Last Saturday investment commentator Rebecca Lake presented the kind of analysis that would warm the heart of South Bethany, DE rental property proponents. Her report appeared on the U.S. News website under the title “3 Reasons to Invest in Single-Family Rentals.” The piece was all the more persuasive because of its fresh perspective: according to the author, 2019 looks to be an especially advantageous year for rental property investments.

Since Lake’s article was aimed at the financial community, it occasionally lapsed into FinanceSpeak like “…there tends to be a ‘beta’ between the rental market and the stock market.” Especially for South Bethany, DE investors looking for relief from the stock market’s volatility, that translates into English as “daily swings in stock prices don’t affect real estate investors like equity investors.”

The “3 Reasons” in a nutshell:

·         The 2019 outlook is strong. With demand growing and supply limited (most notably in entry-level housing), one analyst predicts rent increases “landing in the 5%-7% range.” That would outpace even commercial real estate prospects.

·         Housing is bolstered by low unemployment. (Last Friday’s announcement of surprisingly strong employment numbers reinforces that “bolstering”).

·         Renter profiles are changing. Renting single-family homes has “become the new norm” among three well-populated consumer groups: renters who lack a home loan down payment; consumers who wish to remain flexible where housing options are concerned; and those who fear that real estate values might soften in the future.

As an ironic twist, members in that last group—those who fret about real estate values—might well decide to remain as renters even as they acquire a rental property investment. It would be perfectly logical after they discover that throughout the Great Recession, single-family rentals didn’t have a single down year in occupancy or rental rates.

Since every locality differs in rental property performance, South Bethany, DE investors are well served when they have access to the market know-how of an experienced local Realtor®. That may not be FinanceSpeak, but it does translate into: 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

The “hero shot” is what advertising agency folks call a photograph that makes a product the “star” of its surrounding layout. The product can be a cereal box or a Mack truck—large or small; it doesn’t matter. The important thing is that the product appears at its most appealing.

In local real estate terms, the hero shot for a home being offered for sale is the glamour shot that appears at the top of the South Bethany, DE listing. For professionals to create that photo, they use the latest equipment to capture the image, then refine it through top-notch processing software to enhance it further.  

But when it comes to making sure your own home is represented by the best possible real estate hero shot, there can be exceptions to the wisdom of relying exclusively on a professional’s “eye” and experience. Sometimes the homeowner’s own photo is superior. The pros will readily admit it.

Those exceptions occur when alert homeowners seize on once-in-a-blue-moon conditions that make for an arresting photo. That can happen when a seasonal change in a property’s landscape happens to create a gorgeous backdrop—something that can’t be emulated at any other moment. In New England, that can occur at a magic moment during peak foliage season when the leaves are just so (and the sun cooperates). In Arizona, it could be a stunning sunset when the cacti are blossoming in the front yard. In Washington D.C., when the cherry blossoms are out, and the pool cover has just come off…

Homeowners know when their South Bethany, DE property looks its best—if that creates an image that is noticeably superior to what it looks like at any other time, that could turn out to be the single best hero shot for a future South Bethany, DE listing.

The important point is for South Bethany, DE homeowners to take their casual snapshot-taking more seriously. If you should decide to put your home on the market, the result might turn out to be invaluable. Today’s smartphones are actually capable of incredibly advanced image-making. So keep an eye out for those “magic” moments, and be ready to take some snaps of the house. Do be careful to hold the phone still—and to take several different angles, from up high and down low. If one of those once-in-a-blue-moon amateur shots turns out to be the hero, it can be worth its weight in gold!

Eye-catching photos go a long way toward creating a listing that captures prospective buyers—but that’s only a first step. Call me when it nears time to put your South Bethany, DE home on the market! 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 South Bethany, DE homeowners’ peace of mind would have been strengthened by some words that received wide circulation throughout the financial press. Their author was a gentleman whose opinions are as close to bankable as anyone currently on the scene. If there were such a thing as a Nobel Prize in real estate, this guy would own one—come to think of it, he DOES have a Nobel prize (for economics), but his work largely centers on the U.S. real estate market.

We’re talking about Robert Shiller, the Yale professor who co-invented the Case-Shiller Index. It’s the most economically respected measure of U.S home prices. South Bethany, DE homeowners who measure their own financial wherewithal usually consider the market price of their South Bethany, DE home as a major contributor to their net worth—the personal financial ultimate bottom line. As Wall Street’s MarketWatch put it, “what’s more natural than wanting to know the value of our biggest assets?

That’s why the trajectory of home values in the months and years ahead are of more than passing interest—and why the views of Professor Shiller make headlines. Among other prescient pronouncements, he foresaw the past decade’s housing crash and subsequent financial meltdown—and penned an article predicting it a full year in advance.

The latest S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Home Price Index did report some slowing—but that was a slowing in the rate of price increases, rather than a true slowdown. Still, after years of constantly upbeat statistical news, it’s not surprising that Shiller’s views on what’s next got wide coverage when CNBC interviewed him last week.

What the straight-talking economist had to say was welcome news for South Bethany, DE homeowners. When the interviewer brought up possible fears of a major downturn in home equity like the previous decade’s housing bubble, Shiller replied, “it’s not the same.” On the contrary, addressing home values in the immediate future, he was definite: “I don’t expect a sharp turn in the housing market.”

Much of the U.S. slowdown in home sales has to do with a lack of inventory: homeowners willing to sell. If you are one of South Bethany, DE’s homeowners, you can take that as a green light for listing your own property in today’s market. If that’s you, I hope you’ll 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

It’s close to the end of the line for South Bethany, DE’s daylight savings time. Come Sunday, when our digital clocks are poised to click over to 2 am, they should automatically duck back to 1, returning the 60 minutes we donated last spring. (Well, all the smarter clocks will do that—our South Bethany, DE neighbors will have to make the adjustment manually on duller-witted timepieces).

The daylight savings time adjustment has its boosters and detractors; but, speaking for South Bethany, DE’s real estate community, we’re definitely in favor of saving as much light as possible! The reasons are many, both aesthetic and scientific.  

First, there’s the effect of light on potential home buyers. ScienceDaily offers one study that explains “its powerful effects on the brain.” These include non-visual functions having to do with synchronizing our biological clocks. Light conveys a powerful stimulating signal for human alertness. Research is underway to see if those effects can be maximized.

Experienced South Bethany, DE real estate professionals don’t have to be told about the importance of light when it comes to showing properties and conducting open houses. Just about every checklist ever published lists the importance of throwing open the draperies, switching on the lamps and overhead fixtures to brighten as many rooms as possible. Such common-sense preparations are based on something Realtors® agree upon: bright surroundings produce positive, cheerful atmospheres. Not all prospective buyers may be looking for a light and bright home environment, but the lion’s share does seem to welcome well-lit rooms and hallways.

Once the value of light is acknowledged, another area that is being explored deals with the subtle effects of the color of light on how people feel. The Journal of Neuroscience has a number of studies advancing “the understanding of health effects of different light colors” so that “you can design your home or office in a manner that promotes positivity and wellbeing.”  

At any rate, I’m all for continuing the daylight savings clock-tinkering rituals as long as they do what they were devised to do: extend summer evenings’ daylight hours. From Sunday until next spring, South Bethany, DE’s Realtors will adjust our showing and open house hours accordingly. For details on those, or any other South Bethany, DE real estate matters, 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