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Featured Listings!

111 NEW CASTLE ST, Rehoboth Beach
$1,675,000
111 NEW CASTLE ST, Rehoboth Beach
18 MARYLAND AVE, Rehoboth Beach
$1,345,000
18 MARYLAND AVE, Rehoboth Beach
135 RIVERVIEW DR, Dagsboro
$545,000
135 RIVERVIEW DR, Dagsboro
38399 F BENSON STREET, Rehoboth Beach
$445,000
38399 F BENSON STREET, Rehoboth Beach
23431 GODWIN SCHOOL RD, Millsboro
$385,000
23431 GODWIN SCHOOL RD, Millsboro
27476 COVERED BRIDGE TRL, Harbeson
$365,000
27476 COVERED BRIDGE TRL, Harbeson
140 BOBBYS BRANCH ROAD, Millsboro
$224,900
140 BOBBYS BRANCH ROAD, Millsboro
30885 WHITE OAK RD, Dagsboro
$165,900
30885 WHITE OAK RD, Dagsboro
34044 SHAWNEE DR, Dagsboro
$159,900
34044 SHAWNEE DR, Dagsboro
319 SOUTH BOARDWALK, Rehoboth Beach
$4,700,000
319 SOUTH BOARDWALK, Rehoboth Beach
10 PINE REACH RD, Rehoboth Beach
$2,895,000
10 PINE REACH RD, Rehoboth Beach
20378 SILVERLAKE DRIVE, Rehoboth Beach
$2,500,000
20378 SILVERLAKE DRIVE, Rehoboth Beach

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Sussex County Homeowners Note Google’s Unexpected Gambit

Apr 10, 2014

Right at the start of the year, Google announced a surprising move. It said it was purchasing a home appliance maker most of us had never even heard of…for $3.2 billion in cash! It was a gambit that every Sussex County homeowner should note, because it signals where some very smart money is headed: right where we live!

Remember, Google isn’t just famous for its search engine; it’s also frequently in the news for its forays into any number of futuristic enterprises (those mysterious barges, for instance). The appliance maker that now has Google’s billions in its pocket is called Nest Labs, Inc. Nest makes smart devices that reinvent the traditional ones every Sussex County homeowner has to deal with, like thermostats and smoke detectors. “Unloved but important devices” was how the press announcement put it.

The unique feature of Nest’s products is that they collect “user behavior” data (i.e., homeowner actions) in order to provide a more tailored response. Google CEO Larry Page explained, “They’re already delivering amazing products you can buy right now–thermostats that save energy and smoke/CO alarms that can help keep your family safe.”

  The move of Google into the realm of smarter homes is part of a broader trend. In the most recent American Institute of Architects Home Design Trends Survey, there was a dramatic increase in the use of technology solutions in the home. The survey noted an increase in requests for entertainment, security and energy management systems. Energy management systems are becoming increasingly sophisticated as households are given the ability to manage their lighting and temperature over a wireless network. As electronic cars become more prevalent, electronic docking systems in the garage may also become commonplace.

How does this affect the average Sussex County homeowner? As the minimum price of these systems decline, automated homes will eventually become the norm. If today it costs around $2500 to automate your home, it’s all but inevitable that similar features will fall in price (and grow in sophistication). Then, when it comes to buying an Sussex County home or listing your own for sale, the amount of smart automation is bound to become a key selling point—trust Google!

The ability to operate and manage your house from a wireless devices such as your smartphone or laptop is already here…and Nest’s learning technology signals a future where our home and appliances are able to learn from our behavior and predict our needs. Keeping an eye on the future is a good idea for any Sussex County homeowner, especially when you’re thinking of replacing one of those “unloved but important” devices— and most especially when you’re contemplating listing your home anytime soon. If that’s in your future, why not give me a call? As Google is in the habit of demonstrating, it’s never too soon to prepare for the future!

Call/text 302-228-7871 or email me, Russell Stucki, REALTOR® of Beach Real Estate Market to provide detailed information on Delaware homes for sale, investment and commercial properties, luxury and  waterfront homes, condos/townhomes, new construction, lots and land, farms and equestrian properties located in but not limited to Bethany, Bethel, Bridgeville, Dagsboro, Delmar, Ellendale, Fenwick Island, Frankford, Georgetown, Greenwood, Harbeson, Laurel, Lewes, Lincoln, Milford, Millsboro, Millville, Milton, Ocean View, Rehoboth Beach, Seaford, Selbyville, Delaware.

Overprice Your Delaware Home: Why Not?

Apr 7, 2014

A major home-selling decision arrives right at the start: setting your home’s price. It’s a step that can be decisive for good or for ill.

But what is the “right” price? We know what it probably isn’t—it’s not the first number that pops into your head, nor is it likely to be The-Price-of-Your-Next-House-Plus-the Cost-of-a-Family-Vacation-in-Tahiti-Plus-the-New-Sportscar-You’ve-Always-Wanted-to-Own. It’s also not a price that will ‘test the market’ (to make sure there hasn’t been an upward spike in demand since the last comparable neighborhood home sold).

Setting a home’s price in the right ballpark can be easier than many people assume. You can get there by a number of different routes, most of them tied to recent neighborhood history:

BUYER APPEAL

Setting a home’s price doesn’t take place in a vacuum: first come the buyers you need to attract. If your property is priced significantly above the market, your ‘market test’ will tell you that only uninformed prospects—or no prospects—are interested in pursuing your offer. An out-of-whack asking price can also be taken as evidence that the seller (you) aren’t really interested in making a deal happen, which will make professionals less likely to present it to qualified buyers.

