Some of today’s ‘smart home’ technology is costly—even considering the savings from lessened resource usage. Even so, the ‘green’ results seem to provide sufficient motivation for many environmentally focused Delaware homeowners.

Yet there is the possibility that the premiums spent on smart refrigerators and dishwashers may not constitute a sacrifice at all—at least not in the long run. In any event, it’s a closer call than most people assume. A few years ago, did some interesting research on the subject. The picture that emerged hasn’t changed appreciably since:

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   Smart dishwasher: Water and power savings: $35/year.

Pays for itself in 34 years.

Estimated life of a dishwasher: 10 years (Consumer Reports average).

Smart washing machine: Water, power, detergent savings: $45/year.

Pays for itself in 27 years.

Estimated life of a washing machine: 10 years (Consumer Reports average).

Smart Clothes Dryer: Power savings: $20/year.

Pays for itself in 55 years.

Estimated dryer life: 25 years (Consumer Reports’ top-rated Speed Queen).

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From a bean counter’s point of view, that arithmetic looks pretty unappealing since the simple takeaway is

 Pays for itself in…never.

To be fair, there are some smart appliances that return their investment quickly (that’s a topic we’ll go into another day). But even if operating costs don’t make up for the initial investment, that might not constitute the final word where finances are concerned. In a subsequent Wall Street Journal article, there appears a fact that could blow the above conclusion to smithereens:

“Homes with smart appliances sold for 22.7% more than comparably sized properties in the same ZIP Code.”

Now, that might be due to disparate factors having to do with any number of correlated quality, maintenance, or upgrade issues—yet it might also be the contribution that smart appliances make to a property’s overall presentation. At any rate, that “22.7%” figure is certainly worth pondering!

When the time nears for listing your own home, I hope you’ll think of me to share the latest facts and ideas about the current Delaware market. Do 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

 Right about this time during most years, if yours is a typical Delaware home with typical cooling capacity, its energy consumption will rise (just as it does in the chilliest depths of winter). It isn’t at the top of most homeowners’ summer to-do list, but now is an ideal time to take a hard look at how to reduce your Delaware home’s energy consumption.

According to the people who study these things, now is actually an ideal time to assess how your home’s energy use can be improved. That’s because—according to the U.S. Department of Energy—three-quarters of all U.S. homes have air-conditioning. The Consumer Energy Alliance says that cooling demands account for “approximately $29 billion annually to individuals and families.” If you’re used to an abrupt rise in your own Delaware energy bills right about now, your family’s budget confirms the claim.

Professional energy audits take between a half an hour and four hours—and are almost always worth the cost. But short of that, there are many budget-saving actions you can take yourself, right now. Here are some of them:

·         Clean or change your filters

·         Raise the thermostat (rule of thumb is that a 7-10 degree change can save 10% every year)

·         Upgrade to LED bulbs

·         Clear space around air vents

·         If the attic is suitable for frying eggs, see about getting better insulation or (better still) an attic fan

·         Check your water heater temperature. Recommended: 120F.

That third bullet-point is a beauty. LED bulbs don’t just use 75% less energy—they also emit less heat (a summertime add-on). Yes, they seem to cost a lot more— but not when you consider that they last 25 times longer!

Before thermometers soar any higher and your Delaware energy bills soar with them, taking a few of these actions can pay off noticeably. Another plus: if and when it’s time to move on, your lowered energy bills will paint an attractive picture when potential buyers ask to see them (they probably will). Another good idea for when it’s time to list: 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

Every now and then we have to shake our heads at how much the electronic transformation has changed daily living in Delaware. Electronics have invaded practically everything—from home wifi to ultra hi-def TV to cell phones that double as search engines.

As you read this, you’re only a couple of clicks away from being able to summon up all the current Delaware homes for sale that fit your chosen criteria. Want to check out 3-bedroom single family residences currently listed for $400,000 or less? Click click: here they are—complete with pictures (and perhaps a video tour). It’s a revolution that’s still ongoing, too—one bound to produce surprises we haven’t even imagined.

Yet, despite the sweeping changes in Delaware real estate marketing, there is one old standby whose power and utility hasn’t changed one whit. It is master of the real (nonvirtual) realm.

The two words in point are “For Sale”—specifically when they appear on one of my eye-catching front yard signs. Their power is undeniable; proven time and time again. As soon as a ‘for sale’ sign appears in a front yard, the secret is out! Everybody in the neighborhood quickly notes the nearby property that’s suddenly available. If family or friends have been thinking of moving closer, it’s a possible solution. If a neighbor has been looking for more room (or thinking of downsizing), likewise. Prospects who have been eyeing the area will write down my phone number and give me a call. Even casual passersby who hadn’t been entertaining the idea of buying a home may suddenly find themselves mulling the possibility: “I hadn’t been thinking of a change, but I saw your sign over on _______, and we were wondering how much they’re asking…”

The truth is, the good old-fashioned ‘For Sale’ sign still packs a wallop—possibly because it sticks out so startlingly on an otherwise unchanging residential street. It’s an unexpected direct communication. And whether or not prospective buyers have even been thinking of themselves in that category, everyone gets the message: what if that place could be mine?

If you will be listing your own home anytime soon, I hope you’ll 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

When you boil down what most people are looking for when it comes to choosing their Delaware agent, it’s usually an outcome that can be summed up by a simple 4-word phrase, “best price, least hassle.” It’s no different whether you’re buying or selling.  

For Delaware home sellers, the best price, least hassle observation certainly holds—but it might not be the first thing that leaps to mind. That is probably, “get it sold!” The price/hassle factors may prevail after all is said and done, but at the outset, simply accomplishing the Big One (selling your home) is likely to overshadow everything else. Larry the Cable Guy’s famous, “Git ‘er done” is a lot more than just a throwaway laugh line.

These ideas seem to have been confirmed by interviews with actual American sellers and buyers. In the most recent National Association of Realtors®Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, the number of “go it alone” sellers fell to an all-time low. For-Sale-by-Owner sales have now dropped to 7% of all successful sales. When that percentage was first measured in 1981, it was 15%, and it’s been dropping ever since. If you assume that sellers choose a licensed agent because they know that professional guidance is the surest path to a completed sale, the growing popularity of their choice isn’t surprising.

There’s little doubt that choosing a licensed Delaware real estate agent results in significantly less hassle—but since the primary motivation of For-Sale-by-Owner sellers is usually monetary, you’d think the added hassle would at least result in a superior “best price” bottom line. Not so: according to last year’s statistics, the typical FSBO home, if it sold at all, went for $200,000—$65,000 less than agent-assisted sales.

When it nears time for you to put your own Delaware home on the market, I hope you’ll consider me to be your agent. My track record demonstrates outstanding performance in the “best price, least hassle” department!