co-author Brandon Turner) is:

The Book on Estimating Rehabs. This is a book Selbyville real estate information-seekers should find well worth its hefty paperback price tag ($22.49 on Amazon). It details a variety of different approaches to projecting a rehab budget, including a breakdown of the 25 components that need evaluating.

Books can provide invaluable background information for real estate newcomers and veterans alike. Another essential is the assistance of a knowledgeable agent: good reason to 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.

Last week’s reporting showed the same kind of upward movement that’s become commonplace for Selbyville real estate investment news watchers. A standout: Corelogic’s finding that national home prices in May increased by 6.3%, marking the 39th consecutive monthly year-over-year increase.
Actually, to a lot of us, that looked stronger than expected: the steady increase in U.S. sale prices had seemed to have leveled off in the 5% range for the most part…Corelogic’s own Chief Economist had prognosticated, “We expect house prices in our national index to be up about 5 percent in the next 12 months” just 30 days ago.
Those who track U.S. real estate investment performance for its Selbyville implications, two other interesting observations were noteworthy. First, even including distressed sales, prices have now risen to within 8.4% of the April 2006 peak—what is generally considered an unsustainable “bubble.” Yet it’s impossible to find any expert who believes the current price levels are indicative of anything of the kind; nor that the expected continuing rises would expose those making residential real estate investments to equivalent risk levels. Except in a very few localities, there is scarcely any “bubble” speculation to be found—even as national price increases continue to outpace inflation.
Part of the reason is that supply continues to be tight; distressed property sales continue to decline; and overall U.S. economic conditions are perceived to be improving, however gradually. Corelogic also keeps track of sales and momentum for different price ranges, which perform differently, as real estate investment analysts know. The lowest-priced tier, which represents to most modestly priced 25% of homes, has now actually surpassed its pre-crisis peak…and the highest end of luxury residences (the top 25%) are within 5.7% of their peak.
The second point made in last week’s reporting was continuing good news for those whose real estate investment portfolios include rental properties. Apartment vacancy rates “are down to their lowest level since the 1980s” according to Economist Frank Nothaft. “Rents are up, and apartment building values are at or above their prior peaks.”
The robust performance wasn’t confined to multiple-unit housing, either. Following the housing crash—between 2006 and 2013—3,000,000 detached single family homes were added to the nation’s rental stock. They now make up 40% of the market. In terms of their real estate investment performance, the combination of rising rental rates and shrinking vacancy rates are exactly what investors hope to see. For regular homeowners, too—even those with no plans to sell anytime soon—those 39 straight months of steady price appreciation is comforting news. And if you are watching this summer’s Selbyville real estate listings for the investment opportunities they represent, I hope you’ll give me a 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.