AIDING THE COMPETITION

By setting your home’s price significantly above the competition, you do everyone else in the neighborhood a terrific marketing favor. Even prospective buyers who appreciate your home’s innate qualities may be unable to resist what suddenly looks like a real bargain-basement buy just down the street!

APPRAISAL REALITY CHECK

Even if you do interest a willing buyer, unless he or she belongs to Warren Buffett’s country club, a likely next step will involve a mortgage lender’s appraisal. Setting a home’s price above any neighborhood comparable can mean an appraisal that comes in below the agreed-upon purchase price. Even if that doesn’t kill the sale through a loan denial, the buyer is likely to be penalized through a higher down payment or interest rate— either of which can play taps for your sale.

IT’S ONLY MONEY

Another (and perhaps the most persuasive) reason to right-price your home is monetary. History shows that overpricing generally yields proceeds that are significantly below those set more aggressively right from the start. It’s human nature: successive price reductions look like desperation—which invites low-ball offers.

If you are actively debating how to make the best of this spring’s Delawareselling season, give me a call. Together we can map out a strategy that works!

Redefining What’s Hot in Delaware Beach Luxury Listings

Apr 2, 2014

Charlie Chaplin always managed to mix a good measure of insight in with the silent movie knee-slappers. It was “The Little Clown” who once said, “The saddest thing I can imagine is to get used to luxury.” One way or another, we Americans have come up with a singularly surefire way to overcome that problem: we just constantly redefine what comprises “luxury”!

Real estate website Trulia proves the point. Each year they count how frequently certain phrases appear in luxury listings—here in Delaware Beachas well as across the nation. From year to year, their findings provide an interesting measure of what’s hot and what’s not in luxury listings.

Buyers Want A Room With A View (and A Marble Bath!)

The words that most commonly appear in luxury listings are marble bath, roof deck and oversize windows. Luxury listings were 78% more likely to contain marble bath than was true the previous year. And windows seemed a focal point in the latest luxury listings: three of the top seven phrases dealt with them in one way or another. Oversized windows were 56% more likely to appear this year, floor to ceiling windows were up 39%, and ceiling windows appeared 37% more frequently.

There seemed a general drift toward defining luxury characteristics as that which can be seen from outside the home as much as what is found inside. Delaware Beachsellers might note that, along with great windows, roof decks and terraces were other popular draws in the luxury listings.

Luxury Cooking Facilities No Longer As Hot

At the same time, cooking and kitchen amenities seemed to have faded in importance. BBQ was the amenity that dropped the most—declining by 16%. Other big losers were stainless appliances, custom cabinets, gourmet kitchen and breakfast areas.

Yesterday’s Luxury: Today’s Necessity?

A word of caution about all this: when we are deciding the important phrasing for our own Delaware Beachluxury listings, it’s worth considering that what was yesterday’s “luxury” can quickly become today’s necessity. Just as we wouldn’t think of heated indoor plumbing or refrigerator as a high end amenities, at some point they were. Amenities that were once emphasized may no longer be given prominence because buyers have simply come to take it for granted that they will be included…if they were headlined, the listing might look…well, average. As our conception of luxury redefines itself, we should expect their listing phrases will change, too.

Whether you agree with Charlie Chaplin or not, luxury in housing is apparently here to stay. If you are interested in exploring—or adding to—the luxury listings in Delaware Beach, don’t you be silent—give me a call today! 

Property Management Solution Clears Ownership Hurdles

Mar 25, 2014

Property management for Sussex County landlords can be the key to circumventing what can otherwise become growth-limiting factors. If you are one of those who acquired a few rental properties as a reliable way to earn easy, hands-off income, you may have been surprised when your hands turned out to be a bit more ‘on’ than you had planned.

Or perhaps you are an experienced landlord looking for a way to expand your business—but already fully occupied with the status quo. The solution may be one you considered before, but decided against for cost reasons. But now that you have more predictable cash flow expectations, you might take a harder look (clearly, many others have done so: according to the international analysts at IBIS World, the property management industry does $55 billion worth of business in the U.S. every year!).

Here’s a back-of-the-envelope look at why property management in town makes sense to so many thrifty landlords:

  • Complete landlord/tenant law knowledge. You can imagine the cost in time, aggravation, and dollars for finding yourself on the wrong side of a legal dispute. You may think that you know the ins and outs of Sussex County applicable laws, but changes do happen. A property management company has the pooled resources to keep abreast of legal strictures. What your rental business doesn’t need is for the owner (you) to have to wrap your head around legal loopholes and legalese!
  • Task delegation. Tending to rental maintenance issues, tenant complaints, and the host of other property management tasks eats into time you could spend earning a living, or enjoying life. A good Sussex County property management company handles collections, maintenance, and the occasional problematic tenant. 
  • Avoiding paperwork. A Sussex County property management company is classified as a contractor rather than an employee, helping you to escape payroll tax and other hiring fallout. It streamlines, rather than complicates your rental business.

Whether you need help in getting started or want to offload some of the busywork, property management companies may be able to provide benefits that easily outweigh the cost. Call/text 302-228-7871 or email me, Russell Stucki, REALTOR ® of Beach Real Estate Market to provide detailed information on Delaware homes for sale, investment and commercial properties, luxury and  waterfront homes, condos/townhomes, new construction, lots and land, farms and equestrian properties located in but not limited to Bethany, Bethel, Bridgeville, Dagsboro, Delmar, Ellendale, Fenwick Island, Frankford, Georgetown, Greenwood, Harbeson, Laurel, Lewes, Lincoln, Milford, Millsboro, Millville, Milton, Ocean View, Rehoboth Beach, Seaford, Selbyville, Delaware.