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

Selbyville home buying activity may be going great guns, but for some would-be buyers, credit score woes are still a stubborn obstacle. That’s why we have been keeping an eye on the new pilot project that was announced late last year. This was the one called the "Wealth Building Home Loan." It’s an experiment aimed at opening up home ownership options, particularly for first time home buyers. Bank of America and Citibank were first to sign up for the program, said to “take a fresh approach to affordable mortgage lending.” It sounds like a pretty good idea!
How It Works
The Wealth Building Home Loan is a mortgage that runs for 15 years at a fixed interest rate. Because the term is so short, equity builds rapidly. The payments are more manageable than any reality-grounded Selbyville mortgage watcher would think because discount points can be used to buy the interest rate down to…well, “zero”! Since no down payment is generally required, home buyers can apply their available cash to purchasing those points. Since that sounds almost too good to be true, we’ve been keeping an eye open for progress reports.
Extra Help for Buyers with Modest Income
Qualifying for the mortgages would emphasize home buyer income rather than credit score. This would be a real godsend to the many people still rebuilding their credit after the economic downturn. Furthermore, interest would be set at three-fourths of a percent lower than the 30-year FHA rate—which makes sense, since shorter terms mean lower lender risk—with additional points to be offered at special bargain prices.
A Game-Changing Approach
The loan program is piloted through The Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America, which secured underwriting from BofA and Citibank. It’s intended to be "a game changer,” because equity ownership takes place rapidly. Already in the first three years of a WBHL, 77% of the monthly payments pay off the principal, rather than the 68% that goes to interest under a standard 30-year mortgage. The effect is to accumulate a significant ownership stake almost from the word ‘go’—and more ownership equates to better loan performance.
When last checked, the program was in “pilot project” status (still in the initial shakedown phase) while the innovators who came up with the idea figure out how to make the loans widely available. So far, so good, apparently—we’ll keep an eye on developments to see if the program is greenlighted by the two underwriters.
In the meantime, Selbyville mortgage-seekers have a wide variety of currently available options for taking advantage of the great buys viewable on this morning’s Selbyville listings. Give me a call for a no-obligation discussion of how you can take advantage of today’s opportunities! 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

You want your approach to finding a new home in Selbyville to be at least somewhat hard-headed and businesslike. The financial stakes are certainly major, and to some extent, much of what your future lifestyle will be like will depend on making a good choice.
This is not to totally discount the emotional component that’s inevitably part of finding your new Selbyville home. You do want your family to feel good about the final choice—you’ll be moving to the dwelling that will become everybody’s center of operations.
So if your repeat visit begins to convince you that this really is the place you’ve been hoping to find, it’s the appropriate time to take a step back to do your most hard-headed, businesslike projection. This is beyond the back-of-the-envelope kind of calculation (the one that originally guided the price range you gave to your Realtor). This is time to take everything into account to see how well this new Selbyville home truly fits—on a number of counts.
A new home’s true affordability begins with the banker’s basic price formula—purchase price, mortgage, insurance and taxes. You should also contemplate the cost of having the property inspected and the closing costs (your Realtor® can give you a close estimate). But that’s not the whole picture—a new home’s true affordability also incorporates the difference between your family’s current expense profile and any factors that will change it.
For instance, if the square footage of the new home greater, you can expect that simple maintenance costs will rise proportionately (unless the new home’s condition is a good deal better than your current one). Utility costs may rise, too, if the living space is greater—unless more efficient systems are in place.
If the location will necessitate a change in driving distance or other transportation expenses, they should be taken into account. Does the new place have a significantly larger lawn or other landscaping features? If you have a green thumb and enjoy getting that kind of outdoor exercise (IOW, mowing), that won’t have much effect. If not, you’d better factor in a gardener’s bill.
There is one other element that’s easy to overlook, but accounting for it can eliminate the possibility that the whole move results in an unexpectedly depleted bank balance. Most people who are moving into a terrific new home forget to fully account for the few changes they’ll need to make before the place is perfectly suited their family. These could be minor, like changing out a light fixture that doesn’t fit the dining room table. Or they could be major, like addressing wholesale décor clashes that call for choosing between repainting the walls—or reupholstering— or even purchasing new furniture!
Helping you make sure your new Selbyville home is a comfortable match for your family’s needs is a large part of the service I provide my buyers. If you are ready to take a look at the latest crop of Selbyville new home offerings, I’ll be standing by for your 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


“Buyers make their decisions in exactly eight seconds. After that, they’ve either fallen in love or are just honoring an appointment.”
You’re likely to come across that quotation (from prominent Manhattan Realtor® Barbara Corcoran) whenever you’re researching how to add the most value to your Selbyville home with the least expense. For Selbyville home owners about to list their property, it’s a somewhat unnerving prospect. If true, then every showing may start with what sports fans call a sudden death playoff!
If you are a future seller with an Selbyville home that needs improvement, it’s only realistic to accept the likelihood that should you go to market without doing anything about it, it will cost you one way or another. Either the offers you garner will be lower than they needed to be, or (worse), the home will linger too long with no real offers at all. If you have any leeway in time and/or budget, there are two approaches you can take to fix the problem.
First, you can hire a professional to assess the problem and lay out solutions. It may be expensive (not necessarily); but it’s a pretty foolproof approach. You and your real estate representative can go over the recommendations, assess which will be most cost-effective—most certain to reflect in the value your home realizes—and then get them done.
The other way is to make your own evaluation, and act on it. Drive up to your curb just as prospective buyers will, get out of the car, approach your home, and take in what needs fixing. If your curbside mailbox doesn’t have clearly recognizable numbers on it; if the walkway looks stained or broken; if the bushes have last fall’s dead leaves lodged in them; if the front doorbell is rusty…you get the idea! Note what’s wrong (heave a sigh of relief for what’s right), and get going! It will pay off!
On the other hand, if you have an Selbyville home that’s undisputedly a true eye-pleaser, you’re probably content with the Love at First Sight precept—as you should be. If you’ve done your job of maintaining your home’s exterior and landscaping, you’re steps ahead. But a word of caution: that first decision doesn’t have to be final. If what buyers experience once they are inside is persuasively positive, any off-putting first-glance judgement can be turned around. What’s of key importance is that no single glaring negative element be present. If it is, it can seal a negative first impression…or undermine a positive one.
I’m here to lend experience and advice every step of the way. And a good first step is a really simple one: 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